Joanna reached for the book under her cloak, thinking. And then with a casual shrug, she folded her arms on her table and ignored him.
She tried her very best to stay focus on the subject being taught and ignore the clearing of the throat and the shifting of the chair that was happening right next to her.
Once class had ended, Joanna hurried out and ran. She had to burn the book right away before he could stop her. As she climbed into the empty common room, she immediately headed towards the fireplace.
Pulling the book out, she nodded to herself. It has to go. With that in mind, she threw the book into the fire. Expecting the pages to light up in flames, Joanna stood back and waited. But she soon realized the book was not burning.
“It doesn’t burn. And you say your family is into the dark arts?” Tom chuckled from behind her.
Joanna spun around immediately to see the smirk on Tom’s face.
“How did you get in?” she asked slowly.
“I’m a prefect, and soon to be head prefect. I know ALL the passwords,” Tom answered as he brushed past her and picked the book up from the fireplace.
He then reached for his wand as he eyed Joanna. Instantly, she quickly backed away. Joanna was ready to admit she was afraid of him.
“Relax. I’m just playing with you,” Tom laughed at her reaction and walked out the common room, leaving Joanna in a concoction of uncertain emotions.
Days passed and Joanna had not spoken to Tom, or at least, she didn’t want to. He came to class and then disappeared after, and she couldn’t help but suspiciously wonder. But as school work started to pile up, she didn’t have time to think about him anymore.
One afternoon, Joanna headed to the library wanting to catch up on some of her work. Her new friends were a noisy bunch and the library was the only place she could find peace.
As she made her way to an empty table, she saw Tom. He was at a corner reading a book. Joanna was tempted to see what he was up to, but before she could decide on anything, Tom turned to look in her direction, as though he knew she was there.
Joanna quickly looked away and buried her face in her copy of Standard Book of Spells Grade 6. She was finally able to focus on what she was reading when someone sat across from her.
As she slowly lowered her book, she found Tom looking at her.
“What?” Joanna asked.
“I want to ask you something,” Tom said as he leaned forward. “How did your uncle die?”
“I don’t know. He just did.” Joanna eyed him suspiciously.
“Did he do the spell wrong?” Tom asked.
“I don’t know. I wasn’t there.”
“Then how do you know he died trying to make a you-know-what?”
“Because they found a copy of this book, in his room, the day they found his body.” Joanna pointed at the big book, in which she knew Tom hid the other book in.
“They destroyed the book after his death,” Joanna continued.
“Sad,” Tom remarked.
It was then that curiosity started to make her hands tingle and her old habits of digging out secrets made her want to know more.
“Have you asked anyone about making a you-know-what?” Joanna finally shut the book she attempted to read earlier.
“Professor Slughorn. But that was before I actually read the entire book.”
“Did he say it could be done?”
“Yes, but I’m not asking him again. He’s already suspicious of me asking about you-know-what.”
“Well, if you want to try, you should prepare first. An item of some sort.”
“I already have,” Tom said as he rubbed the ring on his finger.
“Your fathers?” Joanna said as she admired the black diamond on his finger.
“Very.” Tom stared at his ring.
“I’m sorry,” Joanna naturally responded.
“Oh, don’t be. I never knew him.”
They sat in silence for a while before Joanna decided to bring up a fact, “You know, you have to kill somebody in order to make a you-know-what.”
Joanna raised an eyebrow when Tom looked up at her and folded his fingers, symbolizing the number 3.
It took her a moment to understand what it meant, and when she finally did, her eyes widened as she leaned away from him. Though it wasn’t all that strange to hear someone tell her of the deaths they have caused, but hearing from a boy her age brought back the fear she had for him.
“You only need one,” Joanna said, trying to sound unaffected by the little secret he chose to share.
“I’m trying to make more than one you-know-what,” Tom said as casually as he could.
Joanna swallowed at the idea.
“You seem to know a lot about these kind of magic, can you help me?” Tom’s question caught her by surprise.
“I know, but I don’t practice,” Joanna quickly answered.
“I’m not asking you to, I’m just asking for your help,” Tom said, locking his eyes on hers as he waited for an answer.
To be continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should help Tom or not!)