Joanna pulled out her wand and yelled, “Stupefy!”
The spell hit Annoria in the back and she fell flat on the floor. Limping towards her, Joanna held back the guilty tears that were welling up in her eyes. What she was about to do next was far worse.
As she pulled the diary from under Annoria, she pointed her wand at Annoria’s temple and whispered, “Obliviate.” A thin silver-ish line escaped her head and disappeared into thin air.
“That was the plan?” Tom said softly as he walked up beside her.
“Better than death,” Joanna said with a hint of anger, not so much at Tom but at herself.
Tom did not reply instead he waited for her. And when she asked him to carry Annoria back to the common room, he did as he was told. He also offered to help her back to the hospital wing, but Joanna insisted that getting Annoria back was more important.
Before they parted at a corridor Joanna said, “Make sure she’s still alive tomorrow.”
“You think I’m going to kill her?” Tom didn’t chuckle at the end of the question, which he normally would.
“Just saying,” Joanna said and disappeared towards the hospital wing corridor.
As she propped herself into bed, she realized she had Tom’s diary still clutched in her right hand. Not hesitating this time, she flipped through the pages and read. She knew it was wrong, but she didn’t care. She just erased her friends memory for Pete’s sake, what could be worse?
Funny though, that as she read, every word that came off the book felt numb. She felt as though her actions were as bad as what Tom had previously done and she didn’t blame him for it. Sure he framed a boy name Hagrid and killed his father and grandparents, but at least he had not betrayed anyone’s trust.
When Joanna finally shut the diary, she saw Tom standing at the foot of her bed. On normal occasions, she would have had a heart attack, but that night was different. She threw the book towards Tom and he caught it.
“Read everything have you?” Tom asked. Light barely cast on him that Joanna could not see his expression to help decipher his tone.
“No. Just some,” Joanna answered. Honestly, most of what she was reading never sank in as her mind was occupied on the guilt she was having.
“It was for the best, you know that,” Tom said, in a tone not as assuring as it was supposed to be.
“Really? Because I don’t feel any better. How is betraying your friend a good thing? How is it for the best?”
“It was either her or me, you would have to betray one of us.”
“Yea, and if I betray you, you’d kill me.”
“You really think I’ll do that to you?
“You seem to have no problem killing people.”
Tom did not reply to that statement, as he stood silently in the dark. Joanna was about to call it a night and ask him to leave when he spoke before her.
“I wouldn’t kill you. Even if you did betray me.”
“Oh really?” Joanna found that hard to believe.
“Yes. You’re the only one who gets me, and still have the heart not to hate me. And I constantly ask myself why. Why don’t you hate me? Why can’t you see how sick and disturbed I am?” Tom asked, as though he was speaking to himself.
“I see it.” Joanna paused and continued, “But I don’t hate you because I also see the sparingly good side of you.”
“Sparingly good side? Is sparing good enough for you?”
“Good enough, yes.”
“Are you sure it has nothing to do with you liking me?” Tom asked just as the shifting of the moon sent a ray of light onto the right side of his face.
His high cheek bones and dark eyes that stared right into hers made her heart skip a beat. Wait, I don’t like him! Joanna scolded herself in thought.
Joanna forced a laugh in reply.
“Is that a yes or a no?”
“Can’t catch sarcasm can you?” Joanna replied as she folded her arms.
“Didn’t sound sarcastic. Sounded like a cover up to some troubling thoughts you were having just now.” A smirk swept across his face.
‘Why does he look so cute like that!’Joanna heard her inner voice say. ‘Shut up! This is not the right time Joanna, you just betrayed Annoria!’ she told herself in reply. ‘You know it’s true,’ she heard herself reply immediately.
“Having an internal discussion are you?” Tom asked, as though he could read minds as well.
“No. I’m just tired. I want to go to bed now,” Joanna quickly answered and shifted lower under the blankets.
“Alright. I have one question though.” Tom paused before he continued, “Do you still want to help me?”
Joanna had not thought of stopping from helping him, but now that he mentioned it, she gave it some thought. Was it a good idea though? She did cost Annoria her memory just to help him. But as her inner self told her to stick by his side, her conscience reminded her of Professor Dumbledore’s deep words. Is she still game?
To Be Continued…
If you have voted for the other option in Chapter 15, click here for the specially written alternate ending.
(Vote or leave a comment below on whether Joanna should still offer Tom assistance, or back out on her promise to help him!)