Morning came and Joanna found herself feeling slightly better. Last night felt like a nightmare, and she secretly wished it was. But when Annoria came to see her during lunch, she knew it was no dream.
“By the way, do you get this feeling like you’re forgetting something?” Annoria asked, just before she left for Herbology.
“Er, sometimes. I guess it’s the stress and all that,” Joanna said as she gave a weak smile.
“Yea, probably. I just feel like I did something last night but I can’t remember it. I can’t even remember going to bed,” Annoria added.
“You’re probably too upset about our lost to Slytherin.”
“It’s not your fault you know,” Annoria said as she patted her hand.
“Yea, I know.”
“Well, I’ll see you later. You’ll probably get out of here soon anyways.”
When Annoria left, Joanna felt more horrid. Her friend genuinely cared about her and she just lied in her face. As she was drowning herself with guilt, Madam Courtley finally told her she could leave, seeing that she had fully recovered.
Joanna decided to spend the day in the common room, away from people. But as she walked down the empty hallways, she dreadfully crossed paths with Malfoy.
“Have you heard?” Malfoy asked in a hush-hush manner.
“Heard what?” Joanna was not in the mood for gossip at the moment.
“Wool’s orphanage, it caught fire this morning. It’s badly damaged and they are sending the orphans away to temporary homes.”
“Why would I care about some stupid orphanage?”
“It’s where Tom goes to every summer,” Malfoy muttered the fact so softly she nearly missed it.
“Oh.” Joanna didnt really know what to say.
“Yea, so now Professor Dippet is trying to find him a place to stay for the summer.”
“Why don’t YOU offer him your home?” Joanna asked.
“I can’t. Parent’s don’t like half-bloods.”
“Right. And you obey his every command.” Joanna rolled her eyes.
“Even if I try to justify him, they won’t listen to me, trust me, I tried.” Malfoy shrugged. He seemed to have thought of asking Tom to stay with him over the summer, and from his expression, it looked like he was rather upset that he couldn’t.
“Professor Dippet will surely find him a good place. Don’t worry.” Joanna tried to sound comforting as she awkwardly patted Malfoy on the shoulder.
“Well, if he can’t, the orphanage will arrange a home for him, with muggles,” Malfoy spat on his last word as though it was poison.
“Erm….” Joanna shrugged as completion for her unfinished sentence.
“I got to go, late for class,” Malfoy said briefly before he hurried off.
Joanna felt like she had to do something, but she was still upset with Tom. Or was it herself she was upset with? She didn’t know.
By the time she had reached her common room, she decided to take a detour to a room of which Tom had brought her to once. It was peaceful and she needed a place to clear her mind. But when she arrived, she saw Tom standing by the balcony.
While she was thinking twice on whether to proceed in, Tom said, “This used to be my hideout. Probably a mistake showing you this place.”
“Sorry. I’m going to go,” Joanna quickly said.
“No, you can stay. I’m leaving anyway,” Tom said before she could close the door.
As Joanna entered, Tom hurried pass her.
“Tom, wait,” Joanna called before he disappeared down the steps.
He stopped in his tracks but he did not turn to face her.
“I heard about your orphanage,” Joanna merely said, but Tom made no reply, so she continued, “You can talk to me if you want, I have nothing to do anyway.”
“In the room,” Tom said as he reentered the room and Joanna shut the door behind them.
But before she could say another word, Tom beat her to it, “I’m sorry I scared you last night.”
Joanna laughed and replied, “Me? Scared of you?”
“Well, you might wanna read my diary again before you think I’m such a nice guy. If people really know who I am, they would say I’m a prideful sociopath who doesn’t give a damn about the lives I steal.”
“And yet you wouldn’t steal mine. I wonder why?” Joanna asked, intending the question to be directed to herself, but Tom did not answer, all he did was shrug.
“Where are you going to stay for the summer?” Joanna returned to the topic they were suppose to embark on earlier.
“I… don’t know,” Tom said.
“He’s still trying to see if I could stay in school for the summer,” Tom interrupted.
“You’re going to stay here all alone?”
“Been alone most of my life, what difference does it make? I rather stay here than with bloody muggles whose child I’ll probably kill during the summer.”
“Stop making yourself sound so…”
“Evil? Yea, I am. I’m so evil till nobody wants me.”
Joanna immediately felt bad for him. Tom never had a family and he grew up among people who could not understand him. She wished she could help and then a thought slipped into her mind.
Why don’t he stay with her over the summer holidays? Her parents wouldn’t mind. But would she? He is after all, evil, as he calls himself, but he was still human and he had feelings too.If only he could experience what a real family was like, then he would see how being good was more rewarding. Besides, she did agree on helping him, but she didn’t say what help it was.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should invite Tom to stay with her, or just pretend she had not thought of the idea in the first place!)