“Hey, maybe you could stay at my place for the holidays?” Joanna suggested and Tom raised an eyebrow skeptically in reply.
“My parents wouldn’t mind,” Joanna continued. “It’s up to you really.”
“That sounds like a great idea,” Tom finally said.
“Great.” Joanna smiled.
After her suggestion, she wrote a letter to her mother to get her approval, and once she did, they brought it up to Professor Dippet, who merely smiled and said, “Very well my boy, I’ll inform the orphanage.”
Professor Dumbledore didn’t seem too happy though. Joanna overheard him once, telling Professor Dippet that it wasn’t a good idea, but Professor Dippet insisted that it was no big deal.
Finally, the year end feast announced the house cup winner, which went to Slytherin after their victory at Quidditch and Tom’s brilliant school results, which gained them another 200 points.
The following day, students were packing up what was left unpacked, and by midday, they were ushered to the Hogwarts Express.
“Great news you don’t have to be go back to the orphanage,” Abraxas Malfoy said as he entered the compartment Joanna and Tom had settled down in.
Tom gave a false chuckle as he replied, “No thanks to you.”
“If not for my parents Tom, I swear,” Malfoy quickly spoke.
“Whatever.” Tom shrugged.
As the train started to move, more Slytherins entered their compartment, and Joanna decided to join Annoria instead. She finally returned when the train stopped.
“I think he’s here already,” Joanna said as she grabbed for her trunk.
“Who is?” Tom asked.
“My butler,” Joanna answered as they exited the train, waved goodbye to some of their friends and headed to a tall, skinny man, in a black suit.
“Hello George,” Joanna greeted and added, “This is my friend, Tom.”
“Welcome home Miss Joanna, and it’s nice to meet you Master Tom,” George said as he hoisted the trunks above their heads with a wave of a wand.
“Right this way then,” George said as he led them, not through platform 9 and 3/4, but through another exit that brought them to a room filled with chimneys.
“We’ll be taking the floo network to town. Flylily Interchange, that’s what you got to say,” George said to Tom.
Tom nodded as Joanna took some floo powder, stepped into a chimney, and said, “Flylily Interchange.”
Green flames rose from the ground and within seconds Joanna reappeared at the interchange. At the Interchange, people were reappearing and entering the many chimneys stationed in the building. Joanna merely waited for a few seconds before Tom appeared, followed by George.
George then ushered them to the a car, waiting outside of the Interchange Building. It was an hour drive before they finally pulled up in front of a tall white gate.
Shortly after, the gate opened and the car drove down a pebbled driveway. When the car finally stopped, it did in front of a tall white mansion. The clean white walls and marble porch wasn’t all that welcoming, as Joanna was hoping to see her mother by the door, but she wasn’t there.
When they exited the car, Joanna couldn’t help but ask, “George, where’s mother?”
“She’s accompanying your aunt Josephine in the garden,” George answered as he pulled the trunks out from the boot.
“Your cousin is here too,” George added as he opened the front door and gestured for them to enter.
“Fantastic,” Joanna muttered.
“I’ll bring your stuff up,” George continued before he disappeared up the wide staircase.
“Why don’t we clean up before we meet my mother and her atrocious step sister,” Joanna suggested.
“Fine by me,” Tom replied as he followed Joanna up the stairs to the second floor where she showed him his room.
“You have a nice house,” Tom said as he sat on the queen size, silk covered, bed, in the huge guest room.
Joanna shrugged in reply as she took a seat next to him.
“You don’t like your aunt?”
“I don’t like her and her horrible off spring. If my cousin stays for the holiday, I’ll be doomed.”
“Don’t tell me you get bullied?”
“I don’t have a choice, my mother is always trying to please her mother. So I have to do the same.”
“Sad. I could kill her for you if you want?” Tom offered with a smirk.
Joanna laughed, though Tom seemed pretty serious about it. “There’s no need,” Joanna quickly said, before he got anymore ideas in his head.
Just then, the door opened, and standing in the doorway was Rose, her cousin. She had long golden hair, and big bright blue eyes against her perfect complexion. She was tall and thin, and when she smiled, Joanna knew she wasn’t smiling at her.
“Oh, my bad, wrong room,” Rose said as she entered.
“Didn’t know you were back already,” Rose added, not even taking a glance at Joanna as she smiled at Tom.
Before Joanna could reply sarcastically, Rose continued, “So, who’s this handsome friend of yours?”
“Tom,” Tom said as he stood up and offered a hand shake.
Rose shook his hand so slowly that Joanna swore she didn’t want to let go.
“I’m Rose,” Rose introduced as she gave a gentle squeeze on his shoulder.
Joanna was about to laugh when Rose turned to her and said, “Your mother said I can have your room for the holidays.”
“What? You’re staying?”
“Yes, mother is going to Germany to see father and well, I didn’t want to follow,” Rose said.
“Fine. Then why do you need my room?”
“Oh, I hurt my leg during a Quidditch match in school, and I still haven’t recovered. It’s really painful climbing up the stairs. Since your room is on the first floor, it’ll be less of a strain on my leg,” Rose explained in a sweet voice, as though nothing suspicious was going on.
“You seem fine right now,” Joanna pointed out.
“I have to put on a good show for the other guest.” Rose smiled weakly at Tom as she faked a limp.
“So, yea, I’ll be taking your room,” Rose continued.
At that very moment, Joanna felt the urge to say no, but Rose would just laugh her off. She could never prove herself any better than Rose no matter how hard she tried. But with Tom watching, and waiting, to see how she would react, Joanna knew she had to do something.
To be continued…
(Vote on what Joanna should do! And then leave a comment if you have ever been in a situation where you had to give up your rights to someone or something!)