Joanna hesitated for a moment, as she looked at Annoria who was shaking her head and tugging at her hand to leave. But instead of heading out the front door, Joanna walked towards the back. Annoria quickly tried to stop her but Malfoy butted in before Annoria could say anything.
“What are you doing?” Malfoy said, as he hurried up to them.
“I’m giving your girlfriend the duel she wants,” Joanna replied.
“She’s not my girlfriend,” Malfoy replied and said nothing else as he opened the back door for both Joanna and Annoria to exit.
The back alley was rather abandoned at that hour of the day. The sun was at its highest and it wasn’t the best time to be strolling down the streets.
“So, will here do?” Matilda asked, sounding very much like Rose at that moment.
“Where ever would do,” Joanna replied casually as she headed up to Matilda and gave a bow. Not even bothering to see if Matilda did the same, Joanna turned and placed herself 20 feet away across Matilda.
As Joanna went into her dueling stance, Matilda quickly asked, “Wait! Who’s your second?”
“I don’t need one,” Joanna repled, immediately waving her wand and throwing a spell at Matilda, who barely managed to block it.
“Hey! I wasn’t ready!” Matilda shouted.
“The duel started a while ago. Unless you don’t know the rules, you shouldn’t challenged anyone.” Joanna threw another spell, making Matilda stumble backwards. Her housemates immediately caught her before she fell over.
“I didn’t challenge you!” Matilda threw a spell in return, and Joanna blocked it off with a wave.
“Then you shouldn’t point wands when you don’t intend on using them,” Joanna replied as she sent 3 more spells. Sparks of red, blue and green flew towards Matilda and as she screamed, she ran behind her housemates, shoving them forward as she did.
Three of her housemates took the spells as they were caught off guard. One flew backwards, knocking over a few Slytherins like a bowling ball. Another had his legs tied together, and as much as he tried to balance himself, he joined the pile of his friends on the ground. The other girl screamed as boils started appearing on her hands and face.
When Matilda saw it all, she immediately demanded, “Where you trying to kill me?!”
“That is the common intention of a duel. No other rules were set, right?” Joanna replied as she walked towards Matilda.
“Joanna! What are you doing?” Annoria asked, with desperation in her voice. Then turning to Malfoy, which Annoria rarely did, she said, “Stop her!”
“Me? You gotta be kidding. Clearly, home school paid off,” Malfoy replied as he remained where he stood, by the back door of the Three Broomsticks.
“Joanna! Don’t!” Annoria shouted, as Joanna was closing in on Matilda.
Matilda’s housemates were already backing away, leaving Matilda to fend for herself.
“Guys! Help me!” Matilda commanded as she dared not to take her eyes off Joanna.
“If we did, we would be breaking the rules,” one of her friends replied.
Matilda then attempted to run, but Joanna managed to cast a leg locking spell before she could, and Matilda fell to the ground instead. She screamed in pain as she landed on her shoulder, and when she tried to prop herself up, Joanna flicked her wand and sent Matilda’s wand 10 feet away from her.
Immediately looking up at Joanna, Matilda stammered, “Ple-please. I’m, I’m sorry o.k?”
“Looks like we have a stammer,” Joanna said, and she could have sworn she heard a few of the Slytherins laugh. They probably never liked her at all.
“You know, when I was being tutored at home, I learnt a spell.” Joanna slowly squatted down beside Matilda. “This spell is not illegal yet, and most people use it in duels. It’s called, the Cruciatus curse. Have you heard of it?”
Joanna immediately felt like Rose, when she threatened to use the Cruciatus on her. But Joanna felt better than Rose, as Matilda deserved it. She was a gossipy, back-stabbing, nosy girl, who gained attention through the false rumours she spread all over school.
“Do you know what it does, Matilda?” Joanna asked as Matilda’s eyes widened.
“Joanna, don’t!” Annoria said, as she ran up to her and pulled Joanna to her feet.
“If you don’t stop your nonsense, Matilda, you will feel how it’s like being cruciated,” Joanna gave a final warning, and walked off.
As she headed past the exit of the Three Broomstick, Joanna saw Tom standing by the doorway. She didn’t know how long he had been standing there, but she decided she didn’t want to know.
After the duel, Joanna told Annoria she would be going home. She also apologized if she scared her, and justified her actions by saying she was only doing it to warn Matilda. But deep down inside, she wasn’t sorry at all, because it felt good.
That night, as Joanna was lying on her bed, an owl swooped into her room, through an open window. It landed at the foot of her bed, and with the little light that came from the moon, she noticed the seal on the letter. It was a letter from Hogwarts.
At that very moment, Joanna was afraid that the duel had reached the ears of Professor Dippet, and so she hurriedly took the letter from the owl and tore it open. But the first sentence immediately drowned her fears, as it stated that her father has informed the school that she can return to Hogwarts if she wishes to.
Why her father did not just inform her himself, she did not bother to dwell over. The question that really bothered her was whether she really wanted to go back, or remain home schooled.
To Be Continued…
(Vote or leave a comment below on whether Joanna should go back to Hogwarts or remain home schooled!)