Not wasting anymore time, Joanna chased after Tom. As her feet took quick steps, her mind was coming up with a reasoning that would convince her more than Tom. Hoping that they could both forget what they saw, Joanna entered the reading room blurting out her thoughts. But when she realized that Tom wasn’t there, she stopped mid way. Sighing to herself, she slumped into the sofa and stared at the flames in the fireplace.
“I’m sorry,” Joanna said with a sigh.
With that, she left. She did not bump into Tom much after that incident, and if she did see him, he would vanish before she could say his name. Soon, she was back at work in the Ministry. Days got busy again and she barely had any time to herself. Some nights, she found herself missing Tom and his company. Even Nagini came into mind. She wished she didn’t have to work so much and that she could still spend some nights talking to him in his reading room.
If she ever told all her inner thoughts to her friends, especially Annoria, she would have been told that she was in love. But that was stupid wasn’t it? How could she love a boy she hated at the same time? Her own Jiminy Cricket would prove her wrong. Sure she hated his dark side and his desires, but she loved everything else.
“This is confusing,” Joanna always said to herself every time she tried to find out how she felt for Tom. It became tiring just trying to figure out something she was denying with all her might.
“Focus Joanna, focus!” Joanna scolded herself every day when her mind started wandering off into the world where she was with Tom. Those worlds were the only time Tom existed in her life these days, but when a new case came up at work, Tom had reappeared in reality.
“We have information on a muggle attack,” her team leader announced at one of their morning meetings.
“What information?” her colleague asked.
“A team of Aurors have been spying on a few suspicious gatherings around the country, and word was being spread about a group attack on muggles,” her team leader explained.
“Where?” Joanna immediately asked, hoping it was not the place she saw in Tom’s file.
“A muggle town outside of the city called Maryfields.” Her leader began handing out pictures of the place.
Immediately, Joanna’s heart sank. She was not going to snitch on Tom but how was she going to be part of this? Tom was involved in this group attack and Joanna did not want to have to face him on the battlefield.
“When?” her colleague asked, snapping her back into the meeting room.
“We believe it would be happening this Sunday. We already have a team stationed there to keep an eye out. But right now, we need to form teams and be ready to go in when it happens. We do not want innocent blood to be shed over the actions of some attention seeking morons,” her team leader said, clearly angry.
They were all angry. Except for Joanna. She was confused and worried for Tom.
Since Sunday was two days away, she helped in spreading the information to everyone on the long list she was given, that she did not even have time to use the bathroom. It was impossible to escape her team for even a couple of minutes and she wondered how she was going to try and tell Tom.
On Saturday night, a couple of important people from the ministry decided to drop by their office. Together with them was Professor Dumbledore. Oh, how Joanna did and did not wish he was there!
“Do you think it is possible to arrest the culprits before anything bad happens?” Dumbledore asked.
“We have been trying to catch them in the town, but it is almost impossible. They might not even show up till Sunday itself.”
“Ah, well. That would probably be their plan. Their leader … is smarter than we think,” Dumbledore said and turned to Joanna.
I’m not their leader, Joanna thought and then realized what he meant. Dumbledore was suspecting Tom.
And just as Joanna predicted, after the brief with the ministry officers were over, Dumbledore caught up with her and asked, “Have you seen Tom recently?”
“No. I haven’t seen him in years,” Joanna lied and continued, “You think he is involved?”
“Yes, I’m certain. I know that boy, and this is just his first act. Probably testing the waters,” Dumbledore said.
Joanna did not know what to say, because Dumbledore was probably right. “Don’t worry Joanna, I’ll be going with all of you tomorrow,” Dumbledore added.
“Great,” Joanna replied before excusing herself.
She needed to see Tom, she needed to warm him before it was too late. But there was so much to do that night and everyone was keeping everyone accountable, she couldn’t leave. If she did, she would be taking a risk. But as Joanna started pacing up and down by her desk, she realized that no one even said a word to her. Was it possible for her to sneak off?
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should stay or leave to warn Tom!)