Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 34

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!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 28

“You’re not worth it,” Joanna simply said.

Immediately, seeing that there would not be a duel, the crowd slowly dispersed.

“Typical Hufflepuffs, weaklings as usual,” Matilda shouted, hoping to attract only Joanna’s attention, but ended up stopping all the Hufflepuffs in their tracks.

Clearly noticing her mistake, Matilda quickly hurried off, with her posse following after her like lost puppies.

Just as Matilda disappeared around a corner, an announcement boomed overhead and Professor Dumbledore’s voice sent everyone silent.

“Attention all final year students, please proceed to the great hall immediately.”

“But we have class,” Annoria said in reply.

“No astronomy, I’m fine with that,” Joanna said, as they began following the small crowd towards the great hall.

Once they had arrived, the great hall had been rearranged. The tables and benches were stacked up against the wall, leaving a huge empty space in the center. At the teacher’s table was Professor Dippet, Professor Dumbledore, Professor Merrythought, and three people whom Joanna suspected to be the aurors.

“What is going on?” Annoria asked.

Asking the same question to herself, Joanna hoped it had nothing to do with Tom and his horcuxes. And when she spotted him at the corner of the teacher’s table, she sighed a small relief.

“Recruitment drive,” someone answered Annoria’s question from behind them.

“It’s not that easy though,” another student added.

“They didn’t do this last year,” Annoria said.

“Shortage in staff,” Joanna replied, and the students around her chuckled softly.

Some of the prefects began to ask students to move forward, as everyone was crowding at the back of the hall, and none dared to break off from the group.

“We are not going to hurt you,” the female auror said.

Cautious laughter followed with the crowd slowly shuffling forward.

“My name is Nyla and we have been told by Professor Merrythought that you are one of Hogwarts’ finest badge in defense against the dark arts. So, a few of us has decided to fish out the talented ones to join our force,” the female auror explained.

“You’re not going to try and kill us are you?” a Gryffindor student asked. He was bold enough to speak up, but clearly not so brave after all.

“Of course not. We’re going to run this recruitment test just like how we do it in the ministry. It is legal and safe, trust me,” Nyla answered confidently.

Nyla was a slim, tall and pretty, middle aged woman, and her two fellow colleagues were men, one of them taller than Professor Dumbledore, and the other slightly shorter than Nyla. All three of them had battle wounds, but Nyla did the best job at hiding hers.

Just as Joanna had finally studied them all, she noticed that the three of them had positioned themselves at the front of the hall. They were pulling their wands out so slowly that Joanna was certain she was the only one that saw. Instinctively, she pulled hers out slowly as well.

“What we’re going to do today,” Nyla paused when she spotted Joanna with her wand, and then she continued, “is to test your speed, accuracy and creativity in a combat duel, especially when you’re caught off guard.”

Immediately after she had spoken, her two colleagues started firing spells at the students. Screams and yells echoed throughout the great hall as students were running towards the exit.

Joanna, with her wand at hand, blocked off as many spells she could while she yelled for the ones around her to take out their wands.

“What. Are. They. Doing?!” Annoria yelled in between the piercing screams.

“Fishing out the talented ones,” Joanna shouted in reply.

A few other students started emerging from the crowd of hysterical students with their wands, defending the flying sparks of all colors that was heading towards them.

“I. Can’t. Keep. This. Up. I’m. Not. Good!” Annoria said, now losing breath as the aurors did not sop.

Having her attention diverted to Annoria for just a second, Joanna did not see a spell that was intentionally meant for her. The moment it hit her on the chest, she flew all the way to the back of the hall, and landed onto one of the stacked tables.

Pain rose from her joints as she tried to stand up. Being slightly above the crowd, she saw Nyla aim another spell at her.

“Why is she picking one me?!” Joanna said to herself.

Quickly dogging the red spark, Joanna fired a spell back at her. It was no longer a game of defense.

Joanna watched as Nyla blocked off her spells as they started heading towards each other. She was sure they would finally come face to face when one of Nyla’s colleagues decided to come to Nyla’s aid.

This is unfair! Joanna thought.

Joanna looked around to see if anyone would come to her aid, and when she saw Annoria on her knees, having given up, Joanna knew she was done for.

The next spell that hit Joanna sent her wand out of her hand as she landed on her back. As she laid on the ground, not wanting to move, she heard the spells stop and the screams slowly died down.

“Fished out the talented ones already?!” Matilda shouted from under her tears.

Joanna couldn’t help but laugh.

“I believe we have,” Nyla said. A loud click came from the doors of the great hall, and Matilda stormed past the once locked doors.

“She wasn’t very good, Nyla,” Professor Merrythought said as the crowd watched Matilda leave.

“You can all return to your dormitories now, class is cancelled for today,” Professor Dippet announced, and some of the angry and upset students decided to let go of their grudges immediately.

Finally sitting up, Joanna scanned the hall for her wand. When she saw it lying 10 feet away, it was being picked up by no one other than Nyla.

“I believe this is yours,” Nyla said, as she walked towards her.

“Thank you,” Joanna replied as she took her wand.

“You gave a real good fight.”

“Thanks.”

“Ever thought of becoming an auror?” Nyla asked.

Was that an offer? It must have been. Joanna had never thought of becoming an auror, considering her family’s background, but just the thought of finally being able to break her family’s curse was hope she never had before. Should she take up Nyla on the offer?

To be continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should become an auror!)