Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 23:

Joanna had sent a message to Tom to meet her at their tower hideout during Herbology. Five hours after that, Joanna found herself walking up the stairs slowly, wondering how he would react to her current situation.

When she finally reached the door, she hesitated for a moment. What was she hesitating over? The person she  chose to be with.

Then, as though she had reminded herself she was doing the right thing, she opened the door and spilled half the story before she could even shut the door after her.

“Dumbledore, he planned this,” Tom finally said after he heard it all.

“He couldn’t have hurt my mother,” Joanna replied softly, still wondering on how to tell Tom about her decision on going home.

“Well, he sure knows how to manipulate the situation. He has always had this thing against me. Every thing I do, he always finds a way to make it look wrong. I would kill him the moment I get the chance,” Tom said, with more hatred in his voice Joanna has ever heard.

“He thinks that just because I spent the summer with you, you’d probably help me, so he’s getting you out of the way. But you’re not going to let him do that right?” Tom immediately turned to her.

“Tom, my mother needs me,” Joanna said slowly, as she watched him carefully. Tom was not his normal self, considering his normal self was not at all normal for normal people.

“So? Are you going home then? To the woman who loves your cousin more than you?” Now Tom was angry at her, and Joanna didn’t know what to say.

“Look, when my father gets back-“

“When your father gets back? You don’t even know when he will be back,” Tom interrupted, without raising his voice once, which scared Joanna, as he seemed pretty angry and composed at the same time.

“She’s my mother Tom, no matter how she treats me, she is still my mother. Why can’t you understand?” Joanna replied softly.

“Of course I can’t understand. I killed my father remember. Well, it looks like you’ve made up your mind,” Tom paused as he looked away.

There was a long moment of silence before he finally turned to face her. “I made a mistake trusting you, I made a mistake opening up to you. But no matter, you’re just a dispensable pawn in my chess game.”

“How can you say that?! I have always been there for you!” Joanna could not believe he could just flip the switch and be so cold towards her. “I never backed out on you once, and just because-“

“You should leave.” Tom nodded at the door expressionlessly.

“Tom!”

“Fine, I’ll leave. But I don’t want to see you in here ever again,” Tom said as he brushed past her towards the door.

Immediately, Joanna reached for him, attempting to stop him. But when he turned, he had his wand pointed right at her face.

“Don’t touch me. I’m not afraid to use this.”

Staring into his eyes, it was as though the Tom she knew was no longer there. His eyes were cold and emotionless, and it challenged her very belief that Tom did not mean what he was saying.

“Please,” Joanna choked. There was a pain in her chest that made it harder and harder for her to breath or speak. It was the pain coming from her heart. “Please don’t be like this Tom,” Joanna pleaded as a tear rolled down her cheek.

But even as the tear dripped onto the floor, Tom did not break. He merely stared at her briefly before turning around and exiting the room.

It was then that it really began to hurt. She may not know how she felt about him, but she knew that it hurt her to see him act that way towards her. Falling to her knees, all the anger, hurt and betrayal finally came gushing out as she began sobbing.

She hated her father. She hated her mother. She hated Dumbledore. She hated Tom. She hated everything. Why was her life so jinxed that when something good happens, everything bad comes to destroy it? Joanna couldn’t understand.

When she finally regained her strength, she dragged herself back to her room, and buried her face in her pillows as she cried herself to sleep.

That very next morning, Annoria helped her pack her belongings while Joanna sat by her bed, writing a letter to Tom. She hoped she would get the chance to pass it to him before she left, but when she saw no sight of him on her way to the train, Joanna told Annoria to tell Tom she would be waiting for him at the station.

The train was to leave at 11 that morning, and Joanna was already at the station by 10. She sat by the wooden bench, watching the the train being prep for departure with the letter in hand. But when 10.50 came, Tom was no where to be seen, instead, Annoria came running towards her.

As Annoria reached her, Joanna took all her will power not to burst into tears. Somehow being able to sense her feelings, Annoria flung her arms around her and said, “Give me the letter. I’ll make sure he gets it, alright?”

Joanna wanted to have passed the letter to Tom herself, but she won’t get the chance any longer. And though the letter contained more secrets no one else should ever read, Joanna wanted to trust Annoria, but her little heart still worried about protecting Tom and his secrets.

To Be Continued…

(Vote, or leave comment below on whether Joanna should wait for Tom, or pass Annoria the letter instead!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 22:

“O.k,” Joanna replied, trying to hide her blush, and to her biggest surprise, Tom pulled her in for a hug.

It was a strange feeling, one Joanna had never felt before. She was never hugged by a man, not her father, not anyone. And this being the first time, Joanna didn’t want to let go, and Tom didn’t seem to want to either.

They stood, hugging, in their hideout spot in Hogwarts for a while before an owl came swooping in the balcony with a letter attached to its feet.

Unwillingly pulling away from Tom, Joanna headed to the owl and detached the letter.

“I wonder who this is for,” Joanna said, as the letter wasn’t addressed to neither of them.

“Definitely not for me,” Tom said with a shrug.

Without hesitation, Joanna pulled the letter open and saw three words scrawled on the parchment.

“Borgin and Burkes?” Joanna read, looking at Tom with her eyes narrowed.

Tom merely smiled and shrugged. “Probably a mistake.”

Somehow sensing Tom was hiding something, as the same false smile was plastered on his handsome face, Joanna had the urge to ask. But then she recalled not wanting any part of his plan and decided to pretend the letter didn’t matter.

Crumpling the letter up, Joanna said, “Oh well, I guess the owl was lost.”

Then heading to the door, Joanna added, “It’s getting late, I don’t wanna get caught and expelled NOW.”

“Why? You would miss me?” Tom replied as he raised his eyebrows.

And immediately Joanna felt her cheeks burn up. No wonder girls go crazy about him, he knew how to work his face! Joanna thought as she turned away.

“I think you would miss me more,” Joanna said and hurried out the door, not even bothering to look behind.

As Joanna walked silently to her common room, the empty hallways were slowly clearing up as students began disappearing in the direction of their common rooms. She was pretty sure she was alone until an owl came swooping from behind her, scaring the hell out of her as she screamed.

The owl landed by a wall niche and it began hooting periodically at her.

“You didn’t have to scare me!” Joanna yelled at the animal, as she stormed towards it and untied a small parchment from its feet.

The owl then gave her a hard peck on her hand in reply before it took off angrily.

“Stupid bird,” Joanna shouted, hoping the owl could actually understand English, as she rubbed her hand.

Finally turning her attention back to the parchment, Joanna flipped it open, hoping it was a sweet message from Tom, but was disappointed when she saw that it was from Professor Dumbledore, who had requested to see her the following day.

Somewhat knowing what Dumbledore might want, Joanna thought less on what to answer him as she made her way back to the common room that night. Joanna could officially say she knew nothing about Tom’s plans, well, sort of, and found it no longer difficult to tell half the truth.

When morning came, Joanna went to see Dumbledore after her second class. He was in his same old office, looking not too happy the moment she entered.

“You requested to see me, sir?” Joanna asked.

“Yes. I hope the owl didn’t wake you from your sleep?” Dumbledore replied, with a tone of friendly sarcasm in his voice.

“No, it didn’t,” Joanna replied with a smile, as she took a seat. She felt like she had been playing games with Dumbledore all year round and this was just another little game of his.

“Well, I have some rather grim news for you today,” Dumbledore said.

“What is it?”

“Your mother isn’t feeling so well. According to your father, she has fallen ill.”

“Can I go visit her then?” Joanna quickly asked.

“You can, of course. But your father has informed me that your mother needs more caring for this time.”

“She’s not going to die is she?!” Joanna asked, standing up from her seat.

“No, of course not. She’s just bedridden for now. Your father will tell you more. As of now, he wants you back home, to look after your mother for a while.”

“O.k. But what about school?” Joanna asked casually. She didn’t want to have to repeat the year, and she didn’t want to leave Hogwarts for long either. If she had to look after her mother, to buy time for her father to look for a caretaker, she didn’t want it to affect her studies.

“Well, I know a few colleagues, who would be more than happy to home school you,” Dumbledore replied.

“But, I won’t be gone long, I can self study. There is no hassle to do that Professor,” Joanna said.

“I’m afraid it is necessary. Your father has requested you to look after your mother until he gets back-“

“I don’t know when he’s coming back,” Joanna interrupted.

“Then I’m afraid you have to finish up your final year at home.”

Shock at the news, Joanna was unsure on how to react. This was not just a short visit back home, this was a one way ticket home with possibly no returns to Hogwarts. Joanna would not be able to graduate with her friends, nor would she see them for the remaining year.

Joanna wanted to find an excuse, she wanted to say ‘no’, but it was her family. How could she say no to her family? But how could she say no to Tom after saying yes to him? She didn’t know what to do, or who she should pick.

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on who Joanna should pick!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 16:

Joanna pulled out her wand and yelled, “Stupefy!”

The spell hit Annoria in the back and she fell flat on the floor. Limping towards her, Joanna held back the guilty tears that were welling up in her eyes. What she was about to do next was far worse.

As she pulled the diary from under Annoria, she pointed her wand at Annoria’s temple and whispered, “Obliviate.” A thin silver-ish line escaped her head and disappeared into thin air.

“That was the plan?” Tom said softly as he walked up beside her.

“Better than death,” Joanna said with a hint of anger, not so much at Tom but at herself.

Tom did not reply instead he waited for her. And when she asked him to carry Annoria back to the common room, he did as he was told. He also offered to help her back to the hospital wing, but Joanna insisted that getting Annoria back was more important.

Before they parted at a corridor Joanna said, “Make sure she’s still alive tomorrow.”

“You think I’m going to kill her?” Tom didn’t chuckle at the end of the question, which he normally would.

“Just saying,” Joanna said and disappeared towards the hospital wing corridor.

As she propped herself into bed, she realized she had Tom’s diary still clutched in her right hand. Not hesitating this time, she flipped through the pages and read. She knew it was wrong, but she didn’t care. She just erased her friends memory for Pete’s sake, what could be worse?

Funny though, that as she read, every word that came off the book felt numb. She felt as though her actions were as bad as what Tom had previously done and she didn’t blame him for it. Sure he framed a boy name Hagrid and killed his father and grandparents, but at least he had not betrayed anyone’s trust.

When Joanna finally shut the diary, she saw Tom standing at the foot of her bed. On normal occasions, she would have had a heart attack, but that night was different. She threw the book towards Tom and he caught it.

“Read everything have you?” Tom asked. Light barely cast on him that Joanna could not see his expression to help decipher his tone.

“No. Just some,” Joanna answered. Honestly, most of what she was reading never sank in as her mind was occupied on the guilt she was having.

“It was for the best, you know that,” Tom said, in a tone not as assuring as it was supposed to be.

“Really? Because I don’t feel any better. How is betraying your friend a good thing? How is it for the best?”

“It was either her or me, you would have to betray one of us.”

“Yea, and if I betray you, you’d kill me.”

“You really think I’ll do that to you?

“You seem to have no problem killing people.”

Tom did not reply to that statement, as he stood silently in the dark. Joanna was about to call it a night and ask him to leave when he spoke before her.

“I wouldn’t kill you. Even if you did betray me.”

“Oh really?” Joanna found that hard to believe.

“Yes. You’re the only one who gets me, and still have the heart not to hate me. And I constantly ask myself why. Why don’t you hate me? Why can’t you see how sick and disturbed I am?” Tom asked, as though he was speaking to himself.

“I see it.” Joanna paused and continued, “But I don’t hate you because I also see the sparingly good side of you.”

“Sparingly good side? Is sparing good enough for you?”

“Good enough, yes.”

“Are you sure it has nothing to do with you liking me?” Tom asked just as the shifting of the moon sent a ray of light onto the right side of his face.

His high cheek bones and dark eyes that stared right into hers made her heart skip a beat. Wait, I don’t like him! Joanna scolded herself in thought.

Joanna forced a laugh in reply.

“Is that a yes or a no?”

“Can’t catch sarcasm can you?” Joanna replied as she folded her arms.

“Didn’t sound sarcastic. Sounded like a cover up to some troubling thoughts you were having just now.” A smirk swept across his face.

‘Why does he look so cute like that!’Joanna heard her inner voice say. ‘Shut up! This is not the right time Joanna, you just betrayed Annoria!’ she told herself in reply. ‘You know it’s true,’ she heard herself reply immediately.

“Having an internal discussion are you?” Tom asked, as though he could read minds as well.

“No. I’m just tired. I want to go to bed now,” Joanna quickly answered and shifted lower under the blankets.

“Alright. I have one question though.” Tom paused before he continued, “Do you still want to help me?”

Joanna had not thought of stopping from helping him, but now that he mentioned it, she gave it some thought. Was it a good idea though? She did cost Annoria her memory just to help him. But as her inner self told her to stick by his side, her conscience reminded her of Professor Dumbledore’s deep words. Is she still game?

To Be Continued…

If you have voted for the other option in Chapter 15, click here for the specially written alternate ending.

(Vote or leave a comment below on whether Joanna should still offer Tom assistance, or back out on her promise to help him!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 14:

Joanna had decided to lie about the book, telling him she would look for it but saying she had not found it the following day. The weeks that followed after were filled with practices that she no longer had time to help Tom, and he didn’t seem to mind.

She was slightly afraid that he might have already started planning on making the horcrux, but she constantly told herself not to worry as she had noticed how Professor Dumbledore had been watching him more closely since she had joined the Quidditch team.

She had a feeling Professor Dumbledore knew they were up to something, and maybe his recommendation was to get her away from Tom as soon as possible. If so, his plan worked brilliantly.

Soon, February came and the final match was scheduled to be taken place on the second week of the month. The house cup was so important to the Hufflepuffs that training doubled up. And as time flew swiftly as a snitch, Joanna soon found herself trying to swallow down some food on the morning of the match.

“Eat up!” James said to everyone on the team.

They gobbled down as much as they could and then headed to their tent near the quidditch field.

After getting ready and listening to James’ pep talk, they were ready to take off. As they strode to the center of the field, Joanna spotted Abraxas Malfoy, looking rather grim. She knew their false friendship will not spare them from losing.

A handshake followed by a whistle and into the sky they went. Joanna hovered above the other players, trying to stay out of their way as she searched for the snitch. Below her, she could hear the commentator booming over the microphone, and it was a very tight match.

Slytherin was in the lead with 20 points and Hufflepuff was about to score another goal. That was when a loud thud echoed throughout the stadium as one of the bludgers, sent by a Slytherin beater, had knocked one of their chasers off her broom. The crowd gasped and James called for a timeout.

“How is she?” Annoria asked, looking over at their teammate who was sprawled on the ground.

“She’s fine. She’ll be up soon,” James said quickly. “Anyway, we don’t have time to waste. Joanna, you need to get the snitch before Slytherin widens the gap between our points.”

Joanna nodded. And they were off into the sky again.

She circled the field over and over again, trying to find the snitch. Malfoy was also occupied, watching her instead. But his focus was diverted when a sparkle caught his eye. Immediately, he shot towards it. Joanna who was right behind him, followed after, trying to catch up.

Joanna kept her eyes on the snitch when she noticed how close Malfoy was from it. His right hand was already outstretched, reaching for it.

It was now or never, Joanna thought. Slowly bending forward and shifting her weight, she stood up and stayed low. Her broom picked up speed as it gained on Malfoy. Malfoy who had caught sight of her through the corner of her eye, took a quick glance and panicked.

She had gained on him and was now overtaking, with a hand reaching for the snitch. Just then, she saw Malfoy make a sharp left swerve downwards, and before she knew it, a bludger hit her straight in her thigh, sending her off her broom.

Joanna must have been pretty high up as she had managed to see Malfoy catch the snitch before everything dived into darkness.

She didnt know how long it was but it seemed like days later when she woke up in the hospital wing, recalling how Hufflepuff lost.

The hospital wing was dark, and it took her a moment to adjust when she saw a figure standing by the foot of her bed.

“Er… who’s there?” Joanna asked, squinting her eyes.

“It’s me,” Annoria said.

“Oh. What are you doing?”

“I was just waiting for you to wake up.” Annoria walked towards the side of her bed when Joanna noticed what she was holding in her hands.

“Where did you get that?” Joanna immediately asked.

“Where did YOU get it?” Annoria asked in reply, still holding on to Tom’s diary tightly.

“I was holding on to it for him,” Joanna quickly answered. “Can I have it back now?”

“Have you read it?” Annoria asked, in a voice unlike her usual.

“No, why?”

“Because I have, and we need to turn this in.”

“What? The book is protected, you can’t read its contents!” Joanna was surprised, as she remembered seeing it blank.

“I found it fully written.” Annoria flipped the book open and words were scribbled across the pages.

Joanna recalled the night she tried to read the book, and immediately felt a sinking feeling that her spell might have actually worked. She was just too tired to notice.

“Give it to me, I’ll give it in.” Joanna tried to reach for the book but Annoria pulled it out of her reach.

“No you won’t, you’ll give it back to Tom.”

“I’ll give it to Dumbledore!”

“I don’t think you would. I know you like him.”

“I do not like him,” Joanna retorted.

“It doesn’t matter. I’ll be handing it in tonight. Just thought I should let you know, in case the Professors ask you about it,” Annoria said and hurried towards the exit.

Joanna had the urge to go after her and get the diary back. By the way Annoria acted, she knew it contained really bad things, and what if Tom had mentioned her as well? But if she didn’t go after her, maybe Tom can be saved after all. If he was caught, he wouldn’t play around with the dark arts anymore.

To be continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should go after Annoria or let her turn the book in!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 12:

Joanna pulled out her wand, trying to recall what her cousin had taught her. It seemed pretty simple when he did it, then again, he started deciphering the art of deception since 5.

“Alright, pervilous… no, pervilius… shit.” Joanna groaned and slumped into her bed. Her brain was too tired to recall her lesson with her cousin.

Sliding the diary under her pillow, she decided to try again after some sleep.

Joanna woke up, what felt like minutes later, with Annoria nudging her hand as she hovered over her.

“Wake up!” Annoria repeated.

“What? Why?” Joanna muttered.

“I need your help,” Annoria said in a hurry.

“What help? Wait, you’re back so early?” Joanna forced herself to sit up.

“Yea. James called for more practices. He says it’s best when the other team isn’t around.”

“Oh. Well, have fun.” Joanna wanted to drop back into her soft pillows when Annoria stopped her by grabbing onto her shoulders.

“Wait. You have to listen to me.”

Joanna groaned and Annoria continued, “Right. So our seeker, Cathy, you know her right? Well, she broke her legs a few days ago and she’s unfit to train, let alone play for our final match.”

“What does that have to do with me?”

“Well, James spoke to Professor Dumbledore and he said you attended a Quidditch school for 3 years.”

“So?” Joanna was too tired to see where this was going.

“We need you in our team.”

“What? No. I may have attended Quidditch Academy for 3 years, but I have also not played for 3 years.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Can’t you find someone else?”

“Professor Dumbledore said you would make a good edition to the team. And James trusts him.”

“He has not even seen me play!” Joanna was wide awake now, as though she had just downed a bottle of wide-eyed potion.

“It doesn’t matter. Please Joanna, we need a new seeker!”

“Did Dumbledore also tell you I was expelled from that Quidditch school?”

“He must have thought that was not important. Look, just come down to the field and show us what you do not have. And if you really suck like you think you do, we’ll find someone else.”

“I can just say NO right now.”

“Yes, but what would Professor Slughorn say when we tell him you were sneaking around in his office.”

Joanna shook her head in disbelief. “Fine.”

Annoria squealed in excitement as she dragged Joanna down to the Quidditch field.

It was about 10 in the morning and the entire Hufflepuff Quidditch team were already assembled in the field.

“Hi, I’m James,” James, the year 7, Hufflepuff Team Captain, greeted.

“Hi.” Joanna shook his outstretched hand.

“I assume you dont have a broom, so Cathy has offered her Silver Arrow for you to use,” James said as another player handed her the broom.

“You might want to change into the Quidditch robes as well.” James pointed to a locker room and Annoria ushered her there.

She was given a set of yellow and black robes, which she quickly put on and headed back to where the entire team was.

“Even though Professor Dumbledore has recommended you, we still need to see what you can do. If you don’t mind just fetching the snitch for us?”

“Er, ok?”

“It’s already released,” James casually replied.

Joanna sighed, mounted her broom, and kicked off into the sky.

The cool morning breeze swept through her hair, reminding her of how much she missed flying. Three years ago, when she was expelled, she thought all her dreams of flying were crushed. Never again would anyone take her on the team, and she lived with that thought. But today, the rush of the wind resurrected her dead dreams.

She was nearly 50 feet in the air when she saw the snitch, sparkling under the morning sun. But before she could attempt at chasing after it, a bludger flew right above her, narrowly missing her head.

“What the?!”

“Annoria said you have not played for 3 years, just wanna see how you fair with bludgers in the air!” James shouted from below, as though he had heard her question.

Before she could shout back at him, another bludger came flying right at her. Joanna barely escaped it as it brushed against her robes.

No longer hesitating, she took a sharp swerve to her right and headed for the glistening golden snitch. Picking up speed as she leaned lower, Joanna kept her eyes out for the mad bludgers that constantly came flying at her.

5 feet away from the snitch, Joanna had the craziest idea. Three years ago, she taught herself a new skill, and she might as well give it a go.

Slowly lifting herself up right on her broom, she moved her right leg forward and her left leg further back. On the count of three, she stood up and bent low.

It was what she called surfing. Or at least a term she stole from what she saw on muggle TV, where muggles did the same thing but on a board in the ocean waves.

The broom sped up closing the distance between her and the snitch. As her hand was almost closing its grip on the snitch, a buldger came knocking the end of her broom, forcing her off her feet and onto her stomach as the broom went spinning sideways.

Joanna struggled to sit up right as she steadied the broom. Slowly heading down towards the group of cheering Hufflepuffs, Joanna released her grip on the snitch, which she had caught in time. It shook its wings violently before it tucked it into its sides.

“That was some stun,” James said in amazement.

“Yea,” Joanna shrugged. It was some stun alright. The same stun that got her expelled.

“Welcome aboard then!” James patted her on the shoulder as Annoria ran up to hug her.

“Wait,” Joanna quickly interrupted the excited team, who went silent waiting for her to complete her sentence.

She didn’t know if it was a good idea to be playing Quidditch. She wasn’t sure if it was a good time either. She had promised to help Tom, but the idea of playing was so hard to turn down.

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should join the Quidditch Team and play for the finals or not!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 7:

Joanna spun around in the white silk dress her mother had sent her. It had a black ribbon that tied around her waist and black flowers that would occasionally disappear and reappear.

“You look beautiful,” Annoria, who sat on the bed waiting for her, said.

“Thank you,” Joanna responded as she began to do her hair.

“Tell me again how Tom Riddle asked you?” Annoria smiled cheekily.

“Is it really that hard to believe that Tom invited me?”

“Yes.”

“Am I that-” Joanna stared at herself in the mirror, trying to find another reason why boys didn’t like her.

“It’s not you, it’s him. He only has friend’s in Slytherin and, well, he always keeps to himself. To think he would go to a ball, well, you get what I mean,” Annoria explained what she felt rather unconvincingly.

” I think I do. I’m ready, let’s go.” Joanna got tired of trying to pin her hair up that she decided to let it be.

They walked down to the great hall together but went in separate directions to meet their dates. Annoria was invited by a fellow classmate who, Joanna had noticed, constantly stared at her during class. But seeing that Annoria didn’t have a problem with the chubby Ravenclaw boy, she didn’t either.

When Joanna finally looked away from the overly excited Annoria, she saw Tom, standing a few feet away from her.

Tom smiled, genuinely. Which came off as a surprise to her. Since she knew Tom, she only saw smirks, and occasionally a fake smile that sent Professors all over him. That night, it was different.

“Do you want to stand there the whole night?” The smile disappeared as he spoke.

Joanna walked towards him and spared him a compliment, “Looking rather handsome.”

“I must say, you don’t look too bad yourself.”

Joanna chuckled. The boy couldn’t give a compliment without sounding sarcastic.

“Shall we?” Tom offered his arm and Joanna took it.

The great hall had transformed into a winter wonderland. There were small tables around the hall that were made of ice, and a long buffet table that changed in the variety of food ever so often. From the ceiling, snowflakes fell lightly and disappeared before they could touch the ground.

“Amazing!” Joanna said in excitement.

“What is?” Tom asked as he led her to a table.

“The snow,” Joanna answered as she watched Tom waved his wand over the empty glasses on the table, making liquid rise from the bottom.

“Haven’t seen snow have you?” Tom said as he handed her a glass.

“As a matter of fact, never.”

“Sad,” Tom said insincerely.

“What are you drinking there? Not wine I hope!” a voice jokingly asked.

Joanna turned to see who it was, and as she had recognized, it was Professor Slughorn.

“Not wine sir, just punch. Would you like a glass?” Tom offered.

“Oh, no need my boy.” Professor Slughorn patted Tom on the back. “I helped brew the punch, drank a lot of it myself!”

“It’s an excellent mix sir,” Tom praised.

“Don’t tell anyone, but I added some boomslang skin. Blends the flavors better,” Professor Slughorn said proudly.

“Boomslang? That’s interesting,” Joanna said as she slowly placed the glass on the table.

“Oh, don’t worry, it’s just snake skin, won’t kill you.” Professor Slughorn chuckled.

“Sir, aren’t boomslang skin rather hard to find?” Tom asked, and Joanna immediately knew why.

“You have to know where to look my boy.”

“Do you have more? I’m curious on how it looks.”

“Why of course! I’ll let you see it. It is for academic purposes right?”

“Yes sir, strictly for academic purposes,” Tom confidently answered.

“Very well, after class on Monday then. Enjoy the ball!” Professor Slughorn said and went on greeting more of his favorite students cheerfully.

“The book says we need boomslang skin, am I right?” Tom immediately turned to Joanna.

“Yes.”

“Let’s go,” Tom said as he eyed Professor Slughorn.

“Go where?”

“Slughorn’s office, we’re going to get some skin,” Tom said as he grabbed Joanna’s hand and led her out of the hall.

“Now?!” Joanna asked as they turned into a deserted hallway.

“It’s the best time, all the Professors are at the ball.” Tom made a good point.

They finally made it to Professor Slughorn’s office. It felt more like a home than an office, with a fireplace, a dining table and a wall full of pictures.

“He keeps his stuff over here,” Tom said, walking over to a huge cabinet. As Tom pulled the doors open, Joanna saw jars of all sorts. Some bigger, some smaller, but all labeled. There were more than a hundred of them and she gulped at the thought of finding just one.

“There are so many,” Joanna stated. “Can’t we just use a spell?”

“And risk breaking everything?” Tom shook his head and started looking on the top shelf.

Joanna sigh and decided to start with the bottom. She turned every jar, read every label, but there weren’t any boomslang. If only Professor Slughorn took some time organizing this cabinet, finding something would be a lot easier.

Once she was done with the bottom shelf, Joanna gave up and walked over to the fire place.

“What are you doing?” Tom asked calmly.

“It’s impossible,” Joanna sighed, but before she could give a better reason, the office door opened.

Joanna quickly turned to its direction, and standing in the doorway was Professor Dumbledore.

“Ms. Chen? What are you doing here?” Professor Dumbledore walked slowly towards her.

Joanna took a quick glance at the cabinet and Tom wasn’t there. He must have slipped behind it.

“I, er, Professor…” Joanna was lost for words, so she swallowed and shrugged.

“Well then, I’ll like you to follow me,” Professor Dumbledore said, after he took a long suspicious look around the room.

Joanna obediently followed after him as he headed out the door. It was then that she saw a small jar on a side table. The label read, “Boomslang skin”.

A question came to mind immediately, does she make a  quick grab for it and risk getting caught? Or should she just leave it there.

To be continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should make a quick grab at the jar, or leave it be!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 6:

Joanna sat in the second floor girl’s bathroom. Tom had asked her to meet him there the day before, because apparently, no one visits this bathroom anymore. And Joanna was oblivious to the fact why.

As she sat alone, an occasional wave of sudden chills ran through her body. Joanna had a feeling something was not right, and when she heard a soft moan coming from one of the cubicles, she stood up with confirmation.

“Who’s there?” Joanna asked loudly, suppressing the urge to run.

But instead of a reply, the moaning grew louder and Joanna slowly backed towards the exit. She was about to turn and make a dash out, when she bumped into someone. Immediately, she spun around, only to find Tom standing behind her.

“Are you scared?” Tom chuckled.

“There’s something in this toilet,” Joanna quickly answered.

“Get out of here Myrtle,” Tom said as he walked pass her.

A ghostly figure of a girl came swooping out of a toilet cubicle. Her hair was tied up in two ponytails and she screamed in such a high pitch that Joanna instinctively covered her ears.

“I told you to get out you filthy mudblood!” Tom raised his voice.

The ghost stopped and choked on her cries. “Fine!” she said as she wailed into a cubicle and splashed into a toilet bowl.

“Who was that?” Joanna asked as she peered into the cubicle where the ghost disappeared into.

“Some dead mudblood,” Tom shrugged as he sat down and placed the thick book he carried around on his lap.

“Right,” Joanna said as she joined him.

They spent their entire evening break in the girl’s bathroom, with the surprising absence of the moaning ghost.

Joanna told stories of how a few of her uncles were trying to make a Horcrux and each of them had different results, all bad of course. But strangely, as their conversation left the room of dark arts, Joanna started to fear him less.

A week into secret toilet hideouts and Joanna had gotten Tom to talk about his childhood. It was her way of trying to get him to stay away from the Horcrux topic as long as possible, hoping he would forget about the idea all together.

But when Tom spoke of his younger days, he seemed to be loathing it.

“Bloody orphanage muggles thought I was sick! Got me muggle doctors and all,” Tom scoffed.

“Then who told you about magic?” Joanna asked.

“Dumbledore. He came for me one afternoon.”

“But, Dumbledore…” Joanna had noticed the way Dumbledore looked at Tom, and it wasn’t the same way most of the other Professors did.

“He doesn’t like me I assume. He’s always watching me, trying to catch me or something,” Tom finished her sentence for her.

“You’re not afraid of him are you?”

Tom didn’t answer, instead he changed the topic with a question directed to her, “Why were you expelled?”

“I set the headmaster’s office on fire.”

“Why?”

“He’s a muggleborn, who made us read books ONLY by muggles.” Joanna rolled her eyes at the memory.

“He said muggles were the best in arts. But he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Shakespeare and DaVinci weren’t muggles and they were famous! Yet he chose not to teach about them,” Joanna continued. “So one day, I decided to set his office on fire.”

“Was he in it?”

“No.”

“How unfortunate,” Tom sighed and Joanna chuckled.

“I know, but I would be in prison if he was. I’m somewhat thankful he didn’t die,” Joanna said.

“I would break you out if you were.” Tom smiled.

“You didn’t know me then, how could you break me out?”

“That’s true. I guess it would be horrid to have your life sucked out by Dementors everyday.”

“Horrid indeed. My aunt’s in prison,” Joanna conveniently stated.

“Wicked family you have, and yet you don’t practice dark magic?”

“My mother has lost a lot. I don’t want to be another lost to her. I am after all, the only child.”

“That’s one reason I don’t have to worry about.”

Joanna went silent at the thought of how her parents would react if she had died. Even right now, her mother was constantly grieving as one after another, her brothers and sisters were suffering, disappearing and dying because of dark magic. And though it was in their family heritage to practice it, her mother never promoted it. The lost was unbearable and the only good thing that ever came out of dark magic was death.

Tom must have noticed her drift away as he asked, “You still here?”

“Sorry, I was thinking,” Joanna replied.

“About?”

“About the Christmas ball.” An excuse she made.

“Are you going?” Tom asked.

“I don’t know. No one has asked me yet,”

“It’s a little too early to be asked don’t you think? It’s a full month away.”

“Yes, but I don’t really have a lot of friends.” Joanna realized it was a fact the moment she said so.

Since she started in Hogwarts, the only Hufflepuff she knew by name was Annoria. The rest were just “hey”s and “hello”s. And for those who weren’t in Hufflepuff, she knew no one but Tom and Malfoy, who had suddenly became awfully nice to her.

“I”m a friend,” Tom said, and he sounded like he meant it.

“That’s nice to know.” Joanna smiled, as she deciphered his tone.

“Do you…” Tom’s voice trailed off in uncertainty.

“Do I what?”

“Do you… want to go to the Christmas Ball with me?”

Joanna was caught by surprise. She wanted to go but should she?

To be continued…

(Leave a comment below on vote on whether Joanna should accept Tom’s request and go with him to the Christmas ball!)

Fan Fiction (Collab)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Bacon

Harry awoke in a dazed state. Without his glasses, he couldn’t see much at all. While he fumbled for his glasses, he could hear voices. Hagrid’s was one of them. Putting his glasses on, he could see that he was in some sort of a sick bay, surrounded by the old man with the pointy hat and long beard, Hagrid, and some other people he had never met before.

He tried to speak but his voice came out in such a hoarse, raspy whisper even he couldn’t understand what he had just said. Seeing that he was struggling, Hagrid spoke up, “Don’t worry Harry, you’ll have your voice back soon enough. All that bacon down your throat, we pulled all that out from your belly,” said Hagrid, pointing at a large vat by the corner overflowing with bacon.

Harry found out the old man’s name was Dumbledore and was the headmaster of Hogwarts, a Wizarding school. Harry also found out that his parents were killed by magic. Also, Harry was trying to tell himself to enjoy this peculiar dream of his before he woke up at the Dursley’s.

“Cheer up,” a voice said “you’ll be fine in no time.” Looking up Harry saw a boy, around the same age as him, with red hair on his head and a silly grin on his face. “I’m Ron,” said the boy. “Ronald Weasley, pleased to meet you!”

Suddenly, a shabby looking man entered the room and went straight to Dumbledore and the both of them seem to be discussing something rather serious. The man looked panic stricken. It left Harry wondering what else could have happened.

 A girl walked in just then and stood next to Ron. She looked straight at Ron “There’s been murder!” she said, “A trail of bacon leading into a dead end was found too!”

“No way!” said Ron.

“It’s true,” she then turned to Harry, “Oh how rude, I’m Hermione. You must be Harry Potter, I heard all about how you ha-”

“Stop battering the poor thing, Hermione,” Ron cut in.

“What is going on?” Harry managed to croaked, “What happened to me?”

“Oh, well, they said you found the Philosopher’s Bacon. He’s happy you found it, the Philosopher i mean. But the spell that was placed on the Bacon backfired on you. Sent a whole lot of bacon down your throat,” Ron explained.

Ridiculous. This dream was getting ridiculous! Harry thought to himself. Bacon, magic and all that. Now a murderer?

“I know it sounds like madness Harry, but we’ll help you,” Hermione said.

“And… you two are my friends now?” Harry asked skeptically.

“Professor Dumbledore made us befriend you actually. He said you might need help.” The both of them nodded.

It is confirmed. Harry is officially nuts. Honestly, he started assuming his parents were killed by magical bacon too. That seem to fit how bacon-rific his life was right now. Why couldn’t he be chased by nose-less bad guys instead of having to chase bacon?

“Harry, are you o.k?” Hermione asked as Harry made a face close to Uncle Vernon’s Hunchback of Notredame impersonation.

“Yea. Anyways, you said about a trail of bacon leading to a dead end?”

“Yes.” Hermione nodded.

“I bet there’s a secret door somewhere,” Ron added and Hermione narrowed her eyes at him.

“I think so too. Cause when i found the Philosopher’s bacon, i saw a message about a chamber being open,” Harry said as he recalled the incident.

Harry slowly got out of bed, “Let’s find out who’s killing these people.”

“NO! You must rest!” Hermione immediately replied.

“Honestly, you look like a nice young lady, but i dont really know you and you cant really tell me what to do,” Harry gave a quick reply in a low voice as his throat still hurt.

He didn’t wait for them to follow as he started walking out of the hospital wing into a place he knew nothing about. And as though it was his destiny, Harry smelled bacon. Yes, the salty mouth watering smell. One could only ignore it briefly as it drew him towards a direction and Harry followed.

The smell led him to a dead end, the same dead end the bacon led to.

“How do you know where this place was?” Hermione asked in astonishment.

“Shut up! Can’t you see he’s concentrating?” Ron snapped at her.

“Bacon…” Harry said softly, and what he saw blew his mind. The wall started shifting, creating a small door. Harry quickly entered, still followed by the pestering girl and the boy who kept saying he spotted a spider.

Harry hurried down a long dark corridor until he came into an open space. There was a big statue of a man that stood in the center, and when harry took a step forward, he heard a gushing sound. It didnt sound like water, but it sounded more like a flood of bacon.

Oh, and as stupid as this sounds, it was. Believe it or not, bacon came flooding into the chamber. And the trio ran, they ran as fast as they could, but bacon finally caught up with them. And the force was so strong that it sent them flying out of the chamber’s hidden door and back into the corridor.

When Harry finally had gotten his bearings, he saw Hermione, lying on the ground, looking rather petrified. Who knew she was allergic to bacon as her body grew stiff.

“Oh no! She’s going to die!” Ron exclaimed.

“I don’t think so. I think she just has an allergy.”

“But the killings and the murders? It can’t be bacon can it?” Ron was rather confuse.

“No, i think it was just allergies. Does she have a tendency to exaggerate?” Harry asked.

“Sometimes always,” Ron answered. “But what about the chamber?”

“Let’s just leave it as it is. I guess someone just loves bacon,” Harry answered as he shook his head.

Boy oh boy, as much as Harry hated to admit this, the Dursley’s seem like a better place now.

(This was a collaboration with Jessica D, a freelance graphic designer, photographer, and the high school friend i played Diagon Alley with when i was 13.)

Fan Fiction (Collab)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Bacon

Harry had just turned 11. He wished he had a birthday cake, or maybe even a small present, but nothing as magical as that could ever happen to him. It was rather pathetic. No, actually, it was really pathetic.

Harry decided to sneak out of the horrible Dursley’s house that morning, in hopes that the sun would make him feel any better. But when he saw that the sky was dark, and that rain was falling, Harry sighed. Can the day get any worst?

Just then, Mr. Dursley came walking down the stairs with his rounded belly peeking out from under his tight old singlet. At sight, Harry quickly hid his face of disgust.

“Where do you think you are going boy?” he asked, raising an eyebrow as he frowned. Harry always wondered how he could do that, and often tried while he brushed his teeth, but he could never look as facially distorted as his uncle.

“No where sir,” Harry quickly answered as he tried to look at the man’s face.

“Good. Now make me some bacon!” his uncle, Venom ( or so Harry called him), ordered, still holding on to his Hunchback of Notredam look.

“Yes sir.” Harry quickly hurried to the kitchen. But as he was about to open the refrigerator, his aunt, whose name sounded more like a horrid vegetable than a flower, annouced, “We’re out of bacon.”

Harry held his breath immdiately. He knew that when something as important as bacon was out, Harry had to get more.

“Go fetch Bacon boy!”

“But sir, it’s raining. In fact, its pouring cats and dogs.” Harry pointed out the window as the rain splattered on it loudly.

“Do i look like i care?” His uncle glared at him.

“No sir, i’ll go get some bacon.” Harry gave a quick nod and headed out the front door. He didnt even bother to take an umbrella as he walked into the pouring rain.

The gloomy sky spared him no sympathy as it kept going, drenching Harry completely by the time he walked into a small convenient store. The security guard by the counter stared at him as he left puddles of water where ever he went, but the deeply upset eleven year old could not care less.

Making his way down an aisle, he saw a weird looking man. He wore a turban and a long black cloak. He eyed Harry as he reached for a can of cat food. And Harry held his gaze until he turned towards the frozen section.

Eyeing for bacon he had not noticed the same weird man, until he hovered over Harry.

“Looking for bacon?” he asked in a soft voice.

Harry quickly backed away from the man, as he watched him sniff the can of cat food.

“Er, yes,” Harry politely answered.

“I can show you where it is,” the man offered, “But, i need a favor from you in return.”

Harry started to wonder how would this strange character know that he was looking for bacon and why showing him where it was required a favor in return, but as these thoughts made their way through Harry’s befuddled mind, his mouth seemed to have spoken words without him realizing. “Of course,” said Harry, “what is this favor you require of me?”

“Take my hand!” said the man hurriedly, grabbing Harry’s hand with his own grubby ones before Harry could react.

Everything after that became a blurry dream sequence for Harry, it felt like his body had disintegrated into it’s different parts and were experiencing their own feelings. It felt like an eternity to Harry, but very quickly he felt his stomach getting sick as all the different parts of his body came slamming back to form him.

They were now in a dark alley, somewhere in London, Harry could tell from memory.

“Sorry,” said the man, who suddenly appeared twice as large as Harry remembered. “There were people watching us; it would have been to risky!”

Harry, trying very hard not to throw up, tried to steady himself and focus his vision to see if his eyes were playing with him. Rubbing his eyes, he looked up to the man, who seemed more of a giant than a man at that point, he shakily said “Wha..what is go..going on..?”

The man was at least 10 feet tall, and that’s pretty much impossible. Harry thought he might be dreaming for a second; that they never really ran out of bacon and he’s still asleep in the broom closet.

“Well, I hate to break it to you this way,” boomed the giant man “But you’re not really what you think you are. It’s dangerous for you to continue to stay here any longer.”

“Who are you?” said Harry feeling a little puzzled by what was just told to him “How did you know I was looking for bacon?”

“Oh well, you had bacon written on your hand,” he said. Harry looked at his hand and true enough the word “BACON” was written on the palm of his hand in bright red ink.

Confused, Harry asked the big man “I don’t even remember writing that there! How could it have gotten there? And in RED INK too! Aunt Tuna, err Petunia hates red ink! What’s happening? You tell me right now!”

After bursting out in such a manner, Harry realized that the oaf of a man he was shouting at could crush him in his hands, so he backed up a little.

“Calm down, Harry,” Harry’s eyes widened at the fact that the man knew his name. They weren’t even properly introduced. “All will reveal itself in time.”

“I’m Hagrid the half giant, in case you were wondering,” he said “And YOU, my friend, is Harry Potter, the chosen one. That’s why you have bacon written on your hands!” Hagrid chuckled heartily as if he just told a joke, then immediately his face changed and in a serious tone he said, “’Tis dangerous times we live in, my friend. The Philosopher’s Bacon has gone missing, and you are our only hope. Yerr a wizard, Harry!”

Harry was dumbfounded. He thought he’d been kidnapped by a crazy lunatic and was going to get murdered. Then out of nowhere, a light appeared and a silhouette of a man walking towards them. He was tall and skinny, and he had a tall pointy hat and a long pointy beard.

“Hagrid, take him to the room of the chambers at once! We must end this madness,” he said in a surprisingly calm tone. Looking at Harry, “My boy, everything you have ever known about the world and yourself will change tremendously. All will reveal itself in time.” And with that, he disappeared just as he appeared.

Hagrid then grabbed Harry’s hand and they appeared next in what seemed to be a hallway in some sort of an underground building. It reminded Harry of the time he had to help Uncle Vernon carry his luggage to King’s Cross, except there were no train tracks, or crowds.

Harry looked back hoping to see Hagrid; hoping he will explain what was going on but Hagrid was disappearing into the walls. As he was somehow going through the wall, he said “Harry, you must find the Philosopher’s Bacon. You can do it Harry. It is where you will least expect it. Hurry, save the wizarding world Har-,” and with that he was completely swallowed up by the wall, leaving terrified Harry with a lot of rooms.

“The Philosopher’s Bacon? Whatever does that mean?” he thought to himself. Then it hit him, literally; packages of bacon started falling all over the place. It was raining bacon.

He started to panic and run around the place but everywhere he went, the bacon would not stop. He got a hold of one and it read, NOT THE PHILOSOPHER’S BACON; and the next one too, same thing. He was beginning to lose hope when he saw something glisten in the corner of his eye.

He quickly turned to see what it was, and it was a package of bacon, looking just like the rest but Harry could see that inside the plastic wrap was the juiciest piece of bacon he had ever seen, with the layer of fat glistening in the candlelight.

He ran towards it but it seemed to be floating away from his grasp, and all the other packages seemed to be attracted to him by some form of magical force and kept hitting him in the face. Harry ducked and jumped over bacon packages that were flying around him at full force.

He was so close; his fingertips were touching the shiny packaging of bacon. With all his might, he threw himself forward and lunged at the bacon. Successfully catching it, all the other packages seemed to form a line and move into one of the doors on the right of the hallway.

Harry looked at the package he was holding, it read, THE PHILOSOPHER’S BACON. Harry looked at the package carefully, behind it there were the words, THE CHAMBER OF BACON WILL BE OPENED.

(This was a collaboration with Jessica D, a freelance graphic designer, photographer, and the high school friend i played Diagon Alley with when i was 13.)

Fan Fiction (Shorts)

Magic Never Again

It was a perfect day to go outside. Or so Ariana thought, as she ran down a meadow. The sun felt warm on her skin, and the clear sky was in a perfect shade of pastel blue that Ariana wished she could use it as paint.

As she sat down under a tree, Ariana couldn’t wait to do her little tricks. Tricks her brothers called magic. Something her parents said to be a gift, and boy, she loved this gift!

Raising her small palm, she closed her eyes and thought of a butterfly. And as expected, what came fluttering out of her hand was a small yellow butterfly. Her blue eyes sparkled as the butterfly took off from her palm and into the sky.

“More!” Ariana said to herself with a giggle as she closed both her hands this time. Making two more butterflies.

Her excitement made her continue. More butterflies she made, and every time they appeared on her palm, her blue eyes would light up.

Being six, bliss was found in everything she saw. Even in the butterflies she made. But her bliss was short lived when she saw a few boys staring at her from across the meadow.

Ariana watched them as they watched her. They whispered to one another and though she was rather curious on what they were up to, she decided to ignore them and return to making more butterflies.

One after another, butterflies escaped her palms. She was getting better at it and she was ecstatic.

Giggling as butterflies filled the tree above her head, she had not notice the boys walking towards her. And when she finally did, they were only a few feet away.

“What are you doing?” one of the boys asked skeptically.

“Making butterflies!” Ariana smiled from ear to ear.

“It’s a trick, isn’t it?” another boy asked.

“It’s magic!” Ariana innocently answered.

“There’s no such thing as magic you freak!” the same boy shouted.

Ariana who was shock by the accusation, quickly got on her feet.

“Yea! You must be a freak if you can do magic!” the other boy added.

“Freak! You’re a freak!” They began taunting her.

Ariana, who was confuse and hurt, started to sob. Was she really a freak? Ariana thought as she watch the butterflies in the tree slowly fluttering away.

“I’m special! I’m not a freak!” Ariana shouted at the boys.

“Oh yea? Who said so?”

“My mother and father!” Ariana bravely answered.

And as she did, one of them pushed her to the ground, “Shut up freak!”

“Yea! Shut up!” another boy added as he gave her a kick.

His action triggered the rest to follow after, as one by one they started kicking her. Taunting and calling her a freak as they did.

Ariana, quickly curled up as she took their blows. Tears falling down her cheeks and her constant plea for them to stop did not help. She was scared and confused. She didn’t know why they hated her. All she did was make butterflies. Was it so wrong?

The boys finally stopped after what seemed like a long time of kicking and stomping the young girl.

“Freaks should die!” one of them shouted as they backed away from her and started to leave.

“I hope you die” another spat at her before he followed after his friends.

Ariana, still curled up, didn’t dare to move. And as her tears kept falling, she kept wondering. If she had to die for being special, she didn’t want to be special anymore. She didn’t want to make butterflies or make flowers bloom. She didn’t want to make colorful fishes or heal the baby bird’s broken wings. She didn’t want to do magic. It was a horrid thing.

As day became night, Ariana stayed curled up till her brothers shouted her name. When she looked up and saw Albus and Aberforth hovering over her, she only said one thing, “No more.”

Her brothers, who immediately noticed the bruises and wounds on her body hurriedly brought her home. And as her distraught mother patched up her wounds, her father left the house without a word after she told him what had happened.

And though Ariana was a bit confused with her parents reaction, she was clear on one thing. She was never doing magic again. Magic was bad. It was horrid. And she will die if she made another butterfly. With that, Ariana slept and never again would you see her little hands make that day’s delights ever again.