Heads up dear reader, there will be no posts today and on the 28th of April. That’s because I’m taking a vacation in the picturesque island of Tasmania! It’ll be a silent two weeks, but I’ll be back 🙂
If you’re missing me already (which I highly doubt) you can use the lack of posts to catch up on The Clubhouse, read already published short stories and fan fictions, or spam me with comments. I’ll also try to be active on Twitter. So if you wanna come along my little trip, you can do so over social media 🙂 I’ll try to tweet pictures daily, as proof I’m still alive and well. That should be fun. Haha! Also, did you know I have an Instagram account?
*Oh and don’t forget to join the Goodreads paperback giveaway of The Battle for Oz! Also, submit your comment HERE to win the e-book version! You only have 4 days left to enter.
It was a letter, one he wrote and mailed out with no idea if it would reach its recipient. He had to use his own owl to play it safe but he was not even sure if his owl would be able to make the delivery. The only thing he was sure of, was that his letter was well written, if one could even consider ‘I need a favour’ as well written. At least he knew nothing could go wrong if a stranger read it.
After that night with Severus, Lucius did two things; one was the vague letter and the other was making Severus swear to secrecy. The secret was not regarding the Dark Lord but his father. Severus swore on his own father, which Lucius knew carried little weight as he did it without blinking. But Lucius decided to trust him anyway. After all, he didn’t have a choice. As for the conversation about the Dark Lord, Lucius told him to be patient. One day, Severus will get his chance to meet the Dark lord; one day when he’s older.
Lucius had took upon himself the duty of making sure Severus was far from this dark world as possible. He would hate to admit it, but he wanted to give Severus some form of childhood. Severus might think it glorious to fight for the Dark Lord, but having grown up in a family always surrounded by the ‘cause’, Lucius knew there was not a single ounce of fun or glory in it all. Sure, Lucius would continue to do the Dark Lord’s bidding and recruit children, but he would decide how much these children would be exposed to.
A whole week after those secrets were shared, Lucius did not see his feathered friend. Lucius was almost convinced that the Dark Lord could not be reached at that moment. So when his owl finally returned with a letter, Lucius assumed it was his own. It was only when he untied the letter that he realized the envelope was of different material. With scepticism, Lucius tore the envelope open and read its contents.
‘Let’s meet. Same place.’
The letter felt so familiar. Assuming that the letter was referring to Potage Cauldron Shop, was it implying that he would be meeting with his father again? Dread immediately swept over him, as he had no intentions of meeting his father. But just like the previous letter, Lucius had not choice but to go with it.
When the weekend visit to Hogsmead arrived, Lucius joined his friends before excusing himself as usual. None of his so-called friends questioned him, even though he knew they were very curious. He could only hope that none decided to follow him out of curiosity. Killing the cat would be so messy.
Just like before, the cauldron shop was empty. There was no one at the counter and the back door was slightly ajar. Lucius did not hesitate as he descended the steps leading towards the dark basement. When he was at the bottom, he pulled out his wand ready to chase the darkness away, but before he could, the basement door slammed shut. Lucius jumped at the sudden sound before the hair on his nape began to stand.
“I’ve been waiting,” a voice said, cutting through the silence.
Lucius recognized it, and it was not his father’s. There was also a soft hissing that floated around the room, and Lucius immediately knew he was in the presence of the Dark Lord.
“I came as fast as I could,” Lucius replied.
“Have you spoken to any of your friends about me?”
“One, but there will be more,” Lucius said, wishing there was a hint of light to tell him where the Dark Lord was at.
“Good. What is this favour you need, Lucius?” the Dark Lord asked in a rather friendly manner.
“My father, he has been cursed.”
Lucius could not help but wonder why the Dark Lord did nothing to help his father. What was the Dark Lord’s definition of loyalty?
“Can you help him?”
“I can, but it won’t be easy. The curse he acquired while he failed to do my bidding is a dark one.”
That was why the Dark Lord was not lending a helping hand. His father had failed a bidding and not helping was his punishment.
“I’ll do anything. Please help my father.”
“You’ve done a lot for me Lucius,” the Dark Lord stated.
There must have been a reason for that statement, because it made Lucius foolishly think he did not have to do anything for that favour. Just when he thought it was really a ‘favour’ as per the original definition, the Dark Lord redefined it.
“But I need you to do one extra thing, if you want me to save your father,” the Dark Lord added.
Holding back a disappointed sigh, Lucius asked, “What do I need to do?”
“I need you to join my Death Eaters on a special mission.”
“What kind of a mission?”
“A mission to strike an agreement with my hooded friends. I think you know them as Dementors.”
Lucius swallowed hard at the sound of what he needed to do. It was a special mission all right, because Dementors were not creatures to be messed with.
“I-I have school,” Lucius managed a reply.
“I know what to do. School will not be a problem, unless… you’re using it as an excuse. If so, I will not help your father.”
Lucius stood in the darkness, not sure on what to do. He wouldn’t be alone on the mission, so everything would be fine… right? It was stupid to even consider his next thought, but was his father worth it? Two things could happen with his decision, either his father looses his soul or Lucius looses his.
To Be Continue…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether should accept the mission or decline it!)
The once busy hallways of Hogwarts had cleared up an hour after dinner. They sat empty and silent, with paintings slumbering in their frames; all except for one. At a corner of one isolated hallway were two figures whispering in the shadows. They were whispering not because they were afraid of being caught by a prefect, but because Peeves was still lurking around.
“Do it tonight,” Lucius said.
“Tonight? But we’re not suppose to be at the owlery at this hour,” Severus replied.
“You owe me, Severus. And I’ve done more for you than you’d ever be able to repay.”
“A short and simple letter will do. Just verify what this doctor does. Do you need me to spell it out for you?”
Severus shook his head.
“Good. When you show me his letter, I’ll let you in on a secret.”
Severus nodded in reply.
Lucius took a quick look around before waving Severus off. The task was not hard and Lucius could have done it himself, but he was afraid his mail would be intercepted. He did not want the Dark Lord to know what he was doing, nor did he want his father to discover he was snooping. If it was possible, Lucius was going to find out what he needed to know without his parents ever knowing.
The following morning, there was no news from Severus. It was expected, unless the doctor was a night owl. However, Lucius did receive a letter from his mother. It was short but it told him more than he should know.
‘Everything is fine. He is fine. Don’t worry. Love, your mother.’
Lucius patted himself on the back for cleverly wording his letter to his mother. He merely hinted as though he knew what was going on, and his mother confirmed his suspicions. Something was going on, something revolving around his father.
Two days after that letter, the rush of owls into the great hall brought along the letter Lucius was eagerly waiting. When it fell on Severus’ lap, Severus hurried over to Lucius and handed it over. Lucius did not open the letter immediately, even though he was dying to do so, and waited till night came. When he and Severus were the only two left standing in the isolated corridor again, he tore the letter open.
It may seem strange to some that Lucius had company at such a private moment in his life, but he had no choice. Severus stayed by his side after dinner and insisted that Lucius tell him the secret he promised a few nights ago. Severus was getting bolder around Lucius and Lucius should have shooed him off, but something convinced him it was better to have someone around when he read the letter. So there he was, with Severus.
“What does it say?” Severus asked, just as Lucius pulled out the parchment.
“What did you write to him?” Lucius asked in reply.
“I said I had a problem and I needed his help. I asked him about his area of expertise too.”
Lucius nodded and began to read the letter silently.
‘You must have heard of me from my colleague. Rest assured, I am the best in this field. My expertise is anything and everything under the sun of dark curses. May I know if you are enquiring for your sake or for someone else’s? I would need to see the victim in person. Don’t worry, I’m a very discreet man.’
Severus was peering over the letter and he did not hesitate to ask, “Is someone cursed?”
Lucius slowly folded the letter up before pocketing it. He remained silent for a while, and when he finally spoke, he complete ignored Severus’ question.
“What cures dark curses? Spells, potions, or rituals?” Lucius asked, not ashamed that his question was directed at a boy years younger than him.
“It depends, but all cures need a potion. Potions for dark curses are very complex and they contain a handful of rare ingredients. Sometimes even dark ingredients. Who’s cursed?”
Lucius’ answer caught Severus off guard. With Severus unsure on how to respond, a brief moment of awkward silence lingered between them. And then, as though the subject on curses was immediately dropped, Lucius said, “I’ll tell you the secret now.”
Telling Severus about the Dark Lord and his plan to take over the wizarding world briefly took Lucius away from the fact that his father was in danger. It was effectively detouring his thoughts, so Lucius held nothing back. By the time Lucius sold it all to Severus, he was sure the boy would be on board.
“So, are you with me?” Lucius asked.
“Yes,” Severus replied with a smile. It was the kind of smile that came from a belief that life would get better, even though he was extremely naïve to think so.
“Good. Time to-”
“You say the Dark Lord is a powerful man and he knows your family well. Why don’t you ask him for help?” Severus interrupted.
Lucius overlooked the rudeness out of curiosity and asked, “Ask for what help?”
“Your father. The Dark Lord should know a lot about dark curses. The doctor is probably not as good as him too.”
Severus made a good point. He was right about the Dark Lord, but Lucius contemplated. Was he bold enough to ask for help? Will there be a price if he did? Lucius knew the Dark Lord enough to know he never does favours.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should ask the Dark Lord for help or stay out of it completely!)
Lucius stood his ground, standing too still for that matter. When the office door opened, revealing Mr Barrow’s secretary, Lucius quickly said, “Heard sounds. Came in. Found this.”
If someone who knew Lucius personally heard what he had just said, they would have known he was lying. Lucius was not a fan of direct sentences; he rarely could hide his intentions in the spaces between the words. But thankfully, the secretary was someone he had not even spoken to since he started his internship.
“What madness swept through here?” she asked in horror.
“I don’t know. It looks like a prank. Maybe somebody wanted to prove muggle locks aren’t as useful as they seem,” Lucius replied with a shrug.
The secretary narrowed her eyes at him before turning away and shaking her head.
“I told him. I told him a hundred times. That stubborn man,” she said, and she continued mumbling under her breath as she stormed out of the office.
Lucius did not want to stick around any longer, so he followed after her and quickly returned to his desk. The rest of the day, Lucius kept the stolen file in his bottom drawer and pretended not to listen as his colleagues made guesses on who blew open Mr Barrow’s cabinet. Soon, the day was over and the file magically disappeared when Lucius took a toilet break.
It was like that the whole internship. Lucius found letters in strange places and things went missing when he was not around. Lucius was generally curious on the others that worked for the Dark Lord, but he never once saw them. As quickly as Lucius adapted to such a subservient lifestyle, the internship ended and he could not be happier.
If there was anything Lucius learned during the internship, it was the power of the Dark Lord and how horrible it felt to submit under his authority. No other witch or wizard ordered him around as much as his dear friend, and Lucius hated it. But after returning home and finally getting the chance to sleep on his own bed, he decided that it was for the best. If Lucius had to put up with the Dark Lord to fight for the cause, he would. He was not very different from his father after all.
A few weeks after the internship, Lucius was to start his sixth year at Hogwarts. He had two more years of schooling, but he had a feeling his freedom had been revoked. What he feared the most decided to haunt him, all because of one midnight conversation with a houseguest.
As Lucius hopped onto the Hogwarts Express that sunny September 1st, he was once again ushered to the prefects cabin. Time flew so quickly, that it felt like he was just boarding the Hogwarts Express for the first time. He knew he would soon find himself in places he did not want to be, and his only hope was to play it smart. Surely he could do that.
After the welcoming feast that night, Lucius ignored his prefect’s duty again only to find a ruffled owl sitting on his bed. The owl had a letter at its foot and it contained an assignment. Unfortunately, shrugging off the letter was not an option, and after each completed assignment, there was another letter. It was never ending and he could not even tell his parents about them, as he feared the Dark Lord might find out.
Half a year later, Lucius was finally confronted with a life-changing question. It was a rainy Sunday when he heard it. Tanya had found him and forced him into a conversation in an empty classroom.
“I haven’t seen you in a while. You’re always running off doing something, and I’m sure it’s not prefect’s duty,” Tanya said as she shut the door behind her.
“I don’t have time for this. What do you want to talk about?” Lucius asked.
“I want to talk about you, FRIEND.”
“You will never get it. No one gets it,” Lucius simply said. It was true, no one understood him. He never felt so alone and isolated before.
“I get it. Your family is involved in a political game and you’re caught in the middle.”
“What do you know?” Lucius asked with a chuckle.
“A lot. I’ve kept in contact with some people in the ministry. Situations regarding a certain wizard always reach my ears.”
“Aren’t you too young?” Lucius found the question more suited towards him.
“No one is too young. They promised me a spot on the team once I graduate. I’m going to be an auror!”
Lucius raised his eyebrows. The more we can’t be friends, Lucius thought to himself.
“I can help you Lucius. Get you away from your family or find a way to help them.”
“My family does not need your help. And my family isn’t the problem,” Lucius said, regretting his last sentence that gave too much away.
“Then what is the problem? Tell me, I’m your friend. I can help you.”
Friend. The Dark Lord loved using that word in his letters, and so did Tanya. His father even warned him about ‘friends’. Should he tell this friend the truth or should he leave her to her crazy speculations?
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should reveal his secret!)
“I think it’s a great opportunity, boy,” Professor Slughorn said.
Lucius acknowledged Professor Slughorn with a nod before turning to the official. “That’s one offer I cannot turn down, sir,” Lucius said.
That night, Lucius wrote a letter to his mother to tell her about the internship. He would have addressed the letter to both his parents, but he feared his father would send him a howler in return. When his letter took flight the following morning, he pushed the internship out of his head and shifted his focus to the upcoming exam.
Now that Lucius’ plan to ace all his subjects failed, he was forced to study. He spent whatever time he had left poring over his Divination textbook and drinking in the horrible taste of Herbology. When the exam weeks finally arrived, Lucius chucked his books aside and hoped none of the information he stored in his brain would leak out unexpectedly.
Strangely, Lucius got through the two weeks pretty well. He knew he would score ‘O’s’ for most of his subjects, and a few ‘A’s’ for those he made mental gagging reflexes at the sound of their names. As long as he passed with more ‘O’s’ than ‘A’s’, he shouldn’t have a problem with his parents.
Shortly after the exams, the school year was wrapped up. That year flew by so quickly, Lucius could not even remember Christmas. His memory of the year was like a misty morning with only a few patches of incidences he could recall. Typically, Lucius blamed the exam for robbing what could have been a great year.
As Lucius boarded the train that late sunny afternoon, his fellow prefects gave him the same train hospitality. It was just like the last time he boarded, except that Tanya helped herself to the seat beside him without question.
“So, are you ready to go home?” Tanya asked.
The Slytherin prefects seated across them ignored her and pretended to look busy. It became a habit as they did it every time Tanya came to speak to Lucius. Lucius wouldn’t mind them leaving as he did not have to watch what he said if they weren’t around, but he assumed they were either afraid or too prideful to let go of their cushioned seats.
“That depends on the welcome party,” Lucius replied.
“Why? Do all the house elves come to greet you?” Tanya asked cheekily.
A question as such would have gotten a student a curse in the stomach, but Lucius was now immune to Tanya’s choice of words.
“No. The family does,” Lucius answered.
“Oh, what if the family doesn’t?”
“Then we have a guest,” Lucius simply said. His answer raised a head across him, but Lucius paid no attention to the subtle yet obvious response.
“Do you like this guest?”
“He’s one of a kind. How about you?”
“I can’t wait to go home! We’re having a picnic once I get home,” Tanya said.
“Won’t it be dark then?”
“Can’t you have a dinner picnic? We do it all the time.”
“Right, I forgot.”
“You should come visit me one day. That’s what friends do.”
Lucius shrugged with a chuckle. He would rather live with his weird grandaunt than visit a mixed blood family. Not forgetting how his father would ignore him for the rest of his life if he did.
By the time the train stopped, Lucius allowed his little helpers to drag his bag out to the walkway before taking over himself. He preferred to look independent when he got off the train, after all, his mother did not enjoy giving the other mothers a thin smile for their children’s submissive behaviour.
As he headed to the exit and alighted from the Hogwarts Express, he searched the crowd for his parents. There were so many people calling out names that Lucius strained his ears to hear his. When he did, a mixed emotion swept over him.
“Mr Malfoy!” a deep voice called out.
Lucius was hoping for ‘Lucius dear’ or Lucius, my boy’ but that evening he responded to the formality and handed his belongings to the chauffeur.
“I know, let’s go,” Lucius interrupted.
He gave one last wave to Tanya, who was seen with her strange cousin, before striding toward the big black car outside the station. It was going to be another long journey, and by the time he reached home he would be crashing into bed.
True enough, Lucius had his dinner in the car and caught up with the family business from a report book his father left in the backseat for him. Even though many people knew who the Malfoys were, they did not gain their fame from working in the ministry. They owned a wine and an antique business, with branches all over the world. They were also shareholders for larger companies and had investments in different stocks, all in wizard currency of course. That was why Lucius did not need an internship.
By the time Lucius had finished updating himself with the family business, the car rolled in front of the white porch with the full moon buried beneath the clouds overhead.
Lucius did not wait to have his door opened as he exited the car and walked right into his home. He took quick peeks into the different rooms on the ground floor in search for his parents, but when he found neither of them he headed straight to his bedroom. Lucius was exhausted, not because he did anything but because his day was so uneventful. By the time he hit his large, soft bed he drifted off to sleep almost instantly.
Unlike its predecessors, that night was rather still. Lucius would have slept through it if not for the floorboard the house elves had not fixed. When it made a loud creak, Lucius barely opened his eyes and winced at his surroundings. The moment he spotted something at the end of his bed, Lucius stared long and hard.
The fireplace was dead, the curtains were drawn shut, and the darkness made it impossible for Lucius’ foggy brain to make out what it was. He contemplated calling out but sleep was beckoning him. It was a petty decision, but Lucius did not know what to do.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should call out or go back to sleep!)
She hatched into the family of the rather insane Mr. Grabbill Hookland.
Grab, whom his friends commonly called him, was a collector of rare magical creatures. He would keep them as pets and sometimes mate them. And when the little cross breeds were born, he would sent them as gifts to his nephews and nieces.
Yes, an odd man he was.
You would usually see him in his black tuxedo, striding on the streets of London, claiming to be a business man. And with a wicked sense of cruelty towards muggles, he would often invite them home to give them a scare. Of course, with a memory charm, he covered up that hobby of his easily.
Among his friends, Grab constantly bragged about his “pets”, and how fantastically unique they were. He would flaunt the new breeds and the recently hatched, and today, he flaunted a snake.
“Oh, such beauty isn’t she?” Grab said to Tawrent Lovegood.
“Yes. Rather.” Tawrent gave the snake a poke and sank deeper into his chair. He hated snakes, especially this one. There was something about it, something that made it feel dangerous to be around it.
“Do you know that this one can grow up to 50 feet! If brought up properly that is,” Grab stroked the snake’s head.
“How… delightful,” Tawrent said uncertainly.
“But I’m not keeping this one.”
“Which unlucky nephew or niece are you giving this creature to?”
Grab laughed at what he thought was a joke. “Well, I have a special buyer who’s particularly interested.”
Grab went on to placing the baby snake into a small plastic box. He then waved his wand and brown paper messily wrapped itself around the box. A small card addressed to an unknown source also sat nicely on top of the box. And as an owl swooped into his living room, Grab tied the gift to its legs.
“You know who to send it to,” Grab said cheerfully to the owl. And the owl obediently went on its delivery.
“Is it legal?” Tawrent asked as he watched the owl fly off.
“What is? Selling my pets?”
“Yes. Especially to people you don’t know,” Tawrent said.
“Why not?” Grab smiled as he sipped at his tea.
“I thought there’s a license process for sales and purchases of such creatures.”
“You have too many friends in the ministry that the law is starting to confuse you.”
“I just don’t want you to get in trouble,” Tawrent said with a sigh.
“I won’t be in trouble. This buyer knows a great deal about snakes.”
“Really.” Tawrent was not convinced.
“Oh yes. But I told him that at this age, the snake needs a lot of grooming, and if he has any intentions for it, he best wait till it is fully grown. I also told him not to show it off to anyone, since, it is a very rare breed that I would consider dangerous.”
“Right. Lets hope he doesn’t send it on a killing spree.”
“That would be a waste of her potential if he didn’t. But I think he only wants a companion.” Grabbill laughed.
“Odd choice for one.”
The packaged arrive in a house outside of town. The special buyer sent the owl off with the money he owed before heading to his reading room to unwrap it. But before he could do so, he saw an intruder hiding in the shadows.
Panicking, he pulled out his wand and demanded, “Who are you?! How did you get in?!”
Before he could react. he saw a flash of green light, that even an attempt to draw his last breath was impossible.
“Thank you for the slippery gift,” the person in the shadows said, before heading to the package.
Knowing that the old man he just killed was a loner, he took his time at opening the gift he claimed. And when he first laid eyes on the snake, he was amazed at the beauty of it.
“Hi,” he said.
The baby snake curled at a corner and watched him closely.
“I won’t hurt you. I just want to be friends,” he continued.
He then put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a rat he had bought from the market earlier in the day.
“Here’s a treat,” he said, as he carefully released it into the plastic box.
She hesitated for a moment, watching his hand pull out from her safe zone. Then, without thinking twice, she striked at the rat.
“Fast one,” he said, sounding impressed.
“I am,” she replied.
“I hope you liked it.”
“Thank you,” she said as she moved out from her curled position.
“Do you have a name?” he asked.
She shook her head at him in reply.
“I shall call you Nagini then. Do you like that name?”
“I guess. Do you have a name?”
“Yes. I’m… master. Call me master.”
“O.k master,” Nagini replied.
“Let’s go home,” Master said as he picked up the snake and disappeared in a swoosh.
During one summer, she met a handsome young man. His was kind and sweet, and he did things for her she never imagined any man would. Honestly, in her innocent mind, she thought he was the one. This young man, however, was years older than her, but in that state of infatuation she didn’t mind, because after all, his age came with maturity.
Sadly, her prince charming was going away to explore his love for potions after summer was over, and already knowing that she might have to wait for him, she could not stand the thought. How long was she willing to wait? One year? Two years? Not wanting to have any distance between them, she decided that after her studies, she would join him where ever he was, and with that, they made future plans.
As their romance began to spark off, her parents started to take notice of her constant disappearance, and when her mother started snooping around, she had no choice but to tell her parents. Thinking that they would forbid her, she was surprised when they said they wanted to meet the boy she was so fond of. Without much of a choice, she brought this up to her beloved and being the gentleman she thought he was, he came over one night for dinner. That was one meal she will never forget, as even her strict, expressionless father seemed to have fallen in love with him.
A couple of weeks later, the man she adored told her over a random owl post that they needed to talk. His letter was scattered with words that made her confused and worried. Insisting that they should meet and talk, she met up with him that very same night. It was then that he told her he was not ready. He also mentioned a handful of reasons that she soon forgot after the tears fell.
As she cried herself to sleep that night, asking herself why that had to happen, oddly enough, she made up her mind to forgive him. She was, after all, the most understanding girl he has ever met, that was his words to be exact. Days passed and she soon told herself that it was alright. If he was not ready, then she should understand his situation, whatever it was.
Weeks after he had broke it off with her, he left for Germany, and the owl posts between them arrived slower as the days went by. Soon, school restarted, and she was quite certain she was almost completely over him. But then something happened. The man she still thought of as her friend decided to cut all connections from her. He didn’t reply to her last letter and he changed his address without telling her. When she asked around the people he worked with, they too pretended not to know. Immediately, she knew he was cutting her off and out of his life; that she couldn’t understand. She had given him all the space he needed, and she had never blamed him for what he had done to her, but now he chose to remove her from his life. What was he hoping to get out of his actions?
Hurt and angry, she found comfort in a friend, who managed to convince her that his actions did not deserve him the right to be her friend. Friends do not do that to friends; that was her rational. Since she could not deny the truth in those words, and she had to move on from the new pain he had caused her, she decided to listen to her advice.
One summer after that, she found a part-time job at Gringotts Wizarding Bank to improve her English. It was when she accidentally sent the account forms flying all over the place that she met another young man. The start of their friendship soon led her falling head over heels for him, but every time she wanted to tell him how she felt, she remembered the man who broke her heart. Though she had moved on, she couldn’t help but recall the good times and the bad times that shattered her heart into a million pieces. Was she ready to put herself at risk of getting hurt? All she had were questions with no answers.
Days passed and the questions began pilling up, just like the work load on her desk. Amazingly, among the countless times she tried to answer herself, just hearing his sweet voice cleared all her doubts.
“Do you need help?” he asked, peeking through the stacks of paper.
“No thanks. Iz o.k,” she said with a smile. She looked calm and composed but nobody knew she was struggling to calm her racing heart. Why waz he zo cute? she asked herself.
“Fleur, your English is fine, why are you still working here? Let me take you for dinner and discuss on how you can resign,” he said with a chuckle.
“You haz taken me for many meals, how can I repay you?” Fleur asked, as she gently placed the quill down.
“Be mine and mine only?”
Fleur didn’t try to hide her blushing cheeks this time.
“What if ze Egyptian curses call you one day?”
“The Egyptians will have to wait, for I cannot imagine a day without you.”
“Then I shall have dinner wiz you and discuss on how YOU can resign. Because dating a co-worker, Bill Weasley, iz not allowed.”
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!)
One month passed since Joanna came home to look after her mother. She had given the letter to Annoria but there was still no news from her. Joanna had written a letter to Annoria a week after she settled down back home, but till now, she had not received a reply.
Joanna was about to check on her mother that evening when an owl came swooping into her room. Quickly, Joanna untied the envelop from the owl.
“Thank you,” Joanna said as she patted the owl. It hooted a kind reply before it took off again.
Immediately after it left, Joanna tore the envelope open and pulled out the letter.
I’m so sorry for the late reply. It has been crazy here. We have extra classes everyday and every other free period I have, I’m at the Quidditch pitch training. I’ve been meaning to reply for weeks, but I never had the time. I hope you can forgive me for this.
Anyways, I saw Tom a few days after you left, and I handed him your letter. I’m not sure if I should tell you this, but I don’t want to lie to you either. So… what happened was, when I gave Tom the letter… he gave it to Malfoy and told him to get rid of it. I’m sorry Joanna. I don’t know what happened between the two of you, but he… well… you know.
If you have another letter for him, I could try and pass it to him again, if you like.
Ah, enough about that. How have you been? I hope you are doing fine. And your mother too. I wonder how your Professors are like. You’re probably smarter than all of us now.
Oh, by the way, the school has organized another trip for us to Hogsmead next weekend. If you could come over, maybe we could meet up and have a drink of butterbeer. I really miss you, and would love to see you!
Let me know alright? I’ll be spending most of the morning at the Three Broomsticks anyways. I have work to catch up on.
Well, I hope to see you then!
Lots of love, Annoria’
Getting ready to write a reply letter, Joanna stared blankly at the date of which Annoria’s letter was written, and then as though her mind suddenly clicked, Annoria’s next weekend was Joanna’s tomorrow.
“Stupid owl. How long does it take you to send a dumb letter?” Joanna muttered. She had grown rather angry these few days. It was as though her inner demons were finally surfacing and she found no way of suppressing them.
Immediately getting up, Joanna decided she should just pay Annoria a visit at Hogsmead. Heading towards her mother’s room, Joanna poked her head through the gap of the door and softly said, “Mother, I’m going to Hogsmead to see a friend tomorrow. I’ll ask Gwen to look after you.”
When her mother replied with a groan and a nod, Joanna went straight to bed. She had to get up early the next day, if she didn’t want to wait in a long line at the Interchange Building.
The next morning, she woke up at 8. On her way to the Interchange Building, Joanna stopped by old lady Gwen’s small house and requested a favor with a big bag of coins. When old lady Gwen grinned from ear to ear, Joanna was sure her mother would be well taken care off. After that, George sent her straight to the Interchange Building, where she had to wait in line with a group of working adults.
Joanna finally arrived in an small owl post at 10.30am, the same time of which the Hogwarts students were about to leave school. Knowing Annoria would be there soon, Joanna headed to The Three Broomsticks and waited.
About half an hour later, Joanna saw Annoria walking through the wooden doors. Standing up immediately, Annoria spotted her and waved excitedly, before rushing towards her.
“I’m so glad to see you!” Annoria said as she gave Joanna a hug.
“Me too,” Joanna replied with a weak smile.
“How have you been? Is your teacher good? How’s your mother? She’s going to be o.k right?”
Immediately being bombarded with questions, Joanna started laughing. She knew Annoria was genuinely concerned, but her animated expressions reminded her of how Annoria could always make her smile without even knowing it.
“I’m sorry, I’m just-“
“It’s o.k. Everything has been fine. My mother is, well, I don’t really know…”
“Well, she’ll be fine,” Annoria replied with a wide smile.
Just then, a bunch of Slytherins came walking into The Three Broomsticks, and with them was Tom.
As Joanna watched the group take a seat at a corner table, Abraxas Malfoy caught her eye. Immediately, he turned away and awkwardly joined in in the discussion at his table.
“You want to go somewhere else?” Annoria asked softly.
“No, I’m not moving for anyone,” Joanna replied. But even though she meant what she said, she couldn’t help but wish she was in a different place.
“Come on, let’s go,” Annoria said standing up. “I know you don’t like it here.”
Heaving a sigh, Joanna decided that she should just leave her pride behind. But as she and Annoria headed to the door, one of the Slytherin girls spotted her and called out to her.
“Joanna! Hey! How are you?” Matilda Parkinson said loudly.
“I’m fine, thank you,” Joanna replied with a false smile.
“Are you sure? Is your mother o.k? She’s not infected with a muggle disease is she?” Matilda was now mocking her, and the group of Slytherins, except for Tom and Malfoy, were snickering alongside her.
“Muggle disease? Are you stupid or something?” Joanna immediately responded, and the crowd in the pub became silent.
“I’m sorry, have you not heard of THE muggle disease?” Matilda asked as she stood up and headed towards Joanna, as her Slytherin buddies tagged along; with the exception of Tom, who was still seated at the table, staring at the same book since he entered the pub, and Malfoy, who was hesitating on what to do.
“No. But I’ve heard about stupid girls who don’t pay attention in muggle studies.”
“Have you not heard of cancer?”
Immediately, Joanna and Annoria burst out laughing.
“What are you laughing for?!” Matilda instantly demanded.
“Cancer is not a muggle disease, we can get it too,” Annoria explained calmly.
“My mother said that-“
“Your mother must be as dumb as you,”Joanna interrupted, and Matilda’s face flushed in red as she pulled out her wand.
“You want a duel?” Joanna raised an eyebrow skeptically.
“No duels in the pub! Sort your issues outside!” a lady behind the counter shouted, as she pointed to the back exit.
A few seconds later, Matilda turned away from Joanna, and did what Joanna had not expected her to do. Matilda stormed towards the back exit as she said, “You heard the lady. Outside.”
To Be Continued…
(Vote or leave a comment below on whether Joanna should follow Matilda out for a duel, or just ignore her and leave!)