Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 30

Joanna headed to Knockturn Alley after gossiping about everyone from school with Annoria. Being that she was an Auror in one of the darkest parts of the Wizarding World, Joanna never took her hand off her wand. As she walked down the old shops, mostly unable to tell if they were still operational, Joanna recalled the trip she took with Tom to the tavern in Hogsmead. Oh yes, the same trepidation was lingering within her.

Finally reaching Borgin and Burkes, Joanna took a peep through the old musty window. She saw a wide array of magical objects which she was sure all could be used for dark magic. Silently, she wondered why there was no law against magical objects that enhanced dark magic.

“Can I help you?” a man, who was standing by the door, asked in a suspicious tone.

“I’m… looking for someone,” Joanna hesitated.

“Why?” The man, whom Joanna recognized as Caractacus Burke, kept the same suspicious tone.

“You’re Caractacus right?” Joanna had to confirm her doubts, as the man was missing a finger, which was not the description they had on him at the Auror department.

“Who’s asking?”

“You’re on our watch list,” Joanna simply replied as she walked past him and into his shop.

“I didn’t do anything, you can’t prove anything,” Caractacus immediately defended himself as he followed after her.

“Relax, I’m not here on a job.”

“Then why are you here?” His suspicious tone returned.

“I’m looking for an old friend from school, they say he works here.”

“Who? Tom Riddle? He’s the only one that works for me,” Caractacus quickly replied, hoping to shift the conversation away from himself.

“Yes. Is he here?”

“I’ll… I’ll go get him,” he said, before hurrying off and disappearing among the shelves and big objects.

And then, as though the placement of the objects were so perfect to bounce off sound, Joanna heard a conversation.

“Who is she?! What did you do?!” Caractacus demanded.

“Relax old man, she’s a friend from school.”

“She better not be snooping around. They need a warrant for that.”

“She won’t give you any problems.”

Joanna could still hear the authoritative tone in his voice. Though it may seem like Tom was working for Caractacus, but Caractacus was wrapped around Tom’s fingers.

“I’m taking a break,” Tom said, before she heard his footsteps. And though they were loud and clear she couldn’t make out the direction he was coming from.

“Funny how sound works in here huh,” Tom finally said from behind her, making her jump as her hand tightened on her wand.

“Yes. It is.” Joanna turned to face him. Tom had not really changed as he still looked the same, just older and more manly.

“Let’s talk outside. Mr. Burke likes to eavesdrop,” Tom said loudly before he led her to the exit.

Once outside, Joanna found herself letting go of her wand. Somehow, she knew he wouldn’t hurt her.

“The arrangement of the objects… your job?” Joanna asked, already knowing the answer.

“Yes. We like listening to our customers’ thoughts,” Tom answered with a smile. “So, how have you been?”

“Pretty good, you?”

“I’m fine.”

“I thought you wanted to work in Hogwarts?”

“I was turned down.”

“Ouch. But I heard you had a lot of offers from the Ministry.”

“I turned THEM down.”

As Tom answered, she noticed how he never took his eyes off her.

“As an auror, aren’t you trained to be on guard every time?” Tom suddenly asked.

“Yes.”

“You should keep your hand on your wand. I must tell you, it is more dangerous out here than in there.”

“I…” Joanna didn’t know how to answer. She didn’t intend on letting her guard down at all.

“But don’t worry, I’ll protect you. No one here crosses me,” Tom said with full of pride. And then he smiled, that same smile that captivated the hearts of many.

“I get off work at around seven. We can have dinner if you want to catch up?” Tom added.

Joanna started to read him again, just like how she would back in Hogwarts.

“Dinner sounds fine,” Joanna replied, after a few seconds of internal debates.

“Great. I’ll meet you at the Three Broomsticks,” Tom replied and disappeared back into the shop without even saying goodbye.

Placing her hand back on her wand, Joanna left Knockturn Alley, did some shopping, and settled down at the Three Broomsticks right at the stroke of seven. Moments later, Tom walked in and sat down at her table.

There was a long moment of silence as the waitress came, went and returned. Joanna buried her face in the menu long enough for the waitress to make an annoying throat clearing sound. After they made their orders, Joanna started staring out the window, trying to avoid Tom’s gaze. He had never taken his eyes off her the moment he saw her.

“Could you stop staring at me?” Joanna could not take it any longer.

“Why did you come and see me?” Tom asked in reply.

“I… I just wanted to see how you were doing.”

“Curious as always,” Tom said.

“No. I was concerned.”

“Right. But why? We haven’t spoken since we left school, its almost a year and a half now.”

“Is it wrong to check up on an old friend?” Joanna was getting defensive.

“I don’t know. We weren’t really friends after you came back to Hogwarts.”

“Well, that’s not really my fault, is it?” Joanna couldn’t believe they were getting into an argument.

“You were saying it was my fault?”

“You weren’t there when I needed you the most, you ditched me remember? After your emotional speech about wanting me to be in your life and all that, you still ditched me,” Joanna replied, trying not to get angry.

“I made a speech? I don’t recall it,” Tom said, with no expression on his face.

“Wow Tom, just wow. I don’t know why I agreed to have dinner with you. You’re just the same arrogant boy I use to know.”

“I’m always the same, Joanna. I’ve never changed. Is that all you remember me for, arrogant?”

“I don’t need to remember, you’re proving it now.” Immediately, Joanna stood up.

“You’re leaving?” Tom asked, not at all surprised.

“Yes. I am.” Joanna decided to give up trying. Tom may have grown to be more handsome, but he was still the same inside.

As she walked past him, he reached out for her wrist and stopped her.

“I’m sorry. Old habits die hard,” Tom quickly said. “Please, sit back down.” The tone in his voice had changed.

“No. I got to go.” Joanna often wondered if Tom had a split personality, and if he did, she did not want to deal with either personalities anymore.

“Don’t go. I need to tell you something.” Tom refused to let go of her wrist no matter how hard she tried to tug it free.

Joanna thought for a while. Should she listen to him and give him a chance? Or should she just leave him, as dinner WAS his chance.

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should stay or go!)

Fan Fiction (Novel)

Chapter 29

Once she had said yes to Nyla, the second half of the year sped up so fast. Time really flies, even in the magical world. The exams came and went, and Joanna was certain she did well enough to confirm her a spot in  the ministry once she graduated. Though Joanna and Tom had made up, they were merely on ‘hello’ terms, and slowly but surely, they grew apart. Joanna could not see how she could support Tom as an auror-to-be, and Tom did not want to associate himself with anyone that had to do with the ministry; but they did not see each other as enemies, rather the friend that was once close.

Finally, the year came to an end and as Slytherin, once again, took the house cup, the mixture of groans and cheers made Joanna wish the year could have ended later. Hogwarts was like the home she never had, and even though she had to go through the ups and downs, she made friends whom she loved dearly, that would have included Tom if she wasn’t so unsure about how she felt about him.

Once the ‘Goodbye and good luck’ speech was given by Professor Dippet to the graduating class, the night ended with hugs and wishes among the seniors. Some of the juniors stayed back in the great hall to say their goodbyes, as the following day, everyone would be boarding the Hogwarts express and most of them wouldn’t see each other for a while. Joanna was sure to thank the teachers first, and when she came face to face with Professor Dumbledore, her prediction of what he would say came through.

“I’m glad you’re taking up the Auror job. It’s a very good career,” Professor Dumbledore said with a smile.

Joanna merely returned the smile and nodded. She wasn’t so certain if it would be a good career, considering all the battle scars one would collect over time.

Finally thanking all the teachers, who ended saying the same thing about her job offer at the ministry and how she did rather well without failing a single subject, she naturally headed up to Tom.

Since she knew she wouldn’t be seeing him again she thought that an appropriate goodbye should be said.

“So, I heard you’re the top of the class again,” Joanna said, diverting Tom’s attention away from a junior who kept smiling at him without saying a word.

“Yes, I did. You did pretty good yourself,” Tom immediately replied, turning his back against the junior who narrowed her eyes at Joanna before storming off.

“You have an admirer.” Joanna chuckled.

“Annoying,” Tom said as he rolled his eyes.

“Well, what are you planning to do?” Joanna asked, out of curiosity.

“I thought of coming back, to teach.”

“Teach?” That surprised Joanna.

“Yea. Defense against the dark arts,” Tom said.

“Defense against the dark arts?”

Wasn’t Tom for the dark arts? Not against the dark arts? Joanna thought to herself.

“You look shock. Why?”

“I just thought… I mean… it’s not really you to-“

“It’s an interesting subject,” Tom said with a smile. A smile that hid his ulterior motives, but Joanna didn’t bother to pry.

“Well, all the best!”

“You too,” Tom said.

“I’ll see you around,” Joanna added, before she headed towards Annoria, who had been calling her over for the last one minute.

…..

One year into her training at the Ministry of Magic, Joanna was finally promoted as an official Auror. She was assigned to a team and her first so called mission was to track down a wizard who was putting spells on muggles to do his biding. Once that mission was over, another one came, followed by many many more. It’s strange how some wizards loved abusing their magical abilities, even on harmless animals. Most of them were rather disturbed and Joanna was sure she have not met the worst of the worst just yet.

With all the work, Joanna realized that she had not spoken to her friends for months. This auror job is taking up a lot of my time, Joanna thought, as she sat down one night just to reply the letter Annoria had sent her three months ago.

Hoping to catch her breath, the following day, Joanna requested a one month leave, which was supposedly the unclaimed holidays she lost over hunting down crazy wizards. Once it was confirmed, she wrote another letter to Annoria, hoping to meet up.

Annoria must have been extremely free or jobless as her owl returned quickly. Two days after that, they met at the Three Broomsticks and recollected the days where Joanna took Matilda up on a duel.

“I thought you were going to kill her!’ Annoria said, laughing at the memory.

“I thought so too. Wow, I miss those days.” Joanna indeed missed those carefree days.

“Your job is pretty demanding huh?”

“Who knew animal cruelty would fall under our jurisdiction,” Joanna replied.

“Seriously?’

“If the animal was used for dark magic that is. So, what are you doing now?”

“I’m working in Gringotts.”

“Is it not busy? Aren’t Goblins rather demanding?”

“No, not really. I handle most of the paperwork, but it’s not something magic can’t do by itself.”

“That’s good.”

“You know what I heard? Tom was offered jobs in the Ministry of Magic. Is it true?” Annoria continued, clearly wanting to do some gossiping.

“I don’t know. I’m rarely in the office. Who did you hear it from?” Joanna was now curious on how Tom was doing.

“Friends of friends in the ministry. But they said he turned them down, for whatever reason. He disappointed a lot of people.”

“Tom never liked the ministry, it would be against his secret oath or something to work in it.”

“But that’s just a waste of talent. I heard he’s working at Borgin and Burkes now. YOU should pay him a visit.” Annoria failed to hide her smile.

“You should come along with me,” Joanna casually replied.

“I don’t like Knockturn Alley. It’s creepy. But you should go, I mean, you haven’t seen him in a while, and he could have only gotten more handsome than he was before,” Annoria teased.

Joanna laughed as Annoria winked her eye at her. Should she pay Tom a visit? Or should she just scrape the idea all together?

To Be Continued…

(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Joanna should pay a visit or ignore the suggestion!)