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Chapter 16: In Which I Contact A Lost Relative
Disclaimer: Anything recognizable belongs to JK Rowling.
A/N: I know, it's been a LONG time... but here's a chapter (hides behind book) and hopefully you'll like it.... you should definitely let me know in a review! And feel free to yell at me for taking so long! (Although in my defense I finally finished one of my other stories and wrote a one-shot... both of which you should all check out! ;-)) Thanks to all you awesome readers and reviewers!
I decided that to put Brenden's threat out of my mind for an hour by writing to Mungo's about my mother.
His threat had been hanging over my head for the last week and a half, constantly pressuring me to do something brash, and I had been wanting to contact Ginny somehow since I first found out that she was in a coma in Mungo's.
I decided I would just write her a nice letter, as a sort of stress reliever, and then contact the hospital, asking if I could visit her.
Here's how the letter went.
I'm your daughter, Anna (You named me Lily when I was born I think, but my name is Anastasia now). I know that there's a chance you'll never read this, as you've been in a coma for like, a gazillion years or something.
But I just wanted to write to you, tell you how my life is.
I just started going to Hogwarts, which is pretty great. Al and James go here too, and I recently told them I was their sister. They're pretty cool with it, and seem to be really happy. They're nice brothers.
Did you know that Quidditch is an all guy's sport now? It's absolutely ridiculous, but there haven't been any female quidditch players for over a decade.
I still managed to get a spot on the Hufflepuff team, but only the team and my close friends know.
Just shows you that this crazy age will be broken.
I'm a Gryffindor, the only one, of course. I'm a bit of an oddball like that. But it's nice I guess. It pissed off our headmistress, who's a right bitch. [Sorry, didn't mean to swear there, but I'm not about to scratch it out]
Well, it was nice writing to you about school and stuff, wake up soon I guess.
Well, that was interesting. Now it's time for me to go back to stressing about Brenden and walk to Potions.
I manage to walk into Potions only a couple seconds before the bell.
People were still casually talking to one another as I slid into my seat next to Scorp.
"So, what potion do we get to make explode today?" I ask casually.
"There's a rumour going around that we're making Draught of Living Death." Scorp answers.
"Ah. My specialty." I say.
Scorp and John both look at me weirdly, almost in fear.
I laugh nervously. "Only kidding." I clear.
Slughorn stands at the front of the class, clearing his throat. The room silences significantly.
"Allright class. Please read pages 24 through 27 from your book with your table and then procede to try your best at the potion Draught of Living Death. Directions are on the board for today, use both my written instructions and those of your book to aide you. The best potion will recieve an award." He finishes and goes and sits behind his desk. "You may begin."
The instructions are neatly written on the blackboard in block letters, titled, "Draught of Living Death".
"So," John begins. "Who wants to read the first paragraph? Robert?"
"Sure." He says, then clears his throat, and begins to read.
"The Draught of Living Death is a very potent potion, and one of the most dangerous known to Wizards alike. The effect is a death like slumber induced by the potion that is only undone by one andecdote, the Wiggenwald potion. The legend behind this potion lies with the ancient story of a princess who was cast..."
It was at this point I tuned out the reading until it was my turn to read the last bit about it's history.
"Ahem... okay then... Many potioners and amatuer potion-mixers have attempted to make this potion more potent, experimenting with ingredients and blends. This is very dangerous, and in recent years, rumours have been passed around about a certain blend brewed by a past Death-Eater and Werewolf, Fenir Greyback, that have rendered the andecdote hopeless, and useless. These new versions of potions are extremely dangerous and would kill us all with a simple whiff or drop, which is why we must excercise the utmost care producing and exchanging this potion. Accidents and mishaps could lead to death, injury, deformity, and amputation."
"Well, on that light note, I say we begin." Scorp says, getting up to get our supplies. Robert leaves to get the stuff for him and John.
Yes, I knew that Greyback was working on making a stronger Draught of Living Death. He threatened us with it daily, even though most of us knew that it was a slow progress for him. None of knew whether he had completed it before his death, so it was rendered unimportant.
Scorp and I followed the directions well for the most part, except when I accidently stabbed some of our beans so hard that they were completely crushed, the juice dripping excesively onto the floor. It's not my fault the little buggers kept jumping around. Of course, then John and Robert discovered this released the juice better, and made their potion that way, which made it looking a lot better than ours.
Our potion was nice and black, and a little slugish, but stirring it only made it worse, so we decided to be done. Robert and John's was a nice pale green, which was pretty pitiful. So overall, our table's efforts were just that, pitiful.
We were definitely not getting the prize.
Some other pair did, the lucky bastards.
"Well, that's too bad." Scorp ruminates as we exit the classroom.
"Yeah, plus now I have to go sit through Umbridge's class again. Although we're almost finished with our unit on thirteenth century Goblin rebellions. Which means we have an exam on it on Friday. Not to mention all her crude remarks about my hair." I complain.
"Well, you have to admit," John says, "your hair is something."
I roll my eyes. "Thanks John. So inspiring."
"It has been a lot longer recently." He notes.
"Yeah, I don't have to cut it for Quidditch anymore, so I haven't cut it since then." I say. "Hey, by the way, are you guys doing that running club thing your captain's helping start? Because I have to join it, and I think the first one's tonight."
"Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that. Yeah, Davies was all pumped up for that. Wants us to get all in shape for our first match against Slytherin in two weeks." Scorp explains.
"Good. I should try and get Rose and Lizzie to do it too. Bet you I'm the only girl going to show up."
"Probably. Something about the girls here and physical activity don't really fit together." John mused.
"Either way, I think it could be kind of fun. Get in shape for the upcoming matches, hang out." I said.
"Well, aren't you little miss optimism?" Scorp teases.
"Oh, c'mon. I think it will be fun, you know just go out there and run a couple of miles, it will be great!"
"Whoa." John voices. "How much are you planning on running here. Let's not forget. You like running. Just you."
"Just relax, it'll be fun!" I exclaimed to their wary faces.
"This is not going to be fun." Tim says as he comes over to me, Scorp and John.
"That's what Scorp and I have been saying for the past day and a half." John agrees.
I roll my eyes as he looks pointedly over to me. "I still think it won't be bad." I say .
Tim laughs. "Of course you would say that. You practically live for running laps."
"Keep it down!" I say urgently, not wanting anyone from the other teams to hear.
I scan the area where we were supposed to meet. I see the rest of my team here, along with the Ravenclaw team and about six other people who just wanted to join, probably friends of the Ravenclaw Robert, who started this thing up. I notice one other girl, a seventh year with long blonde hair back in a ponytail and a pretty face. She catches my eye and gives a friendly little smile. I grin back somewhat sheepishly.
"Guess I'm not the only girl to show up." I nod towards the girl.
"What?" Tim looks over. "Oh, yeah, that's Eloise. She's a seventh year Ravenclaw. She's pretty close to James Potter. Can you guys believe that they actually transferred here? They seem nice though, not conceited at all."
"Yeah, well, they've been through a lot." John remarks. "I know Al pretty well, I see him over the summer all the time, and he's a cool guy. He and James don't always get along though."
"Yeah, I've heard that. Too bad. They both seem nice enough though." Tim comments.
Something in side of me clenches at the mention of my brothers not getting along. That should be something for me to fix.
I shook it off, saying that I would just have to deal with it later, as the Ravenclaw Robert called everyone over, thanking everyone for coming and all that.
"Why are you here, Chase?" the Robert from my class whispered from next to me. He looked somewhat confused.
"Just here to run." I told him. I smiled broadly, which gave him some suspicion.
"Uh huh." He said.
"What are you here for?" I asked him.
"Here to get into shape for Quidditch. I'm an alternate for the Ravenclaw team." He said, somewhat smugly.
I nodded, choosing to listen in as Robert Mackintosh began to explain the route we were taking today.
We could either do a long route, up the side of the lake for a mile and a half, then cut through some lightly wooded area then past Hagrid's house then back to the starting point, about five miles total. The other route was three miles, a lap around the parameter of the castle, cutting off by the lake, then straight back.
I walked over to the five mile group, which was noticably smaller than the shorter run. It was Robert Mackintosh, Aaron, Eloise, me, and two other guys from the Ravenclaw that I didn't really know. The groups separated, and our group fell into a nice pace along the lake.
I fell into step with Eloise. "Hey, I'm Anna." I said, introducing myself.
She laughed. "I know. You're kind of the talk of the school this past month."
I blushed. "I doubt that."
"No seriously. I'm Eloise by the way."
"Nice to meet you. You're friends with James Potter, right?"
"Yeah, we've been close forever. We've known each other since we were four years old."
"That's nice. He's a nice guy."
"Yeah? You know him well?"
"Not really, but I've met him a couple times." I somewhat lied.
"Yeah, he's a good friend." She seemed thoughtful, and we ran in silence for a while, the only sound some heavy breathing and padding of feet against the ground.
"So, you a big runner?" I ask her as we enter a path heavily shaded by the outskirts of a forest (not the Forbidden Forest, just an area of newer trees close to Hagrid's Hut).
"Yeah, it's just one of those things you know? Like how some kids like to draw, or write in a diary. I like to run. Plus it keeps me in shape." She answers. "What about you?"
"Oh yeah. I just like to run. You know? I like being active. I was so bummed when I came here and found out that girls weren't really allowed to play Quidditch." I explained,
"Really? I guess I've never really thought about that rule. I don't exactly have the coordination or insane determination that most of the school's quidditch players do, so I've never really wanted to. That's too bad though. The rule is actually very sexist."
"Yeah, completely." I agree.
"I'm suprised no one's challenged the rule for so long." she muses. She looks at me like she's had an idea. "You should! That would be totally brilliant!" Her eyes are full of excitement.
I shrug, breathing out a large breath of air. "I already sort of did."
"Did it work out?"
I shrug again. "Not really." I lie. "Captains really are stubborn, but I'm sure someone will come around eventually." I'm tempted to wink, but decide against it.
We talk the rest of the run about random things like teachers and classes and things, making it back to the start where the three mile runners are milling around and talking and stretching. I walk over to John, Scorp and Rob, who are standing together.
"Hey. How was your run?" I ask them.
"It was pretty hard, but not too bad." John answers. "Yours?"
"It was great." I answer.
"Wait. You ran the five mile?" Rob asks, like he's all suprised.
"You bet your slow little arse." I joke.
He snorts. "Impressive."
"Yeah, I get that a lot." I shrug jokingly, making a huge joking smug face.
"Hey! Shut up!" I say, but I'm laughing too, so it loses it's effect.
It's funny how normal I feel just then. For once, I don't feel like the outcast girl, the first Gryffindor in decades, or even just the weird girl who just randomly sprouted red hair.
I feel like a normal teenager, laughing with other normal teenagers over something stupid.
Of course, that all ended two days later.