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“What’s wrong with her!? Why can’t she speak!?”
“Sir, calm down-“
“Don’t tell me to calm down! My daughter is trying to talk and she can’t!”
“It has to be psychological, sir. Give her some time; she will be able to talk again.”
“I’m afraid that’s up to her.”
Every once in a while I wake up screaming. I can hear my desperate pleas in my head, but my voice is silent, my mouth gaping open trying to make a sound. I have forgotten what my voice sounds like; it has been so long since anyone has heard it. It probably wouldn’t even sound the same now even if I could remember.
When I was 9 years old, I watched my mother get tortured and killed. She placed a silencing charm on me before tucking me away in the closet. She placed another silencing charm on the closet itself so that no one could hear me even if I banged my fists against the door.
I watched through a crack in the door as the Cruciatus Curse was used on my mother again and again. I was screaming and crying for her, but I was helpless and could only watch as they finally ended her misery with a flashing green light. I was found later by my father after he spent some considerable time crouched over my mother’s body, holding her in his arms and begging for her to wake up. When he found me, I had one of her dresses hugged to my chest and I was just staring blankly ahead.
I don’t know why I haven’t been able to talk since then. I’ve tried over and over, trying to say something as simple as “I love you” to my family but it’s as if my voice is locked away, stuck somewhere in my throat. The healers said there was no physical damage to my vocal chords and it could only be psychological. It has been so long since she’s died, and I feel as if I’ve moved on. At least, I think I have. I don’t think I’ll be able to fully move on until her killers are found. Anyway, I know I’ll find my voice someday. Right now it’s just a matter of when.
People are constantly surprised at how happy and friendly I am, despite my “disability”. I have tried my best to not let my inability to speak control how I live my life. When I lost my voice, I turned to dance as my way of expressing my feelings, no longer being able to sing. Singing was something I shared with my mother and became yet another thing I lost that night. I dance professionally on my breaks from Hogwarts and while at school I am the Gryffindor seeker. I am also irrevocably in love with my best friend and Quidditch captain, Oliver Wood.
Without my voice, I am still a great student, person and friend, and I work hard to make sure I stay that way. I refuse to let my mother’s killers take any more from me.
It is my final year at Hogwarts, and I plan on leaving with no regrets. This year, I will get an “O” on all my N.E.W.T.S. This year, Gryffindor will win the Quidditch Cup. This year, I will find the courage to confess to Oliver. This year…I will find my voice.
A/N: Hey all! This is just a bit of an introduction to the story, the first chapter is not far behind. I kinda just wanted to start putting some feelers out there ^-^
Disclaimer: I do not own the lovely wizarding world of Harry Potter nor anyone in it. I only own any characters/places not recognized as belonging to JK Rowling.
“Winnie! Are you ready yet?” I heard my dad call from downstairs. I banged on the wall to let him know I was on my way and started dragging my trunk out of my room. I ran into my stepmother, Lizzy, on the landing.
Lizzy, formerly known as Lizbeth Weasley now known as Lizbeth Hawthorn, came into our lives right around the time I started my first year at Hogwarts. She is the youngest sibling of Arthur Weasley and completely different from my mum in appearance. She has a wild mane of red hair while my mother’s hair was a dark brown. My mum had smooth clear skin and she has a face full of freckles. My mum was petite and Lizzy is rather tall, around 5’8. She has blue eyes and my mum had green eyes. Like my mother, she is very kind and rather beautiful.
I could tell right away that she made my dad extremely happy and so I decided to give her the benefit of a doubt, despite the fact that I still missed my mother terribly and was slightly resentful of Lizzy because I felt she was trying to take my mother’s place. Before they got married, my dad sat down with my brother and I and assured us that he still very much loved mum, but Lizzy makes him happy and makes mum’s absence hurt a little less. He also told us that he wouldn’t marry her if it made us unhappy. That was when I knew that we could make room for Lizzy in our lives. I would not let my dad sacrifice any chance he had at happiness. Once I signed to my dad my approval, my brother followed suit and they were married the summer leading into third year.
While I don’t call her mum, she is a very nice person and I managed to fully accept her when she got pregnant with my sister in the middle of third year (they worked fast, but I’d rather not think anymore about it).
“Oh! Winnie, let me get that for you darling,” she said before casting a levitation spell on my trunk. I signed a thank you at her and beamed before trotting down the stairs and crashing right into my little brother. Well, he’s not so little, towering near 6 feet (which is obnoxiously tall in comparison to my height of 5’4). Aside from our height, it isn’t hard to identify the fact that we are siblings. We both have our mother’s dark brown hair (though his is a bit short with some hair falling into his eyes while mine flows down my back and to my waist) and high cheekbones. We have our father’s dark brown eyes and long lashes. While I inherited my mother’s proportioned curvy and petite figure, my brother took after our father in height (scary to think he’s not done growing since our father is around 6’5) and slightly built and, though I hate to say it (I mean ew he’s my brother), fit figure.
He just turned 16 a month ago and is starting his sixth year at Hogwarts. He’s in Gryffindor, like me, and plays as a chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. We are extremely close, and sometimes he can be a little overprotective of me but I am fiercely protective of him. Most people know not to mess with a Hawthorn sibling because the other will usually retaliate.
Students of Hogwarts should fear the wrath of Thomas and Rhonwyn Hawthorn! Ahem, sorry. Anyway, it’s a wonder we ever have any relationships since we tend to fight off anyone who shows any interest in the other.
“Hey Sissy,” Tommy said before wrapping me up in one of his totally epic hugs. Seriously, his hugs are one of the best hugs someone can get since he is all warm and cuddly (in my mind). He says my hugs are “motherly” so he loves my hugs equally as much, but his hugs are definitely something he got from our father. What can I say, I love hugs, can’t you tell?
“My trunk is already in the car and dad is too, waiting in the front seat, did you remember everything? Including your Head Girl badge?” he teased, making fun of me and my new status as “Head Girl”. Seriously, I almost gave up the badge (I mean, I’m a bit of a trouble maker, what Dumbledore was thinking I have no idea because despite rarely getting caught that man knows EVERYTHING) because I received an owl from Fred and George Weasley (beaters on the Gryffindor team, awesome friends and wicked pranksters) letting me know that their brother, Percy, is Head Boy. That douche is intolerable, but not nearly as bad as Penelope Clearwater, who I have had a rivalry with since pretty much the first time I corrected her in front of the class back in first year. I accepted the position simply because she was a shoe in for it and it would get on her nerves that I will be the one wearing it this year. I can be a bit evil sometimes…
Anywho, Tommy’s teasing is nothing compared to the Howler I got from Fred and George (A HOWLER!). See, I happen to be the brains behind some of their pranks and they demanded that I immediately turn down the position so we could get back to our evil deeds. After I floo’d on over right away to explain to them my reasoning, and the fact that I won’t all of a sudden have a stick jammed up my ass and quit the pranking business, they were more than happy with my new position and I have a feeling that they will be taking advantage of it (more like they outright told me they would).
“Shut up! You’re a bloody Prefect so you shouldn’t be making fun of me, you’ll probably be wearing the Head Boy badge next year!” I signed to Tommy. He just laughed at me while looking a bit sheepish before pushing my floating trunk out the door and towards the car.
“Bye Winnie! Bye Tommy!” Lizzy wished us goodbye and gave us a hug (she agrees that my brother’s hugs are rather epic). “Annie is in the car with your dad, she wanted to see you off this year, but I think she’s more interested in seeing the ‘choo choo’,” she told us while practically pushing us out the door. I realized when I looked at my watch that it wasn’t so much her trying to get rid of us, more like if we didn’t leave right away we were definitely going to miss the train.
While walking to my father’s Ministry issued vehicle (he works in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts department with Arthur Weasley, which is how he met Lizzy) I signed to Tommy that I didn’t mind sitting in the back with Annie.
“No way! You are not keeping her to yourself. I’ll sit in the back, too,” he protested. I giggled and we each went to a different side of the car and slid in to the back seat.
“Sissy! Tamy!” our three year old little sister called out to us when she saw us. She picked up on Tommy’s habit of calling me Sissy and just simply had trouble pronouncing Tommy’s name so she stuck with Tamy. We each gave her a kiss on the cheek before turning to put on our seat belts.
“No love for your dear old dad? I’m not contagious, one of you could’ve sat up here with me,” our dad piped up gesturing to the empty passenger seat next to him. “Your just not as cute,” I signed to him, grinning cheekily. Tommy nodded his head in agreement and my dad pouted (there’s just something wrong with a grown man of his size pouting despite the round face and puppy dog brown eyes) before adjusting his mirror and then off to Platform 9 and ¾ we went!
“Rhonwyn!” My name was the only warning I had before I was tackled to the ground by a crazy red-head.
“Is that any way to treat a lady, Fred?” I heard George Weasley ask from somewhere above my head and over to my right. “Only my favorite ones, George,” piped up Fred right next to my ear. He had me trapped in a bear hug and I was quickly losing the ability to breath. I frantically started to tug on the back of his shirt, urging him to get off me. “Fred, she’s turning a rather odd shade of purple, maybe you should let her breath mate,” George said as he grabbed his twin and pulled him off of me. After dusting off his pants, Fred held out his hand and helped me off the ground.
Tommy just stood off to the side, laughing at me before greeting Fred and George with one of those man-hug things. You know the one with the hand grasp and half hug? Fred and George only ever do that with my brother. Ever since he saw it on some American muggle television show he’s been trying to get it to catch on at Hogwarts. Aside from indulgence from Fred and George, it just isn’t happening.
“Sorry about that love, I was just so excited to see you I couldn’t help myself,” Fred said with a cheeky grin on his face. I smiled at him to let him know it was ok. After all, bear hugs from Fred Weasley are pretty awesome, even though sometimes they leave you gasping for air (like I said, I love hugs!). George shoved his twin to the side and threw his arms around me. “Enough Fred, it’s my turn to share the love,” George told his twin after turning to face him with his arm over my shoulders.
Stopping them before they could get into a little squabble, I waved my arms to get their attention. “Yes Winnie?” they both said at the same time. “Oliver?” I mouthed to them, tilting my head to the side. I had yet to see my best friend anywhere on the platform. He also happened to be the love of my life, but let’s keep that to ourselves, shall we?
“We saw him earlier. He went ahead to get you guys a compartment, wants ‘privacy’ so you can discuss some new quidditch plays he came up with. I swear, you both are bloody ridiculous, we haven’t even arrived at Hogwarts yet!” Fred shouted behind me. I had taken off dragging my trunk behind me as soon as he said “compartment” and “quidditch plays”. What can I say, I’m obsessed with quidditch. I’m almost as bad as Oliver. Almost.
My dad had already left with Annie earlier. At first she was excited to see the train, but when she realized that Tommy and I were really leaving she started having a fit so dad wished us a final farewell and took her home after having to pry our shirts out of her tiny fists. That little girl has a grip of steal, I tell you.
I shoved my way through the crowd and finally made it onto the Hogwarts Express. The corridor was extremely crowded, making it almost impossible to move. Of course, all I could do was smile apologetically every time I elbowed someone or ran over their foot. Finally I saw a head full of brown hair poke out of the compartment to my right looking around. “There you are!” Oliver beamed before heading towards me.
He wrapped me up in his arms and then it was just me and him in that corridor as I hugged him back. I buried my head in his chest and was surrounded with his clean, woodsy scent and I could feel my heart racing in my chest….wait….is it my heart or his that’s beating so fast? We got jostled by another student and the moment was broken before I could pursue that line of thought further. He pulled away and smiled at me.
“Let’s get out of this mess and into the compartment,” he said in his Scottish brogue. Every time he speaks it makes me a bit weak in the knees, but after being his friend for so long, it’s rather easy to hide it. I nodded my head and he reached over and grabbed my trunk from me. I followed him back to the compartment he secured for us and sat down near the window. He put my trunk away on the rack opposite of where I was sitting and I couldn’t help but watch his back muscles move under his fitted long sleeved shirt as he pushed the trunk over.
Looking around I noticed that we were in the first compartment we ever sat in together and I couldn’t help but think back to when we first met.
I was a tiny first year, barely clearing 4 and a half feet and absolutely terrified of having to spend so much time away from my family. I didn’t let my fear show on the outside though. I held my chin up and walked around with a false confidence that fooled most people into thinking I was a second year, despite my size. As I was looking around for an empty compartment, or at the very least one full of friendly faces, I heard a brief commotion a little bit ahead of me. I kept walking and eventually ran into a couple of first years that seemed about two seconds away from blasting each other to bits with their wands.
“Admit it Wood, your family is full of filthy blood traitors,” a rather nasty looking boy spat. His black hair was cut short to his head and already you could see that his teeth were growing in slightly crooked. He had an ugly sneer on his face and seemed to be the one that was trying to get a rise out of the other boy.
“Shut your mouth Flint! Better to be blood traitors than stupid prejudiced pigs!” The other boy said back. This boy was rather nice looking. He had soft brown hair and brown eyes that were slightly lighter than mine. His Scottish accent was very pleasant to listen to as well. I connected the name Flint to the nasty looking boy and Wood to the Scottish accented one.
I stood there admiring Wood’s vocabulary (very impressive for one so young) and I noticed that as Wood lowered his wand and turned around to go back into his compartment, all the while muttering something along the lines of “done with this oaf”, Flint raised his wand and was preparing to cast a jinx at Wood’s back. Quickly, without even thinking, I grabbed my own wand from my boot (a place I like to keep it to this day) and cast the Jelly-Legs jinx on Flint. He dropped his wand in surprise and Wood turned around and started laughing when he noticed Flint trying to find purchase on the wall to keep from falling to the ground due to his useless legs.
I silently cast Flagrate and spelled out in the air ‘He was trying to jinx you while your back was turned’ to explain my interference with Wood. He looked surprised for a moment before looking angrily back at Flint. “You’re the piece of filth. Go find some other pigs to bother,” he raged at him. Wood then turned to me and softened, “Thanks. You can come sit in my compartment if you want.”
Excited at finally having somewhere to sit and the potential of a new friendship, I smiled at him and then followed him into the compartment. He helped me get my trunk onto the overhead racks and then we sat across from each other. “My name is Oliver Wood,” he introduced himself. I finally had something else to call him other than Wood. I spelled out with my wand ‘I’m Rhonwyn Hawthorn, but you can call me Winnie if you want.’
“Why are you spelling out words with your wand? Can’t you just say them?” Oliver asked me. Being mute is very rare in the Wizarding world so I didn’t take offense to his question and just sadly shook my head no. “Oh, sorry…” he trailed off. I was hoping at that point that he wouldn’t get weirded out or decide we couldn’t be friends. “Well, do you like Quidditch?” he asked.
My face lit up immediately and I started to spell out eagerly all my favorite things about Quidditch. That started off a huge discussion on our favorite positions and such and cemented our friendship.
A few days later we were sitting next to each other in the Great Hall for breakfast. We had been extremely happy and excited when we both ended up in Gryffindor together (we were so busy discussing Quidditch on the train that talking about what house we were hoping for completely slipped our minds until we were standing in the Great Hall waiting to be sorted). That nasty bugger from the train, whose name I learned to be Marcus Flint, ended up in Slytherin. Our hate for that house started right then and there.
The Owl Post came and one tawny little owl dropped off a book shaped package in front of Oliver. I looked on curiously (he shouted a quick “Yes!” when he saw the package, it was obviously something he was expecting/hoping for) as he ripped off the brown paper the book was enclosed in. He held it out happily before handing it over to me so I could see what book it was. The book was a hunter green color and with bold gold writing on the cover said “Sign Language: A Guide to Communicating without Speaking, by Tracius Cornapy”. As I stared at the book in my hands in shock, Oliver went on to explain that he owled his mother our first night at Hogwarts and asked her to get him a book or something that would help him understand me since he figured there was a faster way to communicate rather than me constantly spelling out everything. After I threw myself at him and gave him a hug in thanks, he grabbed the book and started reading through it. That was the moment Oliver Wood became my best friend.
Oliver sat down across from me, like the first time we met, and grabbed his Quidditch playbook which was on the seat beside him. Oliver is a brilliant Quidditch Captain and even better Keeper. His dedication to Quidditch is something I’ve always admired about him. His plays are pure genius and it wouldn’t surprise me if after he aged out and was forced to retire as a professional player, seeing as there was no way he wasn’t going to go on to play professionally after Hogwarts, he went on to Coach and strategize.
We spent a few hours discussing Quidditch and preparing for tryouts for the Reserve team (the main team being full) before the watch on my wrist started to heat up. “I have to get going to the Prefects compartment for the meeting,” I signed to Oliver. He briefly looked disappointed before sitting back and waving me off to my meeting. Slightly put off by his dismissal, I pouted and stared at him until he finally cracked a smile. “Fine, I know, I know, you’re Head Girl and you have to go to this meeting. Just make sure you come straight back as soon as you’re done,” he told me. I smiled and nodded my head at him then left the compartment. Fred and George were right outside about to walk in.
“Have you had a chance to see what we did to Percy’s badge yet?” They both asked at the same time. I shook my head no and they started to laugh hysterically. Sometimes it’s a bit creepy when they align their words and actions like that. “Wait until you see it,” said Fred. “He’s absolutely furious and can’t change it back,” George added. This made me a little more enthusiastic about my meeting so I gave them a thumbs up in approval (because even though I didn’t know what they had done yet, anything that pisses that idiot off gets a seal of approval) and took off towards the Prefects compartment.
Percy was already there and glared at me when I walked in. “You’re late,” he sniffed at me. I spelled out in response, ‘The Prefects aren’t going to be here for another 10 minutes and we already decided on their tentative schedule during the summer. This meeting is only to briefly introduce ourselves and give them the password to their respective houses as well as their schedules.’ I then took a closer look at his badge. Upon seeing what the twins did to it, I fell onto my seat clutching my stomach in laughter. The twins had configured his badge to say “Bighead Boy” and the pun was very appropriate.
When I had gone to the Burrow during the summer to meet with him about the schedule, Percy was walking around as if he owned the place, nose in the air and everything. It didn’t help that Mrs. Weasley was constantly gloating about his accomplishment. It took the wind from his sails a bit when she started to gloat about me being Head Girl as well, but it wasn’t enough to make him bearable.
Percy looked at me sternly and waited for my laughter to subside. I could have undone the twin’s little configuration, but I decided that Percy looked a lot better with his modified badge. When I finally stood up and straightened my shirt, the other Prefects were trickling into the compartment. That was when Percy decided to call me out.
“Why aren’t you in your robes? And where is your badge?” I rolled my eyes at him and spelled out that it isn’t necessary to wear our robes until we were at Hogwarts. He was about to have a go at me before a glare from my brother, who had just walked in, shut him up. I love Tommy, he is just so intimidating! The only reason I’m intimidating is because people know what I am capable of. The last person to walk in, which I was very surprised about, was Penelope Clearwater. It must have really gotten to her that I received the Head Girl badge and she didn’t. She went over and pecked Percy on the lips (ew!) before sitting down. The only reason it’s so gross is because it’s Percy and Penelope. I like couples, it’s usually very sweet but they make me gag.
The meeting went by quickly (I interrupted Percy before he could get into a long rant when we introduced ourselves) and before I knew it, I was back in the compartment with Oliver and the twins. While I was gone, Lee Jordan (fellow prankster and Quidditch commentator) joined those in the compartment and so had Angelina Johnson (another Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team). Tommy and I had walked back together from the meeting (surely to make sure Penny didn’t try anything, she was glaring at me the whole meeting in between shooting loving looks at Percy) and I took a seat next to Oliver while he sat across from me next to Angelina.
“Hey Winnie,” Angelina greeted me. “Winnie!” Lee had been in such an intense discussion with the twins that he only noticed that I arrived when Angelina greeted me. I returned his hug and sat back to lean my head against Oliver’s shoulder. He grabbed my hand and we started to absently play with each other’s fingers, both of us lost in thought, when all of a sudden the train stopped.
“Whoa! What’s going on?” “Is everyone ok?” “What just happened?” Everyone started talking at once and I banged against the wall of the compartment with my fist to get everyone’s attention. I put my finger to my lips and pointed at the windows which had started to frost over. My heart filled with dread when I saw the shadowy figure at the door before it slid open. Almost right away the screaming in my head started. I could hear my mother’s killers, her cries and began to relive her death all over again. I put my hands over my ears, curled into a ball against Oliver’s side and began sobbing, begging for it all to stop.
I had realized too late what they were. Reading about them in text books is one thing, but steeling your mind against them and experiencing what they do to you is something completely different. My heart filled with dread because as soon as I saw the shadowy figure I knew exactly what boarded the train.
A/N: Thank you so much for all the reads! And a huge thanks to Moldy Wart for your review! My best friend though I should split this up into two chapters but I couldn't bring myself to stop anywhere else! I had originally planned on this chapter ending with their arrival at Hogwarts but as I was writing...well I wrote a lot more than I thought I would and things didn't go according to plan (as far as where it should end).
Let me know if the length really is too long I'll try to find some way to shorten any future chapters but for now I hope you've enjoyed what you've read so far!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything else that came from the mind of JK Rowling. I only own my little additions to her epic story.
Chapter 3: There's No Way to Describe What You Do to Me
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Disclaimer: I sadly do not own Harry Potter, just anything from my own imagination.
Thank you to my reviewers! Jweasley and LeeAnn thank you so much for reviewing! I’m sorry this update came really late but I hope to have future chapters up sooner.
I could see a flashing bright light through my closed eyelids and suddenly, the screaming stopped. I slowly opened my eyes and looked straight into Oliver’s concerned face. “Are you all right, Wyn?” he asked me. Shakily, I nodded my head yes and dug around in my pocket for the chocolate frog I had stuffed there earlier. After taking a couple of bites, I felt immensely better and I handed the rest to Oliver. Angelina was tucked against George, shuddering while George ran his hands soothingly down her back.
Lee and Fred started speaking excitedly, “horrible feeling that was,” “I thought I would never feel happy again.” I felt someone grab me and pull me into a hug. “That was horrible, Sissy. Are you okay?” Once again, I nodded my head and returned Tommy’s hug. I pushed him off and signed, “Check the other compartments and make sure the other students are okay. I’m going to go look for the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.”
I ignored Oliver’s protests and walked out of the compartment. Kids were poking their heads out of their compartments, wondering what was going on. I cast a spell that wrote a burning message in the air for each compartment, “Please stay in your compartment and do not go out into the corridor. We will answer any questions you have shortly.”
I saw the professor enter a compartment ahead and rushed towards him. When I went in, I saw Harry Potter sitting up on the ground, looking alarmingly pale. The professor was handing him a block of chocolate. Harry looked up and saw me. “Harry, are you all right?” I signed to him. Oliver gave him the sign language book back when Harry was in first year and saw us getting close. I had taken Harry under my wing, knowing what it was like having people stare at you for a past you don’t want to have.
“He bloody fainted. What the hell is going on Winnie?” Ron asked from his seat on the right. I had not noticed the youngest male Weasley and sure enough, Hermione Granger was sitting right next to him. On the opposite seat was Faye Weasley, a slim, red – haired Ravenclaw third year (and Ron’s twin sister) who was looking at Harry with relief in her gray eyes. Before I could answer, the professor spoke up.
“I believe they came on the train looking for Sirius Black.”
“Why would Sirius Black be on the train?” Faye.
“Because they think he’s looking for Harry!”
At that, everyone looked at Hermione. She turned a little pink at the sudden attention. “Well, it’s true. He is known to be one of You–Know–Who’s biggest supporters. I read an article in the Daily Profit that suggested he would want to go after the one who caused the downfall of his master.” At that, I looked at Harry, wondering if he had a chance yet to tell Ron and Hermione what he overheard.
Harry had gone straight to the bathroom to owl me after overhearing the conversation between Arthur and Molly Weasley while they were all staying in the Leaky Cauldron. I could read the anxiety in his words and I immediately owled him back that Hogwarts is the safest place he could be (aside from the whole Professor Quirrel being possessed by Voldemort and trying to kill him in his first year and the whole youngest Weasley, Ginny, opening the chamber from last year… On second thought, Hogwarts isn’t as safe as I’ve always believed, not that I’m telling him that).
I tapped on the professor’s shoulder and when he first turned around his eyes went wide with shock before he covered his expression up with a more concerned one. Huh. Wonder what that was about.
“Excuse me professor,” I spelled out in the air, “but what would you like me to tell the students? Have you sent a message to Professor Dumbledore?” He looked at me with confusion at first before his eyes flickered over to my Head Girl badge and I watched as the realization dawned on his face.
“Oh, you must be Rhonwyn Hawthorne, I already advised Albus-err Professor Dumbledore of the situation. Assure the students that there is no more excitement to be had as we continue to Hogwarts and to go ahead and change into their school robes as we will be arriving shortly, only 20 minutes behind schedule,” he informed me.
I lazily flicked my wand and the message “All will be explained at the feast by Professor Dumbledore, please change into your robes as we will be arriving at Hogwarts shortly,” appeared in all the compartments. Normally, the Head Girl or Boy would speak to make the announcement but Professor McGonagall came over during the summer to teach me the spell for written messages due to my disability. Speaking of professors…
“One more thing professor,” I spelled out, “but umm… What is your name?” I blushed; embarrassed that I hadn’t asked earlier, but in my defense he should have introduced himself. I saw the professor’s cheeks turn a little pink. “I’m so sorry. I’m Professor Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.” I nodded at him before checking on Harry one last time and then I went back to my compartment.
When I got there, Oliver immediately engulfed me in a hug. Sigh. Wrapped up in his arms I pulled away and jumped when I heard a crack. I looked around Oliver to see what was going on. Oh boy, leave it to Fred and George to make things normal and fun again. It seemed everyone had already changed to their robes and were enjoying themselves watching Fred and Lee play exploding snap while George acted as a commentator. I waved at everyone when they turned to look at me, grabbed my robes that I had left on my seat and walked out before they could ask me any questions.
“Come on, I’ll walk you to the bathroom, I need some peace from this madness anyway,” Oliver offered. I smiled at him and waited as he slid the compartment door shut. The train had gone back to normal but I have excellent hearing and could pick up people talking about how Harry had fainted. Oh no, I hope this dies down quickly, but knowing Hogwarts, it isn’t likely to happen. “Go on in, I’ll wait out here,” said Oliver before he propped himself against the wall.
I quickly scrambled into the bathroom and changed, taking out my Head Girl Badge from my pocket and pinning it to the front of my robes. I am not going to lie, as much as I grumble about being named Head Girl, I am very proud of the fact, too. However, I will never admit that aloud, you never know where Fred and George might be listening.…
Oliver straightened when I walked out of the bathroom and I looped my arm through his. He smiled down at me and my breath caught for a moment. He is so beautiful and it’s moments like these that I wish I could speak and tell him how I feel about him. Signing it to him just doesn’t quite have the same effect. I smiled back at him and he started to once again talk about Quidditch. A part of me was a bit disappointed, the moment had come and gone (like they always do) and I listened to him enthusiastically as he described a new play that was guaranteed to help us kick those Puffer’s butt.
The Great Hall was absolutely silent for a moment before it broke out into whispers after Professor Dumbledore’s announcement.
“Dementors? At Hogwarts? This is mad!”
“Hogwarts will become depressing with those things sucking the happiness out of us, just you wait and see.”
“Better stock up on some chocolate, mate, we’re going to need it.”
“Guess Potter better watch out.”
Across the Hall, I could see Malfoy pretending to faint and I winced when the Slytherin table broke out laughing.
“SILENCE!” Professor Dumbledore shouted. Once again everything was silent and he continued with his announcements.
“Now, on to more happier news, I would like to introduce you to your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Remus Lupin.” Everyone clapped politely, the Golden Trio and Faye cheering when Professor Lupin stood up in recognition. He sat back down after the clapping died down and Professor Dumbledore continued.
“I am also very happy to announce that, in lieu of Professor Kettleburn’s retirement, that Rubeus Hagrid will be our new Care of Magical Creatures professor.” At that most of the Gryffindor table broke out cheering, Harry making the most noise, and Hagrid…I’m sorry, Professor Hagrid nearly knocked the table over when he stood in recognition. His face turned red and he beamed happily our way. I pulled Harry down so that Dumbledore could continue on with the announcements and we could finally eat. Oliver, who was sitting on my left, chuckled at the force I used since I almost knocked Harry off his seat. I gave him a quick apology before I looked back at Dumbledore eagerly. I was famished and couldn’t wait for the feast to begin.
“One more announcement and then you may tuck in. One of our students is actually very well known in the muggle world. I am very proud to announce that our very own Head Girl, Rhonwyn Hawthorn, won the National Junior League Dance Championship this past summer and will be continuing on to represent Britain in the International Junior League Dance Competition this winter. Miss Hawthorn please stand.” The Hall went silent and I stood slowly as my face turned red with mortification. My friends in Gryffindor broke the silence and cheered obnoxiously, the rest of the Hall followed their example soon after. Oliver beamed happily at me as he fought with Fred and George to be the loudest one cheering.
I waved at everyone before I sat down quickly and faced my dinner plate. I couldn’t believe Professor Dumbledore announced it to everyone. Of course, he knew about the competition because I would have to leave the day before the winter break to work with my dance teacher and I needed his permission.
“Very well done Miss Hawthorne, I am sure you will do us proud. Now everyone, tuck in.”
Food appeared before us and people reached eagerly around to fill their plates. Despite my own eagerness earlier, I was slow to grab food, my own embarrassment at having been called out not quite having disappeared yet. Oliver turned to me once his plate was full.
“Why didn’t you say anything Winnie? This is huge!” Oliver looked at me sternly for a moment before stuffing his face. Attractive, isn’t he? Oh, who am I kidding, even while stuffing his face I find him adorable. What the hell is wrong with me?
He stopped for a moment to quirk his eyebrow at me and I sighed before giving in. “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, I already have enough to deal with, like the muggle media,” I signed. Being in the lime light of the muggle world is a tough thing when you are a witch and you have reporters following you everywhere. My owls this last summer were short and few since I couldn’t risk muggles finding out about that particular way of communication.
He gave me a brief look of understanding and then cleaned off his plate. Everyone talked around me as I delicately finished my own plate. Desert appeared and I grabbed a treacle tart. Special feasts are the only time I allowed myself to fully indulge with food. Due to dancing, I couldn’t necessarily eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and I was ok with that. I didn’t eat like a rabbit but I also didn’t pack away as much I could. It doesn't hurt that this keeps me light on my broom for Quidditch. Nope, doesn't hurt at all.
After the plates cleared off, I discreetly cast a spell that appeared on the Gryffindor’s empty plates with the new password. People jumped before looking at their plate curiously. “Gryffindor Password: Fortuna Major” blazed in red for a moment before it vanished almost as quickly as it showed up. Percy had already decided that he would be the one to lead the first years to the tower and so I walked up with my friends instead.
"Shrugging off Head Girl duties already?” Oliver teased. I smacked him in the shoulder before I smiled and shook my head. “Percy insisted that since he was the one to lead the first years the last few years, that he should be the one to lead them this year,” I signed with a sarcastic look on my face. Percy can be a right git at times (actually, make that all the time).
We veered off the path to the Gryffindor common room when we reached the sixth floor and with a quick wave goodbye to Fred, George and Jordan, Oliver walked me to the Heads dorms. We stopped in front of a portrait that would appear empty with the exception of a lone man but actually contained thestrals, the creatures that pulled our carriages to and from the castle.
“Well, this is me. Thanks for walking me but you better head back before curfew, Tommy has first patrol tonight,” I signed before I leaned in and gave Oliver a brief hug. I couldn’t afford to get lost in him again, especially since we were alone.
“Goodnight, Wyn,” he said softly before he surprised me when he leaned in and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before walking off. I stared after him in shock until he disappeared from my view. I shook it off and turned to the portrait. I took out my wand and placed the tip on the portrait. I focused on the word ‘Fundungus’ in my mind and the portrait swung open to let me into the common room.
I didn’t even bother to look around, just ran straight towards the indicated Head Girl room and collapsed on the bed in the room. I placed my hand on the cheek that still tingled from Oliver's lips. He kissed me. Granted, it was on the cheek but…he kissed me.
A/N: So, not as long, I know. I rewrote this chapter about a dozen times, not to make it longer but to make it flow better, I struggled a bit with it. This is just the awkward transition into an acknowledgement that Oliver might just feel the same about our dear Winnie. I mean, he kissed her on the cheek! It should be smooth sailing from here.
Honestly, the length of the chapters will vary depending on flow and mood. They won’t always be as long as the first chapter but I promise you that they will at least always be this length.
Thank you so much for reading!
P.S. I apologize for the formatting in this chapter and the HUGE spaces sometimes between paragraphs, had a bit of trouble with the editor and just decided to leave it as is.