Chapter 36 : Revelations
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Hermione, slightly nervous and slightly sick, still, watched as the sixth and seventh years came into the classroom. Quite a lot of them, all, really, remembered her, and all her old Gryffindor friends hugged her and asked why she was here. She just shushed them and asked them to take a seat. When the bell rang, Hermione took a deep breath. Back to the daily Hogwarts grind.
“Please take out a sheet of parchment and a quill,” she asked. “I am Professor Granger, I’ll be teaching your Defense Against the Dark Arts classes.”
Luna Lovegood, now an almost legal blond bombshell, raised her hand. “Professor?”
Luna seemed a bit confused, as did the rest of the class. “Weren’t you going to be an Auror? I heard you got a full scholarship to E.A.I.L.”
Hermione smiled as she sat up on the edge of her large, wooden desk. “Well, I’ve had a bit of a change of mind.”
Ginny, sitting in the first row and smiling smugly, exchanged a wink with Hermione. Her pregnancy was going to be kept from the student body until they figured it out on their own. Which Hermione expected to be some time round Christmas or New Years. Now, she hopped down from her desk and began the lesson on the Blazehood Kraken and how it was commonly used by the Dark Side.
Opening the compact as it flashed, you cast a glance at the clock. It was about four in the afternoon, and you had just gotten into the dorm from General Disguising with Professor Davies. She was already working everyone hard, and her soft, kind demeanor was completely misleading. Shaking your head and flopping onto your bed as Billy and Genny ambled in, you fully opened the compact. Fleur had taken to calling a lot, lately, usually out of boredom and to report on Hermione and Penelope.
“Fleur? Wow, I feel shunned.”
You felt your eyes fly open and you lurched up so violently your little bed shook. “Harry?!”
He smiled back at you. “Hey...”
Words completely failed you at that moment, and all you could do was stare at his face in the compact mirror and thank god Fleur had given it to you. He smiled, looking tired, and you noticed everything about his face, as if you’d forgotten just how he looks when not shaved. Forgotten how the light hits his eyes at nine at night.
“What, no hi?”
Letting out the breath you hadn’t known you’d been holding, you laughed. “Of course you do. Hi, what’s going on over there?”
Genny and Billy were giving you looks of sad happiness and a slight interest, but you ignored them, standing and walking out into the hall. Somehow it was more personal out where no one would pay any attention to you.
“It’s... good. Second day of school for Ron and I and it’s already hard.”
“Your first and second day was hard?!” you asked. “Try having my first and second days, and the past almost month! My first day I had a boggart pretending to be you, dead!”
Somehow you managed a laugh. “Professor Vedera’s class, my Defense course. This cabinet of hers makes any opponent to fight. Evidently my boggart is no longer a Dementor.”
“That’s horrible!” Harry said.
Making a face, you shook your head, “Actually, I don’t like Dementors.”
Harry managed a wan smile. “No, I meant that cabinet. What else does it do?”
“Vampires. Real Dementors. That kind of thing,” you sighed. “In fact, I got bit.”
“By what?!” Harry exclaimed loudly enough for a passing student to glance over.
Glaring at him till he minded his own business, you said, “The vampire. But it was ok, he didn’t get any blood out.”
Harry was shaking his head. “That woman is insane.”
“Well, how’s your schooling, then?” you asked, staring at him and wishing he were here.
Harry shrugged. “Let’s just say that the E.A.I.L. is something else. It’s like.... a whole underground world.”
“It’s got these huge underground chasms that are places in the world. Cities. Jungles. Oceans. With real buildings and people and animals and water,” Harry said.
You noticed how tired and sad he looked. “That’s something else.”
“The Jungle has got actual native people that hunt animals down there. They can’t reach the classrooms, they’re up on ledges about a hundred feet up from the trees. But they still shoot arrows and stuff.”
“Freaky stuff,” you said softly.
Harry nodded, trying to flatten his messy black hair. “The city has helicopters and cars, too. Smells and feels like an actual urban city- it’s even got pollution. And the sad part is is all those Muggles down there aren’t real and they don’t know it.”
“I just wish I could see that place! All of it!” you said.
Harry smiled wanly. “But you could!”
Sighing, you tiredly shook your head. “Harry, we already went over this.... I can’t go to the E.A.I.L. Not now. The time for changing my mind was a month ago. I’m already three weeks ahead of you guys, I’m at too high a level. And I’m sure they don’t cram it down your throats like they do here.”
Harry let out a snort. “Hardly. But.... I miss you, Amelia.”
You felt your heart deflating as fast as seeing him had repaired its brokenness. “I miss you too, Harry...”
There was silence for a moment, before he sniffed slightly and smiled. “Hey, do you know what today is?”
Thinking for a moment, a light of dawning reached you and you nodded, smiling sadly. “I do.”
“Appropriate choice of words,” he managed a chuckle.
Nodding, you quickly blinked back tears. “Have the others mentioned anything about it?”
Harry shook his head, glancing around his dark bedroom, which you could barely see. “Nope. I think they didn’t want to remind me.”
“That’s good, at least....”
The two of you lapsed into a sad silence, you watching him as he fidgeted with the ring on his hand. That automatically made you reach and pull at the chain round your neck, holding two rings and the Seer’s pensive. It wasn’t safe to wear these rings, nor Harry his, when in public places. Both of you knew that, so neither mentioned anything about not wearing them in public places. The only jewelry you wore on your hands was your promise ring, on your thumb where Harry had put it so many years ago. Through the mirror you could see his on his thumb, too. Watching him fiddle with it, you saw the chain it used to be on round his neck and disappearing under his Quidditch shirt.
“I love you, Harry,” you said softly, biting back tears. “You know that, right?”
He looked up and nodded, “Of course I do.”
There was another silence, before he managed a smile. “Hey, isn’t Hermione’s baby shower soon?”
“October 13th is hardly what I would call ‘soon’,” you said dryly.
Harry chuckled softly. “Humor me. Before you know it it’ll be time for the party and you’ll be back here for a day or two.”
Smiling slightly, you nodded, running a hand tiredly through your hair and glancing round the empty hallway. “I really look forward to it.”
“Mia, why can’t you just do what Hermione does?” Harry asked. “Come home on the weekends?”
“I have class on Saturday, Harry,” you sighed. “And work on Sunday.”
“Bill, Gen, and I got jobs.”
“Aaah I see....”
Another silence lapsed, somehow sadder than the last.
“I love you, Mia.”
“I love you too, Harry,” you whispered, trying not to let the tears slide. “I’ve got to study and you need your sleep.”
Harry nodded, honestly looking tired. “It’ll be worth it in the end.”
Smiling, you waved. “Happy month, love.”
He smiled and you both closed your compacts, Harry’s long since fashioned into a cigarette case. Staring at the paint peeling off the wall, you could do nothing but shake with silent, suppressed tears. The past few weeks had been going so well, you hadn’t been missing home too much.... But now it fully hit you what you’d left behind. Taking a shuddering breath and biting back tears, you tucked the compact into your pocket and went back into the dorm room.
Billy and Genny were silently studying, and didn’t glance over as you sank onto your bed. Drawing your knees up to your chest, you sat there a while, resting your chin on your knees. But slowly, a tear surfaced and ran, before it was followed by others. Genny and her long time amigo exchanged deeply knowing looks that you tried not to understand. Billy came and sat down next to you.
“I didn’t think it would be this hard...” you whispered.
“I know...” Billy said softly, wrapping a small arm around you.
It was sort of shocking how small she was, but at the same time her embrace was warm, as if she wanted with all he heart to make the pain go away. Turning slightly, you let yourself cry into he fragile shoulder as she patted your back, shushing you like a small child. It was amazing how all the small things meant so much, and every one of them had been absent in your childhood. Sure, Mrs. Aplethearry had done this for you as a child, but somehow it wasn’t the same.
Time passed by in silence, before eventually you quieted. Billy smiled encouragingly, going over to her bunk and swinging up to the top of the bunk. Genny was listening to music, but looked very uncomfortable. She glanced over at you as you slowly got out folders for homework, remembering the long essays due for Davies in the morning. Silence returned to the room, punctuated only by the faint strains of heavy rock music from Genny’s ear phones. Shaking your head slightly, you wiped off the tears and started in on those essays.
However, at that moment, a new distraction presented itself.
A tapping sounded on the window, and all three of you turned to see a black owl. Literally, it was black. Feathers, talons, beak, beady eyes.... It looked as though it’d been down a very sooty chimney. It tapped on the window again, looking directly at you.
“Amelia!” called Billy, as if on a phone. “It’s for you!”
Managing a laugh, you stood and opened the window. The owl stayed on the sill, sticking out it’s leg. Attached was a black piece of parchment. Taking it, you felt curiosity eating at you.. Opening it, words written in white ink presented themselves.
Please do be a dear and stop by tonight for dinner. Well, tea. I’m forcing Ed to have tea, as well. In any case, please come by. Perhaps I can help you on a few essays. Oh, but do be sure to wear something black, dear. The newest spirit has taken to attacking anyone wearing bright clothing. Hopefully he’ll be agreeable....
See you at six! -Lorraine
Shaking your head, you let Billy take the letter out of your hands and read it. Genny read over her shoulder.
“Who’re these people?”
“Ed and Lorraine Warren... Owners of Warren’s Occult Museum,” you said.
“Ooh! I went there once!” Billy gasped. “They’re wizards?!”
Nodding, you checked the time. Somehow, you’d have to call Kasey and tell her you couldn’t be in today, it was already five. Shaking your head, you glanced at your dresser and remembered you didn’t own much black clothing.
“What?” asked Genny.
“I don’t have much black clothing with me,” you shrugged.
Billy and Genny turned to smile at each other in a way that slightly concerned you.
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