Chapter 6 : New friends
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Harry didn’t know what to think, he had just met his daughter who he believed to have died sixteen years ago, and now she was gone again. Hermione burst into tears when Claudia ran off. “Hermione” Harry pleaded, “Please don’t cry”
“B-but Harry,” she sobbed, “Th-this is the second time we’ve l-lost her”
Harry put Angela down and instructed the little girl not to move, and then he went to Hermione. “Shhhh…It’ll be okay, this is a lot for her to handle in one day. She spent her whole life believe she was an orphan, and now she finds out that not only is she not an orphan, she also a witch, she just needs some time to let it all sink in, then I’m sure she’ll come back”
But that wasn’t true, Harry didn’t know if she would come back, but he hoped with all his heart that she would. “Uncle Harry” Angela piped up. “Did you know that girl?”
Harry sighed and looked down at the child, “Yes, that was your cousin Claudia sweetheart.”
From the crowd, Harry could see the whole group coming toward them. “Hey guys, we were looking for you.” said Ron.
They then caught sight of Harry comforting Hermione. “What happened?” asked Ginny.
Harry didn’t answer, Hermione just kept crying. Angela ran up to her father who picked her up in his arms. “Angela, what happened?” Ron asked his daughter.
“I don’t know, we just met Cousin Claudia, and when she left, aunt Hermione started crying.”
Claudia didn’t know what to do. She’d never felt so awful, not because of meeting her parents, but because she ran away. She had been taught never to run from anything, but there she was, running away like a baby, she wondered what would happen if the people from the agency could see her. Dunsworth would be so disappointed and probably fire her. Andrea would be there laughing at her cowardice, and if Mrs. T was still alive to see this (She died a few years ago) She wouldn’t say anything, she would just look at Claudia the same way she had that day when Claudia was twelve. Claudia would never forget that day…
She was just finishing up another day in training. The instructor had one last thing in store for them. He brought them a room that he said had a virtual reality simulator inside, each one of us would go in one at a time, and have to beat the simulator in order to get out. Andrea went in first. She came out Twenty minutes later with o smug look on her face. Then went Lydia, then a boy Claudia only knew as Joseph, and then Liam, then it was her turn. She entered without fear, feeling that she could beat whatever they threw at her; she was in for a big surprise.
Things started out okay, the usually drones, enemy agents, nothing she hadn’t dealt with before. Suddenly, everything changed, now she had to beat a top class enemy, underwater. She didn’t realize it until she suddenly felt the ground below her vanish and plunged into the water.
She had a reputation there of being fearless. Everyone thought she wasn’t afraid of anything. They were wrong of course. Everybody is afraid of something, even Claudia. She never told anyone, not even Lydia, but she was afraid of water. She had been for a long time. She didn’t know why, she just knew she always had been.
When she fell into the water, she almost lost it. She tried to swim to the top, but she forgot which way it was. She could feel her lungs wanting to gasp for air, everything was getting dark, her lungs were about to burst…she closed her eyes and waited for the end…She was the only one who didn’t complete the assignment.
They got her out a few seconds later. The first thing she saw was Andrea’s smirking face. “Well, well, well” she said, “It looks like the fearless Claudia, is afraid of something after all.”
Everyone started laughing except for Lydia and Liam who tried to help her up. Disgusted with herself, she pushed them away and did it herself. The instructor looked furious, Mrs. T just looked disappointed. If looks could kill, everyone in the room would have immediately dropped dead when Mrs. T gave her that look. Claudia was so upset with herself. That day, she made a silent vow to be the best agent they had ever had. She never wanted Mrs. T to look at her like that ever again.
END OF FLASHBACK---------------
Claudia sat down at what looked like an ice cream shop and just stared down at her napkin. Suddenly, a man approached her. “What would you like miss?” he said.
Claudia looked up at him; he was an old man with a cheerful look on his face, like he didn’t have a care in the world. Claudia wondered how it felt. “What?” she said.
“I said what would you like?” he repeated.
Claudia just looked down hoping he’d take a hint, and walk away, he didn’t. “I’ve seen that face before, something’s bothering you, and I have just the thing to cheer you up.” Before she could respond, the man walked away.
She knew that nothing this man did could cheer her up. Ten minutes later, he came back with a huge ice cream sundae. “Here you go; this’ll cure anything that’s bothering you, trust me.”
Again he left, even though she knew it wouldn’t help, Claudia took a bite. It was surprisingly good. Once he finished, he returned again. “That’ll be three galleons please” he said and held out his hand as if to take something from her.
Confused, Claudia said, “galleons?”
“Yes, Galleons” he said. Claudia didn’t know what to do, she had no idea what a galleon was, and she figured it was wizard money, problem was, she didn’t have any.
As if sent from above, another person suddenly appeared, “I’ll get that” she said and handed the man three gold coins. He walked away and Claudia looked up at the person who helped her. It was a young girl of about sixteen with long blond hair and green/hazel eyes; she was petite and had a big mouth.
Thanks” Claudia said.
“No problem” said the girl, ‘You’re lucky I was coming here and had some spare change on me. Usually I don’t help strangers, but you don’t look all that strange to me.” She laughed and continued, “I was just coming here to meet my brother, but of course he’s late as always, he hasn’t been on time to anything a day in his life, not to class, not to detention, not even to my birthday party, he shows up an hour late and then realizes he forgot my present, god it’s annoying, when he gets married someday, I hope it’s to something who doesn’t mind his lateness, but I don’t know if anyone could ever understand that, by the way I’m Lucy Kelley, what’s your name?”
Claudia could see that this girl’s big mouth suited her, she talked so much, Claudia could hardly follow it, though what she had got was that she was meeting her brother, he was always late, and her name was Lucy Kelley. She held out her hand and they shook “Claudia” she said.
“Claudia, wow, that’s such a cool name, I wish I had a cool name like that, when I was younger, I wanted to change my name to Vanessa. I knew this girl named Vanessa, and I just wished it were my name, but my dad said no, I’m named after my grandmother so I’m stuck with Lucy.”
“Lucy’s a nice name” Claudia responded.
“That’s what everybody says” Suddenly, Lucy looked up past Claudia “Finally he’s here, and it’s about time to.” She said.
Claudia looked up at the boy coming toward, even though Lucy said he was her brother, this boy didn’t look anything like her, he was tall with shaggy black hair and grey eyes that, for some reason, Claudia felt she had seen somewhere before. All and all, this boy was very good looking. He smiled at Lucy and sat down. “Where have you been” Luck asked, clearly annoyed.
“Around” he answered causally, and then he noticed Claudia. “Who’s your new friend Luc?”
“First of all, don’t call me Luc, you know I hate that, second of all, this is Claudia, Claudia, this is my brother Jerry she said and smiled at her brother, now he looked annoyed.
“Ignore my sister,” he said to Claudia, and then he cupped his hands to his mouth and whispered “She’s mentally challenged.”
“I heard that” Lucy said loudly, sounding offended.
“It’s Claudia right?” he asked.
“Yeah, and you’re Jerry?” Claudia answered.
“No, my sister just says that to annoy me, I prefer to go by my real name” he held out his hand to shake, “I’m Gerard Martin” he said. Claudia took his hand and shook.
“So,” said Gerard, “do you go to Hogwarts, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen you there?”
“No, I don’t go to Hogwarts” she responded, she remembered Harry telling Hogwarts was the school he went to, he didn’t tell her much else about it.
“Too bad, Hogwarts is great” said Lucy, “I’m going into my fifth yeah this year, Gerard’s going into his sixth, how old are you” she asked.
“I’m sixteen” said Claudia, this girl was very nosy.
“Then you’d be in your sixth year too” said Lucy.
Claudia had been wondering something ever since Gerard had arrived, but she had not asked in fear of being rude. Then she remembered that she killed people for a living, why was she worried about being rude. “Say uh, not to be nosy or anything, but you said you were brother and sister right?”
Gerard and Lucy glanced at each other. “Yeah” Lucy said.
“Then why do you have different last names?” she asked.
Gerard’s face fell a bit, Claudia instantly felt she’d said something wrong, “I’m sorry if I offended you in anyway” she said.
“No it’s okay, see, Lucy’s actually my step-sister” he said.
“Oh, that explains it.”
“Yeah,” said Lucy, “His mom married my dad, his real dad died when he was a baby, along with his twin sister Nancy, You-know-who killed them.”
“LUCY!” Gerard yelled.
“Sorry” said Lucy hanging her head.
“Hey, don’t feel bad, I lo-
She stopped there, what she was going to say was ‘I lost my parents years ago’ but then she remembered that she really hadn’t, she found herself wondering where they were. Claudia stood up to leave. “Uh, I got to go, it was nice meeting you too.”
“Were you going?” Lucy asked.
“Uhh…to meet my parents” she responded. “But maybe I’ll see you again sometime”
“Okay, bye” said Gerard.
“bye” said Claudia.
She didn’t understand why he looked so familiar. She didn’t think she’d seen him before, and yet she felt she had, it made no sense. She turned around and started to leave, and then she realized, she had no idea how to get back.
“You do know where you going right?” Lucy asked from behind her.
She turned around to face her, “Of course I do, I’m going back to…uh, that uh pub uh”
“The leaky cauldron?” Lucy supplied.
“Yeah, that place”
She started to turned again when Gerard spoke up, “Your have now idea how to get there do you?”
Claudia really didn’t want to answer this, she preferred to do things herself, with nobody’s help, and she had a feeling that if she said no, they would insist on showing her the way. She was right. She didn’t even have to say anything; they seemed to have read her mind. They both got up and came over to her. “Come on, we’ll show you the way” said Lucy, and with that, they walked into the crowd, reluctantly, Claudia followed suit.
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