Chapter 9 : September 16, 1982
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The day dawned grey, grim, and dull. Clouds covered the sky and there was a light drizzle of rain. Nymphadora woke up early like she always did on mornings like this one. After a restless ten minutes roaming her father's study, Nymphadora decided to go bug her aunt. Since no one else seemed to be up, she tiptoed down the hall and carefully around the small table she always knocked into. Instead, she accidentally knocked over the one a little farther down.
She walked into Jasmine's room to find her awake, holding a coffee cup, and standing by while staring out the window.
Jasmine turned around to face her. "Yeah, hun?"
"What are ya doing?"
"Oh. Will you play a game or something with me?"
"Sure, which one?"
"I don't know."
Jasmine chuckled. "Well tell me when you do, alright?"
Jasmine resumed looking out the window. Nymphadora walked over to her to try and see what she was looking at.
"I don't see anything."
Nymphadora looked around again. "Nope."
"Well I do. Here-" Jasmine got on her knees to level their heights and pointed as she spoke "-there are some birds, see? Right over there. There's a squirrel, eating a nut. And over by that tree there's a dog that's...well, don't look at that dog." She stood up. "See? Lot's to look at."
Nymphadora nodded her head. "Yup, now I see!"
Jasmine smiled. "Good." Looking down at her niece's happy face made her want to continue smiling, but she couldn't. "Nymphadora."
Nymphadora gave her an annoyed look, everyone knew she hated her name.
"We need to talk about something, okay?"
"Here, sit down." Jasmine pointed to her bed and Nymphadora sat down. "Hunny, I'm going away for a while."
"Okay, how long?"
"A long time."
Nymphadora's smile suddenly vanished. "Why?"
"Because I need to see Hogwarts again. You know what Hogwarts is."
Nymphadora nodded sadly. "Will you ever come back?"
"You mean to live here? No, not always, only during school vacations. How's that sound?"
"NO! I want you to stay here!" Nymphadora's eyes being to fill with tears as she ran to Jasmine and threw her arms around her.
"I'm sorry, sweetie, but I have to do this."
Nymphadora started crying and Jasmine hugged her tightly. "I'm gonna miss you too. I'll think about you all the time, okay? I'll write whenever I can." Jasmine started tearing as well. She had no idea her niece would take it like this. "And I'll still be there next year, when you start."
"I know, but I want you here now!"
"I know, I know."
It was 4:18pm and Jasmine had finished packing. She was going to apparate to Hogsmeade with her old school trunk and get to Hogwarts in time for supper.
Good-byes were long and sad; Jasmine had become as much a part of the family as any of them, and no one wanted to see her leave. But Jasmine needed to, Hogwarts was her last connection to the Marauders, and she needed them, all of them. Even Pettigrew; he hadn't always been a traitor, he had once been her friend.
Jasmine drew her cloak tightly around her and securely held her trunk. With a last wave good-bye, she apparated into the streets of Hogsmeade. She walked down the familiar path she hadn't seen since seventh year and stopped at the doors.
Jasmine looked around and remembered everything from her school days. She even saw the Marauders, a wolf, rat dog, stag and fox, standing at the edge of the Forbidden Forest. She knew it was in her mind, but she felt she was home at last. The Marauders could always be found at Hogwarts.
Jasmine knew where her room was; it was the old Head Dorm. Apparently too many fights had broken out between past Heads that Dumbledore had discontinued use of the room.
She lugged her trunk outside the hidden door and said her chosen password, 'Marauders'. It looked just as it had when Lily and James had been Head Girl and Boy. She dropped off her trunk and headed for the Great Hall. Jasmine remembered every passageway and trick stair, but then again, she was a Marauder.
She got to the Great Hall and noticed three seats left at the Head Table. One was Dumbledore's, so she took the one next to Professor McGonagall. It took five minutes for all the students and the two Professors to file in.
Jasmine looked to the teacher who sat on her right and recognized that teacher. He was the only new one at the table as far as she could tell, besides the DADA teacher which changed every year.
"Black," Snape, a.k.a. Snivellus, snarled at her.
"Severus, Jasmine, please! Can you try to get along?" Professor McGonagall interrupted their would-be fight.
Snape and Jasmine each sent a disgusted look at each other before edging their chairs apart.
Silence fell over the Great Hall as Dumbledore rose. "As you may notice, there is a new addition to our staff table, Miss Jasmine Black. Miss Black will be starting a program after classes to teach Muggle defense and fighting. The first meeting is this upcoming Monday and you are all welcome to attend. Now, all formal business aside, tuck in." And the golden plates in front of staff and students magically filled with food.
Jasmine suddenly felt good inside, like she had when she ran away from her childhood home with Sirius. She knew she made the right decision in coming here - this was her life. everything important to her was connected here. She smiled, filled her plate, and began to eat like she hadn't since her school days. She didn't even notice the scarcity of applause; everyone had heard from their parents that she was mad and in league with Death Eaters, and the Slytherins heard 'Muggle defense'. But Jasmine wouldn't have cared even if she did notice, she was finally at peace.
"Still eating like a pig, I see, Black," Snape sneered at her.
"At least I don't resemble my food, greasy," she spat back at him.
Snape looked surprised. He hadn't expected her to be able to retaliate like that since all that had happened because even he could tell she wasn't her old self.
"Jasmine, Severus, please!" McGonagall practically begged.
"Sorry, Minnie," Jasmine told her.
"Miss Black, kindly do not call me that."
"Right," she smiled. Jasmine stuck her foot behind the front leg of Snape's chair and pushed, hard.
Snape toppled over backwards with a loud BANG! Jasmine cracked up with many of the students while the Slytherins scowled, looking as unconcerned as they could, and some teachers tried to help, or else covered their mouths with their hands. Not one person at the Head Table thought Snape fell on his own, especially after Jasmine said, "Be careful, Snivells, I think your hair is dripping."
Jasmine got back to the old Head Dorm and sat down on the bed with her feet dangling off the side. She sighed, laid back, and pulled out the knife. She had had it since her first year when she was dared to take something other than food from the kitchen. Jasmine had originally thought of a pot or pan, but wanted to see the look on the other Marauders faces when she came back with a lethal weapon.
She turned it over in her hand and found the spot on the handle where she engraved 'Marauder Whitetip'. Jasmine laughed to herself before engaging in an old habit; throwing the knife so the blade stuck in the top of the four-poster bed for a few seconds before falling into her hand. It was nothing of significance, but it was her favorite time waster during school, after pranking, even if pranking never was a time 'waster'.
As night fell, Jasmine sat up and looked out the window. So many familiar sights greeted her eyes: the Black Lake, the Whomping Willow, the Forbidden Forest, Hagrid's hut. The list went on. She never realized just how much she missed this place.
A/N: Please leave a review! I like this fic, but if no one's gonna read it...
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