Chapter One - Wish
The light and warmth of the fireplace faded ever so slightly until there was naught but ashes. Strange, I thought, sitting on my stomach on the common room floor, how something so beautiful and so innocent could deteriorate into nothing.
I could still feel the spirit of the fire on my cheeks, yet sensing the chill of the night air flooding in from the open windows as well. It was always like this.
One. The grandfather clock preached to me once again that I was up late. I didn’t wait for the second to go off, as there wouldn’t be any more for another hour. One o’clock in the morning. Always, the fire would abandon me at this time. Thus, I always waited.
I peered into the dimming coals, expectantly. Nothing - as always.
Always was a beautiful word. Never-changing, continuous… I used it often. However much I liked the word, it didn’t change the disappointment that swelled inside me. If always didn’t change, then we can’t expect anything new. And I can’t expect that tomorrow – or maybe the next – will be any different.
Am I making no sense to you? Mind as well. Everybody else feels the same. I pulled myself up from my position and took a look at the remains of my fire in one last instance of hope.
The dryads hadn’t visited me again.
“…twelve dead in Leicestershire, muggle neighbors report green light glowing through the windows. ‘Obvious case of Avada Kedavra,’ says Gawain Robards, Head of the Auror Office in the Ministry of Magic, ‘Our hearts go out to the relatives of the victims, and know that we are doing everything in our power to bring these murderers to justice!’ The scene is still under investigation. See page three for tips on keeping your home safe…” Morag McDougal read out from my left, “Merlin, I’m sick of all this rubbish. Why isn’t Potter doing anything about this?”
“Isn’t it obvious? He’s too caught up in ogling the Weasley girl to pay attention to such trivial matters like death and war,” Michael Corner bitterly announced.
“Oh, you’re just jealous that she’s with him and not you,” Padma Patil grinned.
“Please. I’m over Weasley now. It was a mistake even looking at her. Have you ever talked to any of her brothers? They’re absolutely mad!” Corner rolled his eyes, but then stopped with a twinkle in his eye, “Of course, you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Paddy?”
“Stop calling me than, you know I hate –”
They were silenced by a scream, coming from a pretty Chinese girl that sat a few benches down from the group who had jumped to her feet. The whole hall seemed to have quieted as the other students forgot about their meals and conversations to look up at her.
“Su, what…?” Her friend stood next to her, putting her hand lightly on her shoulder, but her kind gesture was shrugged off.
“T-that’s my house! No, please!” She stumbled, almost falling to her knees while trying to make her escape through the entrance doors. Luckily, her friend had caught her before she could injure herself.
“What are you talking about?”
Su practically threw the paper at the girl and pushed her away from her roughly and ran from the hall in tears. The poor girl that held the Daily Prophet tightly in her hands looked after her in shock and disappointment. It was then that she looked down on the front page and saw the headline of the newspaper.
“Oh, no…” the girl dropped the paper, whispered something to the boy who sat next to her and ran after the girl named Su.
“It’s Su’s house that was attacked in Leicestershire,” he told his friends loudly, in a way that said he was trying to inform the school of what happened, yet trying to make it seem as if he was being respectful of keeping it known to only his friends.
“This is enough! How many have to die before Potter does something?” Corner exclaimed angrily over the exploding whispers of the gossiping students. “…before anybody does something?”
“It’s not Harry’s fault,” I spoke up, softly. “He didn’t cause all of this.”
“Oh, that’s right. You’re one of his little followers, aren’t you? What’s his excuse for not getting out there and helping everybody, huh? Oh, wait… silly me. He doesn’t need his excuses for you, does he? You have your own theories, don’t you, Lovegood?”
“Shut it, Michael,” Padma snapped, “She’s done nothing to you.”
“No, I want to hear what her theories are! Who really caused this, besides Potter? Little elves? Pixies?”
“I don’t think you’re very funny,” I looked up at him, talking quietly, “In fact, I think you are being extremely unkind.”
“It’s not her fault, it’s not Potter’s… will you get over your petty accusations? You know perfectly well that it’s You-Know-Who and his cronies – nobody else,” Lisa Turpin spoke up, “So leave the innocent people out of it, Corner, or I’ll hex you into next week.”
“Is that a threat, Turpin?”
“Yeah, it is, what are you going to do about it?” she leaned forward, poising to strike. I coughed, intrudingly. They glanced at me.
“If you fight too much, you’ll attract Lumpflail,” I continued, “Although as interesting as it may be to finally see one, it would be too dangerous with all these people around. They have these quills, see, and –”
“Oh, hush, Loony,” Corner snapped and shot a look at Lisa that looked as though he was blaming her for my presence. I couldn’t comprehend why though, and Lisa scowled at me and attacked her steak with her fork. I curiously watched Corner’s retreating back as he left the great hall.
“Really, Lumpflails are quite –”
“You know what, Luna? Nobody cares,” Morag snapped. “You know what people do care about, though? Sniggleporfs. I hear there’s a great book in the library all about them. I predict – through the awesome divination gift given to me by the power of Zigbad – that it would make a grand addition to the Quibbler.”
“You really are a jerk, McDougal,” Padma glared.
Sniggleporfs? Zigbad? I don’t recall ever hearing about such things. But Daddy was struggling to find good articles these days that didn’t deal with conspiracies and stories of the deceased bringing tales from the beyond. It had to be worth a shot, right?
I wish Morag would be my friend. She always knew of the best stories, and she was never mean to me. She looks like she swallowed tarantulas half of the time she talks to me, but I think that’s only because she detects the garlic perfume that I sometimes use. You see, I’ve had this long-time certainty that Morag McDougal was the child of a vampire, but it’s never nice to spill people’s secrets like that without their permission.
“What are you staring at?” McDougal folded her arms.
“You’re looking awfully pale, today, Morag,” I told her, with concern, “You might want to get checked out by Madame Pomfrey. I know how hard it must be for people like you in such sunny weather.”
“People like me…?” Morag asked, but I had already gotten up from my seat, heading for the doors. As I drew farther away from the seat, the volume of her voice grew quieter, “What is she talking about? People like me? What?”
Poor Morag. Her insecurities make her act so ignorant all the time. I think it would be so much easier for her if she had me to talk to. Like a friend.
I kept on dreaming.