Chapter 1 : Prologue
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Filius Flitwick’s eyes scanned the hallway in disapproval, sighing quietly. Stones that had previously been holding the corridor’s walls in place were now scattered across the floor, leaving the hallway in a state of disarray. A dusty haze floated about the school, and, occasionally, bits and pieces of the wall fell from their previous resting places and onto the floor the tiny professor was standing on.
The sight before him was certainly disconcerting. Never in his multiple years of teaching did he ever imagine the school to be in such a state. The destroyed hallway he stood in held so many memories; he couldn’t begin to imagine trying to piece the stones back into their proper places, trying to fix it all up again.
This was nothing, of course, compared to the destruction all around the castle. Voldemort’s followers had done a good job demolishing the school. Such an attack was meant to leave chaos like this.
Sighing once more, Flitwick rolled up his tiny sleeves, pulled out his wand, and proceeded to do a silent charm. The rubble before him moved to the side of the corridor, clearing a pathway through the destruction.
“You seem upset, Professor.”
Flitwick turned, recognizing the voice.
The Grey Lady glided towards him gracefully, her ghostly robes creating an almost billowing effect behind her. “Why are you not down at the feast?” she asked, smiling softly. “You must be famished, after all of the fighting tonight.”
“Not me,” Flitwick replied quietly, gazing up into her long face. “I suppose I just needed to be alone for a while.”
“I can leave, if you prefer...”
“No, no. Please stay.”
The two stood in silence for a moment, looking around at the surrounding rubble. The clinking of forks and the excited chatter from the feast wafted up the staircase behind them, but they paid no attention.
“Shall we walk?” the ghost asked hesitantly, searching Flitwick’s eyes for approval.
“Certainly, a walk would be nice.”
The couple made their way along the destroyed corridor, periodically breaking their straight line to dodge a fallen stone. The quiet hum of the festivities could still be heard from the lower floor, and the soft noises was almost comforting as they walked through the debris and wreckage of the castle.
“It was a fine battle, wasn’t it?” Helena inquired, staring thoughtfully through a gap in the outer wall. The hole revealed a view of the castle’s magnificent grounds: moonlight illuminating splotches of copper-stained grass, while the Forbidden Forest loomed ominously in the darkness.
“Yes, indeed,” the professor replied, smiling. “We have done what most thought impossible tonight, you know.”
The Grey Lady nodded, her wisps of shadowy white hair framing her face. “We all did such a magnificent job.”
“I could not be more proud of the students.”
The ghost sighed, and Filius looked up, surprised. “Surely you are not disappointed in the students, my lady?” he asked in a tiny, stunned voice.
“Of course not; not really...”
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” she murmured, “I just wish my noble house had done more for the fight.”
“Oh, but Ravenclaw was fantastic in the battle!" Flitwick stated defiantly. "Whatever are you talking about?” His squeaky voice echoed through the fractured hallway.
“I didn’t mean to upset you, Professor,” the ghost muttered, looking out over the surrounding grounds. “I merely meant that Ravenclaw did not participate as much as I would have liked them to.”
Flitwick nodded slightly. “I assure you, many students from our house fought. They fought well.”
“But many cowardly Ravenclaws shied away, afraid of the battle that lay before them,” Helena replied quietly.
“That is true, but many stayed and struggled with the rest of us. We have multiple brave fighters in our house, my lady. Several Ravenclaws stood up against Voldemort, alongside the army Hogwarts drew.”
The Grey Lady shook her head, still looking over the castle’s grounds. “We might have fighters,” she murmured, “but some of them don’t know exactly where their loyalties lie.”
Then it was Flitwick’s turn to shake his head. “Whatever are you talking about?”
“Have you forgotten, Professor? One of our very own has spent his life fighting for the wrong side. A Mr Barty Crouch, to be specific...”
The small professor sighed a deep, heavy sigh, and turned to face his ghostly friend. “He wasn’t always that way, Helena.”
“Barty was such a good boy. I remember when he first arrived at Hogwarts. Such potential...”
A/N: A huge thanks to tell_me_what_the_truth_is for the original organizing and Alopex for taking over later on and continuing to run the show.
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