Chapter 13 : Happy Halloween
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Chapter 13 - Happy Halloween
And every day he grew more excited as Halloween approached, the night the spell would wear off and he would meet Jenny. Halloween morning arrived and at breakfast, Harry had received a note from Dumbledore, asking him to come to his office that evening. So not long after dinner, Harry left Ron, Hermione, and Ginny in the common room and headed to the Headmasters office. After saying the password to the stone gargoyles – chocolate covered crickets – Harry found himself knocking on the door to Dumbledore’s office. The door creaked open just as he raised his fist to knock.
“Come in, Harry.”
Harry did as he was told and stepped into the office, noting that it looked the same as it had when he had been in there a few months prior, though the instruments he had broken in his anger were no longer there.
"Good evening, Harry,” Dumbledore greeted from where he sat in the chair behind the desk.
“Good evening, Professor,” he responded as he sat down in the chair in front of the desk. It was as he was sitting down that Harry noticed that Fawkes’ perch was empty and there was no sign of the phoenix anywhere in the office.
Dumbledore smiled, his blue eyes twinkling. “I see you have noticed Fawkes missing presence,” he stated. Harry nodded. “I sent him to keep an eye on your sister and alert me if any Death Eaters try to reach her.”
“So Voldemort knows where she is?” Harry asked.
“Not yet,” Dumbledore replied. “But he is very close. He knows she is in southern California and has Death Eaters searching for any sign of her. I fear he may receive news of her location before we arrive.”
Harry nodded. “When exactly do we leave?”
“Two a.m. our time,” he answered. “We will take a Portkey to a safe location in San Bernardino, an hour south of where she lives in Apple Valley. We will then fly to where she lives on the outskirts of the town, so remember to bring your broom. And your invisibility cloak; I having a feeling you will need it.”
“Yes sir,” Harry replied.
Now are you sure you are feeling okay?” Jessica asked her daughter as she pulled into the high school’s front parking lot. The lot was almost completely full, and the line to drop students off was long.
“Positive, Mom,” she nodded, then reached over and hugged her mother. “I’ll call you if I have any problems.”
“Okay hun,” Jessica replied as her daughter pulled away from her and exited the small truck, being careful with the long sleeves of the medieval dress she wore. Jenny closed the door and began to walk away as Jessica rolled down the window. “Have fun!”
"I will!” Jenny called back to her, turning around and waving at her before walking through the school’s front gate and joining the crowd of students heading towards the gym.
The school had announced the Halloween dance two weeks prior and Jenny had been determined to go, even if it meant lying to her parents and friends about her health. She wasn’t better at all; she actually felt pretty darn crappy. But she had to go to the dance, she just had to. She didn’t know why, but she felt as though something bad was going to happen. She didn’t know what or when, but it made her determined to spend as much time with her friends as possible.
As she got closer to the gym, she spotted Kyle, Lenitia, Chris, Cesily, Emily, and Lenny standing in line for tickets outside the door. She plastered on a fake smile, hoping it looked like she was genuine. If they found out that she was still sick, she knew that they would take her home immediately. Then not only would she be in trouble with her parents, but also her friends, and the last thing she wanted was them mad at her tonight.
“Hey guys,” she greeted as she walked up to where they stood in line. They turned at the sound of her voice, and she instantly saw the smiles vanish from their faces and replaced with shock and concern.
"Jen,” Kyle grabbed her arm and pulled her into the line beside him. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Well,” she began, shrugging slightly. “I was feeling a lot better, so I convinced my parents to let me come.”
“You should still be in bed,” Chris commented from where he stood in line behind Kyle. He knew something was going on and she was sicker than his mother had told them two days prior. She was hiding something and it concerned his friend’s health, but the problem was how to confront his mother about it and get her to spill.
Jenny sighed. “Guys, I’m fine, I swear,” she told them, the fake assurances coming easily to her lips. “Now can we just go and have fun?”
“Okay,” Kyle agreed reluctantly. “But if you start feeling bad even the slightest bit, you tell me and I’ll take you home.”
Jenny nodded in agreement. “Deal.”
She dropped to her knees in front of the toilet, thankful that she had worn her hair up as she threw up the punch and little food she had eaten in the past two days. She lifted her head away from the toilet, grabbing some toilet paper to wipe her mouth. As she fumbled around trying to pull the paper, someone grabbed her hand and placed a paper towel into her hand.
She turned her head to see Kyle squatting down in the stall behind her, smiling at her sadly. She used the paper he had handed to her to wipe her mouth before throwing it in the toilet. “You do realize this is the girl’s bathroom, right?”
“Yeah,” he replied quietly. “And I also realize that my best friend lied to us, saying she was better when she’s obviously not.”
“Sorry,” she muttered, turning around and flushing the toilet.
Kyle stood up and offered her his hand. She gratefully took it and, with his help, soon found herself on her feet. “Why did you tell everyone your felling better when you’re not?” he asked her as she walked over to the sink to rinse out her mouth.
Jenny grabbed a paper towel from the dispenser by the sink and wiped her mouth and chin dry before looking into the mirror. No amount of make-up could hide how pale she currently was, or the dark circles around her eyes. Her eyes then shifted to Kyle’s reflection in the mirror and she felt something in her chest twinge in fear. Kyle seemed to notice that something had frightened his best friend and stepped forward, placing his hand on her shoulder when she turned away from the mirror.
“Jen?” he asked, his voice barely above a whisper as he looked down at her in concern.
“I don’t know why, but I feel like something bad is going to happen,” she replied, her voice just as soft as his had been as she looked up at him, unshed tears shinning in her eyes. “Something that’s going to keep me from seeing you and Lenitia and everyone else here for who knows how long.” She looked away from him and down at the gray tiled floor beneath their feet.
“Hey,” he murmured, placing his free hand under her chin and gently lifting her head so she would look at him. “Nothing bad is going to happen, okay? I promise.” He removed his hand from her chin and reached down to take her hand in his, leading her towards the door. “Come on, let’s get you home.”
Jenny said nothing and simply let herself be pulled out of the bathroom. She wished she could believe Kyle’s words, but she just couldn’t. For the first time in their long friendship, he had made her a promise that she knew he couldn’t keep.
Jessica had been shocked to say the least when headlights had flashed through the shades in the living room window, telling her and Michael that someone had pulled into the driveway. She and her husband had both gone to the door to see who had come over at such a late hour, only to recognize the car and to see Kyle helping their still ill daughter out of his car. As Michael went to help Kyle with Jenny, Jessica manned the door. She was concerned for her daughter’s health and a bit angry that she had lied to them about feeling better.
Sure Jenny had lied to her parents before, but only about little things. Such as who had eaten the last fudgsicle or whether or not she had done her homework. Okay, so the latter was kind of a big deal, especially when she was behind in classes due to focusing so much on choir. But lying about her health like this was something that Jessica never expected, and she was sure that Michael felt the same way. But nothing would be said about the lie tonight. That conversation could wait until the morning.
Now Jessica sat beside her sleeping daughter, who had been asleep the two hour since she had been home. It was getting close to midnight and Jessica knew she would have to get to bed soon; she did have work in the morning after all. Thankfully Jenny had not vomited once home nor in Kyle’s car when he had driven her home. Jessica sure liked that boy. When the two were in middle school, after several years of not seeing each other due to Kyle having to transfer to Victorville after his parents’ divorce, the two had tried to be a couple and Jessica had to admit that they were a cute couple and she would love to have him as a son-in-law. Though at that time she knew she was getting ahead of herself.
However, the relationship didn’t work out between them and they went back to being good friends. So much for that, she had thought at the time. But Kyle continued to come around after their mutual break up and the two became extremely close friends, so maybe after everything Jessica would still get the son she never had. But for now, she was extremely grateful to the boy that had brought their sick daughter home.
Jessica brushed back the bangs from her daughter’s forehead before dropping a soft kiss onto the warm skin. “Love you, sweetheart,” she whispered. Her daughter mumbled in her sleep in response to her mother’s words. She then pushed herself off the bed and left the room, closing the door behind her as she walked towards the living room where he husband sat watching late night television. She never saw the bright light shining in the room she had just left, where the spell on her daughter finally wore off. In a flash of white light, Jennifer Corral was gone. Jennifer Potter had returned.
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