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Chapter 4 : Yearning for Answers
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The following day came at full speed for Phoebe. She was one of the first to wake and got dressed first, in hopes that she and Tonks could have a wander so they could find their way round. She looked at her watch and sighed. Seven o'clock in the morning was a little too early. Nonetheless, she continued to get ready and after slipping into her new uniform, she put on her shoes and crept out of the common room. She whispered through the painting at the exit with no idea where she was going.
She then continued up some stairs that didn’t appear to be moving, and seeing as they looked stuck to the floor she knew that they couldn’t. However, after running up them at top speed, Phoebe found herself stuck by the main, moving staircase. After many attempts, she finally reached the main entrance. As she tugged at the door handles, Phoebe realised that the entrance hall doors were locked. Without realising, Phoebe shakily pulled out her wand, wanting to recite a spell she knew. How she knew it, she had no idea.
“Aloe vera....alohamero...alo...alo...” As she stammered through the words, she became aware of a tall man whose beard brushed the floor standing over her. As she turned, she saw his bright blue eyes and the simple smile on his face.
“I believe the phrase you’re looking for is 'Alohamora.' However, such a spell won’t work on these doors. Where on earth did you heard the spell? In a book perhaps?” he asked her.
Phoebe remembered that he was the headmaster--Dumbledore--and her nerves took over her. Quivering slightly, she began to answer, “I don’t know sir. It just... came to me. I haven’t really read my books yet.”
Dumbledore looked at the child with curiosity, and with just a single glance he recognized her immediately.
“Miss Blackett, yes? The girl who was left in a Muggle house as a newborn?” Dumbledore asked.
Phoebe nodded slowly, trying to fathom the idea of him knowing every student's name.
“Now I know you feel that people have kept you in the dark for a long time. However, as a wise old man, I’ll let you in on something. When you’re young, you can usually register spells that are used around you. It helps one grasp them later on in life. I believe that in accordance with that bit of information, the reason you knew the spell is that a witch or wizard, presumably the one that brought you to your adoptive parents, cast it whilst you were present. Seeing as you were still only a newborn and the only person who could be around at that time of birth is the mother, it was likely her," he explained.
After taking all that in, Phoebe took a deep breath and realised what Dumbledore was saying. Could her mother have been a witch? “Professor, are you sure this is true?” Phoebe asked, bewildered.
“Well, I do believe so. I don’t believe in being judged on your blood status; however, I do believe that it’s nice to know your heritage--wouldn’t you agree?” Dumbledore told her. He then pulled out a pocket watch and smiled.
“Ah, 8 o'clock precisely. I expect that the elves will have prepared a mighty breakfast in an attempt to outdo last year's. That, as they say, was really quite something,” Dumbledore murmured. Then with an elegant swish of the wand, the doors of the great hall opened.
The Great Hall filled up quickly within a few minutes. The staff joined Dumbledore almost instantly, the last to arrive being the Hufflepuff head of house Pomona Sprout. McGonagall was first to join Dumbledore. as Deputy Headmistress, she wanted to keep a polished and organised look so that the students had someone else to respect. Following her was Snape, whose cloak swept the floor as he entered. Phoebe was only brave enough to take a quick glance--she was afraid he might attack. He sat without saying a word and began to eat. While the conversation flowed between the other teachers, Snape ate quickly. He left immediately after, without a single word to anyone.
Many students stumbled in, their tired eyes containing dreams of wonder from the night before. Tonks was one of the last to come to the Great Hall, her pink hair wild and untamed. sleep still dulling her eyes.
“Timetables have already been passed round, but I got yours for you. We’ve got flying first thing with Gryffindor, Defence against the Dark Arts after and then double Herbology,” Phoebe murmured, still confused about what Dumbledore had said. How did he know about her mother, why did he know? She understood it was a teacher’s aim to know most students, but was every single child necessary?
Phoebe didn’t want to be seen, or to be heard. She wanted to get on with life and be normal. Was it her looks, that bright red explosion of hair and her heavy lidded, pale blue eyes that made her different? Or did he just take an interest in those with a background? Is that what Phoebe had, a background? She’d rather exchange with the most normal person in the room; perhaps that was Dumbledore? He seemed nice and jolly to her, just like a normal person would be. Phoebe couldn’t see far behind the mask. All she saw was a happy old headmaster. Though underneath, perhaps pain and suffering was tucked away and only Dumbledore himself could see what the misery had done to him.
“Hey, daydreamer! Have you been listening to me? I said we should go meet Charlie if we’ve got flying first,” Tonks babbled. Phoebe was only half listening to what seemed to be incessant chatter.
“Oh yeah, Charlie, we’ll go over to his table now if you like.” So the two girls picked up the bags and walked over to Charlie. Tonks dealt with the situation like an animal stalking its prey. She tiptoed over to the Gryffindor table and found Charlie scarfing some toast. She was tiptoeing closer to him when she suddenly pounced on him and began to ruffle his hair. Charlie dropped the toast on his lap, butter side down, and was left with a greasy, buttery stain on his trousers.
“TONKS!” he growled.
“I’m not even going to say what it looks like you’ve done!” Tonks giggled. Phoebe couldn’t help but let a few laughs slip out too.
“Charlie, we were wondering if you were ready to walk down to our first flying lesson with us,” Phoebe offered sweetly. Charlie shot a glare at Tonks, who was still giggling uncontrollably.
“I might, but only if she doesn’t have any other tricks up her sleeves. I wanted to walk down with some of the lads, but I don’t mind walking down with you two,” Charlie told the two girls. Tonks finally took a deep breath and stopped laughing.
“Anyway, I’ve found something out, about my mother.” Phoebe whispered the last part; she was too excited to say it aloud. Charlie grabbed his bag and scampered out of the great hall a mischievous grin on his face.
“Well, what is it?” he mumbled as quietly as he could, just in case anyone else heard them. As they walked down the stairs, Tonks folded her arms in a huff, like a child who’d been denied the right to be a spoiled brat.
“Why didn’t you tell me, Phoebe? I could offer advice and shocked responses like 'oh my god, really?' Or something like that,” Tonks groaned.
“My mum, she’s a witch. Or she was--if she’s still alive,” Phoebe whispered with excitement, only just holding back a grin. Charlie’s mouth was wide open. He almost began to shout, but the punch that he received from Tonks lowered his voice.
“You haven’t even been here a day and you already know your mum was a witch. Didn’t you suspect it anyway? In fact, how do you even know?” Charlie was bombarding her with questions.
“I thought I was a normal person. I didn’t know witches existed until a few months ago. Dumbledore told me about my mum. He was able to... reason it out, I guess,” Phoebe answered slowly. She too felt like she was only just digesting the news herself.
“Well of course Dumbledore told you, he knows everything. At least, I reckon he does. He’ll probably know who your parents are too, but he’ll have been sworn to secrecy not to tell you.” Tonks said.
Phoebe gasped; didn’t she have as much right to know who her parents were as he did? Didn’t she have more of a right to know than anyone? What if he’d met Phoebe’s parents, taught them everything they knew, what if he knew them better than she did? Phoebe assumed he must have, if he knew. This led the poor girl to start of her school year with a head full of questions, all which would have to wait for answers that might never come.
A/N- Thank you for reading this chapter, it means a lot to me because I realise chapter 3 was a big boring chapter for you all to take in. I would like to give a big thanks once again to SearchingForLuna who's been a huge help and inspiration being my beta. If you have time to review please do, it won't take long and I love feedback :)
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