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Chapter 1 : April 3rd, 2024
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Harry Potterís daughter involved in Ministry scandal. Reputation tarnished.
I had always prided myself in staying out of the heat of a problem. I was a journalist. I simply observed those around me while tip toeing around a situation to keep myself out of it.
I never thought I would be involved in such a scandal.
I didnít want to leave my dormitory. The whispers of my schoolmates had already caused me to burst into tears twice, once during breakfast in the Great Hall and again during Herbology. Professor Longbottom had kindly sent me to the hospital wing to take a calming drought but I had instead walked back to my dormitory, crawling into my bed and pulling a pillow over my head.
My friends had all told me that I was over reacting. They said that it would blow over in a few days and everyone would forget about it. Thatís what always happened with gossip. Give it a few days and people would get bored and move on.
They didnít understand that none of that really mattered to me. I had let my parents down, my family, and worst of all, myself. If I ever wanted to get a job, this would show up on my record. It wasnít just losing a Quidditch game or pulling a prank on a teacher. This was serious.
I couldnít believe I had let myself get so tangled in this mess. It had called to me, begging me to come closer, closer, until it had caught me in its thick iron pincers and refused to let go. I hadnít even tried to struggle against its vice grip, but instead I went along with it, forgetting to look at everything around me.
Tears spilled from my eyes as I sat up, pulling my trunk from underneath my bed and opening it. I extracted a dusty old photo album and pushed the trunk back under my bed, crossing my legs and running my fingers over the cover.
I had been only six when Uncle George had given it to me. Aunt Angelina had given me a camera to go with it and I had spent the entire day taking pictures of my cousins. I smiled slightly, opening the album to the first page and looking upon those pictures, the first I had ever taken.
James waved to me while hanging upside down from a tree. Albus sat on a picnic blanket with Roxanne and Rose, eating ice cream and laughing. The tears started to fall more thickly, covering my smile as I looked upon the happy memories from so long ago.
I had decided that I wanted to be a journalist the same day. I had started by writing captions for every photo I took, filling up an entire notebook with my musings. For the next week, I had carried a notebook and quill around wherever I went and I wrote down everything I possibly could, right down to how many times James had mentioned Quidditch during dinner.
My dreams had never changed, but I had always been a stubborn, decisive sort of a person. I had spent the last ten years of my life wanting to be a journalist. And this year, everything had seemed to have finally fallen into place. I was going to be a published journalist at age sixteen. It was too perfect to be true.
I flipped a page in my photo album, this time greeted by the faces of my mum and dad, both smiling and waving at me. I felt a rush of guilt in my heart for all the stress I had caused them.
They had written to me almost immediately when word of what I had done came out. I had wanted to throw up when I saw how understanding and supportive they were about the whole thing. I had wished that they would have just sent me a Howler and let me be humiliated for my mistakes instead of trying so hard to understand why I had done what I did. Their kind words had only made me feel worse. They had such high hopes for me, but I had crushed them when I crushed my own dreams.
Turning the page once more, I found herself looking at both my brothers, their arms around each other playfully. Albus had run over to the Ravenclaw table when he heard the news, taking me by the arm and dragging me out of the Great Hall. He hadnít believed it was true. He didnít think I could ever do something like that. It had broken my heart to tell him that everything they said about me was in fact completely and totally true.
James had been even worse. He wrote me a letter asking why The Daily Prophet was writing crap about me. He thought it was a joke. He thought that I had somehow managed to get him back for all the pranks he had played on me when we were both children. I couldnít bring myself to write back and say that it was in no way a joke. My hand hadnít been able to write the words.
Fifth year was supposed to be perfect. I was finally going to prove to everyone how serious I was about my goals. Now, all I had to look forward to was failing my O.W.L.s, seeing as I had neglected my studies while being caught up in this mess.
I flipped the pages of my photo album faster, looking at all the times when I was happy. I had stopped taking pictures when I had started Hogwarts, and the end of the album came much too quickly. Sighing, I replaced it in my trunk and flopped back down onto my pillows.
There was one thing I had stopped myself from thinking about. One thing that I had pushed away. He had caused this problem, but he had also made it worthwhile. I found my thoughts drifting to his face, and try as I might to get rid of it, it stayed stubbornly in the forefront of my mind.
Thinking of him for the first time in days, I found that I felt just slightly better. He was feeling the same way right now, and I knew that. Maybe, just maybe, I hadnít wasted the last seven months of my life.
Looking back on it one more time, his image caught on fire and lit up my mind. For the first time in days, I could think. He gave me the strength I needed to continue on. And as much as I wanted to curl into a ball and sob, an equal part of me wanted to be back in his arms. Slowly, that part of me was beginning to win.
I grinned. The outcome of my foray into the world of journalism may not have gone to plan, but I wouldnít have had it any other way.
A/N: Hello everyone and thank you for reading the first chapter of my newest novel! Iím both super excited and super nervous for this, as itís Next Generation and humour, two things that absolutely terrify me. Iíve started to really enjoy the plot though, and itís a nice change from my heavier novels, so Iím ready to get this up and going. A huge, huge thanks to moonyxluna and I Was Not Magnificent for helping me with the plot and getting me going on this. And thank you to acrules for just generally being lovely and supportive. I would love it if you would take a minute and drop me a review :D Thank you so much!
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