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Canis Major by atellam
Chapter 6 : Was It Something I Said?
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 28


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jabberwocky@TDA


Chapter VI - Was It Something I Said?



It was midmorning on Monday when Alice fell into the chair next to my bed.

“I swear Herbology will kill me. Whether it’s from Madam Sprout’s detentions, the flesh eating plants, or the acidic pollen we had to deal with today, if I’m ever missing, you’ll probably find what’s left of my body in Greenhouse Three, being eaten away by some vine.”

I chuckled, ignoring the slight twinge I still occasionally felt in my back when I moved. I was practically fine, and I hoped that I could convince Madam Pomfrey to let me head back to classes that afternoon.

“Somehow, I don’t think Frank would let you get eaten by a plant.” I smirked at her, and she began to rummage through her bag in an attempt to avoid my gaze, her cheeks slightly pink.

“You got post this morning: stuff from your parents.” She threw a magazine on my bed, still emptying her bag. I picked it up, noticing a note taped to the cover.

Keir,

Sorry I couldn’t be there to wave you off the other day. This guy’s case is a nightmare, but thankfully, I think we’ve argued it well, and the judge will rule in our favour.

I’ve had a read through and dog-eared some pages with interesting articles. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to read up on them before Christmas so we can get to work on some of those old projects of ours.

Love you darling,

Dad.


I sighed, pulling off the note and looking at the familiar cover of Classic Racer, Classic Mechanics.

For a barrister, my dad had some of the strangest hobbies.

“I still don’t get why he sends you those,” Alice said, frowning slightly at the glossy page I still held in my hand. “Surely he knows you’ve lost interest in oil changes and gear chains by now.”

“Ha! You’d think so, wouldn’t you? Something about the fact that we haven’t worked on anything together since I started Hogwarts - regardless of how long I’m at home over break.”

“Yeah.” She handed me the letter she’d been searching her bag for. “From your mum I think; writing looks like Annette’s.”

The small, loopy letters on the envelope were indeed my mums, and I suddenly remembered my unfulfilled promise to write to her. I set it on my side table to read later when I spied a copy of the Prophet still in her bag. I helped myself to the paper, propping it up on my knees so I could read the headlines: ‘French National team to tour England and Ireland after World Cup win.’

“Has Mel seen this? If I thought she was bad when she didn’t get tickets to the Cup over the summer, it’ll be nothing compared to if she doesn’t get to see them while they’re here.” I chuckled at the idea, as I watched the French national team perform their signature move, the Blitzen Ballet, over and over again in the photo accompanying the article.

Skimming my eyes over the text, another article caught my eye. ‘Twelve St. Mungo’s nurses attacked after helping muggles recover from magical injuries – is no one safe?’

“Yeah; thought that one might interest you.” Alice sighed, knowing exactly when I’d reached the article from the appalled look on my face.

“I just... Oh, dear Godric, Alice! They can't do that! That's... that's... Is there no moral line they won't cross? It's... disgusting."

The tiny girl in the chair just gave a sad smile, staring wistfully out the large windows across the room. “Do you ever think it’ll change?” she asked after a while, giving me time to calm down, her gaze still focused on sweeping green hills of Scotland in the distance.

“What? That this war will end?” She pursed her lips in thought, but stayed silent, letting me continue. “It doesn’t feel like it. No matter what Dumbledore says about ‘the light’ and believing in love, banding together, strength in numbers and all that, no, I don’t think we’ll ever see it change, Al. Least, it doesn’t feel like it.”

She nodded slowly, deep in thought, as she pulled her hair over one shoulder, fiddling with the ends absent-mindedly. You couldn’t see the red in it today; the light wasn’t right. “I’m so worried, Keir. I have no idea what I want to do when I leave Hogwarts, but I want to help make a difference, you know? I just don’t know how.”

I just stared at her, unable to comprehend how she didn’t realise she already made the biggest difference in the world. No one could light up a room light she could, look on the bright side of everything and beam at someone and make their whole day. ‘The Light’ that Dumbledore kept talking about didn’t make much sense in times as dark as these, but Alice Foster was the damned closest thing I had to one. That any of us had for that matter; she had no idea how much she shined.

“What?” She started when she noticed that I was looking at her.

“Nothing,” I lied, tossing the paper aside. I didn’t want to think about the war anymore; it always made my insides squirm.

“Right.” She eyed me sceptically, but didn’t pursue the matter. “It’s almost Lunch; I should get going. Reckon Madam Pompfrey will let out you this evening?”

“Hopefully.” I sighed, my eyes flicking towards the door to the Matrons office. “I’m so over sitting up here by myself.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Alice stared at me in disbelief as she absentmindedly put everything back into her bag. “I’d love to be up here sleeping all day.”

I gave her a pointed look, knowing that she’d be more restless than I was if she was in the same situation. Unsure how to respond, she pulled a face and I laughed while a grin formed on her features, lighting up her eyes.

“Anywho, I’m off to lunch, but I should be back up to see you again this evening. Don’t do anything stupid – like fall off a broom – while I’m gone now, okay?” she teased, leaving me scowling at her, and I watched her dance out of the ward in glee, hair flashing red in the sunlight as she went.

Smiling to myself as she shut the door, I picked up mum’s letter.

I read it through and smiled to myself as she asked how Henry was, and if I was working hard.

Flipping the parchment over and pinching the quill Madam Pompfrey had left after filling in my medical report, I began to brush over the details of my week. Although I conveniently left out the fact that I was writing to her from the Hospital Wing, or that I would have completely forgotten to write to her otherwise.


*


“You lot can come in now.” Professor Grimstone nodded at all of us as we filed past him into the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom.

I took the same seat I’d had for our first lesson, while Caradoc, Benjy, and Frank filed into the row in front. Dirk Cresswell, another boy in their dormitory, took the empty seat next to Caradoc. He didn’t spend much time with the boys in his dorm, preferring to pour himself over books instead, but he’d joined us a few times when we’d all been down by the lake last spring after exams. He was incredibly bright, teaching himself Gobbledegook, but I didn't know him very well.

Professor Gerard Grimstone leaned on the edge of his desk, arms crossed, observing the class. I couldn't pin his age and it bothered me. While he had white hair like Dumbledore, I'd wager the Defence teacher was far younger; his face didn't have anywhere near as many age lines.

His lips pursed slightly as the last of the students settled into their seats before he spoke. “Well, we best get started then, hadn’t we? We’ve got a lot to cover this term and as none of the other teachers in this job have lasted more than a year, I don’t plan on wasting any time.”

So he knew it was jinxed? And he'd taken it anyway?

Right.

“We’ll be continuing last lesson’s work on non-verbal defence spells. Any questions before you get out your books?” He paused for a moment, but no one raised their hand. They just glanced sideways at each other, as despite the class we’d had with him before, no one could really get a feel for the professor. He appeared to break all expectations.

“None? Excellent. If you copy down what’s on the board, we’ll then move onto some practical exercises.” He stood and made his way around the desk, leaning back in the chair, his face expressionless, but his eyes all knowing.

Of course, the one non-verbal spell I was been able to perform gave Dearborn a nosebleed, which resulted in Benjy and Frank taking him to the Hospital Wing, while I got an essay an inch longer than the rest of the class.

The bell rung for lunch and I quickly got to my feet, shoving my books in my bag as I shuffled along the row. Scowling at the fact that they weren’t fitting, I paused, jostling the books in an attempt to get the bag shut. Instead, I heard a large rip and they ended up all over the floor.

“For Merlin’s sake!” I cried, running my hands over my face before looking at the mess of ink and books all over the ground.

Alice paused by the door as a Hufflepuff pushed past her, leaving us as the only students left in the classroom. “You want a hand?”

“Nah, I’m alright. I’ll be down at lunch in a sec; save me a seat, yeah?”

“Sure thing.”

Alice nodded as Rae stuck her head back in through the door. Her eyes widened at the sight of my belongings scattered in an inky mess. “Geez. You want a hand with that?”

I opened my mouth to tell her I was fine, but Alice beat me too it, already pushing her back out the door and repeating what I’d said to her. Normally they’d insist, but they were just as hungry as I was.

Bending over and tapping books with my wand to rid them of the ink that had soaked through the pages, I began to stack them into a pile.

“Miss Nyx, you’re still here?”

I started, almost toppling my pile over. I’d forgotten I was still in a classroom.

Professor Grimstone was standing at the door to his office, his eyebrows slightly furrowed, but otherwise expressionless. He’d propped glasses on the end of his sharp nose and he held a book open in his hand.

“Yeah, my bag tore. Sorry,” I added, suddenly feeling as if I was intruding.

“Ah.”

I didn’t say anything as I gathered the rest of my things, vanishing the shattered glass of the ink well. Standing, hugging the large pile of books uncomfortably to my chest, I noticed he was still watching me; he hadn’t moved.

Feeling awkward, I turned to leave until the niggling that had been in the back of my mid since the start of the class took over.

“Professor?” I turned quickly to find him still standing there.

“Yes, Miss Nyx?”

I rushed the rest of the words before I could talk myself out of it. “Why did you take the job if you knew that it was jinxed?”

He didn’t say anything immediately; there was just a small, sad smile across his face. “So you admit it’s jinxed, Miss Nyx?”

“Well, yeah. I’ve been here six years and had six different Defence teachers. Something’s got to be going on, doesn’t it?”

“And do you think that I shall resign like your last teacher did?”

I remembered Professor Ortiz, last years Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. He’d practically run for the hills after Peeves had dropped Stink Pellets on him in the Great Hall, which of course had been on his return from falling in the lake (where he’d met the Giant Squid).

“I don’t think you’d be the type to fall in the Lake, Sir.”

“Nor do I, Miss Nyx.” He gave me a knowing look, and I felt slightly silly for initiating the conversation in the first place.

His accent was strange. He was certainly British, although his particular accent wasn't one I'd heard before. He cocked his head slightly, raising his eyebrows and I realised he was waiting for a response.

“But, Sir, the professor two years back had an allergic reaction to something in Greenhouse Two and was rushed to St. Mungo's. He never came back; you don’t have to resign. Almost none of the teachers we’ve had have resigned…”

I almost hit myself then. I should have just dropped it and left, but the psychology behind his decision fascinated me. Then, much to my own surprise, a small smile graced his face. “I’m well aware of the risk involved, Miss Nyx. To be honest with you, it was the reason I took the position. I saw it as an opportunity not to be missed. A sign, if you will, when Dumbledore approached me with the offer.”

Why was Dumbledore naturally drawn to hiring strange people?

“Thank you, Professor...” And I left.

At least physically.

Because really, while I was walking down the now deserted corridors, my shoes making a soft scuffling sound on the old worn stone, my mind was still back in the classroom, replaying the conversation and examining it from different angles. My stomach was steering me towards lunch, while my mind had no direction at all.

But when the scent of hot food hit my nostrils, I completely forgot about the slightly abnormal Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and hurried into the hall.

“Where have you been? We’re already done!” Caradoc laughed as he saw me making my way towards the table.

“Chatting,” I replied absentmindedly, eyeing the roast beef sandwich Frank had made himself. "Your nose better? Sorry about that."

Caradoc laughed, nodding as he flicked his long hair out of his eyes. I decided then that it was in desperate need of a cut.

Benjy put down his fork now that he’d cleaned his plate of potato salad. “Chatting with?”

“Grimstone – are you lot done? Or are you staying?” I asked, more interested in the idea of food than I was conversation.

“Done. Rae and I where about to head back up to the Common Room and grab our other books before stopping by the library; I need to return the book I borrowed for that potions essay.” Mel ran her hands through her hair, pulling it back into a ponytail as she spoke.

I frowned slightly at the prospect of eating alone, but my mood quickly lifted as I spied Henry entering the hall. “Oh, never mind. I’ll see you lot later, alright?” I called over my shoulder as I ducked off towards the Ravenclaw table.

“Guess who,” I said as I let my arms slink down around Henry’s neck as I stood behind him.

He laughed, reaching up and squeezing one of my hands gently, before bringing my arm around his head and pulling me into the seat next to him.

“Hi there,” he said, grinning at me, while Anthony rolled his eyes across the table.

“Nyx! Hey there, girl. Good to see you again, how was your summer? I heard you ended up in the Hospital Wing over the weekend?” a familiar voiced cried and I peered past Henry to find that I’d completely missed Reginald Cattermole sitting on the other side of him.

“Reg!” I smiled at him enthusiastically, hoping that no one would notice how embarrassed I was at not remembering him earlier. Goblins, this week had been a mess. “How are you? How have you been? How was your summer? You went away, yes?”

“Hold up there; one question at a time.” Reginald Cattermole laughed, his narrow face stretching into a large smile, while he shook strawberry blonde hair. “I’m great. I’ve been good. Summer was brilliant. Yes, I went to Italy with my parents.” He paused, taking an exaggerated breath. “Did I cover everything?”

I laughed, nodding. "Yes, I think so.”

“Are you eating?” Henry nudged his plate towards me and I eyed the potatoes longingly for a moment before mentally hitting myself.

No, damn it. I don’t need the carbohydrates. Diet, remember?

Trying to lose weight.

“Nope, I ate before,” I lied, and quickly changed to the topic before Henry had the chance to insist. “Besides, nothing compares to the wonderful green stuff Madam Pompfrey keeps force feeding me. I have my last check up tonight.”

“Do you want me to walk you up to the Hospital Wing after dinner?” he murmured into my hair while Anthony and Reg rolled their eyes at each other, matching smirks on their faces.

Godric, he was wonderful. But I knew how much work he had, and he was going out of his way to walk me up there just to watch me drink a potion before leaving.

“Nah, I’m alright. But thanks.” I smiled up at him, my eyes meeting his blue ones. The butterflies started going crazy in my stomach. Surely, after eight months you weren’t supposed to get butterflies anymore? But I just couldn’t help it. He was gorgeous, and on top of that, he was mine.

I leaned up to kiss him briefly and was surprised to find his lips meeting mine halfway. They were slightly chapped but still moved against mine effortlessly, and I forgot where I was as I leaned further into him, his arm tightening around my shoulders, drawing me even closer.

“You two done?” Anthony rolled his eyes as his best friend pulled away from me and I desperately tried to hide the pout that I could feel forming on my lips.

Henry chuckled at me and leant down to kiss the tip of my nose before turning back to Anthony. “Only because you asked so nicely.”

I nudged him in the ribs gently to get his attention. “I should get going. I’ve got History of Magic. I’ll see you later.” I directed the last part to the other two Ravenclaws as well as I rose out of the seat.

“Have fun with Binns.” Anthony smirked, as Reginald nodded his farewell.

I kissed the top of Henry’s head, his light brown hair tickling my nose, before dancing out of the way as he went to grab my wrist. “Nah-uh. I’ll see you later.” I chuckled, and I made my way out of the Great Hall, catching a glimpse of his eyes still on my retreating back.


*


It was after I was kicked out of the closing Library that I made my way to the Hospital Wing, figuring Madam Pompfrey would give me a note as to why I would be out of bed after hours.

Lazily making my way along the first corridor, I was pleased that, despite the cool weather, it was still only the beginning of autumn, as it meant that the sun hadn’t fully set. The grounds had a soft glow from the light of the setting sun and on the reflection of the lake danced pinks and oranges, yellows and soft blues from the sunset that stretched across the sky. I paused at the window, more than happy to let my book bag slip off my arm onto the stone, as I marvelled at the breathtaking evening. Not a cloud in the sky and with the full moon out that night, I had an overwhelming sense of calm. It was almost impossible to imagine that outside the walls of the castle, a war was raging and people were dying. Indeed, it was almost impossible to imagine that anything at all could be wrong in moments like these.

But as I spied a lone figure sitting on the edge of the lake, I wondered if maybe I was mistaken. It looked like Professor Grimstone although it was impossible to tell from this distance. Their head was in their hands and their overall body language screamed that something was wrong. As I watched, they looked up at the sunset, pausing for a moment, before getting to their feet and briskly making their way back towards the castle, robes billowing out behind them in the evening air.

I deliberated if it was worth taking a detour to the Hospital Wing, ‘accidentally’ bumping into who ever it was and seeing if I could work out what they'd been doing.

As I thought about it, I remembered the conversation I’d had earlier that day and I cringed at the thought of having yet another one of those if it was indeed the Professor. I grabbed my bag hurriedly off the floor, and made my way towards the green concoction Madam Pompfrey would undoubtedly give me, suddenly desperate to not bump into them at all.

“Madam Pompfrey?” I called out, sticking my head around the door. I couldn’t see anything but a curtain erected around a bed at the end f the ward. There was no one in sight, until I heard the sound of shoes as the matron made her way out from behind the screen, pointedly closing the fabric behind her.

“Yes? Oh, Miss Nyx. Excellent. This way please,” she said briskly, tucking the strands that had fallen loose from her bun behind her ears.

I wandered up the aisle between the rows of beds, my eyes on the curtain. Why was it there? Whoever it was must be terribly ill.

I paused as Madam Pompfrey searched through the cabinets, bottles clinking and shuffling while she hunted. I peered over my shoulder, looking back at the screen. From my new angle, you could faintly see the shadow of someone lying on the bed behind the curtains and I frowned, worried that someone could be that sick.

“Here you are. Drink up.” The Matron clucked, placing the same green goo from before under my nose, which quickly regained my attention. I took it, tipping my head back and swallowing the whole thing in a desperate attempt to get it over with.

“Good. Now, does anything still hurt? Are you sleeping okay? Have you had issues concentrating?”

I mumbled replies to all of her questions - no it didn’t hurt, yes I was sleeping fine - but my attention kept wandering off to the curtain until Madam Pompfrey would clear her throat sharply, brining me back to our conversation.

“You may leave, Miss Nyx. But come straight back here if you experience any issues over the next few weeks.” She gave me a stern look, one McGonagall would be proud of, and I nodded quickly.

I thanked her and made my way back towards the exit, her shoes click clacking against the floor as she returned to her office. Looking over my shoulder one last time at the curtains, even though I knew it was useless and I wouldn’t be able to see anything, I left and entered the corridor, running straight into the Head Girl.

“Oh, goodness! I’m so sorry, Keira! You alright?” Lily asked, wide eyed with concern as I rubbed my forehead.

“Yeah; right as rain.” I winced.

There was no way I was going to get out of this without a lovely bruise on my forehead. Charming look that will be.

“Oh dear, that looks nasty.” Lily looked at me apologetically as she ran her hands through her hair. “I really need to watch where I’m going, don’t I? Damn. If it bruises, come and see me, yes? I know a spell or two that might help fix it up. What are you doing up here anyway?” She added, her demeanour suddenly changing.

“I had to stop by for a check up after my fall on the weekend. Why?” I asked, still rubbing the spot on my head.

“Oh, no reason. You all right now? Pompfrey gave you the all clear? Good.” She smiled at my nod. “Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I need to talk to Remus.”

“He’s not in there,” I called as she slipped past me and into the ward. The redhead turned back, a look in her eyes that I didn’t recognise. “There’s no one in there,” I continued.

“What? Oh, yes. I know. I need to talk to Madam Pompfrey about Remus. He hasn’t been looking well lately. I’m worried he’s coming down with something; he has a terrible immune system, that boy. Anyway, I’ll see you around!” She smiled good-naturedly at me as she shut the door in my face, leaving me alone in the corridor.

It was only then that I realised that I hadn’t gotten a note explaining why I was out of bed after hours.

Damn.

I began to make my way down the corridor, distinctly aware of my footsteps echoing through the passageway, alerting any prefect to where I was.

The sun had long set by now, and the torches in their brackets along the walls of the main corridors had magically come to life, the fire dancing merrily in the cool air of the autumn evening.

I think I’d managed to make it to the third floor before I heard footsteps behind me and I began to feel sick. I hated confrontation, the idea of getting in trouble, of letting someone down, and while it wouldn't be as bad if it were a student as opposed to a teacher, I still dreaded the idea.

“Nyx? Why are you out of bed?”

The sick feeling left and I sighed instead, turning on my heel to see Potter closing the last few feet between us with his long strides.

“Hospital Wing. I had to get a check up after my fall last week.”

His glasses flashed in the torchlight as he stared straight at me, a look I couldn’t read hidden behind the spectacles. “Hospital Wing you say?”

“Yes. I had to get a check up after my fall last week,” I repeated, this time more slowly, making sure to articulate each syllable correctly because he apparently was hard on hearing.

“Right. You didn’t see anyone there did you?”

“No. Didn’t see anyone but Lily who I bumped into in the corridor outside.”

“Lily?” I had his full attention now. Of course Lily would get his full attention.

“Yes. I saw Lily and we had a chat and she said she had to go talk to Madam Pompfrey about Remus? I don’t know. She’ll vouch for my story. You can ask her -”

The look behind his glasses was gone now; apparently I’d said the right thing. Or not said the wrong thing. I wasn’t sure which, but either way he chuckled at me. “Like I’d put my new Seeker on detention for visiting the nurse after such a spectacular fall. No, not likely. Come on, I’ll walk you back so you don’t get in trouble if anyone else finds you. You walk really loudly, did you know that?” I scowled at him, which prompted another chuckle.

“No, I was not aware that I walked ‘really loudly’.”

“Mhmm. You might want to work on that if you plan on sneaking around the castle.” He grinned, before his mood shifted as we walked past a window, the moonlight falling across our faces. “Although I wouldn’t recommend it tonight.”

“I’ll keep that in mind next time I plan on sneaking to the Hospital Wing after curfew…?” I said it as a question, and laid the sarcasm on pretty heavy. I thought that I might have overdone it and pushed my luck too far, but James just laughed again as he jumped a trick stair and pushed a tapestry aside.

“Straight along and you’ll come out right by the Fat Lady. I don’t think you’ll run into anyone between here and there and I’ve got to finish my rounds. It’s going to be a long night, so I want to get the West side of the castle done pretty quickly. I’ll see you around, Nyx.” He smirked at me again, letting the heavy fabric of the tapestry drop back between us before I could open my mouth to reply.

What was it with people and cutting our conversations short this evening? Did I keep saying something wrong? And why did everyone give me that look when I mentioned I’d been at the Hospital Wing?

I made my way down the hidden passage, holding my wand out in front of me as I went. How it was supposed to take me to the Fat Lady, when Gryffindor Tower was on the east side of the castle, and this was heading south, I had no idea. But, true to James’ word, I stumbled out into the lit corridor of the portrait guarding Gryffindor Common Room. It was physically impossible, but then again, I went to school in a castle where the headmaster owned a bird the burst into flames without dying and ‘the staircase moved’ was a valid excuse for being late to class.

I should have known by now that ‘impossible’ wasn’t, and hadn’t really, been a word since I’d turned eleven.

Password?” The portrait asked, her tone clipped and eyebrow raised. She knew I was out of bed after hours and wasn’t impressed.

Brilliant, I was being judged by a picture.

Merlin, I wanted to get to bed.

“Leones iuba.”

She swung open with a huff and I ducked through to the Common Room, spying Melody chatting to Mary Macdonald. Making a beeline towards them, I caught sight of Frank and Alice poured over a Herbology textbook by the fire and I smiled to myself as they unconsciously leaned towards each other.

“Yeah, but I have no idea where James is; he’s got the bloody map while he’s off doing his bleeding Head Boy rounds,” I heard Black mutter as he cut in front of me, making his way towards the an armchair, Peter right beside him.

“Yeah, and I have no idea where he’s put the Cloak. There are no clouds tonight. Moon’ll be out soon,” Peter added, settling himself on the edge of a table.

I hesitated for a moment, knowing that Potter had headed over to the other side of the castle, but unsure if Black and Pettigrew really wanted my input in their conversation. Opening and closing my mouth a few times, wondering if I’d actually be able to articulate the words, I took a tentative step across the room towards the scarlet armchair.

Black’s gaze caught my movement, and he looked at me intently for a moment. His eyes roamed my face and I had the feeling of being completely exposed, thoughts, feelings, all of it. But then he blinked and the moment was gone. Perhaps I was being paranoid after Quidditch trials the other day. Yes, that must have been it.

“I just saw Potter. He said he was heading over to the West side of the castle, if you’re looking for him.” I blurted out. He’d seen me looking at him, and there was no way I could have backed out after that without looking stupid.

Peter looked up at me, unaware of my presence before. “Really? Thanks, Nyx.” He got to his feet and his mousey features worked their way into a smile before he turned to his friend. “Come on, Pads. We need to get the Cloak off him.”

Oh, dear Merlin, please don’t tell me I just helped them while they planned to pull another prank. Sirius nodded his thanks at me as stood, the briefest flash of a smile, before following his friend out of the Common Room.

“And that was about…?” asked Mary from where she now stood behind me.

“Honestly? I’m not even sure, but I'm sure that I’ll regret it later. Oh well.” I sighed as I turned around to face her, but caught Mel shaking her head at me, a look of exasperation on her face. “What?”

“Nothing. Just nothing.” She sighed as she rubbed her hands over her face in an attempt to get rid of whatever I was I’d done.

“But I – whatever. What where you two talking about before anyway?” I asked, changing the topic in an attempt to include Mary. If Mel had been attempting to become better friends with her before, I wasn’t about to put her efforts to waste now by excluding her.

“Oh, not much. School work mostly. How my parents are greengrocers, Melody thinks it’s fascinating.” She laughed, her eyes crinkling slightly at the sides as she smiled.

Mel shrugged. “Well it is! But anyway, have you seen Alice and Frank? Any closer and she’ll be sitting in his lap. Heaven help me, if they don’t start going out soon…” She left the empty threat hanging in the air as Reyna bundled down the stairs from the dormitories to join us, where we continued the conversation about greengrocers and school and how completely oblivious two people can be.



Authors Note:
This chapter is dedicated to Elenia, because without her support, I don't know if it ever would have been written. Also, a special thanks goes to Beeezie, for her nominating Canis Major for Gryffie Story of the Month, which it won. (Best early birthday present ever!)

Phew, alright. Here it is. Took forever, but it's finally been written and beta'd and uploaded. Hopefully you all like it, and feel that the plot is moving along okay. Can I just mention how absolutely thrilled (and completely shocked) I am at the fact that this has been favourited by 85 people?! I cannot thank you all enough for the support you've all given me and this story so far. Chapter seven is 75% done, and I'm hoping to have it up later this week as my birthday present to you all. (Yay, birthdays!)

I've got some plot bunnies for a Charlie/OC (post-hogwarts), and Hannah/Neville (post-hogwarts), so if any of you like the sound of either of those, (or would at least be willing to read them), let me know in a review or pop by my MTA (I love questions :D).

Remember, reviews are better than birthdays.
- Adele :)


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