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Chapter 5 : Chapter Five
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I shoved my purple sleeping bag into a small blue clutch that had an extension charm on it. Dom had her Aunt Hermione put the charm on it and then gave it to me as a birthday present back in third year. It was damn useful. As for the sleeping bag, my mum had told me I needed bring it with me in first year, even though I told her I wouldn’t need it. But she didn’t let me argue, so I put it in the bottom of my trunk and its just been there since. This was the first time I would ever actually have to use it.
“I don’t get why Slughorn is making us go out in the Forbidden Forest for a whole week! There is a reason its called the Forbidden Forest, for Merlin’s sake!” Dom said, crossing her arms and sitting on her bed. Megan was helping her pack, actually Megan was doing all the work while Dom was sitting on the bed.
“Totally, I can’t believe my dad is standing for this.” Ally said from her own bed.
“Do you guys think we will see each other when were out there? Cause I really don’t want to spend seven days straight with Joey Corner and only Joey Corner. I mean, he is cool and everything, but I will miss you guys!” Roxanne said from the floor.
“Slughorn told us that we wouldn’t see anyone else in the Forest besides our partners.”
“Bet your happy about that.” Dom said, causing Ally, Roxy and Megan’s heads to whip towards me.
“What?!” Ally cried, squealing and running over towards me.
“You like James?!” Roxy said, following Ally and Megan followed Roxy.
“What? Of course not, what would give you that impression?” I acted innocent.
“She totally does.” Dom said.
“DOM!” I cried. “You promised not to tell anyone!”
“I didn’t tell anyone, I was simply confirming.”
“Then should I tell them your secret?” I asked, folding my arms.
“What secret?” Ally asked.
“Go head, tell them. I don’t care.” Dom said, looking at her nail. Unbelievable.
“Are you serious?”
“They’ll find out soon enough, its better we tell them ourselves.” She said as the others looked very confused.
“Do you want me to do it?” I asked.
“Okay, Dom is pregnant.” I said.
Ally’s eyes widened, Megan’s jaw dropped and Roxy went a little pale. “WHAT?!” They all cried at the same time.
“How could you two not tell us that Dom is pregnant and that Aspen likes James?!” Roxy questioned.
“I only found out a few days ago, and I needed time.” Dom shrugged. I guess it was easier to tell your friends than your family and the father of the baby.
All the girls nodded, trying to look understanding. “And I suppose that you only found out you like James a few days ago too?” Megan asked.
“Actually, she loves him and has since she was five.”
“DOM!” I cried.
At the exact same time all the girls went, “WHAT?!” Yet again. Its like they have this planned or something.
“You have?” Ally asked, looking a little hurt. I bit my lower lip and nodded. “Why didn’t you tell us?”
“I didn’t want anyone finding out! I mean, its not like he will ever feel the same way.”
“Cause he is James Potter, and I’m Aspen Powells. He thinks of me as his best girl friend in the world, and I think of him as my best guy friend in the world, and the guy I love more than anything in the world.” I told them.
“We have to get you two together!” Ally cried.
“NO!” I said. There is no way in hell I’m letting these four girls try and set James Potter up with me. I love them and everything, but I don’t want James to know. I’m completely fine with being a cat lady worshiping a shrine of James when I’m sixty, with all the pictures of his wife and kids cut out.
“Come on Aspen! You two would look so cute together!”
“No.” I restated. “James doesn’t need to know how I feel. It would ruin our whole friendship.”
“A, what if he feels the same way that you do?” Dom said softly.
“Ha! Good one Dom, but James doesn’t feel the way I do and we all know it. So can we all just finish packing and head down to breakfast? Good.” I said, not waiting for an answer. I can’t believe that they all know now. After hiding it from everyone for twelve years, all the girls knew now.
Fifteen minutes later, we arrived for breakfast, all the boys were already down there. Dom sat in Bradley’s lap and kissed him on the lips. Guys, seriously, PDA much?
James saw the look on my face, “Come on Aspen, they’re in love.” He said.
“Doesn’t make it any less disgusting.”
He smiled, “True. Do you have everything?”
“Yeah. I can’t believe we aren’t allowed to bring food though! I mean, we are going to be out there for a week, what if we eat poison berries or something by accident! Then what? We die!”
“Don’t worry, I can tell whats edible and what isn’t.”
“Thank Merlin.” I said, looking up from my toast to see Roxy and Ally looking at me and James. Creepers much?
“Come on, we should get down to class.” Louis said.
“UGH! I don’t want to go.” Roxy complained.
“Too bad dear cousin, we have too.”
So we all started walking there, being some of the last people to arrive. Five minutes later, the bell rang and Professor Slughorn walked into the classroom. “Good morning everyone!” He cried.
“Morning.” We all mumbled back.
“Does everyone have all of their things?” We all nodded. “Fantastic! Now, pass around these maps.” We all took one of them, it was a map of Hogwarts with numbers on the rim. “Each of those numbers represents a pair of you, you are to go to the number and start into the forest, were you will spend a week. If you are to see any other pairs-which is highly unlikely-you are to run away from them. No matter what.”
“Professor?” Dom called, “What if we get hurt in the forest?”
Professor Slughorn grinned, “If you are, then you should fix whatever happened yourself. This isn’t just to test how well you can make a potion in the wild, but what you can achive with a partner.”
Everyone looked at him in disbelief.
“Oh and one last thing, you can’t escape the forest, there will be shields put up, all around the edge of the forest. So, here are the numbers, Potter and Powells, you will be one, Roxanne Weasley and Corner will be two...” He kept going on, but I didn’t listen. I was preparing myself, I felt that something was going to happen in the forest. Like the teachers had cooked this up and they were going to test us in some way, but I just shrugged it off. Everyone was going to be fine.
“Now, you may go. When you hear the horn, go inside the forest.” We all nodded and chairs scraped the dungeon’s floor. I rushed over to my friends.
“I’ll miss you guys!” I said, hugging them tightly, we were never away from each other during the school year, we often even spent Christmas break together, the guys at James’s house and the girls at mine, since we lived right next door to each other.
“I’ll miss you too A!” Dom said, hugging me. “Stay safe, okay?”
“Of course. You too.” She nodded.
I said goodbye to everyone else and James and I started going to the part we were supposed to leave from, it was right near Hagrid’s hut so it was easy to find. We bounded down the hill together.
“Hey, Aspen, you don’t think anything is going to happen right? I mean, its just a potions project.”
“Of course.” I told him, not knowing if I was reassuring him or me.
“And even if something does happen, we both are pretty skilled in most subjects.” James said.
“I’m not.” I said.
“Says the girl who got an ‘O’ on her Charms, Herbology, Tranfiguration, Acient Runes OWL exams and an ‘E’ on her Astronomy, History of Magic, Potions, Divination and Care of Magical Creatures OWL exams.” I looked at him in disbelief.
“How do you know that?!”
“When we were doing the old files, I saw yours and looked at it.” I smacked him on the arm. “Ow! Oh and by the way, how did you mange an ‘E’ in potions when you blow up caldrons every other day?”
“Actually I think its every three days and I had a lot of free time on my hands while I was sick, I studied like crazy for the OWLs. Most of the studying was for Potions. Luckily for me, the practical was the one potion I could brew perfectly.”
“And what potion would that be?”
“Drought of living death.” I told him proudly.
“You can brew the drought of the living death!” I nodded. “How come no one else did that one? We all did a simple calming draught.”
“Really? I don’t know, maybe it was different cause I was in the hospital. It doesn’t matter now though, look! There is the number!” I cried, pointing towards
Sure enough, a large number one a little smaller than me was on the ground. We walked over and stood on the number waiting for the horn to blow. In the distance I could see other students waiting on their numbers. “How much longer do you think its going to be?” James asked, looking up to the sky.
“I don’t know, some of the numbers are really far away, we actually got pretty lucky with our spot.” I told him, looking around, waiting for the horn to blow. But I had this feeling in my stomach, like something was off.
Just then a loud horn blew and James and I looked at each other and started towards the forest. We passed a few trees and knew that there was no turning back, we were stuck here for a week, whether we liked it or not. And I for one didn’t like it.
Don’t look at me like that! I’m not a wuss! Do you want to spend a week in a forest that is home to all sorts of creepy things with no way out?! Didn’t think so!
“What potion are we making again?” James asked as we started in wards.
I pulled a potion text book out of my bag and flipped to the page 264. "The Vegrandis Nex potion, it puts you to sleep for forever.”
“What do we need to make it?”
“Unicorn blood, unicorn horn, snake fangs, grass, fairy dust and frog brain.” I told him.
“Well, what should we look for first?”
“Grass, its the easiest to find. And I know a clearing just an hours walk from here that has good grass and fairies.”
“Okay, lead the way.” James said and we started to walk in silence.
“Yeah?” I said, kicking a stone out of my way.
“Why do you think Professor Slughorn told us to run the other way if we saw anyone else?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t like it. It’s off. I feel like they have something planned for us, like they are going to test us in more then potions and teamwork.” I said, kicking the stone again.
I shrugged, “Maybe they’ll have teachers in here to scare us or something.”
“Ah.” Was all he said as we counited to walk towards the fairy clearing.
An hour later we reached the clearing, but it wasn’t the way it had been last time I was here. It looked like it had been burned, not the forest around us. Just the clearing and a couple of the trees that surrounded it.
“What do you think happened?” James asked, walking around it while I ventured in.
“I don’t know, but I don’t think its a happy mistake, James. Someone did this for some reason.” I said, picking up a piece of burnt wood.
“Well, what do we do now?” He asked.
“Lets just walk around and hope that we find something that we need.”
“Okay.” We started walking and found a small creek about an hour away from the clearing that was further into the forest. James took a stick and killed a frog there. Using a knife I had we cut it open and got its brain out and put it in a small bag.
“That was disgusting.” I said, washing my hands in the creek.
“It wasn’t too bad, at least were one step closer to getting the potion brewed.”
“Yeah, but its was still gross. What should we do now?”
“It is going to get dark soon, I say we set up the tent and then try and get some food to eat.” I nodded and pulled the tent out of my bag, trying to ignore my stomach rumbling.
“What are we going to eat out here?”
“Berries, I guess. Are you good at herbology?”
“Okay. But I think your better.”
“Fine, I’ll go look for the berries and you do the tent.” I said, “When I get back you can help me make sure they’re all okay to eat. You said yourself your good at that. I’ll see you when I get back, and if you hear wild screams, that is me being attacked by a werewolf.”
“Silly Aspen, the full moon isn’t until tomorrow tonight.”
I stopped in my tracks, my face paling. “Are you serious?”
He just laughed, “Just go get the berries.”
“See you when I get back!” I called as I walked away.
“HAVE FUN BEING EATEN BY A WEREWOLF!” He cried after me and I rolled my eyes.
I walked out into the woods, I hated being alone out here. I had been in the forest a fair number of times, but I always had someone else with me, sometimes Hagrid and his new dog ‘Snuffles’, or with James and the guys or with the girls. But never alone.
After about twenty minutes of walking and thinking to myself about nothing, I came across a large patch of berries. I got the jar I had in my pocket and filled it with the berries.
Soon, I was on my way back when I heard an ear splitting scream. My heart started beating a little faster and I got a knot in my stomach. It was a girl’s scream coming from just a little ways away.
I took off running, my legs hurting from it and I began screaming, “JAMES!” I called, not even knowing if I was going in the right direction. Everything in the forest looked the same. “JAMES!” I cried again and I tripped over a log, falling into the dirt.
My heart was going a million beats per second and I was crying. I saw someone running and my heart slowed when I saw who it was, James. “Aspen!” He exclaimed, “What happened?”
“Someone was screaming.” I said through tears as he picked me up and started carrying me like he did after my accident after we got off the train on September first.
“It’s okay, love. It’s going to be okay. Did you get the berries?” I nodded as he set me inside the tent he had made up. It wasn’t like the other wizard tents, but a muggle one. It checked off muggle camping in the forbidden forest off our list.
I reached inside my pocket and tugged out the jar, filled with berries. “Great, I guess this is dinner tonight.” He cupped his hands and poured half the berries into them and gave me the jar.
“Thanks for setting up the tent.”
“Thanks for getting food.” He replied, eating the berries like an animal. But then again, I was eating them the same way. Before I knew it, I was asleep in my sleeping bag and James was asleep in his.
* * *
“WAKE UP!” A voice was crying, making me wake up. “CARMENDY! JAMES! WAKE UP!” A voice cried, with another one. I opened my eyes to find Megan and Danny looking at us. I found James waking up and lying beside me.
“What’s going on?” I asked, sitting up.
“THANK MERLIN!” Megan cried and flung her arms around me. “I-I was so worried.” She said, sobbing.
“What’s going on, Megs, Danny? What is wrong?” I asked, not understanding what was going on. I mean, we weren’t supposed talk to anyone and what would you do if you woke up to your friend sobbing over you in the forbidden forest?
“I thought you were dead!” Megan said through hiccups.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!” I yelled.
Megan and Danny looked at each other then James and I. “Aspen, James, how long have we been out here?”
“This is our second day.” James told them and they paled and looked very scared.
Okay, what is happening right now?
“What did you eat last night?”
“A few berries I found about twenty minutes away.” I said, pulling out my jar. “These.”
Megan examined them. “These are horax berries!”
“What are horax berries?”
“James, Aspen. We’ve been out here for four days. The horax berries put you to sleep for a few days. And, guys. Something happened, something horrible.”
“Megs, your starting to scare me know. What is going on?” I said, my voice breaking and I was freaking out.
“The first night we were here, there was screams. Not far from here at all. About forty five minutes maybe. Anyways, Danny and I followed the screams and we saw something. Sam Holden and Tuesday Soltero, being burned alive. It was odd though, it seem like someone wanted it to happen. I tried to go stop it, the fire, but there was a forcefield or something stopping Danny and I. And now Sam and Tuesday, they’re dead.”
I felt the color drain from my face and I froze. James squeezed my hand. “Are you for real right now?” Was the only thing I said.
Danny and Megan nodded, “Yes. After that we decided to find everyone else, screw what Slughorn says, I’m not letting anyone else die. We’ve found almost everyone else, we would go around at night and find them where they were sleeping so they wouldn’t run away. We found almost everyone within a few hours, no one had gone very far. But we have been looking for you for days. You were one of the three groups that were missing. I thought you were dead, A.” Megan cried and hugged me again.
I was still frozen, I couldn’t believe it. This wasn’t right, I knew that something was going to go wrong, but two kids dying? That was insane. “The first day, we were looking for fairy dust for our potion, and I took James to the fairy place-” I said, knowing that Megan knew where I was talking about. “-and when we went there, it was burned. Just that clearing and a few of the trees that were on the edge, nothing else.” I told them, “I just can’t believe this happened.”
“I have a feeling it wasn’t an accident.” Danny said. “Now, I’m sorry guys, but we have to go. Pack up, everyone else is about a hundred meters away.”
James nodded and we quickly packed up everything and took down the tent. Sure enough, about a hundred meters away was a pack of seventeen years old kids.
“Megan?” I asked and she looked at me.
“Who are the other groups that are missing?”
“Oh.” She said softly, “Lorcan Scamander and Jamie Flint and then June Alessi and Bradley.”
“Bradley’s missing?” Megan nodded.
“ASPEN!” A voice yelled and I saw Alice, Dom and Roxanne running at me and wrapping me in a hug. “Oh, merlin, your alive! Your actually alive!” Dom sobbed as I held her. “I was so scared, I thought it got you too!”
“I’m fine Dom, let’s just focus on finding Lorcan, Jamie, June and Bradley.” Dom nodded and wiped tears from her eyes.
James found me within a few seconds, “Are you okay Aspen?” He asked.
“I’m more scared than anything else really. I just can’t wait to get out of this bloody forest.” I said and we walked in silence for a while. About fifteen minutes later I spoke,
“Do you think we’ll find them? Or do you think that ‘it’-whatever it is-got them?”
“We don’t even really know what ‘it’ is, and until we know, we won’t know how much they stand a chance.”
“Well that’s really quite depressing.” I told him and he shrugged.
“But it’s true.” He said.
“I suppose your right.”
“I’m James Potter, I’m always right.”
“Cocky asshole. You haven’t changed a bit.” I told him and he flashed me a smiled. We kept on walking, I don’t even know for how long but Dom was gripping my hand, I didn’t have to ask what was wrong to know what was wrong.
Her boyfriend and the father of her baby was missing in the Forbidden Forest and could be dead. I had been lucky, I had the boy I loved with me. I still didn’t know when I was going to tell him that I love him, not like a best friend love but the kind of like-like love. Well, it makes sense in my mind.
“How long have we been walking?” I asked James, swaying from being dizzy.
“I don’t know, a while. But are you okay?”
“I-I’m fine.” I said, but it kind of backfired on me because I fell down. Well that was rather bad timing.
“MEGAN! DANNY!” He yelled as the world around me turned. “SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ASPEN!” I saw a blurry Megan and Danny come running and look over me.
“What’s wrong, what’s happened?”
“She was swaying and then she fell down, I’m pretty sure she was dizzy. I don’t know what’s wrong with her.” James said from above me.
“Pain, pain.” I whispered, “Lots of pain.” I didn’t even know why I was saying these things.
“What’s wrong with her Megan?!” James asked. I’ve never seen him like that before. Why was he freaking out over me being a little dizzy?
“Help.” I whispered, but I didn’t want to. It was like I had been, taken over. But that was impossible, even in the wizarding world. At least I think it was. “Help me. So much pain. So much sorrow. Help me.”
“I-I don’t know whats wrong!” Megan cried.
“Does anyone have a calming draught?!” Danny asked everyone.
A girl named Susie Weidler came forward and gave Danny a small blue vile. Danny opened my mouth and poured it in. The sticky potion dripped down my throat unwillingly.
“Aspen? Can you hear me?” Megan asked.
I nodded weakly.
“Everything.” I said. “What’s happening to me?” I asked right before I screamed. It felt like someone was stabbing the back of my head over and over again.
“I don’t know Aspen.” Megan said and began holding my hand.
“James.” I said, it took so much effort just to say it. “I need James.”
James came into my view as I said this.
“I’m right here, little A. I’m right here.” He held my hand.
I smiled and closed my eyes. “No! Stay awake Aspen! You have to stay awake Aspen!”
My eyes fluttered open, but I was falling asleep quickly. “Megan, I need to take her to the edge of the forest.”
“James I can’t let you and Aspen go off by yourselves. ‘It’ could get you.”
“No Megan. Something is seriously wrong with Aspen. She isn’t just hungry or thirsty. If we can get anyone to help her than it must happen. I’m taking her to the edge of the forest, whether anyone likes it or not.” James said firmly.
Megan nodded, “Okay. We’ll try and meet up with you once we find the others. Stay safe and take care of Aspen. Whatever you do James, don’t let anything happen to her. Because if you do we all know that Dom is going to get angry, and you don’t want a pregnant teenage Dom after your arse.”
“I won’t let anything happen to her Megan, I swear.” He said right before he picked up my blue clutch and then me. He started walking, and I didn’t say anything. Soon I fell asleep in the gentle rocking of his arms.
I woke up lying against James’s chest. I looked around and saw Hogwarts above us, the sun was shining from behind a few clouds. We were on the edge of the forest. Oh my god. I remembered what I had been told a few hours ago.
Tuesday and Sam were dead. Two seventh year students of Hogwarts-the safest place on earth-had just died. And we had no way to get out of the forest, the same forest they had died in.
James moved a little underneath me, he looked so peaceful in his sleep. Like nothing could be wrong, like he didn’t have a care in the world. If only I didn’t have a care in the world.
Within a few seconds, he woke up. “Aspen.” He whispered, “How are you feeling?”
“Just dandy.” I told him and he gave a weak smile.”What about you?”
“I’ll be fine.” He told me.
“Does anything hurt?”
“Just my chest.”
“Do you want me to take a look at it? You know how good I am at healing charms. I could help you.”
“Okay.” James said and took off the dark blue t-shirt he was wearing.
My hand flew up to my mouth and I gasped. James had several gashes on his stomach, very large and bloody gashes. There was about five big ones and lots of very small ones.
“How did this happen?” I asked, looking at them closely.
“Got scratched on a few branches walking over here.”
I titled my head, “James. I may not be a Ravenclaw or anything, but I’m not stupid either. This isn’t from a few branches. Tell me what happened while I was asleep.” I said firmly.
“Aspen-” He started.
“Don’t ‘Aspen’ me. Tell me what happened.”
“You’re going to freak out.”
“For Merlin’s sake, James! Just spit it out!” I cried, hands on my hips.
“Were not alone in this forest Aspen.” James said weakly.
“Explain.” I said, my voice shaking.
“You’ve been asleep for a couple hours, whatever happened to you was bad. No matter what, I couldn’t wake you up and I know that you’re not a very deep sleeper. Anyways, there is someone here. In the forest. They looked about twenty and they shot a few stinging spells at me and tore up my stomach. But-and please don’t freak out when I say this-they tried to take you.”
“W-what? What would they want with me?! I’m just Aspen. I’m nothing special, why would someone like that want someone like me?”
“I don’t know. But there is something bad going on around here. All these things happening, they aren’t just by coincidence, Aspen.”
“I know. I think I’ve known from the beginning actually.” I told him. “What do we do now?”
“You could fix me for starters.” He said.
“Oh! Right!” I said, “Sorry. Now, this may hurt a bit, especially because I don’t have any proper materials to help you. But I’m going to do the best I can.”
I pulled a few things out of my bed and tried to set up stuff to help him. I poured a few potions I had that were supposed to help with this kind of stuff. James screamed as I poured them on him. And it ripped my heart out to see him like that.
He was James Sirius Potter. My James. The guy that was never scared of anything, that would stare Voldemort down. He was stupidly brave and even if he was hit with several bludgers, wouldn’t scream. Yet I was making him scream. And it killed me.
“Sorry James, I’m so sorry.” I whispered as I finished pouring and he let out one final ear splitting scream. He panted and was sweating. “Are you feeling better now?”
“Lots.” He said and I smiled.
“Good.” Seconds later I heard crunching and James and I grabbed our wands and pointed it at the forest. Then I realized that it was coming from behind us. We were at the edge of the forcefield. So that meant, someone was outside the forcefield. They could help us. OH HOLY FUCKING NARGELS! I spun around. Hagrid. I’ve never been happier to see the giant man in my whole life.
“Hagrid!” James and I cried at the same time.
“‘ello! How’s your project goin’?” He asked.
“Hagrid, you have to take down the forcefield.”
“Sorry, no can do. Professor Slughorn made us all promise not to.”
“HAGRID!” I yelled, “TAKE DOWN THE FUCKING FORCEFIELD OR I SWEAR ON MY LIFE I WILL SHOVE ROCK CAKES SO FAR DOWN YOUR THROAT MY HAND WILL GET BURNED FROM YOUR STOMACH ACID!” I cried. James and Hagrid looked at me, shocked. Everyone thought I was this perfect little girl, but I had a temper, it didn’t appear too often, but when it did, it’s pretty wise to run in the other direction.
Within seconds he had his famous pink umbrella out and he was taking down the forcefield. The second they were taken down I started running. I was bloody fast too, comes with being a chaser. I ran all through the school, getting these odd looks. I finally stopped when I reached the other side of the castle and burst through the door of the Herbology greenhouse. I saw Rose, Scorpius and Al all look up at me, along with the rest of their class and Professor Longbottom.
“Miss Powells? What are you doing here?! Your meant to be in the Forbidden Forest with the rest of your class!” He exclaimed.
I panted, “Professor,” my voice broke, “Sam Holden and Tuesday Soltero, they’re dead sir.”
Everyone in the room gasped and Professor Longbottom’s eyes widened. “Class, go back to your common rooms, prefects are to alert other teachers, you are not to tell any other students what Miss Powells has just said.” The class left, Al shooting me a look as if to ask if James was okay, I nodded to say he was.
After the sixth years left Professor Longbottom came up to me, “Let’s go.” He said and we ran to the forest.
James was sitting next to Hagrid, obviously still in pain. His face was scrunched up and he was biting his lower lip. I ran over to him. “You idiot! You told me you were feeling better!”
“Please James, your about to break out in tears.”
“Sadly, that is better.”
“Merlin, we need to get you to Victorie in the hospital wing.”
“No, no until everyone is found.”
“James, Aspen is right. Hagrid, can you please take James to the hospital wing.”
Hagrid nodded and he and James left, with heavy protests from James. But they finally left. “Now, Miss Boulder, go back to your common room, were going to send a search party out.”
“No.” I said, crossing my arms. “You have no idea what happened. You need me.”
“Fine, please tell me what happened.”
“Not unless I can come out with you.”
“Aspen I can’t let you.”
“Professor Longbottom, I know what I’m getting myself into, better than you do, or anyone else for that matter. Let me go.”
He squeezed his eyes shut, “Okay.” He said after a few moments. “Take me to where you last saw everyone, and explain on the way.”
We started walking, and I told him everything I knew. We were just a little ways away from the spot were I last saw everyone when I finished talking. The two of us walked in silence until we reached the spot. “It’s here, where I last saw them.”
“Do you know which way they were headed?” I pointed in a direction and we followed it, not saying a word to each other. It was creepy, being in the depths of the forest. Just a few hours ago I was here though, and I felt okay. I think its because I was with James. He made me feel, so safe inside. Just another reason to add onto the list of reasons I love him.
It must have been at least and hour before we heard voices, someone called out to us.
“WHO’S THERE?!” The voice yelled.
“ASPEN SEPTEMBER ISABELLA ANNELIESE MADELINE POWELLS AND NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM!” I called. Professor Longbottom shot me a look that said, ‘Why the hell did you just do that?’ I ignored him.
I heard crunching noises and I saw Dom, Louis, Fred and Ally. “Aspen!” They all cried at once. Dom ran up and hugged me. “Professor Longbottom!”
“Where is everyone else?” Professor Longbottom asked.
“Just behind those trees.” Louis said.
Professor Longbottom nodded and followed the direction. “Is James okay?” Louis asked.
“Someone attacked him while I was still out and he got a fair number of stinging jinxs, I tried to heal him but I don’t think it helped much. He’s in the hospital wing with Victorie now.”
“Good.” Fred said.
“Are you okay though?” Ally asked.
“I don’t really know to be honest.” I said. “I just, don’t know what to feel right now. Everything is just...numb.” Dom threw her arms around me and pulled me in tight as I tried to not cry.
“Everything is going to be okay A. Your safe now.” Louis said.
I rubbed my eyes, “But were not. Anyways, have you found anyone else yet?”
Fred nodded, “Bradley and June. They were really banged up. Bradley has a bunch burns and horrible scratches, while June isn’t as bad, just a few bad scratches.” Dom flinched as this.
“MISS POWELLS!” Professor Longbottom came around a few trees. “Please lead all of the students back to the castle, tell all staff members to meet me at Yender’s point. They’ll know where it is.” I nodded as the other 7th years came forward. It sounds insane, but all the 7th years took potions class. “Everyone, follow Miss Powells to the castle, go to your common rooms and stay there.” Everyone nodded and started following me as I walked.
Joey was levitating Bradley because of how bad he was hurt. Most of us were walking in silence. It was only fifteen minutes into the few hours walk when Joey came up to me, a sleeping Bradley floating next to him. “How are you?”
“Trying to hang in there. You?”
“I’m just freaking out. Who would want to kill Tuesday and Sam? I mean, Voldemort and the death eaters are gone.”
“I don’t know. But, were all gonna be okay. We have to be.” Two hours later we reached the castle, the Hufflepuffs headed towards the kitchens, the Slytherins for the dungeons, the Ravenclaws for Ravenclaw Tower and us Gryffindors for the 7th floor but just as we reached the first floor I turned to my friends. “Guys, I’m going to go check on James. I’ll see you upstairs in a few minutes, okay?” They nodded and I walked to the hospital wing.
The large doors were open and I saw James lying on a bed, asleep. VIctorie spotted me. “He’s doing well, should be able to leave tomorrow.”
“Victorie, Professor Longbottom wants you to find other Professors and meet him at Yender’s point.” She paled and nodded and handed me some bottles with potions in them.
“Apsen, please take James and these potions and give them to him twice a day.” I nodded and she left the hospital wing. Oh, this is bad. Victorie was really serious about her job and she barley ever left this hospital wing.
I levitated James while he was sleeping and reached the Gryffindor common room. Bradley and Dom were sitting on the couch, Bradley’s head in Dom’s lap, his face had burns on it. Fred and Louis were sitting on the ground, looking into the fire with blank expression. Ally was sitting on a chair, hugging her knees to her chest looking so scared. Roxy was pacing around the room and Megan was asleep against Danny a few feet away from the fireplace.
“Hey.” I whispered, but it was so silent they heard me. It was empty in the common room, which I expected since it was about eight o’clock now. All of their heads turned to me.
“Okay, he should wake up soon.” I put him down on the second couch. I sat down next to him and we all sat in silence. After a few minutes I walked over to Bradley and Dom.
“Bradley?” I whispered. “Do you want me to do some spells on you? It could help.”
“Yes.” He said weakly. I pulled out my wand and preformed several healing spells on him. Finishing with Vigoratus Exuro. “Is that better?” He nodded.
“Aspen. Aspen!” A voice cried out. I turned around to see James waking up.
I rushed over too him, “I’m right here James. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I feel loads better now. Where is everyone else?”
“Everyone is in their common rooms. Dom, Ally, Roxy, Megan, Fred, Louis, Danny and Bradley are all here. But Lorcan and June are still missing, the professors are looking for them.”
“Good. How are you?”
“Fine.” I told him, knowing that he would know that it was a lie. He knew me too well.
Before I could respond Dom spoke, “We should all go to sleep guys. It’s been a rough couple of days and we all know that we could use the rest.” Everyone nodded in response and we headed for the stairs.
“Goodnight boys.” I said before I retreated up the stairs. All of the girls climbed into bed without a word, not even changing. I did though, I changed into an old shirt of Matt’s and a pair of Gryffindor sweat pants.
I finally climbed into bed, thinking about everything that was going on in my life. My cancer had been gone for five months. I had come back to Hogwarts after three and a half years. I had decided that I’m going to tell James Sirius Potter that I have been in love with him since I was five years old. I returned to the quidditch team. My best friend was pregnant. Two students were dead, and two were missing. And it was only September 13th. This year is going to be madness.
Hey everyone! I’m so sorry for the wait, but I just finished the final chapter for my other story and it was kind of hard to let go of it. Anyways, I hope you all liked the chapter, it’s the longest yet! :D Here are the chapter questions:
What do you think of Roxanne, Ally and Megan finding out about Dom and Aspen’s secrets?
Did anyone predict that something like that would go down in the forest?
What did you think about everything that happened in the forest?
And lastly, do you think they’ll find Lorcan and Jamie?
Oh and guess what guys?! Its summer for me! Thank god! Please review, it means to world to me!
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