Twenty minutes later, I looked like a much better version of myself. My green eyes were popping with the gold eye shadow and black eyeliner Rose had put on. My cheekbones were highlighted and they were higher than I thought they were. All my scars were gone and it looked as if I had flawless skin. I was wearing a bottle green halter top and some of Rose’s dark wash jeans. There were gold hoops dangling from my ear lobes and all in all, I looked like a good mix of Slytherin and Gryffindor.
Rose apparently had the same idea because after a final swipe of lip gloss, she stood back and admired her handy work. “Perfect. You look like the daughter of Gryffindor and Slytherin. Oh god, that’s wrong. Salazar and Godric. Anyways, you look gorgeous, and after I’m done, we’ll look amazing and be ready to go.”
She shut herself in her bathroom and I spent a while (thirty minutes) staring at myself and not believing what I was seeing. I look as god dang pretty as Lily Evans herself. Then I blushed when thinking about James and how he looked like James Potter the first. No! Clover Isabella Nott, get these ridiculous thought out of your head! I scolded myself.
Then Rose came out of the bathroom and she looked… AMAZING. If she had a boyfriend and he was here, I was sure he would jump her bones right then.
She was wearing a blue bat wing shirt that matched her eyes exactly and some dark wash jeans just like mine. Her hair was up in a curly pony tail and was artfully messy. She had silver studs in her ears that twinkled. Her eyes were lined in black and she had on mascara and silver eye shadow.
I felt my jaw drop. “Rose… you look AMAZING!”
She fluttered her eyes teasingly. “Do I?”
I rolled my eyes and we linked arms and skipped downstairs. Just as we leaped off the last step together, Rose’s little brother Hugo walked in, sweaty from his broom ride. His jaw dropped open when he saw me and I couldn’t help but giggle.
Rose noticed too because she said, “No chance Hugo. Too old for you.”
I laughed and Hugo’s face matched his hair for a second before he ran upstairs to wash up again. Rose and I collapsed on the couch in a fit of laughter. Hermione came in wearing make-up and a dress that truly flattered her shape.
When she saw us she smiled. “What’s so funny girls?” she asked.
“Hugo has a crush on Clover!” Rose declared loudly before bursting into chuckles again.
“DO NOT!” came Hugo’s voice from upstairs. Hermione laughed and Ron came out of the hall from behind her. He looked over his daughter and me disapprovingly.
“Honey, aren’t the girls wearing inappropriate clothing?”
Hermione contradicted this. “No Ronald, they aren’t. Now if Hugo can get down here, we can all leave for George’s.”
Hugo came running down the stairs, his curls blown every which way. “I’m here!”
Ron grinned. “Excellent. Hugo and I will go first and scare Angelina for you. She deserves after nearly killing me in those Quidditch practices.”
“From what Uncle Harry says, you really were awful.” Rose stated in a matter-of-fact voice.
Ron gritted his teeth and stepped into the fireplace with Hugo. “Number 9 Joanne Place!” They disappeared.
Hermione, Rose, and I stepped in next and Hermione threw the powder. “Number 9 Joanne Place!” we shouted.
Green smoke whirled around us and we were thrown on the floor of a porch. Hermione helped Rose and me up, still coughing. She sighed and rang the doorbell.
“Angelina never like the ash on her carpet. Still, a fireplace on the porch would attract attention from the neighbors wouldn’t you think?”
I felt a pull around the fireplace. “There’s a charm on this fireplace. Muggles can’t see us.”
Hermione nodded proudly. “Very good Clover. Oh look, the door’s opening.”
A girl with long wavy black hair and toffee skin peered around the door. Her brown eyes took us in and she smiled. Roxanne.
“Aunt Hermione! Rose! And you must be Clover! I cannot wait to get to know you! Come on in guys!” She opened the door wider and took our coats. I recognized her from school. She sat with a blonde boy during every meal.
Rose muttered. “I told you so,” in my ear when she passed me into the foyer. I rolled my eyes and followed her in.
Roxanne took our hands and pulled us up the stairs. “All the kids are hanging out upstairs with Victoire and Teddy. I bet you can’t wait to see them! Teddy looks as good as new too!”
She led us to a room which was obviously a play room where a ton of kids were.
“Rose! Clover!” Albus exclaimed. He ran over to us and pulled us over to the crowd.
Rose ran over to Teddy while I hung back with a tall blonde whom I recognized as Victoire from my school days. She smiled at me and then frowned as if something was wrong.
“Haven’t I seen you somewhere?” she asked, looking me up and down.
I blushed and nodded. “I’m Clover Nott. In second year, James and Fred knocked me over and you helped me up. You were Head Girl.”
Recognition dawned on Victoire’s face as she remembered. “Oh yeah! I yelled at James and Fred a lot that day. I hope they’re treating you better.”
“Yeah,” I lied. She nodded as if to say well, they’d better and went back to looking at her husband.
“What exactly happened to him?” I asked, gesturing to Teddy.
She sighed. “Yaxley broke out of his cell because he snagged some wizards wand and ran. When Teddy tried to stop him, he shot the curse at him and Teddy blacked out. His co workers found him and sent him to the hospital.”
“Oh. Cassie and Scorp didn’t tell me everything so I didn’t know,” I explained.
“Oh! So you’re friends with Scorpious and Cassie? Of course, they’re both Slytherins. Yeah, Cassie came in crying. She’s so adorable, just like Lily.” She looked over at the fourteen year old with a fond expression.
“Yeah, shame they hate each other,” I muttered, thinking she couldn’t hear. But she did. I guess it’s because she’s part werewolf.
“They hate each other? Why? Sometimes Lily hates people just because someone close to her does. That’s why she’s got this thing against Slytherin. Because Ron, James, and Fred have got it.”
I nodded and then I heard my name being called from somewhere else.
Rose was waving to me furiously so I said bye to Victoire and went over to my crazy Wotter friend. When I sat next to her, she pulled me in front of her cousins.
“Guys, this is the super smart one that mum was talking about. Her name is Clover.” She beamed at her cousins.
Roxanne spoke first. “Aren’t you Slytherin? Fred always says that you are but you seem too nice to be a Slytherin.”
I nodded. “Just because I’m a Slytherin doesn’t mean that I’m mean. Like just because you’re a Gryffindor doesn’t mean you’re nice.”
I saw Victoire glance towards James and Fred when I said that. I knew that she knew that they were still torturing me. She gave Teddy a meaningful look and then turned back to me.
Louis asked, “What does Auntie Hermione mean when she says protégé?”
Rose answered for me. “She means that Clover is absolutely wonderful! You know how you hate coming to our house because you can’t play Quidditch? Well we can now because Clover cast some kind of charm so that Muggles can’t see us.”
Excited whispering started breaking out among cousins.
A woman with long silvery blonde hair and wide blue eyes walked up the stairs and paused on the last step. “Cheeldren! Eet eez time to ‘ave dinner. Come down, merci.”
“Yes ma!” said another girl who looked exactly like her mother. This must have been Dominique Weasley, Victoire’s younger sister. The only difference between Victoire and Dominique was their eyes. Victoire’s were chocolate brown and Dominique’s were a bright blue.
I followed Rose down into the kitchen and there was this ‘pizza’ thing that Hermione was talking about. It smelled lovely and I helped myself to two slices. It was basically toasted Italian bread lathered with spiced tomato sauce and cheese. The cheese looked really good.
I bit into one and it was like heaven. I almost melted with delight. I could tell it was really fat because of the grease but I didn’t care. It was my new favorite food. I practically inhaled my two slices and I was about to go for a third when I stopped myself.
No Clover, two is enough. Put down the plate and move away slowly. That’s right, up the stairs and back to the play room where you can be alone.
I found myself up in the room we were in before, except this time it was only me. I grabbed a telescope prank thing and started playing with it. But seeing as it was in the owner of Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes house, I was a bit cautious with it. Turns out that it punches whoever tries to look through it. Clever, really.
I looked up as someone else entered the room. It was Dominique and she was looking at me curiously.
“Why are you up here?” she asked while sitting down next to me. She must have been in her early twenties.
I shrugged. “I finished eating so I decided to wait for everyone up here. Why are you up here?”
She shrugged like me. “Same as you. So you’re a Slytherin eh? Normally I’m not that friendly to Slytherins; but since you’re friends with Rose, Albus, Hugo, and Victoire, I’m going to try to get to know you.” She held out her hand to me. “I’m Dominique Apolline Weasley, daughter of Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley, older sister of one and younger sister of one. I enjoy Quidditch, eating, and shopping. My passion is writing and I want to be a journalist for the Daily Prophet like my aunt. I am single and not looking right now and am currently a trainee at the Daily Prophet working under said aunt. What about you?”
I shook her hand. “I’m Clover Isabella Nott, daughter of Daphne Greengrass and Theodore Nott. I’m a rather good student, Slytherin, and seventh year. I enjoy reading, music, and doing magic even though it is a second nature to me. I like Muggle literatures such as Charles Dickens, and Muggle music like that old country-pop star Taylor Swift. I’ve been looking for her first album everywhere but I can’t find it. I like the color indigo, horses, and Muggle tech. It’s all very cool to me. I’m not a big athletic person, but I do enjoy hardcore dancing. I want to work in the Department of Charms and Spells for a while and then maybe try to work up to being its head. And maybe when I retire, I’ll become a professor at Hogwarts. That’s me.”
Dominique was lost in thought for a while. “I think you should try to become the Minister of Magic.”
“What?” I asked incredulously.
“The Minister of Magic,” she repeated. “You have the talent.”
I shook my head. “Never. Being a leader was never my thing. And besides –”
“Hey! You two going to come down for dessert or what?” James called from the stairs.
Dominique rolled her eyes. “We’re coming James, don’t shed your knickers. Come on, let’s go.”
She popped to her feet and helped me up. I took her hand and she tugged me into a standing position. Dominique and I ran downstairs and at once, Fleur came over to us and put her hands on her hips.
“Dominique! Clover! Why zid you go up? You know zat your couseens weel finish deenner soon enough! Come! You must ‘ave dessert!” She dragged us into the living room where everyone was sitting around, eating some white powdery stuff.
“What is that?” I asked Dominique who took a bowl from her mum and urged me to take one too. I obliged and took a bowl.
She took a bite and groaned. “This is the best stuff ever. Mum and Nana Molly came up with it after comparing recipes last summer. It’s called Snow Cake. It’s basically white chocolate cake covered in powdered sugar. Try it!” she took another bite and closed her eyes.
I shrugged and took a bit like she said. She was right. Screw pizza, this was amazing! It was so fluffy and sweet and it melted on your tongue like the powder it was. I actually had two servings of it, it was that good.
We spent the rest of the night talking about my talents, and once again, Nana Molly as everyone called her, made me stand up and make a show out of myself. A tall lanky man that looked a bit like Ron but had a thinner face and horn rimmed glasses seemed particularly interested in my skills. His name was Percy.
“Are you considering a job in the Ministry?” he asked me as everyone was standing up and getting ready to leave.
I nodded. “I want to go into the Department of Magical Charms and Spells. I’ve always enjoyed making up spells and trying out new charms. Do you work in the Ministry as well?”
Percy nodded proudly and fixed his glasses a bit straighter. “Yes, I do. I am the Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation. My –” he was interrupted by two girls who looked a lot like each other.
“Come on dad! Let’s go, I want to get up early so I can go over to Victoire’s tomorrow morning!” said the one in glasses.
Percy glanced down at her. “Lucy, did they invite you?” he asked patronizingly.
She rolled her eyes. “Duh, dad. Why else would I go?”
The other girl, who looked much more tomboyish with her messy red hair, hoodie, and sweatpants, must have been Molly, the smart and loud one. Rose told me Lucy was the smart and quiet one.
Molly replied to her sister. “Because you want to scare them out of their beds in the morning. You did that last Christmas Eve too.”
Lucy giggled. “I did. And guess what? They weren’t even wearing anything!”
A woman who looked a lot like both of the girls came up beside them, frowning slightly. “Lucy, Victoire and Teddy were really annoyed by that. Don’t do that again.”
Lucy put on an innocent face. “Who, me?”
I laughed and then I heard my name being called from the fireplace. Rose and Hugo were calling for me. They both had pinches of floo powder in between their fingers. I nodded towards them and turned back towards Percy.
“It was nice to meet Mr. Weasley,” I said, shaking his hand.
Then I ran towards Rose and took a pinch of powder out of the pot on the mantel. Rose, Hugo, and I stepped into the fireplace and shouted together.
“Number 103, Harrington Way!”
I saw the dust rise around me and the next second, we were falling on each other in a heap on the floor of Rose’s living room. Rose was on the bottom, Hugo was on top of her, and I was coating our three person cake. We were all coughing green powder.
I saw Hermione standing over us. She shook her head like she couldn’t believe the predicament we were in and raised her wand.
“Scourgify!” The dust cleared up and she helped me up. Rose and Hugo rolled off of each other and groaned.
“Too much to eat?” Hermione asked disapprovingly.
Rose and Hugo nodded and clutched their stomachs. I giggled and pulled Rose to her feet. I helped her upstairs and into her room. I laid her on her bed and she went to sleep right away.
I went into her bathroom, changed into some night clothes and brushed my teeth. Then I tied my hair and washed my face of all its make-up. When I was finally free of any discomforts, I climbed into the extra bed that Hermione transfigured for me and pulled up the sheets.
That night, I dreamt of an actually family.
The next day around 3:00, James and I left for my house via floo. We came out in my room’s fireplace. James smirked as soon as he saw my bland decorations.
My room was pretty plain except for a couple pictures of Scorpious, Willow, Cassie, and I. I had a couple of the guys. There was one picture of my mum, dad, and I where I was in a bundle and one of my mum and I on Platform 9 and ¾. It was first year and we were both smiling into the camera.
James said, “Wow, aren’t you quite the decorator?” He picked up a picture of me and Scorpious and frowned.
“Isn’t that Malfoy Manor?” he asked, pointing to the background.
I nodded. “That was when it was Uncle Draco’s birthday. We had a small party.”
James put it down. “You’re related to the Malfoy’s?” he asked.
“Yeah. My mum and their mum are sisters. Purebloods are all related you know.” I pointed out to him.
“I know. So where is this house elf?”
I shrugged. “Probably in the kitchen. She likes cooking even though she doesn’t eat. Let’s go.”
I walked out of the room with James behind me. I don’t pretend that I’m not nervous since him and I are in a house alone without anyone, but he seemed kind of calm today. He didn’t feel like an enemy to me.
I walked him out of my room, down the hall, down a flight of stairs, and down another hall into the kitchen. Sure enough, there was bustling in the pantry. Cans and cans of different things were flying out of it.
“Mokey?” I called out loudly.
The noise in the pantry stopped and a pair of round, tennis ball sized, brown eyes peered around the pantry door. They widened even larger when they saw me and a long nose followed it out. Then Mokey’s entire cute face appeared and it was excited.
“Mistress Clover! Mistress Clover,” she ran to me and wrapped her long gangly arms around me knees, “Mokey was so worried when Mistress did not come home right after break! She thought she might have stayed back at Hogwarts, but Mokey checked and no one was there! Then Mokey went to Headmistress and she said you went home with the Weasley’s. And then –”
I knelt down and hugged Mokey. “Calm down Mokey. I’m right here. McGonagall was right; I did go to the Weasley’s. I came home for dinner tonight so I could meet you. Has there been anything new happening in the house since summer?” I asked her.
She backed away and held her hands behind her back. “No… but a letter came from hospital place for Mistress Clover. Mokey did not open as it was addressed to you, but Mokey thinks Mistress Clover should open it right away.”
I felt my throat tighten up. Mother? No… she still had three months… right?
“Mokey? Where is the letter?” I inquired
Mokey pointed to the dining room. “Mokey put it on the dining room table. Will Mokey be cooking for the guest as well?” Mokey asked, pointing to James who was standing behind me quietly.
I straightened back and looked back to James. He looked uneasy, but he nodded and I turned back to Mokey.
Mokey nodded and went back to rummaging through the pantry. James followed me to the dining room and I spotted the white envelope on the red table cloth. I rushed over and picked it up. It must have come a while ago because there was a light layer of dust on it.
I blew off the dust and ripped open the letter. I didn’t realize I was hyperventilating until James grabbed my shoulder and sat me down.
“Nott! Relax, you’re freaking out.”
I evened out my breathing and stilled. “Right, okay.”
I opened the letter:
Dear Miss Nott,
Your mother, Daphne Bernadette Greengrass Nott was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago. We told you that she would still have six months left three months ago, but your mother seems to want to go earlier than that. She refuses to take her potions and use her inhaler. She wants to see you as soon as possible. Please visit St. Mungo’s at your earliest availability.
Healer Welkins at St. Mungo’s for Magical Maladies and Injuries
The letter dropped out of my hands and hit the floor. I didn’t even register it because I was too astonished by what the letter read.
She wanted to die?
Now James had picked it up and was reading it. I didn’t stop him.
His expression changed from blank, to sad, to worried in a matter of moments. I stared at the wall and at all the family photos on the dining room fireplace mantle.
I stood up fast and started running around. She was going to die, she was going to die, and she wanted to die. The same thoughts kept flashing through my mind as I rushed around, trying to get my mum’s things together so I could go visit her.
Her books, her albums, and her music box that played an old Muggle classic, Fur Elise. I stuffed them all in my bag and ran down to the fireplace. The floo pot! Where was the floo pot?!
I collapsed on the ground and buried my face in my hands and I felt water. Without me even realizing it, I had started crying. I hurriedly wiped my face and I felt a hand under my chin.
It lifted my head and I looked up into a pair of hazel eyes. James.
“Why does she want to die?” I asked tearily. “Why does she want to die when she has me?”
He sat down in front of me, on the floor. “You can’t go to Mungo’s looking like this Clove. Why don’t you wait, have dinner, and then we can go to the hospital. Now come on, Mokey is worried about you.”
I sniffed and sat up. “No, it’s alright. I’m not that hungry anymore. Tell Mokey to only make two servings.” I curled up in an armchair and looked out a nearby window. Why was mother so weak; did Aunt Astoria and Uncle Draco know?
I glanced at my watch. It was only six o’clock. I still had time to go to their house and be back by dinner. I wondered if James would mind if we made a quick stop there. I decided to ask him.
He looked up from the letter he was rereading. “Yes?”
I bit my lip. “Do you mind if I go to my aunt and uncle’s for a bit? I want to know if they know about this.” I gestured to the tear soaked letter in his hand.
He looked uneasy. “I’ll come with you.”
“No, you don’t have to –”
“Yes, I do actually.” He looked pretty smug. “I’m to accompany you everywhere today. Aunt Hermione and mum said so. Where’s the floo pot?”
After the green smoke cleared away, we stumbled out into a grand living room full of expensive old furniture and ancient priceless artifacts. Malfoy Manor always looked this grand since the house elves that worked here cleaned the house every day. The only difference from thirty years ago was the photos that rested on the mantle.
There were five, the first one of Draco and Astoria on their wedding day, the second of Scorpious when he was born, the third one of Cassie when she was born, the fourth one of my mum and me, and the fifth one of us all. Meaning, Draco, Astoria, and my mum stood in the back, while six year old me, five year old Scorp, and three year old Cassie stood up front, grinning toothily up into the camera.
James fingered the pictures with a strange expression on his face. “I’ve never seen Draco Malfoy smile. Or you for that matter.”
I blushed and then grabbed his hand, feeling a bit shy. “Come on; let’s go find my aunt and uncle. Uncle Draco doesn’t take kindly to having intruders in his house.”
He nodded and followed me from room to room, hall to hall, study to study, me calling out Uncle Draco’s name over and over. There was no sign where he was; the manor was completely quiet as always. It was never quiet when Scorpious and Cassie were there; where could they be?
“SCORPIOUS HYPERION MALFOY!” I shouted with all my voice. “CASSIOPEIA NARCISSA MALFOY!” James snickered behind his palm.
I shot him an icy glare. “James Sirius Potter. May I remind you, that you were named after a constellation as well.”
His eyes opened wide. “A constellation?”
I smirked. “I see why you’re not in NEWT level Astrology. Almost all the purebloods in our family are named after constellations. Sirius, Andromeda, Scorpious, Cassiopeia, Draco, Arcturus, and Orion are all constellations.”
He got lost in thought and that’s when I heard it. The sound of footsteps running down the stairs.
“Uncle Draco!” I cried, running to hug the nearly bald, platinum blonde man with a pointed face. Uncle Draco held out his arms but still looked confused.
“What are you doing here? Is that Harry Potter?” He looked over to James who was still facing the other way.
I shook my head. “No, that’s James Potter, Harry’s son. I was staying with Hermione over Christmas and I went to visit Mokey and I found a letter and –”
Draco grabbed my shoulders and sat me down in a nearby armchair. “Ok, now tell me what’s going on,” he said, sitting across from me.
I told him everything with James behind me, still not believing he was in Malfoy Manor. My eyes teared up once in a while, but I was fine in the end. Uncle Draco nodded where it was appropriate and his grey eyes kept flitting up to James, still not quite believing that a Potter was in his house.
Aunt Astoria came in as I was finishing and when she saw me, she raised an eyebrow, but just sat down as well and listened. Uncle Draco gave her the short story and then she also started crying silently.
“You didn’t know?” I asked.
She nodded and wiped away a tear from under her brown eyes. “Yes, we knew. We got a letter a few weeks ago. I – I went to go see her and she – she wouldn’t speak to me. Oh Clover… she’s lost her memory.”
I felt tears sliding down my cheeks. I closed my eyes and Apparated out of there and back to my house. Mokey was setting dinner down on table and when she saw me bawling, she ran over to me and tried to comfort me.
“Miss Clover! Mokey does not like to see Miss Clover upset. Mokey knew that Miss Clover would only be upset if she went to see Malfoy’s. Mokey –” a crack interrupted Mokey and soon, James was standing next to me.
“Clover! Are you okay? I’m – I’m sorry.”
I saw the letter on the floor. “I need to get to St. Mungo’s. Now.”
James nodded and grabbed my arm. In seconds, I was being shoved into a tube with James and soon we were standing in front of Purge and Dowse Ltd.
I stepped up to the old ragged doll. “Daphne Nott, brain cancer, Healer Welkins.”
The doll gave a slight nod and James and I walked through the glass. When we arrived on the other side, we emerged in a lobby filled with patients and Healers scurrying around.
I walked up to the front desk and the Welcome Witch looked up at me. “Miss Nott here for Mrs. Nott?”
I nodded and she pointed to the stairs. “Third floor for Magical Bugs. Healer Welkins is not in there in the moment, but he will be there soon. That is,” she actually looked at us now, “if you actually want to see him.”
I shook my head silently and walked towards the stairs. Until then, I wasn’t aware of James’s arm around my waist, but I left it there. It was comforting, like he was reminding me that he was there for me. It was weird really, that James Sirius Potter of all people would be with me when I visited my mum in the hospital, but I let it go and walked up the stairs as slowly as possible as if the later I saw her, the faster she’d get better.
I passed some people screaming on the other floors, but the third floor was completely quiet. I walked into the Chronic Disease room and spotted my mum’s graying auburn hair splayed on a pillow a couple cots down. She was lying, back on the mattress and staring blankly at the ceiling.
I kneeled at her bedside and held her hand which was cold, but I could feel her pulse.
“Mum?” I whispered weakly.
She turned her head towards me slowly. “Clover?” she asked in a small voice.
I felt tears running down my damp face, but these were tears of happiness. “Aunt Astoria said you’d lost your memory.”
She smiled lightly. “I have a sister?”
I blinked harshly. “You – You don’t remember? Aunt Astoria? Theodore Nott? Draco Malfoy? You can’t remember?” I started firing off names that she knew, trying to see if it would jog her memory.
She shook her head. “I’ve been told that I’ve lost part of my brain that stores my memories.”
“How did you remember me, mum?” I asked.
She gripped my hand lightly. “Clover honey, I couldn’t forget you even if someone Obliviated me. I love –” her hand dropped and the pulse was gone.
It was like the world had been yanked out from under my feet.
“No! No, come back! You can’t – You can’t leave me alone…” I sobbed into my hands and collapsed right there.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and I looked up and I could just make out James beyond my tears which were blurring my vision. He held out a hand and I grabbed it and pulled myself up.
I turned to her and watched as the light left her eyes. Those beautiful emerald eyes which I had inherited disappeared and were replaced by a dull forest green. I cried and cried there in the room, where, at some point, James wrapped his arms around me and got us out of there.
When I finally stopped, we stood in front of a familiar house that I couldn’t make out because of the tears. Then I noticed the number 103 on the mailbox and realized that we were at Rose’s house. I didn’t want Hermione to see me like this! I was a powerful witch; I couldn’t cry.
“No –” I gasped lightly. “Not here. I don’t want Mrs. Weasley to see me like this.” I tried to wipe my tears, but then I realized James’s arms were still around me.
“Do you want to go to my house?” he asked softly.
“Would – would that be okay with you? And your parents?” I asked, not wanting to intrude.
He laughed. “Mum would love to have you over. My dad would understand how you feel as well. He lost his parents too you know. Never knew them.”
I sniffed, feeling a little better for myself. “That’s true. At least I got to know my mother before she passed. I think I’d like to go to your house.”
He nodded and he Apparated us in front of a house I had seen just a few days ago. The Potter’s house looked magnificent in front of the setting sun and it looked homely. Better then the Nott Manor any day. Or the Malfoy Manor.
He walked me up to the door and pulled out a key. He inserted it into the door and it swung open easily, permitting us through. We walked into the foyer and I tried to make myself a little more presentable. I smoothed down my hair, charmed my face to get rid of the tears, but my eyes were still red and puffy.
“James honey? Is that you? Are you back already?” Ginny Potter appeared from the living room.
When she saw me she made a sad face. “What happened Clover? Are you alright?”
James hissed. “Mum! She’s obviously not alright! I’m taking her up to my room. I’ll tell you what happened later.”
James led me upstairs to his room and sat me down on his bed. He pulled me closer and suddenly, I realized I had never been this close to him before. I had imagined that it would have been Willow in his place, hugging me, consoling me.
“Please, you can leave. I just – I just need a few moments to myself,” I sniffed, rubbing my undoubtedly red nose.
James nodded and left me in my misery. Once he left, the tears really started coming down, wetting my face and soon, the saltiness was all over my tongue. I tried to dry my face with my wand, but in between the chest-heaving sobs, I couldn’t get the spell out.
“Tergeo,” chanted a voice from the doorway.
I looked up to see Lily standing there.
“You shouldn’t use your wand,” I protested. “You’re only fifteen.”
Lily smirked. “My dad’s Harry Potter and practically my whole family works in the Ministry. I don’t think I’ll get in trouble. Besides, the Minister of Magic is a family friend who comes over for dinner.”
I smiled through the blurred, fresh tears. “Thanks.”
“So I heard you lost your mum,” she began. “I’m not going to say sorry, because that won’t help even though I am sorry, but I will try to help you. I’m sorry for being such an arse before; I was just afraid that you were going to steal Rose away from me. She’s my favorite cousin and I couldn’t stand if she liked you better than me.”
“It’s alright,” I said.
“I’ll leave you now,” she said awkwardly.
“Lily!” Albus appeared in the doorway. “What are you doing in –?”
“Her mum just passed,” Lily whispered to him. “Leave her alone.”
Albus gave me a smile and tugged Lily away with him.