Disclaimer: I sadly do not own Harry Potter, just anything from my own imagination.
Thank you to my reviewers! Jweasley and LeeAnn thank you so much for reviewing! I’m sorry this update came really late but I hope to have future chapters up sooner.
I could see a flashing bright light through my closed eyelids and suddenly, the screaming stopped. I slowly opened my eyes and looked straight into Oliver’s concerned face. “Are you all right, Wyn?” he asked me. Shakily, I nodded my head yes and dug around in my pocket for the chocolate frog I had stuffed there earlier. After taking a couple of bites, I felt immensely better and I handed the rest to Oliver. Angelina was tucked against George, shuddering while George ran his hands soothingly down her back.
Lee and Fred started speaking excitedly, “horrible feeling that was,” “I thought I would never feel happy again.” I felt someone grab me and pull me into a hug. “That was horrible, Sissy. Are you okay?” Once again, I nodded my head and returned Tommy’s hug. I pushed him off and signed, “Check the other compartments and make sure the other students are okay. I’m going to go look for the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.”
I ignored Oliver’s protests and walked out of the compartment. Kids were poking their heads out of their compartments, wondering what was going on. I cast a spell that wrote a burning message in the air for each compartment, “Please stay in your compartment and do not go out into the corridor. We will answer any questions you have shortly.”
I saw the professor enter a compartment ahead and rushed towards him. When I went in, I saw Harry Potter sitting up on the ground, looking alarmingly pale. The professor was handing him a block of chocolate. Harry looked up and saw me. “Harry, are you all right?” I signed to him. Oliver gave him the sign language book back when Harry was in first year and saw us getting close. I had taken Harry under my wing, knowing what it was like having people stare at you for a past you don’t want to have.
“He bloody fainted. What the hell is going on Winnie?” Ron asked from his seat on the right. I had not noticed the youngest male Weasley and sure enough, Hermione Granger was sitting right next to him. On the opposite seat was Faye Weasley, a slim, red – haired Ravenclaw third year (and Ron’s twin sister) who was looking at Harry with relief in her gray eyes. Before I could answer, the professor spoke up.
“I believe they came on the train looking for Sirius Black.”
“Why would Sirius Black be on the train?” Faye.
“Because they think he’s looking for Harry!”
At that, everyone looked at Hermione. She turned a little pink at the sudden attention. “Well, it’s true. He is known to be one of You–Know–Who’s biggest supporters. I read an article in the Daily Profit that suggested he would want to go after the one who caused the downfall of his master.” At that, I looked at Harry, wondering if he had a chance yet to tell Ron and Hermione what he overheard.
Harry had gone straight to the bathroom to owl me after overhearing the conversation between Arthur and Molly Weasley while they were all staying in the Leaky Cauldron. I could read the anxiety in his words and I immediately owled him back that Hogwarts is the safest place he could be (aside from the whole Professor Quirrel being possessed by Voldemort and trying to kill him in his first year and the whole youngest Weasley, Ginny, opening the chamber from last year… On second thought, Hogwarts isn’t as safe as I’ve always believed, not that I’m telling him that).
I tapped on the professor’s shoulder and when he first turned around his eyes went wide with shock before he covered his expression up with a more concerned one. Huh. Wonder what that was about.
“Excuse me professor,” I spelled out in the air, “but what would you like me to tell the students? Have you sent a message to Professor Dumbledore?” He looked at me with confusion at first before his eyes flickered over to my Head Girl badge and I watched as the realization dawned on his face.
“Oh, you must be Rhonwyn Hawthorne, I already advised Albus-err Professor Dumbledore of the situation. Assure the students that there is no more excitement to be had as we continue to Hogwarts and to go ahead and change into their school robes as we will be arriving shortly, only 20 minutes behind schedule,” he informed me.
I lazily flicked my wand and the message “All will be explained at the feast by Professor Dumbledore, please change into your robes as we will be arriving at Hogwarts shortly,” appeared in all the compartments. Normally, the Head Girl or Boy would speak to make the announcement but Professor McGonagall came over during the summer to teach me the spell for written messages due to my disability. Speaking of professors…
“One more thing professor,” I spelled out, “but umm… What is your name?” I blushed; embarrassed that I hadn’t asked earlier, but in my defense he should have introduced himself. I saw the professor’s cheeks turn a little pink. “I’m so sorry. I’m Professor Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.” I nodded at him before checking on Harry one last time and then I went back to my compartment.
When I got there, Oliver immediately engulfed me in a hug. Sigh. Wrapped up in his arms I pulled away and jumped when I heard a crack. I looked around Oliver to see what was going on. Oh boy, leave it to Fred and George to make things normal and fun again. It seemed everyone had already changed to their robes and were enjoying themselves watching Fred and Lee play exploding snap while George acted as a commentator. I waved at everyone when they turned to look at me, grabbed my robes that I had left on my seat and walked out before they could ask me any questions.
“Come on, I’ll walk you to the bathroom, I need some peace from this madness anyway,” Oliver offered. I smiled at him and waited as he slid the compartment door shut. The train had gone back to normal but I have excellent hearing and could pick up people talking about how Harry had fainted. Oh no, I hope this dies down quickly, but knowing Hogwarts, it isn’t likely to happen. “Go on in, I’ll wait out here,” said Oliver before he propped himself against the wall.
I quickly scrambled into the bathroom and changed, taking out my Head Girl Badge from my pocket and pinning it to the front of my robes. I am not going to lie, as much as I grumble about being named Head Girl, I am very proud of the fact, too. However, I will never admit that aloud, you never know where Fred and George might be listening.…
Oliver straightened when I walked out of the bathroom and I looped my arm through his. He smiled down at me and my breath caught for a moment. He is so beautiful and it’s moments like these that I wish I could speak and tell him how I feel about him. Signing it to him just doesn’t quite have the same effect. I smiled back at him and he started to once again talk about Quidditch. A part of me was a bit disappointed, the moment had come and gone (like they always do) and I listened to him enthusiastically as he described a new play that was guaranteed to help us kick those Puffer’s butt.
The Great Hall was absolutely silent for a moment before it broke out into whispers after Professor Dumbledore’s announcement.
“Dementors? At Hogwarts? This is mad!”
“Hogwarts will become depressing with those things sucking the happiness out of us, just you wait and see.”
“Better stock up on some chocolate, mate, we’re going to need it.”
“Guess Potter better watch out.”
Across the Hall, I could see Malfoy pretending to faint and I winced when the Slytherin table broke out laughing.
“SILENCE!” Professor Dumbledore shouted. Once again everything was silent and he continued with his announcements.
“Now, on to more happier news, I would like to introduce you to your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Remus Lupin.” Everyone clapped politely, the Golden Trio and Faye cheering when Professor Lupin stood up in recognition. He sat back down after the clapping died down and Professor Dumbledore continued.
“I am also very happy to announce that, in lieu of Professor Kettleburn’s retirement, that Rubeus Hagrid will be our new Care of Magical Creatures professor.” At that most of the Gryffindor table broke out cheering, Harry making the most noise, and Hagrid…I’m sorry, Professor Hagrid nearly knocked the table over when he stood in recognition. His face turned red and he beamed happily our way. I pulled Harry down so that Dumbledore could continue on with the announcements and we could finally eat. Oliver, who was sitting on my left, chuckled at the force I used since I almost knocked Harry off his seat. I gave him a quick apology before I looked back at Dumbledore eagerly. I was famished and couldn’t wait for the feast to begin.
“One more announcement and then you may tuck in. One of our students is actually very well known in the muggle world. I am very proud to announce that our very own Head Girl, Rhonwyn Hawthorn, won the National Junior League Dance Championship this past summer and will be continuing on to represent Britain in the International Junior League Dance Competition this winter. Miss Hawthorn please stand.” The Hall went silent and I stood slowly as my face turned red with mortification. My friends in Gryffindor broke the silence and cheered obnoxiously, the rest of the Hall followed their example soon after. Oliver beamed happily at me as he fought with Fred and George to be the loudest one cheering.
I waved at everyone before I sat down quickly and faced my dinner plate. I couldn’t believe Professor Dumbledore announced it to everyone. Of course, he knew about the competition because I would have to leave the day before the winter break to work with my dance teacher and I needed his permission.
“Very well done Miss Hawthorne, I am sure you will do us proud. Now everyone, tuck in.”
Food appeared before us and people reached eagerly around to fill their plates. Despite my own eagerness earlier, I was slow to grab food, my own embarrassment at having been called out not quite having disappeared yet. Oliver turned to me once his plate was full.
“Why didn’t you say anything Winnie? This is huge!” Oliver looked at me sternly for a moment before stuffing his face. Attractive, isn’t he? Oh, who am I kidding, even while stuffing his face I find him adorable. What the hell is wrong with me?
He stopped for a moment to quirk his eyebrow at me and I sighed before giving in. “I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, I already have enough to deal with, like the muggle media,” I signed. Being in the lime light of the muggle world is a tough thing when you are a witch and you have reporters following you everywhere. My owls this last summer were short and few since I couldn’t risk muggles finding out about that particular way of communication.
He gave me a brief look of understanding and then cleaned off his plate. Everyone talked around me as I delicately finished my own plate. Desert appeared and I grabbed a treacle tart. Special feasts are the only time I allowed myself to fully indulge with food. Due to dancing, I couldn’t necessarily eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and I was ok with that. I didn’t eat like a rabbit but I also didn’t pack away as much I could. It doesn't hurt that this keeps me light on my broom for Quidditch. Nope, doesn't hurt at all.
After the plates cleared off, I discreetly cast a spell that appeared on the Gryffindor’s empty plates with the new password. People jumped before looking at their plate curiously. “Gryffindor Password: Fortuna Major” blazed in red for a moment before it vanished almost as quickly as it showed up. Percy had already decided that he would be the one to lead the first years to the tower and so I walked up with my friends instead.
"Shrugging off Head Girl duties already?” Oliver teased. I smacked him in the shoulder before I smiled and shook my head. “Percy insisted that since he was the one to lead the first years the last few years, that he should be the one to lead them this year,” I signed with a sarcastic look on my face. Percy can be a right git at times (actually, make that all the time).
We veered off the path to the Gryffindor common room when we reached the sixth floor and with a quick wave goodbye to Fred, George and Jordan, Oliver walked me to the Heads dorms. We stopped in front of a portrait that would appear empty with the exception of a lone man but actually contained thestrals, the creatures that pulled our carriages to and from the castle.
“Well, this is me. Thanks for walking me but you better head back before curfew, Tommy has first patrol tonight,” I signed before I leaned in and gave Oliver a brief hug. I couldn’t afford to get lost in him again, especially since we were alone.
“Goodnight, Wyn,” he said softly before he surprised me when he leaned in and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before walking off. I stared after him in shock until he disappeared from my view. I shook it off and turned to the portrait. I took out my wand and placed the tip on the portrait. I focused on the word ‘Fundungus’ in my mind and the portrait swung open to let me into the common room.
I didn’t even bother to look around, just ran straight towards the indicated Head Girl room and collapsed on the bed in the room. I placed my hand on the cheek that still tingled from Oliver's lips. He kissed me. Granted, it was on the cheek but…he kissed me.
A/N: So, not as long, I know. I rewrote this chapter about a dozen times, not to make it longer but to make it flow better, I struggled a bit with it. This is just the awkward transition into an acknowledgement that Oliver might just feel the same about our dear Winnie. I mean, he kissed her on the cheek! It should be smooth sailing from here.
Honestly, the length of the chapters will vary depending on flow and mood. They won’t always be as long as the first chapter but I promise you that they will at least always be this length.
Thank you so much for reading!
P.S. I apologize for the formatting in this chapter and the HUGE spaces sometimes between paragraphs, had a bit of trouble with the editor and just decided to leave it as is.