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My Not-So-Imaginary Fiend by The Quiet Girl
Chapter 4 : IV: Just Forgot One Little Thing
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6


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IV: Just Forgot One Little Thing

“You know,” Dean said at lunchtime on the sixteenth of October, “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you sit so still before, Sally-Anne.”

“So?” I asked. I grabbed a cucumber sandwich and took a bite. But I didn’t feel like I could enjoy its crunchy goodness. I put it down on my plate, my thoughts killing any trace of an appetite.

“It just looks odd,” Dean continued. “I mean, last night you were buzzing to everyone and telling them where to go first for the Hogsmeade trip in two weeks. Even this morning at breakfast you were still acting hyper.”

“At least before the owl attack,” Seamus laughed.

I scowled at Seamus. He just had to remind me about that unfortunate accident with Lavender’s dad’s owl, didn’t he? Just as I was standing up to go to Herbology this morning, that ruddy thing attacked me instead of delivering his letter to Lavender. I had some hair ripped out and needed to visit Madam Pomfrey so she could patch up a large gash in my scalp. On the bright side, at least I didn’t have to see the nurse because I got sick.

No, it was actually Professor McGonagall’s reminder at the end of Transfiguration today that put me in the funk I was in right now.

“I left my Hogsmeade permission form at home.”  There.  I'd said it.

“That’s not too bad,” Seamus said. “Just owl your parents and they’ll send it over just like Neville’s gran will.”

Dean, Neville, and I just gawked at Seamus in disbelief.

“What?” he asked.

“You know what happens around Sally-Anne and animals, right?” Dean asked slowly to his best friend. “You just said you saw what happened this morning! Do you want her mutilated from her next owl attack?”

“That’s a pleasant thought,” I commented dryly.

“I didn’t mean she has to be the one to send the owl,” Seamus defended himself. “Sally-Anne can just get someone else to send to owl. Her parents then just have to address the form directly to McGonagall.” Seamus shrugged a shoulder.

“That’s not what it sounded like you meant before,” Neville said. But he went back to eating, his ears pink from the reminder about his forgetful memory.

“If you want,” Dean said to me, “I could go up to the Owlery for you before our next class. Your permission form would be in McGonagall’s hands before the end of the day.”

I knew that it was a smart idea. I would get my already-signed form to McGonagall without becoming an owl scratching post. But-

“I have another way to get that form to school,” I said slowly. “Thanks anyway.” I picked up my sandwich and forced it down my throat, my mind formulating and perfecting my afternoon plans. I ignored the boys until Dean tapped me on the shoulder and told me it was time for class.

Our last lesson of the day, Charms, seemed to take forever. I rejoined Lavender and Parvati after lunch, but none of us really spoke to each other. Lavender just sat in her seat and stared straight ahead as if in a trance. Parvati at least took notes but didn't say a word. It was okay, I didn’t feel much like talking to them either. I felt a little guilty about not joining them in the North Tower for lunch today, but I swore after last month’s fiasco that I would never, under any circumstances, go up there again.

In a way, it was slightly their fault that I had been feeling less animated than usual.

At long last, the final bell of the day rang. I checked my watch. I had less than an hour and a half left to get my Hogsmeade permission form. I didn’t have much time to waste.

“Hey, Parvati?”

She and Lavender stopped just outside the classroom. Lavender glared at Hermione as she passed, no doubt remembering what our know-it-all roommate said to her this afternoon. I would never tell my friends that I half-agreed with Hermione’s logic (though not with her tact).

I passed Parvati my book bag. “Can you do me a huge favor and bring it up to our room for me? I don’t have time to drop it off myself and I don’t want to be stuck lugging it around all afternoon.”

Parvati looked dubious as she accepted my things. “Where are you going?”

I offered a weak smile. “Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”

“All right,” Parvati sighed. “Just stay out of trouble.”

“No promises,” I said. We parted ways at the staircase, them going up while I continued down the hall by myself.

As soon as I was alone, I ran for it. Straight down the hall, leaving the Charms corridor completely behind. Passed the armor gallery. Turned left after passing the trophy room, ready to duck inside if I came across anyone. But the hall remained empty. I made another turn a few doors later, away from the Hospital Wing and down a hallway that seemed to have no use besides creating a path between one staircase and another.

I finally slid to a stop in front of the statue of a humpbacked witch.

“Hello, my pretty,” I said to the ugly old crone, breathing hard from my jog. I withdrew my wand. “How about shifting over to let me in? Dissemblum!”

The statue remained in place.

Dissedium? No, that’s not it either. Dissectum. Dissliumum. Diss-a-blah-blah-blah?”

Yeah, I knew that last one wasn’t right, but it was worth a try.

I looked up and down the corridor. So far, no one was in sight. But with sunset eighty minutes away, I couldn’t waste much more time stumbling through my mispronunciation of this spell.

“Benjamin? Help, please.”

It took only a second. To the right of the statue, exactly where I was looking, Benjamin materialized into view. He looked sheepishly over at me. “Hi.

“Hi,” I said. I tapped my wand to the witch’s hump. “How do you say that spell again?”

“Dissendium.”

“I knew I was close. Eh-hem. Dissendium!”

The hump of the witch split open, allowing access into the dark passage beneath.

“Thanks, Benjamin.”

Benjamin nodded once, then started to fade away again.

“Hey, where are you going?”

For a moment, I could see through Benjamin as if he were made of vapor. He resolidified to look like a real person and then spoke in his hollow voice. “You only needed the spell pronunciation. I thought that’s all you wanted me for.

“I could use some company,” I said, offering the invitation with a smile. I put my wand into my pocket so I could slide into the tunnel. “Care to join me?”

Benjamin broke into a grand grin. “After a month of not being called upon, I’m ready to do anything for you, Sally-Anne.

I slid into the tunnel just fine. I got the Lumos spell to work perfectly. And I ran the familiar, secret passage to Hogsmeade, Benjamin jogging at a brisk pace beside me.

But I wasn’t excited for this trip. I was coming here for more than just a measly permission form.

I was out of breath when I got to the end of the passage. Then again, running up a few hundred stairs was quite difficult. I had to wait a minute before I could even try to hear anything besides my pounding heart or my heavy breathing.

When I didn’t hear a sound, I pushed open the trapdoor. I looked around. Nothing. Ambrosius Flume wasn’t around. Neither was his wife Amanda.

As I crept out of the passage and eased the trapdoor closed again, I remembered back to when I was nine years old and snooping around here for a recent shipment of Chocolate Frogs. I had just found the stack of boxes when there was a bump, a short whispered exchange, and then a pair of gingers popped out from a then-unknown trapdoor. I promised the Weasley twins that if they told me how they got in and out of Hogwarts, I wouldn’t tell anyone I had seen them.

Sally-Anne? You coming or what? Sunset is in fifty-five minutes.

That jerked me out of my memories. I stayed light on my feet as I ascended the cellar stairs, then slipped out the back entrance undetected.

Once outside, I looked up and down the back alleyway. It felt strange, forcing myself to remember that I couldn’t walk these streets freely. I couldn’t have neighbors and shopkeepers I’ve known all my life asking how and why I’d left school. I couldn’t get into that much trouble.

Notices hung on practically every blank wall and every post, warning about the Dementor patrols after nightfall for that escaped lunatic. My parents’ shop was further down the road to the right. I could easily be there in less than two minutes.

I turned left and started running.

Are you lost? Home isn’t that way!

But I ignored Benjamin. I couldn’t resist looking in there at least once before leaving. I didn’t know if I’d have time later.

Four minutes after leaving Honeydukes, I pressed my nose against the window of the Hog’s Head.

Oh sure, this is where you left your permission form.” Benjamin leaned backwards against the wall beside me, his arms crossed and frowning. “You really think Aberforth would have kept it even if you did leave it here? Please, take your nose off that filthy window before it starts to rot away!

Again, I ignored Benjamin. While I knew he was trying to protect me from getting myself sick, I just had to see who was here tonight. Would there be a witch with black hair like mine? A wizard that shared my nose or ears?

But even though any patrons would hide their features under their cloaks and the window I peered through was crusted with years of filth, I didn’t have to look inside for too long. The Hog’s Head was empty. Only the bartender stood in his usual spot, cleaning out a glass with a grimy old rag.

“No one,” I sighed, stepping away from the window. My nose feeling cold from being squashed against the glass, I rubbed at it a bit. My hand came back with a bit of brown stuff I didn’t want to identify.

That’s attractive.” Benjamin looked at the sky. “So, now can we go home? Or back to school? I don’t want to be out with the Dementors.

That prompted me to leave. I traveled behind the shops lining the main street of Hogsmeade until I entered through the back door of Perks-You-Up Pastries.

The smell! I had never truly appreciated how good my home smelled until I had gone away to school. My Christmas present back in first year could have simply been the scent of freshly baked bread, cakes, and muffins. I took a moment to inhale deeply, wishing my lungs could have been bigger so I could smell my home nonstop forever and ever!

Not to be annoying or anything,” Benjamin said softly, “but sunset is in forty-three minutes. You have plenty of time to nip up, retrieve your permission form, say ‘hi’ to Mum, and get back to school. We might even be back inside Hogwarts before sunset.

“Keep an eye on the time for me,” I whispered, looking around the kitchen. It was clean, meaning Mum wasn’t baking anything else tonight.

Benjamin groaned loudly but didn’t try to talk me out of it further.

Moving to the front part of the shop, I finally found someone. A silver-haired witch was bent over a shelf of cakes. Wand in hand, she waved it in a tight circular pattern that I’ve seen done thousands of times. The charm she cast would preserve the treats perfectly, protecting them from expiring.

I crept across the floor, ignoring the tray of biscuits and a display of blueberry muffins, until I was standing directly behind her. I lifted my hands to her shoulders but didn’t touch her yet.

And then-

“HI MUM!”

She screamed.

I laughed.

“Sally-Anne!” Mum turned around, her right hand over her heart as she breathed heavily, her deep brown eyes wide behind her oval glasses. “Don’t do that!”

“Sorry, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up!” I hopped up to sit on the counter and helped myself to some brownies. Yum, they were actually quite moist. Either they were made just today or Mum’s preservation charms were getting better.

“I do hope you’re going to pay for those,” Mum said as she watched me eat. With a quick look to the tray, she went back to charming her product.

“You can have my mum pay the bill,” I said, swinging my legs back and forth now. “I think you know her. Average height, silver hair, sixty-seven years old-”

“Oi! You’re not telling everyone my age now, are you?”

“You’re a young sixty-seven year old,” I promised. “Except for the silver hair. And the wrinkles. And I think you’re a bit pudgier than when I was little-”

Mum held up a hand, stopping me. “That’s enough. I’m sure you didn’t come back home early just to remind me how old I am.” She paused, thinking. “Sally-Anne, did you get expelled?”

“No! Why would you think that?”

“Because it’s Friday and you’re supposed to be eating in the Great Hall right now. And stop eating my shop! It’s not a proper dinner.”

I finished the chocolate biscuit I was nibbling on. “I’m just showing you that I’m cured from that little bug I picked up before term.”

“I know- I got a letter from Madam Pomfrey weeks ago.”

Thirty-nine minutes until sunset, Sally-Anne.

“Anyway,” I said, “I actually forgot this tiny little thing in our haste to cure my vomiting back on the first of September. My-”

“Hogsmeade permission form,” Mum sighed, nodding. “It’s still on the mantel of the fireplace, right were you left it before you went to the Hog’s Head without permission. Your dad and I told you not to go.”

I glanced over at Benjamin. If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn that he and Mum had planned to gang up on me in an attempt to make me feel sorry for not listening to ‘common sense.’

But Mum didn’t see me looking at Benjamin. She was peering out her shop windows, looking up and down the street. The buildings across the way were bathed in bright yellow light that will undoubtedly turn orange with the setting sun. “Might as well close down now,” she sighed. “No one shows up this close to sunset anymore. Not that I blame them.” She turned the sign on the front door so the ‘closed’ message was displayed outside. “Sally-Anne, be a dear and make sure the back door is locked. I suspect it isn’t if you came in that way.”

I did as I was told, locking the back door and checking the windows like I always did when I was home, then ran up the stairs to our flat above the shop. Mum was already in the modest kitchen, dinner for her and Dad cooking on the stove. I took Dad’s normal seat at the table as I watched her cook.

“You’re going to go too far one of these days,” Mum said, her back to me as she tended dinner. “Just last week Professor McGonagall wrote saying you fell off your chair and nearly cracked your head open.”

“I’m fine,” I insisted. “I was perfectly balanced on my chair until she called on me. She surprised me.”

“Speaking of chairs, put your dad’s chair back on all four legs please.”

“Now you’re sounding like McGonagall,” I complained, letting this chair fall forward onto all legs again. “Honestly, am I the only one with balance in this world? They really need to design chairs with only two legs.”

“And then you’ll try to balance on one leg, then pitch yourself off and end up cracking your head open,” Mum said.

“Then design a chair with one leg!”

“Why don’t you ask for chairs to be replaced with flying carpets?”

“Yeah, that’s it! Thanks, Mum!”

“Pity that they’re banned,” Mum laughed, turning back to me. She took out two plates and started setting the table. “Dear, why don’t you tell me about school? I haven’t heard a word from you since term started.”

“Well, that would be because all the owls on the planet are out to get me,” I said. The second reminder of this morning’s fiasco made my skull throb a bit.

Mum basically asked about each of my classes. I just told her what we were studying quickly, not wanting to get into detail. But I waited for her to ask about Arithmancy, grateful that she would be the one to bring up this topic.

“We actually started the year by analyzing our names and birthdates.” I found an apple and was in the process of munching it down to the core.

“Really?” Mum took her normal seat and locked her eyes with me, showing me that I had her full attention. “And what did you come up with?”

“Well, I just wanted to check something first,” I said, swallowing the last big chunk this apple had to offer. “I was born on the twenty-eighth of March, right?”

Mum nodded.

“Good. Because as part of our paper, we had to do research on our birthdates and I found out that I share the same birthday as the Greek goddess Artemis.”

Mum laughed. “I can see it now,” she said, “you’re going to claim that you and her are actually twin sisters separated at birth.”

I laughed too at the thought. But- “We can’t be twin sisters. She’s a few thousand years older than me. Besides, I would totally have started using my goddess powers already.” But as I said that, I started thinking of ways that I could make that story sound almost-convincing to my teachers.

“I’d better not get any notes from school about you claiming your goddess heritage,” Mum joked.

“Killjoy,” I said. I finished the apple. “Anyway, we also studied our names and-”

I stopped when I heard flames erupt in the fireplace in the next room. Mum and I both looked to the doorway as a tall, grey-haired wizard entered the kitchen.

“Hi Dad!” I said brightly. “Welcome home!”

Dad looked surprised to see me at first. His blue eyes widened, then narrowed. “Hon,” he said to Mum while still looking at me, “what is our daughter doing home? Has she been expelled?”

Honestly, just because I get in trouble every now and then for messing around in class didn’t mean I’d get kicked out of school. I would expect the Weasley twins to leave before me.

“She forgot her permission form on the mantle,” Mum answered with a sigh.

“I told you we should have sent it to McGonagall when we first noticed it.” Dad put his briefcase in a corner of the kitchen. “Sally-Anne, get off my chair and sit in your own spot.”

“But I was here first,” I said, putting on my best, winning smile.

Dad didn’t seem amused.

“I need to finish dinner.” Mum stood up, obviously not wanting to choose sides.

“I’ll give you until the count of three to move,” Dad said.

“I’ll be gone before sunset,” I promised. I glanced out the window. The sky outside was already a bright orange, the clouds tinted pink.

Twenty-one minutes until sunset.

I smiled up at my Dad, knowing I still had plenty of time.

“One.”

I didn’t move.

“Two.”

I waited.

Dad pulled out his wand and with a simple flick, the chair was gone.

“Wha- oomph!” I landed hard on my bum and rolled to my side.

“Three.” Dad put his wand back in his robes, then offered me a hand. “What have you learned, little girl?”

“That my dad is good at vanishing charms,” I said, taking the help off the floor. I moved to my own seat as Dad magicked his chair back into existence.

Very nice, Sally-Anne,” Benjamin snickered. “You’ve been done in by a seventy year old wizard. You must be so proud.

“Are you two done?” Mum asked impatiently. “Sally-Anne, you really should get going. Take your permission form and get back to school before the Dementors begin their patrols.” She pressed her lips together, looking worried. “I don’t want to hear that they captured you by mistake.”

“I’ll be fine,” I promised Mum. “I’ve still got tons of time. Besides, I know this village better than anyone.” I took a deep breath. “Getting back to Arithmancy-”

“Oh no,” Dad groaned. “Please don’t tell me that you’re failing that class. You were always so good when Mum and I taught you arithmetic.”

“No, I’m actually still tied with Hermione for the top grade in class,” I said. “It’s fun, driving her mad.”

“Reminds me of when I was back in school,” Mum sighed fondly. “It was a fun challenge, trying to stay ahead of my academic rival.”

“Sure,” I snickered, “you against Professor Dumbledore.”

Mum threw a dish towel at me. “I’m not that old!” She turned back to her dinner. “Dumbledore was my Transfiguration teacher at the time. Fantastic professor.”

I just rolled my eyes. But I felt like I was letting myself get sidetracked again. I looked over at my Dad. “Anyway, I was telling Mum about what Arithmancy says about my birthday-”

“She shares her birthday with Artemis, the Greek goddess,” Mum added.

Not again. I didn’t have time to rehash Mum’s and my entire conversation. I was determined to get answers to questions I’ve kept to myself for the past month. I spoke quickly. “We also studied our full names and it was emphasized that we focused on the names we were given at birth. So what was mine?”

My dad’s amused expression melted like butter under the hot summer sun. Mum’s shoulders stiffened as she turned to look back at the table. My parents looked to each other, wearing identical expressions of uncertainty.

My gut told me to drop the subject, but my brain told me to press onward. “I know last year you reminded me that I was born in St. Mungo’s. And you adopted me on the day of my birth.” I felt a bit guilty for what I was about to say next. “I love you both dearly, don’t get me wrong! I couldn’t have asked for better parents! But, well, what did my mother name me before giving me up?”

Silence filled the room. My parents looked back at me but otherwise didn’t move until the unpleasant scent of burning meat met our noses.

“Oh no, our dinner!” Mum turned back to the stove and removed the smoldering meal from the oven.

Sally-Anne, this isn’t the time or place to discuss this,” Benjamin whispered. He, too, looked somber.

“I’m still waiting,” I said. But I started doubting whether I had made a good decision. I should have waited until the actual Hogsmeade visit to question them like I had originally planned.

“Sally-Anne,” Dad said after a quick glance to Mum, “it was a lucky accident that brought us to St. Mungo’s on the day you were born. You know the story.”

I nodded. Every now and then, Mum and Dad would tell me the story about how a spell backfired on Mum and turned Dad’s hands into croissants. They went to St. Mungo’s to get an expert to change his hands back to normal before they flaked away into nothing. While waiting for a free Healer, they heard someone talking about a baby needing a home and having no other family to turn to. The Perks, having no children of their own, instantly volunteered the raise the baby instead of sending her, me, to an orphanage.

“We didn’t want to depress you,” Dad said, his face sad as if pained by the memory, “but your mother, your real mother, she, er, um, well . . .” His voice trailed off.

I knew what they had told me before. My mother wasn’t able to keep me. But the exact details were never fully explained. Dad now seemed to struggle with the reason why I was given up in the first place.

“What your dad is trying to say,” Mum said over her shoulder, “is that your real mother died giving birth to you.” She left the slightly-burned dinner on the counter before returning to the table and sitting down next to Dad. “I’m sorry, Sally-Anne, but the Healers said your mother passed before she could name you. They don’t even know if she realized that she gave birth to a girl.”

I slouched back in my seat. I had suspected as much, but I had always held onto a fantasy that my mother was still out there, that something else had just prevented her from keeping me. All my trips to the Hog’s Head seemed almost pointless now. I had studied countless witches, now to find that none of them could ever have been my real mother.

“But what about my father?” I asked, looking between Mum and Dad.

Dad shook his head. “Your mother wasn’t married. There was a small investigation, but no one came around looking for you. I even went to St. Mungo’s every week for two years, checking to see if anyone came looking for you.”

“But my father might still be alive,” I pressed.

“We don’t know,” Mum said. “Remember, it was a dark time, Sally-Anne. It wasn’t uncommon for children to become parentless and need to move in with extended family.”

I now wished that I hadn’t brought this up. But since it was already started, I might as well get all my questions answered at once. “So what was her name? Who was my mother?”

Mum shook her head, tears now brimming in her eyes. “Honestly, I can’t remember.” Despite the tears, she smiled across the table to me. “I just remember holding you in my arms and promising that you’ll be safe with us. Your dad and I moved to Hogsmeade a few weeks later to ensure you would be safe from harm.”

“I don’t remember her name either,” Dad said slowly, his voice low. He spoke to the table, unable to look up. “But I saw her as your mum was making arrangements to take you home with us. Your mother looked young, easily in her early twenties.” He paused, taking a deep breath. “And while I think my wife is the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen, your mother was also quite attractive.” He looked up, smiling at me sadly. “You’re even starting to look strikingly like her but with black hair instead of brunette.”

I smiled, but my guilty feeling remained. I wasn’t even supposed to be home yet. Neither of my parents could have even expected me to show up this evening and ask these difficult questions.

Sally-Anne,” Benjamin called, sounding a little nervous. “We have ten minutes until sunset. Dementors will begin their patrols soon.

“I’m sorry, Mum and Dad,” I said, looking at the couple sitting across the table from me. “I was just curious. Don’t think for a second that I would want to go with my real parents if they came around!” I paused, trying to think of something that would lift the mood. “I also wanted to know just how tall I’m going to get. I’m easily the tallest girl in my year and the same height at Ron Weasley.” I got up and gave my mum a hug.

“You’re quite alright,” Dad promised me. He stood as well, walking me out of the kitchen and to the stairs leading down into the shop. While I just complained that I was tall, I still only made it up to my dad’s chest. “Be good now, Sally-Anne.”

“I’ll do my best!” I promised.

Dad laughed, which only served to reassure me that I hadn’t ruined his and Mum’s night too badly. “Why do I have the feeling that there’s a loophole in that promise somewhere?”

“Because my dad knows his daughter very well?” I gave him a quick hug, then started running down the stairs.

Uh, Sally-Anne, while I feel obligated to remind you that sunset is in eight minutes, you still haven’t gotten that permission form that you came for originally.

I was just one step away from the bottom. “You couldn’t have just shouted ‘Form! Now!’?” I turned around and sprinted back up the stairs. I ran into the sitting room and grabbed the paper off the mantle. “Got it.”

But when I went back to leave again, Mum’s voice drifted out from the kitchen, making me stop in my tracks.

“-horrible about it! She’s curious. And we can’t give her all the answers!”

Dad’s voice, sounding low and full of emotion, replied in a softer voice, “We must have faith in our little girl.”

Huh? What were they talking about? I crept back to the kitchen.

Sally-Anne, don’t-

I peeked. Mum was still sitting at the table. Her whole body was trembling as she leaned against Dad, who had returned to his seat. Both of their backs were to me.

I could hear Mum breathing rapidly. “Why?! Why did she have to stipulate that in her will?” Mum couldn’t have put more disgust in her voice if she tried. “Our daughter has a right to know who her mother was! And yet we’re bound to never say her name until Sally-Anne is seventeen!”

“Sh, Darling. Her mother must have had a good reason.” Dad paused. “It must be a good reason,” he added slower.

Both of my parents fell silent, Dad holding Mum comfortingly in his arms, their burnt dinner forgotten and getting cold.

Sally-Anne!

I nearly screamed. But that would have told my parents that I heard them.

When I looked back over at Benjamin, his hazel eyes were wide in fear. “You’ve got one minute to get into Honeydukes before the Dementors come out.

That got me moving. I ran downstairs noiselessly. I slipped out the back. I locked the door behind me. And I tore through the back alley of Hogsmeade, the darkness creating shadows within shadows. As I neared Honeydukes, I started to feel incredibly cold.

Here! Here!” The back door to Honeydukes was already open as I approached, Benjamin standing in the doorway. “The Flumes are upstairs, so you don’t have to worry about being seen. Now get in before a Dementor shows up!

Finally, I listened to Benjamin. As soon as I was in the warmth of the shop, he closed and locked the door behind me.

That was a little too close,” Benjamin said, laughing nervously as we crept down to the cellar. “Fine night that you chose to call me back again. Now go on, light your wand and let’s get back to school.

The walk back to Hogwarts gave me plenty of time to think. None of those thoughts were any good.

My parents knew something about my real mother but were forbidden by her magical will from telling me anything.

My mother really was dead. I would never have a chance encounter with her and have that happy and tearful reunion that I’ve secretly dreamed of for years.

Professor Trelawney turned out to be correct on one of the five cards we read last month. Death referred to my mother. That left four other cards: Prisoner, Betrayal, Devil, and Failure.

And finally, one last thought troubled me. How could Benjamin move things in the real world if he was only an imaginary friend?

  

 

 






A/N: The mention of McGonagall’s reminder about the Hogsmeade permission forms was taken from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (1999), page 149.
 


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