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Chapter 24 : A Slytherin is to blame
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“Apparition lessons, starting this Saturday” He said, returning to his friends.
The upcoming lessons seemed to be all the six year students’ talked about for the remainder of the week.
When Saturday finally arrived Sofia and the trio made their way to the Great Hall, with all other students who were seventeen or would be turning seventeen soon. Although Sofia, Harry and Draco would not be seventeen by the time of the apparition test, they had decided to take the class nevertheless.
Once all students were present Wilkie Twycross, the Ministry wizard who would be teaching the class, began to address the crowd. He explained how the classes would be and what the students were to do. He also taught them the 3Ds of apparition: Destination, Determination, and Deliberation* which Hermione continually chanted to herself while others, like Ron, turned it into a big joke.
Sofia knew how to apparate, but she had to pretend she didn’t, as the many times she apparated she had done so without a license. As she pretended to try and spin on spot a couple of times, she heard a loud bang. Turning around, she saw that two girls had fallen down while trying to turn and where struggling to get back up, blushing heavily. Looking around, she noticed the majority of the students hadn’t moved at all and many had annoyed looks on their faces.
A great number of other students seemed to be very aggravated at their failure to apparate, although Mr. Twycross was doing his best to encourage everyone. She heard Ron curse under his breath a couple of times and apparently so did Harry; he looked at her the second time Ron said it and both shared a smile. Next to them, Hermione was oblivious to the happenings around her.
By the end of the first lesson, very few people had managed to apparate inside the wooden circle, Hermione, Sofia and Draco being three of them. A few had splinted themselves while the rest hadn’t managed to move at all.
“That was so much harder than I had expected” Sofia lied, as they made their way back to the Common Room.
“You just have to practice more” Hermione said “and remember, Destination, Determination, and Deliberation!”
Ron rolled his eyes at Hermione, who stared back at him angrily. Sensing an argument, Harry spoke before either of them had a chance to.
“When I apparated with Dumbledore a few months ago, it felt like I was being forced through a very tight rubber tube*. I much prefer flying”
“It has its advantages mate” Ron said.
“I know what you mean” Sofia said “The first time I apparated with my parents, I was so uncomfortable right afterwards I ended up getting sick” she shuddered at the thought. “I just hope I don’t splinch myself. I’ve heard terrible stories about it from my dad, based on what he heard at the Ministry”
Hermione and Sofia sat together on the bleachers, a jar full of Blue flames Hermione had conjurated in between them. Even with the fire and layers of clothes, both girls were still a little cold, but neither wanted to go back inside.
In the field, the Gryffindor Quidditch team was halfway thru with their Wednesday night practice and they were training for the upcoming match against Hufflepuff. If they won, they would play for the Quidditch Cup and the entire team was resolute to be champions again.
Much like Hermione, Sofia preferred to watch Quidditch instead of playing it, but she was an excellent flier. And because she was raised in the wizzarding world, she loved and understood Quidditch in ways Hermione never would.
While they watched the team practice, they worked on their assignments for Ancient Runes and practiced a new spell for Charms. After the team was done practicing, the girls joined Harry, Ron and Ginny as they walked back to the castle.
“Is that Malfoy?” Harry asked, looking over the lake where two figures stood by the shore.
It was too far, and dark, to be certain but one of the figures had silver blond hair just like Draco’s. Although they couldn’t hear them, it was clear the two people were arguing.
“What is the ferret doing out here this late?” Ron asked, eyeing them with curiosity.
“Ii must be something bad if they are sneaking out like this. I don’t have my invisibility cloak… but maybe we could circle around and approach from the other side. They wouldn’t be able to see us” Harry said, looking at Ron.
Hermione risked a quick glance towards Sofia, but it was clear she had no idea as to what Draco was doing. Having decided to try and eavesdrop, both boys turned away from the girls but they had barely taken a step when the second figure pushed past Draco and began walking towards the castle. Draco seemed to watch him go before turning around and walking towards the Forest, quickly disappearing in the darkness.
The boys continued to discuss Draco as they walked back to the Common Room, while Hermione and Ginny where talking about homework and Sofia walked in silence. She was upset she didn’t have the chance to follow Draco as he walked into the Forrest and, no doubt, to his meadow.
When they arrived, Ginny and the boys went to take showers and Hermione sat with Sofia by the fireplace. They continued to practice spells until the boys came back and Ron challenged any of them to a chess match. Sofia accepted it and they played as Hermione read and Harry did homework.
To everyone’s surprise, including hers, Sofia won the first match. Ron congratulated her before demanding a rematch which he ended up winning although Sofia was rapidly catching up and proved to be a greater challenge than he had expected.
Before they could start a third game, Lavender approached them and asked Ron to come with her. Ron seemed a little reluctant but finally agreed. They left the Common Room and still weren’t back when Harry, Hermione and Sofia went to bed.
It was clear Ron’s relationship was hurting Hermione but no matter how many times Sofia had tried talking to her about it, she never succeeded in getting more than a few words. Tonight however, as Harry was busy talking to Ginny, Hermione finally opened up to Sofia and they talked for a long time.
Like Harry, Ginny and the other Weasleys, Sofia wanted nothing more than to knock some sense into Ron but knew he had to get there on his own. She just hoped it wouldn’t take him much longer, she hated how badly he was hurting Hermione.
Professor Snape was explaining the properties of the potion Sofia and Draco would be working on when the flames in the fireplace turned green and professor Dumbledore’s head appeared in them.
After acknowledging the two students, he asked Snape to come to his office as soon as he had the chance. Then he was gone. Snape continued with his lesson and did not leave until satisfied that Draco and Sofia had understood how to leave the potions until next week, in case he wasn’t back by nine.
Soon after he left, Sofia pulled out her wand and locked the door. She also casted a spell to keep others from hearing them.
“Who was the boy you were arguing with last night?”
“How do you…?”
“We saw you”
“Who is we?”
“Me, Hermione, Harry, Ron and Ginny. We were walking back to the castle after their Quidditch practice”
“He is a Slytherin, seventh year. You don’t know him”
“Ok, and why were you arguing?”
“According to my father, his parents are desperately trying to redeem themselves to the Dark Lord so they have ordered his son to try and either hurt or kill Dumbledore. I realized he is the one behind the necklace that hurt Katie Bell and I confronted him about it”
“Aren’t you worried he will try to hurt you?”
“He wouldn’t dare”
“Right” Sofia said, sounding unconvinced.
“The Dark Lord found out and he was furious. I heard he tortured his parents for hours and ordered him to stop. I wasn’t going to get involved but the Dark Lord needed someone he could trust to make sure the boy got the message. So, my father ordered me to take care of it and I need to keep my disguise, so I did”
“Then he is not going to try anymore?”
“So he says. We will see”
“Shouldn’t uh, shouldn’t we tell professor Dumbledore?”
“You can’t be serious!”
“We are not telling him or anyone else”
The sound of approaching footsteps put an end to their conversation. Sofia undid the spells and seconds later Professor Snape walked in. They worked in silence for the remainder of the hour and, still in silence, walked to the Room of Requirement together.
I hope my idea of blaming another Slytherin for the attempts against Dumbledore didn’t bother you too much. I’m trying to follow the books as closely as possible and in order to keep Ron’s poisoning, I had to blame someone for the necklace and the poisoned drink.
*Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Page 60 - British Hardcover)
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