Hogwarts Love Story pt 31

I must apologise for the long gap between updates. Real life has been kicking me away from doing things I enjoy, and I've had a rather severe case of writers' block. I hope you enjoyed this edition, and thank you for reading!

I must apologise for the long gap between updates. Real life has been kicking me away from doing things I enjoy, and I've had a rather severe case of writers' block. I hope you enjoyed this edition, and thank you for reading!

Created by: vulturemonem

  1. What is your age?
  2. What is your gender?
  1. As usual, the following morning was a flurry of activity. Students milled around and rushed to grab last-minute items, and Umbridge strutted around the corridors like an over-preened peacock. Unfortunately, I was on my own during the majority of the morning, as prefects all had to go and do their duties, helping first years find their way to the carriages and then onto the Hogwarts express. The moment I awoke in the morning, I remembered the events of the previous night, and Mr. Weasley's attack, and filled Hermione in. She didn't stick around for long. I found myself wandering around rare aimlessly as the hours of the morning drew on. I knew that I'd be going home to a nice, quiet Christmas with my muggle parents, and Ariella, but in all honesty, I was more looking forward to going back to Grimmauld place. There was no telling how Mr. Weasley was, and whether or not he'd be ok. And I'd be reunited with all of my friends and my wizarding family. Sometimes, I wished my parents weren't muggles. With Voldermort at large once again, it would be I who had to protect my family in any way I could. For a fifteen year old girl, that was a heavy burden to carry. I was so wrapped up in my thoughts that I hardly noticed myself walking slap-bang into somebody. "Neville!" I cried, reaching a hand out to steady him as he stumbled. "I'm sorry. I wasn't lying attention." "It's fine," he said dismissively. "You going home for Christmas?" "Yeah. Then I'm seeing the Weasley's and co. for New Year's. What about you?" "I'm going home," Neville said quietly. I wondered, momentarily, why Neville sounded so sad, and then it dawned on me. "Are you seeing your parents?" I asked softly. Neville's averted eyes said it all. I threw him a smile, and gave him a one-armed hug.
  2. Eventually, Neville and I headed out of the great oak doors and climbed into a carriage with Luna Lovegood. There was a momentary silence, before Luna spoke. "Quibbler?" She held out a magazine, the front cover of which was talking about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks. "My father's the editor you know," she continued. "Please," I said, taking the magazine. "We're going out to look for depiline plants over Christmas," Luna said in her dreamy voice. Were I Hermione, I'd have pointed out that there was no such thing, but I kept my mouth shut. I liked Luna, and I didn't want to offend her. I opened the magazine, and began to read the article on the 'elusive' Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, which apparently resided in Sweden. I had no doubt that neither Luna nor her father had ever seen one of these creatures. Neville glanced over my shoulder, and we exchanged pointed looks as Luna began to explain the six uses of Crumple-Horned Snorkack horns. When the carriage halted, we clambered out and strode into an empty compartment aboard the Hogwarts Express. Hermione joined us a few minutes after the train began to move, looking utterly furious. She flung herself down in a seat and began to rant. "That sick, twisted gargoyle! Who does she think she is, giving power like that to somebody like Malfoy? What is wrong with that woman?" "Calm down, Hermione," I said gently. "What's happened?" "Umbridge has decided that members of her squad can deduct points from fellow prefects. Even the head girl and boy!" "What did Draco do?" I asked wearily. "I've just had fifty points deducted for being a mudblood, and a further twenty because he doesn't like me." I sighed. What did she want me to say? Apparently, I'd spoken out loud, for Hermione said, "I don't know Cailey." Hermione said nothing further in the subject, and instead began to write a letter - probably to Krum. I challenged Neville to a game of exploding snap. It was nowhere near as fun as playing with Fred or George, but it was amusing to watch his face when the cards exploded. After winning three times in a row, I told my friends that I was going to grab a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. Hermione was still scribbling furiously, but she asked me to grab her a chocolate frog. She handed me a sickle, and I headed out of the compartment, sliding the door shut with a loud creak.
  3. I wandered casually down the corridor towards where the sweet trolley was surrounded by students. I had realised that the long journey to Hogwarts felt the length it was without the twins to entertain me, or Ron to laugh at, and with. About five doors down from the compartment I'd just left, I heard raised voices, and the unmistakable sound of a spell rebounding off of a wall. Frowning, I glanced in as I passed. Rebecca stood in the doorway, arguing vehemently with Draco, who was smirking. Unable to resist the chance to get Draco back for what he'd done to Hermione, I made my presence known. "Rebecca? Need a hand?" I shot Draco a nasty look. I expected a sneaky, cruel grin in return, or a sly smile. I didn't expect the begging in his eyes. But seeing as I had no idea what he was begging me to do, I ignored it. I would, however, ponder that later. Rebecca raised an eyebrow at me. "You think I can't handle these idiots? I came to them, not vice versa. I know what I'm doing." I was mildly taken aback by her tone of voice. "Fine," I said cooly. "Have fun being hexed. He's better at duelling than you'd think." I jerked my head towards Draco, and then turned on my heel and left. I didn't miss the look of sheer relief on Draco's face. Either, it seemed, I'd been about to catch him doing something or saying something he didn't want me to know about, or he was worried about me. But he knew that I could easily curse Crabbe and Goyal, so what was the imminent danger? And what was Rebecca doing seeking out Draco Malfoy? From what she'd told me, she hated his guts. Then again, she seemed to detest Neville too, and her interest in what had happened in the graveyard last year was positively sickening. I wondered, and not for the first time, whether Rebecca Gardener was friend or foe. I pushed the thoughts away, and bought the food I wanted. Cho Chang was behind me in the queue, and she threw me a smile. I returned it, feeling slightly surprised. Cho and I had never actually exchanged more than a couple of words. Shaking off the feeling that there was something weird going on, I headed back to my compartment, and threw Hermione two chocolate frogs. She frowned when she saw two. "You gave me a sickle. I could buy two." Hermione rolled her eyes at me. "Honestly." "Writing to Victor?" I asked, feigning interest. "Yes." That was the last word of conversation for the rest if the journey to King's Cross.
  4. I bid Neville and Luna goodbye as we disembarked, and told Hermione that I'd see her after Christmas. I scanned the crowds for Ariella, but didn't find the small, dark-haired girl. I huffed in frustration, and headed over to my parents, who greeted me happily. Ariella turned up a moment later, and I realised that I hadn't seen Cedric since our last DA meeting of the year. I decided to send him an owl when I got home. My mother went on about the Grangers' going skiing, and how we should go the following year. I didn't want to break it to my mother that probability of me severing my ties with my muggle family soon was growing as we spoke. My father seemed to pick up on my mood, but he didn't comment. "So, Cailey," my father said suddenly. "What's going in in the magical world of yours?" I glanced across at Ariella, to see her watching me with an expectant expression. I decided not to mention the DA meetings in front of her. She would end up wanting to join, and I wasn't prepared to get her into that kind of risk. And it was a risk. We all knew that it was. I spoke carefully. "I've told you about Umbridge," I began. "She's gaining more power as we speak. Quidditch is slowly going downhill. Half the Griffendor team have been banned. Hagrid's back though, but I have a feeling he'll be gone again soon." "Why?" my mother asked. "He's a half-giant, and the ministry doesn't like half-breeds. Werewolves, centaurs, people like Hagrid..." I trailed off. "At least they protect muggles from all your dark wizards," my mother said, shuddering slightly. I sighed, but decided to speak the truth. "They're supposed to. They've become corrupt. I know that Voldermort has spies there, and it's only going to get worse while they continue to deny his return. Voldermort hates muggles. He hates muggle-borns." "Muggle-borns are people like you, right?" my father asked. I replied with the affirmative. "Does that mean that you're in danger?" my mother asked, sounding worried. "Should we take you out of Hogwarts?" I laughed bitterly. "God no. We're all in danger Mum. Me, Ariella, Harry, Hermione... Even muggles." My parents looked horrified, but I wouldn't sugar-coat the truth. "Taking me out of Hogwarts would only stop me from learning how to protect myself, and other people." "But you said that you're not learning any of that this year," my father said, ever observant. He narrowed his eyes at me a little. "We'll talk about this later," I said firmly, as we pulled up outside of the place I called home. Except it didn't seem like home anymore. It felt like a burden. If I could have hidden my parents in a land of magic to protect them, I would have done, but it wouldn't help. They were in more danger because they knew about the world of magic. Then again, I could protect them. A bit.
  5. The following few days at my parents' house were not the jovial ones I expected them to be. I could tell that my parents were upset with me for all that I'd said, and neither had yet cornered me to ask me about where and how I was learning to defend myself. Ariella seemed to enjoy the muggle festivities, and I guessed that she hadn't done much at Christmas with her family. Then again, what did I know? I had sent an owl to Cedric, but had yet to receive a reply. It wasn't until Christmas Eve, when my father was showing Ariella his telescope, that my mother decided to talk to me about the magical world again. We'd been avoiding it since our first conversation in the car. "Cailey?" she asked as I stood in the kitchen, making myself a strong mug of tea. The Christmas tree stood in full view in one corner of the living room, decorated in reds and golds. My mother looked tentative, as though she was worried I'd try to use magic in her house. As though I'd use magic with the trace still on me. "Yes?" I promoted her after a few moments. "You never did say. Who's teaching you Defence Against the- whatever it is?" "Dark Arts," I supplied. I dug around in the pocket of my jumper, and pulled out the golden Galleon which I always kept on me. I handed it to her, and she took it with a confused frown. "Isn't this money?" "That's what it's meant to look like. But see the numbers around the outside? They can change. They tell me the date of the next meeting, and the time." "Meeting?" "DA meetings. Basically, Harry and Cedric put their heads together and recruited anybody that's interested to learn about defending themselves. It was Hermione's idea." "What does DA stand for?" "Dumbledore's Army." "What? Army?" "It's only a name," I said. "But yes, army." "You'll have to fight?" "Nobody would force me to." "Will you want to?" "Yes. I'll have to fight somebody in a real situation eventually. The sooner I learn, the better." "But you're a child." I rolled my eyes visibly. "It doesn't feel like that. Because whether you want to accept it or not, Mum, you are in danger. I am in danger. Everybody I know and care about is in danger. Hell, everybody on the planet is in danger. Voldermort and his followers kill for fun." I enunciated each word of my last sentence firmly, and was glad to see the full meaning of my words go into my mother's brain. I continued, "If I don't learn to defend myself, I've got no chance of defending people that can't defend themselves. Like you, like Ariella." "Is it up to you to protect people?" "It shouldn't be. But it is. The Ministry is corrupt. You know that." My mother sighed, and nodded. Then, surprising me, she stepped forwards and wrapped me in a hug. "I feel so useless," she whispered. "Why?" "I'm your mother. I'm meant to protect you. And I can't." I squeezed her gently. "You did. For years. And you're still my mum."
  6. Christmas morning dawned bright and early, with a frosty, glinting layer of snow covering the ground outside the house. Judging by the dim light and the slight condensation on the window of our suburban house, it was still only four or five o'clock in the morning. I wondered, momentarily, what had awoken me. I didn't have to wonder for long though, as I gentle scratching on the window alerted me to the return of my owl. I opened the window with little difficulty, and let the beautiful barn owl in. Sepia nipped my finger affectionately, and allowed me to untie the letter on her leg. I stroked her feathers absent-mindedly as I opened the letter, and read through it. I'd been planning on returning to Grimmauld place on the twenty-seventh of December, to give me ample time with my parents, but I had a letter from Hermione - who had, apparently, return from skiing early - begging me to come earlier. It sounded like everybody was having a case of bad-tempers, and Harry's had been worsened by the prospect of Snape giving him occlumency lessons. I knew what this was, although Hermione had given me a long description, which I promptly skipped over. I was surprised to hear that they had run into Neville and his grandmother, and Lockhart, while visiting Mr. Weasley in St. Mungo's. I felt a pang of sympathy for Neville. I could picture his pink, defiant face as I imagined the scene. I grabbed a quill and a roll of parchment and began to write out a hurried reply. I told Hermione that I'd be there tomorrow morning, or late that night. It depended upon what kind of mood my mother was in. I attached the letter to Sepia's leg, handed her a treat, and saw her off. I threw on some clothes and headed downstairs, where my parents and Ariella were already sitting. As per usual, my father had already separated presents into piles, and we all took our turns in opening them. I was surprised to see several presents from those from the wizarding world - apparently they'd sent the, via muggle post. Hermione had given me a beautiful new quill, Ron a selection of my favourite sweets, and Harry a muggle book I'd wanted. I had the usual hand-knitted jumper from the Weasleys, accompanied by a pair of extendable ears from the twins. Remus and Sirius had bought me a series of books on Defence Against the Dark Arts. My parents had got me a nice new watch. There was also a letter from Cedric, apologising for not replying to my owl. He said that he was at Grimmauld Place, and that he'd give me a Christmas present when I arrived. It wasn't until we'd eaten a delicious lunch that I breached the topic of leaving earlier than planned. As I'd expected, my mother wasn't happy with my request. Ariella and I exchanged despairing looks. "We hardly ever see you now," my mother said. "And then you're galavanting off again. You can go on the twenty-seventh." "Mum," I groaned. "Mum nothing." "You do realise I have a broomstick, don't you?" This ended the argument in the way I'd wanted it to, although I'd never actually use my broom to sneak out of the house, and I left for Grimmauld Place that night.
  7. I'd expected to arrive alone, but as I walked up the street towards where Grimmauld Place resided, between numbers eleven and thirteen, I was greeted by Remus. "Hello Cailey," he said. "Hello Remus." Together, we walked into the hidden house, and stepped over the threshold. The door had barely been shut behind me when I was assaulted by a mass of bushy brown hair. I reached out a hand to steady myself as Hermione threw herself at me. "Hi," she said as she stepped away from me. "Hi yourself." I grinned. "You have no idea how glad I am you came," she said. "Why?" "Everyone, and I mean everyone, Fred and George included, is so grumpy." "But it's Christmas." "Yes. Sirius doesn't want to be on his own again, and Mrs. Weasley is constantly at his throat. Harry hates the prospect of spending extra time with Snape, and all this misery is catching!" I laughed a little, and we headed upstairs. I heard muffled shouts from behind a door, and I glanced questioningly at Hermione. "Ron and Harry," she said. "Harry's been freaking out because-" "Voldermort has been invading his mind? I would be too. But I guess that's why Snape's teaching him occlumency, right?" "Exactly. Harry doesn't see it that way." "Boys," I said, rolling my eyes. We dissolved into fits of giggles, and Hermione opened the door to the room she, Ginny and I shared. I could see Ginny's silhouette asleep under the duvet, and a sudden yawn escaped me. Hermione and I changed quickly, and them slipped into bed with barely enough time to bid each other goodnight.
  8. I slept in the following morning, and didn't wake until just before ten. To be fair, I hadn't walked through the door until after one the previous night. I noticed that Hermione and Ginny had both left the bedroom, so I showered and dressed quickly. Downstairs, Mrs. Weasley was arguing with Sirius about something. Big surprise there. The rest of the Weasley's, including Mr. Weasley, were seated at the table, along with Harry and various members of the Order. "Morning Cailey," Mr. Weasley said, smiling. "Morning Mr. Weasley. How are you?" "Much better, thank you. Tell me, have you ever had stitches?" "Luckily, no," I said. "Why?" "Do they usually work?" "Yes," I said. I glanced across at Mrs. Weasley, who was listening to our conversation wi a furious expression on her face. Ah. Apparently Mr. Weasley had been experimenting with muggle remedies. That seemed incredibly typical of him. I greeted Sirius, whom I sat down opposite, but was unable to engage him in conversation. Instead, I asked him to pass me the jam, and I indulged in one of Mrs. Weasley's excellent breakfasts. A moment later, somebody spoke from my right hand side. "Merry Christmas, stranger." I turned my head and grinned widely. "Cedric!" He raised an eyebrow at me. "We're you planning on sitting there all through breakfast ignoring me?" I glared at him playfully. "You know how unobservant I am," I said. "That not true. You're only unobservant when something's staring you in the face." I laughed. "How was your Christmas?" "I've been here for a couple of days," Cedric said. "And I've been doing a bit of work experience." "What, fighting Voldermort?" Cedric rolled his eyes at me. "No. Nothing 'dangerous'". I decided to ignore his slightly mocking tone, and instead finished my breakfast. "Fancy a walk?" he asked, glancing at Mrs. Weasley, who was now arguing with her husband. "Definitely."
  9. Ten minutes later, having wrapped up and Cedric having told Mrs. Weasley exactly where we were going for our own safety - this was so-called by Mrs. Weasley - we stepped outside, making footprints in the still-crisp snow that had floated down over the night. A group of muggle boys of about ten years old were having a snowball fight further down the road, and I was reminded of the day that Harry had thrown snowballs at Draco from under his invisibility cloak. Cedric took my hand as we walked and chatted nonchalantly, enjoying being away from the grim mood of Grimmauld Place. It was, however, preferable to being at home, where I was with my parents, both of whom had no idea, really, of what was going on in the world. I could tell that my mother was disapproving of my breaking the rules to participate in the DA, but she had no idea why such action was needed. Cedric and I sat down on a bench in a local park to exchange Christmas gifts. I'd gone out and bought a watch from Hogsmead a while back for Cedric, and had then added an engraving in the back, after spending a while in the library trying to master the spell. As Cedric looked at the watch, he read out the engraving. "'DA', 'Dumbledore's Army'. It's perfect, thank you," he said, leaning across to kiss me. I was then handed my own present. I unwrapped it to find a beautiful bracelet with a golden snitch across it. I smiled, and thanked Cedric. "To remind you that dementors are bad." We both laughed, both thinking of the Quidditch match in my third year, in which dementors had attacked, causing me to spend half of the year in the hospital wing. We spent another couple of hours wandering around, before Cedric said that we had better return, before Mrs. Weasley sent Remus looking for us.
  10. *vulturemonem* I must apologise for the long gap between updates. Real life has been kicking me away from doing things I enjoy, and I've had a rather severe case of writers' block. I hope you enjoyed this edition, and thank you for reading!

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