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It has been so long since I’ve posted a chapter, I wonder if anyone remembers this story! I do apologize for not writing *gets down on knees and begs for everyone to come back and adore her story* School and life in general caught up with me, but I finally got the chance to finish this chappie.

Anyway…many months later, here is the seventh chapter …


A little while later, Jade exited the bedroom, clean and dry. The common room, which had been empty when she went into the bedroom, was now full of people. Deciding she was probably hungry enough to eat now, Jade went in search of someone she knew. It was not an easy task. She recognized some people from the table the previous night, but others she did not.

Eventually she spotted Draco. He was lounging in front of the fire, surrounded by two boys she didn’t know. They were large with strong builds; they looked like body guards sitting in chairs on either side of him. Jade walked over and plopped down in a chair across from Draco.

“Morning,” she said causally, “When’s breakfast?”

Draco gave her a long look. Finally he said, “Breakfast is over; Lunch is in a half hour or so. Where have you been?”

She masked her surprise as she replied, “Around. I decided to explore a little. I guess I was out longer than I thought.”

“That’s not a good idea. Someone who doesn’t know the castle could get lost.” His tone of voice made it clear this was just a fact, not out of concern for her. “By the way, this is Crabbe,” he motioned to the boy on his left, “and this is Goyle.” He motioned to the other, on his right. “This is Jade,” he informed them. “I told you about her last night.”

“Hi,” Jade nodded to them. They bobbed in a sort of half bow, half nod. She almost laughed.

Watching the flames in the fireplace devour another log, she decided Draco must have gotten over her comment last night. He seemed to be taking the approach that nothing had happened, which was fine with her.

“So what is there to do around here?” asked Jade suddenly.

“Not much. There’s quidditch, or wizard’s chess, if you’re really bored. Oh, and you can always go throw dung bombs at Filch’s office door. That’s worth a few laughs every now and then.” Draco shrugged. “The castle isn’t much once you’ve been through it once or twice. There’re classrooms you can poke around in, but none of them have really dangerous stuff. There’s a library, but that’s pretty boring, too. The only really interesting thing to do is go to Hogsmeade, but we can only do that on certain weekends.”

“Hogsmeade?”

“It’s a wizarding town near here. It has a bunch of stores, like…” Draco was off and running. He described the stores, pubs, and even the shrieking shack. Every now and then Jade had to prompt him with a question or two, but he described it very well. Jade had the feeling she would know Hogsmeade from his description down to the last street sign.

He was in the midst of describing an epic battle at the shrieking shack (angry spirits had attacked him and he was driving them off with his great magical skill) when the common room began to empty. Crabbe and Goyle were looking anxious and staring after the departing Slytherins. Finally one of them, Jade wasn’t sure which, cleared his throat and looked pointedly at Draco.

“What is it, Crabbe?” He demanded. “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“It’s lunch time,” Crabbe muttered. He looked as though he was afraid it would all be eaten by the time they got there.

Draco stared around at the now-empty room. “Fine.” He hoisted himself out of the armchair, Crabbe and Goyle following suit. Almost to the door, Draco glanced back at Jade.

“You coming?”

“Yeah.” Jade followed them out of the common room and up to the Great Hall. There she found Bea, Thaliana, and Sally-Anne, who quizzed her mercilessly on everything from what Draco had said to her (the exact words) to where she was this morning. She told them very little. After lunch she wandered out into the entrance hall, watching as everyone spread out, moving in different directions. Through the crowd she spotted Harry, Ron, and Hermione and hurried over to them.

“Hi, Jade,” Ron said. “We looked for you this morning and…” Jade cut him off.

“Yeah, I got busy and lost track of time. Were we going to hit the library today, to look for that book Hermione mentioned?”

Hermione practically glowed. “You see,” she said triumphantly. “Here’s someone else who wants to go to the library.” She turned to Jade. “We can go right now, if you like. I think I know where the book is, so we won’t even have to get Madam Pince to help us find it.”

Harry and Ron shuddered. At Jade’s puzzled look Harry replied, “Madam Pince is the librarian. She’s horrible.”

“A tyrant with gray hair and bifocals,” Ron added. Hermione swatted him with a hand.

“Ron, don’t say that. She’s alright if you just keep quiet and don’t bring food in the library like she asks.”

“I was just sitting there one day and she came over and started yelling at me,” Ron told Jade in an indignant voice.

“Oh, you were sitting there nicely at the time, Ron, but do you remember what you had been doing moments before?” said Hermione, voice dangerous. “Or does your selective memory not recall? Well, allow me to refresh it.” She turned to address Jade. “Ronald had just knocked over an entire book case while he tossed my revealer into the air and tried to catch it. Needless to say, he was not coordinated enough to accomplish his little game without inflicting catastrophic harm.”

“I was doing just fine catching it while I was standing. Harry was the one who had to go and say that was too easy. ‘Any one can catch it while they’re not moving’ he said…”

“Come on,” Harry said quietly to Jade, while Hermione and Ron bickered in the background. “They’ll notice we’re gone and catch up eventually.”

Jade nodded and followed Harry up the main staircase, leaving Ron and Hermione arguing in the entrance hall.

* * * * * *

Jade blinked several times as her eyes adjusted to the light of the library. She had expected it to be brightly lit, but it was dimmer than the hall, with only a few rays of natural light poking though a window across the great room. Towers of bookshelves gave a claustrophobic feel to the room and musty smells hung in patches along the many rows.

Hermione plopped into a large wooden chair and spread the contents of her book bag across the table. As heaps of quills, rolls of parchment, and assorted other items emerged from the depths of the bag, Jade wondered if this was yet another feature of the magical world. Ron and Harry followed Hermione to the table and, after a brief elbow war over the only padded seat, they settled themselves.

Hermione cleared her throat. “If I remember correctly, the book we want is either in the ‘Historic Wizarding Families’ section or the ‘Chronological References’ section. I think our best plan would be to split up and each search a section. That way we can reduce our search time by 50% from the case in which…”

“We surrender to your demands,” moaned Ron, “just make it stop. My head is throbbing.”

Hermione gave him a disgusted look and continued, “Fine. Ron and I will search ‘Historic Wizarding Families’ and Jade and Harry can search ‘Chronological References.’”

“Oh, be a sport, Hermione! Let Harry and I look together. Don’t you and Jade want to have ‘Girl Time’ or something?”

“As much as I appreciate your concern for my ‘Girl Time,’ Ronald, I feel it best that you have someone keep you on track, and I have a feeling Jade is not yet up to the task. Therefore, unfortunately, it falls to me,” Hermione said disdainfully. She rose from the table and, after a firm stare at Ron, stalked off in the direction of a particularly ragged shelf of books in the rear of the library. Ron followed her, shaking his head and muttering under his breath. Jade caught only a bit of what he said but it sounded remarkably like, “bossy, overbearing, know-it-all.”

Harry and Jade walked up and down the aisles of bookshelves marked “Chronological References.”

“What does ‘Chronological References’ even mean,” Harry said, a hint of desperation in his voice.

“Beats me. Maybe the books are in alphabetical order. We could start under ‘G’ for ‘genealogy,’” Jade suggested.

It was soon apparent that the order of the books was in no way alphabetical. In fact, there appeared not to be a specific order; the books were stuffed in the shelves in which ever way they were most difficult to remove. With the task at hand looming, Harry and Jade fell into a discussion of their discoveries of the wizarding world.

Harry pulled yet another book from the shelf as he told Jade, “It was…er …amazing, you know. I mean, I was happy just thinking I was going away to some boarding school. Then these letters started to come and everything got crazy for a while.” He scrunched up his face, “Actually, now that I think about it, it never stopped being crazy. Weird stuff happens around here all the time.” He stuffed a rejected book back into the shelf and pulled out another. “I never even imagined somewhere like this…my aunt and uncle worked hard to squash imagination. Magic and stuff didn’t exist in the Dursley house. But it was probably different for you. You grew up with it.”

Jade shook her head, “It wasn’t better. I grew up knowing I was a freak.”

“But you had these amazing powers! How can that be a bad thing? If I had known about mine, well, I would at least have had hope for something …you know, something other than what I had.”

“My powers weren’t a good thing for me! When I was little I made the mistake of telling my friend, my only friend, and do you know how that worked out? Let’s just say, not well. Believe it or not, people don’t exactly welcome you with open arms when you can set something on fire just by looking at it.”

Leafing absently through the pages of a book, Harry replied, “I do believe it. I know it. As much as I might like, I’ll never be normal here either. People will probably always look at me funny and expect me to be different than I am.” He paused for a minute. “I don’t want to depress you, but you’ll probably get the same thing once everyone finds out about you and stuff.”

“That’s ok. At least everyone here has powers. I’m not so different as I was. People will accept me; I’ve already seen that. It’s going to be so much better than it was.” Jade stared blankly at the cover of the book before her. “I once made the mistake of telling someone, a muggle. She was my best friend and she betrayed me. She told everyone I was a freak and … a bunch of stuff I’d rather not remember. Everything turned out ok in the end, I guess, but I never looked at people the same again” Jade swallowed. She had never told anyone this before. It hadn’t been as hard as she had thought it would be.

Harry looked over at her, “It’s ok. Everything’s different now.” He awkwardly laid a hand on Jade’s arm, then pulled it back as though he had touched a hot stove. He coughed a little and was suddenly very interested in the book in front of him.

“Harry! Jade! I found it!” Hermione called down their row, brandishing a large book in one hand. They rushed to join her, gathering around the table with their bags. Clouds of dust blossoming up, the book was placed with a flourish on the table.

It was as long as Jade’s forearm, with a red, leather cover. The leather was worn in patches, but the gold leaf writing still shone. On the cover it bore the inscription, “Genealogy.”

“This is it,” whispered Hermione. “This is a really fascinating book. Did you know it magically changes with each baby born to a family tree?”

“Yeah,” Ron muttered, “I picked that up when I was studying the fourteen uses of tree frog snot.”

Hermione barreled on as though she could not hear him. “Of course not all families are in the book, only those of old wizarding ancestry. But, if my hypothesis is correct, this is the reason Jade was placed in Slytherin.”

“Let’s see,” said Harry, trying unsuccessfully to pull the book away from Hermione. He gave up and settled for staring intently from her to the book and back again.

Hermione flipped open the book and turned to a section in the back labeled “Index of Names.”

“If Jade is in here, her surname will be listed.” Hermione scanned several pages before exclaiming, “Here it is! ‘Salinas’! It’s right here!”

They paused a minute as Harry and Ron insisted on high-fiving everyone several times.

“Can we get back to work?” Hermione demanded in her bossiest voice. “‘Salinas’ is only listed on one page, which seems a little odd, but we’ll take what we can get. Page 783.”

“Maybe you have a small family,” suggested Ron, as Hermione flipped to the designated page. Jade shrugged.

“Wait, something’s wrong,” murmured Hermione. “Here’s page 782 and here’s page 785, but there’s no 783. It’s like it’s missing.” She stared at the book in disbelief as she flipped back and forth though the surrounding pages.

“Maybe the book was misprinted,” Harry offered.

Hermione looked scandalized. “Absurd!”

Jade stared closely at the spot between pages 782 and 785. A fine, jagged line ran down between the pages. “It was torn out!” she said suddenly. “Someone tore out the page. Look, you can see the edge of it down between the other pages, but just barely. They did a good job of it.”

Everyone crowded about the book, peering this way and that, before the conclusion was drawn that, yes, the page had been forcefully removed.

“Who ever did it wasn’t all that neat,” Ron pointed out. “They got some sort of pink stuff down in the binding.”

Hermione seemed to be taking the missing page as a personal insult. “How could someone do that? Just rip out of page like that! Have they no respect for the book or no courtesy to others? And to not come forward and confess what they had done. I’m sure Madam Pince would have forgiven them eventually.”

“I don’t think this was an accident. Nope,” Jade said softly, “it’s too much of a coincidence.”

“But who would care if we saw this? And who would know we were going to look for it? You didn’t tell any Slytherins about this, did you, Jade?” Harry looked anxious.

“No, I didn’t. And they would have no reason to do this anyway.”

“Sure they would,” said Ron. “They like to do stuff just to be mean and this is the lowest!”

“Watch what you say about Slytherins,” Jade warned, voice cool. “Remember, I’m one for the time being.”

Harry was inspecting the book again. “What about this pink stuff? Is it some sort of, er, clue?”

“Harry, don’t be ridiculous. It appears to be a kind of pollen, but we have no way of knowing how long that has been there. It could be years old.” Hermione ran a hand through her bushy, brown hair. “No, it’s no help at all. It appears we will just have to try another source. The culprit could have ripped the page into hundreds of pieces by now. There’s really no chance of finding it.” She shut the book with a snap and returned it to its shelf.

As they watched her carry the book away, Jade wondered aloud, “Why would anyone care enough to go to the trouble of tearing out that page?” More than anything she wanted to see it; to know what secrets it must contain.

‘I’m going to find out what it says,’ she thought. ‘It’s my life. It’s my missing page.’


Well, there was some plot development (as promised). Not the greatest ever, I know, but the creative juices are flowing once more. Possibly another update in the next few weeks.

Liked it? Hated it? Thought people weren’t in character? Let me know! Constructive criticism is welcomed. As always, thanks for reading!
**dream_catcher**

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