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Chapter 13 - The Witching Hour

‘You are a doctor?’ Hermione asked. ‘A Muggle doctor? What kind of doctor?’

Ariel smiled. ‘Yes, I’m a Muggle doctor. I graduated in Berkeley, California. I was an Obstetrician,’ she said and they looked at her surprised. ‘I was tired of death, so I wanted to bring new life to the world!’ she added and they smiled. ‘But I only worked as a doctor until I came back here and became Hedwig, and while I was in the castle, not in the Owlery, I gave some advice and helped Madam Pomfrey a little bit, but I don’t think she liked the idea!’

They laughed.

'I know… Wizards don't trust Muggle Medicine', Hermione said.

'Yeah… But they should! Well… I'm too suspicious to talk about it', she said, smiling. 'And you, boys?'

Harry and Ron looked at each other, then at Ariel.

'We don’t know how things will be from now on, but…We still think about being Aurors', Harry said and Ron nodded. 'Perhaps share a flat…the three of us…'

Hermione looked at the boys and Harry smiled.

'Yes, Hermione…What do you think about that?'

Hermione's eyes shone with pleasure and she and Ginny smiled.

'Are you certain about this? I mean…'

'Of course we are. We would never leave you behind', Harry said and held her hand. They smiled. Ron cleared his throat and they both looked at him.

'Yeah, you know, Hermione…We are a trio. Without you it would be…' he cleared his throat again. 'Kind of…Weird.'

'Huh…Thanks, Ron. I appreciate it', she said, looking deep into his eyes and he nodded again, turning slightly pink on his neck and his ears.

'And you, Hermione? What do you intend to do? Go into Auror training with the boys?' Sirius asked, making her attention turn towards him, to Ron's relief.

'Well…I reckon I had too much about fighting evil and dark wizards…I would like to work doing something that I could help the others with, like…I would love to work in the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures…'

'Oh, no! SPEW again!' Harry and Ron said in unison. They all laughed.

'It's not SPEW… Its S.P.E.W.', she said, upset. 'Honestly!'

'That's great, Hermione…You will do very well', Sirius said.


'Moony will be delighted to know that', Sirius said, smiling.

'He is one of the reasons I would like to work there', she confessed.

'That's nice…and I believe you will do great things once you are inside', Ariel said and smiled, then looked at Ginny. 'And you, Ginny? I know you still have a year ahead, but… do you have any idea of what you would like to do?'

'Well, yes. I would like to became a healer', she smiled. 'That's always fascinated me and besides, I can help the boys when they are fighting the dark… They break it on duty and I fix it', she said very naturally and they all laughed.

'That's very useful and thoughtful', Sirius said, laughing.

Ginny looked at Ariel with a curious face. 'Is Muggle Medicine too different from ours? I mean…'

'Muggle Medicine is fascinating. Of course they cannot deal with things we deal in our world, like…werewolf bites or some kind of poisons. Actually they do not look beyond what the patient is feeling; instead, loads of machines work to find out what is the real problem in the person's body. But most of the time, their medicine and work do miracles. They don't brew potions or use incantations…they have their own kind of potions that are manufactured in series and they sell it in a place they call Chemists', she said with her blue eyes sparkling.'

'I reckon Muggles are mental. That's a fact!' Ron said

'Ronald!' Hermione said in a reprehensive tone and they laughed.

'Ariel…do you still talk with your Muggle friends?' Ginny asked Ariel, ignoring Ron's comment. Ariel smiled.

'Yes, I do. We have not seen each other these past seven years, but every time I could I wrote to them or talked to them on the phone. Such great friends are always with us forever, even over such a long distance.'

They all smiled and Ginny nodded.

'And…did you ever tell them you're a witch?' Hermione asked

'Oh…' Ariel smiled, remembering the day the guys had found out about her abilities with a wand. 'Well…when you have friends who enter in your house at any hour of the day without knocking…yes! I can tell you they really found out I was a witch.'

'What happened?' Harry asked curiously.

Ariel grinned.


Four years. Four years had passed since Ariel had stepped onto the streets of San Francisco and she loved being there. The wounds she had the day she arrived in the city had bled like crazy, now they had closed and only sometimes, when she was alone, did they still hurt, but that was something that would be with her forever. After all, James, Sirius, Remus and Lily had been her best friends and family since she was eleven…yes, Peter too, but there was something about him; they did not match very well. And now, there weren't the Marauders anymore, or Ariel and Lily, or baby Harry, only good and bad memories from those amazing and happy times they had spent together.

That Sunday morning Ariel was sitting on the counter drinking some coffee and eating a bagel with the newspaper spread out and reading the news, the television was also on the Weather channel. Ariel took a sip of her coffee when she heard a flutter and a big barn owl landed on top of the newspaper.

'Oh…hello, little fellow', she said, smiling and the owl hooted. 'A letter from Grandfather? Thank you!' she untied the letters, one from Dumbledore and a surprise, one from Remus Lupin. Ariel smiled and cut some pieces of her bagel, offering them to the owl, which started eating it happily.

Ariel started to read the letters just when Josh opened the door and looked at her with a smile.

'Hi gorgeous. Already up?'

Ariel looked at him, then to the owl and to him again.


Josh came close, smiling.

'Lucas will be…oh my Goodness! What is this owl doing here?'

Ariel looked at the owl again, then at him and Lucas, who had just entered the apartment.

'Good morning, beautiful!' he said and looked at the owl. 'What…'

'Erm…it appeared at my window last night. I reckon it's hurt, so I’ll let it stay until its feeling OK to fly', she said and caressed the owl's head.

They stared at the owl resting on the counter and accepting Ariel's caresses quietly.

'I never heard of an owl being so…not…wild!' Lucas said, analyzing the animal.

'Well…I told you. I reckon its hurt. I'm not a veterinarian. Anyways…I will let it rest and leave the window open, so it can fly home when it wants. Sounds good, don't you think?'

'Yeah…and it seems to be harmless', Lucas said, coming closer to the counter and touching the owl. 'And maybe if it likes you, you can keep it.'

'I don't have time to take care of a…pet. No!' she said smiling. 'But it can come and visit me, right?' she said, caressing the owl.


'It can talk!' Josh said and they laughed.

‘So, what brings my favorite boys to my place so early this Sunday?’ she asked.

‘Letters? From whom?’ Josh grabbed the letters from the table.

‘Oh…my grandfather and a friend from Hogwarts’, she said without paying attention.

‘Hogwarts?’ Josh and Lucas asked together.

‘Huh?’ she asked, looking at them.

‘Hogwarts, you just said that’, Lucas said, smiling.

‘Oh, yes’, she smiled, ‘it’s the school in Scotland where my grandfather is the… Principal. It’s a boarding school for boys and girls. I never talked about it?’ she asked them.

‘No, not that I remember’, Lucas said.

‘Oh, well’, she smiled and shrugged, ‘maybe you never asked.’

‘Probably’, Josh said, smiling. ‘So, ready?’

‘For what?’ she asked.

‘What do you mean ‘for what?’? For the barbecue at the Golden Gate Park with Morris, Steve, Karl and Jones!’ Josh said.

‘Oh, I had forgotten!’ she exclaimed. ‘I’m sorry! Well… I need to change quickly and we can go then’, she said, getting out from behind the counter and going to her room. Ariel wore a pair of jeans, brown suede boots, a white t-shirt and a brown V-neck sweatshirt. ‘Ok, I’m ready. Let me just chop some vegetables to make a salad.’

‘Sure, do you have some beer?’ Lucas asked.

‘In the fridge. Go ahead’, she said, taking the salad bowl and the knife. ‘And since you are there, help me out and get the vegetables.’

‘Yes, ma’am’, Lucas said as he opened the fridge and handed her the vegetables, before taking a beer out for himself.

‘Thank you!’

She started working on the salad while Lucas drank his beer and stared at the owl, who was perched on the arm of the couch, sleeping. Josh shook his head and looked at Ariel.

‘So, your car or ours?’ he asked.

‘Mine, it’s at the front of the building already, since last night’, she said.

‘Hmm…what time did you arrive last night?’ Josh asked with a grin.

‘Before the beautiful couple here!’ she said, laughing and pointing at them. They laughed.

‘Well, we stayed at the club a little bit more. And…what about the blond guy with blue eyes?’ Lucas asked.

‘Shut up!’ she answered, laughing.

‘Really, girl…in the four years you’re here, I haven’t seen you dating once! And I mean really dating, not just flirting’, Josh said.

‘My heart is still with Sirius. I’m still healing’, she justified.

‘Well, it’s about time’, Lucas said.

‘And besides, I haven’t found any interesting guys’, she continued. ‘You American blokes just want sex and I’ll call you later.’

‘Some of them do call later, even if only for more sex’, Josh said.

‘But don’t give up, there are good guys around’, Lucas added.

‘You two…why do you have to be a couple? This is really sad for the female species!’

They laughed.

‘Sorry, beautiful’, Lucas said. ‘Don’t think we men are the only ones who disappoint you, women.’

‘I know’, she nodded. ‘Oh, by the way…I bought something for you lot…it’s on my bedside table.’

‘Ok’, Josh said and went to her room. A few minutes later, he came back with a “My Fair Lady” VHS in one hand and a stick of wood in the other.

‘Did you find it?’ she asked, not paying attention to him.

‘Yes and…I found this on your bed, too. What is it, naughty girl?’ he asked and pointed the stick of wood at her. Lucas and Ariel looked at it and she felt all her blood disappear from her body. ‘Ariel?’ he asked, worried. She blinked and looked at him, composing herself.

‘Oh, it’s a…a…’ she stuttered.

‘A?’ he asked.

‘It looks like a baton’, Lucas said, coming closer and looking at it. ‘Or…Merlin’s magical wand’, he said with a smile and Josh snorted.

‘Merlin never used a wand, but a stick’, she said.

‘Hmm…who knows?’ Lucas said while Josh continued examining the wand.

‘Seriously…why do you have this on your bed? What is it, exactly?’ Josh asked.

‘It’s…my wand’, she said with a sigh.

‘Your wand? Aren’t you too old to be playing Tinkerbell or a fairy?’ Lucas asked, amused. She looked at them and went to them.

‘Oh, shut up! Too many questions…I like it and that’s all!’ she grabbed her wand, which released white sparkles.

‘Wow! How did you do that?’ Josh asked with his eyes wide open. ‘Is there some kind of button or…’

‘No!’ she said and took a deep breath. It was time to tell them the truth. They were very good friends who would never tell who she really was. ‘I’m a witch.’

They looked at each other, then at her.

‘Oh…that’s nice’, Lucas said. ‘You never told us before…why not? We are open-minded people.’

‘I know, it’s just something I want to leave behind and usually, you Muggle people don’t believe in magic’, she explained.

‘Muggle? What do you mean?’ Josh asked, confused.

‘Non-magical people’, she continued and then, took a deep breath. ‘I’m sorry, uh…I’m really a witch, I don’t dance naked under the full moon or something like that’, she added. They looked at her for a moment, then Josh took a deep breath like she did.

‘So, you are more like a…Psychic person?’ he asked.

‘Like a Seer? No…although I can read a little bit on the tea leaves, but…no, I was born a witch, I came from two old families of witches and wizards,’ she explained. ‘My great-great-great grandfather is one of the most powerful wizards in the Wizarding world and he was the one who raised me when my parents were killed.’

‘I don’t understand’, Lucas said.

‘It doesn’t make any sense, Ariel’, Josh completed. She sighed.

‘Look…Accio tape!’ she said, pointing her wand to Josh’s hands and the tape flew over to her hands. They both gasped and jumped back.

‘How did you do that?’ they asked at the same time.

‘Like…’ she said and took a glass, throwing it on the floor. It shattered into thousand pieces, so she pointed her wand at it. ‘Reparo!’

The glass recomposed itself in a blink of an eye.

‘Ok, I’m sorry, but now I’m scared!’ Lucas said. Ariel sighed.

‘I guess we are not going to the Park anymore, right?’ she asked, then showed them the couch with her hand. ‘Sit down, we have loads of things to talk about.’

The boys sat in front of her and Ariel took another breath, looking at them. She had been their friend for four years now and she knew she could trust her life to them. They not only had offered their friendship, but their help, they gave her a very nice job, were always there when she just needed to cry, never saying a word or asking anything when she made stupid questions like ‘how do you fix stuff with this white paste?’ referring to a bottle of glue, or even on her first night in town, when she asked what Med school was.

‘Well’, she started and looked at them, biting her lower lip, ‘I never said anything because first I wanted to live a Muggle life, I did not want to be part of the Wizarding world anymore, since I had lost so much…and second because…you lot accepted me the way I was, saying funny things all these four years without thinking I was some kind of freak or something.’

‘We thought you were, uh…a little…clumsy, that’s all’, Lucas said, looking at Josh, who nodded.

‘Well, I don’t blame you’, she said with a weak smile, ‘but I couldn’t tell you who I really was. You see, this connection between Muggle world and Wizarding world is very weak. Even in Muggle families, when a wizard is born, only the closest members know the truth, like the parents and siblings. And of course, the Head of Government knows about it as well’, she added and sighed. ‘I was going to tell you eventually and it was not like I was lying to you lot, I was just omitting some facts, not important though, ‘cause it’s been like ages and I don’t use magic anymore. The only thing that I still do is using the owl to send letters to grandfather because I cannot send them by regular post to Hogwarts and…you found my wand because it’s my protection.’

They looked at the owl, resting on the arm of the couch, a little skeptically.

‘So, this owl is a…mail pigeon?’ Lucas asked, intrigued. ‘It flies from Britain to here?’

‘Yes’, she answered. ‘Sorry for lying about this! But I couldn’t just tell you he was bringing my letters’, she added.


‘Yes, his name is Felix. He’s a barn owl from the school’, she explained and sighed upon their skeptical look. Ariel grabbed a piece of paper and pen and scribbled something on it, then folded it and looked at the owl. ‘Felix, wake up… I have a job for you.’ The owl looked at her and flew to her shoulder. Ariel patted its head and put the paper on its leg. ‘Take it to Grandfather and bring his answer back. Go!’


The owl took flight, leaving the apartment. Josh and Lucas looked at each other, then at her.

‘Ok, and it knows where to go?’ Lucas asked.

‘Yes’, she answered. ‘You don’t need to believe me and I can fix it…I can erase this conversation and you will never know anything that happened today. The only thing is that…I wanted you to be part of my life, to know who I really am’, she said with a tingle of sorrow.

‘You understand that this is very hard for us to take, don’t you?’ Josh asked.

‘Of course I do.’

‘What made you not to want to be a witch anymore?’ Lucas asked, suddenly, and they looked at him.

‘What I told you is true’, she continued. ‘I lost three best friends. It (That) was the main reason…’ she sighed and got up, hugging herself by her waist. ‘My world was in a war between good and evil. Voldemort, a powerful dark wizard, was threatening the Wizarding community for years until something that no one could expect happened: a prophecy was made and two boys could cause the fall of the Dark Lord. That’s why I became an Auror…’ she paused at their confused expression. ‘Like an agent of the government, we were trained to fight against dark witches and wizards, especially Voldemort and his followers, the people he called Death Eaters. We were trained to fight and die fighting, but as I told you, this prophecy was made and Voldemort went after the boys, and one of them was my godson, Harry Potter. My grandfather suggested that James and Lily, his parents, do this spell called Fidelius, in which you have to choose one person to be the Secret Keeper and only this person can tell where his/her protégé is hidden, and this person was Sirius…’ she took a deep breath again and continued. ‘For some reason, Voldemort found Lily and James and killed them, but when he tried to kill Harry, the curse, one of the Unforgivable curses, backfired and he disappeared from Earth. Sirius was accused of telling Voldemort where the Potters were and breaking the spell, and he was also accused of killing one of their best friends, Peter Pettigrew, and a bunch of Muggles on a street in London. Now he’s in Azkaban, the Wizarding prison…it’s like Alcatraz, but much, much worse, and he believes he’s guilty, but I don’t!’ Ariel emphasized the last part, feeling her eyes fill up with tears. ‘He would never betray his friends, Sirius would have died to protect James, Lily and Harry!’ she said and took a deep breath before continuing, but the tears rolled down her face anyway. ‘And Harry was sent to live with his horrible relatives! Lily’s sister, her husband and her son…she hated Lily, I can’t even imagine how my baby is!’ she finished and looked at them. Both guys were staring at her in astonishment. ‘I’m so sorry! Oh, Merlin…I’m so, so sorry! I shouldn’t have spilled all of this on you lot!’

‘No, it’s OK’, Lucas said and got up, holding her hand and wiping her tears.

‘No, it’s not! Now you’ll think I’m a crazy witch…crazier than you already thought I was and I don’t blame you! Maybe if I were a Muggle, I wouldn’t believe in myself!’ she said, still crying.

‘No, we don’t think you’re crazy! Of course this is the craziest thing I ever heard, but it doesn’t mean you’re lying’, Josh said.

‘I’m not lying’, she said and looked at her wand on the coffee table, soon taking it and putting it in her back pocket. ‘And it was because of that that I left the Wizarding world. Not to hide, but to find myself, to find an Ariel who didn’t need magic in her life and I thought I was doing well, I mean…I’m studying Muggle medicine, working in a Muggle place…I’m even using the laundromat around the corner, I have a telly and a telephone at home and…a car! I don’t fly on broomsticks anymore, or watch my favorite Quidditch team playing…or…I don’t know…’ she blurted out and looked at them. ‘If you want to sack me, I’ll understand.’

Josh took a deep breath and looked at Lucas, then at Ariel.

‘One thing at a time…we’ve had too much for today’, he said and got up, looking at Ariel and touching her face. ‘Thanks for coming out.’

She nodded. ‘You did the work, I just confessed everything…but thank you for listening to me’, she added.

‘Always’, Josh said and pulled her in a tight hug. ‘If you need anything, we’ll be downstairs, beautiful.’

‘Thanks’, she said and Lucas pecked her on her lips softly.

‘Bye, honey.’

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