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FIVE

An hour later 





“Tell me.” 


“No.” 


“Tell me.” 


“No.” 


Please tell me.” 


“No.” 


Cassie ground her teeth irritably. Allen Davies was proving a lot harder to win over than Albus Potter. 


“Why?” She complained, “Why were you out there and why won’t you tell me?” 


Just for a second Allen broke out of the stony stare ahead that he’d maintained for the entire duration of the walk back to the Ravenclaw tower. Just for a second his eyes met Cassie’s, conveying a look of concern and something like curiosity. Why should he be so bemused? 


Cassie ignored this and grasped at her chance, “What? What was that look for? What has happened to you?” 


“Leave it, Cassie.” Allen resumed his determined stare. Now he was the one with gritted teeth. 


They had reached the entrance to the common room. As the golden bird opened its beak Cassie wheeled around and stood in the way, speaking over the top of its riddle. 


“No! Look, Albus isn’t here anymore. You don’t have to act all manly or whatever it is you guys seem to do in each others’ presence. I refuse to believe it was a coincidence. You were out there for a reason and I want to know what it is.” 


“You were breaking the rules.” It still sounded like he was gritting his teeth. “You can’t just get away with things like that; that’s what the rules are there for.” 


“No, the rules are there to be broken,” Cassie stared pointedly at his averted eyes. The way he wouldn’t look at her was hugely annoying. 


He sighed, sharply and heavily, “Why do you have to be like that? Why do you have to be different from everybody else?” His eyes suddenly met hers. She wasn’t ready for it. His intense gaze loaded his words with some sort of meaning. Only she didn’t know what. 


Different? Since when had being different been a bad thing? 


“Why not?” Cassie retorted. She was really beginning to get sick with males and their riddles. 


“Because sometimes it’s best not to stand out.” The dim light from the lanterns in the hallway was flickering across his face ominously. 


In the echoing silence that followed his words, the golden eagle repeated its riddle. But it seemed that neither were listening. 


“I wasn’t... trying to stand out.” Cassie tried to interpret the tone of his comment even as she replied. It was almost a threat... no, a warning... “In fact I was trying very hard not to; hence the going out onto the roof at night when everyone else is asleep –” 


“With Albus Potter.” Allen interrupted. 


“Yeah?” 


“What do you know about Albus Potter, Cassie?” It was like he was prompting her, trying to tell her something without actually saying it. 


His efforts were futile. She was tired and fed up and just really not getting it. “I know him better than anyone else,” She said, defensively. 


“I don’t mean...” Allen sighed again, “It doesn’t matter. It’s not like you listen to me anyway. I warned you he was trouble and you ignored it. If you’ve chosen to believe everything he’s told you then that’s fine –” 


“Why are you so sure he’s lying?” Cassie demanded, “Why are you so sure he’s bad?” 


“Look at who his family are!” Allen thrust out his hands in annoyance, “You know the sorts of laws they were trying to pass, the sort of thing they were encouraging. They were dangerous people – they are dangerous people – and –” 


“And they’re gone and he’s still here!” Cassie interrupted, “They left him, Allen. You’re just judging him by association? Then you might as well be back in the Voldemort days really, mightn’t you?” 


Allen didn’t have an answer for that. He was silent for what felt like a long time, and still apart from the light from the flame flickering across his sullen face. When he did speak, it wasn’t in response to Cassie’s allegation. “Ignorance,” He muttered. 


It took Cassie the few seconds before the door swung open to realise that his response wasn’t a dig at her, but the answer to the eagle’s riddle. The riddle she hadn’t heard. 


Allen marched into the common room without another word in the general direction of the boys staircase. As he reached its foot Cassie called after him. 


“Why were you out there, Allen?” 


He didn’t answer right away but he didn’t make a move to go up the stairs. Cassie waited. 


“You really shouldn’t question everything, Cassie.” He finally said, wearily. She opened her mouth to object to his poor answer but he cut her off, “If you do one thing for me, do that. Don’t question things.” 


With that he went. 




** 


Two weeks later
23rd April 2023 




“Did you know detentions used to be cool?” 


Cassie jumped at the voice. It had been silent except for the scratching of a dozen quills monotonously writing out line after line, but Albus didn’t even bother to keep his voice down. 


She glanced up at the desk at the front of the room. Professor Buchanan had Albus caught in his ‘warning’ glare. Al wasn’t remotely fazed. 


“What are you doing?” Cassie didn’t turn her head to face where he was seated at the desk behind her. She hissed her reply out of the corner of her mouth. She couldn’t see his face but could hear the mocking grin in his voice when he next spoke, again loud enough for everyone in the room to overhear. 


“It’s true.” Al said, cheerfully, “My Dad told me.” 


Again Cassie didn’t turn her head. She hazarded another glance up at Buchanan, whose face was slowly deepening in colour. She wondered briefly why he wasn’t scolding Al for talking. Then she considered the option that maybe Buchanan wanted to hear what Al had to say about his Dad. After all, they were watching him. 


She was sure of that now. 


It was two weeks after they’d been caught on the roof. Two weeks of lines in detention. Throughout each detention she’d watched Buchanan. 


Buchanan had watched Al. 


Each morning when the mail arrived, too many eyes were on him for it to be coincidence. It wasn’t just teachers, either. Too many students were interested in Albus Potter’s movements. She’d always known he was a source of gossip in this school but surely it had never been this bad? 


And she hadn’t even really had the chance to talk to him about it, not really. In the day time, with so many ears about there was no chance to have a proper conversation. They had to make do with a heavily coded exchange, every word and gesture full of meaning. It was pretty hard to interpret a lot of the time, but Cassie figured she got the gist of it. 


But there was so much she wanted to know. So much she’d assumed and wanted confirmed. From the way he’d been talking she was sure he was planning something, or at least had something in mind. Her mind immediately leapt at the idea of running away. It was dramatic, but wasn’t this whole situation dramatic? Could he have meant that? 


She didn’t even have the chance to ask. 


For three nights she’d waited for him to arrive in her dorm, casual grin and two broomsticks tucked under his arm as usual. He never came. She’d woken up numerous times in the night imagining a solid figure sprawled on the end of her bed, and in her half-awake state been so sure that it was him. But it wasn’t. 


On the fourth night she’d decided to take matters into her own hands. She may not have been climbing in a while but she was still confident enough to try the window. 


Something stopped her. A note, reading only “Don’t try. They’ll know.” 


Then she’d tried ‘the easy way’, as she and Al had named it – the stairs. Allen sat in the armchair at the bottom of the dormitory staircase, a quill and parchment laid out in front of him. Cassie had backed away before he’d seen her. 


She’d tried the next night, and the next. Each time, no matter how late the hour was, there would be someone still in the common room. Sometimes Allen, sometimes others, sometimes a group. Almost as if they were guarding something. Or someone. 


This was no coincidence. 


“Like this one time,” Al continued as if he wasn’t aware that all eyes were on him. Cassie was sure that this was some sort of wind-up with Buchanan as the victim. Al didn’t need a reason other than boredom, he’d complained enough throughout the last two weeks. “He and my Aunt and Uncle had to go help the groundskeeper in the Forbidden Forest. There was something killing Unicorns and they had to go help find out what it was. Don’t you think that’s pretty cool?” 


He was clearly waiting for an answer. Cassie hadn’t turned her head but there was no doubt in her mind that he’d be addressing her. 


“Uh-huh. Cool,” She muttered, rolling her eyes, “Doesn’t seem much of a punishment if it’s that cool though, does it?” She still tried to talk without moving her mouth much, even though the tense silence in the room made it obvious that the conversation was between Albus and herself. 


“I don’t know, guess you wouldn’t know until you’ve been in there, would you?” This time Cassie couldn’t help but smirk to herself at the evil humour in Al’s voice. Of course they’d ventured into the forest on a few occasions. And although the teachers probably suspected it, they had no way of proving it. “I mean, I can see why some people would find it scary. But I guess we’ll never know, will we? Whether it would work better, I mean.” 


“I don’t know,” Cassie gave in to whatever his game was. She turned her head and spoke over her shoulder for the first time. Her dark eyes met Al’s, sparkling with wicked amusement. “Sometimes I find I can sleep at night, terrified at the prospect of detention. I mean, lines -” 


Miss Cooper!” Evidently Buchanan had had enough. 


Cassie let out a brief laugh in disbelief that she was the one being reprimanded. 


“Mr Potter,” He carried on, and Cassie was a little appeased. 


“But Sir,” Al’s eyes were wide with feigned innocence, “I’m only telling you what my Dad told me. What do you think changed, hmm? Why do you think it changed? You think it’s better? I’m only saying, because...well, some students seem to be in here kind of often. Some students have had weeks worth of detentions time after time. You might say that writing lines just isn’t working on some students... don’t you think?” 


In the brief pause between Al’s completely transparent questioning and Buchanan’s response the whole room seemed to hold its breath. In that split-second Cassie heard an echo of Allen’s voice “If you do one thing for me, don’t ask questions.” 


Considering the bated breath of the students, Buchanan’s response was a bit of an anticlimax. “Stay behind after detention, Mr Potter.” 


“But Sir, don’t -” 


“Stay behind, Potter.” 


There was another pause in which no one seemed to move. 


“Yes Professor.” 


Cassie had to wait until the next morning before she could find out what was said. 


She’d tried to wait behind for him outside the classroom, but a Prefect – they seemed to be multiplying lately – came along within minutes and told her to return to her common room. 


When Albus came to breakfast the next morning his hair was even more tousled that usual, and faint shadows lined his heavy-lidded eyes. This was concerning enough – Cassie wondered whether Buchanan had kept him particularly late, or whether whatever quarrel had occurred between the two of them had kept him awake especially late – but then he didn’t even acknowledge her. 


Didn’t greet her, didn’t make eye contact, didn’t even look in her direction. 


Cassie tried to repress the irritated, and slightly irrational rejected feeling, and maintained superficial chat with Freya, Nina and Juliet whilst subtly flicking her eyes every so often towards the staff table. 


Just as she suspected - all eyes on Albus. Even if their faces were averted, or concentrated on their breakfast, not one teacher seemed able to stop themselves checking up on him less than once a minute. And, also rather disconcertingly, Cassie found herself being scrutinised a little too often. She was pretty much used to it by now when she was with Albus, but the understated glances being thrown between the two of them... that felt strange. 


Cassie felt a sudden, suffocating urge to leave the Great Hall. She needed to get these eyes off her. Even without doing anything wrong she felt like they could see through her, read her. She fought this urge, needing to beat it. She forced herself to stay, twisting her face into a convincing enough bored, comforting smile at Nina’s homework worries. 


It took all of her effort to stay there until the end of breakfast. She refused herself even one resentful look at Al, even though she wanted more than anything to march up to him and demand to know what happened. She knew that if the briefest of eye contact was spotted between them, or even if she left the Hall and he followed too soon, someone would be watching. 


In class it was fine. Despite the monotony, she could allow herself a moment to relax. She didn’t have to worry where she was looking. But it did leave her with all too much time to ponder just what had happened between Al and Buchanan. 


It had to have been pretty serious, to have put carefree, light-hearted Albus in a mood like that. 


It didn’t help that it hadn’t gone unnoticed by Cassie’s friends. 


“Did you and Albus Potter have a fight?” Freya had pounced the moment they had a class together. It was after lunch, so she must have witnessed not only the initial rejection at breakfast, but also the cold-shoulder Cassie had received at lunch. 


“I wasn’t going to say anything in front of everyone -” Freya added at once, hastening to promote her status as a good friend, “But, you know, it’s pretty weird.” 


“He’s a pretty weird guy,” Cassie shrugged vaguely, determined not to let it show that she was so pathetically hurt by it. 


“But did you fall out?” Freya persisted. 


“Not really,” Cassie shrugged again, this time genuinely clueless, “If he doesn’t want to talk to me that’s fine...” 


Freya stared. “But you’ve been inseparable,” She exclaimed, “We all thought it was really strange how close you’d gotten in such a short time, even though you claimed there was nothing going on there -” 


“There wasn’t.” 


“- And now he’s just ignoring you?” 


Cassie wondered why it was so obvious. Surely students had petty disagreements all the time... why should it be so strange that a couple of them weren’t talking to one another? 


Of course she knew why really. It was Albus Potter. His business was, apparently, everybody’s business. 


“It’s only been like half a day,” Cassie reasoned, more to herself than to Freya, “It’s not like he’s really ignoring me, we just haven’t really spoken. Why does it matter?” 


“Because it’s you and Albus Potter.” Freya said, simply, “You’re different.” 


Allen’s voice seemed to be interfering in Cassie’s thoughts a lot lately. “Why do you have to be different from everyone else?” 


She sighed. “Different’s not such a good thing lately.” 


By dinner, she’d had enough. Freya’s probing had been followed by a joint attack by the whole gang in Charms. Freya and Nina had taken the direct approach and questionned Cassie almost to the point of insanity whilst the much more reserved Juliet held back and just watched. 


Their interest seemed to blow it all up out of proportion. She found herself agreeing to ‘sort it out with him’ over dinner, just to get some peace. 


“You really should just talk about it, whatever it is,” Nina had advised, “It’s just so juvenile to ignore each other like this.” 


“Definitely more mature to be friends again. I mean, we’re not third years. No one has silly fights like this anymore,” Freya had agreed. 


So Cassie found herself waiting in the Entrance Hall at dinner. Waiting for him to arrive. She felt people stare at her as they passed by on their way to sit down, and stared fiercely back. She’d had enough of the staring. 


When he did arrive, it was as if he didn’t see her. 


Cassie couldn’t quite believe it when he made as if to just pass her by. She stuck out an hand to grab his arm. 


“Hey.” She said, annoyed. 


His bicep tensed beneath her small but firm grip. 


He sighed, and seemed to take too long to turn his head to look at her, as if it were a great inconvenience. “What’s up?” 


Cassie searched his face for some sort of hint. His mouth was set in a straight line, his expression smooth and his eyes... his eyes held none of their usual bright, animated warmth. They were pretty much the eyes of a stranger. 


“You seem quiet.” She finally said, settling on a neutral, non-accusing and non-interpretable comment. 


His expression didn’t change as he pondered for a few seconds his answer. 


“It‘s better that way.” 


A few girls nudged each other and whispered as the passed by into the Great Hall. Cassie was suddenly aware that she still had hold of his arm and let go. It seemed to fall back to his side in slow motion. 


“Any reason in particular?” 


The blank expression was like a mask. It wasn’t Al. Cassie didn’t recognise any part of him. 


Then, just for a split second, his eyes dropped to the floor and he bit his lip in a familiar, agitated way. But when he lifted his eyes again the mask of stone was back. 


“Just something I had to try out.” 


Two words jumped out to Cassie there. ‘I’ and ‘had’. 

It seemed he wanted this to be nothing to do with her. 


And it seemed like he had no choice. 


But that didn’t calm her. “Bit sudden, this, isn’t it? Most people would consult with their friends first.” Definitely failed there with the ‘non-accusational’ tone. She was involuntarily holding her breath, a flare of panic mixed with a flicker of hope. He had to react to that. He had to be himself… 


His parting words were quick and firm, and delivered with a cold air of finality that crushed Cassies’ hope in one swift sentence, “Some people operate better alone.” 


All that was left for her to do was watch his departing back. 





** 




Everything changed. But it didn’t. 


It would be more accurate to say that everything went back to how it was before. 


Cassie only really interacted with anyone when she had to. Even then, it was mostly just Freya, Nina, Juliet and the teachers. Each day she felt herself sinking further and further into the Cassie she’d been before. 


Before that night on the roof. 


Before she met Albus. 


So it should have been fine. It wasn’t like she wasn’t used to this, she’d had three years of practice. 


So the abandoned, despairing feeling she blamed on him. 


It even felt like most of the students were going back in time with her. She was no longer stared at and whispered about, having dissociated herself from Albus. After all, he was the interesting one. The rebel. She wasn’t that at all any more. 


It would have been ok. Maybe. If she’d had her outlet. If she’d been able to fly, to climb, to run. That’s what had kept her going all this time, so the idea of going back to it was like going back to an old friend. 


But she couldn’t. 


Whilst it was true that the majority of the student body had conveniently forgotten about her now that she didn’t… stand out, she still never found herself completely alone. She still routinely got that prickling feeling on the back of her neck, sensing that she was being watched. Each time she got out of bed to even consider going out at night, she’d get it. 


She remembered the words of her friends, sleeping soundly in their beds. “It’s not worth the trouble.” For once, she listened. She was a different Cassie now. 


Of course, she couldn’t forget everything. And even if she could for a moment, she saw Albus, or - as she thought of him now - the Ghost of Albus, too frequently. A constant reminder. 


If she’d been the same old Cassie, maybe this would have inspired her, sparked something in her to get to the bottom of the strange happenings, once and for all. 


But the old Cassie had someone in her life that made everything so clear, bright and hopeful. She hadn’t fully appreciated how empty her life had been before him, or just how much he’d done for her. But then, abandonment from that someone had a huge impact in a persons life. 


Now things seemed so dull, trivial and just messy. She couldn’t forget, but at the same time she couldn’t remember exactly why it had all seemed of such utmost importance. What could two students do anyway? And why would they want to? 


He’d seemed so passionate about it before, he just cared so much. How could someone go from being that wholehearted to… this? 


Could he have just decided that he didn’t care anymore? After all, he only had three more months to go before he graduated. Before he was free to go. Before Cassie was left alone anyway. 


Maybe it was best that they’d gone their separate ways now, so that it didn’t… hurt so much. Afterwards. 


Cassie’s world just didn’t make any sense any more, it was just one big blur. It just seemed there was no point to anything. No point worrying about herself, about him, or anyone else. Anything else. Why had they even been bothered in the first place? Things weren’t great, they were a little boring and pointless, but they weren’t a disaster. And everybody else seemed to be getting by just fine. 


Maybe she just needed to make more of an effort. 


If only the very thought didn’t make her exhausted. Everything made her exhausted now. 


It was a rare occurrence for anyone to make an effort with her now. Freya, Juliet and Nina included her in their various conversations, but it seemed that it was more out of habit, or just to keep everything nice, that they did so. So, hearing a different voice, one that was at the same time so familiar and unfamiliar was enough to jolt Cassie out of her lunchtime daze. 


“Cooper.” It took less than a second for Cassie to register three things. 


One, Albus’ voice. Not just Albus’ voice, but the real Albus’ voice. Just one word in that deep, upbeat tone made the world a little clearer. 


Two, shock. 


Three, the way he sounded. Anticipation and excitement, though he was trying not to show it, with an apologetic undertone. 


Cassie was pretty sure the bewildered expressions on Freya, Nina and Juliet’s faces mirrored hers. Albus Potter - she found herself referring to him by his full name in her head, just like Freya, for some reason - hadn’t spoken to her in eleven days. Now here he was. No statue-like stance and expression; no serious, monotone voice. 


The real Albus. 


Cassie was aware that his mere presence was…. Well, waking her up in a way. Bringing the world into focus, almost. 


But that didn’t mean she had to act glad that he was here. 


“You want something?” She asked, frostily. 


A crooked smile spread over Al’s face. Though that flicker of hope sparked up inside Cassie again, she refused to let it show. 


He cleared his throat. “Um, ok. You were never going to make this easy…” 


Cassie didn’t feel the need to justify it. Al ran a hand through his dishevelled hair, as if he were uncomfortable in her unfriendly glare. Good. So he should be. 


“Come on,” He jerked his head towards the door, “Talk to me. Please.” He added as an afterthought. He sounded so cocksure that she was going to agree that Cassie felt compelled to refuse… until she saw his eyes flick warily to the staff table. 


Then she noticed. His presence had blinded her to it before, but now she felt it; the customary prickle of scores of pairs of eyes on her. On them. 


That gave her even more reason to refuse. And surely he ought to know better too? 


She consciously decided to coldly decline. She’d almost formed the words and was even just about to turn her back on him. 


But that wasn’t what happened. 


She found herself standing up - a grin lit up his face which she tried not to let affect her - and following him from the Great Hall, up to the third floor. It registered that this wasn’t what she’d wanted to do, mainly for the sake of her pride, but she didn’t stop herself. 


They stopped walking halfway down a corridor. It seemed a pretty random place to stop, to Cassie. She folded her arms and waited for him to explain himself. He didn’t seemed fazed, just leaned casually sideways against a particularly ugly statue of a one-eyed crone. 


“Ok. You’re not happy with me. I get that. I’m sorry.” He said, quickly. He glanced furtively over her shoulder the way they’d come. Did he really think someone would be so obvious as to follow them? Cassie considered it. Maybe he was right. They probably only had minutes before a prefect coincidentally wandered down here on their ‘rounds’. 


“What do you want?” Cassie asked. She was still angry, still wanted to demand an explanation, but she knew it was too risky. 


Albus took in a deep breath, clearly considering his words. Cassie’s brain dreaded but relished the prospect of another riddle-ridden conversation. 


“I miss us. What we did. You know?” His eyes captured hers, their warm sparkle back. 


“No.” Cassie said, truthfully. He clearly didn’t, or he wouldn’t have stayed away. 


“Think about it. You do know. The stuff we did… talked about… thought about…” His stare was intense. 


Cassie stared right back, as if locking eyes would draw the meaning to his vague words out of his head. Ok. So he was claiming to miss their night time excursions. That was the ‘stuff they did’. The ‘stuff they talked about’, he must mean he missed having someone to talk to about all the strange stuff going on, and everything he was going through. Sure. But the ‘stuff they thought about’? What was that supposed to mean? She had no idea what he thought about, and unless he was some sort of mind-reader he had no idea what she thought about. 


“Ok,” Cassie gestured with her hand for him to continue. They didn’t have much time; she’d think about it later. “And?” 


“You know, right? We never got the chance to say it but I know we were both thinking the same thing. Work it out, Cooper.” Al willed her, before he made another darting glance over her shoulder and swore under his breath. “Shit. Davies.” 


Cassie’s head swivelled and she took in Allen’s carefully blank expression as he made his way, so resolutely calmly, down the corridor with another prefect she didn’t know. ’On rounds’, obviously. 


They had maybe twenty-five seconds. 


“Ok. Um.” In an agitated gesture Al rubbed his hair again and bit his lip. “Right. Well you know that. What we thought about. I’m definitely going to be thinking about that tonight. Ok? I’m thinking about it tonight but… we… but there’s not a lot of time. The… erm, circumstances… they’re not great. But it’s got to be tonight. The usual time.” 


Cassie’s brain was working furiously to follow the speed of his words, trying to organise the jumbled, fragmented sentences before even attempting to decipher them. 


“But just… in case… just… if you can’t work it out. Um. Right.” His expression became determined, as if he were forcing her to remember his specific words. “Everything is totally straight-forward. Ok? I can’t… I’ll help as much as I can but the main thing you need to understand is… when you don’t understand, it’s straight-forward. All the time. Ok? And I’ll be there for you. I’ll always wait for you when I can. Ok? I’m always right here.” To emphasise his last word he lifted his hand from the old crone’s stone head and let it fall with a distinct smack. 


Her eyes following his hand to the statue, Cassie was overwhelmed with a feeling of uselessness. She had no idea what he was saying. And she wasn’t aware that their time was up until Albus met Allen’s eyes over her shoulder. 


“Davies.” He nodded, casually. 


“Potter. Cooper.” Allen said, equally casually. 


Cassie turned and gave him a brief half-smile, her mind still furiously going over Albus’ words. At the same time, she noticed that Allen’s dismissive expression was being firmly retained on his face. Of course it must be baffling to him, she knew she had no idea what was going on, so Allen must be completely lost. Just as he’d described she and Albus as ‘inseparable’ just a month or so ago, she knew that he knew, that this wasn’t the case any more. 


“You know lessons begin in less than five minutes?” Allen asked, his question directed at Albus with his chin lifted. 


“Sure thing. We’re just heading there,” Albus replied amicably. 


“Taking a bit of a detour aren’t we?” Allen probed. 


Albus laughed easily. Cassie wondered how, she was getting that old sense of suffocating, knowing that Allen had either chosen to or been sent to follow them. 


“Hey, you know what it’s like for me.” Albus shrugged, “Can’t get a moment of peace for a private chat. Don’t want people getting involved in my personal life, can I?” He smirked. Cassie wanted to roll her eyes. She knew that he was winding Allen up, it seemed it was second nature to him now. Even when he was out of practice. 


Before Allen could muster up a reply Cassie spotted Albus’ cocky expression slip. Just for two seconds, he seemed a little unsure and bit agitatedly on his lip. Then in another second the smirk was back. Allen hadn’t noticed. 


What had he said that was wrong? Cassie wondered. It was just his usual easy messing around. Why did it suddenly bother him? 


“Hard life for a celebrity,” Allen said, snidely, saying ‘celebrity’ like it was synonymous with flobberworm. 


“Uh-huh.” Albus wasn’t abashed. 


“Why don’t you head off to your lesson then? We have Secrecy, Cassie.” Allen looked at Cassie for the first time. 


“Oh. Right.” Cassie supposed she should go with him. She gave Albus one last curious look - he still stood against the statue of the hunched old witch - before following Allen’s lead. 


“Hey, Cassie.” 


She turned back. It sounded odd to hear her first name coming from Albus’ mouth. Had he before? She was sure he’d only ever called her Cooper. 


“Yes?” She asked. It probably didn’t come out in the most friendly of manners. Well, she was still annoyed with him. He had abandoned her. And then come back with no explanation and just a double load of confusing riddles. He deserved a bit of the cold treatment. 


“When you need me I’m right here remember?” He caught her eye again, no trace of amusement present anymore. No matter how clear his bottle-green eyes were, she couldn’t see through them into his mind. “Right. Here.” Again, he emphasised his final words with two resounding slaps onto the stone old crone’s head. 


Cassie felt held on the spot by the intensity of his stare, she searched the words for some sort of sense or meaning, maybe if she stared back at him long enough she’d get it… 


He blinked. Broke the stare. The intensity was gone and he sauntered off in the opposite direction, whistling tunelessly as he went. 




** 




The next morning she heard the rumours. 


Albus Potter was gone. 















A.N. Hello! Right. I'm in a rush to post this before I have a zillion things to do so I don't have a lot of time to say what I want to say... which is... I hope you liked it! And I'm sorry im a rubbish updater, I truly do try and get quicker. Anyway. You will have more questions (shock) but a few answers? Please let me know what you think, whether you like it, your guesses! I love to hear your thoughts and especially feedback. 

Thanks for reading!
Rx.

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