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'Mother?' I whispered as I blinked questioning whether my eyes were decieving me.

Sitting up straight I noticed the white walls around me, looking down I was dressed in white robes and the pungent scent of disinfectant filled my nose.

'Where am I?' I panicked raising my body up forcing myself to move.

My mother's face soon flooded with concern as she placed her hands on my shoulders pushing me back down to the bed.

'You're in St Mungos. I'm sorry darling, You've been unconcious for several days now' she replied.

Lifting my hand upon my forehead the memories all came flooding back. Tracing my fingers across my hair line I could feel the scar that was left there.
A small reminder of the injuries inflicted on me at the hands of Pansy Parkinson. My mind started to wonder off. Where was Draco? Was he safe? Was he even alive?

'Where is everyone?' I cried as doubt poured through my me.

'Auria and Draco are safe but.....' My mothers words trailed off before she could even finish the sentence.

'But what? Tell me?' I pleaded trying to free myself from her grasp.

Searching her eyes I was hoping to find some sort of answer but her emerald beauties would not give anything away.

'BUT WHAT MOTHER?!' I asked again with as much force as I could muster.

My mother had held her breath trying to find the courage to reply to my demands.
Letting out a deep sigh she placed her hand upon my mine and her face fell into an apologetic projection of a mother that in real life would care.
It was the first time she had shown any sort of genuine affection towards me and I detested the fact that it had taken such drastic measures in order for her to do so.

'Auria's parents as well as Draco's family have asked that you stay away from both of them from now on. They are determined to have both of them married as soon as possible without any distractions.' she finally replied.

My heart crumbled under her words as I felt bitterness and sadness weave within me.

'Is that all I am? A distraction?' I spoke as tears started to flow down my face.

'I'm sorry my darling but after this war they felt it was nessasary that the two should be married as soon as possible for securities sake. Both families have gone into hiding and so has your father.' My mother interjected.
'It's for the best my love, I don't want you being mixed up with the likes of Draco Malfoy, look at the crazy thoughts he has planted into your mind, he's a blood traitor'

My mothers words cut through me like a knife, I was shocked and appaulled by what I was hearing. Shaking my head in disbelief I forcefully wiped away my tears.

'They were not his ideas mother, they were my own' I answered my voice cold and full of hatred.

'Now now sweetheart you can't possibly mean that!' cooed my mother stroking my cheek with her icy finger tips.

I shivered under her touch, it felt as if she had grazed my cheek with her nails her fingers were so cold.

'Get out' I whispered, the venom of hatred had pierced through my skin and the poison was now flowing through my veins.

'I beg your pardon?' my mother asked in shock, her body shot up in defence as her face creased into small lines of confusion.

'I SAID GET OUT! I DO NOT WANT TO LAY EYES ON YOU EVER AGAIN, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?' I shouted unable to keep it in any longer.

The lady sitting by my bedside was no longer worthy of being called mother, she was the lowest form of humanity that had ever graced the earth and I wanted nothing more to do with her.

'Perfectly' she replied her face proud as she rose from her seat.

Turning onto my side I couldn't even face watching her leave the room.

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I was now on my own, no family, no friends and no Draco.

After leaving St Mungos I had found myself somewhere to live with the inheritance left for me from my grandfather. I got a job in a small cafe just on the corner of Diagon Alley and started to rebuild my life back. Each morning I would wake up, shower, have breakfast and leave for work, filling my life with this routine trying to push out any thoughts of Draco as far out of my mind as possible and as time went on it seemed to work. Eventually he rarely crossed my mind as I started to make new friends and build up new relationships.

'Hello' I heard as I wiped down table counters at the cafe one day.

'I'm sorry we're closed' I replied as I cleaned, not even bothering to look up.

'I'm not here for a cup of tea' the person replied.

Turning around I froze at the sight before me, my hand flew open and the cloth that was trapped between my fingers flowed freely to the ground.

'Neville' I smiled a little bewildered at his presence.

It had been some time since I had seen anyone of my fellow Hogwart's class mates. Several of them had taken off all around the country to live their lives happily away from the city.

'So do I get a hug then?' he asked his face beaming.

Still lost for words I managed to stumble towards him and I fell into his tight embrace.

'Fancy grabbing a pint?' he asked releasing me from his hold and looking down at my wildly shocked face.

'Sounds like a plan!' I laughed hugging him once more.

After locking up the cafe, I grabbed my bag and proceeded to stroll down the alley with Neville. It was a warm summers evening and the sun was starting to dim down. Heading towards a local pub we chatted busily catching up on all the latest happenings.

'Well Hermione and Ron got married and now they are expecting their first child in september.'

I smiled to myself, it was nice that someone was making something of their lives after the war.

'Ah that lovely' I sighed 'How long has it been Nev?'

'About 5 years' he replied as we headed into the pub.

The place was full of people enjoying a nice cold butterbeer after work. The friendly chatter and happy faces filled me with a slight sense of peace. People's faces were no longer full of sorrow for the lives that were lost all those years ago. But there was a pang that hit my heart as I realised that there was one face that I would never see again. What I would give just to see his face one more time.

'So how are you doing?' Neville asked his face deep in concern.

Taking a slow sip of my drink my eyes met the floor momentarily. Sighing I put on my mask, the one that I used almost daily to convince the friends around me that I was happy.

'I'm fine' I replied forcing a smile upon my lips.

Neville's expression remained the same, the concern that was written across his face was flattering but also some what irritating. I had seen that look before, that pity that people felt they had to express to me, the slight tilting of the head to one side, it was all to familiar.

'Don't look at me like that' I laughed pushing my hand at his chest lightly. 'I'm good, I havn't seen Draco in years, I heard he married Auria and I chose to move on, I've got friends now, I'm now the manager of a beautiful cafe and I've got my own place. Really things are best off this way.'

Neville returned the smile, placing his hand on mine he held my gaze. His touch was warm and friendly and it left me contented.

'If you ever need anything please don't hesitate in asking.' he spoke softly 'I'm always going to be your friend and you know that.'

I smiled looking away from Neville and letting my mind wonder. It was nice to see an old familiar face. The feeling I had was not what I expected. I swore to myself that I would never bring up the past cause I was afraid it would be to painful but this seemed natural.

'It's funny how things have turned out.' I sighed leaning on the mahogany bar in front of me. 'Anyway enough about me, how about you Professor Longbottom, Herbology teacher, you're back at Hogwarts!'

Neville laughed placing his drink next to him. Taking my hand he smiled. His skin was soft and his touch was gentle.

'You see that's what I came here for, I was sent here by Professor Mcgonagall, she is offering you a job as the new Charms Professor.'

Taking a step back I felt my body weaken slightly, my heart began to race as the images of Hogwarts went streaming through my mind. Could I actually go back there after all this time?
Slipping slightly my balance was lost, propping myself up against the bar I had to breath slowly to steady my nerves.

'Marianna are you ok?' Neville asked grabbing my free arm and fetching me a stool to sit on.

'Yeah I'm fine' I whispered slowly 'I never thought of ever going back there.'

'I think it's might be good for you' Neville replied placing an arm around me in a comforting manner.

Placing a hand on my chest I could feel the rapid thudding of my heart gradually beginning to speed up.

'I think I might need to sleep on it' I spoke finally staring up at Neville with wide eyes.

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'Why am I doing this?' I said nervously trying hard not to turn back and go straight home . 'Neville why the hell are you making me do this?!'

After one week's worth of thinking, many conversation with Neville and a final letter of persuation from Mcgonagall and I had found myself on platform 9 3/4 waiting for a train that would send me to the last place I never would have imagined even stepping foot in again.
Neville chuckled as he brushed his hand against my back in reasurrance.

'Because I persuaded Mcgonagall that you would be the best person for this job, you were always one of the top pupils for charms, you excelled in the class.' he replied with a cheeky grin.

'Well that was a bad idea' I muttered sarcastically.

Suddenly my head snapped up as I head the familiar sound of wheels on the train track. The Hogwarts express was impressive as ever. The beautiful scarlett engine pulled upto the platform its bellows of smoke filling the air leaving a thick foggy atmosphere, the smell of the charcoal filled my nose sending me back to the first time I had ever seen this magnificent beast of a train. I was terrified of the noises and the pure size of it as a child. It reminded me of an elegant, fearsome dragon ready to take off and fly away at any moment. The memories of first meeting Draco on that platform filled my mind. He was a skinny little eleven year old boy, his platinum blonde hair reflecting the light was slicked back on his head with lashings of hair gel. He reminded me of a ferret which later on was proved when he was turned into one in our fourth year. I giggled to myself as I remember him coughing up fur balls for a week after he was changed back. the thought made me smile but soon touched that hallow part of my heart that had been there for so long after he left me for Auria.

'Ready to go?' Neville's voice rang through my daydreams sending me back to reality.

'No' I sighed stepping onto the train. 'I'll never be ready.'

The journey up to Hogwarts seemed to go on for an eternity, the train was empty as the new school year would not start for another week. As we sat silently in a compartment my thoughts began to gather up conflicting my judgement and doubts of my actions began to appear. What if this was a huge mistake? What if I couldn't cope? It all seemed rather overwhelming and my body began to react to this. My hands shook with nerves as I trembled with fear. My pulse started to race and my skin crawled, but it was to late. I couldn't tell the train to stop and go back we were almost there.

'We're here' Neville finally spoke up as the train pulled into Hogmeade.

My legs felt like jelly as I tried to rise from my seat. I became very aware of the rapid rate in which I was breathing. I was at risk of having a panic attack but as I stepped of the train I allowed myself to take a deep breath and gather up some composure. I felt like a teenager again taking a carriage up to the castle and there it was still grand as ever, Hogwarts was always a sight to behold.

'Welcome back' Neville smiled as we pulled up to the front of the huge castle. Professor Mcgonagall was waiting at the front doors with a wide grin on her face. I couldn't help but return the smile as I stepped of the carriage, running up to her rather unprofessionally I gave her the tightest embrace possible.

'Now stand back let me take a look at you' she said as she released me from her hold. 'Well you've certainly grown up to be a very beautiful woman, we're going to have to watch out for some of our male students, full of hormones you know!'

I laughed as I felt tears prick my eyes. Wiping them away quickly I looked up at the woman I had respected for many years. She in turn was staring back at me with the same admiration and tears were now beginning to form in her eyes. Regaining her posture she smoothed down her dress and let out a big sigh.

'Right well we better get you to your quarters so you can unpack and freshen up, we have a staff meeting in twenty minutes' she said quickly leading me back into the castle that once had been my home

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