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Matt was already waiting for me in my study when I returned from seeing the Hogwarts students back to school. He looked up from the leftover Chinese he was eating as I walked in.

“How did it go?” I asked immediately as I took one of the chairs in front of my desk. It was slightly odd to look at my desk from that perspective.

“Great,” Matt replied as he set the Chinese on my desk. “Five kids, which is more than I was expecting. Funny thing was none of them said a thing about lycanthropy. They just played games. The parents talked in the back and they only talked about lycanthropy. I think that parent group will be a huge success.”

“Did you tell them you have lycanthropy?” I asked.

Matt nodded. “They were really surprised. They wanted to know if I'd gone to Hogwarts and whether I was on Wolfsbane and whether I had a job.”

“Do any of them go to Hogwarts?” I asked.

“Two of them do. They're in the same house, actually, and were both really surprised to see each other there. They go home on full moons and are on Wolfsbane. How was your group?”

“Good. All but one of them are at Hogwarts. They're all so different, too. It'll be interesting to see how they interact as time goes on,” I said thinking of hyper Izzy and solemn Liane. And then Kate. The boys seemed pretty laid back. “I'd say it was a success.”

“Me, too,” Matt agreed. “We'll see how it goes next week.”

Matt and I gathered our cloaks and I locked my study. We headed down to the floo room and back to our flats. I had a mere ten hours to myself before I had to be back at St. Mungo's the following morning.

The ten hours went by far faster than I would have liked and soon I was unlocking my study and collecting the letters that had been dropped off in my inbox at some point during the night. As usual the junk went into the fire, which left a couple actual letters to answer. My first appointment was not for another hour, so I actually got to open the letters right away.

The first two were from people inquiring about my research and got set aside to answer later when I had time to go through my notes and formulate proper responses. The last puzzled me because it had the Hogwarts crest stamped on the front. I had not received a letter from Hogwarts in years.

Dear Amy,

I hope you have been well. I am
most intrigued by your research and
the work you are doing through the
Lycanthropic Children's Association.
I do hope your first support group
went well last night.

I would like to request a meeting
about a particular student who attended.
Kate Young. I am not sure if she
told you, but she attended last night
in place of a detention and I feel
it is only right for you to know a
little bit about her. Let me know
a convenient time for you.

Sincerely,

Professor Fabius Kendrick
Headmaster
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry


Interesting, I thought as I pulled out a piece of parchment to compose a reply. Well, if Kendrick believed a meeting would help Kate, I would agree to it. After consulting my appointment log I decided the following morning would be a decent time and finished up the reply. I sealed it in an envelope and set it aside to give to Natalie to mail off.

Kate Young. The name did not sound familiar. Perhaps her brother or sister was one of Morris's patients. Most of the kids from my group had siblings who were my patients. Izzy's eight-year-old brother, Danny. Scarlett and Vinny's older sister, Rebecca. I knew for a fact Liane's brother was one of Morris's patients because he was participating in my study. But Kate's sibling was a mystery to me.

I did not have the time to ponder it that morning. I dropped the letter off with Natalie and then set off for a full morning of seeing patients. I didn't have time to breathe until one in the afternoon, when I managed to sneak away to the basement in order to get some brewing done.

It was not exactly relaxing brewing, however, because that afternoon happened to be one where I had an apprentice Brewer to look after. And today that apprentice happened to be Kaden Dursley. Kaden only has a year left until he is fully certified and he truly is a great Brewer, but he's a little over-enthusiastic. He's not one of those apprentices who will concentrate quietly on what they are doing and ask for help when needed. Instead he constantly talks to me and is always running random ideas past me. The thing is, he doesn't need to concentrate quietly to brew an excellent potion. He's that good.

I assigned Kaden to brewing pepper-up potion that day because the hospital was nearly out of it and it was something I knew he wouldn't need any help on so that I could concentrate on the Wolfsbane. The new Wolfsbane, that is. The regular kind was currently going through a two-day simmer and after that I would observe while Kaden brewed it himself. He'd done it before and done it successfully but it was a finicky potion that could have disastrous results of brewed wrong.

“What if you only let it simmer for one day instead of two after adding the first bit of Wolfsbane?” Kaden asked as he stirred the pepper-up potion.

“Believe me, Kaden, I've tried that,” I said as I stirred my own potion. “It renders the entire thing useless. The reaction between the constant heat and the fresh Wolfsbane for two days is necessary. I have a feeling there's something obvious that I'm missing and when I catch on it's going to be an easy fix.”

I pondered that thought for the remainder of the afternoon. If it was something simple then why had I missed it? Maybe I was wrong. Maybe it wasn't such a simple fix. That afternoon didn't provide the answers I was looking for and soon I was locking up the room and helping Kaden take the pepper-up potion to the hospital's apothecary.

Dillan met me outside the hospital at six. I was only fifteen minutes late which must have been some sort of record for getting out of work. He was wearing an unusually large grin on his face and holding up a set of gleaming silver keys in his left hand.

“Guess what?” he said after giving me a quick kiss.

“What?” I replied.

“Got my premises,” Dillan answered. “95 Diagon Alley. Right next to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.”

“Seriously? You didn't even tell me you were looking!” I exclaimed.

“Wanted to surprise you. I've been looking since shortly after I met you and I just got approved for a loan at Gringott's today. Went and bought the property right after. I've had my eye on it for a few weeks now.”

“Dillan, that's great!”

“Want to see it?” he asked.

“Of course,” I said. We turned and went back into the hospital and into the Apparition room. With a loud crack we disappeared to Diagon Alley.

We reappeared in front of George's shop and turned toward the building to the right of it. It was kind of run down looking, with dusty windows and a door that creaked when Dillan opened it. Inside it didn't look much better, with a few rickety tables and chairs and some dusty bottles on a shelf behind the counter.

“It was cafe up until a few months ago. The owner died and none of her family wanted to take it over. Everything's really outdated so I have to redo the whole place. I'm meeting with a few contractors tomorrow. Hoping to have it up and running within two months.”

I gazed around at the dark room. The place looked terrible. The tables and chairs were mismatched and looked like they hadn't been cleaned since Death Eaters still roamed the streets. The walls were covered with various posters including one of the Ballycastle Bats team of 1956 and one of the Weird Sisters, back before their hair had turned grey and their brains became so addled with “experimental potions” that they could no longer sing. I wondered for a few seconds whether those “experimental potions” were in the mysterious bottles on the shelf behind the counter. Dillan was right. The place needed work.

“It's wonderful!” I said, since he seemed so excited about it. I was sure I'd be able to truthfully call it wonderful after he'd renovated it.

“I know it looks awful now,” Dillan went on, “but it's the best place I've seen. The location is ideal, the size is what I was looking for, and the price was so low that I still have plenty leftover for renovations. Apparently the old lady's family hated this place and just wanted to get rid of it so they sold it for hardly anything.”

“It'll look great in a few months,” I assured him and put my arm around him. “And I can't wait to eat here. Are you decorating it in a specific theme?”

“Actually, the Ballycastle Bats poster gave me an idea. I was thinking of decorating it as a shrine to Quidditch throughout the twentieth century. Posters of various teams in various years. Framed articles from the Prophet if I can get them. I'll have a pub section and then a table section. It'll just be a laid back place to eat.”

“I know a few people who would love to eat at a Quidditch themed restaurant,” I said, thinking of my brother, his friends, and the entire Weasley clan. “You should have little radios at every table so people can listen to matches while eating.”

“Great idea,” Dillan agreed. “Radios. I'll add it to the list. Well, since this is not a restaurant yet, what say we go to the Leaky Cauldron and get some dinner?”

“Sounds good to me,” I said as we left his premises.

I couldn't help but smile as Dillan locked up. The place was a dump and was the dirtiest restaurant I'd ever seen in my life, but it was his. It was Dillan's restaurant. And to be honest, it was nice to have a boyfriend who was nearly as obsessed as me when it came to work.

******


I have only been back at Hogwarts a few times since graduating. The first was for the 20th anniversary of the Final Battle. The second was years later, for Matt's graduation. Since then I've been back a few times, usually for anniversaries of the Final Battle. The last time I went was for a Career Day for fifth years. That was something Kendrick created when Matt was in fifth year and it was a very good idea.

It was always strange to be back at Hogwarts since graduation did not feel like that long ago. The kids looked so young and yet I did not think I looked that young when I was at Hogwarts. I no longer blended in with the students. Instead they gave me odd looks as I made my way up to Kendrick's study. Although, to be honest, they were probably eyeing my lime green Healer robes instead of the fact that I was 30 and wandering the corridors of Hogwarts. I hadn't had time to change before going to the meeting.

Kendrick had given me the password to his study so I muttered it and the stone gargoyle stepped aside so I could ascend to the circular room. Kendrick was sitting at his desk scribbling something and looked up when I entered.

“Amy,” he greeted me as he rose from his seat. “Have a seat.”

I nodded and sat in front of his desk. I couldn't help but think back to my first time in his study, when I was 14 and my family was considering moving to England. It seemed like so long ago and so much had changed.

We exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes and then Kendrick pulled a very large file from a bookcase behind him. “Kate Young's file. Filled with disciplinary forms.”

“Wow,” I said. The file had to be at least two inches thick.

“No Hogwarts student has ever had a file this thick, with the exception of Fred and George Weasley as well as James Potter and Sirius Black, but their files did not reach this level until they left or graduated. Kate is only a fourth year.”

“So she must-”

“Get in trouble nearly every day?” Kendrick asked. “Yes, she does. Most recently, she set fire to my study. It wasn't a bad fire since it was caught early enough, but that's far more than a bit of innocent mischief.”

“She's trying to get attention, isn't she,” I said more as a statement than a question.

“My thoughts exactly. I cannot tell you much about her home life due to privacy, but I think you should be aware that things are not good. She stays at Hogwarts during all breaks except the summer yet she does not seem to have a group of friends.”

No wonder she was acting out, I thought. She clearly didn't think she was wanted in her own home and that was a terrible feeling.

“The professors try to help her, but they can't do much when she refuses to acknowledge them and frankly, they're fed up with her acting out in class. We punish her when she breaks the rules, but it's not dissuading her from breaking them again.

“That's why I told her she had to attend your meetings else face detention every Saturday for the remainder of the year. To be honest, that gives me hope. She clearly does not want the detention, or else she would not have agreed to attend your meeting.”

“She didn't seem to want to be there. But hopefully she will begin to feel more comfortable.”

“That's what I'm hoping,” Kendrick agreed. “I was also wondering if you could take a sort of, special interest, in her. I know you're extremely busy and I wouldn't ask except I feel that you're exactly what she needs. I can't help but see you, at age 14 when you first moved here, in Kate.”

“I never once set fire to your study, Professor,” I replied, grinning slightly.

Kendrick smiled. “And I am very grateful. You expressed your unhappiness in other ways. And you benefited greatly from the therapy you received that year.”

“I'm not a therapist, Professor,” I said. “And I don't pretend to be.”

“I don't expect you to be one. All I want is for Kate to have someone she trusts around. Perhaps she will open up to you, and you will be able to show her that there is hope. Things change. Our childhood experiences greatly affect what we make of ourselves as adults. She's going to be in her O.W.L. year next year. I would hate for her to fail because she's feeling miserable about whatever is happening at home.”

I hated saying no. I really did. I wanted to help Kate as much as Kendirck did, but what more could I honestly take onto my plate? I already had work, Dillan, Kenzie's wedding, Victoire's pregnancy, the support groups; the list went on.

“I don't expect you to give her separate sessions,” Kendrick continued. “Just make a special effort to include her in the group's activities and perhaps pull her aside and ask her a question unrelated to school or her family. Quidditch perhaps. Try and find out what she's passionate about and talk to her about that.”

I could do that, I thought. As long as it didn't require anymore time from me. “Yes, I'll do that. That's not a big deal. Is there anything I should know about the others? Any of the rest set fire to your study?”

Kendrick chuckled. “No. The rest are relatively well-adjusted, considering the circumstances. Except perhaps Liane, but then again, her determination might be just what this world needs...” his voice trailed off.

“I talked to Liane. She told me about her brothers and her plan to cure lycanthropy. She's the one who reminds me of me at that age.”

“At that age, yes, but when you started at Hogwarts, you were far more like Kate,” Kendrick said. “But Liane, she's going to graduate top of her class and whether she'll cure lycanthropy, well, that remains to be seen.”

“She has the determination for it, that's for sure,” I replied. I glanced at the clock. “I should probably get going, if that's all. I have appointments soon.”

“Don't let me keep you waiting,” Kendrick said as he rose from his chair. “Do me a favor and send me an owl every so often about Kate's behavior in the support group. With any luck this will help her.”

I nodded and shook Kendrick's hand before leaving his study. I couldn't help but feel that he was putting far too much faith in me. I was no psychologist. How was I supposed to figure out why Kate was acting out and how to help her? And what if she didn't even want to be helped?

******


St. Mungo's was by no means ever quiet at night, but it was quieter at night than it was during the day. This was especially true during the mid-point between two full moons on my floor. At that point in the month we rarely had any werewolf cases in the ward and were left only to deal with those injuries from other creatures.

For this reason I often saved my letters to respond to at night, after I was done brewing for the day. It was far easier to respond when there were less distractions. Morris had left for the night, so my section of the hospital was about as quiet as a hospital could get.

I had a whole stack of research related letters to respond to that had been piling up for ages. They were relatively easy considering the fact that they all asked me various forms of the same questions. A few went into the fire since they were from news reporters I did not like or potions magazines that were not very reputable. Still others had to be forwarded to Rose since they dealt with the psychological aspect of the research.

The remaining letter was from Kenzie, updating me on all things wedding related. The other bridesmaids had been picked. The maid of honor was going to be her sister, Morgan. Kenzie and Morgan got on terribly as children but once they grew up they reconciled and are now close. Kenzie's other sisters, Mari and Maddie, were also going to be bridesmaids, as well as Kenzie's best friend from university. The dresses had also been picked and thankfully the bridesmaid's dress was neither pink nor hideous. It was light purple, which was not my favorite color, but I could live with it.

I could tell by the tone of the letter that Kenzie was thrilled. The excitement seemed to radiate off the page, which sounds kind of cliched, but was true. Morgan's four-year-old was going to be the flower girl, something Kenzie was ecstatic about. I couldn't help but smile as I read the letter. The wedding was now only six months away and according to Kenzie, there was still a lot to be done.

I took out a sheet of parchment and a fresh pot of ink and prepared to write a lengthy response. It was difficult being so far away from one of my best friends as she planned her wedding. I didn't get to go dress shopping with her and I doubted I'd even see her before the actual wedding, but we had to make do.

As I was dipping the pen into the ink pot, I heard frantic footsteps in the hall. Curious, I set down the quill and made to get up, but before I could, Dad appeared in my doorway, looking frazzled.

“Dad?” I asked, suddenly worried. “Is everything ok?”

He looked upset and was wearing Muggle clothes, which was odd since he would normally still be at the Ministry at this time of evening. “No,” he whispered. “I've just come from the Muggle hospital. It's Cinda. She's, she's had a stroke. It doesn't look good, Amy. Your mother's there with her now. You've got to come now.”

I upended the ink pot in my haste to get up. I swallowed hard and felt tears pricking at my ears. Dad never looked this worried unless there was a reason to be. When Dad was worried, I knew it was time to worry. I hastily shed my Healer robes, donned my Muggle jacket, and hurried to follow Dad out of the room.


A/N: Sorry the update is a few days late! Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed this!

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