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Chapter 6: Gifts and Curses (taken from Yellowcard's song...omg best song EVER!!!! spiderman soundtrack, no. 5!!!) Jessica didn’t know when she had ever felt so wonderful, like a big bubble was inside her, full of giddiness. She had gone with Dumbledore and gotten her very own magic wand. It was 13 inches, a light brown, bendy and had dragon heartstring in it. Mr. Ollivander had said it was good for charms and jinxes. Dumbledore smiled a little when Mr. Ollivander told her this, and she paid and left. As soon as she got home she told everyone everything he had said and showed them her wand. Harry also smiled at the jinx part and said that would probably come in useful in the fight against Voldemort. “Or at least his supporters,” Hermoine had corrected. “I doubt Voldemort will be killed by a jinx given by a girl who just got a wand. No offense,” she quickly said afterwards. Jessica smiled. “I don’t mind, just being a part of all of this is wonderful enough.” At that exact moment, Mrs. Weasley came to their room and told them to go to bed since they would be up early in the morning tomorrow to catch the train. Jessica smiled even more widely and hopped into her bed obligingly. Mrs. Weasley came in and tucked the covers in around her. “Try to keep them out of trouble this year,” she whispered in her ear as she left. She was a little startled. Having heard all the stories of what had happened, she felt pretty sure that she wouldn’t be able to keep then inside the castle. No, she thought to herself, if anything I will get them into even more trouble. But what Jessica thought about most that night was that Mrs. Weasley was genuine. She cared for her kids, and even her kid’s friends as if they were her own. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt that from her mom. She didn’t think she had even ever felt it from her dad. Jessica was woken the next morning by Hermoine and Ginny jumping on her. “Wake up!! We’re going to the station in a half hour!!! Wake up, WAKE UP!!!” Ginny screamed into her ear. She didn’t need telling twice. Quick as a flash she got dressed and did her hair and makeup. She had a little breakfast, but most of it wouldn’t go down because of her excitement, and now a little nervousness. When she saw two cars pull up outside she went to go get her stuff and handed them to Lupin, who was driving her car. Mr. Weasley was driving the other. Lupin squeezed her hand as she past. “You doing okay? Ready and everything.” Jessica looked back at him square in the eye. “I have never been more ready, Lupin.” The journey to the station was uneventful. They talked, played with Croookshanks and talked a bit more. But when it came time to get onto the platform, she didn’t believe what they told her. “You mean I walk straight at a column made out of very solid bricks and I won’t end up getting hurt?” she said skeptically. Ron nodded. “Yup, that’s what I’m saying.” “I don’t believe it.” This time Harry spoke up. “Watch and learn, little one!” And with a whoosh, he disappeared into the bricks. Jessica was afraid of getting hurt. She wasn’t really a witch like them, so how did they know it wouldn’t reject her? But Harry had called her little one, referencing her height, which she was very self-conscious about. She was only 5’3” and he knew how much she hated that. He was about to get his butt kicked. “Alright, here goes nothing.” And without a second thought she turned her cart around and ran straight at the column. She did not crash. She looked up in amazement. There was a sign that said Platform 9 ¾ and a scarlet train that said Hogwarts Express. Then she looked around, hearing laughter. Harry was sitting next to her, laughing very hard at something, and Jessica figured she knew what that something was. “Knew I’d get ya through with that,” He giggled, looking up at her with tears in his eyes. She rummaged through her purse and threw something at him. He picked it up and laughed even harder. “A mint container?” “Well, it was round and I thought it would hurt more than my pack of gum,” she grumbled, snatching back her mints and popping one in her mouth. Once they were all there, they hugged and kissed the adults goodbye and found a compartment. While the train was speeding along the countryside, Harry, Ron, Hermoine, and Ginny filled Jessica in on all the teachers and what school was like. They were just going over Snape and all his unfairness. Jessica was rather enjoying the stories about him and what Ron would like to do to him if there were no such things as punishments. “So then,” Ron was saying, “I would take the perfect mix of the Draught of Living Dead that I finally mixed together in his classroom, and when he came over to inspect it, I’d grab him by his long nose and plummet his head, greasy hair and all into the cauldron.” They all laughed, but then the sound of the door opening got their attention. Jessica looked at the people, two big guys that didn’t look very bright, and one skinny one with slicked back blonde hair, who seemed to be the leader. She gathered from the sudden silence in the air and the looks on everyone’s faces that these people were not friends. “Malfoy,” Harry finally said, to break the silence. He seemed to have the worst look on his face. It was a look of pure evil, but there was something else mixed in too. Sadness? Jessica couldn’t figure out why. “Potter,” the blonde boy said. “How are you?” When nobody answered him, he gave a little laugh. “Hey, I had an idea for you over the summer. SInce your old dog died, why don’t you get a new one. But try to keep it on its leash better; you seemed pretty sad when the other one left.” At this point both Harry and Ron stood up quickly but were held back by Ginny and Hermoine. Jessica didn’t know what to make of this-this analogy, it seemed like. But then a moment later she knew why she didn’t understand it. Malfoy spoke again. “I don’t know if your new friend here,” he nodded at Jessica “knows about your pets. So I figured you can be the one to tell it over again. I know how much you loved him; surely you’ll want to talk about him one last time, wouldn’t you?” And with that, they left. As soon as the door shut, Harry scooped up some Chocolate Frog packs and threw them with all his strength at the door. He then kicked the seats. Everyone sat back in alarm, mostly at the look on his face. Then, just as quickly, he went to the door, stepping on the Frogs, and left, slamming the door shut very hard behind him. Jessica started to get up to follow him, but was held back. “I think he needs to be alone right now,” Hermoine said softly. She also looked scared and on the verge of tears. “What Malfoy said was really hard on him.” “But what did it mean? I didn’t know Harry had a dog that died.” Hermoine just looked at her for a moment, then sighed. “We’re not the right people to tell you. Only Harry should have that right. He was closest to him, he was there…” her voice cracked. “Go find him.” was the only thing she could manage after that. So when she found him crying in the last compartment of the train, she quickly sat next to him and hugged him. “Look,” she said. “I don’t know what that Malfoy kid meant, but whatever happened, don’t let him get to you like this. He seemed like such a snot, and you are good and…” she looked down, blushing. “I like you a lot, Harry, and whatever demons are in your past should not be something to bring you down. Let them make you stronger and more determined to do something. I should know,” she was now whispering, holding his head up barely an inch from hers to let him look into her eyes. “I have demons too, but they are what have made me who I am. And if who I am is someone who can help you, I’m thankful for those demons. More than you’ll ever know.” And as soon as she had finished speaking, Harry leaned in, without thinking, and kissed her.

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