“Donna!” Andromeda kneeled over her, squeezing her hand. “Donna! Wake up!”
“Andromeda,” Ted came up behind her. “We have to find a teacher.”
“What’s going on?”
Ted and Andromeda both looked up as Professor McGonagall entered the Great Hall. She came to a halt, her pursed lips melting into a horrific gape as her hands covered her face.
“Professor!” Andromeda jumped up, her eyes wide. “Please! We have to get her to the Hospital Wing!”
“What on earth happened?”
“We found her here,” Ted explained calmly. “There’s so much blood.”
“Yes, I can see that,” Professor McGonagall rushed over to Donna. “Both of you go wait in my office. Now.”
Andromeda stood frozen in place, staring at Donna. Ted took her hand and led her to Professor McGonagall’s office.
“It’s going to be okay,” Ted assured her after she’d been pacing for at least ten minutes.
Andromeda stopped pacing, his voice bringing her back. “It’s all my fault,” she barely whispered, sitting down across from him.
The door opened and Professor McGonagall entered, her lips pursed once again in that severe way they always were when she was frustrated.
“I’d like to know what the two of you were doing in the Great Hall,” she stated, sitting down behind her desk.
“I asked Andromeda if there was any food left,” Ted started to explain. “I missed dinner because of Quidditch practice. She was just, er, accompanying me.”
“Is this true, Miss Black?”
“Professor,” Andromeda nearly choked. “If you think I did this…I could never…”
“I don’t think that you did this, Andromeda, but do you have any idea who it might be?”
Andromeda shook her head. “We just walked in and she was lying there.”
“Very well,” Professor McGonagall replied after a few moments. “Off to bed you go. And not a word about this to anyone, understood?”
They both nodded and left her office. Ted took her hand, and she didn’t try to pull away. It was warm. It made her forget about the blood. It almost made her forget that it was all her fault. He led them downstairs back toward the Great Hall.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
He stopped when he saw all the teachers standing by the entrance to the school, deep in conversation. Filch was standing guard by the door, his cat perched loyally in front of him.
“Come on,” he said, leading her up the stairs. They walked in silence, reaching the Astronomy Tower. “We could use some fresh air. Let’s go down to the Quidditch Stadium.”
He mounted his broom, beckoning her to get on behind him. She nodded and sat down, wrapping her arms around his waist as tight as she could. Leaning her head against his back, she thought about melting into him. What would she do without him?
She felt free as they flew over the school, the wind blowing in her hair, reminding her of her safe place near the ocean. Closing her eyes, she pretended she was there, flying over it with Ted. Her eyes filled with tears, because as badly as she wanted to be there, she was here. They landed in the stands where the Gryffindors usually cheered, and Andromeda slid off his broom, sitting down in the first row of the stands. He sat down beside her, staring out at the field.
“I’m sorry you had to see that,” he sighed, resting his hand on hers.
“It’s my fault,” she muttered again.
“Because of what she did to me. I think…” she took a deep breath. “I think it was one of the Slytherins.”
“You think?” Ted turned toward her. When she didn’t say anything, he gently turned her to face him. “Andromeda, you can tell me.”
“Yes,” she said. “Rabastan said she would pay. I-I don’t know if it was him or…I don’t know. I’m sure it was a Slytherin.”
“I believe you. But it’s not like we have proof,” he sighed, running his hands through his hair. “Besides, you can’t blame yourself. You didn’t do this. You’re a good person, do you understand me?”
She didn’t respond.
“Ted,” she said quietly instead. “How did you and Sirius find me yesterday?”
“He found you,” he frowned, looking up. “It was weird. He took me to the Common Room, went up to the boy’s dormitory, and came back down knowing your exact location. I can’t stop thinking about how he did it, honestly. Are all the Blacks this complicated?”
She turned away from him, embarrassed that she’d become such a burden on his life.
“Hey,” he slipped his arm around her waist. “I like complicated, remember?”
“Are you still mad at me?” she asked, leaning away from him.
“No,” he said. “I’m not. I’m sorry, I should’ve-”
“I’m the one who’s sorry,” she cut him off. “I should’ve told you.”
“I’m sorry for calling you a puppet.”
She squeezed his hand in response. He grabbed her arm, turning it around and running his fingers over where she’d cut herself. The skin was healed now, but he had seen it earlier.
“Why did you hurt yourself?”
“I d-didn’t mean to,” she stuttered, pulling her arm away. “I won’t do it again.”
“Does it make the pain go away?”
“No,” she shook her head. “If anything it made it worse. I was just trying it to see what it felt like.”
“That’s pretty stupid of you,” he said.
He turned his hand in hers, lifting it to his lips and kissing where she’d cut herself.
“Ted,” she said quietly, almost a whisper. “We’re…not just…friends.”
He stared at her for a long time. “I know.”
Andromeda slowly slipped into the Hospital Wing, trying her best to go unnoticed. She scanned the beds until she found the red fiery hair plopped up against a pillow. Donna’s eyes widened when she saw Andromeda standing in the doorway.
“W-what are you-”
“Donna, please, just listen,” Andromeda said softly, taking steady steps toward her. “I-I just want to apologize. About what happened, I mean. Do you by any chance remember who did this to you?”
Donna shook her head warily. “My back was turned.”
“Oh,” Andromeda said, disappointed. “Well, I’m sorry. Not just for this, but for what my sis…what Bellatrix did to you last year. You didn’t deserve it and I’m sorry you had to live with it. I understand why you did what you did when we were dueling.”
Donna was staring at her in surprise, almost skeptically. She shook her head. “Look, it’s fine, just stay away from me.”
“What?” Andromeda asked, confused. This wasn’t the response she had expected.
“This happened to me because I hurt you,” she pointed to her head. “If it had been anyone else, nothing would have happened. It was you.”
Andromeda looked down. She was right. It was her fault.
“Please just go before someone sees you here,” Donna pleaded. The brave girl who had thrown her against the wall now looked terrified, her wide eyes begging Andromeda to disappear.
Andromeda turned, coming face to face with the blonde Gryffindor girl. Her curls were tied back tightly against her head, a slight frown on her face. Had she followed her here?
Andromeda moved past her and left the Hospital Wing, her heart pounding as she walked quickly down the hallway.
“You should stay away from him.”
She turned around. The Gryffindor girl was standing a few feet away from her. Andromeda stared at her, unable to respond.
“Ted,” she continued. “I see the way you both look at each other. It’s obvious. You’re not good for him.”
And you are? Andromeda wanted to say back, but couldn’t.
“I know what you’re thinking,” she almost smiled. “But no, Ted is one of my best friends and I care about him. You’re dangerous. Did you see what happened to Donna? It was because of you. Imagine if one of your twisted Slytherin friends found out about Ted, what do you think would happen to him? Or his family, even?”
Andromeda swallowed hard. She knew where this was going. She didn’t want to hear it, but she knew she had to.
The girl leaned in close. “You know exactly what will happen. He’s a Muggle-born. Not that it matters to me. But it matters to them, and you know that more than anyone. You’re being selfish, risking his life. Leave him alone.”
She then turned and walked the other way, her footsteps echoing in the dark of the hallway. This was the second time someone had called her selfish. Maybe she was selfish. Maybe she needed to start thinking about everyone else instead of herself. Maybe it didn’t matter if she was happy, as long as everyone around her was happy and safe. Maybe, maybe she wasn’t meant to be happy.
The tears dropped without her realizing it as she rushed off to the Slytherin Common Room. She turned her face, not wanting anyone to see her crying. When she finally reached her dormitory, she decided she didn’t care if her friends saw her crying. They were the only people left who weren’t going to criticize her or make her feel like a horrible person. At least, she hoped they wouldn’t.
“Andromeda,” Xia jumped up, her book falling to the floor. Her hair was braided back, her eyes shining with worry in the dim lighting of the room.
“It’s all my fault,” Andromeda sniffed, sliding down against the door.
“What’s all your fault?” Pru asked, putting down her handheld mirror carefully on the bed.
“Donna,” Andromeda breathed slowly. “She was attacked.”
“Attacked?” Marcy sat on all fours, resembling an eager puppy. “By who?”
“None of you, I hope,” Andromeda stared at them skeptically for a moment.
“If I wanted to attack Donna Firehead I would scratch her freckles off in public for everyone to see,” Marcy said matter-of-factly.
“Well someone attacked her,” Andromeda continued. “And I don’t know who. I can’t do anything right.”
“It’s not your fault,” Pru said.
“She’s right,” Xia agreed. “Look I’m sure no one is going to blame you.”
“No one knows,” Andromeda shook her head. “McGonagall made Ted and me swear we wouldn’t say anything.”
“Ted?” Marcy raised an eyebrow, staring at Andromeda.
“Y-yeah,” Andromeda tried to sound casual, mentally scorning herself. She hadn’t meant to mention his name, but seeing as he was there. “I was leaving the Great Hall and he was coming in and we both saw Donna.”
“Well we won’t say anything, we promise,” Xia rested a hand on Andromeda’s arm. She didn’t seem to suspect Ted at all. Not that it mattered. Andromeda wasn’t going to talk to him anymore, as much as it hurt. That girl was right; Andromeda was dangerous.
“I know exactly what’ll cheer you up,” Pru jumped up. “Sweets.”
“And where are we going to find sweets at this time of night?” Marcy frowned at her.
“Maybe the Great Hall?” Pru suggested.
“I know where,” Andromeda’s face lit up.
And that’s how they found themselves, a good twenty minutes later, in the kitchens under the Great Hall. The girls were ooing and aaing, stumbling over to the edge of a table as a House-Elf came over to them. Andromeda immediately recognized the House-Elf as Mugsy, the same House-Elf who had brought Ted and her cake.
“Hello Miss Andromeda,” Mugsy bowed. “Is Master Te-”
“Hello Mugsy!” Andromeda stood up a little too enthusiastically, cutting the Elf off before he mentioned Ted. She should have been more careful. “How are you?”
“Good Miss, thank you. Are these Miss Andromeda’s friends?”
“Yes, they are,” she introduced them, and they all nodded with bright faces.
“Shall Mugsy bring something to eat for Miss Andromeda and her friends?” The Elf’s ears wiggled excitedly, ready to serve.
“Whatever is at hand, Mugsy. Please don’t go out of your way.”
Mugsy bowed and headed back to the other Elves, who were watching them with their wide, bat-like eyes.
“You’ve been here before?” Marcy stared at her with that same suspicion. It was a back and forth cycle with Andromeda and Marcy. They knew each other too well. Andromeda would figure out what Marcy was hiding, and Marcy would find out what Andromeda wasn’t telling her. It was only a matter of time, Andromeda feared, before Marcy would find out about Ted.
But you’re not going to see Ted anymore, remember? that voice in her head reminded her.
“Yeah, a few weeks ago,” she tried to her best to keep her voice straight. “I followed a House-Elf.”
“You followed a House-Elf?” Marcy snorted. “How come I’ve never seen one then?”
Andromeda shrugged. “It was the first time I’d seen one.”
She should’ve just told them that Sirius had shown her this place. What was she thinking, using a House-Elf as an excuse?
“This is amazing,” Pru said with a stuffed mouth after Mugsy had brought them all hot fudge and frosted doughnuts.
“You can’t tell anyone about this place,” Andromeda warned them. “Seriously. Especially not Rowle,” she directed at Pru.
“What?” Pru frowned.
“Fine,” she growled, eating another doughnut. “I don’t really tell him personal stuff anyway.”
“I thought you two were in love or something,” Marcy said, raising her eyebrow.
“Not really, I mean, his body is to die for but…he’s not really what I expected. He can be really mean and he complains a lot. Sometimes I feel like…”
“Like what?” Xia asked.
“Like…I have to watch myself around him.”
“Why? He’s your boyfriend,” Marcy said.
“Yeah but I mean, he says Purebloods need to act a certain way, especially now with everything that’s going on with The Cause, you know?”
Andromeda swallowed hard. She didn’t want to think about The Cause. She wanted to pretend it didn’t exist.
“I think we do have to be careful, I just wish he wasn’t so obsessed with it,” she said, annoyed, licking frost off her fingers. “Besides, we just snog most of the time anyway. I definitely won’t be losing my virginity to him if that’s what you’re wondering.”
“Pru!” they all said at the same time.
“Speaking of Pru,” Pru said, ignoring their outburst. “I think I want to change my name. Pru’s getting old.”
“You can’t be serious,” Andromeda rolled her eyes.
“If anyone’s going to change their name, it’s me,” Marcy piped in, swallowing a piece of hog fudge eagerly.
“Ohh but isn’t Jamison quite fond of it?” Xia winked, giggling sarcastically. “I swear I even heard him calling you Marcella the other day.”
“I like it when he says it. Actually I only like it when he says it.”
“How are you two by the way?” Andromeda asked as Marcy’s cheeks flushed.
“Good,” she said quietly. “His friends are growing fond of me, even the girls now. They say I’m different from other Slytherins they’ve encountered.”
“They’re probably just scared you’re going to poison their Pumpkin Juice in the morning if they’re mean to you,” Andromeda laughed as Marcy shoved her hard.
The girls finished up and started on their way back to the Common Room, which was luckily close by.
“So who did you really go to the kitchens with?” Marcy whispered to Andromeda, quietly enough so that the other two couldn’t hear.
“What?” Andromeda asked, taken aback my Marcy’s question.
“I heard what that House-Elf was saying before you interrupted him.”
Luckily for Andromeda, she was able to avoid answering as they’d just reached the Common Room. She rushed ahead, avoiding Marcy, and knowing deep inside that this conversation would come up again later. She would have to think of something, and quick.
This is exactly what she’d feared. She couldn’t let anyone find out about Ted. If something happened to him, she would never forgive herself. She also knew that once she started ignoring him, he would never forgive her.
Luckily, she managed to avoid Ted over the weekend. She sat with her back to the Gryffindor table during every meal, and made sure she was huddled in the middle of a group on her way out of the Great Hall. That didn’t stop Ted from trying to contact her though. On Sunday morning when the mail arrived, a small note dropped into her lap, too quick for anyone to notice.
She unraveled it nervously but carefully, keeping it out of sight.
11 o’clock tonight, Entrance Hall
She sucked in a sharp breath. She could feel Ted’s eyes digging into her back at the Gryffindor table, probably along with the girl who’d so nicely pointed out Andromeda’s selfishness.
She made up her mind. She wasn’t going to go. If she was going to practice not being selfish and not risking his life because of her own feelings, she had to start now. She crumpled the note and threw it in a wastebasket on her way out of the hall.
“A dead bride,” Andromeda said, staring at the floor.
“Sorry?” Miss Faye lowered her spectacles, looking worriedly at Andromeda.
“That’s what I’m going to be,” Andromeda explained, her eyes lighting up. “For Halloween. A dead bride.”
“Erm, Andromeda,” she leaned forward. “Why do you want to be a dead bride?”
She shrugged. “It’s scary, and dark, and well, I reckon if I have to marry someone like Rabastan I might as well play the part a bit early on in life, don’t you think?”
“Andromeda, you don’t have to marry Rabastan, or anyone you don’t want to for that matter.”
“I know,” she laughed. “It’s just a bit of irony.”
Miss Faye shook her head. “Have you been practicing relaxation techniques between out sessions?”
“Yes I have,” Andromeda nodded. “They’ve been helping a lot with my anxiety, I haven’t had to use any sleeping draughts in a while.”
“That’s wonderful to hear. Have you been writing in your journal?”
“May I take a look? If that’s okay with you, that is.”
Andromeda handed her journal over, a little hesitant. Miss Faye flipped through to the latest entry, frowning slightly.
“Selfish,” she read aloud. “I’m a Pureblood, he’s Muggle-born. Dangerous. Who’s Muggle-born?” she asked, looking up.
Andromeda didn’t answer.
“Andromeda, who are you talking about?”
“Everyone who’s Muggle-born,” she lied.
“It says he,” Miss Faye raised an eyebrow at her.
“Ted,” Andromeda blurted out, unable to hold it in any longer. “I’m dangerous. You heard what happened to Donna, since you’re staff, I’m sure. It’s my fault. If anyone finds out we’ve spend time together…well I can’t risk him getting hurt.”
“Why is it your fault what happened to Donna?”
Andromeda explained about Bellatrix, and what Donna had done while dueling her, and how Ted and her had found her unconscious in a pool of blood. “Imagine if word got out that I…that Ted associated with me, and I with him. They’d do something horrible to him.”
“Do you know who hurt Donna?” Miss Faye leaned forward.
“No,” Andromeda swallowed. “But I know it’s my fault.”
“Andromeda, if you know-”
“Would you mind if I left a little early tonight?” Andromeda cut in, standing up and throwing her bag over her shoulder. “I’ve just remembered I’m late for a study group.”
Miss Faye gave her a look of disapproval, obviously seeing right through her. She handed her back her journal anyway and nodded. Andromeda left her session fifteen minutes early, remembering her promise to avoid Ted at all costs. If that meant losing fifteen minutes with Miss Faye, so be it.
When she finally entered the Common Room, she leaned against the wall, closing her eyes.
“Where were you?” Rabastan asked, standing up from the couch.
Andromeda stepped away from the wall, startled. “Sorry, I didn’t see you there. I was returning some books to the library. I forgot they were due today.”
“What’s that?” he approached her, his messy hair covering his face.
“Oh,” she looked at her journal that was in her hand. She’d forgotten to put it away. “Madam Pince offered it to me. I was telling her how I was trying to be more organized this year so she offered me a journal that I could use as a planner. I haven’t written anything in it yet.” She opened it to show him, and to him, it looked empty, since she didn’t want him to read it. Thank God for magic.
He shrugged, plopping back down onto the couch. “Have you figured out what you want to be next week for Halloween?”
“Yeah,” Andromeda frowned. “It’s a surprise.”
“Really?” he chuckled. “Well there’s going to be a party.”
“In the dungeons, I assume,” Andromeda raised an eyebrow.
“No, actually, out near the Forbidden Forest. We’re having it as far from the castle as possible, and we’re going to have all sorts of charms so the teachers won’t find out. There’s going to be a huge tent and everything. A lot of people will be wearing masks anyway, just in case.”
Andromeda forced a smile. “I’m sure it’s going to break a record of parties thrown.”
She looked at the grandfather clock across the room. It was a quarter to eleven. Ted would be waiting for her soon. She wasn’t going to show up. She was going to be crying in her bed instead.
“What are you going to be?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “I’ll probably be a vampire or something. I might be in a vampire cult with Rowle, Lucius, and the others. Stupid really, but why not? It’ll be fun I suppose.”
Ten minutes to eleven. He was probably heading down there right now. Or maybe he was already there. She could picture him leaning against the wall, grinning, his hair untidy.
“I’d like to see that Pettigrew sneak into another party again. Imagine hanging him upside down on a tree in the Forbidden Forest. Now that would be a real Halloween fest, wouldn’t it?”
Andromeda forced another laugh. It was harder this time, since she found what he was saying absolutely repulsive. He still had no idea that she’d taken part in rescuing Peter on the Astronomy Tower.
Five minutes to eleven. She wanted more than anything to sneak off with Ted. He would make her laugh and forget about everything, forget about her life and who she was supposed to be. But she imagined him on the floor, blood everywhere, like Donna. No, she would lie in her bed tonight, thinking about anything else. She wasn’t selfish.
“I’m going to bed,” she stood up as the clock chimed eleven. “It’s late and I have to wake up early for class tomorrow.”
She left after saying good night and got into bed, fully dressed. She felt numb to the core. He was waiting for her, and she was ditching him. He was going to be really upset. He deserved better.
When she woke up, she felt just as numb as she had before she’d fallen asleep, if not number. She dressed and forced a laugh every few minutes when Marcy said something, following the girls down to the hall. She had to avoid him at all costs. She wasn’t selfish.
She didn’t look for him during breakfast, and she avoided eye contact with him throughout their classes. McGonagall announced that the Heads of Houses would be questioning their students about the attack on Donna, and urged anyone with useful information to come forward. Andromeda knew she should have said something about Rabastan, whom she suspected had been behind it, but didn’t want to make the situation worse. Donna was safe, and Andromeda learned she could keep people around her safe by limiting her interaction with them.
Defense Against the Dark Arts arrived sooner than expected, and she knew she’d have to face Ted eventually. Before she knew it, it was the last fifteen minutes of classs and he took a seat beside her, ready to discuss more dueling tactics, since that’s what they were focusing on this month.
Her heart was pounding, and her face was red. She caught the blonde girl’s eye and looked back down at her book, wanting more than anything for class to end.
“Where were you yesterday?” he asked, turning his seat toward her. He kept his book in front of him so it looked like they were discussing dueling. “I didn’t see you at Faye’s, or after that. You got my note, right?”
“I left Faye’s early, for a study group,” she repeated the same lie she’d told Miss Faye. “And no, I didn’t get a note.”
“Why are you lying to me?” he asked, and she looked up at him. He wasn’t angry. He just looked confused. “I saw you read my note, and I saw you throw it away.” When she didn’t say anything, he asked, “Are you okay?”
“I’m splendid,” she forced a smile, and turned back to her book.
“This tactic seems helpful,” she said loudly, pointing at a page in her book. “And I definitely can’t afford to be distracted next time I duel.”
She continued babbling about the book, her eyes pointed downwards, interrupting him every time he tried to speak. Eventually he got her point and simply sat there, staring at her silently.
When class was over, she hurried and left, positive that she wouldn’t come across him again until tomorrow’s class, which she would approach in the same way.
The next morning, while walking with Zan around the lake, a ritual she’d become greatly accustomed to, she did her best to avoid any conversation that had to do with Ted.
“I really do wish we could hang out more often,” Zan said slowly. “But I know you can’t because, well…” she trailed off awkwardly.
“Oh Zan you know I want to,” Andromeda felt her face flushing. She felt terrible. “It’s for your own good. You saw what happened to Donna. It was because of me.”
“No it wasn’t, it’s because there are bad people out there and-”
“Andromeda!” a voice came from ahead.
Andromeda’s head snapped up, and she sucked in a sharp breath when she saw Ted running toward her.
“Oh no,” she muttered under her breath.
“I thought I’d find you out here,” he said, catching up to them. “Hi, Zan.”
“Ted,” Zan smiled, obviously surprised that he’d remembered her name. “I should head back to the castle. I don’t want to be late.”
“I’ll come with you!” Andromeda said, almost too excitedly.
“Can I talk to you for a minute?” Ted asked, stepping in front of her.
“N-now’s actually not a good time-”
“It’ll be quick,” he said, smiling again at Zan as she walked away.
“What is it?” she finally faced him.
“What do you mean?” she frowned.
“I mean, why did you throw my note away, lie about it, and then avoid talking about it yesterday?”
“Ted, really, I think you should leave me alone.”
“Not this again,” he ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “How many times are we going to run through this? Stop pushing me away.”
“I’m not pushing you away,” she said calmly. He deserved to know the truth. “It’s…it’s dangerous for you to be around me. It’s dangerous for your family too. I’m dangerous. If anyone found out that we…well you saw what happened to Donna. I could never forgive myself if…” she couldn’t finish the thought. She took a deep breath and looked away. She gave him one last look and said, “It’s selfish of me to risk your life by being around you.”
The last thing she saw before walking away was Ted’s eyes widening. It seemed as if he’d come to a sudden realization, but she didn’t wait around to find out. He’d probably just figured that she was right. Being around her was dangerous. Maybe he just needed her to tell him to his face, and that had done it. She took another deep breath as tears stung her eyes.
She wasn’t selfish.
Ted entered the Common Room, his jaw clenched. He didn’t blame Andromeda. If anything, he understood why she was doing what she was doing. Only, it hadn’t been her idea, and he knew that.
Personally, he didn’t care about anyone finding out. He wasn’t scared of what anyone thought. And his family? Well they were his concern, and he’d do anything to protect them. He wasn’t stupid. He knew The Cause was creating an uproar in the Wizarding World, and he’d taken precautions. He’d casted every spell he could possibly think of on his parent’s house and their workplaces, ensuring that it would be very difficult to track them down. They were practically invisible to any Dark Wizard that went looking for them.
Andromeda’s family, he was sure, was the complete opposite, and that’s what terrified her. She was scared, of everything in her life, and he knew for a fact that he knew the real her more than anyone else did.
The truth was that every girl who’d ever liked Ted was…boring. He’d never met anyone like Andromeda. She woke something up inside of him, and he knew he did the same to her. She’d finally admitted it, but as usual, had pushed him away right after.
“Shara,” he said rather seriously, approaching the blonde girl on the couch who was laughing at something his friend Ralphe had said.
“What’s up, Ted?”
“Can I talk to you real quick?” he said, trying his best to sound casual.
“Sure,” she said, still laughing at Ralphe. “I’ll be right back. And you owe me two Galleons by the way.”
He led her away from everyone to a corner.
“Are you okay, Ted? You seem a bit…distressed.”
“Is there something you want to tell me, Shara?” he ignored her, narrowing his eyes.
“Um, not that I know of,” she said, confused.
“Don’t play stupid,” he said, irritated. “I know you said something to her.”
“To who?” she frowned.
“Andromeda,” he replied impatiently.
Her eyes settled on him, recalling what he was sure was a conversation she’d had with Andromeda without telling him.
“Did she come tattling to you?” she asked with a grimace.
“No, she didn’t,” he said. He didn’t like her tone. “She’s actually been ignoring me and avoiding me at all costs.”
“Really?” her eyes brightened. “Well then, she’s not as stupid as I thought.”
“Shara,” he glared at her.
“Then how do you know I talked to her? If I even talked to her, that is.”
“Because what she said to me is the exact same thing you said to me a few days ago. She said it was dangerous for me to be around her, and that she was a threat to my family and me, and that it was selfish of her to risk my life by spending time with me. Sound familiar, or do you want me to write it down?”
Shara sighed, no longer pretending. “Alright fine, but I did it for your own good. If I figured out what’s going on between you two, it’s only a matter of time before someone else does. And no, I haven’t said anything to anyone, so don’t look at me like that. I promised I wouldn’t, remember?”
“I also asked you not to interfere-”
“I’m sorry if I care about you, Ted. I’m sorry if I don’t want you to be found ripped to pieces because of a stupid girl that you can’t control your feelings for-”
“Don’t talk about her like that,” he snapped at her, and she was taken by surprise. “You don’t know her. You don’t know anything about her or what she has to live with.”
“Oh of course, she’s only a Pureblood Witch from one of the most richest families in the world. I’m sure her life is soooooo hard. It’s not like her mum has to work two extra jobs to help support the family. Her mum probably sits around ordering House-Elves to polish her slippers.”
“Why are you comparing her life to yours?” Ted asked, more calmly this time, knowing how sensitive Shara was. She was also Muggle-born, and they had been best friends since their first year. Her father had been in an accident a few years ago and had suffered injuries that required him taking leave from work. He’d lost his job, and her mum had to find another job on top of her first one while her father recovered. He’d managed to find work after his injuries had healed but they still needed the extra money, so her mum worked double and ran a family.
“Because, I didn’t think you of all people would go for a, a, a spoiled brat!” her voice rose, and she crossed her arms.
“You don’t know anything about her!” Ted repeated, his voice rising in response. “She’s not like the other Slytherins. You’re so quick to judge everyone, you know.”
“She’s dangerous,” she emphasized for the tenth time.
“No, she’s not. If you’re referring to the other Slytherins, well, I can take care of myself.”
“You’re being selfish,” she said disapprovingly.
“Don’t try and pull that on me,” he said through gritted teeth. “You don’t know anything.”
“Well her green robes are enough proof for me, you should know that,” she glared at him this time.
Ted stepped back and looked at her. “Stay out of it,” he said angrily, before walking away.
He left her gaping in the corner by herself and headed up to the boy’s dormitory, not in the mood to speak to anyone else. Just as he lie on his bed with a great big sigh, there was a loud tapping on the window.
He opened it, letting cold air fill the room. A small brown owl blew in with the wind, and he immediately recognized it as Bludger, the owl he’d gotten his parents. He untied the letter from the owl’s leg as it nibbled on his finger. But he wasn’t aware of that. He was too busy ripping open the letter, which had his dad’s handwriting on it. It was short.
Ted, it’s getting worse. You need to come home for a few days.
A/N: I hope that was a quick enough update, and I hope you enjoy the chapter! This time Andromeda is serious about pushing Ted away, no more games involved. Leave me a review and let me know what you think, and any predictions you might have :)
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