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The first of September passes, and it feels strange that I do not join my cousins, Edgar and Helen, on the Hogwarts Express. Eddie’s heading into his fifth year and Helen her third. I am headed into uncertainty.

My plan has taken awhile to formulate. If there is a chance of finding James, I need to convince the Aurors that he is alive. But I can’t reveal the Resurrection Stone to just anyone. It’s a dangerous tool, and I can’t let it possibly slip into the wrong hands.

The only person I can think of who would believe me is also the person I most fear: Harry Potter.


--


I’m not sure why events in the second half of my fifth played out like they did. At the time, I couldn’t see how they were connected. If I had had a chance to change things, I’m not sure if I would have, and that’s a difficult thing to admit.

After the detention and my birthday, I became wary of James. I wasn’t scared of him, just confused. Especially after events like, “Oi, Amelia! Nice earmuffs!” James had been heading down for Care of Magical Creatures as I had just come out of Herbology.

“Thanks!” I had called back. He had given me a thumb’s up before going on his way with a group of friends, who had been looking over at me.

"What the bloody hell?" Victoria had muttered, and I knew then that it was best to explain everything.

It must have been the end of February or the beginning of March when James and I next worked together. It wasn’t in another detention. It was in Ancient Runes class. We were finishing a unit on Ancient Egyptian Runes, and we had to translate and solve some Runes in order to break into tombs--all on parchment, of course, but if we wrote down one wrong answer, we could get trapped in the tomb, unable to continue on with the assignment.

“I’m going to pair you up based on the Runes you draw from my bag!” announced Professor Babbling as jolly as ever.

Some of the class groaned, and I was silently with them. Group work wasn’t one of my favorite activities, and random group work meant that I had no choice with whom I was going to work.

Since I was sitting near the front, I was one of the first to pull a Rune.

“Ehwaz. Good choice,” smiled Professor Babbling. I turned the Rune over in my hand, studying it. I remember it was on the O.W.L. exam last year.

Once everyone had their Runes, there was a buzz of students trying to find each other. I stood up with the class but leaned against the desk, waiting for my partner to find me.

“Amelia, what do you have? I think we have the same one,” said Marion Gorgon. I looked at the Rune in her hand.

“That’s Eiwhaz. I have Ehwaz,” I told her.

“Damn. They look so similar,” she complained. “Would’ve liked working with you, though.”

“Who has Ehwaz?” James asked. “I heard one of you say you had it.”

“It’s her,” Marion said before leaving us.

James raised his eyebrows. “Well, it looks like we’re partners, which is funny, isn’t it?”

“Huh?”

“Ehwaz means partnership. We’re partners on the project. Good start on the project, yeah?” James flashed a smile. I returned it with a smaller one. “Gah, it was funnier in my head.”

“I suppose.”

“When do you want to meet to work on this?” James asked. “Not sure if I’m up for an assignment this intense.” He gave a wink.

“What are you doing on Thursday at half four?”

“Working with you, obviously.”


--


With a stroke of good fortune, I have been offered an entry-level position at the Ministry of Magic with the research committee, which gives me easier access around the Ministry. The day before yesterday was my first day, so hopefully I have the chance to go find Harry Potter today.

My mouth goes dry. So much can go wrong.

Aunt Susan says goodbye to me in the Atrium. I grip tightly onto my bag, where the Resurrection Stone is securely hidden. Keeping a neutral face, I walk towards Phoebus Penrose’s office, but I’m stopped right outside. A figure steps in front of my path.

“Fortescue,” says Auror Barrett. Her blue eyes glare down at me.

“Good morning, Auror Barrett,” I say lightly. I had been wondering if I would be running into her.

“I found out yesterday that you got a job at the Ministry. Don’t know how you wriggled your way into here,” she sneers.

I keep my tone polite. “My N.E.W.T. scores came in almost two weeks ago, and I qualified to work with Professor Penrose. Now if you--”

“I’ve got my eye on you,”Auror Barrett interrupts curtly.

“Are you threatening me?” My voice loses its pleasantness. I take a step forward.

We wait for two wizards to rush past us before she speaks.

“Of course not.” There’s a pause. I narrow my eyes as she continues, “I’m making sure your transition to the Ministry is smooth. Wouldn’t want to get caught in the crossfires of anything, now would we?”

I smile darkly. “I can look out for myself, thank you.”

We stare at each other for a moment.

“Unbelievable,” mutters Auror Barrett, shaking her head. She pushes past me and disappears into the stream of people walking towards the elevators. Sighing, I readjust my bag on my shoulder before heading into the office.


--


Sitting at my favorite spot in the library, I continued to puzzle over my grandfather’s pendant. What did it mean? So far, it wasn’t in any of the books I had for Ancient Runes, and I already started on some of the other Runes books in the library. My next step was the Restricted Section, and that would be tricky.

“Hey Amelia!” greeted James.

I jumped at his sudden appearance. My books and notes were all over the place.

“Blimey,” he breathed, sitting across from me. “Are all these for our project?”

“No, no. They’re mostly for my own research.”

James stared at me and nodded slowly. “I’m impressed-- not that you need my approval,” he added hastily.

I returned his nod. “Thanks, though I’ll take it as a compliment. Now, to get cracking with these Egyptian Runes, I thought that we should brush up on the history of ancient Egyptian wizards.”

“You serious?”

“Yeah. I have some books which I think might be helpful. There’s a lesser known Bathilda Bagshot book that I’m keen to read,” I said, piling my papers on the triangular eye and moving the history books onto the table from the chair next to me.

James picked up one, studying it. “You like to read this stuff for fun?”

“Well, not for fun really, just in my free time.”

“You remind me a lot of my Aunt Hermione,” James said. “My dad always talks about how she saved his skins at Hogwarts because she read a lot.”

“Well so far, I haven’t saved anyone’s skins,” I replied, grinning.

“Let’s keep it that way. I’d like to keep mine fully intact at all times.” He also grinned and opened the book. “This is dense. If this is what you do in your free time, what do you do for fun?”

My stare was deadpan. “Nothing.”

James laughed. “No really. There must be something you like to do.”

I shrugged, not sure how to answer him. “I don’t know. Read less dense stuff, maybe.”

James shook his head. “Unbelievable. I always thought Slytherins didn’t have a sense for fun, and this just proves it.”

“What does my House have anything to do with it?”

“Take a look at my brother. His fun factor is almost at zero.”

I raised my eyebrows and crossed my arms. “Very well, then. What do you do for fun?”

Now we’re talking!” James exclaimed. “In addition to all of the fun games known to wizardkind--Quidditch especially--I like to go on adventures.”

“What kind of adventures?”

“I’m not sure I should be telling you this, as you’re a prefect and all…”

“Oh my,” I began. I opened the folder in which had our Ancient Runes assignment. “Whatever you do must be awfully fun if they suggest breaking school rules.”

“They might suggest breaking the rules or they might not.” James was fighting to keep a smile a bay.

“Dabbling in the air of intrigue, I see,” I said quietly, laying out the Egyptian Runes in front of us.

“Can’t be. That’s your area.”

“Oh?” I felt a smile tug at my lips.

“Yeah. You hardly seem to answer any of my questions.”

“Because you answer them yourself.”

“What?”

“You just now identified what I like to do for fun. You don't need me to answer your questions.”

A brief pause and then-- “Crickey, Amelia, you’re good!”

We soon got to working on our project. It took me awhile to get the conversation back to our work, since James seemed keen to spend more time socializing. This project was our toughest ones to date, since not all of our books had translations available. James and I maintained our friendly banter throughout that day and all of our study sessions, and we must have carried it outside of our meeting times at the library, because soon, other people began to notice.


--


At break time, I make my way to the Law Enforcement Office. I have to restrain my pace to one of purpose and not of speed. Thankfully, there are clusters of witches and wizards in which I blend. I keep a look out for Auror Barrett. If she spots me, I’ll have to turn back, hopefully without getting caught.

I follow the signs to where the top administrators are. I silently praise Merlin that they’re separated from the cubicles in main Auror office.

A receptionist is there. I have nowhere to hide nor any way to sneak past her.

“Hullo,” she says, eyeing me. “What can I do you for?”

“Er, hello,” I say. I straighten my shoulders and look past her. I spot the closed door that reads Harry Potter, Head of Magical Law Enforcement. “I’m here on urgent business with Harry Potter.”

“Your name?” She looks down at her agenda, quill in hand.

There’s no turning back now. “Amelia Fortescue.”

She pauses and bites her bottom lip before saying, “Does Mr. Potter know that you’re coming to see him today?”

“I’m not certain,” I reply. “But I do need to see him.”

“About what?”

“I can’t tell you, sorry,” I say. “But it is important.”

She puts down her quill. “I see. I’m afraid that Mr. Potter can’t see you right now. He’s busy running a tight ship around here.”

Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit. What am I to do now? I roll back my shoulders and grip tightly onto my bag.

“I assure you that this is important. I can’t imagine Mr. Potter would be very pleased to hear that you turned me away.” I confidently begin to walk past her desk. She stands, whipping out her wand.

“Miss Fortescue, you’re not seeing Mr. Potter.”

“It’s urgent.”

“I’m sorry. You can’t.”

“Then I need to make an appointment then. Sooner rather than later.”

“I don’t think that’s possible at the moment. Mr. Potter is a busy man,” she responds. She steps in front of me.

“And if I have something that’s vital information?” My voice raises. I refuse to look past the receptionist to try to hide my next attempt to cause a scene.

“I can refer you to someone else. Auror Barrett, perhaps.”

Ah, they have a system in place for me. I don’t blame them after everything that’s happened. I try to brush past this piece of new information.

“What I have is case sensitive. Can I see Mr. Potter now?” My voice is louder still. The tension in the air thickens as I see the receptionist thinking of what to do next.

“I’m sorry, Miss Fortescue, not now. If you don’t leave, I’ll have to call security,” she warns.

“Why?” I demand. “I need to see Mr. Potter. Now if you excuse me--!”

“Security”! shouts the receptionist as I step past her.

“It’s important!” I exclaim. Security wizards appear in my path. A couple office doors open. I need to keep up my tantrum if I have hopes that Harry will emerge from his office. I try to walk past the security wizards.

“Miss, if you don’t leave now, we’ll have to escort you out,” one of them warns.

“Out of my way!” I shout. “I need to see Harry Potter!”

They grab onto my arms and begin to drag me away.

“Let go of me! I need Harry Potter NOW!” I scream. I kick out my legs and twist my body, trying to loosen their grip on me. My eyes stay on Harry’s door. To my relief, I see it open. He stands in the doorway, drinking in the scene. His face darkens as soon as he sees what’s happening.

“You’re coming with us, miss,” says one of the guards as he tries to turn me away from facing Harry’s door. I resist.

“Harry! Harry, please!” I shout. “It’s about--” A wand appears in my face, so I twist away. “It’s about--” Another wand comes towards my face. We’re about to round the corner. In a surge of fury, I twist around, facing an office full of wizards. Harry’s gone from his threshold, but the door remains open. “Peverell!” I holler before I’m finally removed from the office.



---

A/N: Hmmm, I wonder why Harry is not happy to see Amelia?! ;)

Also: anything you recognize is JKR's.

The fifth chapter already! I really enjoy writing this story. It's a great stress relief. I would like to thank everyone who has left a review. They've made my day and they've really encouraged me to keep writing.

That being said, please leave a review! I'm looking forward to what the next few chapters will bring. :)

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