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In the before, things were clear and concise.


 

But in the after, mortality was merely an imitation of dreams, and dreams were nothing more than a wisp of truths. And it didn’t feel like a dream when it was happening, but maybe it had been - or perhaps it was just a limbo of sorts, leaving me partially pulled into the world of unconsciousness and partially stuck in some half-hearted reality. I couldn’t move or see, couldn’t speak, but all of my other senses were fully there, heightened, in a way. I could sense the cold air pinching my cheeks, feel my hair whipping across my face, and hear the sound of the wind, unfamiliar and cruel.


 

And I could feel the warmth beneath me shaking, too, quivering like a leaf in a storm. But as soon as the darkness hit, the voices sounded.


 

“James?”


 

“Oh my God, Nellie-”


 

“Corn!”


 

“Sh-sh-she’s - she’s out cold, there-there’s no use in sh-shaking her-”


 

“What the hell happened?”


 

“I don’t know.” His stutter seemed to have stopped, but the waver in his voice remained. “She just tried to jump off the roof.”


 

What?” I knew that was Scorpius, but it sounded so hollow and broken, so completely unlike him.


 

“You told me she was fine!” someone shrieked, and it must’ve been Mia based on how hysterical it was. “I tried and she told me to leave her alone and you said you would watch her!”


 

“She shut me out - she said she was going to bed - I thought you would go in there and make sure she-”


 

“It’s no one’s fault.” someone said evenly; Albus. “She’s going to be fine.”


 

“Just tell us what happened, James!”


 

“How did you know she was up here?” A second female voice, and although at first I couldn’t place its owner I soon discerned it was that of Rose Weasley.


 

“I saw on the map that she was on the North tower alone, so I went to go talk to her but she was pissed out of her mind, and then she started saying things that didn’t make sense and then just-just tried to pitch herself off the roof like she was diving into a fucking pool-Christ-


 

“What was she saying?” That was Scorpius; it was too demanding to be anyone else.


 

“She said that she wasn’t enough and something in French - but none of it sounded like she wanted to - and then she was just jumping, and I pulled her back and she was crying and then she just - I don’t know what I said wrong but she fucking jumped!


 

“It wasn’t about you, James, I promise.” Mia, but in between delicate sniffles.


 

There was silence. I thought I had crossed over to another consciousness, perhaps to the same place I had been where the strange whisperings of the wind seemed to transfix me, but then the familiar voices began to speak once again.


 

“I’ll take her from here.”


 

“Like hell you will!” James snarled, and I was surprised at the intensity of it. “If you were supposed to be watching her or whatever and she comes up here, what’ll happen next? I’m not letting you fuck up again-”


 

“James-”


 

Fuck you, Potter-”


 

“James, she’s my best friend and I promise you she didn’t really want to die-”


 

“Are you fucking stupid? She tried to kill herself, what part of that makes you think she didn’t?”


 

“Look - on this one day a year, Nellie changes into a completely different person,” Albus spoke, and the other sounds quieted. “She’s usually fine on any other day but today.”


 

“On her birthday? Why?”


 

Silence again.


 

“Why?” James repeated, pleading, his voice considerably softer than before. “Why today?”


 

“It’s not your concern-”


 

“I think it’s my concern now, considering that I just saved her from falling about a thousand feet!”


 

“She wouldn’t want you to know-”


 

“Look, she mentioned her mother,” said James quickly, and at that both Scorpius and Mia sort of inhaled.


 

“Exactly what did she say?”


 

“That she was poisoned because of her and that she didn’t give a fuck - I don’t know, she was so pissed I couldn’t understand most of it. Just, please, tell me. I - I care about her, so please.”


 

“He deserves to know,” said Mia quietly, after a pause.


 

“No, he doesn’t.”


 

“Scor…” Rose whispered.


 

“No. It’s nobody's fucking business but mine and Corn’s-”


 

“Nellie’s mum,” Albus began carefully, over the protests from Scorpius. “She committed suicide six years ago today.”


 

There was a weighted silence. And then, so softly that it barely reached my ears - “What?”


 

“On her eleventh birthday,” Mia spoke up. Her voice was constricted like she was crying. “Nellie was the one who found her.”


 

“How...did she...?”


 

“Slit her wrists in the bath,” Scorpius muttered, and the fight seemed to deflate out of his voice as he spoke. “Nellie only got in there because she was so excited to get her Hogwarts letter the bathroom door unlocked for her.”


 

“That’s…” James didn’t finish his sentence, and he didn’t have to. There were no words to describe something like that.


 

“After it happened, Nellie didn’t speak to anyone for an entire week,” Scorpius continued. “And then, one day, she just got out of bed and was fine."


 

“She’s never talked to any of us about it,” said Mia. “Not even to Adam. Never.”


 

“But, her father,” said James desperately, as if there were still a chance to save me. “Surely her dad must’ve-”


 

“Her father hasn’t mentioned it, either,” said Scorpius, gruffly. “He’s an Unspeakable and he’s never been around. Nellie only really has me, my father, and Adam as family. And my mother, until she died.”


 

On his last syllable his voice cracked, and as Rose started to murmur soothing sounds to him their voices became more and more distant, like they had moved away from the roof and back into the staircase.


 

“Jesus,” James choked out. “Fuck. I always went on about how she didn’t have any real problems - fuck-”


 

“You didn’t know,” said Mia, in that factual sort of way she always did. “Nellie’s so good at hiding. Too good.”


 

“I’m so sorry,” James whispered. I could feel him stroking my cheek with his thumb lightly, as a new darkness enveloped me, but this time it was friendly and soothing. Sleep, a welcome friend.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The owls swooped above our heads in hoards, squawking over the din of breakfast, and I had to raise my voice to be heard over the rest of the noise.


 

“Would someone please pass the butter?” I asked, drumming my knife on the top of my waffle impatiently.


 

“I just don’t see why it’s necessary, Flynn,” Mia was saying over my request, her arms already crossed with annoyance.


 

“I don’t see why you don’t see it’s necessary,” Flynn replied cattily, stabbing his eggs with his fork so hard it made an awful scraping sound against his plate.


 

“You actually think it’s appropriate to set off fireworks instead of taking your Transfiguration make-up exam?”


 

“I’m not prepared for it!” Flynn argued. “Fireworks always delay tests!”


 

“Can you pass the butter?” I requested again, to no response.


 

“Why don’t you just study for once, then?” Mia remarked snidely, tossing her hair back from her shoulders.


 

Flynn scoffed. “That’s for nerds-"


 

“That’s for the successful,” Mia shot back, mouth getting increasingly pinched and tight.


 

“Butter - please-”


 

“Scorpius barely studies and I don’t see you on his sodding case!”


 

“Because Scorpius is brilliant and gets good marks anyways!”


 

“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m brilliant-”


 

“Why can’t you just let me set off my bloody fireworks and leave me the fuck alone?”


 

“Because you always do these things and have absolutely no regard on how it might affect everyone else in the fucking world!”


 

“Oh, I have no regard? Really, that’s fucking-”


 

“For the love of God, just pass the bloody butter!” I yelled, and everyone sort of stopped, staring at me with a mix of apprehension and concern, as if they were still afraid I could snap at any moment.


 

Which I suppose I could understand. After the North Tower incident, it took a couple of weeks for everything to return to its usual atmosphere, and even now all of my friends were still walking on eggshells around me, much to my annoyance. But it was certainly not as bad as it used to be, especially the morning after it happened.


 

Mia was the first to talk to me. The moment I sat up in bed and opened my curtains, she was sitting across from me, bed already made and hands folded in her lap.


 

“Hi,” she said. Her voice was small and so unlike her usual impassioned speech, and I winced internally.


 

“Hi,” I croaked.


 

“How do you feel?”


 

I rubbed my eyes blearily. “Better than I deserve.”


 

She nodded, as if to herself. And then she was getting up and hugging me fiercely, her arms gripping me as if she were afraid to let go.

 

 

“You can never do that to me again,” she whispered hoarsely into my shoulder, and I nodded as fast as I could, my chin hitting her shoulder.

 

 

“I know. I know. I love you. I don’t know what happened, Mia, I swear. I'm so sorry.”


 

“Don't be sorry. We’ll talk about it,” Mia released her grip, still holding me out at an arms length by my shoulders. “For now, please just brush your teeth. For the greater good.”


 

And so I had hugged her again, because she was right - we would talk about it, for hours and hours a few days later - but for now she just needed reassurance that I was willing to discuss it. Mia and I, we worked so well simply because we were so strangely similar and so many ways, and since we understood ourselves we understood one another, giving way for unquestioned trust and safety.


 

Speaking with Scorpius was harder.


 

We met in the alcove a little while after I had showered and dressed (and yes, brushed my teeth). With Scorpius, there was always a weighted silence about conversations with him, but right now I think we both recognised that it was best not to speak right away. I’m not sure I could’ve found the words, anyways.


 

“Is that why you went up to the roof?” Scorpius finally asked, and although he refused to look straight at me I could see his eyes, dull and hollow, a portrait of grief. “To do the same thing as her?”


 

I shook my head vigorously. “No. No. I just wanted to get away from everyone - I had no intention at all of doing anything, it never even crossed my mind.”


 

Scorpius sort of snorted, still staring at the floor.“Well, clearly it did.”


 

“You don’t understand,” I shook my head again, like that movement would somehow help convince him. “Even as I was up there, it wasn’t about hurting myself.”


 

Scorpius’s expression didn’t change, but he managed to look me in the eyes for the first time. “Explain, then.”


 

“I just... went through the day in a fog. And then I got pissed, and when I was up there, it felt like...she was calling to me. I thought I could hear her voice in the wind, and it was telling me to join her in the stars.”


 

“Whose voice?” Scorpius asked, even though he knew the answer. He was going to make me say everything out loud, and I welcomed it because I knew if I did, he would believe me. Believe the truth.


 

“My mother’s,” I said. “It felt like I was under this spell of her voice. And she was part of the sky, and I just thought that was where I belonged, too - not dead, just in the stars. When I was on the ledge, I swear I wasn’t jumping to kill myself, I felt like it was to just step out into the sky and be able to see her again. To ask her why she left. I was so not myself, Scorpius.”


 

The way I said it made it clear that I was being honest, but even I didn’t understand the strange sensation that had overtaken me on the roof. Even now it sat in my memory as a sort of dream, but I still swear that I heard voices in the wind, as clear as any other sound.


 

“She didn’t leave, Corn,” Scorpius said, in the kind of harsh sort of way he did when he was upset. “We both always say she left, but she killed herself. Veronica killed herself. Just say it like it is.”


 

“She killed herself,” I repeated, and it hurt, it hurt so much but it felt okay at the same time. “But that’s not what I was trying to do at all, and you have to believe me. I wouldn’t lie to you about this.”


 

Scorpius tore his gaze away from me. His hands went up to massage his temples and then to rub his eyes, and I realised with a stab of guilt that he probably hadn't slept a wink.

 

 

“No. I can’t believe you, Corn. I can’t trust you at all. Because you’re so fucking good at lying to yourself about everything, and I honestly don’t know how good you are at lying to me, too.”


 

“I’m not lying,” I pleaded, my throat beginning to constrict with the threat of tears. “I swear that I’m not.”


 

Scorpius raised his head to look at me again. He looked so much the same as he had at eleven, but so different, too. He appeared to be nothing less than an adult, the stresses of life aging him quickly, and I suddenly felt sick to my stomach that I had caused some of the premature wrinkles on his forehead.


 

“Then prove it," Scorpius told me quietly, and then he was holding out his hand and uncurling his palm.


 

In it sat a small red bear, and I knew immediately that was a Veritaserum gummy, the kind that Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes had patented ages ago. It’s truth-revealing serum only lasted for a couple of minutes and didn’t compel the user to speak like normal Veritaserum would, but right now it would serve every purpose that we both needed it to.


 

So without hesitation I put it in my mouth, and in an instant I felt strangely relaxed, like the weight of everything had been lifted from my shoulders.


 

Scorpius took a deep breath, and I readied myself for his interrogation.


 

“Did you go on the roof with the purpose of hurting yourself?”


 

The moment I opened my mouth, the answer immediately sounded without any effort. “No.”


 

“Did you try to jump off the roof in order to hurt yourself?”


 

“No.”


 

“Do you ever want to hurt yourself now?”


 

I was almost relieved when the answer came out, loud and certain. “No.”


 

Scorpius closed his eyes briefly exhaled, and I could tell he was thankful beyond comparison, as was I, honestly. I thought he was done asking me questions until he opened his eyes, his gaze burning into mine with a purposeful quality I couldn’t quite understand.


 

“What’s your mother’s full name?”


 

My shoulders tensed up but still the response came. “Veronique Lavoiande Burke. Veronica."


 

“Do you miss her?”


 

“Yes.” It was tumbling from my lips before I even registered it was the truth, and grief flashed in my chest, hard and painful, before I was able to take a deep breath and let it dissipate.


 

“Okay,” Scorpius breathed, and then his entire posture was relaxing just as mine had. “Thank Merlin.”


 

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered, and he put his arms on my shoulders, staring at me intently.

 

 

“I’m so glad you’re okay,” he said, and his eyes were welled up which made it that much harder to look at him. “Because you can’t leave me, Corn. I have you and my dad and Adam, and you can’t fucking leave me.”


 

“I won’t,” I insisted. “I would never. Scorpius, I would never.”


 

“But you almost did, and - Merlin, we were all so scared, Corn. I don’t think you’ll ever be able to understand how terrifying it was.”


 

“I think I understand.” I whispered, and Scorpius’s eyes widened as he realised that I was really the only person who did understand.


 

“Corn, I-”


 

“It’s fine,” I muttered, into his shoulder, so that I wouldn’t have to think about it any more, and we stayed in a proper hug like that for a few moments, our heart rates finally calming down from the stressors of the day.


 

Finally, Scorpius pulled back, eyes now dry. “Next time, we’re talking about it, okay?”


 

I nodded, and we both stood up to leave. “Yeah.”

 

 

Just as I was pushing back the tapestry, Scorpius spoke again.


 

“I told Adam,” he said, and at that I whipped around to stare at him accusingly. “You know I had to.”


 

“What did he say?” I demanded, lowering myself back down onto the window seat. My pulse had suddenly gone haywire, and I glanced around the alcove, as if Adam were hiding behind one of the hangings, waiting for his chance to yell at me.


 

Scorpius frowned slightly, as if he were concentrating on something he couldn’t seem to figure out. “He...told me not to worry.”


 

What?” I frowned.  Adam was always fiercely protective so for him to not be so was almost more concerning than what had happened. “Why? I mean good, because you shouldn’t, but why?


 

Scorpius fiddled with a loose string on the sleeve of his jumper before glancing up at me again. “He mentioned something. About your headaches.”


 

My entire body went cold.


 

“What did he say?”


 

“He asked me how many you’ve had, and he said it was normal for you to have an out of body experience on your seventeenth birthday. He said it was common in your family.”


 

I was silent as I processed this. Once you turn seventeen, I can’t stop it.


 

“Corn...Veronica always got headaches.”


 

“I know,” I said hoarsely. “And my father - he mentioned them, too. When I saw him. And I overheard Adam talking with Annabelle, saying that everything was about to change for me.”


 

“I don’t understand.” Scorpius said slowly, and we reached out at the same time to grip each others' hands, both perturbed by the vague unknowns that seemed to characterise the last couple of week of our lives.


 

I could have mentioned the dreams to him right then - I probably should have, in fact, but I didn’t. “I need to owl Adam-”


 

“No,” Scorpius said, and his voice was surprisingly forceful. “Adam told me you can’t.”


 

“I-what?”


 

“He said it might not be possible for you to owl him right now, and to just wait for him to send something to you.”


 

“Send what?” I queried rather urgently, but Scorpius had shaken his head as if to say, I don’t know any more than you do

 

 

And then we had shrugged the unsettling presence of all of it off, and Scorpius had gone to update Albus and Mia and Flynn and Milo, who had been briefed on everything as well. And I had been smothered with hugs and concern and a rather harsh admonishing from Flynn, but I knew it came straight out of love so I didn't really mind. And the next few days had been shaky, like we were all waiting for another shoe to drop, for another crisis to hit, but when it didn't everyone began to relax, and now we were back at Sunday breakfast together and everyone was largely back to normal - everyone but James Potter.

 

 

I hadn't spent much time with him lately.

 

 

The first chance I even saw him after the incident was three days later. I was walking from Transfiguration and he was coming in the opposite direction, and we both sort of stopped in the middle of the corridor with enough apprehension to stifle the atmosphere.


 

“Hey,” said James. He looked oddly pale and dulled, with dark circles under his eyes like he hadn’t been sleeping well, and I told myself it was because NEWT preparation was especially hard on Seventh Years right now.


 

“Hey,” I said back. “Listen-”


 

“You really scared me the other night.” he interrupted quietly. I'd never heard his voice stripped so much of its usual confidence and importance, and it was rather startling.


 

“I’m sorry,” I told him, rather desperately, but James Potter just nodded slightly and kept walking past me, down the hall and around the corner.


 

And I didn’t see or speak to him for more than a week.


 

It wasn’t like James Potter had ever been a part of my routine, but he would always pop up somewhere during the day unexpectedly, and without it I didn’t exactly know how to feel. So finally, a couple of nights ago when I was coming back from the library just before curfew, I was beyond started by a figure moving out of the shadows in the otherwise empty corridor. 


 

“Burke,” said James quietly, stopping in front of me, and my surprise quickly turned into a sour resentment. 


 

“So, you’re talking to me now?” I spoke rather bitterly despite my best attempts to act calm, but I stopped walking, too.


 

“I was never not talking to you,” James said. He shifted his weight slightly; an unconscious admission of guilt.


 

I snorted in response.


 

“I just didn’t know what to say. How to talk to you.”


 

A wave of shame and embarrassment washed over me. “I’m sorry.” When he didn’t reply, I continued. “What do I need to do? So you know how to talk to me again?”


 

“Would you just finally admit to yourself that you're not okay? Because you're not, Cornelia. And I don't think you have been in a long time.”


 

“I know I scared you,” I said to dodge his comment, but now James was shaking his head furiously, his dark hair flopping everywhere.


 

“No, you didn’t scare me, you-you fucking terrified me! I’ve never felt any sort of fear like that in my entire life - Jesus, I almost have a panic attack just remembering it!”


 

“Well, I’m fine now. Is that good enough for you?”


 

“No!” James yelled. “It’s not fucking good enough! You’ve been letting me blather on about these completely insignificant problems, and you were dealing with this? God, what is wrong with you?”


 

“What’s wrong with me?” I matched his volume. “What is wrong with you? You never cared enough to ask me in the first place!”


 

“I did care-”


 

“Yeah, when it was convenient for your little damsel-in-distress fantasy,” I retorted. “God, you know what I hate the most about you?”


 

“What is it?” James snapped back. His eyes were alight with a cold glint of fury that for some reason made me feel almost guilty. “What is it you hate about me?”


 

“You complain about the attention your family gets, but you’re still surrounded under unconditional love and support.”


 

“I knew it,” he said after a beat, laughing disbelievingly. “I knew you wouldn’t get it-”


 

“You’re right. I don’t. I don’t because my father was never a father and the only motherly figures in my life both fucking died, and you’re complaining about having literally the entire world care about you. It’s unfathomable.


 

“How the hell was I supposed to know you went through that if you lied to me?”


 

“I never lied about anything!”


 

“You let me believe you had no problems; you lied to me by omission!”


 

“I never said that! You were the one always telling me I had a perfect life!”


 

“Because you never told me otherwise!”


 

“I didn’t think I should have to!”


 

“You JUMPED!” he roared, and I sort of stepped back, shocked at the outburst, but James didn’t continue right away; he was breathing hard, pausing as if he needed a moment to collect himself from whatever emotions were running through his mind. “If I hadn’t pulled you back, you would’ve died. You would’ve-” he broke off, staring up at the ceiling until he finally locked eyes with me again. “I know I’m self-absorbed. I know I shouldn’t have assumed anything about your life, and I know I’ve been unfair to you. I know all of this, but I’m trying. I’m trying now and I was trying over holiday break and I was trying on the roof, and then you fucking jumped and I didn’t - I don’t know what to do.”


 

I let silence fill the air as I absorbed his words, and when I next spoke my voice was calm and steady. “I am so sorry that you had to deal with that situation. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for you, and I never wanted you to see me like that.”


 

“See you like what?” James asked. He had lowered his voice too, and was now rubbing the back of his neck. “See you finally opening up?”


 

“I understand you’re still angry at me for what happened-” I continued, but he was shaking his head before I could even finish the sentence.


 

“I was never angry at you,” said James. “I was...scared. Worried. I still am. I just wish I knew about everything earlier.”


 

“It wouldn’t have changed anything.”


 

“It would’ve,” James insisted. “I didn’t know what you needed.”


 

“I didn’t need anything,” I said automatically, and he snorted, the sound full of disbelief.


 

“Because you never do. Right?”


 

I didn’t respond, and after a moment he sighed, glancing back at me as he ruffled the back of his head.  


 

“Look, I’m so fucking sorry you went through what you went through, but you don’t have to go through this alone-”


 

“I’m not,” I said. I was suddenly tired of it - all of it: the arguments, the topic at hand, the reason for it in the first place. “I just don’t go through it with you.”


 

“You could,” he said, but I knew what had to happen now. It was glaringly clear, almost painfully obvious. We didn’t know anything about one another, James and I. We were just two people with a couple of chance encounters. Two lines on separate planes, heading in different directions but intersecting at one point, and it was time to keep going. To move away. To move on.


 

“Look, James, we barely know each other. We went from not caring the other existed to mortal enemies to what? A hookup now and then?”


 

“You know it was more than that,” James said darkly, but he was speaking in the past tense. “Don’t try to spin it like it wasn’t.”


 

“I don’t know what we were,” I said, but it was to avoid the confrontation of my own feelings; to dodge attempting to make sense of the confusing history into which the eldest Potter and I seemed to be constantly entwined.  


 

“What are you saying, then?” He knew where I was going with it. I could see it in his eyes. But he was going to make me spell it out, because he saw how much I didn’t want to.


 

“I’m saying we never got to know one another. You know, be friends.”


 

“Right,” laughed James bitterly, shaking his head in disbelief. “Friends.”


 

“It’s what’s best,” I said steadily, and I sounded so assured that I almost managed to convince myself of it.


 

James started at me, and without warning his expression shifted so that his face impassive and cool, cool like it always was.  “If that’s what you want.” he said.


 

“It is.” I told myself, long after he had already left. And I had repeated it to myself as I walked back to my Common Room and later that night as I fell asleep, and still kept convincing myself all the way up until breakfast this morning, saying that tired mantra to my stack of waffles that had finally been graced with the gift of butter.


 

“Oi! Nellie!” Flynn punched me in the arm, breaking my reverie. “You got a package!”


 

I glanced up, and he was right; a rectangular mass sat in front of me, an unfamiliar owl staring me down until it took off back out the window. As I picked it up, I immediately noticed the note. Pour ton anniversaire tardif, scrawled in hurried handwriting. For your belated birthday.


 

“Ooh, what is it?” Mia craned her neck to look at the gift, and I carefully slid it out of its thin brown wrappings, taking care not to rip the paper.


 

And there it was. The ancient, leather bound book Adam had retrieved the night after the Amesbury Gala, the one that had been lingering in the forefront of my dreams and in the back of my mind for so so long.


 

“What is that?” Mia gaped, as I picked it up, weighing it slightly with my hands. “God, it’s huge!

 

 

"That's what she said," Al said immediately, and Scorpius high fived him while Flynn looked put out that he didn't think to say the line.


 

“Who’s it from?” asked Milo, still solely focused on the gift, and of course I knew who it was from even with no signature - and as I locked eyes with Scorpius, I knew he knew, too.


 

“Adam,” I announced, and even Albus looked disbelieving.


 

“Adam gave you a book?


 

“What’s it about?” Mia frowned, sliding it towards her and beginning to flip through the old parchment papers.


 

“I don’t know,” I replied, because everything had suddenly fallen into place - the thing my father needed me to retrieve from the East Library, the reason why Adam hid it - all the answers were in that book. And I wasn’t ready to know them.


 

“The note is in French,” Flynn’s face was screwed up in concentration as he attempted to make sense of it. “What good is it to you?”


 

“I'm bilingual,” I said offhandedly, taking the note from where it had dropped idly from Flynn’s fingers dangerously close to a pumpkin juice spill on the table.


 

“You’re what?” Milo demanded, and I glanced up because he seemed angry, and that couldn't be true, Milo never got angry - but as I met his eyes he was inexplicably furious.


 

“I'm half French,” I said, rather shocked. “What-”


 

“Why the hell don't you tell us anything?” Milo hissed. “Or, maybe it's just me. Whatever,” he muttered, and without another word he had stalked away from the Ravenclaw table, his robes flapping indignantly from well above his ankles.


 

“What…?” I stared helplessly at Milo’s retreating back, at a loss for words, just as Flynn got up to leave, too.


 

“Give him time,” Flynn said quietly, putting his hand on my shoulder almost sympathetically. “I want to talk with you later, too.”


 

And then he was following Milo, and I knew Flynn was angry also, but he was somehow so calm about it all that I knew I was in some deep-


 

Shit,” I groaned, pressing my fingers into the sides of my temples as if that would alleviate the guilt forming a knot there.


 

“I think it’s hard for them finding out all this stuff about you when we already knew,” Albus remarked quietly.

 

 

“Nellie,” Mia tapped me, but Scorpius began to speak before I could respond to her.


 

“I think you need to have an honest conversation with them. Especially on why you didn't tell them."

 

 

"I know," I muttered, cutting a piece off of my waffle with the side of my fork.


 

“Nellie...”

 

 

"But I didn't mean to, like, hide it from them, you know? I just didn't even think to tell them, I guess. I mean, it's not like I really talk about it or-"

 

 

"Nellie!"


 

What?” I asked Mia rather irritably, breaking away my gaze from Scorpius and Al, and when she didn’t respond at first I lifted my head up from the table.


 

“Your book,” Mia said carefully. Her eyes were wide, wide open, and her expression was some introspective blend of awe and fear. “It’s - it’s for Seers.”


 

 


 

 

 

Author’s Note: Raise your hand if you absolutely expected that plot twist! Like most of you figured it out ages ago! But there’s some more information on that that will definitely differ from what you’re expecting, so as always, stay tuned! And REVIEW!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up next...A story of The Women, passion, and great abs.

 

 

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