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It had been about a week since they had left school. Professor McGonagall had contacted them, saying that they should stay home until Christmas break, which was only a week away. Oliver had decided to hold the funeral the second day of the break, so the kids friends could be there for comfort. The house was probably the quietest it had ever been, Jane had left to go back to Australia, and would be coming back with her boyfriend the day of the funeral.

 

Hogwarts just seemed empty without Euen and Reese. The friend group wasn’t the same, and everyone was really sad about Katie’s death. James was struggling in potions. and in everything else, life, without Reese. He was getting into more fights, missing quidditch practices. Gryffindor Quidditch was struggling. They were missing one chaser, and one was off his rocker, and they were missing their seeker. They used reserves, but they had moved to 3rd place, and without at lease James coming back, they were not even going to get 2nd place. No letters sent to Reese and Euen had been answered, none of the senders could put into words what they wanted to say anyways. 

 

Linden and Maya were sitting in the library, talking quietly.

“are you going to their house the first day of break?”asked Linden

“no” maya replied “I think we should give them some more space, and see them at the funeral, Lucie and James are going and I don’t want to smother them” 

“Ok” said Linden “I won’t go either” 

 

“I better go to this last practice” James thought, “Then I can go see Reese and make sure she’s ok”

He headed down to the pitch, and was greeted by a surprised Lauren Davis, the third chaser.

“Look who it is everyone!”she said “James! How are you man?” Said Freddie

“I’m fine” James said. “Let’s just fly.” He said, and pushed off from the ground.

 

The group left Hogwarts and headed toward the outdoor platform to get on the train. They quietly spoke to each other about silly things, eventually reaching the topic none of them really knew how to talk about.

“How do you think they’re dealing with it?” asked Maya

“Reese is probably hiding her feelings, even from herself.” Said Lucie “she’s putting on a brave face for her dad and brothers, I know it, that’s just who she is”

“She’s strong”James muttered under his breath “ but she needs to grieve, she can’t just bury her feelings, or else they’ll come flooding back all at the same time” James said. It sounded like James knew what he was talking about, and that he had experience in burying his feelings. They continued talking about how crazy everything is, and how they’ve never had to deal with tragedy, that happened when their parents were at Hogwarts. 

 

Lucie and James had decided to go to the Woods house together. Lucie would be staying with the Potters, as her family was in America for the holidays. The original plan was for her to stay with Reese, but that was simply not possible. Harry and Ginny side-along apparated the friends to the woods house. Harry and Ginny had been around there often, talking to Oliver and the kids, bringing dishes and playing with Parker. The 10 year old was the first to see them when they arrived. He gave James and Lucie big hugs and told them Reese and Euen were both in their rooms, and Oliver was outside, flying around. A lot of flying had been going on at the Woods. It was a good thing to help clear a buzzed head. James wanted to talk to Reese really bad, but Lucie beat him to her room, so he knocked on Euens door instead.

“Hey, man” James said

“James” said Euen “Hey, what’s up”

“Nothing, just checking on my best friend.”

“Thanks man”

“Of course, if you wanna talk about it, or anything we can, but I’m betting you probably want to do something to clear your head.”

“Yeah that’d be great” said Euen, “my thoughts are overwhelming sometimes”. The boys then went outside to play some quidditch. Meanwhile, Lucie was still holding Reese. 

“I’m fine, Luce, really” Reese said, smiling at her friend, “I know you care, but I’ve had a lot of time to think about it, and you know, grieve, and I want to be done with that, I miss her a lot, but she’d want me to keep going, not sink into a hole” Reese said. 

“Have you really had time to grieve?” Lucie asked, “I know you, Reese, and your more the type to bury your feelings, like it or not”

“Yes, I’m sure” she said “I love you for caring; though” 

“I love you too,” said Lucie “do you wanna go make cookies or something?”

“Sure” said Reese, and the two girls headed to the kitchen.

“What are you making?” Said Parker as the girls got out their ingredients. 

“Chocolate chip cookies” Lucie replied “wanna help?”

“Sure!” Said Parker

“Something smells good” said Oliver as he, Harry, James, and Euen walked in, covered in sweat. Ginny had gone home to take care of Albus and Lily. 

 

“I’m going to go let Idrick out” Reese said as she popped a cookie in her mouth, and she walked towards her room. James followed her. She sat in the window seat and watched the owl fly out the window. 

“Hey” said James 

“Hey, James”

“You wanna talk?” he asked

“Sure” she said

“How are you?”

“I’m fine, not happy but pushing through”she said.

“Are you sure?” he asked “I agree with Lucie when she says she thinks your burying your feelings”

“I’m not” she responded, sounding annoyed.

James walked over, sat next to her and put his hand on hers, “Reese, it’s ok to let your feelings out, I know your trying to be strong for your family, and your amazing for that, but I know what happens when you bury your feelings like this. They build up and you lash out. 

“How do you know?” she asked

“Because I’ve been in that situation, I bury my feelings and they all come out at once, usually in a punch, or a hex”James continues “that happened a lot after you left”

“Seriously, James, I’m fine”

“Reese, I know you, and even if you don’t want to admit it, you’re confused, your hurting, and trying not to let anyone know, not even yourself.” A tear rolled down her face.

“I just d-don’t know what I’m going to do without her” said Reese “I haven’t realized how much she does for us until she was gone, I didn’t appreciate her enough”. She leaned on James and he put his arms around her. “Let it out” he said “and talk to me, everything you want to talk about.” And that’s where they sat, on the window seat, James arm around reese, and she talked, and he listened, because he knew, that’s what he needed when he felt like that, and she needed him now.

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