Chapter 11

Two Friends

Donal was in the third year dorm with the spell book he had gotten from the library open to page fifty-seven: the page containing The Truth Spell.

It was not a particularly advanced spell; really it was more of a lie detection spell than an actual truth spell. The subject could speak and act freely, and had no compulsion to answer any questions put to them, but any statements that they did make could be determined to be true or false by means of a small disc of light that appeared over their head. If the subject was telling the truth the disc would turn blue; if they were lying it would turn red. Its normal color was gold. The spell would only last a few minutes, but it would be long enough for Donal. He might even let Avery cast it on him afterwards. It might be interesting to see what Avery would ask.

Donal smiled at the though, hoping that their friendship could survive what was about to unfold. He practiced the wand movements and incantation, and then decided that he might as well find Avery.

Avery sat in the common room, his Arithmancy book open in his lap. Arithmancy wasn’t a particularly hard subject, as Avery was good with numbers, but it was somewhat confusing. Still, he liked it, and he was interested in learning unusual and not-tried-and-true spells. Such spells could prove both useful and interesting.

Perhaps for hexing annoying first years, or better yet, Agatha…

Avery smiled at the thought of the Slytherin glowing orange, unable to speak, and with ice for hair. It was just one of the endless ideas for pranks and revenge that Arithmancy could teach him.

Oh, the possibilities…

Brushing aside the humorous thought (and thoughts of a shorter Agatha with hair too heavy for her head being chased by a rabid Jarvey in the shape of a pumpkin) Avery returned to his studies, trying to memorize a difficult formula he had learned earlier that day.

Then he heard someone descend the stairs and, being his curious self, he looked.

And, lo-and-behold, it was Donal Talmorroa.

Avery had not spoken with him since the incidents with Agatha, but he was sure it would not be a very pleasant visit, should one of them strike up a conversation.

But best not to avoid Donal for too long…

“Hi Donal,” Avery said sheepishly, sighing at the other boy’s impending wrath.

Donal walked into the common room, a little surprised to see Avery there. How convenient. Perhaps too convenient. But that was stupid. There was no way that Avery could know what Donal had in mind. Still, Donal did want to remain friends, if that was possible, so Avery deserved to know what was about to happen.

“Hi Avery,” Donal replied in a fairly neutral tone, although his face wore a worried expression, and he was chewing his lip.

Taking a breath, he decided to come straight to the point. “Look Avery, I know that something weird has been going on between you and Agatha, and for the life of me, I can’t work it out. I have a few guess, yes, but I don’t know if they are right. So I want some straight answers from you.”

Now for the hard part, Donal thought.

“Unfortunately,” Donal continued, “either Agatha or you is lying about something, so your word alone is not going to be good enough. So I want to use a Truth Spell on you. It does not hurt you, and you are not compelled to do or say anything, but if you lie to me while the spell is active I will know it. Will you consent?”

He waited, breath held, for Avery’s response.

Avery’s book slipped to the floor as he listened. He did not notice, however, as he was too taken aback by Donal’s proposition.

Avery desperately wanted to ask, “So you don’t trust me?” but that would get him in over his head, and besides, why should Donal trust Avery’s word over Agatha’s?

Donal had no reason to. Agatha’s word overruled Avery’s own.

Then perhaps Donal was being fair about the whole thing. He was not believing Agatha entirely and he was giving Avery a chance to defend himself.

The thought of being under a Truth Spell was slightly unnerving, but, as Donal had said, he would in no way be influenced to answer anything he did not want to.

All the same, it was kind of freaky. But he was innocent, so why be scared?

Sighing, Avery nodded, trying to supress the apprehensive thoughts still present in his head.

“I’ll do it.”

Donal breathed out, a sigh of relief escaping from him. He had not realized he had been holding his breath.

Smiling slightly, he said, “Okay then. Equitas Veritum!” A golden disc, about four inches in diameter, appeared two inches above Avery’s head. “Okay Avery, I wanted to make sure this thing is working. The first question I ask of you is that you tell me your name. And we both know what that is, so there’s no point lying, is there?” He grinned at the joke, trying to be friendly.

“Avery Berke…obvious, that,” Avery said. He appreciated Donal’s attempt at humor, but the pale joke was not nearly enough to break the tension growing in the room.

Donal watched the disc as Avery answered correctly. Blue. Good, that was as it should be. He decided to continue, and pacing, said, “The second question I ask of you is that you tell me your house. This time I want you to lie, so that we can establish that the spell is working correctly.”

Avery took a deep breath. “Hufflepuff,” he muttered, lying as Donal requested. He could fell some sort of energy being tugged from his body, most likely causing the disc to glow red, or whatever color it glowed when he lied.

Donal smiled. Red. The spell certainly seemed to be working fine. Now for the tricky part. He turned and faced Avery directly. “The third question I ask of you is,” Donal paused, phrasing his question carefully, “Did you willingly participate in a kiss with Agatha Swales of Slytherin House?” Donal swallowed. He was suddenly not sure that he wanted to know the truth. But this had to be done.

Avery’s stomach turned as he wondered how to truthfully answer the question without upsetting Donal. Laying the blame on that hideous creature also know as Agatha Swales might upset the other boy.

“No,” he said, feeling that sickening tug at his energy. Knowing full well that the disc had turned red, he quickly jumped to explain, “Seriously! Whatever she did to me must have worn off, so I was myself, but I wasn’t, and yeah.”

Avery didn’t know exactly how to explain it. The two were in the gazebo on the grounds, they had kissed, and suddenly Avery felt like himself again. But he had continued to kiss Agatha. Then, of all things, he had told her that he loved her, something he was sure that he would never do. Something had been wrong with him! He had acted like he actually liked Agatha!

Donal listened intently. So Avery had willingly kissed Agatha, but possibly whilst under some influence? That, certainly, sounded like something Agatha might do. Confused, he decided to move on to the next question.

Donal resumed pacing. It was easier to ask the questions without staring Avery in the face. “The fourth question I ask of you is did you say ‘I love you’ to Agatha Swales of Slytherin House?”

Sitting back down and deciding against trying to defend himself, Avery nodded and whispered, “Yes.” Donal stopped again, standing in front of Avery. He had to know the answer to this. Spell or no spell, he would be able to see it in Avery’s face. In a quieter voice, he said, “The fifth question I ask of you is this: Did you physically assault Agatha Swales of Slytherin House?”

Donal closed his eyes. Please let the answer be no.

Sighing heavily, Avery shook his head. “No,” he said clearly, so as not to be mistaken. Not that it would have mattered…Donal probably thought that he was crushing on his girl-friend.

Donal relaxed when Avery denied assaulting Agatha and the disc turned blue. So she had made that up, or if she had been assaulted, it was not be Avery, or at least Avery did not believe that he had done it. The absolute truth still remained ambiguous on that point.

Donal found himself unwilling to move, but he struggled on, still facing Avery. His expression was contorted with emotion and his chin stuck out as he spoke again. He somehow managed to hold his voice steady, but it was quiet, barely more than a whisper. “The sixth question I ask of you is this,” Donal moistened his lips and continued in the same way, “Do you still currently have any feelings of love or romance towards Agatha Swales of Slytherin House. And if you do, do you intend on pursuing a relationship with her?”

Do I still have feelings for Agatha, Avery thought, incredulous. No. Why on earth would I have feelings for something as slimy and evil as Agatha?

“Nope,” Avery answered. The disc turned purple for a moment, as if thinking of which color to turn.

I don’t! Avery thought, somehow believing that his thoughts would alter the disc.

That shouldn’t happen, Donal thought, What does it mean? His eyes narrowed in frustration.

Then he realized what Avery himself was not sure. Avery did not know the true answer to the question! So, whilst the “nope” was a lie, Avery believed it to be the truth!

Donal chuckled when he realized this. That was something that the book hadn’t mentioned. If someone thinks they are telling the truth, even if it is in fact a lie, then the answer is a lie, but it is the truth as they believe it. After another moment the disc dulled to a pale blue. Evidently the spell had decided to believe the truth as Avery saw it.

“That all?” Avery asked, burying his head into a pillow by his side.

Donal nodded. He sat down next to Avery, suddenly feeling awful. It had not been fair to subject Avery to this. Necessary, perhaps, but definitely not fair. And Donal knew from his own experience last year with his father, Lord Borric, that sometimes things were not fair. And Donal knew from his own experiences last year with his father, Lord Borric, that sometimes things were not fair, and sometimes they terrified you, but they were necessary. sometimes things were not fair, and sometimes they terrified you, but they were necessary. But try as he might, Donal could not quite justify what he had done. Nearly, but not quite. He owed Avery for this. But as such thoughts occurred to him, Donal remembered his first Seeing. It was a terrifying memory and it engulfed him. His mind cleared and he became unaware of his surroundings. He was floating in blackness. It was not a malevolent blackness; it was simply that there was only him there.

A necklace drew into view, the clasp closed. It rotated as he watched it. He recognized it as the one Agatha had been wearing when they had first kissed. He smiled at the memory. But then the necklace broke in half, turned to dust, and faded away. Donal felt his heart break at the moment the necklace fell into two pieces.

No! It could not mean that! But why?

Donal let out an anguished cry and the room snapped back into existence around him. “No!” He sobbed into his robes, seemingly unaware of Avery. It could not be! But Donal knew, as only a Seer can know, that Agatha would soon break up with him.

Though Avery would have rather crawled under a rock than consoled Donal for whatever teh cause of his sudden outburst was, he slowly stood and walked over to his friend, placing a hand o his shoulder. Avery searched his mind for some explanation for the sudden loud wailing. Not entirely sure how to comfort the boy, he removed his hand from Donal’s shoulder and just stood, blinking stupidly.

Donal looked up at Avery’s touch, remembering where he was, and what had just transpired. He wiped his eyes and pulled himself together with a loud sniff. He managed to foce a smile and blinked away the rest of the tears. But the pain was still there, and that wasn’t going to go away anytime soon. But he would deal with it…later.

“I’m sorry, Avery,” Donal finally said, “It’s nothing to do with you. I just…found out something…that shocked me,” he explained in a quiet voice. Sighing, Donal blew his nose and put his feelings aside. He spoke again, this time in a normal voice, almost as if his outburst hadn’t happened. “I’m sorry Avery, I needed to know the truth, but it wasn’t fair on you. I shouldn’t have needed to do that, I should have found another way, and I feel that I owe you. Something at any rate. Maybe you deserve to know something from me. If you want to…you can Truth Spell me, if you like…” he shrugged his shoulders, wondering how Avery would respond.

Donal was avoiding something. Even Avery, in all his dense glory, could see that. But best not to pry too much, lest Donal kill him for even breathing the same air as his beloved girl-friend. He’s an idiot, really.

Sitting back down in the chair and hugging a pillow to his chest, Avery shook his head. “I have no reason to use it. It’s not like you’re accused of assaulting my non-existent girl-friend. So naw. But thanks, I guess.”

Donal smiled slightly. “Any time.”

Avery Berke woke up, after much tossing and turning, from some sort of nightmare.

Agatha Swales was his girl-friend.

And he was not stabbing her to death.

“Erm, odd…” he whispered, shaking his head to rid himself of thoughts of Agatha Her Hottness.

Whoa. Where did that come from? He asked himself, grabbing a towel and walking to the bathroom. She isn’t hott, she’s evil! Gross! And she’s Donal’s girl-friend!

Why he had dreamed about Agatha was beyond him, but he knew that if it happened again he would force himself to stay awake for the rest of his life.

Better than dreaming about her.

Resolving to meet up with Vivi (for something to do), he closed the bathroom door, turned the water on the “Ice cold” setting, and stepped in.

Donal stirred in his sleep as a noise disturbed him. Not that he was heavily asleep anyway. Not with what was on his mind.

The noise continued, and Donal’s dream, changed into a tropical rainstorm, with the water pouring over him in sudden bursts. He was choking and drowning in the rain.

Suddenly he came fully awake. A glance at the clock in the dorm indicated that it was the early hours of the morning. The nose was not just his dream. It took a few seconds for his sleepy brain to work out what it was: someone taking a shower.

He looked around the room and saw Avery’s empty bed. Why would Avery be taking a shower not? At this time of night? Shaking his head slowly, he turned over in bed, pulled the duvet tighter around himself, and tried to get back to sleep. But sleep would not come, so he lay awake for quite some time.

Professor Elionwy Mayvero sat at the front of her class, waiting for them to notice her. In the greenhouse she could move silently and was often hidden by plants. By now the students were used to this, however, as one by one they fell silent, looking at their Herbology professor.

“Welcome back,” Elionwy greeted, loudly enough to be heard but softly enough to make her students listen, “I suppose that you all had a wonderful summer and are expecting an even better Herbology lesson?” Her grin was crooked and it was easy to tell that she was teasing. Elionwy knew many students htaed Herbology with a passion; she did not expect actual interest in the plants she loves so much.

“As you are now in your third year, I think it is fair to expect more of you. Today we will be dealing with some plants that are not very predictable.” She smiled, her eyes bright.

“I suppose you have all heard some of the muggle stories about fairies. Most likely you also know that fairies are quite annoying, sometimes aggressive, and very excessively vain creatures. They are considered pests by wizards, generally, although they do make good decorations at Christmas parties.”

Elionwy smiled, brining forth a medium sized pot which held a leafy plant. Upon the plant was one huge, centered pink bud. It had yet to split open, but it looked as though it might explode any minute. “Within this bud is what could be, to all appearances, a fairy. It is connected to the plant by its wings, meaning that it can walk about, sit down, curl up, but it can never leave the flower.” She smiled, noting that the outer petals were slowly relaxing and falling downwards.

“These fairies are unique in their ability to talk. Do not misunderstand e. The fairies do not comprehend any of what is said to them. They simply mimic language. They can develop rich, full vocabularies, yet otherwise they lack the basic ability to communicate.” The fairy-flower swelled as the class and Elionwy watched.

Yet the Professor continued to teach, unperturbed. “It is thought that this flower/fairy connection was formed by a wizard with a rather twisted imagination and interest in muggles. He attempted to create a breed of fairy much like that in muggle fairy tales, thus giving them the ability to speak and a more agreeable attitude. He succeeded moderately on both attempts, as these fairy plants are more docile than their flying counterparts.”

Elionwy’s next statement caught the attention of the class: “Unfortunately we cannot confirm these presumptions as the experimenter in question was killed by a Manicore he was attempting to tame. Now, for your lesson–” Elionwy waved a hand towards a large shelf holding many pots with the Fairy Flowers in them, all nearly ready to bloom. The flowers were all different colors and each of the fairies in them would look different. “Collect a pot, watch the flower open, keep your fairy happy for this class. You may feed it milk from the cups at your tables. I expect it to know a few phrases by the end of the class period. Like a mocking bird, they will copy anything.”

Finish with the instructions, Elionwy watched as her own bud opened and the fairy inside stretched and yawned. The thing was pretty, though its eyes lacked intelligence. A small crown of flower buds decorated its blonde head, and a dress of petals rustled as it stood, glancing at the petal wings which bound it to the flower. Looking up at Elionwy it screamed, so she dropped some milk on a petal near it. The fairy cupped its hands, drinking greedily.

Again it screamed, and Elionwy sighed. The little things were demanding and ill-tempered when hungry. She hoped that the students would be able to manage without too much trouble.

Avery gagged as he saw the flower open. “Faries?” He turned to Brian Limey and shook his head, realizing that he and the midget shared the same feelings. Fairies were too girly and annoying. And these were plants, evil plants enchanted by an evil professor to do her evil bidding. “She has got to be joking!”

Jaw still hanging open stupidly, Avery walked to the front, glared at Elionwy, grabbed a plant, and carried it back to his seat, muttering something under his breath.

“Only good for target practice!” the little blue thing shrieked, obviously having broken free from the closed petals much faster than the other students’ plants.

“Ack!” Avery said, shaking his head in disgust at the thing that looked like some ice creature found in the palace of an ice queen. Sharp thorns like juts of ice stuck out from its head, and its wings looked as if made by a single, quarter millimeter sheet of ice, engraved with a delicate looping design. “Of course I get the possessed one!”

“Possessed!” the fairy shouted, smiling stupidly up at Avery. “Possessed targets!”

It was odd. Some of the time the fairy looked nice, smiling sweetly and shouting at the top of it’s tiny lungs (or whatever it had) but other times it screamed shrilly, curling up its pointed fingers to form claws. It scratched an imaginary surface with its ‘claws’ and growled, tossing its head back and forth wildly.

“Yup. The only good thing this skitsofran’s good for is target practice,” Avery repeated, eyeing it.

“Skitsofran! Skitsofran!” It seemed to like that word, paired with “target”.

“Targety skits-sofran!”

Avery fingered his wand in his pocket, tempted to set the annoying thing aflame, but, realizing that Elionwy would kill him, decided against it and laid his hands on the table to avoid the overwhelming temptation.

“So, I gotta make you happy?” he asked the thing, resting his head on his shoulder.

“Happy! Happy Skitz!” Avery ran his fingers through his hands nervously, not really wanting to bother with the creature.

“Here, take milk.” He muttered, dropping more than enough into its petal cup.

“I hope you die quickly…”

“Die happy skitz!” It shrieked, dribbling milk down its front.

“Please do.” Avery muttered, bashing his head repeatedly on the table.

“Just die.”

Had Elionwy heard him, she would have hexed him and fed him to a Chimaera for even suggesting pain to befall her precious, demon plants.

“Just die skitz target!” It was said more softly, though still it remained a harsh sound. Avery imagined that it would sound sweet, if it ever quieted down enough to be even remotely sweet or cute.

The thing was cute, but with mindless shrieking and the utterance of random, repeated lines, it was less than a desirable pet.

“Well, best teach you something to say.”

“Teach skitz!” it screamed, tossing its milk cup up and out of the flower.

“Ack!” Avery said, chucking the cup back into the flower. He was tiring very quickly of the thing, anyone could figure that out. But he had to finish the lesson without killing the fairy.

Well, if I can’t kill it, I can at least put it to good use by letting its phrases annoy Elionwy.

“Repeat after me. ‘Plants are evil, Elionwy.'”

“Elionwy skitz! Evil Plant!”

Good! Even better than what I said! But I’ll just confuse the thing more by saying different stuff.

“Plants are evil, Elionwy.”

“Evil Elionwy. Skitsofran!”

Oh! Good! We’re making progress!

Smiling like an idiot and beginning to enjoy the annoying thing more, Avery took a breath and repeated the line.

“Plants are evil, Elionwy…”

“Evil plants, Elionwy!” The fairy shouted.

Close enough.

“Plants are evil, Elionwy. And fire is nice.”

Taking a deep breath, the fairy leaned forward and cried, “Fire plants nice, Elionwy!”


“Plants are evil, Elionwy. And fire is nice.” Avery repeated.

The thing was too stupid, as it repeated things like “Nice fire, plant Elionwy” and “Skitz plants,” so Avery decided to leave it at that and add no more.

“Plants are evil, Elionwy. And fire is nice.” He said firmly.

“Plants, evil; fire, nice.” The Fairy said.

Oh! Progress! Avery thought gleefully. This was fun.

The class was nearing its end and the creature was progressing, but too slowly to say the line properly to Elionwy. Every time it was close, Avery gave it some milk. Being dumb, the thing expected some after every line; but when the line was completely wrong, Avery shoOk his head and held back the milk.

“Plants are evil, Elionwy. And fire is nice.”

“Plants evil, Elionwy. Fire nice!”

Smiling and nodding, Avery dropped some milk into its cup. It drank hungrily and repeated the line over and over, ignoring the cup for the short moment it toOk to speak.

Content with the plant, Avery stood up and walked the plant up to Elionwy. “Professor,” he whispered so as not to screw up the fairy’s lines. “Listen.”

Avery dropped a little more milk into the small cup and smiled contentedly as it drank, and began screaming.

“Plants evil, skitz Elionwy! And fire nice!”

This is great! Avery though, dropping more milk into the cup.

“Plants are evil, Elionwy! Fire nice!”

“So, what do you think?” Avery asked, speaking over the shrill squeal of the fairy. “Like it?” He was smiling smugly, knowing that the Professor would take it as a joke, but also knowing that she would be most annoyed.

Professor Elionwy laughed abruptly, giggling as the fairy shouted once more.

“Elionwy skitz! Fire nice, plants evil. Evil plants.” Though many of the more intelligent greenhouse plants were not incredibly happy, the fairy certainly was. He gaped at her as she continued to laugh, feeling less the Professor and more like herself. It was refreshing, having something so stupid, yet hilarious, to laugh over.

Catching her breath, she finally managed to gasp out, “Very good Avery, I see your fairy learned phrases quite well.” She took another breath, straightening, though he eyes still twinkled with merriment.

“I suppose I have you to thank for these interesting phrases?”

“But why would you ever think I would say such horrible things about plants?” He shook his head in disbelief.

“What do you take me for?”

Elionwy mock glared at Avery, then the fairy, which promptly threw the now empty milk cup at her. Dodging, she leaned down, saying softly, “Avery too tall bad bad student. He hate plants. No good. Badbad.” The fairy looked at her and blinked, seeming to think a moment.

“Hate plants. Badbad. No good.” Elionwy sighed, standing.

“You have taught it well Mr. Berke. An A+ and 10 pts. to Gryffindor.” She grinned. “Alas, this fairy will probably turn out to be as bad as a Jarvey. Proud?”

“Thanks!” Avery exclaimed, nodding in agreement to the Jarvey comment. “Me and this skitz’ll get along great!”

As Avery returned to his desk, Donal carefully carried his plant to Elionwy’s desk. “Professor, I’m ready,” he said. He had been experimenting with the fairy and wanted to show off what he had taught it to do. Elionwy smiled, diverting her attention away from Avery and towards the other Gryffindor.

Placing the plant before the Professor, Donal gave the fairy his wand and the fairy, accustomed to the routine now, held it like before, and drawing a circle with the tip, cried “Lumos!”

The wand tip briefly glowed. Donal gave the Fairy the last of the milk and picked his wand up, grinning at the Professor. “Well, What do you think?” he said, almost smugly.

“I think—” Elionwy said, impressed, and highly amused, “That you have broken the International Code for the Use of Wands by non-wizards.”

Raising an eyebrow, she grinned. “However, as the fairy has no idea what it is doing, I hardly find this a problem. Very unique, Donal.” Bending closer to look at the fairy’s slightly stained hands, she asked, “And may I ask what you fed it besides milk? He should not be strong enough to hold up that wand yet, on any account. Hmm?”

The fairy, obviously intrigued, once more shouted the incantation and waved the wand, expecting more of the treat. Receiving none, he prepared to throw a fiery, fairy sized fit. Elionwy grinned, saying, “A+ and ten points to Gryffindor, Mr. Talmorra. I must say, your house is doing incredibly better this quarter. You may actually give Ravenclaw a run for its money.”

Donal looked a little nervous as the Professor noticed the fairy’s stained hands, but then positively beamed as she told him his grade and ten house points! And he wasn’t even in trouble for his “extra work”! The Professor, he felt, deserved to know the truth about what he had done.

He decided the best way was to explain it as an experiment. That way it would sound more plausible.

“Well, you see Professor, I was curious to see if it would drink anything else with the milk, but I couldn’t see anything in the greenhouse that might be an acceptable substitute. So then I realized that the only thing really available to me was my own blood. So I added a few drops to some of the milk, to see if it would take it, and when it did, I fed it some more of the mixture.” Donal also suddenly realized that the Fairy had seemed to be getting smarter the more he fed it.

“Professor, it also seemed to learn quicker each time I gave it blood. And I am surprised the spell actually worked, no matter how small the effect was.” He lowered his voice and in a slightly concerned tone asked, “Do you think it was the blood that made it possible? I mean could the blood of a wizard actually do that much?”

Elionwy thought a moment, not entirely sure of her reply. “Interesting idea, Donal,” she said finally, looking back at the fairy. “Blood is a very powerful thing. That could have been what increased this particular fairies leaning ability, certainly. As for being the reason it was able to cast a spell…that would take more experimenting to find out. Though your blood could have been the reason, I think we have this fairy’s wizard creator to thank for that. He did pour a bit of himself into the plants and fairies, for good or for ill.” She smiled, resolving to research into the issue a little more.

Donal nodded and grinned, pleased with the results of this class. “Thanks again,” he said, and rejoined Avery and Brian to leave for lunch. They still had potions and transfiguration to get through…

It would be an interesting day. But at Hogwarts, it always was.

Professor Mayvero did experiment on the Fairy Flowers, but her results were never conclusive; Donal’s fairy remained the only magically inclined fairy in the group. Eventually Elionwy allowed the project to be upstaged by extensive lawn work, as winter melted away and spring rolled in. Soon hot summer days replaced windy spring ones, and all of the previous tension between Donal and Avery evaporated with the warmer weather.

Vivi also relaxed when she realized that Avery and Agatha were not dating. She returned to her normal, chipper, cheery self, and spent plenty of time laughing with an oblivious Avery.

And Agatha? Well, it was always hard to fathom what thoughts were in Agatha’s calculating mind. But one could be certain that she had a perfect plan of some sort. Agatha always did.

So at long last the summer holidays arrived and the Hogwarts students rode home on the train, leaving a long year of memories, both good and bad, behind them.

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