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I Just Needed To Walk

By Katie Dicello

I Just Needed To Walk

I just need to walk. I need a nice long walk out of others watchful eyes to clear my head and calm down. The last thing I need was to break down in the Gryffindor common room where the three idiots were watching me, or in my dorm where the girls wanted to talk about the recently single 1/3 of the idiots.

I scramble up and put a quick spell on my items so no one could touch or read them. Then I head for the exit and fast walked through the halls. I slow down when I know no one is following me, but the silent halls don't help in clearing my brain, nor does it feel like I am alone with all of the moving portraits. So I walk outside, around the black lake, but even here there are couples who disgust me. Looking around, I don't see anyone watching me, so I slip into the shadow of the Forbidden Forest.

And I walk. I walk straight so I won't get lost, but my mind wanders without my consent.

How could Severus call me a mudblood? No one had ever called me that, at least not to my face. His group of friends in Slytherin have always referred to me using that word, Severus told me so. When it first happened I asked if he defended me and he said yes, have we somehow grown apart and he now no longer defends me? Has he joined in on calling me that filthy name behind my back?

Tears are filling my eyes now, but I brush them away to keep them from falling. Why was I so surprised? I knew he was thinking about becoming a Death Eater, I know their beliefs. But this was my best friend. My best friend who now thinks I'm not worthy because of the family who is scared of me.

"Merlin," I whisper, silently sobbing now. I keep walking stumbling over the roots of the thickening trees and not seeing with my blurred vision.

I hear a snap of a twig, and for a second I think it was from me, but when I look down I see I am stepping on leaves. Turning around in a circle, I don't see anything. I rub my eyes and pull out my wand. "Who ever you are, leave me alone. I'll report you for being out here." There is a chuckle, which means whoever is here understands that I would get in trouble too. "Fine, leave me alone or show yourself so I can hex you." I shoot a spell at a group of leaves that instantly catch fire, then die out, showing I am telling the truth this time.

I turn and hurry away. I walk quickly, further into the forest for a long time, until I trip. There must have been an unseen root or something, but I fall anyways. It was just as well, because I fall into a ditch that I hadn't seen either.

"Ah!" I cry out when I hit the rock and dirt covered bottom. Tears and dirt mix on to my face, and my hands bleed from where they were cut on the rocks. They stung like fresh cuts do and my legs hurt when I realized they were cut too. "Oww," I say, trying to get out of the, at first glance small, ditch.

I reach for something to hold on to, a tree branch or a large rock, but instead I grip something smooth and hard. Like a clean bone but not gross. I pull myself up, and the thing I'm gripping pulls me up too. My breath catches in my throat as I stumble on to the leaf covered floor and look at the beast in front of me.

Beast wasn't the right word, creature, magical creature was. It was magical to me at least, because all it really was, is a dear. A large stag that was staring at me with hazel eyes and a worried look. How does a stag have a worried look?

Why was a deer in the forbidden forest? It's a question I should probably be thinking more about, but all I could think about was that it was perfect for the moment. It was so muggle, such a common thing that reminds me of times with Petunia before I met Severus where we tried to find rabbits and deers in the forest. It was a creature that made me smile.

"Thank you," I whisper to the stag. And it nods its head. I furrow my eyebrows and step back to lean against the tree. "You understand me?" It nods again, and looks amused. "Alright, can you talk?" This time, the creature shakes its head. "So only yes and no's then." I pause and scoot down the tree sitting down on the floor and casting healing charms on my hands and knees. "Need any spells done on you?" The creature shakes its head. "Well, I have time to kill, and I don't want any human companions so I guess you will do as someone to listen to my thoughts and reply. Well reply as best as you can." Again a nod and an amused look. "You'll need a name though."

The stag blinks, and waits for me to come up with something. "Boy?" He nods. "Buck?" He just looks at me. "Oscar? Rowell? James?" The stag stomps its hoof at the last one, surprised it seems. I was equally surprised. "James really? That was just to start naming people I know, you don't want to be named after him, he's so. . . so." James snorts. "Fine, James it is than." I sigh and lean my head against the tree. "Of course the one thing I was going to talk to wants to be named after the person I want to forget for the moment."

James turns his head to the side to ask the unsaid question. "He didn't do anything to me, not this time at least. I just can't get out of my head the picture of him when my best- when my friend called me a mudblood." James stomps his foot in anger. "Yeah. . . I don't know what to do about that either. But James was so unlike the arrogant James I usually see." I pause and close my eyes to picture it better. "He was worried and angry, all because Sev insulted me, he was so worried about my reaction that he didn't even care about making the prank funny.  He just wanted to get revenge on Severus because of what he said to me.  The look in his eye though, I'd never seen it before." I open my eyes, and James the stag stares back at me. "His Hazel eyes. . ." I mumble, tilting my head to the side. "Like you."

James stomps his foot than turns and begins trotting away. "HEY!" I shout standing up, but he begins to gallop and disappears. "Shit," I whisper when I realize I don't remember which way I came from. "JAMES!" I scream at the top of my lungs.

"Yes?" I jump at the unexpected reply and stumble and begin to fall, when hands catch me this time.

"Careful there Evans, you might fall in that ditch," James Potter stares at me with big innocent hazel eyes. "You called?"

"Um.. I guess I did." I cross my arms and tilt my head to examine him. "I'm lost."

"I'll help you then, come on." He reaches out and uncrosses my arms, taking my hand and walking in a different direction. I ignore his hand in mine so he can lead me while I don't watch where I'm going. "How are you, Evans?"

"Thoroughly confused at the moment to tell you the truth," I say, looking around the forest to see if I can catch sight of James The Stag. "You didn't happen to see a Stag did you?"

"A Stag in the forbidden forest, are you mad?" James laughs an easy laugh.

"I saw one, his name was James," I say it without thinking.

"Really?" James looks at me and smirks. "And I know a doe named Lilly. What are the odds?"

"Shut up," I mutter. "What are you doing out here anyways, Potter?"

"Well, you called."

"Yes, but you were out here before that."

"You looked sad when you left the common room," James says truthfully. "I thought you might want company, but knew you didn't want human company."

"What?" I ask, questioning his wording.

He just smiles and winks."Nothing, doe, let's just get back to school."

"Um..ok, James,"

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