The End of the Beginning
Eva woke up with mixed feelings. The past few weeks had been a blur with exams and packing. Swan had been off and on crying for the last five days it seemed; she didn't want to leave her friends and Eva almost felt the same way. She knew that it would be sad leaving Hogwarts, especially not knowing if Michael would allow her to return next year.
Eva neglected to tell Sparrow and Swan this information, afraid that it might make them more upset.
Eva got ready as usual, except with Swan crying on her bed. Myster had learned his lesson in staying as far away from her in this state, as she would squeeze him endlessly in her sadness.
"Well, we only have one more final and then we can hang out together until tomorrow," Eva tried to comfort her friend.
"I know. I wish that we didn't have to take stupid finals when all I want to do is same my goodbyes," Swan said, sitting up and wiping her cheeks. Good thing she had not yet put on her makeup.
"You are speaking as if we will never see each other again," Eva said, thinking that it might actually happen.
"I know but I will miss you for these few months," Swan began but then her face brightened. "You should come and stay with us in the Summer. It would be so much fun. Please say you will!"
Eva couldn't say no to this which of course created a squeal from Swan. This seemed to give her the energy to get ready and go.
"I will be busy during that time," said Myster who climbed on to the vacant bed.
All of the Gryffindors went down to lunch together; 7th years holding the hands of 2nd years, 3rd years hugging 1st years. They were one big family, as promised. As they sat together in the Great Hall Eva began to feel the pain that Swan had been describing. She was going to miss this place and all of the people she had gotten to know.
Her eyes moved to the head table where the staff sat. She saw Headmaster Foxstrand. The detentions she had were quiet to say the least. Like he promised, she did nothing but homework and studies. She tried to question him once but he simply walked away without a word.
Eva did not have another detention but she still burned with question.
After they had eaten, it was time for the final exam of their first year at Hogwarts.
Shufflebottom's classroom was set up for testing. All of the desks were far apart and the board in the front only stated the rules for testing.
1. No Magic shall be used while taking this test. All wands
must be out of sight.
2. No cheating will be tolerated by punishment of failure.
3. No questions will be asked as you should already know the
The professor was his normal self, talking very quickly and almost speaking as if to a person not in the room. The parchment hovered over to each students desk.. Immediately, the quills began to scribble on the page.
Eva had studied for hours. While using the wand seemed simple to her, remembering facts about a history she practically knew nothing about made her struggle. The studying seemed to help, she only made up one answer that she could not remember a thing about.
As the hour went by, students began to return their papers to Professor Shufflebottom, who would levitate them to a different bin in order not to have the student get too close. He then would shoo them away from his desk while he continued to read. The room was nearly empty by the time Eva was finished.
She moved slowly up to the professor's desk, waiting for the parchment to float from her hand. Yet, oddly enough, Shufflebottom looked up from his desk with a cocked head.
Eva reached the mountain of books which he sat behind and cautiously passed the parchment across to him. He took it gently and carelessly waved over with the others. She awkwardly smiled at him as he seemed to stare up at her. Slowly, she tried to turn to leave, but his soft stuttering voice called her back.
"Ms. Highmore..." he paused for a long while having an internal battle of his own. "What were they like; the mirrors, the creatures, the mountain?"
She was taken aback, partially because he asked but also because he remembered. She was not sure what to say. Eva had promised not to speak of it to anyone, but how harmless can Shufflebottom be.
"They were the most terrifying and exciting things I had ever seen," she whispered to him. "Have a good break, professor, and thank you."
With that she turned quickly and walked towards the exit. She saw that the few students left were watching her conversation with the professor but she didn't think anything of it.
Swan was waiting for her outside. "Congratulations on completing your very first year of Hogwarts." She squealed but eventually her eyes welled up with tears. Eva quickly changed the subject and told her about Shufflebottom. They soon were running to find Sparrow and tell him. They all ended up laughing over the whole thing before too long.
For the rest of the day, they focused on packing their things, ripping up old homework parchment and enjoying their time together. It wasn't too long before supper was upon them.
As they walked to the Great Hall once again, Eva suddenly felt a need to get some answers. She asked her friends to save her a seat and headed for the Headmaster's office.
Out of breath she knocked on the door. She hoped that he was there and not already down in the Hall.
The door suddenly cracked open and she heard a distance voice calling her in. She stepped in slowly, seeing Foxstrand sitting at his desk, focusing on some sort of reading. She approached slowly, and waited for his attention.
"What can I do for you Eva?" He said, not once looking up at her.
She cleared her throat, "You promised me that you would answer my questions during our detention sessions but you never did."
"The situation changed, you know that."
Eva took deep breath. "Well then, just answer one of the many you promised."
Foxstrand stopped what he was doing and looked towards her. He sat back and folded his hands together. "What is your one question?"
"Why did you lie?"
"Why did I lie about what in particular? About you? About me?"
"About everything," she began, "You lied about where you were and how you go there. You lied about who put you there. I know it was her, I know it, yet you would rather keep her here then send her to prison."
"Azkaban," he interrupted, "the wizarding prison is Azkaban."
Eva tried to refocus herself once again. "You lied to these students who trust you to protect them."
Foxstrand stood up, walking around his desk he paced. "I did not tell the truth, that is correct. But sometimes the truth will not protect you, especially these students. Your father was going to remove you because I told him the truth. What do you think these students would do?"
"They would stand by you. They would do the same for you as they expect you to do for them."
"You don't know that, even with your sight," he continued. "I did it to keep the peace. We are in a time of peace right now. It is better to keep your enemy close to you so that you can stop them from doing any more harm."
"Peace won't last forever, it never does." She supposed she got her answer. Eva quickly turned around and ran to the Great Hall.
She could see the twins sitting at the Gryffindor table and made her way through the students to get there. Before she could reach it, someone grabbed her arm. Eva turned to see Francis Hubgump standing behind her. Though they had worked together several times during Tranfigurations, he had not spoken to her outside of class before.
"Eva, is it true?" he whispered to her.
"Is what true?" she whispered back, confused.
"Did you really save the Headmaster?"
She nearly fell over at this question, "what are you talking about? Where did you hear that?"
"A Hufflepuff told me, who was told by a Ravenclaw, who was told by another Hufflepuff, who was in your class this morning that you were out at this mountain that the Headmaster was trapped in. I knew you went missing for a while but the Emerson's told everyone you were sick."
Eva stepped back from Francis and looked around the room. It was full of whispering students, all seeming to glance at her every moment they got.
Suddenly, in the distance, she heard the nervous laugh of Swan speaking very loudly. "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT SAVING THE HEADMASTER?! YOU THINK EVA IS SOME KIND OF HERO, I MEAN LOOK AT HER!"
Eva quickly ran over to the table, trying to dodge the glanced of the other students. She sat down and looked frantically at her friends.
"It's okay Eva, it is just a rumor. Not everyone will believe it," he looked around but his reaction didn't seem to bode well.
Eva lowered her head onto the table and covered it with her hands. This was the last thing she needed. I should have never said those things to Shufflebottom, she repeated over and over in her head.
"Silence," an echoing voice came from the head of the Great Hall. All heads turned towards the head table where Headmaster Foxstrand stood. Even Eva looked up and turned towards him.
"This year," he began, "has been quite an adventure, I would have to say. I don't like to give long speeches so I simply will say this; every year that you walk through these halls you learn just a little bit more. And after seven years, like our graduates leaving, we send you out, hoping that you will use this knowledge to better the world. In these next few years, this fact will become even more prevalent because where there is peace, there is also a revival of evil, waiting for its moment." His eyes seemed to lock onto Eva's.
Her breath caught in her lungs as she listened, not a whisper was spoken around her.
"But we still send you out to better this world." He paused and recollected himself. "Now, on another note, the House Cup. As many of you know, this has never been a favorite of mine but it is tradition here at Hogwarts." He began listing off the points for each house.
Eva turned to her friends once again looking troubled.
"Eva, what was that all about?" Sparrow asked in a low voice.
"I went and spoke with him before I came down here. I think I yelled at him," she said into her empty plate on the table.
"Well, I don't think he has ever said something so depressing since he became Headmaster," Swan injected.
"There has never been any reason too, nor is there one now, right?" Sparrow asked but Eva couldn't look them in the eye.
The hall erupted with cheering, as the banners turned to blue reflecting the raven upon them. Eva didn't seem to notice but was deep in thought.
Perhaps Hogwarts was not as peaceful as he had told her. Maybe now he understood what could be coming. Or, she wondered, did it go beyond Hogwarts? Her visions from before she was here, the creature with the long, tangled hair and disgusting smile. She had not thought of it for the longest time and now it began to make her feel the same anxiety and fear as before. Was this something that her sight had shown her, something that was in her future and the future of the whole wizarding world. Was there a revival?
Eva could barely eat with all of these thoughts her in head. She barely noticed that food had covered their tables and all the students around her were stuffing their faces.
Swan and Sparrow were concerned as well but knew that they could not help her.
On the way back to Gryffindor Tower Eva tried to act happy with her friends, knowing that his was the last time they would go back to the tower, possibly forever. She still couldn't help but notice the weird stares from other students. Clearly this rumor had gone farther than it should have.
"It's okay Eva," Swan draped her arm around Eva's shoulder. "Rumors die away quicker than they are started."
Eva hoped this was true because she knew that this rumor could possibly get her in trouble, in more ways than one.
Sleeping was difficult, but she managed to find comfort in her dorm room with her sleeping friends and Myster curled by her feet.
It all happened so fast the next morning. One moment she was putting on her blue dress that Gran had given her and the next she was waiting at the train station what to get on board the Hogwarts Express.
The three friends found a room for them and three other Gryffindors, William Weasley, Jane Albright, and Newton Crabtree. The ride consisted of plenty of games, reminiscing about crazy stories from the year but no mention of the rumors about Eva.
She hoped that she may have a vision of the future; a future with Hogwarts in it. Nothing ever came.
In no time at all, it seemed, they were back at the station. The goodbyes were terrible. Swan had nearly cried off all of her makeup by this point and Eva even thought that some of it had wiped off on her dress. She didn't care in the slightest.
Sparrow was easy to say goodbye, no crying, no babbling, just a simple hug and a "see you soon."
"Now, you remember to write me and we will plan when you come visit. Do you promise?" Swan finally said, her brother standing behind her.
"I promise," Eva said with a smile and gave her one final hug.
"Eva," a voice said behind her. She released Swan and turned to see Michael. He had all of her baggage and Myster's travel case in his hand. She gave one final smile to the Emersons' and then ran off to her father.
He surrounded her in a large hug. "I'm glad you're safe," he said. Pushing her back he smiled, "Are you ready to head back to Caterjune Square?"
"Yes, I'm ready to go home," she said with a smile. As they walked hand in hand, she turned for one last look of the Hogwarts Express.
Whatever was in store for her next she knew that she had a family and friends unlike any other that were behind her. She hoped that nothing could take that away like her memories of her former family. Though she did not have a vision of her future, she knew that it would be an adventure.
Michael sat in his magically hidden office. Eva had went to bed hours ago and yet he still remained up. One of those sleepless nights again, it seemed.
In his hand he twirled a quill not yet ready to put it to paper. In front of him his journal sat open to a new page. He was nearly halfway through the pages and knew he would need a new one soon.
June 1st, 2010
Eva returned today from school. I have missed her very much but now I feel less comfortable for her safety in this house. Tomorrow I am making extra precautions.
The MOM has been more forceful about information. I think they may have been looking through the owls that she has been sending me from school. For some reason they do not trust that I am being honest, and I guess they are right.
Apparently, that Divinations professor at Hogwarts has been releasing information to them about her private studies. I hope that they have not been hard on her.
My hope is to let her lead a normal life, even with this preposterous gift.
I find that I am finding more connections every day, just like before. I am one step closer to finding the evil that is lurking through the Ministry. No one will believe me.
Now I fear that Eva is somehow involved in this. I can't stand to think that she might get hurt by this. I must not let the Revival know anything more about her.
I write in this journal to remind myself of what I am fighting for and my hope to find this link. I must always remember. The fate in this world rests in the hands of those willing to see the darkness inside paradise.