Beyond the Foggy Path

Chapter 37: Hover


Honey, are you planning on staying at school for the holidays or do you want to come home? Owl us on whatever you decide, sweetie.

Love, Mom

Was Thanksgiving getting that close already? Erela had been so out of it that she didn't even notice. And overall, she never really thought out of it. Sure, she would like to go home and get away from school for a while to spend time with her family, but with her behavior as of lately it seemed like a bad idea. And with her oh-so-nurturing mum, she would notice her quiet daughter had a very depressing and ominous atmosphere loom around her.

Erela folded her letter and shoved it in the pocket of her robes before she felt something tap her shoulder. She looked behind her and found nothing. "Over here, robot." The Hufflepuff sixth year girl rolled her eyes and looked to her left shoulder toward the grey eyed Slytherin. "Feeling better today?"

"I've had worse days," she shrugged. After the break up, she had a lot of time alone until Michael finally came around and apologized for antagonizing her. Even if he didn't agree with Erela's relationship with a werewolf, obviously it meant something to her.

"You still look like crap . . ." he commented.

"Thanks . . ." Erela sighed. There was an obvious sign of lack of sleep from the slight purple bags under her eyes, she appeared much paler than usual, and her hair looked messy enough for her to braid but had no effort to actually do it. "That's what happens when you're really studying for Charms and Potions . . ." she started. "You know, N.E.W.T.s are next year and I MUST get an "Exceeds Expectations" and better for my Auror application. I barely passed the subjects in my O.W.L., so I really have to keep up with the N.E.W.T.-level classes."

In all honesty, everything was swimming around in her head. The cult, Landon, her studies, her dreams that kept reoccurring from time to time. It remained the same. Landon stood before one path while Erela was in front of another. Perhaps that dream had been warning her about her relationship with Landon, that they were never meant for one another and must take their own paths. Not only that, but if that were true then the pain would stab her awake to the point of tearing up and cry silently. Depression wasn't her thing . . . at least she thought it wasn't considering her mother was the happiest little thing she ever saw. Guess that was another thing she didn't inherit from her mother . . .

"Yeah yeah yeah," Michael rolled his eyes. "Say what you want, you know much better than I do that that isn't the case, Ela . . ."

Erela pursed her lips and lightly tapped the toes of her shoes against the wood of the bridge. The two students were outside as they gazed ahead into the fog to the mountains. "It's true . . ."

"You're STILL a terrible liar," he sighed again. "You kind of chew on your bottom lip when you do that and blink faster."

She stopped nibbling on her lip and pressed her thumb and index finger to her eyelids for a good rub. "My eyes are dry and there's still some chocolate left from the pudding I had earlier . . ." she started with a slight tone of a question in the end.

"Whatever you say . . ." Michael shook his head and shoved his hands into his pockets and balled them in a fist. "It's freezing . . ."

"Yeah . . ." Erela nodded in agreement and shivered. "Let's get back inside." Michael nodded his head and followed just behind her. "How has your group thing been?"

"It's been good," Michael shrugged. "A lot of strategic plans."

"Feel like sharing what it is you actually do?" she rolled her eyes as the two went inside and rubbed their arms vigourously.

"It's lame . . ." he commented.

"One of your best friends is the most unemotional people you know. I can't get any lamer than that," Erela said grimly and turned to him.

The Slytherin boy sighed and ran his fingerless gloved hand through his hair. "I'm a part of the Choir club and Chess club . . ." he answered in embarrassment.

The Hufflepuff girl couldn't help but let out a little laugh and hide her creeping smile. "You're kidding me, right?"

"Don't laugh . . ." he growled in embarrassment and turned away toward the Great Hall. "This is why I didn't tell you, I knew you would make a failed attempt to make fun of me."

"I'm not though!" she laughed.

"OR laugh at me!"

"Guilty then," she snickered. "I didn't know you could sing."

"Only in the shower," he answered with playful confidence.

"Lovely," she rolled her eyes. "Chess club, honestly, I'm not surprised. You're a pretty smart guy and have an interest in stuff like that."

"Maybe you could try the Potion or Charms club," Michael smirked and poked Erela's nose.

"Thanks, but NO thanks," Erela narrowed her eyes at him and rubbed her nose. "I think the headmistress would NOT be pleased if she constantly gets reports of me damaging the classroom with my attempts to make a brew."

"Geez, how much do you think you owe for damages?"

"Don't forget medical bills . . ." Erela started as a reminder. "Probably a couple thousand pounds?" she shrugged and shivered at the idea. "I think I'll go and actually practice on my Charms incantation."

"Harmful or harmless ones?"

"The harmless ones, obviously," Erela rolled her eyes at him. "I'll see you tomorrow, wanker."

"Robotic bitch," Michael laughed lightly, as always, before he turned away for Erela to go to the secretive entrance of the Hufflepuff common room.

When she crawled in, she left her bag on one of the beanbag chairs and took a seat in the middle of the floor in front of the fireplace. Erela crossed her legs and glanced around the room here and there with her wand on her lap. It was advanced, but it was all to try and get ahead of the class. Besides, it wasn't a harmful charm. She lightly tapped her wand and closed her eyes, took in a deep breath and exhaled a careful breath.

A hover charm without the use of her wand. She imagined the couch in front of her, her bag, a couple small vases on the table, the beanbag chairs, a couple pillows, and a few books levitate from their spots and hover ever so closely to their surface in order to avoid losing concentration, she might end up breaking some of the pots of plant life. With another exhale of breath, she felt it. Energy ran up and down her body and through her pores, the hairs on her arms stuck up and tickled her skin as she felt the magic run through her body. Erela heard the pots quietly scrape against the surface of the table and her bag lift off the beanbag chair from the sound of beads being relieved of its weight.

There was the sound of someone entering the room, but Erela paid no mind to the person and kept her concentration on her practice time. With another breath, she took a lungful and exhaled before she felt a light kiss against her lips. Erela gasped and shot her eyes open. Everything fell back in its place, the table in its rightful spot just three inches to the ground, the pots landed back in a clang, books dropped to the ground, and her bag plopped back into the marshmallow chair.

"I know you've been hurting . . ." Landon told her.

Erela shook her head. "I'm fine . . . really . . ."

"You sure . . .?" he asked in all seriousness.

She blinked at him, her dark brown eyes on his light honey like brown eyes that stared back with electric intensity. Erela's face turned bright red but refused to look away from him. Yes . . . she HAD to be fine. And yet Erela couldn't lie to him, not when she felt cornered by the boy she had such strong feelings for.

"No . . . " She wasn't fine, was what she wanted to say but couldn't bring herself to say it.

Landon dropped his eyes and ran his fingers through his hair that clearly needed a trim. "I'm sorry . . ." he apologized. "I didn't mean to hurt you . . ."

Erela wanted to reassure him that it wasn't his fault. But she had said it so often that it was clear he didn't believe a word she said. The tall lanky girl lightly brushed her hand against the back of his and gently gave it a squeeze. Landon's fingers slid against her cheek and caressed it carefully, making Erela look back up at him.

"I'm sorry . . ." he apologized again in a whisper and placed his head against her shoulder.

"It's okay . . ." Erela answered as strongly as she could muster and wrap her arms around his body in a light hug. She felt his fingers brush against her arm and another against her back where the scabs were. The wounds had dried up and it was about time to give them some air. Erela looked down at him, her nose brushed against his cheek and, as if nothing had happened, they lightly kissed.

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