Beyond the Foggy Path

Chapter 8: Four Years Later

After that incident her first year, students had heard about what had happened and tried avoiding her as much as possible. They all feared she would curse them like she did with that Slytherin boy.

Erela was okay with the others avoiding her. She liked being alone. Michael still stuck by her side and remained her best friend through thick and thin. He was her only friend though. Making friends with other students had become very difficult since one of the Slytherin bullies froze whenever he passed by her in the hallways.

And because others have neglected to talk to her, Erela had practically turned to stone, except when she was around Michael. He was the only person she allowed to see her smile, hear her laugh, and know her real personality.

She had read up on other curses, again, to avoid ever using them by accident with her mind and read on what they did. That boy was the only time she harmed someone and she feared disliking someone so much as to wish them harmed or dead just like before. On the other hand, she did use it once in a while on Michael whenever he was being a prick. It didn't hurt, it was more like a nip in the head, or a little pinch to be exact.

"Hey, what did you answer for this question?" Michael asked as they were in study hall doing their schoolwork.

Erela looked over the paper and read the question. "Oh, um, Wilbert Slinkhard says that counter-jinxes are improperly named and says "counter-jinx" is just a name people give their jinxes when they want to make them sound more acceptable."

"Can you repeat that?" he asked and laughed.

Defense Against the Dark Arts was one of Erela's best class, next to Transfiguration and Muggle Studies (which she signed up for her third year for an easy passing grade). She was still no good at Potions and her wand disliked Charms class. Of course the wand core made for curses hates something as harmless as Charms, she thought to herself.

Erela took a peek toward the Hufflepuff's table where Landon and the Eitheridge siblings were sitting. Those three were always hanging out with each other, possibly the longest Erela had ever seen people around Landon. She let out a little sigh and started scribbling her answers for Muggle Studies.

"Are you planning on going to Hogsmeade this weekend?" Michael asked.

"I don't know," she shrugged. "Maybe. Why? Are you going?"

"I'm thinking about it. We hardly get out of Hogwarts anyway," Michael shrugged back. He was usually the one that would suggest some sort of activity to take a break from their studies. Every once in a while Erela would agree to it, but only if they finished their homework before that Friday. She was all work and little play.

"Yeah, you're right. I guess we can try if we finish all our work on time."

Michael rolled his eyes at her. "How about we go with some homework waiting for us. It's still going to be there and won't spontaneously combust while you're away," he teased.

"You never know," she sighed. After all, it was Hogwarts. Anything could happen. Michael stared at her for a couple seconds before looking back at his homework. He kept nudging her leg with his foot let her walls down and allowed her harmful power to nick his brain a little that felt more like a pinch. "Stop it," she hissed, but struggled to stifle a giggle. "Do your work."

"Wench, that hurt . . ."

"Oh boo hoo, you know what I can do, don't make me use it again to noogy your head," she rolled her eyes at him.

Michael scoffed at her. "But this sucks," Michael groaned. "Can we "half-ass" our work?"

"I'm only allowed to use that term, you full-blood British wanker," she nudged him.

"Your American talk is rubbing off then," he nudged her back. She rolled her eyes at him and went back to her work. Before she knew it, Erela was done. "Maybe next year I'll take Muggle Studies and you do all my homework for me," Michael said.

"Do your own damn work, you lazy bum," she said grimly and smacked him upside the head.

"Like you should talk," he smacked the back of her head back. "Rather hypocritical when you copy most of my work on Potions."

"But we're best buddies," she mockingly cooed.

Michael rolled his grey eyes at her and closed his notebook. "Alright, I'm going to go take a nap until the next class."

"You go do that," she chuckled.

Michael pat her head before running off to one of the professors that was in duty for study period and turned in his work. He left the Great Hall and Erela was alone doing the rest of her work. Every once in a while she would peek up toward the Ravenclaw table and looked to Landon with Stacee's little sister, Mable.

She let out a quiet sigh and went back to her History of Magic schoolwork. It wasn't much of a big deal really . . . it really shouldn't be, but she felt sick looking at them like that. A little hurt, but mostly sick. Erela pinched the bridge of her nose, let out a sigh, and finished off the rest of her work before turning in her things and left the Great Hall.

Erela crawled into the Hufflepuff common room and went toward her dorm to get rid of her things she didn't need for her last class. "Hey have you heard?" Damara whispered to the red haired girl, Gloria, who had hit puberty and lost all her baby fat in the process. "About the Dark Arts cult?" she asked.

"Yeah, I heard. But it's just a silly rumor to make the students paranoid," Gloria shrugged.

"But what if it isn't?" another voice asked. Erela recognized to be Bianca. "We don't know for sure."

Erela entered the room and the girls stopped talking and stared at Erela. What? They thought that Erela was a part of the Dark Arts cult? Silly girls. The girls had been rather nervous around her ever since the cult rumor fired out of nowhere last year. They believed Erela when she said that cursing the Slytherin boy with her mind was an accident and were okay with her, sort of. But now it was different and they stared at her just as uncomfortably as their first year.

"What?" Erela raised a brow at the girls.

"You've . . . you've heard about it right?" Gloria asked.

"I've heard about it," Erela shrugged and unpacked her things. "But nothing more than that," she sighed. "It's probably just a hoax anyway . . ."

The girls looked to one another questionably. Seriously? Erela rolled her eyes and shouldered her pack. It was too uncomfortable in the room, guess she could venture somewhere else until the next class. The brown eyed fifth year left the Hufflepuff basement and walked around the corridor for something for her to do.

There were some students here and there that were doing their homework, some were a bunch of couples getting cozy with one another. Seriously, had there always been that many couples when she first attended Hogwarts? It seemed like there was another couple every fifteen minutes. That or Erela had not been paying any attention to their faces that it seemed like there was more each time she walked down the halls.

She rounded a corner and found a couple snogging. Geez, have they no shame? Erela rolled her eyes and kept on walking, but as she got closer into the torch light, she recognized the freckled Hufflepuff boy and the Eitheridge sister. Erela felt a pang that hit her hard, liking running into a brick wall, before quickening her pace past the snogging couple.

Erela ran her fingers through her dark before pinching the bridge of her nose. It didn't bother her . . . it didn't . . . it shouldn't . . .

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