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It's been a week. It was the next Monday and the staff did not return. We waited and waited but no sign or messages of any kind to give us hope they'll return soon. I was stressed from all the questions that everyone had been asking me for the past weeks that I didn't know the answers to. Though it didn't bother people much because there was no longer classes so mostly people slept in.

But, I thought, Dumbledore couldn't had just abandoned us with a lid trapping us in. To leave us. . .to go insane. Oxygen didn't run out. Food appeared. Water was easily access by our wands. Magic still work. When it rain outside the lid, it still rain inside.

The scariest thing was George and I planning to confirm the dreading truth I knew everyone had been avoiding. We talked about if the staff were missing for at least a week we would eat everyone know about it. Yes, it was obvious but people wouldn't believe it until it was confirm.

But it was something we didn't expect or thought of that happen on Monday morning. It was Hermione who pounded on my door, a half awake George behind her. She lead us toward the the bridge that lead out of Hogwarts and expected us to know what she was showing us.

"Don't you see?" she said, motioning her hands toward the lid wall. We were inside the bridge, within ten feet away from the rippling lid. I shivered from the grey wind that brush through my bare shoulders and squinted my eyes.

"See what, mate?" George said, rubbing his eyes. He was wearing red plaid pajama with a grey muscle shirt. His hair was roughed up, explaining that he was a active sleeper. "You woke me up to show me what we been seeing for a week?"

"No," she said firmly, almost sounding annoyed. She moved toward the alcove and pointed at a red mark on the wooden stand. "I put this here the day it first appeared. I don't know why but I did."


"The wall is over there now," she said, looking up at me in the eyes, narrowing them. "The lid grew."

"What?" George said, moving his pale, slender hand from his right eye. "You're telling us the lid grew?"

"Yes!" she said plainly. "Don't you see? Within a week it grew ten feet outward. I think within time it will continue growing."

"Are you sure about that?" I asked, crossing my arms over my chest when I felt another breeze brush my almost exposed cleavage.

"I'm certain," she said. She began to dig through her book bag and pull out a black journal with a quill. She began to frantically write in it and put it away. For the first time this week, George and I exchanged worried looks. It was probably the first time we stared in each other's eyes that wasn't negative toward each other.

"Is that all you know the lid?" George asked what I was thinking.

"Yeah," she gave a frustrated sigh. And when she noticed our defeated expressions she said, "look I can't throw a object at it and use the results to claim what it would do to a human body. And there's no way we're risking someone's life to find out. We will wait til help comes or something—"

"Help?" I repeated deeply. "Help? So we are in trouble then?"

"I don't know, El!" Hermione ran her fingers through her busy hair. "I'll go to the library and see what kind of ward is this. I don't even know if this is a ward. . .until then just let everyone know what we know and we will update if there's any new information."

"What if people panic?" I said, frowning.

I know we were already planning on telling everyone the horrifying truth, that we are stuck but now that Hermione gave us this information. . . Maybe we're not trapped at all.

Everyone settled down in the four tables, some students in different tables because there were basically no rules. . . I think.

I lifted my wand to my throat, I learned the spell George used from last week, and cleared my throat. Everyone was already facing me, not bothering to whisper and gossip with their friends; desperate to know what is going on.

"We don't know have much to say honestly," my voice echoes through out the great hall once again. "But as far as we know the Dumbledore and the staff haven't return. Neither have any of your pets, house elves, or creatures—I'm sorry."

A few heads from the crowd dropped their gaze down to their laps, visibly upset about the absence of their animals.

"What about the lid?" Someone from the Hufflepuff table shouted.

I looked over to the Gryffindor table where Hermione was nervously watching, biting her bottom lip. She nodded.

"We don't know much about it," I said in a deep breath.

I looked over at George who was staring down to his feet, his thin fingers in his pockets of his jeans. He looked anxious.

"But this morning we found rather interesting information about it," I said loudly. "We still don't know if it's deadly or not but it is growing within time."

The crowd fell into a pit of murmur and I took the opportunity to wipe the sweat that was dripping from my forehead.

"And for now," I said, not bothering to think of the consequences or reactions, "as George and I are head boy and head girl we are in charge. We will be supported with the help of all prefects from all four houses."

To my relief, no one protested or gave a negative reaction. Until a figure from the Ravenclaw table stood up, immediately catching everyone's attention.

It was Mason.

"So you're telling us we have obey you two?"

My stomach lurched but I picked up my chin and said, "it's the only way to keep things under control. We don't want anyone getting hurt or things to get—out of control."

I was confused. Mason and I haven't been exactly speaking all week but we did interact the first day the lid appeared. But it was just another small fight. . .that's why he's acting like this.

"Oh that's ridiculous," Mason said firmly. "You're both Gryffindors. You're going to be bias toward all Houses and take advantage of your power."

"That's not true!" I shouted.

"I'm not answering to you or that weasel kid!" Mason shouted. "I don't have to answer to any of you!"

"Come again?" George voice came suddenly. He had his hands out of his pockets and his wand wasn't pointed at his throat. His voice was fierce and loud.

"Yeah, you heard me," Mason said flatly, climbing over the bench. "We could probably walk through the lid unharmed. You two just want the power."

"Mace, that is not true," I said, my voice threatening to tremble but I did not allow it. "We want everyone safe. We don't want anyone doing things that can get themselves killed."

"You're right!" A girl from the Slytherin table stood up. "They are probably trying to obtain capacity over all of us!"

It wasn't long until other people began to stand up with them. And it wasn't long until the group of two dozen began to March outside the Great Hall, predictably to the wall of the lid.

"They're going to get themselves killed," George said under his breath as everyone began to follow them to see what they were going to do.

We found ourselves back at the bridge, the crowd had to almost squeeze each other or tippy toe to get a view of what was going on. George and I pushed through the crowd as the girl, Mason, and the rest of their group approach the wall.

"Claudia, you go first," Mason told the Slytherin. I didn't know the two knew each other. I never seen her before until now.

"No, Jeremy, you go," Claudia told a raven hair boy.

"Claudia!" I shouted, immediately making her twirl her head at me. "You can't do that. We don't know what it can do to a human body."

"Guess we're about to find out, right, Miss Head Girl?" she said, giving me a sardonic grin.

"We're going to do research and find how does it affect—"

"I don't want your opinion, Adira!" Lydia yelled, her tone sounding offended.

"That's incredibly stupid of you!" I shouted at her.

"Ella, calm down," came Lee's voice.

He arrived with Hermione and Fred behind, looking frantic. He took a grip of my wrist and we both waited to what came next.

I would've pushed further to stop the stupidity but all in the same time I needed to know what the lid did to a human body. And if they were stupid enough to volunteer and not listen, then so be it.

"Jeremy, you go," Lydia encouraged him.

I took a deep exhale and exchanged perturbed looks with Hermione, who was clutching a journal to her chest.

The raven hair gave her a cheesy smile and nodded. He stepped back before sprinting full speed at the lid and—



He melted.

No. He actually melted.

As soon as his body came in contact with the lid, his skin burned and sizzled, melting and disappearing into the lid. The skin, meat, blood, bones, everything. . . It melted.

What the fuck.

The air thicken as the wind was flooded with horrifying screams. Lee wrapped his arms around my waist as I bend over and spilled the digest breakfast all over the stone floor of the bridge.

It was heart breaking. He was dead in a instant. Just gone like that.

"Everyone back to the castle!" I heard a deep voice yell. Soon after followed by the sound of dozens of footsteps scrambling, fading away as they rushed back inside the castle.

My name was being chanted as I continued to gag, having no more food to vomit. My eyes were watering and everything was blurry. I felt sick.

"El, Ella," Fred's and Lee's voice came.

My stomach felt as though it was being sucked in, violently. It hurts so bad. I wanted it to stop.

"El, here."

Hours had passed and we were now in Dumbledore's office. Lee was holding out a goblet of water, cold water, filled with ice. I took it from him and gulp it down, ignoring the stinging pain from my dried tears.

Everyone was shocked from what happened earlier. To the kid. Jeremy Spinner. I learned his name after witnessing some of his Slytherin friends sobbing over him.

I could have stopped him but I chose to be selfish. I could have saved his life. It would have never happen.

"Ella, can you talk?" Lee said softly. His hand brushing my hair behind my ear. "Are you all right?"

I didn't know. It was awful.

I was crying happy—no, relief tears when I learned Alex was no where near the sighting of the accident. It wasn't a accident, something unfortunate, though. I'm glad he didn't see that.

I just wanted to crawl in bed and sleep. To not think about Jeremy's body melting into the lid.

We need to get things under control. Alex would be so scared if things weren't. It wouldn't be great for his panic attacks at all.

I need to put my cowardliness aside for Alex.

For Alex.

And Lee. Fred. And whoever I probably care about as well. But mostly for Alex.

"I'm fine," I said finally, setting aside the goblet onto the desk next to me which I was sitting on. "I promise. I'm fine. I'm just a bit shaken up, that's all."

"And that's fine," Lee said calmly. "We all are. But now we know what the lid is capable of. Hermione is down in the library with Harry and the others. They're trying to figure out how to get rid of the lid."

"Get them up here," I said, it was quick but very clear.

"What?" Fred said, emerging from shadows, George behind him.

"Get them up here," I repeated. I leapt off the desk and vanished the desk. I motioned Lee to move out of the way and conjured a ten foot long table followed by multiple chairs.

"What are you doing?" Fred asked, joining my side as I began to vanish unnecessary things in Dumbledore's office. "Why are you vanishing everything?"

"They're not coming back, Fred," I said at once. The words slip off my tongue calmly but I meant it. The air didn't shift but I heard Fred's low sigh. "We need to start—to start planning how are we going to get out. For all we know the lid can start shrinking and kill us all."

"Ella, I don't think that is po—"

I turned around at him, almost too quickly, and said, "do you want to be melted, Fred? Do you want your siblings to melted? George, Ron, Ginny? Because I don't want the same thing that happen to Jeremy to happen to Alex."

"That's not going to happen, Ella," Fred said deeply.

"How do you know that?"

He stared into my eyes and pressed his thin lips together. He didn't bothered to open his mouth to back up his words.

"Get everyone up here," I said again. "Hermione, Harry, Ron, Ginny, Luna, Neville, all the damn prefects. If you know anyone who can learn easily or it's willing to read their ass off, bring them up here."

"Are you sure, Ella?" Lee said. "To go to that route?"

"To accept the truth, Lee?" I said shortly. "If we don't do this—even if it's not heading that route. . . I'd rather be safe than sorry."

"What are your plans?" Hermione asked once we settled around the table. Everyone had fill in the chairs whereas I was standing up, calmly pacing around my chair.

Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Luna, Draco, Lavender, Parvati, Padma, Cho, Angelina, Katie, Dean, Seamus, Blaise, Adrian, Colin, Dennis, Cormac, Alicia, Hannah, Ernie, Pansy, and Nigel were the only fearless ones to consider coming up for the meeting.

"As some of you have witness what happen earlier," I cleared my throat softly and flutter my eyes for a moment. "People were willing to go out of control and we don't know if that will happen again. You probably heard or seen what the lid does—melts your body until you're nothing. . . I don't want that to happen to anyone."

The soft expressions on everyone made it clear they agreed with me. Which was a great thing.

"People would think it will be great to sneak out and have fun because there's no longer Professors and stuff," I said loudly, sliding my hands into Lee's quidditch hoodie, I stole from him from last year. "Which is very dangerous. I know. . .hearing that from me is ironic. But what happened to Jeremy. . . We don't want that for anyone else."

I was telling the truth. I don't want people to die.

"So for that I'll be assigning you positions to have in this castle. Hermione is in charge of research.. . . Anything about the lid and how to get rid of it. If you are willing to spend hours and hours reading through the books in the library then raise your hands."

I waited for a moment but then Alicia raised her hand. Then Lavender. Ernie. Katie. Dennis. Nigel.

"That's it? That's fine," I said, feeling some tension slipping off my shoulders. "Then we need sentinels not only for being on patrol at night around the corridors but to get in action if any physical, violent, activities occur. This can possibly be dangerous so I want you all to think for a moment before raising your hands and taking this position—"

Angelina immediately raised her hand.

"Angelina, think for a moment."

"I don't need to," she said flatly, holding her hand high up in the air. "I know what I'm getting myself into."

"If there's a fight, are you willing to break it up? No matter who's fighting."


"If there's a student who daggers another a student, are willing to get in between?"


"If there is students wandering around the dark corridors late in night are you going to put a stop on it and give them detention?"


I sighed and said, "all right."

Draco, Cho, Harry, Ron, Fred, Lee, Padma, Blaise, Adrian, and Hannah raised their hands.

"Last bit definitely not least," I continued. "Healers. We need people in the hospital wings incase someone does get hurt. Or sick. We need people to be there if any one is injure. You're require two weeks, minimum, on studying the basic of healing."

"I can do that," a soft voice said.

Luna was smiling, hands interlock below her waist, and swaying.

"You know the basic healing?"

"And much more," she said, smiling harder. "And Neville knows about plants. He knows most of the medicine they have buried in them."

"Do you, Neville?"

"Yeah," he said, shrugging, his cheeks red from all the attention. "Just a bit."

"All right, then," I said, finally deciding to take a seat on the end of the table. "Luna and Neville. . . Both of you in charge of training and watching over the healers. So who wants to join the healers?"

Parvati, Dean, Seamus, Cormac, and Colin raised their hands.

"That settles it then," I said after a moment of silence. "Everyone knows their job. We will keep the castle under control."

"What about you and George?" Draco asked suddenly. "What are your jobs?"

"George and I are Head boy and girl," I said, sliding my tongue on the side of my cheek. "We help the healers and researchers but we also mainly be on patrol at night. We tell the eight years when to start meals and all that sorts of stuff."

"So you're both the new Dumbledore," Draco said.

Everyone in the room turned their head back at me. I didn't flinch or hinted that I was intimidated by Draco or anyone else. Because I wasn't.

"No," I said flatly. "We were given the responsibility to the whole castle and students before the teachers left, as I explained before. We will continue to our duties and the additional."

"Hey, Ella," Lee called for me while everyone filed out the office at the end of the meeting.

"Yeah?" I said, peering over his shoulder to call for Nigel, asking him to stay behind. "Nigel, I would like a word with you. Wait for me outside the door?"

Nigel hesitated but nodded. He turned his heel and followed Ginny out of the Dumbledore's office. Once the door shut, I turned to Lee who was patiently waiting for me.

"What's up, Lee?"

"I forgot," he said, scratching the back of his neck. He looked nervous, his left hand deep inside his jeans pocket once again. "Oh! I was wondering if I can crash your sofa tonight. George has been staying in the dormitory again."

"For what?" I said, throwing him a perplexed expression. "Why can't he stay in his room? He has his head boy room."

"No idea."

"Well," I said, slipping up my sleeves above my elbows. "Yeah sure. You know you're always welcome. I don't mind the company. I appreciate it, honestly."

"Really?" Lee said, smiling.

"Yeah," I said, shrugging. "I'll see you there in a bit? I need to talk to Nigel."

Lee pressed his lips together and looked down to his feet. For a second, I thought he wanted to say something but he turned around and left the office.

I conjured more candles around the office while Nigel made his way back inside the office. He looked nervous—apparently thinking I'm going to scold him or something.

"You wanted to see me?" he said, once I faced him again after I was satisfied with the lighting in the bright room.

"Yeah," I said, seating back on the seat I was sitting earlier. "Just a quick word. You're not in trouble or anything."

I witnessed the tense float from his shoulders and drop. He sighed and went to sit on the seat he was sitting previously and placed his hands on his laps.

"Nigel, I noticed," I began, biting my bottom lip as I thought for the right words to say. "I had notice during the meetings that you're the youngest member in our. . .cooperation."

Nigel's lips were parted, waiting for me to continue.

"And I don't know, maybe I'm paranoid or something. But remember what I told Angelina and the others before? That it can be dangerous working in these—"

"But I'm a researcher!" he said abruptly. "Sorry. . . I'm not a researcher yet but that's my position!"

"I know, I know," I said, shaking my head slightly. "How old are you, fourteen? No, fifteen? Oh well you're young. And I'm responsible for you—"

"I'm not going to get hurt!"

"I'm not saying you are, Nigel," I said shortly. "I'm not asking you to step down or anything. . . But I am asking you if this is what you really want to do? Are you sure you're willing to give up this—the freedom to do whatever you want. . . I mean not really, we still have rules. . . What I am trying to say is, are you sure you want to be working tireless hours researching?"

"I want to help," he said firmly. "Anything. I want to be a guard but I don't you'll let me. . ."

"I won't," I said truthfully. "And I think being a healer can be. . . trau— not a great experience for you."

"Yeah," he said, giving a half frown. "I think I'll throw up if I have to treat someone who has chicken pox."

I let out a short laugh and straighten up.

"That's all I wanted to talk about," I shrugged. "And if you ever need anything then you can come to me. You can go to George as well but I'm the better one. Keep that in mind."

I took my sweet time walking back to Gryffindor tower, giving Lee some time to fall asleep before I arrived back in my room.

The corridors were empty and quiet, surprisingly. It was good that people weren't breaching the rules that were set upon before this whole shit happen. I don't think I would've been able to handle any of it. But thank Merlin we have our squad.

The common room was also deserted. Books were left open and the fire placing was cackling. It was odd not seeing the Fat Lady anymore and having to pull open the portrait. I slothfully walked up the stairs, hankering for my soft king sized bed. But I was surprised to find Lee, wide awake, hunching on my sofa.

"Not tired?" I asked, shutting the door behind me. "Me neither. I just want to lay down."

I collapsed, back side, onto my bed which wrapped its coziness around my body. I stared up to the ceiling, waiting for Lee to say something but when he didn't, I sat up and looked at him.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm just. . .thinking about today."

I pushed myself up to sit on the edge of my bed where our knees were almost touching. I frowned and watched him as he continue to look down the carpeted floor.

"With what happen to Jeremy," he said gradually, "do you actually reckon things will get worst from now on?"

I inhale deeply and tried to get a better view of his expression to read, but it was blank. His arms were planted on the edge of his knees and his fingertips were pressed together.

I look thoughtfully at him. "I'm not going to lie to you, Lee. So yes, I think so."

He gave a low, trembling breath but when I moved to comfort him, he backed up. It was plain that he didn't need me to comfort him.

"But we be out of here or have the lid destroyed before the worst could happen," I reassured calmly.

"Okay," he said, seemingly trying to seem serene. "And what about Mason?"

He finally lifted up his head, his eyebrow raised. He separated his fingertips, crossed his arms over his chest, and slouch his back on the couch.

I swallowed thickly. "What do you mean?"

"After today," he said, looking behind me, not being able to look at me in the eye. "He was the reason that kid. . . Jeremy. . . is dead. I know we didn't know the kid but if Mason hadn't been a malcontent person—"

"You're blaming it on, Mason?" I huffed. "I know he can be stupid sometimes but it was not his fault. Jeremy did it on his own will—"

"Yeah, but Mason provoke it. So did that Claudia girl. Everything was going well with the announcement until Mason stood up."

"Mason didn't know that would have happen Lee—"

"You can't be serious, Ellanise," Lee croaked, which made my words drop immediately. "He accused you and George of depravity! Tried to get everyone against us and lead a group to near death! And Jeremy is dead because of him!"

It wasn't until Lee said it out loud and clear that I realized that it was Mason's fault. I hadn't thought of it before and even blamed myself. But it was Mason who was blame for Jeremy's death.

"You're right," I mumbled, my hand was now fiddling and softly pinching my bottom lip. "I'm sorry. You are right."

"I don't want to start a argument with you, Ella," Lee sighed. "It's just. . . you don't see it."

"See what?"

I looked up at him and finally met his eyes for the first during this whole conversation.

"That Mason does not merit you."

"What are you saying. . .that Mason doesn't deserve me?"

Lee gave a low sigh and looked up the ceiling. I watched as his head dropped again and met my eyes once more, this time looking more confident.

"I do think you deserve to be with someone who makes you happy."

"Lee.. . ."

"You can argue all you want, El, but it's the truth. And I'm your best friend so I have to tell you that. And just so you know, with what happen today. . . I'd do anything for you."

I narrowed my eyes as I gave him a gentle expression. The corner of his mouth jerked and he uttered, "anything."

I didn't notice until now but I was in the same position he was when I first walked into the room. Slouching over with my elbows on my knees. I gave a confident sigh and closed my eyes.

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