That was over three years ago and now Lyra was a fourth year. She still missed home, but besides that she considered herself thriving here at Hogwarts. Even as a Ravenclaw she was top of her class, and though she was still learning she had a much better hold on her power.
This year came with its own challenges though. The Tri-wizard tournament had everyone in such a buzz it drove her nearly mad. It was similar to the mass hysteria that broke out over the chamber of secrets, but worse because there was also the students from Drumstrang and Beauxbaton now.
The library had become Lyra's heaven. She could escape from the buzz of the school most hours of the day there. She had even made a sort of friend. A girl by the name Hermione. Lyra had never worked up the courage to talk to her, but when Hermione came to the Libary alone, she would leave her usual spot and go sit by her silently.
Sometimes they would just work by each other, and other times Hermione would vent to her about her friends and also about the treatment of house-elves. Lyra had never met a house-elf, so she didn't have much to say on the subject.
Today was one of the days they sat in silence. Lyra could sense Hermione's anxiousness. Something was on her mind. Lyra tried to focus on a calm safe feeling and then tried to project it out. Hoping to calm her friend. It seemed to work because Hermione put down her book and looked up at Lyra.
"Can I ask you something a bit rude?" she asked biting her lip nervously. Lyra nodded still trying to focus on that feeling. Hermione pushed on. "Can you speak?"
This made Lyra smile. Hermione let out a sigh of relief and her nervousness disappeared. "Oh, I'm so glad your not angry. Not that it would have mattered to me if you didn't. I just don't know much about you and I feel like you know everything about me. I mean, I don't even know your name now that I think about it. I tried asking around but I never see you anywhere else. Not even usually at dinner."
"I'm sorry," Lyra said her voice soft and quiet "I can talk, I guess I'm just not very used to needing too. My name's Lyra, I'm a fourth year like you. You don't usually see me around because being in large groups of people is hard for me. I usually eat breakfast early, and dinner late."
Hermione bit her lip again holding back a question. "Hermione you can ask me anything, I won't get mad."
"That day in the library, when those girls were being annoying. Did you use a non-verbal spell on them to get them to leave?"
Lyra shifted in her seat uncomfortably. She knew this would come up eventually. She thought she could trust Hermione. She could sense the loyal friend she was. But she also knew she liked rules. "Not exactly... look if I tell you this you have to promise to keep it between you and I, okay?"
Hermione looked nervous again, but her need to know must have been too strong because she nodded her head "Okay, just between us."
"I'm an Empath. This combined with being a witch heightens my senses around other people. It makes it hard for me to be in big crowds or around particularly emotional people. Professor Snape and Dumbledore have helped me with it significantly, but large groups can still be a bit much. Especially when something like the Tri-Wizard tournament has everyone in a fritz."
She nodded, a sparkle in her eye. "That makes a lot of sense on why none of the other forth years really know anything about you. But it doesn't explain what happened that day."
Lyra shifted again, "Yeah, I'm not really supposed to do that without other people's permission, but I felt they were bugging you and Viktor too."
"But what did you do?"
Lyra struggled with this. Putting things into words, it was just such a limited language to her. "Can I show you instead?"
Doubt washed through Hermione but she nodded yes anyway. Lyra smiled at her reassuringly, then she took a deep breath and let her guard down. She thought about the sensation of sharing someone's emotions. Feeling her parents love for each other, sharing grief with family when a loved one dies. Or catching someone's laughter when they couldn't stop laughing.
"Woah," Hermione choked out. Lyra tried pulling it back in, putting a layer between her and Hermione. She felt bad not meaning to scare Hermione. "You don't have to feel sorry! This is cool, I mean definitely weird, but also cool!"
Lyra smiled, thankful she understood.
"Listen, I know your kind of shy and its hard to be around new people, but I really would like you to meet some of my friends. Especially since Harry and Ron have been fighting so much... do you think you could sit with us for dinner sometime? You don't have to talk or tell them what you told me. Just come and sit with us. I think you'll really like them, especially Neville and Ginny."
Lyra bit her lip, She didn't want to eat dinner in the great hall, and she didn't want to meet a bunch of loud Gryffindor's... But she did really like Hermione and didn't want her to be disappointed. She let out a sigh and nodded yes.
"Great! That's wonderful because I already told them you were coming to dinner tonight."
Tonight?! Lyra thought, all color draining from her face, what did she get herself into?