One of the longest chapter in a while, but I hope you all like it.
Oh, and I just wanted to give you all a BIG thank you for still reading and always voting and commenting. Means the world to me. (:
It was starting to snow. Tiny snowflakes fell from the clear sky and covered the green of the grounds of Hogwarts, making beautiful little patterns on whatever they touched.
It was a little early for the snow to come down, but it was a perfect signal that the holidays were soon approaching; making most of the shivering students in the castle content with the cold weather. Besides, it gave them an excuse to snuggle up with one another or to have a reason to attack one another with magicked snowballs.
And enjoying the snow, and the much needed moment of silence, Ariana Malfoy sat underneath a tall tree; her back against the bark as she watched the air she was exhaling become fog and fly towards the furthest ends of the grounds. It had been three hours since she was out there, completely concentrated in the scene before her even as she could feel the blood in her body begin to thicken, but she didn't move. The silence always set her free somehow so she didn’t mind the numbing feeling on her skin.
In the loneliest of days is where she felt the more at peace, where she felt that everything inside her young mind was starting to get clear. Almost as if she could see all of her problems resolve themselves before her like a loving source of magic she knew was out there. Something pure that would show up and protect the ones she loved; to protect her from this constant feeling of worry.
But the real question that hadn't been answered in her solitary moments was this: what did she want protection from? What was she so damn afraid of?
"—You shouldn't be out here, Ana." Distracting the lonesome Gryffindor from her view on the Black Lake and her thoughts, Fred Weasley shivered in his stance. Arms crossed over his shaking chest as he momentarily regretting walking over after spotting her. "It's completely freezing. Trelawney expects a snowstorm, you know?"
Moving her fingers alongside her legs, Ariana gave a small snort. "It's Saturday morning and the woman is giving forecasts? Isn't there someone's death she should be predicting?"
"You're still upset over that, are you?" Fred asked, still shivering as he looked down at the girl.
"See you've heard about it,” the girl retorted, trying to get the feel of her fingers back. "Who was the charmer that let the entire castle know?"
Looking torn between telling the girl the truth, but then again knowing the damage she would inflict if she found out he lied to her, the redhead boy let out a foggy sigh. "It might have slipped out from Frank Longbottom."
"…Brilliant." The tips of her fingers began to burn. "Outed by Frankie Longbottom, the idiot who got caught starting a skrewt-farm."
Fred nodded a little, understanding the shame. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, he just told the Gryffindors."
"He's in Hufflepuff," Ariana snarled, feeling her blood flow normally again as it began to bubble with anger.
Groaning inwardly to himself, it took all of Fred's courage to drag his body to Ariana's side and take a seat by her. "What are you exactly mad at, Ana?" He asked, his left hand flying into the pocket of his jeans where his wand was; just in case she decided to aim a nonverbal jinx at him. (He was older, but the witch was much more skilled than him.) "That Longbottom tried to explain why you bolted out of Trelawney's classroom in fury, or because the woman said you were marked by death and there's nothing you can do about it?"
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