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Pen Your Pride

That day had been bleak, and each day after had proven to be worse.

It was early morning on Halloween when Dumbledore had finally decided to meet with Copeland again, but this time he was not alone. Snape stood next to him, face somber and solemn. The purple case that held Grindlewald's Time Turner sat on his desk, and it was with a nod that Dumbledore asked Copeland sat down.

"It with great sorrow that I have requested to meet with you today, Miss Lancaster," Dumbledore sighed, folding his hands together. "After discussing this with Professor Snape, my most trusted advisor, we have reached a decision."

Dumbledore pushed the purple case towards her, and Copeland felt her stomach churn, and her nerves stand on end.

"We are asking something very large of you, Copeland. Something honorable. It is a grand task, that we would only entrust to someone who is dependable. Honest," Dumbledore started. Copeland averted her eyes, heart beating so hard she could hear it in her ears.

"Then perhaps it would be more appropriate to ask a Hufflepuff?" Copeland muttered, and Dumbledore chuckled heartily. Snape remained unmoving behind him, face expressionless.

"We know it is you who is right for the task. Only you have seen our future. Only you can fix it," Dumbledore replied, making Copeland feel sick. "This is something I realize, you can not achieve on your own. It is a heavy burden, that we suggest that you share. You may enlist the help of one friend, as long as you both make yourselves well aware that you are not to be tampering with unnecessary parts of the future. Snape will ensure that."

Copeland sat in silence for a moment, mulling over what Dumbledore was asking of her. To save the future. To prevent a war. If she even stepped a toe out of line, she could bring ruin to their tomorrow. She could kill somebody. But as well, she could save somebody. She could save herself.

"You are not giving me much of a choice, are you?" Copeland murmured, looking hesitantly up at the both of them.

"No," Snape finally inserted. "Yes, it is quite unfortunate that you had to be the one to find that blasted Time Turner. But, it is the price given to you for the sake of the rest of the Wizarding World. Are you prepared to pay it?"

That morning, Copeland skipped breakfast and locked herself in the girl's bathroom again. She sat on a towel, wary of the wet tile of the floor. She clutched the painting of her father in her hands, knocking on the glass to wake him up.

"Boo!" He shouted, causing her to flinch, but not scream this time quite unlike last time. He grinned. "Happy Halloween pumpkin!"

Copeland smiled, despite her heavy heart. "Happy Halloween, Dad. Been awhile hasn't it?"

He planted his hands on what Copeland would assume was his hips (the portrait was from the waist up), and raised an eyebrow at her. "Yeah, it has. And who's fault is that?"

"Sorry."

"Just joking with you, love. I don't mind. Had quite a lot of time to nap. So what's on your mind?" He asked, a pleasant smile on his face. Copeland's eyes teared up immediately, she was a considerable crybaby these days. Her dad's face fell. "What's wrong?" He demanded. The words fell out of Copeland's mouth involuntarily, trying to ignore the mortified look on his face; it would only provoke more babyish crying.

By the end of her tale of woe, her father looked constipated. He cleared his throat, stroking his chin as if he was deep in thought.

"Alright. Well. Have you told your mother?" Before Copeland could reply, he answered the question for her. "Take that back, we both know if you had told your mother you wouldn't be here right now. She'd lock you in a cellar for your "own well-being"."

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