XIII. A GIANT YELLOW LETTER

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      Nova was certain she'd never actively search for Bulstrode, and even if she did fancy someone, the first person she would seek advice from wouldn't be any of the Slytherins. Maybe Zabini, but even Nova didn't think they were close enough for that. Theo was out of the question, considering he was still holding out hope that she and Malfoy would end up together, even if he told her he wanted her to follow her own path and be happy. "Alright, I'm off. See you lot after the holidays."

       The two sent lazy waves in her direction as Nova made her way into the Great Hall, meeting Theo with a smile. He raised an eyebrow as she loaded her plate with food, looking back and forth between Greengrass and Zabini. "Nova," he said, and she looked over at him, "you look happy this morning."

      "Is it illegal?" 

      "For you, it might actually be," Theo joked, nudging her shoulder with his. "It's nice. I like seeing you happy. Just wondering what brought it on."

       Nova shrugged. If she knew, she would tell him. However, she was just as clueless as he was. All she knew was that there was a light feeling in her stomach, paired with small butterflies, and she felt jittery inside, like someone had put electricity in her body. Perhaps it was a side effect of drinking too much pumpkin tea, which she'd had every night the past two weeks before bed, thanks to Weasley. Though it would never compete with butterbeer, it was becoming a close second. 

      When it was time to board the Hogwarts Express to arrive back home, Nova found herself excusing herself from her usual crowd of Slytherins and making her way down the train, telling herself she wasn't looking for anyone or anything in particular, but knowing it was a lie when she spotted Granger's bushy head of hair sitting with Longbottom and Lovegood in a compartment lacking Potter and Weasley. Granger sent her a wave and opened the compartment door, her eyes red like she had been crying. 

      "What's going on?" Nova asked, raising a brow. Longbottom and Lovegood were silent. "Where's Potter? Weasley?"

      "Mr. Weasley was attacked last night," Granger said sadly, and a lone tear slipped out of her eye. She wiped it away quickly. "Professor Dumbledore sent them home immediately. Harry went with them."

      "Attacked?" The word rang in Nova's ears. Weasley's father had been attacked? It didn't seem possible. Wasn't it just last night that Fred and George had trapped them underneatht he mistletoe? That small bit of laughable memory seemed so far away with the news Granger offered. "What do you mean attacked?"

      "Mr. Weasley was at the Ministry last night and he was attacked. Some kind of snake. They rushed him off to St. Mungo's immediately. Harry and Ron are going to owl me when they get more news, but..." Granger trailed off as another tear fell. "Oh, I'm being incredibly silly, crying like this. It isn't as if it's my father. But Mr. Weasley is so kind, and he doesn't deserve this at all. I'm just hoping that he's alright."

      The words were filtering through Nova's head, but she couldn't comprehend them. Weasley's father. Attacked. Ministry. Owling Granger. Nova's head was spinning with the information, and she couldn't make sense of it. If there was one thing she did make sense of, however, it was that her good mood had officially evaporated.

      Longbottom gave her a shrug when Granger continued to cry, his eyes depicting that he had even less of an idea as Nova did on how to handle Granger's tears. Silently, Nova sat next to the girl and listened to her small sniffles. "It'll be okay, Granger. They got him to St. Mungo's. That's a good sign. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Don't let it ruin your skiing." Nova still had no idea what skiing was, but she figured it was the right thing to say when Granger nodded. 

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