XXXVI. THE LIFE OF ELIZABETH NOTT

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CHAPTER THIRTY SIX:

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CHAPTER THIRTY SIX:

THE LIFE OF ELIZABETH NOTT

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      Nova felt her feet hit the ground. She was so used to the feeling of going through a Portkey that her knees didn't wobble as she landed on the floor of Dumbledore's office. She saw Harry's buckle just slightly before he righted himself. She couldn't describe the expression on his face, but it was pure agony to try and look at it. The weight of Sirius's death was beginning to set in. When he had been fighting Voldemort, his focus had been on that. On surviving. Now, in the silence of Dumbledore's office - which had repaired itself from Umbridge's reign - it was finally rooting itself in Harry's head and heart that Sirius was gone. 

      Harry was silent as they waited in Dumbledore's office. It made Nova's nerve endings stand up. She didn't like the quiet, especially not after what had happened. "Lupin said everyone's going to be okay," she said, wincing when her voice came out louder than intended in the silence of the room. "Ron will... Ron will have scars on his arms from the brain, but nothing else permanent."

      Harry didn't bother replying. He simply stared at the wall, which Nova realized had begun stirring. There was a portrait of a man that Nova had never noticed before, stretching his arms and yawning as if he had no care in the world. "Ah..." he said after a yawn, "Hary Potter. And what brings you here in the early hours of the morning? This office is supposed to be barred to all but the rightful headmaster. Or has Dumbledore sent you here? Oh, don't tell me..." He yawned again. "Another message for my worthless great-great-grandson?"

      "Great-great-grandson?" Nova asked quietly. He seemed to just notice her presence, and scowled when he saw her.

      "Another one of you in the office of the headmaster? Dumbledore will be hearing words from me. Yes, my great-great-grandson Sirius Black. Harry seems to be quite fond of him."

      Nova didn't have the heart to admit that Sirius was gone out loud. She simply redirected her gaze towards Harry, who suddenly strode towards the door as if leaving Dumbledore's office would help clear his mind. There must have been some kind of spell Dumbledore had put on the knob, for it wouldn't turn. For the moment, they were shut in.

      "I hope this means," a wizard in one of the portraits stated, "that Dumbledore will soon be back with us?"

      Harry turned back to the wizard speaking and nodded minutely.

      "Oh good," the wizard said. "It has been very dull without him indeed." He settled back on the throne that had been painted into his portrait with him, looking indifferent. Every one of the portraits looked indifferent. They didn't know what had just happened. What Harry had just lost. "Dumbledore thinks very highly of you, as I am sure you know," he continued. "Oh yes. Holds you in great esteem."

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