Clara Raney did not let Estella out of her embrace over the next few days. She most definitely did not let her out of her line of sight. Every other hour Estella would reassure her mother that she was okay. At one point, she wanted to tell her that she would not end up like father. Clara secretly thought about that, resulting in her being extra overprotective. Yet, not either one mentioned the possibility that it could have, once again, ended in that way.
The time for Estella to go back to Hogwarts was rolling in quickly. Clara Raney wanted nothing more than to cast a protection spell around her daughter and keep her at home. She knew that was absurd though. She also knew that part of her job as a mother was to show strength. So she did just that when she escorted Estella to the train station.
"I know you're worried, but I promise to be safe," Estella told her mother as they stood off to the side.
"I know you will. You're so brave sunshine, so so brave," Clara replied moving a piece of Estella's hair out of her face.
"You are too," Estella added.
The two proceeded to say their goodbyes before going separate their separate ways.
The exciting feeling arose in Estella's body the same way it did every year. She was excited to see her friends, even Draco Malfoy. Without trying to be obvious, she would glance through the crowd to see if she could spot the boy.
"Estella!" shouted a voice.
She turned to see Padma standing and waving with Luna by her side. With a wide grin, she ran over to her best friend and cousin and hugged them both tightly.
"I missed you two!" Estella exclaimed.
"Me too!" Padma replied.
"Where's Cedric?" Estella asked, looking back into the crowd.
"He could be gazing at Cho Chang from afar, like in a lovely book I read," Luna suggested.
"That would make sense," Estella added.
"Who knows, but if we don't find him, it won't take long for him to find us. Let's go get a seat," Padma said.
The three were searching for an empty compartment when they saw Cedric against the wall staring down the opposite direction.
"Cedric!" Estella called out.
The boy snapped out of his trance and greeted his friends.
"Who were you looking for?" Padma asked.
"No one!" The boy quickly answered.
"What about Cho Chang?" Luna asked.
"Why would I be looking for her?" Cedric nervously asked.
"Because you're interested in her," Luna answered.
"We're not fools, Cedric," Padma added.
Before the golden boy could say anything else, Estella chimed in and said, "okay, okay I think we should find seats before they're all taken."
After finding an empty compartment, the four spent the train ride talking about what each one did during the break. Upon arriving at Hogwarts, they all made their way to the sorting ceremony. Estella kept an eye out for Draco, but did not have any luck. Although she did make eye contact with Pansy Parkinson, who shot her glare.
Once in the great hall, the three girls made their way to the Ravenclaw table while Cedric went to the Hufflepuff table. Estella looked around the room. She saw Hermione, who was already looking at her, and waved.