Chapter Nine

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[9]

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[9]

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No one seemed to know what to say after Remus bluntly stated that the woman before them had come from the Whomping Willow. No matter how casual one placed it, even in the wizarding world, it was not a common occurrence. Willow didn't talk much upon greeting all the newcomers into the home, instead, she merely smiled and shook hands with each other them. Milo couldn't help but offer a smile in return, as bizarre as the situation was, she appeared shy, especially with four new faces around her. Her eyes would continue to flicker over in the direction of Remus, any time he or someone else in the room spoke. 

Milo also couldn't help but find it amusing how the clothes she was wearing, obviously belonged to Remus and how her body seemed to drown in the old robes. She didn't seem bothered by it, occasionally rolling up the sleeves with Remus assisting her, although he seemed embarrassed, possibly by the state of his robes or the fact that she wasn't wearing anything under them. 

"Do you mean to tell us," Professor Sprout began, she seemed to be the most fascinated by the situation as she had been the one to care for the Whomping Willow the most. After all, she had been the one to sling the branches after the Ford Anglia had gone crashing into it. "Do you mean to tell us, that you inhabited the Whomping Willow? You controlled the tree?"

Willow glanced over in the direction of Remus once more, either looking for him to answer or looking to him to encourage her to speak on her own behalf. In a way, Willow reminded Milo of Neville, the roundish face and soft expressions, it made her look a lot younger than what she probably was. He knew the story that the Whomping Willow had been planted before Remus' arrival at the school, so that placed her being "born" around 1971. So that placed her at least twenty-three years of age, if not just a little bit older. 

It was odd to see how shy she was and perhaps that was what led Professor Sprout to wonder if this was truly the human embodiment of the Whomping Willow, as the tree countless times had shown off a violent attitude. The personalities of the two didn't seem to quite add up, leaving more questions than answers. 

"Can she speak?" Minerva asked with genuine concern. She didn't think it would be proper to continue hounding the young woman with questions if she couldn't answer for herself. 

"Yes," Remus answered softly as his eyes peered over at her, earning a smile from Willow, " she's just shy, I believe."

Suddenly, Willow turned back to the four, her eyes trailed over the four that were watching her, she didn't make eye contact if not more than a second before she walked over to Milo. "You are Artemis' boy," she said to Milo, causing everyone to become alarmed, mainly because Remus was not included among the families. However, their wide-eyed reactions and gasps only made her chuckle in amusement.

"It is alright, everyone, relax your nerves," Artemis' voice rang out, causing Remus to jump and shake his head. Apparently, it was not something he was used to, random goddesses just showing up in his household as they pleased. 

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