Chapter Fifty-Two

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"Once the Tournament is over, you will be allowed to take your O.W.L.s, Milo," Milo sat in his mother's office after he had been called in to speak with her. "It's important that you don't have any distractions and your O.W.L.s will determine what classes you will be able to continue next term. Although I am fairly certain that..."

Minerva stopped talking and as she peered up from the piece of parchment paper before her, she could see that Milo didn't even notice that she had stopped talking as he continued to nod his head over and over. He had officially checked out of the conversation before it had even started and Minerva wasn't sure what to say or do in order to get the boy to focus. Every time she saw him, Milo seemed to be lost in his own thoughts, focusing on other matters and she was sure it had to do with Elspeth. The woman fully understood why Elspeth took priority over any other matter, Minerva found herself terribly upset at the idea that one of her former students had gone missing and in possible connection to the oddities that were taking place throughout the tournament.

However, she didn't want Milo to lose complete focus, especially with the Third Task because it meant that he wouldn't be so aware of his surroundings once he entered the maze. His chances of getting hurt were increasing every day as he became less and less involved with worrying about it like the other champions. She had seen the others working in the library, researching all sorts of magical creatures that they believed they were going to be faced with. And while she knew that his knowledge of magical creatures probably surpassed the older students, she didn't know if Milo would be able to take them on if he was so distracted. 

The other fifth years were taking their O.W.L.s and since Milo was a champion, he was exempted from taking them during the time. Minerva saw it as the perfect opportunity to have Milo sit with her and talk. She felt like she was losing her son to his own mind as Milo wasn't talking much to anyone anymore. Cedric had approached her the night before, expressing that he shared the same concerns that the mother did. Guilt was weighing heavy on Milo as it normally did whenever he blamed himself for something.

Nearly every time that something occurred, Milo would take the blame, even if it wasn't any fault of his own and he would punish himself for it. 

"Milo," Minerva called to him, hoping to snap the boy out of his thoughts, even if it was for just a couple of minutes, "Milo!"

Finally, his blue gaze trailed over in the direction of his mother and he nodded his head again, trying to pretend that he was listening to every word. But as he met her stern eyes, he realised that he had been caught, leaving him to frown and look away in shame.

"Sorry, Mum."

"Milo, I'm worried about you," she admittedly honestly, " you work yourself up into these moods and it is not healthy for you to be so wrapped up in all of this-"

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