The Girl in the Tower Chap 22

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Chapter Twenty-two A Fall from Grace

Harry sat deep in thought, his eyes fixed on the silvery surface of the pensieve under it's swirl of mist. He'd already added a good many thoughts over the weeks since he'd received it. Rotten birthdays and Christmases. Lousy summers. Aunt Marge. He took the night he accused Sara in his jealousy over Draco. The arguments they'd had over her secrets.

He wondered if it was right to pick and choose how to remember Sara. Maybe it was wrong to vividly recall only the good times and leave himself with only a vague memory of mistakes they had made. Painful as they were, they were real, as real as the happiness they had shared, but in the end the fact that it eased his torment, lightened the shadow over his heart, made the decision easier. Finally, he sat back, his anxiety lessened.

Harry pushed back his chair and dressed for bed. Climbing in, he heard her song on the wind, soft, distant, and beautiful. She sang every night now, the same song which he had never heard before and it stirred him as he lay his head on the pillow, gazing up at the stars, breathing the faint scent of her perfume, the words drifting bittersweet and haunting to his ears. He knew them by now and he silently sang along, not wanting to disturb her sad, angelic melody. The emotion of her voice saturated his senses and he felt her suffering, her love for him, her faith. He sighed as the breeze that spanned the distance between them faded away.

Harry turned onto his side and looked at the empty half of the bed where he never slept. Her pillow fluffed and untouched by his head, waiting for her to return. He thought of Sara, wondering what she would think if she could see the things he was accomplishing in his life. He told her everything in his journal, and it helped him vent his frustration, his unhappiness, but it wasn't the same. He longed to send her a letter, but didn't think he could deal with it when it came back unopened. Besides, he didn't want to put Sara in the position of having to turn away his letters. It would only upset her and he wanted her to get well so she could come home.

Going back to work with Seamus had been good for him. Seeing all his friends again, especially Ron, who wasn't due to start his classes at the Wizard Defense League for two more days, the same morning Harry would teach his first class of the year and Hermione would begin schooling at the Ministry. She had made the decision to become an auror shortly after the ordeal at Draco's house and had even been promoted, mostly due to Dumbledore's constant arguing with the Minister, claiming Hermione was brilliant and that her talent was being wasted in a back room full of books. She was made assistant to the Head Auror and given a substantial raise, which Harry knew she and Ron needed.

Harry had been doing better than he knew, financially. After receiving a letter from Gringott's bank, telling him his vault was full, he went down there to straighten out the misunderstanding. His parents' gold still sat untouched on the table, but all around it was piled bags of money, almost up to his chest against the back wall. He was dazzled, but soon came to his senses and asked to see a record of the transactions, thinking it might be Sara and if so the money would be returned. As it turned out, Seamus had still been sending his half of all profits, even though he hadn't put in a single day's work in months and Seamus had set the new operation up himself. He'd gone straight to Ireland via the port-key later than evening, but somehow left agreeing to keep the money.

Right away Harry had written to Brad Silverman, asking him to get a contractor to come to the cottage and the digging had been underway for over three weeks. He stopped by daily, watching the hole in the ground progress and occasionally touching up this or that in the cave.

She still sent him things for the house and more personal gifts like fine robes from the different wizard shops of Europe, tons of clothes, and little odds and ends that reminded her of him. Not a word, though. There was never a note and everything came by rented owl. He wondered where she was and if things were improving. Two months was a long time and he was growing impatient for her return.

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