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 Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Fri May 24, 2013 12:56 pm

Missing Death by Inches

A fanfic by Hippolyte

about what remains after a war,
and quite a few bad ideas about what to do with it

Introduction


Are all reunions the same at Kings Cross?

Is it so easy to define the relationship between all students that meet again?

Are Hogwarts students as much the same in personality as they are in behavior?

Or are they just laughing at me?


It wouldn't have surprised me. For them to be pulling a prank right there, in crowded, stupid Platform 9 ¾, just to make me feel dumb. And it wouldn't have surprised me if old, important Professor McGonagall told me smiling to go home, and that I was stupid to have taken her seriously.

I was that desperate.


Reunions. They are better in Durmstang. Starting with the best part, all students are different. Not just in appearance. Appearance hardly matters.

Students (of Durmstang) came from other countries. All over East Europe, from Austria to Russia and from Cyprus to Sweden and we didn’t reunite in one stupid platform. Students got collected to secret meeting places in their countries- it could be by the sea or by a lake, and some travelled miles from their homes to reach the meeting place and there the Durmstang ships came and got them- Apparating and Disapparating at several lakes and seas, collecting students who were very different and very bonded. When all the ships arrived at the Dragon Lake (or however its name is properly translated in English), all the students reunited there and we all walked to the castle, like one enormous group of friends.

From the moment we stepped into the school, we were separated, in different years, different classes, good students and bad. But those hours before we got to the school, they were precious. The voyage was precious. Because it made you feel at home before you arrived.

And once you’ve seen Durmstang reunite- all those different students who co-existed after having been separated for miles and miles for the summer… you can’t feel much for Hogwarts.

You can’t feel much positive for Hogwarts, too, when you’re forced to attend it, have Durmstang’s reunions replaced by King Cross’.


On the meanwhile, it all looked like I had made a bad beginning without doing anything, which was pretty much what I was expecting.

Students stared at me with curiosity. Some with fear. Angry warning eye contact, glares that had a certain ignoring superiority, glances of indifference and some looks of sympathy. Huge collection for someone who wants to be left alone.


I was left alone.


It was boring in the train. I was completely alone in my compartment. Oh lucky me.

I remember I started to think of the past again, to avoid thinking of the present (and the future, obviously).

In the end, I had to get it out of my chest. On a piece of parchment, I wrote:


What We Thought. Pre-War.
Muggles are stupid.
They ought to serve us.
Because we are better. Because they forced us to hide. Because they’re inferior and they’re always winning. Because it’s the high time we find our voices.
Because blood purity is the closest thing to being God in this world (and the world needs to realize. Muggles and Mudbloods and Half-Bloods and Creatures need to realize).

What We Thought. During the War.
Pure blood will fail to keep you alive when your time comes.
Just like any short of blood.

What We Think Now.
Muggles.
And Mudbloods. And Half-bloods, blood traitors, magical creatures, and the Dark Lord.
They. Don’t. Deserve. All the years of our lives we dedicated to them.

What They Thought. Pre-War.
We must fight for what we believe. We must protect our families, ourselves, our friends, our properties, our voices. We must find our voices.

What They Thought. During the War.
Be courageous.
Be loyal.
Fight, because you’re fighting for a better future.
Don’t give up.
Not now.

What They Think Now. (Minus the exclamation marks.)
We won as we always should.
We defeated the pure evil.
Our victory shall become a message of not giving hope to all future generations.
We will heal our wounds and keep on moving, because we are making the world a better place.

A Death Eater’s daughter would never- could never help making the world a better place.

What did you say, young lady? Your wounds? The ones we caused you? Hey, you were with the bad guys! No one cares about your wounds!

You lost- you have no right of complaining about… of mentioning your wounds.

As if.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
contributor

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:33 pm
Posts: 1422
Mon May 27, 2013 10:00 pm
OMGryffindor, this sounds great! You have to continue!
~Snitchy/Lioness



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed May 29, 2013 11:37 am
@Lioness: Thank you :)
(It doesn't sound great, it's like, the best thing I've written)



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:50 am
Posts: 615
Thu May 30, 2013 1:59 am
This is interesting . . . that's a really unique perspective on Durmstrang, too. And you're such a good writer, your sentences flow really nicely.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:10 pm
A/N: Cutting large chapters into smaller parts so people will read it.
I... guess I am a bit disappointed with the replies this got :( But thanks to cutie3500 <3

CHAPTER ONE


The only one who talked to me during the entire journey to Hogwarts was the old plump lady who pushed the lunch trolley.

Several students passed by my compartment, some giving small glances through the glass, several different emotions on their faces; others’ eyes were fixed on the corridor in front of them with unrealistic focus. If anything, they could not pretend to ignore an almost empty compartment in a crowded train and expect to be persuasive.

When the trolley lady appeared it was almost mid-day. Normally, you don’t detach a girl from her family, uncertain yourselves of when she’ll reunite with them again and then have the nerve to ask her if she’d like something for lunch, but the pink-faced, grey-haired woman in front of me was just doing her job, carrying it around the best way she could think, smiling and being nice. If she knew who I was, she didn’t show it.

“Would you like to have something for lunch dear?”
Nothing I can think of
“Um, sure. Eer, what- what could I get?”

I unwillingly walked out to the corridor. Chocolate frogs were not a possibility. Too many memories of Mum scolding Alban and me for eating those before dinner and then for loudly fighting over the cards while she was working at her study. Some heads peeked through the nearby compartment door, anxious for when the trolley will pass by them. I quickly decided on some pumpkin pie. It was very cheap.


Night has fallen by the time we finally reached that little Hogsmeade town of theirs. And it was then I discovered I had to cross a lake in a boat because it was a little custom of theirs. With the first years.

I had believed my first encounter with the big hairy teacher -Hagrid- (the one I had during the previous summer) would be my last one. But eventually I found myself walking down a muddy path in the dark, amongst a large group of eleven-year-olds (most annoyed that some of them were almost my height), leading to the banks of their stupid Lake (which did not compare to the Dragon Lake).

But then all my will of laughing at Hogwarts’ inferiority to Durmstrang flew away forever, like a breath in the wind. Because this was the first time I laid my eyes on the castle.

I would not have been impressed under different circumstances. Under any other circumstance.

The western side of the castle was merely walls standing amongst ruins. Several of the holes in the roofs were large enough to be clear even from that distance- as were some of the patterns of the burned terrain all over the grounds.

Windows were lit. The sky was covered in stars. The reflection of the castle faced me in the black water at my feet. Hogwarts was standing. It had not been defeated because it couldn’t.

It was powerful. It was the only enemy I had yet encountered that was above my ability to defeat- anyone’s ability to defeat. And the only ally that would never fail you. Because it was not human. It was completely outside of your control. Up until this moment, I had not realized how loyal the Death Eaters must have been to attempt following their leader in a battle against this castle with hope in their hearts for victory.

How loyal they still were.


What can I say? It's little, maybe slow. But I like it :B Constructive criticism would be highly appreciated- along with wuv :lol:

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.

Hipolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:54 pm

CHAPTER TWO


I was taken aback a little when Hagrid offered me a seat in his boat. He said it might be awkward for me to sit with a first year.

I asked him if he was being polite and thoughtful or following orders from the Headmistress not to let me out of his sight, especially with a helpless kid who couldn’t perform Lumos yet.

(Only in my head, of course.)


Upon our arrival at the castle, we were lead by Deputy Headmistress Professor Sprout herself at a small classroom and after she made a small introduction on The Fact That We Were About To Be Sorted she left us on our own (which I thought was a stupid thing to do).

The rookies did not talk much. They seemed tired and scared- but underneath all this, I could sense this place was stealing their hearts already. And there was also some solemnity in their eyes that was not appropriate even for the most mature of their age. I assume, however, children are always like this after a war.

I had more important matters to worry about, though, at the moment. Was I supposed to wait for an Ancient Hat to define in which House I belonged? I did not care about being in this school, much less becoming part of it. I did not want to be humiliated in front of the entire school, standing with the first years, waiting for the Sorting Hat to decide my house as if I’d claim my fate.

Anger found me easily. They had taken everything from me and now what sort of game were they playing, attempting to force me into being one of them?

I walked to the door. The first years looked at me with wide, silent eyes. Scared and tired and already belonging here. After a small moment, I pushed open the door and excited the room.

What I thought I was doing, do not ask. I walked into the Entrance Hall- grand and mysterious. I did not like this place. I stood there, not sure what I wanted to do or what I was doing, then jumped a little. The door leading to the Great Hall was partially open, light pouring from inside. McGonagall stood in the opening with a air of a queen. And she was looking at me.

“Would you have the generosity of explaining me, Miss Knezevic, what are you doing here? Or were Professor Sprout’s instructions stay here enough confusing for you?”

Of course McGonagall was just a few meters from where I was! They weren’t morons.

Next moment I had covered most of the distance between us, and looked her straight in the eye.

“If you could explain me, Professor” I began, my voice calm and firm “why am I supposed to be Sorted with the first years?”

“Would you expect to receive any sort of special treatment, Miss Knezevic? I understand you could consider a private sorting very appropriate, but why on earth would Hogwarts do this special service for you?”

“Because… what is the point of forcing me to attend this school and follow your customs?”

A pair of narrow slices stared at me behind the square glasses “Every new student has to follow the ancient sorting tradition. The decisions this school makes are not open for debate, Miss Knezevic. Nor is questioning the authority. Go back to the classroom now.”

She was firm and calm much more than I had ever been- and powerful the same way Hogwarts was.

It was for the way she had talked about the decisions of this school, leaving a thousand implications, she could forget my backing down without a fight.

“All due respect, Professor, but it is… a… little clumsy of you to expect me not question the authority after being forced to shallow it. Especially if I am about to be humiliated in front of the entire school in my first day…”

Oh, the crossing of the limit.

“So our traditions are… humiliation. Interesting viewpoint, Knezevic, but to break the truth to you softly, not many care about whether you consider it humiliation or not. Many of the kids in the classroom you just left should be attending their second year right now; for being Muggleborns they didn’t, and they’re not receiving any special treatment though they merit it.” She left her position in front of the half-open gate and stood next to me, by the cold stone wall.

“I don’t believe I have to say this, but Knezevic, you’re showing very little sense even by Muggle standards.” I stared at her, not sure whether I should show being offended “Do you realize that even the smallest gesture of different treatment towards you would anger the students, go against the wishes of the Order, discord the teachers and, above all, waste away the time we could apply productively at fixing the mess we’re left to put in place after this war?”

She looked at me in the eye now, fully facing me. “None of us, including you, thinks it’s a good idea for you do be here. But it’s the best we have, and to be frank, Knezevic, Hogwarts does you a big favor.” Her green eyes pierced me deeper and I already knew I wasn’t going to like what she would say next.

“I have a weight too heavy to carry on to worry about my clumsiness in not regarding your doubt of my authority. So be careful, Miss Knezevic, this is your final warning.”

Professor Sprout appeared at the top of the Great Staircase, holding an old stool with both her hands, on top of it resting the Sorting Hat itself. McGonagall’s eyes travelled towards her, then back to me.

“While you spend your school year here, as calmly and casually as you possibly can, I expect, I’d like to remind you that besides yourself, Hogwarts and all its residents are a mess, Knezevic. I think by now you have reached the point where your own wounds cannot be healed by the inside. Instead, I would suggest you cooperate to fix things outwards-in.”

My eyebrows shoot up way beneath my fringe when I realized…

“A-are you asking for me to help you?”

“No.” As if she would
“I ask for you to help the residents of Hogwarts. What we ought to do is make this all again after the war. It makes no difference who won or lost this war. Wounds always remain to be healed…”

Professor Sprout reached us. She looked at me worried and anxious, as if she were afraid I had put her in trouble by not staying in my place.

“Thank you, Pomona” said McGonagall as she took the stool and the Sorting Hat from her. “And now, if you may, lead Miss Knezevic back to the classroom with the first years before taking them all in the Great Hall to begin the Sorting Ceremony.”

Take me back there just to get me in again? And expect me not to doubt her authority?


---- I would love (love love) some feedback on those. Especially on Lea and McGonagall.
And apparently I can't help it, I'll ask you to tell me where you think she'll get sorted. WHERE D'YOU THINK SHE'LL GET SORTED?

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.

Hipolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:22 pm
She'll definitely be sorted in either Gryffyndor or Slytherin. Gryffyndor: That was pretty brave of her to stand up to McGonagall like that, since McGonagall is pretty intimidating. Plus, remember, their daring, nerve, and chivalry set Gryffyndors apart. and she has some nerve back-talking McGonagall when Hogwarts let her stay here after the war (that's what's happening, right? It's sort of hard to follow). MCGONAGALL WILL WHACK LEA WITH HER COOKIE TARTAN TIN! PREPARE TO FACE THE WRATH OF GINGER NEWTS, LEA KNEZVIC! MWA HA HA HA!!!
Slytherin: She seems to take offense easily. Death-Eater's daughter (I know I'm being prejudiced here, but she probably grew up learning Slytherin-like theories, such as muggles are inferior, pure-bloods rule, etc.) She uses the terms Mudbloods and blood-traitors multiple times. She's from Durmstrang (they're all Slytherins.) Everything she wrote on the parchment. Pureblood.

Quick question. Did who ever "they" are ('What they thought Pre-War' ) win or lose? Because they said they won. Lea said they lost.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:19 pm

CHAPTER FOUR


Admittedly: the Great Hall was impressive.

I had more important things to worry about than gaze around, but I did. I stared at the tables, the ghosts sitting among the students (there has never been one ghost in Durmstrang’s ground during the entire history of the Institute) and noticing the other people: there were adults and little children sitting in the house tables, along with the students and the misty silhouettes of the ghosts. Some were even in Muggle clothing, and they all seemed hurt somehow: bandages, exposed wounds, and a damaged hollowness in their stare. Could Hogwarts be a shelter for them- victims of the war?


Detaching my eyes from them, I looked in front of me, to Professor Sprout leading us at the teachers' table, Minerva McGonagall sitting on its center, her eagle eyes catching mine for a second. A silent warning.

One good thing that happened that day: I learned to communicate with the Headmistress from afar, without exchanging a word. Turned out useful.


Professor Sprout placed the stool down and turned to face the students, who fell quiet. She announced the obvious (that the Sorting Ceremony was about to begin) and then the Sorting Hat sang a song.

I was stunned at first myself, as were the first years. One girl let out a small yelp of surprise, and the students from the tables laughed. The Sorting Hat continued singing.

Truthfully? After overcoming the first shock, it was a beautiful song, about the four founders of Hogwarts, and how they decided to have each their own house in order to keep the school united, and their friendship from falling apart.

Even in those ancient times, Hogwarts believed that distance was the strongest way of keeping something close. I should have been less surprised, if only it was possible.

The Hat informed us (always singing) that in Hogwarts, students were sorted in the houses according to which qualities they bear and which qualities they most value.

This was a bit of a naïve decision, as judging an eleven-year-old for the rest of its life about whether they prefer bravery, slyness, loyalty or intelligence isn't really the best way of identification.

Then the Hat advised the school to keep united and went silent; everyone applauded.

“I’ll call your names alphabetically; upon hearing yours, you will walk to the stool, wear the hat, and it will define your house. After it announces its decision, you will move to the table of your new house.”

Your new house. House, as in home? I knew the difference between the two, and I knew I was not looking for a home here.

Most of the first years looked terrified: one was trembling; another seemed to be holding her breath. I reminded myself I wasn’t here to get stressed over something like this.

What really was unsettling me was that I was finally letting them claim me officially as their own student. I had promised myself, and Alban, that I would not allow Hogwarts make me theirs. Now I was letting them, having barely given a fight and I was realizing that I didn’t care- that it didn’t matter. I promised myself to get this year over with. No matter what, get this year over with by playing by their terms, not causing any trouble, putting aside my beliefs on blood purity, ignoring the fact that I was among the Durmstrang students who helped Voldermort’s Death Eaters’ actions outside Britain. And then I’d reunite with Alban. Then I’d be free to decide what I should do, what I believe, to find my voice.

But until then, I had to surrender.

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.

Hipolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:00 am
@agentthor12: Thanks for the insight on her!
Why do you find it hard to follow? Is it the writing? If you have any constructive criticism to give, then give it!
Things will be explained further, but here's what's going on: Lea and her brother are children of Death Eaters and previous Durmstrang students. They were taught dark magic during their days there, and they helped the Death Eaters (a bit like Snatchers, only they did other jobs -not capturing Muggleborns, like the Snatchers, other stuff -you'll seeeee-). But "they" (the Death Eaters, the side Lea was on) lost the war and "they" (the Order) won, so Lea's mother is sent to Azkaban for being a Death Eater, Lea is sent to Hogwarts and her brother to Beauxbatons so they'll stay apart and be watched not to cause any trouble for the school year (and for other reasons you'll find out later)

@magentadolphin21: Thank you! And especially about the Durmstrang perspective, I've spent quite some time figuring that out so it does mean a lot to hear :D

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.

Hipolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 6:13 pm
Posts: 13
Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:42 pm
Deary me! This is a beautiful story. Your writing standard is brilliant! I just wonder how old you are because this sort of writing is what you would accept from a professional author. Your skills are magnificent - description, feeling, action, dialogue - how old actually are you? Finally, I would like to congratulate you on producing such a lovely and exam A* standard piece of work. I'm actually only 11, but my English teacher is an author and she knows what she's talking about. So, congratulations on making this sound so good in my head. You need to carry on, and use your skills to your best ability. Dream and achieve.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:13 am
Why is it called Missing Death By Inches?



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:26 am

Chapter Five



“Knezevic, Leandra!”

Fine.

‘Oh, I see. I do see’. was the first thing it said, a whispering voice in my ear ‘I have been told you’ll be here, Leandra Knezevic. Certainly you are much beyond the Sorting age, much different than those I usually Sort.’ Underneath the Hat, with the entire school watching, I could not but feel humiliated. Cheated. Losing. But the Hat talked in a voice so free of any emotion I found myself thinking back: ‘Most of the students here are similar.’
‘No, they aren’t. There wouldn’t have been four different houses, each demanding such different qualities if they were all the same.’
could it be offended?‘You will learn to see the differences between its residents, while you will get to recognize the similarities amongst the students of your previous school. The house that will help you the most in this aspect is Hufflepuff- accepting of everyone. Embracing differences, yet favoring justice. And you, you do favor justice a lot.’
‘Favor justice? There is hardly any of it in this world.’
‘Only when one refuses to see it. Hufflepuff will help you understand, see the differences, give you faith in justice, and subsequently, will give you something to fight for…’
‘Justice? Why would I want to fight for justice?’
‘Isn’t it what you need?’
‘So your main reason for Sorting me whether you will, is so I can fight for something?’
‘No. This is what you are going to do.’
‘I don’t want to fight…’
“HUFFLEPUFF!”
‘Ah! I don’t want to fight for this school! I don’t care about this place!’
Too late to speak my mind. The table with the yellow and black tablecloth erupted in cheers and the Hat was removed from my head. Numbly, I stood up and walked up to the table of my new house where one girl was already making space for me to sit next to her.

I did. Some Hufflepuffs looked at me smiling, some ignored, others frowned, and the girl next to me took my hand in a brief handshake “Welcome to Hufflepuff.” she said, giving me a sad smile. “Thanks” I managed to say in a small voice, before the Sorting Hat announced “HUFFLEPUFF” for the next student, and the table erupted in cheering again.

It was rather silly, cheering, especially after having been through the three quarters of the list and still cheering as loudly for every single new student as ever, and some students seemed to agree with me.

“Why do the firsties have to be so pathetically many this year?” asked a girl sitting opposed to me to particularly no one, but the boy next to her replied:
“Don’t you be pathetic, Gracie. You know half of them should be seconds now, bear with them.”
“I could bear with them if my growling stomach wasn’t testing my patience!”

I looked around to the table: the fat ghost of a man warmly congratulating a new Hufflepuff; a dark-skinned boy struggling to hide his yawning; the sand-haired boy still arguing with the stubborn girl opposing me, pretty much the only ones making some sound in the tables, not seeming to matter; an old man in torn robes of very cheap cloth scratching a scar on his neck; a pregnant young woman on Muggle clothing on the Gryffindor table. Could things be like this at home now, too?


I woke up the next morning on by my own, after a very pleasant dream and feeling good and fresh on the inside. Upon opening my eyes, though, and seeing the morning’s light filtered through the yellow curtains of my bed, I started up, and the memory of my dream was gone. Another day’s fight was on.

The other girls in my dormitory introduced themselves while we got dressed: Eleanor, a tall and lanky girl with olive skin and silky black hair was the one most friendly to me, though in a distant way, as if trying hard to ignore something about, which she was. Gracie, the girl I had overheard complaining last night about the Sorting was also sharing the dormitory: short and a bit on the chubby side, with a round face and laughing lines already on her face, she didn’t seem like someone unfriendly, yet she did not spoke at all. She was already dressed and trying to tame her bushy light brown hair under a colorful headband when I woke up, and walked out of the dormitory as soon as she was pleased with the result. Laura was a tiny, pale creature with pale greasy hair and a high-pitched voice. The first thing she told me was “Are you allergic to cats?”and looked at me with such alarmed intensity it seemed like my life depended on my answer.

“Er… I… am not. Not allergic to cats.”
“Good.” she said firmly “Because Gracie owns two. If you were allergic, there would be trouble.”

Eleanor led me to the Great Hall from Hufflepuff’s common room for breakfast, which I was grateful for, as I had already forgotten the route from last night, with Laura sticking around at some distance, looking nervously around her at everyone and everything before sitting down between Gracie and her fellow sand-haired arguer.

The morning passed me by so fast I hardly had any time to react. Breakfast at a very busy, very noisy Great Hall, just like the day before, disturbed only by a sudden arrival of thousands of owls.

“It’s the owl post” Eleanor explained, some snickered at my surprise and no one paid me any further notice. With my Hogwarts uniform on, and determination to pass unnoticed, it was not difficult to. All the big fuss about “the Death Eater’s daughter from Durmstrang” was gone. I was one of them.

My first lesson was a two-hour History of Magic and what I learned was that this lesson was nothing to be afraid of. The teacher, a ghost, apparently, went on talking in such a calm, bored tone that made it impossible to concentrate; for two hours, everyone was lost in a sleepy state.

Third period. Transfiguration.

“This is going to be the most demanding year you have yet experienced, as of this subject.” McGonagall stated, glaring at us over her glasses “At the end of this year you will have your Ordinary Wizarding Level examinations and I expect every one of you” she paused and looked at us “to be able to cope with the demands of the exams. You are all able to do so, and no failure at your final O.W.L.s result will be excused. Now, this year you will be taught…”

Disappearing charms! Disappearing Charms were taught only in the final year at Durmstrang! I opened my book to discover with great horror that Hogwarts were much more advanced in Transfiguration than my year in Durmstrang had been: while I struggled to do the right wand movement, some other students already began Disappearing their own slugs. I found myself sweating and worrying for Transfiguration. Great. My parents were in Azkaban, my brother in Beauxbatons and all I was worrying about was some stupid slug on McGonagall’s lesson.

“Why is McGonagall teaching, if she’s the Headmistress?” I asked Laura during lunch break, the only one not complaining about the homework we were assigned.

“Well… after the war, we don’t have many teachers for everything.”

“Right. But she has a lot to do, teaching and leading the school, especially after the war.”

For the first time ever since I met her, Laura smiled “Yes, I know. But she manages alright.” she stared at me with the same intensity as she had in the dormitory “That’s why I admire her. She’s a real hero, you know.”

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:36 pm
Wow. I did NOT see that Hufflepuff coming. But I guess that none of the other houses would have accepted her as much as Hufflepuff would.
@Hippolyte: It wasn't the writing at all. Now that I've read the small backstory you gave me, I realize that you fit it in very nicely, I just didn't notice it. At first, I thought ''they'' were the Muggles, but now I get how it's the Order.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:14 am
Posts: 28
Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:38 pm

Oh My Gryffindor, this is incredible! I now regret not coming on the website for so long, simply because I should have read this story eons ago. Lea is amazing, and her backstory and view of Hogwarts is flawless. Great job!
~Nicole =)




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:27 pm
This one's a shameless belated update, but, hey, I'm sneaking out of bed at almost midnight to post this before I get to finish the next chap, so better appreciate this!
Now as I'm a member of the Reply Movement (officially :P) I will particularly request my reply-ers (lol) to give feedback on the characters, the presentation of the scenes and events, the pace and give insight on the writing and your own personal advice or guesses on what will happen next (so I know how to avoid doing what you expect. HA!)
This one's a very small one because it was originally very big so I had to cut it shorter. Chapter Seven's not finished yet, but I can guarantee it's much larger than this. (Which is actually Chapter Six part one and Seven is Chapter Six part two but anyways...)

Chapter Six


Laura was wrong, I thought. McGonagall was not a hero. I was not ready to admire her, to think of her as humanly strong and limited: as someone to look up to.

During the next lesson, the teacher, a tiny, certainly part-goblin man with a high-pitched voice talked to us about the O.W.L.s for a quarter of an hour before making us revise the Summoning Charm for the rest of the remaining time. I was relieved to discover I was already taught not only the Summoning Charm but a great deal of fifth year’s curriculum as well.

I worried not about Charms. During that first lesson, I sat on my own on a desk at the back of the classroom, performing the Summoning Charm on the pillows given to us, determined not to cause any trouble at all, and to have interaction with others only if absolutely needed while the Hufflepuffs around me chatted with each other casually. I noticed their performances on Accio were not outstanding.

Sitting on the desk next to me was the sand-haired boy and Gracie, whispering to each other with mischievous smiles on their faces and occasionally glancing at me. I ignored them at first.

“Truth or dare, Col?” I heard Gracie say aloud, and turned. She and the sand-haired one, ol, looked at me before facing each other again.

Fine, Gracie. Dare.”

Next thing I knew, he had stood up, covered the distance between our desks and popped himself next to me. I glared at him. I had no idea what that stupid dare was, but had no desire to be the victim of it. I was not expecting, however, to find him forcing a flirtatious smile.

“Wassup?” he winked.

Someone from the front rows giggled.

Now what was his problem?

“Now what’s your problem?”

More giggles.

“Mr Emmett! Five points from Hufflepuff!” screamed little Professor Flitwick.

Col Emmett went back to his seat. The heads turned to our direction turned back in front of them, and soon the lesson was proceeding as before but during the break afterwards, Laura came next to me again.

“Don’t get too upset with Col. ‘Wassup baby’ is his catchphrase. And Gracie likes to play truth or dare with him, and he always picks dare because if he picks truth she’s going to ask him about…”
She stopped. “Well, about something he doesn’t want to talk about.”

I couldn’t care less, but I couldn’t tell Laura this, as it would most likely put me in some sort of trouble. I wasn’t upset. I was far from being upset with Gracie and Col’s nonsense. And a bit angry with myself for being rescued from that stupid situation by a part-goblin who apparently believed he could teach to wizards.

I quickly brushed those thoughts away. If I wanted to see Alban and Mum again, I would have to adapt to this school and its ways, even if those included accepting Mud—Muggleborns as students, and allowing part-goblin or part-giant wizards to become Professors.


"CHAPTER" SIX OVER.

NOW TIME FOR THE HUGGING PART!
NICOLE! *squeeeeeze* I'm so glad you read this- and left such a wonderful comment! I love that you like Leandra, and then you so much for your compliments on her view on Hogwarts (and her backstory) because I've been dying to see if people actually like it (because I do, but, you know, I've been working on this idea since it was Christmas break or something so now I want to see what others think)
agentthor12! Thank you! And you leave such much insight and comments I love reading, which was a pleasant surprise for me-- thanks. :D

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:21 am
Guys-- I would appreciate some feedback on this.

Chapter Seven


Our last lesson of the day was Herbology. I followed my new classmates down to the greenhouses while it was already getting dark. Gracie was complaining about having Herbology on top of an exhausting day (“it’s pathetic!”) and Col was arguing that she ought to be more supportive towards Professor Sprout, who so it happened was Head of Hufflepuff (“and it’s not fair anyway, they have so much to do to put up with your pathetic complaints now”). Eleanor and another boy, Owen, were walking quietly together, holding hands while the other boy, Kevin, was telling them some sort of story. Laura and I were at the back of the group, she looking frantically around as usual, her entire body stiff.

The Gryffindors were already there. They were in friendly terms with the Hufflepuffs; even Laura seemed to be close with a girl from them, whom she introduced to me as Natalie McDonald.

Another lesson began with an intro on OWLs and I was getting frustrated by then: I was being thrown from one class to another without reacting, listening to their rambles on OWLs and even getting stressed about them, like the Hogwarts students did. With a jolt of fear, I wondered if I was begging to become one of them. Then I thought I probably had no other choice.

Sprout made us team up in groups of three for the lesson of the day (which included the use of dragon dung to perhaps excessive proportions). The Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs were easily separated in groups and spread in the entire greenhouse. Someone gently pulled my sleeve.

“Would you like to team up with us?” Laura asked me. Natalie next to her nodded, but right that moment, a short though stocky Gryffindor boy took Natalie by the shoulder and lead her a few meters away from me and Laura, were a couple of his classmates were standing.

“Natalie! Have you lost your mind? Are you, what? Teaming up with her?”

His hand pointed at me for a second before falling by his side again. He apparently thought I couldn’t hear him in the noisy greenhouse or simply didn’t care. Maybe, it occurred to me later, he wanted me to listen to him. Either way, I did.

“Jimmy, it’s ok. You don’t catch blood purity by sitting on the same table with…”

“Natalie! Maybe it was her father, or her mother. Or her godfather, or her aunt. The people who bought her up and she looks up to- maybe it was them who murdered Fred. Or Professor Sinistra. Or Colin.”

The growing pain in his voice was as burning to the ears of the listener as the growing anger was in my chest.

“Jimmy…” Natalie whispered. “It’s not right. What you’re doing is not right. It’s not her fault.” There was pity in her voice. It’s not her fault. Jimmy and his classmates- all so ready to agree on the same thing, intolerant of the possibility something else might exist besides their own viewpoint. Though I guess, once you’re the winner of a war, you have every right to think so. And Natalie was being good- ready to accept me. But I didn’t agree with any of them. I didn’t want Natalie to be good, or the others unready for someone different- whether it was me or a girl from their side ready to embrace the different.

My fingers curled tightly around my wand in my pocket. Professor Sprout was at the other side of the room, explaining something to Eleanor. Lines of tall plants were between us and her. No one would notice.

“Is it that easy for you to forgive, Natalie?” another Gryffindor said “How can you forgive- can’t you remember? Remember the Carrows? The Resistance? Colin?”

Colin. The way his name was spoken… as if caressing a permanent scar. My mother would touch the small scars that had been marked all over her palm and fingers when she talked about my father, the same pain and regret in her voice- and I knew she was, thirteen years later, still blaming herself for his imprisonment. That she guilty she felt for staying free behind- for not finding a way to liberate him.

“Sorry” Natalie whispered to Laura and, next thing I knew, she was leaving, back straight, head high, not looking at Jimmy or the others, but leaving anyway. My momentary sympathy for them and their Colin was gone. My wand left my pocket.

Jimmy opened his mouth to speak but shut it close upon seeing me approaching them.

“Knezevic”

“No, Peakes stop it all of you!”

The smallest student of the group shoved his way forward: the other Gryffindors had placed themselves all around him, as if they were his guards, but now he stood in front of me and Laura, who had taken a lot of steps back and looked at everyone fearfully and silent, like a hunted animal.

He turned his back at her and faced Peakes. He was standing by my side.

“I get that you have good intentions. But I don’t agree- and I don’t want all this nonsense for my protection.”

I looked at him. He certainly was the smallest of them all- short, maybe a few centimeters taller than Jimmy Peakes, but he lacked the confidence of the second: he had the childlike air of innocence, someone who had always been the youngest and the protected one. Yet his face was marked by a seriousness I’ve seen on my classmates and teammates back at Durmstrang after the war began for real. Of someone struggling with grief.

“All this nonsense for your protection!” Peakes could not believe in his ears “Colin—”

“I don’t want all this nonsense done in Colin’s memory, either. Just… let it be, Jimmy. You can’t start a Hogwarts Resistance for everything you don’t like in this school.”

Peakes and the others began protesting loudly. Professor Sprout turned towards us. I had wasted enough of my time.

“Look, Hogwardians.” I said. All the eyes were fixed on me and I realized I had spoken aloud the inferiority I felt for them. Bad first move. “I-I don’t care. Y-you can g-go a-and solve your own problems. But lea-leave me alone and… and out of this. I don’t care.”

I don’t care! She doesn’t care!” said a girl from the group. My breath was cut short. She was imitating my accent! She was mocking me!

“I’ll make this short, Knezevic.” Peakes turned to me “Stay away from us, and we’ll leave you alone.”

“I don’t care!” this time, I really didn’t care. That they were looking at me, or that I had a foreign accent or that Professor Sprout was approaching us “You’re not asking for something difficult- me to stay away from you! Why the heck would I want to have anything to do with you? I will ‘stay away from you’” I tried to imitate their own native accent like they had with mine “and not because you asked me!”

Professor Sprout crossed her arms at her chest, now standing between me and the Gryffindors “Get to work, guys. I don’t want to be giving detention on your first day- the homework I’ve got prepared for you is already cruel enough.”

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:08 am
Oh. My. Gosh. Flitwick= Part-Goblin. O.O That may just be the most epic head-canon ever in the history of all head canons. I LOVE IT!!!



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:29 am
This is an extremely far-fetched assumption, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I am going to guess that the tiny, protected boy that stood up for Leandra was Dennis Creevey. Just a guess. Also, Laura seems extremely Luna Lovegood-ish. I dunno, this part just seems Luna-ish:

The first thing she told me was “Are you allergic to cats?” and looked at me with such alarmed intensity it seemed like my life depended on my answer.

“Er… I… am not. Not allergic to cats.”
“Good.” she said firmly “Because Gracie owns two. If you were allergic, there would be trouble.”

I was thinking: "Um... okay... nice to meet you too..." Always thinking that sorta thing with Luna, so I instinctively related the two in my head.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:50 pm
I, um... no, Laura is not supposed to be like Luna... not at all. But it's my fault if she reminds you of her.
Ugh. I guess it's a lot like something Luna would have done. But Laura is supposed to be the overly nervous, insecure outsider, not really because she's not accepted by her peers but because she short of just cuts herself out because she's... well... insecure?

I don't know, I will work on her character a lot more when I get back from Camp (which is apparently at around early August)

YES! *hugs agentthor12* it IS Dennis Creevy!
And thanks for finding the headcanon awesome this is just awesome to hear :D
And you know... since you're the only one replying as of late... could you do a little review/heads-up on the chapter in general? Like, how do you think it's going, etc? Not that I am unsatisfied by your replies- actually quite the opposite, thank you so much for all of them :lol:

But as you can tell (everyone) this story won't be updated for at least another week, I'm so sorry but I have to leave for another camp... sorry guys :(
Hope you have a wonderful time though and if you just read everything and replied to this while I'm gone it'll be the best present to find upon my returning here! :D



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:00 am
Posts: 2528
Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:06 pm
Wow, Anna! This is absolutely fantastic! (I'm sorry if I don't have much constructive criticism... I'm really bad at giving that stuff. :P)

Chapter seven was probably my favourite. You really captured my attention with everyone talking about the past, and connecting it to the books in the series.

In chapter five, I thought that you wrote the Sorting Hat perfectly.

Sorry for the brief reply. I can't wait to read more!

-Skyelark Moon :lol:



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:29 pm
AHH! Sorry, Anna! I thought she was supposed to be Luna-ish! She stopped being Luna-ish after that sentence anyway... (It may also have had something to do with the physical description... Luna's actor has pretty pale hair, remember? She's also a year younger than everyone else, making her a tiny creature by comparison...) So sorry if I offended you or Laura in any way. Anyway, yeah, I liked how you had some prejudiced people mixed in with the un-prejudiced people. It adds some action. You know, I never did like Jimmy Peakes... Also, I noticed something, just a minor detail. Since she is in fifth year, meaning she's sixteen, and it says her father was imprisoned 13 years ago, this means she was three when he was put in prison. I dunno, it's just something I noticed and had to get out and make sure was correct. Also, it would be nice if at some point during the story you told us the names of her Death-Eater parents. Anyway, this is an awesome story!



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:44 pm
@agentthor12: No, I was not offended by your comparing Laura to Luna at all, I was just worried that I was writing her the wrong way. But thank you so much for yet another lovely comment!
Yes, Leandra was three/two by the time her father was imprisoned, so she practically grew up without him. You will find out her parent's names later in the story, but they are not Death Eaters who appeared in the books, they're 100% OCs (original characters). Plus more stuff about her parents and now I have to change subject or I'll say everything (and I can't say everything because I need to keep up some mystery to make you stay tuned ;))
I like Jimmy Peakes, actually, and Leandra is much prejudiced on her own part, mind you ;) But now can I please say I love you for all these comments and how you're so awesome kaythanksbye *sqeeze*

@Skyelark: YAY PLATYPUS READ IT!
Thanks! And actually I loved your reply, no worries about brief-ness :B

Alright, everyone! I came back from camp yesterday night and expect some updates on this fanfic soon! Sorry for the long delay, but I don't regret leaving for those two weeks because it was really awesome there. However, I really did miss this fanfic... but above all you guys :D Thanks for being here!

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:45 pm

Chapter Eight


When the bell rang, signaling the end of the day’s classes, it was with relief that everybody left the greenhouse: tired, sweaty and dirty, and with loads of homework to be prepared for the next day, no one wanted to stay there not for one more second.

I knew I wanted to be alone- desperately. While the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors passed me by, rushing to go for dinner, I stayed behind, putting my stuff back in my bag. Book. Parchment. Quill. Mechanically and slowly, I tried to earn some time for myself.

‘Leandra?’

I looked up. It was Gracie, looking serious. Col was by her side, almost as solemn, both staring at me. I raised an eyebrow at them. What now? Leave me alone.

‘Could I have a word please, Leandra?’ Professor Sprout asked, appearing from behind the thick bush she had been trimming. Gracie and Col left without a second word, leaving me and Professor Sprout alone in the dark greenhouse. My stomach was knotted, but when I looked up to Sprout, I saw her smiling.

‘First of all, I’m happy to see you in my house, Leandra. It is good to have you in Hufflepuff.’ Oh, right. On top of everything, Professor Sprout was Head of Hufflepuff, and expected me to be cheerful about belonging to her house. Maybe her words were sincere –her smile sure looked so- but why was she telling me that? Couldn't she just get to the subject?

‘Professor… what would you want to tell me?’

‘Leandra… I saw you and the Gryffindors today …’

Oh, great. They were those being intolerant and looking for trouble, yet I was the one actually in it.

‘But …’ I began ‘nothing happened, right? I didn’t do anything wrong…’

‘I do not blame you for anything, Leandra. But what you need to know is that, unfortunately, you’re not welcomed by everyone here yet.’

This is not my problem

‘And you certainly don’t welcome everyone by your part.’

Oh, even greater. It was the Gryffindors who started it!

‘But Leandra, I can’t guarantee that the students of Hogwarts will not react harshly to you … being part of our school. You saw what happened today. And it’s not someone’s fault in particular …’

Are you sure?

‘ … it’s just that the students of Hogwarts are not less hurt and bitter than you. We just survived a war, after all; but I want you to promise me that you will not attempt any attacks towards them. Especially with magic.’

I inhaled deeply before answering, trying to keep my face as emotionless as possible: ‘I do not intend to attack on anyone.’ But if they decide to hex me, don’t expect me to sit and stare.

Professor Sprout smiled again. It was getting annoying, all the smiling, given that there was nothing to smile at.

‘I believe you Leandra, but I want you to be really, really serious about it. To practically perform no curse, hex, jinx or any combat magic in general outside your classes.’

‘Why?’ I asked on reflex, and from the taken aback look on her face, I understood I had snapped at her. She sounded just as calm as before, though, when she said:

‘It is something serious. And it’s for your own safety. If you’re caught performing any short of offensive spell- from a serious curse to the smallest jinx, it hardly matters- you’d be in great trouble.’

She paused and looked at me. So far, she wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know.

‘The Order has decided you should not be told about it, but I disagree. I believe you ought to be informed, or you’re walking straight into a trap. Listen, Leandra, I want you to take it as calmly as possible and to, in all costs, never let anyone know you’re aware of what I will tell you.’

She looked at me straight in the eye. Her eyes were a light honey brown, crowned by thick eyebrows and laughing lines, but the look on them was solemn.

‘Do you remember when we took your wand to examine it after it was agreed you will attend Hogwarts?’

Of course. I clearly remembered all those weeks after the war- the trial’s decision that Alban and I would be separated and send to different wizarding institutes, the emissaries’ arrival from Beauxbatons and Hogwarts to inform us about the schools we would be attending and, at last, taking my and Alban’s wands for two days to the highest-ranking wandmakers in England and France respectively for what they only explained as ‘examination’.

We gave our wands to them without any contradictions, of course. Despite how many times it had been repeated to us during our school days to never hand our wands to another witch or wizard, we had no other choice. Mum was already in Azkaban by then.

‘Well, during these days we had them, we … well, sure we examined them to make sure they’re working properly, but we also cast a Tracking spell on them.’

I stared at her. Tracking spell? I knew little about them- certainly wouldn’t have understood it if one was placed on my wand. Yet it didn’t seemed like something unlikely.
‘If you ever use your wand to cast any curses, or hexes, jinxes, or pretty much any form of offensive or combat magic, the Ministry and the Order will know that right on that moment. And in only a matter of seconds, you’ll be surrounded by at least three of them.
‘It is done for safety reasons only. The Order doesn't trust you won’t create any trouble- and, well, as much as I believe you won’t, I must admit they are doing a good job being prepared for anything. What I want from you, Leandra, is to promise me you will not make them Track you.’

‘Promise?’ she asked again, when she saw I didn't spoke.

I had no heart for talking, but forced myself to say ‘If someone attacks me, I can’t promise I won’t defend myse-'

‘Oh, for Merlin’s sake, no! You should definitely defend yourself if you are seriously attacked- maybe it’s even better with the Tracking spell on, because if something serious happens, Order members will immediately rush to your aid. But what I want you to promise is that you will not point your want against any Hogwarts student- or anyone, for that matter, unless you're seriously threatened. But unless you use combat magic for pure self-defense against a serious attack, you would be in serious trouble. So please, promise you won’t get involved in any fights, accept duel challenges, or lose control in general.’

I could not promise that. Definitely not yet. If Sprout was an Order member who had agreed to the Tracking spell being placed upon my wand -darn, Alban’s wand too!-, why was she telling me all this? Why would she even care? Sure enough, she looked like a person with deep care for her students, but was that really an act of pure affection towards me? And even if it was- why should I accept it?

‘I- I don’t think—why are you telling me all this, Professor?’

She sighed deeply. ‘I believe you should be aware. This is the only way you will truly avoid getting in trouble. And getting in trouble will mean real trouble, not just taking some points from Hufflepuff and a detention. Using any short of offensive magic against another person will affect your mother and brother, too. Even if you cast the smallest hex against another student for the smallest reason- there will be consequences and, even if you are right up to a point, there will be little understanding. So now you know, and you ought to never tell anyone you know.’

I stared back at her. She really did care. Sprout was the good-hearted person you rarely ever got to see after a war. But did that meant…

‘You were not supposed to tell me? The Order was going to keep it secret from me?’

‘It hardly matters. What I want you to do is promise me.’

I felt nauseous. Suddenly my wand weighted a lot in my pocket; I wanted to pull it out and throw it away. The Order hadn’t been intending to tell me; Sprout had because of her good heart, perhaps breaking a vow she had made. If I didn't know, I would give myself three or four days. Then the Jimmy Peakes scene would be repeated- maybe by someone else that time- and I would simply lose control, forget everything and throw them a hex.

‘This—’ I started saying but Sprout cut me off.

‘Just promise, Leandra. Promise or we’ll both be in great trouble- no, forget me. Do it for the sake of someone you hold dear.’

She had me cornered. I did not want to accept that Sprout was good and by my side- I did not need her by my side. But she had already risked a lot- even if the Tracker part was a lie, I –and to a greater extent Mum and Alban- would make our situation much worse if I were caught performing magic against another student.

I also saw that, even though a calm and peaceful person, Sprout wasn’t going to let me go until I promised her.

‘Okay.’ I said at last.

I am only doing this for Mum and Alban

Wait, Alban. ‘Is Alban’s wand Traceable too? Does he- does he know?’

She avoided my stare this time

‘Your brother’s wand has been placed the Tracking spell as well. He … there is another teacher at Beauxbatons who agrees that you should know about the Tracker. She will inform him about it, if she already hasn’t.’

I had no means of contacting Alban.

And Professor Sprout was a terrible liar.

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:50 pm
This chapter was great! :D :D :D! I hope you explain leter why Gracie and Col were there, though... I can't imagine what they'd be mad at Leandra about. She hasn't done anything bad... yet. I feel sorry for Alban, because he doesn't know he's not allowed to use magic! How can you expect people to follow rules if they don't know what they are? The Ministry can be so silly sometimes. :P Well, lucky for Leandra the Ministry won't be able to tell if she sucker-punches somebody.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:18 am
A/N: I am so sorry this is so delayed, but I promise to be more frequent with my updates from now on!
I would appreciate (read: ADORE YOU TO THE END OF THE WORLD AND BACK) if you gave me some feedback both on this chapter, and the fanfic in general :D Mostly on the characters and plot, and suggestions, advice and constructive criticism are more than welcome here :) So please, if you have anything to comment on this fanfic, do so!

Chapter Nine




I walked up the path from the greenhouses, feeling like it had been ages ago when I had walked it down. By that time I was only aware of a very small percentage of the mess I was in.

Finally finding the way to the common room, and seeing that all the other girls from the dormitory were studying, I thought of climbing up, getting in bed, being alone and desperate. I liked doing this every once in a while. Stop fighting and just fall down and let myself rot in my problems for hours. I might’ve been doing this all the time if I hadn’t been brought up by my mother, but I was; Borna Knezevic’s motto was “fight” and, if there was one thing she wouldn’t tolerate, this was to not-fight. And this didn’t necessarily meant a physical or a wand fight: “fight” sometimes meant just keep afloat.

I wondered if –and how- she kept on fighting from her cell in Azkaban, but she most likely had either found a way or was just playing by their rules while working on an escape. Like I was.

Like I was trying to be, anyway.

Not-fighting was not a possibility tonight, I realized bitterly. If I had to play by the rules while working –or trying to work- on a plan, I had to do my homework for tomorrow, or my troubles would double overnight.

Homework took me hours into the night and when I could not go on anymore I still had Transfiguration left, which was particularly stupid of me and I knew it. I couldn’t not study a thing for McGonagall’s lesson, but I didn’t. I was simply too tired and before doing anything for the present, I had to catch up, which would mean studying over the previous years’ books for hours on end. So I went to sleep.

Next morning during breakfast, Professor McGonagall stood up and the entire Great Hall fell quiet.

There was just something in her way of standing up- of holding herself- that made it impossible to ignore her. McGonagall had the air of my mother when was teaching, or of Sergei Poliakof when standing up for another student. The air of a true leader, I would say. And the fact that she reminded me so much of two of my most favorite people was all but helping.

‘I would like to announce that the contemporary Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher arrived yesterday.’ Some murmuring occurred, and my eyes travelled from the one edge of the teacher’s table to the other, but I couldn’t tell who the new teacher was, not yet knowing all the staff. He must’ve been some great deal, though, because the small smile on McGonagall was implying the beam she was controlling. The new teacher must have made her really proud by accepting this position at times like those. ‘Please welcome Mr. William Weasley.’

Weasley?

A surprisingly young, long-haired man got up and bowed slightly, smiling even less so, but it was enough for the Great Hall to erupt in applause. The man’s face was scarred; long, violent wounds contradicted his pale skin. He must be some sort of hero I thought. He definitely seemed like what Laura would call a hero.


The two hours of Charms were followed by two hours of History of Magic, whom I survived.

Defense Against the Dark Arts was our first lesson after lunch.


‘I’m sorry Bill Weasley’s the teacher’s this year.’ the Kevin boy said (to no one in particular) as we seated ourselves in the Hufflepuff table ‘he’s going to leave the school who knows in what condition.’

Gracie rolled her eyes ‘You’re being ridiculous.’ Kevin looked rather offended, and in my surprise, this did not seem to pass unnoticed by Gracie, who smiled at him ‘At least this year’s a person we all agree we like, right?’

Everyone nodded. Expect me.

‘The DADA spot has been cursed’ Laura informed me under her breath. She waited until I got that DADA meant “Defense Against the Dark Arts” and continued ‘No DADA teacher has stayed in school for more than a year, but some claim the curse is over now that You-Know-Who is dead.’ An awkward pause followed, but it was the first time Laura has spoken so much to me, and she seemed determined to continue ‘Our generation has been particularly unlucky. In our first year we had Professor Moody, who turned out to be a Death Eater in disguise.’

Oh, yeah. I knew that story well, alright. It had been one of the many subjects of discussion that year around the dinner table; others included the return of the Dark Lord, the Triwizard Tournament, how I was doing in my first year at Durmstrang and Victor Krum’s chances to win the Tournament (high according to me).

‘Barty Crouch’ I sprouted out, taking poor Laura by surprise.

‘Yeah, well, that’s right. Then, on our second year we had Umbridge.’ she shivered at the mention of the name.

I’ve heard about her, too. She had been head of the Muggle-born Registration Commission in the Great Britain.

And next, though Laura didn’t continue, was Amycus Carrow.

I wondered if Mum had already become friends with the two later in Azkaban.

‘But this year, it’s Bill Weasley!’ her voice was full of admiration.

‘The Weasleys are a family of seven children--the youngest, Ginny, is on her seventh year now.’ She nodded towards the Gryffindor table.

‘And they’re all… a bit of heroes around here. His brother, Ron, well…’ she stopped herself, and I finally made the connection.

That’s right. I thought Ron Weasley. Weasley. I should’ve remembered. He helped Harry Potter destroy the Dark Lord. We owe him one.


I know Mum does.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:56 am
Yay! *claps* I've been watiing, like, FOREVER for the next chapter! Anyway, awesome chapter as always! Bill Weasley the DADA teacher? OH MY HUFFLEPUFF YESSS!!! That rocks! :D Yay, you mentioned the mom's name! Poor Leandra. She is so gonna get busted by McGonagall for not doing that homework. I like to do the stop-fighting-lie-down-and-ice-cream-my-problems-away thing too (Okay, so Leandra doesn't do the ice cream part, but I bet if there was ice cream at Durmstrang she would). Unfortunately for Leandra, this is not a like-mother like-daughter situation :(. Yeah, so all-in-all, this was an AWESOME CHAPTER!!! :D



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:53 am
Next chapter, whoo!
Note: after this chapter, the actual thing begins, so stay tuned plz!

Chapter Ten


When William Weasley walked into the classroom we were already seated, and the moment he was in sight, the entire class erupted in cheers and applause again.

Welcoming a war hero, I guess that’s allowed.

Students congratulated him, some even got up to shake hands with him, but at last everyone got back to their seats, and he turned out to be the first teacher not to start the first lesson with an intro on OWLs.

“As you know, this year you will be taught defensive charms and counter-jinxes for combat magic use. This years’ curriculum is essential knowledge, and I demand attention and excellence from all of you, especially in the practice field.”

He sure knew how to make a speech. Standing in front of the blackboard, arms crossed, speaking firmly and straight to the point, he was the man who meant every word he said.

Defensive charms and counter-jinxes? I’ve been taught those.

“I don’t want you to excel for the marks, or your academic progress. Right now, I don’t give a darn about those because right now, the only reason I want every single one of you to leave this school at the end of this year with an ‘O’ at DADA is that you will need what you’re going to learn.”

Shoot. What is ‘Oh’?

“S-sir?” Laura asked, shyly raising her hand. “We’re… still going to need them? With the war over and all, we will need to fight?”

“Miss Madley, we’re in a post-war period. It is given you’ll need them, and you will learn everything you’re supposed to this year even better than your own name. But before I introduce you to the material of the fifth year, this first week will be dedicated to revising everything you’ve learned on your past years at Hogwarts.”

Wait- with a maniac Death Eater, a Ministry butt-kisser and a rather less maniac Death Eater, what have those kids really learnt all this time?

Professor Weasley seemed to be thinking the same, because he added “I fully understand you’ve had many different teachers that weren’t exactly appropriate for teaching...” (There was some choking he did not seem to mind) “…and, unfortunately, those who were did not stay for more than a year. So if I may ask… what did you learn, throughout the previous four years?”

“Um” Eleanor began “our first teacher, P-professor Moody… he taught us the Unforgivable Curses.”

“Oh, right. And he even made you resist the Imperius Curse?”

Shoot. They were nodding. These kids have been through much more than I thought.

Weasley sighed “I guess we can all agree that your second year was just time wasted at the hands of a Ministry-lover useless enough to make garden gnomes seem valuable in comparison.”(There was laughter) “Then, on your third year…”

“Professor Snape”

Right. I’ve been forgetting someone.

“I think I can safely say he was the only one who actually taught you something?”

They told him what Snape had taught them; boggards; vampires; werewovles. I’ve been through all of these during my days at Durmstrang. The Institute was the best of all European wizarding schools at Defense Against the Dark Arts. And just Dark Arts, too, though this is a detail that could be overlooked.

“And last year... which ones of you were part of the Hogwarts Resistance?” asked Weasley.

They all raised their hands.

“So, I take it you all have it on you. Good.” He made a pause for only a second; during it, his eyes were turned on me. I looked back, before he turned back to the general direction of the class “This year, you will also be taught to perform the Patronus Spell.” He announced

“But, sir, it’s not necessary for the OWLs…” said, out of all people, Col.

“I insist on it!” Weasley shouted at him “With Azkaban cleared from Dementors, these creatures are roaring out there! It’ll take years, decades perhaps to eliminate them and I can’t have my own students wandering out there defenseless!”

The class was silent, listening in awe and admiration.

“But… sir? Will we have time to cover all these in one year?” Gracie asked politely

“Yes, miss Levine.”

Gracie made a grimace but no one else seemed to understand this guy was gonna make us split blood.

He then asked how many of us had produced a patronus –and there were actually one or two people who had-, and if any of us had come face-to-face with a Dementor, or other dark creature.

Quite a few hands were raised. I thought raising mine would be ironic, and certainly given. I didn’t.

“Sir… I’m sorry to ask, but is it true you’ve… you’ve fought Fernir Greyback?”

A chill ran down my spine. Weasley gave a short nod. “He gave me those, two years ago.” He pointed to his wounds.

He’d fought with Greyback.

I had only survived my one meeting with him.

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:15 am

Chapter Eleven


It was one of those days, a year after the Dark Lord’s return, that the Death Eaters of North Europe were having another long meeting on our dining room. Alban and I were to quietly wait upstairs for it to be over.

That day something was different. Not the usual muffled voices from downstairs; we could clearly hear a man talking loudly, in a voice that first made us wonder whether its owner really was a man. Of the human kind. It sounded a bit like a dog’s bark, a bit like howling.

Hours later, when we finally saw from the upper windows the back door opening, the cloaked figures taking a few steps outside and Disapparating, we climbed our way downstairs.

Not everyone was gone yet. Upon entering the dining room, we saw our mother, sitting on her usual seat at the table and next to her, the werewolf Fernir Greyback.

All I knew about werewolves was that they were filthy, inferior creatures, but that moment I was frightened by his appearance, his eyes, that he was actually in my house and talking to my mother.

“Alban! Lea! Go back to your rooms!” was her order

“No, let the kids come in. I’d hate to be trouble.” Greyback said in English. By that moment, I was trembling. I wanted to turn on my heel and not stop running, but my mother locked eyes with us.

“Take a seat. It won’t be long.” she said firmly, in English herself.

Alban and I sat next to each other, facing my mother and the monster. I hid my trembling hands under the table, but Alban crossed his on its surface, pressing them so tightly together he was trembling from the effort anyway.

“I was just telling your mother (and I see no reason why you shouldn’t know) that your father was not part of the massive Azkaban escape.”

No. Right that moment, my fear of him was replaced by desperation: He has to have escaped! He can’t be in Azkaban right now- it was his one chance!

I had no memories from my father: when he was sentenced to life imprisonment I was hardly three years old, Alban wasn’t even four, but of course, Mum remembered. And all of our lives, her one hope and purpose was to see our father safe and sound outside of prison.

“Unfortunately,” said Greyback, anything but sorry, “your father lost his sanity during his years of imprisonment. Even if he escaped, he would be of no use to the Dark Lord.”

My heart was punching my chest. In the years that followed I got through duels and hiding, sneaking, stealing and fighting but my heart had never been beating faster than it did that moment.

Our mother’s face was blank. It wasn’t like Borna Knezevic to be blank-faced; she was too passionate and under too many responsibilities to remain blank. But that moment, I thought it was her only defense.

(Of course, later I realized she was beyond defense. We were all at Greyback’s mercy.)

“And so, his wife and children are here! With your father useless and imprisoned, what is left for you to do, honeys?” He leaned closer towards us. I smelled his breath. I looked in his eyes. Later, I couldn’t recall their color.

“I’ll tell you. All you can do, the two of you, is help the Dark Lord. Young and gifted wizards like you, he could use some instead of his Azkaban-worn followers. So, whenever the Dark Lord gets to need you, you will offer your services. Or you’ll be given to me. Understood?”

“Leave her alone!” Alban shouted and the werewolf turned, from me, to him

“Got some nerve, eh? Your father was not strong enough to remain sane during the test of his loyalty to the Dark Lord in Azkaban. Your mother, though free, had her back turned to him all this time. And he has to gain back followers. You won’t be exactly Death Eaters –you probably won’t last an hour doing the actual job- but if he ever needs your help, you ought to prove yourselves better than your parents and serve him. Or he’ll reward me.”

He got up. “That’s all. For now.”


I could have done worse Transfiguration, but it was a disaster nonetheless. With as much knowledge in Disappearing charms as the slug in front of me, I did horribly. McGonagall took five points from Hufflepuff but gave me no further attention, Eleanor earned ten points, I made no improvement, and Gracie, clumsy and reckless with her wand, seemed to be doing worse. So it was no surprise to me that I ran up to her in the library’s Transfiguration section after dinner.

Sitting at the one edge of the long table, Gracie (somewhere behind two piles of books), at the other, I read the previous year’s book for hours, until my focus on the words lessened, my memories of Greyback, the morning’s DADA lesson and my increasing anxiety over homework took over and, beaten, I put the book down and threw my head against it.

“Leandra?”

Over the lean surface of the table, Gracie was staring at me, a look of friendly curiosity on her round face.

“Hi.” I said simply. I wasn’t in a mood for snapping, especially since Gracie was the sort of person to love an argument.

Gracie smiled. She seemed to be in a surprisingly friendly mood “Wouldn’t you agree that Transfiguration’s a bit pathetic?” She closed her book “I’ve never been good, and I swear, McGonagall has it for me. Eleanor, too; all the points she’s ever earned through Transfiguration were sooner or later lost because of me.” She yawned.

“You’re advanced” I muttered.

“What?”

“You’re a lot more advanced than we were at Durmstrang” I explained

“Huh, really? Well, you seem to be doing great in Charms. Durmstrang’s ahead of us there, huh?”

I nodded. Gracie stared at her books blankly.

“You know what, I don’t think I can study anymore. Let’s go to the common room, shall we?”

I wasn’t sure I’d survive walking from the library to the common room with Gracie, but it seemed a better option than staying alone over a book I couldn’t understand, surrounded by painful memories.

“Alright.”

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:34 pm
Wow! This is an amazing story! I love all the information on Durmstrang, and how with Lea, we get to see Hogwarts through the perspective of someone who considers themself to be an 'outsider'. :razz: My favourite chapters were chapter 5 (I think you did the sorting hat really well), chapter 7 (the fight between Lea, the prejudiced Hogwartians, and the non-prejudiced Hogwartians was really well-written, and I love how you included some of the minor characters who were actually in the books to sort of tie it in), and chapter 8 (learning more about the situation Lea and her brother are in, and how Professor Sprout tried to help her was very interesting). I also think Lea's a wonderful and unique character, and the whole idea is really creative and interesting! :grin:

~Songbird49 :smile:

By the way, sorry I didn't have much constructive criticism. I'm not very good at coming up with it. :lol:



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:25 pm
@songbird49 and agentthor12: You guys are the best! Thanks for those two lovely replies, they always make my day when I read them :D
(ice cream away problems... that's what I should've said. Genius)

And now, for some reason, I had many feels over this chapter...

Chapter Twelve


Next morning I found myself standing, Laura to my left and a very deep into Quidditch conversation Gracie and Col to the right, under a balcony in the Middle Courtyard, rain pouring all around us, and feeling rather miserable.

We’ve just been done with our two-hour Transfiguration of the day and once the bell rang, a two-hour of Potions would follow.

Laura informed me, in her quiet voice and while looking all around her, as if ready to hide from any occurring enemy, about Professor Slughorn and his infamous –among non-members- “Slug club”.
‘He likes to invite famous students, or students with famous parents.’

Once inside the Potions classroom and among the Ravenclaws we’d be sharing the class with, Professor Slughorn, a huge and beaming man, risked trying to find out whether Borna Knezevic was or was not my mother:

‘I take it you are Leandra Knezevic, am I right? It is a delight to have you here, a delight indeed.’ Before I could have any time than to say a “thank you”, he proceeded to ‘I don’t suppose you’re by any means related to Borna Knezevic, right? Winner of the 1972 Croatian Duelling Competition? She was a most gifted participant, she was, and only at the age of eighteen! Never before had I witnessed such a performance as hers in the final duel, and mind you, I’ve been watching the finals of all European duelling competitions for decades!’

Oh, great. Someone who remembered my mother’s old glories. We had that 1972 cup somewhere at house, the only one who ever got to touch it being the house elf, dusting it once a week. I had no idea where it could be now, house elf gone and house uninhabited.

“You couldn’t be her daughter, could you?” Slughorn, on the meanwhile, continued “I head she’s married, she must’ve changed her name…”

I didn’t feel much like sharing with Slughorn –let alone all of the fifth year Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs- that my mother had kept her maiden name and, once our father was imprisoned, changed my and Alban’s surnames to Knezevic too, so that we wouldn’t have a different last name from her, but it seemed like Slughorn was eagerly expecting an answer. Working up my courage, I said “Yes, sir. I am Borna Knezevic’s daughter.” and gave no further elaboration but, from Slughorn’s reaction, what I said seemed enough.

His smile faded; he took a step back; when he spoke, his voice was quiet and trembling, and he didn’t look at me, ready to drop the subject and forget it was ever mentioned “Oh, well, I suppose… imprisoned, that’s too bad... such a talent like hers turning to the… well, well…”

I’d always been barely average at Potions, but I had the feeling I wasn’t going to excel at Professor Slughorn’s class by no means, and that it would be partially intentional from my side.


The only highlight of my day was the Ancient Runes lesson, my last for the day. I did like Professor Babbling, the classroom was light-filled from the sunset and Runes had always been a particular favorite of mine back at Durmstrang; though it was not without hurting my pride, I felt like I would enjoy the lessons at Hogwarts, too.


‘Hello’, said a little, polite voice from behind me while I waited outside the Runes classroom before the lesson began.
I turned just to find myself standing opposite to the little Gryffindor from the Herbology incident the day before, or, better, staring straight into the little Gryffindor’s wide, deep brown eyes.

He wasn’t exactly “little”. He was my height, and giving him a better look, there was some sort of certain sweetness in his features, the kind that made a pleasant sight, far from being classically beautiful but rather unique.

‘Hi’ I replied, and later realized I had spoken much quieter than I would have normally.

He smiled shyly, as if not ready what to say next, and for some reason, I felt like he was kind of afraid of me.

I wasn’t used to being feared. Without my wand pointed at someone’s chest, anyway.

The “Herbology incident” had been on mind since it occurred, and I had reached the conclusion that the boy was by my side; he wanted his classmates to stop being overprotective with him and prejudiced, and I was simply the reason they were so. He wasn’t an ally, nor had he stood up for me.

But right then, I subconsciously recalled the incident again, and felt, unwillingly yet strongly, a grip of guilt in my stomach. He had been fair-minded enough to stand up to Jimmy, though staying quiet would have been easier for him. ‘I don’t want all this nonsense… you can’t start a Hogwarts Resistance for everything you don’t like in this school.’. And what had happened then? Oh yes, I had performed my little failure of a rant, and yet the fact I looked down on them had been alive in my voice.

I inhaled and blinked. It was getting harder to look in his eyes now; somehow innocent and mature altogether, he was something I pitied and looked up simultaneously, and that annoyed me. He was just a little Hogwarts student! Similar to all the others, weren’t they all the same, after all? If I was going to feel pity and admiration for anyone, shouldn’t that be some Durmstrang student that had been through the very same war but whose name I knew?

‘What’s your name?’

I heard myself whisper the question before I could give it a thought:
Such a simple question. Could I really be so angry at myself just for asking someone his name?

Of course I could, but right then the boy answered, and I dropped my anger to hang from his lips, for I felt I could not miss the answer:

‘I’m Denis Creevy.’

‘Leandra Knezevic.’

His hand was warm.


(I swear she's not like falling for him but I just got feels with them which isn't very modest to say since they're my characters but please keep in mind it was coming from my heart when I wrote this little nonsense when you reply to it)

It's more fun to make your life your own invention.


Hippolyte





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:05 am
Awesome chapters! :grin: *claps* The parts about Slughorn and Dennis were marvelously written, and I loved the flashback about the time she met Greyback. I think it's also kind of nice that Gracie was being nice to her, but I wondered why she was being so friendly. Was there a reason, or is she just nicer than Leandra thought at first? Just curious. :razz: Once again, Leandra is an awesome character, and I love how we see more of her backstory each chapter! You are a great writer, Hippolyte! :grin:
~Songbird49



 IT'S BACK! >D
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:21 pm
Alright.
First off I just did not felt like writing all these weeks, ok? I went through an author's Middle Ages, and now I'm going through a Renaissance, and you will suffer it with me.
CHAPTER TWELVE AND IT'S BACK TO STAY LET'S CELEBRATE!

And now we're going to have some *unnecessary* interaction between two characters... :lol:
Also: I understand that going through this weeks-long inactivity has cost me readers but I couldn't force myself to write, could I? You know what, from now I on I think I'm just going to keep writing and posting and not worry about who replies... because most likely no one will:D
Let's hope at least Brian won't mind. XD

Chapter Twelve



My mother, I wrote down. Yes, she was sentenced for twenty years in prison, and her trials were not yet over. I was forbidden to see her, had no idea when I would see her again. She had turned her back to the Dark Lord during the thirteen years he was missing, brining me and my brother up, but when he returned, she did beg for his forgiveness and joined him. Her enemies hated her for being a traitor- those bearing the Dark Mark and those not. And in Azkaban, she was amongst many of both.
Alban My brother. Other than that, he had also been together with me through our darkest hours, from serving the Dark Lord as his errand children to spending a long summer sitting on the crowd seats on our mother’s trials and then, next to me during our own. Now I had no means to contact him, and he was most likely going to use magic against someone soon enough…
My father Oh but I had never cared much for him! On the deep inside, no, I never had truly, and had it not been for being certain that neither had Alban, I would have spend my childhood feeling guilty and scared of my apathy. All I ever felt, or pretended to feel, for him was because of my mother, but now that they were in the same prison, him insane and unable to perform magic, he deserved being listed in my list of worries.

But there were other worries, too. Those I couldn’t write down that easily, because they didn’t have a name.

What did I really stand for? Certainly not for the Order. But had I ever fully agreed with the Dark Lord? Was there really a side I was on, besides the Knezevic one? And if I was never decided to sacrifice myself or my family for the Dark Lord’s sake- then was all that we had been through while serving him done in vain?

And what about Sergei? All our other friends from Durmstrang?

And Hogwarts… Hogwarts now was a nursing home for the victims of the war- oh, excuse me, their victims of war. I had to eat breakfast sitting next to people way beyond or below in age than the students, wearing bandages or a tortured expression on their faces, and avoid their looks of distaste, annoyance, mere tolerance. Blood-traitors and Mudbloods filled the classrooms, part-goblins were allowed to teach, and I had to respect that because I had to stay afloat.


‘I’ve got a deal for you.’ Gracie said right then, snapping me to the present. I looked up from my parchment and the fourth year’s Transfiguration book and all the way to the other edge of the library table, where she was sitting, just like the evening before, now starring at me, determined.

‘You can just as well say no to it and, believe me, it hurts my pride to ask but…’

‘But?’ I grunted, annoyed

‘…as pathetic as it may sound… what if I offer to help you with last year’s Transfiguration and you help me with this year’s Charms?’

Huh?

‘What do you mean?’

‘C’mon now Leandra, it’s not complicated… you’re ahead of us in Charms and I am pretty hopeless there, almost as hopeless as I am in Transfiguration. I won’t be able to keep up without help, and you’ve been through that before. So, what if you help me… and I help you with last year’s Transfiguration? I wasn’t that bad last year, you know.’

Was she serious?

‘Thing is, I desperately need help in Charms… and maybe you can do it with something in return?’

‘You can ask someone better to help…’

‘I already know that!’ she snapped ‘Blimely, it just hurts my pride to ask!’

We fell silent. I could just as well say yes: I had nothing to lose, and perhaps something to win. Gracie’s friendship, some success at Transfiguration, anything I’d normally pursue if I wasn’t forced to attend Hogwarts with my parents imprisoned and my brother far away right after a war.

Gracie let out a small laugh ‘It’s pretty pathetic, I know. But if I am not the pathetic loser here, I wouldn’t be calling you all that, would I?’

I was taken aback by the bitterness in her voice.

‘I am not sure’ I heard myself say, in a grave and soft voice ‘If I could help you…’…even if I wanted to.

‘I understand.’ she said solemnly. She really did. How had I and Gracie ended up talking so seriously over open Transfiguration books?

‘But just so you know, last year I did my best in Transfiguration. Ever. McGonagall was nicer, much more patient, and we all students did our best at every lesson that wasn’t taught by a Carrow. Eleanor helped me a lot- well, the good students helped the bad and all. I managed an E at the end, believe it or not.’

E. That was the second best, Laura had told me. Stood for something.

‘I’ve never helped anyone before…’ I murmured. I’ve always been the little sister. No sooner had I completed my thought that I realized it sounded like I was actually willing to help her. Even worse, it sounded like I was excusing myself

‘Neither have I, OK? Don’t make a big deal out of it.’ Gracie said and that, I felt, was the closest she would ever get to a “thanks”.


And so I ended up helping Gracie perform Charms up in our dormitory while the other two were in the common room studying. I would have refused to waste my time helping her, even if she was my Durmstrang roommate, but in my situation, refusing would colder my relationships with one of the few humans I got into interaction those days and only grand me more headaches.

She was bad: her wand seemed to have a mind of its own, contradicting its owner’s wishes, making her swear a lot and dangerous to be around. I soon stopped worrying whether I was instructing her correctly, or what I was even saying. Gracie really did seem what a teacher would call hopeless, and I had no idea how Professor Flitwick coped with her.

‘I don’t think we’re a very good match, my wand and me’ she said in the end, looking away, irritation clear in her voice ‘it keeps getting worse…’ she sighed and collapsed on her bed, kicking off her shoes but not bothering to change from her uniform.

I did not respond. I had never troubled myself much with wands and pairing them with the right wizard. Had Gracie been wrongly paired with her wand, that was the wandmaker’s fault and, having purchased mine from Gregorovitch, I knew such a mistake was not done in my case.

There was an awkward silence between us. I had never been one to pursue knowing what others were thinking, but this time I could just tell the regret and humiliation Gracie was feeling. The minutes of silence that passed until Eleanor and Laura came in were enough for the both of us to come to the silent decision that there would be no helping each other again.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:33 pm
YES!!! :razz: Finally! I've been waiting so long for this chapter! But it was so good, I just might forgive you for the wait. :lol:
I like how Leandra is slowly adjusting to Hogwarts and finding herself making friends whether she wants to or not. I'm also extremely curious about Col and especially Gracie. She keeps popping in all the time with all these little mysteries about why she's doing what she's doing. I think you're good at creating interesting characters. About Gracie's wand, is it because she got it after Ollivander was kidnapped? And I'd LOVE to hear more about Alban...I'm pretty curious about him, too. :grin:
~Songbird49



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:20 pm
Posts: 269
Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:14 pm
This is BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN!!!!! I really love every chapter you have written/typed :D
Love it, congratualations on making one of the best fan-fics I've ever read :D

~AmusedChicken22



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:36 pm
THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS! *squeezes the breath out of AmusedChicken22 and Songbird49* these replies you left were so amazing I had myself going all fangirly and my sis is now certain I'm mad (she always is tho)

NEXT CHAPTER BECAUSE AT LAST

Chapter Thirteen



From classes to the Great Hall for meals to classes again to the common room for studying and then to the dormitory just to collapse in my bed exhausted, days passed giving me barely a minute to think. I became passive, taking the task given and carrying it across unquestionably. I hated it, but the alternative was to not act and worry. Which would only bring more worries.

Everything that time was a reason to worry. Burying it all in hard work for classes was the most effective way I could see- achieving a state of thoughtlessness seemed to be my goal.

I received Saturday’s arrival gratefully, the chance to sleep in some hours with the sun up, not having to wake up in the darkness, thinking of the most terrifying things.


‘What’s up with the Gryffindors today, huh?’ Gracie asked, hiding a yawn behind her pumpkin juice mug during breakfast.

‘Quidditch tryouts.’ Owen answered laconically.

Unconsciously, I looked over my shoulder; a much more relaxed atmosphere was hanging on the hall, but not on the particular table. Gryffindors were walking up and down its full length, gathering in small groups and surrounding Bill Weasley’s sister, writing down the names they shouted at her on a parchment.

‘A bit disorganized this year.’ Kevin noticed ‘Seriously, writing the names just before the tryouts?’

Gracie snorted ‘Enough with them. What’s our first class on Monday, Col?’

Col answered Gracie, everyone else dropped the conversation and I was left rather disappointed. It was the first time since my arrival that a potential Quidditch conversation had appeared, just to fade away so quickly. It was not like I’d want to participate in Quidditch talk with them, but it was unexpected for me to see the fifth-years throwing a chance for Quidditch chat and gossip away. Maybe it was just Gracie being bossy, or none of them feeling like the times were to talk about Quidditch.

Laura was quietly talking to a woman sitting next to her, about the same age as McGonagall, but weak-looking and fragile as an autumn leaf. Eleanor received a letter from home. Had I really been thinking of reaching out?


I encountered Peakes in the library, half an hour later. He narrowed his eyes at me, and I took a few more seconds looking at the book spines lined up facing me before taking the Transfiguration book in front of me off the shelf and heading back to my usual table. I wasn’t going to immediately disappear when he turned around.


Quite a lot of Gryffindors, sweaty and pounding entered the Entrance Hall right before lunchtime, followed by the small crowd of students who had watched the tryouts. I had almost climbed down the stairs, headed to the Great Hall myself, but obviously decided to stand there for a little longer until the noisy Gryffindors were all inside.

‘Hello!’ my head snapped to the source of the voice: Dennis Creevey beaming up at me, standing in the first step, in a particularly good mood ‘Why aren’t you coming?’ he asked, and reached up his hand at me.

Shaking his hand was as far as I’d go with intended physical contact and Hogwarts residents, I had decided.

Jimmy Peakes’ climbed down the stairs right beside me, as gracefully as his limping leg would allow him. Dennis’ eyes focused on him. The two boys walked to the Great Hall together, simultaneously turning to look at me while they crossed its gates: Peakes with a warning death glare; Dennis’ beam had transformed into a sad smile.

‘Leandra?’ Laura had detached herself from the crowd and was now standing right next to me.

‘Did something happen?’

‘No.’

‘Well, don’t worry about him.’ she smiled a little, but immediately checked herself back to worry ‘Jimmy is… well, he’s a good person after all. But he’s trying to protect Dennis too much.’

‘And does Dennis need protection?’ I snapped. Why did she excuse everyone? Peakes wasn’t a good person to me, after all- shouldn’t that be enough? And Dennis- well, Dennis. The protected little boy who had matured too suddenly had made it quite clear he didn’t want Peakes’ protection. He didn’t want any wars on his behalf.

‘Well, he believes… he believes it’s what he ought to do’ she behaved like it was a subject she probably shouldn’t talk about: I hadn’t been expecting an actual answer, but I was begrudgingly intrigued to find out what had happened- enough to forget my anger towards Peakes, and my frustration to Lauren.

Of course, I did not ask.


.••.
{Accio brain!}
¡uıɐɹq oıɔɔ
.••.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:41 pm
Posts: 2
Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:52 pm
wow that is sad what happened over theie



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Fri Nov 15, 2013 12:28 am
Great chapter, Anna! (as usual) :grin: In every one of them, you always manage to make me curious about something! I really want to know what was up with Gracie and the quiddich tryouts, now. Gracie's just a great character - I always want to find out more about her! I also love everything you're writing about Dennis. In the books, he was just like a mini Colin, who also adored Harry and was also a little annoying, and you're showing how much he grew up after the war. I think it's awesome! :razz:
~Songbird49



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
frequent_vsitor

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:14 pm
Posts: 613
Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:21 pm
Oh my Gryffindor Anna I love this. I haven't been on the HP FF board in a while now, and this reminds me of the original works of fanfiction I read as a non-Stacker that were the reason why I first came on the Stacks! This is very well-written, and the idea behind it is so creative...I can't wait to find out what happens next with Lea! Her story Gracie is so sweet, the backstory with Peakes and Dennis is really interesting, and the way you write the teachers is very true to the series. I especially love how Sprout is handled; we don't get to see as much of her in the books than the likes of McGonagall and Snape for example. Also, it is totally awesome that Bill is the DADA teacher! There's only thing that's really bothering me about this...there are some sections in each chapter that should be divided in some way. For example, in chapter eleven, between "'He got up. 'That's all. For now'" and "I could have done worse Transfiguration..." there should be some indication that the setting and time period has changed, such as a line break or the sort. It's not that huge of a problem, but it could be confusing for some readers. Also, I am just extremely OCD about those kinds of things so yeah. I probably have not helped you at all so seeya
.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
love like you'll never be hurt,
sing like there's nobody listening,
and live like it's heaven on earth."
-William W. Purkey
..
"Without music,
life would be a mistake."
-Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
.Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ.
.Jadedragon49.



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:05 pm
UPDATES! (are awesome) I'm in for a braintwist with this fanfic I should've known :|

Chapter Fourteen




‘As you already know’ McGonagall announced to an attentive Great Hall ‘every Sunday morning the graveyard is open for visiting by students. There will be boats on the lake banks to transfer you there all morning, if you wish to go. Keep in mind that visiting is purely optional and that visiting hours are over by the lunch bell, at one o’clock. Have a good day.’ And with the slightest raising of her glass towards us, she sat back again.

So apparently there was a graveyard at Hogwarts… and you could attend via boat. I recalled us sliding by a small isle in the Lake on my arrival day. That had to be it. The final battle had taken place in Hogwarts, it was only natural.

~.•.* .•. ~


The Hufflepuff table emptied in a matter of five minutes after that, in tune with the remaining four tables and soon I was standing in the Entrance Hall, staring to the Hogwarts grounds through the wide-open oak gates and its inhabitants, students, teachers and residents alike climbing down the hill to the lake’s banks, where boats already were waiting.

Not everyone was visiting: many students and residents headed anywhere but the boats, and even though I should be relieved I wasn’t the only one, I couldn’t make myself move away. Pinned on the spot, I stared motionless at the survivors visiting the graves of the fallen, looking so united from afar. Similar.

‘Leandra?’ Plump, smiling Professor Sprout walked towards me from the Great Hall. ‘How are you feeling?’

I shrugged, then forced myself to give a verbal answer ‘I’m fine, Professor.’

Thank you

‘Aren’t you going?’

I took this as an observation.

‘I’d like to go.’ She said ‘Would you like to accompany me?’

‘P-Professor, I don’t know…’

(Of course I knew.)

‘It’s always a good thing, having no one you knew buried in your school’s graveyard’ she told me, after a brief silence.

Of course it is a good thing. But don’t make it sound like I should be grateful. Hogwarts is not my school.

And how could I refuse? She was my head of house. She had taken the risk of informing me about the Order’s decision, apparently for nothing but my own good.

‘Alright, Professor.’ I said, startling her out of our silence. ‘Could… could we go now?’ The sooner it’s over with, the better

‘Yes, of course!’ she said smiling, apparently made so happy with my answer ‘Just go get your travelling cloak on, it’s rather cold to be outside just with your school robes…’

Again. Your school.

‘I-It’s in my dormitory Professor’ I said, as politely as I had ever spoken in English ‘I’d have to go get it…’

‘Oh, that’s alright. We can go together.’ She said, already heading towards the corridor leading to the Hufflepuff basement.

I followed her. ‘I would like to get this to your common room’ she told me, showing me the tiny green-leafed plant she was holding ‘It’d look great on the far north corner, don’t you think? I always found it rather dull, no matter what I did with it, but I stumbled across this little beauty the other day and I think it’s perfect for that corner…’

So apparently she was the one decorating the common room with all those plants. Not much of a surprise, after all, besides the fact that she must be one of the most attentive heads of house in Hogwarts- Durmstrang students couldn’t even dream of having someone like Sprout. Maybe she wouldn’t have been wanted.

~.•.* .•. ~



ALRIGHT NOW.
@Songbird49 THANK YOU SO MUCH AND YES YOU NOTICE GRACE AND DENNIS I WON'T LET YOU DOWN LET ME HUG YOU PLEASE! *hugs* (sorry for the caps but you make me get this awesome feeling inside, you deserve them *here, have some more CAPS ALL OVER THE PLACE*)

@Jadedragon49: (OOOH YOU'RE MY 49 READERS! I'LL NEVER LET YOU GO!) YES YOU ALSO MAKE ME GET THE AWESOME FEELING INSIDE YOU KNOW (seriously just mention one of the characters -OCs or canon- in your reply and I'll be all like OMG YOU NOTICED I'M SO GLAD YOU DID THANK YOU!) (And actually that's me right now)
NOW. Thanks for that little um, dividing sections thingy... I made this thingy: ~.•.* .•. ~ so I'll separate them from now on and that's all THANK TO YOUUUU!
(I know I'm completely crazy right now sorry) (But thank you both again) (also: if you're reading it and not replying don't be sad I dont' bite. I mean, I BITE but not you, I only bite my food so reply YOU'RE NOT MY FOOD.)

.••.
{Accio brain!}
¡uıɐɹq oıɔɔ
.••.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:10 pm
This chapter was great, Anna! The graveyard was just a really cool idea, and I loved the part about Professor Sprout! :razz: I also really like all the comparisons you create in almost every chapter between Hogwarts and Durmstrang. They are obviously said by a biased person, and yet you can see good (and not so good) sides of both schools.

Just one thing I am a little confused about: how much time has passed so far in the story? I thought a few weeks must have, but then in this chapter you mentioned that they are allowed to go to the graveyard every Sunday, but Leandra has never heard of it before, implying that it's the first Sunday. Has she really only been there for a week? (Not that I'm criticizing if it has been a only week. In fact, it's probably only because I read this little by little that I feel like more time should have passed) Anyway, this was fantastic! :grin: So many things have happened already, and I really want to know where the story is going. I can't wait for the next chapter! :razz:

~Songbird49



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:37 pm
@Songbird49: THANK YOU FOR THE AWESOME REVIEW MAN!
On the thing, yes, ONLY A FREAKING WEEK HAS PASSED STORY-WISE which is real frustrating for me, but whatevs. On the other hand the fanfic isn't supposed to cover the entire school year (no real spoilers tho) so I'm kinda slowing down during Lea's first days here
(Thank you for writing down things that bother you because it's always useful) (Yes she's so biased glad it shows :D)
AND TRUST ME YOU'LL SEE WHERE THIS STORY IS GOING BECAUSE NEXT CHAPTER IS GOING TO TAKE OVER MY LIFE I CAN FEEL IT COMING IT'S GOING TO HAVE ME BEING HYPERACTIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN I WRITE NOWADAYS KAY BYE
Till then have some Gracie:
(I sound so pretentious sorry sorry but I love how you always notice her so thanks)


Chapter Fifteen




Professor Sprout was kind enough not to suggest I strolled with her among the graves; she left me on my own while she paid tribute to her deceased students and co-teachers. I felt little like exploring around, so I stood by the banks, trying to fade in the background as much as possible, the one person in black robes standing aside from the white headstones.

If anything, I appreciated how the Hogwardians were quiet in union. They always were a lot less disciplined but at once more obedient than Durmstrang students. On the graveyard, however, they were literally one, solemn, respectful both to dead and living.

~.•.* .•. ~


And yet there were two standing aside from the grave lines, their shoes sinking in the muddy banks. I’d not have noticed them unless I had accidentally been close, trying to stay as far away from the gravestones in the heartland of the island.

‘Wassup, Leandra?’ was Col’s warning to stay away from them.

‘Fun place, huh?’ grinned Gracie.

She waited.

‘Don’t make fun of it.’ I said at last, speaking as loud and clear as I could muster without shouting, knowing I’d regret it soon.

She raised an eyebrow playfully ‘And why not? We’re already in all this’ she extended one arm all around, the other still in the warmth of her cloak’s pocket. ‘Calling a graveyard “fun” is just as well appropriate.’

No. That’s never appropriate.

‘It’s not.’ I said seriously, and they both chuckled. Maybe I was going to become their new source of entertainment, but getting silently along with making fun of a graveyard –of any graveyard- for sure wasn’t.

I knew about graveyards being located in school grounds: it was the final home of the teachers or students that had passed before their days at Durmstrang were over. Despite that being buried in Durmstrang meant not only that you had died long before your time, but that you had no family outside of the Institute to accept your body home, there were enough headstones facing the castle from the opposing hill.

‘Why not?’ teased Gracie ‘C’mon, don’t be uptight; give me one good reason not to…’

She took it a bit too far. If she wanted a reason, I had one.

‘It’s pathetic Gracie, that’s all.’

A heartbeat.

Then another.

‘You! You—you dare use my own catchphrase against me!’ shouted Gracie, scandalized, while Col roared with laughter and heads turned towards us.

‘It sound fitting.’ I whispered so that she could hear, not intending to make a scene, but not minding an argument with the only person who broke the united silence, as long as things stayed under control.

Under my control.

‘Levine!’ Students were getting to the sides so she could pass before she had even spoken aloud.

‘It’d be better if you returned to the island.’ McGonagall’s voice was calm and low, but firm ‘And this goes for you too, Emmett, Baker…’

She caught herself and turned to my direction, apparently not having noticed it was me, momentarily taken aback to see me there, but she had regained her composure the next instant: ‘That is to say, Knezevic. I’d rather go through this year without having to remove any house points on this island.’

Col had stopped laughing.

‘Yes ma’am.’ Gracie said politely; her torso leaned forward a bit, as if to make a slight bow, but she snapped back in time, perhaps seeing such a gesture would be received as mockery.

She turned on her heel and headed to the miniature port just a few meters away from her, followed by me and Col. The incident seemed to be already getting forgotten; few had taken notice of it in the first place, but I caught sight of Professor Sprout, Laura just behind –and a good two heads below- her, starring at us with almost identical faces of astonishment mixed with disappointment.

I tried to shrug it off by telling myself they were overreacting, but hadn’t I been the one who couldn’t stand Gracie’s disrespect just a few seconds ago? And that was before she started shouting…


~.•.* .•. ~



‘You had to say “pathetic”’ she grunted, her voice marking each syllable of her favorite word as her own, her curly hair almost hitting my face as she hastily walked ahead.

‘It’s still not my fault you started shouting.’

It wasn’t. I was getting frustrated for being blamed and then infuriated at myself for bothering with the whole situation at all.

‘Then you’d better learn from this: catchphrases are sacred, clear?’ she snapped back as we reached the port.

‘Apparently more sacred to you than a graveyard.’ I busted out before I could help it.

Gracie’s eyes widened. I was silently impressed at my own quick answer.

‘Such entertainment is sacred.’ Col piped up, hands crossed behind head as he lazily rested against a young tree, looking greatly amused.

‘You’re both as pathetic as it can be’ he rushed to add while his smirk grew, much like our frustration.

‘Shoot! He said the sacred word!’ I mocked, turning to Gracie, all of the anger and confusion I was preparing to fire at someone’s face for a really long time finally finding a clear target.

Much to my disappointment, and also curiously enough, Gracie did not bit the bait.

‘He’s allowed. Col is Col.’ she replied calmly, suddenly emotion-empty and arm-crossed.

My target was gone. Col meant enough to Gracie, more than her stupid catchphrase, and apparently there weren’t many people she would put above it.

I listed them on my head while trying to calm down: Col. Kevin perhaps. And then there was that Baker… whoever they were, their surname had been shouted by teachers right after Gracie’s and Col’s for quite a long time.


.••.
{Accio brain!}
¡uıɐɹq oıɔɔ
.••.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
contributor

Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:32 pm
Posts: 772
Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:08 pm
This is an awesome fanfic! I absolutely LOVE Lea, and her backstory really well-done! Also, I really enjoy the parts where Lea and your characters interact with your version of JK's characters. (which you interpret very well by the way) I would love to see more about what was happening internationally during the war.

Some questions...

Is Lea from Norway? Or does she take a voyage to Durmstrang from another country? (Sorry if that was mentioned already)

Is Ginny going to play a role in the story? If so, will Harry (or any other characters) come to visit her at some point?

Can Lea communicate with Alban through letters? If she can, I'd love to hear about Beauxbatons and how he is adjusting.

This is like my favorite excerpt. It is so clever and pretty.

"Your new house. House, as in home? I knew the difference between the two, and I knew I was not looking for a home here."

Keep up the amazing writing!

~DJ, who read all of this fic at once and wishes she had more to read




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:50 pm
Oh my Gryffindor, Anna, that was awesome! Chapter 15 has just become my new favourite chapter! :grin: I'm not even really sure why, but I really loved it. It was very well-written, the whole scene, and that bit about Baker! Now I have to learn more about him/her. Did they die?! In the war? I didn't really get it at first (probably because I kind of forgot Gracie and Col's surnames, too :lol: ) until Lea pretty much spelt it out at the end. Then I was like mind. blown. Can't wait for more! (As in: Go. write. now!!!) :razz:
~Songbird



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:08 pm
*throws Chapter in here and re-disappears in non-existence*
SORRY GUYS I REALLY DON'T HAVE TIME TO EVEN REPLY TO YOUR LOVELY REPLIES BUT THANK YOU AND BYE I'LL BE BACK )D

Chapter Sixteen



‘Thanks for making me laugh ladies, thank you for the credit, Gracie, now how about we get to the castle before the bespectacled anger gets to us ?’ Col broke the awkward silence, jumping gracefully into a boat as he spoke and falling down heavy as it swung him violently.

‘C’mon guys!’ he encouraged me and Gracie, starring down at him annoyed and amused respectively.

Or perhaps we were both annoyed and amused in equal measure.

‘We didn’t pay any tributes.’ Gracie noticed.

‘Indeed we didn’t.’ Col agreed ‘If you wanna go back, no one’s stopping you. I’ll come next Sunday to pay your likes tributes.’

Gracie snorted in a fine imitation of McGonagall, and stepped decisively into the boat, looking down at Col as if to say “this is how it’s done”, but he coincidently happened to be sitting with all his force on the one side of the boat, almost throwing Gracie in the water.

‘Alright Leandra I think we saved you a seat.’ He grinned, while Gracie drew her wand and aimed at his back.

‘How about I save my life’ I suggested, making sure the boat I climbed into was as far away from theirs possibly.

They thought it was a joke. But apparently I couldn’t expect two people who made fun of graveyards with such ease to be into picking up huge fights.

‘Guys?’

Laura was running down the small path from the graveyard. ‘Wait a sec!’

‘Oh what is it Laura?’ Gracie got out of the boat, annoyed

‘What- what happened back there? Why did you left?’ Laura asked quietly, reaching the port but not approaching us. Col and I climbed out of our boats, too.

‘It’s not your business, Laura’ Gracie started ‘and don’t—’

‘Sure it is!’

‘—tell us it is because it isn’t…’

‘We’re in the same house after all!’

‘…we didn’t lose any house point this time so what’s the deal?’

‘McGonagall was very kind, not removing any points, but…’

‘I’m getting sick of you always caring about the house points, Laura!’

‘I don’t care for the house points!’ Laura fiercely defended. It was the first time I saw her being to passionate: her voice still trembled but this time so did the rest of her body, she was blushing and for some reason looked close to tears ‘but it was so disrespectful, shouting like that in the graveyard---’

‘Drop it Laura! You’ve reached fifth year and you still care for keeping up the house name? Just give up already!’

‘Don’t shout Gracie.’ Col advised her, though I highly doubted there was anyone close to listen ‘it’s not like we would like anyone else to find out Laura is the only Hufflepuff who still cares about the house’s dignity, right?’

‘What house dignity?’ laughed Gracie, and that seemed to be the final for Laura. She was blinking back tears by then, and her tiny fists were clenched.

They really knew how to make dignity sound like something bad. For this once, I had to come to Laura’s defense somehow.

‘You guys are weird’ I said. ‘After the war, everyone is working like crazy to rebuild their worlds and you’re just standing there, laughing at them…’

‘Yeah, that’s an accurate summary’ grinned Gracie

‘You make it sound like it’s bad.’

‘Nah, they just think we do, which is the point.’

‘You’re just trying to run away from it all, aren’t you?’

I’m

‘Yes.’





 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:54 pm
Yay! This bit was awesome, too. The story is really starting to develop. I loved how Gracie and Col just kind of admitted how they really felt about the whole aftermath of the war stuff so casually, almost as if it was a joke, too and they didnt really care after all, even though they really do; (did that make sense?) it was so perfect, especially for their characters! I also felt really bad for Leandra, that she was getting blamed with the other two even though she was the one who tried to stop them from laughing in the first place. Also, "bespectacled anger." That just made me laugh. :razz: All in all, great chapter! (And give me more! :lol:)

~Songbird :razz:



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:56 pm
Posts: 293
Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:31 pm
o: Wow that is so good how do you do that? (:



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 114
Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:03 am
I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's really good! I also want to say FINALLY! A fanfic on the fanfic board! I searched through so many threads for something to read.

I also find a lack of replies is annoying. But it's best to keep going, people will reply once they know you're committed. Okay I'm going to go read more now. And maybe you could read some of my stories? ;-)

s u m m e r d a w n 2 8






 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:57 pm
*pokes head in cautiously* Pssst...Anna? I understand if you're busy, but are you going to continue posting this story? Please don't forget about it! Your loyal readers really want to know what happens next! *Puppy eyes*

~Songbird49



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 287
Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:00 am
Umm... heheh... not to be rude or anything, but... it's been three months. Are you going to continue this or not? (and yes, I KNOW I haven't been commenting lately either. I've been busy, 'kay?)



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:51 pm
AND HERE I STAND IN THE LIGHT OF DAY

Hi guess what's back
*mumbles various excuses* OH LOOK A NEW CHAPTER

Chapter Seventeen



I don’t know what could’ve followed- and as a matter of fact, neither I care to consider. Gracie, Col, Laura and I were standing there the one moment, underneath the perfect brightness of the September sky and the assurance of their presence was the last thing I knew before the world fell down heavy— on my chest.

There was, indeed, a moment of stillness; long enough to figure out what was about to follow; certainly not long enough to take any action that could prevent it, or even prepare my mind for it. I was only left expecting it all to come. And this was what killed me the most, the very knowledge of what I was about to endure. I know I fell; and although I can’t for the life of me recall how, it felt like collapsing silently, after a violent shake of sudden pain; desperate, worthless, helpless; anything but graceful.

Graceful. That was one word my mother favored a lot.

‘This house is falling apart’ she would declare as she inspected the tapestry walls with her hawk-like look. And when I would tell her there was nothing wrong with our house, I would get a response for a first: ‘you can’t tell it is, but that’s all about it. It is as sure falling apart as all houses of its kind— it’s just doing so gracefully.’

Gracefu was a good word to describe the way the water froze all around me. Or the pure white mist chocking the mountains, the castle’s silhouette, now barely recognizable, the fallen leaves on the port slowly freezing, the way everything was falling apart but me.

And my wand was my only solution, my one true ally and friend but though clenched tightly in my palm, it was too far away and slippery with cold sweat for me to ever possibly reach it, and all I could think was not now, I don’t want to remember, why can’t I forget? Why can’t I forget?

Why, why can’t I forget?
The white mist was chocking me now.

I— I just want to

Clicking glasses and piano notes were so often succeeded by flashing curses with throwing a door open it should’ve ceased to be surprising.

My mother was crying again when she thought we couldn’t hear her, on her own at night, and Alban couldn’t, his room was on the other side of the corridor.

Forget anything

‘Or he’ll reward me

‘Nah, they’re his brother’s, Fyodor’s. He’s not out of Azkaban because… y’know… He couldn’t.’

‘Ex-expect--- expecto…’

I ever knew existed

‘LEANDRA!’

‘Avada Kedavra!’

‘…twenty years of imprisonment for use of forbidden magic, including…’

‘Expecto Patronum!’

Oh

‘It’ll get better soon.’ Alban had once told me but I hadn’t thought it possible.

Is this how it gets better?

‘L… Laura’
I shook. This wasn’t my name. This wasn’t Alban’s voice anymore.

‘Laura? Laura…’

The weak boy crawled up just a few inches from me could’ve just as well be my brother, but the more he came on focus, the more I got to notice: the sandy blond hair, the yellow tie, the pale white hands trembling next to his dropped wand…

Col mumbled Laura’s name once again, but it was more of a groan this time. I saw his eyelids fall close; he looked… terrible.

‘Oh no, no, no, no! Expecto Patronum! Expecto… Happy thoughts, happy thoughts… Expecto Patronum!

Laura! It was Laura!

This time I saw it: a long line of thick, silver glowing smoke and behind it, Laura, dropped on her knees, but with her wand raised.

Laura. Laura and Col of Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff! And if Col was there, then Gracie had to be around somewhere… that idiot Gracie, who apparently thought graveyards were pathetic.

I tried getting up. My robes were covered in mud but as long as they were not the blood red ones I was not going to worry much about it.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:25 pm
Oh no chapters are getting bigger and I can't help it D:
BUT OH LOOK ANOTHER UPDATE IN LESS THAN 4 MONTHS PERHAPS THAT'S PROGRESS
Also: would you guys care for me to suggest songs that go for every chapter?
BECAUSE I KNOW IT'S UTTERLY PRETENTIOUS but music is actually important for me and also important influence in my writing and sharing and recommending music is also important so if you want me to? (And sure I would love it if you did that for your own fanfics! :D Also: go ahead and recommend me fanfics on the STACKS and do some self-promotion, I need to reclaim my throne in the Fanfiction board and replying to your stories seems like a good strategy)

Chapter Eighteen



‘Leandra, Leandra, are you OK? Can you hear me, Leandra?’ Laura’s voice was back to her usual worried musing. ‘Ah!’ her weak Patronus had died out.

‘Laura?’ Gracie sounded so unlike herself; weak and vulnerable, she struggled to get to her feet.

‘Gracie! Oh thank God!’ Laura began to cry.

Great. She was reaching her breaking point too now. Just great.

EXPECTO PATRONUM!’

I was taken aback even in the state I was in, because I had never, not once, thought Laura could shout. But she had, and this time, her spell was more powerful than ever before.

Far from being just smoke, the vague shape of a large, four-legged animal danced around the four of us, bathing us in warm, silver light, making everything within its reach feel like home, safely wrapped up in the white mist and carefully illuminated by Laura’s happy thoughts.

Expecto Patronum!’ Gracie’s Patronus, far inferior but certainly helpful, joined Laura’s in the crispy September air.

‘We must head back with the others!’ cried Gracie, although none of us looked like we could take a single step.

‘Col! Can you stand, Col?’

Col was better. He had knelt up and that little fire was back again in his amber eyes, now fixed up the path leading to the graveyard. He even half-raised his arm to point, but realized soon enough he was too weak for that.

‘L-look… look…’ he managed before bending his body back to the ground again, defeated once more, as Laura’s frail Patronus fade away in the autumn wind.

What Col had seen were the silver lights coming from up the mainland, but when we all turned our heads, we were greeted by a sight that could not compare…

In an explosion of blinding lights, Patronuses of all shapes and sizes came streaming down, reaching us at long last, surrounding us, leaving us behind just to be succeeded by more and more until their silver light replaced the white mist; and dancing Patronuses, uncountable like snowfall, took over the skies and invaded the water, melting the surface on their way in, heading to the castle, to the village, to the forest, as if the island was merely the cage and they had longed to break free for too long now.

‘YES! I KNEW IT! I KNEW WE COULD DO IT! I KNEW IT! THIS IS IT!!!’

Victoriously, her round freckled face glowing, Gracie’s clenched fist punched the air, hair flying wild as she began to compose her own victory cry.

Col got up, trembling but beaming and Laura, face tear-marked and red, shaking whole with sobs of relief and laughter all the same rushed to support him. And before I could check if my own two feet were steady, my breath was cut short once more; not because of inner demons being woken up this time, but because, in a moment of glory, Gracie had wrapped her arms around me, without (I like to hope) having given it any thought at all.

The next thing I knew, Col had embraced Laura as the roar of glorious winners rose up from where the crowd was, outside our field of vision.

Finally letting go of me, Gracie did not spare me a glance, realizing what she had done in her repulsiveness. I sighed, partially to show annoyance for having to endure being hugged by her, but it was mostly relief for not having to discuss it— no, it was mostly just relief.

Relief! A simple word indeed— to describe a feeling that comes so easily after having been through so much. But relief was easily replaced in my heart as reason fully returned; I turned around and tried to peer through the now-silver sky. I could not hold my curiosity, although I knew its findings were probably going to bring me only sickness; nonetheless, I searched for them in the sky, and was rewarded; long, cloaked silhouettes, now barely fading smoke in the far distance, were surrendering to the Patronuses.

‘But… why? Why would they be here?’ asked Laura in a little voice. The feeling of victory had settled down a bit among the four of us; and the young girl that had joined me in looking up at the sky was nothing like the one who had raised her wand and called for her Patronus, loud and clear as if nothing else should be the matter. Now she was just… Laura again. Scared, anxious and… well, scared.

‘Ugh. Not good.’

The other two, having also followed our eyes up at the sky and the chased Dementors, were looking grim again: Col in particular looked now paler than ever, and seemed trying to hold back his winces of pain.

‘Hey! You guys over there!’

One of the elder students was standing at the top of the path, waving madly at us. ‘You OK? I’m sending help right now!’

Laura ran to his direction, Gracie right behind her, waving and shouting ‘No, we’re fine! We’re coming!’ and ‘C’mon guys! Col, Leandra, you’re OK, right?’

I reassured them about my excellent state, but Col nodded without turning at them. ‘I’m fine’ he whispered weakly, and although they didn’t hear him, even the effort of talking so quietly seemed to cost him a lot of energy.

‘C’mon then!’ Laura prompted and ran up the hill, shouting to the boy ‘No, it’s OK, we’re fine, don’t send help, we’re coming!’

She ached so much not to be any trouble to anyone she hadn’t noticed Col’s state! To give Col some credit too, he was putting on impressive efforts to hide it, so I realized with an unpleasant drag at the stomach that I was the only one left behind with him.

What was I to do? Certainly not leave him and sprint up the path! Col could barely stand.

‘C-Col. Are— are you alright?’

Trying to talk reminded me that I hadn’t handled the Dementors any better: nausea immediately stroke me and when I took the tiniest step towards him I felt a lot like curling to a ball on the ground and moving as little as possible.

But this wasn’t the time for weakness. This was Hogwarts. If I shouted for help, it would be only for Col, for how could I allow anyone to guess that I was just as vulnerable to Dementors as— as, say, the boy in front of me, their own student?

‘It’s ok, I can do it.’ Col murmured when I stretched out a hand to him. He tried to turn away from me, but I, forcing myself to move faster, got to him and wrapped his arm over my shoulder.

‘We’ll go faster that way.’ I explained plainly, secretly congratulated myself for not saying something like let me help you and we began taking up the path. Col was heavy and relied a lot on me to walk, but I felt it would be a ruthless handling of his pride if I called for other students to help. And although I’d rather not be seen supporting him, I had to begrudgingly admit he was also supporting me; being under someone else’s warmth seemed to be exactly what I needed.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:06 pm
YESSS!!!! IT'S BACK!!! :grin: :grin: :grin: And two chapters, too! :razz: Anyways...they are awesome, Anna! :grin: I loved how everything suddenly heated up just in those 2 chapters, and I'm really curious about what the dementors were doing there. I also think it happened at just a perfect time, because I was wondering what was going to happen after the awkwardness by the boats. :grin: I think the way you wrote the dementor scene was also really good, the way you didn't entirely reveal what was happening all at once, and also all Leandra's fragmented memories. Lastly, I loved how Laura of all people managed to step up to the dementors! Also the way you wrote it! It was very fitting, somehow. :grin:
~Songbird49



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:27 pm
Posts: 213
Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:24 pm
Great story! Your writing is amazing! :) I don't know why I haven't read this before now. :)
~Scotland



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Mon May 12, 2014 3:46 pm
*breathes all heavily* Hey guys here's an update! Just a note though, I have music exams tomorrow and the day after and back to back come mah finals so plz show understanding

THANKS FOR THE REPLIES! WELCOME TO READING SCOTLAND! (Wow you have an amazing name! But I guess you're told that a lot... I real like it :D) And Songbird aaaggggggggh your reply makes me so happy thank you!


Chapter Nineteen



An excess of compassion and chocolate greeted us upon reaching the top of the hill. At least they had the decency to leave the graveyard, and now everyone was eating, helping each other, and some (those who had had it easier, I suppose) excitedly sharing experiences.

Col found Gracie, who must have felt guilty realizing she had left him behind, for she tenderly shove a thick bar of dark chocolate down his throat upon seeing him, all without making a single comment. Next to her, Laura was reporting to Professor Sprout our side of the incident, and after listening with knit eyebrows, our Head of House praised us for our handling of the situation, awarded us with house points, finally said something about telling the Professor McGonagall and sealed her otherwise nice speech with a call for the Headmistress. I left without looking back.

The sun had made a reappearance; boats were swiftly crossing the lake again, now headed to the castle; increasing charms cast on chocolate bars and smiles flashed to the excess I found myself surrounded by the headstones to avoid them, trying to tune out the voices, that feeling of emptiness, finally giving in to the urge of hugging my own arms…

‘Hello.’

Not you now.

Dennis Creevey was wearing his sad smile. A short man in Muggle attire was standing next to him, eyes constantly on the move; everything around him was subject to wonder and fear; his hands, clutching on a chocolate wrapping, were trembling a little.

I forced myself to greet- even saying “hi” was a bit painful. They walked towards me. The man’s eyes rested on me, and an unpleasant weight landed on my stomach.

‘Are you OK?’ asked the Gryffindor

‘Sure.’

‘You haven’t had any chocolate yet?’ noticed Dennis ‘It helps—here, would you care for a chocolate frog?’

And he offered me one. I knew it helped, who did he think he was, telling me about it?

Not now, I reminded myself

‘Thank you.’ I took the chocolate frog. There was no way I was eating it.

‘Leandra, my father. Dad, this is Leandra Knezevic… she’s a new student…’

I turned to Dennis’ dad again, my stomach heavier than ever… and found him almost smiling, pointing at the colours on my robe’s collar.

‘Hufflepuff?’ he asked, a slight foreign accent audible in his voice.

‘That’s right, Dad!’ praised Dennis.

‘It’s good to meet you’ Dennis’ father said, extended his arm for a handshake, and I unwittingly snapped back.

Not in a million of years.

Dennis looked shocked, his father confused. A moment’s decision was all there was to it.

‘It’s good to meet you’ I echoed stupidly ‘… sir.’ His palm was sweaty.

‘Were are you from?’ he asked, apparently now in the mood for conversation

I was so astonished with the situation as a whole I unconsciously murmured ‘Croatia.’

‘You have Dementors there too?’ He very much seemed to be expecting an answer.

‘S-sometimes. Maybe.’

‘They’re scary! And you have them in your prison in Croatia too?’

I shook my head. Perhaps I was just overreacting after the Dementor shock, but this man frightened me.

‘Dad, there’s only one prison with Dementors in Europe. Azkaban.’ Dennis patiently reminded.

As if being having just been surrounded by them and shaking hands with a Muggle weren’t bad enough! The prison’s name gave me a sickness uncalled for and found myself suddenly wishing for something to hold on to.

‘But they aren’t there anymore!’ Dennis rushed to add ‘Y’know Dad—I’ve told you ’bout it before. Merlin, I’m so sorry.’

I accepted his apology with a nod, and looked away to avoid locking eyes with either of them.

Anywhere would do. To the path, the benches, the flowers.

To my father’s name engraved in a headstone.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
Posts: 480
Sat May 17, 2014 9:55 pm
Amazing, amazing, amazing chapter, Anna! :grin: Now I'm so curious...both about why Dennis' dad creeps Leandra out, and about how her dad's body found its way to the Hogwarts graveyard. I loved seeing more of Dennis as well, and his father...well, maybe it was just because Leandra found him creepy, but I felt like there was something a little off with him, too. He just seemed so strangely vacant, somehow. He seems like a good character. :razz: And oh, of course I understand if you don't write for a while because you're busy! Good luck with all your exams! :grin:

~Songbird49



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Tue May 20, 2014 10:51 am
@songbird49: Thank you! *blushes* I really like reading your comments every time, after I get over the *omgcan'tbreathe* THERE'S A REPLY ON MY FANFIC AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Aaaaactually there's not any real mystery why Mr. Creevey creeps her out... he's a Muggle and she's very prejudiced against Muggles + having gone through a Dementor expirience. But you'll see why he was there :D
Aaaaand I'll admit I got a bit lazy with Mr. Creevey and didn't study his character enough before writing him, so he seems a bit... hollow, I guess. But I can still justify this because he's also been through a Dementor attack, mwahahaha :twisted: aaaaaand ugh the next chapter should have already be ready by now, but it will soon, I hope you'll like it :mrgreen:
Good luck with your exams too! :lol: (I should really stop accompanying exam talk with happy faces... >()



 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:36 pm

UPDATE, 2 1/2 YEARS LATER

 

Hey, you guys! :D

 

So- to anyone reading this: Missing Death by Inches is going to return shortly! 

 

What happened?

I stopped writing for various reasons. School, writer's block, general procrastination. Then last year was my 12th year and I had some crazy studying to do. I fell off and eventually decided to abandon the fanfic.

 

Then what changed now?
 

Songbird49 kindly asked if it was over, and so I decided to bring it back for the sake of that one reader. Just so you know. IT'S ALL THEIR FAULT. (lol jk I love you Birdy)

More elaborate answer: I actually wanted to complete this story, but it had been inactive for too long and thought no-one would be interested in reading again. Songbird49 showed interest without being asked to, so here I am. :D Thank you friend! (Also I hope you don't mind Birdy, that was for fun)

 

So... how often are you going to update now?

Lol son I don't know. But I will try to stay as punctual as possible. Replies and feedback in general are great motivators for me to update more frequently, so in case you like the story, please reply! It's a win/win scenario! :D

 

What is going to change?


EVERYTHING.

Ok, no. Not everyting. But there WILL be an almost complete revamp and oh let me assure you, inconsistencies with the already-posted chapters are going to occur, 100% certain. It has been two years, after all. The 2015 Hippolyte Entertainment Industries apologize for all confusion that is bound to occur. They shamelessly take no responsiblity for any actions or promises of and accept the minimum of association with the 2013 Hippolyte Entertainment Industries and are kinda embarassed of their past selves. Please bear with me. Kthanksbye. 

 

That being said, I'd love to see old and new friends coming up to this old and soon-to-be new mess and sharing thoughts, so please don't be afraid friends! :D I don't bite... :P

 

Love you all! heart




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:49 pm

...omg, why hasn't the chapter showed up? Brian? Do you remember deleting anything? I'm resubmitting it in case it got lost, but if you had to delete it, could you please say why? (So i can edit out stuff and keep in mind for the future)

 

 

Chapter Twenty

 

Is that why they're all over the place now, son?” the Muggle was asking Dennis. “Cause they're not in Azkaban anymore?”

 

Yeah... I don't know... look, Dad, let's not talk about this now. Let's just... find Mum and go... Leandra?”

 

Numb, unfeeling, I turned at them. Father and son stared back at me.

 

Goodness, are you okay?” Dennis leaned towards me. “You look... have you seen by Madame Pomfrey? You should- let's... let's just go, okay? I'll take you.”

 

Dennis... Alfred...” a faint woman's voice came from behind them. They turned simultaneously, to the small woman draped in a worn oversized coat that did not suit her figure in the least, but was clinging to it as if she would drop the moment she let go.

 

Jenny...” Dennis' dad wrapped his arms around her. She gripped at his sweater.

 

Dennis took a deep breath. “Mum... Dad... it's time to go...”

 

Still her husband's embrace, Dennis' mother shook her head.

 

We'll stay just a while, son. Say goodbye” his father said, not turning to him.

 

Dennis bit his lip. “All right. Just a little bit” he said. Then he turned to me: “You” he announced decicively “You go to the nurse. And eat your frog already!”

 

I blinked at him, and took a bit out of the chocolate frog before I could stop myself. The sweet crust and the liquid filling melted on my mouth, bringing with them a sense of warmth and home. And the need to be far from this place.

 

Good. You really should go to the nurse, though” said Dennis sternly. Then he sighed and his frown dropped. “Look, let's... not stay here. I don't... I can't.”

 

I nodded and walked forwards, trembling violently. My shaking hands dropped the rest of the chocolate. I rushed down the muddy path, but Dennis caught up with me easily. The Muggles were standing in front of a flower-covered gravestone now. They didn't turn when we passed them by, silent in their sorrow. Dennis turned the other way. Too late for me; I caught sight of the picture of a young boy, laughing, and the knot in my throat tightened.

 

I'm so- I'm sorry for your loss” I muttered weakly, once we were at a safe distance.

 

Thank you.”

 

We walked out of the graveyard, to the slope overlooking the rest of the island.

 

He was sixteen, you know”

 

He... he was?”

 

He's eleven on that photo. We just don't have many of pictures of him” he said simply. “Because he was always the one taking them.”

 

Oh.”

 

My parents could stay there all day if you'd let them. It's no good.”

 

Your parents have each other, Dennis. And they have you, just like you have them.

 

Don't compare others' struggles to your own, a little voice spoke up inside me. They have lost their son. Mum will see us again, some day.

 

Oh, will she?

 

She will, the voice persisted. And she has Dad now. Dad is in Azkaban. He is not alright, but he is alive and he is where Mum is. After two wars, being apart thirteen years and one of them losing their mind, they are at last together in prison.

 

I'm sorry” I told him hoarsley.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:22 am

Hi Hippolyte,

I'm so sorry the last chapter didn't get posted. Maybe there was an error when it got submitted? There definitely isn't any reason it shouldn't be approved and doesn't need editing. 

- Moderator Brian

 




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:45 pm

It's OK Brian! Thanks for replying! I could have forgotten to submit it or something (it happens sometimes) :D




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:16 am

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD IT'S BACK *squeals* How did I not see this two months ago?? Anyway, I have no new comments right now because I have sort of forgotten what was happening in the story, but I promise to be back and read the new stuff REALLY. SOON. :grin:

~Songbird49




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:37 pm
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Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:21 am

OKAY, I'M BACK AT LAST SORRY IT TOOK ME SO LONG, BUT I WAS FEELING LAZY ABOUT RE-READING THE ENTIRE THING, BUT IT HAS NOW BEEN DONE :lol:

Anywaaaay: before I comment on the latest chapter, I would just like to reiterate my love for chapter 15. That is all. :grin:

Now: Great chapter again!! Ahaha, I can kinda sorta tell this one was written waay after the others, your voice changed a little bit? Or maybe that's just me imagining it because I KNOW that it's been a long time, so I was expecting it to. Either way, that wasn't meant to be particularly positive or negative, just something I noticed...:grin: I loved the part about Lea trying to remind Dennis of what he still has, and then reminding herself not to diminish his struggles just because they seem less than hers. I also really really liked the line where Dennis tells Lea that they don't have many pictures of Colin "because he was always the one taking them" That hit me with unexpected emotion. :')

One thing I am confused about: I know you said there'd be inconsistencies (though please, please don't forget to reveal who Baker is!! After re-reading, I'm just so caught up in the Col/Gracie side-story again--I think it might always have been one of my favourite parts, their characterization is so good!), but in just the previous chapter, you mention her seeing her father's gravestone, and then she just kind of...forgets? Where did that go? Also, she thinks about how her father's in Azkaban, but again, the headstone? Or is she just in shock/denial and refuses to believe that or recognize its implications, and I just didn't pick up on that?

Anyway, really awesome chapter (as usual), and please continue, I'M SO GLAD THIS IS BACK!!! :grin:

~Songbird49




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:41 pm

@songbird49: THANK YOU!!! You always give me so much life w your enthusiasm for the story!!!! heart

 

AND I'm planning to update soon- and start updating more frequently! It's just... been my 1st year at uni and i was really occupied with rl! (not to mention that i don't really know where to go from here... most of the things I had planned to do with the story are being redone now soooo...)

Pffft it's only natural my voice would've changed, it's been 2 years *shower of guilt* But thanks for noticing when I don't! ;)

Writing the Creeveys kills me on the inside a tiny bit :( They're a sad story but i'm glad i can bring forth a bit of suffering to my audience!!! 

Don't worry, Baker will appear!!! Would you like to suggest first names? I mean, it was Colie who suggested Leandra as a name for the main character, so i'm open for suggestions (they already have a name, but it's from a while ago, so why not? No one else knows it but me so it won't change anything :P) I won't reveal their gender though, so...

And ugh yes she's supposed 2 be in denial and also she's at the verge of a breakdown... But yeah shoulda done that better... anyway.

The fact that you're so into Col and Gracie breaths new life into my cold heart because i love them too and can't wait to write them more (soon!)




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Posts: 92
Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:25 pm

Are you still writing this? Because it's REALLY good. I tell myself ok, now I need to sign off after chapter 5... Ok, maybe chapter 6... Well, chapter 7 won't hurt I suppose... Chapter 8 is short... ok, my only advice is to MAKE IT NOT AS GOOD SO I CAN GET.... THINGS.... DONE....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok I'm done now




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Sun May 15, 2016 8:34 pm

Update!!!

 

Chapter Twenty-one

Dennis led me downhill. A large, white tent had already been pulled up, filled with tiny hearths on which healing potions were brewing. The smoke rising over them made it hard to recognize familiar faces under the tent’s shadow. By the time we finally found Madame Pomfrey, I was trembling as waves of cold froze up my body and nausea and dizziness began to settle in. But the nurse’s firm hand gripped my wrist to feel my pulse, and before I knew it, a hot cup had been placed on my grip, and I drained the thick liquid with gratitude, desperate for warmth. Instantly I felt better, all my fatigue and terror suddenly replaced by nothing but a sweet tiredness.

 

“Leandra! Where on earth have you been?” Laura ran up to me and hugged me tight. For a second I feared the nausea would return, but she pulled back quickly.

 

‘I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t have left you! Oh Leandra, I’m so sorry, what happened?’

 

It was hard to bring myself to talk when it was hard to think in the first place, but the nurse simply responded with ‘She’ll live. Get her to sleep Miss Madley, will you? You and Levine—take her and Emmett back to your dormitories.’

 

Laura’s pale blue eyes, fixed on me in apology, obediently shifted back to the nurse. ‘Yes ma’am’ and ‘sure ma’am’ and she gently took me by the arm and led me (almost dragged me) to a camp bed at the edge of the tent, already occupied by none other than Col. Gracie was sitting on its edge, gesturing wildly while talking to him.

 

‘Oh! Leandra…’ she said as she saw us approaching. She opened her mouth to say something more, but I locked eyes with her, hoping she wouldn’t. That was a mistake.

 

‘Madame Pomfrey said we should take them back to the common room’ Laura mumbled, breaking the awkward silence.

 

‘Alright, then. Get up, pretty boy’ said Gracie, jumping to her feet and patting Col’s leg. He groaned and fell back on the bed. I turned to Laura to bargain whether I could lie down a little after Col got up, but that didn’t seem much of an option. Laura put my arm around her shoulders, ready to half-carry me to the dock, while Col got up with enviable ease. The color had returned to his cheeks, and the mischievous grin to his mouth.

 

‘Hey, lemme help you’ he offered, walking up to us.

 

‘It’s OK Col, you should rest… stop…’ Laura resisted as Col tried to take my other arm.

 

‘Don’t worry, I already feel a lot better!’ he reassured her. I let go of Laura and let him help me walk; although he was indeed stronger, nothing like the frail boy I had supported in what seemed like days ago, it was harder with the height difference. Gracie rushed to help. I was too tired to resist, so I contented myself to a grunt. She was surprisingly strong, and felt warm.

 

‘Are you sure?’ Laura asked Col in disbelief.

 

‘It’s fine!’ Col insisted.

 

‘If he says he’s fine he’s fine Laura, we’re not babysitters’ Gracie snapped. I gave a half-hearted nod.

 

Laura looked at each one of us with a different expression of betrayal. At last, she turned ahead and walked down the path, leading the way.

 

‘Thanks for earlier’ Col said in a dry voice, eyes fixed on the ground, as we climbed down the stairs to the wooden dock. If Gracie heard him, she gave no sign of it. I tightened my grip on his shoulder as a response.

 

‘Jimmy!’ Laura’s voice came from the small dock, and I raised my head up in terror. Sure enough, there stood Jimmy Peakes, surrounded by three other Gryffindors, staring up at us cross-armed, not looking like they intended to board anytime soon.




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
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Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:56 pm

Ohh, look, an update!!!

 

Chapter Twenty-two

 

‘What is it, Peakes?’ groaned Gracie, letting go of me to cross her arms. ‘What did we do now?’

 

Their grim expressions weren’t shaken. Col told them to get out of the way, but his voice had begun to shake and I could feel his body trembling faintly.

 

‘Leandra!’ Dennis stepped forward, standing between his group and us. ‘I’m glad to see you’re… better…’

 

I opened my mouth to say something, but shut it closed once nothing came out but a rusty groan.

 

‘Look, we don’t want to bother you guys… we’ve all been through the same this morning…’ continued Dennis, the only one among the Gryffindors making an effort to look like he didn’t want to bother us.

 

‘Oh, did we?’ snapped Gracie. ‘’Cause it might be my memory being fuzzy, but I really do recall the four of us being stuck down here, while you guys were up there with everyone else.’

 

Dennis opened his mouth, shut it again, licked his lips and finally, ‘I’m so sorry… now’s not the best moment…’

 

‘No, Creevey, it really is not’ agreed Gracie, and made her way to the boats, grabbing Col by the arm, dragging both him and me along with her. I let go of Col as I stumbled after them, but stopped dead at my tracks at the feel of a firm hand pressed against my hip. Dennis looked at me with eyes as intense as they were pleading.

 

‘…but we really need to ask you something.’

 

‘You what now?’ asked Gracie, turning towards him. I tried to concentrate on keeping my balance, though it was getting more and more difficult by each passing moment. Slowly, an invisible barrier began to form between me and the rest of the world, making everything seem less real, less painful, as heavy sleepiness gradually overcame me.

 

‘This isn’t about you, Levine’ said Peakes, standing in front of her, blocking their way. ‘We just have a few questions for Knezevic.’

 

There was a pause, as everyone’s eyes followed Peakes’, who fixed his stare on Dennis, who swallowed and pressed his lips before forcing himself to look at me again.

 

‘Listen, Leandra. It’s just… back when we were up at the graveyard… I-I couldn’t help but notice you… you were looking at a grave.’

 

‘What- Jimmy, what are you doing? Stop it—Dennis, please…’ whimpered Laura, and her voice echoed weirdly in my head, like a child asking for help. I tried to force myself out of numbness. The memory of the simple headstone immediately rushed in, built aside, already drowning in weeds whilst Dennis’ parents placed more flowers on their son’s grave…

 

‘We don’t mean any harm, Laura,’ reassured Jimmy. ‘We just want to know if… Leandra knows anything, that’s all…’

 

Dennis pushed his lips again. ‘The name on the headstone… none of us recognized it. But you… would you happen to know something? Anything…?’

 

Everyone’s stares fell heavy on me, as I stood frozen there, having forgotten how to speak, how to breathe. Somehow, all the earnest innocence in Dennis’ eyes seemed to have vanished—replaced, instead, by plea.

 

‘Let her go!’ Col protested, his voice coming out as a moan. He staggered forward and grabbed Dennis by the shoulder, but though he was swayed he did not spare Col as much as a glance.

 

‘Leandra, look, we… we just need your help. We wouldn’t be asking you if we had another choice…’

 

‘How about you wait until she gets better, you cowards?’ cried Gracie, and marched towards me. She grabbed me by the wrist, and pulled me towards her. I clung onto her.

 

‘You’re so pathetic. All of you!’ she shouted at Dennis’ face. He remained stoic.

 

‘We want answers…’

 

‘Then why don’t you ask your dearest McGonagall? Oh, is it that, perhaps she doesn’t consider satisfying you curiosity a priority! Perhaps you should try it, too!’

 

‘Not a priority?’ Peakes shouted back. He abruptly pointed at Dennis ‘He lost his brother in the battle! We,’ he gestured at the Gryffindors standing behind him ‘we all lost relatives and loved ones in the war! And you have the audacity to say we shouldn’t want our questions answered? Of course it’s a bloody priority- to us! And, blimey, we won’t apologize for that!’

 

‘Hah! Who cares? We’ve just been through the netherworld, yet you demand we spare you our time—’

 

‘Oh, you have been through so much, indeed!’

 

‘Merlin’s pants, it’s not like that stupid name has anything to do with your superior struggles!’

 

‘Just let her speak for herself, Gracie!’ shouted someone from the Gryffindors, and chaos ensued, as everyone began to shout and I struggled to keep a steady hold on Gracie, who was yelling and gesturing wildly at the Gryffindors; and within the faces deformed by anger and the pandemonium of voices, I kept myself barely standing, surprisingly unaffected by it all, certain words and phrases making it to my ears as clear as if they were spoken in an empty room.

 

‘…Gracie’s right! Leave Leandra alone! Don’t kick her when she’s down!’ Col was shouting, supporting himself on Laura’s shoulders, the weakness on his frame not affecting his voice.

 

‘Please, stop this… let us go home-let us go to our common room, Jimmy, please’ moaned Laura, struggling to keep both herself and Col standing.

 

‘…there’s a Dolohov buried on the same ground as-’ Peakes was shouting, and that was when I fell to my knees, and held myself tightly, praying I wouldn’t get sick.

 

The shouting ceased. Gracie knelt next to me and held me to keep me from collapsing; Dennis rushed towards us, but she pushed him away.

 

‘Oh, spare me, please!’ she barked at him.

 

Silence followed, while the harmful words settled in.

 

‘I’m sorry’ whispered Dennis at last.

 

‘Don’t be!’ shouted Peakes

 

Gracie made a sound in-between a laugh and a growl as she pulled us both up ‘Oh, it’s quite alright! I’m sorry, too!’ she cried ‘I’m sorry your priceless McGonagall won’t answer your questions on everything! I’m sorry you think a dead stranger’s surname is so important, I’m sorry you think a Death Eater is buried on the memorial, I’m sorry you think she has to have known him!’ she pointed at me, cheeks flushed, out of breath. For a moment, only the shaking of the boats broke the quiet. And then, this time in a voice it was hard to recognize was Gracie’s, for it was the first time I ever heard her whisper; ‘I feel nothing but pity for you.’

 

Peakes’ face was also deep red, fists clenched, but he gave no response.

 

‘Gracie! How dare you!’ screeched Laura, somewhere outside my field of vision.

 

‘How dare I, what?’ she outstretched her arms, her voice loud again. ‘He’s crossed the line in this one, and if you can’t admit it to yourself Laura, then I don’t care- but I’m not surprised, either! And you, Peakes, y’know your limping walk of pride doesn’t make you king of the school, you pathe—’

 

The noise of a body dropping on the moistly dock and Col moaning in pain cut her short; the wooden planks shook underneath running footsteps and, before any of the Gryffindors could react, Laura had grabbed Gracie by the shoulders, shouting ‘Stop it! Now!’, tears streaming down her face.

 

Gracie gaped at her, wide-eyed. Laura loosened her grip on her, then let go. Gracie’s sleeves were wrinkled. One could’ve sworn she had frozen, if it weren’t for her trebling lips.

 

‘Please don’t fight’ pleaded Laura in a trembling voice, rushing to support me, just as Dennis and the only Gryffindor girl helped Col to his feet. ‘We need to stick together!’ Gracie opened her mouth to protest. ‘Please, Gracie’ sobbed Laura. ‘Let’s just… let’s go to the common room now. We all need a rest.’

 

‘Thanks, you guys’ Col said to Dennis and the girl. If he was being sarcastic, his exhaustion kept him from getting the appropriate tone across.

 

Gracie’s eyes moved slowly from him to me, where they stayed. I looked up at her, defenseless, unable to speak. She grabbed my other arm and, together with Laura, half-carried me toward the boat the Gryffindors had so numbly summoned. Peakes even helped Col inside, but withdrew as we approached. He and Gracie held each other’s eyes for a while. He looked close to tears.

 

Clumsily, Gracie helped (threw) me into the boat: I made no protest or complaint, simply hugged my knees once again, and shivered quietly across from Col, both of us drained of all energy. Finally, the whole boat shook violently as Gracie jumped into it.

 

‘I’m so sorry’ she said. It sounded so earnest… I looked up just in time she outstretched a trembling hand out. After a moment of hesitation, wide-eyed and nowhere near less trembling, Laura took it, and climbed into the boat with us.

 

‘I’m so sorry, Jimmy’ she said.

 

‘No need, Laura. It… brought out the worse in all of us’ Peakes said in a creaky voice. He looked at Gracie and gave a firm nod. She stared back, not responding to his sign of truce.

 

The boat slid away from them back towards the castle. The cold air blowing over the lake awoke me, and suddenly I became aware of the tight knots in my throat and stomach, and the wild beating of my heart. Across from me, Col awkwardly lend Laura his handkerchief. In-between sobs and wiping her eyes, she looked up at me.

 

‘Are you alright?’

 

I nodded and looked at the waves.

 

‘Leandra’ Laura leaned forward, and her cold hands grasping mine made me turn with a start ‘Please don’t hold it against them. They’ve been through so much, and they meant no harm.’

 

I gave a firm nod, and looked back to the lake. Gracie threw her handkerchief on my lap. I fidgeted with it while I tried to breathe, and swallow, and simultaneously keep myself from crying. Was this really my heart, beating so loud? Col’s, Laura’s and Gracie’s eyes were fixed on me, betraying both worry and caution. We were, by then, far from either shore. Surrounded by the calm waves, time passed by in a different pace. Deserted in a foreign land, a foreigner myself, there I was, stuck in a boat with four other children. Children. Maybe that was just my luck. Or, maybe, that was the luck of all of us.

 

‘He was my father’ I gasped out, before burying my face in the soft cotton, shaking with sobs. 




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:34 am

Aii

 

Chapter Twenty-three

 

‘Wake up, Sleeping Beauty, it’s time for dinner.’ Gracie’s toneless voice was followed by the sound of the door being shut behind her and her footsteps on the round corridor leading to the Hufflepuff common room.

 

I rolled to my side, and peeked through the yellow curtains to the empty dormitory. Slowly, I wiped my eyes, still wet from tears I had shed so long ago, and sat up, gazing around the room, new wonder mixed with sleepiness. Sunset light broke through the round windows high up the walls, making dancing dust and simple wooden furniture look golden. I got out of bed, the feel of the wooden floor and of the thick carpet soothing beneath my bare feet, as I walked to the sink beneath the mirror, painfully reflecting the light, to wash my face and comb my hair. The sun made their dark brown auburn, and waterdrops were caught on their waves. For the first time in what seemed like years, I breathed easily again.

 

Suddenly, Gracie swung the door wide open and rushed in. Undisturbed, I turned calmly towards her, to find her looking rather dumbstruck. Her unruly hair surrounded her face in gold.

 

‘You’re up?’ she asked simply.

 

The students on the other dormitories and the common room were now distantly audible through the gaping door, and with them in came the old good knots, settling back in my stomach and throat and making themselves at home.

 

Feeling uneasy again, I gave a simple nod to Gracie and walked to my bed as I began to shake again. I barely made it in time; I had to throw myself on the soft mattress to keep from collapsing on the floor.

 

‘You OK?’ asked Gracie, sounding somewhat concerned. ‘C’mon, Leandra, you’ve been sleeping since morning! We gotta go to dinner!’

 

‘I don’t think I’ll make it…’ I said simply, turning my head to the other side on my pillow.

 

‘You haven’t eaten anything all day! Eleanor told me to get you to dinner no matter what, or it’s on me.’

 

Meeting with nothing but silence from my part, she proceeded to a change of technique:

 

‘You have to eat something.’

 

She let out a loud sigh.

 

‘Laura’s been worried about you! Been up helping in the Infamy all day, couldn’t check on you personally, she’s half out of her mind by now!’

 

‘I’m fine’ I groaned from my pillow. ‘Tell her…’ I mumbled, pulling my face up but not looking towards her ‘…tell her I’m fine.’

 

‘You don’t look so fine. Come eat something.’

 

I buried my head back into my pillow.

 

‘Col’s been asking, too’ she blurted out. ‘He’s in the Infamy. Getting nursed, in his case. Not a chance he’d be helping around if he fine! But he’s all better now, asked me to save him a seat for dinner—as if!’ she snorted, talking mostly to herself, but still paused as if expecting an answer.

 

‘Best regards’ I mumbled.

 

‘Alright, that’s enough!’ she announced, and next thing I knew, I was shook to my core as Gracie threw herself on the bed, making the entire mattress jump.

 

‘Whatareyoudoing?’ I yelped, as she roared with laughter at my reaction.

 

‘Gerroff! Get your shoes off the—!’

 

‘You’re coming with me!’ she declared, grabbing me forcefully and pulling me up with ease, though I struggled and kicked at random.

 

‘What are you— stop— HOW DARE YOU!’ I cried, shoving her away forcefully. Dust danced wildly, disturbed. For a second we stood still, I standing by the bed, Gracie a few feet away, both of us bathed in afternoon light that was already fading away.

 

‘No,’ she said decisively, ‘you don’t get to do this.’

 

‘Oh, I don’t?’

 

She raised her palms ‘OK, fine. Maybe I was wrong. Fine. But you really, really don’t get to go all…’ she waved her hand at my general direction ‘…all queenlike on me.’

 

‘Queenlike?’ I asked, confused.

 

In retrospect, I suppose I might have seemed like some sort of foreign nobility to her. We were the same age, but when Gracie would slouch her shoulders and talk fast, I would keep my back straight and nose high and, despite my accent and awkwardness, my voice had the air of someone used to having her way. But I was coming from an entirely different world and had been thrown head-first into hers, and I was not going to be having my way anytime soon.

 

Back into the round dormitory under the golden sunlight, though, Gracie folded her arms and curled her lip, still expecting an apology that was not going to come.

 

I drew a shaky breath, my concentration torn between the painful memories of the morning and the stubborn girl facing me, and leaned against a poster on my bed to support myself. I rubbed my temples; slowly but surely, a painful headache was taking over.

 

‘I am sorry’ I said at last, dragging every word, ‘to be wasting your time. But I’m not coming to dinner.’

 

‘Well I’m not going to leave until you do, so spare us both the time.’

 

‘I’m fine by that. But you’ll miss your meal.’

 

Gracie clicked her tongue. I glared up at her and she rolled her eyes.

 

‘You have to come. You can’t expect to be served meals at bed!’

 

‘I don’t! I don’t want to eat, that’s all!’ I defended.

 

No, that’s not it. You just don’t want to see Peakes and the others, that is all!’

 

I groaned and looked the other way. Gracie threw her handkerchief at me again. Finding no use in pretending, I used it to wipe my eyes as soon as I caught it.

 

‘Thanks’ I said sharply.

 

‘Shut up’ she said.

 

‘But I am really not coming. You… you saw what happened…’

 

‘Hey, I’m just doing what I’m told, y’know?’ she said defensively. ‘And you really do have to eat,’ she added in a softer tone.

 

There was a small silence, interrupted by what sniffs and hiccups I couldn’t withhold.

 

‘Fine. Let’s go to the kitchens’ said Gracie finally.

 

‘Wha—what?’ I asked, as she threw my shoes at my feet.

 

‘They’re just down the corridor. Everyone’s at dinner, no one’ll notice. We’ll just have a quick snack and off to bed we go!’ she announced in mock cheerfulness, as she ushered me out of the door, still struggling to get my boots on.

 

‘You’re kidding, right?’ I asked through gritted teeth, fidgeting with placing my wand in the inner pocket of my sleeve as two second-year girls passed us by, both carrying watering pots to their dorm.

 

‘Am not’ grinned Gracie. ‘Look at it that way, Leandra, it’s the brightest solution to both of our problems! We both get to eat and avoid social conflict!’

 

‘It solves none of my problems’ I muttered bitterly under my breath, and kept my eyes fixed on the ground as Gracie’s stare pierced me. Finally we made it to the common room, though, to find it somehow even more yellow (courtesy to the sunlight) than usual. Thankfully, most of the chatter and noise I had associated it with was gone at that hour; the common room was indeed mostly empty, but we still had to deal with stares being fixed on us as we made our way around the overstuffed sofas and the large plants, until we finally crawled out of the round barrel entrance and into the silence of the empty corridor.

 

 




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
regular_contributor

Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:04 pm
Posts: 4323
Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:45 pm

Chapter Twenty-four

 

     ‘It’s just…’ Gracie mumbled to herself as we walked in the cold stone corridor that lead to the Entrance Hall, leading the way with confidence, me close behind ‘…ah, right here!’

     We had stopped in front of a large painting of a fruit bowl by the staircase. Gracie tickled the pear in the painting, while whispering at me with renewed spirits, ‘It’s best not to tell anyone about coming here, OK? Everyone in Hufflepuff knows, but we just don’t talk about it much to outsiders. It’s best not to… ah, here.’ The pear had seized its giggle; a green doorknob had replaced it, and Gracie promptly opened the newfound door, grabbing me by the wrist as we both sneaked inside.

     Instantly embraced by warmth and light coming from the large fireplace, delicious scents, and the sound of pots clicking against each other and food cooking, I couldn’t help but gape around, at the dozens of house elves, all so hard at work that none spared us as much as a glance, the large tables, placed exactly as the ones in the Great Hall above us, the heaps of pots and plates, the plates full of food disappearing the moment they were placed on the tables, the ingredients flying around over our heads, as food cooked itself and house elves oversaw and bewitched everything, their high-pitched voices piercing the ear.

     ‘So?’ asked Gracie, crossing her arms proudly, as if she were to take credit for the whole thing, ‘Whaddya think?’

     I gaped around some more, bewildered and curious ‘It’s like… the Durmstrang version of the Great Hall!’ I chuckled. ‘Without the house elves, of course,’ I added hastily.

     Gracie grinned at me. ‘Sure it’s nothing like the one above. But it’s really freakin’ great! Us Huffs are the only ones the elves allow in—we’re too many and live too close for them to be constantly refusing us entrance, I guess!’

     We both looked around at the tiny figures, moving fluently around with surprising grace for their shape, expertly carrying cauldrons twice their size, or yielding large sharp knives without the hint of hesitation.

     ‘They… ignore us’ I muttered ‘and talk to each other… in our presence… and some of them are clothed!’ I gasped in shock, taking in some of the small figures, dressed in mismatched and worn-out clothes, but clothes nonetheless.

     Gracie shrugged ‘Yeah, some of them chose to be freed after the war ended. And what’d you expect, huh, Your Highness? They’re the school’s elves, not ours! Just ’cause they let us in doesn’t mean they can be bothered to serve us… c’mon, let’s grab something, they always keep the extra helpings over there,’ and, grabbing me by the arm she once again lead the way to the far left corner by the fireplace, where a small bar was attached to the wall, its surface covered by plates overfilled with today’s dish. And there, sitting aside on tall stools and holding cups of hot chocolate to their laps, and looking as good as ever, if only rather awkward to be alone in each other’s presence, were none else than Col and Laura.

     ‘Oi, Col!’ Gracie sprinted happily up to him and wrapped her arm around his shoulder as she occupied a stool of her own. ‘What’re you guys doing here?’

     Laura and Col stared at me briefly. I stood aside, shifting my weight from leg to leg, hair down and untidy, robes wrinkled. Finally, Laura looked back at Gracie and Col, cross at the both of them.

     ‘Col got involved in a fight on our way down from the Infamy!’ she announced accusingly to Gracie.

     Gracie, who was helping herself to a sip of Col’s chocolate, almost chocked.

     ‘You got in a fight?’ she asked him. ‘Are you on your right mind, Laura, this loser just doesn’t get himself in fights!’

     ‘I was jus’ trying to separate them, OK? If they kept at it they could’ve injured the whole lot of us!’ said Col defensively, taking the cup from Gracie’s grip and holding it protectively out of her reach.

     ‘Well, it’s true it was quite the duel… and there were a lot of people making their way down from the Infamy to the Great Hall, but…’

     ‘But they the entire floor blocked with their stupid fight!’ cut in Col, ‘and when Laura and I told them to shove off—’

     ‘We didn’t say that!’ protested Laura.

     ‘-they turned on us and, well, some pretty nasty things were heard, and then I… well…’

     ‘And then you marched in headfirst to separate them! Didn’t even draw your wand!’

     ‘What? Really?’ Gracie asked, impressed and weirdly excited at the prospect.

     ‘Well, I was no match to them with wand at hand,’ shrugged Col, ‘but don’t underestimate my punching,’ he grinned, balling his elegant, piano fingers in a fist. Standing frozen aside, I blinked in disbelief. Col might’ve been tall, and his voice was deep and clean, good for shouting, but this skinny boy who worried about his hair not being messy enough didn’t strike me as the fighter type, through magical means or not. Gracie, however, was grinning that wicked grin she and Col shared almost identical, and her eyes were gleaming.

     ‘That was awesome! And without a wand—!’ she cried, punching Col’s shoulder in excitement, eyes gleaming. He shoved her away playfully, but was grinning and blushing. ‘Who was it?’ she asked him.

     ‘Richie Coote versus Astoria Greengrass’ informed Col, whilst Laura glared disapprovingly at the enthusiasm of both.

     Gracie snorted and rolled her eyes ‘Huh, Gryffindors and Slytherins seem pretty set at demolishing whatever’s left of the school with their pathetic little rivalry! But to get between them- always said someone ought to, but, no offence Col, I just never thought you’d—’

     ‘Somehow you did manage to offend me, though!’ he snapped playfully, and they both laughed.

     ‘But you don’t look bruised at all!’ noticed Gracie. ‘I guess that’s lucky for you, pretty boy, but how come?

     Before a (now seriously) offended-looking Col could retort, Laura was already halfway through her take of the story;

     ‘Thankfully then McGonagall was climbing up the stairs and well it was over she took points from everyone and gave the duelists detention we narrowly escaped and well then we had to come here there’s no way we’re having dinner right between the Gryffindor and the Slytherin tables!’ she said in one breath.

     ‘That was too reckless, Col, you haven’t even fully recovered yet (‘Sure I have!’ protested Col), and you! Gracie! Don’t encourage him!’ Laura proceeded headlong, shooting glares at the both of them. I was instantly reminded of my mother, this time without any particular rush of nostalgia or homesickness.

     A shouting march in-between Gracie and Col followed, as they both tried to defend their case to Laura, who sat, staring stoically ahead, while quietly shipping her chocolate, before catching my eye. She froze on the spot, aware of my presence once more, and all her confidence and fierceness seemed to vanish.

     ‘Leandra…’ she said hesitantly, ‘Are you… are you OK?’

     ‘Here… have a cup…’ Col, who, along with Gracie, had suddenly gone silent, offered, grabbing an empty cup from the bar behind him and filling it up with hot chocolate from a faucet attached to the wall behind him.

     I took it with murmured thanks and sipped gratefully. The hot liquid warmed me up inside, and the drink was both sweet and confronting.

     ‘Why’re you guys here?’ Col was asking Gracie.

     ‘Oh, it’s just… her Highness wouldn’t bear to have dinner with the peasants—’

     I glared at her (as did Laura) and, after glaring back at me for a short moment, Gracie cleared her throat.

     ‘That is to say, uh, well, it’s better to avoid publicities after what happened today. So we came here,’ she shrugged.

     ‘Leandra… I’m so sorry,’ muttered Col, as their expressions shifted to grave.

     ‘You don’t have to repeat yourself!’ I snapped at him, clutching my cup so hard I spilled some chocolate on my robes.

     ‘But still… if you’d like to talk…’ mumbled Col, not looking at me, but Laura nodded, seconding his invitation.

     ‘I don’t want to talk. I want answers!’ I burst out, feeling the water faucet slowly beginning to turn on again.

     ‘D’you reckon Professor Sprout knows?’ asked Gracie, sending shivers down my spine. ‘I mean…’ she continued, ‘she was the one who invited you to the… anyway...’

     I nodded. ‘Probably’ I said, decisively blinking back the tears, ‘but I don’t want to put her in a difficult position.’

     ‘Why not?’ snapped Gracie, jumping to her feet, eyes burning. ‘All else aside, you’d be just returning the favor!’ 

     Part of me urged to scream in agreement, but I forced myself to shake my head instead. Sprout had seemed so sincerely bad at lying, so earnestly cheerful and eager to help… even if it was all an act, there was still a part of me –the most watery-eyed and sore-throated part of me—that held on to hope and faith in her. In any case, the person who I knew for certain had the answers had no use to put on any act of sorts.

     ‘I’ll go straight to McGonagall,’ I announced courageously.

     Laura gasped, but a mischievous grin began to bloom on Col’s stupid face, and Gracie raised an eyebrow curiously.

     I turned to Laura. Her hair, usually such a pale shade of strawberry blonde, now gleamed almost crimson in the firelight. ‘You said McGonagall was going upstairs when she ran into the fight? So she’s not at dinner now?’ I asked her.

     Taken aback, Laura nodded numbly. ‘She… she did go up afterwards but… But Leandra, you can’t possibly be thinking of interrupting her at this hour, and to- to confront her with-with-with...!’

     ‘Why not?’ cried Gracie, her hands in fists ‘Leandra deserves to know! If there’s anyone who should know the answers, that’s McGonagall!’ She turned to Col. ‘You coming?’

     He shot up.

     ‘I’m in,’ he announced, grinning madly.

     ‘I never said anything about coming with me!’ I hissed at them, angry at their eagerness to help, and at my own chest for fluttering upon seeing their enthusiasm. After all their attempts to comfort me in the boat, having to practically half-carry me back to our dormitory after I practically collapsed, drained of all energy, getting out of their way to fulfill my request to hide my face, so no one else saw I had been crying, and all that on top of having to deal with whatever personal demons the Dementor attack awoke in them, these idiots still stood across from me, ready to get themselves into certain trouble. For me.

     (Although, for the record, they had gotten me in trouble before, and it would happen again. I had realized by then that this was how it was going to go, so I guess I truly have no excuse.)

     ‘D’you even know the way? And there’s always a password for the Headmaster’s office! You’re nothing without us!’ shouted Gracie triumphantly.

     ‘None of you know the password!’ screeched Laura. ‘And I’m no—’

     ‘—And that’s where you come in, little Laura!’ Gracie took her eagerly by the arm, ‘Eleanor told you the other day, didn’t she? Let’s go!’

     ‘No! Leandra, please, no!’ pleaded Laura, eyes wide.

     ‘I… uh…’ I glanced at both Gracie and Col, who stared back eagerly. ‘Don’t worry, Laura,’ I told her finally, in the most reassuring tone I could manage. ‘I’m not going to do anything aggressive. But I need to talk to McGonagall.’

     ‘That’s right! A very civil conversation, that’s all! No wands drawn at any point! And if you don’t come with us Laura, we’ll just break down the door! Nothing’s going to stand in our waaay!’ shouted Col, taking Laura’s other arm and beaming down at her.

     Laura shook her head ‘This is mental. We’ll lose more points, we’re already second to last!’

     ‘Nah, don’t worry about Hufflepuff, there’s no way we’re dropping to last place this year!’ said Gracie to her right, also grinning ear to ear.

     ‘But… but even if Leandra does talk with the Headmistress…’ protested the short girl, ‘it shouldn’t happen now and we shouldn’t get involved.’

     I reached for my wand in my robes, and tightened my grip around it, ‘I’m not going to wait. Please, don’t come if you don’t want to. But I…’ I studied their faces. Around us, the clatter the house elves made had begun to settle down a bit; dinner was coming to a close. Chances of unwelcome encounters and getting lost were particularly high, but staring back at the three of them, those prospects didn’t seem as dreadful as long as they would be with me.

     ‘…I don’t mind if you stick around. But I am going, and I have to go now,’ I stressed.

     Three pairs of eyes fixed on Laura (probably more: I had ceased to pay attention to the house elves for quite some time now, but we made quite a sight to see, even for them.)

     Finally, Laura nodded. ‘Alright,’ she said, blushing and shaking a little, ‘let’s go.’




 Re: Missing Death By Inches - A Fanfic.
new

Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 8:01 pm
Posts: 270
Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:06 pm

Uh...can I add a character? If not, just disregard this post.

My character is Onyxia, and once she got her letter from Hogwarts, she immediately ran away from her cruel parents, who had said she couldn't go. She ran all the way to the Forbidden Forest, and she's being chased by spiders and centaurs.

-Dragoncrown485




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