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MAGIC & TIME

Chapter 11

A Blustery Day

For days after, Mika and Snape hardly said a word but merely exchanged courteous nods, if in public, and vicious glares if not. There was no way she could bear to ask him for the list of ingredients for the Wolfsbane potion now. She would have to think of some other way to get it.

“Well it was the Ministry of Magic that discovered it in the first place,” Hermione pointed out one day while they were in the library doing more research. “I’m sure Mr. Weasley wouldn’t mind finding it out for you.”

Mika sighed. “I’m sure he would be glad to help, Hermione, but Snape’s right here. Besides, the fewer people know what I’m trying to do, the better. I suppose I should just swallow my pride and ask him.”

“Do you really think he’d give it to you? I bet he’d even stop giving it to Lupin just to spite you. That’s the sort of person he strikes me as.”

“You’re probably right,” Mika laughed humourlessly. “I had thought him better than that. Still, I suppose love makes people do some really daft things.” She exchanged a look with her younger friend. They both burst out laughing.

“Well, you should know all about that!” Hermione pointed out. “Hey, I bet I could trick him into giving it to me. Would you like me to try?”

Mika thought about it for a moment. “I suppose…” she said slowly, “well, no harm in trying hmmm? Remember, Snape may be an idiot when it comes to social matters, but he is a powerful wizard. Just be on your toes and be very careful,” she warned.

“Oh, don’t worry, I will.” Hermione gathered up her belongings and handed the notes she had taken to the time lady. “In fact, I have potions class next. I’ll see you later.”

***

Later that evening is when the students were prevented from returning to their dorms after dinner. The Fat Lady whose picture guarded the entrance with an ever changing password, was missing! Horrified, Dumbledore ordered a search, but there was no need. Filch spotted her hiding behind a hippo in a neighbouring painting. She was frightened. She said that Sirius Black had ripped up her painting in order to gain access to the dorms. That night, all the students slept in the great hall whilst the teachers all searched the castle from top to bottom in case the escaped murderer from Azkaban was still at loose.

***

The following day was another Saturday. But Mika was not holding a lecture that day because of the Quidditch match that had been scheduled a little later than normal. The weather was dismal; thunder, lightning and driving rain pounded the Quidditch pitch and echoed against the windows in Hogwart’s Castle.

Mika spent the afternoon in her Tardis, quietly working on her research. She was becoming increasingly disheartened at the prospect of ever finding a cure or even a better antidote for Lupin’s condition. She emerged from her time capsule into her quarters. She could hear the weather outside mixed with the roar of the now soaked students as they braved the elements to attend their favourite sport.

Bored, she walked out into her office and picked up a roll of parchment on which Hermione had neatly written a few notes on the various properties of wolfsbane. This might be the best route to take, she thought to herself.

Lightning flashed brightly, the loud peal of thunder that followed immediately made Mika jump. She picked up her lavender witch’s robe from the chair where she had tossed it and put it on, pulling it tightly around her. She wasn’t particularly cold, but she did feel a little uneasy. She had no idea why.

Sighing, Mika left her office and made her way down the darkening corridor. If she was so inclined, she might have thought the place spooky. As it was the castle was a large, cold and damp place, except where the children hung out. There it was warm and lively, a testament to the positive power of youth.

This was where she was headed, hoping to run into Hermione and perhaps find out if she had been successful in getting Snape to give her the formula for the Wolfsbane potion. She was also hoping to cheer herself up a little. She was still feeling depressed even weeks after her run-in with Snape. She also hadn’t been able to spend much time with Lupin as he seemed to be busy with Harry and his classes.

Mika wandered through the seemingly abandoned castle, up the ever changing staircases and approached the now restored portrait of the Fat Lady.

“Rhubarb crumble,” she spoke the current password that Hermione kept her updated on.

“Oh, yes please!” the snoozing woman muttered before coming to and realising that it was the password and not someone offering her pudding. “Oh,” she sighed, disappointed. “Very well.” The portrait swung open and Mika climbed through. She reached the Gryffindor common room where there was a warm, welcoming fire going. The room seemed abandoned until she heard a small sigh. It was coming from a large armchair in the corner.

“Neville?” she approached the figure seated alone in the darkness. “Are you all right? Why aren’t you out watching the Quidditch with the others?” she asked softly.

“Oh, Miss Mika,” he started, clearly surprised to see her. “I… I didn’t want to catch cold. My grandmother keeps telling me that it’s not good to sit out in the rain even for a Quidditch match.”

Mika smiled and pulled up a pouffe to sit beside him. “And quite right she is. They really should either not play in bad weather or put up some sort of covers on the stands. I suppose magical folk think they’re invincible sometimes.”

 

Neville’s eyes dropped as she spoke. “I wish that were true,” he muttered.

“Is there something bothering you, sweetie? You know you can talk to me if you feel like getting something off your chest,” she coaxed gently.

He seemed to consider something for a few moments, then he spoke. “I was thinking about what you said at that serious lecture you gave,” he began. “I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse knowing that nothing could have been done to prevent You-Know-Who from doing what he did to my parents.”

Mika understood. Understanding about the consequences of time travel was hard enough. Coming to terms with it was even harder. “Well,” she said softly, “It was a terrible thing that happened. But they were brave and stood up to him and in the end probably did even more good than if they had not fought him. You should be very proud of your parents. And, Neville, if I could go back and change things, I don’t think they would want me to. Does that make any sense?”

Neville, close to tears, nodded.

“They did what they did because they’re kind, loving people and didn’t want anything to happen to you or anyone else. I am sure they will recover someday. You must keep up hope and never be ashamed of them.”

Mika leaned forward and gave Neville a hug. He seemed to feel a lot better now. “Thanks for that, Miss Mika.”

She smiled broadly, though she wished she could do more. “I told you, I am your friend, and I meant it!”

Just then they could hear the sound of the castle filling with wet and excited students. Colin Creavey burst into the common room chanting ‘Gryffindor! Gryffindor!’ soon to be followed by the other Gryffindor students.

“Hey, Neville,” Ron grinned. “You missed quite a match! Where were you?”

Neville cast a worried glance at Mika who spoke up for him. “We were having a chat. I was asking him about his plant,” she lied.

Hermione came in and plopped down in front of the fire. “I have never been so wet in my life!” she exclaimed. “Mika, you should have been there. Harry was magnificent.”

Mika smiled and settled back on her pouffe to observe the celebrations. No doubt Harry was getting changed after his apparently victorious outing.

Just then, one of the school owls flew in and dropped something into Mika’s lap. It wasn’t unusual for owls to deliver messages in Hogwart’s, just not to a visiting Timelord. Mika looked at Hermione, a puzzled look on her face. Hermione shook her head as if to tell her not to open it just yet. Mika nodded and stuck it in her pocket to await examination at a more private location.

The huge clock in the tower struck six thirty signifying that it was dinner time. The half dried out students, still revelling in their victory, filed out of the common room in search of a nice hot meal, dragging Mika along with them.

 

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