Sofia went up to the Gryffindor tower and sat alone in the common room for much of the rest of the day. She knew that she should return to her classes. She had a lot of makeup work to do for missing the past few days. Yet she needed to be alone, now more than ever.
Everything Dumbledore had told her was weighing heavily on her mind. Voldemort wanted her to be alone. He wanted to break her spirit. Only her body was bound to him. That must be why Origant was able to escape the curse when his spirit took him over. That which was bound to the service of the four founders was broken.
If Voldemort wanted her to feel alone, she knew she had to do the opposite. She could not give in to him. Her brothers would be safe with her parents. He could not touch them there.
She looked up as Harry walked into the common room. He looked at her and his face became solemn.
"How is Katie?" He asked.
Sofia smiled reassuringly.
"She's going to be just fine. It will take her a long time to recover but my mother is confident that she will make a full recovery."
He looked relieved. He sat down in a chair across from her and studied her vigorously.
"Sofia, I know you feel like you have to be alone, like you can't trust anyone, but that's what Voldemort wants. Last year when very few people believed me, the doubt started making me feel like an outsider, like I was alone. That's what he wanted. He doesn't understand what love feels like, he only knows that it defeated him before. But if it defeated him before, maybe it can defeat him again. Trust me, Sofia, I know how you feel, but shutting people out is only going to make it worse."
She smiled gratefully.
"Thank you, Harry. I think I understand."
He smiled back and stood up.
"Alright then, I'd better get going. See you later."
That evening Sofia pulled her hair back into a bun, applied a little bit of makeup, and made her was nervously down to Slughorns office in the dungeons. She took a deep breath and stepped inside.
All eyes stopped to stare at her as she entered the room. She thought a few mouths even flew open. People rarely saw her outside of classes anymore.
"Ah Miss Adema, right on time!" Slug horn said cheerfully.
They were all sitting around a large circular table. There were empty golden plates and goblets on the table. Slughorn was on the far side, staring up at her gleefully. She sat down in the one empty seat directly across from him.
"Let's do names for you, shall we?"
He began to go around the table, introducing her to the students there.
"Cormac McLaggen, Blaise Zabini, Ginny Weasley, Melinda Bobbin, and Hermione Granger. It's such a shame that Harry could not have come. That boy is frightfully busy. Ah, well, we'll get him here eventually."
Food filled the table, and everyone began to eat as talk cheerfully. Zabini was deep in conversation with Slughorn. The person on Sofia's left nudged her arm. She looked up and met the inquisitive gaze of Cormac McLaggen.
"What connections do you have to the Professor?"
He whispered to her.
He narrowed his eyes.
"Why are you here then?"
"He caught me beating up Slytherins in the corridors."
"Yes, he does like those with flare. Like Hermione over there," he pointed across the table. "She's exceptional. Of course, she doesn't have the same charm as someone like me. I'm the most easy-going and down to earth person at Hogwarts. My Uncle, who Slughorn is excellent friends with, says I have a bright future in the ministry to look forward to. Well, obviously Slughorn agrees or I would not be here right now."
Sofia shut out his ignorant voice. He was unbearable to listen to, the exact portrayal of the arrogance that other houses view Gryffindors as being.
"Sofia, tell us some about your parents work," Slughorn said to her from across the table.
She realized that all eyes were upon her now, wondering what her family did that set them apart from other wizarding families.
"Well," she began. "My mother researches cures to Dark Magic. My father researched magical artifacts."
"Yes, yes we know all that," Slughorn said. "But tell us specifics, what projects they have done."
"Um, my mother created Blood-Replenishing potion and fire protection potion. Those were her earliest works. She's also found cures for certain memory charms."
"Ah, so wonderful!" Slughorn squealed. "And your father?"
"He works privately around the world diagnosing magical objects and enchanting ordinary objects to give them magical properties. The Mirror of Erised was one of his creations."
"Oh my, are you serious? I had not idea!"
"What's the Mirror of Erised?" Cormac asked.
"Only one of the most powerful mirrors ever to exist! But why on earth did he create something like that?"
"I have no idea. He was barely out of school when he created it. Maybe he just wanted to be able to see the deepest desires if his heart."
"Goodness, child," Slughorn beamed. "I had no idea your parents did such things. Tell me more about your fathers work."
Sofia continued to talk about her parents work for the remainder of the dinner party, uncomfortable with all of the attention she was getting from the rest of the people there. When Slughorn finally sent them all off to bed, she was relieved.
She was on her way up the Grand Staircase when she realized that she could not go to bed just yet. There was someone she had to see first.
She hurried to the library, knowing that even if she was lucky enough to find who she was looking for, she would only have a few moments to talk to him before curfew.
She searched every corner of the library until at last she found him, huddled in the far corner all alone. His eyes met her as she approached him. He stood up from his seat, paused for a moment, and then ran towards her. She met him halfway, and they caught each other and wrapped their arms right around each other.
"I missed you," Luke whispered to her as he stroked her hair.
"I missed you too," she replied.
He lifted her chin and kissed her forehead softly.
"Don't leave me like that again. Whatever happens, I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere."
She could tell that he meant his words with every drop of blood in his body.