Despite my earlier thoughts Christmas vacation was going well. When I got tired of Harry and Ron I would walk to the staff room where papa, Professor McGonagall, and sometimes another teacher. I would sit there and play wizarding chess with papa as the teachers gossiped. Professor McGonagall would sit behind me and give me hints that I never would think of. All the teachers smiled whenever papa laughed or smiled. I asked Professor McGonagall why it was and she answered 'it was nice to see him happy'. Papa did smile a lot when I entered the room. When I entered the room he would immediately go to me even if he was talking first. I loved it. Loved the hugs and listening to gossip and just being with him.
As I woke up there neatly at the end of my bed was a stack of presents. Scrambling to the end of my bed I grabbed the first one. It was a small brown box. I looked at the tag which said Sally. Sally was the lady who took care of me when papa couldn't. Smiling I opened it to find a small box of assorted chocolates and a smaller box. Opening the box a song came out. It was papa's lullaby he sung when I was really little. Letting it stay open I grabbed the next box. It was from Mr. Mad-Eye. Smiling I opened it to see a small camera. Mad-Eye knew me from Dumbledore and only visited when Dumbledore invited him to visit. Papa didn't like Mad-Eye's eye which used to scar me. Placing his aside I took the next one. It was an empty journal from Professor McGonagall. I'll have to thank them very soon. Next I grabbed was from Dumbledore who had given me Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans with a note said be careful. The last one I picked up was from papa. It was a note that said for me to meet him in the staff room at noon.
"Come on Perce the Prefect lets go!" A voice said loudly. Scrambling I pulled on some clothes, shut the music box, grabbed the camera, and hurried to the common room where the Weasley twins had pinned Percy by their side.
"Wait!" I shouted and then snapped the picture of them. Fred laughed and George followed. Percy looked absolutely miserable. "Percy" I said through laughter, "Do you happen to have the time?"
"No" He answered and I looked at the twins who smiled.
"Merry Christmas!" I headed out the common room and headed down the halls. Reaching the staff room I entered to see papa placing a present on the table. He spun as I let the door handle go. We both laughed and he motioned to the door. I closed it them ran to him. Hugging him I told him about the things I got. After I let go I took a picture of him. Opening the present I gasped. It was a bunch of candy and a ticket to a band in the summer.
"I know you like the Weird Sisters so I decided to...well..." He studdered.
"I love it! I love you, papa! Thank you!" I said throwing my arms around him.
After an eventful evening I wandered the castle at night. It was beginning to be normal for me which was bad I guess. It was a fun day. Winning a snowball fight with guys, hiding Percy's prefect bag so he thought someone stole it, George had given it to me, and eating a bunch of food. Papa had kept the tickets for safe keeping. That was fine with me. I was having such a fine night until I heard a blood-curling scream. My hand flew to my wand as I pointed it into the dark corridor. I wouldn't be able to see them but hopefully I'll be able to hide. As I turned toward the sudden light I saw papa's face. Before I could speak a small meow lifted from my feet. The Filch came around the corner. Neither looked happy.
"Anna!" Papa said.
"That wasn't me!" I answered.
"No Professor it came from over here." Papa grabbed my arm and followed Filch. "It came from the library. The Restricted Section. What are you doing with her?"
"We can catch them. She is allowed only certain times especially not tonight."
"Professor!" As we turned the corner papa waved Filch on. "Let me catch them. I can navigate better in the dark anyways. Split up." Papa looked at me like it was a horrible idea but sighed. I took off in the direction I came. Something in the hall made me uneasy and then I knew what it was. No sooner than I paced the hall a third time looking for clues when I was knocked over and suddenly Harry's head appeared from no where. He got up and picked up a cloak thing.
"Your lucky I'm not a screamer." I muttered but Harry's eyes didn't seem to register me. He pulled the cloak on and he disappeared. I looked at the door he came out of. Taking a deep breath I got up and headed into the classroom. Chairs and tables were piled to the side and there was a mirror standing on the back wall. My head tilted slightly and I took my wand out. I jumped in front of the mirror with my wand pointed at it. It was supposed to be my reflection. It wasn't my reflection though. It was papa and me in the middle of a street. He had his hand on my shoulder and he was smiling. Smiling at me. Stepping closer my wand lowered to my side.
"Not possible." I muttered. I started to repeat it then believe my eyes. Papa in the mirror now hugged me trying to make the sudden tears disappear. Finally I tore my eyes from the image and ran. I ran straight to the common room and hid under my covers. Whenever I fell asleep I must have still been crying to wake up to a soggy pillow.
Weeks again seemed to fly by and the thing I was thinking of was the exams. Hermione was also worried. However she decided to help Harry and Ron. I didn't because I was to busy studying on my own. I was giving them tips on potions because I was really talking to Hermione but it seemed their priority too. Hermione gave me tips on Charms and History. Hermione had invited me to the library with them so I tagged along. There we met Hagrid who seemed very concern or worried I mix those two up. So an hour later I'm standing in front of Hagrid's hut and wondering why I agreed to this. My nose was stuck in my potions book as Hagrid opened the door. When he let us inside it was like a summer's day with no air conditioning. It was so hot in there. I didn't care about this stone or the dog until I heard Hagrid mention my dad.
"Snape!" All three gasped.
"Duh, he's one of teachers protecting the stone." I answered. "I could've told you that!" I placed my book into my bag as the room became hotter then it was.
"How'do you know?" Hagrid asked. I looked down and lifted my shoulders up. The conversation kept going until Harry pointed at something in the fire. Curious I started to walk towards it but a giant hand held me back. Hagrid told us it was an egg he won at a pub. I was glad to get out of a wooden hut with a baby dragon.
Then perfectly one day Harry received a letter with two words. It's hatching. I was excited but then I felt doomed. A dragon and Hogwarts. This wasn't going to look nice. So straight after Herbology we all headed to Hagrid's hut. As he ushered us inside he gave me a look. I put a finger to my lips and he nodded. I wasn't going to tell anyone. The egg busted open a piece hitting me in the face. Pulling it off I looked at the wrinkle thing called a dragon. The wings looked like they were made of leather, and the jet black body sprouted horns in several places. I think I found the orange eyes more interesting then the thing itself. It snapped at each one of us showing the teeth. Hagrid however had a tears in his eyes. After we left the hut I was the first to speak:
"He's crazy." Harry gave me a dirty look. "You'll see if Malfoy doesn't drive you crazy...he will." I said with a shrug.
They all spent their free time looking out for the dragon which was now named Norbert but I preferred Umbrella. Harry had said it reminded him of an umbrella. I see his logic so after a week of calling it Umbrella I wasn't about to rename it Norbert. It was a Wednesday night and I was falling asleep on my notes. The portrait opened and I bolted up to see Ron come into the room waving about a bloody hand.
"Can you admit it now?" I asked Ron who nodded as he flopped on the couch mumbling about dragons and gamekeepers. Harry read the letter aloud because Ron didn't want to get up. Midnight on Saturday. "I can help you navigate the castle at night" I said and looked down at my notes.
"That'll be great!" Harry said.
Saturday seemed a lifetime away. Ron was in the Hospital Wing because of the bite. Harry thought it might be poison. I told him to look it up instead of guessing. So with me standing outside Hagrid's hut, I was not going in there, waiting for the dragon, Harry, and Hermione to get out. The door to the hut opened and Hagrid looked sternly at me. I raised my eyebrows but shook my head leading the invisible trio up to the castle. How we made it up to the highest tower door I forget. I do remember having to help them carry a dragon under the cloak. I hated the carrying part and being invisible. It gave me a stomach ache. As soon as I was to open the door a loud voice echoed down the hall.
"Detention!" I almost fainted as we shrunk to the shadows of the corridor. Professor McGonagall held Malfoy by the ear. "Twenty point from Slytherin for being out of bed."
"Rubbish!" She said and ranted as they walked down the corridor. I didn't listen to the rest because Hermione was trying to dance or had to go to the bathroom. I couldn't tell so I asked.
"Jig" She answered as we ascended the stairs. Finally we stood at the top of the tower.
"Well, I'd love to see this Umbrella off but I'm tired." I said and descended the stairs. As I walked away in the shadows I heard a meow and found Mr. Filch waiting at the bottom of the stairs. I nearly slapped myself on the forehead but didn't and I took off. Hoping to make Filch move away and towards me as if Peeves did something. I was about to fun head on into amour when Neville rounded the corner. I skidded to a stop. Neville however didn't see me yet. I crossed my fingers as I hid behind the suit of amour. Neville disappeared and yelped. Great, he just got caught. I ran from my hiding spot to where they all will be taken.
Professor McGonagall's office was small but I managed to hide trying to think about an excuses for all of them except Draco. Nothing was coming to mind as Professor McGonagall began to scold them. As soon as she assumed that there were only four students out of bed I took a confident and most likely stupid step forward.
"Make that five Professor. It's my fault Professor. I saw Draco being very rude to everyone so I made a hopefully far stretched but possible situation where Harry, Hermione, and Ron would be out of their beds. We never meant Neville to be a part of it. Sorry Longbottom. However when he went to warn us...we were studying and hadn't noticed the time...we went after him. Sorry." I couldn't tell if she was frightened how I suddenly appeared, relieved at the studying part, or a dragon that was going to spew fire.
"Detentions for all four of you and hundred and fifty points from Gryffindor for you stupidity. Anna I will be talking to your father about this." I looked at the floor as the others looked at me. "You have no right to do that. The matter of Draco Malfoy should have been brought straight to me. Straight to me young lady. You should be ashamed to think you can beat fire with fire." Somehow tears began to form in my eyes as I sniffed wanting to leave immanently.
"I'm sorry" My voice barely came out of my mouth. As we headed up to the common room Hermione tried to put her arms around me. I shrugged them off. Once in the common room I turned to Harry.
"Anna, you didn't have to..."
"I didn't do it for you! I did it for Neville and Hermione," both seemed to shrink into shadows, "You don't understand that they appreciate being here unlike you!"
"Anna I do..."
"No you don't! Or else you wouldn't shove your homework onto us!" With that insult I ran up to my bed and hid under the covers. I began to regret the idiotic excuse I made. A hand rubbed my back.
"Thank you, Anna. You're the best and bravest friend I have ever known." Hermione voice sounded small and far away. The hand stopped and I heard a creak in the floorboards as Hermione went to bed. What an idiot I am.