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Chapter 21

The weekend arrived just in time before Alexis’s mind and spirit fell into despair. The Gryffindors were keeping their distance from her. Even her roommates abandoned her when they found out about Zack. Nobody talked to her now, or ate their meals with her. It left Alexis depressed, feeling unwelcome whenever she walked into the Great Hall, she would barely eat and left within minutes of arriving. They whispered her name every time she approached. She heard the word ‘spy’, or ‘traitor’ in both the Slytherin and Gryffindor circles from the seventh years to the first years. Alexis found it best to avoid the negativity the others sent her way and spent as much time away from Gryffindor’s Tower as she could. She woke up early to take her run, or spent the evenings in the library or empty classroom with Skye or Eloise – or both. They never whispered or gossiped about her. Alexis wished she could switch houses, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff seemed much more accepting than the other two.

Skye continued to insist Alexis learn more about the school, its lore and the rift between Slytherin and Gryffindor. She seemed to think that the knowledge would give Alexis the insight to overcome her hardships within her house. Thankfully, there wasn’t always enough time at the end of their tutoring sessions and Alexis could sneak out before Skye got to that lesson.

The good news – the dream Alexis had on her first night in the castle hadn’t returned. Monday would be her first Divination lesson and Alexis was eager to learn more about her dreams and skills as a potential seer. Alexis was looking forward to it. In the meantime, the weekend allowed her more freedom of the castle, and could avoid all of her house members for the entire day. It gave her time to recoup her damaged spirit and prepare herself for the following week.

It was late Sunday night when Alexis returned to the Gryffindor Common room after another round with Skye and her intense tutoring session. This time she had made her beetle turn into a button. The best success she had ever had in Transfiguration. Alexis felt ecstatic at her progress and walked into the common room with bright smile on her face, and a bounce in her step.

“There she is, the spy.” A voice called out, low but just loud enough for Alexis to hear as she walked a couch. Alexis turned to see Amelia with a few other students. “Don’t you look happy. Did you tell your Slytherin boyfriend about our password?”

“Why would I do that?” Alexis asked, raising herself high as she walked towards Amelia and her accusations. They had Potions on Friday when – yet again – no Gryffindor would sit next to her, she had sat with Zack Rowle. At least with Potions there was no spells to learn, it was just placing ingredients in a cauldron and praying you did it right. Now everyone noticed how she and Zack got along, then the story of Ancient Runes class got out and soon all the Fourth Years were talking about them.

“Why? Well because you don’t belong in this House. The Sorting Hat made a mistake, or you tricked it. Runes never play fair. They manipulate and hide the truth. Just like your grandfather.”

“Don’t talk about my grandfather.” Alexis warned, unsure where the hostility was coming from. It wasn’t like she was part of any of her grandfather’s misdeeds. Amelia had been against her since they first met, and Alexis had enough.

“See, what did I tell you. She’s sticking up for that crooked old man. You know what he did, right? The stories of his cruelty that killed his own son and sent the other away.” Amelia stood and walked towards Alexis until they were face to face with eachother.

Alexis blinked and tilted her head in confusion. The common room seemed to have gone silent, several heads tuned in their direction, all with eyes of mistrust. Alexis didn’t see Lilly’s face amongst the gathering crowd. Perhaps that’s why Amelia had confronted her, as much as her insults were bad, they were tamer when Lilly was present.

“What, stuck for words? Have I hit the truth? I know about you and your family. Tell me then, where have you been every evening this week if not with your Slytherin boyfriend and his gang?”

“I think you are mistaken.” Alexis said, in a hollow voice. “I suggest you refrain from coming to false conclusions when you don’t have all the information.”

“What, that you coming from Japan is a big fat lie?” Amelia said with a dark laugh. “I’ve done my research, the only son your grandfather had was Avery, a two bit looser who ran away from home at sixteen. It’s obvious he’d try to keep you out of the magical community but failed. Now you’re struggling in all of your classes because of it.”

“Crow is not my father!” Alexis said, a tone of surprise in her voice. The accusations were stretched and far fetched in her mind. Yet, they were hitting several nerves and Alexis could feel her temper rising. “My father is Wesley Rune, he didn’t have magic!” Alexis yelled.

“Ha, a pathetic squib? You seriously think I’ll believe that! What other lies are there?”

Time moved at different speeds. Alexis’s hand formed a fist and before she knew what was happening, her fist flew towards Amelia’s stunned face. She felt impact against Amelia’s nose, and then time seemed to stop. Alexis’s blinked and watched Amelia’s body fall to the floor in slow motion. She had never punched anybody before, she had never been in a physical fight before. Hachiro was the one with formal training, she had only watched him  – but it seemed anyone can throw a punch. Both of her hands were in fists and up in the air as if waiting for Amelia to regroup and continue the fight.

“You bitch!” Amelia said from the ground, clutching her nose in her one hand. Her wand was out and before Alexis could react, a spell was yelled at her. Red sparks from the tip of Amelia’s wand. Alexis had expected something – but somehow the spell caught her completely off guard.

“Protego!” A protective shield appeared around Alexis just in time.

“What’s going on here!” The voice broke through the growing yells of the crowd. Alexis looked over to see Al Potter with Rose Weasley pushing her way towards the centre of the room.

“What’s going on here?” Al asked. He looked from one girl to the other, completely unaware of the argument that had started it all. Rose bent down next to Amelia, trying to help stop the bleeding.

“I’ll take her to the infirmary,” she said, glaring at Alexis. “It was just a practice spell gone array.”

Nobody contradicted her, but the whispers started at once. The story will spread, Alexis was sure of it, it will say that the Rune blood is still within her. She had defended her family name knowing what it would cost her. Any chance of becoming a true Gryffindor and being accepted by her house vanished.

Al hand grabbed her shoulder, but Alexis pushed him aside and ran to the stairs and up to her room. She would not stay in that room a second longer. Everyone had turned against her for good. It was pointless to reason with then, to explain herself. Alexis felt a deep hate for Hogwarts, and a longing for home.

Chapter 20                        INDEX