The Calm Point of View

Chapter 65

Today was the Slytherin vs Gryffindor quidditch match. Both teams were slightly handicapped since Bell was still away and Draco claimed sick. Usually he wants all the glory and would postpone the game. There is no denying that he looks sick, but still.

Gryffindor won, Weasel managed to save everything tossed at him. They are celebrating now. Briar is really enjoying the free butterbeers. He is debating leaving though because he does not enjoy watching, or hearing, Weasel and Lavander Brown eat each other's faces. I have to agree that it sounds off-putting.

Christmas is coming and it feels like the castle is trying too hard to be cheerful. Twelve trees in the great hall, tinsel twirled and twisted around every banister, everlasting candles inside all the helmets. Notably the last one is more creepy than festive in my opinion, this is Christmas, not Halloween. Oh, and I cannot forget the bunches of mistletoe everywhere in the corridors. Thankfully it is not magical.

Just imagine if a student and a teacher were trapped together, that would be horrifying even in this time of coming war.

In transfiguration we are working on human transformation. More specifically changing our eyebrow colour. Something Briar and I have been doing for years. We are working on failing at it until Hermione at least gets it. There are some secrets we still wish to remain our own.

We are heading home for the holidays this weekend, I almost wish Draco would join us. He is beginning to look sicker every day. It doesn't help that he doesn't seem to sleep. I have spotted him leaving the common room at all hours of the night, sometimes not coming back until just before people wake up for classes.

Theo will be coming home with Briar and I for the full holiday. I knew staying at either Hogwarts or his home would probably break him. Grandfather has it set to look as if we are still living in France, just in case Theo cannot be as trusted as we believe.

Grandfather stole Theo while Briar and I started preparations for the party. Rozenn, hearing we were home, also came to help. She has been put in charge of selecting dishes, Briar is decorating, I am in charge of drinks. Theo is helping out all of us until we know where his talents are best suited. I do not know what Grandfather discussed with Theo or why it made him look both happier yet frightened, I am not sure if I want to know.

Theo gained more confidence when he was put in charge of the suppers seating arrangements. He has a talent for knowing who gets along with who and which families should be placed near each other to promote bonding and co-operation.

Grandfather checked on him once, raised an eyebrow at the changes being made and then walked away. We had to stop and reassure Theo that it wasn't a bad thing, he had just surprised Grandfather in a good way. Rozenn didn't really help much as she was laughing, as least until she told Theo of her panic attack the first time she had sought our Grandfather's approval and was met by silence.

We kept Theo busy until other friends started arriving for the party. It wasn't just friends invited this year but many other students and families. People that had suffered recent losses, those that were directionless. They were seated at a table filled with presents. I don't know how Grandfather had done it. Each present held an album with pictures of the person's family and friends. There were many tears but being seated all together; there was a feeling that they weren't alone.

Shae didn't come this year.

Theo and I stayed to the shadows with Daphne and Milli. Pansy stayed at Hogwarts. Everyone knew what side my friends' parents had chosen. We were unwelcomed amongst our peers. Especially in their grief.

Briar danced with Rozenn quite enchantingly. I took from his joy and tried to spread it to my fellow Slytherins. Eventually Daphne and Milli were out dancing with a couple of the French local boys and I was left to comfort Theo.

Without once changing his expression, Theo confided in me. He said this may be the last year that school actually feels safe. I gave him a small petrified rose and told him that if things got bad enough or he need to escape that he could find a home here in France. He asked me if I really meant it knowing he was the son of a death eater. Briar wandered over and stated that we meant it as long as he felt he could be safe with the children of squibs.

I have seen Theo silent but never speechless, he was speechless. I am still not sure if it was because Briar answered for me or if it was because we told him our parents were squibs.

It turns out it was Briar knowing of our conversation that had shocked Theo. I had to explain that as long as we were close enough we didn't even have to try for it to happen.

He looked thoughtful, I think he was working on future escape plans.

Presents were exchanged, it was mostly useful things from Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes and some other defense aids.

By the time we had to floo back to school Theo looked healthier than he had in months. Grandfather once again took Theo to the side and told him that he should trust no one with his weaknesses. He told all of us that we should stick together through this or else we may break under the pressure of what is expected. He also told Theo not to let anyone pressure him into anything and that there is always a way out if you know where to look.

Finally, we stepped through the floo to Hogwarts and into Professor Snape's office. Briar ended up in Professor McGonagall's office. I guess everyone was sent to their head of house. Professor Snape paled a minuscule amount when I asked just how many people were monitoring the floo network. He never did answer.