Chapter 45: Wings and Rain

Disclaimer: Multiple choice question: which one of the following is NOT true? a) cyropi is a Pisces, b) cyropi is JKRowling, or c) cyropi is seventeen. Answers on a postcard…

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A/N: I have, amazingly, very little to say. I think all the work has short-circuited my brain, as my teachers are being ludicrous. We have exams coming up, we need to revise, and they keep setting us ridiculous amounts of work. (We keep complaining, though, so it should hopefully lessen soon…)

Thank you all for all the many varying definitions of love. If I've learnt one thing, it's that it's utterly indefineable!

Additionally, is anyone looking at/doing/has recently done a Creative Writing degree at a university in England/Scotland/Wales? Or knows someone who has? For preference, English Lit and Creative Writing, but any info on courses would be welcomed. Cheers.

Onto the chapter, anyway. Yes, it's late (when am I not with the exams approaching?) but it's both a good bit longer than the average and it has a bit you've all been requesting. So you can forgive me. Right?


Contrary to popular belief, the wings of demons are the same as the wings of angels, although they're often better groomed.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

It was the smell that told Ellen where she was when she awoke. The Hospital Wing at Hogwarts didn't smell of disinfectant and chemicals like Muggle hospitals were supposed to; it smelt like healing potions, aniseed and thyme and some other things that she didn't know the names of. Ellen supposed wizards didn't use disinfectants; they probably had spells instead.

The sound of footsteps intruded on the soft silence of the Hospital Wing, making Ellen wince; the noise made her head throb with every footfall. It grew louder, though, finally culminating in the painful sound of a curtain being drawn back on rails. Ellen flinched at the sudden noise, and blearily opened her eyes, blinking at the sudden brightness of the light.

'I'm awake,' she said unnecessarily, surprised by how quiet her voice was. She tried again, looking up at the figure of Madam Pomfrey and ignoring the pain in her eyes at the light. 'I'm awake.'

'Of course,' came a soothing voice, and Madam Pomfrey's face came into view as she leaned in, giving Ellen a motherly pat on the head and a kindly smile. It reminded Ellen of her own mother, probably far away having the time of her life in the Caribbean, right now, and something squeezed itself painfully in Ellen's chest. She wished for a spell that could take her to her mother. Apparition would do it, but she couldn't learn that till she was older.

'Here,' Madam Pomfrey said again, and she pressed something cold – a glass of potion -into Ellen's hand, holding it steady. 'Drink this. Carefully, now. It'll help clear your head a bit.'

Ellen raised the glass to her lips and carefully drank it down. It was slightly bubbly, and it tasted – surprisingly – of marzipan. 'Thanks,' she said, closing her eyes again, and Madam Pomfrey left her in peace.

The potion did help; over the next five minutes Ellen found her head becoming clearer and less painful. The memory of what happened – she hadn't even thought about it with her mind so fuzzy – came back properly. She'd left the Hospital Wing slightly earlier than she'd said, because Madam Pomfrey had been suspicious of her loitering and she really hadn't thought half an hour would make that much difference.

But of course, it had. She'd run into a bunch of Slytherins making their way down to the Entrance Hall and been taken utterly by surprise. They'd got her wand, and then most of what she'd remembered after that was an inventive succession of hexes. She'd very nearly escaped them at one point, but they'd knocked her to the floor by aiming a Trip Hex at her legs.

And then what? Things got a little hazy, after that; she must have hit her head when she fell. Ellen closed her eyes, trying to remember, but Madam Pomfrey returned after only a few seconds and destroyed her concentration.

'Does that feel better? Good. Come on then, sit up and I'll take a look at you. Does anything still hurt?'

Ellen pushed herself slowly into a sitting position, smiling when Madam Pomfrey reorganised the pillows behind her back for her. 'Nothing really hurts,' she said truthfully, 'but I feel a bit stiff.'

Madam Pomfrey nodded, already drawing her wand to prepare for an examination. 'It's a side effect of one of the potions,' she said, then frowned, her expression a mixture and disapproval and concern. 'You were in a bad way when you came in here, poor thing. And I was just looking forward to a nice quiet holiday, too. Oh, well…'

Ellen watched for a few minutes as Madam Pomfrey muttered spells and charms below her breath. It was nothing like a Muggle doctors' examination would be – Ellen had rarely needed a doctor, but the few times she'd been had given her a rough idea. Muggle doctors were supposed to ask questions, measure your pulse and blood pressure, poke the afflicted areas to see where they hurt, and all those kinds of things.

In contrast, the magical examination seemed to involve a lot of muttered spells which produced apparently meaningless effects; shrill noises, soft hums, glowing lights in all colours of the rainbow, and once a soft rhythm which Ellen could only assume was her heartbeat.

It was interesting at first, but it soon ceased to be so, and after a further minute of fidgeting and staring across the Hospital Wing Ellen spoke. 'Excuse me,' she asked, 'but… how did I get here?'

Madam Pomfrey appeared startled. 'What? Oh, sorry. It was Draco Malfoy who brought you. I didn't hear the full story, because you needed healing and he had a good few scratches too, but he said you were attacked?' A look of worry passed briefly over her face, settling thee more permanently when Ellen gave a brief nod. 'Has this happened before? Does your Head of House know about it, dear?'

'No,' Ellen said, noticing that her mouth felt rather dry; she ignored it. 'They've never really been violent before.' That was a lie, of course, but an acceptable one; Madam Pomfrey didn't know that her earlier head injury had been anything other than an accident.

'Well, he'll probably come and visit you when he hears you're in the Hospital Wing,' Madam Pomfrey continued. 'Perhaps you could talk to him then? Or one of the other teachers, if you'd rather.'

Ellen shook her head. 'I'll be fine talking to Professor Snape.' Truthfully, she knew that it didn't matter a bit which of the teachers knew about it. It would be best if none of them did; of course. Ellen had never actually been bullied before, but she'd seen how it worked, and as soon as teachers got involved and started to punish the bully things usually got worse as revenge. She didn't like Snape, but at least she knew that he was Slytherin enough not to do anything that would lead to the others being more violent.

Madam Pomfrey interrupted her thoughts again; she'd returned to her tests, and was now looking at a soft blue glow at her wand tip in a very peculiar way. 'Have you broken your arm lately?' she asked. 'I don't remember healing any broken bones…'

A dim memory of the attack returned to her. 'I think they might have broken it when they were attacking me,' she volunteered. 'I remember it felt like they had…'

'Then how did it heal? I certainly didn't do it…' she mused. 'I could have been accidental magic, of course…'

'It could have been Draco,' Ellen supplied, remembering something she'd been told. 'His bones break easily, don't they? He said something about it being genetic, so it makes sense that he might know how to heal bones…'

'Possible,' Madam Pomfrey agreed, before her face darkened. 'Though he shouldn't be doing it without proper training. The last time a non-qualified wizard tried to heal a broken bone…'

She trailed off ominously, leaving Ellen to prompt her for details. 'What happened?'

'Poor boy lost all the bones in his arm,' Madam Pomfrey said, in such solemn tones that Ellen shivered. 'Of course, I could fix it, but it wasn't pleasant. So, you say the Malfoys have fragile bones, then?' she continued. 'That makes sense. I remember when I was a student here, Draco's father – you won't know him, I expect: Lucius Malfoy – was around my age, and he used to keep breaking bones too. One time, Gryffindor and Slytherin were playing a friendly match - though nothing's ever friendly between those two houses - and Lucius…'

Ellen settled back into the pillows and listened to Madam Pomfrey's bustling tale, a slight half-smile on her face.

Barely any of the Slytherins had stayed for the holidays. Besides Draco and Ellen, there were a couple of fairly quiet second-years, a fourth-year and Blaise Zabini. None of them had been in the common room when Draco returned from the Hospital Wing, so he took the opportunity to curl up in his old favourite armchair, in front of the fireplace, where he'd sat so long ago before everything changed and he'd become an outcast in his own house.

It didn't take him very long at all to come to the conclusion that he was furious.

He didn't like anger, it was a horrible hot feeling that made him feel he'd swallowed some kind of fire potion and was about to burn up from the inside out. Either that or freeze, because the accursed emotion kept changing between hot and cold. Right now it was hot, perfectly matching the almost tangible, oppressive sensation of heat coming from the fireplace.

He couldn't sit still; first his fingers would start twitching; when he stopped them his leg would start, and then he'd shift irritably in his seat. Despite the fact that the culprits were currently on the Hogwarts Express, miles away by now – they'd run off as soon as it became obvious he could best them all in a fight – he simply wanted to punch something.

Which was completely irrational, because he had absolutely no reason to do so except for the anger. Revenge was generally a waste of time. And besides, hexes were a far more effective way of hurting people than bare fists. Instinct, however, suggested that something more hands-on would be far more satisfactory than the impersonal hex from a wand. A Fallen mind would never have understood that concept, however well it had been explained, but his human side felt it without having to be told.

Draco shoved the irrationality of it all to one side and shifted in his seat. The most annoying thing about anger was that it was so hard to get rid of. Once he was angry, even the most minor flaw in the world around him – the fire was too hot, the chair too hard – seemed absolutely infuriating, only adding to the simmering sense of anger, augmenting it, strengthening it. And it wasn't just the environment, either; it was everything, until even the fact that he was angry was making him furious with himself.

He forced himself to take a deep breath – something he'd read about people doing in books when they were angry – but it didn't seem to help. This wasn't useful. It was a complete and utter waste of time, and he ought to be able to control this. The urge to have some kind of screaming fit – breaking things looked attractive – over the unfairness of the world struck him, before passing in moments. The mere fact that he'd felt it annoyed him. He was not five years old!

He tried taking a few more deep breaths. Really, humans had to have a better way of coping with this. He ought to ask Hermione; she'd know the answer, if there was one.

For now? He could go flying, perhaps. Somehow he didn't think he could stay angry when he flew, and not just because of the strange, numbing contentment that touching his wings could produce. Flying, he had decided, deserved the word euphoric.

He had no sooner decided this than the door to the common room slid open; he twisted in his seat, glancing towards it, and scowled slightly when he saw Blaise outlined in the doorway. She caught his eye. He hadn't spoken to her recently, of course; barely at all since he'd changed. But he knew she had sent that letter to Ellen, and a thought crossed his mind with a sudden violence – had she been involved in that day's attack? No, that had been opportunistic, not planned. Still, his eyes narrowed.

Draco turned away from her, staring back at the fire, but listening for Blaise's footsteps. Hopefully she'd be going straight to her dormitory, or settle silently in one corner, or preferably leave.

He heard her footsteps and almost swore; they were heading straight for him. She paused behind his chair – Draco wished for a mirror positioned over the fireplace so he could see her – then stepped sideways; from the corner of his eye Draco saw her take the chair beside him.

Blaise's face was carefully blank, her eyes betraying curiosity as she fixed them on him and nothing more. She didn't speak; Draco knew she was waiting for him to make a move, and sighed.

'What do you want, Blaise?' he asked, not bothering to play at Slytherin guessing games.

Blaise frowned slightly at him. 'I want to know why you turned traitor to us,' she said plainly. 'And I want you to come back.'

Draco stared at her expression – almost honest – and felt unaccountably annoyed. She had absolutely no idea about anything. 'No.' he snapped shortly. 'I'm not coming back, and it's none of your business why.' He got to his feet, turning away from her without so much as a goodbye.

'Wait,' she asked, softly, from behind him, and – knowing he would regret it – he paused.

'What?' he asked sharply, without turning round.

He heard the creak of wood as Blaise got out of her chair; heard her footsteps as she walked around him, coming to face him. He crossed his arms defensively. Blaise's expression surprised him; he expected her to appear powerful, in control, strong. Instead he could see the lines of doubt in her face, curving across her forehead, tugging at her eyes; and some other emotion he couldn't place.

She reached out a hand as if to touch him; he stiffened, and she reluctantly dropped it.

'Your father isn't pleased,' she said softly, her voice breaking the silence. Draco sneered.

'I no longer care what my father thinks,' he replied.

'Or what your House thinks, evidently,' Blaise replied, her lip curling in distaste. 'Fraternising with those Mudbloods… Really, Draco, I'm sure you could have found a better class of person. Some of the Ravenclaw purebloods, perhaps…'

That kindled the anger again. 'My friends are a better class of person than you'll ever be,' he said roughly, the hot anger making everything around him suddenly sharper, more detailed. 'And I suggest that insulting them isn't the best way to win me round to your point of view.'

Blaise frowned. 'Draco…' she said reaching out and taking his hand – he jerked away, only the impression of cold skin left on his palm. She wasn't fazed. 'Draco, stop this. Why are you doing this? You know Mudbloods are inferior, you know what the Dark Lord is doing is for the best. Putting the world back to rights. Why-'

'By torturing people? By killing people?' Draco cut in. He wanted to hit her, to hurt her, but forced himself to ignore the urge. 'By beating up eleven-year-old girls who can't even defend themselves in the corridors?'

'You mean the Mudblood you're so fond of?' Blaise asked, eyes narrowing. 'It's not like she matters. She's only using you, Draco. She's-'

'Who else is there that can help her?' he asked. 'The whole of Slytherin House is against her, or won't go near her because they're scared of getting pulled into this too. And she's eleven. She's a first year, for goodness' sake. What a noble cause.'

Blaise was looking at him in confusion, as though he were speaking a completely different language. 'She's a Mudblood,' she said, as though this explained everything, and then, 'Draco!'

He ignored her; turning his back on her, he walked straight out of the common room, curling his hands into fists. If he'd stayed a moment longer he'd have lost the battle with anger and simply hit her, and he had a feeling that he wouldn't be happy about that in the morning.

Time to fly.

However, it wasn't until 1975 that the term 'Death Eaters' came into common use. Prior to this, phrases such as 'followers of You-Know-Who' and 'supporters of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named' (both taken from the Daily Prophet archives) were-

Hermione turned the page, the crackle of parchment sounding oddly loud in the silent common room. It was usually filled with chatter and laughter at this time of night, but now there was nothing but the occasional crack from the fire or the rain's constant hammering at the window, muffled slightly by the thick curtains that separated the common room from the wintry world outside.

Harry, Ron and Ginny had decided to celebrate the first day of the holidays by playing Quidditch all afternoon, only stopping when the darkening clouds had done what they'd been threatening to do and started to rain. Tired out by the games, they'd all decided to head off to bed early, leaving Hermione to settle by the fireplace with her book. There was only one other Gryffindor staying behind; a fifth-year who had crept off to stay with a friend in the Slytherin dormitories. Which wasn't technically allowed, but it was, after all, Christmas.

- employed. The switch to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's own terminology marked a new era in the war; an era which would see his not inconsiderable menace to the wizarding world increase even further. Language is, after all, a considerable…

Her attention was broken by an owl tapping at the window. She glanced upwards, half tempted to ignore the owl remain curled in her cosy space by the fire. But it was pouring down outside, and probably freezing cold, and really, it would be cruel not to let the poor thing inside.

Sighing, she set her book aside and pushed herself out of the chair – it was far too low to the ground, but it was huge and fat and comfortable, which made up for it. There was another quiet tapping; she followed the sound to the window. 'I'm coming, I'm coming, she muttered, drew back the curtain, and almost screamed in surprise.

It wasn't an owl tapping at the window. It was Draco.

She gaped at him for a moment. He was absolutely drenched, his hair plastered to his head and water running down his arms. He did have his wings out, tucked over and around him as a shield against the rain – he must have been flying, but in this weather? The rain increased its efforts for a brief moment, as if to make a point, and Draco shivered. Tilting his head on one side, he raised an eyebrow and mouthed something that looked very much like 'Let me in!'

Hermione glanced round nervously, half expecting to see one of the others appear with spectacular timing at the foot of one of the staircases. She caught herself. That was ridiculous: people didn't just appear because it was a bad time for them to do so. Harry, Ron and Ginny would be asleep by now, and meanwhile, poor Draco must be soaked.

She undid the latch quickly – the house elves kept them well oiled so they didn't stick – and swung the window open. Thankfully, it was wide enough to admit a human being plus wings. 'What on earth are you doing?' she asked, as Draco slipped off the windowsill and inside, curling the wings around him as he did so.

'Freezing to death, quite possibly,' he replied, brushing some hair out of his eyes and giving her an apologetic grin. Heavy with rainwater, The hair fell back into place. Droplets were tracing their way over his face; she couldn't see anything but his face and shoulders due to the wings, which were curled around him. The floor around his feet, Hermione noticed, was becoming damp already.

'Sicco' she muttered, waving her wand, and Draco instantly looked both a lot happier and a lot drier. 'What on earth were you doing out in that storm?'

'Flying?' he offered, then sighed. 'I was in a bad mood.'

'So you decided to go out in the pouring rain?' Hermione asked, feeling faintly amused. It crossed her mind that Draco shouldn't be here, really, but she ignored that fact. No one would mind – well, her friends might mind a little, but they knew she was friends with Draco. They wouldn't make a fuss. And besides, they were all asleep by now.

He shrugged, which looked rather odd when accompanied by wings. 'Flying cheers me up,' he said, and she noticed his teeth were chattering.

'How long were you out in that weather?' she asked suspiciously, and on impulse reached out and touched his shoulder. For the first time, the cliché of something feeling 'like ice' was the only accurate description Hermione could think of; she hadn't known someone could be that cold and still be alive. 'You're freezing!'

He ducked his head slightly. 'Sorry,' he said, 'I just… wasn't paying attention, I guess.'

Hermione shook her head in disbelief. 'Come on,' she said, tugging him over to the fireplace, 'you need warming up. Are those wings warm enough? I could summon a blanket from the dorms…'

Five minutes later, after further drying charms, warming charms and an anti-chilblain charm - 'Just in case,' said Hermione – Draco was sitting on the floor as close to the fire as he could get without burning himself or singeing his feathers. He had refused the blanket, and the wings did look warming, so Hermione hadn't insisted.

Now that she'd gotten over the shock of finding a soaked and freezing Draco Malfoy at the window, Hermione couldn't stop her attention flickering to those wings. They really were beautiful; they reminded her of all the angel pictures she'd ever seen when tailing her parents around art galleries as a child. She could almost picture him in one of those pieces, dressed in impossibly white robes and posing for Renaissance painters.

Fighting back the urge to smile – he'd ask her why and she didn't particularly feel like explaining that one to him – she glanced over to him. The silence that had fallen between them wasn't awkward; it was one of those companionable silences where nothing need be said, and sitting together in silence with their own thoughts and the sound of the rain outside was as good as talking.

Still, Hermione found that she wanted to talk to Draco, simply for the sake of speaking with him. And if she were really honest, she was fascinated by his wings.

'What's it like?' she asked. 'Flying, I mean?'

The expression on his face said it all. 'It's amazing,' he said, his tone almost reverent. His cheeks were still flushed – from the cold outside, or the fire's heat, or from flying – and Hermione could have sworn his eyes were a brighter grey than usual. 'It's… It's hard to explain. Have you been on a broomstick much?'

Hermione shook her head. 'Not really, apart from the flying class in first year. Why, is it like that?'

Draco frowned, opened his mouth as if to speak and closed it again. 'Not really,' he said, 'but if you think of what that's like, being on a broomstick… It's different. Because with the broomstick it's not really you doing the flying, it's the stick,' he said, frowning as he spoke, as though he was trying to understand it, as though he was explaining things as much to himself as he was to her. He probably was.

'And you can do anything you want on a broomstick – feints and dives and swoops and things like that – but you aren't really free. Because you're always bound to the broomstick; it's always there. But with flying… it's just me and the sky. And it's different, somehow. More freedom.' His face fell. 'I'm not making any sense at all, am I?'

'You're making a bit,' she assured him, smiling. 'Enough, at least.'

'It's hard to describe things I don't understand myself,' he said, and then almost absent-mindedly flexed one of his wings. Hermione's eyes followed it, the sweep of white feathers, rustling slightly as they moved, brushing against the floor and revealing, oddly pale and almost vulnerable, the side of Draco's chest.

He noticed her watching as the wing settled back into place. 'What is it?' he asked.

'Just… the wings,' Hermione said, shaking her head. 'They're fascinating.'

'They're only wings,' Draco said, frowning at them, and she was treated to another wide sweep of feathers as he raised one of them for his inspection. He frowned. 'And getting a bit messy, too.'

'Only wings,' Hermione said, shaking her head. 'I know people who'd kill to have wings. Or even to see someone who has them.'

'They come at a price,' Draco said, a darker tone in his voice. He ran a hand carefully over the feathered wing before settling it back into place. 'And you know… Hermione?'

'What? Oh,' she said, blushing slightly as she realised she'd been staring at those white feathers. They looked impossibly soft, somehow pure. 'Sorry.'

He looked rather amused. 'Honestly, Hermione, if you're going to sit here and stare at my wings all night… 'A thoughtful look passed over his face. 'I'm certain mother has information on the half-Fallen wings somewhere in her library. You could owl and ask for information.'

'I might do,' Hermione said thoughtfully. 'The anatomy of them would probably be quite interesting. Did you say they're magical too?'

'Partly magical,' Draco replied, frowning. 'Mother would know. There are extra muscles to move them, but they aren't apparently strong enough to fly with on their own. So it's generally supposed that there's a bit of magic in the wing design somewhere.'

'Extra muscles?' Hermione asked. 'Where?'

In response, he opened his wings, twisting sideways so they didn't crash into the fire and causing Hermione to have to dodge out of the way of one. And there were odd muscles; Hermione could see them move, twisting and rippling below the skin in a strange, otherworldly way.

'They're only there when the wings are,' Draco explained, beating his wings gently so Hermione could get the full effect of the muscles working. She realised that she was unconsciously moving closer, and sat back, amazed.

'That's… that looks really peculiar, you know,' she said, finding herself almost at a loss for words.

Draco glanced down at himself, frowning. 'It is? I suppose it must be… I'm too used to it, I guess.' He shrugged, treating Hermione to the sight of the wings shifting with his pale shoulders. It took her a moment to realise he was staring at her appraisingly.

'Why are you so interested?' he asked curiously. 'They're only wings. You see them every day on owls.'

'But not on people,' she pointed out. 'It's different on people. And besides, you're a totally new type of creature,' she added with a wry smile. 'My impulse is to study.'

'So I'm a creature now?' he asked, but his light smile indicated that he wasn't really offended.

'You know what I mean,' she said, eyeing the soft white mass of the wing closest to her. 'What else is unusual about them?'

Draco paused for a moment before answering. 'Touch one,' he said at last. She blinked at him, trying to gauge his intent, but his expression remained enigmatic. 'Go on.'

She found herself inexplicably nervous of doing so, despite the fact that stroking his soft feathers was a very appealing idea. Still, it felt almost… wrong to touch them, as though it were something private, which she shouldn't intrude on. Except of course he'd invited her to touch them, so that was silly. Hermione had never thought of emotions as irrational before – they had always imply been there – until association with Draco had made her see that they very often were.

Hesitantly, almost timidly, she put out her fingertips and carefully stroked one feather. The first touch sent a wave of something warm and soothing through her, but it was a few seconds before she realised it was more than ceasing to be nervous. She stared at Draco in surprise.

'It's one of the odder properties,' he explained. 'You remember there were two species fighting? Mine – the Fallens, that is, whose impulse was to do evil, and their cousin race whose instinct was for good.' Hermione nodded. 'Well, we think that my race split off from theirs. And the wings are a leftover, as it were, from their species. Hence them causing… I think it's contentment?'

'It feels like contentment. In an odd way,' Hermione said. It was a wonderful feeling, warm and safe, rather like a muted version of the feeling just before falling to sleep when all the world is forgotten, and there's nothing but warm blankets and soft pillows. She shifted her fingers on the feathers, which were as soft as they looked, and she smiled.

Draco looked amused. 'They're apparently good against Dementors,' he said. 'Because the contentment balances out the negative effects of their presence. You still remember the bad memories, you just don't feel the pain of them.'

'Useful,' Hermione noted, tilting her head on one side. 'I wonder if you could use them in a potion.'

'I don't think anyone's ever tried,' he replied. The rain, still battering at the windows, chose that moment for a sudden redoubling of its efforts, accompanied by an ominous roll of thunder. Hermione glanced at the windows and frowned.

'What on earth were you doing outside in this weather anyway?' she asked. 'It sounds awful out there.'

'It is,' he confirmed. 'As to why… I was in a bad mood, like I said. And flying helps it feel better.' He sighed, leaning back slightly and staring absently at the fire. 'I was furious. I felt like I was going to punch someone if I didn't control myself better.'

'You were that angry?' Hermione asked, concerned. Draco must have picked up on the worry in her voice, because he immediately looked worried as well.

'Is that not normal?' he asked. 'Or, well, I know it's not normal in terms of you don't feel that angry often, but-'

She cut in, 'No, no, it's not that. Everyone gets angry, and it was good of you not to punch someone.' He relaxed a little at that. 'I was just… what made you so angry?'

He sighed a little before speaking. 'Keep your hand on the feathers,' he advised her, 'you aren't going to like it…'

A/N: 'Sicco' means 'I dry'.

I have a good (or at least important) question for you this chapter! At school we have Houses, very much like the Harry Potter Houses except without the Sorting Hat. And of course, there is a House Cup. Now, one of the competitions which contributes towards said Cup is the House Play competition, where the Lower Sixth (my year!) write and direct a short play to be performed by the eleven-year-olds of their House. And the time for writing said play is fast approaching… Now, what I wish to ask is simple: does anyone have any ideas for a topic which is suitable for eleven year olds, has a flexible number of parts depending on how many people we get (at least 10!), has comic potential and isn't utterly cliché? Any ideas? Suggest them!