Chapter Five-and-a-Half:

An Interlude

Author's Note: Don't get your hopes up. This is not a real chapter, sorry. There will be no furthering of the plot here, just excuses.

Harry stared Trelawney down, as the Divination professor blinked repeatedly behind her thick spectacles. She was dressed as peculiarly as ever, the chains and beads around her neck and the bangles encircling her wrists clinking in an accessorial cacophony. The haze of ubiquitous incense that filled the room was, Harry suspected, forever caught in her robes—the pungent odor lingered with her even now, in the Great Hall, far from her classroom tower.

"Let me see your tea leaves," Trelawney requested of Harry, and, though hesitant, Harry handed his now-empty cup over. His throat had been sore and, at the suggestion of Hermione—who had graced Ron and Harry with her presence only rarely of late—he had downed a cup of tea for breakfast. He had not, of course, expected this.

Trelawney glanced into the cup. "I see…" she began, soft and mystic.

"My death? Doom? Complete destruction?" Harry ventured a guess.

"No." She seemed almost surprised by this. "I see…a Muggle. A young woman—a, a writer, I believe. She's repentant about something, but I can't quite see what. And there are several others, railing against her. It's a little foggy."

Harry frowned, wondering what exactly Trelawney was referring to.

The professor continued, "I believe—these people are expecting something from the girl, and she is unable to, at this time, deliver. Something…her family, friends, school, overwhelmed—and writer's block. She feels terrible, that's for certain. And she feels irresponsible, but, she can't—not yet, anyway. The future is still unclear. Hm…how mysterious."

With a sigh, Harry said, "So—you don't see my death?"

Trelawney blinked, then looked back in the cup. "Oh, yes. Here we are—death by bludgeoning." She set the cup onto the table, and, with a muted smile, she sighed, "That's just terrible. You poor thing."

Harry didn't even bother smiling back.

A/N: As you may have ascertained from the above piece (which took me five minutes to write, and has enough "story" in it that it can be used as an actual chapter, instead of an illegal author's note chapter), it may be a while before this story is updated again. Don't give up hope! Eventually, I will get to it. But, for the past few months, life has been crazy (and, yes, I've been a bit lazy), and getting around to updating has been difficult, to say the least.

To all of my reviewers: I worship you. Thank you so, so, so much for supporting me in this story. I'm terribly sorry I've failed you all in not updating as often as promised. Those who used, shall we say, stronger language when requesting an update—well, glad to know you're so fervent.

Thanks again, and, hopefully, over the summer, I'll have more time and effort to devote to this project.