Extract from 'New Moon' page 73

"Goodbye, Bella," he said in the same quiet, peaceful voice.

"Wait!" I choked out the word, reaching for him, willing my deadened legs to carry me forward.

I thought he was reaching for me, too. But his cold hands locked around my tiny wrists and pinned them to my sides. He leaned down, and pressed his lips very lightly to my forehead for the briefest instant. My eyes closed.

"Take care of yourself," he breathed, cool against my skin.

There was a light, unnatural breeze. My eyes flashed open. The leaves on a small vine maple shuddered with the gentle wind of his passage.

He was gone.

For a long moment I simply stared at the spot Edward had once stood. Then, as I got over the shock of what had just happened, I turned around and headed towards Charlie's house. I was incredibly glad Charlie was home at that moment, it made it easier to escape.

"Bella, what-?" Charlie started only to stop when I aimed my wand in his face.

"Obliviate," I spoke the spell quickly and, before he could recover, I grabbed a hand full of green floo powder and through it into the red flames.

As the fire changed from red to green, I stepped into the heath and spoke my destination, "Hogwarts' Headmaster's Office!"

I watched as fire-place after fire-place passed across my vision before I stumbled out of the correct one. I instantly found myself on the wrong end of the Headmaster's wand. He stared at me for a moment before he slowly lowered his wand and sat back down at his desk.

"Bella," his voice was laced with the surprise he quite obviously felt. "You've returned?"

"I have," I agreed with him. "I think it's about time I face the world and Voldemort again."

Dumbledore's blue eyes turned worried as watched me, "Are you alright?"

I paused, considering my answer, "Yes, sir. I've just had an extremely tiring day."

The headmaster didn't look completely convinced but he smiled at me all the same, "Well then, I suggest you go get some sleep. You will return to classes tomorrow and we will discuss what has happened to you that made you so tired at a later date."

I nodded my understanding and agreement before walking out of Dumbledore's office. I walked the halls of Hogwarts, a small smile on my face at the familiar surroundings, until I reached the familiar Fat Lady painting.

I cursed quietly as I realised that I'd forgotten to ask Dumbledore for the password. Before I could think of going back to the office, though, a voice spoke up behind me.

"Bella, is that you?"

I turned around quickly and smiled when I came face to face with my best friend.

"Hey," I greeted. "It's good to see you again."

The black haired, green eyed boy instantly returned my smile, "It's great to finally have you back too."

Harry Potter then turned to face the portrait that watched us with interest and stated the password, "Lion's den."

The two of us stepped into the Gryffindor common room, only to find it completely empty of students.

"I'll see you tomorrow at breakfast," Harry told me with a smile before he disappeared up the staircase in which lead to the boy's dormitory.

I turned and headed up the only other staircase in the room, the one which lead to the girl dormitories. I walked down the familiar corridor until I reached the room in which Dumbledore had set up especially for me during third year. I gave the picture on my door the password before stepping into the familiar room.

I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

The next morning I woke up later then I usually would have on a school day. After yesterday's events came crashing back down on me, I got out of bed and dressed in my school robes. I wasn't at all surprised to find that the common room wasn't empty despite it being almost class time.

Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny all sat on the couches surrounding the fire and looked up as I entered.

"Bella," Hermione greeted with a smile as she stood up to hug me.

"Hey everyone," I returned her hug and smile before exchanging another hug with Ginny.

"Glad to be back?" Ron asked me with a grin.

I returned it happily but corrected his statement, "Glad to be home."

The others silently agreed as we stood and headed towards the Great Hall. As the five of us entered, we were met with the surprised faces of the rest of the school. It was a well known fact that I hadn't returned for the beginning on my sixth year after it had been revealed that Voldemort really had returned. Dumbledore had made it public knowledge that I had been sent somewhere for my own protection.

My friends and I quickly took our usually seat at the Gryffindor table and, for the rest of my first meal back at Hogwarts, ignored the whispers and stares.

Posted: 14/03/09

Revised: 22/05/10

Thanks for reading,