Ellie didn't know how long she sat outside, hiding behind the old, big tree in the front yard of Demitir's house, but it'd been a long time and her legs were starting to go numb. She had been passing Demitir's house, on her way to visit her Aunt's house, and had seen Gellert and Demitir disappearing inside.

On a whim, she decided to wait and ambush Gellert once he came out. But, it didn't look like he was ever going to come out. It was getting dark out. Her Mother must be worried. Ellie put a hand on the tree trunk, ready to push herself up, when the front door swung open and Gellert's voice carried from the porch.

"I'll be seeing you, Demitir," Gellert said as he stepped onto the stone path and made his way down to the side walk. Ellie felt ridiculous as she lurked in the shadows behind him, waiting for him to get out of sight of Demitir's house.

She followed him as silently as she could until he turned at an intersection. Jumping at the chance, she grabbed the back of his shirt, whirled him around, and stuck her wand in his face so that it was very nearly touching his nose.

Gellert seemed surprised to find himself pressed up against the wall by one of his best friends, and a girl at that. But, he didn't say anything, just satisfied with raising his brows questionably at her. Ellie found it hard to suppress the anger that flared inside her chest.

"You've recruited Demitir to help you with your crime?" Ellie demanded, unable to hide the tremor that anger put in her voice.

"Ellie, it's not like I'm committing murder, or -,"

"Or what? Torturing other students?" Ellie asked. In a flurry of anger and movement, Gellert shoved her backwards and pulled his own wand out to point at her. His sudden action caught her off guard and she fell hard on her backside.

"You sound like a broken record! Have you anything else to say or are you that empty minded that you can only have one thought?!" Gellert hissed at her, his chest heaving in his anger. Ellie stared up at him, her mouth gaping wide and her expression caught somewhere in the grey between offence and hurt.

She got up to her feet and opened her mouth and closed it, as if she was going to say something, but thought better of it. When Gellert didn't move, he seemed frozen in place, his wand still pointed at her, Ellie turned on her heel and ran away from him, and up the street.

In Gellert's mind, he was seeing Ariana's death. He'd almost done the same again, almost harmed someone who was innocent. Someone so much purer than himself.

It wasn't for several moments that he realized that he was still standing with his wand pointed at where Ellie had been. Shaking his head he put his wand away and trudged away in the direction his house.


Ellie didn't stop running until she was on the other side of the door. She fell back onto it, depending on the door to support her as she struggled to catch her breath and sort out her raging emotions.

It wasn't until her breathing slowed considerably that Ellie pulled herself up and went up the stairs to her room. She shut the door behind her and stood motionless in the door way. Her room looked as it had the day she left for her first day at Durmstrang. The same dark blue sheets and comforter, the same dark wooden headboard. The same rickty night table. The same vanity and the same trunk at the foot of her bed. The same, worn carpet. How could it be the same, so exactly normal and usual, when everything else around her was changing?

An uncontrollable anger welled up inside of her, and she lunged forward, practically spitting and hissing, wanting the sameness to go away. She tore the comforter from her bed and threw it out the window. Wheeling around she grabbed the nightstand and hurled it at the vanity, the glass tinkling beautifully as the mirror shattered. Feathers fluttered around her when she turned her attack on her soft, blue pillows. The destruction continued until she pulled open her chest and on the very top was a photograph of Gellert, Demitir and herself. Ellie gently took the photograph into her hands.

She was in the middle of the picture, Demitir and Gellert hugging her from either side and they were smiling widely, their mouths moving to form silent and forgotten jokes and comments. She recognized it as the picture they took just after Christmas break, and just before Gellert was expelled.

She set it back in the trunk and gently shut the lid, contradicting her earlier actions. She leaned directly back, laying on the floor beside her trunk and her upturned mattress, covering up with the sheets from her bed.



With great difficulty, Ellie extracted herself from sleep and looked at Demitir with bleary eyes.

"What happened to your room?" Ellie sat up and felt the after effects of sleeping on the floor in her joints and muscles. She looked around at her room, and saw that it looked much worse in the day light.

"I don't want to talk about it," She answered, looking back at Demitir. He was holding her blanket, which he must have retrieved from the front lawn, and an envelope. "What's that?"

"A letter your Mother left for you last night," Demitir said as he crossed the room and handed the envelope to her. "My own Mother sent me over to ask your family to dinner. I swear, she's so old fashioned. Doesn't think an owl is personal enough."

Ellie opened the envelope and unfolded the parchment that was inside.


Sorry to leave without you, Darling, but you were still at your Aunt's and we are to use a portkey. Poor Gram isn't doing so well, and her sight is going. We're hoping to get things figured out while we're there, and she might come back to live with us. I know she doesn't want to leave her beloved village, but hopefully we'll manage to convince her to come back with us.

Would you be willing to set up the guest room for her? We shouldn't be gone for too long, hopefully we'll be bringing back Gram by the weekend. She'll be eager to have some company. She does love to tell stories. Surely she'll want to tell you all about how the famous wandmaker Gregorovitch moved in next door.

Anyway, the portkey should be activated any second now, so I best close this letter.


"Gellert would be interested about how your Grandma lives next door to Gregorovitch," said Demitir after she finished reading the letter.

"You read it?"

"Of course I did. What'd you expect me to do? You know me better than that," Demitir said, squeezing her shoulder affectionately.

"Well, I could care less about Gellert at present. So, unless you want to experience a very painful death, you will tell him nothing about my Grandma," Ellie said, crumpling the letter in her hand.

"You think you could take me? I bet you wouldn't even have time to lift your wand, before I disarmed you," Demitir taunted in his playful manner. Ellie scowled.

"Can't you ever be serious? I'm trying to open your eyes to how Gellert is taking advantage of us. We're nothing more to him then all the other people he uses!"

"Not true, Ellie!" Demitir exclaimed, looking at her as if she'd lost her mind.

"Explain to me, then, how it isn't true!" Ellie shouted at Demitir, hating him for his blind trust.

"Gellert has been our best friend since before we could talk! We're practically family!" Demitir answered defensively. Ellie chucked a piece of the broken nightstand at his head, but he stepped to the side and avoided it altogether.

"Oh, that's fine proof. Let us not forget that he uses his family on a regular basis! He only went to Godric's Hollow to find out more about some stupid child's tale!"

"Is that what this is about? You're still upset that Gellert left you behind without any explanation?" Demitir moved closer and patted her on the head in a condescending manner. "Ellie, dear, you are much too dramatic for your own good."

"Get out of my house."


"Go." The tears were already starting to come. She hid her face so he couldn't see them.

Demitir stared at her for a few long moments, as if he wasn't sure he should leave her alone in her anger and near-hysteria. Pulling his wand out of his pocket he pointed it at the vanity and then at the nightstand, saying, "Reparo". He picked up her sheets and blanket and made her bed again and did his best to gather up all the feathers and fix her pillows.

Ellie didn't fight him when he picked her up and put her in the bed.


"Ellie's really unstable," Demitir said. Gellert looked down from where he was sitting in the tree. With a sigh he pushed his bangs out of his eyes and hopped down.

"I know. I don't know how to handle her anymore," Gellert said as he looked down at the town at the bottom of hill. "She won't stop going on and on about my expulsion."

"I know," Demitir said. There was a brief silence as Demitir put his hands in his pockets and they both looked around. Demitir was the one to break it, "Gregorovitch just moved next door to Ellie's Grandma."

This caught Gellert's attention and his expression brightened considerably.

"That certainly changes things."