This is the Story Finale! I hope you guys enjoyed it! It was a pleasure writing this, and it's my first finished story ever, yay! =)
Also, look forward to the Sequel!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I only own the OC's in this story.
The day after the Triwizard Tournament incident, the students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang were finally heading back home. It was around afternoon, and they were saying their goodbyes to fellow friends they've made in the course of the year. Although many were still shaken by what happened with Cedric, they set that aside for now to give farewell to them as they walked down a long hallway. The Beauxbatons girls left first, in their blue uniforms and being applauded by Hogwarts students. Next, the Durmstrang boys went through, shaking hands with a few as they went by. Valerie had no enthusiasm in seeing them go, neither did Mel or Andrea.
"It's been a long year." The brunette commented as she watched everyone clapping and waving off to the foreign pupils. Melinda nodded absentmindedly, a bit distracted by a thought in her mind. She still replayed the moment she had with Draco in the balcony of the Astronomy Tower. He said he didn't regret what happened between them. Melinda left after that without saying another word, because she didn't know what to say to that. She was disrupted by the sound of horses neighing. Looking up, she saw the Beauxbatons carriage take off into the air, whilst the Bulgarians' ship went underwater. Sighing, she headed back inside, soon followed by the other two.
"Is everything alright Mel?" Andrea asked, sensing something off about her.
"Given all that's happened this year, what do you think?" She snapped a little, and then recoiled.
"Sorry, I'm just a little on edge today…" The brunette frowned and looked to Val, but she didn't seem to be paying attention to them at all. She's been quiet and somber ever since what happened. Sighing, she said nothing else as they got back to the Common Room. Valerie headed up to the dorm while the other two remained in the Common area. Mel sat on the couch nearest to the fire, listening to the occasional crackling sound it made. Andrea sat down beside her and watched. She was concerned about her friends as they were not acting like themselves. But who could blame them? It was a very unfortunate thing…
"Mel, tell me what's going on. I understand Val being so upset, but…" The caramel haired girl gave a shake of her head.
"Cedric didn't deserve that…but that's not what's bugging me right now." She turned to her friend.
"After we got back from Dumbledore's assembly speech, I went off and bumped into Draco." She said in a hushed tone. Andrea's eyes widened and moved closer.
"So what happened?" Melinda was unsure whether to tell her or not, but in the end decided to. She was her friend after all. After she related the entirety of what happened, her friend was stunned, but very silent for the first few minutes. That was nerve-wrecking for Mel to a certain degree.
"I…don't know what to say Mel. That's just as surprising as that day when he stood up to Parkinson for you." She agreed; he's been acting pretty odd.
"I don't know what to think of him anymore. I mean, I can tell he cares about Carina and all, but there's just something off about the way he's acting towards me." Andrea nodded and pondered on it for a few.
"Well, I've heard that when a couple has a baby, they get a special connection through their child sometimes." That was something to think about.
"Or," She continued. "He might actually like you." The thought was almost insane to Melinda. Draco? Actually like her? Then again, it wouldn't be completely impossible…
"I don't know Andrea…this is all too confusing let's just drop it." Her friend hesitantly nodded, seeing that she was too stressed out about it.
"On another note, we get our OWL results tomorrow morning!" She said, trying to sound cheery about it, even though she was really worried sick about what grades she received. Mel gave a slight smile to that.
"Yeah, can't wait to see what I got." The two stuck around for a while before going up to the dorm to check on Valerie, who was lying in bed with a dazed look. The two exchanged a look before going over and sitting on the edge of her bed.
"Oh come on Val, lighten up. Lying here all day in mourning won't do you any good." Andrea said, shaking her shoulder a bit. Melinda brushed a loose strand of hair from her face.
"We're all still sad about it Val, but you can't just let grief take over you. The school year is almost over and we should try to make the best of it." The blond girl said nothing, but slowly sat up and sniffed a little.
"Yeah, I guess you're right." Her two friends smiled and gave her a comforting hug. Valerie gave a small smile.
"I don't know what I'd do without you two." She said, deeply touching Andrea and Mel.
"Same here Val, same here."
"It's finally here!" Andrea announced as she and the others received their OWL results from Professor Sprout. She was the first to quickly open up and look over. She got a grin on her face.
"I take it you did well?" Mel asked, trying not to laugh at her gleeful expression.
"I got 5 Outstanding, 3 Exceeds Expectations and 1 Acceptable. No failing grades, woop!" She cheered, causing the other two to finally laugh.
"Oh you, well let's see how I did." Val opened up her letter and looked over. After reviewing it, she shrugged and set it down. The other two looked at her.
"Well?" They urged. Valerie grinned a bit.
"I got 1 Outstanding, 4 Exceeds Expectations and 3 Acceptable." They congratulated her with hugs and pats.
"See? And you thought you'd to bad, both of you." Mel teased them.
"Well now it's your turn Mel." She nodded and took out her letter to look over. She went through the list of the grades, and luckily for her, no failing grade either!
"6 Outstanding and 3 Exceeds Expectations." That came as no surprise to her friends.
"Well, you always were the smartest one of our group." Val nudged her while Andrea snickered.
"Yeah, and those long hours of studying really paid off in the end, thank Merlin!" The other two could totally vouch for that. Not long after, the Weasley twins came over to check what they got.
"So? How did the ladies do on their OWLs?" They didn't wait for them to answer as the scooped all their letters to check themselves. By the end of it, they had mouths gaping.
"What the bloody hell? You're all smarty pants!" Fred declared, before they snagged their results back from his hands.
"Especially you Mel. Merlin's beard I could never get that many O's." Melinda gave a shrug.
"Yeah, that's because you two barely tried and got 6 OWL grades, combined." Andrea shook her head as she was reminded of that.
"Very sad boys, very sad." They stuck their tongues out at her.
"Anyway, have you thought about my offer?" George asked Mel now. She turned to him with a confused look.
"What offer?" He sighed and sat down. "You don't remember? I invited you to come spend a few days at the Burrow; you and Carina that is." It all came back to her then.
"Oh yeah. Well, I haven't given much thought on it yet, and I still have to talk to Martha about it." Fred wrapped an arm around her.
"Well you better do it fast, because this offer has a deadline." He nodded. George gently shoved him away from her.
"No it doesn't. Just don't take the entire summer to figure out." He jested, giving her a kiss on the cheek. She smiled and nodded.
"Okay I won't." The group then finished up their breakfast meal and went off to their classes. Even though only two days remained until the year was over, Valerie was never in the mood to head over to the Dungeons for an hour's worth of torturous Potions with Professor Snape. True, he was rather mean and intimidating, but Melinda thought that, as a teacher, he had great knowledge in the subject.
"Two more days, two more days and I won't have to see that hooked nose and disgusting greasy hair for two months!" She mumbled as they neared the classroom. Andrea shook her head while Melinda just ignored her rants; at least she wasn't acting all depressed anymore. Upon getting inside, Snape glanced up with sharp eyes, as if to tell them not to open their mouths. They got the message, and took their seats in the back of the room.
"Jesus, he has such an intense stare I can't even dare to look back." Val whispered lowly to the two. Andrea nodded a little, because he did frighten her a little sometimes. Mel shrugged and laid her head down on the table until the rest of the students came in.
Melinda still hadn't asked Dumbledore about her possible return to school. She decided she would talk to the Headmaster about it before dinnertime. Right now, the trio was having a free period to relax; ever since the OWLs, their teachers, save for Professor Snape, have given them very light homework to do, something like a compensation for their hard work. The girls relaxed by the lake as the weather was very pleasant.
"Aah, I can't wait to go back home and do absolutely nothing." Valerie stated, having her arms behind her head as she lay on the cool grass. Andrea rolled her eyes; she was so lazy sometimes.
"I don't know what you're talking about. We'll have summer homework to do." Mel brought up, causing the blonde to groan.
"You just had to remind me about that, didn't you?" She gave a sheepish grin and looked out into the black lake. It brought her back to the second Triwizard Task and how Harry, Cedric, Fleur and Viktor had to dive into the chilling lake to save those close to them. The thought made her a little depressed, because Cedric was still alive then; no one would ever suspect him to be dead a few months later.
"Hey Mel?" She was brought back from her lingering thoughts by Andrea.
"What?" She looked over to the brunette.
"Are you really going to the Weasley's place?" She shrugged, not having a decisive answer to give George yet.
"I don't know yet. I want to, but with Carina I think it would be a little too much. I don't want to give trouble to their parents." She mumbled. Valerie then sat up as the topic was mentioned.
"Well, I don't think you should hold back on having some bit of fun just because of that. Did George say he checked with them?" Mel gave a nod.
"Yeah, he told me when he first talked about it that he went over it with his mum and that she had given permission."
"Then I don't see any problems with you going." Val crossed her legs and picked at some of the grass. Melinda sighed at that. It wasn't as simple as they thought; at least she didn't think so.
"Anyway, we should head back inside since it's almost time for 4th period to start." The other two nodded and they got up, dusting their clothes off of any dirt before going into the castle. As they came in, Andrea bumped into one of Pansy Parkinson's friends.
"Hey, watch where you're going!" She was pushed back, causing Andrea to fall to the floor with a yelp. Her friends gasped and helped her up.
"Watch where you're going instead, twit!" Val barked back at her, not about to let this prick girl talk down to her friend.
"Valerie don't! It's not worth it." Andrea quickly said. The girl sneered before walking away.
"Ooh if I only could just jinx her, she'd regret that!" Val huffed.
"Are you okay?" Mel asked Andrea as she stood up straight, dusting herself off.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Your temper will get you in trouble one day, Val." She warned her blonde friend, who just shrugged it off. She didn't care. Melinda rubbed her temples. This was the reason why she thought there would be no way for her and Draco to be together. She'd have to suffer these assaults daily otherwise. But she didn't want to be with Draco, did she? She had George and that was more than she could ask for. Right? Just dwelling on those things made her head hurt, so she stopped and walked off with the two.
'Alright, here goes nothing.' Melinda thought, staring at the gargoyle in front of her.
"Erm, Chocolate Frog." The statue began to move upwards, slowly revealing a stairway that she instantly got on. Once it stopped moving, she stepped out and walked over to Dumbledore's Office. She stopped at the door and took a deep breath, but before she could even knock, she heard a voice say,
"Come in, Miss Valkyrie." Blinking, Mel opened the door and walked on in. The office was still the same as she remembered when she first came with Professor Sprout and her two friends to tell him she was pregnant. It was warm and welcoming, and there was a sweet aroma around the room.
"Hello Headmaster." She greeted as she came up to his desk. He gave her a smile and motioned her to sit down on the chair provided.
"What do I owe the pleasure?" He asked. She wasn't quick to get into the subject, because she was feeling slightly nervous of what answer he'd give her.
"Well, you see…the year is almost over and…I wanted to ask you if there was any chance that I'd be able to return next year…?" He folded his fingers below his chin and made a 'hmm' sound, his blue eyes staring at her through his half moon glasses. She stared back, her heart thumping in anticipation.
"I see, so you are worried about how you're going to manage school while having to care for your child. Well, I must say this is the first time something like this has happened, so forgive me if I do not answer with complete confidence." He started off, making her even more nervous.
"However, I do not see why it should stop you from getting the education you deserve. With that being said, have you spoken with your caretaker about possibly looking after your child while you progress into the next school year?" Melinda shook her head.
"No, I mean I thought about it, but I never really got around to talking about it with her. Thing is, I don't want to put such a burden on her. She's done so much for me already, and she's got a sick mother to look after." She told him, frowning a little. Dumbledore nodded and seemed to ponder it some more.
"The only other option I could give you is that you bring your child and care for her in the nursery we have already provided for you this year. I'm sure that would be a better arrangement for everyone." That seemed to give her great relief.
"Also, I think it is much safer for the baby to remain in the castle, where she is better protected from…unwanted harm." He said, giving her a knowing look. Melinda understood. With the talk about You-Know-Who coming back, she knew that there was no other place safer than Hogwarts.
"If I could, I'd like very much to do that, Headmaster." He smiled and moved his hands down.
"Excellent. I will speak beforehand with Madam Pomfrey so she'll be able to assist you when you return for your 6th year in Hogwarts." Nodding, she stood up and smiled at the old man.
"I can't thank you enough." She said, very grateful for his generosity and comprehension. He held a hand up.
"No need to thank me my dear. I always have the student's best interests in mind." He glanced at the grandfather clock in his room.
"And with that, I shall dismiss you to dinner, as it has just begun." She nodded before heading out of his office. Valerie was right, Dumbledore really was the best.
"Great! We won't be alone next year!" Fred and George celebrated with the news Melinda gave them. She and the girls chuckled at their reaction.
"Yeah yeah, no need to throw a party over it." She joked while the two calmed down and sat back on their seats.
"But really Mel, we're glad Dumbledore let you come back. Oh I was so worried that he wouldn't!" Andrea said, breathing a sigh of relief. Valerie nodded and took a sip of her apple cider before speaking.
"Yeah, but I had total faith in Dumbledore. Is he awesome or what?" They all agreed with that. George then wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer as he gave a kiss to her neck, causing her to blush.
"Still thinking about this summer?" He asked against her ear now. She suppressed a shudder at the tone of voice he used before nodding.
"Y-yeah. I decided to talk to Martha when we get home. I think then it'll be a good time to bring it up to her." He nodded and pulled away.
"Sounds good." Fred leaned over. "Mind you, we'll have lots of goodies to eat as mum likes to fatten us up when we're home. But take your time, no pressure." He winked, earning a roll of the eyes from Valerie.
"Yeah, like she'd want to get fat over summer. Please." Fred groaned and turned to his brother.
"Georgie, why do girls worry so much about weight? It's so annoying~" George tried not to laugh, because he said that in a girly voice. Clearing up his throat, he imitated,
"I don't know Freddie, but golly look at those bumps on your stomach! You really ought to lay off the goods, deary." He patted Fred's belly. The three Hufflepuffs, though slightly offended, burst out laughing at their performance. Those two really knew how to pull some good laughs.
"Joke aside," Andrea then said. "You're going back on Hogwarts Express with us, right?" Melinda looked at her and nodded.
"Of course! The last day and you think I wouldn't make the journey back with my best buddies? Also, I'm taking Carina with me so Martha won't have the trouble of doing that herself." The girls grinned. That got them excited to have their best friend and her kid with them on the trip back home.
"If that's the case, Fred and I will refrain from going out with a bang this year by flying off in our brooms," He said. "Like rebels." Fred finished. Melinda looked at them.
"You two were seriously going to do that?" They looked at each other, and then back at her.
"Well, it was a nifty thought; not sure we were actually going to do it though." George mumbled.
"Mum would probably kill us." Fred muttered, giving a small shudder at the thought.
"But now that you say you're taking the train, and with little Carina no less, we'll settle for tagging along." The girls shook their heads.
Finally, the last day arrived and everyone was heading to the Hogwarts Express with their luggage. Some were glad to be going back home, others sad that they wouldn't be able to see their mates, but at least they could write to each other. Since Melinda was carrying Carina, Hagrid was kind enough to get her things put into the train for her.
"Thank you Hagrid." She said to the giant who smiled big behind his beard.
"No problem Mel! 'ave a good summer. Bye little fella!" He waved to the baby before she and her friends got into the train and found a compartment. As soon as they settled down they all sighed in unison.
"I know I've said this before, but what a year." Andrea muttered as she leaned back. Valerie nodded and leaned her head against the window. Soon enough, the twins found them and got inside, squeezing next to Mel and her daughter.
"Who's going to eat some candies from the trolley? Anyone?" Fred asked, hoping to mooch off of one of them. Unfortunately for him the girls were not going to by anything, causing him to grumble something about 'girls and their weight watching.'
"Bet you're glad to be going home." George commented, looking down at Carina whose eyes were looking up at him.
"Yeah, it'll be nice to finally relax and not worry about classes for a while." She said. She looked up to the compartment door for a second, and paused when she saw Draco walking by. He stopped momentarily when he she saw her. He stared at Melinda and the baby, an unreadable look on his face, before moving along. Fred leaned over and gently tickled the baby's cheek. He was greeted by a small toothless grin.
"Hah! Made her laugh, see? Oh we'll have lots to laugh about as she grows up." He nodded and went back to trying to convince the other two girls to buy him some treats for the trip. George shook his head at him and wrapped his arm around Mel's shoulder, pulling her a little closer while leaning his head against her. Melinda snapped out of her trance and smiled, giving him a light peck on the cheek that made him quite happy. She then looked out the window as the train began to slowly move, now that all the students had boarded. As the train left the station, the castle got farther and farther away. This year has been incredibly eventful, and though there were many tough times to face, she couldn't help but be grateful for having such amazing friends that stuck by her side at all times. This would be a year hard to forget.