Chapter 25 / Eyes on the future
When I was sure that Harry was sound asleep, and the others were getting comfortable in their chairs, stubbornly wanting to stay with Harry, I got up.
‘Where are you going?’ Hermione asked, her voice thick with sleepiness.
‘Dumbledore asked to see me,’ I answered, as I walked to the door, ‘let me know if something happens?’
She nodded and I walked out the door. I felt a sense of dread as I walked through the castle and I unconsciously pulled the cloak I got from madame Pomfrey closer. Even though the Dark Lord had only gotten his body back a few hours ago, I could already feel the darkness looming over me. I was almost relieved when I finally reached Dumbledore’s office.
‘Cockroach Cluster,’ I mumbled to the gargoyle at the entrance. The gargoyle stepped aside and I stepped onto the moving staircase.
‘Come in,’ Dumbledore’s voice sounded through the door. I took a seat and waited for him to finish his writing. He looked more tired than I had ever seen him before.
‘It’s going to be a long night,’ he broke the silence as if ready my mind, ‘but you don’t have to concern yourself with that. We have far more important things to talk about.’
‘So, it finally happened,’ I took a deep breath, ‘the Dark Lord has returned. My father got his body back. And he didn’t even need me to do it.’
‘No, he didn’t.’
‘Turns out I didn’t need to stay away from Hogwarts. All these years… lost.’
Dumbledore smiled and shook his head. ‘You needed to be protected, Katherine. There was no safer place than Castle Combe at the time.’
‘I know, professor,’ I looked away, ‘it just sucks that it never made a difference.’
‘It made all the difference,’ Dumbledore got up and stared out of the window, ‘because if people had figured out who you were, they would have used you, in ways you can’t even imagine. And because you were brave enough to go to Castle Combe and leave the safety of your friends, you have given Harry a few more years of peace, to grow up, knowing love and warmth. You made that happen.’
‘I’m not really feeling the love right now, professor,’ I smirked, but somehow he made me feel a bit better.
‘But things have changed now,’ he turned around and looked at me, ‘Tom Riddle is back. It was bound to happen. I wished it hadn’t happened so soon. Harry has so much more to learn. And so do you.’
‘I think it would be wise for you to return to Hogwarts. Now that Voldemort’s back, it would only be a matter of time until he figures out where you live. I can’t give you the same protection as Harry has gotten. And I can keep a closer eye on your protection, if you here.’
I folded my hands. I wasn’t sure what I thought of his proposal. I had just started to build up a life again, and now, he was asking me to throw it all away and return to the place that he used to think was too dangerous.
‘I don’t really understand, professor,’ I eventually said, ‘I thought Hogwarts was too dangerous for me? Too many people who could figure out that I was the Dark Lords daughter, right?’
‘Now that he’s back, it doesn’t really matter anymore who knows and who doesn’t.’
‘And why is that?’
‘Because, he will come for you either way,’ I couldn’t quite read the look on Dumbledore’s face. It was a mixture of pain, shame and sadness. I didn’t like it at all. ‘If you’re at Hogwarts, at least I am here to protect you. He won’t come near you as long as I’m around.’
‘Why would he do that? I’m just a student. I’m not important.’
‘Make no mistake, Katherine,’ his voice made me feel uneasy, ‘Lord Voldemort will come for you. He will use you in the cruellest ways, make you betray your friends and hurt the ones you love the most. He will do anything to get to Harry or those who dare to stand in his way. Don’t ever think that he will let you live your life in peace. Because he will not.’
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