Chapter 29 / Thruth to be told
When I looked back, even days later, I found I had only scattered memories of the next few days. My mind was fully and completely overwhelmed with the quest Dumbledore had given me: keeping an eye on Draco Malfoy and preventing him from anything stupid. Off course, Dumbledore hadn’t exactly said it that way, but that was essentially what he wanted me to do. I could take a guess why he wanted me to do that. If the Dark Lord was back, he would need a place to stay. Macmillan castle or Malfoy Manor would be the obvious choice. The Dark Lord would not be satisfied with a little house upon a hill. He would want a big and wealthy house and some house elves to abuse.
The thing I did remember was telling Ginny the truth about my parents. I had to say, she took it rather well. She sat in silence for a while, staring at her hands, but eventually, she looked up and smiled.
‘You saved me. ! really don’t care who your father is. I only care who you are. No matter what you call yourself, I’ll be your friend.’
I was so relieved that I almost started to cry. I hadn’t cried in years and starting now didn’t seem such a clever idea, so I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and nodded.
‘You’ll have to tell Harry, though,’ Ginny said. ‘He has a right to know too.’
Up until now, I hadn’t had the chance to talk to Harry alone. He didn’t leave the Gryffindor tower much and when he did, he looked so devastated and sad, that I just couldn’t bring myself to hurt him even more.
After the fifth day at Hogwarts, I decided I had to go back to Castle Combe. Betty and Oliver would be worried sick, and Julia would be throwing a fit if she had to take care of Carrie and Christian any longer.
It was with a heavy heart that I gave Luna back her clothes before my return to Castle Combe. She made me promise that I’d write this summer and that, if anything went wrong or anything bad happened, I would pack my trunk and fly straight to her place.
‘Have you told Harry yet?’ Ginny asked, when I ran into her on my way to the Headmasters office.
‘I…’ I started, but she interrupted me almost immediately.
‘Come with me,’ we climbed a couple of stairs, almost as much as I would climbing to the Ravenclaw tower and I assumed we were inside the Gryffindor tower, one of the three tallest towers of the Castle.
We eventually stopped before a portrait of an overweight woman in a pink silk dress.
‘What are we…’
‘This is the Gryffindor common room,’ Ginny said, ‘you need to talk to Harry.’
‘She’s a Ravenclaw,’ the lady in the portrait had come to life and stared Ginny down, ‘she’s not supposed to be in here.’
‘You-Know-Who isn’t supposed to be alive either. Fairy Lights.’
‘You’re going to get in trouble for this,’ the Fat Lady said, as she swung open and revealed a portrait hole.
The Gryffindor common room was nothing like the Ravenclaw one. We were welcomed by a roaring fire, stuffed armchairs and a magnificent view, although not as great as the one from my own common room. The large fireplace dominated one wall and was adorned with a portrait of a lion. The other walls were decorated with scarlet tapestries that depicted witches and wizards, but also various animals. There was no library in sight. The circular room was full of squashy armchairs and tables and looked very comfortable.
‘Ron! Harry! Hermione!’ Ginny yelled at the base of a mahogany staircase, ‘Katherine wants to talk to you!’
We settled into the chairs in front of the fire and I felt a little cramped. The Ravenclaw common room was so much airier and lighter than this room.
‘She’s not supposed to be here,’ Hermione reprimanded Ginny as they took a seat.
‘It’s kind of important,’ I said, ‘I need to tell you why I haven’t been at Hogwarts for the last two years, before anyone else does.’
Hermione shuffled in her seat and I could almost see her curiosity in her eyes. I took a deep breath.
‘Three years ago, I came to Hogwarts. In my first year, I found a cave, build by Corban Macmillan. I learned a lot about his past, my past. Professor Dumbledore thought it best to keep me away from here and from the wizarding world. For the past two years, I’ve been living in a muggle community. The professors have been teaching me at home and I’ve been working to pay the bills.’
A collective gasp went through the room and I took a deep breath to try and calm down.
‘Dumbledore wanted to protect me, and I wanted to protect you, because if anyone found out who I was, they might use my blood to do a horrible thing. What I’m trying to say is, Corban Macmillan is not my father.’
‘Then who is?’ Harry asked, anxiety in his voice. I couldn’t look at him as I answered his question.