|SIYE Time:10:29 on 18th July 2018|
In Search of the Isle of Drear
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Category: Alternate Universe, SIYE Challenges, Post-Hogwarts, Magical Creatures Challenge (2017-3)
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
Story is Complete
** Winner of Most Adventuresome, Best Overall and People's Choice in the Magical Creatures ChallengeGinny is looking for an adventure. She's wondering if she's in over her head when she joins an expedition searching for the Isle of Drear and Quintapeds. She's thrilled to find Harry Potter, who she hasn't seen in years, is part of the expedition. HP/GW, LL/RS
Hitcount: Story Total: 4855; Chapter Total: 859
Awards: View Trophy Room
Thank you so much to my beta, Arnel! I so appreciate your advice and input. I hope everyone enjoys! My parents were stationed in Iceland many years ago and I was always fascinated by the concept of the midnight sun and the long summer days. Almost twenty years ago, my husband and I traveled to Russia to adopt our son. We were there on the winter solstice and it was very dark as I had Harry describe.
Stepping out onto the deck of the ferry, Ginny was surprised to see the sun was shining brightly. She was excited that they were starting on their adventure, although she wasn’t quite sure why an overnight ferry trip to the Shetland Islands had been necessary. Surely it would have been easier to Apparate or take a Portkey?
Shrugging off her questions, she looked down at her watch and confirmed that it was only five in the morning. A chill ran through her as she took in the crisp, clean sea air. There was the smell of salt water mixed with briny fish that took her back to her childhood at her uncle’s beach house. It was a bit cooler than she expected, but she hoped once they disembarked it would be warmer. Spying a familiar face up ahead, she joined Harry at the deck rail looking down into the water.
“Good morning,” Harry said with a smile.
“Good morning,” she replied feeling a bit shy.
While her childhood crush on him was long gone, she felt a bit nervous around him. She hadn’t seen him in so long and he was so good looking and so confident. She’d seen the newspaper articles and the pictures of him with starlets and other gorgeous women. During this trip, she hoped to move past Harry Potter, the Man Who Killed Voldemort, and learn more about Harry Potter the boy who befriended her brother on the train and the boy who’d saved her life so many years ago.
“How did you sleep?” he asked.
“Much better than I would have thought,” she said. “A Cushioning Charm on the bunk and I was fine.”
Harry nodded. “I’m glad Rolf splashed out the money for a four-berth cabin. I’ve seen the sleeping chairs they have, but I didn’t want to try one out.”
“I didn’t expect the sun to be up so early,” she commented before taking a sip of her tea.
“We’re going to be so far north that we will have up to sixteen hours of daylight,” Harry said. “That’s one of the reasons that Rolf wanted to have this expedition in the summer. During the winter months, not only is it cold, it is dark for lengthy periods of time. A few years ago, I was in Moscow, Russia in mid-winter. The sun didn’t rise until almost ten in the morning and it was pitch black by four in the afternoon. It was pretty awful. I can definitely see why so many people drink.”
She laughed. “Yes, I can see that. Charlie spent some time in Iceland a few summers ago. He said that having the sun shining brightly at midnight was very disconcerting.”
Looking over the rail, it seemed as though the water was very far down. She scanned the water.
“Look!” Harry pointed and Ginny could see a pair of dolphins jumping in the ship’s wake.
“They’re beautiful!” she exclaimed.
He smiled. “Sirius and I spent quite a bit of time in the Caribbean. That’s where I saw one for the first time. I always loved the dolphins. They just seem so happy.”
Before she could respond, Rolf and Luna joined them. Rolf had a stack of photos in his hands.
“I had a camera taking pictures of the front and back of the ship last night,” Rolf said abruptly showing them the pictures.
“Good morning, Rolf. I did have a good night, thanks for asking,” Harry said teasingly.
Flushing, Rolf said, “Good morning. I apologize. I forget my manners at times. Why don’t we go inside? I have some photos to show you.”
The four left the open deck and walked down the stairs to the large seating area. At this hour of the morning, it was relatively empty.
Rolf handed everyone a stack of photos. “Look and see if there is anything you can find.”
Ginny looked over her photos carefully. There were many schools of fish that easily swam in the wake of the ship. There were also seals and porpoises in the photos.
“Here,” Harry said as he held out the photo he’d been examining. “Is that a Quintaped?”
Ginny stood up to look over the photo that Rolf was now examining. There was a dark form in the midst of a school of fish. He cast a zoom spell on the photo. Enlarged, the now familiar form of the Quintaped was visible.
“I think it might be,” Rolf said excitedly. “Are there any more?”
The four poured over the rest of the pictures, but the one image was the only view of the possible creature.
“Do you think they are hungry?” Ginny asked. She blushed when everyone looked at her. “I was thinking there are lots of fish in the sea. Maybe they are running out of food on their island and they are looking for more food.”
From the look on Rolf’s face, Ginny really wished she’d kept her daft idea to herself. To her surprise, after considering it, he slowly nodded. “That might explain why they are leaving the island. There are only a few reasons that animals migrate — breeding, which doesn’t seem to be applicable; searching for liveable space; or food. If they are leaving the island, it would make sense that something has changed. So, yes, they could be searching for food.”
Gathering up the photos, Rolf said, “I wanted us to ride this ferry for a reason. There have been several reports of what we believe are Quintaped activity along this route. Harry, I’d like you and Ginny up at the bow of the ship. Luna and I will take the stern. We’ll just see what we can see.
“We will arrive at the Port of Lerwick on the Shetland Mainland, I have a Portkey to take us to the island of Fetlar which is where we will be staying. I’ve spoken to the owner, who won’t be there, and he says the island is rather small and lodge is fairly isolated. Harry, will you be able to erect some wards?”
Harry nodded. “I can place some mild Muggle-Repelling Spells so we should be able to practice magic without concern.”
Ginny looked around the Lodge. It was a quaint, white cottage on the Bay of Funzie. The cottage was small with a master bedroom that Luna and Rolf were taking, a room with two twin beds for Ginny, and a smaller single room for Harry. There was another small house on the property, but it wasn’t occupied at present.
After setting her belongings in her room, Ginny stopped by the only bathroom before joining the others in the sitting room. Rolf was setting up a large whiteboard with a map with Luna’s help. Spotting Harry in the kitchen, she joined him.
He grinned. “Rolf had the kitchen stocked for us,” he explained as he prepared a pot of tea. They’d eaten on the ferry, but he pulled out some of the shortbread they’d bought on the boat.
Ginny looked around the kitchen a bit nervously. This was obviously a Muggle house and she had never tried using Muggle equipment.
Harry must have noticed her looking around for he said, “Rolf and I cast some protection spells on the electrical system so everything should work.” Gesturing towards the large white cupboard, he explained, “This is a refrigerator. It’s like a cold cupboard.”
As Harry showed her the stove, oven, toaster, and something called a microwave, she relaxed. They weren’t really that different from what she was used to, just powered a bit differently. Since she really couldn’t figure out what a microwave might do, she decided she should probably stay away from that.
Searching the kitchen cupboards, she found a tray and together they put together the tea tray and took it out to the sitting room. Rolf looked up a bit surprised when Luna handed him a cup of tea.
Ginny sat down on the sofa and was please when Harry joined her. Luna sat in one of the armchairs. Rolf showed them the enlarged map of the Shetland Islands. “We are here on the south side of Fetlar. This island to the north is called Unst and Yell is the island to the west. I want to concentrate on these islands first because this is where the Quintapeds have been spotted. I have double checked and there are no reports of Quintapeds in Norway or the Faroe Islands, so I’ve set up a grid pattern that takes us approximately one hundred miles out from the Islands.”
“The Faroe Islands?” Ginny inquired as she looked at the map.
With a wave of his wand, Rolf highlighted the island group in question. “The Faroe Islands are these islands here between Scotland and Iceland. They are about two hundred miles north-northwest of Scotland. It is helpful in that we can eliminate areas to search.”
“This is still a huge area to search, mate,” Harry said as he studied the map. “So, we are ruling out the Orkneys?”
“For now,” Rolf nodded. “There have been no reports there or anywhere else in the British Isles.” With another wave of his wand, he superimposed a standard grid pattern over the Shetlands and the surrounding waters. “I don’t believe the Isle of Drear is going to be part of the Shetlands, but there are many smaller islands. Each of us will have a small version of this map. As you fly over or near an island, touch the map with your wand and it will be labelled. We will probably find unlabelled islands, but I believe the Isle of Drear will be further out.”
Luna stood up and walked over to the map. “We will be starting with the area to the east of Fetlar.”
An hour later, Ginny found herself flying above the waters of the North Sea with Harry twenty feet away. Currently they were flying high enough to enjoy a panoramic view of islands. Under a network of charms, they weren’t visible to the Muggles below. Shivering slightly, she was glad one of the charms she was under was a warming charm.
Inhaling the clear see air, she returned her eyes to the water. From this vantage point, she could see several schools of fish. They appeared as a dark mass under the surface. As they flew over some of the smaller islands, they saw otters playing in the shallows and on one beach they flew over a large number of seals lazing in the sun. Occasionally a sea bird would fly up to investigate them, but then flew away again. Closer to the islands they could see Muggles out on the water in boats and on something Harry called jet skis.
It was easy work, but could be a bit mind numbing. Periodically either she or Harry would dive down closer to the water to check out something that had caught their eye, but by the time they quit in the early evening they’d had no sign of either the elusive island or any stray Quintapeds.
The intoxicating smell of bacon frying woke Ginny the next morning. Taking advantage of the empty bathroom, she hurried to take a shower and prepare for another day of flying.
Rolf was alone in the kitchen manning the stove when she arrived. He smiled. “Good morning.”
“Good morning,” she replied with a smile.
Gesturing towards the counter with a spatula, he said, “Help yourself. Luna is meditating on the beach and Harry went for a run.”
After preparing a plate, she sat at the small kitchen table. She was spreading some jam on her toast when Rolf said, “Luna is so happy that you were able to join us.”
“Me too,” Ginny grinned. “I’ve missed her. I love receiving her letters — she always has such a unique view of the world.”
“That she does,” Rolf laughed. “She hated me at first. I admit, I was rather arrogant. I made a disparaging reference to some of her father’s beliefs in a journal article. Two days after the journal came out, she was pounding on my door.”
“I can imagine,” Ginny said.
“After two years together, I can say that Luna’s a bit more logical and I’m a bit less rigid in my thinking,” Rolf laughed. “We’ve actually proven the existence of Nargles, but still no Crumple-Horned Snorkack.”
Ginny laughed. She’d heard plenty about the Crumple-Horned Snorkack whilst she was in school. While she still wasn’t clear entirely what it was or did, she knew that it was one of Luna’s dreams to find proof of the animal’s existence. As she ate, she surreptitiously studied Rolf. He was shorter than Harry, probably a little under six feet with a slender build. With his dark hair and dark eyes, he was nice looking in an understated way.
“Do I pass?”
Ginny flushed deeply when she realized she’d been caught. Rolf laughed. “Don’t worry. I know that Luna is a good friend of yours. I would be worried if you weren’t at all curious about me.”
“You are the first wizard she’s ever talked about at length,” Ginny laughed, “and you are right. At first, she was not at all a fan of yours. She wrote pages about how closed-minded you were. I think the two of you balance each other out well.”
“Thank you,” Rolf said.
Anything further she might have said was forgotten as Harry entered the kitchen through the back door. He’d obviously had a good workout. The neckline of his shirt was ringed with sweat and he was mopping his face with a towel. Greeting Ginny and Rolf, he grabbed a bottle of water from the refrigerator.
Flashing a grin, he said, “I’m going to take a quick shower before we head out.”
Ginny nodded and perhaps she stared a bit too long, but who was keeping track of such things? She blushed again as she met Rolf’s amused gaze. To her relief, all he said was, “Why don’t we make some bacon sandwiches to take with us?”
Together they put together two small food baskets with the sandwiches and some fruit. That way each of the pairs would have some food to snack on whilst flying. This established the pattern of their days. They would fly most of the day and each evening they would review what they’d discovered before planning the flight paths for the next day. On the second evening in the cottage, Harry had discovered a large supply of board games in the sitting room. He’d taught them to play Cluedo and Uno. Pictionary quickly became the most popular game. The four of them spend hours in the evening laughing as they tried to act out words or guess what word others were acting out.
As difficult as she found it to believe, Ginny was tired of flying. After four days of flying, she was tired of sitting on a broom staring down at the undulating blue, grey, and white water. She’d never flown so many days in a row and cushioning charms didn’t really help on brooms. Maybe it was a good thing she’d not had the opportunity to try out for a professional Quidditch team. After she, Luna, and Harry had returned to the cottage with sunburns after the first day of searching, Rolf had been insistent on them using sunscreen charms. With his more olive undertone, Rolf didn’t burn at all. Ginny was rather jealous at how easily he tanned. She would either burn in splotches or streaks, or she’d end up with more freckles. Moving slightly, she looked over at Harry. He was scanning the water below.
Guiltily, she returned her gaze to the water. They’d seen a whale early in the day, but right now they seemed to be in open ocean. Looking at the varying colours of blue and white, she imagined that a Quintaped would be difficult to find. Hugging the horizon was a large boat of some kind, but it was too far away for her to tell anything else.
He looked up. She pointed ahead. “I thought I saw something.” She frowned as a sudden anxiety took her over. “I think we should leave.”
“What?” he pulled up next to her.
She was starting to feel a bit frantic. “I think we should leave. Maybe Rolf and Luna need our help. It looks dangerous.”
His sharp voice stopped her growing hysteria. “I think there’s a really strong repelling charm in the area.”
It took a minute to realize what he was saying. Her eyes widened. “Have we found it?”
He scanned the air ahead. “I think we may have.”
With a wave of his wand, he sent out Patronus messages for Rolf and Luna. Looking at Ginny, he said, “Why don’t we dive and see what happens closer to the water’s surface?”
Nervously, Ginny agreed. She watched as he turned and tipped downward, diving at a very steep angle. Just when she thought he was going to splash into the sea, he turned and skimmed along the top of the water. The speed he was going generated a wave behind him. Shaking her head at his antics, she followed at a more gradual speed.
Although she still felt uneasy, following Harry reassured her. He wouldn’t lead her into trouble. She stopped next to Harry who was hovering on his broom.
“Do you hear that?” he asked.
She listened for a minute. “Waves. I hear waves hitting land.”
He nodded. Hovering on his broom, he began casting spells. Most of them she didn’t recognize, but she assumed he was trying to see what charms had been cast.
“I’m pretty sure this is it,” Harry said. “The number of charms on this place…I haven’t seen anything like this before. Some of these were cast at least a century ago.”
Before he could say anything else, Ginny saw both Rolf and Luna flying towards them. When the pair arrived, Harry quickly explained the situation to Rolf. Repeating Harry’s actions of a few minutes earlier, Rolf examined the charms around the island.
When Rolf was done, Harry said, “It seems that most of them are keeping the island hidden. I don’t detect any defensive charms.”
“I agree,” Rolf said.
“What are we going to do?” Ginny asked.
“I don’t want to bring down the charms until we know what we are dealing with,” Rolf said. “Harry, would you mind flying into the area?”
Harry nodded and with a quick grin for Ginny, he took off. It only took a moment before he was obscured from view. Ginny stared at the spot he’d entered the enchanted area. After several long tension filled minutes, he reappeared with a big grin on his face.
“This is it! There doesn’t appear to be anything to stop us from flying over the island, but I didn’t try to land.”
Rolf nodded. “Let’s see what we can find.”
It was nerve-wracking to fly onwards when all of her senses told her to turn around, but she followed Harry.
The island was not so different from many of the others they’d flown over in the past week. It was almost twenty square miles, a bit bigger than Fetlar, but less than half the size of the Island of Unst. There was a lake near the southern edge of the island surrounded by trees. The northern half of the island had rolling green hills, but unlike most of the islands they’d flown over, there were no sheep or ponies on the hills nor were any otters spotted gambolling in the water.
“There,” Rolf called out.
Ginny squinted and she could see the shape of a roofline. It was difficult to tell what sort of house this might have been. If she had to guess, Ginny would say it was a good-sized cottage. There were two chimneys from different parts of the house. One entire exterior wall was gone and she could see flowering plants actually growing inside the building. Exposure to the elements, as well as the Quintapeds, had rendered most of the house uninhabitable. They circled the cottage while Rolf took pictures of it.
Flying away from the house, they could see it was situated near a creek. The shape of another square foundation caught Ginny’s eye, but there was nothing to indicate what it might have been. Following Harry, they skirted around the forest until they came to a beautiful meadow.
“Rolf, look!” Luna said excitedly. “They appear to be living in prides, like lions.”
Looking down, Ginny could see what her friend meant. There were dozens of groups of Quintapeds spread out along the meadow and stretching into the forest. Within each group, there were animals of different sizes leading Ginny to believe they were most likely families of adults and their young.
After taking more pictures, Rolf signalled from them to regroup. They flew to the edge of the lake where they could hover together. Rolf was smiling from ear to ear.
“This is brilliant!” Rolf said joyfully. Looking at Harry he said, “Did you use your GPS?”
Harry nodded. “I have the longitude and latitude of the island.”
“I know it’s late in the day, but I think we should attempt to sketch out the island so we can make plans for tomorrow.” When he received no objections, he continued, “Harry and Ginny you can take the south of the island. Luna and I will take the north. We can meet in the middle.”
Ginny watched a bit bemused as Rolf and Luna flew off. Looking over at Harry, she said, “How do you want to do this?”
“Why don’t we go up higher?”
Soon they were looking down over the southern part of the island. Harry made a rough sketch of the island with the large lake. Together, they flew back and forth along the island adding to the sketch as they went, noting placement of trees and water. There was a low wall around some of the land.
It was another two hours before they rendezvoused with the other couple. Rolf was giddy with excitement as they flew back to the Lodge. They pieced together their two halves of the map and examined it.
“There weren’t as many Quintapeds in the structure as I would have thought,” Harry said.
Rolf nodded. “There seems to be more to the house than I expected. Obviously, anything in the outer rooms would have been destroyed, but there may be documentation further into the house.
“We saw several meadows that appeared to have a stone wall or perhaps a fence around them. I would like to explore those in a bit more detail.”
“Did you see any evidence of aggression from the Quintapeds?” Harry asked.
Rolf shook his head. “They didn’t pay much attention to us. We flew only ten or so feet above them taking photographs and they didn’t react. We didn’t try landing, however.”
Harry nodded thoughtfully. “I’ll be right back.” He returned a moment later with a duffel bag which he opened to reveal a box containing a dozen round devices. Taking one out, he showed it to them. “This is a stun grenade. It’s named after the Muggle weapon, but this doesn’t explode — it stuns. I thought they would be good in case the Quintapeds swarmed. We don’t know how they behave, but I figure better safe and sorry.”
After a moment of internal debate, Rolf nodded. “That is a good idea. We don’t know anything about their behaviour. If they do swarm, they could be quite dangerous.
“What we want to do tomorrow is document their behaviour. I’d like to spend the morning planting the cameras and watching them.” Rolf strode over the board and started writing. “The questions we want answered: Do they live in family groups? What do they eat? Are they as aggressive as reported? Why are they now leaving the island? How are they leaving the island? Are there any signs of intelligence?
“Once we have the island rigged with cameras, recording spells, and magic sensing devices, we need to do a complete inventory of the charms and wards over the island. Did something fail or have they always been able to leave the island? Of course, I’d also like to see if we can find out anything about their origins.”
“Are we attempting to capture one?” Harry asked.
“The Ministry would like at least one captured, but I don’t want to authorize that until we see how dangerous they are. There are only four of us and I don’t want to lose someone in an ill-advised attempt to capture one. We simply don’t know enough about them.”
After showering and changing, Ginny followed the smell of food to the small kitchen where she found Harry and Luna working on dinner. Luna was making a salad whilst Harry was tending to some sort of fish in the oven.
“Why don’t we eat outside?” Ginny suggested. When the others agreed, she walked out to the picnic table and conjured a table cloth to cover the rough wooden surface. Gathering plates and utensils from the kitchen she set the table, even putting together a centrepiece of wild flowers.
After a simple dinner of roasted salmon, roasted Shetland Black potatoes, peas, and salad, Rolf and Luna retired to the bedroom to review some of his books. For someone used to spending most of her time with a toddler, the quiet was both welcome and unsettling.
“Ginny, I’m going over to Lerwick for a bit. We didn’t have a chance to look around when we arrived and I’d like to find a gift for Teddy,” Harry said. “Do you want to come?”
“Sure,” Ginny hopped off the sofa and together they walked out of the cottage.
They Apparated to the destination shopping district they’d seen briefly when they arrived on the island. It was early evening and the shopping area was relatively quiet. They strolled along looking at the various shops. Ginny stopped in to buy some Shetland yarn for her mother and some locally made bath products for her sister-in-law, Fleur.
“It took me a while to accept her,” Ginny admitted as she told Harry about Fleur. “She’s so beautiful and she’s part Veela. That’s enough to intimidate anyone. Ron and George still tend to drool a bit if they meet her unexpectedly.”
Harry laughed at the thought. “I’ve met a few Veela in my time.” He shook his head. “The first time I made a complete fool of myself, but eventually I learned how to block out their allure.”
Glancing over at Ginny, he couldn’t help but think that she could give a Veela a run for her money. “Is Bill still in Egypt?”
She shook her head. “He moved back to help with the Order before my fourth year. He transferred to Gringotts in London. He and Fleur have done some contract work in Egypt, but Fleur had a baby two years ago so they’ve stayed in England. Victoire was born on the anniversary of the battle. She’s adorable. I sometimes watch her and Lilac together.”
“That’s great,” he said. “I love spending time with Teddy. He’d such a sweet boy and I hate that he’s put in the same position I was in, being an orphan from such a young age.”
“At least he has you,” she said.
Wandering into a toy shop, Ginny chose a stuffed lamb for Lilac and a stuffed pony for Victoire. “She’s already lobbying Bill for a pony.”
Harry laughed. “If she’s as cute as you say, I bet he caves.”
“I’m sure he will,” Ginny agreed.
Harry chose a stuffed pony for Teddy. “He loves animals. We go to the zoo at least once a month. When he gets a bit older, I’m going to enrol him in a summer camp at the zoo. He’s seen the older children and keeps telling me that’s what he wants to do.”
“That’s so sweet. Victoire is mostly stuck on ponies. There is a Muggle toy called My Little Pony. They have all sorts of brightly coloured ponies. My dad brought one home for her and now she has tons of them. Lilac and I play ponies with her all the time.”
By this time, they’d paid for their purchases and left the shop. The next shop was a fudge shop. Laughing, Ginny pushed the door open. “You know there is no stopping a Weasley around chocolate.”
Together they perused the decadent smelling shop. Harry purchased some fudge for the cottage while Ginny bought some to send to Ron and her nieces.
Smiling nostalgically, Harry said, “For years, chocolate frogs always reminded me of Ron. I’ll never forget being introduced to them on the train that first time. I couldn’t believe it when it hopped. I took that first bite thinking it was going to taste horrible, like a real frog.”
“I image it would be confusing if you didn’t grow up in the wizarding world.”
After shrinking their packages, the pair returned to the cottage. Hesitating a moment, Harry said, “Would you like to walk along the water?”
Blushing slightly, she nodded. Together they walked down to the rocky beach. The sun was not nearly as strong as it had been earlier.
“I keep thinking it’s so much earlier than it is,” she commented. “So many hours of sunlight takes a while to get used to. I was just thinking it would be impossible to get Lilac to sleep. She seems to think if the sun is up, she should be as well.”
“She and Teddy would get along well.”
The pair fell into an easy conversation as they walked along the shore. Ginny shared stories about her nieces while Harry told her about his travels. Ginny found his stories fascinating. He’d been to so many places and seen so many things.
“Are you ready for tomorrow?” he asked as they turned back to the cottage.
“I think so. Listening to Rolf this evening, its very exciting to think that we might be able to answer some of those questions and discover new things, but of course I remember the stories I’ve heard about Quintapeds. It’s a bit scary.”
“What stories have you heard?”
“Just the usual, I’ve heard the story about the MacBoons and the McCliverts. The twins used to tell scary stories when we were little; they told a story about Quintapeds breaking into the house of a family and ripping them to pieces. They totally made it up, but it still sticks with me. I guess now that I think about it, I haven’t heard any real stories about them.”
“I’m a nervous, but I’m mostly curious. The island is very well hidden, was it a pre-arranged memory failure? They could have Obliviated anyone with knowledge of the island so no one would know, but it seems to me a bad idea that no one knows anything about them.”
When they entered the cottage, Luna and Rolf were not in the sitting room. Ginny took her packages to her room and decided to write some letters. She wrote to Ron and Bill with smaller notes included for her nieces. In the morning, she would ask Rolf if she could use his owl.
Glancing at her watch, she was surprised to find it was ten o’clock. She wasn’t very tired, but she didn’t feel like reading.
Harry passed by her room and seemed surprised to find her still awake. “Everything ok?”
She nodded. “I’m just not very tired. I wrote some letters thinking I would be sleepy, but I’m not.”
“Want to play a game of Scrabble?”
Even as she started walking to the sitting room with him, she asked, “What is Scrabble?”
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