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Discovery for a new student


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#1
Wolf

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Ok... I thought that I would try my hand at fanfic in the Harry Potter world. This is not my first try in fanfic, but it is the first one I make in the HP world.

Setting takes place after book 5 as Hogwart is begining a new school year. The main character of this fic is my own creation so please ask me before you use him (woops! gave a clue out here... B) ). Some of the characters in this story have been created by JKR and are her own.

I'd apreciate constructive critisism as to how I can improve this story.

Disclaimer: This story is taking place in an alternate time line. It was started before HPB came out and so the events of that book never happened in this story and never will. Alternate Universe. This timeline was created by Entropist and I use it with his agreement.


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Chapter 1: Green eyes
-----------------------------

It was start of term for the students of Hogwarts, the wizard school of England, and children of all years were pushing their trolleys, going inside wagons or saying goodbye to their parents. It was the start of yet another school year but this one had a more darker tome to it. The Dark Lord had been confirmed as returned the previous year and while he had been defeated in his attempt to secure a powerful weapon then, he was not gone and the wizard world was again in fear. Most of the students knew this of course but they also knew that Hogwarts was possibly the safest place to be for the moment. It's headmaster was Albus Dumbledore, one of, if not the most powerful wizard of the world and it was known that the Dark Lord would not risk an attack on it if he was not at full strength.

In one of the compartments of the train sat a young boy of 17. His was still alone there, having arrived an hour early. He had a fair face. His long light brown hair were tied in a ponytail that reached his shoulders and had several silver streaks in it. He was dressed in a normal Muggle clothing but had a gray wizard cloak around him that held with a sliver leaf brooch which his left hand was absent mindedly tapping. His deep green eyes were lost in thoughts, looking out of the compartment window, his chin resting in the palm of his right hand.

He was not an English kid, at least not yet. His parents had been called from France by the English Ministry of Magic. His father was a renown wizard that had a knack with plants and knowing what they needed, which is why he had moved to France 30 years before to take care of dying magical forest there. His mother was an expert healer and had immediately found a job a St Mungo's hospital. He thus had to go with them and leave his French wizard school and had been accepted as a 6th year student in Hogwarts. "I'll never get a hang of this country" He thought "Everything is so different! They drive on the wrong side of the road the whole time. I almost got run over three times on my way to the station... I need to remember to look on the right when I cross a street." He was so deep on thinking to himself of the differences between his him and this new country that he did not hear the compartment door opening and the small knock on it that wanted to attract his attention.

"Excuse me?" a small voice said "Is this compartment fully occupied?"

The boy turned around, startled. A young girl of perhaps 14 was standing in the doorway.

"Huh? Oh, sorry! I was somewhere else completely!" He said hurriedly "Apart from my seat, this compartment is fully free and can be used."

"Oh good!" The young girl smiled and came in pulling her trunk behind her.

Seeing the size of the trunk, the boy stood up and helped her putting it in the overhead rack.

"Thank you." She said, sitting down in the seat in front of his. "I am Eleanor Swift. 3rd year Ravenclaw at Hogwarts." She added, extending her hand.

"Yannick Silverleaf." He responded, taking her hand and giving it a gentle and polite shake. "starting 6th year a a student at Hogwarts."

"6th year?" she asked arching one of her black eyebrow. "That is odd, I don't recall seeing you before in Hogwarts."

"That is because my parents just moved to England. I was schooled in Morbihan's School of Wizardry, in the French region of Britanny before. I am starting this year at Hogwarts."

"Ooooh... that sounds fascinating. How is it down there? What sort of magical arts do you learn?"

And the conversation was started between both, he telling her of his wizard school in France an her explaining how Hogwarts was and what to expect.

As they talked several other Ravenclaw 3rd years came in the compartment and Eleanor introduced them to Yannick. He continued answering the questions asked to him about his school and learned more from Hogwarts and how the teachers were there. They warned him about a certain Snape, who taught potion in Hogwarts and as they described him, Yannick started to compare this Snape to two of the professors of his own school. Good laughs were exchanged during the entire journey to Hogwarts as they played several games wizard games, and where Yannick discovered that he was not as good as he thought at wizard chess, being beaten thrice in a row by a young boy with raven hair. Still, he enjoyed his time and was surprised when he heard the voice in the corridor announcing the arrival to Hogwarts in 10 minutes. They all changed to their house robes, except Yannick, who not knowing which house he would be put into, decided to stay in the clothes he was wearing. On his way out of the compartment he took a long green bag with him.

"You don't need to take your things with you" one of the Ravenclaws that had been in the same compartment told him "They get sent straight to your room in Hogwarts and you will find them there when you arrive."

"Oh, its alright" He answered "I usually do not let this bag around when I travel. Family heirloom of some sort." he added.

The Ravenclaw nodded at the answer

"No problem then, see you at the feast. I wonder in which house you will go... Hopefully not in Slytherin" He added with a wink and then left.

Yannick stepped out of the compartment and followed the flow of students out of the train and towards the waiting horse carriages of Hogwarts. We he saw them at first he thought of a practical joke being played, seeing the carriages waiting for the students but having no horses to pull them. Although he finally decided that it was not a joke when he saw the students going in them without saying anything. "I'll have to send an Owl on this to my friends back home." he though "This is a funny experience, to say the least." The carriages continued their horse-less travel until they arrive to the Hogwarts castle.

The castle itself was impressive by its own size. Yannick stood there, looking at it gaping, oblivious to the amuse looks and snide remarks this behavior earned him from the other Hogwarts students. He was shaken out of his wonder by a stern voice.

"Mr. Silverleaf?"

He turned to face an witch in her late years. She had her brownish-gray hair tied in a bun and was wearing a deep Burgundy wizard robe.

"I am professor McGonagall," she continued, seeing that she had his attention "the assistant Headmistress of this school and head of the Gryffindor house. The headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, would like to see you before the welcome feast begins. I you will please follow me."

She led him through the hall of the castle and took several turns in different corridors until they arrived in front of a gargoyle-like statue. There the professor spoke a password and the gargoyle statue started going upwards, revealing a circular staircase as it went up. Yannick followed the professor as she went up the stairs and they then entered into a circular room. Most prominent in the room was the desk of the headmaster, who however was not sitting at it at the moment. In fact as Yannick looked through the room, he could not see him in the room either.

"Ah! Our new 6th year student." a calm voice said.

He turned towards the voice to see the man he recognized as Albus Dumbledore, going down the steps from a room that was apparently his study.

"I trust your travel has been pleasant, I hear that Ravenclaws can be very good company if you want to talk" He added with a twinkle in his eyes, looking slightly amused at the surprised expression on Yannick's face from this comment.

"Do not worry Mr. Silverleaf, there is little that happens around here that I do not know and this includes the Hogwarts Express." Dumbledore sat at his desk "Now, this will not take long so do not bother to sit down. I have with me a recommendation letter from you former Headmaster, Mr Petti...boy? Is that right?"

"Mr Petitbois, sir" Yannick answered.

"Ah yes! That's right. He says that you took your OWL exams last year and that you achieved either O or E in all except in two fields out of seven. That was transfiguration... I am sure professor McGonagall here will be able to help you on that... and divination... no surprise here... although you might want to attend some of the classes of our recent addition in our teacher's roster, Firenze. I am sure you will find him... intriguing to say the least. Now, you want to become an Auror, is that right?"

"Yes professor."

"Well, seeing your marks, I say you will need to attend remedial transfiguration and you should be all set. Do you have any further questions?"

"Yes sir, just one." Yannick started "In my former school we were training daily on archery, an old tradition from where we come from. I have brought my things with me," he added, pointing at the long green bag he had taken with him when going out of the train "but I would like to ask first if it is possible for me to continue my training while I am here in Hogwarts. I would hate to loose my skill."

Dumbledore sat back in his chair in his chair thinking.

"I do not really see any problem with this Mr. Silverleaf, on one condition only. I trust that you can take the metallic point off the arrow's shaft?"

Yannick nodded

"As long as your arrows have no points which could harm one of my students, I do not see any problems with this. A friend of mine used to say that it is better to know other ways of fighting than only with a wand. Well, I guess it is time for us to join the rest of the School in the dinner hall. The first years are on the point of arriving and Professor McGonagall here needs to be there to receive them. I will see you at the feast Mr. Silverleaf and I do hope you enjoy your first year at Hogwarts."

"Thank you sir" Yannick said before turning to follow professor McGonagall out of the room.

He was about to step out of the room when Dumbledore spoke to him one last time.

"Oh, I almost forgot Mr Silverleaf. Our Gameskeeper has asked me to tell you that your companion has well arrived and is right now enjoying himself in the forbidden forest. It is a very nice animal and looks very intelligent. You should present me to it one day."

"I will sir" Yannick answered with a thankful smile, before turning and going out of the room towards the stairs.

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There you have it, first chapter. :) Hope it was not too short. :D PM me any feedback you have and also, I am undecided as to which house he will be sorted in. I'd apreciate any suggestions you have.

Thanks for reading. :)

*Wolf*

["Discovery for a new student" © "Wolf" / "17 September 2004"]


Edited by Wolf, 27 September 2011 - 08:55 AM.

.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

.:Recommended Fics:.
Entropist and Lumia (aka: gmhpfan)
Fic World (repository of fics by Wolf, Entropist and Lumia)
Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#2
PaulaMcG

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Sylvain,
You've already got me looking forward to knowing Monsieur Yannick Silverleaf better, when I have hardly learnt that he is gentle and polite and a bit wary of new situations. I felt the writing in the first instalment of your fic was flowing better and better, the further you got. The dialogue with Dumbledore was especially enjoyable.

I have to say that the very beginning is probably not an example of the most efficient way to capture a reader's interest, because there is nothing really new to a reader of HP. And I want to urge people to read further and let your original character introduce himself. I wonder if you could stick to Yannick's perspective as you continue. That would allow us to identify with him and to see Hogwarts through a fresh pair of (green) eyes. I hope we'll also get to see one of those common rooms which JKR has not shown us.

The details of the brooch, the green bag and its contents as well as the mysterious animal companion were well placed. I trust these elements will have more than a decorative significance in Yannick's story.

Eija
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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
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#3
Wolf

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First off, thanks a lot to Eija for reading my first chapter and giving me the pointers needed to improve.

Eija - Glad that you liked the first chapter and true... now the I reread it, the start is a bit slow and might drive readers away. I'll see if I can change that, possibly starting straight from the train compartment, we'll see. I am glad you liked the dialogue with Dumbledore, this was the most enjoyable part to write of the whole chapter and I tried to represent him as I always see him, the all knowing headmaster of Hogwarts, who has authority but rarely uses it and makes others feel at ease with him, wheter they are students, teachers or other wizards.

I am starting to really enjoy this character of Yannick and to tell the truth, look at my avatar, take out the glasses and add deep green eyes and there he is. :)

Here is the second chapter now. I hope you enjoy it.



Chapter 2: Golden eyes
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Yannick let out a groan of despair and smacked his head on his book, that laid on the table of the common room.

"Life is just not fair!" he thought "Why is it that I understand and can do most of what I learn here and yet be such a dunce when it comes to transfiguration?"

He kept his forehead on the book, "all about transfiguration", that he had borrowed earlier that day from the school's library. His ears picked up a giggle on his left side and he turned his head towards the sound to see a small group of first year girls sitting in a corner talking to each other and giggling.

"I wonder what those four are talking about" He thought.

His eyes took notice of a blonde one in the group which he knew was named Sasha Seriam. She had been sorted into Hufflepuff right before him during the sorting ceremony at the welcoming feast. The sorting hat had also chosen to get him into Hufflepuff as well but after now two weeks, Yannick was still at a loss to understand the reason. He did not think that Hufflepuff was a bad house either. The other students had mostly accepted him and he had gotten along well with professor Sprout, the head of the house. He had promised her to ask his father to send her a copy of his work on the restoration of a French enchanted forest. The common room itself was quite spacious. Its entrance was behind him on his left and a big fireplace had an everlasting fire burning in it, brightly lighting the room. The tone of the room was gold and black, the colors of the Hufflepuff house. He rested his head on his chair's headrest and sighed. His eyes took notice of the chandeliers spaced evenly on the wall in front of him, three branches with a burning candle on each and the Hufflepuff badger engraved where the three branches met. A big coat of arms was in the center of the wall, and in fact right in front of where he sat. The animated badger and the flapping Hufflepuff banner at the center of the coat of arms made it look quite impressive.

He heard some noise behind him and saw that Sean, a fellow Hufflepuff he had become friend with, was playing a game of chess with another 6th year, Ernie MacMillan, if his memory served him right, on the round table at the center of the room, right in front of the fireplace. Sean's tower had just been taken by Ernie's knight and he looked worried about the way his chess defense was going.

He closed the transfiguration book and stretched, only to let out a little yelp of pain from a pain in his back.

"Merlin's beard!" he thought, his right hand massaging the sore spot "Only two weeks into the term and I already visited the hospital wing. It will be a miracle that I survive the year."

He cast his thoughts onto what had caused his visit to the hospital wing. A week after having arrived, he was hurrying to attend his next class. He had had to go back to his common room to get a book he had forgotten and had been hurrying down the staircase only to be hit by something hard in the back of his head. He had then fallen down the stairs and fell flat on his face at the bottom, right in front of some 6th year Slytherins that had been going to their potion class. That group had started to laugh at his mishap and he would have had only a bruised honor if he had not received his school bag in the back right when he was starting to rise up again. That had knocked him out cold and he had awaken in the hospital wing, his back still throbbing with pain. He had found out afterwards from, Sean, that it was Peeves that had taken him for target practice as he was going down the stairs and what had hit him had been a cricket ball.

"Bloody ghost is a menace if you ask me" Sean had said to Yannick who had heartily agreed.

He looked at his watch and saw that he had still two whole hours before the curfew.

"I am not getting anything done right now." He thought picking up his homework things. "Maybe some fresh air will do me good."

He stood up with his things and passed by the armchair where Sean was sitting, considering his next move. He took a look at the way the game was going, Sean was in a very awkward position and Ernie could get him mate in a few moves.

"Except if..." Yannick thought and bent down to whisper to Seans ear "White bishop to E4. That should get him off your back for a while. And do protect your King, he is completely undefended" He added with a wink.

Sean looked at the board and gave a small smile. "Thanks." he whispered back.

"No problem." Yannick answered, heading towards corridor that led to the boy's dormitory.

On his way there he heard Ernie complaining of the move that Sean had just made.

"Hey no fair!" he said "How can I win if he helps you out when you are in trouble?"

"That's what friends are for Ernie." He heard Sean reply.

He smiled internally at that remark "Thanks Sean."

He went up to his dormitory to pick up his cloak, went out the common room's entrance and headed towards the main hall. He went out the main entrance and headed towards the lake. During his walk there he thought again of the letter he had received from his mother two days before. They had settled in London and work was apparently keeping both of them busy. St Mungo's had registered an increase of magical injuries on Muggles and wizards alike and his father was right now investigating on a new breed of plant that had started to appear in certain places of London. Other than that it had been work as usual for them. He had answered her with a long letter describing Hogwarts and the different things he had discovered during the first two weeks, his sorting into the Hufflepuff house and the rest although he had purposely left out his trip to the hospital wing.

"Mum would have yanked me out of the school in an instant had she learned about her poor Nickie falling down stairs after being attacked by an evil poltergeist" He mused to himself, smiling at his silent remark.

He continued his stroll around the lake and decided to go and see the gameskeeper, Hagrid, to see if he could pay a visit in the forest to his companion, who he had only see for a short moments the day after he arrived to Hogwarts. As he was turning to head toward Hagrid's hut he felt a stone connect with the back of his head. He fell over from the force of impact.

"Not again!" He thought, and then shouted, getting up and massaging the spot he had been hit on with his right hand. "Peeves!!! You mangy son of an overgrown GIT!!! I swear if I get my hands on your ghostly form I will hex you so you die again... over and over and..."

He had turned towards where the stone had apparently come from and instead of Peeves he saw a girl running towards him, holding a Quidditch beater club in her right hand.

"Oh my god! I am so sorry," She said when she reached him. "Are you alright?"

"Owwww... Alright? The feeling of getting hit by a stone hurtled at your head is far from alright. Thank you!" he snapped a her. "Am I a friggin' target or something?"

"Please! Don't shout like this!" She answered him, her eyes pleading. "I can understand you are angry. I was not at all aiming towards you. I was aiming towards the lake but my grip slipped and my shot went astray. Please believe me, it was an accident."

He looked at her. She was about the same size as him and was wearing the colors of the Ravenclaw house. Her gold-reddish hair seemed out of place with the mostly blue school uniform she wore. Yannick cursed himself for having reacted harshly.

"Look, I am sorry I snapped at you like this." He said. "It is just... I don't know... it's the second time in as many weeks that I am hit by something and sent sprawling on the floor. I am starting to feel like I am pulling this in." He added sitting down on the slopping ground.

"I can relate on that" She told him taking a seat next to him. "I mean, being a Quiddich player I have had my share of hits a bruises. You get over it after a while."

"I am not really planing on becoming a target to practice on." He said sullenly.

She laughed at his remark

"Don't worry. It was an accident, not intentional. By the way, I am Alexandra Dewitt, 6th year at Hogwarts and beater for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team," She said extending her hand.

He took her hand in his and answered

"Yannick Silverleaf. 6th year as well and from..."

"From Hufflepuff, I know. I saw you at the feast. You are the new French student some third years are talking about the whole time. Heard one of them beat you at wizard chess." She added with a smile, pushing a stray lock of her hair behind her ear.

"Well, I am not that bad either... He was pretty good though" He answered, a bit embarrassed.

"So we are fine then? No hard feelings?" She asked.

"Yeah..." He said, still rubbing the back of his head. "Yeah, we are fine. Sorry I snapped at you."

"You already said that" She reminded him. "And forget it. You had every right to be angry. So what were you doing out on the grounds at this time of the day?"

"Taking fresh air guess. I have been the past hour or so trying to pound transfiguration spells in my head and I was not getting anywhere so I decided to take a break." He sighed. "What about you? What is your excuse?"

"Well, I was practicing for Quidditch." She told him.

"Why were you not in the field using the standard equipment for that?" He asked her.

"Oh, the field was booked for the whole evening by the Slytherin team. So as I still wanted to practice I took a beater club and was hexing stones towards me and hitting them. As you saw... One of them did not quite land where I intended it to. It is a bit hard to hex and beat at the same time."

"Yeah... I felt that." He said with a smile. Taking out his wand he added. "Tell you what, why don't I hex the stones towards you and you hit them of?"

"Are you sure you will not use that to accidentally get me back for your hit?" She asked him. "Just kidding. I think that could be fine. Are you good at making objects fly?"

"Me? Absolutely!" He answered "It is transfiguration I can't master yet. I literally blew up the tea pot I had to change into a duck last lesson! Earned me some extra homework."

She giggled. "Well ok then." she said getting up "Let's do this, we still have about an hour before we need to head back to the castle."

They set out to practice, Yannick hexing stones one at the time and at different angles towards Alexandra and she hitting them away. A few flew in his direction at some point but a good protego spell deflected each of them.

"Sorry!" He heard her say after he deflected another stone.

"It's ok." He answered "Makes me practice this spell at the same time."

They continued the practice, Alexandra sending the stones flying towards the forbidden forest. Yannick had his back turned and both where oblivious to the fact that they were being watched by two golden eyes.

The sun was starting to set and Alexandra decided to call it off for the day. She had just called time out and Yannick was starting to walk towards her when she saw a dark shape leaping out of the forest and charging him.

"YANNICK! BEHIND YOU!!!" She screamed, reaching for her wand.

He spun around and only had the time to see a black shape bearing down on him at full speed. He then felt a hit in the chest and was falling on his back. He tried to get away but the dark shape was keeping him on the ground, its two golden eyes looking into his own.


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Hope you liked it. Took me a while to weave this one right. :)

Thanks for the very helpful PM Eija. B)

Edited by Wolf, 02 November 2004 - 11:03 PM.

.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

.:Recommended Fics:.
Entropist and Lumia (aka: gmhpfan)
Fic World (repository of fics by Wolf, Entropist and Lumia)
Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#4
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

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Sylvain,
Do you think Yannick minds, if I call him Nickie?

I'm glad that he had been sorted to Hufflepuff. That's how we'll get a closer view of a house which we can't have seen so well through Harry's eyes, and a house which you wouldn't expect any one-dimensional hero to be sorted to. Furthermore, I'm glad that he had been sorted before the beginning of this chapter, so we didn't need to go through the ritual repeated by JKR.

And you did stick to his perspective – until the last moments of the update! I think I know him a bit better now.

I've got the impression that Nickie can be in good polite terms with most people – if not with poltergeists – but doesn't get to make close friends easily, especially not with boys. His personality is starting to be revealed – in a refreshing way – as not perfectly pleasant. He seems to be dissatisfied easily – with himself and his surroundings and the way he's treated – and he even lost his temper. On the other hand, he was ready to apologize, and more than once, and he seems to make friends or at least spend time with girls naturally. I also noticed that when he says he is good at something, he immediately mentions what he is not good at. Is he just humble, or a bit too negative in his approach? Through these apparently simple events and thoughts of his you are developing a character, who is not one-dimensional.

Besides, I feel that Nickie's parents will possibly play interesting roles in the story, too. Parents seldom come to Hogwarts, but who knows what will happen during this year, now that they say the war has begun. Nickie's parents have some fascinating tasks, and he seems to follow eagerly what they do.

As for the perspective shift at the end of the update, it didn't actually disturb me (and people whose fics I've followed longer know that this is a high compliment, because I prefer the shifts – if there absolutely has to be any – to be well founded). You made it clear that you deviated from Nickie's pont of view by making it explicit that he did not notice those golden eyes, and then you took Alexandra's perspective for a sudden moment of tension – maybe deliberately in order to maintain the suspense a bit longer. At the same time the reader can feel clever – and, yet, can't possibly have enough knowledge in order not to remain absolutely curious.

Edited by PaulaMcG, 18 September 2004 - 05:59 AM.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#5
Wolf

Wolf

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Ok. Another chapter, but before I start:

Eija: Thanks again for reading and for the very informative PMs you have sent me back in answer to my questions. I am learning more on the go and, I hope, am improving as well due to these.

I don't think it will be a problem if you refer to Yannick as "Nickie", you'll see his reaction to someone saying it in this next chapter but don't mind it, he can't really do anything anyway. :P

I am actually enjoying creating all this as JKR has not really described the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff houses and common rooms in her books so I can really create on that.

As you already pointed out Nickie is not perfect (and I did not want him to be ^_^ ) but he actually might improve during his stay in Hogwarts. We'll see.

Anyway, thanks again for reading and here is the next chapter:


Chapter three: Presentations
-------------------------------------

Yannick lay there, flat on his back, the two golden eyes still locked with his own. The black shape revealed its white fangs of its mouth. Pitch black coat with some stray sliver hairs here and there.

Yannick muttered "Altair... you scared me out of a years growth you big lug!" looking reproachfully into those two golden eyes. "But yeah... I missed you too." He added, smiling and scratching the animal behind its ear.

"Yannick?" He heard somewhere behind him.

He quickly rolled over to see a worried looking Alexandra who was still pointing her wand towards the animal.

"It is ok Alexandra" He said rising into a crouch next to Altair "He was just playing around."

"He? So this big dog is a he?" She asked

"Actually," He replied "it is not a dog. I know it might sound weird but... it is a wolf."

"A... a wolf?"She asked him, looking a bit worried

"Yes, a wolf. His name is Altair." He continued. "Altair, this is Alexandra." He said pointing at her. "A friend."

The wolf looked at her for a few seconds and then trotted towards her. When it arrived there it presented its right paw to her. Alexandra stood there a bit surprised by the wolf's behavior but then leaned down and took the paw in her right hand, giving it a gentle shake and saying

"Nice to meet you too."

Yannick looked at the two, Alexandra had started to tentatively pet the wolf on its head, still feeling a bit cautious. He rose to his feet and then walked towards them. Alexandra straightened up and looked at him.

"So... you have a wolf as a companion?" She asked

"Yup." He answered.

"But how can that be?" She asked him. "The only animals allowed at Hogwarts as companions are Owls and cats?"

"Well," He started. "That is for Hogwarts. In my French school it could be any tame animal. One of my friends even had a golden eagle. Anyway, Altair here has been my companion since I was 6 years old or so. My father arranged with professor Dumbledore that it would be allowed to stay in the forest while I was at Hogwarts. Hagrid keeps a eye on him."

Alexandra looked again at the black wolf

"It is quite big for a wolf" She pointed out.

Yannick smiled a bit embarrassed and scratched the back of his head

"Well, I take good care of him." He said. "Always have but he free to come and go as he please. I don't own him."

"You talk about it as if it was a person" Alexandra pointed out.

"Well, I have known him for over 10 years now... Our relation is... deep." He answered. "I'll explain you one day if you want," He added quickly, looking at his watch "but right now is not really good as we have less than twenty minutes to go to our common rooms before the curfew."

Alexandra nodded, not fully satisfied by his answer but not saying anything. They set out towards the castle's entrance, followed by Altair.

"That's a nice brooch by the way." Alexandra told him, pointing to the brooch that held his cloak on his shoulders. "Special meaning?"

"Yeah," He answered "It is my family crest, the silver leaf."

"Nice yet simple" She said.

"Thanks, I'll tell my grand-mother that." He told her. "She is the one who made this design some years back, before I went to my first year in wizard school. The old design was not as nice."

"Now your family name makes a bit more sense." She said "Yannick Silverleaf. Emblem a leaf of silver. You should tell me more about the origin of that name one of these days." She added.

"Uh... yeah..." He answered "Maybe I should one day."

They reached the entrance and Yannick looked back at Altair, the wolf clearly wanted to follow him in. He shook is head and crouched next to him.

"Altair, you can't follow me in there and you know that. Dad went over with you what had been agreed with Dumbledore and you need to stick to it, alright?"

The wolf looked at him with pleading eyes, but then came closer and gave him a lick on the cheek and uttered a whine. Yannick took the wolf in an embrace.

"Come on!" He told him jokingly "It is not like you will never see me again. I'll come to see you as much as I can."

The wolf pulled from the embrace and started towards the forest again.

"He does not like to be away from you does he?" He heard Alexandra ask him.

He rose and turned to face her.

"No, he does not at all." He answered "He was allowed into my French school before and he does not really understand why he can't here. I think a lot of student would be afraid of him at first, but try to make him understand that." He added with a small smile.

"Well he did scare me at first," She answered. "but he was quite friendly after."

"Yeah he was." Yannick said "And thanks." He added.

"For what?" she asked him.

"For referring to him as 'he'. I know he prefers that." He told her. "Well, shall we?" He asked, motioning to the entrance.

They entered the castle and Alexandra started towards her common room.

"Thanks for your help tonight, I'll keep you in mind next time I need help on my beater practice." She told him over her shoulder with a smile.

"The pleasure was all mine Alexandra." he answered to her, looking at her going down a corridor and taking a left turn. He stood in the entrance hall, his eyes still on the corridor she had disappeared in. A snort from the entrance door made him turn around. Altair was looking at him from the door.

"I thought I had told you to go to the forest you spy." He told him with a smile. "Go on now, shoo."

Altair gave him a mischievous look and disappeared from the door's opening, heading towards the forest again. Yannick headed towards the entrance of the Hufflepuff common room. He gave the password to enter and went through the room, towards the corridor of the boy's dormitories. A few students were still up, finishing some homework, but most had gone to be already. He entered the dorm he shared with Sean, halfway down the corridor. His entrance was greeted by an already in bed Sean.

"About bloody time mate!" Sean told him "I was wondering if I had to send a search party for you. Where did you go?"

"Oh, just went out side for a walk." Yannick answered, undressing and getting ready for bed.

"Some walk! You were gone for a two whole hours!" Sean answered back. "Met anyone interesting?" He added with a mischievous grin.

"No, just talked with someone for a while. That's all." Yannick answered.

He made a ball of his dirty clothes (Altair had made him fall into some mud) and throwing them into the laundry basket he and Sean shared. He heard the clothes land in the basket that had Hufflepuff's colors and then the distinct sound of them disappearing for wherever clothes got cleaned in Hogwarts.

"Uh...uh..." Sean nodded. "Would this person happen to have gold-reddish hair, very nice blue eyes and be a beater from the Ravenclaw Quiddich team by any chance?"

Yannick looked at him surprised, turning slightly red. "You saw that?"

"That I did mate!" Sean answered with a laugh. "I went looking for you after having beaten Ernie on our wizard chess game, and thanks again for you help on that move by the way, it took me out of a tight spot. Anyway, I saw you two practicing her beating skills but preferred to leave you alone."

Yannick sighed, switched off the light in the dorm and went into his bed, that was under Sean's.

"Well thanks for that." he told him.

"You are welcome." Sean answered. "Sooo... Are you planning on inviting her out on a date? The Yule ball maybe?"

"Yule ball?" He asked "What is that again? I am not yet up to par with the different Hogwarts events..."

"Oy! Sorry about that, I forgot." Sean answered. "The Yule ball, it actually started again in my fourth year here, when we had the Triwizard tournament. They apparently decided to get it on again this year. It takes place before Christmas and anyone 4th year or above can attend... If he has a date, that is." He added. "So how about asking her?"

"Sean, this is almost three months away." Yannick answered. "We just met. We are just on friendly terms, okay?"

"Suuure you are, Nickie." He heard Sean say.

He punched Sean's mattress above him. "Call me that name again and I will hex you to oblivion. Now shut up and go to sleep will you?"

"Yow! Okay, okay..." He heard Sean say.

"But she is nice, isn't she?" Sean added after a minute of silence.

"Yes she is!" He answered. "There, I said it. Happy now?"

"Yeah, I guess." Sean answered.

After a few minutes, Sean broke the silence again.

"So you are planing on asking her out on the Yule ball?" He asked.

"Sean..." Yannick said. "My wand is in my hand, pointing to your mattress and I am thinking of what to curse it into if you don't shut up and go to sleep."

"I get the message captain!" Sean answered with a laugh. "Goodnight!"

"Yeah... goodnight." He answered back.

Yannick lay there his eyes looking in the dark of the room. Somehow the picture of a fair Ravenclaw girl with gold-reddish hair and blue eyes kept on coming back into his head. Sean had a point, she was very pretty indeed and she had asked questions that showed she was interested, even if just a little. Her pointed question about Altair. Asking him to tell her about his family history later on. But this meant getting closer in relation with a girl, and he was not sure if he wanted that yet. But maybe Sean had a point after all.

"You really ought to ask her out you know." Sean said as if reading his mind.

Yannick let out a French swear word and put his pillow over his head.


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

There you go! Hope you enjoyed reading this chapter and #4 is already started.

Edited by Wolf, 23 September 2004 - 12:55 PM.

.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

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Entropist and Lumia (aka: gmhpfan)
Fic World (repository of fics by Wolf, Entropist and Lumia)
Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#6
Nick_Ottery

Nick_Ottery

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Bonjour Sylvain,

welcome to the fanfiction section of the forum. I am very pleased to see you have jumped straight in and are already posting your own story.

I did in fact read through it yesterday, so do not expect my comments to be littered with references to specific parts. I must say I did enjoy it. I am not a great fan of Hogwarts fics (I see that as being solely JK's realm), but this was certainly different in that we have an entirely new protagonist, and that you have decided to place him in Hufflepuff, which should hopefully give an interesting new angle on whatever events you plan to unroll during the course of the year.

I think you are right in your comment to Eija's first reply that the scene with Dumbledore was particularly good. The dialogue seemed natural, and your take on Dumbledore was very in keeping with JKR's vision.

My hat goes off to you as I can barely write any sort of extended story in French, so I am not going to start picking apart your english. If you do want a hand improving it you might consider advertising for a 'translation beta' on the discussion board. Although I never had a problem understanding the meaning of your words.

Anyway, you have written an intriguing opening, and introduced a character that seemingly has the potential to offer a different insight into Hogwarts. I wish you the best of luck with your writing and shall endeavour to keep up with the story.

Nick

Edit: Sorry - I have just seen that you have updated whilst I was writing this. Please be aware that these comments relate solely to chapters 1 and 2.

Edited by Nick_Ottery, 18 September 2004 - 09:51 PM.

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#7
Wolf

Wolf

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Hey cool! A new reader! Welcome to my fanfic Nick! and thanks a lot for your feedback. I always found Dumbledore intriguing by his behavior. He never really shows anger (and I really would not want to be the one getting him angry), he always tries to find the good points of a situation, no matter how bad it is. JKR also has a way to make his dialogues very entertaining when she writes them.

I hope you enjoy the third chapter as well. I realized you were in the thread when I finished posting it yesterday.

I am posting chapter four already. The start of the chapter was originally the end of chapter three but I decided to not include it. I worked on it again after posting the third chapter and I am amazed that I managed to finish it off so fast.

Anyway, here it is, the title says it all:


Chapter Four: Anger and sorrow
--------------------------------------------

"Wake up sleepyhead!!!" was all that Yannick heard that morning before feeling cold water hit his face. He sat up in his bed with a start, hitting his head on the bed above his at the same time.

"Yaaaaaaaah!! What is the big idea Sean?" He asked his grinning friend. "It is only 9:00 AM and we are Sunday today. Last time I checked, we don't have any lessons on Sunday. I want to sleep more."

"And waste one of the days which has the best Autumn weather we have seen in a long time and also happens to be the day of our first outing to Hogsmead? Mate, you are daft to have this thought while I am your roommate!" Sean answered. "Come on! Get out of bed and get dressed. I'll save you a seat at breakfast and then we're off to Hogsmeade. You'll love it there. And who knows... you might find something to buy for your little sweetheart as well..." he added with a mischievous grin.

"For the last time! She is not my sweetheart!" Yannick said, throwing his pillow at Sean who evaded it and went out the room.

"Sure, whatever Nickie. See you at breakfast!" Sean told him playfully just before closing the door.

Yannick stood up grumbling and went to the boy's common lavatory to take a quick shower to wake himself up fully.

While under the shower he wondered about Sean's behavior. "It has been what... two weeks now since I met with Alexandra and helped her with her beater practice?" He unconsciously rubbed the spot where the stone had hit his head. "I have hardly spoken to her since then... well maybe once or twice in class and in the library... but nothing like the first time. Why is Sean insisting that she is my girlfriend? She's not. We are just... friends at most."

He finished off his shower and went back to his room. He put on fresh and casual clothes for the day, still taking his cloak just in case it got chilly. He then set out to go and eat breakfast.

He noticed that most of the students were already eating when he entered the dining hall and went to seat by Sean at the Hufflepuff. He did not bother to answer to the questions of some Slytherins that asked him if he had learned to walk down stairs yet. He still feelt slightly annoyed by their constant remarks.

"These imbeciles are starting to get on my nerves." He said to Sean as he sat down.

"Who? the Slythers?" Sean asked while helping himself to some more bacon. "Don't worry, they do this to anyone they would like to get in trouble. Just don't react."

"I haven't" He answered. "Yet."

He took eggs and bacon along with a few toasts and poured himself a mug of orange juice. He was halfway through his breakfast when he felt Sean nudge him with his right elbow.

"Babe alert! Two o'clock." He heard him mutter.

He looked up towards the entrance of the dining hall and saw that Alexandra had just come in. She stood at the entrance, apparently still undecided as to where to sit. Her eyes met his and she gave him a small smile and a discreet wave. He waved back and then saw her going to sit with some other 6th years at the Ravenclaw table. He was still looking at her back when he hear Sean muttering to him.

"Earth to Yannick. Earth to Yannick." Sean said "Stop gawking at her like that mate, you are making a fool of yourself more than anything and are bloody lucky she can't see you now."

Yannick brought his attention to his plate and quickly started to eat again.

"You know mate." Sean told him. "With reactions like these whenever she is around, you are going to have a hard time making me believe that you are not interested in her."

Yannick did not answer. He found it more interesting to separate the fat from his bacon than to answer him.

"Come on Nick, why don't you just talk to her?"

"I have talked to her." Yannick answered sharply.

"Oh yeah! I forgot... Sor-ry!" Sean snorted "Like what? Two? Three times? In two weeks?"

Yannick nodded.

"I also noted that she tried to engage conversation several times with you and each time you found a way to not talk to her." Sean added.

Yannick let out a sigh "Sean, what is your point?"

"My point?" Sean asked. "I'll tell you what my point is you dunce. You have an absolutely gorgeous girl that is sending you hints that she is interested in you and you just shunt her off like she is not even there."

"What if I don't want to get to know her?" Yannick asked.

"Mate are you daft?" Sean asked. "You know how many other guys are running around trying to attract her attention?"

"I don't know and I don't care." He answered.

"Well wake up and smell the roses Nick." Sean told him. "Because she does."

"Oh, so she does huh?" He asked Sean sarcastically.

"Yes." Sean answered seriously.

"How the heck do you know that anyway?" Yannick asked.

"Because she told me." Sean answered.

"She told you?" He asked.

"Yes. Two days ago." Sean replied. "When I was in the library. She came to me and asked me what was wrong with you and why you always found a reason not to talk to her."

"And?" Yannick asked, dreading the answer already.

"I told her that you were too shy." Sean answered.

"You told her that?" Yannick answered.

"Well it seemed obvious to me..." Sean started.

Yannick uttered a groan and hid his face in his hands.

"Great!" He said. "Just great! So now I am the shy little Frenchie who is afraid to talk to girls. I bet she laughed at that one." He added.

"She did not." Sean said seriously "She asked if we were planning to go to Hogsmeade this weekend and I told her that we were."

"Oh great. Let me guess." Yannick said.

"She is meeting us this morning with a friend of hers, Eather, I think her name is."

"Great Sean, real great." Yannick said standing up from his seat.

"Woah, where are you going?" Sean asked.

"Going to vent my anger on something that won't scream when it is hit." He answered.

"Wait a minute Nick." Sean said grabbing his arm. "You can't just not come. What will I say to them then?"

Yannick looked at Sean, his eyes were throwing daggers.

"Whatever you want. Now... let... go... of... me." He said slowly and evenly.

Sean, surprised of his friend's reaction, let go of Yannick's arm who then stormed out of the dining hall, oblivious to the fact that his small outburst and sudden departure had been observed by someone.

He went back to the Hufflepuff common room and stormed to his dorm. There he picked up his long green bag and stormed out again. He did not even hear one of the 3rd years asking him if he was going to Hogsmeade when he left out the common room. He walked out of the castle and went towards the forbidden forest.

He stopped by an ancient elm tree that was planted between the forest and the castle. He conjured an archery target under the tree, something he knew how to do since he was twelve, and then walked away from the target, back towards the castle, so a stray shot would go to the forest and not risk injuring someone. When he reached fifty paces he stopped and started taking out his archery equipment. He took out a wooden bow that reach his shoulder height. The bow had an intricate pattern of weaving of gold and silver lines going from the center to both of the rope notches. Yannick took out the rope and, bending the bow, adjusted it to the notches, making sure that it was not to loose by aiming at the target without an arrow notched to the bow. He then took out some of his arrows from the bag, twenty in all. None of them had their shaft on, these being kept apart in a separate pouch. He then notched an arrow and aimed towards the target. He let his arrow fly and saw with satisfaction that it had hit the target, not dead center as he had intended but a hit nonetheless. He continued to shoot his arrows until they were none left. He then looked at the target, fifteen hits out of twenty arrows.

"Not bad" He thought "But not good enough."

He used the actio charm to get his arrows back and started over again. He went on this way for an hour, until he managed to get all arrows in the target without a miss. Having recalled his arrows again, he took on and shot it into the target. He then took another arrow and took aim towards the target again, this time aiming specifically the other arrow. He released it at it flew to the target, hitting it a mere centimeter bellow the first arrow.

"A fine shot" He heard a voice say right behind him.

Yannick turned around and found himself facing Professor Dumbledore, who was looking at him amusedly.

"I know it was not what you intended to hit but a fine shot nevertheless." Dumbledore added.

"Professor." Yannick started. "I had no idea you were here... I..."

"That's quite understandable Yannick and no need to apologize." Dumbledore answered. "You see, my office tends to get hot in the morning, it is the first place that the sun hits at the start of the day and this morning I decided to go out for a stroll to take some fresh air. While I was walking towards the entrance again I saw you practicing. You were so immersed in it that I preferred to just watch it silently without disturbing you."

Yannick looked at Dumbledore, not knowing what to say.

"Now that you have finished. Let me ask you one question." Dumbledore continued. "Did you achieve what you went here for in the first place?"

Yannick was surprised at the question but then looked over the event of the morning. The practice had taken his attention off his upset of the morning but he still felt angry.

"No professor." He answered

"Exactly." Dumbledore said. "You see Yannick, you can never solve an upset with anger or violence, but only by facing the upset and talking about it to someone, preferably the person responsible for that same upset. You should try to talk to Alexandra, I am sure you will find her to be a very good listener."

Yannick looked at the headmaster in disbelief. How had he known?

"I am sorry for my behavior Sir." He said.

"You have nothing to be sorry about Yannick." Dumbledore replied with a twinkle of amusement in his eye. "I suggest you pack up your things and enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. I am sure you will find Hogsmeade very amusing and relaxing. It has been a pleasure talking to you Yannick." Dumbledore added before dissaparating.

Yannick stood there for a minute and then charmed the the arrows and the target to him. He put all his thing neatly back in the bag and hurried back to the castle and to his dorm. He took a second shower as the practice had left him sweating, changed clothes and then headed back towards the castle's exit. He was in the entrance hall when he heard a voice call his name. That voice made him stop cold in his tracks. He turned to see Alexandra coming towards him.

"You forgot your cloak in the dining hall this morning" She told him, handing his gray cloak.

"Oh... I had not realized." He answered. "I... stormed out so fast that I completely forgot about it. Thanks."

"No problem." She told him.

"I thought that you were in Hogsmeade with Sean and your friend." Yannick told her.

"Well, they went there but I did not accompany them." She answered. "I mean the main reason I had agreed in the first place was so I could talk to you and you had decided to not go so..." She shrugged.

They stood there, not saying anything until Alexandra spoke again.

"Is there anything you would like to tell me Yannick?"

"No... well... yeah but... I dunno really..." He answered.

"Yannick Silverleaf." She sighed, sounding a bit annoyed. "Will you or will you not tell me the reason you have been evading my every attempts to talk to you? You have been avoiding me since we first met two weeks ago." She looked at him straight in the eyes. "Yannick, what is wrong?"

"Alex I... I don't really know... I..." He started, sitting down on one of the stone benches in the entrance hall.

"What is it?" She asked sitting by him. "Is it that you don't like me?"

"Alex, no." He said looking at her. "It is not that. I do like you... a lot. It's just that..."

"What?" she asked him gently.

"I... I'm afraid." He answered.

"Afraid of what Nick?" She asked.

"Afraid... Afraid of getting close." He started. "Afraid of getting too close to someone. Afraid of being hurt when I lose that person care about."

"So... you are afraid that you would lose me if we got to close. Is that it?" She asked.

Yannick nodded.

"Why?" She asked. "Why would you lose me?"

"It... It's hard to explain." He told her.

"Try me Nick." She answered.

Yannick looked at her. Her eyes looked at him in a way that told him that she was ready to hear anything. He sighed.

"When I was ten years old, I had a close friend." He started. "A girl. Her name was Gwendall. She was very pretty, blonde, hazel eyes, always laughing, always ready to listen. We had known each other since we were three years old. Our parents were very good friends, her own father was helping mine restoring an enchanted forest in France."

He bent down, his elbows resting on his knees and his eyes looking at the floor.

"Anyway, we were so close... almost inseparable. Our parents considered it a brother and sister thing but we both knew it was more than that. I could not even think about spending some time without her being around. Altair was with us as well, taking part in our games. We even had talked of getting married when we graduated from wizard school, she was supposed to come in the same school than mine." He added, feeling tears rising in his eyes. "But then, that same year, right before Christmas."

He felt tears coming down his eyes onto his cheeks. Alexandra placed her hand on his back.

"She had gone to her house that was on the other side of the forest to get something. She was to be back on time for the dinner. She did not arrive. We contacted her parents and they told us she had left towards our house several hours ago. There was a snow storm outside. I stormed out of my home to find her, calling Altair to help me. I had a hankerchief from her and I gave it to him so he could pick up her scent. The only thing was..." He paused. "the snow storm had hidden her tracks and Altair could hardly pick up anything in that weather. I looked for most of the night, screaming her name, desperate to find her. The snow storm stopped at some point and the sky cleared. I found her just before dawn. She looked so peaceful, she had found a hollow in a tree and had used it to protect herself of the weather. I was overjoyed, I had found her. She seemed to be sleeping. It's only when I reached and gave her a gentle nudge that I realized that she... she wasn't. She was frozen. Dead and frozen. I don't know how long I was there holding her body and crying. All I know is that our fathers found us, they had followed the mourning howls of Altair."

He paused. Grief had overcome him and he could not utter a word. After a moment he continued.

"I woke up in my bed at home, my mother standing at my side. I had gone delusional for a week, sick from pneumonia. I kept on thinking what would have happened if I had gone with her, if I had stopped her from going and went on thinking about a thousand other ways I could have prevented her from dying." He said. "I failed her. I could have saved her but I failed her. And now, she is gone, forever."

Yannick sat there, silently weeping and letting out the grief he had help for too long. He felt Alexandra pulling him into a comforting embrace. He rested his head on her shoulder, still weeping.

"Nick." He heard her say. "You did not fail her. It is not you fault. You were still an underage wizard, you had not even started school yet. What could a ten year old do against the fury of the elements?" She asked him.

"I lived my whole life near the forest." He said. "I should have found her faster."

"Stop it Nick. Stop blaming yourself." Alexandra answered. "It is not your fault and never was. You did everything a boy your age possibly could to find her and you found her. Too late, but you did find her. You almost died yourself just to find her. Who knows if others would have found her body if you had not?" She told him. She pulled out of the embrace and looked at him in the eyes. "You know what? I think that wherever she is right now she is happy. Happy to have had you as such a close friend. Happy that you went through the impossible to find her. Happy that you found her body, so her parents would know what had happened."

Yannick looked at her, his eyes still wet from the tears he had shed.

"Now I will tell you this Nick." She continued. "You are not going to lose me. I met you two weeks ago and I found a young man who could loose his temper and blame others but who also saw his own mistakes. Someone that was ready to even help a person he hardly knew. And that is why I am trying to be your friend, to talk to you, to try to know you better... because I liked what I saw. Wherever our friendship will take us, if it works out or not, I don't care, I want you to know, you will not lose me."

She pulled him back into an embrace, his arms embracing her as well this time. They pulled out of it after a few minutes, Yannick wiping a few remaining tears from his eyes.

"God!" he said "I feel like such a baby."

"But it helps, doesn't it?" She asked.

"Yeah... yeah it does. Thanks." He replied. "A lot." He smiled.

"You are more than welcome." She told him.

They sat there, still looking at each other, not saying anything, until Alexandra spoke again.

"So... Were you planning on doing anything special today?" She asked him.

"Yeah... well... I was planning to head towards Hogsmeade and discover the place," He answered. "But now I realize I don't really know how to go there."

"Well." She told him with a smile. "I was going there myself. I can show you the way if you don't mind me joining you."

"I would not mind at all." He answered her with a grin

"Excellent!" She answered. "Let's go then!" She added taking him by the arm and getting him to stand up from the bench.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Whew! That was a tough, tough one to write, especially where Yannick spills out what is bothering him.

I hope you enjoyed it as well.

Edited by Wolf, 23 September 2004 - 12:57 PM.

.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

.:Recommended Fics:.
Entropist and Lumia (aka: gmhpfan)
Fic World (repository of fics by Wolf, Entropist and Lumia)
Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#8
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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Sylvain,
regardless of our exchange of pms – which have absolutely been my pleasure – you keep surprising me, and more and more with your productiveness and ideas.

Even Altair surprised me. Though I guessed that the dark figure was Yannick's animal companion, I didn't think it would be a wolf – while I guess I should have guessed that, too! The interaction between Yannick and Altair left the real nature of their relationship mysterious enough, while it was touching, because you had already given me the impression that Yannick was somehow lonely. That impression was gradually strengthened, so I could conclude myself that he didn't let anybody really close, before he said it. Still, the tragedy was a complete surprise.

I somehow felt you could have dropped some hints in his thoughts instead of allowing him to pour it out so abruptly and so soon, but admittedly the scene was impressive, and now he and Alexandra can move on in their friendship. I trust it won't be a full-fledged romance. I really enjoyed Yannick's opposition, when Sean was trying his best to turn this into a story about dating among teenagers (which just isn't exactly my cup of tea).

I feel compelled to say that this story reserves to be told in a language which has as few spelling and grammatical errors as possible. I trust that if you just harness your inspiration and slow down a bit, you'll find something to correct, while rereading what you have written, and a reader or another will have time to point out something, too.

Especially the dialogue flows effortlessly, and I enjoyed the alternating between scenes with more and less tension. There was a nice contrast between Yannick (as he felt it) harassed by Sean and the soothing effect, which was if not quite achieved, at least systematically sought, in the archery scene. And in order to mention one more surprise, I first wondered why Dumbledore bothered to interfere in a dating problem, but I was soon to find out that there was more to it than that and that the all-knowing headmaster wanted to help Yannick cope with it.
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#9
harrysbabe

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I just love this fanfic Sylvain,you are a really good writer :lol: ,next chapter please!!
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Wolf

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Ok! Time for an update!

Eija - thanks a lot for your feedback, both in this thread and in your PMs. This is helping me a lot and actually, slowing down a bit with my writing and really looking over what I was writing made me enjoy it much more.

I am glad you liked Altair, I think it makes it interesting to have a companion other than an owl or cat around. I am not going to reveal a lot but Nickie and Altair share quite a bond, but this will be explained later in the story.

Alex and Nickie are as you have correctly guessed, good friends now and I enjoyed writing the tragedy part. I felt I had to explain a bit the reason of the remoteness of Yannick when it came to Alex.

As a side note, you should check out the Google me this thread in the games forum and see the picture someone found when I asked for a pic of a wolf. (Around page 14 or so)

harrysbabe - I know you have not posted in this thread yet.... Scratch what I just said, you posted a reply as I was making my own update! :wub: Thank you for reading and I am glad you are enjoying this fanfic. Knowing this makes me want to write more and I hope you will like this next chapter.

Well, here is the new chapter. Took me a while to find a way to start it but once it was, it came on quite easily.

Enjoy!
:lol:

Chapter 5: Letter
-----------------------

A few days later Yannick was sitting at his working desk in his dorm. He had realized earlier that day that it had been more than two weeks that he had written to his parents and had decided that it was better to get it done now than to risk receiving a howler reminding him. He had a blank piece of parchment laid out in front of him on the desk. He was however not writing but was nipping the end of his quill, his eyes looking at random on the room's ceiling. He glanced at the room's door as he heard some noise from the common room. Sean had not come back to the room yet and he was thankful for that, it would have been impossible to write something with him around.

"Where do I start? The past weeks have been packed..."

He straightened back in his chair, dipped his quill in the ink receptacle and started.

Dearest mom and dad,

I take the opportunity that I am alone in my room to write you this letter. I had meant to write sooner but the days here at Hogwarts have been packed. Very nice lessons though, I am learning quite a lot of things.

Charm class is going like a charm.
He laughed internally at the unintended pun. We were mainly perfecting our skills at basic charms until now but yesterday Professor Flitwick demonstrated a rather complicated charm. A kind of advanced version of the Wingardium Leviosa charm. We basically will use it to make a heavy weight levitate (right now it is only 30 kilos but he said we can lift up to 200 kilos or more with this charm) and move to another space in the room. He said that we should soon be able to use it to levitate unconscious persons, but that before that we would need to learn how to use another charm at the same time, to keep the person stable. Sounds hard to master.

Divination is actually much more interesting than it ever was in Morbihan's school for wizardry. Firenze, the centaur who teaches us, really seems to know what he is talking about but he has a way to say things that keeps on making the subject mysterious. Makes you wonder if anyone ever really understood Divination but also make the classes highly interesting. We right now are learning how to draw predictions from the positions of the stars and this is where I am thankful that I was good at astronomy, some of the other students are having trouble there.

Speaking of astronomy, Hogwarts is very ideal for that. The tower we use is the highest of the castle and you can really see all the constellations that exist in our hemisphere. I even discovered stars I had never seen before! Very interesting.

I actually think that my favorite class right now is Defense Against the Dark Arts. Now there are the skills that will help me in the future! And what is best, they have a retired Auror teaching us and boy does he know what he is talking about! Just today we had a whole two hours practical lesson. We were practicing our hexes in turn and then learning how to repel them. He told us today that we would soon learn a defense spell that could stop most hexes and curses. I can't wait for that one, especially as I want to become an Auror later on.

Transfiguration is progressing. I am not yet able to turn a kettle into a living duck (I blew up my kettle the last time I tried) but professor McGonagall says that I am improving. She might be a very strict teacher but she is very competent at what she does.

Care of Magical creatures is quite interesting as well. The teacher, Hagrid, is also the gameskeeper of Hogwarts. He knows the forest that is next to the castle very well and a few days ago, he managed to capture some Unicorn foals to show to the class. I must say that I have never seen anything so pure. He also takes care of Altair who seems to have well adjusted to his new environment. Just yesterday I heard him howling in a hunt chase so I don't think there is problems for him with his new surroundings. He just does not yet really understand why he can't follow me inside Hogwarts. I guess it is only a matter of time before he gets use to the idea of me being in a house he can't enter in.

This last week end we also had an outing to Hogsmeade, the small village right by Hogwarts. It is nice to be in an all magical village. I got the guided tour by a fellow student from the Ravenclaw house, Alexandra. She showed me all the nook and cranny of this village. I wish there were more villages like that one around, it would be so much easier for us to live peacefully.

Oh, if you could let Gran know, this same Alexandra commented that she really liked the design of our silverleaf crest. "Nice, yet simple" she said. Knowing the time Gran puts into making them, I am sure she will appreciate the comment.

Anyway, enough about me, what about you all? How is work? Are the days still packed or back to normal? Has everything arrived from France to our new home now? How is my little cousin doing back in France? Any news from the rest of the family? I am thinking a lot about you all and can't wait until the Christmas holidays to see you again. I miss you both.

Lots of love.

Your son, Yannick.

PS for dad: I am looking into a name I encountered here in Hogwarts and which has caught my attention as it does not sound familiar. It is the name "Dewitt" (I think I spelt it right). Could you have a look and see what comes up on it? Just curious. Thanks in advance.


Yannick looked over what he had just written, feeling quite satisfied with himself. He corrected some errors here and there and then, having ensured the ink was dried, he rolled up the parchment and tied a silver ribbon around it. He then opened the drawer under his desk and took out a stick of red wax. Reaching under his shirt, he took out a silver chain to which was attached a signet ring. He held the ring in between his fingers for a moment, looking over as the complex pattern of leaves surrounding his two reversed initials engraved on it. He heated up the end of the wax stick with the lit up candle that was on his desk and carefully made an oval shape of liquid wax on the rolled parchment, making it go on the ribbon as well. He quickly pressed the signet ring on the still hot wax and then took it off. His signet was clearly visible on the wax now. He looked at his watch, nine thirty in the evening.

"Too late to give it to an owl to deliver. I'll have to do it tomorrow morning."

Leaving the letter on his desk, he stood up and stretched, enjoying the feeling it gave him.
"God! I am so tired I could sleep a week!"

He then started to undress to go in bed.

"Sean is still not back. I wonder what he is doing."

Putting his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, he went over to his trunk, which was at the end of his bed. He opened it and went through his clothes. He took out what he would wear the next day and then took out a book, "Magical and mysterious creatures of the forests". His father had given this to him on his thirteenth birthday and although he had read it many times before, he always enjoyed going trough it again. He sent the book on his bed and was closing his trunk when Sean came into the room, looking disappointed. He was holding his wizard chess box set and his medium blond hair looked as if he had just gotten out of bed. Yannick knew that this showed he had had a rough game and from Sean's expression, he had not won.

"I just don't get it!" Sean said. "Ernie makes it seem so easy to play chess sometimes. His chess pieces did not even object to the moves he made. Mine kept complaining, driving me nuts. How can anyone win a game that way?"

"Depends on how much control you have on your chess set." Yannick answered. "I rarely have trouble with my own set now, but I have it since quite a while."

"Maybe you should borrow your set to me one day." Sean said.

Yannick let out a short laugh.

"Not unless you want to be severely trounced by your opponent, my friend." He said. "They only understand French."

"Oy." Sean said. "Thats right. That is how you win then?"

"No Sean." Yannick laughed. "I pay attention to my game, that's all. Unlike you." He added with a grin.

"Why you! I am not that bad a player!" Sean said, taking one of the pawns in his chess box and throwing it towards Yannick.

The pawn missed him but both boys distinctively heard it shout "BANZAI!!!" as it flew and then as it landed "Ow! Ouch! Not only is he a bad player but he can't even bloody aim right!".

They looked at each other and started laughing madly.

"See?" Yannick said between laugh. "Told you so!"

"Yeah." Sean answered, moving to pick the pawn up and put it back in the box. "I think they are conspiring against me. " He added, laughing harder.

Yannick snorted. "Mine were that way as well when I first got them. Takes a little while for a set to adjust to a new user. That's why you don't really see players asking for the set of another person." He added.

"Could you imagine Ernie's face if we made him play with your set?" Sean asked, stifling a laugh and then mimicking. "Come on you lousy stupid piece of stone! I said pawn to E4, so move already!" "And then your pawn turning around to him and saying" "Pawdon? Vouz parlez Frwancais?" **

Yannick burst out laughing again just at the thought of it.

"Man! That would be brilliant!" he said. "An event to capture with a wizard camera."

They continued laughing at different situations, each mimicking someone in turn.

"Oy! Mate!" Sean said looking at his watch. "Time for bed if we want to be fresh in the morning."

"Yeah, I am planning on waking up early." Yannick said. "Need to do something before breakfast." he added.

"Ooooh." Sean said with a mischievous grin. "Meeting Alex in a little 'tete-a-tete', by any chance."

"Thats dangerous territory, Sean." he warned playfully. "You know that."

"Right. So why do you need to wake up early then?" Sean asked.

"I just need to send this letter to my family" he said, pointing to the parchment roll on his desk.

"That's it? Nothing mysterious? No cloak and dagger stuff?" Sean asked.

"Nope. Just a plain letter." he answered.

"Awww, mate!" Sean complained. "Bo-ring!"

"Yup." Yannick laughed, getting in bed. "I guess I live a pretty boring life."

"You have no idea." Sean told him sarcastically.

"Right. Goodnight Sean." he said, rolling over to face the wall.

"Night, mate." he heard Sean say.

************

When he woke up the next day Yannick thought he had over-slept. After a little moment of panic and frantically looking for his watch, he was reassured by hearing Sean moving in his bed and grumbling, still fast asleep. He found his watch which had fallen from his bedside table and looked at the time. He had still two hours before breakfast, enough time for him to send his letter and enjoy some exercise outside. He got out of bed and stretched, yawning at the same time and then shivered. The room had gotten colder overnight. He dressed in comfortable clothes took the letter from his desk and went out of his dorm, Sean still soundly asleep. He made his way trough the common room. The two prefects of his house were already up and were talking together by the room's fireplace. The girl's prefect took notice of him as he passed.

"Where are you going Yannick?" she asked him.

"Just going to send this letter by owl and then a good hour of exercise outside." he replied.

"Alright." she told him. "Just don't do anything stupid at the same time."

"Don't worry because of me on that." he replied, going out the entrance.

He made his way towards the owlery. He greeted the Gryffindor ghost, Nearly-headless Nick, on the way. He also waited a few minutes before entering into a corridor at one point as Peeves was once again creating havoc in there throwing ink balloons in random directions. Being shot at by the school's poltergeist, especially with one of those, was the last thing he wanted the early morning. He had to wait for Peeves to be chased away from that corridor by an angry Filch. Once the coast was clear of both Peeves and Filch, he continued and reached the owlery a few minutes later.

For some reason this owlery amazed him each time he saw it from the inside. Located in the West tower of Hogwarts, the stone room was the home of hundreds of owls of every breed imaginable and they came in every sizes. Some were the owls of Hogwarts but most were belonging to students. He slightly shivered at the cold air when he entered as the room had no glass on any of its windows. He then made his way towards the school's owls, walking on a floor that was a mixture of hay, owl dropping and regurgitated owl pellets of mice, voles or other rodents. He reached a group of four owls that were huddled together on the same perch. He chose one and poked it gently to get its attention. The Tawny owl looked at him with its sharp eyes.

"I need this letter delivered to my parents." He told him, showing the rolled up parchment. "Can you take care of that?"

The owl blinked and stood still for a few seconds, as if considering his request. It then hooted and presented its right leg so Yannick could attach the letter to it. As soon as he had done that, the owl spread its wings and flew off through one of the windows of the room. Yannick looked at it go until it was only a small black dot in the morning sky.

"Wonder how long it will take to reach them." He wondered. "Probably a day or so."

He set out of the owlery and made his way to the entrance hall of the castle, which was starting to come more alive as more of its inhabitants started to wake up for the new day. On his way down he saw two other students, a boy and a girl, both with bright red hair and sporting Gryffindor's colors, making their way in his direction. They seemed to be going to the owlery as well. The boy was about his age and height but the girl looked about a year younger. He heard them talking to each other, apparently arguing about something.

"I am telling you, Pig will not be able to deliver this package on his own." The boy was saying, pointing to a package the girl was carrying.

"Well," the girl countered. "We will have to find another owl to help him with it then."

They continued talking to each other while walking towards the owlery, not even sparing a glance at Yannick as he passed them in the corridor.

"Pig?" he wondered to himself. "That's a weird name for an owl."

He came out of the castle a few minutes later. The air was still fresh but the morning sun was starting to warm it already. Yannick set out to jog making his way around the castle and going towards the forbidden forest. He did not enter the forest when he reached it but continued jogging near it. He was coming more close to the whomping willow when a howl coming from the forest caught his attention. He turned around and smiled as he saw Altair coming out of the forest and heading towards him. The black wolf seemed as healthy as ever.

"Hey Altair." he said as the wolf reached him. "How are you today my friend?"

The wolf answered by giving him a push with his head and then turning around him, letting his mass rest on Yannick's right leg as he came to a stop. Yannick started petting the wolf's head with his right hand.

"Glad to hear it. Not doing too bad myself."

Yannick paused, looking at the forest and continuing to pet Altair.

"Say," He asked, looking down to the wolf. "What do you say about a good wrestle? Like the ones we used to do in France."

Altair looked up at him, his golden eyes looking into Yannick's own. Then, without warning, the wolf gave him a big shove in his legs, causing Yannick to struggle to stay on his feet.

"Yow! That's cheating! I was not ready you sly fox." he laughed, and then launched himself at the wolf, trying to catch him.

The game went on for a good half hour, neither of the two really having the upper hand on the other. Yannick played unconscious at one point, causing the wolf to stop and come over to look at him. Then when, he felt the wolf's snout near his face, he blew in his face, causing the wolf to leap back, sneezing.

"Heh! Got you this time." he told his companion.

He was standing up again when he felt something hard under his leg. Looking down and still crouching he picked a piece of metal from the ground. He recognized the motif instantly, having seen it for years, but he wondered. What was it doing here? What was a silverleaf crest doing on Hogwarts' grounds?

** The weird French spelling is intentional - Wolf

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Hope you liked it. :lol:

Edited by Wolf, 23 September 2004 - 12:58 PM.

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Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

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Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#11
Entropist

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Okay, Sylvain, et c'est parti pour le commentaire... hehehe!

So, in order for everyone to understand, I'll get this one in english (ce serait dommage de paumer les autres, hein?).
This is a very interesting fic, y'know? I really like the way you build your character (and NO, that's not because he's french, I'm not that stubborn). He's very deep, and the background you're developping is really intriguing.

I also like the fact that We're seeing some Hufflepuff in your story. I had some kind of same idea. Why would it always be Gryffindor? this is the reason why Ian is in Ravenclaw in my story. So we're in to learn more about the Hufflepuff House? Very good.

the relationship with Alexandra is a nice touch. Well written, coherent, not overly romantic or "pinky stuff", you see?

You have a real good job at getting the tone for the Canon characters (Dumbledore is very well rendered).

And last, I aboslutely love Altair... so cool to have a wolf as a pet! After a Dragon, I would love to have a wolf...

Well, that's pretty much it... keep up like this, And I'll be here to read it...

Et voilà:lol:

Second Coming of the King of Terrors!
Back from the Dead!

The inquisitorial vengeance had been hurried by my two-fold escape, and there was to be no more dallying with the King of Terrors
Edgar Allan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum)


My fiction reborn:
Harry Potter and the Seal of Chaos REDUX

#12
marymcbeth

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Sylvain, I'm enjoying your story. Yannik seems a responsible and level headed young man. I like that kind. I hope telling Alexandra about his loss will help him heal and forgive himself a little bit. I love Altair. Making him sneeze shows you know about wrestling with a canine. I'm wondering what the family crest used to be like and why Grandma felt she had to change it. Looking forward to finding out...
MBeth

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#13
PaulaMcG

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Sylvain,
I guess it was a good idea to give us basic information on Yannick's classes in a different way from making us sit in the classrooms. Both the contents and the style of the letter reveal us a bit more about Yannick's personality, too, but moderately, well suiting with what have already been able to conclude. The letter shows what a serious student and a caring son he is. He's honest but positive when describing in detail how he is doing in each class.

He doesn't complain about anything to his parents, which makes me feel he really needed to confide in Alexandra. I hope that he'll be able to continue to reveal his insecurities and negative feelings to her, and that maybe thus he'll manage to turn them into something more positive. It's intriguing he doesn't avoid mentioning the fact that he's made good friends with a girl – but he doesn't say the name he's interested in belongs to that girl.

When Yannick uses the signet ring – even if the action is simple and normal – his concentration builds up a special atmosphere. The moment subtly evokes a feeling of Yannick being reminded of who he really is.

It's a nice contrast to the previous chapter to see Yannick in calm action, writing and visiting the owlery, and finally enjoying Altair's company. The livelier scene with Sean is well placed in the middle. Wonderful interaction between mates who accept the fact that they are different. I wonder if Sean is muggle born. And I wonder if Yannick's life is as boring as it seems – and if it will stay as ordered as it is. But I'm sure he'll be startled when something unexpected happens.
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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
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#14
harrysbabe

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Yet another great chapter ^_^ i'm really enjoying this,Yannik is a really good character,it's refreshing to read about different common rooms and situations instead of Harry,Ron etc.Keep them coming!!
xHarrysbabex ^_^
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#15
Wolf

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Wow! A lot of replies!

Erwan - Right, if we start speaking French here we will loose the others completely. Glad you like this fic. Funny to think that I am making Yannick come from the part of France you live in, Britanny. It is a part of France that is still very alive with its legends and myths. I really like it. I thought the wolf would be a nice addition to a world where we have mainly Owls, cats and rats. Beside JKR never said really what other companions student have in other schools and so it could very well be that a student might have a wolf.

marymcbeth - Glad you are enjoying this fic as well and you are correct. I know how to wrstle with a canine as I usually play around with my Aunt's dog that way. For the crest, we discover a bit more about it in this next chapter.

harrysbabe - Thank you for your nice comment. It is very apreciated. I hope you enjoy this next chapter.

Eija - Again, thanks a lot for your comment and PM. It really helps to have someone who points out these points. Sean is Muggle born, as you correctly deduced and Yannick is quite close to him as roommate. Glad you liked the pace of this chapter, I wanted to make something more calm after the more fast paced chapters of before. This next one picks up pace again however. ;)

Well here is numero six. I want to warn that I might have problems to write as fast as I just did previously, work is picking up again and I need to cope with that.


Chapter 6: Crest
------------------------

Yannick turned the silverleaf crest in his hand, examining it at different angles. It was definitely of the same composition as his own brooch and he had no doubt it emanated from the same source. Yet, something was bothering him. The design of the crest was wrong. It was looking like the three leaf design of the silverleaf crest, much like a Fleur-de-Lys. This old design had been in use in his family until his grand-mother designed the new one, just before he entered wizard school. The crest he held in his hand, however, lacked some parts of that same old design, as if it were from even before. Yet, when he looked closely at the crest, he could not really detect any sign of age that would fit it. It looked too new.

He turned to Altair, who had come closer to him, and presented him the crest in his open palm.

"What do you think?" He asked the wolf

Altair came closer to the crest, sniffing it and looking at it intently. He then looked at Yannick again and uttered a low growling noise.

"Yeah, I don't like it either." he told the wolf. "There is something not right with it."

He continued looking at the crest, lost in his thoughts, until the sound of a bell from the castle brought him back into reality. He looked at his watch.

"Oh man! I only have fifteen minutes before breakfast starts." He turned to Altair. "Listen, I need you to be on the lookout for anything suspicious that could relate to this crest. I'm going to send it to Gran as soon as I can but if you spot anything, you let me know. Alright?"

Altair looked at him and then gave him a push on the shoulder with his head, showing his understanding. Giving the wolf a last hug, he stood up and ran back to the castle.

As he came in the castle he saw students of different houses already heading towards the dining hall. He hurried to the Hufflepuff common room and as he entered, met Sean who was apparently waiting for him.

"Hey mate! You are late!" Sean said seeing him coming in.

"Yeah sorry." he answered, heading toward his dorm. "I was a bit delayed."

"You can tell me about it in the dining hall." Sean replied, going out the entrance. "I'll keep you a seat but you need to hurry."

Yannick took twenty minutes to get himself refreshed and ready. He grabbed his bag, making sure he did not forget any books for the day's lessons and left out again from the dorm and a few moments after, from the common room. When he entered the dining hall he looked at the Ravenclaw table but saw that most of the 6th years had apparently eaten already and that Alexandra was not there. He went straight to the Hufflepuff table and sat down by Sean.

"So what happened mate?" Sean asked. "It is not really you to be late in the morning, even when you exercise."

Yannick helped himself with some eggs and bacon.

"Yeah, I know." he answered between bites. "It's just that... I found something that I did not expect while I was outside."

"Really? What is it?"

"This." Yannick took the crest out of his pocket and gave it to Sean.

"Nice! Looks a bit like the brooch you have on your cloak." Sean said.

"Yeah well," Yannick told him, grabbing some toasts and marmalade. "I am pretty sure that it comes from my family, we're the only ones to have this crest as far as I know. The only problem with this one is that it is an old design. The brooch I have is the latest one, about 6 years old now. This one bears part of the design that was used before my brooch, the Fleur-de-Lys one."

"Fleur de what? Mate, you lost me here."

"Oh, sorry." he said. "The Fleur-de-Lys is a heraldic symbol in France that looks a bit like this crest, only that it is vertical and not horizontal. I think it was used in France by the King exclusively. Not too sure though, my Muggle history is not that good."

"I can't really help you on that part mate," Sean replied "I only studied English and Scottish Muggle history. Never got as far as France in my old Muggle school."

"No problem." he answered, downing his last toast and finishing his mug of juice. "How long do we have before the first lesson today? We are with Binns for the entire morning, right?"

"Yup, still fifteen minutes." Sean answered. "We'd better go though, we have the class with the Slytherins and I don't want them to take all the best seats."

"Well, lets go then, I am done eating anyway." he replied.

They stood up and grabbing their bags, left the dining hall.

"Anyway," Yannick continued. "The problem with the crest I found this morning is it has a design that is similar to the old one, but is missing some of the refinements. That means it would be an even older design. For all I know, it could be over a hundred or more years old."

"Wow!!" Sean exclaimed.

"Yeah... the only problem though is that it looks too new. I mean, I have seen some crests made in the old design before and none of them looked as new as this one. It is really weird. Plus, how it got onto Hogwarts ground in the first place. I really don't know."

They arrived in front of Professor Binn's classroom where sixth year students of both Hufflepuff and Slytherin were waiting.

"Sounds fishy if you ask me." Sean answered him.

"That is exactly what I thought." Yannick said. "I even showed it to Altair. He did not like it either..."

"Who is Altair?" said a haughty voice behind them, interrupting him.

Yannick suppressed a shudder when he heard the voice. He turned to face the sixth year Slytherin he had come to know as Draco Malfoy. He looked at the pale blond boy who was overshadowed by his usual gorillas, Crabbe and Goyle.

"What do you want Malfoy?" he asked coolly.

"I asked you a question Froggie." Malfoy replied "But perhaps your last flight down the stairs damaged your hearing?" he added with a sneer on his face.

Crabbe and Goyle sniggered at the remark. Yannick felt a sudden urge to punch one of them, any of the three would have done just fine.

"Altair is my animal companion." he answered, keeping his temper.

"You mean that big oversized black dog you were playing with this morning?" Malfoy asked.

Yannick nodded.

"Looks pretty stupid to me." Malfoy said.

Yannick felt Sean moving forward beside him but he held him back.

"First off Malfoy, it is a wolf. Not a dog. Second, that wolf is more intelligent than the pea sized brains of you and your goons put together."

Malfoy went livid.

"You..." he started, reaching for the wand in his pocket.

But before he could do anything, the door to the History classroom opened and Professor Binns asked the students to come in.

"You have not heard the end of this Silverleaf." Malfoy muttered, passing in front of Yannick.

"Keep your distances from me Malfoy or you will regret it." he answered icily.

Yannick entered the classroom with Sean, who pulled him to a desk at the far left, away from the Slytherins.

"Well that was intense." Sean told him

"I hate him." Yannick answered "I really do."

Sean let out a low chuckle and patted him on the back.

"Welcome to the club mate." he said.

They waited for Binns to start his class, which did not take long. After less than ten minutes he was speaking about yet another Goblin rebellion that took place in the 19th century. This had a soporific effect on at least half of the class, which Binns, staying true to his nature, took no notice of whatsoever.

"So," Sean asked Yannick in a low voice. "What are you going to do about this crest you found?"

"I don't really know to tell you the truth Sean." he answered. "I think the best is that I send it to my family so they can take a look at it. I am sure my grand-mother will be able to discover where it comes from. She is the one that designed the brooch I have currently." he added.

"Sounds like a good idea." Sean told him.

Most of the Hufflepuff class was trying to show some interest to the endless speech of Professor Binns and were taking notes. Most of the Slytherins were not hiding their boredom though and several, including Crabbe and Goyle, were actually asleep.

"Doesn't he at least realize that people fall asleep? I mean Crabbe is positively snoring!" Yannick asked Sean.

"Who, Binns?" Sean asked "Forget it mate! We are lucky if he actually hears the bell ring at the end of the class. The rumor has it that he actually was a professor here when he was alive. He died in his bed one night but came to teach class the next day as a ghost as if nothing had happened. Wonder if he ever realized he was dead." he added with a chuckle.

Yannick suppressed a laugh. He continued to take notes but after thirty minutes stopped as he could not really see the point of doing so. Who cared about the names of the Goblin leaders anyway? He took a small piece of parchment and decided to write a note to his grand-mother about the crest he had found.

Dear Gran,

I hope all is well for you back in France. It is a bit weird to think that only a few month ago we were living very close to each other but that now we have a sea and countless miles that separate us. I miss France but I also like it here at Hogwarts. I never was in a more fascinating school and already made a few friends. I have been sorted into the Hufflepuff house, the house of the hard workers. Altair has well adjusted to England and I see him as often as I can. Just did some exercise with him this morning as a matter of fact.

I unfortunately am writing to you for something completely different. While I was wrestling around with Altair this morning I found the enclosed crest on the grounds of Hogwarts. I am puzzled by it. It bears resemblance with the old crest we used to have but it is lacking some of the finer details I can remember that design had. This one seems older in design but yet if that were true, its state is too new. It is almost as new as the brooch I have on my cloak. I also showed it to Altair and he does not like it at all either. He will warn me if there is anything unusual going on around.

I felt that you should know this as soon as possible. I will let you know o anything new I find and, of course, of anything Altair reports to me.

I miss you a lot Gran and I really hope to be able to see you for the Christmas holidays.

Lots of love, Yannick.


Yannick looked at the letter over. It was not too fancy but it was the best he could do during a class without being caught, not that there was much danger in that particular one anyway. He cautiously asked Sean for an envelope. After having written his grand-mother's name on it, he put the crest along with the short letter in it. He took out a piece of sealing wax he always carried around in his pocket in case of emergencies, took out his signet ring and then, having made sure that Professor Binns was still lecturing on while making sketches of a battle on the blackboard, he whispered to his wand.

"Inflamare."

The wand sprouted a small flame at its end and he used it to melt some wax on the envelope. When he had enough he blew the flame out and applied his signet on the still liquid wax, sealing the envelope. He looked around the class again cautiously, apart from Sean, no-one seemed to have taken notice of what he had done.

The class went on without any incident and when the bell rang, they packed and headed towards the dining hall to have lunch. Yannick ate fast however. He wanted to make sure that the letter went before going to his next class. This was the one class he had become to really like, Herbology with the Ravenclaws, and he did not want to be late for it at any cost. He rushed to the owlery again and sent his letter. Then he headed back down, making his way to the Herbology class. He had to take a sudden left turn into another corridor at one point. Malfoy had appeared at the end of the corridor he was going down and the last thing that Yannick wanted was to give a chance for Malfoy to take another hit at him.

He arrived to the Herbology greenhouse as the students were starting to enter. He sat again with Sean and was pleased to see that Alexandra was sitting at the table that was at his right. She gave him a smile when he looked at her. The class began and Professor Sprout started explaining the different healing properties of plants and asked questions to students at random.

"Miss Dewitt," she asked at one point. "I am suffering from a dire toothache and I have in my hand some whistling leaves. Should I just eat them to make the toothache go away?"

Yannick noticed that Alexandra did not know that answer and he saw her look briefly at him. He mouthed a "No".

"No Professor." Alexandra replied.

"Ah, and why is that please?" Professor Sprout asked her, looking a bit surprised at her answer.

Alexandra hesitated, clearly not knowing the answer to that one. Yannick raised his hand.

"Yes Mister Silverleaf?"

"The whistling leaf has many healing properties and can cure many ills when chewed." he answered "This is due to its sap. However it needs to enter the bloodstream before it hits the ill body part. If it hits it before, it will almost always worsen the ill. A way to handle a toothache using this remedy would be either to infuse the leaves, making the sap bond with the water or dip a cloth in the sap itself and apply it on the part of the cheek where the toothache is located, letting it enter the bloodstream by the pores."

Professor Sprout was beaming.

"A very good answer Mister Silverleaf, ten points for Hufflepuff and another ten points to Ravenclaw for Miss Dewitt's own answer."

"Nice save mate" he heard Sean whisper to him.

The lesson continued on for another hour until the bell rang. They packed their things and went out the room. Yannick was going out with Sean, ready to head to their next class when he heard Alexandra calling his name.

"I'll see you over there" Sean told him, leaving him with Alexandra.

"Thanks for the save." she told when she reached him. "I really did not know the answer to that one."

"I would have been surprised if you had." he replied with a chuckle. "This stuff is advanced Herbology. You learn it in your seventh year I think." They started walking back towards the castle.

"But then, why did she ask us if she knew we could not answer?"

"I guess she was testing us." he replied

"And so how did you know the correct answer and the reason?" she asked him.

"Well, my father is an expert on plants and their use and my mother is a healer. I lived my whole life in France near an enchanted forest and that is where you can find whistling leaves. Their healing properties are one of the first things my parents taught me." he added.

"Makes sense." she said.

They continued walking until Alexandra spoke again.

"Hey... I was wondering. Are you... doing anything this evening?"

Yannick looked at her, surprised by her question. "Apart from my homework tonight?" he asked. "No. Nothing planned really. Why?"

"Well... Ravenclaw is having its last practice this evening before their match against Slytherin on Saturday and... I was wondering if you would be interested to watch it." she told him

"Sounds fun." he replied with a grin "But are you sure your teammates won't object to that? I could be spying for my own team."

She laughed at the remark. "Nick, we are playing Slytherin, not Hufflepuff. Besides, you could then give pointers to your team so they have a chance to beat Gryffindor." she added with a sly smile.

"Touché!" He told her "Yeah I'll be there. When does it start?"

"Eight in the evening."

"See you on the pitch then," he told her. "I have to go now though. I am going to be late for my next class."

"No problem, I have to go to my own one too. Where are you heading?"

"The dungeon," he replied.

"Let me guess, potions with the ever irascible Snape?"

"Yup." he answered.

"Well, good luck then."

"Thanks Alex. I'll need it." he told her, heading towards the potion class.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Hope you enjoyed it.

Edited by Wolf, 28 September 2004 - 08:25 PM.

.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

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#16
PaulaMcG

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Sylvain,
Last time I was going to mention that I hoped you would describe some individual classes, too, in addition to the summaries included in the letter, and now you did it. It was a pleasure to see some glimpses of canon characters – some teachers and Malfoy with his cronies.

The encounter with Malfoy promises some further confrontations. And the interaction with Alex followed nicely the same pattern as the earlier incident of Yannick helping Sean in chess. Yannick seems to be ready to cheat for his friends' benefit. Besides, the contents of the Herbology question gave you an opportunity to let us know more about Yannick's background.

The mystery of the crest had an appropriately modest role among the routine of the school day. Still, you remembered to take it up every once in a while in order to proceed with the issue.
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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
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#17
harrysbabe

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Yet another great chapter :P I was late reading as i haven't been online much over the weekend!!chapter 7 ??
xHarrysbabex :)
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#18
gmhpfan

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what a very enjoyable story wolf
i cant wait for another installment

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my fics, Harry's Gift, Legacy, Buffallo wings, The Tour, Panto and Remember Pheionix Day

#19
Wolf

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Ooookay! Time for an update!

Eija - Thank you very much for your reply, and your PM that arrived as I was posting this. I had been hesitative of writing about the Cannon characters until now as I did not know if I could capture the way JKR depicts them. I read some specific chapters of OotP again to get me in the mood again, as well as a chapter of the herbology class of COS.

Malfoy was a bit more easy to come across as he is described in details by JKR in her books. And yes, he and Yannick will have more encounters, especially after the rebutal Yannick sent him in teh last chapter. Malfoy does not forget easy, I have seen.

I plan to continue to show different facets of Yannick as I have done so far. You might have nticed now that he is good in Herbology, seeing that this is his father;s field it is not too surprising. All I can say without revealing too much about Yannick is that even he does not realize yet who he is really. He will find this in the chapters.

Harrysbabbe, Gmhpfan - I am very glad that you like my fanfic and I hope you will enjoy this next chapter as well.

One last word for Erwan - Thanks a lot for sending me some of your stories so I could read them. I took one or two ideas from there, you'll recognize them. Your own fanfic are really great and gave me some ideas on how to write mine, although I am trying to keep my style my own.

Okay, here is the next chapter


Chapter 7: Quidditch
--------------------------------

"Beautiful day for the last Quidditch match of the year" Yannick thought as he entered his dorm that Saturday morning. He had awaken early that day and cursed himself for that. He had tried to fall back asleep but failing to do so, had then decided to go out for his morning exercises. That had kept him busy until 8:30AM and all that he needed now was a good shower. He let his archery bag down by his trunk and looked around the room. Sean was not in bed anymore but seeing that his friend's clothes for the day were still there untouched, he knew that he had not gone to eat yet.

"Probably under the shower."

Yannick undressed, put on his bathrobe and headed to the common shower. When he got there he saw that only one of the showers was being used.

"Sean? You there?"

"Yup mate!" He heard Sean answer from the shower. "How was your exercise this morning?"

Yannick entered the shower that was on the left of Sean's. "Not bad. Feeling exhausted but also a lot more awake."

"That is why I do my exercise in the evening" Sean answered. "So I can just crash in bed and sleep the exhaustion away."

"Yeah, well, to each what he prefers." Yannick answered, taking off his bathrobe. He took his wand and flicked it towards the faucet. The water started coming out, nice and hot. "Perfect as always." he thought.

"So," he heard Sean say. "Last game of the year today. Ravenclaw against Slytherin. Should be fun to watch."

"Yeah. Ravenclaw should have it easy."

"Don't be too sure mate. Slytherin is known for playing dirty."

"Well Ravenclaw is quite good from what I saw at their practice. Who does Slytherin have?"

"Well, their captain is Montague, a chaser.Warrington and Pucey are the remaining two chaser of the team. Bletchley is their keeper, and not a good one if you ask me. The beaters are... hold on for this one... Crabbe and Goyle."

Yannick let out a laugh. "Those two gorillas? I did not even know they could fly a broom."

"Miracles happen." Sean continued. "I think Malfoy had a lot to do in them getting on the team in '95. Figures he would feel better having his two bodyguards watching over him while he tries to find the snitch."

Yannick rolled his eyes in disbelief. "That git is their seeker?"

"Yup!" Sean answered. "If you ask me, it had more to do with daddy's money than from his skills on a broom or as a seeker."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that the year he came on the team, the whole Slytherin team had brand Nimbus 2001 brooms."

"Oh."

"Thats why I say that Slytherin is still a hard to beat team." Sean said. "But Ravenclaw should be able to to it still. They have to, I bet two galleons that they would win today."

Yannick chuckled. "Don't worry Sean. I have seen their last practice and I can tell you, they are good."

"Oh, thats right! You attended their last practice. That could be useful for our team as well."

"Sean..."

Yannick heard Sean's shower stopping and his friend stepping out.

"So, what are their preferred tactics to beat a team?" Sean continued.

Yannick laughed. "Oh no my friend! I am keeping my mouth shut on this one. All I can tell you is that they are good."

"Aaww, come on Nick! You can say more than that. Help the team!"

"Sean. Our team is already very good and I am not going to risk my friendship with Alex by playing spy on her team."

He heard Sean chuckle. "You and your honor. Bad spy, no hot water." Yannick heard a flick of a wand and suddenly, his shower was ice cold.

"RAAAAAAH!!! SEAN! GET BACK HERE YOU..." Yannick shouted while trying to catch his friend who had already disappeared from the bathroom. He cursed and then laughing at the prank, flicked his wand towards his shower to get the hot water flowing again. He finished his shower, dried himself and then headed back to his room. Sean was finishing to dress up when he entered.

"No hard feelings mate?" Sean asked him.

"Well, it was quite unexpected." he answered. "Just don't complain to me when I get back to you for it." he added with a wink.

"Oh my! I guess I need to watch my back then..." Sean started with a grin on his face.

"Oh shut up!" Yannick told him, throwing his towel in Sean's face.

Sean laughed and threw the towel back at him. Yannick caught it and put it up to dry on a hanger. Sean had finished to dress and was heading out.

"You are going to take long?" he asked Yannick.

"Just a few minutes" he answered.

"Right. Then I'll wait for you in the common room." he told him. "See you there." he added, going out of the room.

Yannick finished to put on his clothes for the day that consisted of the usual Hogwarts uniform with his house's colors. He took a look at his wand and winced at the sight. Fingerprints could be seen on the sleek and polished mahogany wood. He opened his trunk and took out his wand cleaning material. He first took out any smudge and fingerprints off it, making sure to not add more by holding the wand without a cloth. That done he took out a bottle with a green liquid solution, he dabbed a cloth with it and started applying it to the wand. The wand emitted some blue sparks at its end and the wood started to glow a bit. Yannick smiled. This lotion was a special one made by his father. It consisted of normal wood wax that had been mixed with a plant feeding agent. A little magical touch here and there and his father had come up with a solution that waxed the wood and also kept it nourished and healthy, thus greatly reducing the risk of having one's wand break from wear.

"I would look so stupid if that happened during a spell."

He held the wand at arms length and made several quick moves with it. The wand was slashing the air, making a small noise. He then made a circle movement with the tip, slashed up diagonally through it and then drew an "S". The S shone in a silver light and then changed into the silver leaf emblem.

"Perfect."

He tucked the wand in his belt and put his wand cleaning materials back in the trunk. He was closing the lid of the trunk when his attention was caught by an object in it. He took out a black leather wand-sheath with silver lining. He took out the sheath fro the trunk and held it in his hand. The leather was soft to the touch and the inside had silver velvet lining to protect the wand. Straps on the sheath's back could be adjusted to fit the arm if any wearer, but it also could be placed on a belt. He sighed, the object brought back so many memories, his old school, the dueling classes, his father's pride when he had won the cup in the school's dueling cup for the fist time. His father had presented him with that sheath the evening of his win. He turned it around and looked at the date etched in silver on the leather, June 1993.

"Merlin! It seems so long ago already."

He stood up and strapped the sheath on his belt at his left side. He took his wand and tucked it neatly in the sheath. Still lost in thoughts he grabbed his backpack and cloak and left from the room.

He met with Sean in the common room and they headed to the dining hall to get their breakfast. They settled at their usual table and started to eat, talking with some fellow sixth years about the oncoming Quidditch game. While they were talking Yannick looked over to the Ravenclaw table. Alex had just sat at her place talking with some of her friends. Their eyes met, she smiled at him and then continued to talk to her friends. Yannick continued to look at her and then felt someone nudge him in the ribs.

"Mate. You are staring at her again." Sean said.

Yannick smiled, blushing a bit and started to eat again.

"Yeah well, at least I am talking to her now, so you can't tease me anymore on that one." he told his friend.

"Ooooh, low blow." Sean replied "But I can do lower. So... did you ask her out for the Yule ball yet?" he added with a sly grin.

Yannick did not answer.

"I thought so." Sean said with a wide grin. "Well, you better hurry mate. I don't know if she will wait until the last day for you to ask."

"How do you know that she is not going with someone yet?" Yannick asked him.

"Ah well... I have my inside sources." his friend replied.

Yannick was about to ask him about it when they were interrupted by the sound of flapping wings. The morning mail was coming. Hundreds of owls filled the dining hall, coming to deliver letters to the students. An grey eagle owl landed in front of him. Yannick untied the package it was carrying and gave the owl a piece of bacon. The owl ate the bacon and flew away again. Yannick opened the package. It contained two letters, one from his parents and one from his grand mother, as well as two smaller packages. One was addressed to him but the other had no name.

"News from home?" Sean asked him.

"Yeah." he answered, putting the mail in his backpack. "But I'll read it later. Right now, I am due to the library. I want to do this essay Snape gave us to do." he added standing up.

"Mate, now I know you are daft! Half the school is going to Hogsmead and you are staying back to do an essay for Snape? It is not due until next week."

Yannick chuckled. "I prefer getting the bad stuff done first so I do not have to think about it later."

"You are hopeless, you know that?" Sean said, feigning despair.

"So I have been told." Yannick answered with a smile. "Just make sure to bring me some stuff back from Honeydukes." he added starting to head towards the entrance of the dinning hall.

"Will do mate." Sean called after him.

Yannick entered in the school's library some minutes later and went to a desk where he knew he would not be too disturbed. While on his way he picked out two books about potions for his essay. He sat at the desk. The table was big enough to seat four students, two on each side, and had a chandelier in its center that gave out a nice golden light. He took out his parchment, his quills and his ink from his backpack and set them before him on the desk. Somehow, the idea of doing this essay right away did not appeal to him. He looked in his backpack again and took out the two letters he had received. He opened the one from his parents and started to read.

Dear Nickie,

"Will she ever call me another way?" he wondered, he read on.

Thank you very much for your letter, it was very pleasing to receive news from you and to see that you are adjusting well in your new school.

Your father and I are very busy however and our days are unfortunately very long. We don't spend that much time at home, in fact, we did not even take much time to unpack things ourselves and had to leave that to the House Elves. They are very helpful and it is a real joy to have them around to help. The house is now fully furnished and I do think you will like it, especially your room as we tried to keep everything the same as you had it in France.

I forwarded your comment to Gran and she appreciated it a lot. She said that this young lady has taste to appreciate such simple things. She said she would answer you and if you did not get her answer yet, it should arrive very soon to you. You know how Gran is on such matters.


Yannick smiled at the comment. His grand mother was one of the person who always took care to reply to letter or comment she received and that was something he respected a lot in her. He continued to read the letter which told him about his parents' daily routine and as well gave him news of the family. Reading the letter he realized how much he actually missed them. They had always been so close together while in France and now they were separated for most of the year. He sighed, he would see everyone in the winter holidays anyhow. At the end of the letter, the handwriting changed and he recognized the handwriting of his father.

Hey Son,

I am sorry to make it this short but I have to rush back to the ministry to take care of a situation that has come up.

I looked at the name, Dewitt, you asked data about. I did not find any record of wizards of that name except for a young witch who is right now at Hogwarts, sixth year in Ravenclaw. Both her parents are Muggles. I will not go into the details of their profession and all, this is something this young lady should tell you herself, not me.

I am very proud to see that you are doing well at school. You have a very promising future in front of you.

I love you very much, Dad.

PS: You might want to think about inviting your friend Alexandra to our end of the year celebration, I'd be delighted to meet her and I am sure the same goes for your mother.


Yannick rolled his eyes as he read the post-scriptum. He should have known that his parents would put two and two together, no matter how cryptic he tried to be. He let out a sigh and took the letter from his grand-mother. He looked at it, taking note of the care she had put in it, the way she wrote his name, the seal that closed the letter, all these little things that showed how much she liked to keep in touch with others. He opened the letter.

Dearest Yannick,

Although it was small, I really enjoyed your letter giving me news from you. I am very happy to see that all is going well for you in Hogwarts and from the conversations I have had with your parents, they feel the same way and are very proud of you. It is still a strange feeling to not have you around my house anymore though, I miss my little helper. Your cousin Anaïs often asks for new from you each time she comes to see me. You should write to her, I am sure she would like it.

The crest you sent me is of a very old design and I am amazed to see it turn up at Hogwarts. I know from where it comes from but I will tell you this when I see you in the holidays. It is a sensitive matter that I feel I cannot entrust to a letter. Please keep me informed of anything strange you see or Altair reports to you.

I have enclosed two packages with this letter. One is for you, the other is for the young lady who commented on you brooch. I do not know her name and I did not ask your mother when she told me of her comment so I entrust it to you to give it to her. She has very a good taste for simple things and that has always been something I liked in others.

Take good care of yourself my Yannick and do well on your studies.

Love, Gran


Yannick smiled, something the letters of his grand-mother always did to him. He cast his thoughts to her home, near the enchanted forest in France. He had always felt so good in that house. It was big, a manor, and his parents had lived there since he was born. He always could turn to his grand-mother when he needed someone other than his parents to talk to. She had been the first to realize the bond he shared with Gwendall and also the first in comforting him after the accident. In fact she was one of the reason he had not fallen deep into depression. He was still deep in thoughts when a voice brought him back to reality.

"A knut for your thoughts?"

"What? Who?" He said, startled, turning to see who had said that. Alexandra was standing by a bookshelf on his right. "Oh... sorry... I did not realize your were there." he told her.

She smiled. "I could see that and that is why I waited before making my presence known. News from home?" she asked, pointing to the two letters.

"Yeah, parents and grand-mother."

"Nothing bad, I hope?"

"What? Oh no! No, no. Nothing bad at all." he answered. "It is just that the last one got me thinking of home and that made some memories resurface. Some more painful than others." he added.

"Want to talk about it? I am a good listener."

He smiled at her remark. "I know and no. It's fine. Thank s for the concern though."

"You're welcome."

"So, what are you doing in the library instead of enjoying a nice Saturday?" he asked her, changing the subject.

"Ha! I should ask you the same question, mister!" she laughed. "Well... actually I was looking for you."

"Oh really?" He asked her, surprised. "I wonder why..."

"Well, I am kind of having a problem on my herbology homework and... seeing that you are top of the class in that subject... I was wondering... maybe... if you could give me a hand on it?"

He smiled. "Sure. I was going to do an essay for Snape on potions but that can wait." he told her.

"Great!" she told him, smiling back and coming to sit in front of him. "I can see if I can help you on that in exchange. I am not too bad on potions."

They worked together for the rest of the morning. The herbology homework was not that hard in Yannick's point of view but seeing that Alexandra was still having trouble understanding it, he went on to explain it and answered her questions about the subject. They took a short break for lunch and then continued. When Yannick was certain she now understood the subject of her homework, he started on his own essay. Alexandra gave him tips here and there and also referred him to a good book on potions where he found exactly what he needed to finish his essay. When it was done, looked at it over, doing corrections where needed.

"Well, that finishes that. Thirty bloody inches in all. Just what Snape asked for." he said. "Alas! I am afraid my quill will never recover from the strain." he added in a dramatic voice.

Alexandra laughed at his remark. "If your quill survives the whole year, I'll be amazed." she told him. "You should buy some extra ones in Hogsmeade."

"It's fine, I have spare ones in my trunk already."

Alexandra looked at her watch. "Well, I guess I should be going now. The match will start soon and I need to get ready." She stood up. "Thank a lot for your help on this."

"Hey, you're welcome. I am glad I was able to help you out." he told her.

"See you at the game?" she asked.

"Would not miss it for anything."

She smiled and left from the library. Yannick looked at her go out and then let out a sigh of well being. He crossed his arms behind his head and looked up at the ceiling. When was the last time he had felt that good?

An hour or so later he was with Sean at the Quidditch pitch. They were in the Hufflepuff stands, both sporting Ravenclaw flags. The rest of the stands around the pitch were packed with students. The game was ongoing at a fast pace and Slytherin was leading by twenty points. Sean was looking a bit desperate at this but Yannick had told him that Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw seeker, was much more able to catch the snitch than Malfoy would ever be.

"Warrington has the quaffle, he passes to Montague, passes to Pucey... YES!! intercepted by Bradley!! Come on! Score this one!"

"Mr FINNIGAN!! I asked you to be UNBIASED in your commentaries!!"

Yannick laughed at the scolding of Professor McGonagall. Seamus Finnigan, the Gryffindor student commentating the game was clearly showing on which side he was for this game. He was cheering the goal scored by the Ravenclaw captain when he felt something observing him. He turned towards the area it came from, the forest. He looked intently there, not being able to see anything. Suddenly the feeling disappeared just as he had spotted a dark shape in the trees.

"Strange." he thought "That was not Altair..." He looked again but the shape had disappeared.

A loud cheer from Sean got his attention back to the game. Ravenclaw had scored again and they were now tied in points with Slytherin. Suddenly a green blur passed their stand, followed closely by a blue one.

"Uh-oh! It looks like Malfoy has seen the snitch and is going for it. Chang is in close pursuit." he heard Finnigan say.

Malfoy was going as fast as he could one hand outstretched, trying to catch the snitch. The small golden ball was doing crazy figures in its attempt to escape. Cho was trying to keep with Malfoy but her broom could not match his speed and she was starting to loose ground. Yannick heard Sean moaning as he watched what seemed to be the oncoming victory of Slytherin. Suddenly, as Malfoy's hand was almost touching the snitch, a bulger cut his flight pass, hitting the snitch and sending it flying upwards. Malfoy was destabilized and started spinning out of control. Cho on the other hand, saw the snitch go up and chased after it.

"Superb intervention by Dewitt! Ha! Tough luck Malfoy!"

"Mr Finnigan!!!"

Yannick looked towards where Alexandra was and saw that she was quite pleased with her last move. Goyle sent a bulger flying towards her but she saw it coming, flipped her club confidently and sent the bulger back to him with a two handed swing. Goyle had to dive hard to avoid being hit. A sudden explosion of cheers got Yannick to look towards the center of the pitch again, Cho was flying around with her fist in the air. She had caught the snitch. Ravenclaw had won the match.

The rest of the day was pure celebrations for Ravenclaw and they were not alone either, Gryffindor and most of Hufflepuff were happy for their win against Slytherin. Sean was ecstatic, having won his bet on the outcome of the game. Dinner followed with the same mood, the only silent spot of the dining hall being the Slytherin side, who were clearly sulking over their loss. Professor Flitwick could be seen at the teacher's table talking with Professor McGonagall and making figures with his hands, depicting the game. Professor Snape was looking at them talking and seemed to have lost his appetite.

"Gee! I wonder why?" Yannick told himself with amusement as he looked at him.

He was talking to Sean when he saw Alexandra standing up with a group of other Ravenclaw girls and going out from the hall.

"I'll meet with you at the common room." he told Sean.

He grabbed his backpack and stood up to follow them. He caught up with the group as they were about to go into the corridor that brought them to their common room. He called Alexandra and saw her look in his direction. She smiled an said something to the other girls who giggled and then continued without her in the corridor.

"Congratulation on your win." he told her as he reached her.

"Thanks." she said. "It was a hard game though."

"The way you got Malfoy off the snitch was absolutely brilliant. He was still fuming about it at dinner."

"Yeah well... I guess I know who I can thank for that training." she said.

"Really? Who would that be?" he asked innocently.

"Like you would not know!" she replied hitting him playfully on the arm.

"Ouch! Ok, ok! I am happy I was of some help." he told her. "Hey, by the way and before I forget." he added reaching in his backpack. "This came for you in the mail." He gave her the package from his grand-mother. "It's from my grand-mother." he added quickly.

She frowned, taking the package and looking at him. "I don't even know her... Why would she be sending me a package?"

Yannick shuffled a bit on his feet, a bit embarrassed. "Well... I wrote to my parents recently and... well I told them about what I had been doing in Hogwarts and... I also remembered you commenting on the brooch of my cloak." he said "I know the time my grand-mother spends on making these things and... I asked my mother to transmit your comment to her. She appreciated it a lot as you can see." he added pointing to the package in he hand. "She told me that herself in her own letter, but as my mother had not told her your name, she asked me to give it to you."

Alexandra considered the package for a moment, then looked at him again. "Has she always been that way to persons she does not know?" she asked him

Yannick nodded. "She is someone that is very open with her opinions. And she always lets the person concerned know. I remember one day in my French school that a teacher told me that I was a hopeless case in the herbology subject and that it was anyway a dying art that was not really worth studying. I mentioned that in a letter to her. The next day a howler arrived for that said teacher in the mail, right when we were all having breakfast. He went to another room to open it but I guess that she had put a sonorus charm on it because the whole school heard the howler. I never heard Gran that angry."

"She sounds like a very interesting person." she told him. "Thanks a lot Nick." she added.

They stood there looking at each other for a minute, until Alexandra spoke again.

"Well, I have to go to my common room now. We are going celebrate our win in Ravenclaw style and I would hate myself for being late." she said. "I'll see you around tomorrow." she added with a smile and turning towards the corridor.

Yannick grabbed her gently by the arm. "Can I ask you just one question before you go?"

She turned around to face him."Of course you can. What is it?"

Yannick felt heat rising in him. He opened his mouth but words seemed to have escaped him. His throat was dry. He felt like an idiot for even trying to ask her.

"Well... I... Sean told me about... and event that.... takes place just before... Christmas... the Yule ball." he said. Why was he finding it so hard to talk all of a sudden?

Alexandra was looking at him, waiting for his question.

"I was wondering if... well if you want... if you would agree... to... to be my date for the ball." he finished. There, he had said it. "I know it is still a month or more away... I thought I would ask you so... you know... you would have time to consider it and..." he continued.

Alexandra smiled and put her hand on his mouth to get him to stop talking. "Yannick, you talk too much." she told him. "But I would love to be your date for the ball." she added, taking a step forward an kissing him lightly on the cheek.

Yannick had been ready for any reaction from her, or at least he thought he had. He now realized he had not expected it to be that one. Alexandra stepped back, smiling at him. "Merlin she is beautiful!" he thought.

"So... so we have a date then?" he asked her, still a bit under shock.

"Of course we have a date Nick." she laughed and then hugged him. They held each other for a while and then she pulled from the embrace. "Okay, I really have to go now. The rest of the team will start to wonder where I disappeared to if I don't show up to the party." She looked him and gave him another kiss on the cheek. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight Alex." Yannick said, looking at her walking down the corridor. She turned in another corridor towards her common room and was gone from his sight. He stood there, even thought he could not see her anymore, still amazed by what had just happened.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Okay, I know, it goes a bit in romance right now but don't worry... action will start at some point. ;)
.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

.:Recommended Fics:.
Entropist and Lumia (aka: gmhpfan)
Fic World (repository of fics by Wolf, Entropist and Lumia)
Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#20
Entropist

Entropist

    King Of Terrors Forever

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Okay,
I've spotted the ideas, Sylvain. Honestly, there's not problem when it fits like this. In fact, I feel like it's quite normal to have Sylvain having a tradition of duelling in his family, and as such, to have wand sheath like the Lionheart clan. Also the signature of the clan (the "S" tunring into the Silver leaf was a very cool touch) was very good idea for a family that appears to go way back in time.
In fact, I can spot many similarities between the Silverleaf family and the Lionheart clan... the Mysterious behaviour, the ancient custom of weaponry (whether it would be wand or bows), and a certain style in the hair-do, LOL!
Amazing to see that we got some idea in common, without reading each other before we began to write.

Now on to the update.
It's true that the whole thing seemed axed on romance and stuff like that. Still the mystery of the brooch keeps our mind busy, and the rendering of the Quidditch game was excellent (I really liked that Bludger thrown on the snitch, now THAT is some accuracy!)

Well, I still wonder what's the main plot under the little mysteries, And the mere waiting is enough to keep me captivated... excellent work, pal, Post more soon.

Second Coming of the King of Terrors!
Back from the Dead!

The inquisitorial vengeance had been hurried by my two-fold escape, and there was to be no more dallying with the King of Terrors
Edgar Allan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum)


My fiction reborn:
Harry Potter and the Seal of Chaos REDUX

#21
PaulaMcG

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    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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Sylvain,
You continue to portray the relationship between Yannick and Sean in a very pleasant way. There is such realism in the routines of exercising and showering that I wonder how JKR could write her books without including them – but they make your take on the life at Hogwarts refreshingly different. There was also a nice magical touch in the functioning of the showers, and it was meaningful enough, as it was connected to the prank.

The scene of Yannick alone again offered a beautiful contrast. I like the way you allow us to see his characteristic concentration and care as well as something of his background – as something self-evident, from his perspective – by describing the details of his working with the wand-cleaning materials and examining a familiar object which brings back memories.

I didn't cringe when reading the scene with Alexandra either. The letters were a nice introduction to their interaction. It was somehow intriguing that Yannick didn't even mention the package to her in the library. He seems to consider carefully what he does and when.

I enjoyed the sudden transfer to the middle of the Quidditch match. It's really not necessary to narrate every coming and going.

The casual mentioning of a feeling of someone observing him and knowing where it "came from" was intriguing, too. Does Yannick have some special power – which from his perspective, of course, is nothing so strange? The conclusion of the match was unique, too.

Ah, there was another Alexandra scene, and this one was not only a bit more of teenage romance. Well, I could certainly identify with Yannick, who had not expected such a reaction. Muggle girls are obviously more active and straightforward in these matters, and that suits my idea of teenage romance – and hope for its absence or at least subtlety – in HP world. By promising action I trust you didn't mean activities connected to the romantic facet of the story.
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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#22
harrysbabe

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    xThe Future Mrs Potter!!x

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Another great chapter Sylvain :P I love the romance(i'm a bit of a romantic!!).But i also like the fun comments between Yannick and Sean.I do hope chapter 8 will be coming soon!!.
xHarrysbabex ;)
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Quartet Productions Present -Harry Potter And The Quest Of Jess!

#23
Wolf

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Ooookay! Wow... I need to update here. I am sorry for taking so long on this but work has picked up and I have a family urgency which I am taking care of at the moment and this seriously slowed my writing (as well as undermining my inspiration for a bit). But fear not! I am definitly planning to finish the tale of Sir Silverleaf. :)

Entropist - Glad you don't mind me using some of your ideas on my character, and yes, it is very unny to see that we came up with similar ideas without reading each other first. Probably because we are both French. :D

I will definitly let Alex know of your praise of her beater accuracy. I am sure she will like to get that praise from the King of Terror himself. :wub:

Eija - Oh no! I most definitly did not mean that type of action. That is for later years. I feel Yannick and Alex are still too young for this. I meant action as action and... I wont say more. :P

I am glad you found the chapter easy to read. It took me a while to get it together and flowing but I was quite glad of the product I got. As I have said before, Yannick is familiar with his tools and they bring him back memories that permit the reader to know him better. I like it that way but... There is still something that even Yannic does not know about the Silverleafs and his heritage... again... I am not saying more. We will discover more of Yannick in the next chapters (basically over his Christmas period) and he himself discover who he is. :D

I hope to please you this chapter as well.

Harrysbabe - Thank you very much for you post about my fan fic. Sean and Yannick are quite a pair and expect to see them going at each other in a playful way. The romance continues in this chapter but... but... you will see... :wub:

I want also to thank all the ones who are reading me and are not posting. I really hope you enjoy this next chapter, which will be posted in two parts.

Here we go...


Chapter 8: Yule ball
---------------------------

"So? What do you think?" Sean asked.

The tall blond boy was standing in his dress robe, seeming quite satisfied by the way it fitted him.

"Really fits you Sean." Yannick answered. "The blue fits with your eyes and if I do not make a mistake... that is also Cynthia's favorite color, no?"

"Well... look who has done his homework for once." Sean answered with a grin. "Decided to get me back for the times I pushed you on Alex, huh?" he added.

"Moi?? Really! Why would you think that?" Yannick asked, feigning innocence.

"Yeah, yeah... Don't tempt me Silverleaf"

"I would not dream of it O'Maley."

"Gods! I preferred it when I could win the conversation. Alex is starting to have a bad influence on you."

"Oh really? I had not noticed."

"Okay! Thats it! I give up." Sean said, waving his arms above his head in defeat.

Yannick let out a satisfied chuckle. Since his friend had hooked up with Cynthia Swansson, a sixth year Ravenclaw, Sean had become very sensible to being teased. The two friends kept on teasing one another an Yannick always enjoyed winning, although Sean won his share as well. He stood up and opened his cupboard to take out his own dress robe.

"So what are you going to put on?" Sean asked him.

"Well I only have one dress robe but I do think it will fit the occasion perfectly." Yannick turned showing a black outfit. Silver threads could be seen on it, depicting the silver leaf at some parts of the outfit.

Sean let out a whistle of appreciation "Nice! The cut is not the same as the ones we get in England though."

"French fashion at the moment."

"Thought so. Very fitting." Sean answered. "Well, I am heading to the common room for a bit and then I am going to meet my date. See you at the ball mate." he added, going out of the room.

A few minutes later, Yannick was looking himself over in the mirror, quite satisfied with the way he looked in this outfit. He had not told Sean but it had actually been made by one of his relatives who excelled in the art of using needles and threads to mix different garments together. He smiled at the thought. He then took a black box from his trunk, the present his grand-mother had sent him earlier in October. He opened it to reveal a pendant in the shape of a wolf head, its eyes encrusted with amber. Silver again, his grand-mother's metal of choice for her creations. He reached behind his head and took off the chain he always had on him. He used it to carry his signet ring but tonight, it would carry the pendant, and not hidden under his clothes. Having done this he looked at the signet ring in his hand. He was not fond of showing that his family was quite well off but this was a special occasion. He passed the ring on the middle finger of his right hand. The last thing he put on was his wand sheath. He strapped the sheath to his left arm making sure it would stay in place even if he moved his arm suddenly, the wand secured in the it. He rolled down his sleeve and looked in the mirror, the sheath was not noticeable. He had pondered as to take his wand with him or not to the ball, it was after all supposed to be a pleasant occasion, and he had decided to take it. Recently he had gotten the distinct feeling someone was observing him. It had started on the day of the Ravenclaw vs Slytherin match and had occurred three times more since then. Each of those times he had been outside and he had managed to make out a shape in the woods. He never managed to make out what it was but he was certain that the feeling had stopped as soon as he had spotted the shape.

"Silverleaf... you are getting paranoid." he told himself with a smile.

He closed his cupboard and trunk and looked at his watch, still a bit of time until the official start of the ball. He had to get to the entrance hall to meet Alex. He left from the room, passed through the common room and headed out to the hall. He met up with Sean and Cynthia in the hall, Alex was nowhere to be seen yet.

"So mate?" Sean asked as he joined them. "Where is you date?"

"She'll be here. The ball does not start for another twenty minutes at least." Yannick answered.

"She would have to be daft to not come." Sean said. "Especially after our little Nickie here made himself all nice for the occasion." he added with a chuckle.

Yannick felt himself blushing without being able to stop it. He punched Sean on the arm

"Sean!" Cynthia said. "You are not really helping to make him comfortable you know."

"It's okay Cynthia." Yannick answered. "We both know he decided to ask you out when I made my move on Alex." he added with a wink.

Cynthia laughed at that and it was now Sean's turn to blush.

"Low blow mate." he said.

"Not lower than yours." Yannick replied. "And if you want to vent your frustration of losing yet another argument to me, you can go a pluck the feathers off from that prancing peacock over there." he added, nodding towards their left.

Malfoy had appeared in the hall, a girl Yannick knew as Pansy Parkinson at his side. He was walking in the direction of the Great Hall, looking like someone who had just won the first prize in a contest.

"Aaaawww, look at that!" Malfoy said, when he passed by them. "Poor little Froggie did not manage to find himself a date for the ball." he added with a sneer. Parkinson giggled at the remark.

"I can't believe the nerves of this git!" Yannick muttered. "He acts as if the school belongs to him."

"Yeah well... you are not the only one who thinks that mate." Sean replied.

"And I think Yannick should be more paying attention as to who is coming out of the left wing corridor." Cynthia told them with a smile.

Yannick turned around to look and was struck by what he saw. Alex had just entered the hall and was coming towards him. She was wearing deep blue dress with silver motifs woven onto it that seemed to change with her every steps. He noted her hair were in a very elaborate hairstyle and as he admired it his eyes came to rest on the pendant she wore, a silver rose with petals of amber. He smiled as he recognized the craftsmanship, his grand-mother's.

"Well? What do you think?" She asked when she reached the three of them.

"I think you look absolutely amazing!And judging from their reaction," Cynthia said, closing Sean's open mouth with a finger. "They agree as well. But I think I will steer my date clear from you, before you steal him from me." She added, giving Alex a wink and dragging a still under shock Sean towards the Great Hall.

Yannick looked at them go and then turned to face Alex. He felt at a loss on what to say to start the conversation, Cynthia had said exactly what he wanted to say. He opened his mouth but could not seem to get out a word.

"This... is a very nice dress." he finally managed to blurt out, feeling himself blushing in the process. To his relief Alex smiled.

"Thanks. You look quite good yourself." she told him.

They stood facing each other, not saying anything, until she spoke again.

"Well? Shall we?" she asked, nodding in the direction of the Great Hall.

"Oh, of course." he said, offering her his arm. She smiled and took it. "I am sorry. I am making a fool of myself by acting so clumsily." he told her.

She squeezed his arm reassuringly. "Don't worry. I know that I can have that effect on boys. I mean, you saw how Sean reacted." she added with a wink.

"Yeah, he looked thunderstruck."

"So did you. Lucky for you both that Cynthia knew what to say." she chided him, smiling.

"Yeah... I guess we were." he said with an embarrassed smile.

"Relax Nick. I am not going to eat you if you make a mistake tonight, you know." she told him. "Well actually, maybe I would... if it turns out you are a really bad dancer." she added with a sly smile.

He laughed. "Thanks, I feel safer now."

They entered the Great Hall and Yannick marveled at the way it had been changed for the occasion. The tables had been changed and were now smaller and round, with space for ten students to sit. An enormous Christmas tree was towering behind the staff table, its branches adorned with decorations and a bright sparkling star at its top. The Ceiling of the Hall reflected the evening sky and stars were staring to appear. The room had a very nice winter feeling to it, without the cold. Students were coming in the hall, looking thrilled in expectation of the ball. Alex was steering him around and they came to the table where Sean and Cynthia had sat down at.

"Permission to join you two?" Alex asked with a smile.

"Well... depends. Can you keep your charms to your own date?" Cynthia asked playfully.

"I'll try." she responded with a sly grin, sitting down.

Yannick sat down next to her while she started to talk with Cynthia. He looked at the other persons who were at their table. Ernie MacMillan was sitting on his left and was talking to his date, a fifth year Gryffindor. Next to her was sitting a boy from Ravenclaw, the date of Hannah Abbot who was talking with him. Sean was busy talking to Seamus Finnigan whose date, a girl from Gryffindor was reading the menu for the feast. Yannick looked a bit around the Hall and saw that most of the tables were full, conversations were going at a good pace and the students seemed to be enjoying themselves already. His attention was caught by movement at the staff table. Dumbledore had stood up and, looking at the students, was striking his knife on his glass to get their attention.

"I thank you all for coming tonight to rekindle a tradition that has been unfortunately uncommon in the past years, the Yule ball. As most of you know we started this tradition again in honor of the Triwizard Tournament, two years ago. Our main purpose was for the students of the three different schools of the tournament to meet and make bonds of friendship."

A murmur ran through the hall. Yannick had heard the story of the Triwizard tournament from Sean in the third week he had arrived at Hogwarts. The tournament had ended with the death of one of the Hogwarts champion, Cedric Digory, who had belonged to the Hufflepuff house. It was also the year were the rumors about the return of Voldemort had started to be heard in France. Dumbledore cleared his throat before continuing.

"I know some of you still have painful memories of that year." Yannick saw his gaze rest for a few seconds on the table where the Ravenclaw seeker, Cho Chang, and a dark haired boy were sitting. "But our main purpose was achieved in some way. Some of you still have bonds with students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, while others here have discovered friendship in the other houses of this school."

Yannick heard Sean mutter "Try to tell that to Slytherin." which earned him the elbow of Cynthia in his ribs.

"Friendship," Dumbledore continued, "a word that has not been common to hear recently. Yet friendship is what defines the strength of our school. It is this strength that will help us face the future, however dark it may be."

Several students said "hear, hear." at that comment.

"This is why I am declaring that from now on, the Yule ball will take place very year on the last day of school before the Christmas holidays." A cheer ran through the hall. "But now, lets dispense with any further long speeches and let the feast begin!"

The cheer went louder and the students applauded the Headmaster. As it died down Yannick realized that something was different than from the usual dinners, the food had not appeared on the table. Yet Sean was grinning from ear to ear, a steaming venison stew in his plate. He shot a puzzled look at Alex who smiled understandingly at his confusion. She looked at the menu card she had in her hands and said "duck wings". As she said that a plate of very appetizing duck wings appeared before here. Yannick took the card in front of him and started to read the menu proposed. He got another surprise when he realized that his card was not written in English like the one of Alex, but was in French. Some of the meals it proposed were also typically French! Recovering from his surprise he said "boeuf Bourguignon" and was rewarded by a plate of exactly that.

"I could get used to this." He told Alex.

"You never had that in your old school?" she asked him.

"Oh we did have feasts once in a while over there, but nothing as fancy as this."

"How were they?" she asked him.

And the meal went on in conversation about his old school, how it had been over there. Some of the other students at the table talked about other subjects. Sean and Seamus seemed to be hotly engaged into which Quidditch club would win the English Cup this year. Seamus was sure that the Kenmare Kestrels would win while Sean was telling him that the Ballycastle Bats had a better chance.

"Who do you think will actually win?" Yannick quietly asked Alex.

"Well... My opinion is a bit biased of course, being from London, but I think the Falmouth Falcons have some chance. The Kestrels are a good team however and I would not be surprised if they win." she answered.

"Hey Yannick." the date of Hannah Abbot asked him. "Are you still training with your bow in the morning?"

"Why do you ask Stewart?" Yannick asked back, a bit puzzled by that question.

"Well we usually see you from our common room in the East Tower, but we did not see you training in a few days now, so I was wondering."

"I did not know that people were watching me training." Yannick said. "But to answer your question, yes, I still train but due to the weather I decided to run instead, it is more warming. I usually do this by the lake."

"Ah, that is why we don't see you then." Cynthia said.

"But we see you." Seamus said with a grin. "South Tower."

"I don't think it is unusual though. I mean I am not the only one that exercises in the mornings." Yannick said defensively.

"No, but you are the only one that does it everyday without fail, even if it is winter now." Alex pointed out.

Yannick opened his mouth to reply to that but could not find anything to say. "Unfair... You always seem to know the exact thing to say that I can't retort to." he told her, making a fake sullen face.

"Why do you think I got sorted into Ravenclaw in the first place?" she asked him with a smile.

"Right. Remind me not to try to win an argument against you." he told her.

"I'll think about it." she told him with a wink.

The feast continued until almost everyone had finished with their meal and were talking lively. Dumbledore got the attention of the students again and asked them to stand up and back away from the tables. Then, with a movement of his wand, the tables disappeared and the chairs went to align themselves in a neat row by the walls. He then moved to the lectern that had appeared in front of the staff table, tapped it three times with his wand, extended his hands and started to make conductor-like motions. The joyful music of a classical valse started to fill the hall and several students started dancing to the tune. Yannick bowed to Alex and offered his hand. She smiled, took it and followed him to the dance floor.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Part 2 coming very soon.
.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

.:Recommended Fics:.
Entropist and Lumia (aka: gmhpfan)
Fic World (repository of fics by Wolf, Entropist and Lumia)
Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#24
harrysbabe

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That was another great chapter,and Yannick has got to dance now :wub: .I eagerly await second part of chapter Mr Wolf!!
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#25
Entropist

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And you were having trouble writing? Well doesn't look that way to me, Syl...
Hope you'll get over that block on the second part... for the start is very promising...
:wub:

Second Coming of the King of Terrors!
Back from the Dead!

The inquisitorial vengeance had been hurried by my two-fold escape, and there was to be no more dallying with the King of Terrors
Edgar Allan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum)


My fiction reborn:
Harry Potter and the Seal of Chaos REDUX

#26
Wolf

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Here it is, here it is.

Erwan - But I really was stuck! I had Nick and Alex standing in the entrance hall and facing each other for two whole days! I bet they wanted to hex me like mad for that. Anyway, thanks to your help I got the thing sounding right. :D I hope you like this second part.

Harrysbabe - Thank you very much for your post. This story is getting very enjoyable to write and I hope you will like this second and last part of chapter 8.

All right, here it is.


Chapter 8, part 2:
-------------------------

"Oh my! I never though I would get that dizzy from all that dancing." Alex said holding onto Yannick's arm as they were walking out of the Great Hall, taking some fresh air in the snow covered courtyard.

"Well, I would say that the amount of punch you drunk is not helping that either. Four glasses must be your limit." Yannick told her.

"Four glasses of punch?!" she said, gasping. "Yannick Silverleaf! I only had one." she added, slapping him playfully on the arm and frowning.

"Oh right... I guess I must be the one that had four then." he replied with a laugh.

"You are incorrigible, you know that?" she said, joining his laugh.

"Yeah... I know... and I think I like it that way." he replied with a grin.

"I think I like it too." she told him, holding his arm a bit more tightly.

They continued walking around, just enjoying the fresh air of the night. The stars were shining in the cloudless night sky. Yannick felt Alex shiver a bit.

"Do you want that we go back in?" he asked her.

"Not really. I like it out here, nice and calm. It is a beautiful night." she replied.

"Yeah, the stars are especially bright tonight. You can even make out the milky-way." he said, pointing at the sky.

"Speaking of stars. How did you come to name your wolf Altair?" she asked him.

He let out a chuckle. "Well, it is always better that Vega or Deneb." he replied.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, Vega, Altair and Deneb are three of the brightest stars in the northern sky. They form the summer triangle and you can find many other constellations if you know where those three stars are. When I was small, my grandfather used to show me the stars at night, telling me their names and history. That three stars triangle is the first thing he taught me to recognize." he paused a bit. "When I bonded with Altair, I saw this black wolf pup with golden eyes that looked like stars on his dark coat. I decided to name him Altair and he seems to like it as well."

"It makes more sense now that you say this." Alex told him. "You two seem so close together when you exercise. It is like watching two close friends play." she added.

"Oh, so you are also watching me from your common room in the morning." he chided her.

She blushed a bit. "No, I don't actually." she said.

"Oh..."

"I watch you from my dorm room." she added, giving him a gentle push to the side with her shoulder.

"You do?" he asked, a bit surprised.

"Yeah, I am the one that pointed it out to Cynthia and she... kind of leaked it to some of the other Ravenclaws." she replied.

"I should have known." he said, rolling his eyes.

"Well now you do." she said with a smile. "I just hope... wooops!"

Alex had just slipped on some ice that was on the floor. Yannick felt her fall and quickly grabbed her with both hands to prevent her to hit the ground. He succeeded but at the same time found himself holding her against him.

"Wooops indeed. The floor is slippery." he told her.

"Really? I had not noticed." she said on a mocking tone. "Thanks for the save though." she added with a smile, straightening up.

"You are welcome." he replied. He then realized how little space there was between them and felt himself blushing and tried to move. Alex held him a bit tighter, preventing him to.

"Don't. It is better like that. Warmer." she said smiling at him.

He was about to respond when he heard a sneering voice behind them.

"Awwww, what a cute picture really. Little froggie trying to get cozy with his date."

Yannick recognized the voice and closed his eyes, annoyed. He broke from Alex embrace and turned to face Malfoy. The young Slytherin was standing five meters away, Parkinson snickering beside him.

"You have a problem Malfoy?" He asked coldly.

"My! Aren't we susceptible." Malfoy answered. "I am just amazed that you got yourself a date after all. Too bad that you have such bad taste though. But then, French are known for their mistakes in picking."

Yannick felt anger rising in him at that remark. He walked towards Malfoy.

"I would watch what I say if I were you Malfoy. This is my date you are speaking of." he warned him

"Ooooh. Now he is making threats." Malfoy said with a sly smile. "What are you going to do? Hex me because I said something bad about your sweetheart? You don't even have a wand."

"Don't be too sure about that." Yannick said on a dangerous tone, reaching Malfoy.

"Well I am sure of one thing Silverleaf. You might be a Pureblood wizard but you have very poor taste when it comes to girls."

"Malfoy... This is the second time in less than a minute that you have insulted my date." Yannick said, fuming. "You will apologize to her, now." he added, pointing to Alex.

"Apologize? To this excuse for a witch down there?" Malfoy answered. "I don't think so Silverleaf."

This was getting too much for Yannick. His fists were already closed tight and the knuckles were white from the pressure. He felt an urge to lash out to Malfoy and beat him to pulp for his lack of manners.

"Yannick..." he heard Alex say behind him. "Lets just go."

He sighed. A fight would not solve anything, just make it worse and possibly cost him Alex. He turned around and was about to walk back to her when he heard the sneering voice of Malfoy again.

"That's it you Pureblood disgrace. Obey your Mudblood owner."

Yannick saw red. He spun around lashing out with his right hand, catching Malfoy across the jaw with his closed fist and sending him to the floor.

"How... dare... you..." Yannick seethed, his eyes shooting daggers at Malfoy. "You and your stupid blood purity beliefs. What gives you the right to tell me what I should do with my life?"

Malfoy was starting to get up again, rubbing his jaw. "My father..." he started to mutter.

Yannick grabbed him by the front of his robe, yanked him up and slammed him in the wall on their left.

"Don't even try threatening me Malfoy." he said "In the name of Merlin, I do not know what is wrong in that thick skull of yours. You act as if you owned the school, invoking your father as soon as something is not to your liking, lashing out on anything or anyone that seems to be better than you. You think that because your father is rich and had friends in high places you can go around here doing what you like? You think people are afraid of you because of what your father could do? Is that it? Well I have news for you, you piece of trash. You can't scare me, or my family. I could not care less that your father is in league with Voldemort..."

Malfoy flinched at the name and tried to free himself but he held him in place.

"What? You can't hear the name? You think that because I come from another school, I don't know what happened in England last year? I read the papers too, you know, they are a bit more open on details in France than they are in England and my parents work at the Ministry of Magic now. I know your father was sent to Azkaban and for all I know, he is still there. So don't try to care me with empty threats" he told him.

Malfoy was livid and tried to take out his wand from his robe. Yannick grabbed it with one hand and wrenching it from Malfoy's grasp, threw the it behind him. He tightened his grip on Malfoy, pushing him harder on the wall. His face was only a few centimeters away from Malfoy's own.

"Now mark my words Malfoy and mark them well in that brain of yours." he said slowly. "Never again try to offend my honor or that of my friends. My life is my own and no one, least of all you, tells me how to live it. Offend me again and Merlin I swear I will give you the beating and humiliation you deserve in front of the whole school. Offend me again and you will have to face what 'Purebloods' do to avenge their honor. A duel."

He was about to add something else when he was interrupted by a voice.

"What is going on here? Merlin's beard! Mr Silverleaf, let go of Mr Malfoy at once."

Yannick reluctantly let Malfoy go and turned to face professor McGonagall.

"Now will you two please tell me the meaning of this?" she asked him and Malfoy.

"Silverleaf attacked Draco for no reasons..." Parkinson started to say.

"I do not believe I was asking you Miss Parkinson." professor McGonagall said coolly. "Now, since it seems that Mr Malfoy lost his ability to say anything, I suggest that you take him to the hospital wing to be seen by Madam Pomfrey." she added.

Malfoy did not say anything and left with Parkinson, shooting an angry glare at Yannick before going.

"Now," McGonagall said, turning to face Yannick and Alex. "What did happen? I dare say I can't really imagine you as being one to attack someone for no reason, Mr Silverleaf."

Yannick told her what had happened. "I am sorry professor. It's just, when he said this word, I just snapped. It was too much." he finished.

McGonagall closed her eyes and sighed, shaking her head. She looked at Yannick again.

"Mr Silverleaf, while I understand your reason for attacking Mr Malfoy, you must realize that this type of reaction is not within the rules of this school. I am afraid I must give you a detention for this." she said. Yannick looked at her, a bit shocked. "It is the standard punishment we give here for students who fight between themselves. Do not worry, Mr Malfoy will get his as well and so will Miss Parkinson, for trying to bend the facts. Your detention will be tomorrow with professor Sprout. She will let you know when to be there."

"I understand professor." Yannick said. "I will do my detention."

"Very good Mr Silverleaf. Now, seeing the time I think it is time that you accompany this young lady to her common room and then rejoin your own for the night."

He smiled. "Yes professor."

"Good." McGonagall said before walking back towards the Great Hall. "And please try to stay out of trouble this time. I don't really enjoy punishing students on the start of the holidays."

Yannick looked at her go through the door and then let out a deep sigh of frustration. He had lost it and that had earned him a detention. "What a great way to start the holidays." he thought . He was brooding about that when he felt the hand of Alex on his back.

"I am sorry Alex." he said, turning around and taking her hand in his.

"For what?" she said, looking at him in the eyes. "For trying to beat some sense in this brainless git because he offended me? Honestly! I was about to hex him myself Nick. You were in my way actually." she added, waving her wand in front of him.

"You had your wand on you?" he asked surprised. "I did not even notice. Where do you keep it?"

"That, I am not telling." she said with a sly grin

Yannick chuckled. "Hmmm, I am growing curious... Let me guess..."

"You'd better not try." she warned him playfully. "So, will you escort me to my quarters? Or do I have to walk there by myself?" she asked.

"I am at my lady's service." he answered, bowing and offering his arm to her.

She smiled at this and took it and they walked back to the Great Hall. As they entered Yannick saw that most of the students had already gone and that there were just about dozen couples left that were dancing to a slow romantic tune. He recognized Sean and Cynthia in the group, they were dancing close together, Cynthia's head resting on Sean's shoulder. He pointed them out to Alex.

"Should we join them?" he asked.

She chuckled. "And ruin their moment? Don't be heartless Nick." She said with a smile. "Cynthia is in good hands. Come on, lets go." she added, gently pulling him towards the Entrance Hall.

***********

"Mr Silverleaf, your detention officially ended almost thirty minutes ago." professor Sprout told Yannick as she entered the greenhouse number five. "Why are you still here?" she asked, shaking her green cloak to make the snow fall from it.

He looked up from the Bonsai tree that he was carefully trimming. "Really professor? I did not see the time pass. I guess I was too busy with trimming this Bonsai here. It needed it."

"I don't recall that this was part of what I had asked you Mr Silverleaf." she told him, frowning a bit. "You were to re-pot the wolfsbane shrubs that I received a week ago."

"Oh this is done since almost an hour professor." he replied, pointing to the freshly re-potted shrubs. "I had nothing to do after that and still had some detention time left. I saw the Bonsai and decided to make myself useful."

"You re-potted all of them?" she asked, a bit surprised.

"Well yes. It was quite easy."

"Tell me, do you have prior experience on this?" she asked him.

"On re-potting wolfsbane? Yes." he answered truthfully. "My father is a herbologist, professor, remember? I have been knee deep in plants since I was born." he added with a smile.

"Of course. I should have remembered that." she said, looking the wolfsbane shrub over. "These seem to be well re-potted indeed. A very nice job."

"Thank you professor"

She went over to him and looked at the work he had done on the tree. "My, this well done as well. Just trim a bit more on the left here and at the top there and it should be fine for a while." she said. "But I would suggest you hurry to go back to the castle right after, though. We have a blizzard picking up and it will be very hard to find your way if you get caught in it." she added.

"I'll make it quick professor." he told her.

"Good. I am going back to greenhouse three." she said heading to the entrance. "Do not forget to close the door tightly when you go out." she added before going out.

Yannick finished to trim the parts of the Bonsai that were still needing it and looked at the small tree. "Much better!" he thought. "And now, a little plus." He took out a bottle of plant feeding agent that he had gotten from his father from his pocket and let a few drops of it fall on the tree's soil. The Bonsai seem to shiver a bit but then looked more fresh and lively than it had been when he started trimming it. He smiled and went to do the same for the wolfsbane shrubs. After fifteen minutes he close the bottle again and put it in his pocket. He made sure that the tools he had used were in order and then walked towards the entrance of the greenhouse. He could hear the wind blowing outside. "Looks like the blizzard is picking up already." He thought, picking up his cloak. "Hope I can still see where I go." He had barely finished this thought when he looked through the small window in the door. The blizzard was going in force and the visibility was very poor. He could barely make out the castle. "Great! Absolutely Great! I am in for a hell of a time to reach the castle."

He sighed, pulled on his hood and grabbed his cloak tighter around him so as to be better covered. He then opened the door, quickly went out and closed the door tightly so it would not open by itself due to the strong wind. He was surprised by the strength of the wind and considered to go back into the greenhouse and wait for the blizzard to calm down but he reasoned against it. This blizzard could continue for the rest of the day and the night was only hours away. Besides, it was soon dinner time and he was starting to be hungry. He started trudging towards the direction of the castle, one hand holding his cloak tight, the other covering his eyes so he could see something. The snow was thick already an the wind was lashing out on him as thought it did not want him to reach his destination. He lost sight of the castle at one point and after turning around on the spot he realized that he could not make out which way he was going anymore, he could not even see the greenhouses. He took out his wand a tried to do a four pointed spell on it so as to see where north was. As he held it in his hand the wind suddenly picked up strength again and made him lose his footing. As he tried to regain it he slackened his grip on his wand and the wind made it fly to his left.

"Oh bon sang! C'est pas vrai!"** he thought "ACCIO WAND!!!" he shouted, extending his hand towards where the wand had been sent to. Nothing happened.

Cursing he started walking towards where the wand had gone, trying to hold his cloak as close as he could to protect himself from the wind. He walked for a minute and tried again the summoning spell. This time he was rewarded by his wand coming to his hand again. He secured it in its sheath on his left arm. "No point in losing it again." he thought. "But where am I now." he asked himself, looking around. He could not see the castle anymore. He turned on himself, trying to make out a familiar shape or something that might help him. The wind was still blowing strong and the flying snow it carried was almost blinding him. He was about to give up when he saw a grey shape. "A tree." he thought "The forbidden forest must be that way. I can seek shelter there." He started walking again, trying to not be blown off course by the wind. He was using his left hand to hold his hood in place, holding it at the front. The wind died down a bit and he started to progress a bit easier. Unfortunately it did not last and soon, the blizzard was going again at full force. He could make out the gray shape of the tree still and continued to struggle towards it. After some time he finally came to a point where he could make out the branches of the tree and saw the shape of its trunk. A sudden howl stopped him in his tracks. "Altair? Danger?" he thought as he recognized what the howl meant. His eyes went wide when he realized where he had walked to, the Whomping Willow. He saw movement on his left, the tree was swinging a large branch in his direction. He instinctively brought his left arm in front of him to try to block the hit. He felt the heavy blow connecting with his arm and slamming it back to his chest, something cracked sending a wave of pain in his arm. He felt thrown in the air by the next blow when it connected with his chest and then with his head. He landed on hard his back, the snow providing a poor cushion against the frozen ground underneath. Another wave of pain shot through his body and then... everything went black.

** "Oh Christ! This can't be true!" or "This can't be happening!"

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Next, Chapter 9: Meeting
.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

.:Recommended Fics:.
Entropist and Lumia (aka: gmhpfan)
Fic World (repository of fics by Wolf, Entropist and Lumia)
Beginning: The Keeper of Swyn Llyfr by *Liliana*
Riddle and Secrets and Coming Full Circle by Lalaluna

#27
harrysbabe

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Hiya ;) Great second part,i loved it when Yannick floored Malfoy(Go Yannick!!),but poor Yannick now oh i do hope someone finds him!!, and he still hasn't got to kiss Alex yet(shame :o ).Can't wait for the next chapter :D
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#28
Entropist

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Well, you pulled that one off very nicely, Syl, very good. when you come to think about the writer block youw er experiencing, It's cool to see the result.
I really liked the confrontation with Malfoy, and how he was "at a loss for words", for once... hehehe

Could I just make a slight critic, here? you made a mistake (shame on you french man!!!). Depuis quadn "c'est pas vrai", s'écrit avec un "s" à la fin de "vrai"? I'm just teasing you, pal... anyway, that was great.
I'm waiting for the next, now...

ERWAN

Second Coming of the King of Terrors!
Back from the Dead!

The inquisitorial vengeance had been hurried by my two-fold escape, and there was to be no more dallying with the King of Terrors
Edgar Allan Poe (The Pit and the Pendulum)


My fiction reborn:
Harry Potter and the Seal of Chaos REDUX

#29
PaulaMcG

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Sylvain,
To be honest, I thought I wouldn't have to reply, at least not to each of these updates separately, because a ball is not exactly my cup of tea and you have gained such readers who usually look for this kind of stories to read.

After all, I did enjoy the chapter and I even found something to say. Particularly your dialogues are enjoyable with the little twists. Even before anything dramatic happened, the conversation between Alex and Yannick was lovely, and I really admire your ability to keep the expressions of their feelings subtle, while building up true atmosphere of romance, also with the description of Alex and Yannick's clothes and jewelry in the first instalment.

You really must ignore my remarks, if I can't help saying that describing a Yule Ball is too clearly mere fluff. People who read a Hogwarts school year story expect a Yule Ball – or are happily surprised to attend one with your characters. Even when it's not the climax (which I don't think it is because your story promises something more original, too), it's an essential part of the pleasure of reading such a story.

I guess people expect to meet some canon characters, too. And the scene with Draco was certainly not a disappointment. For a while I thought you had forgotten what had happened to Draco's father, but I soon saw it was just him who followed his old habit. Yannick first turning away makes me feel it's plausible that his behaviour had really made Draco think he's not much of a Pureblood wizard. Besides, I guess Draco's prejudiced attitudes cover foreigners, too. Finally, Yannick's outburst makes us believe that he'll be a true hero. The reference to a duel makes me expect some exciting scenes in which Yannick can prove his bravery and honour.

There was a nice contrast again between the fight and Yannick's detention, in which he was working willingly relying on his expertise. The blizzard was a good way to introduce danger within the familiar setting. I hope Professor Sprout won't get lost, too.
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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
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#30
Wolf

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Ok, first off an apology needed. This next chapter is not really the one I intended to write at first. I was stuck a bit on how to start chapter 9, having several ways in mind. I chose this one but when I completed it I felt it was too good to be part of another chapter. Thus it is a chapter in itself. You might say it is a kind of prelude.

And now, to my faithful readers:

Harrysbabe - Fear not for the safety of Yannick. After all, it would be a pretty short story if I was to kill off my main character like this. ;) Malfoy will not let go that easy that is for sure but I am confident Yannick can handle him. As for Yannick not kissing Alex... I did not really elaborate after the Malfoy encounter and left the chapter before they reached Alex's entrance to the Nest. Anything could have happened actually and I will let you imagination take over. Make sure you read this chapter though... you might make out what happened. :D

Erwan - Ok... fine... I corrected it. :P :wub: Getting Malfoy into place is one of the things I really wanted to happen in the HP books. I took care of that now but knowing Malfoy... he wont let it at that. ;) I am glad you liked this chapter and can only hope you will enjoy this one as well.

Eija - Aaaaw! I had to do a Yule ball! :D I know, it is fluff. I actually felt I needed to have something where our little Nickie might be able to loosen up a bit. He has already started to but he cold be so much more loose. Maybe this next chapter will change this... who knows. ;)

As I said earlier, I really enjoy writing dialogues. One trick I use is to read it back aloud when I am done and see how it sounds. This way I am able to make the changes I need to make it sound better.

The ball chapter had some reference to a few cannon characters, although I did not go into great details on them. I leave that part to JKR as it is her creations in the first place. (although I am doing an exeption for Malfoy...) And do not worry about Professor Sprout, she is used to find her way in this type of weather. ;)

Last but not least, thx to anyone else who is reading this fic but who has not posted yet. Posting replies here is not an absolute requirement but I do enjoy knowing what people think of my first fic.

Ok... here is the next chapter. Oh... tissues might be needed. ;)


Chapter 9: Meeting
---------------------------

When he opened his eyes again he was in the forest, sitting in the snow with his back to a tree. The blizzard seemed to have stopped. Everything was peacefully quiet. He got to his feet and looked around, trying to guess where in the forbidden forest he was. He turned around and what he saw froze his blood. He was not in the forbidden forest. He knew exactly where he was. This tree was forever engraved in his memory since a fateful winter evening seven years ago. He had been avoiding it since and now here he was, facing this same tree in the middle of the enchanted forest at home.

"What is going on?" he though "How did I get here?"

He kneeled down by the tree and looked into the familiar small alcove a sickness in the ages-old tree had caused. The place where he had found her, seemingly sleeping. He felt grief come to him again, the wound he had tried to close was getting re-opened by what he saw. The snow of where she he had found her was untouched. His hand touched the spot and what he felt was not what he expected.

"What sort of trickery is this?"

The snow was not cold to the touch. Come to think of it, he did not feel cold either. He had been sitting at the very spot and the snow had no marks of it. What was going on? Where was he? Why did he not seem to affect what was around him?

"Because you do not belong to this place" a voice said behind.

He froze in place again, staring at the tree.

"Then why was I brought here?" he finally managed to ask.

"To let go of the past." the voice answered.

"Let go of the past? Why? Why would I want to? Why would I even try?"

"One who dwells on the past cannot focus on the present, much less on the future." the voice said again.

"But I have moved on. I am able to focus on the present" he countered.

"Have you really?" the voice asked. "Can you look ahead of you without being afraid of what the future might hold for you?"

"I like it that way."

"You don't and you know it. You have not been truly happy since that night."

These words cut through his heart like daggers. He felt tears rolling down his cheeks.

"Why are you here?" he asked on a barely audible tone.

"Because you did not let go of the past Yannick. You still hold on to it."

He slowly turned around and looked at the origin of the voice. She was there, looking at him with her hazel eyes, the soft breeze that had just started, blowing through her long blond hair and making the garment of her white robe ripple. She looked older, the same age as him.

"How can it be Gwen?" he asked her. "How can I even see you?"

"You are not in the real world Nick. You are between planes."

"Am I dead?" he asked.

"No." she answered. "And I don't think you will be anytime soon, either."

"Then why was I brought here?"

"To let go of the past" she repeated.

"How can I? Why would I?" he asked fiercely. "Why would I let go of the only person I truly cared for in my life?" he added.

She shot him a saddened look. "I know how you feel Nick..."

"You don't know how I feel!!!" he shouted. "Ever since that night I have felt as if some part of me was missing!!! I have re-lived the moment I found you under that tree a thousand times ove?! Asking myself how, if I I had accompanied you to your house, you would still be around. How, if I had not stayed behind, we would have gone to school together." he looked at her again. "Gwen, I can't let go of you. I loved you. I still do."

"And I still love you as well, Nick." she answered him. "I always will. But you can't go on this way. Each day accusing yourself. Even if you don't show it to the ones around you. You can't hide behind a mask forever Nick." she added.

"I prefer the mask."

"But some people can see through the mask." she told him.

This remark shook him. "Alex." he said softly.

"Yes. She has seen through it. She has seen the real you."

"She was the first person I ever told of that night and how I really felt. She told me to let go as well, that you were not accusing me of your death." he said.

"She was right Nick. I don't."

"How can you not?" he asked her.

"Because I was already dead when you left your house to search for me, Nick." she replied with tears in her eyes. "I saw you give the hankerchief to Altair to find me. I followed you while you searched the forest. I was overjoyed when you found my body but also sad when I saw you crying, holding it and all I could do was watch without being able to comfort you. You were blaming yourself for a failure that never happened. I don't blame you Nick. I never have and I never will."

He stood there, looking at the ground.

"You asked me earlier why I had stayed. Why I had not moved on." she continued "I stayed because I saw that you were still grieving and that you were not letting go. You put on a mask for the rest of the world to see and you shut yourself behind it. No one apart from your parents and Gran saw that when you were in Morbihan's school. In Hogwarts, two persons, at least, have seen through it."

He looked at her again.

"Alex and Sean." he said weakly.

"Yes. Sean realized when he saw how you reacted on his prodding about Alex. She realized it when you began to avoid her. She saw that you were still holding onto some grief."

"So that is why they are friends with me. Because they feel sorry."

"Nick, that is not true." she countered. "They are your friends because they saw who you really are, not the mask."

As she said this, Yannick recalled what Alex had told him.

"I met you two weeks ago and I found a young man who could loose his temper and blame others but who also saw his own mistakes. Someone that was ready to even help a person he hardly knew. And that is why I am trying to be your friend, to talk to you, to try to know you better... because I liked what I saw."

"You need to stop grieving Nick. Let go of the mask and be who you truly are." she said.

He looked at her silently, pondering what she had just said.

"I still think I could have saved you if I had come with you." he finally said.

She shot him a pained expression.

"Nick, nothing, nothing at all could have saved me. If you had been there, you would have died as well."

"How can you be so sure?" he asked.

"Because I know."

"What happened then?"he asked her. "Why did you leave off the path in the woods?"

Her eyes went sad again. "I can't tell you."

"Why not?"

"Because you must see it for yourself."

"What? How?" he started. "This happened seven years ago Gwen. All I can see now is the rune-stone of remembrance that our parents laid at this spot." he added pointing and looking at a direction on his left. His eyes looked for the stone but it was nowhere to be seen. Snow was starting to fall. He looked at Gwen again.

"It's not there. We are not in the present." he said. She shook her head sadly. "We are on that evening... aren't we?" he asked her. She nodded. "Why?"

"Because you must know Nick." she said. "But most important, you must let go."

Movement on his right caught his attention. A ten year old Gwendall had appeared, laughing excitedly while pursuing a little red light. She was nearing the tree where he had woken up. He felt the warmth draining from his face.

"No... Gwen! Get away from this light!" he moaned to the little girl.

"She can't hear you Nick. This is only a memory." Gwen told him. "You cannot affect it."

"But this light. It is not natural. It is magical." he told her.

"Yes, I know. I realized that too, but it was too late." she told him sadly.

Yannick looked around trying to find something or affect something that would get the little girl to run away from the light. As he did so his eyes fell upon a dark shape that stood between two trees, its slender grayish hand holding a black wand and waving it around. The light was following the movements.

"Nox." the shape said in a low voice.

The little light disappeared surprising the young Gwen who looked around, apparently suddenly realizing how far into the woods she had strayed from the path.

"Khelek hurro'!" the dark shape said, making a large movement with its wand. The air around seemed to go colder, the wind picked up and a snow storm suddenly started.

"The storm of that night." Yannick thought aloud.

The young Gwendall retreated in to the tree, trying to take shelter in the small alcove. The distant howl of a wolf was heard. The dark shape looked in the direction of the noise and she took notice of its presence.

"Yannick!!! Altair!!! Help!!!" she shouted, the fear in her young voice easily distinguishable.

The dark shape let out an evil laugh and advanced towards her, its face invisible under the black cloak's hood.

"Your friends are of no help to you little one." the shape said with a sneering voice. "You cannot escape me."

The voice sounded masculine but had a strange accent to it. The language of the incantation it had said was familiar to Yannick but he somehow could not place where he had heard it before. He reached for his wand but found that nothing was on his left arm, he was wandless.

"What do you want from me?"

"Your death." the shape answered. "Your purpose here is to die. So I can have my revenge, my sweet revenge."

Slowly the shape raised its wand and started to mutter an incantation. The young Gwendall curled into a ball in fear of what was to come.

"Ringwe gurfha! the shape said. A blue light emitted from the tip of its wand and shot towards the young Gwendall.

"NO!! GWEN!!!" Yannick shouted, launching himself to tackle the dark shape.

"You cannot prevent it Nick." he heard Gwendall say after him.

He did not care, this could not happen, not again. While he ran towards the shape he saw the blue light hit the young Gwendall. She went limp instantly, and the way she rested now made it look as though she was sleeping.

"But she is frozen. Dead and frozen." he thought. "You scumbag!!!" he shouted as he leaped towards the dark shape. He prepared for the impact but it never occurred. He instead went through the shape and found himself immersed in the dark again.

He seemed to be floating, as if in space but there were no stars, just plain darkness.

"Where did I end up now?" he asked himself.

"You are still in between planes. Just that this time there is no memory to look at." Gwendall said, appearing beside him.

He looked at her with a pained expression.

"Why did you show me this?" he asked her.

"Because you had the right to know, Nick." she answered. "You cannot go on blaming yourself for something you could not prevent."

"So this was supposed to make me feel better?" he asked sarcastically. "Gwen, it only re-opened the wound."

"Sometimes it is better to do this to a wound that does not heal. So it can mend correctly after." she replied.

"I do not want it to heal." he said. "I do not want to forget you."

"Nick... healing does not mean forgetting. It means learning to move on." she told him. "You cannot keep on like this. You are closing yourself to anyone who tries to get close to you."

"That is not true." he countered. "I opened up to Alex."

"Did you truly open up to her, Nick?" Gwen asked him. "Did you tell here you family's story? Did you tell her of your bond to Altair?"

Yannick looked away.

"Did you ask her about her own family? Did you really try to spend some time with her to know her better?" she continued.

"No." he admitted.

"See?" she told him. "This is what I am trying to tell you. You are still hiding behind a mask. Trying to convince people that you are happy and are not held back by past experiences." she continued. "Nick, you need to let go of the past and focus on the present to be able to face the future."

"The pain won't go away if I let go." he said weakly.

"No. It will not." she said. "I will not lie to you Nick. The past can hurt but it only takes a long time to heal if you stay focused on it and do not talk about it. But even the most painful experiences can be helpful in some way. You can always learn from your past."

He let out an exasperated sigh. "Why must life be so cruel sometimes?" he asked her.

"Life is what you make it. It does not control you."

"So, you are saying that I am responsible for what happened?"

"No. I am saying that by not letting go, by not allowing it to heal, you are becoming effect of life itself and you will not be able to control your future."

Yannick's attention was caught by a light that had appeared in the darkness. He felt strangely pulled towards it.

"Nick, look at me." Gwen told him. He faced her once more. "I cannot keep you here longer as it would damage your body. I want you to know, I will never hold it against you to be happy. Your happiness will fill me with joy in turn. I love you Nick, and I always will."

"I love you too Gwen." he said while still being pulled towards the light.

"I know Nick. I never doubted it." she said smiling. "We will meet again. But in the meantime, let go of the past and heal." she added, as he entered the light.

He felt blinded by the brightness of it and closed his eyes. He felt his surroundings changing. The floating feeling disappeared and was replaced by that of a bed and a blanket covering him partly. He felt a hand on his forehead. He opened his eyes, his eyelids feeling strangely heavy. His eyes met two other, green like his. His vision came back into focus and saw a woman looking at him smiling gently.

"Mum?" he asked, his voice still weak.

"Welcome back Nickie." she said smiling and stroking his hair.

"How... how did..." he tried to ask, but she interrupted him softly.

"Ssshhhh... do not try to speak. You are still weak and need rest." she said. Besides..." she added, nodding to his left.

He looked there and saw that Alex was sitting on a chair next to his bed, sleeping, a blanket partly covering her. She was holding his left hand in hers.

"She would not go to sleep in her room until you had recovered." his mother answered his silent question.

"How long was I unconscious?" he asked her weakly.

"Not long Nickie," she replied. "A bit more than a day. Dumbledore asked me to come when Madam Pomfrey could not break your fever."

He tried to ask her something else but she prevented him by softly putting her hand on his mouth.

"You need to rest my Nick." she said, bending over and kissing him on his forehead. "We will talk more tomorrow." she added, straightening up.

"Mum?"

"Yes Nickie?"

"Thank you."

She feigned indignation. "Really! What type of mother and healer would I be if I left my own son stranded in nothingness, knowing that he might not be able to come back?" she smiled again and caressed his cheek. "Sleep now, you need it if you want to be able to get out of bed tomorrow." she added with a wink.

Yannick smiled and then closed his eyes again. He heard the soft footsteps of his mother leaving and the door of the Hospital Wing opening to let her through. Then there was a silence that was only interrupted by the peaceful breathing of a sleeping Alex. He listened to it, letting it drag him slowly back into sleep.


*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Hope you liked it. ;)

Btw, this is my 600th post. YAY!

Edited by Wolf, 02 November 2004 - 11:14 PM.

.:My Fanfics:.
Completed: Discovery for a new student. and Six Years After
Planned: Chaos and Eternity (story skeleton being fleshed out)

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