Scarlet Women Chapter 18

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Harry stared at his two closest friends across the dinner table. Dinner seemed a somber occasion this evening. Most of the students were still in a state of shock that their halls weren’t nearly as safe as they previously thought. They still spoke, but when they did murmur to each other it was in low tones, hushed and halted whispers.



Harry felt a nudge by his side. He turned to look at Neville.



“Anything we can do, mate?” he whispered. Sasha looked over his shoulder, her face full of concern.



Harry shrugged at them and shook his head.



“Wish I knew,” he whispered back. Hermione continued to mechanically chew her food, picking at her plate more with every bite.



Ron seemed to be solely eating bread and butter. When dessert appeared he picked up an entire peach pie and sat it in front of himself. As he reached out for an entire bowl of fresh whipped cream Seamus shook his head.



“Oh no, you don’t, he said crossly taking the bowl from Ron and reaching for the pie. He passed them along to Dean, who passed another plate back to Seamus. It had a small slice of steak and kidney pie on it a couple of small potatoes and some asparagus. “Not until you eat this.”



“What?” Ron said confused and slightly cross.



“My mam said to make sure you were eating,” Seamus stated. “And she told me sweets do not count.” As Ron opened his mouth in protest.



“He’s right, you know,” said Hermione listlessly, placing her fork on her plate. Ron shrugged and took the plate from Seamus.



“When you’re done with that, you get the pie,” Seamus said. Dean nodded behind him.



Ron shook his head and began to eat the food in front of him.



“We’d help if we could,” Dean said. “But I really don’t see what we can do.”



“There really isn’t anything you can do,” said Hermione shrugging and reaching for a slice of cherry pie. “We just have to do what Dumbledore tells us to and hope.”



Dumbledore had asked for a moment of silence before the meal for the missing students and Hermione had cried soundlessly into her napkin. Ron stared at his lap. Afterwards, he had told them progress was being made in the retrieval of the students, but it was verified that Draco Malfoy was alive and at last report, unharmed. He had forbid them from taking matters into their own hands and imposed a curfew after 8: PM to all students.



The Slytherins had been silent through the entire meal. None of them had said a word all day through their classes. The teachers looked worried, none of them called on a Slytherin all day, but they had taught their classes like nothing had happened.



After dinner the Gryffindors plodded up the long stairwells leading to their common room. Their common room was eerily quiet for the large amount of people in it. Besides the sound of turning pages and the occasional clink of Wizards Chess the room was silent.



Harry wasn’t surprised when Hermione decided to go into her rooms to study, but was surprised when Ron joined her. Ron hadn’t come to bed the night before and Harry had just assumed he had fallen asleep in front of the fire. Apparently he was wrong.



The door to Hermiones room clicked shut behind her and Ron.



“I didn’t see Nick all day,” said Ron.



“I saw him before lunch,” Hermione said grabbing a blue cloak. “He said to be at the Black place around 10.”



She grabbed a handful of brown dust in a blue bowl near her fireplace.



12 Grimmauld Place,” she announced before tossing the powder into the flames. They suddenly leapt higher and turned from orange to green.