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Starting Over- Chapter 1 and 2

Starting Over is a Post-Hogwarts Harry Potter fic that centers around Lex Malfoy and her adult life. It's angsty and got to the point where it started stressing me out. I'll probably try and finish it up since it's almost done anyway, but for now, this is it.

Chapter One

It was a miserable day on the ground of Hogwarts. Lightening crashed in the distance and the rain dumped down in buckets upon the dark green grass of the earth. There wasn’t a soul to be seen except for the few animals that were now making their way towards shelter. It certainly wasn’t a day for being outside, but it wasn’t like the students had much of a choice.

Inside the castle, in the classrooms the students had piled inside and were now taking their final exams. Many had confused or worried looks on their faces as they read the questions and tried to answer. In one class the students were sitting among normal everyday objects in the Muggle World. This was the Muggle Studies class taught by Professor Lex Malfoy, who sat at her class, correcting other exams, and occasionally checking up the students’ progress.

Lex was a new teacher at Hogwarts, 21 years old and very bright. She had short bright red hair that came down to about the bottom of her ear lobes. Her green eyes shined out from behind her thick-framed glasses and she had very pale skin. Her robes hung off her thin frame and gave her a very sick look but she had been that small for a while.

She sat there and sighed as she started on another exam and began to correct the questions about why Muggles use this technology or why they don’t use that. It was all very boring to her, since she had grown up with Muggles. Some of the answers were so ridiculously off that she had to stop herself from laughing.

After finishing the exam she got to her feet and began to wander around the room, looking at papers and seeing how far along her students were. She came to her younger cousin, Emily Conners, a brown hared girl who was very smart. She was doing fabulously as Lex saw when she glanced at her paper. A small smile crept across her face as she continued to walk through the room. After several minutes she took her seat again and began to tap her feet. She was bored beyond all reason. She wanted to leave the classroom or have a normal lesson, not sit here watching the students take an exam.

After what seemed like ages, the bell rang and the students handed in their papers. Lex smiled at each of them.

“Have a nice day and enjoy your summer holiday,” she said.

This had been her final exam, their final exams as well, and now they were all free. She slumped down in her chair and sighed loudly. She still had loads of papers to correct. How she wished she could just give everyone good marks and leave it at that. Lying her head down on the desk, she took a deep breath and slowly began correcting the tests.

The hours crept by and when she finished the tests the grounds outside the school were threatening to grow dark, as well as the hallway outside of her classroom. She had lit a few candles around her and some of them were even threatening to go out. She set down the last test in her folder and dropped her black feather quill.

“Finished,” she breathed, grinning slightly, “This was worse then Snape’s potions class.”

She put the folder away in her desk, magically locking the drawer and stood up. She checked the clock on the wall. It was only 6:30 PM, and almost time for the end of term feast and her stomach growled. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was. As she went for the door she pulled it open and ran right into someone.

She fell to the ground and swore loudly.

“God damn it, watch where you’re going!” she fumed, looking up at who she had run into.

A tall woman, about 5’ 9” with long, curly, dark red, hair and green eyes looked down at her. She laughed slightly and extended her hand down to Lex.

“Jesus, I was just coming to see if you were going to get to the feast,” said the woman.

“God, Breena,” Lex moaned, “Knock when you stand outside a door, okay? Don’t just wait for me to run right into you.”

Breena smiled and they left the room, making their way towards the Great Hall, chatting happily.

Lex and Breena had been friends since their first year here at Hogwarts. Although Breena had been in Slytherin and Lex in Gryffindor, they still found a lot of common ground. Many people thought it odd that two people who were supposed to be so different had wound up being friends, but it wasn’t surprising to them. They were there for each other, whatever the cause.

They entered the Great Hall, which was filled with laughter, students yelling and cheering and some just looking at their plates, ready for dinner to begin. Breena gave Lex a faint smile. She knew Lex missed her youth, her innocence, but it was far in the past now.

They pushed their way through the Great Hall and Lex looked up at the Head Table, where some of the staff was already sitting. The staff at Hogwarts had definitely changed since she had gone there.

In the four years she was away, nearly the whole staff had been revamped and almost everyone was a new face. It made her sad. She had loved the old staff so much she wished they’d stayed. Ashlee Sully, an enemy of hers was now headmistress and her boss. Dumbledore had stepped down just a year ago, but not before hand picking most of the staff for the year to come. Lex had been oddly close to him and missed him terribly. He had given her the teaching job, in her eyes, purely out of sympathy. But that didn’t matter, the job was a job, and she had needed it.

They reached the Head Table and sat down, Breena next to Neci Estralita, to taught transfigurations and Lex sat next to Rikhard Finn, the Care of Magical Creatures Professor. Lex didn’t say anything, but simply sat there, looking at her empty plate. She didn’t feel like being here, she wished to be among the crowd of students sitting in the Hall, laughing and being carefree.

After several minutes the students had taken their seats and Ashlee rose and began to speak. Lex, however, didn’t pay much attention; she didn’t want to hear what she had to say. She didn’t care at all for Ashlee. Secretly she wondered why Dumbledore had picked her to be headmistress, but the man did have his reasons.

“Another year is gone,” she said, “And I might add it was splendid year at that.”

She surveyed the crowd and Lex lifted her head slightly. None of them really knew what it had been like with Dumbledore here. They had no idea how much wonder the school had lost. She lowered her head again.

“I want to congratulate the Gryffindor Quidditch team on winning the Quidditch cup this past year,” she said, not sounding too thrilled, “You fought valiantly.”

There came a tremendous roar from the Gryffindor table and Lex clapped half hearted. Rikhard Finn looked at her, his eyes full of wonder and curiosity.

“Are you all right?” he asked, “You seem a bit off.”

Lex shook her head.

“I’m just tired Rikhard,” she said, sighing and returning to Ashlee’s speech.

“I would also like to announce the winners of the House cup,” she said, sounding a little happier, “This years winner is Slytherin!”

There was a large roar in the Hall as the Slytherin students jumped up and down. Breena clapped loudly as Ashlee and Feriona Ardantane, the Herbology teacher, had smug grins of their faces.

It was set up. Lex thought and looked up. She felt very miserable.

“And with that I would like to invite you to eat your fill and enjoy the last night of this school year!” Ashlee said, her voice filled with happiness, “And have a good summer holiday!”

With that the food appeared on the table. Breena began to grab food and offered some to Lex but she simply passed it by.

“Lex,” she said, “You need to eat something, you’re as skinny as a rail!”

She shook her head, but her stomach grumbled loudly. Breena glared at her and Lex glared right back.

“I’m not hungry,” Lex insisted, passing the potatoes down to Rikhard.

“Goodness, child, you’ve barely been eating at all!” hissed Breena; “You’ve gotten so damn thin it’s hard to know where you actually are!”

“What are you, my mother?” Lex asked.

“Well someone has got to get you to eat,” she said, “You’re wasting away!”

Lex shrugged and took a huge bit out a roll.

“Happy?” she asked, through a mouth half full of bread.

“Very,” said Breena, grinning.

The feast went by quickly and before she knew it she was lying down in her bed for the night. The year was over and tomorrow she would be leaving Hogwarts for the summer. Lex watched the ceiling for a while and sighed. She glanced at the picture on her nightstand of her, Breena, Hari and Alaina, the three best friends she had at Hogwarts. She gave a small smile as the figures smiled and laughed, playing tricks on each other.

“So much has changed,” she muttered.

Chapter Two
Terrible News

The next morning seemed to come as soon as Lex closed her eyes. She slowly got ready, packing everything away, but mostly relying on her wand to do the job. It was already 9 AM; the train was coming at noon. She packed the last of her things with a swish of her wand and was ready moments later. She sat on her small bed, Sky, her loyal fox, sitting in her lap, and looked out the window. The ground was still soaking with the rain, which had failed to stop over the night. It was a miserable day to most people but Lex loved the rain. It made her happy.

She longed to be a child again. She missed the days when her, Hari, Alaina and Breena would run a muck around the school, tossing dung bombs here and there and getting into all sorts of trouble. She missed those days where she had been so innocent.

She picked up her bags and took them downstairs to the staff lounge with Sky on her shoulder, where Breena sat along with several of the other Professors. She looked terribly upset and near tears when she saw Lex, who had just set down her bag.

“Oh God, I can’t believe it,” she blurted out, catching Lex but surprise.

“Can’t believe what?” asked Lex, looking surprised as Sky hopped onto the top of Lex’s bags.

Breena’s eyes went wide and she covered her mouth.

“Oh god, you don’t know,” she said.

“Don’t know what?” asked Lex, narrowing her eyes in concern.

At that moment, Ashlee and Feriona walked into the staff lounge, looking for someone. They walked over to her and seemed to drilling into her with their eyes.

“Lex, could we have a word?” asked Ashlee.

Lex looked at Breena and then nodded. She left the room and Breena grabbed Feriona by the hand.

“You can’t do this to her,” she hissed, “She’s had enough trouble in her life.”

Feriona narrowed her eyes and shook off Breena’s grip. There was a sick look of happiness is her eyes about what she was going to do.

“We’re doing this for the best of the school,” snapped Feriona with a small smile.

“But you’re going to destroy her!” Breena snapped back, “Doesn’t that matter? Are you so inhuman?”

Feriona pushed Breena aside and marched after Ashlee and Lex, while Breena stood there, growling with rage, not sure what she could do.

Meanwhile, Lex sat down across from Ashlee in her office. Ashlee looked slightly uncomfortable as she settled behind her desk. Seconds later, Feriona stormed in and slammed the door, which made Lex jump out of her seat. Feriona sighed and sat down.

“Let’s get on with this,” she growled.

Ashlee looked up at Lex, a very grave look on her face.

“Alexia,” she said.

That name still made her skin crawl. She was on of the only one who still called her that, for whatever reason Lex never knew.

“We, Feriona and I, we don’t feel that you’ve been carrying your weight around here as a teacher,” said Ashlee.

Lex blinked. The words were coming out in slow motion and weren’t registering right. What did she just say?

“We feel that it would be best, if you left, and handed the reigns to the Muggle Studies class over to someone else,” said Ashlee.

Lex was now shaking with rage and sadness as the words hit her ears. She looked up at Feriona and had a questioning look in her eyes.

“Why?” she croaked, her throat tight with rage.

“Well, the students exams didn’t seem to stand up to the standards that we have for them,” said Feriona, looking rather superior, “We’ve also had several complaints from parents. The students weren’t being challenged.”

“Don’t I get some kind on warning?” asked Lex, “A second chance?”

Ashlee shook her head and folded her hands on top of the desk.

“It’s not just that,” she said, “You’ve been slipping, in and out of thought a lot. You always seemed to be lost in a dream world that only you know about. Breena was the one who expressed the concern about that.”

Tears were forming in her eyes, as she gripped the armchair. Breena had told them she thought she was losing her grip?

“T-t-that’s not grounds for being let go,” stammered Lex, “I should get a warning, a second chance, not be let go.”

The tears were starting to build higher and higher. She looked down at the ground and closed her eyes.

Don’t let them see you cry.

“Dumbledore…” started Lex but Feriona cut her off.

“Dumbledore isn’t headmaster here anymore, Alexia,” spat Feriona, sounding very angry, “Ashlee is in charge now, and she believes that you being a poor teacher is grounds for being let go.”

The tears subsided slightly and rage began to take its place. Lex glared at Feriona. Being called “a poor teacher” made her want to grab her wand and destroy Feriona right there. Before Lex could act, Ashlee spoke up, stopping Lex.

“I’m sorry Alexia,” she said, “But this will be the last day you spend as a teacher here at Hogwarts.”

With that Feriona and Ashlee left the room. The door shut behind them and Lex broke down. She sobbed into her hands and felt like she was going to vomit. Everything she had ever loved had been at this school. This had been her home. But now, she had to leave, forever.

She left the room and returned to the hall, her legs trembling under her as though she had just recovered from a bad bought of the flu. Breena stood apart from the group, watching the ground intently, Sky resting on her shoulder. She looked extremely nervous and when she saw Lex, dashed over to her, throwing her arms tightly around her.

“Lex, I’m so sorry,” she said, “I thought you knew, I thought they told you…THEY DIDN’T TELL YOU!”

Breena was suddenly very angry but Lex simply shook her head. Sky hopped to the ground and wandered away, over towards the wall.

“Bree, they’re right,” she said, “I don’t belong here anymore.”

“What?” asked Breena.

“Ever since this past summer, I haven’t been myself,” said Lex, “I haven’t been good enough, I shouldn’t be trusted to teach kids. I’m not who I used to be.”

Breena set her hand on Lex shoulder and gave a small smile. There were tears in her eyes, and she nodded.

“We’d better get going,” Breena whispered.

They lifted the hoods of their cloaks and walked down the path towards the train, Sky in Lex’s arms. She felt more miserable that she was willing to admit to Breena. The fact that she was being forced to leave forever was worse that leaving for the summer. She sniffled slightly but made no mention of it. She wasn’t going to show weakness, not even to Breena.

On the train home, Lex shared a compartment with Breena, Neci and Rikhard, but she didn’t feel like being around anyone. They kept pressing the issue, but eventually Breena threatened to hex them if they didn’t shut up. Most of the trip Lex just gazed out the window, wondering if any of this could really be happening. It didn’t feel real; it had to be a horrible dream. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

I’ll open my eyes and wake up. She told herself.

But it didn’t happen. Lex spent the whole trip in silence, while Breena tried to cheer her up. It was worthless. Nothing would work; it was over.


Estelleu Denal

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