Susan had no idea how she had gotten home that day. As she fell onto her unmade bed, the fog in her brain lifted and she realised what had just happened.
“What if I’ve lost him forever?” she whispered desperately, tears coming to her eyes and spilling down her cheeks. She put her face in her hands and sobbed for a few long moments. “Great Wizards, what am I going to do without him?” Susan’s pillow grew increasingly wet from her tears. She felt completely despondent for awhile, and her sobs gradually went down to sniffles, and finally her eyes were dry.
In a haze, she got up and pulled her work clothing out of the closet. Changing quickly, she remembered she wasn’t on the schedule for today, but decided to go in anyway, with any luck she could convince Hermione or Lavender to give up their shift. She could not stay in the house; she needed to do something as to not dwell on her current situation. Susan managed to dodge her parents as she slipped out the front door, and hurried through the softly falling rain towards the pizza place.
“Hi everyone!” she called out loudly as she came through the back entrance. “Hi Leonora, hi Trippy…” she said to the small house elf stacking dishes on a shelf. She tied her apron around her waist and went out to the main restaurant area, where she grabbed a tray and started putting napkin holders and silverware on it.
Hermione, Lavender and Leonora all stared at her wordlessly.
“What? Why are you all staring at me?” Susan asked as she pulled some chairs down from the tabletops.
“Susan, you’re not on the schedule to work today.” Leonora said carefully.
“So what?” Susan crossed her arms and glared at the three of them.
“Are you pregnant Sue?” Leonora asked softly.
Susan snorted. “No.”
“Something’s wrong.” Hermione said.
“Nothing is, well, nothing really…it’s just that well…I broke up with Ron this morning.” Susan managed to say with only a slight tremor in her voice.
“Oh, shit.” Hermione said, sharing a stricken look with Lavender.
“No, Hermione, it’s fine!” Susan looked up and she smiled, but her eyes were stinging with small tears. “We weren’t getting along lately at all, you know, and it’s just something I had to do….everything he wants in life, I don’t…the marriage, having kids…I want all that, I really do, but just not now. If he really loved me like he said, he’d wait….but I guess if I loved him I’d marry him right?”
Hermione, Lavender and Leonora all stared at her; none of them knew what to say.
“But I don’t need Ron…” Susan continued. “I mean Leonora, when you retire; you’re going to teach me how to make your sauce right?”
Leonora nodded. “Of course, when I retire. I’ll teach you everything.”
Susan shook her head vigorously. “Good, see, I don’t need Ron to run this place, I could even go take some Muggle courses at a University to learn how to manage money….” She spun off a tale of her life and it sounded better and better to her, until she realised something. It was a life completely, totally and utterly without Ron.
“I uh…” Susan stopped her tale midsentence. “I think I need to go to the bathroom…” she said, tears finally spilling over her eyelids and down her cheeks. She felt like she was going to be seriously ill. Hermione and Lavender both rushed behind her, Leonora following them.
*** *** *** *** ***
“When Saturn is in the Fifth House…” Lavender muttered as she made some marks on her star chart. The balcony at the Bowers house was in the perfect position for stargazing. “When Jupiter crosses Mars in the middle of the month…” she trailed off as she saw Henry coming up the driveway.
“Hi Lavender!” he called up to her, smiling as he leaned his broom against the side post on the porch.
“Hi.” She grinned back; the butterflies in her stomach were fluttering madly. “I hope you don’t mind me being out here on the balcony, I made sure I could hear Lori if she needs me.”
“How is she?” Henry asked as he climbed the stairs.
“She’s fine.” Lavender set her charts aside and got up as he went in the door to the kitchen.
“Would you like something to drink, a Fizzy, some juice?” he asked as he uncorked a bottle of red wine and poured some for himself.
Lavender paused for a moment. “I’ll have some wine.” She replied as she turned back to the bench she had been sitting on. Henry stared after her a second or two, but poured her a glass of wine as well.
“Here.” He handed her the glass. “So what are you up to, out here?” he settled on the bench next to her.
“Well my boss asked me to make some new star charts for her, and this is really a perfect night for it.” Lavender replied eagerly.
“What are the star charts for?” Henry asked.
“Well she uses them when she does readings; they help guide her Inner Eye to make the right predictions. Every month I have to make a new set for her.” Lavender replied.
“Can you do a reading for me?” Henry asked, his eyes twinkling in amusement.
“Oh um…” Lavender blushed furiously. “I’m not sure if I’m qualified enough to do that yet.”
“Sure you are.” Henry said. “You got a scholarship in this field didn’t you?”
“Well yes…okay I’ll do one, but just don’t take it seriously.” Lavender said.
“I never do.” Henry said lightly.
Lavender fumbled around her charts for the correct one, then studied it intently for a few long moments. “This is really strange.”
“What is?” Henry asked, leaning over and looking at the chart.
“Well, predictions are supposed to change from month to month, and this one is the same as when you came in that one day with Lori and Sibyll read for you.” Lavender’s brow furrowed as she read further into it. “In fact, it’s exactly the same. Whatever was supposed to happen to you, the big event she was talking about obviously hasn’t happened yet.”
“I see.” Henry said, sitting back and sipping his wine.
“But, like I said, don’t take it seriously.” Lavender said. “When my Inner Eye is developed more, that’s when you should pay more attention.”
“Inner Eye?” Henry chuckled. “Do you have an eye inside your body that just floats around or something, and foresees people’s futures?”
“No!” Lavender cried out, but she started to giggle at the thought of an eye just meandering around inside of her. “It’s more of a perception sort of thing, and if we DID have an eye inside of us, I’m SURE it’d be in our heads somewhere.”
Henry laughed and Lavender flushed. “Am I babbling again?”
“Yeah.” He joked. “But keep going, I like it.”
“Well I’ll tell you one more thing then. This happens to be the best night for stargazing and making star charts, I’ll bet you all Divination apprentices are out doing just what I’m doing.” Lavender said.
“Well then can I propose a toast?” Henry asked, lifting his glass.
“Sure.” Lavender replied, a bit nervously. ‘This is a bit romantic…’ she thought.
“To the best stargazing night a Divination apprentice could ask for.” He clinked his glass softly against hers and they both sipped the dark wine. “A floating eye in the body…” he smirked and they both started laughing.
*** *** *** *** ***
“I had a really good time tonight Harry.” Hermione said as he landed them gently in front of her house.
“Me too.” Harry said, clasping her hand in his as he walked her to the front porch. “Listen, I have a question to ask you.”
“What’s that?” Hermione asked.
“Well, my mother has asked me to ask you if you’d like to come over for dinner next week, they’re coming to the vacation house and would really like to meet you.” Harry said.
“Your mother wants to meet me?” Hermione’s eyes widened. Everyone knew Lily Potter, being she was the wife of the Minister of Magic and one of the most beautiful witches in the world.
“Well I’d like you to meet them too, I’m sure they’ll love you as much as I do.” Harry said, resting his forehead against hers.
“What day?” Hermione asked.
“Next Tuesday? Is that good for you?” He replied.
“I have to work until six.” She frowned.
“Well we don’t eat until half past seven.” Harry said. “And you don’t have to wear anything especially fancy either; we only dress up for dinner on certain occasions.”
“All right.” Hermione smiled up at him. He grinned back and bent down to kiss her lightly.
“I’ll pick you up at seven then.” Harry said, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her body tightly against his.
“You don’t have to leave right now do you?” Hermione purred softly in his ear.
“Nope.” Harry said immediately.
“Good.” She replied softly, giving his earlobe a seductive lick.
“I’ll have you know that there isn’t a shameful bone in my body, and if you keep doing that I’ll be forced to shag you right here on your porch.” Harry warned her, his green eyes growing dark.
“I suppose that means you should get your ass up to my room right now.” Hermione said, kissing him and opening the door to her house. “See you in a minute!”