The Sugar Quill
Author: rebeccagrace (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Madness  Chapter: Chapter Two
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(part two)

Roger watched Harry Potter and his two constant companions, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, walk down the hall together. He hated them. No...he envied them. He looked at the way Hermione had her head thrown back, laughing. Looked at the grin that hovered around the boys' mouths as they watched her. Why was it only him that had problems? Why, since the beginning of his life, did trouble always seem to hover around him?

He looked closer at the trio as they passed, unaware of anyone but each other, as usual. Harry's face was pale, and the grin poorly concealed the thousand tiny creases of worry beneath it. Ron was the same, drawn and weary looking. His usual high spirits were gone. Hermione had stopped laughing by now and was looking more somber than usual, and a little guilty at her outburst. "I'm sorry..." He heard her say to the boys. "But it's just been so long since I've had a reason to laugh, you know?" Harry looked paler than usual. "I know." They walked on.

So he wasn't the only one with problems, after all. God. He was so selfish at times. Everyone had something to worry about, now. But he couldn't help but think that his problem was the most immediate. After this...situation was solved then he could go on to being worried about You-Know-Who, like everyone else. He grinned slightly at his irreverence and went on to his dorm for some homework. He needed to push what he had just learned out of his mind for a while.

Homework always soothed him. Every Ravenclaw was similar in that respect. He walked into the rather austere common room and saw identical looks of supreme comfort on his housemates that were doing homework. His grin widened. was just what he needed. He took his place at a bare, smooth table and pulled out his textbooks. He always felt so...comforted when he was in this room. Ravenclaws didn't seem to need all the comforts that the other dorms enjoyed. At least from what he had seen of the Hufflepuff common room, anyway. It was an explosion of pillows and soft things. The familiar feeling of guilt washed over him as he remembered his situation. Sneaking into the Hufflepuff common room was the least of his problems...

He pushed all thoughts from his mind and concentrated on his Herbology homework. He would worry about things later in the evening, when he had agreed to meet Susan in an empty classroom to talk. He shuddered involuntarily through his concentration as he realized what danger they would be in by venturing out of their common rooms after midnight. It was strictly forbidden, nowadays. And actually enforced. He would have to use all his newfound skills at dodging prefects and ghosts.

He sighed. But it had to be done.

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