seventeen

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TEN FAMILIAR FACES STARED BACK at her from her copy of the Daily Prophet. Bile climbed up her throat, and she had to fight the urge to throw up the entire meal she had just finished eating.

"Celestia?"

"Celestia, what's wrong?"

"What is it, CeCe?"

"You look like you've seen a Dementor, are you alright?"

Her friends voices went in one ear and out the other. The ten faces staring up at her from the newspaper captivated all of her attention. Some of them were jeering; others looking insolent. Nine wizards, one witch.

It was that one witches face that had jumped at her the moment her owl dropped the Daily Prophet on her lap. She had long dark hair, that was unkempt and dishevelled. Though, that is not what had caught her eye. It was the woman's strong jaw, and upturned nose. It was her jaw and nose, one's she saw whenever she glanced in the mirror; reflected on this woman on her newspaper.

"Bellatrix escaped from Azkaban," croaked Celestia, her throat gone dry.

Draco's face blanched, his spoon dropping from his hand. The cousin's shared a look, the feeling of nausea building up slowly. Her head pounded, thoughts muddled.

Draco, who had been frozen from the news moments before, snatched the Daily Prophet out of her limp hands. He was muttering quietly, only loud enough for the small group to hear.

"Mass breakout... Ten prisoners... Outside help... Sirius Black..."

More people had finished their breakfast now, finally looking at their mail. Most prominently in other peoples hands was the Daily Prophet with the bold headline and photos jumping out on the front page.

MASS BREAKOUT FROM AZKABAN MINISTRY FEARS BLACK IS "RALLYING POINT" FOR OLD DEATH EATERS

People were reading it all across the hall, loud gasps and murmurs. Not many people got the prophet daily, but the few students who had were passing around their own copy as the news made its way down the gossip train.

Then it was happening again. Just like how it had been like in third year. The stares, the whispers, the accusations. They were all looking at her again. Hands covering their mouths, appalled and horrified glances.

Celestia stood up quickly, and if it weren't for all the other students sharing the bench, it would have toppled over by how fast she had risen. The vomit which she had been withholding from the news of her Aunt's escape was returning at full speed as more people turned to look at her.

The entire hall could be yelling at her or it could have been in complete silence, and she would not have known. It was too much. She could feel their stares on her skin like they were touches, blazing through her flesh and scratching at her bones. Her head was throbbing. She couldn't stay here as they stared, as they judged and assumed.

She was moving before her brain had caught up, trying not to draw more attention to herself than there already was. Bile was stretching up her throat, and she had to place a hand over her mouth so she would not retch in front of the entire school.

She pushed open the doors of the Great Hall, stumbling her way out of sight and into the Entrance Hall. She attempted to get outside before she spewed, but she could no longer hold it in. Pressing a hand to the cold stones of the wall, she doubled over as her entire breakfast came rushing out of her mouth.

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