(1938-06-13) Questions About Durmstrang
Details for Questions About Durmstrang
Summary: Ophelia comes to see acting Headmaster Dumbledore with questions about Durmstrang.
Date: June 13, 1938
Location: Headmaster's Office
Related: Escape From Durmstrang

Dumbledore sits hunched over Headmaster Dippet's desk, penning the final strokes on a letter when he hears the grinding of stone announcing the arrival of his guest. "Come in, Miss Summerbee," he calls out in his gentle voice, dripping wax onto an envelope and pressing a seal shaped like the Hogwarts crest to it.

Ophelia pulls her hand back from the door, stopping before knocking as she hears her name. She's chewing her lip as she slips through the door, looking around the office she's not seen in all her years here as she makes her way carefully to the desk. "Uhm… I'm sorry to bother you, sir… I just… I wanted to ask something… if its alright… "

Dumbledore smiles, beckoning Ophelia further inside as he rises from his seat. He approaches a tall perch, upon which is a large bird with vibrant, colorful plumage. The professor has been known to bring Fawkes out in his Transfiguration classes on occasion. He offers the letter up to the phoenix, which takes it careful in his beak before spreading his wings and launching into the air to disappear through a high window. "Correspondence to Beauxbatons," he explains. "We are keeping in close contact these days. Please, sit. What is your question, Miss Summerbee?"

"Oh, is Beau alright? Oh, I mean. That wasn't my question. It… it should have been. Can.. I ask more than one?" Being in the Headmaster's office is proving more than intimidating for Ophelia, despite Dumbledore's kindness. Biting her lip, she looks to the bird, and workd up her courage to ask, "Did you really know it was a trap? Could we have avoided it? I-if… if not for the… the petition?"

Dumbledore smiles reassuringly at her concerns about Beau. The French Champion has been a guest of Hogwarts ever since escaping from Durmstrang, much to the delight of many young ladies. But her question, her real question, brings a heavy sigh to Dumbledore as he lowers himself into the Headmaster's chair. "We didn't know anything. There were…concerns." He goes silent for a moment, his face tightening. "I'm so very sorry, Ophelia, for what we put you all through. I didn't want to believe that Headmaster Helstrom was capable of something like that. I'm still not convinced he was involved, or that he isn't being coerced even now."

Ophelia wraps an arm around herself, taking hold of her opposite elbow, closing her eyes for a moment as the answer turns out to be different from the one she'd been hoping for. Slowly she nods, then opens her eyes again. "Is Headmaster Dippet really not coming back, then?"

"I wish I had a good answer for that question. As of now, we are doing all that we can to secure the safe return of the Headmaster and our remaining students." Dumbledore rises again, moving around the large desk. "Ophelia, are you concerned that your petition was responsible for allowing these events to occur?"

Ophelia is ready to ask another question when Dumbledore asks his. Her mouth opens, then closes. Her gaze shifts from his face to the floor, and bot of her hands are in a moment up and wrapped around herself. "I-I had it sent to the Ministry. If they said we had to go, because of that… then even if you were worried we would have had to go… "

Dumbledore places a hand on Ophelia's shoulder. It is a light touch, but strangely heavy. "The only person that was obligated to go was Leander, because of the Goblet of Fire. But it was up to Ove Helstrom to make that happen. Ophelia…your petition was an act of pure compassion and commendable determination. You gave hope to a young man who was having his dreams stolen from him because of the narrow-mindedness of people he had never met. I believe Durmstrang may have been planning this all along, or that it was Gellert Grindelwald that took advantage of the situation for his own ends. But listen to me." He dips his face to level a piercing stare into her eyes. "You are not responsible for what happened."

Ophelia looks up, startled, the moment the hand touches her shoulder. She stares into the Professor's face as he speaks, biting her lip as her eyes slowly fill with tears, and after a quick sniffle to hold back even more, nods.

Dumbledore's hand squeezes her shoulder. "There, there, dear child. Let it out. You have endured more than anyone has a right to ask of you." From a pocket, he produces a kerchief, offering it to the girl.

Though Ophelia takes the offered kerchief gratefully, she shakes her head as she wipes her face, "N-no, really, its Ripley who… I barely even knew either of them, really. Ripley hurts so much… I don't… " Another sniffle, and a pause to wipe away a few more tears, before she looks up once more, "Are, ah, there any rules about having some sort of ceremony? I know the family will do something but, um, just to show him that the students all still… support him?"

Dumbledore leans against the desk to present a less imposing figure. "We are planning a memorial service, yes. If you'd like to be involved, you are more than welcome to help."

Ophelia's eyes light up. A purpose! She nods before she is able to speak, "Oh, yes please, I'd like it very much. I've been researching, and I had this idea and… oh, um. Well I should save it I suppose for… whenever the planning happens."

A bit of a twinkle appears in Dumbledore's eye. "Very well, then. I hereby appoint you the organizer for the service. Make us proud, Ophelia."

Ophelia's eyes fly wide open. "Me? The /whole/ service?" She swallows, looks down at the kerchief, then back up, "A-ah, yes, yes alright I… um… should get going then… I'll, ah, " She frowns at the kerchief, "Have this washed for you?"

"Keep it," he insists, waving it off. "Feel free to call upon the faculty for aid. Professor Slughorn will wish to assist you, I believe. I have every faith in you, Miss Summerbee."

Ophelia takes a few steps for the door, finding a small smile and a nod for the Acting Headmaster. "Yes, sir. /Thank you/ sir." Clutching the handkerchief tightly, she spins around and hurries from the room, wondering if there's time to stop and look for Professor Slughorn on her way to tell Phae!

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