Birds of a Feather
Book One: First Flight

by Nethilia

Author's Notes: Eee, crap is no thanks. Obstacle after obstacle...well ,the chapter is out now.

I have recently been informed that my beloved Morag has a girl's name. Well rats, chalk it up to Stupid American. Anways, I'm not changing the name, or the gender. There's a reason for this, but I'm not telling! There is Quidditch in this chapter, a poke at the Gryffs, and the relevation that Morag's pretty bright. Oh and I chip down a little more of Antigone's world--but no peeking yet.

Thankoo Haggridd and Madhuri. I promise, I'll try to get the next chapter out a lot more quickly tha I did this time.


Chapter 7
Battles on Broomsticks

November had come to Hogwarts, and with it even more cold weather. Padma didn’t go outside if she could help it—every morning the ground was covered in frost and the lake had almost iced over. She preferred to stay in the library. She was very glad that flying lessons had ended this past Tuesday. Padma was now a top flyer, though Morag was still much better. He and Joseph were the two Ravenclaws who excelled at flying, and Padma wondered if they would try out next year for Quidditch. The first Quidditch match of the year would be that Saturday-- Slytherin versus Gryffindor-- and Padma was excited. Not only would it be her first Quidditch match, but Harry Potter would be on the field as well. Many people were giving him words of encouragement, but the Slytherins were mostly jeering at him.

There was midnight Astronomy class that night with the Gryffindors, so Padma was reading up on the constellation Orion for homework. Carolina had been studying her Charms text, practicing Lumos charms in the darker corners of the common room. She was now at the table, working on Astronomy homework with Padma. Morag had finished his homework, and was now reading Families of the Dark Era along with a few other books about the History Of Magic. Antigone was also reading a book, As the Gods Make It, but was not nearly so absorbed as Morag. Padma didn't know why Morag would be interested in such a book, other than for research. The Dark Era was not a topic that fascinated most people. Padma was just taking notes on the cycle of Orion in the sky when Morag slammed his book down and groaned, catching her attention.

"What’s wrong, Morag?" Padma asked.

"Nothing, nothing." Morag slumped back in his chair. "I’m just not getting anywhere with this research of mine."

"What is it that you’re researching?" Antigone asked softly, placing her bookmark in her book and setting it on the table.

"Information about my father’s family. I don’t know anything about them—what with my father dying when I was so young and all."

"Won’t your family help you any?" Carolina asked. "That should be the first place you look."

"Not really. I wrote Aunt Opaline. She didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. My mother knows nothing about father's family-- I remember asking her as a small child." Morag stared at the wall. "Everything about my family’s a mystery. I mean, I know a lot about my mother’s side of the family, but my father's side is—I don't know—obscured, somehow. It's as if no one wants to speak about the MacDougals."

Padma shrugged. "I don't claim to understand what you're talking about—I've always known about my family—but why are you reading Families of the Dark Era? I think that is the last place you would want to find anything about your family."

"There were all those whispers when you were being sorted. I do remember that." Carolina set down her quill. She dropped her voice to a whisper. "Do you suspect it was because your father was somehow involved in something not quite respectable?"

Morag's eyes widened. He looked as if he wanted to say something, then just shook his head and looked very embarrassed. "Those whispers were probably because of my name."

"The MacDougal part?" Padma asked. "I mean, there was whispering when that Weasley kid was sorted, because they’re so noticeable—is it the same thing with your family?."

"What about Harry Potter?" Antigone asked Padma.

"That’s different. His whole name’s widely known, and I think they were whispering because of Morag’s last name." Padma turned back to Morag. "Well?"

"It might have been," Morag said, and Padma noted that he sounded like he was covering up something. "But I suspect it was because of my first name."

Carolina turned to Morag, a look of recognition coming over her face. "I noticed your name sounded odd, but I couldn't place why. Is your name unusual for you?"

"Yes, but it wouldn't if I were a witch." Morag blushed at the admission.

Padma nearly gagged on her Every Flavor Bean—she had gotten one that tasted exactly like shoe polish. Spitting out the bean into a handkerchief and visibly shuddering, she looked up at Morag. "A witch-- you mean a girl?"

Morag nodded, looking at the floor, then up at the ceiling-- anywhere but directly at his friends. "I have a girl's name—why, I don't know. I just know that when I was born, my father named me Morag—my mom didn’t have anything to do with naming me, I learned later on. It was very embarrassing, every year of primary. On the first day of school, the teacher always called the roll, then look at me with surprise when I confirmed that my name was Morag. I didn’t even know it was a girl’s name until I got into primary school—I thought it was just a name." He groaned. "It’s as bad as naming a girl ‘Mark’ or something."

"What would have prompted your father to give you such an obvious girl’s name?" Padma wondered aloud. "I mean, he must have known that it would cause you endless teasing."

"That's what I want to know. Hence all this looking stuff up."

Carolina looked at her watch. "We’d better hurry—Astronomy class is in an hour and I’m not yet done with my star chart."

Padma leaned over. "What constellation are you tracking? Professor Sinistra has me studying Orion."

"Aries. I’m paired with Hermione Granger, and she always has as many notes as a Ravenclaw would. I think she’s in the library more than we are at times—and that’s saying a lot."

"Here." Padma pushed over the copy of The Wizard’s Sky Atlas. "Get the notes out of this book. It’s very detailed on the topic."


Friday night, after everyone had gone to bed, Antigone found she wasn’t able to sleep. Too many thoughts were turning over in her head, mostly inspired by As The Gods Make It. So she quietly slipped into her bunny slippers and out of her dorm with Shadow at her heels and the book in her hand, hoping that the silence of night in Ravenclaw Corners would enable her to concentrate. The book was due the next day and she wanted to get as much out of it as she could before she turned it back in. Antigone was surprised when she got to the common room to find Morag awake as well. He was in black pajamas with plain slippers, curled up in a chair and reading Families of the Dark Era.

"Morag, you’re still up?" she said, startling him. He was the only one in the common room, other than a Sixth Year who had fallen asleep with her head in her textbook. He twisted in his chair to look at her, closing the book and marking his place with his finger.

"So are you." Morag answered. "What brings you out of bed, Tig?"

"My mind at work, actually. I’ve been asking myself all these questions about things since I checked this book out. A lot of really interesting facts are in it—things that I would have never thought about or known."

"Such as?"

"Have you ever heard of the Greek myth of Arachne?"

"The one who challenged the Goddess of wisdom Athena and got turned into a spider? Yes, I’ve heard it a lot. I was delighted to see that that beautiful tapestry of Athena is the entrance to our common room. She’s always been my favorite Greek goddess."

"Listen to this." Antigone pulled another chair close to Morag’s and flipped it open to a bookmarked page. The picture showed a very serious looking woman with dark grey eyes that blinked and an owl perched on her hand. "Athena was a real person, and she wasn’t a goddess. She was a witch, however, and a very powerful one, at that. She lived back in the classical Greek era. She was very solitary; people never saw much of her or her family. She was a skilled weaver, and sold her tapestries for large amounts of money. But she always sent them to market by owl rather than deal with Muggles."

"Is that why Athena is always pictured with an owl?"

"Exactly! It wasn’t her token animal, it was just her pet. A Muggle woman—that’s Arachne—had a rival practice and didn’t like that Athena never showed her face in market. So she started bragging that Athena wasn’t that good of a weaver if she couldn’t even come to market herself. Athena found out through the person that sold her tapestries and Apparated to market that next week."

"And she issued the challenge right then and there?"

"Yes. Arachne wouldn't back down either, so they went on with the competition, right there in the marketplace. Athena used magical weaving though, and her tapestry glittered and the figures moved around in it. It’s very hard to weave a tapestry that moves too, so this was adding insult to injury. Arachne got very upset when she realized that she was competing against a witch. Although her weaving was good, it couldn't match up against magic, so she went and ripped the whole tapestry apart."

"She didn’t!"

"Sure did. Stormed right over and grabbed the end and ripped it down the middle. Not that Athena couldn’t fix it, mind, but the idea that some Muggle would rip up her work just because she was better upset her greatly. She whipped out her wand, transfigured Arachne into a spider before anyone could blink, then Disapparated with a pop. Athena never came to the market again, and never sold another tapestry to the Muggles."

"All that because her work was ripped up?"

"She was known in the local wizarding community for her short temper. Poor Arachne had to be turned back into herself by another wizard who’d seen the whole event and felt sorry for her, so she didn’t stay a spider. The Muggles there passed this story down. But truth became fiction, fiction became myth, and myth became clouded."

"Very interesting. Are there more stories like that in your book?"

Antigone nodded. "All sorts of stories, stories about wizards and witches that ultimately were passed down in Muggle religions. It’s really made me think about things."

Morag looked at Antigone. "What kinds of things?"

Antigone gulped and looked at the floor, where Shadow was batting around a quill someone had forgotten. "Just my perception of things—stuff I never thought about before I came to Hogwarts."

"Stuff that has to do with your family?"

Antigone’s eyes widened in fright and she shrank back into her chair, silent. He’s not supposed to suspect that! What has he figured out about my family? He’d hate me if he knew the truth. Morag sat there, the silence between them dragging out. Finally Morag broke it.

"There’s a reason I’m reading Families of the Dark Era, and it’s not just because it’s full of interesting facts." He opened the book to where he’d been holding it and pointed to a picture on the page. Antigone leaned over and stared at the image for a while. It appeared to be a wizard with thick red hair and deep grey eyes. Sitting in front of him was a young witch with long auburn hair and the same steel grey eyes, and standing beside him was another wizard who looked like he could have been the first man’s twin. They were all shifting in place, and looked a bit wary, as if they could trust only each other. There was most likely a caption under the picture, but Morag’s hand was covering it.

"Who are they?"

"Look really closely at the picture, Tig, and show me why you’re a Ravenclaw and not a Hufflepuff."

Antigone looked up at Morag, and the connection clicked. "Morag—you’ve got the same eyes," she whispered.

"Yes I do." Morag pulled his hand back and uncovered the caption, allowing Antigone to read it.

"Geoffrey, Opaline and Alexander MacDougal. Don't you have an Aunt Opaline-- Miriam's mother?"

"There she is in the picture, only twenty years younger. She wasn’t even married yet—so Miriam wasn’t born then."

"What’s a picture of your aunt doing in this book? Does this have anything to do with what Alph said about you in the library? Was—was someone in your family in Slytherin?"

"My father, actually." Morag looked disgusted, as if he’d just eaten an unpleasant Every Flavor Bean. "For all I know, my aunt and my uncle-- that's the other man in the picture, an uncle I knew nothing about before I read this-- were Sorted there as well. The MacDougal clan goes back in history as pure-blooded and prestigious as the Malfoys themselves, and is just as snooty about the purity of their Wizarding blood." Morag dropped his voice and looked around, making sure that the Sixth Year was still asleep. "For all I know, my father could even have been a dark wizard. The MacDougals had all turned away from You-Know-You before he had gained most of his power, but they still thought he had good ideas. They even thought that You-Know-Who might have had a point about getting rid of Muggle-born witches and wizards."

"That’s horrible! And you come from those people?"

"I come from them, but I’m not one of them." Morag gave Antigone a pleading look. "You can't tell anyone, Tig. Got that? You can’t tell Carolina, or Padma, or anyone else in Ravenclaw Corners. I wouldn't have confided in you at all, but I’m hoping that I can trust you to keep this a secret. Promise me, Tig. Promise you won’t tell anyone that my father was a Slytherin, and, for all I know, a former Death Eater!"


Antigone squirmed uncomfortably, but Morag didn't shift his gaze. Come on, Antigone, he thought. I’m trusting you.

Finally, Antigone whimpered. "I promise. I won’t tell anyone." Staring into her lap, she looked like she was going to burst out crying at any moment.

"Thank you, Antigone. Are you going to stay up any longer?"

"N-no. I’m going to go to bed now. See you in the morning, okay?" She clasped her book to her chest and shuffled back into her dorm, her head down and Shadow at her heels. Morag picked up his book and headed to his dorm, then kicked off his slippers and climbed into bed before pulling the bed curtains around him. He leaned back against the pillows, but he was fretting about Antigone and the secret he’d asked her to keep.

Morag felt horrible, making her keep a secret this large, but chances were that her secret about her own family was just as big, if not quite so bad. Antigone was a trustworthy witch, he knew, but she was carrying a heavy burden all alone when it came to her family. Perhaps now that she was keeping such a secret about him, she might realize that people trusted her, and that she could trust them in return.

He pulled the covers over himself and fell into a deep sleep.


Saturday morning the school was bustling and full of energy. It was the first Quidditch match of the year, and Morag was very eager to see how it would go. He was discussing the potential outcome with Joseph and Cho over breakfast. Cho was very interested in watching Harry play so she could think up her own strategies.

Morag was about to point out that it was unlikely that she would learn any great strategy from a person who had never before even seen a Quidditch match, let alone played it, when a school owl flew in and dropped a letter on his pancakes. He flipped it over, wiping syrup off it, then looked at the front. It only said one thing, on the front, in deep green ink: "Miss Morag MacDougal." He groaned inwardly and ripped it open, wondering who would have addressed him in such a fashion—if it wasn’t a mean spirited prank by a Slytherin.

It was the first line that made him quickly stuff the letter into his pocket. Carolina blinked at him, her mouth full of porridge, and she had to swallow before asking, "What’s that you’ve got?"

"Not mine," Morag said, stuffing his mouth with more pancake. "It was addressed to a Miss."

"But someone could mistake you for a miss."

"Then it’s definitely not for me, as everyone who knows me personally knows I’m a boy despite my name."

"Then why’d you put it into your pocket?" Padma looked at Morag suspiciously.

Morag didn’t answer. Instead, he finished off the rest of his orange juice and rose to his feet. "I’ll be back later. I'm going to get my cloak—it’ll probably be pretty cold in the stands." As he walked off, he gave Antigone a quick look. He caught her eye and motioned for her to follow with a quick jerk of his head.

Seconds later, she was right behind him, wrapping bacon in a napkin. "Why'd you signal for me to follow?" she asked, looking surprised.

Morag pulled the still slightly sticky letter from his pocket and held it out. "This is for me, Antigone. Right after Halloween I sent a school owl to my Uncle Alexander—the one in the book that you saw."

Antigone blinked. "You didn’t know if he was alive or not, and you still wrote to him?"

"Sure did. He just wrote me back. He’s never seen me though—he probably does think I’m a girl."

"Morag! What if he’s some kind of dark wizard? He might want to hurt you!"

"I don’t know that, Antigone. But he’s the only person who might tell me anything about my father. It’s just a chance I had to take." They whispered the password to Ravenclaw Corners—it had just changed to "He who dies with the most books, wins."—and scrambled inside. Morag ran into his dorm to get his cloak—it would look pretty suspicious if he didn’t have it—and took Antigone’s hand. "Let’s go to the Quidditch pitch—we can talk about it after the game, okay?"


Carolina was completely confused. Seconds after Morag had left without explanation Antigone had scrambled to her feet, took her tote and made some excuse about taking her leftover sausage to Shadow. She hadn't even had sausage for breakfast; she just grabbed her bacon and took off. Carolina turned towards Padma and asked, "What was that all about?"

Padma shrugged. "I don’t have a clue. At least it's Morag who got a weird letter this time—the last time, Antigone got the mysterious letter, then she took off and wasn't seen again until the Monday morning after. Morag's letter couldn't be that bad, else he'd have told us. That's how he is."

"Well, I hope they’re both back in time for the game or they won’t get good seats." Lawrence, who had been listening, rose to his feet. "Ready to go to the stands?" Carolina nodded. "Good! I can’t wait to see how this Potter kid plays."

Carolina joined the rest of the school heading out to the pitch. It was very cold, and she was glad that she’d gotten her cloak earlier. Lawrence was rubbing his binoculars with the sleeve of his robes to clean them. "Why do you need the binoculars?" Carolina asked. "I thought the stands were raised up high."

"They are," Lawrence replied, "But sometimes you want to get a bit closer to the game." He pointed to some seats that were near the front row. "Let’s sit there so we can see the action best."

As they sat (leaving a spot for Antigone and Morag) Carolina turned around to look at the quickly filling stands. Three of the Gryffindor first years were unrolling what looked to be a large banner. It wasn’t until they got it fully open that she saw the Gryffindor lion and "Potter for President" in large letters. Hermione Granger was in the stands as well, and Carolina saw her wave her wand near the letters. The paint started to flash different colors just as Parvati sat beside them. Padma had beckoned her over. With her was her friend Lavender Brown and another Gryffindor first year, Marilyn Hopper.

"Oh, I can’t wait for the game to start!" Parvati babbled, squeezing Padma’s arm. "It’s the very first game of the year and Harry’s in it!"

"I hope he does well," Marilyn said, pulling her cloak tighter. "Ever since he, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger started being friends, he's been studying the sport as if it was life or death!"

"When did they become friends?" Carolina asked just as Morag and Antigone squeezed in beside her.

"Right around Halloween, from what I heard. Hermione went and confronted that nasty troll all by herself." Parvati looked disgusted. "I mean, honestly! She went to take on a full grown mountain troll all alone, just because she'd been studying them. She just ran off after it without thinking!"

Morag snorted under his breath. "Not thinking first? It sounds like she does belong in Gryffindor, then." Carolina bit her lip to stop from laughing—Morag was known to crack jokes about any house not his own, and his perception of Gryffindors was "all heart, no head." Parvati shot him a dirty look.

"Oh, you’re just jealous because Harry Potter’s a Gryffindor," Lavender snapped back.

"Why would that be the cause? I hadn’t heard a thing about him before I came to Hogwarts, I surely can’t be jealous of him."

"Anyway," Parvati continued, pointedly ignoring Morag's comment, "Harry and Ron found her just before she was killed and saved her from what would have surely been her death. After that, they’ve just been around each other. I guess it’s things like life and death that forge tight friendships."

"Look!" Carolina pointed at the pitch, as she saw the two teams come out with their brooms in hand. "The game’s about to start!"


Padma clapped and cheered as the two teams took off into the air. Madame Hooch freed the Quaffle, which flew up and was immediately caught by one of the Gryffindor Chasers. Padma kept her eye on the teammates, but with fourteen people zipping around she could barely keep up. She did see that Harry Potter was way above the others, gliding around and looking at the others. "What’s he doing way up there? He can't catch the Snitch just buzzing around at the top."

"I'm not so sure." Cho replied. "Roger’s been watching the reserves play against the main team and he tells me to keep an eye on the other Seeker so I see what he’s doing. I’ve been practicing with the practice Snitch."

"Practice Snitch?" Lavender looked confused.

"Yes. We can’t have the official school Snitch because losing it means we would have to replace it, so we practice with small dimpled white balls."

"Golf balls?" Carolina asked. Lawrence nodded.

"What’s a golf ball?" Padma cut in, tugging on Carolina’s sleeve.

"They’re used in a Muggle sport. Involves hitting them across a grass field with metal clubs."

"Like Beaters use?"

"No, they’re long and thin and have the hitting part at the end."

"Wouldn’t that be hard, having to hit it while it’s moving around in the air like that?"

"Not quite." Carolina looked as if she was about to tell Padma more when she was cut off by a loud, "GRYFFINDORS SCORE!" Padma turned to see a Gryffindor Chaser circling the field and clapping.

"Go Angelina!" Parvati shrieked, jumping up and down. "First score of the game!"

Padma waited until the cheers (or in the case of the Slytherins, the hisses) died down then turned back to Carolina. "What else about golf?"

"Golf balls don’t float. Let me explain. First, you have to go to a special place where you can play golf called a 'golf course.' When you're there, you go to each of the levels of the game, or 'holes,' in order to hit the 'golf ball' as far as you can, trying to get it into a hole on the other side without landing in water or sand or among trees. Then you count up how many hits it took you, and the goal is to make the ball go into the 'hole' in fewer hits, or 'strokes,' than what is expected."

"That’s kind of boring." Padma turned back to the game.

"My papa plays it all the time. It is boring."

"Oh, look at Harry Potter dive!" Antigone tugged on Padma's sleeve and pointed at Harry, who had sunk into a dive. Padma could see how he’d gotten onto the team—he was flat against his broom, the wind whipping past him as he and the Slytherin Seeker dived for the flash of gold hovering in the air. Harry looked to be only inches from it when suddenly the Slytherin captain—a big bulky boy named Marcus Flint—slammed into Harry and nearly knocked him off his broom. All around Carolina she could hear the cries of outrage from the Gryffindors, and cheers from the Slytherins as Harry fought to regain balance.

"What in the name of Merlin was that disgusting bit of cheating?" Marilyn was on her feet, squealing and hissing. "Send him to the showers!"

"What?" Parvati, Padma, and Cho all said at the same time.

"The showers! I’ve been to American baseball games and when someone does something that mean they get sent to the showers." Marilyn grumbled and sat down.

"What does taking a shower have to do with cheating?" Padma asked.

Marilyn looked at Padma like she had sprouted horns. "It means that the player is out of the game."

"For taking a shower?"

Marilyn shook her head. "Never mind."

Carolina whispered in Padma’s ear. "It’s another Muggle sport."

"Oh, okay."

"Shh!" Lawrence was staring at the game through his binoculars, watching intently, when he gasped. "What’s the Potter kid doing?"

"What?" Padma asked.

Lawrence pulled his binoculars off and pointed at a jerking speck in the sky. "He's lost control of his broom or something. He's going higher and higher. It looks like he's going to fall off!"


Morag immediately got to his feet, watching as Harry’s broom started to shake back and forth like a bucking pony. Seconds later, it started to roll, and finally the broom gave a lurch and Harry tumbled off. He only managed to hang on with one hand, but it wasn’t a firm hold, and the wrong shake could loosen him. The crowd gasped in fear, while Morag's mouth fell open. Antigone ducked her head into Morag's shoulder. "Tell me when it’s over!" she sniffled.

"What’s going on?" Morag asked, shoving Lawrence to catch his attention.

"I don’t know—it looks like he’s being shaken off the broom. But that can’t be it—the Slytherins might be slimy gits but they can’t curse a Nimbus 2000, can they?"

"I wouldn't put it past them." Morag snorted. Even more reason to worry about this uncle of mine, if he’s from that house, he thought to himself. Antigone's fingers were digging tightly into his arm, and he tried to pry her fingers a bit looser. One of the Gryffindor Beaters—he had red hair, like Ron Weasley, and was probably his brother—flew towards the dangling Seeker as Harry hung on determinedly. He reached to pull Harry towards him, but the broom jerked away. The other Beater, who was the perfect twin of the first, flew toward Harry's other side and made the same reach for him, but the broom snatched Harry away and started to shake, as if it wanted to make him let go. Out of the corner of his eye Morag saw the same boy that had slammed into Harry—the announcer, Lee Jordan, had called him Flint—take the Quaffle and score five times while the Gryffindor Keeper, looking very worried, also flew towards Harry. Morag bit his lips under the tension of it all, and stared at the stands across from them—he didn’t want to see Harry fall.

Across the stands stood Professor Snape, staring at Harry and muttering under his breath. Morag’s eyes widened—surely Snape didn’t hate Harry so much that he would try to kill him? There had to be a reason. He looked down the row of professors and saw that Professor Quirrell was staring at Harry as well, only without blinking. He jerked his eyes to one side, and Harry’s broom jerked along with it. Snape muttered faster. By Merlin! Quirrell’s trying to kill him as well! Morag was about to shout across the stands when he saw a bushy head run past and knock Professor Quirrell into the row in front. He pitched forward, holding tightly on to his turban. Morag looked up. Harry's broom stopped shaking, and he saw Harry scramble back aboard it just before Morag spied that same bushy head of hair sneak back across the stands. Seconds later, Professor Snape screamed—the hem of his robes were on fire and the faculty around him were helping him stamp out the flames. Morag wondered just what had happened. First the cheating, then the broom—and I don’t think Snape was cursing it. No, I’m sure he wasn’t. He might be mean and House serving, but he’s not trying to kill Harry. But what was Quirrell doing? Bugger it all, it’s all very confusing…

Morag blinked, then nudged Antigone. "Let me go, Tig, he’s safe now." Antigone lifted her head just as Antigone lifted her head just as Harry dived to the ground. Suddenly, he clamped his hand to his mouth and jerked back, flushing green, then tumbled onto the field on all fours and started coughing.

"He’s going to be sick!" Padma squealed.

"I’d be sick too, being bounced around like a baby in a clothes dryer," Carolina replied.

"A baby in a what?"

"Never mind."

"He’s not sick!" Antigone squealed. "He caught the Snitch!" For Harry was now holding up something that flashed gold and screaming in delight. Shrieks of confusion, of joy and of outrage--from the Slytherins--filled the stands. Flint landed on the pitch howling, and stormed over to Madame Hooch.

"Is that legal?" Carolina asked.

Cho shrugged. "Nowhere in the official rules does it say the Seeker has to use his hands to catch the Snitch. Gryffindor win, one hundred seventy to sixty."


Antigone watched as Hermione, Ron and Hagrid, the Gamekeeper, scrambled down and swept Harry off the field with hushed whispers. She wondered what that was about, but kept it to herself. "Are Quidditch games normally this chaotic, Lawrence?" Antigone asked.

Lawrence was cleaning off his binoculars. "Not this bad, no, but still…I can’t believe he caught the Snitch in his mouth." He laughed and pointed. "Flint’s still down there whining about it. He’s just mad his cheating didn’t succeed. Oh well."

Antigone was going to ask more but Morag tugged on her sleeve. Antigone looked over and then remembered. That’s right, Morag was going to tell me more after the game tonight. She followed behind him as they filed out of the stands. If anyone asked, they decided to say they were returning their library books, or renewing them, possibly. As soon as they got back to the common room they would duck off to the library. Morag felt a tap on the shoulder as they shuffled out, and they both turned to see Padma. "Hey, Morag?" she asked.

"Yes?" Morag gave Padma a quizzical look. Carolina had already left with the other Ravenclaw First Years, and Padma's twin was asking her to come with her and the Gryffindor girls however.

"Did you ever give that note to its rightful owner?"

Morag’s eyes widened for a split second, then he shook his head. "I lost it on the way out of the Great Hall."

Antigone blinked. That’s not the truth! She opened her mouth to say that wasn’t the case at all, but Morag jabbed her in the side just enough to quiet her. It didn’t hurt, only startled her.

"Oh. Well, I hope it got to the right person." Padma looked like she was going to say more, but her twin was tugging on her to come on. "See you in the common room, then."

"Of course."

Antigone waited for Padma to walk off before she turned to Morag. "Morag," she whispered, "that was a lie."

"Yes it was." Morag kept striding forward in the direction of the large front doors, and Antigone had to sprint to catch up.

"But lying’s wrong. No matter the reason, you’re not supposed to lie about things."

Morag waited until they were alone in the hallway, then looked at Antigone sharply. It wasn’t a mean or snotty look, more like disbelief. "You’ve never lied about anything? Ever?"

"No." It's best not to speak at all, or to avoid the topic altogether and never slip up. Constant vigilance.

Morag took Antigone’s face in his hands and pulled it so that they were nose to nose. His grey eyes stared into hers, almost as if he were staring into her soul. "Antigone, I’m going to tell you something very important—something that you should take to heart."

His voice was low, but very firm, and Antigone could tell that he believed in what he would say. She tried to break his glance, but it was too strong. She had to make do with a whispered, "Yes?"

"I don't care what you've been told in your past, or what you may hear in your future. Listen to me and listen well. There are times where it not only is okay to lie, it’s best if you do. Got that? It is okay to lie."

"I…I guess."

"Good." He let go of Antigone’s face and continued. "Let’s get our books and head to the library."

As they walked off, Antigone tumbled Morag’s statement around in her head. A little bit of her father’s truths had been shattered—a lot had been questioned with her book, but Morag had been the first to actually challenge one outright. It’s okay…it’s okay to lie?

Chapter 8

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