The School Counselor

"Mummy and daddy never paid me much attention. I was the plain, invisible daughter. My sister Willow was the favorite; she was prettier and smarter. She got along with other kids. No one ever liked me as much as her. Then I got my Hogwarts letter and I thought things would change. But no one liked me here either. I was too ugly, too mopey, too boring. And then in my fourth year, the Chamber of Secrets was opened for the first time…"

"Excuse me," said Diana, "I'm sorry to interrupt, Myrtle, but I do have a scheduled appointment with another student, who should be here any minute now."

The ghost girl sighed, "I suppose I'll go then. Maybe I'll visit the prefect's bathroom."

She got up from the couch in Diana's office and began to float toward the door.

"I would like for you to come back, Myrtle," said Diana, looking at her schedule for the day. "This afternoon, if that's alright with you."

"I might," said Myrtle, pretending to check her nails. "If I've got nothing better to do…"

"Alright then, I'll keep my four o' clock open," said Diana, writing it in. "I hope to see you then."

Diana smiled, which seemed to confuse the ghost slightly. She turned and disappeared through the door. Diana opened a new folder and wrote down a few notes on her initial meeting with Myrtle.

Knock, knock, knock!

"Come in," Diana looked up as a young girl of Asian descent with long, straight black hair stepped into the office.

"You wanted to see me, Miss Prince?"

"Yes, you must be Cho." She stood up and smiled, holding out her hand. Cho shook it.

"Nice to meet you," she said.

Diana let go of her hand and gestured at the chair on the other side of the desk. "Have a seat?"

Cho sat down and put her school bag on the floor next to her chair. She placed her hands together in her lap and looked nervously at Diana.

"Are you enjoying your first day back?"

"It's fine," Cho answered.

"Good," said Diana. "I hope this isn't tactless of me, but I was told that you were close with Cedric Diggory."

Cho nodded slightly and said in a small voice. "We were going together for most of last year."

Diana removed her glasses. "I'm so sorry for your loss."

Cho nodded again.

"How are you feeling?"

Cho looked down at her shoes and shrugged her shoulders. "I'm alright I guess. I just try and keep busy, focus on homework and quidditch."

"Are you sleeping alright?"

It was a moment before Cho answered. "Not really."

"Do you have nightmares?"

"Not a lot…" she paused for a moment and then said in a small voice, "I just have too much on my mind."

"Would you like to talk about it?" asked Diana.

Cho shook her head. "No, if I talk about it it'll make it real."

"Sometimes it helps…"

"Can I go now? My next class starts soon," Cho said quickly.

"Why- yes, of course," said Diana, taken aback.

The girl stood up and picked up her bag. As she went to open the door, "Cho," she turned back slowly, "I know it's hard to confide in anybody, let alone a stranger. But would you consider making weekly appointments with me?"

Cho looked away, "I don't know…"

Diana nodded in understanding. "It's completely up to you. But I'm here if you ever need to talk."

"Yes, thank you, Miss Prince," Cho opened the door and hurried out.

"Poor girl," said Diana, quietly to herself.

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Cho walked slowly down the corridor, lost in her own thoughts, when she heard someone say her name.

"Cho?"

She looked up and saw who it was. "Oh, hello, Harry."

"How have you been?" he asked, shuffling nervously. Cho smiled in spite of herself. He was cute when he was shy.

"I've been okay. How was your summer?"

"Oh- well- you know it wasn't boring."

Cho laughed, though she didn't know why.

They stood in an awkward silence for a moment before she said, "I'm glad you didn't get expelled."

Harry blushed and began fiddling with the shoulder strap on his school bag. "Thanks, me too."

Suddenly, he forced himself to look up at her. "I never got to say I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what?" asked Cho, frowning.

"Well- just that I'm sorry- about C-Cedric…" he trailed off toward the end and shifted his gaze to the floor again.

She felt a tug in her chest at the mention of Cedric's name, but she also thought it was sweet of him to say that.

"Thank you," she said, reaching forward and taking his hand.

He blushed even more, but smiled a little too.

"Where are you headed?" she asked. "If you don't mind me asking."

"I was just on my way to see Diana."

"Diana?" asked Cho.

"Oh, sorry, I meant Miss Prince," he said.

"Oh, she's very nice. I just came from seeing her myself." Harry nodded.

"Yeah, she helped me out some over the summer," he adjusted his bag on his shoulder. "McGonagall sent me to see her because I 'acted out' in Professor Umbridge's class."

"Oh," she said. "I don't much like her. My mum tells me she's not a very nice woman."

"You've got that right," Harry said with a chuckle.

Cho smiled again. "Well I guess I'd better not keep you any longer. I'll see you around."

"Bye, Cho," he said, waving awkwardly as she began walking away.

The smile didn't leave her face until she took her seat in her next class.

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"Diana," Harry said, knocking on the door.

"Harry?" Diana said when she opened the door. "Why aren't you in class?"

Harry looked sheepish. "It's a long story."

"Mhmm," said Diana, her eyebrows rose. "Come in and tell me all about it."

She stepped aside to let him in.

Harry went on to explain how Umbridge refused to teach them real magic, and how she called Harry a liar and said that he was spreading rumors.

"So now I have detention with her every day for the rest of the week. And McGonagall said I deserve it!"

Diana frowned, her arms crossed. "Do you want my whole opinion or do you want me to sugarcoat it?"

Harry slumped in his chair. "I'm not feeling very sweet today."

Diana smiled slightly. "Honestly, it was wrong of her to call you a liar in front of the class. But it's her class, and she's entitled to her own curriculum. And she's your teacher, so you need to show her some respect."

"I wasn't disrespecting her, I…"

"Talking back to her in her class is disrespecting her," said Diana. "You don't have to like her or respect her views but there is a time to speak out and time for restraint. And bringing attention to yourself in such a negative way won't help you any when you do need to speak out."

Harry thought about it for a moment, and then slumped lower in his chair, heaving a sigh. "You're right, I was stupid."

"You said it, not me."

Harry laughed. "Hermione says that she's here to interfere at Hogwarts."

Diana frowned, "I figured as much for myself. I find it hard to believe someone could go from a high Ministry position one day to a teacher the next. It's a bit too drastic of a career change in my opinion."

"She sided with Fudge at my hearing."

"I understand how you feel. It could be that she's here with some ulterior motive other than changing the curriculum. But it could also be that she was the only available choice. So let's not go looking to her as the enemy just yet."

"Alright," said Harry, looking at the ground.

"So when you go to do your detention tonight, why don't you apologize to her?"

Harry didn't seem to like that idea, but he shrugged his shoulders and said, "If I have to…"

"Good," she turned to get a piece of parchment. "Do you need a late note?"

"Yeah, please," Harry watched as she wrote out a note on the parchment with a new quill. "So you were talking to Cho?"

"Cho Chang? Yes she was here just before you," said Diana, finishing the note with her signature. Then she remembered something, "Isn't she the girl you told me about?"

Harry blushed, "Yeah."

Diana nodded and smiled, "She's pretty."

"Yeah," Harry cleared his throat. "Is she doing alright? She seemed kind of sad when I saw her before, but I didn't want to bring it up to her in case it upset her."

"You know I can't tell you anything to do with our meeting," Diana handed him the note.

"Right, sorry," said Harry.

"I should say this though," said Diana, seriously, "I know you would never intentionally press an advantage. But it'd be unfair to her if you did get too close to her so soon after her loss."

"I understand," said Harry, frowning.

"Good," Diana stood up and put a hand on his shoulder. "Just be there for her, as a friend. Give her time to grieve Cedric and sort through those old emotions before adding new ones to the mix."

"Okay," he stood up and she led him to the door. "Thanks, Diana."

"Anytime," she smiled and ruffled his hair. "Enjoy the rest of your day."

He smiled back and waved as he walked away. She waited for him to turn the corridor before she retreated back to her office to get ready for her appointment with Moaning Myrtle.

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I thought it'd be a nice touch to have Myrtle visiting Diana. She could really use some counseling, lol. I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter.