Okay, first things first: No, I am not dead. Not yet.
I might have suffered of something called ''Unbridled All-consuming Bone-deep Exhaustion''. Meaning I was tired. In a very mean way. In a way where my brain was managing to function on a basic level, and I could just push myself to get my work done, but where the free spirit of creativity is depressingly absent.
So I have had the next chapter of ''Shadow of a Doubt'' almost done for a few week but didn't stand a chance of finishing. I was truly stuck. I'm on it again, and I hope to get it to you soon. The new chapter for ''The Heart's Desire'' will take a little longer – sorry for that.
I am truly happy for all your enthusiasm for both of my stories, and I feel bad for you having to wait this long, but sometimes life just gets in the way of things. As a little consolation there is a little Sneak Peek for 'Shadow of a Doubt''...
''Is it true that you went to Azkaban all on your own?'' Ron asked wide-eyed.
''Awesome, mate! Did they have dragons?'' George's question earned him a mild slap to the back of his head by Bill.
''There are no dragons at Azkaban, you dummy. And it is not awesome. It is a dark and miserable place. No wizard would set a foot on that rock deliberately.''
''Well, Harry did!'' George said indignantly.
But Harry shuddered slightly when he met Bill's serious eyes. Yes. It had been scary and haunting and horrible. Thinking of the hooded figures that guarded the tower alone made him shiver.
''But did you see criminals?'' Fred butted in, sounding almost hopeful. ''Did you see werewolves?''
Harry shook his head. ''No. I didn't see anybody else. Only my godfather.''
That let the boys fell silent.
''Sirius Black.'' Bill nodded, watching Harry with interest. ''Dad told me he had requested to see you. I understand that you would have been curious, but what you did was still very risky, Harry. Azkaban is a truly horrible place, as I'm sure you've seen for yourself, and-''
''And it's not a place for children,'' Mrs Weasley interrupted him, inexplicably glaring at her sons instead of Harry who, after all, had been the one who against better advice and, if you wanted to believe every adult around him, better judgement had gone there not only once but twice. ''It's dangerous! I can't understand how the Ministry could allow it! '' she went on, stroking over Harry's head and putting another scone on his plate. ''You must have been traumatized, dear.''
''Ehm...'' Harry said, feeling embarrassed and glaring at the snickering Weasely boys, ''It was okay... there was an Auror with me, and she made a silver animal thing that protected us...''
''A Patronus,'' Bill nodded, ''to keep away the Dementors.''
''What are Dementors?'' Ron asked with a frown, and Harry once more shuddered inside.
''They are the guards of Azkaban. They are horrible creatures who survive by dwelling on other peoples misery,'' Bill explained.
''They suck out every happy thought and memory you have,'' Harry whispered. ''It's cruel. No one should have to live like that.''