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Chapter 10 : Mother of all Mothers
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Lily Evans stood before her a grinning, “When you fell to the ground in potions, I thought that it was the last time I would see you breathing again. I have been in here every day to check up...” Lily stopped mid-sentence, “Good mother of Merlin,” she exclaimed as she stared at the hundreds of Lilies surrounding Alice. “Who bought you these? They make my gift seem feeble,” She pulled a box of Bertie Bots Every Flavoured Beans from her bag.
“You mean you didn’t send them?” Alice asked confused. She and Rowena were sure that it had been Lily who had sent the flowers, seeing as they were, after all, lilies.
“Are you saying that whoever gave them to you did not leave a note?” Lily asked amazed.
“Someone put them in here while I was sleeping last night, this is all that they left behind,” Alice passed Lily the small piece of parchment, “Take Care, Mr. Midnight XOX,” she read out loud
Lily studied the note before saying, “Who would give such a wonderful gift and keep their identity secret?” Alice shrugged.
Lily’s eyes suddenly turned a deeper shade of green, Alice knew her friend well enough to know that when Lily Evans’s eyes changed something exciting was going to happen.
Lily begun pacing the hospital, “It is quite a mystery isn’t it?”
“What are you planing?” Alice asked.
Lily’s head snapped around and looked Alice in the eye, “We are going to investigate.”
“We are going to find Mr. Midnight!”
“Don’t you want to know who sent them?” Lily said.
“I guess but…”
“I will scout around the students and teachers today and I will see if I can find any information. Meanwhile you stay here and think about possible suspects,” Lily looked at her watch. “I must be off breakfast finishes soon.”
“Lily do you really think that this is necessary?” Alice asked.
“It may not be necessary, my friend, but I am more board that a muggle bus driver without you to hang around with, and Rowena has been so worried she hasn’t been much fun at all.” Alice sighed, it was no use, when Lily was set on an idea there was nothing you could say that could persuade her.
No sooner than Lily had left Alices mother arrived. Dressed as usual, like she had just stepped out from a Witch Weekly fashion magazine in red velvet robes, which set off her dark hair and fair complexion perfectly. Alice felt plain and dirty, beside her.
“Darling,” Mrs. Kilf said as she rushed to Alice’s side. “Thank heavens you are alright.”
Alice smiled at her mother, although opposites Alice and Mrs. Kilf shared a strong bond. A bond that only a mother and daughter can share, and they both cherished it greatly.
Mrs. Kilf clasped Alice’s head in her hands and kissed her gingerly on the forehead. “When Dumbledore notified me I was so worried I thought that I was going to loose you. I could not bear going through the loss of a loved one again,” Mrs. Kilf’s eyes began to glisten.
Alice patted her mother on the arm, “It’s ok mum,” Alice said. “I am fine, the fever past yesterday.”
“Alice promise me you will never ever do this to me again?”
Alice knew that this was a promise that could not be kept no matter how hard she tried. Death, in spite of everything, is in escapable, “I will do my best, mother.”
“Who was the boy who caused you this?” Mrs. Kilf asked, her eyes flashing with anger.
“Frank Longbottom. But it was an accident he did not mean me harm.”
“Longbottom, that name sounds familiar,” Mrs. Kilf thought for a moment, “His mother’s name isn’t Augusta by any chance?”
Mrs. Kilf nodded she didn’t seem to have heard Alice, “Yes I remember. She is a friend of Ginny Weasly. We all went shopping together a few years ago. She bought the most hideous hat, tall, with a vulture perched on top,” Mrs. Kilf shuddered. “I will notify her as soon as I get home and tell her about how I feel toward her son.”
“Mum please don’t, it would only cause more trouble than it is worth.”
Alice would never know whether Mrs. Kilf notified Augusta Longbottom or not because none other than Professor Dumbledore interrupted their conversation.
“Good day Orla, I hope that the travel over suited you well?”
“The broomstick was perfect,” Mrs. Kilf beamed at Dumbledore.
“Fantastic.” Dumbledore turned to Alice, “My, my what wonderful flowers Alice. You must have a great friend,”
“Thank you, I only wish I knew who this ‘great friend’ was.”
Dumbledore sat down on the bed beside Alice, “Ah Alice, those friendships which begin with hardship and mystery are often those which we treasure most.” He winked at her. There was something about Dumbledore’s face, which told Alice that he knew more about Mr. Midnight than, Lily or herself, ever could ever discover.
“The flowers are beautiful,” Alice’s mother said wishing to be part of the conversation. “Do you think I could keep one, darling?” Mrs. Kilf bend over and gently selected a lily off the ground. No sooner had she touched it, the flower burst into a dove. It nipped her on the finger before flying out the opened window. The scarlet blood upon Mrs. Kilf’s slender finger was like that of the ruby earring that decorated her earlobes. Alice and Dumbledore laughed at her flabbergasted expression.
“How rude,” Alice’s mother said as she watched the dove disappear into the Forbidden Forest.
Dumbledore turned to Orla and said, “Perhaps you would like to join me in my office and we can enjoy a Snapping Strawberry Coffee together,”
“It would be my pleasure. On one condition...” Dumbledore raised an eyebrow. “If you promise it doesn’t bite!” Mrs. Kilf said cheekily.
Dumbledore chuckled, “Perhaps I should get you another sort of coffee.”
“Can we bring you back anything Alice?” her mother asked.
“I will be fine thankyou,” Alice watched her mother and Dumbledore as the disappeared from her view laughing and chatting about Alices grandmother.
Night had fallen once more on the hospital wing. Her mother had decided to stay at Hogwarts for the night. She was sleeping on a mat in the staffroom, no one had objected. Many of the staff members had been friends with her whilst at school and if they hadn’t been they were now.
It had been a long day for Alice as she tried to please all her visitors from Lily to her mother. Once her mother had left, Sirius and James had come in to visit. They had been funny to watch as they tried to turn as many lilies into doves. Until finally one distressed dove gave a wet, white gift to Sirius. Rowena and Kloy had visited in the afternoon until Madam Pomfery had ushered them out. Now Alice’s only company was the darkness of night and a few lone lilies, which had escaped James and Sirius’s games.
Alice had almost fallen asleep when a scuffling noise jolted her to full awareness. Though she occupied the only bed in the hospital wing she knew she was not alone. She heard the thud of a foot. In sync Alice’s heart began to thud. The footsteps were much to heavy to be Madam Pomfry. Alice stayed very still her eyes wide open. A voice muttered something that sounded like a spell. Alice caught the last part, “Sentirfleur,” and a wondrous smell seeped through her nostrils. Alice reached for her wand. The footsteps came closer. A glass shattered. Alice had knocked her water off the bedside table as she searched desperately for her wand. She could sense a face very close to her own. Hot breath was inches from her cheek. Alice’s hand grasped her wand just as a kiss was lingered upon her fair skin.
“LUMOS!” she shouted.
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