The next morning, Elle woke up with her spirits considerably lightened. Remus had told her yesterday that he would call his wedding off and tell everyone the truth. Her long years of waiting were finally going to be over. She opened the blinds on the window to let in the early morning sun. The sun had just risen, and she felt that it had never looked so beautiful.
When she reached the kitchen with an absent-minded smile on her face, she found that Mrs. Weasley was already there. "You certainly look happy this morning," said Mrs. Weasley cheerfully. "I suppose you've heard the news then."
"Oh, you haven't?" said Mrs. Weasley, looking as though she were about to tell that someone had won a thousand Galleons. "Well, it isn't really my place to tell people, but I'm just so excited. Tonks is pregnant."
She paused for a moment to study the other woman's face. She did not do a very good job of hiding her emotions and Mrs. Weasley could see exactly how badly the news was affecting Elle. "They've decided to move the wedding up a few months," continued Mrs. Weasley. "Before she starts to show."
"I'm afraid that I, um, I won't be able to stay around for the wedding," said Elle, her voice cracking. "In fact, my daughter and I must leave, um, today." She looked back up at Mrs. Weasley, trying to compose herself. "Thank you for your kindness."
"Are you leaving this morning?" asked Mrs. Weasley, trying not to look surprised. "Without saying goodbye?"
"I'm afraid we have to," said Elle. "Agnes is just getting ready."
Without another word, she rushed out of the kitchen.
Agnes was woken by the door swinging open. Her mother stepped inside and cast a spell. All of Agnes's belongings immediately shot into her trunk. "What the hell are you doing, mom?" she snapped, sitting up in bed.
"Get dressed," said Elle. "We're leaving now."
"I'll explain it later," said her mother, and Agnes, seeing tears forming in her mother's eyes, did not argue.
As Agnes and her mother hurried through King's Cross, she heard the entire story of Tonks's pregnancy and how Remus had just been ready to tell the truth. Suddenly, Elle stopped in her tracks and grabbed her daughter's hand. "What is it now?" asked Agnes.
"Snape," gasped Elle. "Severus Snape." She looked wide-eyed at Agnes. "The Death Eaters are here, Agnes. We have to get out of here."
"Back to the Weasleys?"
"No," she whispered. "I can't do that."
"We'll go to Fred and George's," said Agnes finally, pulling her mother out of the station. "It's not safe here."
George Weasley was woken early that morning by a loud pounding coming from downstairs. "What the hell?" he muttered, rolling out of bed.
He trudged down to the shop and peered through the blinds on the door. After a moment, he swung it open. Elle and Agnes rushed inside the door, nearly knocking him over.
"Good morning," said George, looking massively confused. "Did my mum's cooking all of a sudden get bad?"
"Shut up, George," snapped Agnes, leaning against the doorframe, wheezing. "We ran the whole way here."
"There were Death Eaters at the train station," explained Elle.
"They weren't cloaked," said Elle. "We'll be safer here."
"If you don't mind, of course," said Agnes, still trying to catch her breath.
"As long as your mother doesn't mind a bachelor's flat," he said. "C'mon, I'll take you upstairs."
Although George had described their home as a 'bachelor's flat', it was rather neat, probably since they had a maid come in every Thursday. Fred was still asleep, snoring rather loudly. "Oy! Fred!" hollered George, as he led his guests up the stairs. "Your girlfriend's here!"
Fred practically leapt off the bed, startled out of his deep sleep. "Uh, hi," he said, as they stepped up the stairs. "Could you, uh, excuse me for a minute?"
"Just turn around for a sec," said George, allowing his brother time to grab some clothes and run to the bathroom.
Agnes waited, facing the other way, giggling to herself. She knew that, once again, she had caught Fred in his boxers but this time, it seemed the sight of Agnes's mother was enough to make him blush.
"Would you like something to eat?" asked George, trying to be a good host.
"Yes, thank you," said Elle, sitting down at the kitchen table and looking very nervous.
"How did you know they were Death Eaters if they weren't cloaked?" asked George, handing her a cup of coffee.
"I recognized them," muttered Elle, stirring sugar into her coffee absent-mindedly. "They were wearing hoods. His fell off. I could recognize his hair from a mile away."
"They'd laugh about at least once a week," said Elle, mumbling almost to herself now.
"Snape?" asked Fred, emerging from the bathroom. Elle nodded. "But, Elle, why would he be coming after you and Agnes?"
"I don't know," said Elle, shaking her head. "Unless they wanted to get to Re-"
"Venge," interrupted Agnes. "Unless he wanted revenge." It would basically have been the same thing anyway. Her mother had told her briefly about Snape earlier in their visit, and there was no doubt in Agnes's mind that, as soon as Snape returned to his master, he would have wanted the last of his hated school-enemies done away with.
"How does that make-"
"I really don't feel well," said Agnes, interrupting again. "Is there a chance that you could make some tea?"
"Yes..." said Fred, looking very suspiciously at the girl and her mother. "I'll put it right on."
Elle stayed in the apartment the whole day, while Agnes helped Fred and George in the shop. She kept flipping through her photographs all day long, not believing that first of all, Tonks was pregnant and secondly, that the Death Eaters somehow found Agnes and her daughter. She had a very good reason to believe that they were after her and Agnes because of Remus. It was a ridiculous idea but Elle was at the end of her rope and seeing the Death Eaters had only made it worse.
Not only had Remus helped to spy on Voldemort through the werewolves but he had also been a close friend of Dumbledore's.
But why not Tonks, then? she thought. Why us?
George had just come upstairs, followed by Fred and Agnes. "We've just closed up shop."
"You can take our beds," said Fred politely. "George and I can camp out on the floor."
Agnes woke with a start a few hours later, only to find Fred, still awake, looking out the window. He didn't turn around as Agnes slipped out of bed and walked up to the window. "Are you okay?"
Fred whipped around. "You scared me," he said, moving over so that she could sit next to him. "But I'm fine."
She sat down next to him on the windowsill and looked out onto the street below them. It was dark except for a few faint lights from Muggle London. "Do they even know there's a war going on?" she mumbled.
"Oh, I'm sure they can sense it," said Fred, casually placing his arm around her. "We give them less credit than they deserve, I guess."
"My mom keeps saying that it will tear people apart."
"Is that why she came to England?"
"No," said Agnes nervously. "She had other reasons."
"Reasons that you're not going to tell me?" said Fred, with a bemused smile.
"Exactly," said Agnes, sheepishly. "I'm sorry."
"Don't worry about it."
There was a pause in which the couple quietly watched the stars in the sky twinkle and shine. They could still be seen above the lights of the city and their faint light seemed to give Agnes a promise of hope.
"Well, whatever the reason, it brought us together, didn't it?" said Fred, grinning at her.
Agnes couldn't help but smile back, until a thought came to her. "Your mom says you don't take girls seriously."
"I don't," said Fred truthfully. "Or I didn't at least."
"Let's just take it a day at a time," said Fred.
"I never asked for anything else," said Agnes quietly.
"I know," said Fred, kissing her.
The next morning, Fred woke up to find that he and Agnes were still cuddled up in the windowsill. She looked really pretty in the rising sunlight. Almost as if she sensed that he was watching her, Agnes's eyes fluttered open. "What're you lookin' at?" she said sleepily.
"Nothing," muttered Fred, kissing her forehead lightly.
"I'm really glad-"
But whatever Agnes was glad was never revealed, because, at that moment, a loud bang rang out, causing both Elle and George to jolt out of sleep. "What the hell was that?" said George sleepily.
"Shut up," said Fred, grabbing her hand and pushing Agnes back towards the window.
"It was probably nothing, mate," said George, as he reached for his wand, as well. "Just a noise."
"Just a noise?" whispered Elle. "They'll have found us. How can we get out of here?"
Fred slowly walked to the door, trying to make as little noise as possible. "Try to Apparate, George," he muttered.
George squeezed his eyes shut.
"They've placed a charm," he said, trying to keep his voice low.
Fred scanned the room. There was nothing. "George, go to the bathroom," he said. "There's some Peruvian Darkness in there."
"No there's not," responded George, running a hand through his hair. "I sold the last yesterday."
"What's taking them so long?" whispered Agnes, clutching the window frame.
"I don't know," murmured Fred. "We only have one broom. Agnes, take the broom."
"No, I'm not leaving my mother," hissed Agnes, her heart pounding. She met his gaze. "I'm not leaving you."
"Bloody hell," he said. "This is no time to be noble."
"Shut up, Fr-"
"Alright!" said George, cutting her off. "Elle, you take the broom."
"We'll be fine," said Fred. "I promise."
He grabbed up George's broomstick and handed it to the older woman. "Can you fly?"
Elle nodded, thinking of the days when she had been Seeker. And now, she was flying for her life. She headed towards the window and was about to go through when George put up an arm to stop her. Silently, he peered out the window, looking up and down. It was clear. He motioned to Elle, who came forward and mounted the broom.
"Goodbye, mom," said Agnes, kissing her cheek and trying to ignore her heart pounding against her ribcage. "I'll see you in a bit."
Elle soared out the window just as the door was blasted open. Six Death Eaters burst into the room, cloaked and hooded. Agnes let out a scream and ducked, a curse just missing her head. George popped a small red square into his mouth and after a very brief moment, in which he had to dodge the Imperius Curse, he shouted, "Walking on eggshells!"
About a hundred slippery eggshells shot out of his mouth, heading towards the Death Eaters. They were temporarily blinded and confused, having never seen anything like this. Fred grabbed Agnes elbow and muttered in her ear, "We're going to jump out the window. Side-along Apparation."
Agnes looked terrified at the idea of leaping out a window and the fact that curses were blasting all around her as the Death Eaters tried to regain their bearings made it worse. Feathers were flying everywhere as the still slimy eggshells sprouted chickens which raced around the room causing havoc. George nodded to his brother and raced towards the window. With a lunge forward, he flew out the window before disappearing.
"Don't let them get away!" screamed a Death Eater, whom Fred recognized as Lucius Malfoy. He had fallen to the floor and was now being pecked by some rather unruly chickens. He blasted one of them with a curse, filling the room with the smell of burnt feathers. "Get them!"
A burly man lumbered forward as Fred and Agnes reached the window. "Jump!" yelled Fred, pulling on her hand. The Death Eater was drawing closer. A curse shot by, scraping Fred's cheek. "You have to jump!"
"I can't," said Agnes, her eyes wide and her breathing heavy.
"You have to trust me," said Fred, looking at her and trying to distract her from the chaos going on. He kissed her cheek and then pulled on her hand, jumping out the window.
Her hand slipped out of his as he fell. She had been grabbed around the middle by the large Death Eater and was now screaming in terror. "GET HIM!" roared Malfoy. "Don't let him get away!"
He was still falling.
There was only one thing to do.
Fred landed heavily on his front lawn, to find that there was a large gathering of people. George was being tended to by his mother, having twisted his ankle slipping on the egg yolks. "Where's Elle?" asked Remus frantically, grabbing his shoulder. "And Agnes?"
"Elle took the broom," gasped Fred. "She left right before the fighting."
Fred didn't respond.
"Where is Agnes?" asked Remus, shaking his shoulder.
"Remus, let go," cried Tonks, shoving him off the boy. "What happened, Fred?"
"They got her," muttered Fred feverishly. "We were just jumping out the window and he grabbed her. I couldn't do anything. I was falling."
"You couldn't. It's not your fault," soothed Tonks. "Let's get you cleaned up."
There was a cry of pain, and Elle landed to the ground rather heavily, the broom slipping out from underneath her. Her leg was bleeding, and she seemed ready to faint. And still, she hoisted herself off the ground, her hands and knees scraped from where she landed, and limped as quickly as she could towards the group. She was too weak to make it and Remus, recognizing this, rushed forward, catching her just as her legs gave way.
"Where is my daughter?" she whispered, before passing out.
"We have to get her inside," said Tonks, coming up behind him, her jealousy forgotten.
She conjured up a stretcher, and Remus carefully placed Elle on it. He began to follow as Tonks let it glide alongside her when he suddenly cursed very loudly.
"What is it now?" asked Arthur Weasley, looking at him in alarm.