Chapter 10 : Uncle Tom
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I sat at the table loud noises of other people surrounding me but I felt like I could hear none of it. I knew that Sirius and Peter were staring at me wondering what was going on. It had all happened about 5 minutes ago. An owl I didn't recongnize had dropped a letter on Remus' plate, he opened it and slowly his face fell and tears welled up in his eyes. He jumped up and ran out of the Great Hall James hurrying after him. I had reached for the letter and read it:
Mr. Remus Lupin and Ms. Gabrielle Lupin,
I am sorry to inform you that your father/uncle, Mr. Tom Lupin, has passed away last night peacfully in his sleep. He did not suffer so take comfort in that. His funeral is being arranged, and at this time it might be nice to stay with your family and take comfort in your friends.
I wasn't sure who it was from... by the end of the letter my vision blurred with tears. I didn't want to cry, not here, not in front of everyone. I blinked violently trying to make the them go away. I painful lump developed in my throat. Not now, just not now... I placed the letter down and looked up at the ceiling watching the stars twinkle. Was this a dream? It felt like one.
"Gabby?" I felt a hand come on top of mine. "Gabby, what happened?" Sirius took the letter and I knew he was reading it, because his hand returned atop mine. "Gabby... I'm... I'm so sorry."
I swallowed hard and looked at him. I had to be strong, I had to be, for Remus, even if he wasn't here at this moment he would find out if I cried.
"It's okay." I tried to keep my voice even but it cracked and I knew the tears were about to fall. My uncle was gone, the uncle who had raised me, who had been like my second father, he was gone, just like that. I'd never see him again, never hug him again, never talk to him again...
"I have to go." Quickly I got up and walked slowly away.
* * *
"Where's my Ellie?" Uncle Tom's voice filtered up to my room, and I jumped up excited. He was home!
"Uncle Tom! Uncle Tom!" I ran down the stairs and rocketed into his arms taking in his scent and smiling as he hugged me close. "I missed you Uncle Tom."
"Missed you too, sweetie pie." Releasing him I stepped back.
"Don't you ever go away again!" I said wagging my finger at him. He knelt down so he'd be eye-level with me.
"I'm so sorry, little miss." He said smiling. "I will ask your permission to leave from now on."
"Everyday? When you leave for work? When you go to the store?"
"Of course, my Ellie." He smiled and pulled a wrapped present out of his pocket and held it out to me. "By the way, happy 7th birthday."
A huge smile grew across my face and I grabbed it practically jumping up and down with happiness. Tearing of the paper my eyes widened. There inside sat a beautiful necklace.
"It's just what I wanted!" I said happily. My mum had a necklace a lot like it, and Uncle Tom had caught me trying it on, when he asked why I said because I wanted to be as pretty as my mum someday.
"I know, here." I handed it to him and he clasped it around my neck. I turned and wrapped my small arms around him.
"I love you, Uncle Tom. Never leave again." I whispered.
"I love you too, Ellie. And don't worry, I'll always be here."
I woke up sweating and my face was wet with tears. I wrapped my arms around my knees and hugged them close. I wish he was here, he always knew how to comfort me, always. I heard a bed squeak somewhere in the room, and a part of me wished it was Lily getting up to comfort me.
"Shut up, you freak!" Giselle's voice rang out, "I'm trying to sleep!" Not wanting to be yelled out I stumbled out of the dormitory and into the common room.
I had to get away, I had to find a place where the pain wasn't so unbearable I had to leave. I felt the common room and went out into the halls. Once there I began to sprint hoping somehow I could run this off, and when I returned home Uncle Tom would be there to greet me.
Running as hard as I could I went outside and into the night I ran across the grounds, past the lake... I needed to go faster, I needed to outrun this agony. As fast as I could I went my legs screamed and my lungs felt like they were on fire, my face was drenched with sweat and tears, my vision blurred and something grabbed my foot and I fell to the ground landing hard and painfully. I pounded the ground with my fist curling up into a ball.
I couldn't get up I was to tired I just lay there sobbing memories flooding back to me, with each one came more tears. I heard barking somewhere behind me, and then I felt arms enclose me holding me close.
"Uncle Tom," I whispered. "You said you'd never leave me."
"It's going to be okay, Gabby... it's going to be okay." Sirius whispered in my ear as he lifted me off the ground holding me like a child cradeling me in his arms. I wrapped my arms around his neck cried into his chest soaking his shirt. "It's okay... it's okay..."
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