“Those bloody rabbits want me to die!”—Elena Knightly
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I yawned loudly, stretching my arms high over my head before crossing them together behind my head and looking up at the sky painted with pink, orange, purple and blue hues. “Are we there yet?” I asked impatiently, looking over at Mr. Weasley leading our group down the empty street.
“Almost,” he replied, a smile on his face as he marched us happily down the path.
I kind of, sort of wanted to strangle him. I mean, really? How could anyone be all smiles and happy at such an ungodly hour of the day? I don’t even think you can consider the crack of dawn as part of the day...
Then again, I’m biased. I hate waking up early.
Hermione gave me a sympathetic smile. “You might as well get used to it,” she said. “After all, school starts soon. You’ll have to wake up early then, too.” She said matter-of-factly.
“True...but I won’t be up at the crack of dawn. And, if I recall, you weren’t all that happy at waking up this morning, either.” I said with a cheeky grin. “You muttered some pretty unpleasant things under your breath as we were getting dressed.”
“I did not.” She said, blushing furiously as Ron started roaring with laughter. “Oh, shut up, Ron! You’ll wake up the whole town.” Hermione snapped, glaring at him.
Ginny shivered, rubbing her arms to keep them warm. “Is anyone else freezing?”
I shrugged. “I’m too numb to fee the cold anymore.” I said, staring at my hands—that were starting to turn a light pink from the cold—before shoving them into the pockets of my sweatshirt. “AGH!” I screamed as the toe of my shoe caught it something and I fell—face first—to the ground.
“Oh, gosh!” Hermione gasped.
“Well, she sure has all the luck.” Fred laughed.
“Are you alright?” Ginny asked as I pushed myself up into a sitting position on the cold ground.
I could feel the tears stinging my eyes as I studied my left leg. There was a throbbing, burning pain in my ankle that made me want to hack the leg off and keep walking without it. “My ankle hurts,” I said, leaning forward to, carefully, roll up the left leg of my jeans.
Mr. Weasley crouched down beside me and, after taking off my left shoe and sock, examined the swollen...thing that was supposed to be my once skinny ankle. “I don’t think it’s broken...” he said thoughtfully, poking it gently with the tip of his wand—which made me yelp. “Can you walk?” he asked, looking at me.
“I don’t know.” I said, pulling on my sock—which, by the way, hurt like a female dog, but my foot was freezing.
“Come on, let’s get her up.” Mr. Weasley said.
With the help of Harry and Ron, I was able to get back up onto my feet—er, foot. It hurt to apply any sort of pressure onto my left leg, which meant I had to balance myself on my right foot—which was a lot harder than it appeared to be (unless that was just me).
Mr. Weasley studied my swollen ankle as I used Harry and Ron as my support beams. “I don’t think it’s broken, it’s probably only sprained...but I’m not a Healer.” He said with a sympathetic smile.
“What should we do, Dad?” Ginny asked, looking at her father worriedly.
“Keep moving,” Mr. Weasley said. “We’re close to the Portkey now, and I’m sure they’ll have Healers at the campsite.” He said. “We can get her ankle looked at there. In the meantime, Harry, Ron, help her along.” He instructed before leading our small troop up a hill. “Rabbit holes...aren’t they just lovely?” he called over his shoulder, chuckling.
I glared at his back. “‘Rabbit holes, aren’t they just lovely?’” I mimicked quietly. “Ugh! This is ridiculous!” I muttered, hopping along as Harry and Ron pulled me along between them.
“You’re telling me. You weigh a lot more then you look!” Ron grunted.
“Ron!” Hermione squawked, punching him on the shoulder for me.
“Thank you!” I huffed.
“Argh!” Harry grunted, stumbling, causing my left foot to graze the ground slightly. “Sorry!” he apologized when I squeaked and took in a sharp breath. “It was another rabbit hole.” He said, just as Ron stumbled.
“They’re everywhere!” I cried. “Those bloody rabbits want me to die!”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “You’re so overdramatic.” She said before she tripped over a rabbit hole—which made me giggle. “Ouch! Oh, bloody hell!” she hissed under her breath as Ginny helped her to her feet and dusted off her jeans.
I grinned cheekily at her. “I told you they’re everywhere.”
“Keep up, you lot!” Mr. Weasley called to us.
It felt like forever. I felt kind of bad for having Harry and Ron practically lug me all the way up Stoatshead Hill while the two of them tried their best to avoid rabbit holes, but it took some of the work off of me, so I honestly couldn’t say much.
But finally, after what felt like an eternity of the two of them huffing and puffing and dragging me along, we reached level ground.
“Well,” Mr. Weasley said, taking off his glasses and wiping them down, “we made good time. We’ve still got ten minutes before our Portkey’s supposed to leave. Now all we need is to find it...” he said, placing his glasses back on his face and squinting around at the ground. “Come on, let’s look. No, not you Elena. Harry, Ron, sit her on the ground. Just sit tight, all right?”
“Okay.” I obliged, sitting on the ground, my right leg tucked under my left. Despite the ground being cold under my bum, it felt nice to get the pressure off my uninjured right leg.
I watched as they all spread out, looking for the Portkey—our ticket to the campsite that would let us watch the Quidditch World Cup (whatever that was, I still didn’t understand the concept of ‘Quidditch’).
They weren’t searching long when a shout rang through the air.
“Over here, Arthur! Over here, son, we’ve got it.”
Two tall figures stood against the other side of the hilltop.
“Amos!” Mr. Weasley called, striding towards the man who had shouted, then he doubled back and helped the twins pull me to my feet.
“It’ll just be easier if one of us carries her.” Fred said, looking at George.
Ginny shook her head. “If you drop her—”
“How are we going to drop her if we carry her like this, Gin?” George asked, throwing off his backpack and handing it to Fred before throwing me up onto his back. Instinctively, my arms wrapped around his shoulders and I clung to him, afraid that I might, indeed, drop. He chuckled. “Relax. I’m not going to drop you.” He said, following behind Mr. Weasley, Fred walking beside us.
“Better not,” I mumbled under my breath. Please don’t let him drop me, please don’t let him drop me, please...I thought, watching as Mr. Weasley shook hands with the person who’d called out to us.
Mr. Weasley turned to us. “Everyone, this is Amos Diggory. He works for the Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures at the Ministry. And I think you know his son, Cedric?”
Cedric Diggory was a very handsome-looking boy maybe a few years older than I was.
“Hi,” he greeted.
Everyone except the twins returned the greeting. I rolled my eyes and put all my weight forward until George was practically bent at a ninety-degree angle and I was able to have a better view of Cedric Diggory.
“Sorry. I’m the only one in the group who doesn’t have a clue who you are. Elena Knightly,” I said, extending my right hand.
“Cedric Diggory. Nice to meet you,” he said, shaking my hand just before George managed straighten up, nearly sending me flying backwards and off his back. I would’ve killed him if he dropped me.
“Long walk, Arthur?” Amos Diggory asked Mr. Weasley.
“Not too bad.” Mr. Weasley replied. “We live just on the other side of the village there. You?”
“Had to get up at two, didn’t we, Ced? I tell you, I’ll be glad when he’s got his Apparition test. Still...not complaining...Quidditch World Cup, wouldn’t miss it for a sackful of Galleons—and the tickets cost about that. Mind you, looks like I got off easy...” Amos Diggory peered good-naturedly around at the lot of us. “All these yours, Arthur?” he asked, looking back at Mr. Weasley.
“Oh no, only the redheads,” Mr. Weasley said, pointing out his children. “This is Elena, you know her, the girl the Daily Prophet did an article on—”
Oh, goody! I’m a bloody legend...
How fantastic (not)! Now when people see me, they’ll say, “Oh look! It’s that one girl the Daily Prophet wrote about—the one who can’t remember anything now!”
“...about playing against you last year...I said to him, I said—Ced, that’ll be something to tell your grandchildren, that will...You beat Harry Potter!”
What’d I miss? I thought, my brows scrunching together in confusion as I looked around our group.
“I told you, Dad. It was an accident. Harry fell off his broom.” Cedric said, looking embarrassed.
What the bloody hell did I miss!?
I should probably work on keeping focused on the conversation...
“Always modest, our Ced, always the gentleman...but the best man won, I’m sure Harry’d say the same, wouldn't you, eh?”—judging by the look on Harry’s face, no, I’m sure Harry would not say the same thing, but I didn’t say anything—“One falls off his broom, one stays on, you don’t need to be a genius to tell which one’s the better flier!”
“Must be nearly time,” Mr. Weasley said suddenly, pulling out his watch again. “Do you know whether we’re waiting for any more, Amos?” he asked.
“No, the Lovegoods have been there for a week already and the Fawcetts couldn’t get tickets,” Mr. Diggory replied. “There aren’t any more of us in this area, are there?” he asked.
“Not that I know of,” Mr. Weasley said. “Yes, it’s a minute off...We’d better get ready...” he said before looking at Harry, Hermione and me. “You just need to touch the Portkey, that’s all, a finger will do.” He explained.
We all crowded together with difficulty, reaching our finger’s forward, touching the boot. No one spoke as we stared at the boot, waiting for something—anything—to happen. I shivered as a chill breeze swept over us. George never dropped me from his back. I was starting to feel bad, after all, my weight, plus the weight of my bag was definitely far from being ‘light as a feather’. But he wasn’t complaining.
And suddenly, it happened. Though I’m not exactly sure what ‘it’ was.
I felt a sudden tugging sensation at my navel. The next thing I knew, I was speeding forward with everyone else, the wind whipping around me and a whirlwind of color surrounded me. Somewhere along the line, I was no longer attached to George’s back, but my finger was still stuck on the boot, and then suddenly—
My body slammed into the ground. My left ankle throbbed and burned in agony. My entire body was screaming in pain.
And somewhere in the distance, I heard someone say, “Seven past five from Stoatshead Hill.”
A/N: Chapter’s short and updates are way too spaced out. I know. I’m sorry. I just don’t have time for the frequent updates I would love to make. But I’m working my butt off to get things done so I have more time on my hands—but I don’t think that’s going to be possible. I’ll try to work on them during the week and get things done on the weekends, but I can’t make promises. Anyway, leave a review!