Chapter 26 : I Am One Of Them
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Author's Note: Hey everyone! Look, I'm updating on time this week! You know what that deserves? Reviews. Lots of them. You're slacking a bit, and I am keeping up as much as I can! So I expect y'all to get your butts a-moving and get a-reviewing! So yeah. Thanks for the previous reviews and I looked forward to the reviews on this chapter ;) Enjoy the chapter!
Reports of the girl
Makin' me scared
Led off to die and why was I spared?
I waited downstairs for Emily, seeing as most of the sixth years were already out taking their extra Apparition lessons for their fast-approaching test. I was kind of jealous of them, because now all my friends would be able to Apparate except for me. And Emily was younger than me and has been doing it for two years now. Not fair.
"Are you still waiting for Emily?" Ginny asked, coming down the stairs that led up to the girl's dormitories.
"Yeah, she hasn't come down yet," I told Ginny.
"She's not up there, I just checked in her room," Ginny said. "Maybe she's already down in the Great Hall?"
"Yeah, maybe," I said, feeling a little confused. Usually Emily met me in the same spot every morning at the same time unless we planned something else. Maybe she just forgot.
"I'll help you look for her, if you want," Ginny offered.
"Nah, I'm sure she's around here somewhere," I said and Ginny nodded before walking off. Well, time to start searching.
I looked in the Great Hall and she wasn't there. I asked her sisters if they knew where she was and they didn't know either. I literally checked everywhere. Time for Plan B.
I took out the cell phone she got me for my birthday and typed in her number, texting "Where are you?" to her phone. She was probably just on some urgent Order business or even at a sudden performance that her manager called her about before she could let anyone know. I mean, she usually left a note or something to tell me when she was gone, but she had probably just forgotten because she was in a rush or something. In the mean time, I could continue trying to get into the Room of Requirement.
I went back up to Gryffindor Tower and grabbed my Invisibility Cloak and the Marauder's map, concealing myself and looking at the map to see where everyone was. I quickly looked for Emily, thinking that the castle was big enough that I could've just walked out of a room as she walked in or vice versa, but she was nowhere. So probably on an Order mission.
I looked on the map on the seventh floor and whereas the Room of Requirement wasn't showing up, but Goyle pacing around outside where it would be was. I walked along the corridor, in no real hurry and saw the same little girl clutching her heavy brass scales that Hermione had helped only a fortnight ago. I waited until I was right behind her before bending low and whispering, "Hello...you're very pretty, aren't you?"
Goyle have a high-pitched shriek of terror, threw the scales in the air and sprinted away, vanishing long before the sound of the scales smashing had stopped echoing around the corridor. Laughing, I contemplated which wall he was behind, knowing that Draco Malfoy was now standing frozen, aware that someone unwelcome was here so he dare not make an appearance.
My hopeful mood didn't last long. Half an hour later, even after trying more variations of my request to see what Malfoy was up to, the wall was just as doorless as ever.
I was so frustrated I could barely talk anymore - Malfoy was probably just feet away from me, and there wasn't even the tiniest shred of evidence as to what he was doing in there. Losing any patience I had left, I ran at the wall and kicked it.
I seriously thought I might have broken my toe as I cursed and hopped around on one foot, my Invisibility Cloak slipping off of me. Emily would be laughing hysterically if she saw me right now. I loved her, but she wasn't very supporting in times like these.
I spun around on one leg and toppled over. To my complete astonishment, Tonks was walking towards me as if she was always taking walks down this corridor.
"What're you doing here?" I asked, scrambling to my feet. Why did she always find me lying on the floor? Oh...that sounded wrong.
"I came to see Dumbledore."
Tonks looked really terrible. She was a lot thinner than usual and her usually bright-colored hair was now mousy and lank. "His office isn't here," I told her, "it's round the other side of the castle, behind the gargoyle -"
"I know," Tonks said. "He's not there. Apparently he's gone away again."
"Has he?" I asked, gingerly putting my bruised foot back on the floor. "Hey - you don't happen to know where he goes, do you?"
"What did you want to see him about?"
"Nothing in particular," Tonks said, apparently unconsciously picking at the sleeve of her robe. "I just thought he might know what's going on...I've heard rumors...people getting hurt..."
"Yeah, I know, it's all been in the papers," I said. "That little kid who tried to kill his -"
"The Prophet is often behind the times," she stated, although she didn't really seem to be listening to me. "You haven't had any letters from anyone in the Order recently?"
"No one from the Order writes to me anymore," I told her, "Not since Sirius -" Her eyes started to fill with tears. "I'm sorry," I said awkwardly. "I mean...I miss him as well..."
"What?" she asked blankly as if she hadn't heard me. "Well...I'll see you around, Harry..."
She turned around to leave when I thought of something. "Hey, Tonks!" I called after her, sprinting to catch up with her. She gave me an expectant look, telling me to go one. "Well, I was just wondering if Emily was on an Order mission and if you could tell me where she was. She left abruptly and didn't even tell me she had one so I was just curious -"
"Emily isn't on any missions right now," Tonks said, giving me a weird look. "Emily specifically requested that she wouldn't be put on any this year unless it was absolutely necessary."
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"She literally has only been on one or two missions this year and I'm pretty sure she would've told you - and the whole Order knew when she was on one," Tonks said. "Has something...has something happened?"
"No, of course not," I said, trying to calm myself down a bit. "I was just supposed to meet her this morning and she didn't show and I haven't been able to find her."
"Well, I talk to the rest of the Order - maybe they know something I don't. Good luck finding her, Harry," Tonks said, although the worry in her eyes somehow told me that was going to be a lot harder than it seemed.
When she left for real this time, I turned back to the Room of Requirement to keep trying, but my heart wasn't in it. I headed down to the Great Hall, knowing that Ron and Hermione would be back for lunch soon. When I found them in the Great Hall, they were already halfway through their early lunch.
"I did it - well, kind of!" Ron said enthusiastically when he saw me. "I was supposed to be Apparating to the outside of Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop and I overshot it a bit and ended up near Scrivenshaft's, but at least I moved!"
"Good job," I congratulated. "How did you do, Hermione?"
"Oh, she was perfect, obviously," Ron said before Hermione could answer. "Perfect deliberation, divination, and desperation or whatever the hell it is - we all went for a quick drink in the Three Broomsticks after and you should've heard Twycross going on about her - I'll be surprised if he doesn't pop the question soon -"
"And what about you?" Hermione asked, completely ignoring Ron although I did notice she was blushing and smiling. "Where's Emily? Please tell me you didn't ditch her to try to break into the Room of Requirement."
"No, I didn't ditch her - I can't find her," I dropped my voice on the last part. "We were supposed to meet up once we woke up and she never came downstairs. Ginny even checked the room but she wasn't there."
"Now that I think of it, she wasn't there when I woke up, and she's always one of the last ones to wake up on weekends," Hermione said in the same quiet voice. "You don't think anything could've happened to her, do you?"
"Well the school's added all the extra security with all the Aurors guarding the school and what not," Ron pointed out.
"Keep in mind that we did have a break-in," Hermione mentioned. "In the girl's dormitories..."
That couldn't be. She had to have just left the school. Order business. Or music business. Nothing could've happened to her. Dumbledore wouldn't have let it. I wouldn't have let it.
"Have you guys seen Emily?" Emilie asked, plopping down next to me on the bench. Lindsay sat down next to her, giving Ron a pleasant smile. They had broken up too now, but there were no bad feelings between them, which was better than I can say for Lavender.
"No, we were just talking about how we haven't," I told them. They exchanged nervous glances and I could tell right away that Lindsay was telling Emilie something telepathically. I really hated that. "What are you saying?" I demanded.
"Nothing," they said immediately after before Lindsay said, "It's probably nothing. You know us, we tend to overreact a bit."
Emily was still nowhere to be found by the next day. I went to McGonagall to tell her that no one could find Emily and the school went into literal panic mode. All the teachers, prefects, Head Girl and Head Boy, and the Aurors guarding the school were called in to look for her. Hagrid and the Aurors searched the grounds while everyone else searched inside the castle.
No one found her.
Next time on "Missing"
Two weeks later, and she was still missing. The headlines of every newspaper and magazine were about Emily having gone missing.
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