Chapter 13 : XIII.
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You have stolen all my senses.
There’s a fever in my heart,
and you are taking my defences.
You are pulling me apart.
“Never, ever buy English croissants for a French person, Albus. It will always end badly.”
“I am grateful for your wisdom and I’m heartily sorry, your majesty. Do you think that you can you find it within your deep and wonderful heart to forgive me? Possibly, maybe?” Albus teased, making me giggle loudly, and exceedingly immaturely. “You said ‘breakfast’ and this is what I found. If you don’t like it, why don’t you go downstairs and ‘enjoy’ the pea soup?”
“You mean the one that supposedly eats people?”
“The very same.”
I threw a half eaten morsel of pastry at Albus and he opened his mouth wide, trying to catch it. It bounced off of his chin and was not seen again. I laughed until my sides hurt and tears poured down my cheeks.
It had been four days since our arrival, and we were both still slightly drunk from the night before.
I had not been plagued with nightmares, as each night, I drank my weight in Firewhiskey – or whatever I could get my hands on – and passed out before a natural, normal person’s sleep could claim me. Sleepless and peaceful, I enjoyed the nights the most.
I knew what Albus and I had in the stolen moments we shared would not last. Soon, he would grow tiresome of me and would return to the family I knew that he worried about. I saw it in his eyes each and every day. He missed them, and he was plagued with guilt over what we had done.
I wanted to be sorry, but I couldn’t. I was selfish in my love for him, whilst he was everything but.
Perhaps he was right; maybe we truly were star-crossed lovers.
We were so imperfect for each other; we both knew that it could not last and that it would be something we would never forget, regardless of what the universe had in store for us.
“We should go out and buy disguises and then run around the town acting like bunch of raving lunatics.” I said, and he scoffed just as I knew he would.
No disguise in the world could hide him. He was Harry Potter’s son, and the entire world knew who he was. He was even in our history books – which is why Albus had always hated History of Magic, and why James had adored it.
His mention wasn’t large, but was enough to make people interested – well, more interested than they already were.
“Harry Potter now lives in eastern England with his wife and three children. James Potter II, Albus and Lily. His children attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and are all in the house of Gryffindor.”
“What’re you thinking about? You’ve not said a word in about thirty seconds. I’ll bet that’s a record, or something.”
“I’m thinking about that picture of your family in our history books at school.”
“Why?” He looked troubled, and he glanced away from me. “It’s a terrible photograph.”
He was wrong, of course.
The ‘modern’ history books, which accounted the entire second war, were written when we were still quite young and the picture was taken when Albus was twelve. His sister Lily was short, eleven years old and had short red hair that made her look even younger than she really was. James, seemingly, had never gone through the ‘awkward’ stage and even at thirteen, was as good-looking as he was at eighteen and a half – only a little less muscular, and much shorter.
To a great extent, Albus hadn’t really changed. The hair was still the same – messy, and dark chocolate brown – and his eyes stood out just as much as they always did. He had a small grin on his face, which was slightly impish, and kept glancing at his grinning father for support.
“You were so adorable – what happened?” I asked playfully, laughing as he rolled his eyes.
“I fell for a girl like you, and lost my innocence.” The corners of his lips were slowly curling into a smile, and I pressed a hand to my lips to conceal my disbelieving smirk.
“Oh, I can’t take credit for that. It was long gone before you ever met me, darling.”
“I have no idea what we’re talking about now.” He said, frowning slightly despite the smile that was playing upon his lips. “So I think I am going to change the subject.”
“Am I making you blush?”
“No, but you are making me go mad.”
I smiled, and crawled the length of the bed so that I was next to him. He smirked slightly, and ran a finger up and down my bare arm. I kissed him lightly on the corner of the mouth and he sniggered quietly as I drew away, winking.
“You’re such a tart.”
“It smells in here.”
“That’s because you threw up in that corner over there.”
“We need to get out of here. We haven’t paid for this long. Hannah’s only letting us stay to be polite.”
It had been a week and a half.
I hadn’t left the room since the day Albus had come in with croissants and cheap coffee to sooth our aching heads. I hadn’t wanted to go downstairs, or go drinking because after that day, the nightmares had returned.
Except, they weren’t just nightmares of the past, they were of the future as well.
They were of Albus being taken away from me, and me being alone just like my mother.
I had thought that if I never strayed from the room - just as had believed with the tunnel - that my happiness would continue, and he would be mine in the way that he had claimed to be for ‘always and forever’.
I had to compromise, or else I would lose him.
“Fine. Let’s find some party to go to.”
“Why don’t we go for dinner instead? Something simple – you know, just the two of us.”
He frowned, looking genuinely upset over my curtness, and I touched his arm. I couldn’t bear seeing him any way other than happy. Happy was what I was convinced I was – so why wasn’t he?
His hand shifted so that it held mine, and I forced a smile onto my lips.
“We can have some dinner before we go to the party – how about that? I’ll ask Hannah where there are some nice places to go. I’m sure she would know.” I said, trying to him back the Albus I wanted. I didn’t like this serious Albus, he was a reminder that all of what I had with him would come to an end soon.
“Sounds great.” He replied, though I knew that to him, it didn’t sound great at all. He wasn’t happy. He belonged with his loving family, not with me, and I was too egocentric to let him go. The thought depressed me.
“I’ll get dressed, and then we can go – yeah?”
Awkwardly, I slid off of the bed and searched the floor for the dress I had bought not long after we had arrived. It did nothing in the way of keeping me warm, but made me look fantastic. I loved it, and so did Albus and every other person who saw me in it.
I still had my black tights, which I wore underneath, and the soft button-up cardigan that Mrs Longbottom had given me on our third night when she had caught sight of me shivering without the warmth of Albus’s embrace. I told her I’d give it back, but she had refused and claimed that her daughter was much too big for it.
I didn’t believe her. I had seen Alice Longbottom and, despite her rather ample bust; she was almost the exact same height and frame as I was. I suspected that Hannah Longbottom was a charitable woman, and deduced that I was from a poor family. The idea might have been amusing to me if I were not so touched by her kindness.
I felt Albus’s hands upon my shoulders as I pulled on the cardigan, and as I turned to face him, I saw a flicker of something in his eye that made me fearful that it could be the end.
“Tell me you love me, I need to hear it.” I whispered against the soft material of his new black hoodie. He’d bought it after deciding that it would be dangerous for his health, sanity and reputation to go outside in his red Christmas jumper ever again. I had suggested burning it, but he thought it would be too hurtful - even with the knowledge that his mother would never find out about it in a million years. “Tell me you love me now.”
“I love you.” He whispered back. Though his eyes were softly amorous as they looked down upon me, they were also poignant. It filled me with dread.
“Like you mean it, Albus. Say it again like you mean it.”
“I love you.” He repeated after a moment’s hesitation, shrugging as though what came from his lips were something casual, as though he were saying ‘I like summer’, or ‘I don’t like rain’. It was almost as though he were stating an obvious fact. “I love you now, I’ll love you tomorrow and I’ll love you until I die. My heart is yours – and that’s all there is to it.”
I told myself I should be laughing, telling him that he was a clichéd old women but something within me fought back against the negativity. My bitterness was replaced by one singular thought; ‘I can’t cry, I just can’t’.
“I love you too. I do. I really do. So – so much.” I murmured into his chest, and I felt his hand on the back of my head. His fingers played with my hair, as they so often did, and I sighed. I was reasonably content again, desperate the nervous fluttering of nerves in the pit of my stomach. “I keep feeling like I will lose you if I don’t keep holding onto you and that you’ll stop loving me if I don’t remind you enough.”
My words echoed his own, and I heard him intake a breath sharply as he drew away.
“I told you I’m not going anywhere. You’re stuck with me, whether you like it or not, Em.” He brushed my cheek with the backs of his fingers, and my eyelids fluttered closed at his touch.
He kissed me, and I smiled.
“You love me.”
We remained silent, holding each other, for a long time.
The train, the last train for the night, rattled past our room noisily and tore me away from my desperately blissful reverie.
“We’d better go...” I mumbled, unenthusiastic, and he nodded his head just as reluctantly.
“I suppose so.”
“Good evening, Hannah.” Albus cheerily said in greeting, and I rolled my eyes as I saw the woman’s face light up. Of course it did. Was there anyone in the world who didn’t positively melt at the sight of Albus Potter and any one of his family members? “How are you?”
“Coping.” She replied, wiping her damp forehead with a rag. “Got a sudden influx of customers tonight, and Neville’s expecting me home at eleven. I don’t think I’ll make it – but I don’t want to disappoint him. So I’m trying to get Nancy in - but of course, she decided that today of all days she’s going to take a day off.”
“I’m sorry to hear about that.” Albus said, grimacing slightly at the sight of the dishevelled woman.
“It’s fine. It’s fine. I’ll get someone else to cover my shift, and I’ll spend a nice relaxing night at home with my family – who are all annoyed at me, no doubt.” She laughed weakly, trying to lighten the atmosphere, and I smiled at her encouragingly. “Well, I’d best be off. I have to send a Howler to Nancy telling her I’ll sack her if she doesn’t stop being a pansy. I won’t – of course, but threats, I’ve noticed, always get work done.”
“Are you sure she wasn’t in Slytherin when she was at Hogwarts?” I whispered hurriedly into Albus’s ear as we watched Hannah Longbottom scuttle away into the office to send an employee a nasty Howler.
“Are you kidding? Hannah was in Hufflepuff, and a model Prefect from what I hear. She’s usually the nicest woman in the world. Always giving people pay rises if they ask for it and always sending my mum sugar if she runs out. But I guess stress has made her desperate. It tends to do that to people, from what I hear.”
“Like in our fifth year when everyone was spazzing out about O.W.Ls.” I instantly regretted mentioning fifth year. It was as though I had chosen to stab myself in the chest with something as cold as ice. I struggled, momentarily to breathe, and only recovered when I felt Albus’s hand upon the small of my back, patting it awkwardly.
“I remember.” He said, smirking slightly. “Didn’t you have a nervous breakdown during your exam, or was that someone else?”
“Y-yeah, that was me.” I muttered, ignoring his inquisitive glance. “And it was not a ‘nervous breakdown’.”
“What happened?” He asked as we stepped out of the pub, and onto the street. The rush of cold air woke me up, and I remembered my unflinching ability to lie.
“I was in a bad mood, and I didn’t feel like performing magic on command.” I replied, shrugging my shoulders. “My examiner was a real pervert.”
“It seems no one can resist your charms.” Albus teased, elbowing me playfully in the ribs.
“Guess not.” I kissed him on the cheek, giggling mockingly, and tugged him on the hand. “Turns out we don’t need Hannah at all, I know this really great place that is just around the corner.”
Despite the overall dinginess of the so-called ‘restaurant’ and the initial setback of there being a rat found in the kitchen, the food actually wasn’t that bad.
Albus, forgetting his imagination and seeing the place only as a ‘rat infested dump’, safely ordered a bowl of chips whilst I went a little mad, threw caution to the wind, and asked for their ‘surprise dish’ of the day.
It turned out to be pasta with a few bits of ‘surprise’ meat in it.
It wasn’t exciting at all; the meat was chicken and the pasta sauce was tomato. Somehow even Albus’s chips were more thrilling – as they, shockingly, did not have salt on them and that, oddly, was a big deal for him.
“You’re so annoyingly English.” I muttered dryly over my meal as Albus complained about his tasteless chips, acting as though he was a spoiled child and I was his doting mother. “Just shut up and enjoy your boring meal.”
“You’re just as English as I am, so shut it.”He was being childish, sulking because I wouldn’t sympathise and be empathetic over his unsalted potato chips. In fact, I had laughed at him for a full five minutes straight when I realized that he was being serious, and not just taking the piss.
“I am not.”
“And you call me childish.” He muttered, rolling his eyes dramatically.
“Enjoying your meal?” The scruffy waiter asked, appearing out of no where and looking utterly bored to tears.
“Oh yes.” I replied excitedly. “It’s excellent. Please, inform the Chef that we have enjoyed it so much and that my friend thinks that these are the bestest best best chips ever. It’s like heaven in our mouths.”
Albus narrowed his eyes at me from the other side of the table and the waiter rolled his own.
“You’re hilarious.” He muttered dryly before he picked up our unfinished meals and moved away.
“I know, I know. I’m so hilarious it hurts. It must be so hard to be around me, I’m just that fun to be around.” I had missed sarcasm, and I lapsed back into it with such ease, it was like being reacquainted with an old friend.
“I am pretty sure if we order anything else, he’ll spit in it.” Albus stated, looking past me at the door to the kitchens with a slight uneasiness in his expression. It made me laugh.
“I think he’ll do more than just spit in it.”
He grinned at me, and I rolled my eyes.
“Let’s run out on the bill. Come on, it’ll be fun.” The thought had struck me so suddenly, I wasn’t aware I had spoken aloud until I saw the surprised look on his face. “What? There’s no way I am paying for this.”
“I’m Harry Potter’s son. I don’t think the law will look too kindly upon me if we get caught.”
“What? You’re joking! It’s exactly because you’re his son that the law will always ignore you.” I said, and added with a mischievous smile, “You’re too pretty for prison, anyway.”
“You’d suit prison. You’ve got that dangerous look in your eye that says ‘I’m crazy as fuck’. You’d make friends quickly.” He winked at me, and I wiggled my eyebrows like one of those cheesy villains in the child-friendly retellings of the magical wars.
“I’ll leave without you.”
“No you won’t.”
“Fine! I’m coming!”
Running out on our bill was much easier than I had expected. After slipping out, apparently unnoticed, we were only chased and yelled at when we were halfway down the street. The waiter called us names and tried to hex us, but it was too late. We were already gone.
Stumbling down the damp cobblestone street, clutching each other’s hands, we were totally free.
Albus whispered he loved me under the starry sky and I told him he had a bit of dirt on his nose.
He didn’t, of course, and so he told me teasingly that I was an appalling tart.
He trusted me to know where we were going, and as promised, I led us to the party that I knew he did not want to go to. I wanted to, however, and so he did not make one single murmur of complaint. He remained quiet, strangely quiet, and spoke only once to say that the musical choice was interesting.
I knew, however, that he was ill at ease.
We were in Knockturn alley, and he was Harry Potter’s son.
Witches that resembled hags blew kisses in Albus’s direction and wizards that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up licked their lips at the sight of my cleavage and legs.
Albus’s hand tightened around mine as we entered what appeared to be a house converted into a sort of ‘club’ – as Muggles liked to bizarrely call it – and we plunged into even more darkness.
The darkness did not linger, and of that we were grateful.
Once we had entered the main section of the building – where everyone was congregating and dancing – the room was suddenly lit with red and orange. The music was unfamiliar, but with a good beat, and it made me want to dance.
Albus, on the other hand, continued to look out of place and nervous of the people milling around him.
Squeezing his hand, I dragged him on the dance floor and placed his hands onto either side of my hips.
“Dance with me.” I mouthed, knowing it was hopeless to try and speak over the roaring music.
The music transformed me, just as it always did. I closed my eyes, moved my body, and forgot where I was, who I was and who I was with. I was completely and utterly free. My life was in the hands of the blaring music and the hands that clutched my hips and the lips that moved against mine.
I heard Albus say into my ear that he loved me, and with a smile, I repeated his words even though, in that moment, they weren’t the slightest bit true.
In that moment, I wasn’t Emmanuelle or even Em, I was just a girl. I was just a girl dancing to a song, and no one else.
“Hello sweetheart. How about coming over here and giving me and the lads a good time?” Someone yelled as Albus and I stumbled, tipsy, out of the building and back on the street. It had started raining again, and it took less than a minute to drench us both.
“No, thank you!” I bellowed back, laughing, as I staggered alongside Albus.
“I wasn’t giving you a choice, love.” I heard from behind me, and that, and only that, made me stop. Not the names he had shouted, or the laughter, but that one chilling sentence. It was very sobering, being reminded of the party where I was drugged and almost raped by the stranger in Hufflepuff robes.
I whirled around, ignoring Albus’s protests for me not to, and saw that the heckling man, and his drunken friends, had followed us down the street.
I should have been logical, and left – but I didn’t, because I wasn’t smart. I wasn’t like Rose, or Scorpius, or even like Albus. I didn’t sense danger until it was staring me in the face – and even then I did nothing but rile it even more.
“I would never go near that thing even if my life depended upon it, sir.” I snapped irately, pointing at his crotch with an air of disgust. Beside me, Albus whispered a cautionary warning which I chose to ignore.
“Oh really? Well, meet my good friend Mr. Wand and Mr. Knife. I’m sure they’ll convince you otherwise.” The man leered, patting his coat pockets in a manner that was meant to suggest that he had weapons there. Stupidly, I didn’t believe him.
“Stop being so clichéd! Not everyone in bloody Knockturn Alley is dodgy! Find somewhere else to act all ‘cool’ and ‘dangerous’ in and let us get the fuck back to what we were doing.” I wasn’t afraid like I should have been; I was merely annoyed by the rudeness of the man. “Wanker.”
“I’m sure you won’t be so liberal with your words if I take it out on your darling boyfriend.” The man said, acting so quickly I could have told myself that it didn’t happen if it were not for Albus falling to his knees. “Crucio!” Was all the man had said, and it took me only a single heartbeat to realise what it was.
I stared at Albus, who was yelling incoherently and writhing in pain, and did not know what to do.
Albus’s eyes, briefly, met mine and were filled with such anguish, that it made anger surge through me. Unthinkingly, I flew at the man and tackled him to the ground. My fists bore down on him, forgetting the wand that was stashed in my pocket, and screamed colourful profanities in his face.
I was pulled off of him by two other men, one of whom called me a ‘stupid bitch’, and was held by them. I struggled, screaming angrily, yet I could not get those hands to let go of my arms.
“She’s got fire, lads!” The man cheerily exclaimed as he stood up. His nose was bleeding and he was clutching his jaw as though it pained him greatly. I could only afford to be smug for a moment.
Albus had managed to get onto his feet and had pulled his wand on the men who held me.
“Let her go. Let her go now.” He barked, wincing in pain as he took a step towards us. I wanted to reach for him, but I couldn’t. The men now held my arms twisted behind my back.
“Well, well, well. Look who it is, lads.” The man, who I assumed to be their leader, heckled.
“Why – that’s Potter’s son, innit?” Another said, sounding afraid.
“I reckon it is.”
“Of course it’s Potter’s, you moron.” The man snapped with his full attention now on Albus rather than me.
I couldn’t allow that to happen.
“I’ll kill you – I’ll fucking kill you!” I roared, fighting against my restraints. “I’ll kill you if you so much as touch him!”
The man looked back at me, curious, and considered me with an amused look on his face. His neutrality to the situation, besides having just had me break his nose and possibly crack his jaw, was what frightened me most of all.
“Didn’t your mother warn you about girls like her, Potter?” He asked, smiling politely at Albus.
“Who are you – and what do you want?” Albus snapped, ignoring his question. He pointed his wand towards the men who held me and I felt them tense slightly.
“Who am I? Well, my name is something valuable considering you’re the son of the Head Auror and is not something I am likely to give out. But here, have this – have my father’s wretched name. Call me d’Eath, but don’t overuse it please.” He had drawn out his own wand so rapidly; neither Albus nor I noticed it until he had used it in attempt to disarm us both.
My wand remained in my pocket for he did not know it was there.
“As for what we want – well, that’s a little more complex.” His eyes flashed to me, and I shuddered. “At first, we wanted to take your money and fuck your girlfriend whilst you were on Death’s door– but now? Well, now there are more cards on the table.”
Albus looked to me, and I pressed my lips together. He was smart, he would get us out of this situation as long as he didn’t let d’Eath’s words distract and frighten him.
“You’re the Chosen Boy’s son and we – well, we are hardly what you’d call ‘popular’ in the magical world. You see, we’re part-Vampires which makes us even less popular than full vampires. We don’t get the special tricks or the bonuses. We’re only accepted because of Lorcan d’Eath – the pathetic excuse for a singer, and relation of mine. ”
“So you plan on eating us then?” Albus’s sudden composure surprised me, and several of the men. They had expected us to be afraid – just as we should have been.
I wasn’t afraid because Albus wasn’t.
It was just that simple.
It was then, in that moment, did I see Albus’s plan.
Why I had not guessed it earlier struck me as strange. His eyes met mine for a brief second and he gestured towards my pocket with his chin. I nodded my head, frowning slightly, and glanced to d’Eath. He seemed oblivious to our silent communication and was still smiling dreamily at his own wickedness.
Then, without warning, Albus dived to the side and into a crouch. He summoned his wand without magic – as I knew he was able to – and stunned the two men that restrained me in seconds.
I drew out my own wand and stumbled towards him blindly, calling out his name hysterically.
I knew I was not fast enough even before d’Eath’s hands closed on me and dragged me backwards by my hair. I suppressed a scream and fought against him, dropping my wand in the process. I heard it clatter to the ground and heard, from afar, Albus stunning someone else.
My useless attempt to fight d’Eath did not last for long and I was pulled to a halt by the only thing in the world that could.
The cool blade of his knife was what stopped me.
Digging into my throat, my survival instincts made me freeze and told me submit to him. Had it been his wand, I might not have been so easy to win over.
I heard Albus shout my name and saw, through my blurred vision, him sending stunning curses in all directions. The orange and red light distracted me momentarily as it bounced off of the walls of the otherwise darkened alley.
My lips formed his name, but no sound came out.
As the sharp teeth dag into my neck, I pondered why a part-Vampire would have fangs, and did not think of much else. A numbing sense, that was almost pleasant, had replaced the fierce pain and I no longer fought. I made a murmuring sound which was followed by a scream.
Albus had ripped me away from d’Eath and I realised that the scream had belonged to me.
As I fell back, I hit someone and saw it was one of the men who had sounded afraid. I stared at him until I heard a noise that I would never forget.
Albus gasped as the blade went in, and cried aloud when it came out.
“No!” I screamed, struggling to my feet. I yelled that one word over and over again, but it did nothing to save him. The man, who stood, licking the blade that dripped with Albus’s blood, did not notice me. I tackled him as I had done the first time and using Albus’s wand, which had laid beside his crumpled form, I performed the only spell that came to mind.
I felt the power of the curse surge through me, feeding on all of my hatred and rage until the moment it was all gone. D’Eath no longer moved, no longer taunted and there was no one left in the alley besides him, myself and Albus.
I sobbed his name and stumbled towards him.
My knees gave out at the sight of the blood seeping through his shirt, and at his closed eyes. I buried my face into his chest and, with all the strength and concentration I had in me, apparated us away from the place so full of horrors.
Before the world had even stopped spinning, I knew that there was something wrong.
The word popped into my mind immediately; splinched.
I felt the familiar ripping pain in my side and knew, as the Healers rushed around me that, perhaps, this time I had done so much damage, that even they could not repair and put me back together.
As I slipped into unconsciousness, I whispered his name as my final saving grace.
“Can you hear me? Hello?” Sounds that I recognised to be words met me as the world returned. My eyelids, fluttering open weakly, blinked against the bright light and did not register the man whose face bore down on mine. “Ah! There we go! Welcome back!”
“Alex, do you mind not doing that to the patient. I heard it can be very alarming for them to wake up to your face.” Someone else said, good-humouredly, and I wanted to turn my head to see who it was but found that I couldn’t. “Now, do you know where you are, love?”
“I’m saving Albus.” I managed to choke out, and the man laughed softly.
“Yes. How very noble of you. I’m sure you have made Godric Gryffindor very proud.”
“What? No – I’m not a Gryffindor. I’m – I’m a – a Slytherin.” I struggled to remember the name of my house, and to form sentences. It made me convinced that I was drunk and had wound up in the Hospital Wing.
Except, I couldn’t be. I couldn’t, could I?
This man was not someone who I recognised, and the pain that I felt was not from a hangover.
And the flashes of moments gone obscured my vision; they informed me that something was very much wrong. I was not in school, and for some reason Albus Potter was bleeding to death in a dark alley somewhere.
“Don’t sit up.” The man said, pushing gently at my shoulder. I moved back and discovered that I was lying on a bed. A comfortable bed with white sheets and somewhere, there was someone shouting.
“Where – where?”
“After your – your... accident you apparated here, do you not remember?”
“No.” I wanted to be sarcastic and say, ‘if I knew then why’d I ask’ but I couldn’t form the words.
“Well, your neck had been punctured and you’d lost a lot of blood before you had even sustained the... injury.” His tone changed, it shifted from professionalism to awkwardness. I was curious to know why.
“Injury?” I asked, struggling to keep my eyes open.
“Your splinching.” The man replied curtly, looking down at the chart he held in his hands. “You’ve been put back together – don’t worry. It’s just that nasty bite on your neck that’s proving to be a problem.”
“Oh!” My fingers rose to touch the place where blood had been spurting from in my memories. Now, instead of blood, lay soft bandages and I drew my hand away, wincing in pain. “It was – it was-”
“A vampire. Yes, we know. We recognised the bite immediately, and Aurors were alerted the minute we brought you in.” His calm, collected voice was what kept me together. It made me feel safe. “Now, do you think you could tell me your name?”
I frowned. My name? What was that now?
“It’s – it’s Delacour.” I replied. I saw the man pull a face, and I blinked. Had I gotten it wrong?
“Is that how you spell your name?” He asked me, with a tone that was slightly terse.
“Maybe... yes, I think so.” I squeezed my eyes closed. “My mother – my – she’ll be able to tell you who I am. Get my mother – please.”
I could see her, swimming before my closed eyelids like a ghost. Her beautiful face was bright with her joy and as she laughed, I laughed too. She beckoned me towards her with her finger and I followed, floating on the air like I were a cloud. Her laughter echoed in my ears as sleep stole me away from the world.
“Welcome back.” It was him again, the same man as before. I frowned, struggling to divide fantasy from reality.
“Who are you?”
“I am your Healer. My name is Healer Creevey.” I recognised his calm tone and it settled my nerves.
“I remember you.” I whispered, “Now please, tell me what’s going on.”
“Alright.” He sighed, “Three days ago you were attacked in Knockturn Alley by a man who calls himself ‘d’Eath’ and his gang of part-Vampire scum. They missed out on being Death Eaters, but reckon You-know-who had the right ideas. Aurors have been tracking them for quite some time.”
“I – I remember him. I remember d’Eath.” I felt a shiver pass through me, and I tried not to let my mind dwell on the topic of the man – or whatever he was, exactly.
“D’Eath attacked you and, fortunately, you were able to get away. You apparated right outside of our building, splinched and dare I say, half dead. You have been in treatment ever since.” The Healer’s face was troubled, and I pressed my lips together, unsure how much I wanted to know.
“I – I wasn’t alone.” I said, squeezing my eyes closed. “I was with Albus Potter. Where is he?”
Don’t let him be dead, don’t let him be dead.
“Mr Potter is within our care, just as you are. He received a knife wound to the abdomen and had the Cruciatus curse performed on him.” I was not aware that I was sobbing until the Healer stopped talking and placed his hand on my shoulder. “Miss Delacour, you must know that if it weren’t for you, he would surely be dead. You’re a very brave girl.”
“No – no – I’m not. It’s my fault. I – I need to see him!” I cried, my wails reaching the point of being hysterical. I needed to see him - I had to. “Please – please.”
“I’m afraid that is not possible right now. He is in recovery and only family members may visit him at this time.”
“Please – please – please.” I sobbed.
“I will inform Mr Potter that you have regained consciousness, but that is all, Miss Delacour. It’s just not possible right now. I’m sorry. I really am.” He honestly did sound it, and so I did not press him any harder.
“Have – have I had any visitors?” I asked, aware that my voice was weak from my tears and barely audible.
“No.” He responded. His eyes, which were a soft tawny brown colour, looked troubled instead of apologetic, and I bit down on my lower lip.
“No one has come to see me? How long did – how long have I been here?”
“Three days.” He looked away, his jaw clenched, and I stared at him in doubt. Surely someone would have been concerned enough to come and see me?
“And no one has come? Do – do they know?” I asked, conscious that my voice was shaking.
“Your mother has not been informed due to inability to contact her. However we were able to reach your aunt and uncle.” He continued his refusal to look at me, and in a moment of desperation, I snatched hold of his hand.
“I need my mother – please – help me and find her. Promise that you will find her for me. Her name is – her name is Gabrielle Delacour.”
“Gabrielle?” It was his tone that surprised me. Instead of saying he’d find her or that he’d try his best, he stared down at me as though the entire world suddenly made sense. And that it was a cruel and dreadful place to behold. “Gabrielle Delacour?”
“Yes.” I snapped. “What’s wrong with that?”
“We – we used to be close.” There it was again. The touch of apprehension mixed in with bewilderment and sadness. I opened my eyes and stared at him. His hair was brown and his face fair. He wore a customary uniform with his name on a badge.
“If you name begins with a ‘D’ and your surnames ends in an ‘ey’ then please, kill me now.” It couldn’t be happening, it just couldn’t – but it made sense. A Healer at St. Mungos. Reasonably dark brown hair. Reacted strangely to my mother’s name. Had familiar bone structure.
“My name is Dennis Creevey.”
“Then please, kill me now.”
Aljslkdhjklhg, this chapter was so hard to write! Oh my god. I wanted to keep going with the smut and the fluffliness, and not – well, you just read it. I am sure that you hate me, but hey, it’s all part of a greater picture. And what do you think about Dennis? He maybe being her long lost father? And poor, poor Albus. I hope you didn’t think the attack was too sudden or melodramatic...
Oh. This really was a difficult chapter. But no matter.
I really hoped you enjoyed it, and would love for you to leave a review saying what you thought of it.
I love you guys!
Lyrics: Animal – Ellie Goulding.
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