Chapter 15 : Thestrals
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Slowly it reached up with its white bony hands that were painted with dried blood, to pull back the hood, still laughing. But underneath was no foul creature of evil. First came James Potter then it mutated to Lily, then Sirius, Remus, Emma, Tonks, Jasmine, Amanda, Penelope, Charlie, before finally it took the face of Rose. The face laughed and laughed, whilst its eyes devoured the soul of anyone who looked into them. Slowly the face began to rot as it started to crumble away.
Rose’s eyes popped open she could feel sweat poured over her body as she tried to regulate her breathing. She sat up to untangle herself from the bed sheets. They were getting worse every night, she had to take a potion to stop them, but she was going to have to get a stronger dose. Finding her muggle clock on her bed side table she found the time, 4:27, Merlin she would never get any sleep.
She tiptoed out of her bed into the bathroom, turning on the light she looked into the mirror, Merlin she looked awful, the grey bags under her eyes seemed to have the weight of the world on them. After brushing the many knots out of her tangled auburn hair Rose turned on the shower. The feel of the hot water soothed her body running through her hair to the tops of her toes, it began a slow process of wiping away the remains of lasts nights’ terror. Rose only began to realize just how long she had been in the shower after discovering the wrinkled skin over her hands.
Suddenly there was a loud banging at the bathroom door “Rose for Merlin’s sake how long you are gunna take I need to pee!”
“Sorry one sec” Rose quickly turned off the shower and put on her towel before leaving the bathroom to allow Tonks to go in.
“Thanks” she shouted back before going in.
Looking at her clock she found that she had been in the shower for nearly two hours, she began to magically dry her hair and get dressed into her robes.
“Are you ready yet we’ll go to breakfast” said Tonks who was already changed
“Yeah, bit early for you through, it’s just gone seven?”
“Um I’m hungry and we need to talk”
“Oh right” she mumbled back as they walk out of their room and into the deserted common room before walking out the portrait hole. What did Tonks want to talk about? Seemed serious, she looked serious and to be honest she never really looked serious.
They sat down at the Gryffindor table, across the great hall only a few early risers came to breakfast this early and the pair where the only others on their table apart from two other first years sitting on the other end.
“So?” Rose looked at Tonks expectantly “what’s up?”
“Im fine how are you?” she said looking at Rose intently in the eye
“Yeah I’m fine to”
“Really?” she stared some more “You sure because you don’t look ‘fine’”
“Huh?” Rose mumbled into her toast
“It’s obvious you haven’t slept properly in weeks, the others are asking questions they want to know what up, don’t worry I haven’t told them you know I would never do that. But Rose is your potion working properly? Do you think that maybe you need a stronger one?”
“I jus-I just want to- to not have to take a fucking potion every night of my life and then still after a time that potion isn’t going to be strong enough and then you need more because every night it doesn’t work and you feel like a load of shit. And I think Madame Pomfrey thinks I’m an addict or something!”
“But Rose you can’t stay like this, you know Jasmine she will ask and she won’t stop until she finds out”
“I know!” she shouted at her before nibbling back at her toast whilst the few people in the hall turned to look where the noise was coming from “I’m sorry” she looked back up “I’m just grumpy with no sleep and that, I talk to McGonagall or something later”
Tonks decided that nothing else should be said on the matter, she knew Rose they’d been best friends since first year and anymore would just annoy her some more. She sat in silence eating her breakfast waiting to see if she would say anything else.
Tonks couldn’t sleep, she just wasn’t tired, she’d tried counting pixies, Merlin she’d even tried counting sheep, but she just found that muggle idea stupid and to be honest sheep freaked her out a bit. When she was younger Tonks would spend any sleepless hours changing her appearance using her metamorphous powers but she’d now grown bored of that to. The rest of the girls in the Gryffindor first year dormitory were fast asleep she could hear their breathing, the in and out, in and out creating a gentle rhythm. Well almost. Faintly she could hear someone’s breath struggling like a frightened panting in the background. Being the nosey girl she was she had to see who it was. She silently crept out of her bed opening the hangings, once in the centre of the room it became obvious where it came from. The bed next to her, Rose’s bed. She crept closer and the distressed sleeping became more poignant. She wanted to open the hanging to see what was up, was everything ok. But that would be weird. Yes her and Rose had grown really close after these first few months, you could say they were best friends but Tonks knew something wasn’t right she was hiding something. She slowly peeled back the hangings with her index finger. On the bed she could see Rose entwined in the blanket covered in sweat but what out more were the tears on her face. Suddenly she jerked to the right, accidently Tonks let out a small gasp as she thought the girl arm was going to hit her. But she was too loud, this woke the distressed sleeper, who eyes open and stared back. “Sorry” was all Tonks could muster before shuttering back to her bed and tightly shutting the hangings.
Tonks sat watching her friend. Merlin things had changed over the years; it was so strange looking back over it now. She knew pretty much everything about the girl opposite; they knew each other’s fears, their loves and could tell when something was worrying them.
12:14, Merlin she had seriously overslept. It was a Sunday morning, well afternoon now. The rest of her dorm was deserted. She couldn’t blame them it was the end of June, second year exams were over and summer was defiantly in full swing. Crawling out of bed she had a quick shower before putting on a top and an old pair of jeans.
The common room was empty to; looking out the window she could see all the students around the ground and swimming in the lake. Walking towards the portrait hole something caught her eye on the edge of the notice board next to it. There was a collection of quidditch photos of the Gryffindor teams holding the cup. But there was one that stood out far more than the others. In the photo that caught her eye there was a large black mark covering one of the members of the team. From where they were standing she could tell he was a chaser. She knew who it was of course; she could always recognize him from the way he stood in the photo even if his face couldn’t be seen. Sirius Black.
She sat on the table holding the photo of her cousin. He was in Azkaban for betraying the man that stood next to him, James Potter, to Voldemort and killing another friend, Peter Pettigrew. But she didn’t believe that she simply couldn’t. She knew Sirius; her mum always said he was the only relative she could stand. They both had broken away from Black tradition her into Hufflepuff and him to Gryffindor. She’d met James before she seen how close he and Sirius were and the idea, even the idea of him doing such a thing was impossible.
Tonk began the rug the photo, just gentle to see if she could get rid of the black mark that blasted him off the picture. But it didn’t move.
“Tonks?” She looked up at the voice that had gently called her name to see Rose standing next to her. “I came to see where you were the others are going for lunch now” her voice shook as she looked at the photo in Tonks hands. “What’s that?”
“Just a photo I saw on the notice board of an old quidditch team” Tonks stood to put it back
“Can I see?” Tonks passed Rose the photo who sat on the sofa and looked at it intently. She too touched the black mark. “Black” she whispered to herself.
But in the deserted room Tonk heard her. “Don’t, I know he’s a convicted criminal, please don’t tell anyone Rose but he’s my cousin”
“Technically he’s my mums. But Rose I meet him. I knew him. I even met James Potter a few times-“
“What?” the girl snapped looking up at her friend
“Please let me finish Rose. I met him and I knew Sirius, hewouldn’t do anything to his best friend, they were like brothers Rose”
Tonks stood watching her friend who sat looking at the picture. “Okay” Rose whispered “I won’t say anything, what are friends for” she put the picture back up and went over to her friend.
Tonks was surprised when she pulled her into a deep embrace. After she pulled away “Okay Tonks lets go for lunch”
Rose finished her toast “I’m done, I’m going to go get my bag do you want me to get yours to whilst you finish your breakfast and then we can go to transfiguration”
Knowing her friend wanted some time alone she simply replied “please” and watched her friend leave.
“hi Hagrid” the girl called “have you seen Rose anywhere?”
“Down by the hut, with thest- er the, the animals” he stuttered as he walked towards the castle the third year was leaving “sure she’d be up soon” he smiled at the girl patting his huge hands on her shoulder as he walked past “but er Tonks why’d don’t ye go see her”
“I will, thanks Hagrid” she called back
Walking by the hut she could see Rose on the edge of the forest. She was alone or so it appeared, it looked like she was stroking something but she couldn’t see what, it must have been invisible. Invisible?
They had just studied them a few weeks ago. So Rose had seen someone die, she never said so. But she was always really hiding something; Tonks knew that, it was always resting in the back of her head. She just could never really ask her. What about now? She wasn’t prying she just wanted to there for her friend, her best friend, the one she told everything to.
“Rose?” she said walking into the Forrest.
“Hey Tonks” the girl whispered back to her approaching friend
“Are you coming to the feast?”
“Doubt it, but you go ahead”
“No, I think I’ll sit just here”
“Huh?” Rose turned to see her friend “not like you to turn down the Halloween feast” before sitting down next to her on the forest floor.
“What? Your always hungry something must really up is Nymphadora Tonks refuses the famous Hogwarts Halloween feast with ‘wasn’t hungry’” she laughed
“Suppose but what’s up with you”
What do you mean, I’m fine”
“Rose Lilly Evans, you’re not fine you’ve been acting weird all day whilst everyone else is inside celebrating five years of freedom”
“Don’t!” the girl shouted at her friend
“I just don’t feel like this is the happiest event that should be rejoiced and celebrated so much!”
“Even though we are save and you-know-who’s-gone”
“I couldn’t give a damn about Voldemort and he’s not gone he’ll be back just biding his, time nothing that evil could be destroyed like that!”
There was silence in the forest; Tonks looked up dumb struck by her friends revealing speech.
“Don’t tell anyone” Rose whispered to her friend looking into her eyes sincerely “please”
“I won’t” she mumbled back
“You see, I’m not really Rose Evans well, my name is Rose but Evans was my mum’s name before she married by dad. Technically I’m Rose Potter. As you know I live with my Godmother because my parents died. They died five years ago today on Halloween that’s why I don’t celebrate it like everyone else. Truth is part of me would want them back to send me off to Hogwarts, to have Christmas and celebrate birthdays even if that meant Voldemort was still here. But they weren’t like that Tonks they’d do anything to make the world better, and when he came to get Harry, they stopped him but in doing so they died. I saw it Tonks, I watched him murder my parents whilst I stood under a cloak”
Tonks looked up at her friend next to her with a single tear running down her left cheek, she held her hand whispering “it will be okay, it will get better and don’t worry I would never tell a soul but remember I’ll always be here for you I promise”
“And to begin the process of making things better were going to the kitchens to sweat talk some house elves into making us some food, and don’t look at me like that I just heard your stomach rumble so much it would put Hagrid’s to shame”
“Hey Tonks I’ve got your bag” So surprised at her friends sudden presence Tonks dropped her pumpkin juice onto her plate, smashing it in the process and spilling pumpkin juice all over the robes.
“Merlin Tonks can I not leave you for five minutes”
“Hay! This is your fault” she complained using her wand to repair the damage and clean the robes.
“Whatever, come on though you take so eating I think we may actually be late”
The two girls walked out of the great hall which had greatly filled up by know mostly by the large quantities of late comers who were quickly trying to find something to eat before going off to their first lesson on the day. After they walked down the corridor they soon found them outside of the Transfiguration classroom.
The lesson went on normally, they practiced there switching spells some more from last lesson, wrote some more notes of them to and to the classes great dismay, set an essay on the side effects of switching spells on animals for the next lesson.
When the class was packing up to leave McGonagall walked over and whispered “Rose if you wouldn’t mind could I talk to you in my office for a few minutes”
“Sure Professor” she answered before packing up her bag and telling Tonks to go with the others, she would catch up with them later because she was going to talk to McGonagall.
Once in the office, set was instructed to sit down “Tea?” McGonagall asked.
“Err okay thank you” she said although the woman had already poured her a cup.
“Ginger Snap?” she indicated to a box of biscuits on her desk
“I have informed Professor Sprout that you will not be able to intend Herbology but I’m sure you can get the work and any homework from Miss Tonks”
“Yes professor but why can’t I go to Herbology?”
“I’m okay thank you”
“Have a Ginger Snap Evans”
“Evans, I have asked Professor Snape to come here also, he should be her in a few minutes”
“Brilliant” Rose mumbled under her breath
Although she was pretty sure her teacher heard her comment, the woman chose not to peruse it, instead saying “Evans I’ve asked him to bring you some more dreamless sleep potion”
“I already have some; Snape doesn’t need to bother himself”
The woman looked at Rose more sincerely this time “you’re so much like your father, more than I think you know but it’s time to remember that part of you that’s is your mother, the courage to ask for a bit of help now and again. You haven’t been sleeping Rose and maybe it the time of year but just for now take the potion its only slightly stronger a tad more effective and I’m sure after the Christmas your be back to usual. But it won’t do you any good sulking around the castle from no sleep and I need you on top form I didn’t pick you to be quidditch captain for any old reason, I have grown rather to the trophy on my shelf”
“Thank you, ah Severus you’re here” the woman said looking up at the man who had just entered the office.
“Minerva and Evans” he answered as he slid into the room, placing a small box of vials onto the desk, always careful not to look at the student.
“You can take these and go now Evans” The professor said pushing the box closer to the other side of the desk
Rose picked up the box of vials “Thank you Professor” she said courtly to the McGonagall before turning and looking him straight into the eye. Her hazels eyes, the ones he had hated so much, into his black ones. “Professor” Before out of the office and into the corridor
“So?” The voice behind her spoke causing her jump
“Tonks, honestly do you have to pop up like that?”
“Just getting you back for earlier but anyway what did she want?”
“Some more potion, I’m allowed to be of Herbology to rest but what’s you excuse”
“Cough, cough” the girl pretended “I suddenly came down with a terrible case of the flu, but anyway lets go to the dorm because ickle Rosie needs to restie”
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