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Vermillion Bird by quixotic
Chapter 6 : Know thy Enemy
 
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Scorpius and I sat in the Hospital Wing by the bedside of Giselle in a tense silence. We would have visited Al too if it weren’t for his fan club who crowded around the area. Girls mulled about laden with large handkerchiefs, forming some sort of sobbing competition to see who could sob the hardest. I pity the poor boy when he awakes.

I squirmed in one of the hard and uncomfortable hospital chairs, wishing more than ever that I could perform a cushioning charm. Madam Pomfrey had strictly forbidden magic performed by students within the Hospital Wing. The rule had been enforced ever since Teddy Lupin accidentally set the Wing on fire. It took three months to renovate the place and Headmistress McGonagall earned more than a few grey hairs from the incident.

I grasped Giselle’s hand, mentally urging her to get up so we could leave this place. Ever since Mother died, hospitals were rather uncomfortable places for me and this wing was no exception.

“Why did Giselle do it?” I asked suddenly and Scorpius looked up from his Transfiguration homework.
“Do what?” he asked confusedly.
“Block the bludger from hitting Al.”
Scorpius thought for a minute. “She’s his friend,” he replied but he refused to meet my eyes.

“I know she is his friend, but that was suicidal!” I exclaimed.

“Look, I really don’t have a clue,” Scorpius said in a mildly irritated voice. He was holding something back, I knew that for sure. However, prodding him was just going to push him further away. I kept quiet, unsure of what to say.

“Tell me something about your mother,” Scorpius said abruptly and my eyes widened.
“What?”
“You know, something that you remember of her...only if you want to, that is,” he amended hastily. I thought about it for a moment. It had been ages since I’d talked about Mother, it was a topic that I rarely brought up. Father went to pieces every time someone mentioned her. Suddenly, a memory rose to the surface of my mind and I smiled.
“She used to sing to Giselle and me, every night,” I started, my eyes softening. Scorpius put away the homework and focused his attention solely on me.
“Really?” he whispered and I nodded.
“She had the most amazing voice and after she tucked us in, we would beg for her to sing,” I continued, “She would always sing the same song, over and over again,”
“Which one?” Scorpius asked, curiously. I gave him a helpless shrug.
“I’ve forgotten,” I replied miserably. It was a horrible feeling when I couldn’t remember something, the thought kept prodding and poking my mind but wouldn’t crystallize.
Scorpius placed a comforting hand on my shoulder.
“Don’t worry, it will come back to you. Sooner or later,” he said with great conviction and I shrugged.
“Perhaps,” I muttered to myself.

Just then Madam Pomfrey came in and ushered the fan club out of the Wing, insisting that the patients needed a peace and quiet atmosphere, especially the ones who did not have the luxury of being passed out. She gave the two of us a smile.

“They should be awake in a few hours,” she told us, referring to Al and Giselle. “Why don’t you go and eat now? I’ll send for you when they regain consciousness.”
Thanking her, we made our way to the Great Hall for dinner. We nearly reached the entrance, when a girl came running out of nowhere and threw herself into Scorpius’ arms. On closer inspection it turned out to be none other than Rose Weasley.

Rose was a truly beautiful girl, with her auburn curls and sparkling blue eyes. She was the kind of girl who seemed to have everything in life- fame, popularity, intelligence and beauty. She was the full package. She had the rest of the female population envying her. I never wanted to be like Rose, I guess it was much easier to be me.

Rose giggled and wrapped her arms around a very perplexed Scorpius. I just stood there, eyeing the couple warily, wondering when it was time for me to make a graceful exit. Now should do it.

“Um, I’ll just be going then?” I asked awkwardly. Rose whirled around at the sound of my voice. “Oh, hi there!” she giggled, “I’m Rose. Scorpius’ girlfriend.”

Her words were like a punch in the face. I did not see that one coming. I stood there, frozen, before a large smile graced my features.

“That’s brilliant! I cannot believe that Scorpius didn’t tell me!” I squealed. Scorpius glared in my direction. Apparently, Scorpius had never had a girlfriend before, or so Al had told me. Even my social life wasn’t that pathetic. I had had a boyfriend, if only for three hours. He got bored and broke up with me halfway through our first date. Not one of my finest moments.

It was great that Scorpius had finally gotten a girlfriend, but his choice surprised me. Rose wasn’t exactly the nicest girl at Hogwarts and was known to mercilessly tease girls who weren’t as...gifted as her. Like me, for example, although upon becoming Head Girl, most of the teasing had stopped. It was a big relief, being called ‘swot’ and ‘prude’ for nearly six years was not a particularly enjoyable experience. Rose wasn’t the kind of girl who I would imagine Scorpius with, although I supposed with the two them being best friends for a while, it was inevitable. Al, albeit being the third member of their trio, was Rose’s cousin and hence not eligible.

Rose’s eyes widened in shock at my reply before she covered it with a smile. “Thanks,” she said, though now her smile was looking a bit frozen. She dropped Scorpius’ hand abruptly and stalked off without another word, leaving me a bit confused.

“Was it something I said?” I asked Scorpius who was looking at me with a funny expression.

“No, actually, your reaction was perfect,” he replied and with a mysterious twinkle in his eyes he grabbed my hand and we entered the Great Hall together.




ØØØØ


After what seemed like aeons, Albus Potter was let out of the Hospital Wing. He still needed daily checkups with Madam Pomfrey, much to his displeasure. He hated the Hospital Wing. It was so clean, white and sterilized. It always smelled of weird concoctions. He wrinkled his nose in disgust as he wandered towards the library.

Al’s mind was currently preoccupied with thoughts of Giselle, who remained unconscious in the Hospital Wing. The feeling of guilt that thrived in his stomach refused to leave. She had saved his life....why? Never before had Al felt so confused. He blamed it on the Hospital Wing. Staying in that place had done something to his brain.

He was taking refuge in the library, passing through the shelves to find a book that appealed to him. He coughed as a cloud of dust engulfed his face. The library was the complete opposite of the Hospital Wing. It was full of dusty shelves, dim lighting and a cozy atmosphere, if you didn’t mind Madam Pince constantly creeping up on you. As Al thumbed through the books, he noticed a rather large book in the corner. It had a brown velvety cover camouflaging perfectly with the shelf. He reached for it and gasped. His ring was glowing! That never happened apart from when was using his power. He sincerely hoped that he hadn’t brought this book to life.

After inspecting the book from a distance, it finally became clear that the book was still inanimate. Al let out a sigh of relief, before tentatively opening the cover. On the first page was the title, though it looked more like a jumble of letters that didn’t make sense. Was this in another language? Looking around to make sure that Madam Pince wasn’t lurking nearby, he casually slid the book beneath his robes before sauntering out of the library. This book was going to need further inspection, it could contain the answer to the four children had been asking themselves- who was their enemy?




ØØØØ

“Do you think she’s alive?” a voice said from above. Giselle tried to open her eyes, but her eyelids felt too heavy. Her body felt as if she had run a marathon for hours. She couldn’t help smile when the owner of the voice squealed in protest when someone slugged him.

“Of course she’s alive you twit,” another voice that sounded like Scorpius, “Look, she’s moving!”

Slowly, Giselle’s eyes fluttered open and three figures became visible. Scorpius, Al and....Headmistress McGonagall. Where was Giana?

“You’re alive!” Al cried, flinging his arms around Giselle. Scorpius snorted while the headmistress looked slightly amused. Al let go, his green eyes shining with relief. “You’re okay,” he whispered and Giselle chuckled.

“Of course,” she whispered back.

“Ms. Ravenclaw,” the headmistress began, “I’m very glad that you are feeling better. We wanted to talk to you about something.”

Her heart seized. “Is everything alright?” she asked worriedly, “Where’s Gia?”

“Giana is tutoring some fourth years. Everything is fine,” McGonagall replied, “Mr. Potter has just found something in the library that he thought may contain some information about...the situation at hand. We were wondering if you could make something of it.”

The headmistress held out a large, weathered book. Frowning, Giselle sat up and examined it. She opened the cover and saw the faded title.
“The Dark Phoenix,” she read and heard Al gasp. Looking up, she was met with three shocked expressions. Scorpius was the first to recover.
“You can read this?” he asked her, wide-eyed.
“Of course, couldn’t you?” Giselle answered confusedly.

The three of them shook their heads.
“This is really weird,” Al muttered.
“Ms. Ravenclaw, are you able to read everything in this book?” the headmistress asked.

Giselle sifted through the book before nodding. “The is written in Mermish,” she explained.

"You know Mermish?" Al gasped in wonder.
"I picked it up," Giselle replied, offhandedly.

“Get well soon Ms.Ravenclaw,” the headmistress said making her way to the entrance. She paused and looked back at them.
“I suppose it’s time we told your parents about all of this,” she said before walking out of the room.”

The three of them looked at each other with horrified expressions.
“My father is going to faint,” Scorpius muttered.



Author's Note: It's a bit of a filler, I know, but I haven't posted in ages. Hope you like it and don't forget to review! I love reading what you guys have to say :)


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