Chapter 2 : Exhaustion
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She gave a sad sigh and sat up slowly, grabbing for her watch on the bedside cabinet. It was nearing six in the morning, an hour before she or her fellow housemates would normally be getting up for class.
Rose had trouble sleeping last night and she could feel the exhaustion from that washing over her. She wanted nothing more than to sleep but her mind just didn’t seem to want her too, choosing instead to flash pictures of Hugo being attacked to her. It kept causing her imagination to conjure fake images of a huge monster, with bright yellow eyes, attacking her brother. She gave a small sob as she tried to stop her mind from reliving her worst nightmare, wiping her face, still sticky from last night’s tears and trying to stop her mind racing with the images.
She got out of bed quickly, careful to not awaken her fellow Gryffindor first years that were still fast asleep in their beds and walked over to the bathroom, closing the door behind her she leant against it and took a deep breath as she tried to think of something else. She tried to think of her mother and father’s comforting words to her, but she could only picture their sad faces, the heartbreak across their faces, the disappointment that Rose didn’t look after her brother.
Rose moved away from the door and decided that she best have a shower and go down to breakfast before the school day started. Hopefully that would help take her mind off of everything.
Classes didn’t take her mind off of anything. A few times she was so caught up in her thoughts she was reprimanded by her teachers for not paying attention to the class. Thankfully she wasn’t punished with extra homework or given a detention by the teacher; they instead looked at her in concern. She knew that every teacher was aware of what had happened to her brother, so she knew that they were giving her an easier time than normal, to which she was thankful for.
Her cousins had been worried about her. They would shoot her worried looks when they saw her in the corridors, or during the times that she had been at home and they would try and distract her from everything. James had taken it upon himself personally to make sure that Rose was eating enough and sleeping enough, telling her that Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione needed Rose to be strong through this all.
Like now, he had found her staring into the common room fire, huddled up on one of the comfy chairs looking like she could fall asleep at any moment.
“Rose are you coming to dinner?” James asked, walking over to stand in front of her. Rose looked up from staring into the fire and shook her head at her cousin, trying to stifle a yawn but failing.
“Come on Rose, you need to stop beating yourself up about what happened to Hugo. It wasn’t your fault,” Rose closed her eyes for a moment as she felt guilt filling her again, it was her fault. She knew it.
“Just come down to dinner. Vic said that she’s going to sit with us, and the twins are as well.” James informed her, Vic was their older cousin Victoire who was in seventh year and a Hufflepuff.
The twins that James was referring to were their other cousins Molly and Lucy who were both in Ravenclaw and were in their fourth year. They had a lot of cousins at Hogwarts and it was quite often that one of them would go and sit with their family at another table. “We’re all worried about you.”
“I’m fine, James.” Rose told him, knowing that he wouldn’t believe her.
“You look like you haven’t slept in days Rose; I know that you’re not fine.”
“I just want to go to bed James, I’m not hungry.” Rose told him, yawning again.
James looked at her for a moment before shaking his head at her. “I’m going to bring you something back; I don’t think Aunt Hermione would ever forgive any of us if we didn’t make you eat something.” He told her as he turned away and began walking out of the common room.
It wasn’t long until Rose was left alone in the common room, as everyone else made their way down to the Great Hall for dinner. She looked around the room, unsure what to do with herself as she relished in having nothing disturbing her, it wasn’t often that happened here.
She wasn’t in silence for long before an owl flew into the common room and perched itself on the arm of the sofa that Rose was sitting in, making her jump slightly as she turned to look at it, sitting up straighter.
It was her family’s Owl Millie, who was named by Rose when she was younger and they had brought her home after replacing their old owl Pigwidgeon who spent most of his time asleep, too old and tired to fly long distances anymore. Rose stroked the owl fondly before taking the letter gently from her leg, Millie hooted happily before jumping off of the arm and flying out of the window, eager to return home.
Rose opened the envelope and pulled out the letter that was written in her father’s handwriting. It was shakier in places then normal and Rose wished more than anything else that the letter would be giving her good news. As it was, the letter didn’t contain much good news. Her father had told her about how Hugo was still in the special unit of the hospital; they were still keeping him in a coma whilst they slowly tried to fix his wounds. He was slowly becoming more stable by the day but that could change in a heartbeat, but the family were being hopeful that the new round of treatment they were trying would close the wounds that Hugo had across the entirety of his back that seemed unable to close.
They weren’t sure how much Hugo would heal and if he did just what permanent damage he faced other then the possibility that he could be a werewolf.
Her father went on to say that her mother and he loved her very much and that they would write to her tomorrow, hoping that she was eating well and keeping her chin up. And that if she ever wanted to talk to someone then to go to Professor Longbottom who would get a floo message to them urgently.
Rose dropped the letter numbly to her lap as she took in the words that were swimming through her head. There was a chance that Hugo wouldn’t make it through this. There was a chance that she wouldn’t see her little brother again.
Her dad had been through this pain before, back when his brother, and Rose’s Uncle, had died in the battle that took place at Hogwarts before her or any of her cousin’s was born. She knew how much it still tore him up and she hoped that she would never have to go through losing Hugo, but she knew that it might be a strong possibility that Hugo might not heal from his wounds. Her thoughts went to the Uncle she had heard so much about, wondering if he knew that he was going to die? What had he felt when it happened? Where did he go after he died?
Rose knew that she didn’t want Hugo to be alone if something did happen to him, but there was no way to make sure of that. No way of knowing what awaited him if he left them all.
Rose screwed her eyes up as she felt the fresh wave of tears falling from them, feeling the guilt clenching at her stomach as she tried not to throw up the little she had eaten that day. She shouldn’t be thinking this, she knew that she shouldn’t be thinking about Hugo dying, but she couldn’t help the images that flashed through her head, the thoughts that plagued her day and night and made it so at times she felt like she couldn’t breathe.
But now that she had these new thoughts of the Uncle she had never met but had grown up being told stories about him, she couldn’t stop thinking that maybe he’d be the one who could look after Hugo. Look after Hugo the way that family did, the way that she should have done.
She shook her head as she felt the guilt get worse, taking a deep breath as she opened her eyes and wiped her tears away. She wished that someone was able to tell her what to do, wished that she was able to find her Uncle Fred’s ghost, if he had even become a ghost, and just ask him.
She stopped in shock at her thoughts. Was it possible for her to find her Uncle Fred’s ghost? Was he even a ghost? Surely her family would have tried to find him. But what if they weren’t looking in the right places?
There was a possibility that he was somewhere in this castle, maybe in the part that was sealed off so that no students were allowed to go down there. The part that people couldn’t or didn’t want to fix in the castle, possibly wanting to leave it as a reminder of what had happened. She could ask him about what it was like to die, and if he had any idea of finding out if it was Hugo’s time to go; maybe she could beg him to be there for Hugo if something did happen to him?
She gave a yawn as she dragged herself off of the sofa and stood up, stretching as she walked towards the staircase that would lead to her dormitory. Her mind was afresh of new plans of how she was going to find her Uncle ghost, hoping that if he had become a ghost that he was somehow trapped in the castle and was unable to go and visit their family who had missed him and needed him.
Maybe she’d be able to help her Uncle find his way back home?
Rose changed into her pyjamas and brushed her teeth as she felt the exhaustion flood over her, hoping that she would be able to get a full night’s sleep, knowing that it was unlikely, especially with these fresh thoughts rushing through her mind.