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Chapter 2 : 2- The Pryce of War
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Naomi Pryce stared out through the tiny window of the kitchen over to what used to be a large open green field as the evening sun prepared to set. Now however, the front yard of the Burrow was crowded with the survivors of the Ministry invasion.
Law Enforcers, a few members of the Order of the Phoenix, most of Dumbledore’s Army, a small number of the All-Blood Militia, a large number of who used to be Ministry workers, Azkaban Goblins, House-Elves and Aurors - most of whom from different countries - were all patrolling the large area they now occupied making sure the Burrow’s defences held up. Shelters made from a combination of old fabrics the Weasley’s had spare and wood from nearby trees were plotted all over the place, giving people sufficient places to rest and Healers to care for the injured.
Despite watching all of this, she couldn’t help but notice her own reflection staring back at her with her own dark brown eyes. Her rounded, ebony coloured face was surrounded by her shoulder length black hair and was, remarkably, unscathed from that day’s conflict. Although Naomi noticed no real difference in her appearance, she couldn’t help but think that she looked older than her twenty-one years since the last time she looked in a mirror. Maybe that was what real fighting did to you.
Naomi gave a sharp wince of pain as one of what few of the Saint Mungo’s Healers that had come to aid the Ministry defenders during the attack began looking at a large deep purple bruise just to the side of Naomi’s stomach.
“Well, it’s definitely a curse.” The Healer said. Naomi nodded though she had already guessed that much. The Wizard that had caused the injury was hardly one to use minor hexes or jinxes. Marius Yvault, the Dark Wizard that her friend and mentor, Harry Potter had saved her from and killed. Grief stung Naomi in the chest as this thought entered her mind and she tried to force herself to think of something else... But he could not be dead. Surely, she’d know, she’d feel it. But there was no evidence to disprove what Neville had witnessed.
It was one thing that everyone was feeling sullen about the situation they had been thrown into, but it was another, more depressing feeling to have the death of Harry Potter over everyone’s heads as though the hope of fighting back had died with him.
The Healer was now dabbing at the bruise with a sweet smelling potion and Naomi could feel the stabbing sensation ease and fade as the potion seeped through her skin.
“That should help with the pain, but I’m afraid that’s all I can do at the moment.” The Healer smiled weakly as Lance Ryder walked in, his dark grey robes dirtied, his short blond hair messy and tangled and his faintly wrinkled face still sporting minor injuries.
“Our recruit battle ready?” He asked in his thick Texan accent.
“She should be fine, but what she really needs is a Girding Potion but we don’t even have the ingredients.”
“But there’re plenty in Saint Mungo’s.” Lance remarked with a grin.
“So that’s one Supreme Mugwump, a handful of injured Aurors and Enforcers, what few more Healers we can convince to come with us and a stock of potion’s ingredients.” Naomi listed. “And you’re sure you only need five of us to go?”
“The less of us there are, the better.” Lance explained. “We go in with a small army, they’ll be on to us within minutes. And plus, Caseman wants as many people to stay here as possible, just in case.” Naomi nodded as the Healer began to pack up what limited equipment she had. “Right, Tyrus is just getting checked over then I’ll come in and fetch you.” Again Naomi nodded her understanding and Lance and the Healer left for the grounds leaving Naomi alone.
Although she had been warned by Harry to forget what she had heard, and her grief for him only intensified her wanting to respect the order, the subject of the Deathly Hallows continued to hover around the outskirts of her mind. If Harry was gone, would the Deathly Hallows, whatever they were, be safe from Akrahn Colby or did someone else have their best intentions in mind.
She tore her gaze away from the window and looked around. There, above the fireplace, hung the empty portrait of Sirius Black. Naomi stood up and walked over to the portrait.
“S-Sirius. Mr Black.” She spoke quietly.
“You’ll have to be louder if you want his attention, Naomi.” Said a stern but cracked female voice that made Naomi’s heart freeze. Ginny Potter was standing at the doorway of the kitchen, her long red hair in a mess and her bright brown eyes puffed slightly from crying. “Sirius, get your arse in here!” She commanded and she turned her attention back to Naomi. “Why do you need Sirius anyway?” She asked and Naomi hesitated. Surely Ginny, Harry’s wife and sole confinement in everything would know of any secrets Harry had.
“I... I wanted to know if he knew of the Deathly Hallows.” Ginny’s eyes widened as she said this.
“The- the what?” She asked and Naomi suddenly felt nerves mix in with rest of her emotions as Ginny advanced. “Why do you ask?” Ginny prised but Naomi stood her ground.
“Because whatever they are, Akrahn Colby knows about them.” Naomi answered and Ginny’s face dropped.
From the corner of her eye, Naomi saw the handsome, black haired man that Naomi had seen hanging in Harry’s office come into view.
Sirius Black did not sit down in the plump crimson chair that had been painted with him when he entered, but instead stood straight meeting Ginny’s eyes.
“Ginny.” He greeted with a bow of his head.
“I want to know if anyone’s in Harry’s office.” Ginny said coldly, turning away from Naomi to face him and Naomi noticed her drawing her wand.
“Harry has some very valuable possession in his office and I rather they were not in the possession of those...” But her sentence seemed to fail for lack of a word insulting enough.
“Ginny.” Naomi started as she approached but Ginny had raised her wand.
“Don’t try to stop me, Naomi.” Naomi looked at the wand and had to fight her trained instinct to draw her own. “Now, I need you to tell Ron and Hermione everything you know about the Deathly Hallows.”
“Ginny, going back there is the worst thing you could do right now. You’d be putting yourself in danger and everyone else here if they trace the Floo network.” Naomi reasoned but Ginny continued to keep her wand at the ready.
“Not if I travel from Grimmauld Place.” Ginny answered.
“If I might get a word in!” Sirius intervened. “But no one is in Harry’s office because no one can get in Harry’s office.” Both Ginny and Naomi spun to look at Sirius.
“What? Why?” Naomi asked but Sirius shrugged.
“I don’t know. The entire office has just sealed itself off.” Naomi was puzzled by this. She had never heard of Harry’s office doing anything like this before. She herself, along with many others had been able to access Harry’s office when he wasn’t there even when his predecessor, Albert Kaman, held the position. She turned to Ginny, expecting to see equal bemusement but, to her amazement, saw Ginny’s eyes begin to water again but this time with a twinge of a smile.
“Ginny?” Naomi asked. “What do you know about this?” Ginny turned to face her and Naomi saw colour run back into her pale face.
“I’ve only ever heard of an office seal itself off once before, and it was for a man who was very much alive.” Naomi stared at Ginny and was about to ask for further detail when Lance burst in.
“Waiting on you now, Pryce.” He barked out before returning outside. Ginny and Naomi caught each other’s eye and something in Naomi seem to burst, spreading what felt like hope throughout her body.
“We need to be sure first, Ginny.” Naomi said in a hushed voice. “This doesn’t prove anything and we can’t afford to give these people false hope, especially after everything they’ve been through just so they can be let down again.” Ginny looked from Naomi to the kitchen window that Naomi had been staring out of and back again before nodding slowly. “I need to go.” Naomi said and Ginny nodded.
“Naomi, whatever you do, do not pursue the Deathly Hallows, forget about them.” But Ginny couldn’t suppress a twinge of a smile. “And make sure you come back.” She said and the two smiled at one another before Naomi ran off outside.
As she left the house, Naomi saw Lance in the middle of the field surrounded by four others. Phillipa Malone; her long emerald robes, like everyone else’s was dirtied and torn in places, her once scarless round face was now supporting odd cuts and grazes and her short brown hair had been singed. Caitlyn Tyrus; aged, muscular, her bare arms uncovered by the sleeveless robes she wore and her once spiky blond hair was now dirtied with what looked like building debris. Terry Boot; his messy dark brown hair trying to cover his pointed and now pale face. Though despite his colouring, he alone of them appeared to be injury free. But right beside Terry, stood a man Naomi still felt uneasy at the sight of despite all the help he had offered and provided. John Dawlish, the man who had killed the Aurors’ former Head, Albert Kaman. His short wiry grey hair was stained with dried blood and his pale skin emphasized the heavy black bags under his milky eyes. Although he was still big he appeared less tough looking then he once was when he worked for the Aurors just over a mere week ago.
Naomi thought about this. Was it really just over a week ago when the Quidditch attack took place? When her closest friend, Emily Bates, had been murdered? When all of this started?
“Alright, here’s the plan.” Lance started and as Naomi joined the circle, he pulled out a hand-drawn diagram of a building. “Since using the main entrance would probably be like walking to our deaths, we’re going to use the emergency entrance where they rush in the serious cases. This will take us to the room right behind the main reception. It’s full of basic potions, tools and so on but there will also be a number of lifts.” Everyone looked at each other and Naomi knew they were all having doubts about using the lifts which could be controlled so easily. “Now don’t fret.” Lance assured them. “From what the Healers have told me, these lifts move so fast that even if they worked out we’re using them, by the time they figure out what to do we’ll be shutting the doors behind us. Now,” He continued. “Tyrus, Dawlish, you’ll be focusing on equipment so you’ll take the lifts down to the basement.” And Lance handed them two, seemingly regular old school bags and a roll of parchment.
“They’re bigger then they appear, trust me. Just find as much as you can from the list, fill them to the brim and go. Now, Boot and Malone, you’ll be focusing on the Aurors and Enforcers that are in being held in the Drake Garthon ward on the first floor and see if you can rally anyone else to join while you’re there.”
Lance then turned to Naomi and spoke in a serious note that she did not know Lance had. “And Naomi, your task is simple. The Supreme Mugwump is residing in the Nikki Houghton ward. Find him and then get the hell out of there. Don’t hang around for any reason even if everyone else has been caught. Understand me?” Naomi stared at Lance for a moment before nodding. “Good. I’ll be going around talking to Healers. No point in having the equipment with barely anyone to use them. Oh, and one more thing.”
Lance delved his hand into the pocket of his robes and pulled out five galleon coins. “These coins have been enchanted with a Protean Charm. So we don’t lose touch. I believe you’re familiar with this little trick, Boot but just so you guys know there’s no chance of calling for help from The Burrow with these. We’ve added so many power-housed protective spells the messages won’t get through the enchantments.” The five of them nodded as they each picked a galleon coin. “Great, well no time to lose.” He finished and the five of them followed Lance out of the Burrow’s protective enchantments.
They continued walking until Naomi was sure they were completely out of range of any of the enchantments. Kory Casemen, along with a group of Aurors, was in the middle of a clearing waiting for them. His shoulder length golden hair gleaming in what remained of the sun and his bright blue eyes seemed to contradict the strict serious expression on his handsome face. “We good to go?” Lance asked and Kory nodded.
“This whole area is surrounded by Aurors. They’ll help you with any injured you’ll have with you.”
Among the Aurors, Naomi saw Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley standing together outside of the gathered group, their faces pale and sullen but at the sight of Naomi looking at them, they both nodded their luck to her before being interrupted by Ginny and Hermione, who seemed to force Ron to come with them.
Lance thanked Kory and as he turned to face his team, he said “Ready?” Everyone nodded as he held his hand out. The others placed their hands on his and when Naomi placed hers on top, Lance gave a nod to Terry and she felt herself turn on the spot.
London was still empty. Naomi was sure that the Muggle Prime Minister would be waiting for news about what was happening in their world and the thought on who would bring him up to date made her heart sink.
“Lead the way, Boot.” Lance ordered and Terry led the group, sprinting towards the hospital, wand drawn. They passed the street corner where the supposedly run down department shop resided and continued towards the back of the building, though the red-bricked building appeared completely smooth around the back.
“How do we get through?” Naomi asked as Lance approached the wall.
“With one of these.” Lance replied as he pulled from his pocket a small I.D card illustrated with the Saint Mungo’s crest. “A gift from Healer Brown.” He said as he presented the wall with the card.
The card let off a bright white light and the brick wall instantly and quickly began to split apart. The group watched as the bricks rearranged themselves to make a giant entrance revealing a large room with shelves upon shelves of potions that decorated the space with different colours and medical equipment of all shapes and sizes meant for the urgent casualties that would use this entrance.
“There’s even more in the basement.” Lance told Dawlish as he looked up and admired the supplies. “Alright, everyone grab a lift.” Everyone obeyed and each got on one of the many lifts that were in front of them. “Good luck.” Lance said as Naomi’s elevator doors sealed shut.
She looked at the buttons but instead of the simple list of floors by numbers, there was a whole spider diagram of different coloured buttons of wards and units. Naomi scanned through them muttering “Nikki Houghton, Nikki Houghton” as she did so. She found it and slammed the lime green button with her thumb. The second she heard the click, the lift juddered then, with extraordinary speed, it pelted backwards making Naomi bang into the doors. The lift then stopped for a second only to begin to rise with same intense speed. Naomi clung on to the side bars but before she thought she would be sick from the speed, the lift stopped and a soft, female voice said “First floor. Creature-induced injuries including bites, burns, stings and embedded spines.”
Naomi stuck her head out, her wand at the ready. She heard the sound of another elevator door opening and she guessed that Terry and Phillipa were now on their way to the Drake Garthon ward.
A sign directly in front of her was embedded with the list of different wards in ruby red letters and a short arrow of the same colour next to ‘Nikki Houghton’ pointed to her left. Without hesitating she ran in the direction the arrow was pointing and, in no time at all she was right in front of a bright white door with a golden plaque saying ‘The Nikki Houghton Ward’. She turned the knob to open it, but it was locked. A slight amount of panic began to rise. She looked both ways before pointing her wand at the keyhole.
“Alohamora,” She muttered and the door clicked open. Her wand at the ready, she entered the large room. Unlike many of the ward rooms she had seen, this one only had one large bed and the bright blue walls seemed to illuminate the room further, glowing in the sun light pouring from the window despite the late hour.
“Don’t move.” Said an elderly voice and Naomi felt the tip of a wand digging into her back. She froze instantly. “Who are you?” The old man asked. Naomi dared not turn around but instead scanned the room for some sort of reflection. She saw herself in the mirror of a wardrobe door and behind her, she saw a bald elderly man, about her height with a long grey moustache and wearing a Saint Mungo’s gown.
“Aaron Kirke?” Naomi asked.
“I asked you.” The man said, a hint of fear in his voice. “Who are you?”
“My name’s Naomi. Junior Auror Naomi Pryce. I’m here to get you out of here.”
“Why?” He asked and Naomi felt the wand tip dig deeper.
“Because the Ministry has been taken over by the Dark Wizards. I don’t have time to explain fully but we need to go now.” Naomi rushed, feeling the weight of time pressing down on them.
“And how do I know you’re not a Dark Wizard in disguise?” Naomi’s mind was racing, trying to think of something she could tell him but before she could answer, she felt an intense heat coming from the pocket of her robes. She had no choice. She spun around and parried Aaron’s wand arm quicker than Aaron could react and before he could even finish his incantation, a flash of red light filled the room and his wand flew from his hand.
“If I was a Dark Wizard, you’d be dead right now.” She said as she pulled out the coin Lance had given her.
‘Five threats. Third floor. Two women, one blond, severe scarring. The other, tall and black. Three men, two hooded, one with fancy necklace.
“Supreme Mugwump, we need to leave now.” Naomi ordered, summoning his wand and passing it back to him.
“So it’s true? The Ministry..?” The man asked and Naomi nodded. “I had already started packing.” He said walking towards the bed. “I overheard the Healers saying a fight had broken out at the Ministry and I didn’t want to chance it.”
“A fight is a bit of an understatement.” Naomi said as the old man pulled a suitcase from under the bed. “A bloodbath would be a better description.” And Naomi could feel herself welling up again, but she couldn’t lose control now. The Supreme Mugwump was staring curiously at her now.
“Naomi Pryce. I’ve heard the name befo-” And the old man’s pale green eyes suddenly widened. “So you’re Potter’s protégé? Yes, I remember him mentioning you when we last met. Spoke very highly of you, he did.” This did not help.
“With all due respect Supreme Mugwump, we really must leave.”
“Well, if it is true and you are who you say you are, then I really have no choice. And please, dear, call me Aaron. Hmm, I suppose the rest will just have to stay put.”
He smiled, holding a small brown suitcase with the letters ‘A.K.’ engraved in slanting golden letters as Naomi felt the coin burn again, but the message was shorter this time.
Just overheard. Two more in reception.”
“Okay, Aaron. This way.” Naomi said as she opened the door. The two ran in the direction of the lifts and Naomi punched the button as soon as she was within reach.
“Supreme Mugwump? What exactly are you doing out of bed?” A Healer asked as he approached them. Naomi spun round, preparing for a fight but Aaron had already raised his wand.
“Confundus.” He said and the Healer stumbled aback as the wand tip glowed.
“Oh, um, yes. Carry on, Fiona.” He said as he looked at Naomi and he staggered away in the opposite direction.
“Where’s the lift?” Naomi said through gritted teeth as she continued to pound the button with her thumb. She would have to take the stairs down to the reception, she thought. If she caught one of the Dark Wizards off guard with a stunner, she might be able to overpower the second. But this thought evaporated in her mind as the coin burned for the third time.
“Naomi! They’re coming for him! Move!”
Naomi looked to her right and at the end of the very long corridor, she saw three figures, two hooded and one blond, enter through a door leading to the staircase. Naomi thought fast and, pointing her wand at the elevator doors, she cried “Reducto!” The doors were blasted off and fell down the shaft. Naomi grabbed the gown of the Supreme Mugwump and, narrowly avoiding the jets of red and green lights that had been sent at them, she jumped.
“Aresto Momentum!” She cried, waving her wand at the darkness below. As they reached the ground floor of the shaft, their fall became a graceful landing and both she and Aaron landed on their feet.
“Would you mind giving me some warning next time?” Aaron said straitening his creased gown.
“After them!” Echoed a woman’s voice from above. Naomi lit the tip of her wand and light flooded into the dark tunnels.
“This way.” She whispered to the old man behind her and the two ran into the darkness.
A few moments later, they heard cries of “Aresto Momentum!” and Naomi knew they were right behind them. She heard a male voice shout out “Avada Kedavra!” and she pulled Aaron, who was still grasping onto his case, round a corner as the curse hit a wall.
Naomi flung her wand around the corner, thought “Lumos Maxima” and the light on the tip of her wand flew into the air, hovering over the man who had sent the curse. Naomi took her chance for the split second the man looked up at the ball of light that was now fully illuminating him was all she needed.
“Stupify!” The spell hit the man in the chest and he was blasted off his feet and slammed to the floor. She took cover again as a second killing curse flew past her and she pulled out the galleon. Tapping it with her wand, she sent the message ‘Lifts are down’ to the others.
“Summon the others here and start advancing!” The blond woman cried out to her last companion. “We need him dead!” More spells flew into the corner of the wall they were taking cover behind and Naomi stood closer to the wall. Voices. She could hear voices coming from behind the wall. The reception. She knew the entrance they had used was not far.
“Cover us.” She told Aaron who looked at her before nodding. “Expulso!” Naomi cried, pointing her wand at the wall opposite her. There was a loud ‘BANG’ as the wall was blasted through revealing the large, colourful hall they had entered. As they ran through the newly made hole, she saw that her spell had floored the tall, black woman and the man that wore the sign of Grindelwald around his neck that Lance had described. Though neither were unconscious.
“Stop them!” The woman shrieked as Naomi and Aaron darted over the rubble.
“Reducto!” Naomi cried and she blew another large hole in the smooth brick wall through which they had originally entered. Several spells were sent at them though Aaron conjured a shield that took the hits. The two that Naomi had sent to the ground were getting back up, wands in hand. “Go.” She said to Aaron, grabbing his gown and forcing him through the exit.
She sent a stunner at the man with the necklace but he rolled over the debris out of the way. The woman sent a jinx at Naomi from the ground which she had to block with a shield charm.
Through her transparent shield, Naomi could see that the blond woman and her hooded companion were catching up quickly and Naomi ran through the hole herself.
Aaron was on the opposite side of the road, waiting for her. Naomi ran as fast as she could towards him, her wand free hand outstretched. Aaron looked over Naomi’s shoulder briefly before shoving the suitcase into Naomi’s chest and grabbing her shoulders tightly. Naomi thought of the clearing by the Burrow that Kory had secured but before she could turn on the spot, Aaron had pulled her behind him.
“Protect us with your strength.” Aaron whispered in a croaky voice to her. But when she looked up at him all Naomi could see was a green light illuminating around Aaron’s outline in the darkening day before he fell to lifelessly to the ground.
“No.” Naomi whimpered as she knelt beside the old man, the suitcase falling from her grip, though she knew there was nothing she could do. She looked up at the Supreme Mugwump’s killer and the round scar on the back of her head tingled as she saw a face that she recognised immediately, a face that she had even haunted her dreams. The face of Emily’s killer, Felicia Hamnet.
Naomi stood up as Felicia advanced on her. Although Felicia had the expression of relief that Aaron had not escaped, she too also showed signs of recognition.
“Naomi Pryce.” She smiled and Naomi glowered at her. Felicia’s backup was now climbing through the hole and Naomi knew there was more coming. “So, how’s the head feeling?” Felicia asked teasingly as she readied her wand, stroking it with her thumb as she did so. Naomi didn’t reply.
Her mission had now changed. She had failed to get Aaron out of the hospital alive but she wouldn’t allow that to happen to the others. “I suppose being thick does have its advantages after all.” She continued as a slim chanced idea crept into Naomi’s mind.
“You know, there was a fifty-fifty chance on which of the only two junior rank Aurors we went after.” This got Naomi’s attention.
“What?” She said abruptly, her idea trailing away slightly.
Felicia grinned. “Miss Edgecombe gave us the choice on which of you we would take. Having been trained by Potter, we suspected you of being a more capable fighter and so couldn’t risk you thwarting us.” Naomi stared at her. “And now the time has come to see whether this would’ve been true.” As Felicia said this the other three readied their wands. “I’ll even allow you to make the first move.” Felicia mocked and Naomi readied her wand and aimed steadily at her friend’s killer.
“Here it goes.” She whispered to herself as her heart began accelerating at the thought of what she was about to do.
“Confringo!” Naomi cried as she flung her wand in a completely different direction and the jet of purple light soared towards the head of the hooded man who flung himself out of the way though the spell continued through the air, through the two holes Naomi had made and into the wall where she had heard the voices from reception.
They all watched as the wall exploded, exposing the hospital’s now panicked reception. Naomi couldn’t help but twitch a smile as she re-aimed her wand at Felicia.
“Oh no you don’t!” Felicia screeched as she deflected Naomi’s curse. Slashing and cutting the air with her wand, Felicia then retaliated with a volley of spells at Naomi, all of which she was forced to block and deflect.
“Yotvitch, Gremline, get over here!” The man with the necklace bellowed and Naomi could just see two more men climbing out from reception and towards the fight outside. Naomi’s plan had worked. Now all of the Dark Wizards they had been warned about were outside with her. Now came the hard part: staying alive.
Naomi deflected one of Felicia’s Gouging hexes towards the hooded man, who fell to the ground in agony as the spell hit his wand arm and blood gushed from the wound as his wand flew away from him.
The large black woman sent a killing curse at Naomi which she had to dive out of the way to avoid. As she dived, Naomi sent another Blasting curse at Felicia and her second jet of purple light flew towards her. Felicia waved her wand to summon a shield, but that didn’t stop the explosion.
Though Felicia was protected, her fellows were still knocked to the ground by the force of the blast.
As Naomi got back to her feet, through the dust that now floated in the air and the three large holes in the walls of the building, she saw groups of people, Aurors, Enforcers and Healers all leaving through the front entrance, unbeknownst to the Dark Wizards.
The man called Yotvitch was advancing on her through the dust and she pushed herself off the ground to avoid his curse. She sent a stunner in retaliation that hit him in the face and he fell to the floor as his partner, Gremline, charged at her. He sent a jinx at her that, with a swipe of her wand, Naomi deflected back and sent the man flying through the air, knocking Gremline out cold when he landed.
A jet of green light then zoomed past Naomi’s ear. Panting, Naomi turned her attention to Felicia as the dust that had been sent into the air by the explosion began to subside. She raised her wand arm, which now felt like a stone weight and readied herself for the next attack though she could tell that Felicia too was feeling the strain of the fight as she clutched her stomach.
“Felicia! The Aurors!” Said the man with the necklace as he stumbled back to his feet and pointed towards the main entrance with his uninjured hand. Naomi just caught the sight of Tyrus and Dawlish, each carrying a bulging bag, vanish behind the doors. Naomi knew her plan had succeeded and she allowed the thought of the Burrow to drift into her mind.
“You bitch.” Felicia said through gritted teeth as Naomi flicked her wand at Aaron Kirke’s suitcase. “You- Avada Kedavra!” Though Naomi had already turned on the spot and before she knew it, she was in the wooded clearing.
“Naomi, what happened? Where’s the Supreme Mugwump?” Through half closed eyes, Naomi saw Kory and Charlie Weasley running up to her.
“I’m sorry.” She said just loud enough for them to hear and before anyone could say anything else, she gave into the exhaustion that the day had given her. Allowing her wand and the suitcase to fall out of her hands, she felt her legs give way as she fell into Charlie’s arms.
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