Stretching gently, Tonks grabbed the home made pie and walked out of the small pantry into the adjoining kitchen. Setting the pie on the sideboard, she glanced at the time before heading down the stairs to find Fred.
”Fred?” she called out as pushed through the door into the front of their store. Spotting him at the cash register ringing through a sale, she righted a display of extendable ears until the customer left.
“Merlin – its good to see everyone’s finally decided to go home. Walking over to the door, she locked it, before flipping the sign to close. “Dinner is almost ready, I can finish straightening up down here if you want to go get Andi? I put her down for a nap about an hour ago. If we don’t get her up soon, she’ll be up all night.
Emmeline quietly shut the door behind her as she just finished checking on the young werewolf that was presently quietly resting in her guest room. Having went back to the shrieking shack shortly after dawn, she had decided, to take young Terry Boot home so she could keep an eye on him as he healed. Satisfied that he would be sleeping for at least several more hours, she made her way down to the master bedroom and slipped inside.
Noticing Remus awake, Emmeline smiled tenderly as she crawled on the bed beside him. “Hello – how are you feeling? Are you hungry? I have some soup downstairs and can have Mitzy bring it up.
Arms lazily crossed over his chest, leaning casually in the shadows against the far wall, Percy smirked as he watched and waited.
I really need to find a new hobby. He sighed a bit downtrodden.
Then pushing himself off the wall, his temptation tempted, he fell into step beside the young Auror in training.
"I see that some times it does not pay to step on toes," he commented, hands now in his trouser pockets. "Did they not teach you to follow your duty and the rules and regulations of the Ministry, Miss Bell?"
"And such a leap too...stolen magic...the attacks...widespread. You should have just declared that..." he lowered his voice to a whisper, "... that Voldemort..." he spoke normally again, "...was at our door knocking to come inside."
"Just what are they teaching the Auror of today," he mocked, a glint in his eyes.
Tonks yawned as she shuffled out of the bathroom and across the floor toward her and Fred’s bed. Shuddering at the bang of thunder that boomed outside, she stopped at Andi’s cradle and picked up the baby before crawling into the bed.
“Merlin its miserable out tonight. I hope your father comes up to bed soon,” she told the baby as she cuddled her close. “I hate storms,” she confessed to her daughter, as she made sure her wand was beside her on the nightstand.
Katie gathered her hair into a ponytail as she walked out of the bedroom. Having just got home from her shift, she had decided to change into something comfortable before George arrived to help her sift through the collected evidence of the latest attack in Hogsmeade.
“I don’t care what they say, I am going to crack this case,” she mumbled to herself as she made her way to the kitchen to finish making supper for her and her partner.
“Merlin I hope he’s hungry,” she mumbled as she glanced at the large amount of pasta she had made.
Tonks yawned as she shuffled down to the small kitchen, little Andi tucked in her arms. Having finally gotten the baby to sleep at four a.m., Tonks had hopped that she would sleep for more then a few hours. But, true to her recent schedule, Andi had decided that three hours was more then enough sleep and was now up and wanting attention.
“Ok baby – now that you’ve eaten, its time for your mum to have something to eat,” she told her daughter as she went to the fridge and started rummaging for something for breakfast.
Pulling out a carton of eggs, she grumbled slightly as she heard the front buzzer. “Don’t people realize that the store isn’t open yet,” Tonks asked her daughter as she put the carton on the counter before heading toward the front door.
George scratched the top of his head and yawned. He'd just barely managed to get dressed, get a strong cup of tea, and shuffle to the front of the Diagon Alley shoppe to open the register when there was a loud banging on the locked door.
"We're not open! Still a minute to go!" He shouted, trying to ignore the impatient person out front.
"Bullocks, hold your hippogriffs," the redhead snorted, walking to the front door, unlocking it and then sighing.
"Oh...it's you," he replied with a smirk, leaving the door open and going about what he was doing moments ago to ready the shoppe for the day. "I should have known by the way you were slamming your dainty fist against the door it was you," he grinned, then looked up as they entered the shoppe.
"So, what brings you by at so early a time?"
Ginny groaned softly as she stretched in an attempt to find some relief for her aching back. It had been a long day of classes, and now, after a particularly hard defense class, all she wanted to do was get something to eat, take a hot bath and sleep.
“Bloody git, I think he took pleasure into hexing me into that wall,” Ginny grumbled to herself as she made her way to one of the empty tables and sat down. Reaching for a piece of chicken,” she happened to glance down at a discarded paper sitting beside her and froze as she saw the title.
HEADLINE NEWS...MYSTERIOUS EASTERN WIZARD HORRIBLY MURDERED BY UNKNOWN CREATURE.
Pushing back a sudden feeling of dread, she picked up the paper and began to read.
“No – no – it can’t be true! She’s lying,” Ginny thought wildly as she jumped from her chair and raced from the room.
Thirty minutes later, a trembling Ginny found herself standing in front of The Three Broom Sticks, with the crumpled newspaper still in her hand. Not understanding why the pub was empty, she took a deep breath, and pushed through the door as she called out, “Hello? Its Ginny, is anyone here?”
Emmeline frowned as she looked around the merger furnishings of the shrieking shack. Pulling out her wand, she conjured several pillows near the fireplace in an effort to make it more comfortable for Remus and his new charge, Terry Boot.
Glancing at her watch, she sighed as she realized that she had less then two hours before the full moon was up and they would change. “ I don’t like it. I just don’t like it Remus. I don’t understand why you both can’t just go through the full moon at the house. The room is fortified. Why do you need to transform in this place. It’s horrible. You should be at the house where you both will be comfortable.
Feeling a pang of sympathy for the young man who paced nervously back and forth on the other side of the room she walked over to him. “The first time is always the hardest. The Wolfsbane potion will make it easier and hopefully, once your transform, it will allow you to sleep.
Walking over to the small table in the room, Emmeline picked up one of the steaming cups of potion. “You need to drink this now. It needs a bit to work. I’ll be back in the morning to bring more,” she explained as she handed him the cup.
( Trying to copeCollapse )
Rosie dried her eyes with the hem of her robe and reached for the paper. Something, anything to distract her. It was silly and stupid to think she could actually forget the situation and read the evening news, but she was desperate for a reprieve from her own thoughts. As soon as she picked it up, the sparkling witch was sorry she had. The front page boasted quite a lurid storyline**********************************************
HEADLINE NEWS...MYSTERIOUS EASTERN WIZARD HORRIBLY MURDERED BY UNKNOWN CREATURE.
This afternoon in Hogsmeade, none other than Madame Rosemerta of The Three Broomsticks received a package with the remains of her lover, Chinese Wizard Su Chow. Apparently it was quite a bloody affair, as several patrons recounted the scene to our own reporter, Rita Skeeter, who happened to be having luncheon at the tavern herself.
Much speculation has been cast as to just what the dark wizard was up to at the time of his death. Given his 'unconventional' situation with Madame Rosemerta, his daughter whom obviously isn't related to Rosie by blood, and his odd clothing, we are left to wonder if he wasn't consorting with creatures as dark as himself and met an ugly end. There are even those who speculate that he was a spy or double agent for dark forces of unknown origin.
One patron is quoted as saying: "Well blimey! With shiny clothes like that it's no wonder he got hisself kilt! I ask you, who in the name of Zebulon goes about in that sort of get up? I always reckoned he was up to no good from that hair of his!"
It is yet unknown who will take his place teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwart's, and one must wonder where 'Professor' Chow learned all about the Dark Arts to begin with. Whispers of the old "curse" on the teaching position have resumed in the face of this *tragic* event. Head Master Albus Dumbledore declined to comment on the situation earlier today.
Local officials of Hogsmeade say that there is no immediate danger from the animal that attacked Mr. Chow, reporting that the mauling occurred far away from the confines of town. Again we are left wondering just what business he had in dark places unknown while cavorting with dark creatures unknown. Rest assured this paper will inform of any and all safety risks as a result of the strange goings on with the deceased.
Final arrangements have not yet been announced due to the odd wizard's even odder beliefs. When last seen, Mr. Oliver Wood - quidditch coach at Hogwart's and romantic liaison of Mr. Chow's daughter - was seen leaving the tavern carrying what was left of the wizard's remains. No one knows what he plans to do with them.
Rosie flung the offending paper across the room. Followed by her teacup. When that didn't quell the rage she felt at the article, she kicked over the ottoman and sent it and the tea tray skidding and rattling across the floor.
"BITCH!" She shouted at the paper while she watched tea and milk soak the pages and broken splinters of china on the floor.
How could that awful woman say such things? How could anyone who'd ever met Chow think him "dark" or dangerous? He was so calm, so serene, so against anger and violence...
The memories of his gentle nature flooded her mind and caused her to feel the pain of his absence even more. Rosie gave up all pretext of resolve and convulsed into great, wrenching sobs, pressing her face against a throw pillow.
Struggling under the weight of the mountian of packages, bags and boxes, Neville Longbottom trailed helplessly behind his girlfriend Ginny Weasley as she lead him to yet another of the endless shoppes along the busling wizarding throughfare.
"I had no idea being an Auror trainee paid so well." He mockingly joked. "Are you sure you don't want to leave something in a few shoppes for other people to buy?"
George stood outside on the stoop and shivered, it was damn cold out. He'd decided after closing up the shoppe early that he'd stop by Katie's and say hello, since he'd not heard from her since his last visit.
"Katie! Open the bloody door, it's freezing out here," he loudly said, pounding his fist on the door. "Come on...I know you're in there...I can see you peaking out the window."
George sighed. What the blazes have I done now?
He was drifting. He had been for a while now. It was dark, but it wasn't an unpleasant sort of dark. It was more like the dark of predawn on a morning when you don't have to get up early. When you start to come awake and then realize with a lazy smile that you can drift back off in the warmth and darkness of twilight sleep. He felt very much as though he were fighting off a pleasant slumber.
Chow's soul was being carried along with gentle, calming strokes. Not unlike floating on a calm sea. Repetitive and hypnotic, the Chinese Wizard found the afterlife quite serene and peaceful...So far.
After a time, he perceived pinpoints of light beckoning to him. He moved towards them. Only, 'movement' had taken on a whole new meaning in this realm. He didn't move in the traditional sense of walking or swimming. He couldn't, he had no corporeal form. Movement was more of a thought or an idea.
Regardless, he seemed to take to this new world without issue and drifted peacefully towards the points of light. They lit up the dark landscape like bright stars in the night sky. They were welcoming, giving off a sense of peace that he'd never known. Not even in meditation.
As Chow grew closer, he could see the points of light for what they were. Paper lanterns. Bright, cheerful, multi colored lanterns like those he remembered from his youth in China.
He drew closer still. Now he could see forms holding the lanterns. Smiling, welcoming forms. The souls of his ancestors throughout all time stood waving and beckoning to join them.
A peace settled over Chow like he'd never known. He was complete and completed in that moment and for all time. He was home. And the warrior had never felt such complete serenity in all of his existence.
Sirius stormed up the kitchen stairs muttering about rudeness and respect as someone was apparently just leaning on the front doorbell, causing a constant irritating ringing drone.
“I’m coming, I’m coming! Just hold your hippogriffs will ya!” He called out in aggravated tones.
Having only barely returned from Rosie’s and the grisly discovery that one of their own was lost, Sirius had left Professor Dumbledore down in the kitchen to finish his tea and mull over the news Sirius had revealed before they started to work on resetting the Fedelius Charm to protect the house and it’s occupants from anymore unwelcome visits from his cousin and her Death Eater mate or for that matter any of Sirius’ infamous family members – dead or alive.
“WHAT?” Sirius demanded as he threw open the door before seeing just who was on the other side.
“You! How dare you come back here!”