Rosie wandered aimlessly from room to room in her flat above The Three Broomsticks. She felt numb, unable to process the reality of Chow's death. She'd spent some time with Li. In fact, the two women had leaned on each other for some time that evening before Li retreated to her room to meditate. Oliver had left them to go in search of a proper jade urn for Chow's remains and to undoubtedly conspire with Sirius some method of revenge on Chow's killer.
Her mind faltered over that thought. Chow's killer...Could it be possible? Could anyone actually kill Chow? A man so powerful as that, surely he...
::No Rosie! STOP:: She admonished herself. ::He's dead. Don't fool yourself.::
The truth of it ripped through her in a way that seemed to cause physical pain. She sobbed again and curled up on the sofa, openly weeping.
He'd been gone for twenty years. Twenty years with no contact at all. Many times she'd wondered if he'd died in the line of duty, wondered if she'd even ever know. Would he have included with his last wishes that she be notified? Rosie doubted it. If he'd not so much as sent a note in twenty years, it was doubtful he'd have thought to ask that she be notified of his death.
But then he'd come back into her life. Suddenly and without warning she'd found herself standing in front of him at Molly's. After all those years, after all those lonely nights, he'd come back.
::It would have been better for him to stay away:: She thought bitterly. ::Then he'd still be alive somewhere. Coming back to Hogsmeade had set him on the path that cost him his life::
How would she face the rest of her life without him?
Another pang of utter loss shot through her - She couldn't process it all right then. It was like she needed to feel it a little, then shut down for a while, then feel a little more and so on, just to cope with it all.
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.