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Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2 Series 1 Film Cell Clock
This amazing Series 1 film cell clock is the best way to keep you on time and show your love for Harry Potter ! The clock features prints and actual cells from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 . The film cell clock measures 13-inches tall x 11-inches wide. Perfect for displaying in your home or at the office, all the elements are framed in black wood and includes a certificate of authenticity. Limited edition of 2,500 pieces. Clock requires 1x "AA" battery, not included. Please note that the actual cell of film may vary from piece to piece, as they are hand-selected from reels of film. Order yours today! Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort's immortality and destruction - the Horcruxes. Harry Potter is drawing even closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the return of the Dark Lord.
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Harry Potter has provided a portal to the wizarding world for millions of readers, but an examination of Harry, his friends and his enemies will take us on yet another journey: through the psyche of the Muggle (and wizard!) mind. The twists and turns of the series, as well as the psychological depth and complexity of J. K. Rowling’s characters, have kept fans enthralled with and puzzling over the many mysteries that permeate Hogwarts and beyond: Do the Harry Potter books encourage disobedience? Why is everyone so fascinated by Professor Lupin? What exactly will Harry and his friends do when they finally pass those N.E.W.T.s? Do even wizards live by the ticking of the clock? Is Harry destined to end up alone? And why did it take Ron and Hermione so long to get together? Now, in The Psychology of Harry Potter, leading psychologists delve into the ultimate Chamber of Secrets, analyzing human mind and motivation by examining the themes and characters that make the Harry Potter books the bestselling fantasy series of all time. Grab a spot on the nearest couch, and settle in for some fresh revelations about our favorite young wizard!
Price 22.95 CAD
Price 22.95 CAD
The Magic Wand Remote Control.
This is the remote control wand that can change channels, volume, or manage other controls on your electronic devices. Forged with a motion-sensing accelerometer, it detects the hand's nuanced movements to translate 13 distinct gestures. Simply point the wand and your device's remote at each other and push the function on the remote the wand is to "learn"--pressing "up volume" on a remote could be linked to the wand's up/down gesture while changing channels could be linked to the wand's clock/counterclockwise gesture. Other motions of legerdemain, such as quick taps to pause/play a DVD, forward/backward thrusts, and dramatic sweeps can be matched to nearly any existing remote's functions. Compatible with most home electronics that use remote controls, including televisions, DVD players, DVRs, and more. Includes two AAA batteries. Comes in a silk-lined box. 13 3/4" L. (3 oz.)
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Brace yourselves, lads!
For the first time, a boy - Jeremy Sumpter (Frailty) - stars in the title role, opposite Jason Isaacs (The Patriot, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) as Captain James Hook. The fairies will twinkle and Neverland will fill you with wonder, but don't drop your guard. The battle between Hook and Pan has never been fought by enemies so evenly matched. The story begins on a chilly night in buttoned-up Edwardian London as Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd-Wood) mesmerizes her younger brothers with tales of swordplay, swashbuckling and Captain Hook, the legendary pirate who fears nothing but a ticking clock. But a clock is ticking for Wendy, too. Her father has decreed that it's time for her to grow up. After tonight, no more stories. She's to be groomed for womanhood and marriage by strict Aunt Millicent (Lynn Redgrave). Unknown to the Darlings, Peter Pan loves Wendy's stories, too, and travels a great distance to hear them. His appearance in their nursery that night, along with a jealous little fairy called Tinker Bell (Ludivine Sagnier), triggers an awfully big adventure for Wendy and her brothers. Following him out the window like a small flock of birds, the children swoop over London's moonlit rooftops, through a galaxy of radiant planets and stars, to the magical Neverland, where they begin an exhilarating new life free of grown-up rules with Peter and the Lost Boys in their secret underground home. Confronting depraved pirates, malicious mermaids, a monstrous crocodile and, worst of all, the vicious steel claw dangling from Hook's right arm, Wendy and her brothers find out what they're made of. And the ongoing battle between Peter and Hook escalates to a thrilling climax, played out against the fantastical backdrop of the enchanted world of Neverland. The Peter Pan cast contrasts veteran character actors at the peak of their craft with remarkable break-out talent and a number of brand-new discoveries.
Price 9.99 CAD
Price 9.99 CAD
Visit our friendly Harry Potter Forum at any hour of the clock to discuss Harry's time at Hogwarts, like these posts:
Joined: 4 September 2008
Posted: Thursday 2 December 2010 03 45 14 am Post subject: Re: A Gaunt Tale in topic:A Gaunt Tale
[i]Thanks, hprocks ^_^ I'm actually going to be rewriting this pretty soon. I've worked it into a series in and of itself, and I'm actually working out the timeline for everything right now. But, I figure I may as well post what I've got of this one here for people to read. Why not?[/i]
[b]Chapter 4: Train[/b]
As she picked up a few belongings of hers that had fallen off of her luggage cart, Katalina looked up at the red steam engine train with relish. It hadn’t changed a bit since the first day she had seen it, but the foreboding sense it had given her back in her first year was gone, replaced with hope and utter delight.
It was earlier than eleven o’ clock and so Katalina was one of the only people on the platform, though she had felt as though she was being watched ever since waking up to find her window open in her inn room at the Leaky Cauldron. She had the same dream for the following nights, all ending with that same word. She could almost understand why the word was riddle; the dream itself was a riddle that she couldn’t make any sense of. It could have just been a sort of underlying guilt for leaving her father playing games with her mind while she looked for some more sinister explanation, but she somehow didn’t think so.
Her paranoia was getting the better of her; she was almost sure she felt someone standing behind her. She first thought to laugh it off, but she glanced over her shoulder beforehand. At doing so, she spun around and pointed her wand and then, scowling, she shoved it back in her pocket. She turned back around to face the train.
“What do [i]you[/i] want?” she snarled, glaring behind her. “I [i]did[/i] leave for a reason, you know.”
The voice that replied wasn’t anywhere near as ferocious; if anything, it was confused.
“Father’s been acting quite strange.”
“Is that so?” said Katalina airily, looking over as her brother walked next to her. “That was actually the reason I left, to get him off my bloody back. Did you know that?”
“My [i]Lord[/i], is there [i]any[/i] chance you could stop being hostile for a [i]moment[/i]?” Katalina remained silent. “Good,” Alfred snapped. “I know he’s been writing letters to Dumbledore about something since before you even left, I heard the house elf mumbling to herself about it. And before I left… [i]don’t[/i] think I’ll be doing it just because he said to,” he added, and she wasn’t sure if he sounded antagonistic or frenetic about it. “Before I left, he said I should watch out for you.” Katalina raised her eyebrows. “I don’t know why, like I said, he’s been acting strange.”
“Yeah…” he said slowly, leaning back against his own luggage cart and crossing his arms. “He didn’t think I saw it, but I’ve been keeping my eye on him since I found out about the letter’s he’s been writing to Dumbledore. I believe he’s working on writing a will.”
Katalina felt her eyes widen involuntarily, but she regained her composure… on the outside. Inside, her mind was racing now—[i]that[/i] was why he was afraid, he was going to… die? But who was going to kill him? Surely it couldn’t be Voldemort. With the letters he had been writing to Dumbledore, maybe he had turned into a spy of some sort for Dumbledore and Voldemort found out? No… it was probably more likely that Voldemort forced him to become a double agent and pretend to work for Dumbledore, then Voldemort became paranoid and lost trust in him. Her father wouldn’t double-cross Voldemort if his life depended on it, she knew that for a fact.
“What d’you [i]mean[/i], ‘so’?” asked Alfred, his eyes narrowing suspiciously.
“I [i]mean[/i], why did you see fit to tell me? You said you weren’t going to hold to Dad’s word and ‘watch out for me’ or whatever it was, so there’s not really any point, is there?”
“I didn’t say I [i]wasn’t[/i] going to, I said don’t expect me to. Anyway,” he added quickly, “I figure with everything Father’s taught you with all that about Occlumency and Legilimency, you might be able to figure something out.”
“I haven’t got a clue,” she said. It wasn’t really a lie; she had quite a few theories already circling around in her mind, but she didn’t know how close any of them were to being right. “I’d have to be right there to attempt to employ Legilimency on him, you know, and considering he taught it to me, he’d be able to use Occlumency more than well enough to block me out.”
“I don’t know that much about it. If you care to remember, I was sorted into the [i]right[/i] house when [i]I[/i] got to Hogwarts.”
“Ah, back to the ‘I’m a better pureblood than you’ game, are we?” said Katalina brightly, if only to annoy her brother. “Here, I’ll help you. I forfeit.”
She grabbed her luggage cart and started to walk off, but he caught up with her. She rolled her eyes and stopped a few feet from the entrance to the train.
“So you really don’t have any theory as to what could be going on?” he said.
The hostility was gone from his voice again, and this really surprised Katalina. He had been nothing [i]but[/i] hostile towards her for the past fifteen years, so this change was a little bit troubling. Of course, she supposed, Alfred was bound to be worried about the situation; he and their father definitely did have a decent father/son relationship. She couldn’t forget that—their father only treated [i]her[/i] like dirt.
“I have [i]theories[/i],” she said, starting walking again. She managed to haul her trunk of supplies up the stairs that lead into the train and continued, “but there’s no point in taking them seriously. I’m not psychic.”
“Actually,” he said, pushing his own Hogwarts trunk onto the train once she was out of the way, “I’ve heard Father mention that Mum was fairly gifted in Divination, and things like that tend to run in families, so you could be.”
She scoffed. “Right, I’m psychic,” said Katalina. “I’d lose my bloody ‘ead if it weren’t attached, but I can see the future. Really funny.”
“[i]You’re[/i] the one who wants to work in the Department of Mysteries if it’s still around after the Dark Lord’s through with the Ministry,” said Alfred. “You need some sort of knowledge of those sorts of things if you’re going to work there, you know.”
Katalina looked into an empty compartment. Her trunk was heavy and she didn’t feel like going much further than a few doors down from the entrance. “First off,” she said, opening the door to that compartment, “I need a [i]knowledge[/i] of the theory behind it, I don’t need to be able to see spectral images in blobs of tea leaves myself. Second,” she said, hauling her trunk onto one of the bench seats in the train compartment and turning to face her brother. She pointed at him and continued on, “Lord [i]Voldy-thing[/i] isn’t going to take over the Ministry for the simple reasons that he’s got the dorkiest name I’ve ever heard, friends that could get him into severe trouble one day, and he [i]looks[/i] funny.”
She managed to lift her trunk to shove it into the luggage rack above the seats as her brother glared at her, his face starting to turn a bit red. She looked over at him as she finished putting up her trunk and sniggered.
“Oh, [i]I’m[/i] sorry, have I hurt your feelings? Shall I get you a band-aid?”
“Things Muggles use to cover their cuts until they heal. Quite handy when you’re in a situation where you can’t use magic.”
“R—right.” She could tell he was trying his best to be nice, for whatever reason, or else he would have said something about how stupid Muggles were. “But anyway, what are your theories on… you know.”
“On Dad?” She shrugged and sat down on one of the seats in the compartment, crossing her legs and staring upwards. “The only one that there is a good chance of is that he’s going to die sometime in the near future, but I’m sure you could’ve guessed that from seeing the will.”
“Yeah, I did figure that…” he said with a sigh, looking at the floor.
“I also imagine it’s got something to do with Voldemort.” Katalina noticed the glare she received from her brother for having the nerve to use the ‘Dark Lord’s’ name. “Quit giving me that look!” she snapped, directing her range of sight from the bottom of the luggage rack above her head to her brother. “I’m doing my best to be helpful, thank you. I don’t know what it has to do with [i]him[/i],” she continued, “but if Dad’s suddenly started writing to Dumbledore out of nowhere, he might be looking for help or something.”
Alfred looked thoughtful about this. “That seems to make sense, actually,” he said. “If Father’s gone and gotten himself into a bad situation with the Death Eaters or the Dark Lord, then Dumbledore would be the person to go to for help. Everyone says he’s the only person who would even possibly stand a chance against the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord’s even said it himself, from what I’ve heard about the meetings from Malfoy.”
She shuddered at the sound of that name; many people shuddered at the sound of Voldemort’s name, but just the thought of Lucius Malfoy disturbed her. She did [i]not[/i] like him. “He’s graduated, hasn’t he?”
“Couple years ago, yeah.”
“Oh, thank Merlin. I was about to get off the train and leave if you said he was still there.”
After a few more minutes of discussion on what their father was hiding, Alfred rushed off to change into his Hogwarts robes, having been forced to arrive early because he had prefect duty. The one thing she hadn’t bothered asking him was why their father hadn’t come like he did every year. She imagined it probably had to do with her; she was sure that he didn’t want to talk to her at this point. She scoffed at this though; what a wonderful father figure [i]he[/i] was.
It was another thirty minutes before other students started boarding the train. A few of the first ones to enter slowed down by Katalina’s compartment and looked in on her for a moment, probably both surprised to see someone new who wasn’t a first year as well as to see someone on the train before them looking as though they had been sitting there for quite a while. One student, a girl with long red hair and bright green eyes that was already changed into her Hogwarts robes slowed down by the door at first, passed the compartment, and then came back only a moment later to open the door, looking vaguely confused.
“K… Katalina Gaunt?” she said uncertainly.
“Hello, Lily,” replied Katalina calmly, looking over. She moved her hands out from behind her head and sat up a bit straighter. “Didn’t I tell you I’d be back?”
She blinked a few times and looked behind her as the crowds of students started growing louder. After a moment of what appeared to be a bit of self-debating, she came into the compartment and closed the door, and then sat across from Katalina.
“I can’t [i]believe[/i]—” she started, shaking her head. “How’d you manage to get out of it?”
“Did you run away or something?”
“I did, act—”
“I thought you had to have a parent’s permission to attend!”
“Your father could pull you out again, couldn’t he?”
“If you’d just slow down,” said Katalina, laughing. “You’re a prefect?” she added, noting the badge Lily was wearing on her robes.
“That’s why I’m trying to ask quickly,” she said, glancing at the door again. “I’m supposed to be on duty right now to make sure no one’s trying to kill anyone else to get compartments. Did you know your brother’s Head Boy this year?”
“H—how the bloody—[i]what[/i]?” She shook her head. “Dumbledore must be out of his mind.”
Lily shrugged. “There are a lot of people who say he is. He’s really quite brilliant.”
“There’s a thin line between genius an insanity. If Dumbledore’s going around making aspiring Death Eaters into Head Boys and prefects, then I’d say he’s more than a toe over the line.”
“You’ve got prefect duty,” said Katalina, “you can ask more when you’re finished with it.”
“Yes, I suppose so…” she said reluctantly. “I get to keep my luggage in the prefects’ compartment, at least, so I won’t have to lug it in here when I’m through. I’ll be back as soon as I can and I want to know what in the world ‘Death Eaters’ are.”
“You don’t—?” Katalina started, then thought for a moment—Lily not only didn’t live with crazy purebloods who thought Muggles deserved to die, but she was also a Muggleborn. Not many people had the pleasure of knowing as much as Katalina did about the subject. “Never mind, I’ll tell you when you get back.”
“All right,” Lily said, standing and walking towards the door of the compartment. “But you [i]will[/i] tell me,” she added, opening the door.
Katalina was about to reply, but was interrupted by a voice from outside their compartment that made Lily grimace.
“Evans!” Katalina heard it say fondly, and she recognized the voice immediately as her source of suffering over the past few days. “Hope you’ve had a good summer?”
“Was nice,” she said shortly. “I’ve got to be off. Prefect duty.”
And with that, she disappeared into a crowd, leaving a very disappointed looking boy with messy hair and glasses to stand next to the open door while looking after her as she walked off. Katalina kept deathly silent, silently praying he wouldn’t notice her if she didn’t make any sound.
Evidently, she had more luck than ever today. Unfortunately, the luck she had wasn’t good luck at all, as James spotted her a moment later.
“Ay! Gaunt!” he said, quickly dropping his formal tones and coming into the compartment without bothering to close the door and sitting where Lily had just sat. “How’re you this morning? Didn’t see you headed out of the Leaky Cauldron this morning with the rest of the Hogwarts crowd.”
“I flew here out my window on a magic carpet,” she said sarcastically.
“Magic carpet, eh? Got it with you now?”
“Yes. But it’ll never leave the ground if you’re thinking about pink elephants when you’re standing on it.”
“I don’t ever think about pink elephants. Only purple.”
“Doesn’t fly for them, either. And I know you know that there’s no such thing as magic carpets and you’re just keeping this conversation because you have an extremely annoying fascination with getting on my nerves. Evidently,” she added with a laugh, “you also seem to have a fascination with Lily Evans that gets on [i]her[/i] nerves.”
“Don’t let her fool you,” he said, shaking his head. “She [i]knows[/i] she doesn’t actually despise me. She’s just refusing to go out with me out of habit at this point. It’s nothing to do with me as a person.”
“No, it’s just to do with you as an idiot.”
“What happened to your friend that was supposed to be staying at the Leaky Cauldron?” She changed the subject rapidly to avoid arguing. “His mum find him?”
“She caught him just now outside the train,” he said. “She’s telling him off now I believe. He’s moving in with me and my parents next summer if he can manage to run away without [i]his[/i] mum and dad noticing.”
Katalina laughed. “I’ve only got [i]one[/i] psycho pureblood parent and [i]he[/i] noticed.”
“Yeah, but he’s a Gaunt. They’re notorious for being extra psychotic. Even more so than the Blacks. Which is [i]really[/i] saying something, considering they have a family tree in their house that his mum tends to blast faces off of if they’ve done something to wrong the family name. The thing about the Gaunt family is that if a family member does something to wrong [i]their[/i] family name, then they get their [i]actual[/i] face blasted off.”
“My face is still intact.”
“I’m just saying. They’re extra psychotic.”
“All of them, then?”
“Oh, well, [i]thanks[/i]…” she said sarcastically.
“You’re quite welcome.”
Katalina glared. “I swear, I’m going to knock you over the head with my magic carpet once I [i]do[/i] dig it out of my luggage.”
“See?” said James matter-of-factly. “You’re so deranged you’re going to beat me with an imaginary rug that only pretends to fly when you’re not thinking of oddly colored animals. If [i]that’s[/i] not psychotic, I don’t know [i]what[/i] is.”
Katalina shook her head helplessly and put her face in her hands. If she was going to have to endure [i]this[/i] all the way to Hogwarts, she might just find a [i]real[/i] rug to beat him with. She was sure that the only person she had ever wanted to seriously injure this badly was her brother. She did have some fireworks that she could light and shove down the back of his robes when he wasn’t looking…. No, that could result in serious injury. Of course, she wouldn’t have minded such a thing at all, if it would keep him out of her hair for a little while.
If he bothered Lily this often, she was surprised that Lily hadn’t cracked and hexed his ears off. He took a different approach to bothering her, however, as he did appear to want to seem more mature to her. Lily was lucky not to fall for the act. She had never even met a three-year-old that acted more like a three-year-old than James Potter did.
“Oi, Prongs,” said a rather irritable voice from the open door. James looked up. “We’re finding my brother.”
“Are we?” James asked Sirius, who was looking just as irritable as he sounded. “What for?”
“Because he needs to relearn what happens when he bothers me.”
“That sounds interesting,” James said, standing up. “I say you should switch his feet around again.”
“I’m thinking of just cutting his feet off completely this time.”
James shrugged as he reached the door. “That would do the trick. See you ‘round, Gaunt,” he added as they both left.
A moment later, she heard a surprised-sounding voice echo from up the corridor of the train: “Did you say [i]Gaunt[/i]?”
Katalina rolled her eyes—she knew she was probably going to be getting a lot of [i]that[/i] this year.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 26 May 2010 10 59 29 am Post subject: Re: Beyond the Shadow in topic:Beyond the Shadow
Chapter 9: Failed Potion
At work the next day it was like Christmas had never happened. All the decorations were gone and Farina was back to her usual self. I always liked to keep the decorations up until at least New Year's, but Farina preferred to get everything back to normal. However, the other employees of the hospital spent the next few days discussing their holidays and everything that happened during them. The most exciting news was that one of the nurses on the Magical Bugs floor got engaged to a bloke she had only known for six months.
I managed to find Victoire around lunch time and cornered her in the nearest bathroom for all the details about the reveal of her pregnancy.
“Mum cried,” Victoire said. “She really did. Not bad crying or anything. She was just happy, really happy, especially about the fact that the baby doesn't have lycanthropy. She started going on and on about how she thought she would never have another grandchild besides Sophie. I mean, she loves Sophie but she always wanted a lot of grandchildren. Gabriella and Ben just groaned and Gabriella proclaimed that she would eventually get married and have kids. Mum didn't say anything to that.”
“I just don't see your sister as the marrying type,” I said. “That's great that your mum is excited, though.”
“I don't see her ever getting married either,” Victoire agreed. “She won't be able to just go wherever she likes whenever she pleases if she gets married and has kids.”
“What about everyone else?” I asked. “Are they all excited?”
“Of course, they're Weasleys!” Victoire laughed. “That's what we do, have kids. My grandma cried, too. She's so excited about having another great-grandchild.”
“I think kids that are born into the Weasley clan are possibly the luckiest kids in Britain, possibly the whole world,” I said.
“Possibly,” Victoire replied. “So how was your Christmas?”
“Let's see, my grandmother pretty much asked me why I wasn't married and giving my mother grandchildren and Matt slept through the whole conversation, leaving me to be the only one interrogated. Then she gave me a sparkly dress for New Year's, assuming that I would go out to a party.”
Victoire groaned. “I will never understand your grandmother.”
“Me either,” I sighed. “There is no way I'm going out to a party on New Year's Eve.”
“Of course you're not,” Victoire agreed. “Although Gabriella invited me to one. Only Gabriella could get invited to a party when she hasn't even been in the country recently, and then go and invite other people.”
I laughed. “Maybe I should give her my dress.”
“I'm sure she'd take it,” Victoire replied. “Well, I suppose I'd better get back. I'm due in the clinic in ten minutes.”
“Have fun,” I said. “I should get back, too. Merlin, this week is already insane.”
Insane proved to be too tame of a word to describe that week. It seemed like I hardly went home at all and when I was there, all I did was try to catch up on sleep. The week preceding the full moon was always crazy for me since I had extra potions to brew (Wolfsbane requires extra attention right before it's taken), but this week was even busier. Every time a new potion passes the preliminary tests, I have to owl all of my and Morris's patients who would qualify to take it. Neither of us have very many patients whom regular Wolfsbane doesn't work for, but there's a handful. Then I have to set up times to meet with them to distribute it and give instructions. Each new potion usually had about four or five people testing it.
However, this month Matt was the only one who got back to me. I figured with the holidays people just hadn't given it much thought and I didn't get the owls out soon enough. I usually like to send them out two weeks before the full moon, but I just hadn't had the chance that month.
Eventually I wanted to get Jamie onto the test potion list, but he wasn't strong enough to risk it yet. This would be his second full moon off of regular Wolfsbane and while he was getting stronger, he still wasn't ready. His parents were already eager to try new potions, as seeing their son so injured is not something they wished to see again.
By the time the weekend arrived I felt like I needed to sleep for two days straight and couldn't imagine going out for New Year's Eve even if it wasn't a full moon. I slept late on Saturday and then went over to Teddy and Victoire's for an early New Year's celebration. It was a small gathering, just the two of them, Gabriella, and Ben. Matt didn't feel up to going.
I slept late on Sunday as well and awoke to the sound of banging on my door and immediately wished I hadn't had as much firewhiskey the previous night as I had had. I hadn't gotten really drunk, but I had had enough to give me a monster headache.
The pounding got louder and quicker as I made my way to the door. It better not be anyone selling anything, I thought. I wasn't in the mood to buy biscuits from cute little girls in vests.
Instead of girl guides, Albus Potter stood at the door when I opened it, looking nearly as exhausted as I felt. His black hair was more messy than usual and there were purple bags under his eyes. Judging by the Puddlemere United shirt and Gryffindor sweatpants he was wearing, he had either just woken up or not yet gone to bed. I didn't know him that well, just as well as anyone would know their brother's best friend, but what I did know was that he kept extremely odd hours when he wasn't working.
“Matt's sick,” Albus said immediately. “Worse than usual.”
That woke me up. It was as good as jumping into the Black Lake in the middle of January. With sleep the last thing on my mind I threw on a pair of shoes and followed Albus back to their flat.
“He's got a really high fever,” Albus explained once we were back in the flat. “And he hasn't been able to keep anything down.”
I nodded and immediately headed for his bedroom. It was the neatest part of the entire flat, but was still messy enough for Mum to clean every time she visited. Matt was buried underneath a myriad of blankets, with only the top of his head sticking out. I pulled them back and saw that his hair was plastered to his face with sweat and he was incredibly pale.
“When did this start?” I asked.
“Sometime last night,” Albus shrugged. “I figured I should come get you since he hadn't emerged from his room since four in the morning.”
I glanced at the clock. It was noon. I gently shook Matt and he groaned. A little while later I had managed to rouse him. “Matt, can you sit up?”
He muttered something and lifted his head up, only to fall back down on the pillow. “Too dizzy.”
“I'll get you potions,” I replied and quickly left the room.
As soon as I was in the kitchen I leaned up against the wall and took a deep breath. All right, I told myself, just because he was sicker than usual did not mean I was to blame. It wasn't necessarily the potion that made him ill. There were plenty of other explanations for it. Perhaps he had caught the flu or was overly tired.
The one bad thing about Matt testing my potions was that they didn't always just not work. Sometimes they didn't agree with him at all, making him sick in the process. It didn't happen often, but when it did, I felt awful.
I grabbed the potions as well as a glass of water and a box of crackers. I had to try to get him to eat something. If he was weak when he transformed it would make the recovery so much worse.
John was standing at the front door with Albus when I walked past. They were talking about John's most recent disastrous date.
“It's because all you talk about is Quidditch, mate,” Albus sighed. “Girls don't only like to talk about Quidditch.”
“And I'm supposed to take advice from you?” John replied incredulously. “You haven't had a girlfriend for more than two weeks since we graduated.”
“Well, girls don't like it when their boyfriends go off to other countries for work for weeks on end without contacting them,” Albus explained.
“We're pathetic,” John groaned.
I rolled my eyes and continued to Matt's bedroom. John was never one to be without a date on Friday nights, but he never managed to find a girl who was tolerant of the level of his Quidditch obsession, which bordered on insanity.
Matt did not improve throughout the day. In fact he only seemed to get sicker. None of the potions seemed to be helping and the only way he was somewhat comfortable was to be asleep, so eventually I stopped trying to shove potions down his throat and just let him sleep. Albus and John stuck around the entire day, lamenting their pathetic love lives and complaining about the fact that Kaden was the only one of their group with a girlfriend.
I had to side-along Apparate Matt directly out of the flat when the time came to get to our parents' house. Dad took him right to the basement to sleep until the moon rose. Then we went to sit our usual once a month vigil in the kitchen, the only difference being the few bottles of champagne Ellie had purchased to toast in the new year.
“Blue moons are always worse for him,” Dad commented shortly before the moon rose.
“It's the potion,” I muttered. “I messed something up, I just know it.”
“You do not, Amy,” Dad said adamantly. “He's probably got a bug.”
I opened my mouth to contradict him, but the first scream began and we all grew silent. Then another scream, and another, and I realized that they were louder and more pain ridden than normal. After years of listening to my brother scream on full moons, I knew the exact pitch to expect. This one was worse. The screams were horrible, awful, even for him.
Mum and Dad realized it as well. We all looked at each other and I could see in their faces that they now believed me. It was the potion. No illness would make the transformation more painful. No, that was all the potion. I met Mum's gaze and she looked away, trying to hide her disappointment and fear.
Ellie poured the champagne at 11:55, even though none of us were in the mood for it. None of us had said a word since the moon rose and the only sound that filled the room was howling, howling that sounded far worse than usual. However, Ellie, always the one to try and keep some normalcy during full moons, insisted that we have the champagne.
We each took a glass and began our half-hearted countdown to the new year. “Happy New Year.” We each mumbled when the moment finally arrived. We clinked glasses and sipped the champagne.
Goodbye 2028, I thought as I gazed at the bubbles in my glass. Goodbye to another year where all I accomplished was creating a potion that made the full moons worse for my brother. I looked at the glass and tipped the champagne into my mouth, swallowing it all in one mouthful. A nice double shot of Firewhiskey would be far more appropriate.
The year 2029 began with a trip to St. Mungo's. I did as much as I could at home, but eventually we had to take him in and owl Morris. We found Matt in the basement with far more broken bones than usual, extreme blood loss, and burning up. I hadn't seen him that bad in years. This was officially my worst potion yet.
Morris kept me out of the ward while he was working on Matt and while I completely understood, I still couldn't stand to stand there in the corridor not doing anything. My parents were sitting in my study, but I couldn't sit still. I paced and thought back over each and every aspect of that potion I had made.
I thought about the ingredients, the interactions of the ingredients, the amount of simmering and stirring time, the properties of the cauldrons and spoons and scales I had used, and everything else that went into potion brewing. Nothing was standing out as being detrimental. Every ingredient in that potion was something he had had before, so it was definitely not an allergic reaction.
I looked up from my pacing and saw Victoire walking towards me, looking exhausted, but otherwise glowing with that pregnancy glow. She immediately hugged me and I bit my lip, trying not to cry
“Your parents sent an owl over,” she told me. “How is he?”
“Awful,” I choked. “And it's all my fault.”
“It's not,” Victoire said firmly. “You didn't know that would happen, and he knew the risks in taking that potion.”
“It is,” I insisted, trying unsuccessfully not to cry. “I created that potion and he trusted me not to give him one that would make the full moon worse!”
“Look,” she sighed. “I know you're stubborn, but just try to accept that it's not your fault.”
“It is,” I groaned as I leaned against the wall. “I'm not going to accept anything. I'm going to figure out why it happened and I'm certainly not going to let it happen again. I'll test the damn potion myself before letting this happen again.”
“Amy, you know that won't work,” Victoire said quietly.
“I've got to get back home to Sophie. Teddy's on duty soon. You're free to come over if you want to.” Victoire gave me another hug.
“Thanks,” I said as I hugged her back. “But I've got to stay here.”
“All right,” Victoire gave me a half smile. “Tell Matt I hope he feels better.”
I continued pacing and thinking for the next ten minutes, but didn't come up with anything. What could possibly have gone wrong?
The door to the ward opened and Morris stepped out. He gestured that I could go and see Matt and then followed me in.
“I'm just waiting for the blood test results,” Morris said as I sped over to Matt's bed. “Hopefully they'll give us some answers as to why the potion had this effect on him.”
I nodded, afraid that if I said something I would start crying again. Then I saw Matt and froze in my tracks. All of a sudden the image of Matt, at eight years old, lying in that same hospital bed after being forced to transform with other werewolves was in the front of my mind.
He looked practically the same now as he did then. Small, bandaged, covered by sterile white blankets, and either asleep or unconscious. If it weren't for the fact that we were both fifteen years older, it could have been the same thing all over again.
My potion, something I created, something I told him to take, had done the same thing to him as Ralph Lubar had all those years ago. The thought made me feel slightly sick. I had to get out of there. I couldn't look at Matt anymore. I couldn't look at what I had done to him.
I practically ran into my parents as I left the ward, but they didn't say anything to me. Instead I kept walking, not really sure where I was going. A few nurses and Healers said hello to me as I walked towards the lift, but I didn't stop. It wasn't until the lift doors were closed did I realize that I was sharing it with Farina.
“Morning, Eckerton,” she said, causing me to jump. “Are you all right?”
I looked at her and she was wearing that same rare look of concern she gave Victoire the day she found out she was pregnant.
“Fine,” I muttered, wiping my eyes.
“Hmm,” she replied. “You don't look fine. Your brother's upstairs, isn't he?”
I whipped my head around and stared at her. I knew as the director of St. Mungo's she obviously knew a lot about the hospital and its patients, but how would she know that off the top of her head?
“As the director of this hospital, I have access to all the information in the building,” she told me. “When you arrived, fresh out of Hogwarts, I was surprised by your determination to succeed and how sure you were of what you wanted to do with your life. No seventeen or eighteen year old has ever had their career planned out like you did. Naturally, I had to investigate. Your brother's medical records were all the answers I needed. I just checked the new admissions forms and I saw his name on there. Take tomorrow off.”
The doors opened and Farina left without another word. I stood stunned as a maintenance worker muttering about bubotuber pus ambled in, completely shocked at Farina's generosity. An extra day off? I wasn't surprised at all that she had looked into my past when I started at St. Mungo's, not that she had ever told me about it before.
I got off the lift at the lobby and went off into Muggle London. Perhaps walking through the streets amongst strangers would help me clear my head.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 28 March 2010 01 24 40 pm Post subject: Re: Beyond the Shadow in topic:Beyond the Shadow
Chapter 5: A Surprise
Matt and Sophie were both asleep when I returned to my flat. It was kind of cute. Sophie was curled up on the foot of his bed, the copy of Beedle the Bard next to her head. I reached down to pick it up and she opened her eyes and yawned.
“When's Mummy coming back?” she asked.
“In an hour or so,” I replied, “Do you want to help me make dinner? I bet she'll be back just when it's ready.”
“Yeah!” Sophie said excitedly.
She ran ahead of me into the kitchen and was already wearing an apron that was way too large for her by the time I got there.
Sophie absolutely loves to cook. I'm sure that in a few years she'll be a better cook than I am. Mum always told me that cooking was like potions, but I never got the hang of it. Maybe Sophie will be good at both.
We decided to make chicken parmesan, one of Sophie's favorites. Her favorite thing to do was grate the cheese and half of it wound up in her mouth. She grinned sheepishly as I took the remaining cheese and I had to hide my laughter.
There was a knock on the door while the chicken was in the oven and Sophie made a beeline towards it. I followed her and found Victoire letting herself in.
“I snuck away,” she grinned as she picked up Sophie, “How's my little angel?”
“We're making chicken parmesan for dinner!” Sophie said excitedly, “Only I think Uncle Matt's going to sleep through it.”
“Why don't you go wake him up and see if he's hungry?” I suggested.
Victoire put Sophie down and she disappeared into the bedroom. I went into the kitchen to discover that I had nearly burnt the chicken.
“How was she?” Victoire asked as she began to set the table.
“Fine,” I said, “I found her asleep on Matt's bed when I got back. Then we made dinner.”
“Good,” Victoire smiled, “Teddy and I are thinking of enrolling her in a preschool program.”
“This year?” I asked, “Isn't she a bit old for that?”
“We've been researching and we found one that takes kids up to age six,” Victoire said, “It's private, in London. They only go three days a week, too. Mum keeps telling me that she's bored during the day.”
I nodded as I scooped spaghetti onto all the plates. Victoire's grandmother watches Sophie most days, but she also watches a few other kids. Victoire's cousins kids, to be specific. Sophie's better off at my flat after full moons, where it's quiet.
“That would probably be good for her,” I said.
“I think so too,” Victoire replied, “It'll get her ready for next year, if we send her to Kindergarten. I think she's just bored at Grandma's. She's the oldest one there. Andrew's only two and he's closest to her age.”
Andrew was Victoire's cousin Fred's son. The rest of the kids that Victoire's grandma watched were babies.
“She needs to play with kids her own age,” I agreed, “And if it's only three days a week, some months she won't even have to miss any days.”
“Exactly,” Victoire said, “No one's going to notice. Kids get sick a lot. No one will pay attention that she misses a few days every few months.”
“Can you enroll this late in the school year?” I asked.
“I think we'll have to wait until after Christmas,” Victoire said, “So don't mention anything to her.”
“What's for dinner?”
I turned around and saw Matt slowly following Sophie into the room. He still looked utterly exhausted, with large purple bags under his eyes and a yellowish bruise on his forehead. His arm was still wrapped up in bandages and he was limping slightly.
“Chicken parmesan,” I replied, “Are you hungry enough to eat?”
“I'll probably just have spaghetti,” Matt said as he collapsed into the nearest chair.
“How are you?” Victoire asked him.
“Awful,” he muttered, “My head is killing me.”
“Here,” I set a goblet of pain potion in front of him, “I'm sure you're due for a dose.”
“Thanks,” Matt said and downed the potion.
Sophie dominated the dinner conversation. Matt was far too tired to pay attention, much less participate in the conversation. Victoire always listened to everything her daughter said, careful not to interrupt. I paid vague attention, but my mind kept wandering towards the poor Muggle who had been attacked by a werewolf. I was hungry for more information about it. Who did it? Why were they out in the open?
“Have you got any pickles?” Victoire asked as we were cleaning up the kitchen.
“Pickles?” I stared at her, “Er, possibly in the fridge, but why?”
“I just feel like a pickle,” Victoire shrugged as she looked in the fridge. “Excellent,” she grinned as she pulled out a jar.
“You're strange, you know,” I laughed.
“I know,” Victoire shrugged, “I blame it on the odd hours Ted and I keep.”
“What time is he done at work?” I asked.
“Nine,” Victoire answered as she took a bite out of one of the pickles, “But he's got the weekend off. We're visiting my parents.”
“That'll be nice,” I said as I loaded the dishwasher.
“Yep,” Victoire said as she polished off the pickle, “And then back to the grind on Monday.”
Monday was very chaotic. Not only did I have to catch myself up on what had gone on in the ward over the weekend, but I also had to track down the two trainee Healers who were in charge of data collection for the study Rose and I were running.
Trainee Healers basically have to do fully qualified Healers' bidding, much like assistant brewers. This often included data collection for Healers who were running studies. Luckily for me, the two trainees involved with my study had actually wanted the job.
Finding them was often a whole day process since they were never in the same place for more than ten minutes. I finally managed to find one after I finished up my clinic hours at eleven o'clock.
Lianne Dorsay had been studying to become a Healer for just over a year and was very interested in the research aspect of it. Her short stature, round face, and curly brown hair gave her the look of someone still in Hogwarts, but she was far more mature than she looked.
“Lianne!” I shouted as I ran to catch up with her.
She turned around and smiled when she saw me. “Amy! I've been looking for you.”
“Where are you headed?” I asked.
“Spell damage,” she replied, “They're short handed today.”
“I'll walk with you,” I said as we continued down the corridor, “How did data collection go?”
“Fine,” Lianne said, “Eight people showed up and none of them had any issues with the charms and potions.”
“Good,” I said, “All the data look usable?”
“Yep,” Lianne said, “It's all entered into the book.”
“Thanks,” I said as we got into one of the lifts.
“No problem,” Lianne replied.
The study Rose and I were conducting was slow going. We could only collect data once a month and we usually only got five or so participants each time. I had yet to get enough data to reach any conclusions, so we kept going at it.
I didn't have any time to look at the data that day. Morris was busy with the Muggle who had begun to come to terms with the fact that he was now a werewolf and did not have much time to deal with the rest of our patients. I spent my day with the rest, healing various burns, bites, and stings, and administering potions to the people who had had to spend the night.
Five o'clock arrived and I was finally able to escape to the basement to brew. It wasn't that I hated working with patients; it just got draining after a while. Spending my evening hours in solitude with only simmering solutions for company was a nice break.
Even while my newest version of Wolfsbane is being tested, I still have to brew regular Wolfsbane. It's a month long process for each batch and there are not many Brewers who can manage it. Three at St. Mungo's can, including Morris and I. There's an old witch who can brew it as well, but she's getting on in years and is looking to retire.
“Merlin, Amy, what is that smell?”
I jumped and turned to the door. Victoire was standing there, with her hand over her mouth, looking a tad green. I glanced at the clock. I'd been brewing for nearly two hours.
“Wolfsbane,” I said as I stood up stirred one of the cauldrons, “Same as always.”
“Really?” Victoire said, “Did you do anything funny to it?”
“No,” I shook my head curiously, “This is the normal kind. Are you sure you're ok?”
“Fine, really,” Victoire shrugged, “The smell of Wolfsbane never makes me feel ill. Except-”
She cut herself off and we looked at each other. A look of horror appeared on her face and she slowly sat down on the nearest chair, looking greener than before.
“Let's get out of here,” I said, grabbing her arm and pulling her out of the room. I quickly locked it and we headed to the nearest loo. Luckily no one was in it.
Victoire leaned against one of the sinks and slowly shook her head. “Why didn't I realize it before. Vomiting in the morning, wanting pickles of all things after dinner....”
“How long has it been going on?” I asked.
“Few days,” Victoire sighed, “And I'm late. I thought it was stress. Ted's been working longer shifts, Sophie's growing up and I'm trying to decide whether to send her to school. I just, it never crossed my mind. Ted and I weren't going to do this again! We swore!”
I stood perfectly still and didn't say a word. Victoire looked worried and slightly scared. I couldn't blame her. After Sophie was born, Victoire and Ted decided not to have anymore children. It was too risky. There was very little known about children who were born as werewolves and every case seemed to be different. Whose to say if Victoire and Ted had a second child the pregnancy would go as well as it did for Sophie?
“You don't know for sure,” I said quietly, knowing without a doubt that she was pregnant. Nothing made Victoire feel ill, ever. It was one of the traits that made her an excellent Healer.
When Victoire was pregnant with Sophie, the smell of Wolfsbane made her positively ill. If she was near it too long, it made her dizzy, gave her a headache, and made her vomit. The same thing happened to Matt whenever he was around it. At first she thought it was just one of those weird pregnancy things, but once she found out Sophie was a werewolf, she knew otherwise.
“Ted's going to be so angry,” Victoire groaned, “We agreed, no more kids!”
“It's half his fault!” I rolled my eyes at the thought of Ted ever getting angry. I could count the number of times he'd been angry on one hand. He and Victoire never fought.
“I guess,” Victoire giggled, “But still, Amy this is so bad. What if the kid's like Sophie? Or, what if, you know, if the kid's like Matt.”
“Then you'll deal with it,” I told her, “You guys are great with Sophie. She's such an awesome kid, Victoire. Honestly, there's kids who don't have lycanthropy who are more difficult than she is. And if the kid's like Matt? Well, then even more incentive for me to get this potion right.”
“I know, I know,” Victoire sighed, “We can do it, it's just is it even fair for the kid?”
“Plenty of kids deal with things that aren't fair, many worse than lycanthropy,” I said quietly, “Look, first you've got to take a pregnancy test. Tomorrow, right when you get to work.”
Victoire nodded. “All right. I'm not saying a word to Teddy until I know for sure.”
“Makes sense,” I agreed, “Is he going to the meeting?”
“Yeah,” Victoire said and glanced at her watch. “Merlin, we'd better leave now. Your mum'll murder us if we're late.”
The Lycanthropic Children's Foundation is a very small organization that meets every Monday at my parents' house. There are only six members, which is all we really need for what we do. Basically, we obtain donations and then people with lycanthropic children seek us out, usually through St. Mungo's. Most of our donations come in the form of spare change tossed into the containers we have set out at various shops, and large anonymous donations. The money is then given out anonymously, through me. I have access to the children's information through work anyway, so applications are sent to me and then I present them, omitting names.
Besides Victoire, Mum, Teddy, and I there were two other members. Joe Gordon was our Treasurer and Betsy Wrigley worked with Teddy to seek donations.
Everyone else was there when we arrived, even Teddy and he was usually late. Mum had set out a tray of biscuits and a pot of tea.
“Amy, Victoire, you're nearly late,” she said as we entered the living room.
“Sorry,” I replied, “Work.”
“Well, you're here now,” Mum said, “Anyway, I was about to tell everyone that we received another 100 Galleon donation the other day.”
“Brilliant!” I grinned. Donations that large were rare.
Once everyone had announced their excitement over the donation, we spent the remainder of the meeting deciding who to give it to. It was always so difficult to decide who to give donations to. Every single one of the kids deserved something, but we just did not have the funds to give everyone something.
After a bit of debating, we decided to split it between three different kids. Victoire wrote the checks and I got the envelopes ready for owling the next day.
“Does anyone else have anything to discuss?” Mum asked.
“I do,” I stood up and took a deep breath. Here it goes. The proposal.
Mum looked at me curiously, but didn't say anything.
“All right,” I said, “We've spent the past few years drumming up donations and giving them to children, which is extraordinary. The money is so helpful for the kids and their families. It pays for hospital bills and Wolfsbane.
“However, I feel that we can do more, so much more. Working at St. Mungo's I've seen that these kids need more than money. They need support and so do their families. The parents feel so alone and so do the kids.
“Money helps them, it really does, but no amount of Galleons can ease the loneliness and feeling that it's you against the world. Which is why I feel that we need to expand what we do. I think we could organize support groups. One for the kids, the parents, and even siblings. I really think it would help a lot.”
I stopped and looked out at everyone. Mum and Betsy looked shocked, grins were slowly appearing on Victoire and Teddy's faces, and Joe looked skeptical.
“But if we do that, people are going to find out who the kids are,” Joe pointed out.
“Only the other people in the support groups and us, and I don't think anyone who would be attending the support groups would use that information against the kids,” I said.
“Good point,” Joe agreed.
“I think it's a great idea,” Teddy said. Victoire nodded.
“Why don't we think on it for a week and if we all still agree next week, we'll start making plans,” Mum decided.
Everyone thought that was a good idea. Mum adjourned the meeting and Betsy and Joe left shortly after that. Teddy and Victoire stuck around for a little while to eat a few more biscuits, and then left as well.
“It's going to be ok,” I whispered to Victoire as they left. She nodded and then left. She was going to have a hell of a time keeping her suspicions from Teddy; she looked so worried.
“Is everything ok with Victoire?” Mum asked as we cleaned up, “She looked preoccupied tonight.”
“It's work,” I said quietly, “Don't worry, she'll be fine.”
“The lot of you need to take a holiday,” Mum said, “You, Victoire, Teddy, your father. All of you, workaholics.”
“Healing is a time consuming profession,” I shrugged, “I knew that when I started.”
“Still, you could surely take a week and go to France or something,” Mum told me.
“What would I do in France?” I sighed, “I'd worry about my patients and lose a week of brewing. I can't afford to do that. You know that.”
Mum turned and looked at me. Her eyes looked strangely sad. “Amy, just keep in mind that it's good to take some time for yourself. If you don't, you'll regret it when you're older.”
“I feel like we're sixteen and trying to secretly take a pregnancy test at Hogwarts or something,” Victoire whispered to me the next morning.
Victoire had appeared in the doorway to my study five minutes earlier, clutching a paper bag in her hand and looking paler than I'd ever seen her. I immediately got up, told Morris to cover my patients until I returned, and rushed out the door.
“Well, we're not sixteen. You're twenty-nine and married. There's nothing wrong with you being pregnant,” I told her.
“Then why are we sneaking around, trying to find an empty loo?” Victoire asked.
“Do you really want to do this with strangers around?” I pointed out.
“Very true,” Victoire agreed.
We slowed down as we neared the next ladies' loo and I began to push the door open.
I groaned inwardly and lowered my hand. Farina. How was she always able to pop up at the worst moment?
“What are you two doing on the Magical Bugs floor?” Farina barked, “Lupin, you're due in the clinic in ten minutes!”
“Er,” I began, trying to think up a good excuse.
“I have to do something,” Victoire muttered, gesturing to the bag, “But I'll be in the clinic as soon as I can.”
Farina's eyes narrowed on the bag and then her stern face softened. I had to rub my eyes to make sure I was seeing clearly. Farina's gaze never softened. But I was seeing clearly. Farina's expression was almost sympathetic.
“Take all the time you need, Lupin,” Farina said, “Eckerton, Spell Damage is running low on Skele-Gro, I'll need you to brew more this afternoon.”
“Right,” I nodded as she walked away. I quickly opened the door to the loo, hoping no one else was inside.
“What was that about?” I asked as I peeked under all the stalls, “Ok, this one's empty.”
“No idea,” Victoire shrugged as she entered one of the stalls, “I've never seen her like that before.”
“Does she know about Sophie?” I asked.
“No,” Victoire answered, “I mean, she knows I had a difficult pregnancy but she doesn't know Sophie's got lycanthropy.”
“Do you think she's actually worried?” I asked.
“Possibly, but I find it hard to believe,” Victoire said, “I've never seen Farina show any emotion besides anger and indifference.”
“Me either,” I said as the door opened.
I turned and saw a witch with a bright green hat entering the bathroom.
“Sorry, this one's closed,” I told her, “Toilet's been regurgitating.”
“Then you should lock it!” the witch said as she left in a hurry.
She had a point, I thought as I pulled out my wand and locked the door. Victoire came out of the stall, holding a small cup and looking quite worried. She wordlessly set the cup down on one of the sinks and we stood next to each other, staring at it.
If Victoire was pregnant, the solution would emit blue hearts in ten minutes. If she wasn't pregnant, the solution would turn green and emit nothing.
“Remember when I found out I was pregnant with Sophie?” Victoire said quietly.
I nodded. I remembered that day like it was yesterday. I was the one who had first suggested to her that she may be pregnant. Victoire denied it, thinking she was just overtired and getting ill. Fresh out of Healer training, we were given the worst hours, occasionally having to pull twelve hour shifts.
We were both coming off a twelve hour shift and I insisted she come over to my flat and take the test before going home. She agreed and did. The test was positive and we were both thrilled. Ted had been on a mission and the day long wait for him to return seemed to take forever. When Victoire was finally able to tell him, he was so tired that after he woke up, he thought it had been a dream.
This was so different. Victoire had been nervous before, but that was nothing compared to now. Then, we had been hoping the test was positive. Now, we were hoping for a negative.
“I wanted a huge family, Amy,” Victoire said in a shaky voice, “I wanted at least four kids. But now...” her voice trailed off.
“I know,” I said, “But things don't always work out the way you want.”
“Amy, if this is positive-” Victoire cut herself off.
The cup was bubbling. Any second now we would know the result. I held my breath and didn't blink. Then it happened. A tiny blue heart rose above the surface and popped immediately. It was followed by more and soon the potion was bubbling and emitting heart after blue heart.
I turned and looked at Victoire. She was staring at the potion, her face as white as Nearly Headless Nick. Then, all of a sudden, she burst into tears and I put my arm around her.
“Wh-what am I g-going to do?” she sobbed, “I can't be p-pregnant again, I just c-can't. I got lucky last time, Amy. I won't get lucky again, that just d-doesn't happen!”
“Maybe it will,” I soothed, “You're going to get through this.”
“What's T-Teddy going to say?” Victoire wailed, “We swore we wouldn't d-do it again!”
“Like I said last night, this is half his fault,” I told her.
“I know, but it's not T-Teddy who's pregnant!” Victoire cried, “I'm p-pregnant!”
“Listen, we're going to go to the Ministry and tell him right now,” I said, “Take deep breaths. In and out. Teddy is not going to be mad.”
“I can't!” Victoire said as she glanced at her watch, “Merlin, I'm ten minutes late for the clinic! Farina's going to murder me!”
“No,” I shook my head, “We're going to tell Farina you've got to go home early. You saw her face when we went in here, she might actually let you.”
“N-no she won't,” Victoire sobbed, “I have to get to the clinic.”
“No,” I said a bit louder, “You're going see Teddy and then you're going to go home.”
It took another five minutes to convince Victoire to go home and then another five to calm her down. She still looked like she'd been crying for fifteen minutes, but better than before.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 14 March 2010 07 30 48 pm Post subject: Re: Beyond the Shadow in topic:Beyond the Shadow
Chapter 4: The Full Moon
My days off for full moons shouldn't really count as days off. I still go into St. Mungo's at least once each day I'm 'off' and then I do plenty of research at home. I'm pretty sure the only reason Farina lets me have the days off is because she knows I won't really be off.
This particular full moon was no different. I woke up at my usual early hour (I've never been able to sleep in, even as a child) and read Potion Master's Monthly while eating brekkie.
Matt was still sound asleep when I finished. I inched quietly into the second bedroom and saw him curled up beneath four blankets, his chest moving slowly up and down.
“Matt,” I whispered, poking him. He rolled over and opened one eye. “I've got to go to St. Mungo's for a bit,” I told him, “I'll be back later.”
He nodded and went back to sleep. I doubted whether he'd even remember me telling him I was leaving. I quietly left the flat to find a place to Disapparate.
Stopping into St. Mungo's the day of the full moon is always tricky. I don't want to be seen by too many people because without a doubt someone will ask me to do something for them and I could be there all day. Farina in particular is one to avoid when I'm trying to just pop in for a second.
Luckily Farina was nowhere in sight when I arrived. I made it up to the Dai Lewellyn ward without being flagged down by anyone. Maybe this would be a quick trip after all.
Jamie was the only patient I needed to see. There wasn't anything I could do for him at this point, but I wanted to at least check his vitals.
Only George was sitting by Jamie's bed. It didn't look like he'd gotten any sleep in days.
“Morning,” I said as I sat down on the edge of Jamie's bed. He was sound asleep.
“Hello, Amy,” George sighed. “He's been asleep since yesterday afternoon.”
“That's for the best,” I said as I took his vitals. “The more sleep he gets before tonight, the better.”
“I know,” George said. “I just hate seeing him so sick like this.”
“He won't be quite this sick once we stop the Wolfsbane,” I told him.
“But the actual full moons,” George shook his head. “They're going to be awful.”
“I'm not going to lie to you. They will be awful,” I told him. “But the rest of the month he's going to be a regular kid. He won't be sick like this all the time.”
“I suppose that will be best, in the long run,” George said.
“Yes, it will,” I said. “Well, his vitals are normal for the day of the full moon. Would you like to go home now or wait until later?”
“Now would be best,” George said as he stood up. “Candace took Kyle home last night. He was so wound up.”
After Jamie was discharged, I went to my study and answered a few owls. I hated letting them build up until after the full moon. It took so long to answer that many. Then I decided to go back home. With Jamie discharged, there was no point in staying.
Taking a slight detour to avoid Farina, who was striding up the corridor towards the lifts, I made it to the Apparition room and left.
My flat door was already unlocked when I got there, which was strange. Matt was never up for leaving the flat on the day of the full moon. It could only mean one thing.
Mum. I opened the door to find her doling out potions in my kitchen. She looked up when I came in.
“Amy, there you are,” she said. “Have you been at work?”
“Yes,” I nodded as I set my bag down, “I had to check on one of my patients. Do you have the day off?”
“Just a few hours,” Mum replied. “I've got an evening clinical tonight. I just thought I'd stop by to see how Matt was.”
“He's fine,” I assured her. “He was asleep when I left.”
“He's got a headache,” Mum told me as she put away the potion bottle and walked towards the bedroom with a goblet.
I rolled my eyes as I followed her. Mum knew I was perfectly capable of giving Matt potions, but that never stopped her from Apparating miles in order to do it herself.
Deciding that it was pointless to try and help Mum, I settled down to work on the proposal. It was nearly finished, but I still hadn't told Mum about it. She'd find out at the meeting.
Mum left for her clinical shortly before I Apparated with Matt to the house. He was never in any fit state to Apparate the day of the full moon. Dad wasn't home when we got there, so I put up the protective charms on the safe room door.
I always stay over at my parents' house during the full moon. We don't talk and we never get any sleep, but it's a support thing. Dad isn't always home from work by the time the moon rises, but he always joins Mum and I in the living room when he gets there.
Dad got home long before Mum, though. She didn't get home until nearly midnight. I knew she didn't like evening shifts, but she didn't get to pick.
We sat our silent vigil, watching the clock, hoping it would go faster, waiting for the minute that the moon would finally set.
The next morning was stressful to say the least. I had to go to St. Mungo's to see Jamie, who would surely be back there as soon as the moon set, and get Matt back to my flat before seven, when Victoire would stop by with Sophie.
I was at St. Mungo's before Jamie even got there. As much as I hated leaving Matt before the moon fully set, it was the only way to take care of Jamie before Sophie got dropped off. The ward was quiet, something that only happened in the wee hours of the morning. Morris wasn't even there yet.
Footsteps in the corridor alerted me to Jamie's arrival. I jumped up from my desk and met them in front of the door to the ward. George was carrying Jamie, who was asleep. Candace and Kyle weren't there.
“He hasn't woken up yet,” George said as he lay Jamie on his usual bed.
“I'm not surprised,” I sighed as I waved my wand over him. “No fever, that's a good sign.”
“Thank Merlin,” George said.
“Just his usual potions,” I said as I stowed my wand. “I'll have one of the nurses bring them, and Healer Sterling should be in later. He'll owl me when Jamie wakes up and I'll be back then.”
George nodded and I rushed out of the ward to find a nurse. Lynne was at the nurse's station and I was relieved to see her. She already knew what Jamie would need; I wouldn't have to take the time to explain.
“Jamie needs the usual,” I told her. “I've got to go.”
“No problem,” Lynne said as she got up. “How's Matt?”
“No idea,” I said. “Had to leave before the moon set. I'm watching Sophie today and Victoire has to be in by seven-thirty, so I'm in a bit of a hurry this morning.”
“I wish I had your stamina,” Lynne replied. “Will you be back later?”
“Of course,” I nodded. “I'll have to check on Jamie once he wakes up.”
I checked my watch as I rushed down to the Apparition room. Six-thirty. Groaning, I turned and Disapparated.
The house was quiet when I opened the door and walked inside. Figuring that Dad had already given Matt his potions, I ran upstairs to his bedroom. Matt was sound asleep under the Chudley Cannons bedspread he'd had since he was nine and Dad was reading the Prophet, dressed in his work robes.
“Hey, Dad,” I said. “Sorry I had to leave.”
“Not a problem,” he said as he closed the Prophet. “He's got a broken arm and a concussion. I've healed them and given him potions.”
I nodded. “Mum asleep?”
“Yes,” Dad replied. “Do you need me to help you get him to your flat?”
“Yeah,” I said. “We'd better go now. Victoire and Sophie will be there soon.”
No one can Apparate or Disapparate in our house. Nor are we connected to the Floo Network. It's kind of a hassle when we have to get back to my flat after full moons, but it's for the best.
Dad and I managed to wake Matt up and help him outside in order to Disapparate. We went straight to my flat, something we didn't normally risk. I hoped the muffling charm on my flat managed to hide the crack.
I helped Matt into the spare bedroom and he fell asleep as soon as he got into bed. Dad left for the Ministry and I sat down for two seconds before the doorbell rang.
Victoire was standing on the other side holding Sophie, who looked exhausted. Well, both of them looked exhausted. Victoire herself looked paler than usual.
“Victoire, are you ok?” I asked as I stepped aside.
“I'll be fine,” she replied as she set Sophie down on the couch. “I've just got a bug or something.”
“You're sick?” I said. “Maybe you ought to take a sick day.”
“No,” Victoire shook her head, “You know what Farina says.”
“If you can walk and talk, you can work,” we said in unison and then started laughing.
“Good point,” I replied. “How's Sophie?”
“Just tired,” Victoire answered. “Like usual. I'm sure by the end of today she'll be back to asking Teddy for dung bombs.”
“Dung bombs?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Teddy showed her one the other day,” Victoire groaned. “I think she inherited his mischief gene.”
“Well, she gets it from both sides of the family,” I pointed out.
“True,” Victoire agreed. “I'd better go.”
Victoire said goodbye to Sophie and then left. Sophie sat on the couch, looking a little forlorn, and I sat down next to her. She curled up next to me and rested her head on my side.
“My head hurts,” she said, “and I want Mummy to come back.”
“She has to work,” I told her. “I promise she'll be back later. I think it's time for you to go to sleep. Do you want to sleep out here or in my room?”
“Out here,” Sophie said. “Where's Uncle Matt?”
“He's asleep,” I told her. “Do you want me to read you a story?”
“Yeah!” Sophie said. “Babbity Rabbity and her Cackling Stump!”
I laughed and dug out my old copy of the Tales of Beedle the Bard. Even Victoire didn't know why Sophie liked that tale the best, although I suppose it was better than the Warlock's Hairy Heart.
Sophie curled up underneath a huge Gryffindor blanket and I began to read. I used a different voice for each character and Sophie giggled every time I switched. She was asleep before the charlatan declared that the tree be cut down. I smiled and set the book down on the table.
The difference between Sophie and Matt at that age still amazed me. Looking at Sophie, you would never guess in a million years that she was a werewolf. The only time you'd ever know was the day of and the day after the full moon. Then she was tired and cranky, but she rarely got ill the way Matt did. In fact, Sophie never got ill. She rarely got colds or anything else that little kids so often contracted.
When Matt was that age, he not only got sick around the full moons, but he caught every little cold and flu that was going around. I would catch them at Muggle school and bring them home and undoubtedly Matt would get sick.
Victoire was even considering sending Sophie to Muggle school the following year. She could've gone this year, but Victoire still wasn't sure. I was all for it. So long as the school didn't mind that Sophie would be out two days a month, I didn't see the harm. In fact, it would do her a world of good. Sophie would do so much better at Hogwarts if she was already used to being around kids her own age. Friends did a world of good.
Both Matt and Sophie slept right through lunch. I did a bit of research and then started worrying about Jamie. Morris still hadn't owled me, which meant Jamie had yet to wake up.
The doorbell rang and I knocked over a bottle of ink. Cursing and siphoning the ink off of my book, I got up to see who could possibly be at the door at two in the afternoon. At least it hadn't woken Sophie up. One way that she and Matt were similar was their ability to sleep through anything.
I opened the door and saw two of Matt's friends standing there. John Brickston was at least a foot taller than me and his dark hair didn't look like it had been combed in days. Dressed in a Puddlemere United t-shirt and a pair of jeans covered in dirt, he looked like he'd just stepped off the Quidditch pitch. In fact, he probably had. John was one of Puddlemere United's strategists.
Kaden Dursley was slightly shorter than John and a little on the chubby side. His light brown hair nearly covered his eyes, but was slightly neater than John's. He was wearing a set of dark red robes, the color Brewers at St. Mungo's wore. Kaden was one of the Assistant Brewers, which basically meant he had to do whatever the Senior Brewers asked him to do, be it actual brewing or washing cauldrons. It wasn't a pleasant job and I was quite grateful that I never had to do it. Being both a Healer and a Brewer enabled me to skip it.
“John, Kaden,” I said as they pushed past me into the flat.
“Matt here?” John asked.
“Of course,” I said. “But he's asleep!”
“You sound like Madam Pomfrey,” Kaden said as they walked towards the second bedroom.
“How'd you get out of work so early?” I asked suspiciously.
“Had a short shift today,” Kaden shrugged.
I followed them into the second bedroom. John and Kaden were the most boisterous of Matt's friends. They could be rather annoying, but they'd stuck by him since their first years of Hogwarts.
“Oi, Matt!” John shouted as he sat down on the foot of the bed.
“Couldn't you have at least changed out of your Quidditch stuff before coming here?” I groaned.
“Nope,” John said and then turned back to Matt. “Wake up!”
“What can you possibly have to tell him that can't wait until later?” I asked.
“Ugh, John?” Matt said as he rubbed his eyes. “Have you any idea what last night was?”
“Of course I do,” John said. “But this couldn't wait. Guess whose just been drafted to play for Puddlemere?”
“No bloody idea,” Matt replied wearily.
“Vince Spencer,” John grinned.
Matt sat up in bed, staring shocked at John. I didn't have the slightest clue as to why this surprised him. I don't follow Quidditch and have no idea who Vince Spencer is.
“But why?” Matt lamented. “He was the Cannons' best player!”
That would explain Matt's reaction, I thought. Matt was a very avid supporter of the Cannons, something John found incredibly hilarious.
“Maybe he wanted to be on a winning team?” John shrugged, “Honestly, he's just too good of a player to play for the Cannons.”
“There goes our winning streak,” Matt muttered.
“Since when is winning two games considered a streak?” John laughed.
I decided to leave the room after that. They were sure to start a long and rather boring argument about Quidditch, which would probably only end when Matt decided he wanted to go back to sleep.
Sophie was awake when I got back to the living room, looking more like herself. She grinned when she saw me and jumped off the couch.
“I'm hungry,” she announced.
“Glad to hear it,” I smiled. “Let's find you something to eat.”
Sophie followed me into the kitchen, where I made her a grilled cheese sandwich. She ate it while giving me a very long description of what her pygmy puff did the previous day. Apparently it had gotten into Teddy's study and knocked over all of his Quidditch trophies.
“Daddy didn't care,” Sophie said as she finished both her story and the sandwich. “He thought it was funny. Then he said that a niffler would be even funnier to watch get into his study and told me he'd get me one when I'm older. But Mummy said no.”
“I think pygmy puffs make better pets than nifflers,” I told her. “Why don't you go see Uncle Matt? He's awake now.”
Sophie grinned and ran out of the room. It was amazing how fast she was able to bounce back.
John and Kaden left a little while later, whispering to each other and all I heard was that they needed to make a trip to Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. It still amazed me that they were able to share a flat and not burn the place down every other night.
There was a tap on the window and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw Morris's tawny owl standing on the sill. I hurried and opened the window, taking the piece of parchment from the owl's leg.
Jamie was awake and doing all right. Morris said there was no reason for me to come in, but I wanted to. I had to.
Sophie was sitting on Matt's bed when I walked into the bedroom. She was trying to read Beedle the Bard, but was having to ask Matt what some of the words were. He still looked exhausted.
“Will you two be ok if I run into St. Mungo's for a bit?” I asked.
“Uh-huh,” Sophie nodded. “I'm reading Uncle Matt Babbity Rabbity.”
I smiled. “I can take her with me if you want to get some sleep,” I told Matt.
“No, it's fine,” he said.
I nodded and left for St. Mungo's. Matt never minded watching Sophie, even if he was exhausted. Sophie had always gravitated towards him, even when she was a baby. I think it's because he knows what she goes through. I have no idea if they ever talk about being werewolves.
Victoire was talking with one of the receptionists in the main waiting room when I arrived at St. Mungo's. I was happy to see that she was looking better.
“Victoire,” I said as I neared the reception area.
“Amy!” Victoire replied. “How is Sophie?”
“She's great,” I smiled. “I left her reading Babbity Rabbity to Matt.”
Victoire laughed. “She's going to have that one memorized soon.”
“And are you feeling better?” I asked as we walked towards the lifts.
“Much,” she replied. “Whatever I had, it's gone now. Had a double cheeseburger with extra pickles for lunch.”
“That's good,” I said. “Think you'll get out at a decent time?”
“I think I'll be able to sneak away around six,” Victoire answered. “Are you on call this weekend?”
“Thank Merlin, no,” I said. “I've got a really radical proposal for the Foundation that I've got to finish getting ready before Monday's meeting.”
Victoire raised her eyebrows. “Really?”
“You'll find out about it on Monday,” I told her as the lift clattered to the Creature-Induced Injury floor. “See you tonight.”
The corridor was packed with people, which was very unusual. I stood frozen in front of the lift before shaking my head and plowing through the crowd. Judging by the amount of cameras flashing and people holding notebooks, they were mostly press.
“Are you a Healer?” one of them asked me.
“No comment,” I replied, regretting my decision to wear Healer robes that day. I didn't even know what the press were there for, but I didn't want any of them bothering me.
Squeezing in between two photographers I made it into my study, only to find Morris conversing quietly with my dad.
“What's going on?” I asked curiously.
Both of them looked up, wearing nearly identical somber looks. Fearing the worst about Jamie and ignoring the fact that writers from the Daily Prophet would not be interested in his case, I waited for their answer.
“Werewolf attack last night,” Dad replied, “on a Muggle, in plain view of a crowd of Muggles. It was just outside a bar in a very rural area and most of the witnesses were drunk. So was the victim.”
“And the Muggle is here?” I asked.
Morris nodded. “He's going to make a full recovery, aside from the lycanthropy.”
I sighed and shook my head. There had been two other instances like this since I had become a Healer. The press always had a field day with it, which didn't help the poor victim. Muggles who were bitten by werewolves not only had to come to terms with the fact that they were now werewolves themselves, but also with the simple fact that werewolves existed and the magical world in general. It was a lot to take in and they often didn't truly believe us until the next full moon.
“I've put him up in one of the private rooms,” Morris continued. “He's asleep right now, but the last time he was awake he tried to escape, thinking he was going mad.”
“Can't you make all the reporters go away?” I asked.
“We're trying,” Dad answered. “It's all we can do to keep them out of the poor man's room. How is Matt doing?”
“Like usual,” I told him. “John and Kaden woke him up a while ago with news about some Chudley Cannons player transferring to Puddlemere.”
Dad laughed. “Are they still there?”
“Merlin, no. I'd never let the two of them stay in my flat while I'm not there. They left to destroy their own flat,” I said. “Well, I'd better fight through the reporters to go check on Jamie.”
Three reporters rushed towards me as I left the study. Flashbulbs went off and I had to forcefully push my way through them. Wasn't there other news going on that day? Why were all the reporters in Britain at St. Mungo's?
“All right, clear out! The lot of you!”
I looked up and saw the reporters parting. Farina was striding up the corridor and I had to smirk at the shocked looks on half the reporters' faces. Farina was a force to be reckoned with. She looked positively mutinous.
“It'll be on your heads if one of the Healers can't get through this corridor and someone dies in their absence!” Farina shouted. “I don't know why you think you've got the right to be loitering in a hospital corridor anyway! Get out!”
“Who are you?” a brave reporter demanded.
“The director of this bloody hospital!” Farina exclaimed as she started pushing reporters towards the lifts. “I'll have the lot of you arrested if you don't leave this minute!”
The reporters moved out of the corridor faster than they would have if someone let off a load of garroting gas. It was kind of funny. One of them even looked slightly afraid as he nearly tripped over his own robes in his haste to get to the lifts.
“Bloody reporters,” Farina muttered as she walked towards me. “Has Sterling filled you in, Eckerton?”
“Yes,” I nodded, “but I'm just here to see Jamie today.”
“Right,” Farina said. “I'll see you here Monday morning, then.”
“Of course,” I said as I turned to enter the ward.
Jamie and the man who had been attacked by the chimaera were the only people in the ward. The man was looking better, which I was quite happy to see. Jamie was asleep, which I had been expecting. Candace was sitting next to him, reading the Prophet. She set it down when I entered.
“He fell asleep about five minutes ago,” Candace told me.
I nodded. I took out my wand and got his vitals. As far as I could tell, he was fine with the exception of being completely exhausted. The main thing I was worried about was a fever, but his temperature was normal. I decided to just discharge him then since I wouldn't be back at the hospital until Monday.
Joined: 13 January 2008
Location: In role play game of course!
Posted: Thursday 4 March 2010 06 47 20 am Post subject: Re: The Shadow in topic:The Shadow
Jon stepped back as Matthew brought a woman back through the portal he had just disappeared into. He watched as the portal closed up again and decided that he would never get used to something like that. It was very impressive. Jon met the woman's eyes, and he was immediately compelled to sit down. He started backing up and sat down on a chair. The woman approached him, grabbing antoher chair and turning it around. She placed the chair in front of Jon and straddled it. She folded her arms and peered at Jon. This made Jon feel a little uncomfortable. He started.
"What was that?" he asked, reaching up to his right ear.
"I'm sorry. I'll do this the proper way. I'm Mary." she extended her hand, and Jon stared at it. Then he quickly reached out and took it, shaking it loosely and then looked back at Mary. She smiled.
"It's alright! Now, you're going to encounter this sort of thing a lot as you spend more time here. It's better to experience it this way first so you know what to expect. At least I'm not trying to kill you." Mary shrugged at her last comment.
Jon jerked his head over to Matthew with an freaked out look on his face. Mathew knodded reassuringly. Jon looked back at Mary, his eyebrows were furrowed.
"Trust me." Mary breathed these last words out, and the full extend of her telepathy rushed over him. He slumped in his chair, his eyes rolled into the back of his head and they shook a little like he was looking at all sorts of things passing him. Mary continued to lean on the chair, she closed her eyes too, and even reached out with her hand. The clock ticked on, and when ten minutes exactly were up, she released Jon, who woke suddenly.
"Try it, my dear." Mary beckoned.
"Try.... try what?" Jon said, his throat croaky like he'd been asleep for ages.
"To speak latin now." Mary said simply.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 24 February 2010 11 51 54 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Chapter 24: Darker Times
Lunch was very subdued the next day. Most people had slept quite late since it was a Saturday. Every student of Hogwarts had their nose in a copy of the Prophet, be it their own or a friend's. The staff table looked the same, with every professor either reading the Prophet or whispering with another professor, no doubt about what they'd read.
Albus was reading Georgia's Prophet as she had finished with it and made a mental note to start subscribing himself. All of his friends were peering over his shoulders. Even Linda was hovering around them, a foot or so away.
[i][b]HOGSMEADE SHOPKEEPER MURDERED[/b]
A disturbance in Dervish and Banges late
yesterday evening that sent one Hogsmeade
resident to Hogwarts to find the Auror on
duty lead to the discovery of the death
of a shopkeeper.
Leroy Wisander, 42, the ten-year owner of
Dervish and Banges was pronounced dead
on the scene by Ministry Aurors yesterday
evening. His shop had been broken into
and it showed signs of a struggle.
Wisander was discovered in the middle of
destroyed merchandise with his wand
laying a few feet away. Aurors confirmed
that he was killed with the killing curse.
An extensive search of Hogsmeade, the
forest, Hogwarts, and its grounds turned
up nothing despite the hours Aurors spent
searching. No fingerprints were found on
Aurors will be devoting time to finding
Wisander's killer and a possible motive.
Leroy Wisander had owned Dervish and Banges
for a little over ten years, when he
purchased the shop from its previous owners
who retired. However, Wisander is more
known for the scathing editorials he writes
for this very newspaper.
Anyone who knew Wisander knew he was a man
of very strong opinion and did not hesitate
to let others know his opinions. His most
recent editorials have explored the subject
of werewolf, vampire, and other so called
'half-breeds' rights. Aurors have declined
comment on whether they believe Wisander's
editorials are a possible motive for his
murder. Wisander's obituary can be found
on page five.[/i]
Albus set the paper down and his friends all resumed their seats. Nobody said a word for a few minutes. Albus didn't know what to think. The article certainly made it seem like Wisander was killed because of his beliefs. However, it didn't exactly say what his beliefs were. Albus hadn't ever read any of his editorials, so he couldn't say either.
“What kind of editorials did he write?” Matt asked quietly.
“I have no idea,” Albus replied, looking at his friend whose face was quite pale, “Want to go to the room?”
“Yeah,” Matt nodded, “I'm not really hungry.”
Albus got up and was followed by all of his friends. John and Kaden each grabbed a stack of toast before leaving. Even Rose and Amanda went with them instead of going off to study with Linda.
“Have any of you read his editorials?” Matt asked as soon as they were in the Marauder's Den.
Nobody had read them. Not even Rose. Matt sighed and collapsed onto one of the couches. “I've got to find out what they were about. I don't even know which would be better, him being for or against werewolf rights. If he's for them, that means some bloke is on the loose killing people for wanting werewolf rights.”
Matt didn't even have to continue for Albus to know why that worried him. Matt's dad was possibly the biggest proponent of werewolf rights in all of Britain and everyone knew it. If someone had been killed just for writing about werewolf rights, what would happen to someone who was actually passing laws for them?
“That might not be why Wisander was killed,” Rose pointed out.
“Why else would someone have killed him?” Matt asked, “He was just a shop owner in Hogsmeade.”
“Why did someone kill Professor Torro?” John replied, “He wasn't even writing any editorials or anything.”
“To scare people,” Albus said quietly, “The Defense teacher position used to be cursed, back when our parents were in school.”
“Well, I don't think you should worry until you find out what the editorials are about,” Rose said to Matt.
“The other option isn't much better,” Matt muttered, “If he didn't write editorials for werewolf rights, then he wrote them against them.”
Albus thought Matt had a point, but he kept his mouth shut. Any way you looked at it, this murder pointed to the fact that things were changing. Aurors had been patrolling Hogwarts for months, but Albus had quickly adjusted to that and didn't really think much about it, but maybe there was more happening outside of Hogwarts than Albus was aware of.
“Let's go to the library,” Rose said as she stood up, “They'll have old copies of the Prophet there.”
Everyone agreed with this and they set off to the library. When they arrived, they were surprised to find how crowded it was. Usually Saturdays were the days everyone put off their homework and then Sundays were spent in the library.
Once they stepped inside, Albus saw that everyone was looking through old copies of the Prophet. Nearly every table had a few newspapers on it and a few students poring over them. Madam Pince was bustling about, no doubt worrying about whether the students would rip her precious newspapers.
“Might not be any left,” John muttered.
“This is good,” Albus replied, “Now it won't look suspicious for us to be investigating.”
John was almost right. There was a very small stack of newspapers left. Albus grabbed them all and then they went to a secluded table towards the back of the library. Albus, Matt, and Rose each took a newspaper while John, Kaden, and Amanda played tic-tac-toe on a spare bit of parchment.
Albus leafed through his newspaper, which was about two years old, until he got to the editorial section. In the very middle, in the biggest font, was an editorial by Leroy Wisander.
[i][b]HEALERS, BREWERS TO BLAME, NOT MINISTRY OFFICIALS[/b]
As I was locking up my shop last night,
I noticed that it was a full moon. I
could not help but think of the poor
people plagued with lycanthropy
currently shut up while attacking
Now, I know what you all are thinking.
Wolfsbane. The stuff works miracles
if taken correctly. However, it does
no good if it's sitting in St. Mungo's
and not being used by witches and
wizards with lycanthropy.
The stuff is expensive. I myself did
the calculations and discovered that
it would be extremely difficult for
anyone with a low income to afford it.
And what kind of jobs are lycanthropes
often stuck with? Menial, low-paying
ones. The jobs where they make hardly
enough money to pay the rent and buy
food, let alone purchase a potion that
could alter their lives for the better.
I am absolutely appalled that Healers
and potion brewers charge for this
important potion. They must be making
a nice profit. They can use the profits
to take extravagant holidays while the
poor witches and wizards who buy it
struggle to afford it.
There is only so much Ministry officials
can do. Head of Werewolf Support Services,
Walter Eckerton, says he would love to
give away free Wolfsbane, but there just
isn't room for it in the budget.
What do I propose? I propose that Healers
and potion brewers give it away for free.
They have the abilities to brew it, not
the Ministry. Most Healers claim to love
helping people, but often it is those who
need it most, such as those with lycanthropy,
are often forced to go without, all because
those with the abilities to brew it like
to have a little extra spending money.[/i]
“Nothing in this one,” Rose said as she shoved hers aside.
“This one's got one about vampires,” Matt said as he set his paper on top of Rose's.
“Read this,” Albus handed Matt his paper, “Wisander even mentions your dad.”
Matt took the paper and he and Rose began to read it. John, Amanda, and Kaden peered over as well. Albus sat and waited while they read.
“Let's go back to the room,” Matt said as soon as he'd finished reading it.
Albus nodded and they returned the newspapers and walked as fast as they could back to the Marauder's Den.
“Bloody Hell, that bloke must have had so many enemies!” John shouted as soon as they were back.
“I know,” Albus agreed, “And that one's from two years ago. Imagine what he's written recently.”
“Why did he have to mention my dad?” Matt groaned, “He made it sound like my dad agrees with that editorial and he definitely doesn't.”
“He was just trying to stir something up,” Rose replied, “And look where it got him.”
“Healers aren't like that. Most of the ones I've met would give away free Wolfsbane, but it's more complicated that that. The ingredients are expensive and it takes forever to brew. Not to mention how difficult it is. There aren't many Healers who can brew it and even most brewers can't brew it,” Matt explained.
“That bloke didn't know the half of it,” John agreed, “My dad's a Healer and he'd love to give away free potions. It just doesn't work that way.”
“My dad's linked with that bloke,” Matt said quietly, “And now that he's head of the entire department, he'll be passing more laws. Whoever killed Wisander's not going to be happy.”
“Your dad's a really good wizard, though,” Albus pointed out to his worried friend, “Plus he works at the Ministry, where there are loads of Aurors milling about. And your house is more protected than any other house I've seen, well, except the Minister's Mansion.”
“I know, but it's still not good,” Matt sighed.
Albus couldn't argue with that. Something was going on outside of Hogwarts. Something far more important than the Quidditch tournament and the dueling tournament.
Albus and his friends scoured the Daily Prophet every morning the following week. Every day there was an article about Wisander, the investigation, or both. So far the investigation had turned up nothing. The Aurors had questioned quite a few people, namely those very outspoken against werewolf and vampire rights, but the search had proved fruitless.
The articles about Wisander were far more interesting. It seemed that his editorial about Wolfsbane Potion was one of the tamer ones. Each day little pieces of his various editorials were being published. In one, he stated the reasons why werewolves shouldn't be locked up on full moons. The reasons were quite absurd, but the Prophet had printed it anyway. Another editorial talked about why vampires should be allowed access to humans to bite. He suggested using prisoners and allowing vampires to suck them dry. Thus helping vampires and reducing prison costs at the same time.
“I reckon this bloke was off his rocker,” John announced at breakfast the following Sunday. He had just finished reading an article about how Wisander spent a year living with a vampire tribe in Turkey when he was young. They were some of the few people actually up at an early hour, as Albus had Quidditch practice and John had a morning detention with Filch for putting dungbombs in the toilets in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom the previous day.
“That's a nice way of putting it,” Albus said as he served himself more eggs.
“What are you doing after Quidditch practice?” John asked.
“After Quidditch?” Albus laughed, “You mean, I'm going to get to leave eventually? Wood won't make us practice for the next week? I thought he was going to keep going until the actual match on Saturday.”
“He's got to let you out for class,” John grinned.
“What a shame,” Albus rolled his eyes, “Anyway, I'll probably have to do homework, since practice will go until late. How about you? Any plans for after detention?”
“Thought I might earn another detention,” John grinned, “But Kaden's busy with chess club this afternoon-”
“Wait,” Albus nearly choked on his juice, “Kaden joined the chess club? Kaden? Kaden Dursley?”
“Know any other Kadens?” John laughed, “Rose said they want to teach him how to play properly, you know, like a challenge of sorts.”
“I'll tell Rose good luck with that,” Albus said.
“Yeah, so both Kaden and Rose will be busy with that. Not that Rose would want to earn detention with me anyway. And Amanda's doing something with Linda today, homework, I think. And I doubt Matt will be up for doing anything,” John continued.
“Right,” Albus said, remembering that the full moon was that night, “But you did the dungbombs on your own.”
“But it's not as fun,” John sighed, “I guess I'll just hang around the den with Matt. I can have a nice one-sided conversation.”
“You can do your homework,” Albus told him.
“Nope, I'm waiting until you get back for that,” John said.
“Well, have fun in your detention. I've got to get to practice,” Albus said as he got up.
There were a few choice words Albus had for practice that day. Long, grueling, and intense. Wood was in his finest form as he ordered the team to do drills hour after hour. He seemed to get more and more stressed as the day wore on.
James did a lot of one-on-one training with Teddy and Albus was more than a little envious. Teddy was a much more patient captain than Wood was and yelled a whole lot less. Tyler Pike mostly helped Wood.
Wood let them have a short break for lunch, making sure they knew to come back afterwards. Albus heard the Slytherins on the team talking about skipping out of the rest of practice, but they were back on the pitch at the time Wood told them to be.
The afternoon was very similar to the morning and Albus found that he could tune out Wood's yelling quite easily. It was similar to tuning out his mum's yelling.
Practice finally ended at three, when the New York team walked onto the pitch and demanded they leave, because they had booked the pitch for three o'clock that day.
“Remember, practice Tuesday evening!” Wood shouted as the whole team rushed to get off the pitch.
Albus trudged back to the castle tired and shivering. He went straight to Gryffindor Tower and took a very long, hot shower and then set off to find his friends.
Rose, Amanda, and Linda were in the common room, but the boys weren't. Albus figured they were in the Marauder's Den and set off to look for them after saying a quick hello to the girls.
John and Kaden were in the middle of a heated game of Exploding Snap when Albus walked into the Marauder's Den a few minutes later. John's face was full of ash, but Kaden's was quite clean. There was also a big grin on his face which contrasted the scowl on John's face. Matt was laying on the couch facing them, like he had been watching the game, but he was sound asleep.
“Albus!” Kaden shouted, “How was practice?”
“Grueling. Wood's ten times worse than Georgia. Five hours we were out there. Five bloody hours in the cold!” Albus groaned as he collapsed onto the other couch.
“Better than scrubbing Moaning Myrtle's bathroom with a toothbrush,” John muttered, “I don't know what was worse, the scrubbing or listening to Myrtle.”
“All three of you are so cheery today,” Kaden said, “So many complaints.”
“Can you blame us?” Albus muttered.
“No, not really,” Kaden shrugged.
“How was chess?” Albus asked.
“I got beaten by every single person in the chess club,” Kaden shook his head, “But they think I have potential.”
“Albus,” John said as the cards blew up in his face again, “Have you done that Defense essay?
“No,” Albus groaned.
“I need your help,” John said as he got up and started digging around in his bag.
Albus groaned again and fished around in his own bag for his Defense book. Balladanis wanted a foot long essay about basilisks, which were the current dark creature of the week.
John sat down at the table while Albus lay on the couch. He just couldn't bring himself to get up and do his essay. Instead, he mumbled answers to John whenever he asked a question.
“Do you hatch the chicken egg under a frog or a toad?” John asked.
“Toad,” Albus mumbled.
“You know, I could pull a Rose and tell you to do your essay,” John replied.
“Don't even bother,” Albus said. Even Rose wouldn't be able to get him off the couch.
“Quidditch seems less grueling than football,” Kaden commented, “I mean, you fly, you don't run.”
Albus lifted his head up and glared at Kaden. “Wood had us doing push-ups and running laps.”
“Really?” Kaden sounded surprised, “Why?”
“To get us into shape after the holiday,” Albus answered, “So yes, Quidditch is a lot of work.”
“Ok, ok,” Kaden muttered as he located some of his own homework.
Albus managed to get in a somewhat comfortable position on the couch and wrote his essay with his book and parchment perched on his knees. It beat sitting at the table; at least he was able to sort of lie down.
A few hours later both Albus and John had their essays completed. Kaden was still scribbling furiously on whatever homework he was working on.
“We should probably wake him up,” Albus gestured to Matt, who had not moved one muscle since Albus had came back from practice.
John got up and began to prod Matt's arm. It took a good two minutes for Matt to open his eyes.
“It's nearly six,” John told him.
“Then I should probably go,” Matt mumbled, “Oh, Albus, you're back from practice.”
“Yeah,” Albus nodded, “It was really long, though.”
“I'll go with you to the hospital wing,” John said and Matt did not object. Albus assured him they'd visit him the next day and then they left, leaving Albus and Kaden alone in the room.
John returned a little while later and the three of them went down to dinner. They returned to the Marauder's Den afterwards and John and Kaden continued working on their homework while Albus slept on the couch.
“Albus, get up!”
Albus mumbled something incoherently and rolled over in his bed. It felt far too early to wake up.
“Albus!” Whoever was shouting was now prodding him in the side.
Albus opened his eyes and saw Teddy standing over his bed. A glance at the clock told him that, yes, it was far too early to wake up. It was six in the morning. On a Saturday. Yes, it was the day of the Quidditch match against New York, but that wasn't until one o'clock and Albus was only a reserve player anyway.
“Albus, you'd better get up now. Wood's in the common room,” Teddy whispered.
That got Albus's attention. His eyes shot back open and he sat up. “What?”
“Fielding's sick,” Teddy told him, “You're playing today.”
Now Albus was wide awake. “Seriously? What about O'delle?” Hailey O'delle was the other reserve Chaser, a seventh year Slytherin.
“She's sick, too,” Teddy explained, “The two of them are going out, so it doesn't surprise me.”
Albus took that to mean that Teddy thought they were snogging and one got the other sick.
“I'll be down in two minutes,” Albus muttered.
Teddy nodded and left. Albus threw on a t-shirt and a pair of jeans before running down to the common room, where he found Oliver Wood pacing in front of the empty fire.
“Albus,” he said as soon as Albus stepped into the common room, “You're playing Chaser today.”
Albus nodded and sat down for what was sure to be a very long speech. Wood paused and then launched into an explanation of tactics, which Albus had already heard during practices that week. He couldn't figure out why he had to be woken up at six to be told he was playing. Wood could have accomplished the same thing at ten.
Wood and Teddy left after Wood finished lecturing Albus and Albus considered going back to bed, but as he was wide awake, it would be pointless.
Part of Wood's speech had been on the weather, which was cold and slightly snowy. Could be worse, Albus thought. At least there wasn't a blizzard. The conditions were very similar to those they had been practicing in all week.
Albus sat in the common room reading a book he found laying around until his friends got up around ten.
“There you are,” Matt, who was looking significantly better than he had a few days ago, said, “What time did you get up?”
“Six,” Albus muttered, “Teddy got me up. Wood had to tell me I'm playing Chaser today.”
“What?” Matt shouted, “That's brilliant!”
“This is great, Albus!” John grinned, “But why?”
“Fielding's sick and so is the other reserve Chaser,” Albus explained, “I'm just glad we're playing New York and not Australia.”
Albus went to the Great Hall to eat lunch with his friends, but he wasn't really hungry. He didn't think he had ever been more nervous for a Quidditch match. This was a really important match, as Wood had pointed out numerous times. If they won by a wide enough margin, they'd be in second place.
Word had gotten around that Albus was playing in the match and numerous people came over to the Gryffindor table to wish Albus luck.
“Al,” Harry sat down next to Albus.
“Dad,” Albus smiled. He hadn't been sure if his dad was coming to the match or not.
“I'll be watching the whole time. I'm sure you're going to do great. Just think of it as a match against another house. Ravenclaw, I guess, since their robes are blue,” Harry grinned, “Good luck.”
“Thanks,” Albus replied.
Albus left with the rest of the Hogwarts team a few minutes later. All his friends wished him good luck as he left the Hall.
Nobody talked much as they changed into their robes. Everyone sat down afterwards, ready for Wood's pre-match speech.
However, Wood seemed to be all speeched out. He merely said that they'd trained well and to give it their all. Albus was a little shocked by the shortness of the speech, but quickly got over it as he walked out onto the pitch.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 17 February 2010 10 36 20 am Post subject: Re: Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden in topic:Albus potter and the Path Left Untrodden
Thanks Dawn! So glad you're enjoying it!
Chapter 23: All in Good Time
It was nearing midnight when Albus, Matt, and Rose re-entered the building, escorted by Professor Balladanis. Albus had been hoping the professor would just see them to the door and then continue his search of the perimeter, but instead he went back to the ballroom with them and marched them right up to Harry.
“Potter,” Balladanis interrupted the conversation Harry had been having with some wizard Albus didn't know, “I found your son, your niece, and their friend wandering around outside.”
“Albus,” Harry groaned, “I thought we made it clear that you were to stay inside.”
“I'll leave them with you,” Balldanis said, “Happy New Year.”
“Happy New Year,” Harry replied, “And thanks.”
Balladanis disappeared into the crowd and Albus shifted uncomfortably as his dad stared at him for a few moments.
“Care to explain?” Harry raised an eyebrow.
“We were just, er, exploring,” Albus muttered.
“Don't do it again,” Harry sighed.
“We won't,” Albus assured him.
Harry went back to his conversation and Albus lead his friends back to the buffet.
“I hope you've learned your lesson,” Rose muttered, “I am not doing that again.”
“We won't do it again. Not tonight, that is,” Albus grinned.
“10!” someone shouted.
Albus looked at the nearest clock and saw that it was almost midnight. Everyone else joined in the countdown, holding their glasses of champagne in the air. Amy joined Albus, Rose, and Matt.
“3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!” Albus shouted along with everyone else.
The crowd began to thin out a little while later. Most of the people Albus didn't know left, along with his Uncle Percy, Aunt Corrine, and his cousins. Albus's parents didn't look like they were in any hurry to leave, so he got a plate of the leftover desserts and at them with his friends.
Rose's family and Amy left, and then it was just the Potters, Matt, his parents, the Minister, and his wife left. All the adults were talking, James was teasing Lily about something, and Albus and Matt were finishing off the last of the desserts.
“Do you think there's any way for Hogwarts to win the Quidditch tournament?” Matt asked as he polished off a piece of chocolate cake.
“Only if Linda's sick the day of one of the matches,” Albus sighed.
“Maybe that'll happen,” Matt said, “You never know.”
“Al, we've got to go,” Ginny tapped him on the shoulder.
“Ok, Mum,” Albus replied and then turned back to Matt, “I'll see you soon.”
“Yeah, see you on the train,” Matt said.
Albus waved goodbye and then joined his mum, dad, James, and Lily. They all said congratulations to Matt's dad and then left the Minister's Mansion. Albus peered into the bushes as he left, but there was no sign of Professor Balladanis.
The remainder of the Christmas holiday went by very slow for Albus. He did all his homework, which was quite boring, and there was nothing to do after that. Rose was visiting her other grandparents and James was at Nathan's house. Even Kaden was busy visiting his grandparents (Vernon and Petunia). He sent Albus a letter complaining about it, since the visit was also with Aunt Marge. Albus was very grateful that he didn't have to go. Neither of his parents had mentioned anything about visiting with Vernon and Petunia again.
Finally the day to return to school arrived and the Potters made it to Platform 9 ¾ just in time. Albus found all his friends in one of the compartments and once they kicked Lily, Ashtyn, and Hugo out, they told each other about their holidays.
“Aunt Marge has got to be the most horrible aunt in the entire world,” Kaden fumed, “My dad told her about magic a few months ago and she's been awful ever since. I mean, she was always kind of horrible, but now she's worse. She just hates magic so much. She's worse than my grandparents.”
“Wow,” Albus replied, “Glad I've never met her.”
“Consider yourself lucky,” Kaden muttered, “I'm guessing you lot had better holidays?”
“We found Professor Balladanis lurking around the Minister's Mansion,” Albus announced.
“What?” John, Kaden, and Amanda shouted at the same time.
“I saw someone sneaking around outside and Albus insisted we go investigate,” Rose said, “Turns out it was Balladanis and the Minister had apparently asked him to check the grounds for trouble.”
“Did he find you?” John asked.
“Yeah,” Albus nodded, “He wasn't to happy either.”
“Told us we could've been killed,” Matt explained.
“Well, we could've,” Rose muttered.
“Weird though,” John said, “Why would the Minister think someone would be hiding around his house?”
“Doesn't he have guards around anyway?” Amanda asked, “The Muggle Minister does.”
“Again, that's why it's weird,” John replied, “He does have guards.”
“Why would he ask Balladanis anyway?” Matt asked, “Why not ask an Auror? Balladanis is a professor.”
“He hasn't always been,” Albus pointed out, “He had some sort of mysterious job before.”
“Again, weird,” John said.
“Yeah, there were a bunch of Aurors at the party, not to mention Albus's dad,” Matt pointed out.
“That settles it,” John announced, “Albus, you've got to find out what he did before he started teaching Defense?”
“Why me?” Albus asked.
“Because you've got those special dueling lessons with him. He likes you for some reason. Of course, he also likes Malfoy. But that's probably just because Malfoy's a good dueler, too,” John explained.
“I'll try,” Albus sighed, “But I really don't think he'll tell me.”
“You never know,” John said.
“Quiet, quiet!” Balladanis shouted the following Tuesday, their first day of Defense after the holiday.
Albus immediately stopped talking to Matt and John and turned to face Balladanis. He was really hoping that the professor would say nothing about what happened at the party and so far Balladanis was showing no recollection of it.
“I trust you all had superb holidays,” Balladanis said, “But the holidays are over and although I am sure none of you thought a bit about defensive magic during said holidays, it is now time to commence that thinking once again.
“First, I'll say that there is no time to not be thinking about defensive magic, as the dark arts do not take breaks for trivial things such as holidays.
“Second, in this term we will begin to explore creatures far more dangerous than hinkypunks and kappas. In this term we shall learn about those terrifying creatures such as acromantulas, basilisks, werewolves, dragons, and vampires.”
Albus couldn't help but glance at Linda when Balladanis said vampires. Balladanis had glanced at her as well, and he also glanced at Matt when he said werewolves. Of course, he had looked at Albus when he said basilisks, so it didn't necessarily mean anything, but Albus had a feeling it did.
“As the headmaster would find it highly inappropriate for a dragon to manifest itself in this classroom, we shall not be using the anamatek as often this term,” Balladanis continued, “But we will be using it a few times. You will find that there are more lectures in this term, much to my dislike. There is nothing I would like better than to teach you about acromantulas and werewolves with practical lessons, but there are both laws and school rules that prevent such lessons.”
Albus and Matt glanced at each other. It was official. Professor Balladanis was insane. What kind of teacher would want to teach about dragons with live dragons? Well, Hagrid would, but he wasn't the same as Balladanis.
“Take out some parchment,” Balladanis said, “We're going to begin learning about acromantulas today....”
The rest of the day went by relatively quickly. Albus actually did not have Quiditch practice that night, so everyone went to the Marauder's Den after dinner.
“Divination is such a joke,” John said as he tossed his bag onto the floor and collapsed onto a couch, “We started crystal ball gazing today. All I saw was a load of fog.”
“I told you not to take it,” Rose said as she pulled a stack of books out of her own bag.
“I didn't think it would be this bad,” John groaned, “There is no way anyone could see anything in a crystal ball.”
“Palmistry was better,” Amanda said, “And Trelawney makes the whole thing worse.”
“Trelawney could make Defense bad,” Albus replied.
“Balladanis told us that he wished he could teach us about dark creatures using the anamatek,” Rose said, “Seriously, he wanted a basilisk to appear in the middle of the classroom.”
“That would be stupid,” Kaden said as he unwrapped a Chocolate Frog, “Those can kill you with their eyes.”
“I know,” Rose said, “Balladanis is insane.”
“Do you think that anamatek could turn into a werewolf if the moon wasn't full?” John asked.
“Probably not,” Matt answered, “It would just be a wolf. I think it would just be a wolf any other time of the month, too, because there's no way it could turn someone into a werewolf by biting them.”
“That's good,” Albus said, “Because he did say that he'd use the anamatek a few times this term. Wonder if he'll have it turn into a vampire.”
“No need,” John laughed, “We've got Linda.”
“If you think of it that way, there's no point to have it turn into a fake werewolf either,” Rose pointed out.
“Good point, I guess,” John muttered.
The rest of the week went by quickly. Albus had Quidditch practice Thursday evening, and Wood informed the whole team that they'd gotten rusty over the holiday. He also told them that the next match was in two weeks and they'd be playing New York. If they won, they'd be in second place.
Albus had a dueling lesson with Balladanis the following evening and he had absolutely no idea how he was going to ask what Balladanis's previous job had been.
Albus arrived at Balladanis's room before Malfoy and entered to find Balladanis clearing all of the desks from the middle of the room.
“Mr. Potter,” Balladanis turned around and greeted Albus, “Is it safe to assume that you did not go wandering about late at night alone after New Year's?”
“Yes, sir,” Albus muttered as he felt his face turn red. He was quite glad Malfoy wasn't there yet.
“Mr. Malfoy,” Balladanis said as Malfoy walked into the room, “Now we may begin. I have decided that your understanding of the Protego charm is satisfactory so we are going to move on to something else.
“This particular charm, when performed correctly, manages to disarm and disorient a person at the same time. The sensation is often described as dizziness. Can either of you tell me what why this charm would be more useful than a standard disarming spell?”
“Because it's easier to duel someone who's dizzy than someone who isn't,” Malfoy said.
“More specifically than that,” Balladanis said, “Mr. Potter?”
“Er, because you can get the person tied up while they're disoriented? If they're a dark wizard you're trying to catch,” Albus replied.
“Another good reason, but not the one I was thinking of,” Balladanis began to walk slowly around the room, “Wizards who are expecting to have to duel other wizards often keep multiple wands on their person. There are spells that can be performed on these wands to keep them attached to your robes or your actual body, spells that Expelliarmus won't overcome easily. However, these spells require constant concentration.
“If a wizard is hit with the charm I am about to teach you, they will lose the concentration necessary to keep their extra wands affixed. Then, you can use Expelliarmus to get the extra wands.”
“Can you teach us that charm to keep extra wands in our robes?” Malfoy asked.
“Perhaps towards the end of the year. It takes immense concentration and magical energy to simultaneously perform that charm while dueling someone,” Balladanis explained, “For now, you will learn the charm to disarm and disorient a person at the same time.
“The incantation is 'Confundo-Expelliarmus'. A combination of Confundus and Expelliarmus. Mr. Malfoy, you will go first. When I say so, perform the charm against Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter, you may try and stop him using the Protego charm I taught you earlier.”
Albus nodded, wishing he had been chosen to perform the new charm first, and faced Malfoy. He held his wand up and muttered 'Protego' under his breath. He focused all of his concentration on holding the shield up.
“Now, Mr. Malfoy,” Balladanis muttered.
“Confundo-Expelliarmus!” Malfoy shouted.
Albus felt the charm hit his shield, but it didn't break through. He gripped his wand harder and stared at Malfoy.
“Keep going,” Balladanis said to Malfoy.
“Confundo-Expelliarmus!” Malfoy shouted again.
The charm hit Albus's shield a little harder this time. Albus could feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead.
Malfoy kept going and it took him five times to break through Albus's shield. When it happened, Albus felt his wand leave his hand and was overcome by a wave of dizziness at the same time. He felt exactly like he had when he had gotten the flu the previous year, only without the fever.
Albus didn't pay any attention to what Malfoy and Balladanis were doing. He felt like he was going to pass out and he had to sit down. He sat down right on the floor and was vaguely aware of Balladanis standing over him.
Then, all of a sudden, the dizziness was gone. Albus shook his head and then looked up and saw Balladanis and Malfoy standing in front of him. Malfoy looked impressed and Balladanis looked like he always did.
“You did quite well with that shield,” Balladanis said as Albus stood up, “And I think it's safe to assume that you couldn't have held concentration for any spells after Mr. Malfoy succeeded in breaking your shield.”
“No, sir,” Albus shook his head.
“Normally the charm's effects would have lasted longer, but I performed the counter-curse because it looked like you were ready to pass out,” Balladanis explained, “When you're ready, you can try the charm.”
“I'm ready,” Albus said as he took his wand back from Malfoy.
Balladanis gave Malfoy a few seconds to get his shield up and then nodded at Albus to perform the charm.
“Confundo-Expelliarmus!” Albus shouted. As he expected, the charm did not break Malfoy's shield.
Much to Albus's delight, he managed to break the shield on the fourth try. One less try than Malfoy had needed for Albus.
The charm hit Malfoy in the chest and his wand soared towards Albus. Albus caught it and watched as Malfoy bent over and fell to the ground, much like Albus himself had done.
Balladanis gave Albus one of his rare smiles and then pulled out his own wand. He waved it at Malfoy and Malfoy looked up.
“That was weird,” Malfoy muttered.
“It's supposed to be,” Balladanis said, “Now get up and we'll do it again.”
Balladanis kept them at it for the better part of an hour, past when Albus would have liked to quit. It was exhausting to be hit with that spell time after time while trying to hold up a shield charm. Malfoy didn't seem to be faring much better and Albus thought he was even going to ask Balladanis to stop after a half hour, but Malfoy closed his mouth, obviously thinking better of it.
The practice wasn't for nothing, though. Albus managed to hold Malfoy off longer and longer each time and although Malfoy was getting better at the shield charm as well, Albus broke through it a few more times.
“That's enough for tonight,” Balladanis finally said after he performed the countercurse on Albus for what must have been the tenth time that night, “I'll see you in class on Tuesday.”
Malfoy made a beeline for the door, but Albus turned to Balladanis instead. He might as well just get it over with. There was no good way to ask Balladanis what his previous job had been. He just had to do it.
“Er, Sir,” Albus began, “I was just wondering, what did you do before you began teaching here?”
Balladanis gave Albus the strangest look he had ever seen. It was a mixture of anger, sadness, and even regret. For a moment, Albus wished he hadn't asked. It was too personal. He should have just told John they wouldn't be able to find out.
“Now is not the time,” Balladanis said quietly, “All in good time, I will tell you.”
Albus was taken aback. That was more than he had expected. He had thought Balladanis would have told him to mind his own business and get back to Gryffindor Tower before curfew. Albus was going to find out, he was just going to have to be patient.
Albus left the room as quickly as he could in his exhausted state, before Balladanis could change his mind about eventually telling Albus about his previous career. The walk back to Gryffindor Tower seemed longer than usual and all Albus wanted to do was collapse into bed when he finally got there.
Instead, he was ambushed by all of his friends. All five of them looked shocked and Amanda looked like she was going to be sick. He looked around the common room and saw that most people looked shocked and everyone was subdued. There was no joking around going on. Even James was quietly sitting at one of the tables.
“What happened?” Albus whispered as he followed them back to their usual table.
Rose opened her mouth to speak and then closed her eyes, unable to do so. Albus turned to John and raised his eyebrows.
“You know that bloke who owns Dervish and Banges?” John asked quietly.
Albus nodded, having seen the man on numerous occasions when he was in Hogsmeade. He was slightly older than Albus's parents, with greying hair and a very intense personality. He never hesitated to make his opinions known
“Someone killed him,” John said in barely more than a whisper.
“Wh-what?” Albus turned to look at all his friends in turn. Matt nodded ever so slightly and then put his head on his hands.
“Must've just happened,” John said, “They just found him. Madam Rosmerta heard a commotion and Flooed here, to get the Auror on duty. By the time they got back, his shop was a complete mess inside and he was laying dead on the floor. Avada Kedavra. They're searching Hogsmeade, the forest, the grounds, and the school. Nobody's allowed out of their common rooms and dormitories.”
“We thought Balladanis would bring you back here when it happened,” Rose said.
“Nobody even came in to tell us,” Albus replied, still in shock.
People weren't just randomly killed in Hogsmeade. That sort of thing just didn't happen anymore. Not since Voldemort had been defeated. Well, Professor Torro had been killed back before his first year and then that one witch from the Ministry had been killed over Christmas, but their killers had never been found and nothing had happened since.
“Why would anyone kill him?” Matt wondered aloud.
“Why would anyone kill anyone?” Rose replied.
The portrait hole opened and all the whispering stopped. Everyone looked to see who came in. It was Professor Longbottom, looking worse for the wear. His robes were disheveled and his tie was askew.
“Aurors are still searching the castle and the grounds,” he told them, “I suggest you all try and get some sleep. The search will be long over by morning, so you will be free to leave the common room then.”
Albus and his friends looked at each other after Longbottom left. They wordlessly went up to their dormitories, Kaden going with Albus instead of to the second years' dorm. Nobody said anything as he curled up on the floor with one of Albus's spare blankets. Albus got into bed and stared at the ceiling. He had been so exhausted earlier, but now there was no way he'd get much sleep that night.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 14 February 2010 11 12 00 am Post subject: Re: Beyond the Shadow in topic:Beyond the Shadow
Chapter 2: The Study
My house had not changed since we bought it. It was a wooden log home nestled in between two Muggle farms with bush behind it. It looked exactly as it had when I moved out after Hogwarts. Even my room was the same. Mum and Dad weren't the kind of parents who turned their kids' rooms into spas and fitness rooms after they moved out. No, they were the type of parents who left the rooms exactly the same in hopes that their children would move back eventually.
Mum tried to convince me to move back for six months after I got a flat with Victoire when we began Healer training. She visited us nearly every day, bringing baked goods, advice, and offers to clean with her. Eventually, she came to terms with the fact that I was grown up and wasn't going to move back home. That was when the Saturday evening family dinner started.
She was worse with Matt. At first, she flat out refused to let him move out. He wound up staying home for about a year after graduating Hogwarts, partly because of Mum and partly because he just couldn't find a job. Not many people want to employ werewolves. Then he got a job in Werewolf Support Services and a few months later he told Mum he was moving out to live with Albus.
Dad had to convince Mum that Matt would be ok. I think it helped that I lived in the same flat building as Albus. Mum still went over there at least three times a week, though. I didn't think she was ever going to stop doing that with him.
“Amy! Matt!” Mum greeted us at the door with tight hugs. It was like she hadn't seen us in years, rather than just twenty-four hours.
“Hi, Mum,” I smiled as I stepped into the house.
“Dinner is just about ready, so you can come right into the kitchen,” Mum instructed.
Matt and I followed her into the kitchen, where Dad, Uncle Jack, and our house elf, Ellie, were already at the table. I sat down next to Uncle Jack and Mum put the last dish on the table.
“How are things at St. Mungo's?” Uncle Jack asked as he served himself some spaghetti.
“Good,” I replied. “Busy as usual. I've got a new potion that's nearly finished. It'll be ready to be sent off for testing tomorrow, but I won't get the results back for awhile.”
“I'll be crossing my fingers,” Uncle Jack said and turned to Matt and Dad. “What's new in the old Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures?”
“Not much,” Dad said as he served himself some salad, “Had some issues about people wanting to keep Grindylows as pets in their ponds. Bad idea if there are Muggles around. Had to Obliviate a few Muggles last week. I really don't see the appeal in Grindylows as pets, though.”
“People are stupid,” Matt agreed, “Honestly, they should just get pygmy puffs and be done with it.”
“That they are,” Uncle Jack shook his head, “There is nothing appealing about a Grindylow. What about you, Julie? How is training?”
Almost two years ago, Mum decided to go back to school to train to be a nurse. I don't know why she didn't do it sooner. She already knows nearly everything a nurse does, after taking care of Matt for so many years. But soon she'll have certification and she'll be able to work at St. Mungo's or something.
“Oh, it's wonderful,” Mum smiled, “I'll be certified in a few months. I'm mostly doing clinicals at St. Mungo's at the moment, which is really nice. It's such a rewarding career.”
“Glad to hear it,” Uncle Jack said, “I could always see you as a nurse.”
“How about you, Jack?” Dad asked, “How are things in New York?”
“Pretty good,” Jack said, “I'm actually considering retiring from the book store. Perhaps traveling a bit, looking for obscure magical objects.”
“Like when we were young,” Dad mused.
“Exactly,” Uncle Jack winked, “Any chance you're considering retirement?”
“Nope,” Dad grinned, “Ministry can't get rid of me just because I'm getting old.”
“You just work too much,” Uncle Jack replied.
Dad has always been a little bit of a workaholic, but ever since Matt graduated from Hogwarts, he's really thrown himself into his work. I suppose it's because there really isn't anything else for him to do. I think he needs a hobby.
We finished dinner and then moved onto dessert. Mum had made a chocolate cake and everyone sang happy birthday. Then I had to eat my cake without talking, which was a tradition that we had been doing on birthdays for as long as I could remember. Matt tried to get me to talk while I ate, but it didn't work.
After dinner, my family gave me presents and cards. Mum and Dad got me a personalized stethoscope, which was nice because I had recently lost mine. Matt got me a really nice bracelet with my birthstone on it. Uncle Jack got me a few books about the history of potion brewing.
“Cinda gave me this to give to you, too,” Mum handed me an envelope.
Cinda, my maternal grandmother, was nearing 95 years old and lived in a Muggle nursing home a few kilometers away from my parents' house. My grandfather, Richard, had died five years ago and Cinda did not adjust well. She lived in Australia for a few more months and then Mum insisted that she move to England. She got sick shortly after that and had to go to the nursing home.
I opened the envelope and found a card, along with a very generous check and instructions to 'get yourself something nice'. Cinda had never held back for birthday or Christmas gifts, even after she went into the nursing home.
“I'll visit her soon,” I said as I put the card and check back in the envelope.
“Good,” Mum said quietly, “She's not doing too well.”
I swallowed hard. “What's wrong?”
“She's just getting old,” Mum sighed.
I nodded. “Yeah, I'll visit soon.”
“I'll go with you,” Matt said.
“She'll be thrilled to see you two,” Mum smiled.
Matt and I stayed at the house for a few more hours, playing Exploding Snap and talking. It was nice to have Uncle Jack there. He was the king of Exploding Snap and by the time Matt and I left, we both had faces covered in soot. Mum and Dad's faces matched.
We left when Mum and Dad decided they had to go to bed. Mum made us tell her every detail about the full moon plans, down to the exact minute Matt would go home to transform. We both assured her that everything would be fine and we would contact her if we needed anything.
“Always a worrier,” Matt muttered as we walked out to the yard to disapparate, “Our mum.”
“Always will be,” I said.
I breezed into St. Mungo's bright and early on Monday, ready to work. Mondays were always hectic at work. They consisted of me playing catch-up on what went on in the hospital during the weekend, unless I had been on call of course.
“Farina's in a foul mood,” Lynne, one of the nurses fell into step next to me as I walked through the waiting room towards the lifts.
Lynne Warner was a middle-aged woman with greying red hair and glasses that were always perched on the tip of her nose. She was slightly overweight and around my height. She was also one of the nicest nurses in the entire hospital. I was very happy that she worked on my floor.
“What happened this time?” I groaned.
Eleanor Farina was in essence the matriarch of St. Mungo's. She was the hospital's director and the boss of all the bosses. Nothing happened in the hospital without her knowing about it and any major decision had to be run by her first.
She was strict, had absolutely no sense of humor, and was not someone you would want to cross. The funny thing was that she was a very small person. Not only was she short, but she was quite skinny as well. She also dyed all the grey out of her hair and wore large amounts of make-up so she barely looked older than me.
“Someone left one of the brewing rooms unlocked on Saturday night,” Lynne told me, “She's trying to find out who it was. It wasn't you, was it?”
“Merlin, no,” I assured her, “I was at my parents' house that night.”
It was a well known fact that all brewing rooms had to be kept locked when not in use. They were just too dangerous to leave unlocked. Only brewers and Farina herself could unlock them. I almost felt bad for the poor sap who had left the room unlocked. Almost. It had been pretty stupid of them not to lock it. What if a patient had wandered down there?
We entered a lift and rode it up to our floor. It was still quiet, as it was not even nine o'clock, but I knew it would be bustling before long.
“Eckerton!” someone said from behind me.
I knew the voice even before I turned around. That high pitched but forceful voice could only be that of Farina.
“You got an alibi for Saturday night?” she barked.
“I was at my parents'. My mum will vouch for me. As will my dad and brother, if you care to owl them at the Ministry. Plus my uncle if you care to owl him in New York,” I told her.
“I'll do that,” she replied and then handed me a chart, “And you're on clinic duty this afternoon. One until five.”
I groaned inwardly. I didn't really like doing clinic hours because they took away time from brewing and research. “All right. I'll be there.”
Farina left and I walked the remainder of the way towards my study. Lynne said goodbye to me at the nurse's station, where she joined Dina, a very quiet young nurse who had only been working at St. Mungo's for a few months.
“Morning, Morris,” I said to Healer Sterling as I walked past his study.
“Morning, Amy,” he replied, “You've got a few letters. They're on Natalie's desk.”
Natalie Caberney was our secretary and both of our studies branched off from hers. I grabbed the stack of letters from her desk and went into my own study to read them.
My study was extremely messy. There were numerous filing cabinets everywhere and books scattered throughout the small room. Miscellaneous charts were scattered everywhere, but I knew where to find them all. It was organized chaos.
I sat down in the comfy chair behind my desk and opened the first letter. It was from Rose, giving me the times of the three appointments with the new people for our study. Two were this morning, but one was right when I was supposed to be in the clinic. Perfect. That meant I'd have to track down Farina before one o'clock.
The second letter was from someone interested in participating in the study. I set it aside for when I would have more time to write a response. The third letter was from '[i]Magical Creatures Monthly[/i]' wanting to interview me about the study. I threw that one in the fireplace. I refused to do interviews for magazines that saw werewolves as 'creatures' and not people. [i]Magical Creatures Monthly[/i] was definitely one of those magazines.
Once the clock struck nine, I set off to do my rounds. Rounds never took me long since all of the patients were in the same ward. Mondays were always interesting because they included new patients that I knew little or nothing about.
I grabbed the charts out of the basket on Natalie's desk and looked through them as I walked to the ward. There were four of them. The first two were patients who had been there on Friday. One wizard who had gotten a very nasty burn from a dragon and a witch who had been bitten by an ashwinder. Normally, those bites weren't bad, but this particular witch was allergic to their venom.
The third chart was for a wizard who had been bitten by a manticore. That made me shudder. Manticore attacks were pretty rare because most witches and wizards rarely came in contact with them, but the occasional one did crop up and they were bad.
The fourth chart was for one of my own patients. Some Healers at St. Mungo's did not have any patients they saw on a regular basis and dealt with emergencies only. Others practiced family healing and only saw their own patients, be it for check-ups or emergencies. Still others dealt with emergencies and had a small amount of their own patients as well. I was one of those Healers. I had a few patients whom I saw on a regular basis for check-ups and then for emergencies. They all had lycanthropy. Healer Sterling was the same way. Between the two of us we saw nearly all of the people with lycanthropy in England.
This particular patient really tugged at my heartstrings. Since my job was so heartbreaking, I often had to try and distance myself from patients, but that never worked with this patient. He was only six years old and had been attacked by a werewolf at the age of three.
Although Wolfsbane did work for him, it did not have the effect it was supposed to have. It rendered him very calm and harmless during full moons, but it made him violently ill as soon as he started taking it. Since Wolfsbane has to be taken for the week preceding the full moon, he would often be sick for a week.
His parents had been struggling with the decision whether to keep him on Wolfsbane for years. It was so difficult to decide whether it was really worth it for him.
I opened the door to the ward and went to the wizard with the dragon burn first. He was sitting up in bed reading the Prophet. I examined his burn and pronounced him in good health. I gave him a potion and a salve and discharged him. He was quite happy to be out of the ward.
The witch with the ashwinder bite had been able to leave, too. I warned her not to go near the snakes again and sent her on her way.
Next was the wizard with the manticore bites. He was covered in bandages. He was also asleep and did not wake up as I changed the bandages. That was probably for the best since there was really no way to change them in a painless way. I made a mental note to check up on him later once he was awake.
Then it was time for my youngest patient. His name was Jamie Allen. His mother, Candace, was sitting in a chair next to the bed, holding his hand. She was fast asleep. George, his father, was on the other side of the bed. In George's lap was their four-year-old son, Kyle.
They reminded me a lot of my family when Matt and I were younger. I suppose that was why Jamie broke my heart so much.
“George,” I greeted him as I conjured a chair and sat down in it.
“Amy,” he gave me a weak smile, “Thank Merlin you're here.”
“Been here since Saturday?” I asked as I looked over the chart.
“Yes,” George sighed, “High fever, nausea, the usual.”
I nodded and pulled out my wand. I got up and gently shook Jamie. He opened his eyes and smiled at me.
“Healer Eckerton,” he whispered.
“Hi, Jamie,” I smiled, “How are you feeling?”
“Tired,” he said.
“You can go back to sleep soon,” I assured him, “I just need to get your vitals.”
He nodded and I waved my wand over him. A few seconds later, his vitals appeared on his chart. He was asleep before I even stowed my wand.
“He's better today,” I told George and Candace, who had woken up, “But only because of the potions. I'll go get his morning doses.”
Jamie could not keep taking Wolfsbane, I thought as I went to get the potions. Getting that ill every month was taking a toll on his body. The past few months he had been tired all the time, not only around the full moon.
“I'd like to talk to you in my study,” I told George and Candace after I'd given Jamie his potions.
They looked at each other and then nodded. Candace sent Kyle to stay with Lynne while we talked and I led them into my study.
Giving people bad news was my least favorite part of my job. I didn't have to do it nearly as often as Victoire did, but it did occasionally happen.
George and Candace seemed to know that I was giving them bad news. They sat down in the chairs in front of my desk and waited for me to begin. Both of them looked like they hadn't gotten a good night's sleep in days.
“Jamie's been taking Wolfsbane for three years,” I began, “And because of that he hasn't really suffered on full moons. However, the Wolfsbane has been making him incredibly ill. I know you mentioned that he's been acting off even when he's not taking Wolfsbane.”
“Yes,” George sighed, “He's tired all the time now.”
“It's because of the Wolfsbane,” I said quietly, “Even though it's out of his system during the rest of the month, it wreaks havoc when it is there and it's been leaving lasting damage.”
“What does that mean?” Candace asked.
“It means that if he keeps taking Wolfsbane, he's going to be left with permanent damage to his immune system and he'll get sick all the time,” I said, “I'm really sorry.”
“We're going to have to take him off it,” Candace said.
“Yes, you are,” I told them, “Not this month because he's already been taking it for a few days and if he goes through this transformation without Wolfsbane I don't think he'll survive in his weak state.”
George put an arm around Candace, whose eyes were tearing up. “Next month, then,” George said.
“Next month,” I agreed, “It's going to be hard, but I think it'll be better in the long run. He won't be as sick before full moons.”
“But he'll be injured afterwards,” Candace choked.
“He will. It'll probably take him two or three days to recover, but after that he'll be fine,” I assured them.
“We don't exactly have a choice,” George sighed.
“I'm working to fix that potion. You know that,” I said quietly, “It will happen. Jamie will get through this. Have you thought much about him going to Hogwarts?”
“No,” George shook his head, “We try to get through one full moon at a time.”
“Think about it,” I smiled, “Even if I haven't created a better potion by then, he can still go.”
“I really doubt Professor Kendrick would let a werewolf attend Hogwarts,” George muttered, “That's too dangerous.”
I smiled. “Send him an owl. You might be pleasantly surprised.”
“I guess it can't hurt,” George sighed.
“No, definitely not,” I agreed, “Just ask him.”
“All right,” George agreed, “We will.”
After a morning of paperwork, owl answering, and the first two lycanthropy appointments it was time to go find Farina and get down on my hands and and knees and beg to be late to clinic duty that afternoon.
Tracking Farina down was always an interesting task. She was rarely in her study. I checked there first anyway and it was as predicted, empty. It didn't seem fair that she had the biggest study and was rarely in it.
I finally found her in the basement. Apparently she had found the culprit who left the brewing room unlocked. She was yelling at Elliot Rodney, the newest brewer who had just been hired the previous week. He was in his mid-twenties, a few years older than Matt, and very tall and good looking. However, while being yelled at by Farina, he looked like he was about to cry. I swear she could bring the Minister of Magic to tears.
“Healer Farina,” I cleared my throat.
She stopped yelling and turned around. She sighed and shook her head when she saw me. “Get back to work, Rodney.”
Rodney didn't have to be told twice. He bolted away and shut himself in his brewing room. I felt bad for him. I cried the first time Farina yelled at me, too.
“What is it, Eckerton?” she asked.
“I would like to request that my clinic hours be put off until two o'clock,” I said.
“And what makes you think that I would grant that request?” she raised her eyebrow.
“I have a previous commitment,” I explained, “I have an appointment with a wizard who wishes to join my lycanthropy study.”
“The one you're doing with Weasley?” she asked.
“Yes, that one. The appointment is at one o'clock and I wish to be present, along with Healer Weasley, because she does not have the specialization in lycanthropy like I do. She will not be able to answer all of the wizard's questions,” I continued.
“Fair point,” Farina agreed, “You have until one-thirty to show up in the clinic or face the consequences.”
“Thank you,” I replied and left for the lifts.
One thing that I learned shortly after being hired at St. Mungo's was that Farina never gave you exactly what you wanted. If you wanted to push back your clinic hours by an hour, she would give you a half hour. If you wanted two days off, she'd give you one day off. The best thing to do was to ask for more time than you actually needed. Of course, it was pointless unless you had a good reason.
I was just grateful she gave me time off around the full moon. It wasn't real time off since I did pop into the hospital for a few hours the day after the full moon, but it was still considered time off. It was the least I could do since that was one of the busiest days in the ward.
I ate a very hurried lunch on my way to the very top floor of the hospital. That floor was added after the defeat of Lord Voldemort, mostly to add a psychiatry ward. Psychology and psychiatry still were not very well known in the wizarding world, but they became more so after the war.
When Farina became head of the whole hospital a few years later, she took half that floor and created the clinic. It was added solely for efficiency. She had noticed that a lot of the ailments and injuries that people went to the hospital with were quite minor and could be healed quickly. The clinic is now used for those ailments and the more major ailments are taken care of on the other floors. Plus, that's where people get their check-ups. It really was a good idea.
Rose was already set up in one of the rooms, complete with a clip-board and a stack of information on the psychology part of the study. She was always early and incredibly organized. We made an interesting pair for doing a study together.
“I've got clinic at 1:30,” I said as I walked in, “I hope this bloke is on time.”
The people we had met with earlier had both been late. Only the witch agreed to be in the study, though. The wizard didn't think the amount of money we would pay him was enough.
A few minutes later a middle-aged man with greying brown hair walked in. His face was lined with wrinkles, but his eyes were bright.
“Dan Bartholomew?” I asked.
He nodded. “You two the Healers?”
“Yes,” I said and gestured to the open chair, “Please have a seat.”
“So,” he began, “Healer Weasley said you're doing a study on lycanthropy?”
“Yes,” I replied, “We are hoping to discover the reason why werewolves do not remember what happens while they are wolves. Our first theory is that the transformation itself is so traumatic that the brain represses the memory in order to protect the psyche. However, it could also be that the wolf's memories are just not transferred when a werewolf transforms back into a human.”
“Why does it matter to figure that out?” Dan asked.
“I have a theory that it might help us to figure out why the Wolfsbane Potion does not work for all werewolves,” I explained.
“Oh,” he said, “That might be useful.”
“We're hoping it will be,” I said, “Now, does Wolfsbane work for you?”
“Yep,” Dan nodded, “But I'll still do the study. Just as long as I don't have to stop taking Wolfsbane.”
“No, you can still take it,” I answered, “What you will have to do is come in after every full moon and take a few potions that will allow us to examine your brain and to try and get you to remember what happened during full moons.”
“Will that hurt?” he asked skeptically.
“No,” I replied, “And you will be compensated for your time.”
The man nodded. “Now, do I still keep seeing you every week, Healer Weasley?”
“Yes, this will not affect your appointments with me,” Rose told him, “There are also no known emotional side effects from participating in this study.”
“I think I'll need to think about it,” Dan said.
“Understandable,” I said as I handed him a stack of papers, “This explains everything in more detail. If you decide to participate, owl us the forms on the bottom, signed and dated, and we'll contact you about your first appointment.”
“Do I have to decide before the next full moon?” Dan asked.
“No,” I shook my head, “We've already made appointments for this upcoming full moon and wouldn't be able to squeeze you in anyway. Think about it for a couple weeks and then get back to us.”
“I'll let you know,” Dan said as he stood up.
“Thanks,” I smiled.
“Two in one day isn't bad,” Rose said once he left.
“Nope,” I agreed, “Not bad at all.”
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 31 January 2010 09 47 44 am Post subject: Beyond the Shadow in topic:Beyond the Shadow
Here is the sequel to In Moonlight's Shadow! I recommend you read that first if you haven't already, although it's not necessary. I'll be posting updates on this every other Sunday for the time being.
Chapter 1: Turning Thirty
The greyish potion simmered in its steel cauldron, a few bubbles rising to the surface and then popping. It was nearly boiling, but not quite. I watched it, hardly blinking. As soon as it began boiling, and not a second later, I would have to add the Wolfsbane. One eighth of a a teaspoon of it. A pinch more would ruin the entire potion. Of course, the whole potion could be useless already.
I was brewing in the basement of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. There was a whole slew of brewing rooms in the basement. It was the best place for them since the fumes would be far away from the patients and so the brewers would be far away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital.
It was currently seven at night and since it was a Friday, most places of work were closed and their employees enjoying time off. However, I work at a hospital and hospitals never close. If I were to venture upstairs to the main part of the hospital, I would find it busy as usual.
Brewers kept more normal hours than Healers, but I am both. I had spent most of the day working in the Creature Induced Injury ward, but managed to sneak away at five in order to brew. As much as I enjoyed Healing, brewing was my passion.
I was currently brewing a variation of the Wolfsbane Potion. Wolfsbane potion had been invented decades ago and was used by werewolves to render themselves harmless during full moons. They still transformed, but lacked the aggressive qualities normally found in werewolves. However, this potion was completely useless to a small portion of werewolves.
For years, Healers and brewers have been trying to create a new version of Wolfsbane that would work for those werewolves. I had been working for the past six or seven years on the project, but had had no success so far.
The potion began to bubble more until it was at a full boil. I grabbed the small amount of Wolfsbane and tossed it into the cauldron while stirring counter-clockwise. Now I had to stir it for a half an hour.
Stirring had never struck me as boring. Plenty of brewers had complained about the amount of sitting around time and monotonous stirring, but it really never bothered me. I saw it as a time to think. After spending a day in the chaotic Creature Induced Injury ward, I needed a few hours to just sit and do mindless work like stirring.
“Amy!” someone whispered.
I jumped, nearly spilling Wolfsbane Potion all over myself. I cursed under my breath and turned around to see who had been stupid enough to interrupt my brewing. It was my best friend, Victoire, and I sighed. She knew not to interrupt me.
“Victoire,” I groaned. “I told you I'd be brewing until eight today.”
“That's what you think,” Victoire rolled her eyes and sat down on the stool next to mine.
Victoire Lupin had been my best friend since our fourth year at Hogwarts. Well, she had been a Weasley then. When she was 23, she married Teddy Lupin, another one of our friends from school. Victoire was a Healer as well, but she worked on the Spell Damage floor.
“It is what I think,” I replied as I continued stirring. “I need to have this ready for overnight simmering before I leave, so it can be tested tomorrow.”
“You do realize what day it is,” Victoire said flatly, shaking her head so that her mane of blonde hair shook.
“It's Friday, and I always stay late to brew on Fridays,” I replied.
Victoire groaned. “That's not what I meant. I meant it's October 27th! It's your birthday for Merlin's sake! Can't you put aside brewing for one measly day? I mean, you only turn 30 once.”
“Thank God,” I muttered. “And no, I can't put aside brewing. You know that.”
“I don't think you're going to miss having any brilliant breakthroughs if you don't work all night tonight,” Victoire said.
“Thanks for having faith in me,” I muttered.
“As soon as you're done with that batch, we're leaving. Everyone's at the Leaky Cauldron, waiting for you. Teddy and I have organized a birthday and halloween party. You will be there. We got a cake and everything.”
“Thanks,” I said. “Another reminder that I'm old now.”
“30 is not old.”
“Says the one who is still 29,” I said. “I'm 30 and I haven't even done anything important.”
“Hardly any witches or wizards invent world changing new potions before they're 30,” Victoire sighed. “Now finish that potion so we can get in our costumes and go.”
“Costumes?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Well, it is a halloween party, too,” Victoire replied.
“I'll go as a Healer,” I said.
“You are a Healer, you can't go as one,” Victoire said. “Now, you're going as this.”
Victoire reached into her bag and pulled out a French maid costume. I groaned inwardly. The thing looked like it would show more skin than a bathing suit.
“That is quite possibly the most cliched sexy costume on earth,” I told her.
“But it's really from France, so that cancels out the clicheness,” Victoire grinned. “I wore it years ago, but can't fit in it since having Sophie, so you get to wear it.”
“And what are you wearing?” I asked.
“This,” Victoire pulled a black robe and hat out of her bag.
“Is that a Muggle witch costume?” I asked.
“Yep,” Victoire nodded.
“So I have to wear a tiny piece of cloth while you get to be completely covered up?”
“I'm married, you're not,” Victoire replied. “Plus, Teddy's dressed as Merlin, so it matches.”
Victoire waited while I finished brewing the Wolfsbane. I purposely took a long time to clean up, but then Victoire pitched in and before I knew it I was changing into the French maid costume.
For the first time ever I was grateful that I was short. Victoire was nearly a head taller than me, so I was sure the skirt had been of the correct skimpy length on her. On me, however, it nearly came down to my knees.
Victoire had gone all out for her witch's costume. She painted her face green and affixed a fake wart to her nose. She looked disgustingly realistic for a Muggle witch. I stifled my laughter and the two of us disapparated.
We reappeared in front of the Diagon Alley side of the Leaky Cauldron. I could already hear the noise coming from inside. Victoire really must have invited everyone. I followed her into the pub and our arrival was met with loud choruses of 'happy birthday' sung in a variety of tunes.
The pub was packed. I only recognized about half of the people there. I saw a few people from work including a bunch of nurses, my boss Healer Morris Sterling, Healer Jeff Norlam, and Healer Rose Weasley. Standing around Rose were all her friends from school including my brother, Matt, and much to my surprise, his roommate Albus Potter. Al was out of the country a lot for work.
Even my parents were there. The two of them were sitting at a table, looking to be the two calmest people there. Neither of them were dressed up. Mum had a cup of tea and Dad had a bottle of something. But sitting next to Dad was the biggest surprise of all.
“Uncle Jack?” I shouted as I ran towards them.
“Amy!” he stood up and gave me a hug. “That's quite the costume.”
“Victoire's idea,” I blushed.
My Uncle Jack lives in Horseheads, New York, and I only see him once a year at the most. I had no idea he was coming for my birthday. He was wearing a black and white striped prisoner outfit.
“Happy Birthday, Amy,” he said.
“Thanks,” I grinned.
I went around the pub, accepting all the birthday wishes from everyone until I wound up at the bar. Victoire and Teddy were sitting there, each with a drink. I ordered my own drink and sat down next to them.
There was a box at the end of the bar marked 'Lycanthropy Awareness Fund'. I looked at it and then turned to Victoire.
“We told everyone to bring donations in lieu of gifts,” Victoire answered my questioning look.
“Thanks,” I smiled. “So who's Sophie with tonight?”
Sophie, Victoire and Teddy's five-year-old daughter, was the most adorable kid I had ever met in my life. She's like a niece to me and even calls me Aunt.
“My parents,” Victoire answered. “They're thrilled to see her.”
“And how is little Sophie doing?” Hannah Longbottom asked as she set my drink down in front of me.
“Oh, she's great,” Victoire smiled. “I'll bring her by soon.”
“Good. I haven't seen her in ages,” Hannah said.
Ages probably meant a few weeks, I thought. Hannah Longbottom loved Sophie. Everyone loved Sophie.
“Amy, happy birthday.”
I turned and saw Matt, wearing a mummy costume, sitting down on my other side. His blonde hair looked in need of a cut, but other than that he looked great. Just a few months ago I had heard a few of the younger nurses whispering about how good looking he was and I had had to run into a closet to laugh. But now that I looked at him, I could almost see what they meant. In a sisterly, non-disgusting way of course. It was just odd because he will always be a scrawny little kid in my mind. Granted, he was still skinny and on the short side, but that wasn't going to change.
“Thanks, Matt,” I gave him a hug. “I haven't seen you in a few days.”
“I've been with Albus,” Matt pointed to Albus, who was laughing at something their friend John had said. “He's been home the past three days.”
“When's he leaving again?” I asked.
“Who knows?” Matt shrugged.
Albus Potter was the son of the one and only Harry Potter and did some sort of Auror-like secretive work. It involved traveling to different countries and tracking down rogue wizards. That was all I knew. I had asked Matt a few times, but he changed the subject every time. I guessed it must be secret for a reason.
Matt and Albus had been sharing a flat ever since a few months after they left Hogwarts. Even though Albus was away for his job for a good portion of every month, he always paid half the rent. Neither of them, especially Matt, would have been able to afford their own flat.
“So,” Matt grinned, “Late for your own party?”
“I wasn't that late, was I?” I asked. “How long had you lot been here?”
“Few hours,” Matt replied.
“Well, I was at work...brewing,” I shrugged.
“Big surprise there,” Matt grinned.
“Matt!” Albus shouted over the crowd. “Better get over here! Kaden's mixing firewhiskey with some Muggle drink called a screwdriver!”
“I've gotta go,” Matt said as he got up and left.
“Amy,” Rose Weasley ran up to me, “Happy birthday.”
“Thanks,” I smiled.
“But I've been meaning to get ahold of you. I recruited three more werewolves for the study,” Rose told me.
Rose Weasley was, if it was possible, even more devoted to work than I was. She was a recently certified magical psychiatrist who worked at St. Mungo's. A few weeks ago, she had gotten involved with a long-term study on lycanthropy that I was involved in.
“Really?” I asked. “We've never gotten that many at once before.”
“They've been coming to Mungo's for therapy for years,” Rose explained. “I told them about the study and they're quite interested. Two wizards and one witch.”
“Rose Elizabeth Weasley,” Victoire tapped her on the shoulder. “Are you talking about work?”
“Yes,” Rose said.
“We're trying to give Amy a break from work,” Victoire told her. “That means you can't talk about it here.”
“Victoire, it's kind of important,” I said.
“Fine,” Victoire groaned, “Talk about work.”
“Anyway,” Rose continued, “I've scheduled them each to come in for interviews on Monday, if you can make it.”
“I'll be there,” I assured her.
“Good. Now I'd better go stop Kaden before we really do have to work tonight,” Rose said.
I sat with Victoire and Teddy and watched the party. I've never been big on parties, but this one wasn't bad. It was my kind of party. Well, besides the costume part. Only about half of the people were actually dressed up, though.
“Amy, long time, no see,” Landon Comer, one of my friends from school, sat down on the stool next to mine. He was dressed as Harry Potter, which was pretty funny. I'm sure Albus was quite thrilled with it.
“Hey, Landon,” I replied. Landon worked in the Department of International Magical Cooperation. He was married and had two children as well.
“Happy birthday,” he said. “Seems like just yesterday you were that quiet new girl at Hogwarts.”
“You're making me feel old,” I groaned.
“I'm allowed to. I'm older than you,” Landon laughed.
The party continued well into the night. I had a few more drinks and felt more relaxed than I had in a long time. Someone turned on some music and cleared the tables and dancing begun. One of the male nurses dragged me onto the floor to dance but I lost track of him when my parents and Uncle Jack found me to say goodbye.
Soon, it was only me, Victoire, Teddy, Matt, and Albus left. Matt and Albus looked exhausted, which made me wonder how late they had stayed out the night before. Whenever Albus was in town, he and Matt rarely slept.
“Thanks for the party, Victoire,” I gave her a hug.
“No problem,” Victoire replied. “And tomorrow you can get back to work.”
“I've got the weekend off,” I told her.
“Even better,” Victoire grinned. “Well, we'd better get going.”
“Bye,” I said. “Bye, Teddy!”
“See you soon, Amy,” Teddy replied. “Happy birthday.”
I left with Matt and Albus once Victoire and Teddy disapparated. We lived in the same flat building, which was quite close to the Leaky Cauldron.
“Don't stay up too late,” I told Matt once we reached his flat.
“We won't,” Matt rolled his eyes.
“You look exhausted,” I told him.
“'Night, Amy,” Matt said. “Happy birthday.”
“'Night Matt, Albus,” I replied and walked up the two flights of stairs to my own flat.
My flat was quiet like it always is. I had been living in it ever since Victoire got married. The two of us had had a flat together when we were training at St. Mungo's, but it wasn't the nicest of places. By the time Victoire got married, I had been able to afford a better place.
It was on the third floor of a Muggle flat building. The building itself was only ten years old. My flat consisted of two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a relatively large living room. Plus a bathroom and a few closets. It was enough room for me and I liked it.
I tossed my purse onto the kitchen table and went into my bedroom. I changed out of the awful French maid outfit, tossing the thing haphazardly into the closet knowing I would never wear it again. I got into bed and realizing how tired I was, fell into a deep sleep.
Someone was knocking on the door and I didn't feel like answering it. I opened my eyes and quickly shut them again when the sunlight hit them. I forced them open again and looked at the clock. It was noon.
I shot out of bed and ran out of the room. I hadn't slept that late in a very long time. Saturdays usually meant doing research, spending time with Matt, and then dinner with my parents. They rarely included sleeping until noon.
I wrenched the door open and was immediately hit by Sophie, who wrapped my legs in a tight hug. I bent down and picked her up and opened the door wider so Victoire and Teddy could get inside.
Sophie Nymphadora Lupin had turned five a month ago and was the most adorable child I'd seen. Everyone knew she would be since she had Victoire and Teddy for parents. Her hair was stick straight and dirty blonde. It was the perfect combination of Victoire's blonde hair and Teddy's naturally brown hair. Today Teddy's hair was green, though. It actually matched Sophie's green eyes quite well.
“Happy Birthday, Aunt Amy!” Sophie shouted.
“Thanks, Sophie,” I smiled as I set her down.
“Where's Uncle Matt?” Sophie asked as she ran around the flat.
“He's at his flat,” I told her. “He's probably still asleep. Remember he likes to sleep late on Saturdays because he has to work during the week.”
“Oh, yeah,” Sophie said. “I made you a birthday card.”
“Did you?” I smiled at her.
“Uh-huh,” Sophie nodded and pulled a construction paper card out of her pocket.
I sat down on couch and Sophie curled up next to me. The card was blue with a yellow sun on the front and 'happy birthday' scribbled above it. I opened it and there was a cake on the inside.
“Thank you, Sophie,” I smiled and gave her a hug. “This is the best card I've gotten.”
Sophie grinned. “I made it at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Grandma helped me with the letters.”
“You did a great job,” I told her.
“Soph, we've got to get to Diagon Alley,” Victoire said and then turned to me. “We just stopped by so she could give you her card.”
“I'll see you soon, ok?” I gave Sophie another hug.
I said goodbye to Victoire and Teddy and shut the door after them. I had four hours until dinner with my parents. Plenty of time to get some work done. I ate a quick lunch and then took a shower and got dressed. Then it was research time.
I tried to do some research every Saturday. The second bedroom in my flat was filled with shelves and shelves of books on potions and lycanthropy. I'd already read a good portion of them, but I liked to look them over again to find clues.
Most recently I had been experimenting with how different types of cauldrons affected the Wolfsbane Potion. It was normally brewed in a silver cauldron, but I had been brewing it in a steel cauldron to see how that would affect it.
There was not a whole lot written about the Wolfsbane Potion. The wizard who had originally invented it had a chapter about it in his book, but that was about it. Then there were a few articles about it in obscure potions magazines, but they weren't that informative. I had to read other books and piece together little bits of information and try to make sense of it.
It wasn't very rewarding work. In fact, it was downright depressing most of the time. I would spend weeks on a new potion and then it wouldn't work and I'd have to research again and start over. That was the nature of potion brewing, though. Not a lot of wizards and witches chose to get into that profession for that reason and even fewer wanted to create another Wolfsbane Potion. There were four of us working on it and I was one of two brewers. My boss, Healer Sterling, was the other one. He had been working on it long before I even became a Healer. The other two are magical psychiatrists, Healer Norlam and Rose Weasley.
Nevertheless, I devoted most of my time towards the task. There was no doubt in my mind that I was the most devoted of us four. I had no intentions of stopping until I succeeded. It was something I had been wanting to do ever since I was fifteen.
The reason was my brother. When he was only five years old, he was attacked by a werewolf and had been suffering from lycanthropy ever since. Wolfsbane Potion had no affect on him. My parents had spent so much time trying to give him a normal life, including moving all of us from Australia to England so he could go to school.
Matt had also participated in a ten year study of the Wolfsbane Potion run by Healer Sterling, in which he tried three new kinds of Wolfsbane. None of them helped. He'd tried most of the potions I created as well, and none of them helped. Some even made it worse.
“Amy, are you working again?” someone said from behind me.
I jumped and saw Matt standing in the doorway of the second bedroom. “Matt. I didn't even hear you come in. And yes, I am working.”
“We've got to get to Mum and Dad's,” he said as he sat down on the bed.
“You still look exhausted,” I told him, “How late did you stay up?”
“Late,” he answered. “John and Kaden came over.”
“You really shouldn't do that to yourself so close to the full moon,” I sighed. “You're going to regret it on Thursday.”
“You sound like Mum,” Matt muttered. “Besides, Albus has to leave again on Monday.”
“Where's he off to this time?” I asked.
“Can't tell you,” Matt gave his standard answer to that question. “But I'll be over on Wednesday, probably.”
“That's fine,” I told him. “I've got the day off.”
Matt always got really sick the day before full moons, and that hadn't changed as he got older. Mum and Dad weren't comfortable with him being on his own the day before and day after the full moon and I agreed with them. Matt hadn't objected, either. So, when he and Albus got their flat together, Matt agreed never to be on his own around full moons. Whenever Albus is away for work, Matt comes over to my flat. I usually get the day before, the day of, and the day after full moons off.
For the actual transformation, Matt goes to our parents' house. There was really no point in making a new safe room or safe house when the one in my parents' house works fine. Plus, we live in a Muggle flat building and it would not be a good idea for him to transform in his flat, safe room or not.
“Day after, too?” Matt asked.
“Yup,” I told him. “Like always.”
“Any new potions this month?” he asked.
“No,” I sighed. “I'm working on one, but it's got to be put through the preliminary tests before anyone can take it.”
“It's ok, you'll get there eventually,” Matt said quietly, “Now we'd better get to Mum and Dad's before they start worrying.”
I smiled and followed my brother out of the room. Even if we were a minute late to family dinners, Mum started worrying. If there was an olympic event in worrying, Mum would get the gold medal.
Joined: 13 January 2008
Location: In role play game of course!
Posted: Friday 29 January 2010 07 41 29 am Post subject: Re: RPG: Parst City Super Hero Role Playing Game in topic:RPG: Parst City Super Hero Role Playing Game
*********************************** (This means new chapter or the next day)
Samantha woke up and could barely move. She leaned on one arm and sat up slightly. She looked around, recognising her bedroom. The dark green paint, the photos of her travels scattered in frames across the walls. Her bed was a mess, but her blankets were on her. she had not even gotten changed out of her clothes. She winced as she noticed the cuts and bruises forming on her arms and legs. Moving slowly, she sat up, swung her legs around and stepped out of bed. She grabbed a towel drapped at the end of her bed and stumbled off to the shower.
The room started to smell like strawberries as Sam lathered up the shower gel. Desperate to recharge, she finished with the hot water and allowed only cold water to run. It helped, a little. Wrapped in her towel, she approached the mirror, and ran one hand across the steamed glass. Staring back at her was a very tired, battered version of herself.
"I can't go to work like this." she voiced. Fishing around her room for her phone, she dialed and attached it to her ear. She looked at the bedside clock and saw it was almost 10am. The other end of the phone received.
"Hi? Ya, it's Sam. Listen, I am really sick. I'm sorry I haven't called, I only just woke up. Ya, I know I'm sorry I haven't been in or called. I think it's food poisoning. Went out for dinner last night at..." she fished for a name and decided not to. "A local chinese. I shouldn't touch that stuff. Sorry, but you're going to have to reshedule the meeting with our client for tomorrow morning. Organise the surveilence, and I will go double check it tomorrow. Okay?" she paused, and the person on the other end spoke in agreeance. Then they disconnected. Sam removed the phone from her ear and sat on the bed, her hair wet around her face.
"What am I going to do?" she said out loud. Two people were missing. She had no idea where Raijin had gone. He was no doubt wise enough to disappear when things go so crazy. But then, who had got her home. Sam looked up suddenly, and her heart rate increased. Great. He's probably sleeping on the couch. Sam stood up and walked slowly over to the door where her robe was hanging on the back. She grabbed it and wrapped herself in it, and then cautiously made her way into the living room.
All was quiet. The couch seemed the same. Still, she had no memory of making her own way home, and that disturbed her. After surveying the entire apartment, she decided to make herself some coffee. As she filled the kettle and switched it on, she had a funny feeling she was being watched. Turning around, she scanned the room, the windows, and the corners with her eyes. The curtains moved, and she stared at them. Paranoia? Probably. But she had every right to be with the kind of stuff she was involved in now.
Joined: 18 August 2009
Posted: Tuesday 29 December 2009 09 43 32 am Post subject: Re: The Shadow in topic:The Shadow
Mathew woke up the next morning and looked at the clock by his bed. it was only 6:30. Why did he always wake up at 6:30? he sighed. Mathew got out of the bed changed out of his pajamas and into some nice close. today was his day off. he could do anything he wanted to do, but then he remembered the pile of paper work that he had to do. He sighed again. Mathew sat at his desk and looked around the room. he really wished that the base wasn't underground then they might have windows. he turned to his computer and started typing up the events of last night. when he finished he looked at the clock. it was 7:13. Mathew stood up and went to go shower. he had a long day ahead of him if John was going to be as dependent on him as he had been last night.
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