AU: Rory and Qiinn are dating and he serenades her with “Our First Christmas Together”
Bobby and the rescuers had been too late when they had shown up at the Black house and saved the group of captured students and teachers from the prison below. Most of the people inside would make it out but for Charity it had been too late. A day ago Persephone Black had brought her something to drink and although Charity tried to refuse what was clearly poisoned the woman forced it down her throat. Devin had watched as Charity had gotten sicker and sicker hour by hour and there was just nothing he could do.
Bobby had carried Charity out of the Black house and was quickly rushed by some of the bloodless members who took her to St. Mungos. That had been over three days ago and Charity was still in critical condition. Her friends visited as they could, all waiting for her to get better but Charity showed no signs of change. The healers tried to get the poison out but it was something they had never seen before. Persephone Black wasn’t a witch you wanted to mess with.
Today Russ and Bobby sat with her and kept her company. Despite all that had happened with her and Carter she wished that he was here too. It could have been the four of them once again; the new marauders. She was reminiscing about it all when suddenly she felt herself slipping away slightly. “I need…help…”
“Charity!” Bobby called out frantically as she began to lose consciousness.
“Nurse!” Russ called into the hallway.
There was no moment of silence; instead both of the boys seemed to get a feeling that this might be their last chance to say something important. Charity was still conscious so she could easily hear the words that were yelled in her direction.
“I love you!”
The words didn’t come from one mouth but they came from two. Russ and Bobby suddenly looked up at each other and away from Charity with a glance of disdain that Char had never seen between them. It was like suddenly they weren’t the best of friends but instead the worst of enemies. They stepped away from the bed as the healers came in and gave Charity the medicine that seemed to stabilize her vitals. It was one of the most intense five minutes any young person could go through. Her body was shaking involuntarily and she felt like she was losing control of herself. The medicine worked as quickly as it could to calm her down and by the time it did it had exhausted her. Charity could hardly keep her eyes open to look at the two boys who had just confessed their love to her.
There was a moment of silence, Russ and Bobby continued to stare each other down. Russ faltered first, he looked at Charity and then he looked at the ground. “I have to go,” he said before taking off towards the door without another word.
But Bobby wasn’t satisfied with that. He took off after Russ, grabbing him before he could even get past the view of the doorway. “Get back here you asshole,”
Charity could hear the two of them yelling at each other in the hallway. She tried to sit up and look out at them but it exhausted her. The blonde sunk back into her bed in exhaustion before she saw two healers come to take the boys away. She tried to fight the sleep that was coming over her eyes but it was stronger than her will to stay up. She drifted off into a sleep, alone and exhausted.
* * * * *
“No, what do you mean there is nothing you can do?” Arne Lupin was infuriated with the healer who was telling him that nothing they had done had helped Charity’s condition. She had been in St. Mungo’s for over two weeks now and there was still no chance of her coming home.
“Mr. Lupin, your sister swallowed a potion that was created by some sort of magic that we’ve never seen before.” the healer said in a calm voice, not looking at the fact that Arne’s fists were balled and ready for a fight. “The poison has spread to her brain, even if we found something to help it is very unlikely that it would work fast enough to stop the damage. I’m sorry. All I can tell you is to spend this time with her.” with that the healer was gone.
Alexander Lupin had not seen his brother so defeated since they had lost their other brother. He was coming back from the cafeteria with food for Charity, hoping it would help cheer her up. Lex was always good to his twin that way but he could tell right now food was the least of their worries. “Arne what is going on?”
Before Arne could answer Charity weakly opened her lips and looked at her twin. The next words were some of the hardest ones she had ever had to say and they hit hard. “I’m going to die Lex,” she said with a certainty that was eerie and unwelcoming. Everyone knew Charity as a know it all but to hear her say something so dreadful as she did with the absolute certainty that it was going to happen hurt more than
“Charity, don’t say that,” Rosie said, stroking her friends blonde hair slightly. Rosie was hear almost every day that she could. Rosie had even managed to convince Liv to take some time away from her vengeance planning to sit with Charity here. The redhead was definitely a blessing for the blonde but right now Charity couldn’t stay positive for her friend.
“Why Rosie? You heard them, it’s too late,” Charity wasn’t usually such a defeatist but when a medical professional told you that it was over then Charity would believe them. She had no hope for a miracle now. The dark magic of the poison would sink in
* * * * *
Two more days passed and everyone took shifts staying with Charity, everyone except for Bobby and Russ. Rosie had tried to talk to both of them but neither one of them wanted to budge on the issue. It was her turn to spend some time with Charity. Charity was thankful when it was Rosie’s turn because her bad jokes and her pretty smile seemed to lighten her up a bit. Rosie wasn’t the only one in the room today though; her brothers only ever left St. Mungo’s for a couple of hours at a time.
They had been talking about the most random of things when Charity suddenly stopped. “Why did it go dark?” The three looked at her funny. There had been no change in the room and yet Charity could see nothing. She started to get very scared all of a sudden. “I can’t see anything,” she said shakily. Arne called for a healer and immediately the three of them were rushed out of the room while they worked on Charity.
“Describe to me what you’re feeling Charity,” the healer said trying to figure out what was happening. Charity didn’t respond. She laid there and didn’t move until the healer reached over and squeezed her hand.
“Why are you squeezing my hand?” Charity asked, wondering what was going on. She could tell the hand didn’t belong to Rosie or her brothers but she didn’t know who it was.
“Charity can you hear me,” “Squeeze my hand twice if you can hear me,” the healer said but Charity didn’t move. She could still smell and feel but the rest of her senses seemed to be useless. The healer let go of her hand and went back into the hallway. It was time to break the news.
Arne was demanding answers the moment that they were joined by the healer. The young man sighed as he looked at Charity’s older brother. “She’s lost control of most of her senses, she can only feel and speak, she won’t be able to hear you” he explained carefully. “You should call the rest of your family and anyone important, she doesn’t have very long. Her entire body is shutting down,”
So they did exactly that. There was no fighting it anymore. Arne called his father while Rosie called for Grady. Eventually a few people showed up. It certainly wasn’t everyone who cared about Charity but it was enough to keep her company.
“I can feel you all here,” Charity said, her brown eyes filled with tears that she couldn’t see but that she could definitely feel. Everyone stepped a bit closer. Her brother’s each held one of her hands, letting her hold onto them for strength. “This is Arne,” she said holding up her left hand. Aria put her hand on her husband’s shoulder as he gave into tears, pressing his forehead against Charity’s hand. She let go of his hand for a moment and felt down towards his cheek, wiping a tear that she couldn’t see.
Her attention then turned to someone else. “I can feel Rosie breathing on my left leg; it’s the same pattern as when she cried that England lost the world cup.” Charity said, feeling the pattern change a little bit. It was a Rosie laugh, she couldn’t help herself. Charity was happy for that change, she gave a small smile. “See, I’m funny sometimes.” She said with a sigh “and if Rosie is here I’m betting that Grady is here,”
“Hi Char,” Grady said, forgetting that his friend couldn’t hear him.
“Dad’s here, sitting at the foot of the bed like he did with Rodney,” she said, speaking of her older brother who had died in this very hospital. “That’s the hand on my leg,” she was trying to mentally map everyone out. She still had a few more to go. Without her eyes and her hearing all she could rely on was touch….and smell.
“Morris has been drinking and I’m surprised he made it but no one drinks that much whiskey before coming to a hospital,” her cousin hung his head. He didn’t really want to be here but he had brought Grady when Rosie called Tempe needing someone else to be there.
“And I know this is Lexxo,” Charity said finally squeezing the other hand that was holding hers. “We have the same weird bend in our pinkies,” she said, playing with his hand slightly. “That’s everyone, right? Or did Bobby and Russ show up and they’re just hiding?”
Everyone in the room stayed silent but it made no difference to Charity. Her world was silent now. Silent and Dark. It was not the way she wanted to go. With a deep intake she spoke again “Arne squeeze my hand once if they’re here, twice if they’re not.” she felt bad for putting in on her big brother but she knew he was stronger than Lex to do it. He carefully squeezed Charity’s hand twice, letting her know what she had already feared.
Those last moments were impossible. She spent them talking to a room that couldn’t communicate with her. Her father had to leave when she started going on about how she’d say hi to Rodney and mom but he came back before it was time. Eventually the poison worked its way to more of her brain. “I can’t feel you anymore,” she told them, realizing she was losing the rest of her. Soon enough she couldn’t speak either. A healer came in and stood by her, knowing that all they could do now was wait it out.
“Charity,” Bobby’s voice rang out first but he wasn’t alone. Russ was behind him and they were both rushing in to see the girl they had harassed and loved all these years. They had come to figure out that being beside Charity while she was hurt was more important than hating each other. If Charity made it out of this it would be her choice to choose who she loved and they would have to wait for that. But they wouldn’t get to anyway. They had held their grudge for a little too long. As they clambered into Charity’s room together they found that was left was her family and friends.
“You’re too late.” Rosie said quietly, angry that they had both waited so long to finally come back for the person they supposedly loved. She couldn’t look at either of them. Their best friend was dead and they had abandoned her. So much for their love.