They must have fought about the issue for over an hour but as the sun started to set a decision needed to be made. Dory wanted him to go but Keane would not leave. He would put himself in danger before he lost Dory. Who knew what she could do as a werewolf without her potion. He did not want to watch her turn into a monster.
They had thought the chains would be strong enough. Looking at Dory you wouldn’t think she could hurt a fly but as Keane watched her transform he understood why this was different. He usually stayed in their camp when she became a werewolf and even with wolfsbane she would wander off to feed or to keep some distance from him but now he got to see it all. He watched as her limbs stretched and she became a different creature. Even when Keane had seen Dory in her werewolf form he had never seen her like this. It was so different without the potion. She was snarling and fighting the chains. He saw the metal bend and he tried to cast an enchantment to keep it from snapping but it was too late.
Dory’s muscular wolf body broke through the chains. She started howling up at the sky and Keane knew it was time to run. But he didn’t. He had told her that he wouldn’t leave her and he wasn’t about to.
But this wasn’t Dory.
The girl inside the wolf was screaming, telling Keane to run but the wolf had a mind of its own. Dory was not in control and she couldn’t stop it. “Dory,” he spoke softly but for the wolf that was it. It caught its attention onto Keane and it began to move closer to him. He backed away slowly but suddenly she was mid air. He reluctantly shot a spell at her but that was the last thing he saw before everything went dark.
* * * *
Keane woke up in a dark cabin in the morning. The sun was peaking through the window and Dory was sitting by his side. “Dory…Dory what happened?” the whole night was blacked out for him. He went to sit up but as he did a sharp pain shot through his neck. He raised his hand up to feel the bandaged square that Dory had put on his neck. “Dory?” she was crying and he didn’t know why. He wanted to sit up and comfort her but he couldn’t in the pain.
He tried to think back to the night before. What had happened? Dory had no potion. They had chained her up. She broke free. She was howling and he had been trying to calm her down and then suddenly she had lunged at him.
She had lunged at him.
“Am I dead?” but who would die and wake up injured with their girlfriend crying. Was this his personal hell? What had he done to deserve going here? No it didn’t make sense. He was alive, very much alive.
“No.” Dory spoke up through her tears. “Worse. I bit you. You’re infected.”
“Your school is costing me thousands of dollars Emmaline.” Isaac was frustrated with his daughter. She had stood there before him in his office at home for about forty minutes trying to debate with him. He understood where she was coming from and he valued her passion but he just couldn’t keep throwing money away. TheReidSchool for Arts was not making a dime for them and it was time to give up on it.
“It is just starting out, give it time,”
“I gave it the year, I’m pulling the plug.” He said firmly. Isaac watched as his daughter’s face turned to stone but he couldn’t help her. He had to do what was best for them financially. Emmaline would have to find a new dream. “I’m sorry.” The old man said before he cast his eyes back down on the script he had been reading over.
Em had never felt so angry towards her father. This performing arts school was all she wanted in her life. She wanted to teach, she wanted to get other to where she had stood and he was taking that away. Yes, their enrollment had been low this year but they were just starting out. She couldn’t believe he had given up on her.
“Well I may as well move back toNew Yorkthen.” Em said harshly. She had moved back to Californiato be with her family and start this school but now that she didn’t have the school she didn’t really want to be around her father. Her siblings would understand. She doubted that her boyfriend Connor would understand but Em couldn’t be here. “Bye Dad.”
Isaac lifted his head to say something else but she was already storming out on him. Em and him usually got along so well and understood each other but today he had been her bad guy. There was nothing he hated more than that.
Jason had had a hard time forcing a smile while Peyton, his Peyton had announced that she and the spoiled rich kid fromCaliforniawere getting married. He was no longer forcing that smile onto his face now that he was outside standing on the front porch of his best friend’s house. He needed this moment. He knew he should have moved on from Peyton months ago but she just wasn’t that type of girl that you forgot about so quickly. The love they shared had been so different but now it was gone.
Peyton took the time to get hugs from her family and shared a kiss with Jeremy before she noticed that someone was missing. “Excuse me for a moment,” she said to all of them. Peyton headed to the back of the house but quickly ducked out the side door so she could walk around the side and get to the front. “Jason,” she said softly as she walked up the steps and met him.
It had been a long time since she had called him that. It had been Brooks ever since she had met Jeremy and not she was changing her tone. It was too much for Brooks. “Peyton don’t.” he frowned at her. His heart couldn’t take this.
Peyton watched the older man before her and knew that she had broken him. She had not expected him to be at dinner tonight. She had wanted to tell him in a different way. She had wanted to do it just the two of them. Of course that probably wouldn’t have been the best idea. Peyton wasn’t completely done and over Jason but she had someone new and she wasn’t the type of girl to split herself between two men. Her daddy had raised her better than that.
She took another step closer to him; testing the limits. “I’m sorry,” was all she could manage to say. It wasn’t enough but what would be?
He shook his head at her. After all these years she was still somewhat foolish when it came to dealing with him. It made him want her even more. He missed her but he knew he wouldn’t be able to have her again. He respected her too much to try and make her cheat on her fiancée “What are you apologizing for? I knew it would happen eventually, I said it all along,” he said gruffly. He had doomed their union despite Peyton believing she wouldn’t out grow him.
Peyton had believed that Jason Brooks was the one for her despite all complications but then Jeremy came along and she was confused. He had been her chance to get out of this small town while Brooks was the thing that was keeping her there. It had been confusing for her. “But I didn’t thin-,” she began to defend her actions.
But Jason wasn’t here to put blame on Peyton for things. He wasn’t here to hate her or yell at her for ruining what they had. She had outgrown him and he had to move past that. “I know, and that’s because you weren’t quite as grown up as I wanted you to be, but I expected too much of you.” He said, allowing his eyes to cast down at the ground. He couldn’t stand looking at her like this. She was beautiful even in moments of pain.
“Jason I loved you!” she defended but the choice of her words hit him harder than a brick to the face. Loved. She had loved him. But she didn’t anymore or at least she wouldn’t say it. She had moved on and found something better and Jason was going to have to deal with that.
“I know,” “And now you love him.” He said solemnly.
Peyton opened her mouth to speak again but the front door opened. She looked past Jason to see Jeremy standing there smiling at her. He warmed her heart in ways that Jason hadn’t but he lacked the qualities that had made her so attracted to the older man in the first place. Perhaps that was why she had chose him. They were worlds apart.
“P. are you coming in?” he asked simply.
“I’ll be there in a second,” she nodded to Jeremy. He nodded back and then returned inside. She was thankful that he didn’t linger. It would have made her feel awful.
“Okay baby,” those two words rang through Jason’s ears and caused him to just shake his head. He put a hand on Peyton’s shoulder and gave a quick squeeze before moving down off the porch. She turned to look at him but he didn’t turn around.
“Congratulations kid, I best be getting home.” He said with a sigh. Peyton watched as he continued down the drive, got into his truck and took off without another word. She lingered on the porch for a minute, hating herself for what she had done but eventually she had to return to her family. She had an engagement to celebrate.
Robert Potter hated the fact that he was standing in the office of the minister of magic trying to convince her to come the hell home. It was like Charity was married to her work and not to him. She kept insisting that she needed to stay but Bobby just wanted her back to being close to him.
"I know I’m an idiot and you regret marrying me…" the man said, hanging his head slightly. "But please come home," Charity was working nonstop. Things wouldn’t have been so bad if Bobby hadn’t had to go to bed three nights in a row but that was how things were. Charity worked far too much.
"Bobby, I have…" and then Charity realized what he had just said. She regretted marrying him? How could he ever think that? "I don’t regret marrying you," she said firmly. She had been in love with Bobby since she was sixteen years old, there was no turning back from that.
"You don’t show it." he said in a defeated tone.
In an instant Charity was up from her desk. She hardly knew what her feet were doing but they were carrying her towards the man that she was married to. She would not let him think that she did not love him anymore because that wasn’t true. Pushing him up against the wall she kissed him as hard as she could. For a moment Bobby didn’t know how to react but then suddenly he was lost in her kiss. “I love you,” she breathed as she pulled away.
Blinking slightly at the fact that a much younger and excited version of Charity had just taken over Bobby decided that going home wasn’t the only answer. She could stay here; only if he could stay with her. “Okay, maybe we can stay here tonight, but I’m going to distract you from all your work.” he said, leaning in to kiss her neck. His hands went to her waist so he could shuffle them enough so that he had her pinned up against the wall.
"Sounds perfect to me."
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.
It was hilarious to Rodney that Cameron had asked him out to lunch, just the two of them. The father of eight knew exactly what was about to happen. He had seen and been in too many movies to not know how this turned out. Of course Cam was young and he was a good kid so he felt like this was necessary but in Rodney’s eyes it was just an expensive lunch that he wasn’t going to let the boy pay for.
They had talked for over an hour while eating and as Rodney asked for the bill he began to wonder if he misjudged the situation. Perhaps Cam was too nervous. Honestly Rodney could not understand that. He believed he was one of the least intimidating father figures out there. Jack was the terrifying ex rock god who only had one daughter, Isaac was the ball of sarcasm and wit and Rodney was just Rodney.
Why hadn’t Cam asked if he could marry Nova yet?
The bill came and Rodney paid. He was very disappointed and he could see the look in Cameron’s eyes that suggested defeat. Apparently he was too nervous today. Rodney wasn’t going to stand for that. “Cameron, ask the question.”
"What Mr. Welland?" Oh God. Rodney hated when people called him that. Cam had clearly psyched himself out of all of this.
"Ask me if you can marry my daughter, I dare you." Cam was staring at him like a deer in the headlights and it was making Rodney chuckled a little bit. He had definitely caught him off guard. There was no way that this wasn’t what this lunch was about or others would have been invited. "Well…" Rodney stated, waiting.
"Mr. Welland I am in love with your daughter," Cameron began but Rodney just started to laugh.
"You have been for years, skip the speech," Okay, maybe he was a bit hard to talk to but Cam had no need to fear; Rodney’s answer was going to be yes of course.
"Yes Alexis, that is Brooklyn you hear lecturing me in the background," Blake laughed to his cousin as he walked around the office on his phone. Brook was on about them being behind in work but Blake had to wish Alexis good luck before she took off on tour.
"Blake honestly, this couldn’t wait until after work?" Brook was going on but her male co-worker was ignoring at him. The look of disgust on her face was the usual one but Blake continued to smirk and talk to his cousin. "Useless, this is useless," she scoffed, sitting back down at her desk.
"Yeah, she’s mad at me," Blake chucked into his phone "she’s always mad at me," he eyed his pretty co-worker, still smirking. She rolled her eyes at him but he just continued to smile. "Alright, I’ll talk to you later, have fun, love you," he said but before he could hang up Alexis had one more thing to say. He didn’t say anything in return, instead he just hung up and allowed the smile to stay on his face.
"What is that look for?" Brooklyn asked, wondering what was going on with him now.
"She asked if I had slept with you yet."
"It seems silly doesn’t it, an engagement party when a war is going on." Charity frowned, standing with Rosie as she watched a crowd gather to congratulate her and Bobby. She was supposed to be happy in this moment but she really wasn’t. Nothing felt right.
"Don’t make me quote Ginny Weasley," Rosie said firmly. She was a little worried about Bobby and Char getting married so young but she was trying to be a ray of sunshine for them. "Maybe this is what everyone needs right now."
"Is that what she said?" Charity looked skeptically at her best friend.
"I don’t know, but I’m sticking with it." Rosie smiled "Now come on, take a picture with me."
"You can’t just march off into battle anymore, you have children to think about Morris Lupin!" Temperance Weasley might be tired but she still had fight in her. Morris thought he was going to go rushing into another battle with Hugo and Romy while Tempe stayed home. This was becoming very old and the ginger couldn’t hold her tongue anymore
"Tempe, if I don’t go there will be no twins!" Morris shouted back. He was going, whether or not Tempe wanted him to.
They had been fighting like this for ten minutes now. Tempe could hear one of the twins crying but she knew if she walked away Morris would be out the door. She had to at least try and stop him. “Or there will be no you! Don’t you get it Morris?! I can’t lose you!” she said, her strength breaking. The sound of her helpless child crying and the look on her love’s face as he tried to leave was breaking her. Tears poured down the very strong woman’s face.
It was a hard sight to look at. Tempe didn’t cry often and just seeing her weaken had Morris soften his tone. “”Tempe,”
"Don’t." she glared at him as he approached her. Still, Morris’ arms wrapped around her. She didn’t want him to go. What if this was the last time he held her? Tempe couldn’t imagine that.
"You won’t lose me, I promise," he whispered.
"You can’t promise that," she said pulling away from him. He grabbed her shoulders and held her there, staring into her eyes. He had no go but he wanted to give her some peace of mind.
"To hell I can’t." he said, knowing he had to come back for Tempe and the twins. He had a responsibility with the renegades and he had to join them "I love you."
"I hate you," she pulled away fully and turned from him. Tempe knew she had lost this one. She started to walk to the twins’ room when Morris’ voice sounded once more.
"I’ll be back," he said solemnly.
"Morris," she broke, turning back around to run over to him. She hugged him tightly before allowing her hand to coming to the side of his face. She studied him for a moment, remembering why she loved the stupid man so. Another cry came from the other room and Tempe knew it was time. "I love you," she whispered before kissing him. She couldn’t help but worry that this was the last time she’d ever be near him.