“Hi Miss Lupin, I’m here about the job at the ministry for the summer.” Charity’s smile widened as the brunette woman at her front door stood there. She looked to be happy and therefore Charity was hopefuly that she got the job.
“Come on in.” Charity offered. “Can I get you some tea or coffee?” She had always been wonderful when it came to being professional but the woman didn’t seem interested. In fact the woman stayed outside, crossing her arms over her chest. She was not interested in coming inside as this meeting would only take but a moment.
“I’m afraid you didn’t get it. Lord Black doesn’t accept applications from people related to dogs.” the woman spit out at Charity with a cold glare.
Charity’s jaw hardened. She was not upset that her brother’s condition had lost her the job she was more angered that someone would speak to her this way. Had she really been so foolish to think that they would hire her?
“Also…speaking of dogs…that dog of a husband of yours, well I tried to give him some of my services…but he wasn’t interested…something about loving you too much,” Ava’s voice was dark and mysterious. Charity hadn’t seen Bobby since last night but when she had woken up to an empty bed she had just figured he had gone out for a morning run.
“What services?” Charity’s lip quivered slightly.
“I sell my body Miss Lupin.” Ava said with a straight face. “Your husband did not my flesh so his was fed to a dog of my own,” a laugh escaped Ava’s lips as she turned away from Charity. She vanished within a moment, leaving Charity to process what had just been said.
Bobby was dead.
It was hard to look at her sometimes.
So hard to see Charity’s eyes gleaming back at him in that little girl.
That little girl that wasn’t even his.
Damn Bobby for running off.
Damn Charity for leaving him in charge.
Damn Charity for dying.
Bobby and Char had split not even a year after Lucy was born but they had both continued to be her parents. Bobby came when he could and he never missed a birthday or Christmas. Russ had seen him there at every function. Russ had been the glue that had held their friendship together. They were always going to be their own version of the Maurauders even if things had gotten rough.
But then Charity had gotten sick and that scared Bobby.
It had taken Russ every last bit of self loathing to be able to tell Bobby to go back to Charity but even he couldn’t convince him. Russ didn’t want Bobby to go back to her anyway but he thought it would be what was best for their family. Lucy was just two years old; she needed a father. But Bobby couldn’t handle the thought of Char dying and he couldn’t watch it happen.
Russ had to. Russ had to promise Charity that he would look after Lucy, that he would take care of her. He made all these promises but he never found the courage to tell Charity how he really felt; how he had always felt.
Now he had to look into Lucy’s eyes and see her mother every time, knowing that Charity died not knowing the truth.
He had been in love with Charity Lupin from the day they became best friends at the young age of eleven. He had loved her and he would always love her but now all he had left of her was her little girl.
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.
Perhaps it hadn’t been the smartest idea to get a large muggle and wizard group together for one event but Andrus hadn’t expected Zephyr Black to be so interested in his wedding. They came out of nowhere; black swirls of smoke bringing in groups of the most deadly criminals in the world. It took a moment for Andrus to realize what was going on. They were under attack.
Of course this was the one moment all night that Danny wasn’t attached to him. The only thing Andrus could focus on was finding him. Immediately the chaos of a full out battle between the regime and his guests began. The screams were deafening and Andrus could see their reception site quickly getting destroyed spell by spell. In the chaos he couldn’t see his husband but he continued to bolt for him.
The screams came together too loudly to recognize until Andrus found the lips of one of the people calling out. As he watched his brother’s face he knew that something terrible had just happened. “Lindsay!” Andrus watched as his brother fell to his knees. The muggle woman had had no chance and now one of Andrus’ best friends was dead. Andrus knew by the look in his brother’s eyes that Toby was dead as well. He wanted to go over and hug him but first he needed to get Danny to safety. He turned his head for only a second before hearing a call out of pain that sounded like Toby. Turning back around he saw as his brother’s death body bent over Lindsay’s. They were both gone.
Andrus was crying but his mind focused on Danny. He saw as Olivia found her dead parents and began to fight everyone she could with her life. As an uncle he should have gone to her but Andrus needed his husband safely in his arms. He called out several times as he ducked past a spell shot at him. That put him into attack mode. He had been a goddamn auror and he wasn’t doing anything right now. He shot spells back at some of the regime before he finally heard Danny’s voice. “Dory, Dory you have to get out of here, they’re looking for you, go!” his new husband urged his werewolf of a cousin.
“But Keane…Keane is…where is here?” Dory was frantically searching for her boyfriend just as Andrus was looking for Danny but she was having no luck. Danny had his hands on Dory’s shoulders and he was trying to focus her. Quickly he grabbed the young man who was beside them. Bobby was trying to fight as hard as he could but Danny grabbed onto him and needed him to do something else.
“Bobby, take your sister and go!” for once Bobby listened to his cousin Danny because they both knew Dory was in terrible danger here. Yes, the Regime was going after all of them but they were much less likely to take out purebloods than they were to take a werewolf. Dory needed to escape and get running; with or without Keane.
Andrus saw the majority of the Weasley family huddled together, fighting a group of the regime on their own but they didn’t have Danny either. There seemed to be a few dead gingers on the ground and Andrus could tell by the color of Russ’ hair that the body he was standing in front of was his sister Roni. Rosie stood beside him, crying as she shot out every spell that she could muster.
“Danny, Danny,” Andrus called out as he reached him. “You need to get out of here,” Danny was not a fighter and Andrus couldn’t stand to lose him. This was his entire fault. He had been the one to urge Danny into having this wedding even while the Regime was still in control. He had been so pushy and selfish and now people were dead because of him. His brother was dead, his sister in law, Weasleys and God knows who else.
“Andrus watch out!” Danny called but it was too late, Andrus was hit square in the back with a crucio curse sent by the sadistic Persephone Black. The woman was the devil’s wife almost literally. Andrus cried out in pain and fell to his knees. In his younger days he could have fought back against a curse like this but he had been so shocked and unprepared that the pain was crippling. Danny immediately dropped to hold him up. Andrus continued to shake as Danny screamed for Persephone to stop.
“Enough.” a male voice barked at his she-devil of a wife. “Let the two disgraces see what their union has done.” and with that Zephyr grabbed his wife’s arm and disappeared with a small pop. They had attacked for no more than ten minutes and yet the room was destroyed. Many of those who could apparate out had taken off at the first site of danger but many had stayed to fight. The regime had come to them but they hadn’t been ready.
Andrus shook in Danny’s arms. Persephone’s spell had been so strong that he could still feel it. She was anything but weak, Andrus knew that now. He looked up at Danny and saw that they were equalled in tears. “Danny, Danny,” Andrus repeated over again, trying to make sure that he still had the man he loved.
“What have we done?”