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Picking Up The Pieces by TheGoldenKneazle
Chapter 15 : Now Panic and Freak Out
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1


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Chapter 15: Now Panic and Freak Out

First, I targeted Lorcan and Lucy. I reckoned they were the easiest targets to start off with.

So after dinner that Sunday, I chased Lucy down.

“Why do you want to talk to me?” she asked, looking scared. I rolled my eyes.

“I just wanted to ask if I could be a part of yours and Lorcan’s prank! I’d really like to join in with you,” I said, doing my most Bambi-eyed look I could manage.

I know, I know… it only comes out for persuasive occasions. My most close family members know this, but not Lucy.

“Well, yes… of course. But why aren’t you sticking to the rules?” she asked worriedly. I resisted the urge to sigh. My little cousin could be very Hufflepuff-y sometimes.

“I want to have a bit of fun and get to know you again, Luce!” I said, injecting a little bit of hurt into my voice.

That did it. The deed was settled; she wasn’t telling anyone (except Lorcan) and neither of them would breathe a word.

Next I targeted Lysander and Louis, effectively the other half of Lucy and Lorcan. Hehe… Lucy and Lorcan and Louis and Lysander. That’s a lot of L’s.

But this time I went to Lysander. He was pretty much indifferent to whether or not it was breaking rules, and seemed happy to have me along for it. He was even easier than Lucy to crack, and considering that Louis followed in his footsteps faithfully, neither would put a toe out of line.

Next, I went to James and Lily when they were furtively discussing something between themselves, and asked if I could join them.

They declined me. Well, that’s two cousins I wouldn’t speak to again… if I was on better terms with some of the others.

Humph. So now I couldn’t have a bit of fun with two of the greatest prankmasters, right after Dom and I, and they knew my secret. Although I like to think I covered it up well, with the old ‘hahaha… you passed the test!’ line. Unfortunately, I don’t think it worked, because afterwards I saw them both looking at each other with wide eyes. Well, whatever.

Lastly, I found Molly and asked her if I could help her and Hugo in their prank. She was keen to have me with them, and happy I could do it, but just as worried as Lucy about the rules at first. She threw the rulebook out the window pretty fast, though; I think the other three in the Fun Four have had quite the positive influence on her!

But the list for the groups now looked like:
- Dom and Rox
- Lucy and Lorcan and Rox
- James and Lily
- Lysander and Louis and Rox
- Hugo and Molly and Rox

… my Secret Plan was in motion; everything was primed and ready. By Friday, six days after the infamous Weasley/Malfoy Showdown, everyone was on the list with my name beside them.

And by Sunday, I had organised a prank a day around the Potters’ not entering the competition with me (they were near the end of the week).

***

On Monday, Lucy and Lorcan and sneaked up to the choir balcony before dinner, then threw out a load of custard-filled balloons, and aimed them at the Slytherins, before setting off Wheezes ‘joke panels’ above their heads. The joke panels come down on random people and shout insults at them for hours and hours… so it was a fairly good prank.

Of course, it was way too small-scale compared to mine and Dom’s prank which was of epic proportions.

On Tuesday, Louis and Lysander and I let loose a firework for each person in the school, their sizes going up with their age. The teachers each got three. The fireworks were various types, ranging from Annoying Whiners to Repetitive Bangers to Funny Words to Scary Animals. Fortunately, I had assigned each of us a less worrying Scary Animal (mine was a friendly dragon, Louis’s were wrackspurts, and Lysander’s were nargles. We’d got to choose them ourselves, but I’d had to alter the fundamental spells for it, though).

On Wednesday, it was Hugo and Molly’s turn. The unlikely pair had come up with a surprisingly good plan I hadn’t had much say in; the students getting dunked with water every time they swore or said ‘Weasley’ or ‘Potter’. It had required some tricky magic on Molly’s part to put together the word sensory spells and edit the Wheezes’ magical bucket-dunkers, and I just had a part in the charming of the water so that the persons’ robes turned the colour of the house they hated the most for fifteen minutes.

It was really rather funny to see James go round in emerald-green robes for pretty much all of the day. He curses far too much.

And then it was Thursday morning, and I had Care of Magical Creatures with Hagrid first thing. Remembering exactly what happened not-so-long-ago, and in prospect of mine and Dom’s upcoming prank tomorrow, I was skipping down rather happily with Dan chatting at my side. He appeared a little puzzled by my cheery mood, especially after he had heard what had happened with Scorpius and Rose (and the fact it was engineered by me) a few days ago, and was seriously confused. But he hid it well.

When we got there, I forgot to listen to Hagrid because I was in such a bouncy mood. Maybe the prospect of such an amazing prank made me like this; I had completely gone off the scale of cheeriness. Most people noticed, but didn’t really care: it was just another brain-dead Roxanne Weasley moodswing.

Well, 31-month-memory-dead.

Even the prospect of our OWLs in three months time couldn’t bring me down. It was March, it was the first sunny day in a long time, I had a great prank coming… and life was good for Roxanne Weasley.

And then we were assigned our hippogriffs (which we had progressed to working with one-on-one), and everything changed.

Of course, I was put with Dan, and because Hagrid liked us, he didn’t force us with anyone else who would annoy us. He knew I was amazing with magical creatures – I just had the most amazing instincts for it, despite my memory loss – and would cope well enough just the two of us.

I was hoping to come out on top, and leave Feathertalon the happiest of the hippogriffs. So you can understand that when Dan went off to sort through the food bags, I wandered close, gave a quick bow, and started stroking Feathertalon’s beak whilst thinking about what a silly name it was for a noble hippogriff. After all, Feathertalon had been the one I had ridden to beat Dom on!

It was just so easy to tell them apart, I had no idea how everyone mixed them up; though I suppose people often mixed up us Weasleys too, and we got confused with the Malfoys, because we just didn’t know them well enough.

But as I was stroking Feathertalon’s beak, I couldn’t help thinking about how powerful and amazing hippogriffs are… I mean, come on; they run, fly and fight…

My mind started fading in and out, in a slightly worrying fashion, but it wasn’t bothering me. It seemed so natural.

And then… “We are the noblest of creatures,” resounded through my head.

It took all my self-control not to leap back a mile when it came. I wildly glanced around, trying to deny what my mind was telling me was true.

Feathertalon?” I whispered, staring in to the orange eye on my side. I could have sworn that it rolled.

Of course, little star,” he said – if it was saying at all. It seemed more of a communication, both in and outside my head; like I understood what he was telling me.

It was impossible. But so was this.

Little star?” I frowned.

It is your name,” Feathertalon intoned. “Although I am mocked among my noble stock for my ridiculous human name. Your fellows take us and give us pet names they imagine fitting for us. But we have far more suitable and reliable names of our own.”

What then should I call you?” I was kind of astounded that I was talking to a hippogriff, but the panic still hadn’t set in yet. I’d probably freak out on a grand scale later on.

Yes, that sounded good.

But not-called-Feathertalon seemed to contemplate for a moment. “Well… it does not translate into your language very well. You will have to do the best you can.”

What do you mean, I will?!” I was starting to freak… there it was, the panicked reaction.

You are speaking to me in our ancient language, changing star. My name is… Beat -soar-loud-command-human in our tongue. Names are a fluid thing for us.” I could have sworn that Beat-soar-loud-command-human sounded almost amused as he revealed yet another mind-blowing thing to me.

Fuck. Fuckity fuck FUCK.
 

Fluid?!” I squeaked. “I can’t call you that! How about Soaring-Commander?” I had no idea where it came from, but I thought I had picked out the two best adjectives.

I couldn’t help fidgeting as Soaring-Commander considered this. Then –

“BOO!”

“FUCK!” I almost fell over backwards as Dan crept up behind me, but saved myself by rolling backwards as I hit the ground instead.

Dan gave me an odd look as I dusted myself off. “How do you do that? Have you been taking, I don’t know, amazing-gymnast potion all these years?”

I didn’t smile. “I don’t know, honest.”

Nice reflexes,” Soaring-Commander commented from my side. “And yes, I rather like your translation. It makes me sound rather bold in your funny language.”

I refrained from explaining that it was his language that was rather funny. Plus, it would have involved feet shifting, arm moving, and head dips, all of which Dan would notice and pin.

Instead, Dan was frowning at me. “Are you ok? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Suddenly, there was flash upon flash in my head.

The same voices are running through my head, and Fred is there, crying with me; we hold each other.

“I think heaven will look like the seaside,” Grandma Johnson muses. I grin, while Fred sighs boredly, because I love the sea too! Grandma has always taught us about the sea and its ways, in the ways the waves move, the swash, the backwash, the pulls of the moon’s tides.

Then it is Hugo, from just a few weeks ago, reluctantly telling me what he saw of that weird incident with Fred.

Another flash of Fred, but his face is lined and shadowed as he places a piece of paper beside me, my mind befuddled as I try to work out what I have lost.

The cryptic message, written so carefully that I could understand; and me, worrying I could only understand it when I wouldn’t need to any more.

Dan, just a second ago, marvelling at my gymnastic skills.

The surprise when I landed unscathed out of Gryffindor tower.

The argument between Dominique and I.

The Scamanders’ odd reactions, and avoiding telling me what they saw on ‘the squid night’.

My amazing animal instincts, and how Soaring-Commander and I worked so well together… how I appeared to have lost my memory for everything except Care of Magical Creatures…

I come around, and not many people have noticed that I am on the ground. Dan is beside me, shaking my shoulders with a frantic look in his eye and I sit bolt upright and start swearing.

It’s a Weasley instinct… because now everything is falling in to place.

“Shit…. Shit, shit, shit. Bugger fucking… oh my actual Merlin… fuck it, what can I do!!”

I have my head in my hands, and surely my thoughts are being sent out loud and clear to all the hippogriffs, because even while I’m just panicking in ‘that odd language’, they can feel my vibes.

I have absolutely no idea what to do. I have never been so alone and so frightened in my life.

I need to… I need to…

“Roxanne? Roxanne, what’s going on?” Dan asks me, his voice becoming scared as I slowly raise my head, feeling such a rapid range of emotions running through me I could expode with the tension at any moment.

I need… “I need to get out of here,” I spit, hurrying to form the words as I lurch to my feet. I feel frantic; I need to see that note from Fred.

What did it say? I need the exact words, and NOW!

“Roxanne! You can’t just leave a lesson!” Dan half-shouts, grabbing my robes as I try to hurry away via the edge of the Forbidden Forest.

I am so highly strung that I accidentally turn and snarl at him. It makes him leap back a little, as I’m pretty sure my canines are displayed nicely.

There’s no time for regret as I fairly sprint back to the castle, making it much faster than I would ever have thought before.

***

Trust no-one.
It all runs in the family, skipping every other wave -
The waves ahead of us don’t know, but the swash does.
Good luck around Hagrid – be careful. Act dumb.
There isn’t much time left… new moon will be worst.
All incidents regarding Miss Strawberry must be covered up. There is a spy close by; close to you esp.


Well, I was the first to admit that Fred’s note hadn’t made a fig of sense to me the first time around, but now? I was actually starting to get it.

Bits had started to shine through, like rays in a cloud. And after a small private panic on my bed, with the curtains drawn TIGHTLY shut, I had gotten parts of it at last.

I didn’t really know what to make of the swash and family bits. I knew that Fred was getting at family, and Grandma, because who else knew that swash was the white foamy bit at the tops of waves as they crashed on the beach? She had taught us so!

And then… the Hagrid bit. Well, I hadn’t really done that so well now, had I? Already I was berating myself for running off, though I was a lot happier and calmer now that I knew I wasn’t alone in whatever this was.

But ‘there isn’t much time left’? ‘New moon will be the worst’?! I had no idea what Fred was talking about, and it was honestly scaring me. Everything else he had written was of the utmost importance, whether I fully understood or not, and now I really really needed to get this.

I had no idea what the implications might be.

Lastly, the Miss Strawberry bit. I assumed that was Dom, and probably to do with the reason we had started the prank war in the first place. But I hadn’t gotten around to asking her yet.

A spy close by… close to me especially…

Again, it really scared me.

And I had no idea what to do. All I could do was trust nobody, try to investigate, and cover up what damage I had already done…

Oh boy.

 




Roxanne’s Memory Book

So I can speak to hippogriffs, and potentially some other animals. I don’t know how many yet. And I can do ninja-style fighting and gymnastics, because I have animal instincts and so does Fred… we have the same affliction , whatever it is. But of course I have no idea where he has gone, and what he is doing, or why! New moon? It’s not so far away. I’m so worried, and I wish someone knew exactly what was happening to me that I knew I could trust.

 




*A/N: DUN DUN DUUUUN! Sooo… what do you think of this twist then, huh? I’m hoping lots of the rest of it makes sense now! And yes, there’s plenty more uncovering coming up fairly soon, as well as another twist in the next chapter or so, and the big pranks!

I’m not very pleased by how this chapter went, because I’ve had it planned from the very beginning (and the next one too! AARGH!) but I’ll probably go back at some later date and edit all of these. Considering it was my first ever story, it’s good. Compared to lots of my writing now, it’s extremely slapdash and a bit embarrassing.

Oh, and: I AM SO VERY SORRY FOR THE HUGE LONG WAIT FOR THIS CHAPTER!!! Anyone who’s been following this will absolutely hate me… I just want you all to know that I have been updating at least once a week for all this year so far (huh, all five weeks of it) but I have been accidentally neglecting this one… there will hopefully be quicker updates once I have finished The Left-Behinds!

Ah well… so what did you think of this plot twist, huh? Oh right, you CAN tell me! Below!
~TGK*



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