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Jade’s temperature rocketed again and her hands went into spasm, eyelids fluttering. Megan Diggory clutched her husband’s hand, hoping against hope that the girl would wake, but Amos sat still, immobilised. He had given up. His son had died and his daughter was going the same way. He had no hope left. A single tear rolled down his face, catching the light. Megan caught Jade’s right hand, and traced the letters cut into her hand.

“Who would do this to her?” whispered Megan, “Who would be so cruel?” Amos did not reply, simply stared as Megan stroked Jade’s brow, soothing the girl.

Jade stopped moving as quickly as she had begun, and sank ever deeper into her trance. Her left hand still clasped the opal, and the teachers did not dare remove the stone, lest it shocked the girl and stopped her recovery. The opal’s colours shifted underneath his view, almost warily. The purples and blues and greens swam together in a never-ending dance.

The woman had finished with Hogwarts – the years spent there were simply a memory now. She cast an appraising eye over the shop –Mukasa and Yuma Arts– and stepped closer to the window. It was a dirty window, with cracks spreading out like a spider’s web. Peering closer, she could make out the dim shapes of dark objects – an eyeball of King Kherosfant, a dark mirror… but such objects were merely for show, cheap imitations. The real treasures would be behind the scenes. And this was exactly where she wanted to be.

She stalked into the shop, long dark hair falling like a waterfall down her back, distinctive oriental eyes flashing across the shop. A small, balding man crept up towards her, wringing his hands.

“Can I help, Miss –”

“Call me Kimi. Yes, I believe I’m here to pick up a package? It’s a pleasure to meet you.” the woman scowled as the schoolgirl-esque reply popped out of her mouth before she could stop it. The last seven years at a school of witchcraft and wizardry? She had fought with her father over his choice of school – Durmstrang was her choice – but no, only Hogwarts would do. Well, her father was dead now. He’d paid for treachery. How could he stop her?

“Indeed, indeed,” replied the man, nerves shaking his hands, “And can I interest you in anything we have here? We have a fine collection of banshee eyebrows –”

“Cut out the civilities, Mr Kiral. You know why I’m here.”

“Please, Miss… Kimi. There are ears everywhere.”

“If you’re looking to get paid more, you’re wasting your time. I’m not a pushover, and I’d thank you to stop acting like I’m one. I’m here because a very special client of yours has instructed me to pick up a package… Now, hand it over!”

“Of course, of course. Right this way…” Visibly shaken, Mr Kiral led her to a back room. He turned at the door.

“I’m sorry – I’m going to have to ask you for the password.”

“There is no password,” she returned icily, “Save for this mark upon my skin.” She shook back her robes and showed the seven pointed pentacle on her forearm. Relieved, the man took her arm and waved it over the lock. The door swung open.

“Right then, I’ll just leave you to…”

“Thank you.” The woman stepped into the box room, the door clanging shut behind her. She cast her wand over herself and removed the glamour, reverting back to her usual appearance. Long blonde hair shook itself out of the short dark hair she had conjured, and brilliant blue eyes exploded out of the smaller oriental versions. The pentacle tattoo faded. She had not told Mr Kiral who she was, primarily because it would not do for him to know who his favourite client was. Kimi – her favourite disguise – was useful because she looked like a typical oriental messenger. The woman laughed to think of the way the man had been fooled.

Casting her eyes about, she found the chest she was looking for. Fitting the specialised key into the lock – Alohomora would not work upon such a fastener – she swung back the heavy lid and lifted out the prizes within: human bones, a hangman’s rope, a coiled snake’s skin and shrunken heads. But underneath, in a velveteen purple bag, lay the greatest treasure of all; the opal lay, shining, an emblem of true power. It was an ancient power, one that could be harnessed for good or evil. It was what she had been looking for. The woman closed the chest and stood upright.

Locking the door, she smashed the objects along the rows of bookcases. She stamped upon the great heavy chest, wood buckling beneath her force. She shattered the lights with a single word and continued her carnage, wreaking havoc upon the room. The chest she had looked at remained untouched. Mr Kiral was pounding upon the door but she was derisive: he was a squib.

Looking around, she laughed, a cruel, harsh laugh that echoed around the suddenly silent room. The woman picked up the chest and disapparated, as the shop burst into flames. She watched the shop burn down, blonde hair flowing in the wind. With a final flourish she released a Papillion Venin – the poison butterfly. The butterfly would attack any creature that dared come close.

She raised her wand and wrote words in the air. I am Butterfly. The world will feel my wrath.


And in the hospital bed, Jade clenched her fists, and muttered the words under her breath.

~~~~~


Flynn’s mind wandered as he flicked through the ancient runes textbook. He was good at ancient runes, so good that he had been offered the chance to take his OWL early. As it was, he was taking ancient runes as an extra first year subject. He had hoped to spend his evening at Jade’s bedside, but now… now there seemed no point. Jade was not going to wake up – was never going to wake up. And even if she did, he argued, she would never spare a glance for him.

He flicked his dusky-blonde hair out of his eyes. It was too difficult. He had to concentrate on his school work, or… or else. He didn’t like to think of what his father would do. Jade couldn’t be his life – she had no wish to be, he told himself angrily. He had to concentrate on getting himself through life.

But just the thought of her pretty face with its big blue eyes… it was like caring for a dying animal – each time he looked at her, his heart broke. She would never care for him in the same way, never. He knew what his aunt would say: "Every person must meet their fate. You are powerless to stop it." She had spouted it when... when someone very close to him had died.

Was he powerless? Was he bound to accept fate? Surely better to live than accept death... but it was like trying to hold the wind in his hand – elusive, untameable. It was time to give up…

The professor snapped shut her books and released the class upon the world. Flynn packed up his things, knocking a pile of quills to the floor. Bending down to get them, he came face to face with a girl trying to help. She had a dreamy expression, almost as ifshe was not quite on this world.

"Thanks," he muttered, and stood up again. The girl smiled.

"Did you know that quills are actually anti-muggle devices and should only be used in the utmost care?"

"Wh-what?" he stuttered in disbelief.

"It's true. You should read the Quibbler sometimes. It's really very good. My Dad's the editor," she replied.

"Oh," he kicked himself mentally, "You must be Luna. Jade said you were taking Runes too... well, before she... you know."

"Yeah," Luna smiled sympathetically, "But you have to keep hoping... I could give you some trowbuckle berries for that black eye. They're very effective..."

"Thanks, but it's nothing," he insisted, "Nothing. Just leave it." Trowbuckleberries? he thought, There's no such thing! The bruise twinged, a constant presence since his fight with a Slytherin who had insulted Jade. He gritted his teeth. That Slytherin boy would pay.

"You know," floated back Luna's voice, "If you really want to learn how to fight properly, there's always the DA meetings. Let me know if you want to come - I'll sort it with Harry..."

DA meetings? On speaking terms with Harry Potter? The girl was mad. She had to be.

As if he didn't have enough to deal with...

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