~chapter image from chiQs09 of TDA~
It was coming …
Nyah felt the electricity rise from somewhere near her toes traveling through her entire body … she closed her eyes, willing it to stop, afraid of this feeling – not here, not now – her hair was rising off her shoulders as though caught by a fierce wind. Her skin burned … everything hurt so badly! Let go …it won’t hurt if you let it go, she told herself. No! Make it stop!
As the room went black, a scream rang out …
Chapter 9 – To The Burrow
Every inch of her body tingled, like your foot or hand when it falls asleep … Nyah moved very gently trying to rid herself of this odd sensation. She was on the floor and for a moment, wasn’t quite sure where she was. Sitting up, she quickly understood the severity of the situation when she realized that she wasn’t the only one on the floor.
“Hermione, Hermione,” Nyah screamed. “Please … oh, please wake up! I don’t know what to do … please!”
Nyah sat back, pulling her knees to her chest, crying. What had she done?
Nearly an hour had passed, and the rooms were getting quite dark. Nyah reached out once more, touching Hermione’s face. She felt electricity pass between them.
“Please be okay,” Nyah whispered, tears falling from her face to Hermione’s.
Slowly, Hermione’s eyes began to flutter.
“Ron?” Hermione quietly called out, “Ron?”
“No, Ron isn’t … um … he’s not home – yet,” Nyah replied, unsure of what to say to her.
Hermione looked towards the voice in the dark and managed a weak smile. “Nyah, what happened?”
“I ... I’m so sorry … my head,” Nyah cried, gasping for air, “I think … I think I hurt you.” She sat back, buried her head in her knees, and simply cried.
Hermione sat up – a bit too quickly. Her head responded to the sudden movement by sending out waves of nausea and pain. She sat very still for a time, holding her head in her hands.
Once the nausea passed, Hermione reached for her wand and quietly said, “Lumos.” The lights in the house responded with a warm glow throughout.
As she began to move, Hermione became painfully aware of a burning sensation near her wrists. There, burned into her forearms … were Nyah’s handprints! Fear and concern overwhelmed the pain, and Hermione grabbed the girl’s hands, searching her for injuries.
“You’re … You’re all right?” Hermione checked Nyah’s arms and face before looking straight at her. “Are you okay?” she asked slowly. The tear-streaked face looked back at her with such sadness, Hermione gasped. “Nyah, I’m going to be fine. Right now, I’m worried about you.”
“But … I hurt you.” Nyah hung her head and whispered, “I’ve never done anything that horrible.”
Hermione gently rose to her feet and reached for Nyah’s hand. “There’s only one person who can fix this tonight. Come on, let’s go!” Hermione tried to sound as cheerful as she could, not wanting to let on how badly she was burned.
“Molly!” Hermione called out, stepping out of the fireplace right after Nyah. She was hoping her mother-in-law was close by.
Hermione had put a calming charm on the burns and changed into a long-sleeved shirt so that Rose and Hugo wouldn’t worry. She was trying to stay calm, but the pain had begun to return with a vengeance.
“There you are! I was worried sick … no owl, no note!” Molly yelled, coming towards the fireplace.
Nyah’s interest turned to worry upon hearing the pitch of the woman Hermione had called ‘Molly’. She inched her way behind Hermione, just allowing herself enough space to peer around as the sound of footsteps came closer.
Sensing Nyah’s concern, Hermione laughed as Molly came around the corner.
“I was just about to send Arthur to look for you,” Molly said, pulling Hermione into a sharp hug. She pulled away, holding her daughter-in-law at arm’s length, analyzing her face. “What is it, dear?”
Not wanting to jump right into it, Hermione first introduced Nyah, who by this time, was trying to hide, unsuccessfully. Hermione explained that Nyah was searching for her parents and would be staying with her and Ron for a while. Hermione pulled the young girl around to bring her face-to-face with Molly Weasley.
Molly moved closer and gently took the girl’s face into her hands and looked intently into Nyah’s eyes. “Don’t you worry, dear,” Molly said with a smile. “You’re in good hands.”
Nyah’s initial fear of the woman quickly vanished as she looked into Molly’s face. There was an intense pull behind her stomach again … the bright brown eyes … they were the same as the ones Nyah had seen for nearly 11 years – they were her own!
Without a moment’s hesitation, Nyah threw herself into Molly’s arms trading a hug for a hug … and Nyah knew … she was home.
Nyah followed the two women through the living room, barely listening to their conversation. Amazed at the vast difference between the Burrow and the Manor, Nyah was fascinated and couldn’t help but look around, as Molly and Hermione continued on past the living room.
Although a generous size, the room overflowed with large, mismatched furniture, pictures, and books. It was the sort of room that if you stood still long enough, you might very well blend into, and go unnoticed for quite some time.
Every inch of the room held new surprises for Nyah. She jumped as the houseplants swayed in a nonexistent breeze or seemed to hum as she got near them. Every photo offered a smile or wave, and Nyah’s gaze landed on a picture of what looked to be a wedding. The only two people she recognized were Mrs. Weasley and Hermione; the rest of the paper was filled with a sea of red hair.
A small voice whispered in Nyah’s ear, “What are you looking at?”
A pair of bright blue peered over the back of the chair next to Nyah, red, untidy hair hanging carelessly against a small forehead.
Nyah stood and looked at the little boy, her arms crossed in front of her. “It’s not polite to sneak up on people,” she said in her most grown-up voice.
“Well… it’s not polite to snoop around in my Grammy’s living room,” the young boy responded, hopping around the room.
“What are you doing?”
Stopping in his tracks as though he hit a wall, he peered at Nyah curiously. “Because it’s the most fun thing ever!”
Nyah shook her head as he hopped away, out of sight. She turned to explore the room more as his voice carried back to her, “Are you coming?” He was peeking around the corner, beckoning her to join him.
“Hugo, let her be. She doesn’t want to play your silly games, do you?” Another new face came into view just behind Hugo. She was slightly taller than the little boy, but with an air about her that seemed much more mature than her six-year-old self. Pointing towards the kitchen, she shooed Hugo from sight with just one look.
Nyah watched the little girl move about the living room, seemingly busy, but not accomplishing anything but stirring up some dust. She finally settled near the Victrola and picked up a rather large book and buried her face within it, ignoring Nyah completely.
A beautiful plant caught Nyah’s eye, sitting on the window ledge. The leaves were small and wispy, and appeared coated in powder. Nyah started to reach out, curious if the leaves really were as soft as they appeared, when a caution rang out from behind the large book, “I wouldn’t touch that if I were you.”
“Why? It’s just a plant – right?” Nyah asked, a combination of curiosity and trepidation flowing through her.
Slamming the cover closed, the little girl awkwardly got up from the deep chair, leaving the book on the seat. Very succinctly, she stated, “That is Dittany and in its raw form, as you see there, it’s rather dangerous, more so to women than men. It can cause all sorts of terrible things if it comes into contact with you.” She literally pulled Nyah away from the window, continuing to educate her on the rare aspects of the plant. “Besides, Grandma Molly would be a bit narked if anything happened to it.”
Hugo came bounding into the room, heading straight for the girls. His red hair bobbed in and away from his round face with every leap.
“Hugo,” called Hermione from the kitchen, “why don’t you and Rose show Nyah around a bit while Grandma Molly and I talk?”
While Molly set about putting together a burn ointment, Hermione quietly told her about what had happened at the cottage.
“I’ve not honestly seen anything quite like it. The worse Nyah got, the more chaotic the elements became. It was as if the forces of nature itself were in conflict, waging a war within her body,” Hermione exclaimed, amazed that they both came through the ordeal with only minimal damage.
Molly was stirring the medicinal potion absentmindedly. “And those people she was living with… they have no idea who her parents are? Where she comes from?”
With a sigh, Hermione offered, “No, I don’t think they knew. It was all about money and status, never about that little girl. The woman did mention that the man who dropped her off was tall, with long blonde hair, and cold eyes.”
Raising her eyes to meet Hermione’s, Molly whispered, “Lucius…” Getting a little rosy in her cheeks, she retorted, “You would have thought that little stint in Azkaban after the war would have done him some good, but apparently not. How long was he in there? Four..”
“Six,” Hermione interjected. “Six years. Harry was able to keep Narcissa and Draco from the cells there considering what Narcissa did for him, but the Ministry’s obligation to lock as many known Death Eaters as possible included Lucius, despite Harry’s testimony.”
As Molly tended to Hermione’s burns, they grew quiet in their thoughts. Trying to tie up these sparse fibers into a coherent pattern was impossible without more information…
Interrupting the silence, Hugo burst into the room, falling at Hermione’s feet dramatically, grumbling, “I’m starving!”
The women chuckled at the site of the little boy feigning starvation, and Molly planted her fists on her hips, exclaiming to Hugo, “Alright you, get up off the floor.”
Rose and Nyah came in to help set the table, while Hermione helped Molly finish up the food. Hugo happily ran off to the den to fetch his grandpa for dinner.
Nyah helped as best she could, surprised that Molly was not only cooking the dinner, but also serving it. Everyone helped out in the Weasley home, and Nyah was an eager subject, loving every moment in this new world. She chatted easily with Molly, and followed after little Hugo, taking part in every game he asked her to play.
Hermione had taken to eating dinner with Molly and Arthur nearly every night. With Ron away, it was nice to have some adult company before heading home with Rose and Hugo.
Ron and George had been gone nearly two weeks on a business trip to France. Their first Weasley franchise near Beauxbaton’s had gone over so well, they decided to branch out to a nearby wizarding community, and had gone to secure a property.
Teddy Lupin had asked to tag along under the pretense of learning the business, but everyone knew that the real reason was because Bill Weasley and his family happened to be vacationing during the summer at Fleur’s parent’s home, which was quite close to the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes new location. Victorie, Bill & Fleur’s daughter, had been spending quite a bit of time with Teddy, but both insisted they were just good friends.
Being Teddy’s godfather, Harry agreed to go along as chaperone. It had been a long time since they had taken a family vacation, and with a lot of persuading, Ginny finally agreed to come along.
France was not where Ginny wanted to go – vacation yes – France no. There were too many bad memories there, but Harry had rationalized that it was time … time to be there … to let her go. So they packed up the children – James, Albus, and Lily – and headed to France with Teddy, Ron, and George.
Hermione had been counting down the days until they all returned. It was bad enough for Ron to be away at the end of the school term, but with Ginny and Harry gone as well, she felt a bit lonely. So every night when Molly asked her to stay for dinner, Hermione never said no and tonight was no exception.
Molly prepared the same amount of food no matter how many people were actually there for dinner. Huge dishes of chicken and ham pie, boiled potatoes, salad, and strawberry ice cream were on the menu tonight.
Dinner conversation was scattered, including details of everyone’s day. Nyah did her best to keep up, but with so many new names, places, and ideas, it was difficult. She laughed out loud at the stories Mr. Weasley told his captive audience, and was enchanted by the vast vocabulary and knowledge of little Rose. Hugo ate everything in sight ‘just like his father’ Mrs. Weasley said.
When dinner was finished and the plates were cleared, Nyah offered to take Hugo and Rose into the living room to play, while Hermione and Molly cleaned up in the kitchen.
Molly was unnaturally quiet as the plates were dried and put away. She seemed lost in her own thoughts.
“Something’s not right … I can’t put my finger on it, but …” Molly had started, but was interrupted with Rose coming in to inform her mother that Hugo and Nyah had fallen asleep on the couch.
“Come on,” Molly said as she smiled, wiping her hands on her flowered apron, “I’ll help you get them up and home.”
As Rose led the way to the living room, they heard Nyah talking in her sleep while Hugo snuggled in her arms like an old friend.
Nyah had been reading a storybook to Hugo when he gently crawled up into her lap. She had never held a child as small as he before and was worried she wouldn’t know how to do it, but Hugo simply curled up, laid his head on her shoulder, and fell promptly asleep. Nyah couldn’t resist running her hand through his thick, red hair. She sat as still as she could, not wanting to wake the little boy. His breathing was heavy and steady … and Nyah felt the sleep transfer from Hugo to herself, as she fell into her favorite dream...
She was singing again … the voice Nyah loved that was now so familiar … ‘teach us something please!’
“Okay, okay, teach her something different” he said with a gentle laugh …
Nyah was still looking out the window – Turn around Nyah … Look at them …
The conversation continued between the grownups.
Nyah willed herself to move, to speak … but felt herself slipping from the dream. She knew she was falling asleep in the seat of the car. And then, she heard the woman scream – Nyah turned and saw the familiar flash of red hair … “Mum” … and the scream died with one word … ‘Harry.’
Nyah was being gently shaken awake. Hermione was there, as was Mrs. Weasley.
“Nyah,” Hermione said, “you were saying something about ‘Harry’. How do you know Harry?”
Nyah was someplace between awake and asleep … and her answer was simple … “Harry … he’s my dad.”
Author's Notes: Oooo... a cliffhanger...
Again, I'd love to know your thought's on this chapter. Thanks to everyone who's been so helpful during this process of writing! I feel blessed by all of the wonderful reviews! :)
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