The Weasleys Are Dead

I debated whether I would title this something less terrible, like "Tragedy at Hogwarts" or something, but this is a lot more... eye-catching.

Chapter 3

Death and Sorrow

Hugo stared with concern at his sister, Rose. She was staring blankly at the ceiling, whiter than chalk. She hadn't eaten for days. Madam Patil strided past the bed, hovering over the body for a moment before making a disappointed tut and whirling away to whatever else she did in the hospital wing.

"Rose," He murmured. "Rose, look at me. Say something. Do anything."

Her eyes sparked with life, but it was a brief thing. They blinked rapidly and looked around aimlessly before settling into a stupor again. His sister's breathing increased to short, rapid bursts, then died down again until it was so slow she could have been sleeping. He liked her better when she was asleep anyway. She was more... normal.

Sure, the letter had driven a knife into his heart, but not his brain. Hugo was standing beside his sister, still thinking and speaking, wasn't he? Lily really didn't have a reason to shut down like this. Maybe she wasn't as brave as a Gryffindor, but still.

"Rose!" He said angrily, earning himself a shush from Madam Patil.

She didn't stir.

With a bitter little sigh, Hugo left the hospital wing. It was day three. When would the shock wear off? When would he have a sibling to bear the deaths with him?

~

Albus wasn't paying attention to the teacher. He couldn't bear to. Professor Binns was impossible to listen to on a regular day, let alone after what happened to his little sister. If it hadn't been for the Weasleys, his sister would be dead.

Lily, named after his grandmother, who died in the same way that Hermione did. Lily, who had been so eager to go to Hogwarts. Albus stared at the blackboard, trying not to imagine how easily it could have been his parents. How easily his sister could have been dead.

"The Goblin Rebellion of 1492 was led by Brugrack the Boorish, who thought that the condition of wizard-goblin relations was..."

Drone, drone, drone. Albus glanced at the empty seat beside him. Rose should have been sitting there. Two desks to his right was Hugo, actually taking notes. Maybe this class was a good way for him to get his mind off of things.

"Class dismissed," Binns finished. "Write a 16-inch essay about the beliefs of Rumrack the Rude, and what your opinion of them is."

Albus could feel his brain shutting down from boredom about then, and dashed out of the classroom. A wall of bodies were flooding out of the stale history classroom and into fresh, magical air.

~

Rose sat up.

Don't think. Don't think. Don't think.

What was that? Don't think? Why?

Don't think!

Rose looked around. It was the hospital wing. Why was she in the hospital wing? She felt hollow, like someone had taken out everything but the skin, draped over a human-shaped hole. Like a potato chip that was fried until it was black. No, not hollow anymore. Pain like a dull cheese grater rose up in her gut, reminding her of the unspeakable.

"NO!" Rose wailed, sliding back into her bed and pulling the covers over her head. I want my insides taken out again, she whimpered. I want to stop feeling. I need a dementor's kiss.

"Rose, darling? Are you there?"

"Of course I'm here, you flobberworm," growled Rose suddenly. Where had that come from? Was acid bubbling out of her body in the form of words? It was an odd sensation. Silence from the other side of the blanket ensued. Finally the nurse answered.

"I'm glad you're feeling better. Hugo was very worried about you, hon."

"Don't call me that," Rose shouted, retreating farther into her bedcovers. She spontaneously burst into silent tears, which quickly soaked her face and turned the covers to the consistency of a sponge. Tears poured from her eyes like hail drops, and wouldn't stop.

"Are you hungry?" said Madam Patil from the other side of the blanket.

"SHUT UP!" Rose sobbed. She wanted to be alone. Her parents... Her parents... her parents... It rang in her ears like a high pitched banshee that could only echo. Death, death, and more death. Who had killed them? Bellatrix. Wasn't that one of Voldemort's old supporters? It hit her that this must have been what it was like for uncle Harry, when his parents died. The reality of Voldemort's history came rushing to her, then faded, like everything else other than three words: They are dead.

"Do you feel well enough to go to class now, Rose?"

The voice pierced through the tears like a distorted beam of light. Yes, she could go to class. If nothing else, Rose could sit in a classroom and pretend to be listening. Wasn't that what most people usually did?

She slowly removed the covers from between her and the world, and stood up.

"I'm leaving now," Rose announced tonelessly. "I'm fine."

That obvious lie was nevertheless ignored by the nurse, who merely nodded at her.

With every step she took, dead echoed in her mind. Would that echo ever go away?

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