Apologies for not updating in a while, I really have no excuse this time so I am really sorry. Thanks so much for all of your comments they are really awesome. Hope you enjoy this chapter, thanks so much for taking time to read, it really is appreciated :).
The sadness tugged at Hermione's heart as the memory faded, her breath catching as fiery leaves brushed her face and drifted down to settle at her feet. Her shoulders tensed as she realised that Draco Malfoy was sitting on the floor looking up at her, his grey eyes filled with an unfathomable emotion. She clenched her teeth as she realised she wasn't angry anymore, too curious, too relieved that the Sensieve had so much more to show them. She could feel it still gently cloaking her shoulders making her feel full of magic and the way Draco was looking at her made her almost believe that he could see it, glowing through her skin. She drew back sharply, cringing when the thought made her heart beat a little quicker in her chest.
"Granger." Hermione squared her shoulders in determination, turning on her heal and ignoring the blonde. There would be no rolling over and forgiving him this time, he'd made his decision and as much as it pained her he was going to live with it.
"No." Hermione spat as she reached for the golden handle, cursing when it refused to budge beneath her weight as if something was wedged underneath it. Hermione placed both her hands on top of it, pushing down with full force, huffing when her excursions did little more than make the door creak slightly.
"Granger, will you just wait for a second and talk?" Draco paused for a second his mouth opening and closing several times, hardly able to believe the words tumbling out his mouth. Him advocating conversation about anything with Granger was a novelty even in itself, the fact that he actually meant it was petrifying. He almost took back his words out of utter fear but Hermione snapped back quickly and he swallowed his words awkwardly.
"I refuse to talk to arseholes, just my principles," she shrugged before shoving her shoulder against the door scowling when it didn't do anything. "Will you just let me out?" Hermione shouted to the room hoping that the magic would hear her and stop whatever game it was playing.
"Don't you want to know what happened in the Sensieve?" Draco asked, clambering to his feet and brushing down his trousers nonchalantly. He suppressed a satisfied smirk when Hermione tensed noticeably. He knew he had her there if there was one thing the bushy-haired witch couldn't resist, it was knowing things.
"What?" Hermione spat, whirling round to face him. Draco shrugged adjusting the cuffs of his shirt.
"Just thought you might like to know what happened, you know considering you're always going on about it." Hermione frowned down at her shoes.
"This isn't fair you know." She mumbled.
"I'm offering to give you information, I don't see anything unfair about it." He tried to smile but Hermione met his gaze defiantly and it died on his lips.
"You know what I mean." She hissed and Draco dug his hands into pockets sheepishly.
"Life's not fair, Granger." It was meant to be a jab but Hermione tipped her head when it was tinged with far more sadness than she'd expected. Questions tumbled into her mouth and she pursed her lips to keep them trapped there. Questions usually lead to more talking, spending more time with him, more overwhelming and uncontrollable feelings, which in turn lead, predictably, to him drawing back and treating her like a stranger.
"Do you...do you really think that I will just forgive you?"
"Well, I was kind of counting on it." He said with a grin which immediately stilled when he noticed her narrowing her eyes at him.
"You haven't even apologised." Hermione fumed.
"I believe it was you who told me never to attempt it again, you know based on the fact that I'm incredibly bad at it."
"You are not using that as an excuse." She uttered exasperated, turning back to try the handle of the door.
"It's not an excuse if it's true, look...Granger just stop would you?"
"Why should I? Why should I listen to anything you have to say?"
"Because you want to find out what happened just as much as me, probably even more."
She hated the fact that he was absolutely right and he knew it, she could almost feel his smugness stifling the air.
"What happened to' the memories of dead people don't matter'?" Hermione mocked, running her finger along a small split in the wooden door.
"I don't know, things change. Look, Granger can't we just..."
"No, I'm tired of you treating me like I'm a doormat, stomping over me with your obnoxious dragon skin shoes because of some self-entitled delusion that makes you think you can." Draco recoiled at the venom in her voice noticing how she shook with anger.
"I never meant to…"
"Don't you even dare. I am not some idiot that is constantly waiting for you to give me the time of day, I don't need your pathetic attempts at friendship and definitely don't want them, now leave me alone." She spat banging her fists against the door, not sure what she was trying to achieve but hoping that it would do at least something, anything.
"I'm pretty sure that you were the irritating know-it-all that liked to remind me that running away solved nothing." Draco ground out in irritation, losing what little patience that had been keeping the argument somewhat amicable on his end.
"Yes, well I stand corrected." She answered haughtily, resorting to tugging out her wand to attempt different unlocking spells on the door.
"You know that really isn't going to work." He reached for her, trying to grasp her arm but she yanked it away furiously.
"Get off me. I know what I'm doing." She spat in frustration.
"Fine, but it's really not going to work." He pointed out again.
"Oh yes, and how would you kno..." Hermione stopped mid-sentence when she turned and noticed that the Sensieve was once again rising from the floor. Draco's small smug smile was the last thing she saw before she was tugged into another memory.
The man leant over the large oak table, his small eyes flicking furiously over the scrolls that littered its surface, his hair springing from his hair in thin wisps that glowed orange in the candlelight. Taking a quill he angrily scribbled, lines creasing his large forehead, a scowl marring his thin lips.
"It isn't working." Hermione recognised Arden's voice as Mina craned her neck, quickly ducking out of view when he stepped into sight, black robes ruffled and unkempt. He gazed over the man's shoulder, worry and confusion flickering across his face in equal measure.
"It will." The man snapped, his voice shrill and breathy. With a growl he leaned closer, scribbling something out and writing beneath it quickly, leaning back and tipping his head to admire his work.
"Greater wizards have said that it cannot be done." Arden pointed out his voice seeming weaker than it ever had before, Mina fancied she could see the boy she'd grown up with in his expression, in the way that he held himself. The sight both comforted and frightened her.
The man straightened, gazing up at Arden with barely contained fury.
"Are we them?" He spat and Mina gasped when Arden seemed to shrink into himself appearing much smaller than the slight man in front of him.
"Are we not greater, aspiring for more?"
"Well then, enough of your dithering, bring the subject over."
Arden lowered his head shuffling out of view. Mina watched him go caught between wanting to comfort her oldest friend and screaming in his face in fury at the sheer idiocy of his decisions. She mulled over her own stupidity, how could she and Sonyea have thought that Arden had grown into such a strong leader, he had never been when they were younger. Sweet and kind, but weaker and easily hurt. Sonyea had spent most of her time ensuring that nothing happened to him, while Mina had always tried to get away. She remembered with bittersweet clarity how she had always hidden from him, always shied away from his advances because he had never been what she wanted.
Mina closed her eyes as splashes of memory pooled behind her eyes, her childhood in all the vast colour she remembered playing out before her. That day she'd hidden in a tree, she could still feel the roughness of the bark beneath her hands, the kiss of the sun against her skin as she gazed up at the clearness of the sky so vast and wonderful above her. The air had smelt like all the bustle of summer, alive with flowers and woodsmoke from the local village. She'd been breathing it in greedily, relaxing in the peace and the freedom when she'd heard Arden's cry.
It was guilt that had made her stand up to Edward so ferociously, the heaviness of it making her snarl in his face. She imagined now that it was purely guilt that kept her near him even now. She felt responsible. Responsible for his pain back then and now for the pain he inflicted on others.
The image of the small boy flickered away and was replaced by the Arden she knew now, the coldness in his eyes making her hands shake as they pressed against the wooden slat in front of her. Masarvas Manor was full of hidden stairways and secret rooms, mazes of corridors that ran behind walls and Mina knew them all. It hadn't taken her long to find out where they were spending most of their time and she'd become somewhat incensed when she found them in Arden's Father's old study. She noticed that they'd moved his father's portrait, unwilling to show the once proud wizard what they were subjecting their own kind to.
The fierce man was once again bent over the desk, running his hands through his thinning hair, seeming to tug on the strands with force. Sornius Heert. She'd imagined so much more from a man that had brought about so much evil and darkness, she'd thought that she would be able to see the blackness of his soul, but she saw nothing. He looked almost ordinary, like any other wizard that she had come across, nothing significant or memorable to mark his character. Mina figured that was how he had moved in shadow, pouring his insidious plans into the ear of the young and naive Arden without anyone's notice.
Mina covered her mouth as Arden once again reappeared, the body of a young witch floating in the air beside him, her hair floating ethereally around her head as if she were suspended in water, her face caught in a wide-eyed, abstract horror, her small whimpers filling the air.
Mina recognised her, the family had not lived far from Sonyea. Mina remembered the blonde of her hair, short and billowing in the wind as she ran through the corn fields that had reached almost to the back door of Sonyea's small and humble home, her laugh had rung with the ease of innocence and Mina almost shed a tear as it rang in her head and out of existence, falling back into the depth of all that used to be, replaced with all that was.
"Oh, Avie." She whispered the girl's name in sorrow, wiping the tears from her cheeks with shaking hands.
Sornius straightened, his eyes glinting with a malignant triumph that made Mina's stomach knot with fear. With a sniff of pride, he handed a scroll to Arden, turning his to him to gaze into the fire, tucking his hands inside his sleeves in front of him, giving him an almost serene and regal look that made Mina want to vomit.
"This will work?" Arden glanced between the scroll and the girl, apprehension clear in the crease of his forehead and the hard set of his shoulders.
"I am almost certain, everything...everything has lead to this of that I am sure." Sornius nodded to himself, though his eyes did not leave the flames, he was scared Mina realised as she saw the unmistakable shift of his robes and his hands shook beneath them.
"You...you wish me to do it?" Arden stammered, his eyes widening slightly in fear. Hermione felt Mina's hope well up inside of her. Perhaps there was a chance, perhaps her oldest friend had not been completely lost to evil.
"Who else?" The question seemed to shock Arden and he drew back slightly, the scroll dropping from his hands and drifting down to the floor.
Sornius turned slowly, his eyes lingering on the scroll that lay on the floor before lifting his gaze to Arden, the depths of his dark eyes holding emotions that were unnerving as they were unfathomable.
"You have done this many times, Arden, on countless others, why the hesitation now?" Sornius tipped his head in curiosity and Mina watched as Arden gulped, wringing his hands together.
"I...I thought that you might...as it is your idea." Arden hung his head in shame and Sornius laughed humorlessly.
"A valiant effort Arden, my boy, but I think perhaps it is more to do with the fact that you know this young witch, is it not?"
Arden did not answer, staring instead at the deer weaving their way across the rich red rug that lay beneath his feet, the gold thread of their fur glinting in the firelight. Mina could only guess his thoughts, guess the guilt that riddled him as he thought of the family. They hadn't had much and Mina knew they had spent very little time with them, but they had given all that they could and Arden, the Arden before had taken gifts round to them. She willed Arden to become that young man again.
"Yes, yes I know her." Arden finally muttered, glancing up at the older man, his hand gripping his wand ever tighter.
Mina found herself choking on the still that followed, the air full of all the endless possible answers and endless possible directions those answers could throw them all in. She pushed her hand into her robes, fingers curling around her own wand, the thrum of magic travelling up her arm in a way that was almost comforting.
"And she is but the past." Arden breathed in resignation and something in the way his shoulders dropped made Mina prickle with the fear that they had been through this conversation many times before and he still had not stopped.
Sonius nodded sharply, holding his hands behind his back and stepping towards the younger wizard with a calm that felt forced.
"I am simply the Artist Arden, you," he gestured reverently to Arden, "You are the voice of this movement, the face of it. Your words ring across the valleys and witches and wizards alike turn their faces to listen" Mina almost scoffed at the sickliness of his words, like honeyed poison dripping from his tongue, but she saw with horror that Arden was standing straighter, that his eyes had filled with a dark resolve and his hands were no longer shaking at his sides. Mina realised that it had not been Arden's words that had torn apart their wizarding community, he had simply parroted all that he had heard, believing himself to be so much more than what he was.
Sornius reached down to pick up his scroll, dusting it off for show, eyes roving over its contents before he once again met Arden's gaze.
"Tis your words that shook this very land to its core uprooted all the rot that has poisoned our kind, it is your magic that should bring this next step to fruition. The people will know who their leader is, see it from the example that you set." He held the scroll towards Arden who took it between his fingers delicately, a strange sort of wonder making his mouth and eyebrows lift ever so slightly.
"Your magic." Sornius reiterated, stepping back and gesturing towards the floating girl. The way Arden looked at her had somehow changed, as if he no longer saw the little girl in his past, but instead a future that she was stepping directly in the way of.
Mina shook her head in disbelief as Arden's wand slowly rose, consulting the scroll in his hand several times before he once again focused on Avie. His wand followed an intricate pattern in the air, tracing the lines slowly. Mina watched as the lines began to glow forming what looked like an eye, its iris deep and black and swirling with a magic that made her shudder.
"Say the words." Sornius hissed, his frame hunched as he leaned in towards the glowing eye, excitement clear on his face.
Hermione wanted to cover her ears as Avie screamed, her back arching painfully, her limbs shaking. A blue mist appeared to be separating itself from her and Arden seemed to be wrestling with something, the tip of his wand glowing white hot as he held it with both hands, sweat beading on his forehead, the eye before him crackling.
"Yes...yes that's it, don't let it fight you, use the power of the eye." Sornius breathed, his fingers lacing before him in excitement. Arden's forehead furrowed in concentration as he tugged on the blue mist more, drawing it out of Avie's body.
Mina covered her mouth to hide a sob as Avie screamed again, the sound echoing off the walls and seeming to make the very house shake. Mina could feel the very pain of it coursing through her blood, clawing at her insides. Then it simply stopped the silence that followed feeling so still that it felt wrong.
The girl's body was slumped in the air and Arden held the blue mist before him, his eyes appraising it with reverence. The eye had disappeared and Mina was able to see that the blue mist connected at the end of his wand, swaying lazily in the air.
"It...it worked." Arden breathed, leaning closer to inspect the strange substance before him, reaching forward to touch it.
"Don't. Do not touch it," Sornius warned, grasping Arden's hand and drawing it back. "There is no accounting for what may happen. At best you see, feel all that they once did, at worst...well you would not wish to share your body with anyone else would you?" Sornius commented drily and Arden shook his head.
The older man took a small container from the table and opened it gently, muttering something under his breath till the blue mist writhed towards it, settling itself inside. Sornius quickly replaced the lid and looked at Arden in triumph.
"Take the body and put it with the rest and bring another prisoner, there is much work to be done."
"Another one?" Arden asked in shock as if just coming to his senses.
"You wish to fight and if we are going to win we must have an army."
"What...what will you do with her?" Sornius placed his hands obsessively over the jar, caressing it gently with his fingertips.
"She will become more." He stated simply, pushing a scroll towards Arden. The young man's eyes widened as he stared down at it.
"This...this is possible?"
"It has always been possible. The magic within us is as old as time itself and has known everything, has been everything. My ancestors knew this, their work is the very foundation of our magic." Mina shook her head in disbelief clinging onto the wooden slats in front of her till the wood bit into the skin behind her nails making her wince. It was lies, all of it was lies but Arden appeared to be soaking it in as if it were the only truth he had ever been told in his life.
"Now, take the body and bring me another subject." Arden nodded once, flicking his wand. Avie's body floated towards him and he walked out of view.
Mina took a few deep breaths, putting one shaking foot in front of the other as she made her way down the dark passage, pushing open the bookcase at the end slowly, wincing as the wood creaked loudly. She peered round the back of the case, breathing a sigh of relief when she found it empty, the chill of the dark room sinking into her clothes and making her shiver. She stepped out into the corridor glancing both ways hoping to catch sight of Arden. She heard his footsteps before she saw him, stepping quickly into the shadows and holding her breath as he walked past, his shoulders straight, the body of Avie floating behind him. Mina stifled a whimper as she saw the girls eyes wide and glassy, devoid of any emotion.
Arden carried on walking, heading towards the farthest wing of the house. It was hardly ever used by the family, the tower apparently having been haunted by a less than friendly ghost, its shrieks and whales echoing well into the night. Arden had often told them tales of the tower, whispering of a terrible murder that had happened long ago. Mina had never really believed him but fear had always kept her from venturing anywhere near it.
The old childish fear gripped her as she followed Arden's progress and watched as the disappeared up the winding staircase all the way to the room at the top. She waited for some time, till he reappeared and hastily made his way back where he had come from, his skin ghostly pale and a terror so palpable upon his face that she could almost believe that the ghost was hot on in heels.
Mina swallowed, gently her foot on the first step gazing up warily into the darkness imagining she could see the shadows shifting before her.
"Come on, Mina." She chastised, whispering a quick spell that made a small ball of light appear before her, she willed it to dim slightly, checking behind her quickly to ensure that Arden had not returned, or one of his many followers had decided to keep an eye on her and knew exactly what she was planning to do. The corridor was clear and silent. Desperately trying to steady her nerves she made her way up the staircase, her footsteps echoing no matter how lightly she pressed them against the stone. She imagined she could hear the screams of the ghost, distant and terrible, but shook her head to rid herself of such thoughts. There was far worse within the manor now, more insidious and far more grotesque than any whisper of the past.
Mina came to an abrupt halt when she found that the stairs lead to nothing. She spun round searching the wall, her hands gripping at the stones to see whether any could be pushed in to reveal a secret door. She stepped back growling in anger when nothing worked. She had known Arden's father, known how he had liked secrets and mysteries, but it seemed that every trick he had taught her wasn't working.
'This will keep secrets, Mina.' Hermione was shocked by the soft male voice that echoed through Mina's head, it was kind and brought to her mind so many memories that Hermione could not concentrate on them all. One lingered, however, hazy and not as detailed, just the man himself, a smile wrinkling around his eyes. He looked like Arden in so many ways even down to his dark brown eyes.
'We are a proud family but we will only be remembered for one thing' Hermione could have scoffed at his words, she wondered if he guessed that one thing would have been her son's torture of his own kind.
"Muro a'din." Mina breathed, looking down at her wand and concentrating on the intricate patterns, trying desperately to remember the counter spell.
'When Veelas want to hide they say?'
'Muro.' The voice of her younger self-repeated the answer back to the older wizard with pride and he laughed in delight.
'That's right and when they want to reveal something, the veela says?' The younger Mina bit her lip in concentration staring down at her shoes, after a moment she looked up in triumph.
"Shani," Mina whispered, pointing her wand at the stonewall in front of her. "Shani a'din."
The stones seemed to crumble away, disappearing completely as they fell to the floor, revealing a dark wooden door, iron bars across a small window at the top. Mina stepped forward and twisted the large iron hoop smiling a little to herself when it opened easily.
Mina felt a chill creep along her skin as darkness poured out of the doorway, whispers seeming to echo on the air, indistinct words blowing past her ear and making her turn her head to find the culprit, but no one waited in the darkness.
Mina could hear her heart beating in her chest, feel the terror of years of childish fear telling he to get away from the door, to run back down the stairs and never look at the tower again, never so much as step foot in the wing that housed it. There was no good to be found, she knew that, but if there was any chance at all of saving Avie then she would find it.
She stepped into the room her small light illuminating very little but she wouldn't risk anything brighter, not while there was a chance that Arden's followers could have infiltrated all areas of the Manor.
The room she stood in was rather large and she could just about make out the edges of pieces of furniture, a haze of dust floating in the air making everything look as though it were blanketed in a deep thick fog. Mina lowered her light, letting rest above the chairs that were gathered around an empty fireplace, they were old and delicately carved. The design was glyphs and runes that she herself had never seem before and Hermione was drawing a blank. Mina and Edwards story was old, old enough that much of their story had been tainted by time she could only imagine what had happened to the records of the language that was depicted on the chair, if it even was a language.
Something small caught Mina's eye, lined along the fireplace and she shuffled towards it, lowering her light right down to the floor, gasping slightly at the sight that met her. Small crudely made clay figurines that stood in a row in front of the stained black stone, their small arms reaching out, hastily carved features stuck in a look of horror.
Mina vaguely remembered stories of such an art, one that had been told late into the evening with mutterings of terrible curses and sorcerers that made a person's likeness with clay and made them do all terrible things.
"They took it from me." The voice was right behind her and it made Mina jump, the sound of it hissing, spitting and full of anger. She gasped when she noticed a small man sitting in one of the seats, his shoulders hunched, long grey beard brushing his knees. When Mina moved her light closer, however, the man disappeared only reappearing when darkness once again cloaked where he sat. He did not seem to notice her presence or be aware that anyone was even there, instead he stared into the empty fireplace as if the black, soot-stained stones could offer him any answers.
Mina had seen it many times before, especially on the vast swathes of land that had once housed battles. The dead reenacted the moment of their last seconds upon the earth, over and over again, caught forever. They were memories, of course, memories so terrible and tragic that they had carved themselves upon the earth and would remain throughout time.
Mina shook her head urging herself to stand and carry on with her search. She knew there was no use getting distracted, there was a good chance that Arden would be making his way to the room again soon and she could not still be there when he arrived.
She pushed herself through the archway at the end of the room, gagging slightly when the air thickened with a stench that put the dungeons to shame. She quickly pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket, desperately trying to inhale the sweet aromas that lingered on it, her actions were fruitless however when the smell itself seemed to seep into the fabric making it far more concentrated. Mina rested against a wall, swallowing against her need to vomit.
"I am here for a reason." Mina reminded herself, breathing through her mouth and carrying on through.
"Eyes that shine but never see, mouths that breathe but never speak, lips that move but never eat, demons all of them demons." Mina stilled when the voice met her ears, she could see the candlelight flickering in the doorway at the other side of the circular room she found herself in.
"Eyes that shine but never see, mouths that breathe but never speak, lips that move but never eat, demons all of them demons." The voice carried on and Mina glanced into the doorway reeling back at the sight that met her.
"Eyes that shine but never see." The ghostly ethereal woman hissed weaving in and out of bodies that Mina realised in horror were the bodies of several witches and wizards slumped against walls or each other. They gazed off into the distance, eyes open and shining but there was nothing behind them.
"Mouths that breathe but never speak." The spirit carried on, its long robes flowing around it in rags, silver hair floating behind it as it moved.
Mina covered a whimper as she realised that some of her friend's mouths hung open their lips twitching and moving as if trying to form words but no sound came out, only various wheezes. They sat in their own filth, their bodies wasting away and becoming emaciated. She noticed that some had wounds that bled and wept, wounds she guessed were from the rats that weaved in between the bodies squeaking in delight.
"Lips that move but never eat." Mina let out a sob and the spirit turned to her its face angry and contorted but it paused. Slowly the anger melted away, the spirits face becoming that of a beautiful woman, a sadnss tugging her tips downward. It tipped its head in obvious confusion.
"Not a demon, not dark, the air shines around you and you shine with it." She muttered, rushing forwards and stopping just in front of Mina, her translucent body doing little to cover the carnage behind her.
"What has he done?" Mina sobbed, her knees giving way beneath her.
"No light, no bright, no magic, only empty eyes and sighs." Mina shook her head in disbelief.
"This cannot be, this...he couldn't…" Mina sobbed again as a rat climbed onto the face of Avie and bit into her cheek and the young girl's mouth moved but did nothing to push the animal away.
"GET AWAY FROM HER YOU FILTHY BEAST...GET AWAY," she screamed and ran at the creature, falling to her knees before Avie's body, pressing her handkerchief against the wound.
"I'll make this better, I promise." Mina sniffed, staring into Avie's glassy eyes, her heart breaking when there was no reply, no hint that the girl had seen her.
"Nothing, nothing, nothing. No one there. No one to hear, no one to hurt." Mina turned to the ghost, pulling Avie's body away from the filth and closer to her, ignoring the other witches and wizards that were in various states of decomposition, their bodies emaciated and skeletal.
"Who are you?" Mina breathed.
"Forgotten. I was once, was something, someone. Time forgets and so do I, soon time will forget what I am and I will not be. Just a whisper in the air, cold upon the breeze."
"Save them," Mina begged, her shoulders shaking as she curled her body over Avies.
"Nothing to save. No one to hear, no one to hurt. Only empty eyes and sighs."
"What has he done to you?" She muttered, shaking her head and holding Avie's head in her hands.
"They sing in stone, songs of sadness, of life and no death, of a prison closed and cold. I know the song, I have sung it through the ages, I will always sing it, always know it."
Mina stood reluctantly, closing her eyes trying to shut out the sight but she could hear the sounds of their laboured breaths, hear the skittering of rats as they became braver and scampered back into the room. Tears dripped down her cheeks and onto the floor.
"You scared me for so long," Mina spoke, uncertain why she was telling the spirit such a thing, it wasn't important and it wouldn't help her. "I would stare into the darkness and imagine I could see you waiting to curse me." Mina turned and looked at the spirit that seemed not to have heard, instead muttering her small chant about demons.
"This is...this…" Mina broke down crying again and the spirit floated to her side resting a translucent hand upon her shoulder. The touch of it chilled her to the bone, but it somehow awoke a resolve within Mina she thought had fled her body.
"Just a whisper of the past," Her words were more like a sigh, "Just something that should not be forgotten but will be, it always is."
"No," Mina said forcefully, pulling herself away. "They will pay, they will all pay and I will remember." Her voice echoed back at her and she hardly recognised it, so full of hate, so full of malice. She covered her mouth and turned to Avie one last time before making her way back through the rooms. The spirit did not follow her but her voice whispered in every room as if she were in every place but in none of them.
"Pay, they will pay, but the memories remain. Then time will forget and they will blow away."
The chant immediately stopped when Mina closed the door, muttering the spell to hide its location. Her stomach turned and she collapsed against the wall, her legs no longer able to hold her body up.
Hermione felt as though the memory was ripped from her, her legs shaking. She threw up, heaving painfully, tears rolling down her cheeks as her brain caught up with all that she had seen, all she had felt and known as if she were the one experiencing it.
"Granger?" She couldn't speak or answer him but shivered when she felt his fingertips brush the back of her neck as he held her hair out of her face and hesitantly began to rub her back.
"How in Merlin's name do you cope with all this hair?" He joked and Hermione went to bite an answer back at him, only to throw up again, her throat burning and stomach aching.
"It sucks doesn't it." He whispered, his voice almost sounding sympathetic. His hand on her back was rubbing slow circles that warmed her through and somehow managed to soothe her. With horror, she realised that she didn't want to be angry anymore, didn't want to fight what was happening to them. There were so many things that needed to be seen, needed to be known before they were forgotten and faded away with time.