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Starting Over- Chapter 3 and 4 and 5



Chapter Three
Brother’s Arms

Hours later they pulled into the train station and Lex climbed off the train, Breena shortly behind her. They didn’t say anything, but that said it all. They stood there, Lex sitting on her suitcase with Sky in her lap and Breena just looking around. She waved hello to different students as they walked past, and they said hi to both of them but Lex didn’t respond. She felt so numb that nothing was registering.

As the platform began to empty, Lex saw many of her former students leaving, saying good-bye to her. They seemed very happy, which led Lex to believe none of the students had heard the news, considering that fact that said they’d see her at the beginning of the year. It would come as a shock when she didn’t at the beginning of the next school year.

“See you next year, Professor Malfoy!” yelled a 5th year, Audrey Luptowski, who had been in her class last year.

Lex looked down one last time and sighed. She picked up her bag and without a sound walked off the platform and out into the Muggle world. Breena ran after her, yelling loudly.

“Lex, Lex come back!” she shouted, “For god’s sake, Lex, please!”

But she didn’t turn back; she just kept on walking. She didn’t belong in the wizarding world anymore at least she didn’t feel like she did. A part of her was gone; it could never come back.

Outside it was still down pouring and Lex looked around blindly. Her jeans and T-shirt were getting soaked as well as Sky, who was shivering on her shoulder. She looked for her brother, Gavin, who was supposed to be picking her up. She looked around, praying to god that she would find him.

“Lex! Lex!” yelled a female voice.

Breena, just leave me alone. She thought.

When she turned around instead she saw a woman with very short black hair looking up at her. It was her brother’s wife, Jillian.

She was a short woman, about 5’ 4” and she was about 29 years old. She had gray eyes and a kind smile. Lex really liked her, but sometimes she could be a real bitch.

“What the hell are you doing out here?” she asked, grabbing Lex by the arm and taking her to the car, “Gavin said you’d be on the platform.”

“I had to leave,” muttered Lex, as she climbed inside the car and slammed the door.

Jillian shoved the luggage in back and climbed in the driver’s seat. Sky hopped into the back seat and curled up in a ball. The car started and they began to drive home.

“Where’s Gavin?” Lex said, sounding more demanding than she wanted.

“He’s at home taking care of Griffen,” Jillian explained, “He’s coming down with something.”

“Who is?” asked Lex.

“Gavin,” she said, “Was out late with just Muggle clothes on. I swear he’ll catch a death of cold if he doesn’t watch it.”

Lex smiled to herself. Jillian liked to piss and moan about things, and it was interesting to hear.

Griffen was Jillian and Gavin’s only child. Now six years old the boy had always shown some magic potential. He was strangely quiet and for being six liked to read books. He was very cute though. His red brown hair and large gray eyes made him the cutest little kid on the block.

They reached the house and the rain was still come down. The house was two stories and very large with brick exterior. It had a large green lawn in the front and a beautiful blooming garden in the back. When the car stopped instead of taking the bags from the car, Lex waved her wand and transported them inside. Jillian rolled her eyes.

“You are so lazy,” she sighed, getting out of the car.

“True,” said Lex, scrambling from the car.

They dashed inside and into the house. The bags were sitting in the living room and Griffen was already climbing on them.

“Griff, no!” cried Jillian as Griffen began jumping on the suitcase.

Lex smiled and saw Gavin sitting on the couch, looking sick. He had large rings under his normally cheerful brown eyes, which now looked very tried. She smiled and he grinned back and proceeded to sneeze all over himself.

“Excuse me,” he said, snatching a tissue and blowing his nose, “Come down with something nasty, so don’t get too close.”

Lex touched his hand and smiled. At that moment, Griffen seemed to have been alerted to her presence.

“Lex?” he asked, “Auntie Lex it is you!”

He escaped from his mother’s arms and clamped his arms around Lex’s legs. He was such a cute little bugger, no wonder Lex loved him so much. He looked up at her and smiled.

“Look, look I learned a trick!” he said.

He closed his eyes and had a pained look on his face and suddenly his short hair became long and blue and his cute little nose was massive. He began to giggle and Lex smiled.

“That’s a cool trick,” she said, kneeling down, and hugging him.

It was a few minutes and Jillian sent Griffen off to clean up and get ready for dinner, his face finally back to normal. He did and Lex turned to them.

“I never knew he was a Metamorphmagus,” she said, looking at Gavin under a critical glare.

“We didn’t either,” he said, “The other day he walked over and suddenly he had green hair down to his knees.”

“Gave us quite a fright,” Jillian muttered and then turned to Lex, “What sounds good for dinner?”

Lex shrugged and Jillian grinned.

“I’ll just throw something together,” she said, leaving the room.

Lex turned back to Gavin.

“The ministry is going to want him,” she said, “You realize that don’t you?”

He nodded.

“I talked to some of Dad’s old friends and they said that once he’s of age he is going to be offered a lot of money to be an Auror,” he said, “Whether Griffen will take it or not is up to him. But Jill won’t want him to go. She hates the idea.”

Lex nodded.

“So he’s definitely magical?” she asked.

“I’ve never seen a kid with so much in his blood,” said Gavin, “I’ll go into his room and he’ll be floating blocks and he’s always making little things happen. He’s going to be something else.”

He took a sip of his hot tea and sighed. He was starting to look so old for being just under thirty-four years old.

“So, how was the year?” he asked setting down his drink.

“Oh, the same old thing,” she said.

“Not different with Dumbledore being gone?” he asked.

Lex looked up and nodded.

“The new headmaster. . .well headmistress, is definitely something else,” she said.

“She’s changing everything?” he asked.

Lex nodded and looked down. Gavin sat up more and looked at her.

“Lex, what’s wrong?” he asked.

“Nothing,” she muttered, looking at the floor.

“Don’t lie to me,” he said, moving next to her, “Something happened, I know it. Now what happened?”

Lex shook her head and stood up.

“Which room am I staying in?” she asked, “The usual?”

Gavin nodded and Lex made her way to the guestroom she normally stayed in. Considering this was her home away from Hogwarts, she almost always stayed there. She dropped her suitcases and sighed. Would Gavin even let her stay here when he found out she had gotten sacked? She shook her head. She didn’t want to think about that. She walked downstairs but on the way was attacked by Griffen, who sprung from the bathroom and stuck to her leg.

“What are doing?” she asked.

“I’m glue!” he said, holding tightly to her.

Lex smiled and clanked down the stairs, the little boy in toe.

They reached the kitchen and Griffen hopped to his seat and looked at Lex.

“I want you to sit next to me!” he yelled, bouncing slightly in his seat.

“Griffen calm down or there’ll be no dessert,” Jillian spoke from the other side of the kitchen.

“Yes mom,” he said, looking down.

Lex smiled and walked over to Jillian, who was bent over a large pot.

“What cha making?” she asked, “Witches brew?”

Jillian glared at her. Apparently she was in a bad mood.

“It’s stew,” she spat, “And you didn’t say what you wanted so I threw this together.”

Lex grinned painfully and took a deep breath.

“Well it smells delightful,” she said sincerely.

Jillian smiled and set out the silver by hand.

“Griffen, help me?” she asked, setting the silver on the table.

“Yes,” he said, setting each place.

Lex left the kitchen and returned to the living room, where Gavin was climbing off the couch. He looked at her and sighed. He looked a little disappointed.

“What?” asked Lex.

Gavin held out a piece of parchment addressed to her in a scrawl she recognized. Lex snatched it from him and noticed it was already opened. She frowned and pulled out the letter.

Lex,

I understand why you are mad; hell I would be too, but you can’t go running from your fate. You need to face the stuff that comes after you instead of pretending it will just go away. I know it shocked you and I tried to talk them out of it but they wouldn’t listen. Ashlee doesn’t like you, she never has, and she wanted you gone.

I took it up with Silver and we tried to figure if you could fight it and it turns out you couldn’t fight it. The headmaster or headmistress of Hogwarts doesn’t need to give a reason as to why they fire someone; they can just do it.

It’ll be fine. You can get a job in the ministry. They are hiring in your Dad’s old department and I’m sure with your record and who your Father was you’d get in easy.

Please write back. I’d like to stop by and talk more. Please let me know when would be convenient.

Your sister,
Breena


Lex looked at Gavin and he was giving her that ashamed look he would often give her.

“So that’s what happened,” he said, “Ashlee Sully sacked you?”

Lex nodded and flopped down on the couch.

“Lex, it’s not the end of the world,” he said, “It’ll be a breeze to get you into the Ministry.”

Lex covered her face and began to cry. The tears were streaming down and were more numeral than he had ever seen someone cry before. She began to shake.

“Oh Lex,” he said, sitting next to her and putting his arm around her.

She sobbed like crazy, not stopping and just kept crying. All the pain of the last day was pouring out and she couldn’t stop it now. She was finally being open; she was finally being honest. Gavin sat there, and she told him everything. He listened intently and finally spoke.

“This was beyond your control,” he said, “You didn’t do anything to deserve this and that is why it’s not your fault. Believe me, we’ll find you another job and you’ll be fine.”

Just the Jillian called from the kitchen.

“Soup’s ready,” she said.

Gavin helped Lex off the couch and she hugged him.

“Thank you,” she said as they walked into the kitchen.


Chapter Four
Shrieks In the Night

The first week of summer in the small house was one of the best that Lex had ever had. Griffen kept her occupied, asking her to read him books from his Mom and Dad’s library they kept in the den. Soon Lex’s mind left her troubles about being unemployed and she began to think that maybe life with Gavin, Jillian and Griffen wouldn’t be so bad. She wrote Breena constantly, telling her the smallest detail and got lengthy responses back, telling her how much she missed her and that they had to do something over the summer. Lex knew that if there was one thing she’d miss about Hogwarts, it was being with Breena.

But as the summer rolled on, Lex began to become anxious. She watched Griffen during the day as Jillian and Gavin went to work, but she began to hate the sort of captivity she was in. She would sit on the roof outside her room and write her letters to Breena and ask her whether the students knew about her being sacked. A few of them knew, as well as some of the students she had been closer to, but the majority didn’t know. It would come as quite a shock when they came back to find she was gone. Breena even informed her that Ashlee wasn’t looking for another Muggle Studies teacher. Lex fumed with anger. The monotony of the house seemed as if it would last forever, until one night in late July.

Dinner that night had been the same usual. Griffen talked all about the neighbor kids and told Lex that he wanted to go to Hogwarts like his Mom and Dad. He said he didn’t like the little boys and girls in the neighborhood and wanted to make them disappear. Lex laughed quietly when he talked about how one day he kept making a kid trip and eventually had to run home after scraping his elbows so badly. Jillian didn’t find this too funny.

“What have we told you?” she asked.

He looked down and Jillian left the table. Griffen looked up at Lex, a huge grin on his face. He was just like she had been when she was little.

Griffen went to bed around eight and Lex headed outside and sat down on the rail of the deck. She pulled out a small silver case from her back pocket and pulled out a cigarette and pulled out her lighter. The sky was so clear and the night was so peaceful, but her mind was full of worry. She smoked the cigarette and heard the door slide open behind her.

“What are you doing?” asked Gavin, who obviously wanted to talk about something.

Lex puffed on the cigarette for a moment and sighed. She knew exactly what was coming and it wasn’t going to pretty.

“Nothing,” she said, “Trying to lose my problems.”

“In a cigarette?” asked Gavin and Lex glared at him.

“I’m not a goddamn kid anymore, Gavin,” spat Lex, putting her cigarette out on the other side of the silver case, “You can’t tell me what to do. I’m a grown woman.”

“Then maybe you should start acting like it!” Gavin snapped, “You’ve been acting like a goddamn child ever since you moved in.”

“What are you talking about?” snapped Lex.

“You were so normal at the beginning of the summer, now all you do is sulk, you’re just a complete and total downer,” he said. “I mean is this just because you lost your job? It’s not like you don’t have anywhere to go. . .”

“I’m not living off you forever,” said Lex, “I’m not staying trapped here.”

“And even if you do have to crash here for a year or two. . . ” Gavin started but Lex cut him off.

“I’m not staying here longer than the summer holiday,” she said, “I’m moving out before the new school year starts.”

“But you don’t have any money,” shouted Gavin.

“I’ll get a job,” she said angrily, taking out another cigarette and lighting it.

“Where?” asked Gavin.

“The Ministry,” she said, “You told me that it would be no problem for me with my reputation. It should be easy.”

Gavin rolled his eyes and took the cigarette from her and put it out.

“First of all, stop smoking,” he hissed, “You’re going to kill yourself. Secondly, it’s hard as hell to get into the ministry. I mean, shit Lex, if you want to be where Dad was. . .”

“Don’t you even talk about him in front of me!” yelled Lex, standing up, “I would never want to take Dad’s job. You think that I don’t realize how hard it was for him to get where he was, and how hard her worked to support us? If I could get to half of where Dad was I would be able to die happy.”

“Don’t lie to me like that,” he said, “You know as well as I do that you loved Dad’s job. You went with him every chance you got. You’d kill for his job, you’ve always wanted it.”

“Dad’s job is the reason he’s dead!” shouted Lex, “He died while he was out, his job was the reason we no longer have a father! The Ministry is the reason our family is falling apart!”

Lex slumped down in a wicker chair and covered her face and began to cry. Gavin walked over and sat next to her. He put his arm around her and she cried into his shirt.

“Lex, I’m sorry,” whispered Gavin, “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you as much as I should have. I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you all summer, it’s just with work and Griffen getting older, it’s all so complicated and hectic.”

Lex shook her head and looked up.

“No, don’t be sorry,” she said, “It’s not your fault you got dropped with me. I’m grateful to have some place to stay. And, well, I guess I just really miss Dad, especially since I moved back in.”

Lex leaned against him and he put his arm around her.

“You really miss him, don’t you?” he asked.

Lex nodded and looked at the sky. She couldn’t talk about this; it was too much.

“I’m going to bed,” she said, and stood up, snatched up her cigarettes and lighter, and rushed into the house.

She went to the guestroom and sat down on the bed. She stared at the floor for what seemed like hours, but didn’t move. Her mind was racing and she felt dizzy. She turned off the lights and lay down and before she knew it she was asleep.

She was having a terrible dream. People with odd tattoos on their faces were coming towards her and she tried to defend herself, but she wasn’t strong enough. They over took her and killed her. She felt hands grasping at her, lifting her up in the air and carrying her along towards a dark empty room. She screamed and screamed, trying to stop the crowd but before she knew it she was falling into the vast darkness, hearing only the echoes of her scream and the laughter of those who had thrown her into the darkness.

She sat up in bed, gasping for breath and looked around. A small figure was sitting on the end of her bed, watching her.

“Griffen?” she muttered.

“Lex, I’m scared,” he hissed.

“What are you scared off?” she asked.

“Someone’s downstairs,” he said.

Lex froze and she motioned for him to be quiet. Sure enough she could hear soft footsteps on the tile floor of the kitchen. She looked and him and grabbed his hand.

“Griffen, stay completely quiet, okay?” she asked taking the small boys hand.

He nodded and she headed out into the hallway and into Gavin and Jillian’s room. Lex took out her wand from her pocket and lit it. She tapped Gavin sharply on the forehead and he glared at her.

“What the bloody hell is going on?” he asked, and seeing the two of them he froze.

The look of pure terror on Lex’s face said it all. She was shaking slightly as she clung to Griffen’s hand, the light of her wand quivering slightly.

“Griffen, stay with Mommy, okay?” asked Gavin.

He nodded and climbed into bed and Gavin woke Jillian.

“Stay here and get your wand,” said Gavin to his sleepy wife, “Someone’s in the house.”

Jillian looked at him for a moment, as though not fully comprehending what he had just said. Gavin said it one more time and Jillian snatched her wand from within the nearby dresser and pulled Griffen close to her.

Gavin and Lex left the room and quietly tiptoed down the stairs. Lex could hear them whispering.

“Where is she?” asked the voice as quiet as the wind.

It was a woman, but her voice was oddly hard and raspy.

“She’s here, I saw her this afternoon,” said the other in the same tone.

The second voice was soft and airy and very light. It sounded like the wind blowing through the trees.
Gavin and Lex saw the light from two wands reach the bottom of the stairs. Gavin pushed Lex behind him.

“Go on, go tell Jill to leave, you too,” he hissed almost silently.

Lex shook her head.

“I can handle them,” he hissed, “Go.”

Lex turned around and reentered the bedroom. She immediately found Jillian’s wand in her face and Lex froze. When she realized who it was, she lowered her wand.

“Don’t do that!” hissed Jillian.

“Sorry,” hissed Lex, “Look, you need to get out of here. You need to take Griffen and go.”

“What about you?” asked Jillian, “What about Gavin?”

“I’m backing up Gavin,” she said as Jillian picked up Griffen and opened the window, “Just get yourselves out and to another house, preferably a wizard.”

Jillian and Griffen slipped out the window and Lex saw Griffen’s hair become short and black and his eyes looked fearful. She turned around and walked back out into the hallway. She saw light at the top of the stairs and could hear the intruders’ cloaks swishing. Lex pressed herself against the wall and she saw the two intruders. One was very tall, with long black hair that emerged from under her cloak, but her cloak covered up her face. The other was slightly shorter but her face was entirely hidden by the cloak she wore. They turned into Griffen’s room and Lex panicked. Where was Gavin?

Her question was answered seconds later when the short figure was thrown from the room and hit the wall. The second was fighting Gavin in the room as Lex got to her feet. She stood, frozen in the doorway, trying to get a good shot. Gavin noticed her and continued to duel the taller figure.

“Lex, get out!” screamed Gavin.

“NO!” yelled Lex, as she prepared to cast the hex.

Before she had a chance to cast the spell, the shorter intruder attacked her and sent her flying to the ground. Lex tried to fight back but before she knew it she was tumbling down the wooden stairs, her attacker closely behind her. Lex climbed to her feet weakly and held out her wand.

“Expelliarmus!” she yelled.

The woman’s wand flew behind her and as she sprung to get it, Lex tackled her. The woman hit Lex, landing one punch in the face and sending her flying to the landing several stairs below. She hit with a loud thud and heard a terrible crunching noise. She felt warm blood trickling down her face and she tried to get up, but her attacker was right behind her.

“Don’t move!” the woman growled.

Lex rolled over and she could hear the woman laughing a high shrill laugh. Anger burned inside Lex and she felt her wand just beneath her, covered with blood.

“It would’ve been much easier if you hadn’t struggled,” the woman spat, moving closer to Lex.

She gripped the wand, searching her mind for a spell. The woman was only a foot away and she could see her dark eyes glowing beneath her hood, her face twisted into an evil smile.

Lex yelled a spell; some spell she had learned long ago and suddenly a flash of red light hit her square in the chest and sent her down into the parlor. She lay there, unconscious and Lex climbed weakly to her feet. She didn’t hear anything upstairs and silently made her way up the stairs, gripping tightly to the rail and holding her wand ready.

She crept around the corner and saw nothing. The fear inside her doubled and she gulped down the panic rising in her throat. She then turned and entered Griffen’s room. There on the floor was Gavin, moaning and groaning with pain. Lex ran to him, and looked around.

“What happened?” she asked.

There was a loud crack and then another. She recognized that sound.

“They disapparated, didn’t they?” she asked.

Gavin gave a feeble nod. In the faded light of the street outside she saw blood was trickling down his face and onto his bare chest. He had several burn marks on his arms and he looked dazed. He reached out and took his hand, which was trembling. There was another crack from downstairs and quick footsteps thundered up the wooden steps. Moment’s later Jillian appeared in the door.

“What-happened?” she stammered, trying to breathe.

Gavin looked up at her and blinked several times in quick succession. Suddenly he fell limp and onto the carpeted floor.

“Oh shit,” said Lex, “We need to get him to St. Mungo’s.”

Jillian nodded and knelt down beside her husband and began to cry. Their perfect world, everything they had believed in, had been shattered in seconds.



Chapter Five
Ripped Apart

Lex paced the downstairs kitchen for what felt like hours. She didn’t know what to do; she didn’t know whom to turn to. She was terrified. She flopped down the couch and looked at the ground. She had sent their owl, Adrian, for help. It seemed like it had been forever since the people broke in, but in reality it had only been a half an hour.

Lex stood up to go check on her brother when suddenly there was a loud knock on the door. She checked and saw it was only Warren Granger, a kindly old man, who lived next door. Lex pulled open the door and knew that he was in fact a wizard and an employee of St. Mungo’s hospital. Before she could even say a word, he bolted up the stairs to where Gavin was lying. She heard the sobs of Jillian as well as well as Warren telling her to go downstairs and try to calm down. She descended the stairs, very slowly and looked at Lex. Her jaw dropped as she stared at Lex.

“What?” she asked.

Jillian snatched a mirror off the wall and held it up to Lex’s face.

Her reflection was terrifying and at first she didn’t recognize herself. Crimson blood was splattered on her face as well as seeping from a large gash above her right eye. She seemed to have broken her nose because her entire upper lip was covered with blood and large black circles were forming under her eyes. She dropped the mirror and it shattered on the floor. Lex stumbled backwards and realized how dizzy she felt and Jillian helped her sit on the couch. The room began to swim and suddenly it all went black.

It was a cool summer day in a large grassy meadow out in the country. There wasn’t a house for miles and Lex looked around. She was a little girl again, only five years old, running and playing with her brother in the field like she often would. She felt so carefree, so young. As she looked up into the sun she felt a strong pain on her head and she opened her eyes.

She was in a room painted all white lying in a bed that she had never seen before. The room was filled with beds that lined each wall, and in several sat people, bandaged and bruised and what not, but looking very comfortable non-the-less. Lex looked down at her hands and noticed they were bandaged and she realized that she could only see out of her left eye. Her nose hurt terribly and had something white on it. She looked around and suddenly came to a realization. She was in St. Mungo’s.

She looked around, frantic with worry.

Where was Gavin? What had happened to him? Was he okay?

She began to panic, looking all around the room until finally a nurse came over and tended to her.

“Ms. Malfoy, are you all right?” she asked.

“My brother, Gavin Malfoy, is he here?” Lex asked, “Is he okay?”

She gave her and kind smile and nodded.

“Why yes, he’s perfectly fine,” said the nurse.

“Where is he?” she asked, sounding a little panicked.

“He’s behind that curtain,” the nurse said, pointing to the curtain just next to Lex’s bed.

Lex moved to get out of the bed but the nurse pushed her back.

“I’m afraid I can’t allow you to do that, Ms. Malfoy,” she said, “You’re in rough shape.”

Lex leaned back and felt her head swim. She felt terrible and blinked several times. The nurse shook her head and walked away. Lex kept watching the curtain next to her bed. She wanted to go over and talk to Gavin, tell him everything, see how he was. But the more she sat there the worse her body ached and the worse she felt.

The day dragged on and finally around 9 o’clock that night several people arrived to visit. Jillian and brought Griffen along and he gave Lex a picture of her and him playing in the field. She smiled and gave him a hug and they began to talk, until they both wandered over behind the curtain of Gavin’s bed and left Lex alone. As she sat, starring at the picture she heard footsteps and looked up. An elderly man with long white hair stood there, smiling at her over his half-moon glasses.

“Good evening, Alexia,” he said, his voice warm and soothing.

“Albus, what are you doing here?” she asked as he sat down in the chair near the bed.

“Coming to see how you and your brother are doing,” he said, “By the looks of it, you took quite a beating last night.”

Lex nodded. Her head was beginning to throb again.

“How’s Gavin?” she asked, although someone had already told her.

“He is pretty beat up,” he said, “Had a few jinxes put on him but he should be fine in a few days. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about, Alexia.”

She looked up at him. He had a serious look on his face.

“According to your brother, the women who attacked you two were after you,” said Dumbledore, who pushed his glasses up on his nose.

“How did he know that?” she asked, looking confused.

“They told him,” he said, “Slightly an error on their part, but very helpful to us.”

“So, I’m in danger.” Lex said, sounding more like she was stating it than actually asking.

Dumbledore looked at her, his eyes looking very remorseful and his hand clutching the bed beneath him. He nodded slowly.

“You are no longer safe staying with you brother,” he said, “Nor at Hogwarts…”

“I’m not going back to Hogwarts anyway,” she said, sounding bitter, “I got the boot the last day of term.”

Dumbledore looked at her in a way she had never seen him look at anyone. It was a strange look, a mix of fear, disbelief and wonder.

“You were fired?” he asked, sounding slightly calm.

Lex nodded.

“Well, it is no longer my school and I cannot make judgments on what Headmistress Sully wishes to do,” he said.

“Go ahead,” said Lex, bitterly, “She’s turning the school upside down. It’s going straight to hell.”

Dumbledore smiled slightly and then readjusted himself.

“But, like I was saying,” he continued, “You aren’t safe with your brother anymore. We need to find you new quarters…”

“Like with a friend?” she asked, “I could stay with Breena . . .”

Dumbledore shook his head and silenced her.

“It’s not that easy, Alexia,” he said, “There are many people out there right now who are out to get you, and we do not know who they are.”

“So you’re saying I have to live alone,” she asked her voice lowering.

Dumbledore nodded and Lex’s stomach dropped. She would have to live alone, no friends, no family, no nothing. This was her worst fear. She looked back at Dumbledore who looked at her kindly.

“But I can tell some people where you are. You won’t be cut off completely,” he said smiling, “I promise you that.”

Lex gave a grave smile. She wasn’t happy, in fact she was quite pissed. This wasn’t what she wanted right now, nor what she needed.

That night she sat up late in her bed, thinking and writing down her thoughts in a small book, her glasses oddly lopsided on her nose. She frowned and heard a voice to her right. Gavin sat up in bed and looked over at her. He had pushed the curtain aside and smiled at her.

“Hey squirt,” he said, his voice was harsh and raspy.

She nearly burst into tears when she saw him. He had large white gauze on his nose and several bandages on his face. He had dark black rings under his eyes and he looked very sick. Lex carefully stood up and hugged her brother, tears running silently down her face. She held him carefully, scared she might hurt him more.

He pushed away slightly and looked at her.

“Do you know?” he croaked.

“Know what?” she asked.

“That you have to live . . .alone,” Gavin said, stumbling over the words.

Lex froze. She fell back on her bed and nodded, looking at her feet. Gavin gave her a look that Lex knew, a look of great pity. She hated that look; it made her feet so useless.

“I’ll be fine,” Lex muttered, “Don’t worry about it.”

Gavin gave a grim smile and nodded.

“I know you will be,” he muttered.

Three days passed before Dumbledore returned to St. Mungo’s. Today was the day that Lex was going home, well, going to her new home. Gavin had to stay for another week, but Dumbledore expressed to both of them the urgency of her moving away. So that morning, Lex slowly dressed herself and said good-bye to her brother and her and Dumbledore left. They took the muggle bus, and Lex was surprised to see Dumbledore was wearing muggle pants and a long jacket. She laughed slightly, but knew he had his reasons.

On the bus ride Dumbledore explained a few things to her. The house she would be living in was very small and furnished, although only the essentials were there, and she was in a neighborhood that was very quiet. She seemed fine with all the rules, until he told her that she could not tell anyone where she was living.

“Why not?’ she asked, “I mean can’t you just do a concealing spell so that no one would be able to know I was there unless you told them?”

Dumbledore nodded.

“I have used that, but there are ways to get around it,” he said, “We do not know who our enemies are, Alexia, we do not know who we can trust fully.”

He looked down.

“I realize that this is a big step, but you must understand that it is for your own safety.”

Lex nodded, she was beginning to like this idea less and less.

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Estelleu Denal

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