Katie Bell was removed to St. Mungos the following day. Sofia found out just before she was summoned to Professor Dumbledore's office. It was during the middle of her first class and she was relieved because there were few students wandering the halls. She stepped inside anxiously and was stunned to find her mother standing inside. Sofia caught a glimpse of a necklace on Dumbledore's desk as she ran to hug her mother and guessed that this must be what caused Katie.
"Hello, sweetie," her mother said.
"Sofia, your mother was just asking me if I would allow you to accompany her on a trip to St. Mungo's."
Sofia looked up at her mother.
"Why are you going there?"
"I have been asked to look at the Bell girl. The healers there are completely perplexed. They have managed to stop any damage from spreading but they have been unable to cure or reverse it."
"And I could come with you?"
Guinevere looked to Dumbledore uncertainly but he smiled comfortingly.
"Of course you may," he replied. "I think you can afford to miss a few classes."
Sofia felt a surge of excitement that she had not felt in several weeks. She watched her mother step up to Dumbledore's desk. She pulled a white glove out of her robes and placed it on her hand. Then she picked up the necklace and balled it up in her hand. Then with her bare hand she grabbed the glove at it's wrist and pulled it up back over her hand, closing the necklace inside.
"Come, Sofia, we must not delay any longer."
She held the glove in one hand and took her daughters hand in the other and led her out of Dumbledore's office. They walked silently, hand in hand through the castle until they reached the Entrance Hall. Then Guinevere spoke.
"How are you, Sof?" She asked as the doors opened in front of her.
Sofia shrugged, not meeting her mother's gaze.
"Sofia, I know that things are hard for you now, but you must have courage. Running away will not solve anything."
"I don't want to run away," Sofia replied. "I just want to protect the people I love."
"I understand, my child, I really do. But do you not think you could protect them better here where you can see when they are in danger than when you are miles away and unable to see what goes on?"
Sofia did not respond. Her mother was right, as always, but it did not make her feel any better.
By this point, they had reached the edge of the Hogwarts grounds. Without warning her mother Disapparated, catching Sofia off guard. The blonde girl shut her eyes tight as she felt herself being jerked violently through the air.
When she opened her eyes again, they were standing in the middle of St. Mungo's. The hospital lobby was fairly quiet.
Guinevere did not hesitate once she gathered her whereabouts. She dropped Sofia's hand and began walking down a long hall. She reached the end of the hall and opened the last door on the right. Sofia followed her mother into the room.
Katie Bell was lying lifelessly on the only bed in the room. A middle aged couple were huddled together on a sofa next to the bed. These must have been Katie's parents.
"Mr. and Mrs. Bell, I am Guinevere Adema and this is my daughter Sophia. The healers asked me here to help your daughter."
Neither of them replied. They were staring at their daughter, their eyes cold and lifeless.
Guinevere turned and held out the glove towards Sofia.
"Hold this carefully, but do not touch the necklace inside."
Sofia nodded and took it carefully from the room.
"Mr. and Mrs. Bell, would you both like something to drink?" Guinevere asked. "I'm sure that you both need rest."
She walked over to them and held out a hand toward Mrs. Bell. The fragile-looking woman took the hand gently and stood up. Her husband followed her, and soon Guinevere had escorted both of them from the room. She shut the door behind them and stepped over to Katie's side."
"Now, Sofia, what I am about to do is far beyond your abilities and you will not know the magic that I am about to perform. However I encourage you to watch and learn what you can."
Sofia watched her mother draw her wand from her robes and point it at Katie.
"Potentia revelio," she whispered.
Wisps of smoke seemed to seep through Katie's body and rise towards Guinevere's wand. They were dark, and ominous wisps.
Sofia watched her mother turn away from Katie and the wisps disappeared. She looked at Sofia and held out her hand. Sofia handed over the white glove.
With a flick of her wand, Guinevere lifted the necklace out of the glove. She guided it over and put it down on too of Katie's bed.
"Potentia revelio," she whispered.
The same dark wisps rose from the necklace.
"The first step to curing anything is to find the cause. Specialis revelio only reveals spells that have been cast. Potentia revelio will reveal powers that have been poured into something. Since the color smoke emitted matched, I can conclude that they hold the same power. Since it is highly unlikely that Katie was the primary source, the necklace must have transferred the power to her. Now I begin the work of diagnosing the powers."
She turned her wand to the necklace again and whispered "dic totalus."
An inaudible whisper filled the room. It was a haunting whisper, chilling the room and sending shivers rippling through Sofia's spine. Though it sounded gibberish to her, it seemed to be telling a story to her mother.
The room grew darker and shadows began to dance around the walls. Guinevere lifted her wand and swished it rhythmically back and forth, causing the shadows to dance around the walls. Then she stopped moving her wand. The shadows fell away, the temperature rose and the room fell silent.
"What was that?" Sofia asked.
Her mother turned around, a grave expression filling her face.
"This is worse than I thought," she said solemnly. "You see, this necklace contained powerful magical properties when it was created, but they were benign. Over time though, Dark wizards and witches and wizards have poured their power into it. The power was harmless, contained within the necklace until the charm binding the powers was cracked. Once that happened, the necklace became a lethal weapon."
"How was the protective charm cracked?" Sofia asked.
"That is the disturbing part," Guinevere whispered. "You see, Sofia, removing a charm that strong can only come through sacrifice. In order for that charm to be broken, a soul must be sacrificed."
The terror that seeped into her mother's voice made Sofia nervous. Her mother was always so calm and collected, strong and positive. Yet the way she spoke about all of this made Sofia shudder.
"How is a soul sacrificed?" She asked.
"In simple terms, it involves the pledge of ones souls to dark magic. It is very obscure and I do not completely understand it myself."
Sofia was in shock. Her mother always seemed to know everything.
"This must be taken to your father to dispose of safely," Guinevere said, motioning towards the necklace. "Now we must return our thoughts to Miss Bell. The necklace inhibited every bone in her body from working. Had she come in more direct contact with it, her heart and brain would have stopped and she would have died instantly. Now that I know what it has done to her, I can work towards curing it."
"What is the cure, in this case?" Sofia asked.
"For the moment she must rest until she regains consciousness. Then she will have to take several sets of very powerful potions every day for a while until her bones can relearn how to operate correctly. She will also have to undergo several diagnostic spells every week to make sure that there is not lasting damage. Come now, let us go and inform her parents."
Sofia's mother lifted the necklace with her wand and put it back into the white glove. Then she took the glove from Sofia and tucked it into her robes along with her wand. They left the room together.
Katie's parents were outside looking anxious. A healer was also with them, waiting to receive Guinevere's evaluation.
"Mr. and Mrs. Bell, I have managed to identify what happened to Katie and I am confident that she should be able to make a full recovery. However it will be a long and grueling process before she is completely better."
Guinevere continued to explain everything to Katie's parents as Sofia listened. Her mother's calm and confident voice was soothing and comforting for Sofia, and she knew that even the worried Bell's must feel the same sense of security.
"Come, Sofia," Guinevere said once she had finished giving instructions to the healer. "We have things to do."
She took Sofia's hand and led her back down the hallway they Disapparated again and as Sofia felt like she was spinning through the air, she felt nauseous.
Once her feet hit solid ground, she looked around. She was not standing just outside the Hogwarts grounds like she had expected, but was standing in the parlor of her home.
Her father was sitting in his favorite chair next to the fire, reading a copy of the Daily Prophet. He looked up as they appeared and a smile crossed his face.
"Sofia," he said.
He set the paper aside and stood up. Sofia ran over to him and threw her arms around him. He hugged her tightly. She felt warmth and peace spreading through her blood.
"I miss you, child."
"I miss you too, Father. It is so good to be home."
"It is only for a day or two," Guinevere warned. "You must return to school soon."
Sofia felt disappointed. Even though deep down she had known her parents would make her go back, she had hoped that just maybe they would let her stay.
"Your brothers are upstairs in Daniel's room. Why don't you go say hello?"
It was her fathers polite way of dismissing her so that he could speak with her mother. Sofia was used to it by now. Though they seldom kept secrets from their children, her parents would often have private discussions before they exposed their children to the truth.
Sofia began to head off towards the stairs, breathing in the feeling of home. Their summer house on the coast gave Sofia feelings of freedom and excitement. This, however, was her home. It made her feel secure, comfortable and peaceful, as it had always done. She felt the weight of the world being lifted off of her shoulders as she swept through the elegant halls and up the massive staircase.
Six floors of rooms, not to mention her parents laboratories in the basements, held more rooms than a family of five could ever need. Sofia had grown up here, wandering the halls and playing hide and seek in the hundred or so rooms the great house held.
She found the familiar room that belonged to her brother and pushed the door open gently. She looked around. Daniel was siting on his bed, showing Matthias a trick with his wand. The boys both looked up as Sofia entered the room!
"Sofia!" Daniel shrieked. He leapt up and ran to her, flinging his arms around her and almost knocking her backwards into the wall.
He had changed a lot in the few months since Sofia had seen him last. He was taller than she was now, and his hair was longer too, his bangs handing down over his eyes when they fell into his face.
"You need a hair cut," she joked.
He let her go so she could walk over to Matthias. He had been sitting silently on the bed, watching her with an enormous smile on his face. She say down beside him and hugged him tightly.
"Hey Matthias. How are you?"
He giggled and laughed, and warming Sofia's heart. Being back home with her family made her feel alive again. It gave her emotions that she had almost forgotten she was capable. Sitting in Daniel's room with him again like they had done so many times growing up, she almost felt as though she was a little girl again. Almost.
Daniel sat down next to her and the three of them wrapped their arms around each other. It felt right; Matthias, too young to understand, Daniel, too innocent to worry, and Sofia, carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. They were meant to be like this. They were family. They were blood.
Got any ideas for events or details to add? Let me know. Thank you to all my supporters who have been following since book 1.