"Why are you so wet?"
Phoenix was soaking wet from head to foot, clutching onto Angelina's shoulders as she gasped for air. She had run from the very top stand of the Quidditch pitch to the library where she and Angelina now stood.
"Did you and George fall in the lake or something?" She enquired, clearly amused.
George. His name alone made Phoenix's stomach feel queasy. She took a deep breath, steeling herself before finally she breathed, "I like him."
Angelina, instead of letting out a girlish squeal as Phoenix had anticipated, had cheered loudly as though they had just scored a goal during a Quidditch match, and tackled her with a hug.
"Girls! Be quiet!" Madam Pince snapped at them as Angelina continued to squeeze the living daylights out of Phoenix by hugging her.
"I knew it! I knew it!" She finally let go of Phoenix, who was relieved that Angelina had released her, her face blushing brightly, "tell me everything!"
She didn't tell Angelina everything necessarily. Not the part that included crying, or what she had been upset about, or what she had told George. She told Angelina everything that she had realised about her new-found feelings toward the red-headed prankster.
"It's like you said Ange, it was one of those moments where I just forgot about everything else and just thought of George. And then those thoughts sort of clouded over everything else and… then I just realised that he's always there for me and I like, no love, those cliché feelings I have in my stomach when I'm around him and…" Angelina had begun to laugh and Phoenix knew why, she was beginning to sound exactly like a schoolgirl with a huge crush (which in fact she was a schoolgirl but she felt as though being sixteen she had more maturity and it wasn't exactly a big crush, yet anyhow).
"You're in the stage of your crush where you annoy the crap out of your friends," Angelina observed as they walked down the marble staircase together, "Normally I would probably slap you in the face for being so sappy around me but because you put up with me doing that about Fred, I won't slap you. Instead I'll listen and tell you how much of a sap you are,"
"Oh how considerate of you Angelina," Phoenix replied with a sarcastic smile, "Do you think I enjoyable being all sappy?"
"Well you seem like you are," Angelina sang as they reached the entrance hall, "Oooo George is in there," she nudged Phoenix's arm, who felt her face burn bright red.
"I'm going to have to put up with you being snide aren't I?" Phoenix asked with a groan, "Just tone it down when we're around people okay?"
"I can't promise anything," Angelina replied in the same dreamy tone that Luna Lovegood used when talking about Nargals, "I'm allowed to be snide about this! I'm your best friend for pity sake!"
"What is Angelina allowed to be snide about?" Phoenix and Angelina actually jumped at the sound of Fred's voice. They had been unconsciously walking towards the Gryffindor table and had approached the others without even realising it. Phoenix could see George looking at them both curiously; she noticed that George was as soaked as she was.
"Oh nothing," Angelina said airily, sitting down beside Fred with Phoenix on her other side, "just girly stuff,"
"If it's girly stuff then I'm not interested," Lee said, rolling his eyes and continuing his conversation with Fred and George.
As January drifted into a cold and wet February, Angelina's comments did not subside, in fact they increased greatly. Nearly every lesson that she and Angelina had together did not pass without Angelina bringing up the subject of George. Even in potions where Lee was only feet away, Angelina would whisper things over her cauldron, such as 'do you smell George in your Amortentia?' or 'is there a potion that will cure your love sickness for George?'. Every time this happened Phoenix would throw what was ever in her hands at Angelina (she made sure she never threw her carving knife at her), this usually resulted in Phoenix getting a detention or a scolding from her teacher, though once she had hit Warrington in the back of the head with a flobberworm, which wasn't in anyone's opinion wasn't a bad thing (though Professor Snape begged to differ).
Aside from Angelina's never-ending string of comments, Phoenix and George had begun to spend a lot more time together. George was determined to help her with the mystery of her mother's murder, he was also determined to find a spell that would help to break a memory charm, but as Phoenix had said it was too dangerous to even try.
"But–" George began but Phoenix shot him a look that plainly told him to drop it. He sighed, defeated and closed a large spellbook entitled Confunding and Memory Modification, "you know Phoenix I'm spending my time in the library to help you – the library! Of all places!"
She had been searching through countless old newspapers in the library (remembering that Tonks had suggested her to do so) to try and find anything that mentioned her mother's death; while George also helped he had mainly been researching memory charms.
"How about you go read a newspaper and stop acting like a big girls blouse," Phoenix swatted his arm and returned to reading the Daily Prophet she had found, it didn't say anything about her mother however, but instead it was a rather dull article about some girl called Eileen Prince and her contributions to the Hogwarts Gobstones Team.
George looked defeated before he grabbed a large stack of Daily Prophets, picked up the one at the very top, and ruffled it with a flourish. Phoenix smiled and rolled her eyes and returned her attention back to the article, though it was boring, so instead Phoenix's eyes trailed upwards to look back over at George.
He was reading a Daily Prophet article, his hand propped up beneath his chin and his brown eyes were narrowed in concentration. She found herself staring at him a lot during these secret meetings in the back of the library and every time she did this, the more she realised just how much she really did like him. These feelings had come so suddenly. One second, she was looking at him the way she always had and in the next, all that she could think about his eyes, his smile, his freckles, and his laugh. Whenever these thoughts would surface in her head, she would usually have to slap herself in the face and a voice that sounded much like Angelina's would say 'pull yourself together you old sap!'. But Phoenix really couldn't help herself. She supposed that it was completely normal during the first few stages of a crush to think this way, even Angelina probably thought this way about Fred (which was very hard to believe because Phoenix was sure if Angelina ever thought about how Fred's eyes were like two pools of chocolate she was surely to punch herself).
Apparition lessons had also begun. On their very first lesson they had arrived in the Great Hall, since the lawns were now so permanently slippery and muddy by the constant fall of cold rain coming from the skies of purplish-grey clouds.
When Phoenix, Alicia, and Angelina arrived in the Hall for their first lesson, they found that the usual four house tables had disappeared. They quickly found Fred, George, and Lee and assembled together in front of the Heads of Houses – Professors McGonagall, Snape, Flitwick and Sprout – and beside them was a small wizard whom Phoenix assumed was their Apparition Instructor from the Ministry.
"Good morning," said the wizard, when all sixth year students had arrived and were finally silent. "My name is Wilkie Twycross," Fred and George had begun to snigger and Phoenix distinctly heard them say to Lee in a whisper 'Willy Twycross', "and I am your Ministry Apparition Instructor for the next twelve weeks. I hope to be able to prepare each and every one of you for your Apparition test in this time, and by which time, many of you may be ready to take your test," Fred, George, and Phoenix all looked at one another solemnly.
"As you may know, it is usually impossible to Apparate or Disapparate within Hogwarts or its grounds. The Headmaster has lifted this enchantment, purely within the Great Hall, for one hour and one hour only, to enable you to practise. I must emphasise that you will not be able to Apparate outside the walls of this Hall, and that you would be unwise to think to do so."
Professor McGonagall's eyes were fixed intently on Fred and George and Phoenix knew that she was searching for any early signs of them misbehaving.
"I would like you to place yourselves now so that you have a clear five feet of space in front of you."
There was great difficulty at this; students everywhere were jostling around as they tried to find a space, banging into one another now and then. Phoenix and Angelina managed to situate themselves beside one another, though they were a little far back from where they wanted to be at the front (because the Ravenclaws had gotten their first).
"George that's not a five feet!" Phoenix was saying in a whisper to George, who was three feet away from her and grinning widely.
He rolled his eyes and took another few steps to the side, "there," he said, putting his hands on his hips in imitation of her, "you happy sunshine?"
"Over the moon."
The House of Heads were once again calling for quiet. When finally the students had all calmed down and all their attention was upon Twycross, the small wizard waved his wand and out of thin air, old-fashioned wooden hoops appeared on the floor in front of each student.
"The important things to remember when Apparating are the three Ds!" From five feet away from her, Phoenix could hear Fred and George sniggering once again, "Destination, Determination, Deliberation!"
Phoenix was focusing all her attention on remembering the three Ds. She repeated them in her head slowly, Destination, Determination, Deliberation, still listening intently to the old Apparition Instructor.
"Step one: fix your mind firmly upon the desired destin-ation, in this case, the interior of your hoop. Kindly concentrate upon that destination now."
Students were now glancing around at one another; Phoenix's eyes however were focused on the hoop that lay in front of her and tried hard to think of nothing else but the bloody inside of that hoop. This however seemed to be impossible, as all she could think about was Fred whispering to Lee: 'Willy Twycross'.
"Step two: focus your determination to occupy the visualised space! Let your yearning to enter it flood from your mind to every particle of your body!"
Phoenix was baffled, she was staring into her hoop but she had no idea what Twycross was babbling on about, mainly because she had no yearning to stand in the middle of a hoop. All she could think about was the hula hoops she used to have during her years in junior school.
"Step three: and only when I give the com-mand ... turn on the spot, feeling your way into nothingness, moving with deliberation! On my command, now ... one–"
Phoenix's eyes widened, completely alarmed that they were expected to Apparate so quickly into their lesson.
Phoenix tried to wipe her thoughts once again and fixate on her hoop, but she had already forgotten what step three was because she was so alarmed about Apparating so early on.
Phoenix spun on the spot, feeling like a ridiculous dancer, lost her balance completely and crashed into Angelina who had just tripped over her shoe lace.
"That went terribly well I think," Angelina said in a hushed voice, staggering to her feet as Phoenix's eyes swept over the hall. She burst into laughter when she saw Lee, doing some sort of pirouette, looking like some sort of graceful ballerina, before Fred elbowed him and he toppled over, falling into his hoop.
They tried again. And again. And again. It wasn't until their sixth attempt however that anything really did happen. There was a loud, horrible scream of pain coming a few feet away from Angelina. Phoenix stared, horrified, to see Alicia in her hoop, only her right arm was completely missing and five feet away from her.
Several girls, including Phoenix and Angelina, let out shrieks of terror as the Heads of House darted over to Alicia. There was a bang that sounded like a gunshot and a large cloud of purple smoke, which disappeared to show Alicia, who was sobbing, her right arm now thankfully reattached to her shoulder, though she was looking shaken.
"I can't believe I was the first to get splinched!" Alicia cried, looking disheartened as they walked up the Gryffindor tower after finishing their lesson. Nobody had managed to successfully Apparate into their hoop, though Twycross did not seem discouraged by this, but many of the students were.
"What was it like?" Lee asked brightly and both Phoenix and Angelina smacked him in the chest. "What? It's not like McGonagall would let one of her Chasers lose their bleeding arm."
By the third week of February, Phoenix and George had unconsciously devised a schedule for their meetings. Every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night two hours before their curfew at nine o'clock they found themselves in the library, reading through yellowing pages of the Daily Prophet. It was Wednesday, a week before the Second Task, and they were once again in library, a candle lit lantern between them as they read various articles.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione were a few tables away; they too seemed to always be in the library. Phoenix and George both presumed that they were there for help with the second task and left them to it, though now and then they saw Ron cast furtive looks in their way.
"Why does he keep looking over?" George asked her in a whisper, stealing another look over at Ron who was once again glancing over at them.
"Your guess is as good as mine," Phoenix replied, looking over a page of the prophet to look at Ron who had now looked away, "he's probably wondering why you're in the library,"
"Nosey git," George muttered before returning to look at the article he was reading, "It's not like I'm doing anything wrong. I mean, I'm here with you and if he thinks that I'm– wait Pixy, I think I've found something!"
"What?" Phoenix got up from her seat opposite him and slid into the seat besides him, leaning closer to peer at the article. The headline seemed to have been stained and was impossible to decipher, the article itself was still in tack, though rather discoloured, and beside the article were large, moving pictures of four Death Eaters, the one that drew Phoenix's eye however was the one of her step-aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange.
"It's talking about four Death Eater's trail in front of the Council of Magical Law… murdering's of several Muggles… including the wife of a famous Muggle author, Jane Lancaster… Blimey, one of the Death Eaters was Mr. Crouch's son… wonder if Percy knows about that… And…" George's mouth fell open and Phoenix drew her eyes off Bellatrix to look at the paragraph he had read. She let out a loud gasp.
"Sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnapping and torturing of famous Aurors and just new parents to Neville: Alice and Frank Longbottom…" Phoenix read in a tremulous, quiet voice. She felt as if ice had just replaced her insides, "…the two Aurors were driven into insanity when they had refused to divulge anything… Now they are both living at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, and unaware that they had given birth to their son."
She and George shared a horrified look. Phoenix felt as if she wanted to cry.
"Neville's parents," they whispered together. They sat in a stunned silence, both too shocked by the news that one of their friends had parents who had no idea who he was.
George let out a deep sigh and continued to read while Phoenix let out a sniff, "Following the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom, a series of Muggle murdering's followed… none of these murders sparked as much fury in the Wizard community as the murder of Jane Lancaster," George's eyes looked up to see Phoenix biting her lip, her hair and eyes a ghostly dull white, his hand enclosed around hers before he read on, "The group of Death Eaters had not only killed Jane but also tortured her three year old daughter, Phoenix…"
The one thing that she had not told George was this. She had not wanted to tell him. She had not wanted him to know. Her eyes met his and for the first time since she had known George, she could not read them.
"Did you know about this?" he asked in a voice so quiet and so shaky that she had barely heard him.
"Moody told me…"
"And why didn't you tell me?"
"I-I…" she looked down at her lap and sighed, "I don't know…"
George seemed to be holding back words, he breathed heavily before placing down the newspaper and propping a finger under her chin, "Pixy, look at me," Phoenix's head titled upwards slowly and her dull sliver eyes met George's warm brown ones, "It's okay, I understand you didn't want to tell me about… that," his eyes searched hers as he said, "I just… it's just that…"
"I just… I care about you okay?" His eyes were full of such sincerity it scared her, she felt her stomach lurch and her breath hitched in her throat as her eyes turned slowly back to their usual ocean blue, "I care a great deal about you and… I just worry about you,"
"I understand," Phoenix replied softly, reaching out to touch George's hand and gripping it, "But I'm fine… that was years ago and I don't even remember it."
George hesitated and once again, he bit his tongue before sighing and dropping his hand from her chin. Phoenix hadn't realised how much warmth seemed to radiate from his skin onto hers until it was gone.
She once again turned her attention to the moving pictures of the article. There was Rabastan Lestrange, tall, thin and sullen, Rodolphus Lestrange, who held a blank stare behind matted dark hair, and then there was Bartemius Crouch Jr. Phoenix thought he looked rather young and out-of-place next to his fellows, he was pale, with straw-coloured hair and freckles, she couldn't hardly believe that this boy was Mr. Crouch's son and was involved in her mother's murder and the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom. Finally her eyes were drawn to Bellatrix Lestrange. The resemblance that she bore to Cecilia was small but still there, both had long eyelashes, strong jaw and long, shiny hair, though Bellatrix's was thick and dark, unlike Cecilia whose hair was fair, much like her sister Narcissa. Bellatrix's eyes were not a warm brown like Cecilia's instead they seemed darker, almost black and heavily-lidded. And as Phoenix stared into them, almost hypnotised, something inside her seemed to crack.
She gasped as yet again, something flashed before her eyes. The drawing that she had seen from her briefcase and then… the dark eyes of Bellatrix Lestrange were staring back at her through a faceless mask, before Bellatrix's long, thin nails reached out towards her.
"What happened?" George looked at her, alarmed as Phoenix recoiled, almost falling off her chair.
"You remembered something didn't you?" He looked at her, frantically.
"N-No, I didn't," she said quickly, her heart was hammering against her chest as her hands began to shake violently, "It was n-nothing… I-I'm going to bed,"
But she wasn't listening. She grabbed her bag and without a second glance back at George, she raced out of the library, almost flattening Madam Pince in the process. She didn't stop running until she reached the Fat Lady's portrait.
"Why are you in such a hurry?" The Fat Lady asked as Phoenix gasped, leaning against a pillar.
"B–Banana Fritters," Phoenix stuttered, ignoring the Fat Lady's question. The portrait swung open and Phoenix climbed through the hole.
"Phoenix!" Lee called from the other side of the common room where he sat with Angelina and Fred, "come back from your cosy study session with George?"
She did not reply however, she ignored him darted through the door to the girl's dormitories and ran up the stairs, accidentally barging into Lavender Brown on the way.
At long last she reached the safety of her dormitory. She was finally alone. Leaning against the door, she took deep breaths. Had she just remembered what she had seen moments before Bellatrix had begun to torture her? The image of Bellatrix's eyes made her very skin crawl.
After having a long shower and pulling on her pyjamas, Phoenix climbed into bed. She was surprised that Angelina had not yet barged in, demanding why she seemed to want to be in bed by half eight, but at the same time, Phoenix was thankful. She didn't feel like talking to Angelina now, in fact she didn't feel like talking to anybody. As soon as Phoenix closed her eyes, she pulled into sleep.
Her dreams were clouded. Angelina and Fred were conversing in low voices as Phoenix approached them, "Angelina told me something," said Fred, he sounded almost as dreamy as Luna Lovegood as he turned to Phoenix, smiling idly at her, "she told me you fancy my twin,"
"Angelina!" Phoenix groaned as Angelina sent her an apologetic look.
"You might want to get a move on and ask him out," said Fred, "I heard that he likes Millicent Bulstrode… Oh… there he is with her now…"
Phoenix turned, expecting to see George and Millicent locked in a close embrace, but instead she was facing a mirror. She approached it cautiously. Her surroundings seemed to swim around her; both Fred and Angelina had disappeared. She reached out a hand to touch the mirror. As soon as her skin made contact with it, it burned, white-hot and seemed to pull her through right the glass. It was a strange sensation, almost like falling through water, like some sort of veil.
Was she on the other side of the glass? Was she inside the mirror? She turned around, for some reason she felt a lot smaller, as though she had shot down greatly in height.
She now faced the mirror and a girl, with bright blue hair that was tied in pigtails and dressed in a floral sun dress, was staring back at her. A panda cuddly toy was clutched to her chest. She sniffled, still clutching the teddy and walked out of her bedroom.
"Mummy!" she called as she climbed down the stairs carefully.
"Phoenix, Sweetheart, be careful down the stairs!" a motherly voice called as Phoenix reached the second to last step and jumped off. She seemed to fly through the air before she landed graciously, both of her small feet firmly on the ground.
"Where's daddy?" Phoenix asked as she pushed the heavy door to a kitchen open to show a woman. The woman had natural reddish-brown hair, which reached just past her shoulders, a sweet, heart-shaped face, big, round ocean blue eyes, the exact shape and shade of Phoenix's. It was her mother.
At the sight of Phoenix, the woman kneeled down in front of her and twirled her bright blue hair with her fingers, "Whatever is going on with your hair, we will never know," she laughed, her laugh seemed to emit warmth throughout Phoenix's entire being, calming her nerves and reassuring her, "and Daddy is at a meeting darling,"
The young Phoenix pouted her tiny lips at her mother, "Daddy is always at meetings."
"I know," her mother whispered, kissing the young girls nose which made her giggle, "How about your draw Daddy at nice picture for when he gets home?" Phoenix nodded enthusiastically. Her mother chuckled as she ran from the kitchen, into a living room where colour pencils, felt tips and a colouring book lay on the coffee table.
"I'm going to draw Daddy a dragon!" Phoenix shouted to her mother, sounding rather proud of herself. Her tiny hands grabbed her colouring book and colouring pencils and she climbed onto the armchair beside the window, placing her panda down on the chair beside her. She began to colour in, careful to draw in the lines, choosing different colours to make the dragon as colourful as possible, she knew that her father loved when Phoenix made her drawings colourful (and he also always gave her a cookie for it).
Just as Phoenix had finished the drawing with colouring the dragon's eyes a powerful pink, she noticed suddenly that somebody, or something, had walked past the window. Curious, she stood up in the armchair and stared out of the window, looking out at the front garden.
There were several people; all dressed in long blacks cloaks, walking up the garden path. Phoenix's eyes widened in fear as she noticed that they were wearing faceless masks, hoods pulled up over their heads.
"Mummy!" She squealed, her hair turning a pale blonde as she gripped her panda in fright, "Scary people are here!"
"Darling what are you–"
The front door flew open with a sound like a bomb. Phoenix screamed, grabbing her teddy and jumping off the armchair and running into the kitchen to where her mother was.
"PHOENIX, GET OUT OF HERE!" Her mother shouted as the group in cloaks jeered, forcing their way into the kitchen, blasting pictures from the walls and breaking several ornaments.
"Look what we have here!" A women's harsh voice cackled, "the wife of the Muggle and the daughter, oh what a treat!"
"Who are you?" Phoenix's mother asked, trying to shield Phoenix from view. "What do you want?"
"Shut up Muggle!" a hoarse voice said from behind one of the masks. He raised a stick in his hand and slashed it through the air, a jet of red light shot from its tip and struck Phoenix's mother in the face. She screamed in pain, blood trickling from her cheek.
"Crouch don't!" said a new voice, "We want to make this quick and easy."
"Rabastan, let's have bit of fun first," Said the harsh voice of the women. "You know how much I love children," she said in a simpering, babyish voice.
Phoenix's mother reared up at once, staring coldly at the group of people as Phoenix gripped her arms around her mother's leg, terrified, "Don't you dare hurt my daughter!" Her voice was strong and Phoenix had never heard her sound so angry.
"Rodolphus, Travers, grab the girl!" Commanded the woman's voice and Phoenix ran from her mother, wanting to run and hide from these bad people. She made to run out of the back door, but hands grabbed her, she kicked and she screamed as she was lifted from her feet and brought before of one of the masked people.
"Don't touch her!" Her mother shouted, she was being restrained by four of masked people, who were all jeering.
"Sweet little girl," said the woman's voice, her long black nails stroked Phoenix's face, making Phoenix's skin crawl as she stared up at the masked face, her hair turning, if possible, an even paler blonde. Behind the mask, Phoenix saw the woman's dark eyes widen, "Do you see this?" She cackled, "We have a witch here! A Metamorphmagus!"
"Just like your dear niece Bella," said a raspy voice and the others all laughed loudly.
"She is no niece of mine!" The woman shrieked and the others fell silent. "This girl's blood is just as filthy as my niece!" She pointed a long, thin stick at Phoenix and she saw the eyes behind the mask darken evilly, "Crucio!"
Pain so intense hit Phoenix like white-hot knives that pierced every inch of her skin. She didn't know where she was, who she was. All she knew that she was screaming more loudly and more painfully than she had ever before, her body felt as though it was surely going to die from the pain. Every nerve in her body felt as if it had burst. Every bone had been broken. Just as the pain had started however… it stopped.
She was lying on the floor, her tiny body shaking from the intense, overwhelming pain. She stared at her hand in front of her, she could hear her mother crying hysterically and that evil woman laughing as her mother tried to free herself from her captors, to get to her daughter, to hold her and to protect her.
"Bella," said a booming voice, he sounded as though Phoenix's mother was putting up a real fight, screaming and kicked every inch of her captor's body. "Just kill her already!"
"Happily," said the woman's voice.
'Bella' turned to Jane Lancaster, who was staring determinedly back at her. She raised the stick and pointed at directly at her chest.
A jet of bright green light blinded Phoenix as her mother screams echoed through her head and then the light hit Jane Lancaster, blasting her back several feet before she crumpled to the ground. Her blue eyes were still open, though they could not see her daughter, crying and screaming helplessly for her mother.
She opened her eyes. Her entire body was shaking uncontrollably, like she was still being tortured by the Cruciatus Curse. Her face felt hot and her eyes burned, her throat was on fire and she knew immediately she had cried and screamed in her sleep.
"Oh my – Phoenix!"
Angelina, Alicia, Arista, and Ava were standing over her looking frightened.
Before Phoenix could utter a single word, she gasped and leaned over the side of the bed and was sick over the floor.
"Ava, go and get Professor McGonagall!" Angelina instructed, clearing up Phoenix's sick with a flick of her shaking wand before she rushed over to Phoenix and put an arm around her quivering shoulders. "She's red-hot!"
"Oh god," whispered Arista as Ava left the dormitory in her dressing gown. "Should I fetch Madam Pomfrey?"
"Yes please do Arista," a pale-faced Alicia said and Arista left the dormitory too.
Angelina tried to pull Phoenix from the bed, but her body was shaky so much that she could not get to her feet. She had just seen her mother's death. She had just seen her mother's death. The words repeated round in her head and she felt light-headed as she leaned down and threw up once again.
"What's wrong with her?" Alicia asked, looking as though she was going to be sick too as she cleared up the vomit with a flick of her wand and sat on Phoenix's other side. "She hasn't said a word."
"I have no idea," Angelina said, sounding scared.
Phoenix still could feel the white-hot pain across her body like the Cruciatus Curse had caused. She could still feel the gaze of Bellatrix Lestrange's dark, cold, sinister eyes and her mother screaming before she was so carelessly throw aside like the spider had been in Moody's class.
She felt tense, sweat and suddenly, she could felt like she could hardly breathe, she felt as if she was spinning, stripped of all control, nothing holding her down. She needed to run and keeping running until she was far away from this situation. But there was no running from this. She was trapped. Trapped in her mind, her own thoughts, her own visions of her mother's death. She was locked inside an abandoned-demon infested-factory, and she knew that there were no means of escape, nobody to hear her scream or run to her rescue.
Her breaths were becoming harsher, shallower. She began to feel more light-headed, like she was going to be sick again. Everything was becoming blurry and darkening, the world was moving in slow motion. It felt as though somebody had extinguished all the lamps in the room and Phoenix was sure that in a few seconds she would be gone.
Her chest was constricting in sudden pressure, as though a boa constrictor was wrapping its body around her ribcage and squeezing it tightly. Her fingertips were tingling, and then the tingles went up to her hands, her arms and went numb. She felt hopeless, as though nothing would ever be okay again. Everything that Phoenix had ever done wrong was screaming at her, deafening her.
Somebody was screaming at her. "SHE'S HAVING A PANIC ATTACK ALICIA! PHOENIX! PHOENIX!" They were crying. "Fuck, breathe Phoenix! Just focus on your breathing!"
Phoenix tried. Her breathing was now so fast it felt as though she really had lost all control. But then her vision became less blurry and she could make out Angelina's outline, gripping her shoulders and tears pouring from her eyes. She had to keep in control! She had to.
"Phoenix, breathe…" Angelina said in a voice that shook so violently, so horribly. "Breath… one… two… three… four…"
Her breaths slowly, but surely slowed down. Her chest still felt as though it was being squeezed, she still felt light-headed and her arms still felt numb, but her breathing returned to normal and the sense of hopelessness had vanished.
The dormitory door flew open and Professor McGonagall in her tartan dressing gown came in, looking ashen-faced, behind her were Ava, Arista and Madam Pomfrey.
"Professor!" Angelina said in relief. "Phoenix – she… she just had a panic attack. We managed to calm her down–"
"What else happened?" Professor McGonagall asked, rushing over to Phoenix with Madam Pomfrey and they both helped her to her feet. Madam Pomfrey wrapped a blanket around her that seemed to warm Phoenix's stomach and the crushing feeling in her chest seemed to fade.
"She was having a nightmare I think," said Alicia. "A really horrible one it seemed to be. She was screaming… it was horrible. It sounded like…" Alicia looked around at the other girls, who were all as pale as she was. "…she was… in pain and she wouldn't wake up."
"I think she will need some potion for a dreamless sleep Poppy," said Professor McGonagall in a tremulous voice.
"Should I take her down to the hospital wing Minerva?" Madam Pomfrey asked as Phoenix's body shook violently once again, almost knocking her off her feet.
"Yes," Professor McGonagall replied, "That would be best."
"I-I… I-I saw," Phoenix was desperately trying to get her words out, but she could hardly breathe through her violent shaking and sobbing, "I-I… I-I s-saw," but what see saw, they never knew. Because at that moment, Phoenix's world darkened, her body fell backwards and she knew no more.
The next update won't be until I am back from holiday (31th August) so I apologise for that. It took me a few hours to write Phoenix's panic attack because I had to do a lot of research on them as I have never had one before and I wanted to make it as realistic as I could. I always knew that Phoenix would remember exactly what happened during her mother's death first and I always knew that she would suffer from a panic attack from it, after all it was the most traumatic experience that she has had and the shock of it would send her into one. Also I always thought that it would be strange if Phoenix never found out about Neville's parents during her research of her mother's death (because Bellatrix Lestrange was so involved in it) so I knew that had to be included because I plan on Neville (and Dean Thomas too) to be very good friends with Phoenix in the future. But don't worry Phoenix and George will keep Neville's secret.