My eyelids flutter open, and a bright light fills my eyes. I moan Harry’s name lightly under my breath, before shielding my eyes with my hands. I feel the hair on my arms stand up, as it leaves the warmth of the blanket covering me from head to toe. I yawn, snuggling into the mattress. God my bed has never felt as inviting as it does today. Wait… Bed? I prop myself onto my elbows, taking in my surroundings. A long white walled room, with nothing but a bed, a window and a bedside table. The blankets are a light cream, silk, if I’m correct. I look around in awe, feeling the blanket slip from my shoulders to pool at my stomach. I feel a cool breeze hit my chest, and blush profusely. I hold the blankets to my chest, realising my clothes from last night were nowhere to be seen. I sit up ono my knees, searching desperately to find something – anything to cover my bare body. A glare catches my eye as I wince at the blinding light. Moving out of the brightness, my eyes see a small bell placed precisely in the middle of the bedside table. How did I miss that? I pick it up, jingling it lightly, examining its pretty pattern. I’ve never seen such a delicate treasure anywhere in Emmersford. I don’t live in a rich area, so this is worth a fortune in my town. Where on earth am I? The doors at the end of the room fly open, and two small women rush in, one on each side of the bed. I quickly place the bell back on the table, and I feel a blush rise on my cheeks.
“Good morning dear, my names Marie and this is Muriel.” The lady to my right says softly, gesturing to the lady on my other side, who curtseys awkwardly. “My lady said that you should dress and meet her as soon as you could. If you follow us down the hall, you’ll find yourself in the bathroom, where your new clothes are waiting. You can shower, and then we’ll escort you to madams private study room.” Marie says, as Muriel looks around nervously. I stare intently at the women who are smiling at me worriedly. “What -w. I.” I begin to mumble, staring blankly at the women before me. “Come dear” she says, taking my wrist gently as I snap it back to catch the covers slipping down my breasts. Marie laughs heartily, “My dear don’t worry, we’ve seen too many a breast to give a damn anymore. We promise we won’t look. Come, we’ll clean you up for your meeting with the duchess.” I pull the sheet from the bed, holding it over my skin as I follow Marie and Muriel cautiously. Muriel holds the door for me, and I thank her kindly. But she doesn’t seem to be aware of my presence. She stares into the top corner of the room intensely before following me out. My feet feel cold against the wooden floor as my arms crossed over my chest protectively. The ladies seem nice, but I still don’t understand where I am, or why I’m here. I think I would know by now if there was a place as big as this in Emmersford. Marie opens the door, and ushers me inside. I expect her to close it after me, but Muriel follows me in, and we stand together, in quite close quarters gawkily. “I’m sorry about this dear, but there are cameras everywhere but here, for privacy reasons. When you meet with Madame, you must not tell her anything. If you want your friend safe and alive, keep your lips closed. She will use anything, and everything against you. For the sake of yourself, and your friends and family, don’t tell her anything.” Muriel then walks out briskly, closing the door softly behind her. Well, that was confronting. I turn on the shower tap and wait for the temperature to adjust before stripping down and climbing in. The hot water runs down my body, and I breathe in the warm air. What is going on? Why am I here? What do they want from me? Could it possibly be that I’ve gotten myself deeper into Harry’s past than I ever imagined? I turn the hot water, and wrap the bland towel around my body before stepping onto the shower mat. I guess there’s only one way to find out.