Whoever said death by drowning was an easy way to go had clearly never tried it. The moment the water had flooded her lungs and the pain lit up in her forehead, Fawn sprung up from the tub and spewed water. Every instinct urged her to cough her lungs out, and she tried to resist at first but was helpless to do anything but comply. Her hacking coughs went unnoticed by her Aunt Petunia who had stepped outside to chat with their neighbour over the fence, and by Dudley who was playing videogames in his room and had no awareness of the world around him. If Uncle Vernon heard her plight, he made no indication.
Fawn leaned against the edge of the tub and took ragged, watery breaths that often ended in a coughing fit. This had been a spectacular failure. It was painful and terrifying, and she never wanted to go through it again. A quick death would be better, but maybe she didn't need to try again so soon. Fawn rested in the tub until she was feeling settled enough to get out. She didn't wash her hair. Her body felt lethargic, she was emotionally drained, and she didn't want to stick her head back under the water right now. She'd have a shower another day, it just wasn't her main concern right now.
Fawn used her towel to wipe up the water that had spilled on the floor, then pulled off her soaking shirt and underwear and balled them up. She his them inside the towel after she wrapped it around her body. She didn't want anyone to see her clothing and ask why it was so wet. She took the time to put back on her pants though, to make it look like she was wearing all her clothing under the towel. She also didn't like walking around the Dursley home feeling exposed in any way. It made her skin crawl to feel vulnerable around these people. She unlocked the door and made her way to her cupboard, glad to see that Aunt Petunia wasn't waiting for her in the hallway.
Fawn put on some clean pajamas and climbed into her bed. She rubbed softly at her forehead, her headache hadn't died down or abated from the moment it had sprung up. This had all been a terrible idea. She pulled her thin blanket tighter around her shivering body and felt sorry for herself. Her nose was getting plugged, her chest hurt if she took deep breaths, she was still coughing, and she was so tired now. Worse, she still didn't have any answers and she was no closer to proving the Dursley's guilt. Plus, now she was scared to try again. Fawn closed her eyes, giving in to her fatigue. She'd think about everything later.
She woke up vomiting. Bile splattered on the floor as she choked and gasped for breath, but Fawn could hardly breathe. No matter how hard she tried to pull air into her lungs, it felt like she was getting nothing. Fawn flopped back in her bed and gasped for breath, chest moving short sharp bursts, but nothing helped. Black spots began to dance on the ceiling and she started panicking. Why did it feel like she was drowning now? Fawn convulsed and her eyes rolled back in her head, and suddenly she was looking down at herself from her bedside, calm encased her mind.
Her lips were blue and gaping open in an unattractive representation of a fish. Her eyes were open and unfocused, her hair was a damp tangled mess on her bed. She'd had better days. Fawn looked at her current form, her spirit maybe? It was clad in her ratty pajamas; she was glad she had gotten changed before laying down. How strange that she would be here like this now. She hadn't the faintest idea what could have caused her to die now instead of in the tub. Damage to her lungs?
In any case, she was here now, she could find the answers to her questions. Before doing anything else though, Fawn looked around the room for any sign of the baby creature and found it sitting on the floor behind her just like last time. This time though, it looked absolutely murderous instead of afraid. Fawn tried not to flinch at it's monstrous face contorted in such an expression. Beside that, Fawn thought it looked a little different compared to last time. It was off from how she remembered it, but she couldn't place her finger on how.
"Is it because I left you last time? I tried to take you with me. I'm sorry. I came back though." She offered. The baby's expression did not change, but it opened its mouth and for a moment Fawn thought it was going to reply. However, all that came out was a noiseless stream of air and the child looked even more frustrated than before. So, the baby could not talk but it wanted to communicate, could it understand her after all?
"Do you understand what I'm saying?" she asked it. The baby slowly nodded its head, vertebrae cracking with the effort. Fawn pushed away the urge to roll her own neck in response. "Right, so that means we can do yes or no questions." She muttered. She bit her lip and thought for a moment, it would be a lot easier to get information if the baby could just talk.
"So, just to confirm, am I really truly dead?" she asked. The creature's featured darkened again, but it nodded its head yes. Well, that proved it then. The Dursley's really had killed her last time, it wasn't all in her head. It couldn't be a dream! Although, she had been sleeping in her bed right before it happened. Bollocks.
"Any way to prove that?" she asked. The creature leveled her with an exasperated look and made the effort to point at her dead body in the bed. "Right, point taken." She said. "So, then, can I get back again? Like last time?" she asked. The baby creature shrugged its shoulders. That was not exactly the positive response she had been looking for, she might be worried if she were capable of feeling anything other than calm.
"I suppose I should try and find out then, you think there is a time limit on this thing?" she asked. Again, the creature could neither confirm or deny her suspicions. It was then that it dawned on her, what was so different about the creature. "Your skin!" she remarked suddenly, "It's looking much better. It doesn't look so leathery today." she said. She watched as the creature held its arm out to inspect it, apparently not having noticed before. Fawn smiled, "Well that's a good thing isn't it? So, are you going to be okay here by yourself?" she asked it. The creature's face quickly changed to one of horror, it's arms stretching out towards her, and it shook it's head in the negative as quickly as Fawn thought he skeletal thing might be able to.
"Okay, sorry, I won't leave you alone. I'm not sure how to take you with me though." She said, and reached out to gather the poor thing in her arms. The baby clung fiercely to her pajamas and Fawn tried not to recoil at its touch. It really felt terrible to hold. "I have to go back though, I can always come visit you again." She tried to soothe, but the creature didn't let go.
"Err, do you have any parents around here that I can help you find?" she asked. The creature shook its head and Fawn sighed. So, it was truly alone. Just what was this baby creature anyways? There was no real way for her to find out. "Then I'm not sure what I should do." She confessed. It seemed wrong to just abandon it, but it clearly wasn't able to come back with her. The baby let go of her with one arm, and pointed back to her still body.
"Do you want to try again, the same way we did last time?" she questioned looking down at it's red eyes. She hated those eyes. The baby nodded his head, and Fawn agreed. "Okay, that's what we will do then, sorry I can't do more." She said. Fawn walked over to her bed, and after giving the creature a quick goodbye kiss on the forehead that made her skin crawl, she laid her hand on her arm and was sucked back in.
The experience of revival was no more pleasant this time than the last time. This time, she was once again expelling fluid from her lungs and gasping for breath. How had there been that much water left in her lungs? Hadn't she coughed it all out in the bathroom? Fawn decided she would look into it later, maybe she could sneak into Dudley's room the next time he wasn't home and find something on the internet. Otherwise, she would pay a visit to the library once she was allowed to go outside again.
As Fawn's breathing settled down a feeling of elation started to overcome her. She had done it, she had really done it. She could die and come back to life anytime she wanted. Fawn started to laugh, giddy and drunk off her discovery, she would never have to fear the Dursley's again. Fawn laughed at laughed, and when a creeped-out Aunt Petunia banged on her door and told her to keep it down, Fawn just laughed harder.
Her life was just about to begin, she could feel it in her bones.