When I look back on the entire event in retrospect it was probably the mounting sleep deprivation of the past few months that had me acting so impulsively irrational and rather insanely stupid. The shouting voices from the other side of the door eventually transpired to be Harry understandably freaking about a vision he had received from Voldemort showing him Sirius being tortured by the man himself for some reason or another at the Ministry in the Department of Mysteries. I was instantly concerned and immediately volunteered myself for a look out post and the rescue mission which had all that were present looking at me strangely to which I told them that my mother never believed the hogwash and injustice that he was imprisoned over and neither did I. They all seemed to fly with it and soon a plan was laid out that Harry and Hermione would affirm that Sirius was at the Ministry while Ron would head the Bridge off with a tale that Peeves was doing his usual stint in the Transfiguration Department and Ginny, Luna and I would be the lookout guards while telling everyone that the Bridge's office corridor was filled with Garrotting Gas. That did not work out too well because Peeves was already wrecking another part of the castle and the Bridge had set Stealth Sensoring Spells on her office so immediately knew when she was being lied to by a panting Ron. Ginny, Luna and I were caught off guard with Neville Longbottom, who was trying to help Ginny, being dragged into the Bridge's office by the Slytherin Suck-ups, I mean Inquisitorial Squad. Draco's face went white when I greeted him jovially telling him that this was a far better substitute for studying all day long and his glare shut me up although the image of his white face kept on making me giggle. The Bridge had interrogated Harry for a while although I didn't catch everything said because I was too busy trying to stifle my giggles and when professor Snape left, after telling the Bridge that he had no Veritaserum left subsequently being put on probation, he frowned at my clearly lacklustre behaviour. The Bridge was threatening Harry with the Cruciatus Curse when Hermione gave the best performances I had ever seen in real life which convinced me that she was a Drama nerd before Hogwarts and bluffed us out of the truth by saying that we were involved with a secret weapon made by professor Dumbledore. Shortly after a small argument and the Bridge's departure with Harry and Hermione to the Forbidden Forest the rest of us left behind burst into action taking down the Slytherin Suck-ups, did I mean Inquisitorial Squad? It was so spectacularly hilarious that on our way down to help Harry and Hermione in the Forest we all had a bit of a laugh at the image of them all incapacitated in some way or another. We had found Harry and Hermione running to the forest arguing about something and covered in blood. Harry had tried to dissuade us from coming on the rescue mission, but after an amount of clever protests on our side we managed to stay on the operation. Luna had pointed out the Thestrals for a feasible means of transportation and after waiting for seven to show up Harry, Neville, Luna and I had confidently strode up to our mounts. That left Hermione, Ron and Ginny looking rather bewildered so after a small huff Luna helped them find a ride of their own before Harry tentatively spoke out our destination to the skeletal horses.
After a small moment the Thestrals unfolded their leathery wings and with a pleasant jolt to my stomach we were high in the sky flying across the country in the freezing clouds. The ride was comfortable enough as in my youth I had taken a few horse riding lessons much like the rest of the children in my class so I was able to get my posture correct enough and I kept my head forward on the mission. As we started our decline to land I heard a shriek which I shrugged my shoulders to with the lights of London coming into view with what seemed to be a few charred out buildings. Trying to squash a feeling of guilt I gently dismounted the steed who wandered off after a pat and I looked to the ground to see what I had landed on and my guilt instantly came rushing back. I picked up the newspaper with a blaring headline and hurriedly folded it walking with the others to a telephone box which said it was out of order. While Harry dealt with the mechanisms of our entry I discretely opened and scanned the article with my improved skim reading techniques and what I found bothered me somewhat. He seemed to have come true to his word and had invaded London with letters to the press with horrific videos sent to the news stations while going on a blow up important monuments rampage. He blamed the entire affair on me and said that the only place I belonged in was Gotham and consequences would be dire if I wasn't sent back home. The police and press was naturally concerned saying rubbish along the lines of doing their best to apprehend the terrorist. I trailed at the back of the group when we were let out of the telephone box and shredded the article before setting it on fire and leaving the burning paper behind. I determinedly set my face and posture forwards and told myself that I would not compromise this rescue mission by behaving like a complete wimp. The Atrium of the Ministry was eerily empty as we strode into the elevators and took the ride nine floors below the ground before scrambling to a rather plain looking black door. We entered through the unassuming black door and found ourselves in a circular room which had several doors to pass through so we did with a scene of trial and error before coming to our destination which was a room full of glowing orbs on top of towering shelves.
We had found ourselves in a trap. After Harry had removed a glowing orb which had his name on several Death Eaters had appeared from the shadows and after recognising Lucius Malfoy among them I shifted myself to the back of the group my insides cringing at the awkwardness of the situation. Lucius had obviously heard about my father's death and Draco was no doubt sending reports back home about my behaviour for the past few months so I did not desire this as our reunion. When Bellatrix Lestrange had appeared shouting insults at Harry my jaw had hit the ground realising the severity of my disconnection from the world as I did not ever learn the name of those who had escaped from Azkaban all those months ago in January. Harry had exchanged a few scathing remarks with the Death Eaters who were brave enough to talk and sent a discrete signal for us to run which resulted in the group getting split up with us all running off and duelling for our lives. In some twist I had gone off on my own and when confronted by a few Death Eaters I shot off the first spell which came to mind which was a particularly dark curse; it was a neurologically degenerative curse which when hit would cause one intense pain before passing out with their Nervous System eating itself up and would cause death within the first twenty four hours. I left the few that I had cursed and found myself in the room which had most of the rescue mission's party entranced; the room with the veil which I hid myself behind to regroup my thoughts and tactics to find the others. I did not have much time to think before Harry and Neville burst through with the remaining Death Eaters hot on their trail. Bellatrix had held up Neville as bait for Harry to hand over the glowing orb, which ended up being a prophecy, and as Harry was handing it over to Lucius five people rushed into the room causing pandemonium. I recognised four as being Sirius, Nymphadora Tonks, and two of our old professors, Lupin and Moody, but they all had seemed to steal the show by handling the Death Eaters as well as they could with Light Magic. In the chaos of the duel I had made my way to the door while hitting someone with the degenerative curse and found professor Dumbledore in all his furious and powerful glory entering the room. I turned to watch the scene of him dealing with the situation, but became distracted as I saw Bellatrix duelling Sirius with her blasting him through the veil. The room stopped for me as I slipped a little into my mind and was in such a numbed state that when Bellatrix fled the room pulling me with her I did not make much of an effort to protest. She ran us out of the circular confusing room and into the elevator and snapped her fingers in front of my face distracting me from the flashing images.
"Ah, that seemed to have done the trick," was the first thing I registered. "Now that we have a small amount of time to ourselves I would like to catch up."
"Catch up?" I asked, but she ignored me.
"Tell me, has your mother, my darling sister, and father, that demon tempter, really died in the time that I have been away?" she looked intently at me.
"Um, yeah," my voice was rather slow. "For mother it was rather quick, a simple shot to the head. For father it took being half blown up and a fall from some scaffolding to do the final blow."
"Pity, I would have loved to give them my congratulations if you know what I mean," she started. "Draco wasn't lying about the face, but be a dear and tell me the how."
"Well, I don't really remember the entire event, but the guy who blew my father up kind of broke out of his incarceration and when it was winter break he cornered me and did this." I didn't really know why I was telling her this, but I was really tired and wasn't really focussed on any inhibitions.
"So what has gotten you in a huff about nightmares?" she asked straight to the point which was pleasant for a change.
"Uh, if I tell you this can you promise that you aren't going to tell Aunt Narcissa?" I blinked sleepily.
"Yes fine," she snapped impatiently.
"Okay. While my father was chasing down the bad guy in my city the bad guy kind of kidnapped me for leverage if he ever needed it or was using it, I don't know, but anyway while the whole leverage thing was going on this guy tortured me for a few believable screams and it was really terrible because he made me watch everyone die and killed someone every time I cried about it." I must have been really tired because I was spilling my guts to the wrong person. "Oh, yeah he also gave me pneumonia which means that the cold and wet doesn't really do well with my chest."
The elevator pinged and the smooth woman's voice told us that we had reached the Atrium where there were still no people and somewhere in my confused mind I remarked that the Ministry was even worse than Gotham with safety and security. Bellatrix shook her head at my glazed over expression and pulled me out of the elevator to start walking towards the telephone box while constantly checking her surroundings.
"So who have you told the complete truth to?" she started as we began walking.
"No one really; everyone in Gotham knows, not about how my father became a murderous lunatic because of Rachel's death, but everything else they knew of and those pitying looks became really irritating especially with the media so I decided to not tell anyone," I plodded along with her.
"I see," she seemed to considering something. "Who in your little group of ruffians knows anything of the Dark Arts?"
"What!?" the mention of the word had me glancing around nervously and guiltily. "Not me that's for sure!"
"What is wrong with you?" she looked at my guilty expression. "Ah, does Emily have a dirty little secret?"
"Shush! I glanced around wildly. "No one must know! They might find out!"
"Find out what?" She stooped to look into my eyes as the images of the people I had shot ran amok through my head.
"Nothing, there is nothing to find out!" She did not seem convinced by my words that were becoming more and more confused due to my tiredness.
"Sure there is nothing to figure out," she said sarcastically and her voice lit up when she saw something over my shoulder. "I hope this doesn't put a damper on our lovely aunt niece relationship here, but seeing as it is Potter you won't hurt that much."
"What," the words were only just out of my mouth before I was flung around to face a Cruciatus Curse cast by an angry Harry who looked like he had a vendetta to uphold.
The pain was insurmountable to anything that I had ever experienced, but it was briefly lived although I had sunk to my knees with a small shriek escaping my mouth. Bellatrix had laughed while pointing out his error before him to his shocked and white expression and he instantly hid behind the other side of the Fountain of Magical Brethren while she stepped around me. She tossed a few taunts his way while the two exchanged a few spells which missed their targets and thankfully me who had moved forward to the Watch Wizard's desk because I really needed a surface that wasn't the floor to sit on. Their words had progressed into Harry telling her that the prophecy had been smashed and that Voldemort wouldn't be too pleased about that fact while I wondered the practicality of having such an important object made of something as frail as glass. Bellatrix was understandably enraged as was evident in the way she screeched at Harry trying to call him out on his "lie" which he only laughed at thus making her angrier. It was at the pinnacle when I was briefly considering the desk as a viable option for a nap location when Lord Voldemort's appearance made me double take and slap my forehead to reaffirm that, indeed, he was there. It took Voldemort looking into Harry's eyes to confirm that the prophecy had been destroyed and I clapped my hands only to be subdued by everyone's venomous glares with me giving a sleepy eyed pout. Bellatrix had flung herself at Voldemort begging for forgiveness, but he ignored everything she said and focussed on Harry who looked as if he was in dire pain and immensely terrified. Voldemort had sent a killing curse towards Harry only for it to be intercepted by a statue and I couldn't help the reverent "wow" that escaped my lips as another glare was sent my way before Voldemort breathed a hateful "Dumbledore".
I looked to the golden gates that housed the elevators and sure enough professor Dumbledore was back to save the day which was awesome to my fuzzy feeling brain so I fist pounded the air learning to keep the sound effects to a minimum. In my victory haze I had wandered over to Harry to share with him that we were saved only to find that both Harry and I were pushed to the side and shielded by the statue which had saved Harry from Voldemort's killing curse. I looked to professor Dumbledore to ask what was going on to see that the other statues had taken life with the witch chasing down Bellatrix and pinning her down and the Goblin and House Elf were stationed at the fireplaces along the wall. I was about to ask professor Dumbledore how the fireplaces had appeared as I had not noticed them earlier when I was cut off by my awe over the duel which had erupted between him and Voldemort. It was truly incredible especially when Fawkes, the Phoenix, had consumed one of Voldemort's killing curses and what topped my cake was when he disappeared like it was nobody's business. Bellatrix's agonised shriek of terror drowned out my gush of air in complete admiration of the magic involved and she dissolved into tears as she realised that she was probably doomed. I shifted to share a stupid grin with Harry who was already moving as if he was about to stand when professor Dumbledore told him to stay where he was in a frightened voice and I looked around to check out any potential danger before frowning at nothing. I suddenly became alarmed by Harry who had started writhing on the floor moaning in pain sounding rather intelligible and professor Dumbledore was immediately by his side, but what had my heart beating frantically as I sat mere inches from his was the fact that his eyes had become a scarlet red. Harry spoke in the high cold voice that belonged to Voldemort telling professor Dumbledore to kill him before a strangled yell sounded from him and I flicked around to the laugh of Bellatrix seeing Voldemort and the Atrium full of Ministry officials. My aunt winked at me before Voldemort grabbed her and disappeared without a sound to the flabbergasted expressions of everyone present. Harry stirred shaking uncontrollably as he put on his glasses which had fallen at some point and we looked around at the noisy hall as Cornelius Fudge, who was gibbering like a stunned infant, was led forward by the Goblin and the House Elf. Professor Dumbledore had approached the bewildered man and several people had raised their weapons in surprise at his sudden appearance as he calmly explained about the Death Eaters who were bound in the, now apparent, Death Chamber down below. Fudge had threatened professor Dumbledore who calmly responded that the attempt would be simply futile so the Minister conceded defeat by telling a few Aurors to go deal with the problem downstairs. Fudge had started to inquire about what had transpired when professor Dumbledore told him that Harry and I would first need to be returned to Hogwarts and to that he had looked at us wildly before starting another inquisition. Professor Dumbledore seemed to be working off his own steam as he created a Portkey out of a piece of statue and despite the Minister's protests carried it over to Harry and me telling us to take it. We looked at each other and with a blasé shrug we placed our hands over the piece of broken statue to feel the familiar sensation of a tug on the naval before being flung into the Headmaster's office.
On our arrival we were met with silence from the portraits on the walls who managed to sleep through the thudding sound of the Portkey landing on the floor and our loud exhales of breath. Nothing seemed out of place so I left Harry to his thoughts which he seemed to have many of while I stood examining the floor which had become very interesting and I wondered if this floor was to be the place of my nap. One of the portraits which had a striking Black resemblance lazily mentioned Sirius and my jaw dropped for the second time that evening in shock while I forgot that paintings weren't real people in that they could not possibly posses the knowledge of a death without being told. I saw Harry's expression grow extremely morose and I lumbered over to him to give him a hug which he received in a surprised manner while I mumbled that Sirius was a good man and that his memory would be spoken of in reverence. Harry had taken me by the arms eventually and led me to the chairs in front of the magnificent desk and sat us down while another portrait remarked that our presence very well meant that the Headmaster was to return soon. I looked at Harry's downcast eyes and decided to share the load by telling him that if ever he wanted to talk I would be there because I knew what it was like to have lost a loved one. Before he could pass a retort on that note, however, professor Dumbledore had walked through the fireplace which had burst into flame with the portraits cheering on his return. Harry and I blankly watched as professor Dumbledore placed a baby Phoenix, which I gathered to be Fawkes, at the bottom of a perch and settled at the head of the desk which also looked like a great napping position now that I thought about it. He greeted us and I mumbled out the morning greeting while Harry remained stoic in his seat. He spoke a few more words which I made out as having seen a lot and several questions, but I became very distracted by the surface of the desk as my body started shutting down. It became apparent that I was being sent to the Hospital Wing for a check up and a good nap as Harry was leading me to the door and I waved to the Headmaster as I saw their mouths moving around several words which I couldn't make out.
I stumbled around the castle for a while deciding whether or not I wanted to listen to people and go for a check up and a nap when I was going to be getting one the first week I was out of term anyway. I had made my way half way to the Room just out of habit and realised that I had nothing more to learn so I turned to make my way to the Library slamming into a few walls in my wanderings. My mind had jumbled on a few words for a while before the term "free check up" crossed it and that made my decision for me to go because what else did I have to do other than breaking into the Library? I fumbled my way through the double doors to see Madam Pomfrey running diagnostic charms on several people while healing them. I looked to the beds and while they looked comfortable enough to sleep on my body had decided on passing out on my feet and to fall onto the floor where I was rudely slapped awake. Neville and Ginny who had already been fixed up and were simply hovering rushed over to me while their voices blurred around me as I was quite unable to comprehend anything they were saying. The medic-witch, who had heard the commotion told Neville to bring me to a bed and told Ginny to retrieve a Dreamless Sleep potion for me. I looked to the vial and back at Neville and Ginny with a confused expression on my face not quite sure what I was supposed to do. They looked to each other and sighed while Neville held me down and Ginny poured the weird tasting potion down my throat and swallowing the strange concoction I felt myself sink into the dark embrace of sleep.
I wasn't allowed out of the Hospital Wing until Sunday to make sure that I had sufficiently caught up on all of my sleep so I had Luna bring me my bag so I could write my letter to Bruce on Friday and send it before having more potion poured down my throat. I wasn't surprised to see that Harry, Neville, Ginny and Luna had constantly stopped by to visit Ron and Hermione who were still recovering from their injuries. They had also given the us the scope of what had happened during the weekend in the school while I listened to others recount the tale of how the Bridge was taken to the Hospital Wing and seemed to be undergoing a rather traumatised response. Professor Flitwick had managed to take down the Weasley Twins' swamp while leaving a small section roped off and below a window as a memorial to a good piece of magic while professor Hagrid had seemed to return from wherever he was in hiding in good spirits. That Sunday an article in the Daily Prophet had turned up refuting their claims that Harry and professor Dumbledore were no good liars and telling the Wizarding World at large that Voldemort had, indeed, returned, they had even purchased the Quibbler article from Luna's father which would allow them to go on holiday in Sweden. On my release from the Hospital Wing I had passed a limping professor McGonagall who smiled wearily at me after my happy greeting and she sent me on my way. The week after that was a bit of a blur and whenever Draco received me for the breakfast run he would turn pale and quickly usher me into my seat beside Luna as if I could possibly hurt him. On the day of her release, the Bridge had attempted to sneak out of the castle only to be ambushed by Peeves who threw walking sticks at her as she ran away with all the students watching her escape while the teachers made half hearted attempts to stop the Poltergeist.
When the day of the final feast had arrived with everyone clamouring to pack their trunks I had walked around with Luna helping her put up signs to recover her lost possessions which had been taken from her. Harry had at some point found us and after finding this out had offered his help which Luna politely declined telling him about the day her mother died and how her items always ended up coming back. We all shared a moment of reminiscence about the veil which had spoken to us in some manner before Luna and I went off to have some of the pudding which was left from the feast. On the train the next day I sat with Luna and told her everything that had happened to me the previous summer I also told her about how I was in a coma after he had given me a chemical cocktail and sliced my face up. She listened and understood my reasons for not wanting for everyone to know about the details of my private life and told me that she would be delighted to meet my adoptive father one day. At the end of the train ride we split ways with a promise for a letter or two and I trailed ahead of everyone else to get through the barrier. I stepped through the magical portal and saw the remaining three from the Ministry; I distantly waved at Nymphadora whose face froze in horrified recognition and pulled up my scarf and down my glasses to search for Bruce. I found him eventually and he smiled at my scarf technique before we were off in a rush of flashing cameras and the voice of the press shouting for attention.