She had never felt so tired in all her life. Only moments later she realized that her tiredness meant that she was alive. She had survived? How?
She tried to open her eyes, but found that it was impossible. Her eyelids were just too heavy. She couldn’t even lift her finger, it was like she was trapped in her own body, while her mind was fully awake.
Faith tried to keep calm because it wouldn’t help to panic now. She was probably just too exhausted to be able to do it.
So she just listened to her surroundings trying to find out if she was alone.
It didn’t take long for her to find out that she wasn’t, she could hear breathing not far from her.
She would have winced if she had been in control of her body, when she heard a smooth voice. A voice she would recognize anywhere.
“Mr. Weasley, might one ask what you are doing in here? It is well after curfew.” Weasley? George was with her, or Fred? She would have guessed that it was George and she silently hoped so too.
“I know that! But I won’t leave until she wakes up.” It was George and he sounded determined.
“Take as many house points as you want, you can even give me detention for the rest of the school year, but I won’t leave until she wakes up.”
Faith was curious how Severus would react. Would he give George detention? She knew he didn’t like him very much. But he surprised her with a low chuckle.
“Stay Mr. Weasley. But I expect you to be on your best behavior, if such a thing exists for the Weasley twins.”
“I will.” George promised and Faith heard footsteps leaving her side. Probably Severus leaving the hospital wing. The door closed and she heard George sigh.
Then the bedside moved. She felt George climbing in next to her, which made her heart beat faster, despite not being able to move at all.
“You better wake up soon.” George told her close to her side. She could feel the warmth of his body next to her.
He touched her cheek gently and Faith felt herself drifting off to sleep again.
The next time she woke, she felt tired, but she was at least able to open her eyes. The lights blinded her for a moment, until her eyes got used to it.
“Look, she is awake.” Faith heard an excited female voice. It was funny, hearing this voice so excited. She had never heard Luna talk like that.
Tired she turned her head and looked at her friend. But she wasn’t alone. Fred was with her, as well as Harry, Ron and even Hermione.
Faith was instantly reminded of what George had said that she had friends who were waiting for her, no matter if she wanted them or not, they would be around when she needed them.
She felt incredibly grateful seeing them all at her bedside, but at the same time ashamed because she had pushed them away. All of them and still they had come.
Though she was missing one face. Where was George?
“How do you feel?” Fred asked, making a step closer to her bed.
“Tired and sore.” Faith managed to answer. He voice hoarse.
“That’s understandable. You’ve been seriously injured.” Hermione said and Faith had never heard her voice so nice before.
Faith remembered her task in the forbidden forest and how the council had tricked her. Oh she would like to kill them.
But at first she needed to talk to Dumbledore and find out how they had managed to take her powers.
Without wasting another moment she pushed the blankets off of her and got out of the bed. Her knees felt weak, but she was able to stand.
A chorus of worried voices tried to stop her. But Faith was way to pigheaded to let herself be stopped by anyone.
“I need to talk to Dumbledore.” Faith told them, feeling awkward just wearing her hospital gown.
“I will go and get him, but please lay back down.” Harry told her looking panicked. Faith sighed, this was probably for the best, she wasn’t sure how long she
could stand anyway. So with a defeated nod, she crawled back into her bed which made everyone in the room sigh in relief.
“God, you are so stubborn.” Fred told her, while Harry, Hermione and Ron had left the room, probably to get Dumbledore.
“I know…. So where’s George?” Faith was able to ask and Fred gave her a big grin before answering.
“I sent him to take a shower and eat something.” He told her with a wink that actually made her laugh, even though she regretted that because her ribs started to hurt immediately.
That reminded her of what had happened and that Fred and Luna were the only ones not knowing the truth, even though they were more of her friends than Ron and Hermione.
“I guess you wonder how I ended up here?” Faith said with a sigh and she could see the curiosity not only on Fred’s face, but also on Luna’s.
“Well, to make a long story short. I am the Slayer and the council wanted me to take a test to prove my skills to them. As you might have figured out by now, I didn’t do very well.”
“My dad always told me about the slayer and that he believed in her existence, even though there were a lot of people out there saying it was just a myth made up by muggles to feel safer when thinking of the supernatural.” Luna told her with bright eyes obviously happy that at least one thing her father believed in existed.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier. It’s just…”
“It’s okay, we get it. It must be difficult for you. You don’t have to worry about us, we will always be here when you need us.” Fred told her and looked sincere. Faith felt overwhelmed by her friends. She never had real friends before and now they were all so wonderful and she felt even more imperfect in comparison.
“Thank you…” Faith whispered feeling ashamed.
She didn’t have much time for that though because Harry returned with Dumbledore and Severus.
“I am sure everyone is very tired, so why don’t you go and rest, while Professor Snape and I talk to Miss Lehane. You are welcome to visit her later again.” Dumbledore told them and even though they all looked disappointed they did what the headmaster told them.
As soon as they were alone and the door closed behind them, Severus walked over to her, taking the seat next to her bed, glaring at her.
“I told you not to go.”
“Yeah well, then I didn’t know a few things. If I had known everything in advance, I wouldn’t have.” Faith told him honestly, which made Dumbledore walk closer.
“Tell us what happened.”
“I went into the forest and as the council guy had said, I could feel an evil presence deep inside. When I finally got there, I found an empty box, big enough for a person. Not long after I found out who it was. A vampire I fought some time ago, his name is Kakistos. The last time we fought, he killed my watcher and almost me. I was able to injure him and flee from the scene. He told me that the council offered him the chance of revenge. They knew how strong he was and because of that they brought him to the forest. But that isn’t the only thing I didn’t know. I am still not quite sure how, but they somehow managed to block my powers for a short amount of time. I was as strong and fast as any human, when he attacked me and you can imagine how that went. In the end I was able to defeat him with a spell, but that was sheer luck.” Faith told them. She saw how angry Severus looked and Dumbledore paled.
“They almost killed you. We cannot let this one go. We have to talk to the ministry and find a way to free you from them.” Severus said heatedly and even though Faith was grateful for his words, she knew there was no way to free her.
“What happened after I lost consciousness?” Faith asked after a few moments interested.
“We saw the green light vanishing and knew that you had succeeded, but when you didn’t leave the forest half an hour later, we began to worry. Hagrid and
I started to search the forest and found you unconscious, horribly injured. We brought you here and Madam Pomfrey took care of your wounds.”
Faith nodded slowly, grateful that they had come to look for her.
“Thanks.” she smiled, but was interrupted by Dumbledore.
“I don’t think you should thank us. As I have been but a pawn in the council’s plan.”
“What do you mean?” Faith asked confused.
“I think I helped them blocking your powers. Completely involuntarily, I assure you.”
“How?” Faith gasped.
“You remembered the tea I offered you?”
“Yes…” Faith answered unsure what she should expect.
“I slipped something in your tea. I assure you that I really believed it wouldn’t hurt you.”
Faith stared wide eyed at the headmaster she had trusted up until now.
“Albus… how could you?” Severus gasped making an angry step towards his headmaster.
“I can understand your anger and disappointment Severus. And now, I realize that I was too trusting in my actions. I believed the council when they told me
that it was meant to improve your skills in order to help you with the task.”
“Who told you that?”
“A representative of the council, he came to me before the council head and told me that he wasn’t allowed to do this, but he wanted me to have this potion to improve your powers. He told me, very convincingly, that he didn’t like how the council was treating the slayers and that he wanted to help you. But he instructed me, not to tell anyone, as the council had it’s eyes and ears everywhere. I think I have fallen for their scheme. Playing a part in you almost dying. I am deeply sorry and I hope you can forgive me.” Dumbledore explained, looking ashamed of himself and his actions. But Faith couldn’t be angry with him. He had thought that he was helping her. And the Council was very good with covering up their real intentions and leading you on.
“They are reckless. We need to do something.” Severus demanded and Dumbledore nodded.
“Severus is right. And we should do that right now.” He said and both adults quickly left the room.
Faith sighed deeply and leaned back in her pillows. She was already dead tired again.
With a yawn, she closed her eyes and fell asleep.
She woke a few hours later when she heard footsteps and the door closing. Still very tired, she opened her eyes and smiled. Because George took the seat next to her bed.
“Hey.” he smiled brightly at her.
“Hi.” Faith mumbled, her voice thick with sleep.
“How do you feel?” he asked inching closer and looking intently at her.
“That’s understandable. You were hurt pretty bad.”
“Had worse before.” Faith answered and cracked a half smile.
“I feared you would say that.” George sighed, looking more serious than she had ever seen him.
“That comes with the slayer package. It’s all in the deal.”
“What happened? No one wanted to tell me.”
Faith sighed and sat up in her bed, at least a little.
“I had to prove to the Council that I am a good, useful little slayer so they sent me into the forbidden forest to kill something. I have been to the forest before, that’s no big deal, but this time was different. First of all they brought in a vampire I fought quite some time ago. He killed the closest I had to a family. My first watcher and almost me. But as if that wasn’t enough, they took my powers. They made me as strong and fast as any human, my only weapon was my wand.”
George gasped looking absolutely terrified. Soon that was replaced by anger.
“How can they do that?”
“That’s the council for you.” Faith answered with a shrug.
“Dumbledore needs to do something about that.” Faith smiled slightly at his words and nodded.
“He already said he would, though I doubt that there is something he can do. I belong to the council.”
“You are a human. You don’t belong to anyone but yourself. You deserve the chance to be happy.” George told her passionately and Faith smiled a little.
“It doesn’t surprise me that you say that. Let’s face it George, you have no idea what a messed up childhood is like. What it does to you and your expectations of what you deserve and what not. Your family is perfect. You have an awful lot of siblings, who all love each other, no matter if they can be annoying from time to time. You have loving parents and a place you can call home. You cannot understand how someone like me feels.”
For a moment George stayed silent, just looking at her. Faith knew that she had once again snubbed someone by being too outspoken and too honest.
“Listen George. I’m sorry. It is great that you don’t know how it’s been like for people like me. I didn’t mean to snap or anything.”
“You don’t need to apologize. You are right, with everything. I am lucky. That’s why I though of something.”
“Oh-oh, that’s never good coming from a Weasley twin.” Faith said with a smirk, trying to lighten the mood and it worked.
George chuckled, the twinkle she knew so well back in his eyes.
“Exactly. Because I want you to spend Christmas with the Weasley clan.”
Faith’s eyes became huge when hearing his offer. It was really funny considering, that a week ago she had told him that she wanted him to leave her alone.
But when he sat in front of her like he did now, with that adorable smile on his face she felt her resolve crumbling.
It was really hard to resist the Weasley charm.
The problem was that Faith felt utterly confused. Never before in her life had she been this unsure of a decision. She knew it was for the best to distance herself from her friends, to protect them. But it was so damn hard because a part of her wanted to have friends. Wanted to have people around her she could trust, so much unlike the council. And then of course her friends didn’t make it easy for her, as they didn’t accept her distancing herself from them.
“I need to think about that.” she finally said. She needed to come up with a final decision. She was sick and tired of being unsure and confused. She wanted to be sure before she gave him her answer.
“Alright. But don’t think that I will forget it. It’s only a few weeks until the winter break.”
“I didn’t think you would.” Faith said with a sigh and sank back into the pillows she was still so tired.
“I guess that’s my clue to leave you alone. You still need to rest.”
Faith nodded, even though she would have liked him to sleep next to her, as he had done the night before.
She scolded herself for that thought, before saying her goodbye to George and watched him leave the room.
It was too early for Faith’s liking, when she heard voices and felt a hand on her shoulder.
Groaning she opened her eyes and looked into Severus’ dark ones.
“What?” she groaned rolling onto her back.
“You need to get dressed quickly. We will leave immediately.” He told her, his voice hushed.
“No time for questions, just do it.” he ordered, leaving her alone. Faith sighed and sat up. There was a stack of clothes on a table not far away. Faith realized that it was what she had worn while fighting in the forbidden forest. But it had been cleaned and repaired. She shortly washed herself, before getting dressed. Just when she pulled her hair into a ponytail, the door opened.
“Hurry.” Severus told her. Faith rolled her eyes, slipped on her shoes and walked out of the hospital wing.
Not only Severus was waiting in front of it. Also Dumbledore and Hermione.
“What is this?”
“The council will visit you in about ten minutes and Hermione offered to take your place. She is after all the one with the most knowledge of the Slayer. She should be able to impersonate you, until you returned.” Dumbledore told her.
“Returned from where?” Faith asked again. Utterly confused.
“We will answer your questions later. Now give us some of your hair.” Severus told her once more. But she at least knew what they needed her hair for. Hermione was carrying a mug of something steaming. This just had to be the polyjuice potion.
“Alright.” she said, taking a hair and giving it to Hermione. She threw it into the mug and with a sizzle the content of the mug turned a deep green.
It was the strangest experience Faith ever had, to watch Hermione drink the liquid and turn into her splitting image, right in front of her eyes.
“Very well Miss Granger. We leave the distraction in your capable hands.” Dumbledore told her. Hermione, looking like Faith, smiled shortly at the real Faith before slipping into the Hospital wing.
“And we should leave. We have to do this, before they have the time to intervene.” Severus said and Dumbledore nodded. They led Faith down the hall into a small room. There wasn’t much in it, besides a few chairs and a fireplace.
“We will floo to the ministry. So you have to say. Ministry of Magic, Department of Law Enforcement. Amelia Bones’ office.” Dumbledore told her. Faith was surprised. What were they supposed to do at the Ministry. She knew how the Minister himself thought of Dumbledore and the other way around.
But when Severus was the first to leave through the fire, Faith was sure that there had to be a very important reason.
So she grabbed a hand full of floo powder and threw it into the fireplace. It blazed higher and she stepped into the green flames.
“Ministry of Magic, Department of Law enforcement. Amelia Bones’ office.”
She spun inside the fireplace until she got dizzy and finally stumbled out of it. She was steadied by a very familiar presence. Severus’.
“Are you alright?” he asked worried and Faith just nodded. She still felt a little weak, after everything she had been through the last couple of days.
“Yes.” she answered and soon Dumbledore stepped out of the fireplace.
“Hello Amelia.” he greeted someone Faith hadn’t seen until now. A square jawed woman with short grey hair, wearing a monocle.
If possible she looked even more strict than Professor McGonagall.
“Hello Albus, Severus.” she greeted the two men, before walking towards Faith, smiling a little.
“And you must be the Slayer then. Curious, I always expected you to be bigger.”
“I get that a lot.” Faith answered with a shrug. “As nice as this is, can anyone please tell me what this is about? Why am I here?”
“Of course. You must ask yourself that. Have a seat and I will explain.” Mrs. Bones said and Faith did exactly that. When she sat, she looked at the woman rounding her table sitting down behind it. There was a name tag on the table stating her name and that she actually was the head of the law enforcement department.
“Albus contacted me, after the stunt the council pulled on you and him. He asked me if there was any way to stop the council from using you. I wasn’t sure at first, but I researched it and found a way. A loophole in your, let’s say, job description.” Faith listened wide eyed. A loophole? Could she actually hope to be freed from them? Have her own life back?!
“As both of your parents forfeited their rights to be your legal guardians, the council stepped in until your 21. birthday, without actually becoming your guardian. If someone becomes your legal guardian by adopting you, before the council has the chance to correct it’s mistake it would be up to your guardian to decide whether you have to do what they tell you or not. And when you turn 21, you are free to choose yourself. The council obviously doesn‘t expect you to live that long!” Mrs. Bones told her. And Faith was amazed and surprised at the same time. She hadn’t known that. But then again, who would want to be her legal guardian?!
“That is why we are here today. I already discussed the adoption with the board members. The minister wasn’t very happy about it, as he has an agreement with the council regarding your role at Hogwarts, though we are not quite sure what that might be. But he was overruled. The guardian has been accepted by the ministry, we just need you and your guardian to sign something to make it official. Especially before the Minister has the chance to contact the council and tell them of our little plan.” She explained further and pulled her wand from her pocket. She gave it a short wave and a thick contract appeared on her desk.
“If you would just sign on the right.” She said and Faith furrowed her brows.
“Don’t I get to know who my guardian is?” Faith wanted to know, feeling slightly annoyed that she had to ask for this. She had a right to know.
A chuckle behind her made her turn around and it was Severus who looked like he was immensely amused by her question.
“Would you tell me what’s so funny about my question?”
“I blame it on your recent injury that you are slower than usual. I am your guardian.” Faith’s eyes grew wide at that. He would be responsible for her from now on? He would be her parent…? She never had real parents before, so this was somewhat overwhelming. But just as incredible.
“Does that mean you’re something like my Dad now?” Faith asked and was shocked by her own question. She hadn’t meant to ask that. He was just helping her because he felt sorry for her. It wasn’t like he actually wanted someone like her for a daughter.
Hope you liked it :)
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