Chapter 6 - Sister Bellanca, Ginny, Pansy and Remus
The uppermost tip of the sun disappeared behind the mountains to the west of Hogwarts when Bella rose smoothly from her small pallet.
"Bellanca," she thought to herself, "I must think of myself as Sister Bellanca."
Several healers and their assistants were pleased to see the Daughter of Vesta glide into the great hall, the very picture of piety and compassion. Many begged her to share her healing techniques. Curses that should have been lethal or at the very least crippling and disfiguring were healed.
"It is my gift and my service,"she explained, "I am only too happy to help where I can."
Madame Pomfrey led her to acurtained enclosure.
"I'm not sure anything can be done for this one," the older healer said, her voice breaking in sorrow.
Behind the curtain lay a young girl, perhaps fifteen or sixteen, fiery red hair splayed about the pillow where tender hands had brushed it.
"Most of the back of her head, along with her right brain has been burned away, Sister. She would not leave the battle, just as it looked like it was all over a death eater hit her with an acidic, flaming curse from behind.
"She may survive for a time, but she will never wake. She'll be locked in that body forever - imprisoned in her own mind."
"Should she not be moved to St. Mungo's, Mme Pomfrey?"
"They can do no more for her than I, Sister, and they are filled beyond capacity from this damned war."
Bellanca placed a hand on the girl's pale forehead. She was so white that the vamiress' bloodless hand did not contrast with the skin of the girl's face. She focused her mind-magic and found Ginny Weasley wandering lost in the wilderness.
"Can you tell me where I am?" The redheaded teen asked.
"Follow the path to the end of the forest, there you'll find a small cottage and the love of your life waiting for you."
As Ginny walked in her newly perceived reality Bella began to build a world the youngest Weasley could be happy in.
Over the next week Bella sat by Ginny's bedside for hours without end weaving a more complex, believable life history. The girl would marry the man of her dreams; together they would build a life together. They would have children, watch them grow and prosper, see them each off to Hogwarts, share their triumphs and tragedies. After a hundred years or so they would expire in each other's arms, more than ready to face the next great adventure.
It didn't really matter that it would all happen in the mind of a brain-damaged teenaged girl, to Ginny it would be real and she would be happy. Bella made sure it was a good life.
One evening Bella was startled by a pair of probing, intense green eyes. For a moment she panicked but her inner voice told her, "calm, be the center of calm here."
She rose to leave when the voice of Harry Potter, breaking with emotion, said "please stay Sister Bellanca, she is peaceful when you're here."
Potter was there, along with assorted Weasleys, Molly and Arthur, Ron, Bill and Fleur, George and Charlie. Hermione Granger stood to one side not clinging to any of the unattached Weasley boys or Harry Potter for that matter. Something about that seemed odd.
Eliza had told her that people wouldn't recognize her in her new vampiric form. Still she avoided Potter's direct gaze.
He sat on Ginny's other side and held her hand while Bella attended to her patient.
"Why not read to her, Mr. Potter?" Bella asked, having noticed the book in the young hero's hand.
"It's just a book of muggle fairy tales, the Brother's Grimm," he said. "She once told me that she'd never heard of Rumpelstiltskin, or Sleep - Sleeping Beauty." He began to sob.
"Why not start with that one then?" Bella suggested, "If you all take turns reading then she can be comforted by all your voices."
With a monumental effort to get his voice to obey Harry began, "Once upon a time. . ."
In Ginny's world she stood in the open doorway as her husband read one of his favorite muggle fairy tales to their dark haired daughter and shared the warmth and love of the moment.
"Life is good," she thought contentedly.
The shell that had been Ginny Weasley gave up the ghost at the end of the week, but she died with a smile on her face, welcoming her love with her dying breath.
Harry kissed her still warm lips and then fell into a giant Weasley family embrace.
The vestal virgin covered Ginny and promised to prepare the body for burial, then looked to the window as the lone, mournful cry of a wolf split the night.
"Remus," she whispered.
In the days that followed many Hogwarts students suddenly found themselves orphaned and broke. The plague of the dark mark decimated pure-blood wizarding Britain. This left dozens of underage children with no family that could or would take them in. Some of these once proud and pampered pure-bloods were reduced to begging in Knockturn Alley, easy prey for the lowlifes that gravitated there. Pansy Parkinson saw a man she thought she recognized, a disreputable scrounger of indeterminate age who had never taken the dark mark, but had served the Dark Wanker nonetheless. Kenneth Lahr was an opportunist, the type of human vulture who seemed to profit from the misfortunes of others, he also liked little girls. The old degenerate was dragging a sobbing, obviously frightened child by the arm. The girl wore a dress that was two sizes too small and had obviously seen better days. She couldn't have been more than eight years old. Pansy stood in front of the unlikely pair and asked the girl "what's the matter?"
"Mind yer own bint" Lahr growled menacingly, "this one's commin' wit me!"
Pansy pulled her wand and pointed it between the old man's eyes "I was asking' the princess here, d'you mind?"
"My b-brother, h-he he soldme to this man!"
Pansy's eyes narrowed, "what?"
"He wanted some stuff, an no one was helping us, we begged and begged and everyone just ignored us and Will says he can't keep me no more and, and this man says I'm worth thirty Galleons and, and, and . . ." at this point the howling child collapsed into a heap.
"Will, Will . . . Will Farington"Pansy asked, "is your name Farington?"
The little girl looked up and nodded "Alison, Alison Farington" she said timidly.
"She's commin wit me, I paid f'her!"
Pansy realized too late that she had allowed herself to get distracted by the distraught child and the man now had his wand on her, he smiled a crooked grin and said, "I know just the thing,Imperio!"
She felt herself go all over calm and contented, what business was it of hers that some old perv was plying the trade in little girl flesh?
In spite of the compulsion Pansy began to tremble in fury, how dare he? This child was not chattel to be bought and sold and used and abused and Goddess knows what else!
The man saw her shaking off the effects of the Imperius curse and leveled his wand again, "oh no," he said, "can't have you goin' on about me business here, Avada -"
His wand went flying as a furious Millicent Bulstrode bore down on Pansy's assailant.
Little Alison stumbled to Pansy and clung to her as if she were drowning and the Slytherin girl was her only life line.
"Let's see, you used one unforgivable and were about use another one on me girlfriend here, and you're draggin' this child away against her will. They're gonna' love your arse in Azkaban!"
"You got me all wrong, I was jus'gonna' take care of the little nipper is all!"
"Keep your wand on him, Millie"Pansy instructed as she pointed her own wand straight up, firing off red sparks, the universal signal of mages in distress. Fortunately there was an auror just one street over.
The MDLE officer listened to Pansy, Millicent and Allison.
"Where is his wand?" the auror asked.
Millicent handed the officer the wizard's wand.
"Pirori incantatum." The auror's eyes grew flinty as she focused on the depraved string of prior incantations.
"Four unforgivables and a nearly completed AK." She said in a calm, dangerous tone, "you will be tried, but Ithink it will be short. Do you know the penalty for willful and unlawful use of multiple unforgiveables?"
The small pasty man shook his head, and kept shaking it as if to deny this day had ever happened.
"A short walk through the veil,"she put him in a full body bind and levitated him away, "but first, I'm going to make sure you spend some quality time with some of our more imaginative inmates. They love pedophiles there, truly."
As the officer levitated Lahr away she turned to the little girl, "come along Alison" the auror gently ordered.
"Do you mind if I look after her?" Pansy asked the officer.
"I should take her to Family Services. . ." she saw the pleading in Pansy's eyes, and more importantly, Alison's eyes as the young girl clung to the older one.
The auror thought of all the children in the system now, not neglected, but under-served. She studied the Parkinson girl; she seemed to have some means of support.
"Can you take care of her?" the auror asked.
Millicent looked sideways at Pansy but assured the officer that both she and Pansy had the wherewithal to care for the child.
When the auror left Millicent asked, "Well, do you have enough to care for her?"
"Yeah, my trust fund wasn't confiscated, if I'm careful, I can get by, and you know what they say, two can live as cheaply as one."
"Oi!" the three girls turned to face a boy, "Whot you doin' wit my sister? You dykes or summat? You wanna buy her?"
Millicent had had enough of this little shite and with a feral growl smashed the side of his head with her rather large fist.
Allison stormed over to her older brother who lay crumpled on the ground and began to kick him, shouting, "You bastard! You're no brother of mine! I cast you out of my family!"
Millie looked at Pansy pointed to the stunned Will Farington and asked, "What should we do with this one?"
Pansy looked back and grinned evilly.
Will Farington came to his senses with his head down on a wooden surface that reeked of old beer and spirits. He was sitting on a barstool and someone had a hand firmly planted on his bum.
He sat up straight and was shocked at his reflection in the bar mirror.
He was wigged and painted up like a cheap whore. He was in a skirt that was so short that it barely covered his arse, which was being fondled by the large, smelly man sitting on the stool next to his.
"S-stop it! I'm not a tart! I'm not even a girl!" he said, pulling down the top of his narrow tube top, exposing his grapefruit sized breasts. He was so shocked at the sight that it took him a few seconds to pull the knit top back in place.
He tentatively reached under the skirt he was wearing to see if his "block and tackle" were still in place. With an enormous sigh of relief he felt the familiar male protruding bits.
"Look mate!" he said to the bloke who still had a grip on his bum, "I told you, I'm not a whore, see? I'm aboy!"
"Makes no nevah mind t'me darlin'" the burly drunk said tucking Will Farington under his arm like a sack of flour. "I'm still gonna fuck you!"
Millicent and Pansy were treating Alison to lunch at Fortescue's
"Y'know," Millicent said, reaching for another chip, "there are lots of kids like Alison here."
"I know," Pansy agreed, hugging the child close, "any ideas?"
"Well . . ."
Bella took a large water jug, stepped out of the castle, and headed for the forbidden forest. Near the tree line she removed her robes and concentrated on her wolf form. She was a large pure white she-wolf. Unlike Remus, though, she still had her human intellect to guide her.
She took in the world through acombination of vampire and wolf senses. The moon shone bright enough overhead that, to her wolf's eyes, it may as well have been mid-afternoon. She spotted the large grey wolf in the thicket, gnawing on a freshly killed boar.
Bella did the lupine equivalent of clearing her throat and was amazed at how quickly the werewolf was on his feet, hackles raised.
Werewolf strength was legendary, and a fully fledged werewolf could kill one such as herself in spite of her vampric strength and speed.
As the massive lycan slowly began to circle Bella's white wolf form she thought to herself, "maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all."
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