Moody looked aghast.
"What was that?" He barked.
"Do you know anything about how or why my mother died?" She repeated, her mouth felt dry and her stomach tightened uncomfortably. She had been itching to ask Professor Moody this question since she had found her father's letter, if there was anybody who may know what had happened to her mother and maybe even herself; it was Professor Moody who had the answer.
Moody's real eye narrowed, "Your mother was Jane Lancaster wasn't she?"
"Yes she was," Phoenix nodded quickly. "I don't remember her at all b-but I found out that you were involved in the case of my mother's death."
"How did you find out?" Moody's voice was suddenly stern, tense.
Phoenix jumped in surprise and stared at her Professor, bemused. "My step-cousin found some of my father's papers… it said something about having my memory modified to forget about what happened… but I was wondering what you knew because… I need to know what happened to her."
"She was murdered," Moody said shortly. "By Death Eaters,"
She had not expected for the answer to come so quickly. She had no time to prepare herself. It hit her like a ton of bricks. Phoenix's hair turned pale, her eyes became a dull sliver and her hands shook.
"The Avada Kedavra Curse leaves no marks," said Moody his eyes were both not looking at her though he was avoiding her reaction, "The Healers at St. Mungo's knew what it was immediately."
"D-Did you find out who did it?" Phoenix's voice shook ever so slightly.
"It's hard to say," Moody began, scratching the side of his scarred cheek. "The day that your mother was murdered there were a large group of the Dark Lord's followers there, it could have been any of them."
"But what about Priori Incantatem? Couldn't someone have checked their wands for the last spell that they all performed?"
"They did check," said Moody gruffly. "The last spell that they had all performed seemed to have been while fighting off the Aurors that came eventually."
"Oh… do you know anything else about what happened that day? Anything?" asked Phoenix, her throat now rather dry. "Or what happened afterwards?"
"Well…" Moody's voice became lower as his new class began to file in. "From what I recall, your father wasn't in the best state of mind. After what happened to you that day–"
"Wait… what happened to me?"
"Don't you remember?" Moody asked, his magical eye once again spinning around so that Phoenix felt lightheaded from staring at it. "I thought when we did curses all those months back you remembered, especially when you ran off."
Phoenix bit her tongue, reframing from bursting out in fits of anger about her father. "N-no I don't remember… though I think something trigged inside my head when I saw the flash… But what happened to me? Was I injured or something?"
"Of course," Moody said gruffly. "Not greatly however, you were shaken, yes. The Cruciatus Curse does that to someone."
"The Cruciatus Curse?"
She felt as if her heart had descended into the region of her lower abdomen. She hadn't been hit with the Cruciatus Curse, had she?
"But I was three years olds at the time… the pain of it would have surely killed me?"
"But it didn't," Moody answered. "You got away from all those Death Eaters, including Bellatrix Lestrange, the Wizengamot had reason to believe that she was the one who had used the Cruciatus Curse, given her history."
Bellatrix Lestrange. The drawing Phoenix had found in the briefcase, the long, black matted hair and dark hooded eyes, the long black robes and mask. It was beginning to make sense.
"Wait Bellatrix Lestrange was there when my mother was killed?" Phoenix's eyes were wide. Bellatrix Lestrange was Cecilia's sister… who had been present at her husband's deceased wife death. How messed up was that? Did her father even know? "Who else was there?"
Moody's normal eye was now wide, he looked weary, worried. "I can't tell you that girl. Now get to your next class."
She didn't need to be told twice, she left the room without another glance.
Phoenix ended up being ten minutes late to Charms, after a rushed apology to Professor Flitwick she sat down in her usual seat beside Fred and George. Before she even pulled out her notes, George was attacking her with questions about what she had asked Moody.
"What did you ask Moody? Are you okay? Was there a mad axe man outside of his room?"
She chose to ignore these questions however, clearing her throat she turned to Fred and asked, "What are we doing today?"
"In-depth study on Finite Incantatem," Fred explained, turning in his chair to face her. "Now what did you ask Professor Moody about?"
"You two are more nosey than Angelina at times," said Phoenix, scowling as she opened her old Charms spellbook. "I just asked him more about Auror training, that's it!"
George's eyes narrowed, he and Fred shared a suspicious glance at her. "You're lying," George accused, crossing his arms over his chest, a bodily gesture that Fred copied.
"I'm not lying!"
"I know when you lie," he said simply and Fred nodded in argument, identical smirks hung on their faces. "Your nose twitches."
"My nose twitches?"
"Mhm," said Fred, leaning back in his seat, his hands entwined behind the back of his head, he stared at Phoenix with a scrutinising stare. "It's like your nose can't stand the lie and twitches under the pressure of being involved in the lie."
"What a beautiful in depth analysis of my nose," Phoenix tone was full of sarcasm; she rolled her eyes before she pulled out her quill and ink bottle from the depths of her bag. "And my nose doesn't even twitch when I do lie… which was not what I was doing because I'm telling the truth!" she added quickly as George opened his mouth to speak.
"Your nose just twitched!"
"So," began Fred, slinging an arm over Phoenix's shoulder as she stared down at her spellbook, determinedly not staring at the twins knowing stares. "What did you really talk to old Mad-Eye about?"
"Why do you two care?"
"Because," Fred began, fixing her with an overdramatic, heartfelt gaze. "We care about you… and mostly because we are in fact as nosey as our mother."
It was lucky that Professor Flitwick approached them at that moment. Phoenix, who was already pouring over her notes from their previous lessons, smirked as Flitwick scolded the twins for not paying attention during class and gave them both extra homework to do that night.
"That's what you get for being nosey," Phoenix sung under her breath as Flitwick manoeuvred his way over to Angelina and Alicia.
"We'll find out eventually Phoenix," said Fred airily. "You can't keep a secret from us,"
For the briefest moment, she almost felt like saying that she was in fact keeping several secrets from them, such as that she was singlehandedly trying to discover the truth behind her mother's death and the secret sort of attraction she found herself having for George. The momentary hesitation seemed to have shown on Phoenix's face because George stared suspiciously at her for a moment. Phoenix adverted her eyes from his and scribbled over her several mistakes in her notes.
"If one more person comes up to me and asks me when mine and George's broom cupboard wedding is, I will not be held responsible for who gets cursed."
Fred's eyebrows rose so high that they were in dangerous of disappearing under his hair. Phoenix's threw her bag onto the floor and collapsed in the chair beside Lee, who was wearing a smirk that he had not taken off all day since Peeves had soared down the corridor screaming about what he had seen the last night.
"Broom cupboard wedding?" George looked amused and landed back further into his seat, "Sounds like we won't be able to have many guests." A ghost of a smile danced over her face, but she quickly looked away before any of them could see her expression.
The next weekend that followed, the second Hogsmeade trip of the year took place. Fred had decided to take Angelina on a date, Phoenix and George had a bet on that Fred would take Angelina to Madam Puddifoot's – George thought that Fred would take her there so they could snog all through their date, but Phoenix knew that Angelina would never step foot in that couples haunt that was called a Tea Shop, even if there was plenty of an opportunity to snog Fred.
Phoenix was actually glad that Lee was around them, if he was not, that would leave Phoenix and George to be by themselves, which to her would be incredibly awkward. They walked along the now wet, sludgy road towards the Three Broomsticks, Phoenix and Lee (who seemed to agree with George's side of the bet) were both arguing about Madam Puddifoot's while George remained rather quiet, his gloved hands firmly in the pockets of his robes.
"It's ridiculous!" Phoenix was saying, "It would so uncomfortable to be surrounded by couples snogging!"
"Not unless you join in," Lee reasoned. "I mean snogging with somebody, not trying to have a three-way kiss or something."
"But snogging from across a table?" Phoenix stared at Lee incredulously. "Isn't that a bit of a hygiene risk?"
"You two are like a pair of four year olds," George sighed as he pushed open the door to the warm and welcoming pub.
"Four year olds don't have conversations about snogging do they Georgie?" Phoenix asked, nudging him before her eyes swept across the crowded pub in search for a table.
George chuckled and slung an arm over Phoenix's shoulder, "We'll go find a table, and Lee could you get the drinks?"
"Happily," said Lee, inclining his head towards the pretty and curvy barmaid, Madam Rosmerta, before he raced off in her direction.
It didn't take as long as they thought to find a vacant table at the very back of the pub. Phoenix slid onto the bench and George slid into the booth beside her.
"I'm glad this place is warm," said Phoenix, rubbing her bare hands together. "I always forget my gloves."
"That's because you're forgetful," said George, his arm resting over the back of Phoenix's head, "And a klutz."
Her face flushed and her stomach lurched. Was he talking about how she had ruined their almost-kiss in the broom cupboard? She didn't know what to say, she simply laughed and stared around the pub, feeling George's eyes upon her.
Phoenix furrowed and looked at him, "For what? You didn't do anything."
"I mean for… being half of the reason that there are all these ridiculous rumours about us," George's arms crossed over his chest.
Phoenix's lips twitched for moment before they spread into a small smile, "Stop being dramatic." She laughed, punching his arm lightly, "Like I said… at least you aren't Lee."
George laughed and uncrossed his arms and returned them to rest above her head, "If there were ever rumours about you and Lee I'm sure nobody would believe them."
"Well if there was anybody who I had to be caught falling out a broom cupboard with by Peeves, I'm glad that it was you," Phoenix said sincerely, her face then became suddenly hot and she found herself blushing again. She was savoured the embarrassment as Lee approached their table, struggling with three hot foaming tankards of Butterbeer.
"Guess who I saw?" Lee looked rather disgruntled and Phoenix felt as though this had nothing to with having to carry the three butterbeers. "Ludo Bagman,"
George almost dropped his tankard; his jaw dropped and stared at Lee. "Bagman?"
Phoenix's eyes travelled over to the pub and sure enough, saw Ludo Bagman sitting in a secluded shadowy corner, though he was not alone. A group of goblins surrounded him, Bagman talking in a very fast and a very low voice to them. The goblins all had their arms crossed, all looking threatening at Bagman.
"Looks like he's talking Gobbledegook," Phoenix observed.
"What the bloody hell is he doing here?" Lee asked curiously, "There's no Triwizard event,"
"Probably trying to get some money from those goblins," said George darkly, his jaw tensing. "When Fred gets back from his date–"
"Calm down," Phoenix soothed, grabbing George's gloved hand and squeezing it, "You don't want to get in trouble for beating up a Triwizard judge."
George seemed to relax, his features softened and he smiled at her, "It's rather sweet how you think I could take on a fully grown man."
She rolled her eyes and released her hand from George's to take a swig from her Butterbeer, "Anybody could take on that git and win. And besides…" She said, placing her tankard down onto the table and poking his arm. "You're practically a human bugler."
Fred and Angelina returned from their date a while later, looking cold and dishevelled.
"So…" began George, grinning at Angelina. "Where did you and loverboy go?"
"The Shrieking Shack," Fred replied, linking his hands with Angelina's.
"I told you!" said Phoenix as George, reluctantly, handed her three Sickles.
"Fred," George whispered, inclining his head towards where Bagman was sitting, "Bagman's over there."
Fred's head turned quickly to around the overcrowded pub. His eyes quickly found Bagman, who was now talking in a hushed voice to Harry while the goblins he had been talking to watched him through their dark, menacing eyes. Fred's scowl mirrored his twins and he growled a string of curse words and things he would do if it were legal.
"I fancy another drink," said Phoenix, giving Fred and George both a significant look. "Can you two come with me?"
"Yeah sure," Fred and George both got to their feet, they all slid out of the booth and made their way other to Bagman.
"Hello Mr. Bagman," said Fred, his tone bright. Bagman started and turned, his baby-blue eyes wide as he stared, abashed at both Fred and George. "Can we buy you a drink?"
"Er… no," said Bagman shortly, Phoenix scowled a little as Bagman glanced at Harry for the briefest moment, "no, thank you, boys…"
Fred and George looked disappointed, while Phoenix was trying to control her hair from turning a fiery red, the tips of her lilac hair turned crimson and she quickly brushed them over her shoulder to avoid Harry's curious gaze.
"Well, I must dash. Nice seeing you all," said Bagman, "Good luck, Harry."
"Git," Fred muttered as they approached the bar for their Butterbeers. Phoenix stared after Bagman's retreating back as he left the pub, she watched curiously as the goblins that he had been talking to all slipped off their seats and followed Bagman out of the pub.
"Why were those goblins with Bagman?" She asked finally as Madam Rosmerta took their orders from Fred. "It's a bit suspicious."
"It is rather fishy," said George, taking two tankards from Madam Rosmerta. "Bill says that goblins and wizards rarely get on–"
Phoenix let out an exasperated sigh, "You would have known that if you actually listened to Professor Binns when we were learning about goblin rebellions all throughout last year!"
"You know we don't listen to Professor Binns," said Fred, passing over several coins to Rosmerta and thanking her. "In fact nobody listens to him."
"I listened to him!"
"And that's how you got an Outstanding!" George beamed, nudging her arm as they approached their table and slid back to their seats. They all quickly got onto the subject of the Apparition tests; their first test was due to take place 30th January and after they had all paid the required twelve galleons they were all itching to be able to Apparate, even though Phoenix, Fred, and George would not be able to take their actual test until the summer since they were not of age much later than the others.
"Getting an Apparition license is sort of the equivalent of getting a driver's license," Lee informed Fred who had been wondering aloud how Muggles get by without magic.
"My father wants me to learn to drive," Phoenix said absentmindedly, fiddling with the oversized gloves George had given her. "I might consider it after we leave Hogwarts,"
"Why?" Fred asked. "What's the point in driving when you can just," he made a popping noise by flicking his finger against the inside of his mouth, mimicking the noise of Apparition.
"Learning to drive is almost a rite of passage in the Muggle world and I'm as part of that world as I am of this world," she explained, "And I don't think I'm going to be Apparating and Disapparating all over the place, I won't be abusing that power," her eyes flickered over the top of her tankard to Fred, George, and Lee.
"I'm going Apparate everywhere," Lee's smug tone only added to his smirk, "When my mother calls me down for breakfast I will just Apparate downstairs… forget about walking!"
"That's how you abuse the power of Apparition," Angelina rolled her eyes, "Learning how to drive sounds fun, my mother knows how to drive and it does come in handy. I mean when she was pregnant with my sister she couldn't just Apparate everywhere, that's way too dangerous."
"It's a good thing that I'm never going to be pregnant," George smiled, "I'm taking Lee's side on this. By the time I get my license I will have completely forgotten how my legs function,"
"Boys," Phoenix and Angelina both said at the same time, rolling their eyes almost in perfect synchronization.
"Hey Pixy," George said suddenly, nudging her and pointing towards the door of the pub, "isn't that–"
She almost dropped her tankard at the sound of her step-sister's voice. Phoenix turned around to see not only Anastasia, but Will and Edmund, all making their way towards her with large smiles on their faces. Anastasia looked different, she was not yet showing her pregnancy but she seemed to be glowing (Phoenix put this down to what people often called the pregnant glow), her long blonde hair had now been cut to shoulder length and her brown eyes were shining with absolute happiness. Will also looked different, unlike Anastasia's hair which had been cut; his dirty blonde hair had grown to his shoulders. Ed was the only one who looked exactly how he did when Phoenix last saw him, though it appeared he had not shaved for a while.
"What are you all doing here?"
Lee didn't hesitate to offer his seat to Anastasia, she thanked him and Lee seemed rather proud of himself being polite to a pregnant woman.
"I needed some clothes that fit me and Madam Malkin's was closed so here we are!" Anastasia said brightly. "But we also wanted to see you,"
"Why? I haven't done anything," Phoenix was thinking widely about the now missing documents in her father's office. She took a long gulp of Butterbeer to cover up her nervousness as Will slid onto the bench beside her and George while Lee and Ed pulled up extra chairs.
"How's the bun in the oven then Anastasia?" Fred asked and Phoenix kicked him in the shins from under the table.
Anastasia however, laughed, "It's tiring, to say the least, my friend recommended doing Muggle meditation classes."
"She cries at anything," Will added with a chuckle, "Pregnancy mood swings are horrible I feel sorry for Felipe,"
"How is the little guy?" Lee asked Anastasia brightly, Phoenix suspected that Lee's outcome of the conversation was to flirt with the pregnant blonde.
"Or girl," Angelina put in, eyeing over her tankard, "it could be a girl Lee."
"Lee is a unisex name by the way,"
"Ignore my friends," Phoenix giggled, "Especially Lee, he's just trying to flirt with you and get you to name your unborn child after him,"
"Flirting with my pregnant sister," began Ed, turning to Lee with a large smirk, "You got nerve. I like you. You're exactly how little Nix described you."
It was rather odd, though at the same time, rather nice that Phoenix's friend and her step-siblings got on so well. Ed, who was rather much like Lee in the sense that he was also a self-proclaimed ladies' man, got on exceedingly well with one another. Will and the twins, given that they had already met on several occasions, were in howls of laughter after Will had told them all about what he had 'accidentally' done to their old Defence Against the Dark Arts while at Hogwarts. Anastasia and Angelina were both had a long discussion about Quidditch (Anastasia had been Quidditch captain for Ravenclaw whilst in Hogwarts and was almost as determined as Angelina).
"Oh I didn't show you this," Anastasia rummaged through her bag before she pulled out an envelope. "Andrei recommended going to a Muggle doctor for something called an Ultrasound and they gave us this," Phoenix opened the envelope and let out a sound of complete awe in the back of her throat. It was an indescribable feeling inside the very pit of her stomach seeing her future step-niece or nephew on this small photograph.
"Looks kind of blobby," said Will, not bothering to control a snort of laughter.
"That's my child you're talking about," Anastasia looked affronted and swatted Will around the head.
"That must be why they look so blobby," he whispered to Phoenix and George, who burst into laughter that they couldn't contain.
Shortly after they all left the comforts of the Three Broomsticks. Fred, George, and Lee were desperate to go to Zonko's before it closed and Angelina wanted to meet Alicia while Anastasia, Will, and Ed had to catch a train from the station. As Phoenix said her goodbyes to her step-siblings but as she turned to follow Angelina, Will stopped her.
"I've got something to give to you," he told her, plunging his hand into his robes. Phoenix began to feel nervous and paranoid, they had found out. They knew she had got Tonks to take files from her father's office, of course they had noticed those missing files. But what Will took from his robes was not an angry letter from her father as she had thought; instead it was much better than that.
"Pictures of me when I was younger?"
"Look at the next photo,"
She turned over the photo and felt her heart swell as she saw her mother staring back at her. It was quite remarkable how much Phoenix resembled Jane Lancaster. Like Phoenix, Jane had a heart-shaped face, the same deep blue eyes and the same button nose that Jerome so very disliked. The only differences between Jane and her daughter were her reddish brown hair that fell just past her shoulders. In the photograph, Jane was hugging a much younger Phoenix who was beaming with joy.
"You look so much like your mother Phoenix," Will said softly and she looked up at him, feeling as though her heart was in her throat.
"Thanks Will," Phoenix's voice quavered, "I haven't got any of just me and mum,"
She looked back down at the photo. She noticed that in the photo, her younger self (whose hair was a bright blue) was hugging tightly onto a cuddly plush panda toy. In a fraction of a second something happened that had not happened since seeing the Avada Kedavra curse in Moody's class. Something seemed to flash in front of her eyes. She gasped as an image of a girl, with the same bright blue hair, standing in front of a mirror, clutching this very panda to her chest. Then suddenly another image flashed before her eyes, the same panda with its head severed, falling beside a woman's body, the same unmoving body that had so haunted her dreams.
"Phoenix… what's wrong?"
Will was gripping onto her shoulders, but she was barely aware of it. She gulped for air that was so cold it burned the back of her throat.
"N-nothing," she gasped, stuffing the stack of photographs into the pocket of her robes. "I have a headache… I'll just go to the Hospital Wing. Tell my friends – I'll s-see you."
She darted off before Will could reply. Her heart beating so fast that she was rather surprised that it had not exploded, she pushed through the crowds of Hogsmeade shoppers and Hogwarts students along the road that led back into the castle grounds. She ran until she reached the Quidditch pitch, the one place where one could find solitude when needed. She peered around to make sure that nobody was looking as she entered.
The stands were damp as she walked up them. Being on the Quidditch team meant that she rarely had to sit in the stands, unless Oliver Wood had forced them to another teams match. But Phoenix loved sitting in the stands by herself, the stands provided cover, protection from the rest of the castle. She sat down at the very top bench in the stands just as the rain began to fall. The pattering of the rain against the covers relaxed her momentarily before a wave of sobs escaped her.
Why? Why did her father do that to her? She wished nothing more to remember something, anything, about her mother that was not the moment she had been taken so horribly away from this earth. When she looked at that photo she wished she could remember when it was taken. She wanted to remember laughing with her mother; she wanted her mother to be something more than a distant memory to her. She owed her mother that much.
Something burned through her veins like fire, her heart felt as though it was made of ice and it wasn't because of the cold. She felt angry for the first time at her father. How dare he, he had plenty to remember about her mother. He had eight years' worth of memories and Phoenix barely had a second.
Familiar arms wrapped around her shoulders. She jumped, hastily wiping her eyes before looking up meeting George's warm brown eyes. It was like something within her had finally cracked, as soon as his eyes met hers, her bottom lip trembled and then, she let out an even louder sob that shook her entire body and leaned into his chest.
She didn't know how long that she sobbed into George's chest, all that she knew was that right now, George's comfort was what she needed. He waited patiently for her to stop, gently rocking her back and forth. The now familiar feeling in her stomach arose and it seemed to melt the coldness that was eating at her insides. She closed a fist around a handful of his damp robes as he rubbed her back, soothing her.
"I-I can't even r-remember her G-George," she gasped through sobs, "I d-don't remember m-my own m-mother,"
George didn't reply, he only held onto her tighter.
As the rain fell harder, Phoenix's sobs began to slowly subside. She stared out at the waterlogged pitch, her head resting against the crook of George's neck, sniffing or hiccupping every so often.
"You've never seen a picture of my mother have you?" Phoenix's voice came out dry; she looked up at George who was still looking across the pitch. He shook his head in reply and stared down at her. She pulled out the stack of photographs from the pocket of her robes with shaky, cold hands and carefully placed them in his lap.
George's chin rested on her shoulder as he peered down at the photograph of Phoenix and her mother. Phoenix could not see his face but she could feel him smiling softly against her shoulder. He leaned the side of his head against hers and gave her waist a comforting squeeze.
"You look so much like her," his voice was barely a whisper and Phoenix felt her breath hitch in her throat, her lip quivered and she grabbed George's hand, "she would have been so proud of you… why have you never showed me… or anybody a picture of her before?"
"I didn't want you or anybody else to pity me," she admitted, "I don't want people to feel sorry for me because I grew up without a mother. Showing people pictures of her would make it all the more of a reason to pity me. And I don't know… I wanted to keep her sort of… to myself. I know that doesn't really make sense–"
"It makes no sense," George chuckled, "but I understand Phoenix. I'm glad that I'm important enough to you for you to show me this,"
"You understand me George," she told him, gripping his hands more tightly with her own, "you listen to me and I… couldn't imagine sharing that with anybody but you,"
"So I'm your favourite twin?" George asked, his eyes glinting, "Fred would probably lose his head."
"Shut up," she giggled, elbowing him softly.
He chuckled as a rumble of thunder came overhead. They didn't move however, instead George swung Phoenix's legs over his and pulled her closer. The photographs had been carefully put away back into her pocket. His hands played with hers before his fingers laced through the gaps between hers. He placed their entwined hands on her thigh as the rain became heavier.
"I love the sound of rain," Phoenix told him softly, "it makes you so relaxed doesn't it?"
George hummed against her forehead in agreement. It was nice, simply being with George and being this close to him. She didn't have to worry about Angelina staring at them or seeing her blush. She didn't have to ignore the feeling in her stomach because she had no means of controlling them as George's thumb softly ran over her own.
"George, can I tell you something?"
"You remember that night when you saw me in the common room with that report from the Ministry?" George gave another hum and she continued, "Well I decided after what happened in Moody's class to… to find out what really happened to my mother,"
"What did you find out?"
She gulped nervously but relaxed as George's thumb swiped across hers, "Tonks managed to find these files in my father's office and…" her voice shook and gripped George's hand tightly as she willed herself not to cry, "… I found out that after my mother's death, my father had asked the Healers in St. Mungo's to…" she once again gulped for air, tears stinging in her eyes once again, "… m-modify my memory,"
"Oh Phoenix," his lips softly kissed her hairline and she felt as though her stomach was on fire.
"That's n-not the last of i-it," she cried, rubbing her eyes harshly, "I… I had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after what happened… My father couldn't live w-with me crying and screaming and having night terrors so he asked the Healers to just take away the memory of her death. But somehow they also took every single memory that I-I had of her," she hiccupped, her cheeks soaked with tears that George quickly wiped away. "When I talked to Professor Moody, he told me she was murdered by Death Eaters… the Avada Kedavra curse. That's how I got a sort of flashback all those months ago… He told me something else b-but… but why? Why didn't my father tell? Why is it that the man I have trusted for my entire life just betrayed me like that? And why does my entire family keep this from me? I don't deserve this. I deserve to remember my mother and… and… she deserves that too,"
"Phoenix, you will remember her,"
"How?" She looked up at George, her eyes still sparkling with unshed tears.
"There must be a spell that breaks memory charms," George said with a hint of desperation in his voice, "if there's a spell for turning one's tongue into a horn then there's a spell from breaking memory charms. It appears that the memory charm already is hindering slightly if you had… you know that flashback,"
"It was only the flash of green light that triggered it. B-but the spell for breaking memory charms is probably really advanced and dangerous… it could completely wipe my memory. Memory charms are dangerous anyhow… remember what happened to Gilderoy Lockhart?"
"You trust me?"
"Of course I–"
"Then trust me… you will remember your mother. You're right, not only do you deserve to, but she deserves it too. Above anything, I want you to remember her. I want you to remember all those memories you have with her," Phoenix let out a small laugh before letting out a quiet sob. George smiled and wiped away another tear that had escaped, "and when I find a way to break a memory charm, I want you to tell about all the good times you had with her. You deserve so much Phoenix,"
Phoenix let out a shaky laugh that mixed with a sob; she smiled at George before leaning closer into his chest. His arm around her waist tightened and she found herself thinking that there was nobody that Phoenix would rather be this close to, nobody else Phoenix wanted to talk to about everything she was thinking about because she knew that George would be there for her and he would listen to her without a doubt. And she told him everything as they sat, huddled together in the Quidditch stands, at least everything she had found out about her mother's death. And when she cried even harder, he simply held onto her tighter.
The rain fell down harder after Phoenix finally told George everything about what she had found out and finally stopped crying, they stayed there. Still holding onto one another, simply watching the rain fall and thunder flash across the sky. It was then Phoenix realised what these feelings for George were becoming as they both stared out at the rain soaked Quidditch pitch. She realised that in fact, these were not the feelings you have around your best friend. It was the feelings you have when you like someone. Like really like someone.