Playing With Fire

Chapter 22

Disclaimer: I do not own the world of Harry Potter.

Tilly hurried after Charlie as they raced up the hallways of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Never before had Tilly been so glad about having connections in the Ministry until she saw the relief on Charlie's face when their Floo had been activated.

Bill Weasley sat in the hallway in front of the Dai Llewellyn ward of Creature-Induced Injuries. He looked older, worn but not sad. When he saw his brother, he stood up, meeting him halfway so that the two of them could embrace.

"What happened?" Charlie started immediately. "Is he –?"

"Dad's fine," Bill reassured him. "He's sleeping right now. I just sent that letter not but an hour ago. How in the world did you get here so fast?"

Charlie nodded at Tilly. "Her friend was able to get us an International Floo to her office in the Ministry."

Bill gave Tilly a soft smile, moving to hug her too. "Nothing like working high up, right."

"I'm going to go in," Charlie murmured. "I won't wake him, I just want to see him."

Bill and Tilly nodded and Charlie walked inside. Bill sighed, sitting down again. Tilly sat next to him, reaching over to take his hand. "You okay?"

"Yea, just tired," he told her. "I'll have to be getting to work soon. Do you think you and Charlie can sit with him till Mum gets back?"

"Of course we can."

Bill nodded, leaning forward in his chair. "Thanks you know . . . for getting him here."

Tilly smiled. "He would have been unbearable otherwise."

The older sibling chuckled. "That would be Charlie."

The door opened and Charlie poked his head out. "He woke up if you guys want to see him."

Bill and Tilly stood up moving into the ward. There were only three people in the ward and Mr. Weasley was at the very end, eyes wide open, happy as ever. "Tilly! Well isn't it good to see you! I guess it's you who we can thank for get Charlie back here without killing someone."

Tilly smiled at the man who was almost like a father to her. "Nothing would have kept us away Mr. Weasley."

Later on, Tilly watched as the teenagers tromped out the door, obviously upset that they couldn't be involved in the Order's business. She couldn't help but feel bad for them; after all, she, Charlie, and Tonks were only six years older than Fred and George. She was surprised Mrs. Weasley let them be involved.

Tonks, Moody, and Marguerite entered the room quickly. Tilly and Tonks exchanged glances, the latter waggling her eyebrows as she glanced between her and Charlie but Tilly shook her head. This was so not the place to even mention her trip to Romania, what with her grandmother and his mother and father standing right there.

"Looks like your back then," Moody murmured, his eye roaming about as his good eye looked to Tilly. "No time for vacations anymore. We need the extra eyes in the Ministry what with Arthur on bed rest."

"You guys still haven't actually told us what happened," Charlie said as the trio took the seats the teenagers had vacated.

"It was You-Know-Who's snake," Marguerite explained. "Snuck right up to poor Arthur here."

"That thing must be massive," Tilly whispered. "How in the world did it get in and out without anyone seeing it?"

Arthur shook his head. "It certainly gave me quite a surprise."

"It just did," Tonks told them, looking as baffled as the rest. She tugged on a strand of her pink hair. "The Aurors set to look for it. They searched the whole area but they couldn't find the snake anywhere, it just seems to have vanished after it attacked you, Arthur. . . . But You-Know-Who can't have expected a snake to get in, can he?"

"I reckon he sent it as a lookout," Moody growled, "'cause he's not had any luck so far, has he? No, I reckon he's trying to get a clearer picture of what he's facing and if Arthur hadn't been there the beast would've had much more time to look around. So Potter says he saw it all happen?"

"Yes," Mrs. Weasley said, uneasily. "You know Dumbledore seems almost to have been waiting for Harry to see something like this. . . ."

"Yeah, well," Moody muttered, "there's something funny about the Potter Kid, we all know that."

"Dumbledore seemed worried about Harry when I spoke to him this morning."

"'Course he's worried. The boy's seeing things from inside You-Know-who's snake. . . . Obviously, Potter doesn't realize what that means, but if You-Know-Who's possessing him – well, that makes him pretty dangerous if you ask me. We might have to take drastic measures."

"He's just a boy, Alastor," Marguerite said, shaking her head. "He's probably scared and confused. Besides, I'm sure Albus will figure things out."

"Either way, it'll be good to have the extra set of eyes around here," Moody said, nodding at Tilly.

Tilly looked from him to Charlie, who was obviously thinking the same thing. You-Know-Who had already tried to take her once.

Was it really safe to be around Harry?

A/N: Hey! Thought I'd stop this chapter right here. Hope you liked it and I'll see you next time!

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