Playing With Fire

Chapter 26

Disclaimer: I

Tilly sat in Albus office, feeling as if she were a student again. Not that she had ever come to this office because she was in trouble, no, but being in the presence of a teacher made her nervous. Aunt Minnie made her nervous and she had known the woman for years. Across from her, the Headmaster watched her, his hands clasped in front of him on his desk. He gave her a slight smile but it seemed strained, which was weird for the usually calm man. "How are you feeling, Tilly?"

Even weirder. She had gotten used to him referring to her as 'Miss Riddle'. "I'm fine, thank you."

Again, Dumbledore gave her that small smile but it faded quickly. "I'm afraid, Tilly, that things have gotten pretty – serious."

"How do you mean?" Tilly asked, her fingers clasping the edge of her seat.

Dumbledore stood. "A day ago, in the Ministry, do you remember a brief period of time in which you just felt pain?"

Tilly nodded. How could she forget? It had been the worst moment of her life, really, not being able to breathe or move. Dumbledore sighed, leaning against his desk. He seemed tired and that was even stranger. In all the years she had known him, Dumbledore had been the most energetic old man she had ever known. "That pain you felt was Voldemort attempting to possess Harry."

Tilly stared at her old Headmaster, shocked. "Is Harry – is he –?"

"He's fine," Dumbledore reassured her. "Harry's love, the love he feels for his friends, the love he felt for Sirius, it pushed Voldemort out. I'm afraid – I'm afraid that while Voldemort was trying to possess Harry, you touching him gave Voldemort access to you as well."

"What – what does that mean?"

Dumbledore looked down for a moment before looking back to Tilly, his eyes sad. "Harry and Voldemort share a deep connection, one that formed the night Voldemort tried to kill him. You, however, have a deeper connection, one that is born through blood. The powers that purebloods share are passed down through the generations, old magic that grows stronger with each descendant. I fear that the reason Tom has been trying to kidnap you, is to gain access to those powers."

"What do you mean?" Tilly asked, sitting forward. "Is he trying to make me join the cause because I never –"

Dumbledore shook his head, looking grim. "There is always magic more ancient than what we currently posses. I have reason to believe that Tom has thought to use this ancient magic twice: once to make him virtually invincible and again to take powers from blood relations."

Tilly tried to let that sink in, his words echoing through her head. "You mean – he's been trying to kidnap me so that he can steal my powers."

"It would make him that much stronger, having your powers along with his."

Her heart was pounding. She was desperately trying not to have a panic attack, something she hadn't had since she was in school. Taking deep breaths she looked up at the old Headmaster, unnerved by the sad look on his face. "What – what should I do?"

"The best thing to do is not to panic," Dumbledore said, giving her a small smile. "I am sorry if I frightened you; that was not my intention. I just wanted you to be aware of Tom's plans so that you could be cautions. Perhaps you can go stay with Marguerite, Mrs. Weasley, or maybe Miss Tonks . . . somewhere where you won't be alone."

Tilly nodded slowly. "Yes . . . yes, that might be for the best. Thank you, Professor."

Dumbledore came around the desk as she got wobbly to her feet. "Will you be alright?"

It was an odd question to ask after dropping such a daunting affair on her head. But she nodded, giving him a strained smile. "Thank you. I think . . . I think I'll just be going to visit Tonks at the Hospital. I'll stay there until Charlie gets back from his errands."

She waved good bye to the old man, moving to the Fireplace. Taking the Floo Powder, throwing it into the fire and disappearing through it.

She so did not want to think about this right now.

Tilly smiled as she moved towards Tonk's bed, looking towards the foot of it. There were flowers sitting there, trinkets, and candy sitting at the end of the bed. "Had a lot of visitors haven't we?"

"Tilly!"

"Oh, just the usual, you know. Mom and dad have been in here every day almost for the entire visiting hour. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley dropped by and so did Marguerite, of course. Charlie stopped by, Bill and the lovely Mrs. Fleur Delacour came through (he positively adores that girl, you know). That's about it."

"What about Remus?" Tilly asked, giving her friend a sly smile.

She expected her friend to blush, start stammering, but instead the metamorphous folded her arms, leaning back into her own pillows, her bubblegum pink hair turning dull. "He has been incredibly absent."

Tilly gaped at her friend. "He hasn't stopped by?"

"No Tilly he hasn't." There was anger in her voice that Tilly rarely ever heard but also a hint of something else; heartbreak. "In fact, he hasn't said much to me except that he's too old, too poor, and because of his little 'condition' it's too dangerous for us to be together."

"Oh, Tonks. . . ." Tilly didn't know what else to say. "Tonks if . . . if he doesn't see how wonderful you are than – than bullocks to him."

Tonks gave her a slight smile that didn't quite reach her eyes and Tilly felt as if she had truly been ignoring her friend. As soon as Tonks got out of this hospital, she swore that was going to change. "Forget about it. Give me some news from the outside world! Charlie said you had some news but he was going to wait to let you tell me."

Tilly bit her lip, sitting on the edge of the bed. "Spring or Fall?"

Tonks eyed her strangely, confused. "Spring I guess but –"

"Okay good . . . that'll make it easier to choose colors."

"Colors? Colors for what?"

"Well we have to figure out what color your Maid of Honor dress is going to be, don't we?"

Tilly watched the realization settle over her friend's face. Tonks screamed, her hair turning an electric yellow before she threw her arms around Tilly, hugging her. "Merlin, really? Really? He proposed! You're getting married!"

Tilly laughed. "I'm getting married!"

Tonks held her out at arms length and Tilly was surprised to see tears in her friend's eyes. "I'm so happy for you!"

Tilly's smile fell as she watched her friend. Here she was, obviously struggling with her feelings with Remus . . . not to mention that a little more than 48 hours ago, she had lost her cousin. "Tonks?"

"What is it?"

"It's okay you know, to be sad."

Tonks' hair became the color gray and she folded her hands in her lap. "No. No Tilly, it's your day! I'm happy for you."

Tilly gave her a slight smile before wrapping her arms around her other best friend. Tonks returned the hug, resting her head on Tilly's shoulder. "I'm sorry. I should be happy. I will be happy."

"Don't worry about it," Tilly told her. "And Remus is not invited to the wedding."

Tonks choked out a laugh, before the two of them fell silent. Yes, Tilly thought to herself, she was definitely going to spend more time with Tonks.

A/N: SO It feels like it's been years since I updated so here you go :D Sorry it's kind of short but at least we get some best girlfriend time! Thanks for reading!

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