Playing With Fire

Chapter 28

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

A/N: S/o to some of my new readers Ume Kanda, Katoraj1958, tigy, taterbug0491, saraslushie711, dream lighting, spots newsie, BreannFraizer , laroline, ptl4ever419, dqdagb1, Eirdaru, and EverRose808.

And that is exactly what she did.

Considering that Tonks was delegated to Hogsmeade in order to keep an eye on Hogwarts, Tilly decided to stay with her best friend and help out. Dumbledore did, after all, insist that she stay with a friend or family and since she didn't really want to return to her childhood home with Marguerite and Charlie had to get back to Romania because he did actually have a job, Tonks was the next best thing. Besides, she wanted to spend more time with her girlfriend.

Her presence there did seem to make Tonks smile more but otherwise, her hair was still this mousy brown color which was abnormal. As much as Tilly had been around Tonks and seen her hair change to all these incredible colors, it was strange not to see that electric bubblegum pink every once in a while. It just stayed brown; Remus' hair was brown….

Tilly did her best to keep Tonks on task and her thoughts off the werewolf, but Order meetings kind of messed that up. Tonks would eye Remus, obviously trying to get his attention and he was obviously ignoring her. Tilly thought that maybe she'd have a word or two with the guy but felt it might make things worse. She just couldn't stand to see her friend so sad.

They sat at the dinner table now, eating chicken and salad and Tilly watched Tonks pick at her food. When Tilly had gone into Hogwarts to do an inspection, she had run into Harry. He had, hesitantly, asked her about Tonks and when she asked why he mentioned her Patronus being a weird, big animal. Tilly couldn't help but think that maybe it was werewolf.

"Okay, that's it," Tilly said, setting down her fork. "I'm done."

Tonks looked up at her. "What are you on about?"

"You. Tonks I care about you and I hate that this – this jerk is making you so depressed."

"He's not a jerk, he's just –"

"Don't defend him! It's obvious he understands how you feel about him and he obviously feels the same way about you . . . there is no excuse for him to be treating you this way!"

"I don't know what else to do about it! He doesn't want to be with me . . . he's practically said so."

"But he hasn't said so. He's given you excuse after excuse but not once has he said he didn't care about you. Tonks . . . Merlin, I can't stand you like this. You either have to get him to realize just how much you care and – and if he doesn't want to see that, doesn't want to deal with it, then maybe it's time to just let him go."

Not surprisingly, tears welled up in Tonks' eyes. She shook her head, pressing the heels of her hands into her eyes. "I know, I know. . . . I just – I can't stand the thought of losing someone else I care about and having them still be there makes it even worse."

Tilly opened her mouth to respond but was stopped from doing so when a cat Patronus came rushing into the room, rising up on its haunches, McGonagall's voice echoing through Tonks' loft.

"Death Eater's in Hogwarts."

It might have taken all of ten seconds for the shock to wear off, in which the Patronus disappeared and Tilly and Tonks exchanged horrified looks, before the two friends were dashing for the fireplace with wands in hand but they would both agree that perhaps it had been ten seconds too long. If they hadn't sat there for that ten seconds, they might have gotten to Hogwarts ten seconds earlier. Ten seconds earlier they might have been able to stop what McGonagall referred to as the inevitable. . . .

Ten seconds too late they skidded through McGonagall's fireplace. Screams they couldn't hear from Hogsmeade echoed around them as they ran from the office. Tilly thought she saw children fighting, glimpsed shocks of red hair that were eerily too familiar.

"Nymphadora!" Both women turned at the sound of the metamorphoses' name as Remus ran to them. He was speaking to the both of them but it seemed as if he had only eyes for Tonks. "You need to leave now! It's not –"

A rumbled echoed above them and they looked up just in time to see the ceiling crack. Tonks yelled as it fell and Tilly, who had been a few steps away from her reached out and screamed, "No!"

She jerked back as the rocks fell, closing her eyes against the dust. "Tonks!"

When she opened her eyes it was to see Remus and Tonks huddled together, Remus' wand held up levitating the rocks that were above them. Tilly breathed a sigh of relief just as her friend opened her eyes wide. "Tilly watch out!"

Tilly turned just as a spell caught her in the stomach knocking her back and taking her breath away. She landed hard on her back, gasping for air. Her vision was blurring as a dark figure approached her and she clumsily tried to wrap her fingers around her wand. . . .

The figure was blasted away from her and another appeared in his place grabbing her shoulders. "Tilly! Tilly, focus!"

Tilly blinked hard and took slow deep breaths until things became clear again. Bill Weasley was staring at her, looking anxious. Standing behind him, Fleur Delacour stood with her wand out, looking beautiful and fierce. Remus had moved away from Tonks but he was still watching her even as Tonks moved towards Tilly. "Are you alright?" she asked.

"Fine," Tilly coughed out as Bill pulled her to her feet. "Sore but fine. Are you?"

"I am," Tonks said with a slight smile, glancing over her shoulder. "Thanks to Remus."

But the older wizard wasn't listening. He had had gone stone still, fear etched on his face. "Fenrir."

The other four looked in the direction Remus was but could see nothing but the darkness of the hallway. "Remus, there's no one there," Tonks said, though her grip had tightened around her wand.

"He's coming." Remus turned looking to Bill who nodded solemnly, pointing his wand down the hallway. He looked to Tonks, Tilly, and Fleur. "You three need to go now."

"What?" Tilly said, shocked.

"No way!" Tonks agrued, shaking her head.

"I will not leave wizout Bill," Fleur told him, frowning.

"There's no time to argue," Bill said, still looking down the hall. "Get out of here. We'll catch up soon."

The three woman exchanged glances. Fleur sighed, moving quickly to press her lips against Bill's cheek. "Be safe."

Bill smiled softly at her. Tilly looked to Tonks and found her friend staring at Remus who looked torn for a moment before he looked back down the hall. Tilly took Tonk's hand and the two of them followed Fleur down the hallway.

The castle seemed quiet where they were, safe but the three women new better than to fall into a false sense of security. They walked quickly, wands out, alert. Tilly thought her heart was beating loud enough for the entire castle to hear.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH HH!"

The women stopped, spinning around to stare in the direction they had just come from. When the scream faded, the pain and agony dying out with it, Fluer took a step forward . . . and then another . . . and then her pace slightly quickened.

Tilly leapt forward, grapping Fleur's arm. "What are you doing?"

"Zat was Bill!" she hissed, her face furious and determined. "I 'ave to go back! I 'ave to 'elp!"

"We have to keep moving!" Tilly tried to reason, fear making her panic. "Fenrir could be heading this way and –"

"Which means Bill is 'urt! Why won't you let me 'elp 'im?"

"Because the three of us aren't a match for Fenrir," Tonks murmured. Tilly looked over her shoulder at her best friend and saw that the metamorphous was shaking and could practically read her thoughts. They had had heard Bill, no doubt about it . . . so what had happened to Remus? "We have to go. Remus – I'm sure Remus is making sure he's okay."

The sound of quickening footsteps cut off any further argument. With her hand still wrapped around Fleur's wrist, Tilly sprinted in the opposite direction, Tonks beside her. Tilly hated running, hated being frightened . . . but she had heard too many horrifying rumors about Fenrir not to be afraid.

She looked back over her shoulder to see him skid around the corner as she and her friends barreled up the stairs. There was a grin on his face, a horrifying grin.

A/N: Honestly I just wanted to get you something to read. It's been soo long and I am so sorry! I hope this makes up for my absence a bit. I'll try to update more often now that it's nearly Christmas break.

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