Chapter One - Petrified
Rose woke with a start. She could see, in the darkness, her cousin Albus was awake too in the next bed. He turned his head to look at her, his bright green eyes shining in the darkness.
"Why are you still awake?" she asked him softly.
"I've just been thinking." he replied, obviously careful not to wake Madam Pomfrey, who had been looking for her Skele-Gro to heal Sora Drakon, a half-blood that had been attacked by the mysterious monster.
"What about?" she asked him.
"Nothing much - just getting out of this place and trying to find the monster for myself." he grinned at her halfheartedly. Even in times of peril he could find a way to make her smile.
"You're surely not serious?" she asked, knowing that her cousin could be a bit dumb in deciding what was right and what was wrong after being hijacked by Voldemort in their 3rd year.
"Why shouldn't I be?" he shrugged.
"You wouldn't, Albus!"
"Look, Rose, everyone told me last year that Voldemort would never come back, or ever even dare to hurt me after my father defeated him for the last time 29 years ago. Now I don't even know what is a lie or what is the truth. To make the matter worse, you, my best friend, have just been taken out of a coma caused by that horrible - creature." he stopped and shuddered. "Now my own sisters' been Petrified, and for all I know, all of my friends could drop dead any day now." he slid out of bed, his ghostly shadow falling into the column of light that still came from the nurse's office. "I have to go."
Rose nodded, her blue eyes glistening with tears, as she lifted her covers and slid of of bed with him.