AN: Well hello there wonderful people! I'm back, finally. I had major issues getting this story straight in my head, trying to figure out where to take it and then written hence the slight delay, but it is nearly there now, just a few tweaks to go I think.
This is the third part of my trilogy which starts with A Dangerous Combination then continues with A Coveted Gift. I urge you to read those first or else this story is not going to make much sense at all.
In other news I passed those nasty exams I was complaining about in the last story! Rejoice!
The setting sun streamed in the glassless window casting an orange glow on the stone walls. A pure black cat with bright green eyes lazily stretched then resumed a bolt upright position upon the bed, surveying her mistress pacing back and forth. Constance did not notice either of these things, her mind was far too preoccupied, even the pile of unmarked essays waiting on the desk could not distract her from her past and the events of the previous few days.
A knock at the door abruptly brought her from her reverie.
"Constance?" Constance sighed, and absent mindedly brushed down her pyjamas.
"Come in Amelia," she called softly. The headmistress entered bearing a tray of food.
"I thought you may want this seeing as you missed dinner again."
"That's very thoughtful Amelia, but I'm really not hungry."
"You haven't eaten all day Constance, or left your room for that matter, don't get me wrong I'm glad you are resting for once but you need to eat."
"Fine, fine. I'll eat something." Constance agreed to placate her superior, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I need to leave the castle tomorrow, I have something I need to do. I'll be departing first thing in the morning."
"You can't go anywhere Constance! Your ribs are not healed! You're likely still concussed!"
"I'm fine, I have to go, I can't rest until I've done this."
"What could possibly be so urgent you have to risk your health by getting on a broomstick?!"
"I can't tell you Amelia, not yet." Amelia sighed.
"Constance I don't…"
"Yet Amelia, yet. I know you have been extremely patient with me for nearly 14 years, I know you have dozens of questions you would like to ask about myself, and my past. I also know you have never pushed, never demanded, for which I am grateful. I wasn't ready to speak about it, I'm still not, not until I know the full story myself. I have to go and find a few missing pieces. And then, I promise I will tell you what I know, you deserve that much. To be truthful you deserved that much from the moment you took me in." Constance bowed her head, unable to meet her Headmistress' and longest friend's eyes.
Amelia looked a little stunned. She had never heard the younger woman speak in such a way, to be so blatant in stating she was hiding her past. It was true she had spent years pondering where the woman had come from, she had eventually found out she had been under Hecketty Broomhead's tutelage at Witch Training College but she could tell her Deputy was concealing the rest and she had never dared, out of both respect and a little fear, asked her about it.
"Alright, you will be careful, please keep as low as possible and take frequent breaks?"
"Of course. Thank you for understanding. I'll try and explain when I return." Amelia nodded.
"You'll need your strength for tomorrow then." She gestured toward the tray of food. "You don't need low blood sugar on top of everything else."
"Noted." Amelia turned towards the door, feeling her shoulders weighed down once again with worry, a common feeling these days.
"Oh and Constance, Mildred asked to see you again." Constance looked slightly guilty. "I don't understand why you haven't spoken to her since the morning she woke up, considering what you both went through and what she did for the school. You know how she is, she doesn't understand why you haven't talked to her properly, she thinks she's done something wrong."
"I know, she was magnificent, I'm not being fair, I'll explain to her tomorrow too. I just, I need to do this first."
As dawn broke Constance stood in her room clad in her usual black dress but also her hat and full length cloak. She picked up two vials from her desk and drained them, some wide-awake considering she hadn't slept a wink through the night and a pain relief potion to get her through this lengthy broom ride. She tucked another two vials into her handbag knowing she would need them later. She picked up a book from her desk, turned to pet Morgana farewell on the bed and vanished into the ether.
She reappeared in Mildred's bedroom, the girl still fast asleep, evidently dreaming with her eyes darting beneath their lids. She placed the book soundlessly upon the bedside table, 'A Little Princess' this time. She turned back and pulled the slipped blanket back up to cover the girl and fend off the cold. Mildred murmured in her sleep. Constance snatched her hand back not wanting to wake her up, and stepped back into the shadows. Mildred's breathing intensified, her eyes screwed tightly shut and her forehead furrowed. Her hands clenched the blankets her limbs twitched.
"No," she slurred, "No, don't... please... you can't… don't hurt her!" Constance stepped forward again and lightly touched her casting fingers to the pupil's forehead sending her into a dreamless sleep. Mildred's muscles relaxed, her breathing evened once again. Yes, Constance really needed to talk to the girl, she was evidently not coping with recent events very well. After staying a moment longer to make sure she was peacefully sleeping again, Constance vanished once more, reappearing in the courtyard.
She collected her broom from the broomshed, instructed it to hover quietly and elegantly perched upon it. She hung her bag over the end and sat up straight, her arm instantly moving to clutch her ribs at the pain shooting through them at the abrupt movement. Her torso was a rainbow of bruises from her injuries but she couldn't wait for them to heal any longer. She took in a deep breath and slowly straightened up again, the took off into the morning fog.
Amelia had watched her Deputy depart from her bedroom window, nearly calling out to her when she had seen the woman grimace in pain. She did not understand why she had to go today, what could possibly not wait a week or two until she was fully healed? She had a feeling she did not know everything that had happened in that Hall a few days ago, but she was going to find out.
AN: Well? Any good? Bad? Would love a wee review!