Disclaimer: I own nothing.
The months flew by as the cold winter days turned into hot summer months.
It was the end of May, and the day was humid and boiling. Students were jittery with excitement as the last day of school was only two weeks off.
The Mandrakes (while not as many students were petrified, there were a hand full) were almost ready. The monster had not shown up, nor the frightening and bloody messages on the wall. Hogwarts was at peace.
They should've known it was all too good to last.
The Weasley family, meanwhile, was as changed as ever.
When the kids went home for the Easter holidays, their parents and the second eldest had noticed a change- a good one, at that. No more battles at the dinner table; no more taunting; no more worrying about the dangers Ron was getting into with Harry and Hermione (at least at the moment).
Even the twins and Percy were getting along! Fred sat by Percy at the dinner table every night, and they often joked together.
Speaking of Percy, he was, perhaps, the most changed. He played Quidditch with them, proving to be a fairly decent Chaser. More than once over the holidays, he pulled a prank with the twins, shocking Molly so much that she didn't even scold them!
While Molly and Charlie had no idea what was going on, Arthur just smiled in the background. Apparently, this body changing mishap had changed his children more than he previously thought.
Bill was much closer to siblings, and even though he could quit now that this dilemma had been solved, he wanted to continue working at Hogwarts. He rather enjoyed teaching Ancient Runes, and besides, it meant the opportunity to retrieve blackmail.
Ron and Ginny had also changed. They both hung out with their family more; Ginny because Fred and Percy has pretty much saved her from Tom Riddle, and Ron because neither of them were as annoying as opposed to before the incident.
But they should've known something would go wrong sooner or later.
Percy was still freezing cold all of the time, and his nightmares were getting more gruesome by the day. On top of that were the strange black outs. Randomly, he'd forget an hour, or even a day, as if a puzzle pice fell out of the universe.
Yet... he couldn't bring himself to tell anyone. Anytime he tried to open his mouth and make the words come out, his throat closed up, and the next thing he knew, he was talking about the Transfiguration homework.
Not only that, but he'd started cutting again. He knew he shouldn't, and he wanted to stop, but sometimes after a nightmare, he'd wake up and have a blade pressed to his wrist before he knew what he was doing.
And... he was scared.
He'd started dating Audrey, and anytime he was around her, all of the depression and fear slipped away. For a time, he could forget about the terror the nightmare left him with and the cold that grabbed him in its icy embrace.
No one noticed anything was wrong, and for a while, Percy could fool himself into believing that everything was okay.
But deep down, he always knew it wasn't.
And one day, as he walked down the hall, something strange happened.
The world was growing dull and dark, as if he were losing consciousness, but his legs moved as if the world wasn't going black.
The last thing he heard was "You're mine, now."
The last thing he thought was 'oh, shit.'
The world went dark.
Fred knew something was wrong. He could feel it in his gut, in the hollow cavity in his chest that screamed, 'something's not right here.'
"You alright, Freddie?" George asked as they walked down the hall.
"Yeah, it's just... something doesn't feel right."
"What could it be?" George asked, curiously.
"I don't know, it just... it feels like the night that Percy was in trouble all those months ago. The night Tom Riddle attacked him."
"You think Percy might be in trouble?" George asked, the tiniest bit of alarm creeping into his voice.
"I don't know," Fred muttered, "but I'm gonna find out."
He rushed off to Bill's classroom, George following closely behind.
"Bill?" He called as he stepped into the room.
Bill looked up from grading papers with a smile. "Hello, little devils, what's up?"
"Have you seen Percy?" Might as well get right down to it.
Bill shook his head, looking worried. "Why? Is something wrong?"
"No... yes? Maybe. I don't know," Fred stammered. "It's just a feeling."
Bill raised an eyebrow. "Fred, the most important lesson you can ever learn is to trust your instincts. Now, what is this feeling like?"
"Well, it's like my chest is empty, like something's missing. My brain is telling me that something's wrong, but for the life of me, I can't figure out what that is. I haven't had this feeling since Riddle attacked Percy all those months ago."
Bill nodded. "Well, I think we should trust it. Let's go find Oliver; if anyone knows where Percy is, he does."
They found Oliver walking back from Quidditch practice, his gear in hand.
"Oliver!" Fred called. "Have you seen Percy?"
Oliver shook his head. "He said he was going to meet up with Audrey in the library."
"Well, let's find Audrey," George said.
"Why? What's wrong with Percy?" Oliver demanded.
They explained everything to him on the way to the library, where they found Audrey waiting outside.
"Hey, guys," she said with her bright smile. "Have any of you seen Percy? We were supposed to meet here to study five minutes ago."
"Fred's right," Oliver said. "Percy would never be late unless something was wrong."
"Wait. Something's wrong with Percy?" Audrey said, anxiously.
They went through another explanation as quickly as possible.
"I say we split up," Bill said. "Audrey takes the Great Hall. George takes the Charms corridor; maybe he got held up by Flitwick or something; I'll take the Headmaster's office to ask if he's seen Percy; Fred, you take Gryffindor Tower; Oliver, you check outside. Go."
The group split up, Fred growing more and more panicked as this feeling grew more and more stronger.
Was Percy really in danger, or was he just paranoid? But then again, Percy had been late for studying with Audrey, which wasn't like him at all.
Fred turned the corner and froze.
No... no, no, no, NO!
He turned on his heel and ran to find the others.
After checking their designated places, the group met back up, except for Fred, who had to go the farthest.
"Anything?" Bill asked.
The group shook their heads.
"Damn," he muttered. "Where would Percy be?"
As if on cue, Fred whirled around the corner.
Fred certainly looked terrified. His face was white as a ghost, and he was shaking from head to toe, breathing heavy and fast.
"Percy's been taken."
The world dropped out from under Bill Weasley.
THE SEQUEL IS UP! It is called His Skeleton.