Snape jerked awake as Tonks' head collided with his own; she snorted quietly and sat up, "What is it?"
He scowled at her as he rubbed his head, giving the approaching Muggle an even fiercer look to assure that his signal was conveyed properly. The Muggle faltered slightly, but spoke, "We've landed and we're taking the boy into a hospital. It will be alright, and we have an escort waiting for you, but the man in the toilet seems… distressed."
Snape glanced around to see that it was indeed daylight, "Took your time landing, didn't you?" he snapped, "Well, he'll be fine. I'll need some things for-"
"Right, and you'll get them after we return, but we can only take a certain amount with us and we're taking all of the children and the injured, the young woman who's expecting really shouldn't be in the heat either." the Muggle said, "We'll be back for you soon."
Snape stood as the children filed to the front of the plane, leaving himself, Tonks, Sirius and Lucius with Lupin. The quieted moans from the bathroom alerted Snape that Lupin was indeed himself again, "Let's get him out, shall we?" he said to Sirius, walking to the battered door.
Snape pulled the door open slowly and stepped back, raising an eyebrow; behind him, Lucius Malfoy erupted into laughter.
"Thank you, Lucius." the werewolf muttered.
"What's all over you?" Sirius asked with concern, stepping forward.
"Don't touch him!" Tonks cried, pulling Sirius' hand back, "That's toilet water!"
Lucius' face was overtaken with another smile and he burst into laughter once again, "I think my ankle is broken." Lupin said quietly, looking down to where his foot was wedged into the toilet.
"Are you alright?" Sirius asked, masking his own grin with a hand over his mouth, "How did this happen?"
Lupin scowled, "Well I suppose I got bored locked in this tiny room and decided my only escape was through the toilet!" he snapped.
"The Muggles said they would return soon." Snape said, "Until then I don't suggest that we move him."
"Any chance there's any sort of water source out there?" Lupin asked miserably, shaking his blue-stained hair from his face.
"I'm afraid not, Moony." Sirius said, "I guess we're all stuck where we are until the Muggles get back to help get you out."
Snape looked up from the Muggle booklet he was reading with a sour look, "What is it now?"
"Is there any food out there?" Lupin muttered.
Snape stood after a bit of grumbling hesitation; he sought through the small stewardess' closet behind him for a moment before producing a small packet, "Peanuts."
Lupin caught them gratefully and began his struggle with the difficult little packet, "What does that book you're reading say?"
Snape sat back down slowly, "Mostly Muggle nonsense, but I did find a page that confirms the toxicity of that water. However, I'm not certain as to the dangers of simply rubbing it allover yourself."
Lupin flinched as the packet tore open and showered him in peanuts, "It's alright; I've never been one for peanuts. When did the Muggles say they would be back?"
"Well if the sun's position is any indicator I would say about four hours before now." Snape said quietly, "How much longer can you stand?"
"Well, my leg is tired, I won't deny that." Lupin said as he hopped into a more comfortable position and leaned back against the near wall, "But the alternative is much more unbearable."
Snape sighed and looked down the cabin of the plane, his eyes narrowing as he spotted the emergency fire axe at the opposite end, "I'll see what I can do."
"Severus?" Lupin called, leaning as far as he could toward the doorway before wincing as his ankle flared in pain, "What are you doing?"
After an assortment of crashes, Snape returned, dragging an overturned metal box; he pushed it behind Lupin with his foot and turned to pick up a semi-destroyed seat from the plane. He sat it on top of the shelves and dropped the axe to the floor, "There."
Lupin sat on the seat and smiled, leaning back and setting his free foot on the sink, "Thank you, Severus."
"If they don't return soon we may have to use that axe to cut off your leg so that you don't starve." Snape said with an unreadable expression.
"I'll prepare myself for that."
"Stop it!" Draco hissed, "Before somebody thinks we-"
"Hullo Draco, Goyle." Harry said quietly as he approached them in the hallway, "Find a room yet?"
"We're together in this one." Goyle replied, pointing.
"We just thought it would be safer if we stuck together." Draco snapped, "With Professor Snape still not here we didn't figure we'd get anything if we didn't get it for ourselves."
Harry looked somewhat hurt, but only nodded slowly, "Well I thought I would check; I'm staying with Ron."
As Harry spoke, a girl with dark skin, a native of the area gave Draco a more than friendly smile. The blonde's face twisted in hatred and he spat at her feet; the girl stumbled back and ran down the hall. Harry and Goyle gave Draco twin looks of surprise, "What'd you do that for?" Goyle muttered.
Draco wiped his mouth as if he'd just spat out something terrible, "She deserved it; they all deserve it."
The boy stepped into the hotel room that he shared with Goyle and left the other boys alone in the hallway, "He's been through a lot." Goyle said.
"So have you. You're an orphan." Harry said, "Draco still-"
"Mr. Malfoy won't talk to Draco; he won't even look at him." Goyle said with a shrug, "I suppose I feel alright… how about you, Harry?"
"I was already an orphan." Harry said quietly, "Everything that happened to me happened before this."
Goyle nodded slowly for a moment, "So do you want to go talk to him? I'm… not good with words."
Harry shook his head, "I don't think he wants to see me." he said, patting Goyle on the shoulder as he left.
Goyle took a deep breath and let it out slowly, opening the door.
Draco stood from where he sat on the bed, inhaling sharply and wiping hastily at his eyes, hurrying over to look out the window with his arms crossed. Goyle remained silent, walking to his own bed and sat down to stare at his feet. Draco sighed quietly after collecting himself, "Strange isn't it, Goyle?" he said, "Being dressed properly."
Goyle nodded, then remembered Draco's back was to him and quickly added, "Yes."
Draco turned around slowly and walked back to his bed, "I think I'll go ask how Viktor's doing. Normally I wouldn't care but… his health has direct effect on when we get to leave."
"What are you doing?" Goyle asked suddenly.
"What do you mean?"
"You're acting… like you used to." Goyle said, "Why are you doing that? I thought we were over that."
"We're going home." Draco said.
"We don't have homes; your father won't even talk to you. Do you think he'll let you live with him?" Goyle asked.
"Hogwarts is my home." Draco said, puffing himself up a bit.
"Sure, and what about during Christmas or the summer? How arrogant will you be then? Or when a professor says something you don't like or you get a low mark in potions and nobody cares but Snape." Goyle said, "How will you feel about home then?"
"What do you want me to do, cry?!" Draco demanded as he stood.
"You cry all the time!" Goyle exploded suddenly, "I don't care of you cry; just stop hiding it from me!"
Draco stared at Goyle with his mouth open for a moment before closing it and shaking his head, "You're mad."
Goyle stood instantly, taking up the small remaining space between the beds so that he and Draco stood almost nose to nose, "Whose fault is that!?"
Draco moved to turn away but Goyle grabbed him by the wrist and tugged him forward into a kiss. Draco sank against the larger boy, pulling away as the door opened and wiping his mouth, but not fast enough to avoid being seen, "Well don't stop on my account." Neville said, a hint of rare humor creeping into his voice.
"Don't you knock, Longbottom?" Draco snapped, "What do you want?"
"Sorry, Gin is showering in our room and I knew you wouldn't mind if I used yours." Neville said.
"And how did you know?" Draco asked shortly.
"Well I was going to ask Sirius but I heard you two arguing so I figured you weren't using it."
"We don't mind." Goyle said.
Neville nodded in appreciation and walked into the bathroom, shutting and locking the door, after which calling, "Don't mind me!"
Goyle glanced back to Draco who scowled and walked to the door, "I'm going back to the airplane."
Snape was beyond furious once the Muggles had finally arrived; anger radiated off of him as they stepped onto the plane and he had to bite his tongue to keep from yelling at them the second they appeared. Two of the Muggles appeared to be paramedics, and another was a woman who seemed very concerned with the plane itself, "I see you've managed to destroy a seat already." she observed aloud.
Remus spoke first, his voice riddled with pain, "It's nothing a little magic won't fix… when we get our wands."
"That's not the only thing." Snape muttered as he glowered at the woman.
"Is there any bleeding?" one paramedic asked Lupin, seeming hesitant to touch him.
"Well considering his foot disappears into a hole in a toilet how do you think we'd be able to tell you that?" Snape growled, "And if he is bleeding the infection will be so bad by now you might as well cut his leg off."
"I think I'll be the judge of that." Remus said, crying out as one of the Muggles eased his foot free.
"We brought everything to set it so we won't have to take you to the hospital." one Muggle said as they sat Lupin on the floor.
"How is Viktor?" Lupin asked.
"Oh, the boy? He's fine; we had to operate and remove some more scar tissue that had been left by his… injury. It was putting a strain on everything in his chest, but he should be fine by tomorrow morning. Your government has sent out someone to pick you up and so you will be remaining in the hotel until they arrive." the small woman said, apparently well briefed on the situation.
"What's this then?" Lupin asked as the Muggles began to wrap his foot.
"Well we didn't exactly expect you to be covered in… we're just going to wrap the ankle and give you crutches until you can go back to the hotel and clean up; when you do we'll fit you with a boot." one paramedic said.
"Could I be transported back with him or do I have to remain in this hellish Muggle contraption for six more hours?" Snape growled suddenly.
"Let's get them off of the plane before anything else happens." the short woman said, exiting quickly.
"Lupin's going to be alright." Snape said, "If he can learn to walk with that torture device on his foot."
"Have you thought about what you'll do when we get back?" Tonks asked.
"I'll teach, as I always have." Snape said, "More than likely I'll be asked to become Headmaster by the Ministry."
"I suppose it's just something you have to do then." Tonks said, crossing her arms, "I mean, it's not as if there is anyone else to do the job."
"No, Sprout and Flitwick wouldn't be up to it; they're the best qualified in my opinion. We'll need a new Gryffindor house head… and Slytherin." Snape muttered.
"I suppose you'll be taking the Defense Against the Dark Arts job then?" Tonks asked slyly.
Snape scowled, "Of course I will; those children need a teacher who has been on both ends of the dark arts."
"Are you going to hire new Professors?" Tonks asked, "Being Headmaster and all you'll have to do that, right?"
Snape shook his head, "I'm hoping to be able to leave all of that up to the Ministry until permanent plans are put into motion. I only want to keep the school open; some of these children don't have anywhere else to go."
"How long did they say we would be here?" Tonks asked suddenly.
"They're leaving us here for the Ministry." Snape said, "I will send for our wands in the morning. You do remember what yours was, do you not?"
"I'm clumsy, not daft."
Lupin scowled to himself as he stared up at the ceiling, "No don't come out and check on me I'm doing just fine. I love rolling about in the floor." he mumbled, managing to roll to a sitting position while down the hall a door opened slowly.
"Uh… Professor Lupin?"
"It's just Lupin, Neville. I'm hardly a professor anymore." Lupin said as he struggled to stand.
"What are you wearing, sir?" Neville asked.
"The Muggles called it a walking boot, but I can assure you that walking is hardly what I've been doing with it." Lupin muttered, "You seem like a strong boy, Neville; give me a hand."
Neville helped Lupin to his feet and the werewolf hobbled to the wall, leaning against it appreciatively, "Are you going to be alright?" Neville asked.
"Of course." Lupin said, "The Muggles told Severus I would be fine; I was too busy screaming. They didn't give me anything for the pain you see; said it might 'interact with my condition' as if I could up and turn into a werewolf if they gave me any sort of medicine. Muggles are even more stupid about magic when they try to understand it." Lupin rambled as he hobbled down the hallway, Neville walking patiently at his side, "Thank you for listening, my boy; it helps me concentrate."
"I don't mind listening." Neville said, "But I was hoping I could also ask you a few things."
"Go ahead, Neville."
"Well… since Professor Snape talked to us before I suppose you probably know too, that Ginny is pregnant."
Lupin looked at Neville for a long time before speaking, "And you feel you need to ask me about this because it is…"
Lupin flinched visibly and sighed, "Well you will of course have to be equally responsible, Neville; this is, after all your-"
"It's not that." Neville interrupted quickly, "I've already made the decision that I will help and… truth be told I'd be happy to marry her, raise our baby, and perhaps when we're older even have more children. It's just that…"
"…you're not sure that's what she wants?" Lupin offered.
Neville nodded, "Yeah, I don't want to… trap her into anything or have it seem like I blame her for what's happened."
"Well perhaps she feels the same way." Lupin said.
"Oh no, she's made it quite clear who she blames." Neville muttered, "I wanted to speak to someone… before I talked to Ginny."
"And you chose me because?"
"Well I'm afraid of Professor Snape." Neville said matter-of-factly, "I don't really know Tonks and Sirius would-"
"Probably try to throw you a party, yes." Lupin said, "Well you should speak with Ginny, and let her know again that you support her and her decisions. You can't force her to love you, Neville."
Neville gave Lupin a slight smile, "Yeah I know; thank you, sir." he said, "Are you alright to walk by yourself?"
"Well if I fall over again I suppose I'll just go to sleep." Lupin replied, "Go on; I'll be fine."
Neville thanked Lupin again and strolled down the hall, a new bit of confidence in his stride.
George whimpered in his sleep as sweat beaded out on his forehead, "What… what are they saying?"
"One of our children, Arthur," Molly whispered, she stood beside Arthur, and both of their backs were to George as they spoke, "Is not like the others."
"Percy's always has been a bit different, Mollywobbles." Arthur assured gently, "He'll grow out of it."
"Not Percy, dear." Molly said, "Not Percy or Charlie or Ginny or even poor Bill… its George."
Arthur nodded slowly, "Yes… I suppose I've noticed it before. When they were young, and he and Fred tried to force Ron into an Unbreakable Vow I imagined it was in fun, but there was something strange about George that day."
"Have you heard his nightmares, Arthur? He screams and rambles on… and the way he looks at the Muggles. He doesn't hate them; he wants to be them. I thought we would have to tell our children not to be cruel to Muggles after this, not have to… well… there is something very wrong with our boy."
"Mum?" George whispered, "Dad? What are you saying? What do you mean?"
"There's hope yet, Arthur. Tell George he has to stay with Fred… tell him they have to be strong together or they will fall… on either side of the fence and they will fight." Molly said, "Tell him dear; I can't."
"If I don't?"
Molly's words became slow and distorted as if they were playing over stretched audio tape, and her face became dead and frightening, "There is room for one Dark Lord, and not all good will be his enemy."
Arthur turned and looked at his boy with hate, "George!"
George snapped awake and saw his younger brother staring at him in shock. Percy and Fred were kneeling over someone; they were in the hallway. George leaned close to see, but he did not recognize the person's face until she sat up and moved her hand. Blood poured from Angelina's nose and she wiped it away as she stared at him with wide eyes, "George?"
George looked down at his hands, blood was smeared across the knuckles of his left hand, and he stumbled a few steps away, bumping into Ginny, "There's room for one, George."
"What did you say?!" he demanded, backing away.
"I said there's room for one in my room; Neville's staying with… what happened to your hand?" she asked, "Is that Angelina?!"
George spun around as the hallway began to blur, and he caught sight of Lucius Malfoy stepping from his room; the blonde's face was a mix of understanding and disgust as he turned away, and George fainted.
A/N: Well there you have it. I know it raised a few more questions than it answered but I suppose you won't be too terribly confused. The last paragraph was a hint of things to come far in the future, but not something you should understand too much just now. Thank you all and look for The Window soon! I'll have it up by Thursday the 19th!