The World Is A Ghetto
Walkin' down the street, smoggy-eyed
Looking at the sky, starry-eyed
Searchin' for the place, weary-eyed
Crying in the night, teary-eyed
Dawlish breathed out sharply at the verdict, his hands slowly turning to fists. "Thank you, Wizengamot, for seeing the truth. It's only a pity that it doesn't matter anymore." He turned on his heel and started to leave. "Mr. Malfoy," he called harshly, breaking me out of my trance, and I quickly turned and followed him. Trying to think of something to say, I had to almost jog to keep up with him as he stalked down the hallway, his face an ugly color, muttering under his breath. I still hadn't thought of anything to say by the time we reached St. Mungo's. I ended up meekly following him back to her room. I stopped just outside, suddenly feeling guilty. What if she had died while I was gone? After a moment, I smoothed my face over and went inside. The room was strangely empty; the Healers gone. Lupin was looking at Dawlish as he seemed to swell and swell.
"What happened?" He asked hoarsely, and when Dawlish didn't answer, he looked at me.
"The Wizengamot found her innocent on all charges." I didn't realize I had spoken until after I had finished my sentence. Color rushed into Lupin's face, and he just stared at me for a moment, before looking at Jenny.
"A whole shit-load of good it did," Dawlish spat, and Lupin glared at him.
"Excuse me?" He asked, and he suddenly sounded more sinister than I thought he could ever sound. "Are you implying that Jenny shouldn't have been cleared?"
"No, I'm saying it came too fucking late, that's what I'm saying. Look at her," Dawlish growled, gesturing towards her general direction. "All of her sacrifice for nothing." Lupin gaped at him, and then looked at Jenny and his face fell into misery that I had come to recognize on his face more often than usual.
"The sad thing is that she was used to it." He looked up to see my face and hastily spoke up again. "She's not dead…but they don't know what's happening to her. It's not quite a coma, and she's not asleep. Williamson was sent to the Department of Dangerous Magical Waste Disposal to try to find the origin of the bottle. The bottle itself is being tested." His words settled on me like a suffocating blanket until I couldn't take it anymore. I turned around and left, walking down the ward hallway, past the desk and out the visitors entrance. It was early, no Muggles or wizards where around in the coolness of the morning. Unsure of where I was going, or when I would go back, I just started walking down the street, staring aimlessly ahead of me. The smog from the Muggle's vehicles hung in the air, blocking out most of the stars. Eyes smarting, I jolted to a stop in the middle of the sidewalk. First, tears poured down my face; I was drowning in anguish. Jenny would probably never wake up, and then where would I be? She was everything to me, the reason why I was even here. After all of the tension and worry, it was over so abruptly just so that another round could begin.
Then, I was furious at her. It was always about Jenny, wasn't it? The stupid bitch was always getting hurt, always in trouble, always being so fucking noble and brave. What the hell was wrong with her anyway? It's not like she was obligated or anything.
Seconds later, it was guilt that rooted me to the spot, then a rush of nostalgia. I shouldn't have been angry with Jenny. Nothing me or anyone else could do would stop her when she got started, she was so damn stubborn. But then she was smart, funny, sarcastic…beautiful. She was always being so noble because she never once thought of herself or even her own safety. She had always said that we had a love-hate relationship, and she had been right. Funny how annoying that was. With a sigh, I turned back around and went back into St. Mungo's, somehow feeling better after silently and verbally abusing Jenny. It made me feel sick that I would, but I couldn't deny that it made me feel better. And if my father were here, he would say, "That's what love is, son. Bitter hate one moment, then passion the next."
"Are you alright?" I asked Lupin quietly from the doorway to Jenny's room, and he leapt up in fright. He mumbled something along the lines of, 'the damn Malfoy boy always being so quiet,' but nodded, rubbing his face. "You should sleep," I added, crossing the room and conjuring a chair next to Jenny with a sigh. It seemed like next to her bedside was where I always was at the end of the day.
"I know," Lupin muttered, getting up and stretching. "But I have to tell everyone what's happened, if they don't know already. This is going to kill Tonks." With a sigh, Lupin walked out of the room, leaving me alone with Jenny. If her lips weren't a pale blue, I would have said that she was asleep.
"Where the hell are you, Jenny?" I asked rhetorically, playing with one of her hands. I had never noticed how big they were, with long thin fingers. "Because everything is falling apart here…and I hate to say it…but it's your fault." A minute later, I looked up as I heard feet running down the hall. Tonks appeared in the doorway, looking very white, leaning on the doorframe. Without a sound, she tripped lightly into the room and walked over as if she was in a trance. "At least she's free," I told her as Tonks started to cry. She ignored me, turned and walked back out of the room. As the morning wore on, the usual suspects were back-the Weasley's, the trio, Order members…but what really surprised me is that my parents showed up, out of hiding.
Around 7, Dawlish and Williamson came back, hushing our quiet chatter instantly. Williamson cleared his throat awkwardly. "So, um, I was digging in the Department of Dangerous Magical Waste Disposal…the potion given to Jenny was created by a woman named Sandy Wallace. She was a witch who used to sell 'miracle' potions in Diagon Alley before she was arrested for killing a costumer with her product. Her potions promised anything, from turning back time to turning your enemy into a dragon. Her potions were confiscated and stored in the Department of Mysteries for awhile, then were supposed to be destroyed."
"Is this Sandy Wallace still alive?" Harry asked.
"No, she's dead." Dawlish said flatly, and right away I knew he was still angry about this whole situation.
"The potion was analyzed and it's supposed to take you to 'The Realms', a place in-between death and life, a mutual area where both the living and the dead could go. Of course, none of these potions ever worked, so we don't know if that is where Jenny is, or if her body is reacting to the ingredients in the potion. I'm sorry we can't tell you more, but we don't even know what's going on. But we're working on it. This is now an ongoing Ministry investigation." Williamson ended sheepishly, then slipped out the door, Dawlish following.
"This sounds like a whole bunch of shit to me." George said, and got a glare from Mrs. Weasley. "A magic freaking potion that takes you to some stupid 'realm?' Yeah, right." He scoffed moodily.
"I wouldn't be so sure. Magic can do a lot more than we even understand." Hermione said in her know-it-all kind of way.
"I don't care about how real it seems. It's obviously somewhat real, I mean, look at her. All I want to know is how and what they are going to do to fix this." Tonks said curtly, bouncing Teddy on her hip, whose hair was the color of peaches.
"Why don't they go to who is directly responsible? This is Bollig's fault if you ask me. He asked for Jenny to be asleep for the whole thing, it's his witness…I mean come on, put the pieces together." Ron said gloomily. Percy barked a laugh.
"If only it was that simple. Even if Bollig was responsible, he's the most influential and powerful Auror employed at the Ministry. No offense, Tonks." He added, and Tonks chuckled weakly, smoothing the hair on Teddy's head.
"Well, I know one thing, Jenny wouldn't want you all standing around waiting. Go home and rebuild your lives." Lupin said, and he was met with an uproar of protests. Ignoring everyone, I looked back at Jenny's face. It was too still, too reserved. It was like a death face.
I was hanging in space, suspended. Everything wasn't quite black, but a dark green with a constantly changing pattern as if there was a sun. All I could here was a whistling, as if I was driving down a highway. When I inhaled, it smelled minty all around. Suddenly, I was hitting ground hard, rolling over and over until I finally stopped, resting on what felt like tree roots. After a moment, I stood up and looked around, my jaw dropping in surprise. I was in a dark forest, a few feet away from a cottage. Then I remembered what had happened, and I whirled on the spot, listening hard for any signs of life. After listening for a good ten minutes, I hesitantly approached the cottage. It didn't seem right, that I would drink something and suddenly appear in a forest. Everything had a dream-like quality. The colors were incredibly bold and deep, and when I looked straight up, the sky was red, like the door of this quaint little cottage.
Steeling myself, I knocked. A moment later, I heard a peep-hole slide back, and one deep blue eye glared at me. "What?" A trilling and musical voice snapped. Taken a back, I only looked at the eye a moment.
"I-I'm sorry, but…where are we?" I asked, and she sighed, swinging open the door and closing it behind her, staying near it, as if to dive back inside.
"I've done this too many times to sugar coat it, so let me explain. You are dead. This is the land where the dead can stay, or they can move on further to the true land of the dead. It's basically a realm." She said impatiently as I gasped, and a hand instantly snaked up to check for a pulse. I had been expecting the worst, but my pulse was still there and I frowned at almost the same time as the woman. She reminded me of a gypsy, with the large nose, one big mole—tanned, wrinkly skin.
"I still have a pulse." I said quietly, placing a hand on my chest just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I jerked in surprise, ready to punch in the woman's face when she seized one of my wrists and pressed her fingers against it. Her nails scraped at my skin, they were long and yellowed, and had plenty of dirt underneath them. Luckily, she let go almost instantly.
"It worked," she breathed, staring at me as if I was a priceless artifact. "After all my work, going crazy for the cause…it worked." She seized my arm and started to pull me towards her house, but I instantly broke her hold and raised a hand to strike. "No! Listen closely," she intoned, backing up to avoid my hand then leaning in as if she was telling some juicy gossip. "This place is no longer safe for you until you understand it. Come inside, I will explain." I looked at her long and hard for a moment, then followed her inside her cottage.
What makes the Realm so unsafe? Who is this gypsy lady? Can Jenny ever get back? Check out the final story in this trilogy, Inbewteen.