When Lyra awoke it was quiet except for breathing, one set she was sure was own, but there must be more than one person around her. Her eyes fluttered open only to be quickly screwed up again, it was too bright -dazzling white light. For a moment she wondered whether she was dead. But then laughed at herself for her stupidity, tentatively she opened her eyes again, just the hospital wing… maybe the lighting in here was deliberate, to scare patients. Slowly she lifted her head from the pillow, it was pounding uncomfortably and felt decidedly too heavy for her neck.
Two mops of dishevelled hair lay next to her, one a shining blonde and the other a jet black. Draco and Harry seemed to have heard her movement because they both looked up, bleary eyed like they had been there all night.
"You're awake," Harry said, a grin spreading across his face.
"Why was I asleep?" she asked foggily.
"You passed out for about ten minutes but when you got back Pomfrey gave you a dreamless sleep potion right away," Draco explained, his voice unsure. As if he was treading on eggshells. "It's Sunday afternoon."
"How is Aunt Cissy?" Lyra asked, the first concern to spring to her mind.
"She is well, they discharged her from St Mungos this morning," he said, the relief evident in his features.
"Good," Lyra breathed.
"Well…" Harry said tactfully, knowing that Draco and Lyra had things to discuss. "I best be going, I just wanted to check you were alright. I'll go let everyone know you're okay now."
"Thank you for everything yesterday Harry," she replied in a begrudgingly grateful tone. He smiled in relief at the presence of her usual mannerism and squeezed her hand briefly.
"Next time I'm coming with you," he promised. "Feel better."
When the Hospital Wing door swung shut behind him, Lyra turned to Draco once more, shifting herself up a bit so she was sat upright.
"What happened to Bellatrix?" she asked, terrified of the answer. Draco sighed and took her hand in his reassuringly.
"It wasn't your fault Lyra… when she hit the wall, she started to bleed, quite lot. The aurors took her to St Mungos but the healers refused to treat her," Draco said gravely.
"They refused?" Lyra said in shock. Draco nodded sombrely.
"They have treated so many of her victims, they refused, it's totally illegal and if it was anyone else there would be an enquiry, but they would just be fixing her up to go to the kiss, so…" he trailed off, not looking Lyra in the eye. "She died this morning."
Lyra just nodded numbly, a strange uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. She wasn't sad but nor was she relieved; the emotion that slowly flooded through her body was not one of passion or clarity, just an irresolute inkling of how she could feel, had she known her mother or been on an emotional disposition.
"Are you upset Lyra?" he asked. She shook her head, slowly but surely.
"I lost my mother before I was even born," she said with a sigh. "As soon as she took on the Dark Mark I lost her, she was never fit to be a mother anyway. She was never a mother to me."
"I'm sorry you've had to go through all that this week," he said sympathetically.
"Does everyone know… that I'm her daughter?" Lyra asked, cringing at the thought.
"Yes, you're a hero," he replied, noticing the way her jaw clenched at his words.
"Everyone knows, it was in the prophet this morning, you're the one who finally took down Bellatrix Lestrange. Mother told everyone the truth, Skeeter wrote exactly the real story for once- how mother had hidden you when Bellatrix went to Azkaban and brought you up under the pretence of being Sirius' daughter and then what happened last night," Draco explained.
"Couldn't she get in serious trouble for that?" Lyra asked awestruck at what Aunt Cissy had done.
"She could have done," he admitted. "But she didn't. People's emotions get the better of them and they admitted that they would have wanted to do the same thing. She was putting you out of danger by doing what she did. She hasn't been charged at all."
"Good," she said. "I'm glad she's okay."
"Me too," Draco said. "I don't know what would have happened to her if you hadn't got to her, thank you for saving my mother."
"She saved me first," she sighed. "Besides… she's actually my aunt, what else could I have done?" Draco grinned despite himself.
"We're actually first cousins… not third," he said, shaking his head happily. "I like you a lot more than Tonks." Lyra laughed.
"Yeah, so how about we keep the blood pure and go get married?" she said sarcastically. Draco let out a laugh and ruffled her hair.
"I'm sorry love, I know you've always held a torch for me, but a first cousin is too close for my liking," he teased.
When Professor Dumbledore opened the doors of the hospital wing he was expecting to find a sombre, upset and exhausted head girl, instead he found her and Mr Malfoy clutching their sides and laughing as though they had just had an extremely potent cheering charm fired at them.
The headmaster cleared his throat patiently and both teenagers jumped at the intrusion. Both their faces melted back into sombre expression as their bubble was burst and they came crashing back to reality.
"Mr Malfoy may I have a word with your cousin in private?" he asked, tone telling him that he would not take no for an answer.
"Of course Professor," he said, giving Lyra a supportive smile as he rose and left. Though it looked like more of a grimace to her.
"How are you feeling Miss Black?" he asked as the door slammed closed behind the blonde and he took up the seat next to that Draco has previously occupied. Lyra looked at him blankly.
"I effectively murdered my mother yesterday, who I recently found out to be alive and a convicted psychopath, how do you think I feel?" she asked, but he voice lacked all of its usual bite. It was resigned, weary in fact. Dumbledore too sighed exhaustedly.
"I don't know whether to offer my condolences or congratulations Lyra my dear," he admitted. "Both seem grossly insensitive."
"Then I shall forgive you for offering me neither," she replied softly, not removing her gaze from the hospital sheets.
"Everybody knows about me now, they know I'm the daughter of a maniac," she stated. "Have you come to take away my badges?"
"Actually removing your status as head girl was the last thing on my mind," Dumbledore said warmly. "First and foremost I came to check you were coping and second, well it has been agreed by the governors and I, that a shield for special services to the school shall be placed in the trophy room."
Lyra's head snapped up to meet Dumbledore's gaze.
"But I'm the child of a murderer, I am a murderer," she said hollowly.
"Parties are in full swing throughout the castle and the country Lyra, all in your honour. Nobody blames you for you parentage, nobody blames you for injuring her. It is not your fault she died, in fact you probably did her a favour, it is probably a better fate than the Dementor's Kiss," he explained levelly. "You are seen as the hero in the tragedy which seems to be your family."
"I'm not a hero and I don't want to be seen as one," she argued. "I don't want anyone to know about any of this!" Dumbledore sighed again and shook his head sympathetically.
"Unfortunately you Aunt made that decision," he said diplomatically. "She obviously thought it was for the best."
"It was nice of her to consult me," Lyra muttered darkly, pulling her covers up around her shoulders. "When can I leave the hospital wing?"
"Madam Pomfey has requested you be kept on bed rest for the next week at least," Dumbledore said.
"I do not think so," Lyra replied, swinging her legs out of bed and plucking her wand out from under her pillow. "I will not stay in this hospital wing. No."
"Miss Black no student has ever decided to just bypass Poppy's advice," he tried to tell her.
She rounded on him like a tiger, her Pomfrey-issued striped nightgown not making her blush in front of the headmaster.
"I'm sorry professor have you ever had any other patient murder their mother before?" she asked pointedly.
"Well no," Dumbledore admitted. Lyra interrupted him again.
"So you don't know how to handle it. I shall stay in my quarters for the next week if she so wishes it but I refuse to stay in this sterile environment. There is nothing wrong me," she stated coldly daring her headmaster to contradict her.
"Maybe not with you physically Miss Black but you need time to heal mentally and emotionally," he said softly.
"Exactly," she said with a winning smile. "I'm so glad you agree with me Headmaster. I would go mad staying a week in here, but in my room I have books to read things to do, I can go flying and do things which make me happy. Isn't happiness the road to recovery?" she didn't stop for an answer- throwing her cloak over her shoulders. "Thank you for your time Professor, I am going to go and lie down and have a nap I think. If I take a while to answer the door at any point I am probably just sleeping. I'd really appreciate it if you could tell Madam Pomfrey of our agreement?"
Dumbledore stared at her, the old wizard was not usually one to be startled but by the time he found the word to say that actually, he could not tell the matron because she would probably start throwing hexes at him, Lyra was halfway out the door.
He sighed to himself again, shaking his head as he conceded and allowed her to go. He should have known she was far too headstrong to agree to being cooped up in here for a week. He just worried that she was not showing enough emotion, remorse even grief at the events which had occurred. He sat in the silence of the Hospital Wing for a few moments more, pondering the effects this weekend would have on the already questionable mental stability of Lyra Black.
Dumbledore worried for her, she showed no emotion in their meeting, she was rational, but too insistent. All of his students, past and present had respected his authority and never tried to manipulate that, not one. They all at least had pretended to respect his power, and never forcefully took it into their own hands. No… Lyra Black was troubling the headmaster greatly.
It seems however that his ill faith in her emotions was unfounded, she left the room and in true Lyra fashion she walked slowly and deliberately to her dormitory, never rushing a footstep. Luckily the corridors were deserted this early on a Sunday morning, even though she doubted that many students were actually asleep like usual, probably all up gossiping in their common rooms.
As soon as the portrait hole swung shut behind her and she was finally alone in the head girl common room, her mask cracked and tears started to run down her pale cheeks. Truth be told, she wasn't entirely sure why she was crying.
Everything about the past few days came pouring silently from her eyes; she did not allow herself a sob. Finally she rushed, up to her bedroom and through the portrait to the manor. As soon as she stepped into her study she noticed two elves, Helf and Jefe stood with their heads bowed, awaiting her arrival.
For a moment the trio stood in silence as Lyra looked at them before brandishing her wand and pointing it the female elf. With a silent jab of her wand a red light soared toward the servants chest, causing her to gasp in surprise.
"You had a bit of lint on your uniform," Lyra mumbled weakly. "I hate lint."
"Helf's apologies ma'am, thank you for your assistance," Helf said, bowing low. Jefe stepped forward, raising his gaze to meet her own.
"The elves are wishing to tell you how happy they are you are back my lady, most worried about you they were," he said gently. Lyra sniffed thickly and nodded her head once as a way of showing she understood and in her own way was grateful.
"Mistress, you are shaking," Helf said tactfully. "Helf shall find you some nice warm nightgowns and put you to bed at once, with nice warm covers. Freir will send up some hot chocolate and some oat biscuits you like… and some kiwi fruits, just how you like them. Let Helf and Jefe take care of you miss." Lyra's bottom lip trembled minutely but she let herself be led by the hand to her bedroom. Helf sifted through the closets to find her the softest , cotton long sleeve nightdress Lyra had ever worn and a thick gown to go over it. Before she was at on the end of the vast bed and sat completely still whilst Helf set to work, untangling her curls and retrieving the last of the pins from the bottom of the mess which was once her hairstyle to the ball, before taking off the jewellery which strangely no one had thought to remove beforehand and washing her face and hands with a sweet smelling soap, warm water and a rough flannel.
With a tingling face Lyra was helped into bed, propped up on thick feather pillows and presented with a mug the size of a cauldron, full of steaming hot chocolate. Although the elves got nothing more than a nod as thanks for their efforts they all stayed by Lyra's side as she gently sipped her drink and tears trailed tracks down her scrubbed face of their own accord.
"Tell me straight away if anyone tries to get into my Hogwarts quarters," she instructed as the just empty tankard disappeared from her grasp and she sunk slowly down onto her side, resting her head against the soft fabric.
"Please," she added as her eyes fluttered closed.
Many hours later she woke once more, flustered and tangled in her sheets. She had been tossing and turning due to her restless, disturbed sleep. Helf gently soothed her, helped her change into a fresh nightgown and administered her a dreamless sleep potion, so that she would sleep through until the morning, for which Lyra would be very grateful.