WHO: Eva Edgecombe, Penelope Clearwater, Hestia Jones WHAT: Finding someone who was presumably dead WHERE: St. Mungo's, Janus Thickey Ward, Fourth Floor - Spell Damage WHEN: January 9th 1998. RATING: TBA
There was something about a a crisp winter evening that made Penny want nothing more to don her hat and gloves and walk down the familiar cobble streets of Hogsmeade. So at shortly after six, she Apparated to the small Scottish town and reveled in the way the air was so clean and fresh ; cold enough to chill her down to the bones with every breath but it was a treat after spending so long cooped up in the library at her work.
There were the last vestiges of decorations in some of the windows, and as she trudged through the snow, Penny let her mind wander as aimlessly as her feet. Some of the houses were lbrightly lit against the encroaching night and offered peeks into the lives of the occupants ; a woman preparing dinner, a small boy pulling faces at his sister and a family sitting down to dinner.
After more than half an hour of indulging her need to be outside, she turned and headed towards the main street with her thoughts turning to the prospect of bangers and mash at the The Three Broomsticks.
Bringing her hands out of her coat pocket, she rubbed warmth into the fingers before noticing the figure coming towards her. At this distance, she couldn't make out any details except noticing the figure was slight and stumbling rather badly. Someone has clearly had a long liquid lunch she thought with a small smile. The path was treacherous and she moved closer to the edge to allow the figure to use the waist-high fence to steady themselves.
It wasn't until there was only a few yards between them that Penny began to have the feeling that something was wrong. The figure didn't appear to be stumbling any more, instead using the fence to drag themselves along ; to keep themselves upright.
Stepping forward, the offer to guide them to their house was stopped short as she took a good long look at the figure in front of her.
It was a woman, rail thin and with brown eyes peering glassily from a face that was much too pale ; even with the weather. "Please, have you seen her?" The words tumbled from her chill lips and her voice seemed hoarse with use. "Have you seen her," she echoed again and again.
As she moved to pick the woman up, she noticed how she flinched at the movement and offered her hand and an introduction before taking the coat from her shoulders and slipping it over the womans bony shoulders.
The red curls that tumbled over the coat were matted with dirt, and what she thought might be blood.
"Have you seen her? My baby. Have you seen her?" the phrase had become a mantra, and although Pennys coat covered the worst of the chills, she'd started to shake as she repeated her plea ; dirty, bloody, encrusted fingers reaching out to grasp Pennys and hold on tightly.
"I don't know," came Pennys confession as she arranged herself so she was propping the older woman up and could reach her wand. The warming charm was the first thing she did before slipping it into her hand and offering her companion a tentative smile "But I know somewhere that might know. I'm going to - I'm going to take us on a trip. You might want to take a deep breath and close your eyes."
Taking one herself, she kept her eyes focused on the woman before apparating them both into the hustle of St. Mungos.
"Help!," she called out "Please," and then she felt the woman slump harder in her arms. "Someone."