Faelan jogged the long path from the house to Padma's flat. The effort took little energy, but he did still feel cold like a normal human, and with the weather turning, it was nice to warm up a little. It would be dark soon, but the colors in the trees were vivid and beautiful against a clear blue sky. He thought Padma might want to take a walk to get some supper if she was feeling up to it. Which, really, might have been another reason he was running. Padma hadn't said why she wanted him to come over, but she'd been feeling so spooked lately that he was afraid she must be upset or scared. He felt completely helpless, like he couldn't do anything at all to make her feel safe. He was a complete failure. Boyfriends were supposed to make their girlfriends feel safe.
As he rounded the corner into town, he got more than a few strange looks, but he didn't quit running. In his mind, it was like there was an answer just out of his grasp, but try as he might, he couldn't latch on to it. He'd gotten nothing out of Hermione about the Department of Mysteries, and hadn't figured out how to bring the problem up to Harry without spilling the whole story and breaking his promise to Padma. Neville was distracted, Oliver he was still feeling his way with, and while Gaius was trustworthy and reasonable, he was also scarce, and had no expertise on the Ministry of Magic. Beyond all of that, the one person Faelan longed to turn to more than anyone else was gone, right through the same damned veil where they wanted to send the bastard Macnair.
Pushing down on the ache that thoughts of Sirius always brought, Faelan reached the stairs to Padma's door, ran up them, knocked, and waited, a sinking feeling in his stomach. He wanted to figure this out, but he knew, deep down inside, that it was just too far beyond him.