So which ingenious Muggle thought this up?
Keedie smiled apologetically at the people whose toes she continued to step on. Accidentally, of course. Until she was old enough to Apparate, the London Underground proved to be the only sensible option. Her father hated her taking it, because of the dangerous position it held in the grand scheme of the Muggle war, but Keedie didn’t really mind it.
She did mind, however, when the speeding underground train pulled to a sudden stop and a thundering crash could be heard resounding throughout the area.
Keedie lurched forward, along with nearly every other Muggle in the carriage. The lights went out and screams soon filled the frightening darkness. Keedie felt a terrifying tremor of fear flood through her, before she heard a muffled whimper coming from behind her.
It was a boy. A boy of about eleven. Keedie could tell, even in the desolate obscurity, that he was injured. She could see a faint trickle of blood protruding from his hairline and his breathing was ragged.
‘Help…me…’ he all but choked.
Keedie did not listen to the panic-stricken screams of all the fully-grown Muggles around her. She did not listen to the people yelling that, any minute, a bomb would hit them and they would all die. She listened only to the little boy, whose breath was unrestrained and beginning to take control of him.
‘What’s your name?’ she asked, brusquely, pushing two men out of her way to sit by him.
He didn’t answer her. He stared despairingly at her, as if trying to convey without words what sheer pain and fright he was feeling.
‘It’s not a bomb,’ said Keedie, sharply. ‘You’re not in danger any more.’
She pulled him, gently, into a proper sitting position and carefully placed one hand on his back. She tried her best to keep his breathing as rhythmic and deep as she could. It was not working as much as she would have liked.
‘Listen to my breaths,’ she commanded, sternly. ‘And match them.’
The boy’s eyes widened and he tried. However, the attack he was experiencing got much more serious and he seemed to be on the verge of choking or even running out of breath altogether.
I can’t use magic outside of school…
Keedie cursed the mantra that pounded in her mind as she tried desperately to get the boy breathing properly
Stuff the Ministry of Magic, he’s bloody hyperventilating!
The boy had passed out, his breathing switching from panicked and hurried to almost non-existent. Keedie was not grateful for the change.
‘Don’t you dare, boy,’ she muttered.
She knew she had to do it. Grateful, suddenly, for the darkness, she took out her wand and drew in her own breath.
Some rules are made to be broken
, she told herself. It’s a life or death situation, Keedie Dante!
The boy lay motionless for a few horrible seconds, which seemed longer than hours to Keedie. Then his eyes opened and he drew breath like a drowning man, panting and sitting up straight.
‘Don’t think, just breathe!’ ordered Keedie, placing one hand on his shoulder and staring into his eyes.
His expression went from afraid to relieved. Then he saw her wand. His eyes grew even wider, if possible. Keedie noticed this and shoved it away again. The boy did not miss this, and he looked more curious than Keedie would have liked. At least he was all right.
‘You’re bleeding,’ murmured the boy.
‘Well, you’re welcome,’ said Keedie, waspishly as she treated her own wound. ‘I don’t make a habbit of saving people, you know.’
‘How did you save me, then?’
Oh, this boy was too curious.
‘That was a wand, wasn’t it?’ breathed the boy, looking like most children do on Christmas morning.
Keedie arched an eyebrow and said, irritably, ‘Aren’t you supposed to be in the country? I thought annoying sprogs like you have all been evacuated.’
‘You’re a witch, aren’t you?’ he probed, putting a hand to his obviously pained chest. ‘I won’t tell if you are. But you are…aren’t you?’
Keedie turned to him and smiled.
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’