Romilda was not sure about Zachariah Smith. She had only accepted his offer of a date because she knew it would annoy Ritchie Coote, her fellow Gryffindor and a Beater on the Quidditch team. After all, Zachariah had been nothing but scathing and biased during his commenting on the match and Gryffindors did not forget easily.
Besides, Romilda liked the idea of dating someone two years above her. It made her feel more grown up and, when Zachariah had shown up unexpectedly on her doorstep that morning, she had been rather pleased by the gesture. She had rushed Zacharias upstairs to her bedroom and away from the glaring eyes of her mother.
Now, however, she felt slightly nervous. She’d had a boyfriend before but he’d never been in her bedroom. And whilst she’d had male friends round, this felt––different. She wasn’t sure whether she liked it or not.
A few minutes later, however, she’d decided she did like it. Zachariah Smith may be a bit irritating, but she liked the look on his face when she mentioned Harry Potter and by Godric was he a good kisser.
They were lying side by side on her bed, when he moved his hand, slowly, from where it had been on the small of her back to slightly lower. Romilda wasn’t sure how she felt about that. Maybe it was too quick but he was rather sweet and gentle and he was cute––
Suddenly there was a crash followed by a yelp, a noise Romilda recognised as that of her mum falling down the stairs. Romilda felt a leap, though of disappointment or joy at their snogging session being curtailed she wasn’t sure.
She pushed him away (he muttered in annoyance) and opened the bedroom door, about to ask her mum if she was all right, as she usually did, when the words caught in her throat.
Her mum had not fallen. She was against the wall at the bottom of the staircase, but her feet were not touching the steps. Her hair was matted with blood. Suddenly her body moved forward and Romilda heard a male voice she didn’t recognise.
“What––” Zachariah began, but Romilda clamped a hand over his mouth. He frowned, more in annoyance then confusion, but followed as Romilda grabbed his hand and they softly stepped down the stairs, until Romilda could see through the bars.
“That’s Rabastan Lestrange,” Zacharias breathed. “What’s he doing in your house?”
“We’ve got your husband, Rebecca,” Rabastan was saying to her mum.
“He’s hurting Mum,” she said, her voice oddly hollow. “And they’ve got my dad.” Somehow, though, she couldn’t move. “He’s hurting––” She turned to Zachariah who had paled, “I’ll Disarm him, you can––”
“I’m not attacking a Death Eater!” Zachariah whispered as loudly as he dared. “Didn’t you know? The Ministry fell last night.”
“He’s hurting my mum. We have to do something!” Romilda hissed.
Then Rebecca screamed and Romilda could not stay watching any longer. She heard the crack of Zacharias beside her and called him a word she’d previously only levelled at inanimate objects, before running down the stairs and shouting, “EXPELLIARMUS!”
Rabastan’s wand flew from his hand, her mum jumped up from where she was slumped on the living room floor, caught it and grabbed Romilda before turning with her on the spot and Apparating.
They appeared in what appeared to be a moor. Her mum was clinging to her tightly, as if scared that someone was about to take her away.
“Where are we?” Romilda muttered, pressed too close to her mum to speak properly.
Rebecca loosened her grip, although only slightly. There was a cool wind though at least the sun was shining.
“We’re––This was the first place I could think of. I grew up in that town.”
She nodded to the sprawling industrial town at the foot of the hill they were on.
“Who was that man?”
“Romilda,” Rebecca said, looking very carefully into her daughter’s eyes. “You’re going to have to be very brave and very strong.”
Romilda suddenly felt very grown up and very old. She didn’t like it.