diamond of the day
“Stay with me,” she whispered.
Two witches walked side by side, their shoulders leaning toward each other as each step they took was in sync; left, right, left, right. Somewhere nearby, a clock chimed the late hour softly with eleven rings, but neither of the women paid it any heed as they passed, immersed in their discussion.
“Remember that dress I wore to fifth year’s Yule Ball?” Tatiana had been saying, gesturing vaguely to herself as she spoke.
“The red one?”
“Yes, that one. Well, it just so turns out that I saw the same one at Felise’s the other day. Looks like that style’s coming back –“
“Five years later, though,” Seren laughed with a shake of her head. “Ah, well, we haven’t got any more Yule Balls, but you can wear it if the Ministry or Mungo’s has a gala, right?”
“That is true. Hey, remember that time in Potions class in third year? When you knocked over the rat spleens?”
“How could I forget?”
They were both so immersed in their discussion, catching up after what felt like forever (but in reality had only been two weeks for the pair of twenty year olds) that they weren’t quick enough to notice that they were in the bad part of town, a place they’d studiously avoided for the past several months.
It was only when Seren nearly tripped over something that the two women paused and realized where they were. “What was that?” The former Gryffindor questioned, turning halfway and frowning in disgust. “Is that a raccoon?”
“A dead one, yes,” Tatiana mused, frowning at the creature as she grabbed her friend’s arm. “Let’s get back to my house,” she added hurriedly, but it was too late.
From the darkness approached two men. They didn’t have that amused look that muggers seemed to have, and Tatiana at once found herself perplexed. It wasn’t until the first man approached and slipped a wand from his sleeve that she realized that they were magical at all.
She stepped closer to her best friend, finding her voice. “Who are you? What do you want?” Even to her it sounded weak.
The second man approached now and shrugged. “Just some information. Which one of you works for the WWN?”
Seren gripped Tatty’s arm, answering the question for them. The first man grinned, a golden tooth glinting in the thin light. “Alright, Blondie, spill it. What exactly are the MLE investigating about the latest attack in Hogsmeade?”
“I can’t tell you anything,” Seren replied. She was clearly trying to be defiant, to prove that they didn’t fear her, but her nails were beginning to dig into Tatiana’s arm and prove otherwise. Both were terrified now, and Tatiana reached into her pocket for her own wand, noticing that Seren already had hers out.
The second man noticed. “Not so fast. Expelliarmus.” The wands flew from their grip into his, and he grinned in satisfaction.
Golden Tooth was turned back to their goal. “It’s important we know this, and then you’re free to go. Is the Ministry blaming the Cadena for the attack, or is he claiming that it’s an accident?” Even in the moonlight, the two witches were able to see his chain tattoo as he pulled back his sleeve. Tatiana’s throat tightened.
Seren swallowed heavily beside her. “I can’t tell you, you don’t have clearance. This is classified information and there’s still a case in progress. If you’d like to hear what happened, you can just read the Prophet when I’ve got an article up—“
She was cut off as the other man stepped forward, “Cut the crap.”
“Let us go,” Seren countered.
“Seren,” Tatiana whispered insistently from beside the witch, but the man with the golden tooth had had enough. With an irritated mutter, he sliced Tatiana’s wand forward in an arc at the blonde. A gasp from beside the brunette confirmed that it in fact had hit her.
“Seren!” The two witches leaned forward in unison as Seren doubled over and Tatiana tried to gauge the damage. The former Gryffindor placed a hand to her stomach and drew it away, covered in bloody residue.
Tatiana now whipped to their attackers. “Help her, please! We need to get to a hospital!” she pleaded as she clutched her best friend’s shoulder.
The men snickered and took a step back. “That’s what she gets for keeping her pretty little mouth shut,” one spat at them before disappearing into the darkness, taking the two wands with them.
Without magic, there was no chance they could heal Seren in time. Tatiana had nothing in her pockets or handbag to help the situation, and neither did the other, she already knew. So instead, she bent down beside the blonde, taking shallow breaths.
“Hey, you’re going to be fine, okay? I’m going to get you to Mungo’s right away and call your parents. Everything will be fine, just stay with me,” Tatty babbled, pulling off her scarf and trying to use it to staunch the blood that flowed from her best friend’s abdomen.
“Tatty,” Seren coughed, and the brunette leaned down. “Don’t. It won’t work.”
“Yes it will,” the former Hufflepuff insisted, but the other shook her head.
“It won’t. This is it. Just… tell my family I loved them, alright?” Seren’s breathing was becoming a bit more ragged, and Tatiana gently moved her friend’s head from the ground into her lap, cradling it as she smoothed away the fair hair from the witch’s face.
“You can’t just leave me now,” Tatiana whimpered, a tear finally slipping down from one of her hazel eyes that were welling up fast. “You promised we’d be best friends forever, didn’t you?”
“We still will be,” Seren promised weakly, “But I’m going on… vacation. When I see you again, you’ll have to catch me up on everything, alright?”
Tatiana nodded, biting her lip to stop the tears, but they kept falling. “I love you, Seren,” she said suddenly. “You’re my best friend in the whole world, I just wish there was more time –“
“There isn’t,” Seren gasped. Tatty’s scarf was now soaked with blood around the injured witch’s stomach. Seren grabbed her friend’s arm. “Don’t change, Tatiana.”
There was a gasp in pain, and Seren’s nails dug into her friend’s hand. “Stay with me,” she whispered.
Tatiana nodded quickly, but her best friend’s hazel eyes were distant now as light left them. The hand clutching hers suddenly fell limp as Seren’s shoulders slumped.
“No.” The word was said softly as Tatiana stared down in horror. “No, Seren!”
Seren still in her arms, Tatiana pulled the women up until their foreheads touched and she took a ragged breath. There was nothing to do anymore; her best friend, her constant in her life, was gone.
So what could she do? Tatiana sobbed, pulling Seren close.