thirty-seven

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HOW IS A PERSON MEANT TO ACT AFTER COMMITTING MURDER?

That is the question that Celestia had asked herself for the past sixteen hours; the past sixteen hours in which no one had talked to her, and she had spoken to no one.

After the Death Eater meeting ended, allowing the gravity of what had happened that night to settle into everyone, she had retired to her bedroom.

She had not even bothered to get changed out of the clothes she'd put on for the meeting, and crawled right into her large bed and slept. Slept was a loose term for she had done that night. Her slumber had been filled with nightmares of her torture, and it had been as horrid as they have been in the past.

When she awoke, it had been on her own accord. Nobody had woken her, or delivered her breakfast — or lunch considering the time she woke — and no one had bothered her long after she roused.

It was on the cusp of twilight that she found herself staring at herself in the mirror. Just staring, not bothering to think too much. Her hands didn't grip the bathroom countertop, she didn't cry, her grey eyes only met her own in the mirror.

The only thing that blemished her bathroom that was usually pristine; from the meticulously placed toiletries; the multiple antique, gold rimmed mirrors; the plain toothbrush; the faux hide bath mat; was the wand of a dead man.

Once, she had read that serial killers kept trophies of their victims. Was that what it was? Dumbledore's wand, a reminder of her kill, a way to relive the moment the words passed her lips and his body had fallen over the battlements?

She hadn't told anyone that she held onto his wand, doesn't know if anyone remembered when she'd picked it off the floor of the Astronomy Tower. She didn't plan to tell anyone she had it either.

The wand seemed to taunt her from where it sat delicately on the marble countertop next to sink. It sat there, almost like a discarded toothbrush, like it was not one of a wizards most prized possessions.

Dumbledore's wand had been inside her cloak alongside her dagger, and when she had changed for the meeting last night they had both spilled out of her pocket.

The nightgown she had been wearing, the gifted dagger, and Regulus's amulet had been the only items she'd taken from Hogwarts with her. All her other possessions sat back at her dorm, and the thought that someone might go through it, and most likely will, had her feeling violated.

She could have been staring numbly at herself for hours for all she knew. She'd done her thinking while sitting in her bed, now she stared at herself and faintly wondered if she was acting the way a murderer was supposed to.

That was why she nearly jumped when Theo opened the door. She hadn't heard him enter her room, much less approach the bathroom. It didn't knock her out of her daze entirely, but enough so that she had the appropriate reaction.

"Bloody hell! I could have been on the loo," gawped Celestia.

He looked at her pointedly, where she very clearly wasn't on the toilet. "Well, you weren't."

"The whole point is I could've been," she replied.

Theo continued his way into the bathroom, pushing the door shut behind him. He leaned a hip against the counter, crossing both arms over his chest.

"What's up with you?" he demanded.

She blinked at him. "What do you mean?"

"You haven't left your room the entire day," he said shortly. "Tell me what's going on."

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