fifty-six

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PIECE OF ADVICE: DON'T BETRAY THE LOVE of your life for their safety and then single-handedly fight a hoard of werewolves more skilled than you.

It hurt like a bitch. Physically and emotionally.

Six days passed since her battle with the werewolves before she could bring herself to leave the hotel room, she had found herself temporarily inhabiting. It was a rundown lodge in the middle of London.

The walls were so thin that she could hear a couple shagging in the room next to hers, and the people above her seemed content to rearrange their room whenever they were bored. At least, the rooms seemed clean enough.

The first two days after the fight were spent in physical pain, quite literally unable to move from the bed without her legs giving out from under her. She had been forced to resort to ordering room service, which tasted disgusting.

After her muscles had stopped aching, she'd been confined to her bed by tears. She hadn't even been able to shower without breaking down at the sight of herself in the mirror, a type of self-loathing having overcome her. She hated herself for what she'd done. There had been moments when looking in that mirror, she swore she had no idea who she was anymore.

Yet, despite all this, the moment she stepped out into the centre of Muggle London, there was no way for her to deny that she loved it there. Sure, the place could do with less Muggles, but there was something about the busy city pace that warmed her heart thoroughly.

In the future, she'd like to live here for a couple years. She quite liked the large expanse of a manor in the countryside, but the idea of living in the height of London in an apartment with Theo for a couple years greatly appealed to her . . . but that dream would only come true if the Remembering Charm worked and he forgave her.

The thought of the spell not working or Theo not forgiving her nearly had her breaking into sobs in the middle of the sidewalk. She would deserve his hatred, but Merlin she knew she couldn't handle it at this current moment.

Without Theo by her side, especially with his memories gone, her emotions were a mess. She knew why, of course. But she refused to even think of it. Letting it claim a place in her mind would mean she actually had to face reality.

When a Muggle sent her an odd look, she wiped away whatever tortured expression was on her face and steeled her shoulders. She would give the boys a couple more days to find her here before she started searching for them herself.

Walking through London was weird, and she had to admit she was a bit afraid of the Muggle monstrosity called cars. Every time she was forced to cross the road, she practically sprinted across.

She had no doubt that if Theo was here with her, he'd find them just as dangerous and would put himself between her and the road as if it would do anything if that would do anything if the cars decided to attack. Merlin, she really should kiss him senseless for the sentiment though.

It was fascinating to see how Muggle's lived, their sense of style, too. It was similar to what purebloods wore, and yet entirely different. She garnered even more dirty looks from her gawking and felt a little ashamed.

She yearned to pull on her cloak and hide beneath her hood, because as much as she looked oddly at them, they looked just as oddly as her—as if they could tell there was something different about her. But a glance out her window her first day here, and she knew it wasn't a Muggle custom to wear cloaks in central London.

It wasn't long before she reached the street of her destination, and her eyes lit with pure joy. There were multiple second-hand bookshops littering the street, and an itch inside her very veins made her want to throw open the doors and spend all her money on books.

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