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Chapter 18: Marlene and Lenny Day
I felt a snowball smack the side of my face. I buckled sideways a bit, but grimaced all the same. I wiped the melting snow off of the side of my face and glared at a group of first years standing under a tree, snickering to one another. I might kill Marlene McKinnon for sending me that owl telling me to meet her by the Quidditch Pitch. Out of all the bloody places, did it have to be the Quidditch Pitch? Especially with all this bloody snow.
I felt the snow crunching beneath my feet as my boots sank into the ground. I groaned, feeling the bottom of my pants already beginning to get soaked. I’d kill Marlene. She was asking for it, really. She was asking for the snow demons to attack her. If I had control over them, I’d make them attack her. It was bloody cold out here. If snow could die, I’d kill it. I took out my wand and cast at the ground. Fire melted the snow. I smirked to myself in satisfaction.
The pitch looked disgusting with the snow on the hoops. I wanted to vomit a little bit. I saw Marlene nearly hopping on the spot when she saw me coming. I grimaced as he flopped onto her back and began to make a snow angel. What was wrong with people? I felt like the snow was going to engulf her. I wouldn’t be surprised. Snow was pretty evil. Marlene was pretty evil too, though. I watched her cautiously.
“What the bloody hell are you doing?” I asked her, staring at me with an indifferent expression. She sat up, pulling her wool hat further down on her dark hair.
“The snow makes me giddy,” she explained, pushing herself up from the ground and brushing the snow off of her.
“I hate it. Makes me angry,” I told her, kicking at the snow. I’m sure it didn’t feel the pain I wanted it to.
“Sure it does. Anyways,” Marlene wrapped her arm around my shoulder and guided me away from the pitch.
“Where are we going?” I asked her as she pulled me back towards the castle. I didn’t trek out here for nothing.
“We’re going to be spies today,” She explained. I felt my socks starting to get wet now. Great.
“You made me come out in this bloody snow to bring me back inside?” I asked her. She nodded in response. To which I shoved her into the snow. She squealed as I laughed at the shocked expression on her face. She was lucky that bloody snow was there to brace her fall.
“Oi, what was that for?!” She shrieked, pushing herself off of the ground.
“I thought you and the snow would make a good couple,” I told her, trying to walk in the footsteps I made previously.
“I’m going to ignore that comment, Crowley,” Marlene growled, falling into step with me. I was tempted to shove her in the snow again, but I had a feeling she would take me down with her this time.
“So who are we spying on?” I asked. She shoved her hands deep into her coat pockets and a determine look set on her face as she glared at the school.
“Regulus,” She said, tugging her blue scarf tighter around her neck. I didn’t bother questioning it. She probably had reason to go spy on Regulus. He was probably cheating on her or something of that sort. That’s why you don’t trust a Slytherin.
We walked in silence up to the castle. Marlene looked deep in thought. She stayed silent once we made it into the castle. I didn’t question it. Whatever was going on in her head was probably too much for me to comprehend. Those damn Ravenclaws. They think far too much. When we made it into the Entrance Hall, Marlene turned towards the dungeons, not even looking to see if I was following her.
“Why did you have me even come?” I asked Marlene, jogging to catch up to her as she took two steps at a time. Her brows looked ready to meet with the concentration she was releasing.
“I couldn’t ask the girls in my dorm to come do this with me. They’re the biggest gossipers in the school,” Marlene said, peeling her hat off of her head. It seemed her black curls were still staying in perfect condition. I took my own hat off and felt the static take over. She was right, though. The Ravenclaw seventh year girls had huge mouths.
“What are we even looking for?” I asked as Marlene put her ear up to a door, but ended up walking away from it. She crossed the hall, putting her ear up to another door and grinned at me.
“We’re looking for this,” she whispered. Except she pulled away from the door, going to the room next over and pulling it open. I followed her away from the supposed door we had been looking for. She shut the door behind me with a soft click. The room looked like it hadn’t been used in ages. I was pretty sure there were spider webs on spider webs in here. The smell was revolting. I felt like the mold was going to start growing on me pretty soon. It didn’t have much room left.
Marlene pulled out her wand and with a wave, all of the torches roared to life. The room became even more disgusting. I wanted to vomit. Today was already going horribly with all the bloody snow and now here I am stuck in the dungeons with Marlene McKinnon, Ravenclaw hot mess (I heard Teddy calling her that one time). Marlene was facing one of the stone walls, her wand raised. She started mumbling things, waving her wand in silly directions over the wall. I watched stupidly as a translucent screen replaced the wall and suddenly, we could see into the room next to us.
Marlene smirked at me, perching herself on a nearby table. I came up next to her. It was like watching a movie. Regulus was sitting on a chair, staring down at his hands nervously. Theodore Nott, Rabastan Lestrange, Snape, and Avery all stood around him, sneering particularly evilly. I glanced at Marlene as her brow furrowed again, leaning forward as though she were studying a book. Maybe it was a good thing to keep Ravenclaws around.
“Can they hear us?” I whispered, just in case they could. Marlene shook her head, leaning in to be able to hear them better. I did the same.
“The Dark Lord only wants the most loyal of followers, Black,” Rabastan said, sticking his nose high in the air. Subtly, all of the group looked down at his forearm. I did the same, but only saw a cloak.
“I understand that. I’m a Black, Rabastan. We are one of the most trusted lines left. Ask your brother,” Regulus sneered at the larger man. Rabastan huffed, turning away.
“And what about your half blood girlfriend?” Nott spoke up. He smirked as Regulus paled slightly and shifted. They had gotten him on that one apparently. I glanced at Marlene who visably swallowed.
“What about her?” Regulus asked, trying to stay calm. He was a horrible actor. I could see the sweat practically forming on his brow.
“You think the Dark Lord would let her get anywhere near him? You have to get rid of her,” Rabastan said, sitting down in a wooden chair opposite Regulus. It seemed the other three followed suit.
“He wouldn’t make me-“ Regulus started, but was cut off by Rabastan’s harsh laugh. I could practically feel Rabastan’s cold eyes freezing me over.
”You’re 16, mate! He has never recruited so young. He’s going to want to know you’re loyal,” Avery said, brushing his long black hair out of his face. He was the definition of a hippy. An evil one.
“He hasn’t recruited you, Avery. How would you know what he will and won’t do?” Regulus hissed.
“Well, he has recruited me. I say he will make you get rid of her,” Rabastan growled, puffing out his chest.
“Let’s be honest here,” Snape interjected, “The only reason the Dark Lord wants Regulus is because he’s a Black. He’s got a good blood line. I’m sure he wouldn’t have recruited him if Sirius would’ve been in Slytherin.”
“He would have!” Regulus protested like a small child. I glanced at Marlene again to see her biting her finger nails. Out of habit, I started to do it too.
“No, he would not have,” Snape said, keeping his voice very calm. Regulus’s face turned red with anger.
“I’m better than him,” Regulus hissed through a clenched jaw. Snape raised his eyebrows.
Regulus was on his feet, wand in his hand before I could blink. Nott and Avery jumped to their feet, pushing Regulus back down into his chair. The whole while, Lestrange laughed. His laugh ran a shiver down my spine. I never liked Rabastan. He cursed all of my socks to turn pink back in our second year after I accidentally killed his pet toad. Maybe he shouldn’t let the damn thing wander around the dungeons while a certain girl has to use the loo. If you saw that disgusting thing sitting in the toilet bowl, you’d flush it too.
“Look, Black,” Rabastan drawled as the two boys finally got Regulus settled down into his chair, “Just break it off with the girl now. That way the Dark Lord will never know that you even had a McKinnon girlfriend.”
Regulus looked troubled by this. His perfectly set face contorted with thought. What were his options, really? Break it off with Marlene or kill her later. Marlene seemed to realize this too, because with a swish of her wand, the translucent screen was gone and the boring stone wall was back. In all honesty, I had wanted to see if I was able to fly through Marlene’s magiked screen. I suppose we can try that another time. I glanced at Marlene and she was more than upset- she was livid.
I’ve never seen someone that upset before in my life. Not even when Teddy caught me cutting holes into his favorite quilt (I needed the polka dots for a collage I was making). She was a mix of emotions. I could see the tears brimming her eyes, but her face was red with anger. Her fists were clenched, but her shoulders were hunched over. I wasn’t even sure if she was breathing, to be honest. She leapt from the table suddenly as I yelled out a yelp in surprise. She stomped over towards the door, slamming it open. I ran after her.
She was already in the next room by the time I made it to the doorway. She was standing in front of Regulus and all of the men were looking at her in shock. Her face still held the mix of emotions. I wasn’t sure how she felt, exactly. That was easily cleared up when she laid a swift slap across Regulus’s face. It wasn’t just a slap, he fell straight out of his chair by the mere force of it. I would cheer if it were appropriate.
“You bloody arsehole!” Marlene shouted. All the males flinched at the sound of her voice.
“Marlene, I-“ Regulus started, getting up to his feet. Marlene looked ready to slap him again, but Regulus held up his hands in protest.
“You stay the bloody hell away from me. You’re a monster, Black. Worse than this lot,” Marlene screamed, slapping him one more time for good measure.
“Ouch,” Nott whispered to someone. Marlene rounded on him, but he immediately cowered away from her. I snorted.
“Let’s go, Lenny,” Marlene said, glaring at the group before stomping over to me and dragging me away.
We made it a good half way out of the dungeons before Marlene collapsed into a heap on the ground. Her sobs ricocheted off of the walls. She shook as tears poured from her eyes like a waterfall. I had no clue what to do. I hated it when people cried. They all cried so differently. Some wanted you to hold them, some wanted you to get as far away from them as possible. Marlene pulled her knees up to her body and began to rock silently back and forth.
I normally pegged Marlene as the type that would want me to get the hell away from her. Yet, she had taken me down here, knowing exactly what she was looking for. In some sick way, I think Marlene wanted to be comforted. To anyone looking on, Marlene was an incredibly strong, beautiful girl. She never let anyone see her suffer in any way. She knew to turn to me to see her break down like this. I was Lenny Crowley, who was I going to tell? Who was going to believe me?
I kneeled down in front of her, wrapping an arm around her sobbing shoulders. Immediately, she fell into my small figure. She was a good few inches taller than me, but somehow she fit in my arms. I tried my best to make it the least bit awkward, but I couldn’t help but not know if I should pat her back or not. Where’s Teddy when I need him? He was always good with the crying girls, not me.
“There, there,” I tried, rubbing circles on Marlene’s back. She managed to calm her sobbing down a bit, sniffling into my shoulder. I looked at the spot to see a little bit of snot mixed in with her tears. After she’s done crying, I’m making her hand wash this sweater.
“You know you make things incredibly awkward,” Marlene laughed, brushing a few tears away from her face. She sighed, looking at the black mascara that had rubbed off on her hands. “I look like a monster.”
“Yes you do,” I told her. She pretended to look offended at me. Well, it was true and she knew it. She had mascara and whatever else she put on her eyes running down the length of her high cheekbones. I didn’t think a shower would even get that nonsense off. Didn’t they make it waterproof or something?
“See you make things awkward, Crowley,” Marlene said, pushing herself off of the ground. I shrugged at her. Was that it? No more tears? No more trying to tell her Regulus ‘didn’t know what he was missing’? Who would pick being a Death Eater over Marlene freaking McKinnon anyways?
See, I could be good at pep talks.
“So now that I’m single, is your brother available?” She asked, threading her arm through mine as I managed to push myself to my feet. Quidditch didn’t help me all the time.
“And you say I make things awkward,” I mumbled.
Marlene had promptly decided by the time we made it back to the Entrance Hall that dinner was not the place to go. She had managed to clean herself up a bit, but rumors flew like wildfire throughout Hogwarts. She claimed not to be ready to hear them yet. She had wanted to skip dinner all together and head up to her dorm, but upon hearing my roaring stomach, she decided to take me to the kitchens instead.
Having Teddy as a brother has its perks. I already knew about the kitchens and the giggling pear (that honestly scares me) and about the bustling house elves. I didn’t have to look like a big idiot whenever Marlene expected my mouth to drop in awe. Truth be told, I loved going to the kitchens. I did it a few days ago so I could avoid the Great Hall myself. Marlene huffed, expecting me to be shocked. Although I always was, I hid it very well (if I do say so myself….which I do).
Somehow, we ended up with far too much food to handle. Not to mention the fire whiskey, red currant rum, some elf-made wine, and Berry Ocky Rot that found their ways to our small table the house elves set up. We ended up drinking more than we ate. Marlene kept pushing glasses and glasses towards me as she whined about Regulus and his snoring. At least that was what I got out of it. We talked for hours. Well, mostly it was her, but I’m a very good listener.
By eleven, we were sloshed. The house elves actually ran out of drinks for us. I had a lot of difficulty seeing my feet. Or my fingers. I couldn’t tell which one was which. Marlene was a giggling mess, but I couldn’t hear her to be honest. I think a bee embedded itself in my ear. Marlene pulled me to my feet and out of the door. Somehow we fell and she landed on top of me. We lay in a heap for a while, giggling like mad. Somehow it was funny. I’m telling you, it was bloody funny.
Do you believe me now? Good.
“I think I’m going to go snog your brother,” Marlene slurred. I managed to slap her arm after several attempts (I was just waiting to hear her protest).
“You will not!” I told her, attempting to keep myself upright by grabbing onto a wall.
“I think I will,” Marlene told me, flipping her black hair over her shoulder as it fell into her face. Bother. She looked to be having a far better time walking than I was.
”Your brother is dashing, Lenny. Why don’t you accept that?” Marlene said throwing her arms around. She was making me dizzy.
“He’s ugly.” I told her. She snorted unattractively. Yes Marlene, Teddy would totally find you snorting attractive.
“You’re in denial,” She said.
“No, I’m in Hogwarts!” I proclaimed, glancing around. I was still in Hogwarts, right? Yup, same old snoring portraits. Same old boring stone walls. Same old ugly ghosts. Same old Hogwarts.
“Fine, if you don’t want me to shag your brother, come sleep in my dorm tonight. I’d rather not be grilled by the girls anyways. I’ll need the company,” Marlene told me. I felt a little tingly inside. Had I just made a friend? Did it feel good? No, it was probably the booze rolling around in my stomach.
“Let’s get my wand first,” I told her, crawling (literally) up the stairs.
I am very, very shocked we did not get caught. I say this sincerely. Not only did we crawl up the six flights of stairs, Marlene got her foot stuck in the trick stair. Twice. It took us ten minutes each time to find a way to pull her leg out. We giggled the whole way because my head kept smashing into the side railings. Those things are made of stone, damn it! They hurt. Needless to say, we made it alive to the portrait. Where I forgot the password. Again.
“How can you not know the password?” Marlene asked me. I shrugged. They changed it so much, I was shocked if I knew what he one was for last week.
“Flippidy Flop?” I tried. The Fat Lady sighed at me and shook her head.
“Let me in!” Marlene shouted. I tried to shush her, but she already began to pound on the portrait.
“Now young lady!” The Fat Lady screamed in between the pounding. “You stop that immediately! I’ll get the headmaster!”
“What’s going on out here?” A voice said. The Fat Lady swung aside as Sirius stepped out into the corridor. He had on a black turtleneck sweatshirt that hugged him in all the right places. He was wearing dark jeans and it looked like he actually brushed his hair. My jaw nearly hit the corridor floor. Yes, he was normally gorgeous, but he was extra gorgeous tonight. Did I mention I was shit-faced? Okay, good.
“Nothing,” Marlene said, trying her hardest to keep a straight face. One look from me and we both burst into fits of giggles. Sirius looked at us like we were going completely bonkers. It was just so funny. What was so funny, I’m not sure. But it sure made us laugh.
“Are you two drunk?” Sirius asked, crossing his arms and watching us with amusement. I straightened up, attempting to look very serious (not like him, the other serious). I made eye contact with Marlene who did the same as I was.
“Maybe on a holiday.”
“Is today a holiday?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Let’s make it a holiday!”
“Marlene and Lenny day!”
“We should celebrate that every day!”
“That’s an amazing idea, Lenny!”
“Are you two done?” Sirius asked, chuckling as Marlene and I ranted to one another. I nodded. There wasn’t really much left to say. I was amazing.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in bed, Black?” Marlene asked, leaning against the wall for support.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in the Ravenclaw Tower?” He countered.
“I came to steal this fair maiden!” Marlene proclaimed, grabbing onto my hand and waving it around. I felt more than must my arm spinning out of its socket.
“Have at it, then,” Sirius said, cordially bowing. I nearly drooled right there.
“Go get your wand, Lenny,” Marlene slurred, nudging me inside. I managed to keep my balance as I pushed through the portrait hole.
Inside it was dark. No one was in the room and the fire was the only thing lighting the common room. The furniture was even rearranged so that the extra comfortable couch rest right in front of the fire with the coffee table set in front of it. On the coffee table was a bottle of red wine, two glasses, and a vase full of lilies that were charmed to be red and gold. It was like Sirius was waiting for a date.
Then it hit me. It was midnight. On the night I was supposed to show Sirius I was L.C. He went through all this trouble for me. He had brushed his hair for me. I wanted to cry and to leap at Sirius all at once. I tried to make sure to keep my feet glued to the ground when Sirius came around me, plopping down on the couch. He stared up at the girl’s staircase with longing. I frowned, knowing he was waiting for L.C to come down those stairs.
“Is this all for me?” I asked. I nearly slapped myself when Sirius looked at me and chuckled.
“No, it’s for L.C…if she ever shows up,” Sirius said, running a hand through his hair. I stared at him as he studied the fire.
“Just give her some time. I’m sure she’ll show up,” I said, running for the girl’s staircase. I managed to stumble up the stairs.
The lights were off in our dorm when I made it there. This made it extremely hard to find my wand or even my bed. I ended up waking Lily’s cat. I hated that damn thing. I may have accidentally kicked it my fair share of times. Somehow I found my wand on a bed stand. At least I hoped it was my wand. I think I’d get a mouthful if I accidentally grabbed Mary’s wand. She’d throw a damn fit.
I crawled out of the dorm as quietly as I could. I may have hit my knees on a few trunks, but that is just a casualty. My knees could survive. So could their trunks. I made it to the stairs when I saw three of them floating way too far off the ground. Bloody hell, how was I supposed to guess which one to step on? Which one was real? Well, time for a guess. I stuck my foot out, leaning forward, but all I felt was air. And I went tumbling down.
Surprisingly, when you fall while drunk, it doesn’t hurt as much. I landed at the bottom of the steps with a very unsophisticated “UMPH” noise. Sirius looked over the edge of the couch at me with a very amused expression on his face. A smile broke out when he saw me sit up straight and wheel around a little bit.
“You all right?” He asked. I nodded, pushing myself to my feet and gripping the wall for support. In all honesty, I wasn’t fine. I stared at Sirius, wondering how I was supposed to tell him who I was. I needed to. Was I prepared for his reaction? Was I prepared for him to turn me down? I felt a pang hit me square in the chest. Nerves.
“I need to go,” I said, running as fast as I could out of the common room. I almost didn’t see Sirius’s confused expression.
Marlene wasn’t outside of the common room when I got out there. In fact, she was no where in sight. Lucky for her, I knew where the Ravenclaw common room was. Thank you Teddy for being a Ravenclaw. I took off in the general direction of the Ravenclaw common room, tripping multiple times over my own feet.
Who was I kidding? I couldn’t tell Sirius who I was. He would laugh at me. I would be a joke. I was Lenny Crowley, I wasn’t someone like Marlene McKinnnon or Mary MacDonald. I wasn’t someone Sirius would want to see when he expected L.C to show up. He wouldn’t want to see me. It was best if I didn’t go back there or even meet him ever. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t L.C. I was just Lenny.
“Look who it is!” I heard a voice slur. I grabbed onto the wall to steady me as I turned around to see Regulus, Avery, and Rabastan crawling out of the one-eyed witch. I could smell the alcohol from the few meters between us. I froze on spot, unable to move.
“How’s Marlene, Crowley?” Avery asked, laughing as they came towards me. Rabastan stood in front of me and grabbed onto my face. I tried to yank away, but he held on far too tight.
“I don’t see what Reg saw in her. I’d choose you any day,” Rabastan slurred. I attempted to push him away to no avail. I began to feel panic creeping its way up my back. I backed up, but was trapped by a wall.
“Fuck off, Lestrange,” I mumbled, but was answered by drunken laughs.
“You know, I don’t think I will. Let’s see what Bagman found so charming about you, yes?” Rabastan stated, pushing his body against mine as he pinned me to the wall. I felt every part of him against me and I didn’t like it one bit. I shoved, pushed, and even pinched, but he didn’t budge. He began to bite at my neck. I crashed my head into his, but he still didn’t budge.
“Knock it off!” I cried, but it only received more laughter. I felt tears spring to my eyes. It was past midnight, no one would be coming to my rescue. Rabastan grabbed at the bottom of my sweater, grunting into my ear as he pushed himself harder against me.
“Rabastan, maybe we should just go,” Regulus mumbled. Rabastan turned his head to tell him off and I took my opening. I kneed him as hard as I could. Rabastan doubled over in shock, letting go of me.
“Bitch!” Rabastan grunted. I stumbled away from him, taking off at a sprint down the hall.
“No, I don’t think so, Crowley!” I heard Avery shout. Before I knew what was going on, I felt my feet leave the ground and I went flying through the air. I crashed into the stone wall, falling to the ground in a contorted mess. I knew if I wasn’t drunk, this would hurt a lot more, but I still couldn’t move. I felt my head and the warm, thick blood covered my hand when I pulled it away. I moaned, looking up but my vision was blurred. I saw the figures of all three boys, but couldn’t make out who was who coming towards me.
I closed my eyes and insomnia taking over me. Not before I heard a few shouts and heard crashing all in the hall. I wanted to sleep. I wanted the pain to go away. I was in so much pain. I couldn’t even begin to try to open my eyes. I felt myself passing out. Sleep. Thank you.
“Lenny?” I heard. “Lenny? You’re going to be okay. I promise.”
And I trusted the voice. I would be okay.
Author's Note: So you can hate me now. I know you expected Lenny to show herself, but it's way too early! I've got way more up my sleeve yet! Anyways, I know it was a long wait, but did I make it worth it? Let me know what you think.