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Chapter 20: Regret and Ambush
Regret and Ambush
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It was very hard getting up the morning after her adventures in the forest. Myra was in bed by three, but didn't fall asleep until four and she didn't sleep well. Hestia hadn't gone to bed until three either, but she'd slept better on the common room couch; at least she was significantly more awake and alert.
Ashley and Anna had also noticed that Myra hadn't gotten back until early that morning. "Just didn't get much sleep," she told them when she woke up with bloodshot eyes and shivering despite the autumn sun blazing through the dormitory window. Myra was being truthful, but they kept asking her all the way down to breakfast. Finally Myra snapped and told them both to shut the hell up.
Thankfully she had two free periods that day; one before and one after lunch. She struggled through Magical Living, begged Hestia to bring her some lunch when they would meet for Transfiguration and went straight up to the dorms to sleep. Her imagination conjuring up a vision of an injured Remus in the hospital wing before she went under.
Half an hour before Transfiguration, her alarm went off. It was even harder waking up now than it had been that morning, but she splashed some icy cold water on her face, pinched her cheeks for colour and left for class. On the way down she stopped by the Magical Ethics classroom to wait for Anna and Hestia. She leant against the wall beside the door, listening to the muffled sounds of the lesson inside for several minutes before students began filing out.
"Hestia!" Myra called out when she spotted her friends in the crowd. "Do you have lunch for me?"
"'Hello, Anna.' 'Oh, hello, Myra'," Anna mocked, noticing she hadn't gotten a proper greeting. Myra stuck her tongue out at her.
"Hey, Myra. You look better – good nap?" Hestia commented while she dug into her bag or some slices of toast and an apple.
"I've been pinching my cheeks for the last few minutes, so I better look better." Myra's stomach rumbled the moment she got food in her hands. She had nearly inhaled it before they'd reached the sixth floor, where Anna was stopped by someone she shared Arithmancy with. Hestia and Myra stopped a few steps ahead.
"So. What's up? Any hints for me about what you did last night?" Hestia whispered.
"Not anything I haven't already told you. I can't – You're a lot smarter than me! I'm surprised you didn't see it before I did."
"I'm not that smart-" Hestia began protesting.
"Than me," Myra interrupted her. By then, Anna had returned and the trio began walking again in silence. Hestia looked like she was thinking hard, while Anna was absently flipping through the notes her Arithmancy partner had given her. None of them reacted when Sirius, James and Peter approached them from the opposite direction. Instead of passing by, Sirius grabbed hold of Myra's arm and forcefully dragged her off into an adjacent classroom.
"Ouch!" Myra screamed. "What the hell?" She could just see Hestia and Anna turning around, clearly surprised, when James and Peter followed through the classroom door, closing it behind them. She did not have time to reach for her wand in the struggle, and couldn't be sure if she could have any ways. Her shoulder hurt so bad she could have sworn it was dislocated, and it had all happened so fast. Not that he seemed to care; he didn't even seem to notice she stumbled as he let her go and whipped around, wand in hand, muttering something at the door.
"Myra! Myra!" She could hear Anna and Hestia calling out, banging on the door and rattling the handle. "Open this door immediately! Black! Potter! Pettigrew! Open it now, you bloody eunuchs!"
Myra fumbled for her wand, thinking that she could Stun Sirius – but by now he had turned his attention back on her. "Expelliarmus," he said, and James grabbed the wand when it went flying in the boys' direction. Sirius continued to mutter unintelligibly under his breath.
Despite the pain in her shoulder, Myra wasn't about to just give up. Gritting her teeth, she dashed for the door, only to find that the handle wouldn't so much as budge. "Hestia! Hestia! Use an unlocking charm! Hestia!" Myra began banging on the wood as hard as she could with her good arm, to no avail.
"They won't hear you," James explained calmly, leaning back against a dust-covered chair. "It's soundproofed from the inside."
"Myra!" Hestia shouted from the other side of the door. "I'm getti-" And then it was charmed quiet from that side too.
Myra spun around, glaring at all of them. "What do you want with me? I have a class to go to!"
"What the hell is wrong with you, Kinney?" Sirius suddenly shouted and advanced on her, forcing her back against the door. "Do you have a death wish? Are you trying to kill yourself?" He was so loud it hurt in Myra's ears.
"What are you on about?" she shouted back. Which might have been a mistake. Grabbing hold of her upper arms, he shook, banging her hard enough against the door that tears threatened to spill and her already aching shoulder throbbed.
"What am I talking about? What am I talking about?! I'll tell you what the fuck I'm talking about, you stupid little witch! Last night, that's what I'm talking about! What the hell did you think you were doing, going out in the Forbidden bloody Forest in the middle of the night when you knew perfectly well there was a werewolf loose out there? What the fuck is wrong with you?"
"- Bit forceful there, Padfoot," James started quietly, but Myra interrupted him.
"How the hell do you know where I was last night?! Let go of me, that hurts!" Her voice was thick with pain and suppressed tears.
"You shut up, Prongs!" Sirius barked. He knocked her against the door one more time, and suddenly let go, pacing away from her and looking fixated out the lone window, as if he couldn't bear to be near or look at her any longer. Myra was far from finished, though.
Besides; he had started it.
"You've dislocated my shoulder, Black! Thank you very much." Myra carefully rubbed her shoulder, looking from James and Peter and trying to determine what part they had in this. Neither looked like they quite wanted to meet Myra's glare, but they didn't go at her either. Obviously this was all Sirius.
"How do you even know if I was here or there last night, Black?"
"None of your business," he snapped, turning towards her again. "I know you were out in the Forbidden Forest last night when Remus was running around. What part of Forbidden Forest don't you understand?"
"I understand perfectly well that the Forbidden Forest is forbidden, Black. If you won't tell me how you know if I was there or not, I won't tell you why I was wherever I was!"
"Don't be smart with me, Kinney! There is no point in denying anything!" He advanced on her again. Despite herself, Myra winced, shrinking back against the door in case he tried to grab her again. "You were in the Forbidden Forest last night! Peter took you away from there, talked to you, and saw you walk into the castle again. I KNOW!"
"Fine! So I was in the forest last night!"
"Do you have a death wish?!"
"Because if you do, by all means, I'd be happy to help, but don't you dare drag Remus into it!"
"I don't have a death wish!" Myra tried shouting over him, but the words seemed to stick in her throat.
"If you think pulling a stunt like last night wasn't a serious issue, Kinney, then there's a bloody mental ward at St. Mungo's with your name on it!"
"I- I was cu-," Myra began, but stopped herself.
"Curious?" he guessed correctly. "Is that what you tried to say? That you were curious? If you-" He interrupted himself and closed his eyes, grinding his teeth so hard she could hear them click. When he next spoke, he wasn't yelling, but Myra almost wished he was. "If Remus ever finds out that you were out there last night... If he finds out that he was inches away from killing you... What do you think he would do? He'd never forgive himself for as long as – For – It would bloody eat him up inside every day, every hour, every second of his life!"
Myra's eyes widened. That wouldn't happen though. It wasn't like he could remember anything from when he was a werewolf... could he?
Sirius' face twisted in a malicious, triumphant smile when the gravity of what she might have done finally clicked. "You said you were Remus' friend. Certainly, if you really were you'd have noticed how sensitive he is? He carries around all the world's problems on his shoulders, even when they aren't his to carry. You honestly think you can just walk out in the middle of a full moon night. That he wouldn't care about coming within inches of mauling someone, killing someone? If you think just the idea of that happening to anyone wouldn't completely destroy him, then you obviously don't know him at all or just don't give a damn!"
"But he – he doesn't remember what he does on a full moon, right?" she breathed, barely audible, even to herself.
"Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. Depends."
"Does he remember last night?"
"I don't know. We went to visit him, but he hadn't woken up yet. For his sake, I hope he doesn't – but honestly, I don't think you deserve to be so lucky."
Myra literally felt what little colour she had drain from her face. She turned slowly, groping for the door handle, but ended up hitting her bad shoulder against it instead, and she cried out. Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw Peter twitch forward, as if to help her, but he slunk back against the same table James was leaning against when Sirius shot him a very nasty look.
"Professor!" Hestia ran into the Transfiguration classroom. She had not come across any teachers on her way, so Professor McGonagall was her last chance. "Professor!" She halted in front of the desk of a very surprised Transfiguration teacher.
"Miss Jones. What's the matter?" Professor McGonagall looked instantly worried at Hestia's wild entrance and scared expression, it was not something one usually saw in the dark haired Gryffindor.
"Myra was just pulled into an old classroom by Sirius Black. The door was locked, and I couldn't open it. I screamed at them, but I don't think they heard. I left Anna there to continue trying to get in," Hestia rambled out, her chest heaving painfully at the end; she hadn't taken the time to get her breath back from running.
"Miss Jones," Professor McGonagall said significantly calmer. "Sirius Black took Myra Kinney into an old room and locked the door. Why do you come running in here like it's a matter of life or death, when the two of them will most likely just miss class because of their escapade?"
"No, you don't understand. It was against Myra's will. Sirius Black, James Potter and Peter Pettigrew walked past us, and then Black just grabbed her and pulled her into the room. The two others followed, and then the door was locked," Hestia explained.
The professor looked slightly more alarmed again. "Did you try the Unlocking Charm?"
"Yes, the simple and the advanced, the door would not open. We couldn't hear a sound from inside, and they didn't seem to hear us."
"Where did this happen, Miss Jones?"
"On the fifth floor," Hestia paused to think, in the bewilderment she hadn't noticed the details around her, "I think the statue of Gregory the Smarmy was nearby."
"Mr Longstaff, look after the class. I will be back shortly." McGonagall waved her wand at the blackboard, revealing a list of pages and chapters from the text book and instruction on what to do with those pages. Then she hurried out of the classroom, Hestia close on her tail.
"What's going on?" Ashley asked when Hestia passed. She and Lowell had entered just seconds ago.
"Marauders got Myra locked up."
Their eyes widened and they followed their friend and the girls' Head of House.
"You won't tell him, will you?" Myra pleaded. She hadn't thought twice about the consequences of her adventure into the forest. Typical Myra. Where had her conscience, starring Hestia, been?
"We haven't decided yet," Sirius replied simply.
"We haven't?" James questioned.
Myra gulped, vowing then and there that no matter what happened, she would never act on her curiosity again. She couldn't. Desperation creeping in her voice, she knew that if there was any hope, she would have to convince Sirius, too. "You can't tell him!" She moved slowly away from the door. "I've just managed to get back to being friends with him. I can't lose that!"
"You should have thought of that before you tried to kill yourself!" Sirius shouted, spit showering from his mouth.
"I did not try to kill myself!"
"Only because Peter saved you. You owe him, you know. You owe him your own bloody life!"
"And don't you dare take advantage of that!" Myra knew exactly how a bunch of marauders would use that to their advantage. Especially Sirius.
"Why wouldn't we? It would teach you a lesson!"
"How did you get sorted into Gryffindor, Black? When every inch of your being is so insanely Slytherin?"
She realised that was the wrong thing to say much too late.
Sirius face contorted into an expression unlike anything she had ever seen before. As if in slow motion he raised his wand again, pointed it at Myra and muttered something. Before she had time to dodge or protect herself in any way, the world turned upside down. Her robes and skirt dropped down in front of her face. Her arms fell towards the floor and the dislocated shoulder wrenched downward in such a way she could barely stop from screaming.
"Padfoot," James hissed, accompanied by the wheeze of panic or laughter, she couldn't exactly tell which, from Peter. "Put her down."
"Yes, put me down!"
"The hell I will! She needs to be taught a lesson. Doing that to Moony, comparing me to m- that family and-"
"She did not compare you to your family! She doesn't even know your family! She called you a Slytherin, which is far nicer than comparing you to your family!"
Just then there was a bang from the other side of the door. "Help!" Myra shouted at the top of her lungs. "HELP! IN HERE!"
"She as good as compared me to my family!" Sirius had been angry before – someone you certainly didn't want to mess with. But she'd never actually been frightened of him until that moment.
"HELP! HELP!" Myra shouted again, as the door rattled as if someone was trying to get in.
"Just shut the hell up, Kinney! I'll let you fall head first to the floor. Maybe you'll get your wish and bloody die!"
"Mr Black!" McGonagall screeched, as the door suddenly slammed inwards. "Are you uttering death threats?! Let Miss Kinney down carefully and put away your wand!"
Myra gasped in relief as McGonagall's voice filled the room. It took unnecessarily long for Sirius to turn her around the right way and put her down, and when he did certainly wasn't careful. Barely halfway around, he let her fall hard to the stone floor onto her bad shoulder. She screamed, white stars flashing at the edges of her vision. If it wasn't dislocated before, she was sure it was broken now.
"Myra!" Hestia called out, rushing over. Ashley, Anna, and to Myra's slight surprise, Lowell followed awkwardly behind to help ease Myra onto her feet.
"Don't touch me!" Myra cried. She couldn't hold it in any longer, as tears fell freely down her cheeks. The pain in her arm was enough to make her feel nauseous. "I think it's broken." Hestia pulled her hands away as if she'd been burned.
"What do you think you are doing?!" McGonagall's voice echoed shrilly around the classroom. Even Myra, who wasn't technically in trouble, would have felt sorry if she hadn't been the victim in the situation. No one ever wanted to be on the receiving end of the Deputy Headmistress' fury.
"We had nothing to do with this, Peter and I," James defended.
"Why do I not believe that, Mr Potter? Whatever you did or didn't do does not matter, except that you clearly did nothing to stop it!" The Head of House held out her hand towards the three Marauders and with a hard glare told them to wait, and then walked over to Myra. "Miss Kinney, are you able to explain to me what happened?"
Myra had never felt more useless, lying on the floor crying and clutching one limp arm against her chest. "Yes, but... Do you think you can levitate me up, Professor? My arm hurts so much I can't bear to have anyone..."
McGonagall nodded and proceeded to carefully levitate Myra to her feet. Lowell and her friends made a sort of protective half circle between Myra and the Marauders, while Hestia straightened Myra's robes as carefully as she could. McGonagall raised her eyebrows, waiting for an explanation.
Myra took a few deep breaths to still her tears a bit, and did her best to give a detailed account of the events. "I had spent my two free periods sleeping because I slept so poorly last night. So on my way to your class, Professor, I met up with Hestia and Anna on the sixth floor; Hestia brought me something to eat. We came down the hall out there. Those three walked by, and Black just grabbed me and pulled me in here. I think my right arm got dislocated as he yanked on it. Then he locked the door, disarmed me, and started yelling and pushing me against the door, threatening to kill me. Eventually flipping me upside down and then... then you came. James and Peter didn't tell him to stop, but... they didn't really try to make him... "
"Is this true, Mr Potter, Mr Pettigrew?"
"Yes, Professor," James said quietly.
"Did Mr Black have a reason for treating you this way, Miss Kinney?"
Suddenly, Myra couldn't meet McGonagall's eyes any more, and averted her gaze. "I... I did do something to upset him," she admitted. "But I didn't hurt anyone – I didn't abuse another student!"
"What exactly did you do, Miss Kinney?"
Myra felt everyone's attention, especially the Marauders', shift to her. "I'm sorry, Professor McGonagall, but if I told you that, I'd have to share information that would cause me to break a very important promise I made to several people."
"If it made Mr Black behave in this," she turned to the boy in question, "appalling way," back to Myra, "I am certain it would be perfectly acceptable to break that promise."
Myra hated doing this to her respected Head of House, but Remus' safety was on the line. She said the only thing she thought might make McGonagall let it go. "One of those people is Professor Dumbledore, Professor."
McGonagall blinked several times, clearly taken aback. There was a long pause before she acted.
"Very well." She waved her wand towards the door. "You admit to having done something to aggravate Mr Black, Mr Potter and Mr Pettigrew. Ten points from you for that. Fifteen points from Mr Pettigrew for not interfering, and twenty-five from you, Mr Potter, for the same, but you are the Head Boy and should most definitely have interfered. Mr Black, I will decide exactly how many points you will lose once Madam Pomfrey has made clear the severity of Miss Kinney's injury. Of course, you will also receive detention – another thirty points from each of you for the spells and charms you used on this door, many I am certain only exists in books from our Restricted Section."
"You rang, mam?" The wheezy voice of Mr Filch suddenly came from the door, his watchcat close on his heels.
"Yes, Argus. Mr Black, Mr Potter and Mr Pettigrew have a free period now, so I need you to keep them occupied until classes are over for the day."
"Of course, mam!" The old caretaker perked up, Mrs Norris mewling happily.
"Mr Black, give back Miss Kinney's wand."
James quickly raised his hand. "Uh, I have it here, Professor," he said and held it out. Lowell was closest, so he snatched it from James' hand, brushed it off with his robes and gave it to Myra.
"Thanks," she muttered and did her best to sheath it, but failed. Hestia helped.
"Now give me your wands. I will not have you try anything until I decide exactly what to do with you."
All three boys gaped. But reluctantly Peter and James held out their wands for McGonagall. Sirius wasn't about to obey, but when McGonagall raised her arm to disarm him, he held it out.
"Off you go." McGonagall waved Filch and the Marauders away, securing the three wands in her robe pocket. "I will escort Miss Kinney to the hospital wing, and you four had best get back to class and get started on your readings. Mr Llewellyn will aid Mr Longstaff in looking after the class until I get back."
Ashley, Anna, Hestia and Lowell nodded and headed out the door. "We'll come up to see you after classes if you're being kept there," Hestia promised before they were gone.
Perhaps a couple/few days later than mid-November, but chapter 20 is here! And I'm posting this at work, how awesome am I? Next chapter will most likely be out within a month too. Seeing as I haven't had the opportunity to write a single word for NaNoWriMo, and once again I have a neck inflammation, and soon Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will make it impossible for me to write anything at all unless I get the doctor to refer me to surgery. So I'm keeping the chapters that are already done for as long as I can, and that means one chapter one month.
Please review if you have anything to say!
Coming: Chapter 21 – Dislocated Shoulders and Sickbeds
Remus' chest was slowly going up and down, his breaths coming out slightly louder than normal, like any sleeping person's would. It reassured Myra, because from the looks of everything else, he should be dead. "Please, don't remember, Remus," she mumbled. For several long minutes Myra just sat there watching him sleep, trying to ignore the increasing pounding and prickling in her shoulder.