Disclaimer: I own only Nayda and the plot. All the rest is JK Rowling’s.
A/N: Sorry for the delay in posting. Here’s the next chapter. To those who are reading this story for the first time, welcome. To those who are continuing in the journey, welcome back. Thanks to all who’ve reviewed so far. As always, Read, Review, and Enjoy. ~Manya
Chapter 8: falling apart
"Can I take him back to his dormitory?" Nayda asked Madam Pomfrey. The aged nurse wrinkled her forehead in thought, then finally nodded.
"Just make sure he doesn’t exert himself along the way," Pomfrey said, shooting Nayda a warning look, then the same to Remus in turn.
Nayda smiled, mostly for Remus’ benefit. Her friend coughed once to hide a laugh. "Of course not, ma’am." Taking Remus by the elbow, she tugged him away from the infirmary warden’s steely gaze and once they reached the safe confines of the hallway, Nayda burst out laughing.
"Way to keep a straight face," she chided Remus, gaining a moment of control. "I was trying to bust you out of there—one more cringe and she’d have you taking foul potions till the next moonrise."
Remus frowned at this, which only made Nayda raise an eyebrow, a grin curling up the edges of her lips in the mischievous way that was all her own. There were moments he suspected she was more mischief maker than straight-O-play-by-the-rules student. This was definitely one of them. But as he met his friend’s gaze, he caught something cold in it, something that prevented the merriment she was expressing from reaching her unusual violet eyes. She led the way to the dormitory staircases; as they walked, he broke the silence.
"What’s wrong?" he asked pointedly.
Nayda stared at him, puzzlement flitting across her expression but slipping off faster than a runaway snitch. "What are you talking about?" she replied, feigning disbelief. She didn’t meet his eyes. "Nothing’s wrong. I’m a little sore from flying all night, but who wouldn’t be?"
"Don’t try that bull with me, Nayda," he pushed, "I know you too well. What happened while I was out?" After she’d finished telling him about the night’s precarious events, Pomfrey had bustled over and forced a six hour sleeping potion down his throat. When he woke up, Nayda was sitting in the seat beside his bed, reading the current Daily Prophet and frowning. When she looked up at him, he saw that the sparkle from earlier was gone.
Nayda stopped walking and strode over to the nearest window, seemingly more interested in the rain pouring down the glass than answering his question. The rain clouds from several days ago had returned with a vengeance, soaking Hogwarts.
"I got a letter," she replied at length, her voice barely louder than a whisper. "I’ve been officially disowned."
The chill in her words was unmistakable—Remus recognized the tone as similar to one Sirius had used when he’d suffered a similar fate—and carried in it a note of finality.
"Did they say why?" It was a foolish inquiry, perhaps, but one that bore importance to Nayda, therefore Remus had to know. She was his friend; she owed him the truth.
She reached into her robe pocket and retrieved a balled up piece of parchment and shoved it into his hands. "Read it for yourself," she said matter-of-factly.
Remus took it and after smoothing it out on the wall, he began to read:
To the address of Nayda Larkin:
It is our unpleasant duty to inform you that on January 5th, Kirk Francis Larkin was attacked by the followers of the dark wizard fashioning himself as Lord Voldemort. He is in critical condition at St Mungo’s Hospital, where he is being looked after by the best healers in the wizarding community.
Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Larkin wish to convey to Nayda, that she is no longer welcome in their home and will be forthwith removed from the Larkin family line. It has been reported that Mr. Kirk Larkin was attacked on the basis of his being in consorts with Nayda, a known cursed entity in the family, and therefore unworthy to be considered of the pure blood legacy.
Any attempt to contact either Mr. & Mrs. Larkin or their son will be considered of hostile intent and prevented thereof. Any other considerations or concerns may be addressed through a mutual contact, Mr. Avery Bankhurst of –shire.
Alexander & Caroline Larkin
"That’s terrible," Remus said as he finished it. He handed it back to Nayda, who took it, balled it up and whipping out her wand, muttered an incantation that make quick work of it with flame. Within seconds the parchment was reduced to mere ashes.
"That’s my family for you," Nayda replied staidly. "Or, should I say, my former family. I was never one of them. I just hope Kirk pulls through, or I’ll have no allies left." She quirked a smile, but it was weak, and lasted only a second before flattening into a straight line again.
"You will always have allies, Nayda," Remus reassured. He stepped closer to her and put his arm around her shoulders. She leaned into him and met his hand with her own. "You have me, and Sirius and James. We’ll always be on your side."
Nayda swiped a tear from falling down her face with an irritated flick of her finger. "Stop it, Lupin, or I’ll cry."
Ignoring her protests, Remus turned her face into his shoulder and hugged her. Near instantly, she collapsed against him, sobs shaking her form and breaking his heart. No matter how cruel they were, they were still her family, and losing such while faced with the prospect of losing a beloved sibling was too much for anyone to bear. Especially right after the full moon.
"I’m sorry," Nayda mumbled into his shoulder, tears staining his robes.
Remus shook his head in dismissal, smoothing her hair with his hand. "It’s okay. Just cry."
"I’ll kill them with my bare hands, wring their over-grown pompous heads right off their shoulders. Damn it, I’m a wizard! I’ll curse them into oblivion! Where’s my wand? How dare that pair of conniving, evil, manipulative bas—"
"Padfoot!" Remus cut his friend off mid-word. Now was hardly the time for vulgar rhetoric.
Sirius turned and shot him an apologetic look. "Sorry, Mooney, but someone has to do something," he turned back to his trunk, where he was searching for his wand through piles of discarded quidditch gear, months-old candy, and several mismatched pairs of socks—all of which he threw over his shoulder once discovered to be not the desired object.
"Calling them illegitimate offspring of canines will not solve anything," Remus pointed out. "It might you feel better, but I’m betting it won’t be appreciated by them."
He stopped digging for a second and whirled around on his knees. "So what am I supposed to do? They’ve hurt one of my friends in the same way they hurt me—I couldn’t do anything then, but by Merlin I can now," he muttered a curse under his breath that had Remus’s frown deepening. "Don’t tell me I’m acting irrationally Mooney, I know you’re just as furious about this as I am. You’re just better at hiding it than I am."
"Perhaps," Remus conceded. "But you can’t just storm up to them and demand they let Nayda see her brother. They’d curse you faster than you could block it."
Sirius made a disgusted face. "I’d like to see them try," he spat out. He sat back on his feet and let out a heavy sigh. Several moments of silence passed between them before he spoke again. "So what do you propose we do? Wait it out? Cause that’ll work worse than my plan."
…to be continued…
A/N: So, what’d you think? I’d love to know opinions here, people, and for the first time I’d like to pose a question about the plot to my readers: what do you think should happen next? What should Remus suggest? I’m a little stumped here, so any ideas would be welcome. Thanks for reading! Please leave a review, I love to hear from my readers. ~ Manya
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