Chapter 20 – Bad News and Breakdowns
The gang returned to London then caught the Hogwarts express with the other students who went home for the Easter break. They began classes again and before they new it NEWTs were fast approaching.
“When is your career consult with Minnie McG?” Faith asked Lily as they walked down to breakfast almost four weeks after returning home.
“Um… Thursday I think,” Lily replied. “You?”
“Friday,” Faith said as they entered the great hall.
The sky above was dark and overcast as they took a seat next to the Marauders.
“Good morning love,” James said pulling Lily over for a quick kiss.
“Ah young love,” Faith sighed theatrically putting on the old moony-eyed look.
“Hmm…” Remus hummed without taking his eyes off of the book he was reading.
“What you reading?” Faith asked leaning over to see.
“Comprehensive Guide To Counter-Curses, Jinxes, Spells and Potions Necessary For Breeding Nifflers,” he recited as he flipped a page.
“Huh,” she nodded helping herself to some of James’ toast, as he was too preoccupied with Lily to notice.
“What have we got today?” Sirius asked.
“Double Charms, then Double History then Lunch then Double Care of Magical Creatures then-”
“Charms was all I needed to know,” he said silencing her.
After breakfast they headed up to Flitwick’s classroom to find the desks arranged differently. They were in groups of five or six in each corner.
“Everyone stand in the middle of the room please!” squeaked Professor Flitwick.
Everyone stood in the center of the room looking extremely confused.
“Now,” Flitwick continued. “I have set up four different workstations! Since it is a double you will besplit into groups of five or six and spend thirty minutes at each station. All the stations have the items and books necessary for the particular branch of charms necessary as well as an information sheet explaining what is required of you within the half hour. Off you go!”
They walked over to the nearest station and placed their bags under the table.
“What have we got?” Faith asked Looking at Lily who had the sheet of parchment explaining which set of charms they were doing.
“Charms of movement,” Lily said. “We have to fill out a quick quiz stating the wand movements for different charms, write a brief description of all the charms listed and then practice doing each of them.”
“Not too bad to start off with,” James sighed pulling out some quills and ink.
They sat down at the desks and in silence wrote out the wand action and a brief description for each of the charms.
After finishing off describing the charm to summon things Faith partnered up with Lily to practice the assigned charms using a large pile of books all at once.
After the two-hour double they had moved around to all of the stations and were packing up to leave.
“That was draining,” Sirius said as they headed towards the history of magic classroom.
“Now two whole hours of History,” James said yawning.
“Biiiiiinnnnnsssss!” Faith groaned shuddering.
With only twenty minutes of the lesson to go James, Sirius and Faith were finding it hard to stay awake. Of course Lily and Remus were both attentive and taking notes but as for the other three, they were nodding in and out of consciousness.
Their heads snapped up when there was a soft knock on the door.
Professor Binns stopped talking and looked over to the door.
It opened and Professor McGonogall stepped through.
“I’m sorry to disturb you Professor,” she said quietly. “But I need to speak with Miss Porter.”
The class looked to Faith who was confused.
“My career consult isn’t ‘til Friday,” Faith stated.
“Yes I know Miss Porter.”
“But then why-”
“Faith please just follow me.”
Faith got to her feet and looked over to Lily.
Lily shrugged her shoulders.
Faith turned around and followed the stern House Head out into the corridor then up a flight of steps.
“Proffessor?” Faith said walking very fast to catch up with the deputy headmistress. “Can I ask what-?”
“The headmaster would like to see you,” she replied simply.
Faith walked silently, wracking her brains for a prank she could have pulled with Sirius and James that would get her into this much trouble.
McGonogall said the password to the griffon and lead Faith up a flight of stairs.
Faith entered the Headmasters office and sat in one of the chairs.
Dumbledore was sitting across from her his fingers laced together a somber expression on his face.
“I didn’t do it,” Faith said immediately.
He smiled sadly at her.
“You aren’t here for any form of punishment,” he sighed. “I’m afraid I have some news.”
“Liam?” Faith questioned sitting up straighter in her seat.
“No, no, your brother is fine. This is about your mother.”
“Oh,” she said sitting back her hand clasped tightly around her wand.
“I’m afraid something terrible has happened.”
Faith’s fist tightened and she could hear the wood of her wand creaking.
“You see your mother has passed away.”
He looked into her dark brown eyes with his crystal blue ones. She remained deathly silent her nails starting to pierce the skin of her palm.
“She appears to have died of alcohol poisoning. When she didn’t turn up for work someone was sent to your house where they found her in the hall…” he trailed off looking to her for some sort of emotion.
She continued to stare blankly at his desk. Her other hand reached instinctively for the three inch scar that ran across her right shoulder blade from when her mother hit her with a fragment of a mirror when she was eight.
“Miss porter?” Dumbledore spoke softly.
“Hmm?” Faith hummed snapping back to reality.
“Are you alright?” he asked looking at her with what appeared to be genuine concern, she couldn’t tell.
All of her memories of her mother were rolling around inside her head crashing about trying to split her skull. Trying to break out, to hit her, to curse her, to make her scream, just like her mother had.
She was seven and had just been to the quarry where the neighbourhood kids used to go to swim, she had jumped from a ledge about thirty feet up where none of the older kids dared go out of fear, but not her. She returned home ready to tell Liam of what she had accomplished only to find her mother drunken on the floor, her wand at the ready.
She was fourteen and had just escaped to Georgia’s house. She climbed up the fire escape, blood dripping onto the steps and then into her best friends room.
She was fifteen on her way to school when she ran into a tall beefy boy who was in the year above her. He jeered at her making cracks about her busted lip and bruised face. He came onto her and she fought him hitting him hard continuously with her school bag until he cried out for help, then she ran.
“I said are you ok?”
“I’m fine,” she said in a hollow voice.
“I understand that a loss like this can be very hard on a person.”
“That’s not it,” she said.
“Well then maybe you should-”
“I’ve got to go to lunch,” she said as the bell rang.
“Very well,” he said but the words had barely been spoken before Faith was halfway down the stairs.
She walked in a Zombie-like manner, thoughts of different beatings and emotions running at a million miles an hour through her head. Some how she made it to the great hall where she walked over to her friends and sat down.
“Hey,” Lily said handing Faith her bag. “I brought this from History, what did McGonogall want?”
“Just a talk with Dumbledore,” Faith said in the same hollow voice she had been using in Dumbledore’s office.
“Are you ok?” she asked.
She continued to serve some food as Lily and the others looked at her with concern.
“Hey, what happened to your hand?” Sirius asked reaching out to examine her hand, which had been clamped around her wand and was now bleeding.
She jumped up when he made contact.
“DON’T TOUCH ME!” She screamed.
She stood there breathing heavily whilst the great hall stared at her.
“Faith are you sure you’re ok, you’re a little-”
“I said I was fine!” she said loudly before grabbing her bag and running from the great hall.
She kept running until she was outside.
There was a bell and students from her year began filing out the giant oak doors and towards the forbidden forest for care of magical creatures.
She took a few deep breaths before following them.
When she got there she met up with Sirius James and Remus, but Lily was nowhere to be seen.
“Where’s Lily?” she asked before they could question her on whether she was fine or not.
“She had to talk to McGonogall about head’s duties or something, are-”
“I’m fine,” she repeated firmly.
They continued on with the lesson and it was twenty minutes before Lily turned up. She ran over to Faith and hugged her.
“McGonogall told me,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry.”
Faith stood there for a moment stunned before it clicked and she pushed away from Lily.
“I have no idea what you must be feeling, if you want to skive off I can give you today’s notes.”
“I’m fine,” Faith repeated going back to feeding her Kyumnil.
“But Faith, your mother just…died surely you want to go and-”
“I DON’T CARE!” She screamed.
Lily looked taken aback.
“But she’s you mother.”
“That bitch was no mother to me. You … with your … you have no idea,” she growled.
“What? What are you-?”
“Don’t talk to me about what you don’t understand!” she yelled before abandoning her Kyumnil and running into the forest.
“MISS PORTER!” Professor Kettleburn called after her. “MISS PORTER COME BACK HERE!”
Faith stood in a small clearing breathing heavily. There was no light as the tall trees around her obscured the sun. There was a slight breeze able to penetrate the overwhelming darkness making the leaves of the trees rustle and the branches creak.
Faith wrapped her arms around her stomach and fell to her knees. She sat there wishing for the darkness to consume her, to make her disappear. She would give anything for the trees to just open up and swallow her whole.
She either wanted to become part of the darkness or the darkness become of her, to scream, shout, hit something, curse and break everything around her.
She hated her mother, with every fibre of her being. She hated her for every time she drank, for every time she came home in a rage and every time she made her feel like the lowest form on earth, unable to stand up to her, unable to say something to someone, unable to stop it all.
“Faith,” came a soft male voice behind her.
She turned her head quickly, frantically searching in the darkness.
“Faith Lily told me what’s wrong.”
Her eyes finally fell upon Sirius who was cautiously walking over to her.
Though he was not holding it out in front of him like a weapon, she saw that he had his wand in his hand ready to stun her if she became violent.
She began laughing, a sharp hollow laugh.
“Are you ok?” he asked softly, taking a seat next to her.
“How many times do I have to tell you people, I’m fine!” she said in a low voice.
She sat there staring angrily at him, but she couldn’t keep sitting there, not anymore. She quickly got to her feet and began pacing, all the while still clutching her stomach.
“I don’t feel it,” she said stopping dead and turning to face him. “I don’t feel any of it.”
She began shaking her head her thoughts muddling up inside ready to finally burst free. She released her stomach and ran both hands through her hair.
“Why?” she whispered crouching down her hands gripping her hair. “Why, why, why, why, WHY?”
She stood up again and continued to pace.
“It’s ok to be sad she’s gone,” Sirius said, tentatively walking over to her.
“BUT THAT’S JUST IT!” she screamed standing up again. “I DON’T CARE! EVERY BIT OF PAIN, ALL OF THE SUFFERING, ALL THE HURT, SHE CAUSED IT! IT WAS HER FAULT! HER! I HATE HER!”
She turned and punched him in the face as there was a clap of thunder and rain began falling thickly through the trees.
“I HATE HER!” she cried punching him again. “I HATE HER! I HATE HER.”
She began hitting her fists against his chest. “I HATE HER!”
Her strength was faltering as tears began falling.
“I hate her… I hate… I… I hate…”
Sirius wrapped his arms around her as she broke down. They fell to the forest floor and he pulled her tightly to her chest as she cried.
The rain kept falling so they were soaking wet.
“I hate her…” she strangled out as she cried.
“I know,” he whispered softly, stroking her hair. “I know.”
A/N - hey there my readers! that was kind of angsty wasn't it? yeah. just a bit of a warning it is a little agnsty for the next couple of chapters. Sorry but it must be done. when this chapter is validated i wont be submitting for a little while. i am going back through all of the chapters and adding images! so be sure to check that out. thanks and who can finish my sentence? Read and R............. you guys are so smart if you said REVIEW!