Chapter 23 : The Mandira Secret
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"Come on! Hurry! We're going to be late, you turtles!" Sirius jumped up and down in pure excitement as he tried to hastily gather us to the Quidditch Pitch.
"It's not like it's going anywhere. Calm down, Sirius," Lily laughed.
"Yeah. I knew you were obsessed with Quidditch, but..." I raised my eyebrows as Sirius pulled my wrist down the Grand Staircase.
"Who do you think will win?" asked James to no one in particular. He was just as excited about the stupid sport as Sirius was. I never did like sports.
"It's hard to say. I want Hufflepuff to win, though," Sirius shrugged. Well, that was a little bit obvious. Hufflepuff versus Slytherin? Who wanted Slytherin to win? Besides Slytherin, obviously...
"I know. I hate Slytherin. GO HUFFLEPUFF! Plus, it will make it easier for us to win the Quidditch Cup if we play Hufflepuff next--"
"James, shut your trap! Nobody besides these losers care about what you're talking about," I exclaimed, pointing to Sirius and Peter. I was just joking, and they knew it. Remus was too cool to care about them, as well. He was on my side.
"Thanks, Kris. I feel good now." Sirius tickled my sides. We had left the castle just then. It turned out to be extremely cold outside. Everywhere that I had looked, I saw students with their house-colored scarves wrapped securely around their necks for warmth. I was wearing one with gold and scarlet stripes. It had been a couple of weeks after Sirius and I kissed for the first time, and winter recess (also known as Christmas vacation) would start in exactly one week (next Sunday). Many of us were excited to get home, but I was still dreading writing a letter to my Father about Sirius coming home with me.
As we made our way across the Hogwarts Grounds, I tried to zone out of the talk about the match. It was actually pretty easy. I had a load on my mind.
We passed a large tree that had a patch of earth rather than snow under it. The nearly bare branches could still protect whoever would go underneath from the elements. Severus Snape was sitting there, reading a book to himself.
"What a freak," James mumbled quietly as he saw Severus. I contorted my face into an angry sight. He likes to read under trees so he's a freak? Not in my world.
"I know. He's going to miss the match," Sirius agreed with the slightest chuckle.
"He doesn't care about the match," I profoundly stated. "I don't care, either, but I'm going anyway."
"Let's brighten up this dull day," James beamed mischievously, ignoring me. Sirius caught the glint in James's hazel eyes.
Sirius smirked, pulling his wand out of his jacket pocket. I slapped his hand softly, glaring at him.
"Sirius, don't. He didn't do anything."
His smirk faltered, and he sighed. Looking over at James, he put his wand away in disappointment. "Fine."
"That doesn't mean I can't do anything to him, though!" James cackled, walking smoothly over to Severus.
I groaned to myself. I have idiotic friends...
The worst part was that Snape knew not to fight back. He knew he would lose. Once, he tried to defend himself with his wand, and Sirius and James pulled their wands out. It didn't end too beautifully.
"SNIVELLUS!" James greeted, a wide grin spread crookedly across his face.
"Go away, Potter," spat Snape angrily. He then went back to reading.
James rolled his eyes and kicked Snape's book out of his hands. It hit a second year Hufflepuff girl in the back. She hissed angrily at James and continued chatting with her friends before heading to the stadium.
Lily smacked James in the back of the head and told him off as we went to go find seats. The cool chill brushed against my skin lightly as I looked back at Snape and shrugged helplessly.
"ARGH! I can't believe Slytherin WON!" Sirius kicked a bunch of snow into the air wildly. Yes, Quidditch was that serious.
"Now Ravenclaw plays the next game! THIS IS RUBBISH!" James crossed his arms childishly across his chest.
"Get over it," I said monotonously. "They won twice; so what? We'll beat 'em!"
"We can use someone like you on the team," James winked jokingly.
"Umm, no. I hate Quidditch," I laughed, shrugging.
Sirius and James both looked at each other and shrieked like little girls. I started to walk faster in hopes of escaping their wrath. It had been too late. They tackled me to the ground and plopped all of their weight on top of me so I had no chance of getting up.
"Get the freaks off of me!" I gasped for air, directing my demand toward Remus and Peter. Lily and Amber were there, too, but I didn't want them to have to pull Sirius and James off of me. I giggled.
"Who are you calling a freak?" Sirius asked jokingly as he pinned my wrists down onto the snow as gently as possible.
"I'm cold, wet, and I'm at the bottom of an idiot tower. GET OFF!" I sighed, ignoring his comment.
"Fine," he huffed. James and Sirius got off of me. I was grateful.
"You need to lose weight," I said to Sirius. I knew James had a slighter build, so most of the weight came from Sirius.
"It's all muscle," Sirius winked playfully. I turned pink and then rolled my eyes.
"Loser. Let's get inside. No more talk about Quidditch, either!" I ran ahead to catch up with Amber and Lily, who were in deep conversation about Christmas shopping.
I faintly heard Sirius whisper to James, just so he could piss me off. "So, do you think Ravenclaw will beat Slytherin next game?"
Later that night, I wanted to use up my energy. I had eaten dinner, so I wanted to get out and do something.
I haven't gotten any running done lately. It's too snowy to run, though. I'll just go for a walk.
I nodded at my own idea and went down into the Common Room. Nobody that I normally talked to was down there, except for Randilyn. She was studying what looked like Transfigurations.
"Kris! Save me," Randi pleaded, glancing down at her Transfigurations book. "I don't want to study."
"I always did hate that subject. I was going to go down onto the Grounds to take a late night walk. Did you want to come with me?" I asked, shrugging.
"I'd go anywhere, do anything, as long as it has nothing to do with Transfigurations." She hopped up, dashing toward the staircase. "I'll go get my coat, be right back!"
I nodded, despite the fact that she wouldn't be able to see me, and I sat down on the chair in front of the fireplace. I grabbed the quill that was on the table in front of me and a piece of scrap parchment. Dunking the tip of the old quill into an ink cartridge, I began writing my explanation for being gone, just in case they thought I died spontaneously or something else like that that James would think.
Yes, I know. I'm nice. Randilyn and I are going outside for a walk near the forest and the lake. Just letting you know. If we're not back by nine o'clock, send a squad to come find us.
Kris (who is very amazing)
I smiled down at my stupid memo knowing that they would most likely send a squad out to find us.
Randi came down after a couple of minutes and smiled, brushing her straight black hair out of her eyes. "Okay, I'm ready. Let's go."
I nodded and headed toward the exit with her by my side. As we walked, I couldn't help but think about when we first met. She was a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, and Lily was jealous of her. While I looked back, I found it funny.
"What're you laughing at?" Randi turned to look at me with a sparkle in her clear blue eyes.
I laughed again. "Nothing."
"It's not nothing. Tell me," she pleaded, pulling on my arm.
"Fine," I smiled. "You know how Lily thought James liked you a little bit because you were complimenting him and all?"
"Well, she should've known that James could only love her and no one else. Plus..." I paused. "...her face turning purple was kind of amusing, right?"
Randilyn burst out a short laugh. "Yeah. It was."
After being very silent, we made our way outside and along the forest. It was still light enough out and it would not start to darken until a tad bit later. The normally dark, mysterious Great Lake was thinly iced over with a frozen gloss. I made a note to myself not to go near it, as I would probably drown. Randi seemed to pick up on the same idea as she saw me staring blankly at the lake.
"So," I broke the silence, "How's Rain been doing? Is she big on Quidditch? Sirius and James were devastated when Rain's House lost..."
"Hufflepuff lost? I didn't get a chance to watch the game; I was doing my Muggle Studies essay. I saved all of my homework for today," Randi blushed, slightly ashamed of her procrastination. "She's not a big Quidditch fan like I am. I reckon she's been hanging around in a classroom somewhere making healing potions or practicing spells. Something of the sort."
"Yeah. That sounds like something she would be doing..." I stopped talking. I thought I heard voices coming from inside the forest, but I shook it off. "I must be tired..."
"Why? Getting drowsy?" Randilyn asked, concerned. "We can head back if you want. It's getting kind of cold--"
"No, I'm not tired, that's okay. I'm just hearing voices... Did you hear any?" I asked hopefully.
Randi shook her head. A bit too quickly, if you asked me. "Voices? No. There's nobody out here but us. There are no voices. I didn't hear anything."
By then, my suspicions grew. Did she know something that I didn't?
Then, I heard the same voices arguing again. It was too clear not to hear.
"Are you sure? I hear something," I whispered, scrunching my eyebrows together.
"Let's get out of here. You need to get your head checked by Madame Pomfrey or something. Hearing voices isn't good--"
She grabbed my arm, pulling me toward the faraway castle. I snatched myself back in retreat. "No, I'm not sick, and I'm not going to get my head checked! There is someone--"
Just then, two figures walked out of the Dark "Forbidden" Forest. I was shocked at who I saw standing in front of Randilyn and me.
"Rain?" I asked in a surprised tone. There stood the equally bewildered beauty, but there was an older man standing beside her.
"Kristin! Randilyn! Oh, my... Er, please, do not tell a soul what you have heard tonight. No one can know that I am a goddess! Only Randilyn, Father, Great Uncle Albus, you, and I may know. Please keep my secret?" Rain pleaded while biting her lip.
Randi let out a huge groan. "Rain! We didn't hear you talking about what you are. We only heard voices. Way to go, blabbermouth."
"Dear, is that true? Merlin! I am incredibly thick!" Rain put her hands to her temples. "I am sorry, Father. I did not intend to disappoint you."
"I know, Rain, but come now. Randilyn, be nicer to your sister. Mistakes can be made once every so often, one by you, even."
"What did I do?" Randilyn protested in a loud voice.
"You brought company out here fully knowing your sister and I would be out here tonight!" Randi and Rain's father scolded.
"Once she started hearing your voices, I tried to get her to go back, but she refused! She's too stubborn. I didn't know you would still be having your meeting," Randi defended bitterly.
"'She' can hear everything you're saying," I popped, emphasizing the word "she." I was still shocked to hear this. Was it true? Was Rain Mandira really a goddess?
"Right. Sorry, Kris," Randi apologized.
"Yeah. Well, as long as I'm involved now, is it true?" I asked hesitantly.
"Yes. I beg of you, please do not tell anyone. It is supposed to be kept from the school, other than the Headmaster. Father, here, is a god. I just got my powers recently."
"Then... why isn't Randi a goddess, too?" I asked with raised eyebrows.
"We have different fathers, but we have the same mother. We are half-sisters."
"Please, do not give out any more information. We cannot know for sure how well we can trust this girl, Rain. No offense, Miss Kristin." Their father turned to me.
"I'd feel the same way. But please -- know that you can trust me. I already know a lot of information that you wanted to keep private. No matter what, I'm already involved. No matter what, you have to trust me," I stated boldly, looking into the brown eyes of this man. I felt a little bit uncomfortable, especially since Rain and Randi weren't close friends.
He pulled out his wand. "I can always put a memory charm on you..."
"Davith, no! You can't do that!" Randilyn shouted angrily at her stepfather. His name was Davith. I kept that in mind.
"Well, what am I to do, then?" he shouted back.
"Look at her. Tell me she doesn't look trustworthy and protective enough to keep this secret," Randi said monotonously. I was twirling my hair around my left index finger, putting all of my weight on my left foot while my other hand was placed promptly on my right hip. I immediately stopped twirling my hair.
"She does not seem to care," Davith scoffed, looking away. "I guess she would have no reason to tell someone if she does not care."
"Oh, I care. I just won't tell anyone. I mean... don't judge a spell book by its cover, right?" I said innocently.
"Fine. We will talk, but we will not talk here. Let us find somewhere more private where no more eavesdroppers can hear us," said Davith, leading us toward the castle slyly.
It was getting late and dark outside, and I knew that someone up in the Gryffindor Tower would be worrying about Randi and me. We passed through to the entrance of the castle and made our way to an empty classroom office that was not in use.
"Sit," demanded Davith. I took a seat along with the girls. By then, I was warming up from the cold from outside. Hopefully, I wouldn't get sick for real. "What questions do you have for Rain?"
I fidgeted a little, and then I took a relaxing, deep breath of inhalation. "Okay... What is a goddess?"
"There are quite a few meanings, but most of them are compromised between each other in a combination that other witches and wizards idolize. It can be from fame and wealth to beauty and grace. And then, there is the more complex asset. I am a goddess with supernatural powers. I can heal and fight. My magic is stronger than most magical beings."
"Wow... So why weren't you allowed to have these powers until recently?" I inquired.
"They take great responsibility to control and learn to use. Plus, now that I will be graduating from school soon, I will be in training to become an Auror. Now that the rise of these Muggle murder mysteries has been increasing, I am being put into training because of my powers. That would be the main reason," Rain said seriously.
"What's the other reason?"
"The other reason is to simply keep the line of gods and/or goddesses in conduct."
"Oh," I breathed. "Does the Ministry of Magic know about you? You said that only Dumbledore and everyone here know. The Ministry should know if you're becoming an Auror with the powers you have."
"They know of my Father and his powers." Rain pointed to Davith briefly. "Ultimately, they know of my powers."
"I still don't understand this Dark Lord stuff. Who is this guy, and what is he planning to do to our world?" I felt really stupid for asking that question, but I really wanted to know. He was so devious that he had not only been putting a burden of worry onto our world, but Muggles as well. Very confused Muggles, might I add.
"He goes by a name so terrible that no one involved dares speak it. Soon, wizards and witches around the world will be too frightened to speak his name, for he holds vast plans of mass destruction and evil. It is our job to hunt He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named down. No such luck has passed by, and we all have a feeling that it won't anytime soon, especially with his increase in followers," Rain said sadly. "For your knowledge, most Slytherins that once attended Hogwarts have fallen into the hands of You-Know-Who. Just recently, of course."
Two particular thoughts came to mind: Severus Snape and Regulus Black. With Regulus being a 5th Year and Severus being a 6th year, they hadn't much time until graduation. Would they follow the Slytherin trend of accepting You-Know-Who's offer?
"I think that is a great amount of information," Davith said indignantly. "I see it fit to stop right there. All I have left to tell you is the Dark Lord is a very corrupted dark wizard. Stay clear."
And with that, Davith grabbed Rain and Randilyn's arms. He pulled them toward the door gently as they followed.
Well... that was a load of shit. Are Rain and that Davith fellow on crack? It doesn't seem like reality when they talk.
I shook my head, resulting in an eye roll. "That was ridiculous. I can't believe I wasted my time interrogating Rain with such stupid questions about something that probably wasn't even true. I wouldn't be surprised if she was laughing her arse off right now."
Unfortunately, it was getting later and later, and I had to retreat to the Common Room. I sure would have a story to tell when I got back.
Oh, wait... I'm not supposed to tell anyone. It is a secret that only the Mandiras can know. Damn it!
I was sitting in the Common Room a few days later, bored out of my mind. I was procrastinating. I didn't want to write to my Father. I knew I had to, though, because Christmas vacation was creeping around the corner at a fast pace. If I wanted Sirius to stay with me then I would have to get my Father to let him. Somehow.
As I got up from the comfortable couch in front of the fire, I got many stares from girls. It had still been going on, but the whispering had stopped. More and more people were buzzing about something else: You-Know-Who.
Lily, Amber, and the boys were with me in the Common Room, but they were in a deep conversation that I isolated myself from. Only Sirius noticed I had gotten out of my seat because he had his arm around my neck.
Instead of interrupting the entire conversation with inquiries, he got up, as well, to follow me.
"What are you doing?" Sirius asked as I picked up a piece of parchment and quill. I sat down at one of the round tables by a window.
"Writing a letter," I replied nonchalantly.
I sighed, dropping the quill. "My Father. You know, about you coming to my place for the Holidays."
"Can I read it after it's written?" Sirius asked sweetly.
"Why--? Whatever, sure."
He flashed a toothy grin as I snorted vaguely. "Now leave me in peace; I have to figure out what to write."
He nodded and went back to the others. Hmm... I thought, staring down at the bare parchment. I began writing soon after collecting my thoughts.
Can I bring a surprise with me? It's a boy. A boy that I really like. His name is Sirius Black. He wants to meet you, and I promise you that you'll love him. I never asked for much of anything from you, but I am asking you now to let me bring him home with me for Christmas. It would be the best present you ever gave me.
Now, I know we don't get along too well, but I promise that neither of us will be bothersome. Please take this into consideration and reply with an answer as soon as you can. There are only a few more days left until vacation starts, and I'll need your permission before then.
I had to sign my full name to the letter. My Father hated that my friends called me Kris because "Chris is a man's name." It was a short letter, but at least I had gotten my point across. I wanted Sirius to come, and there was no reason to refuse my desires.
"Padfoot!" I shouted across the common room. "I'm done."
"Coming!" Sirius leaped up from the couch eagerly. "Hand it to me."
I put the letter under his nose as I stood up. "Here. I still don't know why you want to--"
"Shh! Kris, I'm reading. This type of thing needs great concentration. Your rudeness is unappreciated," Sirius hushed sarcastically.
"Yes, sorry, sir," I rolled my eyes with the hint of a smile. A handful of seconds later, Sirius gave the letter back to me.
"It's great; I think you make me sound a lot better than I am. That's a plus."
I poked his chest with my right index finger. "You don't give yourself enough credit, Mr."
He smiled as I began putting the letter in a folded form. I wrote "To Father, From Kristin" on it.
"Excuse me, could you please keep it quiet over there? Some of us have work and studying to complete." A 4th Year boy directed his question toward all of us as a whole. He sounded completely pissed.
"Sorry. I hear the library is a nice, quiet place to go to do that sort of thing. And I would definitely not suggest saying that to another 6th Year again," I retorted, sending an icy glare in the 4th Year's direction.
He looked stupefied. I wanted to laugh, but that would have ruined my seriousness. Once he picked up his books and left, I let it all out. I was rolling. On the floor. I was very close to needing Madame Pomfrey to treat my illness of having encountered an Easy-To-Make-Fun-Of-And-Stupid-Idiot type of person.
The next morning, I felt good. It was a regular Thursday morning, but I had a hunch that it would be a good day. There was no reason to be upset that day. There was no reason to be worried, stressed, or sad. I was extra chipper, which came over me like a 50 foot wave because I wasn't expecting it. And I definitely didn't feel it often.
Getting ready for classes, I took extra time on my hair and make-up. I did something different with my hair. I crimped it into small waves of shimmering gloss and sleekness. I also put sparkles on my cheeks and wore a large grin. I usually didn't do that kind of thing, but it was going to be a good, easy day. I felt the rush of happiness flowing through my veins as I walked out of the bathroom fully dressed and ready to head to the Great Hall for an enjoyable breakfast.
Amber and Lily took one look at me, and then they looked at each other with surprised faces.
"Someone woke up on the right side of the bed today!" Amber noted with a laugh that rung throughout my head.
"I just feel good today," I smiled wider.
"Good Lord, so she can smile?" Lily joked, pulling a lock of red hair behind her ear. "Let's go, I'm hungry."
Amber and I agreed with Lily. We made our way down to the Common Room and waited for the boys to get down. Once they did, Sirius gaped at me.
"What? Is there something on my face?" I asked.
"Yeah! Glitter! And a smile," Sirius said in shock. "I know you're happy to see me, and I am flattered."
I had overcome Sirius's cockiness a long time ago. When he flirted like that, it actually made me smile even more. It made my heart beat faster just thinking of him.
"They say that being too confident isn't a good quality, Sirius," I informed playfully. "I'm happy, so what. Let's go get some food because this happy girl is also a hungry one."
Sirius pulled me closer to him as we began to walk. "You know, I'm also a hungry little boy..."
I could feel the blood rush to my head in a hot, hot heat. Yep, I was blushing. Hard. "Sirius..." I let out a nervous laugh as I shoved him softly.
"What? You're making me hungry. It's true," he claimed, smiling.
"Riiight," I laughed. Apparently, Remus heard what Sirius said, and I knew Sirius would be briefly lectured in front of everyone.
"Sirius, do you mind keeping your hormones in line with Kris? I'd rather not have to peal you off of her, thanks."
"I'll try my best, but it's going to be difficult..." Sirius joked, raising his eyebrows and shaking his head while staring at me.
"Loser," I said happily. That was what I chose. To be happy. And I really was.
As we entered the Great Hall, numerous students were buzzing around about something. Some were even visiting other House tables to talk to the friends they had in that particular House. I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion.
Looking at each other, we sat down at our table. "Hey, Randilyn, what's going on?" I asked curiously.
"It's You-Know-Who! He's been sighted!" Randi replied, worry in her eyes. "Do you know what this means?"
She handed me the Daily Prophet. The front cover had an article devoted to the sighting. I skimmed through it, but when I saw something that caught my attention, I stopped.
All magical beings should take caution. Anyone who fails to take caution and follow the safety laws written on page 8 will be sent to be questioned at the Ministry of Magic.
That would change everything. Alas, my good mood's stability was disturbed.
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