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Changes by Lupins_cub
Chapter 19 : Cuts and Kisses
 
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She walked up the stairs to the door and the brass knocker yawned before asking: “What is a Patronus?”

“A silvery-white, conjured creature created by using the Patronus Charm. The Patronus is used against Dementors and Lethifolds.” said Heather.

“Correct!”

It was quiet for a moment as Heather sat on the couch, staring up at the starry blue ceiling, until the common room door opened. She looked up to see Kira walked in, Isaac behind her.

“Hi,” Kira said

“Hey, so you arranged that whole thing?” she asked, referring to the memory modifications of her classmates.

“Yeah, but you can’t do it again!” she said

Heather sighed “How can Dumbledore have let this happen? How can he let that terrible woman teach us? And in our O.W.L. year?”

“Well, we’ve never had a great Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, have we?” Kira asked.

“There was Lupin,” Heather said

“Who turned out to be a werewolf, right?” Isaac asked from a large armchair, they both nodded. “I personally can’t believe she insulted him like that, in front of us at least.”

“What did she say?” Kira asked

Isaac sat up and mimicked Umbrige’s high-pitched girlish voice: “I do not wish to criticize the way things have been run in this school,” he gave a small ‘hem, hem,’ then smiled with a creepy sweet smile. “But you have been exposed to same very irresponsible wizards in this class, very irresponsible indeed-not to mention, extremely dangerous half-breeds.”

Kira’s jaw dropped, “She didn’t!”

“Oh she did, she sent Harry and I to McGonagall and had given us a weeks detention.” Heather said

“She wants people to spy on us, remember what she said about anyone can come to her about someone defending you or Harry?” Isaac asked.

“Yeah, that wasn’t obvious at all,” Heather said grumpily.

With this they started they’re homework, most of the stuff was pretty easy but the Dream dairies that were to been kept were extremely boring. Isaac, surprisingly, wanted some insight though upon a dream he was having repeatedly.

“What happens?” Kira asked.

“Well, it’s like black and white, when something good happens its white, when something bad it’s white. At first it’s a good thing, I know it is, but then over time as my life goes on something goes wrong.” he said

“You can’t see anything, do you know what your doing?” Heather asked.

“I know what I’m doing just not when the good and bad thing happens,” he said, flipping through a Divination Book.

“You’re probably just worried,” Kira said

The next day Heather had potions again, Care of Magical Creatures with Isaac, Divination with Kira and then Transfiguration. She had the most fun in Transfiguration, the subject she was excellent at, being an Animagus and all. McGonagall spent the first fifteen minutes of class lecturing everyone upon owls.

“You cannot pass an O.W.L.,” said Professor McGonagall grimly, “without serious application, practice, and study. I see no reason why everybody in this class should not achieve an O.W.L. in Transfiguration as long as they put in the work. “So today we are staring Vanishing Spells. These are easier than Conjuring Spells, which you would not usually attempt until N.E.W.T level, but they are still among the most difficult magic you will tested on in your O.W.L.”

She was right, the Vanishing Spell was horribly difficult but in the end they successfully vanished the snails that slugged slowly in front of them. She didn’t give homework just instruction to practice the spell and be ready for fresh snails the following afternoon. Isaac as usual was already done with most of his homework, but his dream diary. Heather and Kira were behind slightly and decided when classes ended today they would turn in for a cram session.

The bitter day had become cool and breezy, and, as they walked down the slopping lawn toward Hagrids cabin on the edge of the Forbidden Forest, they felt the occasional drop of rain on their faces. Professor Grubbly-Plank stood waiting for the class some ten yards from Hagrids front door, a long trestle table in front of her laden with many twigs. In front of they strode Draco and his cronies down the hill, still completely oblivious of what Heather was as many were.

Professor Grubbly-Plank inquired what the heap of twigs that sat on the table was; Hermione earned ten points to Gryffindor by indicating them as tree-guardians. They were called bow truckles and generally lived in trees whose wood is of wand quality. They were also classified as wood lice, if angered they would gouge out the eyes of their heckler. The lesson was to sketch the sharp creatures, one of them between three students.

Heather went around and tenderly picked up one of the sticks and brought it over to Kira and Isaac and they began to sketch.

“Still no sign of Hagrid,” Kira said,

“Think something bad happened?” Isaac asked

They all shrugged, asking questions about something that had no possible answer was pointless. All they could do now was wait, it was then Luna came by, she had seen her talking to Harry briefly. Right now she hand orange radishes hanging from her ears, her hair was pinned up and a smudge of dirt was on her face.

“Hi,” she said, Heather smiled and before she could say ‘hi’ she said. “I believe He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back, and I believe you and Harry fought him and escaped from him.”

Heather’s smile didn’t fade, “Thank you, Luna.”

“I don’t care what the others say, neither should you, let them laugh.” she said

Heather nodded, “I will,”

Luna then turned on her heel and left, half the class now laughing at her but Kira, Isaac, Heather, Harry, Ron and Hermione. It was then a stout pompous blonde boy spoke up as well, “I want you to know, Potter, Smith,” he said in a loud, carrying voice, “that it’s not only weirdoes who support you. I personally believe you both one hundred percent. My family have always stood firm behind Dumbledore, and so do I.”

“Er-thanks very much, Ernie,” Harry said, looking rather taken aback but pleased.

“She’s not weird,” Heather said, though applicative toward this Ernie she didn’t like his consideration of someone he didn’t know. “She’s different, like you and I.”

“Er-right, different.” he said, looking slightly embarrassed at her.

Charms class wasn’t too bad, Flitwick did the same was McGonagall and lectured them upon their O.W.L.s.

“What you must remember,” said little Professor Flitwick squeakily, perched as ever on a pile of books so that he could see over the top of his desk, “is that these examinations may influence your futures for many years to come! If you have not already given serious though to your careers, now is the time to do so. And in the meantime, I’m afraid; we shall be working harder than ever to ensure that you all do yourselves justice!”

They spent more than an hour reviewing Summoning Charms, which according to Professor Flitwick were bound to come up in their O.W.L., and he rounded off the lesson by setting them their largest amount of Charms homework ever.

Heather and Harry’s week detentions began straight after dinner, she, Kira and Isaac pondered what their punishment would be.

“Maybe she’ll make you clean up or something,” Kira said

“Maybe a report,” Isaac said, “at my old school if we did something wrong we had to do a certain paged and number of words essay on what we had done.”

“For a week?” Heather asked,

“Well they would make you break it up if it was that long, I suppose, no one at my schools ever gotten a week.” Isaac said

“Oh boy, we’re the first,” Heather sighed.

At five to five Heather said goodbye to her friends and set off for Umbridge’s office, meeting Harry just outside the Great Hall. They arrived at the third floor, Harry knocked, Heather vaguely wanted to hear Lupin voice call ‘Come in,’ but all she heard was the surgery voice of Umbridge instead. Harry entered cautiously looking around, Heather did the same and it was from that day on she would never ever look at pink the same way again.

The office had transformed from its third year days of being occupied by a dark creature in a cage. As well as from the Moody days of being piled and packed with various instruments and artifacts for the detection of wrongdoing and concealment.

Now, however, it looked totally unrecognizable. The surfaces had all been draped in lacy covers and cloths. There were several vases full of dried flowers, each residing on its own doily, and on one of the walls was a collection of ornamental plates, each decorated with a large Technicolor kitten wearing a different bow around its neck. These were so foul hat Heather and Harry stared at them, transfixed, until Professor Umbridge spoke again.

“Good evening, Mr. Potter and Miss Smith.”

Heather started and looked around. She noticed that Umbridge wore a flowered set of robes that blended only too well with the tablecloth on the desk behind her, making her blend in rather easily.

“Evening,” Harry said stiffly.

“’lo” Heather said quietly.

“Well, sit down,” she said, pointing to a small round draped table with two chairs next to it. Two pieces of parchment lay on the table, Heather inwardly sighed, Isaac was right it’s a writing assignment.

“Er,” said Harry, without moving Heather at his side. “Professor Umbridge? Er- before we start, I-I wanted to ask you a…a favor.”

“Oh yes?” she asked, her bulging eyes narrowed.

“Well I’m….I’m on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. And I was supposed to be at the tryouts for the new Keeper at five o’ clock on Friday and I was-was wondering whether I could skip detention that night and do it-do it another night…instead…”

Heather looked to Umbridge, she had forgotten about Harry’s team, but she knew it would be a hot day in Antarctica if she had to stand this woman alone for an hour.

“Oh no,” she said, smiling so widely that she looked as though she had just swallowed a particularly juicy fly. “Oh no, no, no. This is your punishment for spreading evil, nasty attention-seeking stories, Mr. Potter, and punishments certainly cannot be adjusted to suit the guilty ones convince. No, you and Heather will come here at five o’clock tomorrow, and the next day, and on Friday too, and you will do your detentions as planned. I thin it rather a good thing that you are missing something you really want to do. It ought to reinforce the lesson I am trying to teach you.”

Heather felt a way of anger come off Harry, she as well was angry for being thought a liar. In a way she felt bad for Harry, having to miss his tryouts, but happy that she wasn’t alone with this woman. Heather walked over to the table with Harry; they let their bags drop to the floor with a thump and sat down.

“There,’ she said sweetly. “We’re getting better at controlling out tempers already, are we? Now, you are both going to be doing some lines for me. No, not with your own quills,” she added as they reached for their bags. “You’re going to be using rather specials quills of my own. Here you are.”

She handed them both long, thing black quills with an unusually sharp point.

“I want you both to write ‘I must not tell lies’” she told them softly.

“How many lines?” Heather asked.

“Oh, as long as it takes for the message to sink in,” she said sweetly. “Off you go.”

Heather stared at her for a moment, the wall still there between their minds, then back to the quill.

“You haven’t given us any ink,” Harry said.

“O, you won’t need ink,” she said with merest suggestion of a laugh in her voice.

Heather looked up to Harry, she knew both of them sensed something was office, but continued anyway. Heather placed the point of ht quill on the paper and wrote: I must not tell lies. Simultaneously she and Harry let out a gasp of pain and dropped the quill on the parchment. Heather looked to her parchment, in red ink the words read, but not just there but upon her hand too. They were cut into her hand, the ink was their blood, and she could smell it rising off the paper as it dried. Heather stared incredulously at her hand then up at Harry who looked back at her as well

“Yes?” Umbridge asked, as Heather looked up at her.

Heather looked to Harry before he shook his head and said quietly, “Nothing,”

Heather’s hand had healed in seconds and they continued on, writing over and over I must not tell lies cutting their hands again and again. Darkness fell outside the window; neither she nor Harry asked when they would be allowed to stop. Heather knew as Harry did that she was watching for signs of weakness waiting for them to crack.

“Come here,” Heather heard her said after what seemed like hours.

Heather could barely hear her, she felt as though in a daze which was strange because she always experienced in shock and rather clear and detailed way of seeing. Heather stood up and followed Harry to the desk, her hand stung painfully it was red and raw.

“Hands,” she said

She took their hands, one in each, her skin was though, and she had thick stubby fingers on which she wore a number of ugly rings.

“Tut, tut, I don’t seem to have made much of an impression yet,” she said, smiling. “Well, we’ll just have to try again tomorrow evening, won’t we? You may go.”

They marched out of her office without a word, the school was now deserted and the halls glowed with candle and torch light.

“Merlin…” Heather whispered quite shocked as she examined her hand.

They departed without a word, equally shocked and angry, leaving to their own commons rooms on opposite towers. Heather finished her dream diary, adding a few fake dreams of running and happy times. The common room was deserted but when she went upstairs Kira was wide awake, reading under the covers.

“Heather,” she whispered and sat up, turning out her wand light. “How’d it go?”

Heather shook her head and sat down next to her on her bed before she extended her left hand to her. Kira looked to her and then took her hand; she took a candle from the nightstand and held it up before letting out a gasp.

“What did she do?!” she asked, taking her hand again, examining the swollen tissue that read in raw skin I must not tell lies
“She made us do lines,” Heather said, “This is what we are doing for the next week.”

“Harry too?” she hissed, still examining her hand. “Merlin’ she can’t, that-its torture! You must tell Dumbledore, or McGonagall. No, tell Lupin, write him make Max deliver the letter and get a response. It would be easier to get an outside source, she can’t effect that, only inside the school and-”

“No,” Heather said, quietly over her rambled.

Kira stopped, “What, why?”

“I won’t let her see weakness in me, Kira. That’s what she wants, for Harry and me to crack under pressure. She was us to show we are surely crazy and don’t know what we are talking about.” Heather said.

Kira gaped at her, “Heather, you can’t let her do this…you just can’t.”

“Kira,” she said looking her in the eye. “Whatever you do, don’t go to Dumbledore or McGonagall not Lupin either!”

“But-”

“No, I can do this without your help,” Heather looked at her hand in the dim light. “It’s only a scratch…”

Heather silently regretted telling Kira, she told Isaac that morning as well, but it only seemed to make them more worried. She would constantly find them staring at her, almost pleadingly but she would determinedly turn away.

The second detention was as bad at he pervious one. The skin on the back of her hand became irrigated more quickly now red and inflamed; Heather doubted it would continue to heal over. Soon the cut would remain etched in his hand and Umbridge would perhaps, be satisfied. She let not sign of pain escape from her, however, and from moment of entering the room to the moment of his dismissal, again past midnight, they said nothing but “Good evening” and “Good night.”

She continued to stay up past two in the morning, keeping up with her homework. But she paid the price, often staring off into space in class and missing important notes. She was happy to have Isaac and Kira in a few of her classes to help her with notes. Still with only two- three hours of sleep, her focus and concentration was slipping.

Thursday passed very slowly, every minute seemed to tick on forever; the words now were scarred into Heather’s hand. They did not continue to heal over as she suspected when they were cut, but remain there, trickles of blood slipping down the side of her hand. The pause in the points quills scratching made Professor Umbridge looked up.

“Ah,” she said softly, moving around her desk toe examine their hands herself. “Good. That ought to serve as a reminder to you, oughtn’t it? You may leave for tonight.

Harry asked if he still had to come back tomorrow, her answer was yes, Heather didn’t expect it to change. Even though Heather couldn’t sense Umbridge’s thoughts and feelings she a district feeling of evil that waved off of her as she exited the classroom. When she opened the door, there standing in the hall was Isaac he looked up and smiled.

“Hello,” he said,

“Hi, what are you doing here?” she asked. Harry left with a nod to Isaac and goodbye to Heather.

“Just came to walk you back to the common room,” he said smiling, she smiled tiredly back before the started off. “I helped you a bit with your homework too.”

“You did, did you copy those notes of Snape’s I cannot remember any of his class, or lunch.” Heather said wearily.

“Yes, I also made the potion for you.” he said

Heather stopped, “You did have to do that, it was so difficult, plus Snape won’t believe a perfect potion.”

Isaac grinned, “Okay so I added two mistakes to make it look plausible but you should get a decent grade.”

Heather smiled and hugged him with a sigh. “Thank you, so much, I don’t know what I would do without you.”

She eased back from him, he smiled, the outline of his face glowing dimly in the candle light of the dark hall. They stood there for a moment in each others arms, smiling before he bent down and kissed her. Heather gratefully kissed back, her head spun as it left her breathless, but there was a loud creak and the Dark Arts door opened. There stood, squat and toad faced Professor Umbridge.

“Miss Smith, Mr. Russell, public displays of affection are forbidden!” she snapped, “Fifty points from Ravenclaw and detention for you Mr. Russell and extra for you Miss Smith.”

Heather had blown a fuse and was about to retort but that light headed feeling came back in full force. Heather soon realized it wasn’t caused but the kiss nor was the breathlessness as she fell to her knees. She faintly heard Isaac shout her name as he held her close around the shoulders and everything went black.

Isaac panicked as Heather collapsed; she lay limp in his arms on the floor, Umbridge looking dumbfounded. It was then she grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved him down the hall ordering him to run to the Hospital Wing. Isaac took off and banged on the door of the Wing it flew open with a very tempered looking Madam Pomfrey.

“Mr. Russell-” she began angrily.

“It’s Heather!” he blurted out. “She’s collapsed in front of the Dark Arts classroom, just limp -come hurry please!”

With a change of attitude she pulled her robe tight around her and said. “Lead the way, Russell.”

Isaac marched quickly back the way he came, Snape now kneel over Heather, as well as the rest of the head of houses and Dumbledore. Isaac stood there trembling as Heather lay limp on the floor, Madam Pomfrey and Snape trying to determine what was wrong. It was then the nurse conjured a stretcher and they took off down the hall. Isaac began to follow but Flitwick stopped him.

“No, my boy, return to your common room and get some sleep. She should be up in the morning,” he said squeakily.

“But-but what’s wrong, what happened?” he asked, hands shaking.

“Come on, Russell,” McGonagall said, “we will find out in the morning, back to bed.”

Professor McGonagall gently steered him down the hall and to his common room, reassuring him as he stepped through the door that Heather would be fine. Isaac didn’t return to bed, he couldn’t he was too shocked and confused. He stayed down in the common room until five, pacing and wringing his hands until he went up to shower and get ready to go see Heather.

Unfortunately Heather was not fine, as she lay on the hospital wing bed that morning still unconscious. She slipped into a small coma from lack of sleep; her heart which hadn’t rested in about five days now suffered a small heart attack. Basically it didn’t stop to rest while she was sleeping and shut down to catch up, just like a person has to sleep. For now all Madam Pomfrey could do was wait, she dare not revive Heather because she could die. She would have to wait for at least twenty four hours before reviving her and checking her heart beat.

That morning, Isaac and Kira, raced to the hospital wing, Madam Pomfrey let them in. Heather had not responded to the outside work, not a hand squeeze or eye movement, she just lay there looking like a pale well preserved corpse.

“Come you two, ten minutes till class, you must go.” Madam Pomfrey said, leading them out. “You can visit her at lunch and after dinner.”

Isaac reached down to Heather and kissed her cheek, “I’ll be back, I promise.”

Professor Dumbledore overrode Heather’s last detention as well as the extra and relieved Isaac of his. But Harry still had to remain in his last detention, hoping he wouldn’t end up like Heather. Of course he didn’t, being human, but he was thoroughly exhausted afterward and continued to not tell his friends.

Heather blearily opened her eyes, she felt tired, and her limbs like lead and her head pounded furiously at her. In front of her was a blurry beige figure that looked almost like a person peering at her.

In Heather’s disoriented and confusion her eyesight shifted and her mother appeared before her. Her pale blue eyes smiled at her and long black hair shimmered as she smiled and ran hand through her hair.
 
"Mother?"

Suddenly it shifted again, making her feel sick, her mother disappeared but the hand remained then the person spoke in a raspy voice.

“No, not quite,”

Her vision cleared and before her sat Lupin, his hand resting on her shoulder as he looked concern at her.

“Lupin?” Heather asked, still thinking she was hallucinating. “Where am I?”

“In the hospital wing,” he said, matter of fact, “You’ve been passed out for three days.”

“Three days?” Heather asked trying to recall what happened.

“Yes, you collapsed in the hall with me from staying so late in your detentions.” said Isaac who sat with Kira and Neville on the bed to her right.

Heather sigh sat up and buried her face in her hands, she had no recollection of anything they were saying but what happened after her fourth detention. All she remembered was Umbridge speaking then black, right after she kissed Isaac. It was then Lupin wrapped an arm round her shoulders and hugged her.

“You will be fine,” he whispered in her ear.

Heather still completely confused and tired, lay back on her pillows and let the exhaustion of her body take her.

A/N: Hello, haven’t spoke here in a while, well yes just wanted to say the little knob entrance of Ravenclaw tower I really don't know if that is how you get into the tower I just thought it would be a nice nod over to the Alice in Wonderland movie. Anyway that's all I wanted to say, Thanks to all my reviewers and readers!


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