Chapter 23 : Hide and Seek
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“Holy shit!” Gabriel yelled. He caught Drea as she fell, steadying her balance so that she could stand. But she was hardly aware of anything. Sirius. Her boyfriend, someone she loved, had just been shot. Not only shot, but murdered. By the single person on this planet that she completely and truly hated. Her life had ended, and she was numb. Lily was screaming, running over to her friend. Ciaran yelled something at her as well, but she didn’t even pause. Immediately she began muttering incantations, pointing her wand at Sirius and crying. Drea watched. She saw the mouths move, the steps taken, but couldn’t grasp it, couldn’t comprehend what was happening. Even the pain of her sliced shoulder ceased. She stared at Sirius. At his body lying on the ground. People were walking, talking, yelling, Lily crying. She felt someone near her. But none of that mattered. Nothing did. Sirius was dead.
And then the numbness began to melt away. She could feel the heat of the room, the tension building. Drea felt her heartbeat, slamming against her chest with every breath she took, and the sting of blood on her chest. But above all the awkwardness, above all of the fear, she felt anger. Drea gasped as she let herself drown in it, in the fury and agony, in all of the pain she’d kept hidden for so long. She felt every choking cry, every stab of misery that had eluded her the past year. All of the confusion, all of the lies that rolled off of her tongue like silk now felt like sandpaper. It was as if she finally understood what she’d done, the life she had built for herself. And that it was her fault. All of this, every bit and detail was done by her. Drea. She caused her cousins death, she nearly killed Jason, now she had killed Sirius. And she was out for blood.
“Well, now that that’s taken care of. Redhead, either leave or die,” Ciaran said, acting as if threatening an innocents life were nothing. Lily was still immersed in helping Sirius, crying and whispering spells. Ciaran rolled his eyes. “Rowan, get them out of here.”
“Drea,” Gabriel shook her. “Drea, please. We have to move.”
"I know how you did it," She said, realization hitting her. Everything was falling into place.
Ciaran turned, confused. "What?"
"Lucius Malfoy. You hired him," Drea stated. Ciaran grinned.
"A Slytherin would never be interested in a Gryffindor," Drea muttered, angry.
"Of course, he did pose a problem when he refused to find out more about you. Some nonesense about blood," Ciaran waved his hand in exscuse. "But in the end, I got you where I wanted."
She stood, staring blankly ahead. Drea could feel the heat of the metal against her skin, the gun she held in her hand. Carefully, she stuffed it in her belt, making sure it was secure. Now she knew what to do. Exactly how to lure Ciaran away, and to end her personal hell. “Stay,” She muttered to Gabriel.
“What?” He asked.
“Stay. Here,” She repeated clearly.
Gabriel didn’t have time to ask for an explanation, because Drea was already running. She felt the air tear at her lungs as she flew up the staircase, and wished over and over again that she’d kept working out. Drea wasn’t nearly as fast as she used to be. It took only a second for Ciaran to run after her, gun in hand. They tore through the first hallway, and Drea almost fell as she took a sharp left into the Library. She ducked below a set of shelves, and held her breath, waiting. She clutched the black piece of obsidian in her pocket, and brought on all the strength she had. The door slammed open. Ciaran came in so confidently, Drea could actually feel his smile.
“You make everything so complicated Blaire,” He said smoothly, and Drea heard him yank her athame out of his arm, the flesh now raw. “This could have been so much easier if you’d just done what I told you. Your little, boyfriend,” He spat the word bitterly as he weaved through the room, searching for her under computer tables. “wouldn’t have had to die. But, that’s done and over. It’s time we moved on.” He finished, walking in and out of the rows of books. Drea still kneeled under one, silently moving through the maze of titles. Ciaran tisked. “So it seems we’re playing hide and seek. Well, come out come out where ever you are, Blaire! Because one way or another, I will find you. And guess what? There are no bases. I will win.”
She crawled across the floor, pressing her knees against the carpet slowly and without sound, moving back toward the front of the library, the gun digging into her side. Ciaran was only two rows away from her, laughing. It was pitch black, but she could still feel him. Anger boiled inside her chest, and fire burned her soul. Drea let out an involuntary wail, and heard Ciaran's chuckle not far away.
"Pathetic," He muttered, coming closer.
Drea moved fast. One row to another, carefully blocked by the works of Shakespeare and Voltaire. To the encyclopedias, past the fiction, and on to non-fiction. Ciaran walked patiently around, waiting for her to appear. She had reached the front doors.
“Game’s over,” Ciaran whispered. He was staring right at her, and Drea stared back. His cold eyes bore into hers, opening the fury that lie within her. Ciaran walked forward, gun in one hand, the other outstretched. Drea backed away, pushing through the doors, and backed against the railing of the balcony. Ciaran smirked as he saw her, cornered like a rat. But Drea was breathing steadily and evenly, prepared. He was right in front of her, hand open. “Last chance."
Drea smiled, baring her teeth. She took Ciaran’s hand, yanked him forward, and in one swift movement gripped his waist, lifting him off of the ground in shock, and threw him over the railing, watching in satisfaction as he fell to the floor below, landing with a deafening crack.
Something vibrated in his pocket. His mirror. James had been calling non stop the past hour, but he was unable to answer. What happened? And then Sirius remembered a bang.
He had to be dead. He'd gotten shot. By some, weird, rectangular, thing. The pain hit him like a rock to his chest, thrusting the air out of his lungs and stopping his heart for a terrifying moment. He felt the impact of the bullet as it hit him near the neck, and the pressure of it all sent him to the floor. He had to be dead. So why was he waking up?
"Sirius!" Lily cried. "Your...your waking up. What in God's name..." He knew it was her. He could tell by her touch, and the worry in her voice. Besides, who else would be by his side right now? Certainly not his lying girlfriend, of whom he had no idea was into gangs. Or whatever was going on here. "Holy shit."
He groaned as he sat up. "What. The. Fuck was that?"
Lily stared, wide eyed, and brought him into a bone crushing hug, bawling. "I-thought-you-died!" She sputtered between breaths. "How did you survive a gunshot!?" Sirius rubbed his chest, pushing the locket Drea had given him out of the way, but jerking his hand back when it burned him.
"What the?" He picked it up carefully, and saw what had happened. Lodged in the golden surface, was a bullet. Lily gasped again, and cried even more.
"It's a miracle," She whispered. "It's an absolute miracle." Yet somehow, he still felt like shit. The necklace he'd gotten from Drea saved his life. Sirius noted that he should ask Lily about the muggle rectangles when all of this was over, but had other ideas right then. All he wanted to find Drea, and get the hell out of there.
"Where's Drea?" Sirius asked weakly.
"She r-ran upstairs. The one who shot you followed...and then another one went looking for them," Lily explained, looking frightened. Sirius had to get her to safety.
"Lily, you have to get out of here. These muggles are mental." He commanded.
She huffed up and turned red in the cheeks. "And you expect me to leave you here? Not a chance Black." Sirius shook his head. There was no use now. They had to get away, and soon. The other muggles were still in the hall, looking confused and wondering what to do. Drea..he loved her. But was it worth risking Lily's life? No. His own, definitely. But his friends he wouldn't give up.
Of course, he never did make a decision, because a second later a body hit the ground.
She finally sat down once she pushed Ciaran off the rail. Drea was exhausted. She hadn't slept or eaten nearly enough the past few weeks, and everything tonight had literally drained her. She doubted she would ever sleep again. Sirius, her love, her life, her best friend, was dead. Drea leaned against the rail, facing the Library, and breathed heavily. Everything was so messed up, and it was all her fault. The gun on her belt was looking friendlier by the moment. But what would death be like? Would it hurt? Surely for a moment. Yet pain wasn't anything she feared at this point in her life. In all honestly, she felt she deserved it. Nothing good had come out of her existence. Death and destruction. And Sirius was dead. She still hadn't felt it, that stabbing pain that eats at you like moths until a person becomes so frail that they can't even function. Drea was in shock. Of everything, everyone. Sirius was dead...
So should she do it now? Here? While she was sure it was the right choice? Or should she wait, until Drea was sure her final arrangements were made and goodbyes were said? Drea gave a dry laugh. As if any of it mattered. Sirius was dead. Why even bother to stall, when she could be with him in heaven, or whatever the hell was up there, right now? She hadn't had the guts those months ago, but Drea was sure that nothing could stop her now. Because Sirius was dead. Her dry throat constricted each time she thought of his name.
She sat, waiting. Drea didn't know what for. She didn't care if Ciaran survived the fall, or if Gabriel was still down there. She didn't care about Hogwarts or England, or what they were yelling about below her. All she wanted was to be left alone. All her life she'd done what others wanted her to, because she thought it was the right thing to do. And look where it led her. Ciaran manipulated her and the others into murder, like a twisted version of Charles Manson. He used magick, her religion, against her. Drea was so tired. Tired of everything and everyone. Yet still she held on to her numbness as a safety guard, not wanting to face the deaths of her boyfriend or her cousin. She had lived one hundred years in one. So she waited.
"Damnet Drea where are you!?" Someone yelled. Drea knew it was Gabriel. She could tell from the anger in his voice. "Drea!" He yelled again. A minute later he came around the corner, running over. "What the fuck were you thinking? Now we have a body on our hands!" He complained.
"Two," Drea whispered. Gabriel stared.
"We have two bodies. Ciaran's, and Sirius'," She corrected. Drea laughed without humor. "Isn't this what you wanted Gabe? What we planned on doing?"
He looked away. "Yes. It is. But...I don't know what to do Drea. I'm sorry." Drea hung her head. Not in shame, but in a new found exhaustion. Her life was over. "Come on Dray, let's go back down and sort some stuff out." Drea didn't move. So Gabriel picked her up, looking slightly worried. He walked them back down the steps, and cringed a little when he saw their old coven surrounding Ciaran's body. He wasn't moving. Drea smiled against her will. "Aren't those your friends?" Gabriel asked, nodding towards a corner.
This time Drea looked. She saw Lily, tears stained against her creamy cheeks, leaning over Sirius. She was talking. And then something remarkable happened. She saw Lily gasp, and Sirius got up. He got up. And ran towards her, eyes wide. Everything went fuzzy. She saw him get shot. She saw him die. Of course, she also thought she saw Jason die. But this was different. Sirius got shot. And now he was alive? Feeling hit her like water, spreading through her. Sirius was alive! He wasn't dead! Drea struggled to wiggle out of Gabriel's arms, to free herself and run to her boyfriend. Joy overwhelmed her. She practically fell out of Gabriel's grasp and tripped as she ran towards him, towards Sirius. He reached her first, pulling her into a vice like hug. He was crying. "Sirius," Drea whispered into her chest. "You got shot."
He shook his head and pulled away slightly, pulling out her pentangle locket. Drea felt her eyes go wide. The bullet hit the locket, directly in the middle. "Good thing I didn't take it off," He joked.
And then Drea lost it. She dropped to her knees, Sirius coming down with her, and cried. She bawled. Wet, salty tears fell down her cheeks like heavy rain. She hadn't cried in so long, it felt amazing. Weight was lifted off her shoulders, and she cried harder. Drea clung to Sirius, finding it hard to breathe. He had died, but he didn't. And Jason was alive too, and everything was so damn complicated and confusing. She cried and cried, letting it all out. She couldn't even remember the last time she'd cried. For the first time in a long time, Drea felt as if she was living. She was feeling, she was no longer a rock that refused to budge.
But that didn't change anything.
"Blaire!" Demetri yelled, his voice cracking with fury. "Ciaran is dead. You killed him."
She meant to answer. But instead she surprised everyone, and laughed. Drea laughed hysterically, and fell into a fit of giggles and tears. Ciaran was dead. She killed him! Finally, she was free. No more circles. No more dark magick. No more hell. "Yes. And I have never been more proud!" She said giddily between chuckles. Demetri scowled and picked up Ciaran's body, he and Zachariah carried it away, out the school's glass doors and to who knows where. Drea couldn't give a flying shit. Rowan was untying Jason's ropes, and Drea noticed he was beginning to come to. "Rowan?" She asked.
Rowan shook his dirty blonde head. "I'm done as well. Thanks Blaire," He said simply. He hoisted Jason up, and they stumbled out together. Drea knew she should care about what would happen to them, what would become of these people's lives, but everything was happening so fast. She could hardly keep up with it all. Her smiled faded. What was she going to do with her life? Now that she had one. Tears were still falling, and Drea had to blink a few times to regain vision. Sirius and Lily were staring at her in disbelief. Only then did she realize that they had no clue what was going on, who these people were, or anything. Gabriel was by her side, faithfully helping her keep balance.
Guilt hit her hard. What had she done? What just happened? Her life went spinning out of control, but had she stopped it? Drea didn’t know what to do. Now what?
They arrived back at Hogwarts around five A.M. Sirius went straight to bed, without speaking to anyone. He and Lily were silent as they apparated back to Diagon Alley and broke into Honeydukes, taking the secret chamber back. He tried desperately not to think of Drea, or of anything that had happened that night. But nothing could keep his thoughts away.
She’d cried a lot. And only after most of the insane people left, did she tell them to go home. “Leave,” She told them. “I’ll come back.” It was the last thing she said to them.
Lily explained everything to their friends, at least, everything they knew. James had given them hell for not answering his calls, but was silent as he heard the story. They would sit in the Common Room for hours at a time, trying to figure out what Drea did with a group of people like that, and what the muggles had actually been doing. No matter how many theories they came up with, nothing ever made sense. Remus had made it his personal task to uncover what was in the blank journal, but no spell would work. Overall, Sirius dodged questions like a maniac and slipped slowly into apathy. How could Drea leave him with so many questions unanswered?
"Padfoot," James said quietly. Sirius looked up from the book he was pretending to read. They'd been in the library, doing homework.
"Hm?" He muttered.
"Are you okay?" Sirius blinked. Was he okay? It had been nearly two weeks since that night, and still no Drea. She hadn't returned for any of her things, or for him. And he had no idea where she was, or what she was doing. And after all the discussions of what happened, Drea's name was now taboo. They didn't speak of her or touch her belongings, and not even the teachers would give them an explanation to her sudden disappearance. The other students had only just begun to notice, and whispers filled the corridors of false murders and tall tales. Drea Tyler was a mere memory. It was as if she never existed.
"Fine," Sirius muttered. And he was. He was fine. He'd accepted that Drea wasn't coming back, and that she didn't care about them. Whatever she'd gotten into before Hogwarts, was her life now. Apparently he should have taken her far more seriously when she said she 'did some stuff' before then. At the least, she was an entire country away. James sighed and returned to his essay, not knowing what to say to his friend.
Her room was exactly as she’d left it. Drea pulled both of her wands out of her pocket, the Hogwarts one and her Wiccan one. A lot of good they had done. Her chunk of obsidian came out as well, and she closed them all off in a drawer, not to be opened again. Her story to her parents was well planned out and constructed, how Hogwarts simply hadn’t worked for her, and she was unhappy, lying to them in her letters. Gabriel had brought her home. They told her to enroll in Tuscarora again, but she told them that she needed time first. To get back to normal, she’d said. They bought it no question, and Drea was finally able to retreat to her bedroom.
She’d stayed with Gabriel in a hotel for a few days, cleaning up and planning her return home. Everything seemed so unreal, like it had happened to someone else. But it hadn’t. All she wanted was to be left alone, for things to go back to how they were before she became a witch. A single tear escaped from Drea’s eye as she climbed into her bed, wishing time and time again that she was a different person, had a different life.
A/N: I didn’t write Harry Potter and don’t own anything you recognize.
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