“Oh my God…” I whispered, clasping my hands together on my lap.
“Belle, come on. You won’t get in trouble.” Eileen said, resting her hand on top of my white ones. I turned to face her.
“Eileen! They think I k-killed her!” I said slowly, tears falling down my face. She shook her head.
“Belle, I’m a prefect. My opinion counts as well. I’ll make sure they don’t expel you.” She smiled.
We sat in silence, just outside of the hospital wing, light carefully piercing the sky outside. Professor Dumbledore had transported Rebecca’s limp body upstairs and told us to follow him. My skin felt tingly, and I needed a cloak more than anything. Even my insides were cold with worry. No one was going to believe perfect, smart Tom Riddle could ever do this.
“Miss Ivory please come with me.” I looked up and saw the headmaster addressing me. I got up and so did Eileen. “Miss Prince, you may return to your common room.”
“But, headmaster, she’s- I’ve got to come!” Eileen said forcefully. The headmaster sighed and shrugged.
We both followed him without a word. I shivered more and more as we came closer to our destination, wherever that was. I could hear my own heartbeat grow steadily stronger and beat faster. Our footsteps echoed loudly and somewhere overhead and down below, I could feel students waking up and getting ready to enjoy their weekend. Finally, we reached two stone gargoyles. Headmaster Dippet said some password, and we walked in and went up some escalator type thing. When we finally reached his office, I looked around, expecting to see a prison.
Instead, the room was quite plain. The walls were a dull brown and there was one silver trinket hanging loosely on a hanger. Picture frames held old headmasters and headmistresses, who were just waking up, staring at me. Headmaster Dippet motioned for us to take a seat and we did so.
“So, Miss Ivory…” He began, staring at me expressionless, taking a seat behind his bulky desk. I opened my mouth to say something, but the door opened up abruptly and Professor Dumbledore strode in, looking dead serious.
“Albus, how is the girl?” Dippet asked.
“She’s fine.” Dumbledore turned to face me. “Rebecca Bobbin is not dead.”
I felt a giant weight lift from my body and I felt light as a feather all of a sudden. “Not d-dead?”
“No. It seems Miss Bobbin has been stunned, but certainly not dead.” He paused, studying me, then continued. “However, the intention was clearly to kill the girl.”
The weight was back.
“But sir! I would never!” I yelled.
Dumbledore motioned for me to sit back down, and then his face turned soft. “Miss Ivory, if there is anything at all you wish to tell me…please do so now.”
I thought about telling him about Tom and about his horrible intentions. But then surely Tom wouldn’t let me forget it. I mean, I told a measly prefect about him being strange and he framed me for murder!
“No, sir, there isn’t anything.” I murmured. I felt his gaze on me, but I refused to look up. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door and Tom walked in.
“GET OUT!” I screamed at him, rage poking at me from every angle. He remained standing there, staring at me without a trace of expression, his eyes roaming over my skimpy dress.
“You wanted to see me, sir?” Tom asked Professor Dumbledore, who nodded and conjured him up a seat across from me.
“Tom, I have reason to believe you were involved in this somehow.”
Tom instantly looked at me, hatred blinding his eyes. “Involved in what, sir?”
“YOU KNOW, TOM! THIS IS YOUR FAULT! YOU FRAMED ME!” I screamed at him.
“Don’t lie, Belle…” He threatened with his eyes. “I didn’t do anything wrong at all.”
His lie sounded so convincing, that for a second, even I believed him. I shook my head, and took a seat. Next to me, Eileen was looking down, still afraid of Tom. I knew for sure I was about to get expelled, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
I did the only logical thing to do at times like these- I started to bawl. Tom was smirking, but what happened next took that gorgeous smirk right off his flawless face, and was replaced with a frown. A knock sounded yet again and a very odd girl walked in, indeed. Her glasses were huge and were pushed to the bridge of her nose. Her hair was put into neat pigtails, and the crest on her robe read ‘Ravenclaw Prefect’. She gave off the aura of fear, but who didn’t when they were around Tom? If I was ever confused more, it was then- why was a Ravenclaw prefect here?
“Ah, Miss Mildew, please take a seat.” Professor Dumbledore said. The girl glanced at me curiously, and then sat down next to Eileen.
“Morning, Eileen.” The girl said, and her voice sounded unnaturally high pitched.
“Hullo Myrtle.” Eileen said in a small voice.
Dumbledore paused and studied the weird girl, Myrtle. “Miss Mildew, you were in charge of patrolling the corridor in question late last night. Did you see anyone?”
Myrtle raised her head and stared at Tom, who kept his face expressionless, but his eyes were threatening. Myrtle saw it too because, whether or not she actually saw the threat, she quickly looked away. “Sir, I-I heard s-some footsteps but...it could have b-been nothing at all.”
“Miss Mildew, I urge you to tell the truth.”
“Is this a trial, sir?” Tom cut in sarcastically, but I was the only one who noticed the sarcasm.
“Well, Tom, this is serious. I wouldn’t call it a trial, but it is close. Belle could be facing expulsion at the moment.” Professor Dumbledore said. Tom gaped, to my surprise.
“Expulsion?!” He asked, shocked. “But Sir…she didn’t kill her!”
My jaw dropped. Tom was defending me! …But why? There had to be a purpose.
“Well, the intention-”
“Professor Dumbledore, did you actually talk to Rebecca? She could tell you who the culprit was!” Tom said furiously.
“What are you, my lawyer?” I muttered, staring at Tom through the dry tears on my face.
“What I would wish to find out is why Miss Ivory was in the room in the first place.” Professor Dumbledore stated.
I caught Tom’s eye- he wanted me to go along with what he was about to say. “Well, Professor, who’s to say Belle isn’t the victim here as well?”
“I didn’t even have my wand with me.” I said.
Professor Dumbledore sighed. “Since none of you are willing to be truthful, we’ll have to wait and see what Miss Bobbin has to say about this.”
We all stood up and I felt temporarily free. We walked down the staircase, and I made sure to walk next to Eileen, without talking.
“Belle, may I have a word?”
I sighed. Well…Tom had gotten me out of expulsion. I told Eileen to go to breakfast without me and I turned around. I was self conscious of my degrading nightgown and I wished to hurry.
“Belle…I know this must be confusing for you.” Tom began. His dark eyes searched my face before he continued. “But there is only one way out.”
“What?” I asked angrily. I hated how his eyes had the ability of making my heart melt, and I hated how flawless he was.
“I want you to teach us all you know of the dark arts.” He whispered. I stared at him and he stared back.
“Is this why you didn’t want me to get expelled?” I asked.
“Partly and partly because…I’ve become somewhat rather attached to you.” He smiled.
“You framed me because I told Eileen about you. But why didn’t you just put a memory charm on me?”
He smirked. “Where’s the fun in that?”
I seethed angrily. “Nothing you’ve done to me is exactly fun, and I’ve got the scars to prove it.”
And then it hit me. I hadn’t cut in at least a month, and why? Because Tom was already hurting me, so I didn’t need to hurt myself. It was then that I decided I owed him.
“Tom, I- I’ll do it.” I said. That was the first and only time I had seen Tom look that happy. He smiled like he was the richest man on this earth.
“Thanks so much, Belle! You won’t regret it!” He said. I smiled weakly.
“I owe you.”
His eyes lit up and he placed his cold hand on my bare shoulder. “Go change and meet us in the Great Hall. We’ve got a lot to catch you up on.”
I shivered with excitement. “I can’t wait.”
And it was then that my journey began…
A/N: please review! :D thanks to all my loyal reviewers! I recommend reading the chapter reviews and reading all those authors that reviewed. You guys are GREAT! :]
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