Chapter 5 : Chapter Four: Change in Patrols
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(DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately, I do not, nor will I ever own Harry Potter or anything else of JK Rowling's creation. These are her characters and places, I'm simply borrowing them. Original characters, places, and plotline belong to me.)
Chapter Four: Change in Patrols
Patrols, Remus Lupin had learned, were the curse and blessing of being a prefect. On one hand, they were able to wander anywhere they wanted, stay out a bit later than the other students, and could usually count on meeting people from other houses that they wouldn't normally meet. On the other hand, patrols could be dangerous. He hadn't gone through one week of patrols where he hadn't broken up at least one duel, and had to visit Madam Pomfrey to tend to one injury or another. Prefects, when they broke up duels, were targets, McGonagall reminded them at the beginning of every term. It was their job to break up the fight, minimize the harm done to the students, and keep themselves from being killed while trying to uphold the rules.
It was easier said than done. When Remus was a first year, two prefects had been sent to St. Mungo's for three months after a duel they had been trying to break up went badly.
And 'badly' was normally how double patrols went. Patrolling for twice as long meant twice the likelihood of running into a duel, twice the likelihood of making new enemies, and twice the likelihood of wanting nothing more than to curse their partner into next week. Granted Remus hadn't carried out that particular action yet, but after his one Slytherin partner the year before, he wasn't about to rule it out either.
Hopefully, he'd make it through this year without a double patrol. It wasn't a probable hope, but it wasn't impossible either. Raiden already wasn't thrilled with him, and the last thing he wanted to do was make it worse.
"Change in patrols. Lupin, you and Raiden have a double patrol since the other pair hexed each other during Defense against the Dark Arts," the Head Girl announced, fixing Remus with a stern look. "Full patrols, or else Edelbert will get his way on reassigning Raiden to someone else."
So much for hope.
Silently, Remus bowed his head to the Head Girl, then turned to scan the hallway for his partner. She was a bit late, but given that one of the other prefects said one of the professors was talking to her, he figured she'd be along soon enough. Besides, with a double patrol ahead of them, he knew they'd have more than enough time to talk...and more than enough time for him to apologize directly to her for skipping their patrol the first night back.
The other two pairs of prefects strolled off, one to patrol the grounds, the other to patrol the upper floors. In an hour, they'd go back to their common rooms while he continued to patrol with Raiden, this time with some of the teachers and Filch as "back-up." The Head Girl, her duties done for the evening, headed back to her common room. Somewhere in there, Remus thought there was a slight injustice done to the rest of the prefects. The Head Boy and Girl, as prefects with added rights, duties and responsibilities, should patrol every night, assisting the others and learning what the rest of the students were up to by talking to them. Instead, from what he had observed over the years, the Heads hardly ever patrolled with anyone but their partner, and the only ones they bothered to get to know where people in their own House from fourth year up. Wasn't the idea of having a Head Boy and Girl to give the regular prefects, as well as the rest of the school, a positive example of unity, responsibility, and friendliness to look up to?
"Looks like Raiden's missing in action, Moony," James commented from behind him. Remus turned to be greeted with the sight of a stone wall.
A soft sigh escaped the young werewolf's lips. "If she sees you with that, she's obligated to confiscate it and take it to Dumbledore," he informed his hidden friends. They wouldn't listen. He knew they wouldn't. But, he told himself, it was the principle of the matter.
James pushed back the hood of his Invisibility Cloak, revealing the smiling faces of Remus' three best friends. "But see, Moony, we think she likes you enough that she wouldn't report it."
"Whatever it is that you think I wouldn't report, Potter, you might want to hide it before I round the corner," Raiden called, her voice echoing up the hallway from the direction of the stairs leading to the kitchens. In a flash, the Invisibility Cloak vanished into James' pockets. Remus grinned. His friends might be daring, but they weren't stupid.
A minute later, Raiden strolled into view, hands busily twisting her thick gold-amber locks into a messy bun. "Sorry I'm late," she apologized, tucking a stray strand behind her ear. "Lydia mentioned something about a double patrol?"
Remus nodded. "Dungeons to the fourth floor."
Most prefects would have groaned at the mention of such a widespread patrol. They would have complained, grumbled, and even threatened to turn in their badges.
But then, Wishlyn Raiden wasn't a typical prefect.
"At least she didn't include the towers," Raiden commented philosophically. She glanced back the way she came, a faint frown lurking at the corners of her lips. "I knew she was annoyed with me for blowing a hole in the common room's ceiling, but I didn't think she was that annoyed."
For one moment, it was all Remus could do to stare at her. No one had told him she had a temper to speak of, or showed any particular aptitude in combative spells like those able to put a hole in a stone ceiling. "You did what?"
He was trying to kill her.
Albus Dumbledore was trying to kill her.
She just knew it. After all, only someone who wanted to kill her would give her a letter from her boyfriend right before a double patrol with little chance or likelihood of her being able to slip away long enough to read its contents. Previously, she had thought she had a decent enough relationship with the Headmaster. Maybe not to the degree of being an honorary uncle, but she had thought he had some measure of fondness for her.
Someone who had any level of caring for her, even as just a headmaster to his student, wouldn't do something like this.
This was a nightmare.
This was torture.
This was borderline Unforgivable.
Sure, it had only been a week since she had seen Caradoc, but it was the principle of the matter. He was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, which was already dangerous enough. The fact that he was young, strong, and smart put him squarely in a position to go on the missions where the elders wouldn't be able to go only increased the danger level from "moderately dangerous" to "you'll be insanely lucky to make it back without any injuries."
With five family members in the Order, and having spent most of her life raised within the Order itself, Lyn knew the dangers better than most. She knew Rad could handle himself in many situations, but that didn't mean she didn't worry.
Knowing that Dumbledore had seen him was a weight off her shoulders. It meant he had seen Rad, alive and likely in good condition, when he was asked to deliver the letter.
But it wasn't everything. For all she knew, Rad could have told her in his letter that he was going "away" for a little while with some "friends" and "not to worry" if she didn't hear from him in a while. That was Order code for a sensitive mission with a high likelihood of playing cat-and-mouse with Death Eaters. Or he could have told her that he was going "rabbit hunting": Order code for hunting down a specific Death Eater that the already overstretched Auror and Hitwizard corps couldn't spare anyone to track down.
As to the other coded messages...she didn't want to think about them, which naturally meant that she was thinking about them, and worrying, and fretting, and--and if you worry any more, you're going to worry yourself to death, an amused voice interrupted her internal monologue. So stop.
She exhaled softly. There wasn't a reason to worry. Not yet. She had a letter from her boyfriend. That was a more than good enough reason to be quite happy throughout the rest of the night.
"FOURTH YEARS DUELING IN THE CHARMS CORRIDOR!" Peeves' voice caroled, echoing through the halls. Lyn groaned under her breath even as she broke into a run, keeping pace with Lupin. She revised her thought. The letter was a good reason to be quite happy after she was released from her patrolling. Until then, anything was possible.
There had to be something wrong with him. There was no way around it. There had to be something wrong with him. Why else would he be uneasy around Wishlyn Raiden? She hadn't given him any reason to dislike her, or even be suspicious of her. Whereas his other partners had refused to patrol if his friends tagged along, Raiden didn't seem to mind one bit, taking their presence in stride. She ignored Sirius' attempts to flirt with her just as easily as she deflected James' questions about how and why she blew a hole in her common room ceiling. Raiden even made a point to draw Peter into the conversation, treating his shyness as just a matter of course.
It was a move that would normally have him giving the girl brownie points. Few people had been able to pay equal attention to each of the Marauders without ignoring the rest. Somehow, she did it with ease. No one was favored. No one was scorned. They were equal.
Yet, for some reason, he couldn't seem to relax around her.
She wasn't dominating, or rude, or cruel, which had been things that set his werewolf instincts on edge before. She was a perfect patrol partner. Utterly perfect. They had broken up several duels already, and in each case, she handled it with ease. She sent the injured off to Madam Pomfrey and the uninjured back to their common room with an admonishment to not be caught by her again that night. No feelings were hurt, no points were removed, and everyone parted with rueful smiles and gratitude.
He suspected she hadn't been as brassed off about him missing his patrol the other night as James and Sirius had let on. After all, most of the time he didn't have to say a single word to the miscreants they ran into. She handled it all, and did it with a gentle smile and soft voice.
So why was it that something about her had the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end?
If she didn't get a moment to herself soon, she was going to throw someone through a window. This was ridiculous. None of her past patrol partners had ever had their friends join them on patrols, even if they had pulled the early patrol when other students could technically still walk the halls without worry of repercussions. It wasn't that she minded their presence. No, it wasn't that at all. Sure, she might not be as tempted to beat her head against the stone walls, nor would her tongue be as sore as it was from her biting back her impetuous comments, but she didn't mind their company.
Them she could manage.
He was another story.
Remus Lupin was slowly reaching the point of being the bane of her existence. One moment she was quite comfortable being around him, utterly at ease. The next, she found resisting a powerful urge to attack him, to hurt him, and even kill him.
She didn't know what was wrong with her. Killing people just hadn't been on the forefront of her mind. Ever. People she loved had been killed. There wasn't a power in the world that could have convinced her to inflict on another family what had been inflicted on her when she lost her mother.
And yet, there was that urge.
She tried to distract herself from those thoughts, focusing on his friends. They weren't a bad bunch of people. Annoying, yes; irritatingly immature at times, yes; but overall, they had good hearts. Black was living up to his reputation as being an absolutely incorrigible flirt. As far as Potter was concerned, Lyn was rapidly developing a distinct sense of empathy with Lily Evans. No boy should have that strong of a streak of determination. Ever. When it came to Pettigrew, Lyn found herself surprised at how sympathetic she felt around the short boy. He wasn't terribly attractive, was middling in intelligence, and had a slightly discomforting beady look about him. She could see just how awed and giddy he was to be included with the "cool kids" of Gryffindor. On top of that, she saw firsthand just how utterly shy he was around girls, especially her. Merlin, it had taken two levels of the dungeons before he would squeak more than "yes", "no", and "hello" to her.
Lyn nearly pitied him. Surely he would have been more at home in Hufflepuff, as opposed to the boisterous Gryffindors.
Still, she could handle him. She could even handle Black and Potter.
She couldn't handle Remus Merlin-blessed Lupin.
If she kept herself distracted, she was fine.
But the second conversation fell silent, and Lupin brushed against her, she fought the demon of all urges. Fury boiled through every vein, adrenaline flooded her body, and at the back of it all, shoving it along, was this gut-deep desire to kill Lupin. She wanted to rip him to shreds, to paint the walls in his blood, to smell the salty copper scent of his blood as it left his body, to hear his fading heartbeats as life left his body.
She wanted him dead.
And she didn't know why.
What's wrong with me? she wondered as she drew out a conversation with Peter about the latest assignment in Charms. I need to get away from him before I do something stupid. I need to get away from him. Right. Now.
(Author's Note: I'm terribly sorry this chapter took so long to get out. The next chapter is halfway written, and should be out much sooner.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter, and I'd love to hear what theories you guys have in mind for what's going on/about to happen in the series. Thanks for reading!)