Chapter 18 : Issues
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Dylan helped Rachel into the common room a few days later. Rachel’s ankle still hurt but not because it was broken or anything from a few days ago but because she had tripped on something that peeves had put on the floor. They had spent four days in almost solitary confinement. The only people they had seen were their parents and after a very long berating from Professor McGonagall the two left the hospital wing feeling depressed and sullen.
“Dylan!” Sophie said relieved as she engulfed him in a hug. Harper and Fraser followed suit with Rachel and nearly strangled her. Rachel smirked slightly and Dylan tried to pry Sophie off him.
“Hey.” He said quietly.
“You two are ok?” Harper said, obviously relieved. Rachel gave her a smile. “McGonagall and everyone else wouldn’t let us visit you.” Harper said giving Dylan a tight hug now.
“What happened?” Fraser asked
“Where did you go?” Sophie asked. Dylan opened his mouth to reply when more then just his group of friends noticed he’d returned. Rachel and Dylan were suddenly swamped with people coming to greet them back safe and alive. Rachel looked uncertainly at Dylan for a moment before Dylan was pulled into another big hug from Holly.
“You’re awake!” She said. Dylan looked at her confused.
“What?” Dylan asked.
“Mum let us see you but you were asleep, you didn’t look to good. You look so much better now though.” Kevin said joining them. Dylan gave them both a slightly scared smile.
“Don’t crowd them.” Came Piper’s demanding voice. “They’ve just gotten back.” A few people slinked away.
“Come on people, you can see them later. Let them rest up a bit.” James said as he approached behind Piper. Piper gave Dylan a relieved smile and sensing his reluctance to be hugged again turned to Colette and gave her a relieved smile.
“You two are safe, I see.” James said.
“Yeah, we are.” Rachel said.
“So, what was it like, did you find out who the dark lord was?” Kevin asked. Dylan’s friends and his family looked at him and Rachel. Dylan and Rachel looked at each other. Rachel looked away nervously and Dylan bit the inside of his lip.
“Um, yeah we did.” Dylan said quietly.
“Who is it then?” James said eagerly. Piper hit him.
“You are so inconsiderate.” Piper said to him, “Dylan, Rachel ignore what everyone says, just go and rest or do whatever, James will make sure no one bothers you.”
“I will?” James asked, “Oh, yeah I will” He said seeing the look on Piper’s face. “No one will bother you.”
“Thanks.” Dylan said. He looked at Rachel and his friends and Sophie linked arms with Dylan and nearly dragged him towards his room. Harper did the same to Rachel with Fraser following up the rear.
“You have to tell us everything” Harper said to Rachel, “I mean everyone thought you two had snuck off on your own, you know it was Valentines day but when you didn’t turn up the next morning everyone got a bit suspicious.”
“Yeah, a few people thought that maybe you two had gotten a bit…carried away” Sophie said slowly, “But we’re first years and it’s highly unlikely that you two were up to anything”
“So the teachers locked us all in our common rooms and went searching around. I think James and Ali went into Hogsmeade to go and have a look and everything but you two have been missing for ages.” Harper finished. Rachel stayed silent, her mind obviously still on what the woman had said about her mother. Dylan stayed quiet too, watching his feet as they climbed the steps to his dorm room.
“So where did you go?” Fraser asked quietly, afterwards.
“No where.” Rachel said quietly. Harper looked at her like she was joking.
“Come on, you had to be somewhere. I heard that you were found in Hogsmeade.” Harper said.
“I want to go to bed.” Rachel said suddenly letting go of Harper and turning around. Harper looked at her with her mouth open.
“What? Why? Please, Rach, tell me what happened.”
“No.” Rachel said as she raced down the stairs. Harper and Fraser looked hopelessly as Sophie frowned. Once Rachel had disappeared Dylan found all their stares on him.
“I’m not telling if she’s not. I’ll see you guys later.” He said as he also headed down the steps but headed for the portrait hole.
“Dylan!” Sophie said behind him. Dylan ignored her and just left the common room. He saw Piper give him a curious look but she turned back to talking with Colette once he left the common room.
* * * *
Dylan returned to the common room moments before curfew. Quite a few people were still wondering around and he saw his friends huddled together talking quickly and quietly. Dylan turned towards the stairs to his dorm room and went to his room. He quickly got changed and slipped into his bed. Despite all the time he had spent talking to Rachel, in the hospital wing, about what had happened and the time he had spent alone when she was asleep. He found it helpful to go to the old Divination classroom. He found it had helped to clear his head slightly and helped him to sort the events in his mind. He lay in his bed and stared at the crimson hangings.
He still couldn’t believe he had faced the dark- what should he call her? Lord, mistress, power? It wasn’t her alone though, she had her brother in law and that obviously mean she either had a sister or a husband to help her. Did that mean they were a family? Dylan squeezed his eyes shut, four days in the hospital wing safe and protected and he wanted his mother by his side, as she had been while he was at the hospital wing. She had put all her duties on hold and had nearly forced Ron to go back to work while she stayed by Dylan’s side. Dylan clenched his fists as tight as he could and he felt like hitting someone when his hangings opened and Dylan bolted upright. An older girl with long red hair and sparkling blue eyes looked at him with a smile.
“How you holding up?” Asked Piper. Dylan relaxed and leaned back into his bed.
“Alright.” Dylan lied. Piper gave him a sympathetic smile and sat on the edge of his bed.
“You want to talk about what happened?” Piper asked. Dylan shook his head. He was only eleven and thinking about some of the things he’d heard the adults talk about when they thought he was asleep scared him. He didn’t want to think about the fact that he had nearly never seen his family again and that he’d nearly gotten Rachel killed. Piper sighed.
“Well, as you know-”
“You’re there if I need to talk.” Dylan said quietly. Piper smiled and reached out to ruffle Dylan’s hair then hesitated. She slowly retracted her arm.
“You hate that don’t you?” Piper asked. Dylan nodded. “Well I’ll see you tomorrow then. Don’t worry you’re safe here.” Dylan smiled and reached forwards and hugged her. Piper gave him that hug that she could always give him to calm him down. Piper returned the hug and Dylan immediately felt more relaxed ands lightly happier. The only people who could calm him down like that was Piper and his mum.
“Thanks.” Dylan said as he pulled away from his sister. He could see his sister’s arm twitching to ruffle his hair, as everyone in his family did.
“No problem.” Piper said, giving him one of her smiles that had a tendency of melting the hearts of all the guys who weren’t related to her. “I’ll be in the common room if you want to talk.” Dylan nodded and Piper left, pulling the hangings tightly shut around the bed as she left. Dylan lay down in his bed, feeling a lot calmer, if his mum wasn’t available, his sister was good enough. He was grateful he was close to at least one of his sisters. Holly would either treat him like a baby or as if he wasn’t even there. Dylan fell into an uneasy but, thankfully, dreamless sleep.
* * * *
By the time Dylan’s birthday had come and gone he felt more uncomfortable being around the school and out of the safety of either his bed or the Divination room at the top of the north tower. Rachel had also become slightly withdrawn, sending owls to her dad every day to find out about her mum until Hagrid and come to find her and ask her to stop using the owls as they were getting too exhausted to do anything else. Rachel had gone to Harper and had told her everything after a few weeks of not being able to keep it to herself. Harper had told Sophie, who had confronted Dylan about having to find out what happened to Rachel and Dylan through Rachel. So Sophie was in a stress with Dylan. Fraser was keeping out of it and Piper had rejected a five thousand Galleon offer from the prophet to interview Dylan and Rachel about their “Ordeal”.
“I’m sick of people staring at me.” Rachel said slumping into a seat next to Dylan in the great hall for dinner the day after Harper’s birthday. Dylan smirked. “It’s like I’m infected with something because they’re also avoiding me.”
“Why don’t you just avoid them?” Dylan asked.
“That doesn’t work for me.” Rachel said. She slapped some mashed potato on her plate.
“Well, it works for me.” Dylan said as he continued to eat.
“See you later.” Harper said to her boyfriend just behind Dylan.
“Bye Harper.” The boy said almost nervously. Dylan and Rachel turned to see him give Harper a nervous kiss before walking away with his friends. Harper sighed and sat down.
“I thought you were dating Jake.” Dylan said.
“Oh, yeah. Um…” Harper muttered. She stuffed her mouth with food to prevent herself from answering the question, Not that food’s ever stopped her before thought Dylan.
“So, you going to speak to Sophie sometime soon?” Rachel asked turning to look at Dylan. Dylan shrugged.
“I suppose I’ll have to.” Dylan said, “She is…was my best friend.” Dylan muttered. He had to admit that things weren’t the same when Sophie wasn’t talking to him. It was a childish thing, not talking to each other but they were still only children. Sophie had talking to hanging around with Fraser and Dylan noticed that Rachel also found this slightly annoying.
“Well she’s coming this way.” Harper said with a full mouth. Rachel gave her a slightly disgusted look as a small bit of food fell out of her mouth.
“You have to learn to eat properly.” Rachel said. Harper swallowed what was in her mouth.
“I know.” Harper said. Dylan watched anxiously as Sophie came towards them.
“Hi guys.” Sophie said, “Has anyone done the Charms homework?” She asked as she put her bag on the floor. Fraser sighed as he put his own bag under his chair and sat next to Harper.
“I’ve done it.” Dylan said, “You can look at it if you want.” Rachel and Harper looked at him slightly surprised. Dylan never let anyone copy his work. Well that was what everyone did when they ‘looked’ at his work.
“No, has anyone else done their charms?” Sophie asked slightly annoyed. Dylan sighed and stood up and picked up his bag.
“Hey, Dylan.” Rachel said. Dylan left the hall and headed up the main stairs.
“Hi Dylan.” Amy Corbet said as she passed him on the stairs. She gave him a smile but Dylan ignored her. “Are you ok?” She asked stopping and watching him go up the stairs.
“Fine!” Dylan said. Amy looked at her Ravenclaw friends.
“I’ll catch up with you later.” She said. They nodded and carried on. Amy ran up the stairs and caught up with Dylan. “Hey, Dylan, are you ok?” Amy asked.
“Yeah I’m fine.” Dylan said, not meeting Amy’s gaze and impatient to get back to the Gryffindor Common room.
“I know you’re not.” Amy said. Dylan looked at Amy.
“I’m annoyed that Sophie isn’t talking to me.” Amy nodded.
“That.” She said knowingly.
“That?” Dylan asked, “what do you know about that?”
“She said some stuff to me.” Amy said slowly and uncertainly.
“Like?” Dylan asked. Amy seemed to regret telling him.
“She’s a bit annoyed with you for not telling her what happened. She’s annoyed that Harper found out before her.” Amy said.
“I’m sorry if I don’t want to open up and tell the world what happened.” Dylan snapped.
“Hey, I’m not the one who has the problems.” Amy said defensively. “But I would try and get her on her own and apologize.” Amy began to turn away then turned back to look at Dylan. “Just wondering because my friend Kenneth really fancies Sophie, but is she your girlfriend?” Dylan shook his head.
“Why does everyone think that?” Dylan asked. Amy smiled.
“We have our reasons.” She said. “Hope it works out.” Amy patted his arm and then turned on her heel to catch up with the other Ravenclaws. Dylan watched as Amy left and thought about what she’d said. He shook his head and headed back to the common room. As soon as he went into the common room he went straight to a table and got out his Transfiguration homework. He sat working hard at it while the room filled with the noise of excited Gryffindors.
Dylan didn’t know what was going on, nor did he care until he heard some shouts and then saw Nick hanging in the air. Colette had obviously taken Piper’s lead in punishing her siblings the same way as her friend. Dylan rolled his eyes and turned back to his homework. Someone sat down in front of him and he felt their stare on him. He glanced up and saw Sophie.
“Hi.” He mumbled as he went back to his work.
“Um, can I borrow your charms homework?” She asked hesitantly. Dylan put down his quill and dug into his bag for his Charms work.
“Here.” He said handing it back.
“Thanks, um, is there any time you want it back by?” She asked. Dylan thought for a moment.
“Friday, that’s when our next lesson is.” Dylan said. Sophie smiled gratefully.
“Thank you so much.” She said. She was about to get up when she noticed Dylan’s face fall slightly. She sat back down. “Um, so, have you nearly done your Transfiguration?” she asked seeing his work on the table.
“Finished it.” Dylan said, “I’m just finishing of my potions work.” Sophie nodded and smiled.
“So, what properties do plants bring into Potion making?” Sophie asked.
“Just some stuff.” Dylan said. Sophie laughed slightly.
“Stuff? That’s all you can tell me?” Sophie asked. Dylan smiled shyly.
“Yeah, well. My mind isn’t exactly on Potions right now.” Dylan said.
“Just tell me what’s bugging you and I’ll talk to you again.” Sophie said.
“Ok.” Dylan said taking a deep breath. He didn’t really like opening up but he’d done it once or twice to Sophie and he’d always tell his sister what’s wrong. “I don’t like you not talking to me.” Dylan said looking at his potions. Sophie smirked slightly and glanced around before leaning across the table. Dylan didn’t notice until he felt some lips brush his cheek gently for a fraction of a second. He looked at Sophie slightly stunned.
“We’re not going to be more then friends.” Sophie reminded Dylan. “But that’s to remind you that I still love you Dylan, just tell me stuff before I find out through Harper.” Dylan nodded, his hand went to his cheek. He nodded.
“Did you have to kiss me though?” Dylan asked. Sophie grinned.
“You looked like you needed it.” Sophie said. She stole Dylan’s quill. “So, can you help me out with this charms homework?”
“Sure.” Dylan said smiling, happy that Sophie was talking to him again.
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by Larissa Traci