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Chapter 3 : Slytherin Confrontations
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Rodolphus Lestrange and Bellatrix Black
Lovely image by Camila at TDA!
. . .
I clenched my cold fingers tightly around my wand, and my eyes were focused on the stone corner at the end of the hall. Behind it I was sure was where the shout and scream had come. I didn’t break my steady trot as I took a deep breath and turned the corner. The sight that met my eyes was enough to make me freeze in my tracks.
Five Slytherins were standing in what was obviously a planned formation. At the point was Rodolphus Lestrange, and a little behind him and to his right was Bellatrix Black. Both were looking rather smug. On the left of Lestrange, opposite of Black, was Evan Rosier. In the back were Wilkes and Avery. Each of the troublesome characters had their wands out, and they were leering in a manner that made a shiver run down my spine. A shrill laugh burst from Black’s mouth, and the corners of Lestrange’s lips tugged upward in the cruel shadow of a smile.
“What do you think, Evans?” Black asked as her eyes gleamed maliciously. “We might just be able to go into the acting business!” I narrowed my eyes, though inside my heart was pounding. How did I get myself into this mess? How could I be so incredibly gullible?
“Aw, is little Miss Mudblood surprised? Was she expecting a terrified firstie being bullied by a mean old Slytherin?” Black said all of this in an annoying baby voice, and then threw her head back and laughed. The others smirked as her laughter echoed off the unforgiving stone walls.
“Look at her, absolutely silent. Like a sad little field mouse, cornered by the owl. She can answer all the questions in class, sure. She can talk big in crowded corridors, when we can’t harm her, of course. But now that we’ve lured the mudblood with a little bit of bait, the snake’s wrapped itself around her pretty little neck, and for once in her miserable life, she’s run out of words.” Lestrange’s quiet words stung, but I kept my exterior cool and collected, and shoved my chin up in the air.
“Typical Slytherins, the lot of you. Can’t hack it when it’s just one on one, so you all feel the need to have your groupies surrounding you. Is that your little security blanket? Overwhelm one person in numbers, since your brain alone obviously wouldn’t be able to get you far,” I retorted. The three in the front hissed in protest. Wilkes and Avery shifted angrily in the background, trying to appear menacing. I bet they didn’t even know that they were succeeding.
“You think you’re so tough, don’t you Evans? Pathetic filthy mudblood. I’m tired of talking, Rodolphus,” Black said. Her words held an ominous echo, which was only intensified as Lestrange slowly nodded.
“I am as well, Bella. It’s time for us to have our little bit of fun,” he replied with a smirk. The two in the back murmured and smiled, and they all silently started toward me. It was obvious they were wrapping around behind me, blocking my escape. I easily could have run already, I would probably be able to beat them in a race. But my Gryffindor pride held me fast, and before long it was too late for any hope of escaping. I squeezed my fingers around my wand, and it dug into my palm. However, among these hulking figures, it felt like only a skinny little piece of wood.
I raised it in front of me, glaring at Rodolphus. I was glad to see my arm didn’t betray me by shaking, and instead it held still and strong. Curses began running through my head. I knew I had no chance of winning, but I could at least give them a run for their money. Adrenaline was slowly running through my veins, and I tensed as they all suddenly lunged.
“Impedimenta!” Lestrange slowed down considerably, I ducked as Wilkes came behind and tried to grab me, and sent a kick at his back which sent him stumbling forward. Whipping around I found Black with her wand pointed at me, “Tarantallegra!”
“Protego!” Her spell rebounded and collided with Avery, who fell on the floor as his legs twitched around grotesquely. “Expelliarmus!” Black rolled away form my shot, but was at least momentarily on the ground. Wilkes, having recovered, grabbed me from behind and I pointed my wand over my shoulder, “Relashio!” and his grip was immediately relinquished as he stumbled backwards. Rosier brandished his wand, “Rictusempra!” Not having time to form the words, I shouted Protego! in my mind and was somewhat satisfied as most of the spell shot off back down the hall. A queasy feeling was in my stomach, so some of the effects had obviously gotten through my barrier. “Petrificus Totalus!” Rosier leapt out of the way, colliding with the newly recovered Black.
I spun around as I heard Wilkes stumbling towards me again and shouted, “Furnunculus!” Boils sprouted from his face, and he covered it, howling. But I was losing the battle. Rosier came from behind and twisted my wrist, causing me to cry out as my wand clattered uselessly to the floor. Lestrange had recovered from my Impediment Jinx and was standing in front me with his wand pointed at my face, breathing heavily and glaring daggers. Avery was still twitching around on the floor, but his legs were calming down somewhat. Rosier now held both of my arms painfully behind my back, and Black was coming around to stand by Lestrange, a look of pure outrage on her face. Wilkes had removed his hands from his face, which was now covered in angry red boils.
“You filthy mudblood!” Lestrange shouted. “Levi-“
“Expelliarmus!” I watched as Lestrange’s wand flew out of his hand and back behind me, probably into the hand of the caster. I attempted to twist around to see who had come, but Rosier held me fast. My eyes darted down and I saw my wand lying about a foot from me.
“Let her go, Rosier. We don’t want to fight,” said whoever was behind me. That voice sounded familiar. Black laughed wildly.
“Of course you don’t! Itty bitty Potter is too afraid to admit that he’d lose!” she stated and then screeched with laughter at her own joke. So it was Potter. Blood rushed up into my cheeks.
“Belt up, Bellatrix; nobody wants to have the horrid sound of your sodding ugly voice in their head all day.” This voice wasn’t Potter. How many were there? Black’s eyes narrowed.
“You. You’re a disgrace to the family name, get out of my sight!” she screeched. Family name, so that must be who…Sirius?
“Gladly. Just let Evans go and we’ll be on our way,” Sirius stated. Black laughed in disbelief.
“Let her go? No, no we’ve gone through too much trouble to let her go now, the little wench! We’re going to have some fun with this mudblood!” she shouted, and her laugh was so shrill it was practically a scream. I seethed at the excessive use of that damn term, and being called a wench. I may be a bookworm, but I was far from promiscuous.
“Don’t you dare call her that, you bloody bint!” Potter shouted. “Relashio!” As soon as I felt Rosier’s grip loosen, I ducked and rolled, scooping my wand off the floor. Hexes and jinxes were being shouted left and right and I quickly joined in. In a matter of seconds, I stood from my crouch and, breathing heavily, looked down at the five unconscious Slytherins, some of which were sprouting horrific appendages.
I turned to finally see who all had come to my…rescue. I thought the word reluctantly, because I didn’t want to admit that that was exactly what this was. There stood Potter, Black (Sirius, that is), Remus, Peter, and Alice. They were all slightly out of breath, but otherwise they appeared unharmed. I smiled in a relief. Apparently Gryffindors were much better at shields than Slytherins.
“All right?” I asked, just to make sure. They nodded, and Potter took a step forward.
“You?” His voice was lanced with what sounded like genuine concern. My cheeks burned.
“Brilliant,” I said, embarrassed. “Thanks to you five.” They all smiled, rather pleased with themselves.
“Looked like you were putting up quite a fight though,” Remus said. He nodded towards Wilkes boil-covered face, and Avery who, even in unconsciousness, still had slightly twitching legs. I smiled wryly.
“They had me in the end though,” I admitted, though I suppose it wasn’t really necessary. They’d come in time to see that much. “So it’s a good thing you found me. Which makes me wonder...how did you find me?” The Marauders immediately looked uncomfortable.
“Uh,” Potter said, speaking for the group, not really looking at my eyes. “We, uh, well we heard the fighting of course! So we just followed the noise.” He nodded confidently and the others mimicked him, as though this was their answer all along. My eyes narrowed suspiciously.
“Oh really? Hm, well we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere down here. I’m pretty sure this lot led me hear specifically so that nobody would be around, nobody would hear…wow, you must have bat ears!” I exclaimed, feigning being impressed.
“Yeah, well, you know us,” Potter trailed off uncomfortably, obviously not enjoying the “praise” he was getting for his lie. I turned and raised an eyebrow at Alice, who was eyeing the boys with confusion.
“Alice, despite the fact that I’m just oh so positive these boys have brilliant hearing, that’s probably not exactly what happened, is it?” I questioned her. I heard Black curse silently and rolled my eyes. Okay, I had been gullible to be led down here, but I wasn’t that gullible. Not enough to believe that pathetic excuse for a lie! Alice turned to look at me, confusion written across her face.
“Actually, I’m really not sure what they have up their sleeves. Or in their pockets,” she added as an afterthought. I questioned her silently, and she nodded, prepared to tell her story. “Okay, I got out of class early, maybe by about fifteen minutes. I headed straight to your Runes class, knowing you always come out sooner than everybody else. I was just coming up to the door when James stepped out, so I asked him if you had left already. He said that you had, only just a minute ago, and pulled out a piece of parchment. Well he sort of, I dunno, murmured something to the parchment? I thought it was just James being James, you know, his usual trouble-making self. He started off in one direction, and I sort of followed. Wherever James’ trail is headed, there’s normally a Lily at the end.
“Well it seemed like he was looking for something on the parchment, and his eyes got sort of big. He walked faster and faster, and soon I was struggling to keep up. He opened a class door and marched in, said something to the Professor. It sounded sort of like “Headmaster wants to see us” which is believable, seeing how much trouble this lot get up to. Well anyways, he came back out with the rest of these boys following him. He marched off down towards the dungeons saying something like “Lily’s in trouble.” Everybody else followed quickly and without question. Well I wasn’t about to let them go when I knew you were in trouble so I followed them down here, and well, the rest? Pretty obvious I guess.” I nodded thoughtfully before turning my full attention back to the Marauders, who had been getting shiftier during Alice’s explanation. I looked pointedly at Potter.
“What do you have?”
“Nothing,” he said easily with a shrug. I sighed.
“Just give me what you have! I know it’s something, James.” He looked at me in surprise before he smiled brightly. My breath caught for a moment. I couldn’t help it. He was…radiant.
“You just called me James,” he said, grinning. My eyes got slightly bigger before I coughed and shrugged, ignoring the strange queasiness in my stomach.
“Yes, well, that is your name. But don’t try and avoid the question. What’s in your pockets?” He sighed in defeat and handed me a folded piece of blank parchment. I blinked before taking it, and tapped it lightly with my wand, my eyebrows furrowed. I looked up at the boys, whose eyes were flicking between themselves and me warily. Glancing down at the parchment again, confusion jolted through me as words formed on the pages.
Mr. Moony acknowledges that Ms. Evans is a respectable person, but advises her to take her Head Girl authorities elsewhere, as they will do her no good here. My eyes, if possible, got wider. It recognized me? And who was Mr. Moony?
Mr. Padfoot agrees with Mr. Moony, but also believes she would do well to wear her skirt a little shorter. Though I was shocked, I also had enough sense to recognize the slightly perverted thoughts of this Padfoot. Glancing down at my skirt automatically I saw it rested at my knees. My eyes narrowed, before glancing back at the parchment. Definitely a perv.
Mr. Wormtail rejects these compliments, and would like to express his opinion that Ms. Evans should take her absurdly nosey self elsewhere. Okay, so Wormtail was a prat.
Mr. Prongs would like to register his astonishment that one as lovely as Ms. Evans has come into contact with his possessions, but would also like to add that she would do well to return it from whence it came. Flattering, but also giving the same sort of message. Who were these people? Then it hit me. The Marauders always called each other by their silly little nicknames. Nicknames that happened to be these exact ones. I took a deep breath, and looked up at the four boys, each wearing a guilty expression.
“So,” I began, eyes flickering between them. “Which one of you good sirs is a Mr. Padfoot?”
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