Halloween of my 5th year at Hogwarts was spent in Hogsmeade with my boyfriend of two months and his brother, my best friend.
"Jules, let's get a drink at the three broomsticks before heading back," Fred suggested towards the end of the day. We ducked into the pub and found a seat. Fred went and got our three butterbeers ("wish we were old enough for fire whiskey," George moaned).
Our conversation quickly turned to Sirius Black. There were signs posted all over the town advising that dementors roamed the area at night and wanted posters showing Sirius Black in his cell in Azkaban so it was only a matter of time until we started discussing him.
"All those years in Azkaban the man must be,"
"nutters, completely bonkers."
"You don't think he'd show up here, do you?" I asked, fear evident in my voice, as I shifted closer to Fred.
"Dunno, if he's really as evil as they say,"
"he'd probably be after Potter, yeah?"
"But why risk being caught? There are so many people here! Not to mention those damned dementors"
"He escaped the dementor once, what's once more, yeah?"
Our conversation continued on for a few more minutes until we realized what time it was.
"We have to get back for the feast!" I exclaimed. We gathered our things and made our way back toward Hogwarts castle and the Halloween feast.
After a gigantic meal where I ate until I felt ill we began to head back toward Gryffindor tower.
"What's the hold-up?" Chorused the twins when we reached the staircase directly in front of the portrait of the Fat Lady. We couldn't even see the portrait the crowd was so thick. And the whispers that we were hearing!
Someone near the front yelled for someone to go get Dumbledore but there was no need, he was already making his way through the many Gryffindors.
"Where's the Fat Lady?" I asked, finally getting a peak at the empty - and shredded? - portrait.
"Missing," replied the twins. Once Dumbledore had found the Fat Lady and gotten some answers from Peeves, he addressed the students that were gathered behind him.
"Students will return to the Great Hall immediately," he said solemnly.
"What's going on?" George wondered as we back-tracked toward the Great Hall.
"Sirius Black tried to get into Gryffindor tower! He slashed the Fat Lady when she refused him entry!" replied a young Gryffindor who'd been standing close enough to Dumbledore and the Fat Lady to hear the entire exchange over the babble of rumors and speculations.
I froze on the spot and Fred walked straight into me.
"What? Why'd ya stop?" he asked.
"Fred! Sirius Black is inside the castle. Aren't you scared or worried or anything?"
"Dumbledore'll handle it," both twins responded.
"Fred, seriously, I'm scared," I said. The twins managed to get me walking toward the Great Hall again as we continued our conversation. "What if he hurts someone?" I muttered. I didn't think I'd survive the grief if someone I cared about was hurt or killed.
"Dumbledore wouldn't let that happen, Jules, you know that," Fred replied as he rubbed my back comfortingly.
"I guess," I replied finally.
"All students are to remain in the Great Hall tonight," Dumbledore said, waving his wand and making hundreds of squishy purple sleeping bags appear. The twins and I got sleeping bags near the far end of the Great Hall but fucking Percy Weasley wouldn't let me put my sleeping bag next to Fred's because it was "inappropriate." When the time came for lights out, however, I began to sneak over to Fred's sleeping bag. It was pitch black in the hall and there was a murderer on the loose in the castle; you'd be scared, too. Anyway, as I snuck over to Fred the worst person in the school saw me - Marcus Flint.
"Hey Perkins, why don't you come over here and get in my sleeping bag? I'll keep the scary man away,"
"Flint, I wouldn't go within 20 feet of your sleeping bag for 10 thousand galleons." I retorted and started to turn away.
"10 thou? Is that how much you cost? How does Weasley afford you, then? Or is that just your cost for a real wizard?" I stopped in my tracks. "Oh, that's right Perkins, I've heard about your little nighttime strolls. Too bad Weasley can't afford better, really."
"Excuse me?" I said through gritted teeth. Fred and George had risen and were now standing on either side of me.
"You heard me. You're just like your filthy, muggle mother. She was a dirty whore, too. Didn't she run off when you were just a baby? Probably found a higher bidder than your pathetic muggle-loving father. Hopefully she didn't contaminate any more pure wizarding blood. But then again, maybe you aren't like your mother. If Weasley can afford you, you must not cost that much. What d'ya pay her, Weasley, knut a week?" at this Fred lunged toward Flint. All the Slytherins and even a few other people (like bloody Oliver Wood) were laughing and oohing and aahing. George and I held Fred as Flint stepped closer.
"Fuck off, Flint," I spat.
"You're a filthy mudblood! I wouldn't waste my good money on you," Flint growled at me and walked back to his goons.
"Don't let him see you cry, don't let him see you cry, don't let him see you cry," I repeated to myself as Fred and I crawled into a sleeping bag.
"Ssh, Jay Jay," Fred began.
"It's ok, sweetie, don’t let him get to you," George added.
"He called me a mudblood! He called my mother a whore!" I finally broke into the tears that had been threatening since Flint's little show. And to make matters worse Oliver bloody Wood just happened to walk past me 'on his way to the toilet.'
"Oi Julia, how bout a sickle for an hour? Must seem like a fortune to you," he quipped on his way.
"Bastard, buggering prat," Fred mumbled under his breath as I cried harder and he held me tighter against him.
"My mother, Georgie! Why now?" I wept.
"I know, Jay Jay. We'll take care of him, just try to calm down for now and we'll deal with Marcus Flint and his Neanderthal nature later."
"Just get some sleep, Jay," Fred added, "and don't worry about Oliver, either. I'll hit a bludger at him next time we have practice." I laughed slightly through my tears and gave him a weak smile.
"Fucking Marcus Flint," we all said in unison. I eventually fell into a deep sleep with Fred holding me close to him.
The night was full of nightmares with unknown intruders and holding my dying mother in my arms. Even the image of the look on my father's face when he found us, when he thought I was dead, too, because I was so completely covered with my mother's blood. The nightmares continued until I was shaken awake at around 7 am.
"Jay Jay? Julia!" Fred was saying as he shook me, trembling.
"Huh? Wha?" I asked as I awoke.
"Are you OK?" the twins asked.
"You were having a nightmare," George clarified.
"Are you alright?" Fred asked again.
"Yeah, fine," I muttered, getting up out of the sleeping bag. I'm gonna go grab a shower and get ready for class." I said as I headed toward the doors.
When I reached to Gryffindor tower I took a quick but hot shower. After getting dressed, I ran a comb through my hair, grabbed my books, and bolted through the common room towards class. Who ever thought that having potions first thing in the morning was a good thing needs to be thrown off the Astronomy tower. When I got to the Entrance Hall I slowed my pace to a swift walk. That's when I realized I was being watched. I looked around me as I walked and saw hundreds of eyes following me make my way towards the dungeons. As I entered a side corridor and the students thinned out, I was able to hear the individual comments that students were making. It stopped me in my tracks.
"That's her! The slut who'll sleep with anyone for a few sickles!"
"I heard she's preggers and doesn't know who's it is!"
"Marcus Flint told me she went down on him in a broom closet before the Quidditch final last year!"
"Someone told me her Mum was a whore and she doesn't know who her real father is."
"Did you know that she's slept with the entire Slytherin Quidditch team and most of the guys in Gryffindor?"
"She swings both ways, too, if you know what I mean. I heard she lost her virginity in her first year!"
That was it, I couldn't listen to any more. I stormed to the dungeons and dropped my bag next to Fred and George just as the tears began falling from my eyes.
After a minute or so of questions from the boys, I wiped away the tears angrily and slammed my palm down on the table.
"Marcus Flint is going to pay," I growled.
The twins glanced at each other before responding.
"So you've heard,"
"I think it's safe to say that she's heard, George." Fred sounded just as angry as I felt.
"What're we gonna do?" I asked, a fire burning behind my eyes.
We sat there plotting. Class began at some point but the boys and I just kept plotting. Who really needed to take notes on Mandrake Draught? Everyone had already don’t tons of research on it last year during the attacks.
"Miss Perkins, please do pay attention," Snape spat when he finally realized we weren't listening to him at all. "Mr. Weasley and Mr. Weasley, you as well - 10 points from Gryffindor." The Slytherins laughed.
"10 points!" I exclaimed.
"EACH!" he added spitefully. I started to grumble from Fred jabbed me in the ribs to shut me up.
I kept quiet for the rest of the period, but didn't pay any more attention than I had been before.
When class was finally over we threw our stuff into our bags and raced towards History of Magic. At least Binns would let us plot in peace - hell, he'd probably be glad just to see anyone actually awake in his class.
We continued our plotting in an empty classroom during lunch, seeing that I was avoiding the majority of the student body. By the time the twins and I separated for our afternoon classes the plan was completed and we were ready to implement it the following morning. For all I cared Marcus would be expelled - all I knew was that the boy was going to pay.
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