Chapter 1 : Welcome to My Personal Hell
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Welcome to My Personal Hell
"Dude, how about her? More than just a little easy on the eyes, eh?”
I kept my head bowed over my Potions essay, but my cheeks flushed. I was not going to look up, I knew who it was without doing so. The transfer student from the United States. His accent was apparent and word of mouth was he was scoping out all of the girls in school.
“I suppose,” someone answered in disgust. “But I wouldn’t go near her if I were you.”
“Oh? And why not?”
The second voice sighed. “David, that’s Elaina Marshelle.” I grimaced, he said my name like it was a bad thing. Which, in his mind it probably was. When you’re like me, your name is scum. But, the new kid, David, didn’t know that.
“Dude, James, I’m new here, remember? I don’t know all the scandalous stories yet,” David replied completely at ease.
Ah, so it was the Head Boy and Marauder himself – how contradicting – showing around the new student. No wonder they were rating the female population.
James Potter sighed again. “It’s her parents, they’re pretty messed up.”
Messed up? Not the words I would use, but nevertheless, it took the place of understatement of the year. I clutched my quill much too hard. I stopped writing but didn’t stop moving my hand. I let my quill hover just above the paper making sure the tip didn’t touch the smooth surface at all. I pretended to look like I was still absorbed in my work. I couldn’t let them know that I could hear them so I also faced my face to stay oblivious.
“Her mum’s okay, I guess. For the most part at least. Her father…isn’t – or wasn’t, he’s not exactly…well…. You’ve heard of dementors, right?”
I felt like screaming. No matter if this was a library and Madame Pince would skin me alive.
“Her – her mother married a dementor?!” David gasped.
“That’s what some say. Others say she was raped or that it was a one night fling. Most people believe which ever they want.”
“Do dementors even have, uh, the right bits to do that?” David asked.
“I suppose. They have to reproduce some how, mate. And how else would her mother have gotten pregnant?”
I felt sick.
“So…you’re telling me…that girl is…half dementor?”
I stood up sharply and shoved my things in to my bag. I tried to ignore the way David and James took a step back, held their breath, and clung tight to their wands as I walked by.
When I was out in the corridor it was no better. A path was cleared for me even though the hall was thick with people. No one wanted to touch the half human.
The way they avoided me, you would think that my skin was tight and molding over my bones. Or that I was wearing an immensely over sized cloak and my mouth was constantly sucking happiness. No, I looked like everyone else in this school. But it was as if the horrible creature that was my father made them blind.
I wish I could say that this was just some awful rumour that some immature wizard made up, but it was the truth.
That dementor did more than take my mother’s happiness that night. Thus, she ended up an eighteen year old pure-blood witch that was pregnant with a dementor’s baby on a gone wrong trip to Azkaban.
I stared at my reflection in an arched window in the drafty corridor. My appearance was completely normal, the same as every other human’s. Dark brown hair fell in waves to my collar bone, pale skin, slender body and five foot five inches. My royal blue eyes stared back from under thick, long black lashes. I didn’t wear make up. What was the point when no one would come close enough to see it?
I wish my mother hadn’t had me. At least then I wouldn’t have to go through this hellish place. I wouldn’t have to worry about having no friends or watch people flinch when I walked into a room. Not have to watch people clutch their wands.
I’d be willing to bet that most of the people in the school could secretly perform the Patronus Charm. Not that it would affect me….
Even teachers shied away from me.
I remember before I was even asked to join Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Dumbledore asked to meet with me himself…. To see how much of me was human and how much was dementor.
He seemed pleased at my human looks. Only my constantly cool skin unnerved him. And my…hunger. But that didn’t come until later.
He obviously accepted me.
I had a monthly meeting scheduled with him after dinner. We would just talk things over, he wanted to make sure my dementor instincts didn’t get the better of me and take over.
I moved slowly to the Great Hall. I hated meals. People would always gawk and slide as far away from me as possible. Honestly, you’d think they would get sick of staring at something they hated so much. But I’d survived six years of it so far. Just one more and I’d be free…for the most part anyway.
The worst of it all was the strong sensitivity I had towards emotions. I could feel it in a room of people. I could smell it off someone’s skin. I could hear it in their voice. And I could taste it when I opened my mouth.
The fear and horror of David in the library was enough for me to blow my cover of being oblivious. That should give you some idea of the level of things I have to go through every single day.
A sudden rush came towards me as I walked. A flurry of horrid emotions. Anger. Fear. Disgust.
I didn’t turn.
There was a soft thunk of something or someone being hit.
“OW! Moony! What was that for?”
“Just stop embarrassing yourself, Sirius,” I heard Remus Lupin scold.
His voice shocked me. The emotions in his words were something along the lines of pity and understanding. How odd.
Sirius growled in a dog like manner.
“Oi! Soulsucker! Where are you headin’?” fat little Peter Pettigrew taunted. I wondered briefly if I should grace them with conversation. I might get to find out why Remus was suddenly sympathizing with me….
“Dinner,” I said shortly.
“Dinner? You mean, like, food or souls?” Potter demanded.
They were still feet behind me, too afraid to get too close. Hell, they only came this close when they outnumbered me four to one. Personally, I think this says something about these oh-so-brave Marauders.
“Exactly the same kind of dinner you’re going to.”
“Oh. Really, now? Because I really don’t think so. See, we’re going to a dinner together. With friends.”
“Sorry,” James said as though he wasn’t sorry at all. His voice said it too. “I just didn’t want you to be under the wrong impression.”
I hissed. My wand in hand, I turned around to deal with a certain troublesome Marauder…or all of them.
But I didn’t get a chance to attack. James already had his wand out and in the middle of a complicated hex before a curse was even on my lips.
I braced myself for the streak of purple light advancing. My wand work had never been up to par for dueling and I wasn't going to take the chance of trying to better it by going up against James bloody Potter. He was known for being one of the better duelists in the school.
I could have leapt to the side to avoid the spell. But, not only was I frozen in my spot, I was torn between what was worse - being hit with the curse or avoiding it and thus provoking them to send over more curses that would probably end up being worse than the original.
But I didn't have to make up my mind for Remus cast such a quick and powerful Shield Charm between us. I was blown backward and fell flat on my back from the sheer force of it. I blinked in amazement as Potter mirrored my actions. My lungs felt tight from the air that had just been knocked out of them.
Potter coughed and sputtered his eyes wide at his friend. Black roared with laughter as he thumped James on the back. Pettigrew pathetically stood there, giggling nervously, his eyes shooting across his friend’s faces.
I was even more shocked than James. Which, I assure you, was quite a bit.
What just happened?
Breathe, breathe. In, out. In, out.
"Sorry, Prongs. But there is no magic allowed in the corridors," Remus said with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. He pocketed his wand before reaching an arm down to help lift his friend off the cold floor.
I continued to stare at them as they ignored me completely and went back on their way as if nothing had happened. I watched them laugh as Sirius reenacted the scene that had just occurred (as if they all hadn't been there to see it happen the first time). I felt them become submerged in a happy and carefree environment.
Except for one. One of them had lingering feelings for what had just taken place. I couldn't quite name the exact emotion but it was somewhere along the lines of, unless I was sadly mistaken, guilt.
I pried myself off my back and into a slightly more comfortable position of sitting on my knees. I struggled to get my breath back while silently cursing myself for being so out of shape. I chewed the inside of my cheek as I mentally reviewed what had just happened.
James trying to hex me seemed ordinary enough. The only thing that was out of place was Remus's charm. Of course, I was grateful of what he had done, but it seemed awful odd to me. His excuse, while completely true, was flimsy. He was stopping illegal magic in the halls with magic of his own? Probably not the best way for that to be handled....
I was pulled out of my thoughts only by the foot steps that I heard approaching. I fumbled for my wand while mentally kicking myself for being so stupid as to keep the position that made me such and easy target. On the floor, smack in the middle of a corridor isn't exactly the best defense in the world.
I pointed my wand at the person that was walking towards me. Well, more like speed walking. Hell, he seemed to almost be jogging! And, lo and behold, Remus Lupin came over to me. He crouched down to my level and speaks to me in a low and fast voice.
“Elaina,” Remus addressed me. “Please, listen carefully. I haven't got much time. I came back to talk to you, but I told the guys that I was just going to take a leak, so I need to be quick.”
I stared up at him. "And why should I trust you?"
He raised his eyebrows. "Why? Isn't the fact that I just saved you from a very nasty and well performed Furnunculus Curse enough? Or did you really fancy to be covered in boils?"
"Well not particularly, no. But I don't see how you expect me to forget years of teasing just because you protected me from one curse," I sniffed.
"In case you hadn't noticed," he said with a frown. "I've never actually been the one aiming my wand at you."
"That may be so. But before tonight, you've never raised your wand to stop it either."
"Look, as fun as this is, I really don't have the time to bicker with you at the moment," he said with growing annoyance. "I just came back to say that I want you to come to our dormitory tonight. I want to explain some things to you....No. That's not right," he said with a shake of his head. "I want to explain everything to you. We're more alike than you think.”
“And why should I?"
"For one thing, I can tell that you're curious. For another, you're indebted to me," he smirked.
"And how do you figure that one out?" I asked.
"Haven't we just been over this?" he laughed as he brought himself to his feet and started away from me. "I just saved you from an unwanted case of boils."
“With a very transparent alibi,” I mumbled, unable to think of any other response, as he started his fast pace again. I didn't expect him to hear me so I jumped from surprise when he called back.
"Perhaps, but I wasn't trying to impress anyone, was I? And, besides. They bought it."
My mind seemed to be numb as I lifted myself off the dank floor and promptly turned in the other direction and started to run away from the Great Hall. I needed to see Dumbledore. I kept running through my heavy breath and aching lungs. I stopped only when I reached the stone beast that required the password for entrance.
“Peppermint Toad,” I told it, slightly breathlessly.
It sprung to life instantly revealing a winding staircase that lead up to Dumbledore’s office. I climbed them at least two at a time. When I reached the heavy door, I pounded on it.
“Head Master! It’s me! It’s Elaina!”
“Please, enter,” the cool voice called.
“Thank you, sir.” I walked into his office. Nothing had changed since last May when I was here last. Only his desk looked more cluttered and Fawkes, his pet phoenix, was a vibrant red and no longer looked like he was going to drop dead at any moment.
“Ah, Elaina. What brings you here so soon? I thought we planned for after dinner…. Did I lose track of the time?” He checked his ornate pocket watch. “No, no. You’re early. So, what made you feel the need to miss supper to talk with this old man?” he asked with a cheery grin.
Ugh. Did he have to remind me? My stomach felt completely empty. It actually hurt from lack of food.
I clutched my stomach and right on cue, it gave a low rumble.
Dumbledore laughed and waved his wand. A plate of many different sandwiches appeared along with a jug of Butterbeer and a huge bag of crisps. He waved his wand again and the Butterbeer started to pour itself into a glass for me.
“Whatever it is, it certainly must be more important than I thought.”
I took a sandwich and chewed hastily. Dumbledore waited patiently with his hands folded as I ate.
“Now, what’s on your mind?” he asked as I finished sipping my body warming drink.
“I ran into some people in the hall.”
“It was bound to happen sometime,” he said lightly.
I rolled my eyes and sighed.
“It was the Marauders – as they call themselves.” I stated as dramatically as I could.
Being around Dumbledore was comforting. He wasn’t one to judge me because of my past. He only saw me…and didn’t criticize me for being me. I never felt any of those annoying negative feelings around him either…well, not directed to me anyway.
He didn’t say anything, but crossed his long fingers together. His bright blue eyes bore into me with curiosity and urged me to go on.
“Well, it was the usual ‘Soulsucker’ taunts at first, nothing strange there….”
The Head Master’s eyes narrowed a fraction behind his glasses, he didn’t like hearing about the teenage prejudices, and even more so when I could talk of it so casually. He never said this, of course, but I knew how he felt. Merlin, I knew how everyone felt.
“But then, Remus – Lupin that is, Professor – blocked James Potter's curse with one of his own! Then he gave some excuse about magic not being allowed in the halls! And his friends! They bought it!"
He merely raised his whitened with age eyebrows. My sixth sense – so to speak – was telling me that Dumbledore wasn’t shocked about Remus’s behavior (well, that made one of us). He was concerned, though. But that was probably because of the illegal use of magic in the halls. God forbid.
“Then, once the rest of them had left, he came back! He told me that he has some things he wants tell me if I go to his dorms tonight! Sir, I think this might be some sort of prank! You know, the kind of sick joke that they would find absolutely hysterical!”
His face and aura were doubtful and his eyebrows rose even higher. “I don’t think it’s a prank or anything else of the sort, Miss Marshelle. And, dare I say, I don’t think you really do either.”
I bowed my head to avoid his eyes. I tried to pick of pictures or patterns in the wooden grain of his desk. I wished that I’d paid more attention in Divination because there was supposed to be some way to read patterns in wood and find their hidden meaning. It was useless, all I saw were lines and the occasional knot and I didn’t even know what those meant.
“And, I suppose your curiosity is going to take you to the boys’ dormitory, either way. I think it best that I go over your situation with Mr. Lupin, don’t you?”
“I don’t want him to not believe me if I tell him or if he asks me about the whole soul thing. I don’t want him to think I’m just covering my ass – er, butt.”
“Very well, very well,” he said continuing on as if he hadn’t heard me swear. However, I could feel faint disapproval radiating off of him.
He grabbed a small bit of spare parchment from one corner of his desk and a quill and started to pen a note.
“Please, give this to Mr. Lupin after you leave,” he said as he handed me the folded note.
“Oh. Of course,” I nodded as I stood up. I smoothed my blouse and adjusted the waistband of my skirt.
“There is something else you wanted to tell me,” he guessed as I was nearly out the door. I swore to myself in an undertone that would be impossible for him to hear. Damn, how did he know that?
When I turned around and met his eyes, his kind smile looked sick and twisted to me for a moment.
“I’ve been getting hungrier lately. All this hate really makes it hard. I always feel that…that craving no matter how full I am of food.”
Concern flowed off every particle of his body and his voice sent shivers down my back, “Should I arrange a trip to London for you?”
A surge of panic went through my body. Go to London at a time like this? With school just in its second week? With me just having fed a mere day before the Hogwarts Express pushed into King’s Cross Station? How absurd! And having to explain my disappearance! Sure, I didn’t have any friends but that didn’t mean the people here weren’t aware of my sudden absences. Hell, I was probably the dingle person they were most attuned to.
They probably thought I was out stealing puppies or munching on foreign souls or mass murdering babies. Or something like that. Honestly, how thick can you get?
“No! No. I can handle it. I promise.”
There was no reason for him to send me away…yet.
The dementor part of me was getting restlessly hungry. A hunger that could not be cured by human foods.
Happy, positive emotions. Sweet like candy yet frighteningly bitter – or perhaps that was just my fickle conscience.
But I would no prey on people I knew. I usually went after random people in heavily populated cities (like London) or stole the feelings from people that were too happy.
Dumbledore seemed to believe me for the most part, there was only a glimmer of doubt that I could sense.
I wished I could be that optimistic.
I bowed my head slightly to him out of respect as I slid out of his office and back in the direction of the Great Hall.
The girl in the chapter picture is Elaina if you hadn't guessed. C:
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Ooooh! And I now have one of those super dandy and ultra nifty Author's Pages! Hit me up on there!!~
~The Forgotten Muse
++EDIT++ Okay, so I was just flipping through my chapters looking up some detail or another that I had mentioned when I noticed something absolutely horrid....my chapters have SUCH weird spacing. And it's not even consistently weird! So I'm going back and fixing it all. Thanks, guys. :) 11-24-2010
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