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Chapter 5 : Chapter Five. Fierce.
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Apparently, I’d miscalculated.
When my vision became blurry and the corners began to turn black, I fought it. I opened my eyes wide, kicked my legs up, and even started pulling my hair, but nothing seemed to be helping this effort. In a last ditch attempt, I started talking, whispering and humming to myself, repeating over and over that I wouldn’t go.
If I’d know how horrible this dream would be, I would have fought harder.
The first few moments of the dream were pitch black, which wasn’t particularly odd, but wasn’t what I would call normal. There wasn’t even the slight inclination that is palpable in most dreams—a blurred and slightly distorted visual. It was black, silent.
A piercing howl rang through the air. I watched as the black began to give way to what appeared to be lights from a village. I was running, but didn’t know why; I just couldn’t seem to stop. If I stopped, I knew something dreadful would happen. Someone next to me was breathing raggedly, huffing and wheezing whilst they sprinted as fast as they could, which didn’t appear that quick. I turned by head, able to not think about my legs and their movement, but more about my surroundings.
There were tall columns of what appeared to be wheat or some other crop. It smelled vaguely like my aunt Theresa’s barn that I visited when I was six and Petunia pushed me in the mud by accident, it was before we all were shocked to find that I was magical—I have no doubt that if she had known, it wouldn’t have been an accident.
I turned to gaze upon who I was running with, and who I believed was the dreamer. Their body was visible, but the face was indistinguishable, as though there was a black spot that was hazily covering their countenance. I sniffled and gazed at the rest of their form, hoping to gain some insight perhaps, hoping that I might know them. It was a child, but not too young, perhaps eight.
It wasn’t until I’d discovered that I had no clue who this person was, that I turned to look behind us, at what was chasing us. It was a furry beast, more specifically a werewolf. I’d seen enough pictures in my books to be able to easily recognize the beast, but why someone who had experience in the magical realm would have a nightmare about being chased by one, I had no idea.
Finally, it seemed as though my legs were loosing their response, that I was going to stumble any minute and now that I’d gained awareness of this sad reality, it would only become more inevitable. I looked next to me to see that the little boy was loosing speed and he was crying—the black dot over his face had lessened. I wanted to hold him and reassure him despite this horrible situation, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything but run.
The little boy turned to me and mouthed, “help me”, to which I could only gawk and wish I could.
The beast lapsed over to the child, its eyes wide and wild with disarray and pleasure, clearly enjoying the chase. I watched frozen, no longer able to move even my fingertips, as the beast lunged at the poor boy, sinking its teeth viciously into his arm. I gaped, tears welling up into my eyes at this sudden and unexpected act of violence. I tried to break free from my bindings, but could only watch as a howl spread from behind, and the beast’s eyes perked up in recognition.
As the werewolf darted away, I watched the little boy assume the fetal position, his eyes clinching shut and his good arm shielding the wounded and bleeding one.
His face was frozen in pain when my vision began to fade. I became aware of reality, but couldn’t move still. Not because of my condition, but because of my absolute shock and terror. The scene was still vivid and clear in my eyes, the sweat I’d accumulated from running away from the beast springing onto my forehead as though it’d been there the whole time. I looked around, hoping against hope that I might see the dreamer and be able to comfort them, but there was no one who seemed at all stunned or tired around me.
Martha Kirstocks was reading a book at the table two away from mine, Madame Pince was casting the charm on the stacks of books to reshelf themselves, and Remus Lupin was walking out of the door. No one appeared to be stricken or horrified like I was. I grabbed my books and raced away from the table, out of the library.
I ran to the Great Hall, where no one was. After standing there like a fool, I ran to the common room. I found Elsie and Lys sitting in the corner, writing essays. I’d yet to start my Potions essay, hoping that I’d finally do it tonight, but for some reason, I know it wouldn’t get done. I sat in the vacant chair beside Lys, who was wearing her curly black hair in a side ponytail. I commented absentmindedly on how nice it looked before I closed my eyes and thought long and hard about forgetting the dream.
“Are you okay, Lil?” Lys asked. I nodded.
“Oh, would you look at him? Gorgeous!” Elsie sighed and bit the tip of her sugarquill in a way that suggested she was undressing Peter with her eyes again. I blanched at the thought, my cheeks turning whiter than I’d thought possible. Lys shook her head and let out a small sigh.
“So how’d the list turn out?” I asked her.
“I’m not starting again, if that’s what you’re asking,” she replied curtly. I scowled, my eyes searching for James, knowing he’s the reason that’s stopping one of my best friends from being happy.
The fire from the hearth was glowing and making my heart thump in time to the dancing of the flames. I watched as students mingled and delighted in each other’s companies, wondering without thinking if any of them might have experienced such a terrifying reverie.
“What about you? I ‘ear ze captain es bothering you,” she grins to show off her perfectly straight teeth and speaks in her French accent which she inherited from her mother’s side. I’ve known Lys the longest out of all of my friends, but seem to spend the least amount of time with her.
“No, he’s just making his presence known every chance he gets. It’s not overly annoying,” I said as I scanned the room for the bloke in question once more. I sighed and rested my chin in my hand, wondering how tonight was going to play out.
“Well, power to you if you can tolerate him. Just don’t rip his head off, at least not before graduation,” Lys smirks and returns her attention to her essay. I nodded and stood up, walking towards the staircase.
When I finally reached my dorm, all I wanted to do was collapse on my bed and sleep. If only for a few hours before the first of the dreamers would doze off into some falling dream, or a passionate sex-crazed fantasy, or some ridiculous scene of nonsense that displayed all of their insecurities and none of their virtues.
But I knew that if I managed to sleep, it would only lead to a bad night. I needed to stay awake for the long hours ahead of me. Potter wanted to travel with me again. I didn’t know if I was unhappy about it or not. The kid was witty and fun to be around, but was he mature enough yet? It had to happen sometime.
I put down my bag and the books that I’ve been studiously hulling along with me all day, completely falling into a routine, becoming a drone. I brush my teeth simply because of my boredom and then powder my nose. What should I do next?
Someone pounded on my door and I walked over, straightening my shirt. Whoever it was obviously wasn’t a resident since they knocked.
When I opened the door and saw that it was James, I almost laughed.
“A bit eager, were you?” I smirked, brushing my fingers through my hair and walked back to my bed. I pulled on my lucky charm bracelet and a watch that ticked especially loud. He watched my every move without saying a word. His eyes scanned the dorm, taking in the clues to the mystery that is the teenage girl. I watched him for a few moments, adjusting my bangs and dabbing on just a touch of perfume, for no particular reason.
He finally stumbled out of his trance, “Ready to go? I figured we’d go to the library; I’m sure people snooze there all the time.”
I eyed him for a moment, “Actually, most people who make the effort to travel to the library, namely not you, spend their study time wisely.”
“Your point being?” He looked up into my eyes after unclasping his robe and folding it over his elbow. He added, “Can I just leave this here?”
“Yeah, why not,” I mumbled, pointing onto my bed. He threw the cloak and then straightened up, running a hand through his hair. “Okay, fine, let’s away then, yeah?”
“Yeah,” he started walking.
We strolled past my gaping friends in the common room and made extra care to go slow and not attract suspicion whilst traveling towards the library. It wasn’t past curfew yet, but it wasn’t exactly smart to be walking around at dusk as we were.
James pulled open the tall wooden door that led to the library and waved me inside, taking an extra moment to look both ways behind me. It was strange to see him polite, but I didn’t comment.
When we ventured inside, there was absolutely no one there. What a wasted voyage. Electing to travel back to the common room, we made small talk on the way over. He muttered the password and we strolled inside, still ignoring the faces that our friends and fellow students were making.
When we made out way to one of the tables, I looked around for anyone who appeared remotely dazed or sleepy in any way. My bum touched the seat just as my vision began to blur. I grabbed James’s arm, tugging his roughly down onto his chair beside me, and he let out a grunt.
The air was thick, like it was raining, but we were inside. There was steam on the windows, alerting me to what I already know. A sex dream. I whispered “Perfect.”
“Oh Merlin,” Potter gasped. I didn’t want to turn around, afraid he’d be ‘enjoying’ the dream. But I did anyway.
This was no sex dream. What appeared before me made my legs grow weak, my heart thump louder, and my head spin. Dark red liquid covering and dripping onto all surfaces. There was a curtain in front of us, a sheer piece of fabric coated in blood. I gaped and my eyes roamed the rest. Behind the curtain was the dreamer, being tortured with a spell that I, surprisingly, couldn’t make out. I was unsure whether it was real or not.
The attacker said the spell once more and blood spurted out of the victim’s cuts, rocketing from thin, shallow slits in their skin. I closed my eyes, clinging to James as though he was a lifeline and I was about to drown. The victim, who we’d identified as Heather McFilan, was screaming and pleading with us to help her. My mouth formed a silent O as I watched blood drip out of her like water from a forgotten garden hose. James put his arms around me, pulling my face into his chest and rubbing my back.
“Don’t look, Lily,” he said. I could clearly distinguish the regret in his voice. There was no doubt in my mind that after seeing the evil side of dream hopping, Potter would never want to participate ever again. I melted into him, letting his arms protect my eyes from the horrible display that was before me.
The dream began to fade quickly as someone was shouting in the common room.
“Look, they’re practically snogging!” Some voice called very loudly. People were laughing as I opened my eyes, one before the other. I was in James’s arms, just like when we were in the dream. People stood around us, pointing and whispering like a scene in a muggle film.
I groaned and pushed myself away from him, despite my need for comfort at that moment. I didn’t say anything. Most people, I’m sure, would have expected me to say some contrived excuse but I merely stood and nodded goodnight to him before climbing up the stairs to my dorm. It was dark by now and the air temperature had significantly lessened. I changed quickly, pulling on flannel pajamas and a jumper for warmth.
Girls in my dorm were already sleeping, but strangely I wasn’t becoming affected yet—perhaps they hadn’t reached R.E.M sleep yet?
I jumped in my bed and pulled the covers up to my shoulders, sniffing the scent of my pillow before closing my eyes. Lys and Haley walked in just at that moment, talking animatedly without regard for the sleepers.
“Black said that James probably put some sort of drought in her goblet at dinner or something,” Haley smirked through her voice and shrugged off her cloak, laying it down gently on her bed.
Lys nodded and looked at me, but I was too far away for her to tell that I was peeking through my lashes. They continued undressing and changing into their night garments. Haley traveled into the loo to brush her teeth and fix her hair while Lys folded over her blankets.
“I just don’t think that James is that desperate. He was countless bimbos constantly droning after him, he doesn’t need some kind of drink mix,” Lys said thoughtfully. She sighed and went into the loo just as Haley exited.
“All I know is that she hasn’t been herself lately. I hope she’s all right,” her eyes flickered to me, probably saying such a nice comment because her suspicion of me being awake was ringing in her mind.
“Night,” Lys said as she closed her curtains. Haley tucked herself in and closed her curtains as well, mumbling her goodnight.
I sat there in silence, completely immersed in my head, dreading the moment when my fingers would begin to tingle and my vision would smudge.
A tap on my window. I looked over and saw Potter straddling his broom, waving at me to come over. I sat up straight and immediately felt self conscious of my pajamas and my hair, my face, everything. I looked behind me and saw all my roommates sleeping. I opened the window slowly, and only just a bit as not to let the cold air inside.
“Can I help you?” I whispered.
“C’mon,” he held out a hand, but I even know enough about flying that his hand would not be enough to get me on that broom. I shook my head and shivered just a bit, blowing out some air just to demonstrate how cold it was outside.
“Be careful,” I admonished when he swerved just a bit and appeared to almost fall. “You shouldn’t be here. I don’t like you.”
“You’re so immature, Evans,” he smirked, knowing his comment would pinch a nerve. How dare he call me immature.
“The cauldron calling the kettle black?” I whispered. His brow furrowed.
“What are you talking about?” He asked, bemused. I rolled my eyes and walking over to my bed where my slippers were. I shuffled them on whilst cursing myself and my motives. When I walked back to the window, he was hovering closer. “Hop on.”
It took some skill and a bit of maneuvering to manage to get me on that broom, but after a few attempts I was steadily on it, in front of him. I wasn’t on the cushion charm, so I was immensely uncomfortable and I told him so.
“Just hold on a moment,” he whispered in my ear. A chill went up my spine. It might have been the cold air, but I doubted it. I groaned as the broom made me increasingly uncomfortable.
He flew closer to the grounds, by the lake, just a few feet off the ground. After perhaps a minute of having a stiff wooden broom being shoved into my bum, I hopped off, landing on the grass with a soft thud. I relished my feet touching the ground, and made sure to say so.
“Yeah, yeah, you hate flying,” Potter said. He added what sounded like “nobody’s perfect”.
I sighed and bunched myself together so that my knees were up to my chest as I sat and looked on as the moonlight graced the rippling water of the Black Lake.
“So are you okay?” he finally asked, referring to the nightmare.
“No, not really.”
“I didn’t know anyone dreamt like that,” he said offhandedly. I nodded, my eyes squinting together.
“It would have been better for me had I not witnessed a really gruesome nightmare in the library earlier. I still don’t know who dreamt it,” I ran a hand through my hair and pushed it a bit to the sides, covering my ears.
“What happened?” he asked.
“There was a little boy, and he was running to the village or something, being chased by a werewolf. It was horrible, James, the werewolf caught up and bit him. I can still hear the crunch in my head. It was…horrible.” I let out a deep breath and waited.
When after a few moments passed, I turned to see Potter extremely upset. His eyes weren’t focusing on anything, but rather were shooting in different areas. He asked, “You didn’t see who dreamt it, right?”
“I just said that. No, I didn’t,” I said.
“Anyway,” he said quickly. I almost laughed, but the mood didn’t allow it. “What other kinds of dreams have you seen?”
“Well,” I laughed, my eyes brightening at all the weird experiences I’d been through. I realized suddenly that this was my idea of a good time. Sitting, talking, being. I liked it a lot, and what was strange was that I was with Potter. “You’d be surprised. I mean, I’ve witnessed so many naked speeches, and I think I’ve seen enough fantasies about sex to last me a lifetime. Some students here are real perverts!”
James laughed, “Really now?”
“Yeah!” I giggled despite myself. “You should have been there for this one—I think it was Cameo Johnson’s, when I was in Herbology, she dreamt she was covered in whip cream and you four—you, Black, Remus, and Peter—it was disgusting, you were licking it off her and she was moaning and you were all extremely happy to be doing it. It was traumatizing.”
“Hmmm,” his eyes glazed off. I hit him on the arm softly.
“Hey,” I shrieked, a smile fighting its way onto my lips. “None of that.”
“Sorry, I’m male,” he laughed, grinning like he won the lottery or something. I stared at him for a moment, completely silent.
“Oh Merlin, what am I doing?” I muttered. He stopped laughing and stared at me. I felt my lips open. His eyes wandered down to them. He started to lean in.
The setting was perfect, and the feeling was…right. Everything was so romantic about this moment, except that it was James Potter and me. I moved away from him seconds before his lips touched mine, “Take me back.”
He hung his head in shame for a moment, muttering his reply. His fingers wandered a bit and found his broom before he looked up and saw that I was standing now.
We were in silence the entire ride back, the awkwardness so palpable that it was almost suffocating. Potter hovered a bit after I’d managed to climb into the dorm again. I sat on the window ledge as he said his goodnight.
“I had a good time,” he offered.
“Yeah. Thanks for helping, I was kind of freaked before, but I think I’ll be able to..sleep,” I said. He nodded.
“Well, goodnight,” he grinned.
“Night,” I gave a small smile. I held out my hand.
His eyes gazed upon it for quite some time, just staring. Then his arm slowly extended and his hand shook mine. Up and down, up and down. We shook hands for longer than necessary.
“See you tomorrow,” I said, my hand still encompassed by his. He nodded, a smirk playing upon his lips.
I really wanted to get a chapter out to everyone before the submissions were closed, so here it is. I tried to write longer, as that's what most of you have been asking for, so I hope it worked. Thanks so much to everyone who reviewed! I'll work on answering them all during the break! Oh, and if any of you have any suggestions for dreams--whether it's one of your own, or you like the idea, or whatever, I'd very much appreciate them! (My creativity is running short lately).
And since a lot of people failed to notice my disclaimer in the first chapter here is another one: Some of the plot belongs to Lisa McMann, who wrote the Wake series. Harry Potter belonds to JK Rowling. No copyright infringement is intended.
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