Chapter 7 : Howl
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The Marauders had many traditions with birthdays being no exceptions.
October 14th brought Remus’ birthday, giving the title of oldest and wisest of the group. Many knew him to be called Moony with only three who actually knew why. During third year, James, Sirius and Peter had learnt about his fury little problem – hence the nickname – but just the thought of telling Jen, his sweet and innocent little sister, left him retching at the thought.
But the 14th October wasn’t only his birthday. It was also the full moon.
*Earlier that week*
The month that followed warren’s arrival was uneasy, tense, and embarrassing for Jen. Since the second Defence class she had refused to work with him, earning them both a fail for the assignment and a seating change in an attempt to improve their grades.
To her dismay, she suddenly found herself the centre of attention with all the boys. It was almost impossible to bear. It had been announced that there was to be another Christmas Ball and already people were fighting to find a date before it was too late. Jen’s announcement of wanting to stay single seemed to have drifted out the window, forgotten forever.
What made the attention worst were James, Peter, Remus and Sirius. They couldn’t seem to stand the extra attention Jen was getting. Every time they got a whiff that someone was about to ask her out they would be by her side in an instant, not allowing the boy in question near her.
“So,” Jayden, a cute sixth year boy that most of the girls had a crush on, said, looking at the floor, “have you got a date to the Christmas Ball yet?”
She paused for a moment, hating the wave of guilt that swept through her. Jayden was such a good friend, in fact she used to have a secret crush on him in third year. That only lasted until he became good friends with James and Sirius meaning she hung around with him quite often. Unfortunately, that meant she had grown to see Jayden as only a friend now and in her opinion that was never going to change. Jen could see, from the corner of her eye, Warren’s head tilt reflexively in her direction from the Hufflepuff table.
“Jayden, I –” she started to say but was cut off by James.
“Sorry mate, but our Jenny here doesn’t date. And even if she did, we wouldn’t agree on anyone being good enough for her even if you are a good friend of ours.” He placed his arm in a brotherly way around Jen’s shoulders leading her to an empty spot on the bench across from Sirius, Remus and Tess.
Jen shot Jayden sympathetic look before turning to fill her plate with delicious food to start her day off.
The week continued to get worse as boy after boy came up to ask Jen on a date for the Christmas Ball. It was a relief, when the bell rang for end of school, to return to her dormitory. She almost ran up the stairs to the Gryffindor entrance; there were too many people she wanted to avoid.
She almost had a stroke when she rounded a corner to find a tall, dark figure leaning against the gate. It was Corey, a boy who had had a crush on Jen since the start of the school year. Please don’t see me, she thought as she neared closer to him.
“Hey, Jennifer ,” he called.
“Hi Corey, what’s up?”
“Uh, I was just wondering . . . if you would go to the Christmas Ball with me.” His voice broke on the last word.
“Err . . . well; I’m actually going to just go with friends this year sorry. Strictly no date policy, remember? And anyway, I wouldn’t want you to get on the wrong side of my boys. They can get very protective, you know?”
“Yeah, that’s what Jayden said.” He looked down at the stone floor.
“Then why – “
He shrugged. “I just hoped you used it as an excuse to let Jayden down easily, you know.”
“Sorry, I’m just trying to keep them in a good mood at the moment,” she said, working to control my irritation.
“That’s cool. Maybe another ball later in the year?”
She didn’t have the energy or time to argue back as he walked down the corridors before she could respond. Jen could feel the shock on her face. Looking forward she spotted Warren on his way down the corridor, which she presumed was the way to the Hufflepuff common room. He turned to look in her direction and was unmistakably shaking with laughter. Surely he couldn’t have known what had just happened between her and Corey. She made a movement to carry on up the corridor to the common room.
But before she could take a step forward...
“Jennifer?” yelled a voice that she didn’t recognise.
Kim straightened up swiftly and turned in order to see who the owner of the voice was. Her face relaxed as she saw who it was. Aaron. Jen watched and waited as he strolled over to where she was standing. He had a troubled look stretched across his face. “Hey Aaron, are you okay?”
“Uh, yeah thanks. I was just wondering if you weren’t going with anyone, if you would go to the Christmas Ball with me.” His eyes suddenly found something on the floor interesting.
Aaron, don’t take this badly, but you’re gay!” she struggled to keep her voice even. How many more people would she have to let down before they got the picture.
Warren walked past the two talking students, looking straight forward, his lips pressed together. Jen needed answers and she was sure Warren was involved some way or another. After all, hadn’t he just walked past her going in the opposite direction?
“What’s the picture here? Did someone pay you or something to ask me out?” She looked up at him through her eyelashes. It was something she’d seen her mother do plenty of times to get her way. And not just with her father either. She knew it was wrong to flirt with him after turning him down but she needed answers.
“Okay, but please don’t be angry with me. We’re still friends right?” Aaron asked. She quickly nodded taken aback that her flirting had worked. “Warren found out about your non-dating policy. He wanted to see if you were serious. After Jayden asked you out the beginning of the week, he saw how much it annoyed you and payed loads of people to ask you out. I only did it because I needed the money! I knew if you asked for the truth, I would tell you, and then he wouldn’t be able to pay any more people to trick you.”
“I am going to kill him!” Jen turned to where she’d seen him last. He was gone. “He can wait till tomorrow – I guess. Thanks for telling me Aaron. I won’t tell him you told me, so don’t worry.”
The next day Jen spent the day searching for Warren as it was a Saturday. She felt bad, as it was Remus’ birthday that she wasn’t spending the day with him but was sure to spend the morning in the common room with the other Marauders so they could hand him his presents. She had given him a hamper of Honey Duke’s chocolate knowing they were his favourite.
By 6 o’clock it was dark and still Jen couldn’t find Warren anywhere. Luckily for her, Remus’ birthday party wasn’t until the next day as he had gone home to visit his parents for a family gathering to celebrate his birthday. This meant she could carry on searching until curfew. “Jen? I haven’t seen you all day, where have you been?” Sirius rounded the corner giving Jennifer an idea – the map.
“I’ll tell you later. Do you have the map on you?”
“Of course. I always carry it round with me.”
“Can I borrow it please?”
“Sure but don’t go outside. Okay?”
“What? Why? Never mind, I won’t go outside okay.”
Without another word to Sirius, Jen skipped off with the now open map in her hands. “Aha, got you!” A tiny dot titled ‘Warren Brown’ could be seen sitting under the popular tree beside the Black Lake. Forgetting about Sirius’ warning, Jennifer sprinted through the Great Doors and through the grounds, finally finding herself behind Warren.
He needn’t have turned his head to know who it was that had joined his company. “Took you long enough to find me.”
“How dare you! I shouldn’t have to find you. What made you think that it was acceptable to pay people to ask me out just because you saw how it annoyed me so? You’re despicable, you know that?” Jen paused to catch her breath, knowing it was a mistake for it would give him space to reply.
“I didn’t do it to make you angry, no matter what you may think of me.” Jen gave him a confused glance while she still struggled to catch her breath. “On the second day you told me that you didn’t date mainly because James, Sirius, Remus and Peter were too protective. But only once have I seen them there when you have turned your requesters down. I was testing their reactions before I asked you myself.”
“B . . . but you’ve been so rude to me so far. How could you like me when you’ve treated me like dirt?”
Warren’s reply was overpowered by an eerie howl coming from the Womping Willow nearby. Shock replaced their expressions. “Come on we have to get out of here Jennifer. Come on!” Warren’s efforts were wasted for Jen’s shock wouldn’t allow her body to move. Instead she stood, staring in the distance to what would soon be appearing over the hill. “Jennifer?” Still, her body failed to react to his voice, so Warren had no choice but to pull her into his arms and run. Little did he know that his attempts to escape wouldn’t be fast enough.
“Oh, Jen thank Merlin you’re okay!” were the first words Jennifer heard when her eyes fluttered open. Her head throbbed and her eyesight was blurry but other than that nothing else hurt.
“You and Warren were attacked on the grounds two days ago. You hit your head pretty hard and you’ve been unconscious since then. Warren’s already been discharged.” Sirius finally let Jennifer go but failed to look her in the eye as he was forced to lie to protect Remus’ secret.
“I remember hearing something. A ho-”
“Oh, you’re awake. Didn’t I tell you to tell me when she woke up? Now, dear, you broke a rib but I fixed that up. You also hit your head and I’ve done the best I could. I have potion to relieve your headache soon. All this attention can’t be doing you any good. Out all of you!” A young witch exited the small office from the left. Jen supposed she was the new nurse the boys had told her about.
“No, Poppy. I think it’s time I tell her the truth.”
[A/N] What do you think? I am absolutely terrible at action scenes so I’m sorry if you are disappointed by the skip to the hospital wing. Again not very long – sorry
Amazing chapter image by Jesi @ TDA :D
Chapter 7 should be up soon to make up x
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