Chapter 11 : Showdowns in Hogsmeade
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Showdowns in Hogsmeade
Rachel watched on in confusion as Abbie (having just thrown a bottle’s worth of butterbeer all over her ex-boyfriend) marched back to their table with a determined look on her face.
“Let’s blow this joint. There are too many rats in here for my liking.” She had also noticed the annoyed glares she was receiving from the kind, old barmaid Madame Flossie. She hardly ever got mad, but having a boy dripping of butterbeer in front of her was bound to tick her off a little.
The four got to their feet, Peri quickly grabbing her butterbeer (it was so tasty!) and walked to the door, every pair of eyes watching them. Rachel looked at Andy and caught his eye briefly before he narrowed his eyes and turned away. Rachel’s mood sank below the floor as Abbie continued to march on in front, not saying a word.
What had Andy said to her? Had he even said anything to her, or was Abbie just reflecting on him dumping her? Rachel didn’t know, but in any case she felt obligated to fall into step beside her and take her hand reassuringly. Abbie looked up and gave her hand a squeeze.
“What happened?” Lily asked, as they came to a halt outside Dervish and Banges. Abbie shook her head.
“He’s just a jerk. A self centred, filthy, horrible git and you’re much better off without him.” She replied shortly. Rachel smiled weakly, but wouldn’t believe her. The others had always really liked Andy, so Abbie was probably trying to make her feel better.
“Thanks. I think.” Rachel laughed, but it was hollow.
“C’mon. Let’s head to Honeydukes. I’ve run out of Liquorice Wands.” Will grabbed Abbie’s other hand and pulled them down the street, his jaw set. It seemed he was just as determined to make sure they all had a good time today.
“How can you even like those things?” Lily laughed, linking her arm through Peri’s and following them. “They don’t even taste much like liquorice.” She added.
“Yeah, well. I have weird tastes.” Will replied.
“In more than one case.” Rachel raised her eyebrows and he froze.
“Wh-what do you mean by that?”
“Aha! I knew it! There is a new girl!” She cried, using her hand that wasn’t in Abbie’s to point and laugh at him. “I can’t believe how easy you took that bait!”
“Ugh!” He moaned. “I’m never going to here the end of this…” He added under his breath. Lily ran up with Peri to link her other arm through Will’s.
“So. Who is it?”
“Like I’m actually going to tell the biggest gossips in the school.” Will nodded his head in Abbie and Rachel’s direction.
“I object, sir!” Abbie laughed. The line of friends walked down the street laughing, trying to get Will to let on more about the new girl. They didn’t notice, however, the small group of students who were following them from behind.
“Are those the girls?”
“Yup. It’s lucky that wacko lady’s paying us so good.”
“I’d do it even without the money. Any chance to get even with a bunch of Mudbloods and blood traitors.”
“It’s always the same with you, Avery. But you’re only a fifth year. Leave the rest to us.”
The atmosphere that the girls left behind in the Three Broomsticks was not one they would have liked to be part of. No one wanted to break the silence, whilst Andy Carter stood with a meter wide berth from anyone who did not want butterbeer all over their clothes. He scowled and shook his sopping wet black hair, now with a tinge of brown on top.
The first to say anything, Madame Flossie came from behind the counter and put her arm round him.
“You come out the back, dear, and I’ll clean you all up.” He nodded reluctantly as there were a couple of wolf whistles from the back of the pub, and the noise struck up again.
“Oi Carter! You just got owned by a blondie!”
“I bet Madame Flossie’s gonna “clean you up” alright!”
“Stop taking the piss you jerks!” The cocky boys from the back slunk away as Rosmerta from fourth year pranced round the counter. She may have been pretty (with long blonde curls round her shoulders) and quite lacking in height, but it was well know that she had a killer high-kick. Especially for anyone who took the mick out of her mother.
But the loud noise that began in the pub once more after the removal of Andy, had not quite reached the sub-zero temperatures of the Marauder’s table.
“So what do you think Carter said to Riley?” James asked, in an attempt to coax a response out of either Sirius or Remus. Sirius shrugged nonchalantly.
“Not my business.”
“Maybe he didn’t say anything. But Carter was the one who almost made her best friend kill herself. What more motivation does she need to throw butterbeer in his face?” Remus added scathingly.
“Jeez… what’s up with you two today? What did they fight about Wormtail?”
“Oh… it’s nothing serious. C’mon guys get over it.” He hinted. Did the other two boys really want James to find out what they were talking about? Their stony silence lessened slightly, but the tension was obvious in the air between them. James sighed; it was obvious they weren’t going to tell him, whatever it was.
“Well… where d’you want to go next then?” he asked cheerily.
“Well I need to get into Scrivenshaft’s. My quill snapped last night whilst I was doing my translations.” This wasn’t strictly true, but they needed an excuse to get out and into the open air. They walked along in silence, no one really wanting to say anything before Peter sighed exasperatedly.
“You guys need to lighten up! What happened to Marauder time?” he asked bravely. The other three looked up in surprise – but he was right.
“You’re right Wormy. Sorry Moony.” Sirius shrugged, holding out his hand. “What’s your business is your business.”
“Accepted.” Remus grinned back, taking his hand firmly.
“Sorry to interrupt this heart-warming scene, but there’s a gaggle of suspicious Slytherins over there.” James interjected, pointing down the street to Honeydukes.
“Seventh years?” Sirius asked.
“Maybe one or two. Mainly sixth though – and it looks like that annoying fifth year Prefect Damon Avery’s in the thick of It.” he replied.
“They may not be doing anything wrong Prongs…” Remus warned.
“But as Head Boy I feel it’s within my rights to check it out, right?”
“Let’s just go to Honeydukes – we haven’t been there yet.” Peter suggested and the other boys nodded. “I wonder if they still do those Liquorice Wands. I heard no one was buying them, so they were going out of business.”
“That’s because they taste nothing like liquorice!”
Lily laughed as her friends were pouring over Honeydukes’ latest sweet (Fizzing Whizbees – massive balls of sherbet that made you levitate) all crowded round the stand. She browsed amongst the shelves, searching for something to bring home for her parents – they found the sweets from the wizarding world absolutely fascinating, especially her mother who ran a small sweet shop back in her hometown. If she hadn’t been looking through the shelves around blood flavoured lollipops she wouldn’t have noticed the large group of unpleasant Slytherins step into Honeydukes.
Lily frowned. They didn’t often hang around in big groups – but she did recognise a couple of boys. Seventh Year Duncan Mulciber – but it could have been his younger brother Finley (a sixth year prefect) as it was incredibly hard to tell the difference between them. Although this Mulciber was taller, so it was more likely to be Duncan - she couldn't tell if the other Mulciber was there as well, as they were all in a tight knit group. And then of course there was her old friend Severus Snape. Big surprise.
But as much as Lily just loved Slytherin company, she didn’t particularly want to remain in the shop with that many of them all around her. Call her paranoid, but she didn’t fancy an ambush. She made her way back through the crowded shop to where her friends were still admiring the Fizzing Whizbees.
“Are you guys actually going to buy any?” She asked drily and Will grinned.
“Are you kidding? These things cost a bomb!”
“How much you got?”
“I know, right? Sister allowance is one galleon a week. Said I should focus my time to studying rather than to buying and/or eating sweets.” He shook his head. “Stupid.”
“What about your mother?” Peri asked. The three girls froze, looking at Will for his reaction. They breathed out a sigh of relief when he laughed.
“What about her, indeed.” He grinned before grabbing a liquorice wand from the shelf and moving up to the desk to pay for it. The three girls glanced at each other awkwardly, not going unnoticed by Peri.
“Did I say something wrong? Is there something about his mother?” She asked, glancing in the direction of the checkout. Lily bit her lip.
“Let’s blow this joint.” Rachel laughed and pushed her friends towards the door, where they were shortly joined by Will (and a bag of liquorice wands). Peri observed his behaviour, but he seemed fine. Maybe a little too fine – but how could she find a major fault in that? She turned to Lily (Will, Abbie and Rachel were walking a few feet in front of them) but before she could open her mouth Lily cut her off.
“Will’s dad died from alcohol consumption when he was six. He used to… hit Will a lot. His mother turned to scotch after that… she’s not much of a mother to him.” Peri looked up at where Will was playing with Abbie’s scarf, grinning and laughing.
“Oh… I… I didn’t know.” Lily nodded understandingly.
“He’s been looked after by Doris – er – Miss Crockford this whole time. She supports the family. After, er, what happened in there – no offence, Peri but he will know one of us has told you, so there’s no need to go round mentioning it to him, okay?” Peri nodded vigorously.
“Of course. I wouldn’t.” The two continued on in silence for a while. “He’s just… he’s so happy. I don’t know how I’d manage to keep smiling if I were him.”
“That’s one of Will’s many gifts. He always seems to be able to put on a smile. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen him cry before. He’s always just been that rock – you know the feeling?” Peri nodded.
“Hey Peri!” Will laughed, turning round. “You haven’t even seen the Shrieking Shack yet!” He called. Peri laughed.
“Do I really want to?” He nodded vigorously, grinning from ear to ear. Maybe it was because of what she’d just heard, but somehow that smile seemed different from before. Almost as if there was so much more behind it than just an expression of happiness. “Then I guess you better show me then!” She grinned, and jogged up to catch up with him.
“This is the most haunted building in Britain?” Peri asked, clearly amused. “Oh, please, I’ve seen scarier at the Carnival de Magique.”
“Oh! You’ve been to the Carnival de Magique! I went there with my dad once when I was little. It came to town like, once, in my whole lifetime!”
“I went with Jamie and… some other friends when we were little. We lived in Merlin’s Circle down near Guildford, so the Carnival visited us quite a lot. It was always really great.” Peri smiled in reminisce. Rachel was about to reply when Abbie coughed loudly.
“Hello – most haunted house in Britain?”
“Oh, of course – sorry.” Peri replied drily, a smile playing on her lips. “So why? Why’s it so spooky?”
“Well, you can hear shrieks all through out the village at night – hence the name “Shrieking Shack” – and even Professor Dumbledore has hinted to their definitely being ghosts there.” Peri snorted. Suddenly, there was a rustling in the bushed behind her and she turned to look. Nothing. But it was at that moment a pair of icy cold hands slid around her neck and her throat and she shrieked.
“Get it off – get it off!” She cried, but it came out muffled because of the hand. But she quickly regretted crying out as she heard roars of laughter around her. She felt her face heat up and she pushed the hands away – it would be Will, of course.
“Your face!” He fit through laughs. Peri’s face contorted with irritation as she clenched her fists together.
“It – it wasn’t f-funny!” She cried, hoping against hope that the others wouldn’t notice she was trembling. But Lily noticed.
“Peri? Sorry – are you okay? You’re shaking.”
“I’m fine!” She snapped but a large boom echoed from behind her and she jumped with fright. “Will stop it!” She shrieked. He came up protectively behind her and took her hand, his eyebrows furrowed – alert.
“I’m not doing anything…” He murmured. The group moved closer together, warily looking at the trees around them, searching for the thing that made that noise.
“Well, well, well.” The group turned to a group of students emerging into the clearing – and at the head, of course it would be Mulciber, wouldn’t it? Lily recognised the group from Honeydukes and slid her hand into her jean pocket and slipped out her wand. If it came down to it, she didn’t want to be bettered by these idiots.
“I think we have here, Dunc, a couple of blood traitors, a Mudblood and a Potter relative.” Lily wondered what they were talking about as the words slipped out of the younger Mulciber’s mouth. “Oh yes, Carltona, we know how you and that prat Potter are related. Let’s say we have a source very… close to home.” So Peri was related to James? No wonder she was always sticking up for him…
“At least I’m not related to a Mulciber. Those disfigured faces would completely ruin my charm.” Peri growled.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” The older Mulciber advanced menacingly.
“So you’re not particularly bright, either? I guess you can’t help genetics.” Although the Mulcibers may not have been clear on what Peri was trying to say to them, it was pretty evident that they had been insulted. They all drew wands slowly, and Lily could feel the others next to her doing the same.
“Well we got a certain someone paying us a great deal to, ah, take care of people who stay out past curfew.”
“You wouldn’t be thinking of attacking students – with the Head Girl present?”
“Oh we don’t care about your badge.” Finley Mulciber laughed.
“Just stay out of it Evans.” Lily recognised the voice belonging to Severus, but chose to ignore it. Her heart was beginning to thump loudly because of the adrenaline. A fight could start any minute!
“We’re leaving now. So you can just be on your way.” She answered back carefully.
“Be our guest. It’s the Carltona girl we’ve got the problem with.”
“Well then you’ve got a problem with all of us.” Abbie stepped up beside Peri.
“Of course – Potters always hide behind the skirts of other people, don’t they?” Snape sneered.
“Ready, gentlemen?” Duncan Mulciber raised his wand and pointed it at the group. The group held up their own defensively, spells already prepared to roll of the tongue.
“Well if it isn’t our most favourite people in the world!” Came a smirk from the outside of the clearing. For once, Lily felt relieved to see the Marauders striding towards them – after her stunning defeat in DADA against James; she knew how good he was at duelling.
“Well this is quite a gathering, isn’t it?” Sirius laughed.
“Yeah – why weren’t we invited?” James grinned.
“Wands away, lads. Most of you are sixth years – trust me, it’s not worth it.” Remus added from behind them. The Slytherins leered for a bit before dispersing. Lily sighed with relief. Sirius and James were watching them leave with concerned looks on their faces. They were conferring in low whispers that Lily could barely catch any words of.
“… had news from the outside?”
“Depends…” James’ voice dropped again. “… might be contacted… Moody…” She only managed to hear some words in his speech, but she did catch that name again – Moody. Where had she heard that before? And then she remembered. It was back before the start of the year in Diagon Alley. The four boys had been talking about him then too – who was he?
But at that moment the two turned abruptly to see her standing there and James grinned. Lily already had a comeback for whatever cocky remark he was about to make and was fully prepared for him to come over to her and ask if he was fine – to which she would reply “Obviously, you idiot.” So you could imagine she was surprised and slightly put out when that’s all he did – smile. He brushed past her and walked over to Peri.
“Are you okay?” He asked concernedly and Peri wouldn’t meet his eyes. “You’re trembling!” He cried, and Peri looked up anxiously.
“I’m fine, really.”
“This is the haunted house, Ri…”
“Stop fussing Jamie!” James stepped back, holding up his hands in surrender. “I’m fine.” Peri shoved past him and began to walk up the path. She turned around quickly to face the girls.
“I’m gonna go back early.”
“We’ll come with you.” Will supplied and Peri nodded gratefully and waited for them to catch up. Lily hesitated. “Coming Lils?” Will continued. Hesitantly, almost reluctantly, Lily began to walk over to James who (when he noticed her) smiled nervously.
“Nice day.” He coughed uncomfortably.
“You kinda scared them off back there… um, if you hadn’t have come I guess…” James stood there expectantly. “Thanks.” She continued, addressing all four boys. James smiled genuinely.
“Would’ve done it for anyone.” And with that Lily ran up to join her friends. Peter came forward and patted James on the back in satisfaction.
“Wow. A thank you from Evans. I’m impressed, Prongs.” He laughed.
“But with comments like that you’re bound to scare her away.” Sirius added unhelpfully. James shook his head, grinning like an idiot.
“C’mon. We got a few more places to go.”
“Why do you think those guys suddenly came onto us like that?” Rachel asked. The others merely shrugged – they didn’t have much of an idea. Peri remained silent, as they walked up the high street on the way back to the castle. A gaggle of seventh year Slytherins were marching along opposite and a couple of them called out.
“Alright, Mudblood?” One shouted, and his friends laughed. Lily scowled and turned away. Peri’s fist clenched.
“Just ignore them Peri. It doesn’t mean anything.” It didn’t stop Peri being annoyed, but she followed Lily’s example.
Eventually, the four had decided to stick around for a bit and investigate some of the new shops that had opened, such as Gladrags Wizardwear that appeared to specialise in weird and unique socks. But it sold good dresses too.
It was whilst window shopping that the group’s day out was once more to be disturbed as Andy Carter strode up to them with a determined look on his face. Abbie groaned.
“He’s seen us already…” Rachel stiffened as he reached them and turned back to the shop window.
“I don’t believe Rachel has anything to say to you.” Will stood between them protectively. Abbie noted it was quite a change from when he and Andy were getting along well during the summer. Rachel touched Will’s arm lightly.
“It’s fine Will.” She murmured, turning to look at him. Andy coughed uncomfortably.
“Um… actually I wanted a word with Abbie.” The group gaped in surprise as Abbie snorted. Lily thought it was probably about what happened in the Three Broomsticks earlier in the day. Abbie shrugged uneasily before throwing a reassuring glance at the others and following him to the opposite end of the street.
“What do you think that’s about?”
“The butterbeer stains probably aren’t going to wash out.” Fortunately, neither Will nor Lily noticed the look of hurt on Rachel’s face when Andy said that he wanted to speak to Abbie instead. The group watched as their voices became increasingly more heated.
“Should we go over there…?” Lily began but was cut off by the smack of skin against skin.
Abbie had slapped Andy round the face.
“She can never hold it in, can she?” Will laughed. Lily chuckled too as Abbie hollered something at his face and pointed back over to the group. More specifically, at Rachel. Andy shrugged as Abbie glared at him and stalked back over to the group.
“What was all that about?” Peri asked.
“Oh he’s just being an idiot and I told him he should talk to Rachel and not me.”
“So he was trying to talk to Rachel through you?” Lily frowned. Abbie nodded distractedly.
“…yeah. Git.” Andy began to march over to them again and after giving Abbie an annoyed glance turned to Rachel and coughed uncomfortably.
“Can we talk?” Rachel nodded, biting her lip. She fell into step beside him as they started up the street.
“So what’s there to talk about?” Rachel asked stiffly. Maybe he wanted to get back together – if he did, she wasn’t entirely sure what she’d do. Remus said he liked her… could she really lead him on like that and then dump him for Andy? Life was so complicated…
“You’re not… wearing the bracelet I got you.” Andy observed.
“I didn’t really feel it was appropriate.” She replied shortly. He nodded.
“Look – Rachel.” Andy grabbed her hands and her heart skipped a beat – which she inwardly scolded herself for. “I don’t suppose there’s any chance you would…”
“No.” Andy looked confused.
“Did you actually know what I was going to say, or are you saying that you won’t do me any favours?”
“Er, yeah… listen… Abbie has something that I’d really like, it’s um, a secret, but I was wondering if you could get her to –“
“What the hell?!” Rachel wrenched her hands out of Andy’s grip. “You broke up with me… and all you want to talk about is Abbie?” Andy's attitude immediately changed.
“I’m sorry about breaking up with you, Rache… I miss you.” He whispered, taking hold of her shoulders and leaning forward.
“N-no-! You’re creeping me out Andy!” Rachel tried to pry herself from his grip as he kissed her neck.
“If you do this favour for me… I’ll get back with you. I know you want me Rachel.” He breathed in her ear. Rachel looked around desperately but saw that he had led her out of the street where no one could see them. She’d been so stupid!
But… was this really a bad thing? Getting back with Andy…? Her brain seemed to melt as he began to plant soft butterfly kisses on her neck, and his hand started to creep up her shirt…
This wasn’t the Andy she knew – he always asked her first before doing anything! So just after her eyes had fluttered closed they flew open again and gathering all her strength she pushed him away from her.
“Get away from me you freak!” She cried, as a few tears began to trickle down her cheeks.
“Rachel…” He smiled smoothly and took a step closer.
“She said keep away from her!” Came a threatening growl and someone stepped in between them.
“Mind your own business.” Andy snarled. “Me and my girlfriend were just making up, weren’t we?”
“Take one more step, Carter, and I will hex you so bad that you won’t wake up in the morning.” Rachel recognised that voice… she forced herself to look upwards at her saviour –
It was Remus.
Rachel almost fainted with relief, but she held herself steady by grabbing the folds on the back of his jacket. At this Remus immediately swivelled round, putting an arm around her.
“Are you okay?” His eyes widened when he noticed the wet spots on her cheeks. “Carter -!”
“Don’t!” Rachel cried as Remus grabbed him by the scuff of his neck, wand pointing at his throat. “He’s not worth it.” Rachel croaked. Remus grunted, as if he was voicing his own opinion that it definitely was worth it before dropping him to the ground.
“Rachel, c’mon…” Andy gestured at Remus. “Call off your dog!”
“If you ever go near her again, I’ll curse you into the next millennium.” Remus hissed before grabbing Rachel’s hand and dragging her away. But Rachel paused for a moment, making Remus turn around to follow her gaze to where Andy was getting up.
“I… don’t know what you want from Abbie but she’ll never give it to you, you filthy perverted jerk!” She shouted and marched off, taking Remus with her. He dragged her into a small alley next to Honeydukes.
“Are you okay? What did he do to you?” He checked her over to make sure she was alright. Remus had come to her rescue. Again. Rachel flopped forwards so she was leaning on his chest, sighing with relief. “Rachel?”
“Has he always been like that? Getting what he wants all the time and when he doesn’t want something, dumping it?”
“I… can’t really say.” Remus patted her on the back awkwardly. Remus sighed and pulled her into a warm hug. “I’ve got to go, okay? I sorta abandoned the guys when I heard you shout.” He let go of her and began to walk away but Rachel’s hand shot out and grabbed his jacket.
“Please…” She whispered. Remus smiled sympathetically and placed an arm around her shoulder.
“Let’s get you something to drink.”
“What if he kidnapped her? What if he killed her? Oh my god what if he dragged her into a hole and left her there?!”
“WILL! Please don’t give me mental images like that!” Lily cried back anxiously as she, him and Rachel dived inside the Three Broomsticks in search of Rachel – she’d just disappeared with Andy and hadn’t come back! The trio ran up to the counter to where Madame Flossie was serving drinks.
“Please Flossie, have you seen Rachel?” Abbie asked desperately. They were expecting another no, but in actual fact she nodded kindly and gestured to a table in the corner. There was Rachel sat leaning against none other than Remus Lupin.
“Came here in a right state, she did girls. That boy Remus asked me for my warmest butterbeer for a girl who needed it. Charming young man.” The group nodded hurriedly before pushing their way through the crowds to get to the pair.
“Finally – we – found you!” Will cried breathlessly as they looked up from their conversation. He dived onto Rachel and threw his arms around her neck.
“Where did you disappear to?” Lily cried with relief, but quickly changed her attitude. “You had us worried sick that Andy had done something to you!”
“And you, Remus!” Abbie added angrily. “You could have told us you were taking her away like that.” Remus looked taken aback and held up his hands in surrender.
“I – sorry – it’s just that Carter –“
“What did he do? I’ll bloody murder him!” Will cried vehemently as he got back up to his feet, dragging Rachel with him.
“No – Remus helped me – Andy was just being weird.” Rachel put in awkwardly.
“Well whatever.” Lily pouted at Rachel, before throwing a discrete grateful smile in Remus’ direction.
“C’mon – you have to tell us what he did now.” Abbie grabbed Rachel’s hand and began to drag her away but quickly Rachel pulled away to jog back to Remus. With the others watching a couple of meters away she turned to him, smiling widely.
“Thank you Remus.” And she kissed him on the cheek. Remus felt his face heat up as his hand flew to his cheek and he cast a reproachful look at Rachel before smiling sheepishly.
“It was nothing.” He muttered, rubbing his cheek.
“Could you… wait for me?” Remus’ face brightened and he nodded, giving her a contented smile, and crossing his arms on the table in front of him.
“Sure.” Remus realised what he’d done and inwardly cursed himself for agreeing so easily – Rachel wasn’t exactly the most decisive person when it came to love…
How long would she make him wait? He wondered, as he slumped forward onto his arms and watched her skip back towards her friends.
Well there ya go. Not very dramatic and I suppose a bit of a filler but please give me your opinion! Oh and we'll certainly get a much larger look at Will's past in the near future (because he is just my favortie character!)
Special thanks go to SparklexPink for adding this story to their favorites and another_world110 and SparklexPink for reviewing! And to my lovely people, Sweets-Caandy for reviewing again and padfootreturns too! Also a lil' thanks to greeneyes713 and padfootreturns (who is at the moment my fave person xD) who seem to catch on to my every story - your names always crop up so thanks!
So what are your opinions on this chapter? Good? Bad? Needs work? I'm not gonna know unless you tell me so please leave a review - it means so much!
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