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Chapter 12 : Do The Rain Dance
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12. We Do the Rain Dance
“What the hell are we all doing here?”
“I don’t know, but they both sounded upset, so I’m thinking it’s serious.”
“Yeah, but why are we all wearing black. Who died?”
“Shh—You guys are so stupid.”
“Because whatever is going on is obviously serious.”
“Hey guys! Uh, do you know why they called us out here?”
“Nope. But it’s serious.”
“She said it had something to do with our Transfiguration class.”
“Why? What happened then?”
“Nothing much. She messed up a spell.”
“Sounds like her…”
“But he wasn’t there, so I don’t really know what’s going on.”
“Maybe if we’re quiet they’ll decide it’s time to start.”
“Well, that’s not working. OI! YOU TWO! WHAT THE HELL ARE WE HERE FOR—Oof—”
“Shut up you idiot.”
“OUCH! What the hell was that for?”
“It’ll hurt more if you two idiots don’t shut up!”
I braced myself against the tree that both Fred and myself were standing behind. On the other side, dressed in black by our request, was Rose, Albus, Scorpius, and the new arrivals were Charmaine and Natalie, who I had also invited, being present at Michelangelo’s creation.
Well, it was only Natalie.
But Charmaine could obviously come too, since she’s cool.
“Are you ready?”
It had been a day, exactly, since Michelangelo’s accidental murder.
I still say I should hand myself in, but Fred says that he’s already lost his son and he’s not going to lose his wife.
Oh, yeah—we’re married now. (It was a small ceremony outside of the Astronomy tower. We both decided to tie the knot in a dedication to our lost baby, Michelangelo.)
“As ready as I’ll ever be.”
Fred and I had constructed a small grave for our green son. It was made out of cotton wall that Fred stole from the Potions room, and a box that one of the kitchen house elves gave me.
We had rested little Michelangelo in there, with a piece of black see through material—I had to cut up one of my pairs of stockings to create—covering his body, to an extent.
The same ex-stocking material now made the black veil that covered my face.
Fred held out his left elbow for me, and I looped my hand through it. Then we both lifted Michelangelo’s casket from the crook of the tree where we had rested it, and we walked out.
“What. The. Hell.” Scorpius said.
“We are here today,” Fred called out, ignoring Scorpius’s comment. “To celebrate the life of my son, Michelangelo, who was taken so cruelly from us late yesterday afternoon.”
“…Michelangelo had a fruitful life, despite missing out on a lot of life’s more… pleasurable… activities…”
I nodded my head, eyes downcast.
“…And we would like to say a few words in an effort to respect his memory.”
As we laid down Michelangelo’s casket, into the small hole that Fred had dug earlier, I couldn’t help but feel horrible that I had killed him.
Goodbye, my son.
“So...how did Michelangelo die?” Rose asked me, once the ceremony was over. It hadn’t taken very long, since the eulogy only had to cover about three hours.
As if I didn’t already feel bad enough.
“Uh…” I said, flinching as the rest of the people we had invited fell silent to hear the tale of Michelangelo’s passing. “…Well, you know how he was once a frog?”
Natalie groaned, as though suddenly figuring out exactly where my explanation was going.
I sighed. “I wasn’t sure if a Mouse-Frog was amphibious or not, so I decided to test it out. Poor little Michelangelo drowned, in the effort to find answers about his existence.”
Everyone nodded in understanding. I frowned—they must have misunderstood.
“So…” Scorpius said, “…He just held his head under water and inhaled, and then when he realised he couldn’t breathe underwater, he just, stayed—all in the name of science…”
I glowered at Scorpius. And then nodded my head.
“That’s basically the story.” I said frankly.
“That’s tragic.” Rose said, holding back a smile.
I nodded. “It was very fitting, considering his name. You know that the human Michelangelo cut off his ear?”
Rose frowned, “That was Van Gough.”
Rose smirked at me.
I shrugged, “I thought that was Picasso.”
Rose shook her head.
“Huh,” I said slowly. “Well, Michelangelo was famous… and so was our Michelangelo.”
“No one knew who he was.” Albus pointed out.
Fred punched him in the arm. “Don’t laugh about my son’s death, dude.” He said. “He was a big part of my life.”
Scorpius nodded. “Right… for a whole… two and a half hours.”
Fred punched him again. “Three hours, as a matter of fact.”
“That’s what I want to know,” Natalie said, raising her voice to get the attention she required. “When did Michelangelo become your son?”
“Yeah,” Albus added on. “And since when are you and Katie married?”
Fred looked at Albus strangely for a moment.
Then he cleared his throat, and said: “Well, we knew that as the two people who were with Michelangelo when he died, that he would have wanted us to be as close as possible and…”
He trailed off at everyone’s expression. I took a horrified step away from Fred.
“Not that close.” I said, in protest to what they were all thinking.
Fred frowned, and then realisation dawned on his as well.
“Children,” He reprimanded. “Get your minds out of the gutter.”
Everyone seemed to accept our obvious discomfort at the concept of doing… that with the other, and moved on. I mean, come on, Fred was a good looking guy, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be a bad experience but—
Well Fred Weasley has never really held a whole lot of appeal, in my books.
“Uh…” Scorpius pointed out, after we had chatted a little more. “Can we go back inside now?”
I could understand why he would want to do that.
The sky was getting darker, and clouds were coming over the mountains on the other side of the lake. The Squid was waving a tentacle in the air, which usually meant that he/she was getting a last look at the sky before diving down deep into the bottom of the lake.
It was getting windy as well.
“We’ve got one more thing to do.” I shouted out to everyone. “Because Michelangelo was an amphibian turned… non-amphibian, we can only assume that as soon as he found out he couldn’t breathe under water, he wished that there could be water on land.”
Everyone was frowning at me again.
Like I was crazy.
I really should get used to that look.
“We’re going to do a rain dance, dedicated to Michelangelo.”
And that was why, at about six o’clock in the evening, I found myself and all my new friends out on the shore of the lake in the middle of the Hogwarts grounds, dancing.
I was spinning around with Fred, doing a funky sort of seventies dance, when we both looked up to see everyone else had formed a circle around us.
I had a flash of how cool this must have looked.
They had made the circle by connecting their elbows, and they were all spinning around us to the right.
“OH GREAT AND MIGHTY MERLIN, OR GOD!” I shouted to the skies. “LOOK AFTER MICHELANGELO WITH YOU IN HEAVEN AND LET HIM KNOW THAT I AM EXTREMELY UPSET AT THE CONCEPT OF NEVER SEEING HIM AGAIN!”
“YES!” Fred continued. “AND THAT I WILL MISS PLAYING QUIDDITCH WITH THE LITTLE GUY!”
The group of people in the circle around us started doing a little chant of Michelangelo’s name, but they were saying it so quickly that it all meshed together.
And then we were interrupted.
“Potter?” Professor Longbottom said. “Malfoy, Weasley’s… What are you all doing out—Charmaine?” he exclaimed, staring at his daughter.
“Hey Daddy.” Char said, smiling at her father.
“What are you all doing out here?” He asked, obviously confused.
“Oh,” Char said, “We’re doing a rain dance tribute for Michelangelo…”
Professor Longbottom stared at her. “Who?”
“Michelangelo.” Charmaine replied. “He was a rat, who was once a frog, who belonged to Katie, who drowned so we were doing a tribute rain dance for him.”
Professor Longbottom looked amused as his eyes raked over everyone’s faces. I realised belatedly how dark it had become outside. I could barely see his face.
“Well,” He said, “your rain dance must have worked. There’s a big storm on its way.” He said. “I suggest you all come inside.”
I cast one more longing glance at Michelangelo’s grave site before walking inside, starting up a conversation with Rose about whether or not a rain dance counted as a charm that could get me to pass the Charms Exam.
She said it wasn’t.
I was watching the Hufflepuff table from across the Great hall, once again seated at the Gryffindor table. Emily and Oscar were sitting together, with Shirley, Lauren, and Natalie. Charmaine was also there, but she was temporarily talking to another girl from her year.
“You miss being over there, huh?”
That was a voice that I wasn’t expecting. Rose, maybe, even Albus. But it wasn’t.
I turned to see Carson Longbottom, smiling frankly down at me. She put her plate down next to mine, and sat beside me, twisting her body so that she was facing me.
I rested my head in my hands.
“I don’t really know,” I answered.
And I didn’t.
They looked like they were having fun over there, and I certainly missed hanging out with Emily and Oscar. Eric was sitting with Penny, spoon feeding her mashed potatoes, and I knew that I missed hanging out with him as well.
And I wanted to know more about Emily and what she thought of Professor Wood. I wanted to help her ease out of her crush on him.
And I wanted to really help Oscar with Charmaine. He had asked her to Hogsmeade for the upcoming weekend. Which meant I was going to miss his awkward freak out about how to act, and Emily was going to get to teach him the basics all on her own.
Not that I was such an expert on dating.
“Well, Charmaine told me that they all miss having you over there.” Carson said to me.
So had Natalie. And the concept of Emily crying herself to sleep over me? She didn’t even shed a tear when she had to leave Italy in the holidays, and therefore, leave her Romano back in Rome.
“I want to be there.” I said, “But I don’t at the same time.” I explained. “Does that make sense?”
Carson nodded. “Why don’t you want to be over there?”
I shrugged. “It’s just… I know that Rose, and Albus and Fred, and even Scorpius are all really good people. And I don’t understand what they could have done that was so unforgiveable.”
Carson nodded, pursing her lips.
“You really have no idea about what happened with the Smithers family, do you?”
Oh god. Another person who already knows.
“I know what you’re going to say…” I told her tiredly. “You have to figure it out, etcetera…” I grimaced as too many thoughts congregated in my head at once. Then I twisted to face Carson.
“You know about it, right?” I asked.
“Right,” I said. “And what do you think about it? Would you forgive them if you were Eric?”
Carson sighed, her eyes drifting to when Eric sat with Penny. Then she sighed again and looked back at me. “You know…” She said slowly. “I think I would have.”
“And…” she said, “I think it’s time you found out what happened for yourself.”
Holy Magical Mother of all things Holy and Magical
Is she going to tell me what happened?
Is Carson Longbottom going to tell me what everyone else thinks I should figure out for myself?
“Come on.” Carson said. “Grab a drink and some food. We should leave—find somewhere else to talk.”
Oh God, that sounded ominous, as though it was too top secret for anyone to even consider speaking about in the public. And Carson looked worried as though she was sure she’d get in trouble for even telling me.
My heart began hammering, quickly in my chest.
Carson and I managed to walk away attracting the minimal amount of attention. Rose had been easy to convince when I said that Carson was going to catch me up on some Charms techniques.
I followed Carson out of the Hall, where everything was suddenly eerily quiet, and into the first empty classroom down the corridor. Carson pushed open the door, which had been left unlocked, and held it open for me, letting me go inside first.
“Have a seat.”
I suddenly felt like I was walking to my execution, and I wasn’t sure whether I really wanted to know or not.
Then I thought of all the things I would miss in my friend’s lives if things continued this way, and I was set. I needed to know why they wouldn’t forgive the Potters or the Weasleys.
“Alright…” Carson took a deep breath. “I found out about this from the Potter family, who were talking to my Dad. And then I heard versions from Al, and from all the rest. But I know the real story, and I’ll give you a non-biased opinion.”
I nodded, slowly, the suspense already killing me.
“Well, you know James, right? He was in fourth year when we all started at Hogwarts. And Eric Smithers was obsessed with Harry Potter. To a creepy extent. He had dolls of Harry Potter and he followed James and Albus around all the time.”
I nodded, slowly.
“Well, Albus got a little freaked out by it. He was only twelve at the time, and he wasn’t very comfortable with having an eleven-year-old fan. And that made James act… protectively. So James told Eric that if he wanted to hang with Albus and him, and be in their real close posse, he’d have to run around the entire Great Lake.”
I sucked in a breath, with a loud, “Whoosh.” So much air entered my lungs that I almost choked on it.
The Great Lake was extremely big. I didn’t know the exact circumference of the lake, but it was more than fifty miles from the school to the other side.
Let alone around.
“James swore to me that he didn’t think Eric was going to do it. He didn’t know how far fans would go for his attention, and he certainly didn’t know how far a little eleven year old boy would go to be associated with his idol.”
I stared at Carson. It was kind of scary the way she was recounting this tale to me.
“Anyway, Eric wanted so much to be classified with the Potter/Weasley family, that he did. He ran almost one third around the lake.”
She stopped, and took a breath, seeing if I was all right with this.
I was staring at her with wide eyes.
“And…?” I asked.
Carson sighed. “He collapsed from exhaustion, it’s one of the only things that magic can’t stop. It was raining that night, and it got dark early. Eric got lost, he couldn’t go home, and he knew he couldn’t keep going.”
I was watching Carson with wide eyes, but I wasn’t seeing her.
Instead I was watching the whole scene unfold, in front of my eyes. My imagination could figure out exactly what Eric would have looked like, eleven years old, and lost on the border of the Lake and the Forbidden Forest.
“James waited outside the castle for him to come back. But then it was time for dinner, and James went inside, with Albus, and—well, they were only fourteen and twelve. They have short attention spans…”
Oh, Merlin’s Underpants.
“They forgot about him. Until about eleven o’clock that night, when they realised that he hadn’t come back. They ran around the castle, and asked about him, but none of the teachers could find him. So there was a massive search party put together to find him.”
I could see the frantic teachers calling his name through the dormitories.
I could see Albus’s frantic, hysterical face.
“They called in Aurors, in case something from the Forbidden Forest got in the way. They called the Smithers family, as well as the Potter Family and the Weasley family.”
Carson sighed again. “When, Harry found out about what had happened, he led the Search Party himself. They followed Eric’s footprints, until they led right down to the water and stopped.”
“Eric thought he might have been able to swim back. An eleven year old can do anything, you know?”
Carson smiled grimly.
I couldn’t even move a facial muscle.
“It was Harry who found Eric, curled up and unconscious on the edge of the lake, about three hundred metres from where he got into the lake. He had a lot of water in his lungs, but they gave him CPR, the muggle way, and he was alive when Harry personally carried him from the Lake, and apparated him to St. Mungos.”
Oh, Eric… Oh, my god.
“He was diagnosed with hypothermia and pneumonia. The Healers cleared that up, but he was unconscious in the hospital for three more days, until he woke up. And he blamed the Potter family.”
Well, that was relatively understandable.
“And so did his family. The Smithers threatened to sue James and Albus for what they had done, and by some miracle, Hermione Weasley—you know, Rose’s Mum? She was the healer who had gotten rid of the pneumonia. She managed to talk them out of it.”
I knew Rose got her genius from somewhere.
“But Eric always thought that he had been almost killed, and humiliated, and the Potters got away with it just because they were famous. And he’s hated them ever since. It was amazing when he let Liam hang out with Hugo. It was just mind boggling.
There were a lot of mind boggling things in Carson’s speech, but the fact that Hugo now hung out with Liam Smithers wasn’t really the biggest of my worries now.
Where had I been? Why hadn’t I heard about this?
Eric hadn’t been my close friend until about third year, when we were partnered together for a Care of Magical Creatures class. But I must have heard something about all this.
I didn’t have much time to dwell on what I could have been doing, though, because at that second, there was the sound of a throat clearing in the corner.
I looked up to see—
“Rose.” I said slowly, eyes widening. “Uh… how did you…uh…?”
She guessed what I was going to ask.
“I knew when you told me you were going to voluntarily study that something was up. So I followed you.”
I stared at Rose, unable to think about anything other than what Carson had just told me. To think that the people I had, only hours ago, been doing a rain dance with, could ever be mixed up in something like that was almost unbelievable.
But it had happened.
Carson hadn’t lied.
“Sorry, Rose,” Carson said. “I thought she ought to know.”
Rose nodded, not taking her eyes of me. “You did the right thing Carson.” She said.
Carson smiled grimly at her, before walking past her and back out into the Entrance Hall.
“So…” Rose said, “What are you going to do?”
I stared at her. “I think… I’m just gonna go back to my dorm, lie down, and listen to some music.”
The music of pain.
I walked past Rose, who hadn’t moved, her eyes were still trained on the spot where I had been standing. I got to the door, before I stopped and turned around.
“Rose…” I said.
She spun around and faced me.
“We’re going to be okay.” I said, “I just need to think about some stuff. Don’t worry about us. And don’t worry about me. Everything’s going to be okay.”
And for the first time since meeting Rose Weasley and talking to her, I knew that I was telling her something that she didn’t already know.
But she that needed to know, we were still friends.
I rushed back into the room, and wrapped my arms around her neck, hugging her, like she had hugged me when she had been upset with me.
Then I smiled grimly at her, and walked out of the empty classroom, heading straight for the staircase and the promise of my warm fluffy bed.
Holy frigging Crap.
How freaking intense was that?
Alright, I know the stuff with Michelangelo was getting a little tedious by the end of his part, but I just want you guys to focus on the Katie—Fred relationship, because their ‘marriage’ is going to be spoken about a lot in the story from henceforth onwards.
Also, I noticed I made Scorpius a bit of a dick at the beginning, and if you think that’s cutting it a little too close with his character tell me.
And also tell me if you think it’s fine.
Now, that you guys all know the back story concerning Eric and the Potter/Weasleys I hope your satisfied with it. I hope that it all makes sense, and you can understand what it all means—and I hope you don’t think it’s too farfetched.
The next chapter will be less funny, and a little more angsty, but you know, ‘the sun’s gonna shine tomorrow—’ It’ll get better.
Also, not much of Albus in that chapter. Which is upsetting. I think he only says like, one thing. But you finally heard Carson speak and you learnt how I imagine both Carson and Charmaine to look.
So, if you could please tell me what you thought in reviews, I would be very obliged to post the- next chapter, quicker.
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