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Chapter 5 : My Knight in Shining Invisibility
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My Knight in Shining Invisibility
I was crazy. I had to be crazy. I must have been completely and utterly insane. What Gryffindor in their right state wanders the school alone in the halls near the Slytherin dormitory and Common Room?
Okay, yes, I suppose the fact that it was a Hogsmeade weekend lessened the danger significantly but that didn't mean it still wasn't a risky move. But it wasn't as if I'd intended to stay. Really. Nevertheless there I was, just strolling around the dank halls with my hands shoved into the pockets of my jeans.
At first I'd just planned on going to the dungeons - no...not the dungeons. I was going to the Potions room. A more specific and infinitely less intimidating part of the basement of the school...a more friendly place in the dark space where people used to be tortured.
I was going to see Professor Slughorn to ask if there was any more work I could do for extra points. I needed something to do for these next few hours. Something...anything to take my mind off what had followed the "alliance" in the Great Hall this morning. Hell, I would scrape gunk out of the bottom of cauldrons for something to occupy my mind.
I could feel my cheeks flush just in memory of what happened later - after we had made our way to our own cozy Common Room.
We - Sirius, James, Remus, Peter, and I - had just came back from the Great Hall and breakfast. It was only too easy for me to note how Remus was the only one that dropped his pace to walk with me. The others were perfectly content to gallop ahead and get ready for their trip out of the school's walls. Albeit, on the way out of the hall, James held the door open for me. Of course, he then sent a look of longing over to Lily Evans, who promptly ignored him with a flip of her long red hair. No matter, his feelings of admiration for her swelled. And then, once out of Lily's sight, he returned to his customary spot next to Sirius. Love sick prick.
I had been sitting with the Marauders in the Common Room and things were getting...awkward...to put it lightly. Remus had been struggling to keep conversation flowing but, to his credit, no one was exactly trying to help him out there. Sirius had left shortly after we sat down and James and Remus quickly there after engaged each other in a game of Wizard Chess, leaving Peter and me to watch.
The game had been surprisingly quick with James easily beating Remus, much to my own shock. Remus had rushed to explain that James was much better with strategizing than most people gave him credit for.
"Yeah," James had said with a tousle of his dark hair. "How else do you think we've won the Qudditch Cup so many years in a rows? My strategies."
"I wanna play Remus," Peter had said as James stood up to give his seat away. "I need to get my pieces first....I like using my own, you know? Well, maybe not. A really good chess player can use anyone's pieces...."
And, as the ever helpful new "friend" I had volunteered to run to the boys' dormitory and grab them for him. He had consented after a moment and instructed me that they were on the side table near his bed. I'd nodded once before making the trek up the stairs.
I had traveled the path I'd just taken last night towards the Marauders' living quarters. Something briefly bothered me about the door...had that Chocolate Frog card been stuck to the front of it not even twenty-four hours ago? I hadn't thought so, but who was I to comment on how often the Marauders were to change their decor?
I had opened the door with ease and then stared in shock at the scene that was unfolding before my very eyes. My mouth went slack, my eyes bulged, and bile raised in my throat. Felicity Pagenaud was straddled across Sirius Black's lap. Sirius had been sitting on his bed in nothing but his under-drawers and Felicity had her long legs wrapped around his waist as she kissed him passionately. She too was only in her most basic clothing...a red lacy thong and nothing else.
I'd walked in just in time to see him cup his hand around her breast and her throw her head back in a moan, giving him the perfect opportunity to catch the skin of her neck between his teeth.
My voice had gurgled in the back of my esophagus before it was let loose in a half scream, strangled sound. Both heads had whipped over to see the source of the noise.
"Um...hi. Yeah...Peter...um, asked...you know...me...to...uh...grab his...chess...um...pieces! Chess pieces! For him. Because he wants to play chess...as you can imagine. Um. Lovely weather we're having, yeah?" I'd sputtered out and, near the end, there was a fabulous string of nervous giggles. Because I laugh when I get nervous which is just perfectly lovely.
"I...think I should leave, Siri baby," Felicity had said as she positioned an arm across her chest, not that it did that much good for she's infamous for having the biggest boobs in our year. A close second to her being Arina Terrington. She'd flipped her long blonde hair and got dressed more quickly than I had even thought possible. I decided she must have had a lot of practice.
I'd ran out after, staying just long enough to get a terrifying glare from Sirius and not even glance at the table for Peter's chess pieces. I had been too ashamed to go back to James, Peter, and Remus and I sure as hell wasn't going to go back to my own dormitory to meet Felicity again. That was one conversation I could really do without.
Yes. And that was one memory that I could certainly do without ever remembering again. Of course, with the way Sirius had glared at me, there was no chance that it wouldn't come up in conversation at some point in time. I just hoped it turned out to be a point very, very, very, very far into the future.
I turned my mind back to the situation at hand.
Slughorn didn't exactly like me; he was too much of a coward. But he was interested in me. A half-witch, half-dementor hybrid. I had to be one of a kind. I would be a perfect addition to his collection. Something so intriguing to him, yet so frightening. I think he was still trying to determine if it was really worth it to pursue me.
And he wasn't in his office. That was something that I should have known from the very beginning if I'd thought about it for even a second. Slughorn would be in Hogsmeade with everyone else. He would be stuffing his rotund face with sweets and showing his wealth and sipping on some fine wine at the Three Broomsticks for he was far above Butterbeer and Firewhiskey.
Even still, I knocked on his door, waiting for him to respond. The sound of heavy feet coming to the door, a calling voice, a shuffling of papers, the clink of a glass being set down, or maybe even the close of a drawer. But I heard nothing. Not even so much as a wheeze. I strained my body but I couldn't even sense any emotions that would prove his location. But Slughorn wouldn't be grading papers or looking for new material to teach on a Hogsmeade weekend. He would be in that sweet shop, Honeydukes, handing over Galleons for his crystallized pineapples. Of course.
But, a little voice sang in my head. He's a grown man. How long can Hogsmeade keep his attention?
This was true. I nodded to myself with certainty and decided that I would wait for him. I leaned against his door then slid to the floor. I clung my hands around my calves and rested my chin on my knees.
Time went by. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. Half an hour.
My butt went numb and cold and my legs had long since lost feeling in them. My eyes were starting to drop from the sheer boredom. It couldn't hurt to stretch out for a bit, could it? No, I decided as I pulled myself off the floor.
So I started walking...no, pacing...the corridor that contained Slughorn's room.
More time passed.
Determined not to think of the Marauders any longer (namely Sirius), I turned to my constant companions. Books. I ran the lists of many titles in my head. Those that I wanted to read. Those that I didn't. Those that made no difference to me. Those that I had long harboured a love for.
Perhaps I could read some while I waited. And, I thought excitedly, the library was on the complete other side of the school. Slughorn had to be in his room by the time I went to the library and back.
When I crossed the school and opened the heavy library door, Madame Pince glared at me. Which made me oddly reminiscent of the look Sirius gave me earlier. I smiled weakly at her and pushed Sirius and Felicity out of my mind as I made my way back towards the fiction section.
I knew the book I was looking for at once. I knew exactly where it was. The Tales of Beetle the Bard. It was my favourite book. My mum would read it to me when I was little every night before I went to bed. Unfortunately, in my hurry to get to the Hogwarts Express on time, I left my own copy sitting on my bed at home. So the school's old battered copy would have to do.
It looked like it could have been a first edition, it was so battered, but the date in the front cover clearly stated that it was printed only fifteen years ago. Even still, I found the ripped pages and dead binding disgusting.
I took the book to Madame Pince trying to ignore the sour look on her face as she stamped the book with a due date and scribbled in my name. Perhaps she thought I was the one that put the book in such a poor condition...or perhaps she just hated me like everyone else. She avoided coming in direct contact with my skin when she gave me back the book and I decided it was the latter.
I stared blankly at her and attempted to force a smile but my cheeks didn't obey. She looked back with a pinched look on her face and I saw her hand inch toward her wand. I thought about pulling mine out too but decided not to. She would aim a spell at me that I could easily wave off and send an equally dreadful one at her (the librarian was well known to have minimal dueling skills). But how ugly, cursing a teacher.
I looked the plump woman up and down and smirked at her as I walked away. Once in the hallway, I laughed at myself. The school was as good as mine right now...it always was during Hogsmeade trips. Everyone else was having fun in the little magical town and Hogwarts was now mine. Most teachers had gone too and the first and second years were catching up on homework in the dormitories and Common Rooms.
Slughorn wasn't going to be back by the time I reached his room again, I could see that now. But I would wait for him. Attack him with questions before he even took off his cape. Yes, I would get him.
As I passed the One-Eyed Witch statue, I quickened my pace. There was a soft sound like quieted shoes whispering on the floor. I pushed that thought out of my head. It was just a school ghost milling around. Nothing to hurt me.
I tried to walk normally but I found I couldn't. Not when I could feel someone watching me, hear the rustle of a cloak every now and then and feel their curiosity. No, someone was following me; they were as there and real as the book in my hands and the wand in my pocket.
I reached into my pocket in what I hoped was a nonchalant motion. I turned quickly and whipped out my wand pointing it at the blank space where I could feel him. It changed now. Shock, amusement, and...what was that...confidence?
I yelled a spell that would have revealed my stalker if he was using any charm to cloak himself. He stayed unseen. There was nothing there but my wonder and faint horror, his amusement and my heavy breath. Until he started to laugh. I could feel the smirk pulling at his lips.
I turned on my heel and stalked back to the dungeons.
Bastard! I thought through my fear. But I would get him sooner or later. Yes, because he had to be following me for some reason. And when he found the right time, he would reveal himself. Then I could beat the bloody pulp out of him. Most likely.
The dungeons came quickly. When I reached Slughorn's door I turned my back to the wall in fear of leaving it exposed and vulnerable. I would not give him an opportunity to attack from behind. I sat down in the same position that I had taken earlier, but this time my wand was tight in my hand and book balanced against my knees.
I put my stalker and the cold numbness of my body out of my minds as I read. I got to "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" before I noticed my guy again. He gave a sigh of annoyance. I pursed my lips at where he was. Well, no one asked you to stay, now did they?
I turned my eyes back to the book. This was my favourite story - creepy as it was. My stomach was churning as I reached the end, the picture in my head of the warlock over his lady's body always made me feel sick.
And then I heard footsteps. My heart jumped and was pounding at my chest. Who was there? Who was coming? Was I destined to forever be approached in corridors?
"W-who's there?" I called out. There was no response save the invisible man's change of emotions. He was feeling the same way as I was, but perhaps with a little want of something dangerous to happen. What was going on here?
As the steps came closer, it became apparent that there was more than one person. A group of them. Maybe five or six...I couldn't get a clear lock on to how many different sets of emotions there were. Still, I was outnumbered even if by some crazy chance my stalker wanted to help me out.
I scrambled to my feet and held my wand steady as the group rounded the corner.
Slytherins. My stalker hissed.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" The question came from Narcissa Black. The surname didn't fit her at all. Her blonde hair spilled over a tightly clinging heather gray sweater. Her blue eyes were cold and hateful and her face had a pinched look to it. Her upturned nose held wealth and class but her thin lips were curved downward. A fellow seventh year.
"A Gryffindor, dear sister," Bellatrix Black grinned. The name fit her as well as it didn't her older sister. Her full lips pulled up in an evil smile that didn't meet her dark, heavy lidded eyes. They sparkled with hate and a scheme. "And one all alone in the Slytherins' side of the school at that."
Some girls in the school marveled at how the great Sirius Black could be cousins to the horrible Black sisters. I didn't. Their spite was just the same and they were far more alike than they would ever dare to imagine. Perhaps it was something that could only be seen when a step was taken back to get a clear perspective.
As I thought, there were six of them. Narcissa and Bellatrix, Sirius's younger brother whose name escaped me, the greasy Severus Snape, and two muscular boys that I couldn't name as well. They made me choke on their emotions. Their arrogant faces held a disturbing coolness and masked things to horrible to describe.
"Miss Elaina Marshelle," Sirius's brother cooed as he stepped forward and took my hand. A bold move, and everyone else present seemed to think so too. His cool calm was broken by a hint that only I could spot. His bold confidence wavered and broke into fear. But he didn't show it. I had to admit, he was a good actor. He furthered the show by turning my palm over and kissing my palm.
I stared down my arm at him in horror. What was he doing? Was he trying to act sexy and persuading? Like that was going to get me to fall at his feet and make me obey his every will?
He was attractive, in a way, just not the way Sirius was. He was one
of the few people who could pull off the I'm-going-to-dress-in-all-black look without making it seem as though he was trying to look like something he wasn't. The darkness of his clothing made his pale skin glow and it helped give him the sinister appearance I'm sure he was aiming for. There were subtle differences in Sirius and his brother's faces. The younger one had a jaw that wasn't so square and lips that weren't as full. His eyes were cold steel even when he glanced up at me. Cold, that's all I could see his brother as. His acting was good, but nowhere near good enough to soften my attitude towards him.
My stalker didn't seem to like this Black boy either. He had flared up as Little Black grabbed my hand. Actually, he didn't seem to like any of the Blacks in front of us.
I pulled my hand away with a grim look. "What could you possibly want? And who are you?" I aimed to Little Black.
"Regulus Black," he replied with a sweeping bow.
"Severus!" Narcissa snapped. "Explain to our guest what we want."
As I looked the long haired and hooked nosed boy up and down, I understood exactly what this seemingly unrelated group had in common. They were the perfect group. Two leaders, a charmer, a lackey, and two body guards.
"We've simply noticed that the self proclaimed 'Marauders' have taken to you. But why should you like them? They have always been cruel to you. But you are a creature of the dark. Of malice. Of mystery. Of revenge." His words were meant to persuade. I wouldn't let it work. I could easily see through its overt sweetness. It was fake and rehearsed.
"I'll ask you just once more. What do you want?" I clutched my wand harder than ever and twisted it in my palm.
The eyes of the two big blokes fell on it. They wouldn't take their eyes away from it.
"Ah, ah, ah," Bellatrix trilled. "That's not a good idea." The two men - they couldn't be boys - stepped forward with a wave of the hand from the dark girl. I tried not to be intimidated but I could feel my legs quiver.
"We want you to get information on the our dear cousin and his little friends for us," Narcissa said simply without Snape's elegant phrases and words.
"Like...spy on them?" I asked, my wand lowering unintentionally as I spoke. I jerked it back up right away.
"Yes. That is it exactly," Bellatrix purred.
A bright flash of yellow zapped past her ear. All eyes snapped to the place a few feet behind me. Narcissa's face darkened as did Little Black's. But Bellatrix brightened with evil excitement.
"Cousin," she addressed her eyes sparkling.
"Don't acknowledge me as something of the sort. I have no relation with you worth mentioning."
I turned to see him in the stance for a duel, a heap of silver cloth strewn behind him. This was the most pugnacious I'd ever seen him.
"Noli Videre!" A blast of orange hit Big Guy 1 in the face making him promptly run into a wall; he couldn't see. Narcissa glanced at Sirius and me. She looked uninterested as she walked back down the hallway away from the fight. She thought herself above a duel. As she sauntered off, she looked back at me and quietly said, "Think about it."
No way. There was no way in hell I was ever going to betray the friends or whatever they wanted to call themselves I had just made or in the process of making. A rage pulsed through me as I sent curses flying.
Sirius had already taken out Snape with a full body bind and, based on the pool of blood around his head and coming out of his ear, punched or kicked him in the head. He was now dueling with his remaining cousin and brother at the same time. Big Guy 2 was coming up at him from behind.
"Sirius! Behind you!" Brief fear and nervousness flickered through him. as he knew he wasn't going to be able to deal with Big Guy 2 on top of Bellatrix and Regulus. He blocked a charm sent by Bellatrix and, so quickly that it almost seemed simultaneous, shot one at his brother.
Big Guy 2 came up to Sirius's back like a bear and I clutched my wand and prayed that my aim was good. My spell worked instantly binding her to the spot she was standing. She struggled to lift her foot and battle Sirius at the same time. I tuned to the man quickly approaching Sirius and whispered another spell, "Cado!"
The bulky man began to trip and Sirius, sensing his closeness perhaps, jumped out of the way. Mid fall, I released my spell on Bellatrix. She looked horrified and scared as he fell on her, trapping her movements. I paralyzed him, crushing Bellatrix. She was unable to lift the heavy body that was trapping her like a cage off herself. Just to be safe, I nudged her wand out of her hand with the toe of my shoe. She let out a scream of rage.
When I turned, Sirius had his brother pinned against the wall. His hands pressed on Regulus's shoulders. Sirius changed his positioning to have his left arm angled across his brother's throat and right hand grasping his wand, which he used to point Regulus's face upward so he could see it.
"A nice face you've got there, brother," he spat. "Not going to do you much good now though."
Little Black hissed at him.
"Here, let's try to make it better," he said in a fake caring tone. He brought back his fist and smashed it to his brother's face. Regulus's skull flew back and ricocheted off the wall before going limp against his chest. I cringed at the sound it made.
Sirius didn't feel the least bit remorseful or guilty. Not about any of them. And I was surprised to find that I didn't either. How odd, I thought.
But Sirius was mad. So very, very mad. Almost as mad as he was when I walked in on him earlier. Almost.
His look grazed over the fallen bodies. Snape bloody and motionless. Bellatrix screaming out curses and swears whilst pinned down by Big Guy 2. Big Guy 1 knocked himself out by running into a wall. And Regulus was sitting against the opposite side with his body limp and head hanging from the sickening crack against the wall.
He then turned to me. If looks could kill, I would have been dead. This one rivaled the one he gave me earlier and I couldn't tell which was worse.
I pushed out my lower lip trying to ignore his death glare. "You were following me," I accused. I picked up my book, which had long since fallen from my hands in the scuffle, as I awaited his remark. None came; he simply stared.
Again, I felt hostility radiate off of him. It seemed to be a never ending emotion with these Blacks. He pressed his lips together and harshly grabbed my arm.
My skin tingled and warmed where his hand was. My breath thickened and a wavering feeling passed through my stomach. I wasn't sure if this was a reaction from an attractive boy touching me, fear from what he could do to me after what I had just seen, or simply an inert response to being touched. Whichever it was, I was glad that I was the one able to sense emotions. I feared him knowing what I was truly feeling.
We ran out of the dungeons and half way across the school before he slowed. My lungs burned as he shoved me into a dark broom closet. He entered the small space after me. My breathing was deep and shallow and a sticky sweat clung to my face. His breathing was off too. But his lack of air made him appear sexier than ever. My lips parted reflexively as he stepped closer and shut the door.
What was he going to do to me?
Anyway, if you could just drop a review and tell me how you feel about this chapter, that would be fantastic. It could be just a short one liner but I love to hear from all of you.
Chapter picture this time is Bellatrix. Again, this is just a random model I found on the internet...of course, I think she's absolutely perfect. What about you?
And, as always, darlings, please, please, please let me know if you see any spelling or grammar mistakes. And how do you like the spells in this chapter? All thanks to my Latin. :D
~The Forgotten Muse
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