Chapter 5 : Chapter Four
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Our friendship was something I myself couldn't explain. Whenever I was upset or needed someone to talk he was there. He was always full of laughter, and his kind words were what ,at one time, kept me going. Even though he did aggravate me, especially when he had me try some stupid sweet.
Which turned out to be a Canary Cream.
For a whole week I found myself pulling yellow feathers out my hair. Funny part I wasn't angry, I was happy.
Happy I had friends.
August 28, 1993
Katherine re-read the letter for the tenth time. Smiling, she slipped on the small silver bracelet. Her friends had each sent her a gift, but her favorite so far had been the charm bracelet. A loud voice had ruined her moment.
“Katherine, are you packed?” called Selina's voice from outside the door.
“I'm already packed!” yelled Katherine in response as she shut her trunk. Selina's footsteps sounded further away from her door. The truth was, Katherine had lied.
She opened her trunk and threw in the books that were left. “Potions, Transfiguration...” She heard a loud thud. Looking down, Katherine noticed the small black book... the one her uncle had advised her against reading. She had never opened it.
“Katherine! You're father's here!”
Katherine threw the journal into her trunk without a second thought – after all, she wasn't a kid anymore. What was the worst possible thing she could read from it, anyway? Besides, I have a right to know...
It was her father, who pushed the door open. She had already closed her trunk and cleaned her room the day before, and he gave her a suspicious look. “Good evening, Father,” she said pleasantly as he gave her a curt nod.
“Tomorrow, be ready by nine,” he said, looking around as if hoping to spot something out of place.
“Yes, Father...” she whispered. Katherine felt a knot in her throat as her father closed the door.
Once again, he had ignored his daughter's birthday.
“Katherine!” whispered a woman's voice. Everything was dark, and only light footsteps could be heard.
She began to sob as the small child held on to her chest. “I won't let them hurt you.” she whispered. “I promise.”
The door burst open, revealing a tall hooded figure and a man with a dirty appearance. His face was covered in sweat, and his eyes gave him a hungry look.
Then came a bloodcurdling scream.
She sat up, her breathing shallow. She felt dizzy. Katherine looked around; she was still in her room... she was fifteen years old. She wasn't – no, she couldn't be the child from the nightmare. It was all a figment of her imagination. Still, all she could hear was her voice... “Katherine!”
She put her hand on her mouth, hoping it'd stop her from feeling nauseous... she could smell the sweat.
Katherine stood up, running to the bathroom before she ruined her father's clean floors.
September 1, 1993
“I'm up!” yelled Katherine as she ran her fingers through her hair, dragging her trunk behind her. She ran down the stairs, only to hear the sound of her father's angry voice. It was barely ten-thirty; besides, what was the rush? “Overslept,” muttered Katherine as he pulled her towards the fireplace.
“You're going alone.”
“Why?” asked Katherine; it wasn't like she wanted his company, but it would be nice to have another human presence, even if it was her father.
“Because I have no time for such trivial affairs!” he snarled. “I have to get to work. Now, go!”
She nodded as he threw the gray powder into the fireplace. “Platform Nine And Three-Quarters!” she said firmly, entering the fireplace. Katherine landed face first on the stone floor, her trunk a couple of feet away, causing people to turn her way and stare.
I'll miss you too, Father. Katherine stood up, dusting off her blue trousers and black – now gray – T-shirt. “Great,” she muttered, walking towards her trunk, and this time falling over it.
Again, she was being stared at, and this time, laughed at. She hated attention; in fact, she only played Quidditch because of the rush she felt while flying.
“I didn't know you were this clumsy.”
Katherine felt her cheeks heat up – it was Michael Blackwood. He held his hand out, and she took it. “Yeah,” she muttered with a small smile, as he lifted her trunk.
“C'mon – I'll take this to where ever you're going to sit,” he said with a smile. Katherine nodded – she hated this kind of attention, especially when she noticed a couple of girls pointing at her.
“Look B – I mean, er, Michael – you really don't have to,” she said, frowning. Funny – it was the first time that someone besides Fred or George offered to carry her trunk.
“Please. Besides, not only Gryffindors can be chivalrous.” Michael let her walk in first onto the train. There were barely any people out in the hall, allowing her to walk around with ease. She hoped to find her friends before Blackwood decided to try and strike up a conversation. “You know – ”
“There you are! We were so worried!” She saw the twins; from behind her, Blackwood shot them a dirty look, as if they had done something wrong.
“Katherine, will you – ”
Before Blackwood could finish, she turned to George, avoiding any further contact with the Ravenclaw. “Take my trunk! It's not fair to have Blackwood do your job!” Her voice was a little higher than usual, causing the twins to smile wickedly.
George stood in front of Blackwood, who was a head shorter than him. The redhead smiled as he pulled the trunk away from the Ravenclaw boy.
“Thank you, Blackwood, for bringing her home safely,” said Fred, throwing an arm around Katherine, who kept changing shades of red.
“You moronic...” She muttered a line of curses that only caused Fred to smile, as Blackwood turned around awkwardly.
“See you in class, then?”
She nodded, hoping he'd leave already. As soon as Michael was out of hearing range, the twins erupted into laughter. “You should've seen your face!” began George, taking the lead.
“Poor Blackwood! I think he fancies you!”
“I'm warning you – ”
“Guess he doesn't know that Kitty's afraid of the male species.”
“You two are – ”
“ – the most immature – ” continued George, in an uncanny imitation of Katherine's voice.
“ – prats I have ever had the displeasure to meet!” finished Fred, as she angrily slid the compartment door open, only to be met by the surprised faces of Angelina, Alicia and Lee.
“Sorry, Mum kept us,” lied Fred with a smirk.
“Idiot,” muttered Katherine, taking a seat next to Angelina so George could enter with her trunk. “Plus we found our long lost – ”
George laughed; he knew she was on the edge the moment she started using their last name. Poor thing was embarrassed so easily... well, by men other than her friends, that was.
“Oh, stop teasing her,” said Angelina with a smile, even if she didn't admit she found it funny. Lee snickered as Fred sat next to him, leaving the only empty seat next to Katherine.
“George, you'd better not be doing anything to my luggage!” hissed Katherine as she heard strange noises coming from above them.
“Now, Kathy, why would I do anything to you?” asked the redhead, finally shoving the luggage onto the rack as the train began to move. He looked down at her with his usual lopsided grin.
“Whatever,” muttered the girl as he took a seat.
Their train was pleasant enough; after a couple of hours, they changed into their uniforms, taking turns, as usual. It's raining already, Katherine thought, eyes on the window as she waited for her friends to change.
“It just keeps getting shorter,” complained Angelina about her uniform as Katherine turned towards her.
“Don't worry – I can help you fix it before we go to bed tonight.”
Alicia finished with a smile, opening the compartment door and pointing to Lee and the twins. “Your turn!”
A couple of hour later came the typical tradition of exchanging sweets. “Lee, I am not eating that bean!” yelled Alicia with a disgusted look on her face. It was a murky, yellowish color, and Lee was currently betting five Sickles that it was bogie-flavored.
“It doesn't look that bad,” said Katherine, turning to Angelina, who shook her head.
“You take it!”
Katherine pushed Lee's hand away. “Sorry, mate, I'm not risking it.”
The twins had been arguing silently, probably to see which one would try it. “Well, Fred,” said George, smiling as his twin sighed, “you owe me!”
Katherine felt the train slowing down; she brought her brows together, though her friends seemed not to have noticed. Instead, they stared as Fred took a deep breath. Anyone watching them would think he was going for a dive or something of the sort.
Just as Lee passed the bean to Fred, the train came to a sudden halt. In the distance, Katherine heard the luggage falling from the overhead racks. Alicia screamed as their luggage toppled over, and Angelina was pulled away by Lee. Katherine pulled herself into the corner while the twins stood up to stop the heavy trunks from falling on them. Fred had his wand out, looking around at his friends. “Is everyone all right?”
“If you mean we survived the attack of the luggage, sure, we're fine,” responded Lee as the twins levitated the trunks back into their positions.
The lights flickered and burnt out, leaving them in darkness. “Why did we stop?” whispered Lee in sudden realization. Katherine stood, walking over George's feet towards the window.
“It's freezing!” came Alicia’s voice as Katherine watched the windows ice up, and, outside, the fog build up. She had read something about these kinds of things... in one of her father's books, no doubt.
“Katherine, can you see anything?” asked Fred as she watched a black blur get on the train...
Please be kidding, Merlin, please let this be a cruel joke. Katherine could see her own breath. “Dementors!” she whispered, turning quickly. She felt a pair of fingers brush over her wrist.
“Kat! Katherine, you're not serious?!”
She stood before the compartment door, holding the door with one hand and trying to find her wand with the other. She could hear her friends bickering, probably trying to find their wands, too. Outside, she heard curious whispers. Many of the students had no clue what was going on. She could see the mist building up around them. The compartment door slid open, and the girls screamed as Katherine looked up, finding herself face-to-face with a decayed face, leaning down towards her.
“Katherine!” called a woman's voice. She could hear her accelerated heartbeat.
“To think that he would keep you safe – pathetic, Elizabeth,” he whispered.
“Kill me, but please... please, spare her,” she whispered. “Please, have a heart – ” The male voice was familiar...
Katherine felt the air around her freeze; all that existed were the voices, the figures. Was it a nightmare? No, it was something more... it was so real...
Katherine heard her scream. The man laughed. “Stop, please!” she called. She heard footsteps.
The Dementor leaned towards her as George stood up in horror, though he could still hear his mother's screaming, when she found out her brothers had been murdered. His lungs felt as if ice had suddenly filled them.
“Katherine!” he managed to whisper. The lights flickered back on, causing the Dementor to fall back, and Katherine fell on her knees silently. Angelina was in tears; Fred too shocked to speak; Alicia held Angelina; and Lee had his eyes closed and his head against the seat. George knelt by Katherine and shook her. “Hey, Katherine, it's gone.”
Outside, they could hear Draco Malfoy's screaming, which on another occasion would have been hilarious.
“He’s pissing himself” said Fred his voice lower than what it usually was. George smiled a bit it was just like Fred to say something of the sort.
“Mum?” He turned Katherine towards him; she looked like a ghost, and her eyes had given her a blank look.
“Fred, she's acting weird,” began George, as he shook her. “Katherine! Say something!” He felt as if something was squeezing his chest. She kept repeating the same word, over and over.
“Give her some water,” said Fred, conjuring a goblet and pouring water from his wand into it. George took it, but before he could turn, he heard Katherine make a sound between a sob and a choke.
“Kat!” He dropped the goblet and turned to his friend, who held her chest, her eyes closed.
“Hold her!” yelled Alicia; she, like the others, didn't know what was going on, but it was a suggestion nonetheless.
George pulled her into a hug. “What now?” asked Fred, as Alicia messaged her temples, as if trying to remember something.
“Umm... just try and calm her down... someone needs to get help, and… damn... chocolate! Quirrell said it once!”
“Here!” Lee pulled out a Chocolate Frog while Angelina stood up, practically flying out of the compartment. The train had slowly begun to move. George could feel her hands holding onto his chest. “Kitty, it's gone,” he whispered while Fred rubbed her back. “It's gone.”
“Fred, give her the chocolate,” said Alicia, who was now on the floor with the lot of them. George pulled her from his chest with difficulty; her eyes were puffed up, and her face was tear-stained. She was following Alicia's instructions, and took the chocolate from Fred.
“It's okay, see,” whispered George as she nodded slowly. The compartment was opened up by Angelina, who stood with a shabby-looking wizard. He had graying hair and torn robes.
“Is everything all right?”
They turned to Alicia, who explained whatever just happened. “Our friend just had a fit or something, but she's all right now.” The man looked down at Katherine, who was still a bit shaky.
“Well, give her some chocolate, and you lot take some too,” said the man. “We should be arriving soon. I suggest that Madam Pomfrey gets a look at her. If you need anything else, I'll be up front with the conductor.”
They all nodded as he walked away, and then turned to Angelina, asking the same question. “I didn't get his name,” shrugged the Chaser, as she sat down to Lee.
“You okay?” George asked Katherine.
“Yes.” George watched her; she was lying. Her face was as white as a piece of paper, her eyes bloodshot, and her shoulders were still shaking.
“Liar,” said Fred's voice, as she tried to unwrap the Frog.
“Here.” George took it from her as she made a rude gesture at Fred.
“Well, with that, we you know you'll live.”
“Very funny, Lee,” whispered Katherine, as she took the Frog from George. He watched her blue eyes water up once more... it reminded him of his second year, the way she sobbed in his arms after her uncle's death.
“Well, you're all right, and that’s what matters... you heard him, each of us should have some chocolate.” Angelina was always the responsible one. For the remainder of the trip, Fred, in efforts of lifting their spirits, began to talk about Quidditch, George, on the other hand, had Katherine trying to sleep on his lap as Angelina gave him a sympathetic look.
The train came to a halt, for which George was thankful – he couldn't stand to hear one of Lee’s jokes. Quite frankly, they were pathetic. Hundreds of stagecoaches waited for them as usual. Hagrid's voice called for the first years, as always, and Fred and George smiled at the tiny faces that made their way towards Hagrid. “Blimey, it's been a while, hasn't it?” Fred asked.
George nodded. “It has been. Still, good times.”
They stood behind a group of Slytherins who were talking, admittedly amongst themselves, until a girl spun around. “Oh, look, it's the Gryffindorks!” She had a pug-like face. George recognized her – her name was Pansy Parkinson, Devin Parkinson's little sister.
“You know, that is getting kind of old,” responded Alicia, pretending to yawn. Next to the girl stood Cashlin Selwyn, the most stuck-up girl George had ever met.
“To you it is, Spinnet,” Selwyn smiled as her eyes fell on Katherine, who held onto George's robes. “Well, well – looks like someone was afraid of the Dementors,” sneered Selwyn.
Katherine snorted. “Sod off, Selwyn.”
“How could we be afraid of Dementors?” began Fred taking a step forward. “When we're talking to one?”
George smiled; like always, Fred had something to say. “Haven't you noticed, Selwyn, every time you walk into the room everyone feels miserable – ”
“Of course they do, George – I mean, she makes playing with dragon dung seem pleasant.”
“Very funny, Weasel.” From behind Selwyn appeared part of their rival team: Montague, Warrington, and Pucey.
“Like Alicia said, it's getting old,” snapped Angelina, standing next to Fred.
“Finally got some money over the summer, didn't you?” began Montague, turning to Pucey. “I guess begging days are over, huh?” George began to walk towards them, though, like his twin, was held back.
“Stop – he just wants to get a rise out of you!” said Katherine, glaring at the two boys.
“I'm actually kind of scared, you know,” sneered Warrington as he watched the twins’ ears turn red. “If the weasels bite me I might get – ”
Before Katherine could do anything, George had him by the collar. Warrington was just as tall as the twins, and he was definitely wider. “George, let him go!” yelled Alicia, as Katherine pulled out her wand.
“Let go of me, Angelina!” George heard his brother yell as Fred was held back. Arriving students stared at the fight.
“Just put him down,” said Katherine, as the Slytherins watched.
“You know, Weasley, your girlfriend's right,” whispered Warrington, so only George could hear it. “Who knows – keep a grip on me, and my wand might just slip.” His beady brown eyes were on a couple of second years nearby.
George clenched his jaw and released Warrington's collar; from behind them, he could hear Percy's voice. “Let me through! Head Boy! What is the hold up?!” Before George could have any other reaction, Katherine had pulled him by his robe into the first carriage they could find. Alicia closed the door behind them – or, more appropriately, slammed it.
“I swear, one more crack – ”
“And you're not doing anything!” yelled Katherine, pointing her index finger at him. “That's what Quidditch is for!”
Alicia watched as George opened his mouth to argue back. “You're not one to talk – ”
“I'm trying to be sensible, George!” she snapped. “Get back at them on the Quidditch field!”
He laughed. “And for now – what? Let him insult my family?!”
Katherine closed her eyes impatiently. “Are you daft?” she began, opening her eyes as a smile crawled over her lips; her friends stared at her as if she was mad. “And here I was thinking that I was talking to one of the most famous troublemakers in the history of our school.” George smiled; Katherine was right. He'd have his turn soon enough.
Their carriage soon pulled up to the school, and the students poured into the Great Hall, waiting for the first years to arrive. Katherine put her head down on the table as her friends sat down around her. “I'm fine – just nauseous,” she whispered to Angelina, who gave the message to the others. Fred and George were currently discussing their 'revenge' while Alicia chatted away with Lee.
George watched as Harry entered the room. He wondered what had happened to him this time.
Professor Dumbledore walked in as usual. Though he was probably the oldest wizard George had met (besides his Aunt Muriel), Dumbledore had always had his respect and admiration. After all, he was one of the greatest wizards in modern history.
“Welcome!” said Dumbledore, the candlelight shimmering on his beard. “Welcome to another year at Hogwarts!”
Fred elbowed George with a sly smile, pointing over at Filch, who currently had his beady eyes on the twins. “He's probably making sure we listen to the rules.”
“I honestly don't know why Filch even bothers,” whispered George back with a smile. “He knows we don't give a damn.”
Katherine lifted her head, turning towards the headmaster.
“Shut your gobs, will you – I'm trying to listen!” she snapped. It was like her to always keep herself updated with the most recent information. As usual, the speech mentioned the typical – the rules, the newly-appointed staff. The shabby wizard from the train was their new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and Hagrid had replaced Kettleburn, something George was thankful for. Kettleburn had given him the most disgusting detentions he had ever had at Hogwarts.
Everyone watched as the plates were filled with food before them. Fred grabbed anything in his reach while George took some food on his plate. “Aren't you hungry?” George asked, as Katherine put her head back on the table.
“Not really, you can eat my share of the feast.” He decided that it was best to shrug it away – after all, she was just sleepy.
“I saw that!” yelled George, as Fred took a chicken thigh from his plate.
“Sorry, mate, couldn't resist.”
They walked up the spiral stairs into their dormitories, where Kenneth Toweler, a tall, black-haired boy, came up to them, pointing to his chest. “Nice pyjamas,” said Fred, unbuttoning his shirt. Kenneth frowned.
“I'm not showing you my pyjamas, you dolt!”
George smiled as he noticed the prefect's badge. “Well, then, the badge isn't impressive, either.”
“I'd stick with the pyjamas, if I were you,” said Fred, nodding, while George sniggered.
“Stop it! This year you two will respect me, or I’ll make sure you – ” Kenneth stopped once both of the twins turned, smiling at him.
“Come again, Kenneth?” asked Fred.
He turned away from them, muttering to himself angrily. Lee, who slept beside Kenneth, snickered silently.
Evan McLaggen smiled. “Well, Kenneth, there's always tomorrow.”
The prefect pulled the curtains as the other boys laughed, each of them changing into their pyjamas.
George stared at the ceiling, not bothering with pulling up the covers; he admitted that, even with the sweater, it felt a little chilly, but he couldn't sleep... not tonight, anyway.
“Kitty, it's gone,” he whispered while Fred rubbed her back. “It's gone.”
In the back of his head, he could still hear her sobbing. George ran his fingers through his hair; if there was anything he hated, it was seeing the people he cared about cry, though for some reason he hated Katherine's sobs more than any others.
Maybe it was because her crying was quite rare, or perhaps because of the way her blue eyes puffed up when she looked up at him. He could feel his heart sink at the very thought; what did she see? It was obvious it had to do with her mother.
“George?” came Fred's voice; George didn't respond. He couldn't. It would mean telling Fred what was worrying him...
His eyes soon became heavy; he closed them and drifted off into sleep.
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