Chapter 46 : Masculine Confusion
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Just a note, hereth starts the change in POV. Hope it’s not too bad. Thought I’d try my luck working with a guy’s perspective—practice for the new Teddy Lupin fic I’m writing.
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognise. All rights go to the respective owners.
46. Masculine Confusion
Tyler and David were at the school within six minutes of the events in the Slytherin common room. Two minutes later and every single child with the last name Potter or Weasley were taken from the castle, and brought back to their now even more heavily guarded homes and ordered to stay there.
There was a crunch as my fist collided with the strong, brick wall.
“Oh, my god, Al!”
“Dude! Did you really just do that?”
I wasn’t taking it very well.
So, when they called in a home healer to check in it I was told that I’d shattered all the bones in my wrist, punching a brick wall. But honestly, did my hand even matter? They’d sent us back to our homes—but Fred was allowed to stay at Rosie’s. I’d moaned about the injustice of just that for half an hour, until Rose and Fred flooed in, saying that Ty had given them the break.
But even when they were there, I wasn’t really thinking straight.
Because she didn’t do this.
I didn’t know the story, I didn’t know the circumstances and I didn’t know the specifics. All I knew was that I loved Katie—yes, damnit, I loved the girl and there was no insult to my masculinity saying that—and she didn’t kill anyone.
I was pacing.
“Al, maybe you should calm down.”
I wasn’t having any of that. I shot a withering glare at my cousin, scowling at her as I continued to walk back and forth across the floor of my house’s stupidly clean first floor.
I didn’t get it though.
How was Rose being so damn calm?
“What exactly did Scor say he did?” I demanded, “—because if you’re seriously telling me that he didn’t even help her and I’m supposed to calm down right now, then you’re insane.”
Rose sighed, maintaining her continuous, ever present and really annoying cool composure. Her gaze dropped to the note in her hand—the piece of parchment on which Scor had scribbled his recollection of events and sent it to Rose.
I wasn’t feeling exactly lovey and happy with the guy at the moment.
Not that I was lovey and happy with Scor often.
But less so now.
“The victim—they’re saying that Katie murdered Indiana Stephens. Everyone saw the bullying that happened so they think that covers motive. Katie was the only one with a wand in the situation, and she had Todd’s blood on her hands. The evidence all leads to—” she must have then caught sight of my thunderous expression because she quietened.
She sure as hell wasn’t allowed to finish that sentence.
Not in my house.
“He said that Katie might think that he thinks she did it.”
Definitely not happy and lovey feelings for the guy.
“Why the hell does she think that he thinks she did it?” I demanded, staring at Rosie in horror.
“Look, Al,” she said frowning. “We don’t know anything about what happened—they haven’t told us anything. Katie hasn’t been arrested; she’s just being looked after. And it’s fair—Indiana Stephens died.”
I glanced at my feet, thinking about Stephens. Scor was close to that girl because of his sister. This time, I was the one to swallow.
But I had more important things to deal with.
Rose looked at me sympathetically.
Damnit. She had to stop doing that.
“If Todd had accused anyone else of this, the same thing would be happening.” She continued in her stupid ‘I’m reasonable’ voice. “We don’t know what’s going on so you’ve got to calm down. This is all just precautionary.”
Speaking for the first time since we’d got here, Fred scowled, and punched the couch. It wasn’t really as masculine as I hoped I’d looked when I’d punched the stupid wall—but it looked like he learnt that the couch was less painful.
It didn’t get the point across quite as effectively thought.
The punching of the wall was way better.
“That freaking Williams guy really needs to have every square inch of his ass kicked.” He fumed.
I very much agreed.
“There is a rational approach here,” Rose said slowly. I rolled my eyes. “To this entire thing. We know that Katie didn’t do this—so all we have to do is prove that she’s innocent—and then find the person who did it.”
There was a beat of silence.
I ran my hand—the only good one—through my hair, the other clenching despite the pure pain of the strain on the recently unshattered bones.
Still, it was a Potter thing.
My brother, and my dad and apparently even my granddad.
Hell, even Lily did it.
“Right then,” I said, taking a deep breath of air and closing my eyes for a moment. “What do we know?”
Rosie looked back at the letter.
“We know that Katie was in the Slytherin common room for some reason,” she said, scanning’s stupid Scor’s words. “She’s not talking, but Scor says that she’ll be speaking to McGonagall sometime today, and they’re taking every precaution.”
Rose swallowed, seemingly knowing how I was going to react to that.
She was rather accurate in her assumption.
“Every precaution?” I echoed incredulously. “What the hell does that mean?”
“It means that you were supposed to be here with your sister—not with Rose and Fred.”
We all spun around quickly to see Dad in the doorway. He smiled slightly at seeing Fred and Rosie but he didn’t look happy to see that we were here. Tyler walked in behind him, looking guilty (which was fair—he was the one who’d brought Fred and Rose here.) Uncle Ron trudged in behind him, looking at us all with a frown.
“Hey Dad, Uncle Harry,” Rose greeted them nervously. Fred did the same while I rolled my eyes. I was so not interested in talking about what I was supposed to be doing to facilitate my protection.
There was only one person whose safety I was thinking about.
And she was freaking locked up.
God, I wanted to punch something.
Dad noticed my sour disposition immediately.
“Al, you really need to calm down.” He told me, adopting his ‘I’m actually a world-wide hero’ tone. “Katie hasn’t been charged with anything at this point, the evidence—”
I wasn’t able to punch anything this time.
So I lifted a vase and threw it at the wall.
Rosie jumped. Fred swore. Tyler, Uncle Ron and Dad all rolled their eyes.
In seconds, Ty had fixed the vase, and placed it back where I had snatched it. I let out a frustrated grunt, and scowled. I was already itching to throw the freaking thing again.
“Son,” Dad stepped forward. “You need to remain calm.”
I smashed the vase again.
This time, instead of just rolling their eyes, both Dad and Uncle Ron moved forward. Ty, recognising that this wasn’t his place, stepped back and simply fixed the vase again while Uncle Harry and Dad grabbed my arms, holding me still with surprising ease.
Well not ease.
I could have thrown them off if I wanted to.
I just didn’t feel like it.
“People need to stop telling me to calm down.” I thundered at my dad and Rosie’s. “She’s—she’s—people are calling her a killer. And she’s not a killer—she couldn’t hurt anyone—not intentionally.”
I wasn’t handling any of this very well.
“Al—Albus.” It was Uncle Ron who finally caught my attention, his grip on my arms tightening so that I still (voluntarily, by the way—I could have kept going if I liked). “Trust me, when I tell you that she hasn’t been charged with anything. They’re just taking measures to ensure that the students are safe.”
He was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, so I could pretty much trust anything he told me with blind faith. Also, he was my uncle and my dad’s closest friend, which made him pretty trustworthy in itself.
Then again, he did ditch my dad...?
Dad looked at me strangely.
God, he probably did his stupid Occlumency thing to get into my head.
Serves him right.
With a little pressure on Dad’s behalf, I sat on the couch beside Fred, still scowling. Rosie seemed to watch nervously as I clenched and unclenched my fists, before she reached forward and stopped me doing any more damage to the shattered bones.
“You’re not helping anyone hurting yourself.”
I shrugged her off and looked to our fathers.
“Tell me everything.”
Uncle Ron and Dad exchanged a nervous look before nodding.
“She’s being held in the Astronomy Tower,” Dad explained slowly. “They’ve got her under sedation for the shock,” he added in hastily before I could voice the protests they could all see on my face.
Uncle Ron cut in there. “She’s spoken to McGonagall but I’m afraid she’s not making much sense—she is telling people that she didn’t do this—but until we know why she was in that common room we’re not going to be able to do anything.”
I swallowed, shaking.
“So,” I drawled slowly, glowering at everyone in the room. “Basically, you’re telling me that my girlfriend is sitting alone and no one can do a thing to help her?”
There was a pause, during which everyone exchanged nervously looks.
I punched the coffee table.
So, in the end, Dad and Uncle Ron used magic means to stop myself hitting more hard objects. With the bones in my hand damaged to a painful (but nothing I couldn’t handle) extent, they’d ended up just putting my entire arm in a cast, and then magically sealing it to my chest—where it would have hung if it was in one of those muggle swings or something.
To be honest, it had helped.
I was sitting in Rosie’s room—as we’d moved, deciding to have dinner at their place in a way to keep me calm and keep us all together.
I hadn’t eaten anything.
Rose, Fred, Lily, Roxanne and Hugo had joined me, with a plate of food in their hands. They given it to me, and I’d taken it only after they’d grudgingly agreed to help me figure out how to save Kats.
“You guys know she didn’t do this,” I pleaded with them. “You have to help me.”
None of us were willing to leave Katie in the state she was in—even Roxanne, who’d really only spoken two words to her. But it was Rose who really got us started.
“Well,” she said. “Katie didn’t do this—and Indiana obviously didn’t.” She shrugged. “That leaves one person guilty—and is it really any surprise?”
Todd Williams was going to be in so much pain by the time I was done with him.
I believed, as avidly as I believed that Katie was not capable of this—that Todd Williams was. He was in Scor’s year—and we’d been acquaintances up until he’d been suspended. When we’d found out what for from Kats, that was that.
“If he did pull this off—being able to blame Katie so effectively—then he must have been planning something for a long time. He was able to pin the restricted section thing on her—it must have started before that.’
“What?” I echoed.
Rose looked at me sadly. “She’s not talking. But I’m going to go on a whim here and assume that Williams has been planning this for a long time. I’ll bet Kats knew about it, as well. He probably had something on her...”
It felt as though she’d punched me in the gut.
Guilt welled up in my stomach like I was bleeding internally, and I choked slightly on the feeling.
I had been so caught up in finally having her that I hadn’t even taken the time to really pay attention to her. I’d known she had something on her mind—but I’d assumed it was just the drama with her friends that had started it.
Not fecking Todd Williams.
God, I was going to kill him.
All I’d been able to focus on was the pure brilliance when she’d told me she liked me. Scor was always telling me—and Rose, and Fred, but I hadn’t believed them. She was against the paparazzi and always seemed slightly uncomfortable around me.
But she did.
She liked me.
“If I were going to do anything about how much I like you, I couldn’t do it, because being with you would make me too happy.”
I honestly could ever recall a moment when I’d been happier.
Then there was that not so great moment when she tried to have me kicked out, but we’d gotten past that and then I’d kissed her and my entire life seemed to brighten.
You know, in a manly way.
But I’d ignored her so much that I didn’t see this?
Merlin, I was worse than Voldemort.
Just when I was getting to the conclusion that this was my fault, when we heard a peck at the window.
Usually, when an unfamiliar owl arrived at our windows we were to alert Tyler or David instantly (depending on whose house we were at, at the time of said owl’s appearance.)
But now was not the time for protocol.
My girlfriend was locked up.
And I intended to do something about it.
I was at the window before anyone could protest, and had opened the door. The owl didn’t wait for any sort of money, instead hopping inside, and perching on the end of Rosie’s bed. We frowned at it for a second, before Rose rolled her eyes.
“Honestly, people. It’s waiting for a reply.” She said logically.
She must wonder how we go on with brains so infinitely smaller than her own.
I ripped the seal from the letter and unrolled it.
Katie is innocent. We think we know why she was in the common room—and why she did all that stuff for Williams.
She’s a Hufflepuff, after all.
Get back to this school asap. We’re getting our girl out of there.
E & E
It took me seconds to figure out who had sent the message. Despite the situation, I couldn’t help but feel a little swell of happiness when I realised that Cook and Smithers (I should really call them Emily and Eric) had referred to Katie as our girl.
I stowed the feeling away. Now was so not the time.
I pushed the note into Rosie’s hand, watching while she skimmed the note. She frowned slightly, reaching the last line.
“Protocol says that we stay here until the threat has been taken care of. We could be here for weeks.” She said slowly, passing the note to Fred.
I shook my head.
That wasn’t going to happen. We were going to get back into that castle.
Fred finished reading the note with a deep breath. “We need a plan,” he announced. “A really good, sure fire plan. We need to get back there and plan.”
“But how are we going to do that?”
Rose let a small smirk slip onto her face.
“Are you forgetting who your cousins are?” She queried. “He’s the most knowledgeable source when it comes to tricking and lying.”
Fred grinned proudly. “And she’s the brightest witch of her age.”
Rose puffed out her chest with pride.
Exactly two minutes and seventeen second later, we were down stairs, talking to the adults. Two minutes after that, the bird was flying back to Hogwarts, this message attached.
We’re on our way.
I feel so melodramatic. Lol. Review? I’d love to hear feedback concerning Al’s POV. It was probably one of the most difficult things that I’ve done in this story.
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