OK, so you probably want to find out what happened. But I will delay you for a while…
Also, I wanted to apologize in advance for the beginning of this chapter. It’s not as good as I would have liked, but I think I got my point across. Do not worry about the lack of goodness in this chapter, because it gets better after the opening of this section.
Everybody from the party crowded around Mark. “What happened?” “Are you alright?” they were all asking. After he had burst out screaming, he lied, writhing on the floor, for several minutes, while everyone stared at him in shock.
Desperately the boy looked around and shot towards the doors. Lily, the Marauders, and several of his friends chased after Mark. Kian and Jeremiah, two of Mark’s Quidditch-playing friends, tackled him to the ground. They played as the Hufflepuff beaters and had massive arm muscles. Regardless, Mark struggled uselessly.
“Mark, what happened?” Jeremiah demanded urgently. Mark shook uncontrollably and practically frothed at the mouth. The boys shook him.
“Wake up, man,” Kian said, slapping him in the face. Mark’s eyes shot open.
“Mary. Is she OK?” he gasped.
“Mary?” Lily asked, turning white, “What’s wrong with her?”
“Something happened,” Mark answered, struggling to stand up. Kian and Jeremiah got off him and Mark hurried to his feet. “Something is wrong, I have to find her.”
"We’ll go with you,” Sirius volunteered. The rest of the group nodded.
The eight students, Mark, Kian, Jeremiah, Lily, Sirius, James, Peter, and Remus, hurried out of the room. Once in the corridor, they split up and raced down the hallways. They followed random corridors, having no clue where to search. After more than a few minutes, Lily remembered that Mary was going back to the common room. Lily quickly began to retrace the path to the Gryffindor tower.
When she was nearly halfway there, she stopped dead in her tracks. Something was lying up against the wall. Lily slowly, moved smoothly over to get a better look. Quivering, she reached out her hand and turned over the lump. She saw the face and screamed.
Mary slowly stirred and opened her eyes. The world was blurry. She blinked and after a few seconds, things became clear. Mark sat asleep in a chair next to Mary and Lily stood facing her. All Mary could tell was that she was lying in a bed in a large, dreary room.
“Mary?” her best friend asked softly, “Are you awake?”
Mary opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. Suddenly she was terrified, what had happened to her? She shivered and curled into a ball.
Lily tried to shake Mark awake, “Mark, wake up. She’s conscious.”
He jolted awake and nearly fell out of the chair. Mary instantly recognized where she was, the school hospital wing. She had only been there a few times, mostly to visit Remus the day after the full moon. She had never been there for herself because not matter what trouble she got into, she always turned out unscathed. That was more than she could say for some of the more unlucky individuals who often were dragged in to her adventures.
“Mary, do you remember what happened?” he asked, taking her hand, “We, well Lily I guess, found you unconscious in the corridor. Someone attacked you, I think. Do you remember anything?”
Mary tried to speak again, but once again, she could not. Unexpectedly, she began to cry. The crying was what scared her friends more than anything. Not even Mark had seen her sob like this.
“Mary?” he asked worried, “What’s the matter?”
Madame Saniatro, the school nurse, walked over and observed Mary. She wrote something down on a clipboard and then said, “I think she might me going through shock. Is that right, dear?” she brushed some of Mary’s hair out of her face.
Mary still was not capable of speaking and did not try this time.
"What is wrong with her?” Mark demanded. He had never been more serious in his life.
“I honestly do not know. If we cannot figure out how to heal her, perhaps we may need to transfer her to St. Mungo’s. Are you sure you have no idea what happened to her?” the nurse asked Mark.
Lily suddenly perked up, “I just remembered, we had a….er…run in with Bellatrix and Narcissa Black early the other day. It’s their entire fault, I know it!” she began to sob, “They threatened us. Bellatrix said she would get Death Eater’s to come after us.
Madame Saniatro seemed doubtful, “You cannot just accuse somebody just because you do not like them or even had a little disagreement. That is a very serious accusation.”
“But it wasn’t a ‘little disagreement,’ they threatened us,” Lily added.
“Still…we can talk to them, but unless they confess to harming Mary or until Mary lets us know what happened to her, nobody can do anything. Now, I would suggest you go back to your common rooms and get some sleep.”
“I’m not leaving my sister,” Mark argued. He was very close to Mary and loved her more than anything in the world. He would go to the ends of the Earth for her and would never give up on Mary. Lily began to sense that Mark would not let the Black sisters go unpunished, even if Mary turned out well.
Madame Saniatro looked at him sternly, “You cannot stay here. So, go get some sleep or at the very least simply leave for a few hours.”
Lily interrupted, “Please, Madame Saniatro. Can’t we stay?”
“Absolutely not, she needs to be taken care of and I will not be able to work with you in the way.”
Resignedly, the two students stood up. Mark kissed his sister lightly on her forehead and Lily stroked Mary’s hand for just a moment before they left.
“She’s not OK,” Mark complained as soon as the door was shut behind them, “When I find out who did this, I’m gonna…” He proceeded to show his feelings in a selection of violent hand gestures.
Lily shook her head, “Madame Saniatro said she’d try and even if she can’t help Mary, St. Mungo’s surely can. Of course, they can. They will. They have to. Just keep hoping, that’s what Mary always said. I mean, says.” She hastily amended herself, but Mark appeared to not have been paying her any attention and appeared to be lost in his own reverie.
They were still wandering aimlessly around the castle, when they, quite literally, ran into Bellatrix Black. She was laughing at something with all of her malicious friends.
“Hey mudblood, how’s your muggle friend?” Bellatrix sneered, “I heard she, well, got into a spot of trouble.”
Lily jumped. Realizing whom it was, grabbed a hold of Mark before he could lunge at her and probably get himself killed. Behind Bellatrix were two seventh year Slytherin boys, Mulciber and Avery. They were tough as nails and about as dumb. Sure enough, Mark leapt forward, attempting to murder Black and her friends.
Bellatrix Black scoffed, “Are you upset muggle? You can blame your friend there.” She nodded at Lily. “She and that sister of yours got themselves in a spot of trouble earlier. I tried to warn them that Rudolfus and Lucius would…have a little something up their sleeves.” She smiled to herself as Mulciber and Avery chuckled darkly.
“Mulciber and Avery, did it?” Lily screeched, almost releasing Mark. She restrained herself just in time. “I would not have thought they would be brave or clever enough to attack someone like that.”
Mucliber smirked, “Yeah? We’re plenty smart enough. We know lots more than you. The Dark Lord…”
“Shut up, fool,” Bellatrix yelled, “Don’t you see she’s trying to get you to admit you did it? Don’t give her that kind of evidence! And you were never to tell anyone about the Dark…I mean…oh just shut up!”
“Oh,” he said, looking at his feet.
Lily hurried to drag Mark away while the Slytherins were distracted, arguing among themselves. They left not a moment too soon; Bellatrix was drawing her wand.
“They hurt her! I am going to kill them!” Mark hollered, as soon as they had gotten out of Mary’s attackers’ earshot.
“Calm down, Mark. Mark, SHUT UP!” Lily hollered.
“They are going to die!” he screamed.
“Mark,” Lily said, grabbing his shoulders and turning him to face her, “Mark, do not attack blindly. If you want revenge, think it through and do some real damage. Do not just try to harass the Slytherins without a plan; they will pummel you into dust. You know Mulciber and Avery are tough, if thick.”
Mark’s face was beginning to change to purple.
“Breathe,” Lily ordered.
Mark slowly and hesitantly began to inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale. “I’m still going to get them,” he vowed, “If it kills me, I will destroy them!”