Chapter 13 : Chasing the Glowing Hours
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Chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
The only word I could use to sum up this whole scene is "bloody." Dirty rags of blood were strayed across the floor and a rat scurried around. But the real scene was the werewolf. It was large, lean, and crying out in pain. Then, all was silent as the it whimpered close to the glass-less window.
I noticed a stag take a step closer just as the wolf leaped up and clawed at the shaggy, black dog. It pushed the barking dog onto the floor and pinned it down. Then the stag came head first into it and caused a deep gash to form in the wolf's arm.
It was awful.
I flew a little closer only to see that the dog was terribly injured and limped towards the corner of the room as the stag wrestled the wolf. The room was chaotic. I flew down towards the dog and saw that it was quietly crying.
A question passed my mind. Why these four animals? How are they all connected? They are each so different from each other.
I flew towards the stag just as the wolf ripped the some of the skin on the stag. Feeling sorry for the stag, I tried to distract the wolf by flapping my wings in front of it and moving it towards the other corner. Unfortunately, this didn't work for long.
Because it began clawing at me.
As the wolf tried to catch me, the stag recovered and attacked it. I wasn't focusing on the wolf because I was looking at the poor dog at the corner. Suddenly, I felt a pang of pain in my left wing.
All I thought about as I tried to fly out of the room was the pain. It was infinite and eternal. I cried out and attempted to get out of the house but I couldn't. By the time I got out into the forest, I was done and so I lied in the grass, hoping beyond Merlin that it would stop.
Then, I closed my eyes.
And let darkness overcome me.
My eyes fluttered open to the shining sun and I looked around me, rubbing my eyes since everything was still a bit hazy to me. Last night's events played in my head as if it were a movie and my thoughts immediately went to the four animals.
The rat, the dog, the stag, and the werewolf.
All so very different but somehow connected.
Then a strong pain came from my left arm as I tried to lean on it and I quickly cradled it. I had forgotten that I hurt it until now when I looked down at it. It was badly hurt as I examined the deep cut and dried blood surrounding it along with dirt. Great, not only do I have a wounded arm but I'll also have an infected one.
I got up and rubbed off the dirt using my right arm. Since I was not in any condition to fly I decided that I had to walk to Hogwarts. Let's just hope that no one sees me.
"You have his leg?"
Fear filled me and I searched around to see where the voice came from. Unfortunately, all I saw was grass and trees. Did I imagine it? Or is there really someone there?
I stood still and listened carefully but all that was heard was the sound of rustling grass. My thoughts went to the voice again. It sounded an awful like James but it couldn't be. He obviously isn't here and neither is the person he's with.
Or could he?
After cleaning myself up and changing, I finally decided that it would be best to go to Madame Pomfrey so that she could treat my arm. I certainly do not feel like having a wounded arm all week. So, reluctantly, I dragged myself to the Hospital Wing and silently walked in.
Madame Pomfrey was helping a student when I came in so I walked around casually. That is until I saw the most peculiar thing - the four Marauders lying in the beds of the Hospital Wing. Sirius and Remus were sleeping but James and Peter were awake. My brain was in a jumble and there were so many leftover clues to figure out.
This all had to connect in some way, right?
I looked up as Madame Pomfrey pulled me out of my train of thought. "Oh... yes! My arm is...," I said and gestured to my arm. She "tutted" at me and took me over to a bed to sit on as she looked through her potion bottles.
I looked up to see a confused James looking at my arm. "Hm?"
"Why are you here?" he asked, fixing his glasses with one of his arms'. I noted that one of his arms were bandaged in the exact place where the wolf had scratched the stag.
"My arm...," I said, sounding like an idiot.
"Umm... I fell," I quickly said.
James looked at me with a look that he knew I was hiding something. I smiled weakly but he let it go- knowing James, he'll somehow figure it out but definitely not soon.
"Here we go," Madame Pomfrey said applying some potion on the cut and then she bandaged it as she told me what I should do, not to do, and all that crap.
"-it should be gone in a day."
"Great," I said and got up to leave before James had anymore suspicions. Before I left, I overheard one word from James's conversation with Peter. The word? It was "raven."
Let's just say that I'm just a teeny bit closer to figuring this all out.
But before I burn myself out completely, I'm going to go get a proper sleep.
The wind was blowing outside the window and the clouds were caked upon each other, but the Earth refused to rain. I thought about all the clues and tried to connect them with each other.
Well, first, the animals were unusual and definitely not regular animals because normal ones don't act like that. The four animals last night had to be four students. It's good to know that I'm not the only illegal animagus.
Two, the werewolf was crying inside the Shrieking Shack. Why would an animal be in there?
Three, I heard the voice outside of the Whomping Willow that sounded a lot like James.
Four, James has the same injury as the stag from last night.
Five, Peter and James were talking about a "raven."
Okay, what do I have so far? Well, I know that there are four animagus students in this school, besides me. Additionally, I know that the werewolf wasn't an actual wolf - it was a student, the only question is who? This somehow all connects to James because he is the common denominator in these clues.
Four injured students, four injured animals, and the word, "raven." What am I missing here?
But I couldn't see it.
So I decided to take a walk to Hogsmeade since it is a Hogsmeade day and I have nothing else to do, so maybe this will enlighten me in some way that I don't know.
I'll figure it out.
The wind slowed down and turned into a light breeze that ruffled the almost-bare branches of the trees. Winter was dawning upon us and the snow days will soon come along with the ones filled with sunshine. I ended up in the Three Broomsticks with a butterbeer in my hands. Only thing different is that, this time, the Marauders aren't here.
"Oh, hey, I didn't see you there."
I turned to my right only to turn smack into the face belonging to the one person I had almost forgotten but also the person I really wanted to avoid at the moment. I did say almost, right? This is such an unfortunate meet.
Jacob. Jacob Feldspar who prefers to be called Jake. I spun back around in my seat and stared at the cracks in the bar that have formed over the past few years. "What do you want?" I asked curtly.
He took a swig of his butterbeer and said, "well, I decided to have a nice butterbeer. Want one because I can get you one? I have about-"
"Stop. I have a butterbeer and I certainly do not want your money."
Jake's mouth closed when hearing my statement and he went back to staring at his butterbeer as if he was a little child who had done something wrong and was being punished.
"How are you?" Jake asked in a low voice, not daring to take the chance to look at me.
I tucked a strand of blonde hair behind my ear and tightly held my butterbeer. "Fine," my voice squeaked. My thoughts were somewhere else though, still thinking about the clues.
I cleared my throat, almost tasting the tension, and said, "you?"
He twisted his butterbeer in his hands as he nervously tapped his foot. I noticed that his cheeks were slightly pink as he almost whispered, "good." I nodded.
James... James... wait, the Marauders. No, it can't be? Could it? The Marauders being all animaguses? But who was the werewolf? He couldn't have been an animagus, he was in pain. Three of them must have turned themselves into animaguses for the werewolf. Now for the hard part, who is who?
"It's cold today."
Oh no, when you start talking about the weather, then you know something has got to be either wrong. It's the most unsocial and awkward topic in the galaxy, everyone knows that.
"Can we talk?" he asked, glancing at me and then shifting his eyes back down towards the bar.
A laugh started to make its way up my throat as I said, "we are talking."
"I meant about the... erm, letters. I know you received them."
Jake looked up at me again when I didn't reply and waited. All I said was, "oh." How could you reply to a statement such as that?
He cut me off, "can I ask you something else?"
Relief washed over me and I hoped with all of my strength that he was going to change the topic of discussion. My cheeks had begun turning a deep red and I picked at my bandage.
Taking the silence as a yes, he asked, "would you like to... g-go out with me... sometime?"
As if he had just slapped me, my eyes widened. What did he just say? It was like somebody had punched me in the face and said, "Happy birthday," all at the same time. Shocking, but meant to be an innocent question.
Jake cleared his throat and asked again, "would you like to go out with me?"
"What? I don't even know you!" I said, practically yelling it in his face as I got up from my stool.
His green eyes widened with innocence, looking like a small puppy that had been teased, and said, "I-"
But I had walked out of the Three Broomsticks before he had the chance to explain further. Unfortunately, he had caught up with me. I tried to get rid of him by walking faster but it was pointless.
Confused, I turned around.
"Why are you so upset?" he asked quietly.
Suddenly, all the anger and confusion that had been boiling up inside of me for the past years exploded out of me as I yelled, "I can't believe you have the nerve to ask me out when I don't even know you. You send me a letter, then you confront me at the party? Who the hell are you? Do you even know me? Because I know that you have never spoken to me your entire life. Who are you?"
Jake held his hands up as he said, "Woah, there, calm down. I didn't to come off as a stranger. I just-"
"You what? You're mental, that's what you are," I said, my eyes narrowing. I turned back around and started walking when Jake stopped me once again.
"Just hold on for a moment. You never gave me a chance to explain," Jake said.
I looked at him and said, "is this a joke?"
His green eyes filled with hurt, "no."
"This has got to be a joke. Who could possibly-," but I stopped myself there.
"Possibly?" he prompted while hesitantly taking a step closer.
I took a deep breath, allowing the cool air to fill my lungs, "listen, Jacob. I'm sorry. But I- this is just too fast. I don't really know you and I'm not a girl who just hooks up with guys. I'm flattered but no. Find another girl," I said after ten minutes of standing in the cold.
I didn't look at him again as I turned around and left.
It was a lie and the truth. I didn't know him, true and he should find another girl to go out with. But that wasn't the reason why I wouldn't go out with him. It was deeper than that.
How could anyone possibly love me?
To say in simple words, I don't believe in love.
Tears started to fill my eyes and I fought them back. Why did I scream at him? Why was I so angry? That wasn't me. That was never me.
I started to jog and soon it became a run as my blonde hair whipped behind me. My legs stretched across the ground during every leap I took. I ran. Almost tasting freedom, just almost.
I ran hoping that all the memories, feelings, truths, and lies would fly away from my head like paper. It didn't matter to me if it took all day, all week, or all year. I'm just hoping, hoping for something.
Because that's me.
I wasn't upset at him. I was, and am, angry that people think that they could just lie to me about love. I don't believe that love exists, my mother taught me that. I don't believe in promises. I don't trust anybody, not even myself sometimes. And I don't think love can last, just look at Sirius.
Not today. Not in ten years. Not ever.
Is it to run,
towards the sun?
And that was me, Alice, running towards the sun hoping to catch freedom.
So I spent hours on this chapter, revising and deleting parts of it and then rewriting it, then revising it once again. I really hope you guys like it. I know it's not great but I really tried my best to make it enjoyable.
Also, I just want to add that this one part, "Freedom. Is it to run, towards the sun?", is a stanza from a poem I wrote a long time ago but I decided to write it since it has been stuck in my head for the past 3 years or so.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review! I appreciate so much!
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