Chapter 2 : Goin' Back to Hogwarts
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It's all that I love and it's all that I need
At Hogwarts, Hogwarts
I think I'm going back
~Goin' Back to Hogwarts, Starkid
Have you ever cried for so long that you almost forgot what you were crying about in the first place? Have you ever felt so insecure about yourself that you don’t even know who you’re seeing when you look in the mirror? Have you ever been so disgusted with your life that you wonder what the point of it is anymore? Have you ever closed your eyes, in hope that when you open them, it will have all been just a bad dream? Have you ever felt like a monster? Have you ever been a monster?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of the questions above, well, I’m truly, truly sorry. Because that’s exactly how I feel.
“Bia, darling? Are you absolutely sure about this?” Mum asked worriedly from my doorway. She caught me rubbing my wrist for the hundredth time today and quickly moved to my side, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. I quickly pulled my sleeve over my skin, covering up the white marks of an unfamiliar scar.
“Yes, Mum.” I sighed, wishing she would let the subject go. “I’ll be fine. I can’t just drop out of school now can I?” My voice was stronger than I felt.
I was September 18th, and in an hour, I would be going back to Hogwarts.
School started on the 1st, but I couldn’t bring myself to go. I was still recovering form the full moon on the 28th of August, both physically and emotionally.
My first transformation had been pure hell. That’s the only way I can think to describe it. In the morning, I had several scratches and bruises along my arms, that I must have given myself. But it wasn’t the scars that I feared. As soon as the moon had risen, my body felt like it was burning in acid. My insides twisted and ached, and my neck stretched and cramped up. But the worst was my mind. My thoughts were haywire. Part of me had been scared, terrified of what was happening, but another foreign part of me was egging it on, eager to be released. And once it was, I had no control. None at all.
I had cried when it was finally over, either from relief or worry. I had barely lasted one night. How could I do this twelve times a year for the rest of my life?
There was another full moon on the 27th of this month. Mum wanted me to stay at home until the end of the months, but I knew that if I waited any longer, I would never return. And I don’t think I could stand another day before going back to Hogwarts.
Mum and I had spoken to the Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, about my whole ‘situation’ as we call it, and he had been strangely okay with it. He was calm about the whole thing, calmer than my mother at least, but was sure to express his sorrow about my problem. He assured me that it would be fine. I appreciated the sentiment, but I couldn’t bring myself to agree. Not to be rude, but he didn’t know a thing about what I was going through. No one did. I loved my mum, but I hated it when she reassured me or comforted me in any way about this. It made me feel like I had a problem that they needed to take care of. That’s why I never cry in front of her, or tell her my fears. I want her to think I’m okay. But I’m not.
Most of my professors at school would have to know about this so I wouldn’t get in trouble for missing classes around the full moon. Every month, I would have to head down to Dumbledore’s office so I could transform. I was terrified of the prospect of another transformation, but I knew that I couldn’t let this get to me.
I was all packed and ready to go. My trunk was by the front door and Vitali was in her cage. She’d been warier of me ever since the attack; I think she knew there was something different about me. Or maybe it was because I hadn’t fed her any treats for two weeks.
Mum and I had gone to Diagon Alley a few days ago to get all of my new school books and supplies. The streets had been much emptier than I was used to, because I had only went when all the other Hogwarts students were shopping too. It was strange seeing it so empty. It made me feel like an outsider, like I was too late.
I smiled at my mum and excused myself to the bathroom. When I reached it, I locked the door and turned to mirror that hung on the green wall. I pulled off my long-sleeved shirt and turned around, keeping my eyes on the glass. I flinched at the sight of the scar. It was bright white and noticeable compared to the rest of my tan skin, and that was after the Healers had put a spell on it. It stretched from my right shoulder bone to the opposite of my belly button. I frowned as I realized that I’d never be able to wear a bikini again. But then again, that was probably the least of my problems.
I turned back to the mirror and slipped my shirt over my head. I lowered the lid of the toilet and sat down, pulling my knees up to my chin. I pulled the long red sleeves over my hands and wrapped my arms around my legs, biting my bottom lip painfully. I felt a few silent tears trail down my cheeks, but I didn’t move to wipe them away. One hit the corner of my life and I moved my tongue to lick the salty water.
Ever since the incident, I had tried to ignore the fact that nothing in my life would ever be the same. I could never have a regular well-paying job. I could never have a regular relationship with someone. I could never have the same confidence that I had once had. I knew this, deep down, but I had chosen not to think about it. I think I hoped that if I ignored it for long enough, it would change the facts. But I knew that eventually, I would have to come to terms with who, and what, I now was.
An hour later there was aloud knock at the door. I jumped up from my bed and grabbed my cloak. I was already dressed in my school robes, because I really didn’t want to have to change at Hogwarts.
I rushed to the door, where Mum was talking nervously to Professor McGonagall.
My transfiguration teacher looked less strict and more sympathetic than I was used to.
I walked up to them and smiled weakly at McGonagall, who returned it faintly. She then cleared her throat and nodded at me.
“Well, then, Miss Maddox. If you are ready to go, we will be Apparating to Professor Dumbledore’s office.” She said stiffly, but softer than she was in class. I nodded back and turned to my things.
“Ah, yes.” Professor McGonagall said, pulling out her wand. She waved her wand at my trunk, which magically shrunk to the size of a golden snitch. I flashed her a small grateful smile and bent down to pick it up. I stumbled forward, not realizing it was still as heavy as before. I swore loudly as I stubbed my toe on the trunk. Mum rolled her eyes at me; she was used to my ‘colorful language’ as she calls it. McGonagall raised her eyebrows but otherwise pretended not to hear.
I grabbed the trunk again, bracing myself for the weight this time. I grabbed Vitali’s cage with my other hand before turning to Mym. She wrapped her arms around me so suddenly that I dropped my shrunken trunk, which hit the floor with a loud thud.
“Oh darling, be safe.” Mum said, and I could tell by her voice that she was about to cry. I hugged her back with my free hand.
“I will, Mum. I love you.” I said softly, feeling tears well up in my own eyes. Mum pulled away, and I was a bit glad she did, because I really didn’t want to cry in front of a teacher. Mum laughed breathlessly, stroking my face gently.
“Your father would be so proud of you.” She said softly, and I felt my stomach jolt. Why would my father have been proud of me? I was a bloody monster. I decided not to argue with my mother, though.
“I love you Bianca.” Mum said, a tear streaking her pale face. People always commented on how much tanner I was than my mother. I smiled weakly back. “Have fun at school, okay? Not too much fun of course.” She said, eyes flickering to Professor McGonagall before winking at me. “Send Lily my love.”
I nodded and promised to update her as often as I could before turning to McGonagall, who took Vitali from me. I picked up trunk, which was still incredibly heavy even though I knew what to expect. With one final hug from Mum, I took bMcGonagall’s right arm and closed my eyes as a loud crack rang out and my breath was sucked from my lungs.
When I opened my eyes again, I was Dumbledore’s office. I recognized it from the one time when the Headmaster had asked Lily and I for any information involving a prank on the Slytherins that was most likely caused by Lily’s admirer, James Potter.
The office looked pretty much the same, except for a few details like a few new knickknacks on the shelves and the desk more organized than I remembered it. Professor Dumbledore wasn’t in the room, and I suspected that he was probably at the feast. I smiled at the prospect of seeing Lily and Charlotte, my other best friend. Professor McGonagall turned to me and handed me my trunk, which was still the size of a walnut.
The hallways were deserted as McGonagall led me to the Gryffindor Common Room. I didn’t know why she even bothered; I’d been living here for six years and I knew the way by heart. Maybe she just didn’t want me to get overwhelmed by a familiar face, which was pretty pointless because everyone was at dinner, as far as I could tell.
After she pointed the way to the seventh year dormitory, my Transfiguration teacher left, but not before hugging me, which was incredibly strange coming from her. I smiled as she exited the room; I had always liked McGonagall.
I dragged my owl and trunk up to the dorm, and dumped them next to my bed. Or at least I assumed it was mine because the others were surrounded by clothes and books. The seventh year dorm looked almost exactly like our one last year, but I noticed that it was a bit bigger and had a new armchair next to the bathroom door. I immediately knew which bed was Lily’s because it was covered in textbook and homework. Charlotte’s was also easy to spot, because it was unmade and a large stuffed teddy bear was sitting on it. The teddy bear had been a gift to Charlie from her Mum when she was five. She had named it Polka and brought it everywhere she went.
The other two beds belonged to Marlene McKinnon and Emmeline Vance, the other Gryffindors in our year. We were all friends, but not especially close. Marlene and Emmeline had known each other since before Hogwarts, where they had grown up together in London. Emmeline was a muggle-born witch, and Marlene was a pureblood. They were shocked when they found out that they were both witches. They’d been best friends ever since.
Marlene was incredibly pretty, with dark brown kinky hair that she always wore down. She had tan skin and bright green eyes. She always knew the exact thing to wear, and if anyone needed a makeover, she’d be in charge.
Emmeline was a bit more modest than her friend. She had light brown hair that she kept short, ever since second year when her hair had been down to her back when some Slytherins had hexed it to start strangling her. She had very light skin and simple brown eyes. She was short and not particularly beautiful, but she was one of the happiest people I’d ever met, and couldn’t hold a grudge, not even against those damn Slytherins who tried to choke her with her own hair. She was crazy nice.
I glanced at the clock and smiled. Dinner had only started ten minutes ago; I could still make it. I had considered just skipping, as to not make a scene, but I don’t think I could wait another minute. A part of me had almost forgotten about why I was late to school, but I knew that I could never truly forget that.
I hurried down to the Great Hall and stood outside the doors for a moment, regaining my composure. I was bouncing on the balls of my feet I was so anxious. I took a deep breath and walked in.
I could feel the eyes on me, and heard whispers among the loud conversations, but I realized that I barely even cared about them. They could make as many rumors as they wanted about my absence. I only had eyes for the Gryffindor table.
Finally I spotted Lily. She was sitting next to James Potter, looking almost interested in what he had to say. I chuckled at this fact. Everyone knew that Lily and James would end up together, but most of the time, Lily simply made up for this fact by hexing him. James wasn’t too bad, I guess. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of any of the Marauders. I guess Remus wasn’t too bad though.
Suddenly, Lily glanced over at where I was walking and jumped up. I laughed as she ran over to me, engulfing me in a painful hug.
“BIA!” She shrieked. I couldn’t help but grin as I hugged her back. I knew I had come back for good reason. After several minutes, Lily pulled away, and I was immediately embraced by Charlie, who was nearly jumping up and down in anxiousness.
When all the hugging was over, we headed over to where they had been sitting, along with James Potter, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and Sirius Black.
“Hey, Maddox. Scare any blokes off recently?” Sirius sneered from the table. I narrowed my eyes.
“Hey, Black. Crush any girls’ hearts lately?” I asked, venom in my voice. If there was one person in all of Hogwarts that I would throttle if I could, it would be Sirius Black. We’d been at each other’s throats since fourth year, when I found a girl sobbing in the bathroom because he’d cheated on her. That asshole.
Sirius started to reply but Remus cut him off. “Mate, she just got here. Lay off, will you?” Sirius grumbled angrily as he picked at his breakfast. I smiled gratefully at Remus before slipping in between him and Lily, who was nearly screamng as she questioned me.
“Where on earth have you been?” She shrieked, causing others to look over questioningly. “We were so worried! I wanted to owl you, but Deedee was sick, and the Owlery wasn’t opened yet!” She exclaimed. I giggled as I heard James mutter next to her, “I told you that you could use my owl.”
“I’ve been sick.” I lied with ease, feeling uncomfortable at the subject. “I’m okay, but Mum wanted to make sure I was perfect before she let me come back. You know how she is. She says hello, by the way.” Well, that part was true at least.
“Anyways, what happened to Deedee?” I asked. Deedee was Lily’s long-eared owl. Her real name was Aphropdite, after the Greek goddess, but that took too long to say, so Lily called her Deedee. Everyone else just called her Afro. I did too, but never in front of Lily.
“Nothing too bad, she’s getting over a cold, so she’s been really grumpy lately.” I didn’t point out that Afro was always grumpy. “But anyway, you’ll never guess what happened!” Lily quickly changed the subject, and I chuckled at her. She was grabbing my arm and nearly jumping up and down in her seat.
“What?” I asked. Lily whacked my arm while grinning.
“You have to guess!” She demanded, squeezing my arm so hard that it was almost painful. I laughed and shook my head, grabbing a piece of bacon.
“Lils, you just told me that I’d never guess, so just tell me!” I said, my mouth full. Ever since, well, ‘my situation’, I’d had a newfound love for bacon.
“Okay, okay! I got a Head Girl!” Lily exclaimed, removing her arms to show me new shiny badge that was pinned on her robes. I grinned and gave her a tight side-hug.
“Oh, ‘course you did, Lily. Who else would?” Lily grinned sheepishly at me, before turning to her plate and scarfing down some eggs. I turned to the Marauders.
“So who got Head Boy?” I asked. I expected Remus to answer, but instead James spoke up. I heard Lily groan quietly from beside me.
“Me!” James said happily, leaning back to show me his badge. I raised my eyebrows and turned to the other guys. Sirius was rolling his eyes, Peter nodding fervently, and Remus simply chuckled and shrugged, grabbing a piece of bacon for himself.
“So, did you get your schedule yet?” Charlie asked from her spot next to Sirius. I shook my head, glancing up quickly at the Staff table.
“No, I’m supposed to go to Dumbledore’s Office after the feast to get it. He also wanted to talk to me about some, er, catching up to do. Since I missed so much school.” I explained vaguely, staring uncomfortably at my plate. Lily nodded and turned to James.
“We have Head duties tonight, so don’t forget.” She said stiffly, obviously not pleased with the choice of Head Boy. James started to groan, but covered it up (badly, might I add) with a cough.
“So anything else exciting happen?” I asked, looking around at my friends.
The girls shrugged and shook their heads tiredly. Remus started to speak up but was cut off by a high-pitched voice. “Sirius!”
A girl, probably about fifth year, skipped over to our table, her blue Ravenclaw robes flowing behind her. She had bright blonde hair with blue highlights in her hair and shining blue eyes. I recognized her as being Ivy Pendleton, a member of Sirius’ fan club. Yes, you heard me, fan club. Sirius Black, the very same asshole who somehow got into Gryffindor, had a freaking fan club. I watched in disgust as he rolled his eyes before plastering on a fake grin and turning to her.
“Hey, Ivy!” He said, charm dripping from his voice. I wrinkled my nose as she wrapped her arms around his neck and giving him a wet kiss on his lips. He returned it eagerly and I looked away, losing my appetite.
“Black, Pendleton! If you might please restrain yourself until after mealtimes!” McGonagall yelled, raising her eyebrow. Everyone laughed, including Sirius, but Ivy just looked embarrassed. She kissed him on the cheek again before skipping back to her friends at the Ravenclaw table who were looking at her excitedly, but also jealously.
The guys were teasing Sirius, who was just smirking and rolling his eyes. He met my eyes and winked at me. In return, I flicked a piece of scrambled egg at him, where it hit his eye.
“Hey!” He exclaimed, scowling in my direction. I sniggered back at him before standing up from the table. Lily and Charlie did the same and we made our way to the doors.
“Head duties, don’t forget!” Lily called over her shoulder at James. She turned back to us without waiting for a response. I smiled genuinely back at my two best friends and took their hands in mine, swinging them playfully.
We walked down the hallways to our Common Room, and for the first time since the attack, I felt almost calm and relieved. I was home.
I can't even begin to apologize for the wait! I've had this chapter planned out for so long, but I couldn't bring myself to edit and upload it with all my schoolwork! Finals were this week, and I felt so bad about leaving you stranded.
I'd like to thank Starkid for the chapter title (Go AVPM!) and JK Rowling for the magical world of Harry Potter. I'd also like to thank Universal Studios for the fantastic Wizarding World of Harry Potter that inspired me!! I went there last week and bought a wand and a Hufflepuff shirt! I've never been happier.
And last, but most definitely not least, thank you, guys! I'm so happy that you're reading this story, and this insanely long author's note- oops! Please leave a review and any questions, compliments, complaints, requests, or predictions that you may have including this story! THANK YOU!! : )
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