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Chapter 6 : Chapter 6
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The next morning I was still sulking. I made sure to wait until at least half of Gryffindor house was at breakfast before making my way down there. When McGonagall handed me my schedule I cringed. Please no Moody or Snape today. Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures and Arithmancy. Thank Merlin for small miracles.
Herbology was actually rather satisfying. I kept picturing Karkaroff on the bubotuber swellings I was puncturing. Even with the smell I could have done this all day. Sadly the end of class did come and I headed down to Hagrid’s hut with the rest of the Gryffindors.
Hagrid had several hundred…er, things. Blast-Ended Skrewts he called them. They weren't exactly the most appealing creature. Ok they weren’t appealing at all. Thankfully we just had to try and feed them. Taking the easy way out I just dropped a bit of everything in different corners of the crate and watched to see what they went for. Which was…nothing. Huh, well maybe this would be the first and last class with them.
After lunch was Arithmancy with Hermione and the Ravenclaws. None of the Professors gave homework so with nothing left to do I went to the library after a very quick dinner. I grabbed three books and made my way back to the dormitory.
Lying in bed my mind wandered. Was I really going to spend this year avoiding places because I didn’t want to run into Snape or Moody? It seemed pathetic and cowardly. Well in Snape’s case, for Moody, avoiding him seemed pretty reasonable. I was torn and confused and in need of some advice. I couldn’t go to Snape, but I could write to Dimitri.
I revised the letter five times before I was satisfied. It would seem vague and confusing to a stranger but I was confident Dimitri would understand. Still having plenty of time before curfew, I went to the Owlery to send it. I couldn’t help but feel a bit more hopeful even if I wouldn’t be receiving a response for several days.
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During the first Potions class of the year, Snape seemed content to just ignore me. Though that could have been because Neville Longbottom had melted his cauldron. I was grateful albeit a bit guilty that Neville being insulted let me avoid Snape, now all I had to worry about was Defense with Moody tomorrow. Apparently he’d already had a run in with Draco and turned him into a bouncing ferret. What could be worse than that? Try most of the school being in awe of Moody for all the things he’d done and seen as an Auror. And I couldn’t say anything different because what kind of person doesn’t like an Auror? A dark wizard. I would prefer if people didn’t think that about me. Effing Dumbledore and his teacher choices.
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Thursday afternoon I arrived just as Defense was starting. Every other Gryffindor was looking excited and trying to sit near the front. Rolling my eyes I grabbed a seat at the back, as far from Moody’s desk as possible. When I could hear a distinct clunking noise coming from the hall, I took a deep breath. Don’t react. Don’t let him get to you. He’s just a paranoid old wizard. It doesn’t matter what he thinks.
After telling us to put away our books Moody took attendance. When he got to the L’s he stopped.
“Jade Lestrange, eh?” He called out, his magical eye found me immediately. Probably because I looked exactly like the witch he’d taken to Azkaban. I really hate looking like my mother. “Gryffindor?” he asked, scoffing. “Can’t imagine old lady Lestrange was pleased about that.” The other fourth year Gryffindors turned to look back at me.
“Disowned, by a Howler last year,” I said keeping my voice level. “Not exactly news worthy.”
Moody held my gaze for a tense minute before calling the next name. Unfortunately Longbottom comes after me and Moody spent another minute glancing between me and Neville before scoffing again and returning to the class list.
I’d hoped this would be the end of it. I was wrong. Moody proceeded with a lesson on curses and not just any curses, the Unforgivable Curses.
First he called on students to name one of the curses. Ron Weasley volunteered first, naming the Imperius Curse. Moody had a glass jar with three spiders in it. On the first one he cast an Imperio and made the spider swing back and forth. Then Moody made it back flip onto a desk and start performing cartwheels. Every one of the students except me was laughing, it made me feel sick. Nothing about this was remotely amusing to me. It wasn’t for Moody either who reminded everyone that this could easily be any of them.
“Total control. I could make it do anything, even kill itself.” Needless to say this stopped everyone from laughing.
If his demonstration for the Imperius Curse was bad, you can imagine how I felt about seeing the Cruciatus Curse next. Worse was that Neville had volunteered. Moody’s regular eye had been on Neville while his magical one was on me. I stared down at my desk using all of my will power not to react.
Moody grabbed the second spider and enlarged it. I looked up to see a spider larger than a tarantula. He wouldn’t really be sick enough to cast the curse would he?
The spiders legs twisted and it began twitching in pain. The memory of Frank and Alice Longbottom resurfaced. This is how they looked only they had been screaming. I stared in horror remembering how my mother had laughed as Alice Longbottom twisted in agony while under the curse. The spider on Moody’s desk jerked violently and I looked away in disgust. I could see Neville clutching his desk, his knuckles white. I couldn’t see his face but I knew he was probably horrified to see this, to see what his parents had gone through. A streak of hatred for Moody surfaced within me, causing me to clench my fists.
“Stop it!” I said fiercely.
Moody turned to fix both eyes on me as he lowered his wand. The spider stopped rocking but it would twitch every now and then. Moody’s magical eye swiveled towards Neville as I continued to give Moody a disgusted look.
Was this amusing for him? Did he enjoy watching people react to seeing these curses? No one had been there for Frank and Alice Longbottom. No one had been there to stop the torture. They screamed and twitched until their minds snapped, causing them to lose touch with reality. There was nothing educational or entertaining about it. No one should have to face that and their son certainly shouldn’t have to watch this. Feeling sickened and disgusted I picked up my bag and left.
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I was already down to the second floor when I realized my subconscious had been leading me right to Snape’s office. I changed direction and headed to the girls bathroom, Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Thankfully she wasn’t here so I locked the door and collapsed against the wall. I pulled my knees up and rested my forehead on them. My hands were shaking, something I hadn’t noticed before.
I tried to focus on anything happy, anything at all. Usually I would think of something with Draco but all I could focus on was how the happiness had ended. That caused my hands to shake worse. I tried to think of any other time I’d felt happy. My mind landed on an early morning meeting with Fred Weasley. My head against his chest with his arm draped over me. I forced myself to relive that memory over and over, remembering every detail. It calmed me enough that my hands eventually stopped shaking and I was able to block out the images of the Longbottoms.
With a dull ache throughout my body I slowly stood up. I used one of the sinks to wash my face before going upstairs. I ignored the few people in the common room and went straight to bed. It was still early but I felt exhausted. I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. Tsukino must have known this because I wasn’t pulled into her estate after I fell asleep.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Most of the Gryffindors had been awed by Moody’s class and the fact that I walked out seemed to be quickly forgotten, except by Hermione who asked if I was alright during Friday’s Ancient Runes class. I couldn’t tell her the truth so I told her that seeing the curses reminded me too much of Death Eaters, that part had been mostly true. I hinted about Lucius being a Death Eater (also true, though hardly surprising). Hermione said she understood what I meant and let the subject drop.
My next class with Moody had been slightly better, but I could feel him watching me throughout the lesson. I sat at my usual desk in the back and just copied whatever was said. When the bell rang I was the first one out the door. I wasn’t so lucky during the third class. Moody announced that he was going to be testing all of us with the Imperius Curse. What the hell, isn’t that illegal? Hermione voiced the same concern, although more politely. Moody told her she could leave if she had any objections. I felt his magical eye glace at me as he said this but I ignored it. Fine, if you want to go to Azkaban, go for it, but I refuse to leave this time.
One by one we were all called up. No one until Potter even attempted to fight it off. When he smashed into a desk Moody seemed nearly thrilled and insisted on casting it three more times until Potter could throw it off entirely. The rest of the class was impressed as Potter sat back down.
“Lestrange,” Moody called. Great. Now it was my turn.
I walked up to the front and stood there as Moody eyed me. Surprisingly he didn’t say anything before casting the curse. My first instinct was to duck or at least attempt to shield myself. I resisted and let the curse hit me. After it struck, I felt…nothing.
I stared skeptically at Moody. “Is that it?” I asked a bit sarcastically. Moody frowned and sent another Imperio at me.
Moody didn’t look pleased. He shouted the spell again. “Jump” he verbally commanded after the spell struck.
“You first,” I shot back.
The rest of the class started whispering as Moody walked up to me. I really wanted my wand but managed to fight the desire. When Moody was six inches from me, he grabbed my right shoulder. Both of his eyes were on me now.
“Imperio!” He put as much as he could into the curse but still nothing. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “How are you stopping it?” he muttered more to himself than me.
Something about his tone caught me off guard. It felt incredibly like déjà vu. The bell rang startling both me and Moody. He let go of my shoulder but was still eyeing me suspiciously.
“Read chapter one of your books, we’ll be going over it next lesson,” he instructed before the class left.
Walking up to Gryffindor tower I wondered why the curse hadn’t worked on me. I reached up to rub my left shoulder. Snape. It had to be him. Maybe what we had was like an Imperius Curse. I would have liked to ask him about it not to mention talk about the Death Eaters, the Dark Mark, Moody, Karkaroff, the Triwizard Tournament, and Dumbledore. Obviously there was a lot on my mind. Ugh, and this was only the second week of the year.
A/N: Disclaimer- The quotes and details from the Defense Against the Dark Arts classes are from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. Chapters 14, The Unforgivable Curses and Chapter 15, Beauxtons and Durmstrang.
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