Chapter 4 : Interruptions
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I quickly wrote my name across the top of my essay as I stuffed toast into my mouth. I was quite proud of myself, I had started it only thirty minutes ago and it was definitely passing worthy. Lily gave me a repulsive look as I smiled to her cheekily through my stuffed mouth.
“You should start considering doing your homework before the day it’s due.” She said imploringly.
I just rolled my eyes and finished up my toast. Trust Lily to try to take away my good mood. It was the first time in forever that I had been in a good mood too. I hadn’t snapped at anyone yet today, that was pretty much a record.
“Hey, look at this!” Marlene called. Lily and I bent over her shoulder to read the cover of the Dailey Prophet. The title flashed out in black bold letters “He Who Must Not Be Named—Invincible?” Under the headline there was a photograph of a deranged looking witch standing on top of a gurney whilst laughing manically. I put the rest of my toast down and gulped in as Marlene began to read aloud.
“Last night at approximately eleven o’clock pm there was a raid at St. Mungos Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. The reason for the attack is still unknown. However, Healer Keller from the Jinx Reversal floor has his own predictions. “These people don’t need a reason,” He says, “They act for personal enjoyment.” We must fathom the possibility of truth in his words. There were over twenty people injured. The hospital has not yet released the names or numbers of those dead…”
I tuned out as Marlene continued to read. My stomach had dropped. My father was a healer at St. Mungos. I looked again to the witch laughing on the first page. She didn’t look much older than me.
“Bridget!” Anastasia was suddenly behind me. Her face was ghostly white as she clutched her own copy of the Daily Prophet in her hand. “Did you see?” I nodded as she saw the copy that Lily and Marlene were still reading. “Did mum or dad owl you anything?”
“No.” I said quietly. I hoped that I appeared to be not interested, even though I was more scared than I had been in a while. “Why would they send it to me, they both hate me.”
Anastasia just rolled her eyes and started moving away from me and back down the table. I had been trying to lighten the situation, but she didn’t seem to be in the mood for my lack of emotion. I picked up my coffee cup and sipped a little, hoping that I didn’t look as pale as she did.
“I’m asking Chloe.” She said. “If she didn’t get anything either I’m writing Kelly and signing your name on the letter!”
“Oh Bridget!” Lily gasped as she suddenly realized. “Your dad works at St. Mungos doesn’t he?”
“Yeah.” I began to pack up my books and my essay back into my bag. As I got up Marlene and Lily followed.
"Well shouldn’t you write him?”
I just shrugged. To be honest I didn’t want to talk about this with anyone, not just Lily. My relationship with my dad wasn’t exactly stellar. It would be weird to write him asking if he was alive when I haven’t had a decent conversation with him in four years. Lily seemed to get the message because she dropped it. She and Marlene began to talk about Hogsmeade, but I kind of zoned out.
Hogwarts was going fast this year. It was already almost October. Tonight was a pretty momentous night. It was the first night in weeks that I didn’t have a detention. It was supposed to be done two weeks ago, but prat head black just had to get us caught dueling in the hallway. That landed us both an extra two weeks. I hadn’t seen Anastasia much either.
Suddenly I felt guilty. I had promised my mother on the platform that I’d look after Anas this year. It wasn’t like I kept many promises with my mum, but I had intended on keeping this one. I thought back to how pale she was just a couple minutes ago. Was she pale because of the newspaper article, or was she always that pale now? The more I thought about it the worse I felt. I hadn’t been paying attention. I wondered if my father or Brian had found a way to come up with the money for the treatment yet. My father…I didn’t even want to think about that.
“Lily!” James called as soon as we entered the classroom. He had a determined look in his eyes, which was never good. His hands went up to his untidy hair subconsciously. “You look lovely.”
“Go away Potter.” She said in a miserable voice. Sometimes I really did feel bad for James. He tried so hard, but she wasn’t interested. At the rate their relationship, or lack thereof, was going I doubted that she’d ever be interested.
“Lily, will you go to Hogsmeade with me?”
Marlene held Lily back as she went to hex him.
“Daniels, try not to do anything stupid, alright? I’d like to celebrate my first day out of detention if you don’t mind.” Black said with a smirk from next to a put out Potter.
I just rolled my eyes and looked around the classroom for Professor Weber. “Where is he?” I asked no one in particular as I looked down at my watch. “He’s five minutes late for his own class. If I have to be here on time so does the teacher.”
“Don’t you worry Daniels.” Said a voice from behind me. I jumped and turned around to see Mr. Weber coming through the doorway. “I had a bit of a lie in. I do hope you’ll understand.”
I raised my eyebrows at the smell of alcohol coming from him. Weber was young; he must have been under twenty five. Marlene liked to point this out about fifty times a class period. I had a theory that she had a fantasy of marrying the man. I don’t know why anyone would. I mean, sure, he’s good looking, but he’s got a shitty personality. There were rumors that he was one of the people working against You Know Who. That had to be the only respectable quality he possessed.
“Professor, don’t you think that you’re being a bit irres—” Lily started, but Weber turned around to face Lily and smiled.
“Miss. Evans, might I say your hair looks exquisite today?”
“Oh!” Lily blushed a deep shade of crimson. “Well—er—thank you Professor?” I snorted along with all who were listening as James cursed, saying “What does he have that I don’t!”
We took our seats as Weber put down his bag and sat down. He didn’t really like me, but that wasn’t a shocker. Not many teachers did. From time to time I like to think that McGonagall secretly did, but most of the time she hated me too. Lily told me it was because the teachers had Anastasia and Chloe in their classes. I wasn’t really smart in anything but Arithmancy, so I didn’t compare academically to them, and my apparent attitude problem was also a contributing factor. The only teacher that seemed to appreciate me was Professor Vector, but that was because he hadn’t had either of my sisters in his classes.
“Today,” Weber said once he had put his bag down on his desk. “We will be discussing the fine art of death.” He looked so bored. A word of advice to any who would like to pursue a job in education—at least try to pretend to be interested in what you are teaching. “Everyone is aware that we will all die. There’s no avoiding it, it’s part of life—Yes Potter?”
“What about Nicholas Flamel then?” James asked as everyone besides Lily sniggered. I think she was still a little mad about the 19384938th ask out.
“Well yes, he seems to have delayed his own time, but not even immortality can last forever. Now, I’m sure by this point in your lives you are all aware of the killing curse. Could anyone name it?” Everyone looked down as his eyes surveyed the room. “MacMillan?”
Marc looked around uncomfortably before answering. “Avada Kedavera?” He didn’t sound certain, even though he was. We all were.
“Correct, five points to Ravenclaw.” Weber drawled on. “This is the method seemingly preferred by many of the dark witches and wizards of today’s society. Anyone, anything else? Miss. Boulstrode?”
Celia Boulstrode gave him the evil eye before responding. “Venom.”
“Ah, yes, poison can be very deadly but also a very practical form of killing. I’m sure you have studied that more extensively in potions. Another—Mr. Lupin?”
“Werewolf.” Remus said solemnly. For some reason James, Black, and Peter all found this hysterical.
“Yes, the bight of a werewolf, if severe enough, could cause death. Take five points. Mr. Black—please regain control.” Weber was peering at Sirius as if he was the most immature child to ever set foot in this classroom. Well, good call Weber. He is. “Do you have anything to add?”
“Again, this could lead to death.” Weber paused. Black made a face to me, I gave him a very obscene hand gesture. “Miss. Daniels? You seem to want to elaborate?”
“Lutador Do Sangue.” I said immediately. I felt kind of stupid afterwards. People were laughing. I have a problem with when teachers call on me randomly. I’m not smart like Lily is, and whenever I’m called on I just say the first thing that comes into my head.
Well what the hell, at least this time it was relevant.
“Well—yes—but more just diseases in general.” Weber looked curious, but I just strummed my fingers on the desk, ignoring his inquiring stare.
“Wait—” Sirius interrupted. He, of course, was one of the loudest laughing proving himself to be a total arse. “What’s that Saggy stuff do?”
“Well, Miss. Daniels, would you care to inform?”
I took a deep breath. I hadn’t planned for this. I mean, I guess you could consider me an expert and all, but still. That didn’t mean that I liked talking about it. “It’s Lutador Do Sangue, first off,” I paused to glare at Black who just sniggered again. “Not Saggy. And basically it’s your blood mutating in your organs slowly.”
“That’s not a cause for death, Bridget.” He said as if he knew everything. “And it’s not a killer. It’s a disease.”
I flushed red. Half of me wanted to punch him for his arrogant innocence to it all. But then I had to remind myself that he just didn’t get it. No one did. “Well it is. People die. But you don’t remind me of the type to care about that.”
“Oh, that was a mean one. Do you sit up all night thinking about insults you can throw at me all day? Cause if you do they need some reworking.”
“At least I have the brain capacity to think up my insults, Black.”
“Do you have a point?” He snapped, “Because my patience is beginning to run out.”
“What’s your problem!?”
“You’re the one with the problem!”
“Oh, really?” I could feel the hysteria in my voice. “At least I don’t walk around thinking I’m the best person to ever exist! That’s you, stupid arrogant Sirius Black! I wouldn’t expect you to understand Lutador Do Sangue anyways. Your brain’s too small to comprehend simple things!”
“Are you calling me stupid now?”
“Oh, sorry I don’t know about something that only affects like five percent of the population! Bridget, a word of advice. Before you start listing off random diseases that no one knows, or frankly cares, about, think about what you’re saying. Do you know anyone who actually cares about that saggy bull? Cause I don’t.”
At first I was taken aback. I had officially managed to piss Black off, I could tell by the agitated look on his face. I must have looked pretty stupid. For once I was at loss for words. Well, that was a first. All I could see was Anastasia’s face. I saw the way she smiled when and rolled her eyes when I said something stupid. I saw her pretending to be okay when she got back from the doctors. Black was wrong. He was wrong because guess what? Somebody did care.
I shook my head and smiled a little bit. No one was laughing anymore. Everyone was giving me uncomfortable stares. I grabbed my stupid textbook and slammed it into my bag. I was done with this for today.
“Miss. Daniels, where do you think you’re going?” Weber called after me as I began to walk from the classroom. “Daniels!” He yelled when I didn’t respond. “You cannot just walk out of a lesson!”
“Whatever.” I said before slamming the classroom door. You do have to give it to me; I’m definitely one for some fucking great exits. This time I didn’t think much on it though. I just walked slowly, hitching my bag farther up on my shoulder. I didn’t really know how to feel. Part of me was sad, but the other part was just done with it all. It’s not like I expected people to just understand Anas’s disease. I just hoped that they would give it some respect. Then again, someone like Black is unable to do the simplest of things. I shouldn’t generalize the entire population of Hogwarts based on its worst student. Sometimes I wonder if he was just put on this earth to annoy the living daylights out of me.
I don’t know how long I walked, I didn’t really care. It’s not like I had anywhere else to be for a while. I thought a lot about my dad. As much as I said I hated him, I didn’t want him dead. Just the thought made me want to die out of self-humiliation. There was a rock in my stomach that had been there since I read the newspaper article. It just seemed to be getting bigger and bigger as the day went on. It would be horrible if he was dead and the last things I ever said to him was ‘whatever’. That seems to be the last things I say to a lot of people. My mother, Anastasia, Stupid Brian… Anastasia, I’d have to talk to her. I knew that she was having her monthly blood test to see what was up with her disease progression soon. Maybe I’d go with her for that, even if I am shit at emotions. Regardless she’d appreciate the offer. Anastasia’s just a good person like that. She’s a good person in general. I wished I could be like her, or at least have her grace and patience. I was given the obnoxious genes, but apparently the healthy ones as well. I had stopped in randomly and dropped my bag to the floor. I needed time to clear my head, regain control.
“Bridget?” A voice called timidly.
I snapped out of my daydreams. “Who’s there?” I called out suspiciously.
“It’s me, Alice.” Alice Fuller stepped out of the shadows of the North Tower and smiled to me shyly.
“Jesus Christ Alice,” I murmured, staring back out at the grey sky. “You scared me for a minute there.”
“Sorry—I just didn’t know that you came up here too.”
“I really don’t.” I leaned my head against the cold, hard, stone. “I didn’t even know I was coming here when I started walking.”
“Oh, well I think it’s a good place to think.”
Alice had come up next to me, and was leaning out of the window. She didn’t say anything, and neither did I. At first I thought it was awkward, but after a while it just became kind of peaceful. She just got it. She didn’t even know, but she got it. I’d never really been close to Alice. I mean, it’s not like we’re complete strangers or anything. We have lived together since we were eleven. It’s just that Alice has always been more of a loner than the rest of us. She was quiet most of the time. When she walked away sometime later, all she said was “see you Bridget”. I had just nodded, not quite ready to leave.
What if my father didn’t find the money for Anastasia? There was a pang in my heart as I allowed myself to think about the possibility. I rarely ever did let myself think about that, because Anastasia couldn’t die. I sunk down to the floor and crawled nearer to my bag to get out a piece of parchment. I had to write mum to see if dad was okay. I was too much of a coward to write him directly, and in all honesty I wouldn’t know where to begin. He didn’t even know me anymore.
I started, hesitating before continuing.
Sorry I haven’t written yet this term, I’ve been busy with school and stuff. Sorry I didn’t respond to your letters, like I said, I was busy. Hogwarts is good; I’m out of detention for the first time this year tonight. Before you can kill me I’ll tell you it wasn’t my fault! People provoked me. Anyways, hope you and stupid Brian are doing well. I’ll see you soon. Oh, and by the way, I saw in the Prophet today that there was a raid at St. Mungos. Did you get any word from dad?
There, that seemed good enough. I didn’t sound like I was all that interested, just mildly curious. I heard the lunch bell sound and slowly got up from the cold floor. I’d mail this to mum and then go to the Great Hall. As much as I really didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially Black, I was hungry. And besides, Anastasia had most likely already sent a letter to Kelly the stepmonster. She’d have the news, good or bad.
“Nice bail Bridge!” Marlene said sarcastically as I sat down next to her for lunch. I didn’t say anything. Instead I helped myself to some food and craned my neck for any sight of Anastasia.
“Yeah,” Lily looked at me concerned. “What was that all about? You can’t just walk out on a lesson if things don’t go your way. Is there something going on?”
“No.” I said, starting to eat a sandwich from the platter. “I just didn’t want to deal with Sirius Black and his never-ending stupidity.”
“Oh, well he was really confused once you left,” Marlene turned the page in her witch weekly magazine. “We all were.”
Trust Marlene to be secretly hinting with her not so secret hints. “Oh, okay.” Was all I said. She knew not to push it, but Lily was a different story.
“Bridget—if something is the matter—don’t be afraid to talk about it.”
“Nothings the matter!” I slammed my goblet down and Lily flinched a little. “I just got pissed off! It happens sometimes! For me, all the time!”
Marlene sniggered and continued to stuff her face, but Lily wasn’t satisfied. She glared at me and pushed away her food. Great. Now practically everyone but Marlene the human garbage truck was mad at me. Fantastic day this is turning out to be.
“Thanks so much, Daniels.” Sirius said sarcastically, sitting down next to Remus at the other end of the table. “We’ve both got detentions friday night due to your walk out.”
“Brilliant.” I smirked to him and then turned back to Lily who was still glaring. I sighed; this was going to be a long day. When I spotted Anastasia walking in with her friends I got up without explanation to the others to talk to her. When she saw me coming she smiled. I took a deep breath of relief.
“Dad’s fine.” Anas said gleefully. “He wasn’t even working last night! He said he knew a couple of the doctors hurt though.”
“Well, that’s good.” I said, annoyed that her friends hadn’t left us. I wanted to talk to her about her next appointment to tell her I would go with her. Thank god her face was back to its full color instead of the white it had been this morning. I didn’t really like any of Anastasia’s friends. Lara Jenkins, her best friend, is nice but kind of stupid. I mean, she went out with Black for a full two months and didn’t know that he was cheating on her. C'mon, it was Black. None of them knew about her disease either. She was all set on keeping it a secret forever, and I mean I kind of agreed with her. I hadn’t told anyone, it was personal.
“He said to say hi to you.” Anastasia gave me a look.
“I doubt that.”
“Bridget,” Anas sighed and at last stupid Lara, Natalie Engelhard, and Lizzie O’Connell left. “You need to get over it.”
“I am over it!” I said in the happiest voice I could muster. Unfortunately that turned out sounding like a growl of some sort. I changed the subject before she could get into some therapy session with me in the middle of lunch about my parents’ divorce and the general fucked upness of our family. “Listen, I’m coming with you for the next doctor’s appointment.”
“Really?! Bridgey that’s great!”
The excitement on her face made me feel even worse. It wasn’t like I was doing much, but it still seemed to make her day. That wasn’t right.
“Chloe’s coming too!”
I groaned. “Why? Can she not?”
“She offered yesterday.”
“Maybe she’ll back out when she hears I’m coming…” I trailed off, contemplating the possibility. I hadn’t planned on speaking with Chloe until Christmas if it was at all possible. We were the kind of siblings that avoided each other’s eyes in the hallway. I think she occasionally tells people we’re not related too.
“Don’t be so mean to her.” Anastasia told me with a roll of her eyes. “I think that somewhere inside her all she wants to do is impress you.”
“God, no one understands me.” I sighed dramatically. “I’m telling you, that’s why I’m so unhappy.”
“No Bridgey,” Anas began to walk away to where her friends had sat down but turned to me with sad eyes. “You’re unhappy because you don’t understand yourself.”
I pretended to not hear her as I too walked in the opposite direction to where Lily and Marlene were still eating. It annoyed me that she had said that. I knew who I was. It seemed that everyone else were the ones who didn’t. Just because I was honest and somewhat aggressive didn’t mean that I wasn’t happy. When I sat down Lily looked up. “What?” I snapped.
“I didn’t even say anything!” Lily snapped right back. Sometimes I forget just how angry she looks when I manage to piss her off. “Listen, I don’t know what didn’t go your way today or if you’re still upset about what Black said, but don’t take it out on me, alright? So get the damned stick out of your arse and stop walking around like you have reason to be miserable all of the time.”
Lily is often so serious it scared me. She was always like that too. Even back when we were in first year and it didn’t matter she would constantly study. I stared at her with a slightly mortified expression. God, this was making me think that I should have sat next to Kat and Rachel.
That’s a lie. Kat’s talking to herself right now, and even though that whole ‘Bridget’s crazy’ thing blew over a long time ago; I don’t need any reasons for people to bring it up again.
It was not one of those sorts of memories you like to look back on, you know?
“Fine.” I said nonchalantly.
“Good.” Lily responded in the same tone.
Marlene just rolled her eyes at the two of us. She knew better than to get involved, especially when Lily was on the verge of yelling. Instead she just kept on eating and reading her magazine. I loved Marlene’s ability to ignore.
As we got up to go to afternoon classes I kept thinking back to what Anas said. What if I didn’t know myself? Could she have been right? Anastasia seemed to always be right. The more I thought about it the worse I felt, so I tried to put the thought in the back of my mind. That was better than thinking about it, wasn't it?
Quick update, huh? Are you all as shocked as I am?! I think that reviews would be an awsome thank you for said update;)
Overall, did you enjoy the chapter? It's kind of more informational than anything. Before this point you don't really understand Anastasia's disease, so things should have cleared up. Don't hate Sirius for his meaness, you have to understand that he doesn't understand. Next chapter should be a little more interesting. We have detention and a doctors appointment, whahoo:) Thanks for reading, and please review. Love as always, Izzy.
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