Chapter Fourteen – What happens when an idea festers for too long? It becomes worse than it was
Evvie shouldn’t have left the matter of Marcus Boyle to fester for so long. Leaving it to fester was like not seeing a healer when you obviously need to or refusing to remove the plaster because you think it will hurt. Evvie had let things festers, good old trusting intelligent researching bossy Evvie had done the one thing she would never normally do. You should never let anything fester for too long, it only ends up becoming worse. Oh don’t fret dear reader it isn’t as bad as it seems you seen Marcus Boyle hadn’t even heard of Evvie Zabini nor who she used to be called. He didn’t know of her involvement with the book clerk or anything, as far as Marcus Boyle was concerned Evvie Zabini didn’t exist at all.
Evvie had gotten over her fight with Draco as much as she wanted to remain forever angry with him it just wasn’t in her nature. The more she found herself trying to hate him the more she found herself secretly liking him instead. Oh it was a vicious circle to be sure one that will no doubt become more annoying before it got better. For whatever her faults may be, Evvie was indeed a romantic girl, she wanted the knight in shining armor, someone who would come in and sweep her off her feet. It was childish and silly but her idea of man was based on old romantic love stories – and really don’t you think those sorts of stories ruined us all realistically? It’s like Disney but worse.
As mentioned some time ago the dance around between Evvie and Draco was being observed by others who were just as annoyed by their continual lack of progress. The girls being girls had come up with several plans to get their two friends together but each one kept blowing up in their faces either from Draco’s temper or Evvie’s defensiveness. Pansy was beside herself, she could see the way her dear friend looked at Draco when she thought no one was looking, and likewise she could see the way Draco looked at Evvie when he thought no one was looking. This game they were both playing was maddening and Pansy wished they would just give up and give in, it would save a lot of hassle and drama plus both Draco and Evvie deserved some happiness.
Pansy had approached Evvie (why didn’t anyone else think of that) and just come out with it instead of beating around the bush with haphazard plans.
“Evvie what is this thing with you and Draco?”
She stiffened immediately, “What do you mean?”
“I mean what everyone else means, it’s clear you both like each other what’s holding it back?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” she said defensively.
“Yes you do, stop being evasive and talk to me” replied Pansy.
“Draco doesn’t want me Pansy”.
“He does I’ve seen it, we all have”.
“No. Yes” she huffed, “Well even if he does he’ll never act on it. He doesn’t want me Pansy, he doesn’t even want to be my friend yet he’s willing to shout at me for some jumped up rumor” she sighed “He can’t have it both ways”.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean he can’t tell me he doesn’t want me one minute and then act all betrayed and caring the next. You saw how attentive he was at the ball, and then the next day he was back to his normal brooding self”.
“Why don’t you do something about it?”
“I’ve tried”, she sounded tired.
“That’s it? You’ve tried and now you’re giving up?” Pansy couldn’t believe it, it didn’t sound like Evvie at all.
“Pansy even if he did feel something for me and actually managed to let go of everything else to pursue it” she paused.
“Yes?” urged Pansy.
“Draco doesn’t need someone like me” she mumbled half heartedly.
“What do you mean?”
“I’m not pretty” she sighed.
“Evvie how can you say that?”
“I’m not special. People don’t notice me. I’m not up with the social etiquette. Pansy its simple, I was born to be my quirky intelligent self, forever ignored by every male Wizard”.
Pansy was shocked by Evvie’s outburst, she knew Evvie wasn’t like other girls and was somewhat quieter but she wasn’t prepared for the vulnerability and sadness that shone from Evvie’s eyes letting Pansy know that she honestly believed this to be the case. She honestly believed she was without beauty and any other female quality to offer. It was ridiculous and preposterous and yet as Pansy sat there next to her friend she understood how Evvie had come to this conclusion. Being friends with Potter and Weasel all these years had taken its toll on Evvie, all their comments had beaten her down into submission until she no longer fought their comments but merely accepted them as truth. Pansy was shame faced to admit that comments she and fellow Slytherin’s had made in the past probably hadn’t helped in Evvie’s opinion of herself. It was something Pansy felt she had to rectify right now.
“Evvie listen to me” she said as she brushed a fallen tear away from her friend’s cheek, “You are beautiful. Honestly” she added for good measure.
Evvie looked at her with disbelief etched into her eyes.
“I wouldn’t have pegged you as a girl who needed confirmation of her beauty”.
“Not conformation, it would just be nice to hear it said”.
“Well I’m saying it! You are beautiful. Any guy would be lucky to have you and no I’m not just saying that. You have a lot to offer someone. Looks are just an added bonus, don’t let it ruin your life, as you have so much to give”.
Pansy tried another tactic.
“Evvie, imagine if you had beauty beyond belief, would it make you happy?”
Evvie neither nodded nor shook her head, so Pansy continued, “If you had nothing but beauty would you get anywhere in the world?”
“No” mumbled Evvie.
“Would anyone take you beyond face value?”
“What would happen if you just had beauty? Beauty fades what would you do when it was gone?”
Evvie didn’t have an answer but she understood what Pansy was saying.
“You can’t rely on beauty Evvie. You have a mind; you have a world outside beauty to offer. Never forget you are more than just a pretty face”.
“When did you get so wise?” she asked Pansy.
“I’ve always been wise, I’ve just never shown it before” she smirked.
The girls sat in quiet serenity outside until the sun began to set. Hogwarts was safe, yes? Correct, mostly. The wards had been changed, updated and strengthened since the war but well if there wasn’t a chance of mistake I’d have to end the story right here. Evvie was the first to hear it, a little creak on the wind, the crunch of gravel under a foot, the smell of grass being squashed. She tensed, something telling her to be ready for something. Pansy noticed the sudden change in her friend’s calm exterior.
It was amusing just how many unregistered animagus’s there were knocking about, the Ministry was really getting lax in their control over that sector, there really should be some sort of spell that could identify an unregister animagus. The wind carried the promise of a threat to Evvie and for a brief moment she felt stilled with panic before she let her fighting senses take over. She couldn’t see anyone but even she didn’t hold to the notion that Hogwarts was now impenetrable once again. People were always able to find ways into places they shouldn’t.
That was why Evvie couldn’t see her attacker but could sense them; the power of an animagus is as wondrous as it is unique. Animagus’s come in all shapes and sizes rather like humans, the choice of animal comes from the persons own unique power, the more pure a witch or wizard the more powerfully pure their animagus is. Animagus’s are also influenced by people’s personality traits, hence why Pettigrew was a rat. The slimiest of people have the slimiest of animagus’s, the ones that crawl in the gutters, hide in the dark corners and pounce on their victims.
Evvie felt all the hairs on the back of her neck raise as if someone was but a hairbreadth away. Evvie had a right to be worried but also there was no need for it. There were suspicious things stalking her but for now they weren’t there to cause trouble but merely to observe and follow. See Marcus Boyle may not know of Evvie Zabini but that didn’t mean his minions didn’t. There were those loyal followers that sought to follow Voldemort and then there were the obsessive fans that sought to follow Marcus, sometimes the more frightening power is the one that isn’t put on constant display.
Evvie hadn’t been as undetected as she would have liked, it mattered little now as Marcus was yet to be told but it was still enough to set her on her guard. What happens when too many minions decide to make a move? Well it’s a bit like a dumb blonde girl trying to change a light bulb, it ends badly. That was in essence what was happening today, a thread bear gang of lower level minions had transformed into their animals and were stalking Evvie as she sat with Pansy outside. To say they were stupid would be an understatement, combined they were thicker than one singular troll. They barely had two brain cells to rub together, let alone enough to realize that this was wrong, they should have left well alone.
“Evvie what’s going on? Are you alright?” questioned Pansy.
Evvie tensed at the sound of her voice but did nothing to answer Pansy’s questions; if possible she stiffened further and glanced around herself, as if attempting to seek out those who were watching her. After a few minutes of steady watching Evvie relaxed, whatever was out there clearly had no intention of harming her, yet it wouldn’t do well to linger out here even further. She looked across to her loyal best friend, would there be harm in telling her? She didn’t want to bring Pansy into the dangerous situation but she desperately needed a confidant that was closer than an owl away.
“Come with me Pansy” she announced.
“Where are we going?” she asked in response.
“You’ll see” she replied.
She led them through the school, up moving staircases and along secret passages till they reached the room of requirement – one of the rooms that took the longest to fix after the events of the battle of Hogwarts.
“Shh” said Evvie a little harsher than she intended. She wasn’t able to speak freely until they were safely inside the room.
“Evvie what’s going on?” she asked.
Evvie panicked for a moment, could she really involve Pansy in this? What if it went wrong? What if Pansy got hurt? Could Evvie live with herself if that happened?
“Evvie you’re scaring me a little” commented Pansy.
“Sorry, I’m having an internal battle” she admitted.
“About whether or not to tell me” Pansy guessed.
“What’s stopping you from telling me?”
“You could get hurt” said Evvie.
Pansy pondered this, “Could you get hurt?”
“Yes” said Evvie unwittingly.
“Have you been hurt?”
“No” stuttered Evvie.
Again Pansy pondered this, “Please tell me. Most situations in life can hurt people and I’d hate to think of you going through this alone”.
Evvie hated to admit it but Pansy did have a strong argument and Evvie couldn’t really take away her power of choice.
“Will you promise not to tell anyone else?” asked Evvie, she knew in she should have probably asked for a wand oath in the matter but somehow she didn’t think Pansy would ever betray her confidence.
“Of course, I promise Evvie” said Pansy with a hint of worry as to what her friend had got herself into.
Evvie looked at her friend for a good long minute before deciding that this was a good thing to do, she couldn’t continue down this road alone and she trusted Pansy enough to believe she wouldn’t tell another living soul.
“I’ve been looking for my Father”.
“I thought he was dead?” whispered Pansy.
“That’s what Blaise said after he shouted at me that it was none of my business” Pansy rolled her eyes at that, “But in actual fact they never found his body and the facts I was given were a bit too shaky for me to believe so I researched”.
Pansy couldn’t help but think that was such a typical thing for Evvie to do, when in doubt do research!
“I enlisted the help of Fleur Weasley, she always likes a challenge. I found a lead a name: Marcus Boyle. It lead me to a book shop in Hogsmead, the owner there told me everything he knew about Marcus – apparently there is something about the man that makes him more terrifying than Voldemort ever was. The book owner told me it was because Marcus didn’t flaunt his power in the same was that Voldemort did, everything Marcus did was done subtly, calmly, quietly but still radiated an immense power”.
“Pansy I watched as the book owner dropped down dead from telling me too much. It was like a threat and a warning all in one. There might as well have been a big banner saying ‘This is what happens if you cross Marcus Boyle’. I was so scared I just ran without looking back, I ran into Draco he didn’t see what happened but I think he suspects something. I was going to tell McGonagall I swear I was but I was scared I didn’t want to involve more people. I thought about giving up my search it seemed to dangerous”.
“Then one day I noticed an article in The Daily Prophet, it said that the owner of the book shop had decided to retire early and had sold his shop and moved somewhere warm to celebrate his retirement. Well I couldn’t tell anyone what I’d seen now for all intensive purposes the article was telling everyone the owner was alive and well. I don’t know whether it was thinking of the book owners death of thinking of everything so far but I decided that I wouldn’t give up. Now that I know everything about Marcus and my Mother and Father I don’t see how I can give up, I know my Father is out there somewhere. I can’t really explain it but I know he isn’t dead because I can feel his magic. I just need to find him and if that means starting a fight with Marcus Boyle then I will” finished Evvie.
Pansy had listened to what Evvie said with wide eyes and an open mind. The only words that had caused her heart to stop momentarily were: Marcus Boyle. She’d heard snippets of conversations between her own Father and her Father’s friends in relation to that name. Marcus Boyle was the stuff of nightmares; he was a lone beast that wandered the nightly shadows in search of victims to pray upon. They say he sold his soul to the devil, he was so feared by all families ever Voldemort himself couldn’t recruit Marcus. Pansy had hoped the dangerous times would end with the fall of Voldemort but it looked like things were about to get hairy again. No matter what the outcome, Pansy wouldn’t leave Evvie to face it alone.
Christmas is a time of celebrations, a time for family to come together and celebrate. A time for religion and singing, stockings and chestnuts. Yet as Evvie awoke on Christmas morning, dressed herself appropriately and situated herself among the throngs of present opening, all she could think about was the fact that her family was not complete. How could they all sit here smiling, laughing and generally having a good time when their Father, husband and family member was out there somewhere battling for his life.
Evvie hadn’t gotten over the comments Blaise had said to her. If he ever mentioned the conversation to their Mother, she never said a word to Evvie about it. Evvie felt unhinged, disjointed, confused. She couldn’t fathom how her Mother and Blaise had survived this long; she couldn’t understand why they had stopped searching for someone who was so obviously not dead. If it had been Evvie, she would have never stopped searching but she had two things her Mother and Blaise obviously lacked, an extraordinary brain and a bravery to fight.
Evvie went through the motions of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day etc. She was lacking the real emotion but had enough to make it look real. This should have been a joyous occasion, the first in a long line of new family Christmases but she couldn’t bring herself to enjoy it fully. It was like there was a cloud of tension and false information lurking around the house, it seemed to seep into her family members like a disease leaving them confused and out of control. Only Evvie seemed to realize there was more at play here, she was willing to fight for her Father, even if the end result wasn’t to be good.
The unsettling feeling came prior to New Years Eve. Pansy had been given permission by her parents to hold a New Years Eve party (her parents would be away celebrating with their own friends this year). Pansy had only invited a select group of people, mostly Slytherin’s with the exception of Luna, Lavender and Neville. Harry had declined the invitation, he couldn’t quite bring himself to spend a night with a group of Slytherin’s, he still believed everything they did was a trap to hurt him (stupid idiot) so had opted to go to a New Years Eve celebration with other friends.
The celebrations for New Year’s Eve started out well, everyone was having fun, and the firewhisky had been cracked out as had the brandy. People were in good spirits and even Draco seemed to have come out of his grouchy slump. They’d played traditional New Year’s Eve party games both muggle and wizard. Generally everyone was having fun laughing and joking with each other, there were even some new romances forming and some snogging in dark corners if you looked carefully.
Evvie wasn’t one for drinking copious amounts, she didn’t relish the joy of having a head rush or a loss of control as others did. Some called her up tight for not wanting to get drunk but she just preferred to remain in control and have a clear memory of the night. That didn’t mean she didn’t drink, she just knew her limit and knew when to stop. She had that feeling again, like the one she’d had out by the lake with Pansy. Like someone was watching her. It was unnerving and she didn’t like it, though try as she might she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was there in the shadows. It was enough to get her to stop drinking; she might be being a little paranoid but better safe than sorry.
It was supposed to be his day off, no it was his day off yet he’d had to come back. He slid quietly through the back door, the members of the party hearing nothing over the loud noises of their music and the voices of other people. The Parkinson’s household was mostly run by elves who had been set away for the night by the Mistress and Master but the Parkinson’s also had a handful of human servants, of which he was one. He was new to the household but not to the business. He knew what it was to be a servant, he’d been on all his life to various people but the Parkinson’s should have been more careful when screening who they’d hired, if they’d done a throughout job perhaps he wouldn’t have been hired at all.
It was a shame really, he didn’t want to have to kill the young Miss but if she or any of the other party guests got in his way he’d have to do it. It was the girl he was after, the one with the powerful magical signature, the one who had been asking all the questions and poking her nose in where it doesn’t belong. She was who he was here to kill, he’d been given orders you see by this man and this man was someone you never crossed, if you didn’t follow through on what he’d asked chances are you’d just ended your life. The servant wasn’t a stranger to killing, you don’t have to be mad to be a killer and his abnormality gave him more power than most. As he looked at the full moon hanging brightly in the night’s sky he couldn’t help but think that luck was on his side.
At first Evvie was sure that she was imagining things. She knew that alcohol can sometimes confuse your senses or make you believe in things that weren’t really there. She’d stopped drinking and her senses were becoming clearer but she couldn’t be sure. No, she wasn’t imagining things, there was definitely something there. It was like the feeling you get when you watch a horror film and you think to yourself don’t go down into the dark scary basement run away! No don’t go towards the screaming run away! Evvie felt that familiar feeling like something was about to happen, something wild and dangerous. She tried to signal to Pansy and the others but they were too busy partying and having fun. She reassured herself that there was at least a stash of hangover potions in the nearby cabinet, if only she could persuade her friends into each drinking a vile.
Evvie hurriedly made her way over to the cabinet, only pausing when she heard the unmistakable sound of an animal’s growl. This wasn’t like dog’s growl or any other small animal’s growl. This was like a fully blown big gigantic animal’s growl. She was surprised she was the only one to hear it, but then the music was pretty loud. She used her wand to silence the music to the outrage of her friends who insisted she turn it back on.
“Stay quiet” she hissed, they looked at her with varying degrees of confusion, like they couldn’t understand why she was behaving like this. She wished desperately they’d act on her behavior and each drink a hangover vial. Pansy was the only one to sense Evvie’s panic and do what Evvie was wishing. Once Pansy regained her senses, she too could feel that something was wrong.
“Why are we being quiet?” whispered a giggling Lavender.
“Turn the music back on” whined an annoyed Adrian.
“I said be quiet!” said Evvie, “Listen do you hear that”.
The group remained quiet, so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Then they all heard it, low and long the growl brought with it the promise of pain and fear. Each face blanched as more and more of the party reached for vials of hangover potion to clear their senses and their heads. No one moved a muscle. Evvie could hear the animal pacing outside as if it were looking for a way in, Evvie wondered why it didn’t just rush at the door.
It was scary listening to the animal pace up and down beyond the door, its claws digging into the wooden floor making scratches, its growl reverberating around the walls of the room. They were sitting ducks, just standing around waiting for the impact to come. They could do nothing, they were trapped, this room was cornered off from the others in the house, and the only point of exit was the door that the unknown animal now stood behind. Identifying it as unknown was a bit silly, Evvie had looked out the window and seen what hung in the sky, and this could be no coincidence. The party, the absence of parents, Evvie, the full moon in the sky, the animal behind the door, there was no doubt in Evvie’s mind that the animal currently outside was a Werewolf and that this Werewolf had come for her life.
The animal was luring them into a false sense of security, once there it would strike. The plan worked to a fault, there was a moment of overpowering silence, when people looked at one another to ascertain whether the danger was over. Then suddenly, quick as lightening the door was blown from its hinges as the huge werewolf launched itself into the door. People jumped back in fear as the growling increased and by the light of the moon they were able to watch in mixed horror and fear and the werewolf presented itself to its audience.
For a moment or two no one moved, everyone seemed to be calculating their options; where to run to, how to hide, how to defend, how to protect. Evvie had already concluded that their best bet was to lure the werewolf away from the door, then they’d be able to make a run for it. Evvie had to keep reminding herself that this werewolf was NOT like Remus Lupin and WOULD kill them all if it wanted. Thankfully Evvie wasn’t the only one to come to this conclusion, Draco, Pansy, Luna and Blaise had made the same connection.
The unsaid plan was a bit like sheep herding, people standing at strategic points, pushing the animal to where they wanted by closing in on it. It seemed to be working and the wolf was moving. But oh if they could hear the wolf’s thoughts perhaps they wouldn’t have chosen the path they had. The werewolf was practically smiling inside as he LET the group of people box him into the corner. It was so much better when they ran thought the inner wolf. It preferred the chase more than the killing and was so happy that he was going to get a chase, rather than cowards that just wanted to be killed. Perhaps this would be more fun than he originally thought.
Have you ever been chased through a house by a werewolf? Let me tell you, it isn’t fun. It’s like a complex game of hide and seeks meets tag except you don’t ever want to be caught or found. How to kill the werewolf, now that was tricky, in all the running and shouting and trying to escape the werewolf, no one had actually thought about killing it. Funny that no one would think of the ONE thing that would solve all the problems but when you are running for your life, important things like that tend to slip your mind. Everyone had been well and truly separated, perhaps that was the aim the werewolf had all the time, it was easier to kill people when they were separated and alone than in a big group.
Evvie breathed a heavy sigh of confusion and fear. She’d seen Draco not moments ago, she’d caught a glimpse of Pansy as she hurried down a corridor, she’d seen her brother hiding behind a tapestry. The urge to panic was overwhelming but somehow Evvie managed to contain herself. She’d put herself in battle mode – a mode she had hoped she’d never be in again. But something was stopping her from being completely alert and in control.
Evvie’s mind was working a hundred beats per second. Who sent the werewolf? Why was the werewolf here? What is its purpose? Is it trying to scare me? Is it a threat or a warning? Is it to try and get me to stop my research? Is it here to kill others or just me? How did it get in? How did it know I’d be here? Is this just a coincidence? Does Marcus Boyle know about me? Is that a sword?
The questions flew out of Evvie’s head hard and fast, she could hardly keep up with the movements of her own brain. Till the last question which caught her by surprise, sword? Right there was a sword above her on display; if she could just reach it…there she had it. She’d never picked up a sword before, she’d had the odd fencing lesson when she was younger but she’d never held a real sword much less had the opportunity to use one. I was quite heavy, it sent her arm drooping downwards with its weight but if Evvie could just position it so she’d have a chance.
With that in mind Evvie did what all the others wished they could do. She moved from her hiding place and back into the room that the werewolf had first barged into. She neither met nor saw anyone on her way back, chances are they were either well hidden or had managed to escape. That’s another thing! They’d never even checked to see if the floo network was working nor the apparition point – chances are they’d been disabled this werewolf seemed to have come prepared with inside knowledge.
Evvie made her way silently to the middle of the room, she tucked the sword securely behind her back, so it looked like she was completely unarmed, her head was bent her arms and legs pointed at different angles, she looked like a dancer about to take flight. She waited patiently for the beast to smell her out, a low tumbling growl alerted her and she knew the werewolf had caught her scent. She kept her head bent and waited, soon enough she heard the sound of claws against wood as the werewolf leisurely padded into the room. The beast gave off the feel of doing a victory dance, like it was glad she had stopped running for it could now exact its orders. It moved, no bounded straight towards her without a care for its surroundings.
Just a bit more, just a bit more pleaded Evvie in her head as the werewolf’s form advanced upon her further.
Just when the werewolf was so close it could have taken Evvie’s head off in one clear swoop did Evvie act. She pulled the sword from behind her and swung it with all her might straight through the neck of the werewolf. There was a moment where neither moved, the werewolf just stopped and seemed to look at something just past her shoulder before a slimy squelching sound was heard and the werewolf’s head fell quickly from its neck. The headless body fell soon after the head; Evvie dropped the sword to the floor in a clatter and sighed a big sigh of relief. She briefly heard the voices of others around her before the world around her darkened and she became an unconscious mass on the floor.
(In case you were curious, Ginny’s New Years Eve was spent realizing the horrible situation she was is and coming to terms with the fact that she was married to Victor Krum who now had a huge fine to pay and was banned from Quiddich. While Ronald had spent the night with what he presumed was a lovely blonde girl who fawned over the war hero. That was until her woke up the next day to find that the blonde girl had left him more than one gift that needed to be treated by St. Mungos!!!).
Thanks to all you lovely people who wished me well after my surgery last week. Unfortunately that wasn't the end of my problems, I ended up back in hospital this week as I have another infection from not being treated correctly the first time -.- However once the antibiotics kick in I should be right as rain ~ Zyii
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