Chapter 27 : Separate Detentions
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“Your mum’s louder,” I laughed as we watched the two howlers side by side. The scarlet envelopes had arrived as a hilarious surprise during this morning’s breakfast; it was almost as if our mums had planned to holler at us on the same day. In order not to let the whole school know what we had done (we were sure our mums would yell about ‘snogging in the library’ at some point) we rushed out of breakfast in the Great Hall and opened them together.
“Your mum pulled the middle name card,” Fred laughed right back as he reached over for my hand. Hey—if we were going to be hollered at for being a couple, we might as well hold hands and act like one.
“Your father and I did not raise you to act like such a… a scarlet woman!”
“Your father and I could not be more embarrassed!”
“They had to have planned this,” Fred contemplated aloud as he watched the two letters fight for the louder annunciation.
“My mum thinks I’m a slag,” I chuckled lightly in response. I wasn’t sure if anyone had ever opened two Howlers at once before, but it seemed the volume of one would only urge the other to become louder to make its point heard. We continued to listen and laugh as our mums went on to tell how embarrassed they were, how my mum opened the letter from Madam Pince in front of Aunt Kelly and how she doesn’t want to send Abby anymore, how Fred’s grandma was visiting and she knows, and so on.
Once the letters finished screaming over eachother they burst into flames. After vanishing what was left of the red envelopes, we started towards the Great Hall again to finish up breakfast. However, we were stopped short again when a pair of young house elves appeared at the end of the hall and started calling our names. One seemed to be clinging desperately to the hat atop her head, while the other was holding up the much too large t-shirt to avoid tripping over it. Both were clutching desperately to pieces of parchment, hollering for us.
“Oh bloody hell here we go,” Fred sighed as each of the elves handed us our respective letters. Stamped with a seal in the shape of a book, it had to be the information about our detention punishments. I thanked the small elf for the letter, before sliding my finger under the seal and ripping it open. I watched out of the corner of my eye as Fred did the same, and together we looked down to our individual letters and read:
Tonight, you will be serving detention with Professor Hagrid. Please meet him outside the castle at 6:00. You will be assisting him in whatever he needs doing cleaning up the grounds from the winter. This is a mandatory task, Miss Wood, so see to it that you arrive on time. Next time you have the urge to act in such a manner in my library, I hope you will be reminded of the effects of your actions.
“What’s yours say?” I asked as I looked up from my letter.
He sighed, “Helping Filch organizing some abandoned room on the seventh floor.”
“I have to help Hagrid pick up the grounds from the winter,” I said as I tried to suppress a smile. It sounded like Fred got the worse of the two tasks, and I had to figure Professor Hagrid wouldn’t need that much done.
“D’you want to trade?” he chuckled as we abandoned any ideas for breakfast and headed for the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.
“Hmm— no,” I pretended to ponder for a second before quickly shutting down that idea. “Helping Hagrid will be way easier.”
He rolled his eyes and shook his head, before grabbing my hand and leading the way to Lupin’s class.
Because the N.E.W.T.s were coming closer and closer, Professor Lupin spent the day going over everything we had learned that year so we would be well prepared for the practical portion of the exam. Through the information of the Dementors, Lethifolds, Inferi, and all of the other topics, it was a ‘pretend to take notes but really draw’ type of a lesson. I must say, my drawing of Dementor, besides the fact I gave it feet, was pretty accurate. I couldn’t help but smile as I remembered back to Care of Magical Creatures in the beginning of the year; just as the memory came back Fred’s wand appeared on my parchment. I had to do everything in my power to stifle my laughter as the Dementor walked back and forth across the paper and waved around a sign saying ‘Free Kisses’.
We had double Divination that afternoon, and Professor Trelawney had the same idea to continue her ‘review everything’ strategy. When she pulled out her old set of glass tea cups from her third year lesson, we had to assume she was getting very desperate to find things to teach us about. By the three hour mark of the class four people were asleep, two heads were bobbing up and down about to, and most of the rest of the class was having a contest to see who could drink their tea the fastest without Trelawney noticing.
I was winning.
The only people who were intently trying to find meaning out of their tea leaves were the Ravenclaw girls. As par usual, Delilah was leading her group in actually studying and actually writing down predictions.
“It’s an acorn!” she gasped overly excitedly as she looked into Lydia’s cup. I raised an eyebrow as I watched her quickly leaf through her textbook to find the definition.
“Unexpected gold!” Lola, her twin, got to the page first. “Maybe it’s foreshadowing you’ll win the third task and the whole tournament!”
I’d like to know who the halfwit was that matched up ‘acorn’ and ‘unexpected gold’.
“It looks more like a club,” Lydia sighed skeptically. She turned to the textbook between her and Lola and read, “An attack.”
At least that one makes a little more sense.
I started to squirm in my desk as tea chugging caught up to me; I had to get out of this lesson and get to the loo. I looked around for Professor Trelawney, and found her over waking up Allen Fischer. Once she scolded him about the necessity of tea-leaf reading, she made a beeline for the only group actually doing the work – the Ravenclaw girls.
I wanted to wait until she was past their group, but at the announcement of a ‘round two’ of tea drinking contest, I couldn’t wait. (Now that Allen was awake he insisted he could beat me,) I shot out of my seat and ignored the smug upturn of Delilah’s nose as I tapped on Professor Trelawney’s shoulder. After she gave me a prediction of agony and sorrow at the hand of a silver man, I rolled my eyes and ran for the trapdoor.
I will fully admit I was completely wrong about having the ‘better’ detention that evening.
That was my detention. Over the winter the Thestrals—of which I cannot see; we learned about them in our fifth year Care of Magical Creatures class, and there were only two people in the class who could; a pair of girls from Slytherin. Anyway, over the winter I guess they roam all around the edge of the forest, and in the spring time if it’s not cleaned up students will step in it because… here’s the fun part… it’s invisible.
It’s invisible. My detention punishment for snogging Fred in the library was to clean up invisible horse shit. I love magic, but really?
“’ello Miss Wood!” Professor Hagrid had greeted me cheerfully, leading me astray of what was to come. “Now then, this won’t be too bad—yeh’ll just need to put these on,” he said as he tossed me a pair of knee high pink galoshes and matching rubber gloves. As I slid them easily over my shoes, he went on to explain that I’d have to ‘sniff and step around’ and magic away the ‘leavings’ when I find them. More or less, ‘walk around ‘till you step in it, then magic it away’.
So here I am, carefully trekking around the edge of the forbidden forest to find invisible horse shit. I would cringe every single time I took just one extra step and the galoshes squished into the ground—it was always the sign that I had moved a little too far and stepped in it. After the third time I vanished away the feces from them, I started to look for signs. It was too early in the year for any lacewing flies to be buzzing around the piles, so I started to look for spots where the grass was disturbed; it was usually a good indicator and it made the task go by a little quicker.
When I finished all I could clean up after the Thestrals, Professor Hagrid had me do a few odds and ends around the castle before he let me call it a night. I had to help him turn up the dirt in his garden to get it ready to be planted in, clean up the fallen twigs around the Whomping Willow – Professor Flitwick would have been proud of my freezing charm on the tree – and had to help him haul over cages of some sort of scaly thing for his third years. By the time I headed back for the castle I was exhausted and I knew I smelled terrible.
I was going to the Gryffindor common room to shower before I met up with Fred, but when I realized it was almost ten I decided to head straight for the seventh floor. I started towards the stairwell leading up to the Room of Requirement—I had a guess that’s where Filch had him, cleaning up one of the many ideals the room could produce. However, just as I reached for the railing, a hand wrapped around my wrist and pulled me rather haphazardly behind a chubby suit of armor. Assuming it was Fred I started to smile, but it quickly dropped when I saw a flash of blonde.
“Scorpius, please leave me alone,” I begged as I tried to remove my wrist from his grip. “I could never cheat on Fred.”
After he only held on tighter, he asked, “Hannah, do you love him?”
I felt the breath catch in the back of my throat as I finally stopped pulling. It’s that damn ‘I love you’ coming back to me. I tried to squeak out an ‘of course I do’—but my mouth was too dry. How could I confirm something like that to the boy who I thought I loved for three years?
I thought back to last year, and even fifth year Potions. I would have given my left arm to have Scorpius Malfoy begging for my attention like he is now. Of course, I was much less experienced in the world of dating then, but I always thought that’s what love was; I liked how he talked with a small smirk and flirted over our cauldrons. I shouldn’t have to know if I love someone this early in my life!
“I’m going to take your silence as a no,” he started to smirk as he took a step closer.
I looked up from the ground and held my other hand to keep him away. “Scorpius, please don’t put me into this position when you won’t do the same for me.”
That stopped him. “I’d do anything for you,” he whispered as he released my arm, looking down to the ground.
Except break up with Rose.
Except; I couldn’t make myself say it. There was something about that downcast sigh that made my heart wrench. I dropped my hand down to my side and sighed.
“Fred and I happened and I’m sorry it hurt you,” I said in a small, but ultimate, voice.
“It’s okay, I deserved it. I should have told you back in fourth year when I started fancying you,” he muttered, before looking up with a sad smile. Moving slowly – as he thought I’d curse him if he did anything sudden – he brought his hand up to my cheek and tucked my hair behind my ear. I winced as I felt his fingers graze my cheek— that was supposed to be Fred’s thing, tucking my hair behind my ear when it had fallen forward.
“Scorpius—” I wanted to tell him to go away. But something else interrupted me.
Several things happened in the next few seconds.
Scorpius quickly backed away from me, toppling over the suit of armor. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets before I instantly started to exclaim that it wasn’t what it looked like. Fred took several small steps backwards, stepping on an arm of the statue and tripped on his arse. In turn, I rushed forward to help him and stepped on the sword belonging to the suit of armor, crying out in pain as it sliced directly through the sole my shoe and left a gash on the bottom of my foot. I crumpled to the ground and cursed, taking in sharp breaths while I tried to stop my foot from starting to bleed. Peeves flew through the wall a second later, flying around in circles and shouting some sort of rhyming song about how I was some sort of floozy.
“Peeves! Shut the hell up!” I shouted, reaching down and trying to stop the pain in my foot.
He stopped abruptly and called me a few choice words, before flying back through the wall shouting, “Students out of bed!”
I finally tore my eyes away from my shoe as I felt the moisture on my hand. I could deal with that later, Fred was more important; I looked over to him, where he was clutching his ankle and staring at me in disbelief. “Fred, please. Nothing—‘’
“You know Hannah; I don’t want to hear it. Even if nothing happened, I saw the look you gave him—it was about to. You really couldn’t stop with him, even for me?” he pressed. I felt a wretch in my chest as I saw the wetness that started to form is his eyes. He let out a wavering sigh, and instead of waiting for an answer he stood up and took a step forward. However, he must have injured his ankle when he tripped over the suit of armor because he fell over again and wrapped his hands gingerly around it, letting a gasp of pain slip through his lips.
I could feel the burning in my eyes as my own tears started—this was it. After all this time, Fred was going to dump me just like Scorpius wanted. I wanted to bring the hurt onto Scorpius like he was making me do to Fred. As I felt the first tear roll down my cheek and hit the floor, I reached for my wand. I picked it up and pointed it towards him, through blurry eyes I could see it was half the length it normally was, with the other half dangling just by the unicorn hair core. I felt a small cry escape my lips as I tried to get some of the tears away to see if it was mendable.
Peeves flew back down the hall laughing a second later, so I could only assume that the heavy footsteps I heard coming from down the hall belonged to whatever teacher he had told on us.
“What is going on here?” Professor Longbottom asked as he came to an abrupt halt at the sight of the three of us. At the sight of the teacher Scorpius quickly stood up into an official looking posture—the ‘Head Boy I wasn’t doing anything wrong’ posture. Professor Longbottom let out a snort at him, before turning to Fred and I and looking for an actual answer.
“I—I,” I tried to whisper out an answer and that’s when I noticed all the red. There was a small pool collecting by my foot—I had done a lot worse of a number by stepping on the sword than I thought. Between the tears and the wooziness, the last thing I remember was Fred’s strained and mumbled voice, before I saw darkness.
“…she’s going to be fine…” I winced at the sharp voice; someone obviously didn’t care about other people’s sleep schedules.
“…her wand…” This voice was softer, and everything the person said after was too mumbled for me to hear it.
“…he left this morning…” I pressed my eyelids tighter together as the louder of the two spoke again.
Through the groggy effects of what I remembered to be a sleeping potion (a Quidditch accident in third year brought me familiar with the brew) I could make out the voice of – I think – Madam Pomfrey explaining to… someone. As the memories of my last conscious seconds started to bubble back up I winced as I tried to move my foot. I pulled my arms around my torso as I realized how cold it was in the Hospital Wing.
“She’s awake.” I finally made out the other voice – Sophie’s – as I rolled my ankle to make sure it was still attached. “Madam Pomfrey, come back! She’s awake!”
The sharp clicking of shoes rushing across the hospital wing were closely followed by a “Miss Wood can you hear me!?” being snapped into my ear. I winced, and shut my eyes further as I nodded. The light of the Hospital Wing was too much seeping through my eyelids at this point.
I groaned and turned towards where Sophie’s voice had come from a moment before; “Is Fred okay?”
The lull between my question and Sophie’s sigh brought back the entire memory of what I had pieced together from the previous night. I finally blinked my eyes open to take in the Hospital Wing, and to see Sophie with a chair pulled up next to me. The wary expression and somber fall of her eyes made me frown as she tried to figure out a way to answer my question. I took a quick look around her to note she was the only one there – the night started to become real as I realized my boyfriend wasn’t here waiting for me to wake up.
Before Sophie could speak Madam Pomfrey was in my face again with several different phials of various colored potions. “You had quite a nasty cut on that foot, Miss Wood; those suits of armor are ancient and covered in who knows what sort of old spells. The sole of your foot wouldn’t stop bleeding because of an old curse on the blade. We’ve managed to get things fixed up but you still look a bit pale.” She held up a thick, red potion in a small vile and shoved it under my nose. “This is for blood replenishment.” I grimaced as she tipped it into my mouth. “You may as well stay here for the rest of the day as it’s not worth it to attempt to make it to—” she paused as she looked down to her watch “—half of one class without a wand. You’ll have to take the potion once more tonight, and we’ll take a look at your foot after that.”
I finally turned back to Sophie as Madam Pomfrey straightened her robes and headed for her office.
“You broke your wand.” Sophie gave me a somber smile as held up two separate pieces of the wand I had gotten when I was eleven. I winced as it attempted some sort of spark before it gave up in her hand.
“I’ll have to write my mum,” I croaked out. I could feel my face going pink as the blood-replenishing potion seemed to take effect, although it also started to make me feel less groggy, so I couldn’t complain.
“Hannah,” Sophie then sighed, and I could only guess what she was going to bring up next.
Before she could point fingers I had to ask. “Is—is he—has he said anything about what happened?”
“Albus is trying to talk to him now. You both didn’t come back last night so we assumed you had snuck out of the castle again or something; then he showed up half way through Herbology, and wouldn’t say a word to either of us. Albus said he left half way through Care of Magical Creatures when Scorpius Malfoy answered a question. We all should be in Charms now, but—” She trailed off as I got the basic idea of why her and Al had skived class. “Do I really have to ask you what happened?”
She wasn’t going to believe me. ‘Scorpius found me, pulled me behind a chubby suit of armor to ask me if I loved Fred, and happened to reach his hand up to my cheek just as Fred was walking by’ doesn’t really sound that convincing on my behalf.
“Nothing happened,” I sighed in a feeble attempt.
After a few moments pause she asked, “Was something going to?” She tried to look anywhere but me; I could tell she was stuck between believing the information right in front of her and standing up for me, her best friend.
“I need to talk to him,” I threw the smelly hospital blanket off me and swung my feet out of bed. I winced as the newly healed skin on the bottom of my foot met the cold floor of the hospital – my shoe probably wasn’t returned to me or thrown away from the damage.
“Hannah, I don’t think you’re supposed – okay, I’m coming with you then.” Sophie got up and followed me as I limped my way under Madam Pomfrey’s nose and out of the Hospital Wing.
Fred was done with me. When I had finally limped my way from the Hospital wing to Gryffindor tower and up the stairs to the seventh year boy’s dorms, the conversation coming from inside the room stopped me. With Sophie hot on my trail, she nearly collided into me as we both pressed our ears to the door. We weren’t able to catch anything but the end, but I heard Fred specifically say, “I have nothing to say to her, clearly she’d rather be with Malfoy than me so I’m just going to let her do that.”
Al had responded immediately with, “What about Rosie?”
His answer was instantaneous. “I don’t give a damn about Rose. She’s too oblivious to see what he’s doing to her and Hannah then that’s her own problem, not mine.” Through the obvious hurt in his voice he sounded like his temper was rising.
“So, what do I tell her when—because you know she will—she comes up and asks me why you and Hannah have—” he paused for a second, “—broken up?”
A silence filled the boy’s dorm room as I waited with baited breath for Fred to say ‘we’re not broken up,’ or anything to give me a little reassurance. I heard him sigh, and in as definite of a tone as he could manage, he mumbled, “Tell her it’s none of her damn business.”
So here’s where I stand now, waiting for my brain to catch up with the fact that Fred and I are broken up. I stood up straight and blinked for a few moments as a lump gathered in the back of my throat. I stared at each of the grains of wood on the door, knowing the second I moved or blinked them the wetness gathering in my eyes would spill over. Just as the first sign of my eyelids overfilling gave way, I shut them to let it all cascade down to the tip of my nose. Not a second later an arm draped around my shoulder and I finally let a sob escape. Sophie sighed; she probably didn’t know what to say. To save her the trouble, I pushed her arm off my shoulder and headed for the stairs. When I didn’t hear her following me, I let my bare feet take me up the other set of stairs and to my own dorm.
Thankfully it was empty when I got upstairs so I wouldn’t have to explain to Rose or Lyra why I had streaks of tears running down my cheeks. I still hadn’t showered from the Thestral detention, so I rushed into the bathroom to let the droplets of water from the shower wash my breaking heart down the drain.
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