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Chapter 5 : Mysteries To Solve
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Amazing Chapter Image By ClearPlastic @ TDA
Rule #3: Remember to follow as quiet as possible.
I hadn't even realized I had spent two months in Hogwarts already.
With pranks (mainly played on me), stalking (-the boys responsible for the pranks) and studies, the months were passing by so quickly. So far, I wasn't the most liked in this school. In fact, I was the most pitied.
Would you like me to tell you why?
Yes, I will definitely tell you why.
About thrice every week, there's a new prank awaiting me in the morning or if I'm lucky, after dinner. That way I would be able to shower and head back to the common room right after. The Marauders aren't exactly my best friends at the moment. Well, James is the leader of that group. I'll be lucky if any of them actually start to act civil towards me.
Nobody wants to help me. They're too afraid they'd meet the Marauders' pranks as well. Nobody wants to get pranked. Especially by them. Florence has been trying to help me as much as possible but she's lucky because she's not really known in this school either. The Marauders wouldn't really care because another someone like me is comforting me.
I had started to get used to the pranks actually. But that doesn't stop me from being the most paranoid person in the whole school.
The Halloween feast was great but nothing very interesting had happened unless you counted a a group of mini jack-o-lanterns following Severus Snape around singing, Snivelly, Snivelly, with greasy hair as smelly as your mothers belly after she gave birth to youuuu….
Pretty catchy song if you asked me…
Surprisingly, I received no unexpected ice-cold showers, no real-life flying cockroaches when I open my textbook, no falling flat on my arse because my shoes had been glued to the floor, no nothing! No mayonnaise in an ice cream disguise either. I have got to admit, that disguise was worthy of Florence.
Bloody disgusting, that was.
Still gives me shivers when I think about it.
November had just arrived and the wind's just getting colder and colder. And what's great and exciting is the fact that today was the first Quidditch match of the season, Gryffindor versus Slytherin.
Never in my life did I ever learn how to play Quidditch. I didn't know if I sucked or if I was exceptionally good. I didn't know. I didn't plan to find out.
First of all, besides water, heights is definitely my weakness. I cant stand staying up high for too long or I would most likely barf up from the sky and hit a Quidditch player down below.
I'm telling you now, you would definitely rather get bird shit on your head.
"Cassie, will you please stop staring mindlessly at your trunk and dress up already!"
Florence's voice snapped me out of my thoughts. Right, of course. Dress up for the Quidditch match.
She was already done dressing. I wondered how long I was staring at my trunk. Must have been pretty long. Otherwise, Florence isn't Florence anymore.
I dressed as quickly as I could and she pulled me up to my feet, dragging me out of the dormitory. We made our way to the Quidditch pitch. Students from all houses were already there. We sat with the other Gryffindors on the stands.
Florence kept shooting me worried looks.
Did I look too much of an idiot?
Maybe it's because I hadn't stop grinning like mad since we arrived.
I was excited. Very, very excited. I'd never watched a Quidditch game before. It would be fun. And I was definitely for Gryffindor.
I checked the time. It was ten minutes past eleven. I was told that the game started at eleven.
Other students seemed to have noticed as well. Some were trying to look down at the pitch to see if anyone was there. Not even Madam Hooch, the referee, was present. There were a few teachers but they were looking just as confused.
Almost thirty minutes after eleven, Madam Hooch had finally appeared gaining the interest of everyone on the stands. She had walked up to Professor McGonagall. I didn't know what she said but McGonagall had suddenly turned very angry. She snatched the microphone from the commentator.
"It seems," she started with a very stiff voice. "that James Potter and Marlene McKinnon are not present."
Confused and worried Gryffindors began speaking again but McGonagall held up a hand. Everyone shut up immediately.
"If they are not here forty five minutes after eleven, Gryffindor will forfeit and…" her voice was suddenly much stiffer if that was even possible. "Slytherin will take the win."
The Slytherins on the other side of stands had started to cheer. I started to panic.
This was totally unfair! My first Quidditch game and James bloody Potter and Marlene arsehole McKinnon are nowhere to be found! I felt the anger boiling up inside me. I had to find them. They must have just lost track of time.
Without telling Florence where I was going, I had dashed down the stairs and back inside the nearly empty castle. I didn't know where to go first. I didn't even know why I was trying to find them in the first place. Sirius and his other friends should be finding them right now.
I had been looking for almost fifteen minutes then I heard a shatter. I quickly turned to the sound. It came from one of the classrooms in the hallway I was in. There was another shatter and I opened the nearest door.
And there was James bloody Potter. Literally, bloody. There were bleeding scratches on his livid face. He was wearing his Gryffindor Quidditch uniform and his wand was out, pointed directly as Marlene arsehole McKinnon. Her face wasn't bloody but her hands were. She had her wand out as well.
Broken glasses was all over the floor. What in the world could be so bad that they had started to throw shards of glass at each other?
"YOUR BITCHY ATTITUDE SUCKS, KNOW THAT?" James roared. "IF WE KNEW YOU WERE LIKE THIS, WE WOULDN'T HAVE LET YOU IN THE TEAM!"
"Oh, please," Marlene scoffed. "I was the best bloody chaser there!"
"What I say and ONLY what I say goes, McKinnon!" James hissed.
"You act as if you're the bloody captain of this team!"
"Get off your high horse! You think you're bloody better than everyone is this school! You might have talent but if you cant fucking follow directions, then you get ready for what's coming for you!"
"Oh, what're you going to do?" she sneered. "Kick me off the team? You cant do that! Only Goldstein can! And I'm pretty sure he has no plans of kicking me out."
"I'm sure he'll have plans if his star Chaser is at stake."
And with that, James turned and saw me there with my mouth open. He covered his surprised expression with fury.
"What the fuck do you want?" he snapped.
It was my turn to glare at him. He raised his eyebrows as though surprised I had the guts to do that.
"You're both here arguing about bloody Quidditch like six year olds when you're supposed to be out there with your bleeding team!" I shouted. "If you want to be the fucking captain next year, James, then your bloody arse to the pitch!"
"We've still got ten minutes," James laughed. Then he frowned. "How did you know I wanted to be captain?"
"Ten minutes, my fucking arse!" I said fury boiling inside me. But I also felt stupid. I had revealed too much. I decided to ignore his last question. "If you're both not in the pitch in three bloody minutes, then Slytherin takes the win!"
James decided then to check his watch. His face paled, picked up his broomstick and ran out of the door with another word. Marlene had followed him without without even looking at me.
I couldn't help but feel a bit annoyed by this. I saved them from possibly getting kicked off the team because of missing a Quidditch match and they don't even talk or look at me.
Well, they were in a hurry.
Surprisingly, I didn't regret shouting at James. I felt like he deserved what he got. Maybe…. Maybe I didn't fancy him anymore!
A grin spread across my face.
This was brilliant! I didn't think I would stop fancying him! But I finally did!
Footsteps echoed in the hallway. I turned around and there was James, his face sweaty and he breathed heavily. My heart beat sped up.
Fucking heart. Yeah, I still fancy him… Damn.
"Hey, thanks," he muttered.
I felt my knees go weak. I gulped and nodded quickly.
"You have to be there in two minutes! Go!" I said.
He hopped on his broom and flew away faster than I ever saw him fly in his practices before. Yes, I've seen a few of his practices...
When I finally reached the Quidditch pitch (after bumping into fake doors and falling off moving staircases once or twice), the game had already started. I felt disappointed that I hadn't seen the start but I walked up the stands anyway to Florence who was watching the game in awe.
I stood beside her and she didn't even acknowledge my presence. Must be a Quidditch fan, that girl.
I watched James and Marlene. Marlene had the Quaffle and I could see James looking pretty pissed off. He flew beside her towards the Slytherins' goal posts.
"And there's McKinnon with the Quaffle!" said the commentator. "She's going to shoot? Well, this is a first! James Potter is actually sharing the spotlight today?"
Marlene flew nearer to the posts, dodging a Bludger once or twice. I saw James flying near her. He was shouting something, I knew it. But I couldn't hear him over the noise of the Gryffindors around me.
"Well, James Potter's getting angry! Not smart, McKinnon. Nobody likes an angry Potter."
"Mr. Corner, back to the game!" Professor McGonagall snapped, her voice close enough to the microphone to be heard.
"Right, well, very nice aim from Sirius Black and well! Looks like Flint's hit! Brilliant! Just six more to hit, Black!"
I saw Flint flip his middle finger up at Sirius. Sirius screamed a couple of swear words back before swinging his bat and aiming the Bludger at him again.
"Ah, pity. Didn't hit him this time," Corner said sounding truly disappointed. Then his excited voice was back. "And McKinnon's going to shoot! Is she? What's this? Smith, what are you doing?"
Smith must have been the blonde chaser who was flying as fast as lightning towards Marlene.
"Jesus Christ, woman! You're not allowed to bash your teammates off the air, are you?"
I would have snorted at Corner's curses and unnecessary comments but I was too busy staring down at Smith who was still flying to Marlene. Marlene ducked and Smith grabbed the Quaffle from her.
"Tricking and stealing the Quaffle from your own teammate? That's not exactly the ideal way to promote team work… And Smith gets hit by a Bludger sent by Crabbe! Slytherin takes the- Hold on, no! Potter's got the Quaffle! There he goes, faster than chimaera! He passed to Smith who passed back to Potter who passes down to McKinnon and she's going to shoot!"
The stands had become unusually quiet to see if Marlene could actually shoot it and it was quiet enough to hear James' screams.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?"
Everyone stared at the Slytherin keeper saved the Quaffle and threw it at Flint. The livid look on James' face had silenced the Gryffindors on the stands. The Slytherins were cheering for their chasers. The Slytherins had scored. Longbottom was too busy staring worriedly at James to see the Quaffle pass through the left hoop.
"And that's forty-twenty to Slytherin. Whoopie," Corner said unenthusiastically.
"What is wrong with you?" James screamed at Marlene.
"If you didn't get the bloody Quaffle from me earlier, we'd have more points!" Marlene spat.
"If you just followed the strategies I taught you, we would be leading!" James spat back.
Then he spat on Marlene's face.
"Well, that was uncalled for," Corner said.
The Slytherins had scored three more times without anyone's attention except their fellow housemates. Everyone was staring at either the Slytherins scoring repeatedly or James and Marlene who were screaming at each other like there was no tomorrow. My eyes flicked to Benjy Fenwick who was already on the ground, his face buried in his hands. Beside him was another boy.
No it wasn't Sirius. He looked more serious looking… I mean… In both senses. He looked like Sirius and he looked more serious than Sirius.
"Am I seeing this correctly?" Corner said staring at the boy I was staring at with eyes bigger than Galleons. "Regulus Black? Has he gotten the snitch! Fuck, he did!"
"Language, Mr. Corner!"
"But look, Professor! He's got the snitch! None of even saw him! CHEATS!"
"SHUT UP, CORNER!" a Slytherin from the stands yelled.
"FUCK!" James' voice echoed in the pitch as he landed and threw his expensive-looking broom on the ground.
Justin Goldstein looked almost as angry as James when he landed. I saw the Gryffindor Quidditch team walking to their locker rooms. Florence, who I had forgotten was actually beside me, had grabbed my arm.
"Let's go," she whispered.
She dragged me down the stairs, pushing many other Gryffindors who were sulking over the defeat of our house. We reached the locker room door and waited for all the students to enter the castle. When a bunch of excited looking first years had entered at last, Florence had picked the lock quickly and opened the door slightly as silent as possible.
"I cant believe how bad you acted there today!" I heard Justin's voice.
"It wasn't my fault!" James snapped.
The scraping of a metal bench being pushed back was heard and made me assume that James had stood up.
"I have been training for weeks!" he continued. "I taught her all our strategies and plays! And what did she do today? SHIT."
"You spat on my face!"
"The only thing you're worthy enough to touch from me is my spit."
"How did you know about the forty five minutes before eleven thing anyway?" Smith asked sounded extremely grumpy. "You should have stayed. That way, we wont embarrass ourselves in front of the whole school."
"Remus found us."
I felt like kicking the door out of its hinges.
That stupid bastard!
I hadn't noticed my fists clenching but Florence did. She gave me a pointed look but I just shook my head. I let go of the door and I knew it sounded pretty loud. Florence looked at me with wide eyes and we bolted inside the castle.
I was literally the only person in the library today. Fine, not really. But I was like one of the four people inside. Nobody's been visiting this place lately since the Christmas holidays were near. But I decided to come here for some peace and quiet.
Florence has been bothering me a lot lately. I rarely got mad in front of her because I didn't want her to think there was something wrong with me. I wanted her to know I had a shitty life but I was perfectly fine. That way, no awkward questions would lead to awkward answers.
But she saw me get mad. That day we were listening to the meeting after Gryffindor's loss. She's been bothering me about it ever since. I didn't want to tell her I was actually the one who called them.
Why, you ask?
Because if James doesn't want to tell anyone, then I wont either. I know, I know, I should be angry. I was. I was very angry. But I cooled off and decided to just go with it. I didn't even know why I was so angry in the first place. If James said I was the one who called him, everyone would know about me.
And I don't even know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
And also, today was the second Hogsmeade weekend. Was I going? Well, seeing as I was in the library at nine in the morning, no, I was definitely not going to Hogsmeade. I had already been there once. Florence and I had tried listening to the Marauders' conversation in the Three Broomsticks. The place was packed with students so we could hear nothing.
What I didn't expect was a couple of Gryffindor boys entering the library that same day. It was a Hogsmeade weekend! They were supposed to be with girls or bonding with each other there!
The Marauders were also quiet when they entered. None of them were laughing, none of them were pushing. They looked almost… disciplined.
Apparently, Madam Pince found this just as odd as I did.
She walked past me and I put my book up to cover my face as I listened.
Florence is going to be so proud of me when she comes back from Hogsmeade.
"What do you think you four are doing here?" Madam Pince asked.
"We were just visiting," Peter said quickly. "Anything bad about that?"
"Chill out, Peter," James said cockily. "I got this."
"What have you got to say, Mr. Potter?" Madam Pince snapped. "Would you like to finally apologize for bewitching my books to drop on the students walking below them?"
"Didn't we do that in second year?" Sirius said thoughtfully.
"Forgot we actually visited this place once," James said.
"And that was supposedly that last time you were to visit!" Madam Pince said. "Now, out!"
"Come on, we got a letter!" Sirius said.
"Here it is," Remus said.
I imagined him handing Madam Pince a piece of parchment.
"'I, Professor Gridley, allow Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter to browse the restricted section for books to borrow about our ongoing lesson in Defense Against the Dark Arts.'" Madam Pince read.
It was silent for a while then the librarian gave a sigh and let the boys in. They high fived each other and walked to the restricted section.
Woah, hold up.
They were actually going there?
I thought they were kidding.
The other three students in the library that day were three gossiping Ravenclaws. The Marauders passed their table and they all swooned. I even thought I saw one girl faint. Don't know… Probably imagined it.
They finally reached the doors of the restricted section. Without thinking, I stood up as quietly as possible and followed them there silently. The Ravenclaws didn't mind me because they were too busy whispering and giggling.
James was the one to open the door and they slipped inside.
Thank goodness Florence let me keep the invisibility cloak of hers.
I quickly put it on and slipped inside before the door closed. Florence had repeatedly told me before how loud my steps were whenever we stalked them. I didn't think they were too loud actually.
Over the last few times we eavesdropped on their conversations and followed them, we didn't get anything very interesting. Mostly about how Sirius is planning to ask this one girl out because apparently, he really likes her. Florence was fuming. I spent the next few days hearing her talk about how slutty that girl is. Even if Sirius never mentioned the girl's name.
Much like how she rants about Mary Macdonald.
So back inside the restricted section, I followed the Marauders to one of the aisles.
"Are you sure this was where you saw it, Sirius?" James whispered.
Why were they whispering? Nobody would even hear them from outside.
Unless they were doing something very illegal and needed to whisper about it.
I nearly snorted at the stupid thought.
"Well, I think it was here," Sirius whispered back. "The last time I was here was two months ago, mate. And I was caught. I don't really remember much."
"Well, it's worth a try," Remus said with a sigh.
What were they looking for anyway? Why did they all look so nervous? James was sweating like hell. I saw Sirius' eye twitch once or twice as he looked through the books. Remus' eyes kept darting to his friends then back at the books. Peter was sweating like James but he kept wiping it off his face and cleaning his hand on his robes.
"The books aren't here," James finally said after minutes of looking. "Let's just split up, shall we?"
The other three had agreed. I automatically followed James. My goodness, I was such an idiot.
He walked to another aisle and lucky him because the first book he pulled out brightened his grumpy expression. Much like when he's in a bad mood and Lily Evans walks in the room. Yes, I know about their history. Florence told me about it. I've never really met Lily Evans in person. I usually only see her from afar so I cant really make out her face and features.
In other words, I cant look at her and see if she's good enough for James.
"Guys!" James said. "Guys, I think I found it!"
Sirius had appeared first.
"Brilliant, mate!" he said clapping James on the back.
Remus and Peter had joined them.
"There are so much more," Remus said in awe as he picked out more books from the shelves. "These will really help a lot."
"Are you sure they wont suspect a thing?" Peter said nervously.
"We're learning it, Peter," Sirius said. "They'll obviously think Moony just wants background reading on it."
"Yeah, that's right," James said.
"We still have to give that letter right?"
"Yeah! Sirius, is it still with you?" Remus asked quickly.
"Of course, I do!" Sirius said rolling his eyes. "You need to chill, mate! Is it your time of the month already?"
They all looked at my direction.
Shit. I'm screwed.
I stayed where I was, hoping desperately I was completely covered. I saw James' eyes narrowing slightly but his friends had probably thought it was just some student outside because they returned to stacking the books they picked out.
"Someone's here," James muttered.
My heart sped up. And not only because of James.
"No one's here, James," Remus sighed.
He didn't look convinced but he dropped it and turned back to his friends. I saw Sirius pull out two pieces of parchment from his pocket. He glanced at one and snorted in disgust. Shaking his head, he slipped it inside one of the books he was holding. The other parchment must have been the letter because he gave it to Remus who nodded approvingly.
Remus had carried the books and they left the restricted section. I would have followed them out but I noticed they left one book. One that wasn't in Remus' pile. It was the one Sirius had been holding.
When I heard the door snap shut, I removed the cloak, putting it back in my bag (it was getting pretty hot in there), and took the book from the table.Human Transformations By Jennifer Gold, it said. Human transformations? Were we learning that in Defense?
I flipped the book open and a piece of parchment fell out.
The one Sirius had put in here.
Hands shaking slightly, I picked it up. It was a letter addressed to Sirius. Why had he looked at it in disgust earlier?
Good morning, cousin. Surprised? I would be shocked if you aren't. I'm not the kind who just decides to write to their blood-traitor cousin, am I? Of course not. But I am writing to you and only because of one reason Since you are technically still a Black, I am deciding to invite you to a special occasion of mine. This is your last chance to prove yourself to us. Your last chance to prove that you are still loyal to the Black family.
On the twenty-ninth of December, I am getting married to Rodolphus Lestrange. I have talked about it with your parents and they have been very supportive. They are allowing you to come but if you do anything to ruin it in any way, I will make sure you do not live to see the next day.
Lestrange? Now why did that name sound so familiar?
There were two pieces of parchment folded inside the letter. I opened the first one, which was very short and written in a messy scrawl.
I'd rather fuck a troll. -S
I almost laughed. The next letter was from Bellatrix again.
Attached is your useless letter. No one needs you there. I'm surprised you're not even out of the family tree yet. You were never one of us and-
"What are you doing?"
I dropped the parchment and looked up.
"Sirius Black," I squeaked.
He frowned at me then he bent down, picking my the letters. He took the book from the table and look back at me.
"You're to keep your mouth shut, we clear?" he growled.
After my quick nervous nod, he left the restricted section.
I took slow and deep breaths to calm me down. That was possibly the scariest encounter I've had with someone in this school.
I slowly opened the door of the restricted section and checked if the Marauders had already left. Thankfully, they did. I quickly left the library and bolted to Gryffindor tower.
Thank God Florence had returned early from Hogsmeade because when I burst into the dormitory, she was sitting on her bed. I was about to say what I had discovered about Sirius then I heard her sobs.
Shit, she was crying.
That's one secret down, plenty more to go. Sirius Black was a mystery. And the reason for Florence Flanagan's tears might help Cassie solve the puzzle.
"I've got quite a bit of a problem with my sadistic parents as well." -Sirius Black, Live To Die, Chapter Four, Mysteries To Solve
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