Chapter 22 : Chapter 22
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“Fred dear, it’s been nearly two hours.”
“I don’t care. He said to stay here.”
“Fred, mum’s right. They’ve already emptied the stands,” George said carefully.
“I’m not risking –”
“We can carry her,” George offered.
“He said to stay here.”
“Fred,” Hermione broke in, “if she’s as bad as Professor Snape said then we need to get her to the Hospital Wing. Madam Pomfrey can help. She’s trained for this.”
“No magic,” Fred quoted.
“We’ll tell her. We’ll make sure she knows what Snape said,” Bill responded.
Fred stared down at Jade’s body. She was horribly pale and besides her shallow breathing she wasn’t moving at all. “No magic.” He wasn’t going to risk something happening.
“I’ll take down Pomfrey if she even tries,” George promised.
“George Weasley! You will do no such –”
“I’ll carry her,” Fred said, standing upright. He bent down, placed one arm under Jade’s neck, the other under her knees and lifted. “Bloody hell,” he muttered, straightening up. Jade was a lot heavier than he’d expected. Here Snape had made it look easy.
“It’s going to take a vault full of Galleons to pay me not to tell her you said that,” George threatened. Fred couldn’t help but smirk.
“Thanks mate.” A joke was always the preferred Weasley twin method of dealing with a serious issue.
“That’s what I’m here for.”
Slowly they made their way back to the castle. Bill had given his wand to Ginny and walked beside Fred in case he lost his footing. They expected to meet at least a few teachers along the way but none were around. It was an eerie feeling. Something felt strange.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Snape was briskly walking through a corridor when a house elf popped beside him. He looked down to find Dobby. “Dobby I told you –”
“Dobby is watching sir! Dobby is watching Wheezies stay with miss and not using magic. But Wheezies is deciding miss needs a Healer. Dobby could not stop them and sir is ordering Dobby not to be seen. Dobby is not risking any magic with miss around.”
“Where are they now?” Snape demanded, worry flooding through him.
“Wheezies is carrying miss to the Hospital Wing.”
Snape immediately changed direction. “Make sure no one crosses their path. Do not let anyone use magic on her. I don’t care what it takes. After I get there, return to the kitchens.”
“Yes, sir,” Dobby squeaked before popping away.
Less than five minutes later Snape was opening the Hospital Wing door.
“Mr. Weasley, I assure you –”
“Snape said ‘no magic.’ I’m not going to let you make her worse.” Well it seemed as if Weasley was good for something. Not many students would fight back against the mediwitch.
“I am a fully trained Healer, Mr. Weasley! I am more than capable at my job,” Pomfrey said indignantly.
“Fred, I’m sure –”
“He said no magic mum!” Snape strode into the room, instantly heading for the bed Jade was placed on. “Look! Ask him yourself!” Fred shouted, pointing at Snape. The others turned to face him as well.
“Professor Snape,” Madam Pomfrey said exasperatedly. “Would you please inform Mr. Weasley that I am more than capable –”
“Put your wand away,” he ordered the mediwitch.
“See!” Fred exclaimed. Snape rounded on him next.
“I told you to wait for me there.”
“You can’t seriously mean you instructed them to keep an unconscious girl –”
“Put your wand away,” Snape barked. “She does not need to be healed.”
“She has been –”
“Severus?” Snape turned towards the voice in alarm, as did everyone in the room. Out of all the people to arrive in the Hospital Wing, why did it need to be Dumbledore? The Headmaster had also brought Potter and…a dog. “Severus, I asked you to inform – what is Miss Lestrange doing here?” Dumbledore asked, confused. This day could not get worse.
“Headmaster, I am attempting to tend to Miss Lestrange however Mr. Weasley and Professor Snape are –”
“He said ‘no magic!’ I’m not going to let you do more damage –”
“Mr. Weasley I have been a fully trained Healer for over fifty years, I am telling you –”
“It’s what he said!” Fred shouted.
There was very little Snape could do. Before Madam Pomfrey and Dumbledore he’d been planning on Memory Charms, quite a few Memory Charms. Not the most noble route but an effective one. Now that choice was gone. Hermione was already as suspicious as Dumbledore and if Snape didn’t give them something then how much further would they probe? One simple health scan and they would know what Snape had done to Jade. It didn’t look like Madam Pomfrey was very far from casting one either. Dumbledore would have to be told something to explain this. Snape could only think of one thing – the truth. Jade would hate him for it. Certainly she would hate Fred Weasley finding out this way. There weren’t many choices, they could know about Jade’s link to her father or about the connection between Jade and himself. He picked the lesser of two evils.
“ – she is my patient, Mr. Weasley.”
“No, she is not,” Snape said firmly. Madam Pomfrey looked scandalized.
“Miss Lestrange is –”
“She is my patient and I am telling you to put your wand away.”
“Your patient?” Ron Weasley blurt out. “You’ve been giving her detentions all year!”
“They were set ups,” Hermione said, looking shocked. “That’s why she only acted like that a few times and it was always around you! You never took off Gryffindor points, you just assigned her detention.” Sometimes Hermione Granger was far too observant. “That’s the only way you two could talk without Professor Moody getting suspicious.” Hermione narrowed her eyes. “You did the same last year too. When you did the lesson on werewolves and at Christmas! Every time you’ve wanted to talk to her you just hand out another detention, don’t you?! You already single out the Gryffindors as it is, no one would think twice about you handing out more detentions.”
Snape glared at Hermione. “How comforting it must be to know that even in your tangled love life you still manage to nose your way into other people’s affairs,” he ridiculed.
“Severus,” Dumbledore warned.
“You gave us both detention,” Fred said with a look of realization on his face. “You sent me to your classroom and had her in your office.”
“Mr. Weasley, please explain what has happened to Miss Lestrange,” Dumbledore said frowning. Of course Fred would tell him everything. He trusted Dumbledore more than he would ever trust Snape.
“Spell the doors and the windows.” Snape wasn’t about to risk anyone else finding out about this.
“It is necessary,” Snape curtly told the Headmaster.
Dumbledore locked the doors and spelled all of the windows, making sure that no one would overhear. “Go on Mr. Weasley,” he said after he was done.
“Jade told me to watch her. To let her know if she did anything odd.” Dumbledore held up his hand to stop Mrs. Weasley from interrupting. “She’s been worried about today, really worried for a while now. She kept rubbing her left shoulder and shortly after Krum left the maze she kept repeating ‘take the cup.’”
“She knew the –?” Harry blurt out. Dumbledore laid a hand on Harry’s shoulder to silence him.
“Er…well I told her and she…I don’t know. She looked sort of scared and took off. Near the bottom of the stairs she fell. She just went rigid and she would twitch like she was in pain. We were going to take her to see Madam Pomfrey, Sn-Professor Snape got to us first.” Fred paused here, looking unsure. “Keep going?”
“Yes please, Mr. Weasley.”
“Er…Professor Snape made Bill put his wand away. He kept saying ‘no magic,’ then he carried Jade away. He gave both her and his own wand to Hermione. Then checked for broken bones –”
“How did he check without a wand?” Dumbledore asked, making Snape internally cringe.
“By hand. Then she woke up. She seemed like…she was having a fit or something. She wasn’t herself. Professor Snape kept asking her to say her name. Eventually she did. Then she…changed.”
“She said ‘he’s back’ and started laughing like…she was…she wasn’t herself, I know that. He told her to think of me and had me hold her hand. She sort of calmed down. Then Snape said he was closing her mind. She begged him not to. He told her…he said it would make the pain go away but she didn’t want him to do it. She lost consciousness and he told us to stay there and not use magic. Jade would end up in St. Mungo’s if we did.” Snape was about thirty seconds from cursing Fred. Why did he feel the need to recite everything to Dumbledore? “We waited almost two hours for him to come back but he never did, so... well we carried her up here.”
Dumbledore nodded and turned to face Snape. “Severus I am very anxious to hear your side of the story. Especially about closing Miss Lestrange’s mind.”
Snape sent a glare at Fred. This needed to be good. There needed to be an answer to everything or Dumbledore would spot the inconsistencies at once. Snape would have also liked for everyone else to be gone, but doubted Dumbledore would consent to that if Snape asked now. Not to mention the Gryffindors were apt to refuse to leave anyways.
“She was…falling. Drastic action was called for,” Snape said stiffly.
“Falling? Down the stairs?”
“No. Into madness, chaos, insanity. Whatever you wish to call it.”
“Severus, you are being rather vague,” Dumbledore replied, using a warning tone.
“When the Dark Mark burned, she felt it. Through her father.”
“Mr. Weasley, please allow Professor Snape to continue.” Dumbledore sounded…well confused for one thing but also apprehensive.
“I don’t know what Rodolphus did,” Snape confessed. Why in Merlin’s name was he being so honest about this? “He cursed her and linked their minds. The Dark Mark has been…intertwined I fear.”
“How long have you known about this?”
“Over ten years,” Snape grudgingly admitted.
“You knew about this for over a decade and said nothing?” Dumbledore asked sharply.
“There was nothing to say.”
“You should have informed me.” Dumbledore sounded angry, it was nothing less than Snape expected. This just proved that Snape had made the right call. No one could ever know about the connection between him and Jade. They would never understand.
“What would you have done? Removed her from the Malfoys? They would have known it was me who informed you and they would have been suspicious as to what was wrong with her in the first place. Were you going to tell the Ministry? You know what they would have done to her.”
“I would have –”
“What? Would you have watched them drive her into insanity? Mediated as the Wizengamot made her delve so deep into Rodolphus’s mind that she lost touch with reality? Until she couldn’t separate herself from him anymore. The Ministry isn’t like you. They wouldn’t care how far they would have pushed her. They wouldn’t care if she spent the rest of her life in St. Mungo’s. People like Barty Crouch Sr. would have called it justice for what her parents did.”
“I never would have –”
“Nobody cares about a Death Eater’s child when she holds the key to one of the Dark Lord’s top servants’ mind. Even now, can you tell me you aren’t curious just how deep she can go? How much information you can obtain from her?”
“I would never risk her mental state for information,” Dumbledore said heatedly.
“Not everyone’s as honorable as you.”
“We will speak about this later,” Dumbledore said briskly. “How did she know about the cup?” Damn, Snape had hoped revealing the link would have taken Dumbledore so off guard that he wouldn’t have questioned this yet.
“She-she’s been a nervous wreck since Krum told her about Crouch. Things slip in.”
“You know how the Dark Mark works. It connects us all.”
“She can access the other Death Eaters?” Dumbledore asked, sounding slightly alarmed.
“Not like her father. Only when she’s…unbalanced. Or when they are overly...obsessive I believe.”
“Potter with the gillyweed. She didn’t know why she helped. I assume Crouch Jr. was obsessed with having Potter complete the task.”
“Crouch Jr.? Isn’t he dead?”
“As I said before, you are not privy to all the information in the world Miss Granger,” Snape sneered.
“What happens if Miss Lestrange is exposed to magic?” Dumbledore questioned. Here there were a few answers. Snape decided to go with the simple one.
“It agitates her wound –”
“What wound?” Snape turned to glare at Fred for interrupting. “I’ve never seen any wound on her before.”
“You’re not exactly the pinnacle example of observant though, are you?” Snape mocked.
“Severus, where?” Dumbledore demanded before Fred could reply.
“Her left shoulder,” Snape unwillingly divulged.
“I’ve never seen any –”
“Just because you’ve never seen it, does not mean it isn’t there!” Snape shouted at Fred.
“She didn’t want a strapless dress,” Ginny remembered.
“At least one of you has a shred of intelligence,” Snape said angrily.
“What happens if you use magic?” Dumbledore asked again. “How would agitating the wound affect her?” This wasn’t something Snape took lightly. The outcome could be devastating if magic was used excessively. This wasn’t the right place to admit what could happen so Snape said nothing. “Severus?” Dumbledore questioned.
“This is not the appropriate time to discuss this,” Snape muttered, hoping the topic would be dropped.
“What happens?” Fred asked instantly. Snape cast a quick glare at him but couldn’t help feeling a pang of guilt. Jade wouldn’t want Fred to find out like this. This was something only Snape and Jade knew, though Snape was sure Narcissa had guessed long ago what the consequences were. “What happens?” Fred repeated, more firmly this time. Snape could tell that Fred wasn’t about to give up any time soon, the result of being a hard headed Gryffindor.
“She could…loose control of her left arm,” Snape answered. Internally he was fuming, he was too much of a coward to even voice what could also happen.
“You’re holding something back,” Fred said, narrowing his eyes at Snape. Why did he have to be so damn observant now?
“There is poison…from the curse. It could go…the other way.”
“The other way?” Fred asked, confused.
“Her heart is close,” Snape confessed before he could stop himself. “It could go there or it could make its way to her spine and travel up into her brain.”
“Her heart or her brain? What happens if it does that?” Fred questioned in a worried tone. Snape didn’t answer, he didn’t need to. Hermione, being as smart as she was, could clearly guess what would happen if poison reached someone’s heart or brain.
“She dies,” Hermione whispered in a strained voice that nevertheless carried throughout the room.
Fred whipped around to look at Hermione, then immediately turned back around to Snape. Presumably he was waiting for Snape to deny this. Snape’s silence and refusal to make eye contact confirmed Hermione’s assumptions. Fred stood there stunned for a moment then without another word he left the Hospital Wing. George followed quickly after his brother. As the door slammed shut, Dumbledore focused his attention back to Snape.
“She can’t go back there,” Snape interrupted. “She cannot go back to the Malfoys.”
A/N: And now they know about Jade and Rodolphus. And you learn that it’s the other Death Eaters Jade’s connected to as well. Jade doesn’t know about that second part…yet.
Just in case anyone is worrying, Rita Skeeter did not overhear this, so we don’t have to worry about that. But Hermione did manage to catch her later on.
The next chapter we’re going back to Jade, I promise…actually everything else in this story is from Jade. It’s going to get really…different from the normal HP magical world, so be warned.
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