Chapter 8 : The Day After
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My eyes flickered open lazily. It was a Saturday morning, 9 o’ clock by the looks of the pocket watch I usually kept by my bedside. I was feeling particularly rested for someone who had been up all until one in the morning worrying. I had been terribly nervous that Wilkes had figured everything out, and that I would be expelled or something. It was completely unfounded of course. We had done everything possible to cover our tracks. It was unreasonable to even consider that anyone, other than maybe Lucy, would even think it was us.
Thinking of Lucy, I rolled over so that I was facing her bed. To my dismay, she wasn’t there. She had probably gotten up early to avoid me. We hadn’t talked since I had told her about the prank the other day. I frowned. We rarely ever went through these ‘not talking’ periods, and neither of us were really used to making do without the other.
Realizing that I should probably get started with my day, I swung my feet over the side of the bed and started to get ready for my day. As it was a Saturday, I didn’t really have anything on the schedule. Usually, I would spend the day just sort of hanging out with Lucy, but we weren’t talking at the moment.
I didn’t bother doing myself up to much that morning, mostly because I was just not in the mood for it. It wasn’t like I was going to be seeing anyone special or anything. Thus I just slipped on my worn down leisure robes and a black and green Slytherin jumper, and headed down the steps to the common room.
I wasn’t prepared in the slightest for what was waiting for me down there. The common room was abnormally populated for a Saturday morning. Typically, people would be scattered across the castle going about their business, maybe eating lunch. Instead though, it was as if everyone had gathered here in the common room. Well, I may be exaggerating slightly. Neither Wilkes, nor Lucy seemed to be around, and it seemed like a lot of the younger Slytherins were out. Still though, it was a lot of people.
Obviously something was up. By the time I reached the bottom of the stairs, I started noticing some more oddities. For one, everyone seemed to be talking. No one was playing chess, exploding snaps, or gobstones. Furthermore, whatever people were talking about, they seemed to be having some mixed reactions about it. Half the room was wearing a grimace, while another fourth seemed perplexed. Then there was Rabastan and company who looked like they were ready to commit murder.
Rabastan himself had his arms crossed and jaw clenched. His dark eye brows seemed taut as his eyes moved from face to face around the room slightly narrowed. That made me extremely curious; it was rare that he really ever seemed serious.
I never had that many friends when I was at school. It was pretty much just Lucy and Wilkes, while I was dating him. Without Lucy there, I didn’t have anyone to interrogate about this. There was only one logical thing to do then. Thus I marched straight over to Rabastan to ask him what was going on.
“What’s up Rabastan,” I asked cheerily.
His black eyes settled on me, “Haven’t heard yet?” he inquired dead serious.
I shook my head.
“The Gryffindors got into our dorm. They got Wilkes bad,” he grunted out his muscles tensing.
“What’d they do to him?” I asked carefully. Of course I knew exactly what had happened, but I needed to know what he knew. If I ran into someone else later and let on that I knew more than I should, I’d be caught.
“They put something in his robes, it made them smell like the sewer. That’s not important though,” Rabastan said. Clearly, he didn’t care at all that Wilkes had gotten pranked. In fact, if something else wasn’t bugging him, I bet he’d find Wilkes’ discomfort hilarious. The entire Death Eater gang never liked my ex much.
“Ok so then who cares?” I prompted him trying to get more information.
“They got into our dorm. They have the password,” Rabastan said as if it was obvious.
Understanding flooded through me. Obviously, they didn’t know about my half of the job. That left a huge mystery about how exactly they had gotten in here. I put on an upset face.
“How’d they get in then?” I said out loud.
“Someone must have helped them,” Rabastan said his expression darkening significantly. His eyes seemed to be examining me carefully as if he were trying to calculate my reaction. I thought it best not to use my voice then. It was doubtful that I would sound concerned enough to satisfy him, so I just sort of frowned.
“I don’t like traitors Yaxley,” Rabastan said after a minute. “When I find out who let them in, I’m going to have their head on a stick.”
I shifted uncomfortably under his gaze. What was he getting at?
“You don’t know anything about this do you?” he finally asked flatly.
“Why would I?” I defended myself trying to look dumb.
“I hear you’ve been defending Pettigrew a bit,” Rabastan answered. Bradford must have informed him that I rescued Peter that day at Hogsmede. It didn’t look like he was all that happy about it.
“Well isn’t that your fault?” I responded.
“What?” Rabastan asked not prepared for me turning this on him.
“You were the one who told me to convert him. You know Rosier petrifying him every time he gets left alone isn’t helping my case all that much,” I informed him.
Suddenly, Rabastan’s face broke out in this wide slightly sadistic grin. “You’re still on that then?” he inquired.
“I don’t give up, Lestrange,” I said. Then I decided to take it a step further. “And I think I’m making some progress.”
“Are you?” he said looking mildly impressed, but at the same time amused. “Hey Bradford, Yaxley says she’s making some progress,” Rabatan called to his closest crony
The burly hic-up-like laughter that bubbled out of Rosier was absolutely infuriating. “ ‘s that why Pettigrew is out there being all chummy with his buds?” Bradford said between fits of laughter. “He’s about as close to swapping sides as I am.”
I grimaced, “I’m getting there I muttered.”
“Getting there?” Bradford boomed. “Getting there my arse!” The two of them looked like they were ready to collapse they were laughing so hard.
“Thanks a lot Yaxley. I needed a good laugh with all the stuff that’s going on,” Rabastan said grinning wildly as he smoothed his black hair back.
I gritted my teeth together. “I’m not kidding,” I muttered. They didn’t hear me though, both of them were too wrapped up in themselves. Well, I didn’t feel like hanging around them anymore. It was putting me in a bad mood, and when I was in a bad mood I had a tendency to raise my voice and set people on fire and such. I was sort of hoping to avoid that on my Saturday.
I turned from them not bothering to say any form of farewell. They weren’t going to miss me. Once out of the common room, it felt like a normal week end. The Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws didn’t really care what the heck the Gryffindors had done. It was really just us that were upset about anything.
By the time I had gotten to the Great Hall for breakfast, I had sort of calmed down a bit from my talk with Rabastan. Not that I had gotten all that riled up or anything earlier. It was simply more pleasant to be away from all of the Death Eaters and such.
When I got to the Great Hall the commotion started again. Only this time, instead of it being a sea of Slytherin, there was a sea of Gryffindor. All of them seemed to be clustered around the near end of their table. Upon closer examination, I saw that they were surrounding Peter, James, and Sirius. Although it looked like all of the attention was on Peter and Peter alone. His two friends had their arms draped around him, each beaming with pride. Peter was speaking, his expression somewhat giddy. His eyes seemed to be moving eight hundred miles per hour as he tried to memorize each and every face that was watching him. From the looks of it, he was drinking up the attention.
When I walked into the hall he spotted me immediately. I smiled and raised one of my eyebrows at him as I glanced around his crowd of admirers. He just grinned wildly back, clearly quite proud of himself. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like I was going to get a chance to talk to him with all these people around and such. It didn’t matter much though. From the look on his face, he wanted to talk with me too, and as long as he wanted to talk, it would happen eventually.
Peter’s attention diverted away from me after a moment, and I changed my gaze over to the Slytherin table. I was scanning around for someone else. To my luck, I caught sight of the back of her blonde messy pony tail easily. She was sitting where we usually sat, towards the upper middle end of the table.
Taking a deep breath, I walked cautiously over to her. “Hey Lucy,” I said as I slipped into the seat across from her.
Her blue eyes flicked up to me and then resettled back on her plate of food. “Aly,” she said acknowledging my presence.
“So what’s up?” I asked trying very hard to start conversation.
“Nothing,” she muttered shoving a forkful of pancakes into her mouth.
“Had any luck with Cresswell yet?” I inquired. Lucy’s petite shoulders rose and fell in a half-hearted shrug. “Come on, you haven’t given me the update in two weeks. You must have at least talked with him since then.”
Silence. Suddenly, I felt like I was suffocating. Just for a second, I thought she wasn’t going to forgive me, and just the thought of it crushed me. I needed my best friend back. This constant arguing had to stop, now. It was my last year at Hogwarts, and no matter what was going on outside those walls, the reality remained that I wasn’t out there yet, and as long as I wasn’t, Lucy had to be by my side.
“Listen Lucy I’m really sorry,” I said honestly. “But what’s done is done. We didn’t do anything too bad. They don’t even actually know the password or anything. It was just a onetime thing.”
I held my breath as I waited for her to respond. She seemed to be deep in thought as she was chewing on her lower lip.
“I talked with him the other day,” she said still avoiding eye contact. I guess she didn’t want to talk about the prank, but I was fine with that. I knew she didn’t approve, and she knew that there was no changing things now. We just needed to move on.
“I think he might be getting the message finally, but he still hasn’t asked me out,” she continued
I held back a smile, this was progress. “Yeah, well maybe he’ll ask you out to Hogsmede before winter break,” I said.
She shrugged. Something was still off with her, like she was talking to me, but still hadn’t really forgiven me. “I don’t know,” she said. I frowned, she looked positively depressed.
“I could talk to him if you want,” I offered. “If you think he likes you, and I told him that you like him and that he should ask you out. He might do it.”
She finally looked me in the eye, a small smile creeping onto her face. “You’d do that?” she asked, her tone filled with excitement.
I nodded, and her face abruptly burst into the widest grin. I had never agreed to play match maker for her before. I didn’t see the point when she seemed to be doing well enough on her own. My offer had meant the world to her, and I knew it.
“I’ll do it right now if you want me to,” I said.
“You don’t have to do it right now,” she told me. “Then I’d have to eat my lunch all alone. It’s been really boring, you know, without you to talk to. I mean, it has only been like a day, but I had to eat with Jessica. She wouldn’t get it if I told her anything important. Did you hear what she’s been saying about Florence? I don’t even want to know what she’d have said if I told her I like Dirk Cresswell…”
Lucy kept talking for the remainder of breakfast, and continued on throughout the rest of the day. I didn’t mind though. For a moment there, I had thought I was going to lose my best friend, and I wasn’t ready for that yet.
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