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Chapter 18 : I saw what I saw
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I didn’t actually think morning would come, that the sun would actually rise. Not with what we would all be facing today, surely not.
But Mimi was waking everyone up, as usual, like this was a normal day. But this wasn’t a normal day, and I wasn’t going to breakfast. Not in a million years.
“Jem, get up,” said Mimi, pulling my hangings back allowing the bright morning sun to blind me. How could it be sunny on a day like this? A day where all my dignity was gone, where boys like the marauders had all the power. They had everything. Where did that leave us? I might as well move to another country, I could use magic to help the poor in India. Yes, that’s it. I’m leavi-
“Jem, the bathrooms free,” said Lily, walking across the room with the shoulders hunched over. I know she’s thinking about how horrific today is going to be. I feel embarrassment growing in the pit of my stomach just thinking about their smug faces across the classroom. I should just wear a paper bag over my head, that way no one could see my embarrassed face and I wouldn’t have to look at any smirks. None at all.
“Jem?” called Lola carefully. “you alright?”
“Yeah,” I said, bolting upright. “just thinking about today.”
“Me too,” admitted Lola, “It’s going to be horrible, isn’t it?”
I nodded, unable to say anything else. I felt a bit sick.
“I don’t think I can face breakfast,” said Lily, packing her bag with books she would need for her first two lessons.
“Neither,” I said, going over to the bathroom. “I think it would be ok if we ditch classes today and see if they cool down, tomorrow.”
Lily looked up outraged, “We cant! Exams aren’t that far away, only around three months. That’s not very long, Jem, we can’t afford to miss lessons.”
“Alright, it was just a suggestion,” I said, closing the bathroom door.
I sighed, looking into the bathroom mirror. Maybe if I use lots of make-up and make myself look like someone else, they won’t direct their abuse at me. I could make myself look like Michelle Huffingbird in Ravenclaw, she uses about 17 layers of foundation. No one would know it was me.
This is ridiculous.
How did they even get up here? I thought angrily.
I could hear Lily and Mimi contemplating to what extent their teasing will go.
I ‘d say.
As I walked out of the bathroom, I had made up my mind.
“I’m not going down to breakfast, they won’t be able to make jokes to us in lessons because all the teachers have gotten stricter with talking in lessons, at break and lunch I say we just run up here or to the kitchens.” I looked around.
“I agree,” said Lily, looking relieved she wouldn’t have to go down to breakfast.
“Right well, we’ll see what happens in Transfiguration then,” said Mimi, lying back down on her bed.
Right, this was it. We had to face them sometime, and that time was now.
“I wanna go back,” I said, turning around and attempting to run down the corridor. Mimi just grabbed me effortlessly round the arm and opened the door to the classroom.
“Sorry we’re late, professor,” she said easily and trooped in taking her place next to Remus.
I hesitated, not looking up. I could already feel myself going red, I couldn’t look at him.
Don’t look up; miraculously I made my way to my seat and sat down.
“Well, I think we’re doing OK so far,” whispered Lily, moving her chair closer to me and away from James.
“Don’t get excited, it’s only just begun,” I said sourly, dipping my quill in my ink and began copying down what McGonagall had written on the board.
She was talking about revision techniques for Transfiguration, how to get through all the topics, and remember definitions. Before, she could continue she was interrupted by one James Potter, waving his hand in the air.
“Well, for the topics would a checklist be of any use?” he asked.
That boy is too fucking irritating for words.
I looked at Lily and she just shook her head.
“Well, yes. I would say a checklist would be a good way-” but before McGonagall could finish, James was speaking again.
“Yeah, so once you’ve gotten the topic, or done it, then you just tick it off on the checklist,” he said. Next to him, Sirius was doubled over in silent hysterical laughter, tears streaming down his face.
What a git.
I glanced a look behind me and saw that Remus was trying not to laugh while Mimi was shooting him glares and Peter looking sheepish.
“I’m glad you know how to use a checklist, Potter,” said McGonagall sharply.
“Well I’m not an expert, I expect that Lily’s quite good at checklists.” At this point, all the marauders couldn’t contain laughter anymore and burst out in uncontrollable fits of laughter. I could almost hear Peter’s snorts vibrating off the walls.
I just dipped my head lower and avoided any eye contact.
“That is quite enough! 10 points from Gryffindor, get yourself together,” snapped McGonagall returning to the board.
This day was more unbearable than I first imagined. I thought that if they said it all to our faces it would be horrible, but it’s not. I would rather them just say it to my face than ask questions in class which have hidden meanings. This has been going on all day and the teachers and pupils alike are getting suspicious.
We didn’t continue with my plan of running to our dorm at break and lunch because they would just make it worse in class. We thought we’d go for lunch and take the worst of it then.
“Hello ladies,” said James as he sat down at the table for lunch.
“How are you this wonderful day?” asked Sirius, reaching over for some casserole.
I rolled my eyes as Remus sat down saying nothing, but he had a smug look on his face which quickly slipped off when Mimi moved away from him when he tried to kiss her.
“Why so quiet?” piped up Peter.
A few moments passed with a noise of cutlery and chewing.
“On a serious note, though,” said James, “how did you get your dorm that big?”
“It’s like three times the size of ours,” said Remus, intrigued.
“Remus, you helped me with the spells,” snapped Mimi.
Remus narrowed his eyes, “that’s why you didn’t tell me!”
“Of course,” she said, rolling her eyes.
“It looks really good, though,” said Sirius.
After lunch, we all had Defence against the Dark Arts, so we were walking out of the Great Hall and up the marble staircase.
We were all chatting normally thinking the worst of it was over and we could all just be back to the way we were. We were mistaken.
“Lola, I would like to say that drawing you did was a work of art,” said Sirius, winking at James.
James grinned and said, “Lovely perception of the future, don’t you think Moony?”
“It was a very good drawing,” he said in an even voice.
“I knew we should have taken it down,” groaned Lola, “but Lily didn’t want to ruin the walls.”
“What’s this?” sneered a voice behind us, we all whipped around.
Snape and his Slytherin cronies.
“Sounds like a little bit of rule breaking has been going on in the oh so famous Marauder-Gigi group,” said Avery bitterly.
“No there hasn’t,” said Mimi, glaring at them, “leave us alone.”
Nott laughed, “Did you hear that? She wants us to leave them alone.”
“If Professor McGonagall hears that you’ve been up to the girls dorm, you might be expelled or banned from Quidditch maybe?” said Snape, excitedly.
“Don’t get so excited Snape,” said James, lazily getting his wand out.
“Use your time to wipe your nose, the grease is dripping off, Snivellus,” said Sirius, pointing his wand at him, “or do you want me to clean your nose for you?”
“How did you get up there anyway?” demanded Mulciber, standing behind Snape, both pointing their wands at Sirius.
“That’s the problem with these filthy Slytherins,” said James to Remus as if they weren’t there. “They never know when to keep their greasy noses out of other people’s business.”
“Let’s just go,” said Lily, pulling on James’ arm to lead him away.
Snape’s eyes lingered on Lily’s hand on James’ arm for a few moments before Avery had decided enough was enough.
He aimed a hex at Sirius but missed by inches.
I was not putting up with this. This was already a horrible day and I wasn’t about to go to the hospital wing for getting caught in a crossfire.
I cast a shield charm between the two groups , we had learnt them only a few months ago and I had gotten really good at them.
The Slytherins were attempting to break it with a variety of spells but if they broke it, we didn’t know. We were already in the Gryffindor common room.
“Well, that was fun,” commented Sirius as he fell back onto the sofa.
“Anyway, there’s more urgent things to discuss,” said James.
“Like what,” asked Lola, narrowing her eyes.
“Like when you guys are ganna jump into the lake,” said Peter, laughing.
“Oh god,” I said.
Sirius smirked, “Let’s give you time to prepare.”
“I’d say on Saturday? That way everyone will be out on the grounds seeing as it’s getting sunny,” said James.
“This isn’t fair,” said Lily, frowning, “I don’t want to do it in front of everyone.”
“Tough luck, love,” said James, a smug look creeping its way onto his face.
“I’ve got runes,” said Lily, jumping up, “and if you call me love again, James, I will not hesitate to hex to into next year.”
Remus, Mimi and Lola got up to go with her.
James didn’t look phased by Lily’s threat because he shouted “What about the checklist though, love?”
I walked across the room to the desk, I was thinking of writing to mum.
“Where’s Mimi?” asked Lola, entering the dorm looking flushed.
“With Remus,” said Lily, slumped in one of the reading chairs, not looking up from her book. She’s recently taken an interest on doing background reading on the dark arts.
“She said she was going to be here!” exclaimed Lola.
“Well she’s taken him to the hospital, full moon’s tomorrow but Remus was feeling a little more poorly than he should do,” said Lily. “What’s the rush to speak to her?”
“Well...I...” stammered Lola.
“What’s going on?” I asked, suspiciously.
“Well, it’s a bit embarrassing actually,” said Lola, sitting on her bed.
“Oh come on, we won’t tease,” I said, eagerly.
Lola raised her eyebrows at me.
“Ok, only a little but that’s the best you’re ganna get,” I said, smiling.
Lola giggled, “Well, Carter and I actually were in his dorm and we--”
“You did it?” exclaimed Lily, wide-eyed.
“No!” Lola practically yelled. “No, gosh no Lily. We just, you know, talked about it. It was so awkward and well we were talking about us...” she cut off.
“What about you?” I asked.
“Like, if we were really serious because I haven’t told him I love him yet and--”
“Well, do you?” asked Lily.
“I don’t know, that’s what we were talking about. It was confusing, actually,” she said, blushing.
“At least he’s willing to have that talk with you. You wouldn’t be able to say the same for most boys,” I said.
“I guess so,” said Lola, getting out a book from her draw, “I think we decided that it was too soon, for anything really. I was quite happy actually.”
I turned back to my blank piece of parchment thinking about what to write to mum when Mimi bounded in.
She was really out of breath as though she had run all the way from the hospital wing to our dorm.
Lola got up and led Mimi over to a reading chair, conjuring up a glass of water for her. Mimi promptly drained the glass then shot back up, looking round at us.
“What’s up Mims?” asked Lily.
“I was at the hospital wing with Remus and we were talking about his transformations,” she said quickly, “and he was talking about how it was really hard and stuff until like last year when the boys turned into animagus and helped him through it.”
“Yeah,” said Lola, slowly as if trying to figure out why that made Mimi run all the way here.
“Well, it clicked,” she said, tucking her hair behind her ears vigorously. “They’re animagi!”
“Um, Mimi we’ve known that for quite a while now,” I said, frowning.
“I know,” she said impatiently. “But don’t you get it? They’re animagi and animals can get up here!”
“The stairs don’t care if the animals are male or female!” exclaimed Lily, slapping her hand to her forehead. “How did this escape me? How did I not realise?”
Mimi was shaking her head, “It was so obvious, none of us even realised.”
“It’s quite ingenious, really,” I said, looking back at my unwritten letter to my mum.
“Yeah, but they’re genious minds have gotten us to jump in the lake!” said Lola, throwing her hands up in the air.
“Well, it won’t be that bad,” said Mimi. “What it won’t!” she added, taking in all our glares.
“It’s getting warmer, at least,” said Lola.
“Which means summer is approaching,” commented Lily and added when realising all our confused stares. “Exams! They’re approaching too!”
I just rolled my eyes, “Not for another at least 3 and a half months Lils.”
I was Jemini Lander. I had dignity, class and though open to interpretation, brains.
So why is it, that on this fine Saturday afternoon, I am standing beside the lake in a bikini about to jump into the Black Lake?
Please tell me this is some kind of dream? Or nightmare.
It’s not like it was a few people, it was a lot of people. Somehow the word had gotten out, no doubt James and Sirius had something to do with it, and everyone had thought today would be a good day to sit out on the school grounds, with a good view of the lake.
“I may as well enrol in a muggle school now,” I said to Lily.
“Right, let’s just do it,” said Mimi, “Just jump in!”
I dipped my toe in, it was a lot colder that day I was pushed in. Fuck this, I didn’t sign up for this.
But a voice at the back of my head said, yes, you did. You even shook on it.
“I say on the count of 3,” said Lola.
I chanced a look up where all the marauders were sitting, James with a camera. The slut bag.
“1,” I heard Mimi, count.
I accidently caught Sirius’ eye, and as awkward as it was, I couldn’t look away.
“2,” said Lily.
I could feel those grey eyes burning into mine even from across the lake.
“3,” said Lola before jumping straight into the lake.
I couldn’t do it. I’m the only one who hasn’t jumped. I look like a fucking twat but I can’t stop looking at Sirius.
He doesn’t have a smirk, he doesn’t have any emotion on his face, he’s just staring, but he’s really distant, as if he’s thinking about something. I’d give anything to know what it was.
I can hear the distant sounds of “Jump!”, “Do it!”
But I could only see Sirius.
And I plunged into the dark, cold lake.
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