Chapter 7 : Chapter 7: Arguments, Quidditch (or lack of), letters and the truth
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After the Hogsmeade issue, Black and I hated each other more than ever. We never spoke and if we did it was just to yell or scream insults/curses at each other (many were to do with each others family, both sore spots). Our behaviour had gone out of control in each others company, about 12 detentions a fortnight. This fortnight my bag had split 5 times; my potions had exploded 3 times; I'd been cursed 8 times; my ink pots had exploded 9 times and I'd been to the hospital wing 10 times. Half the times was broken bones due to Quidditch training. I was coming from the hospital wing, a broken arm and 2 broken ribs due to a beater club that 'just slipped out of my hand' according to Black.
"Willow! How's your arm and your ribs?" James asked me as I rounded the corner, seeing him, Lily and Black talking. Lily and James had remained neutral in our fights, hanging out with either one of us or — when we're annoying — with each other.
"My arms fine, my ribs are still sore though. They're fixed, with lots of huffing by Madame Pomfrey, but ache." I replied, glaring at Black.
"Damn." Black muttered, returning the glare.
"Get stuffed Black, I really cannot be bothered right now." I snapped.
"Stop!" James yelled, before another argument could take place. "I need to talk to you both about Quidditch, and our team." He said, looking at the floor now.
"What about it?" I asked curiously. Apart from the Quidditch 'accidents' our team was great.
"You two. It's messing up our practice and you'll end up either hurting another team-mate or killing each other, that's when your at practice and not in detention, and will ruin our performance against the other houses. So, I'm really sorry, but until you two sort it out then you're off the team." I stared at him in shock. I was off the team? Quidditch was the only thing keeping me sane!
"What? You can't do that!" Black protested, staring at James with a hurt/shocked expression.
"I'm sorry, but I have." James turned away and started walking down the corridor with Lily next to him, they'd become close recently. He then turned back briefly. "If you want to come back on the team then become at least civil."
When he left the corridor and blinked a few times in shock before finding myself flattened against a wall with a wand pointed at my throat. How familiar. I flinched as pain shot through my ribs when I hit the wall.
"This is all your fault Rosen." Black spat at me, fuming.
"My fault? If you weren't attacking me and breaking my bones all the time then I wouldn't hate you nearly as much!" I yelled at him. Which is true, he's caused many broken bones in my body. My arms; 5 ribs; an ankle; and dislocated my shoulder, almost all by Quidditch. In returned I'd broken his arms; 3 ribs and sprained his ankle and wrist.
Black winced slightly, taking me by surprise. I took advantage of his discomfort and slammed my knee up, while he was in pain I ran off down the corridor.
I kept running until I reached the Fat Lady, glaring at me disapprovingly. I gasped the password and she opened the portrait. I staggered through the hole, my head swimming from the pain of running that much - my ribs felt on fire.
"Willow!" Lily cried running over to me and ducking her head under my arm, supporting me. I was still gasping and trying to blink away the dizziness. "What happened?"
"Running… Ribs…" I managed to say as Lily lead me towards the sofa. I sat down and put my heads between my knees, trying to get rid of the nausea.
"Oh." Lily said as she realised what I meant. A while later I was fine again, when I was James noticed and asked me what happened.
"You left then Black pinned me against the wall with his wand at my throat, I yelled at him and distracted him before kneeing him hard. When he was in pain I ran here." I told him brightly. James sniggered and Lily tutted disapprovingly.
"There were more civil ways of leaving you know." She told me sternly. "Oh, a letter arrived for you in your dorm. Here." She handed me an envelope with my name written on it in formal writing.
"Remus, can we want to go to the kitchens? I'm hungry." James asked Remus in a slightly whiney voice. Remus nodded, and they left the common room.
Five minutes later Black entered the common room, frowning. He saw me and scowled, probably matching my expression.
"You two need to sort it out." Lily hissed in my ear, before getting up and going to our dorm. I glared at the back of her head as she left, so did Black.
He sighed, then sat down on the opposite side of the sofa, as far away from me as he could sat down. I responded with a glare before opening the letter. I read the first two lines and froze, my blood running cold.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Willow tense up and her eyes widen, I glanced up at her confused. I saw her hands start to shake, the letter trembling in her hands and her face drain of colour. I blinked worriedly at her, the only time I'd seen her react like this was by the lake. And that terrified me.
"Willow?" I asked gently. She twisted her head and gave me a half-hearted glare, clearly not wanting me to get involved. So naturally I did.
I leant forwards and tugged the letter from her hand, ignoring her scream of protest, and started to read it.
Miss W Rosen,
It's with my regrets to inform you that the case of your parents death…
Before I could read any further the letter was snatched from my hand, looking up I saw Willow stood over me furiously. The letter in her still shaking hands.
"How much did you read?" She asked me, attempting to be intimidating. It would've worked except her voice cracked at the end of her question.
"Nothing." I replied, my head swimming. Her parents death? Those two words were pounding in my head, which was aching as it tried to piece it together.
"Liar." She told before spinning around and running out of the common room, not quickly enough to hide the tears falling down her face.
After she left, I stayed seated numbly. Her parents died? Oh god, I never knew. No wonder her reaction to my comments. Oh god….
"Go after her." Lily told her, I twisted around and stared at her. She was stood at the top of the stairs looking worried. I nodded and sprinted after her, pulling the map out of my pocket as I ran.
I eventually found her in the astronomy tower, curled up in a ball sobbing quietly to herself. The sight of her so upset and broken made part of me ache inside, I had no idea what to do.
"Um, Willow?" I murmured and sat down next to her, when I was properly sat down she leant into me still sobbing. I wrapped my arm around and rubbed comforting circles in her back, I figured this was the best thing to do.
"God I'm sorry." After I don't know how long she sat up and tried to dry her eyes.
"Don't be, it's ok to cry." I told her, staring at her worriedly and expecting her to burst into tears again.
"You don't." She pointed out, sniffling. I smiled to myself, even like this she was able to pick arguments with me.
"But I punch walls, you way of letting out emotions is much better."
"True." She laughed slightly, but a flicker of guilt flashed across her face.
"You parents drowned didn't they?" I asked her gently. She froze and stared at me, looking scared. "I won't tell anyone." I quickly assured her.
She lowered her head. "Yeah, how did you know?"
"I saw the letter and linked it to you phobia." I said, worried about her reaction.
"I guess I underestimated you, sorry." She paused and looked back up at me. "For everything."
"It's my fault, I shouldn't have insulted them." I told her, and really meaning it. I felt really bad for what I said to her all those times. Even worse than when I almost killed Snape and revealed Moony's secret, and that scared me. I was supposed to hate her right?
"It happened when I was seven." She began, still locking eyes with me. When I realised what she was talking about I cut across her.
"You don't have to tell me."
"I know, but I want to. I never exactly talk about it. They tried to send me to a therapist but I refused to say anything and sulked, so they gave up." She smiled and a ghost of her old cocky self reappeared briefly. "When I was seven, me, my mum and my dad were going to read the will of my grandma who died a month beforehand. It was in December, so the roads were icy anyway. The brakes messed up, wouldn't work and we crashed into a lake. I was small enough to wriggle through a broken window gap and get out, almost died of hypothermia though. I also got a scar from it." She pulled up her shirt and there was a jagged line down the side of her stomach, faded but still noticeable. I flinched away, the image of a smaller version of her crawling of a car and blood pouring out of the side of her. "As you know, my parents didn't make it. I suffer trauma from it, whenever I see a large pool of water I'm hit by flashbacks of it. It's getting better but it's still bad." I winced at the raw sound of pain in her voice, seeing a completely different side of Willow.
"Oh my god Willow…" I trailed off, unsure of what to say.
"Speechless?" Her lips tugged upwards in a small smirk. "Never seen that."
"How do you cope?" I asked her, I didn't think I'd be able to lose people I cared about.
"Who said anything about coping?" She replied grimly. I paused for a while, digesting what she told me unhappily. All these years and I'd never realised how much she went through.
"Um, Willow?" I asked her nervously, not wanted to upset her or anger her.
"If this is some question to do with my parents, shoot. I won't be annoyed with you."
"Um, ok. What was in the letter?"
Instead of getting angry or upset like I'd though, Willow just sighed and pulled the crumbled letter from her pocket and straightened it out. She then cleared her throat and began to read.
"Miss W Rosen,
It's with my regrets to inform you that the case of your parents death has been re-opened due to a request and new evidence coming to light.
As you know, we placed the death down to a tragic accident. Now, however, it appears the brakes of your parents car were tampered with, causing the car to career off the road.
We would appreciate it if you came to the Ministry of Magic Law Department on Thursday 18th December to give your witness report again. We understand this must be hard for you to recount…" Willow snorted slightly. "But your report will help to discover the truth of your parents accident.
Blah, blah, blah." Willow re-crumpled the letter and shoved it back in her pocket, scowling at it.
"They're asking you to recount it?" I asked incredulously, how insensitive could they be?
"Yeah, it get's worse though…" She muttered.
"The date." She said, watching me to see the realisation set in.
"What about….. Oh…. It's the same date?" I asked, returning her stare.
"Yep." She muttered, eyes brimming with tears again. The sight of her hurting so much ached inside, but I didn't know why. I mean, at the best of times we were friends, but that's been it. Thinking about this, I remembered when James told us after Snape called Lily a you-know-what how much it hurt him being unable to help her. But, that can't be right here… James loves Lily and I don't really like Willow that much. Unless…
A/N: *gasp* He knows the truth! What do you think? I figured it would be easier to have it in his point of view as Willow wouldn't be in the best state of mind for much detail. And I could also have the realisation of his feelings in it! Thanks to Dumuh specifically, who's reviewed almost every chapter :) But also thanks to everyone who has reviewed this story, it means a lot.
I'll be nice here and give you the title for the next chapter, which will give you a clue of what happens: Chapter 8: Seats, curses and Truth or Dare (part one).
So I say this again: Please review!
Oh, one more thing: I'm sorry it took a while to update (two/three weeks?)! I can only access the internet at weekends, so I'll add a chapter to the queue hopefully once a week.
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