Chapter 22 : Chapter 22
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It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Snape, it was just so bloody gut wrenching for me to be alone at Hogwarts. I finished all of my homework before dinner in an effort to keep myself busy, unfortunately after that I had nothing to do. I isolated myself in my dorm room, thankful I wouldn’t have to worry about any girls barging in because all of my roommates had left for Christmas. Maybe if a million different things hadn’t been running through my head, I would have cared more about the fact that I hadn’t eaten in nearly twenty-four hours.
I laid in bed for hours, unable to fall asleep. This just felt so…wrong. No, no that wasn’t right. It was like…like I’d been waiting for this. A few weeks of anxiety slowly building inside of me only to have this happen. It had been planned. Some Death Eater knew about it and I had picked it up from them. The real question was why. Why attack Mr. Weasley – not kill, just attack? Surely if they had truly wanted him dead there were ways but they only injured him. Not to mention the fact that Harry had witnessed it and alerted the Order immediately. The odds of Harry witnessing a surprise attack, especially on someone he cared so much about, were very low to say the least. But what if it had been meant to unfold that way? Why? There was only one explanation I could think of – Harry.
Dumbledore hadn’t just sent the Weasleys to Grimmauld Place, he’d sent Harry. Of course they would all go visit St. Mungo’s. How easy would it be to set up an ambush there? Everyone would be too concerned with Mr. Weasley’s health to even notice an attack coming. But it wasn’t only at the hospital, every time they stepped out of Grimmauld Place they were unprotected. It was a trap, a set up, a ruse to make Harry vulnerable.
You’re being paranoid.
A little piece of me felt that yes, I was overreacting but I kept remembering how I’d been feeling for weeks. It wasn’t paranoia, I reasoned, it was instinct and I should trust it. Snape wouldn’t though, there was no way he was letting me leave Hogwarts.
Because he knows you’re safe here.
I was safe at Hogwarts. And following Snape’s orders was usually the best idea. But –
They aren’t safe.
Fred wasn’t safe, none of the Weasleys were. And I was useless to protect them when I was hundreds of miles away. It was a horrible feeling, like there was a heavy weight on my chest. I was useless. After so much time and effort I was still that useless eight year old kid who couldn’t do anything to help.
The hours ticked by and the feeling of being utterly powerless grew stronger. The sun had risen by now yet I still wasn’t tired. I needed to do something. I couldn’t stay here doing nothing, not while Merlin knows what was going down in London.
A sudden pop beside me startled me so badly that I nearly fell out of bed. You’d think after spending my life living with house elves I’d have gotten used to them coming and going by now.
“Dobby?” I called out, sitting up in bed.
“Dobby is bringing miss breakfast,” he squeaked. He was holding a large platter of food in one hand, a jug of pumpkin juice in the other.
“I’m not hungry.” Even as I said it, my stomach groaned.
“Miss must eat,” Dobby insisted, stabbing a fork through a sausage and holding it up towards my face.
“I don’t want all th-mmgrf.” While I was talking Dobby had taken the opportunity to stuff the sausage into my mouth. I started choking and Dobby poured a glass of pumpkin juice and forced it into my hands. I managed to chew and sallow as I glared at Dobby. He kept pushing the juice towards me until I drank it. “I don’t need you to feed me,” I told him darkly.
“Dobby is making sure miss is staying well.”
“I think suffocating on breakfast would defeat that goal.” Dobby ignored my comment and pushed some toast into my hands as he took back the empty glass and filled it again. Preferring control over how much I was chewing, I bit into the toast before Dobby could force that into my mouth too. After I finished the slice he handed me back the glass and watched me until I drank it.
“Miss is feeling better?” he asked hesitantly.
“Yes,” I grudgingly admitted after a pause. Some of the fear, anxiety and worry had actually ebbed away. “Thanks,” I muttered, knowing Dobby only wanted to help.
“Dobby is always taking care of miss,” he responded. He patted my leg a few times before stepping back and popping away.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The day was much more manageable than the last. Dobby returned at noon with a bowl of soup then again at dinner with another large platter and a teapot full of hot chocolate. While there was still little else to do besides reading, my worries were not consuming me like they’d done the day before. I stayed in the dormitory though, preferring the solitude.
Being awake for over forty hours finally caught up with me and around one a.m. I passed out from exhaustion. It was a restless sleep, barely lasting four hours. When I woke up I felt completely changed.
Why the hell was I still at Hogwarts?! How could I have wasted two days sitting in this room? They were in danger, everyone at Grimmauld Place was. Fred wasn’t safe, I knew he wasn’t safe. I couldn’t stay here, it wasn’t right. I needed to be in London. That was where I belonged. Something horrible was happening and I was useless here. I was going to convince Snape. Somehow I was going to make him see.
I rose out of bed and changed. Just as I was tying my shoes, Dobby popped in, carrying breakfast.
“Not now, Dobby,” I said dismissively.
“Miss must –”
“Not now.” As I stood up Dobby tried pushing a glass of pumpkin juice into my hands.
“Dobby is trying to help,” he said fearfully.
“I know, Dobby, but not now. I need to see Snape, I can eat later.”
“Miss should have juice at least,” he said firmly, forcing the glass into my hand.
“And I will – later,” I explained, setting the glass down on my nightstand and leaving.
It was early in the morning and the corridors were empty. I didn’t risk walking around freely though, hiding myself with a Disillusionment Charm was a better idea. Using the secret passages I learned over the past couple years, I arrived outside of Snape’s office quite quickly. Honestly it felt like it took Snape more time to answer his door than the journey down here. When he finally opened the door he stood there frowning before I pushed past him, heading into his office.
“Have you slept at all?” he asked as he spelled the door.
“I need to go to London,” I stated bluntly. He let out a sigh and sat behind his desk.
“You should eat some breakfast –”
“I need to go to London,” I repeated.
“You want to go to London. There is a very big difference between the two. We’ve already had this discussion.”
“You didn’t even listen to me –”
“My answer has not changed, if anything there is less of a reason for you to go because Mr. Weasley is going to be fine.”
A spark of rage shot through me. I squashed it down and tried to remain calm so I could persuade Snape. “I disagree with you,” I said slowly. Snape watched me for a minute before responding.
“That may be, however it does not change the fact that you are where you ought to be.”
Now he was purposely irritating me. Didn’t he understand the danger they were in? Didn’t he care that something horribly wrong was being planned? Well I suppose no he didn’t because he’d never given me a chance to tell him what I suspected.
“Something’s happening,” I started. “There’s a plan behind this –”
“Which is?” he asked sharply, almost like he believed me.
“I–I don’t know,” I admitted. “But there’s something.” He looked less convinced now. “I know something is happening!”
“You’re letting your fear and emotions cloud your judgment,” There was a sudden popping noise. The jar closest to me on Snape’s shelves had a deep crack around it and was now leaking. Snape let out another sigh and reached into one of his desk drawers. He placed a vial of his mood altering potion in front of me and waited for me to take it. I didn’t. And I had no intention to ever use it again.
“I need to go to London,” I said once again, using a forcefully calm voice.
“And I am telling you no. You’re being paranoid. You haven’t eaten, you look like you’ve barely slept and you are letting your imagination run wild –” There was another popping noise and the jar was now covered in so many cracks it looked like it would shatter any moment. “It is not necessary for you to withhold your emotions so much,” Snape criticized. The next second all of his jars shattered yet I still felt livid. “Better?” he asked brusquely. If only it had been you. “Now that you’ve gotten that off your chest…” He nudged the vial closer to me but I wasn’t going to take it. Not now, not ever.
“I’m going to London,” I informed him, standing.
“No, you are not,” he said firmly.
“I need to be there –”
“Lie to yourself all you want, but do not lie to me,” Snape said angrily. “You’ve convinced yourself its necessary because you need an excuse to deal with the rational part of your brain that knows this is foolish and rash.”
“You don’t have a clue –”
“You only want to be there for him,” Snape cut in. “Not because you need to be, not because of his father, but because of him. Whether you believe he needs you or you need him doesn’t matter because it is not happening. You’ve created this sinister plot in your head to justify everything and I am telling you, you are wrong. Surely you can manage a couple of weeks away from Weasley. If not then the problem is more deeply rooted than your desire to spend Christmas in London,” he said brutally.
He doesn’t care. As long as he’s in control he’ll do as he pleases. He’ll never let you leave this castle. He doesn’t care that Fred is in danger.
Instead of hitting Snape like I desperately wanted to, I turned and walked to the door. It was locked and wouldn’t budge.
“Open the door,” I demanded coldly.
“Take the potion,” he ordered. “Then try and get a few hours of sleep. After that we can –”
I mustered all of my strength and slammed my right shoulder against the door. It burst open and slammed loudly against the dungeon wall. I left Snape sitting there with a shocked look on his face as I marched back to Gryffindor tower feeling furious.
A/N: Let’s pick sides – Jade or Snape, who do you agree with?
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