Chapter 4 : Chapter IV.
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All was silent as Smith slowly turned red.
I took a step back, horrified at what I had just done. That wasn’t right, I shouldn’t have slapped him.
But dammit, that gave me so much satisfaction.
Hearing the crack resonate through the empty hall? Better than I could have imagined.
He rubbed his cheek slowly and Tier was staring at me incredulously. “Who the fuck do you think you are?!” he said dangerously.
I was horrified but as soon as he said that, I was furious again. How dare he talk to me like that?!
“You don’t know me?! The girl you’ve tormented for seven years?! How can you not know me?! Are you kidding me?!” I spat.
They stumbled backwards as I advanced on them. “You’ve had no reason to pick on me and you don’t even know my name! So what’s the point in you making fun of me?! Is it just funny for you when I cry?!”
They opened their mouths like a goldfish and I screamed hysterically, “WHY DID YOU EVEN DO IT YOU PATHETIC BASTARDS?! DO YOU GET A KICK OUT OF ME FEELING LIKE UTTER SHIT?! DO YOU?!”
I felt tears spring to my eyes except this time they were tears of anger. I wiped them away impatiently. “You know, you’ve made me feel like crap for my WHOLE school life?! Everyone in the whole bloody school picked on me because of you! And you’ve no fucking reason to do anything to me! Do you wanna tell me why you were such arseholes to me?! DO YOU?!” I shrieked.
Smith stuttered and Tier ran away. “YEAH RUN AWAY YOU COWARD!” I screeched. “IT DOESN’T FEEL VERY GOOD DOES IT?!”
Smith started to back up and I hissed, “You are not going anywhere. You are going to stay right here and let me yell at you. Got it?”
He nodded weakly and I took a few deep breaths. “WHY?! Why did you make me feel like I wasn’t worth it?! What did I ever do to you?!”
He gulped and I spat, “Are you gonna answer?!”
“I – I don’t – I don’t know,” he stammered.
I laughed cruelly and said, “Bullshit. You know and you won’t tell me. Now. Why. Did. You. Bully. Me?!”
“I don’t remember why it started,” he said in a tiny voice.
“WELL NEITHER DO I! YOU WERE JUST A MASSIVE DICK-FACE BECAUSE YOU FELT LIKE IT!” I shouted. “You’re pathetic, really pathetic. I can’t believe I used to cry because of you.
“Did you know that? Did you know that I cried myself to sleep every fucking night and wondered why I was even bothering to go to classes? I was tormented because of you. Everyone in the whole fucking school jeered at me because you always did.”
I wiped some of the tears away impatiently. “I was told never to hate someone. But I do. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I FUCKING HATE YOU!” I sobbed. “I HATE YOU! YOU MADE ME HATE MYSELF! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE THAT MY HATRED OF YOU IS MAKING ME SWEAR SO MUCH! I HATE YOU SO MUCH! I’VE NEVER MET SOMEONE WHO I’VE HATED THIS MUCH! YOU ARE A FUCKING BASTARD AND I SHOULDN’T EVEN BE WASTING MY TIME ON YOU! I HATE YOU!”
He was pale and watched me as I broke down. I kept choking out, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you…” I wrapped my hands around my body, as if that would stop me from falling apart. “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you…”
He slowly walked away and I didn’t do anything to stop him. I curled up against the wall and shook with sobs. I hated him. I absolutely hated him.
“Clara?! What’s wrong?!” a voice said, panicking. “Clara!”
It was Dom. She put her hands on my shoulders and said frantically, “Clara! Clara, what happened?! Clara, say something dammit!”
I sniffled. “I – I –” I couldn’t get any words out and Dom wrapped me in a hug, rubbing my back.
“Clara, come on, I can’t help you if you don’t say anything,” she said, tightening her hold on me.
I kept sobbing, hating the fact that he did this to me. He was a prick and I shouldn’t even be worrying this much about it.
“Er… should I –?” I looked up and through my tears I saw another person, I couldn’t make out the face, only that it was a guy.
Dom snapped, “Go get McGonagall.” He nodded and quickly ran off. “Clara, tell me what happened.”
I took a few deep breaths. “Sm – Smith, h-he –” My voice caught and I started sobbing again.
Dom kept trying to calm me down but it wasn’t working. I was hysterical, absolutely hysterical.
A new set of footsteps walked towards me and McGonagall’s voice said, “Miss Wood, what has happened?”
Dom answered for me, “She can’t talk Professor, I don’t know what happened. Aaron and I were walking and I saw her crying.”
I tried to stop myself from crying but I couldn’t. “Davies, go get Madam Pomfrey, Miss Wood needs a calming draught.”
I heard the guy run away again and McGonagall was trying to calm me down. I kept sobbing and suddenly I was handed a flask of pale blue liquid. I shakily uncorked it and swallowed it down.
It took a few minutes for the potion to take effect and when it did, I still felt absolutely awful but I could breathe properly again. Madame Pomfrey knelt beside me and quickly checked to see if there was anything else wrong with me. I answered all her questions dully and gratefully accepted the tissues that Dom had conjured.
Then, she asked me what happened.
I pulled my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. I rested my chin on my knees and sighed.
“Well…” I cleared my throat and slowly recounted the tale. “Er… Professor?” I asked timidly, once I was up to the part where one of them swore.
“Yes, Miss Wood?”
I swallowed nervously. “Er… there’s a few swear words, um should I just skip them or replace it with another word?”
“Replace it with ‘fudge’,” Dom said brightly.
McGonagall nodded and I continued, fidgeting with the edge of my skirt. “So Smith said, ‘I heard you fudged Potter?’ and then I told him no, and he kept saying how no one would ever want to be with me because I was fat and they kept throwing jibes at me and I… er…”
“Yes, Miss Wood?” McGonagall asked with raised eyebrows.
One of the paintings behind me cackled and sung softy, “You’re gonna get in troubleeee…”
We all ignored him and I said quietly, “I slapped him in the face.” McGonagall’s eyes narrowed and Dom gave me a triumphant grin. I quickly hurried to explain the rest of the story and when I finished McGonagall had an odd look on her face.
“Come with me, Miss Wood. This has gone too far, I will be calling your parents and Mr Smith’s parents.” Dom gave me a reassuring squeeze but I stared at her in horror.
“You can’t do that, Professor! I don’t want to see him again!” I protested.
She gave me a grim smile. “I’m afraid I can’t do anything else, Miss Wood. Both he and his sister have been bullying you and we do not tolerate that at this school.”
I nodded and Dom gave me a reassuring smile.
“It’ll be alright, Clara.”
I was sitting nervously in McGonagall’s office and Smith was sitting next to me, looking furious. The air between us was so tense and I could feel the anger he was radiating.
“Professor, I didn’t even do anything wrong!” he spat.
I flushed and McGonagall snapped, “Be quiet. We’ll discuss this when your parents are here.”
The door flung open and Mum and Dad walked in. Dad ran up to me and gave me a hug. “Clara! What happened?” he asked, tightening his grip on me.
“Dad, I can’t breathe,” I gasped. He immediately loosened his grip on me.
Mum smiled slightly and I gave her a hug as well. “Well, are you going to tell us what happened?”
I bit my lip. “Erm, it’ll be explained soon…” My eyes flicked to McGonagall and she conjured some chairs up so they could sit either side of me.
Dad shook his head, “No thanks, Professor. I’ll just stand.” Mum shrugged and sat down next to me. Dad then clapped his hands on my shoulders and said tightly, “Now what did this little twerp do to my daughter?”
“Oliver!” Mum scolded, “Don’t say that! For all we know, Clara might have done something!”
Smith snorted and Dad growled, “Don’t snort you little brat.”
“Mr Wood, I will not have you talking to my students like that!” McGonagall snapped and Smith laughed lowly. “Smith, don’t laugh. Your parents will be here soon.”
As soon as she finished that sentence the door swung open again to reveal two very haughty blondes.
They must be Mr and Mrs Smith.
“What did he do now?” Mrs Smith said exasperatedly.
“I didn’t do anything!” Smith said petulantly. Dad snorted and McGonagall talked over the noise.
“In a minute. Would you like to sit down Mr and Mrs Smith?” she asked. They nodded and she quickly waved her wand and two chairs appeared. The office was starting to feel a little tight, but I didn’t know whether that was because I was nervous or not.
As soon as they sat down, McGonagall explained what happened. She told them everything, including what Tenielle did, how I slapped him, everything.
When she finished, Smith’s parents were looking very shocked. “Robert! How could you do something like that to this poor girl?!” His mother said, looking furious.
“What about her slapping him?!” His father snarled.
Mrs Smith glared at her husband. “I don’t care. What he did was disgusting; we didn’t raise you like that Robert! Or Tenielle! We’re going to have a word with you when you come back for the summer!”
Mum and Dad looked at each other in shock. I stuttered, “I – I just wanted to ap-apologise for slapping you. It was out of line and I shouldn’t have done it.”
Smith smirked and his mother clipped him round the ear. “You need to apologise as well! That was horrid what you did to this poor girl!”
Mum and Dad were looking at me in shock and McGonagall said, “We’ll need to delegate punishments. Bullying is not tolerated at Hogwarts and nor is physical violence.” I lowered my head slightly and Dad clapped me on the shoulder.
McGonagall looked towards Smith. “Your Hogsmeade privileges will be removed and you’ll have detention for the rest of the school year.”
“That’s a little harsh, isn’t it?” Mr Smith said outrageously.
McGonagall narrowed her eyes and Dad spat, “He’s been treating my daughter like dirt for the whole of her school life. It isn’t harsh enough!”
“Oliver,” Mum berated softly.
Dad ignored her. “She came home crying at the beginning of the holidays and as she was about to return to school she’d be terrified because of your son! And not to mention the letters we received! The ink had usually run because she’d been crying! Seeing your daughter upset and terrified and knowing you can’t do anything is the worst thing a parent can feel! I don’t think that’s a harsh enough punishment because he ruined her school life! School was the best time of my life and your prat of a son ruined that for my little girl!”
He finished and took a deep breath. The lines around his eyes had gotten tighter and I stood up and gave him the biggest hug. He wrapped his arms tightly around me and I whispered, “I’m sorry, Dad.”
“It isn’t your fault, Clara!” he whispered back, “I’m glad you slapped him though! You should have tried to give him a black eye though.” He winked and I laughed, letting go of him.
McGonagall cleared her throat and she said, “I’m sorry Mr Wood but we have no other options. The detention will be two nights a week and will be with Mr Filch.”
Dad smiled smugly. “That punishment seems good enough.” Mum pat my hand and gave me a reassuring smile. I smiled back at her, thankful that they were so supportive of me.
“What about her?” his father snapped.
I blushed and McGonagall said, “She’ll have detention for a month.”
“That’s it?” he said incredulously.
Mum, Dad, McGonagall and Mrs Smith all glared at him. “Yes it is,” McGongall said tersely.
He huffed and I understood where the nasty gene came from. “Smith, you need to apologise to Miss Wood.”
Looking like he was sucking on a lemon, he said coldly, “I’m sorry for picking on you.”
His mum glared at him and he sighed. “Clara, I’m sorry I was so mean to you. I was a prat and I’m sorry. Am I forgiven?”
Dad scoffed and Mum tried to shush him. I shook my head. “The apology is accepted but I’m not forgiving you. I don’t want you talking to me at all. I’m not going to be nasty, I’m just not going to acknowledge you at all and I want you to do the same.”
He nodded slowly and McGonagall smiled. “Okay then, you may leave now.”
Smith and his father left quickly but his mum stayed back. “I just want to say I’m so sorry for what my children did. I never knew they did anything like that.”
“It’s okay,” Mum said, “they apologised, you can’t really ask more for that.” Mrs Smith smiled and said a quick thanks to McGonagall before following her husband and son.
I walked out and when we were in an empty corridor, Dad picked me up and gave me a hug.
“DAD!” I squirmed and he put me down.
“Clara, I’m so proud of you! You stuck up for yourself! I’m so proud, princess!” He gave me another hug and when he released me, Mum pulled me into her clutches.
“I’m so proud of you, sweetie! But you shouldn’t have slapped him. You know that right?” I nodded and she pressed a kiss to my forehead.
Dad laughed. “No, it’s good that you slapped him. Maybe now everyone will know of your super strength and won’t hurt you anymore.”
I rolled my eyes. “Dad, I don’t have super strength. It was probably the shock that surprised him.”
Dad shrugged and ruffled my hair. “Clara!” I turned around and saw Dom running towards me, her red hair flowing like a ribbon behind her. She tackled me in a hug and said, “Are you okay?! What happened?! Is Smith expelled?! Did Minnie slap a bitch?!”
Mum laughed and Dom jumped in surprise. “Oh sorry, didn’t see you there. I’m Dom, Clara’s friend.” She held out her hand and Mum shook it.
“Katie, Clara’s mum and this is my husband, Oliver.”
Dom smiled charmingly. “It’s nice to meet you, Mr and Mrs Wood.” Dad and Mum looked at each other and smirked.
“Nice to meet you too, Dom, Clara’s mentioned you in a couple of letters,” Dad said, smiling. She grinned and looped her arm in mine.
“Anyway, we better get going. Clara, we’ll see you at summer?” Mum asked. I nodded and she gave me a hug. “Study hard and good luck on your NEWTs,” she said, giving me a kiss.
“I will, Mum.” I tightened my grip on her and then Dad gave me a hug. I wrapped my hands around his waist and he gave me a kiss on my forehead.
“We’ll see you soon, make sure you study hard and laugh at how much everyone sucks at Quidditch.” I giggled and he tightened his grip on me. “See you soon, princess.”
Mum and Dad waved at Dom before giving me one last hug and leaving. I turned to Dom and she said, “Well? Are you going to explain what happened?”
I nodded and as we walked towards the Gryffindor common room. I explained everything and Dom gasped and swore in the right places and when I told her about his parents, she actually stopped walking. “What the fuck?! What type of forty something year old man talks that way about students?!” I shrugged and she gestured for me to continue. “Keep talking, I want to know EVERYTHING!”
I laughed and continued explaining everything. When I came up to the part about Dad, I hesitated and she encouraged me to go on. I explained it to her, feeling my cheeks go red and she said, “That’s so sweet that he cares so much about you! Clara, you’re really lucky to have parents that care so much about you! So many people at this school have parents that couldn’t give two shits about them, be thankful that you have parents that will do anything for you.”
I nodded. “Oh, I am. I’m so thankful to have them. I don’t take them for granted; I always tell them how amazing they are.” I laughed nervously and Dom gave me a one-armed hug.
We finally arrived at the Gryffindor Common Room and I clapped my hands over my ears as Dom said the password. When the door swung open, we clambered in and Fred said, “Clara, what a pleasant surprise. What are you doing here?”
I looked towards Dom and she shrugged. “I didn’t tell them. I didn’t know if you wanted to keep it private or something.”
“Keep what private?” Tina asked, with James following her.
Dom looked at me and I sighed. “So… something just happened. I’ve just explained it to Dom, I’ll explain it to you guys as well.”
They nodded and we sat down around the couch as I explained what had happened from the beginning. They were hanging on my every word and when I finally finished explaining it to them, the three of them simultaneously cheered. I jumped as they all huddled around me.
“YOU STUCK UP FOR YOURSELF!” Fred hollered, giving me a hug. I looked at Dom with my eyes wide and she laughed.
“We’re just proud of you, we’ve wanted you to stick up for yourself for ages!”
I laughed and Fred put me down. I asked, “Really? You were supporting me the whole time?”
James ruffled my hair. “What are friends for?”
The end. :) It was a bit of a cheesy end, but I hope you all liked it! I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed and favourited, and the artists who made the chapter images! If you haven't seen them already, I think you should look at them, they're all fabulous! :D
And thank you to RosieQueen who created the Anti-Bullying challenge, and she gave me first place! :O Without her, this may have been a story that would have sat on my computer forever, never getting posted. :p
So thanks everyone for reading, reviewing and favouriting! :D Hope you liked the last chapter! :D