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Chapter 9 : In Need of Naps
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bellatrixx. @ TDA
Chapter IX - In Need of Naps
Mel swore, kicking her trunk in anger as Alice sighed and offered to help. Reyna snorted and told Alice not to bother as I grunted and stuffed my head under my pillow to block out all the sound.
All in all, it was what had become a usual weekday morning since Mel had broken her arm. While it wasn’t in a cast, it was confined to a sling for the next few weeks because Madam Pomfrey didn’t trust her not to use it before it was fully healed.
“Honestly, stop. Stop! For Merlin’s sake, Mel, just let me help,” Alice cried, reaching out to fix Melody’s robes.
I think she’d been trying to fasten them with one hand when she’d gotten fed up and managed to tangle herself in them further. I wasn’t sure though, and I wasn’t willing to move my pillow to find out.
“I don’t know what Madam Pomfrey’s talking about. My arm is absolutely fine. I don’t need a bloody sling. I’m not going to do anything stupid,” the blonde muttered, letting Alice fiddle with her tie.
“I don’t know why you’re complaining,” said Reyna. “All the teachers are letting you use those note-taking quills because you let them think you’re left handed.” I could hear the disapproving scowl in Reyna’s tone, although I had a feeling it was more to do with jealousy than anything else. Seriously, those quills are amazing.
“Yes. Well…” Mel coughed as I heard Alice chuckle.
I smiled where I was under my pillow, my eyes still closed, as my thoughts grew heavy again. I had at least another fifteen to twenty minutes worth of sleep before I needed to get up. Mel just rose earlier than usual these days as it took her ‘eight times longer to do every bloody thing!’ thanks to her arm. She made enough noise stomping around to wake us all up, though. We hadn’t been late to a morning lesson for weeks.
“Oi, sleepy-head. Get up.” Reyna seemed to have remembered that I was there, which was a shame as I liked just listening to them bicker back and forward between themselves. It wasn’t something I had at home, being an only child, and listening to them squabble over trivial things never failed to leave me chuckling to myself in the corner, wondering if it was healthy how much I loved the three of them.
When I was eventually hauled out of bed and pushed into the bathroom, my uniform unceremoniously thrown in after me, I figured it was easier to just go with it.
Pulling my hair back into a ponytail as I exited the bathroom a while later, I paused at the excited look on Mel’s face. She caught sight of me and bounded across the room, leaving the sceptical looking Alice and the indifferent Reyna by their beds.
“Guess what just went up! Guess, guess, guess!”
My eyebrows furrowed as I came up with nothing. I crinkled my nose, knowing that it was probably something I wouldn’t like if Reyna looked so apathetic. I asked her what it was.
“Macdonald and Crawford were on the stairwell talking about it and then I sent Alice to go check if it was genuine while we waited for you – because, honestly, you take forever in the shower – and it’s true! There was a piece of parchment put up last night in the common room. It’s Sirius Black’s birthday next month, and the seventh years are throwing a party, Keira – Oh, don’t give me that face.”
“What face?” I said, instantly smoothing away the frown that I’d had seconds before.
Mel rolled her eyes. “Whatever, but it’s going to be great and we’re all going,” she said, rounding on Reyna who looked like she was about to open her mouth to object.
“You’re overly excited for someone who’s going to have to coordinate her dress with a sling,” Rae replied smoothly, choosing a different route.
The smile slid off Melody’s face as her gaze flickered to her arm for a moment, before she brightened considerably. “No, I won’t! It’ll be off by then. His birthday isn’t until a week or two after the first Quidditch game. I’ll be sling free.”
I caught Alice’s eye across the room knowing that she was remembering last time the current seventh years had tried to throw a birthday party. It’d had been for James back in March, and McGonagall had pointedly spent the entire evening sitting in a corner of the common room doing her marking. Needless to say, no party had occurred that night, much to Gryffindor Tower’s dismay. The seventh year boys were still nursing hangovers the next morning, however, which means they’d either been drinking in their dormitory, or had found a way out of the common room without McGonagall seeing. It wouldn’t surprise me if they had.
I knew that Alice wasn’t one to turn down a party but she also wasn’t one to rush into something that was likely to get her into trouble. Reyna, on the other hand, would huff and complain until she actually got there, and then she’d promptly begin to enjoy herself. Just looking at Rae, you could see she didn’t believe the party would go ahead once McGonagall got wind of it, and I didn’t exactly blame her.
“It’s not for ages, anyway,” I said, deciding now wasn’t the time to think about it. “I don’t think it’ll stay a secret for long, so we’ll see what happens once McGonagall hears about it. Chances are there won’t even be a party, so there’s not point picking out your outfit now.”
Mel pouted slightly, but agreed with a huff while Alice shook it off easily, bounding out the door with breakfast on her mind. I grabbed my book bag and caught Rae’s eye as I realised she’d waited for me, and giving her a smile as I looped my arm around her shoulders.
“Don’t worry about it. Chances are it won’t even happen. Besides, with Potter as Head Boy, I’m not sure how long this will even last. She turns a blind eye to the Quidditch parties, mainly because she loves beating the other houses as much as we do, but I can’t see her letting them throw Black a birthday party in the common room. It’ll be fine,” I concluded as we neared the bottom of the stairs.
Rae just grunted in agreement. “You’re right. McGonagall will – what is with this crowd?”
We both just stood there at the bottom of the steps, watching the group of people that had crowded around the notice board, effectively blocking our way.
“I heard that they’re getting in that new band, The Snidgets. Their songs are all over the wireless these days!” one fifth year girl exclaimed to her friends as they pushed through the throng near us.
“Apparently Dumbledore wouldn’t let them hold a ball in his honour, so they had to resort to a party instead. I don’t know what the Headmaster’s problem is. A ball wouldn’t be over-the-top at all!” a voice drifted over from a group of fourth years.
“It’s true. Every girl that turns up has to take her shirt off – I know, right? I can’t wait to see her there,” said Carson Marshall, one of the boys in our year whom I wasn’t really friends with. His voice disappeared into the crowd before I could figure out which girl he was talking about – thank Merlin.
I sat down on the steps in shock, as more and more obscure rumours filled the crowd. “Can you believe this?” I laughed, unable to tear my eyes away from the mill of people all talking about Sirius’s birthday.
“Nope. I think it’s a hallucination because I’m hungry. Come on, let’s get to breakfast,” Rae said distractedly, staring at the throng with a look mixed of wonder and horror.
Battling through the crowd, we eventually made it to the portrait hole where we met up with the others.
“And here I was, thinking today would be like any other Thursday,” Frank muttered, giving the crowd one last look before opening the portrait hole for Alice. She blushed furiously, and I briefly entertained the idea of Sirius’s party actually going ahead. Maybe something like that would be exactly what the pair ahead of me needed. The thought was dismissed almost instantly, however, as I remembered both of the Head students were Gryffindors. I was still mildly surprised that the sign had even gone up.
The Gryffindor table was fairly empty when we reached the Great Hall, with the majority of our house still up in the common room discussing the news.
Mel, who had come straight to breakfast from the dormitory, paused with a piece of toast halfway to her mouth – she’d briefly given up on cutting up her food with one hand. “Do you reckon the other houses will be invited, too? I mean, Black is dating that Ravenclaw, isn’t he? Surely he’ll want her there.”
Alice shrugged and I rolled my eyes as I reached for the scrambled eggs, ladling them onto my plate. Reyna seemed happy with this and stopped staring at me out of the corner of her eye as she answered Melody.
“Nope. They broke up three days ago. She dumped him actually – not that he’s all that torn up about it. She got pissed off that he was hanging around with his friends more than he was her.” Rae scoffed.
Anybody in the school knew that Sirius’ relationships always came second to his friends. Of course, every girl who dated him wholeheartedly believed that she could be the one to change that, and, of course, they were all crushed and bitter when they realised that he hadn’t changed.
“I thought Ravenclaws were supposed to be smart,” I snickered, taking Mel’s knife off her and cutting her bacon into smaller pieces before she lost it and threw the silverware at someone.
“What’s this about Ravenclaws?” Henry asked, sliding into the seat next to mine.
“Just talking about Black’s latest break up,” I said, smiling at him while Melody continued to glare at the food I was cutting up.
“Mmm.” Henry nodded as he pinched some of the eggs off my plate. Alice took a break from shovelling food into her mouth to scowl at him. “He’s with a Hufflepuff bird now. Olivia Cole, I think it is. Some guys were talking about it at Quidditch training the other night,” he continued thoughtfully. “On the topic of Black, I’m assuming you lot all got that notice about his party in your common room, too?”
“There was one in Ravenclaw Tower? How’d they manage to get in there?” Alice asked, confusion flashing across her face as she glanced down the table to where the seventh year Gryffindor boys were sitting.
Henry shrugged, pouring himself some pumpkin juice. “It’s not that hard I suppose. It’s probably one of the easier common rooms to sneak into because you don’t need a password, just the answer to the riddle. As long as you get it right, the knocker doesn’t really care who it lets in. It just assumes that Ravenclaws are the only ones smart enough to figure out its question.”
“Forget how they got into Ravenclaw Tower – how are they expecting to get all of you into our common room for the party?” Reyna snorted. “That lot can’t just go around giving out the password. Isn’t that against the rules?”
“Potter’s Head Boy,” Mel replied, moving her food around her plate now that I was done cutting it up for her. “I’m sure he can get the password changed for a night. Hell, those four have pulled off harder feats.”
I pulled a face in agreement, remembering their dung bombs on the train. Henry pulled me into his side, playing with my hair.
“True,” Henry said before changing the subject. “How’s the arm going, Andrews?”
Mel looked up from her plate and if looks could kill, Henry would be dead. “Right brilliant, Watts. Thanks so much for asking,” she snapped.
“Is that sarcasm I’m detecting?” Henry raised an eyebrow as he reached for my toast but Alice snatched it out of his hand before he could put it in his mouth.
“Here,” she said, pushing a new piece in his hand and putting mine back on my plate. “She needs to eat everything on her plate. Potter’s orders. Quidditch. You know how it is,” she lied smoothly.
None of them had told Henry about my aversion to food from a few weeks back, deciding instead it was easier to use Quidditch as an excuse for staring me down as I ate and sceptically eyeing the portions I’d put on my plate. I found myself not minding their fierce protectiveness if it meant Henry or anyone else didn’t have to know.
Henry shrugged, buttering the toast Alice had handed him instead. “Speaking of Quidditch, how’s Simmons going?” he asked, looking back and forward between Melody and I.
“Yeah, she’s good. Still wish we had Mel, but Simmons played for years before she gave it up, so she knows her stuff.” I shrugged.
“Maybe you could give Seeker a go then, Andrews.” He laughed. “Then Simmons could keep your spot as Chaser.”
I opened my mouth to reply but paused as I realised what Henry had just said.
“But I’m Seeker,” I said slowly, staring at a spot four inches higher than his plate.
“Come on, Keir. I didn’t mean it like that,” he pleaded, pulling me into his side and I frowned as my head began to ache from the strong smell of his cologne. I shrugged him off and grabbed my bag off the floor.
“Yeah, well… it sounded like it,” I mumbled as Mel, Alice and Rae pointedly didn’t look at Henry or I.
“Anyway, I have to get my essay before class.”
Not in the mood to say much else, I made my way back down the table towards the Entrance Hall, wondering if I had time to duck outside before I was due in Ancient Runes. I was close to failing that class, but I didn’t really care at the moment.
“Hey, Keira, you alright?”
I started at the weight of someone’s hand on my shoulder and I turned to see Lily Evans with a concerned look on her face.
“Oh, yeah. Fine. Just thinking how I’m going to fail Ancient Runes this term, but whatever.”
“Runes aren’t that hard once you get used to them.”
I turned to where Leah Crawford’s voice had come from, only to see that all of the Head Girl’s roommates were looking at me with concern as well.
“You take Ancient Runes?” I blinked at the blonde who gave me a dreamy smile in affirmation.
“Leah’s subscribed to a magazine that’s written entirely in runes,” Mary said, giving me a pointed look that clearly expressed the belief that her roommate was crazy.
“As you do.” I laughed at her expression.
“As you do,” Rebecca agreed, a smile tugging at her mouth.
“They’re helpful with new spells!” Leah continued earnestly, either completely oblivious to, or pointedly ignoring, us laughing around her.
“Was it Runes that helped you flood our bathroom last weekend?” Lily smirked at her blonde friend, who didn’t seem phased in the slightest at the accusation.
“The tap was squeaking,” Leah replied simply.
“Anyway,” Lily cut in before Rebecca could open her mouth.
I’d heard all about the incident at Quidditch training; Rebecca had been ranting all about it as she’d entered the locker room late, her robes soaked from her knees down. We were better friends, Rebecca and I, now that we’d spent the past few weeks together at training. Having something in common to talk about had certainly helped our new not-really-friends-but-more-than-acquaintances relationship.
“Um, Keir? Can we talk?”
I turned to find Henry with a sheepish expression on his face.
I paused for a minute before sighing. “If you want, but there’s really no need. I don’t like what you said, but I overreacted,” I said, knowing he hadn’t meant to upset me by the comment.
He frowned slightly, a small line creasing his forehead. “No, you didn’t. I – “
I kissed him quickly to shut him up. “Don’t worry about it. It’s fine, yeah? I need to get to class, though. I’ll see you later,” I said softly before turning back to where Lily was standing, now inspecting her fingernails with great enthusiasm. “I’ll talk to you later.” I chuckled as she looked at me, a guilty smile on her face.
“Wait, you’ve got Runes now, don’t you?” she asked, grabbing her bag off the floor. I nodded as she fell into step beside me. “I’ve got Arithmancy. I’ll walk with you.”
“Oh, thanks,” I said as she fell into step beside me. I threw another smile over my shoulder at Henry before we left the Great Hall.
“Henry’s nice,” Lily said as we crossed the Entrance Hall, watching me out of the corner of her eye.
“Yeah, I’m lucky to have him,” I said, frowning as we made out way up the stairs, replaying breakfast again in my head.
“How long have you two been dating?”
“Nine months. Actually, it’s closer to ten now, I think.”
“Wow,” said Lily, turning her head to look at me. “Things must be getting serious between the two of you then.”
“Yeah. We never fight, and all of our friends get along as well, which makes it easy.” I smiled to myself thinking of just how well Reyna got along with Anthony.
“You’re lucky that joining the Quidditch team hasn’t caused a problem. Rebecca had issues when she dated one of the boys on the Hufflepuff team. The weeks on either side of a match were a nightmare.” Lily shook her head at the memory, and I glanced at her, wondering if she’d brought up the topic up on purpose, but as I ran over my last conversation with Henry – when she’d been standing there – I realised we never mentioned why exactly I’d walked off.
Lily had no idea how close she was. It made me wonder how I hadn’t thought of the issues playing Seeker would cause before I tried out. It seemed so obvious to everyone else, even those who weren’t in the loop – like Lily. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that even with hindsight, I’d still tryout again – even if I’d been thinking of ways to run away when I was actually there. I hadn’t even played a game yet, but I already felt like part of the team. Training was fun, even though I hated exercise, and I felt like I could consider the other Gryffindors my friends, which made me feel all warm inside, strangely enough. No, Henry and I would work through this, and I wouldn’t quit the team. We’d sort it out.
“Yeah?” I started, realising Lily had been talking to me that whole time.
The Head Girl laughed good-naturedly at my expression. “I asked if you can still get to Runes from this corridor?”
“What?” I looked around, realising the staircase had moved while I wasn’t paying attention and I was now standing in a hallway I’d walked down a grand total of twice in the six years I’d been at school. “There’s that door that opens to the sixth floor along here, isn’t there?” I asked, pointing up the corridor.
“Yeah; fifth on the left.”
“Easy. I can get to Runes from here then.”
“In that case, this is where I leave you. It was nice talking to you, Keira. I’ll see you later!” Lily said as she began to make her way down the adjacent corridor to Arithmancy. I watched her go for a moment, her red hair bouncing slightly as she walked, and a twinge of jealousy sparked in my stomach. Squashing it quickly, I made my way down the hall to the door that would let me out two floors above and right around the corner from my Runes classroom.
"I'm going to fail Potions," I whined, letting my head fall to the desk with an audible thump. "I actually have no idea why rat spleen is important. It just turns everything blue."
"Well what does it say in the book?" Reyna asked, dropping her quill and pulling the volume across the Library table towards her.
I rolled my head to the side, my left ear pressed up against the desk so I could watch her as she scanned the page. "It 'adds a cooling sensation to the draught', but doesn't tell me why it's important." I lifted my head slightly, only to let it fall back to the desk again with another thump.
"Stop that," Rae said, waving a meaningless hand at me without even looking up from the page. "Ha!" She said with a triumphant smile, spinning a book around and pointing at the last part of a sentence located in the middle of the paragraph. "'Rat spleen creates a cooling effect in the completed potion or salve, which is why it is used in many medical potions'," she read aloud.
"So that's why it's important?" I asked pathetically.
"Just copy from here to here. Did you even read what it said?"
"Reading is hard," I moaned, lifting my head off the table.
"You were up till the small hours of this morning finishing that book of yours. Don't tell me reading is hard."
"Yes, but because I was up late reading, I can't read now. That's just how it works."
I was being pathetic, but I was annoyed that my homework wouldn't do itself so I could go back to the dormitory and nap.
I was a huge fan of napping.
"Oh, is it, now?" Rae asked, raising an eyebrow at me as she dipped her quill back into her inkpot before she started writing her essay again.
"Mmhmm," I replied, well aware I wasn't fooling anyone.
We continued to sit there in the Library for a moment, the only sound the scratching of Rae's quill, while I stared at the parts Reyna had said I'd needed to copy.
The essay was due in the morning.
I'd do it later.
"I can't concentrate. I'm going to go and sleep for a bit and see if I feel better," I lied. I could concentrate, I just didn't want too.
What I really wanted was my book, but I'd finished it last night, and I wasn't ready to start another one yet. That would be admitting that my time with Elizabeth and Darcy was over, and I wasn't quite ready for that.
"Alright. See you later, then." Rae flashed me a smile before continuing with her essay. I admired her diligence for a moment before remembering my bed was waiting for me. Grabbing the Potions book off the table, I took it up to the desk, waiting for Madam Pince so I could check it out. I had a feeling that by the time I finally got around to writing about why rat spleen was important that the Library would already be closed.
"Name?" Madam Pince asked, as I handed the book over to her.
"Keira Nyx." I sighed. Surely she'd remember me by now?
She peered at me for a moment, assessing if I looked responsible enough to have the privilege of borrowing the book before she finally stamped it, handing it over. "Due back on Monday," she hissed before ducking out from behind the counter and stalking off into the shelves.
Yeah. Great talking to you, too.
Scowling, I made my way to the door, trying to shrug my bag back onto my shoulder as my hands were occupied with the giant volume. A group of Ravenclaws pushed open the Library doors as they exited, and I hurried forward, managing to use my foot as a doorstop before it shut. Still struggling to keep my bag on my shoulder, I used my foot to push the door wide enough for me to slip through where I promptly toppled over someone; my bag flying and emptying itself of its contents while I lay there, sprawled on the floor. I shut my eyes and focused on my breathing.
Don’t get angry. You’re tired and irrational. Whoever it is didn’t do it on purpose.
Someone with higher powers hates me. That’s the only possible explanation for something like this right now.
“I’m so sorry. This was completely my fault.”
I cracked open an eye to see Remus Lupin dusting himself off and offering me a hand, but now that I was lying down I just wanted to stay there. This solid rock was surprisingly comfortable.
Wait, when was the last time this was cleaned?
I grabbed Remus’ hand and let him pull me to my feet.
“Don’t worry about it,” I said cheerfully, even though I wanted to cry at the sight of my inkbottle smashed all over the floor.
Maybe I should find a cushioning charm for my bag.
“Hold on – Reparo!” Remus pointed his wand at the shattered glass and I watched as the broken pieces flew together seamlessly before the ink gathered and deposited its self back in the pot. The Prefect then leant down and began to gather my books together. I stood there for a moment before what he was doing really sunk in.
“Wait – don’t worry about it. I’ll do it,” I said, dropping to my knees and hurrying to grab my parchment and quills.
“Guess I was in a bit of a rush. I want to get my Charms work done so I don’t have to worry about it later, and there’s no peace in the common room, so…” Remus trailed off gesturing to the doors of the Library.
“First years running amuck again? I forgot how loud they can be.” I laughed half-heartedly as I slowly got to my feet.
“Nah, Lily’s in a mood again. James did something nice and it’s thrown her off balance. She keeps sitting here, tapping her foot and asking me what he’s up to. Of course, she won’t believe me when I tell her that it’s nothing, so I left her sitting there pretending to read her book while she stares at him from across the room.” He rolled his eyes and I actually chuckled at that.
I was slowly beginning to count Lily as a friend of mine (as much as a sixth year could be friends with the popular Head Girl), but I was quickly realising that there was a lot more to her. Especially when James Potter was concerned.
“What about you? You done all your work for today?” The older boy asked, nodding at the essay that was sticking out of my bag.
“Are we every really done with work?” I joked, stuffing the parchment further into the satchel. “Nah, I was up all night reading and I’m in a rubbish mood because of it. I was just heading back to the dormitory for a nap before I lost it.”
“Fair enough.” He laughed before smiling at me. “Well, I’ll see you around then.”
“Yeah. I’ll see you around.”
And then he was gone, slipping through the doors to the library and leaving me standing there in the hall wondering why on earth Remus Lupin didn’t have a girlfriend.
True to his word, Lily was sitting with a book propped open on her knee when I entered the common room. It was only on closer inspection that you realised that she wasn’t reading at all, but watching James from under her lashes as he laughed with Peter and Sirius across the room. I hesitated a moment as I passed her on the way to the stairwell, but decided that it wasn’t my place to ask what she was thinking.
That, and my bed was calling from the dormitory.
So I walked past her, biting back the smile as she shifted when I blocked her view and made my way up the stairs, where I dumped my bag on the floor before I curled up on my bed.
“Get up, you lazy sod.”
I grunted in reply. I’d just gotten in bed, for Godric’s sake. Couldn’t I have five minutes?
“Keir, you have to eat. Come on.”
“Not hungry.” I buried my head further into the pillow.
“Oh, no you don’t. You’re eating wether you like it or not. Quidditch training is burning up every ounce of fat on you and if you don’t eat you’ll end up all angled and bony like Laura Hunter.”
I opened an eye at that. “Alice, are you saying I look like Laura Hunter?”
“No, but if you don’t come down to dinner you might.”
“She’s blonde,” I said before her words really sunk in. Dinner? How long had I been up here?
“And I don’t want you looking like a bag of bones, so get moving,” she said, coming around the bed and giving me a push.
“Oi! I’m moving, I’m moving,” I grumbled, rolling off the bed and looking for my shoes on the floor, hiding my alarm at the fact I’d been asleep for hours.
“Good. I’m going down, so I’ll see you soon,” Alice replied, as she made her way out the door, happy now that I was up and moving. “Oh! And don’t forget to fix your hair. It’s a total bird’s nest!”
Frowning, I ducked into the bathroom to see what she was talking about.
“Urgh.” I made a face at the sight I met in the mirror. Grabbing a brush off the counter, I began to tackle the mat that had formed at the back of my head. I’d never really gotten those detangling spells right. I really should work on that. Beauty charms would be a hell of a lot less painful than this, I thought, wincing as I continued to tug the brush through my hair.
When I was sure I was bald from the amount of hair that had come out in my brush, I made my way down to the common room, feeling much better than I had the last time I’d been there. Naps were wonderful, I decided as my footfalls echoed off the stone.
Voices rose up to meet me and I frowned, wondering who wasn’t at dinner.
From the look of it, it was almost all of the seventh year Gryffindors.
Lily was leaning against the back of the couch, a worried look on her face and a letter in her hand. Mary was beside her, staring out the window, but I had a feeling she was seeing something else from the glazed look she had in her eyes. James was pacing back and forth in front of the two girls, his hands in his hair and a string of profanities coming from his mouth, while Peter watched him with a frown from his position next to Remus by the portrait door. Sirius was leaning against the far wall, his face emotionless. His eyes flicked briefly to me as I stopped on the stairs, but then he was back, staring at the floor again.
Something had happened. That much was obvious.
Where were Rebecca and Leah? All the other seventh years were here.
Lily looked up at me and I realised there were unshed tears in her eyes.
Dread rising in my stomach at the thought of something so terrible it could bring even Lily Evans to tears, I opened my mouth, needing to know. “Wha –“
“It’s Rebecca,” she cut me off, and James looked around to see who she was addressing. “Leah’s with her now, but…” She paused, screwing her eyes tight shut for a moment as she inhaled deeply before continuing. “It’s her dad. He’s… he’s dead, Keira. Killed by You-Know-Who while he was visiting her Aunt. She’d married a Muggleborn, so…”
I lowered myself onto the step, not sure my legs would support me.
Rebecca. The Rebecca who’d told me stories in the locker rooms after practise; the Rebecca who lived in the room up the stairs; the Rebecca whose compartment I’d shared on the train to Hogwarts only a few months ago. Her father was dead. She’d never see him again.
The war suddenly seemed a lot more real than it had been a minute ago.
Lily took a shuddering breath and I vaguely noted that James had stopped his pacing, only to stand there, looking torn between wanting to comfort her and not wanting his face slapped.
He was killed because he was vising someone who had married a Muggleborn.
I was a Muggleborn.
He was killed because of people like me.
If I’d eaten, I think I would have been sick. As it was, my stomach was churning and I found it hard to breath properly.
People like me.
“When’s the funeral?” Peter asked from his seat across the room.
“Fifth of November,” Lily replied.
James resumed his pacing.
Mary still hadn’t said a thing.
Even through the haze that had taken over my mind, the fifth of November sounded familiar. The fifth of November was important. The fifth of November was –
“The day of the Quidditch match,” I said, looking up.
James caught my eye with the slightest inclination of his head in confirmation.
Rebecca couldn’t play.
She was without a father and we were without a Chaser.
Did worrying about a Quidditch game right now make me a bad person?
I don’t know.
I think I did.
But even so, I couldn’t shake the new worry that had overtaken me. Without a third Chaser, we’d have to forfeit. Slytherin would win without us even stepping onto the Pitch.
I my gaze met Lily’s, who gave me a sad smile before wiping unshed tears from her eyes.
“Sirius,” James said, rounding on his best friend who looked up at the sound of his name.
“No. I’m not playing, Prongs. Forget it,” he said, his voice firm as he kicked off the wall and made his way over to the stairs. “It’s not happening,” he said as he turned and continued making his way up to his dormitory.
James turned and kicked the sofa in anger, pulling at his hair again as he muttered under his breath.
“I’m going to go check on Becs…” And then Lily was gone, too, making her way up the stair behind me.
“I’m going for a fly,” James announced to no one as he stormed out of the room. Remus and Peter followed soon after, no doubt to make sure he didn’t kill himself.
I continued to sit there on the stairs, turning it all over in my mind, feeling sicker and sicker the more I thought about it.
Mary still hadn’t said a word. She just stared out the window, seeing nothing.
Just updating this chapter with edits and a CI. The next chapter should be up really soon! Thanks again for reading!
- A. :)
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