The back door in potions creaked open, and Madame Pomfrey came in.
"May I speak with Miss Meadowes please?" A confused look washed over my face, as I waited for Slughorn to give me the okay to leave class. He turned around, his chalk still raised in the air and gave Pomfrey a cheery grin, and a nod to let her know I was okay to leave. I collected my things hastily, waving goodbye to Lily and Alice on my way out. Madame Pomfrey walked swiftly, and I was taking lengthy strides to keep up with her. Her lips were sealed tight and it seemed as if she was holding something inside. Coming upon the Hospital Wing, she paused to open the door for me and ushered me inside quickly. Shutting the door behind her, she locked it with her wand and shooed me away from her desk. I sat on one of the beds across from where she was now frantically searching for something.
"Madame Pomfrey?" She slammed her hands on the table in distress.
"How could you assume you would be okay to go out in the full moon yesterday?" She was yelling as she spoke, trying to control her huge voice. My mouth gaped, and I felt foolish. How could I have been so stupid?
"I can't not go," I said. "They would wonder why, and I just can't tell anyone. Yet." My eyes shifted around the ground as I tripped over another lie. I wouldn't be telling anyone.
"You'll have to figure something out, because that was a very dangerous thing to do. Very dangerous. Your animagus form not only uses extreme strength, but an inordinate amount of power." I stuttered again, not knowing how to respond to that.
"It's up to you, but Dumbledore and myself strongly recommend never transforming again." She bustled over to me with her needles in hand and laid me down gently.
"What are we doing?"
"Did you want to get your blood taken? These are the tests." I nodded, assuring her that I understood. She must have seen my tears, because she came and sat next to me, taking my hand.
"You'll be just fine, Dorcas." She cradled my head, and I felt her shaking under me. My mother seemed to have a lot of impact on everyone.
"Madame Pomfrey, were you a nurse when my mother was here?" She looked down at me, her deep brown eyes wet with the beginnings of tears.
"No my dear. I was with Harley. She is so much stronger than your mother was, I have heard. You both are. My worst fear is having a student die under my care." My tears came again. Why would she be scared, if there wasn't chance of it happening? I laid back down and stuck out my right arm. She wiped me clean of bacteria, and stuck the first needle in. My tears were streaking down my chest and soaking my robes. Withdrawing, there was a bubble of blood where the needle once was. She whisked her wand over it and the small incision sealed itself. As I saw the next needle moving closer to my arm, I closed my eyes and pretended this was all a dream. A dream where I could wake up any minute and forget what had happened.
Wiping my tears from my salty cheeks, I exited the hospital wing, with only a lowly nod in Madame Pomfrey's direction. I never imagined the impact I, or my family, could have on another person. This was the reason detachment was necessary. Now I just needed to wait for the tests to do their job. As of now, I would carry on as regularly as possible. Speaking of regular, I had no idea what was going on in the world! At all! All I knew for sure was both Lily and Sirus had some explaining to do.
I stalked down the halls towards the Great Hall for dinner, planning everything I would say to Sirius about Emmeline. My fussy musings attracted the attention of some annoyed portraits, and they scoffed haughtily at me. My shoes clacked loudly against the floor in the empty corridor, and the repetitive beats calmed me like rainfall usually would. Getting angrier as I walked, my steps having a greater chance of cracking the marble beneath me.
These things do bother me, and I should probably show my emotions more. It's always bothered me that he throws girls around like dirty towels. We're both impossible, and it's something that is never going to change. I wanted answers, I wanted all the reasons, and I wanted them now.
I came up to the golden doors and using all my might, slammed them open. Everyone looked up to spot whatever was wrong, and I was caught with my face open for everyone to see my anger. I scanned the tables, all of them just to be sure, and noticed that Sirius was not even there. I did, however, spot Lily. I muttered a small "Oh", before going to sit with Lily.
I smiled devilishly at my smart friend, who closed her book when she saw me coming. "Hello Lillian Evans."
"Have you ever realized that Lillian is not actually my real name?" Whenever I was mad at Lily, I resorted to calling her Lillian, as a more formal and harsh-sounding call. Yes, I know that's not actually her name. There was just nothing else to call her!
I sat down and folded my hands together. "What were you and Severus doing, oh I don't know around 8:00 PM last night?"
She leaned in close and her little frown of worry formed above her red brows. "What do you mean?" She gnawed on her lip and I felt a bit bad, knowing I had come up to her with the intention of being intrusive. I looked at her intently and I could tell that she knew exactly what I meant.
She cleared her throat and started a little story. "Well, there were prefect rounds last night, and Remus was off with his mother again, so it was just me. When I left the dormitory, I had it all set in my mind that I would patrol alone. Everything was alright up until I got to around the stairs heading towards the dungeons." I turned around expecting him to be there again and ruin the end of her story. Not sensing anything hovering around Lily or I, I let her continue. "Severus must have been following me or something because all of a sudden someone's wand lit up non-verbally." I could just imagine how her hair whipped around when she saw the luminescence of a wand. "So it mostly went like this."
"Lily." I turned around to face him, and I knew the voice as soon as I heard it.
"Severus." He played with his fingers, and looked hastily around to make sure no on else was there, I assume.
"Lily, what's up?" My mouth hung open in shock, at the simple tones of the boys words.
"Severus, what is it exactly that you require?" His fingers ran through his hair, and I couldn't help the small smile that grew as I noticed the small inflections from when he was a kid. From when we were friends.
"I, I need you to help me with my potions assignment." My smile fell. I knew this tactic, and it was growing tiresome.
"No you don't Severus." I clutched my wand a little tighter, as I broke his heart one more time. "Make up a better lie next time Sev."
"Lils," he said. He reached out to grab my arm and I flinched away. He withdrew his arm, and the dark brow eyes grew to black, clouding his pupils.
"Fine! Go cavort with Potter!"
"Severus, that's ridiculous."
"No, it isn't that far fetched!"
"At least he's not evil! At least he can be nice sometimes!" He rolled his eyes, drawing boredom over his face.
"So that's exactly what you want, Lil? Nice? I'm sure you'll make a lovely couple." I was crying, and it was like he didn't even care.
"Still better than you." His mouth opened wide, and mimicked my own.
"I'm so sorry, Sev. You know I didn't mean that."
"Do I? Do I know anything about you anymore? I give up Lily Evans. Let him have you."
"That's not fair to me Severus."
"I'm done thinking about what you'll think before I do anything. It's not worth it."
"Was it worth it last year? Is it because I'm a mudblood?"
"Stop that Lily," he roared. He grabbed my left arm and pulled me close to his face. I was never that close to him before, and it was simply put, scary.
I dragged my arm slowly out of his grip. "It was never about that Lily. You scare the shit out of me every day of my life. You're going to kill me Evans." I clasped my hand over my mouth as he walked away, the man who couldn't be moved. The one who was always there for me.
I had a hard time keeping a straight face through this story, but I managed it for Lils.
"Is that really how it went down?"
"Yeah, Doe. I don't think he's ever going to forgive me." I rolled my eyes.
"Forgive you? In my opinion the whole thing was his fault to begin with. I mean first of all, he came up to you. Second of all, he was the one who started yelling. And this ones just a question but third of all, did he really yell? I mean, I've never even seen Sniffy lift an eyebrow out of intrigue."
Her head fell into her hands and she did that sarcastic air-huff. At least she's laughing. "It may surprise you, but he's not that bad a guy."
"You're right that did surprise me. Now lets focus on me. Do you know where Sirius is?"
"What do you want with him now?"
'"What the hell does that mean? Do you know why he's been all mean and moody?"
"As a matter of fact, I don't. Sirius and I haven't gotten all buddy-buddy since you've gone full on maniac."
"Maniac? I am as normal as I ever was." Not that there was much normal to go on, but I haven't gone completely mental yet.
"You've lost interest in all of your core classes, when I know you are striving to become an auror. Well, you'll never get there at this rate. You're hair is a mess, and getting very dull if I do say so myself. You scream at basically anyone who dares to touch your shoulder. As for Sirius, from what I've heard you've been a straight up bitch ditching the marauders left and right. The pranks are easily spotted and foiled without you. You don't even know what's going in his life right now. You better get you act together or no one in their right mind will ask you to the Halloween Ball, which is in no less than eight days!"
Ah, shit, that godforsaken ball is next Saturday, isn't it.
"Well, I think it's a little presumptuous of you to assume no one's asked me yet. Who are you going with Miss Got-it-all-together?"
"No fucking way." I cackled and threw my head back, and felt my cheeks grow embarrassingly hot. My stomach was cramping so I held onto my side as Lily looked around to make sure no one saw, which everyone did.
"What the hell kind of joke is that? You and Potter?"
"It's not a joke." She stopped to stir her tea, and I waited for her to burst out with whatever she was holding down under her tongue. Her cheeks grew the two red spots that came with secrets. I was ready.
"And, well, I've not actually asked him yet." I put the back of my hand to her head.
"Are you sick?"
She threw my hand of viciously and dusted her forehead as if I had some foreign germs. "Of course not." She drew the cup up to her mouth and my smirk fell when I realized what was going on.
"Don't do that to him Lily."
"What," she questioned innocently.
"Asking him to get back at Severus? That's terrible."
"Oh, don't take me for a fool. What don't you get? The boy's in love with you! I won't let you do that to my best friend."
"Whatever, I don't need your approval. He'll say yes and that's all I need right now."
"Well Snivelly was right about one thing." I stopped to take a sip of her tea. "You should have been in Slytherin." Grabbing it back, she stopped the conversation by burying her face in the teacup. She was sulking in a teacup. That should be a book title. I think I'll write a book, because honestly, I'm very imaginative. I am very scatter-brained, though. I can't tell a story for my life. Not maniacal, scatter-brained.
"So, about Sirius, whats going on in his life that I don't know about?" She looked around once more, and took my hand which was out on the table.
"Dorcas, I'm sure he was going to tell you."
"Emmeline cheated on him. That's why he was upset."
"Fuck! You're right I was a complete bitch. So, do you know where he is?"
"That's the other thing."
"Lily." She was getting on my nerves now.
"He's at home."
"What the fuck! What the hell is going on with the world." I ripped my hand out from under hers.
"How the hell do you know any of this anyway. You've never liked any of them, never mind Sirius. Oh, I get it. You think that now you need to use James you can be friends with them. Well, you're not. They're MY friends. All mine, and no one else's, so get that through your thick head! Shit balls!" I stood up and rubbed my forehead. I really didn't need this right now.
"When the fuck did he leave anyway, All-Knowing One? Cause we just had class with him not thirty minutes ago."
"Dumbledore came for him about ten minutes after you left. Everyone knows. Not just me. You know, you should think about what you say Dorcas, cause I always hear every bit of it."
"Look, I'm sorry, Lils, I'm not having the greatest day. Shit fuck. Kill me already please." I grabbed my bags and headed for Dumbledore's office. The only place I could seek solitude in the castle, really.
"I'll see you later, Lil! I've got stuff to sort out!"
Wait," she called after me. "Why were you in the hospital!" I turned around abruptly, my eyes widening. Shit, I'd had a nice ten minutes in which I actually forgotten about that.
"It's not important right now! Later," I said, as the Great Hall, shut me out and away from her prying questions.
I plopped my self down in the guest chair (as I called it) in Dumbledore's office. I was really wiped out. When did those stairs get so hard to manage? My thumbs fiddled together as I sat and thought about what had happened. I was dying, Sirius was probably getting beaten right about now, James was going to be manipulated by his long-time obsession, Remus was still in the hospital, Lily was fighting again with Severus and Peter probably had no idea what was going on either. And look at that, it's only October. Alice and Longbottom were the only ones who had anything together as far as I know, which isn't an awful lot to go on apparently. At least this would all be over soon for me.
Speaking of which, I hadn't even given a thought as to what I was going to be doing about the magic thing. I don't want to go like my uncles, but I don't want to have to live like a muggle again. That was a brutal ten years, let me tell you. I think maybe I could just tone it down a bit. Actually, I might as well just throw it out altogether. But I still have a year to go, and I wouldn't want to get put back in sixth year if I don't graduate. This is going to be a careful year, and this has been an especially long day.
"Professor McGonagall? What are you doing here? You have a class right now!" That's when it dawned on me that I also had Transfiguration right now.
"I know. As do you, and that hasn't stopped you."
"Yes, but I just had to discuss something with Professor Dumbledore."
"As did I, Miss Meadowes. It seems the Headmaster has been called out." She rested her head in her hands and let out a great sigh, seated in his chair.
"Alphard Black has been murdered."
"Sirius Black's uncle, Alphard Black has been murdered. Well that's up for debate. He died."
"Is that where Sirius is?"
"Yes, Miss Meadowes!" She looked up sharply.
"I assumed you knew. Are you not on speaking terms with Mister Black?"
"I-I am. It's complicated." She did not respond.
"Well, I'm gonna head out," I said, pointing towards the door.
"See you in Transfiguration?" No response.
"Alright then." I shut the door silently, and left McGonagall to herself. What is wrong with her? There must be something wrong going on. Even I could see that. Alphard was surely not that important, considering he wasn't even in the Order. Maybe it was something to do with Voldermort. She certainly wouldn't ditch her own classes for something simple as a death. I understand Sirius now, and all I could think about now was how much I wanted to hug and apologize to him when he got back. I love that boy so much it's painful.