Chapter 7 : Seven
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Third Year: September 17th, 1973
Gryffindor Tower: 3rd year Girls’ Dormitory #1
As Told By Mary Macdonald
By the time that I was finally allowed to leave the Hospital Wing after gaining consciousness, it seemed like Gryffindor and Slytherin had openly declared war against each other.
I couldn’t even pay attention to how worried Lily, Dorcas, Marlene, and Jennifer were because of how much I had missed, and it wasn’t all class work that I was worried about.
The girls had informed me of what had happened in Charms, and it wasn’t any secret by now that several Gryffindors and Slytherins had landed themselves in the Hospital Wing because of duels in the corridors.
There was even a rumour floating around that Snape had gone down through some sort of tunnel by the Whomping Willow, only to have James Potter save him from something horrible down there.
Another puzzling occurrence was James, Remus, and Peter’s coldness towards Sirius. Though it disappeared eventually after a few days, wild rumours were being swapped, each as unlikely as the other.
The rumour regarding Snape was confirmed by Lily and Jennifer, both of whom knew for a fact that James had saved Snape from whatever it was down near the Whomping Willow.
Lily had thought Snape was remarkably ungrateful towards James for saving him.
It was the first (and probably the last time) that Lily would defend James Potter against Severus Snape, and Jennifer had been stunned to silence at that fact.
However, not even Jennifer could have figured out what had possibly led the tightest knit of friends that I’ve seen, perhaps aside from ourselves, to be arguing.
None of these really mattered, however, in retrospect to the silent horrors that plagued me at night when the girls were all soundly asleep.
I wasn’t sure any of them really noticed, but I couldn’t blame them.
Dorcas seemed more and more occupied with Jacob Robinette and Emmeline these days, and I couldn’t help but wonder whether I had been wrong when I told Jennifer that it was wrong to pry.
On the other hand, Jennifer was far too occupied trying to figure out what had happened between James and his friends.
Her curiosity was unrivalled, and it was the first time that I had seen someone so eager to know every detail. It was times like this that made me wonder why Jennifer hadn’t been put in Ravenclaw.
I supposed that Marlene and Lily should have noticed, but, as great of a friend as Marlene as, she hardly notices details or the smaller things that wouldn’t be able to escape a keen eye.
Lily would have been my most obvious guess, if one of the girls suspected what was going through my mind.
However, it was hard for me to miss that something had quite obviously happened in the revolutionary conversation between herself and Snape when she took James Potter’s side against Severus Snape’s.
To someone like Jennifer, it would be irritating that we knew next to nothing about their friendship aside from the fact that they had been childhood friends.
To me, however, and perhaps to Dorcas as well, Lily’s secrecy seemed reasonable.
There were things that I felt needed to be kept a secret, and Dorcas’s involvement with Jacob Robinette and Emmeline was enough to tell me she had her own secret as well.
Marlene just preferred not to dwell on the fact that Lily was friends with someone like Snape.
In some ways, I was almost grateful that Lily didn’t notice what horrible thoughts were running through my head.
Waking up from after Mulciber’s attack on me and realizing what had happened was one of the worst feelings ever.
No words could accurately describe how useless I felt at that moment.
Mulciber wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box but it didn’t mean that he was incapable of the Dark Arts.
His capability for the Dark Arts was shocking, as we had all really believed that Snape was the one who was the master of the Dark Arts, at least amongst the Third Year Slytherins.
It wasn’t so much the attack that had shaken me up. Of course I now felt a newfound hatred towards Mulciber and the Dark Arts, particularly the Imperius Curse, but truth of the matter was that it had never been a secret that Mulciber was a complete git.
The taunting that I had endured in the short duration that I had been out of the Hospital Wing was enough to let me know that I was in real danger.
Muggleborns were the target of everyone who sympathized with Voldemort’s pureblood regime.
Lily obviously would understand, seeing as she was a Muggleborn herself. The problem is that Lily and I are opposites.
Despite the fact that Severus Snape wasn’t a reliable friend to have and he wasn’t a decent person in any way, Lily still had a Slytherin friend. Furthermore, Lily had no trouble standing up for herself.
I hadn’t missed the way that she liked to hex James and Sirius behind Jennifer’s back, whenever Jennifer or a staff member wasn’t watching.
Hexing James and Sirius obviously isn’t an indication of Lily’s war-ready behaviour, but standing up for herself against the likes of Eliana Rosier, Marcella Selwyn, Chrysantha Yaxley, and all of the other Slytherin boys was.
Lily spoke her mind, and everyone knew that Lily would never be forced to do something she dislikes, nor would she sit back and watch something that makes her uncomfortable happen without a comment.
The downside to this was that Lily could be irrational when her anger and slightly quick temper clouded her reasoning, something that I observed happened quite a lot around James Potter.
The truth was that I wanted to be more like Lily.
There was never a single doubt in my mind that Lily was a Muggleborn who was going to survive this War.
After the incident with Mulciber, there were many doubts in my mind whether I could survive this War.
Reacting so poorly to a mediocre Dark wizard such as Mulciber, who was my own age incidentally, surely must mean that I wasn’t showing the capability of survival.
The thought of not lasting through this dark period frightened me.
Compared to myself, Jennifer, Dorcas, and Marlene had nothing to worry about, seeing as they were purebloods. They were quite safe behind the comforts of their family history.
Even though being a pureblood does not automatically mean survival, being a pureblood greatly increased one’s chances.
I knew deep down, however, that my three pureblood friends weren’t exactly safe either. My knowledge doesn’t extend to the ways of the Wizarding pureblood society, but I knew enough to understand that the Potters, Meadowes, and McKinnons were in dangerous waters with families such as the Malfoys, Lestranges, and the Blacks.
It didn’t matter, though, whether my friends’ blood status would save them.
All four of them were infinitely more courageous and braver than I was, and it was something I wanted to rectify.
We were only Third Years, meaning that we meant quite little to perhaps the Sixth or Seventh years. They obviously could care less about us Third Year girls.
On the other hand, I could already see a precedence occurring among my friends, even if they were completely oblivious to it themselves.
Dorcas was slowly earning the reputation as someone you didn’t want to cross, particularly after the recent War waged between the Gryffindors and Slytherins. There was something about her silent anger that was unsettling.
Dorcas was also as kind as Lily and never quick to judge, preferring to sit back and think things out before acting. The exception to Dorcas’s rule of kindness was Slytherins. Furthermore, it would be hard to find her a rival in her intelligence.
Whereas Lily was known to be the ones that knew the answers to the teachers’ questions, Dorcas had a more internal intelligence, the type that, according to our Defence professor this year, was the type that the Auror Office looked for.
She could also master the most difficult of spells in her sleep. Dorcas was someone that you would expect to grow to be a very powerful Witch.
Marlene was somewhat trickier to define.
Apparently, the McKinnons were a remarkably powerful family, and several of Marlene’s cousins and siblings were already making their mark on the Wizarding world, as Marlene didn’t like to go into too much detail about.
Marlene was one of the McKinnons. She was that pretty girl everyone in the female population wanted to be. Marlene had a no nonsense attitude and a very straightforward personality that attracted girls and boys alike.
Of course, Marlene was known among us girls to be quite unbothered with details when it didn’t concern her.
Jennifer didn’t shrink into the background either, even if she was the one out of all of my friends that might have a more difficult time earning her own personal identity among our peers.
Being known as James Potter’s cousin probably would not do much for her own personal sense of self, but that title in it of itself spoke millions.
James Potter had already proved himself to be a fiercely loyal friend, as demonstrated by his defending Peter Pettigrew against others. His brilliance in the classroom was to be noted, and his bravery of saving Snape already was a huge plus for his character.
Jennifer was everything that James was, even if they had their differences, the most obvious one being Jennifer’s sensibility and James’s lack of sensibility at times.
She was also the only person, Dumbledore aside, that could control James and his friends.
James Potter aside, Jennifer was outgoing and opinionated.
Whereas Lily didn’t have a problem stating her beliefs but liked to give people the benefit of the doubt, Jennifer made her opinions known from the beginning and trusted people when they had earned it.
The only deviation from Jennifer’s general personality was her regard towards James’s troublemaking, in which she liked to turn a blind eye at times.
This, however, I credit to the death of her parents and Jennifer’s subsequent life with James and his parents.
In the midst of such brilliantly coloured friends, I could feel my personal sense of importance and self-worth almost diminishing.
Mulciber’s attack was probably the final nail in the coffin of destroyed self-esteem.
What was I? I was studious, but I wasn’t as smart as Dorcas. I was kind, but I wasn’t as kind as Lily. I wasn’t pretty like Marlene, and I wasn’t outgoing like Jennifer.
It seemed as though in every group of friends, every person has their own role. Someone was smart, someone was the flirt, someone was carefree, and someone was kind.
And there was always someone that melted into the background, usually forgotten.
I hated thinking that I was the one that was usually forgotten, but more often than not, that was the usual feeling that accompanied me.
Countless times had I revisited Mulciber’s attack, questioning why it had to have happened to me. What was it about me that me that had made Mulciber come after me? What was I lacking that made me so vulnerable to Mulciber?
What did I need to change about myself?
The sleepless nights didn’t help resolve that raging conflict in my mind.
Third Year: October 19th, 1973
As Told By Jennifer Potter
“Sirius Orion Black, just tell me!” I hissed as I added some leech juice to my Shrinking Solution.
Sirius, who was sitting with James, Remus, and Peter in the table next to me, Dorcas, Marlene, and Mary, merely rolled his eyes. He was already incredibly tired of this conversation. In a haughty voice, he demanded, “Why do you care, Jen? It was nothing!”
“It was not ‘nothing’! You four were acting very strange, right around when Snape was stupid enough to go down to the Whomping Willow,” I said, feeling annoyed.
I didn’t miss the look that the four of them exchanged, or the way that Remus coughed awkwardly, or the way that Peter seemed to look incredibly nervous.
But regardless of what may have happened, neither of them said anything. James looked keen to avoid my eyes, as he had not spoken a word to me all of class.
Out of anger, I accidentally dropped in two rat spleens, instead of one, into my Potion. The colour immediately changed to yellow, when it was supposed to be acid green. I cursed, “Merlin’s fucking saggy left-”
“Jennifer!” Dorcas interrupted me, throwing me warning look.
I glanced towards where she was looking and could see Slughorn slinking around the room, lingering by Lily and Snivellus sitting in the front of the classroom.
“Look at this,” I threw a frustrated look at James and Sirius, who didn’t quite catch my eye.
Seeing as I was preoccupied with interrogating the boys, Dorcas leaned over and began adding all sorts of ingredients to my potion.
By the time that I gave up interrogating the boys, my Potion had turned into the correct colour.
I blinked once, twice, before turning to Dorcas with a huge and grateful grin. “Thanks, Doe!”
“Doe?” Marlene asked confusedly. She looked up from her own Potion and gazed at me, puzzled. “Dorcas isn’t a doe.”
I rolled my eyes. “Not the animal, doe. You’re Marls, Mary is Mares, Lily is Lils, I’m Jen, and so Dorcas is Doe. We all need nicknames.”
James couldn’t resist the urge to cut in, “Those are lame nicknames. It’s too original.”
I threw James a filthy look. I hated that he didn’t tell me anything. “Just because you have nicknames that don’t make any bloody sense doesn’t mean our original nicknames lame.”
“What’d you mean it doesn’t make sense?” Sirius cried in protest, throwing in a rat spleen into his Potion without glancing at it. His potion immediately turned the right colour.
At times, I detested how he could not even try in class and completely ace his exams.
“Padfoot? You’re not exactly padded on your foot, Sirius. Nor can I figure out what Prongs means. And Remus I didn’t think you were a moon lover. Not to mention Wormtail just doesn’t make any sense, seeing as Peter doesn’t have a tail,” I rolled my eyes again as I added the last bits of my sliced caterpillars into my Potion.
The boys broke into snickers, giving each other approving smiles while guffawing like no tomorrow.
Pursing my lips at them, I huffed and turned my back to them. Why did I bother with talking to them at all?
“Are you done, Jen?” Mary asked, peering over at my Potion.
I nodded, glancing back towards my textbook. “Yeah, you’re supposed to let it shimmer before it can be drunk. I think it got it right though. It looks acid green enough.”
“You did it so fast!” Marlene commented with a bit of a whine in her voice. “I hate Potions. Why would we ever need to use Potions anyways?”
“It’s useful, Marls! What if you accidentally get poisoned one day?” Dorcas asked, having finished her own Shrinking Solution as well.
Marlene didn’t answer but I just grinned at her. “Don’t let Lily hear you say that you hate Potions. You know that she loves Potions.”
“I thought Evans liked Charms,” James interjected from behind me.
I ignored him. Lately, he had been asking a ridiculous amount of questions about Lily. If I didn’t know any better, then I would have suspected that James fancied her.
But seeing as it seemed impossible that James would fancy anyone with a penchant for not breaking rules, there was obviously another reason.
He had been bugging her a lot, however. Frequently, Lily was in a horrendous mood because James seemed to be stuck to her side (at times) like a wood lice to a bowtruckle.
I didn’t blame her when she would start ranting about how James was a pain in the arse. This newfound interest for Lily baffled all of us alike.
This was another matter that was recently irking me.
The first matter was, of course, why the boys had a row a month ago.
I wouldn’t have cared so much because after Mary’s good advice of telling me not to meddle in things that were not to be meddled with, I made a conscious effort to stay out of other people’s business.
The problem was that I had received an owl from Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle William, asking me whether something had happened at Hogwarts because James had written home in a foul mood and was going on about loyalty and trust.
It was unsettling to hear that James had been angry about something like loyalty and trust because it really would only matter if it involved Sirius, Remus, and Peter.
Andromeda, incidentally, had also owled me.
Imagine my complete bemusement when a second owl came, in the span of less than a few days, asking me whether something was up at Hogwarts because Sirius had written to her, asking her if he was a horrible person.
Andromeda owling me was unusual. Though we had been friendly back in my first year and her seventh, we weren’t exactly close acquaintances.
She also wasn’t in contact with her family either.
After having received her inheritance for turning of age and graduating from Hogwarts, Andromeda had apparently broken the news of her relationship with Ted Tonks to her family.
James had mentioned very briefly last year that Bellatrix and Narcissa were now refusing to acknowledge Andromeda was ever their sister.
Andromeda’s first letter to me had been to inform me of what happened, naturally, since I had been in on the secret that she was dating Ted Tonks.
This second letter was almost out of character. Usually the only times when I would hear of Andromeda was when James or Sirius would casually mention something.
I didn’t think either of the boys had any clue that I had been owled, and it was baffling to think that I was now the source of knowledge because none of the boys would provide adequate answers to adults.
To write back to my aunt and uncle and to Andromeda that I knew absolutely nothing about what happened was an uncomfortable notion.
James had reverted back to normal after he, Remus, Peter, and Sirius had made up after their fight. Sirius seemed to be the same, though he seemed slightly more keen in the beginning few weeks to avoid Snivellus.
I wasn’t worried about James as much as Andromeda’s letter had plagued me.
Not only could I not imagine Sirius voicing his insecurities, but I also couldn’t imagine why on Earth would Sirius believe that he wasn't a good person.
Though Lily thought James and Sirius to be rude and unkind imbeciles, I knew it wasn’t true.
There were times when I felt guilty for not knowing Remus and Peter as well as I knew Sirius, but truthfully, the only reason why I was that friendly with Sirius is because he and James are attached by the hips.
However, as the time grew on, the initial proclamation that James and Sirius could pass for twins had actually opened my eyes to the notable differences between the two boys, and that was when I started noticing Sirius's small behavioural details
Every time Sirius passed by a Slytherin, his face is set into the same angry scowl. Every time Sirius received an owl or a Howler from home, his face is set into the same foul expression. Every time Sirius heard the word Mudblood, his face is set into the same dangerous fury.
James, Remus, and Peter must had already known, but I wasn’t quite sure that the rest of the school did.
What the four of us knew that no one else bothered to realize was that beneath the surface of the arrogant, haughty, and smart troublemaker was a complicated boy who, despite his home surroundings and other public pressure, struggled to be a good person.
There were some like Lily and Dorcas, who I believe to be inherently kind, though not without their faults.
There were some like Voldemort who was inherently evil with nothing good about him.
Yet there were those caught in the middle, the ones who had darkness constantly plaguing them. They were the ones that go through an internal struggle unbeknownst to us on the outside.
I didn’t like to think that I had Sirius figured out, nor did I like to make judgments about Sirius.
But what I believed to be true was that Sirius was the sort of person that was born into the influential darkness but managed, in the most brave and heroic way, to find the light, the justice, and the good inside of him.
The knowledge that Sirius was doubting himself made me feel upset for reasons I didn’t quite want to voice.
Lily thought I was wasting my time trying to figure out what was wrong, but I didn’t think I was.
James, Remus, and Peter were more than capable of protecting Sirius (not that I’d ever let him know that I thought he needed protection), but as I discreetly snuck at look at him as all of us trooped out of Potions at the end of class, I couldn’t help but worry.
Worry that, despite of being surrounded by the most wonderful friends, Sirius would feel lonely.
Third Year: December 1st, 1973
The grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
As Told By Dorcas Meadowes
The cold air tickled my nose as I swiftly made my way to the location that we usually held our Care of Magical Creatures class with Professor Kettleburn.
It was Saturday and everyone was up in the Common Room, celebrating our latest Quidditch victory against Ravenclaw.
The game was fairly unexciting, seeing as Ravenclaw's Quidditch team was lacking severely after several of their players graduated last year.
Surprisingly, Sirius wasn't playing, and he avoided Jennifer's curious questions by asking her why she wouldn't try out for the position of a Seeker.
Our current Seeker was horrible, and it was really only because of Wayne Robinette's fantastic Keeping skills and our Chasers' great team work that we won games. Our beaters weren't great, seeing as Sirius's partner usually left Sirius to do all the work.
Without Sirius on the pitch, our team seemed even more lacklustre, and we were only lucky that Ravenclaw weren't great themselves.
Either way, winning was winning, and there was a celebration in the Common Room that I would have dearly loved to participate in.
As I reached the small open field behind Hagrid's Hut, a lone figure, bundled up in his winter cloak, was already there.
"I hope you appreciate what I'm doing for you," I immediately said with a heavy scowl.
Jacob Robinette snorted. "In case you haven't noticed, I'm a Gryffindor as well. I should be the one up there, congratulating my brother on his fantastic game."
"Then we should just postpone this meeting and go celebrate," I muttered bad temperedly.
Jacob ignored this jib and went on. "Emmeline's been avoiding me. I've been trying to talk to her but it's not done me any good."
"Well, I told you. She has no good reason to want to talk to you, so I don't get why you're so determined to talk to her," I rolled my eyes. He was fighting a losing battle. "Besides, you two still have two years to go till you worry about it. Has Dumbledore even come up to your brother yet?"
Jacob shook his head. "Not yet. But I checked with Greg Whitaker and he hasn't heard anything from Dumbledore either."
I nodded, satisfied with this piece of information. Gregory Whitaker, Alice's older brother, was a definitely someone that Dumbledore would have kept his eye on.
"Well there you go. Greg hasn't heard, your brother hasn't heard, so I'm not sure why you're so desperate to try to tell Emmeline that a job in the Ministry isn't a good idea. She only interned there. It's not like she's definitely going to work there. Besides, Edgar Bones works for the Ministry, doesn't he?" I pointed out, feeling colder and colder standing outside.
"Yes, but that's Edgar. He knows how to take care of himself. You did hear that he told his sister Amelia not to get a job there? She's been working underground because their family is so worried."
I felt unnerved by this, but couldn't see how that applied to Emmeline.
"The Bones are an old family, and Voldemort isn't happy that they turned to our side," I tried arguing. Shivers were running up and down my spine and it wasn't only because of the cold.
Jacob sighed. "I wish you wouldn't say his name. No one says his name now."
"We do," I told him petulantly. "My family does, Dumbledore does, and so does the Potters and McKinnons!"
"Yes but that's them. They're all adults. You, Marlene, Jennifer, and James shouldn't be throwing his name around casually," Jacob warned, glancing around him almost nervously.
I looked around too, but shrugged. "You're only going to be more afraid of him if you don't say his name."
"Yeah well, wait till you're out in the field and try saying his name then," Jacob said with slight derision.
"You keep talking to me like this and I'm going to stop bothering with you. I've already told you a million times that I don't see why you're so worried about Emmeline. They're an old family too, and she can take care of herself. Besides, isn't Greg thinking of becoming an Auror?"
Jacob wasn't convinced by my argument and said, "But Moody's the head of the Auror Office. You can't get more anti-You-Know-Who than Moody. And it matters because her family isn't part of the Order! She needs to know that the Ministry is unreliable! You know how they covered up that attack on the Dowell family."
"Emmeline's isn't stupid," I sighed. "She knows that the Ministry didn't say a word about what happened to the Dowell family, and frankly, we're not supposed to know about the Order of the Phoenix. We're only endangering more lives by having this conversation. My parents and siblings swore me to secrecy when we accidentally found out last summer after I came back from the Potters."
It took Jacob a moment to process my words, and I could see that he had gotten my point as he sighed and ran his hands through his blonde hair.
"Alright fine," Jacob grumbled.
I sighed with relief, happy that Jacob had accepted my logic that it wasn't a good idea to go risking the knowledge of the Order of the Phoenix and happy that I could finally go back inside to the warmth.
"We better not have this conversation again. I can't keep explaining to my friends why I'm spending so much time talking to you and Emmeline," I warned him. Jennifer was far too inquisitive for her own good. One of these days, it would land her in a position that she would heavily regret. "Which reminds me, why didn't you ask her to Hogsmeade?!"
Jacob scowled at me as the two of us trudged our way back inside the castle. "She wouldn't have said yes anyways. Are you sure that she said I was handsome?"
"Yes, and if you ask me again, I'm going to throttle you."
Author's Note: Here I am with another update! (Finally, I know.) We're almost through with Third Year! What did you all think of this chapter? About Mary's inner conflict? About Dorcas and Jacob? The Order?!
Please leave a review, and let me know your thoughts! :)
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