Chapter 4 : Cornered
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“Name?” He requested bluntly. Frozen in fear, I nearly threw up on him. Crap, crap, crap, now would be a good time to talk. TALK BRAIN TALK!!!
“She’s a mute, dumbass. Her name’s Lily Potter, unassessed, been in isolation for the past four weeks. I would suggest you get out of her face and back in your seat before she does some damage- she may not have much but judging by those scars, she could easily rip your eyes out just be using her blunt and bony fingers.”
No one moved. Please listen to Amelia, mental kid, please please please.
The blonde girl spoke up. Jason blinked, and looked me up and down, as if realising who I was for the first time. His eyes lingered on the criss-cross of scars across my wrists, my protruding ribs and finally my hollow face, with fearful eyes in the middle of it all. Shaking his head, he crawled back to his seat, sitting up straight like a plank of wood.
“Jason.” The girl said testily.
“Fine. Sorry Lily.” He muttered. The blonde nodded at him, before turning to me.
“Sorry about that. I’m Amanda, this is Casey.” She said, pointing at the short girl next to her. She jumped and regarded me like I had the dark mark.
“That was Jason; I’m guessing you know Amelia. That is Jake, and the twins next to him are Lizzy and Ozzy. Lizzy’s the girl, Ozzy’s the boy.” I nodded slowly, staring wearily at the twins. They looked right back. Instantly, I knew they were Slytherins. Definitely. Amanda, maybe a Ravenclaw. Casey looked like a Hufflepuff. Jason could have been a Gryffindor, Amelia as well, while Jake looked like a…well, he looked like a hard-core quidditch player. Sexy. Pulling myself out of my strange train of thought, I realised everyone was in deep conversation.
“C’mon, Mr Dudley’s so much hotter than Zabini!”
“Guys, guys, guys, we all know who the hottest Doctor here is- Dr Brown!”
“Eurgh, Jason! That’s just gross- she’s like 40 or something! She’s older than your Mum for Christ’s sake!”
I jumped when Jason said Dr Brown. Dr Lavender Brown. Oh fuck this was going to be awkward. She went out with my Uncle Ron in 6th year, and was broken hearted when he left her for Hermione. Apparently she’s still single and looking good for her age. This, of course, came from James, who had been to the Doctors so much for quidditch injuries that he sent birthday cards. Individually. Strange how he can remember the birthdays of the whole staff of the ‘Physical Injuries’ section, and not his own sisters. Then again, barely anyone did. (It’s November 13th if you’re wondering). Anyway, I quickly shook my head and tried to listen into the conversation again. Only to see everyone staring at me with raised eyebrows. Jumping in surprise, I fell out of my chair and onto the floor. Jason appeared by my side, his hand already stretched out. I took it gratefully, smiling thanks, when he suddenly pulled me across the room and out of the door. Jesus, for such a scrawny kid, he was strong. Then again, I was a bit of a light weight. The song ‘Lightweight’ by Demi Lovato suddenly burst into my head. Merlin I needed help.
“Come one, we are going to art!”
“No way Jason, she’s coming to music with me and the twins!”
“Boys, boys, boys, we’d already decided this. She’s going to join me and Amelia in the rec room to see if we can get her to talk.”
“I thought she was going to the library with me…”
“Casey, as if she’d want to go to the library with you!”
“Jason, apologise at once!”
“Amanda, I’m not apologising, I’m serious! Anyway, she’s coming to Art with me. I’m not sitting next to Smelly Steve again. Or Druggy Dave. And I am definitely, totally, quadruple-y not sitting with Sam again. He’s the worst.”
“I actually quite like Sam…”
“Casey, either speak up or shut up!!!”
Violently, I pulled my arm back and slapped Jason across the face. While he recovered from shock, I turned to the others and glared at them individually. Rubbing my arm, which was now red from where Jason’s hand was wrapped around it, I stormed back down to my room.
I was not a toy.
And I was still not ready.
Crouching beside my bed, I cried once again, until the nurse came in to give me my injections. I’d only spent one hour outside of this room, and I had already planned to spend the rest of my time here crouching here on the floor, living off toothpaste and mouthwash. Before I knew it, the lights had been turned off, and I collapsed on the floor into a torture like sleep.
The next morning, Doctor Lupine came into talk to me. I sat up from where I’d fallen asleep on the floor, my hair sticking up and a large lump in my throat. First was the physical test. She noted how much more weight I’d lost, the texture and likes of my hair, how my eyes were duller, and finally the small scatter of bruises across my body. Though most of them were created by my own hands, digging them into my body so I could feel something while I drifted off, there were some in the form of a hand above my right wrist. I could tell that Lupine had noticed the difference, how these were not from self-harming, but she only glanced up with a worried expression.
Next was the mental test. She had given up asking me questions from the second week, so instead she showed me pictures and asked me to write down what I saw. This time, however, I was set on finally speaking. I’d heard that visitors are allowed after six weeks, and I wanted to be prepared with some comebacks. When the first picture was shown, I saw two angels with a dancing guinea pig inbetween. Weird I know but true. Instead of taking the pencil she held out for me, I cleared my throat and attempted a word.
“Hey…hi…ay say...” I choked out, the words bubbling at the back of my raw throat.
“Excuse me?” Doctor Lupine looked at me in surprise, dropping the pencil that she was holding out.
“I...seeee...an-gel-z.” I coughed, the pain building up inside of me. Luckily, Doctor Lupine takes my hand and smiles reassuringly.
“That is all for now. So, you say that you see angels? Is that all?”
A slight smile played across both of our faces, as I grabbed the pencil from the floor and write down what I see on the piece of plain paper below. Slowly, the hours pass on, until Lupine looks down at her watch and nearly jumps from shock.
“Oh, dear, appears that I’ve run right into your lunch break! Now, I hear that you were getting to know Amelia and Jason and the others, is that correct? Well, I think it would be best if you join them in one of the lessons after lunch. It will get worse if you don’t join in, start being sociable. I’ve seen it happen to many children. Though,” She paused, glancing back from where she stood at the door with her folder against her chest, “I would suggest being a little weary of Jason and the twins. They can be a little...temperamental.” With that she left, leaving me sitting on the floor with a serious cramp in my knees.
I stayed in my room. For days. Amazingly though things started to improve. I actually ate something on the second day! (Ok, so it was just a Satsuma and I did chuck must of it back up afterwards, but still) My only visitors were Dr Lupine and the nurse, who had really grown on me. I’d personally come to the conclusion that she was also a mute, because she hadn’t said a word whenever she came in, unlike the other nurses. Most of the time she just sat there while I took my medicine, watching me like a Mum watches her child, or a sister watches her younger sister. I’m pretty sure there’s a sob story behind it.
Anyway, I was now capable of forming sentences, but requested that this was kept secret. I liked dramatic surprises. But every day Dr Lupine came in and recorded more scars and bruises across my body, half of which I didn’t even know how or when I had created. They just happened when I was daydreaming, or attempting to get to sleep, or thinking, or talking, or even breathing. They were just habit. They weren’t helped by the fact that after nearly five weeks I still hadn’t been officially diagnosed. It should be illegal to keep a mental patient waiting this long. But one day Dr Lupine had had enough of my personal isolation.
“Alright, Lily, that was brilliant. I’m really proud of your progress, and so are the other doctors and your parents. What I’m not pleased with is how you’re staying locked in this room every day. I told you it’s only going to make matter worse. Now you can either tell me what happened or you can face up to it yourself and march right out of this room. Lily? The mute act doesn’t work anymore, I know you can talk.”
“My parents?” I wasn’t meant to know that. It was written right across her face. Rookie mistake I guess. But I knew now. They were coming in, talking to my doctors, asking after me, but didn’t want me to know. They were doing exactly what they were doing before. Ignoring me, tiptoeing around me, forgetting me. To save Lupine’s neck I just smiled softly and said “Sure. You’re totally right. I’ll head down to the canteen in five minutes.”
Giving me a silent thank you, Dr Lupine nodded my way and quickly left. If she was crazy she’d be ready to cut herself for that mistake. Sniffing back the bubbling emotions about my ‘family’, I stood up and looked at myself in the mirror, untangling my hair with my fingers.
“It’ll do.” I murmured to myself. “It is only the mad house, right?”
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