Chapter 9 : Nine
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credit to the wonderful aurevoir for this lovely chapter image of Marlene
Fourth Year: September 2nd, 1973
Gryffindor Common Room
As Told By Jennifer Potter
“Stupid essay. First day back and we already have an essay due,” I grumbled, twirling my quill angrily. “Why do we have to have an essay due? I hate Transfiguration. ”
“It’s school,” Lily snorted, tucking a strand of her dark red hair behind her face. She peered down at her own homework and said, “At least you don’t have to do translate all of these Runes by Thursday.”
I wrinkled my nose and stared at Lily’s Ancient Runes homework with a vague sense of relief. “That’s why I didn’t take Ancient Runes. It looks horrible.”
Lily sighed. “It is pretty horrible, though very interesting.”
“Yeah but when would we ever need to translate Ancient Runes?” Marlene pointed out as she began collecting her textbooks.
I gazed at her and frowned. “Where are you going?”
“Library. I have studying to do, and it’s not going to study itself,” Marlene remarked, standing up and stretching her arms out. “Do any of you girls want to come join me?”
“Yeah, I might as well. I won’t get any essay writing done here,” I sighed loudly, getting up as well.
“Lily? Doe? Mare?” Marlene offered, a grin on her face. “We can make it a party in the library.”
Dorcas rolled her eyes but smiled back. “Aren’t you the clever one, McKinnon. And no thank you. Emmeline is helping me out with some stuff for my parents.”
All four of our ears perked up, and I looked at Dorcas sharply. “Is it about the war?” I asked quietly. I glanced around; no one was eavesdropping.
“Shhh!” Dorcas frowned. She pursed her lips, as if she was disappointed we thought to mention the War out in public like so. “And yes, sort of. They wouldn’t tell me anything more. I’ll fill you girls in later.”
I felt extremely dissatisfied by the answer but remained silent. Now wasn’t the time to argue with Dorcas.
Marlene tugged at my arm. “Jen, come on. I want to get everything done by dinner time.”
I followed Marlene out of the Common Room, though I highly doubted that we would get our essays done before dinner time if the two of us were together. Out of the entire group, Marls and I were the least productive and the biggest complainers.
On the way to the library, we bumped into Sirius, his arms laden with books.
“Oh, Sirius,” I perked up, throwing him a huge smile, until I noticed what he was carrying. “What’s all the books for?”
“Moony. He wanted me to get it for him,” Sirius replied easily, shaking some of his hair from his face. Unconsciously, I watched his face closely, my eyes following his hair and back to his eyes.
I entirely missed the twice-over that Marlene gave Sirius and the one that he gave her.
“I didn’t know you were so generous, Black,” Marlene replied, suddenly playing with her dark hair. She looked at him coyly, and it took all my self-control not to ask her what she was doing.
Sirius shrugged, his charismatic grin on his face. “There are many things you don’t know about me, McKinnon.”
I frowned. That was far too flirty for me; I hated seeing Sirius flirt with other girls, much less Marlene. And it wasn’t what Lily thought. The idea of Sirius with another girl is as horrible as it is if James was with another girl.
Rolling my eyes, I faked exasperation and said, “Stop flirting, Sirius. Tell Remus to get out more. All that studying won’t be good for him.”
Without waiting for Sirius’s reply, I pulled Marlene’s arm and walked away, feeling dissatisfied at the swirling emotions in my head.
“What was that for?” Marlene demanded as the two of us walked away. She turned her head around, presumably to fix her line of vision on Sirius.
I shrugged, not wanting to tell Marlene that I hated seeing Sirius or any of the boys flirt with other girls. “We need to get our essay done before dinner, remember?”
Marlene rolled her eyes at me, but relented. “It’s not going to kill us if we don’t. We could have stayed and chatted a bit longer.”
“I didn’t know you were so interested in Sirius Black, Marls,” I told her offhandedly. My right fist was clenched by my sides, and I hated that Sirius had to flirt with my friend. He couldn’t have picked another girl?
“I didn’t know you cared so much,” Marlene shot back cheekily, missing my tense behavior completely.
Forcing a smile onto my face, I slung my left arm around Marlene and replied, “No I couldn’t care less. I would just love to know whether my friend has a new bloke she’s trying to make fall in love with her.”
“I don’t do that,” Marlene gasped with fake horror. I resisted the urge to remind her how last year she had made a Hufflepuff First Year become infatuated with her. “And I’d never go for Sirius. You can have my word on that. I won’t deny he’s quite a sight for sore eyes, though.”
As we reached the library and our thoughts became consumed with the pile of homework we had, I thought to myself, Marlene, I’m going to be counting on you to keep your word.
Fourth Year: September 18th, 1973
The Great Hall
As Told by Jennifer Potter
“Why are you so bad tempered?” James asked incredulously later at dinner. “I just turned Snivellus’s hair red and gold! It’s not like I did something worse, like Sirius said. You hate Snivellus.”
I huffed and turned away from him. The mention of his best friend made me want to strangle the pair of them. Stupid idiots, the both of them.
How on Earth was James supposed to earn Lily’s affection this way? And I didn’t even want to think about Sirius, especially not after his little performance two weeks ago with Marlene. He had waltzed back into the library an hour after Marlene and I arrived and completely distracted her for the rest of the time.
And their flirting had gotten terribly worse over the past two weeks. It was to a point where people were questioning whether they were dating or not.
“Lighten up, Jen. Just because Evans is all upset doesn’t you have to be,” Sirius said easily before stuffing his mouth with more roast beef.
“Actually, for your information, Black, it is my business if my friend is upset because my stupid cousin doesn’t know how to get with a girl and it is my business if you can’t use your intelligence for anything else than trying to get with a girl who also happens to be my friend,” I snapped at Sirius angrily.
Without saying another word, I picked up my plate and got up from next to James and headed towards the girls, Lily having sent me over in an attempt to try to be more diplomatic with James when it came to Snivellus.
“The lot of them are gits,” I muttered bad temperedly as I slammed down my plate onto the table, shocking the nearby Second Years who jumped a mile up into the air.
“I don’t understand why you’re so mad,” Mary commented quietly with a raised eyebrow. “I think the entire Hall heard you lashing out at Sirius Black.”
“Is Potter really trying to get with me?” Lily asked quietly when I didn’t answer Mary.
I snorted, unable to resist myself. “He’s been trying to get with you since last year. Somehow, he thinks that secretly turning Snivellus’s hair red and gold is going to do the trick and make you fall in love with him. James is stupid.”
“What?!” Dorcas gasped with shock. “No way!”
“Secret, girls,” I warned them, fixing my eyes on my plate. As angry as I was with James, I didn’t want all of Hogwarts to go around knowing this until James wants to go public with his fancy of Lily.
Marlene’s eyes sparkled with interest. “Do you know if any of the other boys fancy someone? Sirius and Remus?”
No one mentioned how Peter’s name was absent from that list.
“Remus is too busy being a good stupid to be bothered with girls, and Sirius is a stupid git that I don’t want to think about,” I scowled, trying not to be annoyed at Marlene but completely failing.
I didn’t say anything for the rest of dinner, as I fumed with anger.
This anger was different.
It wasn’t my anger at Sirius when he was mocking me about Wayne Robinette, and it wasn’t my frustration at him when he wouldn’t tell me what was wrong last year.
This anger was blinding and red hot. This anger made me want to march over and punch Sirius right in the face.
When we girls left the Great Hall after dinner, I stalked behind the rest of them, jaws tight and fists clenched.
Slowly, I melted and disappeared into the sea of people all crowding to get back to their dormitories.
I needed some alone time.
By the time that I had reached the Black Lake, I was freezing.
I had half a mind to turn around and immediately head back to the Gryffindor Tower, but the thought of Sirius made me plant my feet firmly into the ground.
Using my wand to enlarge some of the branches, I muttered, “Incendio.”
Immediately, I felt the warm blaze of the fire, and sighed contently. Sitting down in front of the fire, I tried to let my mind wander to anything but Sirius.
“A knut for your thoughts?”
Immediately, I stood up and whirled around, my wand ready, because I could recognize that voice anywhere.
“Selwyn,” I growled angrily, my eyes blazing as much as the fire. “Go away.”
Selwyn snorted, rolling his eyes at me. I fixed my eyes on him, body tense and ready for a duel if he pulls out his wand.
It surprised me that he was alone.
“You can’t make me go anywhere. In case you haven’t noticed, you don’t own the Hogwarts grounds,” Selwyn told me as he sauntered around me towards the other side of the fire, taking a seat. I glared at him, wishing that he would disappear from my life.
Without answering, I turned around and began heading back towards the castle. I wasn’t going to spend any prolonged period of time with Magnus Selwyn alone.
Selwyn called out from behind me, “You can walk away from me, Potter, or you can stay and listen to what I have to say about Black.”
I stopped dead in my tracks, my curiosity holding me back despite my logic telling me to walk away.
I wanted to know how the hell he knew that I was so bothered by Sirius, and I wanted to know what he could possibly know about Sirius that I didn’t know.
Fixing a blank and cold expression on my face with ease, I turned around and said, “Nothing you say can interest me.”
Selwyn smirked, the expression making him look even more evil than before. He looked so similar to Marcella Selwyn and just as evil. “Not even the fact that Black and McKinnon are secretly snogging each other?”
I narrowed my eyes, my heart pounding harder at the thought. Of course Selwyn would say this to me. “Lies. Why should I trust you, Selwyn? You’re an evil git that deserves to rot in Azkaban.”
There was a beat of silence as I glared at Selwyn, meeting his cold brown eyes with the hatred of my own blue eyes.
Just when I thought I had won the silent stare down, Selwyn quietly asked, “Does anyone deserve to rot in Azkaban?”
“What?” I frowned, shocked at his reply. For a moment, I thought I had saw a flash of pain in his expression but it disappeared before I could place it.
“Does anyone truly deserve to rot in Azkaban?”
“Voldemort does,” I retorted without hesitation. Flipping my black hair behind my back, I continued. “And so does all of his Death Eaters and all of you lot.”
“So you think I, Magnus Septimus Selwyn, deserve to rot in Azkaban,” Selwyn asked tonelessly, his expression still blank and his eyes still cold.
“What the bloody hell are you getting at? Of course you do, and I’m leaving,” I told him firmly before turning my head and marching away from Selwyn and his confusing question.
“Just think about it!”
I had no idea what he was talking about, but whatever it was, no, I definitely won’t be thinking about it.
Fourth Year: October 17th, 1973
Outside the Muggles Studies Classroom
As Told by Dorcas Meadowes
“Do you want to go to Hogsmeade with me?”
I blinked in surprise. When Benjy Fenwick told me he had something to ask me after class, I hadn’t expected this.
“Uhm… you do know that the first Hogsmeade date of the year hasn’t been planned yet, right?” I asked him, unsure of where he was trying to go with this.
Benjy nodded just slightly too enthusiastically, his shaggy brunette hair flopping all over his head. “Oh, I know, but I figured that I’d ask you first before anyone else can get to you, ya know, Meadowes? Early birds always get all of the good worms.”
I tried in vain to not feel to irritated by his comparison of me to a worm; it was such a compliment to hear that he thought I’d be a popular choice for blokes to ask me to Hogsmeade.
I supposed Benjy wasn’t horrible. He was suffering from the usual teenage-boy acne, but he was only taller than me by a few inches, which wasn’t great considering I was only average height. Even though Benjy wasn’t the best looking bloke there was at Hogwarts, he was kind enough.
“I don’t know, Benjy. Let me get back to you because it’s still so early and I don’t know if the girls want to do something for our first Hogsmeade trip,” I told him apologetically. I sincerely hoped that the girls would help get me out of this because the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t want to go with Benjy Fenwick.
Benjy looked slightly dejected, until he cheered himself up by saying, “Well, I suppose that’s not a no, and there are plenty more Hogsmeade dates around. See you in class, Meadowes.”
Without a further word, Benjy tore down the hall and towards the Hufflepuff Common Room, leaving me gaping in shock.
Sighing, I turned around and headed down the opposite end towards the Gryffindor Tower.
“Meadowes! Hey, Dorcas!”
Whirling around, a smile came to my face as Remus Lupin hurried down the corridor towards me.
His face looked slightly gaunt and his eyes had dark circles. I remembered that he had been ill a few nights previously, as his friends couldn’t be seen the entire night.
I was about to ask whether he felt any better when I noticed something else. Remus’s face was pale and ashen; his hands looked clammy and his entire body was almost shaking.
“There’d been another attack,” Remus immediately told me as soon as we were within earshot of each other. Grabbing my hand, he ran down the corridor. Was he not even tired?
As Remus dragged me and all I could do was follow his tall and lanky figure, he said, “Sirius and McKinnon have the details because they were coming from the library. We need to go straight to the Gryffindor Tower.”
Several students we had passed by gave us weird looks; no doubt word hadn’t yet spread about this attack. I had a fair feeling though that there would be some rumor tomorrow that Remus and I are dating.
It was impossible to keep Hogwarts from gossiping.
I, however, was only focused on one thing.
Streams of confusing thoughts flowed in my head. Who was attacked? Who would be so stupid to conduct another attack? Was it another Slytherin like Malfoy and Travers who didn’t care for those Muggleborns? Maybe it had something to do with the innocent Muggle family down in Wales who had been mysteriously poisoned today.
More importantly, why did Remus say Marlene was at the library when she clearly told me that she didn’t feel well enough to go to class?
Shaking these confusing feelings from my head, I focused on what required the most attention at the moment: the attack.
As soon as we reached the Gryffindor Tower (and gasped the password, “Godric” to the Fat Lady), we realized that the entire Tower was in a frenzy.
Almost all of the Gryffindors were crowded around in a circle around some students I couldn’t see who, everyone was talking at the top of their lungs, careless conclusions were being thrown all over the place, and the entire place was a scene of overall panic.
“STOP!” I heard a voice say from within the mosh-pit. I recognized the voice as belonging to Jennifer. “SHUT UP, THE LOT OF YOU!”
I resisted the urge to smile affectionately as Remus and I pushed through the crowd to find our friends, Sirius and Marlene being interrogated not only by our friends but also by the rest of the Gryffindors, Seventh Years to First Years alike.
“What happened?” I breathed heavily, reaching Marlene and giving her a once-over to make sure she wasn’t hurt. Interrogations about her absence from class can be asked later.
Marlene, looking white and pale, shook her head. Looking at me with serious eyes, she try to whisper, “I don’t know. We can’t talk here. We need to go somewhere else. We already went and saw McGonagall, and she made us promise not to say anything until Dumbledore makes an announcement.”
She darted a nervous eye at the crowd as people started shouting obscenities, everything from cursing her for not telling them who was attacked to demanding to know what was going on because every Hogwarts student “had a right to know”.
“SHUT IT!” Jennifer hollered again, looking beyond irritated.
Immediately, the crowd quieted again. The blazing glares that she was throwing at the crowd was enough to silence Voldemort himself.
“Did you not just hear Marlene saying Dumbledore will make an announcement? Now, shut up, stop spreading rumors, get out of our way, and wait till dinner when Dumbledore makes the bloody announcement about what bloody happened!”
Without another word, Jennifer grabbed Marlene’s hand, shoved everyone in her path aside, and started marching up the stairs towards the Gryffindor boys’ dorm.
“Yeah, go right ahead, Jen. Of course you don’t need to ask permission to go into our dorm or anything,” James muttered with an eye roll as the seven of us trailed after Jennifer and Marlene.
The boys’ dorm was messy, as expected. Clothes were strewn all over the place, and it was a miracle that they could tell whose robes were whose. Papers, books, and quills were scattered all around, and the beds were unmade.
Jennifer sniffed, looking annoyed as she began picking up the clothes off of one bed that I can only assume to be James’s.
“Do you boys ever sort through your clothes?” Jennifer grumbled as she picked some underwear from James’s messy pile of clothes and threw it at Sirius’s face, though he caught it before it could hit him. Jennifer picked out another torn white shirt from the pile and tossed it gently at Remus.
As she started folding the clothes, the rest of us started sitting wherever we could. The boys all sat in their respective beds, Marlene taking a seat on Sirius’s and Lily choosing to stand besides Mary, who had been offered a seat on Remus’s bed.
"Dorcas you can sit here if you want..." Peter offered shyly, gesturing to his bed.
Giving him a grateful smile, I sat down and replied, "Thanks Peter. I appreciate that."
When we were all situated, Peter was extremely anxious, James seemed slightly suspicious as he kept glancing at Jennifer, who was still blazing with anger, Sirius distinctly unruffled, and Remus looked worried.
Mary, probably remembering her own attack, was almost shaking. Lily, trying to make her current situation seem far less awkward, placed a comforting arm around Mary.
I resisted the urge to laugh at Snape’s face if he knew that Lily was in James and Sirius’s dorm.
“So what happened?!” James demanded, as he turned his attention away from Jennifer.
Sirius shook his head, leaning back to lounge easily on his bed. “McKinnon and I were at the library. We were walking back when we saw Bellatrix.”
“Bellatrix? Your cousin?” James asked sharply. Jennifer perked up as she took a quick glance at Sirius before scowling.
Sirius nodded, sharing what looked like a significant look with James. Remus cut in, “What was she doing at Hogwarts? Surely that can’t be allowed.”
“Well, no one knew that she was here because she was with Wilkes, that Slytherin Seventh Year. Everyone’s dead scared of Wilkes except the Gryffindors. Bellatrix and Wilkes were cornering some Ravenclaw fifth year who had nearly pissed his pants when he saw that it was Bellatrix and Wilkes,” Marlene replied, looking at each of us girls, though Jennifer wouldn’t meet her eyes.
Jennifer continued to pick up the boys’ clothes, making me wonder why she would do that when she was clearly having a row with Sirius.
“Do you know who the Ravenclaw was?” Lily questioned, focusing her attention on Marlene. “We need to make sure that he talks to Dumbledore.”
Marlene nodded, sighing. She twisted her fingers around nervously as she replied, “It was Chester Dearborn. Sirius and I cut in, while Chester ran away. By the time that Chester came back with a teacher, they had disappeared.”
“Was there a confrontation?” Peter asked, his eyes wide as he looked at Sirius attentively. “Bellatrix would definitely try to do something.”
“She tried, but Wilkes stopped her, the stupid git. He didn’t want to get in trouble after the punishment that Malfoy and Travers got before for cursing Robbie Mitchell,” Sirius scowled, looking irritated that he didn’t get a chance to have a go at Bellatrix.
“I think it’s better you didn’t start anything, Sirius,” Remus said, heaving a sigh. He glanced at James, who looked deep in thought, and said, “You still have to go home and see her.”
Marlene, still looking extremely shaken and pale, said, “We talked to Dumbledore right afterwards. We went with Dearborn and Flitwick to Dumbledore’s office and told him everything that happened. He’s going to make some sort of announcement tonight because he knows it’s going to spread that Bellatrix was here at Hogwarts.”
“She must have been recruiting,” I said, looking around at the other eight people in the room. It was a bold move, discussing something like this with so many people. Not to mention, considering Sirius’s family, it might not have been a good idea.
“What do you mean?” Mary asked anxiously. “What would she want with Hogwarts students?”
“Not her, Voldemort. She can’t be here on her own will; if she was with Wilkes, and we all know where he’s going to end up, then it means that Voldemort wants to start recruiting young for Death Eaters,” Jennifer cut in, speaking for the first time in a while.
She turned to away from the boys’ trunk and faced us, looking at us all with a grim expression. “Come on, you lot. It’s not secret. We all know how it’s going to end up. Either you’re going to join Voldemort, or you’re going to become an Auror or something to try to stop him. The Dearborns are an old family, and Chester’s older brother, Caradoc, is a brilliant wizard. It’s no wonder that Voldemort wants to get the Dearborns on his side.”
“I don’t think we have to worry about us students choosing sides just yet,” Lily started, glancing at Mary who looked as pale as Marlene. “We need to worry about finishing school first.”
“We can’t sit around any longer and pretend that we don’t have to choose sides. It’s going to come, Lils. One day soon, we’re all going to have to choose the path we want to go on,” Jennifer insisted, her voice rising.
Lily stood up, her eyes flaring. “Maybe some of us know what is right, but we’re too scared. Have you considered how difficult it would be to become an Auror? To be targeted? It’s not easy.”
“Well, war isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. We have to start making the right decisions now before we regret it,” Jennifer said, shooting a nasty look at Sirius who stared back impassively.
Lily angrily opened her mouth to reply, but I cut in before the two of them can go on.
“Stop! It doesn’t matter. I don’t think any of us should have to plunge head first into this war, but we do have to know what’s the right thing to do. The right thing to do right now is to make sure that all of our friends are safe. We can’t ask any more than that of ourselves right now,” I told Jennifer and Lily firmly, willing the both of them to not make a scene in front of the boys.
“Whatever,” Jennifer muttered, turning around and continuing her chore of cleaning up the boys’ clothes.
“Come on. I think it’s time we washed up for dinner,” Lily told Mary and Marlene, shooting me a pointed look. “Jennifer, are you coming?”
I expected Jennifer to reject the offer, seeing as she usually liked a distance with Lily each time they argued. Instead, however, Jennifer said, “Yeah, I am. Hold up.”
Without another word, Jennifer stalked out of the dorm room with Lily. I sighed and mentally shook my head. Jennifer was going to explode out of anger one of these days if she would choose Lily’s company after an argument over spending time with the boys.
And I had a feeling that I knew exactly who Jennifer was angry at: Sirius and Marlene.
Author's Note: Hello! What did you all think about this chapter? Jennifer and Selwyn's conversation? Bellatrix at Hogwarts? Voldemort recruiting? Sirius and Marlene?! Benjy asking Dorcas to Hogsmeade with him?
I'd love to hear any thoughts that you guys have on not only this chapter but the story in general! This IS the last year that I will be doing these "snapshots" so I would love to know if there's anything/anyone's POV that you're just dying to read/read more of.
You're all amazing for sticking with me. Please leave a review! :)
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