Chapter 12 : Regret and Revenge
| ||Rating: 15+||Chapter Reviews: 5|
Change Background: Change Font color:
It was already the end of January, but the events during the Christmas holidays still haunted me. I broke up with Anna shortly after we got back to school. Thalia had been right. It was wrong what I did, wrong to Anna, wrong to her, and wrong to George. Setting the record straight with Anna was my weak attempt to correct one of my many faults.
Even though it hadn't been much of a relationship to begin with, I still felt bad for Anna. She seemed pretty cut up after the break up. Every time we passed in the corridor her fellow Hufflepuff friends gathered around her protectively as if to shield her from the badness I supposedly exuded.
None of Thalia's friends treated me any differently, so I doubt she told them about the kiss. It was just her. She never looked at me, she never spoke to me, and she seemed to be spending even more time with George.
It didn’t help that we had to do that awful presentation for Muggle Studies. I could tell how much she resented me; she stood as far away as possible from me, and waited after I had finished speaking before she said what she had to say. When James asked why our speech had gone so badly, I simply said that I had lost my notes and that was why it had come off stilted.
I tried to avoid the real reason I was feeling off, and I was still avoiding it now. James, Remus and Peter had tried to get me to talk since we had been back at school. I was getting tired of them pestering me, so I had taken up wandering around school as hobby. It seemed to help un-jumble my incoherent thoughts.
I was even doing it now. Lurking down in the dungeons, attempting to find a purpose for myself.
I supposed out of the three of them, Peter would understand my situation, with his dad leaving; he knew what it felt like to be neglected and confused. Remus would understand a bit too, due to his werewolf problem.
James couldn’t possibly understand. He had the perfect life that everyone craved for. I think he got a bit hurt when I didn’t tell him the full details about what happened with me and my family. I kept on telling him that he had helped enough by giving me a place to stay, and I didn’t want to burden him even more.
I could hear their badly disguised mutters about this moody strolling around with no real purpose, while I lay in bed pretending to be asleep. I didn’t mind if they thought that my current behaviour was very odd. I wasn’t worried about it, so they needn’t be either.
I carried on walking down the deserted corridors. Dinner was being served, so it was the best time to wander in solitude. I didn’t fancy running into any Slytherins right now, as that would be too much to deal with.
I had nearly approached a corner when I heard a set of footsteps quickly approach, and slow down when they reached me, “Sirius? What are you doing down here?” Regulus asked when he saw me.
I was grateful to see him. I hadn’t spoken to him since that day I ran away. The only communication we had were brief smiles across a crowded corridor.
“I’m just thinking, that’s all.” It would be good to talk to him. He was the only one I could stand, the only one I liked, and I was intrigued to find out what happened after I ran away. “What was the aftermath like after my escapade?” I chuckled grimly.
“Awful. The Dark Lord and Bellatrix went into a rage. They would have gone after you if it hadn’t been for Father, who told them that there was no need and they should let you go. When we got home, Mother was in a fit. She screamed around the house for the rest of the evening, and then went into her room and stayed there for the rest of the holidays. I think Father is sorry, Sirius. He didn’t want you to go. He wouldn’t have stopped them if he didn’t love you.” Regulus said the last part more tenderly than the rest of it.
“He must love me very deep down,” I spat out bitterly.
“Everyone at home is saying you're not part of the family anymore, but I want you to know Sirius, that you’re still my brother. I don’t think I can forgive myself for just sitting there and not doing anything,” Regulus whispered.
I didn’t know how to respond. It was so strange to hear such strong affection from him. Blacks never said anything like that. He was still only a child, and I left him exposed to this evilness at home. I was wrong about him being too far gone, he wasn’t. What he said proved to me that he was still human. For now, at least.
“It would have been worse for you if you had done anything,” I told him. “I’m glad that you can still talk to me.” I couldn’t let him see how moved I was by what he said, so I turned away to look at a tapestry with serpents woven into it. “I know how hard it must be.”
“Sirius, there’s something else I ought to tell you. It’s about that attack that happened on Halloween. I know who did it.” I turned back round to face him, and he had a very solemn expression on his face. Regulus was a terrible liar, and you could tell if he was lying just by looking at him.
“Who did it?” I asked eagerly.
“I heard Mulciber talking about it to Avery and Snape in the common room. He bragged about how he long he managed to make Macdonald scream for her.” Regulus winced at this part before carrying on, “he said he had been dying to use that curse on a mudblood and when a half-blood passed, he decided she would do.”
“Are you sure that it was him?” I didn’t want to attack him unless Regulus was certain. Besides, I couldn’t get the others on my side unless I was one hundred per cent certain myself.
“Yes, I’m sure. But Sirius, if you do anything to him, please don’t say I told you. Things at home are bad enough since you ran away, and this would just make it worse,” Regulus said tentatively.
“Of course. I’d best be off. Dinner should be over soon.” I gave him a short wave before starting the long walk back up to the common room.
When the four of us were closeted away in our dorm, and I was sure we were well away from eavesdroppers, I told them the news about Mulciber.
“So, Regulus just told you this?” Remus asked sceptically.
“Yes, that’s what I said. I know you don’t want to trust him Moony, but I do think he was telling the truth. He was sincere, and I feel as if this is his way of repaying for what happened at Christmas.”
“I think he’s telling the truth too,” Peter said. “He doesn’t have any reason to lie, and he’s always been nice to Sirius.”
“Thank you, Peter.” I was glad that someone else agreed with me. “What do you think James?” He had been suspiciously quiet, which was unusual for him.
He paused for a while before he spoke. “I think we should do something. I’ve known Mary for a while now through quidditch. It was horrible, finding her that night. It would be wrong if we didn’t do something.”
My face lit up when he said that, as I was almost worried that he wasn’t going to agree with me and Peter. Remus seemed dismayed by James’ announcement, and cast his eyes down to the book in his lap.
“When shall we do it?” I asked excitedly. Perhaps an encounter with a Slytherin would release this confusion I had been feeling for the past few days. I was already feeling happier than I had in weeks.
“We have potions with them before lunch on Thursday. That’s only two days away, and if we do it during lunch it means we’ll have enough time to discuss things with Mulciber,” James said with an evil glint in his eye.
“That’s settled then. Who wants to go and raid the kitchens for old time sake?” I was feeling peckish from skipping dinner, and those house elves could whip up anything in seconds.
“I’ll come, but we’d best take the cloak. It’s after curfew.” James wandered over to his trunk and began rummaging around in it.
“Are you coming, Peter, Remus?” I asked the others.
“I’ve got an urge to have some sticky toffee pudding.” Peter’s eyes had glazed over almost as if he was envisaging eating it.
“Fine, I’ll come,” Remus said. “But only if we take the map too. I don’t want to get caught.”
“Great. We need to do this more often. It feels like we haven’t snuck out in ages.” My mood had cheered significantly with the plotting to get back at Mulciber, and now our trip to the kitchens. Perhaps this week wasn’t going to be so bad after all. It seemed as if my head was finally beginning to clear.
When Thursday finally came around, Mulciber was the sole thing occupying my mind. It was as if he was serving as a distraction to my life. Even if it was possibly a violent one, I would still take it over the confusion I had been feeling beforehand.
I was barely paying attention while Professor Sprout lectured us on the basic care required for a Fanged Geranium. We were with the Ravenclaws for this class, so I was one of the few students in the greenhouse who wasn’t taking copious amounts of notes. Remus’ quill scribbled away so hard, it looked as if he was going to cause an indent in the desk.
James and Peter were seeing who could throw the soil the furthest, but I wasn’t even up for joining in with that today. I glanced over to where the Gryffindor fifth year girls were seated, focusing my eyes on the one with curly brown hair.
Thalia was still ignoring me. I probably should have given up on her. The way she ran away was a pretty big sign that she wasn’t interested in me right now, but I couldn’t seem to let her go. Before I found out about Mulciber, she had been constantly on my mind.
I didn’t really know whether she would support us confronting him. Remus had told us about catching her and Snape having a close encounter, so she wasn’t afraid of challenging people. Then again, she seemed to have a conscience and knew the bounds of right and wrong, unlike me. That was probably the reason she ran away. I would have continued, as my body was good at ignoring my brain.
That was why I could never get her. She was too good for me. She deserved people worthy of her, people who weren’t tainted.
Everyone rose from their seats in a flurry and began putting on their gloves. I was so absorbed in my thoughts that I remained stationary for several minutes, until James jolted me into action by flinging mooncalf dung at my back.
“What are we doing, Moony?” Remus was fumbling around with different pots, and he seemed annoyed by my question.
“You should have been paying attention. You can’t rely on me all of the time,” he grumbled.
“Please, Moony. You know I end up doing fine on the tests. Given what’s been going on lately, can you really expect me to pay Professor Sprout my full attention?”
“Fine, but just this once, mind. We’re re-potting Fanged Geraniums. Make sure you wear your gloves. They’ve got a sharp tooth.”
I trundled over to the table where the Fanged Geraniums where placed. I could see Thalia chatting away to Lily out of the corner of my eye. She was laughing at something Lily had said. I wondered if she observed me as much as I observed her.
A stabbing pain erupted on my hand, and I looked down as one of the geranium fangs retracted from my thumb. The wound bled profusely, and I grabbed an old bit of cloth from the table to make a temporary bandage. I should have listened and worn my gloves.
Remus had a very satisfied expression on his face when I sheepishly walked back towards him.
“What did I say about you needing to listen? You’d better ask Sprout if you can go to the Hospital Wing. I read that those things can lead to infection.”
“Whatever,” I said not caring that I had gotten hurt. I had my thoughts elsewhere. “I’d better go then, as I don’t want my thumb chopped off. I’ll see you in Potions.” I picked up my bag, and wandered over to Professor Sprout who was currently helping Oscar Stewart transfer his plant into the new pot.
She took one glance at my cut and hurried me away. “There’s always the one person who doesn’t listen to the instructions. Madam Pomfrey will be able to sort that cut out in a jiffy.”
Remus must have told James and Peter what had happened, as they were now laughing at me, and trying to force each other’s fingers into the Fanged Geranium’s teeth.
They’re so hilarious those two, I thought bitterly, and swept out of the greenhouse.
I was late getting to Potions. Madam Pomfrey had tried to get some second year to stop vomiting before she got to me. Professor Sprout was right about her being able to fix it quickly. I didn’t even have a scar to show where it bit me.
When I strolled into Potions half-way through the lesson, the entire class stared at me. I suppose my entrance was more entertaining than Professor Slughorn’s lecture on Strengthening Solution. “Now, now, class, Mr Black’s arrival isn’t that riveting so could please keep your attention to the lesson, and not on him.” Professor Slughorn’s attempt at keeping the class under control was weak. I could feel their stares while I walked to the desk James and I shared at the back of the classroom.
All but one person’s stare. As soon as Thalia saw it was me, she glanced back down to her desk and began scribbling something down on her parchment.
“Now, one of the key elements of the Strengthening Solution is the addition of salamander blood…” Slughorn rambled on.
James’ eyes scanned the room before whispering to me, “Are you still on for later?”
“Of course. Mulciber needs to be taught a lesson.” I glanced towards the back right corner, where he was closeted away with the other Slytherin fifth years. I could see his strawberry blonde hair, next to the brown of Avery’s. They would have had a spectrum of colour if it Snape hadn’t been sitting with Lily at the front.
My eyes faced the board, but my thoughts were far from the lesson. The main reason I wanted to get back at Mulciber was because what he believed was wrong. Just because Mary’s mother was a muggleborn didn’t mean she needed to be singled out. I was glad that she had recovered, even if it did take several months, as she seemed to be a really nice person. I could hear her talking to Alice in the background.
“Now, if you could all turn to page one hundred and ninety two, and copy out the effects of the strengthening solution.” Slughorn’s voice somehow managed to break through my thoughts, and I looked up as he wandered over to where James and I sat. “You haven’t been to one of my dinners for a while, Sirius. I’ve even seen more of James this year, and that’s with his quidditch practise. I’m holding one next Friday, and I hope to see you there.”
Those dinners were always such a bore. I tried to avoid them whenever possible, but James mainly went along because Lily was part of the Slug Club. He hoped that he could spend more time with her that way. It never worked, as she usually spent the entire evening with Snape.
“I’ll have to see, Professor. I have a lot of work at the moment, so I’m not sure how busy I’ll be,” I replied noncommittally.
“It would nice to see you anyway,” Slughorn said, and then wandered over to chat with Snape and Lily.
“You should come. They really aren’t that bad. There’s tons of food, and Thalia’s there too,” James smirked.
“James, we’ve been through that. Thalia and I are over.” I was still hoping it would only be for the time being. “Anyway, haven’t you got work to be getting on with?” I picked up my quill, and began scribbling down the effects of the potion. James looked a little surprised by my bluntness, but he quickly followed suite.
The lesson passed relatively fast considering all we did was listen to Slughorn and make notes. Fortunately for us, Mulciber was asked to remain behind after class had finished to discuss his recent piece of homework, so we lurked outside the classroom waiting for him.
I could tell that Remus didn’t want to do this. He had grown uneasy and kept twiddling his fingers and tapping his feet on the floor. He needed to relax; nothing bad was going to happen. All we were going to do was ask Mulciber why he did it and give him a taste of his own medicine.
We weren’t as lucky this time around. After Slughorn and Mulciber finished up, the professor had decided to accompany Mulciber out into the hall and noticed out presence.
“Hello, boys. Is there a reason why you’re down here?” he inquired.
Luckily, Remus stepped in and saved us. “Sorry, Professor. It’s just I didn’t fully understand the theory behind the potion. I was wondering whether I could discuss it with you now.”
“Of course, Lewis. You should have mentioned in this class. There’s no fear in asking.” Slughorn ushered an annoyed looking Remus into his classroom. He never got Remus’ last name right.
Mulciber eyed us nervously, almost as if he could sense what we were about to do.
“So Mulciber, is there something you want to tell us about the attack on Macdonald?” James asked menacingly.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I had nothing to do with it.” His body language didn’t say the same thing. He shuffled away from us, and his eyes were fixed to the floor.
“I’ve been informed by a very reliable person that you were talking about it to Avery and Snape in the common room. Apparently you had been dying to try that curse out, isn’t that right Mulciber?” I edged towards him, while asking the question.
“I..err… really don’t know what you’re talking about. You should be careful about these wild accusations you’re throwing around, Black. Otherwise, you may end up in a similar position as Macdonald.” Mulciber seemed to be gaining more confidence, but I still knew he did it. He basically just said he did. More force just needed to be applied.
“Furnunculus!” I yelled out, and Mulciber was promptly covered in blistering boils.
“Will you tell us now, or do I need to convince you to talk another way?” I asked, while watching Mulciber writher in pain.
He didn’t reply, and before I could do anything, Peter raised his wand and shot the jelly-legs jinx at him. He was now withering and wobbling, but still not conceding defeat. It was only when James raised his wand that he gave in.
“Fine, it was me. Are you happy now? If you’re doing this to me, you may as well do it to Snape too. It was his spell, sectumsempra. I was just doing him a favour and seeing what effects happened,” Mulciber said with no remorse. It seemed as if the only regret he felt was that he had to face us now.
“What is the meaning of this?” McGonagall’s voice cried out. “When I was told that there was a confrontation down here, I did not expect to see you three.”
I hadn’t been attention to my surroundings at all, and failed to notice her arrival. She was accompanied by a very smug looking Avery. “Thank goodness Avery came told me what was occurring, otherwise I dread to think how it may have escalated. All three of you are a shame to Gryffindor, and to yourselves. You will serve detention every night for a month. No buts, Mr Black. It is a just punishment.”
What about Mulciber? She didn’t even wait to listen to see why we had done it, and instead presumed we were in the wrong. I was not having this. “Professor, you don’t understand. We were providing a just punishment for Mulciber. He was the one who attacked Mary, he just admitted it.” James and Peter backed me up by nodding their heads.
“Is this true, Mulciber?” McGonagall’s beady eyes bored into his. He had a sheepish expression on his face, and didn’t bother replying. He merely shrugged his shoulders. “Up to the headmaster’s office at once. We will get to the bottom of this.”
She waved her wand, and Mulciber was free from the jinxes. She then pulled on his arm and began marching up him up to Dumbledore’s office. Avery skulked off after them, so it was just us three left.
I wasn’t too bothered by the detentions. I had faced a lot worse before, and at least Mulciber would get what he deserved. It was Snape who we had to deal with next. I would have to think of something special. Something that required a lot of plotting. After all, he deserved it. My brain was abuzz with ideas. It was simply a question of which one I should choose.
Author Note: I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me pass 100 reviews. I never thought it would happen and I can't describe how much it means to me. I love you guys for making it happen <3
So you finally found out who attacked Mary then! It's actually canon, so some of you may have already known! What did you think of the reveal scene, and I wonder if any of you can guess what Sirius' revenge might be!
Another big thank you to my beta pixileanin who has helped me so much! If you want to be awesome and be showered in love you could leave a review :D
Previous Chapter Next Chapter