Chapter 8 : By The Light Of A Magical Moon
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CHAPTER EIGHT: By the Light of a Magical Moon
I’m gonna talk with the elders
And tell all of our hearts that is good
I’ll barefoot dance with my baby
By the light of a magical moon
~ By The Light Of A Magical Moon ~ T-Rex ~
“He didn’t even kiss you?” Perry looked disgusted. “Not on the lips?”
“Nope.” I answered. We were sat in the Ravenclaw common room that night, regaling each other with the details of our dates. I could see the full moon glaring at me through one of the high windows. I was fortunate in that Professor Flitwick had only given me lines, which was nothing compared to some of the Marauders’ detentions in the past. Everyone was talking about me- both about the fact I’d hung Adam Uley up by his ankles and the fact I’d been on a date with Remus Lupin. It seemed to have taken their minds off my kidnapping, at least. But I felt I was fooling myself into thinking I wanted people talking about me and knowing who I was- I was already missing the way I used to blend into the background at school, leaving this kind of controversy to the experts.
“Frank didn’t kiss me for three months.” Alice said, trying to be helpful.
“Yeah, but you two were like thirteen at the time.” Perry pointed out.
“So you kissed Sirius then?” I guessed.
“Of course.” She grinned. “Merlin, he is too good looking for his own good.”
“So are you going to see him again?” Alice asked cheerfully. Perry glanced at me.
“Why not?” I was surprised. She seemed quite into Sirius.
“I think… I mean, he’s nice and everything, but I think he likes someone else.” Perry shifted uncomfortably in her seat, before lifting her wand and pointing it at the fire, causing it to stir up and crackle with renewed warmth. I noticed she seemed to be avoiding our gazes.
“Ooh, who?” Alice wanted to know.
“Uh, he didn’t say.” Perry pulled a face, glancing at me again. “I heard Lily Evans is seeing David again.” She changed the subject.
“How do you feel about that?” David was always such a sensitive subject when it came to Perry.
“I don’t care,” She said bitterly, and Alice and I exchanged a look; she obviously did care, quite a bit, but we knew not to say anything, “I doubt James Potter will be pleased though. I’m guessing he’ll hex David into next week for this.” Another pointer to the fact she didn’t like David dating Lily was how enthusiastic she sounded at this prospect.
I hadn’t eaten dinner due to having had detention, so I was starving hungry when I decided it would be safe to sneak down to the kitchens. Neither Alice nor Perry came with me; Frank had come back from prefect duty having been attacked by a Fanged Frisbee, and Perry went to bed early in a bad mood.
It was around midnight, and the castle always seemed creepy to me at that time, full of shadows and whispers in all the hallways. It took me a while to get to the basement, having to take detours to avoid Filch and his cat, and also at one point Severus Snape, who seemed to be sneaking through the castle with his own agenda. With this strange prickly feeling on the back of my neck, it was no surprise that I let out a bloodcurdling scream when something tackled me in a dark third floor hallway around the waist.
Whatever it was, it appeared to be some kind of animal. It smelt like an animal, anyway, although this part of the castle was too dark for me to see exactly what. I did note that it had bright yellow eyes, however, and a powerful jaw. In fact, it was- it was a-
“Werewolf!” I squeaked out loud. I fumbled for my wand and managed to reach it. “IMPEDIMENTA!” I screamed, blasting the animal off me. It hit a suit of armour, which clanged and crashed to the floor in pieces. It was struggling to get back up, but before I could light my wand and confirm my suspicions of its nature, something else animal-like hit me. This animal, however, was larger and stronger, and seemed friendlier, as it panted in my face. It was a dog, no doubt, massive and black. I’d hit my head on the floor as it knocked me down, so I couldn’t be sure, but I thought that behind it, I saw a stag tackling the werewolf. But that was ridiculous- the fact there was a werewolf and a dog was ludicrous enough. I blinked and hurried away to hide behind a statue, as I heard loud voices coming from the other end of the corridor, undoubtedly belonging to patrolling teachers. The suit of armour’s collapse had been very loud.
I heard what sounded like a high pitched whine, followed by another voice, and footsteps. I almost screamed again when a dark figure joined me suddenly behind the statue.
“Sssh! It’s me, Erin! Are you alright?” It was, of all people, Sirius Black.
“Yes, I’m fine, what the fuck is going-?” I didn’t get a chance to finish the question when he clapped a hand over my mouth and nodded towards the corridor.
“What in the name of Merlin has caused all of this?” Professor McGonagall sounded very disgruntled. “There must be students out of bed.”
“Minerva.” Dumbledore’s voice sounded stern and thunderous. They stopped walking abruptly. I could hear whimpering and knew it was the werewolf.
“How did he escape?” McGonagall whispered, sounding horrified.
“I do not know, but we must not alarm him. He could attack at any moment.” Dumbledore warned. So, it appeared the teachers knew there was a werewolf at Hogwarts. I wondered who it was- it had to be a student. “I think bind him and return him to the Shrieking Shack.” Dumbledore murmured, after a thoughtful pause. “Stand back.” I felt the whoosh of magic, and then the werewolf screamed out as it was bound in tight ropes.
“Silencio!” McGonagall incanted. The shrieking stopped. “That will alarm the students if they hear it.” I had forgotten this entire time that Sirius had his hand over my mouth to keep me quiet, but I was glad he did as I almost sobbed out loud as Dumbledore and McGonagall passed close by with the werewolf bound in mid-air before them. Once they were long out of ear-shot, Sirius finally let me go. I whirled to face him.
“There’s a werewolf at Hogwarts?” I asked, shocked.
“Yes.” He answered tensely.
“Do you know who it is? Where did you appear from, anyway? I swear there was this giant dog-“
“Did you hit your head by any chance?” Sirius asked, laughing nervously. “I don’t know what’s going on Erin. I was just planning a prank for tomorrow.”
“I was just trying to get food from the kitchen. I can’t believe any of this.”
“Hey, you have to feel sorry for the poor guy, whoever he is. He didn’t get a choice to be a werewolf, and he can’t have ever attacked anyone, because we would’ve heard.” He reasoned. I frowned. “Look, I was just lucky enough to be nearby and see you, or you would’ve been caught out of bed- or worse. I’ll come down to the kitchen with you if you want.”
“I guess I… I never really thought… I mean, werewolves, it’s not their fault, but they’re dangerous.” I said shakily, as we set off.
“Wait. Here.” He produced an Invisibility Cloak from his pocket. I stared. “I borrowed it from James- family heirloom.” I stepped under the cloak with him, still too shocked by tonight’s events to really say much.
We were silent most of the way down the remainder of the stairs. It was strange being so close to Sirius- although we sat beside each other in Ancient Runes, I’d never had this much proximity to him. He smelt like soap and something else.
“Are you sure you didn’t see a dog? I thought I saw something else too… a deer?”
“Maybe you’re concussed. Do you need me to take you to the hospital wing?” He asked seriously, as he reached up to tickle the painting of the pear. It giggled and turned into a door handle.
“No, I’m- I’m fine, I think. I guess I’m still in shock or something.” I frowned. We took the cloak off then and the House-Elves came running over to us, offering us everything under the sun. I asked for a sandwich and some tea, and Sirius added that I should probably eat some chocolate for the shock, too. I agreed and we sat at the replica Ravenclaw table, below the actual table in the Great Hall.
“Perry told you about your date.” I informed him weakly, trying to lighten the mood as we sipped our tea. He looked over at me sharply.
“What did she say?” Sirius demanded.
“Calm down, she just said she thought you liked someone else.”
“Did she say who?” He was still using this strange, sharp tone of voice.
“No, she said she didn’t know. Merlin knows I think you need the hospital wing.” I added, exasperated by his tenor. He surveyed me with those grey, gleaming eyes of his for a moment before he spoke again.
“I’m sorry. I’m still a bit tense, I suppose. And well… I guess she’s right.” He admitted reluctantly. “I mean, she is seriously hot- and a good person to spend time with. Just not for me, I don’t think. It’s weird. A lot of odd stuff has been happening lately… throwing me off.”
“What do you mean?” I wanted to know.
“Well… I don’t know. Maybe it’s what’s going on outside of school. And with my brother too- I don’t like the people he’s hanging out with at all, but its unavoidable seeing as he’s in Slytherin. And I keep thinking something bad is about to happen for some reason… and then I met this girl, and it’s messed with my head a bit.”
“You’re not going to tell me what girl, are you?” I teased, trying to put him in a better mood, which you’d think he’d be doing for me, not the other way round.
“Classified information.” He shook his head with a small smirk.
“Well, you’ve never had much trouble with girls before, or so I hear. Have you spoken to her?” I suggested.
“I can’t. I mean, she likes this other guy. Actually I think I heard she went to Hogsmeade with him today.”
“Oh. That’s a bummer.” I said. “I can’t help you, then.”
“No, but it’s good to get it out there, in a way. But enough about me. How was Remus?” Sirius changed the subject, peering at me through his overly thick eyelashes.
“It was good- until James ruined it, anyway, with that Hufflepuff girl.” I rolled my eyes.
“I thought Remus seemed pissed off with James about something.” Sirius nodded. “I just thought maybe it was because James was pissy in the first place because he heard about Lily going to Hogsmeade with Leonard.”
“Brace yourself then, because she’s seeing him again.” I informed him.
“And you can brace yourself, because Perry isn’t going to like that either.” Sirius grinned. “She didn’t stop grumbling about it earlier, although she was trying to pretend she didn’t care.”
“That’s Perry. I heard it from her, actually. She’s hoping James will hex David into within an inch of his life.” Sirius laughed at that one. “David’s nice. I didn’t think he deserved that.”
“No guy in the world is nice enough for his Lily. But I’ll try to keep him cool.” We paused as I finished eating. I felt a thousand times better after the chocolate too, but the conversation with Sirius had done wonders for putting me in a better mood. We went back under the Invisibility Cloak and Sirius made sure I got back to Ravenclaw Tower without being caught. When we got there, I turned to him, and the movement caused a wave of his pleasant, soapy smell to wash over me.
“Well, thanks Sirius, and goodnight.” I said awkwardly.
“Goodnight, Erin.” He whispered, beginning to retreat. Out from under the cloak now, I couldn’t see him. I turned, about to knock on the door to the common room, when he called, “Erin?”
“Mm?” I looked around blindly, because of course he was invisible.
“Thanks for being good to Remus. It’s nice he’s found a girl as lovely as you.” I couldn’t thank him for the compliment because I heard his footsteps turn a corner and disappear.
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