Chapter 19 : Fly Like An Eagle
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“Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.” - Steve Miller Band, 1978
Gemma Rawnsley grunted loudly as she slammed The Dream Oracle shut. Out of annoyance, she flung it across the room and didn’t bother to look where it landed. She dramatically hurled herself against the brown cushions below her and blew her bangs out of her eyes. The Seer’s breath finally returned to its normal rhythm as she stared up at the tapestry-covered ceiling.
When Professor Garside first gave her the spare Hogwarts classroom to further explore her Divination studies during her Fifth Year, it was barren and white. However, two days later, she turned it into in her own sanctuary, complete with hand painted walls, a sizeable tree, a babbling brook in the corner, and copious amounts of flowers and pillows. It was a small space but the Seer had managed to decorate every single part of it.
After a deep sigh, Gemma sat up and frowned.
“Where did that bloody book go?”
She scrambled over one of her patchwork quilts and pushed several colored papers aside. After a couple of minutes, Gemma stopped flinging her belongings and laughed in triumph when she found The Dream Oracle under one of her shirts. She settled back into her pillow nest and flipped the pages under her thumb, hoping that if she read the passage one more time, she would learn something new.
The key to dream interpretation is vigilant note taking. When a witch or wizard desires the true answers to dream riddles, it is imperative that they look at every single fact. Thus, students of oneiromancy must record their dreams in a dream diary in order to accurately decode their visions. Despite Tiberius Morrigan’s controversial findings, organization and practice are the only crucial elements to deciphering dreams.
“What a load of bullocks!” Gemma cried as she threw the book again. “I’ve been doing all of that and I still can’t get any-fucking-thing right!” The Seer frowned deeply as she snuggled back into her pillows. Her quest for answers was going nowhere and at this rate, she was never going to learn what her dreams were telling her.
The Hufflepuff’s sudden hunt for information started just after the Winter Ball. Two weeks prior to the occasion, when Gemma had fallen asleep in Sirius’ bed, she dreamed about Remus Lupin’s future - specifically his reconciliation with Marianne Minot. It was like the Seer was stuck inside the werewolf’s head and she experienced all five of his senses as he cuddled the French Ravenclaw in a white bed. Her dream was so vivid that she still caught random whiffs of sandalwood and vanilla in the air.
Therefore, when Remus charged off into the night to find Marianne, Gemma was so sure that they would get together. She felt like all the signs were finally converging and the universe would finally be at peace. After all, her big dreams about Sirius had stopped after they finally admitted their feelings for each other.
But they didn’t reconcile. And Remus fell asleep in a bush, not a bed.
As a result, Gemma decided to read The Dream Oracle cover to cover every couple of days. It bugged Sirius to no end but he supported her quest to better understand her magical gift by giving her space. And she desperately needed the practice time to puzzle over her dreams. Was she seeing fake visions? Or were her visions still accurate, only farther in the future? She couldn’t be sure. Gemma huffed and scowled slightly as she looked up at the ceiling again and recited the passage in her head.
“Despite Tiberius Morrigan’s controversial findings,” she quoted and then suddenly stopped speaking as her mouth flopped open. Why hadn’t she thought of it before? If The Dream Oracle couldn’t help her interpret her power, it was possible that Tiberius Morrigan could. After all, the famous scientist had conducted his research at Hogwarts ten years ago when he was the acting Divination Professor during the late 1960s and his notes were probably still within the Castle walls. She quickly snapped up from the ground and stuffed her wand into the waistband of her uniform skirt. Gemma didn’t need to rely on her Seer abilities to know where the notes would be.
There was only one place in the castle that housed controversial academic documents: the Restricted Section.
The Hufflepuff quickly and quietly trotted down the stairs towards the Fourth Floor, knowing the way by heart; she rarely entered the school’s Library, but when she did, she always broke into the Restricted Section in order to do some illegal research. When Gemma finally reached the Fourth Floor, she tactfully maneuvered around the Library’s bookcases, tables, and chairs without disturbing the eerie silence that hung in the air. She expertly evaded the swinging rope that sectioned off the dangerous books and blended into the dark.
She made sure not to make a sound as she scoured the M authors but almost squealed with glee when she found “Notes on Studies 21-23: Dream Interpretation” by Tiberius Morrigan. Gemma quickly plucked the book from the shelf and hightailed it out of the library, leaving no trace behind. She raced back up the stairs just before the Clock Tower struck midnight.
Gemma flopped back onto her pillows and opened the book. Immediately, several tattered and ink stained papers fell into her lap and she gasped when she realized that they were never actually bound the book’s spine; Morrigan had simply stuffed them into an empty book shell and called it a day. Gemma sighed as she sifted through the papers, reading random bits of information that he had written on all their sides. Yet, suddenly, she came across a page with a large light bulb on the front of it that was paperclipped to several pages of notes.
“Crazy nutter,” she chuckled softly and then flipped the light bulb over to reveal his ramblings.
What I have I learned? Practice and note taking can only get you so far, that’s what I’ve fucking learned.
So what’s the score here? What’s next?
In order to fully understand your dreams, I’ve found you need to put down the pencil and expand your mind. That’s something the fucks out there don’t want to believe but it’s true. It’s insane, they say. Bullocks. You have to cross that daunting barrier and feel the pulsating energy behind it. You have to feel like you’re part of something – everything is coming together to make one glorious connection and you’re at the center of it. And that fantastical feeling will lead you to an understanding. An understanding that comes from knowing that your dreams will shape the future but you are their master, not the other way around. Your power will prevail. You can go Up or Down but you have to go somewhere.
“Up or down?” Gemma asked out loud and then flipped through several more blank pages until she came across two potion recipes. They didn’t have names; one was labeled “#1” and the other was “#2”. Intrigued, the young Seer read his notes on both of the constructed potions.
Creeping feeling in my spine – can’t tell if it’s the potion or nervousness. Metallic taste in my mouth. Potion again?
Bursting smile. It hurts to smile. But I can’t stop.
Floor starts to ripple, the walls are breathing. But it’s oddly comforting.
Dreams begin. Dreams or visions? Can’t be sure.
If I move around the room, I see different destinies. For all walks of life.
A small shining star in the corner. Must study its habits.
6 hours later. Fuzzy. Very fuzzy. My brain hurts.
Relaxed muscles. No stress. No pain. Ughhhhhhh.
Awake 6 hours later. Vivid dreams. Much clearer. Easier to interpret. Clearer. Much clearer.
No other beings, just me. And my future. Like walking down memory lane … but the future. Future!
Much clearer dreams. Must try again. In the name of science, dammit!
“What. The. Fuck,” Gemma said incredulously as she reached the end of his notes. She quickly lit up a cigarette and reread the entire stack of paper. And then lit another cigarette and immediately did it again. She sighed and then briefly skimmed over the potion recipes once more, assessing their ingredients and procedures. They would be easy enough to brew –
“Wait a second, how the hell did he get that much Peruvian Vipertooth venom for the second one?” the Seer asked herself as she knitted her brows in confusion. “It’s so fucking rare -”
She stopped midsentence and threw herself back into his papers. However, his writing turned very introspective and did not mention anything about his black market connection so Gemma finally put his papers down. She frowned and blew her bangs out of her face again. She was going around in circles; Tiberius Morrigan’s insane findings were leading her nowhere. She quickly placed the papers back in the book shell and stuffed it under a pillow. She knew she’d have to return the stolen item sometime but right now, she had a mischievous boyfriend to attend to. Gemma slipped out of her room and made her way towards the Room of Requirement to meet Sirius.
During the beginning of their relationship, they ran into the age-old question – your bed or mine? However, as their romance progressed, they realized that Sirius had no idea how to tap the Helga Hufflepuff tune to get into her common room and she didn’t have a clue how to appease the Fat Lady. Therefore, if either of them stayed out late, they decided to spend time in the Room of Requirement to avoid getting shut out in the hallway in the middle of the night.
“There she is!” Sirius called when she rounded the corner. Gemma’s early frustrations faded and she smiled as opened her arms and hugged him. However her nose crinkled with disgust when she smelled the dried dungbombs and nettle tea leaves on his robes. Before she could ask about his latest prank on the Slytherins, he gave her ass a quick squeeze and then peppered the side of her neck with kisses.
“Come on lover boy,” she snorted. “You have to clean yourself up before you start barking up that tree.” Before he could protest, she dragged him into the mysterious room after imagining a large yellow four-poster bed, a wooden clawfoot bathtub, a sunset view of the Mediterranean Sea, and of course, massive amounts of flowers and pillows.
The next morning, Gemma rolled over and slowly climbed out of bed. She quickly glanced behind her to see that Sirius was still sleeping and tried to be as quiet as possible as she tugged on her uniform. The Hufflepuff was about to put on one of her black flats when she felt a pair of arms snake around her waist. Sirius pulled her back into bed and she let out a humorous yelp as he squeezed her tighter.
“Come on, you don’t have to leave right now, do you?”
Gemma closed her eyes and sucked in a depth breath as she savored the moment. There was nothing like being in the arms of Sirius Black, she quickly decided. His spicy aura always overpowered her senses but it was mysteriously comforting and soothing. It made her restless soul feel secure and balanced. It was her shelter from the storm.
And it was addicting as all hell.
Gemma felt her heart race as his breath tickled the side of her neck and internally groaned. Although she hated leaving his embrace, she knew that if she dallied any longer, she’d have to finish what he started.
“You may have a free period but I have Charms in twenty minutes,” she muttered as she woefully unwrapped his arms from her waist, “and I haven’t eaten breakfast. I’ll see you before your Quidditch practice this afternoon, ok?” After she stood up and straightened her yellow and black house tie, she saw Sirius’ idiotic, but charming smile and felt a crack of desire splinter her core. She quickly raced over to the bed, jumped into his lap, and captured his lips once more. Just one more moment, she told herself, one more kiss to get her through the day.
“Ok, your stomach is grumbling,” Sirius laughed as he pulled away from her lips and discretely pushed her towards the door. “Go eat. Please.”
“Fine. I love you, Sirius,” she expressed softly before giving him a quick kiss and exiting the Room of Requirement. As she headed down towards the Great Hall, Gemma felt her heart grow heavy. She immediately plopped down at the Hufflepuff table and reached out to grab several fresh bread rolls. As she quickly cut them in half and slabbed butter across their surfaces, Giovanni Costa hopped into the seat next to her. His grin was about to explode off his face.
“Merlin’s nutsack!” Gemma exclaimed, physically jumping up in the air. “A bloody warning would be nice!”
“WE DID IT!” Gio yelled, raising his hands in the air in triumph. Behind him, Kaia put a hand on Gio’s left shoulder and squeezed it while Gregory put his arms around the other two members of the band, Kieran and Ethan. All of them brimmed with the same amount of radical enthusiasm.
“Huh?” Gemma managed to get out before she took a sip of pumpkin juice.
“We’ve been signed!” Kaia cried out. “Apparently Zidane Zito told his father about our Winter Ball show and now he wants us to record an album during the next Hogsmeade visit!” Gemma promptly spit out her pumpkin juice in surprise and it sprayed all over the table in front of her. Kieran started to howl with laughter.
“I hate that we’re going to do it on Valentine’s Day - it’s going to ruin my plans with my new lady friend,” Ethan grumbled playfully but then his frown turned into a huge smile. “But it will totally be worth it.”
“You’re damn right it will!” Gregory beamed as he ran an incredulous hand through his hair. “Fucking hell, we’re really going to cut an album, mates! If it tops the charts, I’m not coming back to school. I’m just packing up my shit and moving to the city. Fuck ‘em!”
“You ok there, kid?” Gio asked as he quickly waved his wand cleaned up her mess. He put a comforting hand on her shoulder and pushed a stray blonde hair out of her face. “You look really pale.”
Gemma tried to conceal her fright and overwhelming sense of dread by putting on a brave smile but inside, she was shaking. She knew she was supposed to be happy for her best friends – after all, it was a big moment for their musical careers – but she couldn’t help but let her thoughts turn selfish and immature. Why did they have to get signed? Why did they have to abandon her? What was she going to do when they left school and she had to return in the fall? Her thoughts quickly turned darker when she realized that the members of Tarantellegra wouldn’t be the only ones finishing their time at Hogwarts this year.
In a couple of months, Sirius would be gone too.
Loneliness and uncertainty cut through Gemma like a knife and she almost bit her lip in anguish. Fear overloaded her senses, causing her mental reasoning to automatically regress back to her years before Hogwarts, when she had no close friends or confidants. When she was on her own. Her thoughts grew cold and detached as she went into survival mode.
Plan. Pack. Run. Plan. Pack. Run. Plan. Pa-
“Hey!” Giovanni exclaimed as he shook her gently to sever her from her thoughts. “I know what you’re doing, you little sprite! Stop it. You’re not going anywhere and everything is going to be fine, ok?”
Gemma almost blurted out something like “You don’t know that!”, but bit her tongue when she replayed her words over in her head. The Seer’s brain whirred to life as she frantically tried to remember all the details of her latest dreams so she could try and kill the uncertainty in her bones. She failed miserably, however, and her hand began to shake under the table as her thoughts turned desperate.
No other beings, just me. And my future. Like walking down memory lane … but the future. Future!
“I’m not going anywhere. You’re right, everything will be fine. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make a guest appearance on your album,” the Seer said with a smile, her confidence returning as a plan suddenly started to form in her head. “Listen, while I have you here, I need you to get me something. Something really rare.”
“What exactly?” he asked, raising a quizzical brow.
“Peruvian Vipertooth venom.”
After many bribes, favors, and little white lies, Gemma received her black market item a week later and it only took her a couple more days to finish Tiberius Morrigan’s controversial #2 potion. Although #1 had more accessible ingredients, Morrigan’s notes described an onslaught of dreams and fortunes from the objects around him; #2 only involved his own destiny. Although she knew both potions were dangerous, #2 sounded like a better option. And besides, Gio hadn’t been able to get the full amount of venom needed so the potion would be weaker anyways.
Or so she hoped.
Gemma quietly waited a couple days until Sirius had to set up another Slytherin prank and then stole away to her private sanctuary. After stirring the shining blue potion counter clockwise, she bit her lip as she transferred it to a tall ornate glass. The Seer checked the instructions before placing a slotted spoon over the top of the glass. She took a deep breath and dropped a small amount of venom mixed with water through the spoon. The potion immediately sizzled and according to Morrigan’s notes, she had to drink it all before it stopped moving.
For a few brief moments, Gemma considered aborting her plan … but she had to know her future. She had to know what to expect when the critical time came at the end of the term. It was the only way she knew how to cope with her frightening reality without packing up and leaving.
“Bottom’s up,” the Hufflepuff muttered before gulping down the potion. It only took a couple seconds for her to fall asleep and start dreaming.
The young girl rubbed her eyes as she tried to focus on the swirling vortex in front of her. Where did it lead? She had no idea but she felt compelled to enter it. After she stepped inside it, the vortex threw her into a twisting tailspin and she finally landed on the snowy ground with a thump!
The blonde took in her surroundings – there were a couple of quaint buildings surrounded by bare trees. Suddenly one bright green leaf floated towards the ground in front of her and immediately the scene turned chaotic as large black tendrils circled into the air. Fear overwhelmed her. In a panic, she bolted and ran into another universe entirely.
The world turned dark as walls grew out of the ground. A torch extinguished itself. Quickly, someone thrust a cup to her mouth and forced her to drink something that tasted like metal. She tried to spit it out with vigor but the figure pinched her nose, making her swallow out of necessity. The girl quickly saw the world turn into unending fractals and she scrunched her eyes closed to make the scary delusions stop.
When she opened her eyes, the cosmos morphed into a beautiful coastline on a sunny day. The waves crashed on the rocks and sprayed her with salt water. She took a deep breath and finally felt a calm roll over her.
“Welcome,” a long blonde haired boy next to her said with an American accent and a smile. He held a colorful surfboard under his left arm. “You’ve finally made it.”
Gemma screamed at the top of her lungs as she was thrown out of the psychedelic dream. She immediately popped up, scurried over to her pillow fort and flung herself under the fluffy objects. She started to hyperventilate as she wrapped her arms around herself and started to rock back and forth.
“What. The. Fuck!” she exclaimed as her mind continued to whir with panic.
Author’s Note: More clues, more mystery! Poor gypsy Gemma, she and Marianne are starting to get a bit desperate!
Aeryn’s chapter should be up soon, I'm already a 1/4 done with it. And don’t worry, everything is going to make a lot more sense after the group chapter, set at Hogsmeade on Valentine’s Day ;) Anyways, feel free to review if you have any questions! I’ll answer them as best I can without giving anything away!
And thank you to Enjolras and Owl Girl for their reviews! (Yes, I notice multiple reviewers! And often like to reward them!!)
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