"Shut up Wormtail! She'll hear us!" Madame Pomfrey had just gone downstairs to bring me breakfast, and this is what I hear. How did those idiots already know I was awake?
"I'm back here guys!" There was silence. No footsteps or exclamations of joy.
"Is Poppy here," someone asked. I couldn't really tell who.
"No, she left to get us breakfast." More silence. They were probably shocked just as much as I was.
"Dorcas!" James and Peter came running at me, and I saw the Invisibility Cloak lying on the floor when they blew past the curtain and straight into my arms. James held my head to his chest and it was a bit crushing, truth be told.
"Let her go, James. She's got to breathe, hasn't she?" I smiled into his chest, and I guess he felt it, because he let go. Peter apparently was too good for the rules, because he pushed past James and crushed me with the same strength. He picked me up and I got my arms around his waist, too.
"Hey, that's not fair!"
"Join in," I said, muffled by the tall boy. He did just that, and tackled me from the other side. Peter let go and conjured up two chairs next to my bed.
"Come on, let her go James. She can tell us everything." At this, I grabbed on tighter. I didn't want to have to talk about it.
"He's right, Doe. Let go, we can hug it out later," he said, peeling me off of him and ruffling my already messy hair. We sat down, the boys bringing the two chairs around to face my bed.
"So, where are the other two?" The boys looked shiftily at the ground, waiting for the other to speak.
"Well, Remus went home for the full moon," James said.
"And, we don't know where Sirius is," Peter finished.
"Why did he go home," I asked. Sirius went missing all the time. It wasn't really a big deal.
"He, he thought we couldn't handle it without you." I frowned and looked down. That's strange. I never knew I was that important in the full moons.
"So anyway. What happened, Doe," James asked. His eyes begged for the truth, but I knwe I just couldn't say it. I could not say that out loud.
"I just fainted." They both looked at me very skeptically. Peter more so than James.
"What the bloody hell you mean, you 'just fainted'?" I smiled at Peter's bluntness. It was nice.
"I don't know! Apparently Nick brought me here and he found me just on the ground or something."
"Yeah, we know," James grumbled angrily.
"What happened, he told you?"
"Yeah," he answered, scratching his face. "We were having this big old fight in the Great Hall about where you were and why you didn't come to the ball, and then Marlene and Alice started to go at it, and then Lily joined in. Then he just came over chewing his little condescending apple and told us you were in the hospital wing. Except he said you said it was from exhaustion."My eyes widened there, but he was not done, so hopefully I woudn't come out as a liar. "Then Remus, Peter and I took the girls outside and Sirius spoke to Weids alone. Sirius said Nick told him he took you up to the hospital wing when he found you pale as a sheet on the Owlery steps." My mouth was opened as I tried to understand what he had recalled for me. That means Weids had the note and didn't tell Sirius about it. So he knows now? God everything is so confusing.
"Okay," I said, trying to come off as confused. I wanted to contribute as little as I could to this conversation.
"So? What happened, Doe," Peter asked, almost pleadingly.
"Well, the funny thing is, I don't know," I tried to say as positively as possible, a small laugh at the end. They were not in the laughing mood, apparently.
"Look, Pomfrey said it was from exhaustion, too. Maybe that's what she told Nick, I don't know. All I know is I'm still tired, and hungry, and I'm not even allowed to leave today," I finished, pouting childishly.
"Well, what did your file say," James asked accusingly.
"What do you mean?"
"Come on Dorcas. Don't pretend we don't know you at all. You can look me in the eye and say that you didn't even try and look in your folder?" He caught me. Stop connecting the dots, James. That's for Remus to do.
"Alright," I admitted. "I tried to look, but I didn't know her freaking password so I couldn't get in." That was mostly true, and it seemed it was believable.
"Damn Poppy and her intuitiveness," he said. I smiled at this. I guess it was nice that he was trying to find out, no matter how much I didn't want anyone to know.
"You guys should go, she'll be back any minute," I said. "I'm not supposed to see anyone until I'm out of the hospital."
"Fine," James said grudgingly, patting me on the shoulder, then reaching down to give me a big hug. He moved to the side and let Peter do the same.
They walked back past the curtain, and gave me one last look. They were about to throw the cloak over their heads when I stopped them to ask one more question.
"Hey!" They looked back, waiting for me to finish my interjection. "How did you guys know I was awake anyway?" They laughed, and finally had a genuine smile on their faces.
"We didn't. We've come up here every morning since Sunday." My mouth stood open, although I don't know why I was so surprised.
"See you around, Vix," James called, swishing the cloak over their heads just as the door was opened by Pomfrey.
"Is something wrong dear," she asked, levitating the two plates of breakfast with her wand.
"Of course not," I answered, as she put down the plates on the table next to me.
"Madame Pomfrey," I said, after a long moment of silence while we ate our breakfast.
"Hmmmm?" she said, her mouth still full from the previous bite.
"May I go to the library?" She swallowed quickly and gave me a stern look.
"Please, Madame! The boys are at Quidditch practice and Lily and Remus are off doing prefect stuff!"
"What about Peter," she asked, squinting at me.
"Oh, he never gets up before eleven on a Saturday. It's his only rule." She looked at me skeptically, again, and put her plate to the side.
"You're not lying to me, are you Dorcas?"
"Of course not," I answered, her penetrating stare scaring me a bit.
"Well, why do you need to go, then."
"I'm going to be so bored here, Madame. I just need something to do!"
"Fine, you may go then, but you only have twenty minutes, and you'll come straight back here. Do you understand?" I swear she must practice those faces in a mirror.
"I understand," I said, throwing off the blankets and taking my robes from the chair.
"I'll be right back here, I swear." I threw the robes over my hospital gown, and started my way out of the hospital. Please don't stop me, was the mantra that rang in my head.
"Wait!" Oh god, please don't come with me, I prayed.
"You need shoes, Dorcas." She transfigured a vase that was on the window into a pair of shoes, and she threw them towards me.
"I'll be counting Dorcas, twenty minutes." I rushed out of there before she stopped me again. I didn't lie to her, not once. I was going to the librarry. I had to find out what danger clasification meant.
Good old gullible, trusting Pomfrey. Maybe it was because we were her first class that she's had since first year, but she does let us get away with an awful lot. She's definitely got a soft spot for us sixth years.
I peeked around the corner of the library to make sure no one important was in there. No sign of the prefects or Nick. James and Sirius were probably already on the pitch so I didn't have to worry about them. I snuck around the corner, going directly into a row of books, so there would be a minimal chance of anyone seeing me. There were probably five people in the library including myself and Madame Pince. She was scanning the books back in with her wand, barely looking up, unless there was an unusual noise of some sort. There were two Hufflepuffs who were studying, uneccessarily close to one another, so I don't think they'd be bothering me. Then there was Mary. Really, Mary? You just had to be here right now. If she saw me, she'd tell Hestia who'd tell Alice, who'd tell Lily, who'd tell James and I already told James I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital, so that would just escalate. This is why I'm a horrible liar.
I stood at the back of the library, behind a book case, staring a the wall. I tried to convince myself I was thinking of a plan, but really I was just standing there. I forced myself out of the small space and started actually thinking. I did have a delicate time frame. Now, what section would this be under. It wouldn't be under any type of class textbooks or information. Maybe the History of Hogwarts section? I moved down two rows to that section and began looking through the titles. There were about twelve copies of "Hogwarts: a History", and I skipped over that whole part. Lily had made me read that with her in third year, and I don't remember anything about danger classification. Then there were the more obscure books, like Theories of our Founders, biographies of all four founders, Salazar Slytherin and the Revelation of the Snake, The Sorting Hat's Songs, and a couple others that had no meaning whatsoever to me. Then I came upon a few that might be useful to me. I pulled down, History of Students, and Headmaster's List from the shelf. I shrunk the two books down to pocket size and slipped them in my robes.
I was feeling a little mre confident, seeing as nobody noticed me yet. I walked over to the History of the Ministry section, and looked for anything on ranking. Something caught my eye. It said M.O.M Classification on the spine. I've heard of this, but it was only for beasts, not humans. I picked it up, and added it to my collection of shrunk books. I was running short on time, so I cast a disillusionment charm on myself, and disappeared from sight. I walked quickly out of the library, as I could feel the charm wavering even in the minute I put it on myself. I was never particularly good at disillusionment charms.
As I walked back into the hospital wing, Madame Pomfrey was at her desk writing something down, and I saw there was a door ajar that I had never noticed before.
"Madame Pomfrey, what's that for," I said, pointing to the door. She looked at the large clock at the entrance and tightened her lips. I was back on time, but I sure she would've loved to be able to scold me for being late.
"That, Dorcas, is where you'll be staying this weekend." I was absolutley shocked. She was going to keep me locked up in here?
"I have to stay here all weekend?"
"It's the safest thing we can do right now," she sighed, continuing her writing.
"Does Dumbledore know about this," I asked incredulously.
"Of course, silly girl. He suggested it." She didn't seem to be as annoyed about it as I was.
"Well, can I speak to him!" Merlin, you faint once, they think they own you!
"He's waiting in there for you." My eyes widened in embarrassment. He'd probably heard every word I just said. I turned abruptly and stalked towards the new room. I was still mad at her.
"Sit, Dorcas, have a toffee." I looked around the small room, and the first thing I noticed, was that there were multiple bowls of candy in it. Perfectly stocked for Dumbledore's visit.
"No thanks, Sir. It's too early for me," I said. I really just kind of hate toffee but whatever.
"Oh, if only I excercised the same self control as you when it came to sweets," he said, taking one off the top of the pile.
"So, why do I have to stay here Professor."
"Dorcas," said, tilting his glasses down slightly, "You know why you have to stay here." I frowned a little bit. That was so weird of him to say. It didn't seem like Dumbledore. We sat in silence for a bit, and he got up, checking out the area, I suppose, every so often making a smacking noise with his toffee.
"I want you to think of how important you are, Dorcas. There was a time I overlooked my greatness for the comfort of others, and it did more harm than good. You are extremely important, Dorcas, do you understand?" Everyone was asking if I understood today. Maybe there was a concept I wasn't getting, because I thought I was understanding everything perfectly.
"To tell you the truth, no I don't."
"You cannot undersestimate yourself because of your condition." I didn't really know what that meant either, but I didn't want to ask again because one, it sounded creepy and depressing, and two, I didn't want to seem like an idiot.
"I get it, Professor," I said, trying to sound as confident as possible.
"Is there anything else you need to know, Dorcas?" His vision was worse than Pomfrey's. It was like he had x-ray vision, and saw right through all my lies.
"No, professor," I answered, trying to keep my face as still as possible.
"If you have any questions, don't hesitate to come see me," he said, taking one more toffee and leaving the small room in which I was confined. I rolled my eyes at him. Sometimes I felt like Dumbledore spoke as if he was putting on a show for someone. Nevermind that now, I have to get to figuring this out.
I took out all the books I got, and resized them to be large enought to read.
I opened the first book, History of Students, by Newton Scamander. Well, damn. He wasn't a Headmaster for Harley, me, or my mother. Maybe my grandmother had him, though. I flipped open to the index, and searched for Meadowes before I realized, ten minutes later, that Meadowes was not my grandmother's maiden name. Maybe I could come back to this one if the other's didn't work out. I'd have to ask Harley what my grandmother's and great-grandmother's maiden name's were.
I went to the next book, Headmaster's List, by Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Perfect, he'll have notes about my mother and sister definitely, me maybe. I was flipping through, looking intently for any information, when I slammed the book shut, and smacked my forehead.
"Stupid, stupid, stupid," I said to myself as I reached for the next book. It was no use seeing what I was classified as if I didn't know what the classifications meant. I picked up the Minitry of Magic's Official Book of Classificiations and leafed through the first couple pages of credit and publication nonsense before hitting the index. The classifications were grouped on whether it was an animal, ghoul, ghost, fiend, or poltergeist. Then there was a section describing which each level meant. They were ranked by X's. For example, one x (X) meant not very dangerous, and five x's (XXXXX) meant the most dangerous, stay away from at all costs. My sister's number didn't have any sign of the Ministry's logo, and she had the actual number four, not four x's, so I had no idea if there was any connection whatsoever. I slammed the book shut in frutration. I just wasted a good forty minutes of my day doing absolutley nothing. Madame Pomfrey came in unannounced, and cleared her throat. My head in my hands, I looked up between my fingers at her.
"Yes," I mumbled.
"I'm going out on some business for the school. I expect you'll stay here. As an extra precaution, a caterwauling charm has been placed on the entrance to the hospital. Please, don't make me have to come back here and scold you. This is for your own safety," she finished briskly.
"Yes, ma'am," I grumbled back, throwing my head down on the small desk I had.
"Don't go mad, Dorcas! I won't deal with it when I get back," she called as she was leaving. I think she was kidding, and I wasn't going to go mad in here. I mean, I hope she was kidding, and, would I?
I crumpled the piece of parchment in my hand, and got up abruptly from my seat in the common room. My sharp movement and loud crumpling sound caught the curious eyes of some fellow housemates, but I simply straightened my sweater, and walked out of the common room hastily. What did that letter mean? Was Dorcas seriously ill, and was it a family thing? She had mentioned Harley, her mother, and the mysterious "everyone." Did that mean a group of family members? A group of students? I can't believe she's kept this from me. Even more so, she's kept it from those bloody prats she keeps as friends. They practically shared blood. They probably did share blood, so far as I know. This wasn't fair to me. I knew she had told me to stay out of it, but I was in the thick of it. To my knowledge, the only one's who know about her illness are myself, her, Harley, Pomfrey, and Dumbledore. The last one was an assumption, but Dumbledore bloody knows everything.
I walked up to the infirmary, and there was a sign posted on it.
Hospital Wing: CLOSED
Madame Pomfrey is away on business, and will be returning shortly.
That seemed like the biggest load of crap I've ever heard, but I could just faintly see the magic barrier surrounding the doors. I wasn't getting in there. She couldn't keep me out forever. If I needed it, I had blackmail. I don't care what Dorcas thought of me at this point. This was about her. She needed to understand. She's never understood.