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Chapter 16 : Howl
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It has been brought to my attention that some people may not feel that this story has a positive message. While I understand this entirely, I would just like to put my hands up and say, this story is not preaching morality to anyone on any level. It is about the consequences of actions, from the view of a troubled girl who has clumsily taken control of her life. Please do not take this too seriously, we all like drama and hilarity. If this story does have a message, it is that every action yields a reaction, and to learn from your mistakes. Yes, Erin is immature, but she is sixteen/seventeen years old. I know a lot of readers are probably younger and view that age as more grown up and mature, but I am 19 and I can tell you that I was quite immature at that age and probably still am in a lot of ways. Basically, all I'm trying to say is, I am not in any way encouraging people to emulate Erin or anyone else I write about's behaviour. This is entirely fictional, and the drama is exaggerated for entertainment purposes, but I am trying to at least be realistic in the sense that she is learning and growing through the process of this story. I hope this clarifies things for anyone who feels I am in any way encouraging underage drinking, casual sex, or anything else in this story. I'm not. Thanks for reading this, here's chapter sixteen :)
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Howl
If you could only see the beast you’ve made of me
I held it in but now it seems you’ve set it running free
Screaming in the dark, I howl when we’re apart
Drag my teeth across your chest and taste your beating heart
~ Howl ~ Florence and the Machine ~
“I can’t let you in, it’s past midnight, and Miss Everly needs her sleep.” Madam Pomfrey was obstinate.
“But please, Miss, we’re so worried.” Alice pleaded, turning on her puppy-dog eyes. “Just five minutes?” The matron looked from Alice to me and back before sighing.
“Five minutes, no more.” She marched down the ward and into her office. There were only two occupied beds in here- one belonging to a second year Slytherin with some kind of winter flu, and the other belonging to Perry, who was sitting up, wide awake.
“Thank Merlin, I thought you two would never show up.” Perry said as soon as we got near enough.
“Pomfrey didn’t want us in here.” Alice informed her. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, I don’t know what I’m even doing in here. Merlin, I want another go at Snape, I’ll get him for this, I hate hospitals.” Perry spat, clearly frustrated.
“She’s just keeping an eye on you.” Alice replied with concern.
“I don’t need her to keep an eye on me. It was only a Stunner.”
“Why was he saying… what he said?” Alice asked, her eyes wide.
I hadn’t said anything since Alice told me what Snape had been saying. Remus is a werewolf… the words kept repeating themselves, running around my head. I knew there was a werewolf among the students; I’d encountered it. Remus was ill every month and if I cared to check, these illnesses would probably coincide with the full moon. Remus hated the full moon; he’d told me so in Hogsmeade. And the other thing- after I came across that werewolf, Remus had taken me back to that corridor to replace the bad memory for a good one. He’d said he felt guilty. And then, it all clicked into place: Sirius knew. This thought process only took about half a minute. Perry looked very uncomfortable at Alice’s question, and the final missing jigsaw piece slotted into place. Perry knew, too. Perry knew Remus, my boyfriend, my sweet, lovely boyfriend, Remus, was a werewolf.
Perry turned her gaze to me, and when our eyes met, we both knew.
“I should’ve told you, but he swore me to secrecy.” Perry told me. “I only realised because… well I saw him in the Astronomy Tower, checking on the lunar chart. Then the next day suddenly he disappeared and said he was ill…”
“Right after the Hogsmeade trip.” I recalled.
“Yes.” Perry finished. “I spoke to him about it… my uncle is a werewolf, you see. I know how they get treated… people think they’re inherently evil, but they’re people under there.”
I sat down, my legs weak.
“I can’t believe it. Remus is a werewolf.” Alice said. There were those words again, being repeated once more.
“I’m sorry, Erin.” Perry said softly. “Do you hate me?”
“Of course not… I understand.” I said tensely, not sure if I was lying. Then I stood up again. “Pomfrey is gonna chuck us out again. I’m going to bed.” I announced this and strolled out of the Hospital Wing without further ado. Alice apologised and hurried after me.
“Erin!” She squeaked, “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m just… I’m not angry she didn’t tell me. I get why she couldn’t… but…”
“There are things you don’t tell her.” Alice reminded me pointedly. I nodded.
“I know. I guess I don’t know how I feel about this yet. Merlin, I need sleep.”
“I can’t believe Perry stood up for him like that against Snape though.” Alice commented. “How does Snape even know? He’s the last person Remus must need knowing about this…” I had to agree with her here. If Snape was willing to tell people, even though everyone from Dumbledore down to Perry was covering up for him, it could be out of nothing but malice. Remus wouldn’t hurt a fly, I knew that.
“I know you know.” Sirius muttered. I didn’t know how he’d gotten here- into the sixth year Ravenclaw’s girl’s dormitory at seven o’clock in the morning. He was sitting on the edge of my bed, leaning over me. I decided I didn’t want to know, either. I blinked blearily at him.
“What’s wrong with you?” I grumbled. “It’s Sunday- a day of rest.”
“Are you going to dump him?” Sirius asked.
“Merlin, I don’t know. I doubt it. I mean, I have to talk to him. Oh fuck! Sirius, please get out of my face, I can’t think right now, you just woke me up.”
“He’ll never hurt you.” Sirius told me, though he heeded me by sitting back. I sat up, annoyed.
“He did try once.” I reminded him. “I can’t believe you knew and- oh! You were the dog.” I was still half asleep, so this realisation was a stoic one. Sirius merely looked at me for a long time before nodding slowly. “How did you become an Animagus?”
“Years of study. James and Peter are Animagi too, in case you’re curious.” Sirius added. He seemed relieved I hadn’t immediately resolved to dump Remus.
“Padfoot makes sense now.” I mumbled. In the bed next to mine, Winnie turned over. Sirius looked nervous.
“If I’m caught in here Flitwick will castrate me with a Severing Charm. Can we get out of here?” He begged.
“Moony makes sense too. I’ll figure James and Peter out, don’t ruin it for me.” I really just wanted to go back to sleep. I was thinking in gibberish and not ready to go anywhere. Sirius blinked at me. “Shut up. I’m going back to sleep.” I turned over and shut my eyes.
“I have to talk to you before you see Remus, ‘kay? I’m not going anywhere.” I felt him slide under the covers beside me. I refused to look over my shoulder at him.
“Get out of my bed, Black.” I snapped.
“No, it’s comfy.”
I fell asleep again, and didn’t wake up for a few hours. Alice had left a note saying she’d gone to see Perry and the rest of the dormitory was empty. It was raining outside and I frowned at the rain-splattered window. But then I noted a weight on my bed that shouldn’t be there. I rolled over and Sirius was there, fast asleep beside me. Fuck, I hadn’t dreamt that. I grabbed my wand off the bedside table and aimed it at him, spraying cold water on his face. He shrieked like a girl and jumped out of bed.
“Good.” I said. “That’ll teach you.”
“Merlin, you mad woman!” He wiped his face. “Are you ready to talk now?”
“I don’t really have to talk to you about anything. It’s Remus I need to see.”
“I’m just trying to make sure my friend doesn’t get hurt here. You have no idea what he goes through every month.” Sirius growled.
“I know I don’t, alright? You don’t need to talk to me like that.” I have to admit, being treated like that by Sirius of all people was pissing me off. I never gave any indication I was going to be less than lovely to Remus about this. Sirius glared at me, and I wondered why he was so angry with me. “What’s your problem?” I demanded.
“You are, alright? You are.” It was official: I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. My mouth gaped as Sirius strolled towards the door, but then fury truly hit me. Oh no, he wasn’t getting away with this that easily. I pointed my wand at the door, and locked it. He had just reached it when this happened and he turned to face me, his grey eyes darkening. “Open it.” He snapped.
“Not until you explain.”
“I’m not explaining jack shit. I’ll let myself out.” He pulled out his wand and began to turn.
“Expelliarmus!” I caught his wand as it flew out of his hand and across the room. I held it in my left hand, but kept my own pointed at him. “Now you tell me what in the name of Merlin’s left ball you’re on about?” He mouthed wordlessly at me for a long minute, before he turned round and punched the door. Swearing and moaning loudly, he rushed over to the nearest bed, which was Alice’s, and sat down.
“Look what you made me do!” He yelled.
“I didn’t make you do anything, idiot.” I snapped.
“Can I least get some fucking ice?” I waved my wand and an icepack appeared. He grabbed it and held it to his sore knuckles, hissing with pain. I waited. “You can put your wand down.” He mumbled. I sighed and lowered my wand, but didn’t loosen my grip. “I’ll tell you, okay? But remember, you asked.”
A/N: I hope the foreword for this chapter didn't go on for too long, but I wanted to clarify something that had been pointed out to me in a review. Erin does mature throughout this story, that is a promise. I just wanted to make it clear that this is not a preachy story, and I don't mean to be preachy about this either.
Anyway! I hope you're enjoying this. If you have anything else that you feel should be cleared up, feel free to let me know through a review or a message. I would like to hear what you think anyway, and I would also like to thank "Me" for pointing out that some people may feel this is giving out the wrong signals :)
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