Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
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Disclaimer: I do NOT own Harry Potter.
February 16th, 1976
It was a day like any other, a day full of awkward laughter, being tripped and awkward eye contact. My stomach burned with embarrassment, how could I have been so foolish? That a boy like that would ever like me or want me around. There was too many other pretty girls out there, how could I compete. I sighed feeling pathetic, knowing everyone usually went through that awkward teen stage. Only issue with me, is that my awkward “teen” stage has been dragged out to my fifth year. When girls like Lily Evans passed that stage with barely a crooked tooth back in year four.
I sighed again, a common thing to do ever since the Christmas dance. I pushed myself out of the current cubby I was curled into and walked, slightly pigeon towed to the nearest bathroom. A group of giggling girls walked past, looking back over their shoulders at me when they thought I couldn’t see. I tried not to hear them as they whispered quickly, “Is that her?” “She looks different without mascara stains down her face” “ Can you believe she thought he was serious about taking her to the dance?”.
That was enough of that, I hurried into the nearest bathroom and threw my book bag onto the ground, pushing my sleeves up in a huff. I leaned on the sink and stared at my bushy appearance in the cracked mirror. I could be pretty. If I wasn’t such a freak.
I pushed back my bangs and looked into my eyes, they weren’t hideous. I kept staring until I heard his words ringing in my ear “Your eyes are the colour of the brightest sky”. The saying now made me want to vomit. Actually, that sounded about right as I threw myself into the nearest stall and hurled up my entire lunch.
I was such an idiot.
I scooted on the ground and dragged my bag in with me, completely done with the day. If only I could live in this stall, I could be like moaning myrtle, but with uglier hair and thicker glasses.
I laid down on the cold stone ground, my body shivering on the impact. Maybe I would just lay here for a couple minutes, or hours. No one would notice anyway.
A few hours later I ended up making it back to the Gryffindor common room, my back stiff from the hours spent on the ground. I had this feeling in my stomach, not my usual social anxiety, but this feeling of dread. The feeling I usually got around the Marauders, or around the Goyle boys. I walked through the portrait, muttering the password as I walked. Only to have the room go quiet. Another thing that was becoming routine these days, ever since that stupid Christmas dance.
I went to walk past everyone like usual, nodding at a few younger students who I had tutored in the past. Only to be stopped by Lily Evans. The Gryffindor prefect and the world’s best know it all.
“Hello, are you Cassie?” Lily asked softly, putting a hand on my shoulder. I stared at her hand and nodded, not sure where to look. I could see others looking on, with a look of almost pity.
“I thought so, I am Lily. Dumbledore found me when I was leaving the Great Hall and wanted me to tell you to go to his office. He wasn’t able to find you.” Lily stated in a rush, handing me a note. I nodded again.
“Er- thanks.” I fumbled with the piece of paper and opened it.
Meet me in my office as soon as you get this letter.
I enjoy peppermint patties.
I reread it a couple times over, that feeling of dread filling my stomach again. It was never a good thing when students were summoned to Dumbledore’s office. I looked up into Lily’s concerned eyes and knew that was exactly what she was thinking too.
“Are you okay?” Lily asked, her eyebrow squinting down in concentration. I nodded again,
“Yeah, just need to go see Dumbledore, excuse me.” I pushed past her and made my way to the portrait hole again. That feeling of dread almost suffocating me at this point.
“How?” I mumbled in shock, silent tears tumbling down my face as I sat in Dumbledore’s office. The ministry approved paper crushed in my right fist. What a ridiculously thick piece of parchment for the ministry to use, like they were completely against normal parchment. Then again it is the ministry.
“They died like heroes Cassie, defending those who cannot defend themselves.” Dumbledore’s words jolted me out of my mind. My mind full of doubt and denial, a mind full of thick pieces of parchment only and not what the ink on said parchment meant.
I nodded again. That sick feeling coming again, I looked up with sudden angry. Tossing the piece of unnecessarily thick paper on the ground.
“That. Is. Bloody. Horse. Shit.” I muttered, anger flaring in my eyes and making my nostrils widen. Dumbledore had looked up at my sudden motion and was more shocked than anything at my outburst. I was always quiet. I was always picked on. But something today had snapped. My temper had made it’s presence shown.
“You bloody promised me that they would be fine. YOU said there was nothing to worry about, you had the right men on the right job. They were suppose to be at home, but YOU pulled them from their safety and threw them into ANOTHER bloody battle. Albus Dumbledore you are the reason my parents are dead, you and your bloody association.” I roared, my fists clenched by my side. I had never even dreamed of speaking to a teacher this way in my life, but I was sick of being weak.
I shook myself from my thoughts.
“That was then and this now.” I mumbled to myself, lacing up my trainers. A lot had changed from that fatal day, myself being one of the main details. No more was I that weak individual who was constantly bullied, pushed around and tormented. Now I was the one who did the tormenting, on those who killed innocents. This alone should make me feel powerful, secure. But if anything, it made me feel even more insecure. Although I was able to shake a lot of my flaws before that was my main one now. That feeling of never being enough or never being good enough for anyone or anything. It was something this last year tested and although it can be smothered it cannot be hidden. It came out in the most dangerous moments, when I needed to be strong my confidence tended to falter and crumble around me. These moments were when my parents were brought up, they had made my flaw even larger and more prominent in my life.
But how do you blame people for being murdered?
I shook my head again and donned my jacket. Ready to start the day, I looked at myself in the mirror grimacing at the chosen jacket Moody had brought back from his house. The jacket I had worn on my first day of training with him.
June 20th 1976
“Oomph.” My body landed on the cold hard ground. I brushed some grass off my face and moaned as I rolled back onto my back.
“Merlin.” I muttered, more as a prayer than anything. Training with Moody was proving to be more challenging than I expected.
“Get up lass, if I was a death eater you would’ve been dead by now.” Moody grumbled, kicking my wand toward me. It hit me softly on my arm and I let out another grown. We had been going at this for hours now, and getting your ass thrown around for that long is really tiring on the body.
“I know, I know. I get it. I can’t bloody well do this Moody, what was I fooling myself for? I am not cut out for this.” I groaned in frustration, pushing myself up onto my hands in knees. I took deep ragging breaths as I tried to pull myself together. I hate crying, and I certainly don’t want to start in front of him. My new guardian.
“That is enough! Get off the ground and stop looking so pathetic. I will give you five minutes to pull yourself together and start acting like the daughter of Connie and Keith. Merlin, if they could see you now they would be disappointed. If you’re going to wear your mom’s jacket at least do her memory justice and fight like her.” Moody snarled in frustration, stomping to the house. I could see Evelyn in the window, drying dishes and giving Moody a calculating look.
I choked back a sob as Moody’s words sunk in, staring at my jacket as I did so. My mother had left incredibly hard shoes to follow, or in this case a jacket. How could I be so weak when my parents’ killers roamed free? Still breaking up families like mine and ruining peoples’ lives.
I sat back on my heels and wiped my face. Time to burry that self-loathing, frightened little girl and start being the woman my parents’ would be proud of.
I smoothed the crinkles in my jacket and continued to stare at myself in the mirror. To think how far I came from that weekend would be enough to shock my former self. I shook my head again and left the room, taking the stairs two at a time. I slowed down when I came to the kitchen, listening idly to the chatter.
“How do you not know who she is?” A feminine voice demanded. Ceasing the laughter around her.
“Lils, do you honestly think we knew half the people in our year at Hogwarts?” A boy I assumed to be James scoffed.
“And to be fair Lily, you didn’t remember her right away anyways. You can’t really be giving these two a hard time about it.” The voice of Remus stated calmly, almost seeming bored with the topic.
I heard a girl huff as I neared the kitchen, trying to make it seem like I wasn’t eavesdropping. These people already didn’t trust me as it is, no need to make myself seem shady.
“So big whoop Evans, are you going to tell us who she is or what!” A voice burst out amongst the others, just as I walked through the door way. There was a pause of awkward silence before Molly cleared her throat.
“Good morning dear! I didn’t expect you up for another couple hours! Hope you slept okay, do mind this one dear. He isn’t the most graceful of creatures.” She scolded, gesturing at a perplexed Sirius. I smiled gratefully at her and sat at the other end of the table.
“It is no problem Molly, thank you for letting me stay here. The place I was previously at is at high risk right now.” I thanked, sitting down and pulling the Daily Prophet towards me. I don’t know why I even bother with the Daily Prophet anymore, they stopped posting the good stuff a while ago. Now the minister is forcing them to post next to nothing, in hopes to allure us into a sense of false comfort.
“No trouble dear, here I made bacon and eggs. Are you interested?” Molly asked, I nodded my head and accepted the meal along with a black tea.
“Thank you Molly. Where is Moody?” I asked, taking a sip of my tea. The hot liquid burnt my tongue and I made a face at my mug, feeling personally betrayed by the steaming tea.
“At training of course, just got himself a new batch of aurors down at the Ministry. Should be enough to keep him busy all week.” Molly answered, washing the dirty dishes whilst staring out into her garden. I nodded to myself, well wasn’t that an obvious answer. I scraped my fork against my plate, causing Lily down the table to shudder at it.
I smirked and picked up the paper again, knowing that they were all staring at me. I cleared my throat and noticed the majority look down at their now empty plates. All except one, of course this dolt has to make things difficult.
In a sudden motion, making Sirius jump, I folded up the paper and scooped the rest of the eggs into my mouth, picking up my tea as I stood.
“Well I’m off Molly, better go help Moody with those newbies. If I don’t you know what kind of mood he will be in at the meeting tonight.” I heard a snort behind me and turned around. James was chortling into his eggs and Lily was giving him a dirty look. She smacked him on the back of his head and gestured towards me. Our eyes meet and I raised my eyebrows, questioning what was funny.
“Well, er- sorry. No disrespect but I just found your words amusing. His mood.. and his name is Moody.” James stated, looking around for some back up, and when finding none he continued, “It wasn’t as funny as I thought.”
I smirked and turned back to Molly who was staring at James in a look of half amusement and the other half pity.
“What time is the meeting tonight?” I asked, pressing past her towards the door.
“Seven dear.” I nodded again, and once again at the room.
“James you really need to work on your jokes, that wasn’t even a good one.” I heard Molly joke as the door shut. I laughed to myself and pressed on. Time for my favourite place on earth, the Ministry.
“‘Ello Moody.” I chimed as I slide into the spot next to him in the training arena. A grunt was all I heard in response before he hobbled off to a couple of aurors dueling to the left. I watched as they all paled as he approached and how the pale colour turn a sickly green as he continued. Oh the life of a auror, especially one being trained by Moody.
The boy who had paled sprinted past me and rushed through the doors, the sounds of vomiting echoed throughout the training arena.
“For Merlin’s sake! Okay you girls, go take a break. You would think you lassies could handle a bit of sweat! What are you waiting for! GET OUT BEFORE I CHANGE MY BLOODY MIND!” Moody bellowed at the newbies. I stifled a laugh, not wanting to be Moody’s next target. He stumbled over to me and gestured roughly at me to the door. I slipped in behind him and followed him to his office.
“Pretty rough Moody, how are you going to turn these blokes around?” I joked, lounging on his couch in the corner. Moody gave me a death glare and sat down behind his desk, rubbing his face roughly with his hands.
“Well lass, if I was able to train you I can train anyone.” Moody joked, flipping through the files on his desk.
“Harsh Moody, harsh.” I mumbled, but a part of me agreed. I was a tough case to train, my stubbornness a big part of that.
“You know it is true Cassie, you and your stubbornness. You could give your mom a run for her money.” Moody stated fondly, looking over his work, his mechanical eye spinning madly. I stared at him for a bit, not used to having people talk about my parents so openly.
When I was sent to Moody’s after my parents died, we ignored their names or what happened like the plague. There was no good times sharing stories, building closer bonds. There was silent, stiff dinners where we all tried to keep it together for the sake of the other.
His wife, Evelyn took it almost worse than me. It must be hard to lose your best friend so suddenly. To me it is sometimes comforting that my mom and Evelyn are now back together somewhere. They were almost soul mates, best friends since they were young, it shook Evelyn’s world after she passed. It was like a half of her was missing, and sure I felt that too. But Evelyn knew a side of my mom I never got to see, the youthful, joyriding side of my mom that was apparently so lovable when she was younger.
I wish I could go back in time and see my mom like this, my last memories of her were too dark to be considered “happy”.
I sighed and got up, startling Moody in the process.
“Can I use the training arena to run? I will stay out of your way with your new aurors.” I promised, pleading him with my eyes.
“Sure thing Cassie, look out for these baboons spells. They can’t aim to save their bloody lives, it’ll be a miracle if I can get them to survive out there.” Moody grumbled.
“Why bother with this batch then?” I asked curious, usually they got to choose the best out of the class and dismiss the rest.
“We are dropping like flies out there Cassie, we need all the men we can get. If only to have them do paperwork here at the office. It’s hard to feel positive when it feels like you are on the losing side.” Moody sighed, rubbing his face again. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, my head snapped up.
“If I ever hear you talking like that again, I will beat the living shit out of you.” I snarled, storming away. I heard him call my name as I left but he made no attempt to follow, living with me taught him how to deal with me when I am angry.
I started sprinting in the training arena, startling the new aurors who were stretching on the side lines. I ignored them and pushed on, sending death glares back at Moody when he returned. He ignored me as well and started up the training again.
Today was not going as I planned, and then I remembered that there was still the meeting to go through tonight. I groaned angrily and kept running, hoping to leave everything else behind.
It was dark when I got back to the Burrow, having missed dinner my stomach was growling loudly. I groaned a bit as I walked in to smell Molly’s cooking, I need to start coming on time for dinner. I slipped in behind the people standing at the door and made my way to the table, everyone else chatting to each other waiting for the meeting to start.
I slid into a spot near the top of the table only to feel, once again, eyes on me from across the room. I looked up to meet Lily’s green eyes, I nodded in acknowledgement and was surprised to see her smile and start making her way towards me.
“Hello, Cassie right?” Lily asked timidly, sitting down beside me in a plop.
“Cas.” I corrected, looking at the table. I saw Lily nod out of my peripheral and sigh.
I continued to stare at the table hoping the meeting would just start already.
“Listen, I just wanted to apologize for not automatically remembering you when I first saw you. It is obvious you remembered me since you mentioned me by name, but it is just a shock since you do not look the same anymore.” Lily started, I just held my hand up to stop her from continuing.
“Don’t worry about it, I’m used to it.” I muttered, wanting this conversation to be over with. Apparently Lily didn’t have the same idea in mind.
“Just so you know, I had no idea what Sir-”
“Good evening! If everyone could please take a seat, we are going to start the meeting now!” Dumbledore’s voice chimed, cutting Lily off.
I sighed in relief as Lily left join the others at the other side of the table. I do not need to be constantly reminded of what that prick did to me back at Hogwarts, I have left that sad pathetic girl behind and do not need these people trying to find her.
“Alright thank you, now we all know why we are gathered here today. Cas has more information she would like to share and I am sure you all have some questions for her as well. Cas, if you will?” Dumbledore started, gesturing toward the table. I nodded and stood up, casting a silence amongst the group.
“Well, for starters it is best to start from the beginning so there will be no questions.” I started, and commenced the longest four hours of my entire life.
“Alright thank you again Cas, for your information. We will keep it in mind as we continue our work her at the Order.” Dumbledore stated, making my head snap up. They were going to “keep it in mind”, like it wasn’t vital information.
Moody, as if sensing my dangerous mood turn, put his hand on my shoulder. Pushing me back down into my seat. I glared angrily at him, still not forgiving him from his earlier moment of weakness.
Just as everyone was getting up, the big headed prat in the corner had to put his two cents in.
“So, how did you get their trust so easily? There would’ve had to be some causalities brought on by your hand, correct?” Sirius’ smug voice rang out amongst the others. The people standing up froze in midair, and slowly began to lower themselves into their chairs.
“To gain a Death Eater’s trust is not a hard thing to do, it is about who you know, what your blood status is and what your opinions are.” I started coldly, “Of course they would not trust me unless I killed in front of them.”
“So you admit to killing innocent people then? What makes you different from the other Death Eaters then?” Sirius continued. I could feel Moody beside me vibrating with anger and I had to remind myself to keep my calm, there were too many witnesses here for me not to go to Azkaban.
“What makes me different from other Death Eaters is I actually use my brain for more than remembering to breathe. I was given situations, basically given to me on a silver plater, that were easy enough to manipulate to look like I had killed many. When in reality, their death’s were mere accidents. Done at the hand of others. Anyone with functioning brain cells could put this together, so I am really not surprised that you’re struggling to comprehend.” I snarled, my temper and voice raising as I continued. I didn’t realize we were both standing until Dumbledore interrupted.
“Now, let us settle down. We have enough enemies out there who we cannot trust, we do not need that here in our order. Cas, we are very grateful for you information and do not think you would murder innocent people. Sirius, we all think you have some sort of brain cell formation and that you think with your head.” Dumbledore concluded maturely, only to have it ruined by James.
“Yeah, but what head. Huh Sirius? Get it? Which head?” James continued, getting a few laughs out of the younger members but Sirius himself was not laughing. He continued to glare at me across the table and I still hadn’t dropped my eye contact either.
“James, you’re actually disgusting sometimes.” Lily scolded, scooting her chair out. The sound of her chair moving seemed to jolt us out of our staring contest.
I had no problem with the other members of the Phoenix, besides Dumbledore of course, but if Black did not learn to shut his mouth things were going to go down hill pretty fast.
I left the table and quickly slipped back up to my room, my stomach still growling. I was done with today, I was exhausted.
A/N: WELL.. there it is! Let me know how you guys liked it! My next chapter should be done by next weekend :) I cannot tell you how much writing this fic again warms my heart, and your reviews just make it ten times better.
Love any sort of feed back!!
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