Chapter 6 : Hostage
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AN: Thank you to indyheart for being my beta, of course. Also, one is extended to everybody who has reviewed because you've all had some great advice for me! Enjoy.
Remus' hold on Grace in an attempt to maintain his balance by using her as an anchor resulted in them both crashing to the floor.
“Alright?” Grace asked, as she untangled herself from the boy. She was silently grateful that he had unintentionally broken her fall.
“I'm never going to get used to that,” Remus groaned, blushing as Grace lifted herself away from his body.
Grace grinned lightly patting him on the shoulder. “Yeah...several broken arms later and I thought I had it down.... Well, until you decided that you were going to pull me over.”
Remus offered her a hand as he got back to his feet, which she took happily. “Sorry about that,” he said. He reached to brush her disheveled hair from her face, his thumb gently running across her cheek as he did. His fingers lingered after he tucked the strands behind her ear, his eyes locked onto hers.
Grace's breath caught in her throat. She reddened and cursed the tickling sensation in her stomach. Remus smelled wonderful, being so close to his person was becoming uncomfortable. She felt her face heat up and her heart begin to race. Unconsciously licking her lips, Grace wondered why exactly she was so suddenly nervous. Her emotions danced through her body in sharp jabs. She was confused. She blamed the excitement of being around her Servator. She blamed hormones, and being close to a male who was not Albus. She blamed the incomprehensible gaze he was giving her as he hovered so close. Most of all, she blamed their connection as Trucido and Servator, believing the wolf's emotions were being conveyed onto her vicariously.
“Remus?” she said softly.
“Yeah?” he breathed.
“I have to go get my book now....”
Her words knocked him out of his daze and he blinked at her, dropping his hand. He inhaled, taking a couple steps back from her. “Yeah, that's right.” He cleared his throat. “So, uhm, Regulus Black is in there with him—”
“Sirius' little brother. That's a long, complicated story. At any rate, neither of them are likely to be very appreciative of our presence so we should probably—”
“Remus,” Grace interrupted him calmly. “You can't come in there with me...I'm pretty sure that Severus may hate you. That might make things a bit difficult.”
Remus frowned. “Snape likes you much better, then?”
“Well, not exactly,” she began, biting her lip. “But I still think it would be easier if you just waited here.”
He eyed her for a moment, his dissatisfaction written clearly across his face. “Alright,” he said reluctantly. “Just keep your voice down...Madam Pince is a bit of a stickler when it comes to the library.”
Her handbook was magically bound, only containing perhaps twenty pages or so at a time while inactive. There were carefully maintained contents pages that held the key to unlocking the book. By simply willing the book to reveal a chosen topic, the text would expand Grace's vade mecum as needed. The process had been extremely useful to Grace, making the handbook easy to carry and effortless to conceal. In this particular situation, evoked by her heedlessness, the enchiridion's functionality demonstrated particular folly while verifying its magnificent ability to become ensconced.
So there she stood, her mouth gaping and looking quite similar to a fish, before the two Slytherins in the quiet library. She had politely asked for her misplaced handbook upon her clearly unwanted arrival only to be met with a snide remark from Severus' end. She was certain he had the book, despite his denial, it was the only explanation.
“Give me back my book, Severus!” she demanded after a few moments in a low, harsh whisper.
He glanced up from his papers, blessing Grace with those elegant obsidian eyes that nearly absolved her fury, and watched her conscientiously. A brazen gleam flickered through his eyes accompanied by a smirk. “What book?” he asked casually.
Regulus snickered, refusing to look away from the textbook before him.
“You know what goddamn book!” Grace said in an indignant tone. “Listen, it is imperative that I get it back...just...really bad things would happen if I don't and... give it to me already, yeah?”
“You have quite a way with words, Potter,” Regulus commented, still chuckling.
Severus raised an eyebrow. “And if this book is so important to you why were you so clearly neglectful with it?”
“Because...well I...I,” Grace stammered, losing herself in her rage. “Argh! Give it to me!”
“I don't have your bloody book—”
“-you are a fucking cunt!” Grace exclaimed, her voice raising perhaps a touch too loud.
At her words Regulus lost his control. He fell to the ground howling with laughter and clutching his stomach.
“Be that as it may,” Severus began coolly, glaring at her. “I still have no idea what you're on about.”
Grace blushed at Regulus' cachinnation but remained steadfast. She placed a hand on her hip and widened her stance hoping she would appear intimidating. As she opened her mouth, her arm outstretched to point an accusatory finger at Severus, a rather shrill voice interrupted her.
“What the devil is going on in here? This is a library for Merlin's sake!”
Turning to stare into the face of Madam Pince, Grace snapped her mouth shut. She had forgotten about Remus' warning about being quiet in the library.
“Out, the lot of you,” Pince commanded, pointing towards the large doors for emphasis.
Grace frowned, glancing at Severus who was mumbling incoherently under his breath and gathering his papers. He brushed passed her, knocking into her shoulder as he went. Regulus gave her a forced grin and followed suit. Guilt struck her, she should not be calling Severus names.
“Wait a second,” Grace called after them, before pursuing in chase.
Like the delicate flower she was, she grabbed hold of Regulus upon reaching them just beyond the threshold of the door. Before he had the chance to brandish his wand, Grace slammed his front into the hard corridor wall, ignoring Remus' protests. She magically bound his hands behind his back and, upon noticing Severus' wand now aimed at her, swung Regulus around in front of her as a shield.
“What the hell are you doing?” Regulus demanded with a growl. He fought against her, thrashing about in vain.
Frustrated with his lack of compliance, Grace kicked his legs out from beneath him. She shrunk down behind him, wrapping her arms around him to keep him still, to avoid having a repeat of the Defense Against the Dark Arts class earlier that day.
“Grace, what are you doing?” Remus asked in a strained voice.
Regulus continued to struggle against her. “Let go of me you filthy—”
“Severus, give me back my damn book!” Grace demanded.
“Or what?” Severus asked, sneering.
“I...I'll take him hostage?”
She heard Severus scoff. “You do that, Potter....”
Grace frowned as he turned to leave. She was running out of options short of hexing Severus. With a frustrated sigh of defeat, she stood up, bringing the contending Regulus with her.
“Bloody hell, let go of me right now....”
“Hush, you,” Grace snapped. “Ugh, balls!”
Remus sighed, running a hand through his hair. “So your big plan was to kidnap Sirius' little brother?”
“That blood-traitor is not my brother-”
With a groan, Grace began fishing through Regulus' pockets, ignoring his curses and dissension. “Well, I thought that they might be friends, studying together and all, but it turns out not very good friends—”
“Snape and I aren't friends, you dolt. Argh, what the hell are you doing?”
Grace grinned triumphantly as she found his wand, stuffing it into her own pockets for safe keeping. “Then why were you studying together?”
“Give that back, you bitch—ow!” Regulus growled in agitation as Grace belted him into the wall again.
“Grace, would you stop-” Remus began sounding slightly nervous.
Regulus snarled, thrashing even more harshly against Grace. “He's been tutoring me in potions for the last two years you bloody slag! We started immediately this year...I have fucking O.W.L.s this year...let go!”
Frowning Grace pushed him forward. “Walk.”
“Fine!” Grace grumbled, striding forward and pulling a very reluctant Regulus behind her. In his struggle he continuously stumbled, occasionally falling to the floor. If he continued his bucking he was going to end up with some serious bruises.
Remus followed close behind. “Grace, you should really let him go now. He's of no use to you.... Really Grace, this isn't a good idea! What are you planning on doing with him?”
Saying nothing, Grace threw open a broom closet door and pushed Regulus inside. Once closed, Grace leaned against the door and crossed her arms over her chest. She inhaled, and closed her eyes in thought.
“You stupid cow! You will pay for this!” Regulus voice came from behind the door.
“Grace, you really can't do this,” Remus protested again.
“And why not?”
“Because it's kidnapping! And you've just made me an accomplice!”
“I didn't kidnap him, I just put him in a closet!”
“You took away his wand and bound his hands! You can't do that!”
“You,” Grace said, pointing at Remus, “have too many rules!”
“You,” Remus returned, “are an insane person!”
Faltering, Grace frowned. “You think that I'm insane?”
Remus' eyes widened and he brought his hand up to his head. “You...you...and...argh!”
“Grace!” A voice called before she had a chance to say anything.
The two turned their heads together as Lily approached them.
“Lily,” Remus said curtly after regaining his composure.
Lily gave a kind smile. “Hello Remus.” She turned to Grace. “Listen, I was going to tell you at dinner...,” she trailed off, looking between Remus and Grace, awkwardly taking in their red faces. “But you were here...with him...and the broom cupboard- Oh- Oh! I'm sorry! I'll talk to you later—”
Grace's blush matched Lily's. “No! Lily- That's no- no.”
It was at that moment when Regulus decided to bash himself against the door. “Let. Me. Out. Now!”
Lily frowned. “What is going on?”
“Oh you know, Grace kidnapped Regulus Black...,” Remus said idly, looking pointedly at Grace.
“I didn't kidnap him, Remus, stop saying that! I just put him in a closet.”
“Do something with her Lily, please?” Remus asked.
Grace turned to Remus indignantly, opening her mouth to voice her resentful opinion but Lily cut her off again.
“Grace!” she exclaimed. “You can't lock people in closets! That's not right.”
Lily sighed. “Grace, please just let him out.”
“I can't! I need him.”
“Grace, he already told you that he and Snape are not friends,” Remus protested. “He's not going to be any use to you...Snape does not care about him!”
Lily narrowed her eyes. “What is going on?” she pressed.
“Severus has my book, and he wont give it back to me!”
“Book?” Lily asked curiously. “Grace, do you mean this book?”
Grace stared at Lily in horror as she retrieved Grace's handbook from her satchel.
“It was on the floor in the dormitory,” Lily began. “I know I shouldn't have taken it without your permission, you were asleep, but I was curious. That's what I wanted to talk to you about at dinner.... It has your name in it and well, I'm a bit confused.... Anyway, I'm sorry for taking it and I'd like to talk to you about it later. Right now, though, you need to let Regulus out.”
Wordlessly, Grace stepped aside, gingerly taking her book from Lily. She glanced up at Remus who was staring at her incredulously. That was right, she had set it on the edge of her bed before taking a nap earlier.
Lily, wand in hand, cautiously opened the door.
Regulus stumbled out, ranting incoherently. He jerked away from Lily as she attempted to untie his hands. “Don't touch me!”
Lily sighed. “If you want me to let your hands free, you need to hold still for just a moment.”
Once Lily had managed to unbind him, he turned on Grace, seething with anger. “My wand.”
Grace thrust it at him, her shoulders slouching in mild embarrassment.
“Stay away from me, Potter,” Regulus hissed before turning on his heel and stalking away.
“Grace,” Lily started. “What were you thinking?”
Remus answered for her. “She clearly wasn't thinking at all! Just what were you hoping to accomplish?”
“Really Grace, locking another student in a closet—”
“-Not to mention tying him up-” Remus added, helpfully.
“-all for a book that you left lying on the floor!”
With a weak smile, Grace shrank back slightly under Remus and Lily's expectant gazes. She was not entirely sure what they were anticipating her to say, so she offered a meek apology accompanied by a shrug. “Sorry?”
Lily let out her breath harshly. “Grace, I will speak with you later. I really need to run to the library. But this conversation is not over.”
Remus turned to Grace as Lily departed, shaking his head.
“You're angry with me again,” Grace stated, watching the expression on his face change a few different times.
“Grace,” he sighed. “I am really trying here...but you have to give back just a little bit. I need you to at least try.” He took a few deep breaths in attempt to calm himself. He rubbed the back of his head slowly and watched Grace for a long moment. “I'm sorry,” he said, his facial features relaxing. “I'm not sure why, but you make me lose my temper faster than anybody I've ever met...”
Blinking, Grace offered him a small smile. “I'm sorry too, for upsetting you again.”
He returned her smile softly. “Come on, let's get back to the Common Room. I have the feeling that we've been missed.”
Upon entering the Common Room buzzing with students, Remus and Grace found themselves under attack from the other three marauders. Sirius had pulled Remus into a hug, fussing over him.
“You can't just take Moony!” Sirius scolded her, not releasing his hold on the werewolf.
Frowning, Grace said indignantly, “I didn't take him.” She folded her arms in front of her. “He followed me.”
“Are you alright?” James asked, coming to stand beside her. “We went to the infirmary but you guys weren't there.”
“And then we went to the Great Hall,” Peter included. He patted his stomach. “You weren't there either, so we waited in case you showed up.”
James gave a small chuckle. “Yeah, Wormy and Pads were so worried about the two of you that they felt the need to devour everything on the table.” He smirked, leaning in a bit closer to Grace and lowering his voice to a whisper. “I think I even caught Padfoot sneaking over to the Ravenclaw table for seconds.”
“That wasn't for seconds, mate,” Sirius laughed, finally releasing Remus. “That was for dessert. Greta Catchlove a la mode!” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
Grace wrinkled her nose at his tasteless humor but could not hold back the amused noise that had been threatening to escape her.
“Real worried about us, then, mate?” Remus chuckled, patting Sirius on the shoulder.
“I was receiving some much needed moral support,” Sirius said with a grin.
With a roll of her eyes, Grace regarded her brother. “I'm fine,” she assured him. “I just needed to do something and Remus tagged along.”
“For moral support?” Sirius asked cheekily.
“You've had too much sugar today, Padfoot,” James mumbled. “Besides, I don't need to hear about any 'going-ons' regarding my sister, kay?”
Remus' face flushed slightly. “Nothing's going on, Prongs!”
“Erm, so should we make a trip to the kitchens then?” Peter suggested, breaking the creeping tenseness. “You guys missed dinner, should be hungry....”
“Uhm, yeah,” Remus agreed, his blush beginning to fade. “Sounds like a good idea.”
“Worked up an appetite—”
“-Sweet Merlin, Padfoot!” James interrupted Sirius, smacking him on the back of the head. “Shut the hell up, mate!”
“Want to come Grace?” Peter asked, hopefully.
Grace gave him a small smile, appreciating his sentiment. She briefly wondered if cowardice was the only thing to change his alliance in the future. She felt a prickling sensation in the back of her throat. This was the boy who would be the cause of Lily and James' deaths. It seemed a bit surreal. The small, chubby, dewy-eyed Peter Pettigrew that stood before her had the best of intentions, as far as Grace could perceive. How was he possibly going to become a dastardly foe?
“No thanks,” she said, feeling the pull of her addiction subside any hunger pangs that she had been experiencing. “I'll catch up with you guys later.”
Before she reached the staircase, she heard James call after her. “Grace, wait.”
She turned to find that James wasn't far behind her. The other three boys had already departed for the kitchens.
“I want to talk with you,” he told her.
Grace paled slightly. “Uhm, James there really isn't anything going on between Remus and I if that's what—”
“-No, no,” he said quickly. “That's not what I wanted...actually I don't think that's something I'm ever going to want to talk with you about. I just wanted to talk...I mean we haven't really ever since you've arrived. You're my sister and all....”
“Oh,” Grace breathed with relief. “Sure, just give me a couple of minutes to change out of this fucking train wreck.” She motioned at her school uniform.
James chuckled. “Yeah, alright. Meet me in my dorm?”
Grace nodded and continued on her way. She was nearly desperate to soothe the lingering yearn for a cigarette. To her dismay, Alice and Marlene were in the room as she flung the door open.
“...and you can't tell me you're not jealous at all! He was all over Catchlove at dinner tonight!” Alice was saying, quite loudly.
“What is there to be jealous of?” Marlene responded lazily, lounging on her bed. “We aren't in a relationship or anything. Besides...he always comes back.” She grinned mischievously and raised her eyes as she noticed Grace walking through the room. “Oh, hey Grace.”
“Pumpkin!” Alice exclaimed. “Lily's been looking for you.”
“We thought you'd passed back out,” Marlene added, “but your bed was empty when we got here.”
Grace smiled at them, kneeling before her chest to find some more comfortable clothes and a pack of dwarf-grown tobacco cigarettes, her favorite. “Hello,” she greeted. “I've just run into Lily not that long ago.” She tucked the pack in the fabric of her folded jumper. She stood and began to head for the bathroom, hoping to escape any further conversation, but stopped a bit short when she noticed that the door was shut.
“If you need to use the loo, it's going to be a bit of a wait,” Alice said.
“Dorcas is in there,” Marlene explained. “Her showering time tends to exceed an hour.”
Alice laughed. “We've made her start showering at night because none of us could get in there in the morning.”
Sighing, Grace set her clothes on her bed and began to change. She would have to wait to get her fix. She discreetly slipped the pack into her jumper sleeve as she pulled it over her head.
“You're wearing shorts underneath your skirt?” Marlene asked, offhandedly.
Grace flushed. “I don't need any mishaps....”
Taken by a fit of laughter, Alice clutched her stomach. “We're all just lucky that Mar decides to wear pants under her skirts!”
“That's rude!” Marlene scolded indignantly, chucking a notebook at Alice, causing the short-haired girl to fall into another bout of laughter.
Grace chuckled, despite herself, at the girls' antics. “I'll see you guys later,” she said with a wave.
She began down the staircase, wondering exactly what James had wanted to talk to her about, when she lost her footing. She tumbled down roughly, landing at the bottom with a soft thud. She cursed the staircase quietly for taking its revenge on her. The students in the Common Room stopped what they were doing to turn and look at the cause of the commotion.
Grace quickly picked herself up, pushing her hair from her flushed face and smiled sheepishly at the crowd. Hurriedly, she crossed to the boy's stairs.
“Balls,” she muttered.
A/N: There you have it. If you've got the time, I wouldn't mind to hear what you think!
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