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Chapter 8 : Bad Moods
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He wondered briefly if keeping Bonnie around was truly worth his time, then dismissed it quickly. She may be a little annoying and she may not make his blood boil like Roxanne seemed to, but she was useful and it kept people from asking him questions. Besides, everyone saw them together; if he made Bonnie forget him now and that stopped, people would grow suspicious.
It was more than enough incentive to keep her around; he just hoped it wouldn't be today.
His wish was not heard, or maybe it was and just ignored, Tristan didn't know, but he did know that in the hall, standing a few yards in front of Aidan and his group, who were standing by the door, waiting for him, was Bonnie. Aidan saw him first and was torn between feeling sympathy for Tristan and finding the situation hilarious. Roxanne saw him last, was nudged by James, and the look on her face was almost murderous, directed at both of them - Tristan still didn't understand why she cared so much. Aidan told him that she just liked having all the information and hated the thought of him telling Bonnie anything, but Tristan suspected that wasn't it. Or, at least, that wasn't all.
Bonnie eventually turned to face him and waved enthusiastically, walking up to him and pulling him down to kiss him hard. Distantly, Tristan heard Roxanne scoff. Tristan suspected it was more because she still didn't like how close he and Roxanne had been in the library the other day than because she too had heard the scoff, but he wasn't surprised when Bonnie smirked in Roxanne's direction once she let him go. He knew that was the only reason why she was stood near them.
"Ready for Hogsmeade, baby?" she asked sweetly, taking his hand.
Tristan frowned. "You told me you weren't coming."
"But you said you were," Bonnie reminded him, playing with the top button of his shirt until it popped open and she was touching skin. "And what kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn't show you around myself?"
Everyone heard that; a few people gasped, knowing Bonnie wasn't the type to stay with a guy long enough to have that title, Aidan watched them in shock, shooting questioning glances Tristan's way, while Roxanne looked ready to kill Bonnie. Probably Tristan, too, he wouldn't put it past her.
"Girlfriend? Interesting," Tristan muttered. That wasn't the plan and he didn't like it. Bonnie only giggled, kissed him and led the way out.
Aidan changed his mind: the situation was definitely hilarious.
It took almost two hours before Tristan eventually lost Bonnie in the crowd; how a girl could spend that much time in the three clothes shops Hogsmeade had, he didn't know and was too scared to ask her, not that he'd tell anybody. He claimed to be wondering around the shop aimlessly while she was looking at dresses, then as soon as her back was turned, he took off out of the shop's door. He knew she would find him eventually, the village wasn't that big, but he'd have an excuse by then. Right now, he had work to do.
Tristan kept his head down, spying the area without looking conspicuous; he didn't want kids noticing that he was looking for something and enquire about it. It helped that people seemed wary about him, especially when they saw him around a known werewolf. Suddenly, he wished he was with Aidan, and it wasn't to keep people away from him like he thought, but because the boy had actually become a friend, or at least someone who could be a friend after this was over. Tristan found himself enjoying Aidan's company, James' banter and Roxanne's sass.
This time his wish, though not one he knowingly wished for, was answered and the three figures walking his way quickly became the faces he had become accustomed to seeing.
"Got away, did you?" James called out before stopping in front of them. "Aidan was about to put together a search party."
"I would have done anything to keep Roxy from whispering down my ear about your life being in danger," Aidan replied with a laugh, nudging her in the ribs.
Tristan was sure it was a trick of some sort, or that he was imagining things, but it seemed that Roxanne was blushing over what Aidan had said and he wondered if the boy had really been joking.
"I said no such thing," she snapped. "I said she'd be the death of him."
"And that you probably deserve it," James added with a nod, attempting to be serious and failing.
"That bit is true," Roxanne told him with a shrug.
Tristan didn't care; he knew she'd get used to him being around eventually, that she'd either let her guard down or their arguments would become their thing. He almost smiled at the thought; he couldn't remember the last time he had had a 'thing' with someone else, especially not with a human. It was... nice, he decided. Normal. And since that was what he was supposed to be while at Hogwarts, he wasn't going to stop it.
He put an arm around Roxanne, the other going around Aidan, and turned them around. He pretended not to notice that Roxanne didn't pull away.
"Now that you're here, hide me," he whispered. "I will not go back into the hellhole that is clothes shopping."
Grinning, James led the way, explaining that he and Aidan had been on their way to Honeydukes so that he could meet Emily when Aidan gave in to his cousin's demands and came looking for Tristan. They avoided all talk of Bonnie as they walked, at least with Roxanne; occasionally, Aidan whispered some sort of remark that only Tristan heard. He wanted to be annoyed with the wolf for teasing him, but it reminded him too much of his friendship with Gareth for Tristan to hate it.
As much as he missed Gareth and Chris and Daniel, it was nice to have a similar relationship with another, to know that he wasn't completely alone at Hogwarts, with only three friends in the world, friends he could only communicate with on the phone.
I need to call Henry, he told himself briefly. Things were slow at the school, but there were still things to know and do outside and his friend should have an update.
Tristan waited outside while Aidan and Roxanne went into the sweet shop, James found his Emily near to the door and stood with her. He had found his mark during their walk and was mapping out the quickest route without being seen, deciding how he'd leave them as well. The shop was too crowded anyway, he didn't need to be in there since he wasn't buying anything.
By the time his new friends had come back, bags in their hands and complaints about the queue on their lips, Tristan was sure he knew what to do. It was simple really, easy, and hopefully it would be the most effective.
"Here you go," Aidan said, digging into his bag. He held up a lollipop and smirked knowingly. "I got it just for you."
Tristan almost rolled his eyes, but then settled for frowning. It was easier to frown when no one else knew why Aidan was giving him the sweet. Plus, they weren't his favorite thing in the world. They just weren't the same as fresh blood.
"It's a blood pop," Roxanne said, confused. "Aidan, why?"
"Humor," he said.
Tristan took it hesitantly and put it into his pocket, tapping it gently to keep it from sticking to him. "I'll save it for later."
Roxanne continued to watch them weirdly, but said nothing. Tristan was glad; he really didn't want to explain Aidan's reasoning for giving him a vampire lollipop.
"Hey," he started, changing the subject and pulling out his mobile. "Does this place get phone reception?"
He already knew the answer, that Hogsmeade did because magic wasn't used around as often as in Hogwarts, but that it was very bad, but it moved the conversation away from vampires and gave him a reason to leave without Roxanne suspecting him and his motives. Aidan already had a look in his eyes that said he knew something was happening.
Roxanne nodded in answer to his question. "It's not very good, though. Magic still gets in the way. I suggest walking close to the shack; no one is ever around so magic isn't there to interfere. Just a natural lack of phone signal."
"Who are you calling?" Aidan asked before she could finish and ask the same question.
"I was homeschooled, remember? I have friends outside of here and it'll be nice to talk to them," he replied, and it was mostly true; he missed Henry and wanted to talk, their conversation was just business related that's all.
Aidan turned to Roxanne and asked, "Was that an answer to my question?"
She shook her head and they both grinned; Tristan could see just how close they were and was surprised to feel jealousy stirring inside him when he wondered why they weren't together.
"His name is Henry," Tristan admitted, jealousy turning to panic when he spotted Bonnie not too far away. "I'll be back in a bit."
He ran; he wanted to get the conversation over and done with, to start looking for his stone and get his plan back on track. He was so close to putting this part of his life to an end; he could finally let it go and move on, have friends who weren't in hiding.
As soon as I've made this call.
The Shrieking Shack looked cold and desolate and Tristan could see why people didn't come up here. Knowing he could make his call and start looking for the stone undisturbed made this place his new favorite. He remembered when it was just field; he and his friends would hide there, lie in the grass and waste the day, being normal.
Just seeing the shack made the whole place feel so different.
Tristan sat on the ground, leaning against the fence, and scrolled down his list of contacts for Henry's number. He put the phone to his ear, pressing it down to make sure he could hear, and let his gaze linger on the shack to look for ways in. It looked broken and unsafe; he didn't want to be crushed looking for the stone, but he wasn't sure where else to start looking in the village.
"Hello," a familiar, sleepy voice croaked on the other end of the line, breaking his concentration. "How are things on your end?"
Knowing Henry was only asking Tristan first to wake himself up, he answered him, complaining just a little. "The Room of Requirement won't let me in. I've tried so many different rooms and they've all worked, but the room I won't just won't create a door. It's like it's broken."
"Sucks to be you," his friend muttered and Tristan considered it a good thing Henry was nowhere near him. "Do you know why?"
"If I knew why, I'd be fixing the problem," he growled. "What's going on with you?"
"They're being scarily quiet," Henry told him, referring to the coven he was currently associated with. "They're waiting for orders from his number two," he explained. "And number two isn't talking yet. It's very odd."
"Why? Who is this number two? He doesn't have number twos? He has minions," Tristan reminded him.
The line crackled and Tristan grimaced when everything went quiet for far too long. He almost hung up, thinking the line was dead, when Henry spoke again. "Not this time. He's very protective of his number two, I've never met him and I can't get a name. But I do know that he is their best Tracker. Seriously, Tristan, I heard of one of his assignments the other night and he was back before morning."
"So, he has a good Tracker to hunt and murder innocent people, why is that so odd to you?"
"Because you're his main assignment and he claims he can't find you."
Tristan sucked in his cheeks and considered what his friend was saying; it was quite odd if someone thought to be the coven's best Tracker couldn't find him. Tristan was used to running and good at evading people he didn't want catching him, but not even he should be able to escape a professional Tracker; they were the best of the best, able to locate and kill anyone. They usually didn't have a face to look for, they worked alone and hunted whoever they wanted. To work for someone meant that he was willing to use his talents for money or to prove his loyalty.
An assassin for hire... and he wasn't doing his job.
"Maybe he still new, or I'm better than him," Tristan suggested, unsure.
"I've heard names of places, whispers from inside the coven; every place is true," Henry said. "He knows exactly where you are and he's not saying or coming after you. I don't know why, but please be careful. Trackers don't care about collateral damage and I doubt even that magical school of yours will keep you safe."
"I'll be fine, I promise. Besides, this will all be over soon."
Henry's snort told Tristan his friend didn't believe him, and with the room not letting him in and with Hogsmeade being hard to look around, Tristan was beginning to agree. He was okay with adding time to his search, it was basically his life, but Henry wanted out, to stop hiding and running. He wanted it over and Tristan would search night and day to make it happen.
"I'll find it and I'll end this, you have my word. In the mean time, find anything you can about this Tracker, I don't like that he knows me and where I am."
Henry promised and after a quick good bye, Tristan hung up. He was tempted to throw something, to destroy everything in his path to help calm himself down, but the only things he had were the old fence and his phone, and he needed the latter. Instead, he put it into his pocket and leant back onto the fence. He needed that stone; it was the only way to finish his task.
Tristan looked up, startled; he'd been so focused on his thoughts that he hadn't noticed her heartbeat or her perfume.
Roxanne took that as her signal to join him and sat by his side. They sat in silence for a while, Tristan watching the shack and Roxanne watching him, until neither could take it anymore and both turned and opened their mouths. They laughed softly and Tristan gestured for her to start.
"Did your conversation not go so well? You look down," she said.
"Nothing I can't handle," he assured her. "My friend just worries is all. Why are you here?"
"Aidan and I are going back to school, we wanted to know if you were coming as well," Roxanne told him with a shrug. "But you can stay here and contemplate breaking everything if you want."
Tristan scoffed, surprised she knew what he had been thinking about, though maybe it showed on his face.
"Did you see Bonnie on your travels?"
She nodded. "She was by the Three Broomsticks looking for you the last time I saw her."
"Then I think I'll stay here a little while longer," he said with a groan. "She'll probably find me at dinner anyway."
"And take you to the elusive Room of Requirement," Roxanne mocked him. "That room used to be fun until she found it. There used to be a room to hide stuff, you know?"
"Really?" Tristan pretended to be surprised and turned to her again, curious to know what she had to say about the room he was trying to get in.
"Yep. My family told us about the war, they're more reliable than the books, and apparently the room where you hid things was were Voldemort hid a Horcrux," Roxanne said, too caught up in the story to notice the look on his face. The war. He was beginning to dread hearing the story. "There was a fire in there, destroyed everything, including the Horcrux. The room was strong enough magically to fix itself. Mostly anyway; there are still a few glitches and you don't always get exactly what you want, but it works well enough. Except for that room; it's completely gone now, thanks to the fire. All of those hidden treasures reduced to ash."
Gone. No wonder he couldn't get inside the room; there was no room.
"Are you okay, Tristan?" she asked hesitantly.
"I'm fine," he whispered, trying his best to keep his anger in check. It wasn't her fault he might never be able to finish his task, it was her uncle's.
Potters. Always getting in the way.
He took one last look at the shack; he couldn't go now, not with Roxanne with him, and he wasn't even sure he wanted to. No, he'd calm down and he'd come up with other options, that way he would have other places to look just in case the stone wasn't there. His heart sunk at the thought, though; he was so sure about the Room of Requirement, now he couldn't get it.
Someone would pay for that and if the Tracker came for him first, the one paying for it would be him.
A/N: Finally got a new chapter posted. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think. :)
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