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Chapter 33 : Chapter Thirty Three
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The moment I had turned to my side and stared at it, the stag immediately took off, its hooves pounding on the stairs as it pounced. I sat up straight, stunned, when suddenly everything was clicking inside of my head and I ran after it, wrenching the door open and ignoring the pounding in my head.
“Lily! What the--” Henn yelled as I dashed past her, seeing but the edge of the white tail as it rounded a flight of steps.
“Someone get it! It’s running away!” I screamed, my hands reaching blindly in the darkness towards the rail. I heard doors opening everywhere, confused people coming out of their dormitories to see what the commotion was about.
The pace of the hooves quickened, as I tripped over my robe and fell headfirst into the wall. I shrieked, clutching my face but still running down the steps, feeling my body ache.
“What’s going on?!” I heard Gaby yell from upstairs, as I rounded another flight of stairs. I was almost reaching the common room; I could see the firelight on the carpet…
I stumbled as my feet suddenly felt the stable ground, my eyes blinking as I let go of my face and looked around. My eyes widened as it took in what I was seeing. I heard in the distance a door slam shut rather than creak open, but my mind was immediately occupied by something else. People were spilling out from the staircases, filling into the common room as they stared at me. I looked around, trying to find my voice and clutching the stitch in my chest.
The common room was empty. No one but the people who were now coming in were to be seen. Where was it? I was sure, sure that it wasn’t too ahead of me…
“Where is it?” I cried desperately, sinking into the carpet because my head was hurting even more now from the crash it took against the wall.
“Move out of the way, move it. I’m a prefect!” I heard Grace push some people behind me and rest a hand on my shoulder, looking around. “Lily…what’s happening?” she asked in a worried tone.
“I--” I stammered, the intensity of my headache growing as I tried to speak. “I--”
“What’s going on?”
I turned around quickly, despite myself, and saw that James was standing in the doorway of the boys’ dormitories, pulling his bathrobe on over his pajamas. If this were any other time I’d be glad to see him in only pajama pants and a robe, but my head was pounding enough as it was.
“Wasn’t he just--” I heard a younger boy say, followed by Sirius muttering gruffly, “Shut up, kid.”
“What’s going on?” James asked again, looking around and furrowing his eyebrows. His eyes landed on me, and his incredulous expression grew more prominent. “And why is Evans on the ground?”
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out, Potter.” Grace said tiredly, and turned to me again. James crossed his arms and leaned against the wall, now concentrating on practically the whole Gryffindor tower that was no situated in the common room, muttering to one another. He scowled, reaching his hand in his pocket.
“Why is everyone here?” he scolded. The few first years that were in front of the crowd and were nearest to him backed up slightly. “Go back to your dormitories.”
“Potter, get a grip.” Said a sixth year boy loudly. James flushed slightly and stormed up to him, poking him in the chest and taking out his Head Boy badge, which I had never seen him actually use.
“I’m Head Boy.” He growled. “Get moving, buddy.”
The boy gave the badge a raised eyebrow look, although he was already starting to lose it. “Do you want a detention?” James barked. “Get going!”
Immediately he and his buddies left, making the rest of the people there follow suit. Soon enough almost everyone was gone, door after door slamming shut as a few people muttered how they were going to miss the show.
“Aren’t you leaving?” a boy asked Sirius, who was leaning against the wall and giving a few glances towards Gaby’s direction. Sirius smirked.
“I’m Head Boy’s best friend.” He said, mimicking James who glared at him. “Privileges.”
“Black,” James said in a low voice, just as the boy shut the dormitories’ door behind him.
“What, are you going to put me in detention?” Sirius smirked. James opened his mouth in retort, but soon just gave up and looked at me again.
“Okay, first off, I think we should get Evans to the Hospital Wing.” He said, as Remus came by to stand by Grace and Peter sank into the nearest couch. Henn was biting her lip as she looked at me, and Gaby was by the door to the girls’ staircase, closing it shut so no one eavesdropped.
“I’m fine.” I said, clutching my head as I leaned over, a lump slowly forming on my head.
“I’ll go and get the Madam Pomfrey.” Gaby said, ignoring what I said. James nodded, as she reached the other side of the room, ready to crawl out of the portrait hole.
“Wait, I’ll go too.” Sirius suddenly said, making Gaby stop in midair as she stuck one leg into the hole. She gave him an incredulous look.
“What?” she blurted out making everyone look at her oddly.
“Don’t want you getting lost, do we?” Sirius said nonchalantly, walking towards the hole and giving her an expectant look. “Are you going or not?”
Gaby gave Grace a weird look, which is promptly ignored with a roll of eyes. “So, what happened, Lily?” Grace asked me. Gaby sighed and pushed open the portrait, Sirius following close behind.
“Lily?” Remus said, giving me a worried look.
“Maybe she’s going crazy.” I heard Peter say in an audible whisper to James.
“I can hear you, Peter.” I said loudly, regretting it because my ears pounded afterwards. Peter gave a small gasp, making Remus and Grace simultaneously roll their eyes.
“Stuff it, Peter.” James sighed, kneeling down so he could be at eye level with me. For the first time in months he looked at me in the eye, without even flinching. “You alright?”
“Yes.” I said hoarsely, feeling the lump on my head and wincing. “I just ran headfirst into the wall.”
“Why did you go yelling like that anyway?” Grace asked, making James finally break eye contact with me to look at her. As she said this, my head shot up and I stood up so fast that I stumbled, trying to catch myself. Lucky for me, James held onto my arms and prevented me from falling.
“Easy, Evans.” He said in my ear, then let go. I felt that familiar shiver up my spine, but tried to ignore it.
“Okay--” I sputtered, looking at Grace and Remus who were raising their eyebrows high up in their forehead. “I saw…saw something, but I’m not sure, no of course I’m sure--”
“Saw what?” Remus asked.
I took a deep breath, steadying myself. “A stag.”
As I said this Remus quickly looked at James, who coughed and said, “When you say a stag…do you mean, like…the animal?”
“Of course.” I snapped at him, but he seemed unperturbed.
“There’s no way there could be such a large animal in here.” Grace said, in her logical voice. “There’s no way.”
“I know, I know.” I said, pacing around the room and furrowing my eyebrows as I felt my temples. “It’s crazy, I know, but…” I trailed off, sinking into an arm chair just as the portrait door opened and Madam Pomfrey rushed inside, followed by Gaby and Sirius.
“Where is she?” she said wildly, looking around the room. Her eyes landed on me and she rushed towards me, feeling my temperature as I flinched in protest.
“I don’t have a fever!”
“What happened here?” she asked, ignoring me as she turned to the rest of the students, which merely shrugged. Madam Pomfrey gave them a hard look, putting her hands on her hips. I felt relieved once James cleared his throat, making her immediately give him her full attention. I didn’t want to explain what happened all over again.
“I think Evans was hallucinating, Madam Pomfrey.”
My jaw dropped, my hands gripping the edges of my chair as I stared at him. “No, I wasn’t--”
“Shush, Ms. Evans.” Madam Pomfrey snapped at me. “Is this true?” she asked Grace, who jumped at being addressed.
“Um…well…” she said, scratching her head and avoiding eye contact with me. Remus was sticking his hands in his pockets and looking moody.
I gave Grace a desperate look. She had to defend me….
“Well,” Grace began, crossing her arms and looking uncomfortable. “I don’t know if you’d call it hallucinating…”
“Ms. Evans, you’re spending the night at the Hospital Wing.’ Madam Pomfrey said in a cooing voice, as if she thought I was insane or something.
“Wait, Madam Pomfrey--!”
“Ms. Evans, you’re clearly going through some kind of virus. Did you even take that medicine I gave you?” she said sternly. James’s head shot up, his neck cracking.
“What? What medicine?”
“James, haven’t you caused enough?” I cried, but he ignored me and turned to Gaby.
“Evans had to take some medicine?”
“Well, she wasn’t feeling too good…”
“Come with me.” Madam Pomfrey said, wrenching me by the arm and shoving me through the portrait hole.
“Hope you feel better, Evans.” Sirius said, smirking at me as he struggled not to laugh.
“SHUT UP!” I yelled, but Madam Pomfrey was already shutting the Fat Lady portrait, which was looking quite perplexed, taking a hold of my arm and dragging me down the hall.
I was still protesting when we reached the Hospital Wing, where she shoved me onto a bed and disappeared into her office. All I could think was; Oh…when I got my hands on Potter, I’d probably…
NO! No, I was definitely going to kill him instead. Kill him, not kiss him.
I was moving around in my bed but was feeling dizzy, so as I was trying to get up so I could calmly explain in my rational voice that I was not hallucinating, and that there really was a stag in our common room, I tripped over the blankets and fell, taking the my bedside cabinet with me.
“Aargh!” I shrieked, making the person next to me that I recognized vaguely as a fifth year Slytherin, jump in surpise and glare at me.
“What is it?” Madam Pomfrey said, running out of her office with a vial in her hands. She looked around and scowled at me, uncharacteristically reminding me of Mcgonagall. “Ms. Evans, if you don’t stop making such a ruckus, you’re going to wake up the whole school!”
The Slytherin boy groaned and clutched his stomach, making Madam Pomfrey’s little eyes dart towards him instead. “Mr. Black! Stop fidgeting, please! Did Ms. Evans wake you up?”
My neck cracked as I turned quickly to him. “Hu? Your surname’s Black?”
“Don’t talk to me, Mudblood.” He growled at me.
“Mr. Black!” Madam Pomfrey scolded, her own voice getting higher itself. Soon enough there were two or three other students that had been in peaceful slumber, waking up suddenly and jerking around. Madam Pomfrey let out a shriek of frusteration, thrusting the vial at me. “Drink that.” She said gruffly, then rushed towards the other students, that were moaning and yelling things like, “I’m dying! I’m dying!”
I looked uncertainly at the vial, which had some greenish liquid inside. The Slytherin was still staring at me unblinkingly, causing me to feel uncomfortable. “What is it?” I snapped at him. I was nice in general to the people I didn’t know, even if they were a Slytherin, but since he had called me a Mudblood I wasn’t too keen on being kind to him.
The boy merely smirked and leaned against his pillow, although grimaced shortly after because his abdomen still hurt. Looking at him closely, he reminded me of someone, although I couldn’t really place my mind on it.
I shook my head, since it was already pounding and I didn’t want to make it worse by thinking too much. I crawled into bed and covered myself from the waist up, still giving the vial a suspicious look. I couldn’t have been hallucinating…could I?
“Why didn’t you drink that yet?” Madam Pomfrey barked at me from across the room as she tended another patient. “Go on! It’s nearly two o’ clock in the morning!”
I nodded, unscrewing the top so she would look away and stop glaring at me. I looked at it hard, trying to think about what I had seen but half an hour ago.
Those eyes at the side of my bed looked very real, I couldn’ thave been hallucinating. And I could hear distinictly hooves, even in my dream before…
But how about when I got there in the common room? No one was there. Stags couldn’t apparate, and even if they could, they wouldn’t be able to on the school’s grounds. And an animal as big as that woulnd’t be able to hide so easily out of sight…
I closed my eyes, trying to think of some sort of possibility…any at all…
I suddenly opened my eyes, gasping as I put a hand over my mouth. No, but it couldn’t be…that was just too absurd…
Without really thinking about it, but accepting defeat, I drank the potion in one gulp and slumped onto my pillows, feeling drowsiness overcome me.
I woke up with sunlight in my eyes, making me blink at the sudden brightness. I sat upright and looked around, squinting. The patients in the back were gone, but the Slytherin Black boy was sleeping soundly on his side, turned away from me.
I tried to look for a clock somewhere, to see how much time I had left to get ready for class when suddenly Madam Pomfrey came out of her office, looking flustered. Once she noticed that I was awake she jumped slightly, looking hard at me. “Have you slept enough?”
“Yes.” I said immediately. “Madam Pomfrey, what time is it?”
She raised an eyebrow at me, walking towards the boy next to me and checking his forehead for any fever. “Oh, I’d say it’s about lunch time, dear.” She said absentmindedly.
“What?!” I sputtered, making a move to jump out of bed but Madam Pomfrey was too quick for me, as she took out her wand and made me slam back onto my pillows.
“Ms. Evans, you should know that what you took is the Sleeping Draught, that makes you fall into a very heavy sleep.” She said matter-of-factly, coming towards me and bending down so she was at eye level with me. “How many fingers am I holding?”
“Two.” I said, rolling my eyes. “Madam Pomfrey, I wasn’t hallucinating!”
“Oh, I see.” She said knowledgably, nodding and smiling. “You still don’t feel too good, do you?”
“No, that’s not it!” I protested, as she moved her hand to feel my temperature. “Okay, I know it’s crazy but--”
I turned around wildly, thinking I must really be hallucinating if I was seeing Remus by the door, knocking timidly and holding flowers in his hand. I gave him an incredulous expression, as Madam Pomfrey smiled and said, “Oh, Remus dear! I didn’t expect you…” she stopped, plunging her hand into her pocket and taking out a little calender. “…this week.”
“Ms. Evans, shush.” Madam Pomfrey said, turning to Remus. “Mr. Lupin, young Ms. Evans here is very, very distressed right now, so why don’t you come into my office?”
“Actually,” Remus said, smiling pleasantly at me. “I was here to see Lily, if that’s alright with you.”
She gave him a politely incredulous look, but then sighed. “Well, I suppose you could. Go ahead, and if she starts screaming any nonsense I’ll be in my office…”
“I wasn’t screaming any nonsense…” I muttered, just as she closed the door and Remus came in.
“How are you?” he asked, handing me the flowers. I took them and stared at him; he was rather different looking without Grace around. I suddenly knew why I liked him in second year…
“I’m good, I suppose.” I said awkwardly. “Although, how come she was so pleasant with you? All you had to do was ask to come in and she was suddenly nice and calm…”
Remus laughed. “I’m here often.” He replied, shrugging. He coughed, looking at the Slytherin boy behind me for a moment, then darting his eyes towards me. “So…”
“Yeah, so. Why are you here?” I asked, trying to sound nonchalant. Remus squirmed a bit, then put his hands in his pocket.
“Um, is it alright if I sit down?”
“Sure.” I said surprisingly, then moved a bit so he could situate himself on the edge of my bed. “So, what’s up?”
“Well, I just wanted to make sure you were alright and all.” He said, shrugging. “Oh, and I brought some of your homework, since you have quite a lot of catching up to do.”
I grimaced. “Don’t remind me.” I sighed. “Missing two days…”
“Well,” he said, looking awkward as he handed me a pile of parchment. “I did all of today’s homework for you, so you wouldn’t have to worry about it.”
I stopped looking through the parchment and stared at him. “You did?”
“Yes.” He said, shrugging and avoiding eye contact with me.
“Why, though?” I blurted out. “I mean, you didn’t have to…”
“I know.” He sighed. “I just…wanted to.”
I continued to stare at him, stunned. Remus and I had always been on speaking terms, but we were never really per say friends. Sure, I thought he was nice and everything, and perfect for Grace, who was one of my best friends…but still. This was extremely strange.
“Wow.” I said, clearing my throat and looking at the parchment instead. “This probably took you a while…”
“Yeah.” He said, waving it off. “Just make sure you copy it in your own hand writing, or else they’ll notice.”
“Won’t they notice that we have the same exact thing written?” I asked, perplexed.
“Well, I’m going to rewrite mine.”
“Remus!” I gasped, then shoved back all the homework at him. “No, no…I feel too bad, you didn’t have to…”
“Lily, don’t worry about it.” He said heavily, dropping the pile onto my cabinet and sighing. “Listen, you’re going to be doing a lot as it is, and I just wanted to help out. Grace told me you haven’t been feeling too good lately…”
“Grace doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” I said dismissively. “I’m fine. I would even be in school today if it weren’t for that pyscotic nurse.”
“She also told me you haven’t been eating…”
“I have, too!” I protested. “Grace is just being paranoid, like usual.”
“Okay, maybe.” Remus said earnestly. His dark blue eyes looked at me, making me blush slightly despite myself. “But I know that you’re probably going through a lot of stress, and I just wanted to faciliate things for you.”
I continued to look stubborn, which is why he added, “Listen, just look through it, okay? You don’t have to copy it, but just consider it one of your options.” He sighed, looking at his watch. “Okay, I have to go now, lunch’s almost over.”
“Okay.” I said, nodding. He smiled at me, getting off of my bed and hitching his school bag over his shoulder.
“Hope you feel better.” He called over his shoulder, as he closed the door behind him. I looked guiltily at the pile of parchment on my bedside cabinet, sighing in frustration.
“More visitors?” Madam Pomfrey said impatiently hours later, just as I was eating the dinner that she gave me. I looked over to where she was by the door, scowling at whoever was in the corridor. “Fine, fine…but make it quick.”
She moved out of the way, and in came Gaby, Grace, Henn, and surprinigly, Sirius and Peter.
“Hullo.” Sirius said merrily, jumping onto my bed and crushing my legs, making him contrast violently with Remus’s demeanor. “Feeling better, Evans?”
“Not really, since you probably just broke my legs.” I grimaced, shoving him out of the way. He grinned at me, as Grace brought over a chair and sat on it.
“So, did Remus come over here earlier?” she asked. I stared at her.
“Of course I knew. I was going to come up here at lunchtime but he said that he wanted to come alone.” Grace shrugged.
“Oh.” I said in a small voice, coughing. “Grace, he came here with his homework…”
“I know.” Grace interrupted. “You accepted it, right?”
“Yes.” I sputtered. “But, don’t you think it’s weird?”
“No, he just wanted to help.” She replied simply.
“And you don’t mind?”
“Of course, not. Why would I mind?” she said, laughing. I blushed, and she stared at me. “What is it? Did you think he fancied you or somehting?”
“Well…yes.” I said, frowning. “Do you think so?”
“No.” Grace said, shaking her head. “He just felt bad, that’s all. Don’t really know why he was getting so worked up about it, though. He’s the only one who doesn’t think that you were hallucinating, if that comforts you at all.”
I frowned, looking around at everyone. “All of you think I was hallucinating?”
Henn coughed, looking uncomfortably. “Well…Lily, there couldn’t possibly be a stag in the common room.”
“But there was!” I said loudly. “I swear there was!”
“She’s still like this?” I heard Gaby mutter.
“Sorry…” Gaby said apologetically, while Sirius laughed.
“C’mon, let’s not get Evans worked up--” he started, then stopped suddenly when the Slytherin boy stirred and blinked at all of us.
“You guys, stop making so much noise.” I said, glancing at the boy. He frowned at me.
“Hm, still in here, are you?” Sirius said loudly all of sudden, but looking far from cheerful like he usually was. His grey eyes were narrowed in utter dislike, and the grin was swept off of his face as he stared at the boy. The Slytherin crossed his arms and gave him the same look of hatred, of loathing.
“Yes, but I’m afraid the jinx you threw at me didn’t quite finish me off like you’d hope.” he answered coolly.
Gaby and I exchanged confused looks, not following any of this at all. We had heard that Sirius was in detention for two weeks for jinxing a fellow classmate, and I suppose it was that Slytherin boy that everyone was referring to.
“Unlike the rest of our rotten family, Regulus.” Sirius sneered. “I don’t kill for enjoyment.”
The boy who was named Regulus suddenly clutched his arm, a moment of panic ran across his face before he looked at Sirius hard. This time he was left motionless though, without any retort.
“But I will admit I was quite pleased that I hit you so well you ended up here in the Hospital Wing.” Sirius continued.
I was starting to wonder what exactly was the connection between these two young men. They were obviously related somehow, although by the look of them, they weren’t exactly close in any sort of relationship.
Regulus narrowed his eyes, his lips forming into a grim smile, tutting. “Well, well. First you are sorted into Gryffindor...leaving our family in shame, and then you run away from home. I’m not too surprised mother blasted you off the family tree and father is growing more ill every day.”
Sirius glanced at the ground for a moment, not saying anything. Regulus laughed. “See? I knew that would get to you. Guilt has always been your weak point, hasn’t it?”
“Listen here, you little--” Sirius began, advancing onto Regulus with his wand swishing out of his pocket.
“Sirius, no!” Gaby suddenly said, grabbing his arm and pushing his wand the other way just as sparks flew out of it and missed his target.
“Gaby, sod off!” Sirius growled at her, trying to shove her out of the way.
“Madam Pomfrey!” Grace said loudly, as Regulus shook with laughter. “Someone please, help!”
“What is it?” Madam Pomfrey said suddenly, rushing out of her office, her cloak billowing behind her. She stopped and narrowed her eyes as she saw what was in front of her. “Mr. Black, I think it’s about time you leave.”
Sirius wrenched his arm out of Gaby’s grasp, brushing dust off of his robes and pocketing his wand. With one more glare towards Regulus, who was giving him a defiant smirk, he walked out of the Hospital Wing with Peter behind him. It was quite unusual for him to obey someone at once, which I think most noticed since Gaby gave him an incredulous look at his back.
“Are you alright?” Madam Pomfrey asked Regulus, who suddenly put on a pout face and tried to look innocent and hurt. He nodded, although grimacing slightly.
“Well, I’m sort of having a pain again, Madam Pomfrey...”
I scowled at him; I was disliking this boy more and more by the minute. Madam Pomfrey sighed and looked at all the people that were visiting me, then at me. “Alright. Ms. Evans, I think it’s alright if you leave now. Just all of you, go before I lose my mind.”
“Yes!” I exclaimed, jumping out of my bed and putting my bathrobe on. “Bye, Madam Pomfrey.”
She didn’t reply, since she was already in her office again. Regulus was studying his fingernails, his concentration on something elsewhere now. Henn frowned then opened the door, us following her out.
“Back, Evans?” James called out from the couch, where now Sirius was situated beside him while Remus and Peter played chess. Remus looked up and gave me a small smile, which I returned. I then looked at James, suddenly frowning.
“I’ll be right up.” I muttered to Henn, who shrugged and started to go up the stairs with Gaby. Grace was heading towards the Marauders, sitting with Remus while I confronted James. “Listen up,” I said, poking him in the chest as he sat on the sofa, smirking slightly. “I don’t appreciate what you did to me, Potter.”
“Still like that, are you?” James sighed. “I thought you’d realize you were only hallucinating once you stayed a day in the Hospital Wing...”
“James!” I said through gritted teeth, pulling on my hair so I’d stop from yelling at him. I glared at him, looking him straight in the eye. “Look, I know that you’re hiding something. I know that you had something to do with this. And I’m going to find out.”
As I said this, Peter looked quickly up from the chess board to look at me. Was he panicked? Hm, maybe not. James, however, just smiled easily and turned away, leaning back against the couch with his feet onto the table in front of him.
“Whatever you say, Evans.” he said, with a trace of laughter in his voice. “Whatever you say.”
Once I had a rather ravaging battle with my conscious, I decided that Remus was a very sensible person, and that I should just trust him and do what he says. I tried not to think about it as I copied all of the work he gave me, word for word. Sometimes I’d try not to feel so guilty by changing a word like ‘a’ to ‘an’. Who cares if it’s grammatically incorrect, right?
The rest of my homework was done with Grace, who stayed up most of the night with me in our dorm, helping me out. Henn had gone down to the kitchens with Gaby earlier, returning with a basket of apples, which we both ate hungrily at three in the morning. Henn had gone to sleep around one, saying that she wasn’t functioning and wouldn’t even be able to help me out anymore. Gaby had turned in also at that point, leaving us alone to do our homework with the only noise of Cecilia’s snores.
“Wonder what Sirius would say if he heard his deary right now,” Grace snorted, just as Cecilia turned about in her bed and made a choking noise with her saliva. I sniggered, shaking my head as I wrote another line.
“He’s probably snoring too right now.”
Grace laughed, closing the Transfiguration book and sticking it in her bag. She yawned, stretching her arms. “Well, we’re done with that.”
“I still have to do that one essay in History of Magic though...” I began uncertainly, biting my lip.
“You can do it during lunch.” Grace said, already hopping off of my bed and going over to hers. She gave me a reassuring look. “Don’t worry, I’ll help you, okay?”
“Fine.” I said, not really that grudgingly though since I was very tired also. “I swear, I’m never going to miss another day of school again...”
“We’ll see about that.” Grace said, laughing and then closing her four poster. “‘Night, Lily.”
“‘Night.” I said, closing my own curtains and laying down face up. Unconsciously I reached under my pillow and took out the invitation again, looking at it. I scowled, shoving it back. “I’ll think about it tomorrow.” I muttered to myself, then turned over, falling asleep.
I felt so relieved to be able to turn in all my homework the next day, finally getting rid of it. Most of the teachers gave me a peculiar look, asking me why I wasn’t in school for the past few days. When they did this I usually looked down and muttered something about a virus, shortly after returning to my seat.
Grace helped me with my essay at lunch, like she promised, and we actually were doing pretty good. Remus had come over also, giving me a few facts as if he knew all of it at the top of his head. By the end of lunch it was pretty sloppy, but finished, which was good. I was finally done with all my make up work.
“Didn’t expect anything else really from Head Girl.” Grace winked at me, as we walked out of History of Magic. I grinned, feeling lighter already. Things were looking up, they really were.
That is...until the end of classes. I had to do some patrolling down the halls, which I always regretted because there was always that chance I would run into James. We never really talked during these patrolling sessions, since he went one way and I went the other. Usually Grace would go one way with Remus, probably not even doing what she was supposed to be doing, but whatever. This time however, she decided to go one way with me, while Remus and James went the other way.
“So, how is everything with Remus?” I asked, once she gave Remus a quick kiss and was rushing towards me.
“They’re okay.” she said, shrugging. She then added darkly, “He’s going to visit his grandmother again next week though.”
“She’s apparently sick, again.” she muttered. This was the side of Grace we hardly saw, which was the side she was when she was jealous. Usually Remus was involved somewhere.
“Are you sure he’s not the one who’s sick?” I asked, looking back at Remus who had just turned a corner and was now out of sight. We passed Patrick Martin and Halley Trinket, the Ravenclaw prefects, who nodded at us in return once we smiled at them.
“What do you mean?” Grace asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Well...he looks sort of peaky, doesn’t he?” I asked her. “And he told me yesterday that he’s in the Hospital Wing often...”
“What?” Grace suddenly said, looking confused. “Remus hasn’t been in the Hospital Wing all year.”
“Oh, well maybe I heard him wrong or something.”
“Or maybe he’s hiding something.” Grace frowned.
“Grace,” I groaned. “C’mon, don’t do that.”
“How can I not?” Grace said, rather loudly because Martin and Trinket looked back at us from the other side of the hallway before we rounded the corner. “He’s gone every month...” She stopped, putting her hand over her mouth. She had stopped moving, making me backtrack since I had not.
“What is it?”
“He’s gone every month...” she said softly, looking as if she was comprehending something for the first time. She didn’t look at me but straight ahead, although no one was there. I raised my eyebrow at her.
“Grace?” I said, touching her arm and making her jump. She backed into the wall, gaping at me.
“Lily, I can’t patrol right now.” she said hurriedly. “I have to go to the library.”
“What? Why?” I called out, as she started to spontaneously run down back the way we came from, passing the Ravenclaws who were giving her peculiar expressions. She didn’t answer me, but just kept on running in the direction of the library.
“What was that about?” Halley said loudly from the other side of the hallway, looking at me. I glanced at her and shrugged, quickly rounding the corner again and continuing to patrol. I didn’t quite understand what Grace meant, but I supposed that whatever it was, the answer was in the library.
I sighed, continuing my way down towards the dungeons, the part which I hated the most. Even in March it was terribly cold down there, and it was just plain creepy. Sometimes I’d see Harrison, glaring at me suspiciously but then not saying anything once he saw my Head Girl badge on my chest.
And then there were the Slytherins, who only seemed to be hanging around the dungeons at night. They’d always taunt me and threaten to jinx me because I wasn’t ‘worthy to stand on the same ground’ as them. I hoped I never looked intimated as I told them I’d give them all a detention and dock some house points if they didn’t leave me alone. But deep down, I knew I was scared they’d do something to me.
I stopped suddenly, hearing voices. I was about to turn the corner when I heard my name and backed against the wall. Someone was laughing about something.
“Evans is going to get it now...” It was Bellatrix, sounding extremely pleased.
“Not just her, but all the filth like her.” said another cold voice. It sounded like Rodolphus Lestrange, another Slytherin who was as nice as Bellatrix. I had heard they were dating, but I wasn’t sure if it was just a rumor or not.
“There’s a meeting then?” Bellatrix said eagerly. “Tonight?”
“Yes.” Lestrange drawled. “Now stop questioning me, I need to see Black in the Hospital Wing.”
Their voices were coming nearer, and I didn’t want to get caught. I looked from side to side, thinking of my options. There were no rooms anywhere that I could just dive into and hide. Their footsteps were coming into the fork in the hallway, so I prayed that they wouldn’t come this way. I stuck my back to the wall, trying to look invisible behind the suit of armor.
Both of them came into view, stopping into the middle fo the hallway in between the three ways they could go. Bellatrix was leaning in towards a kiss, but Lestrange pushed her away gruffly and said, “Stop it, Bella. Not here.”
“Whatever you say.” Bellatrix said in a singsong voice, cackling as he rolled his eyes at her and turned towards the staircase that lead to the entrance hall. Bellatrix stood there for a moment, looking down the hallway I was hidden and then suddenly turning the other way.
I noticed that I was holding my breath and finally let myself breathe once she was gone. My heart was beating quickly in my chest. What were they talking about? What meeting?
I tried to think of what to do, as I slid down the wall still hidden behind the suit of armor. I kneaded my knuckles against my forehead, when suddenly I knew what I had to do. Just as I was standing up so I could go up the stairs and talk to Dumbledore, someone was breathing down my neck and making me jump.
“Ms. Evans, aren’t you supposed to be doing rounds right now?” Harrison sneered. Honestly! How could this man just pop up out of no where?!
“Yes, that’s what I’m doing, Professor.” I said in an innocent voice. Harrison raised an eyebrow at me unpleasantly, shoving me into the middle of the hallway.
“Then get going!” he barked at me. Without hesitation, I immediately took off in a slow but steady pace, going up the stairs and not looking back.
I had to tell Dumbledore. But where was his office...?
“Have any of you seen James Potter?” I asked a few fifth year girls, who raised their eyebrows at me. A few started to giggle, and other just glared at me.
“What’s it to you?” one of them sneered, in a bratty two-year old voice.
“I’m Head Girl.” I growled at her. “Don’t be a wise ass with me.”
“We haven’t seen him.” she said coldly. I rolled my eyes and walked up the stairs, going randomly in the direction they had gone earlier.
James Potter would surely know where Dumbledore’s office was. Rumor was, was that he went there every other day because he got into trouble. There was also Sirius, although ever since the scene with Regulus Black in the Hospital Wing, (are they brothers, cousins, or what?) Sirius had been very moody and unwilling to talk to anyone.
So James was my only option. I raced down the hall, looking for a head of shaggy black hair. I hadn’t seen where I was going because as I rounded a corner I bumped straight into Remus, who caught me just in time.
“Oh–hi.” I said breathlessly, catching my breath as I clutched the stitch in my chest. “Have you–seen...James?”
“Yeah, he just went that way.” he said, furrowing his eyebrows. “Have you seen Grace?”
“Uh...no.” I lied.
“Weren’t you doing rounds with her?” he asked suspiciously.
“No.” I said quickly. “I mean, yes! But...we split up.”
He was still looking suspicious, but said nothing of it. “So, where did she go?”
“That way.” I said, pointing in some random direction. “I think she said something about going towards the...Transfiguration wing.” That was very, very far from the library. Remus definitely wouldn’t find her.
“Okay.” he said uncertainly, then took off in that direction. As soon as he was out of sight I started to run again, turning to corner and finally seeing James...
What was he doing with Eve?!
Okay, Lily. Calm down. It doesn’t matter. Of course not. Just go over there and casually ask where Dumbledore’s office is...
“Potter!” I barked. “Where’s Dumbledore’s office?”
Well that was subtle.
James stopped kiss...well doing whatever he was doing with Eve and looked up at me, scowling. “Evans, what do you want?”
“Oh, hi, Lily!” Eve perked up, but I ignored her.
“I need to talk to Dumbledore.” I said, frowning. “Where’s his office?”
James smirked. “How would I know?”
“I know you know. So just tell me.” I snapped.
“Well,” he sighed, pretending to be thoughtful about something. Pfft. As if he was every thoughtful. “You know, you’ve been really mean to me lately...”
“James,” I groaned. “This is important.”
“Is it, now?” he asked, raising an eyebrow and finally letting go of Eve. “What is it...about?”
“I don’t need to tell you.” I spat.
“Then I guess I’m not helping you.”
“Why are you such a prat?”
“Why do you two always have to fight?” Eve suddenly asked. We both looked at her; she was leaning against the wall with her arms crossed, looking uncharacteristically sulky. Well...that was new.
“Because I hate him.” I said nastily.
“And I hate you,” he said pleasantly.
“James,” Eve said, looking serious. “Just tell her where his office is.”
I was on the verge of laughing, but knew that if I did so I might look like the mean one instead. I gave James a calm look, but he was looking furious.
“Eve, you’re not helping.” he said, narrowing his eyes.
“Maybe you should trust your girlfriend’s judgement.” I suggested innocently. James gave me the purest look of loathing.
“Yes, maybe you should, James.” Eve said, surprisingly taking my side. “Why don’t you ever listen to me?”
“Uh...I--” James sputtered, apparently taken by surprise also at Eve’s reaction. “Well, honey bee...” he muttered, reaching towards her arm. She moved out of the way, furrowing her eyebrows. I was still recovering from the disgust of the way he said ‘honey bee’.
“C’mon, Eve.” he said soothingly, as he touched her shoulder. I scowled, crossing my arms and looking equally disgruntled. “Don’t do that.”
“James,” she said warningly, stepping out of his way. James coughed, glaring at me momentarily before backing away and scowling. “Just tell her, I’m sick of you being so immature.”
Ha! See James? I was starting to like this girl.
Moments later, I was standing in front of a statue of a gargoyle, extremely pleased yet disgusted how spineless James could be sometimes. I stared at it straight in the eye, wondering how I was supposed to get inside of his office.
“Uh...” I said, inspecting the sides and seeing that indeed there was no way around it. “Open?” I said hopefully, it didn’t move.
I cursed under my breath, kicking the statue and regretting it because my toe started to throb. There was obviously something James forgot to tell me. Or maybe he lied. I mean...he had told me just to go to the statue and it’d open by itself.
“James!” I hissed, kicking the floor and stomping around. I was going to kill him.
I sat on the bottom of it, sulking as I put my chin in my hands, my insides writhing inside of me with anger. I’m so going to kill him.
Even if he was an incredible prick, I wouldn’t be able to get in even if I was cursing him. I stood up and stared at the gargoyle again; thinking that maybe it wasn’t even the entrance to the headmaster’s office.
I sighed, walking slowly down the hallway and making my way to the Gryffindor Tower. It was almost time to end the patrolling anyway. I was trying to think of ways I could seriously hurt James, when I bumped into him, himself.
“Well, well.” James smirked. “How was that talk with old Dumbledore?”
“It was fantastic.” I growled, shoving him out of my way. “I’m getting you back for this.”
“I’d like to see you try.” he taunted. It was a very ten-year old line, but it worked anyway.
“Are you challenging me?” I said, whirling around to face him and narrowing my eyes.
“Go ahead.” he continued, tilting his head to the side and grinning. “Try.”
“Potter, don’t start.”
“Why not?” he said, suddenly looking serious. “You just made a complete fool of me in front of my girlfriend.”
“You deserved it.” I said pleasantly.
“What?” he spat. “Why are you doing this?”
Hm. I wonder?
“Just, leave me alone.” I said, shaking my head and turning away. “I don’t want to talk to you.”
“Mimblewimble.” James and I said simultaneously to the Fat Lady, who quirked her eyebrow as we both exchanged incredulous looks.
“Go on in.” she said, as both of us tried to go through the portrait hole first.
“Get out of the way, Evans.”
“I was here first!”
“James, just shut up!”
“You do not make any sense.”
“Just let me through!” I screamed. James blinked at me, backing away slightly.
“Fine, go.” he said moodily, making me smirk as I climbed through the portrait hole. I walked as fast as I could towards the girls’ dormitories, since I didn’t see Henn, Grace, or Gaby anywhere. That was odd. Usually they were to be found in the common room together, either doing homework, or (in Henn’s case) eating. I looked at my watch uncertainly and wrenched the door open, closing it quickly so I wouldn’t have to talk to or interact with James.
I steadily made my way up the stairs, vaguely aware that two nights ago I had seen the stag that everyone claimed to be a hallucination. I kneaded my head forcefully, already frustrated again. For some reason I thought that I was hearing yelling somewhere...
Wow. I must be really sleepy.
No, wait. There definitely was some yelling, and screaming, and bellowing...
I stopped in front of the door that said ‘Seventh Year Girls’, hovering around it and uncertain if I should open it. The screams were definitely coming from behind that door.
I took a deep breath and reached towards the door, pushing it open slightly and peeking inside. Gaby was the one who was yelling, her hair coming out of her ponytail and her eyes darting around the room looking slightly madly. Henn was trying to calm her down by getting a grip on her arm, and Grace was by the wall, closing her eyes and trying to look patient.
“Lily!” Gaby yelled, her eyes popping out slightly out of her head. This definitely wasn’t good screaming, which usually meant that she got a good grade or her date went well or something. This was definitely bad, probably consisting of something like getting dumped or...
“Why didn’t you tell me about Jack?!” she screamed, her lip quivering as her eyes overflowed with tears.
I stared at her, my mouth slightly open.
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