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Chapter 22 : Moss, Dungeons, Revelations and Me
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A/N: See? I’m trying to make up for lost time. I’m trying to be a good author.
Once again. My beta hasn’t gone over this yet so excuse the mistakes.
Commented and opinions welcomed. .
Beautiful Chapter Image By trésor at TDA
“Nellie, you must be mistaken. I never had an imaginary friend.” - Regulus Black
Chapter Twenty Two
Moss, Dungeons, Revelations and Me
It was raining outside. The raindrops hit the window, making it harder to look outside. The common room was packed because of the weather. Me, Izzie and Lily sat on one sofa. There wasn’t much room for personal space, but I didn’t mind. It was cosy.
“I had a dream I was married to a grasshopper last night.” I stated as Izzie and Lily shot me a strange look. “Don’t worry, I was a grasshopper too. So nothing weird.”
“Yep. Completely normal.” Izzie replied. “As always.” She laughed. “Nellie, do you find it impossible to keep anything to yourself?”
“I do keep things to myself!” I replied, “It’s not my fault I lay all my cards on the table.”
“We’ve noticed.” Lily smiled. “One day, do you ever wonder that you’ll just wake up and everything will just have changed?”
“Already does.” I replied, “I can’t keep track of my life as of lately. One day I’m normal. Next the Marauders are bugging me.” I sighed. “Some days I’m friends with Sirius, others I’m not. It’s confusing.”
Lily pondered something for a moment, “Do you believe in fate?”
“Yes.” I replied. “Least I think so.”
“Nope.” Izzie replied, “I want to but I just can’t.” Izzie looked at the ceiling. “Do you Lily?”
“If you asked me that question five months ago, I would have said no.” Lily replied. “But lately, I think my answer would be yes.”
“Haha. Two to one. You lose Izzie.”
“It wasn’t a competition Nellie.”
“You still lost though.”
“I’ll get over it. I always do.”
“That’s a good thing then.” Lily laughed.
“There you guys are!” James said as he stood in front of us. “We’ve been looking everywhere for you guys!” Sirius, Remus and Peter nodded behind him.
“You can’t have done a good job James.” Lily laughed, “We haven’t moved in hours.”
“Really?” James asked.
“Yes.” Izzie replied, “My legs are numb. Have been for an hour.”
“I lost feeling an hour ago too.” I noted.
“Same here.” Lily patted her leg. “They are completely numb.”
James stared at us strangely. “Anyway. Want to help us prank Slytherin?” Lily shot him a dirty look. “Come on. We haven’t done a prank in a while. Nobody gets hurt. I promise.”
“What’s the prank?” Izzie asked, interested.
“Just changing the Slytherin common room colours into Gryffindor colours.” Remus shrugged.
“That seems a little mundane for you.” Izzie replied.
“We’re getting back into it, Izzie. The best is yet to come.” Sirius grinned. “Don’t write us off yet.”
“Meh.” Izzie smiled, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
“Why do you need our help?” Lily asked.
“We don’t really.” Sirius shrugged, “We just wondered whether you’d like to come.”
Lily and Izzie looked at me. I shrugged, “We might as well. We got nothing else to do.”
“I refute that!” Izzie replied.
“Yeah. Me too.” Lily agreed. “We’ve been talking.”
“Women? Talking?” James gasped. “Well that is something you don’t see everyday.” The boys laughed as we glared. “Come on. Time waits for no man.”
“Unless you’ve got a time turner.” Lily shrugged, “Then it sort of does.”
James shook his head at his girlfriend. “Let’s go.”
I stood up and almost collapsed so I sat back down. “I need a piggy back.” I grumbled.
“Come on Nellie.” Izzie said, grabbing my hand and pulling me behind her.
“In pain here.” I complained.
“Get over it.” Izzie laughed. “The dungeons are creepy.”
“Like your face.” I retorted.
I followed everyone until we ended up in the dungeons. The common room was near, I knew. We walked past empty rooms that had seen better days.
“Right.” James said, “This is the plan.” He began, but he was interrupted by some shouting at another.
“Why won’t you just go away?” Then we heard footsteps and we all looked at each other horrified.
“Quick.” James hissed, “Into that empty room.”
So we ran into the empty room.
Like you do.
It didn’t occur to us that it was seven on one, but that doesn’t really matter.
I felt like I was in one of those movies where people die in such violent ways. I mean, we had the set up, we were all teenagers and we had the right dynamic. A normal in love couple, another couple that are the sort of exes where everything isn’t resolved, the girl who hopes the boy she likes will develop mind reading powers and the single person, who will probably be the only one who makes it out alive. We were down in a dirty dungeon where nobody would hear our screams and our bodies will become part of the furniture here. What other cliché did we need? A really cheap budget and a hand held camera?
All of stood there, our backs against the wall, trying not to move an inch. We looked at each other… “Wait...” I began, before Izzie shoved her hand across my mouth and gave me a death look, which clearly said ‘shut up’. I mean, jeez, all I was going to say is why we being so scared, we had our wands! We were magical! It’s quite weird when I’m being the rational one and it’s quite typical that no one will listen or even let me speak.
The footsteps were getting louder, whoever it was, ran like elephant. Then everything changed, the person ran into the room and slammed the door behind them, before collapsing to the floor of breathlessness.
“Reggie.” A girl shouted, “Reggggiiieee.” She wailed like that time I got my toe stuck in the door. It hurt. “Regulus Black, where is thou?” How every William Shakespeare of her, “Please, I didn’t mean it. Okay, I did, but we can take things slow. I mean it.” She sighed, “I’m going to find you, I really am. Hide if you want, I’ll be waiting.” Wow and I thought I was a little bit mental in the noggin. I heard her footsteps go and everything was cased in silence.
Regulus up and for a moment, he looked startled, until it faded and he changed into his normal indifference. Still though, he didn’t say anything as we all stared at him.
The movie just got worse, it added an antagonist. We’ll hang out, get to realize that he’s just a little misunderstood and that’s when he’d be murdered.
Regulus wouldn’t have that, I fell over grass death. No he’d fall over a rock. Much cooler.
So, I guess I’ll have to be the first one to speak then, “Who was that? Has Reggie got a fan?” I teased. I felt a sudden rush for him; I missed him more than I realized.
“Obviously.” Regulus replied. “And don’t call me Reggie, it sounds awful.” He smiled at me, which I thought was odd; other people are in the room. Maybe he’s drunk.
“What’s her name?” I asked, feeling a little uneasy. Imagining Regulus with someone else, was just a bit weird. I had never really thought about it much and I knew that this was how Regulus must have felt, but many times over. Suddenly, I didn’t feel like a great person.
“Cassandra, I think, I’m not sure of her last name.” He stood up and brushed himself off.
“Do you love her?” I blurted out and instantly wanted to retract my words. Why the hell did I say that?
Regulus laughed, “No. I don’t. I can’t stand her. She’s mental.” He shrugged as I stared at him. “Anyway, I’m off.” He turned as tried to open the door, but It wouldn’t budge. “Ah, bugger, what are the chances are that happening?” Reggie smirked, before laughing. “It’s stuck.”
“Let me have a go.” Sirius snapped, as he walked over to the door and tried to open it.
“Because that isn’t what I just tried to do five seconds ago.” Regulus rolled his eyes as Sirius glared.
“Stupid door.” Sirius cursed when he realized he too, couldn’t open it.
“Have all your brain cells died?” Izzie sighed, “Not you Reggie you didn’t have any to start off with.”
Regulus shrugged, “Cheap shot, Isabel. Which isn’t exactly true is it?”
Izzie hissed at him and Regulus laughed. “Anyway, tell us about your plan to save us all Isabel.”
Izzie chose to ignore him for now, but it won’t last long. “Just Alohomora it you jackass.”
Regulus pulled out his wand, “Alohomora.” He muttered and nothing happened. “Any other brilliant ideas?”
Izzie pulled her wand and for moment, I thought she was going to attack him but instead she pointed her wand at the door. “Alohomora.” She shouted, still though, nothing happened. “Okay. I guess that we are stuck here then.” She looked around. “It might be nice to live in a dungeon…though this décor,” She pointed to the moss, “has got to go.”
“The door must have been bewitched.” Remus announced. “I wonder why though.”
“This castle is old. Who knows what happened in the past? Someone could have placed that spell on it ages ago.” Lily shrugged and Remus nodded to show that she was right.
Regulus looked down, sighed out of disgust. “It’s come to this.” He muttered as he sat on the floor. I decided not to point out that he had already sat on the floor earlier when he couldn’t breathe. “If only we had a camp fire, then we could be singing songs out of tune, roasting marshmallows and having a good old merry time.”
Everyone, but me, Sirius and Izzie looked at Regulus like he was a mad man. Sirius stared at me and I shrugged.
“That’s such the muggle thing to do.” Izzie sneered “And you’re not funny.” She glared at Regulus.
“Just trying to make the best out of bad situation.” Regulus smirked, “Something you clearly no nothing about.”
“You’re head isn’t in the clouds either.” Izzie pointed out to which Regulus just shrugged.
“I’m no Nellie. I can assure you that.” Regulus laughed as Izzie glared darkly at him. He brought me into the conversation because he knew it would annoy Izzie. Then again, what doesn’t? Through me, Regulus learned a lot about Izzie, from things she had done, to the memories we shared. I had also revealed her weaknesses, something I don’t think she’s fully forgiven me for. She saw Regulus as the enemy, one that should never have the upper hand.
“Can you stop this.” I pleaded with them both. “Please?”
Regulus and Izzie just turned away from each other.
“This was going to be such a good prank as well.” James complained.
“Instead you’ve condemned us to death.” Regulus muttered.
“You did that when you shut the door.” James snapped.
“Yes, I suppose, but I was heading to death with Cassandra thingy me bob out there.”
“Pilkins.” Lily interjected. “Her name is Cassandra Pilkins.”
“What are you? A contact book?” Regulus huffed.
James stepped forward, but Lily gave him a look that made him stop. Lily could fight her own battles. “No. It’s not a bad thing finding out someone’s name. It’s just the decent thing to do.”
“You’re one to talk about treating the one that likes you nicely aren’t you?” Regulus muttered as Lily shot him a dirty look. “Don’t be a hypocrite.”
“Why you little-” Lily began.
Regulus cut her off. “I’m taller than you actually.”
“Stop picking arguments Regulus.” I muttered, “You’re outnumbered.”
Regulus looked me directly in the eye. “And what side are you on?”
Regulus had caught me off guard. It wasn’t surprising. The boy was always after answers, no mystery would be left unsolved. Many times I didn’t have answers to his questions or sometimes, I just didn’t want to answer.
“Don’t make me answer that Regulus.” I replied. “Don’t destroy the one bridge you have.”
“It’s already crumbling.” Regulus sighed and turned away from us all.
Peter sighed. “I’m cold.” He complained, “We would get ourselves locked here wouldn’t we? It’s just our luck.”
I laughed, “You’re right Peter. We couldn’t get locked in the kitchens or anything like that.”
Peter thought about it for a moment. “That would have been nice.”
“Do you know what also would be nice?” I announced, to a murmur of what’s. “A sandwich.”
“Typical.” Sirius laughed. “All you can think of is food.”
“No. A sandwich.” I protested.
“A sandwich is food you pillock.” Izzie sighed.
“But I wasn’t thinking about food. I was thinking about a sandwich.” I carried on fighting my point.
“I give up.”
Oh my. I think I just won an argument.
That hasn’t happened since…well never actually.
“Nellie.” Lily laughed, “What are you doing?”
“You just did a little dance thing.” Sirius raised his eyebrow.
I didn’t even realize I was dancing.
“Oh…that was nothing.” Then I whistled, the innocent whistle. “Your minds are playing tricks on you. You can’t see me.” I waved my arms around. “I’m just a figure of your imagination.” Then I croaked, like a frog I may add, because I think that ‘wooo’ just isn’t scary enough.
To make even more effect, I began running around the room, waving my arms and croaking like a frog.
“Shall we do something?” Remus suggested, “Because I think boredom has drove Nellie loopy.”
“She’s loopy that one alright.” Izzie laughed, as she stuck out her foot. Of course, I tripped on it and fell on the floor. Izzie giggled.
Stone in the mush.
With a little moss.
Not so nice I can tell you.
It’s no sandwich.
“What do you want to do?” Lily asked.
“Stop talking.” Regulus muttered. “You’re using up all the oxygen.”
“You stop talking then.” James snapped. “Then we will have a little spare.”
Regulus just glared at him.
“Nellie are you going to get up?” Sirius said offering me his hand. I looked at it for a moment before shaking my head and pulling myself up. When I come in contact with Sirius, weird thoughts and feelings happen and I can’t have that. Sirius didn’t understand my logic because he just looked hurt, before glaring at me.
“Sirius-” I began but he didn’t let me finish.
“Whatever.” He shrugged.
Someone is a little moody and it isn’t me.
“Did anybody do their homework for potions yet?” Peter asked the group.
“No.” I replied. “We had homework?”
“Yes.” Lily nodded. “I’ll show you what we had to do when we get out of here.”
“If we ever do.” Regulus said gloomily. He was now sitting in a corner.
“You need to cheer up Regulus.” I looked at him, “Now.” I ordered.
He raised his eyebrow. “Who you trying to be? You can’t order me.” His tone was of a child being told to go to bed. Unwilling and just plain annoying. I had to fight the urge to pull his hair and demand that he bowed down to me while referring to me as ‘the best’.
Lily sat down, “My legs hurt.” She muttered.
“I suppose if we’re going to be here for a while…” Remus also sat down.
We all followed their leads.
“I once met someone who got trapped in a dungeon, you know.” Regulus paused for a moment. “He died.”
“Really?” I raised my eyebrows, “What was his name?” You see Regulus used to tell me these stories all the time, Regulus knew someone from everything. He once told me the story about a boy who ate so much moss, he turned into moss.
“Errr,” Regulus coughed, “Wilburt Wonka.”
“Wasn’t he your imaginary friend?” I questioned.
Regulus looked uncomfortable, “Nellie, you must be mistaken. I never had an imaginary friend.” Regulus said firmly.
“I swear it was you who told me.” I pondered it for a moment, I was sure it was him. He told me he made him up when ever he got lonely when he was little. “I had several imaginary friends. Eggie Edbert, the space pirate was my favourite, then again, I did love Colbie, the ghost who kept on going rawr from the eighteen century.” I sighed, feeling very nostalgic about my friends that shared my childhood with. I hadn’t thought about them since I met Izzie. “Didn’t you guys have imaginary friends?”
“No.” Izzie replied. “I was normal.”
“Somehow I don’t think so.” Izzie shrugged before looking at Regulus. “Wilburt Wonka?”
“He wasn’t real.” Regulus snapped.
“Obviously, otherwise he wouldn’t be imaginary.” Izzie pointed out sarcastically as she rolled her eyes.
Regulus looked at the ceiling. “Why did I do to deserve being locked up in here?”
“Be born?” Izzie suggested.
“Are we going there Isabel?” Regulus looked at her directly. Izzie went quiet and looked at the floor. “Thought not.”
I glared at Regulus.
“Izzie, Regulus, you two play nice.” Sirius laughed as Izzie and Regulus shot death stares. “We might as well make out last moments full of joy.” We all shot him death glares. “It was just a joke.” Sirius shrugged as he tried to play innocent.
“Not funny Padfoot.” James shook his head, but he was smiling.
“Just trying to lighten the mood.” Sirius shrugged, “Izzie and Regulus keep on ruining it.”
“I don’t apologize.” Izzie said. “It’s not my fault that Regulus is annoying.”
“Shocking.” Regulus gasped. “You find me annoying.” Regulus paused. “Though, Isabel, don’t you remember the time under the apple tree where we promised to be best friends forever?”
“And where would have that left me! All alone.” I exclaimed, the hurt and anger were present in my tone. “How could you-”
Izzie giggled, “He’s making it up Nellie.”
I feel a little stupid.
“Oh. That’s okay then.” I grinned happily. “You didn’t betray me.”
“It’s Regulus Nellie. Think.” Izzie sighed. “He’s not exactly Cole Jefferson.”
“Who was he?” Remus was quick to ask.
“Just a boy of the summer. He had dreamy eyes.” I grinned.
“Maybe it was conjunctivitis.” Regulus muttered.
“We just happened to be wherever he was. You couldn’t really call that stalking. Just a complete planned accident.” Izzie mused.
“That was a fun holiday.”
Regulus changed the topic of conversation. “What were you doing here anyway?” Regulus asked, “Playing a prank on us Slytherin I bet.”
“We were only going to paint the Slytherin Common room in Gryffindor colours. “ Peter sighed, “It would have been fun.”
“I bet.” Regulus chuckled. “I bet that would have annoyed us.” Regulus tone was bored and patronizing.
“You can’t say the rivalry isn’t fun.” And a little dangerous I will admit. “You get so worked up about Quidditch.” I laughed. “Remember when you didn’t speak to me for ages when I beat you?”
“Always so close…” Regulus stopped. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Sore spot?” James challenged, It’s not our fault that Gryffindor are just simply better. “ He smirked.
“I don’t really care about Quidditch to be honest.” Regulus shrugged, “So I won’t argue with you about that.”
“Why play if you don’t care about it?” James questioned.
“Something to do.” Regulus replied. “Makes Hogwarts not so boring.”
“You’re odd.” James muttered.
“Coming from you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sirius demanded an answer.
“Nothing, nothing.” Regulus eyes gazed at me and I felt uncomfortable.
“What?” I shrugged, “Whatever you’re tying to tell me telepathically, it isn’t working. That part of my brain has fun off with the fairies.”
“And I’m the one who gets called odd.” Regulus rolled his eyes. “How’s Lucas? Can I come to the wedding?”
“We’ve been dating for like four days, not four years. So shut up and go and run off with Cassandra into the sunset or something.” I snapped.
“Think I might.” Regulus retorted.
“Good.” I folded my arms.
“Good.” Regulus copied me.
“Stop copying me!”
“Stop copying me!” Regulus copied in a voice that he thought I sounded like.
Seriously. I can’t sound like that. I don’t sound like a chipmunk. A squirrel maybe if we’re going down that route.
“I don’t sound like that.”
“How would you know?”
“It’s my voice.” I rolled my eyes. “Duh.” I shook my head. “And people say I’m the stupid one.”
“Not stupid.” Regulus paused. “But not smart either.” I glared at him. “Joke, Nellie, joke. I mean you haven’t got a Troll again?”
“Stupid Troll.” I muttered, “And no, my test marks are normal. Thanks for asking, your genius.”
“My oh so modest self won’t let me agree with you, but if that’s what you believe I won‘t argue against it.” Regulus smirked.
I was about to hopefully deliver a snappy reply but Sirius beat me to the punch. “I believe you’re an idiot.”
“I believe that you should go to hell.” Regulus snapped.
“See you there.” Sirius said and Regulus just shrugged. “We’ll have a party.”
“I suppose it will be much like the one we are having now.”
“Ah. Nothing to drink, the possibility of running out of oxygen in the future and arguments galore.” Sirius replied. “You’re right. It will be like that.”
“Fantastic. I can’t wait.” Regulus replied in an overly happy fake tone. “Let’s hope it’s a disco. I don’t think much of the decorations. I mean someone could of at least decorate the stones.”
“You don’t need decorations when you’ve got fungi and moss.” Peter told Regulus.
Regulus thought about it for a moment. “I suppose you’re right.”
“This is the best party that I’ve ever been to.” Izzie muttered. “I’m going to die and I blame the male population in this room.”
James sighed, “We’re sorry.”
“It wasn’t like we planned for this.” Sirius muttered.
“Let’s turn this into a good thing. I don’t know, a getting to know you better thing.” Everyone looked at me, “I know, it’s rubbish, but I’ve run out of ideas and I can’t stand silence. Why do you think I talk to much? Plus, I don’t want you guys turning on each other. We argue too much. It’s not nice. We have no limits and we have no lines.” I babbled, “Frankly, it’s exhausting and I want a sandwich!”
“Okay Nellie.” Lily soothed, “Calm down.”
“We’re okay.” Sirius smiled.
“You people make me laugh.” Regulus spat. “You act like good friends. It’s pathetic. You don’t even know anything real about each other.” I don’t know what had made him turn so quickly. For a moment I thought it was jealously but I could never be sure. “Get a grip.” I had seen this Regulus many times and I didn’t like him.
He wasn’t nice. It was hard to love him. It was hard to not to punch him. It was hard stopping myself from crying.
“What the hell, Regulus.” Sirius seethed, “Where did that come from?”
“Don’t like the truth?”
“What the hell do you mean Regulus?” I spoke to him, my voice was quiet. “I know these people. They are my friends. I know enough stuff about them to love them. Isn’t that what matters? If they have secrets, so be it. I don’t care.”
“What would you do if you if one of your friends wasn’t what you thought they were?” Regulus spat. I looked at him confused. He had ammunition. He had been storing it up for a while and he had chosen now to unleash it’s havoc.
“I don’t get you.”
“Don’t you dare Regulus.” Sirius shouted as he grabbed Regulus by his shirt. “You will regret it.”
“Nothing to lose.” Regulus replied, before looking at me. “Here’s a riddle Nellie. One of us is a werewolf.” I looked at him, I was frozen at the spot. I wanted to scream at him to stop but the words died in my throat. I wanted to move but my body had died. “Can you work out who it is?”
Sirius punched Regulus across the mouth. “How could you? That wasn’t your secret to tell.”
Regulus touched his bleeding lip, “Suppose it wasn’t but the look on Nellie’s face is priceless.”
People looked at me and I stood there, not moving an inch.
“I…” I stopped, no words seemed suitable, “confused,” I spluttered, “I mean,” My voice was quiet. “I need answers?”
“Nellie.” Remus looked at me, he was scared, I could tell, it radiated from him to me. “Lily. Izzie.” Remus took a deep breath. “I’m a werewolf.”
And that’s when my knees buckled and I fell to the floor.
Next time on The World, Biscuits And Sirius Black According To Nellie O’Neill.
“I can’t believe you would hide that from me.” I fumed, “It’s wrong. I should have known. All this time, I’ve been walking around idle and you’ve known all this time.” I shook my head, “I thought better of you. I really did.”
“Nellie….” He began.
“Don’t say anything because I’m not going to listen. I'm done. Alright. I'm done."
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