Chapter 17 : Chapter 17
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“Are you alright?” A voice asked her, placing a hand on her shoulder.
She jolted in her seat before she turned to the one invading her privacy. Maybe if that person would have been anyone else, she would have pushed him away but it wasn’t. It was Remus and he had a few scratches on his face that weren’t there before.
“Are you alright? Do you need to go see Madame Pomfrey?” She asked worriedly, turning towards him with a frown.
Remus’ brown eyes softened up, feeling happy that she was worrying for something as petty as a few scratches.
“No, I’m fine. On the way downstairs to Potions, my robe was caught into something and I rolled on the last few steps.” He started, sensing that he might have best not told her.
“It’s nothing! I didn’t even have to go see Madame Pomfrey. It’s nothing.” Remus tried to assure Ophelia, whose eyes narrowed so much that he was curious if she wasn’t cursing someone silently.
“Was it Mulciber?” She hissed, sounding incredibly cold and distant.
Remus sighed and felt like slapping himself for worrying her for nothing.
“No. Well, I don’t know. It’s not like he’s the only Slytherin messing with us. Besides, you also have Professor Spinnard to worry about.” He grumbled, his eyes falling over the staff table where Spinnard was eating with a frown on his face.
“That professor is a loner, isn’t he?” Potter asked, pitching in from across Remus. “He loves torturing Gryffindors, especially you Molley. It is fun when we watch but still, not so fun for you.” He added, trying to save himself from sounding like an arse.
Ophelia glanced at the staff table but quickly averted her gaze when he raised his eyes. It was hard, having to be punished through embarrassment in front of the whole class but it wasn’t that bad. Spinnard was still giving her homework that had nothing to do with their lessons and she was curious if Dumbledore indeed told him to do it or he was doing pro-bono work after every embarrassment she felt.
She didn’t get to know because later that day, during the lunch break right before Transfiguration, Professor Slughorn asked for Ophelia to come into his office for what he called a clean little chat. She didn’t really think about it until she walked into the dungeons and felt the cold air and the humidity, making her feel like she was walking towards her demise.
It was extremely silent for that hour of the day so maybe most Slytherins were either having classes outside or hiding in their common room, studying the dark arts. At that particular thought, Ophelia chuckled bemusedly. She was probably studying more about the dark arts than any Slytherin in the castle and she didn’t even desire it but it was pushed onto her for unknown reasons.
Being so silent, any sound that wasn’t specific for the dungeons was interpreted as strange and so were the sounds of boots, heavily stepping on the ground as if that person walking behind her was in a bad mood. She was standing between the hurried student and his destination which was not comforting at all.
The steps were louder which automatically meant they were getting closer while she was getting slower. Maybe it was this need to know everything or maybe just too much curiosity but at the next forking in the corridors, she entered the one on the right and waited with her wand drawn and close to her chest.
Ophelia only waited for a few seconds before the perpetrator walked by. He only passed her by a foot when she caught his robe and pointed the tip of her wand between two pale blue eyes.
“Malfoy. Somehow, I’m not surprised at all.” She started coldly, remembering her meeting with the Dementor because of his stupid stone.
“Skipping classes, Molley? A bit early for you to be down here. Should I remind you that I am a Prefect and can take points if the situation occurs?” He asked all so gallantly, his eyes looking down at her from the peak of his pride.
He did expect the young girl to loosen her grasp on his robe and take a few steps back in surrender but she didn’t. If anything, she looked darker, annoyed that he had so much more authority than she did.
“Where’s the stone now?” Ophelia asked, tightening her grip on the robe, even tugging on it lightly.
Malfoy’s eyes moved on her little hand, those pale orbs narrowing at the slight sparks coming from her fist. It seemed she was pissed off at hi for something that she shouldn’t have any connection to and that anger was materializing into something.
“It does not matter. I didn’t force you to get involved but merely gave you indications. You just happen to be in wrong places, at wrong times with wrong people. Just like in Diagon Alley, acting like a muggle.” He spat that last word with such hatred.
Malfoy might have been right, especially because Ophelia had no prior connection to the wizarding world but still, she felt a strange and powerful ache in the back of her neck as if a vein was pulsating there without an exact reason.
The ache made her lose her focus for a bit, forcing her to stumble back. However, she didn’t let go of Malfoy’s robe and automatically pulled him along, making him almost fall on his back but quickly regained his balance, keeping her on her feet as well. Even more interesting was the energy swirling even more around her fist, which was gripping the material so tightly that it became white.
“I am not a muggle.” She grumbled, looking down at her feet.
The platinum blond fifth year stared down at her both curious and appalled by this little girl that was trying to defy him.
She was taking deep breathes in and letting them out very slowly, like she was trying to prevent a panic attack but it was obvious something was wrong up in her head not in her body. Malfoy scoffed and pulled his robe but she didn’t let go.
The blond was losing his patience so he drew his wand out and pointed it at her. He didn’t use any spell at first but poked her fist with the tip of the wand. Nothing happened so he whispered Depulso, hoping it would cast her away.
Nothing happened, nothing at all which was quite a disappointment until he realized nothing happened to her. She seemed to get further from him before he realized the spell backfired and he got pushed back, taking her along since her grip didn’t budge. He fell against the wall and she fell over him, giving Malfoy a direct view of her face.
His face scrunched when he saw the way her face was so pale and her eyes looked like a snake’s. In that moment, she genuinely looked intriguing.
“Where is the stone now?” She asked once again, her tone sounding venomous. Those pale green eyes looked straight into his and for a second, he felt his whole body freeze. “Does your father have it, Lucius? Or maybe one of your friends got their spoiled hands on it before it could reach its master?” She continued, her voice getting colder with every word spoken.
Looking at her so close, it was obvious something was wrong with her. Firstly and most obviously was the sudden change in her eyes and face but there was something else, even more peculiar that he had never seen before: the veins on her neck were visible and they were black and pulsating.
“Who are you?” Lucius asked, leaning closer to her.
She chuckled, right into his face with the most superior attitude, Ophelia laughed into his face; at him. Malfoy was ready to push her away, and very harshly at that when sudden laughter broke the tension. The blond watched very carefully as
Ophelia turned back to her usual self, regaining color in her cheeks and life in her eyes. It seemed she also became aware that she was still hovering over him and quickly got on her feet, wiping herself as if he was contagious.
“Um-I think it would be better if we don’t speak about what happened today.” She started shyly, the opposite of how she was a minute ago.
Right in time, three boys walked down the corridor and none were going to let Ophelia go without a little bit of fun. First to notice her was Mulciber before he turned to Nott.
“Are you here searching for your little weird friend, Molley? Or are you here to see us? Finally surrendering?” He said before he started to laugh with Nott.
“You’re not being funny at all.” She mumbled, scratching her hand anxiously.
Mulciber’s eyes widened before he turned to his friends and whispered something to them. Lucius rose meanwhile and watched curiously, not saying a word since they didn’t even see him there.
Mulciber spun around quickly with wand in hand and shouted Flipendo! knocking Ophelia over before Nott took her wand and they made a little semi-circle around her.
“Poor Molley, first year and already a victim. Must be hard being yourself; a mudblood.” Mulciber started, using his usual speech to intimidate her.
Lucius glanced from the three Slytherins to the girl on the ground, which looked anything but scared. He had to be sincere and admit that she was had something that was drawing the bullies to her and to her friends. Taking one step closer, he noticed that even if they were messing with her, nothing changed, she was the same. Then why did she suddenly become so angry with him? Was it really because of the stone?
There was only one way to satisfy his curiosity but he had to anger her later. He walked away from the sight but not before he cast a levitation spell behind so she could run. Malfoy just found something peculiar in Hogwarts, something that he wanted to explore slowly by himself.
Finally out of their grasp, Ophelia ran the rest of the way to Slughorn’s office. He was there, standing at his desk with a bottle of wine in front of him. It looked like he was contemplating it for some reason.
“Professor?” She asked before fully entering the room. “You said you wanted to speak to me?”
His eyes widened, visibly trying to remember what he wanted to tell her before smiling widely.
“Yes of course! Come in, come in, I have great news for you my dear.”
Ophelia frowned but entered slowly, walking to her professor with a lot of thoughts running through her mind.
Everything seemed to vanish though when she heard a familiar whistling. She stopped and looked at a particular shelf, where was a cage with a brown sharp looking owl.
“Willy!” She shouted, hurrying to her pet. “How long have you been here for?” She asked him, the owl staring up at her with his wide eyes.
“Oh! Is that your owl? A student of mine, brilliant lad, brought him to me.” Professor Slughorn explained, coming next to her, “I have to say, I have never seen such a violent owl before. And restless. He has been most noisy from the moment I placed him in the cage.”
“He was lonely and scared. But who brought him here?” She asked, opening the cage so her owl could come to his rightful master. Surprisingly, Willy flied on her hand and stared at her, almost lovingly.
“Severus did. He found him in the common room. I do not want to know how he got there or how you lost him but you should take great care of your possessions, Ophelia.”
Hearing Slughorn say her name was even stranger than hearing him lecturing her. She was very bad in potions and the whole year knew and witnessed it so why she was even there was questionably.
“What did you want to tell me professor?” She asked, waking him from daydreaming while staring at Willy.
“Oh, right. Actually, I wanted to talk to you about your grades. I know you work supplementary hours with professor Spinnard, Dumbledore told me but you may need to take supplementary classes for potions as well. Your grades are only dropping and you don’t give any sign of hidden talent. You need a tutor if you want to pass the exam.” He announced, glancing at the owl.
“I wouldn’t say professor Spinnard gives me supplementary classes in defense against the dark arts. He’s just-“She wasn’t sure how to express into words but Spinnard was definitely not enjoying their lessons or her in general.
“You will be glad to hear that I found a person that would be most pleased to help you, at least for now.” Right as he finished his sentence, another person entered the room, the footsteps very familiar. “Ah~ I’m glad you could make it, Rabastan!”
It was not Lucius Malfoy or one of the boys that were constantly bullying her. No, there was a boy that looked a bit older than her but younger than Malfoy with sharp features and wide black eyes. He looked terrifying yet elegant which was incredibly rare.
“Rabastan Lestrange, younger brother of Rodolphus Lestrange. Amazing family, I tell you. And so loyal to their house, it’s amazing how these traits go from one generation to the next. Rabastan is one of the best third year Slytherins in Potions.”
Rabastan stood there, no expression on his face with his back straight and eyes staring at Slughorn. For some reason, she could feel tension arise in the room and it made her feel uncomfortable.
“Well, at least I found Willy.” She concluded, the brown owl being the only comfort she could hang onto.
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