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Poison Ivy by KateRhodes
Chapter 17 : Survivor
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10


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Hi all! I am sorry for the long wait but life is a little hectic at the moment! Anyway, I hope you like the chapter and please, please, leave a review =)

Love, Kate




It was chaos. Curses and spells were flying everywhere, rays of light crossing the air like lightening. The wind was so cold it cut my skin like knives and breathing felt as if glass was shattered in my lungs. After a full two seconds of processing what I was seeing I found who I was looking for. I hurried over to where Walter was fighting two Death Eaters at the same time. Before I got there, he was hit by a nasty cruse on the arm. It started bleeding straight away, making him lose his concentration for a second. The adrenaline kicked in and all I had learnt from my father, all the training I had been through after my mother had died took over my most rational part. There was no time to think, all I could do was act.

-“Ava…”- The yell caught my attention and I turned around just in time to see some Death Eater aiming at my friend. Oh no. I was so not letting that bastard take Walter away from me, too.

 

-“Diffindo!”- I shouted. My aim was great, dad always told me that. I hit him straight in the chest, causing him to fall backwards in a puddle of blood. The other Death Eater looked around, confused. I was still wearing the invisibility cloak. Walter took the moment to stun him.

 

-“I told you not to come!”- he said as I took off the cloak. I know I shouldn’t have, but I completely forgot it once it slipped through my hands and fell on the floor.

 

-“You would have been killed if it wasn’t for me”- I informed him. He couldn’t help but to grin.

 

-“Don’t go anywhere I can’t see you”- he told me. I nodded and we joined the battle.

 

 

 

It was the most exhausting thing I had ever done in my life. I had to keep my senses alert at all times, hexing people and conjuring shield charms at the same time. I had to watch my left, right, back and front, and, above all, I could not stop moving. I knew that a still target was an easy target and I was so not dying that evening. It took us three hours to chase them all down but, in the end, we did. I looked at Walter proudly when I could, finally, take a deep breath and try to regain some of my strength. He looked alarmed at me so I frowned. Then I felt it. Something was wrong. Very wrong.

 

-“Take care of them, I need to take Naomi to the Hospital”- Walter shouted at the aurors. I looked at him, confused. I could feel my stomach hurting but I did not dare to look down.

 

-“Walter, what’s wrong?”- I asked him. I was shocked at how weak my voice sounded. I did not recall being hit by any curse, but the whole battle was a blur.

 

-“You will be fine, I promise”- he said. Last thing I remember before falling into darkness was him taking me in his arms and the uncomfortable feeling of side apparition.

 

 

 

NARCISSA’S POINT OF VIEW

 

 

 

I could not be bothered to go down to watch Quidditch, especially since Slytherin was not playing. I was bored out of my mind and desperate to hear from Lucius. Last time I had gotten a letter from him he’d told me that if anyone asked about Lulu H I had no idea she’d ever dated him. I was not stupid, I knew what had happened but I couldn’t help but to feel happy that he had not let that stupid model blackmail him into getting back together. He belonged with me. Actually, Lulu H’s death was a good thing; my only obstacle was Naomi now. I could ask Lucius to get rid of her, too. But I wanted to do that myself. My mind filled with pleasant dreams of a Naomi-free world when the owl came.

 

 

 

Cissy,

 

 

 

I need you to get to Hogsmeadge right this moment. Find me in our usual spot. Tell no one.

 

 

 

L.

 

 

 

I put on my darkest cloak and left the room almost immediately. I was never the one to have a very developed sixth sense but this time I knew something was wrong. I had never been so happy Hogwarts students were so into Quidditch until then. The way to Hogsmeadge was clear; it was very easy for me to get to town without anyone bothering me with uncomfortable questions. Lucius was waiting for me at that little corner behind the oak tree in the garden behind the Three Broomsticks. No one ever went there because the entry was blocked with wild vegetation so it was the safest place we had to meet.

 

 

 

-“Your sister might be in trouble”- he said as soon as he saw me. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t even say hi first but my common sense told me this was more important that formalities.

 

-“Why? What’s happened?”

 

-“That stupid Naomi girl you hate so much showed up in York”

 

-“That’s impossible!”

 

-“It is not, Bella saw her. She’s hurt Cis”- his voice was filled with worry, he wasn’t even trying to disguise it.

 

-“Why does it sound as if you were worried for her?”

 

-“Don’t be an idiot! I know you hate her and all but she’s still a student and her father is best freaking Auror of all times! It would put us in so much trouble if anything happened to her just now!”

 

-“I don’t understand! If she dies she can’t tell anyone who shot her!”

 

-“The Aurors won that battle Cis, the only one who escaped was your sister. They’ve got’em all, and some are too weak to resist questioning”

 

-“They’re gonna question them anyway”- I didn’t understand. This was amazing news. If Naomi died tonight I would be Queen B again and nothing would stand on my way.

 

-“They are going to be questioned about Lulu’s murder; nothing more. But if that Ivy girl dies then her father will make sure they spill ever single secret they know before they’re sent to rot in Azkaban”

 

-“Why are you telling me this? There’s nothing I can do”- I was frustrated. It would have been so perfect if that annoying little brat perished just now.

 

-“I need you to find out if she’s going to die or not. They’ve probably taken her to the Hospital Wing”- he said.

 

-“Lucius, if she’s so badly hurt she’ll be taken to St Mungos”- I told him.

 

-“No. She went to an official Auror raid on her own, defying direct orders from the Ministry. They will not take her to St Mungos, they’re gonna cover it up for her so she’ll stay in Hogwarts”- he explained.

 

-“What if we tell the Ministry? They could take her away for doing that. Besides, she’s not allowed to do magic outside school”

 

-“She’s older than you lot, she’s off age. But no, Cis, think straight; how would you explain to the Ministry why you know she was in York?”

 

-“Oh… yes, you’re right. I just hate her so much. This is frustrating”- I complained. He hugged me lightly before moving away.

 

-“I know, but we can’t do anything about it. Please, find out as soon as possible if she’s gonna make it and owl me. I’ll tell you what to do next when we know”

 

-“Yes, I will. Take care…”- he disappeared in the dark of the night as I hurried back to Hogwarts. I knew it would put us in so much trouble, but I only wanted Naomi to die tonight.

 

 

 

NAOMI POV

 

 

 

-“I DON’T CARE! I NEED TO SEE HER”- I recognized that voice but I couldn’t really place it. My head hurt a lot.

 

-“She is asleep”- I heard a woman say. Where the hell was I anyway?

 

-“I will not wake her up”- the man said.

 

-“I am awake”- I muttered. I wasn’t sure if they had heard me, my voice came out way lower than I intended it too but, again, my body wasn’t really functioning so I could expect my throat to be any different.

 

-“Naomi”- the most beautiful pair of grey eyes I had ever seen came into my vision range.

 

-“Sirius”- I said.

 

-“Thank Merlin you’re okay”- he said. The relief in his voice alarmed me. Why wouldn’t I be okay? What happened?

 

-“What happened?”

 

-“You… WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?”- I blinked a couple times, shocked at his outburst. I was about to retort when I remembered. The Death Eaters. The battle. Everything.

 

-“Where’s Walter?”- I asked, choosing to ignore the fact that he had just yelled at me.

 

-“I’m right here”- he came in. I looked at him.

 

-“Did we get them? All of them?”- I enquired. He sighed.

 

-“Yes, we did. They are in Azkaban. All of them, except one”- he told me. I felt a sudden rage take over me, despite my lack of strength.

 

-“Who got away?”- I snarled. Sirius looked positively scared. Walter shook his head.

 

-“He did not get away. He died”- he informed me.

 

-“Ah, who?”

 

-“Naomi… we… he… well, we forgot about him and he bled to death”- he said. It took me a moment to understand why he seemed to be so troubled about it. Then it hit me.

 

-“He deserved to die”- I sentenced. Sirius looked rather confused –“Am I in trouble?”

 

-“Wait, you killed somebody?”- Sirius’ eyes popped out of their orbs in shock. I chose to ignore him and look at Walter, waiting for his reply.

 

-“No one knows it was you”- he said.

 

-“Thanks”- I said. He nodded.

 

-“You shouldn’t have come”- he told me. I frowned.

 

-“I saved your life”- I replied. Sirius stared at him in disbelief.

 

-“And almost lost yours”- that brought Sirius back to life again. He looked at me and I could tell he was angry.

 

-“Now, that’s right. What the hell were you thinking?”- he growled at me. I raised an eyebrow.

 

-“Those were the people who killed Lulu”- I replied, flatly.

 

-“So you decided you would risk your life? For what? The aurors would have gotten them anyway!”

 

-“Walter wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for me”- I said again. I heard him sigh.

 

-“And you wouldn’t have been in the hospital wing for two weeks!”- Sirius exclaimed. Wow, two weeks?

 

-“Two weeks?”- I asked. Walter nodded, Sirius sat on the bed beside me.

 

-“Yes, two weeks. We thought you wouldn’t make it”- Walter told me.

 

-“Where’s my dad?”

 

-“He’s in Dumbledore’s office, resting. He had not left your side until yesterday, when Madame Pomfrey told us you were finally stable”- Sirius replied. I felt sorry for dad. Really sorry.

 

-“Actually, I’m going to go get him”- Walter said. I nodded.

 

-“Thanks”- I told him again. He smiled and left.

 

-“Do you have the slightest idea of just how fucking worried I’ve been?”- he asked me anxiously.

 

-“I…”- what did I want to say to him? I looked at him, really looked at him for the first time. He was skinnier and pale. His hair looked terribly messy and he had deep purple bags under his eyes. He hadn’t shaved, either. Why had he been so worried? I mean… yeah, he was my friend but sure he could have take care of himself… he couldn’t have possibly missed two weeks of school, could he?

 

-“I thought you were going to die”- he said suddenly. His voice was hoarse, as if it was hard for him to say that.

 

-“I didn’t”- I replied. He looked into my eyes.

 

-“Naomi, you really don’t know what you’ve done to me, do you?”- he asked. I frowned.

 

-“I have not done anything to you!”- I replied. He sighed.

 

-“I’m so glad you’re okay”- he said.

 

-“No, explain!”- I commanded. He half smiled and my dad got in. I felt my father launch himself at me and engulf me in a bear’s hug but I did not really register what was happening. There had been something in Sirius’ half smile that had made the world shift. He stood up and left me to have some private time with my father.

 

-“He has been here with me all this time”- dad told me.

 

-“Huh?”- I asked. I had not really heard what he’d said.

 

-“Baby, I know you think that shielding yourself from all feelings is the best way to keep yourself safe… and I usually agree with you but you can’t be alone forever”- that got my attention. I looked at my dad’s blue eyes and let him read through my green ones.

 

-“I am confused”- I told him.

 

-“I know. Look, honey, I don’t know if you have feelings for that boy. I am not asking you to fall in love with him, I just want you to know that he really cares for you and, well, you can afford to have a friend, or six”- he said. I frowned.

 

-“What do you mean six?”

 

-“He’s not the only one who’s been here. There’s a red head and a short blonde who’ve come in every day with another three blokes. And some other people came, too. There’s a huge pile of gifts out there for you but these six were the ones who I felt really cared”- he explained. I couldn’t help but smile. Lily, Rhea and the Marauders, that was.

 

-“Do they know what happened?”- I asked. I wanted to hit myself for being like this, but the truth was that I had immediately thought about what a boost of popularity this was going to give me. After all, helping get Lulu’s murderers was a great achievement.

 

-“They do”- he smirked.

 

-“I know I’m a horrible person”- I said. He chuckled.

 

-“You’re a teenager, sweetheart. It was about time that you got confused and made real friends but that doesn’t mean that you’ve lost yourself. I am afraid that you are more like me than I thought”- he told me.

 

-“What do you mean?”

 

-“Well, scheming and plotting, being cold and manipulative is part of who I am, and who you are, too. You know I don’t have many friends either but I did love, you know I loved your mother and I care for some people, Walter, you, Jinx and Gary, for example”- he explained.

 

-“You were not a Queen Bee, dad”- I retorted. He chuckled.

 

-“I know it’s different. You’re even worse than I ever was but I am going to blame that on the female hormones”- he joked. I chuckled.

 

-“Dad, tell me the truth. How bad was it?”- I needed to know.

 

-“When Walter got you here… half your insides here literally hanging out of your ripped skin”- he said. That’s why I loved my dad so much. He told me truth, no matter how scary it was.

 

-“Holy crap. I must have scared the shit out of you”- I muttered.

 

-“You did. But I am an auror, I’ve seen worse”- he comforted me.

 

-“He did have a hard time, didn’t he?”- there was no need for me to clarify who I was referring to. Dad knew. He always did. Even when I didn’t.

 

-“He has not left your side. Dumbledore had to come in when he refused to go to class even though McGonagall threatened him with a suspension”- he told me. Wow, that was more than I expected.

 

-“Why? I’m a mean person”- I said.

 

-“I think you know why”- he replied. I knew it, he was right.

 

-“He really is a good friend, isn’t he?”- dad looked funny at me but he just smiled.

 

-“You need to get some sleep, then think again about that ‘why’”- he told me. I nodded. And then, just like he did when I was eleven and nightmares of the night mom had been stolen from me scared me to death, he sang a lullaby for me until I was lost in Morpheus arms.

 

 

 

It was the twentieth of November. I had come back to normal life the day before and everything was surprisingly going on as if nothing had ever happened. The only difference being that if anyone had the slightest doubt that I was the coolest Queen Bee this school had ever seen, it had been effectively casted away. Lily had not told James about her infatuation with him yet, but she had broken up with Lewis and kept using my creams. She had apologized but I told her it was absolutely fine. More than that, I was happy that she was finally taking care of herself. Rhea and Mark were still dating; apparently he had been great support when sweet sensitive Rhea had had a hard time because of me being borderline dead. Remus had kept his promise; my secret was safe with him. Peter and Hannah: good as ever. Jo had kept gossip going on, doing a fantastic PR job for me while I was in the hospital. She had even written down a list of all the people who’d showed up to see how I was so that I could thank them personally if I wanted too. All my minions had, surprisingly, being united by my terrible fate. My army was more loyal to me than it had ever been before. My bravery and loyalty to Lulu had been epic, or so they thought. Meg had come to see me several times and even cried. Jo had informed me that they had no idea what was going on with her, but that she had apologized profusely to me for telling me off and promised she’d explain if I ever woke up. I was planning on talking to her today at lunch because she wasn’t at breakfast. Even Josh had come, and gotten into a fistfight with Sirius. The reason for the fight no one had been able to tell me, but it was something related to Josh kissing me on the lips or something along those lines.

 

 

 

-“Welcome back, Miss Ivy”- McGonagall said when I entered the Transfiguration classroom. I nodded in her direction.

 

-“Sit here, sweetie”- I heard Sirius say. I looked at him and rolled my eyes but since everyone else had already taken a seat I guessed it was all right to comply, for once.

 

-“I told you not to call me that ever again”- I whispered. McGonagall looked our way.

 

-“I don’t think that you two sitting together is the best idea, given that you’ve missed two weeks of school”- she said. Everyone turned to look at us. Oh, shit.

 

-“We’ll be fine, don’t worry”- Sirius said dismissively. I felt like murdering him. Now everyone would think that I had any special preference to be sitting with him, when I clearly didn’t.

 

-“Well, you are two of my best students… I expect you to pay attention carefully, then”- she accepted, she turned around and walked to her desk.

 

-“What the hell are you thinking?”- I hissed at Sirius. He looked at me with the innocent smile he used when trying to get out of trouble playing on his lips.

 

-“Oh, almost forgot. Mister Black, Miss Ivy, I want you to find a tutor who can help you catch up with what you have missed. Not only in my course but in all of them”- McGonagall said from her desk. I looked at her in disbelief.

 

-“I don’t think I need a tutor”- I retorted.

 

-“I am sure you can catch up on your own, Miss Ivy but given that you have two evenings a week… occupied with other business I think it’s best if you do as I say”- she gave me the look. I got it. I had to catch up on the special training, too. Well I had taken down a couple Death Eaters on my own, hadn’t I? I had killed somebody, for Merlin’s sake.

 

-“I can tutor you, if you want”- I heard Remus say.

 

-“Sure, why not”- I replied vaguely. I had not stopped to think about what my previous line of thought meant. I had killed somebody. How did I feel about it? Did I feel anything about it?

 

-“I’m already helping Sirius out”- that got my attention back. When had Lily become friends with Sirius? I looked at her and she smiled sweetly. Rhea, who was sitting next to her, glanced at James. Oh, right. Nice move. She was getting closer to the Marauders because of James. That was really smart, but again, Lily was one of the smartest girls I knew.

 

 

 

When the bell that indicated the beginning of the lunch period rang Lily, Rhea, Jo and I made our way back to the Gryffindor common room as quickly as we possibly could. Meg had not come to any of her classes this morning and that was weird. Jo was sick with worry, I was just curious. I mean, she was probably sick or had her period or something like that… what I really wanted to know was why she’d been crying herself to sleep and apologizing to me with such emotion. Rhea pushed open the door to our room and we saw Meg sitting on her bed. She had obviously been crying.

 

-“Meg! Oh my God, what happened? Are you okay?”- Jo hurried over to her and hugged her friend. I lit a cigarette and sat on the window pane.

 

-“I’m fine, I just felt a little sick this morning… you know, stomach flu or something”- she replied. I sighed and looked at her.

 

-“Are you sure?”- Jo insisted. Meg, however, did not reply to her. Instead she looked at me.

 

-“I’m sorry for what I told you two weeks ago. It wasn’t right for me to talk to you like that… I’m so glad you are okay… please, forgive me?”- she begged. I stared at her for a couple seconds. She looked like she had gained weight, and her eyes were… brighter. Her lips were redder, she looked… she glowed, somehow. And she was way too emotional for anyone who was simply PMSing. It clicked almost immediately.

 

-“You’re pregnant, aren’t you?”- I asked her. Lily looked at me as if I had just declared undying love for Snape, Jo looked at Meg with an absolutely terrified expression on her face and Rhea, well, Rhea just stood there, frozen. Meg started to cry again.

 

-“I don’t know how it happened, I…”- she said between sobs.

 

-“Well, I know how it happened”- I retorted. Lily glared at me.

 

-“What am I gonna do?”- Meg whispered in desperation. Jo hugged her tightly.

 

-“Well, you’re not gonna do anything, obviously”- I said. She looked confused.

 

-“What?”

 

-“You are going to start to eat healthily and visit the nurse regularly; of course”- I informed her. Lily and Rhea smiled, Meg looked beyond scared.

 

-“Are you saying that I should have it?”- she asked. Jo squeaked.

 

-“You were not thinking about taking care of it, were you?”- Rhea said in aggravation. Meg looked down.

 

-“I am afraid. I don’t know what to do, I’m sixteen and haven’t even finished school yet… and Dom’s great but… what if he’s not the one? And then… my family is going to kill me and I don’t think I’m ready to have a baby! A baby! They cry and make noises and… they are slightly disgusting!”- she said, throwing her arms in the air. I rolled my eyes.

 

-“Megan, you’re at least one month far into it. I will not let you kill the poor creature; he or she shouldn’t pay for your mistakes. If by the end of the pregnancy you still don’t want it, you can give it to a foster family or something but there’s no way on Earth you’re getting rid of it”- I snarled. She looked positively afraid.

 

-“Naomi’s right. Besides, if my calculations are not wrong, and they usually aren’t, the baby is not due until July so you will have finished school and graduated by then”- Lily said.

 

-“And we will take care of you”- Rhea added.

 

-“Hey, Meg, everything’s going to be okay”- Jo whispered. Meg started to cry again.

 

-“Thank you…”- she said, sobbing loudly. I lit another cigarette.

 

-“Oh my God”- Rhea said. We all looked at her.

 

-“What now?”- I asked, visibly annoyed. I was so not ready to take another bomb like Meg’s baby at the moment.

 

-“We’re going to have a BABY!”- Rhea exclaimed. I don’t know if it was the surrealistic of the situation or Rhea’s joy, or if we really did like the idea of taking care of Meg and the baby; whichever thing it was, when Rhea said like that we all laughed happily and Meg stopped crying. Everything really felt like it was going to be okay.

 

-“Have you told Dom?”- I asked her. She looked at me.

 

-“Yes. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before I was so afraid…”- she murmured. Jo smiled.

 

-“What did Dom say?”- Lily asked. Meg smiled.

 

-“Well, that was when he told me he wanted me to visit his family over Christmas. And he’s visiting mine, too”- she explained.

 

-“Are you going to tell your parents straight away?”- Jo asked. Megan shook her head a little too enthusiastically.

 

-“My family is not going to take it well, at all. I want them to grow fond of Dom first. We’re telling his family, though”- she told us. Rhea frowned.

 

-“Why would you tell his family?”- she enquired.

 

-“Dom says that they are very liberal, you know their all mixed muggles and wizards and they are the kind who go live together without marrying and date several people and, well, you know. He said they wouldn’t judge and that it is wise to seek advice from people who have had babies before”- she said. It made perfect sense.

 

-“Isn’t Dom a Slytherin?”- Rhea asked.

 

-“Yeah, he is. No one knows about his family though, he keeps it a secret… and I can assure you he’s not like the others. That’s why we spend so much time together, so that he doesn’t hang out with Josh’ gang more than necessary”- Meg replied. I nodded. Lily smiled and opened a box of chocolates. The really expensive ones.

 

-“Here, let’s celebrate!”- she said, passing them around. I glared at her.

 

-“Come on, Naomi. One tiny piece of chocolate is not going to do anything to you”- Rhea said, taking two. I looked at Meg and, oh, okay.

 

-“Whatever”- I took one, the tiniest I could find.

 

-“Thank you”- Meg said from her bed. I half smiled at her.

 

-“When did you get these?”- Jo asked Lily as we ate. Even I had to admit that they were amazingly good. Lily blushed.

 

-“Lewis sent them. He wants to get back together”- she explained. Rhea paled considerably.

 

-“Are you considering it?”- the short blond asked. I rolled my eyes.

 

-“No. I mean, it’s pointless. I don’t have feelings for him”- Lily replied. She looked at Rhea and me, warning us that Meg and Jo did not know about James, yet. I kind of understood why she kept it a secret. It was like when gay people had to come out of the closet. She had spent so many years making a statement of how much she despised Potter that publicly admitting she liked James was a huge thing for her. Thank Merlin we were Gryffindors.

 

-“I have a free period now, so I’ll stay with you”- Rhea told Meg. She nodded.

 

-“I’ll be back right after my class, only have one this afternoon”- Jo said. We stood up, ready to leave.

 

-“See you later, okay?”- Lily added. Meg smiled.

 

-“Bye, thank you”- she told us. We left together.

 

 

 

REMUS’ POV

 

 

 

I left my last class of the day and checked the time. We still had plenty of time before going to meet Walter for that evening’s practice. I was feeling restless; the full moon was a couple days away. I hated how time went by so quickly, it seemed like yesterday that I was transforming right before Halloween and here I was, November almost gone and the full moon upon me again. I needed to think about something else, dwelling on my disgrace put me in a terrible mood and it was not fair for my friends. They had enough problems as it was. For one, I had never, ever seen Sirius so worried in my life. He had finally admitted to us that he was head over heels for Naomi, which I already knew, of course. It was right after we won the Quidditch match against Ravenclaw and came back to the common room to find that Naomi wasn’t there. She had not even gone to the match. Lily explained that she should have come, or at least she had said she planning to. When the girls checked the room and their Queen Bee was not there either Sirius went to check the map, curious (and jealous) as to what Naomi could be doing. I remember his face when he could not find her anywhere. James checked the map after him, in case he’d missed something. Then I checked it. Then Peter. Naomi was not in the castle which was extremely odd.

 

 

 

I remember how sick I felt when I realized where she was. Of course I should have known she wouldn’t listen to Walter. But I had promised I wouldn’t tell anyone about her secret. So I just sat there, in our room, and watched Sirius thoughtful pace as he tried to figure out where she could be. Peter came up with the solution, or so he thought. Maybe she was in the Room of Requirements, which we knew wasn’t in the map. Sirius opened James’ trunk without a word, determined to take out the invisibility cloak and go check the Room.

 

 

 

-“It’s not here. The cloak. It’s gone”- he said, panicking. James launched himself at his own trunk and emptied it on the floor. We spent the following half an hour scanning the room, searching desperately for it.

 

-“How? How did this happen? No one knows about it but Snape and he’s not been here! I’m positive!”- James growled in anguish.

 

-“Actually… Naomi knows about it”- Sirius reminded us.

 

-“Why would she take it?”- Peter asked. I watched as Sirius face grew sick with concern.

 

-“I don’t know. Where is she? I know her; she would not take your cloak if she did not have a very good reason for it… right?”- Sirius said.

 

-“She wouldn’t. She’s a bitch but she knows how much that cloak means to me”- I was slightly surprised by how sincere James sounded when saying that but I did not have time to dwell on it. Sirius looked like he was about to throw up.

 

-“So what happened? Where is she? She loves Quidditch!”- Padfoot resumed pacing. When an hour and a half later we still had not heard from Naomi, or seen her in the map, I began to seriously worry for her and for Sirius.

 

-“Hey, Padfoot, calm down. She’s probably off somewhere with Dumbledore or her dad, or who knows…”- Peter tried to calm him down.

 

-“She would have told Lily or Rhea”- James reasoned. Sirius looked at us.

 

-“She would have told me”- he said, gloomily.

 

-“No offense mate, but why would you say that?”- James asked. Sirius took a deep breath.

 

-“We’re… closer than you think”- he said quickly. I raised both my eyebrows at him.

 

-“Are you together?”- Peter asked, rather excitedly.

 

-“No, hell no! We’re friends. It’s weird okay? I don’t know how to describe it but she trusts me and… well, I think I know more about her than anyone else does”- he said. I did not fail to notice the ring of pride in his voice. I smiled.

 

-“How did that happen and, most importantly, why don’t we know about it?”- James enquired. I was a little too perceptive for my own good. I was sure I was the only one who had picked up on the worry that tainted James’ question.

 

-“It’s been happening on its own… just developing without us doing anything special to encourage it! A couple coincidences, some random conversations… you know”- Sirius shrugged.

 

-“So you’re positive that if she was out and about on something she would tell you?”- Peter insisted. I felt a little bad for Sirius. I knew where Naomi was and, most importantly, why and what she was doing. He didn’t.

 

-“She would unless it’s something personal or secret… she’s got this creepy obsession on not sharing personal information with anyone. Secrets come at a price, she always says”- he explained.

 

-“What the hell does that mean?”- Peter frowned. I chuckled.

 

-“Padfoot, she’ll be back soon, don’t worry”- James said. Sirius looked at him and sighed.

 

-“I just have a very, very bad feeling about this”- he informed us. When he said it, I knew he was right. Something just wasn’t right. I considered telling them where Naomi was, leaving out the part where I’d overheard Walted saying something about her mother being dead. However, before I could decide what to do I saw two tiny dots moving really quickly on the map. They were coming from the farthest end of the grounds.

 

-“She’s back”- I exclaimed. Sirius almost ripped the map out of my hands.

 

-“What’s she doing with Walter?”- he asked, confused. I shrugged.

 

-“Dunno mate, ask her when she gets here”- I suggested. He kept looking at the map. One minute later, his relief was gone and replaced with fear.

 

-“Why are they going to the infirmary?”- Peter asked. I froze. Shit.

 

-“We have to go to the Hospital Wing, NOW”- I growled. Sirius looked at me visibly shocked but I was not going to waste any time. After all, she had gone to a raid and the list of horrible things that could have happened to her was increasingly growing in my mind.

 

-“Moony, what the hell’s going on?”- James asked as we ran out of the common room. A few people who were still out of bed stared at us. I guess we looked pretty funny but, hey, I had a very good reason to be sprinting like that and out of the portrait past curfew.

 

-“I don’t know yet”- I replied, not wasting time. I wasn’t sure it was Naomi who was hurt, it could have been Walter but something told me that I was not getting lucky that night.

 

 

 

We stormed in the Hospital Wing and my fears were confirmed. Walter had come in two seconds before us and he was still holding a rather dead looking Naomi in his arms. She was covered in blood, her long hair messy and falling carelessly all around her. She was pale, really pale and I could not see her chest up and down as it should have been were she breathing normally.

 

-“Naomi…”- I thought that seeing the girl in such a state was the most shocking thing that could happen that night. Well, I was wrong. I will never forget what Sirius looked like when I turned around. He was frozen, standing there in the middle of the room. His eyes were glued to her limp body. His face had lost all traces of color and his hands were shaking uncontrollably. What shocked me most, however, was his voice. The way he whispered her name.

 

-“What are you doing here?”- Walter asked. Madame Pomfrey hurried out of her office.

 

-“OH MY GOD! What happened Walter?”- she asked.

 

-“She got hit”- he replied, simply. The nurse nodded and began making potions immediately as Walter put Naomi on the closest bed. I had to look away, I could not take such image.

 

-“Naomi…”- Sirius moved closer to her. Well, he tried. It was as if his legs did not respond to him, he clumsily just put one foot before the other, slowly and weirdly. James looked sick and Peter… oh, Peter had fainted.

 

-“James, take care of Wormtail”- I told him. Prongs looked behind him and hurried over to our friend while I put my arm around Sirius and helped him walk.

 

-“Naomi…”- he kept whispering.

 

-“Hey, Padfoot, she’ll be fine okay? Poppy here is the best healer I know. And, believe me, I know quite a few”- I told him. He was not listening to me.

 

-“You cannot be in here”- the nurse told us as she began working on Naomi.

 

-“I have to go get her father”- Walter said, leaving us. He was pale and visibly tired. I wondered what had really happened.

 

-“Please, please, let me stay. I need to know she’s okay”- Sirius begged. Poppy looked at him.

 

-“You can come back tomorrow, right now I need silence”- she said, a little anxiously.

 

-“Please”- he insisted.

 

-“Black! Get out! Can’t you see she’s almost dead?”- Poppy’s sudden outburst caught me by surprise. And we realized just how bad the situation really was. If our dear Madame Pomfrey was in such a state it could only mean one thing: Naomi was not going to make it.

 

-“Naomi, Naomi listen to me”- Sirius escaped my grip and, ignoring the nurse, took Naomi’s bloody hand in his –“You have to make it. You cannot do this to me. Naomi, please, don’t go okay? I need you here, you have to get better. Don’t give up… Naomi, you can make it, I know you can. Please, don’t leave me. Even though you have no idea, I will die if you leave me alone. You have no right to do this to me. You can’t steal my heart and take it to the afterlife with you. I need it here, with you, so please, please, don’t leave me”

 

And with that, Sirius started crying. I was paralyzed with shock and I knew that James was just as frozen as I was somewhere behind me. Even Poppy was at a loss of words. No one dared to say anything for the whole five minutes it took Walter to come back with Mr Ivy. Naomi’s father did not lose it upon seeing his daughter. He simply asked Madame Pomfrey what her chances were, as if he was talking about a complete stranger. Well, no wonder Naomi was a cold hearted bitch; if her father was like that I wasn’t surprised at all.

 

-“I don’t think she’ll make it”- Poppy replied, in a whisper. I looked at Sirius, worried that he’d begin rambling again but he was just there, holding her hand while silent tears fell from his eyes.

 

-“Is there anything we can do?”- Hugh, Naomi’s father, asked.

 

-“We need blood”- she said. James hurried over to where we were. Peter was on a bed, recovering from the shock.

 

-“Test me, if I’m compatible I’ll donate”- he said. I looked at him, approvingly and slightly worried. I had to find out what it was that had made James grow so fond of Naomi.

 

-“Me too”- Sirius whispered from where he was. It was then that Hugh noticed him.

 

-“Hey, boy, she’ll be fine”- he told Sirius. To my surprise, he looked at Hugh and nodded, trying to steady himself.

 

-“I want to stay”- he said. Madame Pomfrey was about to complain, but Naomi’s father cut in.

 

-“I’m sure she would like that”- he said.

 

-“Okay, but only you. Potter, over here, let’s test your blood”- she instructed. Walter went there, too.

 

-“I’ll go next”- he said. Poppy nodded.

 

-“We know I’m compatible, I’m her father”- Hugh said right before taking his wand out and conjuring a couple of empty blood bags. I watched as he began draining himself on his own and filling them. Wow, I had no idea Aurors were that well trained. Maybe it was just that he was a really good one.

 

-“Tell me when it’s my turn”- Sirius muttered, still by Naomi’s side. I felt terribly awkward. I was useless. My blood was contaminated; I could not do anything to help. I went to where Peter was, but he had fallen asleep, probably exhausted by the shock. He never liked blood that much and, to be honest, there was blood everywhere at the moment. I felt irritated, it was so unfair. I couldn’t just stand there and wait, without doing anything to help out.

 

-“How did it happen?”- Hugh asked Walter as Poppy worked in silence.

 

-“She apparated. I still don’t know how she managed to do it, she was in the school… she came right to where I was… she saved my life”- Walter began explaining. I saw a ray of pride in Hugh’s eyes. Merlin, even I was impressed. We had had enough practice sessions with Walter to know that he was a hell of a good auror.

 

-“I told her to stay close to me and she did. We fought together. She was doing amazingly well, you should be proud of her”- Walter continued.

 

-“I am”- Hugh smiled.

 

-“It took us more than two hours to get all of them, it was chaos. One of the nastiest raids I’ve been involved in. I kept an eye on her but she seemed fine all the time, she did not stop moving and hexing, her shields were powerful. She was much better than I thought she was. Then… the battle was over. When I looked at her again she was… she was standing, smiling and visibly proud of herself. Then I noticed the blood… I have no idea who or what hit her. I guess that in the heat of the battle she hadn’t noticed it either because when she saw my face she began to pale”- Walter looked nauseated. I figured the memories were not pleasant, at all.

 

-“Did she faint?”- Hugh asked.

 

-“She asked what was wrong. I think she began to notice the pain that moment because when I took her she passed out”- Walter finished.

 

-“I should have made sure she came with me to the Quidditch match”- I said. I felt terribly guilty for some reason. I should have known, I should have stopped her.

 

-“You knew she was going?”- Prongs asked, shocked.

 

-“I overheard her arguing about it with Walter”- I said.

 

-“It’s not your fault”- Sirius said. I looked at him, confused.

 

-“I knew and I did not realize she would actually go on her own”- I replied. I couldn’t help it, I felt bad. Not only I thought it was my fault but also I couldn’t do anything to help at the moment. Life sucked.

 

-“If she wanted to go, she would have gone. There was nothing you could do about it. She would have probably hexed you if you’d tried to stop her”- Sirius told me. Hugh looked at him, approvingly.

 

-“You know her well”- he said.

 

-“I know her just enough”- Sirius replied quietly, looking at her face again.

 

 

 

I shook my head to try and erase the memories. It had been two really hard weeks, but she had made it and now she was fine. I wasn’t, though. I still felt guilty. Even though I had apparated to York and recovered James’ invisibility cloak when I realized she must have left it there I still believed that I should have stopped her from going there in the first place. That’s why I had volunteered to help her catch up with classes.

 

-“What are you thinking about?”- I looked up and met her eyes.

 

-“I was just remembering that night”- I told her. She sat across from me. I could not recall getting back in the common room or sitting on this couch, but that happened to me a lot. When I got really lost in thought I forgot the world.

 

-“I’m okay now, forget about it”- she said, nonchalantly.

 

-“I kept your secret”- I informed her. She smirked.

 

-“I know. Thanks”- she replied.

 

-“Do you want to go over Charms, or Transfigurations? Potions maybe?”- I suggested. She rolled her eyes.

 

-“Listen, Remus, I don’t need a tutor, okay? The only reason I said I was okay with it was to get McGonagall off my case”- she retorted. I glared at her.

 

-“Naomi, you’ve missed two weeks of school”- I reminded her.

 

-“No big deal, I did do pretty well in York after all, didn’t I?”- she was arrogant, Merlin damn it.

 

-“And almost got yourself killed”- I replied. She chuckled.

 

-“Why is everyone so worked up about it? I’m fine, aren’t I?”- she said. I couldn’t believe this girl. Was she really that oblivious to how worried we had all been?

 

-“You don’t really mean that”- I tried. She glared at me.

 

-“Look, I know I put you all through a hard time and I’m sorry but these things happen. If we’re gonna fight the Death Eaters we better get used to people getting hurt”- she spat. I wanted to yell at her, get some feeling out of those ridiculously cold eyes but I couldn’t. I couldn’t because, even though I did not want to admit it, she was right.

 

-“Still, Naomi…”- I tried but her eyes were so cold, so distant.

 

-“You don’t have to feel guilty. There’s nothing you could have done”- she said. I looked at her. How did she know?

 

-“Yeah, well, that doesn’t make it better”- I muttered. She smirked.

 

-“You’re a good bloke, Remus. I appreciate your concern but, really, I would have petrified you if you tried to stop me”- she informed me.

 

-“I’m glad you’re okay”- was all I could say. She nodded and stood up. I watched as she walked towards the staircase. Before she went up, though, she looked at me once more.

 

-“Thanks for getting the cloak back to James. Thanks a lot”- she said. I was too surprised to reply and she climbed up the stairs right after she said it anyway. But that did make me feel a lot better. I was beginning to see why Sirius loved her and why James seemed to care about Naomi, too. She was horrible, a bad girl. With a good tiny trace of what I hope would develop into a heart. Eventually.


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