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Chapter 7 : I'm staring at the asphalt wondering, what's buried underneath.
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amazing chapter image by hayley jade @ TDA
It had been two weeks since my run in with both Sirius and Rabastan and making up with Rayne., making it mid October. Everything had been going great; Rayne and I were back to normal, Lola had perked up and was her usual self again and Sirius had left me alone, making my life much easier and my conscience feeling less guilty about his hero complex. But I couldn’t help but feel something was going to happen and I was worried.
And I had every right to be.
As I came down to the common room from my dormitory, I was met with the stares of Lucius, Bas, Rodolphus, Bella, Pedro, Rayne, Reg and Evan.
“What’s up guys?”
I didn’t want to ask but I knew something was going on. Something I wasn’t going to like. After originally pretending to be interested in Voldemort and his cause, I hadn’t plucked up the courage to ask any more questions since about what was happening and why it was happening. Instead, I had sat there listening to Malfoy and Bella sing Voldemort’s praises countless times, telling us we would be on the winning side when we joined him. When. There was no if anymore. We Slytherins basically had no choice but to join or at least support the cause for now until the time came. Each time I heard it, the sicker I felt. And to make it worse, I had been told, along with Pedro, that we were a main priority to Voldemort and important to the cause. I was beginning to feel suffocated every time I was around a Slytherin, with the constant talk of Voldemort and the gentle coaxing I was getting to join in with the conversations and taunt muggle borns. I was resisting it and I knew why I hadn’t been forced into doing much more. I was still only 17. Although of age in the Wizarding World, I still wasn’t thought of as an adult by my family and other families. And Voldemort. But I knew as soon as I turned 18, I was expected to take a greater role in the war and I could no longer resist being a part of it. Just agreeing to support him would not be enough anymore.
I would have to be branded with the Dark Mark.
And for this reason, I was absolutely dreading my birthday, knowing what would entail after it. I was feeling like shit but I had to keep a happy face for Lola, although I knew she knew something was going on. She was perceptive like that, even if she wasn’t showing her concern to me. Pedro, on the other hand, seemed carefree and happy. I wished I could be like him but I was beginning to see glimpses of our Father and it was something I was not too happy about. He had had countless letters from home, not showing me any of them meaning they were off Father and obviously not for my eyes. He was the only one who had not pushed me, well apart from Rabastan. But the reason he hadn’t was because I had asked him not too and he agreed, not asking questions. I had no idea how Rayne was still coping being with my brother when he was so adamant that he wanted to be branded, like a horse. I could only think that she was a part of this too and that made me feel so alone even though we were as close as ever.
I tried to work out many times why I was so reluctant to take part in Voldemort’s plans. I was a pure-blooded witch, who did think muggles were pointless creatures and that muggle-borns shouldn’t be roaming the halls of Hogwarts and shouldn’t be in our presence .I was a strong believer in being a pureblood so there was no reason why I was struggling with accepting the offer. I was cold and heartless and always thought that I could kill someone easily because I didn’t feel for anyone outside of my family. And I most likely could and not care but something was holding me back from this big plan and I couldn’t for the life of me, work out what it was. The only thing I was coming up with was that there was something about the thought of getting rid of them that didn’t settle well with me. And maybe the fact that I still could not say the word mud-blood without cringing.
But after 2 weeks of calm, here was the bit I had been waiting for.
“Sit down, princess.” I glared at Lucius for the nickname but sat down anyway, slightly confused, slightly scared about what was going to be said to me in the next 5 minutes.
“Okay, I’m sitting. Now what’s going on?”
“Your birthday is coming up…” Stated Lucius before I cut him off.
“Well done for remembering but I think I already knew that.”
“As I was saying, your birthday is coming up, as well as your brothers and I’m here to tell you that there will be something special happening on the day.” I gulped.
“What do you mean ‘something special’?”
“You’ll find out on your birthday. You’ll get further instructions and further information nearer the time but just be prepared for the days after it…those will be the days of change.” I nodded and Lucius stood up from his chair.
“I’ll see you all at lunch.” Bella and Rodolphus followed him out, as well as Lucius’ new bride to be, Narcissa Black and Pedro and Rayne left to go to his dorm. Blocking the thoughts that came after this, I concentrated on the fact that Reg, Bas and Evan were left and Bas and Evan looked like they were about to kill each other. Sighing, I stood up, leaving the boys to it. I had only just made it out of the common room when I heard my name being shouted behind me. Turning to see Evan coming towards me, I sighed once again; it was becoming a really bad habit, along with taking boys to abandoned classrooms and finding ways to kill and torture Lucius when I looked at him.
“What’s up Evan?”
“Nothing, I just wanted to see how you were taking the news.”
The news. The news that there was something going to happen on my birthday. The news I had only been told less than 5 minutes ago and was already trying to forget.
Thank you Evan for reminding me.
“I’m fine with it.” He raised an eyebrow. “Really, I am!”
“Look, you are a terrible liar sometimes. To let you in on the secret, there is just going to be a special meeting between our group at the hogs head to celebrate you and Pedro being the first to turn 18. Granted there will be talk about The Dark Lord but that’s about it. Nothing to be worried about at all.”
I wanted to believe him. I really did. But things couldn’t be that simple.
“Then why was there such a tense meeting about it when all it’s about is a few drinks in a pub that we shouldn’t go to?”
“Because we’re sneaking out and we all know that when it comes to it, you can’t lie for shit so we didn’t want you knowing. Plus Lucius was just after dramatic effect, he wanted to see your reaction to it if he implied it was to do with The Dark Lord. You did well not to look spooked.”
“I’m not spooked.”
“You are but it’s understandable. You play a big part in this war so we expect you to be a little anxious. Even The Dark Lord expects you to be apprehensive. But once you know what your part is, you’ll be fine.”
I looked into Evan’s eyes, trying to find some sort of cunning in them but I saw nothing but concern for me. I sighed and nodded.
“Okay. Well if that is all its about then I am looking forward to my birthday.” I smiled and he smiled back.
“I’ll see you later Gisela.”
I watched him walk away before collapsing against the cold, stone wall of castle. The whole meeting for birthday drinks wasn’t bothering me anymore. It was something Lucius said over the days after my birthday. ‘just be prepared for the days after it…those will be the days of change’. What was that meant to mean? And why did I have a feeling that I was playing a crucial role in those very days?
Shaking my head, I pushed myself off the wall and headed towards my first lesson of the day, Transfiguration. Hopefully doing something I was good at would take my mind off it all.
Classes eventually finished and I made my way back to the common room, deciding to skip dinner because I wasn’t really hungry. Getting comfortable on one of the green and silver chairs, I pulled out a book and began to read, relaxing instantly beside the warm fire.
About half an hour later, the common room door swung open and from what I could see my chair, which was partially hidden from sight of the portrait door, Malfoy, Pedro and Rayne walked in.
“If you don’t have her getting more involved by the time her birthday comes then you’ll be in big trouble!” Malfoy half whispered, half yelled to my brother who was pacing the carpet.
“I know!” I heard Pedro sigh. “I’ve been trying but she is scared! And I am not about to scare her even further! Plus she is stubborn, a trait from my Father she inherited in buckets.”
“Well I want you to make sure she isn’t scared and that she is completely cooperative!” shouted Malfoy, causing me to jump a little. They still hadn’t noticed me and I hoped to keep it that way.
I couldn’t believe I was hearing this! So it obviously wasn’t a few drinks we were having for my birthday! Just when I thought Evan was being sincere he does something so indescribably stupid to undo it all.
“Maybe I could try?” I felt instantly hurt that Rayne was getting involved in this. “She’ll probably listen to me more then you guys and I might be able to calm her. She’ll talk to me about her feelings.” At this, I felt myself getting angry and I stood up, letting my book fall to the ground with a bang. They all jumped, looking in the direction of the book and finding me standing there.
“So, this is a conspiracy now, is it? Well, I hate to say it guys but there is no chance in hell that you are going to change my feelings, make me less scared and get me to go anywhere with you guys on my birthday. You can all go fuck yourselves, Voldemort included!”
They all stayed silent, although I could see Malfoy shaking, his wand in his hand. I picked up mine off the side table and walked closer to them.
“Now this is something I expected of a slimy gitl like you, Malfoy. But off my own brother and supposed best friend? I never expected any of this off two of the people I love most in the world. Now I know your plan, you better think of something better and foolproof, wouldn’t want Voldemort to shout at you now, would we?”
I knew I was pushing my luck with that last statement but I wasn’t expecting what Malfoy threw my way.
I instantly felt pain in my while body and crashed to the floor in agony but I didn’t scream. After what felt like forever, the curse was lifted and I was struggling to breathe. I could see my brother and Rayne looking horrified but neither of them moved to help me. Seeing Malfoy walk towards me, I managed to get off the floor and stand, wand ready.
“Well aren’t you a strong one, The Dark Lord will definitely love you when you get the dark mark.”
I shook my head, smirking. “Who said anything about getting the dark mark?”
I fell to the floor again and I was dying to scream out but I refused to give Malfoy the satisfaction. When he lifted the curse again, I took a deep breath and looked up at him.
He walked over to me, kicking me hard before pointing his wand at me again.
I knew this time I wouldn’t be able to hold on much longer. I could already feel the world going black but I felt some kind of achievement by being able to take 3 cruciatus curses before passing out. Hearing muffled voice, I managed to pick out a few sentences from the frantic conversation that was going on.
“Lucius, stop it please!” That was Rayne, begging pathetically for my life.
“Malfoy, if you don’t lift your wand I am going to beat the shit out of you and then send you to my father!” Pedro was shouting loudly. Far too loudly for my aching head but what he said worked and the curse was lifted for a third time.
“Get her to the hospital wing. Say she fell down some stairs. And obliviate her memory of this. Rayne, you can do that, can’t you?” Nothing was said so I gathered that Rayne had nodded her head. She was always so good at memory charms. I never thought one would be used on me. Through my blurry vision, I saw Rayne bending down in front of me.
“I’m so sorry Gi.” That was the last I remembered before blacking out completely.
The first thing I felt was the aching in my head and then the searing pain in my eyes as I opened them. Everything was too bright and too loud. I moaned audibly and heard shoes scurrying towards me.
“Miss Martinez, glad to see you finally awake. You took a rather nasty tumble down some stairs. Drink this, you should feel better after it.”
After opening my eyes fully, I slowly sat up and took the purple liquid off Madame Pomfrey. Taking a sip, I nearly gagged but downed the rest and gave the glass back.
“That was awful.”
“Well nothing that is good for you tastes nice. Do you remember anything that happened to you, Miss Martinez?”
I tried to remember falling down the stairs but all I was getting was a blank space.
“No, the last thing I remember was leaving charms class yesterday. Then it’s blank.”
“You must of his your head very hard, my dear. And what day do you think it is?”
I looked at her like she was thick.
“Wednesday. Yesterday was Tuesday.”
Madame Pomfrey shook her head. “Definitely one nasty bump to the head. I’m afraid it’s now Friday dear. You have been unconscious for a while. Had your poor brother and Mr Rosier and Mr Lestrange worried sick about you. Even Mr Black has been to see you.”
“Wow. So, when do I get to leave?”
She chuckled at my question. “Not anytime soon, believe me. Even though you remarkably escaped the fall with no injuries and scrapes, the blankness of memory concerns me so you will be here for at least another 2 days.”
I groaned loudly.
“Groan all you want but you are not going anywhere so I suggest you get on with it. Ah, here is your sister to keep you occupied.”
Turning to the direction of the door, I saw Lola enter and run towards me, enveloping me in a big hug.
“Lola, I can’t breathe babe.” She let go, letting me see the tears streaming down her face. “Hey, don’t cry, I’m okay. Just a bang to the head, that’s all.” I attempted to move over to let Lola sit beside me and groaned in pain as my muscles resisted. “And some aching bones but I am okay so there is no need to be upset.” I wiped her tears away with my thumbs and moved over, ignoring the pain so she could sit down beside me.
“I was so scared you wouldn’t wake up.”
I laughed. “It’ll take a lot more than a fall down some stairs to keep me from waking up, I promise you that. Any idea what happened to me? Madame Pomfrey says the bang to my head is why I can’t remember anything past charms on Tuesday afternoon.”
She shook her head. “No, I remember seeing you in the common room around dinner time because you weren’t hungry and wanted to read a book but I didn’t see you after that. Then I was told you had had an accident by Rayne and I hurried up here on Tuesday night to see you.”
“I seriously can’t remember anything, not even being in the common room. I obviously don’t do anything by halves, do I? Including falls down stairs.”
We sat talking for the next half an hour about everything that I had missed in the days I wasn’t awake, which was practically nothing. Obviously I was what made things interesting in Hogwarts. The only real thing was people were taking bets on who pushed me down the stairs because no one believed I had just fallen and believed that someone wanted revenge on me for being evil. I had to laugh. The top names were Sirius Black, an obvious one, Rayne, who people believed wanted me dead so she could be with Pedro because I was poisoning him against her and Evan, because people believed I had turned him down and he wanted me dead so no one else could have me. The students of Hogwarts had extraordinary imaginations sometimes.
“Miss Martinez, visiting times are over so you must leave. You can see the older Miss Martinez tomorrow.” Lola sighed and reluctantly got up off the bed. Giving me another bone crushing hug, she rested her head in the hair on my shoulders.
“I’m so glad you’re okay.” I smiled at her concern and when she pulled away, I gave her a kiss on the forehead.
“Me too. Now go on, back to the common room and be careful. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She nodded and picked up her bag. “Love you GiGi.”
“Love you too, baby girl.” I watched her leave before plopping back down onto my propped up pillows. I was exhausted. Madame Pomfrey dimmed the lights and went back to her office and I closed my eyes, ready for sleep.
“Tired Martinez?” I shot up, ignoring the shooting pain from my aching bones and looked around the darkened room.
“Who’s there?” I whispered loudly. Hearing rustling, I finally saw the figure of Sirius Black at the end of my bed. “You are enough to give people nightmares! What do you think you are doing, standing at my bed in the dark? Stalker.”
He laughed quietly before sitting down on the chair directly beside me. “So, are you feeling tired? I usually do after being hit with the curse.”
I frowned. “What are you talking about? I fell down some stairs. Curses have nothing to do with me being here.” In the moonlight, I could see him raising his eyebrow.
“You’re telling me that you believe the story that you fell down some stairs? Even though you had no broken bones? Think logically Martinez, it doesn’t add up.”
“And say I was hit with a curse, how would you know what one and what it would feel like?”
“Well, from previous experience, there is only one curse that gives the victim aching bones and sometimes in extreme cases, depending on how many times they were hit, memory loss. And that would be the Cruciatus curse. And I would know because I have been at the receiving end of it countless times before.”
“The Cruciatus curse? You’re imagination is obviously running wild at the moment. I fell down the stairs and banged my head very hard. And I’m sore because my body took the force of the fall. There was no curse involved.”
He scoffed. “I can’t believe you are naïve enough to believe that. I told Madame Pomfrey when I came to see you earlier on in the week but she told me I was being daft but I could see it in her eyes that she believed me.”
“You came to see me?”
He laughed again. “Out of that whole sentence, that is what you wanted to ask me? You don’t surprise me at all. But to answer your question, yes I have been to visit you.”
I frowned. “So you’re the Mr Black Madame Pomfrey was referring too?” He nodded. I was stunned slightly. “And I did hear the whole sentence actually. So you think Madame Pomfrey believes that I was hit by the curse but doesn’t want to believe it?”
He nodded again. “Yes and I bet Dumbledore thinks the same.”
I shook my head. “I’m sorry but I can’t believe that. You have it completely wrong.”
He stood up, sighing loudly. “Fine, believe what you want Martinez but you’ll soon see that I was right. About everything. Goodnight.” And with that he walked away, leaving me to think about what he had said to me.
Was I really hit by the Cruciatus curse? Surely I would remember something like that, wouldn’t I? And who would have done it? Only Slytherin’s would use that curse but I just couldn’t fathom someone in my own house doing that to me. Turning over to face the wall, I closed my eyes, willing myself to sleep.
No one would betray me.
A/N - Here's another chapter, like i promised...it's ridiculously long but that is what happens when you have too much time on your hands! Hope you enjoy it :)
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