Chapter 13 : Smeared black ink, your face is ashen and I'm barely listening.
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2 weeks later and the wallowing, pitiful mood I had been had disappeared and was replaced with pure anger. It had gotten to the point where when I walked down into the common room, the whole room would empty, probably in fear that I would start blowing the place up or trying to hex Sirius or Potter for no apparent reason except for my rage issues.
I was angry at everything; at the Gryffindors being Gryffindors, for the common room being so bloody red and cheery, at the portraits who believed they had every right to talk about you just because they could run off before you answered back and the fact that I was being a coward and had yet to leave the Gryffindor common room and face the aftermath of my actions.
But that was all about to change because McGonagall finally had her way.
“I don’t care Albus, she has had long enough off! This is her NEWT’s year, she needs to pass her exams but she can’t if she doesn’t go to classes. If she can run away from He Who Must Not Be Named then she can face a bunch of Slytherin seventh years!”
I rolled my eyes. The Dark Lord was nothing compared to what the others could when they put their minds to it. They weren’t in Slytherin for nothing.
Dumbledore sighed and looked at me. “She has a point, Miss Martinez. I’m afraid you are going to have start attending classes again, starting from today.”
I nodded at him. “Okay, do I have time to collect my bag or do I go straight there?”
“You have time for your bag, Miss Martinez. But just in case you accidently lose your way, Miss Evans is going to accompany you.” I looked at him blankly
How was it he knew absolutely everything?
“Is that all, Professor?”
“Yes, Miss Martinez, off you go.” Leaving his office, Evans was waiting patiently by the statues for me, like the good little student she was. She gave me a smile which was suitably ignored and we began walking towards the Gryffindor tower. From the corner of my eye I could see that she wanted to ask me something and I sighed.
“What is it Evans?”
It took her a while and we were almost at the Fat Lady when she asked the question that was on her lips.
“Are you scared?”
I gave the password to the Fat Lady but stopped before I entered. Not turning around to face Lily, I answered her honestly.
Standing outside the potion’s classroom, I felt the sick feeling in my stomach threatening to rise. It was the first class Gryffindor had with the others. And it would be the first time I would have to face them. Deciding not to give them the satisfaction of seeing me weak and scared, I held my head up high and walked into the classroom. The air in the room went cold as soon as people saw me. I kept my eyes forward and took a seat in the middle of the room. Getting my book and quill out, I sat stony faced whilst the class burst into curious whispers. Each time the door opened, I braced myself for an onslaught of hexes and spells heading my way, my wand in my hand. And then I heard it. It was funny how the door made a different sound when they walked in. Everyone stopped talking and the room was deathly silent. My hand gripped the wand tightly and I waited patiently for the moment I heard the spell so then I could turn around and fight back. Yet nothing happened, I heard stools being moved and then it was quiet again.
To be honest, I wasn’t surprised. We were in the middle of a classroom, breaking out into a duel is something that should only be reserved for the Great Hall, it would be far more entertaining.
I did at least expect some sly name calling, it was something Bella and Lucius would take pleasure in. The silence in the room was getting to be too much when the door slammed open again. Our ears were met by the sound of laughter before it abruptly stopped.
“Why do I feel like I have just stepped into a funeral?” I rolled my eyes but I couldn’t help but feel slightly relieved. If the others tried anything, at least the guys would be there, if only just to get one over on them and hex them for fun. The stool moved beside me and I risked a glance to my right, to see Remus sitting down. I smiled before turning back to the front.
“I see McGonagall finally made you come to class then?”
I nodded. “Yep, apparently I should be able to handle ‘a bunch of Slytherin seventh years’ seeing as I ran away from the Dark Lord.”
Remus laughed. “I guess I can see her point. You should be fearless, Miss Martinez.”
“I wish I felt fearless.” I whispered.
I knew Remus heard me but before he could say anything, Professor Slughorn walked in. Taking his place at the front, he did a double take when he saw me and pulled at his collar, his eyes darting around the room. He was nervous about what was going to happen in his class and I couldn’t blame him, half of the students in here were, too.
“Right class, turn to page 206 and make the potion. You have an hour.”
“I’ll go and get the ingredients.” I nodded absent-mindedly at Remus and watched as he went. Glancing to my right, my eyes met Evan’s and he glared at me. Determined not to look weak, I stared back before looking away. There was no way I was going down without a fight. Seeing Potter and Sirius at the end of the bench, I felt safer. They would get hit first before I did.
“Good to see you about, Martinez.” Potter’s voice filled my ears and I turned to him.
“I’m surprised you can see anything without your glasses on.” He gave me a glare, which was more like a squint before putting them back on.
“I see we have old Martinez back. Are you sure you’re sitting on the right side of the room?”
“Believe me Potter, I don’t want to be here as much as you don’t want me here and believe this, I would gladly be back at that table if I could but I’m sorry, some shit hit the fan and here I am so you better get on with it!” I snarled across the table. Remus came back in time to see my face and quickly realised what had gone on.
“Ignore him, he’s just sore that Lily knocked him back, again.”
I scoffed. “And he’s actually surprised? A blast-ended skrewt has more charm then he does.”
At this, both Sirius and Remus laughed, causing the class to look in our direction.
“Well, look at that, Princess is making friends with the paupers. How…cute.” Lucius Malfoy’s voice carried across the classroom and the class held their breath. I could sense all eyes on me and I thought it would be rude not to reply, for entertainments sake, even though I could feel my heart pounding. Sirius and Potter had taken offence, too and I could see that their teeth were gritted in an attempt not to say anything.
“Is that all? I expected something more scathing from you. Oh no wait, I actually didn’t. We all know that you don’t come up with your insults by yourself.”
I turned to see his face and I smirked. I wasn’t going to back down from them just because they thought they were better than me now. My heart may have been pounding but I could still hold my own, it was what I brought up to do. Never let emotions get in the way of a fight and being scared was something that I was not going to let win. Besides, I also rather enjoyed a game of quick wittedness and scathing remarks from time to time.
“I see you’ve grown brave since we last met. You were the one running for your life in Hogsmeade, were you not or am I mistaken?”
I laughed a little, I always enjoyed Evan’s remarks. He was clever.
“Oh no, that was me but remind me,was it you I saw up Voldemort’s arse that night or was that one of the others? Oh no, let me think, it was all of you.”
“How dare you speak his name you traitor!” Bella’s voice echoed in the room and within minutes, we both hand wands pointed at each other.
As much as I was dreading hearing myself being called a traitor, I was pleasantly surprised that it did not bother me in the slightest hearing it from that mad cow’s mouth.
“Shut up, your screechy voice is making everyone’s head split! It’s no wonder that he doesn’t want you, he’d probably die the moment you started laughing.”
The spell fired at me was fast but I managed to dodge it, barely. Remus and the rest of the Marauders had their wands out and the situation was threatening to become a messy one but Slughorn had yet to notice.
Bella’s wand flew out of her hand and she shrieked again. Slughorn finally looked up, his ears no doubt hurting from the awful sound.
“What is going on here? Stop it all of you!”
Slughorn was ignored completely as the others joined in and soon there were spells flying everywhere.
“You really need to start aiming properly Evan, hasn’t your new Lord taught you anything?”
The next spell missed me by inches and I smirked. “Still missed.”
I watched as he snarled and just as I was about to move to the right, I was pinned against the wall. I knew he would use his hands, he was predictable. He smelt like home, so familiar but I knew I had to get that type of thinking out of my head.
“Enjoying this, Evan? It is the only way you’ll ever be this close to me.”
If he had a reply, it was wasted because before he could answer, the classroom door slammed open and a voice boomed through the room.
“WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?”
McGonagall looked manic as she glanced around the room. Her eyes landed on me and I couldn’t help but give her an ‘I told you so’ look. It was her fault this was happening really, by making me go back to class when tensions were still running high.
Everyone stopped for a second before backing away but no one’s eyes moved, they were still concentrated on whoever they were fighting with, Evan’s eyes securely on mine as he moved away from me. My wrists were throbbing from where he had held them but I ignored it and instead turned my attention onto McGonagall, who was clearly angry, the vein in her forehead throbbing visibly.
“Miss Evans, explain!”
“Well Professor, I don’t actually know what happened exactly, I-“
“I’ll tell you what happened! Those snakes started it, making sly comments about Martinez and then all of sudden, they were sending spells our way! We were only defending ourselves from those pri-“
“Mr Potter! That is enough! All of you go to the Headmaster’s office immediately,” McGonagall pointed to the Slytherins, who groaned in response and then she turned to us. “And you lot, come with me now! You have a lot of explaining to do.” That remark was aimed mostly at myself, Potter and Sirius.
We followed her obediently through the corridor, mainly in silence apart from the few Gryffindors who had got caught in the crossfire and we’re now worried they were going to get into trouble. I rolled my eyes at this, Gryffindors were truly good two shoes’. Arriving at McGonagall’s office, a place I had surprisingly never been before, we filed in and stood before her desk and waited patiently for the lecture we were all bound to receive.
“Well frankly, I am very disappointed in all of you for the way you acted, I do not approve of violence in any case but I am impressed that you have come away unscathed and left the Slytherins licking their wounds.”
My eyebrows raised in surprise at her words. She had the reputation of being a fair and for the majority of the time, harsh but this was a side I never imagined I would see. She clearly loved her house and hated Slytherin. It was sort of refreshing, even though I was one of those she did not like very much.
After a few more moments of being lectured and praised at the same time and everyone was sent on to their next class, apart from me, which I was expecting. As the Gryffindors filed out, I took a seat on one of the desks and waited for her shrill, Scottish accent to boom through the room. However, she took a seat behind her desk and looked at me for a minute before speaking quietly.
“I am a proud woman but even I can admit when I am wrong. I believe I was too hasty in sending you back to classes and for that I apologise.”
I shrugged at her apology, unsure of what to say to her. “Thanks, I guess,” I paused before I continued. “But it wasn’t really your fault, I needed to face them sooner or later.”
McGonagall nodded and I took this as a sign that our conversation was over so I jumped off the desk and grabbed my bag off the floor. I had just reached the door when McGonagall spoke one more time.
“Be careful, Martinez. You and I both know what your former housemates are capable of.” I turned back and nodded in understanding before leaving the room and heading down the empty corridor.
McGonagall was right, today wasn’t just a one off, it was a warning of what the next 8 months of my life here at Hogwarts would be like. Not that I didn’t know what to expect because I did and I knew I had to be on my guard every second of every day. Suddenly, realising the time, I quickened my pace as I headed towards Defence, perhaps the one subject that would help me now that I was target. Not concentrating on where I was walking, I found myself colliding with a hard wall and I was pushed backwards, only just keeping my balance. It was then I noticed the pair of feet in front of me. I let my eyes travel upwards and I tried not to visibly gulp as I saw who it was.
So much for being on my guard every second of every day.
I really needed to start taking my own advice.
A/N - HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS! Hope you all have a good year and enjoy this chapter, the next one will be up soon. Keep reading and reviewing :)
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