Chapter 8 : Breathless
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Briana peeked in her wand a light. She waved it around and the candles in the room started to glow softly. Briana's eyes widened as she took in my state.
"Guys!" Briana screamed. I closed my eyes; they would make it worse if JT knew they were in here. He could still be close by for all I knew, I had no idea how much time has passed since he left me lying there.
I felt Briana fall to the ground next to me but I didn't open my eyes. My body was wracking trying to find the air my lungs so desperately needed but couldn't manage to hold on to. I could feel my mind slowly start to descend into the darkness that was pulling on me since JT left the room.
"Lily! Focus on my voice!" Briana shouted at me, I felt her grab my chin trying to pull up. She gasped; I knew then that she saw the damage that JT had done to my face. There must have been bruises on my neck, probably bruises on my face from where he slapped me, and I could taste the faint metallic taste of blood. "What the hell did he do to you?" Briana whined.
"Oh my god," Alice whispered as she joined Briana on the floor. "Lily, where does it hurt? We need to fix you up as best as possible and get you to the hospital wing."
I didn't answer, I couldn't. I just laid there with my eyes closed waiting for the darkness to consume me. But I was distracted now; Alice and Briana were trying to determine what was the most damaged. I could hear more foot steps outside of the room, for a second my whole body shut down. My breathing stopped and I froze. What if it was JT outside the room waiting for me to come out?
"Lily!" Briana's panicked voice broke into my mind. "Lily! You have to breathe, come on Lily!" Slowly my eyes opened and I looked at the door.
"Alice, get the others and then lock the door with anything that would prevent JT and his friend from coming in here. Lily it's okay, he's in the common room, He's been there for the last 2 hours." Briana cooed to me softly. I felt myself relax slightly. "Alice! Get the others!"
Alice jumped up and ran to the door, I could hear her whispering outside the door. Whoever she was whispering at were having a heated discussion. I closed my eyes again and tried to concentrate on my breathing. I couldn't control it, between the sobbing, the fear and the pain my breath was too labored. The more I tried to control it the harder it got to breath to the point where I couldn't breathe anymore. I felt my breathing hitch and my eyes opened in panic as I stared at Briana gasping for the breath that wasn't coming, Briana's eyes widened in fear.
"Alice!" She screamed "She can't breathe!"
The door slammed open as Alice and the marauders ran in. "Someone lock the damn door! I don't want anyone to be able to get in here! Remus!" Alice yelled as she threw herself next to me.
"Lily, where did he hit you?" I couldn't answer I was still gasping. "Lily, where does it hurt? I need to get you breathing!" I looked at her in confusion gasping louder.
"Pete! Go get Poppy! Now!" Sirius yelled "Remus let him out." Peter ran to the door and flung it open I could hear him running down the hall.
"Lily," James was by my head "Lily come on girl breathe." My only answer was a gurgle as my eyes drooped down; I could feel the need to pass out from lack of oxygen. "Guys we need to move her maybe another angle would allow her to breathe better."
"Move her gently James, pull her against your chest, maybe feeling your breathing will help her get hers." Remus said quickly. James reached under my arms and slowly dragged me to a sitting position against his back. Air rushed into my lungs as I felt a rip in my chest.
"AHHHHH" I screamed in pain
"Lily!" Everyone chorused together.
"Lily tell me where he hit you!" Alice shouted.
"Ribs." I gasped out in between breaths.
Alice wrenched my shirt up and gently prodded my left side. I gasped out in pain as her fingers came in contact with the broken ribs.
"He must have broken some ribs and they punctured her lungs!" Alice cried out.
"What do we do? Can you mend them?" Briana cried, I could see the tears cascading down her face.
"I can't." Alice whimpered, "If they punctured her lungs she has a hole in her lung and blood could be filling it as we speak! We need Poppy!"
As if on cue Peter busted through the door with Poppy hot on his heels.
"My lord, what happened to this child?" Poppy hollered
"Her lungs! Poppy, she can't breathe properly; I think that her rib has pierced into her lungs!" Alice jumped up grabbing the older witch and towing her to Lily. "You have to help her!"
"Lily, look at me. Can you feel a sharp pain in you lungs." I nodded back in response, my breathing was weakening.
"Hurry, we need her at the hospital wing. Potter, were going to levitate the two of you on a stretcher, we do not want to jostle her."
"Yes mam, but please could you put a disillusionment charm on us? I don't want anyone to see her like this please." James whispered as he softly ran his hands through my hair to calm me.
"Yes of course." Poppy quickly waved her wand and James and I were on a floating stretcher. "Here," She tapped our heads softly and it felt like old water was trickling down my back as the disillusionment charm was placed. "You 5 follow us."
Rather quickly we began our trip to the hospital wing. James was whispering quietly into my ear trying to keep me calm. My chest was ripping as the air supply slowly depleted until I was gasping again. James stiffened as my breathing stopped again.
"Poppy! She stopped breathing!" James yelled.
"Were almost there! Hold on Lily!" Poppy shouted as she began running, James and I started floating faster.
"James" I chocked out as the last bit of air that was in my lungs slipped out. "help." James looked down, fear etched in his face as my body stilled and my eyes shut.
"That was so scary." Alice's voice flitted into my dreams.
"I know love, but you guys found her and brought her here. You guys saved her." Frank cooed.
"Longbottom, thank you for deterring JT and Brian." Sirius said quietly, "If JT had seen the commotion there is no doubt he would have been able to put two and two together. He would have known that it was Lily in pain and not Alice."
"Yea well I saw him last night in the common room, and Alice has told me that JT is just horrible to Lily and hates her and Briana. It was just quick thinking to say that Dumbledore sent word telling me that Alice had fallen down the stairs."
"Well still, thank you." Sirius whispered again.
"What do you suppose will happen now?" Peter said from my left. My eyes were too heavy to open and I wished that everyone would just shut up so I could go back to sleep.
"I don't know Pete." Remus whispered, "It's up to Lily to tell Poppy and Dumbledore what happened to her. We can't just blame JT for it even though we all know he did it. We have no proof."
"Proof?" James exclaimed, "Lily almost died! She stopped breathing! What more proof do they need? That asshole grabbed Lily by the throat chocked her, hit her across the face and then kicked her repeatedly in the side breaking her ribs, which then went and punctured her ribs filling them up with blood and stopping her from breathing! What more proof do they need?"
"James calm down," Briana whispered from my feet.
"No! This shouldn't have happened; we should have gone looking for her as soon as they left the great hall! She got hurt because no one was there to intervene."
"You don't know what your saying mate." Sirius said quietly, "If we had burst through the room while they were fighting JT would have made it worse on her."
"We would have found her 2 hours earlier though." Peter chipped in, "You know, before the blood was able to fill up her lungs."
"Exactly!" James said, I could hear him pacing back and forth next to my bed.
"She wouldn't have wanted us there." Remus whispered making James growl.
"And because she is too stubborn for her own good she almost died!" James yelled, "I should have been there, this is my fault."
"Hey," I heard Alice say as she got up, "It's no ones fault except JT's, he beat Lily not you James, and if you had been there it would have been worse."
"I don't know what to do, Alice." James whispered and I was surprise to hear that it sounded like he was crying. A new pain entered my chest at the heartbreaking sound. "I hardly even know her, but I care for her as if I have known her my whole life. She means everything to me; I don't want to lose her. When I thought she had died…" James trailed off sobbing quietly.
"We all were scared, mate." Sirius whispered, "But we need to be thankful that we were able to get to her in time and get her help. Lily is alive because of us."
"Lily cares for you too James." Briana said next to Sirius, "I haven't seen her as happy as she is when she is around you in years. You're special to her."
"I can't lose her Briana." James chocked out. My heart continued to break at the sound of his voice.
"I know James, and you won't. We will figure this out, okay." Alice cooed.
"Thanks guys." James whispered as he whipped his nose.
"So how soon till she wakes up do you suppose?" Frank said trying to change the subject.
"Soon I hope, she's been out for a day, Poppy said she should wake up shortly."
"JT has been asking a lot of questions. I saw him when I left the common room this morning," Briana stated, "Asked if I saw Lily, said I haven't since yesterday which technically was true."
"He isn't dumb; he'll realize soon enough that she is in here. I mean the state he left her in, where else could she be?" Alice scoffed.
"How is she?" Poppy said as she walked around the curtain that was hiding the Lily from the other beds.
"She is still sleeping." Remus whispered.
"Well there have been two young men coming in for the last hour asking if she was here. JT and Brian, I believe they are friends of Miss. Evans. I told them she was but was not to be disturbed. He said he heard that you lot were here, I told him that you were and that the visiting capacity was already over the limit seeing as you guys refuse to leave her side." Poppy said looking at each one of the students at a time, "I'm going against my better judgment and letting them in."
I tensed up quickly; if JT saw the others with me he would have a fit. The confrontation between him and my friends was bound to happen eventually but I didn't want to be in this state when it did.
"Okay Poppy." Frank spoke up quietly. I could feel the tension in the air as Poppy left to retrieve JT and Brian.
"Let rearrange seats. Alice and Briana sit by her feet. I'll sit on her right and Peter and Remus on her left. James and Sirius just stand up next to her that way if he starts anything you'll be in a position to stop him." Frank hissed and everyone moved as he said quickly. I heard the pop as someone vanished the remaining two chairs.
"She is right her gentlemen, some of your other house mates are sitting with her right now." Poppy said as she pulled back the curtain for JT and Brian to join the group.
"Guys." JT said curtly
No one responded at his unfriendly greeting. Poppy closed the curtain and walked away.
"What are you guys doing here?" JT hissed.
"Funny you should ask Martin," Sirius said with a sneering tone to his voice, "We happened to be looking for an empty class room to start planning our next prank and who do we find? Your girlfriend lying on the ground dying. Luckily we got to her in time to bring her to the hospital wing, eh?"
"How fortunate," JT grunted, "You found her then, but why are you here now?"
"We are here to make sure she is okay." Peter chimed in defensively.
"And why should you care?"
"She happens to be our friend, I could ask you the same thing, why do you care?" Remus shot back at him.
"She happens to be my girlfriend." JT sneered.
"Funny, the way you treat her I thought she was just a toy." James hissed.
"The way I treat her? The way I treat her is none of your damned concern Potter."
"Trust me it is." James said, I felt him move away from me.
"I don't see how it is."
"That's because you're too stupid to think Martin. Lily is my concern."
"She isn't some type of property! I've seen what happens when Lily is around you, I've seen the bruises, I've felt the bumps, and I have seen her cry cause she don't know what to do. I'll tell you one thing Martin that as soon as Lily wakes up and she tells everyone what you did to her your ass is mine."
"Oh really? Well you don't know shit about Lily and I Potter. I'd like to see you try to kick my ass."
"I'm not a 100 pound girl you can throw around; I'm a real man and will knock you out so fast you won't believe it."
"James back up." Frank interjected
"Yea Potter, watch out. You don't want to get hurt."
"It wasn't for James; I don't want you guys to wake up Lily." Frank whispered.
"I'll wake her up if I please." JT hissed, I heard him try to move around towards me, but someone stopped him. "Get your fucking hand off me Black."
"Get away from Lily." Sirius hissed.
"Oh is she fucking you too? We all know she is shaking up with Potter. I guess the marauders share their whores. No doubt you are all hitting it with Briana and Alice." JT hissed.
"Watch your mouth Martin." Remus whispered threateningly as he stood up.
"Yea, 2 against 7 aren't good odds for you." Peter chipped in standing up as well.
"Like you guys would do anything." Brian hissed.
"You're right it would be 6 against you Brian because I'd take Martin on by myself and show him exactly what Lily feels."
"Stop talking like you know anything about my girlfriend."
"I wouldn't go around calling her your girlfriend Martin. After what you did to her she won't come near you ever again." James hissed.
"You honestly think she will say anything against me? You're as dumb as you look. Lily won't say anything against me; she knows what will happen if she does. She isn't stupid Potter. You don't know her like I do."
"I know her enough. Better then you do."
"You really think so?" JT wondered sarcastically, "Why not ask the little princess, she's been awake the whole time. Isn't that right Lily?"
Everyone stopped bustling around and looked over at me. Slowly I opened my eyes and looked at JT. My eyes widened in fear as I took in the expression on his face. He was furious.
"Lily?" James whispered softly coming to kneel by my bed. "How are you feeling?"
I shake my head back and forth looking him in the eye.
"See, Potter? Even she says you don't know her, now get the hell away from my girl friend."
I continued shaking my head while staring at James praying that he wouldn't leave. I tried to open my mouth to speak but nothing came out. I clawed at my throat looking at him in confusion.
"Your vocal cords were damaged from being excessively squeezed." Alice whispered, "I'm going to get Poppy." She jumped up and ducked under the curtain.
"Lily, Poppy patched you up in no time, she says you will be sore for awhile but that you will heal fine." James whispered as he softly ran his hands over my hair. I nodded and then looked to JT.
"Potter get away from my girl friend." JT stepped forward only to be blocked by Sirius and Remus. "For the last time take you damn hands off me Black!" JT bellowed and went to swing back at Sirius only to have his hand grabbed by Remus.
"Leave." Remus murmured with hate in his voice staring at JT with disgust.
"Honestly! What in the hell is going on in here! This girl needs rest! You two, "She pointed at JT and Brian. "Get out of my hospital wing now! There was no trouble in here till you showed up. Out! Out now!" She shook a towel at the two.
"Lily, come find me as soon as she releases you. Understand?" JT murmured staring at me intensely. I felt tears well up in my eyes again as I nodded. JT's eyes drifted to James's face which was full of shock staring at me. He sensed the stare and looked back at JT, JT cast him an evil smirk and turned on his heel and left.
"The rest of you go wait outside the curtain. I need to be alone with Miss. Evans to check her over."
Everyone else quickly got up and moved around the curtain except for James. James was staring at me in shock still. His face slightly sad.
"James go with the others. You guys go get lunch then by the time you guys are done eating I should have Lily sorted out." Poppy prodded James. James nodded his head and stood up slowly. Leaning down he placed a soft kiss on my forehead and left without saying a word.
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