Chapter 25 : An Abundance of Chaos
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“What are you doing here?” I ask Leo as I walk into the kitchen. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be here at one in the morning.
He jumps about a foot and clutches his chest. “Holy Hindenburg, Lily. What are you doing here?” he pants.
I roll my eyes at him as a little elf scampers to my feet. “Hello miss,” the little guy squeaks, “how can I help you?”
Leo interrupts me before I can ask for anything. “Oh she’s not staying, Willis. In fact, she’s leaving right now.”
“Rude,” I sigh.
“Necessary,” he corrects.
The elf, Willis, looks between the two of us in utter confusion.
“I don't see why. We're not sore with each other, right?” I ask.
He shrugs, “We haven't been alone together.”
Leo's right, of course.
“I'm not going to scratch your eyes out, if that's what you're so worried about,” I tease with a smile.
He playfully covers his eyes and shivers, but I can see his smile playing at his lips.
I remove his hands from his face and smile at him. “So, can I stay?”
He taps his chin. “I guess you can stay, but you have to promise that there will be no nonsense.”
“You want me to promise that there will be no nonsense? Oh that’s rich,” I laugh.
He frowns, “That attitude of yours has to go too.”
I surrender and throw my hands up. “Okay, whatever. Can I just eat now?”
Leo observes me with an eyebrow raised. “Fine. You can stay.”
I smile in victory and skip over to a small table near the sinks. The same elf from before follows me and grins up at me.
“What will it be, miss?” he asks, his big eyes lighting up in good humour.
I think about it. I’m not actually hungry anymore. I just needed to get out of the confines of the Gryffindor tower. “Could I just have a cup of tea?” I ask Willis.
He smiles a small smile and trots off. As I wait for him, I idly clean the small surface of the table with a handkerchief I keep in my pocket. Leo walks over and sits across from me, watching in mild entertainment.
“Having fun?” he asks, eyebrows raised.
I shrug, not bothering to answer. The other elves in the kitchen immediately group around Leo, all of their eyes fixed on him in anticipation. I’ve never seen a group give one person so much of their attention. This is the kind of thing that professors yearn for.
“Have I interrupted something?” I ask out loud. The atmosphere has become...well, awkward.
Leo reddens and clears his throat, “Er, no.”
I watch as the elves all frown and scuffle in their spots. The red in Leo’s cheeks deepens and he gives in. “We were just telling stories. Nothing big.”
“Well don’t let me stop you guys from your fun,” I say, tucking into my tea when Willis places it before me.
An elf with floppy ears pipes up, “Master Leo, it’s your turn, sir.”
“Er...right, okay,” Leo mutters and stands up.
I watch in astonishment as he steps onto a makeshift platform. What is he going to do?
He avoids my eye and faces his eager audience of elves. “Er, okay sooo once upon a time...
A first year boy was lost in the labyrinth of this magical castle. He was very upset, because he was going to be late to his class, and the older boys were already making fun of him because of his relation to an antisocial girl. For some bizarre reason, the boy was very obsessed with what people thought about him. He wanted people to like him.
In his efforts to find his class, he became even more lost. Giving up, he threw himself into a spacious alcove and pouted at the ground.
“You wouldn’t happen to know where Charms is, would you?” a voice interrupted his self pity.
“No,” he responded turning around and facing a familiar face. The kid was from the same house as him. In fact, this kid is also mocked for his family.
Recognizing each other, the two began looking for the mysterious classroom together. However, neither got anywhere productive and ended up in some obscure part of the castle. They gave up on their quest and fell against the corridor’s wall.
“Something tells me that it’s lunch hour,” the other boy groans as his stomach rumbled a low chorus of wails.
“This is absolute rubbish! How do they expect us to find anything in this castle that is older than dirt?!”
The two boys looked at each other and laughed, letting each others guards down. They talked for hours on end about their respective families, likes and dislikes. Finding many things in common, they warmed up to each other. Despite being starved, the two bonded.
“How are we supposed to find our way back?” the other boy asked, rubbing his upset tummy.
The boy shrugged in response, getting up and leading the other boy to a different corridor. Lost, they’re very, very lost. Suddenly, a loud crash sounds and a cackling ghost flies around the corner, taking sight of the younger students.
“Well, well, well...the wee little firsties are lost, are they?” he smiled maniacally, twirling around in the air before the helpless boys.
One of the boys innocently asked the poltergeist, “Could you guide us to the Great Hall?”
He was answered with a dungbomb narrowly missing his head.
The boys looked at each other and quickly leave the premises, the laughing ghost following them and throwing anything and everything at their retreating figures. Eventually the two run around a couple corners and hide behind a statue.
“What are we going to do?” the other boy whispered to him.
Just as they were about to retreat into misery, the boy catches sight of a spoon shoved into the corner. Believing that it would be better than nothing, he grabs it.
As strange as this next part sounds, the ghost came clambering down the corridor, lugging dungbombs and waterballoons ready for the throwing. Catching sight of the hiding boys, the ghost laughed and began throwing his hold at them. The boys tried dodging the flying objects, but when all else failed, the spoon was wielded and used as a minor shield between them and the trajectory.
When nothing hit the two, they looked up and saw a silly sight. The ghost was paralyzed in his own laughter. Apparently holding up the spoon in their act of desperation was so completely ridiculous looking that the ghost was thrown into a catatonic fit of laughter. The two were able to fumble their way back as the ghost was preoccupied.
Days, even weeks, after that event, the two boys would take silverware from the Great Hall for their encounters with the ghost. Which became more frequent than it should have (they were really wretched with directions), and this ghost looked forward to seeing the two cower behind cutlery. His favourite was always the spoon, but it was also just as silly to see them hold up forks or knives.
Of course the two boys would get in trouble for their stealing of silverware. They would even try to explain themselves to the headmistress, but she hardly believed them. Detention became a time for more bonding as they would participate in that very frequently.
Eventually it was quite obvious to both boys that they would never be accepted, so they turned to each other for entertainment. They tried to brewing their own potions, coming up with their own games, and, of course, daring each other to do ridiculous actions.
The peak of their developing friendship came when they found the kitchens. They were, of course, lost when they found it and had to figure out how to find it a second time later on, but the house elves within were able to really guide the two around the castle. The poltergeist became less of a problem and more of a sport. They seeked him out to pull pranks on, and even he became a sort of...acquaintance, per se.
In the end, collecting cutlery from the Great Hall became a hobby and even a sport. The headmistress gave up on disciplining the two for it. It wouldn’t have made a difference, because the crazy boys did what they wanted. They were outcasted, thrown away, but that didn’t matter. They had spoons.
As Leo’s story came to a close, I could feel my eyes drooping on their own accord. He looks over and smiles at me before climbing down from his platform. “I’m guessing little Miss Potter doesn’t normally stay up this late,” he teases while helping me from the table.
“What are you talking about? It’s your story that did me in,” I tease back and gently push him away.
He shakes his head at me before waving “goodbye” to the droopy eyed elves and following me out of the kitchen.
There is an eerie silence that has filled the corridors. One that nearly drove me back to the safety of my bedroom earlier as I traveled to the kitchens, but did not succeed, because of a blurry light shining in the windows. The light of the full moon fills the otherwise dark corridors with a relatively bright light.
“Wow, look at that moon,” Leo whispers next to me.
I walk past him and face the window. We both stare long at the moon. Neither of us offering to start a conversation until a shadowy figure trails across the grounds.
“What’s that?” I ask Leo, pointing to the figure.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. A stag or something?” he offers.
“No...a stag doesn’t stand up on two legs.”
We look at each other in confusion before Leo grunts, “Maybe we shouldn’t worry about it. It’s probably just a professor doing...whatever professors do at night.”
I shake my head, “That’s absurd.”
“What do you think?” he turns away and stares at the figure again.
Whoever this person is, he or she is moving at a slow speed. I stare at the figure, trying to figure out which direction they’re moving. I gasp, the shrieking shack.
“Leo, what if they’re going to the shrieking shack?”
He frowns. “I really doubt that would happen. Plus McGonagall has some nasty hiding and defense spells placed on it. There’s no way anyone who didn’t know about it could find it.”
“What if they know about it?” I whisper.
In a gush of wind, Leo is gone from my side. I turn and race after him. There’s no way I’m going to let him protect Ellie alone.
Lily has locked me in a classroom. No, I am not kidding. It’s not entirely out of character for her to do this, but it also isn’t quite fitting. I mean, this classroom is quite dirty. Well, to be fair, I’ve been locked in the Greenhouse.
I hear Leo’s and Lily’s voices outside the building, so I know they’ve gone and locked me, but I’m too exhausted to really do anything about it. Yeah, I could hex the door down, but I don’t have my wand.
Look, it’s a long story.
“Ow! Lily! Why are you pulling on my ear?!” I hear Leo scream.
“You’re a complete imbecile,” is the explanation I hear from Lily.
Great, two exes fighting while I’m stuck with plants that could eat me. Yet, all I can think about is how bloody tired I am.
I’ve been staying up these past few days working on a draft to turn into the Department of Regulation of Magical Creatures. Being sleep deprived has really taken a toll on my perception of things. Like, I’m pretty sure Ellie is nowhere to be found; however, I did say the same thing about my trousers fifteen minutes ago.
Despite missing many hours of sleep, I’m still doing head duties, studying for final tests, and reading research articles. My diet for these past weeks has consisted of tea and biscuits. However, Anthony has only threatened to take me to Madam Pomfrey five times, so I guess I’m doing better than anticipated considering this lifestyle that I’ve thrown myself into..
“Oh God Lily, why do you have to bring up the past every bleeding second?!”
They’re still fighting.
“I’m just providing solid evidence as to why I shouldn’t listen to you. I mean, this was all your fault!”
I sigh and walk over to Professor Longbottom’s desk. The reason why I’m out here past curfew is that I wanted to turn in my final draft of my report for the Ministry to Longbottom before I lost it. He agreed to look over it and help me with the grammatical stuff and silly me thought I’d be proactive and put it on his desk as soon as I had it completed.
I stare down at my thirty page research paper on werewolves and the psychology behind their isolation. In it I wrote what problem areas I found in the Ministry’s department that takes charge of allegations behind half-human creatures. Society’s perception of half-human creatures is buggered up and the Ministry is doing nothing about it. I’m hoping this paper will help put some action there, but who am I kidding? I’m just a seventeen year old boy. I’m not expecting much reception, but it was important to me to write it anyways.
Who knows, maybe they’ll actually attempt to construct a proper jurisdiction that takes on cases that conflict with the Lupin Acts? I’m thinking the letter from my dad will help sway things. I know, I’m using my connections, but there are some serious issues out there that need to be resolved.
“Lily? Leo? Can you let me out?” I call through the door.
They continue fighting. I doubt they even heard me.
“Shut it, we need to get a professor out here,” Lily concludes and I hear their voices grow softer as they walk away.
I should do something, but I’m so tired. I want Ellie.
I begin to survey the greenhouse for a plant that would be most comfortable to sleep on when I hear the kids come back.
“Let’s just blast the door down.”
“Longbottom would have us expelled.”
I recognize the voices to be Scorpius, Leo, Albus, and Lily. So I guess they decided not to get a professor.
“So I’m still questioning why I was woken up at one in the morning,” Albus drones.
I hear someone cluck their tongue. “Albus, it’s an adventure!”
“Shut it, Blondie.”
“Leeeoooo, Albus is being mean.”
“Shut it, both of you. Let’s get our priorities straight! We need to get this door open. I don’t know what Lily and I did, but it’s stuck with some bloke we found on the grounds behind it,” Leo hisses.
“Unarmed,” Lily adds.
“Alright, everyone listen up, we need to figure out the problem in front of us. Seriously,” Leo speaks up again.
I sink to the ground and lean against the door. The arguing voices soothe me into a shallow slumber...
I jump up and fall into a slimy plant with tentacles and triangular shaped leaves. What is going on? Oh yeah, I’ve been trapped in the Greenhouse.
I get out of the plant and stand patiently by the door. Well, as patient as anyone would be in my place.
“LILY! ALBUS! GET ME OUT!” I yell.
I barely hear a whisper from Albus, “Is that...James?”
Lily says a very bad word and I faintly hear Scorpius mutter, “Swear words are bad. Swear words make people sad.”
“Just get me out of here,” I sigh and lean against the door.
There are sounds of shuffling, a bright red-orange light, and then a BOOM! before I’m thrown across the classroom. Everything becomes dizzy and blurry. I can hear someone scream, but for the most part, I can’t focus on one thing at a time. Colors pass by. Shapes move around like a demented kaleidoscope. I hear a faint ring in my left ear and feel a sticky substance caked unto the side of my head. The last things I see before blacking out are Madam Pomfrey hovering over my forehead and the faint trickles of sunlight coming through a window.
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