Chapter 22

A Clouded Mind

Chris felt the eye's of everyone fall upon her, a beacon in the huge crowd. She held her breath and looked directly at Draco. She wanted to smack that smirk right off his face...No...She wanted to change what she was. The people who were near her moved away, making it so she stood alone in a circle. Alone

She felt the tears swell in her eyes as the awful word repeated itself in her head. She felt suffocated, her breathing coming out in tight, hoarse gasps. She could feel the faces of her classmates turn into expressions of disgust and sheer hatred for what she was.

She fled from the Great Hall. Her secret was out, they all knew what she was. A disgrace. Her past had finally caught up with her...


Marie sat still on her tree branch, her chin resting lightly on her fist. Her eyes followed the broken girl who dashed out of the Great Hall, her face shadowed from her sheet of hair. The crowd roared in excitment and angry shouts. The DJ had put the music back on, the lyrics blaring through the room in an attempt to get the kids dancing again.

She tugged at a piece of her blue hair and chewed on the inside of her lip as Draco jumped down from the speaker and was engulfed by friends. The plan had worked more perfectly than she could have imagined. Of course Draco would have done something about Chris' predicament in a big way. That's why she chose him.

Marie swung her legs and jumped down from her branch, landing gracefully on her feet. She slid a hand into her jeans pocket, her face expressionless, and she made her way out of the Great Hall towards Albus' office.

"No doubt Chris and her friends will be there at some point tonight..."


"MOVE!!! GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!," Harry bellowed. But it was no use. His voice couldn't be heard over top all of the other angry shouts and screams. Malfoy was finished his little parade and the only thing on his mind was where is Chris? What was this 'Tournick' thing that Malfoy was talking about?

"AH?!" Harrys eyes went wide as he felt a whoosh of air blow his raven hair from his forehead. He whipped around and caught a glimpse of multi-colored tresses fly around the corner of the great oak doors.

"CHRIS WAIT!!!," he yelled as the crowd began to thin. People ran over to seats and any secluded spots they could find in the Great Hall, going absolutely insane over what they had just been told.


Harry turned and his emerald eyes landed on Charlie who was running up to him.

"Harry! W-what was all that about!?," he yelled over the noise. "Where's Chris? What was Malfoy talking about!?," he yelled running his hands through his brown hair and looking around the Great Hall nervously.

Harry gritted his teeth and snatched Charlie around the collar of his shirt, pulling his face closer to his own. "No doubt you had something to do with this you bloody prick," he said dangerously, whispering in Charlie's ear. He felt him force a lump in his throat down as he held perfectly still. "Stay the hell away from Chris!"

He threw Charlie's body away from him and dashed out of the Great Hall. He skid to a stop on the stone floor, his green eyes danced wildly around the bare corridors as he tried to figure out which way to go.

"Why wouldn't she tell me about this!? Is it even true?!," he thought frantically.

"The monster went that way..."

Harry lifted his head to the ceiling and stared up at the transparent figure that was the schools forever prankster, Peeves.

"W-what did you say?," Harry asked, out of breath.

Peeves let out a sigh and burst into hysterical laughter, just like the Mad-Hatter himself. "I said the MONSTER went that way!!!" He pointed his white, stubbly finger at the doors that led out into the courtyard.

Harry's hands clenched into fists. "She is not a monster!," he bellowed, swearing on Merlin's grave that if Peeves were not already dead he would have found a way to kill the stingy bastard.

Peeves floated down alittle closer to him, inspecting his fingers. "Oh, your ignorance astounds me my good chap," he said nonchalantly. "She certainly is a most terrible monster. I've actually known for quite some time now."

"Then why didn't you say anything to someone," Harry snapped. He didn't have time for this, but in a very deep place in his heart, he knew that he wanted to hear what Peeves had to say.

The ghost let out another cackling laugh as he swiftly charged down to rest his face inches away from Harry's. "Because I took great joy in watching the little maggot squirm..."

The spectre was gone before Harry could attempt to snatch him around his throat and throttle him to no end. He gritted his teeth and sprinted in the direction Peeves had provided him with. The air on his arms and the back of his neck immediately shot up. The clouds were the most dull shade of gray he had seen all year. A soft, wet sleet fell down from the sky, soaking into the ground and making the grass muddy and cold. There was hardly any wind but the air was crisp and he could feel its bitterness against his skin.

Harry quickly grabbed his wand from his back pocket and tapped his glasses. His visibility enhanced as he thought of Chris in her spaghetti strap shirt. She would be much more cold than he was.

He tightened his shirt around his body and began to walk out into the open. It didn't take him long to find the person he was looking for. Chris sat on the marble edge of the waterfall. The water must have been enchanted because despite the freezing weather it still trickled down from the stone basin, falling gracfully into the pool below.

Harry stared at the girl before he stepped up to her. She was no longer the happy person he was so accustomed to having around him. She no longer sat with an air about her that led people to understand that she was a happy, carefree person. She looked...Old and worn out.

Harry felt tired at the sight of her like this. He didn't want her to be like this. He watched her tiny form shiver furiously, the miniature hairs on her arms standing right up from the bitter cold. The sleet began to fall down a little heavier upon the two.

Harry stepped closer to her, hearing the childlike whimpering and gasps emit from her mouth broke his heart.

"Ah! W-why won't it w-work!" He heard her say in a strained voice. She jumped to her feet in anger, her back towards him as she snapped her fingers furiously. "Damn!...Damnit!!"

"C-Chris," he said quietly through chattering teeth.

The girl whipped around just as a purple flame burst into life, hovering right above her index finger. Harry stared into her face, the both of them delving into eachothers eyes as the tiny flame lost its will and burnt out. Leaving nothing but a dull, grey smoke to rise in wisping strands and disappear. An angry expression over-took her pretty face as she whipped around and tried to sprint for a way out.

"CHR-! CHRIS WAIT!!," Harry bellowed as he lunged at her and snatched her arm in a tight grip. He pulled on her hard and heard a small squeak emit from her mouth. He gasped and loosened his grip immediately, but he did not let go.

"Harry! You let me go right this minute," Chris said in a dangerously quiet voice.

Despite the pounding of his heart, the freezing air that chilled him terribly and the dangerous, frightened glare that she shot at him, he did not let go of her arm. "N-no Chris. Please, tell me whats going on? I want to help you."

Chris let out a shrilly scream that cracked through the night air. She turned and glared wildly at Harry. "YOU CAN'T HELP ME!!!," she screamed, thrashing wildly in his grasp.

Harry gritted his teeth and snatched onto her other arm, pulling her closer into his body to try and subside her fierce struggles. "So, what he said in there...What Malfoy said was true?"

He watched her lip quiver slightly before a sarcastic expression played on her face. "Hm...I don't know Harry. I ran out of there FOR NO REASON AT ALL!," she screeched. Tears streamed down her face, her make-up smudging and running all the way down to her chin.

She started to thrash again in his arms, pushing her hands against his chest trying to free herself. She screamed so loud Harry was afraid that someone inside might hear them.

"CHRIS!! CALM DOWN!," he yelled. Her mind was clouded, she wasn't thinking straight. She was in an angry rampage and if he let go of her she may never come back.

"AH!!! HARRY!!!," she yelled, staring back up at him with fierce eyes. "If you don't let go of me right now I'll fill your lungs with water!"

Harry took a hesitant step back and Chris took no time in making this an advantage. In a split second he could feel her teeth sink into his skin, leaving a shallow imprint. She stomped on his foot, causing him to let her go.

Harry looked up through his shaggy black hair and saw one last glimpse of her thin figure running sprinting through the thick sheets of sleet. He absently brushed his fingers against the throbbing teeth imprints and sprinted on after her.

Why was she being so resistant? Chris was always the happy one, the one who would say that you shouldn't bottle things up for friends and family would surely not judge you and help your way through whatever was going on. What made this situation so different?

Harrys feet slapped against the soggy, wet grass. The sleet turned everything into what seemed like a bowl of cereal that had sat out on the counter for too long, making the sugary little bits go to mush.

He squinted through the thick blanket and whirled around in circles, trying to find some sign of Chris being anywhere near to him. Luck was surely with him that night.

"Humph! ACK!!!"

Harry looked wildly through the sleet upon hearing the noise. Chris must have fallen down or something. He could hear her feet scrambling to get up in the wet grass and he darted in that direction.

However, unbeknowst to him, Chris was only a few feet away. On his third stride he felt himself collide into a crouched figure. His body was flung right over her as he felt his knee drive somewhere into her body, making her utter a tight gasp as the both of them rolled down a soggy, mud laiden hill.

Harry's world spun in circle all around him. He didn't know where he was, he couldn't see anything. Just the feeling of his body been thrown down the hill like a rag doll, the numbing sensation already beginning to spread.

Suddenly, he felt the fragile figure that was Chris topple over his body, the hill throwing her even worse than it was to him as he heard a dull crunch. He tried to yell out her name, but nothing could escape from his tight lungs.

Just as quickly as it began, the rolling stopped. His body met flat ground. From the momentum of the fall, he skidded on his back in the slippery mud. It covered him completely as he finally came to a stop.

Harry heaved great gasps of air, trying to capture the breath back into his body. He slowly propped himself up on his elbows and knees and raised his heavy head. His raven hair fell into his eyes in sloppy mud soaked strands and despite the spell he had put on his glasses, it was still hard to see through the thick blanket of sleet.

"Chris?," came his raspy voice, hardly audible through everything else. His emerald eyes darted around the area. It looked like he was in a muddy ditch, a trench. He raised his head higher and blinked up at the brightly lit school. They two of them must have fallen somewhere behind the great castle.

His muscle's ached; Quidditch practice's had nothing on this pain. He slowly rose to stand on two feet, cupping his hands around his mouth and taking a deep breath he yelled in the silence, "CHRIS!! PLEASE!! ANSWER ME!!!"

He stopped and strained his ears to listen. The sleet felt like tiny ice pellets against his skin. The wind, that had decided to pick up, was Satan's breath that chilled him to every fiber of his body, begging him to stop and leave for the girl he was looking for was surely not looking for him.

He cupped his hands around his mouth again and louder this time he yelled. "CHRIS!!! WHERE ARE YOU!!!!???...Please?" He lifted his mud-soaked trainer and took a step. The grips on the bottom were useless against the slippery mud and he felt his body keel over as he landed face first on the ground once again.

He grumbled and gripped at the mud, feeling it slip between the cracks in his fingers as he brought his legs up and under his stomach. He propped himself on his elbows for a second time, his back arched as he stared with dull eyes down at the mud. He coughed until he felt like his lungs would come up and out of his throat as he watched the small clumps of snow fall and fade into the dirt.

"It's my fault she's gone," he muttered to himself, as he ran his hands through the thick mud that coated his hair. "I had her...I had in my arms and I let her get away."


Harry's eyes sprang open at the sound of the croaking voice that used to be so sweet to his ears. He lifted his head quickly and blinked up at her. Tears streamed down her face, making little sidewalks from the mud that was being washed away. Her hair which used to be so beautifully curled now lay matted down against her face and neck, the small clip had disappeared. Her once vibrant eyes were now dull and dreary; it looked like all the happiness in her had been drained away, her eyes being a window to it all. Her lips were red as her pearly teeth chattered behind them.

His eyes slowly landed upon her shoulder which looked lower than it should have been. Her hand clenched around it in a protective manner as he watched her body shudder from the cold.

"C-Chris," he gasped as he hoisted himself as quickly as he could to his feet. "Chris, you're hurt. We have to get you to the hospital-..."

Her hand dropped away from her shoulder and her head hung down to the ground. "D-don't say that," she said in a quiet, whimpering tone. "Don't say that."

Harry frowned and took a step forward, reaching a steady hand out to her. "Chris..."

"No!," she said a little more forcefully, taking a step back. "D-don't come near me."

Harry gritted his teeth. "Why?! Why can't I come near you," he asked raising his voice slightly. He was getting fed up with this charade. He was getting sick of this game they were playing and he wanted to end it right now.

Chris began to shake even more fiercly from the cold. "D-didn't you hear what he said in there?! What Malfoy called me? A Tournick!"

Harry threw his hands up. "But I don't care because I don't know what that is! Whatever it is doesn't matter to me!!"

Chris lifted her head and glared at him, her eyes blazing with sheer rage. "BUT THATS JUST IT HARRY!!! IF YOU KNEW WHAT THE TITLE EVEN MEANT THEM YOU WOULDN'T EVEN BE HERE!!!!!!," she screamed, her voice a firecracker in the silence.

"THEN TELL ME!," Harry bellowed back at her, drawing a surprised expression from her. He took a step forward closer to her. "IF YOU'RE SO SURE THAT I WOULDN'T BE HERE THEN GO AHEAD AND TELL ME WHATEVER THE BLOODY HELL IT MEANS!!!"


"AND WHY THE HELL NOT!!!??," Harry screamed back in her face as he charged at her and towered over her tiny frame. She trembled under him, her eyes never landing on his. Instead she kept them at the ground.


The angered scream echoed in the night air and all around Harry seemed to vanish as the girl in front of him spluttered and cried like a 5 year old. The comment speared him right through like a sword. He tried to speak, tried to say something to her but all that came out of his mouth were small croaks of words. He felt like a gaping fish.

The only thing audible were her screams and wails in the cold night air as he watched torrents of salty tears stream down her face.

"T-THATS RIGHT!!!," she wailed, snapping her fingers in his face. He absently noticed a purple flame appear and then suddenly disappear from the palm of her hand. She gasped and spluttered before more words poured like bitter honey from her lips. "I-I-I CAN'T LOSE YOU!!! I refuse to lose you because of something like this!," she yelled at him. Her eyes were wide, the tears clinging to her eyelashes and over flowing from the corners of her eyes.

Harry stared at her in shock, his green eyes wide as his curtain of black hair draped infront of them. He took another step forward, holding his hand out to her. She took a frightened step back again. Harry dropped his hand back down to his side, her simple actions spearing him through the stomach. He wanted to understand this...This pain she was going through. Why couldn't she just trust him and let him help her. He knew he could if she would only just tell him what was going on.

He stared down at her. She looked like a lost, scared puppy; left alone in the rain, forgotten. The very thought made his stomach twist and not in a good way. A drew a deep breath and took a step towards her once again. He wouldn't let her leave until she told him what was going on. He would help her get through this, even if it killed them both.

Her body shook dangerously as she stared wide-eyed down at the ground; she did not take a step back this time.

Harry took another shuddering step towards her, his foot sinking into the deep mud. Still she did not move back from him. Harry gulped down a large wad of saliva that had accumulated in the back of his throat as he took one last step forward. His body stood, now, just infront of hers. If he had taken one more step, he would have surely knocked her down.

He could feel her shaking furiously beneath him, scarcely feeling the warmth that was left in her body radiating towards him. If they stayed out in the cold any longer, the both of them would catch hypothermia.

"Chris," he said barely above a whisper, his eyes studying the top of her head. His voice didn't come out like he remembered it. His words got caught in his throat, it was a sheer struggle to make them come up and out of his mouth and even then they sounded strained and frog-like.

Chris slowly tilted her head up and he was unexplainably proud of her to look him in the eye when she was obviously so terrified. Her violet eyes, which were much more vibrant coming off of her pale skin, were glazed with tears that had been hoplessly held back. Her wide, innocent stare sent his stomach into a frenzy as her one hand stayed clasped over her heaving chest; the other hung down loosely by her side because of the odd position of her shoulder.

"Chris...I'm not going to leave you," he said, his voice more dry than cardboard. The sleet, the trench...Everything around them faded away into darkness as their gazes enchanted the other completely. "I-I would never leave you for something like this. It doesn't matter what it is...I don't care. If I weren't around you...I don't know what I would do..."

Harry felt the words pouring out of his mouth. He thought that someone, not him, should be saying these things. That he was never the type to let words with such a meaning drip off from his lips. But for the first time, he felt that these were the right words to be saying. That these words should be coming from him...And that it was the right time to be saying them.

Chris' mouth hung open slightly and almost involuntarily she took a small step back.


Her foot slipped ever so slightly in the mud and her body fell to the ground with a loud splash. Harry stared down at her, his face pained as a small gasp escaped her lips and her hand wrapped protectively around her dislocated shoulder. Her tiny form curled up into a tight ball and she didn't seem to notice, or care, that she was quite exposed. Luckily, Harry didn't notice either.

She bowed her head as tiny gasps emitted from her throat, but no tears fell from her eyes. She had been fresh out of those long ago. Harry slowly fell to his knees, the mud splattered up all over his jeans and shirt, not that it did much for the clothes were already coated. He still towered over her even in this position.

"Chris," he yelled in a choked voice, having found its strength. "Please, please....Please!" It was all he could say as his head bowed down as even he struggled to keep tears from brimming against his eyes.

The sleet pounded down upon the two of them, crouching in the mud but it went unnoticed. Harry felt the most extreme feeling surge through his body. He squinted his eyes shut tightly and gritted his teeth together. He lurched forward and snatched the fragile girl in a tight, loving hug, being as aware of her shoulder as was possible. He gave into the burning urge to touch her, to feel her presence beneath his hands. Her tiny form slammed against his and he buried his fingers in her ruined hair, his mouth breathing against her slender neck.

A salty, uninvited tear slipped down Harrys cheek as her chest heaved against his. He suddenly felt her good arm wrap around his body, her fingers digging deeply into his back as she let out dry sobs into his shoulder. He silently thanked Merlin, grateful that she was finally giving in. She was a stubborn one, that was for sure...But he wanted to have to put up with that...For however long they had.

He suddenly felt her cold body move away from his. Only by the smallest amount so that he could see her face and she could see his. She looked directly into his green eyes, their arms still about eachothers bodys as their legs sunk slowly into the deepening mud. The temperature must have dropped for Harry could see her breath emit from her mouth and mingled in with his own.

She closed her eyes and moved forward silently to rest her forehead against his, shielding his lightning bolt scar from the entire world for just that moment.

"It's not your fault," she whispered softly, answering his question from before. "It will never be your fault..."

Harry felt oddly calm. Even his heart beat wasn't picking up like he thought it might at a time such as this. His hand tightened around her back and his fingers tangled themselves even more deeply in her mud covered tresses. The feeling of her against him was calming and he wanted it to stay like that. Her hair tickled is neck as the tip of his nose caressed her cold cheek.

His lips hovered just above her's. He could feel her breath coming out more rythmically as he unconsciously closed his eyes moved forward to apply the tiniest amount of pressure upon her cracked, worn lips.

He suddenly felt her head slip away from his. His eyes flickered open as her lips which had only brushed softly against his parted away as well. Her fingers which not so long ago had pressed so deeply into his skin now only left the imprints as they fell away as well.

"Chris?!," he croaked, pulling away to get a better look of her.

Her body fell away from his completely and made a dull thud as it hit the mud. She had solidly fainted, for she had landed on her hurt arm without even flinching.

For the first time the sounds of the night came back to Harry and the sleet felt just as bitterly cold as it had when he first stepped out into the night. The wind had picked up to a terrible speed and it whipped his stiff hair about his face. He heaved a great sigh and stared up into the black sky, the stars had not given up the fight to stay seen and they now shone brightly in the cloudless sky; the sleet, as well, was beginning to disappear for the time being. What a battle it had fought.

"Mr. Potter..."

Harry turned in his position on the ground and gazed to the top of the hill from which he had fallen not so long ago. Dumbledore's voice floated down like feathers dancing on the wind and invaded his mind. "I suggest you bring yourself as well as Miss Tailor out of that mud hole and to my office as quickly as possible." He paused, waiting a moment before speaking again. Harry distantly wondered if he had seen what happened with Chris.

"There are many a things we need to discuss before tomorrow comes."

Harry thought he heard a trace of fear and anxiety in the old mans voice, but he hoped beyond anything that it was a figment of his imagination. His eyes left the hill and fell down upon Chris whose face was still prostrate in the mud. He sighed forlornly and hoisted himself from the ground, carefully picking Chris up by the waist and cradling her in his arms. He wiped the mud from her cheeks to reveal pale, plastered looking skin.

It was going to be a very long night.


A thick, grey blanket spread across the endless sky, permitting no light from the moon or the stars to reach down to Chris and attempt to warm her freezing body; not that they could anyways.

She rubbed her arms furiously as her teeth chattered, but not even the friction could make the small hairs on her arms lay still. She sat in the middle of what she thought to be a gigantic plate of nothing but concrete stone. She must have been high up for the peaks of the mountains that surrounded her could just barely been seen beyond the grey clouds.

Tears streamed down her pale cheeks as she tried to remember how she had gotten to this desolate place and how long she had been there for, but it was no use.

Chris cupped her numb hands around her mouth and blew warm air into them. But the wind hit the moisture so bitterly that it only made them feel colder.

"W-w-where am I," she spoke the question softly again for the fifth time, already knowing that she wasn't going to get an answer.

The wind whistled through the mountains and she slowly lifted herself to her feet; letting the wind make her hair dance dangerously about her face. The clothes that clung to her body were soaking wet and covered in mud, but she didn't remember ever having fallen into a mud puddle.

"I-I wanna g-go home," she whispered as she stumbled around in a sort of disoriented way that made her look like she was a puppet on strings.

Tripping and falling over her own feet, she slowly made her way over to the edge of the hard platform to see if there was any way of getting down. The wind blew so fiercly that she was afraid it might blow her right off the end. Closer and closer she came until she finally stood over the edge.

Taking a deep breath that numbed and stretched her lungs, Chris leaned carefully to gaze over the edge with dull, purple eyes. She saw nothing but darkness. It crept up the side of the mountain like a monster of shadow and fear.

She screamed and stumbled backwards, falling over her feet as she scrambled to distance herself as far from the edge as possible. With each heaving gasp her lungs screamed in pain. Her muscles cried as she moved.

Chris sat on the ground and rocked back and forth in a tight ball, her eyes wide with fear. They never left the edge of the platform. She could see it. It was a terrible monster. Its long spindly fingers reached out to her, trying to grasp her body and soul. It crept towards her, waiting to pounce like a cat hunting its prey.

"No...," she whispered, shutting her eyes tightly as if that would keep her safe from this terrible creature. Incoherent words seemed to filter through the cracks in the mountains now. Carried along like feathers in the wind. They became louder and louder...


The one word boomed through the silent air and Chris' eyes snapped open wide. The voice was not one she had heard before. A womens, both beautiful and terrible at the same time.


The darkness. The shadow. The booming words filling the air was too much for Chris to handle. She screamed as loudly as she could, driving all the air from her lungs and smashed her hands over her ears, trying to stifle the accusing words.


The words still found their way into Chris' head. Invading her mind and driving her mad. She screamed through the air again as the darkness became thicker. Her lungs her being compressed together like an accordian. She couldn't breath. The monsters in the shadows were suffocating her, trying to take her for themselves.


The word shattered through the air again, louder this time like a gong crashing as the mallet swung against it.

Chris didn't scream this time. The lump in her throat had cut off her air supply and all she could was cry and try to drown out the noise. "Please," she whispered in a scared voice, curling up on the cold concrete; drawing her knees up to her chin.

She felt the long fingers close around her throat, like silk sheets, as they squeezed harder and harder.

She gritted her teeth togther and her mouth filled with saliva.



Okay! Yea!!! I know, I finally got this chapter out and it is not a bad length if I do say so myself. Although, I'm worried about the quality... ;) I am terribly sorry about the wait though. But there are some reasons as to why its been so long and I really hope you all understand.
First off, my dad was in the hospital for quite sometime on account of chest pains. After some tests we learned that he would have to go in for an angioplasty. For those who may not know what that is, it's sort of like a stint that doctors can put in arteries to open them up bigger so blood can pass through easier. And now we know that sometime during the summer he will have to go in for bypass surgery which I hear is quite common.
And school in general. It's nearing the end of the year very quickly and I've been trying my best to pull up my math mark so that I don't have to write an exam at the end of the year. Let me tell you math is not something that comes easy to me, lol! So, yea. There's my little explanation on how things have been lately. Other than that, fighting writers block is what I do in my spare time. I really need to get inspired with this story but I have no idea what to look to for it...I'm sure I'll come up with something though. :)
Thanks so much for reading, you know how much I appreciate it and what I appreciate even more is your opinions *wink, wink* Lol, maybe I'll find some motivation in those. Oh and before I forget, I've become a trusted author now! No more waiting for validations but I've got to be on the ball now people! :) Peace!

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