Amazing chapter image by &thenboom @ TDA.
Chapter 14: Attacked and Attacking
“And it just happened, I swear, it was like magic!”
I could punch Alice in the face.
“That’s lovely, Alice, I’m glad you and Frank are together again,” Remus said casually so I didn’t have to.
“Yeah,” I said through clenched teeth. “It’s great.”
We were sitting in the Three Broomsticks, waiting for James and Peter to come back with some butterbeer while Alice rambled on about Frank.
And as awkward as one would think it would be between me and Remus, it wasn’t. Because that’s just Remus.
I miss Sirius.
“Butterbeer all around!” James cheered, putting down three mugs.
“Miracle he hasn’t spilled it all,” Peter mumbled. “You didn’t really have to run, mate.”
James shrugged. “Keeps the blood flowing.”
I rolled my eyes. “Just sit down.”
“So, what shall we discuss this fine evening?” James asked, plopping down next to me.
“Frank and I got back together,” Alice offered.
“I saw a bug on the way here,” Peter said.
“WE WON THE BLOODY QUIDDITCH MATCH!” James shouted.
I took my hand off my ear. “Dear lord, James, was that really necessary?”
Remus nodded. “I think we actually had figured that out, Prongs.”
“Yeah, but did the rest of the pub? You don’t know if they were sleeping or ill or God forbid studying during the match,” James said.
“Alright then,” I said, “but if you just want to talk about all your incredible moves I think we should find something else to talk about.”
James faked hurt. “Elsa!” He said dramatically, “how could you possibly imply that all I can do is talk about myself?”
“She’s got a point, though, mate,” Peter said.
“Too true,” Remus added.
“Why don’t we talk about my amazing commentating skills?”
The entire table collectively groaned.
Didn’t want to talk with them anyway.
Bitter Elsa- 1.
What is this, a football match?
“Actually, I believe what’s really on everyone’s minds is Remus and Elsa, I mean what is going one between you two?” Alice asked.
Yeah, she’s definitely getting it.
“Nothing,” I answered calmly. “We’re good friends. Right, Remus?”
“Yeah, good friends. Great friends. Fantastic friends. You guys are reading too far into this,” Remus said.
“There you have it,” I said.
James leaned over the table. “Then what is with this delightful sexual tension?”
Remus stood up. “-okay, James, time to go!”
“We should go,” I agreed, finishing off my butterbeer and standing. “This is kind of getting-“
I was cut off by an ear piercing scream.
What in the fuck was that?
“What the bloody hell was-?”
Remus had pulled me down behind the table just as a jet of light shot past my ear.
“Now don’t panic. We’ve got training, we can get out of here, we take class for this, right?” Remus said.
Panic? Me? No.
This is my not panicking face.
Oh my god, we’re going to die.
There was a whole commotion going on around us, and suddenly I was very aware that Alice, Peter and James weren’t with us.
“Where are the others?” I hissed. “Remus, where are the others? What’s happening?”
“I dunno, just stay calm.”
Another spell nearly hit Remus and he turned to me. “We need to get out of here,” he said very clearly. “We’re clearly being attacked.”
“No shit,” I said, looking at the door, which was currently blocked off by two men in cloaks and masks like skulls.
Sirius had found his way to Remus and I through the panic and grabbed Remus’ shoulders. “Death eaters. We need to get out of here right now.”
“I’ve gathered that!” I exclaimed. “Now please tell me just what the bloody hell you want me to do about it!”
Me in terrifying situations: absolutely no help.
Sirius looked round. “Where’s James?”
Remus shook his head. “I dunno, okay.”
“Remus, where is James? Where is he?” There was panic in his voice as he shook Remus by the shoulders. “Where?”
You know, usually Remus’ calm dispostion is comforting, but right now I was going to snap his bloody neck if he said ‘stay calm’ one more time.
“I don’t know,” Remus said calmly. “What do we do?”
I grabbed my wand from where it had rolled off the table.
When life hands you lemons, blast that son of a bitch into pieces.
One down, and it looks like about ten to go.
Sirius and Remus got up and followed me, shooting spells everywhere.
“Someone needs to get up to the school,” I said. “Who can apparate?”
Remus looked at me quizzically.
“I’ll get Dumbledore,” I said, before disappearing with a pop.
Yeah, definitely not panicking.
Especially not when my dumb ass forgets that you can’t apparate inside Hogwarts.
I spent about five minutes figuring that out.
“Where’s Dumbledore!” Sirius hissed as soon as I had disapparated from outside the gates and back to the Three Broomsticks.
“I can’t apparate inside the bloody castle you idiot! Not here. That’s where he is, alright, now we’ve got bigger problems!” I screeched back quietly. “Why are you whispering?”
“Elsa, sit down, right now,” Remus said. “If they come back and see you standing, they’re going to be angry. Just do what they say.”
The Death Eaters had apparently gone to the back room and were searching for something and had warned anyone that tried to leave they would be cursed. On the spot.
That’s why when the light came shooting at me I was pretty convinced of three things.
One- I was probably drunk.
Two- I was probably passed out on the couch.
Three- that must have been a hell of a party.
So why did everything burn?
“…well why exactly do you expect me to do that, Collins?”
“Because you’re her brother, you moron!”
“She’s not even conscious!”
“You’re an arse!”
“I’m not going to sit here and listen to this. They warned us, and she got up.”
“So you’re saying it’s her fault then?”
I blinked away the light that was trying to wake me and saw an unfamiliar ceiling. And Alice, hovering like the mother hen she is.
“What’s going on?” I said, sitting up tiredly. “Am I in the hospital wing?”
Alice nodded. I noticed Raffie was next to her.
“We were at the Three Broomsticks. They cursed you. We thought you’d died. But then Dumbledore came and the Death Eaters apparated before he could catch them,” Alice said. Raffie remained silent, and sat in the chair behind them.
“Well what happened then? To, you know, to me.”
Alice did this weird kind of lip thing. “Well Madame Pomfrey was trying to explain it, but I think the best understanding is that it was kind of like a big shock. Like lighting hit you.”
“So? But I’m better, yeah? Why do you have that look on your face? Alice, tell me. Seriously, what’s happened?”
Raffie said it for her by handing me a mirror.
My hair was singed to the absolute bloody roots and my face was completely red. I glanced down and my arms were the same color.
“It’ll go away in about a week. Pretty nasty burns. Shouldn’t hurt though,” Alice said. “As for the hair, Pomfrey tried but we can’t make it grow any longer than that. She says you’ll just have to wait for it to grow out naturally.”
Now, I was going to start having a hissy fit, but I remembered that there was a fucking attack on Hogsmeade, so my hair was probably not first priority.
“Did anyone else get in the way?” I asked, crossing my fingers for the best.
Alice sat down next to Raffie. “A couple of standard broken bones and cuts, but nothing too major.”
“How long have I been here?”
“About a day and a half,” Raffie said. “That’s why it’s so empty. You should have seen everyone yesterday. There was a rumor going around that you’d become genetically mutated so about half the school showed up.”
I smiled and was about to run a hand through my hair.
I suppose it’s a good thing they’d all cleared out.
Because I just burst into tears.
“Hey, sh, it’s okay, love, you’re fine now,” Alice said, taking my hand.
I shook my head. “I’m such a bitch!”
Oh that’s great, Elsa. Wonderful help you are. The only answer you have to anything these days is ‘I’m such a bitch’.
God damn it.
“I’m sorry, I’m just tired and hungry and frustrated,” said, pulling myself together and wiping my eyes. “This is ridiculous.”
“Don’t worry about it, Elsa,” Alice said.
I then noticed that Raffie had decided to leave. Great brother, that boy.
“Did my dad stop by?” I asked, once I had composed myself.
Alice shook her head. “No, sorry.”
I felt my stomach drop. “Oh, no worries. Just wondering.”
She smiled apologetically and handed me a block of Hogsmeade’s finest chocolate. “Guess who it’s from?”
I chuckled and broke a piece off. “I wish he wasn’t so bloody nice.”
Oh Elsa you dirty liar.
“James and Peter and Sirius all stopped by last night after dinner, too. They brought you some daffodils.” Alice gestured to the pot of flowers on the end table.
“That was sweet of them,” I said, “How’d they know daffodils are my favorite?”
Alice gave a sly smile. “Well, Sirius knew, of course.”
“Really?” I squealed.
God I’m pathetic.
She nodded. “Yeah!”
We sat there giggling like a couple of twelve year olds until Madame Pomfrey followed in with a disapproving look.
Now don’t think I wasn’t tempted to stick my tongue out at her. But I didn’t, because mature adults like me don’t act like that. Ever.
Oh the irony.
“Miss DeLestrade, Mr. Potter and Mr. Lupin are here to see you,” she said with a click of her tongue. “Can they come in?”
I nodded. “Go for it.”
“Hey Elsa,” Remus said, peeking from behind the curtain.
James followed in, with a booming, “Elsa, darling!”
I laughed despite myself and sat up a bit more.
“Thank you for the flowers,” I said to James, “And thank you even more for the chocolate.”
James grinned and sat across from Alice and next to Remus.
“Now are you two going to tell me what’s with the incredibly ridiculous smile or do I have to guess?” I asked James, who looked like he was about five years old with candy.
Remus rolled his eyes. “He’s just hexed Snape’s hair bright green….” He trailed off awkwardly. “Sorry.”
“What? Oh…” I reached up and touched my head. “It’s not a big deal, right? I mean, it’ll probably grow back eventually. I’ll just be a troll for a couple of months.”
“And a right ugly one at that,” Alice said.
I threw one of my pillows at her. “Frank teach you that one?” I asked sarcastically.
Alice frowned. “Honestly, he’s not that bad. He even asked me if you were alright, for your information.”
“Oh well, that makes up for everything, then,” I said.
“Really, are we going to have this discussion now?” Alice asked, tapping her foot. “You know he’s really grown up over the past couple of months. He even remembered to take me out on a proper date last night.”
“Your best friend was in the bloody hospital and you went out with your boyfriend?”
“I said he asked about you! He sounded genuinely concered!”
“Emotion? What a development for his pea-sized brain,” James snickered.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with James,” Remus added. “Did you know that he spelled his name ‘F-R-A-N-K-E’ the other day?”
The three of us laughed as Alice sat and scowled.
“Maybe he’s dyslexic or something,” Alice snapped. “Do you regularly make fun of the disabled?”
“Hey guys, Alice is right,” I said with a straight face. “Maybe he’s got ‘I’m-an-idiot-syndrome!”
“Or ‘royal dumbarse disease’!” James suggested.
“Personally I think it’s just stupidity. But official diagnostic stupidity, of course,” Remus said.
I was practically in tears by the time Alice stomped out and Pomfrey told Remus and James to leave, both of them still howling with laughter.
And when it was dark, it felt like I’d never laugh again.
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