Chapter 7: Accident!
Erela noticed something off about her fellow Hufflepuff, Landon. There were days he didn't come to class and come back with some cuts on those days. Not only that, whenever he made friends, it usually didn't last long. It was probably no bid deal anyway.
Erela went to the library to go work on her homework and find some books on half-breeds for Defense Against the Dark Arts essay she had to do. Michael ran off to go collect his homework from the Slytherin dungeons and join her as soon as he could. Erela found two free seats and occupied the empty seat next to her with her bag for Michael. She opened up her books on half-breeds, her notebook to make an outline, and blank parchment to use for the final draft essay.
She spread her books on half-breeds all over the table and immediately started scrawling notes into her notebook on what she was planning on using for her paper before her eyes darted around from book to book on useful information. Erela noticed she had forgotten to open a book and flicked to a random page before going to another book on heritage. After noting on given powers that half-breeds inherited from their non-human parent, she looked into the new opened book and started reading—
Wait . . . her eyes read through the sentence and realized that book had nothing to do with her prompt. Erela looked to the cover and didn't find a title. Weird. She read through the pages again and found the term, "curses."
A book on the history of the Dark Arts?
She kept reading on, out of curiosity, not interest. Page after page, curses were mentioned, but never said the incantations and few of them explained what they did. All in all, they were all to harm the victim.
Erela then read the title of one of the chapters: "Unforgivable Curses," when—
Erela jumped and let out a little squeal and looked up at Michael. "Geez, you scared me," she said and closed the book.
"You were really into that book, weren't you?" the boy teased her and took his seat next to her.
"You can say that . . ." she mumbled and looked through the books she had in front of her, all to get what she learned out of her head. Unforgivable curses? She was curious about what they were and what they did, all in order to avoid using them, of course.
Michael and Erela dove into their school work, asking each other questions here and there on where to find the answers to their work. Sometimes they even cracked a joke about the professors when they got too bored of the schoolwork. She finished her essay and moved onto what she needed to do for Potions. It was a list of ingredients before going back into the next class.
"Dang it! I forgot to do that!" Erela exclaimed before Michael covered her mouth and shushed her. "You better get them now before class starts then. I'll explain to the professor that you're not feeling well."
"Thank you," she sighed and hugged Michael. It was only flying class she was missing. Skipping a day wouldn't drastically change her grade. Skipping class and searching for ingredients during break would save her life before going into Potions tonight.
They were learning how to make the cure for boils, so she needed to get porcupine quills and some snake fangs. Some ingredients the professor had already in the classroom, but some of the things they needed could be found around the school as well, so the assignment was being able to identify them and bring them into class before brewing a potion.
It was such a hassle and most of the time it required getting dirty. Slugs were on the list again, which made Erela cringe in disgust. She hated touching them, the slimy residue always gave her goosebumps. Thank heavens for Michael always being her Potions partner.
Erela ran all the way down to the lake and stopped at the bank before taking in deep breaths. Dang it . . . she hated having to do it. Erela started flipping over rocks and picking up slugs she managed to find before putting them in a jar she luckily had left in her bag. Better than keeping the slugs in the pockets of her robe. She managed to find a total of ten slugs before going off to find the next ingredient.
The Herbology professor, Dorea Macnair, often had plants that students needed, so she was okay with students coming in and out of the greenhouses to pick some ingredients they needed as long as it didn't ruin the growing process for the plants.
Erela didn't really need to get anything from the greenhouses, but she might as well get some that she remembered they often used for Potions just in case she forgot to collect ingredients again. She picked some branches of lavender and valerian sprigs when she heard the voices of students somewhere close by. Probably other students collecting for Potions as well. She picked a couple more when she heard something hit the wall of the greenhouse. She jumped and looked through the window, finding one of the students had been pushed.
She immediately saw the yellow and black tie around the student's next and ran out the door to check on her fellow Hufflepuff. "Come ooon. Just do it, mutt," one of the Slytherin students sang to the boy.
The Hufflepuff boy spat at the boy and the messy haired Slytherin roughly shoved the student back to the wall. "Hey!" she called and approached the student.
The boys looked to Erela, the Hufflepuff student being Landon. "What, you're going to get a girl to defend you?" the second Slytherin boy laughed.
Landon shoved the first boy away from him. "Hey hey hey!" Erela started and walked in between them. "Quit it," she said and looked to Landon, knowing that if they had been caught, points would be deducted for fighting. Blood stained the corner of his lips and Erela shot the Slytherin boy a dark look.
"What?" the first Slytherin chuckled. Erela pursed her lips, her hard glare still on the boy before she looked away and took Landon's wrist. "Hey, I was just playing with him," the boy called and tugged Erela's dark brown hair roughly.
"Ow!" Erela growled and shot a look at the boy again, hoping he would just drop dead already when the boy started screaming and held his head in between his hands. A high pitched screech was echoing in Erela's head and deafening her ears, but she ignored it as she watched the boy double over and covered his ears, letting out a painful cry.
What the heck was wrong with him?
"What is the meaning of this!?" A voice of authority called out to the four of them.
Erela blinked and looked to professor Mcnair who was approaching the four first years. "We—we were just talking to him when—"
"He's lying! They was bullying him," she interrupted and pointed to Landon.
"It's fine . . ." Landon sighed.
"We were just talking to him when SHE cursed him," the second Slytherin accused.
"What!? No she didn't!" Landon jumped in when Erela froze. Cursed him?
"It's true! She looked at him funny and he started screaming in pain. LOOK! His ears are bleeding!"
Erela looked to the first boy and saw that his ears were actually bleeding. No . . . no, she didn't curse him. She didn't know any curses to do something like that. "I swear . . . I didn't do anything," Erela said and looked to the Herbology professor. "I—I—I—"
"That's enough, Ms. Harris." Mcnair looked to the Slytherin boys and said, "I hope to see you two in my office later today. As for you, Ms. Harris, follow me."
"But I didn't—"
Erela cringed and followed the professor just behind her. She looked back at Landon, who was nudged again by the Slytherin before they ran off, and looked back at the professor who was leading her to the castle. Erela tried to ignore the watchful eyes that followed her as she walked down the halls of the castle toward the headmistress' office. Oh god, why was she going to see the headmistress!? She didn't curse the boy!
Professor Mcnair said the password and went up the stairs that the hippogriff statue had created to a wide wooden door. The professor knocked on the door before it opened before her. Erela's heart was racing all too fast, it felt as if in a couple more beats she would drop dead before even discussing what had happened.
"Professor Ridgebit," professor Mcnair called.
The headmistress had appeared from the back of the room and looked toward Erela. "What is the problem, professor?" she asked.
"I caught Ms. Harris with three other students and one of them accused her of cursing one of the students," she said.
Erela wanted to cry out she didn't do anything. But she was afraid her intimidating Herbology professor would silence her again for even trying to explain.
Headmistress Ridgebit looked at Erela. "Is this true, Ms. Harris?"
She immediately shook her head. "I swear. I didn't do anything to him. My wand was in my bag. I—I was merely trying to walk away from the fight with my housemate when one of the boys tried to stop us. Suddenly he started screaming, I don't know what happened," she babbled.
"Easy, little one," Ridgebit told her and sat at her desk. "Is that all?"
"Yes, ma'am . . ."
"Are you sure?"
"That's all that I know, ma'am . . ."
Ridgebit's yellow eyes looked toward the Herbology professor curiously then back at Erela. "Do you remember thinking of anything before the boy started screaming?"
What? What did that have anything to do with the subject? "Um . . . just that I wanted them to stop picking on Mr. Wisenburg," she answered.
"Was that your exact thought . . .?"
Erela stared at the headmistress, frozen to the spot.
"Ms. Harris . . . one of the students had told me that they found a first year from Hufflepuff reading a book that was from the Restricted Section. That student had accidentally left the book and had come back to return it when they found you looking through the book," she started. Erela went pale and her heart had skipped a beat. "You understood the topic the book was written about, yes?"
Erela nodded. "Yes . . . I didn't know it was from the Restricted Section. And . . . and I read some pages to know what I mustn't use. For that purpose only, I swear . . ." she said timidly.
"I understand that cursing that boy wasn't your intention," Ridgebit sighed.
"But I didn't say any incantations. I don't know any curses—"
"But you willed it with your mind," she interrupted her. "Some students were gifted a power without the use of a wand. Mostly it was something they didn't know how to control and that is why students, such as yourself, come here. It is in order to control your powers. Unfortunately . . . your wandless power is to harm people . . ."
Erela's chest panged and she went as pale as a ghost. Was that what Ollivander was warning her? Was that why her wand had chosen her? It recognized her gift to curse people?
"You may go, Ms. Harris . . . You will come off with a warning. No points will be deducted for an accident you did not realize you caused," the headmistress said.
Erela nodded before she turned around and left the office.