Chapter 23- Dead meat doesn’t bleed
"You know, we could get back at them, let off some bouncing bombs in their office. Let them really get a shock."
I look up, Sarah stuffing a piece of sausage into her mouth and then chewing, her hand tapping on the table.
"No point." I reply, glancing back down at my book and flipping the page, the words not really sinking in.
"Well. We have to do something Ophelia, they cant sit and crush your face and then expect everything to be fine and dandy." She pushes, sitting forward in the bench seat.
I look up again, a fire dancing behind Sarah's eyes, eager to start some shit.
I sigh, when was the last time I had that fire?
Oh yeah, before I went to bed the day Draco left me.
The past week I had spend solely with Sarah. Feeling guilty for abandoning her. She let me cry to her about Draco. She cursed louder than anyone when I told her about Bellatrix, swearing that she would make her drop to the ground dead. She is my best friend, and I apologised to her profusely when I admitted I had forgotten that.
"Sarah, there is nothing we can do. You know what's began happening now. Everything has gone to shit, and plus, I've dealt with worse." And I shift my eyes to my sleeved arm, feeling the wonky eyes of Bellatrix's art project protruding through the cotton almost like it was taunting me.
She scowled and stabbed her slab of steak with her fork, picking it up without cutting it, using her teeth to tear bits off.
I groan watching her eat it "Why cant they make sure the beef is actually cooked" I gagged watching her tear into it and chew.
"It is cooked." She states, eating another piece. "Plus, after you've bled out meat, its dead..so therefore, you cant feel ill at it "still being bloodied" it isnt.. its just medium raw."
I gag again, looking down at my book, looking back up when Sarah gasps.
"Perhaps, we can get revenge on Draco then?"
"Does he have any secrets that he would die if anyone found out? What about stealing his boxers and hanging them around the Slytherin common room?" She suggests, a smirk playing on her lips when I smile....The idea is tempting.
"No point" I finally breath out, flipping the page of my book again, taking a sip of my coffee. "He would just take them down and then look at me as though I was the one who ripped his heart out. Like what he's been doing since last week. We haven't so much as spoke since he left me. And sure he seen my eye but he didn't even react, it was like he didn't care. Emotions just....gone"
Sarah sighs, putting her chin into the palm of her hand. "Why don't you get a rebound?" She explains, eyes bright as if she had figured out the answer to the universe.
I cringe "Absolutely not. I just want to study, eat, keep my head down so I don't get my fucking nose caved in by either of the Carrows... And besides, I might take a trip into London at the weekend, grab some more earphones and make sure they stay hidden. I miss dancing around in my room."
We sit in silence for a few moments, before Sarah speaks. "Remember when we used to make up silly dances in your room? And you would get so angry that I wouldn't get each step right, or that I couldn't point my toe or flex my heel. Your teacher voice would come out and it would be so funny. Your dad had to eventually break up the dancing before we started fighting."
We both laugh, thinking about the memories of us twirling and moving around, some more gracefully.
My laughing fades as a lump forms in my throat. My mouth dry and cracked.
"I feel bad for laughing Sarah. Like any time I do I forget for just a few seconds, but then it all comes back and I mentally apologise to my dad for being the tiniest but happy for just a second."
Sarah sighs, reaching across and rubbing my hand. "Everything is all fucked up now Ophelia, we deserve to laugh. Even if others cant laugh with us."
I nod, swallowing the lump, taking her hand and giving it a squeeze before retuning to my book.
Suddenly the doors swing open and the air grows cold and suffocating, making everyone snap their heads towards the noise.
Snape enters the room, his robe billowing around him as he glides down the main pathway and stops behind the announcement podium...Dumbledore's podium.
"In light of the death of Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts has now run under my rein, therefore ensuing that all lessons will be improved to allow...extra learning to take place."
Snape continues to drone on, his voice echoing around the hall that used to be filled with lights and cheer. Now it was filled with dread, the final signs of hope slowly dying as each person loses the fight in Harry Potter.
Snape continues talking, how voice becoming static noise in my ears as I turn back to my book, only catching snippets of his words.
"New dawn at Hogwarts".
"Carrows will remain in power, punishing as they see fit."
"I shall do my best to honour Dumbledore and his ways of teaching."
A bench scrapes back, Seamus Finnigan standing, nostrils flaring as he glares at Snape.
"You'll never be the man that Dumbledore was, he'd he shocked at you. Dumbfounded that you're one of them."
Snape continues to talk ignoring him, only raising his voice to speak over him.
"I entrust that all students- You allowed him to die Snape- Will follow the rules we will set out, and if - You allowed these bastards to murder Dumbledore, the greatest man ever- IF anyone is to disobey than punishment will be given to- you're a coward, a selfish coward. You are a stain on the legacy of Dumbledore- A memorial to Dumbledore has been allocated in the main corridor-"
"You're a murderer"
Snape went silent and turned to Seamus and the table.
By this point people had stood with Seamus: Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom.
While some from other tables had also stood. Luna Lovegood, Hannah Abott.
They stood in unison with Seamus, an army of angry teenagers.
"Dumbledore was weak." Replies Snape, almost matter-of- fact.
It happens in slow motion, the white spark hits the side of the wall in slow motion, small sprays of the stone sparking out and hitting Snape behind the ear. He turns to see Ginny Weasley holding her wand, eyes wide and blazed her breathing rapid and deep. Anger fuelled her, common sense had left the forefront.
Time returns again as a purple jet of light shoots out of the wand of a death eater behind Snape, the light barely missing Ginny as Neville pulls her down.
Chaos erupts. Students stand and an uproar of screams and cries bellow from their voice boxes, wands whipping out of their robes as the windows in the hall shatter, smoke appearing as 8 death eaters apparate into the hall. Back up.
Screams Neville, jumping up onto the table and pointing his wand at a masked death eater, the white light throwing him 10 feet back against the wall with a crunch as Neville jumps off the table.
Lights erupt around the hall, walls ricocheting left and right as spells are shouted and screamed at each other.
Students verses death eaters.
Good verses bad.
I duck as a orange light whizzes above my head, the heat tickling my neck as I stand and turn, mind racing.
Seamus is locked onto the back of a death eater, his arms flailing trying to get the manic boy off him. Dragging him to the ground Seamus kicks him hard, spinning and firing a spell at the death eater who had Ginny by the hair.
At the other end of the hall, ravenclaw students are casting spells at a fast speed, huddled in a circle to protect each other as spells jump against their protection charm, their wands flicking continuously as a table splinters to my right, food and crockery smashing and cascading across the floor.
People had had enough.
"Stupefy" Sarah stands her wand cast, a death eater hurtling back against the teachers table as she lowers her wand.
"I'm not having the Griffindors take all the fun" she shouts above the riots.
She flicks her wand again, casting ropes around another death eater as four more hurl into the hallway.
I run towards the door, eager to get a different view, a view of HIM. Is he here? IS he fighting with them?
I sprint, feeling a curse hit my shoulder causing me to spin and fall to the floor.
I spin onto my front and stand back up, spinning around to see who cast it.
She stands about ten feet away from me, her ginger hair easily recognised braided down her back as she removes her death eater mask.
"Fae?" I question, shock pulsing down my body.
She circles me, her eyes darting up and down my body. This is not the girl I became friends with. This is not the person who showed me how to french plait or how to create the perfect daisy chain. This was someone cursed with blackness, evil and torment. She was no longer my best friend. Heck, she was no longer a friend. But an enemy.
She twirls her wand, aiming at me and firing out a burst of wordless spells, each one being blocked by my own spells, the blood rushing around in my ears.
"Fae please, stop. Why have you done-"
I dart to the left as a hex blows towards me, her teeth bared and evil. She was not going to allow me to leave easy handed.
"Reducto!" I shout, watching the table beside her explode and her hand come up to cover her eyes. I take this moment and turn on my heels, sprinting down the hall.
I don't hear the spell Fae shouts out, but it hits my in the leg and I crumble, the ice cold feeling snaking up my leg making me grit my teeth.
I turn and watch as Fae saunters towards me, wand raised.
"I always remember you and Sarah talk about him, how dark he was. I always remember listening to stories and the gulps of fear and disgust when his name was mentioned. But nobody understands. YOU don't understand Ophelia. If you follow him, you live. And after what happened during the summer, I don't plan on being dog food."
I look at her, my brain dazed. "Fae, I lost my dad too. But I'm not following Voldemort."
"Your father died AFTER he ratted out MY father" She screams. Her hair falling in front of her face, a miniature Bellatrix.
I stand, legs shaking not leaving her\ eyesight.
"No fae, my dad died because he was there." I watch her circle me again, a lion stalking it prey. My leg still tingling from the hex she threw at me.
"No Ophelia. Your dad ratted out my father, and because of that he was killed by Fudge, and then we were sent to kill your father. It all happened to fast, but I will never forget your fathers face as his life left his body."
I shake my head not believing her. "How do you know this" I choke out.
She laughs, standing with her arms folded. "I was there. I went with my father that day, he asked me to and I went reluctantly, and then suddenly people were storming the canteen we were in, shouting out my fathers accusations. The use of dark magic, conspiring against the ministry, helping the dark lord."
She rhymed off the apparent charges, using her wand to move pieces of cutlery and wood out of her path as she walked closer to me.
"Your dad stood next to Fudge, he had ratted out MY father.
My dad fought back of course. I remember being so scared, terrified as he screamed at me that I had to stay alive. And then suddenly he pointed his wand at your dad, and killed him. Honestly Ophelia, if you blinked you would have missed it. But suddenly Fudge was spotting the killing curse at my dad and then he too was dead.
And then, Honestly shit got worse! And then, so many people began popping into the room, all wearing masks. Firing spells at the ministry while Fudge panicked and disappeared."
I inhale the information, my thoughts swimming in disbelief.
"Fae, if my father told Fudge about your father, then he was obviously doing something wrong."
Fae screamed, and stalked a further four paces closer to me, her face contorted with rage.
"NO you fool, he was surviving. Keeping me and my mother alive. And once the death eaters had had finished off the few in the ministry, Arthur Weasley being left to live to spread the message: I was escorted to the big man himself and suddenly I had a tattoo and a vow to protect him and take revenge.
She lifted up her sleeve, the death mark staring back at me, a replica of Draco's. Her pale skin taunt against it. It didn't belong on her body, but it was there. And she welcomed it.
"I promised I would get revenge Ophelia, and I couldn't stand seeing you. And then Lucas was killed. YOU killed him, you couldn't just leave him alone and just BE."
She rolls down her sleeve and places her mask back onto her face, taking a fighting stance.
"Listen Fae I will fight back I begin. But I can barely finish the sentence when..
"Impedimenta" she shouts, waving her wand. The light shoots out, and I duck and whip back my wand prepared.
"Oppugno" I shout, flicking my wand. The swallows erupt from my wand in a flash, fluttering up into the air and then darting back down towards Fae, two of them attacking her and slicing her arm before she expels a shield charm, causing the birds to melt like butter against it.
I turn and dart behind a chair, catching my breath for what feels like a mili-second before Fae shouts
"Confringo" and the chair shatters against my back, the heat shoving me forward into a pile of spilled mashed potato.
"Give up yet?" She questions, shifting her wand to the other hand.
My head hurts, but I force myself up, flicking the mashed potato off my hand, grabbing my wand tighter and aim it at Fae, anger sprouting from my chest and down my arm electrifying my magic.
"Sectumsempra" I bellow, the spell cracking out my chest.
I could feel the dark magic lick my ribs as the magic sped out of me, the force of it blowing my hair back.
Time slows again for the second time that evening.
Like a ritual, Fae glances to the side for a fraction of a second and then waves her wand in a pattern, catching my spell seconds before it collided into her, directing it away from herself and hitting the wall to me left.
The wall screamed, and I turn, bile rising in my throat.
Sarah crumples to the ground, blood spilling from her top, her throat gargling and blood spilling from her wounds as she thrashes around, eyes wide and pained.
I scream, my chords scratching to a halt making the scream cracked and fired.
I stand and run towards her, Fae dissipating into the crowd, his smile imprinting behind my eyes.
"Sarah, Sarah oh my god what did I do" I scream.
She convulses and gargles, her hair now a deep red. Five slashes are across her body, the blood drawing a ink blotched map on her top. I push my hand into the one across her stomach, my hand drenching in blood in seconds as she looks at me, her moth opening and closing trying to speak.
"Shhh Sarah don't talk, you'll be fine. You'll be okay just stop moving and Ill fix you"
My mouth dries and my wand feels foreign in my hand as I begin to chant the healing spell, my voice shaking as I keep my eyes glued to the slashes. They don't heal, instead Sarah coughs again, blood spilling from the corner of her mouth as she shivers.
"Heal damn it. Heal for fuck sake" I cry out, shaking my head and then trying again, willing the spell to work.
The shouting and screaming fades into one jumble of noise, the gargling of Sarah taking the forefront of my senses.
Her skin has grown a sickly grey, her eyes glazing over periodically before she begins to seize again. The blood had pooled around her and had begun to soak through my trousers, the blood sticking to my hand that lay on the floor, my handprint forever seeped into the floorboards of Hogwarts along with her blood. The smell of blood was strong, climbing up my nose and clinging to my eyes like a symbiote, attaching to its host to survive. Staining me.
She gargles again, and then stays still as her breathing is laboured and exhausting.
I drop my wand and pressed my hands against her top again, deciding that if I couldn't help her, I would keep her alive until someone else could save her.
"Please Sarah, stay awake okay? Just stay AWAKE" I beg, wiping my hand across my cheek to clear the hair away, smearing blood onto my face before pushing my hand back into her stomach.
"The names Sarah, Sarah Kingsley.
I shake away the memory of her voice during our first day of Hogwarts, her blood mingling with the smell of carrots that she once popped into her mouth.
"You know, I cant be best friends with someone that wont tell me their name"
I let out a shuddered breath, willing the time to stop and rewind, begging the world to just stop and allow me to take back the spell I belted at Fae.
"Ophelia don't you feel it? THIS IS THE YEAR." She announces
I swallow bile, thinking back to the party, her eagerness to get me out, to have me experience this fun time with her.
"Sarah spots me, beckoning me over as she grabs a shot glass filling it."
The blood on her clothes had began to dry and crack, my hands tainted a dark red as I push harder against the slash, guilt thumping down my veins.
Suddenly arms are wrapped around my waist and I'm pulled up and away, the air leaving my lungs as they pull me and twist me away from Sarah.
"STOP. Stop! She needs me, she needs help, she isnt- she needs- She's bleeding. Put me down, Put me down we need to help- shes dying, shes bleeding please"
I scream and plead, kicking my legs and and flailing, clawing my hands down the person and pushing against them, trying to break away and get back to Sarah. My breathing erratic and desperate.
"Ophelia stop. Stop it. STOP IT, Ophelia shes dead. Ophelia, shes gone. LISTEN TO ME" I don't have to turn around to know the voice of Draco Malfoy, my breathing coming out in sharp inhales and exhales, my lungs aching and my hands shaking.
I stop flailing and look at Sarah, the bile reaching the bottom of my throat. She is still. Grey. Lifeless. Dead.
"after you've bled out meat, its dead"
I scream again, trying to claw away from Draco.
"You're lying, shes fine, shes just trying to stay away. I told her, I told- She was meant to stay awake. She- She- she was fine a minute ago, I wear trying to- trying to heal her. She was fine"
Draco lifts me higher and turns, walking fast towards the doors of the great hall, my eyes skimming past death eaters tackling teenagers and kids to the floor, majority of them taken down or tied up.
We had attacked them, and lost. And we were about to be given hell for it.
Draco doesn't loosen his grip and instead walks out the hall and down the corridor to the abandoned boys bathroom, the change of scenery causing my ears to ring and my eyes to swim with with suddenly white lights.
He sets me down and his arms loosen around me and I turn to the side and vomit, the acid burning my throat and nose, the smell of her blood assaulting my nose again as I inhale to try and calm down. I retch and gag, emptying my stomach and then standing and turning around.
Draco looked haggard, his shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows and his hair messy, very un-draco.
I inhale, trying to fill my lungs and gather my senses. Shock.
"I need to get to Sarah" I state, straightening my poster and moving my hair behind my back with defiance, determination.
"Ophelia, Sarah is dead. When I seen you, you were trying to stop the bleeding of an already dead person, she is gone."
I screw my eyes shut, blocking out his words as I clench and unclench my fists.
"Ophelia, come on. Enough. You need to go back to the dorm now."
I glare at him, rage curling up my body like a snake ready to attack.
"Draco, you weren't paying attention fully, she was FINE. She was just concentrating on what I was telling her. She is fine, she has to be fine, she is just-"
"Ophelia! Listen to me, listen to yourself!" Draco steps forward, grabbing my shoulders and giving me a shake.
I gasp and wrench away from his grasp and pound my hands into his chest, anger erupting: the snake finally biting.
"You selfish, horrible-" I scream out, each syllable landing a punch into his chest, his lungs echoing with the thumps as I push all my rage out.
"Ophelia stop it, would you fucking. Ugh". He grasps my wrists and holds them high as he shakes me again.
I scream and yank my hands out his grasp, flexing my hand and sending a quick and sharp slap to his cheek, his head snapping to the side. His cheek running against the inside of his cheek, his hand rubbing against it with his finger tips as he turns back to me.
"Stop it! You're ridiculous. She is fine, she will be fine, and I certainly don't need saved by YOU Draco Malfoy. Not anymore."
"Ophelia please I-" He begins, but I interrupt before he even gets the change to finish.
"You gave up the right to help me when you left me there alone. When I NEEDED you. So bad. So no, you do not get to help me, you get to stay the fuck away from me. Anyone that goes near you dies Draco. And I don't plan on being the next person that is lying dead at your feet."
And with that I stalk out the bathroom and back down the hall.
When I get there, the place is a mess. It almost resembles the time Bellatrix was here.
Some students sit on the splintered benches or even on the floor, some supporting their own wounds while others walk around helping the badly wounded.
Seamus sat next to Ginny, his arm clearly dislocated and Ginny supported a split lip and bruising across her arm and neck.
Slughorn walks around too, offering vials of probably pain relief and healing potions. I rush over to him, grabbing his robe and turning him to face me.
"Sir, Have you given one of them to Sarah- Sarah Kingsley. She was over there by the-"
My voice fades as I turn to where she lay, the spot blanketed with a white sheet, her body shape visible through it as Madam Pomfrey and McGonagall whisper spells to lift her body.
"NO. No, no no no nonono wait" I yell, my words falling into one long breath as I run towards them, McGonagall grabbing my arm before I can get too close to the sheet.
"Ms Clarke, I am sorry. But you must go back to your dorm, I will send someone to fetch you for me when this is done"
My eyes don't leave Sarah as she is hovered out the hall by Pomfrey, my hand gripping my top as I try to breath.
"She told me this would be THE year" I state. My head feeling heavy and broken.
"It's okay. Let it out" McGonagall states, holding me firmer.
But I don't cry. Because I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't, and I intended to keep that promise. Because you cant see your target well enough to kill them through teary eyes.