Author note: Salutations, fellow fanfiction goers! I do sincerely apologize for the delay; life has been exceptionally hectic as of late. Hopefully this chapter will partially make up for it!
Disclaimer: Do I really have to say it?
This chapter is dedicated to EvanescenceWhisper. Thank you for being an awesome friend to share fanfiction with!
Quidditch. Harry had played the game since his first year at Hogwarts, and it had won him part of his world-renowned reputation. The Boy-Who-Lived is Hogwart's youngest seeker in over a century! The witches and wizards of Britain and beyond ate it up.
Of course this instilled a degree of competitiveness and protectiveness not fully realized in the young wizard savior that I only truly noticed recently. Let me go back and start from where I left off.
The extremely important Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match was coming up once we returned to Hogwarts, so Harry, Fred, and George began practicing on their brooms in the backyard along with assistance from Ron and Ginny.
Luckily for me this meant that Fred and George were not pestering me as much to tell them what was wrong, as they had been since Fred had discovered me hiding in the library. Sometimes the fact that there were two of them meant that they were exceptionally difficult to avoid.
It didn't help that I truly could not figure out why I was feeling the way I was lately. True, I had been upset about the whole Dad thing, but I shouldn't be feeling this horrible about it. I was becoming increasingly moody, closed-off, and depressed.
Something else that took up the majority of my time (when I was not avoiding the twins, that is) was the locket.
What did it mean? Why was it so important to Moldyvort? And why on earth had my uncle gone to such lengths to retrieve it?
It was strangely pretty, in a sinister sort of way. It was a large, silver, heart-shaped locket with an ornate S on the front. And unfortunately no matter what I did I could not, in fact, open it. Sometimes I would catch myself holding it in my hand, the chain twined around my arm, simply staring at the thing.
But it remained a mystery, and learning more about it would have to wait.
Another thing that had been occurring frequently was nightmares. My dreams, while normally prophetic in nature, were not usually that important, or ominous. But lately they had evolved into something completely out of the ordinary.
Long, shadow filled corridors with barely illuminated doors leading to something just out of reach.
Impressively draped halls with three dark thrones at one end and evil eyes hidden just out of sight.
And two faces…
One that left me angry, terrified, and confused all at once. A face with red slit eyes and pale, snake-like features.
The other, one unfamiliar to my conscious eyes, a strong-jawed man with chiseled features and green eyes that seemed to be laughing but held no warmth. And a scar, from ribcage to hip, red, jagged, puckered.
The dreams with the second man in them left me feeling chilled and petrified. He made me feel as if I was completely vulnerable and weak, unable to defend myself against the smallest of attacks.
It was not a feeling that I enjoyed.
Our return to Hogwarts was like that of conquering heroes after a great war.
Apparently we had been greatly missed.
We were greeted boisterously in the common room without the usual malicious vibes I had been picking up from some of our peers. Harry took it in stride, albeit with a faint blush covering his cheeks. I, however, avoided the spotlight, instead deciding to curl up in an unoccupied armchair with a book.
"Whatcha reading?" I looked up and found Fred sitting on one arm of the chair as if this was a perfectly normal occurrence. For him it probably was. I showed him the cover.
"The Fantastical Guide to Visions and Dreams? What the bloody hell are you reading that for?"
I laughed. "Fred, I understand that you and George are the least likely people on the planet to experience anything close to a vision, but not all of us are so lucky."
He shuddered. "Okay, no more talking." Fred suddenly leaned in unusually close and stared me in the eye. I gave him look for look.
"Isabella Marie Black. I, Frederick John Weasley, (AN: I have no clue what his middle name is) hereby challenge you to a battle. I propose a dance contest. What say you?"
I leaned in closer and whispered, "You're on." Fred grinned and held out his hand.
How we ended up doing the tango across the common room will forever elude me. But I must admit. It was fun.
Neither of us could stop laughing for long as we paraded around and through our scared and amused classmates. George, once he saw what we were doing, started humming a tango song under his breath. Fred quickly joined in, and the two of them began singing it louder. "Dun, dun, dun, dun, dududududu, dun, dun, dun, dun…" (AN: Think La Cumparsita) So much for avoiding the spotlight.
At long last I collapsed back into my armchair, and Fred squished in beside me, both of us still laughing. George waltzed off by himself, still humming under his breath.
"I do believe a draw is in order, my lady," Fred announced in a posh voice.
"I feel I must agree, dear sir, for I could not find fault with your performance." I held out my hand for him to shake and he did so, both of us with straight faces before we burst out laughing again. Once we had calmed down once more I sighed, leaning up slightly I kissed Fred on the cheek. "Thank you," I whispered. "I really needed that."
"You're welcome," he whispered back. "That's what brothers are for."
I smiled, my eyes slipping shut. I liked having a brother.
My heart shouldn't be breaking. The pain I was feeling at the sight of them leaning against each other, eyes closed, one of his arms holding her to him, should not exist.
Yet it was horribly obvious to me that it did exist and I couldn't do a damn thing about it.
She was, after all, like my sister.
I could even see that I was not alone in feeling the way I did at the sight of them. Poor Harry. How did this happen without our noticing it? It felt as if it had come out of nowhere.
What was even worse was that neither Harry nor I had found the time to express our feelings for Izzy and Fred yet. Even his name filled my stomach with butterflies! How pathetic. And I wouldn't even get to do anything about it.
Love sure is a mess sometimes.
George woke us up at a quarter to 12 and helped his dozing twin up the stairs. I stumbled up to my own room shortly after, unable to take off more than my belt and shoes before collapsing into bed. Unfortunately for me, I had Double Potions followed Defense Against the Dark Arts the next morning.
What a wonderful way to start the day.
Walking down to breakfast, I had the oddest feeling that something would occur today. I couldn't put my finger on it, so I decided to just push it to the back of my mind until later.
"Gooooooooood morning!" I looked up from where I had been staring at my toast to find George sitting next to me with a massive grin on his face.
"How are you so awake this early?" I tried to ask, the operative word being tried. It came out more like muttering. George snorted and then cocked his head to the side.
"Was that even English?" I gave him my best death glare. He continued, still smiling. "Well, unlike you and my dear brother Fred, I didn't sleep half the night in an armchair. I, being the intelligent twin, went and slept in my wonderfully comfortable bed. Although you two were quite adorable."
I rolled my eyes. Sometimes I wondered about whether or not the twins were alright in the head.
Snape was his usual bat-like self, swooping around the classroom on unsuspecting students. It took the majority of my willpower to not hex him when he made a comment about Neville's stupidity rubbing off on me. Just another day in potions.
Umbridge's class was horrid as well. She managed to be completely evil yet act like she was totally innocent the entire time. So we wrote more essays on theory while she perched on her stool with a disturbing little smile on her face. So nothing was odd about her either.
Harry and Hermione were acting strange, though, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why. Harry was being more moody and angsty than usual, and Hermione seemed as if she was avoiding me. Yet when I hesitantly asked her about it she stated that she was doing no such thing and that I was being paranoid.
Defensive. I decided to leave them both be for now. If they wanted to talk to me they would.
Miraculously Harry's temper did not flair up, meaning that he didn't receive a detention. The Quidditch game was the upcoming Friday, after all, and we couldn't afford to play without our Seeker.
The rest of the week was monotonous, slowly rolling forward as if it enjoyed our suffering.
Okay, so maybe that was a bit dramatic.
I had been spending increasing amounts of time with Fred and George, due to the combination of Harry and Hermione's behavior and the fact that the twins decided to take it upon themselves to cheer me up as much as possible. So we talked about anything and everything. It was nice to be able to let whatever was weighing me down off my chest. They comforted me when I talked about my dad, distracted me when I thought about Edward, and made sure that I knew I still had friends.
Harry and Hermione were still acting strangely, and that coupled with Ron's sudden infatuation with Lavender Brown meant that I didn't get to see them as much as usual. Ron was too busy mooning over her, and Harry and Hermione were definitely avoiding me now.
And then at last it was the day of the big game.
It was a nice day, the clouds completely covering the sun so that the players wouldn't be blinded, yet leaving quite enough light to see by. There was only a gentle breeze, and I walked up the stairs to the stands with Hermione. We found a spot in the first row next to Lavender. I quickly took the seat closest to her as, judging by the look Hermione was sending the girl, it would be a bad idea if I did not.
The teams trooped out onto the pitch shortly after we were all settled, and I cheered along with everyone else at the sight of them. Madam Hooch talked to both captains, they shook hands, and then were off.
It was quite difficult to keep track of everyone, and if it hadn't been for Lee's commentary I was not sure I would have been able to. Instead of attempting to follow the fast-paced movement of the Quaffle from player to player, I chose instead to listen to the commentary with one ear and keep an eye on Ron, Harry, and the twins. We had a couple of close calls in the first few minutes, one where Angelina was only an inch away from scoring. Ron blocked one and let one in, so the score was 0-10.
Harry was circling the pitch, as was Malfoy, and then finally he dived straight down from where he had been hovering above the Slytherin goalposts. Malfoy, who had been halfway across the pitch, quickly turned and streaked after him, and then they were neck and neck, Harry in front, Malfoy, Harry, and then Harry had it!
The entire Gryffindor side, along with most of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, booed as the whistle was blown. One of the Slytherin beaters had sent the Bludger in Harry's direction, catching him in the shoulder and knocking him off his broom to the ground ten feet below. I held my breath for a moment before releasing it in a gust. He was fine.
Come on, its even longer than last time! Next chapter is going to be where everything starts heating up. Action time!