Chapter 20 // A New Ally
I stepped into the shadows of the statue of some lost-looking wizard with his gloves on the wrong hands. He turned out to be Boris the Bewildered, as I could read on the plaque. I was studying his interesting moustache, trying not to be seen, because I wanted to avoid the scene that happened yesterday, when their voices got louder, and I couldn’t ignore their shit anymore.
‘You filthy blood traitor! Your gene pool could use a little chlorine, you know. Touch me again and I’ll…’
‘Jeez, do you hear yourself?’ Ginny defended herself, ‘if I wanted to kill myself, I’d climb to your ego and jump to your IQ. It was just a bump!’
‘You’re not nearly pretty enough to be that dumb.’
I didn’t know why I did it. Maybe it was the shit night I had. Maybe it had to do with the three-to-one situation. Maybe I was just tired of bullies. I grabbed my wand and stepped into view.
‘That’s enough. Leave her alone,’ my voice sounded calm and didn’t vibrate, which I was grateful for.
Draco turned around, furiously eying me. I could see the disappointment in his eyes when he looked at me. If I was honest with myself, I’d say it hurt. But I acted like I didn’t care. I held up my wand and positioned myself between Draco and his two henchmen, Crabbe and Goyle and Ginny.
‘You shouldn’t get in my way,’ Draco spat, while reaching for his wand, ‘I don’t have the time or the crayons to explain this to you, you coffin dodging oxygen thief. Get lost!’
I held my wand a bit higher and stared straight into his eyes. He didn’t back down, but I wasn’t planning on it either. I was done being the victim of bullying, humiliation and disregard and I sure as hell wouldn’t let anyone else have it.
‘You know, Draco,’ I hissed, ‘You’re the reason your mom swallows now. Does your ass ever get jealous of the shit that comes out of your mouth?’
After that remark Draco stood with his tongue tied, which didn’t happen often. I used his bewilderment to grab Ginny by her arm and drag her along, away from Draco. But he came to his senses a little too soon.
‘Don’t you dare turn your back on me,’ he shrieked, and I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was raising his wand. I knew he was fast, but I was faster. By the time he casted his Flipendo knockback jinx, I had already turned around and shouted ‘Expelliarmus!’. Our spells met mid-air and the Flipendo charm rebounded, hitting Goyle right where it hurt.
‘You…’ Draco’s eyes almost popped out of his head. He raised his wand again.
‘What is going on here?’ a squat little witch seemed to appear out of nowhere. She wore a patched hat over her flyaway, grey hair and there was a large amount of earth on her clothes.
‘She attacked Goyle, professor Sprout!’ Draco pointed at Goyle, who just started to get up again, ‘she’s mental.’
‘Miss Macmillan isn’t it?’ professor Sprout stared at me. I saw how bad this looked. Goyle dazzled on the ground, my wand in hand. I hung my head and didn’t say a word.
‘She didn’t do it, professor!’ Ginny stepped in front of me, ‘Malfoy was bullying me! Katherine stepped in and protected me and when we turned our backs, he attacked!’
‘Then how did Goyle end up on the ground, hu?’ Draco said with an attitude. I was a weird twinkle in his eyes, one I had never seen before. It gave me chills. ‘right, professor Sprout?’
‘You attacked us with a Flipendo jinx!’ Ginny yelled, ‘you just didn’t think Katherine could rebound it!’
‘It’s true, professor Sprout,’ a voice I didn’t know solved the case, ‘I saw all of it happen.’
I turned around, seeing the round-faced, chubby boy from the train, Neville Longbottom. He carefully stepped closer, his lips trembling.
‘I w-wanted to help you, Ginny,’ he apologized, but she waved it away, ‘I saw it happen, p-professor Sprout. Katherine casted the d-disarming charm, which made the Flipendo jinx rebound. Malfoy called her a coffin dodging oxygen thief. He casted the first jinx.’
My mouth fell open in surprise. Who would have thought that Neville Longbottom would come to my rescue, in the presence of a professor and Draco Malfoy?
‘Thank you for your explanation, Longbottom,’ professor Spout smiled gently, ‘but duelling, no matter the cause, is not allowed in this school. Ten points from Ravenclaw and Slytherin. And detention for mister Malfoy and miss Macmillan. I’ll be expecting you in my office on Saturday morning.’
With that, she turned around and left, her dirty robes fluttering behind her.
‘This is your fault!’
‘Fuck off, Draco,’ I answered and turned around, taking Ginny by her arm and pulling her with me. People stared at us on the way, but I didn’t care. I was furious and disappointed and sad. Most of all I was hurt, stung in my soul, all the way down to my core. You can’t know what it’s like if you’ve never lost a best friend. It’s the biggest heartbreak I had ever experienced. I preferred my mothers screams and hits anytime.
Yesterday, it had crossed my mind that I might have actually lost Draco, but I never really gave it much thought. I thought that he would get over it, realize that he couldn’t just throw our friendship away, because I wasn’t what he’d thought I be. When we met, it was so clear that the two of us, on some level, belonged together. He was my best friend, my partner-in-crime, the only one that I could genuinely tell everything to, even stuff I couldn’t tell my own parents or my sister. He couldn’t always relate to me, but he still showed compassion and love. Off all the terrible things that could happen in my life, I never imagined losing my best friend. But I did, and that realization hit me like a heart attack. He was gone, and he was not coming back. And my heart fell to pieces then and there.
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