Chapter 33: Betrayal
I stood there, completely shocked. They had done it. They had actually done it. "Hagrid," I whispered, hearing him wailing in the distance. All I wanted to do was run back there and comfort him. He needed me more than anything.
"We can't," Rosalie said, taking my arm. "We'll get him in so much trouble if they knew we were down there visiting him," she said, her voice soft and her face white.
"How could they?" Bella sobbed, Edward's arms still around her. "How could they kill him?" she whispered, holding onto Edward's arm tightly.
"Come on," Edward said, steering us back towards the castle. "Let's get back inside." We started walking back towards the castle, moving slowly to keep ourselves hidden under the cloak. It was starting to get dark out now. I could still hear Scabbers squeaking wildly.
"OUCH!" Rosalie shrieked, dropping her rat. "He bit me!" she said, running out from under the cloak. "Come back here you stupid rat! Scabbers!" she yelled, running into the darkness. Edward sighed, running after her as Crookshanks came out of nowhere, running for Scabbers.
"Crookshanks, no!" Bella shouted, dropping the cloak on the ground and running after her cat. I followed behind all of them, trying to find Rosalie.
"Rose, come back!" I shouted, sprinting after her, though she was impossible to catch.
"Get away from him you stupid cat!" she was yelling. "Scabbers, come back! Ha!" she said as there was a thud, Rosalie having managed to grab Scabbers. She let out another shriek as Crookshanks landed on top of her, sinking his claws into her skin.
"Crookshanks, get off her!" Bella shouted as Edward tried to pry the cat off her as she shoved Scabbers into her pocket, the rat still squeaking like mad.
"He won't stay still," she said, looking up at me. "I don't know what's gotten into him. Scabbers, it's Rosalie. I'm not going to let the cat get you, I promise," she said over his squeaks of terror.
I looked up, gasping before letting out a scream. Its paws were pounding against the ground. I dove out of the way as the giant black dog leaped over me, scraping my back with its claws. It grabbed Rosalie's sleeve, pulling her with him.
"Rose!" Edward yelled, chasing after her. The dog made its way up to the giant tree, pulling the struggling Rosalie with him. He moved backwards into the roots of the tree, pulling Rosalie as easily as he would drag a teddy bear.
Rose's leg seemed to be caught on the tree. I watched with a horrified expression as it seemed to jerk for a moment before there was a loud crunch and a scream from Rosalie as her leg broke before she was completely gone.
"Alice, we have to get help" Bella said, looking at me, her face covered in tears.
"No," I said, shaking my head. "That thing's big enough to eat her. And her leg's broken. We have to save her!" I said, starting to run for where she had disappeared.
I was close to the tree when I felt the wind knocked out of me as a branch of the tree hit me square in the chest. Of course. The one tree it had to pick was the Whomping Willow.
I heard yells and screams from Bella and Edward, all three of us trying to get up to the place where Rosalie had disappeared.
"Alice!" Bella yelled, running towards me, her head bleeding from where the tree had hit her. She grabbed my hand tightly, dragging me with her as my vision went dark just as the tree swiped me across the cheek.
I looked up, hearing the same loud music I had heard when I started the maze. My clothes were torn and my arm was bleeding. I heard laughing and cheering around me. I started coughing, looking down into the dead eyes of Jacob Black.
Then, there was a scream. And another scream.
"Oh my god, he's dead!" I heard someone shout. Hands were grabbing me and I was pulled away from Jacob's lifeless corpse.
"No!" I yelled, struggling to get back to him. "I promised," I sobbed. "I promised I would bring him back to his dad," I said, clutching the body once more.
I looked up, seeing the shocked faces of my three friends. Edward and Rosalie looked horrified at seeing my competitor staring into the sky with his lifeless eyes. And then there was Bella.
Her face was pale as a ghost as she looked down at her boyfriend's body. "Jacob," she whispered, sinking onto her knees beside me, not shedding a single tear. "Jacob—oh god," she said before breaking down into tears, flinging her arms across his chest.
There was another shout of pain as Billy Black came running across the field. "Please, that's my son!" he sobbed. "My son, my Jacob!" he cried, kneeling beside Bella as he embraced the body of his dead son.
A pair of strong arms pulled me up and away from Jacob. "No," I murmured as I was led away from the field. "No, I have to stay. I have to give him back to his father. I promised…"
"It's okay now, Alice. His father is there. You need to relax," came a gruff voice as he led me away from the field and back towards the castle.
"Edward, grab her legs!" Bella was yelling, supporting my arms and dragging me towards the tree.
"What are you doing?" I asked, my voice groggy as I felt myself being carried somewhere. I looked around, but everything looked blurry to me.
"Alice, just be quiet!" Bella ordered as she and Edward carried my small body. "We have to be quick. I don't know how much longer that tree is going to be still for!"
I looked up, seeing the Whomping Willow suspended in motion. "What happened?" I asked. "Why is the tree still?"
"Rose's cat did something and got the tree to stop moving. There!" Edward said, gesturing towards something. "Alice, can you walk or do you need me to carry you?"
"I think I'll be fine," I murmured as they placed me on the ground.
"Good, then climb down. And fast!" Bella ordered, pointing to a small archway at the base of the tree. Taking a deep breath, I went through feet first, sliding through the small tunnel and landed on my feet in a dark passageway below. I quickly moved out of the way and was joined by Bella and Edward a moment later.
"Where are we?" Bella asked, looking around the hall we were in. The walls were filled with scratches and tears. It reminded me of this scary movie April and I had watched on TV when we were younger. The movie had been about a monster who kidnapped women and ate them or something—all I could remember was covering my eyes the whole movie in fear, much to April's delight.
"I remember this—it was on the map. Fred and George said no one had even been in it because of that mad tree, but it led off the map towards Hogsmeade."
"Oh, I just hope Rose is okay," Bella whispered, clutching Edward's bleeding arm tightly.
"I'm sure she'll be fine," Edward reassured. "Rose is tough. She survived the Chamber of Secrets last year," he reminded her. "If anyone can fight off that dog, it's her."
We kept walking, moving quietly yet quickly. The tunnel was at least as long as the one that lead to Honeydukes, if not longer. Finally, the tunnel started moving upwards and we reached a small landing. Edward climbed up first, helping the two of us up after him.
We walked towards the door in front of us, hearing moaning coming from inside. "That must be Rose," Bella whispered, carefully pushing the door open.
There was a bed in the room where Crookshanks lay, purring quietly. Rose was seated on the floor, her leg sticking out at an angle that was unnatural. I winched slightly as she continued moaning in pain.
Edward immediately rushed to her side, dropping to his knees and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Rose, are you okay?"
"Where's the dog?" Bella asked, chewing on her lower lip like she always did when she was nervous.
"Not a dog," she murmured, her eyes drooping closed. "It's a trap. He's an animagus…"
We heard a click as the door shut and all of us turned to look. Standing by the door was Sirius Black, almost unrecognizable from any picture I had seen of him. His hair was filthy and knotted in many places. It hung down past his shoulders. His clothing was torn and covered in dirt while his eyes were sunken in to his face. If he wasn't breathing, I would have sworn he was dead.
"Expelliarmus!" he said, pointing Rosalie's wand at us. My wand, along with Bella's and Edward's, shot into the air and landed behind us with a clatter on the wooden floor.
He took a step closer to us, his dark eyes never leaving me. I shifted uncomfortable under his gaze, though I never let my face show how nervous he made me. Instead, I looked at him with pure hatred.
"I figured you'd come help your friend." His voice was rough, like he hadn't spoken in months. "Your father would have done the same for me. You are so like him in that way. Brave of you not to run for a teacher. I'm glad…it will make everything easier."
I felt my hands ball into fists as he brought up my father. How dare he. How dare he even think about my parents! I wished I had my wand right then—not to protect us, but to kill Black. If my parents were dead because of him, then he deserved to be dead right along with them.
I took a step forward, but two sets of hands grabbed me. I looked next to me and saw Bella on one side and Edward on the other, both of them holding me back. "No, Alice," Bella whispered, her voice trembling.
Rosalie attempted to stand, making a pained face as she did so. "If you want to kill Alice, you'll have to kill all of us too," she said, trying to sound forceful. Rosalie swayed as she stood and her face turned green.
Black's face seemed to change for a moment. "Sit down. You're going to damage that leg even more."
"Didn't you hear me?" she asked, falling back to the floor with a soft thud. "I said you're going to have to kill me, Bella, and Edward."
"No, there will only be one murder tonight," Black stated, a manic grin on his face.
"Why's that?" I spat, the hatred still in my eyes. I tried pulling myself away from Edward and Bella, but they were holding onto me so tight that it seemed impossible. "You didn't seem to care last time about all those innocent people when you killed Pettigrew. What's three more innocent lives to you?"
"Alice!" Bella hissed. "Shut up!"
"HE KILLED MY PARENTS!" I shouted, and with a final pull, broke free of the hold on me. I launched myself forward, forgetting about magic and the fact that I was a petite thirteen-year-old girl while Black was a fully-grown man with a wand. All I wanted to do was cause him as much pain as humanly possible.
Maybe it was a mix of shock and amusement, but Black didn't move when I ran at him. I grabbed his wrist to force his wand away from everyone while my fist connected with his face. I managed to get in one more punch as my vision darkened and I fell to the floor.
"Sirius, this is crazy," I muttered angrily, handing the bag of food to him. He was hunched in a cave, Buckbeak sitting in the corner, chewing on some kind of bone. "They're going to find you, and you're going to get arrested."
"No I'm not," he promised. "No one has seen me. They all think I'm a cute, lovable stray," he teased.
That didn't help to placate my fears. "You're risking your life for nothing."
"Alice, I made myself a promise last year that I would watch over you and make sure nothing bad happened to you. This is me keeping my promise," he said, patting my knee lightly. "You're the only sort of family I have. If anything happened to you because I was in hiding instead of protecting you, I'd never forgive myself." He reached into the bag, pulling out a chicken leg and taking a large bite of it.
I sat there, watching him devour the food. It was like he hadn't eaten in months. "And there's nothing I can say to make you leave?" I asked after a few minutes.
"None. So don't try and lie to me and say everything's fine. I can tell when you're lying—just like I could with Jason. It must be a Brandon trait to be bad at lying," he teased.
I rolled my eyes at him, sticking my tongue out. "I thought godfathers were supposed to be nice," I laughed, kicking his leg gently.
"No, we're horribly annoying and interrogate any potential boyfriends our goddaughters may have. Which leads me to this." He tossed The Daily Prophet into my lap. I saw my face on the front page with the headline, "Fourth Champion's New Love?"
I sat there, my mouth open. How did they… "Do people have nothing better to do than ready about my love life?" I muttered unhappily, tossing the paper back to Sirius without bothering to read the article.
"So it's true?" he asked, giving me a slightly disapproving look.
I let out a sigh. "Sirius, it just happened! It's not a big deal," I murmured, my face bright red at this point. Talking about boyfriends was not the ideal conversation for a fourteen-year-old girl to have with her godfather.
I opened my eyes, looking up at the ceiling. I felt the mattress from the bed beneath me. I heard grunting and sat up, seeing Bella and Edward restraining Sirius. I looked at him with confusion. He had a…a worried look on his face, which made no sense. I thought he'd want to see my pass out. That's what he wanted, after all. He wanted me dead.
I jumped off the bed, grabbing my wand off the floor and pointed it at Sirius. "Bella, get out of the way," I growled.
Bella stared at me. "Alice, don't," she whispered, but Edward grabbed her and pulled her over to where Rosalie was sitting.
"Going to kill me, Alice?" Black asked, his gaunt face staring at mine. His lip was bleeding and a bruise was beginning to form on his cheek.
"You killed my parents," I whispered. "You deserve this." My voice was shaky, but my hand was steady.
"I admit it," he murmured. "But if you only knew the whole story, if you knew everything that happened…"
"Everything that happened?" I shouted. "I don't want to know every little detail of how you murdered my parents. I know you sold them out to Voldemort. That's all I need to know!"
Black didn't even flinch at the mention of Voldemort's name like everyone normally did. Instead, he sat there calmly with a hint of desperation on his face. "You have to listen to me," he begged. "You'll regret it for the rest of your life if you don't. Please, Alice…"
I glared at him with hate-filled eyes. "You don't have to listen to my mum begging him for mercy in your head , her trying to stop Voldemort from killing her. I don't want to have to listen to a word you ever say. You did it. You killed her." I was at the point of breaking down, my voice cracking. I took a deep breath, pointing the wand at him again before Crookshanks leapt onto his chest, settling right over his heart.
"No, go away," Black murmured, but Crookshanks refused to budge, sinking his claws into Black's shirt. The cat turned to look at me. I looked over at Bella, who was crying.
I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to kill Bella's cat…but I had to. If it was willing to protect the person who murdered my parents, then it deserved to die with him.
My hand shook as I kept the wand pointed at Black, the minutes slowly passing. I had to do it. He killed my parents. But I stayed frozen there, not able to move. I wanted to kill him, but I couldn't.
I heard a new sound—footsteps above us. "WE'RE HERE!" Bella shouted. "UP HERE! COME QUICK—SIRIUS BLACK IS HERE!"
I gripped the wand tighter—it was now or never. I had to do it. I had to—
For the second time that night, my wand flew out of my hand. I looked over at the door, watching as Professor Lupin caught my wand as well as the ones Rosalie had been holding. I felt empty, disappointed in myself that I couldn't kill him. I'd never get another chance—he was going to be handed over to the dementors. It was over, all because—
"Where is he, Sirius?" Lupin asked in a tense voice.
What? I stared at Lupin with a dumbfounded expression while Bella, Rosalie, and Edward mirrored my face. No one understood what was going on.
Black looked at Lupin for a moment, his face expressionless. Then, he picked his hand up and pointed a bony finger at Rosalie.
"But then…why hasn't he shown himself before?" Lupin asked, pacing back and forth. He came to a stop, staring at Sirius. "Unless—unless he was the one…unless you switched without telling me."
Black kept his eyes on Lupin as he slowly nodded his head. Lupin lowered his wand and pulled Black to his feet, embracing him like a friend he hadn't seen in many years. I felt my heart drop as a new wave of anger filled my body.
"I DON'T BELIEVE IT!" Bella shrieked. Lupin stepped away from Sirius, both of them looking at Bella's outraged face. "You—you—"
"You and him!" she screeched.
"Please calm down," Lupin said calmly. "Let me explain—"
"I covered for you! I kept your secret!"
"I trusted you!" I yelled at him. "And all this time you've been his friend! Were you just pretending to like me so you could deliver me right to him?" I questioned.
"Alice, please," Lupin pleaded. "I haven't been Sirius' friend, but I am now. Just let me—"
"NO!" Bella screamed. "Alice, don't trust him! He's been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead—he's a werewolf!"
The entire shack filled with silence, everyone looking at Lupin who appeared calm, though his face had gone pale.
"I'm disappointed, Miss Swan. Only one out of three correct. I have not been helping Sirius into the castle and I most certainly don't want Alice dead." He paused for a moment. "But I won't deny that I'm a werewolf," he admitted.
Rosalie moved, letting out a painful sound. Lupin headed towards her, a concerned look on his face. "Get away from her, werewolf!" Edward shouted, causing Lupin to stop in his tracks.
He turned towards Bella, a sad look on his face. "How long have you known?"
"Since I did Professor Snape's essay," she said, sounding slightly smug.
"He'll be delighted," Lupin muttered bitterly. "The whole reason he assigned that was so someone would realize what I was. Did you check the lunar chart and realize I was always ill at the full moon? Or did you notice that my boggart changed into the moon when it saw me?"
"Both," she replied.
Lupin chuckled softly. "Well well, you really are the cleverest witch of your age."
"I'm not," she whispered. "If I was, I would have told everyone what you are."
"They already do," Lupin said. "Well, the staff does, at least."
"Dumbledore hired you, knowing you were a werewolf?" Edward gasped. "Is he mad?"
"Some thought so. He had to work hard convincing some of the teachers I was trustworthy—"
"AND HE WAS WRONG!" I screamed, unable to contain myself. "YOU'VE BEEN HELPING HIM THIS WHOLE TIME!"
"I have not," Lupin asserted. "Look, here," he said, tossing all of us our wands back. "There, you're armed. Now will you let me explain?"
"If you haven't been helping him, then how did you know we were here?" Rosalie asked, looking at Professor Lupin.
"The map," he replied. "I was examining the Marauder's Map in my office."
"You know how to work it?" Edward asked, sounding stunned.
"Of course I do. I helped write it—I'm Moony. That was my friend's nickname for me for obvious reasons."
"That's not the point. The point is, I was watching carefully this evening, figuring you four would try and sneak out to visit Hagrid because of the hippogriff. And I was right, wasn't I?"
We all kept our eyes on him, staying silent as he spoke.
"You might have been wearing your father's old cloak—"
"You know about that?" I asked.
"The number of times I saw Jason disappear underneath it…" Lupin shook his head at the memory. "But even if you're under the invisibility cloak, you still appear on the map. I watched you cross the grounds and enter Hagrid's cabin. Twenty minutes later, you left. Only this time, one more was with you."
"What?" Bella asked. "No we weren't. I think I would remember someone else coming with us."
Lupin ignored her. "I couldn't believe it. I thought the map was lying—how could he be with you?"
"No one was with us," Rosalie said.
"And then there was another dot moving towards you labeled Sirius Black. I saw you collide and he pulled two of you into the Whomping Willow—"
"One of us!" Rosalie shouted.
"No, Rose. Two of you." Lupin had stopped in front of Rosalie and bent down in front of her. "Do you think I could have a look at your rat?" he asked.
"What?" she asked. "What does Scabbers have to do with it?"
"Everything. May I please see him?"
Rosalie bit her lip before reaching into her pocket, handing the squeaking rat to her teacher. We all watched curiously, not sure what was going on. Crookshanks stared at the rat, making soft hissing sounds.
Lupin let out a breath, a sick sort of smile on his face. "What's my rat got to do with this?" Rosalie asked, her voice high.
"That's not a rat," Sirius said suddenly.
"What are you talking about? Of course he is—"
"No," Lupin said. "He's not. He's a wizard. An Animagus by the name of Peter Pettigrew."
AN: I am so so so sorry I have not been updating. I've had school and it's a bit hard. But I'm done for the summer, so I'll be able to update MUCH more frequently now :D