Getting into trouble at Hogwarts was a lot like getting in trouble at home, at least for Tybalt. It was coupled with an intense feeling of self disappointment, and most of the time, guilt. The guilt was usually minor, he knocked something over or was caught doing something he shouldn't have been. Ty was a decent student, so such occasions were rare at school, but his temper had led him into many situations that he would have otherwise avoided. Usually, the punishment wasn't very severe and the guilt receded quickly. This time, however, he couldn't seem to shut off his conscience. He felt awful, which surprised him.
He shouldn't have cared what happened to Mercutio de Scalla, the Slytherin was a terror. Playing pranks on Ty and his friends, mouthing off to professors, and being a lazy student seemed to be his favorite pass times. But they had honestly just been having a bit of reckless fun-and Ty had been having fun-and no-one should have gotten hurt. Should have. Tybalt felt his temper flare at the young Hufflepuff who had stumbled between them, waving his arms and shouting that they should stop fighting because they would get in trouble. Romeo had always been a bit...ditzy, but Ty drew the line at walking between two duelling wizards. He had twisted his hand to avoid hitting the kid, but the spell had already been cast and hit Mercutio square in the chest, knocking him down. The small crowd that had gathered around them let out a collective sound of shock, and Romeo and his cousin Benvolio rushed over to their friend. Ty's friends converged around him in turn, pulling at his robes and urging him to leave the scene.
Ty himself could only gape, his brow set with confusion and slight horror. He hadn't meant to hit anyone with that spell. In fact, none of the spells he had cast during the duel were meant to hit their target, Mercutio had dodged or deflected them all with ease. The duel was a product of Mercutio's taunting and Ty's inability to back down from a challenge, but it had been friendly, both of them smiling and laughing in exuberance as they danced about the small classroom. He knew Mercutio would be fine, the cutting spell had been far from fatal, but it would leave a shallow gash in the Slytherin's torso that would hurt like hell.
One of the students in the crowd had run to get Madame Pomfrey, and with the assurance that Mercutio would be taken care of, Ty let himself be pulled away by his friends. He knew he would certainly feel the consequences of his mistake later, but right now he was too ashamed to face Mercutio, who was now sitting up and talking quietly to Benvolio. Neither of them were looking his way, but he didn't to stick around long enough for them to turn on him. He would get defensive, and the last thing he wanted was to antagonize them anymore than he already had.
When Ty and his friends reached the Gryffindor common room, McGonagall was somehow already waiting for them, and the sight of her brought a shiver down his spine. He wasn't afraid of getting in trouble, he had already accepted his fate in that vein, but the head of Gryffindor house was terrifying in her own right. Her stern gaze was fixed solely on him, and his friends clapped him on the shoulder or offered encouraging words before quickly dispersing across the common room. Ty was left standing alone in front of the old woman, who bade him follow her and left the common room, headed towards her classroom. He followed her without a word, walking fast to keep pace a few steps behind her. When they reached the transfiguration classroom, McGonagall closed the door and sat down behind her desk, gesturing for him to sit. When he was situated in the chair, she fixed him with a withering look over her spectacles and folded her hands on the desk.
"Do you know why you're here, Mr. Capulet?" she asked, and Ty shifted uncomfortably but looked her in the eye.
"Because of the duel with Mercutio." he answered evenly, knowing that playing dumb would get him in even more trouble. McGonagall nodded.
"Yes. Mr. de Scalla is in the hospital wing because of your reckless spellcasting. You'll be happy to know that he is going to be alright, but the cutting spell you used will leave a scar." she said, "What do you have to say for yourself?"
"I didn't mean to hit him." he said, and at a skeptical look from the professor he continued, "Montague got in the way. I didn't want to hit him, so I moved my wand and Mercutio didn't see. He was going to deflect it, but it didn't come from the direction he was expecting and he got hit."
"Regardless of your intentions, duelling is banned at Hogwarts for this exact reason. Mr. Montague should not have had to intervene in the first place. For injuring a student and engaging in dangerous behavior, thirty points will be deducted from Gryffindor and you will receive detention for two weeks." The look in her eye left no room for argument. "And you will apologize to Mr. de Scalla."
"Yes, professor." Ty lowered his eyes and did his best to look remorseful, although he didn't have to act much. He honestly did feel bad about hurting Mercutio.
"You are dismissed, Capulet." At the words from McGonagall, Ty nodded and left her classroom, making his way slowly back to the Gryffindor common room. Guilt ate at him, and he felt sick. The image of his spell connecting with Mercutio's chest kept replaying in his head, as well as the many different ways he could have avoided the entire situation. If only he had aimed the spell into the air, or if he hadn't accepted the Slytherin's challenge in the first place. No doubt the rest of the school would see the incident as another fight between Slytherin and Gryffindor, but to Ty, houses didn't even factor into it. He had enough of that sort of fighting back home.
Speaking of Verona, if his uncle got wind of this, Ty would be in a lot more trouble than detention. The Capulets were constantly struggling to get into Escalus' good graces, and Ty injuring the man's nephew was certainly not a step in the right direction. He just prayed that no-one from Verona mentioned the incident to their family.
He was so lost in thought that he didn't realize he had reached the common room until the Fat Lady was asking for the password.
"Phoenix felicis." he grumbled, and the door swung open, revealing an oddly silent group of Gryffindors on the other side. They looked up when Ty entered the room, which he did not take as a good sign.
"Hey, Capulet." A voice said from near the fireplace, and Ty turned to find himself face to face with Valentine de Scalla, Mercutio's older brother. Shit. He tried to walk away, but it was already too late, and Valentine grabbed his shoulder in a vice grip. "Where do you think you're going? I have to talk to you."
"Do you? Well, I don't have anything to say to you, so back off." Ty growled, internally cursing his inability to just shut up and avoid the fight he knew would happen if he faced Valentine with his usual prickly demeanor. "I already talked to McGonagall. It's over."
"It isn't over until I say, Capulet, and I'd say you still deserve a beating for what you did to my brother." Valentine pulled Ty around to face him, but kept the grip on his shoulder.
"Your brother will be fine. I barely even scratched him. Now let go of me and stop making an ass of yourself." he tried to yank himself from Valentine's grip, but the older boy held fast. "I'm serious, man. Let go."
"Or what, you'll attack me too?" Valentine sneered, his dark eyes equally parts pissed and mocking. Ty's mind halted for a moment.
"Wait. What? I didn't attack anyone. Where did you even hear that?" he asked, trying not to betray how incredulous he felt. Was there a story going around that he had fought Mercutio unprovoked? Or that it was an actual fight?
"Don't play dumb, Tybalt. Romeo was there, he said he tried to stop you." Of course. Romeo Montague, the clueless little shit. He had stumbled upon the duel halfway through, and then told Valentine that Ty had been attacking Mercutio. What a peach.
"Look, Valentine. It was a duel. Mercutio knew what he was getting into, I didn't jump him. I didn't even mean to hit him. Romeo is an idiot." Even as the words left his mouth, he was aware of how fake they would sound to Valentine, regardless that they were the truth. The older Gryffindor would never accept his word over Romeo's.
It was this realization that allowed him to brace himself as Valentine let go of his shoulder and promptly punched him in the face.