chapter 6: the spark
Breakfast the next day wasn't exactly pleasant for Enjolras, for that matter. The bruises on his face were very clear to everyone that looked at him, and everyone was whispering—the damn whispering!—as if he couldn't hear them. Ingrid Nott and her little band of baboons (as Courfeyrac so kindly named them) were looking at him, sniggering. However, Enjolras was not easily affected by mindless gossip and snide looks from the people he hated. As if he even cared.
Tuesday. Mr. Gillenormand's funeral was to be held the next day. Marius had been losing sleep over the matter. Yes, he was his grandfather; he took him in when his parents had died, but even after five years, Mr. Gillenormand's last words to the young man still stung like fresh wounds. He had been called evil, a freak, by his own grandfather, who then proceeded to drive him out of his house. This is one of the things a person could never forget even after many years of ignoring.
But he was still his grandfather, his own flesh and blood; and although the man had been stern, Marius could also remember moments when his grandfather didn't seem to have a heart of stone. He could remember his grandfather taking him to the park every weekend when he was young, and he would buy him ice cream and watch him run around and play as he sat on one of the benches, smiling fondly at his only grandson. He remembered how his grandfather would always tuck him in every night, and tell him that angels were watching over him. That God was watching over him.
The clock struck midnight. Marius knew what he had to do.
Minerva McGonagall was still up at midnight, busy grading papers in her office. Despite the crackling fire in the fireplace, and the tartan bathrobe she wore over her nightgown, the room still felt rather nippy; which was a perfectly normal effect, what with Dementors floating all around the castle grounds.
The old professor rubbed her forehead tiredly as she kept on reading the essays submitted by her third year students. She heard a knock on the door. Professor McGonagall's head bolted up. Who in Merlin's name would knock on her door at this hour? Prepared for the worst, the woman warily raised her wand, ready to aim a Stunning Spell at whoever was on the other side of the door.
The knocking continued. Professor McGonagall slowly turned the doorknob.
It was Amycus Carrow.
Grantaire was drunkenly wandering the corridors at midnight, after a midnight rendezvous with Mary Grace Cattermole, a fifth year Hufflepuff. He was used to these nighttime wanderings and only rarely got caught.
Pouring more firewhiskey (which he nicked from the kitchens) in his mouth, he walked surprisingly quietly through the hallways, passing empty classrooms and corridors, teachers' offices—Grantaire stopped. He heard voices.
Stepping closer towards the door, which was probably closed in a hurry and had been left open, he tried to make out what they were talking about. This must have been important—why else would people talk in tense voices past midnight?
"—have no right to do that to my students, Minerva."
It was Amycus Carrow, and his voice was seething.
"Oh, I have every right to do that, Mr. Carrow," the witch retorted. "It may have escaped your notice, Amycus, but they are also my students, and it has been clear they have broken school rules and therefore must be punished accordingly."
"But they are under my house. I am the one who should decide what punishment to give them."
"I had come looking for you the moment I heard about the incident, but your sister regrettably informed me that you were not in the castle," she replied, unblinking. "Besides, I think you and I both know that what you will do with those children cannot even be called punishment. You would probably praise them, in fact."
Grantaire heard a loud smack followed by a short whimper from Professor McGonagall. She had been slapped. The teenager outside their door was livid with anger. How dare he! Sure, Grantaire was indifferent about a lot of things, but not with Professor McGonagall. She was the closest thing to a mother that he had since his had died, and he was not going to let a slimy bastard like Amycus Carrow get away with slapping her.
"Is that all that you came here for?" the woman asked Amycus Carrow not long afterward. Her expression and her voice were so surprisingly stoic; it was as if she had never been slapped at all. Amycus roared in frustration and pointed his wand at the elderly witch's throat. McGonagall momentarily flinched, but showed no other sign of fear.
"I suggest you put your wand down, Amycus—"
"Or else I will have to be forced to fight back, and when I do," she threatened. "You will not be happy."
Amycus Carrow scoffed. "Too many words," he said. "Stupefy!"
Professor McGonagall's eyes grew wide before the force of the spell threw her into the wall behind her. With a loud thud, she fell to the floor, unconscious.
"NO!" Grantaire ran inside the room, pushing Amycus Carrow aside. He heard snide laughter erupting behind him.
"And who is this?"
"You!" Grantaire faced the older wizard, whose taunting smirk did nothing to ease his fury.
"You're Leopold Grantaire's son, aren't you?" Grantaire didn't answer. He was furious; his shoulders were heaving with every breath. "Ah, I thought so. Pity. He had so much potential…But then he got himself married to a Mudblood whore, and then you." Amycus sneered. "A sorry excuse for a wizard."
"Don't you dare talk about my mother like that," he slowly raised his wand.
"Oh, you're going to hex me?" Amycus asked, almost amused. "I'm not so sure that's wise, boy."
Grantaire looked at him. He picked up his unconscious Professor and put her over his shoulder. He looked at the door. Then back at Amycus Carrow. Then at the door. Then to Amycus. And he ran.
To be honest, he didn't go too far. McGonagall was heavy, and Grantaire's drunkenness didn't do much to ease the load. Amycus was bolting after him, what was he—
"Densaugeo!" he yelled. He was desperate, and that was the first spell that came into his head. However, the spell had taken effect, and from his lips escaped a chuckle as he saw the older wizard's teeth grow at an alarming rate. He then bolted as fast as his drunken stupor could allow him into the hospital wing—where at least he knew they would be safe.
Upon reaching Professor McGonagall's office, Marius could sense that something was amiss. The door was left ajar, but there was no one in the room or even in the corridor, for that matter. He walked in and saw the scattered shards of a broken mug of coffee and a fallen portrait. Something had gone terribly wrong. And when something was wrong, they knew who to find.
A/N: Sorry it took so long! I was feeling a bit lazy, and I was struggling for days on what to write. To everyone that read and liked this fic, thank you so much! I wish I could hug every single one of you. :)
Also, to StarCatcher1858, Ted and Victoire won't be appearing in this story, I'm sorry. My headcanon is that after the war, the Death Eaters tracked down the members of the Order and killed most of them with their families. Sorry. :c