Later they were at the Great Hall’s doors - inside all the students were cuddled together, filling the already cramped room. Rain poured like an endless stream outside the walls, the moonlight shined nowhere in the ominous night sky. Noah turned his head left and right, searching for Nicolas in the crowd.
I already have way too many worries, and losing my first ally is one of them.
”Noah!” His friend exclaimed from behind the cluster of people. ”Where were you?” He asked with relief.
”In the dormitory. Have they found the shooter?” Noah asked.
”No.” Nicolas shook his head sadly. ”Lily’s friend was close by when it happened, the shot came from their blind spot. She came running for help, though the teachers couldn't find the culprit when they arrived.” He shriveled at the idea of a let loose psychopath.
Something doesn’t add up in this story. Noah thought nervously.
”Do you know where she is?” He asked in a rushed manner.
”Oh, she is right over the-” He pointed to an empty seat, just as thunder sounded through the ceiling, sending shivers down Noah’s spine.
”Nicolas...” He muttered. ”I think we’re missing something in here.”
”And what would that be?” Nicolas furrowed his eyebrows in confusion.
What am I not noticing? He asked himself while tapping his fingers at the dining table. Tic - Tac, the clock clicked inside his mind.
How can the shooter disappear in a matter of seconds? Perhaps apparating?
No... Hogwarts has enchantments put into place to avoid that. Something else happened - I am forgetting an important detail. His tapping stopped.
”Hey. What is going on Noah?” Juniper put her hand over his shoulder, attempting to get his focus back to reality.
Wait... why didn’t Lily’s friend follow them to the nurse? Odd... maybe because it was dangerous? His mind was oblivious to her though.
But there were teachers with them - and now that they are all here, looking for the gun psycho, she just disappears? His eyes focused back on Juniper as realization hit him.
”Shit.” His lips moved by themselves, another thunder creaked into the skies.
”What? Tell me what is happen-” Before she could finish though, Noah was already going away, Nicolas right behind.
”The infirmary, now!” He told Nicolas.
"But the teachers- why don't we tell them?" He chided from Noah's back.
"Yeah, let's bring them so that all the students stay defenseless or the shoot- actually she, notices their movement." He said.
”Wait, I am coming as well!” Juniper took her wand out. ”Stay here Mary. Don’t worry about us, we come back soon.” She soothed her friend before going after Noah.
Mary just stood there, paralyzed, deciding what she should do. Between staying somewhere safe or going aid her friends she chose: ”I can help too!” Mary blurted out, but they were already too far to hear her.
"Great plan Noah, let's run towards the nursery!" She raised her hands to emphasize. "Just how will we get through the professors?"
"Leave it to me." He whispered before taking his wand out.
"Lumos." He muttered, and a light-laser shot from the tip of his wand onto the chandelier at the ceiling. The light cast back, illuminating everything in the enormous hall, momentarily robbing the professor's attention - it was all they needed. They scurried to the exit, taking advantage of the short frame of time.
"I'm pretty sure Lumos isn't supposed to work like that..." Juniper narrowed her eyes at Noah, he didn't stop surprising her.
"Lumos? What is that?" Nicolas, on the other hand, was completely lost on the subject.
"Later, we have more concerning problems!" He replied, and all of them fastened their pace.
His wand as well... just as weird as the owner. She couldn't stop wondering about him though. It was still their second day in Hogwarts, and he already knew the whole school's map, some spells, and magical contracts.
Of course, I also know those, but he didn't have a mentor as I did. I mean, he said he discovered the wizarding world just months ago! He isn't telling me something.
"Stop- stop- stop..." Noah held them behind a column, interrupting Juniper's thoughts. "There is someone ahead, but I can only make out the outline in this darkness."
"Must be she." Nicolas whispered, sounding even fainter than a breeze, and going even paler than the moon.
"Alright, I and Noah will follow her. You, search for a professor - we can't handle this alone." Juniper took the lead. They only nodded, being slightly taken back by her.
"No, actually scratch that. She is probably trying to finish what she started, so Noah, do you know any other path that can take us to Lily?" She spoke fast, for their time was running out.
"Yes, follow me." They treaded away from Nicolas, departing to do their own tasks.
The two of them ran through the dimly lit hallways, taking shortcuts in secret passages which only the janitor and headmistress should know. Their steps echoed in the empty castle, not even the ghosts were wandering around.
"We are here." He gestured to the door, letting Juniper enter first. Opening the old entry, the first thing she saw was a wand - pointing right at her face.
"Who are you?!" A high pitched voice came from her right; turning fast around, she raised her hands in a peace sign.
"I mean no harm, I came here for the opposite actually." She said while slowly lowering his wand. He relented shortly after, reluctantly putting his wand away. His eyes shined the sea's color while his smooth hair fell down in an attempt to hide them. "The shooter is coming. We need to get out of here, right now." She said, and his eyes shook in fear.
Severo wasn't an exception though. Besides Lily, her other brother, James, bit his lips in nervousness.
"Can't do Juniper." Noah muttered from behind."There is no way we can carry Lily out of here."
"What are you saying then?! That we should stay here, waiting for our deaths?" She yelled back as fear crept its way to her mind.
"Do you have a better idea?" He asked and she looked away, choosing silence as her reply. "That's what I thought. If you want to stay alive, we are doing this my way! Get ready, because time is running out." He said.
The wooden doors creaked open, and a huge shadow came inside from the hallway. Step by step, the shadow wandered through the nursery. Occasionally, a thunder would cross the clouds and cast light into the empty room, revealing the face of a young girl. Even though she wasn't in the age yet, her walk felt sluggish and stiff - almost like a puppet in the hands of an amateur.
Out of her knowledge, 4 pairs of eyes stared at her as she made her way to a stretcher. Slowly but surely she reached said patient. She grabbed a pistol from under her skirt and pointed at the person-shaped blanket, and without hesitation, shot 3 times at the chest and head. There was no blood though, only feathers flew to her head, almost as if mocking her. As stiffly as possible, she turned her head around - but it was too late.
"AHH!" Noah screamed at the top of his lungs as he jumped at her from behind, throwing her gun away as she fell to the floor.
"Restrain her!" He said to his companions as they came out of the shadows with rope-like blankets. The girl under him struggled with all her strength under his arms, fighting back more like a trapped animal than a human.
"AHhhhhHHHHH!" She shrieked in an inhuman voice.
What the fuck is this?! He asked himself in horror. Seconds later James and Severo rushed in to restrain her with their ropes, but then she stopped her movements completely - being cut out of her strings.
"What is wrong with her?" Severo asked James as tears formed in his eyes. His brother's attention was elsewhere, however, to answer him.
"Hey, what are you doing?" James asked Juniper as she took the gun from the floor.
"Juniper?" Noah took his eyes away from the girl to stare at Juniper, her arms trembled as she raised them.
Tears fell like a stream through her eyes as they widened in horror and turned into a completely white color.
Shit! Noah quickly pointed his wand at the gun, his entire life passing through his eyes as he stared at the pistol's muzzle. There were no seconds to say the spell's name, so he only thought with all his will about it.
Juniper's fingers clenched on themselves as her pistol flew towards the ceiling, going even faster than the bullets it shot. Both of them dropped together to the floor as their conscious failed. The last thing Noah could think of or feel was pain, which spread all over his chest to the rest of his body. He heard the sound of glass breaking as his head hit the cold floor.
The doors shot open on the next second as the professors flooded inside the room, Nicolas by their side.