Long walks at night became a usual for you. You loved the night and the silence and that you finally got some time to be alone. The castle was always bustling with people and it was nearly impossible to find a little nook to yourself. Nobody was stupid enough to come out to the forbidden forest at night, well other than you, that is. You started coming there after being thrown out there to collect things for Hagrid for a detention. Two years later and you still feel the strong wanderlust and the draw to be in the forest. You held your wand tightly in your left hand, nothing had happened in all of the times you wandered through, but you weren’t going to chance it. Anything can happen in the woods.
The moon and stars were high overhead, just the way you liked and the november air was crisp and nipping at your nose, though you refused to wear a jacket. Dead leaves crunch under your delicate footsteps, marking each little stride in distance from the roaring castle heard. You hummed a little tune to yourself, even though you usually liked the silence of the forest. You did it because the air was a little thicker tonight. Maybe you weren’t alone.
You tried not to think of all the things that could be lurking in the forest. You knew that trolls and unicorns and centaurs, things of a gentile caliber, but what about the things with an insidious nature? I’m a sixth year, though you thought to yourself I know pretty much every spell I’ll need. You were very convincing, especially to yourself, so you ventured on.
The woods were becoming especially thick, it occurred to you that you must be reaching the center of the woods. You had never walked out this far before and it rattled your nerves a little bit, but the urge to wander still had not ceased. The trees loomed above you covering the moonlight, you pointed your wand in front of you and said ‘Lumos’ in barely a whisper, and continued on.
You didn’t make it too much farther when you began to hear footsteps in front of you. You stop dead in your tracks and your heart began to beat a million miles per hour. Up in front of you, slightly off the path, you could see a silhouette standing beside a tree. It was just standing there, though it was moving just a second ago. Was it stopping to look at you or was it looking the other way. You couldn’t make it out in the darkness, even with the dull light from your wand, which you now had concealed behind your back. You began to slowly back up, when the figure turned around and called out “Who’s there” in a gruff tone. You recognized that voice.
“Ben?” You call out, pulling the wand out back in front of you. Sure enough there was Ben Solo from Defense against the Dark Arts class.
He rushed from the tree to your side, “You really shouldn’t be here, and you need to leave.” He sounded frantic.
Now you were used to Ben being a little...odd. He always had such a macabre aura about him, and he didn’t usually speak but when you noticed he did he always had something morbid to say. But right now he was being more cryptic than usual.
“Wh--” You begin to ask, but before you can say it, explosions roar not too far out. The force of the blast sends you and Ben flying to the ground.
The ringing in your ears was painfully loud. You felt like you were pulled under in a tide, completely disorientated and all of the breath had been knocked out of you. Ben quickly jumped to his feet, grabbed your hand and dragged you forwards. “What’s happening?!” You shout as you hear an orchestra of trees and foliage being decimated behind you.
“I don’t know, but we need to run!” He yelled with a tremulous voice.
And here you came to have a peaceful walk out in the woods but now you were running for your life. The adrenaline raced through your veins. Your vision was blurry, but you still evaded your pursuers.
You were almost all the way out of the woods when you tripped over a tree root, and to make matters worse you pulled Ben down with you. You tumbled behind a fallen tree, it was almost tall enough for cover, but not so. Almost on cue electric green spells shoot right above your head, and singe part of your hair. Without hesitation Ben rolled himself on top of you, acting as a human shield. He was warm and heavy; you could hear his heart beating faster than you thought humanly possible.
“We need to go” He whispered, to which you nodded slightly, “when everything is silent we’ll run.”
“Yeah,” you wheezed. It felt like you were on the ground for hours, little debris hitting your face; you couldn’t even imagine what Ben was feeling, him getting the most of blows. Then it happened suddenly, everything was silent. Absolutely silent.
“Now,” Ben whispered.
You both stood up and took off, running to the edges of the forest, but behind you, a disembodied voice calls out, “You can run now, Kylo Ren, but not for long.”
Back in the doors of Hogwarts Castle you and Ben both collapse onto the stairs of the great hall. Panting and doubled over you cry, “What the hell was that?”
He lifts his head and his eyes were piercing, “Let’s about this somewhere else.” You knew he wouldn’t say anything unless he knew you were alone, so you followed him.
You were led to the slytherin common room, a place you had been millions of times before. You were the only two people in the room, it was late and everyone had gone off to bed for the night. The air was cold and the walls were dark, but what more could be said of the common room? You sat on a smooth leather couch while Ben stood in front of the fire with his hand on the mantle, just staring into it, the shadow of the flames licked his face. You couldn’t tell if you were shivering from the flames or from the adrenaline which was finally wearing off.
“So, I repeat, what the hell was that?” Your voice shook more than you wanted it to.
“ I-I don’t know” You knew he was lying, he was a terrible liar.
“You don’t know.” Your voice was thick with doubt and sarcasm.
“No.” He was short with you. You were not about to let him dismiss everything that just happened, especially because you both could have died.
“Well, someone was talking to you out there. They called you Kylo Ren. So again, care to tell me what that was, Kylo.”
He turned from the fire to look at you, “Don’t call me that!” He spat, “and I can’t tell you anything.”
“You can’t tell me anything? Listen, I almost died out there!” You jumped up and began to pace back and forth rapidly, “Do you know how fucking scared I was! And now you’re not going to tell me what the hell just happened? I just wanted to go for a walk--” Your voice began to shake and you could feel the tears start to trickle down your face. You rarely slipped into full panic mode, and never around people for that matter, but you couldn’t help it.
“D-don’t cry. Please.” He said softly.
“I can’t help it, I’m scared.” You hated showing people this side of you. It made you feel weak, and being weak was something you definitely were not. You couldn’t help feel childish.
Ben came and wrapped his arms around you. It felt a little weird at first because he didn’t seem like the touchy-feely type, but you just accepted it. It was comforting, he was warm and you couldn’t help but feel more at ease, “Listen. All I can tell you is...History is repeating itself.” He whispered in your ear.
It hit you. The explosions out in the forest, that voice calling out. How did you not notice before? You pulled yourself out of his arms, “That voice was Snoke wasn’t it?” Ben didn’t say anything, he evaded your stare, but that was all you needed to know that you were right. “There’s going to be a second war?!” Your voice was no louder than a whisper, but he looked at you and nodded slightly. “Oh my god.”
“Oh my god.” You gasp, “So what do we do? Who do we tell?”
“We don’t tell anyone--”
“What? How can we not tell anyone?” You interrupt.
“Do you want to tell everyone and be responsible for everyone freaking out? What if it amounts to nothing at all?” He says in a voice that was a little too calm for your liking.
“What just happened out there wasn’t just ‘nothing’”
“Yes I know, but I have close ties with Snoke, let me just see if I can see what his true intentions are before we do anything.” His voice on the verge of begging.
You raise your eyebrows, “Why do you have ‘close ties’ with him?”
“Through family mostly, I was homeschooled by my Uncle when I was young until I came here, and then Snoke sought me out to tutor me in learning extra magic. He’s been trying to coerce me to join the First Order.” For the first time you see fear rooted deep in his eyes.
You nod your head and say, “Okay, is there anything else I can do to help?”
“You can keep what you know to yourself, and no matter how much I change, let me grow closer to him. I won’t let his dark powers mask me.”
“And you want me to stay here helpless?” you huffed
“No, I will need your help, for now I just need you to lie low for now. Trust me it’s really for your own good.”
You put your hand on your hip, “So what can I do for right now?”
He crosses his arms and thinks for a few moments, “Just stick close by me during the day, I know we have a few classes together. For now that’s all we can really do.”
You yawned, it was very late and now that the adrenaline had made it’s course through your veins you began to feel the fatigue set in. However an unsettling seed had planted itself in your mind, “How do I know that you’re not lying to me?” His eyes flickered up to you, “How do I know that you don’t plan actually joining the First Order’s forces?”
His voice, now not much louder than a whisper, was stern, “Do you think I would be stupid enough to trust someone who is barely an acquaintance with something this big? If that even were the case, some First Order Cronie would come and kill you...or worse.”
“Worse?” Sarcasm flowed off your tongue.
Ben blinked and his eyes seem to gloss over and his voice went dead, “I’ve seen worse, so much worse.” It was like all of the fear and anxiety that was entrenched in him clawed it’s way up to the surface and was now threatening to burst the glass case Ben shut it behind.
It was very clear to you that he wasn’t lying. You purse your lips and furrow your brow, “Okay. I guess I have no choice but to believe you,” another deep yawn escapes your lips and you decide it’s time for bed, “Well, It’s late, so I’ll see you in class tomorrow.”
“Goodnight.” He said coldly.
The floors creaked under your feet as you trudged sleepily to your dorm, but it was late enough where you weren’t afraid anyone would catch you out past curfew. The information in your head is like a bot threatening to boil over at any second. No one knew that Hogwarts was on the brink of a second war, and it all rested in the head of a sleepy student.
You place your Defense Against the Dark Arts notebook on your desk and pulled your quill and ink out of your bag, ready for today’s lecture. Out of the corner of your eye you can see a certain dark, lanky figuring quickly walking your way. Ben. You hadn’t talked since last night, and if it weren’t for the bumps and bruises all of you, you would think last night was just a bizarre dream.
“Do you mind if I sit next to you?” He said to you quietly. You nod and he plops down next to you. His presence definitely was enigmatic to you, he was cold and at the same time he was warm. It was hard to make odds or ends of your new ally.
The lesson begun and you listened tentatively as Professor Phasma droned on and on about the Hand of Glory; how it pertained to dark arts you still weren’t so sure. Ben scratched furiously at his quill, you never knew he was that studious. It always just seemed like he slept through classes or that he was off daydreaming himself into a new world.
A few seconds later you felt something sliding quickly under your palm. You looked at Ben, but he just kept his eyes down and continued to scribble down his notes down. Trying not to draw attention to yourself, you slowly move your palm and look down.
I have lessons with Snoke tonight, and after my little ‘defiance’ last night he’s not going to be too happy. Just thought I’d let you know, to keep you in the loop, of course. Incinerate this note as soon as you can.
You crumpled the note slowly in your hand and put it in the pocket of your robe, and went back to your notes.
“Now, class, I have been talking about the many different facets of dark arts. We are going to begin the project for the upcoming exam. You are going to choose a facet that interests you and your partner will pick one that interests them, and you will make a presentation on how they are or can be related. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me, or to take a peek at your syllabus. Once you pick your partner and topics you may leave!” Professor Phasma said as she sat down behind her desk.
Before you could even turn, you heard a quiet deep voice say, “Partners?”
“Sure.” you say, facing him. He was still looking over his notes.
“What topic are you picking?” he mumbled.
Any topic in the whole of Defense Against the Dark Arts was certainly hard to choose. What interested you the most? You didn’t really care much for spells, except for Riddikulus, but you knew that everyone and their brother was going to want to do a project on that. So it had to be a creature, but what creature? You took a few more seconds to ponder before you say, “I think I’ll do Mermaids. What do you think you’ll do?
There wasn’t even a moment's pause before he replied, “The unforgivable curses.”
“Um, okay. So do you want to work on it before dinner so you can go to your lessons?” You said awkwardly.
“Sounds good.” He replied as he picked up his stuff and made his way out of the classroom.
You walked hurriedly down the hall down to the bathroom. Making sure that no one else was in there with you, you locked yourself in a stall, pulled out the note and whispered ‘incendio’ and watched as the note burned to embers.
It didn’t take long for you and Ben to break the tension and become fast friends, once you got over his dark sense of humor, and his dark being, for that matter. Everyday you walked down the hall snorting as he made jokes at the expense of the younger kids under his breath. He would slip you cryptic notes about his lessons or anything that really was on his mind. Your favorite said:
my dad says he's glad not to be from tatooine because he couldn't have dealt with two sons
how do I unsubscribe from this family
You couldn’t help but laugh out in the middle of lecture while reading it. After classes you worked hard on your projects, carefully planning out each little detail making sure that they complimented each other. You really enjoyed listening to Ben explain what each curse did, and truth be told, you loved watching him talk about something he really enjoyed. It seemed like it was the first time you saw him truly smile.
However, you didn’t like seeing him come back from lessons every night. You began to notice the growing bags under his eyes and how exhausted it made him after every session. The stress was getting to him, and you knew that, but there was nothing you could do. And being helpless certainly didn’t suit you.
You could hear the rain and wind lashing against the stain glass windows in the DADA classroom as you set out your parchment and quill, waiting anxiously so you could tell Ben all about a first year you saw face plant out in the hallway. But the clock ticked and ticked and class began without him. Deciding whether to give him a rough time or not about missing class, you diligently wrote a second set of notes so he wouldn’t fall behind in course work.
Class definitely was slow without someone to make snarky remarks under your breath to, but finally Professor Phasma wrapped up reminding everyone, “Your presentations are at the end of this week, so make sure you have everything you need to present on friday, no exceptions!”
Everyone trailed out of the classroom as you packed up your belongings, and once the classroom was silently Professor Phasma said to you from across the room, “You’re going to have to make your presentation, I’m afraid. Ben won’t be in at all this week.”
It caught you completely off guard, and it made you extremely anxious. Why wouldn’t Ben tell you if he was going to be out this week? Surely he would have slipped you a note. Your voice shook as you said, “He’s not?”
“Nope. I got a letter from Madam Kalonia saying he was going to miss all of his classes this week, but I’m confident you can do it alone.”
“Yes Ma’am.” You felt the words get stuck in the back of your throat.
The pit in your stomach grew bigger and bigger as you hightailed it down to the infirmary. You knew, somehow, that it was serious, especially if he didn’t tell you.You had no doubt in your mind that it was because of Snoke.
When you finally got there, Madam Kalonia told you coldly that Ben wasn’t receiving any visitors right now.
“Please,” She gave you a stern look and you pleaded, “He’s my friend, and I need to see him….I have notes to give him from class!” You pulled out the duplicate set of notes out of your bag, and showed her the one you wrote Ben’s name neatly at the top.
“He’s not awake right now. Now you can come back tomorrow when he’s awake!” She was very, very annoyed with you and she waited for a few moments for you to scurry off, but you sure as hell weren’t leaving. “We just dragged him out of the Forbidden forest, he needs time for the medicine to really kick in.”
“Look, I’ll be very, very quiet. I just want to sit next to him and wait for him to wake up.”
Madam Kalonia crossed her arms and bitterly said, “Fine, go ahead, but you need to be quiet. Right now he really needs to rest.”
You gave her a quick thank you and rushed into the next room. There were many beds filled, but only one was shrouded, you somehow knew that was where he was. Tentatively you pulled back the silky, white curtain.
Instinctively you gasped, it was Ben lying there unconsciously , but he was almost unrecognizable. His face cut up, bruised and severely swollen. His left arm and both legs in hard plaster casts. His skin was so much paler than the last time you saw him. It was obvious that Snoke left him for dead out in the forest. He was out cold for now, but you knew that he had a long week of pure agony ahead of him.
Angry tears streamed down your face, you needed Snoke dead, and as soon as possible.
It was a little scary how fast you adjusted to Ben being in the infirmary full time, and how comfortable you were there. You had come to find the usual bustle of the nurses and patients didn’t really bother you anymore. It was almost like adjusting to a new home, where each creak in the floorboards underfoot feels wrong and foreign, but after a few weeks you don’t even notice it anymore. Even Madam Kalonia began to warm up to you, and it sure was nice to see her harsh frown lines become soft.
Between homework and class you spent most of your time, until you were kicked out for the night, with Ben. It was nice to have a quiet space to study and do homework where no one really disturbs you. Of course it was great to see Ben getting better and better everyday. His cuts had closed up and turned to a baby pink, and the purple bruises that covered his body began to fade to yellow.
You followed his case very closely, annoying the nurses with all of your questions. At first, when they found his body in the woods his injuries were too severe to transport him all the way to the hospital, so he stayed in the castle’s infirmary. Nurses came all the way over from Saint Mungo’s, though, to take care of him. They decided to heal him slowly, little by little, as to not put too much stress on his heart. It seemed like they were dragging it out, but the nurses promised they were doing everything they could as fast as they could.
It didn’t help that you felt more and more anxious about the First Order everyday. Why would they attack Ben like that, especially if he was on their side? You considered sneaking out to the center forest at night to eavesdrop on whatever you could manage to hear, but you knew that if you were ever caught you would be as good as dead.
You stared out the window, watching as minute snowflakes covered the dead leaves. It was nearing on Christmas, and you knew that you wouldn’t leave Ben here by himself over break. It was a little sad that in all the time that he was here no one from his family visited, you knew they were busy wizards and had stuff to do, but still it would have been nice to see them.
One of the nurses was making her way towards you, and before she could tell you it was time to leave for the night, you already had your stuff collected and ready to go. It was very late and you didn’t feel tired until you walked down the darkened corridors of the castle to your common room.
The snow continued to fall outside, it was beautiful and you could sit and stare at it all day but for now you had class. Walking all the way up to the divination tower was a drag, but the catch up work if you missed class would be worse, so you wove through students who lined the hall. Maybe there were more people or maybe not having someone to talk to made the castle feel fuller than before. You used to be such a busy bee, buzzing from friend to friend, but since your friends all graduated a year ahead of you there was nobody left to buzz to. Except for Ben, who by all means was currently your best friend, but you found it a little pathetic that most of your friendship was spent with him unconscious. Adjusting from being with friends 24/7 to being alone most of the time was proving to be quite the drag.
Finally in the class, you took a seat towards the back by a window, now you could watch the snowfall. You took out parchment and quill and began to scribble endlessly, only half listening to Professor Wexley, who would never notice. Divination was definitely not your strong suit, and usually you could bear to listen, but with the snow being so beautiful and Ben laying in the infirmary, it was the last thing on your mind. You gave a quick glance around, no one else seemed to be listening or jotting notes down either, they were probably occupied with the holiday break quickly approaching. The ambient drone of everyone around you added with Professor Wexley’s monotone voice and the pleasant warmth of being near the heater was a little too homey. You rested your head on your desk and let your eyelids flutter shut…
It must have been a little more than a half an hour before someone said your name quietly. You whipped your head up, it was a nurse from the infirmary knelt down beside your desk, and almost instantaneously your heart began to beat like a jackhammer and your face got hot.
“Can you come with me please?” Her voice was pleasant and soft, but you knew that she came bearing bad news. You just knew. She waited outside of the classroom, and everyone turned their heads to you as you shoved all of your stuff into your bag and tore out of the classroom. It was hard for you to keep your head clear and calm when your brain only swirls with endless possibilities of the unknown. He had a heart attack…. The First Order came and finished him off….He got an infection and is dying...He’s dying….He’s dead. With panic increasing steadily, threatening to let itself out you felt your blood racing, all you could do to hold back tears was clench your jaw shut. You clenched it so hard that you were sure that your teeth were going to break.
The infirmary’s doors were shut tight, which only proved further that something was very wrong, as they were always kept wide open especially during the day. The nurse drew the keys from her pocket and slowly sieved through each key, you wanted to yell out of frustration but you kept your jaw clenched still. Finally she pushed the heavy doors open, and the place was bustling mad with people. Well, with nurses really; there seemed to be a distinct lack of patients in bed. You swallowed hard, and walked towards the hub of chaos, Ben’s bed.
And there he was. There was his stupid face, awake and sitting up, with a nurse pulling out a tube from his nose making him cough hard. You unclenched your jaw, which was now properly sore, and felt your chest start to heave. Before Ben even saw you, you threw your arms around him squeezing so hard that you put pythons to shame.
“Ow.” He wheezed. “Ow, please.” You relinquished some of your grip, and you feel one of his arms (and subsequently the IV attached) wrap around you. You spend a good few seconds in this awkward half hug before pulling away and wiping the tears away.
“I’ve been so worried.” Your voice was exceptionally thick.
“...I’m sorry?” He spoke quietly and very hoarsely.
“No, no, it’s not your fault. It’s not your fault.” You chuckled, “So how do you feel?”
He was silent for a few seconds before answering, “Like somebody really wanted me dead.”
“I can’t believe this happened,” you lowered your voice, “What exactly did happen out there?”
A nurse came by with a large, Styrofoam cup of water and placed it in Ben’s shaky hands, and he gulped it down in only a few seconds. She chuckled at him and said she would be back with another soon. He gestured for you to come closer and then he whispered frantically, “I can’t talk about it now, not with everyone here….Come back later, after midnight, I’ll leave the door cracked and we can talk about it then.”
You gave him a small nod to confirm that you understood. “So...do you want to get caught up on everything you missed in class?”
He snickered, “Absolutely not,” he looked at your bag, haphazardly strung over your shoulder, “You can put your stuff down and sit you know?” When you did he continued, “So what have you been up to?”
“Well, the usual. Classes, schoolwork and visiting you. You know.” Your voice trailed.
Ben averted his eyes from you and to the nurses working, and scratched the back of his hair “You came and visited me?”
You scoffed, “Of course. I came everyday.”
“Wow...thanks.” He mumbled.
Ben chattered all about what being comatose for so long was like and all the extremely vivid dreams that he had through the filter of the drugs administered to him. You in return told him about coming everyday and about the nurses that came all the way from Saint Mungo’s to take care of him and how all of his Professors were really worried. He seemed really flattered and all too soon Madam Kalonia came and kicked you out for the night.
A little past midnight you crept out of your common room, whispered ‘Lumos’ , and tiptoed through the dark halls of the castle. Pictures lining the walls snored and mumbled in their sleep and you didn’t pay any attention until one of them caught you off guard and sternly grumbled “ Shouldn’t you be in bed? ”
You put your hand over your now fast beating heart, furrowed your brow and hissed back “Mind your own business!”
The infirmary door, as promised, was cracked open the slightest bit. ‘ Nox ” you whispered as you pushed the door as lightly as you to make as little noise possible. The room was pitch black and Madam Kalonia was nowhere in sight. You snuck around blindly before you decided to alert your presence.
“Ben?” You breathed.
“I’m here.” You exhaled a sigh of relief and ducked behind the privacy curtains, “ a nurse will be coming around in about 20 minutes so we need to make this quick.”
“Okay,” You drew your wand and illuminated the area, “ So what happened out in the woods?”
His pupils dilated from the light, and he grimaced, “I went out to the center of the forest for my lessons, but I left a little earlier than usual. When I got out there I heard two people talking to snoke, and their voices sounded familiar, I knew their voices. It was Professor Phasma and Hux! They were talking about wiping out the Alliance and then seizing Hogwarts. I made sure no one saw me, or so i thought, and I waited a few minutes before going to Snoke. The lesson went on as usual, but then a First Order member came and whispered something to Snoke and while he was doing it, I felt something hit me in the back of my head, and that’s all I can remember.”
You scratch your chin, “So do you think it was Hux and Phasma who attacked you?”
“No, Professor Phasma is the one who brought me to the infirmary according to one of the nurses. I don’t know who attacked me; I can only assume it was another First Order member.”
You huffed and furrowed your brow, “Okay. I’m confused. Why would the First Order attack you someone they are trying to coerce to be apart them?”
“Because they wanted me to forget what I saw.”
“And what exactly is that? I’m still not following.”
He took a long pause and said “What seems to be a conspiracy within Hogwarts castle.”
“A conspiracy…In hogwarts” the words flow off your tongue in disbelief.
Ben looks at you, “Think about it,” his voice was so quiet that it was almost inaudible, “ I bet more than anything Snoke already has loads of First order members within Hogwarts, trying to break any cracks in the foundation.”
You didn’t doubt it, how could you? Snoke already had Ben, how many others could he have in the castle, masquerading as students and faculty? The thought made you shudder, “If Snoke has you who else would he need? Wouldn’t he want to lay low?”
Ben chuckled darkly, and it seemed out of place with the deafening silence in the room, “Someone he can actually trust,” He was silent for a few seconds, “ Now, we should--”
Sharp footsteps quickly approached the infirmary door from the hallway, before Ben could finish his sentence you scurry to under a bed in the farthest corner and he laid his head onto his pillow and steadied his breathing to appear asleep. Your fifteen minutes was up. The infirmary door cracked open and heavy footsteps drew nearer and nearer to Ben’s bed. You could tell this wasn’t a nurse because they walked lightly and with ease, but these footsteps were urgent. The person ripped Ben’s privacy curtain open.
After a few seconds the voice said coolly, “ So it’s true, he did survive. What a shame.”
“You’re the one who dragged him from the Forbidden Forest. You should have just left him to die there.” The second voice chided.
Dragged out of the forest? It had to be Phasma. “I was on detention duty, believe me if I didn’t have to I would just have left him there.” With each word it became clearer and clearer that it was your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher talking about killing your best friend. It sent a shiver your spine.
“So how do we get rid of him now?” The younger voice asked impatiently. Your heart raced and you know Ben’s was too.
“We don’t.” Phasma said simply.
“But--” the voice boomed.
“Lower your voice, Hux, there are nurses every--” And as if on cue frantic footsteps approached the infirmary door.
“Excuse me, you shouldn’t be in here! It’s after hours and I’m going to have to ask you to leave!” The nurse fumed.
Hux took a few steps towards her and spat, “Imperio!” the nurse fell silent, “ Go away, and forget what you saw.” He enunciated each words as if talking to someone stupid. You heard the nurses light footsteps leave the room and close the door behind her. You knew that spell. It was one Ben had taught you about when working on your project. It was an unforgivable curse.
“Now as I was saying, we are going to report back to Supreme Leader Snoke that Kylo Ren is alive,” she made her voice loud and clear, almost like a bell ringing, “And we will wait to see what actions the Supreme leader takes.” It was almost nauseating how calm, cool and collected Phasma stayed.
“As you say, Professor.” Hux said docilely. He turns on his heel towards the door.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Ah, yes.” Hux takes a few steps closer to Ben’s bed, and in a penetrating voice says, “Obliviate.” With a flash of light you see Ben’s silhouette convulse in his bed. Phasma began to walk towards the door, when Hux added, “Do you think that girl could be here? Should we check around?”
You felt your face turn numb and your veins turn to ice. ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck.’ your mind raced over and over again, ‘fuuuuck’.
“No, I don’t think that will be necessary. I have her in one of my classes, and I don’t think she would be able to make it past the nurses.” Phasma said cooly. Their footsteps fade out of the room, latching the door behind them.
You wait until you don’t hear their footsteps for awhile before running to Ben’s bedside. “Ben, are you okay?”
He looked at you very, very confused, “When did you get here? Isn’t it after hours?”
“Oh, Ben…” You took a few seconds to assess the situation, before continuing, “Okay, so you’ve been doing lessons with Snoke and you got hurt and--”
He interrupted you, “Yeah, you visited earlier and you said you were coming at midnight, but you never showed.”
“No, Ben I was here. Just listen for a second. While you were telling me everything Professor Phasma and Hux came in and I hid” Ben’s pupils widened as you continued on, “ And they were talking about Snoke and killing you and they used an unforgivable curse on one of the nurses!”
Ben furrowed his brow, “And where was I during all of this?”
You huffed, “You were here, but at the end Hux used obliviate on you…. You were right, there is a conspiracy within Hogwarts...So what do we do now?”
Ben thought for what seemed like minutes and minutes before replying toneless voice, “Come back in the morning before Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
You nodded in the dark, and crept out of the room and made the trek to your common room once again.
The sun beamed through the window in the morning, and you got ready as fast as you could to meet Ben on time.
Today, surprisingly, it seemed like everyone had either made it to class early or decided to stay in bed because the halls were practically empty. Well, not empty, just less full, so to speak.
You expected Madam Kalonia to hassle you to go to class when you got to the infirmary, but before you could even see the Infirmary sign you see Ben. He was up and ready, with book in hand, to go to class. You jogged over to him, “So they let you out that easy?” you chuckled.
He smirked at you, “I figured with all the time I was asleep I’m ready to go back to class.”
“You’re ready? Really?” you exaggerated the disbelief in your voice wildly.
He laughed quietly, “ I feel like I should catch up on what I missed, but you already did it for me.”
“And you are very welcome.” you said matter-of-factly.
With that you made your way down the hallways to Defense Against the Dark Arts. It felt a little strange to you walking down the hallways with Ben, making your usual jokes and banter as if nothing really happened. As if someone didn’t try to kill him.
As Ben walked through the door Professor Phasma’s face lit up and with the same nauseating calm voice said, “Welcome Back to class Ben!”
He pursed his lips and nodded at her, as she spoke everyone turned to look at you two. Ben put his head down and walked to your usual spots, but you picked up a new gingery head in the crowd of students. It was Hux.
Professor Phasma made her way to the front of class and began the lesson. Without turning your head to Ben you whisper, “Hux is here.” He puts his head down, but a few seconds later a messy note makes its way onto your parchment.
Are you ready to really help?
For the first time you flip over the piece of paper, write neatly and then slide it back on to his desk.
It doesn’t take long for an identical note to be slipped on your parchment.
Follow my lead.
You bow your head slowly, so no one else but Ben notices. Ben puts his head back on his desk, and you continue following him out of the corner of your eye, waiting for him to do something. But he doesn’t.
You zone out, taking rapid notes on Professor Phasma’s lesson, and you barely notice her say, “Yes, Ben?”
Ben with his hand raised says quietly, “I feel like I’m going to faint. May I go to the infirmary?”
You can see Hux staring pointedly from across the room, “Yes, you may,” Professor Phasma addresses you, “Can you make sure he gets there alright?” You nod and pick up your books and parchment, and walk Ben out of the classroom.
The both of you go down a few hallways in the direction of the infirmary but then Ben grabs your hand and yanks you down a different way, leading you away from the infirmary and from the classroom. He eventually takes you down a hallway unfamiliar to you, and stops in front of a weathered and old door.
Inside, the room is enormous, bigger than any classroom you’ve ever seen. Stacked to the top of the room is piles and piles of junk, anything and everything you could ever imagine, you took it all in. “What is this, a storage room?” You ask.
Ben sat on a chair on the outskirts of a junk pile, “Kind of, but not really. It’s called the Room of Requirement. I’ve only heard it briefly mentioned in passing by my family, and wasn’t sure it actually existed, but it has everything you would ever need?”
“So why are we here in this mythical room, skipping class?”
“Uh, well,” he scratched the back of his head, “First I need to ask, are you okay with disappearing off the face of the planet for a few days?”
“I promise, that if you can't, I will do it myself but it’s easier if I have you.” He said softly spoken.
“What do you mean by ‘disappearing’ first off?”
“We would have to camp out here until it’s safe, you might be able to go to your room at night to grab stuff, only if you’re sneaky.”
“Okay, and what about class, I can’t just go off and miss a bunch of class without teachers noticing.” You add.
He thinks for a few moments, “ I didn’t say there weren’t going to be risks. If you’re uncomfortable then it’s fine, I can do it by myself. It’s no problem, I assure you… I really don’t have much of a plan, but it’s to keep us safe from the First Order for now. I promise.”
Without thinking you reply, “Okay. I trust you...So what can I do?”
“I need you to get Hux in here, when class gets out and when he gets in here I need you to go where you can’t see us...I don’t want you to see it.” His voice was thick.
“Uh, okay...So i guess I’ll go right now because class lets out pretty soon.” You walk towards the door.
“Can you find your way back?”
“Yeah, I’ll manage.” You call from outside the door.
You tried to process what just happened but you were very confused. You guessed it made sense to camp out in that room, especially if you had to hide from the First Order, but what did Ben didn’t want you to see made your stomach feel uneasy. Not to mention you had no idea how you were going to get Hux to follow you.
Outside of the DADA room, you felt light-headed and queasy waiting for Hux to exit the room, and it didn’t help that time seemed to slugging along slowly. Maybe if I run right now, I could just tell Ben that he wouldn’t come along, or whatever. You didn’t notice the doorknob turning, until Hux’s ginger hair caught your immediate attention.
“Uh, is Ben okay?” He said awkwardly to you.
You had no time to think and just stammered the first words that made their way out, “No, he collapsed, and I need help. Will you come with?” Your quivering voice made you sound very frantic.
“Where is he?” Hux asked with a tinge of nervousness.
“Follow me!” You ran down the hall and Hux tried to keep up behind you.
Finally, you lead Hux all the way to the room of Requirement, and you both stopped to catch your breath. “Why is he here?”
You felt the panic surging again, “Uh, well, when he fainted I didn’t want to leave him lying in a hallway”
Hux furrowed his brow, “But this is nowhere near the infirmary.”
You rubbed your sweaty palms on your skirt, “I’m really bad at finding things?” your voice wavered.
Hux looked at you, pondering for a few seconds, as if deciding or not if he believed you, “Oookay, let’s get him to Madam Kalonia then.” You nodded, and went to open the door to the Room of Requirement. Hux stood and gazed wide-eyed at all the junk, “Wow, what is all this?”
“I think it’s just a storage room.” You replied hesitantly.
“Where is he then?” Hux said, sounding very impatient. You had no words, Ben didn’t tell you his plans or what to do or anything, and your heart began to pound. Hux’s face turned a little redder and you could tell he was getting angry. “Where. is. He.” he said loudly. Very loudly.
Ben lept out from behind a pile of furniture piled up, with his wand drawn, and yelled “Crucio!” Hux crumpled to the ground, and his body began twitching. His face was twisted in pain, and he could only manage to let out low moans of pain. You watched, not knowing what to do, but you felt as if your feet would give way any moment. “Get in the chair!” He ordered Hux, gesturing to a chair which seemed to be an old electric chair, he had to have pulled out while you were gone. Hux, however, darted towards the door, to which Ben cried “Crucio!” again. With his wand fixed on Hux, Ben went and grabbed Hux and dragged him by his shaggy, ginger hair to the chair, and strapped him in tight.
Ben never noticed you just standing there, you knew you weren’t supposed to watch and you really didn’t want to, but you couldn’t find the strength to look away. The room had to be sound proof or very far away from used rooms because Ben was yelling, and Hux was now screeching and sobbing. “What the hell did Snoke say to you last night after you came and saw me?”
“He didn’t say anything, I s-swear!” Hux hiccuped.
“That’s bullshit!” Ben growled, “What did he say?!”
“Nothing! I’m not lying!”
“Crucio!” Once again Hux quivered and contorted in pain, howling like a gutted animal, and it made your face turn stark white.
“He said...nothing!” He spat through the pain.
Ben grabbed Hux by the jaw and looked at him with daggers in his eyes. You didn’t know what he was doing, but Hux was squirming around, yet it didn’t seem like Ben was inflicting any pain. You don’t know why but it made your skin crawl so much but it did. “Get out of my head!” Hux finally shrieked.
“As you wish...you gave me everything I wanted anyways.” Ben severed his stare and Hux’s head fell limp, and with a single breath Ben made sure he would never remember “Obliviate.” Hux’s body convulsed and Ben dragged his unconscious body into the hall. Looking at him, you would have never guessed that he was strong enough, yet he seemed to do it with extreme ease.
Ben returned, bent over trying to catch his breath. After a few moments he noticed you planted where you stood, unable to move. “Did you….watch?” He said awkwardly.
You couldn’t find words so you only nodded.
He put his face in his hands and groaned, “I didn’t want you to watch. Goddamn it--” He sighed, “Listen, I know you’re probably really freaked out right now, but i promise everything I did was completely necessary and I had to do it or else there would have been worse things to come.” You said nothing and a moments later he added, “I found a few cots for us to sleep on and I some furniture I can burn to keep us warm over here.” You followed him as he went further into the maze of junk. He had pulled two cots from a shorter pile onto the floor and scooted them next to each other, you sat down on the one still not saying anything.
You fell in and out of naps, watching Ben start a fire out of old desks and chairs, then Ben doing his homework humming to himself, and then Ben eating food from god knows where. Finally when the sun went down and the room went dark did you say, “I’m starving.”
He chuckled quietly, and passed you a sandwich and an apple from his bag. As you chewed he said, “So do you want to talk?”
“No….I just needed time to process.” You mumbled between bites. When you finished you layed back down on your cot.
“Are you tired?” You nodded and softly closed your eyes,”Okay, I’m going to put the fire out for the night then.”
As Ben stood up to put out the fire through half sleep you mumbled, “So what did you do to him?”
He turned to you, “It’s magic I learned from Snoke, but in the simplest phrasing, I read his thoughts...against his will.”
Even though you napped a few times you were half asleep already, “Mmmkay...So what did you find?”
“ Aguamenti ” The fire extinguished with a flume of smoke and sizzling from the water. “Well, that the First Order plans on seizing Hogwarts within the next few weeks,” He cleared his throat and when he spoke again his voice was brittle, “And that Hux was ordered to murder you tonight.”
“Oh…” the words clinging heavily to the back of your throat
Ben walked back to his cot which was head to head with yours, tucked himself under the thready blankets, finally leaning over to kiss the top of your head.
This chapter got me to my word count goal, and I won campnanowrimo :)