Chapter 33

Ines found herself in the library, in the weeks after her release from the hospital wing she had found herself surrounded by more people. She was told by a few people that the sight of her at the bottom of the pitch with her limbs arranged incorrectly was a difficult sight to bear. In the library, she sat with Lily, Marlene, Benjy Fenwick who's New Year's party they religiously attended, his friend Owen Caudwell, and Emmeline. They sat with the intention of working on their Herbology essay but ended up deliberating the outcomes of the upcoming Slug Club dinner. Benjy had placed a five Knut bet that Slughorn would get so drunk he'd tell the story about his time setting the Snitch free at the Holyhead Harpies game thirty years ago yet again. "I'm not so sure" Owen whisper yelled, "I don't think he could go a night without talking about Ines and Oberon being twins, like they need another reminder."

Owen was a kind boy and, similarly to herself, he had a brother he didn't get along well with. Owen had lost his mother, a muggle, a few years before he started Hogwarts. His father, pureblood, remarried a few months before school to a pureblood woman who already had a son. His name was Luis, and he looked down upon Owen and his family, especially because he was half-blood. While Owen was placed in Hufflepuff, Luis was sorted into Ravenclaw, saving Owen from having to see him too often, something Owen was grateful for. For that reason Ines understood that in bringing up Oberon, it was not out of malice or to rile her up, he knew that he wouldn't appreciate the same treatment and never dealt it out.

Ines put up the best smile that she could, ignoring the surrounding group's apprehensive manner at Owens comment. "Either that, or he'll tell the story about when he walked into the Puddlemere United locker room thinking it was the loo.". Their laughs eased the discomfort from the mention of Oberon. He and his group of friends often incited discomfort in being brought up, and if not discomfort then anger. It was no secret, as much as Ines tried to avoid thinking about, that they were intertwined with things of a dark nature.

As Emmeline struck up a conversation with some gossip Marlene had told her about the young hospital wing attendant Madame Pomfrey, Ines watched as Lily became increasingly frustrated as she flitted through her bag. "What's wrong?" Ines asked Lily looked up at her in frustration. "I forgot my potions notes back in our dorm." She said, upset at her mistake. Ines made to go stand, packing up her stuff. "No problem, let's go grab it, I'll join you." The girls bid their goodbyes to Owen, Benjy, and Emmeline before walking out. In the halls they passed a group of Ravenclaw 5th years huddling around the most recent issue of the Daily Prophet, mumbling back and forth to each other.

Walking up the stairs, they found that the stairway had turned them away from their intended destination on the 7th floor but the 4th floor. Lily sucked in a breath, never having liked the stairs' tendencies to do so. "At least we didn't step onto the one with the trick step." She muttered, stepping off and into the hall. Ines concealed her smile, lamenting on that night with Sirius. Walking down the hall, headed towards an alternate staircase that would lead them to the 6th floor they heard voices. Typically this wouldn't bother either of them. But, when the voices they could both recognize in a heartbeat were made clearer through the bustle it struck them. Rounding the corner ahead of them was Severus, Oberon, Regulus, Mulciber, Evan Rosier, and Bertha Jorkins. Evan and Bertha were clinging to each other, feeding into the rumors of them being sexually involved as of late. Oberon, towering over Regulus, and spoke to him with a wide grin on his face, hardly paying attention to the fact that both Severus and Mulciber were even included in the conversation. Ines and Lily grabbed each other's hand and made to speed away from them. They were in no way scared but preferred to stay away from them by all means necessary.

Their quick movement caught the attention of the Slytherin group and they all paused. Mulciber stepped forward, blocking the girls' paths. "What are the two of you up to?" he asked, sneering. Ines gripped Lily's hand even tighter, "Nothing that concerns you, now if you would let us be on our way." She stared at Oberon, waiting for him to do something, anything. Still hoping that for some foolish reason he would be her brother again one day. She even looked to Regulus, wishing for her refusal to marrying him made him the least bit thankful and felt a debt to her. But neither of them cared. Severus, on the other hand, was gazing at Lily while she only looked at him with contempt.

Mulciber gripped Ines' arm, noticing that she had been reaching for her wand. "I'm not scared of you," she muttered, "not of you, or your lackies". She spat her last word, staring back at Oberon as she did so. He gripped her even tighter, Rosier now coming even closer but in Lily's direction. "Maybe you should be, these castle walls cannot protect you forever. Soon, all of us will be ser-". Before he could finish his sentence his wand was knocked from his hand, one that was incredibly close to her neck. Ines and Lily turned towards the source of the spell. James stood at the lead, his wand out and pointed at Mulciber. Sirius, Remus, and Peter only just now rounding the corner. Lily took their moment of distraction to pull Ines from Mulcibers grip and to the wall of the hallway.

Evan reached for Lily and James shot another spell at him, causing him to stagger back from him. The group of Slytherins quickly formed together, standing as one. The boys moved closer to Ines and Lily, who in turn moved closer to them. The tension in the hallway was so thick it could be cut with a knife. They all knew the risks of doing what they truly wanted, in dueling like there was no tomorrow, and decided against starting it. Instead, they all stood with their wants outstretched, kids with a reach into the treachery of their parents so deep it sometimes became unbearable, thinking of the harm they could do to each other. Just when the tension became seemingly unbearable, a shadow grew larger at the end of the hall, meaning someone was coming. Remus spotted it first, pulling his wand down along with the boys'. The rest of them soon understood the memo and put theirs down as well.

Slughorn rounded the corner to a strange sight, his confusion was evident on his face. A group of twelve students all looking very angry and ready to strike, facing each other in a fourth-floor hallway. "Ah, how are you all," He said, breaking the tension of his stare "I was just on my way to find some of you all, I have, ehm, something to deliver.". He walked through the middle of the two groups and Ines spotted Slug Club invitations for this weekend in his hand. "One for Miss Evans," he passed Lily hers, which she took with the brightest smile she could feign. "Ah! The Avery twins," he handed Ines her invitation which she took from him without even looking down at it, she was too busy staring down Mulciber. "One for Mr. Lupin, Mr. Snape, Mr. Black, ehm, Regulus" Sirius wasn't confused by the mistake in name, knowing there was no way he would be getting an invite over his brother and watched as Regulus took his eagerly. "I'm well excited for you all to come, ehm, bring whomever it is you'd like, the more the merrier!" With his final words, he scurried off down the hall, leaving the kids back where they were before. Neither group of kids had the gall to even try and harm the other and left it at that. Peter tried to grab at Remus to get him to leave, which he obliged, along with Evan and Bertha. Severus took one look at Lily and she stormed off, quickly followed by James and Severus left with Mulciber. Ines turned to Sirius, "How did that all come together?" he took a second to glance at Regulus and Oberon who were moving to walk away. "We were headed towards the Hufflepuff common room so Peter could talk to some girl and heard Mulciber,".

She nodded, and before she got the chance to respond she heard her name. Recognizing the voice immediately she turned on her heel and snapped back; "What!". Oberon didn't at all look surprised at her reaction and only held out his invitation. Looking down at her own for the first time she realized it bore his name and not hers, a simple mix up. Ines calmed down in the slightest and took it from his hand and gave him his. The two of them could hardly stand a second more of interaction and grabbed the hands of the Black boys' whom they cared for deeply in unison and walked off. Once they rounded the hall and made their way back to the staircase, still hand in hand, Ines leaned against the rail. "Come with me? To Slughorn's party? I suspect Regulus to be there as well so I don't blame you for not wanting to come.". He squeezed her hand tighter, "It's no problem, I wouldn't miss it.".

Hi! I'm a bit unsure if anyone will end up reading this note or care to but I'm going to add it in any way. Not that I really have to explain myself, or any need to at all as I don't owe anyone reading this anything but I want to anyways.

1. I'm so unbelievably happy people are reading this story, I can't even express it. As of the way I have planned the rest of this book and the chapters it contains, the midway point is chapter 33! meaning I'm almost halfway done which is mind-blowing.

2. The real reason I'm writing this and have avoided talking about is my lack of updating. I use to update this story like every week-ish and I don't anymore. Especially as of late when I didn't update for almost a month. To put it simply and vaguely; life is hard at the moment, but if you want to help (obviously not directly) you can donate to the ABTA (American Brain Tumour Association). That's all I'll say about that.

3. Back to the much happier stuff, I absolutely adore Oberon and Regulus, I have so many little details and stories about the two of them planned out with nowhere to put them so I'm thinking once I finish this story (Or I get impatient and do it beforehand) I would publish a short story about the two of them, the moments I've created, and a better look into their lives and relationship. I have many things planned for them (hint: chapter 57!)

4. Once again, thank you and I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!