|nikolas vaisey doesn't need a broom to fly (besserwisser) wrote in wished,|
@ 2010-01-17 16:11:00
|Entry tags:||!complete, daphne greengrass, nikolas vaisey|
WHO: Daphne Greengrass & Nikolas Vaisey
WHAT: Post-Aragog!spawn attack, Daphne is a bit shaken, and disturbed.
WHERE: A random corridor off the main hall.
WHEN: 16 January, Saturday night, not long after the Daphne/Ernie thread (backdated)
RATING: TBD? Language is a factor, and icky imagery of a dead spider?
She didn't mean to say it, but when a spider the size of a car is stampeding towards her, she can't really think of anything else to say. No matter, the fact still remained that she said one of the unforgivable curses. The curse still coursed it's way through her fingers, leaving a warm sensation on her fingers as the rest of her body went completely frigid. Looking in complete and utter horror as the spider loss complete control of itself and began to rip off it's own legs, one my one until it was a twitching mass of spider legs, and an immobile body. That was not what she meant to do, but in the heat of the moment, that was all she could picture it doing. She wanted the spider to spot chasing her, and she wanted it to stop attacking her. She wanted it dead and gone. Mainly gone, but dead was just an after thought. She never intended to use the Imperius Curse, but that was all she could think of as the massive insect came charging towards her and --- oh merlin. ERNIE MACMILLAN! Of all the people to use that curse in front of.
As the spider gave one final twitch and finally laid there dead, Daphne finally realized exactly the extent of her curse. No longer did the fact that the spider rip her sweater in two, and was hanging in tatters off her shoulders matter. No longer did the fact that she had a large gash on her left forearm from where the spider attempted to pin her down matter. She used one of the three unforgivable curses, and it was right in front of the Head bloody Boy of Hogwarts.
Daphne couldn't fathom what she had just done, all she could feel was the curse lingering on her fingers, and on her tongue. Something told her to run, and thus, she turned quickly from a shocked Ernie and bolted back up hill towards the castle. What was she going to do? McGonagall was going to have her head. Her parents were going to kill, and worse of all... this was going to spread through the school like a wild fire the moment that people realize what has happened.
Horror and disgust for what she has done completely clouded her usually level headed, logical mind. She slipped into the castle well enough before rounding a corner and stopping short to catch her breath. Daphne couldn't tell if the tightening in her chest was from the anxiety or from the running, but all she could tell was that it felt like she was being crushed beneath a rock. Leaning against the wall, she dropped her wand to the floor and just sobbed. There was a dull ache coming from the cut on her arm, and her legs were covered in mud. Her sweater was hanging off her shoulders in tatters, and the front of her white shirt was stained with blood - whether it was her's or the spider's she couldn't tell. Gasping for air, Daphne pressed her back against the wall, allowing the cool stones to shock the back of her neck. She felt so cold, but yet her skin was raging hot. Cheeks were flushed, and grass stained from where she was tackled to the ground by the spider. The girl looked like a train wreck, and she certainly felt like one.
Tears were clouding those usually bright and alert blue eyes, as they streaked down her cheeks. She truly felt like she was going to die. In that dark, empty corner, alone. She felt like she was going to die, and vomit at the same time. What has she done?!
It was unusual that Nikolas spent much time in the library, unless there was a major project in the works, or there was a specific book he wanted. Even the, he tried to avoid a visit if possible. Still, tonight he'd spent what seemed like a record amount of time there, going directly after dinner and lingering indefinitely. Why, he couldn't really say. He'd been distracted lately, feeling out of sorts, even cranky.
Nikolas didn't want to go back to the Common Room and it was too cold to go for a fly. He'd gone to the library, where it was at least quiet. Finally feeling a bit more himself, and realizing he'd just spent several hours studying - somehow - Nikolas glanced down at his watch and saw that it there was just an hour or so before curfew was up. After wandering out of the library at a slow pace, he began to walk through the corridors. There was still time, and he wasn't quite ready to go back to the lower floors. Couldn't hurt to do some idle exploring; even after six years, Nikolas knew he'd probably only seen a fraction of the castle.
Ten minutes or so passed, and he soon found that he had somehow arrived near in a corridor near the entrance of the castle. He reached the end of the hall, at which point it branched off to the left and the right. Just as he was about to take the left hand corridor, Nikolas heard what sounded to him suspiciously like a sob coming from a ways down the right corridor. Curious in spite of himself, he took a glance down the hall he'd originally chosen before turning back to see what was going on.
The sounds, he soon found, were coming from a shallow alcove further down the corridor. As he neared, it occurred to Nikolas that this could be serious - whoever it was was really upset. He hadn't heard someone crying like this, well, in a very long time, if ever. A fleeting thought that he should just turn and go arose in his mind, but he knew it would bother him late.
Steeling himself for the possibility that he'd wind up involved in something he had no desire to be, Nikolas peered around the corner carefully.
He felt his stomach seize when he realized who was there - Daphne Greengrass was huddled on the floor, pressed against the wall like her life depended on it. She was sobbing in great gasps and looked like she'd just come out of something traumatic; Nikolas hadn't expected to find anyone in this sort of condition, much less Daphne. He opened his mouth to speak, but he couldn't find any words. So he stood and stared, his mouth slightly agape, his posture stiff.
She was begging the wall to swallow her up right then and there. While her gasps for air, and sobs drowned out an possibility of hearing footsteps, she became acutely aware of someone staring at her. Head lolled to the side to settle a blurry stare at Nikolas. She was half expecting to see McGonagall there ready to take her to Azkaban... or whatever they did to people who used the unforgivable curse. While she didn't want to see anyone standing there, she was relived that it was Nikolas and not some loud mouthed Huffpuff, or overzealous Gryffindor.
Her own mouth opened to speak, and all she could croak was, "I---" before breaking down into tears once more. She didn't bother getting up, her limbs felt like jell-o at this point, and her arms just flopped to her sides. Fingers on her wand hand were still twitching and the tip of her tongue burned from that curse. "I--" She attempted once more, before running around of air in her lungs and having to gasp once more.
Was this what if felt like to be hysterical? She wasn't screaming, and she wasn't carrying on. She just couldn't stop crying, and she couldn't catch her breath. Her left arm was starting to throb, as she left it in the downward position. All the blood rushed to the cut on her arm, as what was left of her sweater absorbed it.
This had to be the last thing Nikolas was expecting to see. Merlin how Daphne wished it was the last thing she ever had to go through. Cheeks were a bright crimson from both humiliation, and the running she did to get to where she was; collapsed on the floor in a heap of... mess.
Nikolas tilted his head, as though trying to see if looking at the scene from a different angle would reveal it to be something entirely different. Something...not as disturbing as this was. He was still startled though, so the motion was jerky and looked more like a twitch than a voluntary movement. A few more moments passed as Daphne tried to speak once, then again, before resorting to more crying.
What was going on? As far as Nikolas knew, Daphne was barely capable of expressing the normal, everyday gamut of human emotion - the thought of her thoroughly hysterical was completely unimaginable. Yet, here she was. All of a sudden Nikolas found that he was much more aware of himself, and that he must look like he was gawking. Which he was, but not intentionally.
Not quite sure what to do, he tried to think of what he would do it he'd come across Astrid like this, or someone else he cared a lot for. Keeping this in mind, Nikolas bent slowly into a crouching position, to bring himself level with Daphne but as not to startle her. She looked like the slightest thing could completely destroy her right now.
From here he had a better view of the damage - whatever she'd been through, it had been really bad. Her sweater was torn severely, she was covered in dirt, and...what that blood? Was that her blood? What had happened to her arm?
Almost afraid to do so, judging by what he reaction would normally be to such an action, Nikolas reached his hand over to her and took her right one.
"Daphne, hey, Daphne. Shh," he said quietly. He kept a firm grip on her right hand and tried to get her to look him in the eye. "Daphne, look at me. Listen. Just breathe, OK?"
The gawking. That was one of the main reasons why Daphne rarely showed emotions. She felt safer hidden behind a mask of indifference. It prevented situations like this from erupting. It kept her in a safe cocoon, in her own world, and kept people out and prevented them from hurting her and her from hurting them. In her mind it made life that much easier to show no emotion versus mass hysteria. What she didn't factor in were instances like this where no matter how hard she tried she couldn't keep it bottled up.
Eyes were wide -- with...what? she didn't know. Fear? Horror? Terror. Disgust? -- as she watched Nikolas crouch down in front of her. As he told her to breath, she wanted to shout at him that was bloody well breathing FINE it was controlling her breathing that she needed help with, however, words failed her and all she could do was comply. His hand was grasping her right hand, the hand that still felt like it was on fire. Though, at this point, she was positive it was all in her mind.
Closing her eyes, tears continued to roll down her cheeks as she just tried to picture herself in a nice open field, with fresh air and -- spiders. Oh Merlin, visualization wasn't working as all she could see was what she did to that spider. "I didn't mean to...!" She finally managed to blurt out, as her eyes shot open again and she stared at Nikolas.
"Oh my god, they're going to throw me in to Azkaban, I know it. They're going to throw me into a cell and lock the key." Gasping for air, she could feel herself getting light-headed from trying to talk and breathe at the same time, "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to, I didn't mean to!" Her eyes were beginning to turn red at this point, as tears streaked through the grass and mud stains on her cheeks.
This was making Nikolas very uncomfortable, to say the least. He generally shied away from dealing with these sorts of matters - watching people in this degree of upset made him feel like he was intruding. Some people seemed to crave human contact when these things happened, and Nikolas thought that was nice for them and at least made it easier, but he knew for a fact that Daphne was absolutely not one those people. He was still expecting her to shout at him, or grab her wand and hex him, or even kick him.
His eyes were wide, too, and he felt like he had to remember to blink. He tried to maintain eye contact, even if it was taking all of his self control to do so. Daphne had finally recovered enough to form cohesive sentences, but they sounded like the ravings of a crazy person. What was she talking about being thrown into Azkaban for?
Nikolas shook his head, frowning slightly. "Daphne, no one's throwing you in Azkaban. What happened?" He eyed her left arm dubiously. It didn't look good, and he thought she ought to get to the hospital wing.
The last thing she was thinking about at that point was grabbing her wand. At the moment, she didn't want anything to do with that wand. "I was scared... I couldn't think of any other spell." Right hand pulled away from his, and lifted to cover her face in shame. So many emotions were coursing through her, that her mind couldn't grasp them. At this point, she couldn't tell if she should cry, scream, kick something, throw herself off a tower. What! She wasn't used to this, and the fact that it was hitting her like a speeding train all at once utterly terrified, and confused her even more.
"The wretched beast attacked me! I didn't know what else to do. I'm not trained on how to defend myself against bloody giant spiders with a penchant for human blood! Just look what it did to me," Her mind was calming down, slowly. Or maybe she was just getting very tired. "Bloody hell, all I could think of was that... that sodding curse."
Her pulse was still beating rapidly, and she could hear it in her ears. She could feel herself getting sleepy, all this crying and carrying on was tiring, especially on a person who was not used to doing such a thing. Hands were still shaking, as her body began to shake as well. She couldn't tell if she was hot, or cold, or tired or awake. She wanted to feel numb, she didn't want to feel anything.
"I didn't mean to." Inwardly, she was telling herself to stop crying, that it wasn't going to solve anything, but for one thing or another she couldn't stop.
Nothing Daphne was saying was processing immediately, because it sounded ridiculous. It sounded to Nikolas like she'd been out in the Forbidden Forest (why, he couldn't fathom), and had been attacked by one of the giant spiders he'd heard rumors about. People often talked about the various sorts of creatures that lived out there, dangerous and benign alike, and the spiders had always been a topic that people seemed to shy away from. Some even doubted they were actually out there. And now she was going on about a curse, and how she hadn't meant to use it, and...
It almost sounded like she'd used an Unforgiveable, the way she was so shaken. Nikolas was shocked that that was the only possibility that really made sense, but saying so wasn't going to make her calm down. He felt a bit sick, then, but tried to ignore it. This was worse than he thought.
He'd been looking down at his hands while she spoke, as it was obvious his prying gaze was making her even more upset. Still, when he next looked up he saw she was shaking again, more than before, and he couldn't help but feel badly. Even if he thought that Daphne was a fairly wretched person most of the time, she'd been through something terrible, albeit still vague. She didn't deserve this.
Knowing he was likely to regret it eventually for one reason or another, he moved from his crouch in front of her and crawling over so that he was sitting next to her. He leaned his back against the cold stone wall. Grimacing, as though the action was making him feel ill, Nikolas placed a hand on her shoulder closest to him. A moment later he bit the bullet and put his other arm around her shoulders, being careful not to press into her injured arm. It was an attempt to stop her shaking that he was positive wouldn't do much, but Nikolas didn't know what else to do.
This was not how he'd envisioned his walk back to his dorm going.
"I know," he said simply, even though he didn't know. He didn't know anything. He didn't even know what she had done, exactly. Again, he eyed her arm - it was definitely her blood on her clothing, at least some of it. "Daphne. It doesn't matter right now. You were trying to protect yourself. You have to go to the hospital wing."
Daphne didn't expect Nikolas to understand, she didn't expect any of them to understand. Even Ernie, who was there, and witnessed it all didn't seem to understand it. She was going to die out there, and the only thing she could think of was not dying. She knew she was going to get hell for this, she knew in the back of her mind that while the response to the squid situation was difficult to get through this was going to be ten times worse. No, a thousand times worse. No one was going to understand why she did what she did, and what was worse was not even she understood why she did what she did.
Daphne was lost in her own thoughts, her mind no longer bombarded with emotions, but instead attempting to sort through everything that happened. However, she snapped back to reality when she felt Nikolas' arm wrap around her shoulders. Everything within her screamed to push him away, but she was too exhausted at this point and just allowed his arm to rest there. Somewhere in her mind, in the far reaches, hidden behind years and years of built up walls and resentment, a tiny appreciation for Nikolas' attempt to comfort her was there. She could sense it, which was why, she practically collapsed against his side. Hands resting in her laps, she didn't make an attempt to move away from him, but just remained there like a languid rag doll.
At this point, she could care less how she felt, and how he felt, she was too exhausted to move. Her voice felt hoarse, as she swallowed a few times, "I---" Sighing, she stared down at her hands. "I'm not going to the hospital wing, I'll fix it myself." She replied rather stubbornly.
"I don't understand why these sort of things only happen to me. I wasn't anywhere near the bloody forest. I was trying to get back from the owlery when the thing just pounced me." Daphne was not a liar, and while she knew what she did was horrible, she wasn't about to deny it. She was willing to take full blame for it, "It just attacked me, out of no where. I didn't know what to do, I thought I was going to die... I couldn't think straight, and I blurted out the only spell I could think of. I didn't know I was saying the imperius curse until it... it---" Shuddering, her shoulders began to shake again, as tears were beginning to well up in her eyes as she just fell silent, trying to control herself.
Maybe this wasn't actually happening. Maybe Nikolas had dozed off in the library, over one of the many books he'd read over that evening, and was having a bizarre pseudo-nightmare brought on by an unusual amount of studying. Obviously, he'd shocked his system. That had to be it.
But Nikolas knew that that was even more ridiculous than the reality. Daphne hadn't moved much since he'd taken to her side by the wall; in fact, if anything she'd moved closer. Or, fallen closer, was probably more accurate. She was obviously at a point of exhaustion, and he wasn't surprised that she seemed unable to do much else but rest against him. Normally, it was a nice feeling, having a girl leaning into your body...right now, though, it was weird and felt wrong.
Nikolas shifted a bit, but didn't disturb Daphne. Fine, she'd fix it herself. Probably wasn't as bad as it looked. It was hard to tell, too much blood. He still thought she ought to see a healer, but he didn't try to argue the point. It wouldn't do any good, at least not right now. She was still upset, too irrational.
"The imperius..." he echoed. His first thought was that at least it hadn't been the killing curse, and it hadn't been on a human being. That had to make a difference. Nikolas tried to sound rational, even if this whole thing was making his stomach turn. "It was self-defense. And you didn't throw it at another person, it was an animal that was threatening your life."
Nikolas wasn't the only one praying this was a dream. No, this wasn't even a dream, this was a nightmare. She prayed that she would wake up safe and sound in her bed. This wasn't happening, and not around Nikolas. Daphne didn't know why she resented Nikolas so much. He wasn't a bad person, and maybe if Daphne was a different type of girl she would actually harbor feelings for him. But... circumstances beyond her control made any interaction with him awkward, and just forced emotions. Even with his arm around her she couldn't feel that spark that came when Blaise touched her. Maybe she wasn't searching hard enough... maybe she wasn't even trying at this point. She care so little for anything a the moment, that even resting against him seemed fine.
As he repeated the curse, Daphne winced before shaking her head, "I would never use it on a person... bloody hell, and didn't even mean to use it on the bloody insect. I just ---" Sighing, she finally pushed away from him to sit up on her own, "I don't know what came over me, it was the only thing I could think of to stop it from killing me." She wanted to add Ernie, but she had a feeling that boy was dragging her name through the mud as they spoke. Running a hand through her hair, grass fell to the stone floor and she shook her head.
She was calming down, her nerves were shot, and she couldn't lift her limbs without shaking. But at least she caught her breath, and she was able to speak coherently.
"There's no rational way to think about this, I used one of the three Unforgivable curses. They put people in Azkaban for less than that..." Biting on her bottom lip, she had to scoff, "Think of it this way, Nikolas, if I'm in Azkaban, we don't have to get married." How cynical. Typical Daphne.
"No," Nikolas told her, in a tone like that of one correcting the person who's given the wrong answer in class. "You're not getting locked up." He paused, then, with a roll of his eyes, added as an afterthought, "Or out of this marriage thing that easily."
This hardly felt like the time to joke, but Daphne had brought up the idea first - maybe she needed something like that. The normalcy of complaining about and mocking their current arrangement...he looked away from her and stared at the opposing wall. Through the relative silence he listened for anyone approaching, but heard no other signs of life.
He gave her a sidelong look, out of the corner of his eyes, then grabbed his wand out of his pocket. Pointing it at Daphne's shirt, where the mess of blood seemed worst, Nikolas muttered "Tergeo." As the blood began to siphon away, he looked at Daphne properly.
"I know you're not going to go to the hospital wing, so I won't even try to convince you of that again," he muttered, keeping an eye on his wandwork. "But I think you should go to McGonagall about this."
The Headmistress, if anyone, would surely understand this. Sure, the woman was a bit batty, but Nikolas also thought she was smart, and tough, and, well, scary. He respected her, and knew she wouldn't take any rash actions against Daphne.
Besides, she was already guilty of harboring one "fugitive"; and anyway, the way the government was going, Nikolas had the feeling a Pureblood could commit any sort of heinous crimes and get not more than a slap on the hand.
"Of course not," Daphne sighed, and leaned against the wall. As Nikolas reached for his wand, Daphne could only think of the worse. Glancing around for where she dropped her, she didn't want to use it, but if he was going to attack--- Oh. Remaining completely still, and very tense, eyes stared down at her sweater which was slowly siphoning all the blood away. Swallowing slightly as she could finally see her arm, she could see the extent of the damage. A long cut that ran from her thumb to a few inches below her elbow was visible beneath her torn sweater.
"I guess, Merlin knows what she is going to do to me. She can't very well turn me in, I highly doubt the Ministry will do much." Hands over her shirt, trying to find a section that wasn't too dirty. Ripping the fabric along the bottom of her shirt, she examined the piece of cloth before wrapping it around her arm just to stop the bleeding.
"You do believe me, don't you?" Daphne peered up at Nikolas warily. She couldn't explain why she wanted his approval, but she needed reassurance that she wasn't completely guilty of the crime. "It was self defense... wasn't it?" Glancing down at her hands she began to shake again. "I didn't mean to cast that spell, I wasn't thinking straight." Pressing her hands to her eyes, she was mentally telling herself to stop being ridiculous. Yet, the part of her mind that actually told her to care about this was screaming that she was stupid, and impulsive, and deserves everything that has coming.
Trying to catch her breath once more, everything began to crash on her like waves. She did have to go to McGonagall, she knew that much. She just killed at spider using the an unforgivable curse. No student that she knew of has ever used that curse before. It was one those things that was common knowledge and forbidden, and here she was freaking out over a slip up. Maybe she was overreacting, Daphne didn't know. Death Eaters cast those spells all the time, and they don't have a reaction like she does.... do they? Of course not, then again, this has to be proof that Daphne has actual feelings and emotions, and she can feel just like the next person -- only difference is that she is awfully good at hiding it (except for now, of course.)
The excess blood all but gone now, Nikolas ceased the spell and shoved his wand back in his pocket. He was glad Daphne seemed to be slowly regaining a sense of rationale. While she bandaged her arm, he brought his knees up and leaned over them. He thought he question very strange.
"Why wouldn't I believe you?" Nikolas asked. He looked troubled. "I know you well enough to know you're not the type who exactly goes out looking to throw unforgiveables at spiders. And it was obvious that this was an extraordinary situation. You can't possibly be the first person who's done something like this...it's hard to keep your head when something's trying to kill you." At least he imagined it must be. Daphne was many things, but she was hardly a cold-blooded killer.
He sighed again, stretching his fingers. How odd, that of all the people to find Daphne like this, it had to be him. He wondered what she intended to do about that cut, aside from bind it...it wasn't exactly a run-of-the-mill scrape.
"And McGonagall's not going to turn you in. For Merlin's sake she wouldn't let them get anywhere near Weasley last time, and he was supposedly wanted for murder." Nikolas audibly scoffed at that. What a bunch of nonsense. "And the Ministry probably wouldn't even care. You're a Pureblood, it was a spider, and I'm starting to wonder about them anyway. The Headmistress is...fair, and she's not an idiot. I think she'll hear you out and understand that it wasn't intentional."
It occurred to him that has she thrown the curse at a Muggleborn, they'd probably have given her an award for public service.
Inhaling deeply, as she was beginning to feel light headed from all this crying. Swaying slightly, as finally leaned back against the wall. Allowing the cool stone to press against her flushed cheek, blue eyes stared up at Nikolas. "I don't know," she said quietly, as she glanced down at her hands. While Daphne didn't know why, she secretly craved Nikolas' approval. Maybe it was all her parents doing, raising Daphne to be the perfect socialite heiress. Maybe it was the fact that deep down inside of her, she knew that she was going to have to marry Nikolas, and therefore wanted his approval.
Closer her eyes, she could only pray that McGonagall would just make her write lines, or some sort of punishment that didn't involve going to Azakaban. "That maybe, but I'm not usually under her list of favorite students. That Weasley bloke is one of those students who can get away with mostly anything." Technically true, she always felt that favoritism was placed with three particular Gryffindor's. Especially Harry Potter. She really wasn't a fan of that boy, she felt he was too cocky for his own good, and was really no hero.
"Bloody hell," Daphne sighed once more, and ran her fingers through her hair. A nervous twitch of hers, that was usually able to hide fairly well, considering most of the time she didn't really have a need to be nervous. However, now that her nerves were completely shot, and all she could think of was the worse... well, that nervous habit was shining through.
"Hm, that about sums this up," Nikolas agreed, shaking his head as if he still didn't quite believe this.
Although he could understand Daphne's apprehension with regards to the Headmistress - he couldn't say he wouldn't feel the same way if this situation were reversed - Nikolas knew it was her best bet. It was true, there did always seem to be a certain favoritism at play when it came to Weasley and those other two, but this wasn't the time to think about house prejudices. If Professor McGonagall was the woman he thought she was, Daphne wouldn't be assumed guilty.
He looked at Daphne with a serious, yet questioning, expression.
"I know it doesn't seem like the most comforting idea, but I think she'll want to help you," Nikolas said. Something occurred to him then, something that could be both a help and a hindrance. "Did anyone else see you? If someone could vouch for the fact that you were being attacked..."
"Ernie Macmillan. The bloody head boy." Rolling her eyes, she was still praying the wall would suck her up. Or maybe a hole would appear beneath her and hole her up. "Judging by the look on his face, he isn't going to fight in my favor. Merlin, he's probably running to McGonagall, right now." Groaning, Daphne could only think of the worse. Did this make her just as bad as those Death Eaters who sling around unforgivable curses like they are the tickling charm?
Biting down on her bottom lip, Daphne looked at hands. For once in her life she felt completely vulnerable, she wished that Blaise was there, he would at least hold her and tell her she's not alone. Vulnerable, this was the type of thing she attempted to avoid in life. She didn't want to be vulnerable, she wanted to be that strong, independent woman who didn't need to rely on anyone or anything. Yet now..? Now she was relying on the kindness of a Headmistress to not expel her, or punish her too harshly. Daphne knew that McGonagall was a smart woman, she might see logic in Daphne's actions... or she might just focus on the fact that Daphne used an unforgivable, and decide that's too much of a crime to go unpunished severely.
"Why would Head Boy, stick up the arse, Ernie Macmillan want to vouch for me? Merlin knows he's one of those bloody people that would like to see me rot in a cell in Azkaban after I got rid of that squid." Pulling her knees up to her chest, she wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her chin on her knees.
Nikolas' hand went to the back of his neck, settling there briefly out of nerves, until he crossed his arms over his chest. He stretched his legs out in front of him and leaned his head against the wall. Well, that certainly could have been better. On the one hand, Macmillan had been very keen on seeing that the people who had attacked Daphne and her sister back in September were brought properly to justice. Still, this was different - there was a difference between sending itching power out of malice, and using an Unforgiveable, even if unintentionally. Nikolas wasn't sure if he could, or wanted to, think the better of what Ernie might do about this. And he would do something, Nikolas was sure.
"I don't know that you're entirely spot on about that," said Nikolas, more to himself than to Daphne. He sighed, again, pressing his lips together into a tight line.
"But in any case, don't you think that it will look better for you if you go to McGonagall first? Instead of waiting for Macmillan to get to her, with what is likely an inaccurate idea of what happened? Guilty people don't turn themselves in."
"You're right," Allowing her hand to unlace from her hair, she just flopped it down on the floor. Fingers brushed along her wand, which she dropped on the ground a while back. Sighing, she lifted up the wand, and tucked it into a pocket on her skirt. Climbing to her feet, her knees were a little shaky. It was hard to determine if it was from nerves, or from fear of what McGonagall might do, perhaps it was a little bit of both?
Finally standing up, a hand pressed to the wall to stabilize herself a little bit. Vision tunneled briefly, as her equilibrium attempted to balance herself. Sighing, she looked down at how she looked. Sweater was in tatters, and the white shirt beneath it was torn around the stomach from where she ripped a tourniquet for her arm. Stockings were covered in mud and grass stains, and her cheeks were smudged with mud, grass stains, and tears. Skirt managed to stay on properly, though muddy as well, and torn up the side to show a bit too much of her left leg. At lease she still had her limbs in place, and aside from the cut on her arm, she wasn't horribly marred. Of course, come tomorrow morning she was probably going to be covered in bruises. Fair skin on this girl usually bruised easily, a simple elbow bump from someone usually brought some sort of mar to her skin.
"I'll go see McGonagall, hopefully she's not too... hell, I don't know. Too unreasonable." Swallowing slightly, hand ran through her hair once more, as she peered out into the corridor.
Taking the lead from Daphne, Nikolas stood seconds after she did. Unsure of what to do, he tugged at one of his trouser legs that had become a bit twisted from his time sitting on the ground. He cleared his throat - for some reason he was surprised that Daphne had agreed with him. Even if he knew going to McGonagall was the best course of action to take, Nikolas also thought Daphne would have been more resistant to the idea.
Regardless of whether she saw the sense of it, he supposed he thought Daphne would take a longer time to accept the advice of someone else. At least of someone who she didn't seem to hold in very high regard. Still, given the way the events of the night had unfolded, Nikolas realized that neither of them had been acting their usual selves.
In the spirit of this revelation, he cocked his head to the side, hands in his pockets.
"Do you want me to go with you? Or at least walk with you to her office?"
She still seemed a little shaky, though in much better shape than earlier. That, and he imagined it might be a bit frightening for anyone else who might be rushing back to their dorms as the hour drew nearer to curfew - at least if she wasn't alone, it might not be as startling for anyone involved.
Attempting to make herself presentable, hands ran down the front of her shirt. Blood stains and some yellow goo from the spider couldn't be removed. Perhaps it was a better idea to leave them, maybe if McGonagall saw the state that she was in, the headmistress would have more sympathy for her. She agreed with Nikolas, only because she had intended to see McGonagall eventually. This extra push from Nikolas only helped her pull herself back together.
Daphne paused when she heard Nikolas ask if she wanted him to go with her. Head lifted to look up at him, before standing up completely once more.
"Would... would you mind terribly?" Shooting him a wary glance, Daphne didn't want to admit it, but she was utterly terrified of what McGonagall might do to her, and if she could stall as much as possible about going to see McGonagall, she was going to do that.
Stepping out into the corridor, she looked around. It was likely after curfew at this point. Something told Daphne that they weren't going to run into anyone. She was certainly grateful for that. She wouldn't have any run ins with nosy students, or have eyes upon her in such a disheveled state.
"Oh. No, it's..." A pleasure? Definitely not, but nonetheless. "It's not a problem. Might make the trip up less...formidable."
If he was being honest with himself, Nikolas had offered half-expecting (well, more than half) her to refuse the offer flat-out, perhaps with a nasty remark or two. He hadn't really prepared himself for the idea that she might accept his help. It wasn't bad, he supposed, but Nikolas had to face the fact that he probably would not be in bed as soon as he would have liked.
He walked behind her out into the corridor, then spend up a bit until they were flush with each other, walking side by side down the abandoned hallways of the castle. It was strange, being out here this late. Not that he hadn't before, but everything seemed even more solemn than usual at night. Their steps echoed on the stone floors, and there was a strange chill to the air that was usually prevented by the proliferation students that usually roamed the corridors.
The silence was actually welcome, now. After being jarred by this, Nikolas relished a few moments to clear his head, even if it was with Daphne less than an arm's length away.
The silence was indeed welcome. After sobbing her eyes out, Daphne was in no mood to talk too much. Besides, she was too busy trying to pull her thoughts together. The memory was still fresh in her mind, and would likely be embedded in there for the rest of her life. She couldn't stop going over what had happened, what her train of thought was, and finally how she ever came the conclusion that using the imperious curse was a smart idea. It was impulse, and nothing more. She couldn't stop herself, and honestly, part of her wanted that spider dead and gone. Part of her didn't care that the spider was ripping it's legs off one by one on it's own due to her command of her wand. Part of her enjoyed seeing that spider slowly die - but that was only a part of her. The majority of her was horrified of what she had done. The majority of her instantly snapped back to reality, and told her that she made a HUGE mistake. The majority of her was instantly terrified of the curse she used. The majority of her was completely scared... of herself.
Gaze was kept on the stone floor as they began the climb up to the seventh floor. She lost count of how many steps she had taken from the little alcove in the front hall, and just resorted to finding imperfections in the stones. Eyes darted around her surroundings occasionally just make sure she was going in the right direction.
It wasn't until they reached the sixth floor did Daphne suddenly realize that they were nearing their destination. Heart suddenly jumped, and began to beat rapidly. She could feel the anxiety building up, and without thinking too much, slender fingers reached out and laced into Nikolas' hand. She didn't think much of the gesture, she was really doing it to try and calm herself. Her grasp wasn't bone breaking, it was light and delicate... something that would be expected from Daphne.
Scared, yup, this pretty much what scared felt like.
Nikolas' thoughts had been wandering during the majority of the walk - how the walls looked sinister with the light of torches and candles flickering along their stone surfaces. How he was treating himself to a day of absolutely no studying tomorrow, on account of this, and his prolonged stay in the library today (on a weekend, no less!). How he was going to bolt through the Slytherin Common Room at record speed and propel himself into bed as soon as he got back, possibly without even bothering to undress. How he really ought to finalize the plays for next week's Quidditch match against -
Hold it. He felt Daphne's fingers weave their way through his before his mind registered that she was holding his hand.
Was this night going to just continue getting weirder? At this point, Nikolas half expected to show up at McGonagall's office only to be greeted by a raging and intoxicated gaggle of Professors having a late-night party. And why not? It would just complete the perfect unreality this night had proven to be.
But he knew Daphne was in a delicate state right now, so he didn't say anything. Instead he just tightened his grip almost imperceptibly, to let her know it was all right, if that was what she wanted to do. They neared the spiral staircase that led up to the Headmistress's office, and Nikolas began to slow his pace until they came to stop at the bottom step.
"So," he said, hand still linked to Daphne's. "Are you doing this alone? I can come with you if you want. I don't mind." He tried to forget how tired he was.
Daphne barely noticed that she was holding his hand. She was too focused on the entrance to McGongall's office to realize that she was holding his hand. She wanted comfort, she wanted to turn around and run away. She didn't want to be there right now. Eyes followed the stairs up until she couldn't see further. Swallowing slightly, Nik's question floated through her mind in a bit of a daze. She felt like she was going to pass out. She didn't want to be here, and it was mainly from the fear of the unknown.
Finally snapping back to reality, Daphne blinked and glanced at Nik. "Hm? Oh. No, it's all right. It's getting late, and I should probably do this on my own." Biting down on her bottom lip, gaze finally looked at their hands laced together. Luckily the blush on her cheeks was hidden by how flushed she was from crying.
Unlacing her fingers from his grasp, she shook her head, "Sorry..." For what? She didn't, turning to look up the stairs once more, a tiny squeak escaped from her throat. She had to do this, it was the right thing to do... and well, she wouldn't feel better until she spoke to McGonagall. Placing a hand on the wall to steady herself, and took the first step up. Gaze darted to look over at Nikolas, "Thanks. I guess I'll see you..." She didn't specify when, but it was all she could say, because she then turned back to the stairs and began to climb them, slowly and cautiously.