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Jacquetta Rosewood

The Mess of Stress

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Jacquetta Rosewood

{continued from here}

 

Jacquetta wasn't sure what was going on but in an instant, Willa was gone. She looked around wildly and saw her launching herself towards an older girl, yelling. "Willa!" she said, grabbing her best friend by the robes and pulling her back. "Don't! It's not worth it. You'll get in trouble and that will only make things worse." A moment later, the librarian was doling out a punishment anyway. "See? It's handled." She looked the blonde in the eyes and said, "I don't like what people are saying or doing either but we can't just rush off to war."

 

If she had learned anything from her father, that was it. He had always cautioned her in times of stress. Her studies of both muggle and magical history had reinforced the sentiments. She had to learn how to lead if she was going to be queen and she had to have control over her emotions. It was easier said than done but she wanted to be the best queen for her people. "There are other ways we can deal with them," she whispered so only the Slytherin would hear.

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Willa Henry

Willa had always been a girl of action. As she'd admitted to Leon while so sugar-high that focusing on anything had hurt, thinking did not necessarily come easy to her. It was why she was loud, a personality, and a lot to handle, but she liked to think that it made her a loyal and valuable friend. It wasn't until Jacquetta grabbed her robes that Willa stopped, though Atticus's assurances that he was fine would have too. 

 

She'd promised to be his vigilante, and even if that meant facing certain death at the hands of a prefect with more horror stories than good ones, she would follow through. 

 

"It's still not fair!" Willa answered, her grip on her wand so tight that her knuckles were white. Until they knew what was happening, there was no way Willa was letting her wand go. "I'll hex anyone who goes after my friends, even if they're a bloody prefect. What do you have in mind though?" 

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Jacquetta Rosewood

Etta was more than aware about Willa's desire to always keep her friends safe. Usually, she was the one that Willa was protecting. It was odd that she was not but she didn't care. She was glad that Willa was branching out and making new friends. But she didn't want the girl to get in trouble whenever she ran to their aid. She couldn't keep it up for long because she would get in trouble for it and the Hufflepuff didn't want to know what the punishment would be for that.

 

"I agree that it's not fair," she said. "But the staff have already taken care of it. You can fight the injustice in other ways. Make posters promoting the werewolves. Show people that you are friends with them and not afraid of them. Speak out about equality. You want to be a leader and set an example. Jumping in, wand ready, is not the answer. Trust me."

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Willa Henry

If Willa had been the action, Jacquetta was always the reason in their friendship. It was why Willa found herself coming back to the redhead with the smallest possible questions about how to handle something without ruining it. But her suggestions had Willa cracking a smile for the first time in several minutes as she nodded and tried to digest the information. 

 

"You know I'm not good at those things." She answered finally, after thinking it through for a few seconds. "And da already told me that as long as I didn't get expelled, I was fine. And I've been keeping away from the forest because the Headmistress said we'd be immediately expelled, but no one is really doing anything. And no one wants me speaking out for them. You're the politician, not me." She stuck her tongue out to show that she was kidding. 

 

"I promise not to drag you down with me, but detention doesn't scare me." Willa offered Jacquetta what she hoped was a reassuring smile, but was probably more of her usual, devious grin. 

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Jacquetta Rosewood

Willa, of course, had the exact reaction that Jacquetta was anticipating. They had been friends forever so nothing Willa did or said surprised the ginger anymore. However, the girl had to think harder about how to convince her friend not to start firing off spells with anyone and everyone who disagreed with her. She may only get points taken and detention in school but once she was an adult and out in the "real world" the consequences would be much worse.

 

"I know it doesn't scare you," she said, sighing. "But you need to think about the big picture. That won't change anyone's mind. It will only make things worse. And it creates a pattern for you... what if you did that as an adult outside of school? You won't get a detention, I can tell you that." She paused and waited for that to sink in. "And you know I would help you with posters and stuff. We need to show and tell people that the werewolf students are not dangerous or to be feared. We need to humanize them for these people."

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Willa Henry

"I don't care." Willa replied stubbornly, crossing her arms as she tried to think through what Etta was suggesting. She wanted to pout and make harsher comments back, but she knew that her best friend was only looking out for her. "It wouldn't start a pattern. I'd stop doing it once people stopped being dumb. It's very simple." 

 

Even Willa knew it wasn't that simple. 

 

Sighing in frustration, she uncrossed her arms and raked one hand through her messy hair. "Detention doesn't worry me. You'll be good at that stuff, but I promised a friend I wouldn't let people do stuff like that to him anymore. It's not easy to be calm... To do things your way. Sometimes I just want to blow something up out of anger!" 

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Jacquetta Rosewood

She could see that this was going to be a bigger issue than she had thought. Should she be blunt and just tell Willa what her actions could do? The harm that they could cause? She didn't want her best friend to get upset with her but Etta could foresee what would happen. She had been forced to study enough history to be able to guess. Part of her wanted the Slytherin to find out on her own since maybe then she would learn the lesson but she was protective of her friends and she didn't want to see Willa get stuck in something that she couldn't get out of.

 

"Willa, what if they don't change their minds? What then? If you do enough bad stuff, you could get in major trouble. Outside of school, if you pulled that stuff, you could go to Azkaban. Have your wand taken away. What would you do then?" She put a hand on Willa's arm and said, "And by being violent, you might make these people think that the werewolves have 'gotten' to you or something. You could accidentally make it worse for them." She looked around the Great Hall and then back at the blonde. "You can blow things up... just not people."

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Willa Henry

Willa actually did pout this time, staring at Etta with a bit of disbelief. She actually thought that she was serious about continuing to hex people and get in trouble? Willa knew when to stop before she got herself into permanent trouble, but she could see that Etta was stuck on this. Much like with Ana, Willa decided to give in for the moment. Being so on edge was exhausting her, and she wanted to be ready in case they did get attacked. 

 

"I promise I won't. And again, people are stupid. I'm not going to do anything that would get me in serious trouble." She cracked a smile then, holding back the joke that there was no one Willa hated enough to give her the strength for an unforgivable. No matter how angry she got, Willa knew she didn't have that sort of power in her. "What do you think I spend half my time in the chamber doing? The practice golems make great therapy dummies. More so than any poster-making would. You know my artistic skills and bad handwriting. I'm not meant to make anything that's displayed, but I'll be loud and get people to pay attention to you." 

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Jacquetta Rosewood

Knowing her best friend, she was sure that Willa was just placating her. But she wasn't going to push it. Continuing to argue in circles about the same thing was going to set Willa off even more. Instead, Etta nodded and sat back down, dragging the Slytherin with her. She grabbed a cupcake from the table and started to eat it. She ate sweets when she was stressed and she was stressed beyond belief at the moment. Dealing with her best friend's "action first" mentality had not helped.

 

"What do you think is going on?" she asked between bites. "Maybe it's a drill of some kind." She highly doubted that but she had to come up with some theories, right? They couldn't sit there and do nothing. That would be too boring. And she'd run out of sweets to eat soon enough. She saw that she wasn't the only one eating them, either. She pulled her plate closer so that no one would start in on what she'd claimed for herself. "Do you want one?" she asked Willa.

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Willa Henry

Willa's eyes tracked the prefect who had attacked Atticus for a few more seconds before Etta dragged her back to sitting down. She was trying to be sneaky, well, as sneaky as she knew she could be around her friend, but cupcakes were a good distraction. Willa didn't even answer as she grabbed one and attempted to shove half of it into her mouth. 

 

Manners had never been her strong suit. 

 

"I don't know, but I doubt they'd do all of this for a drill. It seems kind of cruel to the kids who were turned and most professors seem to be on their side. Who do you think would want to attack us again? Do you think they want to turn more students?" Willa peppered her friend with questions as she reached for another cupcake. How many sweets could she shove in her mouth before they found out what was happening?

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Jacquetta Rosewood

Willa had some good points. But maybe the staff was trying to prove a point. Whatever was happening, it was scary. "I don't know," she said, continuing to stress eat. "Maybe it's not werewolves this time. What if people who are mad about the werewolf students are trying to hurt them?" That was a thought. There were so many students at Hogwarts hating on them and she saw the articles that were running in the Daily Prophet. People all around the country hated them so maybe they were planning to do something about it.

 

She looked around, trying to find the students who had been vocal about their dislike for the turned students. Her eyes landed on them and heard that they were still spewing their hurtful words. "Could be their parents..." she mused before turning back to the Slytherin. "Could be anything. That's what makes it so scary." The unknown was even worse and she could feel the fear rising in her now that she and Willa weren't arguing about standing up for what was right.

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Willa Henry

"On the night of the full moon? They sound like idiots then." Willa replied simply, still a bit worked up over what had happened to Atticus and her own inability to help like she'd promised. She let Jacquetta continue though, her own mind racing to try and come up with who would want to do something like this to them. They were just kids who'd already been mauled once, and she had the scars to show for it. 

 

"At least the aurors are here this time? They stopped the last attack so they'll be able to keep us safe this go too, if it is a real attack..." Willa tried to talk herself into believing this, but the scars down the head of one of the aurors looked eerily similar to those of Dale's. He'd survived the werewolves too though, which meant that he had to be able to protect them. 

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Jacquetta Rosewood

There were so many possibilities that Etta's mind was chugging through them, hating them all. Why did these things keep happening? Why were people so awful? Why couldn't they all just get along? It was such a Hufflepuff and queenly thing to say but she couldn't help it. She just wanted everyone to be happy and be able to live their lives in peace. She didn't think that she was asking for much. It was easier to be nice to people than it was to be mean.

 

"I didn't say they were smart," she replied and then added, "Although the werewolf students are weak right now. Apparently it's tiring leading up to the full moon and the wolfsbane potion is gross and makes them feel worse. Maybe they think they can do something before they transform." She had felt the need to read up on werewolves after the attacks. She had learned a lot but it had only made her feel worse for the students who had been bitten.

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Willa Henry

Willa was only half listening to Etta, nodding along as she tried to think of ways people would enter and attack them. Of course, Willa couldn't do very much sitting at a table in the Great Hall, but she knew she couldn't just sit there without trying to think of how she could prepare. Her mind was racing through spells, trying to think what to use if a werewolf attacked versus a witch or wizard. Either way, she was in trouble, but it kept her mind busy. 

 

It also meant that most of her 'mhm's were in the wrong places, but Willa knew that Etta expected her to zone out. They hadn't exactly come to an agreement, just changed the topics, and Willa was still smarting over the fact that Etta thought she'd go so far as to get herself expelled, her wand taken, and shipped off to Azkaban just because she was going to defend her friends. She didn't say anything tough, her eyes trained on the Headmistress because she'd notice any sort of danger first and maybe Willa could protect Etta this time. 

 

Fin. 

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