Dinner had just ended and students were filing out of the Great Hall slowly, sometimes solo and sometimes in small groups. Most made their way back to their common rooms, many taking their time as there was no rush to be anywhere.
Emmett was one of the last students filing out, taking time with the remainder of his pumpkin juice. He didn't usually drink Hogwarts' Favourite Drink, but he hadn't paid too much attention to his meal, between stealing glances to the Slytherin table where the only two people he actually cared to sit with were sitting. He hated the stupid house tables. There weren't any Gryffindors he really wanted to speak to. Sure, there was Liam, but he was always with his trio of mates and Emmett just couldn't stand to sit with them for long. He sat near them, but ate alone, if that could be considered possible, providing few comments to conversation.
When he finally finished his drink, he pulled himself up from the long bench and exited the Great Hall. The Entrance Hall outside was its usual after-dinner clutter of those students who couldn't seem to figure out where their common rooms were, as if filling their stomachs seemed to empty their minds. Emmett rolled his eyes at a cluster of chattering girls from every house, it seemed, and veered around them, not wanting to have to be subjected to their high-pitched gossip. He'd heard enough boring talk at dinner. It seemed ever since he'd made his decision to join the Death Eaters - with the help of his sister and also Caleb Avery, although from the latter not intentionally - he had less patience with people. Maybe it was because he no longer had to pretend to someone he wasn't. Oddly enough, it had been someone he'd thought to be an enemy of his to show him that.
Things were changing for Emmett. He was losing people he never thought he would, and gaining people he never imagined he'd want. Pieces were falling into place, and he didn't hate any of it. Of course, his decision was not yet set in stone and not all of the pieces were in place, but things were well on their way. He liked where his future was headed, and for once he could actually say that. He'd taken the first step in the right direction and had one foot in the door. But before he let himself walk all the way through the door, he had to tie up some loose ends. And then it would be easy going. Nothing and no one would stand in his way.
Emmett stopped walking suddenly when fellow Gryffindor Oxford Langley stepped in front of him from out of no where. There was a redness in the seventh year's face that made Emmett think he'd just been outside, as there was still a chill in the air. Come to think of it, Emmett hadn't seen Langley at dinner. Likely he'd been visiting their mutual friend, Icarus Thorne. Although where Emmett now stood with Icarus was likely in a place that could no longer hold the two of them. Funny, how two people in the same house could share the same friend and yet hardly ever speak a word to each other.
"Get out of my way, Langley," Emmett sighed. He didn't know what the hell the seventh year wanted, but Emmett just wanted to go to his dorm and crash for a while. Maybe coax Liam away from his boneheaded friends for a little romp in the sack.
"Don't talk to me like that, Edwards," Ox snarled. Emmett wasn't sure he'd ever seen the older boy look so... pissed. The guy was usually rather smiley, especially around girls. It was kind of gross, how often he hit on them. At least it was amusing to watch when they shut him down. Emmett just wished that sometimes they'd slap him instead of laugh when they did it. That just seemed to egg Langley on even more.
Emmett stared at Langley and ran a hand through his hair. "I'll talk to you however the hell I want to, Oxford," he said, using Langley's first name - one no one was apparently allowed to call him by for some stupid reason. It was just a name.
Langley seemed to breathe like an angry bull, but he also seemed like he had no idea what he was going to do next. This made it difficult for Emmett to predict what was going to happen next. And so when he found himself pinned to the ground under the guy, he blinked up at the seventh year in complete and utter shock.
"Are you fucking insane?" he asked the guy, trying to get up. But Langley wasn't letting him. "Get off me!"
"Are you fucking serious?" Ox shouted in his face, an actual look of questioning in his eyes, as if his question wasn't rhetorical. Emmett didn't answer. He had no idea what the hell was even going on or why Langley couldn't just ask him this like a normal human being instead of pinning him to the floor like some perverted psychopath. "Ditching Icarus just because you've got some new ..." He paused, seeming to struggle with finding the right words. Godric, Emmett really needed a cigarette. "Slut bag," was Langley's choice of words. Langley flinched, seeming to regret them immediately, and shook his head. Was he having some sort of aneurysm? Emmett gaped up at him.
"Icarus is a great friend, but you're perfectly pleased with slapping him across the face and ditching him for the next new toy, huh? So fucking is more important than friendship?" Ox was raging.
Oh, so this is what this was about.
"Get off me, you oaf. I apologised," Emmett said, irritated. How was this even happening? Why had no one stepped in to help him? Maybe they were all just as shocked as he was. If only he could reach his wand... but it was upstairs. He didn't need one to eat dinner.
"That's not good enough! You hurt him, you dick! How could you do that?" Langley accused. Were those tears in his eyes? "After all he's been through? You're supposed to be a good friend to him, but instead you just left him out to dry! He's been nothing but good to you!" Oxford paused, seeming to come to a conclusion within himself. His features were pained, but his eyes were on fire with rage. Emmett admittedly felt a bit freaked.
"He'll get over it," Emmett said, rolling his eyes. He learned it was the wrong thing to say when he felt Langley's fist connect to his jaw. And then again. Emmett blinked, his vision going dark and then light again. The oaf hit hard. But with Langley busy hitting him over and over again, Emmett was able to lift his arms to protect his face from further punches, but that didn't stop Langley, who seemed perfectly fine with punching the living shit out Emmett's forearms.
Langley was yelling more things at him, but Emmett was too focused on making sure the seventh year's assault didn't break through Emmett's arm barrier. The dude was livid. It would almost be humorous if, you know, Emmett wasn't the one being assaulted.
Isis hadn't been feeling all that sociable as of late. Between students dying and rainy weather, she had taken to lurking, hiding out in places no one would look. She hadn't really wanted to talk to anyone. Her mind was way too occupied with thoughts. Too many will he or won't he questions swirling around in her head. And all of those questions led to some very uncomfortable ones she'd taken to asking herself. Like 'what would I do if Emmett became a Death Eater'?
She kept trying to tell herself that she didn't care. That she wouldn't do anything if he joined. But deep down she knew how big of a lie that was. Emmett was one of her closest friends, if not her closest. And in all honesty, Isis would follow him to the ends of the Earth, without question. He could tell her to run away with him, to take some rocketship to mars and she wouldn't even bat an eye.
After a lot of time spent thinking, she realized that she was finally ready to face Emmett. To stand by and hear whatever he had to say. Of course she would add her two sickles to the mix, she wouldn't be a good friend if she didn't. But still, she was as ready as she supposed she'd ever be. Now all she had to do was find him. Which wasn't all that hard to think about, considering how it was dinner and all. She'd skipped out on dining in the Great Hall with the masses in favor of eating in the kitchens, but that didn't mean she couldn't catch him on his way out. The way the kids swarmed out of the place meant he'd be there for a good while at least.
What she hadn't expected to see was Emmett lying on the ground with an older Gryffindor on top of him. "What the bloody hell is this!?" Pulling out her wand she gave the seventh year she'd just realized she knew a good bat bogey hex. "Go on and get out of here you louse," she warned. "Before I decide to use something really nasty."
She watched as the elder Gryffindor, who had some weird inability to flirt in an appealing way, scurry out and turned her attention back to her friend, who was still laying on the floor. "Well, what was that about?"