Monday, June 22, 2009

HP, Chapter 8

"Uuugh..." Andrea opened her eyes and looked around. Her head hurt, her side hurt, her back hurt... Well, basically everything hurt. She rubbed her eyes then blinked a few times, then propped herself up on her elbows. She looked around slowly and realized she was in a forest... She tried to remember what had happened, but she couldn't... Suddenly, she saw a man walk up to her. Andrea gasped and moved a few more feet away from him. His hair was messy, and he had a short beard. His clothes were baggy and ripped in places.

"Don't worry none, I ain't gonna hurt ya." He said as he sat down on a rock. He had a bit of a rough voice with an English accent mixed in. He smiled at Andrea, and she remarked that his teeth were surprisingly white. She had expected them to be yellow and rotting...

"Well, I would think you gave her quite a fright, coming up out of no where like that." Another voice came from her other side. Andrea quickly looked over and saw another man sitting next to her. He smiled warmly, and Andrea noticed that his skin was incredibly pale. He didn't show his teeth when he smiled, but he did have a fair amount of compassion in his eyes. He had short hair that was surprisingly neat, and he wore clothes that weren't nearly as baggy as the other man's clothes.

"Who...who are you? Where am I?" Andrea asked, edging farther back from both men.

"I, am Archibald Kruntz, and this is-" The pale man began, but the other one cut him off.

"I'm Scruffy, he's Archie. Simple as that." He replied. Andrea stared at them both, slightly confused.

"I don't know why you're so ashamed of your name, Scruffy." Archie said while shaking his head.
"'Cause it's stupid, that's why. My parents musta been drunk when they were namin' me." Scruffy said, frowning. He picked up a stick then reached into his pocket and pulled out a pocketknife. Scruffy began carving on the stick, mostly just giving it a point.

"Don't mind him, he has a bit of an attitude in the morning." Archie whispered to Andrea.

"I heard that!" Scruffy said loudly. Archie smirked and his eyes twinkled.

"Now, as to answer your other question, you are in the Forbidden Forest." Archie said calmly. Andrea thought she was going to throw up. She remembered that she and Albus had come to a clearing...then...nothing.

"How did ya get here, anyways?" Scruffy asked.

"It was a punishment for breaking some rules." Andrea replied softly.

"You go to Hogwarts, then?" Archie asked as he stood up. Andrea nodded.

"Ah, I remember Hogwarts... Good times." Scruffy said absentmindedly.

"Do you remember anything else that happened?" Archie asked. He walked over to a bowl that was on a rock and pulled a piece of cloth out of it. The cloth was wet, so Andrea assumed there was water in the bowl. He began walking back towards Andrea as she shook her head. Archie sighed and kneeled down next to her. "I was afraid of that..." He said softly. Andrea went to move a little farther from him, but she moved right into Scruffy. She gasped and Scruffy shrugged.

"Why do ya keep gettin' scared of me?" Scruffy asked, smiling down at her.

"Because you appear out of no where." Archie replied shortly. Scruffy rolled his eyes and Archie glanced up at Andrea, then up at Scruffy.

"You can tell her." Scruffy said, sitting back on his heels. Archie sighed again and his shoulders dropped.

"Um, all right then... Uh, you have a bit of a side wound." Archie said quickly.

"What? What do you mean?" Andrea asked, wishing she could just disappear into the tree behind her.

"Um, if you could pull up your shirt just a little bit, just about an inch or two, I could show you..." Archie looked very uncomfortable, and Andrea was sure she mirrored his expression. She swallowed hard then lifted up her shirt about half an inch, then bent over and looked at her side. She saw bandages on it. She lifted her shirt up a bit more, and saw more bandages... Some of them were tinted read. Andrea put her shirt down slowly then looked up at Archie.

"We found you a little ways away... Scruffy thought he smelled something dead, and for a minute after we found you, I thought he meant you... But you were still breathing, barely, but I guessed it was something else. You were bleeding badly, so we brought you back here and bandaged you up best we could. You can thank Scruffy for some of the bandages, because his clothes weren't quite as ripped before you came." Archie smiled sadly and Andrea looked away.

"What's your name?" Scruffy asked suddenly. Andrea brought her knees up to her chin and wrapped her arms around them. It hurt to bend like that, though.

"Andrea," She replied softly.

"That's a nice name." Archie said with a smile. He handed Andrea the wet cloth he had been holding and smiled.

"I was originally going to use that to clean your wound, but since you're awake now..." Archie stopped and shrugged.

"How did you know how to bandage it up so well?" Andrea asked. She hadn't really examined the bandage, but it looked like it was done by a professional.

"I trained to be a doctor for a while... Once I graduated, though, I couldn't get a job." Archie began explaining. He leaned back against a different tree and looked up at the leaves above him. "No one would let me work at a hospital because of how I looked. No matter what I said, they wouldn't listen." Andrea swallowed hard and thought she knew what was coming.

"Are you a...vampire?" She asked, afraid of the answer. She didn't want to be stuck in the Forbidden Forest with a vampire.

"No!" Archie yelled suddenly. Andrea jumped.

"Archie, no need to yell." Scruffy said, moving back to the rock he had been sitting on before.

"I'm sorry, it's just that... I'm so tired of people making that assumption because of how I look." Archie continued. "I have a condition that makes me look so pale, and-"

"And gives you fangs." Scruffy finished for him.

"I do not have fangs." Archie said, glaring at Scruffy.

"No, but you do have some awfully big incisors..." Scruffy mumbled. Archie sighed and looked away.

"They're canines, Scruffy. You of all people should know that..." Archie mumbled while picking up a twig off of the ground.

"So... You're not a vampire?" Andrea asked.

"Correct, I am not a vampire. I have an iron condition." Archie said shortly. Andrea looked down at her hands. She had a feeling this was going to be a long day... She wondered if either of these men knew how to get back to Hogwarts...

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