Memories of the Dark Days: Part Two
Things got worse after that first attack. Hyperion became incredibly possessive and always had someone watching me. He picked his favourite students to trail me whenever I dared leave the castle for fresh air. He yelled when I lost them once in the Forbidden Forest during a trip to clear my head.
My students took notice of the change in my behaviour. I suppose I had always been an eager teacher but I was so exhausted by Hyperion’s actions that I had little energy left to impart my love of transfiguration on to my students. I had a few ask me if I was okay and then some of the more watchful ones, some of my beloved Slytherins, asked if he was hurting me. They had known of my relationship from the start and had cautioned me to be wary. They said he was not who he seemed to be. I should have believed them but I was naive and Hyperion was strong. I withheld the details of his brutality from them anyway. I did not want to be heard speaking ill of another professor.
But by spring’s first clear day, I knew this needed to end. I had visited the Hospital Wing more times than I would have liked and even dear Madame Pomfrey was beginning to wonder how I managed to injure myself so. At last, I gave in. One night, when I knew his watchdogs were sleeping (I, too, could persuade students to do my bidding after all), I slipped out and went to the headmistress’ office. I felt a bit like a scolded schoolboy but I steadied myself on the knowledge that she would believe me. She would have to believe me.
It could have gone worse. Headmistress McGonagall agreed that something was wrong but informed me there was little she could do about personal matters. As long as Hyperion was still performing his duties as a teacher, he would be able to retain his station. She was careful to add, though, that if she saw him injuring a fellow professor she would certainly have to take action. I was sullen but knew at last what I would have to do. The pensieve in the corner called to me and I deposited just enough to show her what he had done.
I could not watch as she sat in on my worst memories, the days when Hyperion’s rage could not be sated by kisses or reassurances of adoration. I could not watch as she saw the bruises I had hid from all but the nurse. There was something embarrassing about it all, something in my pure blood crying that I was behaving like some weak half-blood. I gagged reflexively at the thoughts of blood purity having any measure in one’s life and brushed a hand through my hair when it seemed she had seen it all.
She told me he would be fired but that my memories would need to remain for the Board to see. She couldn’t just fire a man without proof, she had said. My heart ached but at least it was done (or so I believed). I left and returned to my room for a rough night’s rest, praying that the nightmare would end at last.