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Star Crossed by RiverFord

Format: Novel
Chapters: 28
Word Count: 79,871
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Horror/Dark, Humor, Romance
Characters: Lupin, A. Longbottom, F. Longbottom, James, Lily, Sirius, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: Sirius/OC, James/Lily, OC/OC, Remus/OC

First Published: 02/17/2018
Last Chapter: 04/11/2018
Last Updated: 04/11/2018

Summary:
The darkness threatened to break her, but it turned out she was stronger than even she thought possible.


Chapter 22: Chapter 22

After classes had ended that day, Addy met Effie in the library to go over an Ancient Runes project they had set for after holiday. Addy told her about what had happened with Same and she was empathetic and encouraging, summing it up simply and perfectly. ‘Boys are stupid.’ Addy nodded. ‘They need far too much reassurance and often think with the wrong head.’

Addy managed a smile. ‘Maybe it was my fault though. I was a right bitch to him. And instead of talking to him about how I felt, I just shut him out…’

Effie put her hand on Addy’s arm comfortingly. ‘No, no! That’s no excuse.’

‘Still, maybe if I were capable of returning his feelings, he wouldn’t have looked to someone else.’

‘Don’t think that way,’ Effie said, taking Addy’s chin in her hand, forcing her to look at her. ‘That street goes both ways. He didn’t talk to you either. This is not your fault.’

‘Still,’ Addy shrugged, feeling a bit uncomfortable now, seeing as how Effie was still holding her chin. ‘It started because he did tell me how he felt. And I pushed him away. Maybe he didn’t think it was worth the bother.’

‘Of course, you’re worth it!’ Effie cried, looking at Addy intently. Her eyes grew wide suddenly, and she pulled her hand away, turning back to their project and clearing her throat awkwardly. Addy had gotten the strange impression that Effie was about to kiss her, but that was just ridiculous, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it?!

Addy shook her head bemusedly and turned back to the table. ‘Er, thanks,’ she mumbled. Effie nodded stiffly and no more was spoke on the matter as they focused their efforts back on Runes.

 

Holiday started, and Addy was nearly the only student left in the castle apart from a couple fourth year Ravenclaws and a second year Hufflepuff. She spent her time focusing on the important things: sleeping, eating, and occasionally, revision. Though that all changed on Friday, when she shuffled down to the Great Hall once she had finally woken up around noon, and McGonagall approached her at Gryffindor table as she tucked into a slice of steak and kidney pie, looking grave. ‘Miss Nott, have you seen the paper this morning?’

Addy covered her mouth with a hand to mutter, ‘no Professor,’ without spraying bits of pie across the table.

McGonagall nodded stiffly. ‘You are with Mister Gardener, are you not?’

Addy frowned, wondering where this was going. ‘I was,’ she paused, ‘we broke up recently.’ She took another bite, not wanting to say anymore.

McGonagall nodded again. ‘All the same. I think you should come with me.’

Addy’s fork paused mid-air, halfway to her mouth. ‘Now?’

McGonagall pressed her lips together in a tight frown. ‘Yes, I think that would be best, Miss Nott.’

Addy sighed at her plate. ‘Alright,’ she mumbled, taking a last bite, before she stood and followed McGonagall to her office. As they took seets around her desk, she handed Addy a letter and began speaking as she looked down to read it. Once she got to the fourth line of a letter that had been addressed initially to Professor Sprout, Addy barely registered anything else. Her vision seemed to blur, and her McGonagall’s voice sounded as though it were far away, with only a few words like Death Eaters and dark mark, making their way to her mind. After staring blankly at the parchment in her hands, for Merlin knows how long, Addy realized McGonagall was calling her name, and most likely had been for quite some time based on her tone, and Addy’s head snapped up to look at her.

‘Are you alright Miss Nott? Perhaps you should go to see Madam Pomfrey for a calming draught?’

Addy felt a flash of annoyance at the look of pity on McGonagall’s face, but pushed it away. ‘No, I’ll be…fine. I think I’ll just…go back to my room now,’ she said quietly.

McGonagall clenched her jaw. ‘If you’re sure?’

Addy nodded dumbly and rose to her feet. ‘I’ll be fine,’ she said again, thinking how her voice sounded foreign. McGonagall said something else that Addy really didn’t hear as she moved into the corridor and toward the portrait hole as though in a trance. She hadn’t even realized her feet had carried her to the fat lady’s portrait until her shout stated Addy out of her daze. She muttered the password and the fat lady swung forward, complaining about Addy’s lack of manners as she did so. Addy wandered up to her four poster and collapsed into the duvet, feeling as though she should be crying or something, though having no energy to do so. She felt nothing as she stared up at her canopy blankly. She was numb. What is wrong with me?

By Sunday night, the gravity of the situation had hit Addy, and she decided she needed confirmation of her theory, so she needed to talk to Aludra. So, she proceeded to garner courage for the confrontation the only way she knew how, she drank firewhiskey in the comfort of her four poster while she knew the other students would all be at dinner. Then she stumbled her way down to their common room, taking a passage most people didn’t know about so she wouldn’t have to talk to anyone she didn’t want to; when Addy got to the corridor outside the entrance to the Slytherin common room, she waited in the shadows for someone that would be able to let her in, thinking she was being sneaky but most probably not, in the state she was in. Finally, she saw someone she didn’t completely hate, so she stepped out. ‘Regulus.’

He and the boy he was with stopped and turned. ‘Adhara,’ he said warily, apparently trying to gage the situation as she stumbled into the wall. Jugson sniggered and Regulus shot him a look, causing him to stalk off.

‘Listen, could you get Aludra for me?’ Addy hiccupped uncomfortably.

‘What’s this about?’ his eyes narrowed in calculation.

‘I need to talk to her,’ she said with wide eyes, willing him silently to understand.

His face tightened as he looked her over, then he nodded curtly and stalked away. Addy leaned back against the cold stone wall as she waited, for what seemed like ages, until Aludra emerged from the Slytherin common room looking bothered. ‘What do you want?’ she sighed exasperatedly.

Addy walked toward her quickly and Aludra’s brow knitted as Addy shoved a Daily Prophet article in her face. ‘The Gardeners. Sam. Was it Father? Was this because of me?’

Aludra smirked and Addy felt her blood boil. ‘You’re pissed aren’t you?’

‘Was it Father?’

‘You really shouldn’t be drinking.’

‘Was this because of me?!’

‘Tsk-tsk,’ Aludra said, looking at her fingernails with a bored expression. ‘You really should learn to control that temper of yours, oh sister of mine.’

‘Answer the bloody question!’ Addy shouted.

Aludra dropped her hand to her side and shot Addy an icy glare. ‘Of course, it was. You didn’t think father would stand for your daliances with that filthy little-‘

‘Don’t.’ Addy took a deep breath. ‘That is none of his concern.’

‘Of course, it is,’ Aludra scoffed, ‘you’re making a mockery of the name Nott.’

‘You lot don’t need me to do that. You’re handling that well enough on your own.’

‘You’re bringing shame on all of us. And you’ve been promised to another.’

Addy shook her head. ‘That’s not…why would he…how did he even know?’ Aludra smirked again. ‘You? You told him?’

‘He told me to keep an eye on you. And you didn’t exactly hide it well.’

Addy shook her head again. ‘But it’s not as if I planned on marrying him. It was just a bit of fun. And we had broken up anyway.’

Aludra shrugged. ‘Oh well. What difference does it make then? We’re better off with a few less mudbloods in the world.’ She dropped the prophet article with a tinkly laugh, waggling her fingers at Addy in a simpering wave, and turned back into her common room, leaving Addy staring gobsmacked at the place she had been stood. After a few moments, Addy pulled herself together as best she could, and stooped to pick up the article, before she turned to head back toward Gryffindor tower, though she didn’t make it far; after stumbling back into the passageway, she stared at the steps with trepidation for the longest time before she sat down on the bottom most one and slumped against the wall. Maybe after she sobered up a bit she could make it up…

‘Padfoot mate, have you talked to Addy?’ said James.

Sirius shook his head. ‘Nah, I haven’t talked to Dara since before holiday.’

‘So, you’ve no idea why she’d be hangin round in that passageway by the Slytherin common?’ James hadn’t seen her little dot move on the map for quite some time, and he didn’t want to say he was worried but…

Sirius looked up with knitted brow from the muggle motorbike magazine he’d been leafing through and snatched the map from James’s hands. ‘Odd. You don’t think something’s happened?’

James shared a look with Remus. ‘Why don’t we pop down to have a look,’ Remus suggested lightly.

‘Yeah, just to be sure,’ James said brightly.

‘And when we find she’s alright, we can go round to the kitchens for a snack,’ Peter pipped in hopefully.

‘Right,’ Sirius mumbled distractedly, sighing as he stood and roughly shoved the map at Remus before he quickly crossed their room to the door. Peter scuttled after him, and James and Remus shared another look, before they too followed. When they made it down to the passage, it was to find Addy curled up against the wall, snoring softly. Sirius crouched in front of her, shaking her awake. ‘Dara, what are you doing sleeping down here?’

‘There were too many stairs,’ she slurred, her head flopping to the side as she turned to look round.

‘Ah. She’s pissed,’ James chuckled.

‘Yes, but why are you down here?’ Sirius said.

‘Aludra laughed in my face,’ she pouted.

Sirius sighed. ‘Alright, up you get,’ he said, pulling her to her feet.

Remus noticed a piece of parchment fall from her lap as Sirius pulled her arm over his shoulders, and stooped to pick it up, finding the Prophet article from a few days prior.

‘Can we go by the kitchens still?’ Peter said in a whine.

‘Go ahead, Wormtail,’ Remus muttered distractedly.

Sirius sighed as Addy sagged again, and finally gave up, picking her up and starting up the passage as James laughed and followed behind. Remus shook his head and followed while Peter turned away for the kitchen.

 

Addy took to spending a lot of time on her own, aside from classes and quidditch, and she noticed someone in particular who didn’t seem to be bothered by it. Effie had taken to acting strangely again, making snippy comments or just plain ignoring her, and after a few weeks of this, and one too many comments, Addy had had enough. She hadn’t been in the best of moods, and Effie was just adding to it. So, when she came in to Runes one day, sat next to Addy giving her a calculating look and said, ‘you’re not wearing any makeup are you?’ Addy sighed and set her quill down, looking over at her.

‘No…’

Effie looked down to pull her book from her bag. ‘Well you should.’

Addy exhaled sharply. ‘Yeah? And you should pluck your eyebrow!’ Effie scoffed and Addy heard a few muffled laughs around them, and heads turned toward them, but they paid them no mind. ‘Yes, there should be two of them!’

‘Ergh. Why are you being such a bitch? I was just trying to be honest.’

Addy laughed sourly. ‘Oh, I’m being a bitch?’

‘Yes!’

‘And how was what you said not bitchy?’

‘I could have just told you, you look like shite, but I was trying to be a good friend.’

‘Bollocks to that! You’re a shit friend! You haven’t been a good friend since before…holiday…’ Addy trailed off, then lowered her voice to a whisper. ‘Is this about…because you know I wouldn’t judge you…or tell anyone.’

Effie turned away. ‘I don’t know what you mean,’ she said quietly before she turned back to glare at Addy acidly. ‘Maybe I’m just afraid if I hang round you too much, I’ll end up murdered.’

Addy gasped, feeling as though she had been slapped across the face. Effie’s expression registered a second of regret before she adopted a blank face and turned away to ignore Addy again. Addy stared back down at the desk as the professor started the lesson and couldn’t even muster the energy to pretend to take notes; she was the first out of the classroom when the bell signaled the end of the lesson, and she never sat with Effie in Ancient Runes, or anywhere else for that matter, again. At that point Trish decided to stop sitting with her in Muggle Studies as well. When Effie decided she didn’t want to be friends with Addy anymore, Trish took Effie’s side without question.

A few weeks later, as Remus and Lily were coming back to Gryffindor tower on a Friday night after their rounds were finished, they found a figure sitting on the floor against the wall outside the portrait hole. ‘What’s wrong Addy, forget the password?’ Lily asked lightly. Though Addy didn’t answer, she just stared at the wall opposite as though it were the most interesting thing she’d even had the privilege to see. It was obvious from the near empty bottle clutched in her hand that she had been drinking.

Remus knelt in front of her and placed a hand to her shoulder, shaking her lightly. ‘Addy!’ She didn’t appear to have heard him as she continued to stare through him as if her weren’t there. ‘Go get Sirius, would you Lily?’ Lily nodded and muttered the password to the fat lady, quickly disappearing through the portrait hole. A few moments later Sirius emerged, taking Remus’s place knelt in front of Addy.

‘Dara! Dara!’ he said, taking hold of both her shoulders, shaking them lightly. This time his voice seemed to break through, as her gaze shifted to his suddenly. ‘What is it? What’s wrong?’

Addy shook her head, looking down to her lap. ‘I can’t…’

After a long pause, Sirius asked, ‘you can’t what?’

‘I can’t make amends.’

‘I’m sure he knew,’ Sirius said softly.

Addy shook her head again. ‘No! He’s gone! And I didn’t even have a chance to forgive him…’

Sirius grimaced, not knowing what else to say. He moved to sit next to her, putting an arm around her shoulders and pulling her into him. She gave a weighty sigh, resting her head against his shoulder, and they just sat there for a long time before he finally pulled her to her feet, guiding her in through the portrait hole. ‘Can you make it up the stairs on your own?’ Sirius asked. Addy nodded silently, still looking to the floor, and turned to ascend the stairs on all fours.

‘She’ll be alright mate,’ James said from his spot on the couch next to the fire, Remus and Peter sat nearby, ‘she’s resilient that one.’ He clapped Sirius on the back as he sat next to him on the couch.

‘Yeah,’ Sirius sighed, rubbing a hand over his face roughly.

 

Addy became so busy avoiding her feelings and everything else, that she ended up missing another gossip wothy event, namely the falling out of Lily with Snape, but also the shouting of Lily at James, having to be caught up after the fact in the dorm when Lily came in looking worse for the wear, followed closely by Mary and Marlene, where Addy had been brooding on her own. Lily swore up and down that she was done with Snape, while lamenting slightly how she had called James a toe-rag with a big head or something. Addy listened quietly while Marlene assured Lily James would get over it. Once term was over, Addy was sick with anxiety to be going back to Nott Manor. With everything that had happened, she wondered what she could expect her father to do to her. But it was just one more year, she told herself. Surely, she could manage? Somehow, she wasn’t so sure.

And, as it turned out, Addy was right not to be. When she first came back, on her own, as Aludra had gone ahead with Gilly, her mother barely acknowledged her, merely sneering and voicing her disappointment, while Aludra ignored her all together, focusing instead upon her upcoming wedding to LeStrange, and her father, thankfully, wasn’t there. During that time Addy took solace in their attempt to isolate her and slipped away often to see her muggle friends. She and Paul picked up where they had left off, and Addy found herself, albeit halfheartedly, fantasizing about leaving the magical world and living as a muggle. This fantasy was only intensified by the arrival of her father roughly a week into holiday. He skipped any pleasantries, as he was want to do, and announced his presence by sending a curse her way. Wincing as it cut across her neck, Addy barely had time to draw her wand and throw up a shield charm before he was advancing and reigning hex upon hex at her, having a shout about what a disgrace she was. The scent of her singed hair hung in the air as she dodged the spellfire. She did her best to give as good as she got and managed to throw the burning hex he so often used on her back at him, hitting him square on the chest, before he hit her hard with the cruciatis curse. This intensity of it was so great that Addy soon passed out, waking up in the wee hours of the next day, still feeling the effects of the nights duel.

Without much of a plan, Addy hastily packed her things, deciding, like Sirius, that she had had enough. She couldn’t make it another year with these people. She couldn’t even make it another day. Shrinking her belongings down and shoving them into her rucksack, Addy slunk away to the park where she so often met with Kate, Paul, and Ed, and sat herself on a swing and watching the sun come up over the trees. As the sky turned from an inky black to a soft navy, Addy started to doubt herself. How could she ask this of them? What if they said no? Scarper that, what if they said yes?

By the time the sun had made its first appearance of the day, bathing the clouds in a pinky orange, Addy’s stomach was twisted in knots. She was just standing, deciding she shouldn’t bother them, shouldn’t burden them as the sky turned a pale summer blue, favoring her left side, when Paul appeared at her side, fag between his lips and brow knit in concern. ‘Addy, what’s happened?’

Addy shrugged, trying to look casual. ‘Just had a bit of a row with my father.’

‘A bit? You’re hurt! Did he do all this to you?’

‘I’ve left. I’m not going back. I’m not sure where I’m going, but I’ll figure something out…’

‘Come to ours,’ Paul said quickly.

Addy shook her head. ‘I couldn’t ask that of you. I just wanted to say-‘

‘You’re not askin, I’m offerin,’ he said, taking her hand in his and kissing the back of it. ‘I’m not gonna let you stay on the street.’

Addy smiled softly, still feeling reticent. ‘Just for a few days. Until I sort it out.’

‘As long as you need.’

She nodded. ‘Thanks,’ she said quietly.

He smiled and took her bag, throwing it over his shoulder and putting an arm around hers as he kissed her temple. ‘Of course.’

A few days turned into a few weeks, and Addy found herself growing in a false sense of comfort, putting off the inevitable need to move on, to somewhere safer not only for herself, but for everyone she felt any semblance of affection for. ‘You don’t need to leave at all,’ Paul said one night, as Addy was telling him all this as they lay in a tangle together between the bedclothes. ‘You can stay here now, come back next holiday, and move in for good when you’ve graduated from that fancy boarding school of yours.’

Addy shook her head, smiling at him fondly. ‘I couldn’t do that to Ed. And I don’t want to be a burden to you.’

Paul frowned and turned on his side, propping his head on his hand. ‘You could never be a burden to me. I want you here, don’t you know that by now?’

Addy avoided his eye. ‘How can you? When there’s still so much about me you don’t know?’

He shrugged with one shoulder. ‘I know all I need to know.’

She quirked a brow, looking at him sideways. ‘What if I told you, I’m secretly a man?’

He smirked and ran his hand across her stomach, down her hip… ‘I think I would’ve noticed by now.’

Addy grinned. ‘Fair enough…what if I told you my life’s ambition was to become a cat?’

Paul chuckled. ‘I think I’d learn to adjust.’

Her smile became hesitant and she looked to the ceiling. ‘What if I told you I’m a witch?’

Paul’s hand found it’s was to Addy’s chin and he pulled her face toward his, his smiling eyes catching hers. ‘Like I said. I know all I need to know. I know you’re brilliant, and I want you here. End of. The rest we can figure out together, yeah?’

She smiled again and nodded. ‘Yeah.’ He smiled back before bringing his lips to hers and they soon were communication their feelings in other ways, getting lost in each other. Addy reveled in the feeling of his body on hers, and it was quite some time later before she fell asleep with her head against his chest, feeling content. She was starting to think that they could actually make it work. If only she’d known then what she would soon come to find.

A bright flash of light and a sharp noise brought Addy from her dream state to one of a befuddled mind, and she slowly blinked her eyes open, taking in the soft grey surroundings of the early dawn lit room. She smiled softly at the still sleeping form of Paul lying next to her, until she took in his wide, unblinking eyes, his expression one of shock, and she gasped, sitting bolt upright. ‘Paul?’ she whisper-shouted. She touched his shoulder and it was stiff. ‘Paul,’ she choked out, putting a hand over her mouth. ‘Paul…no,no,no…Paul,’ she muttered, tears burning tracks down her cheeks.

‘This might be touching if it were not so disgusting,’ a deep voiced sneered. Addy gasped and looked up, finally realizing there were others in the small room with them, Rosier, the LeStrange Aludra was to marry, whom Addy realized had spoken, and her father, and hastily pulled the sheet around her tighter.

‘Really Adhara, don’t look so surprised. I told you what would happen if you continued to behave in such a deplorable manner, did I not? Did you honestly think you could just leave?’ her father drawled. ‘You have failed to heed my advice thus far, and contine to defile yourself and our family by associating with these filthy muggles and mudbloods,’ he spat. ‘Clearly you are incapable of making the right decisions for yourself.’ Addy’s eyes widened as he pulled his wand. ‘So, I shall be forced to do what is best for you and make those decisions for you.’ She tensed as he pointed his wand at her, it’s tip in line with her chest, and he grinned maliciously. ‘Imperio,’ he intoned.  Addy gasped as the spell hit her full force, and felt a warm calm spread through her, relaxing her every being, pushing away all feeling. ‘Now, gather your things Adhara. It’s time to go home.’

Addy looked up at her father, feeling inexplicably light, and nodded. ‘Yes, father.’ It was almost as though Addy had entered a deep sleep, as from that point much of her consciousness was a void of darkness, broken by scattered instances of muffled conversations she wasn’t entirely privy to.


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