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Paper Cut by NaidatheRavenclaw

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,584
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing), Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Angst, Young Adult
Characters: Lily, James, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings:

First Published: 04/05/2012
Last Chapter: 04/25/2012
Last Updated: 04/25/2012

Summary:




Stunning banner by rojia @TDA

After all, it was nothing more than a paper cut.
 
 


Chapter 1: Paper Cut
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You’re falling. You’re falling down, down, down into an abyss. Nothing can stop you. Nothing can save you. All you want is to hit the bottom. But you never will. You scream into the empty air, hoping someone will hear you. But your cry catches in your throat and hits the walls that are forever encroaching closer. And no one comes. No one will ever come.

*

It is always cold here. Even by the fires crackling in the hearth, I feel cold. My skin prickles at the slightest touch with the unforgiving air and my eyes are constantly alert, searching for the next sneer or snide comment directed my way.

It’s no good to wish. Wishing is futile and ends only in disappointment. I’ve tried to wish upon a lonely star many a time only to wake to the same harsh reality. I cannot find happiness in this world, where the living smile and laugh and play. My dreams provide a small reprieve, but they cannot last forever. So I am subjected to the cruel words of those around me, left to fend for myself in a world where I will always be at the bottom.

It’s no good pretending I am normal. I will never be normal, at least not according to the others of my kind. Maybe I should just run away and be a Muggle. I hear they are more accepting there. Maybe I would be welcomed, or at the very least, not pushed away. And I hear them whisper it. I hear them say that people like me don’t deserve magic.

Then again, I’ve never felt like I belong at Hogwarts.

“Sydney?” I hear a soft voice behind me say. I clench my hands into fists, readying my face into its hard and unfeeling mask.

“Yes,” I say, turning ever so slightly so that I can just barely see who is talking to me. Red hair with bright green eyes. Lily Evans. Damn her. Damn them all.

“I just wanted to say that…”

I wait for it. Wait for the next snide remark, for the next stinging comment that will break me farther. One of these days, there will be no more room for cracking. I will simply split into a million little pieces and someone else will have to sweep me off the floor.

“I just wanted to say that I don’t think you’re weird, or strange, or any of that.”

I am taken aback. I can’t believe my ears. But no, no, no, it must just be a trick. A cruel, nasty joke. She’s dating that James Potter boy. He loves to play tricks. They must have planned it together. If hurting me directly wasn’t bad enough, now they have to be cunning about it too? What a laugh they will have, when I smile gratefully. They will enjoy my look of pain when she takes it all back. Well, I won’t give them that satisfaction. I will never give them that pleasure.

Instead, I whirl around. I can feel the hot, angry tears in my eyes but I blink them away. I’ve always cried easily, but there is no time to shed a tear. No, I cannot bear to let her see my pain.

“Just shut up,” I say in a low hiss. “I’m sick of it. I’m so bloody SICK of everyone talking about me. You think I don’t hear it? You think I don’t know?” I feel my voice rising into hysteria, but there is nothing I can do to stop it. “You like making me feel like this! You get some twisted pleasure in it. But for god’s sake, just stop it!”

And this time, I cannot stop the tears from falling.

*

You are suspended in the air. Not falling. Merely floating. You can neither move up nor down. But look, look up there! A pinprick of light shines from behind the thick blanket of black. You reach for it. You stretch your arm up into the air. Higher. Higher. Just a bit higher and you can catch it. Your fingers are about to close around it when it flits away, disappearing into the darkness. And then you are falling again.

*

My vision is blurred from the tears that refuse to stop falling. I wipe them away, staining the back of my hand, but they continue to flow. Everything I had kept locked inside of me for the past month comes tumbling out. My tears are made of had-been’s and would-be’s. They burn as they roll down my cheeks, like acid cutting through metal.
I am nothing. I am broken. Soon the wind will pick me up and scatter me like dust in the wind. And then I will finally be free.

Then why am I still in one piece? What thin fibers are holding me together? I will them to break. Why am I not broken? With fracture comes relief. I want to be rid of this body. I want to escape. Why can’t I escape?

Even the tears stop coming. My eyes dry and my vision clears. I prepare myself to look up, ready to see the smirk on Lily’s face. She will be laughing. Maybe she’s not even there. Maybe she already ran off to do a crude imitation of me with her friends. And I will put myself back together the best I can and try to ignore all the holes.

Someday, I will no longer be able to ignore them.

If I could have one last wish, one small desire, I know what I would want. I want them to feel what I feel. I want them to just spend five minutes in my body, in my mind. I’d like to see any of them try and stand there and take it. I’d like to see any one of them in my position for just five minutes. I’ll bet anything that they would go crazy. Their feelings would envelop their thoughts in a mushroom cloud of despair and they would be poisoned from the radiation.

And then they would understand what they do to me each and every day.

I suppose I should have expected this. Even before I took a leap of faith and landed on the hard concrete, I had never been accepted here. With my frizzy blonde hair and oversized glasses, I may as well have been a bright red rose sticking out amidst a bunch of daffodils. But no, that is too nice. I am no rose. Roses are beautiful, and they are vengeful. They lure the unsuspecting wanderer in with their beauty. They encourage that wanderer to pluck them from their homes. And then they prick him to have their revenge. Neither am I beautiful, nor do I have any hope of revenge. Not that I want revenge. I only want them to undertstand.

No, I am not a rose. I am the ugly, white piece of gum that gets stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Try as you might, you cannot shake it off. And as much as everyone might hope, as much as I might hope, I cannot find a way to leave.

I am a filthy scrap of gum and they are the shoes that crush me with every step.

Taking a deep breath, I look up. Lily is still there. But she is not laughing, not even smirking. Her eyes are covered with the mists of confusion, her eyebrows wrinkled in a valley of concern.

The sight only serves to make me angry. So she’s still keeping up the pretense? She’s still acting like she cares? Why won’t she just give it up!

*
Time seems to pass in a blur around you, yet it seems to stand still. What is the difference? You are stuck here for eternity, and time can do as he pleases. You will become the darkness. You will fade into its entity, but it will never let you go. You will never be equals. It controls you, even as you become one. Even now, you can feel it seep into your mind and cloak your thoughts. And even your identity leaves you.

*

“Sydney…I don’t…I don’t understand.”

She is speaking again. Her green eyes bore into my soul. I notice a tuft of hair sticking up on the side of her head, right behind her ear, just like a horn of the devil. The thought gives me strength. She is nothing more than the devil. She will burn in the fires of hell. The flesh will burn off her body and she will rot, just as she deserves.

And me, what will I do? Will I be an angel and fly up to heaven? Or does God hate me just as much as the mortals. Will I ever be allowed to die? Perhaps this is my punishment for something I have done in a past life. Perhaps I will be restrained on this earth for all of eternity, never allowed to just die.

Her hand reaches out for me. Her nails are long and perfectly shaped. I imagine knives attached to her fingers, ready to reach out and pierce me. She wants the blood of my tears. She craves my screams and my despair.

I push her hand away. No. I have let her break me once. It will not happen again.

I realize that I have fallen onto the floor. I do not remember when my knees gave way. I don’t even remember hitting the surface. But my knees are touching the rough, red and gold rug. I’ve had enough.

I stand, intending to walk away, but I cannot support my own weight. I wobble unsteadily for a few moments, and then I fall again, this time crumpling onto my side.

My senses seem to have stopped working. The room is spinning in circles, dancing for me. Even the room is celebrating my demise. It laughs as it leaps and twirls, refusing to stay steady for my trite eyes. I squeeze them shut, willing it all to stop.

Distantly, I hear a soft voice next to my ear. I cannot make out the words it is saying, and I don’t want to hear them. They are undoubtedly a gloat, words of victory.

Good. She has defeated me in this battle. I surrender. I only want for her to go far, far away.

“Sydney,” I hear again. Why is she still here? I open my eyes, just barely, so my eyelashes are still touching. The room is still a blur.

I force them shut again, groaning loudly. “Why won’t you just go away?”

I feel something cool on my shoulder. A hand. Surprisingly, it soothes me. The coolness oozes into my aching body, coursing through my blood stream and carrying relief. I realize how starved I have been for human contact. It has been days since I’ve touched someone, properly, like this.

I open my eyes. I can see again, but only a mop of red hair and tears brimming in bright green eyes. And a small smile touching the corners of her lips as she sees my eyes open.

And without exactly knowing why, I smile too.

*
You no longer have senses. You no longer have thoughts or emotions or feelings, save one. You know that you are falling. You wonder why you can still feel that. Why haven’t you been completely obliterated? What seed is still inside of you? And if the seed is there, you can hope that it will grow. You can hope that the seed with sprout and grow into a pretty little flower with five petals. You can hope that it will fill you and that you will get your soul back.

*

“Do you really mean it?”

“Of course I do.”

It is not possible. It can’t be happening. It’s been weeks since someone told me they liked me. Since someone said a kind word. So long that I cannot believe it is the truth. What other clouds have overcome me? But the thunderstorm inside my brain is quieting. The rain slows to a gentle pitter patter. I can still hear it. Plip. Plop. Plip. Plop. But the sound comforts me. It is a constant rhythm. I yearn for something that never changes.

Three weeks ago, when my secret was leaked, I never imagined this would happen.

Stupid little blonde girl with the acne and glasses. However had she managed to be a Gryffindor? No friends. A complete outcast. That was me. So I was never really set up for success to begin with.

People don’t tend to like things that are different. They don’t know how to deal with things that are different. We like our continuity and conformity.

And nothing screams different more than being homosexual.

I hadn’t meant for anyone to know. It was seventh year. In other two months, I would be done with this place forever. I didn’t need to tell anyone. And really, it wasn’t my fault that the secret did get out. I had accidentally dropped a letter to my parents, in which I mentioned that I am a lesbian. They used to be the only two people that knew. But no one in this damn school can keep a secret.

The teasing, the bullying, all of that had multiplied more times than I could possibly imagine. There was no way out.

All because I am different.

And all this time, all I needed was one smile. Lily only had to smile for me to realize what I should have known all along.

I am proud to be different. I wear myself with pride. I am not ashamed that I am a lesbian.

I am proud to be me.

I know now that this will not hurt me forever. I will grow up and move on. I am not a rose, but neither am I a leftover piece of gum. I am better than that. I am more than that.

I am a caterpillar wrapped in a silken cocoon. I used to gorge myself on the negativity others projected, but now I have wrapped myself in a blanket of hope. And nothing will break through it.

Tomorrow, I will grow my wings and fly.

It’s like a paper cut. The pain cuts out all other thoughts in the first moments. And for hours after, it stings, a constant reminder of the tiny little cut. But that’s all it is. Tiny. Insignificant.

In another day, you forget about it and move on.

*

You feel a force lift you up. Slowly at first. So slow that you barely feel like you are moving. But it picks up speed. Is that light? Is that light you see, shining down at you in your hole? You lift your arms up and cheer, the first happy sound you’ve made in months. Your mouth curves up into a smile and your eyes start to sparkle again. And then you are surrounded by that light, your fall into the abyss just a distant memory.

After all, it was nothing more than a paper cut.


*


A/N: This fic came about in a variety of ways, but the most important of which is a little project that was started at my school to stop the slander and bullying of homosexuals. I am not glorifying anything happening in this, but it’s an issue that’s close to my heart and I wanted to write about it. Thank you so much for reading
 


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