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Disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize, sadly that includes Sirius :(

Chapter 2: My Eyes Burn

A tender breeze caressed my face, twirling the long blonde tendrils about. I smiled, inhaling the crisp autumn air of the night. I brought my hands across my robe-covered arms as I shivered, but still I closed my eyes in pure bliss.

Lily giggled, linking arms with mine as I opened my eyes. “I wish I could walk with you, but I have to go and speak with the Headmaster before the Sorting Ceremony and such.” She gave me a poignant, but reassuring smile.

“It’s okay, duty calls.” I laughed, squeezing her arm with mine. She laughed along with me, and then proceeded to the front as an eager James Potter followed her. “Evans, wait! I’ve got to ask you something!” He never gives up, does he?

“Hi.” A familiar male came to walk beside me. “I didn’t want you walking by yourself.” Sirius gave me a faint smile.

“That’s nice of you.” I smiled up at him, his grey eyes sparkling as they always do.

“I can be a nice guy.” He chuckled.

“Of course you can.” I grinned. “But that doesn’t mean you always are.”

He scratched his head a bit awkwardly, messing up his dark hair. “Yeah…I know.” He agreed finally, his voice gentle. “I just wanted to make sure… you’re alright.” He held my gaze tenderly, for he knew what it was like to be hurt by your own family.

“I hope I’m alright.” I replied softly, tearing my eyes from his. His gaze was too strong for me.

“I hope so, too.” He said, and from his tone of voice, I knew he meant it. He leaned down, so his lips touched my ear ever so lightly. “I know you’re strong, but sometimes it’s better to cry.” He whispered, before he raised his head up, smiling at me lightly.

“Uh…” I said, my lips agape, astonished by his sudden kindness. This was a side of Sirius I had never seen before. He chuckled quietly, placing his arm around me in a comforting way, my head falling between the crook of his arm and his shoulder. “You’re a bit cold.”

“Really? I never knew.” I mock gasped. “How’d you guess?”

He shook his head, laughing still. His laugh was rough and husky, but at the same time gentle and soothing.

I liked it. I liked his laugh.

“Oh, so you like my laugh?” He smiled, pulling me closer towards him.

“Uh…” I meekly stuttered, pulling back a bit. “Did…did I say that out loud?” I questioned him, looking down at the ground.

“Indeed.” I could tell he was smirking by his voice. “I think that’s the one of the best complements I’ve gotten from a girl.” I snorted in reply, as we stopped walking, the students passing by us with curious looks. “I mean it.” He insisted, putting his finger under my chin. His touch was warm, as he lifted my face up to meet his eyes. His gaze went from my eyes, to my bruised cheek as he caressed it with his hand softly. I blushed, wondering if he could feel my cheeks heating up.

I never blushed…why was Sirius, of all people making me blush…

This is just too much in one day…

“Does it hurt?” He asked suddenly, still tracing the bruise, though I had a feeling he wasn’t talking about that bruise.

“Yes.” I whispered.

“I know.” He smiled sadly. “My mum and I got in a really bad row, you know, she was saying all these horrible things, some even about you, because ‘I’m a blood traitor’ and how I don’t support…the dark arts I guess you could say. My dad, he also got angry at me, gave me a good slap across the face. I left Grimmauld Place this summer, for good. I stayed at the Potters…” He said suddenly, scratching his head with his free hand.

I looked at him, stunned how he had opened up to me…and he possibly stuck up for me as I did for him? How much more intense can this day get?

“I’m…really sorry, Sirius.” I said finally, my heart swelling.

“It’s fine, over and done with. At least it wasn’t in public...” He pulled me closer, and this time I didn’t pull back, because I knew that we both needed support, and we would give it to one another. “If you want to talk about it…I’ll listen.”

“I…can’t now.” I said meekly, biting my lip. “But, if I need to, you’ll be the first person I come to.”

“That’s touching, Tillie.” He sighed dreamily, placing a hand over his heart.

“Shut up.” I laughed, nudging him in the side. “We’d better get going.”

“Yeah...” We stood there for a few moments, looking at one another. In the time we’ve known each other, it was the first time that we’ve come to an understanding. “Let’s get going then.” He smiled, his grey eyes dancing as we began a peaceful walk up towards the ancient castle.

As we entered the Great Hall, it was buzzing with excitement of the new school year. I looked up at the enchanted ceiling which was portraying the calm, night sky outside. The heavy oak doors shut behind us with a ‘thud’, catching the attention of practically everyone in the Great Hall.

Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of all time in my opinion, looked at us with an amused expression, a certain twinkle in his blue eyes as if he knew something that we didn’t. Professor Minerva McGonagall stood up from the long table of professors, with a parchment in her hand. We were just in time for the Sorting Ceremony.

I smiled weakly, wishing that they would turn around and mind their own business. I’m outgoing, but I don’t like a lot of attention at once, it’s overwhelming.

Sirius dazzled the student body, mostly the girls, with a charming smile. The girls swooned, practically falling out of their seats, and Sirius very well knew that he had this affect on the opposite sex.

I hurried over towards the Gryffindor table, trying to ignore the suspicious gazes. Sirius took his time, walking over to his seat, taking in all the attention. I took my seat next to Lily, as Sirius took the seat across from me, and next to James.

“Miss Hathaway, Mr. Black, I’m honored that you’ve joined us.” Dumbledore said cheerfully to us, as the whole student body looked on.

“Thank you, Headmaster.” I smiled politely, though I could feel my cheeks turning pink.

“The honor is all ours, Headmaster.” Sirius grinned, followed by a chorus of giddy sighs.

“Why thank you, Mr. Black.” He smiled, glowing.

“Now for the Sorting Ceremony….” Professor McGonagall began, bringing out the famous Sorting Hat, as the nervous first years looked on. After the song, she began calling names as the first years started to get sorted.

“I can’t believe we’re seventh years.” Lily whispered to me.

“I know.” I gasped. “It’s going to be great.”

“Yeah.” She beamed, casting her attention back to the Sorting. With each new Gryffindor, we cheered clapping and hollering as they took a seat.

“Welcome back to Hogwarts for another thrilling year! And to the first years, welcome to Hogwarts! Now before we begin this delicious feast, I must say that the Forbidden Forest, and the Whooping Willow are off limits.” He said, winking over towards the Marauders for some reason that I found odd. “On a happier note, I’d like to introduce the Head Boy, James Potter, and the Head Girl, Miss Lily Evans of Gryffindor.” Cheers erupted across the hall, except for the Slytherins of course, as both Lily and James stood up. James was grinning goofily, while Lily was slightly blushing. “Now, let the feast begin!” He beamed, clapping as many trays of various foods appeared on our table.

“Mm… scrumptious.” I smiled, placing some of the delightful food on my plate. I was hungry, and I was certainly going to eat as much as I wanted.

“That good, eh?” James smiled at me, in a friendly manner of course.

“That good, Jamsie dear.” I cooed.

“Jamsie…what a nickname for you, Prongs!” Peter laughed idiotically, as James rolled his eyes.

“Don’t get too excited, Wormtail.” Sirius raised a dark eyebrow at him.

“Padfoot…” Remus said warningly.

“I’m not going to start anything, Moony. It’s Wormtail.” Sirius smiled, clapping Peter on the shoulder. Why do they call each other such odd names? “So, where were you on the train, I didn’t see you.”

“I…uh…” Peter stuttered out, turning a shade of pink.

“I think I know, Pads!” James laughed. Lily and I glanced at each other, obviously confused.

“I think we all know.” Remus agreed amusingly.

“Do you all know something we don’t?” I asked curiously, looking from one to the other.

“Possibly.” Sirius smiled mischievously.

“Why don’t you tell us then?” Lily asked eagerly. “Potter…” She smiled, hoping that he would crack under the pressure.

“It’s nothing.” He laughed.

“Oh, it’s definitely something.” I countered, giving them a pointed look.

“I’ll tell you when the time is right.” Remus smiled at me, slightly blushing.

“Remus, you know that you’re my favorite Marauder...” I smiled, making him blush more, hoping that he would give in, but I knew Remus was smarter than that. All the sudden, my shin got kicked under the table. “OW!” I winced. “Black! What was that for?”

He just smirked, raising a dark eyebrow.

“You’re so…” I trailed off, trying to find the right word.

“Good-looking, amazing, sexy…” He finished for me. “That’s so kind of you, Hathaway, I’m flattered.” He smiled. He was back to his old self once again, like that conversation we had earlier never happened.

I scrunched up my nose. “No, that wasn’t what I was going to say.”

“But you were thinking it.” He smirked.

I groaned. “Oh yeah. You caught me.” I rolled my eyes, yawning. “I think it’s about time I go to bed.”

“I guess I’ll see you in the morning,” Lily said to me, “since…I’m Head Girl and all.”

“Oh, right.” I nodded. “It’s not going to be the same without you.” I hugged her tightly. “I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too.”

“Oh, Prongsie! I’m going to miss you so much! I can’t believe I have to wait until tomorrow to see you!” Sirius mocked me, hugging James as James winced.

I narrowed my eyes at him as I rose from my seat. “G’night boys.” I smiled at James, Peter, and Remus, and not Sirius.

“Wait.” Sirius called as I reached the stairs. I stopped in my tracks, and looked over my shoulder to see him walking towards me.

“What?” I asked him wearily.

“I wanted to walk with you.” He smiled charmingly. I merely shrugged in response as he and I began to walk up the marble stairs. We walked in silence for the most part, with a couple polite greetings to familiar faces.

“Hey Sirius!” A group of fifth year Ravenclaw girls giggled.

“Hey ladies…” He smiled at them as we walked by, and I watched them swoon pathetically.

“That’s pathetic.” I murmured, rolling my eyes.

“Jealous?” He smirked.

“Not the least bit.” I snapped.

“If you say so.” He causally leaned against the wall near the painting of the Fat Lady, the entrance to the Gryffindor common room.

“Pumpkin Juice.” I said, as the painting moved, letting us in.

“Are you going to sit down here with me, or go to bed?” He asked, a glint in his eyes.

“Um, go to bed. Why would I want to stay and talk to you?” I laughed, walking over towards the girls’ dormitory stairs, as Sirius followed me, pouting. “Goodnight, Sirius.” I patted his shoulder, about to turn around and ascend up the stairs.

“That’s one of the only times you’ve ever called me ‘Sirius’ instead of ‘Black’.” He smiled, as I stopped to look at him and raised a light eye brow.

“You usually call me Hathaway, or that horrible nickname you gave me.” I defended, crossing my arms over my chest.

“Goodnight, Tillie.” He smiled, rubbing his thumb softly over my bruised cheek.

“Night.” I said backing away, and walking up the stairs. I could feel his eyes watch me… Why was he giving me so much attention all the sudden?

I entered the seventh year girls’ dormitory, hearing the giddy voices of Nancy Reynolds and Danielle Woods. They were gushing about Sirius and James, squealing every so often. I rolled my eyes, dressing into my pajamas. Aurora Winthrop sat quietly reading a book, her dark raven hair falling in front of her face.

I laid silently in the cushy bed, eventually falling asleep, as the rain began to fall.

- - - - -

Laughing hysterically, a little girl ran down a long hallway, her blonde curls bouncing wildly behind her.

“Oh Tillie.” A deep voice whispered playfully as he chased her. “I’m going to get you.” The handsome man smiled, his honey brown eyes shining with amusement.

“Nooooo.” She giggled, looking back at him quickly, her bare feet echoed louder against the wood floor as she ran faster. She turned a quick left, and opened the door that lead to a fairly large pink room…her room. She sprinted over to the closet, and speedily hid herself in it.

The brown-haired man entered the room, looking around with a bright smile on his face. The little girl couldn’t help but let out a few giggles.

“Oh where, oh where can my Tillie be?” He asked teasingly, searching through the room, causing her to let out more giggles. “I think I know.” He mused, walking over to the closet. He opened it quickly, as the blonde girl laughed.

“Daddy!” She smiled, hugging him though she barely came up to his waist.

“Tilden!” He smiled down at her, picking her little body up with ease. “It’s bedtime.”

“Nooo, I’m not sleepy.” She whined and pouted as he walked over towards her bed, and laid her down on the cushy pink bedding.

“Tilden.” He said sternly, as she fidgeted to move the covers he was laying onto of her. “I’ll read you a bedtime story.” He seemed to have caught her attention as she stopped her movements. She nestled herself back under the covers and smiled sweetly, her saucer-like blue eyes stared up at him innocently from under her long dark lashes.

“I want the one… you said… mommy gave to me.” She said as her father looked at her sadly. He walked over to her bookshelf, and grabbed the book she was talking about.

The book her mother bought before she gave birth to Tilden. The book that was her mother’s favorite as a child. The book that her mother had planned to read to her, yet her untimely death didn’t allow her to. The enchanting fairytale that ironically would fit her future.

The tale of Cinderella.

It was a fairytale of the muggle world, seeing that her mother was a muggle-born witch. Yet, it had magic, a fairy godmother, a handsome prince, and everything a little girl dreamed of.

“Once upon a time…” her father began in a pensive tone as he read her the story of Cinderella until she fell asleep.

The man studied his young six year old daughter as she sleep soundlessly. She was already taking after her beautiful mother. Her heart-shaped face was in a blissful expression, her dark lashes casting shadows over her cheeks. “I love you, Tilden. Sweet dreams.” He smiled, and kissed her on the forehead before walking out the bedroom door.

He dressed for work at the ministry. He was a skilled auror who worked the night shift. He kissed Gabriella, his second wife, on her cheek as he left the house.

Little did they know that he wasn’t coming back…alive, that is…

A shrill scream came from the foyer, waking Tilden up from her deep slumber. She hurriedly ran down the stairs to see her father’s dead, bloody body laying in front of the oak door.


She could smell murder.

Tilden ran down the stairs, almost falling twice due to the tears that blinded her vision. She came to his side, and laid herself over him, crying endlessly. “Daddy…Daddy…Daddy…”

“Edward…” Gabriella stood motionlessly beside them, staring down at them in disbelief. A thin, pale hand placed over her mouth, as her young daughter hugged her, both crying softly.

“I love you, Daddy…come back… Daddy…” She sobbed, burying her face in his bloody shirt.

“Tilden…” Gabriella said emotionlessly, though her green eyes showed otherwise. “It’s…it’s all… your fault…Get away from him! Get away from him! It’s all your fault!” She screamed, finally finding her voice.

From that day on, Gabriella placed the blame on Tilden, though she had nothing to do with it, and punished her for it… her world was like that of Cinderella’s…except it wasn’t just a fairytale.

- - - - -

A loud rumble of thunder awoke me from my troubling slumber. I have dreamt the same dream frequently since that fateful day. It kept making me relive the sadness, and it hurt each time, reminding me how much I missed my father, my old life.

I crawled over to the end of my bed, opening my trunk ever so lightly, and taking out a precious book. Cinderella. It was a bit tattered from the many years, but the gold spine was sparkling. My fingers traced over as I brought it up to my chest, laying back down on my soft bedding.

The dream kept replying in my head, as I felt the tears start to swell up in my eyes. I tried my hardest to hold them back.

“Sometimes it’s better to cry…”

Sirius’ voice kept running through my head.

And for once, I listened to him.

I cried until I fell asleep once more, and the truth was, it did feel better to cry.

Author's Note: Hey everyone! I hoped you liked it! And thank you so much for your reviews, and if you would, please review on this chapter as well. Feed back is always appreciated! :)

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