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Chapter 12: Demented;


Demented- crazy; insane; mad.



“Sev?”

He blinked, and looked up at me, the waxy, shininess that had overcame his eyes quickly dissipating.

“Right. So, how many times would you stir it?”

“Don’t try to pretend I don’t know what you were doing.”

Redness bloomed across his pallid cheeks. I tried to ignore it, but really, could not study potions with him looking so…heartbroken.

“She cannot be happy with him,” he said sullenly, gazing at Lily Evans once again.

“But I think she is,” I said, sighing, “Merlin knows what she sees in that sod, but she seems to see something.”

“What does she see in him? She hated him,” he said bitterly.

“You guys fell out of touch. You don’t know what’s best for her anymore,” I said bluntly.

Slowly, he looked at me, face still uncharacteristically rosy.

“I wish I still did.”

I frowned and closed my textbook. “I think I’ve finally figured you out, Severus Snape.”

He looked at me quizzically.

“You don’t just miss being her friend, do you?”

Forlornly, he shook his head and placed his head in his palms, his fingertips toying with his long, floppy hair. He’d never told anyone, and I had just guessed his deepest, darkest secret.

He loved her.

It made everything he had ever done surprisingly clear to me. He loved Lily; it intensified his hatred for James, who, when I think about it, is everything Sev ever really wanted to be. Accepted, loved, cherished by his parents, his peers. Overwhelming clarity was overcoming my mind. He. Likes. Her.

God, St. Clair, you need glasses.

Lily and James got up and walked out of the library, James weighed down with his schoolbag and hers, adoration dripping from his eyes. Something tugged at my heartstrings; I dared not to look at Severus as they walked by, Lily giggling.

“I just wish I could talk to her like we used to. I’m not asking for her to love me back, just to acknowledge me, be my Potions partner again or something.

“Talk to her again,” I said, “say anything. Just start with being nice. Clearly, James is a huge part of her life, so give them no reason to hate you. I promise, I won’t even throw any breakfast foods.”

He looked at me, and surprisingly, he smirked. “No lunch or dinner foods either.”

“Dammit,” I joked. He smiled at me.

“You’re a good friend, St. Clair,” he said.

“Tell me about it,” I said, reopening my Potions textbook. Or rather, Severus’s old one.

“Back to Felix Felicis?”

“Back to Felix,” Severus agreed.

“One more thing,” I said, looking up at him.

“What?”

“No desserts either?”

“Okay. Maybe a spoonful of pie or something. But that’s it!”

I snorted with laughter as we resumed our weekly study sessions. Severus Snape is, undoubtedly, one of my favorite people in the entire world. I swear, when I am with him, sometimes I don’t even know how much time has passes. Sometimes I feel like he’s a better best friend then Narcissa simply because our bond is so strong.

And we bond over Potions, of all things.

Sirius Black walked in and sat in a table not so far away. He actually looked upset, sincerely, something was bothering him. He didn’t lose a member of his fan club or anything this time, he was actually showing human emotion…and he chose to come to the library to be alone?

Well, it’s not like any of the people who would care to find him can actually read, so maybe he was smart to come in here.

I trained my eyes not to stare at him. Oh, where is little Miss Mary Macdonald when you’re upset? Or maybe, its little Miss Mary who’s got him upset?

Maybe she’s pregnant.

I stifled a laugh and ignored Sev’s questioning looks. Concentrate on the book! Read the pages! You can do this!

I almost knew the book by heart. Reading this book soothed me so much, I could focus my entire energy on memorizing potions, ingredients and stirring patterns, and everything else could melt away for a little while. It did all melt away. But everything seemed to be distracting me today. Nothing was melting; it was becoming more solidified then ever.

“Where’s Regulus?” I asked casually.

“He’s your boyfriend, not mine,” Severus said, not looking up from his book.

“Let’s hope,” I replied, turning the page.

“No really, where is he?” I asked again, smiling stupidly just thinking of Regulus.

“I thought he said he had quidditch practice. But it’s a bit of an off day for practicing, don’t you think?” he said. I looked out of the window. Snow was heavily swirling, and the wind was howling cruelly.

“Not exactly good flying weather.” He smiled and we turned back to our books.

Sirius sighed loudly and stalked passed us, eyes focused on the floor. The door clicked softly shut behind him as he left the library.

I almost felt sorry for him, something seemed to be wrong. Something was seriously bothering him, and I don’t even know him. It’s so obvious, and yet, what isn’t obvious, is why I can’t stop thinking about it. Whatever’s wrong with him is no concern to me, unless it has to do with Regulus. Which I doubt. But honestly, something as trivial as the feelings of Sirius Black does not bother me.

It. Doesn’t. Bother. Me.

“The Dark Lord is getting impatient,” Severus said idly. I raised my eyes. This bothers me. This is something worth thinking about.

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“Some of his most willing supporters are underage. He wants a full support system, not sixteen year olds. He knows we are a valuable asset; but he also knows he cannot use us yet.”

I massaged my temple with my fingers. I didn’t want to look in his eyes. He would know exactly what I was thinking; he would be able to sense my discomfort with the very notion.

“You think we are all going to end up dead or in Azkaban,” he said. It was more of a statement, not a comment. It was something he knew was a fact.

“You’re worried about us,” he said firmly.

“I love you lot though, can you imagine if you all ended up…?” My mouth was dry, suddenly, and I couldn’t formulate the words.

Dead.

In Azkaban.

With their lives completely over, their lives would be completely wasted. I knew it; deep down, that this wouldn’t end well. I didn’t want them doing this, I had come to the realization that the only thing I didn’t like about them fighting in the war was the fact that they would die. Sure, fight for what you believe in! Yeah! But don’t tangle in something like this. I think it’s a matter way more monumental then anyone can really fathom.

I knew that at any moment I could let myself break down, spill out my heart and probably cry, but I had done that too many times with Severus.

“Ashlynn,” he said, and I felt some weird magnetic force that brought my eyes to his. I felt my heart constrict as I pictured him flanked with Dementors.

“Stop this,” he said, his hand took mine, “we’re going to be fine.”

His hands were unusually warm.

“My, my, my brother would love to see this.”

I winced, and revolved slowly, turning to face the human that the drawling voice had come from. Sirius Black is back, once again.

“You need to get away from me,” I said slowly, any emotion other then anger vanishing from my body completely.

“Make me.”

“Just do it,” Severus said, glaring at him. Sirius snickered and stalked away, muttering under his breath.

I glared at his retreating back. I glanced out of the window, forcing my eyes away from Sirius. The skies were a blank, shapeless whitish gray, and snow was steadily spiraling towards the frozen ground.

I couldn’t study any more, this was an uphill battle. And I was losing. Sighing, I packed up all of my things.

“I think I am heading out to find Regulus,” I said as Severus nodded and waved goodbye.

I headed out, thinking of all the places I could go. Kitchens. Common Room. Great Hall. I took a turn towards the Astronomy Tower; I had decided that sampling the view would be breathtaking and a good place to mull over everything.

I pushed open the door to the topmost observatory room, and my breath caught in my throat.

Sirius Black. AGAIN. I rolled my eyes and turned around.

“Yeah, that’s right, go find my brother. I daresay an hour without snogging may be too much for him to handle.”

I turned on my heel and glared at him.

“How dare you,” I breathed, shaking my head.

“You know he doesn’t really fancy you,” he said shaking his head as he continued to stare out of the window.

“What the hell do you mean by that?” I spat.

“Oh come on. He likes girls that satisfy. Not girls he can have stimulating conversation with,” Sirius said, sneering, “My brother isn’t capable of a real relationship.”

“I think it’s you that isn’t capable of a relationship of any sort. You alienated your whole family and you’re going out with Macdonald. What, is the whipped cream aiding in your stimulating conversation?

He opened his mouth to talk and then shut it. Yeah, I got Sirius Black to shut his mouth. Can you say SKILLS?

“You’ll see, St. Clair. You’ll end up pushed to the side for someone my brother hasn’t had yet, he’ll break your heart. Maybe then you’ll be able to put aside your prejudice and take some advice.”

“How dare you! I’m prejudiced? You pick on little Slytherins and people like Snape because you don’t like the House they’re in. Because, deep down, they remind you of what you could've been. They remind you of your family. You don’t like their default. I pick on you lot because I don’t like you. Not because of a dramatic psychological reason!”

I had moved closer, I was staring at him, fuming. No one on earth possessed so much talent at angering me; no one in the entire world knew how to push my buttons like this. And he doesn’t even know me. Anger was coursing through my veins at a speed that was completely unhealthy.

I wanted to hurt him. I wanted my words to sting.

“You will end up alone, Sirius Black. Treating people the way you do, trusting the way you do. Within a few years, all of the people you’ve bullied and hurt, they’ll come back to haunt you. You’ll lose everything,” I said, my voice barely above a whisper. His eyes flashed with sudden color, then glazed over with a strong emotion I couldn’t place.

“Ashlynn St. Clair, you’ll end up sadder then you ever thought possible. With your little Death Eaters in training, they’ll be labeled murderers and chucked in Azkaban or killed. I hope you realize your best friends will be responsible for the deaths of innocent people. Even if I end up without a friend in the world, I’ll still feel sorry for you.”

The last thing I wanted was Sirius seeing me vulnerable, or anything remotely close to it. But with his words...I believed them. They hit home. Tears stung my eyes, and I stared up at him, trying not to let the tears fall. He saw them. I sniffed and walked away.

I picked up my things, I turned my back on him and I walked away. Tears starting flowing down my face incredibly fast and splattering down my shirt. It was the type of tear that leaves huge drop marks, the type of sob that actually hurts and you can’t catch your breath. The type of crying that happens when you know you’ll eventually lose everything, the type of crying you don’t want to happen, which is probably why it hurts so much.

Running, blood pounding in my ears. I ran until I reached the outside, where the tears and wetness on my cheeks hurt when the cold air met them. I whipped around a corner and flung open the door, my breaths were sporadic and painful. I was gasping for air as I let myself collapse under a tree, the icy snow numbing me.

I cannot pretend that as a sixteen year old anything these boys want to do is right.
I cannot pretend that as a sixteen year old anything I’m feeling is right.
I cannot pretend that as a sixteen year old any of this is supposed to happen.

I can guarantee it shouldn’t be. I should be studying for tests or something. I shouldn’t be worrying about the lives of my friends; I shouldn’t be worrying about their consciences. None of this should be. It can’t be.

The tears subsided and so did the cold. I didn’t feel it anymore. I knew some stray tears had actually frozen on my face. The cold numbed everything after a while. I pulled my hand out of its sanctuary in my pocket. It was a dull pinkish purple.

Shaking my head, I saw Hagrid come out of his hut. He glared at me, and then I’m guessing he had a change of heart and came towards me.

“You’re the pumpkin girl, aren’t yeh?”

I nodded slowly, my eyes fixed on his left ankle.

“Come inside,” he said, reaching out a massive, fuzzy gloved hand. Unthinkingly, I placed my frostbitten one on top of his and he pulled me up and led me into his hut.

“I’ll make tea,” he said, handing me a huge blanket. I dove into it, ignoring the odd ferrety smell and concentrating on the warmth.

Before I knew it I was seated at his table, comforted by a merry fire and a hot cup of tea, and spilling out my heart to Hagrid, the half-breed gamekeeper. Completely uncharacteristic, but cold does weird things to people.

“And, okay, I know I shouldn’t have even let him have the satisfaction of knowing he finally got to me but I couldn’t help -,”

The door opened and in walked the Marauders, laughing and holding all of the right ingredients for a snowman.

“Hagrid, can we use your lawn?”

“Snows perfect, mate, you gotta come outside!”

“Do you have a carrot we can use?”

They stopped dead in their tracks when the found me in the corner, glaring at them.

“What’s this, Hag?”

“She’s getting bitch all over your blanket.”

“You let her drink your tea? Hope you poisoned it.”

Do they always all talk at once? Are they always so mean?

“Boys,” he said gruffly, his beetle black eyes hardening.

“Sorry,” they mumbled.

“I’ll just be going,” I said, as I set his blanket and tea cup on the table, “thanks, uh…Mr. Hagrid.”

He laughed and sent me on my way. My hands were still purplish and cold to touch, and the very glimpse of Sirius had sent chills down my spine, if that was even possible, considering how cold I already was.

I headed up to the castle, and found my way right into the Common Room.

“Where have you been, love?” Regulus asked as he took off my hat and shook the snow from it.

“Obvious question,” I said, smiling.

“No really, you’ve been gone all day,” Narcissa said, closing the book she had been studying.

“I was in the Library, and then I fancied a walk, that’s all,” I said brightly, though Narcissa clearly saw right through me. If Regulus suspected anything out of the ordinary, he didn’t show it.

“Come sit by the fire, you look half-frozen,” Evan said, motioning me over.

Ah, the power of lying. I can now act like nothing is wrong.

When clearly, everything is.

A/N- ALMOST A MONTHHH !! KILL ME. BEHEAD ME. OR SOMETHING PAINFUL. Please, please forgive me. You have no idea how much you and this story mean to me and I haven't been able to update in forevvverrr. Aw =/

Review, lovelies. (If you can bare the thought of speaking to someone as horrible as I am.)

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