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Chapter 4:Et Ils Ne Pouvaient Rien Faire à Ce Sujet-And They Couldn’t Do Anything About It 

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Chapter image by the wonderful Annihilation @ TDA

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The noise, previously at its usual slightly-less-than-deafening roar, faded in a way that was somehow rapid, yet gradual, until the absolute silence rang in my ears. My eyes were glued to the floor, as if the answer to the purpose of life itself was etched in the depths of it, but I didn’t need my eyes to know, even to be able to see, the scene before me. It was obvious. The girls would be huddled in their small groups-cliques, one might call them-, alternating between whispering and shooting those little I-can’t-believe-my-eyes looks at me. The knowledge of this not only made me immensely uncomfortable-for I’ve never liked being the center of attention-but it also thrust me back forcefully to a day years ago at Beauxbatons.

 

A twelve-year-old girl rushed down the long, cold, stony hallway, a smile pasted on her youthful, yet beautiful face. She burst through a wooden door at the end of that corridor, entering a heavily occupied Common Room, then through another identical door, coming face to face with another young girl of the same age, an identical look of surprise playing over both of their features.

 

“Marguerite, vous surpris moi!” the first girl exclaimed, voicing the obvious fact of the other startling her and wiping her bright blonde hair out of her eyes. She pushed past the other Marguerite; her bright mood not hindered, throwing her back on the nearest bed and began looking through a dresser drawer, roughly pushing aside sweater sets and camisoles.

 

Qu'est-ce que tu fais?”-‘What are you doing?’-Marguerite asked, a bemused expression gracing her elegant features as she pulled her thick brown curls into a ponytail at the base of her pale neck. The blonde looked up into the deep green eyes of perhaps her only true friend, the only girl who never teased her and even stood up for her and grinned.

 

Lizette et ses amis sont d'une poule de la nuit dans leur chambre et veux que je vienne!” The blonde responded excitedly, reliving that fresh memory where the popular girl had approached her in the hallway, flocked by friends and told her that they were having a hen’s night and that she should join them. She just knew that that night the girls would finally except her and never make fun of her again. They would become friends with her, invite her to the parties, to their houses over holiday, and like her. She knew it. Her friend’s eyes clouded with suspicion, and she shook her head.

 

“Angelique, c'est probablement juste un truc, vous savez comment on entend les jeunes filles sont, je ne pense pas que vous devez aller.” The brunette, warned. ‘Angelique, this is probably just a trick, you know how those mean girls are, I don’t think you should go.’ Anger flashed in Angelique’s mint-colored eyes as she looked away from her trusted friend. Could she not see how much this meant to her? This was her chance to finally be accepted by other girls and have more than one friend.

 

“L'arrêter, vous êtes juste jaloux que j'ai été invité et que vous ne l'étaient pas.” Angelique accused Marguerite childishly of just being jealous that she had not been invited also.

 

“Je ne suis pas. Il suffit d'aller, d'avoir du plaisir.”- ‘I am not. Just go, have fun.’ The brunette said angrily, turning her head away from her friend. 

 

“Beau. Je le ferai.” The blonde replied flippantly, tossing some clothes haphazardly into her back, which she threw over her shoulder before storming out of the dormitory. ‘Fine. I will.” She had said.

 

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She was looking down at her feet as if they were the most interesting thing in the west side of France. She could feel all the blood in her petite body rising to paint the pale skin of her cheeks a bashful red. They had said it was just for fun, that they had just wanted to see what it would look like, that no one else would see. But when she had gone along with it, they had pushed her out into the crowded Common Room. The girl struggled with her hands to cover the pieces of skin that weren’t covered by the scanty bikini.

 

‘At least my makeup looks good.’ The girl had thought desperately, tying to look on the bright side as her already livid cheeks turned redder yet. Lizette and her friends had done it for her, assuring her that it looked great, but not wanting her to see it what it looked like right at that moment. As the young blonde turned her head she caught a glimpse of her face and gasped, realizing why the girls had not wanted her to see what she looked like. Her makeup was smeared arbitrarily across her face in some sort of sick imitation of a clown. She didn’t need to hear the whispers to know what was being passed from ear to ear.

 

I was ripped out of my reminiscent reverie by the familiar voice of my best friend calling my name loudly.

 

“Angelique! There you are! Sirius Black, what have you done with her hair?” She shrieked through the mostly silent room as she approached the place where Sirius and I stood. I self-consciously ran my fingertips through my newly short hair, looking up into Evangeline’s eyes, my own eyes worried and accusing.

 

“What? Oh, no! I like it! Merlin, I didn’t mean it like that. It just surprised me! And anyway, where have you been all day? You nearly gave me a heart attack, just disappearing like that and not turning up all day! Well, from the looks of it you were with Sirius here, getting your hair chopped. But you could have left a note. And furthermore-” I cut across her. I knew her, she could go off on tangents like that for hours if no one stopped her. She would be a good mother one day, I knew it even then.

 

“I’ll tell you all about it soon, okay Ev? Can we just get out of here for now?” I pleaded with her, and realization dawned on her face. She knew me as well as I knew her, and she could tell that being the center of attention was really unnerving me at that moment.

 

“Alright, c’mon.” She smiled at me and grabbed my wrist, pulling me away from Sirius and towards the stairs to the Girls’ Seventh Dormitory.  I looked back, meeting Sirius’ gray eyes one last time before disappearing up the winding staircase.

 

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I watched her run up that staircase, being pulled along by her brown haired friend- Evangeline, I think- and farther and farther away from me. I squashed these bizarre thoughts and feelings. Angelique Lanoue was far out of my league. And not in a way that implied that I was better than her. She would never feel this way about someone like me. Especially me.

 

I have tormented her ever since her appearance on the Hogwarts scene midway through fifth year. Tormented her more than the other people did; about her ways of doing good where others wouldn’t and things like that. Things that should be considered honorable. I made fun of her for it. I didn’t know how else I could talk to her. I didn’t know what else I could possibly say, but one thing was for sure: I couldn’t just let her be, to forget my name and who I was.

 

I waited months for my little crush to pass, not mentioning it even to my fellow Marauders. They would tear the mickey out of me for it, I knew. However, as the months turned to years, it never passed. I continued with my life, having other girlfriends and such, never acting on my feelings, but she was always there, in the back of my mind, commanding my attention.

 

Then that night happened. I pushed her slightly past her limit, I feared. I feared that would be it, she would no longer politely put up with my teasing comments. But, to my pleasurable surprise, she asked me to do something about it. This thrilled me; I would get to spend time with her, one on one, almost like a date. Let her see the real me. The nice me.

 

For a moment that afternoon, I had thought that she was almost mine. That I could sense some sort of the same longing that I had for her mirrored for me in her mint green eyes. But, I was obviously mistaken. Why would someone of her caliber fall for someone like me, cast out by even my own family?

 

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I was acutely aware of every single pair of eyes in the room. Every single pair of eyes that was sharply focused on me, that is. Another thing I was sharply aware of was the ends of my hair brushing up against my cheeks. It felt like a piece of damning evidence against me. As long as my hair continued to hang in the short style it did, the people would keep staring, keep whispering, keep watching.

 

But I would persevere, if there was one thing I was absolutely sure of, it was that. The issue was like a battle to be won to me. Brave out the gossip, and the rest would be a piece of homemade treacle tart, I told myself again and again. Every entry into a new room for those first few days was like a waking nightmare for me. All the whispers, the looks, they really got to me. See, no one really knows what it’s like to be shy. People understand bashful or timid, but shy, they just can’t get it, not unless they are shy too.

 

Being shy, it’s like having a phobia almost. Being the center of attention is to be avoided at all costs. We shy people live to be invisible. The aspect of being talked about-good or bad-was horrifying, petrifying. I couldn’t even explain it in a way that would do it justice. But I was sick of it. I didn’t want to be like that anymore, but it was inescapable. So I took matters into my own hands. I would not be bashful anymore. I would not shy away from anything involving me and attention from the masses. I would force myself to overcome it. And the hair was just the step that would put me over the edge. If I could do that, who knows what else I would be capable of?

 

I never told any of my friends about me and Sirius’ arrangement. I thought it might just be one of those things that you didn’t shout about to all of the Scottish highlands. And the days passed by without another of our ‘lessons’, which had hardly even begun in the first place. But I knew that he hadn’t forgotten about them, he just didn’t seem the type. After almost a week, the chatter died down. Even to this day, I’m not totally sure why a simple haircut caused such a ruckus in the school gossip scene. Maybe the people behind the talk could see beyond just the severity of the difference in length and style of the cut to the deeper meaning of it all. Could they tell what it really meant to me? How it was a turning point in the life I had led up to that point, as they had known it? I didn’t see it then, but now I’m sure that at least a few of them had known a bit of what would come.

 

But only a bit. There was no way that anyone had known the lengths it would go. The people it would hurt. The lives it would change. If they had, I’m sure someone would have stopped me, talked Sirius out of it, anything. But they couldn’t have known. No one would know until it happened.

 

So things continued. The world as those who lead their day-to-day lives upon it knew it to be kept going. The stars kept shining, the earth turning. What would come wouldn’t affect them, but for those who were part of the smaller universe, the one that I lived in, would see the effects in time. There was no doubt about that.

 

But, again, no one could have known. No one could have stopped it. And our lives and our petty trivialities would go on. We would be shaped by the mistakes we hadn’t made yet, and no one would stop it.

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A/N: Well there you have it folks! Just kind of a filler chapter to set stuff up where I want to take it :) The next chapters will go back to the actual story. I really hoped you are enjoying this story, and thank you so much to my reviewers-the few the proud haha. You guys are why I keep this story up! 
So remember to review because I seriously have a depressing amount in comparision to the number of reads! 
Thanks in advance, and thanks for reading! 

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