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Chapter 24



 


In the end everyone ends up alone
Losing her, the only one who's ever known
Who I am, who I'm not, who I wanna be
No way to know how long she will be next to me


- You Found Me by The Fray


 


Maisy’s POV




How could he do this to me? How could he go behind my back and sleep with that… that little fuchsia wearing bitch faced slag bag! And how did I not find out?




Am I that stupid? Am I that idiotic? Were there any signs?




Why today? Why would he do this to me today of all days. The one day I wanted normality, fun and just – to live life.




I didn’t want to think about Lily and Harry and the pre-eclampsia. I didn’t want to think about my father batting out on me, talking about leaving the country. I didn’t want to think about life outside school and the future – death.




So I didn’t think. All I’ve been thinking about is myself, for the whole day. The, Jason finds me and everything changes. Everything changes. Now all I can think about is him and her and all of the bad things. Being alone again. The truly scary things.




 


 


“Maisy! Wait up!” Jason called from behind me as I left the empty classroom. Lily had already left to pee while I cleared the desks and sorted out the LP.




“What do you want?” I asked him, still walking, not bothering to stop to talk to
him.




“Just wanted to say happy birthday, that’s all.” He said, shrugging, but still walking with me.




“Urrr – thanks, I guess.” I said, slowing down slightly. Was he seriously not being an asshole anymore?




“And, so, uhm, how’s things with you and Sirius?” he said, watching his feet as he walked. Strange?




“We’re perfect, thanks.” None of your business.




“Oh.” He said.




“Oh?”




“It’s just… Oh, don’t worry.” What was he hiding from me?




“No, what is it?” I pushed. Tell me, god damn it!




“Can you keep this quiet?” This was Hogwarts… but I nodded.




“Course. I can keep a secret.” He looked tense.




“I don’t wanna hurt you.” He said, looking up at me and putting his hand on my shoulder.




“Why are you going to hurt me?” I watched his hand squeeze my shoulder – just like Sirius did when he was nervous.




“Because you wont like what I’m about to say.”




“Then just say it, say it now.”




“It’s Sirius.” Oh god.




“What about him?” If you say he’s dead I will seriously beat your brains, boy.




“He’s not telling you the truth.” Oh. I know…




“What do you mean?” The present? The party?




“When he says he has a detention, don’t believe him.”




“Why? What are you trying to say about my boyfriend?!”




“He’s cheating on you.” No he’s not.




“No. Sirius wouldn’t do that.” Or would he?




“I saw him. Last night. Cheating on you.” Okay, maybe he would.




“You’re lying.”




“Why would I lie about something like this? I care about you Maisy. I don’t wanna see you get hurt.” He said, taking his hand off of my shoulder and turning around, walking in the opposite direction to me now. I was stood still, just waiting for him to turn and laugh and say ‘Joke! You should have seen the look on your face!’




“Sirius wouldn’t do that to me. He loves me!” To no avail, he didn’t turn around.




“Really? Or is it Ruby he’s in love with?” he shouted back at me.




“RUBY?!”


 





 


Ruby. Again. Fucking me up in the head. Again. Taking the one person I truly care about. The one person I truly love. AGAIN.




Picking up the box under my bed, I blew the dust off of the lid and opened it carefully. Pieces of parchment, crumpled photos and old magazine cut outs filled it to the brim – every time things were rough, these would always lift my spirits.




I smiled at the contents, picking up the oldest looking notes. Always and Please. I remember receiving them. Remembered the tears behind them. But they brought us closer together. Words brought us closer together.




I picked up one of the newer ones and smiled to myself. One of the funniest Transfiguration lessons of the seventh year. Sirius was charming notes to fly next to me, and Lily would charm them and send them back – I never knew how to do it…




 



 


Maisy, I love you




Sirius, I’m trying to work.




But I love you!




And?




I’m so offended. :O




Aww, I’ll make it up to you later. But I need these notes!




This note? Or the human transfiguration ones?




Both!




This one’s gunna go in your robe pocket too, eh?




It might do.




Why?




Because I bloody love you too! Now go away!




Hurray, I’m loved!




He’s loved!




Fuck off, James!





 



 



I could remember watching them fly towards me, my heart beating that little bit faster for every reply. It was relaxed and casual – but that was us. We were relaxed and casual; but totally in love.




Being with Sirius felt like breathing. It came naturally and it helped me to survive. He took my breath away with every word, every step and every touch. Without air, without the ability to breathe; I was nothing. I was once below the surface, unable to fill my lungs with anything but darkness or tears. And Sirius had lifted me above that, breathed life into me, helped me to spring and blossom into a brand new person; a brand new me.




But now that was over. He’d betrayed me. He’d plunged me back into the black abyss of nothingness. Of being alone with my thoughts. Of being forced to succumb to the danger of thinking and feeling like the only person on earth who had ever had to survive the trauma and the heart ache of forbidden love; cheated love.




Linda was right. All of the Blacks were bad. They killed you on the inside, like my mother had died – a curse radiating through her body, exterminating her senses, her personality and her smile. The smile that made her the person she was, the person she would always be. And it hurt.




The pain I can feel is truly unimaginable. I’m sucking in air, but not feeling it relieve the pressure on my lungs and heart. I’m gripping the posts for support, but my legs have double crossed me, siding with Sirius, and collapsing from underneath me; lying crooked across the wooden slats, jesting my immobility and demeanour. How would I cope with all of this again?




How would I wake up in the morning and find a reason for going to lessons and learning? How would I exist in a world full of pain and indescribable, prejudice hate? How would I live outside of these castle walls, without Sirius being there to hold my hand when things got scary or to chase away the shadows when they crawled too near? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t cope. The thought was harrowing anyway – what would happen when reality hit me?




I need to talk to Sirius. Beg him to talk to me. I don’t care about Ruby, I don’t care what she’s sabotaged – I just want Sirius back. I’d explain about Jason; he’d believe me, not a Hogwarts rumour. He was still my Sirius, he still knew me like James knew the hundreds of rules to Quidditch.




I put my hand on the door knob and paused. What if he didn’t want me back? Me forgiving him was all well but, what if he didn’t want me anymore?




Just try
my conscience said. All you can do is try, Maisy.




Again conscience, you are the epitome of my existence.




I turned the handle and open the door, glancing over the stone veranda at the top of the staircase – completely shocked by the scene below me.




Sirius was stood with James and Lily, chatting animatedly, a butterbeer clutched in his hand. Lily was laughing and James was gesticulating wildly. But that wasn’t all. Sirius, James and Lily were there, sure – but so were the rest of the seventh year at Hogwarts. My new vinyl was being played, sending the Bay City Rollers’ voices around the Common Room, hugging everyone with their optimistic voices and catchy rhythms.




Nobody looked up and saw my tear-stained face, my surprised expression or my ratted appearance. Thank god.




Step one. Get changed, look good. You’re the birthday girl.




Step two. Go straight to Sirius. Tell him you love him. Hope for a miracle.




Step three. If that gets fucked up, go ahead and get absolutely wankered.


 


 





 




Breathe in, breathe out. You look fine, you look fine, you look fine.




I looked in the mirror for the millionth time, pushing back my bouncing curls and brushing down my dress. It was a little black dress, tight fitted and a present from Lea and Ava. It was perfect, and went beautifully with mum’s old engagement necklace. It glistened in the candlelight.




She’s with me. I can just feel it, like a wave flowing over me. I was safe. I was brave.




I lifted the latch on the door, wrenched it open and made for the stairs. Then, I spectacularly slipped down the last four, causing me to crash at the very bottom in an unladylike heap. I swear someone stopped the music. All I could hear was James’ laughter.




“Way to make an entrance!” he called from across the room. I flipped him off. Not cool.




“Oh shit Maisy! Are you okay?” Sirius said, running from the opposite side of the Common Room and sitting on the floor next to me. He placed his hand on top of my hand. I didn’t realise I was shaking until my whole body relaxed to his touch.




“I’m sorry,” he said, tracing the lines of my fingers. “Maisy, I’m so sorry.”




“It’s okay,” I said, gripping his hand. “You have nothing to apologise for.”




“Yes I do, Maisy. I doubted you; us; from one stupid rumour, that wasn’t even true. For that, I’m sorry.” He whispered.




“I’m sorry too. I didn’t mean anything I said.” I stammered. He was forgiving me. He was actually forgiving me.




“If that was our first fight, then it’s definitely our last.” He laughed lightly, looking up at me timidly, worried about my reactions. He needn’t worry, I had the guiltier conscience.




“I agree.” I said, looking up at him and laughing.




“Ninety minutes without you was like hell on earth.” He said, standing up and pulling me with him. He didn’t let go of my hands once.




“And you threw me a party.” I said, looking around the room at all the students, all my friends.




“Happy Birthday,” he said, wrapping his arms around my waist and kissing my neck lightly. Oh yes, this was definitely where I belonged.




I saw Lily smiling at me and beckoning me over, to where she was sitting, of course.




“HEY! YOU’RE HERE!” she shouted over the music that had just been returned to full volume.




“Of course, I’m the guest of honour!” I said, spinning in front of her, showing off my fantastic new dress.




“You look…”




“Absolutely gorgeous, right?” Sirius said, hurrying over and spinning me around by the waist. He handed me a drink. “For you.”




“Not just gorgeous, so bloody skinny!” she shouted.




“Lils…” I said, pushing Sirius’ hands off of me and kneeling down to perch in front of her.




“I’m never going to be skinny again.” She wailed, hitting James in the chest as he arrived behind her. “It’s all your fault!”




“Again?” he said, trying to mask his laughter.




“You did this to me. I’m fat and repulsive!” she said, starting to cry. It was truly difficult not to laugh with James, to be fair.




“You didn’t say stop, love.” He said, hugging her tightly and kissing the top of her head.




“I’m never being like this ever again. I want to be skinny for the rest of my life.” She sniffed.




“WHAT!” James yelled - simultaneously with myself and Sirius.




“I mean it. This is it!” she said, throwing her hands up.




“Liar,” James theatrically whispered.




“Shutup! I just want to see my toes! How are they anyway? I haven’t seen them in OVER THREE MONTHS.” Oh, cranky.




“They look very, very pretty.” She narrowed her eyes at me. “And skinny! Gorgeous and skinny.”




“Really?”




“Truly.”




“Oh, good. See James, am I still beautiful!” she said, patting her eyes dry.




“I never said yo…” But I glared at him. Just stop, mate. She would seriously take you out. “I mean. Yes, you are. You always have been, and always will be.”




“You have to say that! But when I’m covered in stretch marks, then what will you think huh?” she said, turning around abruptly to face him. He looked petrified.




“So Sirius! When does Maisy get her present?” Oh my god, I’d completely forgotten about that!




“When the party’s over. Don’t want everyone around – or alcohol. Spillages wont be good for it.” He said, winking at me. What could that mean?




“That’s your cue to get out there, have fun, enjoy your party!” said James. “I’ll stay over here with the prima donna.”




I ran while I had the chance. I did not want to see Lily lay into him for that. He’ll be getting the cold shoulder for at least two days.




But while that was going on… Let’s party.




 






 



“Can I open it now?” I whined from the sofa, rubbing my aching feet and leaning against Lily.




“No!” Sirius shouted back at me, picking up more empty bottles and 
disapparating them.




“Please?!” I called back to him.




“No! Just wait until we’ve finished cleaning up, okay?”




“Okay,” I moaned, sinking back into the sofa, flinging my head back and sighing. “I’m bored.”




“SHUT UP!” he laughed, throwing an envelope at me. “Here, open the damn card then!”




“Yay!” I squealed, ripping open the seal and taking out the card. But it wasn’t a card.




From the envelope, an ebony white butterfly emerged from the packet, gracefully dancing around the room before coming back to land flat on my palm. I saw Sirius smile at James, who was also nodding in approval. The wings were inscribed with lyrics, lyrics from our song! And the golden body glittered: Happy Birthday Maisy.




“Sirius,” I whispered, holding the butterfly in my hands, mesmerised by it’s pure splendour.




“It’s okay, Maisy. I know I’m amazing.” He said, tossing back his hair, retrieving the large wrapping present on the table, and jumping onto the couch to sit next to me.




“It’s beautiful.” I said.




“You’re beautiful.” He replied, taking the butterfly from me and handing me the large (and heavy) parcel.




“Can I open it?”




“Course.” He said, looking towards Lily and James. They were both smiling back at him.




Excited now, I carefully tore the silver wrapping and slipped the gift out of its packaging. The photo album fell onto my lap, laced intricately with delicate butterflies and silver ribbon on a pure, white background. It was stunning, and I hadn’t even opened it yet.




“I…” I looked up to Sirius to start talking, but he put his hand to my mouth and said,




“Just open it. The suspense it killing me!”




“And me!” James cried.




“Me also! Oh, and apparently Harry’s excited too,” Lily cringed, massaging her stomach.




“Wait. Where’s Remus? And Peter?”




“Peter’s in the Hospital Wing – he hasn’t been feeling well today. And Remus? Well… Let’s not think about it.” James laughed. “Now open the damn album!”




I turned the first page, listening to the crisp paper tremble under my touch. The pages were filled with moving images of us growing up, us on the train and us in school. All natural and light – happy. I flipped the pages over, seeing more memories light up in front of me; welcoming me back into them. The final page was my favourite.




It was of us, the day after exams, led by the lake. Sirius and I were entangled under the willows, Lily and James sat with their arms around each other – all of us were laughing and smiling. The inscription underneath it, calligraphically written, said: Best Friends.




“Before you moan! Remus took the picture… So the caption’s correct!” Sirius said, squeezing my shoulders.




“I don’t know what to say,” I said, choking back tears.




“You like it though, right?” he said expectantly.




“It’s perfect. Beyond perfect. I bloody love you!” I said, turning to kiss him and hugging my photo album to my chest.




This was my life. And I could breathe again.







A/N1: And another update - you're lucky the queue is so short. Review now, c'mon, think of all the effort I'm putting in for you guys just to have lots of yummy romantic chapters. (",) 

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