As you can probably tell, I've been updating this story as fast as i can, and will try to keep it going like that. Next chapter is almost finished anyways and I'll put it up soon! Zalia does have a secret love-life thing going on and i hope you won't hate her character when you find out exactly what it is. (let's just say you probably won't see it coming.)
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Song of the day:
Don't You Worry Child- Swedish House Mafia
“Why didn’t you say anything then?” I asked in a bored voice.
“Because I thought Mary would!” Lily cried indignantly.
I sighed. Lily was all in a huff about Mary’s all-too-forgiving response to the apology of the boys responsible for her none too serious burns.
“Lily you know I love you, and you know I know that those two rub you the wrong way, but once in a while you need to chill out.” Mary looked at Lily seriously before placing a pancake on her plate.
Lily narrowed her eyes. “You let me know,” She grabbed her book bag and stood up. “You just let me know when you get asked out and tortured for years by the same insufferable toe-rag, by the name of James Potter.”
“Aww come on Lily, don’t leave I---” Mary started. But Lily was already gone.
I waved my hand, “Oh, let her sulk. She’s just got to get it out of her system.”
“She’s been getting it out of her system ever since she met the marauders.” Rose said quietly from behind the newspaper she was reading.
“Too true, “ Mary nodded.
I had grown used to this sort of thing. Lily was cool headed and organized about nearly everything…. Except her temper. She couldn’t put a cap on it for the life of her. I didn’t really mind, but I guessed Rose and Mary could grow tired of it after years and years of her attitude towards the marauders. Even I noticed a bit of an overreaction from her towards James. Not that I could really talk. I was almost as bad with Sirius. Only he was a mangy git and thankfully didn’t ask me out every five seconds.
I glanced towards where he was sitting for a moment. Oh good lord. The idiot had just made milk come out his nose. He caught my eye and sneered.
“You got something to say to me Blackwood?!” He yelled across the hall.
I raised an eyebrow, “Why would I be talking to you Black?” I asked him coolly.
He rolled his eyes and turned back to his friends.
I turned my head back to Rose and Mary to find them looking at me curiously.
“Why don’t you like him?” Rose asked me.
“He just…. gets on my nerves so much. I want to hex him every five seconds.” I muttered, pouring myself a glass of OJ.
“Mhmm….” Rose looked like she was trying not to laugh.
“What?” I asked slamming my glass down. Ah, did I mention I’m not a particularly nice or patient person?
“It sounds like there’s some, erm, tension there.” She told me, wraggling her eyebrows suggestively.
I choked on the juice I had been drinking, “Excuse me?!”
Rose shrugged, “It’s not like you guys are serious anyways. It’s almost like you just like fighting.”
I opened and closed my mouth a few times before frowning. “We are serious. I can’t stand him. He’s a jerk. A very, very sarcastic jerk.” Ha, that’s a half a lie. I did like fighting with him. But at the same time, I also meant it when I insulted him. He really did annoy me.
“Whatever you say dear.” Rose went back to her newspaper without another word.
“Shut up.” I huffed. I didn’t like it when people didn’t take me seriously.
“For Merlin’s sake! Can’t you do anything?!” I yelled as the hummingbird on my desk vanished for a second time.
My last class of the day was transfiguration. For some stupid reason McGonagall decided that today she was going to give us assigned seating. Two to a desk. And guess who I got paired with? That’s right, Sirius effing Black.
Black rounded on me. “I’m trying! Maybe if you would do some work instead of just sitting on your---”
“Don’t even think about calling me lazy!” I interrupted him. “I was the one who changed the clay model into a live hummingbird in the first place! All you had to do was turn it blue! You’re so stupid!” I slammed my book down.
Sirius glared at me, “Well if I’m so stupid then DO IT YOURSELF!” He threw his hands up and plopped back into his chair.
“I’m not doing this by myself! We’re partners Black!” I spat at him, “Do you know what that means? It means two people, sharing the work. It does not mean one person does it all by themselves!”
“I don’t care! Apparently I’m too stupid to understand anyways!” He said childishly.
I rolled my eyes at him, “Oh, don’t tell me I offended you. Grow a backbone for goodness sake!”
He just glared at me.
I batted my eyelashes at him, “Aww, did I hurt your feelings?” I asked, the sarcasm dripping from my voice.
“Shut up.” He snapped at me, his arms folded tightly.
“Help me with this,” I said, pointing to the bird, which had just reappeared on my desk again, “NOW.”
Black raised an eyebrow, “No.”
“Black….” I gritted my teeth.
“I’m not doing any bloody work with you!”
“Don’t be such a baby!” I yelled at him in exasperation.
“Both of you will be getting detentions if you don’t shut it!” McGonagall yelled at us. We both jumped at the sound of her voice. “Black, pitch in.” She added after a moment.
I looked at him smugly as he grudgingly got up to try the color changing spell again. By the sixth time…. It finally worked.
As soon as class was over I stuffed my books in my bag and stalked out of the classroom, without a backwards glance.
Dinner was much more pleasant. I made us all sit far away from the marauders, and my friends brought my mood back up to par. By the time I got to bed I was back to my normal bratty, happy self.
Lily’s daily wakeup call was something I got used to that first week of school. There was nothing for it. She was relentless, but I guess it was a good thing. I always had plenty of time to get ready for the day and look good.
I yawned and stumbled into the shower, sighing as I turned the water up to superhot and closed my eyes as I let the steam soak into my skin. After my shower I got dressed in the school uniform, put on a dab of mascara and lip gloss, plaited back my long black hair, and grabbed my book bag, heading downstairs.
“What are you wearing tomorrow?” Lily asked as we walked into the Great hall for breakfast.
“What do you---” I stopped. I had completely forgotten about the marauders’ homecoming bash. Crap.
“Err, not sure. Is it casual or what?” I asked, but instead of waiting for an answer I marched over to where the marauders’ sat, talking amongst themselves quietly.
“…. Then if we can get it up to the---” Sirius was saying.
“Hey, Zalia!” Peter said, a little too loudly, interrupting Sirius.
They all stopped to look at me as I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. “You weren’t talking about me now were you?” I asked them slowly.
“Nope, not at all.” James told me.
I rolled my eyes at them, “Whatever, I just had a few questions about the party.”
Remus patted the seat next to him, “Sit down.”
I hesitated; I didn’t really want to sit with the marauders. Especially not Sirius. However, I motioned for Lily to come sit down with us and she listened to me, thankfully.
I sat down next to Remus, with Lily on my other side (as far away from Potter as she could be).
“Okay, so is the party casual, or formal, or dressy casual? How many people are going? Do we have to have dates? Where is it?” I launched into my questions and looked at them all expectantly (except Black.)
“You lost me at ‘Okay’.” Sirius said. I ignored him.
Thankfully Remus caught on. “It’s dressy casual I guess, you can wear jeans and a nice shirt or whatever. Everyone in fifth year and above is invited. They all show up. Even most of the Slytherins won’t miss it. No you don’t have to have a date. Aaaaand…. What was that last one?”
I smiled at him, “Where is it?”
“Oh, that. We don’t reveal the location to anyone until the morning of, so that no one –ahem Slytherins- can sabotage it.” James answered through a mouthful of toast.
I sighed, “But you can trust me and Lily!”
Sirius narrowed his eyes, “Not likely.”
I snorted, “Whatever, we’ll know soon enough.” I got up and grabbed Lily.
I managed to snatch a piece of bacon off of Sirius’ plate, before booking it to the other end of the Gryffindor table.
“BLACKWOOD!” he yelled at me as Lily and I sat down laughing.
Saturday Morning I spent hours primping up in anticipation of the evening. It was, after all, my group’s first sort of debut. I glanced at the piece of parchment in my hand and waved it at Lily, “This doesn’t even make sense! They’re having it in a corridor?!”
Lily frowned, “Let me see that.”
I handed it to her and fell on her bed dramatically. A moment earlier a piece of crisp parchment had flown into our room and landed on my bed. The invitation read:
It’s our last one! If you found this in your dorm room then you are officially cool enough to come to our homecoming party. So be there! 8 p.m. seventh floor corridor.
“Oh no, no, no they must mean it’s going to be in the room of requirement.” Lily said as if it was obvious.
“The what?” I sat up.
“Room of requirement. It’s this room on the seventh floor that turns into anything you want it to. That’s actually really cool of them to do. I wonder what they made the room for the party….” Lily trailed off. I was surprised; she rarely praised them of anything.
“Zalia!” Mary burst into the room.
“What?” I asked, as I fiddled with my hair.
“I don’t know what to wear! I mean, last year I wouldn’t have cared, but now I have a new sort of reputation to uphold and---”
“Oh, stop rambling I’ll find you something.” I told her. Really now, it was sort of ridiculous we made such a huge deal out of this. Oh well, if we were going to be “it girls” we might as well have had fun with it.
I got up and waved my wand, making all of my clothes hover in the air in front of me. I went along as Lily and Mary watched, tapping certain items I was sure weren’t going to make the cut, until I was left with several different outfits.
“Right well, I’m just going to assume we’ll all be picking clothes from my wardrobe, so I’ll get four different outfits shall I? Rose should be here soon too.” I muttered as I picked out different things for each of us. Of course, we wouldn’t get all dolled up until later.
Rose brought us all lunch at about noon while Mary, Lily and I were all doing face masks, painting nails, and (in Lily’s case) studying.
“Where did you get all this food?” I asked Rose as I grabbed a French roll for myself. You couldn’t possibly sneak food out of the Great hall. Ever.
I frowned as Rose paled somewhat, and her eyes flickered to Lily for a moment.
“I--- I--- got it from the kitchens.”
“Aren’t the kitchens like, off limits or whatever?” I asked her carefully.
“How on earth did you find them?” Mary asked her eagerly as Lily scowled; I suppose it was her duty to though, she was head girl after all.
“I saw the marauders one day, they went down a passage and, after they left, I went down it too. It led to the kitchens.” She said looking at the ground, “What? I was curious!” She added defensively as she saw Lily’s disapproving look.
I grinned my lopsided grin at her, “Rose you little troublemaker!” I said happily, “I wouldn’t have thought you to be a rule breaker!”
She rolled her eyes and sat down to eat a peach.
Thankfully, all of us four had decided to go as a group (although I didn’t mention to the girls I wasn’t a completely single girl-- but more on that later); no dates to the party. Thank goodness, it was far less complicated that way. Not that I wouldn’t have been able to find a date. I’m sure I would have, being the mysterious, good looking new girl and all.
I grinned to myself as Lily, Mary, Rose, and I all linked arms and walked out of the common room. It was nearly deserted since we were twenty minutes late to the party and everyone was there already.
We rounded the corner of the seventh floor corridor and my grin grew even wider and more lopsided (in an endearing way of course). Remus was standing outside. He looked good in a navy blue, cotton button down shirt, black jeans, and an expression that clearly told me that my girls and I looked pretty dang good.
Lily was sporting a dress (it had taken some convincing to get her into it let me tell you). It was cute, a green that matched her eyes and not too short or fancy (a summer dress) with tan wedge heels, not too high.
Rose looked absolutely adorable in black tights, grey boots, a short frilly dress, belt and scarf all matching, and her long hair trailing down her back.
Mary had on tight jeans, high heels and a silky blouse, with a bit of extra bling. Her hair was sleek and shiny, from the products I had let her borrow.
I had on a similar outfit to Mary’s with jeans, black stilettos, a flowing red top, black fashion scarf, and bling. I had on a bit more makeup than usual, foundation, smoky eye, and the tiniest bit of pink lipstick. My long black hair cascaded in dark ebony swirls all around me, reaching to my waist, and was a huge contrast to my pale blue eyes.
I smiled at Remus as we grew closer.
He raised an eyebrow at me and smiled back, “They’re all inside; I’ll let you in.”
I looked at him curiously, “Aren’t you going to go enjoy the party?”
He shrugged, “Downside to having it here is one of us has to stand outside to let people in. It’s all right, we’re taking turns. At least for a little while longer.” He smiled good naturedly.
I patted his arm, “Well, don’t stay out here for too long!”
He nodded and then walked back and forth along the wall, before letting us inside after a door appeared. I was the first one in. I let out a low whistle.
It looked…. Pretty dang awesome.
We were all standing inside what looked like a giant indoor muggle carnival. I had been to a bunch of carnivals before, since I had traveled so much and been around so many muggles, and this one had it all. There were drink bars and food stands all over the place, which were charmed to give you anything from cotton candy to cracker jacks to slurpies (of course the bars had alcoholic drinks otherwise it wouldn’t have been a party). There were a bunch of little roller coasters and a Ferris wheel spread around. There were also giant speakers everywhere with music blasting out. I saw game stands with people playing carnival games and running around. There were even a bunch of banners with each of the marauder’s faces on them in each corner of the gigantic auditorium, with either ‘Team Sirius’, ‘Team Remus’, ‘Team Peter’, or ‘Team James’ written on them. I rolled my eyes as I saw the banners. Arrogant boys.
“You girls look good tonight.” Speak of the devil.
I turned to see Sirius grinning at us as he leant against a nearby food stand.
“We know.” I answered, tossing my hair behind my shoulder. Sirius came up close to me and I tensed. He leant in so that his mouth was next to my ear.
“But not as good as I look, love.” He whispered.
I jerked my head away from him and smiled the lopsided grin that I knew annoyed him. “Just keep telling yourself that darling.”
He frowned as I turned away from him to grab Lily’s arm. “Come on!” I yelled above the noise, “Lily my dear, you are single and ready to mingle!”
Lily looked alarmed as I dragged her through the crowd (leaving Rose and Mary behind somewhere along the way) and into a line that was waiting for a particularly exciting looking ride.
Lily looked at the ride uncertainly, “Are you sure this is---”
I stopped her before she could finish and clapped a hand over her mouth, “Now, now Lily we are here to have FUN. F-U-N, FUN. So don’t get all head-girlish on me all right.” She glared at me and I sighed taking my hand from her mouth.
“Say it with me Lily. Fun, fun, fun, fun!” I jumped up and down, for some reason I had a particularly strong surge of energy at that moment in time; usually I didn’t like to draw attention like that, but I was feeling a bit reckless right then. Lily rolled her eyes at me.
“Lily say it!” I told her with a pout.
“I---” She started.
“She’s right you know Lilykins, you should have fun tonight!"
Oh look its Lily’s favorite person! Ha.... juuuust kidding.
“James, can you not bother me for just ONE NIGHT?” Lily asked him in exasperation.
He hung his head in mock defeat and I tousled his hair as he walked off.
“Poor boy, I think you broke his heart Tiger Lily.” Oh yes, when I said that was my nick name for Lily I meant it by the way.
Lily twisted a strand of hair that had broken loose from her fancy up-do that I had constructed out of her fiery red head of hair. “He’s been messing with me since first year; you’d think he could give it a rest.”
I shrugged, “Maybe he can’t help it Tiger Lily. He just loves you too much to bear it!” I said dramatically.
She looked at me skeptically, “Are you sure you haven’t had anything to drink yet Zalia?”
I put my hand on my heart in mock offense, “That is insulting my dear Lily.”
My eyes widened, “Hey! That is a good idea though! I need a drink!” Oh Merlin I was in a good mood tonight.
Lily blinked, “After the ride. I’m not standing in line for this again….”
Luckily the wait was only a few moments longer before we were strapped in and ready to go. The ride had two loops in it and a couple of drops. I wriggled around in anticipation and Lily bit her lip nervously.
“Are we sure this is safe?” She asked me as we started to move.
I nodded to Lily, “Don’t worry it’s--- OH SHIT! HOLY CRAP!”
I screamed as we went upside down and Lily clutched my arm, “WE’RE GOING TO DIE!” She shrieked in my ear and I groaned. There went my lovely eardrums.
By the time the ride was over Lily and I sat panting in the seats, our eyes wide with fright. I had forgotten how fantastically THRILLING those things could be, and Lily probably had too (she was a muggle-born; she must have been to a carnival when she was little). We wobbled off of the ride and sat down on a bench a few feet away.
I caught my breath and Lily and I looked at each other for a minute before we burst out laughing.
“I--- you--- dying---Oh my goodness!” I said in between laughs. Lily clutched her chest from the giggles and I felt a weird tug on my heart.
This was what it was like to have a best friend.
I had never really been anywhere long enough, or been involved in anything that allowed for me to have a best friend. I felt strangely emotional for a moment, before I regained control of myself. I was Zalia Blackwood. I did not get emotional. I shook my head slightly.
“I need a drink.” I said suddenly, before walking towards a nearby bar.
“Cherry Daiquiri.” I ordered my favorite drink. Really, it was the most delicious thing ever.
I didn’t even turn around to answer, “Are you following me Black?” I asked in a bored voice, as I grabbed the drink that appeared in front of me on the counter of the bar.
“You wish.” Sirius came to stand next to me.
I scoffed, “What are you doing here then?”
“Why getting myself a drink of course.” He answered with a roguish smile, “I think I’ll have a…. Strawberry Mojito.”
“Mhmm.” I took a sip of my Daiquiri.
“So what do you think eh? Best party ever or what?” He asked.
“It’s certainly…. Creative.” I answered slowly.
“What the hell does that mean?”
I smiled a little, “Calm down I didn’t mean to offend you. Although I suppose if you did take offense that would be fine with me….”
He grunted in response as he grabbed his own drink off of the counter.
“Anyways, why would care about my opinion?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Ah, I don’t. I was just making conversation. It’s called courtesy. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of it?” He answered sarcastically.
“Very polite of you.” I rolled my eyes.
“Oh I know, I’ve got it all don’t I? The looks, the smarts, even the manners!”
“Yes, you’ve even got the giant ego.” I said snippily as I walked back over to Lily who had been joined by Mary and Rose.
“That boy thinks he’s the most valuable person on earth I swear.” I huffed as I sipped on my drink.
The three girls looked at me in amusement.
“Well I’ve spotted the Hufflepuff seventh year guys,” Mary said and I gave her a look, “The good ones.” She added after a moment.
I nodded slowly and followed Mary over to a group of decent looking boys who were hanging about and being a bit rowdy. I hadn’t really mentioned the fact that I wasn’t exactly single to any of my new friends (I know you all are dying to know about my love life, but it will all be revealed in time). I saw no need to tell just then, and harmless flirting was all right for the moment.
“Mary, love!” One of the taller boys called to her and she gave a shy smile.
“Johnny!” She called back as we approached them.
“Zalia!” I looked around surprised to hear my name called. Who did I know in Hufflepuff….?
I turned to see a tall dark haired boy approaching me who looked very familiar.
“Don’t tell me you don’t remember me!” He called as I bit my lip. Crap! A name, a name, a name, come on…. I racked my memory. Finally it clicked. Platform 9 ¾.
“Amos Diggory?” I asked, praying it was the right answer.
“There you go,” He answered, clearly pleased I remembered his name.
“I didn’t know you were in Hufflepuff.” I told him as Mary, Rose, and Lily all found someone to talk to (flirt to is more like it).
“Yep!” Amos said brightly, “I was hoping you’d get in there too, but Gryffindor’s better than Slytherin I suppose.”
“Yes, I suppose so.” I smiled; Gryffindor was better than Hufflepuff in my opinion, but I decided to hold my tongue and just go with it. I liked Amos anyways.
“How does this homecoming party compare to the others?” I asked.
“It’s actually really cool. I mean the others were brilliant as well, but they definitely beat themselves out on this one.” He admitted.
I sighed, “Don’t tell them that. They don’t need their egos inflated any more than they already are.”
He laughed, and I smiled coyly.
“Here, let me get you another drink.” Amos took my nearly empty glass. I nodded.
Just then James’ voice came out loudly over the speakers and the music stopped.
“Guys! SHUT IT FOR A MINUTE!” He yelled. Luckily we all listened.
“Now we’ve got a, err, presentation for you all. Enjoy.” He left and we all stood around staring at each other.
“James sounded nervous….” Lily said to me quietly as she put her hand on my arm. I nodded, catching her meaning. If James Potter was nervous about something, you ought to be nervous too.
I narrowed my eyes as Sirius came into view brandishing his wand. What was he going to do now?
He strode toward the middle of the auditorium (which was pretty empty), placed a box beneath his feet, and made it grow until he was standing on a gigantic stage. He then took out another box and set it on his right before pacing far away from it.
“We, meaning the marauders, thought that we would all go out with a bang at this year’s homecoming!” He amplified his voice with his wand. “So we got something that you lot have probably never seen before.” He winked and I braced myself.
With a wave of his wand Black made the box on the side of the stage grow and grow until it was taking up most of the stage. To give you some perspective on this, imagine five American football fields; that was the size of the carnival auditorium. Now take one of those football fields and make it a stage. That’s how big the stage was. Everyone was whispering as Sirius levitated the box upwards once it was big enough. The bottom of it was nonexistent so the whole thing slid off of something else. A giant cage. And the cage wasn’t empty.
My heart jumped in my throat as a strangled gasp escaped my lips and the watching crowd backed away as one moving mass. Gasps, screams, yells; all filled the space around us. I felt Lily start back-peddling and I wrenched my arm from her grip, moving forward, my eyes set on the giant cage. I don’t know why I was moving forward, I just was. I was captivated.
Before me, stood a dragon.
It was breathtaking. I was well versed in Magical beings (the subject interested me a lot) so I knew what I was looking at. An Antipodean Opaleye. The most beautiful of all dragon kinds. Opaleyes were a non-violent breed, but they did breath fire. The one in the cage was either young or a runt; it was small. It’s eyes glittered sharply, changing color at the subtlest movement. It’s scales shone brightly against the light, a pearly silver glaze covered the creature, giving it a heavenly appearance. I gazed at it in wonder, not noticing that Sirius and I were the only ones remotely close to it.
The creature gave an echoing call. I froze. The sound it made was awful. It sounded so sad. My brain starting working as normal again. I was looking at a dragon. An innocent dragon. It was in a cage. It was sad.
I swear the bloke jumped nearly a foot in the air.
“HOW DARE YOU!” I yelled at him over the roar of the crowd around us, my arms raised as I strode to just below where he was standing on the stage. I stopped beneath him and he looked down at me, frowning in confusion.
“YOU LET THAT CREATURE GO THIS MINUTE!” I continued.
Understanding crossed Sirius’ face before it was taken over by a look of panic. He jumped off the stage, grabbed my arm and began hauling me off to the door to the seventh floor corridor.
“Let me go this instant!” I yelled at him, outraged.
What was he doing? Was he going to throw me out?! He had another thing coming to him if he was planning on kicking me out of this so-called party. I dug my heels into the ground, attempting to slow us down. Bugger. Black was strong. Really, really strong. I gritted my teeth angrily as he continued to drag me away effortlessly.
We passed Remus who started to speak before Sirius cut him off, “I need to talk to her outside. You keep everything going in here. They’re all in shock, the Nutters.”
“Remus!” I cried, my eyes asking for his help.
He looked at me and then left, shaking his head. I glared after him. Traitor. Sirius finally got me outside the door and let go of my arm, which I had been trying to wriggle from his grasp.
“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”
Sirius moved to cover my mouth and I swatted his hand away.
“Will you be quiet?!” He hissed, glancing around the corridor for teachers. I had forgotten that it was waaaay past our curfew.
“A dragon Sirius? A fucking dragon?!” I whispered to him angrily.
He sighed, “I didn’t know you were going to freak out. It was supposed to be the grand finale.”
I stared at him, “You caged an innocent creature for entertainment. That’s despicable.”
He visibly flinched at my words, “For Merlin’s sake Zalia! We’re not hurting it! It’s perfectly fine!”
“How the hell did you even get it?!” I asked him, still making my words as cold as ice.
He hesitated, “Hagrid helped us get one. Then James and I charmed its cage to shrink, with it inside. Well, it worked.”
“No shit, Sherlock.” I spat at him.
“It’s nothing serious Zalia.”
I scoffed, “Nothing serious?! You caged a bloody dragon, one that didn’t hurt anyone, and brought it to a party for entertainment. I mean, what did you even expect to happen? That we’d all just applaud you for bagging an Antipodean Opaleye?”
“I---” Sirius paused, “Hang on, how do you know what dragon that is?” he asked me, bewildered.
I rolled my eyes, “I don’t live under a rock, Black. But don’t avoid my question. What the hell do you think you are doing with that dragon?”
He paused and rubbed the back of his neck, clearly uncomfortable. Good. He should be.
“Look,” he sighed, “We aren’t trying to hurt it. It’s only in there for a few hours. It’s used to being transported in cages anyways. It’s not like we’re harming it for sport or anything. It’s just like a main event sort of thing. So people can say that the marauders did that. That we had a dragon at our party.”
I thought about what he said for a moment. It was true the marauders were big headed, but I didn’t honestly think they meant to cause the dragon harm. It was only a show for them. The dragon, really wasn’t being hurt, but I was still bitter that they put it in the cage at all.
“Please…. Just let it go in an hour?” I asked. My voice came out softer, and sadder than I meant it to. Sirius noticed; his face softened, and he nodded.
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