Hi everyone! I said this one would be good and here it is… The next one though, is EVEN BETTER! <3
Again, thanks for reading. I’m well over a hundred reads in such a short time and I really appreciate it. Review if you have a moment- I would love to hear from you!
All my love- A
I resigned myself to yet another heartbreak. My heart had broken so many times over the past few months that the ache in my chest was almost becoming something familiar. As with all of them, I refused to show it. I would never again be vulnerable. It was a mistake to show Sirius just how upset I had been about my back but he would never see that side of me again. He taught me a very valuable lesson- be careful who you open your heart to. Besides, I obviously had to focus on staying alive. The letter was a warning and Voldemort’s stupid cronies were somewhere inside Hogwarts. The next morning I had to endure Marlene, which was nearly as difficult I suppose, as it would be to take on the Voldemort himself.
“Oh my god! I can’t believe it happened!” she said dreamily. “I’m so sorry you had to walk in on that Vee.” I could tell by the way she looked at me that she wasn’t the least bit sorry. “ I mean, can you believe it? Can you actually believe it?” She increased in volume.
“Yeah, no one would believe it.” Said Alice softly. She smiled serenely. “I have a date too.” She almost whispered.
“No! Really! Who!” demanded Mary showing Alice much more interest than she had managed for Marlene.
“Um, you know Frank?” She said uncertainly.
“Yes!” Mary Blurted, “Really! Congratulations Alice.” She gave her a heartfelt hug and Alice was all red cheeks and smiles.
Emmeline and Marlene eventually disappeared leaving Lily, Mary, Alice and I sitting on the lawns for a blissful Saturday morning. We had so much work to get through but the girls had decided that I needed some down time.
Suddenly, James collapsed beside Lily and cocked his very best smile.
“Your hair is the most exquisite thing I have ever seen Lily, in this sunlight your skin is positively blazing.” He said gazing at her in admiration.
“Are you insinuating that I am catching fire because I am a red head?” She said looking at him like he was covered in Flobberworm mucus, “Or are you saying that I am blazing because I am a little bit sunburnt?” He looked horrified.
“Ah… Lily, I didn’t think… I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Didn’t think? Damn right.” She said tossing her gorgeous hair aside and looking away from him. “Vee, what is the time?”
“It’s ten past eleven.”
“Good.” She said, lifting herself from the lawn.
“Lily!” James squirmed.
“James!” she said squaring off with him looking him smack in the eyes.
“Let me explain.”
“Not now. Right now I have someone I need to meet with.” And at that exact moment, Severus Snape walked out of the castle and intersected with Lily. Behind her back, he shot James a sinister smile and the two went walking off into the distance.
“I can’t handle that.” He said collapsing back to the ground.
“You have to show her how you feel James. All of this showy shit isn’t going to get you anywhere.” Mary said looking at him sympathetically.
“I’m trying but she just shoots me down.” He hung his head dejectedly. “And then, to make it worse, she keeps on going off with Snivellus. That guys a goddamn Death Eater in training.” Everyone gasped. “I am telling you guys! He is absolutely involved with the dark arts. Him and his friends!”
That put my teeth on edge. Death Eaters at Hogwarts. I was sure he was wrong, Dumbledore would know if there were. But perhaps Voldemorts influence was a little more pronounced here than I had believed.
“By the way Vee. How is your back?” Said Remus. I hadn’t noticed him and Peter come up. Sirius, thank heavens was no where in sight.
“I’m feeling much better thanks.”
“You still don’t have any idea who did it?” Peter asked but he was nervous. Remus stood beside him and noticed the way I looked at him and elbowed him in the arm.
“No, I don’t.”
The next moment Sirius came sprinting out of the castle towards us but slowed down as he approached walking decidedly.
“Hey, Hi, How’s it going.” He said generally. “Um, so yeah, if you’re asked, I was here all along.”
The next moment there was an ear-bursting crack, and copious amounts of red smoke came bellowing out of the front door of the entrance hall. As the smoke bellowed out the doors and windows, right up to the top of the castle, several Slytherin students were dragging themselves onto the grass. Their robes, bags, hair and skin was all dyed Gryffindor red. Before I could think to move, I was being pulled up and dragged, running towards Hagrid’s Hut.
But I couldn’t keep up with them. Madam Pomfrey had been right, I needed to take it easy. Running was one thing I absolutely could not do and I fell behind trying to breathe with my hands on my knees.
“Come on!” Said the gravel voice, “You’re going to get us all caught.”
He put his arm under my shoulder, his other under my knees and, as he had before, picked me up and carried me a little bit behind the group.
His muscles were hard against my body but I noticed that he did not rest his hands where my scar was screaming beneath my shirt. He was aware that I might still be in pain.
“What did you do?” I asked. I couldn’t help but lean into him.
“I have no idea what you mean.” He said but the look in his eye and his crooked smile said it all. “But, it would probably be a good idea for us to get to Hagrid before anyone thinks they saw us around there. Oh, and if someone asks, I was with you the whole time.” He didn’t show the slightest signs of struggle while he held me, nearly running down the hill.
We arrived to see the others talking animatedly about Hagrid’s pumpkins.
“Yes, look how huge they are.” Said Mary with huge eyes quite loudly.
“Yup! They’re massive. I told you.” Said Peter, also loudly but very unconvincingly.
Sirius put me down quickly but gently. He didn’t move away from me, but continued to stand too close, his hand on my lower back. I looked up into his eyes but looked away when Hagrid threw the door of his hut open.
“Ey! What are you doing here?”
“James wanted to show Mary the pumpkins so we’ve been having a look around your garden.” Said Remus casually.
“Pumpkins? You’d think you might want to look at something a little more interesting ey.”
James looked at Sirius with laughter in his eyes, not worried in the least it seemed that out alibi wouldn’t be validated by Hagrid. His eyes went to where Sirius held my back and his face became more serious. Was that worry I saw on his face? Sirius didn’t move his hand but instead pressed it more solidly against my back.
That was when I remembered Marlene and the scene I had witnessed in the common room. Sirius was with Marlene. She had told us so just this morning. And here he was carrying me around and touching the small of my back like he had a right to. I was suddenly furious.
“You think you can touch me like that?” I said softly, stepping out of his reach.
“Excuse me?” he looked puzzled.
“You think you can touch me any way you like to don’t you? Like I’ll just fall in line like all the other girls? You think, no, don’t interrupt me Sirius,” I said with increasing volume and increasing rage, “you think you can date my friend and have me on the side. You think you are worth two women Sirius? You’re not even worth one.” I said finishing in a shout. What was I doing? What was I doing? Had I lost my mind. I wasn’t sure why I was so angry, sure, he shouldn’t be toughing me and if he didn’t want to be with Marlene, he shouldn’t be with her. Simple as that. He couldn’t drag me into his game!
“What the fuck do you know Yves? Like you’re one to judge me?” He said taking a step toward me. His eyes were on fire, his jaw clinched.
“What is that supposed to mean?” I said indignantly recklessly pushing him along.
“You pretend to be so saintly, so much better than me… I know why you were attacked and I know about your Death Eater family.” He said enraged. I gasped. He did know, he must know everything. All I could do was gasp and with it his face became remorseful. “Yves…”
“No.” I said, my back aching, my brain threatening to pound itself out of my skull. “You think you know me, you think you know what I’ve done, the things I’ve had to live through. Well let me tell you something Black, my family may be Death Eaters and Voldemort may be actively trying to recruit me, and, uh,” I couldn’t say the other thing out loud, to say it out loud would be to make it real and I couldn’t, I could never do that, “I might be a lot of things and done a lot of things but you Sirius have shown me that right down, underneath that pretty skin, you’re as heinous as the rest of them.”
I turned on my heel and walked away steadily. I would not let them see me cry. I was going to march straight to Dumbledore and ask to be taken out of school. It was just a matter of time before everyone here learnt the truth about what I had done and when that happened I wouldn’t be allowed to stay. It was better to get a jump-start on them and leave before they could make my life any worse. I didn’t need to be judged by anyone. I judged myself worse than they would ever be able to. That was punishment enough.
As I got closer to the school I could see the beginnings of the scale of the prank Sirius played. It was not only Slytherin’s who were red, but Professor Flitwick, some first year Ravenclaws and, to my horror, Emmeline and Marlene. They were both sitting together on the grass crying.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around to see Sirius his face one of abject horror but he wasn’t looking around at the people- he was staring at my face.
“Yves! You don’t look so good. I think I should take you…”
“I’m not going anywhere with you.” I spat. I was starting to feel a little strange. I noticed there were speckles of red on his white shirt. Probably the aftermath of the prank.
“You!” screamed a voice behind me, “you did this!” I turned to see Professor McGonnagal behind me with a look of loathe on her face such as I had never seen. Her lips were tightly pursed together as she strode over to Sirius. Her eyes slipped over me and they became quite round behind her glasses.
“Professor,” I began, “It couldn’t have been Sirius.” What the hell was I doing? My stupid mouth was making me say things my brain was screaming against. “He was with me, we were having an argument down by Hagrid’s hut. You can, uh, ask him, uh, I feel a bit lightheaded.” I said and again, Sirius’s familiar arm, slipped behind my back, the other behind my knees just as my body slumped. My head rolled weakly onto his chest and when he mounted the stairs to the school it lolled away and I could see blood. I knew it was blood this time because I could taste the iron in my mouth.
“Yves,” I heard someone whisper but it sounded so far away. The bed was warm and I felt like I could sleep forever.
“Yves please. Please wake up.” I thought the voice sounded a little closer and then I felt a warm hand on my arm.
“Yves. Please.” Gravel. Sirius. But why was he here?
I felt a soft breath on my cheek and then a pressure. Fingers moved the hair away from my forehead. I felt something refreshingly cold move over my face, a damp cloth? Was he wiping my face? I could not open my eyes. I was beyond exhausted. I lost consciousness again.
I woke up to the moonlight shining inside my cot and a slight grumble that sounded like really weird thunder. The thunder, as it turned out, was Sirius. His head was in his arms resting on the side of the bed. It was obviously an unnatural position because the sound issuing from him was quite unnatural. I couldn’t help but laugh softly into the darkness.
He shook awake and looked, for the first time since I had met him, innocent, boyish and confused.
“Yves?” he croaked, looking intently at my face while I was continued to giggle.
“Are you alright? Should I call Madam Pomfrey?”
“I’m fine.” I said sobering. I suddenly remembered what had happened before it went black.
“I’ve been trying to get you to wake up. You scared the fresh hell out of me when I saw all that blood…” He trailed off.
Against my better judgement I asked what blood.
“You know, when you were talking to McGonagall?” he said but I just stared at him. I wasn’t sure what had happened. “You started to bleed. Your nose, mouth and there was some coming from your ears too. Madam Pomfrey said that whoever cursed you seems to have done some deeper damaged than she originally thought. She said it was very dark magic. She wouldn’t let me in to visit you. She said you needed to rest but I couldn’t wait so I snuck. I was going insane. Yves, I am sorry. I am so very sorry. I followed you into the woods that day. I didn’t plan on spying on you but you looked so upset, I didn’t want to disturb you. But then you tore up the note, and I, I shouldn’t have picked it up but I was so curious, I am so interested in you, that I picked it up and put the pieces in my pocket. The rest, well, I’m sure you can figure that out.” That was the most I had ever heard him say at one time.
“I remember you from when we were little. I remember you coming with your family to our manor in the South of France. Do you?” He looked up at me, staring intently into my eyes.
“Yes, I remember. I recognised you the first moment I saw you.”
“I didn’t recognise you Sirius. Not really until right now. Now is the first time since I have seen you again that you resemble that boy I used to know. I liked you the best when we were younger. Each time my mother and father would invite families over I would always ask for you. You were always brave. You’re not always brave Sirius, but you’re brave now.” I felt so far away from myself. I couldn’t help but look at him in the moonlight; I mean really look at him. I had been stealing glances when I could but I was always too afraid he would catch me or that he would think it would mean something. But now I really saw him. He had puffy eyes from lack of sleep and he looked as though he had lost some weight. Nonetheless he was lithe and strong. His face was all angles and hollows. His lips were full and even when he didn’t mean for it to happen, he looked mischievous. He was incredibly beautiful.
He was looking at me strangely. Even a frown suited him.
“I’ve never met a girl like you.”
“You’ll never meet another one like me again either.” I said coyly. The potions had obviously made me a little more than brave, perhaps a bit stupid. I couldn’t flirt with Sirius. If I did, I was no better than him.
“No, I don’t imagine I will.” He said to my surprise. He was still looking at me like I was the only thing in this world.
I had to remember that I couldn’t trust him. I couldn’t trust anyone. I looked away and made to lie down, turning my back to him.
“I’d like you to leave.”
“Please.” I said, my voice cracking. I couldn’t hold back the tears.
I heard footsteps leading to the door and I just let go.
He had explained himself, but he hadn’t apologised. When I left the hospital wing I’d once again have to face a future devoid of people I cared about that. My parents and Voldemort had made that happen the first time but I was so determined to make my new life work. And now it was ruined. And I really loved it here. I was doing so well in my classes. Even though they didn’t know the full story, they would still think I was a damn Death Eater. And even if they got past that they would surely be determined to find out why I had left France. I had successfully dodged the questions until now but it was all over. What I did, what Voldemort made me do… I didn’t have a choice.
Choking on my sobs, I cried deeper into my pillow trying to find some comfort when I felt a weight on the bed and an arm slid underneath me.
I turned around furious!
“You don’t have a right to be here!” I yelled! But before I could continue he crumpled me into his chest and held me tight.
At first I struggled, ugly crying into his hard frame but after a while exhaustion settled me down and I lay in his arms soundlessly crying. He didn’t say a word, he scarcely even took a breath but I felt safe. I shouldn’t have but I did. And I hated myself for it. I slid into a dreamless sleep, the last one I would have in a while.
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