You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com
View Online | Printer Friendly Version of Entire Story
Chapter 14: Dichotomy
Edit: 18 January 2009. Okay, here's the explanation. And again, if you're a first time reader, don't bother reading this novel length Author's Note. For the rest of you, I did something that changes the direction the story was going in starting three chapters ago. I realize it's incredibly unprofessional of me to take something out that was (pretty much) a driving part of this story (as of three chapters ago.) Actually, I decided not to take it out completely, but just change it. My argument, though, is that I am NOT professional and I'm on this site to LEARN how to write, ahem, decently. Thus, if I figure that something wasn't working, I fix it. So...okay, I'll tell you what I did. (And when I get around to getting up the next chapter, I'll type all this out again for those of you who didn't see this one.)
Violet is NOT DATING ANTHONY. I fixed it so that she meets him and they become friends, but DO NOT DATE. She has been SINGLE since breaking up with Michael in Chapter Eleven. I then took all future references of that out of the story or altered them so they fit in more of a friendship-y way.
Now, I'll tell you why. Part of the reason I haven't updated in so long is that I've been so stumped on how to start the next chapter. I had rewritten several times and nothing was working. I thought about it and realized that introducing Anthony as a love interest was only messing up the rest of my plotline. Basically, I looked at my outline on where I want the story to go, and realized that with Anthony as Violet's boyfriend, things in the future would just put Violet in a really sticky situation that would not be easily maneuverable. Also, I KNOW I'm not the only one who thought this, but Anthony was an incredibly weak character and they went from Point A to Point B wayyy too quickly. His character was never really developed so even though he was a main character, he had very little screen time.
In conclusion, I decided that it was in everyone's best interest to make him more of a minor character. I've realized how much space I've taken up here and if you want me to elaborate or ask me questions or yell at me and try to change my mind, visit my Meet the Author Page and pose your questions there. Or leave a review. Whichever works for you.
On the plus side of all this, I may be able to get a start on this next chapter faster with this Anthony situation out of the way. God, that was a headache. You have no idea how good it feels to have this taken care of.
On a different topic, I'm excruciatingly sorry for the wait time here. I'm really trying the best I can. That's really all I can say. Anyway, happy reading.
Chapter Fourteen: Dichotomy
The women’s lavatory was an interesting place. All who took refuge there believed that the others in the room were deaf to their own complaints and snippets of gossip. Upon sitting on the U-bend, there always came flutterings of how the host’s porcelain was shockingly yellowed with age or Mrs. So-And-So’s daughter was found closeted up with one of the waiters. Scandal, essentially.
It was for these reasons that I bent my head down to check under all the stalls before turning back to the companions who had followed me. The red-headed girl was slumped on the counter with her chin propped up on one hand. “I never should have told him about the wedding.”
She nodded. “We talked about our breaks during one of our patrols.”
The three of us had run away from the wedding crashers to the one place we could not be followed: the bathroom.
Lily pulled at her hair. “God! Why are they here?”
Clara slouched down against the wall, exhaling lightly and fanning the air around her. “They evidently were bored.”
We paused in our conversation as a large woman banged open the door and noisily stumped into the nearest stall. We all stared around awkwardly as the sounds of bodily functions reached us. I cleared my throat, trying to break the silence.
There was a smack as the corpulent lady hit the stall door and all three of us jumped. “It’s hard enough to piss without you girls keeping quiet.”
“U-Um,” began Clara, trying to pick up where our conversation had lagged. “Maybe he likes you?”
The sound of the toilet dispenser rattling followed. “Is that the schmuck with the glasses?” barked the woman.
“Y-Yes,” replied Lily, rather shakily.
“He’s head over heals in love,” she snapped from behind the closed stall door.
I was suddenly struck with the bizarreness of the situation. It was quite rare to speak to an absolute stranger on such terms. Especially when it was a toilet door that separated the two parties.
“What do you mean?” The girl’s voice was clipped as she bit down on each word.
The toilet flushed. After the whirling water had settled down, the woman’s husky voice came out again. “He hasn’t taken his eyes off that red-head.”
Lily flushed a deep maroon and rolled her eyes, wanting to play it off. “Let’s go, you guys.”
“Don’t leave on my account,” the woman said, emerging from her stall while pulling down the hem of her skirt. “You girls with the bride or the groom?”
I volunteered once it became apparent no one was going to say anything. “Bride.”
“Skinny little thing, ain’t she?”
“You’re with the groom then?” asked Clara.
“Vernon is my brother.”
“Oh,” said Lily, trying to hide her horror. “How...lovely.”
She held out one pudgy hand. “Marge.”
“Lily.” They shook.
It suddenly occurred to me that Marge had shaken Lily’s hand without first washing. I gagged at the thought.
This brought their attention in my direction. “Problem?”
I gasped in a mouthful of air. “No...no...it’s just a bit stuffy.”
The fat lady eyed me and then said flatly, “It must be hard to get in air with that thing poked into your nose.”
“That horrendous ring.” She continued to mutter under her breath something that sounded like, “...tacky teenage method to ensnare young men...”
I looked down at my feet, shocked by her outrageous candor. “I think...I’ll go.”
Clara grabbed my arm and said, several octaves too high, I might add, “Please don’t.” I saw the look of desperation on her face and shook my head.
“No, no,” Marge spun around, nearly knocking over an ornamental vase on the marble counter in the process. “I’ll leave.” She ran one finger along the rouge smudged into her cheeks, threw her chin in the air and pushed open the door leading back to the reception area.
“What a woman,” Lily breathed.
Clara laughed. “And now—by marriage—you two are related.”
“Shall we leave?” I volunteered.
“All at once?”
“That would look suspicious.”
“It’s not a crime to use the lavatory.”
I cleared my throat. “What about the fact that Viola isn’t here?”
That stopped them. Lily licked her lips. “Well...we could...uh...”
“Just leave them be,” said Clara. “If they mention it, say she couldn’t make it...still at Hogwarts.”
“This is going to be a fiasco,” I muttered, bracing both hands on either side of a sink and closing my eyes. “We should go...but I don’t want to.”
“Chicken.” Clara stuck her tongue out at me and strolled through the doors back out to the reception.
Lily fiddled with her hair in the mirror, obviously trying to postpone the inevitable as long as she could.
I sighed and slumped down to the floor, feeling that now would be a good time to honour my promise to James. “You...know he’s not joking, right?” Smooth way to start.
“James isn’t joking,” I clarified.
I closed my eyes and winced, not wanting to see Lily's face when I did this. “About liking you.”
Silence followed. I imagined that once I looked at her all I’d see would be a giant red mass as her face and hair blended together.
“Is that so?” I heard her say.
I swallowed and opened my eyes, one at a time. She looked normal, as far as I could tell. “He convinced me.”
In contrast, Lily appeared quite calm, if a bit paler. “When?”
“He’s in...my Astronomy class.”
“Had some late night talks, have you?”
“Yes—No.” This was ridiculous. I really should have had no reason to fear the reaction from my friend. All I was doing was passing on a message, no crime there. I stood up. “I just promised him I’d talk to you and now I have. Make of it what you will.” I stepped backwards until I hit the door. “I’ll see you later.”
Keeping my eyes focused forward, I carefully made my way over to the now vacant table. My foster mother had long since gotten up to converse with the Hagans. I saw Clara over among them, jaw moving up and down as she told them stories from the previous term. Not feeling in the mood to join them, I sat down at the empty table and took a sip of someone else’s room temperature water.
“So what’s America like?”
I jumped and whirled around, nearly falling out of my chair in the process. Sirius Black was standing there, statuesque and grinning. God, shoot me.
Several things shocked me. First and foremost, he had remembered that I was Violet Lingdonburg and then he had connected that to the false story about my moving to the United States. Furthermore, he was asking about it. A year ago, Black didn’t look in my direction, much less go out of his way to speak with me. And here I was, the exact same person. My appearance was unchanged. I had no mask to make my excuses this time. And yet, here he sat, talking to me. Could it be that he had adapted and changed his ways, realized that the topical appearance was not everything? I doubted it. It was more than likely that since he knew no one at this reception, he was engaging himself in a discussion he did not want to be in. Pig.
“It’s fine,” I replied stiffly, keeping my eyes trained on the tablecloth.
“Are you adapting well?”
“I hope so.”
“Everyone there has funny accents?”
My mind brought back memories of the American accent I had imitated so long. Now I was talking to Black sounding positively...British. Crisp, clean, my voice sounded much more natural. “You have no idea.” I looked up at him for the first time and held his grey eyes. “It’s been loads of fun.”
“How long are you back for?”
“Just the break. Then I’m leaving.”
“You ever going to come back here...after graduation?”
I shrugged, trying to buy time to think for an answer. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
He started to say something else and then stopped, looking at my face. “Did you always have a piercing in your nose?”
Oh damn. I had been so used to it that I had completely forgotten to take it out after arriving at King’s Cross. My foster parents had been less than pleased when they noticed, but realized that there was nothing they could do, for I was overage now.
“Um...no. I got it last summer.” It was the truth at least.
“Oh...I thought I had just missed it.”
“No...it’s new.” It struck me how awkward and forced our words were. We had never had a real conversation before, so now we were struggling for topics and responses to normal, everyday phrases.
After a short pause Black looked back at me. “I know a girl with a nose piercing.”
“She’s new at the school.”
“From America.” He laughed lightly. “Wow. It’s like you two switched places.”
I tried to remain calm. “Really?”
“Yeah. Viola. Her stud looks just like yours.”
Oh God. A sweat broke out over my forehead. Sirius Black was by no means an idiot. Given enough clues, he could figure anything out—including the fact that Violet Lingdonburg and Viola Rinelle were the same person.
I swallowed. “Oh? Is that the girl who took my place with Lily and Clara? I thought the name sounded familiar....” I tried to refrain from babbling, but Black wasn’t listening too closely.
“Yeah.” His eyes grew misty. “She’s fantastic.”
I exhaled slowly. “How so?” My voice came out several octaves higher than usual. On one end of the spectrum, this was one way to get an unbiased peer review of my performance as Viola. On the other hand, this could put me in a very sticky situation if it went too far and pieces began to match up.
Black rubbed one hand against his cheek. “She’s outgoing.” Could he possibly be thinking of when I hit him?
He breathed out and stared off in the distance.
I did not want him to start talking in a long monologue about Viola. If he did so...he could accidentally stumble upon similarities between her and myself. Obviously there would be many. But what if I could divert the attention away from myself? Ask something that was outlandish? “So...have you gotten in her pants yet?” Would that work?
Black snorted, not moving his eyes from the back wall. “Do you girls really think that poorly of me?”
I didn’t answer, not exactly trusting myself. Personally, I did.
“She wouldn’t let me, anyway.”
I gulped down several mouthfuls of water to save myself form having to make any sort of response. However, he seemed to be talking more to himself than me. “I already blew it with her.”
I bit my lip. “No offense, Black, but you’re sort of an arse-hole.”
He shrugged and then muttered, “Well, I did kiss her without consent.”
I fought with myself for several moments about what my initial reactions should be. Anger would seem irrational, seeing as I wasn’t there. Indifference could be slightly suspicious.
“She probably hates you now,” I offered. I doubt that helped at all.
“It was an accident.”
Before I knew it, I was seething. “An accident? You accidentally violated her privacy and took advantage of her when she—.”
“I got caught up in the moment.”
“Bull!” Shoot. I sounded too defensive.
“It’s true. Christmas tends to do that to me.”
I opened and closed my mouth several times. “You should have done it to your own girlfriend. Aren’t you supposed to be dating Anders again?”
There was a pause, and then, “I broke up with her.”
I struggled to keep my composure. He dumped Stella? The gossip mill hadn’t gotten ahold of that one. I only assumed that was because Stella didn’t want it to be known so she kept it quiet.
“It was still a rotten thing to do,” I was trying one more feeble attempt to chastise him. “Viola’s supposed to be a nice girl.”
“She is. She’s incredibly nice...to everyone but me.”
God, what a drama queen. “That’s...unfortunate.”
I drummed my fingertips on the creamy tablecloth and fiddled with the stitching in my dress. “Makes me want to go back and meet this girl.”
Another silence followed this. Then, “I don’t know you very well, but I think you’d like her.”
Things were getting dangerously sticky again. I managed to nod and let my eyes wander.
There was the bride and groom still dancing the night away. My eyes fell on Lily, who was standing in a corner and talking to a dark hair man. I squinted and came to the startling conclusion that the man was none other than James Potter. She had her back pressed against the wall and was speaking animatedly with her hands. It took me several seconds to realize that she was neither yelling nor scolding, but throwing her head back to laugh at something he said. It seemed that the words transpired in the lavatory had an affect on her. She was...enjoying his company. Today was the days all the rules went out the window. Lily talked to James Potter and I had a semi-civilized conversation with Sirius Black.
Black’s words jolted me out of the silence I had evidently lapsed into. I remembered my place. “It seems a lot’s happened since I left school.”
To be completely honest, I hated playing the idiot. Everything tumbling from my mouth was based on false pretenses. I knew the answers to questions I asked. I talked about myself for Christ sake. That was one of the strangest events of my life. Oftentimes, if one were to start up a conversation with another about their own personal being, the answer received would most likely be either biased or a straight up lie. It was interesting to see what people said when they believed the person in question not to be around.
Black sighed. “I want to see them date.”
“You do? Why?”
The raven haired man started at me like I was crazy. “He’s my best mate.” His tone sounded like it explained everything.
We fell into another silence as we both watched the people around us.
“I was an arse-hole, wasn’t I?” His tone was mild, as if declaring the weather to be cloudy the following day. I tentatively glanced up and found his eyes locked with my own, waiting for an answer.
I actually wanted to say no. It’s horrible, but I did. Here I was wanting to chew him out my whole life, and now I had the chance and I didn’t want to. I compromised. “Sort of.”
He jerked his head as if shaking off an irksome fly. “I suppose that’s understandable. Anders brought out the worst in me.”
“You can’t blame it all on her, though I’m sure that’s part of it.”
Black nodded his head. “My jokes weren’t really all that funny, now that I think about it.”
“No, you were—” What was I going to say? That I didn’t think he was that bad? I would be lying through my teeth. He and his friends were the exact reason we created The Plan. He made the life for all those not at the top of the social ladder awful. He made us hate ourselves. No amount of pity he generated for himself would make me deny his treatment for the last six and a half years.
I cleared my throat by coughing into a closed fist. “The fact that you’re...acknowledging your mistakes shows that you’ll do better in the future. You’re talking to me. That’s a start.”
His eyebrows met. “What do you mean?”
“This is the first conversation we’ve ever had, Black.”
“You must be.”
“This is the first time we’ve really spoken?”
His eyes went wide as I nodded. He didn’t speak for several seconds, tapping his foot gently on the tile floor. “I...I hope that I can say I’ve improved.”
Before I could elaborate on this thought he continued. “I’m sorry.”
Him? Sorry? Where was this sentimental, sensitive Sirius Black coming from? Was it possible that the wedding air was getting to him? Or was he honestly repenting what he’d done—feeling remorse for his actions?
I felt myself nodding. Accepting what he’d said.
“Will you please call me by my first name? You know...turn over a new leaf and all?”
I nodded again, still mulling over his character. The fact of the matter was that Sirius Black would always be Sirius Black. He would always be the Gryffindor Prince who could snag any girl of his choosing. He could realize that what he’d done was wrong—but whether he could change was the real question. He had the ability to spin together whatever words he wanted. Create any impression. But maybe...there could be more than that?
Or the wedding air was getting to me.
“And if you ever talk to Viola, put in a good word for me.”
I could never forget his arrogance—my self-hatred stemmed from it. Maybe I could put all of that in the past. He had apologized, hadn’t he? Was a second chance well deserved? I didn’t know. All I could do was play it by ear. And there was only one way to start.
I looked up at him and smiled. “I will, Sirius.”
Ah! I’m incredibly sorry for the long wait. God, I sound like a broken record. I’ve probably said that the last six chapters. Basically, I thought that there would be more frequent updates with Summer, but the fact of the matter is that I’m juggling a full time summer job and attempting to still possess a small amount of a social life. The next chapter is in the works. I’m still a bit iffy with one. I’m not sure if the conversation went as well as I’d like. Please give me some feedback about what you think. Theories are also nice. (Get as carried away as you’d like. =]) I love your reviews. They make my whole world. I hope you liked. it.