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The Art of Breathing. by AC_rules

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Format: Novel
Chapters: 45
Word Count: 386,117
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Romance, Angst, Young Adult
Characters: Lupin, A. Longbottom, F. Longbottom, James, Lily, Sirius, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: Sirius/OC, James/Lily, Snape/Lily, Remus/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 12/12/2008
Last Chapter: 10/02/2012
Last Updated: 10/02/2012

Summary:
Banner Les.Miserables @ TDA



I’m going to die.

And not even in the ‘can’t believe current situation with Sirius Black’ or ‘blackmail coming from all sides’ or ‘evil step mother’ this-is-so-bad-going-to-die sense.

I mean an actual physical, literal ending sort of death.

Dobby finalist 2009, nominee 2011 & 2012. TGS finalist


Chapter 5: Annoyed.
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“Come on Mary, it’s not so bad,” Nate said in an unconvincing tone which did nothing to rectify the anger and shock which had me clenching my fists at my side. His hand resting on my shoulder and the sympathy in his eyes also did nothing to calm me down or set the side of my brain which was usually dedicated to national thought going again.

I had yet to get over my dramatically worsening blood tests that Nate had informed me of on the first day back (there are, actually, plenty of publications and the like dedicated to the how to get over you’re dying but honestly, they just made me angry). He had since tried a variety of things to make me optimistic about the whole situation, but today I had demanded he showed me my graph.  

In the past, he had used my graph on numerous occasions to cheer me up when I was feeling down. He always pulled it out and showed me my line of progress and how far away from dying I really was. It was then I believed I had years left to live, that I had so much ahead of, so much time to live that I hadn’t bargained on. It always had a smile plastered back on to my face again. 

Now though he was reluctant to pull it out, and I soon saw why when it was presented in front of me. They showed anyone with a pair of eyes quite clearly that I was getting worse with every passing moment. The past, where death was an ambiguous – if less ambiguous than for most – was officially aptly named; that golden age was over.

On my graph there were four lines in different colours: The blue one showed how a normal person’s body deteriorates; the red shows the expected worsening of the body for someone with my condition; the Black one is the death line – the line at which the body can no longer function and the purple is my line, the results of my tests plotted on to show my progress, or my regression as is probably more accurate. 



Thinking about my hair, I supposed I might have subconsciously thinking about my line. Although that was depressing – I didn’t much like the idea that that line defined me.



Particularly in its current state of decline.

The blue line had a very low gradient and barely appeared to be going downwards, only speeding up at the end. The red line had a much steeper line which crossed the black death line around last year.  It was the purple line, however, that captured my interest. It had been going down at a steady rate for all the time it had been recorded (since I was diagnosed at nine) but then the past few weeks it had taken a dramatic dip, like the climax of a rollercoaster, going much steeper than any of the lines on the graph. 

“Oh,” I muttered quietly measuring the distance with my eyes. “I’m only six inches from death,” I joked, “but it took me eleven years to travel those six inches.”

“Mary,” Nate said his voice sort and full of an underlining emotion. “The gradient it… I mean, I’m so sorry, but once it’s sped up, it’s not going to slow back down again.” 



I swallowed. The moisture in my eyes as a knee-jerk reaction, despite the fact that mentally I’d barely even registered what he was saying. Greif auto-pilot, as it was.


“A year and a half then,” I decided hollowly, calculating distances, “a year and a half left to live.”

He wouldn’t meet my eyes.

“That’s right isn’t it? A year and a half?” 

He shook his head. 

“L...looking at it now, you may be being a little optimistic, but there’s every chance that...” he trailed off. Nate had a habit of always trying to put a positive spin on everything he said. There was no positive now, which meant one thing, and he knew that I knew him well enough to know that. “Look,” He forced his voice out, seemingly finding it hard to speak. “I’ll measure your progress for a little while longer and then...” 

“You’ll tell me how long I have left,” I finished, as he appeared incapable of finishing it himself. He nodded slowly and we both sat in silence for a few long moments. Both of us wondering exactly what to say. 

“I was hoping I wouldn’t have to do this for another few years,” He said softy. 

“So was I,” I agreed, letting a single tear roll down my cheek, pulling the black of my mascara with it. I couldn’t feel anything. Nate put his arm around me, and I leant against him, needing the comfort. 

“How touching,” Sirius’s voice rang out dryly from the doorway. “But my friends bleeding and you’re supposed to be working here. So maybe you could help?” Sirius suggested, waking in followed by the rest of his stupid mates. 

Nate sprang up, and pulled back the curtains for a bed for James, who was indeed bleeding –thick red liquid spurting from his nose in all directions like a screwed up fountain. 

“What did you do to Lily now?” I asked shakily, amazed at Sirius’s ability to walk in at the exact wrong moment. It was now beyond definite that they thought Nate and I were an item; I was here enough and it was pretty weird for us to be friends with the age gap and everything.

“He hexed Snape.” Remus answered for him, sitting down on the edge of his bed while Nate pulled a potion from the cupboard and handed it to him, stuffing my file back in the rack. 

“You should know better by now,” I muttered as Sirius gave me the evil eye and gave me some sort of eyebrow gesture which I took to mean, I know you’re shagging him. Even though he was completely wrong. Though of course, if Sirius thought of it, it had to be right (note the use of sarcasm here). It was ridiculous to think that I’d just found out my life span stretched to less than a year and a half, and I still had to deal with stupid things like Sirius Black and the bloody Marauders.

“Drink this,” Nate said handing James a potion. “Now rest here for about half an hour.”

The other thing was that Nate still continued to talk to me like he was my best friend (which he was) when the others were around, which I found weird and they interpreted as conformation of their suspicions.

“Come on Mary, think about something else,” he told me, while my I tried to hear the conversation through the ears of a Marauder. Then I realised I’d probably never recover, and instead just ignored them, what did they matter anyway? In the grand scheme of things, I’d be dead in two years.

“How’s your sister then?” Nate asked and I sighed. 

“Which one?” I asked dully. Talking about my family was one of my least favourite topics, and so I generally tried not to think about them where possible. Lily had pretty much gotten used to that by now and Nate was the only one who pressed the issue.

I have two ‘sisters’ but neither of them are actually the conventional sister, as one of them isn’t even related to me. 

“Becky,” he answered.

The story of how Becky came to reside in the same house as me for several years of my life is an interesting one. My mother, who had just be diagnosed and told she was dying, panicked and asked if the condition made the sufferer infertile. Little was known about Ephaiyadaphia at this point and so they told her yes, she would not be able to have children. She, with an admirable (or so I think) desire to be a mother went to the adoption agency and picked the child with the most psychological problems to take her home. 

Well, that’s my version of the story. They didn’t actually realise she came with a long list of problems when they adopted her, the dyslexia, dyspraxia, manic depression, OCD, eating disorders and anxiety problems all came later on. Still, I always found her frustrating. As she was six years older than me, (she was three and a half when they adopted her) completely different to me and always in the middle of some complicated breakdown that, really, I should have anticipated.



I was aware that it made me sound heartless, but the truth was that my childhood had been continually filled with horrible incidents and worrying and stress and it was hard to get to the other side of it all without resenting her, just a little. It wasn’t like I was mean to her. I just dreaded her coming to visit and occasionally thought uncharitable things about her.

“She’s okay I guess, in her last year of Uni now.”

Nate nodded slowly, probably expecting a more detailed response but I genuinely didn’t have anything better to offer than that. “Johnny?” he asked. I shrugged. 

I had always liked Johnny better as he was actually related to me, and agreed with me when it came to Becky. Plus, he’d never sparked up arguments and the like between my parents.

He didn’t understand why mum didn’t just give having kids a go, as they discovered several years later, the condition didn’t make you infertile, when I was conceived. 

“Ria?” He asked and I shrugged again.

Ria was my adorable little half-sister, who I disliked strongly because she shared the same genes as Karen. That made her unquestionably evil.

Also, she was my replacement for when I’m gone. 


“Your dad?” 

“Same boring old fart as always,” I answered. I’d have thought by now that h knew talking about my sister achieved nothing. Yet he was irritatingly steadfast in his belief that I should make an effort.

“Karen?” 

“Still a sadistic bitch, please can we talk about something else?” I asked, before he could reprimand me for being so uncaring. He had a perfectly valid point, but that didn’t mean I wanted to be reminded of it.

“Well,” he sighed, “What do you want to talk about?” 

I shrugged, looking around the room for inspiration, but was greeted by the Marauders still staring at me with their mouths open. Sirius had obviously re-shared with them his theory on Nate and I with his eyebrow-communication thing. 

“So when are you getting married?” I asked in an attempt to remind them of Miss Quigley, the mega blonde crazy bitch bombshell who he was engaged to.

“Dunno, I’ve got other things on my mind,” he shrugged, “we’re in no rush.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Worrying about you.” He answered and I inwardly cringed. Damn.

“Can I go now Mr Peacock?” James asked from his bed. Sirius sent me another eyebrow message which I decided meant ‘we need to talk to you right now’

“Yeah, sure,” Nate said distractedly. 

“I’m going too,” I said. I was rewarded with an unfathomable expression and a nod. He probably expected me to want some sort of counselling about my suddenly shortened life expectancy, but I hadn’t quite worked up a reaction to that yet. For now, dealing with team drama would have to do.

“McDonald,” Peter said stiffly, as we headed back up the corridor. 

“You know, you guys should stop ending up there so often, he might start thinking you fancy him.”

Well, should have probably thought that comment through.

They looked at me in disbelief for a moment, and Sirius was just about to say something when I looked at my watch and said “Ooh! Look at the time, must dash...” In a high voice before hurrying away in quite possibly the most suspicious fashion ever.

 I am such an idiot, seriously.

*

Since I have started term this year I have discovered that there are five different types of people: the annoyingly perfect, the annoyingly unstable, the annoyingly knowing, the annoyingly uncaring and the annoying.

There was the first type: the ones who were so nice and perfect and quiet that you just wanted to thump them and tell them that they have no personality and need to have some problems and develop some quirks, or something. These people probably do have a variety of problems but would never share them with anybody apart from a selective few (trust me, I used to be this type of person), so all you see is this annoying exterior you can’t get underneath. Example of this: Alice and Frank.



The second types were the ones who had so many emotions and thoughts running through their heads that they just can’t keep inside. They’ll cry at anything, they’ll stress, they’ll worry and generally be over emotional and oh so happy to share everything. You therefore want to punch them and tell them to get a grip. Lily wins the award for the most unstable (I’m not counted in this...). As a couple, Lily and James would be either abysmal or perfect thanks to the fact that they both fell into this category – James with his unnecessary declarations of love to anyone would listen was almost as bad as Lily and her demonstrations of hate. Really, really annoying.

 

The third were the people who looked at you with that look that told you that they knew exactly what was going on in your head and that they have all the answers. Then you wanted to punch them in the face and tell them they were wrong, arrogant, nosy and they were annoying. Example Dumbledore, Nate, Remus, Miss Quigley. 

The forth were the annoyingly selfish ones who couldn’t give a shit about anyone else, or just not me (the important thing). You wanted to jump in front of their face and tell them to pay attention to someone else, anyone else. Just because if they noticed it, life would be so much easier and better than it would have been before. Example: Charlotte, Peter, Rachel, my dad, Johnny, and my eldest ‘sister’ Becky.

The fifth were the ones who were simply frustrating to be around for no reason. They just drove you nuts, even if they did everything correctly. These people made you your favourite dinner and they were making too much effort. They made you something you don’t like as much and they were being selfish and annoying. Example – Karen. I just wanted to hit her and bang her pretty little head on the table. The fifth sort defied all previous sense of logic.

The most annoying person of all however didn’t fit into any of my categories which was, well, annoying. Sirius Black was annoyingly perfect due to the way he achieved perfect marks, perfect looks and the perfect air about him without even having to try. He was annoyingly unstable in the way he would go on about how tragic his life was to those who didn’t care. How he would get angry quickly and how he was so different with different people. Then he would look at me, and I would swear he knew just what I was thinking and he was telepathically yelling exclamations of amusement. Then he would say something so stupid and selfish I would know he was just being his arrogant self. Then his presence annoyed me to hell just the same. 

I was surprised I hadn’t hexed anyone yet. 

Or bitten someone’s head off.

Or had an emotional breakdown in the middle of the hall. 

Because life was being so damn annoying.

Today was the perfect example; I had woken up early so I could have a shower to find that Charlotte Jones was currently occupying it. She then took a further thirty five minutes until she emerged dripping wet and having used all the towels. 

Then Lily had come in, angry as hell, about how James had nicked all her make-up claiming she was beautiful without it (another of his pathetic attempts to boost her self-esteem. Cute, but really annoying).  She then asked to borrow mine and I of course had to lend her some, even though I didn’t want to. 

I was then about to get in the shower when I realised I had no shampoo and conditioner left as Rachel had borrowed it last week and used the entire bottle.  Alice kindly offered me her shampoo and conditioner, but I refused because I didn’t want her shampoo, I wanted mine. The fact that I knew was being petty made me more irritated.

 

After all that, I’d decided to sod the whole shower thing.

 

 Instead, I went to go and have breakfast, taking a detour to go and see Nate. He asked me how I was and I said great.  He gave me a knowing look, as if to say he knew I was still stressed about my results. I then received the same treatment from Remus and Miss Quigley when they asked me if I was okay in Defence against the Dark arts. 

I was stuck sitting next to James in Potions, where he spent the whole time badgering me about Lily. 

Coming out of Potions I fell over flat on my face, and Peter Pettigrew just walked straight past, stopping only to say ‘Hey Mary.’

Frank stopped and helped me pick up my bags, when I really didn’t need any help. I was fine picking up my stuff on my own.



All of that just masked the fact that the real reason I was angry was because I was dying and it wasn’t fair.



Now I was stuck in transfiguration sitting next to Sirius. Professor McGonagall went out ten minutes ago to sort out some misbehaving second years, Sirius looked like he was about to make some comment about me and Nate, so I pulled out the letter from Karen that had been burning a hole in my pocket since just after breakfast.

Anything to ensure that I was distracted.

Mary, 

I was devastated when I read your letter, including the details of your drastically worsening ‘condition’ as you like to call it. Your father is dreadfully upset and sat in your room for hours. Mary, I believe we got off on the wrong foot and I would like to-

I stopped reading the letter, and briefly scanned the last few lines; it was far too boring to pay complete attention to. 

- improve the bonds between us before-

-I offer my condolences that-

-Your father is very pleased that you have agreed to babysit Ria in a few weeks- 

-All my love. Karen.

Same old, same old. I took great satisfaction in ripping the letter down the middle. I couldn’t care less if she was talking about wanting to kill herself, or how she ran a naked fun run, it didn’t matter to me. She didn’t matter to me, and I wish she’d butt out my life. Just leave for a few years, until I died, then I could get things back on track with my family. It was her fault that we didn’t get on. She caused this destruction and she should admit that instead of me taking the blame for it.

Did I mention she was annoying?

I’d have thought they’d cut me a little slack cause I was dying, give out a little sympathy, but no. They just said I had a bad attitude and then Karen pretended to be nice to make me feel bad about myself as a person.

It didn’t work.

I couldn’t care less if they think I’m a spoilt brat, a complete bitch or any other bog standard insult.

Yet I still offered to babysit Ria next Hogsmeade trip whilst they went to see a play for some reason, which I am now totally regretting. 

Hogsmeade was like the one time I might get out of this place, and believe me, this was one of the last places I’d like to be right now. The other place I’d least like to be was home: well, no, my house because, let’s face it, my house was not my home. 

Home was meant to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, and welcoming, like you could be yourself. I didn’t have that place. I didn’t have anyone to be that person with. And I’ll die before I get to all that ‘finding yourself’ crap.

So I’m stuck as being this me. For the rest of my life. And that was just depressing. 

The idea of the whole changing thing was to make me a better person, and so I could get close to people and actually have a life before I die. Well, the conclusion of that is definitely not working

“Letter from lover-boy? Telling you he has to break it off because his fiancé is suspicious?” Sirius bleeding Black asked. I glared at him.

 “Shut it,” I said, stuffing the remains of the letter into my pocket. He was not going to read that any time soon. I’d have to burn it, maybe with my number sixteen underwear or something.

“Are you not even going to attempt to do the spell? I wouldn’t bother, you’ll only fail,” Sirius said lazily, turning the rabbit on our table into a hat box with a flick of his wand. “I guess some people are just naturally talented,” he said, stretching his legs out and relaxing back on his chair.

Arsehole. 

I used to be able to do magic. It was beyond irritating to lose something which more or less defined who you were:  I was a witch. And now Sirius thought I was totally thick.

Well I’d show him. I pointed my wand at his eyebrows and concentrated really hard as he looked Rachel Moss up and down, trying to catch her eye (most probably because over the holiday she got taller, blonder and prettier. Whereas over summer I became more ill, worse at magic, moodier and more-purple).

Stupid prat. Stupid shallow prat. Thinking he can walk over people like that? Thinking he can, I don’t know, make-out with people in a cupboard, forget their name, and then pretend nothing even happened? Well it didn’t work on me.

I hated him. I really did. He was so damn infuriating and bloody annoying. Why did he think that he had the right to piss me off? Because he though he was god’s gift to women, rather than a more accurate assessment of selfish, big-headed, tosser.

Some dark red sparks flew out my wand.

His eyebrows caught fire. 

Rachel turned around and looked at him as though he was on fire seconds (probably because he was) before the situation seemed to become apparent to Sirius himself.

 

Sirius let out an almost bark of surprised, turned his wand on himself and, in putting out the fire, managed to drench himself.

 I burst out laughing: hysterical-crying-your-eyes-out-laughing. My wand fell from my hand and hit the desk, as I struggled to breath due to the laughing and the smoke mixing in the air. 

“You…!” Sirius spluttered, looking at me as if I was a psychopath. “Y...You...you just set my eyebrows on fire!”

 

This was the best thing I’d ever done in my whole life, and would always be the best thing I’d ever done in my whole life.

 

 “You complete nutter!” He was practically spitting fire (though, that would have only made me laugh harder), but I did think he was the tiniest bit impressed.

 

His eyebrows had singed to nothing. Sirius Black was without eyebrows.

 

“Stop laughing!” He ordered, bringing his wand up to point at my throat. “Stop laughing or I’ll hex you to next week, McDonald.”

 

I grabbed my wand from the desk and pointed it at him. 

“Like you can do anything with that,” he said, gesturing to my wand. “Except catch my hair on fire or poke you. Whereas I could do some actual damage.”

“I have done actual damage!” I said calmly. “I’ve completely dented your fat ego, and made you look like an alien!” 

“Well, you already look like an alien,” he retorted, “and I’m still more attractive than you!” 

“Oh shut up Black.”

“Why should I? Everyone in this place is more interested in what I have to say, than what you have to say.”

 

There is the possibility that I lunged at him, at that point, and began to scream something really colourful and original (I was really, really annoyed), but The only person who gives one shit about you in this place is that nurse, and even he rates his Fiancé way more than you-” He began and for the second time this school year, I lost it and I lunged at him, screaming ridiculous insults (yeah, I lose it pretty quickly, but I was really, really, really annoyed) when a spell hit me in the chest.

I stumbled backwards, my head hit the floor, my concentrated hatred towards him sent another stream of sparks from my wand and his actual hair might have caught fire.

 

I struggled to stand up, there was some sort of commotion but my brain felt like soup, the stench of burnt hair made it even more difficult to think…and then Sirius was gripping my hand and trying to get me to sit down and I was calling him something not very nice, I think, because then I passed out on his shoulder.

*

“TWO MEMBERS OF MY OWN HOUSE! DUELLING! I LEFT THE CLASS FOR TWO MINUTES AND I COME BACK TO FIND A GIRL BLEADING ON THE FLOOR AND-”

“She set my hair on fire!” A voice counteracted, slightly devoid of its usual cool. “Isn’t that against the law, or something?”

“She did magic?” 

“I didn’t burn it off myself,” Sirius muttered darkly.

I opened my eyes. The whole world was a little wobbly, but I had worse. It turned out the voices belonged to McGonagall, Nate and Sirius. And Dumbledore was just casually acting as a cool, bearded bystander.

“Your hair looks worse than mine,” I muttered, looking at Sirius and feeling my lips twisting into a smile. Sirius, to my surprised, mirror my expression and offered up a nod of support to my comment.

 

“Wouldn’t be so sure.”

“I can’t see how it would be worse,” I commented, looking at Sirius charred hair and big burns on his head.

“Here,” Nate said, passing me a mirror with a slight eye roll.

My hair was unbelievably knotty, with big clots of brown blood, which clashed horribly with the purple. 

“Oh that’s attractive,” I said before dropping my hand back down to my bed exhausted. 

“You tired Maz?” Nate asked. 

“Yes!” I muttered sleepily. “What sort of spell did you hit me with Black?”

 

“It was… just a silencing spell.”

 

“Is that all?” I asked sceptically. “A silencing spell? A silencing spell would not have knocked me out.” I said and Dumbledore looked at him carefully. 

“Mr Black, is it possible that your emotions could have gotten in the way of that spell, and in your anger, you accidently, cast something much more powerful?”

“No!” He protested. “I only meant to shut her up, so she could calm down for a sec, I was angry, she set my hair on fire! But I wasn’t actually going to do anything!”

Dumbledore looked at him carefully.

“I believe you,” he said, after a few minutes. “Now, could I have your wand?” he requested and he said some sort of spell that made the wand show the last spells it had done. 

First was a levitation spell. Second was a healing spell. Third was the opposite of a silencing spell. Forth was the silencing spell. Fifth was the spell we’d been doing in transfiguration. Then it continued going back and eventually Dumbledore stopped it. 

“Mr Black. Would you wait outside for a moment?” he requested. Sirius nodded and exited the room. 

“Miss McDonald,” he said quietly. “It would seem your condition is considerably worse than we realised even last week. That silencing charm should have, at most, made you step backwards, but you fell over with enough force to cause a serious knock to your head. You need to be more careful,” he said and I shrugged. 

“How will you explain to Sirius, why the spell was so powerful on me?” 

“You will not tell him the truth?” Dumbledore asked and I shook my head manically (which hurt like hell!). 

“No way!” 

“Well then, you will have to come up with a suitable explanation,” he said and I closed my eyes. Surely he was supposed to do this? Not me?

He just sent me a twinkly, knowing look and was on his way. 

“Miss McDonald?” McGonagall said. “Your duelling was unacceptable, fifty points from Gryffindor,” she said, “Oh, and as the next Hogsmeade trip is coming up, you need to get your hair changed to a more appropriate colour,” she added before walking out.

“Right,” Nate said cheerfully. “How come you hexed the poor sod?” He asked. 

“I was irritated.”

“Okay Maz, chill out,” he said looking at me knowingly. “I’ll just let Mr Black in, and then I’ll take your blood test.” 

“Why would you ever want to let him in?” I asked, not wanting to see him at all, because then I may have to explain to him why a silencing spell knocked me out.

How annoying.

“To treat his burns,” he finished and I groaned. 

I honestly and truly hated Hogwarts.

*

Nate fixed me up in a few hours, but insisted I had to stay in bed for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, Sirius also had to stay in bed, which meant the Marauders came to visit him (those guys are like, inseparable) and Lily had come to visit me.

I’ll treat you to some simple maths here.

Marauders = Sirius + James + Remus + Peter

Lily + James = Conflict

Sirius + Me = Conflict

Conflict = yelling

Yelling + my head injury = my head hurting a lot

My head hurting a lot + Sirius + conflict + my head injury + yelling = ANNOYED MARY.

“No Potter, I HATE YOU!” Lily’s voice screamed (okay, that was a paraphrase of sorts – but she might as well have been yelling it and she was making a lot of noise). I buried my head under my pillow angrily. Another crap day. I needed someone to talk to and I could hardly open up to Nate right now, due to the presence of the Marauders. Anyway, he was all worked up about me dying and kept preaching at me.

 “Oh Mary, don’t push yourself too hard!”

“Mary, slow down!”

“Mary, stop setting Sirius Black on fire!”

“You know Mary, you’re weaker now!”

It would be good to have someone who didn’t know about my condition to talk to, but I didn’t. Lily was too busy getting angry at James. Charlotte is busy being a bitch. Rachel was busy dotting over Sirius’s burns (they were now dating apparently – ridiculous). Alice was busy being nice to everyone somewhere. Remus was busy studying while the mayhem went on around him. James was busy being yelled at... Basically, everyone was busy, and it wasn’t like I was that close to them anyway. This left... my family. I sighed.

“Will you pass us a pen and some parchment please?” I asked and when my request had been fulfilled I began to write.

Hey Johnny, 

How’s my little, and favourite bro?

I’m sorry I didn’t write sooner, it’s been a hectic few weeks, and by hectic I mean terrible. 

You know how I always teased you about not having to do P.E.? Well, now we have to do P.E. the kit is awful; my house has to wear red and gold, tight shorts and see-through top. Not a big fashion statement. 

I’ve also been doing your type of classes in muggle studies and I feel so sorry for you! Physics? Gosh, it is SOOO boring, and maths? Don’t even get me started! Then in my other lessons I’ve got decidedly worse, I’m losing my magical power, they may chuck me out soon. Also we have to do team building, and I’m partners with this boy.

I HATE HIM. He’s arrogant. He’s conceited. He’s selfish, big headed, and an all-round arsehole. (You DID NOT learn that word from me.) He’s been insulting me constantly since the beginning of the year, (cause I kicked him in the balls) and it’s really been getting on my nerves. 

In fact, people are generally being annoying here. Though it maybe just me. Already lost my temper twice this year – I burned a boy’s hair and eyebrows off and attacked another. Don’t laugh, I was really angry. Never mind eh, it won’t matter soon enough.

Also, I don’t know if Dad told you, but my blood tests are getting worse, meaning I’m getting much worse. 

I can feel the effects now, I notice myself getting weaker and more tired which can’t be good.

Nate is going to tell me how long I have left soon and I’m terrified. 

Did I tell you Nate’s working here now? Well, he is.

So how’s the Muggle school going? Still boring? And more importantly, how’s Claire?!?!?! (Sorry, I had to ask)

I miss you, and dad, Becky and even Ria a little. Not Karen though, never Karen. 

Write back soon, I could do with someone to talk to

Mary 


I sighed, re-reading it. I don’t think I’d said anything positive in the entire letter, but then nothing positive had happened. I had a flash of inspiration and quickly added looking forwards to going to Hogsmeade on Saturday. There still wasn’t much positivity, but it would do, I decided, folding it up and putting it in my pocket for when I could go to the Owlery. 

In the interest of remaining optimistic (which Nate would approve of), I decided to concentrate on going to Hogsmeade. 

I pushed all my other thoughts to the back of my mind, let’s just concentrate on getting to Saturday, which I would do. (My blood tests weren’t that bad yet, I was counting on having a year or more left still, no matter what Nate said, he was just preparing me for the worse.)

Saturday was only four days away. Four days is nothing. Should go like a blink. It’s only ninety six hours. Five thousand plus minutes. A number of seconds too large for me to count, but not to surmount. Hardly anything, really.
 





Thanks to TheHeirofSlytherin for helping out with the current summary and to all you who've been supporting my prolonged editing (thank you TGK, I'm looking at you). This chapter has now, finally, been edited and beta'd by the lovely MangaGirl. And just so everyone knows, I'm still reading, loving, treasuring and answering all reviews from this. I am most definitely not ignoring you and thank you all so much :D



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