Chapter 8 : Lost
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The dim light from the fire flickered. Rabastan and Sita sat comfortably on the couch. Sita lay her head on Rabastan's shoulder and smiled softly.
'You know, it's been a week now,' Rabastan started. He sounded nervous. Sita shut her eyes; she didn't want to talk about this now. 'D'you ... d'you want to keep this up?'
She turned her head away and stared blankly into the dying flames. 'I don't know what I want,' she replied quietly. She stood and faced Rabastan. 'I'm going to go for a short walk to think about it all. See you in the morning.' Rabastan nodded slowly and kissed her on the cheek softly. She left.
The corridors were cold, refreshing after the heat in the room. Sita paused every few moments in her walk to stare out a window. A loud noise came from down the hall, making Sita look back quickly. She looked intensely, but couldn’t see the source. She cursed softly, guessing that it was probably Mrs Norris.
Then a voice rang out, echoing eerily on the stone walls. 'All right, Massaro?'
Sita jumped as a familiar voice came from behind a column at the top of the hallway. She crossed her arms, conscious that she was only wearing her string top.
'Peachy, thanks,' she replied crossly as Sirius approached her. He stared at her for a moment, a hint of amusement crossing his face. 'What are you at?'
'Nothing that concerns you, Massaro,' Sirius answered happily, leaning against the wall. He turned his head and glanced out the window, the moonlight illuminating his broad smile. 'What are you at?'
Sita raised an eyebrow. 'You really think I'd tell you that?'
'No, not really,’ Sirius replied, turning to face her with a pointed grin. ‘Well, I must be off. Night, Massaro.'
Sita watched him as he walked confidently into the darkness. She started to follow him and frowned when he was nowhere to be seen. As she yawned loudly she could have sworn she heard someone snickering behind her, but no one was there.
As the owls flew in with the daily mail, Sita noticed Fiachra wasn't with them. She watched as the last owl arrived and landed with the Hufflepuffs. Her father had never taken so long to reply to her before; she usually had a response within a day. It had been a week since she sent the letter, and she couldn't help but feel nervous.
'Ah, cool,' Rabastan exclaimed happily, opening his own package. 'Chocolate.'
'Are you all right?' Sierra asked, noticing Sita's expression.
'I mailed my father a week ago,' she replied, trying hard to sound normal. 'I just thought he would reply before now. He must be busy.'
Sierra nodded sympathetically. Sita turned to look at Rabastan, who had gotten a letter of his own. His brow furrowed as his eyes scanned the page; she frowned and watched as the color drained from his face. At the end, he folded the letter carefully.
'What's up?' Tobias asked, having noticed Rabastan’s discomposure.
Rabastan shook his head. 'Nothing. Nothing important.' He smiled, but it looked forced. No one asked anything else, but Sita noticed he would no longer look her in the eye.
'Can I see?' Sita asked, placing her hand on his softly. Rabastan raised his eyes and shook his head, avoiding eye contact with Sita.
'No, I'd prefer if you didn't. It's personal.' He replied slowly. Sita watched him as he stood, he flashed her a quick apologetic smile. 'You understand right?'
'Yeah... sure.' She answered, scowling a little. Rabastan didn't notice and left the table. She wondered what was in the letter that made him protective of it. He would generally have let Sita read the letter. Rodolphus's comments made her laugh.
'Runespoor eggs are very useful in potion making. They contain a valuable liquid ...' Slughorn lectured. Sita stared across the room at Rabastan, who was trying hard to pay attention, though his drooping eyes showed he wasn’t being successful. She started as Sirius clicked his fingers in front of her face.
'That's twice now,' he said happily.
'That I've made you jump.'
'So it is,' Sita replied dully, realising it was going to be one of those days with Sirius.
'What's wrong?' he asked suddenly. 'You're completely out of it today, and you keep scowling when you stare at Rabastan.'
Sita blinked. So he had noticed. 'Nothing is wrong, and I am not scowling.'
'Yeah, you do,' he replied quietly. 'You shouldn't, though. Scowling doesn't work for you, even if you are a Slytherin.'
Sita stared at him. 'What's that supposed to mean?'
'Dunno, sounded insulting, though, didn't it?' He smirked and then turned to face Slughorn at the front of the class. Sita folded her arms and rested her head down. She decided that Sirius was an idiot. Despite herself, she found herself thinking about what he said. Had he just complimented her? She turned her head so she could see him; he was scribbling something on a piece of parchment and glancing at James urgently.
'What do you see in him?' Sita asked.
Sirius looked at her curiously. 'Who?'
'James. I mean, you've both been best friends for years, but he's a total idiot,' Sita replied.
Sirius stared at her. 'And I'm not?'
'An idiot.' He seemed stuck halfway between smiling and frowning.
'I guess not,' Sita replied, looking away as she turned crimson. Once her face didn’t feel so warm, she looked back at Slughorn. Neither spoke for the rest of the class.
'Great, break and a free period,' Sita said happily, reading over her timetable. Rabastan grinned as they returned to the common room where the other seventh years sat pouring over their books. Bletchley approached them when they entered.
'Training tonight, don't forget,' he informed them gruffly.
Rabastan nodded and watched him walk out. 'Should be fun.'
'Mmmm, I guess,' Sita replied, pulling out her books to study.
Rabastan stared at her indignantly. 'Study? Now?' Sita nodded, focusing her attention on her Potions text. 'Why?'
'I didn't take notes. Slughorn bores and confuses me,' she replied, her eyes darting from the book to the words she wrote on the parchment.
Rabastan snorted. 'You can have mine.'
Rabastan slouched down on the seat next to her. They stayed like that for some time.
Then he asked, 'What did you write to your father about?'
Sita raised her head to look at him, curious. 'I can't really remember,' she replied honestly. 'Slytherin beating Ravenclaw, you and I, that I knew he was a Death Eater ...why?'
'Liar.' Sita paused. 'I'm going to go to the library.'
As Sita packed up her books after an hour of study, Sierra entered the library. She was very white and she looked upset. 'Sita, Dumbledore's looking for you,' she whispered. Sita stared at her blankly, trying to think why he might want her.
She fastened her bag and followed Sierra up to his office. Sierra left her at the door and wished her luck. Sita followed the stairs up with hesitance. Then she knocked meekly on the door. She heard her voice through the thick wood and opened the door.
'You wanted to see me?” she asked as she entered. “Rabastan? What are you doing here?'
Rabastan was sitting calmly in a chair in front of Dumbledore’s desk. He shrugged and motioned to a chair next to him.
Dumbledore smiled faintly at the two, but his expression was grave. 'Miss Massaro, have you heard from your father lately?' he asked, watching her carefully. Sita shook her head and felt her nerves rising. What had happened to him? 'Mr Lestrange, have you heard from your household?' Rabastan nodded; his expression was unreadable but Sita noticed he was pale again.
'This morning,' Rabastan answered, sounding on edge.
'Would you mind if I were to read it?' Dumbledore asked, his expression serious.
'I would. It's personal.' he replied coolly.
Dumbledore stared at him, his bright blue eyes showing, for the first time in Sita’s memory, a trace of danger. 'Please retrieve your letter, Mr Lestrange.'
'Very well.' Dumbledore made a hand motion in the air, and with a loud crack one of the house elves appeared, immediately bowing low to the three. 'Would you kindly bring me Mr. Lestrange's most recent letter?' Dumbledore asked.
The elf nodded and vanished with a crack. Rabastan was glaring at Dumbledore now. 'I refuse to let you read it.'
'That is out of your hands. I believe there is something important in it,' Dumbledore replied. Sita was a little afraid. She had never seen him so serious before.
'There's nothing in it,' Rabastan said haughtily, leaning back in his chair. 'Anyway, the elf won't find it.'
Dumbledore smiled, but it wasn’t a pleasant expression. ‘No, I didn’t really think so.’ Rabastan stuck his chin up in defiance; at that moment there was a crack and the elf reappeared with no parchment. It begged forgiveness, but Dumbledore told it kindly to think nothing of it, and it disappeared again. Rabastan's lips thinned and formed a twisted smile as Dumbledore turned to face the two once again. 'You may go, Mr Lestrange. Take care.'
Rabastan stood and left the room as Sita looked down at her knees. She lifted her head to face Dumbledore as the door closed, a sick feeling in her stomach. 'Miss Massaro, I'm afraid I have some bad news regarding your father.'
Sita paled. So it had come to this. 'What happened?' she asked, her voice strained.
'Your father was murdered in your home about a week ago,’ he said softly; his eyes met hers, and there was nothing but sympathy in them now. ‘It is believed to be the work of one of Voldemort’s supporters; his symbol, the Dark Mark, was hovering over the body when it was found this morning. I am sorry for your loss, though I know that means little.'
Sita swallowed thickly. 'Oh.' She was so full of conflicting emotions – sadness, anger, guilt, hate – that she couldn’t feel any one of them properly. 'What was in Rabastan's letter?'
Dumbledore frowned. 'Sadly, I do not know. However, plans must be made for you. If you are unable to stay with friends over Christmas break you are more than welcome to stay here. You are of age, are you not?'
'Yes,' she said mechanically.
'Then once your father’s will has been read, I am sure you will be able to do whatever you want. Professor Slughorn and I will arrange for you to attend the funeral.’ Sita nodded numbly. Dumbledore drew her gaze to his own again and said, ‘If you feel the need to talk to anyone, I encourage you to come to Professor Slughorn or myself. Either of us would be more than willing to listen or to assist.’
She nodded. Though she had never liked Dumbledore much, she felt that his offer was genuine. She appreciated the sentiment behind it, even though she couldn’t foresee any situation in which she would ask either for anything. 'May I go, sir?'
Sita left the office and walked down the stairs. Her mind was racing and her thoughts were lost . Slowly she made her way down the corridor, not sure where she was headed. She felt completely numb and lost. Sita was vaguely aware of Rabastan following her, but ignored it. She couldn't deal with him now.
I hope everyone is enjoying the story so far. If you can, please leave a review, your criticism is greatly appreciated
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by Devon May