Chapter 4 : Four
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Wearing A Halo
Open your eyes and look outside
Find the reasons why
You've been rejected
And now you can't find what you left behind
Be strong, be strong now
Too many, too many problems …
After that incident in the Infirmary, it never was quite the same again. Caleigh couldn’t be noted as the Slytherin to have given Harry Potter the time of day, for Merlin’s sake! No, of course not. Everyone who was anyone knew there was a binding contract with the House. The boy belonged to Draco Malfoy alone. She knew this very well, for Draco would always talk about him in disgust. Caleigh couldn’t even remember a single night in which she had spent with him, where he hadn’t brought up one of the members from the ‘Golden Trio.’ They were golden, all right. Just like her arse. So even if she did have a foul attitude towards the group, that didn’t mean she could possess such a power - a hunger - as to loathe Harry as much as Draco did.
It didn’t appear to be possible. Besides, what had the lad done to her? Other than … insult her by her simple surroundings. And … completely judge her because of the man she stood by for the most part of the day. It was as if when people looked at her, they did not … see her, and instead came across with Draco Malfoy. Was it even remotely accurate of her to be some cruel being? Just by a mere figure. A simple boy. But that’s all they were, even Harry Potter himself. Then again, why did everyone give them such value?
She didn’t know how they could withstand it. Any day she could be put under the spotlight, she’d detest that moment with a strong passion. Sure, she might have her fear of speaking in front of crowds - but it’s nothing like her nervous being when expected to side with someone. So you could only imagine the compassion she was shown afterwards … After she had come back to the Slytherin headquarters, moseying on into the Common Room. She had thought she was being quiet. But up until the point of slipping through the barriers, a hand clasped onto her shoulder, and she didn’t know what to make of the second. It was like being lurched out of time, flung into a surreal metamorphosis. But that’s what you get with Malfoys.
“Ah -” A sudden gasp, almost inaudible to hear, escaped right on through her thin lips, seeking freedom. But just as her exhale left her, the inhale from Draco Malfoy took place. In turn, his eyes caught her orbs, and she couldn’t even move.
He had her pinned to the wall before she could do anything. One hand on her shoulder, dangerously close to her neck, whilst the other gripped her hip - in a harsh manner. Almost like she couldn’t even move, like she was broken, and he was only tearing her apart - limb by limb. But she was used to it. Caleigh didn’t show her fear - she would not allow him such pleasure. But the surprise was inevitable to conceal. He would only get a handful of that, and nothing more. She had her quirks with pretending, lying. Even Malfoy couldn’t tell her apart that easily, thank you very much.
“What do you think you were doing!?” the blonde young man demanded in a hiss, his face mere inches off from her own. There was a strange tint to his eyes, that of which caused his skin to appear even more pale than usual. As if to emphasize his point, he applied more stress and pressure unto Caleigh’s hip, the skin sure to be bruised by the next morning. And by the look on his face, she knew that wasn’t all she’d be ‘rewarded’ with. Oh, not even by half …
“I …” She couldn’t find her voice for a minute there. Swallowing thickly, the Slytherin licked her lips, hoping the chapped structure would soon evaporate right off the surroundings, needing a moist surface rather. Using that for an excuse, she stalled for a phrase - a word - anything to say! “I … hurt that boy,” she said, her voice low and tentative.” As hesitant as her tone was, her eyes were much, much different. Actually, they were so focused on his very own pair, that you couldn’t even tell them apart by who being the one more stern - more upset and angry. “I couldn’t just leave him there! You know me better than that,” she accused, grasping the opportunity as fast as it came.
She hadn’t expected that much from him. Caleigh had even flinched - bloody flinched - when she made her confession. But Draco? Why, he was … smiling. Was that a smile? Yes. Yes, it was. One that was cynically twisted with a damned smirk. No doubt. This was Draco Malfoy we were talking about. Not some … Harry Potter.
“Yeah?” Draco went on, cocking his head to one side, leaning in closer. Now she couldn’t even tell where his lips were - other than centimeters away from her own. “Then what took you so long, eh?” he inquired, arching his lightly-colored brows slowly. “Find something - a nice little topic - to chat with Potter ‘bout?”
Blinking back her confusion, the Slytherin looked away from the one man who had been holding her down for the past … She’d forgotten just how long.
“What are you talking about?” Caleigh whispered, for the first time looking ‘round the Common Room. How typical. There wasn’t a single soul nearby. She had him underestimated, didn’t she? The young man had found a diversion, having them withering away for the time being. How long had he been waiting for her? She’d certainly been up at the Hospital Wing for at least … seven hours … minumum. No wonder, really. The boy could talk.
“Not what, my pet … who,” Draco replied, pursing his lips, before cutting off the remainder of Caleigh’s air supply. His lips, crashing unto her own, were of steel. Sudden cold thrills bubbled into her lips, and she immediately felt queasy. Nonetheless, she didn’t pull away. She might not have responded, but she didn’t pull away. And as much as his hands hurt her, his body pushing her into the wall, she didn’t once whimper. It was like giving up all over again, giving into him.
For who could ever refuse their future husband?
Flying. That’s what she was doing. All around her were clouds of white, against the bare blue sky. She couldn’t suppress a smile, that of knowing the reassurance was right before her. She never smiled -- or rarely in a matter of speaking. Strands of her light hair was spilling before her, and she was undeniably confused due to the lack of air. Yet here she was, feeling alive as ever. Knitting her brows, she looked down - down to see if there was anything holding her up. Come time, she came to realize that there was nothing but a thin cloud -- her seat she’d been placed upon. Her eyes wide, she grew worried that moment in time. She hadn’t expected to be floating … on thin air.
The mere prospect was absurd. Surely she was imagining this. It had to be a dream. Pinching her arm in spite of herself, all she felt was sudden pain. Flinching, she scowled down at her pale skin, that was turning a rather vibrant shade of red. She was already earning a bruise. It was confusing, alright. She had absolutely no idea what she was doing up here. Only that she had never felt so peaceful in her life. Even for a moment, her thoughts didn’t come across that of which her real life revolved ‘round. For once, she thought about … herself.
Wrapping her arms around herself, it was as if she was hugging herself. Nonetheless, things aren’t always as they appear. Oh, no. Feeling the garment placed over her, she realized it was of silk. But the color was faint, off-white. Didn’t that color symbolize peace anyway? If so, what was she doing, wearing it!? Surely there had to be some mistake. Caleigh Sparks did not mix in a word of tranquility. The very thought was absurd
So much, in fact, her disbelief had her flooding in worry. Ergo, the cloud disappeared, and she was left floating.
But not for long.
The sudden white was replaced with a dark tint, taking over and corrupting the atmosphere. The tender thoughts that were once of Caleigh’s mind, were now loitering with dread and misery. It had happened all too fast, she hadn’t seen it coming. Hence, she glanced down at herself, and her eyes widened. If she’d been surprised before, the shock wasn’t compared to anything like before. The lovely silk gown … It had been replaced. The vibrant midnight red color bore into her eyes, and the dull material earned a scowl from the likes of her. It was as if she had bled the cloth through, from everywhere. Everything had been … tarnished. Along with her appearance, her mood followed the very same path. Trembling so suddenly, Caleigh realized she had no support whatsoever now.
So she fell. Fell through the dread.
A shriek so loud tore her throat apart. But there wasn’t a single sound emitted through her lips. Her hands shot up to her neck, and she grasped and clutched at her skin in horror. Still flailing, she had to shut her eyes, due to the force of the air and wind surrounding her. If she thought her life was hell before, there was no comparison whatsoever as to what it was now …
Pictures drew images across her mind. Her eyes were immobilized, and she could neither open nor clasp them tighter down. All the luck she had in the world now, were of minimized proportions leading to the photographs her mind showed her. They weren’t too pretty.
Grimacing in spite of one, Caleigh was slightly relieved to see the gory details of one intricate photo wither away. In that was something she never wanted to see again. That of savaged people … slaughtered and beaten to death. How that could be done … she did not know. That didn’t mean, however, that she couldn’t believe it to be possible. Oh, quite on the contrary, it was expected through her heritage. Only, what she did not know at that very moment, was that she didn’t want anything to do with those tragic customs.
She wanted …
The next photo came just as slowly, torturing her for a view -- tormenting her as the onlooker. This one was very much the opposite of the other one. The latter now, it appeared to be … decent, just what could be seen on a regular day. She was seeing birds in the sky, and a couple walking down the main road, by a park, on a warm-looking, sunny afternoon. Could it be? Yes, that’s what she preferred.
You tell me. Dead bodies? Or freedom?
These were symbols. She was seeing things. Caleigh was dreaming. She did not know it that very moment, for she could have been dead for all she knew. But she was very much awake, and conscious. Only, a deep slumber had engulfed her. And now, she was the victim of the predatorily night. As a custom, she was no exception. Quite frankly …
And whilst the images came back and forth, her arms shot around her fragile body, and she willed herself to scream. What was most unlikely happened; her eyes shot open again, and she was able to see.
What did she see?
She saw …
… bare walls. The very same familiarity to the walls of which she saw each night. They were his. They belonged to his bed chambers. Why was she so surprised though? This was the sequence to her life. There was no point to find it … the least bit intimidating, no less shocking.
This was her life.
Nevertheless, there was still hope. Right?
Honestly, the photos might have been confusing. But they were evident in point. Besides, who could she think of that had to do with the very first? As she clutched the sheets, she tried to control her breathing. It was a good thing she was facing away from Draco, else he would have probably woken from her harsh breathing. She always … faced away, onto her side. A habit of hers, if you will.
Yet, the second image troubled her. She didn’t know of anyone that held such interest to calm being … prosperity. And happiness. She did not.
Until this morning.
… Could it be?
No … Even Harry Potter was not that wonderful.
Or … was he?
She couldn’t think on it for too long, for the very source of movement beside her, startled her. And she shook the thoughts away, leaving her mind blank. But the fear still stayed there. That of being deciphered … and discovered.
In his eyes.