Chapter 5 : Not Quite There
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As for my departure into my second year in Hogwarts, it was beyond awkward. Except for the fact that Luke kept on checking out the arses of my fellow witches. Most of them gave Luke the eye and I saw immediately that they were impressed. I rolled my eyes. And was about to step onto the train when my father rushed over, gave me a gruff hug and was all, “Stay safe, Lucy.” I suspect he was acting all gruff to hide the fact the he was apologizing. All in all, the whole episode made me smile for weeks.
Second year and third year passed uneventfully, not counting the pranks and taunts I had to endure for those two years. It went by too slowly for my taste, what with being in the hospital wing 24-7. By this time I had learned to dodge, hide and run with remarkable ability. Not to brag, or anything. And with the careful guidance of Severus I was able to master complex charms and hexes, so not to make the impression I was a complete ninny who couldn’t defend myself and oh, was it worth it!
The look on Black’s face as he realized his head was getting smaller and smaller was enough to make me believe that I wouldn’t want for anything in the world. Severus was as snarky and as angry at the world as usual but he had come to crack jokes and seem actually, I dunno, normal when we were alone. Of course, that was when we were alone; walking down the halls was a different matter entirely.
He’d spit the vilest things at anything he believed to be foolish or below him, more or less anything from any other house besides Slytherin. He’d sniff and unleash his remarkable ability to be incredibly cutting and… cruel. It scared me when he was like that. At first I had told him to stop, the look he gave me however made me refrain from ever telling him to stop again. I tried to see what made him such a bitter person, tried to decipher the puzzle that was he but I’d come up with nothing. Nada. Although I did have sneaking suspicions his pessimism had to do with his family. His eyes would cloud over, whenever they would be mentioned, and he’d become more secluded and more isolated.
During those two years, I had managed to become friends with Lily Evans. A miracle, I’m sure. She was a very… happy person, who knew exactly what she wanted and knew exactly how to get it. I envied her. I’d smile shyly when I would see her whereas she would wave noticeably and practically yell, “Hi Lucinda.” I appreciated her efforts and in turn we began to talk and chat. Lily was intelligent and critical and had what I like to call a school- equals- life- attitude. There was nothing wrong with it of course; in fact it was rather amusing seeing her fuss over a grade that didn’t get one hundred percent or more.
Lily’s sweet side however was seemingly stretched when Potter decided that his one and only true love was her and woe upon woes, her alone. I pitied Potter, truthfully, no matter what an arrogant git he was. Lily Evans in a temper was a monster. A monster. Poor, poor sad four eyed idiot. He didn’t stand a chance. Probably never will.
Fourth year, was the beginning of something horrible. Then I didn’t know the possible threat it posed, I was too busy fending off any attacks from the fantastic four. If I had paid more attention I would have noticed the decline of threats from my housemates, who were all too busy whispering with each other and looking pleased, to bother me. Almost everyday the Prophet would be buzzing about latest attacks on muggles, murders even. Honestly, I didn’t pay attention. So what? A few muggles, nothing out of the ordinary, people come and they go. Everybody dies eventually.
But then the attacks started to get more frequent and more violent. Even Dumbledore seemed restless. I think that was when it hit me, like full blow hit me. I began noticing patterns in the murders. They were all muggles. Well, no duh. They weren’t beaten to death, no stab wounds, no gunshots, nothing, nada, zip. It was clearly a wizard killing all those muggles. Muggle officials were getting quite perplexed by the murders; to them it seemed impossible that anyone so healthy could just drop dead without injury or illness. Every morning I made sure I got my hands on the paper, reading horrified as more muggles began dying and disappearing.
“Find something you like?” A snarky voice asked me. I groaned, loudly of course, to indicate to Bellatrix that I was in no mood for her sadistic comments or rather to indicate what an annoying prick she was. I chose to humor her.
“Not particularly.” I answered stiffly.
“Surely you’ve found something, quite…” here she paused, “ enthralling.”
I glared at her suspiciously. What was she getting at? Did she know something I didn’t? Well obviously, or she wouldn’t be provoking me, I thought angrily to myself.
“Erm… You’re an idiot?” I asked meaningfully.
She merely smirked.
“Tut tut.” She said shaking her finger at me. “You’d best be nicer to me, if you know what’s good for you. We wouldn’t want something unfortunate to happen to say, your family?”
I panicked. She knew! She knew who was behind the attacks. And it suddenly clicked into place, like one of those light bulb things. The preoccupied Slytherins, the deaths of muggles. This maniac who had started killing people was bent on the sole idea of pure blood rule or whatever. How could I have been so blind?
The next day, the killer had decided to leave his name. I might have laughed aloud. The image of a serial killer winking and flashing a business card was too funny. Besides what kind of criminal would leave his name? Apparently Lord Voldemort did.
Yeah, that’s the name of the killer. “Lord Voldemort.” What was this guy on? Crack? Calling himself a Lord Voldy to instill fear? Please, this guy was a loser who needed to be put into an asylum. What kind of name was Voldemort anyway? It sounded like a type of dessert. The guy was creative, I could hand him that, in a sort of creepy way.
Whispers of his name passed through the corridors, reminding me that this guy was very much at large. To my disappointment, Severus had started to sever ties with me (no pun intended), pushing me away and becoming more distant than ever. He’d spent his time, writing God knows what in that potion’s book of his with that elegant, yet spiky scrawl. I mean, I don’t want to sound like the type of whiny, clingy idiot but I missed him.
As I was thinking this I saw him strut purposefully toward the Slytherin table. And I do mean strut. His robes all-billowing out behind him in a manner I presumed to be “intimidating.” I thought he looked like an idiot. I folded up The Prophet and stuffed it into my bag. I waved enthusiastically in his direction. He didn’t look over. I lowered my hand and raised an eyebrow questionably. Perhaps he didn’t see me. Yeah, that was the most likely answer. In my blind naivety I didn’t realize that he had ignored me, snubbed me. So I walked over to wear he was sitting with, cringe, Bellatrix Black. A curious sensation went through me when I saw them sitting shoulder to shoulder immersed in deep conversation. I couldn’t talk to him, couldn’t sit next to him with that freak sitting beside him. Why did Black have to take the one friend I had made? She’s probably brainwashing him.
I stormed past them, head bent down, books slammed into my chest. I felt something wet slide down my face. I touched it and looked at it bewildered. What the hell? It took a few minutes before I realized that the “wet stuff” were tears. Pathetic.
I walked briskly out of the Great Hall, doing everything in my power to rid myself of the image of Severus and Bellatrix talking to each other, leaning ridiculously close, whispering, it hurt me, like a very sharp pain somewhere in my chest, I couldn’t pin point the exact location but it was like I couldn’t breathe and I felt… lost. I didn’t understand it. Not at all.
I raced toward the Astronomy tower seeking refuge in the one place that was high above them all. I slipped and tripped up the stairs, my lack of coordination evident in times of sheer anger, hurt and annoyance. I wanted to breathe. I liked heights, it thrilled me, and so this became my refuge. I leaned on the balcony, letting the cool October air cleanse by worries away.
I looked toward the horizon, the sun peeking out behind the trees, winking and waiting to rise. I looked down, the grounds below me seemed insignificant, the sky however was vast, never ending. I felt the whoosh, the rush, of being so high up.
I lifted my hands up into the air and closed my eyes. I was a bird, strong, beautiful and graceful. I’d fly above, soaring in the cold air, wings flapping tirelessly to keep me airborne, a struggle I would endure with happiness. Because what is the price of freedom? Of belonging?
I stayed like that for quite some time, holding up my arms against the wind. Suddenly a pair of hands are grasping my own and pulling my arms down, disrupting my imaginary world. I opened my eyes in bewilderment and slight annoyance.
Her hands, like always, were so warm and Severus welcomed the warmth she gave him. It was getting easier to hold and touch her without flinching, without remembering. Severus knew how much he was hurting her. Her little escapade this morning did not go unnoticed to him. Yes, he had seen her wave up at him but he could not wave to her while Bellatrix watched, while Slytherin watched. It was tempting and he hated how much, how obviously, she chose to show how much their friendship had bloomed over the years. And he hated how he felt so happy. It was now their fourth year and the last year of Lucius, Bellatrix, Narcissca, and Lestrange. Plans were being made for the Dark Lord.
Lucius, Bellatrix, Narcissca and Lestrange were all preparing for their annunciation. They would become “Death Eaters”.
“Severus, you must prepare, the Dark Lord will wait for you. It is your destiny to be one of us.” Bellatrix had whispered feverishly to Severus, her lidded eyes pleaded with him. “You must. It is your destiny. The Dark Lord’s.”
“My destiny?” Severus had scoffed. “ I work for no one.”
“Your arrogance and pride will do you no good. I will be leaving quite soon. I will be serving a great cause. The true witches and wizards shall rule. Think fool!” Bellatrix spit. “This world, our world, will be ruled by the Dark Lord. His reign shall last forever. His plans I’ve heard are brilliant, the things he has conquered, mastered, that power could never be achieved unless you follow him, Severus. You have been loyal to us, does this power not tempt you at all?”
Her eyes had gone wild with hunger, the thirst for power. Severus knew that look all too well; he recognized the look, for it was the look of himself, the look of power, the look of hunger.
Before he could respond however, he caught the whiff of Lucinda’s smell, floral and warm, as she past him. Severus dare not look but he automatically knew where she was headed, her place, the tower.
He got up wordlessly. Bellatrix looked at him with a mixture of anger and disbelief.
“Power, Severus!” She hissed as she grabbed his arm. Severus whirled on her. “ I see you want it. The power, the strength. Think.”
Bellatrix’s beauty shone through in vigor, her skin warmed and her dark eyes glowed with fever. Yet Severus could not feel anything besides resentment.
“Release me, Bella.” He whispered.
Before Bellatrix could open her mouth, he had wrenched away from her grasp and followed silently behind Lucinda.
And now, he was here with her, holding both of her hands in his. He relished the warmth, the feeling of hope. He still held onto hope because of her, always because of her. She was his savior, the one thing that kept him from falling into darkness.
“Gray,” He said calmly and looked up into her large hazel eyes. His heart began pounding a rhythm all its own. He glanced down surprised. He didn’t know he had a heart.
“Say my name.” She whispered, searching his eyes.
“Lucinda.” He whispered back effortlessly and it was as if he had taken an unknown burden off his shoulders.
“Severus.” She sighed and leaned into him.
His name upon her lips made him shiver involuntarily. He tenderly leaned his head downward so his cheek rested atop her hair. She smelled so warm, like flowers. He breathed it in. Their hands still entwined.
“I don’t feel lost anymore.” She mumbled against his chest.
Severus closed his eyes, their body contact an all-new experience for him, it was gentle, it was right.
“ Not when I’m with you.” Severus replied. Not when I’m with you, he thought again.
It felt nice, to have her in his arms, to hold her. It felt nice in general, to hold somebody.
“I thought you didn’t like the name Lucinda.” He murmured into her hair.
“Not when you say it.” She leaned back and Severus lifted his head off of her. “So does this mean we’re talking again?”
Severus released her hand and looked away. Could he talk to her, be there for her even when he was what he was, a greedy, selfish bastard bent on destroying people, Mudbloods, like her family. Could he be with her? The wind ruffled his hair and he turned toward Lucinda. And he found the answer in her face. Her short, shoulder length hair blowing around her face, her wide hazel eyes innocent and questioning.
“Yes.” He said and managed a small smile though it hardly reached his eyes.
For her, almost anything. Almost. For hope. Almost.
Would it be good enough, he thought as they both began walking down the stairs. Is almost, good enough?
Severus. Severus. Severus.
His name, his presence, made me fly.
Almost like a bird.
I know its been ages, its such a long story which, as much as I love you and all, don’t feel compelled enough to tell you the whole tale, but anyway feel free to throw stuff at me because of the ridiculous long wait. I’m ashamed. But I hope your all forgiving enough to leave reviews! And I do understand that Severus and Lucinda act way to old for their age, it's kind of a given with Severus because he's been through so much but as for Lucinda, I have no excuse I'm sorry, but whoo fourth year is up. No more too mature 11 year olds! :) Review please.
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