She wasn’t sure what she was doing here. Her head was droning, and every step that she took made her want to turn back more. She looked around, making sure no one could see her. When she thought the cost was clear, she whisked up the stairs. She walked up them. The marble chilled her feet and she wanted to hurry, but she couldn't. The stairs ended much to fast.
There it was. Right in front of her.
The door was dark, and it brought so many memories that she wanted to scream them out of her head right then. She remembered the last time she had been through this door. And the way she had walked out of it. Broken, exposed, and hurting. They had both cried. He probably only out of pity, she thought bitterly.
She took another step to the door, listening carefully to the voices inside.
“That was out of line, mate.”
“Shut up, Prongs, just because you’re head boy now and don’t have the guts to pull a decent prank anymore doesn’t mean I can’t.” Her breathing hitched when she heard his voice, just like it always had and probably always would. She could here snickers around the room after what Sirius said.
“Padfoot, that wasn’t a decent prank, it probably really hurt that girl’s feelings! And now she’ll be laughed at all year long and probably for a while after that, seeing as she’s a first year.”
“So?” He laughed, and then there was silence around the room. “You never know, all the other girls might be jealous because a seventh year paid her attention…”
“Yeah, and jealousy is so much better than ridicule?” She heard someone sigh, probably him.
“Alright, it may have been a little much for a poor innocent first year on the first day of school… I won’t do it again.” The dormitory was silent, and she assumed James was sending Sirius a forgiving smile. Those two never could hold out long in a fight with each other.
It was amazing, she thought, as she leaned her forehead against the door and breathed in the well known, comforting scent.
A little of each of them.
It was amazing how much she still knew of them, how well she still knew them, after all this time of no contact at all. These little things that just didn’t go away. She wondered if they missed her. Well, she knew Remus and James missed her. They had told her that so many times after she had stopped speaking with them. But she had stayed cold, not telling them one thing about what had happened.
Really, she just wondered if Sirius missed her. Probably not, that was obvious from all the girls that threw themselves at him and whom he took up to his dormitory daily. Not like I'm much different in that respect. But it wasn't real to her. Those guys didn't mean anything to her, and they knew it.
It scared her how many people he talked to. He knew everything about her, and could reveal it all so easily. They had been each other for so long.
And she missed it so much every day that it hurt.
She missed the others a well. They had been her friends, her protectors. She missed their constantly messy dormitory, she missed James’ continuous talk about Lily, and she missed Remus explaining some sort of homework to her. She even missed Peter, asking for some sort of help with girls.
Why had she come up here? It just made everything worse. She had survived without him for one and a half years, and now she suddenly felt like she would stop breathing if she went any further away from him. He said something, and she couldn’t make out what he was saying through the droning in her ears. She could only recognise his wonderful, luscious voice.
She leaned back against the wall so as not to lose her balance and fall.
Her chest was burning, the hole he had left when he sent her away was festering at the edges.
This overpowering feeling of need was new to her. She wanted to run but her feet stayed rooted to the ground, she didn’t want to make a sound but she was so close to opening her mouth and screaming, the rushing in her ears grew louder by the minute, and her hands were itching to wrench open the door.
But then, the door opened on its’ own. And someone came out. She didn’t need to look up to know it was him. She kept her head down, her hair covering her face like a curtain. The rushing in her ears stopped. She looked up at his face. She had no idea what to say.
His eyes were wide and his mouth was slightly parted in shock, and the door behind him was open so that she could vaguely see the other three staring at her.
She could move again, and she didn’t feel like screaming anymore. All she wanted to do was kiss him right there. He stared at her. She looked at him, and started to feel her eyes tingle. No. She thought. Not now. Please not now! She always cried at the most inopportune times. She looked at the ceiling and was able to at least make the tears stay inside. Then she looked at him. She needed to leave, but she couldn’t bring herself to.
Then finally, blissfully, she heard his voice.
She had never heard her name sound as beautiful as when it came out of his mouth. He looked at a loss for what to say. She wanted to read him, to find out what he was thinking, like she had done every day so long ago. But she was to scared of what she would find in his grey eyes. To afraid that she would see rejection and indifference. But she had to say something.
She couldn’t speak. This was the first time they had spoken in more than a year, and she couldn’t make herself say more.
And then, all of a sudden, that last night came flooding back to her. The last night he had ever looked upon her with real love, the night he had hurt her and she had fled.
She felt sick.
She could move her feet again, why was she still standing here?
She pulled her eyes away from his, and stumbled down the marble staircase as fast as she could, hurting her feet in the process.
She heard him calling, but it didn’t matter. She only wanted to get away. He yelled her name down the stairs along with the word ‘wait!’, but she didn’t stop. She got to the bottom and caught her breath, but then she practically sprinted to her dormitory so she wouldn’t burst into tears in front of the whole common room.
The dormitory door slammed closed behind her. She was alone. Thank god. Or not… said a voice in the back of her head.
She leaned back against the wall and stared at the ceiling. “What the hell was that?” she asked herself aloud. I don’t know. I don’t seem to know anything anymore.
She sunk down to the floor and put her head in her ands, sobbing. She hated not being in control of her emotions. She hated what she was feeling right now. She hated him. He always did this to her. Why?
She felt like she was trapped in a room with no light and no doors, no way out.
She cried for what felt like hours, and when no more tears would come, she sat there scrunched in a ball, head in her hands. She wondered why no one had come in yet. She should get up. Lux hated it when people saw her cry. Not only did it do the most gruesome things to her features, but it made her feel so weak and exposed. Only Sirius had ever seen her cry.
And it had been horrible.
Slowly, she got up and made her way to the bathroom. She dragged her feet and slouched her shoulders, something she only ever let herself do when she was alone. She heard something outside the door. People talking contentedly.
“I wonder where Lux disappeared to…” That was Lily’s voice.
“I’m not sure, I thought you saw her last,” said Magenta, Lux’ other best friend.
Oh God. She wasn’t going to make it to the bathroom in time, they were going to see her with her huge disgusting puffy eyes and find out everything. She hurtled to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her just as Lily opened the one to the dorm.
She could be fast when she wanted to.
“Lux?” Lily’s clear voice rang through the room.
“In here,” she called back, her voice perfectly steady.
“Oh. We checked up here a half hour ago, where were you?”
“Oh… here and there.”
Her friends knew not to ask too many questions. She would talk when she wanted to.
“You’ll never guess who we ran into on the way up here…” Magenta spoke up.
Lux could tell that Lily was leaning against the other side of the bathroom door, listening to Magenta talk. Magenta was the gossipy one of the three of them.
It was easy for Lux to tune her out and just say ‘really’ or ‘yeah’ every now and then. As long as her friends were happy….
Lux looked at herself in the mirror as Magenta droned on.
She was pretty, she had to admit it. And apart from a few red blotches here and there, her face had gone back to normal from crying. Her blond hair with natural darker streaks stopped just above her shoulder blades. She had a small face. There were dimples in her cheeks when she smiled, and she had light blue eyes.
“…and he went ‘I only date older girls, slag,’ and she walked off crying,” Magenta finished up. “Are you done in there already?”
“Yeah, be right out,” she said hurriedly, wiping her face on a towel a last time.
She opened the door and stepped out, greeted by Lily sprawled on the floor at her feet, staring up at the ceiling, and Magenta lounging on her bed looking through her charms book. “Homework on the first day of school, this year is going to be hell…” She grumbled to herself.
Lux leaned over Lily, brushing her face with her hair.
“Not thinking about Potter again, are we?” The blonde asked quietly, grinning. Lily was on her feet so fast that Lux didn’t even know it happened until she saw her.
“Oh god, how can you even think that? He’s changed for the better… a little… But that doesn’t mean I’m falling for him!! Ew!” Lux snickered.
“Yeah, uhuh, I can really see that Lils.”
“Shut up!” A pillow went flying Lux’ way, and she laughed openly. No matter what Lux did, her real laugh always sounded dirty.
“Oh god, stop it you two!” Magenta yelled, also laughing.
“Ok, ok, I guess I can’t have a pillow fight with the head girl without getting in trouble anyway, can I?”
Lily stuck out her tongue.
“So Lux, how’s the first day of school been for you?” Magenta always wanted to know everything. And usually, she didn’t keep secrets. But Lux loved her anyway, because she gave good advice and at the end of the day she was a loyal friend.
“Oh… normal, I guess.” Lily gave her a suspicious look, but didn’t say anything. “How about you?”
The three of them talked for a while and then decided to turn in early.
“Goodnight,” said Lily as she slid under her covers and closed the hangings.
“Goodnight,” Lux and Magenta answered simultaneously.
Lux closed the crimson hangings around her bed and stared at them. It was so easy to pretend like nothing was wrong. Sometimes she could even fool herself. Sometimes. Tears leaked out of her eyes as she said his name over and over again in her mind. She had never missed him this badly before. She had always been able to push these feelings away into the back of her head. But not today.
Lux awoke with red eyes and her hair sticking to her face.