Beautiful chapter image by Chella from TDA
"Sometimes even to live is an act of courage."
"What was that all about?" Lily asked with a sigh, as they sat down at the table. "You're acting so strange, Nessa!"
"No I'm not," Nessa denied, pushing food from her plate to Kate's. "I'm just mad at Izzy."
"Why?" Kate said, helping Nessa move the food over. "She hasn't done anything, has she?"
"She's being friends with the enemy," Nessa declared.
"The enemy?" Kate said quietly and glanced at the Marauders, a soft blush appearing on her cheeks as she locked eyes with James.
"Yes! The enemy, Katie!" Nessa continued dramatically, wrinkling her nose at the ham on her plate. "Eww, too much calories," she muttered and lift it neatly on Kate's plate.
"Wow, Nessa," Lily said sarcastically, staring at Nessa's empty plate. "It sure glows with all the delicious food."
"I need to watch what I'm eating," Nessa sighed, brushing a curl behind her ear and pouring some hot coffee in her mug.
"Why?" Kate asked again, no sure if she understood the many wonders of being girl.
"Because I can't afford to be fat," Nessa said, smiling charmingly to a Ravenclaw boy.
"But you're not fat," Lily said slowly, as she closed her book. "Nessa, what's going on?"
"God, nothing's going on, Lils!" Nessa snapped, rolling her eyes. "I just like to eat healthy and stay fit."
"You can eat food and still keep in good shape," Lily said. "If you just--"
"Just drop it, Lily," Nessa said and stared at her coffee cup.
"I still don't get this whole 'Let's hate Izzy' picture, though," Kate said while Lily shook her head with a deep frown.
"As long as Izzy's being friendly with Black, I refuse to be her friend."
"Oh come on," Lily said. "They're both in the Quidditch team, they have to
talk to each other!"
"You're being childish," Kate said nodding.
"Whatever," Nessa said, ignoring her friends' comments. "She'll be apologizing soon, and then everything will be fine again."
"I know, but I still--" Lily started.
"Shut up Lily," Nessa said rudely, but immediatly regret her harsh tone when she saw the look on Lily's face. "Sorry, I didn't mean it... I didn't mean it to come out so rudely..."
"It's okay," Lily said frowning. "You're not being yourself right now, Nessa."
"I'm fine," Nessa said and glanced casually at Izzy - and Sirius.
She had to admit that he looked pretty cute when he concentrated on something - even if it happened to be Izzy he was concentrating on at the moment. They were talking about something, and nothing else seemed to matter. The way his lips moved when he talked, was almost enchanting in a very scary way.
"Oh Merlin," Nessa muttered, shaking her head quickly, trying to get that kind of thoughts out of her mind.
"What?" Lily wanted to know.
"Nothing, I'm just tired... what's up for today?"
"Care of Magical Creatures with Hufflepuff, Arithmancy, Herbology..." Lily said.
"So that's Sheffield, Smith and Sprout before lunch, huh?"
"Yep," Kate said and stood up. "I should probably go to the Library and get some books for the Divination assignment."
"What, you haven't got the books yet?" Lily asked, looking shocked. "Katie!"
"Sorry Lils," Kate said, looking truly sorry. "I just forgot the whole assignment!" she explained, lifting her bag on her shoulder.
"How could you fo--"
"Lily, just let the girl go, she only has thirty minutes before class," Nessa put in, getting a thankful glance from Kate before she rushed off.
"I can't believe she forgot!" Lily muttered, opening her book again.
"Some of us have lives," Nessa reminded with a smirk.
"Not our Katie," Lily said, glancing at the smug look on Nessa's face. "What are you looking so--" she fell silent as she noticed who was standing behind Nessa. "Black."
"How dare you talk to me, Mudblood?" Regulus snarled. "Vanessa, is this Mudblood your friend?"
"I don't see any Mudblood around, Black," Nessa said as she spun around in her seat to look up at Regulus. In the corner of her eye she saw Sirius and James stand up. "What do you want, Black?" she asked casually, leaning her back against the table, waiting for Sirius and James to arrive.
"Just dropping by to say hello to you, Vanessa," he said and smiled coldly.
"Really?" Nessa said and looked slightly to her left, only to see Sirius and James leave the Great Hall.
Which was weird, since it had never happened before. They had always been there, wether she needed it or not. But now, they weren't.
"It's very nice of you, Regulus, but I don't think Nessa needs a babysitter," Lily said politely, as she stood up, smiling.
"Are you trying to be clever, Mudblood?"
"She doesn't need to try," Nessa said, standing up quickly. "Get out of my way, Black."
Regulus eyed Nessa's dark eyes for a while, thinking about his options. He glanced over her shoulder at lily who was clutching her wand tightly in her pocket, while the professors were eyeing the situation closely from their table in the front.
"Very well," Regulus finally said, nodding a bit. "See you this afternoon, Vanessa."
Vanessa and Lily looked as Regulus strolled out from the Great Hall, both of them sighing in relief as he disappeared from sight. Nessa looked slowly at Lily, only to notice how she was trembling. Lily looked over at Nessa, who didn't even look one bit moved by the meeting with Regulus, and nodded with a small smile.
"Let's go," Lily said quietly, walking away from the Great Hall.
"Okay," Nessa whispered, not asking if Lily was okay. She knew Lily wasn't, and it would only make the matter worse if she would ask...
~ * ~
Izzy walked briskly down the corridor towards the Library, not sure how she had already managed to lose Kate from her sight. The very moment she had stepped out from the Great Hall, she hadn't seen Kate anywhere - so she had decided to take a shorter way to the Library and search her up there, and maybe tell about how Sirius made her feel - after all, Kate was the only one who knew about what had happened to her.
She rubbed her forehead, sighing deeply as she pushed the armor aside - only to reveal a secret passageway. She stepped in and flinched slightly at the cold. Walking down the dark corridor, seeing her breath before her because of the cold, she tried to stay warm by rubbing her arms - but it didn't help.
A nine year old Izzy, stood behind a locked door, shushing her best friend Dahlia Grant, as they tried to hear what Izzy's parents were talking about that was so secret.
"Shh, Dahlia, or we won't hear what they're talking!" Izzy whispered, nudging the small girl beside her.
"I still can't believe that you're a real witch, Izzy," Dahlia whispered, her eyes round of awe.
"It's not that great, D," Izzy commented and shook her head.
Dahlia was indeed her best friend, but she was a Muggle who lived down the hill in the small town. Her parents didn't know about Dahlia, and Izzy's family - among all the other Pureblood families living in the village up the hill - were labeled to be 'strange' or 'freaks', so Dahlia's parents didn't know about their daughter being friends with one of 'the freaks'. When they went out to play, they came up with a good excuse, but never did they say anything about with who they went and where.
"It's pretty hard to imagine that," Dahlia said.
"I wish you were a witch too," Izzy whispered, glancing at Dahlia.
Dahlia was a very normal looking girl. Unlike Izzy, who stood out in a crowd because of her platinum blonde hair and dark eyes - not to mention the loud noise she had and her language - Dahlia had mousy blonde hair, and grey blue eyes, and gave the resemblance of a fish. While Izzy ran around screaming, Dahlia would walk behind and glance around like a mouse. Dahlia was just... a normal shy girl.
With a horrible memory.
"Tell me about that Hogwarts place again," Dahlia asked.
Izzy sighed in annoyance and shook her head. "No, Dahlia! I already told you yesterday!"
"But I have forgotten most of it," Dahlia said sadly. "You know my memory."
"Later, but now I want to hear what they're saying," Izzy said, shushing Dahlia again. "Quiet, they're talking louder now!"
They both pressed their ears against the door, listening to the muffled voices.
"It has got to stop!" Mrs Rush said sharply. "I cannot have other people tell me how they have seen Isabel running around with that Muggle."
"They're just children, what harm could they do?" an unfamiliar male voice said.
"As much as I would like to agree with you, Harold, there is a risk that Isabel gets a view of Muggle life, and later learns to be like... like... a Muggle!" Mrs Rush shrieked. "Something has to be done, and it has to be done now!"
"Is this necessary?" Harold Potter said.
"I'll deal with it," Mr Rush said.
Izzy pulled away from the door, hearing the footsteps coming closer.
"Come, quickly, hide!" she whispered, rushing towards the cupboard under the stairs.
Izzy opened the cupboard and looked behind herself, realizing that Dahlia still stood in front of the door.
"Dahlia!" Izzy called loudly, not caring who heard, as the door opened slowly.
Someone pulled Izzy inside to the cupboard, holding her tightly in a warm embrace, holding a hand in front of her mouth.
"Be quiet, Iz," Isaac whispered from behind her.
They both looked in horror through the small airholes as the door opened, the light entering the dark and cold corridor Izzy had been in with Dahlia a moment ago. Mr Rush stood in front of Dahlia, Dahlia's face pale and her eyes wide with horror.
"What are you doing here?" Mr Rush demanded loudly, making Izzy flinch in the cupboard.
"I... I... I..." Dahlia said, glancing towards tha cupboard. "I'm here alone. I wanted to know what the villagers were talking about... I got curious," she stammered, looking down.
"I see," Mr Rush said coldly. "Do you happen to know a girl named Isabel Rush?"
"No, sir," Dahlia said, looking back up at the man.
"No?" Mr Potter said, sighing in relief. "See, no harm done. They don't even know each other. Well, I better be going, I promised James to take him out flying... see you at the Ministry," a dark haired man said and nodded to Mr Rush, smiling down at Dahlia before leaving the room.
Mr Rush waited for Mr Potter to leave, before he looked back down at Dahlia, his smile slowly fading away.
"Why don't you come in and have a cup of tea and a few cookies?"
"No thanks, sir, I rather not," Dahlia said with a shaky voice. "I better go home, my mum is probably wondering where I am..."
"Little girl, come in and have some tea, please?" Mrs Rush said, kneeling in fornt of her, smiling warmly - which only seemed to be a small sneer to Izzy.
"Well, if you insist--"
"I insist," Mrs Rush said quietly and lead the girl inside, as Mr Rush closed the door behind them.
Izzy felt Isaac's arms let go of her, and she rushed to the door, pressing her ear against the door again.
"We have to do something," she whispered to Isaac who stood behind her, looking scared.
"We can't," he whispered back.
"Why not!?" she said, walking up to him. "Dahlia is in there, Isaac!"
"She's a Muggle," he said, looking straight into her eyes.
"But she's not any different from us," Izzy said, not sure if she should cry or laugh at her brother's sillyness. "Come on, Isaac!"
"I can't," he said quietly.
Izzy froze as she heard screaming from the room. She looked quickly around, seeing red lights flashing from under the door.
"They're torturing her!" she gasped, and ran to the door.
She started to hit the door with her fists, screaming for them to stop, until Isaac pulled her away, dragging her back to the cupboard where he covered her mouth again.
The screaming stopped for a moment, as Mrs Rush opened the door, glancing in the darkness. Izzy felt tears run down her cheeks as she saw Dahlia lay on the floor, shaking with pain as silent sobs escaped her mouth. Mr Rush had his wand out, pointing it down at Dahlia. With a slight nod from Mrs Rush, he aimed it right at Dahlia's heart, his eyes empty from all emotions.
End of Flashback
"Nooooooo!" Izzy screamed, taking support from the wall. "Dahlia..." she whispered, looking around.
She gasped for air and closed her eyes tightly. It wasn't a nightmare, it felt so real, it was more than just a memory. It was too real...
And it was all her fault.
Izzy cleared her throat, looking around to make sure that no one had seen or heard her at her weakest. She continued walking down the corridor, promising herself to never again be weak, not even when she was alone.
What she didn't know, was that a certain someone had seen her, and was utterly confused...
~ * ~
A/N: Okay, this chapter is pretty much about Izzy's past. But first, let me explain why Nessa may seem like a total bitch. She's just... well, annoying in her own way, which is why we all love her, right? :D She's pretty much like Summer from The O.C., if you have watched it. I admit it, I'm a huge fan of The O.C. :D Don't worry, she'll get over herself sooner or later - Nessa, I mean! Back to Izzy; So her best friend Dahlia was killed because she would have had a bad influence on Izzy, according to Izzy's mother - which she had, and it's all her parents' fault, really. Oh, and Mr Potter/Harold Potter, is indeed James' father. He was back then good friends with the Rush family, and didn't think anything bad of them. He trusted them, but thanks to the death of Dahlia, he stopped trusting them and tried his best to find evidence of their connections to Dark Wizards. More of that later on ^.^ But now, you should really review! Thanks!
- Lily xxx