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Chapter 9 : Piecing the Puzzle
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Piecing the Puzzle
“The Lounge” was a place where all seventh years could go to interact between the houses, not many people used it however, after being so used to just keeping to the common room. So Kate liked to go there, knowing that it wouldn’t be too crowed when she wanted to study, and didn’t have to use to the resources from the library, plus she could be free from under crabby Promfey’s hawk-like eyes.
As she walked there, her footsteps echoing against the cold stone floor she thought of Sirius. She thought of the way he had stared down at her earlier that morning in the library, how he brushed away her hair affectionately, how he smiled at her for the first time in seemingly years but mostly how he turned on his heels, walking away mysteriously. Just like him leaving her hanging on the edge.
She chuckled to herself.
The bad thing for Kate about using “The Lounge” for home work purposes was having to carry all her belongings down there with her. She stumbled, trying to manage her satchel that was swinging off her shoulder, filled with three heavy encyclopaedias and a stack of textbooks in her hands.
It took her about three minutes just to get the door open, finally, filled with relief she was able to walk in and relieve herself of the many books onto a nearby table. But then she looked up and saw some thing that she would rather never see.
Sirius and Isabella. Isabella’s hands were wrapped around Sirius’ neck, her mouth glued to his. Kate’s own mouth dropped open with complete shock. She looked away almost instantly, hurt and shame flooding her body.
If she hadn’t looked away, she would have noticed the way Sirius pushed Isabella off him, the way he had opened his mouth furiously, but then with a look of dread, noticed Kate for the first time. Sirius looked at Isabella, who was beaming expectantly at him, to Kate who was refusing to meet his eye.
And when she did, boy did she look mad. She folded her arms against her chest, and tapped her foot looking apprehensive. Isabella, having noticed Kate from the beginning, took a step back and looked from Sirius to Kate and back again.
“Let’s get out of here Sirius,” she whined. She scanned Kate from toe to head, with a foul expression on her face. Sirius could practically taste the tension; it was so thick in the air. He sighed.
“Isabella… how bout you just go? I- I’ll talk to you later okay…”
Isabella cast Kate one of those don’t-even-think-about- it glares and swirled on her heels, her long blonde hair flowing after her as she left.
The echoing slam of the door vibrated into the other wise silence. Kate, with a look of wonderment and shock on her face plonked herself down on the sofa.
“Oh my God, you know what? I have been so naïve. Here I truly thought we had some thing, you know? Well that just goes to show… smart with books but completely and utterly stupid with life – ”
Sirius sighed painfully, roughly raking a hand through his longish dark hair. “Katie, I know what it looks like, but …”
“But what Sirius!? And don’t you call me Katie! Do you know stupid I feel right now! I can’t believe… I really can’t believe I thought you had feelings. Let alone feelings for me. Merlin I am so stupid!”
“Would you stop saying that!” snapped Sirius frustrated as he paced up and down the length of the room. “You are the smartest God damn witch I have ever come across…”
Kate rolled her eyes feverishly, “that’s great, that’s just great.” She pulled herself up from the couch, and glared at him, “I’m not even going to bother to tell you to have a good life.” And she quietly but quickly picked up her books, balanced the satchel back on to her shoulder and lifted her chin up into the air definitely. She looked at Sirius once more before she opened the door and sighed before walking back through it.
Sirius caught the sad, hurt, defeated look her eyes and just wished she had given him a chance to explain.
“I hate him,” said Kate forcibly as her and Mimi pushed and shoved their way through Hogsmeade, the streets overcrowded with students and residents alike. It was a cool saturday dark afternoon - as winter was quickly approaching, the harsh wind blowing with a fierce bite.
Mimi frowned, looking over at Kate from under her bright orange beanie, “are you sure about that?”
“No,” the answer came pouring out of Kate’s mouth before she could stop it. Mimi grinned, looking very much like a cheshire cat.
“Well, no I might not hate him. But Merlin knows I want to hate him. He’s just so…”
Mimi pulled open the door to the Three Broomsticks, the warm and comforting air rushing at them from all angles. It was crowed with students who were all laughing and chatting merrily; eventually Mimi spotted a booth amongst all the people so she and Kate quickly moved over to it.
“So what?” Mimi asked, rubbing her mittened hands together to warm them even more, continuing their conversation from seconds before.
Kate let out a growl of frustration and Mimi couldn’t help but laugh.
They sat down at the booth at the far end of the place, grateful to have found a seat.
“I mean, I seriously thought he was different. I thought… I thought he was nice, for Gods sake, but we all know how wrong that is.”
Mimi nodded in response, motioning for the waitress to come over.
“Mostly I’m just annoyed at myself.”
“Why?” asked Mimi, looking slightly bemused.
“I’m in Ravenclaw! I should know better then fall for Black’s tricks!”
Mimi nodded again, this time in approval, “never mind Kate. It’s good to have you back properly again.” Kate laughed.
“Yeah, sorry if I’ve been a little… inattentive-”
“A little inattentive? That’s the biggest understatement of the year!”
“Yeah, yeah,” laughed Kate, “two butter beer’s please,” she said to the waitress, who gave a polite nod and hurried off to fulfill the order.
“Oh here comes Daley and Ashton…”
Ashton, smiling, slid in beside Kate and Daley took a seat opposite, next to Mimi. They were both looking like happy, joyful little children, their cheeks flushed with excitement.
“How was Zonkos?” Kate asked, taking a sip of her butter beer as it arrived.
“It was –” began Daley.
“Marvelous! Kate you should see it! It’s filled with all these types of…” butted in Ashton, his green eyes suddenly sparkling, as he started to drone on about the new joke store that went up during the summer holidays.
“Ashton. Shut up,” yawned Mimi, stretching her long arms above her head in a cat-like manner.
Ashton stopped speaking abruptly, staring at Mimi across the table, “well then, what have you two been doing?”
“Talking,” Kate answered simply, taking a sip of her butterbeer.
Daley raised his eyebrows, “oooh, girl talk!” he said in a high-pitched giggle.
Kate moaned at her friend, thumping her head on the table between them, “Oh God, you’re such a loser!”
Daley just grinned at her; resulting in Kate poking her tongue out in response.
“Seriously, what did you talk about?” asked Ashton suspiciously.
Now it was Daley’s turn to groan, “dude, you don’t want to know. I have five sisters and I can tell you it’s always about the same things. What eye shadow do you think I should get for my date on Wednesday? Turquoise green or aqua green? Oh no! Such a choice, they are so different!!”
Kate was laughing and Ashton cocked a brow, looking amused. Mimi stayed the same, “you do that well,” she nodded with her long silky dark head.
“Thanks, I’ve had practice,” grinned Daley behind his mop of blonde hair.
“How do I know I know you Kate? I’ve been staying in your house a whole summer yet I still feel as though I don’t know you enough. Hell, you know every thing about me. I’ve spilled my whole guts out to you. To you only. No one else, Katie.” They were seated in the garden on a particularly pretty and elegant wooden swing. The sun was comfortingly warm as it beat down upon them, a light gentle breeze in the air.
Kate stayed silent, her head bowed down, her chestnut brown hair slowly slipping across her face, covering it so Sirius couldn’t see her eyes. She was fiddling with her locket.
He paused gazing at her before continuing softly, “and don’t pretend you don’t have secrets. Don’t pretend that you haven’t kept some thing locked up inside you for too long and it’s bursting to come out.”
There was huge, long silence between them and Sirius thought maybe he’d ruined their friendship forever. If she wasn’t ready to tell him about her past, then he shouldn’t be forcing her. When he was about to tell her this and apologise, she finally spoke up, cutting through the silence that had filled the air for at least five minutes.
“My brother d-died, about three years ago.”
Sirius didn’t say any thing, he had thought it had been some thing like this, but it never dawned on him that that the dead boy could be her brother. He felt Kate shiver next to him, although it was still hot out. Sirius wrapped an arm around her shoulders and squeezed her comfortingly. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”
Kate buried her face into her hands, feeling emotion building up in the back of her throat. She took a stuttering breath and muttered, “I-I know. I’ve been telling myself that for three years.”
She looked up at Sirius, taking his breath away, her blue eyes were sparkling with tears, and there was no special Katie twinkle in her eyes. The tears were threatening to pour out of her eyes, but she seemed to be holding them back for as long as she could. “But you know what?” she said, sounding rather sarcastically dark, “Ashton doesn’t know, Daley doesn’t know – hell! Even Mimi doesn’t even know.” Sirius stayed silent, some how knowing that this was the first time in a long time that she was voicing her inner feelings.
“He went to Durmstrang,” Kate explained, roughly wiping away each tear as they began to fall with the back of her fist.
“How old –?”
“He was fourteen,” said Kate before he could continue. She swallowed carefully and looked away.
“Fourteen,” Sirius said slowly, “but that would mean – ”
“Yeah, we are twins. I mean, were.” Sirius felt a cold stab of iciness at her words, and a heavy feeling of dread fell upon them. And I thought I had problems…he muttered angrily to himself.
“W-we were so close, you know?” Sirius realised how desperate she was for him to understand, her words pleading with him, asking him to “know”.
“I know,” he said quietly.
“I just feel – I- I – ” she stopped and shut her mouth abruptly.
“It’s okay,” Sirius said soothingly, his fingers, from the arm that was still slung across her shoulders, gently running up and down her arm, “don’t worry, it’s not like I am going to tell any one.”
Kate nodded, “I haven’t talked about it at all. I’ve held back so many tears, I just feel so weird finally being able to have the chance to be heard.” She was staring up at him with such large wide but grateful eyes Sirius felt compelled to stroke her hair affectionately.
“We were so close,” she continued, “and w-when he d-died, it’s like… half of me went with him. I felt like I was empty, I still do – not all the time, but I did for a few months straight when he first died. Which was when I drew most of those drawings.” She paused and hastily wiped away a couple more tears that had crept down her cheeks.
“I was so distraught at the time I can barely remember doing them. It was like my mind had completely left my body; for five whole months. I was just a body walking around. I lost… every thing about me. Every little unique thing that made me me. It was just… gone. It died along with Marcel. And I’ve been trying my hardest to claim it back.”
Silence drifted in between them once again, but it wasn’t an awkward silence, it was a thoughtful one. Kate gathered herself together and sat up straighter, sighing heavily as she leaned back into Sirius’ arms.
“If you don’t mind me asking, how did he die?”
Kate shook her head, “I don’t mind. It’s a relief, I can tell you, to finally have the guts to talk about him. He was murdered.”
Sirius had to shake his head to be sure as to whether he heard correctly, “murdered? By who?”
Kate shrugged, “it was all very hush hush, I think. My dad did all the investigating. No one would tell me any thing, in fact,” she added, “no one ever has.”
“So it’s a mystery to you?” Kate nodded, fingering her necklace anxiously.
“I don’t want you to think I’m still like that – empty and lifeless. I was for about five months or so after the… murder.”
Murder, it was such a cold, harsh, feelingless word; it sent chills down Sirius spine.
“Merlin, Katriona, I’m not surprised.”
“I am a whole lot better now. Especially since I’ve gotten to talk about it,” she said sincerely.
“But why,” asked Sirius gently, “haven’t you spoken about it before?”
Kate shrugged casually, “who would I speak to? I’ve always thought no one could understand. I was in denial, I think. For an extremely long time, I probably still am. It would be too painful to talk about it and not get the message across, not being understood, it’s an awful feeling.”
“But your parents?” She stared at Sirius hard.
“Oh Sirius, you’ve had horrible parents, would you want to talk to them about some thing even if they also went through it?”
“But that’s different, you’re parents aren’t bad,” argued Sirius, then he added, “well, you’re mum isn’t.”
“But she’s not the most “Let’s- talk-about-our-feelings” person is she? Hell, she doesn’t even let emotion show on her face. As for my dad – ” she suddenly fell quiet and Sirius abruptly remembered her bruise she had when he’d first arrived at her house.
He hesitated slightly, egging her on, “your dad?”
“Isn’t the most feeling person either,” she answered quickly. But Sirius knew she had been going to say some thing else, some thing that would just answer all the suspicions and questions rolling around in his mind.
“I think I could picture that, even having never met him, being a Slytherin and all.”
Kate nodded in agreement, “not that he wasn’t unfeeling about his son dying. Oh no, no no. He was horrified indeed. Marcel was his favourite, you see.”
All this information was fitting together like little pieces of a huge jigsaw puzzle in Sirius’ head.
“Reckons it should’ve been me instead.” Sirius turned his head to her sharply.
“He said that??”
“No, he didn’t need to. I saw it in his eyes. I still see it in his eyes, especially when he – ” she stopped short again, clapping her hand to her mouth. She looked around nervously, anywhere but at Sirius. She giggled nervously, “Now you’ve got me talking I just cant seem to stop…”
Her voice drifted off into the air. Sirius looked down at her in his arms and a totally new feeling washed over him. Her vivid blue eyes were transfixed, gazing across the lushes garden, her bottom lip caught between her teeth, the new tiny diamond glinting on her nose and her soft chestnut hair blowing gently with the wind. Before Sirius knew it, he was leaning closer to her, their eyes suddenly locking… their lips suddenly meeting…
A/N: sorry! it seems a bit short....
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