Chapter Four: Comparable to Devil's Snare
Thirty seconds later Isabelle was still clutching Sirius' robes while she cried, but she didn't dare disconnect the eye contact that she had with him. "Say anything," she managed to say in a high cracked voice.
Sirius stood there completely still looking at Isabelle. Her strong exterior was completely torn away and she was standing in front of him, crying and pleading. She was completely vulnerable, in every way imaginable. This wasn't the Isabelle that he once knew. The Isabelle that he knew would be able to handle the weight of the world on her shoulders; she took everything in stride and made the best of even the worst situations. That's what originally attracted Sirius to her. He could remember like it was yesterday:
"Isabelle, look at me!" Sirius commanded. It was the beginning of the second term during their sixth year, right after Christmas break and Isabelle had just returned to the castle. She had spent the vacation with her mother and her step-father in the Alps.
"Sirius, honestly, I'm perfectly fine, please, just tired," Isabelle said in a rather nervous voice. She had gone straight up to her dormitory instead of eating dinner so that no one would see her, but to her dismay she ran right into Sirius as soon as the portrait door opened.
Sirius was quite annoyed at the moment; something happened to Isabelle; she wouldn't look at him. She had walked into the common room, and upon Sirius' greeting had automatically covered her face and turned around. "Isabelle, I swear, I'll go downstairs right now and get Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore if you don't turn around and look at me."
In a few moments time Isabelle admitted defeat and turned around to face Sirius; she had a bruise on her right cheekbone and a half healed gash that extended from above her upper lip to right below her lower lip. "Can I go now?"
It took a few seconds for Sirius to react. "Go? No! Who did this to you?"
"It's really nothing," Isabelle answered. There was the creaking of the portrait being opened; people were coming back from dinner. "I have to go!"
"No, not until you tell me what happened."
Isabelle grabbed Sirius' hand. She knew he would be persistent and it would be better if only he knew, not all of Gryffindor. "Come with me, I'll explain. Oh, and don't step on the sixth step. Jump twice on the fifth step with both feet and hop over the sixth."
This was how Sirius learned how to get into the girl's dormitory unannounced and uninvited.
"You can't say anything," Isabelle pleaded. She went over towards her trunk and dug into the bottom of it until she pulled out what looked like a common makeup compact mirror; she opened it and dabbed a bit of the powder on her cheekbone and lip—the bruise and gash began to heal themselves.
Sirius looked handsomely confused. "I-I-I-I-can't promise anything, but I would appreciate if you told me what was going on."
She wrinkled her nose, something she did when she was deep in thought, and sighed. "You know my Dad died."
"Yes—" Isabelle's father had died when she was thirteen; he was murdered and no one knew why or, most chillingly, by whom. Her Mom remarried soon after to a man that was a good friend of Sirius' father. Needless to say, everyone except Isabelle's Mom knew that he was trouble.
"Faulkner," she simply stated with a hint of rage in her voice.
Faulkner is the surname of Isabelle's step-father. She went on to explain, through much prying and threatening from Sirius, that he wasn't a very kind man and took a lot of his anger out on Isabelle. Isabelle soon realized that Faulkner was a part of Voldemort's followers called Death Eaters, but she couldn't say anything. For, if she did, she was told that there would be grave consequences. Isabelle had forgotten her compact mirror in her trunk at school so she was unable to mend the bruises while she was on the train on her way back to Hogwarts like she usually did.
Sirius was deeply moved by Isabelle's reaction to the situation. He automatically wanted to go to Dumbledore and get this man arrested, but, she kept her ground and wouldn't budge. She explained that if she said anything that the ones she loved would be hurt and she couldn't bare anymore suffering within her family. Isabelle firmly believed that in time her step-father would pay his dues, but until then she had to keep her mother safe. Sirius realized that it took a very, very strong person to do what she was doing and he respected her ever since.
He was pulled back to the present where Isabelle was no longer calm and collected; she was truly suffering within herself. Sirius moved his hands, pried Isabelle's hands off his robes and held them in his own. He took a deep breath, let go of Isabelle's hands and moved forward, wrapped his arms around her and held her close. Sirius put his chin on top of her head and whispered a barely audible, "I'm sorry."
He felt Isabelle quiver in his arms and press her face deeper into his chest as she started sobbing heavier than before. Sirius let her continue to cry and he looked across the room at Isabelle's bed and closed his eyes. What had he done? How could he have been so foolish? So ignorant? He had been so stoic for so long that it felt like he was unable to feel.
Isabelle pulled herself away from Sirius and wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her cloak. Her blonde hair fell in front of her face and even with a mangled look she still radiated beauty and strength. She looked up at the man in front of her to finally see emotion in Sirius' eyes. His usual sparkle in his grey eyes was concealed by a sadness in which she had never seen upon his face.
Sirius took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his jet black hair. "I can't promise you that everything is going to be alright," he began, slowly while choosing his words carefully. "I-I-I-don't know what I'm supposed to be—err—doing, but I can try to help. It is as much as my mess as it is yours."
She didn't answer him but just nodded; she understood. She didn't expect Sirius to be her knight in shinning armor. She didn't expect him to make everything better , but she was grateful and genuinely relieved by his few words.
The Marauders and Lily half expected Sirius and Isabelle to get back together automatically and for Sirius to have some sort of epiphany, but neither of those events happened. The pair was friendly, but not overly friendly or emotional towards each other. They seemed more like acquaintances, but in all honesty it was a far cry from where they were originally. Sirius didn't have any sort of revelation or epiphany either, he was still uneasy about the fact that he was going to be a father in a few months, but he was slowly, yes, slowly, getting used to the idea.
"Sirius Junior!" James cackled. Sirius, Remus and James were lounging around an empty Gryffindor common room on a Sunday afternoon. Well—it was more like Sunday morning for the boys because they had just woken up, but for all intensive purposes it was actually noon.
Sirius wished James would stop reminding him of the situation, so he attempted to ignore him. He knew that ultimately James would start up again on the whole 'baby' topic, but pretending he didn't hear him would definitely give him a good five minutes. It wasn't as though he didn't know what was awaiting him in a month; it was just that he hoped that the month would go by as slow as possible. With each day ending he knew it was just a matter of time before he really had to sit down with Isabelle and discuss their plans.
"James Black!" James bellowed and Sirius was sincerely disappointed that his silence only lasted about thirty seconds instead of the predicted five minutes.
Remus let out a chuckle. "What happens if it's a girl, James?"
James screwed up his face in concentration and stuck is wand tip in his mouth. "James-la!"
"Would you two stop it?" Sirius had finally come out of his silent mode and entered the conversation. He knew that Remus couldn't help himself and James was—well, James, was—James.
Remus sat up straighter in his cushy Gryffindor chair. "You know," he began, directing his attention towards Sirius, "you are going to have to face the fact that you're going to be a father in a month. I know you don't want to hear it, but it's the truth."
Sirius would've cleverly retorted to get himself out of an awkward situation if he found the words, but Remus was right, so Sirius just sat there looking at the fire.
"You can't just run away from home when things aren't going your way, Sirius," Isabelle commented. Isabelle was sitting at the edge of the lake with her feet just dangling above the surface. Every now and then she would let her big toe touch the water to cause a ripple effect and the surfacing of a snapping turtle looking for some afternoon snack.
It was during their sixth year and Sirius had just broken the news to Isabelle that he had moved out of his parent's house over Christmas break. "It's not like that," he commented, throwing a rock into the lake so that it skipped over the surface.
"Then what is the situation in its entirety, enlighten me." Isabelle raised her eyebrows and looked directly into his grey eyes. No one ever challenged Sirius, except her. She was the one girl that didn't take one word answers. She never told Sirius exactly what to do, but she made him fully explain himself so that he realized what he was doing wrong and then changed the situation. It was quite clever actually. Except this time, Isabelle was wrong and Sirius was actually right.
"You don't know them," he began while he stared out into the horizon. "Not like I know them," he continued. "You know them from fancy pureblood dinner parties in which they dress appropriately and act appropriately, but you don't know exactly what goes on behind closed doors. They aren't like your mother, or what your father was like; those were the good purebloods—the ones that didn't necessarily care about class. My family is different—it's all about class. Going home is utter hell, Izzy. There's constant talk about how I shouldn't be associating with James, Remus and Lily. I'm the subject of ridicule, the black sheep in the family. I can't anymore. No—I refuse. I'm done with that life. If it means I have to give up lavish parties, a mansion and fancy clothes than so be it, as long as I have the ones I love close by my side; it doesn't matter if they're half-breeds, purebloods or muggles."
At times Sirius could be a nitwit, or an insensitive boy, but deep inside Isabelle knew that the Sirius in front of her right now was the real him. "As long as you know what you're doing," she cooed.
Sirius sat down next to Isabelle, picked her up and put her on his lap. "My uncle gave me a bit of money, though. How about I buy us a house? It’ll have a white picket fence and a huge pitch in the back for Quidditch. You won't ever have to see your step-father again."
"Don't tempt me, Black," Isabelle replied sarcastically.
"No, I mean it." Sirius had a look of determination upon his face. "Honestly. You and I—together; no families holding us back."
"Sure." Isabelle knew that he was just talking in the moment—well, at least she pushed herself to believe that anyway.
"And kids!" He had ignored her last comment and continued voicing his thoughts. "We'd have beautiful children, you know."
Isabelle put her finger to Sirius lips to silence him, she didn't want to hear anymore. She didn’t want to get her hopes up that there would be anything more with Sirius than what they had right now. Whenever he started talking about the future and how they would be together Isabelle found it easier to quickly disengage the conversation; call it a defense mechanism against getting hurt. She kissed him. Sirius pulled away with a devilish look on his face.
"How about we give that whole making kid's thing a whirl?" He questioned.
Isabelle conveniently realized that she had forgotten something in the library and rushed back towards the castle immediately.
"He knows!" Lily burst into the Gryffindor common room with a look of sheer horror upon her usually calm face. She ran her fingers through her auburn hair out of frustration and began cursing in what seemed to be French.
The three boys in the common room sat there perplexed. James was just about to speak up when Isabelle walked into the room behind Lily. Isabelle's face was gaunt and her cheeks sunken into her face. Her usual bright eyes were robbed of all their sparkle and she held her non-existent stomach with both arms.
"What—?" Remus took the initiative and asked the question on the other boy's minds.
Lily stopped cursing in French and looked at Remus and then back to Isabelle. A moment prior she had been filled to the brim with what seemed to be an overwhelming amount of diatribe and now she was silent.
"Snape saw my reflection in a mirror, quite clearly," Isabelle managed to choke up. Even though it was barely audible everyone heard it loud and clear.
A/N: Hi everyone!! Thank you so much for the reviews!! Each and every one truly puts a smile on my face! I hope everyone likes this chapter. I wanted to give more insight into the important aspects Isabelle and Sirius' past. As I showed there, she challenged Sirius to elaborate and wasn't the type of girl that was completely mesmorized by him. Also, we see that Isabelle pureblood and their families intermingle and, most importantly, her step-father is a Death Eater. She isn't the perfect girlfriend and she doesn't have the perfect life, but she's trying to work through it the best that she knows how.
Please Review : )
HUGE thanks to tehcutestEM for the amazing chapter image!!