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Chapter 15 : Misery Business
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If you don't read The Life Dissertation of Lovette Luclare beforehand, you'll be as confused as I am about why I have to get so many shots when I go to the doctor : (. Okay...so it was only one, but still!
Still crying over Deathly Hallows...God!
Filler. Sorry. I’ll get to the good stuff later.
“Serves him right...the stupid git...”
Lovette did not respond to the mutterings of her fiancée as the two made their way back to their London flat.
At the news of Regulus Black’s death, Lovette had not said anything. She wasn’t sure what to say. She wasn’t even sure if she had the right to say anything at all...
But there had been that one minor detail that Lovette had left out of her thrilling tale concerning the mission that had so unduly ripped Brenna from the Earth: Regulus had saved Lovette’s life. And at the sour mood Sirius was in at hearing of his brother’s death, Lovette didn’t think it necessary to inform him of Regulus’ deed. Mostly because she wasn’t sure how Sirius would react.
“Always had it coming to him...” She could hear Sirius continue to mutter as he clanged about the kitchen now. The noises of cabinet doors slamming shut and shoes on linoleum resounded from the room.
“Don’t you think its odd though...how he was killed by Death Eaters?” Lovette finally spoke up as she now stood in the kitchen doorway. Her voice was not as casual as she would have hoped. Lovette cringed as she saw Sirius stand still at the tiny note of timidity in her voice.
Sirius turned to Lovette, an incredulous expression on his hardened features. Lovette could almost feel herself shrinking back. Sirius was scaring her a little...
“No. I don’t think its odd how he got killed by his own comrades. Whatever the git did, it must have been really stupid.” Lovette could hear the edge in his voice, causing her to bite back the response that she had ready about it being stupid that Regulus saved her. But then again, Sirius didn’t even know that Regulus had saved Lovette...
“Well...maybe it wasn’t stupid. Maybe he was doing something-”
“Something what? Noble? Psh...my brother doesn’t have a noble fiber in his existence.” Sirius spat icily as he glared at Lovette. His stare seemed to be one challenging Lovette to prove his vendetta against his brother wrong.
Lovette swallowed, looking down at the linoleum tiles on the kitchen floor. She knew the second she said her next sentence, Sirius would be furious...
“He’s still your brother.” At first, Lovette was not sure if Sirius had heard her or not, she had been extremely soft while saying this.
Within moments, however, Lovette was positive that Sirius had heard her.
Lovette found herself face to face with Sirius. She could feel herself shrinking back again at the menacing look on his features. His brows were creased in a frown as his eyes were sharp with rage. Lovette now could feel her body tremble slightly; he looked like he was going to hit her. Was this really the Sirius that she had known for years?
“You have no idea.” Sirius’ voice was slow so Lovette could hear every ominous note. He was so close to her that she could feel his breath on her cheek, momentarily, Lovette had a fleeting reminiscence of Regulus being this close to her...
With this last argument, Regulus finally stood up from his seat, his smirk grander than it had been before he had joined the friends. He swung his schoolbag over his shoulder and lean into Lovette, almost as if to kiss her.
But instead of their lips meeting as Lovette had feared, his lips went to her ear. His greasy black hair seemed greatly unworthy as it grazed the porcelain skin of her face. She heard every breath he took as his voice whispered the words she dreaded.
“You’ll never have him.”
Lovette wasn’t sure what to do. If she said anything more, she was sure Sirius would do something they both would regret later. But if she did nothing, Sirius would just let his feelings concealed inside of him, bottled up. Lovette swallowed, not daring to look up at Sirius.
“I would be upset if one of my sisters died.” Lovette whispered, looking down at her and Sirius’ feet. They were so close, the toes of his shoes met hers.
Sirius scoffed, causing his warm breath to hit Lovette’s cheek. Lovette turned her head to the side, her neck now exposed to Sirius. And again, she felt a warm sensation wash over her as she remembered a time when Sirius had had her neck at his mercy. But that had been a completely different circumstance...
It was after class and the corridors and halls were filled with students, making it impossible to walk at your own pace or in a different direction. Lovette sighed, allowing her classmates to push and thrust her through the stampede.
With a screech of shock, Lovette was pulled to the side of the corridor, into an old secret passage that she often found herself using.
“Shh.” Lovette heard as she looked up to see a grinning Sirius. Lovette rolled her eyes.
“And what to you plan to do now that you have me here?” She asked playfully as Sirius leaned closer and closer to her. Sirius’ grin grew, if possible, even wider.
“You’ll see.” He said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. Lovette then found her neck being attacked by Sirius’ lips.
The couple missed two of their classes that day.
“You don’t get it, do you?” Lovette was quickly snapped back to reality as Sirius’ low voice came to her ears. She cringed again, knowing this wasn’t going to end as planned, “Regulus has never been a brother to me as your sisters have been sisters to you. The only thing that connects Regulus and I is our blood.”
Sirius scoffed again. Lovette could feel him shaking his head as her eyes continued to avoid his face.
“You just don’t get it.” Sirius whispered again. With that, he turned at left, continuing his search of the kitchen for something that most likely wasn’t there.
But Lovette wasn’t finished.
“That doesn’t mean that you still don’t feel bad.” She whispered.
The time between Sirius hearing Lovette’s words, and darting back to her and grabbing her shoulders to look at him square in the eye was a blur. But there was something in the rough way that he handled her that really shook Lovette.
“You have no right to say that to me!” He snarled, squeezing her arms in a less than gentle manner, “You have no idea what that...that...thing has put me through!
“Try growing up with a brother that was everything you weren’t! A brother that your parents loved more than you because you weren’t exactly ‘up to par’ with their standards! This started since the day I was sorted into freakin’ Gryffindor! My family hates me because I think a little bit different. Because I wasn’t into their whole ‘pureblood mania’ shit. Think of how honored dear Regulus will be once they find out he was killed in the line of duty being a Death Eater! They’ll probably give him a memorial!”
Lovette was at a loss for words. Not only was Sirius actually mentioning his family, he sounded rather distraught at the fact that he was no longer considered at part of the Black family. Was he really jealous of Regulus because his family loved Regulus more than they did their first-born?
“Sirius...” Still Lovette couldn’t think of a proper thing to say to her fiancée to make him feel any better. It wasn’t like he was about to listen either.
Sirius put his hand of to silence Lovette, finally letting go of her arms. He shook his head, giving her a sympathetic look.
“There isn’t anything you can say Lovette. You know its true. I’m a...a...a screw-up in my family’s eye. They don’t care. Which is exactly why I don’t either.”
He pushed past Lovette, lightly brushing her arm with his own, and out of the kitchen.
“You are not a screw-up.” Lovette said inaudibly as Sirius made his way to a destination in the house unknown to Lovette. She heard him stop when she said this, “Not to me. And it shouldn’t matter what you’re parents think anymore. You have so many other people in your life that love and care about you. That should be enough. Hasn’t always been?” Lovette now turned around to face Sirius who was still in close proximity to the kitchen doorway, “I love you. And if my family didn’t care about me and you still did...that would be enough for me.”
Lovette was the one to move now. She walked towards Sirius, a disappointed expression painted on her face. She reached up and gently caressed his cheek.
"And you were the one who won me. Not Regulus. Don't I count as some kind of accomplishment? He died alone. You won't. Isn't that enough?"
Lovette smiled bitterly, taking her hand down.
“It always will be enough for me.” She said. And with that she turned on her heel and left the flat, Disapparating into the night.
“Lily? James?” Cautiously, Lovette stepped into the Potter household, finally escaping the December chill of Godric’s Hollow.
“Oh...hello Lovette.” Lily Potter peeked her head out from the kitchen, a weak smile on her face. Lovette waved, taking her coat off and placing it on one of the armchairs in the living room before making her way to the kitchen.
“So...is James not here?” Lovette ventured as she took a seat at the kitchen table. Lily was baking something, the sweet doughy smell filling the room.
“No.” Lily said, bending down to be eye level with her stove to check her baking sweets’ progress, “Why? Did you need to talk to him?” Lily asked, her eyes still scrutinizing the baked goods. Lovette shook her head, then realizing that Lily could not see her.
“No. I was just wondering.” Lily stood up, rubbing her hands together as she leaned on a countertop, facing Lovette.
“James is on some kind of Auror trip...thing.” Lily added, attempting a nonchalant tone. Lovette, however, was not fooled. She knew Lily did not like it when James left for Auror missions, just like Sirius didn’t like it when Lovette did. However, Lovette was not invited to this new mission. She did not know why, but she did not care much. Lovette was glad to get the night off.
“Oh.” Lovette said, not able to think of anything else to add. The two stood in a silence, neither uncomfortable nor at ease.
Lovette tapped her fingernails on the kitchen table, grinding her teeth together. Lily tilted her head to the side, recognizing Lovette’s nervous habits at once. Lily sighed, taking a seat across from Lovette at the table.
“Are you alright?” Lily asked sincerely, her emerald eyes boring into Lovette’s.
“I’m fine.” Lovette lied, not meeting her friend’s gaze. Lily pursed her lips, also identifying this sign as one of lying.
“Lovette.” Lily said reproachfully, though her voice was rather subdued. Lovette sighed, bringing her hands up to her forehead and running them slowly through her head. She looked down at the table, resting her elbows on the young wooden surface.
“It’s Sirius.” Lovette said, looking back up at Lily. Lily could slightly detect a wet glaze over Lovette’s eyes...or was it just the angle of the lighting? Nevertheless, Lily reached her hand out to Lovette, grasping her friend’s elbow tenderly as solace.
“Is he okay?” Lily asked, referring to his younger brother’s recent death. Lovette shook her head.
“You see, that’s not the thing. The thing is...is that he’s not upset about it. He’s just...jealous that his parents will be more upset about Regulus’ death than...than...than they would be his death.” Lovette’s voice broke slightly at her last few words, as though the thought of Sirius’ parents outliving him upset her.
Which it does.
“Did he tell you this?” Lily asked, her brows furrowed. It was hard to believe, for her, that Sirius would ever admit to being jealous of the way the Blacks held Regulus in a higher regard than they did him. But this strange theory was quickly crushed as Lovette shook her head again.
“No. I kind of...assumed it. But you know how Mr. and Mrs. Black are. They do like Regulus more than they liked Sirius. They must be crushed that he’s...dead.” Again, Lily felt that Lovette was having a hard time voicing her thoughts. But this struck an even stranger tune since Lovette was talking about Regulus and not Sirius.
“I mean, Regulus was a Death Eater. The Blacks must love him for doing something against Muggles and Muggleborns since they hate them too-”
“Its disgusting that they could like Regulus more tha-”
“But then again, any good parent would love their chil-”
“LOVETTE!” Lovette was startled at Lily’s volume.
Is it safe for a pregnant lady scream like that?...
“Yeah?” Lovette asked, furrowing her brows.
“Are you upset about Regulus being dead?”
Lovette sat for a moment, her mouth open. She wasn’t sure if she was shocked at such a disdainful idea...or because she truly didn’t know if she was upset about his death. Regulus had certainly not been her friend. But then again, he had not been her mortal enemy.
He tried to kill me. The rational, Lily-like side of Lovette’s brain nagged.
No. He saved me. The not-so-rational, optimistic half of Lovette reminded.
It was true though; Regulus had saved Lovette’s life. And that was not a detail to be overlooked.
Regulus’ death was upsetting, Lovette concluded, because I no longer have a Death Eater that’s going to come to my rescue.
The problem still remained: Was Lovette going to tell Lily her honest feelings on the subject? Lovette had yet to tell Lily of Regulus’ good deed. But Lovette had never any intention of doing so. That had remained a secret between James, Brenna and Lovette (including the Death Eaters present, but it was unlikely that they would ever speak of it again seeing that one of their own had actually rescued his enemy). An unspoken pact, but a pact nonetheless. Was Lovette about to tell Lily though?
But another problem wedged its way into the equation; Would Lily be able to see the issue from Lovette’s point of view? Lily had known of Regulus’ “harassment” of Lovette in school, and she had seen his presence at her wedding, but would Lily be about to overlook those details to see Lovette’s side? Lovette knew Lily was very stubborn and somewhat close-minded...it would be hard to explain it clearly to Lily without getting Lily’s oh-so-famous skeptical expression.
“He saved me.” Lovette said quietly, clasping her hands together in front of her and examining them. It was merely a distraction for the surprised look that she knew had dawned upon Lily’s features.
“He what?” Lily asked, slightly leaning over the table to show her eagerness to know the story. It was not, however, a good type of eagerness. But a rigid, need-to-know fervor. Lovette was strongly reminded of Professor McGonagall at the news that Lovette and Sirius had charmed the Hogwarts suits of armor to kick people in the rear as they walked past them in the hallway. But it was a different situation now. Lovette was not close to laughter and she was sure Lily was not going to assign her detention.
“He saved me.” Lovette repeated, now looking up to meet the shock that she knew had painted itself on Lily’s face, “During the mission where Brenna...died. He saved me from getting killed.”
“Why?” Lily asked, shaking her head to illustrate her incredulity. Lovette shrugged, “I thought he hated you! I thought you hated him.”
Lovette was not sure how to respond to this. Did she really ever hate Regulus? Yes. And no. He had really been more annoying that despicable to Lovette. Of course, Lovette played it off as hating him, but she never really wanted him to jump off a bridge...
“I don’t know.” Lovette finally said carefully, after a few moments of consideration, “I guess I didn’t really hate him...he was really more irritating.”
“But he didn’t like-”
“He did like me, that’s the thing. Not like, love me. He...he said he respected me.”
Lily stayed quiet for a moment, leaning back in her chair slightly to contemplate the new information. She took a deep breath before addressing Lovette again.
“Does Sirius know Regulus saved you?”
Lovette winced, knowing that Lily was not going to like her answer.
“No.” Lily sighed again, crossing her arms and resting them on the table .
“Do you think you should tell him?” Lily asked, her tone reminding Lovette of her mother. But instead of conceding, Lovette shook her head.
“No. No, I don’t.”
“And why is that?” Lily asked, her auburn eyebrows raised.
“Because Sirius will hate Regulus even more than he already does.” Lovette whispered, resting an elbow on the table and cradling her chin.
But Lovette received the strangest look from Lily. It was not, however, the incredulous expression that she had been expecting but a curious, puzzled look.
“How do you figure that?” Lily inquired. Lovette chuckled bitterly, shaking her head as she rubbed her eyes from behind her glasses.
“Because Regulus saved me.”
“I know but-”
“Regulus did. Not Sirius. Sirius has this distinct personality that he should be the one that is always there for me. The one to always save me. If I tell him what Regulus did...he’ll be even more angry. We already know that Regulus excelled in the category of ‘family love’. Which is so much more than Sirius can say for that. But if Regulus beats him out in the category of ‘hero to damsel in distress’, it would kill him. I don’t know if its just Sirius’ pride, or his persona...but I just know that that is something I can’t tell him.”
Lily sat for a moment, stewing in Lovette’s theory. It was five minutes later that Lily finally answered,
“But shouldn’t you be able to tell Sirius everything?”
Lovette finally arrived home at four in the morning, when James had gotten back from his mission and was there for Lily. Lovette, not wanting to be a third wheel, tiredly made her way back to her flat.
Though she was still not sold on telling Sirius of Regulus’ endeavor, Lovette just felt the need to crawl into bad and fall asleep to Sirius’ even breathing.
Lazily kicking open the door to the apartment, Lovette yawned as she took in the darkness. She had not recalled it being their dark when she had left, but at that point, she didn’t care. She just needed to sleep.
“Sirius?” Lovette called out, exhaustion laced in her voice. She sighed, knowing that if he was asleep, he was probably not able to hear her. Sirius had always been an exceedingly heavy sleeper.
Stumbling in the darkness, Lovette finally made her way to the bedroom, yet again kicking open the half-closed door.
“Sirius?” Lovette beckoned again, though trying to keep her voice in a whisper in case her fiancée was asleep.
But as she approached the bed, Lovette noticed that Sirius was not there. His sleeping form was nowhere to be seen.
Sighing half in frustration and half in fatigue Lovette sat delicately on the edge of the bed. She resting her elbows on her thighs and leaned her forehead in the palms of her hands.
“And I’m alone again.”
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