Chapter 4 : Unfold
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I woke rather early the next morning, before any of the other girls. I showered, dried my hair, dressed in the horrendous school uniform, and then headed downstairs. I wanted to be in and out of breakfast quickly, before anyone could think about sitting with me and starting up an inane conversation on some trivial subject that neither of us care about, yet they still wish to talk about.
I walked through the eerily quiet corridors down to the Great Hall. There were only a few students up this early, dotted around the room, most in Ravenclaw, I noticed. I took my seat at the end of the Gryffindor table, and then surveyed the food before me.
My stomach growled in anticipation of a proper breakfast. Back in Beauxbatons I used to miss breakfast most mornings, not wishing to endure 30 minutes of mindless banter with a bunch of unintelligent fools. I had few friends when I attended Beauxbatons, and those who I would give the title of ‘friend’ were probably no more than acquaintances, whom I talked to on a regular basis.
A friend is somebody who you are emotionally close to, whom you have a close personal relationship of mutual affection and trust with.
This is why I would never have classed any of my acquaintances as friends, I didn’t trust them, and I was never emotionally close to them.
The only person I have ever really trusted, ever really had an emotional connection with was Sirius.
And we can all see how that ended, and what it has become.
I took a piece of toast and slathered it with butter, my mind drifting to the previous nights events. It had gone better than expected, I suppose. A bruised wrist was all I had garnered from the experience.
I glanced at my wrist, casually hidden beneath my long-sleeved white shirt, as I took a bite of toast. It was bruised quite badly, and was still quite tender. However, one must always find the positives in such situations. At least it is my left wrist, and not my right, at least I can write without wincing every 5 seconds.
A small consolation, but a consolation nonetheless.
“Good morning.” Came a bright voice. I turned and saw Lily Evans taking the seat opposite me. “Have a nice sleep?”
“It was pleasant.”
“I hope Jessica and her friends didn’t keep you up all night.” She said, “They talk a lot.”
“I noticed.” I said half-heartedly, stabbing at the piece of bacon I had placed on my plate.
‘Don’t play with your food dear, its unbecoming.’ My mothers voice suddenly came to mind, and in defiance of her stupid rules I decided to stab more furiously at the poor piece of bacon sitting silently on my plate.
A short, yet awkward, silence suffocated the conversation then. A part of me wanted to ask her about herself, to enjoy her company. But another part was searching the Great Hall, wary of prying eyes who may go back to my brother.
“Did you have a nice sleep?” I finally asked formally.
The former urge won the mini battle waging in my mind.
“Oh yes.” She answered, “I always do on the first night. At home I have to share a room with my sister, and she snores like a 60 year old man! She’s always happy when I come off to Hogwarts because she gets a room to herself.”
“You’re sister doesn’t come here?” I asked.
“Oh no… she’s a muggle.” She said.
“So, you’re a muggle-born?”
She nodded, and then looked at me, gauging my reaction to this news.
Oh great, I’m sitting with a muggle-born. I’m possibly making friends with a muggle-born. My brother is going to like this.
I didn’t care. But I knew they would.
She seemed to accept my acceptance of this news and carried on, “When I got my letter I thought it was a joke. I’m a very rational person, so I thought it was just Petunia- that’s my sister- making a joke… but then more letters came, and then this man… and he explained everything. My parents were really shocked, but proud. ‘Tunia wasn’t, she thinks I’m a freak…” She shrugged, “But I love it. I mean, its really amazing… magic, that is. We can do so much to help people.”
“Or hurt them.” I said quietly, staring down at the mangled piece of bacon on my plate, with a feeling faint sense of pride in a job well done.
“Well, yes.” She said, shifting uncomfortably. “But even Muggles have that problem. There are bad people and good people, there are prejudices.”
She looked at me, her eyes saturated with kindness.
But what was there for me to do?
If I were friends with her, if any older Slytherin were to see me even conversing with her, my fate would be sealed. Best case scenario I would be forced to leave the school, and perhaps be disowned. Worst case scenario…
“What happened to your wrist?” She suddenly asked, her eyes boring into the bruises encircling my left wrist. I dragged my hand back and slipped it under the table.
“Nothing.” I answered.
“It’s fine.” I snapped, more aggressive than I had wanted.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a second, “It’s fine.” I repeated, softly this time, “I’m sorry I snapped.”
She smiled again, “It doesn’t matter.”
“Miss. Evans. Miss. Bennet.” I looked to my right and saw Professor McGonagall approaching us, “Your schedules.” She handed me a piece of paper, and then gave one to Lily. “I hope you are settling in well Miss. Bennet.”
“As well as can be expected, Professor.” I said.
She coughed uncomfortably, “Yes, well, make sure you behave, we can’t have you losing points for Gryffindor like some members of this house.”
“Speak of the Devils.” Lily muttered under her breath. I turned and saw Sirius and his 3 friends entering the Great Hall, laughing obnoxiously.
Professor McGonagall sighed, “Will they ever change?” She said quietly.
Whether she wanted Lily and I to hear I could not tell.
“Miss. Evans, can you give Potter, Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew their schedules?”
“Em… yes… of course Professor.” Lily said, obviously annoyed, yet wanting to keep the teacher happy, as she took the 4 pieces of paper from McGonagall. McGonagall then turned and headed down the table, back towards the teachers table.
Lily frowned, “Now I have to speak to him.” She muttered, shivering in, what seemed like, disgust. She turned her attention to the 4 approaching boys, “Potter.” She said, her voice resonating with authority. James’ head turned towards her immediately, and a goofy grin appeared on his otherwise handsome face, and he sauntered over.
“Yes, my love?”
Lily scowled, and I smirked, as she handed the 4 pieces of paper to James. “Your schedules.”
“Oh.” He said, the smile disappearing from his face for a second, before it reappeared. “Can we sit…”
“No.” Lily said, at the same time as Sirius.
I smirked, “Don’t worry Black, I’m gone.” I stood up, “Enjoy your breakfast.”
His eyes darkened. The anger in his eyes sent a aching feeling through my body, and I suddenly felt rather miserable.
I mentally slapped myself when that inane thought entered my head. Why should I let him make me feel miserable?
Yet, I had to admit to myself that the look of… hatred in his eyes hurt.
But I wouldn’t let him see that.
He caught my eyes with his, and I found that I couldn’t move. His eyes bore into mine, like he was systematically knocking down all the walls that I had put up to protect myself. The intensity in his gaze frightened me, I suddenly felt the urge to run, to get as far away from Sirius Black as possible.
I clenched and unclenched my fists, then blinked, releasing myself from the strange hold he seemed to have had over me. Setting my lips in a thin line to convey by distaste, I turned from him dramatically and headed out of the Great Hall, my heart beating furiously in my chest.
I refused to allow him to have this affect on me. I refused to let him do this to me.
What else did he bloody expect from me? This is not a game. It is my life.
But what kind of life is it?
It is nothing more than a lie.
And this lie that I have set everything upon is slowly unfolding.
Everything is about to come tumbling down.
Or as some say: The shit is about to hit the fan.
And there is very little I, or anyone else, can do about it.
Oh, what a wonderful life…
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