Edit: 18 January 2009. This is where I started the "changing of plotline" editing. If you're a first time reader, ignore this. If, for whatever reason, you're re-reading. Read my beginning A/N in Chapter Fourteen or you will be super confused.
Image by siriuslyxosmitten @ TDA
Chapter Eleven: Of New Prospects
The next day was Saturday, so I still pondered on what Black had related to me the previous morning. I probably should not have believed him just because, well, it was Sirius Black, but the feeling still resided. If my boyfriend was making me out to be some slag there would be hell to pay. I had most definitely not
engaged in any sort of sexual activity with Michael Rickol. If he was spreading such things around—my affection for him dimmed at the very thought.
I found the perfect opportunity as I descended the stairs leading from the girl’s Dormitory. “James!” I called, shoving my hands into my pockets as I jogged to catch up.
He was by himself, one foot already out the open portrait hole.
“Hey,” he greeted me as I fell into step beside him. He allowed the portrait of the Fat Lady to swing shut behind the two of us.
I decided to just jump straight to the bait. “Can I ask you an off the record question?”
He raised one eyebrow. “Off the record of what
“Your friends and whatnot.”
He considered it. “Okay.”
“Yesterday morning, after you flooded the Great Hall, did Michael tell all you guys about…that we were…that I was easy?”
James hesitated a moment too long. “He didn’t say you were easy
I stopped in my tracks and crossed my arms. “Black said Pettigrew asked about American girls.”
He opened and closed his mouth several times, definitely preparing to deny it. “Well…”
“Don’t bother lying to me.”
“…we were just being boys,” he muttered very quietly.
So Michael had really done it. He had gotten overconfident with himself and slipped up. Typical. Right now it seemed like the only logical thing left to do was end the relationship. A false rumour such as that being spread around school would be a disaster. I could not have the reputation I worked so hard on go down the tubes. There was a certain thing called respect, and apparently my so-called knight in shining armour didn’t pay me any.
“Are we still off the record?”
“What he said wasn’t true…I just…didn’t want you to think that low of me.”
“Shame,” he muttered.
“Nothing.” He must have seen the look on my face, for he started walking again and said, “Look, I gotta go. I have a meeting with Evans.”
“Wait!” His attempt to distract me worked. “Aren’t you in trouble for the rain yesterday?”
“Yeah, but that meeting’s not for another half hour.”
“What a busy man you are.” I rolled my eyes.
“He dumped her.”
Somehow, he already knew I was talking about Lily and Will Stelle, Gryffindor Seeker. I could not be sure if I had ever seen a happier boy.
Jane had joined me from her table as I spread marmalade on my English muffin.
Lily was meeting with James and I had an inkling that Clara had snuck off on an escapade with Andy in the village of Hogsmeade.
The two of us spoke lightly on varying topics: school, the upcoming Christmas Holiday, friends she had in the Hufflepuff house. It was not until I began to take violent bites of my sausage did we get around to what Michael had said.
“That’s absolutely horrid!” she exclaimed once I had finished.
“Tell me about it.”
“Why would he do such a thing?”
I shrugged. “Pardon me,” I said, standing up abruptly.
“Where are you going?”
“To dump Michael’s sorry arse.”
I sounded more confident then I really was. Having had very minimal experience dating, I had zero when it came to ending relationships. I was not sure if I was overreacting, but I felt like if it hurt this much inside, there must be something wrong. I had enough logic to see that.
I put my hands in the pockets of my robes so that no one could see they were shaking uncontrollably. Even through that, I was resisting the temptation to run over and yank out Michael’s tongue to silence him for all eternity. All affection I ever felt for him had suddenly vanished. I shoved both my fear and anger into a bottle within my mind and corked it.
Without hesitating, I sat down on the bench beside Michael, which I had done so commonly that no one looked twice.
He looked up through his mouth full of French toast and swallowed. “Hey.” He leaned in to try and kiss me, but I was ready for it and ducked away. He looked at me questioningly.
“I want to break up.” How I had known how to say that was beyond me. Maybe every female was programmed at birth with the ability to end bad relationships.
Michael was gaping at me, as if not really sure that he had heard me correctly.
“W-What?” he sputtered.
I crossed my arms. “You heard me.”
Merlin, I was good at this. At least, I thought I was.
“B-But why?” he asked.
Let’s see him take this…
“We never made love together.”
To my surprise, Michael sighed and then grinned. “Oh, is that what this is? Well, if you want to fix that we can do back up to the Dormitory. It’s empty now.”
He broke off in a gasp. I had picked up his goblet of iced pumpkin juice and dumped the contents all over his lap. “Maybe that’ll soothe your bloody blue balls. Next time, don’t brag about something that didn’t happen, you arse.”
I stood up and walked past my own house’s table where Jane was staring at me wide-eyed.
I stalked out into the Entrance Hall without breaking stride. It felt good. I had done it and ended the show fantastically. I could not deny that I was proud of that fact.
“You there, Miss!”
I looked over my shoulder and saw a couple standing just over the threshold of the castle.
They were in their late forties and both had a certain look about them I could not quite place. Their eyebrows knitted together and cold eyes started pointedly into my own. No hint of any sort of apologetic smile for interrupting me or greeting was issued. The woman’s black hair was pulled into a tight bun, pearl earrings dangling from her long earlobes. The man wore silk-lined robes and had his hair slicked back from his receding hairline. His temples were laced with silver and his sideburns trailed halfway down his face, giving him a slightly sinister, English-mafia type of look.
“Er…can I help you?” I asked.
It might have been a trick of the light, but I could have sworn then glanced down at the stitching at the top left of my robes, noting which house I was in.
“Yes,” said the woman. Her voice sounded as if it had been grinded through a strainer. “I’m afraid that my husband and I have a meeting with the Headmaster of this school. We did not attend here ourselves, so would you kindly lead us the way to the office?”
I frowned, trying to think exactly where Dumbledore’s office was. I had never really been there, only heard of it. Half of it was probably myth, anyway. I highly doubted that he had a secret tunnel leading to Madam Simone’s Ladies for Luxury. Honestly.
Behind me, I heard a group of voice approach as they left the Great Hall.
“Uh,” I began, swallowing. “I think if we start—,”
I paused as I saw Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew walk by. Lupin looked over at where I was standing and then nudged Black in the ribs, nodding over in my direction.
I dearly hoped they did not see the spectacle I had earlier performed with Michael—and wished harder they would not mention it, especially in front of two people.
The couple standing before me glanced at what had momentarily captured my attention.
“You! Boy!” barked the man so loudly it caused me to jump. “Get over here!”
Several heads turned at the booming voice, but they all continued to move toward their destination, not bothering to trouble themselves too heavily with the commotion.
I saw Black mutter something to his friends (Presumably about the lunatics with me) and both Lupin and Pettigrew stalked away, looking somewhat angry at something he had said. Then he began to make his way over to where we were standing.
That was when I saw it.
The man in which I had been speaking—his eyes looked exactly the same as the boy walking toward us. Hard and grey. They both left the waiter waiting for more. Now that I was looking for it, I could tell that the two men had very similar bone structure in the face.
Somehow, I had ended up in the company of Sirius Black’s parents. Small world.
I inwardly cringed, remembering how Mr. Black had used the term ‘boy’ so deplorably.
“What the hell
have you done now?” the man hissed as his son came to a halt. “Bloody owl calling us all the way out here for another one of your effing misdemeanors. What is the meaning of this, boy?”
I tried to edge out of what should
have been a very private conversation, but Mrs. Black snapped her head in my direction. “This young girl was about to show us the way to your Headmaster’s office. We are to speak to him of your punishment.”
I prayed for the will turn invisible. But Black didn’t look at me—his eyes were only for his parents. He watched them almost hungrily, almost waiting to see if they were going to say anything else. He had not moved since he had stopped walking, his two feet cemented to the floor.
“I can lead you there,” he said, his voice oddly formal, a crisp, emotionless sound that I was not accustomed to. “If you’ll follow me.”
And then they were walking away, leaving me there, quite alone.
They made it about ten metres before the woman stopped. “Regulus, Darling!”
Another group of boys, Slytherins this time, had been leaving the Great Hall. I watched as a boy who bore a striking resemblance to Black broke away to meet with the family.
Regulus Black. I remembered him. Two years below us—a Slytherin with deep ties in the Pureblood society.
While his elder brother’s features were strongly defined and accentuate, Regulus’, though similar, were more blended together and rounded, although no less handsome.
The Black brothers. The Black family. The crème of the crop. All had been legendary. They were like royalty.
I watched as the two parents greeted their younger son with smiles and pecks on each side of the cheek.
I would have thought one would be slightly embarrassed to be treated in such a way while in public, but Regulus seemed able to take it in stride, not batting an eyelash.
I could not help but wonder as to why Regulus got hugs and kisses, while the elder brother received cold stares and harsh words. Of course, it may have had something to do with the fact that he was the one in trouble, while Regulus has just happened to be in the vicinity, but I could not help but think that there was something else buried there. Just by watching their body language I could almost see the cold wall of resentment built between Black and the rest of his family—a flaw in what was supposed to be the perfect relationship.
As if he could suddenly hear my thoughts, Black pivoted his head and stared at me for the first time. The intensity of his gaze made me take a step backward and feel ashamed for even being there. I looked down, remembering how it was none of my business as to what transpired between the family.
Starting to walk away, I tried to rid the look of horrified fury on his face from my head.
It wasn’t my place to question.
“…the point is, I would really like you to reconsider.”
I had made it about twenty steps out of the Great Hall when Michael had caught up with me. Now I had been listening for five minutes as he stumbled over apologies for his wrong-doings.
I crossed my arms, wishing that he had chosen to do this in a less public place. Even now, heads turned in our directions, wondering what could be transpiring between the two of us.
“It was an accident,” he pleaded for the fifth time.
The look on his face was adorable. Last year girls had drooled over him. Yes, a slight hyperbole, but the point was that he was that boy most wanted, but never received. How common.
It almost felt wrong for me to break up with him. I had been so lucky to get a prize catch, and I was throwing it away, just like that.
This was something I had dreamed about—to have a good looking boyfriend who was also extremely nice to parade around with. Hell, this was what we all dreamed of at one point in our lives. Yes, it was shallow and self centered, but it honest to God was something every girl had done. But now that I had it—had experienced it—I realized that it wasn’t as grand as it was always made out to be in the movies and sitcoms.
“Look…Michael…It was fun—you were a great experience—but I—.”
“Just one more chance, please?”
I closed my eyes for a moment and then peered over his shoulder where a knot of seventh year Hufflepuff boys resided. They were deep in conversation, but as I looked up I caught the eye of one that was facing me from across the corridor—Anthony Wilson, if I remembered correctly. He had always been somewhat gangly, having never really filled out his long limbs. His brown hair was cut short and now stood up at all ends. After seeing me looking, he quickly bent down his head again and stared at the floor. The look on his face right before doing so was familiar, but I could not place it.
Something about the lowered eyelids and forceful frown kicked a memory into play in the back of my mind. Dusty though it may have been, the image appeared fine.
He looked like me. The countenance on Anthony’s face was the same one I had used to wear when looking at Michael during previous years. I had always known the boy, but we had almost never spoken. As I said earlier, the boy everyone wanted but very few could get.
It was a look I commonly saw in the halls during fourth, fifth, sixth year—the time when having a boyfriend was the
thing to do. Many watched other people several rungs higher on the social ladder, frequently daydreaming that the person (most often a he) in question would come and rescue her out of dangerous situations. Yeah, been there, done that. The point was that the look was not new to me. It was not hopeful. We dreamed of this specific person coming to us on their knees, claiming love and acceptance, but it did not take long for that concept to vanish into the atmosphere.
Us teenagers, we were an unhappy lot.
And now I was getting the look? Was I? I squinted, trying to make absolutely sure. I was Violet Lingdonburg, a girl who did not receive the look from the student population. But then again…Viola Rinelle, as I was now called, was different. Maybe now was her time to shine.
What was I doing? I came to school new, Lily had made me appear attractive, and I had just jumped in and started dating Michael Rickol—popular boy equal status to the Marauders. All this did was confirm what people already though would happen. According to The Plan, I was to stand up for the invisible girls—and here I was, prancing around with the wrong person—proving everyone right.
But this argument had an antithesis. My plan, at the end of the year, was to prove to men that they focused entirely too much on appearance. If I dated a bloke that was of lower status, who was much more innocent then Michael or any of the Marauders, wouldn’t it just hurt them more in the end? Shouldn’t I stick with the “big fish” because they were the ones causing the most damage?
Michael was staring at me quizzically. “So…yeah?”
Behind him, the group of Hufflepuff boys were splitting off, all going in different directions. That was when I knew what I was to do. I didn’t have to date a lower-status guy. I could certainly befriend them, though. They’re as good of people as any. This single act could change the course of the future. Maybe not, but I could at least try.
“Viola?” he repeated.
I snapped my head back to the boy in front of me, drinking in his golden appearance because I knew I’d never see it this close again. “No. I’m sorry, Michael.”
I hurried away before he could even respond, knocking shoulders with Anthony Wilson as I went. Accidentally on purpose. The stroke of friendship.
“Gosh, I’m sorry,” I muttered, not quite meeting his eye.
He waved it off. “No damage.”
I held out my hand. “I’m Viola.”
Anthony seemed unsure of how to respond at first, but then grinned. “Anthony.”
“Nice to meet you.”
There was a pause. “Cool ring,” he finally said.
“What? Oh…” I was surprised, but then remembered my nose. “Thanks.”
“Not many people at Hogwarts have one of those.”
“True. I got it right after coming to Britain.”
The weird thing was, the more I lied, the easier it became. After a while it had become almost a second nature for me to slip out a falsity instead of the truth. I did not even need to think about it.
I turned at the sound of my name. Jane was coming up behind me. “How’d it go?”
To prevent Anthony from walking away I quickly introduced him to Jane.
“So, do you two have any plans for the Winter Holiday?” I asked.
“Parents,” was Anthony’s reply.
“I’m staying here,” said Jane.
“What about you?” Anthony asked me.
“Ah,” I stopped. “I’m not really sure yet. I’ll have to talk to Clara and Lily.”
“Present!” came the voices behind me.
The two friends I had just mentioned were back.
After introducing my new friend
Anthony again I turned to them. “Where have you been?”
“Loo,” replied Clara nonchalantly, indeed confirming my suspicion that she had gone off to see Andy. Her lying was getting as good as my own.
“James and I had a meeting,” said Lily.
“Right, he told me about th—what?!”
Everyone was looking at me strangely. A half second passed and then Clara seemed to catch onto what had transpired. She looked at Lily with one eyebrow cocked. “So you were with Potter
Lily realized her mistake. She had broken the taboo on saying the dreaded first name. It didn’t make sense, for she was the one who had created the taboo all those years ago.
“Long story. Don’t ask,” she muttered under her breath.
Jane addressed Lily. “So Viola was just telling us about her Christmas plans—said she had to consult you guys. Got any ideas?”
Her green eyes grew wide as she started back at Jane. Shaking her head slightly, she tried to regain a slight amount of composure. “I…forgot to tell you.” She was nervous, but I might have been the only one who noticed. “My sister…is getting married…this Christmas…and she invited me, Clara, and…our friend, Violet.”
I nearly bit off my tongue to stop myself from accepting the invitation right there on the spot. “Oh,” I said politely. “Do offer your congratulations to her for me.” I had to be very careful, but it was odd speaking of myself in the third person narrative.
I turned back to Anthony and Jane. “I’ll probably be back at my Aunt and Uncle’s for the Christmas Holiday then.”
This wedding invitation was throwing a wrench in The Plan. I could not show up as Viola. My foster parents would most definitely be there and waiting to see their daughter, as Violet.
“When is the holiday, anyway?” asked Anthony.
“Starts week after next,” answered Clara.
“So James and Black are in huge trouble for the rain yesterday,” Lily muttered to me as the others continued talking.
“Why only them?” I exclaimed. “Lupin and Pettigrew did it as well.”
“Yeah, but they don’t have as many offenses. So now there’s this huge meeting with all the parents.”
“I stumbled across that this morning,” I recalled, remembering Mr. and Mrs. Black. I frowned. “So what’s with the first name basis now?” I tried to stay quiet, not trying to call attention from the others.
She shrugged. “He was being nice, and he asked me to.”
“Oh did he?”
“Shut up, Viola. You call him by his first name too.” She looked past me. “Look, here they come.”
Coming down one of the staircases was James and his parents. The boy bore a striking resemblance to his father, both having the same type of hair, though different colours. Shortly behind them came the Blacks. None of that family appeared to be speaking. The two sets of parents hastily left out the Great Hall, the latter of the pair without a word to anyone, leaving the boys behind.
“Hmm…” Lily frowned. “It seems that unfortunately they weren’t expelled.”
James heard her and swiveled his head to look over at us. He began to make his way through the crowd, Black in tow, a rather sullen look on his face.
“Surprised we’re still here?” James asked once they were close enough.
“Well, if we mess up badly again we can’t graduate.”
“That’s strange,” interjected Clara. “Because that means you’d be here longer.”
“Dumbledore is a queer fellow,” agreed James. “It’s almost as if he likes us and wants us here.”
I looked around and saw that Black had maneuvered himself so that he was standing right beside where I was, unnervingly close. He was staring at me. “Did my parents say anything to you?” he asked, his voice so quiet that I had to strain to hear it.
I shook my head, perplexed.
“They…you,” He rephrased. “They didn’t harass you for being a…the house you’re in?”
“I got a look, but no, they did not.”
He gave me a bitter sort of grin. “I apologize on their behalf.”
I raised my eyebrows. Sirius Black did not offer apologies. “Is this the Victorian side of you coming out, Black?”
This seemingly innocent comment seemed to shake him back to his senses. He quickly severed the eye contact we held and joined in with the conversation James had engaged with Lily, every ounce of his flamboyant nature back—amplified, even.
The Head Boy and Girl were actually speaking with each other. A rare instance, I must note, for there was no name calling, insults, or throwing of inanimate objects. Instead, grins, pleasantries, and small talk filled the air. Pettigrew and Lupin had somehow made their way over and were all being introduced to Jane and Anthony.
Clara crossed her arms and muttered, “Things are going well. This has to mean the world is very close to ending.”
I could not help but agree.
Okay, new chapter up. I’m terribly sorry for the long delay. This chapter isn’t really one of my favorites, but I’ve decided that it conveyed what I wanted it to convey, even if not in the best way. Maybe I’ll come back and edit when I get a chance. Anyway, please leave me a few lines about what you think. Criticism, quotes, comments, I appreciate all of it. If you have any pressing issues, then feel free to come by my Author’s Page only because I get to that faster. I know I’ve had a huge lack of Sirius/Violet scenes/tension. But I’ll make it up to you next chapter. Promise. Thanks for reading, thanks to you who WILL review. Next chapter ASAP.
Also, I have a new one-shot up. Maybe if you have time, check it out.