DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter...obviously. However, I do own any characters that you don’t recognize. And if you steal them, I will find out.
[If you plagiarize me, I will make sure that you will NEVER be able to have children. ]
A month later, so short it embarrasses me to post it and a jumbled mess.
Here it is: Chapter 16!!!!!
Yeah, I know. It took me more than a month to get this freaking chapter out and it still isn’t that great. Not to mention I have over 90 unanswered reviews. I am SO sorry guys, I really am. For the past month I have been so bogged down in homework, school musicals, exams and boyfriend troubles. But now that I’m FINALLY out of school, I will definitely be able to get my shit together and write as often as I promised.
(and for those 90+ people who’s reviews I haven’t yet answered, I am so sorry its taking me forever to write a reply!!!! I’ll get to them, I promise!)
It seemed as though all feeling had left my body momentarily. And in place of the genial, warm mood I had felt lately, came a swooping foreboding emotion, sitting like a deadweight in my stomach. This was not good.
“What does she say?” I asked abruptly, trying to keep the sharpness from my tone. I wasn’t mad at Bliss, it was her mother who was steadily starting to piss me off.
However, Bliss flinched as though I had screamed, and my voice was echoing in her ears. Instead, I tried a quieter tone.
“She wants me to come home for the Easter holidays.” She said finally, exhaling deeply afterward. Bliss’ shoulders started to slouch, revealing that the confidence I had so resolutely instilled in her, had been instantly demolished with one fell swoop of her mother’s guillotine.
“You don’t have to.” Albus added, fighting for my goal as well. Everyone else at the table nodded in agreement.
“Yes, I do.” Bliss said, her golden eyes hollowing as the seconds passed. I had never truly appreciated how much I had helped her: Bliss’ soul was deflating before me and exposed the old Bliss whom I had hated. Although she had been beautiful before we had become friends, now without that confidence, she seemed like a vacant soul.
“No you don’t.” I said softly, placing my hand on hers and gently grasping it. I was determined to kill this affect her mother had on her.
“I do.” And it was then that I could feel my heartbreak as silent tears began to make glistening rivers down her pale cheeks. All I could offer to her was my shoulder to absorb her pain. However, I knew that my embrace was not as protective as I wanted it to be.
“I hate this.” I could hear her faintly utter, her voice muffled as she buried her face deeper into my robes. I placed a delicate kiss on the top of her head.
“I’ll protect you...I promise.”
“What are we going to do?”
It seemed as though this was the millionth time that Albus had demanded this question. At that point, all I could do was groan and hide my face behind my hands, dismally stretching across the rouge couch of the Gryffindor Common Room.
Though it was a school night, Albus, Lily and I were still up at two in the morning. We were, of course, worried to no end about Bliss’ situation. We couldn’t deny her mother anything...she was Bliss’ mother, meaning she would always have supreme power over her daughter. Bliss had done her mother’s bidding all her life, and even though we had made progress with Bliss becoming her own person, it was still ingrained in her mind to obey her mother.
“I don’t know.” Came my monotone response as Albus started to pace...again. His constant motion was really getting on my nerves.
“Stop it,” I nearly begged him, “Wearing a hole in the floor, via pacing, is hardly going to solve this.” Albus stopped for a moment and stared at me. After becoming annoyed by this, I closed my hands over my eyes again and the sound of my brother’s back-and-forth footsteps resounded again.
“Can’t we arrest her mother?” Lily suggested, her body draped pitifully over an armchair. Albus shook his head.
“For what?” I asked, skeptically. She shrugged, frowning.
“Child abuse?” She nearly questioned.
“There’s no proof of physical abuse.” Albus said promptly, killing the idea instantly.
“Doesn’t mental count?” I muttered under my breath, though knowing it didn’t matter.
So, we were in a definite pickle (please excuse my obtuse term, but it’s the truth). Bliss’ mother was going to re-corrupt her and we couldn’t do anything about it. We could only stand on the sidelines and watch this terrible disaster take place.
Or could we?
“James...I’m not sure about this.” Bliss’ uneasy tone was even audible in her whisper. I turned to her as she backed away, her hand still vaguely cupped as it had been when she spoke in her delicate quietness a moment before.
“Everything will be fine,” I reassured her for the umpteenth time. But even as I repeated those words, I felt a little pinprick of doubt in my mind.
“Go on and find a seat with Lily. Al and I will be there in a second.” I offered her a small smile and ushered her into the scarlet Hogwarts Express.
It was already the Easter holidays. Al, Lily and I would be heading back home and although Bliss was supposed to go home to her mother, we wouldn’t let her. Instead, she was coming back home with us to live at the Potter residence. My parents loved having Bliss around, however, we would have to be careful not to let them know that Bliss was a stowaway. And even the term “stowaway” was incorrect. Bliss was a refugee, unloved in her own household. I was merely saving her.
But the question that probably comes to mind is: Won’t Bliss’ mother wonder where the hell she is when she doesn’t get off the Hogwarts Express, or how can Bliss just walk off with us Potters instead of her tyrant mother?
Call it coincidence (or in this case, ultimate luck), but Bliss always met her mother back home and not at King’s Cross. Her mother would arrange a Portkey (that she mentioned in her letter to Bliss, this year it being a smashed soda can beside Platform 10). Therefore, Bliss would simply not take the Portkey. Easy solution.
Without warning, I felt a strong grip on my arm. I sighed, rolling my eyes, knowing it was Albus.
“What?” I almost snapped, turning to face him as he held me away from the crowd of students piling onto the train. He gave me a two-second stern glance, but then ignored it and went on with his speech.
“Do you really think this is gonna work?” He asked, a little skeptic at the plan.
“We’ve been through this before...it will be fine. What’s the worst that’s going to happen?”
“Bliss’ mother is going to alert the entire Wizarding community that her daughter is missing, we’ll be caught, and mom and dad will kill us. Yeah, I’d consider that ‘going wrong’.”
“Judging by the way her mother treats her, I hardly think Bliss will be missed.” I said harshly, the idea of Bliss’ careless mother yet again pissing me off.
Albus sighed and rubbed his temples.
“Fine. But its your fault if we get in trouble.” He warned. I shrugged, rolling my eyes.
“I’m the oldest, I always take the blame.”
I sat against the window, allowing my head to lean on the cool glass of it, and watched the scenery pass me by.
We had been on the train for nearly two hours, and we had an even longer journey still. The sun was high in the cerulean blue sky, telling me it was just after noon, maybe even one o’clock. I sighed, closing my eyes and willing sleep to come to me. But alas, that plan had failed.
The compartment was unusually silent, especially for the people that filled it. Bliss was seated next to me, and though her quietness wasn’t unexpected, I could feel the anxiety radiating off of her as we neared King’s Cross and the possibility that she would be in her mother’s clutches again. And however many times I tried to reassure her that our plan was foolproof, I knew she wasn’t buying a word of it.
I could feel her delicate body shaking slightly beside me. So, in natural reaction, my hand found hers and grasped it gently. I wanted to offer to her as much comfort that I could give; or that she would allow.
Bliss, however, wasn’t the only one silent. Rose was seated across from me, her nose buried in a book (no surprise) and Scorpius beside her, his head resting on her shoulder as he dozed into a light slumber. The same went for Albus and Arielle. Except in their case, Arielle was the one using Albus’ clavicle as a pillow as he lulled her into sleep by running his hand through her auburn hair. I could see the first signs of drowsiness in my brother’s eyes too, for the lids slowly began to droop over his emerald pupils, hiding them from view.
Lily was the only one besides Bliss, Rose and I who had not succumb to sleep. She sat quietly, closest to the door. A small white notebook was propped on her knees as she bent her head over it and scrawled quickly, relentlessly. Usually I would have been curious to know what she was so determinedly writing, but her red locks curtained the parchment and I felt no need to move from my position.
And so I settled with staring out of the window. I had never really, in my many trips to and from London on this train, taken in the beauty of the Scottish countryside. The rolling hills that passed me by seemed to be endless, emerald waves. The steep mountains in the back were ancient, almost lonely creatures, waiting for a traveler to come by to tell their centuries-old stories to. I began wandering just how old the mountains were and what disaster or devastation they had seen. It seemed almost unreal that my life was a second compared to how long they sat on their thrones like kings, surveying Scotland in its green majesty.
As we neared our destination, little stone farmhouses began to zoom past me, so fast that I could barely make out shepherds leading their flocks of sheep. So fast that the collies and other shepherd dogs were just pictures to me, a still frame of their powerful bodies sprinting to move their cattle to their places. And so fast that I was barely able to comprehend the lives of the simple people I passed. All I could wonder was if they saw my face pressed against the window of the scarlet train that bound me for home.
“Anything to eat, dears?” The voice of the witch with the food cart pulled me back to reality. Lily looked up momentarily from her writing and glanced at me. With a simple hand gesture I asked her if she wanted anything. Though I only got a shrug in return, as she became absorbed, yet again, in her messy script. And then I looked to Bliss, only to find that she had fallen into a light slumber, with her head against my shoulder as she continued to grasp my hand.
“No.” I said, keeping my voice low so I didn’t wake her, “We’re fine, thanks.”
Shutting the compartment door, the witch continued on her way to the other students. And I could faintly hear her voice at the next compartment, repeating her question in the same, jovial tone.
I smiled, looking down at Bliss. Her hair fell in her face, like little golden strands of thread falling in her eyes. I pushed it back, careful not to wake her and planted a soft kiss on the top of her head.