Chapter 7 : Chapter 7- Hide & Seek
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No, who was I kidding? How I wish I could say that, say it and know it was the truth. But it wasn’t.
The truth was I was too much of a coward to even face my own brother let alone teachers, students and especially Sirius Black.
Instead, for the next two days following the argument I confined myself to my bed. I was suffering from a severe head cold and maybe even a slight fever. At least, that’s what I told Elise. I didn’t think she would buy it, until I permitted her to feel my forehead, which conveniently was flaming hot.
So I sulked and moaned in the dormitory for two whole days straight. I didn’t even leave the common room for fresh air. Someone might have seen me.
To be honest, at the start I wasn’t entirely sure why I was doing it. I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t really hiding that I was just building myself up again because fighting and crying had left me emotionally weak and therefore more dangerous to the people around me. But after a day of feeding myself this rubbish I realized it was just because I was scared.
I was scared to see my brother after the terrible way I had treated him, I was scared to see the teachers though that was mainly due to the large amount of homework I knew was overdue, I was scared to face my peers, and first and foremost , I was terrified I might see him.
I was fragile. My outburst the other evening had left me weary. Emotions, after all, are a Duaaons weakest point. However, I wasn’t nearly half as weak as I thought I was.
No matter, somehow I managed to convince myself that if I saw him I would kill him.
Deep down inside I knew I wasn’t that unstable, I never had been. In reality the worst that could happen would be that I might burn him, and besides, third degree burns could be healed easily by Madame Pomfrey. Nevertheless, I was still too scared.
On the morning of the third day I was awoken by a strange buzzing hissing sound.
It took me a minute to realize that it was in fact voices.
“I’m worried about her.” One said, and I could tell that they really were.
“Me too, but what do we do? Ugh, I don’t know!” A second more frantic voice chimed in.
“She seems sort of… sad.” Said a third voice. They hit the nail right on the head. I was sad, so very sad. “I suppose we haven’t been very nice to her.”
This troubled me. They had been nicer than I deserved. It was me after all who hadn’t been putting in the effort. A ‘hello’ at breakfast was hardly a decent attempt at friendship.
“Well, she only ever sits with her brother.” Reasoned a fourth voice. “He’s good-looking, but perhaps he doesn’t have much of a personality? I can’t think of one hot boy who does.” The other voices snickered.
“Except for James Potter!” One giggled. The others tittered too.
“And Remus, oh, and Andrew.” They laughed harder. These voices were easily side-tracked.
“What about Sirius?” Said the fourth voice, putting it out there.
Suddenly I was wide awake. Something that felt an awful lot like jealousy bubbled in my veins.
I remember where I was and what day it was, and realized that the four voices that surrounded my bed must be Lucy, Anna, Greta and Elise.
And it was, I could even pick who was who now. The voice that had asked about Sirius was Greta. Suddenly I didn’t feel like being friends so much.
Anna snorted. “Sirius?” She asked incredulously. “Sirius’s doesn’t date so it wouldn’t matter.”
“I wish he did!” Lucy sighed. “He’s so damn hot! And he pranks, and he’s smart, and he’s a troubled soul, what with that brother of his. No wonder he’s unhappy sometimes…but his eyes, have you seen his eyes and his smile…” She went on, for minutes more and the other girls listened raptly but I did not.
Lucy had mentioned something about a brother. I didn’t know Sirius had a brother. Come to think about it, there was an awful lot I didn’t know about him. I made a mental note to bring it up in one of our clipped conversations.
That was when I remembered I was in hiding.
It was also around the same time I knew I couldn’t avoid him anymore. Nor the teachers, nor the students. I couldn’t even stay away from my brother.
I rolled over on my side, yawning widely and making a show of stretching my arms. The chatter ceased immediately, except for Anna who hissed- “Act normal!”
I concealed a grin and began to flutter my eyelids open. And there they were!
Anna, Greta, Lucy and Elise all sitting on Greta’s bed staring over at me with wide, unashamedly curious eyes.
“Good morning.” I beamed at them already sliding my feet onto the cold wooden floor. They all looked a little taken aback but replied back brightly nonetheless.
“Breakfast is almost being served, Lulah,” Anna said somewhat nervously taking an awkward step forward. “So if you want to take a shower you can and we’ll wait,” She glanced around at her friends before adding. “And then you can come and have breakfast with us.”
They all nodded enthusiastically, even Elise who was normally the moodiest of all of them. I grinned and hopped to my trunk to get my robes.
“Sure thanks!” I smiled, stunning them all with my newfound eagerness. “I’ll be as quick as I can.”
And with that I skipped into the communal bathroom humming ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’ under my breath.
People stared as I walked into the Great Hall. It wasn’t just the fact that I had been missing for the last two days (and I knew, as much as I resented admitting that Jasper was right, that I was an obvious loss). It was also the fact that I wasn’t with my brother and that I was chatting, quite happily to a group of not one, but four females.
We all sat down together, three on one side of the table two on the other. I could feel Jasper’s eyes burning into my scalp but I was determinedly ignoring him for now. I still had not forgiven him. But I was trying, I was going to pretend like nothing had ever happened and I was going to move on.
Talking with Anna, Lucy, Greta and Elise had filled me with an entirely new enthusiasm and resolve. It was nice to have a little girl time.
I had my plan figured out. That was what showers were good for. I was a very good shower-planner. The way I saw it, it would just be easy if I just forgot everything I knew so far about Hogwarts and its students. It’s take everything as it came, as a normal student. I could be friends with the Ravenclaws, talk to the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs (maybe even the Slytherins if I felt brave enough). I was certain I could cope. Making friends would be fun. Making amends would be even better.
And then, maybe then would I forgive my brother.
“Could you pass the marmalade please Lucy?” I asked and smiled as she handed me the jar. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining and I was feeling fine. Transfiguration and potions but a little bit of a dampener on my mood, but I was determined to see all of this in the best possible light.
“Did all of you do the homework McGonagall set?” Elise asked, looking weary as she contemplated us over her cereal.
“All six pages of it!” Anna said brightly, and the other girls rolled their eyes. From what I had gathered Anna had quite a reputation for being obsessive over homework.
“Well, I didn’t…” Elise looked rueful, “Could I copy the end of one of yours?” Her wide blue eyes were pleading and she jutted out her bottom lips for extra effect.
I chuckled and reached under the table for my bag. “Sure, take mine.” I stretched my arm out to pass her the parchment and froze.
A voice had just drifted across the hall to me.
“So she wasn’t in any of your classes either?” The voice demanded, and it was a voice I knew all to well. I tried to remind myself that in accordance with my new regime I wasn’t technically ‘familiar’ with anything. But I couldn’t deny this one. I honed in on my hearing, still listening intently for more. Another slightly less patient voice chimed in.
“No Padfoot, she’s only in my History of Magic class and you’re in that one too.”
“Well…that’s good, I guess.”
“She's pretty happy today.” Remus noted. “And Jasper isn’t with her anymore. I wonder why? I’ll ask him later.” When he spoke next, Sirius’s tone was defensive.
“Why are you so curious about her?” He demanded. “You don’t fancy her do you? I mean, I thought you liked the Hufflepuff girl, Addie or whatever her name was, and besides-” But Remus cut him off.
“One- no, I don’t fancy her. She’s nice and we get along well and stuff, but, no, I don’t fancy her Sirius. Two- Why are you getting so worked up about this?” I could hear the unconcealed smugness in his voice when he said this. “And three- I never liked any girl from Hufflepuff, that was just you making it up to taunt me with.”
He finished with a sigh, but Sirius persisted.
“And you’re sure you don’t like her?” He insisted.
“Positive, only platonically.”
My heart thudded in my chest. Why was Sirius so interested anyway? If Remus liked me, not that I thought he did, but if he did happen to like me, what did it have to do with him?
“Lulah? Erm, Lulah! Wake up.”
I snapped back to the scene in front of me. Anna, Lucy, Elise and Great were gazing at me with expressions ranging from amusement to wariness, as though I might suddenly rip out all of their throats.
My hand was still extended across the table.
“Oops sorry.” I muttered drawing it back. “Just, er, blanked out there for a moment.”
Greta giggled. “I’ll say.”
We finished the rest of our breakfast in a companionable silence. I quickly downed the last of my orange juice and rose from the bench. The others did the same.
“Brace yourself for the wrath of McGonagall.” Lucy murmured darkly as she slung her bag over her shoulder and we all walked towards the door, pushing our way through the mass of students who had suddenly had the same idea.
“She’s terrified me since I met her.” I stated matter-of-factly. Anna and Elise smirked and laughed while Lucy and Greta nodded fervent agreement.
“Excuse me.” We kept pushing through the masses of bodies as everyone fought their ways to class.
“Excuse me! Hey!” Man, it was tough. Thank goodness I had the other four pushing through as well.
“Excuse me, Lulah?”
A warm, strong hand on my shoulder spun me around. My breath caught in my throat as I realized who it was. I was standing face to face with Sirius once more.
He seemed to remember the last time we ‘spoke’ as well as I did and stepped back smiling guiltily. I, however, was determined to forget the memory. I looked at his gorgeous face and smiled too.
“Yes?” I asked politely but not coolly, merely as if he were someone I was meeting for the first time.
“I was just wondering if,” he paused here, “if I’d see you in Potions today?” I could barely conceal my glee at his curiosity.
“Just the same as always.” I smiled, fully aware of the excited laughter coming form Elise, Anna, Lucy and Greta behind me.
Sirius grinned crookedly and my heart melted.
“Great, see you there.”
Then he winked and walked on down the corridor.
A/N: new and edited chapter is up :) yay, I'm quite enjoying this editing process! well, please review. Even if it's just one word, I love to know whether you like it or not!
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