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Chapter 7 : The Unforgettable Letter
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The Unforgettable Letter
I cringed when I heard more noises from the bathroom. “Em? You okay?” I asked uncertainly, lightly tapping on the bathroom door. I heard a muffled ‘yeah’ before I heard the toilet flush. This had been happening all morning and all night. And I, of course, was the one who had to take care of them. Apparently this wasn’t Dorcas’ “forte”. I pursed my lips and decided to head back into our dormitory. Lily was lying across the bed with her forearm across her forehead. Her vibrant red hair was spilled all around her.
“See Ms. Evans, this is why you don’t drink.” Dorcas said in a light, teasing voice as she pulled on the last of her robes. Of course, she was refreshed and looking vibrant. I looked in the mirror at my tangled, unmanageable hair and the bags under my brown eyes. Too late now to worry about my appearance.
Lily groaned. “And the only reason you didn’t was because Sirius wasn’t.”
Dorcas shrugged innocently and sat next to her on the bed. She looked up expectantly at me.
“I think you should wear your hair up today.”
I looked at her quizzically for a moment to see if she was joking, but her blue eyes weren’t lying. Hastily grabbing a ponytail holder, I threw my hair up in the best bun I could manage. Her blonde curls flowed easily down her shoulders. I couldn’t help but feel jealous.
“Hey, I think I’m gonna go head down to breakfast.” I told her and Lily as Emmeline came back into the room looking extremely tired and pale.
“Okay. We’ll be down there soon.” Dorcas smiled as she tried to get Lily to sit up.
I nodded, grabbed my book bag, and started to make my way through the dormitory. I had barely slept last night with all the things on my mind. It didn’t help that Lily and Emmeline would get up frequently to go to the bathroom either, asking for my help. Everything inside me felt as though it was jumbled. I was feeling emotion, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was. It was all mixing together into one big pile in the bottom of my stomach. I seriously hadn’t felt like this in a long time.
I sat down unconsciously and started pulling random things onto my plate in the Great Hall.
Or maybe I had always felt like this. Confused, not knowing what I want, but it was just resurfacing. Stronger, because I had pushed it down and concealed it from so many years. I wondered if Emmeline remembered last night at all. Did she really mean what she said? Or was she just joking? Of course Em wasn’t the one to joke about something like that… and what in Merlin’s name had possessed me to tell Sirius all that? Or ask him the ridiculous question… I felt embarrassed and sick to my stomach at the thought of that. Then I gawked at him. He probably thinks I’m a freak now. Running off to tell Dorcas that she had a psychotic orphan for a best friend. I sighed. I really hoped Dorcas hadn’t seen me staring. Not that I was meaning too. Those eyes were very alluring…
“Don’t drink the milk.” A low voice whispered in my ear.
Snapping back to reality, my heart froze, stuttered, and I spun around at a speed I didn’t even know was humanly capable, knocking over my plate which was now full of food to the floor. It landed with a hard crash. I looked up, mouth open and eyes wide, shocked at Sirius who was now looking at me like I really was a freak. I noticed he had traces of bacon falling down his robes from my outburst.
“What?” I managed to stutter out. My cheeks felt extremely warm. Really, it’s not like he could read my mind to know I had been thinking about him… not in that way of course. Yeah, I had not been thinking of him like that. Not at all.
“I said not to drink the milk.” Sirius said annunciating each word, not moving in case I had another outburst.
I whispered, horrified. “I’m so sorry.”
“Did I scare you?” Sirius asked shocked, but amused, as he brushed the food bits off his black robe.
“Yeah, just a little.” I said strained as I turned back around and picked up my plate.
“A little?” Sirius mused. “Wow, I would hate to see you on a bad day then.”
“Yeah, so,” I said agreeing quickly, I hated it when he made jokes about me. I never knew if he was serious or not. “Why can’t I drink the milk?”
He looked at me curiously for a moment but then Sirius ran his fingers through his hair. “Oh, you know…”
Prank. “Okay, no milk for me then.” I said as I poured the milk out of my glass. “Pumpkin juice it is.” I could see Dorcas, Lily, and Emmeline start making their way towards the Gryffindor table.
“Tell the others.” Sirius stated to me before walking off.
“Drink only pumpkin juice.” I whispered to Lily and Emmeline as they sat across from me. The nodded, undoubtedly grateful that they wouldn’t be subject to one of the Marauders’ infamous pranks. After a warm greeting with Sirius, Dorcas joined us, sitting next to me, and I relayed the same information to her. I could see the Marauders sitting a ways down from us, not eating. Waiting to watch the show, I suppose.
After a while, my hands started feeling prickly. Almost like they were asleep. I tried blowing it off by scratching them with robes. When that didn‘t work I tried using a quill, but it got worse. A hollow feeling came into my stomach. The kind of feeling you get right before you know you’re about to be sick… I looked at my hands in complete shock. They were turning a blue color and looked like they might be growing…warts.
I snapped my head around to the Marauders. Both James and Sirius had their eyes on the Slytherin table with the strangest look of joy on their face. James turned around to look at the Hufflepuffs but caught me staring at him. His eyes opened wide and stared back for a moment before turning to Sirius. James’ glasses looked a little crooked.
“Padfoot, what did you tell them to drink?” James asked in an incredulous voice.
I saw Sirius come out of his gaze, obviously confused. “Pumpkin juice…” His voice trailed off as he looked down at me, horrified.
James grabbed Sirius. “You were supposed to tell them to drink the milk!” His hazel eyes turned to Lily who was now looking at her hands in the curious way I had been earlier. I could hear the ‘oh Merlin’ from people in different houses all around me and screams of terror from some girls as they discovered what was happening to their skin. The swooping sensation was coming back in my stomach. Warts AND sickness too? Panic was rising in me. Before embarrassing myself, I put my hand over my mouth and ran out of the Great Hall.
Apparently, the little prank had gotten most of the school and the hospital wing was the busiest it had ever been with people trying to get their warts removed and stomach problems fixed. And luckily, I had been one of the first ones there so I was out pretty fast without having to wait in line with a bunch of people with buckets filled of plenty of unmentionables. My sickness was still coming back sometimes; I was able to push it down, though. I went to the bathroom and splashed water on my face. I looked up and saw my dull brown eyes. The only thing I inherited from my mother. Besides that, we were completely opposite. She was short, had straight, light blonde hair, and had this bronzed looked about her. I used to imagine her as a fairy with wings when I was little. While I had dark, almost auburn hair that would switch between wavy and straight, tall, and somewhat pale. Even my features like my lips and nose weren’t like hers. My lips were full while my mothers were almost nonexistence. I could almost picture what my father might look like if I concentrated hard enough when I looked in the mirror. If I only knew what color his eyes were… but I would never ask my mother again.
I sat on the small couch in my mother’s one bedroom apartment she was now living in. Having just come back from Hogwarts my fourth year, my mother still hadn’t made arrangements for me so I was stuck sleeping on the couch. My trunk was crammed underneath the side table. Fidgeting uncomfortably, I finally grasped my hands together to have something to do, at least for a while. It bothered to have nothing to do with my hands. I looked up slowly to see my delicate looking mother standing before me, seemingly at a lost for words.
My mother took a deep breath and looked me in the eyes. It was almost like looking in a mirror. Just the eyes, though. “Madysen, we’re moving to France.”
My heart stopped. I blinked once. “What?”
“We’re moving to France.” My mother said with a little more conviction that before. She only looked me in the eyes, never looking at my whole face. Never looking at me.
“Okay. But don’t you think it’s kind of a waste… I mean I have to go back to Hogwarts in two months. Can’t Phil or Larry, whatever his name is, wait until then?” I tried to reason with her.
She gave me a sharp look and her light voice sounded shaky. “Joe. And, no, he can’t. We want to do this as a family.”
I scoffed. “Yeah, tell me when you find one.” It was weird having me say it out loud for once. It made the truth hurt more.
“Madysen,” her brown eyes glared at me, “that is no way to talk to your mother.”
I stood up, trying to rationalize the best I could. “I can’t just leave!”
“Yes, you can. You’ll be going to Beauxbatons in the fall.”
I looked at her with my eyes wide. I never thought I would say this, but I hated her. I hated her right then and there. She never cared about me or anyone else. My heart broke and felt like it was going down through the floor. All I had ever wanted was her to be there for me, someone to talk to. I just wanted her. How many times had we done this? How many times had she proclaimed a man to be ‘the one’ and just left? Leaving me behind? How many times had I been abandoned? Why couldn’t she do it again, now? At least I had gotten somewhat to that.
My mother lowered her eyes. “Don’t give me that look.”
“What look?” I asked shakily, my eyes filling with tears.
“I can see it in your eyes. You’re such an open book.” The she added bitterly. “Like your father.”
“Why don’t we talk about him?” I yelled more now. “I’ve never heard you say a word about him!”
“That’s because there’s nothing to say!” She grabbed the vase that was on table next to the couch and through it against the wall. There was an ear-splitting crash that made me flinch harshly. I could barely see from the tears brimming in my eyes. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t ever let her see you cry.
“Yes, there is.” I whispered. “Everything.”
“Forget about your father.” She said grabbing me. “Make Joe your father.”
I looked at her horrified. “I can’t do that.”
“You can and you will.” She stood up and straightened her skirt. Her brown eyes looked accusingly at me before she walked into the next room leaving me with me tears that were threatening to spill over. I took a deep, shaky breath. I pushed everything down, down the deepest it would go. I went numb and walked into the other room, pretending nothing happened. Relieved, at least, that I had kept my promise never to cry.
I slowly turned around, trying to get composed and saw James striding towards me. His raven hair messier than ever.
“Hey James.” I smiled weakly.
His long legs caught up with me and then slowed down to match my pace. “I’m sorry about what happened earlier, with the prank.”
I rolled my eyes. “Don’t worry about it. Everyone has to suffer one of your pranks once in a while.”
“And don’t be mad at Sirius. He didn’t mean-”
“I’m not mad at Sirius.” I stated confused.
“Ok, good.” James sighed relieved. “Because I think Dorcas is pretty upset at him and I don’t want-”
“I’m not mad.” I said interrupting him…again. Almost explaining that Dorcas’ weak spot was her vanity, I became embarrassed. I would never do that to her.
“Ok. So where are you headed?” James asked casually.
I turned to go up the stairs and James followed. “Defense Against the Dark Arts.”
“Cool. I’m headed to Charms so it’s right around that area.” He said pointing upward.
“Yep.” I replied lamely.
“And I, uh, also wanted to talk to you about what happened the last time you stayed with me.” Gah, how many times can a subject that hasn’t come up in four year come up in every conversation in a week? “And I’m sorry I didn’t do anything about Sirius. I just thought that you two would get along. I was so sure. That’s why I watched when you two met-”
“You were watching?” I asked shocked. I had always wondered where he had been. Bothered me for years…
“Yeah,” he mumbled somewhat embarrassed. “Anyway, I was positive. But then you hated him-”
“I hated him?”
James gave me a confused look. “You didn’t? Seemed like it… you never talked…and-”
“That’s because I liked him.” I explained. Has anyone ever heard of a crush? I blushed involuntarily and I desperately hoped he didn’t right that off as some reaction that had to do with me liking him now…
“Oh,” James said thinking it over. Apparently, he didn’t notice that I had blushed. Relief washed through me. “Oh! Well, that explains a lot. What I’ve been meaning to say, though, is that I really regretted not talking to you after that. Because we were friends, right?”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
“Yeah. You interrupt a ton, did you know that? Forget I said that. But we’re friends now. So I hope you don’t hold any life-long grudge against me or anything.”
I laughed. “As long as you never play a prank on my again.” Another smile tugged at my lips. I found myself laughing more. Actually laughing. Not making forced. It’s not like I never laughed before… it’s just, I always felt like I had to take care of Lily, Em and Dorcas, especially. Like I had to be the serious, responsible one. It was nice just letting go and being carefree.
“No pranks. I promise.” James smiled happily and nodded. “Here’s Charms. See you around.”
“Yeah, bye.” I waved as his tall figure retreated into the classroom.
After thinking it through way too much, I finally mustered up enough courage to write my mother. The letter was short and simple. I asked her what her maiden name was and what my father’s name was. It wasn’t too much. Just some names. I kept repeating that to myself. Just some names. She wouldn’t care… I had a right to know.
I got my reply two days later:
Really? Do you really have to ask me about your father? I thought I made my opinion clear on that subject years ago. And no, you cannot have my maiden name either. Whatever you’re planning with that Evans girl again, it won’t work. I’ll let you get away for finding your grandmother, but I will not tolerate this. On a lighter note, your Christmas holidays are coming up, aren’t they? As you’ve probably heard from your grandmother, I have moved to America with John. You know I would enjoy it if you stayed with me over the holidays, but America is so far for only a two week visit and guess what… I’m pregnant! I’m due any day so maybe it is better that you stay away. I’m sure the baby will need all of me and John’s attention. I’m sure your grandmother would love to have you again. You’re old enough not to be too much of a bother. Stop whatever you’re trying to figure out.
A/N:Credit for the picture goes to Anna_Black!! Hope you liked it! I'm thinking about naming off some songs that have really inspired this story. What do you think? The first one, obviously, is That's What You Get by Paramore. It's an amazing song and I think you all should listen to it! :) There's not a whole lot of action and it doesn't really further the storyline except maybe for the part about James but this one's more of a filler because this letter is proably the most important thing that happens in the story and I thought it needed a proper set up. It's going to set the stage for alot of things coming up and the beginning of the whole Madysen/Sirius relationship. Please review!!
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