The next morning, before the sun had really risen I snuck down into common room. Jasper was already there, but that was alright.
The few golden beams that shone through the high windows cast weird, distorted shadows as I made my way across to him.
Through out all this Jasper watched me curiously, though he did not say a thing. I wondered if he, like me was now being eaten alive by guilt. After warning him with a quick glance I sat down next to him without a sound. Still looking away from him I spoke.
“I’m sorry Jasper, I overreacted and it was wrong.”
I was surprised that I was whispering. I hadn’t planned on that. I resisted the urge to catch his eye. I wasn’t entirely sure things were back to normal between us.
I still did not face him, but he spoke anyway.
“Don’t apologize, I pushed you, just as I always promised I wouldn’t and that was wrong.”
At last we looked at each other. We took one look at the identically grave expressions on each other’s faces and burst into laugher.
“I’m sorry Lulah.” He said still laughing, embracing me in a brotherly one-armed hug. “I honestly am.” I knew he was, truly I did. I growled playfully and slung my arms around his shoulders.
“I missed you Jasper.” I admitted after a while. “Really I did.”
“What can I say?” Jasper asked, pulling a tacky smile. “It’s good to be back, good to be back.”
I grinned and rolled my eyes.
Jasper and I didn’t fight after that reunion. It felt too good to be talking again to stay away.
“So you’re saying Sirius asked you?” Anna asked sounding impressed for what must have been about the seventeenth time.
I nodded wearily and changed the subject. This conversation was getting very old, very fast. It seemed it was the only things we’d been discussing since I told them the night before, when we were all sitting, chatting on our four poster beds.
“You’re all going aren’t you?”
All four of my friends giggled, not at all an uncharacteristic sound. It was Halloween Eve and we were in the great hall, feasting. I was having a great time.
“Yeah,” Lucy said, “But none of us were invited by Sirius.” She snickered uncontrollably and I groaned and plunked my head onto the table.
They were now in hysterics; I really couldn’t see what was so amusing about my reaction.
“I don’t see why it’s such a big deal.” And indeed I didn’t, but apparently they did.
Elise rolled her eyes.
“Look-” She started. “We’ve been coming here since first year, we’ve grown up with Sirius” My stomach churned enviously at this point. “We’ve seen him do all sorts of things, pranks, detentions, Quidditch, fights-“ She listed each off on her finger as she said it, “but never, and I seriously mean never have we seen him fancy any one before. He’s always been too wrapped up in his own little world to care.”
I was barely winning a fight against the smug grin that threatened to invade my face.
Greta took over from Elise at this point.
“So, in fifth year when this whole ‘Marauder Party’ thing began, the year everyone’s hormone’s seemed to kick in big time, all of the girls, even some of the Slytherins were hanging out for an invite from Sirius Black. Everybody wanted to be the one to say, ‘I was invited by Sirius’. But no one ever could. God, even some of the older girls asked him, but he turned down every one of them. He’s never invited anyone to this party. It’s normally James who invites most people. I don’t think you understand what this means.”
As I sat in silence absorbing all this, slightly stunned my mind flashed back to that night on the astronomy tower. What was it James had said?
“And you? I don’t suppose you’ve asked anyone? You always do give your invitations too exclusively.”
It all fit, they wouldn’t be lying. Without saying a word I leant over and helped myself to some treacle tart which had just appeared on the table in place of the main courses.
I spied Jasper down the table sitting quite happily with the Quidditch team. He had tried out that very morning. Jasper Wiley was now seeker for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. Quite fitting I supposed, with the advanced degree of hearing and sight we both had, the other team wouldn’t stand a chance.
I caught his eye and winked; he grinned back and returned to talk of game strategy.
With a chuckle I returned to the conversation before me.
“I mean, I haven’t even thought about what I’m going to wear!” Lucy said, pulling at her pretty blonde hair. “It could be a disaster.” I say Anna’s eyes light up as she leaned forward. The rest of us leaned in as well.
“The feast is almost over,” she whispered quickly. “I don’t suppose anyone would mind much if we stepped out now.”
I grinned wickedly.
“Anna m’dear, you might be onto something.”
I stood in front of the mirror; goose bumps had erupted across my skin. It was too wrong. I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t. I tugged at the soft fabric, but couldn’t bring myself to take it off.
I was wearing the dress my mother had had tailor made for me, just to wear to Jasper’s and my 15th birthday party. It still fit. The shimmering gold fabric fell just above my knee. It stretched becomingly across my chest and stomach and fanned out, off my hips, falling down. I twisted this way and that, watching the effect. I shivered. Watching the effect.
It was the night of my fifteenth birthday. I sat upstairs in my bedroom, triple checking my hair and touching up my make up for the last time. Down stairs the guests were beginning to arrive, however the one voice I longed to hear had not reached my ears just yet. I would make my grand entrance when he came.
Jasper knocked softly on my door. I rolled my eyes because it was so typical of him to interrupt me when I was doing something important like applying mascara, but allowed him to enter. In retrospect it was ridiculous, a lot worse things would happen that night.
“Mum says you have to come downstairs. The guests want to see you.” He relayed the message perfectly. I nodded, wiping some lipstick from the corner of my mouth.
“Aha, be there in a sec…”
“Leon and Audrey are here too.” He added, as though that would entice me down. I nodded once more. I had heard Leon’s laugh float upstairs before.
“Rostam! So glad you could make it.” I gave a little jump at the sound of his name. He was here, at my house… wishing me a happy birthday. I leapt to my feet and smoothed out my pretty gold dress.
“Hm, Leon and Audrey you say?” I asked in what I hoped was a casual way, but Jasper noticed my flushed cheeks and pursed his lips. He didn’t approve of Rostam. In Jasper’s eyes he was the devil incarnate. I never really understood why.
I skipped lithely down the stairs and Jasper trailed behind me. He knew the real reason behind my change of heart and wasn’t happy. But Rostam Ayers was here for me and that was all that I needed.
I spotted him then. He was standing in the corner talking to some long lost uncle of mine. I snuck up behind him, motioning to the Uncle to keep talking and act oblivious. Then I leapt with a laugh and wrapped my hands across his eyes.
“Guess who.” I giggled, and he smiled, carefully placing his wineglass on the bench beside him. He turned to face me, reaching up to take my hands from his face and hold them in his own. He grinned widely at my and picked me up. I decided that he looked gorgeous in his black suit with his tan skin, dark hair and wide blue eyes.
I loved him and he was all mine.
“Happy birthday, birthday girl!” He smiled, taking my hand and leading me out to the balcony. The noise of the party faded slightly as the doors closed behind us and we were shut off, in a world of our own. He reached down, smiling and brushed some hair from my face.
“You look beautiful.” He murmured, sliding an arm around my waist and kissing me gently. I kissed him back, not caring that I was 15 and he was 19. He loved me and my parents liked him. He was perfect.
Oh, but how wrong I had been. He had not been perfect, he had been far from it and it was to him that I owed the death of my parents.
For the next fifteen minutes they others bustled about fixing hair and makeup. I sat on the edge of the bed, quietly fiddling with my shoe. I was nervous about tonight to say the least. Had a made the right choice? A little clip of my mother talking to me played in my head-
“You’ll be fine Lulah,” She said, smiling down at me. It was my first day of school. “You’re a smart girl. I know you’ll be alright.”
But I wasn’t such a smart girl after all. Getting involved with Rostam had been pretty darn stupid. I wanted to badly to trust her, but I couldn’t bring myself to believe that I would be ‘alright’. Not entirely.
Part of me was hoping I wouldn’t see Sirius tonight. I didn’t want to loose control. Something had shifted between us. A barrier lifted, and that scared me a bit.
But the other part knew that Sirius Black was the only reason I was going to this party in the first place.
“Hey are you coming?”
I snapped out of my day dream and looked wildly around myself. Greta was standing beside me, her hand outstretched. She looked very pretty I decided. The all did. I was so lucky to have them. I thought I’d made a fairly smart choice in being friends with them. I hoped my parents would be proud.
Anna, Elise and Lucy stood in the door way. By now I think they were too used to my day dreams to be surprised or amused.
“Are you coming?” Anna asked, smiling and shaking her head. “We’re leaving.”
I shook my head. I wasn’t ready just yet.
“No, you guys go ahead, I’ll see you there.” They exchanged a look and Anna smirked.
“Unless someone else gets to you first.”
And with that they were gone.
Taking quick, brisk steps I walked down the deserted corridors. I had my ears and eyes alert, just in case I did stumble across a patrolling prefect, or worse teacher.
I found none, the corridors were deserted.
Clutching my bag to my side, hair whipping out behind me from the sheer speed of the pace, I made my way in no time to the portrait of Barnabas the Barmy, training trolls to do ballet. I stared ominously at the blank stretch of wall across from it for a moment before starting to pace.
One time past the wall…..I need to find where the Marauders are having their party Two times past the wall…I need to find where the Marauders are having their party Three times past the wall…I need the find where the Marauders are having their party.
Already thinking skeptical thoughts I opened my eye a smidgen, but to my surprise I saw that a highly polished door had appeared on the wall.
Carefully I reached out and grabbed the brass handle.
The last thought that ran through my mind as I started to turn the knob was that Sirius Black would be in the room with my tonight.
And the sad thing was; that comforted me.
A/N: Done! I got rid of so much crap from that chapter, and put in stuff that was actually important!
Write a Review The Burn-Out Heart: Chapter 9- First Lover