Chapter 11 : The Unforgettable Masquerade
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The Unforgettable Masquerade
The next three days approaching the ball were torture. At least I didn’t have potions class but I still discovered how hard it was to avoid someone. Sirius Black. That person has been the bane of my existence for the last three days. Not because I was still mad at him… no, I completely realized the idiocy of my outburst the moment I stepped into my dorm. The real reason… I was extremely embarrassed. And if I really wanted to be honest with myself, I didn’t want to have to swallow my pride and apologize. So instead of getting ready excitedly for the ball, among other things, I avoided Sirius like the black plague, which was becoming extremely more difficult. At every turn, he is there. It’s like everywhere I go, he has the urging to go there too. I even resorted to taking the long ways around the castle, skipping meals, and going to the library, but it didn’t work. My solution: he’s trying to avoid me too so by trying to avoid each other, we run into each other. If that makes any since. So today, the day of the ball, I have completely shut myself in my dorm until it is time to put on my mask and leave.
I am an idiot.
And to add to my stress, I have a date. I, Madysen Adams, have a date. For the first time. Ever. With Amos Diggory to be exact. Actually, I probably should stop calling it that because it’s not like I wanted to go with this person and the conversation went something like this:
Amos: Hey, Madysen.
Me (shocked): H-hey.
Amos, casually trying to flip his hair: You got invited to Slughorn’s thing, right?
Amos: Ok, we’ll go together.
Me: ‘awkward silence’ What?
Amos: I’m not invited… so will you take me?
Me: (very unsure) Sure…
I haven’t said a word to him since.
“Madysen!” Dorcas screamed as she threw open the dorm door, rushing into our dorm.
I look up at her, with a worried expression on my face. “What?”
“It’s time to get you ready.” She says, smirking slightly. Coming over to my bed, she throws down a huge make-up container, spilling it all over the place.
“Really… I mean, Dorcas, wouldn’t you rather start on yourself?” I ask hesitantly.
Dorcas shakes her blonde curls, determined. “No, I’ll have plenty of time. This is your first date. I want it to be perfect.”
I sigh. “It’s not a date. I’m going with Amos--”
“Diggory,” she continues for me, “I know.”
“I wasn’t even going to go to this thing! Don’t you think he’s kind of--” I continue arguing. Tonight is not going to be fun.
“A jerk. Yes, but Madysen…” Dorcas turns to face me and gives me a pleading, puppy dog look.
“Fine.” I mumble under my breath and throw down the book I was reading.
“Yes!” Dorcas’ smile is radiant, “Would you like hair or makeup first?”
I bite my lip. “Does is matter?”
Dorcas gives me an exasperated look with her blue eyes.
“Madysen! Hold still!”
I cringe my body forward again. “Well then stop hurting me!”
Lily sighs, still messing with my hair. “I’m almost done. Dorcas was right when she said this was impossible.”
“It’s not my fault my hair is so big. It’s genetics.” I say with a sniff.
“Does this dress make me look fat?” Dorcas asks as she comes through the bathroom door.
Emmeline rolls her eyes from where she is laying on her bed. “Dorcas, you’re the skinniest person I know.”
Dorcas giggles, “Well they way Madysen has been skipping meals, it’s probably her.”
“Madysen,” Lily says in a strained voice behind me, “Please do not tell me you are becoming anorexic.”
“I am not!” I protest incredulously.
“No,” Emmeline speaks up wirily, though nonchalant, “She’s been avoiding someone.”
Dorcas whips around, “Who?” Her blue eyes wide. Of course she would be interested in any form of gossip.
Feeling my face turn red, I fake it as anger, “No one! Em… why would you think that?” Asking it as if it were the most ridiculous question in the world. Nervousness and guilt bubbled up inside my stomach and I suddenly became really not optimistic about tonight.
Emmeline shrugs. “Just a guess.”
“Ok,” I hear Dorcas breath from the bathroom, “How do I look?”
I turn my eyes to look at her. She looks beautiful, of course, with her light blue dress that hangs lightly over her body. I couldn’t help but wonder what Sirius would think of it. The thought of him made my heart beat faster and I desperately wished for a mirror to see what I looked like…
“I’m sorry you can’t go, Em,” Dorcas said somewhat apologetically while putting in some earrings.
Sitting up, Emmeline replies, “Nah, I don’t care much.” She throws me a look for some reason and I try to ignore it.
With one last tug, I hear Lily sigh, “Finally.”
“You’re finished?” I ask hopefully.
“Yes, I thought those tangles would never come out.”
“Madysen,” Dorcas squeals as she comes towards me, “You look great!”
With a surge of courage, I turn to look in the mirror at myself. And I have to admit, I do look different. My hair, normally wavy, is sleek and straight while almost having a reddish tint to it now. Looking at my face, I actually have quite a lot of makeup on, thanks to Dorcas, making my eyes pop somewhat with my gold dress.
“Wow,” I breathe, “Thanks.”
Lily smiles affectionately, “Anytime.”
“Yes, but we’re going to be late.” Dorcas says impatiently, “Let’s go!”
I wave to Emmeline on the bed. “Bye.”
“Have fun.” She replies, saying it in such a way that I feel guilty once more.
While we made our way down the corridor, Lily and Emmeline get ahead of me, more eager than I to intend the masquerade. What was I doing? I ask myself with a sickening feeling of emotions in my stomach. I didn’t want to come. Or had I? All I could think about was the day Sirius asked me to come… about why he wanted me here and I was so willing to promise.
I guess in some sick fantasy of mine, I hoped to walk in, see Sirius smiling gloriously like always, and somehow we could just look at each other and just know. Know that whatever fight, whatever that had been going on between us, was over.
But that could never happen. It could never be that simple. That should have been my first warning sign.
In thought and not noticing where I’m walking, I trip and drop my gold mask. Suppressing a sigh, I reach down to pick it up, though I’m met with halfway by a reaching, muscular hand.
“Here.” A husky voice says.
I look up to see a boy in black dress robes, a mask covering his entire face.
“Thanks,” I mumble embarrassed. Taking the mask, I walk away towards the door of Slughorn’s party.
With a sense of familiarity, I turn back to look at the boy, but he’s gone.
“Madysen” Amos says, walking casually towards me.
“Hey, Amos,” I greet him reluctantly. His dress robes, however, were not black, but a dark brown that contrasted hideously with his auburn hair.
His eyes sweep over me and a smirk rises on his face, “Shall we?” Amos asks as he holds out his arm.
Nodding timidly, I take it. The moment we walk in, my eyes sweep the room for Sirius. Frustration comes over me as I realize all the boys look the same. Same black dress robes, their masks their only definite difference. I can see James in a corner, though, his raven hair sticking up over his mask. This gives me some hope, I’m sure I can define Sirius…. Who’s that blonde girl James is talking to anyway?
“Looking for someone?” Amos asks from beside me.
I jump, forgetting he was there. “No.” I tell him quickly. I try to hid my blush.
He gives me a skeptical look. “Okay…”
As the night passes, Amos is separated from me, to my relief. And I get lost in a jumble of social, masked students. Who actually truly enjoys parties? I have been nothing but bumped and ignored by buzzed students for the last fifteen minutes. When I looked for James in the corner, he was gone and there still no sign of Sirius, Lily, or Dorcas… but they had to be in here, I thought desperately.
I turn with relief to see Dorcas striding towards me. “Hey, I’m glad--”
“Have you seen Sirius?” She asks anxiously, ignoring me.
“He was supposed to be here forty-five minutes ago.”
I bite my lip and guilt washes over me, knowing she’s not the only one looking for him. “Maybe he’s just late.”
She pouts. “He’s never late.”
She turns and gets lost in the crowd. Thanks so much.
Sighing, I make my way behind a small curtain like alcove, hidden behind a bunch of chairs where I can sit down so I can debate my next move. Sirius was no where to be found and the night was beginning to look hopeless with Amos. I’m not entirely shocked though, it was a mistake to come here with him, it was a mistake to be here at all. Hearing a noise, I look up to see a boy standing in front of me. The boys here are all dressed alike, with black dress robes, that it was hard to tell them apart. This one was no different, except his mask covered his entire face.
“Don’t you like parties?” The boy asks with a husky voice. I don’t recognize the voice but I do realize it’s the same person I ran into when I was walking into the party.
“I hate them, actually.” I answer honestly with a sigh and look down at my mask in my hands.
“Me too.” The masked boy says while coming to sit down beside me.
“I never know what to say… or what to do.” I tell him sheepishly. Funny how you can be so honest with a complete stranger, yet it’s so hard to let the people closest to you in.
“Well, it looks like dancing is involved,” he says looking through the curtain at the dance floor, “And drinking.” He chuckles looking at Slughorn who was now trying to get McGonagall to dance with him.
I glance at him, wondering who he is and why he is even bothering to talk to me. “Undoubtedly.”
He looks back at me. “But you choose not to choose.”
I laugh and tell him sarcastically, “I’m a rebel”
“I don’t think so.”
“No?” I ask with skepticism.
He throws his hand up. “You’re here, aren’t you? You could have chosen not to come at all.”
He was right. I didn’t have to be here. I had come for one reason. To see Sirius Black. I have to face it: every time I see him, something inside me quickens and comes alive… and it scares me.
“To be honest, I came to see a boy.” I say.
“What boy?” He asks in a teasing tone.
I shake my head and sigh, “It doesn’t matter.”
“Because. It’s complicated.” He’s going out with my best friend, is that complicated enough? Whatever I’m feeling for him is irrelevant… not that I am feeling anything. I do not have any inkling of anything for Sirius Black. The mass was forming deeper in my stomach, seeming to weigh me down…
“Well, how do you know he’s not interested?” He asks in a serious tone, catching me off guard.
“I just do.” I tell him plainly. That’s what I am. Plain. Compared to Dorcas.
“You might be surprised.”
Looking across at him, I realize that the boy is sitting close. I can smell him… it’s so familiar, almost like a mint forest…
So wrapped up in placing the scent, I don’t notice the boy lift his mask slightly.
Before I know it, I feel his lips on mine. Lightly, at first, but then his kiss becomes harder, more urgent. It was like my whole body had become on fire and all I wanted was this kiss. I could feel his breath and his soft mouth. I could’ve stayed in this kiss forever.
And then it was over.
The boy quickly placed the mask wholly on his face. I could detect just a hint of sky blue before he abruptly stood up and strode out of the alcove.
I jumped up and ran back into the party, determined to find him and again and determine who he was. I was met by a sea of boys dressed the same and I knew it was hopeless.
“Madysen,” I turn to see Dorcas striding glumly towards me. “I thought I saw you back there.”
“Have you found Sirius?” I ask hopefully, but trying to hide it. It was hard to talk over the lump in my throat.
Dorcas sighs, “No--”
“Right here.” Sirius says upbeat as he appears at Dorcas’ side. My heart stumbles as I hear his voice. I look over him, seeing his black dress robes, his mask painted on, and an icy feeling comes over me as I realize that he wasn’t the masked boy.
“I have been looking all over for you.” Dorcas says playfully harsh, shoving him gently.
Sirius grins. “Sorry, I had detention. I-”
“Madysen,” Amos says as he walks over to my side. I forgot he was here. “There you are.” He states as if he had been looking all night, which I highly doubt.
Turning helplessly to Dorcas, she just shrugs. I notice Sirius stiffen.
“Diggory,” Sirius replies coldly, not bothering to look at him.
“You ready to dance?” Amos asks me, ignoring Sirius.
“Sure.” I agree defeated, “Bye, Dorcas.”
I don’t look at Sirius, knowing it would hurt. Thought also denying to myself that it would. My pulse quickens the moment I pass him directly.
Feeling disappointed, sadness… tons of emotions wash over me as I walk away, I turn to Amos and smile hesitantly. “Do you mind if I go?”
Amos looks flabbergasted. “What?”
“You don’t have to go,” I correct myself, “I haven’t packed to leave yet and…”
“Okay,” Amos relays, relief apparent on his face, “See you later.”
“Yeah,” I mumble as he walks towards a group of Hufflepuff girls who had been eyeing him mercilessly.
When I arrive back at the dorms, Emmeline is asleep… and snoring… but I see Lily sitting Indian style on her bed. Her red, curly hair covering her face.
“Hey,” I say surprised, “I was wondering what happened to you.”
“Yeah, I left pretty early.” Her voice is hoarse.
I look over at her, concerned, “What happened?”
She doesn’t say anything for awhile, but stares ahead with a blank look on her face. “It wasn’t the best night.” Lily finally replies quietly.
I walk over and sit beside her. “Yeah, it wasn’t.”
We sit there in silence for an unmeasured amount of time, both mulling over our experiences of the night, not feeling like we have to share them right at this moment. Knowing we eventually will, when the time was right.
And as I sit there, I feel a pang deep in my heart, realizing I won’t see Sirius Black again till after Christmas holidays.
A/N: Wow! I am so sorry it has been forever! but i really wanted to get this chapter right and i was having somewhat of a writers block haha what do you think?? i want all of your opinions :D thanks so much for reading and please review!!!!
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