Chapter 19 : My Freedom
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I told Lily everything that night. About Sirius, the conversation I’d overheard between Bellatrix, Lucius and my brother. She listened, she let me talk, she let me comfortably pour my heart out to her. When I was finished with the whole story she took a deep breath and sighed, “Wow.”
I raised a questioning eyebrow and she smiled sadly with a shrug, “I don’t really know what to say… I want to kill your brother and them lot. I also have a small urge to castrate Sirius for taking advantage of your vulnerable state. I mean, yeh, he might love you, but this really isn’t the right time for him to be declaring it.”
“If you castrate Sirius then there really is no use for him.” I said flippantly and she burst out laughing. I smiled and shook my head, “And he didn’t take advantage of my emotional state. Even during an emotional breakdown I wouldn’t let anyone take advantage of me, you know that.”
“What are you going to do about, you know, the Vampire thing?”
“Nothing. Yet.” I said, “There’s nothing I can do until… ever actually. This isn’t just my father, Lily, this is Voldemort. I can’t fight that and win.”
“Does Sirius know about this?”
“No,” I answered quickly, “No. He’s too… reckless, he doesn’t think with his head. He’d go rushing into a fight and he’d get himself hurt. He isn’t to know, Lily.”
“So, you’re going to have this… relationship, or whatever it is, with him, all the while knowing that you’re promised to this,” She cringed, “Vampire? How do you think he’s going to feel when he finds out?”
“Hopefully he will grow tired of me, hopefully he’ll be able to move on… But if not, maybe he’ll gain some sense of self-preservation and leave it be.”
“Oh come on, even I know Sirius Black well enough to know that he’s a stubborn bastard and he won’t just leave it be,” She said, “Plus, this… it isn’t just about you. Voldemort is an evil son of a bitch and he’s using you to get the Vampires on side? He must be planning something and you’re going to let yourself be a part of that?”
Her words struck me harder than I was willing to admit. But they also angered me. Did she not know me at all?
“Let?” I snarled, “Let? I am not letting anything. Would I let myself be the little pet of some sadistic bloodsucker? No. No way in hell. But there is nothing I can do, nothing. I’m tired now,” I said, getting off her bed, “Goodnight.” I knew that if I carried on the conversation I’d just get angrier and probably say something I’d regret. I went straight to my bed and closed the curtains.
My anger was palpable, but I knew it wasn’t all about what Lily said; actually it wasn’t about her at all really. It was everything else. It was my whole damn life.
I ate breakfast alone the next morning, having gotten up earlier than Lily. I sat on the Gryffindor table, stabbing passively at the food on my plate. I noticed that people were eyeing my new haircut curiously and I glared at anyone I caught looking at me. I was feeling crabby. I’d been awake all night, unable to stop my brain from buzzing. This whole situation felt surreal. And Lily was right. Voldemort was the bad guy, he was planning something and I was going to be traded for help… Was I as bad as them? In doing nothing, in allowing them to use me in this way with no fight… But was it really that selfish to wish for as easy a life as possible? Fighting my father and Voldemort on this was just plain stupid and would make no difference anyway. I was just a pawn, they were the major players. Why fight when I know I cannot win?
But perhaps I could make a difference. Perhaps fighting them on this could… could… What was I thinking? I couldn’t do anything. This was my life now. I was going to be handed over to Anton Dimir, Voldemort was going to get his ally and I was going to become dinner, or a pet, or whatever it is that vampires did.
Vampires though? Freaking Vampires? I just couldn’t get over the insanity of it all. I mean, I expected to be married off or something like that, but to just be handed over like that… That’s all my father saw me as though, a possession to be bartered with.
After 10 minutes of bemoaning my life, I caught sight of Sirius entering the Great Hall with his small group of friends. I liked that he looked up the table for me and smiled that real smile that gives him dimples when he saw me. I liked how my heart fluttered when I caught his eyes and how my cheeks warmed.
My face fell however, when, after Sirius and his friends entered, Quentin and his little posse of evildoers wandered in casually. My eyes went straight back to the cold breakfast in front of me.
No, I snapped at myself, I wasn’t just going to sit in fear and wait. Before I could really comprehend what I was doing, or think about it in anyway, I stood and marched towards Quentin, Bellatrix, Lucius and their group. They stopped their trip towards the Slytherin table as they saw me coming and looked at me curiously. I think most people in the Great Hall were eyeing me curiously. I made a beeline for Lucius and before he, or anyone else, knew what was coming, I lifted my hand and slapped him on the cheek as hard as I possibly could. The noise echoed through the Great Hall and those who hadn’t been looking were definitely looking now. Anger had yet to reach Malfoy’s face, he just looked shocked, very, very shocked. “Touch me again and I will kill you.” I assured him. I took a deep, slightly uneven breath, turned on my heel and stomped out of the Great Hall. I wished I hadn’t cut my hair; so I could have done that over-dramatic hair flip. I felt strangely energized by my outburst. I needed to do something to get rid of the excess energy, hit something or go for a run perhaps.
“Bella.” I slowed to a stop when I heard Sirius calling my name and turned around, glad that the corridor was empty. “That was…that was really hot.”
“Excuse…” I began before I was dragged down the hall and into a conveniently placed broom closet. “Sirius…” He interrupted me again when he covered my lips with mine. He pushed me backwards, knocking my back into the shelves. I didn’t even care that it hurt and there was something sharp digging into my back, not when his lips were doing what they were doing. One of his hands moved, worryingly expertly, up my leg, my thigh and under my skirt. My heart lurched and my body worked on instinct as I pushed myself impossibly closer to him. His hand moved, still under my skirt, to the outside of my thigh and he hitched my leg up over his hip. In doing so, he lifted me up and sat me uncomfortably on the edge of the shelf. It was really awkward and painful, but not exactly painful enough to make me want him to stop. I was always a little bit of a masochist.
His hand, now presumably sick of being under my skirt, moved up and under my shirt. I didn’t mind, or I wouldn’t have minded, but we were in a broom closet and I didn’t want to be the kind of girl that got groped in a broom closet. I grabbed hold of his wandering hand and smirked against his lips, “Down boy,” I whispered, “This is not the time or the place for a little innocent groping.”
“There was going to be nothing little or innocent about it.” He muttered huskily.
“The more reason to stop it here then.” I said as I slipped off the shelf.
He smiled and kissed me lightly on the lips, less fervent than before, “Sorry.”
I laughed, “There is nothing for you to be sorry for. If this is the reaction I get when I have a violent outburst, I may have to do it more often.”
“That’s perfectly fine with me. You can hit Malfoy whenever you want,” He paused, “Have you had an argument with Lily?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I saw her coming down from your dormitory earlier and she looked a little down. I asked her where you were and she…”
I grimaced, “We didn’t have an argument per say, I just snapped at her and… She told me something that I didn’t want to hear. I should go apologize now.”
He smiled, “Meet me tonight at the Room of Requirement?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” I said, biting my bottom lip, “But I can’t make any promises,” I slipped past him and took hold of the door handle, “Remember, you hate me, ok? If anything happens, don’t lose your temper…”
“What do you think is going to happen?” He asked.
I shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant. I was exceptionally worried about what my brother, or Bellatrix and Lucius had in store for me and I didn’t want Sirius doing something stupid to reveal our illicit relationship. “Just hold your temper, ok? Don’t act like your…”
“Madly in love with you?” He said, raising an eyebrow.
“Yeh. I know you’ll want to go all he-man protective, but that would make things worse and you wouldn’t want to be responsible for making things worse for me, would you?” I hated guilt tripping him, but it was probably the only way to stop him from acting how he would want against those who hurt me.
“No,” he said quietly, “I wouldn’t.”
I smiled sadly again, kissed him on the cheek and then snuck out of the broom closet without another word, preparing myself for the real world. As soon as I exited the broom closet the world seemed a lot darker and I half wished I could just lock myself away in there and pretend the world didn’t exist.