Chapter 3 : Everyone Has a Secret
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“Good morning mother?” I answered, my eyes never leaving the window I was looking out. Light was just beginning to shine through the thick forest of brightly colored leaves that would soon be falling from the trees that they clung to. The sky was painted bright colors of pink, orange, and blue. It was like a sunrise from a fairytale, perfect.
“How long have you been sitting here sweetie?” she asked confused when she noticed that I was wearing the same shorts and t-shirt from the day before.
“All night,” I replied truthfully. Mother always told me to tell the truth no matter what the consequence may be.
She slowly kneeled down on the floor next to me. Gently she took my head in her hands and turned my face to look into her crystal clear blue eyes that made me feel like I was looking into a mirror. “Did you sleep at all?” her eyebrows pulled together, she was worried.
I looked away from her eyes that seemed to pierce my very soul.
“Daddy’s not coming home for my birthday,” I told her sadly. I couldn’t hide my disappointment, I didn’t know how to yet. “Why isn’t daddy home anymore?”
My hopeful eyes looked back into hers, I wanted to understand, I wanted her to tell me it wasn’t my fault. But even at my young age I knew deep inside me that he didn’t come home so that he wouldn’t see me. I was young though, I still had a childish hope that he would come home and love me like he used to. I dreamed that he would hold me close and sing my lullaby softly in my ear while he rocked me to sleep, like he used to.
Mother scooped me up off the floor and set me in her lap.
“Daddy loves you, he truly does. He’s just… he has his own way of showing it. You will always be his little princess, so don’t you ever doubt that he loves you. Daddy will come home someday, I promise. Do you understand that, baby? Don’t give up hope even when all seems lost. Keep fighting. Okay, sweetie.”
Tears filled her eyes. She pulled me to her chest and kissed the top of my head. I felt something wet hit my cheek. It rolled down my cheek slowly as if it was my own tear. I leaned my head against her and if I tried hard enough I could almost imagine it was daddy holding me instead of mother.
My eyes fluttered open. I could feel the wetness under my eyes, taste the salt on my lips and quickly reached my fingers up to brush away the unwanted tears. That memory I could still picture vividly. It remained untouched by the passing of years. I was so young then, so innocent. Telling a lie was like committing a crime in my childish mind. At the time I had no idea that I would soon be living in a tangled web of lies that I couldn’t control.
Very slowly I untangled my legs from the pile of blankets that had somehow ended up at the end of my bed. I pushed back the curtain surrounded my bed to see that the sun hadn’t even risen yet. The starry night sky was still dark with just a hint of light peaking through. My feet led me over to the only window in the room without my mind commanding it to. I leaned against the cool glass. My eyes wandered around Hogwarts grounds taking in every detail. I have always loved looking out the window. Watching, waiting, for what I didn’t know. It calmed me, comforted me.
I sighed knowing that now that I was up I would never be able to fall back asleep. Slowly and quietly, so I wouldn’t wake any of the other girls, I pulled on a pair of jeans and a white tank top. I slipped on the first shoes I saw before tiptoeing out the door. I exited Ravenclaw tower with a sigh of relief. Alone I could let down my mask for a little while. I could let a little bit of me shine through the cracks. Nobody was watching, nobody could see me; I was free for a minute.
If only mother could see me now. What would she say if she knew the lies I was telling? What would she do if she knew how cowardly I had become? She would say that she loved me anyway, that she didn’t care. Everybody made mistakes some are just bigger than others. She would tell me that I still had some of my old bravery buried deep within me. Be strong, stand up for what you believe in, is what she would whisper in my ear. If only I had the courage to stand up. But I’m not a Gryffindor, I’m a Ravenclaw. Sometimes I wish that I was a Gryffindor. Then I would know that I had the courage that I desperately wanted.
I ran my fingers along the cool stone wall. Every bump, every crack was felt by my searching fingers. Absentmindedly I twirled a strand of hair with my other hand. My curls were in disarray from not being brushed. I wandered around the silent castle without a destination in mind. My feet carried me wherever they felt like it. Lost deep in my thoughts of freedom and courage I didn’t even notice when my legs led me outside until I felt a gust of cool wind hit my face. My eyes traveled up to the sky. The sky, that had been dark what seemed like only minutes ago, was now much lighter. Soon it would be completely light out and the few stars left in the sky would no longer be visible.
With my eyes never leaving the slowly lightening sky I lay down on the slightly wet grass. Thoughts and images of my life before lies swirled in my head. As I watched the sky I could pretend that I was a little girl again lying in the grass near the forest by my house. I could almost hear my mother lecturing me playfully about staying up all night to watch the stars while daddy laughed at her futile attempts to make me come inside.
“You’re up early.”
I didn’t jump, I didn’t move. I made no indication that I had heard anyone speak at all. I knew that voice. His haunting words still echoed loudly in my ears.
“You’re not going to talk to me?” he asked curiously.
“I talk when I have something to say,” I answered him. Perfect Amanda was back. My moment of freedom was gone.
“I see,” he was silent.
He sat down beside me. My eyes never left the last visible star. He shifted nervously beside me. I could tell that he didn’t like the silence but I did. Silence meant that I didn’t have to lie.
“Look,” he started suddenly, “I’m sorry about what I said yesterday. I had no right to say any of that. I don’t know anything about you. It was wrong and I’m sorry.”
My head slowly turned to look at him. His stormy grey eyes burned with the same sincerity that lined every word he spoke.
“It’s okay,” I replied lifelessly. Quickly I averted my eyes from his.
It was strange to hear his apology. He meant every word that he said too, that was the most confusing part. Why was Sirius Black, the Sirius Black apologizing to me, the girl he saw right through?
“You’re up early,” I commented taking what he had told me earlier.
He chuckled softly obviously noticing that I had stolen his words. “I like to watch the stars disappear.” He lifted his head toward the sky. “I guess I missed it today.”
I sat up in surprise. He looked over at me, curious about my sudden movement. “That’s what I was doing. I’ve always loved watching the stars.” I pulled my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms securely around them. “I sometimes stay up all night just to watch the stars.” I realized too late that I had let something of the real me out. My mask had slipped for a second. I quickly pulled it back on before my slip up could do any more damage.
“I do too,” he smiled at me. His eyes twinkled excitedly. “I thought I was the only one that did that.”
I shook my head slowly, keeping my face carefully free of any emotion.
“Your hair is a wreck,” he teased like we were best friends. His fingers grabbed one of my stray curls and flipped it over my shoulder. He chuckled softly.
I bit my lip, a nervous habit, not quite sure what to do. He didn’t think we were friends did he? We barely know each other there is no way we can be friends. He sees right through me, I won’t allow us to be friends. He could easily get the truth from me if he tried. All of my defenses fell against my will around him. I was an open book.
“I didn’t brush it this morning,” I squirmed uncomfortably. This had never happened to me before. I usually knew exactly what to do but now it was like my mind had gone blank. How was I supposed to lie when he could see the truth hidden deep within them?
He noticed my discomfort and smirked. I hated that smirk; it was a smirk that said ‘I know what you’re thinking even though you are trying to hide it.’
“You have a secret, I know that but I’m not going to force you to tell me. It’s none of my business. Your secret is your secret. I find you very difficult to read but I’m good at spotting lies. I know when somebody is lying, most of the time,” he smiled, “if you want me to I can pretend I don’t know when you’re lying, I could pretend to believe every word you say if you want me to.”
Difficult to read, he finds me difficult to read? It’s like he reads my mind and he says I’m difficult to read. I don’t believe it but his eyes show nothing but the truth. He was offering to believe my lies. Why would he do that? He was so confusing.
“I’d like that,” I found myself whispering.
He let himself fall backward into the soft grass. Bringing his arms up he placed them behind his head.
“Everyone has a secret,” he whispered.
He was talking to himself, I knew. I couldn’t deny the truth in his words.
“Everyone has a secret.” I repeated as I lay down next to him.
Confused was what I was. Sirius Black was a strange boy. One day he’s practically telling me I’m living a lie and then the next he’s apologizing and offering to ignore the lies that I’m telling. Why would he care that I’m telling lies? Why is he being nice to me?
Silence fell over us. We watched the sun rise shining soft golden sunlight on everything it could reach. I felt the rays of light beat down on my skin at just the right temperature. I knew deep down inside of me that in some bizarre way Sirius Black and I were now friends.