A/N: I just wanna take someone else's holiday. (You know what I mean?) Did you guys know Lion King is based off of Hamlet? There's your brain food for the day. Now please enjoy :) :) :)
When Scarlett woke up, the first thing that she registered was the pain.
It was not the dull aches she had become accustomed to feeling after waking—it was not the pain and burden of exhaustion—it was actual pain, pain that started at every nerve and ended, there, right in her heart, right in her head.
It didn't make any sense. She was safe and comfortable and warm in Theodore's arms. The night fell on her, a blanket all its own, covering her and protecting her. The room was silent, though beautifully so, only broken by the faint noises of wildlife outside.
So why did it hurt so much?
She was supposed to be safe. She was supposed to be okay.
She observed her surroundings. There was nothing poking her, nothing prodding her, and yet she still felt as if knives were tearing at her, from her toes to the tips of her hair. There was nothing there, but yet there was, and it was there so intensely that it could not be purely from her imagination.
It couldn't be. She saw no wounds, scars, or anything indicating pain, but it was there. It felt heavy on her body, overpowering, and Scarlett clamped her eyes shut, willing for it to stop. She direly wanted sleep to cover her, desperately wanted sleep to find her, but it didn't.
It was not the tiredness that bothered her anymore; she was fully rested. It was the pain. It was so peculiar, so ill-placed, that she actually observed herself, her thumb grazing over her chest and her head and her arms, searching for anything that indicated pain. Nothing was wrong.
Nothing was wrong, but yet everything was, and still Scarlett had no idea why. It did not frustrate her as much as it had earlier that day—the lack of fatigue had seen to that—but yet that question still swam in her thoughts frequently, even if her thoughts were full of pain, pain, pain.
Why did she hurt?
Some part of her, the part that was hurting, was clawing at her skin. The pain made her restless; it made her stomach churn and her bones ache. She wanted to leave it, as if she could run away from it.
But, another part of her—the logical, set part of her mind—told her that this is what she should've expected. Of course, being a Death Eater was never supposed to be easy. It was supposed to be unexplainable, an enigma that she was never supposed to figure out. After all, one of the pulses where pain hit the most was that Dark Mark, the blood staining black as it passed where the tattoo was.
Another wave of pain passed over her, and as if it was an electrical shock Scarlett jumped from the bed, attempting to find a distraction from the aching, paralyzing pain. Her body broke out in shivers, sweat beginning to shimmy down her skin, and she slid down the wall, hugging her knees.
Beneath her pain there was that one small slice of logic, or impulse, or something; all that she knew was that it did not feel the pain. It stood stoic, albeit irritated, in its presence, repeating the same thing to her over and over again:
You should have known.
Scarlett did not know why, but at that thought the pain came again, loud and angry. She did not know why, but the thought kept repeating itself in her head, like a mantra to stick in her head for eternity:
You should have known...
But the only thing Scarlett knew at that time was that she had to get out of there. She had to try and run, run away from it, because even though she was sure the pain would follow, she needed comfort.
And she knew exactly where to find it.
Scarlett was late.
Of course, she was normally always late, but time had ticked by, moving as quickly as molasses, and she had still not come. It had been ten minutes, then fifteen, then thirty, and she had still refused to arrive, leaving the outlook one person short. It was enough to make him huff angrily; though he normally had patience for Scarlett's lateness, thirty minutes was where the line between innocently late and simply not coming was.
However, Sirius had not left. Despite evidence that she had had a tendency to not come, he did not leave, because for some reason he was sure that she was coming. He was sure that he was coming, but he did not know how. Part of it was purely instinct, because he knew her. He knew that she wouldn't.
Another part of it was Tenereus's appearance into where they normally were alone.
Sirius had not seen much of Tenereus, but looking at him now, he felt slightly intimidated. Tenereus's face was one that had been transfigured after years of endless knowledge, and yet it still searched for more, his eyes darting from Sirius to the stars directly above him. His frame was large, muscular, and alert; Tenereus's body reacted to every single noise in the forest, his hands drifting towards his bow and arrow out of pure instinct. However, there was also some softness, or tolerance, and it was this which prompted Tenereus's pacing, anxiously looking towards where Scarlett normally emerged.
Now, as to why he was there, Sirius did not know, and he did not bother to ask. Instead, he curiously observed Tenereus, whose mannerisms became more and more worried, his eyes flickering less to Sirius and more to the stars, his hands resting uncomfortably close to his bow-and-arrow.
It was strange, to say the least, because Sirius had no idea why. Nothing unusual had happened; they had not fought or made any noise indicating that something was wrong. But something had definitely inspired Tenereus to come here, likely the same thing that had caused Scarlett to be late.
And Sirius had no idea what.
Insanely curious, Sirius found himself eyeing the stars. Though in his humble opinion he did not believe in the slightest that they held the future, he could not help but be fascinated by both Scarlett and Tenereus's dedication. It was like their Quidditch, their nearly obsessive adoration for the stars mirroring Sirius's for the sport.
But, it was strange to base an obsession on something so questionable.
However, if Tenereus believed the same thing as Sirius he surely wasn't showing it, for every ounce of energy that radiated off of him was focused. He didn't seem to notice Sirius at all, and Sirius idly wondered if he should leave.
Finally, though, and abruptly, Tenereus turned to him. "How are you?"
And that question appeared once more, rejuvenated since Scarlett had asked him the same back in October, and Sirius rolled his eyes at it, wondering why it came up so often. 'How are you' was a three worded nightmare, really: it was too polite, but too intrusive, and it opened up lots of opportunities for lies, though Sirius did not feel comfortable with lying to someone who likely could tell if he was.
But Sirius did not really know what to say. He could be honest, but he did not really know exactly how he felt, or he could be sarcastic, but that seemed as if it would be a bad decision from the moment that he'd open his mouth. Finally, though awkwardly, he responded.
Tenereus eloquently raised an eyebrow. "Not worried?" asked Tenereus. "Concerned? Or are you just curious?"
Sirius shrugged it off, visibly irked. "Well, what about you?" he questioned promptly in reply. "Impatient?"
Tenereus shook his head. "I'm worried," he clarified, looking again to where Scarlett was supposed to be. "I know what's going to happen, and it's not good."
"Really?" Sirius asked, and, curious, he continued. "Well, what's going to happen?"
Tenereus shook his head. "Nothing," he said, blatantly ignoring Sirius's glare and looking up towards the stars instead. "Nothing that you need to know about now, anyway."
"Well, then, what's the point?" Sirius said, and the question opened up a number of questions that had been in Sirius's head, exiting his mouth so quickly that his speech soon became a rant. "What's the point, then, for me to be here? Why the hell am I even here if I'm not supposed to know anything? What's the point for me to come here and do absolutely nothing except goof around, especially when you know about it? Why am I even here? Huh?"
Tenereus smiled. "I am sure," he said, and in contrast to Sirius his voice was a steady drawl, "that we both know the reason as to why you are still here. Now, as for why you are still here to benefit me... Well," said Tenereus, "I think that is something that you will learn in time.
"You have to understand," said Tenereus, who, while softening slightly, still had his hands nearby the bow-and-arrow, "it is not unusual at all for someone to come in here. It does not happen often, obviously, but it happens from time to time. People have come and gone.
"But it is very unusual for two people to stay here," he continued. "So, Sirius, why are you here? You and I both know that. It helps me that you're here, and it helps her, and maybe it helps you. Now, how important you are—I'm not entirely sure where your story goes, but I'm learning."
"Tell me something I don't know," Sirius challenged, and Tenereus shrugged.
"The future isn't set in stone," he pointed out. "I could just as easily be wrong. Assuming that I'm right, however, the next few months will be very important, anyway."
Curiosity biting at him, Sirius asked, "How?"
Tenereus shook his head. "I didn't say anything."
"No, of course you didn't." Sirius glared. "What's the use of knowing the future if you don't do anything about it?"
"I do," assured Tenereus, slightly impatient. "If you want to know something about the future, then pay attention. The only difference is that I have the stars to support me.
"But they can be wrong, you know," said Tenereus. "A part of me didn't think that you would come. I worried that she wouldn't go through with it, but she did. I'm happy that she did, because now so much more can happen. Better things. And it all starts to make sense.
"Observation is the best way to know the future," said Tenereus. "Believe me, I could stand here and watch the two of you and I'd know just as much as I know right now. It's fairly obvious."
"What are you talking about?" questioned Sirius, though he knew the answer to his own question, and Tenereus shook his head.
"It's beginning," Tenereus said simply. "It's beginning, and it's going to stay there, whether you like it or not. As for what you're going to do about it, well..." He shook his head. "It will be interesting, at least. I don't really know what you're going to do—I can only guess by observing. I can only hope that you're going to do the right thing."
"Well," said Sirius, irritated and somewhat surprised by the turn the conversation had taken, "How the hell am I supposed to do the right thing if I don't even know what the right thing is? Is it that bloody hard for you to tell me something?"
Tenereus sighed. "You'll know," he guaranteed. "You'll know when it happens, everybody will know when it happens. But it doesn't matter when it will happen, it matters what you're going to do about it when it finally does. Again, I can only hope that you'll know what to do.
"Just promise me one thing," Tenereus requested, an though Sirius furrowed his eyebrows he nodded in gesture for him to continue. "Promise me that, no matter what happens, you'll stay with her. No matter what she says or does—please, for me, will you stay with her?"
Sirius nodded, slightly confused and decently curious, as a satisfied gleam entered Tenereus's eye as he turned abruptly towards the entrance. "She's coming soon, anyway," he murmured, "So you can test yourself then."
"Test myself on what?" Sirius asked sharply. "Is she okay? How do you know she's coming soon anyway?"
"Curiosity killed the cat," muttered Tenereus under his breath.
"I'm not a cat, though," Sirius insisted. "Tell me."
"I can observe," Tenereus said shortly. "And, no, she isn't. Don't ask her why—she probably doesn't know herself. Just stay with her."
Sirius didn't say anything. He couldn't really think of anything to say in retaliation, especially to somebody who, he was sure, knew the next words that would've come out of his mouth. For the first time in a long time, Sirius didn't say a word, instead choosing to wait... and wait...
And, because all he did was wait, wait and observe, Sirius could begin to feel that she was definitely coming soon. The almost inaudible footsteps were a more obvious clue, clearly; however, intrinsically, he knew that she was coming far before footsteps could've been heard.
And, so, Sirius waited, and the centaur next to him waited, both waiting in suspense, waiting for her arrival. The feeling grew, flourished, and festered as the seconds passed, the atmosphere thickening and intensifying, as they waited for her to come...
And then she came.
The first thing that Sirius observed was that the entrance was not graceful, irritated, or agile; similarly, it was not accompanied with any form of explanation, verbal or otherwise. In fact, there was, at first glance, nothing truly spectacular about Scarlett's entrance, except that it was really nothing. Maybe it could have been clumsy, maybe, but at the same time that didn't fit. The only thing that described the actual entrance was absolutely nothing, not answering any questions but leading Sirius to come to a conclusion all his own.
The second thing that Sirius noticed was the way she looked. At first glance she looked perfectly okay, her hair falling a little bit more messily to her shoulders than normal, perhaps. However, on closer inspection and that same feeling that had brought him to believe that she was coming, there was so much to be said about the way that she looked.
She did not look happy or angry or anything, anything at all. He could've called her frightened, but she merely seemed to be a restrained kind of docile. He could've called her confused, but even though Tenereus was unexpectedly there her eyebrows didn't furrow in the slightest, her face containing an unexplainable, strange expression that really wasn't an expression at all.
She did not cease her pace when she arrived, either. She continued walking, almost as if she was planning on walking right past, and she barely cast Tenereus a glance. Instead, she continued walking towards where he stood, her eyes steady on his.
And, even though he should have immediately bombarded her with questions, even though one of them should have spoken, they didn't, and he didn't, because what was there to say? With everything simplified as much as it could've been, all that existed was that she was there, and that was all Sirius needed to know.
Why did not really matter. Though a life with every one of its questions answered was better than a life suffocated from them there was nothing he could've done and nothing he wanted to do.
Why didn't matter.
All that mattered was that she was there and walking towards him, she was there and she was hurt, she was there and then she came closer until she was there, her arms wrapping around his neck and his arms snaking around her waist. All that mattered was that she was there, and that was the only thing Sirius needed to know.
"Stay with me," she asked, her voice low, and Sirius didn't say anything in reply because nothing needed to be voiced, not then. Instead, Sirius simply wrapped his arms around her tighter.
Nothing needed to be said, because as long as she was there, everything would be okay. As long as she was there he would stay with her.
And that was the way it wasn't supposed to be, but that was the way it was.