Chapter 30 : Tragic Tony the Scarface (Ian, for short)
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Disclaimer: It's been awhile since I did one of these, so it's probably about time..It may come as a shock to some of you, but I do not, in fact, make money from these stories, or even *gasp* own any part of the Potter universe! JKR is the brilliant mind behind it, so thank you Jo. :)
So, after spending an evening being laughed at, I’m in a pretty bad mood. Not that I’m not always in a pretty bad mood these days…it’s just marginally worse today.
Eventually everyone leaves, James looking at me pityingly, which I totally hate. I don’t want anyone’s frickin sympathy, much less his! I just shut my eyes and pretended to have fallen asleep.
Now he’s gone, and I can’t fall asleep for the life of me! Jackson went to try and find a flat to rent or something, and I am utterly alone. As I lay in bed, trying to sleep, I start thinking. About those creepy little faceless kiddies, ya know? What if they are like the dark magic inside of me? It’s almost too weird to contemplate. I edge around the subject testily in my mind, not admiring it directly. Instead I start half-thinking about my tutors who are coming tomorrow. How totally boring. They’re probably like those really annoying happy-freaks who take happy-pills for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with their twix rainbow happy cereal and sunny orange happy juice.
When I was little, and my parents would buy those rainbow cereals, I would always pick out all of the green ones, and just eat those. I wouldn’t eat any other color. It drove them crazy (which, come to think of it, is probably why I did it). Suddenly I feel really hungry for a bowl of those fruity-delicious (in every bite!) puffs. I stand, pulling myself out of bed. There are still three billion and two IVs coming out of me; I yank them off—it stings a little, I’m not gonna lie. I wince, and then start making my way out of the room. It’s slow progress, seeing as I’m still pretty weak, and have to lean on stuff the whole way out. I open the door and peek out. All clear! Then I start making my way towards the cafeteria place. Maybe they’ll have something to eat. As I’m leaning against the walls, making my way, I get a good look into some of the rooms and the people in them.
It’s sad, really. This place, this floor I mean, is more than for people who are healing from major surgeries. It’s where people are dying. It’s where people know they are dying. Most of the rooms have curtains drawn around the beds. Some have family members still inside, looking old and tired and sad. One of the rooms, though, has neither. The curtains are thrown wide, almost daring people to look; the room is empty, save for a boy, maybe one about my age, maybe a bit older, who is lying in his bed, staring at the ceiling. I stop. I stare. This boy has seen hardship.
His face is covered in scars that I can see clearly from here. And not only his face—the scars are everywhere, some white and old, others pink and fresh. And I can’t look away. Suddenly, he turns his head, to look directly at me. I gasp and drop to the floor, ducking out of sight, heart hammering in my chest.
That’s a really stupid saying, ya know? Heart hammering away in my chest? I mean, where else would it be hammering away in, my big toe?
“You can come in,” A loud, clear voice calls. Should I? Eh. What the hell. What else do I have to do? I stand again, slowly, and then timidly open the door, clutching at the bandage on my chest.
“Sorry,” I say softly, bowing my head. “I was just—“
“They’re hideous, aren’t they,” he says sourly. “I know they are. I look like a monster to you. To everyone.”
I know immediately that he’s talking about his scars.
“How?” I ask, moving closer to him and daring to look him in the face. The scars are bad, really bad, but not so bad as to disfigure his face or anything. You can still see his green eyes, and his shaggy brown hair, and his nose, and his lips. He’s handsome, in a weird way. Or at least, he was.
“Werewolf,” he says softly.
“Oh my god…” I gasp, my eyes widening. “Are you—“
“Am I what? Cursed? A werewolf? Nah. Never actually been bitten, just clawed up real bad. My father was the one…he gave me these scars.”
“Where are they now?” I ask tentatively. He shrugs.
“Who knows. M’dad’s probably gone and thrown himself over a cliff from the guilt, the bastard, and knowing my mum she followed ‘im.”
“Why don’t you go to Hogwarts?” I ask.
“Graduated a year ago. So go on—what are you here for? You don’t look too beat up.”
“No, I guess I don’t.” Compared to you, I feel like saying. But I don’t. “Well, let’s see. I have a disease that until recently we thought I’d gotten from my parents, who both died from it a while back. Now, after going through a surgery they’ve never performed on anyone before, the healers discovered that it isn’t really a disease at all, but a dark curse that was put on me years ago. I can’t breathe, see. Well, I can,” I amend, because he’s looking at me with an eyebrow raised, “But not well. I came here to Britain from Washington, which is in the U.S., to get treatment, and I go to Hogwarts and am in the seventh year. So…yeah. I’ve got a year or so, if that. Probably less. The magic is…it’s too dark. Anything they tried to do to kill the dark magic would simultaneously kill me. So…yeah. That about covers it all, I think. And my name’s Max.”
“Mine is Ian. You have quite the past,” He says. “Here, you can sit if you want.” He motions to the edge of his bed. “I thought I had it bad…”
“Why are you here, though? I mean, isn’t this place for the…the…”
“Patients who are thisclose to dying painful and terrible deaths? Not everyone here is. I…” He swallows, closing his eyes for a moment. “I’m a bit of a charity case, see. No money, no family, no future. They’ll move me soon, of course…it was close, though.”
“Close?” I ask, confused. He smiles one of the least smiley-smiles I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of un-smiley smiles in my lifetime, trust me.
“These scars, my father gave me,” he says, motioning to his face. I nod. “These, though, I gave to myself.” He holds up his arms; huge, vertical slashes cut through his wrists, still red and painful-looking. I cringe. “I almost died,” He said bitterly. “I wanted so badly to…if only they wouldn’t have found me…”
And suddenly, I’m really pissed at this guy. I reach out and slap him, hard across the face.
“What was that for?” He yelps, scowling at me.
“You’re a selfish bastard,” I hiss, glaring right back at him. “A selfish goddamn bastard! You have a life! A life, okay? A perfectly good one! My parents are dead! I’m practically dead! And there you are, sad because of a few fucking scars? You make me sick!” I’m breathing hard, tears starting to stain my cheeks. “You t-tried to kill yourself when I would give anything to bring my parents back to life. You h-hate your life, which you’re so goddamn lucky to have! You have your whole life ahead of you! And I---ugh, just never mind. Never mind. I’m sorry. I don’t know you.” I stand shakily, my breathing…bad? How can this be? I just got the surgery that was supposed to fix it! Maybe the dark magic won’t let them…I can’t be healed. This realization makes me cry harder. I stumble towards the door.
“Hey, wait, maybe you should—“
“I’m fine!” I yell, frustrated. I’ve probably woken up half the building by now. Sure enough, a wand light is flickering, coming nearer to the door. In walks a nurse. She looks dazed, tired.
“What’s going on in here?” She asks, stifling a yawn. “Max, darling, you’re not supposed to be out of bed!” She says, dismayed. “Come here, let’s get you back. No, no, let me help!” She congeals up a wheelchair and sits me down on it. I’m trying desperately to stop crying. “Does your chest hurt?”
“I’m fine,” I repeat, more calmly this time.
“Go to bed, Ian. I’ll come back and check on you later, mister.” She looks disapprovingly at the boy, but all he’s doing is looking at me, eyes wide.
“You don’t know anything, bitch,” he growls at me. “Nothing.”
“Coward. Selfish bastard!” I call rudely back at him. As the nurse wheels me quickly out of the room, I give him the middle finger. “ASSHOLE!” I call loudly, even though he’s out of sight now.
“WHORE!” He calls back.
I can already tell we’ll be friends.
The next morning, I’m woken by a crazy-looking lady with curly red—not orange, but really, really red—hair, big green eyes, and dimples. And her nails are painted lime green.
“Who are you?” I ask, frowning.
“I’m Miss Reimold, but you can call me Sara,” she says, beaming at me.
Damn it. I knew she’d be the happy type.
“I’m Max,” I say, sitting up a bit. “You don’t really look like a teacher,” I point out, glancing down at her outfit. She’s wearing a lime green dress with black and electric blue accents that perfectly matches her nails, a dark suit blazer, and pointy black high-heeled shoes with bright pink bows at the ends of them.
“Oh, don’t I?” She asks, looking worried. Her face flushes a bit. Oh, so she’s the self-conscious type. “I’m sorry, this is my first real job…we should probably get started, now, right? We’ll start with Defence, okay?”
“I didn’t mean to be rude. Your outfit is…cute. It just isn’t what I’m used to,” I clarify.
“Oh…thank you, I suppose. So…I think we’ll start with a bit of review, going over what you’ve missed…”
We split the time between Potions, which we study through a book, and DADA. I’m exhausted by the end of it, but I keep getting more and more fond of this Miss Reimold. She’s just…adorable. There’s no other way to describe it. Everything about her is just adorable.
“Cheers, Max, it’s been fun,” She says at the end, looking very relieved. “I was worried you’d be snarky and teenagerish. But you’re quite cool.”
“Oh, trust me, I’m snarky. I’m just a bit…low-key, these days. Me dying, and all.”
She looks saddened and slightly embarrassed by this.
“Oh, of course, I wasn’t meaning to imply—“
“Nah. You’re fine. I’m really tired though…see you later?”
“Yes. Now make sure to practice if you can, and have those worksheets done by our next session. Bye!”
And she’s gone.
It’s a mark of how bored I am that the homework gets done at all, much less in the first ten minutes of me getting it. Once I’m through with that, I just sit and stare at the wall some more. I doubt anyone will come and visit me today, but I can always hope, right?
“Hey?” As if by magic, someone shows up at my door. “Max?” It’s scarface from yesterday. Ian.
“What do you want? Planning on killing yourself on my floor?” I ask crabbily, glaring at him. He rolls his eyes, huffing.
“No, I am not. You were right. About me being selfish. About everything, really.”
“Of course I was right, you turd! I’m always right!” I say pompously, flinging back some blonde hair. “I guess I can forgive you. Maybe.”
“Thanks. Er…can I sit down?”
“Well, I dunno, can you?”
“May I, then?” He asks exasperatedly.
“I guess so. That’s probably why there are chairs in the room."
“Hey! That was uncalled for!”
“Well, you are one!” I say defensively.
“That doesn’t mean you have to go around saying it!”
“Why did you come here, anyway?” I ask grumpily. “Go away.” When he starts to leave, though, I have to call him back. “Okay, okay, stay, I’m bored out of my effing mind!” He grins,a nd sits back down.
“I came to apologize. And to tell you some more…about myself, if you want to hear it.”
“My name is Ian Littleton, my parents are both magical, and my dad has been a werewolf since he was seventeen. He was bitten at a party that got out of hand.”
“Sounds like a pretty crappy party,” I comment. He smirks.
“You could say so. Anyway, if you think I look bad, you should see my mum! It’s a miracle neither of us has been bitten, really. A bleeding miracle. Anyway, the main thing is, I’m in love with a girl.”
“Oh, really?” I ask, raising an eyebrow. “And does she love you back?”
“She doesn’t know I exist,” he admits shyly, looking up at me over long, dark lashes. “Her name’s Miriam. She’s beautiful,” he sighs, a dreamy look crossing his face. “She has this really dark hair and eyes…”
“Okay, lover boy, get on with it!”
“Okay, well anyway, that’s mainly why I tried to kill myself. Because I love her more than any man has ever loved any woman in the history of the universe, and she thinks that I’m a complete and total freak.”
I just stare at him for a moment, and then slap him again.
“What the hell was that for?” he exclaims, then—“Ouch! Damn, you can hit!”
“Older brother,” I explain. “And you just think you are so TRAGIC, don’t you?!? Poor little Ian! Newsflash: love is not always requited! Love is hard! And do you honestly think you are the only person who this has ever happened to? It happens every day, the only difference is nobody else is WIMPY ENOUGH to try and KILL THEMSELVES!”
“I’m not wimpy! You don’t understand, I love her!”
“Well, then do something about it, instead of sitting around on your lazy ass and hacking up your wrists! Idiot!”
“You really are very rude. Has anyone told you that before?”
“Always,” I deadpan. He shrugs. “Like I said, love is hard! And it doesn’t always work out, okay? I mean, just look at Romeo and Juliet!”
“It was instant love. So romantic,” he says.
“You’re remembering how their story worked out, aren’t you?” I ask. He rolls his eyes.
“Yes. I’m just saying, it’s so…unfair.”
“Unfair?! Unfair is me never being able to have kids, or a family, or live past the age of seventeen! That’s unfair! You are really annoying, did you know that? I’m going to name you Tragic Tony.”
“But my name is Ian,” he points out. Bah, humbug.
“WHO CARES? NOW IT’S TRAGIC TONY!” I yell.
“Okay, okay! You’re mad! Calm down.”
“Hell yes, I’m mad!” I say, glad that he’s catching onto my emotions, finally. He just looks at me blankly.
“Right…” he backs away slowly, still looking at me through squinted eyes. “Right, well, nice chatting with you, then…laters…”
“You are not getting away now! Come back here!” I reach out and grab him by the sleeve. He stops, even though it would be really easy for him to tear away from me.
“What do you want me to day, Max?” He asks, sounding tired. “That I regret it? I do, in a way. It was uncalled for. I’m sorry for upsetting you. But it’s in my past, right? It’s over, I can’t change things now!” his voice cracks, and he looks away, embarrassed. My voice softens slightly.
“I’m not trying to be harsh, I just…don’t do it again, okay?”
He nods slowly.
“Promise?” I ask. I’m not sure why I care so much, I just do. It means something, I just don’t know what right now.
“Yeah. Sure. Promise.”
“Friends?” I prompt further. He smiles slightly, and takes my outstretched hand in his.
“Okay, go away now, I’m tired,” I say after this touching scene. He smiles one more time, shakes his head, and leaves, closing the door softly behind him.
And, despite the sadness and seriousness of this whole situation, before I know it I’m smiling too.
A/N: Okay, a mammoth A/N is ahead. There are some serious things I feel I should discuss with you.
1. We have arrived at chapter 30 (As many of you already know) and my goal was to have 200 reviews. You all have far surpassed my expectations! Thank you so much, you are all incredible.
2. Don't worry. Ian is not a new love interest for Max, just a friend. I do love his character, though, for some odd reason (probably because I created him, I'm just biased that way) even though he is a bit too Tragic Tony for my liking.
3. Thank you to all the people reading and working at this site, we all really appreciate it. You deserve this vacation.
4. Okay, here comes the tricky bit. I don't really know how much I am supposed to say, or anything like that, but I just thought you needed to know. Two days ago a very dear friend of mine was in a head-on car collision, and things are very touch-and-go at the moment. My point is not for sympathy, but to ask for your patience. Hopefully this story can take my mind off of things, but until things are sorted out with that, I would appreciate your understanding. Updates may be a bit late at times. I will honestly try my best, though. I wrote this chapter for you on four hours of sleep, so forgive any spelling errors or anything else. And as you can imagine, spending practically every minute in a hospital in the past few days has made me very close to Max and her predicament. Her plight is sincerely heartfelt.
Thanks for your constant understanding and support, I really appreciate it. And Naomi, this story is for you.
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