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Chapter 5 : Reply Letters and Other Small Issues
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Dreams are funny things. Especially under the strange circumstances when you realize that you are, in fact, dreaming, but can do nothing to prevent the hazy images from rolling around in your half conscious mind.
I dreamed he walked away, just like that. Across the street, moving faster than I could keep up. As I set my foot onto the abandoned street, a car sped out of nowhere, coming to a complete and silent halt between my brother and me. Before I had a chance to react, the car was once again moving, away from me, down the deserted road. Only this time I could see my brother's face looking back at me, a small, sad smile on his lips as he raised his hand in a goodbye gesture. Alone. Just like that I was alone.
I woke up so suddenly the books that had been in my lap fell to the floor with a dull thud, followed by a silence so deep it could only mean it was in the extremely early hours of the morning. I checked my watch, 4:57 a.m. I groaned. I'd spent an entire night in an armchair, what a waste of life.
For a few moments I was still groggy and disoriented, it was only when I reached to rub my eyes that I remembered why I'd fallen asleep in that armchair, why I had that dream. At that moment hatred so strong flooded me I became disoriented again. I flexed my hand, crumbling the letter further, then opened it to read the painful words again.
I'm sorry that I haven't written in a while, the past months have been really busy for me. As for my head, it's been out of my ass for a long time. Thanks for the reminder though.
Lacey, I had every right to send you that howler. You need to be disciplined, there's no excuse for what you did. I think we'll be able to put that behind us though, because I have some big news to tell you.
Ok, I know right now you're probably jumping up and down with anticipation, sooo.... yesterday I was out having lunch with Chellsey, and get this, I asked her to marry me! And she said yes! I'm so-
The next thing I knew, the piece of paper was burning in the dying fire as hot ashes flew out from the strength of my throw.
What an asshole!
That was the only name I could think of as I stood there, panting watching the last scrap of paper burn away, tears of fury ran down my cheeks. My teeth were clenched as I stood there, my hands balled in fists. How could he do that to me? How? He knew she hates me, he knew I hate her. Why? I knew that in that letter, I just lost the last member of my family. He wasn't dead, but he might as well have been. I furiously wiped my eyes dry and went to gather my books. Crying wouldn't do me any good.
As I stacked the last of my heavy school books on the coffee table the portrait hole swung open and the Buttockses. Butt Face in the lead, followed by Sirius, Remus, and Peter. They came to a halt when they saw me.
There was something different about them. I mean sure they were walking through the portrait hole at 5 o'clock in the morning, a stunt that I'm sure only the Marauders would dare to pull, and yet.... They each had bags under their eyes, and Sirius had a tired look on his face that I'd never seen before. Remus, however was the worst off out of them all, from what I could tell. His hair was disheveled and he was paler than usual. They looked mildly shocked to see me, but too tired to really care. This really got me wondering, what exactly do these boys do? To me it looked like they'd been smoking up outside, right under Dumbledore's nose. Was that really the type of people the Marauders were? Junkies? But then again, they could probably wonder the same thing about me. I mean really, I stood there, I knew my eyes were puffy and red because I had been crying, they probably even had bags of their own, evidence that I had spent the night in an armchair, not a bed, and I was making flash decisions on their appearances.
"Keys? You alright? You look..." He didn't need to finish. I looked terrible and I knew it.
"I could ask you the same thing. But, yes, I'm alright." I kept my voice formal and curt as I felt James's eyes on me. Why he hated me so much, I had no idea, I'd barely ever said a word to him.
"Trust me, it's better off for everyone involved if you don't know," Sirius said, his face became a closed gate, not giving any emotion away. I'd never seen that look before. He must have had something to hide, and he wasn't about to give it up easily. Were they really as bad as I had earlier assumed?
"Uh- huh. Um, so yeah. I'm alright. You're fine. Everything's jolly. I'll see you later..." With that statement I quickly moved past them and out of the portrait hole. It was five in the morning, I didn't know where I was going, I just knew I had to get away.
I moved quickly down the halls, trying to be as soundless as possible, and thought I was succeeding, until I heard my footsteps echoing loudly. I slowed, but the footstep did not. I whipped around just in time to see Sirius round the corner at a near running pace. "Hey, Keys, hold up." I just looked at him. I didn't glare at him or anything, I just stared blankly. "Look. You may be able to act like nothing's wrong but you can't fool me. I'm an expert at wrong." He gave me a tired smile.
I sighed. He was right, I knew I couldn't hide it from him, even if I tried. He was too good at reading me, like I was some pamphlet handed out at an Earth fair. "I got a letter back." That was all I needed to say, Sirius automatically knew the reply wasn't good.
"Aw, Keys. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have told you to send that, it's probably all my-" I cut him off.
"It's not your fault. how could it be? I'm the one that thought I could trust my brother. My only family. He doesn't care anymore." The last bit came as a horrid revelation. He didn't care anymore.
That was it. I sunk to my knees on the hard stone floor in the middle of the corridor, and sobbed.
I don't exactly remember what happened then. It was fuzzy. But I knew at some point, right when I had given out Sirius kneeled beside me and put his arm around me. He didn't tell me it was going to be okay. He never whispered "ssh don't cry". He just held me. Then, in one effortless movement he picked me up and carried me. I didn't know where he was going, but somewhere in the back of my head I remember hoping it wasn't the common room, I wouldn't be able to stand anyone seeing me like this.
I cried in Sirius's arms the entire way to to the Room of Requirement, until he softly set me on the sofa, where I continued to sob into his shirt as he hugged me. I felt no desire to play on that piano. I didn't feel anything. I was numb. I don't know how long we sat like that before I fell asleep, I only remember waking up who knows how much later.
I slowly opened my sticky eyes, all my tears had left them stuck together, something I was only too used too by now. I blinked hazily at Sirius who was asleep on the sofa next to me, his chin drooped to his chest, his arm still around me. I remember thinking who the hell sleeps sitting up? when I was struck by an unpleasant thought.
I knew absolutely nothing about Sirius Black, the person who probably knew the most about me. This bothered me, a lot. I slowly looked him over thoroughly for the first time since... well, I don't know when, and what I saw shocked me somewhat. His hair was incredibly messy and tangled, his skin was tinted the slightest shade of grey, and he had large dark bags under his eyes even as he slept. His overall appearance sent dozens of questions swirling through my mind but there was one thing, one feature, that aroused double the questions in my head. Ranging from the very tip of his right temple, over his ear then down to his neck, there were three very fresh looking gashes. It looked haphazardly cared for, like a friend had done it. I didn't remember ever seeing them before, it bothered me. I slowly disentangled myself from his arm and moved his hair slowly behind his ear, all without breathing. Then, I gasped. I quickly covered my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut, praying I hadn't woken him up. He was still asleep, the rhythm of his breathing had never faltered.
I couldn't understand why nobody had used magic to seal his wounds up. He had been with his friends, right? Wouldn't they want to help him? The spells weren't that complex, Remus could have performed them easily enough. Had they intended to cause him pain? I was shocked by the thought of this, but it seemed to make sense, in a twisted way. But at the same time, it didn't. I remembered running into them in the common room earlier, they had all looked ragged. What was going on?
I tried to push these thoughts to the back of my head as I slowly pulled my wand out of my robes. I whispered the spells under my breathe as I moved my wand along his neck. I waited for the wounds to immediately disappear, as wounds always do with magic, but they never did. I tried every spell of healing I knew over and over until I was exhausted and could not continue. The gash still hadn't healed, if anything it even looked worse. I stepped of the sofa slowly and quietly backed away. This wasn't normal, not normal at all.
Thinking back to that moment I should have woken Sirius up right then and questioned him, but I didn't. Instead I hastily moved out of the Room of Requirement and headed straight for the library.
"Dammit!" I quietly cursed to myself as I was forced to hide behind yet another statue on my way to the library. I had neglected to check my watch before I left the Room of Requirement, and it was 6 o'clock, right after dinner. I was doing my best to avoid anyone and anything, I had not been to any of my classes that day and I was sure people had noticed.
All in all it took me about twenty minutes just to get to the library. I finally slunk in and settled myself at a small table all the way in the back where students, or staff for that matter, rarely ever came. I sighed as I plopped into the hard wooden chair, I'd practically done nothing that day but slept, and I was still tired.
Stifling a yawn I got up and began my search. I searched high and low for any books that might have anything to do with wounds that were not healable by magic... I found one book. One freaking book. Disappointed I took my single find back to my tiny table. I skimmed over things that obviously had nothing to do with what I wanted, such as dark magic (I had a fairly good idea that the Marauders weren't out there hexing each other into oblivion with dark magic that half the professors here probably couldn't use), poisonous snake bites (the mark on Sirius's neck wasn't a puncture wound), and the section about werewolves (I laughed at the thought). Looking down at the index page of the book I realized that I had fully used my one source and nothing seemed to fit. I moved my arm to put my head down on it, but in the process I accidentally sent the book... well, flying into the bookshelf across from me. Miraculously nothing fell off the shelf and I hurried over to the book to pick it up. Just before I picked it up, I caught a glance of the picture on the page it had flipped to. There was a full moon hanging like a perfect orb in the sky. My mind flashed back to late last night as I stood by the window in the common room waiting for the reply letter, thinking how beautiful the full moon was.
The full moon. I hastily flipped through the book until I found the section on wounds caused by werewolves. I gasped. There was an almost exact replica of Sirius's gashes. They could not be healed by spells, they had to heal naturally. No potions or magical means can help the healing process. My heart was beating fast. Could sirius be... could he be... a werewolf? No. He couldn't be. Those were claw marks on his neck, not bite marks. so, if Sirius wasn't, somebody out of the remaining three had to be. The answer wasn't very hard to think up, actually. I gulped.
His horrid appearance had been so much worse than any of the others, even with Sirius's gashes, Remus was worse. My heart was beating so rapidly I thought for sure I would hate a heart attack, or at least pass out because I was breathing so unnaturally. I backed against the wall and sunk down it. I couldn't believe what I had just discovered. Did anybody know? What were three teenage boys doing alone, outside, on the full moon, with a werewolf ?
I had only wanted to know more about Sirius, but in the process I had bitten off way more than I could chew.
AN: ahhhh. i'm soooo very sorry for the long wait. school just kept me on my feet. well seeing as its summer now, and i don't have much else to do, i'll try my very hardest to update soon! i promise! i have no idea how long this chapter is (my stupid computer doesn't have word count xD) but i'm sorry because i think its kinda short.
DISCLAIMER i don't own any of the characters but Lacey and Biggs, and their parents, and of course fubar (the owl, not the saying [=)
I hope you all have a wonderful summer starting now! please review [= ~meg
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