Chapter 4 : Shreds of a Shadow
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Shreds of a Shadow
“Time is never time at all, you can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth. And our lives are forever changed. We will never be the same the more you change the less you feel.” – Smashing Pumpkins “Tonight, Tonight”
After her life fell into ruins, Jessabelle Spring reached a level of insanity even I, her faithful subconscious Rodrigo, could not manipulate, figure out, or understand. And thus I fled with the last remaining shreds of the carefree young woman that had once been Jessie, into the furthest, darkest depths of her mind. There we rolled a stone over the entrance to our own tomb and waited it out until the day the slightest shimmer of hope would seep through the cracks and help us roll the door of our self-imposed jail cell away.
It has been over a century since that day, and here we still wait patiently for the girl we once knew and loved so dearly to return. It is painful to watch her slowly destroy herself, but alas there is nothing we can do or say. We can’t do anything but sit and watch silently as she crumbles like a brick wall being pounded by the unrelenting waves of the sea.
We watch as the amber, shimmering, clear, sparkling, and blood red liquids pour down her throat and splash on to the expensive velvets and laces that cover her alabaster skin. We watch as the occasional small white pill gets thrown down into her stomach and dissolves among the liquids as they mix and form a black bubbling sea.
We can not wipe away the tears as they fall down her cheeks in her drunken rages. Only watch and share the pain as it sears through her heart and licks every inch of her skin.
Simply, she is a ghost now; a shadow of her former self. Her fire fueled by drugs and alcohol and a burning rage that she directs towards anything and everyone.
These self-destructive tendencies Jessie had developed increased a ten-fold after the morning she woke up to see Sirius Black laughing manically from his picture in the paper next to her pumpkin juice. We watched as she became a shadow of the ghost she had become. It seemed as though as we traveled throughout the world she left behind a chunk of herself each time we stopped. Dumbledore’s spells and Monroe’s coaxing kept the media and her fans from noticing that she was changing into a zombie. No one besides Monroe and the few who had assisted him and Dumbledore with this great scheme, saw that she was a skeleton, just going through the motions. Not that Albus Dumbledore did anything to change this.
Everyone went to great lengths to keep anything and everything related to Sirius Black far, far away from her. But we, the remnants of her past, saw it all. We saw the headlines they hurried to cover up. We heard the warnings on the radio.
The day he broke into Hogwarts they cancelled her interviews, laced her drink with a dreamless sleep potion, and hid her inside the suite. Dumbledore insisted that she should be kept away from the public, minus the one to two shows that were scheduled, until the hysteria blew over.
To us we knew that this secrecy was for the best, even though it was abuse. We knew Jessie could not mentally take the toll of knowing what Sirius had done. Although, she would have gone on as she did every day- an empty shell of a person who was desperately holding onto the last threads of her slowly unraveling sanity; we could not of bared to have seen what the effect of the knowledge of his rash actions would have done to her.
Come May we were on our way back home to Britain where and assortment of shows throughout Scotland and England were planned for the next few months. On the first of May we arrived back in England, and to Jessie’s great annoyance to Dumbledore’s office.
Despite what the former words may suggest; despite her slowly weakening grip on reality, Jessie was not stupid. Nor had she become the sort of person who took everything at face value. Throughout the year she had questioned and begged to know what had happened to Sirius. We watched as she cried and begged Monroe to tell her anything at all. She had hung herself on the cross of his memory. But I digress…
We arrived in the office of one Albus Dumbledore at precisely 5 o’clock in the morning on the first of May. Jessie was, as is customary for her before 12 p.m., in a rather foul mood. But alas, this is not my story to tell and so I will leave you in the very capable hands of your narrator and let the story unfold.
Jessie sat down in the chintz armchair in front of Dumbledore’s desk as gracefully as she could, her head held up proudly. Dumbledore sat quietly in his own chair, behind the desk; his hands were clasp together and her surveyed Jessie from over the tops of his glasses.
Much had changed since the last time the blonde had sat in front of him, most especially, her appearance. Jessie had never been a tiny girl, even as a first year. Dumbledore smiled to himself as he recalled watching eleven year old Jessie inform eleven year old Sirius Black that she was four inches taller than him, and therefore his superior. His smile faltered as he thought of Sirius. How could he have become so dark? When did he become a monster, Dumbledore asked himself sadly. He shook away the thoughts of Black and looked back at Jess, or Celestina, as he had come to call her.
Jessie had never been a tiny girl. Even as a young girl she had, had a remarkably obvious beaters build. She had always had more of a thick, muscular build with strong, broad shoulders. In fact, if he recalled correctly, Minerva had ordered her quidditch captain to let the girl tryout because of this. But the woman in front of Dumbledore didn’t look very much like the girl he held in his memory as Jessabelle Spring. She was pale with sunken cheeks and purple bags under her eyes. Her shoulders were hunched over her clothes hung over her form loosely. Dumbledore cleared his throat and ignored the queasiness that Jessie’s present look made him feel.
His eyes met with Monroe’s (who was standing behind Jessie’s chair, his hands clenched to the top) and Monroe looked as saddened at Jessie’s state as he did.
“Celestina,” Dumbledore said gently. Jessie’s eyes snapped to his, and Dumbledore was relieved to see that old fire burning in them, “It’s Jessie, Professor,” she said through her teeth. Dumbledore waved her words away with a flick of his hand, “I trust the tour was enjoyable.”
Jessie raised an eyebrow. Enjoyable, she thought to herself? “Oh yes professor, it was terribly eventful,” she said, her words laced with sarcasm.
Dumbledore seemed to ignore the sarcasm in her voice and plowed on with the conversation, “I trust you have been informed of your tours dates and such for the next few months?”
“Seems to be all I have been informed of.”
“Oh yes I meant to tell you, Remus Lupin has taken over as our defense against the dark arts professor.”
Dumbledore almost flinched at the look in Jessie’s eyes; heartbreak, anger, betrayal, sadness- a hundred different emotions swirled together in her eyes, turning them a dark blue grey, “Good for him,” Jessie said horsely, “Anything else you’ve forgotten to inform me Professor?”
“Not that I can think of,” Dumbledore said nonchalantly, “Was there anything else we needed to discuss Monroe?”
For the first time Monroe spoke, “Nothing I can think of. I do have a few merchandise choices I need Je... Celestina, to look at.”
“Well then, I don’t think we have anything else to discuss,’ Dumbledore said. Wordlessly Jessie stood up and hopped in the green flames. Once she was gone Dumbledore looked at Monroe, “Does she know anything?”
“Nothing. We did our job well Albus.”
“Good, I feel we may get him soon.”
Monroe looked at Albus, “I hope you don’t.” Dumbledore looked up at him shocked.
“When you catch Black and deliver the kiss, it will kill her. You won’t be able to keep the news from her. You won’t be able to save her. By killing Black, you kill Jessabelle.” Monroe turned away from his own friend and flooed after Jessie; leaving a very perplexed Albus Dumbledore behind.
Dumbledore put his head in his hands; he had much to contemplate this evening.
“I hate that stupid, conceited old codger!” Jessie screamed as she picked up the china vase on the side table and chucked it at the wall. It hit the red colored paint and shattered into a million tiny black and white china pieces. Monroe stood silently to the side, wand at the ready. Jessie picked up another vase and threw it. It met the same fate as the previous and added to the growing pile of broken china at the foot of the wall. Her fingers itched towards the surface of the table, but found no more items to use as missiles. She screamed and threw her hands up into the air in her fit of rage. She stalked off through the nearest doorway.
Monroe muttered a quick “reparo” at the pile, as ran after her as the smashed pieces mended themselves magically. He found Jessie in the kitchen of her flat, digging through the fridge. She slammed the door shut, making the pots and pans hung over the stove rattle. In her hand was a bottle of firewhisky. She flicked her wand at it and the top popped off and landed on the blue tiled countertop. Jessie took a long swig of the bottle and slammed it down on the counter next to the cap, “I hate Albus Dumbledore,” she hissed venomously.
“Jessie…” Monroe chastised as she took another drink, “you need to calm down.”
Jessie glared at him and plopped down on one of the nearby barstools. Monroe shoved one of the ham sandwiches sitting on the counter at her, “Eat,” he simply said to the blonde, who angrily took a bite of it. They stayed in silence for a few moments as Jessie ate and drank.
She took the last bite of the sandwich and fixed her eyes on Monroe, “I know something has happened,” she said softly.
Monroe smiled sadly at her, “Nothing has happened Jessie, even I wouldn’t keep that knowledge from you.”
“Please Monroe,” she whispered, begging him.
Monroe sighed and walked around to where Jessie was sitting, “You, my dear, have had quite a busy day,” he helped her up and, hands on her shoulders, directed her towards the doorway, “And I think it’s time we took a look at those merchandise samples I have; before you pass out.”
May turned into June. Jessie preformed her shows and did her interviews with the same zeal as she had in the past, but Monroe could see that she was at the end of her rope. Being back in England had been a turn for the worse. Jessie was as gaunt as ever and it was getting harder and harder to find strong enough spells to keep her looking normal. It was only when Witch Weekly came out with an article about how the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle was killing Celestina Warbeck, did Monroe bring up the issue to Dumbledore. Dumbledore added the problem to his ever growing to do list and suggested Monroe attempt to figure something out himself in the meantime.
On June ninth Jessie marched into the front entrance of the Wizarding Wireless’ headquarters in quite a huff. They had insisted upon asking her again and again about her drug and alcohol use. Apparently her simple answer of, “I am not a drug user, nor am I an alcoholic,” wasn’t good enough for the imbeciles that worked at the network. Monroe followed her and apparated away with her before she get outside and be attacked by the mob of paparazzi and fans.
Jessie collapsed on the sofa of her living room, her head in her hands. She was visibly shaking. Today could not possibly get any worse.
“Jessabelle!” Monroe called as he walked into the room, “you have a meeting with Albus in an hour.”
Jessie groaned, or it could.
Hey guys! Okay first an foremost, PLEASE DON’T KILL ME! I apologize for the lack of updates! I’ve been crazy busy! On a happier note, this will be the last chapter that seems to lack plot. I’ve finally gotten myself to a point where I can tell this story with plot laced through it; I know, it’s a crazy idea… haha. Thank you so much to everyone who didn’t lose faith in me and kept “patiently” waiting for a new chapter. I promise I will never abandon it until it’s finished. Hope you enjoyed this latest chapter!
Lots of hugs! Pensive Princess
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