Chapter 2 : Kill All Your Friends
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No explanation: I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut.
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Title and Summary song:
“Kill All Your Friends” by: My Chemical Romance
I'm shocked at what you're capable of.
And if this is a coronation,
I ain't feeling the love.
White steam billowing from the stack of the Hogwarts Express was the first sight to meet my eyes as soon as I appeared onto Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. It was a familiar picture, and even I couldn’t deny that I’d felt more at home seeing the train than I ever had at the old Black family compound. I could feel my heart pound a little faster in my chest; I was getting closer still to being free from everything. Little by little, but still, I was excited. And my enthusiasm over such a thing is a landmark event; take a picture.
My family came through the barrier only seconds after myself, bumping slightly into my unmoving form. Lucida, who had thankfully decided to tag along, bumped me with her hip, grinning.
“Last time, eh Cappy?” I couldn’t help but return her smile. It wasn’t until I heard my mother’s exasperated sigh issue from behind me that my mood wavered slightly.
“For Merlin’s sake, Capella, move out of the way!” With Lucida mirroring my eyes rolling to the ceiling, we backed away from the barrier as another family joined the crowd. We made our way towards the train and I itched with excitement to be on my way back to school.
“Crowded this year.” Was my father’s lone statement about the queue. Corvus Black was a man of few words, as I had found in my seventeen years of life. He usually kept to himself because Mother always had more than enough to say. Father was easy to get along with, seeing as having a conversation with him was much like talking to oneself. Corvus only said what was necessary or enough. I’m sure Mother had a quota of how many words he had to speak in a day. By this one statement, my guess was that he’d already met his goal for the week.
Corvus always did what he was supposed to do. He married Porrima because she was pureblood and his parents liked her. He had kids to carry on the pureblood (though the lack of a son was often prompted by my grandmother or other old, batty relative). He spoke because he had to. Father was an appeaser. He did things merely to make people shut the hell up. And though I didn’t really agree with his flexibility towards people and doing what he’s told; I applauded the fact that he just didn’t care. I guess that was also a gene that I inherited, along with his golden hair and midnight blue eyes. Like father, like daughter.
Mother sniffed, clutching her handbag and tilting her nose in the air.
“Its all the Mudbloods. They reproduce like rabbits,” She barked, holding her handbag closer to her as a pair of thrilled Muggle parents passed by her, as though worrying that they would snack the ten ton purse from her and run. I ignored her attitude as usual and pushed my cart towards the nearest available compartment, Lucida in tow.
As my sister and I hauled my trunk, owl and other sundries onto the train, Mother and Father stood back, Mother, no doubt, scrutinizing our progress. I soaked in the sounds of the platform, basking in the joyous chaos of it all. I had been on the platform for less than five minutes and already I’d witnessed much more enthusiasm than I had all summer. Though I generally kept to myself, I couldn’t help but love the thrill of getting shipped back off to school again.
“I hate you,” Lucida muttered to me in a low voice as she helped to haul my trunk into the open compartment. I stifled my snort of laughter at her obvious jealousy and retorted,
“Sucks to be you, doesn’t it?” Also keeping my volume down in case of my mother’s eavesdropping. Lucida pouted, sighing dramatically.
“I can’t believe you’re gonna leave me alone with them for the next year,” She whined, referring to our parents, and more specifically our mother. I couldn’t help but grin at this.
“Because we both know that I’d rather be toasted by a dragon than spend my holidays at the ol’ homestead,” And then I put more seriously, “Why don’t you just move out?” Lucida rolled her eyes, heaving another huge sigh and lowering her voice still,
“If she’d let me out of her clutches, I would. But I don’t much like the idea of being burned off the family tapestry if I ran away.”
I contemplated this for a moment, searching my older sister’s face for reason as to why she that would even matter to her. When the answer didn’t come to me, I prompted,
“Who cares what they think?” Lucida’s pale green eyes darted towards Mother, checking to see if she’d heard me since my tone had gotten louder with my declaration. Then, she cracked a half-smile.
“Because they have to have at least one kid who follows the rules,” She said, nudging me playfully with her shoulder.
“Rules? They’re more of...suggestions. Besides, its much more fun to think outside the box. No tapestries on my walls, damn it,” I proclaimed, sticking my index finger in the air for added effect.
“What about house-elf heads?” Lucida joked, grinning again. I pretended to ponder this for a second before theatrically shaking my head no. Lucida and I dissolved into fits of silent giggles, surely making spectacles of ourselves.
“Alright, enough of you two acting like complete imbeciles.” Yet again, Mother’s sharp tone interrupted my last chance at sisterly bonding with Lucida before I was sent off to school. I looked over to see my mother’s stern gaze in full force directed at the two of us, and more precisely, me. She always assumed that I was the origin for any misconduct. And that was the one thing Mother was ever right about.
“We’re in public, you know.” Came Father’s gruff comment, but only I could catch his playful tone. Though it was an obvious jab at my mother’s attitude, she did not notice or she spurned it. Mother only heard what she wanted to hear.
“Lucida, come over here, you’re not going,” Mother commanded, snapping her fingers and pointing to a spot next to her where my sister could stand. Mother always snapped her fingers when she spoke to us; it was condescending and it was the same form of authority that she used over our house-elves. Every time she did this I was tempted to mimic a house-elf’s voice and ask what I could do for her, Mistress. Every once in a blue moon I would actually do so and get myself into trouble. She would punish me by making me clean the house, saying that if I was going to act like an elf, I better well be able to clean like one too. Needless to say, my attempts at portraying an elf were always half-assed. Mother was never pleased.
The train whistle screamed and I quickly glanced at one of the clocks on the platform to see that it was nearing eleven o’clock. Most kids were bidding their parents goodbye; kissing tearful mothers and hugging proud fathers. I looked back at my family and saw how truly different they were from anyone else. Corvus stood with his hands in his pockets, the ever-silent sentinel beside his wife. Porrima was standing with her posture perfectly straight and her nose stuck in the air, her lips pursed as her green eyes surveyed the scene.
“Very well,” She finally sighed, still glancing around at everyone as though worried they would witness the very embarrassing scene of our goodbyes. You’d have thought that she was going to burst into tears and embrace me, crying about how much she’d miss her baby, she was so fidgety. Though I had secretly longed for one of those farewells, I knew that she would not take her last chance to make it so.
But instead, she gave way to our routine departures. Lucida rushed forward and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, never failing to she her affection for me. Mother nodded to me, lips still pursed in a tight thin line as though she found Lucida’s send-off tasteless. Then, she held her gaze elsewhere, waiting for me to get on the train and leave already. Father grunted an unintelligible goodbye, also nodding. His eyes locked with mine and he winked.
With my unceremonious parting concluded, I climbed onto the train, slamming the door after me and taking a seat. I watched as kids waited until the very last moment, when the train began to make its slow advance, to bid their parents farewell and jump into their waiting compartments. By the time my eyes flicked over to where my family had been standing, they were already gone.
The train began pulling out of the station, leaving behind all of the waving siblings and weeping mothers and heading towards the castle I came to know as Hogwarts. I zoned out momentarily, staring vaguely at the glass in the window, my mind completely blank. I didn’t have to live at home anymore...the idea thrilled me.
“What are you so happy about?” I had barely registered the compartment door opening and a teenage boy step in, throwing his trunk and other accessories on the rack across from my own. He took a seat across from me at the window, smirking.
“None of your business,” I instantly bit back, though rather coolly. He rolled his dark eyes at me, something I was all too familiar with.
“You were smiling, Capella,” He continued and I shrugged.
“I was perfectly happy until you walked in, Severus. And the last time I checked, it was not illegal to be happy,” I replied haughtily. His smirk became more pronounced as he said smoothly,
“I see you still have the cuddly disposition of a Venomous Tentacula.”
It was difficult to decide whether or not I was friends with Severus Snape. To be honest, I didn’t even really have any friends. People were dishonest and cruel, and though I couldn’t deny that I wasn’t like that, I didn’t feel the need to waste my time with other people the same way. I didn’t need friends; I relied utterly on myself.
But Snape and I had been attracted to each other. Not “attracted” as you might think it. We were similar: antisocial Slytherins who didn’t like anybody. And so, we couldn’t help but feel some kind of bond, seeing as we were in the same boat. The only two in that boat too.
We weren’t nice. I wasn’t nice to hardly anybody, and neither was he. Why should we have to put on a falsehood for each other? The only difference between insulting Severus and insulting anyone else is that anyone but Severus would be offended by my attitude. Severus reciprocated my abuse and I wasn’t in the least affronted either. I was a Black; maltreatment was like a second nature for me.
So we were “friends” merely by the coincidence that we were both sarcastic snots who didn’t feel the need to censor themselves for anyone.
“And you morph more into an overgrown bat every summer,” I retaliated, nodding to his usual black garb; he hadn’t even changed into his school robes yet. He grinned maliciously at this, cocking his head to the side and saying,
“You need to get off of the overgrown bat stuff...its getting a tad bit old, no?”
“And you think I have the persona of a dangerous plant?” He shrugged at this, pushing a strand of his long black hair out of his face.
I turned my gaze back to the window, watching the scenery flit by. It was pretty; the London city limits had soon turned into vast, rolling hills of lush green countryside. We passed by numerous stone cottages, farms and grazing sheep, with the occasional dog shepherding them around. Sometimes we would surpass a whole community in a moment, barely able to make out the little houses or people they were home to. But what I enjoyed watching even more than these fairytale villages was the endless miles of nature before my eyes.
It was so beautiful, all of it. From the dark forests brooding behind the fields of emerald grasses to the powerful, mountainous knolls looming in the background. The sky was a vibrant, blissful azure, fluffy clouds dotting it. Even the sun felt warm through the cold windowpanes of the train; I could feel it slowly thawing my cheeks and face from my usual hostile mask. Though I’d never been much of an outdoor type of person, I liked to look at it from afar and marvel and the simplicity of it all.
Yet again I was interrupted from my thoughts with the opening of the compartment door. However, it wasn’t so much the sound of the door which caught my attention, but rather Severus’s sneer in objection to whoever had just entered our car,
“Get out of here!” He snapped and I immediately turned my head to greet our new visitors.
“Tsk, tsk, Snivellus...you need to learn to be a bit more polite.”
I rolled my eyes at the site of my delinquent cousin and his friends. The Marauders, they called themselves. You’d think they owned all of Hogwarts by the way they would strut about the place. Sirius Black stood at the head of the pack, fully entering our car with his trusty BFF, James Potter beside him. Lupin and Pettigrew stayed in the hallway; Pettigrew was probably too afraid and I’m sure Lupin “objected” to their “juvenile behavior”. Apparently Lupin was the brains of the whole damn operation because I actually agreed with him wholly.
Its not that I hated Sirius, I just didn’t waste my time with him. He was like the rest of the Black family, as much as he hated to acknowledge it; arrogant and self-loving. He’d oftentimes try to convince me that the rest of the Blacks were stupid and that I should be in Gryffindor because “we’re the best,”. How much different was that from Bellatrix trying to recruit me as a Death Eater. Different opinions, but same methods of trying to persuade everyone that you’re right. It was ridiculous.
So, I didn’t honestly hate him. But he wanted to treat me as though I was a naïve, dim-witted child, than he had another thing coming to him. Just because I’m a Slytherin, doesn’t make me evil. If he wanted to categorize me with all the other Blacks, than whatever. I had nothing to prove to him.
But if Sirius had taken the time to be cordial to me, I would be the same right back at him. Houses didn’t matter to me. To be honest, the Sorting Hat really didn’t know what to do with me when I sat on that stool six years ago...
‘Black again? There are a lot of you,’ The Hat had said in a curious, teasing voice.
‘And more coming,’ I thought, mentally rolling my eyes, ‘Just pick a House.’
‘Do you shun the importance of Sorting?’ It had returned, in a rather surprised tone. I found myself shrugging, not really caring about this at all.
‘You’ll put me in Slytherin, because that’s where they all went.’
‘But that’s not what I’m thinking. And I’m positive that that isn’t what you’re thinking either.’
‘And what am I thinking?’ I retorted, a little defensive at the idea of a hat knowing more about my inner thoughts than my own. What can the inner thoughts of an eleven-year-old really be? Surely they can’t be that deep and mysterious...?
‘Ah, but they are,’ The hat said, answering my unasked question. I felt as though, if the Sorting Hat had be able to, it was smirking at me. I frowned, surely gaining odd looks from the other Hogwarts students watching. This Sorting was taking a painstakingly long time.
‘Pick a House!’ I thought furiously, getting even more frustrated with each second.
‘To be frank, you don’t really belong in any House,’ The hat said smoothly, but with a puzzled undertone, ‘Your mind is an unfathomable well of anonymity. You connect with each House, but belong in none. It is truly a marvel to me...’
‘PICK ONE,’ I nearly screamed aloud. I heard the Sorting Hat sigh in my ear.
‘Fine then, be difficult...’ He had replied, in a defeated voice and I felt a little smug, victorious, if you will.
It was an odd anomaly, I could admit. How many times does the Sorting Hat not know what to do with you? My theory is that I cared so little about it that there was no preference for any of the Houses.
“Hello cousin,” I returned back to reality. I really hated when Sirius did this; neither one of us had bothered him, what gave him the right to barge in?
“Get out,” I said flatly, staring straight ahead of me to the back of Severus’ seat. I could tell Snape was getting steadily angrier with each passing moment. Sirius seemed to bask in this obvious display.
Sirius clucked his tongue at me in mock disapproval, looking over at Potter.
“Slytherins are so touchy, aren’t they Prongs?” James nodded, grinning over at Snape who was turning red in his boiling rage.
“Why don’t you go find Evans?” I instantly barked at James, and his grin faded. I saw Severus’s fists clench out of the corner of my eye. I then found myself smiling viciously, “Oh yeah, that’s right...she doesn’t want you!” His face fell the slightest and Sirius decided to cut in.
He took a seat beside me, smirking across at Severus. He merely sat there, getting his face as close to mine without touching me. He knew how I was about personal space and I was about two seconds away from slapping him before I said,
“Hey Sirius, are you aware that your initials spell out S.O.B.?” I pointed out, keeping my voice conversational. His eyes narrowed and he crossed his arms over his chest.
“Are you insinuating that your dear aunt has a likeness to a female dog?” He retorted, raising his eyebrows as though he had just cornered me.
“No,” I said simply, “I’m insinuating that you are a son of a bi-”
“Hey Capella,” Sirius said loudly over me and I saw Pettigrew quiver in excitement in the hall at Sirius’ looming punch line that I was sure would only be funny to the three of them (Lupin would probably just roll his eyes and fight back a smile), “What’s it like to be named after a she-goat?”
As if on cue, James howled with laughter, doubling over. He high-fived Sirius, who was grinning proudly as he stood up from his seat. Peter Pettigrew clapped, his eyes bright in awe as he looked up at Sirius, as though he could not even fathom coming up with such a great pun himself. Remus was fulfilling my aforementioned prediction.
“Its a lot better than being named after a mutt,” I bit back, standing up quickly, “Now get out!”
Sirius was now laughing with James, pretending to howl like a dog. They left, shutting the door behind them, but I could still hear their laughter from down the hall. I returned back to my seat, sighing as I closed my eyes and leaned my head against the back of my seat. I could still feel the tension of Severus’ anger.
“Well,” I began, eyes still closed, “Its gonna be another great year.”
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