Chapter 9 : Blind
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I refuse to open my eyes. I will not, under any circumstances, open a single eyelid, for if I do, that means that today is Monday. I could just lay here for the rest of these six months in a false coma, waiting for the world to pass me by and the time of my servitude to expire. It shouldn’t be too hard. I could ration up that stash of chocolates I have in my trunk. Maybe I could get up and stretch my legs whenever nobody’s looking, or just disappear altogether. I’ve needed the sleep that I have been deprived of these past two days.
“Ivy, wake up.”
It takes me a while to realize where I am.
Oh, right. This is my bed. Well, actually, not really because I refuse to sleep in my actual bed since the little rat debacle, and this is a bunch of blankets on the floor that I sleep on.
I groan and sit up, feeling the pain of sleeping on a hard floor sear through my neck. Ugh.
“I really can’t see why you won’t sleep in your own bed,” hisses my roommate. “It’s been nearly two weeks.”
Seventeen days, actually. Not that I’ve been counting, or anything.
I fall back into my pillow, which is possibly the only thing that’s comfortable on this floor. I refuse to get up.
“Go away, Aphrodite,” I mumble incoherently.
I can almost hear her roll her eyes. “My name’s Sophie, Ives. Why you don’t know that still is beyond me.”
Oh, right. Sophie the Snorer who sleeps in the bed next to me.
I’m a terrible person. And why does she still call me by my long lost nickname? I suppose you could say we were pretty good friends once upon a time, but then she grew to about five hundred feet tall, and started to get tits, causing her popularity with the male species to be a large iron barrier between us. That, along with the fact that everyone and their mother in Slytherin started to have this whole obsession with this Voldemort bloke. Of course the entire thing is a bit under wraps, but here in the privacy of other Slytherins, everyone practically worships him.
The painful truth that I could never get her name right was possibly another reason why we aren’t friends anymore. Huh. Who knew.
“Get up, Ivy,” she cries, then adds, surprisingly, “Please.”
“What for?” I moan. Why is she even talking to me? Shouldn’t she be out there snogging some boys or making some Volde-sodding-mort “Campaign for Taking over the Wizarding World” pins? “I don’t have any money for you to borrow. I’m staying here for the next six months, so go away.”
Along with her supermodel-like demeanor, Aphrodite Hermaphrodite Sophie the Snorer is infamous for being an avid “borrower of money but never pays you back” type of person. I’m sure she’s a mile deep in unwritten debts that even she can’t comprehend. However, I never understood why she always borrowed so much—she’s loaded.
“I don’t want your money,” she sneers, “You’re lying on my jumper.” She points a perfectly manicured finger at the general area I’m lounging on.
Oh. Of course. I roll over and take off my layers of blankets to find her jumper, laying there in a compacted, wrinkly, woolen mass. “Here you go,” I mumble, trying to play off the situation as casually as I can.
“Thank you,” she says through gritted teeth, her face scrunching up unpleasantly.
Jeez. Who got her panties in a twist?
…Or her jumper. And that would be me.
“Hurry up and get ready,” Sophie adds on her way to the bathroom, “We have that test in Potions.”
Crap. No, super crap. I totally forgot about that from all the frenzy of the other day. This test will determine my fate. I could hardly get into that class to begin with., but I can’t disappoint Gran—I promised.
It’s almost seven thirty, meaning I have less than thirty minutes to wash up, get dressed, cram for the test, and manage to grab a bite of breakfast before heading off to potions. I can’t even remember how I went to bed so early; actually, I don’t even remember going to bed at all, but I shrug it off and trudge off towards the bathroom.
I get to the sink and start brushing my teeth, while Sophie is next to me fixing her wavy, strawberry blond hair in front of the mirror, as if it needs any more fixing to its perfection.
Merlin, I hate her. She’s too pretty. She’s always had this habit of quirking her perfectly angled nose when she’s thinking, which for most people would render them unattractive, but it makes her even prettier, if that’s humanly possible.
I roll my eyes and continue brushing, only getting a small glance at myself in the mirror. I look terrible. Has my hair always been that frizzy? I have bags under my eyes….
Darting back into our room, I grab my clothes and throw everything on, poking my revived prefects badge onto my robes, the only sign that I have at least the smallest amount of authority even though my life by itself is being controlled by four extremely evil Gryffindors. I swear it took two hours to find the blasted thing last week. How can something so shiny and new get lost in that old trunk of mine without me even touching it? There could be a dead body in there, and I still wouldn’t know—the thing’s a black hole.
I begin to walk out of the door, but then Sophie runs after me.
“Ivy before you go,” she says with a slight grimace lingering on her face, “here.” She hovers a small silver envelope under my nose, refusing to look at me in the eye.
“What is it?” I ask.
“It’s an invitation.” She rolls her eyes. If she keeps doing that, I’m afraid they might fall out.
“…To a party?”
“No, to my grandmother’s funeral,” she spits. Hmph. At least we both have our sarcasm to relate to. “Of course it’s for a party. The last one we had got a bit out of control, so now everything has to be approved by Professor Slughorn. He made me pass out the invites.” She purses her lips, obviously peeved that she has to go about asking the non-usuals to Slytherin merrymaking.
Ah, right. The last party I just so happened to not be invited to ended up in a drunken romp. I do believe a few students caught a few things on fire, including Mrs. Norris. I shudder. At least she won’t have to go through that anymore.
“And you’re inviting me because…?”
“Professor says we have to invite everyone.” I stare at her like she’s crazy. She then quickly adds, “But that doesn’t mean you have to go.” She narrows her bright blue-green eyes at my unkempt hair.
Was that a threat? Did she really mean, “Just because I invited you doesn’t mean you’ll be wanted there”? Wow—and I thought we used to be cool.
I snort, snatching the envelope out of her hand. “I’ll see you there, then,” I sneer, turning on my heel.
“Don’t forget to bring a friend,” she mocks from behind me.
Oh, right. As if she didn’t know that I just so happen to be out of friends at the moment. I’m not going to this stupid thing. What’s so great about parties, anyway?
I run off towards the Great Hall, where I only stop for a moment to get a quick guzzle of pumpkin juice and a bite of buttered toast, and then I head off towards the potions dungeon. Honestly, I hate the smell of the place. It has this herbal-y smell with a hint of mildew along with a subtle trace of cherry tobacco from the cigars Professor Slughorn hides to smoke in his back office oftentimes. I wrinkle my nose after walking through the wall of scent and humidity and take my usual seat in the back corner.
Right-o. I check the time and quickly flip through my badly done potions notes, as if doing so will be beneficial at all. I’m going to fail. Utterly and completely fail. I slump onto the table, face down, taking in the smell of the parchment and ink. This is hopeless. I’m sorry, Gran, but disappointment is the only thing I have to offer right now.
Sirius slips into the seat next to me, with Remus next to him.
“Not now, Sirius,” I grumble.
“Have you forgotten?” he asks, “Today is the commencement of a very wonderful six months!”
He’s too happy for eight in the morning. “No, I haven’t forgotten,” I snarl against the table. “But does it have to start now?”
“A deal’s a deal. We shook on it.”
“No we didn’t.”
“Technically, we did.”
“That doesn’t even make any sense.”
“Nothing does these days.”
“Will you please let me alone just for now? I’m trying to study.”
“I don’t think you can study like that, with your head all—”
“I’m trying to concentrate. That alright with you? Or was concentrating disagreed upon for your little work dog?”
He pauses, thinking. “Yes.”
Sirius slaps his hand on the table. “Actually, I order you to pass this test!”
“I cannot begin to express how impossible that will be.”
“I do believe you have to do everything that we say? Am I right, Remus?”
“I suppose,” he mumbles in reply.
I snap my head up and glare at the two of them. “Yes,” I sneer, “But you can’t expect me to do the impossible.”
“A deal’s a deal.”
“Last time I checked, I’m Sirius.”
“Oh, ha ha.” I roll my eyes. “If I had a sickle for every time you’ve pulled that—don’t get me off onto a tangent! I’m not going to pass, that’s final, so leave me the bloody hell alone.”
“Whether or not you are is totally up to you.”
“Actually, no it’s not, thanks,” I snap. “So what if I don’t?”
“We add a day to your… servitude.” He grins happily.
I slam my head on the table, making some jars jump slightly. This is going to be a very long six months.
I wait irritably by the stairs near the Great Hall. The crumpled up note that I have nearly disintegrating in my hands from sweat and the constant rereading of it notes:
Don’t be late.
I came half-an-hour early. Was that too much? Because it’s way past three, and I’m not the one late for a change. I hardly remember the day passing by. The moment Sirius slipped the note into my hand after Potions, everything was an immense blur that I can’t even recollect. I’m shaking. I’m so nervous I think I might puke and I feel like I’m about to collapse. This wait is agonizing.
I sit on one of the stairs, holding my head in my hands, taking long, deep breaths as I rub my forehead with my fingertips.
Why did I even agree to do this? Was I sane when I did that?
Am I sane now?
“Ivy? You alright?”
I nearly jump back a few steps, completely startled. I feel my stomach drop to the floor.
Before, I thought there would be nothing more terrible than seeing Sirius, but it’s another thing seeing Regulus standing inches away from me.
I stand up and feel my cheeks burn a hot pink as I open my mouth to say something. Nothing comes out except a strained, gurgling noise from my throat.
“Don’t worry,” he says, running a hand through his dark hair, “You don’t have to explain anything.”
“No, Ivy. What’s done is done. Really, it’s alright.”
It’s alright? A complete confession of love and it’s just alright?
“W-what do you mean?” I stammer.
“I heard what happened. What they gave you that made you all….” He makes gestures in the air, finding it hard to find the right word.
“So that’s it, then?” I ask, sounding more disappointed than I wish for.
“Yeah, I mean, you didn’t mean what you said, right? It was just whatever they gave you talking.”
I clear my throat. “Yeah. R-right. That’s what it was.”
“We good, then?”
“Peachy,” I mumble.
“So… you got invited to the rally, I see?” Regulus suddenly says after a prolonged amount of silence. He points at the emerald piece of paper sticking out of my things.
“O-oh—I totally forgot about that. Ben gave it to me.”
“He’s not so bad.”
There’s an odd silence that goes on for what it feels like hours.
My stomach hurts. My heart is racing. I seriously don’t know what to do, and he’s doesn’t seem like he’s going away any time soon. He took my confession as a total joke and I just lied to his face. “L-look, Regulus,” I say, sighing. I cross my arms. “Let me speak here for a moment. I just want to say….”
I clear my throat, averting my stare towards the side. “I—I just want to say that I’m sorry, okay?” It comes out more sourly and strained than I want it to.
“For—for saying that,” I mumble. “You know?”
“It’s not like it wasn’t your fault.” He takes a step up one stair, making him nearly eye level with me. Has he always been this tall? I can see every detail of his face. The faint freckles scattered across his cheeks. The specks of blue in his gray eyes. The light sense of haughtiness in the way he holds himself.
He is absolutely breathtaking.
I feel my face tingle into a deep red. If I took one more step forward, then our faces would—
No! No, no, no, no, no. This is not what I’m supposed to be thinking. I have sworn off the male species! Regulus is officially hands-off and thoughts-off. I take one quick step back, but I find myself bumping into something.
“Well, look at this. The two love birds at it again, eh?”
I whip around to find the source of the voice behind me. In a millisecond I find James Potter looking smug with a smirk stretched on his face, but before I realize it, my feet slip from under me and everything seems to go into slow motion.
I feel the air whoosh pass my ears and there’s a sense of weightlessness and levity that’s pitted in my stomach. Great. I’m going to die. I’m going to fall down the stairs, crack my head open, bleed my life away on the floor, and die.
Why am I reaching my arms out? It’s as if James would grab my hand to save me from my imminent downfall. A flicker of shock passes through his face, but he doesn’t do anything. He just stands there.
I close my eyes, bracing myself for the worst.
A crack to the noggin won’t be too terrible, right?
Anytime, now. Really.
Nothing happens. I should be falling now, right? According to physics and gravity and such, right? Hitting every step on my tumble down the stairs?
I crack an eye open and immediately snap away from Regulus’, who had miraculously caught me without my knowing. My face goes red again, if getting redder than red is humanly possible. My plan for swearing off the male species is going extremely well so far, isn’t it?
“T-thanks,” I stammer.
“I… I think we should go now,” he says slowly, eyeing James as Remus and Peter follow close behind him. He pushes me behind him protectively.
My eyes dart up at James and he’s looking at me with a don’t-you-dare-go-with-him-or-something-bad-will-happen look glaring in his eyes. If Regulus finds out about our little deal, that would be the embarrassment of the century. Not only would it be impossible to explain, it would only make our awkward acquaintance even more awkward.
“You go ahead,” I say quickly.
He doesn’t move. “No, I think we should go.”
“I’m fine,” I snap, and then correcting myself more calmly, “P-please leave without me.”
“Ivy?” Regulus asks incredulously.
“Really,” I say, trying my hardest to stay calm and to hide the fact that I’m nearly begging, “Go ahead.”
He doesn’t say anything, and his eyes tighten as James’ glance flickers towards him.
He senses something wrong, but it’s only a matter of time until he takes a few steps backwards and turns around. Sirius is at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at us in cold indifference. I steal a glance up at Regulus, who stops mid-step when he notices his brother there. The look on his face nearly causes me to jump the moment is see it flash through his eyes. It’s hard to describe—but that look, so filled with anger and hatred makes a chill go up my spine and my chest to suddenly feel hollow. That’s not good. Not good at all.
“I’ll see you around,” Regulus says coldly, not breaking his glare at his brother. He slowly makes his way down the stairs and at the last second turns a hard shoulder away from Sirius and disappears into a corridor.
A few seconds pass by after his footsteps begin to fade away. The air’s extremely uncomfortable and it feels like my spine will pop out any second. Sirius slowly walks up the stairs and stands next to James, the four of them towering over me.
I look up at them, trying my hardest to regulate my breathing.
“You’re late,” James says.
I feel my eyebrow twitch. “What?” I snap. “Last time I checked, you arrived here after me.”
“Well, it’s near four and I specifically told you to meet us at three.”
“Yes, at the main staircase.”
“But you still failed to meet us.” He grins fiendishly.
“How the hell was I supposed to know where you were?”
James doesn’t say anything only stares at me for a while.
“Let’s go, shall we?” Remus says, walking away.
I begin to follow, but Sirius comes and snaps a piece of cloth in my face.
“What’s that?” I grimace.
“Your uniform,” he says with a twitch of a smile.
“Oh, ha ha.” I slap his arm away. “But seriously.”
“What? No! There’s no way that I’m going to—”
“There you go,” he chirps, slipping it over my eyes.
“Is this at all necessary?” I try to adjust and pull it, but the thing won’t budge. Oh. Haha, great. “A sticking charm?”
“You’re evil. You’re all terrible, evil, monsters.”
“A good majority, I would say, yes.” I can hear the smile in his voice.
“This is all a game to you, isn’t it?” I hiss, pulling more and more.
“We can’t go on letting you find out the way to our dormitory, right? Who knows what you’ll tell your little Slytherin comrades.”
“Slytherin comrades?” I growl through gritted teeth.
“You seemed to be awfully friendly with my brother back there,” Sirius taunts with a hint of malice in his voice. “Hmm?’
My stomach drops. “That’s—!”
“Never mind that, shall we? Your work is awaits.” He takes my arm tightly and pushes me ahead, blind, confused, and utterly and completely terrified.
I can’t count how many times I’ve run into something. My shins are more than likely bruised from tripping over stairs and my sides hurt from grazing corners or running into random things. I wonder if any of them feel guilty in the slightest about doing this. I doubt it, though. They’re heartless. There’s nothing there but a black hole that sucks all the joy out of my life.
As if I had any to begin with.
It must suck to be blind. Because this isn’t very pleasant, to say the least. I probably look like a fool, reaching out my arms and clinging to walls and railings just to make sure I’m not running into things or people. Sirius sometimes guides me away from a few things, but that’s rare because it seems like he forgets about me more than often.
“You alright, Parker?”
“O-oh yeah,” I snap, waving my arms around the air, feeling for anything ahead, “I am absolutely fine. Just fine. Although my ribs are broken, my shins are living eggplants, and despite the fact that I’m enslaved by the most insufferable people in the world, life is just wonderful. And you know what? I could jump off a building and not care because life is so fucking peachy! Just living love and loving li—”
“Watch your step,” he calls from a few feet away. “Portrait hole.”
The anger that is boiling inside me can’t be described in a few words.
Damn Gryffindors. Damn Gryffindors and their damn portrait holes and their damn ways and their damn damn DAMMIT. I see why Slytherins hate them so much. They’re a giant group of beasts that feed off people’s misery and boast about their bravery, riding around on their high horse called “hey unimportant people, look at me—I’m the best thing to grace this earth.”
I curse under by breath and peel myself off the floor, clawing at the blindfold glued to my face. “GET THIS STUPID THING OFF OF ME!”
“Okay, okay, calm down,” I hear James say, “Moony, take it off.”
I hear some grumbling and a smack of a book shut, and then light footsteps coming my way. The next thing I see is Remus’ face, with the blindfold in his hands and a light sense of remorse in his expression.
“Help me,” I mouth. If anyone could, it would probably be him.
He gives me a slight quirk of a smile to say he’s sorry, and for some reason, without any warning or any intentions of doing so, a whimper escapes my throat.
“Don’t worry,” he whispers, “After a while, you get used to them.”
“Yes, but how long is a while?” I mutter back.
He doesn’t say anything, and I watch him make his way back to a chair and open up a book. Bless his heart, but he could’ve done something more than just assure me with hollow words. How about cutting my chains and letting me go? That would suffice.
“Welcome to our humble abode,” James calls, his arms wide open.
“If you haven’t forgotten, I was just here a few days ago,” I say, scowling.
“Right-o, right-o! Now, let’s give you a little tour.” He saunters around and motions to several parts of the common room. “Here’s the most comfortable chair in the world (don’t ever sit there because it’s mine), some tables I never use, the bulletin board with important stuff on it, the girls’ dormitory is up those stairs, also known as Sirius’ playground, and the boys’ is there. This will be your lovely home for the next six months. Lovely, no?”
“My home? I have my own dormitory.”
“Well, we just thought,” James says airily, “That because you’re going to be here so much, we might as well let you “crash at our place” for a while.” He smirks.
“Nope! No need to thank us, we know how dreadful it is in that common room of yours.”
“How did you—”
“Now! Formalities are over and done with, so time for business.” James rubs his hands together quickly. “First things first, you’ll have to wear that.” He points his wand at a neatly folded pile of clothing and motions them into my hands. I stare at him, and then the clothes, and then back at him again.
“Gryffindor robes?” I hiss. “You want me to wear Gryffindor robes?”
“Yes?” James says as if it was a stupid question. “Is there a problem with that?”
“But why?” I know my things are more than second hand, but they aren’t that bad. I don’t think I would even ever….
“For your protection, of course. Wouldn’t want our fellow comrades ganging up on you for trespassing into our territory, right?”
It makes sense. That still doesn’t cover up enough, though. Oh, there’s a new Gryffindor who comes out of nowhere and follows the Marauders around who has an uncanny likeness to that Slytherin girl that passed out in the corridors not too long ago. Hopefully they’re that stupid, right?
But still, I don’t want to be beaten up or questioned. If the rest of the Slytherins find out about this, then there’s no doubt that I’ll be ridiculed and ostracized for being a “traitor.”
What would Regulus think about this? I mean, not that it matters, of course…
“Bathroom’s over there.” James points to a door at the corner of the room.
“Or you can change here. Really, we won’t mind.” Sirius grins.
“Thanks,” I sneer, making my way towards the bathroom.
Right. Thanks a lot.
A/N: I know how long it's been since I've updated, and I assure you that I am not dead! Feel free to throw virtual stones of shame at me, for it has been long over due. I've been so busy to write, and it didn't help that I was never happy with this one. :c
This was just a little sort of a filler chapter to introduce the new turn of events. Oh and a new character too! There will be more to see of her, I assure you that ;]
Chapter ten is in the making, and I have no promises, but like always I will submit as soon as possible! Thank you all for being so patient and sorry for the delay. Leave a review!
Edit: Just to clarify things a little... Ivy really isn't going to live in the Gryffindor tower. Just a joke! But perhaps, she'll just be there so much, she'll practically be living there haha.
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