Light. At first that was all I saw. Just this blinding bright white light that made my eyes water and clench shut. Where was I? What happened to me? I tried to open my eyes again. It wasn’t as harsh this time but what I saw scared me more. Everything that wasn’t covered in the hospital gown was broken or bruised and I had a feeling it wasn’t much different under my gown.
Breathing carefully, I focused on not losing it. I had to understand exactly what was going on before I could allow myself to let myself feel it. The problem with that was I was on so much medication my thoughts were getting lost in my head. I didn’t know what was scarier, the fact I couldn’t feel what was wrong with me because I could only see it or that I had trouble remembering how exactly I managed to get hospitalized in the first place. In the back of my memory I tried to recall how I was supposed to get a Healer until a blue button appeared next to me. Reaching forward with difficulty, I pushed it and a Healer’s assistant came into the room.
As bad as I thought I looked apparently was as bad as it was. Her dark eyes were sagging with sadness the minute her eyes met mine. I could tell she didn’t want to look at me. Worn and fragile, I didn’t hold it against her. “Hi.”
She sighed, sat in the chair next to me. “Hi.”
“How long have I been out?” I asked hoarsely.
“Um….I should really get the Healer-“
I gulped hurting my overly dry throat, “Look …I don’t know how I even got here or got like this,” I took a shaky breath, “So if you could at least look at me and acknowledge that I’m a human being…”
Her eyes lifted to mine and I saw that her brown eyes were watering with tears. “I’m …sorry.”
“I look that bad?”
“You…” Her voice got choked up and she tore her eyes away from me, “I can’t okay!”
My jerked forward and grabbed her wrist. “Just tell me what happened.”
“I don’t know how you got like this…”
“I wasn’t in an accident? Where’s my mother? Is my grandmother terrorizing the staff?”
“No.” She whispered quietly, “No one’s here.”
In that moment I was taken aback. “Excuse me?”
“No one is here…The young man who brought you in left this for you.”
Tentatively she handed me a ripped up, crumpled up piece of parchment. It took me a minute but I opened it. It only had two lines but I instantly recognized the handwriting.
If I never see you again. Take care.
My blood pressure and heart rate soared on the monitor as I looked at the piece of paper in front of me. I remembered what happened. Tears began to build in my eyes until they overflowed down my mutilated cheek. I remembered everything. As soon as I finished reading the letter it all came back to me in a vivid flash. My father’s face, my own screams. The instant I had come back to reality I found that it was now I who was unable to look at her.
I cleared my throat, “You can leave.”
“Miss…” She started unsurely but I couldn’t handle it.
“My father did this to me…All of this.” My voice cracked and I clenched my eyes tightly.
She seemed to be debating with herself for a moment before she opened her mouth. “Your…father left a message as well. I was going to wait…”
I swiped my eyes clean and glared at her, “Just say it.”
“He wrote, ‘If you ever speak to him again I’ll kill him.’”
I snorted bitterly, “Of course he did.”
I sat on my couch and gazed at the ceiling anxiously. Renee hobbled into the living room covered in thick blankets. She seemed to look at the couch and consider how she would lower herself down. If she wasn’t so sick I would have laughed at the sheer determination on her face.
“You have enough covers there?”
She flashed me her middle figure rudely before laying down. “Where are you going?”
“Then why do you look so…flustered
I hated how well she could always read me. “I’m being partnered with him for tonight’s mission.”
She grimaced her sickly pale face turning lighter, “What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. I can’t ignore him anymore but how can I not?” I let out a breath of frustration. “I feel like Dumbledore knows and he’s trying to torture me.”
Renee gave me a look of disbelief, “Dumbledore may know because…we’ll he just knows everything doesn’t he? But I doubt he’s trying to ‘torture’
you. I think he’s trying to help.”
“If he wanted to help he would have ignored it.”
“It’s not right for him to ignore it. Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away. I know it hurts but from his point of view he probably sees it as him just nudging you two in the right direction.”
I frowned in agreement. “I know he means well …Hell Dumbledore might not even know.”
“That’s possible.” She coughed loudly, covering her mouth and leaning back, “It’s not a big possibility though because I’m sure a man of his stature checks people out before he invites them into his ‘super secret club’
,” She mocked lightly as she closed her eyes and got more comfortable in the couch.
I smiled, “Yeah you’re right.”
“Of course I am,” She sighed to herself as yawned against the couch.
“What were you saying earlier?” I questioned quickly before I could stop myself, “Before you fell asleep.”
Renee opened her hazel eyes and squinted them tightly, “Ah….I honestly don’t remember.”
I shook my head stretching and rising up into a sitting position. “No reason. You just …You seemed like you were trying to tell me something. It’s no big deal,” I lied as I pull on my shoes and grabbed my cloak.
“Okay,” She mumbled sleepily as she cuddled closer into her pillow. “Have fun.”
Amused I snorted and put a blanket around her bare shoulders before closing the blinds and kissing her forehead. “Sleep you.”
Renee nodded, “Thanks Jules.”
I stood in the living room a moment longer than I meant to and I realized what was stopping me. In my room, in my second drawer from the left, below my scarves, gloves, sunscreen and my extra sunglasses was a very old box, I went in and picked it up. The second I did, I grazed my fingertips over it and felt the velvet soft exterior on my skin.
“Come here for a minute,”
I pursed my lips, crossed my arms and groaned. “Sirius…I said I didn’t want anything! Really…I’m serious…Not kidding.”
Sirius scoffed at me and put his hands on my shoulders as the waves crashed nosily around us, “Would you just stay there? You know just NOT move.”
I sighed, “Fine.”
“Are you going to do it? Stay there and for once do as I ask?” He mocked playfully.
Smiling brightly I went on my tip toes, grabbed the back of his neck and kissed him. “Fine.”
“Now you and I have been together for awhile.”
He gave me a dirty look for interrupting but continued anyway. “And you know how I feel.”
“You love me.”
“Are you going to let me finish or are you going to just keep interrupting me?”
“I’m sorry,” I rolled my eyes and released him. “Go on.”
He crossed his arms, “Positive?”
I smiled bigger, “Yes.”
“Do you love me?”
“Of course I do.”
He bit his lip as he grinned giving away how nervous he was. “How much?”
“A lot. Sirius what’s going on?”
“Well,” He lowered down to one knee, “I don’t really how to say this right...You know I’m no good with words…See I can’t live without you. We’ve tried it apart and we couldn’t even last two days. I’ve never wanted to be with anyone like I want you. I want to spend everyday with you. Even if that means sitting around in bagel shops and libraries the rest of my life.”
My jaw had dropped and I was unsure what to say. “Sirius are you…You aren’t…”
“Proposing?” He asked with a twinkle in his eyes as he got out the box and popped it open, “Yes I am.”
“But,” I gulped insecurely, “How can you be so sure? We’ve been dating for five months and we’re only seventeen-“
“Because,” He rose to my level and lowered his tone, “I feel it. This morning I woke up and realized my world would be nothing without you in it. And it’s recently occurred to me that this, you and me, isn’t close enough.”
“What do you mean?” I replied softly as the wind whistled by me.
“What I’m saying is. I love you and I want you and only you forever.”
I gazed into his grey eyes and I took a deep breath, “Forever?”
Before I knew it he was down on his knee again. “Will you marry me?”
“I’ve gotta be the biggest idiot in world to say yes.”
He picked me up and twirled me tightly before kissing me passionately. “Where’s your head at Jules?”
I pulled away and let him slip the ring onto my finger. My smile grew until my face hurt, “That’s a hell yes.”
“Jules?” Renee called from the living room, “You still here?”
I wiped the water from my eyes with the back of my hand and let out a shaky breath, “Yeah…” I called to her before putting my ring back where I found it, “I’m leaving now.”
Apparating I closed my eyes, Renee’s words ringing softly in my ears as the iron bands tightened around my chest. I never liked to apparate. It made my stomach nauseous and jacked up my nerves; two things I really didn’t need tonight. Walking down the street I felt the warm May breeze cross my face and regret fill my gut. This was going to be the second hardest thing I ever had to do.
Sirius sat in the Order meeting room with James, Remus and Peter comfortably. It was an hour before the meeting was scheduled and for the first time in months they all came together.
“Okay so explained to me how you forget the name of the girl you slept with?” James shot at Sirius in between sips of Butterbeer, “I mean you must keep count some way right? Tally it on your bed post maybe?”
Sirius smirked, “We’ll you see I haven’t perfected my system yet but I will take any suggestions by owl.”
James laughed heartedly, “Oh I have quite a few suggestions for you.”
“Like what Prongs?” Remus piped in slyly.
“Well I’m glad you asked Moony,” James fired back dryly, “I think maybe you should number them or perhaps come up with catchy nicknames for them like ‘Mimi Thunderkittens’
or ‘thong girl’
“You see I like that.” Sirius smiled easily, “But I think if I do the nicknames it might take an ugly turn.”
Peter frowned, “I don’t see how.”
“Think about it Wormtail. If I forget who they are I can’t exactly ask them, ‘Hey are you Firecrotch or SlimNeasy
Remus grinned but didn’t laugh like the others. Instead he leaned back in his chair pensively, “You haven’t had anyone around lately though have you?”
“What do you mean?” Sirius’s smile faded as suspicion filled his voice.
“I mean I’ve seen you talking to girls and trying to get them back to your place but they don’t seem to make it there lately.”
Sirius’s indifference turned to a scowl, “I don’t know what you’re talking about Moony. Same as always.”
“Maybe I’m mistaken.” Remus stated simply as the tension between him and Sirius thickened.
“Yeah,” Sirius announced in a dark tone, “You are.”
James’s eyebrows furrowed together as he moved forward. “Ah anything going on guys?”
“No,” They both answered in unison as Dumbledore walked in.
“Sirius?” Dumbledore asked him lightly, “I was wondering if I could have a word.”
He nodded curtly, stood up and followed him out of the room.
In the past few weeks since she had returned he fought to ignore her and keep his life as normal as possible. But he couldn’t. He hit the bars harder than ever. Dozens of girls he tried to vent his repressed feelings on that all failed. He could never follow through as soon as it came time to take them back to his place he lost his nerve. It wasn’t just his love life that she was affecting either. It was everything. He couldn’t sleep without having nightmares of her. The only thing on his mind was her and how much it killed him to lose her the first time. Now she seemed like a robot. She never got angry, upset, happy or sad when she spoke at meetings. And she never held a facial expression that was anything but indifference. Sighing, he shut the door behind him and attempted to empty his thoughts.
“Sirius as you know Ms. Paxton is new.”
His throat clenched as he gave Dumbledore a stiff nod.
“I was wondering if you would mind if I partnered her with you.”
“Excuse me?” He inquired his voice louder than he intended it to be.
Dumbledore smiled at Sirius and put a hand on his shoulder. “Sirius I’ve watched you grow as a young man into a noble man. And I’m proud of you. That you in spite of your parent’s example have chosen to go against prejudices.”
“I’m sorry sir. Thank you. I appreciate that but what does it have to do with-?”
“She was in Slythern, pureblooded and from the same type of family as yours. She had every reason in the world to join them but she didn’t. Out of all the members of this organization I think you can grasp that best and will help me make her more included.”
Sirius opened his mouth to protest but Dumbledore stopped him.
“Everyone deserves a second chance Sirius.”
The meaning of his words forced Sirius to accept the consequences of Dumbledore’s words. “Of course sir.”
“Now go back inside and if you could fetch me Remus I would be most grateful.”
Sirius tapped Remus on the shoulder, “He wants you.”
Sirius then sat down and put his head in his hands. Years of repression and now Dumbledore was asking him to confront everything he’d been trying to forget. It had taken him a long time to get over Juliette Paxton and now he wasn’t sure how to handle this situation. Remus walked through the door Sirius had recently left and closed the door.
“You wanted to see me sir?”
“I did,” Dumbledore’s face grew sober, “I did as you asked. I partnered Juliette with Sirius but I must feed my curiosity a little…”
Remus shrugged, “Naturally you would want to know why I would want them to work together.”
“I think they can help each other.” Remus gave him a knowing look as Juliette came in through the front door with a dark scowl on her face, “With everything.”
She stormed over furiously and pushed Remus hard in the chest. “You manipulative asshole!”
THANK YOU FOR READING!
I know they were supposed to confront each other in this chapter but it was getting too long so NEXT CHAPTER they will I swear! PLEASE REVIEW!
I will edit this when i get the chance.