chapter image made by Elysium @ TDA
I stared out the window longingly. White snow was falling slowly to the ground. I wanted nothing more than to run outside and roll around in the snow but instead I was stuck inside doing stupid homework. Why did I always wait until the last minute to finish my homework? I hate homework. Homework is evil and so are the professors that assign us the homework. It’s like they love to torture us. Why can’t they ever give us a break?
“Cinderella,” Marissa snapped her fingers in front of my face. “Are you listening to me?” she asked although her eyes told me she already knew the answer.
I smirked at her and shook my head. “Nope,” I answered cheerfully.
She sighed in frustration. For the last hour she had been trying to explain to me what I was supposed to be writing my potions essay about. I didn’t understand a word of it. It was like she was speaking in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish so how am I supposed to know what she’s trying to say? She was top of almost every class. She knew how to speak every language of every class and I couldn’t understand any of it. Stupid Marissa, why does she have to be so smart?
“You’ll never get this done if you don’t pay attention.” I rolled my eyes at her. I wasn’t going to get this done even if I paid attention so why should I waste my time paying attention to something that won’t get done anyway.
She sighed again before jumping back into her explanation. My mind wandered as soon as she started speaking in Spanish. I found myself watching the snow swirl faster and faster in dizzying circles. My longing to be out there in the swirling snow grew stronger with each second that ticked by. Time seemed to pass at an agonizingly slow pace.
“Cinderella,” I jumped at Marissa’s annoyed voice. My knee hit the table we were sitting at making my ink bottle fall over on my barely written essay.
“Look what you made me do,” I yelled. “I worked hard on that.” I crossed my arms over my chest.
It was Marissa’s turn to roll her eyes. “You barely wrote two sentences.” She too crossed her arms over her chest.
“Yeah but I worked hard on those two sentences. It took a lot of effort to come up with those.” I picked up my ruined essay and stared at it in despair.
“I told you what to write for those two sentences.” Marissa exclaimed. She had a smile on her face. She was laughing at my stupidness, I could tell.
“Well,” I searched my head for an excuse. “I wrote the sentences, so there,” I nodded my head in defiance.
Marissa shook her head in amusement at my childish behavior. I smirked at her in triumph and stuck out my tongue before holding out my ink soaked essay to her.
“Fix it,” I commanded.
“Why don’t you fix it? I’m not your slave.”
“I suck at charms. You know that.” I whined. “Fix it, now.”
She raised her eyebrows at me. I flashed my ‘I’m innocent’ smile at her. Nobody can resist my ‘I’m innocent’ smile except Andy. Andy can resist my ‘I’m innocent’ smile but that took him years of practice.
“If I try to fix it I’ll probably end up setting it on fire.”
She stared at me for a second before deciding that I was right (I’m always right so there’s no point in arguing with me) and took the parchment from my hand. She pulled out her wand and without saying a word she fixed my essay. It looked exactly like it did before Marissa made me spill the ink. My two sentences were restored to their former perfection.
“You saved my life,” I exclaimed dramatically. “How can I ever repay you for this unbelievable deed? I never could have done it by myself. Without you my two sentences would be lost forever. I can’t thank you enough.” I grabbed Marissa’s hand with one of mine while wiping away fake tears with the other.
Marissa pulled her hand out of mine. “Stop being such a drama queen. You still have to finish this essay.”
I crossed my arms in annoyance. “This is impossible. I don’t understand this. I’ll be stuck in here all day.” I scowled at my essay before once again looking out the window. The swirling snow had calmed down. It lightly fell to the already snow covered ground.
“Here,” Marissa said after a few minutes of silence.
I glanced over at her to see her holding out her own potions essay written in perfect straight lines in Marissa’s neat handwriting. I smiled widely. She was actually letting me cheat. She never let me cheat. It was so un-Marissa.
I cocked my head to the side. “You’re letting me copy your essay,” I stated in a dreamy voice.
I jumped up quickly and snatched the essay out of her hand before she could change her mind.
“You’re the bestest, Marissa.”
“Yeah, yeah.” She waved my comment away. “This is only a one time thing. Don’t expect me to let you do this ever again. You need to write your own essays. You won’t learn anything if you don’t write your essays.”
I snorted before dipping my quill into Marissa’s ink bottle. “I won’t learn anything anyway so there really in no point in me writing my own essays.” I couldn’t see her but I knew Marissa was shaking her head at me.
Several minutes of silence passed between us. I could hear the scratching of my quill against my parchment and the voices of the people in the common room.
“Done,” I shouted as I stretched my fingers. A few people gave me weird looks for being so loud. I glared at them until they looked away.
I jumped to my feet pulling Marissa with me.
“Where are you taking me?” Marissa asked cautiously. She had every right to be afraid. Last time I dragged her off with no explanation we got a week of detentions.
“Relax, nothing bad is going to happen,” I told her with a roll of my eyes.
“That’s what you said last time,” she pointed out.
I stopped suddenly making Marissa run into me. I spun on my heel to face her and put my hands on my hips.
“Don’t you trust me?” I asked.
“No,” she answered without hesitation.
I pouted for a moment before smiling. “Oh well, come on. We’ve got stuff to do.” I grabbed her arm again and dragged her up to our dorm.
“Exactly what kind of stuff do we have to do?”
“We’ve got to get dressed of course,” I answered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. If she didn’t know what we were doing then she didn’t know me very well.
“Should I be scared?” she questioned.
I stopped for a second to think about it. Should she be scared? I guess that depended on who you asked. Some would say yes, you should be very scared and you should run away screaming like a little girl who just had her big brother pop out of nowhere wearing a scary mask on Halloween. Others would say no, it’s completely fine. There’s no reason to be afraid of Cinderella. She might be a little insane but that doesn’t mean she’s that dangerous.
I shook my head. “No, I don’t think so.” Then I continued walking.
“Just tell me what we’re doing,” Marissa whined once I closed the door to our dorm.
“We’re going outside of course,” I replied.
I flipped open my truck at the foot of my bed and quickly grabbed a warm coat, a hat, gloves, boots, and a pair of fuzzy socks. Even though I love the cold I don’t want to freeze. I threw them on quickly and was ready to leave before Marissa even had her coat on.
“Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up.” I bounced up and down a lot like Gaby usually does. My curls bounced just like hers did and I’m sure I had a goofy grin on my face that was almost identical to Gaby’s.
“I’m going, don’t rush me.” I groaned. She was going to take forever. We were only going outside and she was going to make a big deal about the clothes she was wearing. It didn’t matter that much, it wasn’t like we were going anywhere fancy but she still had to look good. I don’t understand her, why does she care so much about the way she looks?
“Come on, by the time you’re ready I’ll have died from old age.” I glanced out the window every few seconds just to make sure snow was still falling.
“Okay, I’m done,” Marissa finally said taking one last look at herself in the mirror.
“That only took forever,”
Marissa turned around to face me and a look of pure horror fell over her face.
“What are you wearing!” she shouted.
I clutched my ears with my hands. That girl may be quiet most of the time but when she wants to yell she can really yell.
“Oh no,” she continued. “No. I am not letting you leave this room looking like that.”
I scowled at her. “There is nothing wrong with what I’m wearing. Now, come one.”
I dragged her down the stairs with her protesting the whole way. My clothes didn’t match, so what. It’s not the end of the world. I was wearing my dad’s old coat that was at least two sizes too big for me, my hat was bright green with purple hearts, (it was originally pink with purple hearts and when I tried to change it to black it turned green and the purple hearts stayed the same), my boots were black, and my gloves were light blue.
“It’s freezing out here,” she complained as soon as we stepped outside.
“Stop being such a baby. It feels good.”
I smiled happily. This was when I was happiest, when I was outside in the snow with the cold winter wind biting my cheeks and the crystal-like snow sticking to my hair. That was when I felt completely happy with the world for once. Everything felt like it was going to be okay as long as there was snow and it was cold, everything would be okay.
I spun in circles with my arms spread wide and stuck out my tongue to catch the snowflakes on it.
“Cinderella, you are such a little kid.” Marissa muttered to herself.
A smirk fell on my lips. “I like being a little kid. There is nothing wrong with being a little kid. Grown ups are boring and old, little kids are fun. Old people smell bad. They smell like-like-like old people.” I shrugged my shoulders. “I’m dizzy,”
I stopped moving my feet but the world kept spinning past my eyes. Round and round it went in big circles. I stumbled backwards and lost my footing. I screamed in shock before falling straight back into a pile of fluffy snow. I blew a strand of my hair out of my eyes.
The air was silent for several seconds before Marissa’s laughter broke it. I scowled. Why did I have to fall down so much? The world must hate me. First it was the shoes of death and now snow, my savior. Why have you betrayed me! I needed you snow and you let me down! I can’t believe you humiliated me like that. Life sucks, but chocolate is good.
“Stupid snow, stupid Marissa.” I muttered under my breath.
I jumped to my feet to see Marissa holding her sides laughing her head off at my misery. I’ll show her how it feels. I glanced around before an evil smirk formed on my face. I grabbed as much snow as my hands could hold and packed it together to form a large snowball. An evil chuckled escaped my lips.
“Oh Marissa, darling” I called to her sweetly.
She looked over with amusement from my fall still written all over her face. I threw the snowball as hard as I could right at Marissa’s face. She yelped in surprise sounding very much like a dog.
“Cinderella!” she yelled stomping her foot on the ground in anger.
Snow stuck to her hair and her face. She looked like a snow monster. I tried to put on my ‘I’m innocent’ face but I couldn’t do it. Laughter overtook me. I fell to the ground and rolled around in the snow laughing. I couldn’t stop, I couldn’t breathe.
Marissa stomped over to my side with her hands behind her back. I realized what she was doing just a second too late.
I screamed then wiped the snow out of my eyes. I narrowed my eyes at her and glared.
“You’re gonna die,” I whispered dramatically.
Her eyes widened and then it was her turn to scream. I scrambled to my feet and ran after her. I scooped up some snow without stopping and quickly packed it into a ball. I threw it at her and smirked when it hit her in the back of the head. She shrieked which only made my smirk widen. I scooped up some more snow and right before I was about to throw it I tripped. Of course, I tripped over my own two feet in the middle of a snowball fight. I stumbled to my feet as quickly as I could but by the time I was standing again she was gone.
I turned slowly in a circle with narrowed eyes. I saw nothing but white. Everything was covered in a thick layer of snow. The crunch of the snow beneath my feet was the only sound that filled the air.
Suddenly something hard hit me in the back of the head. I stumbled backwards. I waved my arms in wild circles trying to regain my balance but it didn’t work. I squeezed my eyes shut expecting to hit the ground but the ground never came.
I peeled open my eyes to see an amused pair of grayish-blue eyes staring back at me.
He smirked his famous marauder smirk before opening his mouth, “hello.”
I mimicked his smirk. “Hello to you too.”
“You fall a lot don’t you?” he asked.
I pouted. “It’s not my fault,” I whined. “The world hates me. It loves to watch me suffer.”
He rolled his eyes at me before pushing me up so I was standing on my feet again. A mischievous twinkle lit my eyes. Sirius raised his eyebrows at me questioningly. He opened his mouth to say something but before he could I shoved a handful of snow into his face. He stood there shocked for a minute.
“Oh it’s on,” he whispered threateningly.
“Bring it,” I challenged him.
We stared into each others eyes silently going over the unspoken rules of the game.
“Loser does the winner’s homework for a week,” he suggested.
I shook my head at him. “A week is nothing, that’s little kid stuff.” He raised his eyebrows at me. He does that a lot doesn’t he? “Make it a month and the loser has to be the winner’s slave for a month too.”
He smirked and then held out his hand. “Deal,”
I shook his hand. “Deal,”
“I can’t believe I lost to a girl,” Sirius whined collapsing onto the couch in the common room.
“Stop complaining you big baby.” I grinned at him. “Now, move you feet I want to sit there.”
He shook his head, “no I don’t think I will,”
I stole his thing and raised my eyebrows. “You’re my slave and you have to do what I say.” I pointed to myself to emphasize my point. I sighed impatiently before just sitting on his feet.
“You need to lose some weight,” he commented while shifting his feet under my butt.
“Bite me,” I snapped at him in a playful way.
“Okay,” he responded. He grabbed my hand and brought it to his mouth.
“Hey,” I snatched it away from him.
“You told me to bite you.” He shrugged innocently.
“I didn’t mean it you idiot.” Boys are so stupid. Why doesn’t Stephanie understand that?
I reached down to unlace my boots.
“You have snow in your hair,” Sirius commented.
“Thank you so much,” I answered, “I had no idea. I wonder how that got there, it’s not like I’ve been outside having a snowball fight for the past four hours.”
“It is strange, isn’t it?”
I rolled my eyes. Yes, boys were stupid.
I threw my boots into the corner of the common room along with my gloves and coat. I left my hat on.
We sat in comfortable silence just watching the flames lick eagerly at the logs in the fireplace.
“Have you ever played quidditch?” he asked suddenly.
I snorted. “No,”
“Why not?” he questioned.
“I hate flying. I hate being so high off the ground. It’s creepy. I’m always afraid I’m going to fall and die an excruciatingly painful death.” I shuddered and shook my head. “I refuse to fly therefore I can’t play quidditch.” I glanced at him suspiciously. “Why?” I asked.
“You’d make an excellent chaser. You have amazing aim.”
“At least I’m good at one thing,” I muttered under my breath.
He punched me playfully in the arm. “Stop being so pessimistic.”
I slapped his legs and said nothing. It was strange how easily I could talk to Sirius. I felt like I had known him my whole life instead of just a week. Most of the time I forgot he was my boyfriend, he felt more like a friend. It was weird how we just connected. It was an odd feeling. I felt like he could read me just as well as any of my friends I had known for years. It had taken them months to figure me out but he had me figured out after barely a week. He was like a big brother to me, just like Andy was.
The silence between us was comfortable. We both watched the crackling fire for what seemed like a lifetime without saying a word. I could see me and Sirius being friends for a long time even after this deal is over.
“You were right,” Remus whispered as he watched Sirius and Cinderella tease each other across the room. “They really were meant for each other.”
“I told you,” I smiled smugly. “They don’t know it yet but they will, eventually. Cinderella is going to get the happy ending she never thought was possible.”
“I thought she didn’t want a happy ending.” he commented.
“Everyone wants a happy ending; she just doesn’t believe that it can happen to her. Sirius was made for Cinderella; she’ll figure it out sooner or later.”
“What if she doesn’t?” he asked.
“She will,” I nodded my head to emphasize my words and convince myself. “She has to.”