chapter image made by FedoraDuo at TDA
A tragedy with
More damage than a soul should see
And if I try to save him
My whole world could cave in
Sirius Black, the greatest mystery in Hogwarts, sat next to the rest of the marauders in the Great Hall. He looked out of place in the busy room. All around him people were laughing and smiling but he was lost deep in his thoughts. His friends were worried about him. He hadn’t been the same since the summer when he ran away from his home. He needed time and space, that is what he told his friends. They were afraid for him. They were afraid he would do something stupid and reckless. They wanted him to be happy for once in his life but they didn’t know what to do.
Leora, Lea, watched him from the other end of the Gryffindor table. She twirled a strand of her blonde hair around her finger absentmindedly and chewed softly on her bottom lip. Her eyebrows were pulled together in concentration. She wondered why he was so sad. She knew he had family issues, everyone knew that, but he was free from them. They no longer held him prisoner in their pureblood world. Lea thought that escaping from their clutches would make him happier not sadder. The pain they caused him would always be there but she thought that he would have begun to heal.
She didn’t understand him. Lea prided herself on her ability to read people. She knew what they were feeling by the looks on their faces. Their eyes held all their thoughts and she knew how to read them. But his eyes were like brick walls; she couldn’t penetrate them. He hid himself from the world and she wanted to know why. There had to be a reason he was the way he was. She wanted to find it, needed to find it and she didn’t know why.
She forced herself to peel her eyes away from him when Lily Evans sat down next to her. Lea smiled brightly at her redheaded friend. Lily’s distraught expression immediately turned into a smile. Lea’s smile made everyone smile; her happiness spread to everyone near her.
“Your sister?” Lea asked Lily.
Lily nodded and grabbed a piece of toast. “She still won’t answer any of my letters.”
“She’s just jealous of you,” Lea stated.
Lily snorted unattractively. “Why would she be jealous of me? I’m nothing special.”
“Lily, you are smart, beautiful, fun, strong, independent, courageous, loving, caring, the brightest witch in all of Hogwarts, and so much more. Lily, she loves you she just doesn’t know how to show it.” Lea told her. Lily smiled; Lea always knew what to say to make her feel better.
Lea smiled and hugged her friend. “Anytime.”
“I have to go,” Lily said apologetically. “I have head girl duties I need to do,” she grimaced. Lea laughed.
“Have fun with James,” she yelled at her friend’s back as she walked away. Lily waved her hand in the air but didn’t turn around.
Lea tucked her hair behind her ears and stood up. She slowly made her way through the thick crowd of people. She smiled and waved at those who waved at her but didn’t stop to talk. As soon as she was out of the Great Hall she let her feet take her wherever they wanted to go. She trusted them to lead her to where she wanted to go even though she didn’t even know where that was. Her mind wondered off as she drifted into her own little world.
There was a light bounce to her step he noticed. He could feel her happiness as soon as she walked into the library. She looked dazed and out of touch with reality but he knew that it was normal for her to get lost in her mind.
Sirius was intrigued by her. He was fascinated by her unending happiness. He didn’t understand how she could be so happy all the time and how she made other people happy just by being in the same room as them. He wanted to know what made her glow. She was so innocent, like a little kid before they are corrupted by the world. She seemed oblivious to the evil of the world. It was like there was a wall around her that protected her from the bad things in life. Her wall reached out and protected the people around her too. Maybe that was why he felt so safe with her. The weight on his shoulders was lifted a little bit when he was behind her wall. The wounds on his soul healed a little more each time she smiled.
He followed her, he was addicted to her. He needed to be with her. She made him feel again. He had never spoken to her but he felt like he knew her. Drawn to her, that’s what he was. He couldn’t stay away no matter how hard he tried to. She floated through the aisles as though she was in a dream. Her fingers gently ran down the spines of the dusty old books that covered the shelves before finally pulling one out. She flipped through the pages for a minute before gliding to a remote part of the library. Sirius sat at a table near her where he could see her but she couldn’t see him. She sat on the floor and curled up in a ball with her back leaning against a bookshelf. A stand of her curly blonde hair fell into her eyes. She ignored it. Her eyes sped across the pages soaking up every word the saw. She loved to read, it was her favorite thing in the whole world. She could spend hours sitting in her little corner reading books.
Sirius had his potions homework spread across the table but he wasn’t doing it. He wondered what she was thinking. Did she know that he was watching her? Could she feel his eyes on her? Did she know how much he needed her? He didn’t think so. She was oblivious to the real world. Her head was in the clouds.
He looked down at his potions book pretending to be concentrating on it as a group of giggling girls walked past him. He kept his eyes down until they were out of his sight. When he looked back up Lea was gone but the book was lying in the corner where she had been just moments earlier.
Loud giggles yanked Lea out of her trance. She followed the group of third years with her eyes and in between two books where there was an empty space she saw him. He was doing his homework and looked like he was concentrating really hard on it. She stood up and set her book down on the floor. A sudden desire to talk to him overcame her. She needed to talk to him, find out what was wrong. Maybe she could help. She was good at helping people. Maybe she could make him happy again.
She slipped away between the bookshelves and made her way over to him before she could change her mind. His precariously perched potions book fell to the floor making him jump. Before he could grab it Lea reached down and picked it up for him. He looked up and for just a moment an emotion flittered across his eyes, shock, but just as fast as it came it was gone and the impenetrable walls were back up.
“You dropped this,” Lea stated with a soft smile lighting up her face.
Her glow was brighter up close. For a minute Sirius couldn’t speak. He just stared at her stupidly before he finally regained his senses.
“Thanks,” he muttered and took the book from her. His hand brushed against hers. A jolt of warmth flowed through him.
Instead of leaving like Sirius thought she would she sat down in the chair opposite him. She put her elbows up on the table and set her chin in her hands. She stared at him with her big blue eyes.
“Why are you so sad?” she asked innocently.
He just stared at her. Why did she care about what was wrong with him?
“Why?” he asked hesitantly.
Lea shrugged. “I’m curious. I don’t like seeing you sad. You don’t smile anymore. You have a pretty smile. I miss seeing it.”
Sirius was taken aback by her honesty. She had been watching him; that was the only explanation to why she would know what his smile looked like.
With extreme difficulty Sirius pulled his eyes away from hers and looked back down at his homework.
“It’s none of your business,” he growled at her.
“Can I help?” she asked. “Nobody should be as sad as you are.”
“It’s nothing you can help with,” he snapped at her angrily.
She was silent. Sirius scrawled something illegible on his parchment to make it look like he was working and not completely aware of her presence. She said nothing; she just got up and walked away. That was the moment when Lea decided to save Sirius Black. She would make him smile again.