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Chapter 5 : Iron Heart
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D/c: All genius Harry Potter events characters and plot lines from the books belong to the awesome JK rowling. What you don't recognise is my imagination:) This applies to all future chapters!
And here we go!
My eyes opened suddenly. The glowing numbers on my alarm clock showed it was 3 in the morning. I sighed and closed my eyes again.
A sharp tap on my window awoke me up once more.
I groaned, pushed the covers off and got up. I pulled on my scrunched pink camisole and walked over to the window.
He stood there on the pavement throwing stones at my window, a stupid grin on his face.
He was probably the only boy in the world who could make me smile at three in the morning.
I pulled on the latch on the window and pushed it up and he climbed up to my second floor bedroom easily.
Sirius walked over to my bed and sat on the edge of it.
I followed and sat beside him. An explanation wasn’t really necessary. For four years now Sirius had climbed over to my room during the summer nights. We sat here in my room talking and laughing and discussing our dysfunctional relationships with our boyfriends and girlfriends. Sharing my life with Sirius was something that came naturally. He understood me, every side of me.
He was my best friend.
I was his.
Sirius pulled out a golf ball-sized green metallic sphere from his pocket and kept it on my bedspread. The sphere opened like a flower. Within the metallic petals was a swirling mass of greenish gold glittering smoke. I’d seen it many times before. The boys had invented this in their third year. Since we weren’t allowed to do magic outside of school, while at Hogwarts the boys spent all their time trying to create inventions that’ll sustain their magical needs over the summer.
This one was a particularly wonderful charm that contained all the sound created in a room within its walls once the sphere was opened. To all those outside my door, the room would be silent while I could have had thirty screaming people inside. We used it through the past summer so that my mom wouldn’t hear us when Sirius and I stayed up all night in my room talking and laughing.
I yawned and turned to him. “This couldn’t wait till morning?” I rubbed my eyes sleepily.
Sirius shook his head and smiled. “Sorry babe, I have about five minutes and then I have to go,”
He checked his watch.
That managed to wake me up and get my attention.
He sensed my tension and tried to keep his voice calm.
“Capp, I’m running away.”
I jumped to my feet “What!!??”
“I can’t stay in that house anymore,” He got up too and held my arms looking into my eyes. “You know how much I hate that place, I have to get out! I sent James a letter and he’s talked to his parents and they said they would love to have me there, so that’s where I’m going”. He explained urgently. His eyes held an emotion... was it desperation? He wanted me to trust him, to say it's alright. But how could I?
“You’re running away!?” I croaked my throat going dry, “For how long?”
Sirius laughed softly, “Forever Capp!”. He smiled at my confusion “I can’t live in that hell hole anymore!”
He sighed deeply and his shoulders sagged.
“You of all people know what I’ve been through with them, I just...” the pain and condemnation he had received from his family for the past four years were etched on his face, “I can’t do it anymore...”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Sirius was my neighbour, my best friend. He was leaving. Sure it’s not the end, we’d still be friends.
We would never sit here in front of the fire in my bedroom and talk like we always did. He wouldn't crawl up to my bedroom somehow exactly when I needed him, just because he like I needed a hug 'from next door'
We wouldn’t lie on the carpet and find funny patterns in the stars outside my window anymore. He'd always said Astronomy was only fun from my window.
We wouldn’t argue, and then hug it out knowing we didn’t mean whatever we said.
It wasn’t going be the same.
“Sirius, don’t go... Please?” the words escaped from my mouth before I could stop them.
“What?” he looked at me intently as if he was looking at me for the first time, noticing something different.
I tried to backpedal and sound more casual.
“I mean come on! You’re my best friend! We won’t get to hang out for another three weeks!”
“Capri,” he said softly and my body felt weak as he said my name “it’s just three weeks. And I’ll write to you I promise, and then we will be heading back to Hogwarts! Nothing will change!”
Could he not hear my heart breaking?
Why was I not crying when it was hurting this much to have my friend walk away? I cried for stupid things like that time my hair got all frizzy after I fell in the lake, why couldn’t I cry for something worth crying for.
Sirius was my closest friend. I told him everything about my life. It was a tribute to our houses being so coincidentally adjacent that we shared such a strong bond. When I was sad he knew it. He was in the next house and yet he felt it because he was always there. We shared so many moments together that it would be unnatural now to live them alone.
Sure, he’ll write to me he said but it would never happen.
I mean it’s Sirius! I don’t ever remember seeing that boy write a letter to a girl that didn’t have a time and place for a rendezvous. That would never happen with me so obviously he wouldn’t bother.
“Capp?” he asked since I was staring at him wordlessly.
“It won’t be the same!” I wailed.
He hugged me swiftly and my pained face was hidden safely in his chest, “Of course it will! We’re best friends, and best friends stick together till the end!” I breathed in the smell of his cologne unnoticeably. Maybe I was secretly trying to hold on to him.
“Yeah I’ve heard that” I sighed. “What if this is the end?”
“Hey!” he pulled away so he could look into my face and when he spoke his voice was strong and authoritative, as if he wanted me to believe the words he spoke. He held my shoulders in his warm hands and I suddenly felt like a child as I met his intense gaze.
“What are you saying? This is not the end! There’s never going to be an end. I’m your best friend Capp... And you are mine. I’m going to stay at James’s place for the whole summer instead of two weeks like before. Nothing is going to change with us ok? It’s not like I’m not moving to Transylvania!”
He smiled at me and the irrationality of my gloom hit me in the face.
There was nothing I could say to convey how much I needed him to stay without confessing something that would surely ruin our friendship.
I put my arms around him and hugged him tightly and sighed heavily.
“I can’t believe we’re not going to be neighbours anymore!”
He tightened his arms around me and pulled me closer.
“Cappie, we are neighbours at Hogwarts. Sometimes even dorm-mates!” he chuckled into my hair.
“Ha ha very funny," I spoke into his shirt, "Lily still doesn’t know you all were in our dorm that night! She’ll freak if she finds out James saw her in her night gown!”
We both laughed. It felt like I already missed him.
“You have to write to me at least twice a week!” I demanded pulling away from him and holding his hands looking into his silver-grey eyes. Those eyes could not lie to me.
“Promise,” he smiled at me.
I raised my eyebrows to show him I was serious. He nodded and smiled.
“Are you sure you’re going to be ok?” I asked him wondering if this was the best idea.
“Capp will you relax, I’ll be fine. You know the Potters are great. They care about me more than my own parents ever did. Father’s been in Scotland for the past three weeks so he doesn’t know I’m gone, I doubt he’ll even care... and my charming mother already blasted me off the family tree for leaving. Gotta love being a Black!” he said with a forced smile.
I swallowed to make my voice even,“How are you leaving?”
He gave one of his mischievous smiles. Of course, the four of them learned to apparate a few weeks ago. They slipped through so many age restriction rules on magic that it a miracle they never got caught.
I composed my face to one I supposed a supportive best friend would have and put my hand on his shoulder, “Be careful. Please”.
He hugged me again and kissed my forehead.
After a long minute he checked his watch “I gotta go Capp, I’ll see you on the train, ok?”
I put on a slight pout but smiled as genuinely as I could, “Ok.”
Sirius climbed out of the window, turned back to me and winked. “See you in September.”
With a sound like a whip-crack he was gone.
I waited there by the windowsil for a long minute staring at the empty night before I pulled down my window and closed the latch, walked over to my bed and collapsed onto it. Picking up the green metallic ball I closed it in my fist. There was nothing but silence.
Turning to my side I curled into a ball hugging my knees to my chest. There was a soft tinkling sound, the cat flap on my door opened and Casper walked in. The sleek black cat jumped onto my bed and curled up next to me. She always sensed it when I needed company.
Now that we’re alone I may as well tell you how my past four years had been.
Becoming a witch was the easy part, growing up as one was a lot more challenging. Within a matter of weeks after I’d confessed to Sirius that we were neighbours we became instant friends. Nora and Sirius were my best friends.
Nora was the girl who knew me more than I knew myself. I could never pretend to her, she could see right through me. She could never be fooled by my apparent annoyance at Sirius.
Whenever I complained about the fights and arguments about Sirius she listened with a small smile playing on her mouth and till end of third year I didn’t realise it myself. I loved being able to be honest with her, because no matter what, she didn’t judge me, she listened to me. She let me make my own mistakes but she always looked out for me and help me avoid the giant pitfalls life offered sometimes. It was like having a really cool sister.
Sirius was the boy that changed my life. He gave me life. He broke my fear. He made me risk, take chances and break rules. He made me break my fences and even jump over them. He set me free from the anxiety, insecurity and the lack of self esteem that held me back.
Thanks to him I became confident and strong enough to be a fly a broomstick ( to a muggle born it was the craziest thing you could do at Hogwarts) and to become good enought to be a Chaser on the Quidditch team, earn the title Striker in the Duelling Club (which is kind of like a brown belt in Karate) and even become a tag-along after the four boys whenever I caught them executing a perfectly planned prank. I played many a prank myself.
Unbelievable isn’t it? Yes, all that thanks to Mr. Black.
Third year came and I watched him go out with his first girlfriend. She was a Ravenclaw from our year. She was the rare 'smart and pretty' breed.
It lasted 2 months, 10 dates and 1 detention.
I was always the girl he had his arm around walking around on the Quidditch pitch complaining about the pretty blondes and the sweet brunettes. I recall Cutie McPretty, Curly Hottie and Ginger Sweetlegs.... vividly.
But I listened, because I was the best friend.
By the end of third year I gave up on constantly telling Nora she was wrong.
Because, guess what? She was right.
I had a crush on my best friend and he had no clue.
The summer at the start of fourth year after so many unsuccessful attempts to hint Sirius of the crush I was harbouring for him, I decided to move on. Throughout the last year I dated four boys, two Quidditch players, Madam Puddifoot’s nephew, Derek, and a 6th year prefect who happened to be my Ancient Runes tutor.
Despite my worst fears I did grow up to be presentable. I wasn’t tall like Nora or drop-dead gorgeous like Emma, but I had enough to be proud of myself. I especially liked my thick dark brown hair. If asked, I would say it was my best feature. Up till third year I kept my hair short just till it reached my shoulders but then I decided to let it grow into a long sheet of silky mahogany, which everyone said released the girl behind the tomboy charm.
I also apparently had a pretty smile, everyone commented on it. And though I never studied it I was an expert in the art of seduction, with one exception. Not that I ever tried my talent on him.
I suppose there was a tiny hidden part of me that hoped Sirius would watch the boys I went out with in jealousy, but it never happened. To him I was the friend who he could count on. Beyond that I was invisible.
I stayed strong to preserve our friendship. I didn’t let myself miss him when he was with his new girlfriend. I refused to be hurt when he chose to spend time with them saying he’ll make it up to me. I was determined to not let him see what he meant to me.
I tried to stay strong and defiant, so like many before me I built a cast iron wall around my heart.
But I couldn’t deny it no matter how hard I tried. I did miss him more than I’ll ever admit and the only way to cure this heartache would be to break the rules and say the truth.
My heart was beating slowly in a deadened rhythm and I listened to it sadly.
I waited for twelve days. Day and night.
I waited 12 days for a letter from Sirius.
Since my mother didn’t know about magic yet I couldn’t keep an owl without raising questions and she was already not very happy about Casper either. Being a jet black cat did not do her any favours.
I was also forced to do all my extensive homework in hiding in my room. All my books quills and cauldrons were kept under lock and key. On top of that while at school I had to study all the muggle subjects to keep up with my cover story so it would be convincing.
While I was away at Hogwarts Aunt Agatha took care of my secret telling my mother about weekend visits from me. We both felt guity about hiding my true nature, but Aunt Agatha had tried several times to include her sister in her secret in her youth and every time she'd come close to revealing it her sister had showed that she thought magic was ludicrous and the idea of people having magic in them was preposterous! So I had to wait patiently hoping one day mother would understand. I however wrote letters to my mum and sent them to Aunt Agatha who used the muggle post to send them home. The letters were truthful about my friends and school in general all except for the suspicious details. But all this would get overwhelming this year with OWLs on the way.
Still, I liked studying the books when I was at home. Now that Sirius was gone it was my only connection to the world I truly belonged.
Nora sent me a letter a week after Sirius left saying she’d love to meet me in Diagon Alley for shopping the weekend before September 1st. I wrote to Aunt Agatha with a plea for a rescue mission, and she called saying she’ll come and pick me up.
Everything was going well, my homework was all done, Aunt Agatha was going to pick me up a week early to shop in Diagon Alley with Nora and my parents had no clue. All except Sirius who I still hadn’t heard from.
Every time I thought of it, it drove me mad. I was upset at being forgotten moreover because I had predicted it would happen. I wondered if he had made it safely, did something happen? Is that why I hadn't heard form him? But I knew Sirius too well to allow my thoughts to be fooled by such excuses. I expected he would be having so much fun considering he is sure to be with his three best mates. I had been driven clean out of his mind.
But I would then console my heart by repeatedly telling myself that he would write and when he did he would tell me everything. He’d tell me everything he was doing and how it was at the Potters. As kids growing up we played our own games in the neighbourhood and the park, surely he missed them. Surely he missed me...
The much anticipated letter came on the day Aunt Agatha was to come and pick me up. I walked into my room and saw a small screech owl sitting by my windowsill. My heart did a summersault. I closed the door and ran to the window, untied the letter and read hastily.
There were five lines written in Sirius’s calligraphy writing.
Sorry couldn’t write before, we’ve been so busy.
Remus and Peter are here too, we’ve all been having a great time. The Potters are a wonderful family, they are taking us tomorrow to Diagon Alley. Can’t wait to go to Quidditch Supplies, I need new beater gloves!
See you on the train, wish you were here.
I read it three times. By the time I was done I was not hurt, I was just angry. I crumpled the paper up in my fist and shooed the owl out of my window without a reply.
I wanted to kick myself for waiting for him to write to me, for even considering being more than a friend to him, for thinking it wouldn’t be bad to let my guard down!
I wanted to burn that letter, rip it to pieces and destroy all evidence of it... but four words stopped me.
Wish you were here.
Thanks so much for reading! :) Please leave a review and lemme know if you liked it!!
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