Chapter 29 : Leaving
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"What do you mean they're still asleep?" she demanded an answer from Frank Longbottom who had just came down from the dormitories.
Frank looked a bit hesitant to answer. I would too; she was practically breathing fire. "Uh...they stayed up really late last night and I guess they're sleeping in today."
That obvious answer isn't the one Lily wanted to hear. "Sleeping in?" she said through her teeth, offended by the very idea. "Does James have any idea how much we have to do in these last months of school? We're supposed to-"
"Snog?" Mary supplied, sitting in the armchair a couple feet away.
Lily rolled her eyes, looking briefly in Mary's direction. "Work on Head duties. Students go out of control near the end of the school year and we have to talk to the prefects about patrolling-" She stopped suddenly, checking the time and letting out a gasp accompanied by a frustrated groan. "I was supposed to meet with the prefects ten minutes ago."
"On a Sunday?" I inquired, noticing that Frank managed to escape through the portrait hole. Did she really think anyone was going to show up on a weekend to discuss work? Even Remus wasn't awake yet – which was saying something since he was a morning person.
Lily was about to pull out her hair. "Yes, on a Sunday. What's so wrong with wanting to get ahead and actually get some work done?" She frantically checked the time again and she began to pace, absolutely distraught.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" I decided to ask. I didn't like to see her so stressed because it also made me feel awful.
She stopped pacing in front of me, eyes widening. "Yes, yes," she said quickly, grabbing me by the shoulders and turning me around to face the boys' staircase. "Go get the boys up and then tell James I already went to speak with the prefects."
What?! I couldn't just walk into the boys' dormitory like it was nothing. It was their room and wasn't it illegal or something for girls to be up there? There wasn't a spell on the staircase or anything, but it had to be against some rules or something. "No, Lily, I can't-" I began to argue.
She sighed in frustration. "You've been up there before. Just wake them up and send James down to the library. It's not like it's the end of the world."
I wish I could say it was but I just couldn't come up with a valid argument. Without even waiting for my answer, she exclaimed "thank you!" loudly and ran out of the common room. I looked after her for a second and then sighed softly.
There was still one way out of this.
"No, I'm not the one going out with one of them," Mary proclaimed before I had a chance to open my mouth.
Was I really that obvious? I bit my lip and stared up at the long staircase. I just had to go up there. I had done that before. It wasn't a big deal. But it wasn't that I had to go up there – it was trying to wake them up. How was I supposed to do that?
And then, with Mary watching me interestedly, I slowly began to make my way up the staircase. Stopping at the door labeled '7th years', I took a deep breath and knocked softly, three times.
I didn't really expect an answer since they were all sleeping. But it was better being safe than sorry. Checking the door handle, I noticed it was unlocked. I expected the door to creak when I opened inch by inch, but it was quiet. Peering through the crack, I could see someone hidden in their covers, but I couldn't tell who it was.
Trying to calm my beating heart with calming breaths, I opened the door wide and stepped in the room. It was just how I remembered it: slightly messy but, surprisingly, not impossible to clean.
They were all sleeping. Peter was the one who I saw first: completely hidden underneath his covers, not even a strand of hair visible. Sirius had the bed next to him and he was sleeping with his arm carelessly hanging off the side of the four-poster and covers in a state of disarray. James was even worse than Sirius; his covers were almost completely off the bed, hanging precariously on the edge of falling onto the floor. Remus was the only way sleeping on his back, covers where they were supposed to be. Not surprising.
All I had to do was wake them up.
"Hey!" I half-yelled, standing the middle of the room. I watched as Sirius and James stirred, Peter stayed still, and Remus blinked his eyes, clearly awakened. "You all need to get up. It's almost ten and you slept through breakfast."
Remus was pulling himself to a sitting position, watching me with a curious and confused expression on his face. James made an unrecognizable noise and Sirius just turned over to face away from me. Peter moved slightly.
"James, Lily is thinking about killing you because you're missing the prefect meeting-" I barely had the words out of my mouth before James rolled out of his bed, looking completely disheveled.
"She's going to kill me!" he exclaimed to no one in particular before pulling on a pair of pants over his boxers and grabbing a shirt.
He didn't even seem to notice that I was in the room as he did this in front of me and proceeded to throw open the door and clamber down the staircase in record time.
I blinked and heard Remus say, "Sorry you had to see that."
Managing to chuckle softly, I shrugged and said, "Oh well, at least I accomplished what I came up here to do. I thought it would be much more difficult."
"With Lily involved, you could get him to do anything..." Remus admitted with a smile. He opened a drawer of his side table and took out a pile of clothes. "I'll be back..." he told me before leaving to get dressed.
That left me in the room with Sirius and Peter. Peter was still sleeping like a rock but I wasn't sure about Sirius. Taking a few steps toward his bed, I knelt down next to the four-posted and caught a glimpse of his sleeping face.
I was so used to seeing a huge grin on his face that the calm, peaceful nature of his expression caught me offguard. I didn't want to wake him from his sleep, but I knew I had to. It was already past ten and he would miss lunch if I let him stay in bed.
"Sirius..." I said softly.
He 'hmm'ed in response but didn't open his eyes.
"Sirius, wake up..." I tried again, moving to touch his face, thinking that it might wake him up.
Instead, I felt a hand enclose over my wrist and a pair of gray eyes were now staring back at me. "Good morning," he finally said after clearing his throat a couple times. Letting go off my wrist, he laughed and said, "I thought you were James playing a prank at me. He used to try waking me up using a feminine voice all the time. He's pretty good at it."
I smiled. "I bet you're glad I'm not James."
"Immensely," he said, his voice rough from lack of use. "So much better waking up to you than his ugly face."
I laughed quietly and stood up, giving him room to get out of his bed. He just watched me, propping himself up on his elbow.
Moving my foot to take a step back, I lost my footing as he reached out with his free hand and brought me down on his bed. Letting out a surprise gasp, I realized how I was practically lying on top of him.
My cheeks began to burn. I couldn't believe myself: falling right on top of him. This was bad. Scrambling to get up, I was shocked when Sirius just laughed, and his hands cupped the sides of my face.
"It's okay," he murmured, softly pressing his lips to mine.
I found that I couldn't argue when his hands were touching me and his lips were on mine. It was so different – a month ago he wouldn't dare let me near his bed.
Was our relationship different this time around?
Time was passing much too quickly for me. Suddenly, I found myself staring at the second week in May on my calendar. N.E.W.T.S were only a couple weeks away and I still had so much to do.
Fifth and seventh years were beginning to scramble for notes and textbooks. The library was almost always filled up with twice the amount of students. I never had my own table to work at anymore.
Juggling my schoolwork, friends, and boyfriend was becoming a daunting task. I spent most of my time studying with Lily and the only times I ever saw my other friends was during meal times. Sirius and I hadn't been alone for four days and we were both getting frustrated at this lack of interaction.
However, Sirius and I decided that we were going to spend Friday night in the library together and help each other study. It was better than nothing. Surprisingly, the library wasn't as crowded as usual (probably because it was Friday) and we were able to find a secluded table hidden behind bookshelves.
It took about a whole six minutes to realize that having Sirius next to me while studying was a bad decision. Because he was very distracting. When we sat down, he had acted like he was going to study with me, bringing out a textbook and a scroll of parchment. But after dipping his quill in ink and placing a few blotches of the dark liquid on the parchment, the idea of studying escaped his mind.
He was sneaky about it. At first, he just stared at me as I wrote down everything from Transfiguration that I would have to remember. Brushing my hair back, I furiously wrote down everything from memory.
And then he started. It began with a simple touch against my side and then I could feel his fingers lightly running up and down and I couldn't think anymore. My breath hitched and I had to steady my hand as my handwriting became a mess of scribbles. He must have noticed how I was having trouble breathing because I heard a quiet chuckle and he leaned forward, catching me offguard and placing a kiss on the underside of my jaw.
I almost broke the quill in my hand. Instead, I promptly dropped it and it rolled off the table. "Sirius..." I tried to say, to tell him to stop – that we needed to get back to studying – but my voice wasn't working anymore as he continued to softly kiss me, slowly moving down to my neck.
I was going to die. Die in the best possible way. Because I couldn't even take in a breath as he littered my exposed skin with kisses and didn't even give me a second to breathe. He was acting as though I was the only thing on his mind (which I didn't doubt) and he could only pay attention to me.
Our relationship was immensely different than before – I had found this out two weeks ago in the common room one night.
I was sitting in the armchair in front of the fire, finishing an essay when I felt someone sit down on the arm of the chair.
"Hi, Sirius," I greeted him without looking up. I couldn't tell just by the weight and the feeling that it was him.
And I also knew he was grinning. "Hello beautiful," he responded.
He must have known it would have made me look up. "Did you just call me a pet name?" I asked him. Was he really going to start calling me 'baby' and 'honey' and all of those other sickeningly cute names? I got enough of those from the romance novels I read. I would never make Sebastian or Anne speak any of them.
He laughed. "Don't like it?"
I couldn't deny that I liked it – it made me heart skip a beat. But it felt extremely weird at the same time. "It's just...strange."
Sirius laughed again and leaned down, bringing me into a short kiss. It was always the short kisses – never anything more.
The question nagged at me over and over and I knew I had to say it sooner or later. I bit my lip when he pulled away and he noticed. "Okay, what's on your mind?" He sounded truly concerned and I didn't want to worry him.
"A-are you attracted to me?"
So, there. I said it. It sounded stupid and juvenile but I said it out loud.
He raised an eyebrow at me and looked at me for a second. "Are you being serious?"
Not even trying for a pun, I answered without hesitation, "Yes."
He looked very amused and began to laugh at me. I just stared back at him, confused out of my mind. What did the laughing me? Was it because I was worrying over this? Or because he realized I figured him out?
I blinked at him, knowing that he wouldn't be able to miss the hurt expression on my face.
And then he wasn't laughing anymore and he was staring at me with those gray eyes that said so much. He was only a few centimeters away, still staring into my eyes and then he murmured, very quietly but clearly, "Very much so." When he closed the gap, he didn't hold anything back and the kiss was definitely something more.
"W-we're supposed to be s-studying," I managed to get out as he continued his ministrations.
He muttered the words against my neck, his breath hot on my skin. "I'm studying you." I failed to comment on how cheesy that statement was because it was getting way too hot and I felt as though all the air in the room was pressing down on me.
"R-really...we have to study..." I tried again but I barely could get the words out – they were only breathy whispers.
Sirius stopped for a second, pulling away to look at me. "You don't have to worry about that; you probably already know everything."
"What about you?" I said quickly.
Sirius shrugged indifferently. "I think I'm allowed a break from studying to spend some time with my girlfriend and show her how much she means to me."
I wrinkled my nose at the sappiness of his comment but found that I couldn't argue. "Well, if you insist..." I exclaimed with a smile on my face.
"Oh, I do," Sirius grinned.
They weren't at dinner. I sat with Eleanor and Liam during the meal, absentmindedly picking at my food. Everyone was gone – except Mary but she was in the library, studying rather than eating.
I was the only 7th year Gryffindor left. I wasn't exaggerating either – first, the Marauders weren't there. All four – Sirius, Remus, James, and Peter. And then my roommates weren't present either – Lily, Marlene, Dorcas, and Alice. Alice's boyfriend, Frank, wasn't anywhere to be found in the entire Great Hall.
Alone. I was alone.
I barely touched my food and instead watched Eleanor and Liam talk about how overcrowded the library was. It seemed that they had a problem getting in their studying for the exams they didn't even have.
I left without even saying goodbye and slowly made my way up to the Owlery. I had planned to make a trip up there after dinner. I had to send a letter to my parents and would just have to wait to find everyone.
The letter was short and simple – I didn't even mention that I was in a relationship with Sirius (how was I supposed to tell them that? Oh, you know those two boys who came to dinner? Well, I'm dating the one you didn't like.). Instead, I just wrote about the stress of the exams and classes and finished it off with a promise that I would receive as many N.E.W.T.S as possible.
François let me lightly brush through his feathers before taking off with my post. I watched as the little owl disappeared into the sky and sighed heavily.
Where were the rest of the Gryffindors? Were they having a party that they didn't invite me to? Were they all studying in the library and forgot to tell me?
I didn't waste any time as I ran down from the Owlery and through the corridor to the common room. Maybe they were just having a meeting or something. They didn't forget me – they couldn't forget me.
I expected to see them sitting together in front of the fireplace, lounging on the couch and the armchairs. But they weren't there.
Then maybe they were in the dormitory. I was only on the first step when the portrait hole creaked open and the familiar chatter startled me. There was no mistaken it – it was them.
I turned around and they immediately spotted me. All nine of them were there – like they had just gotten back from something. Something I obviously wasn't invited to.
"Ivy," Sirius was the first to greet me, taking large strides across the room to meet with me. "How was dinner?"
I didn't know why but I felt as though the whole situation was a big secret that I was forbidden to speak about out loud. My voice dropped down to a whisper and I said quickly, "Where were you?"
And by the look on Sirius's face I could tell that I was right. His eyebrows raised in suspicion and surprise and he leaned in closer. "What do you know?"
Or maybe he was just joking with me. It wouldn't be the first time he had played a trick on me. Maybe this was a big one. Or maybe he was planning something and now he was covering up his secret.
So, I decided not to say anything and just stared at him blankly. He blinked and grabbed my hand, pulling me in the direction of the others. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him nod at the others and move his head to where the couch and armchairs were.
I didn't know what to think as I sat at the end of the couch. Sirius didn't let go of my hand as he sat next to me. Everyone else watched us all as if they were waiting for me to...do something. But I didn't know what I was supposed to do.
Lily was staring at me through her judging eyes – the ones she wore when she was actually judging something or when she was trying to cover up her other emotions.
Something big happened. And it was bad. It had to be. Why would everyone disappear and then pull me on the couch to tell me as a group?
"Please, don't freak out," Sirius was saying in my ear.
And that was my second clue. It was obviously bad enough that Sirius had to assure me to stay calm. Did someone get hurt? Was it Mary? She wasn't here – maybe she had -
"Dumbledore told us that we can tell you," James suddenly said.
Wait – Dumbledore was in this? Why were they talking to Dumbledore? It had to be about school, right? What else could it be?
"Stop freaking out," Sirius told me, giving my hand a squeeze.
I gulped in air. "I didn't say anything," I proclaimed softly.
Sirius laughed – not a full bark of a laugh but his soft chuckle that I had found myself wanting to hear so many times. "I can practically hear your thoughts. It's okay – just listen." And so I ignored the many questions swirling in my mind and listened.
James began. "The wizarding world – it's getting pretty bad out there. Dumbledore said that this man that calls himself the Dark Lord, Voldemort, is rising in power. You know how bad it's getting out there, Ivy. Bradley Masterson's parents were killed the other day by Voldemort's followers. They call themselves Death Eaters. Well, Dumbledore, he's asked us to join an order against Voldemort. We're gonna fight him."
My mind was racing. I couldn't string together a single coherent thought. Fighting? Against a dark lord?
"You're going to be in danger?" I asked, my throat closing up.
I could barely feel Sirius's fingers comfortingly stroking mine. "Yes, but Dumbledore thinks we can do it. He believes in us," Sirius answered.
My whole body was shaking. All of them? Putting themselves in front of the Killing Curse and other Unforgivable Curses? Bradley's parents were killed. What if it was them next? "Why?"
Remus's eyes were now boring into mine. "We all want to be aurors once we've graduated. That's why we've been asked."
They wanted to do this. I couldn't even imagine myself at the front of the war (wasn't that what it was? A real war...) sacrificing my life.
I had to blink back tears at the realization of what I had just thought. They were sacrificing themselves.
I was going to lose them.
And I tried my best to convince myself that what had happened was just a bad dream. However, when I woke up the next morning, I had this sick feeling that it was more than dream - no, nightmare. I was assured of this when it was the topic at breakfast that morning.
I knew that Voldemort was out there, gaining power, but I never thought it would affect me directly. I didn't even want to fight him, but here were all of my friends, putting their lives in danger just to make the wizarding world safe once again. They weren't in the Order yet – but Dumbledore had asked them in advance. They wouldn't officially be members until after school.
I didn't have worry until after school. However, there was a problem that I didn't factor in – school was ending in a week. We had a week to be safe.
And then what was supposed to happen? All the others would go off to fight and I would just stand by and watch? I couldn't join the Order – that's not what I wanted. All of my friends wanted to do this – I wanted to write.
Would I be stuck in a boring, small cubicle writing pages and pages of my latest novel while the others would be dueling with him?
I could barely concentrate on my studies – instead, my mind was filled with gruesome images and horrifying scenarios. I wasn't brave enough. The sorting hat must have put me in the wrong house – I definitely wasn't a Gryffindor.
It was the night before our first day of exams and I was huddled in an armchair, trying to concentrate on the textbook in front of me. Placing a hand on my aching head, I sighed loudly and shut the book, leaning back and closing my eyes.
This was impossible. I needed a break.
And then something was blocking my light and I opened my eyes slightly to see who it was. He was grinning at me, looking absolutely calm despite having exams that determined our whole future the very next day.
"Why-" I began to say, but he promptly cut me off.
"Okay, if you're going to say 'why aren't you studying?', you need to check who you're talking to."
I raised an eyebrow at him. "But it's the night before. Don't you study at all?"
He shrugged carelessly and my heart skipped a beat as his hair fell into his eyes. Too distracting. "Nah," Sirius replied, rocking back and forth on his toes. "Besides, I'd rather spend it having you destress."
"Destress?" I questioned, sitting up and giving him a confused look. "What are you planning?" But before I let him answer, I quickly added, "Oh, of course. You have this whole elaborate scheme planned, right? You're going to ride up on a white horse and apparate us over to Paris for a romantic late night dinner." I grinned at the look on his face. "Am I right?"
He chuckled. "Exactly. We'd better get a move on before it gets too late though." He then outstretched his hand, waiting for me to take it as if he was being serious. Was he being serious?
"What do you really have planned?" I asked, cautiously taking his hand. His fingers curled around mine as he helped me out of the chair.
Sirius just flashed me his grin and began to lead me out of the portrait hole. "Basically, what you just said, just replace riding on a white horse to walking and Paris with the kitchens."
I managed to frown. "No white horse? I'm leaving then; I just have so much more studying to do."
Rolling his eyes, Sirius tightened his fingers around mine and said, "This is the last time I'll ever be able to sneak down to the kitchens and I want to go with you." I hated how his words affected me so greatly. I had to stop myself from letting out a whimper as he continued, "So, please, just take a small, tiny break?"
How could I say no to that? With a sigh, I nodded, making Sirius practically begin to skip down the corridor. I had to jog to keep up with him instead of being dragged along.
I was out of breath and laughing when we reached the portrait of the fruit. Sirius tickled the pear and we were let inside, immediately greeted by the house elves.
"Hot chocolate?" Sirius asked, looking over at me.
I nodded in response and he ordered two.
It was exactly what I needed – a break from all the stress and worry. But as I sat there, facing Sirius, sipping my hot chocolate, I couldn't help but think about what dangerous situations he would find himself in. Would they send them on missions for weeks, months, years? How would this affect...us?
"Sirius?" I said softly.
He looked up over his drink and his eyes locked with mine. "Do-do you know what you'll be doing?" He just gave me a quizzical look. "In...the Order?" I added.
His gaze broke away from mine as he sat his drink down at the table and looked down. "I don't want you to worry-" he exclaimed.
But that didn't answer my question. Was it really that dangerous? Was I never going to see him again? Was he being sent off to another country? "Just tell me," I pleaded. "I need to know what it means."
I watched as he heaved a great sigh and struggled to find his words. "You know that you mean a lot to me, Ivy-"
I said it before I could stop myself. "But?"
He blinked, clearly caught offguard by my comment. He was beginning to realize that I knew what he was about to do. Why would he want to stay with me outside of school? We would be going our different ways – and it would be difficult...
And then he was slowly interlacing our fingers together and his voice dropped to a mere whisper. "But nothing. I'm not going to let anything get in between us. The Order is something I want to be a part of – to show I'm serious about this fight. With my brother joining his side...I want to show where my loyalties stand. Don't worry. I'm not letting you get away."
I bit the inside of my lip as tears threatened to fall down my cheeks. I didn't know how to respond – why did I want to say "thank you" so badly? Instead, I just nodded softly, as he leaned forward and gently gave me a reassuring kiss.
"You really want to be an auror?" I asked the boy walking beside me. We had just finished our Transfiguration exam. It hadn't been as difficult as I thought it would be – probably because I spent most of my free time studying.
Remus looked at me. "Surprised?" he asked with a small smile.
Of course I was surprised. I had no idea that Remus was planning on being one – it just didn't seem possible that the quiet, well-mannered Remus was going to fight in the war. "You just never mentioned it," I exclaimed, shrugging.
I felt out of place – everyone wanted to be an auror. Why didn't I know about this? Why did we never talk about what we wanted to do with our lives? School was over in a couple days and it should have came up before this.
I couldn't stop myself from wondering if I should have been more worried. I was already losing sleep and couldn't stop myself from shaking, but should I want to stop them? Should I say something?
"I want to make a difference," Remus said clearly. "Dumbledore said that my...condition might be helpful. For once."
The smile that lit up his face was so contagious that I couldn't help but smile myself. He was happy that the thing that had been torturing him for years could finally be a help. "That's wonderful," I told him as we made our way into the Great Hall for lunch.
As we sat down at the table, the rest of the Gryffindors around us joined our conversation. "Ivy," Alice caught my attention across from me. "What are you planning to do after school?"
I inwardly cringed. Everyone else knew exactly what they wanted to do – but I just wasn't sure. In a way, I wanted to go to Dumbledore and convince him to let me into the Order. But it wasn't what I was passionate about. How many days could I handle the stress of being in an organization like that?
"Um," I finally said. "I guess I'll just find something that will use my writing skills."
Sirius spoke up from next to me. "You'll write books and get them published and become so famous, you'll be swimming in galleons."
I laughed, glancing over at his grinning face. "That would be perfect, but I doubt that will happen right away, if not at all."
He rolled his eyes playfully, going back to his food. "You need to have more confidence, favorite author of mine."
It was just a joke, but I knew he was right. Biting my lip, I looked back toward the food on my plate.
Mary broke the awkward silence that followed. "So, Ivy, what are you writing right now?"
My journal was still secured safely in my bookbag, ready to be written in at any moment. I had been writing in it on and off for the past couple weeks when I had time, but it was hard to fit in creative writing time with exams.
I still hadn't told anyone what I was writing. Sirius was really the only one who knew about the story. The others just knew that I wrote fiction. But, really, what would it harm if I just told them?
"I'm writing...well, it's sort of a sixteenth century adventure romance," I explained vaguely. I knew Sirius had that knowing grin on his face. I wondered briefly if anyone would see it.
I watched as all of my roommates leaned forward interestedly. I always knew that they were curious as to what I was writing in my journal. "Really?" Dorcas said. "Who are the main characters?"
I snuck a glance at James, who was trying to pretend as though he really wasn't that interested but I knew he was. Peter was leaning forward slightly, his eyes focused on me. Remus was watching me intently, waiting on my next word. And Sirius, of course, was leaning back, arms crossed, eyebrows raised.
"Oh," I said quietly, beginning to twiddle my thumbs. "Sebastian and Anne. Sebastian is a blacksmith's apprentice and Anne is the weaver's daughter. Basically, the whole story is them getting to know each other."
Everyone was staring at me. Blushing, I looked down at the table.
"Sounds interesting," Mary suddenly said.
"I'd buy it," I heard James proclaim.
"You'd buy a romance novel?" Lily questioned.
I glanced up to see James shrug. "If Ivy wrote it."
Lily just stared at James for a second and then laughed quietly. "I'll keep you to that then."
Sirius quickly exclaimed, "It's actually really good, mate. You'd enjoy it."
And now everyone knew that Sirius had read it. I didn't know whether or not to worry. My heart beat began to race anyway and my hands shook.
But instead of teasing me, James just shrugged and continued eating. So, no one was going to say anything? It was then I realized that everyone didn't see it as strange because Sirius and I were a couple now, a team, and it wasn't unusual that we shared things.
The thought comforted me as I went back to my lunch with a smile on my face.
The rest of exams weren't as awful as I imagined them to be. There was no doubt that all the extra studying had paid off. Almost regrettably, I was sort of glad for the break in the relationship between Sirius and I. It had had its benefits.
As I wrote down the last word of my last exam, I let my quill fall silently onto the desk. The last exam. I was done.
Done with school.
And leaving the classroom, I could only think of one thing. I was leaving the safety of Hogwarts. We were leaving the safety of Hogwarts.
Where we were supposed to go from here?
I never really appreciated the intricate details, the moldings, the statues, all the little things that made Hogwarts an amazing castle. And now, when I was standing in front of the castle of the last time, I was trying to take it all in. It was impossible though – seven years at the school and I never really took a look at my home away from home.
And now I was never coming back. I was leaving this place I had just gotten to know. The place where so many of my life experiences happened.
Sighing loudly, I wondered if I would ever come back. Would there be reunions? I didn't just want to leave this place and never see it again. I would have to come back sometime.
"Ivy, there you are!" I turned slightly to see Lily running up behind me. "The train is leaving in ten minutes."
Last look. Forcing myself to tear my gaze away from the building, I looked back at Lily. "All right, let's go," I said, grabbing my bookbag that was sitting on the ground next to me.
We ran into Hogsmeade in record time (seven minutes) and boarded the train with three minutes to spare. Students were crowding the aisles and it took us awhile to get to the back of the train where everyone was. The train started to leave the station before we found the compartment and I had to grab the railing to stop myself from toppling over. I really didn't like trains – maybe it was the motion of the train on the tracks.
The compartment was the last on the train and after pushing aside two young students, Lily and I finally were able to push open the door and squeeze inside. Somehow, we managed to fit eight people in there. Me, Lily, James, Sirius, Peter, Remus, Alice, and Frank. Despite having that many people in the small compartment, it was mostly quiet during the ride home.
I just couldn't find the words to say. There was nothing to say – it wasn't the ending, but just the beginning. We were going to see each other again; there was no doubt about that fact. But was I supposed to say this?
Instead, I watched everyone, memorizing their faces just in case. Alice and Frank were sitting across from me, their fingers intertwined. Peter was next to them, his eyelids drooping as he struggled to stay awake. Remus was next to the window, staring out at the passing landscape. James and Lily were across from him, both staring around the compartment, waiting for someone to say something. The silence was so uncomfortable that they were probably wishing someone would just end it. Sirius was next to me, every so often looking at me, probably wondering what I was doing.
The awkwardness of the situation seemed like a weight pressing down on me. I didn't want the train ride to end, but at the same time, I wanted to get off this train as soon as possible.
"Ivy?" Lily suddenly spoke up, causing most of us to jump slightly in our seats.
I leaned forward to show her I was listening.
"You're staying at your parents' house this summer, right?" she asked.
Where else did I have to stay? "Yep," I replied.
The conversations that took place during the rest of the train ride were similar. Just simple, a couple lines exchange, and then the silence was back. Not even the Marauders tried to break the silence. Maybe, for the first time in their lives, they didn't even know what to say.
When the train began to slow down, everyone began scrambling for their bags. Silence engulfed us again as the train stopped and people began to file out. Sounds of children reuniting with their families filled the air.
I didn't even want to see my parents. I just wanted to stay here with all of my friends surrounding me. It didn't even matter that we weren't talking – as long as they were around me, everything seemed fine.
Sirius was beside me as we walked off the train into the station. Goodbyes – I weren't very good at these.
"Um," I said, turning to him and brushing a piece of my hair back nervously. "You promise to write everyday?"
He just smiled. "Everyday. And since my Uncle Alphard left me money, I'm planning on buying a flat in London. You're invited over any time you want."
I didn't know how hard this relationship was going to be. We went going to see each other everyday anymore and Sirius had his own life to manage. Was I going to get buried in all of his priorities? "Okay," I simply agreed.
For now, I was just going to take this relationship day by day.
Sirius leaned forward and kissed me lightly before giving me another grin. "I'll see you soon," he exclaimed.
"Soon," I repeated, not even caring if that sounded stupid. And then he disappeared in the crowd and I lost sight of him.
Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice, and almost groaned. "Ivy Elizabeth Bennett, what was that?"
I turned, cringing, to face my mother. How much did she see? "What?"
"You're going out with that boy," she guessed and then she gasped. "That was the boy from winter break."
The one that she thought was a play boy. I looked over at Eleanor who was standing next to mum and she shrugged sympathetically. "Yes, mum. That's him," I answered.
My mother immediately went into a rant about how I had never told her and how surprised she was that someone like him would fancy me. She didn't seem to care as I slowed, falling behind her to walk next to Eleanor.
"Now you know why I didn't tell her about Liam," Eleanor announced.
I frowned at her words, about to say that since Liam was Eleanor's friend that it wouldn't be the same. Then the scenario played out in my head and I realized it was exactly the same in mum's eyes.
This summer was going to be awful with my mother knowing about Sirius. I couldn't even think of what was bound to happen. I needed to get out as soon as possible.
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