Disclaimer: Everything that you don't recognise is me. The rest is from the beautiful JK Rowling.
Author's Note: Hello, if you're even reading this. I haven't posted in a long time, 6 months, I think. But I'm back with... Yes, another Sirius/OC romantic story which you all know will end in happy times... Maybe! I just decided to get the first chapter out there and see what you all think. Thankyou for all the reviewers from my previous main novel and please keep up the reads and reviews for my new song fic and my other one shots. I promise not all hope is lost, my other novels have not been completely abandoned. But, for now, sit back and have a careful read of this little gem I thought up over the holidays. Much love, as always.
“I don’t want to hear any more!” he shouted, grabbing the steering wheel and swerving, dangerously, into a belting file of moving traffic.
“Just slow down, for God’s sake!” she shrieked, grabbing on to the seat and closing her eyes tightly while he continued to dodge the speeding cars around him.
“Why don’t you just…” he hissed, grabbing a cigarette from the compartment in front of him and pulling a lighter from his pocket. He easily lit the cigarette and chucked the lighter at my mother before furiously sucking the life out of the pathetic fag. Tenderly, I rubbed my arms self-consciously. But I was here, it was okay, he couldn’t do that today. “Shut the fuck up.”
I tried to zone them out. Arguing and zig-zagging through traffic in London was a recipe for disaster; and we’d had enough disaster to last eternity. Leaving them would be a godsend, though I would fear for my mother everyday. And fear for myself everyday. And live with that fear and those memories everyday at school. But I’m fine. I’m fine.
“I’m just saying that you should have let me drive!” my mother said simply, sniffing through her tears. Her normally pristine hair was matted and dishevelled and her clothes were creased and dirty. He looked over at her with distaste and started to laugh, maniacally, his eyes locked on her, not on the road.
“I’m fine, what’s wrong with you, you stupid woman?” my father replied with spite. His short hair was receding now and his addiction to alcohol had made his body swell in many ways. He was still only young. Not even forty yet, the pair of them – but the lines on his forehead and the wrinkles under his eyes showed otherwise. We’d had enough pain for a lifetime. But he still inflicted it on us; vented his anger on us.
“You’re still drunk! You’re still flaming drunk!” she shrieked, throwing her hands to her face as he brought the cigarette down onto her leg, pushing hard into her skin. Her mouth was clamped shut, only whimpers could be heard from where I was sitting. My eyes were hard, unblinking. Do not cry, I tell myself. Whatever you do, do not cry.
The silence was almost deafening afterwards as I looked from my father’s piercing blue glare and then into my mother’s watery green eyes. She was crying, the fear of it all was too much. The stagnant smell of alcohol and cigarette smoke surrounded us like a boa constrictor, squeezing the air out of us and crushing our senses into nothing but last night’s inevitable bender. Every night was a bender now.
I looked out of the window, gripping my jacket sleeves hard, watching the rain plummet onto the windows and fall, elegantly, down the panes. I felt my own tears slide down my cheeks and I brushed them away quickly before I was caught.
“Are you crying?”
“N-no,” I stammered, unable to keep my voice steady or my eyes from betraying me.
“You’d better not be fucking crying,” he warned, pulling into the loading bay of King’s Cross station. “You’re fucking useless. You’re a waste of fucking space. Get the hell out. GET THE HELL OUT!”
Stumbling, I grabbed the door handle and threw myself out of the car. Running to the boot I opened it in haste, pulling my trunk out with difficulty and manoeuvring it onto the pavement to drag it into the station.
“Fuck you,” I said simply as he opened the window the drop his used cigarette stub.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?!” he shrilled, fumbling for the door handle and cursing as I ran into the entrance, pushed my ticket through the machine and stood on the platform, finally behind the security bars – he couldn’t get me here. But there he was, pushing past people and shaking his car keys in the air, looking agitated.
“I SWEAR TO GOD, ADDISON; YOU’LL LEARN SOME RESPECT. EVEN I HAVE TO BEAT IT INTO YOU,” he cried, never actually catching sight of me, cowering on a bench by a small kiosk, but still waving his arms madly, his face almost puce. A portly security guard grabbed him by the arm and started to turn him towards the exit. I didn’t realise I had been holding my breath until I saw his figure retreat out of the building; only the thudding of the rain on the glass roof bouncing in sync to the pounding of my heart trying to jump from my body.
Now I just need to get to platform nine and three-quarters, get on the train, make small talk, get to Hogwarts and then I can hide in my bed and cry. It won’t be long, it won’t be long, it won’t be long.
When my heart had finally returned to a more sensible pace I stood up and began to pull my trunk, awkwardly, to a pillar between platform nine and ten. Casually, I leant against it and instantaneously appeared on a separate platform filled with silver smoke, a gargantuan red steam engine and filled to the brim with parents waving their children goodbye for another year at school. Last year my parents were here. The thought made me giggle out loud. How pathetic.
Smile, Addison. Just smile, it won’t be long.
“Hey, Lily,” I said quietly, going limp under her quick hug. The beautiful red-head holding me already had her school robes on and a shiny, Head Girl badge pinned to her lapel. She was grinning from ear to ear and hurriedly ushering me across the platform before I’d even let go of her.
“Come on, slow coach! We’ve got a compartment and we’ve been waiting for you. I thought you might’ve died or something, coming this late!”
The word completely caught me off guard as my knees buckled and my mouth tasted of copper. Died. Dead. Gone.
“Addie, are you…?” Lily started, but I turned from her and puked into a rubbish bin behind me. Every thought was running through my mind. That word. Would words really influence me every day? Every single day? Grabbing the sides of the bin, I started to retch until nothing else would come up.
“Woah, hun, are you alright?” Lily asked, flicking her hair and turning to the train with concern plastered across her milky face. She was worried we were going to miss it. But we had a little bit of time left, I was sure. Lily always liked things to be done properly though.
“I’m just fine,” I whispered, wiping my mouth with my sleeve and heaving my trunk towards the train as she awkwardly half-skipped next to me, interrogating my every move.
“But you just puked – in the middle of a train station…” I kept my eyes down and tried to pull my trunk up into the train, but my weak strength wouldn’t make it budge. My eyes filled instantly with more tears out of pure self-pity for myself. I really was pathetic. “I’ll take it from here…” Lily said, looking at me up and down before scrutinising my eyes. “Are you sure you’re alright?”
“Honestly, Lily, I’m perfectly fine,” I replied, smiling slightly and then frowning as soon as she had her back to me, dragging my trunk along the narrow corridor.
“It’s just that you didn’t write this summer either…” she said loudly so I could hear. I grimaced and tried to lie on the spot.
“I was away until literally yesterday – it was all very difficult…” I laughed, trying to sound light-hearted and innocent.
“And you look…” She stopped and turned, hand on her hip, and I watched her eyes sadden and her eyebrows furrow. “Different.”
“I’m still the same Addison.” I said, wishing to all the mighty powers in heaven that that was true. I wasn’t the same Addison. I was completely and utterly different now.
“Sure you are,” she said, smirking. She knew there was something wrong, and she knew she wouldn’t rest until she found out – the thrill made her smirk. She was intelligent. But could I tell her? Could I tell any of them?
Lily grinned and threw open the glass, compartment door to great cheers from the passengers inside. There were three lads in there, all so handsome that it was almost impossible and all looking sincerely pleased that we’d arrived.
“Finally!” James sighed, jumping up to take my trunk and throwing it with ease onto the rail above their heads. The train jolted to a start and everybody juddered with it, laughing. Why wasn’t I laughing? Was it funny?
“Addie!” a small girl squealed, jumping up from the corner of the compartment, pushing a lounging Remus off of her and running into my arms. “It’s so good to see you! I’ve bloody well missed you, honey!”
“I’ve missed you too,” I said quietly, hugging her back tightly and smelling her sweet perfume and her hair and realising that I really had missed the girls. They were my best friends, my people; and now I was a stranger. But for one moment, I felt safe.
“Come now, Brooke, it’s my turn – I didn’t get a proper hug earlier, did I?” Lily said, sceptically, pulling me into her arms and gently squeezing me. Like a sister, Lily was the most beautiful person I’d ever met. Except my real sister. How could I call Lily a sister when I already had the most perfect one? A perfect sister.
"Hey, hey, why the crocodile tears?” James teased from behind us as Lily pulled away and took me by the shoulders.
“Happy to see us, eh?” she winked for everyone to see, then squeezed my hand quickly, telling me she was playing along around everyone else.
“Very,” I lied, my eyes passing over the compartment and coming to rest on the dark haired boy leant against the window. His grey eyes were almost like mercury, catching mine and sending me into a whirl of emotion.
“Addison,” he said, acknowledging me and smiling. It made me feel almost giddy; except, there was a darkness around this place, a darkness that stuck to my skin like ulcers and suffocated me when all I wanted was to be happy again. I couldn’t see anything through that darkness right now.
“Hi, Sirius,” I said quietly, sitting down opposite him, next to Lily. I tugged subtly at my long sleeves, careful to keep everything covered.
Everyone went back into their previous conversations, their gazes lingering on me for longer than needed. I couldn’t hear anything they were saying. It was all just a sharp buzzing in my ears. I didn’t care, I didn’t want to talk. Just get out of here, and cry, I told myself, looking over at the door where I could escape. When I reverted my gaze, Sirius’ eyes were locked on mine. He smiled softly and placed his hand on my knee carefully. I looked down at his bronzed hand and smiled; then hated myself. Who was I to be happy? Why should I be happy?
I flipped my legs so they would cross over each other and Sirius sunk back into his seat, concern on his face. His face mimicked everyone else’s. I turned towards the door again and then, I saw her.
“Riley,” I whispered, standing up quickly and rushing to pull open the door and run into the corridor.
“Riley!” I called to the dark haired girl, bobbing happily along the train’s length. The girl turned and her hazel eyes met mine. Riley’s eyes were blue. She looked at me in fear, then scurried away.
I had been so sure it was her. It looked like her. Short, dark hair, cute little walk… Surely she should be here, with me? Where was she? Where was she?
Then it hit me.
Suddenly there was too much noise that pierced the silence; there was a wailing, a horrible wailing that was vibrating around the corridor. It was pushing into every crevice of my body, making me writhe in agony and fall to my knees. Heads were poking out of compartments to stare. What was that ugly noise? It was painful and sickening and made me want to curl up and die. Then I realised the wailing was me.
“Come on, honey,” a soft voice said, gentle hands gripping my shoulders and soft tendrils of hair falling against my shoulders. “Come on, back inside.”
I could feel more hands underneath my arms and around my waist and another, small voice: “Addie, just breathe. Addie, Addie, Addie…”
“I’ve got her,” a deeper, soft voice said this time. There were more hands, some on my back and then my legs left the floor, and I was carried back into the small room, the rain still pounding relentlessly against the windows.
When the blackness subsided, and the voices around me had dissipated, I looked around to see that everyone had left for the Prefects’ compartment for a meeting. The only people in the compartment were Sirius and I. He’d led me along the length of the plush, velour bench opposite me and was sat, arms crossed, with worried eyes.
“You didn’t answer any of my letters,” he said simply.
“I was away…” In all fairness, they were all in the bottom of my trunk, unopened. I couldn’t handle Sirius as well as everything else. He would be the one who would make me completely fall apart. And I wasn’t allowed to fall apart.
“I know you, Addie.”
“I know you do…” I whispered, sitting up slowly and pulling at my hands.
“And there’s something wrong.”
“I’m fine,” it came out so easily, like a default someone had programmed in me. It was just a lie. Another lie.
“You always say that when you aren’t even close to it. And I know that you’re as far from fine as I am from being a Hufflepuff,” he smirked, raising his eyebrows, waiting for my expression to change.
Against my will, I giggled slightly and his mouth softened into a small grin; I then repeated, “I’m fine.”
There was a silence that filled the room with electricity. My nerves were on end, my tear ducts were screaming at me and my head was spinning wildly, throwing insulting memories at me, visions I didn’t need, and faces I couldn’t dare to look at again.
“I… I have so much I need to say to you, Addie,” his voice scared me out of the silence and I jumped slightly. No sooner had I jumped and his hands were clamped around mine, steadily them. “It’s okay, Addie,” he said quietly, taking his hand and pulling my chin up with his finger to look me directly in the eyes. I couldn’t really see him, he was like a reflection in a pool of water. I saw him try to smile and then saw his hands reach to brush away my tears sweetly.
“Are we ever going to talk about the last time I saw you?” he asked forthright, his gaze penetrating. It was almost like he was delving into my head, reliving all my secrets, seeking out the perils I’d lived in for months – without him.
“It was stupid, I shouldn’t have…” I stammered, closing my eyes to block his eyes. Though I could still see them, burnt into my irises, watching me with concern.
“But you did.”
“I know…” I know I did! It was the best thing I did all the summer. The only thing I had wanted to do, no, needed to do. And then the next day…
“You still came. You still came to see me.” When I should have been at home, savouring every moment. I should have been home.
“I remember,” I croaked, feeling the bile rise in my throat and the pain rush through my limbs again. I saw the car. I saw the water. I saw her face. That face…
“I thought…” he sighed heavily. “I thought you felt it too.”
I did. I do. “I…”
“Right,” he managed after my long silence. His voice frightened me. He didn’t need this. I didn’t deserve him anyway.
“Sirius, I’m sorry,” I said, looking away and rocking slightly as to keep my mind away from everything else. Just backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards…
“No need,” he replied after a pregnant pause.
“But I am.” And you’ll never understand how much.
“You’re different. What’s happened to you, Addie?” he said in a pained way, raking a hand through his hair in deep thought. I kept my eyes away from his and busied myself with finding my robes in my bag. “Addie, I… It hurts me to see you like this. Did I do this?”
“No! Oh, Sirius, no…” I cried, dissolving into tears and feeling his presence move closer towards me. He was knelt on the floor now, looking up at me from his position and wiping away the tears with trembling thumbs.
“Then why, Addie? The light in your eyes – it’s gone. Where are you?” he asked, his voice cracking at the last phrase.
“I’m fine,” I said quietly, grabbing my robes and pulling my jacket tight around my body, moving away from him and moving to the door. Then his hand was back on mine, tender and soft, nothing like… It was safe. I just knew it was safe. He gripped my hand and I looked down into his eyes and saw the seriousness of his look; and my vision began to colour and focus, the blackness falling away, like curtains being wrenched open.
“Just in case you were wondering,” he said quietly, his fingers like feathers as I pulled my hand from his. “I meant every word, and still do.”