Chapter 1 : It's Over
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- J.J Dewey
“How’s your hair this morning?” I said as I plonked down on the bench beside my best friend Oliver Wood.
“A bit funny, but not as much as yours. Hey could I borrow your potions homework? I stayed up all night with Quidditch plans and I forgot to do it.” As per usual. I quickly scanned the Hall for a familiar brown head, before settling down and turning to face Oliver, one hand already fumbling through my bag.
“You know, if you just did it earlier, you wouldn’t have to ask for mine nearly every morning.” I said while handing it over. I was always there for Oliver, most of the time with potions homework on hand.
“You’re a jewel Cella, I will pay you back, I promise!” snatching it out of my hand; he quickly copied most of the key points of the three page essay.
“Oh, and will it be at the same time as the fifty two times you have used my homework?” I playfully teased poking his shoulder, reminding him of all the past mornings of frantic scrawling. He smiled as he batted me away with his other hand. But I didn’t care. If it wasn’t for Oliver, I didn’t know where I’d be.
I first met Oliver Wood on my way to become a Hogwart’s student. On the train to get to the Hogwarts express. My father, not caring much whether I got to this ‘magic’ school or not, didn’t even want to go with me to the station, I caught a taxi. I arrived at our local station, with a trunk, a small sack of coins that I didn’t know how to use, an owl, and a piece of wood that apparently I could use for magic spells. A train going to Kings Cross pulled up, I got on, and wandered down it to find a compartment. All were full, so I had to conquer my nerves and actually talk to someone. Just to make it worse, that person was a boy. And when you are eleven, talking to a strange boy, is one of the scariest things you can do. But I took it all in my stride.
“Can I sit here?” I asked while pulling my trunk inside.
“Your hair’s funny!” that faithful remark came out of his mouth, which little known at the time would become our catchphrase.
“Excuse me?” I was hurt. Just because my hair was red with black streaks in it, doesn’t mean it was funny. It just meant I was original.
“I said, ‘your hair is funny’. And yes you can sit here. I’m Oliver Wood. Are you going to Hogwarts to?” Oliver rolled his eyes as I flopped down on the seat opposite from him.
“Yes, at least that’s what Professor Dumbledore said.” I was getting over my nerves now, “My names Darcella, but please don’t call me that. Cella will do just fine.”
“Ok then, Cella it is. Did your mother and father go to Hogwarts?” And that’s how it all started. I told him about my mother, the witch, who had left when I was five. About my father who didn’t really care about me, and about my rabbit, Herby, who I had to leave behind. I told him that my mother gave up magic, and had hoped that I would never be a witch. I had never heard of the magical world until two days ago, when Professor Dumbledore had taken me to Diagon Alley to get my school stuff.
He told me how his mother and father both went to Hogwarts, and that he had one sister, who was too young to start school yet. His father used to be a professional Quidditch player, he had to explain Quidditch to me first, and that his mother loved to garden. By the time we had pulled up at Kings Cross station, we were talking and laughing like best friends. And we were.
“Meet you in transfiguration. I’ve going to go get a jumper. Looks like a big storm is coming. Save me a seat.” Oliver passed me back my homework, jumped out from the table, and strode out the hall. I smiled after him fondly, he always predicted the weather and the freaky thing was that he was always right. But it never went as far as anything else, just the weather. Must be something to do with the Quidditch Captain thing.
As Oliver left the hall, another warm body moved into his seat. Roger Davies, my Ravenclaw boyfriend of three years and the brown head I had been looking for before.
“Cella, can I talk to you in private.” He sounded serious. My smile turned to a look of concern.
“Ok then …” Picking up my bag and my discarded homework, I stood up and followed him out of the hall and down a side passage. As soon as we were out of site he turned to face me, his face grim.
“Cella, it’s over”
It’s over, it’s over, those words just kept going round and round in my head. It couldn’t be. But it was. In the same minute that Oliver had left the hall, Roger had broken it with me. Happiness to sadness in the space of 60 seconds. I still couldn’t believe it. Even hours later, it was still unbelievable. As soon as he had stopped talking, something about still being friends and another girl and not feeling it anymore, I had run from the corridor and out of the front doors. I hadn’t stopped running until I had reached the border of the forest staying there, crying and thinking, all through classes. I had loved him, truly loved him with all my heart. I mean, we had said I love you and all that stuff, and I knew I loved him, but I didn’t know that I loved him so much. I had only realized that now, but it seemed that my heart was split basically evenly in two. 1 half for Oliver, 1 half for Roger.
Crash! Lightning flashed across the sky. The heavens opened and rain started to fall in buckets on my head, drenching me in the matter of a few seconds. Damn it! This day just got worse and worse didn’t it! I couldn’t go back to the castle; everyone would laugh at me and ask probing questions. I couldn’t face that. Standing up slowly, I started further into the forest seeking some cover. Brushing past trees and bushes, I started to run blindly, trees passing in blurs.
Not caring where I was going any more, I just kept running and running, tears still streaming down my cheeks. I probably looked like a mess, with all the tears running my carefully applied eyeliner and mascara. My blue eyes would be red, and cheeks too. I would be one red and black statue. The further I got away from where this hurt had happened, it would go away, at least that was what I believed. But even as I got into the parts of the forest were no light filtered through the trees, it still hurt. It still pounded at my chest; it still felt as if my heart had left.
Eventually, I tripped over a loose tree root and tumbled to the ground. I pulled my legs in to me and burrowed my face down. Tears soaked my knees, but I didn’t care. I just wanted the pain to go away. Whatever it took, I just wanted it to disappear. I had never experience this type of pain before. When my mother had left, I was too young to fully understand exactly what had happened. I had no idea what was to follow, I was only worried about if I would get that nice new doll for Christmas like I had asked. I was so young and innocent.
It was rushing to meet me now. It wasn’t just Roger, it was everything. All the pain that I had been to young to register before. All the little things all over the years that had caused my heart to fracture slightly. Everything that I had just swept behind walls came crashing down. When my father started to drink. In third year when I came home for the holidays to find dear Herby dead in his run with no water or food left. The first complete holidays that I had spent alone in our apartment, with my father only appearing once. Fifth year holidays when I finally asked dad were all the pictures of mum were and he slapped me for the first time. Everything came rushing to me now. Like a tidal wave, fast and unforgiving.
Crawled up on the forest floor, I let all my pains finally show themselves. I stayed there, tears unstopping, until I lost track of time. In this part of the forest, there was no difference between night and day. It was just endless blackness, engulfing me in its cold and numbing arms. Strangely, I didn’t feel cold at all. Or warm. Just balanced, frozen in a state of time. Soon my tears ran out and I was dry sobbing, body heaving in half spasms. I dozed on and off but I didn’t really notice the difference between them. The memories that haunted me when I was awake weren’t that much different from the nightmares that plagued me when I slept.
Eventually, I started to come to my senses. I started to realize that people might be looking for me. Oliver at least. That they might be worried, that I might be causing them hurt. I didn’t want to hurt anybody. That’s why I had never told Oliver about anything to do with my life outside Hogwarts after the first train ride. He had learnt never to ask, for I always just dodged them all. I couldn’t bear putting my problems on his shoulders, or anyone’s for that matter.
‘Right Darcella’ I started to give myself instructions. ‘You need to check that all of your body can move.’ I wriggled my fingers and toes, then shook my legs and arms. A sharp pain struck through my ankle when it moved, but yet I carried on.
‘Good. Now see if you can stand’ I started to pull myself up using a tree to my left, but legs wobbled so much that I immediately fell down again.
‘Right, scratch that. See if you can get on to your hands and knees. Crawling is better then nothing.’ Using my arms I rocked myself onto my knees but as soon as I tried to move, my legs gave away, leaving the rest of me to fall flat on my face.
‘Well, we’re stuffed’ If my instruction voice had given up, I was really stuffed. I lay back against the tree and closed my eyes and let my first real sleep in ages take me over.
“Cella ..” A voice drifted in my ear, probably Stella or Ang trying to get me to wake up. I grumbled, curling tighter into a ball. “Cella …” Why wouldn’t they just stop!
“Cella!” Wait, I knew that relieved voice. What was Oliver doing in the girls dorm? And why did he seem so shocked to see me there? I lived there!
“Go away Oliver! I’m sleeping!” I whined, turning over. But as I settled down, a sharp something poked into my side.
“Ow!” I screamed and sat up, rubbing my eyes. My four poster didn’t have anything sharp in it. I had to blink and rub my eyes a few more times before anything came into view. What I thought was my four poster was actually just grass with a little moss covering the top of it.
“Cella! Are you ok? I’ve been worried sick about you. What happened?” Oliver knelt next to me, concerned.
“Where am I …?”I rubbed my eyes, trying to make sense of everything.
“One sec Cel, everything will be alright.” Oliver got up again and shot green sparks into the air. While his back was turned I looked around at the trees.
“Oh!” Tears started to slide again as my heart broke once more. Oliver turned and saw the tears, rushing back to my side and putting his arm around my shoulders, pulling me into his chest.
“Shhh, Cella. Everything’s alright now. I’m here love, I’m here” he crooned in my ear, rocking me back and forth like a little girl, the way my mother had never done.
“My mum left when I was five, my dad drinks all the time and when I go home he never turns up anymore. And when he does he just hits me. The only place I can escape is here but now the pain follows me. You and Roger were the best parts of my life and now he has gone and broken up with me, more like torn my heart out. You’re the only thing I’ve got left.” I sobbed, hanging on to him as tightly as I possibly could. I could tell he was shocked by the words that had poured out of my mouth, but he just kept holding and rocking me.
I don’t know how long we sat there, me crying my eyes out, him holding me, trying to take my pain away, until other teachers started to arrive. They all rushed to our side and tried to pry me away from him, all saying that I was safe now, I just had to let go and let them take me to the hospital wing. But I wasn’t safe from the pain. I felt that I would drown in the darkness if I let go of Oliver. So I just clung tighter, ripping my arms out of there grip, focusing on Oliver, the light in the dark. After a while, they just stopped trying, standing back in a circle around us, obviously thinking that I would have to stop sometime. It slowly got bigger and bigger, everyone whispering. They must’ve thought that just because I was half hysterical, I wouldn’t notice the sly looks my way.
Eventually, someone broke the circle. I could hear them walking towards us, slowly, as if approaching a wild cat. Oliver stiffened under my grasp and drew me closer in to him.
“Darce,” The bastard that had caused this epiphany was the last person I wanted to hear. I whimpered and pulled closer into Oliver, “Darce, come on now. Let’s go back to the hospital wing eh? We can talk everything out there, come on, take my hand…”
“DON’T YOU TOUCH HER!” roared Oliver, jolting me a little out of his lap. “Don’t you think you’ve caused enough damage already? Just step back, right now, before I have to make you.”
“What makes you so special. I was her boyfriend for 3 years.” Roger shot back. He dared!
“’WAS’ the prominent word in that sentence. Now get BACK!” He growled, making Roger hastily retreat. To me, he whispered in my ear,
“Cella, I’ll protect you. Don’t worry, I’ll stand by you. But we have to get you to the hospital wing. Just hold on to my neck.” Silently, I wrapped my arms around his collar, while he stood up, swinging me round onto his back like a monkey. Burrowing my head into his shoulder, the tears still leaked out onto his shirt. A wave of tiredness swept over me and to the swaying of Oliver’s walking, I fell asleep again.
“THERE THEY ARE!”
“Is she alive!”
“DARCELLA!!!” I woke up to the screams. I was still on Oliver’s back, head tucked into his shoulder. Bright search lights from many wands illuminated the ground in front of us. A small crowd was assembled in front of the big castle doors, full of students. Right at the front, I could see Ang, Stella, Katie, Alicia and Georgie jumping up and down trying to get a look at me. Around us, there was a circle of most of the teachers plus Roger, obscuring Oliver and I in the middle. We stopped about 300 meters away from the crowd, and Dumbledore stepped forward and said something I couldn’t hear. It must have been something bad, for half the crowd looked down and dispersed. My girls at front though, they went right up to Dumbledore and by the looks of it, started to yell at him. After a minute of back and forth, they seemed to finally come to an agreement and they sloped off back inside after a few hopeful looks in my direction. Only once they were out of sight did the circle of teachers around us relax. Half of them walked towards the castle, with only a few staying around us.
I don’t remember much after that. Just frightening blurs. Going through the hospital doors and being lain down on a bed by Oliver, with him still holding my hand. Then they started to make Oliver leave and make me let go of his hand, my light. I remember struggling, hitting out, then hands holding me down and a sharp pinch in my arm, before the black overtook me again.
A few days later I was sitting up in my hospital bed, hands clasped around a cup of tea. The Quidditch Pitch was wide open in front of me, still covered in cloud from the aftermath of the storm. Oliver had left a few minutes before, only under urgings from myself and Madame Pomfrey. He had stayed by my side every since he had found me in the forest, not leaving once. According to the girls, he had even slept in the chair beside my bed, holding my hand. When I had been laid on my bed in the Hospital Wing after my three days in the forest, I had been diagnosed with severe dehydration, a fractured ankle from where I had fallen over, adjustment disorder, acute stress reaction and posttraumatic stress disorder. I just called it my metal breakdown. It was all Oliver though. He had been the one to notice I was missing.
And been the one to punch Roger in the face.
He had been amazing. Had even made me agree to live with him in our very own flat after Hogwarts. I knew that I would have to go back sometime though. Some of my stuff was still at the house I lived in now and I couldn’t leave that behind. And I had to at least leave a note for my dad. But I didn’t have to think about that yet. All I had to think about was now.
Over the Quidditch Pitch, a small gap broke in the clouds. A shining beam on sunlight shone on a small patch of the field. The clouds was starting to clear, the sun was breaking through. A single tear ran down my cheek as I looked out at the sight. I jumped as I heard the door close and Oliver came walking, wearing a clean shirt and pants, his brown hair poking up in wet tuffs, looking considerably more refreshed then before. Oliver’s chocolate eyes lit up and a big smile lit up his face when he saw I was sitting up. He sat down on my bed next to me as I shuffled over and flicked his long legs up next to mine, playing with my feet with his toes. I turned to him.
“Your hairs funny” I quietly teased, a small smile appearing on my face for the first time in days. Looking into my eyes, he used his thumb to wipe away the tear from my cheek.
“Not as much as yours” He gently poked back. He placed his arm around my back, pulling me closer to him as I put my head on his shoulder.
“It’s going to be alright, isn’t it?” I murmured against the soft fabric of his shirt. I could feel him smile as he replied.
“It’s going to be alright Cella, it’ll be alright” He pressed his lips to the top of my head, pulling me even closer, before we both turned and watched the clouds recede and the light finally shine through.
I was going to post this as my anniversary story of being on this site for a year, but I just couldn't hold back. I had the first five paragraphs written nine months ago and just have been occasionally going back to them when I felt the urge. During the last few weeks, it has been something that just has to be done. I hope you liked it, so review if you did (or didn't I'm not fussy!). Its a little darker then some of the stuff I normally write, so tell me what you think.
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