Chapter Three: Drunks and Dreams
When I came back to the common room, I felt a bit better, so I threw on some jeans and a jumper and decided what I really wanted to do was make up with Alice. And maybe apologize to James for punching him.
The common room was busy, since everyone had finally made it up from the match and were now celebrating by having a party. There were red and gold streamers hanging from the walls and banners with Gryffindor lions and there was firewhisky. That was the most important part of any Gryffindor party. It wasn’t any fun until someone got roaring drunk.
For example, the best was last year when shy, quiet and reserved Mary MacDonald was slipped some alcohol and started pouring out secrets like they were pumpkin juice at breakfast.
And to add insult to injury, she got on top of the armchair and tried to do an Irish Jig. However, her idea of this was to jump up and down on the arm of the chair and yell “IRISH! IRISH IRISH IRISH!”
Peter Pettigrew quite literally peed his trousers that night, along with about half the common room.
I don’t know where all this booze comes from, but I’m not complaining. Although it was quite nasty when McGonagall stumbled upon poor Mary in the morning. The detention and reprimanding she received, Alice and concluded, was why she was such an uptight goody-two-shoes all the time. We guessed she’s still trying to make up for that night.
I finally spotted Alice sitting on the couch with Lily and gag me with a spoon,
Marlene McKinnon. As soon as she saw me coming, she quickly struck up a conversation with Lily and looked away from me.
“Alice, can I talk with you for a bit?” I asked confidently, just praying that she would hear me out.
Surprisingly, she pursed her thin lips, but finally said yes. She followed me out of the common room and we slumped against the wall next to the Fat Lady.
“Can I just go on without you interrupting for a minute?” I asked, crossing my ankles in front of me.
Alice nodded, so I went ahead. “I’m sorry. I want to sort this out with you and I should have listened to your apology. I’m just a bitch and I’m tired and cranky and I need a nap and a chocolate bar and a diet all at the same time. Let’s face it, you were a bitch, I’m a bitch, hell, Frank’s a bitch. I don’t care that you even said those things anymore. The only thing now is that I want to just forget it ever happened because I’m bored and lonely. I love you, you’re my best friend and it’s been too long and I miss you so much it hurts. There, I’m done incoherently ranting.”
Alice started to laugh. I didn’t know why, but if you can’t beat them, join them. In compliance with that, we both started laughing like madmen.
“I’m sorry too.”
And that was all we needed to say. I felt so much better.
Illegal drinking, here I come.
“It’s called death, Elsie. It means she’s not coming back.”
I look up and see a younger version of my father, and another one of myself.
“But why, dad? Where did mum go?” The little me asks.
My father leans down to my level. “She’s gone, love.”
“Where did she go?”
“Some evil monster took her away. This monster took her away because it was meant to be,” My father explains, looking me in the eye.
“No. You said she was sick! You said she would get better!” The little version of me screams.
“I know I did, I know,” my dad says, and there are tears forming in his eyes.
“You lied,” I whisper. “When is mum coming back? Where is she?”
“She’s not coming back, Elsie.”
“NO! WHERE IS SHE?”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“I hate you.”
My father turns and leaves the screaming child that is me wailing in anguish on the ugly carpeting.
“I WANT MUM! YOU LIED!”
Regulus Black then entered the room, wearing a sly grin. He sat next to the child form of me. I couldn’t bear to watch this-!
I woke up with a start. I hadn’t dreamed about my mother in almost seven years. Sometimes I think I forget about her. But I guess bad feelings bring back bad memories.
“Elsa?” I looked around to see that I was still in the common room. I must’ve fallen asleep in here.
Sirius Black was looking at me in an odd way. And my head hurt like hell. Then I saw the empty firewhisky bottles and understood why. I must’ve gotten drunk at the celebration party and fallen asleep.
“Hi,” I said lamely, clutching my head.
Sirius hid a smirk, then turned –forgive the pun- serious as he looked me in the eyes. “Are you okay? You were talking,” Sirius stated, his gaze not wavering, “in your sleep, I mean.”
I looked up at him and did my best to smile. “Really? What did I say?”
Sirius cleared his throat and sat down in the red armchair next to the couch I was occupying. “You kept saying ‘no’ over and over again. And then, then you kept calling for your mum.”
My fake smile faded with any happy feelings.
“What was it about?” he asked in a voice I had never heard before.
I cleared my throat awkwardly. “Uh, nothing. Goodnight, Sirius,” I said quickly before attempting to stand up and falling promptly back on the couch.
; I looked like I didn’t have a choice.
“My mum,” I finally said, holding my head.
“What about her?” Sirius asked in a low voice. “You sounded pretty upset.”
I shifted uncomfortably on the sofa. “I was dreaming about the day my dad told me she died. That’s probably where the ‘no’ came from. I didn’t believe him. I thought it was all a joke.”
Sirius furrowed his eyebrows. “I’m sorry.”
I sighed. I’d been getting this for years. “Don’t be. She was sick and in pain, it would have been cruel for her to keep living.”
There was an awkward pause before Sirius spoke again.
“You said something else as well,” he said offhandedly, “You said ‘Regulus’,” Sirius spat out his brothers’ name like it was poison. “Do you even know him?”
I swallowed nervously. “We talked today, after the match, actually.”
“Don’t get involved with him,” Sirius stated. “He’s a prick.”
I shook my head. “I don’ think so, actually,” I said, frowning, “He seemed really nice.”
“That’s the key word there, love, seemed.
” Sirius leaned back in his chair and had an unreadable expression on his face.
I wasn’t planning on listening to Sirius, to be perfectly honest. I barely knew the bloke. And even if he was
right, which he isn’t, why would he care?
“What time is it?” I asked abruptly, cutting the silence.
Sirius shrugged. “I dunno. But the party ended about an hour ago.”
; I raised an eyebrow. “So why are you still here, then?”
“Well, I believe we were just talking and James and I kind of were the ones who brought the firewhisky, so we have to be the ones to clean up the evidence,” he explained, a slight smile playing on his lips.
“Was I the only drunk?” I asked hesitantly. Lord, I hope not.
Sirius bit his lip.
I groaned and rested back on the sofa. “What did I do?”
James Potter poked up behind me and answered the question I had directed at his best friend. “You told everyone that you’d had a crush on old Sirius here since first year, then you-“
“Wait, I what?
” I gasped, praying James was kidding.
James bit back laughter. “-told Remus he’d look rather dashing as a snail. Oh, and you also apologized for breaking my nose, and, after tonight, I have to say apology accepted.”
I looked at Sirius, then back at James.
All I could manage to spit out was “Fuck!
” before I stumbled back up to the girl’s dormitory, hung-over as hell and wishing tomorrow would crawl in a hole and die.
After an hour or two, I deduced from the fact that I hadn’t managed to fall asleep at all that by the time I had come up from the party last night it was nearing five in the morning.
By six-thirty Lily Evans was already up and swimming and I was telling her to shut the bloody hell up because I had a sodding headache.
And, being typical Lily, she told me to stop using such nasty language and that she would see us at breakfast.
She’s too damn nice for her own good.
After deciding there was no point in sleeping, I stumbled into the bathroom to take a look at my face.
My mascara was smeared all over my face and someone had done me the favor of drawing on a moustache on my upper lip. I wanted to smile at that, but my vision was a little blurry from lack of sleep so I wasn’t sure if the line was actually there.
Sighing, I took a makeup wipe from the vanity and began to scrub at my ‘facial hair’ and excuse for eye makeup before giving up and turning on the shower.
Now usually I test the water before getting in the shower, but this morning I guess I forgot. So naturally, the water was painfully cold.
I’m sure that the ideal way for the Gryffindor tower to wake up was not me yelling “MOTHER
FU-!” at the top of my lungs before I knew what I was saying and put a hand over my mouth.
It’s just never my day, is it?
By the time I had adjusted the shower to the correct temperature, I had remembered it was actually Sunday, so I had no reason whatsoever to get up in the first place.
Then, after I had changed into my pajamas and crawled lazily back into bed, I remembered this was also the first Hogsmeade weekend.
“Shit!” I exclaimed, throwing off the covers and consequently waking Alice.
She sat up groggily in bed and rubbed her eyes. “Bloody hell, Elsa, where’s the fire?”
“I have a date for Hogsmeade! That I’ve completely forgotten about. Oh, Lord! I don’t even know what to wear!” I practically shouted, throwing open my trunk and rummaging around for a clean shirt and jeans.
Alice chuckled. “Don’t worry, I’m on it,” she said, getting out of bed and shuffling over to my mess.
She managed to pull out a pair of my old bell-bottoms and a Puddlemere United jumper.
“What if he doesn’t like them!” I said, throwing the jumper back at Alice and taking up a plain black sweater instead. “What if I offended him?”
Alice rolled her eyes and sat down on my bed. “I don’t mean to be rude, love, but you’re acting strangely out of character. You haven’t said anything remotely offensive or sarcastic to me since I got up. Now who are you going with?”
I swallowed. “IgotaskedbyRegulusBlack…” I slurred, hoping she wouldn’t press the matter.
Alice’s eyes were wide. “REGULUS!” She exclaimed. “Are you bloody insane?”
“No, of course not,” I stated defensively, “He’s really nice, for your information. He asked me after the Quidditch match. I was supposed to meet him at 9 this morning. Speaking of which, what time is it?”
“Do not try and change the subject with me, Elsa Marie DeLestrade. He’s in Slytherin.”
“Well we weren’t exactly talking yesterday, Alice Sarah Collins, and no one in Gryffindor has asked me in six years. So I’m going to take what I can get. Now are you going to help me or not?” I retorted over my shoulder as I stepped into the bathroom to put on a dab of makeup.
“He’s a jerk Elsa, I know he is! Just ask Sirius!” Alice called.
I rolled my eyes and continued applying my mascara. What did everyone have against the poor boy?
“I’m not talking about it!”
An hour and a half later, I guess I figured out what everyone else was telling me, because after sitting on the steps waiting for Regulus to show up, I was reminded why I’m the funny girl.
He stood me up.