Woo! I hope you all have been having a magnificent summer. I know I have. And look, I actually updated! I’ll cut the crap and let you people read. I would really love some reviews too.
Read, review, love.
Title and Summary song:
“El Tango de Roxanne” by: Moulin Rouge! (the soundtrack)
Originally by The Police.
His eyes upon your face
His hand upon your hand
His lips caress your skin
It’s more than I can stand
November soon rolled in after my Hogsmeade trip. I found that I was in an uncharacteristically good mood too. To be honest, I was excited for Lucida. And the thought of someone rebelling against my mother was even more exhilarating. I knew that neither my sister nor I would ever be able to get through to Porrima and let her know exactly how batty she was, but it was a huge step in having Lucida be defiant. Porrima had dealt with my cynical antics for years, but never took them for more than just childish behavior. Now that Lucida was totally on my side, maybe she’d disown us and we’d never have to deal with her again.
Life would be so sweet if that happened.
Regulus was still ignoring me, as was Snape, but I paid little attention to them. I was happy being the center of Julien’s world and didn’t need anyone but him.
Sirius, on the other hand, was a completely different story. He wasn’t nice to me, but rather civil. He and his Marauders no longer went out of their way to laugh at me (not that they usually did; their main target had always been Regulus and Severus), but were polite. He would nod to me when we passed in the hall, but never said a word. It had seemed that my cousin and I had reached a sort of understanding. It didn’t really affect me in any way, but I was just a polite back to him.
So, life truly was going well for me.
Which is exactly why I should have seen it coming.
“Happy Monday youngsters!”
There was a simultaneous groan of protest that rang throughout the dungeon as Slughorn uttered these words with much gusto. It was already the second week of November, and I was tired of the cold weather. The dungeon felt like an icebox; I swear I could see my own breath as I seethed over Slughorn’s happy attitude. Julien chuckled at my reaction beside me, throwing me that spectacular smirk of his and squeezing my thigh beneath the table.
It was no wonder that Slughorn was in such a better mood than the rest of us; he seemed to be wearing several layers of robes and cloaks. I snorted in frustration; why hadn’t he shared this knowledge of freezing temperatures with the rest of us? Certainly he could have favored the Slytherins a little bit and let us in on the secret. However, I did feel some sense of justice in seeing that Lily Evans was not wearing her usual know-it-all smile as Slughorn strolled into the classroom. Clearly she wasn’t thrilled with becoming an icicle either. Especially since James Potter seemed quite keen on giving her his cloak, which she vehemently refused.
“Tut, tut...that’s not the kind of welcome I was expecting!” Sluggy said good-naturedly, opening his arms to add effect.
“I wasn’t expecting to be an ice sculpture either.” I muttered loud enough for my classmates to hear me. Sluggy probably heard it too, but, as usual, he ignored me. Not even any of my schoolmates found the energy to even snigger. They must have been storing it for the next ice age.
“Today,” Slughorn announced, a little cloud forming around the word, “we will be brewing the Blood-Replenishing Potion. Also known as, and quite cleverly I might add, Dracula’s Draught.”
This little bit of trivia did not have the enthusiastic response that Professor Slughorn obviously thought it would. He frowned, gazing around at the lethargic class.
“What’s the matter with you all?” Still no response. I felt like I had no pulse.
He scoffed, crossing his arms and looked expectantly at us. I swear to God, if he had started tap-dancing in a tutu, no one would have budged an inch. He seemed to think this too and pursed his lips, saying the words that I absolutely dreaded among all others:
“I’m changing seats today.”
I cannot verbalize the number of profanities that raced through my mind.
“Alright, Lupin with Miss Flynn (did you dye your hair, my dear?). Macnair and Nott. Pettigrew and Miss Meadowes...up front here. Miss Evans, would you mind sitting with Potter there?-” It looked very much like Lily Evans did mind sitting with James, but she kept her poker face on and moved her things to his table, though rather stiffly- “Miss Luclare and Black...yes, I mean you Sirius...”
I knew it was inevitable that Slughorn was going to separate Julien and I. But that didn’t make me feel any better when he announced his next volatile choice...
“Miss Black, I want you with...Snape.”
If I could have sacrificed my firstborn child to not move my seat, I would have done so in a heartbeat.
I saw an infinitesimal narrowing of Julien’s eyes out of the corner of my own as I unabashedly stared at Slughorn in horror. Turning to my boyfriend, he pursed his lips, glaring in what I knew to be Severus’ direction. He gave my thigh another squeeze and I gave a little jolt in shock to the force. Giving in, I packed up my stuff and made my way to where Potter had previously been sitting beside Severus. Something told me I’d hate it significantly more than James Potter ever did.
Snape didn’t even flinch when I threw my stuff down on the table, glaring at Slughorn as I did so. He paid me no mind at all. Severus was simply writing in his stupid potions book, like he always had, acting as though I didn’t exist. I would have preferred it if he were glowering at me. At least then he would have had the decency to acknowledge that I was breathing.
I could still feel the heat of Julien’s stare as I angrily threw myself onto the stool. I didn’t like the way it felt either. True, I agreed that it was excruciatingly annoying to be sitting next to Snape again, but there was something wrong. Usually, it was endearing when Julien got protective of me. I felt uncomfortable beneath his gaze. All through class I could feel his eyes on me.
After the most painfully awkward ninety minutes of my life, Julien caught me as we exited the classroom. I say “caught” because he quite literally latched onto my arm with a vice-like grip.
“I don’t want you sitting beside him.” Were his first words. I stood in shock for a moment, his grasp blocking the blood flow to my brain so I was unable to form a coherent sentence. I didn’t like this side of him and I shrunk from the pressure.
“It’s not my choice.” I finally snapped when I regained control of myself. Julien’s grip tightened and I flinched from the pain. I couldn’t see this going anywhere good.
It was strange. He stared at me for a moment, his hard emerald eyes boring into my skin. With my cringe, his eyes immediately softened.
“I know it isn’t, love. I’m sorry. Maybe we’ll be able to have a talk with Slughorn about it.” I said in a soothing voice. My face had to have shown pure shock, like I’d just been doused in icy water, at his complete change in attitude. This kid had to be bipolar. It was both ridiculous and terrifying, “I’m just not a fan of Snape.” He said Severus’ name as though he were spitting venom and it stung.
“Okay...” I said, hitching up my bag as Julien let go of my arm. I sensed he was going to close in on me for a sporadic hallway make-out session (which I was not in the mood for), so I made a quick getaway.
“I’ve got to be off to Arithmancy. Bye.”
I’ve never even taken that class.
“He’s not Mr. Perfect, is he?”
Regulus Black was the last person I wanted to talk to. Well, maybe not. Julien was the last person I wanted to talk to. But Regulus sure was putting up a fight as second to last person I wanted to speak with. He and Snape were tied.
So when I heard his drawling voice from behind me in the library, I was less than pleased with the way my day was going. How many jerks was I going to have to deal with today? And not to mention I knew exactly where Regulus’ conversation was going to go. I was embarrassed that he had seen the way Julien had been treating me lately. I was the last person to be seen as weak and I’d let Julien walk all over me.
I was torn. And pissed. If Julien kept up this hot-shot, protective boyfriend shit, I was going to have to leave him. I didn’t want to. I liked Julien. A lot. But if he was going to start being abusive, it would be the final straw. I wasn’t weak and I wouldn’t let a guy push me around. But it was a horrible shame that Julien was going to turn out that way. He had been sweet and caring. What happened that he’d suddenly turn all testosterone driven?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I said, continuing to pretend to read some stupid Transfiguration text book. I felt the chair beside me scrape on the wooden floor and knew Regulus was seated beside me. I sighed, flipping the page and staring determinedly at a picture of a woman with elephant ears.
“Yes you do. You’re avoiding him.”
“And how would you know that?” I gave in, turning to him with a haughty posture and cool sarcasm. He remained passive to my attitude.
“You’ve been here all day.”
“So? I have to study.” I bit back, trying to argue the fact that he was right. He shook his head, chuckling at me. My eyes narrowed.
“You missed an entire day of classes to study. For what? If you ask me, it looks like you’re avoiding him.”
“I-” But he cut me off.
“You skipped lunch and dinner, spent your free periods here and your classes. Honestly Cappella, this is a crappy hiding place. He’s bound to look here eventually.”
He had me cornered. I was avoiding Julien. I just didn’t want to deal with him. Knowing I couldn’t win this argument, I went a different direction.
“What do you care?” Regulus looked a little perplexed at this question, raising his eyebrows. He thought a moment, scratching his chin.
“I really don’t know why. I don’t really care, to be honest. But I love to prove my point, especially when I was right to begin with.”
I growled, slamming my books shut and shoving them into my bags. My muscles ached from sitting down all day and I realized just how late it was. It had to have been around ten o’clock, for Regulus and I were the last two in the library. I spotted Madam Pince hovering behind a nearby shelf, glaring in my direction.
Regulus stood up as I got ready to leave. He grabbed my arm, in the exact place where Julien had and I nearly cried out in pain. Julien had left a nasty hand-shaped bruise and it was a disgusting shade of purple. Regulus narrowed his eyes at this, unable to see the bruise as I was wearing my robes, but didn’t question me. Instead, he moved his grasp from my forearm to my upper arm, turning me so I had to look at him.
“Listen to me, Cappella.” He said sternly, his voice low so Madam Pince couldn’t eavesdrop.
“I don’t care what you have to say.” I snarled, trying to worm my way out of his grip. He was too strong and he leaned in closer to me, his steel-gray eyes focused completely on mine.
“Be careful, Cappella. He’s dangerous and I’m worried about you-”
“That’s the first-”
“Please.” He begged, though hid tone was still firm. I saw a softness in his eyes that I had never believed was there. Regulus never showed any vulnerability or care for anyone but himself. This was totally out of character.
And then he said seven words that sent unpleasant chills down my spine:
“I don’t want you to get hurt.”
I don’t remember the lonely walk back to the Slytherin common room. I know that it took a very long time, for I had several sticky situations involving Prefects and Mrs. Norris. Regulus must have taken shortcuts back to the common room for we didn’t walk together and I didn’t come across him in my travels. It was getting late and all the students had to be in bed.
I admit that I was consumed by Regulus’ warning. What on earth would possess him to say that to me? Even more importantly, why did he all the sudden want to protect me? It was ludicrous for him to worry about Julien. I mean, sure, Julien had had some violent tendencies lately but I myself was a violent tendency by definition. It was nothing I couldn’t handle and it was nothing to worry about.
Eventually, I found myself in front of the bare stone wall behind which the Slytherin quarters existed.
“Ouroboros.” I recited dully, entering the dark room.
My wand was in my school bag and I made no move to retrieve it to light my path to my dormitory, for the fire had long since extinguished. I already knew where to go and I was too lazy to get it. I assumed none of the furniture had moved or that they’d suddenly changed the dorms. I could find my way in the dark.
And therein lie my ultimate downfall.
My mother would have fainted with the number of obscenities I screamed, for the second time that day.
I heard a familiar laughter behind me, though it was hard, cold, as two hands snaked their way to my shoulders and down to my wrists. I automatically struggled as he clasped his hands around my skinny wrists, keeping them pinned to my sides.
“What the hell are you doing Julien?” I finally found my voice. He carefully extracted my school bag from my shoulder and threw it to the floor. I was unable to see him but felt his hot breath on my neck. Goosebumps erupted on my flesh at the sound of his ragged breathing in my ear. I felt his tongue trace the shell of my ear and cringed away.
He didn’t answer me as he muttered a spell and blue flames began to dance in the hearth. The room was doused in a sapphire glow, eerily beautiful though I wasn’t reassured. He then nudged my back, leading me to one of the leather couches. Every fiber of my being screamed for me to do something in protest, but I found myself frozen in disbelief.
This couldn’t be happening.
Julien threw me down to the couch, looming overhead, his eyes hungrily raking up and down my body. I felt violated from the way he looked at me. Though I knew that wasn’t the only way he planned on violating me. I began to tremble in actual fear. He leaned over me, beginning to attack my neck with vicious kisses. Squirming as much as I could, I was still unsuccessful in keeping him at bay. My hands were pinned beside me again and Julien laid his body on top of me so my legs were rendered useless.
“You’re a hot little thing, you know that?” Julien growled in my ear, biting at my ear lobe and earring. I let out a little squeak of pain and surprise at which he laughed, “But you’re such a damn tease.”
That was when I knew for sure what his intentions were and I knew for sure what to do about it.
But my wand was in my school bag across the room.
So, I went with the second-best idea. I screamed.
It was a short scream, as though he had been expecting me to do so and quickly silenced me with a stern “Silencio!”. In the back of my mind I knew it was impossible for anyone to have heard it. For one, I was silenced so quickly, it couldn’t have been any louder than a squeak. And two, I wasn’t very good at screaming; I’d never made it a life goal of mine to scream like a little girl. I was utterly screwed. And he was triumphant.
What was I supposed to do?
So, I went with the third-best idea.
I kneed him in the money spot.
To say he was angry would be an understatement.
He keeled over, clutching his precious jewels and I jumped off the couch as though burned. My robes were undone and my shirt was wrinkled, but I made no notice of this as I tried to clamber out of the room, avoiding anywhere Julien could reach me from his position on the floor.
It was with an enraged pounce like a tiger that Julien sprung from the floor and tackled me to the ground. I felt my chin hit the ground and bit hard down on my tongue. Blood began to collect in my mouth, a bitter metallic taste on my tongue.
“You can’t run from me.” He panted in my ear, “All this time, all these months, you’ve been denying me. No one denies me anything. I want you, and I’m going to have you. You’re mine.”
True fear was now racing through my veins, pulsing in my ears. I closed my eyes, trying to will this disaster away when I heard the two most precious words in my life:
Julien fell over, stiff as a board, to the hard stone floor. I scrambled away from him, as far as I could be as my savior stepped into the cerulean firelight.
I quickly collected myself together, pathetically attempting to close my blouse as I felt the Silencing Charm fade. It was then that I realized that I had been crying.
Severus kept his eyes on me the entire time, but I couldn’t bear to look back at him. All I could do was stare at the frozen form of Julien on the floor.
It was then that I felt a rush of white-hot rage wash over me.
I was mad as hell.