Chapter 14 : The Truth
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“LEAVE ME ALONE!” I screamed at Stephanie. My voice was muffled slightly by my pillow.
“You were supposed to meet Sirius in the common room five minutes age. Now get up!” she threw something hard at me; I think it was a shoe of death.
I grumbled incoherently into my pillow. Stephanie groaned in frustration.
“Gaby, do something.” she begged.
One minute I was doing my best to ignore Stephanie and the next I was being smothered by a small blonde child with a chocolate frog in her mouth. I squealed in a very girly manner.
“Get up, Cinderella,” she laughed and bounced up and down on my bed.
I screamed again and tumbled to the floor.
“She’s up,” Gaby told Stephanie happily with a goofy grin on her face.
I glared at her but she just smiled innocently at me and cocked her head to the side before shoving another chocolate frog in her mouth. I rolled my eyes at her while Stephanie yanked me to my feet. That girl has a tight grip. I glared at her.
“I hate you.” She sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Cinderella, are you going to behave or am I going to have to force you to?” she asked. She raised an eyebrow at me and put her hand on her hip.
She was evil. I didn’t even want to think about what she would do to me if I didn’t behave. I groaned and blew my hair out of my eyes. Stephanie smirked smugly at me; she knew she had won. She threw some clothes at me and I pulled them on while muttering dangerous threats to Stephanie under my breath. Stephanie sat me down in front of a mirror and started brushing the knots out of my tangled mess of hair. Marissa watched the torture silently with a small smile on her face. I watched Gaby jump on my bed in the mirror.
“Guess what?” she asked. Her blue eyes were sparkling in excitement.
“I don’t what to know.” I answered. Stephanie smacked my head with the brush. I yelped in pain. Crazy girl.
“Today’s Valentine’s Day!” she screamed before collapsing on my bad in a fit of giggles. Thanks Gaby. I had absolutely no idea it was Valentine’s Day, the worst holiday ever invented that also happened to be the day of my wonderful big sister’s wedding.
Stephanie tapped the top of my head with her wand and my hair immediately sprang into perfect spiral curls that reminded me of Gaby’s. Gaby ranted on and on about something; she was talking too fast for me to understand a word she was saying.
“Go,” Stephanie commanding as she shoved me toward the door. “You’re already late.”
“But I don’t want to,” I whined. I sounded like I was five but I didn’t care. I really didn’t want to go to the wedding.
“It doesn’t matter what you want.” Steph dragged me out the door and practically threw me down the stairs. “It’s your sister’s wedding. She wants you to be there.”
Sirius raised his eyebrows at us and smirked. I glared at Stephanie.
“She could care less if I was there. The only reason she made me her maid of honor is because our mother would have killed her if she didn’t.”
Stephanie rolled her eyes and shoved Sirius and I out of the common room. “Go,” she commanded again.
“Interesting morning?” Sirius asked. He grabbed my hand and tugged me down the corridor.
“Why does life hate me so much? What did I ever do to deserve this?” I shouted dramatically.
Sirius laughed at me. “It’s your sister’s wedding, not the end of the world.”
I shook my head at him. “No, it’s the end of the world. I’ll never survive this wedding.” I said seriously. “Today will be my last day of life.” I stared at him with wide eyes.
He smiled and laughed. I punched his arm. “It’s not funny!” I cried. “I’m going to die and you’re laughing at me.”
He chuckled and dropped my hand. He flung his arm around my shoulder and pulled me close to him. I wrapped my arm around his waist.
“You’ll survive. I won’t let them kill you.”
“Oh I feel so much safer now.” I answered sarcastically. He lightly tugged my hair. I grinned up at him.
“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” He pulled me tighter to his chest.
I smiled brightly. “Promise?” I asked.
He nodded. “I promise. I won’t let them hurt you.” He answered sincerely.
He stared directly into my eyes as he said it with a strange intensity. I felt the air leave my lungs and for a second I couldn’t breathe. My heart pounded in my chest. He looked away and air instantly refilled my lungs. My eyes turned to the ground and my eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. What just happened? I didn’t understand the weird feeling that came over me when he stared at me so intensely. He’s stared at me before but this stare was different. I saw something in that stare that I never saw in the others. It was the same unidentifiable look that he had had in his eyes right before he kissed me.
I shook my head lightly. I’m imagining things. I’m going crazy, as if I wasn’t crazy enough. We walked in silence toward Dumbledore’s office where we would be flooing to my house. Sirius said the password and we wound our way up the spiral staircase. He reached out his fist and rapped his knuckles against the wooden door.
“Come in,” I heard Dumbledore say from behind the door.
Sirius pushed the door open and we stumbled inside. Professor Dumbledore smiled at us as we came in. he was stroking his phoenix lightly with his fingers.
“Hello, Professor,” Sirius and I said at the same time.
He nodded to us and gestured toward the fireplace. “Mr. Black, Miss Kamier. I’ve always loved weddings.” He smiled warmly and looked lost in a distant memory.
I smiled. I had liked Dumbledore since the first time I met him when he came to explain to my muggle parents about Hogwarts. He was different, like me, and made me feel not so alone. Sometimes when he stared at me with his striking blue eyes I had the feeling that he could see right through me and knew all my secrets.
He hummed quietly to himself as I grabbed a handful of floo powder and threw it in the fire. I said the address to my uncle’s house where the wedding was going to be and disappeared in a whirl of ashes. Suddenly I fell out of the fireplace in my uncle’s house. I tripped over my own foot and landed gracefully flat on my face.
“You sure know how to make an entrance, Princess.” My father said with a chuckle.
I blew my hair out of my eyes and glared at him. He helped me to my feet just as Sirius stepped out of the fireplace without tripping at all. I hate him. My father kissed my forehead lightly and I had to stop myself from cringing away from him.
“I missed you, baby,” he whispered.
I nodded stiffly and said nothing. Finally, he let go of me and shook Sirius’s hand.
“Cinderella!” oh no. my mother tackled me in a bone-crushing hug. I stood there awkwardly. Please let go of me. “You were supposed to be here twenty minutes ago, dear. Where have you been?” I shrugged. She grabbed my hand and started dragging me away.
I stared back at Sirius helplessly. ‘Save me’ I mouthed to him. He smirked and waved at me. Traitor. I stuck my tongue out at him.
“You already curled your hair,” my mother was saying as I tried very hard to wriggle out of her grasp.
Stupid Sirius. He promised he wouldn’t let them kill me and what’s he doing? Letting them kill me. The stupid traitor; I hate him so much. It’s his fault I’m going to die. He’ll be sorry when he has to come to my funeral. Idiot.
“Your sister’s so excited to see you. She’s so glad you’re here for this special day. My daughter’s getting married. What happened to my little girls?” She rambled on about Sarah and me growing up too fast.
I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to see my sister or the rest of my family. I want to be back at Hogwarts hiding in my dorm until Valentine’s Day is over. Stupid sister. Stupid Valentine’s Day. Life hate’s me with a fiery passion.
“Cinderella!” Sarah hugged me lightly. “I’ve missed you.” She forced a smile.
She looked beautiful, like usual. Her dark hair was elegantly curled and pulled up with little ringlets framing her face. She was already in her white, fluffy, fairytale-like wedding dress.
“We have an hour to make you look gorgeous.” Sarah tilted her head to the side. “We better get started.” She grabbed my hand and dragged me into a room full of girls trying to get ready for the wedding.
I clenched my teeth but said nothing. I hated coming home. Little miss perfect got everything she wanted. Little miss perfect was everything I wasn’t and had to keep reminding of how much I don’t belong.
I was forced into a pale yellow dress that was way too tight. My mother carefully pulled my perfectly curled hair into an elegant ponytail very similar to Sarah’s. I let them torture me in silence and prayed for an opportunity to escape.
One of Sarah’s friends did my makeup. She said nothing as she concentrated on her work. My mother babbled in my ear. I could hear Sarah’s bubbly laugh from behind me.
I was jealous of Sarah. I was jealous of her happy, perfect little life. I was jealous that our parents loved her more than they loved me but I understood why they did. I was different, I was an outsider. I didn’t belong with them but Sarah did. She was the perfect daughter and I was the troubled, stubborn daughter.
I wish I didn’t have to be here. I hate being here where I know I don’t belong. I have seeing the anger and hate in Sarah’s eyes. I’m not good enough to be her little sister.
I felt tears of anger spring to my eyes but I held them back. I couldn’t cry in front of them; I wouldn’t let them see how broken I was. They didn’t understand me; they knew nothing about me.
I suddenly felt very alone and wished that Sirius was with me to rub comforting circles on my hand and tell me that everything was going to be okay. I needed him, I realized, I needed him way more than I ever thought I could need anyone. I needed him like I needed air. I wonder if he needs me like I need him. I wonder if he feels like he’s suffocating if he’s not near me like I feel when I’m not near him. Does he smile when he thinks about me like I do when I think about him? Am I his best friend? He’s mine. If love existed, I would love him.
I hate Sarah. She tried to kill me with the shoes of death. Her and my mother forced them on my feet. They held me down and they somehow managed to strap them to my feet with me kicking and screaming. I fought them off my feet, which wasn’t an easy task, as soon as they looked away and ran as fast as I possibly could in the opposite direction.
“What are you doing?”
“Shhhh!” I put a finger to my lips and shushed Sirius. “I’m hiding from my evil mother and sister who are trying to force to wear the evil shoes of death. Didn’t I tell you, they’re trying to kill me.” I whispered fiercely and glared at Sirius.
He laughed at me and pulled me out of my hiding spot between two bookshelves in my uncle’s library.
“Stop it! What are you doing?!” I screeched at him. “I’m trying to hide.” I smacked his arm as hard as I could but he refused to let go of me.
“The weddings about to start and your mother sent me to find you and make sure you don’t run away,” he smirked at me, “again.”
“Traitor!” I yelled. “You have betrayed me.” I muttered dangerously. “You must pay.”
He laughed and reached to ruffle my air but thought better of it.
I wiggled uncomfortably in my dress.
“Have I ever told you how much I hate dresses?” I asked sweetly with a plastic smile plastered on my face.
“I think you might have mentioned it once or twice,” Sirius answered seriously.
“Well I’m going to say it again; I really hate dresses with a burning passion. These things were invented to torture poor, innocent little girls like me.”
Sirius snorted. “Innocent?”
I smacked him on his shoulder as hard as I possibly could.
“Ouch!” he yelled and rubbed his arm. “Could you hit any harder?”
“Yes, I could. Would you like me to show you?”
I raised my hand to smack him again and Sirius flinched.
“No, I’m fine,”
“Are you sure?” I asked. “I’d happily punch you again.”
Sirius shook his head. “No, that’s not necessary.”
I punched him.
“What was that for?!” he cried. I laughed at him. “Must you be so violent?”
“Only to you,” I answered back with an innocent smile.
He shook his head and laughed. He grabbed me around my waist and pulled me close to him.
“You’re one of a kind,” he told me with a dreamy smile.
“Is that a good thing?” I asked confused by the dazed look in his eyes.
He nodded and smiled. “It’s a very good thing.”
We walked in comfortable silence for several minutes. I liked that I could be with Sirius and neither of us could say a word but it wasn’t awkward. I liked that I didn’t feel the need to fill the silence. With Sirius I could be myself and let my guard down a little bit. I didn’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing in front of him because I knew he would be by my side no matter what. I know he will always be there for me when I need him and that comforts me.
“You look very beautiful, Cinderella.”
The sincerity in his voice made my breath catch in my throat. I could feel my cheeks turning pink and turned my head away so he wouldn’t see me blushing. What was going on with me? I didn’t understand these strange feelings or the odd flipping sensation in my stomach when he called me beautiful.
I was so confused but I didn’t have time to ponder it because at that moment my mother appeared smiling and with a tear streaked face.
“My princesses are getting so big,” she exclaimed and hugged me. I gasped in surprise at the sudden embrace. “Sarah’s getting married and my youngest daughter has a boyfriend.” I awkwardly patted her back. “You two look so cute together. I have a feeling we’re going to be planning your wedding soon.” She pointed back and forth between Sirius and me.
I stared at her in horror. Sirius and I were not getting married.
She giggled like an overexcited teenage girl. “You can’t deny it, dear. I see the way you look at each other. It’s obvious you’re in love.” she smiled goofily. “I love you, sweetie, and I’m so glad you found someone that loves you like you deserve to be loved.” She kissed my cheek and I open and closed my mouth stupidly. I didn’t quite know what to say. “Now, we must hurry, the ceremony is about to begin. We don’t want it to start without us.”
I stared at Sirius in shock. He got over his shock quicker than I did and laughed at me. “Don’t you just love weddings?” he asked.
I glared at him and he smirked down at me. Sirius smirked at me one more time and then walked away. I was ushered into position by my mother. The ceremony passed quickly. My mother cried, Sarah smiled, and I wished I was anywhere but there. Sarah glared at me when she noticed my bare feet and I smiled innocently at her and shrugged. There was no way I was going to let her force me to wear those evil shoes.
When the ceremony was over I took the first opportunity to escape and ran back inside.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Sirius grabbed my arm and spun me around to face him. He smirked at me. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“That was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m never getting married.” I glared at him and clawed desperately at my hair to try to undo the elaborate ponytail.
I linked my arm with Sirius’s and we walked side by side through the deserted house.
“I hate dresses. I hate being here with my entire family. I hate Sarah and my parents. I hate everything about being here with them. I’d give anything to be anywhere else but here with them.” I ranted angrily.
Anger and annoyance flashed in Sirius’s eyes. He was never angry at me. He yanked his arm out of mine harshly and we came to a sudden stop.
“Will you stop complaining? You have a good life. You have everything anybody could possibly want.” He ran his hand through his hair in frustration. “You have no idea what I would give to have your life.”
I shook my head. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Tears pricked at the corners of my eyes. The anger and annoyance at me frightened me. I had never seen him so angry and he was never annoyed at me.
He laughed bitterly. “You have a family who loves you, Cinderella! What more can you ask for. My family hates me because I don’t hate muggles and want to kill them like they do.” he ran his hand through his hair in frustration. “I live with the Potter’s because I ran away last year. You are so lucky to have parents that love you.”
Tears slid down my face. I shook my head. He doesn’t know anything.
“Stop complaining about how miserable your life is, you’re lucky. Do you have any idea how lucky you truly are to have a family that loves you as much as your family loves you? Do yo-”
“Stop it!” I screamed at him. I buried my head in my hands and sobbed. “You don’t know anything about me!” I shouted at him. I felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. His words cut through my carefully built walls and reopened all of my old wounds. How can he say these things to me?
“Yes, I do!” he yelled back at me. He paced angrily back and forth. “I know you better than anyone and I don’t understand how you could hate your life so much when you have everything I wish I could have.”
Anger bubbled up inside of me. He doesn’t know anything. He doesn’t understand what I’ve gone through. He doesn’t know me at all. He glared at me and my heart shattered at the fiery anger flaring in his eyes at me.
“How can you hate you parents so much when all they do is love you!” he screamed at me while he grabbed my shoulders and shook me slightly.
“Because they’re not my real parents!” I yelled and balled my fists by my side. All I could feel was anger. His eyes widened and took a surprised step back. “My real parents didn’t want me! They hated me and made sure I knew how worthless I was!” My tears blinded me. All of my memories that I had tried so hard to forget resurfaced. I couldn’t run from them anymore. “They didn’t want me. They hated me because I’m different. My magic scared them and they tried to beat it out of me.” I could barely breathe. I leaned against the wall and slid to the ground. I couldn’t stop sobbing. Every horror of my past flashed before my eyes and I couldn’t escape this time.
I felt Sirius pull me tightly to his chest and I clung to him. I couldn’t run anymore. My past had caught up to me and I had to face it. I took sharp shallow breaths and Sirius stroked my hair. He pressed his cheek to the top of my head.
“I’m sorry,” he choked out. His voice was strangled. “I’m so sorry, Cinderella.” I felt something wet fall on my head and lifted my head off his chest.
Tears were falling down his face. I had never seen him look so defeated, so broken. It broke my heart to see my best friend who was always smiling so sad. I wiped my tears and hugged him tightly.
“It’s okay.” I told him. He hugged me back and cried into my shoulder. “Everything’s going to be okay,”
Sirius was my best friend and now he knew all my secrets. I suddenly realized that I wasn’t the only one with a haunted past and scars that won’t heal. He was just as broken as I was. He had just as haunted a past as I did. He needed me and I needed him. I felt stronger with him holding me and me holding him. I felt braver and less broken. I wasn't alone. I wasn't the only one who had a family that hated them. As long as we were together it was going to be okay. we were two broken people trying to stumble our way through life but with each other we could make it.
I hugged Sirius tighter and told him everything was going to be okay again but this time I knew it was the truth.