Chapter 15 : Stiff Kittens
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I highly recommend watching “A Very Potter Musical” on Youtube. It is hilarious. I’ve seriously cried from laughter like 80 times.
Please review, I need it.
Title and Summary song:
“Stiff Kittens” by: Blaqk Audio
Remnants of a past here
Pass like light through dust
As memories fall, fleeting like pain.
I didn’t feel human.
Its not that I wasn’t used to my mother’s wrath, but I’d finally had enough. True, this time I wasn’t physically rebelling like I had all my life. Instead, she was disowning me.
I’d always considered myself estranged from my family, the black sheep if you will (no pun intended), but Mother had always put up with me anyway. To hear her words, to hear her finally denounce me...it hurt. It was unreal.
There was never a thought in my mind that one day we’d both forgive our differences and be best friends, but I secretly hoped that there’d be some quiet understanding. That Porrima would finally get it through her head that I wasn’t going to live the life she wanted me to. I’d wished for a silent agreement that we would never speak of it, we’d go our separate ways but we’d still have civil holidays and the like.
But never in my mind had I ever thought that she would disown me. Sure, I’d dreamed of it when I was a kid; leaving home and being independent and happy. But I quickly found now that that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t so much bothering me that I could never go back home again; I hadn’t planned on staying long after graduation. What bothered me that most is that I could no longer call it home, no matter what.
Porrima was tight to her word too. She was stubborn as hell, which is where I got it from, so I knew she’d never budge. Her grudges could last centuries and even through an apocalypse or two. What upset me the most is that I knew that I could pass Mother any day on the street and she wouldn’t give one sign of recognition. I was no longer her daughter.
I hated the feeling. I knew I could no longer count on anyone in my family, except for Lucida. She would be my only ally, seeing that she was now disowned too. But something made me feel like Mother was more upset over losing Luce, but me...I was nothing. Mother wouldn’t even flinch when she burned my face off of the family tapestry.
I was still in shock the next morning as I sat at breakfast, vaguely staring at whatever was on my plate. Severus was beside me but I hadn’t said a word to him since yesterday during the Quidditch match. I didn’t know if he knew something was up, but he didn’t press at all. Clearly my silence was a warning not to mess with me.
I was just beginning to stand up when charcoal gray owl swooped down with the morning mail and onto my discarded plate. Instant recognition flashed across my face and then followed by dread. It wouldn’t make sense for her to send a letter...
Your belongings are in storage.
I will meet you at the end of the year at Platform 9ľ to give them to you.
Stay in touch.
The parchment nearly slipped through my fingers as my heart began to race. I felt lightheaded, but like I could smile. My father, my stoic, play-by-the-rules father sent me a letter. And not only that, he was seeing to it that Porrima didn’t destroy all of my stuff. The sudden surge of relief made me warm, and my breathing was fast. Why did this make me so happy?
My father was looking out for me. He’d never been a man of many words and he hadn’t really raised me and Luce. I don’t know why all the sudden he cared, but I was grateful for it. Without anyone noticing, I slipped the letter into the inside pocket of my robes and threw my bag over my shoulder, deciding to make my way to Charms early.
But my life isn’t that easy.
“Heard you got burned off the tapestry.”
Immediately my happiness meter dropped like a stone. Regulus’ silky voice met my ears and with a sigh, I turned to face my smirking cousin. I hadn’t spoken to him since the night before the Julien fiasco and up until now I’d been okay with it. Now, I wanted him to shut the hell up and go away.
“News travels fast.”
“Especially when there’s absconding involved.” His smirk widen. I rolled my eyes.
“I’m not a misbehaving puppy.” Regulus chuckled and I felt the acid in my voice burn my tongue.
“How precious.” He cooed, his steel eyes narrowing in sarcasm, “Tell me, what immature stunt did you pull now?”
“None of your damn business.” I snapped, beginning to walk away. I thought I was lucky enough to have lost him as I exited through the large oak doors to the Great Hall, but I heard his footsteps following me in the cold corridors.
He continued to taunt me as I climbed the steps to the second floor. Every now and then he’d throw petty insults my way, but I ignored all of them. A few times I thought I’d lost him, but then I’d hear his footfalls echoing mine and I would quicken my pace. The corridors were freezing as the overnight November frost set in on the castle. It was quite possible that it was just as cold inside as it was out. I hurried along, both trying to lose Regulus and warm myself up.
I was around the corner from Flitwick’s classroom, that Regulus said the absolute wrong thing to me:
“I bet she heard about de Pontius.”
I stopped dead, a nasty habit of mine every time I heard Julien’s name, whether or not it was directed at me. I could almost hear Regulus’ triumphant smirk sliding across his face as he saw how successful this comment had been. Every fiber of my being told me to keep walking, that Regulus was just being immature, but he had hit a sensitive nerve, and there was no way I was letting it go.
At first I didn’t turn around, I kept my back to him, secretly advising him to shut up and just walk away because it was about to turn ugly. I wasn’t exactly in the mood to murder my cousin, but he was walking on thin ice. His chuckle sent hot knives through my blood.
“I bet Mummy heard about your wonderful boyfriend. How rich, charming and pureblooded he was.” He was closing in on me and I felt his presence draw nearer. Regulus must have really been pissed off about the whole Julien thing because I’d never seen him pursue me so much just to tease me. He usually only did this kind of shit to annoy Sirius.
I soon felt him right behind me, his maniacal grin resting on my shoulder. His hot breath was on my neck.
“I bet she heard how he tried to take advantage of you.” My breath caught in my throat as it constricted, no matter how long it had been since then, the wound still burned with the salt he was rubbing in it. But crying was not an option. I knew I wasn’t going to, not this time. The anger was too potent in my veins for that. This would be volatile.
“I bet she wished you would have let him.” He whispered in my ear and all I could see was red. “He would have made a good match, right? I mean...he’s a pureblood after all.”
I didn’t even feel it when my fist made contact with his face.
I had changed. I know it sounds like a dramatic thing to proclaim, but it was utterly true. I was no longer the insolent little girl, who loved defying anything and everything.
I was angry.
This wasn’t the type of short term anger that most people felt either. Not like what I used to endure. That was petty; trivial tantrums that passed within moments. I had acted like a two-year-old most of my life, compared to how it was now. As soon as I felt my hand collide with Regulus’ face, something clicked inside of me. And it wasn’t a good click.
I was bitter. More so than I’d ever been in my life. What was the point in having any hope anymore? I’d fallen in love and gotten screwed. I’d had a family and been forsaken. What could be worse? What more could possibly be out there? I’d lost the two most important things in a person’s life and I didn’t have the faith in fate to fix it. That just wasn’t how my life went.
I was destined to be unhappy. I was destined to get fucked over and over again.
I finally made it to the real life lesson, the conclusion no one is really supposed to come to until there seconds away from dying: life sucks.
And I let everyone know that. It wasn’t worth trying to sugarcoat anything anymore.
It wasn’t long before the Christmas holidays came about. There was a cheerful buzz of Christmas in the air and students were chatting happily about their plans. It was protocol to hear kids talking about skiing in the Alps or laying out on a Brazilian beach. While they were sipping on frilly drinks and getting massages, I’d be stuck in the ice castle, attempting to carve sculptures out of my frozen jumpers. No bikinis for me.
Hogwarts was decorated accordingly of course. Christmas trees lined the Great Hall and sprigs of holly and mistletoe sprung out all over the place. I had the misfortune of running into Peeves one day, who had been hell bent on making sure I was as glittery as a fairy. Let’s just say it ended with that glitter in a very uncomfortable place for the poltergeist. I was completely unharmed.
Hardly anyone was staying at school for the vacation, and for that I was thankful. I didn’t feel like running into to any couples (ahem, Julien and Marlow Starling) merrily making out beneath mistletoe at every corner or noticing that everyone else had oodles of presents while I had nothing. I had a feeling this Christmas wasn’t going to be particularly spectacular.
It wasn’t long before I found myself in my last class of the day before I was free of homework for two weeks: Transfiguration. On a normal basis, I continually checked my watch to see when the class would be over. On that particular day, my eyes didn’t leave my little clock as I counted down the seconds when I could crawl into bed and not emerge for a fortnight. That was my fabulous Christmas “vacay”. Take that, bikini bitches.
As expected, class was going at snail’s pace. McGonagall had us trying to transform large rocks into kittens, a feat that I had no idea how to carry out. I couldn’t remember even glossing over the subject of the nonliving-living change. I suspected I’d be seeing a lot of dead kittens on my desk. McGonagall would be thrilled...
I was partnered with Severus in the back, as usual. Both our rocks were set in front of us by a thin-lipped Head of Gryffindor, who I saw suppress a smile as she passed by her favorite Marauders, who were making spectacles of themselves. I’ll call a bullshit flag on anyone who tries to say the Marauders aren’t McGonagall’s faves. She loves that little clique as much as she could love anything. Regardless of how utterly stupid they are.
Of course, the Marauders transformed those rocks like they’d been doing it their entire lives. James changed it with his classic, cool ease and a hand running through his hair, a trademark that I thought made him look like he had a tick. Sirius, quite literally, did it with his eyes closed. Goddamn show off. And Remus. Well, he was the least obnoxious about the whole thing. Mostly because the cat jumped off his desk as soon as he changed it, hissing and spitting madly at him like he was a rabid dog or something. Pettigrew utterly failed at the assignment, but the other three’s perfect performances made up for it.
I scoffed at the scene they made, gagging at their bravado. My eyes scanned the rest of the room, making a point to skip over Julien and his new Transfig partner, Marlow Starling (who else?). I didn’t feel up to watching another make-out session between the two. I just wasn’t in the mood for partaking in an live, X-rated show.
And so, my attention was diverted back to Severus, my partner.
“Beatitas Abeo.” He said dully, poking his wand at the lump of rock.
“Try harder, Snape.” McGonagall instructed as she passed by, observing our lack of progress. I heard him grumble something obscene as soon as she was out of earshot.
“Nice try.” I rolled my eyes as he poked it again. His lip curled at my comment.
“Because you’re so much more successful.” I flipped my hair over my shoulder, straightening my neck in a haughty posture.
“When am I ever going to turn a rock into a cat? This is pointless. I’d rather waste my time doing something a little more constructive.”
“Which means you can’t do it.” He added like the annoying kid he was with that satisfied tone I couldn’t stand.
“It means I don’t give a fu-”
“Focus, Miss Black!”
McGonagall’s stern encouragement cut off my rant and Snape continued to smirk in his quiet triumphant. Quiet triumph is so much more irritating than loud triumph, by the way.
By the end of class, few students had been successful, like the Marauders. They all blamed it on pre-Christmas excitement, but McGonagall wasn’t buying it and told us all to practice over break. Yeah right. My rock was exactly as it had been all class and it wasn’t ever going to be more than the formation of sediment that it was. However, I got some satisfaction over the fact that Julien’s malformed stone was only hissing. Severus could only get his stone to grow whiskers. It was all very entertaining.
As McGonagall was showing off Potter’s perfectly altered feline (which was now playing with a ball of yarn he had made out of Peter Pettigrew’s useless rock), I was observing Snape. He didn’t know that I was staring at his still form, my brow furrowed, trying to figure out what he was so entranced with. I followed his line of vision and my eyes met the figure which was Lily Evans. She wasn’t doing anything particularly entertaining or humiliating. In fact, she wasn’t doing anything at all. Evans just sat there, gently scratching the underside of her ivory-colored kitten’s chin. It was cute, I wanted to vomit.
Why was Snape staring at her? At first, I thought I must have been mistaken. I looked back and forth between the two, trying to determine if maybe Severus was looking at something else and not Evans. However, it couldn’t be anything else.
I observed doubtfully; surely she wasn’t less boring than anyone else? I tried to see what he saw. She was just another girl playing with a kitten. What had his attention. I looked back at his face, trying to guess what was going on in his mind. Maybe he was only staring as he thought about how to prank her. But Snape wasn’t the pranking sort. My mind spun as I tried to grasp what the hell he was thinking.
As I studied his features, it slowly became clear to me. His face was relaxed; he held no tension in his jaw or brow, indicating anger or resentment. Severus was totally calm as he watched her. It was almost as though he enjoyed studying her. The idea was strange, but I continued my survey in hopes of coming to a conclusion.
His posture was casual, like he was comfortable as he laid his chin on a stack of books and watched her. I found it wasn’t creepy either. Severus was simply observing her as though one would look at a painting, with curiosity and interest. I became even more confused.
I studied his eyes, the most telling part of a human. His dark eyes weren’t narrowed into small, nasty slits, as I usually saw them. Instead, the pools of black ink were soft, the cool daylight shining through the windows reflected off of them like the sun sparkled on water. The corner of his lips curled into something that wasn’t, by any means, a smirk...it was a smile.
It was then that I realized it.
Severus Snape was in love with Lily Evans.
Unexpectedly, I felt a surge of anger through my body as the bell sounded. I gathered up my things quickly, before Snape had even taken eyes off of Evans. I leaned down to his ear, so only he could hear me,
“You’ll never have her.”
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