Chapter 9 : Chapter 9 - Frozen
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His warm arms slid themselves around my waist, his lips at my ear. His body was pressed up against mine, moulding us together like two pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. He was my soul mate, and I his. I knew it right then, right there, without having to give a second thought. No one could belong like this, like we did.
"I love you," he whispered, his hot breath sending electric tingling through every nerve in my body. I found I could not reply, though I knew exactly what I wanted to say. 'I love you too', I wanted to say. I wanted to tell him how much he meant to me right then, as we were standing there, aware of nothing but each other. I wanted to tell him that he was my life. I wanted to tell him that we belonged together, and that we would never be apart.
But I couldn't. So instead I closed my eyes, bringing his face down to mine. Our lips were millimetres apart when I felt a strange tugging notion in my stomach. My eyes flew open in surprise. What surprised me more was the man standing in front of me, my secret lover. I'd never seen his face before.
"Sirius!" I gasped, finally finding the words I had been longing to say all along. The tugging motion got stronger, and the world I thought I belonged in began to slowly dissolve around me.
Sirius. Sirius. Sirius. Sirius. Sirius. Sirius...
I woke up with a strangled gasp, my heart beating at a rate of a hundred beats a minute, a cold sweat running down my back.
Sirius was the guy from my dreams, the one with the hidden identity, the one who I had assumed I would never know? Sirius was my soul mate?
From beside me I could hear Sophia's breathing, soft and calm and heavy. I glanced at the alarm clock on my bedside table. It was 6:30 AM, and the sun was probably just rising up over the hills.
I slid out of bed, going into the bathroom and having a long shower. The hot water soothed my reeling my head, sending me into a relaxed state of mind.
A few minutes passed before there was suddenly an abrupt change in the water temperature, and then I was being pelted with what felt like millions of hail stones. I squealed, jumping out of the shower before stubbing my toe on the bottom of the radiator and hopping around like a madman (now I know how Sirius felt that day in the hall). I grabbed my towel, wrapping it firmly around myself before stepping out of the bathroom.
"Brody!" I screeched, striding over, dripping, to her bed. She turned over, her eyelids peeling open as she gazed up at me.
"Yes, Samuel?" she muttered, a smug smirk sliding across her face.
"What did you do that for?!"
Her face turned serious. "Stay away from Sirius Black."
I snorted. Michelle and practically every other girl in our year were all big fans of Sirius. Some of them were even so obsessed that they had his schedule copied out so that they could know where he was for every minute of every day. "You can't make me do that."
"You just watch!" she scowled, turning back over and burying her face in the pillows. I picked up a spare shoe from the floor and threw it at her head before escaping as quickly as I could back into the bathroom and locking the door.
I paused, my Breakfast Butty halfway towards my mouth. Tristian Bell, a boy in my year from Hufflepuff, stood before me, panting and looking a bit stricken.
"You've got to come, now," he said, grabbing my arm and pulling me out of my seat. I dropped my Breakfast Butty on my plate before casting Soph a bewildered look and then letting him lead me out of the hall.
"What's going on?"
He didn't answer, just dragging me along even faster. We trundled down a set of stairs towards the dungeons, our robes billowing out behind us.
"What's going on, Tristian - "
We stopped at the bottom of the stairs and rounded the corner, and I stopped short, my breath catching in my throat at the scene unfolding before me.
"I'm so sorry, Raspberry," he said, but his voice sounded far away to my ears. I was distantly aware of Professor Beardsmore trying to get my attention, but I still couldn't take my eyes away from the bloody mass of my best friend on the floor. He had always been there for me - always. He had defined me as a person, made me complete, made me who I was today. And now he was gone.
A dry, rasping sob escaped from my chest, and I collapsed to the floor next to him, next to my best friend. Who would do this to someone? Who would be so sick as so to kill someone just to get to me?
"Raspberry," someone said. That voice, that was the only voice that could have made me look up right then. I looked up, tears streaming down my face, into the concerned and pitiful eyes of Sirius. "Come on, we should let the teachers clean this up," he said, his arm extending out towards me. I looked at it, then back at my best friend, lying, unmoving, on the floor.
He would never breathe again. He would never live again. I would never see him flap his wings and fly away into the distance. I would never see Griggs again.
I took in a huge, shuddering breath before taking Sirius' hand. He led me back up the stairs, up to the Great Hall, where everyone else's lives were still going, still moving on. But my life stayed down there, frozen, with Griggs, as I left him, knowing I would never see him again.
"I think it was Michelle," I told Professor Beardsmore confidently.
"Miss Brody?!" he exclaimed. "Are you sure? She's actually terrified of animals, your Care of Magical Creatures teacher has told me. I don't think she would have been able to go within ten feet of your pet Greggs."
"Griggs," interrupted Sirius. "It's Griggs."
"But - you don't understand!" I burst out. "She threatened me! She threatened me just this morning!"
Sirius, who was sitting beside me, gave me a sharp look.
I shrugged, feeling a heat rising up to my cheeks. "Nothing really," I mumbled, avoiding his eyes.
He gave me another look before giving up and turning to Professor Beardsmore. "I don't think it was Michelle, either, Professor. I think it was my brother."
The way he said it, so suavely, so matter-of-factly, made the breath catch in the back of my throat.
"Regulus?" I choked out.
Sirius nodded sombrely. "Regulus."
He smiled weakly, though his eyes remained hard. "Because that's what he does, love. He ruins people's lives just for the sake of it, just for his own enjoyment."
"Where's the enjoyment in killing a bird?" I cried.
He shook his head sadly. "He has a sick, twisted mind. It's what to be expected from him."
"So," Professor Beardsmore verified, "our culprit is the Mr. Black of Slytherin?"
"I believe so," said Sirius.
I just closed my eyes, leaning back into his chest and trying not to think of Griggs.
It didn't work.
I skipped the rest of lessons that day, instead choosing to sulk around the dungeons near my common room, letting myself be consumed by grief and it's depressing wrath.
At around lunch my inner thoughts were interrupted by the sound of rising voices from just around the corner. I stopped in my tracks, pressing up against the wall and sliding along a bit until I was able to get a little peek at what was going on.
Sirius was stood with his back to me, his shoulders tensed, his hands balled up in tight fists at his sides, facing his brother, who was standing in a position equal to his. Sirius flexed the muscles in his arms.
"What happens between me and my girlfriend is none of your business!" he growled.
Sirius has a girlfriend?
Well, you learn a new thing every day.
"It does if she's in Hufflepuff. Do you see what this is doing to my reputation, having my brother be not only in Gryffindor but having a stupid romance with a Hufflepuff?!" Regulus spat back.
Sirius has a girlfriend who's in Hufflepuff? Well, it can't be Sophia, she's hung up on James.
Oh. My. God.
It's Michelle! I bet it is. That's probably why he stood up for her this morning.
"Life's not all about reputation, Regulus. You should be who you want to be, stop caring for a while. You never know, it might do you some good."
It turned out this probably wasn't the best thing to say, since Regulus was now lunging at Sirius, his wand at the ready.
"Do NOT tell me what to do!" he hissed, jabbing his wand right where Sirius' jugular was and holding him down by a large tuft of his hair.
That is why he should cut his hair. Then he would never get himself in situations like this.
"Just leave Raspberry alone!" he panted.
Where did I come into this? I thought he was talking about Michelle?
"Stop dating the Hufflepuff and it'll all be fine," Regulus said, leaving Sirius, panting, on the floor.
I was about to step out and reveal myself when something in the back of my mind stopped me.
He has a girlfriend and he didn't tell you. He obviously doesn't trust you very much.
I took in a deep breath, and then I did something that I hadn't thought I would ever do. I walked away.
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