Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for veracity.
~Robert G. Ingersoll
I walk blindly through the crowd, leaving a trail of jeering and insults in my wake. But I just lengthen my strides, trying to ignore them.
Trying to escape the bitter gazes and ice-cold looks. Trying to escape the malice that seems to emanate from the castle itself.
I reach the grounds and take a deep breath as the voices finally fade away.
They do not see the person I am. They do not know me. Those who did easily forgot, choosing to embrace the lie. Nobody knows me. They see what they want to see- the evil girl who broke a couple of hearts.
The chilly air is like a life-line to me. Whipping across my cheek, the icy breeze is warmer than the hearts of those behind me.
I start walking, my arms wound tightly around my torso. Not to protect myself from the biting wind. The breeze just freezes my skin, pains my body.
I wrap them around me, to shield my heart from chilling over; from becoming numb. I don't want to morph into what they tell me I am; however tempting it may be to not feel the pain. Cold. Indifferent. A monster carved from stone. Immune to everything, every taunt, every insult. Unaffected. Unfeeling. Heartless.
But I'm not unbreakable, I think, wiping away the wetness from my numb cheeks, the tears I hadn't realised I was crying. I'm human. And I feel. I feel more than any of them.
They are the monsters they make me out to be.
I walk into something hard, making me fall backwards onto the snow covered ground. I glance up and my heart seems to stop.
He looks at me with his hazel eyes, a surprised expression on his face.
Then he extends a hand towards me.
I stare at it from my place on the ground, uncomprehending.
"I'm sorry," he says, staring at me. "I wasn't looking where I was going."
I stare at him as my throat tightens. He is saying sorry to me. He's helping me get up.
I take his hand with a shaking one of my own as my stomach clenches painfully and the tears threaten to fall again.
His hand is warm and rough against my chilled one and I feel butterflies erupt in my stomach as he squeezes mine.
I never want to let go.
I get up on my trembling legs, staring into his eyes and trying to tell him everything. How sorry I am. How I never wanted to hurt him.
But the words do not come out. They simply swirl inside, refusing to form on my lips. I just stand there, gazing at him and trying to tell him everything through my unshed tears.
I think he understands, because his face breaks into a warm smile, making his eyes twinkle and a lump rise in my throat.
His smile warms my very being, chasing away the despair. It makes my heart beat faster, feeding off that wonderful smile. It makes me feel alive.
It makes me hope.
Still smiling, he retracts his hand from mine slowly, backing away.
My own smile falters.
He turns around and walks away, and I just stare after him. When he is a dozen feet away, he halts, twisting back slowly, his eyes sincere.
"It's okay," he murmurs.
I hear. And I understand that I'm forgiven.
As I stare at his retreating figure, the tears finally start to fall freely.
That night finds me sitting in the common room.
In my dark corner, hidden from everyone's eyes, I finally feel safe.
I feel invisible. And secure. Nothing can touch me here. Not disgusted looks. Nor jeering insults.
I smile affectionately as I spot James sitting alone on the couch, running his hand through his untameable black hair.
It falters when I see Lily Evans approach him. They seem to be talking, but I look only at James. His face lights up with ecstasy, a wide smile plays on his lips. He seems to be enthralled. Lily Evans does that to him. Not me. Never me.
But it's not the smile he smiled at me. That smile full of warmth.
A small ray of hope burgeons in my chest, battling against the despair and the hopelessness.
Strange thing, isn't it? Hope can make your world seem brighter and happier. Hope can help you battle against the darkest of times.
Yet the same hope can delude you into believing that everything will be alright. Like a mother's caress, it takes away your pain and helps you...believe in goodness. In the triumph of truth.
Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all.
Hope is all I have left. My sole companion, making me believe that James might, just might be with me. Someday. He saw behind that social stigma. He saw me.
He might do it again.
All I have now is hope.
And his warm smile.
And I think I'll take it.
A/N: My first one-shot. It's in Lisa's point of view, my OC from my other story-An Invisible Reality. It is her third year at Hogwarts, one month after 'The Incident.'
The quote-"Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all." is by Emily Dickinson.