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Chapter 5 : 5. Run
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I woke up in the most horrible way; someone poking me in the ribs and face – repeatedly.
I slowly opened my eyes, and saw four pairs of dark brown – almost black – eyes stare at me.
“She’s alive, mom!” one of the girls screamed, as the three others peered closer at me.
“MOM!” they all roared, when nothing happened.
“Shh!” I hissed, sitting up. “Girls, shut up…!”
Sienna barrelled into the room, carrying a tray with a cup of tea. She plonked the tray down in front of me, before turning to glare at me. “Well, hello!” she huffed.
“Sienna, I can totally—“ I began.
“Kellie, Mellie, Nellie, Shellie,” Sienna said, her hands resting on her hips. “Go – play.”
Her voice was calm and deep – it was almost worse than yelling.
“But mom--“ one of the girls started, but fell silent as Sienna shot a glare at them. “Outside, girls!” she amended, and I watched as they all marched out.
I stared back at Sienna, as she slowly sat down across from me. “Talk – now,” she demanded, folding her hands.
“About the reason why you appear behind my door, in the middle of the night, carrying one big luggage, and completely drunk of your arse, Susie!”
“Oh, that,” I said, clearing my throat. “You see—“
“Did you have a fight with Sirius? Is he beating you? I knew it!” she whispered, leaning forward.
“No!” I said, mortified. “He would never—I would never—SIENNA, NO!” I said, my eyes wide. “I just… I’m leaving.”
Sienna’s eyes glanced at my luggage, and her eyes narrowed. “Where? Why?”
“I owled Em,” I said, and bit my lip. “I… I might stay with her, wherever she is. I just need… to get away. I can’t tell you anything else, and I… I’m sorry about last night, I just needed a place to stay at for one night.”
“Is… everything okay?” Sienna asked after a moment. “Does Sirius know? Is—“
“He doesn’t know, and you can never tell him, okay?” I cut off, suddenly grabbing Sienna’s hand. “Please, Sienna? Can you do this small favour for me?”
She gazed at me with her piercing blue eyes, before giving one small nod. “I guess I owe you,” she said slowly, and smiled sadly. I raised my brows at her, and she sighed. “You helped me escape from those weddings, afterall…”
“Right,” I said, smiling at the memories. “Thank you, Sienna.”
“So you’re not going to tell me where you’re going, exactly?” Sienna shot suddenly.
“No, you would spill the beans sooner or later,” I said, standing up. “It’s better if you don’t know. I wouldn’t want you to lie, put you in a difficult position, and all…”
“Right,” she said, also standing up. “Well, when… when are you leaving?”
“As soon as—“ I started, as I saw an owl behind the window. “Speak of the devil,” I muttered, hurrying to let the owl inside. I grabbed the letter, and quickly eyed through it, before shoving it in my pocket. “Well, I suppose this is it.”
“What?” Sienna said, looking worried.
“Goodbye, I suppose.”
“Goodbye? Now!?” Sienna said, her eyes widening. “Are you… like, right now?”
“Don’t worry,” I said, as I hugged her quickly. “I’ll be fine.”
“Bye, Susie,” she whispered, holding me tightly as I tried to pull away. “Be careful, yeah?”
“Yeah,” I said, finally escaping her tight hug. “You never saw me here, okay?” I said, giving her a meaningful look.
“Right,” she said with a nod. “I’ll make sure the girls and Ali didn’t see you, either.”
“Thanks,” I said, grabbing my luggage.
I gave Sienna one last smile, before Disapparating.
I had never liked Apparating. It kind of made me regret eating breakfast, lunch or dinner before. This time, though, it made me regret drinking the night before.
I stumbled for a moment, holding my head as I looked around. It was the right alley, I knew it was… mainly because I saw Em stand a few feet from me, surrounded my a group of suspicious looking men.
“E-Em?” I breathed, blinking.
The dark-haired girl looked straight at me, and a grin stretched on her pointy face. Yeah, it was the same Em I had known at Beauxbatons, even if a few years had passed; the same hazel eyes, dimples and thick eyebrows.
The dragon tattoo on her arm was new, though.
“DIVA!” she shrieked, pushing through the men to hug me. I staggered a bit, as I tried to stay on my feet. “You caaaaaame!”
“Well, yeah,” I gasped, as she tried to suffocate me. “I did owl you in distress, didn’t I?”
Em pulled me at arms length, her eyes narrowed. “Remember when you harassed that flock of unicorns at school, and the entire class – including the professor – had to run like hell to escape them?”
“Um, yes?” I said, eyeing her suspiciously.
“Well, let’s do that now,” Em said, grinning a child-like grin.
“Do what, exactly?”
“RUN, GIRL!” she screamed, grabbing my hand and pulled me along.
I looked over my shoulder, and saw the five men running after us. I blindly let Em pull me with her to the crowded street, running as fast as I could.
“WHY ARE WE RUNNING, EM!?” I roared, trying to keep up.
“IT’S FUN!” she called over her shoulder.
Em suddenly barged through one of the doors leading to a shop, and a small bell above the door rang. We were both out of breath, as we watched the men run past the shop.
It wasn’t until a second later I realized it wasn’t a shop, but a pub.
“Welcome, ladies,” a man said, and I looked around. “Em, darling, are you escaping from your bodyguards again?”
The man speaking stood behind the bar. He was polishing glasses, and I couldn’t help but notice how handsome he was. He was more beautiful, actually, than handsome. His eyebrows were as dark as his hair and eyes – pitch black! – and when he smiled, he almost looked mischievous. He was seriously a man Sienna would describe as a ‘dark angel’.
“Theo, shut up!” Em growled, jumping up on one of the bar stools. “You know I hate them!”
“Still—“ he said, as he finally noticed I existed too. “Well, well, well!” he said, and put the glass down. “Who is this fine creature?”
I glanced at Em, then back at Theo. “Susie,” I said, nodding to him. “I’m Em’s—“
Theo gasped, and covered his mouth. “You’re the Susie!? Susie Q!?”
I stared at him for a moment, before giving Em a stern look. “Okay, what have you told him about me?” I demanded, narrowing my eyes.
“Just…” Em said, shrugging as she avoided my eyes. “A few things, you know…” she said vaguely, sipping on the milkshake Theo had prepared in front of her.
“It is such an honour to finally meet you, Susie Q!” Theo said, and grabbed my hand to shake it. “Truly! I’m Theodor, Theodor Blake – but you can call me Theo!”
I pulled my hand away from his, smiling unsurely. “Yes, sure, whatever,” I said, sitting down next to Em. “Bodyguards, Em?” I hissed, shaking my head.
“Dad’s delusional!” Em exploded, suddenly looking furious. “Just because of one attack—“
“It wasn’t an attack,” Theo explained, looking amused. “Em just didn’t want the truth to be told, which is… well… Em got into a fight with three leprechauns, and she told everyone how she duelled with Death Eaters, because losing to leprechauns was so embarrassing, so now she can only blame herself for—“
“Theo, shut up,” Em shot, pouting.
“You haven’t changed one bit,” I said, shaking my head.
“Well, you have,” Em said defensively. “You used to cheer me on, take on bets, be the understanding one!”
“Because you were stupid enough to fulfil my wicked ideas, Em,” I said stiffly. “Times change, though.”
“Apparently,” Em said, shrugging again. “So tell me,” she said, putting down her milkshake. “What made you owl me all of the sudden?”
“I…” I began, frowning. “I’m here for work.”
“Work?” both Theo and Em repeated, both of them looking surprised. “Why?” Em whispered with her eyes wide. “Are you escaping some dramatic love triangle, huh!?”
“Don’t get any ideas, Em,” Theo warned. “Last time you made your own assumptions, Melissa McRoy hexed her fiancé’s second cousin when you thought they were having an affair!”
“I didn’t know they were related!” Em huffed, looking insulted. “So… is it a love triangle?”
“No!” I said, shaking my head. “I’m not escaping anything, I just thought it would be fun to see the world a bit, travel around, meet old friends…”
“Wonderful!” Em said, spinning around with her chair. “Wanna go on a road trip across America, then?”
I stared at her. “What?”
“It’s what Muggles do,” Theo explained, as I continued to give a blank look. “You know, they drive aimlessly around with a car, enjoy life… I hear it’s a blast!”
“Are you a Muggle?” I said.
“No, but my mom is,” he said with a shrug.
“Let’s leave Salem!” Em said, ignoring Theo. “Good, huh?”
I turned to stare at Em instead. “What?”
“These impulsive ideas of hers are normal,” Theo said apologetically. “It’s her way to cope with the fact that she will never be more than an assistant to the Head of the Auror Office who just happens to kiss up to the great American Minister of Magic; Nicholas Rousseau.”
I looked away, deep in thought. My mind was full with so many thoughts, and it was almost impossible to get them in order, while trying to pay attention to the conversation. Fortunately, Em and Theo were bickering with each other, so they barely noticed when I spaced out.
“I’ll be right back,” I said, and stood up.
“Where are you going?” Em wondered.
“Bathroom,” I said, rubbing my stomach. “My stomach never liked Apparating, anyway…”
I hurried away, already hyperventilating. As soon as I had closed the door behind me, I searched my pocket for the note. I unfolded the small piece of paper with shaking hands, and scanned through it.
Nicholas Rousseau, American Minister of Magic
3rd Main Street
It was no coincidence that I had owled Em. A few months ago, I had accidentally read an article where her name was mentioned. Well, it had actually been an article about her dad, and how he had won a million galleons on a bet he’d made in a Quidditch game, and that had spiralled a whole new article, ‘The Man Behind the Name’, which had introduced his family, including Em. That’s how I knew she was currently living in Salem. That’s how I knew she would be my ticket to find my real dad.
But it was pure coincidence that she was actually working for him – kind of – as an assistant to the Head of the Auror Office… whatever that meant.
But I couldn’t tell Em that, she wouldn’t understand. And more importantly, she would think that was the only reason why I contacted her… and sure, it was, but it sure as hell was nice to see her. And anyway, Salem was in America, America was far away from Sirius, and that was fine by me.
Everything would be okay.
I shoved the note back in my pocket, and took a quick look in the mirror. I looked like hell, and I wondered if Em had noticed the dark circles around my eyes, or the permanent frown between my brows.
If she was still the same Em I had known years ago, she would’ve noticed, and suggested some silly spells or creams to fix the problem.
Maybe she had changed, too.
When I joined Em and Theo again, they were both quiet, looking in different directions. It didn’t take a relationship guru to figure out that they had just argued about something stupid, disagreed, but agreed to disagree – much to their disagreement.
“Hi,” I said, as I sat back down. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing,” Theo hurried to say, as Em held up her hand to silence him.
“Theo doesn’t want me to tell you that you look like shit,” she said, as Theo buried his face in his hands. “What facial cream do you use? Do you maintain your skin at all, hun?”
Nope, she hadn’t changed at all, that Em.
A/N: AHH!!!! Lemme just say OOH and AHH :D I feel complete now, like my life has yet again found meaning; I HAZ A BANNER NOW!!! Thanks Jannu and Vicky, my wonderful Powerpuff Girls for their amazing artwork ^_^ NOTHING CAN BRING ME DOWN NOW, NOT EVEN SOME ANNOYING OL' LADIES >:]
- Lily xxx
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