Chapter 3 : Confusion
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A/N Oh my rowling, I just had the biggest scare of my entire life. I accidentally deleted the folder with all my stories and drafts and plot developments and chapters in! My chest went tight and my hands were actually shaking until I had the clever idea of ctrl-z, which thankfully worked. Oh my god…never delete a folder guys! NEVER! I need chocolate…
I saw Mary sitting alone by the window. Her figure was silhouetted in the silvery light shining through the glass and her breath had misted against the frosty surface. She was gazing at the snow falling outside and a tear traced its way down her smooth cheek. I felt sad as I watched her, wishing I could find a way to take away the pain that so often plagued her. She seemed to suffer a lot, whether from real or imaginary ghosts I don’t know. I walked over and sat opposite her, leaning my head against the cool window, letting the silence stretch.
Eventually Mary spoke in a cracked voice,
“Snow was our…special thing. Proof to us that muggles could have a bit of magic too. She used to admire how every snowflake was different. ‘Isn’t it amazing? Like magic…’ When we found out we were witches she would laugh at that. Found it so funny. I never did.”
“Life happened. Bad things.”
“She’s…joined…them?” I whispered incredulously. I knew who Mary was talking about; her sister Marcia. Mary and Marcia were an extraordinary case of two twin witch children born to muggles. To heighten that already unusual situation, Marcia was a Slytherin and Mary was a Gryffindor. I had always thought of Marcia as really friendly, the few short times I had met her. Of course, you couldn’t exactly be around people like Mulciber, Lestrange or…Black and remain that way. I couldn’t quite believe it to tell you the truth, but it seemed like Mary was saying that Marcia had joined the Death Eaters, a weird cult-thing that followed You-Know-Who. I wouldn’t have thought they’d let a muggle-born join… But at Mary’s sad nod, I got up and hugged her tightly, trying to convey my sympathy. We sat together like that for several minutes until I realised that we weren’t even particularly close friends. I pulled away, to my own disgust, and Mary went back to gazing out of the window listlessly before speaking quietly, almost to herself,
"I think it's something to do with her secret boyfriend. She won't tell us who he is. If he hurts her..." Mary glared so fiercely at the window I thought the frost might melt right off and drip into her hair. I added Marcia onto my list of people’s buts to kick.
“You are…safe from her aren’t you? She won’t…I don’t know…get you hurt?” I asked cautiously. Mary turned an angry face towards me,
“She’d never do anything like that! She’s my sister! Why don’t you just bugger off McKinnon? I don’t need your false sympathy!” Fresh tears fell down her face but I was annoyed now. I had only been asking out of concern, I had tried to help for Merlin’s sake! I was about to retort fiercely when I remembered that Mary was always changing moods like this. One minute she was sad, then angry, then laughing. It did do my head in a bit. Mary turned away again, pulling at her black hair. I realised that she must have died it black because of what Marcia did. The very awkward silence that followed was thankfully interrupted when a large snowball slammed into the window, making us both jump with surprise. I (cleverly) stuck my head out to see who had thrown it and caught one glimpse of Sirius Black’s irritating face before a very large pile of cold, mushy stuff hit me on the head and I almost fell out of the window.
“Argh! Damn you, Black!” I yelled into the sky waving my arms about as I tried to steady myself. I got the snow out of my eyes and glared down at the Marauders who were laughing, “You are such a vegetable!” Not my best come-back, but still. Sirius looked up at me with wide eyes.
“Do you want to eat me then?” he called up.
“I hate vegetables!”
“Why? Are they too crunchy for you? Would you prefer some chicken breast?”I laughed. This was getting pretty ridiculous. I was about to reply when I saw McGonagall marching towards them angrily and I smirked, “Uh-oh!” By the time they had looked round it was too late and I enjoyed a leisurely five minutes listening to their detentions being dished out before I realised with a stab of guilt that I had forgotten about Mary. I whizzed around but she had vanished. Like magic.
Professor McGonagall had managed to round up all of the 6th years to talk to us in her Very Serious Voice about those Flu Vacsinashon-thingies. It was never a great idea to get all of the Gryffindors in the same room together, never mind the whole year. Add in talking about a Highly Frightening Subject and you have a recipe for disaster. Sirius was chatting up Dorcas Meadows, a pretty Ravenclaw, who I felt sorry for as she would probably be murdered by Emmeline Vance in a second for even trying. It was depressing how sought-after Sirius was. I can’t pretend he didn’t encourage it a bit though. Edgar Bones and Benjy Fenwick were giving each other dark looks. Mary wasn’t talking to me and was studiously ignoring Marcia. Amelia Bones was pestering me with stupid facts and figures. I tried not to look over at the Slytherins. It was too painful. The only cheerful thing about this was that we were missing potions, although I actually liked potions.
McGonagall strode into the room and surveyed us. She had her no-arguing face on which worried me greatly. Visions of six foot long needles and arms falling off filled my head and I gripped Remus’s arm to stop myself hyperventilating. I think I was actually shaking. Yeah, I have a very low pain threshold.
“The Vaccinations,” she began and everyone held their breath, “Have been cancelled, due to the muggle methods being proven unsafe for those with magical blood,” A loud cheer erupted, “However, the Headmaster has asked me to remind you that this disease called ‘Flu’ can be highly dangerous. Leaflets will be pinned up in the House Common Rooms with instructions on ways to stay safer and healthier.” I was pretty annoyed-all this fuss for nothing. Hmph. At least there was no torturous needle waiting for me in St. Mungo’s though. I grabbed Lily as everyone surged out of the classroom.
We walked aimlessly around the corridors for a while, Lily stopped every now and then to help a lost first year. Aw.
“I wonder how they were proved unsafe?” Lily wondered out loud.
“Who cares,” I shrugged. I told her about Mary and she seemed really upset. I think the situation reminded her of Snape, a greasy-haired Slytherin who Lily had been close friends with until last year. I thought he was an ok person, until he was with his little Slytherin gang. Sometimes a person can be changed by the people they’re with. He really hurt Lily though, so he is now at the bottom of my little list of people I like. I have a lot of lists at the moment! I feel almost scholarly.
“What’ve we got next, then?” I asked.
“Muggle Studies,” Lily seemed far away. I yawned; Muggle Studies was pretty pointless,
“I wish we could just wipe the memories of all our teachers! They’d forget about lessons and we could just have a party!” I squealed. Lily laughed,
“Maybe we should do that on our last day. For now, Muggle Studies!” Then she dragged me off to lessons. Workaholic, anyone?
“Superwoman Lily Evans comes to save the day with her battle cry ‘Muggle Studiessss!’ and her lethal quill because of course the pen is mightier than the sword!” I described her battle scene in detail, including how she pulled me upon a vampire desk and fought off the evilness of James Potter with merely a quill and the braveness of her heart!
“Are you even listening to my story?” I demanded as I was dragged along. No answer. Oh for Merlin’s sake, why do I even bother?
Then I saw. Two people were kissing furiously in an alcove to the right that must have previously held a suit of armour or something, their bodies meshed together, lips moving passionately. I wrinkled my nose in disgust; why can’t they go somewhere a little more private instead of putting on a lovely, public display. People who almost wanted others to see them engaged in sexual activities really annoyed me.
I was about to drag Lily on when I realised who the people were. Regulus Black and Marcia MacDonald. My body turned to ice. Regulus…how could he? I tried to turn my head away, disgusted, but it didn’t want to move. I’d thought he was a better person than this. But then again, I wasn’t very good at thinking. Poor Mary. Poor Marcia. Although not so much. There he goes again, splitting up families. Marcia obviously didn’t know what she was getting herself into. I hadn’t. I didn’t regret it though. I even half wished that I was still with him, in Marcia’s place right now. But I tried to brush the thought out of my mind. Regulus wasn’t good for me, I knew that at least. He convinced me do things. Bad things. The room started to sway. I knew we were over but to have it thrust in my face like this? I wanted to collapse to the floor but I forced my knees to hold. Regulus never liked weakness.
I realised that my whole body was shaking as I stood, gazing at the back of my ex’s head. The first person I had ever truly loved. I’d thought he’d loved me back. Until he became a Death Eater. He broke my heart, and now he was going to do the same thing to Marcia. Lucky sod. Lily’s gentle touch brought me back to reality. She was the only person who had known about Regulus and I. Maybe she’d understand. But I should definitely be over him by now. My throat closed up as I picked up my bag, ready for a quick exit when Regulus turned round, realising that someone was there. Our eyes locked. What did I see in his? Nothing. His face was an inscrutable mask; he didn’t care. And that did it. I ran. Hell, he scared me more than any Dark Lord.
I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t care. There was a random picture of a pig eating chocolate in front of me, and I focused on the chocolate. I sat in front of the picture, wrapping my arms around my legs as if it could shield me from him, make sure he didn’t find me here. The pig snorted at me and I told him I’d eat his chocolate if he did that again. I heard him come and stand behind me. His arms were probably folded and he would be leaning against the opposite wall lazily. I waited.
“You ran.” It was a statement that required no answer, so I stayed quiet, hoping that he would stop tempting fate. It was taking all my willpower not to turn and look at his perfect face. He was perfect, like Lily Evans.
“You were practically having sex with MacDonald.”
“And you care about that…why exactly?” his voice was smooth like silk. I jumped up and glared at him,
“You tempted her into your little cult, Black! You’ve ruined Mary’s life, and her’s!”
“Mary’s not even your friend. You find her disturbing most of the time.” I hated him so much! Look at him, standing there, stating facts about me that I hadn’t even realised were true.
“Just go away, I’m late for lessons,” I muttered. He walked off without a backwards glance.
The pig snorted again. I kicked the painting. The pig ran off. Good stress reliever, that.
A/N Ok, I know that was quite a busy and short chapter, but it has to be! You’ll see… Thanks for reading again xD Love you guys so much! Oh and the reaosn I can actually update, despite NaNo-ing, is that I've already written loads of chapters ahead. :) x
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