Chapter 1 : Chapter One: Blood in the Water
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Chapter 1: Blood in the Water
I am trapped.
A thick mess of vines grows all around me, ganging up on me, choking me. It’s dark all around. I can only see two steps in front of me. The sun nor moon can reach here. I’m alone and afraid.
“You are unwelcome here,” the vines seem to hiss.
Thorns appear on them, scratching and poking me. Black roses bloom all over the vines. They have a menacing, eerie quality that grips at my soul. I think I’m dying.
They grow faster now, and I’m tangled within the beast. I let out a blood-curdling shriek as the vines choke me and slither into my mouth. The roses are spitting out venom. My skin turns a nasty red as it burns. My throat is on fire, the thorns scratching against my insides. I try to scream, but I can’t. I reach out frantically for something, anything, but my hands get caught in a mess of thorns.
This is it, I think to myself. This is what death is like.
Then, I see a pretty yellow rose blooming above me. I feel the vines shudder in disgust, but they keep on killing me. I pull my right arm out of their entanglements, filled with new strength by this rose. I reach up and pluck the rose from above, and the vines shriek and retreat. I feel myself falling through darkness. I hold onto the rose for dear life. When I land in a soft bed of leaves, I get up and look down at the rose. The petals shiver, and I’m afraid it’s going to die. But, instead, it sheds its petals and blossoms with new, vibrant, beautiful red petals.
I wake up, and I realize I’m shaking. I wrap my blankets around me tightly and listen to the relaxing pitter-patter of rain on the roof. The beautiful red rose comes to mind again, and I finally feel safe enough to go back to sleep.
“Angie,” someone whispers, shaking me out of my dreamless sleep.
“Huh?” I ask, stretching blindly.
“OW! Aw, bloody hell…”
I abruptly sit upright and look at my waker. I cover my mouth with my pillow to stifle my shrieks.
Sirius Black, holding his nose and swearing, is standing beside my bed.
“Sirius Black!” I snap, trying to compose myself. “What the hell are you doing?!”
He glares at me and holding his nose, says, “I should ask you the same! You punched me in the bloody face!” He slowly removes his hand from his face, wincing all the while. I cringe when I see the blood oozing from his nose; surely, I must not have hit him that hard. But it does give me some sort of delight, seeing him in pain.
“You bitch,” he snarls, staring at his bloody hand. “Bet you’re loving this.”
Suddenly feeling bad for him, I slip out of bed and rummage through my closet. I pull out a box of tissues and turn to find Sirius looking at me strangely. “What?” I ask as I hand him the tissues. “What are you looking at?”
And then I recognize the look. It’s the same way he looks at the girls at school. He has this hunger in his eyes that can’t be contained. His eyebrows are slightly raised in admiration, and lips slightly parted in awe. I want to throw up.
“Stop looking at me like that, you pervert!” I snap, grabbing my blanket and wrapping it around me.
“Hey,” he says, covering his nose with tissues, “it’s not like I want to look at you like that. Usually when I see you, I want to vomit. Honestly, it’s your fault for wearing a tank top and short-shorts to bed. Bloody hell!”
I glare at him. “It’s summertime. It’s hot.” I go into the bathroom and bring him a wet face towel to wipe up the dried blood. “What are you even doing here, anyway, Black?”
“Didn’t James tell you?” he asks.
“You know James,” I say. “Of course not.”
“I ran away from home,” he says, pressing new tissues against his nose. “Your aunt and uncle took me in.”
My jaw drops. “You ran away from home?” Normally, I feel disgust and hatred towards Sirius, but right now, I just feel awful for him.
He nods. “Yeah.” He looks at the tissues. “Hm…my nose has stopped bleeding. Er…thanks.”
“Yeah, no problem,” I reply. “Um…I’m sorry about you having to run away and all…”
He shrugs. “Whatever. I live with the Potters now. It’s like an all-out party all the time.” He grins, returning to his usual self.
“Right,” I say, rolling my eyes. I shove him towards the door. “Now get out. I’m going to get ready.”
“Hey there, cousin!” James exclaims boisterously when I open the door. He grins at Sirius. “What happened in there, mate? Don’t spare me any details! I want to know all the nasties Angie’s into!”
I groan. “Ugh! James! You are repulsive! I can’t believe we’re related, you perv! That is so messed up.”
He makes a face. “You know I’m only joking, Ange. Like I want to know any of that. That’s like incest!”
I raise an eyebrow. “Uhm…okay. I’m getting ready now. Bye.” I slam the door in their faces.
“So, James,” Sirius says very loudly, “Angie and I shared a very intimate moment.”
“Shut the bloody hell up!” I exclaim. Sirius and James laugh, and I hear their footsteps descending downstairs.
As I prep in the bathroom, I worry about Sirius.
It must be awful to be a runaway! At least he has James. Aunt Dorea and Uncle Charlus will take good care of him. Maybe the runaway thing helped him mature a bit. …Or not. They’re probably spoiling him, just like they do with James and me.
Oh, and the way Sirius was looking at me! That’s the way he looks at those sluts at school. If he ever looks at me that way again, I’ll have to punch him in the face again. And this time, I won’t nurse him back to health. Ugh, he’s such a pervert.
I wonder if Aunt Dorea and Uncle Charlus adopted him. That would be a terrible misfortune. We’d be related, technically! Just the thought makes me want to be sick.
“Angelina,” my dad says, knocking on my door. “Are you ready? We have to go!”
“Nearly,” I reply. “I’m just getting dressed!” I put on a skirt and my new blouse and slip on my sandals. “Dad,” I say, “can you help me with my things?”
“Of course, darling,” he says, entering the room. He grabs the suitcase closest to my bed.
“Wait, no!” I say as the contents of the rolling luggage spill out all over the floor.
“Dammit!” he exclaims. “Angie, close it properly next time.”
“I was going to add one more thing, though,” I say, shrugging on my cardigan. I go to my bedside table and take the picture of Mum and Dad from when they were Hogwarts students. This is the only picture I have of her. The others were either burned in the fire that took her life or kept in my dad’s drawers. The latter, he doesn’t know that I know.
Dad puts the spilled contents back in the suitcase. He takes the picture from me, looks at it, and pauses for a moment. “This was taken when we were in our sixth year,” he says. “You look a lot like her. You have her smile.”
“Dad, let’s not talk about this,” I whisper. “Not now. I don’t want to cry.”
He nods and puts the picture in my suitcase and zippers it shut. “Okay,” he says. He kisses my forehead and heads downstairs. I grab my rucksack and my other suitcase and follow him.
“There she is!” Uncle Charlus exclaims as Aunt Dorea pulls me into a big hug. When we pull away, Uncle Charlie grabs me into a huge bear hug. “How’s my favorite niece?”
“I’m your only niece!” I say.
“Which is why Dorea and I got you a present,” he says. Aunt Dorea smiles and shows me a gift bag.
“Wait, no, no, you guys didn’t have to get me anything,” I say, refusing to take it. “You already gave me an amazing Sweet Sixteen present.” I hold out my pure gold locket.
“Hey!” James complains. “I didn’t get a gift!”
“Did you get all O’s on your OWLs?” Aunt Dorea says, scrutinizing her son.
“Well…no,” he mutters.
I laugh. “How’d you know?”
“My little brother is quite boastful,” Uncle Charlie says, winking at my dad. He grins back.
“Sounds like someone we know,” Aunt Dorea laughs, looking at James and Sirius. They smile sheepishly. “Here,” she says, holding out the large bag. “Go on and take it. We have no use for it.”
I smile. “Okay. Thanks.” I take out the tissue paper and gasp. “Merlin! You didn’t!”
Uncle Charlus beams. “Yes, yes, we did.”
“I knew you’d love it!” Aunt Dorea gushes.
I pull out gorgeous purple silk dress robes. It’s soft to the touch, simple yet formal. It’s absolutely stunning.
“I absolutely love it!” I exclaim. James and Sirius groan loudly. The adults shoot glares their way.
“Jackson told us that there’s going to be a Hogwarts Ball this year,” Aunt Dorea says. “We figured you’d need this.”
“Wait, what about my dress robes?” James asks.
“Me too!” Sirius says.
“You’re on your own,” Dad teases.
“We’ll send them to you,” Uncle Charlus says. “Madam Maulkin’s working on them.”
“Then how’d she get hers so quickly?” Sirius says.
“We ordered it ahead of time,” Aunt Dorea says. “Now, enough chatting. We have to get going.” She hands the dress to my dad. “Gerasim, put this in one of Angie’s bags. Be very careful. The rest of you, grab your things and pile into the car.”
Dad folds the dress and slips it into my suitcase. Everyone grabs their bags and goes outside. We shove our things into the trunk and pile in. Dad takes the wheel and pulls out of the driveway. We drive for about ten minutes without anyone saying anything.
“I can’t take this silence,” Sirius says, tugging at the seatbelt. “And this thing is choking me.”
“Deal with it, Black,” I say bitterly.
“You get used to it,” James says. He looks at me. “So, um…do you think Lily’ll go out with me this year?”
Sirius and I groan. “Here we go,” I say.