Chapter 1 : I Am Not Saved
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**Just to clear up a bit of confusion, the italics (come, Sugar, come) are my own writing, not lyrics, but an integral part of the story :)
They say I will be okay. I am not saved. Beneath the willows as they moan and whisper, begging for redemption, I am lost. There are the sounds of laughter in the distance. It is a wonder that I can breathe, that I can move my chest up down up down, up and down. Time floats over me like a mellow, damp cloud of cigarette smoke. The presence is gone, but the scent clings to the freckles upon my stomach, legs. The ash wand to my left feels unyielding and angry against my elbow.
come, Sugar, come to the water don’t you want it, can’t you feel it, hear the cry of a hawk – come, Sugar, close your eyes and bathe in the sweat of my soul
There is a debilitating loneliness in the atmosphere as I walk around the trees, stumbling, but always moving. I am a stranger in my own skin. The flesh that surrounds my face scrunches up as if I am about to cry. Tears are the worst kind of problem. They cannot tell someone in a tangible, definable language the very reason for their existence. Aimless and roaming, a lone gypsy amongst the throngs of human teeth and toes and life. I have been shattered into a hundred thousand of miniscule pieces. The soul of my being crumbles and descends to cover the tree roots with a secret legacy.
come, Sugar, dream of musty books, the particles of dust, the utter depravity – come, Sugar, come to the slaughter
“Rose? Rose! I’m talking to you…”
I shake my head a little bit and stare across my shepard’s pie to look at Scorpius. He waves a chicken wing in my direction, furrowing his brows. The chatter of students beats a dull melody against my ear drums.
“You haven’t been eating for days now, Rose. Eat, it’s delicious.”
I pick up my fork and fake a stabbing motion at his arm. Prodding the contents of my plate does not sooth the turmoil surging in my veins. They are pulsing. The muscles of my legs clench together. I wonder if there is anywhere that I can run and hide in the madness. There are no sheltering arms.
“Yeah, I know.”
“Well, I’m off. See you for dinner.”
With that, Scorpius waves the remnants of his chicken wing and heads for the tower. My best friend, he should have been there. Just there. He should have read into my soul through the depths of my eyes. And still, I am not saved.
Dinner was the same; the common room was, too, the same. Laughter and childish antics. Scorpius sat across the table from me, like he always does, and ate a bit of everything within reach. I tried to act interested in new spells, our essay for Potions, and the goblin wars, but my mind continued to wander. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to good girls, to nice girls, to girls who are caring and loving and spunky. By the time my mind arises from its proverbial hell, I am in the common room watching Scorpius sift through a pile of aging books.
I rise out of my chair and head for door. There is a need, a violent and pressing need to get out, to go, to be alone both physically and emotionally. My feet lead me to the Astronomy tower. I drop to my knees on the ancient stones and stare listlessly. I’m a ghost. There is no semblance of who I used to be. Now there’s only me and the lonely, the forbidden, the lullaby of desolation. I hear footsteps.
Scorpius drops beside me and tries to put his arm around me. I flinch and back away, blocked by the wall of the tower. Even in the darkness, I can see his hazel eyes staring at me in confusion.
“I’m fine…just go.”
Those words. Those infamous words of hurt and wanting, wanting understanding and comfort. But I don’t know if I can tell him. I don’t want his pity.
“Oh, I hate when you say that! You’re not fine. Please, Rose, can’t you tell me? ”
“Don’t you understand, Scorpius? If I tell you, you are never going to look at me the same way again! I’ve been…”
I stop. Scorpius reaches out his hands for mine and although I try to wrench them from him, he holds on. For six years now he has been my one constant – his resilience through all of the changes that life brings, that tragedy brings, is unmatched. I sit up on my knees, the cold, unforgiving stone a reminder of what I have lost.
come, Sugar, come bring your sorrow and your hurt, fear the fall in oblivion – come, Sugar, come run away, run to the river
I close my eyes, but I don’t know if I can say it. In what language is it possible to speak, to make something so concrete- if I send my words into the world, into the wind, I can’t ever get them back. I can see the glow from the stars through the dampness of my eyelids. It is broken, it bends and shifts. Unalterable and imperfect, even the stars, they burn and die and plunge to the earth, to the hard soil, to the place where souls drift amongst the secrets on the breeze. “At Hogsmeade last weekend, you know how it was raining and dark… I was by the Forbidden Forest and he…and just…he. I, I can’t…”
The tears fall as sobs wrack my body. I try to breathe, but the panic has set in. My hands tremble and I clutch desperately at Scorpius’s chest. He has not said a word, not one. It crosses my mind that perhaps he doesn’t want to touch me now. I’m afraid to look up but I do. There, in the moonlight through the tears, that Scorpius has turned his face away from mine. He takes a deep, shuttering sigh and looks. My hands clutch tighter when I see that he is crying too. The tears fill his eyes and I think he is trying to be strong. Oh, I hope he is being strong. I cannot be strong right now. I am not saved.
“Oh, Rose. Rose. There’s nothing that can change the fact that you’re my best friend, okay? Nothing, Rose-“
A sound makes Scorpius stop mid-sentence. We both look at the entrance to the stairs and see a hooded figure. They are large and imposing, filling the doorway with a deeper blackness.
“Going to join in the fun, Scorpius?” The figure laughs.
Scorpius leaps to his feet and says, “Are you following her? You’d better-“
I step in front of Scorpius and tell him quietly to step aside. As much as I wanted him to save me, he cannot fight this. The demons that fill my being are battling in my soul, not his. Reluctantly, Scorpius moves to stand a few feet away from me. Scars deep and like the ice that threatens the sensations of life are mine and mine alone. I alone. I, alone, can replace myself – and have the delicacy of a paper lantern to stand here, to face this even as it looms over me, a solid, concrete fortress. I know Scorpius’s hand is around his wand, he’s ready to attack at the slightest movement. I stare at my assailant.
“Please, you’ve done enough,” I say with as much pluck as I can manage.
The hooded figure gives a short, derisive laugh and pushes me toward the wall. I can feel myself falling, falling, falling. Scorpius is reaching for me – his mouth is wide with fear, with a silent scream. As sudden as a bolt of lightning, before I have even had the chance to comprehend, to understand, to know, I am gone. The jar that is my soul has shattered, left to grow ancient with moss and fear and the forgetfulness of time. I do not, cannot stop myself as the wall grazes my calves and I plummet.
come, Sugar, come bask in the sanctuary, smell the dewy daffodils, forget the impact of life – come, Sugar, let your soul drift into the expanses of freedom
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