“So why try ignoring him?
Make it a dirt dance floor again,
Say your prayers and stomp it out,
When they bring that chorus in…”
- Bleed It Out, Linkin Park
A few days after I had come back from the Black house, Lily and I fell into a pattern, not that I was surprised. Lily always needed a schedule or routine. She likes to know what to expect. She pretty much hates surprises.
In the mornings we would sleep in for as long as we could possibly stand and her parents would allow. I wouldn’t ever really sleep; I would just lay down with my eyes wide open while I listen to her snore softly. I was lucky if I could close my eyes. How could I sleep when the minute I closed my eyes Black appeared? I was tortured by my mind and it sucked. Life sucked.
In the afternoons we would hang out with Severus which usually ended up with Lily yelling at me and Sev for going off on our science fiction tangents which in all honesty were her fault. She should have never lent those sci-fi books to Sev and me because we just eat them up, especially the classics. What especially enraged her though, was our ‘Remus Monster Theory’. When Lily left for a few minutes I promised Sev that we would gather evidence. Even though I was friends with Remus, it didn’t stop my suspicions. I needed to know or it would eat away at me forever.
At night it was Lily/Severus time so that usually meant I had to find entertainment through talking on the telephone with Saph, talking about magic with Lily’s parents or playing tricks on Petunia, Lily’s older but evil sister. Sometimes I just stayed to myself in Lily’s room alone. A few times I got letters from Reg, Remus, and Moods which was always nice. I was a people person and I needed interaction; what I really needed was a distraction.
But I wouldn’t have minded being alone if it were for the thoughts rummaging through my head. Black seemed to have invaded my mind and hid in every corner or crevasse of my thoughts. I thought of his storm gray eyes that had pleaded me to go with him and stand up against his parents or when they light up when he laughed or how they raked over me our last night or even how they darkening with hatred the next morning. I thought of his eyebrows the arched when he yelled and accused me of cowardliness or how they raised mockingly at me whenever I joked with him during the truce. I thought of his nose and how his nostrils flared at my witty comebacks, weather I meant them or not. I thought of his ebony black hair that I had thought was so charming that last night and how made him look so haunting the years prior. I thought of his lips how they felt against mine or how they formed the words that pierced my heart later. All I could think about was what he had done to me. Plus Tom’s advice surged through my head but in no way helped solve my problems.
Quite frankly it sickened me to the point of throwing up. Being girly always made me feel sick with myself, even though Lily tells me it’s normal to be this way. I just see it as being weak. I don’t like having my emotions laid out there for everyone to see and pity. I don’t want to obsess over it. I just want to forget it!
Because of him, I felt this every penetrating guilt; Poor Adrian, who had tried as hard as he could to prove to me that he wouldn’t do anything to hurt me and then I ended up doing that very thing even if he didn’t know. Adrian made me so happy and I ruined all of that in one night. I felt horrible and sick with myself. I couldn’t help but wonder what I would end up telling Adrian or how I could look at him the same with all the guilt eating me away. I contemplated even telling him. Lying isn’t a good thing to have for a relationship. Wait; are we even in a relationship?
Besides that, Christmas was a sad affair as always, if not sadder. I never enjoyed Christmas anymore but it had been my favorite holiday at one point. It was my family holiday but it’s hard to have those when your parents are gone forever. Before my parent’s died we would blow Christmas up into a weeklong event. Christmas was always the last day of the week and also the most memorable.
On the first day of the week, my mother and I would bake thousands of cookies while trying to keep my dad from eating the raw batter. During the day we would get the Christmas tree and decorated it until it was completely done. My dad would lift me up to put the star on top. Afterwards we would go to downtown Muggle London and go to our favorite ice-cream shop where they always made the best hot chocolate for the winter season.
The next day while my mum was wrapping the presents, my father and I would go outside our house and play in the snow until the tips of our noses couldn't get any redder and our fingers were numb to the bone. At night, the three of us would cuddle together in front of the fire while my mom told the most beautiful stories.
The third day of the week we would celebrate with the Black’s. We would always go early in the morning so while the adults had tea and discussed whatever, Black, Reg, and I would go to the park and goof off until it was time for dinner. At dinner we would all have a fancy meal and afterwards sit in the living room by the fireplace. Black and I would roast marshmallows and tell scary stories to Reg, each getting more ridiculous by the second as the energy in our systems drained and we grew more tired. That night Black, Reg and I would all sleep in Black’s room, snuggled next to each other to keep warm. Back then it was completely innocent. It was just three best friends having a sleep over.
The fourth day, my mother and father always spent it alone and together so I spent mine with the Black’s. They would take us to Diagon Ally to purchase presents for everyone with our money. Afterwards, Mrs. Black would help me wrap up the presents. In the evening my parents would pick me up with a large milkshake in their hands despite the cold weather. Milkshakes were my favorite food and always cheered me up.
On the fifth day, my dad would take me ice skating on a lake nearby our house. Mummy would arrive later that day with a picnic basket of our favorite foods. At night my dad and mum would take turns pointing out constellations and stars. They would tell me the story of each one but my favorite was the Ares constellation and its story of the ram from Greek Mythology. We would stay there as late as I could stay up and my dad would usually have to carry me home.
On the sixth day, Christmas Eve, all of mummy and daddy’s friends would come over. Black would usually come as my friend, but not the rest of his family since they weren’t usually too fond with the other guests, and we would spy on the adults together. Once everyone left my mummy would play beautiful songs on the piano and my dad would clap along. At night my father would tuck me into bed and tell me stories about Hogwarts. After he left, I would take the magic mirror Black would give me earlier that day and I would have to return the next time I saw him. We would stay up all night talking excitedly together about the possibly gifts we could get and the future. We always talked about Hogwarts. We were determined to be the best of friends when we would get there. Sometimes life has different plans.
On Christmas day, Black and I would leave the mirrors behind to wake up our parents. I would open the presents and wrap my dad up in the scrapes while my mum took pictures. Afterwards we invited the Blacks over to our house for dinner. Reg, Black and I would hide up in my room and exchange stories of our Christmases. Reg would fall asleep around nine and Black and I would venture back down the stairs to the party and sneak food the rest of the night. Eventually our parents would catch us and have us pose for many pictures.
On the last Christmas I had with my family, I got my first kiss. It was from Black and it was for a picture. It was cute but meant nothing to us. We just did it so we could run away from their grasp as quick as possible. To this day I still had the picture in a little wooden box that is stored in my bag. I haven’t seen the picture or even open the box in years but I always have it. I couldn’t part with it being it was one of the only pictures I had of my last Christmas and the box had so many memories stored within it.
But this Christmas was awkward. Lily’s parents were courteous and great, trying to include me in everything but I felt as if I were intruding. I felt as if there was a glass barrier between us. Around noon I couldn’t stand it and I left. I promised Lily and her parents that I would be back at night and for them not to worry about me. I also told them I had a few stops to make. I took my bag with me and walked to Muggle London.
It took a long time for me to get there but once I did I went straight for the Leaky Cauldron. The barkeep Tom was there and waved me over. He was in his early forties and always had a crooked grin on. He has light brown hair that was thinning out and dazzling light blue eyes. I liked him because he always told the best jokes, plus he never listened to the age restrictions on alcohol. He was a bit odd though, not that I minded odd. What would I do without you Tom?
“Why hello, Mrs. Redwood. What would you be doing here on this fine Christmas day?” He asked me with a goofy grin.
“Hey Tom.” I mumbled as I sat on the bar stood in front of him. “I’m not in the mood for celebrating.”
“Not in the mood!” He howled jokingly. “It’s Christmas! Come on, the snow is falling, the music is great, the drinks are even better and the people are fun! You’re young! Go out and enjoy it!” He yelped in mock outrage.
“I’ll take you up on the drink but that’s about all I’m in the mood for.” I offered. The Leaky Cauldron was always empty on Christmas because only a few people ever stayed here for Christmas.
“It’s on the house.” He said as he offered me a glass of Firewhiskey while taking one himself. “Now why are you all damper?”
“Would you believe me if I said nothing?” I asked hopeful.
“You know, the best person to confine in, after someone you trust, is someone unbiased so they can give it to you straight. If you need to talk, I’m here. I love a good story anyways.” Tom said with a reassuring smile.
“It’s a long one.” I told him, seriously considering telling him. Maybe I could get a second opinion and maybe, just maybe, he could help me.
“I’ve got all the time in the world. No one usually wanders in here on Christmas.” Tom told me. “I usually spend it alone.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I usually spend it awkwardly invading other peoples.” I told him with a sad smile which he returned.
“So how about that story? It will keep us both entertained, now won’t it?” He asked with a grin which I then returned.
“Fine, but like I said it’s a long one.” I warned before continuing. “When I was little, I used to be friends with this boy but when my parents died we drifted apart. We exchanged words and basically hated each other from then on. But before that we were the best of friends. We were extremely close, so close that we could predict each other’s moves. I’m pretty sure that our parents were planning our wedding secretly.
“Anyways after we had our falling out I fell into a depression. I wouldn’t do anything or converse with anyone. It was like I was stuck in a black hole. I was numb. Nothing affected me. I’m only now almost out of it but sometimes whenever I see him I just want to fall back into it. It would be so easy to anyways. All I would have to do is nothing. I wouldn’t have to hold myself up anymore and I could just fall.
“So when I went to Hogwarts I saw him there and those feelings of hatred were stronger than ever. It was like he ignited some kind of fiery hatred.” I explained purposely leaving out the names. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to know or not.
“Why did you hate each other? I mean, what sparked it?” Tom asked me.
“He yelled at me for not getting over my parent’s deaths and that they deserved it.” I responded in a quiet whisper.
“Why would he say they deserved it? Everything everyone says has a reason.” Tom asked with his eyebrows arched but in a small voice.
“Because they were Death Eaters.” I murmured. “But they loved me all the same no matter what side of the war they were on.”
“How old were you two when you had this argument?” Tom asked as he set his elbows down on the bar with his head resting in his hands. Thank you for not mentioning the Death Eater part.
“We were eight.” I responded. “It was seven years ago.”
“Well children that age don’t understand the world around them. They think there is only good and bad and there is no in between. They don’t see the gray area. Also they have a hard time understanding hardships. They think that if something happens it will get better the next day. They don’t see the consequences for their actions.” Tom reasoned as I waved him off.
“No. I might have thought that was the case if he didn’t use that as ammo whenever we fight.” I explained. “We both got into the same house. Every now and then we would fight and we used the same attacks. He brought up my parents and I would in turn bring up his.
“He never had I good relationship with his family and he often tried to detach himself from them. His brother was what they wanted and he was a disgrace. It also didn’t help that I am good friends with his brother. But I was the constant reminder that no matter how hard he tries to escape, I would be there to remind of where he came from.
“This year it has been getting worse between us. I’ve been seeing him more than usual. Every time I see him I boil up with anger. I just get so mad at him. Plus whenever he touches me I hear weird voices.” I blurted out. My eyes widened in horror. Please don’t think I’m a freak, please don’t think I’m a freak, please don’t think I’m a freak.
“What do you mean voices?” Tom asked carefully as if whatever he were to say would tick me off. At least he is being sensitive with the topic.
“I can hear other people’s thoughts.” I mumbled. “It’s like I can read minds.” I explained thinking of Lily’s muggle novels and movies.
“You mean Legilimency?” Tom asked understandingly.
“Huh? What’s Legilimency?” I asked confused.
“It’s the art of invading a person’s mind and seeing their memories and their feelings. They can also detect if someone is lying.” Tom explained to me as he filled up our glasses with more liquid. “It looks like you’re a Legilimen.”
“But. That. How?” I asked confused. “Doesn’t that require training of so sort?”
“I don’t know much about them. I heard a man talking about them the other day. Looks like you should do some research. So when the boy touches you, you hear these voices?” Tom asked, urging me to continue the story.
“Yeah, I actually recognized one of the voices to be one of his friends. I could hear little blurbs of his thoughts. One of the thoughts was saying how the boy that I hated liked me.” I explained but Tom stopped me again.
“You know, telling me his name would be slightly easier. I won’t tell no one.” Tom offered with a hint of a smile that I couldn’t help but smile back at. I doubt he will remember this conversation and besides I bet he has better things to do then gossip about fifth years.
“His name is Sirius.” I said. I shuttered as I said this name. I haven’t said it since our first train ride. It felt so weird on my tongue. “His brother’s name is Regulus and the friend is James.
“So James said that Sirius liked me and I kind of flipped out. It was so weird for the boy that I have hated forever now liking me. I never got the impression off him but after James explained it, I could sort of see it. I mean every once in a while he would show a very slight hint of it.
“Also at the time I was about to start seeing his guy named Adrian. So when it got to winter break I was invited to spend it with Sirius and Regulus’ family for a week, plus I had nowhere else to go. When I got there I was basically left alone with Sirius for hours at a time. We agreed on a truce and things started to shift to the way they were before my parent’s death. We were comfortable with each other and acted as if the last seven years never happened. It was easy to fall back into our old lives.
“On the last night of my stay we were celebrating and drinking this weird red alcohol we found in the cupboard. Then we went up to his room and …” I said nervously only to see Tom waiting for more. “The next morning I ran out and went down stairs. We ate breakfast in silence and then his parents started mentioning their thoughts on blood. His parents are major blood maniacs and Sirius hates it. I’m sure you heard about the Blacks. Anyways Sirius finally had enough and walked out. I left after a few minutes to get away from his family and came face to face with him.
“He was mad at me for not standing with him and we fought. It was one of the worst fights we ever had. I was practically shaking and sobbing by the end of it. I managed to get away and my friend found me.” I finished as I picked up the glass and took a swig. I tried to concentrate more on the burning sensation in my throat then the story.
“And you feel this guilt I’m guessing for Adrian?” Tom asked. I nodded my head and he continued. “Look, whatever you did is the past. There is no good at looking at the past if you’re just going to mope around. If this Adrian guy really likes you he will understand, although I suggest not telling him. I know it seems wrong but he wouldn’t understand it or wait around long enough for the whole shebang of a story.
“As for this Sirius character, I’d say that’s were your real issues lie. He is just as confused as you are and you two are going to have to work on that together. Whatever issues you two have goes further than your little night together although I’m sure that played a major role.” Tom explained. “You both have and are dealing with some major drama in your lives that kids shouldn’t even think about and that just adds to it. With his major protest against his family and your parents being directly involved doesn’t do your problems any justice. Even your friendship with his brother Regulus hurt your chances at it.”
I sat there shock for a moment before replying awestruck. “It’s just that I’ve always hated Sirius. I just don’t understand what could make me do that thing.” I groaned.
“You said you drank a red alcohol?” Tom asked.
“Yeah! It was a dark red color. It was sweet like Butterbeer, but it burned like Firewhiskey and was spicy like something else! It also made me want more. I was instantly addicted. I was hooked. I felt tipsy right away, like seconds after I drank some and I can definitely hold my liquor better than most.” I explained the best I could.
Tom thought confused for a second before turning around and rummaging through his cabinets mumbled a string of phrases and murmurs that I couldn’t catch. He finally pulled out a small glass vial. He held it out for me. “This is called ‘Ola Se Ena’. It means ‘All in One’ in Greek. Try it and tell me if it is it.”
I took the vial and held it between my two fingers. It was about the size of my finger and about as wide as two of them together. I twisted off the lid and I could smell the spicy scent. I pressed the vial to my mouth and took the tiniest sip possible.
It tasted extremely close to the drink Black and I shared but something was off. Something was different about it. I took another sip and there was still something missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t addicting. I wasn’t begging for more.
“It tastes the same but there is something missing and I can’t figure out what it is.” I replied confused. I handed back the liquid.
“It could be a home blend.” Tom replied mused.
“I guess.” I muttered softly.
“Maybe you should try harder.” Tom said after a while.
“At what?” I asked confused.
“Repairing the friendship.” He explained.
“Oh no! I’m good. He doesn’t want it fixed and quite frankly I don’t either.” I protested, crossing my arms. Tom laughed and I thought I heard him mumbled something like ‘being young’. I ignored it and looked at the clock was only four. Tom noticed this.
“Do you have somewhere you need to be?” Tom asked with a sad tone.
“Oh no, I just need to be back at night.” I explained. “You can’t get rid of me that easily.” I grinned which he returned.
“Well how about a game of Wizard’s Chess.” Tom offered.
“Alright but I’m warning you I am a pro.” I explained.
The rest of the time, Tom and I played many games, drank, sang, dance, and finally I figured it was time to go.
I walked out of the pub and the wind hit me hard and cold but I pressed on. It was around eight o’clock and the sun had long ago set.
The street lamps left a small glimmer of light for me to see my way through. The snow the covered the ground had been patted down by the multitudes of people who have made their way through.
Even though it was late and I should be heading back to Lily’s I couldn’t bring myself to yet. I needed to go somewhere first. It had been bothering me since the start of winter break and I was long overdue for a visit. Sure it would be a sad one but I would feel better in the long run. I always did.
I walked about half an hour until I noticed that the street I had turned on had a dark spot. One of the light posts was dead. With a closer look I could see it had been smashed and shattered. I gulped and knew that, that was my doing. I was on the Black family street.
If I could I would take another way there but it would take another half hour and I was going numb. I would have to tough it out. I walked down the cold street and counted the numbers as I walked up; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13. I stopped and looked back at the spot between 11 and 13. That is where the Black home is, Number 12 Grimmauld place, hidden from the sight of muggles.
I let out a sigh and I could see my breathe flutter out in a fog before disappearing. The house I knew was hidden there, felt different to me. It felt empty, like there was no purpose anymore. I guess I had no reason to hate that house anymore. Black won’t be coming back after he ran away but it felt eerily empty and lifeless.
I sigh and turned to continue walking. This wasn’t my destination. I kept walking on. I passed the dark space where I had my latest and worst fight with Black. Where I lost control of myself and burst open the light.
I shook my head and I could feel tears start to collect on the rims of my eyes in memory. With my gloved hand, I wiped them away and kept on walking, at a much faster pace.
I waked for about ten more minutes down a couple more streets before stopping at a small little two story house. It was white before but now took on a dirt gray color and the roof that was once bright red turned into a pale pink from the sun eating away at it. The windows that once shown light into the house were cracked and broken but the door was the same old wood one. This was my house.
I walked across the snow covered law and I knew that underneath was just loose dirt where grass once grew plentifully. I climbed the porch steps and came to the wooden door. I dug into my bag and pulled out the rosewood box. Inside there were pictures and little mementos of a happier life. Taped to the top of the old wood box was a small ancient silver key. The hilt had a black stone craved into a rose.
I unlocked the door with the key and step inside. I closed it quickly behind me and was left in the dark. I pulled out my wand and lit the top. Now magic isn’t supposed to be used outside of school until your 17 but Moody was able to oversee my age barrier. They still get notified but no one bothers to report it, in fear of Moods. He could be quite a scary man.
Inside the room was an old wooden coffee table, a graying and deteriorating couch, an arm chair and a dresser. On top of the dresser were pictures and trinkets with special memories of a once happy family. I knew them all by heart. I walked into the next room which was the kitchen and dining room. A small wooden table with four black chairs sat there and in the kitchen was a small but fully function set of kitchenware.
I exited the kitchen and walked up the stairs to the second floor. There were three rooms up there; the den or guest room, my parent’s room and my room. I went to the den first and saw nothing had changed, not that I expected it to. The bookcases were sitting piled with thousands of books on a multitude of subjects. The desk was covered in letters that would never get mailed or opened. The fireplace had rotting logs that were never going to be lit and the furniture was covered in a thick coat of dust. This used to be my father’s special place. He would sometimes let me in here only on a super careful watch but other than that he would be up here by himself.
I sighed and walked out. I went to my parent’s door and just dragged my fingers across the door. I never opened it. I don’t think I could bring myself to open it. It was their special place and everything was just the way it had been when they left the night of their death and no one was going to disrupt it. I finally reached my room. The door was a dark wood with a silver knob. I opened the door and gaze inside. It was a dark green, silver and black. One of the walls was painted green and the flooring was dark wood panels. The bed was in dark wood frame with green, silver and black sheets. The desk was also the same dark wood. It was Slytherin colors.
I walked in sighed. Everything was exactly the same as the last time I came here. I turned around and closed the door, locking myself in my old room. On the back of the door were thousands of pictures pasted with sticky tack from the muggle store my mom took me to.
The pictures ranged from ones of when I was an infant to ones where that we had taken days before my parents death and my evacuation of the house. Some pictures were of me doing something funny or memorable. Others were me with either one or both my parents. Some were of just my parents from a long ago. And lastly there were some of Black, Reg and I. It was a much happier time.
I sighed I looked at the rosewood box again. I opened it and set it down on the desk next to the door. Slowly I started to peel off the pictures one by one. Once I had them all in my hand I jammed them into the overflowing box. Closing the box I shoved it into my bag again. I would sort through it later.
After one last sweep of the house I locked it back up and returned the key into its hiding spot tapped to the top of the box. I walked down the street, retracing myself until I reached the park. The rest of the way I passed by the Christmas lite trees in the empty park. I sighed and watched my hot breath fog out. An odd and strange smile crept onto my face. It was so amusing how it fluttered out of beautifully in the dead cold.
“What are you smiling at?” I heard an eerily familiar voice say behind me. Chills run up my back as I whipped around. Standing there was Adrian in black jeans, a gray jacket and a light gray beanie. A second later I found myself wrapped up in his warmth. I buried my face into chest and breathed in the smells of cinnamon, cookies, and pine; all of Christmas.
“What are you doing here?” I asked finally looking up at him.
“I owled your friend Lily earlier today and she said you were out, so I’ve been walking around here since seven trying to find you.” he said, flashing me a charming smile.
“What about your family?” I asked. I probably sounded worried but in actuality I was relieved that he was here just for me. My guilt seemed to have been over shadowed by happiness.
“They won’t notice if I steal a few hours with my girlfriend.” He laughed as he bent down and gave me a soft and gently, kiss on the lips. Did he just call me his girlfriend? Girlfriend!
Once he pulled away I was able to respond. “Girlfriend?” I questioned with my most serious face possible.
“Yeah, but only if you want to be.” He rushed immediately blushing on his already red cheeks.
“Yeah I want.” I told him simply as I pulled him down for another kiss.
After a while of walking around, kissing, and more sweet-talking, it reached eleven o’clock and it was seriously late.
“I have to go. I’m really late.” I confessed sadly to him.
“Don’t worry.” he said as he wrapped his arms around me. “I can Apparate remember. I’m seventeen.” He grinned. Suddenly I felt as if I was being shoved through a small tube and I appeared in front of Lily's house.
“How do you know where she lives?” I asked curiously.
“Oh well I came over after I couldn’t find you at first, just in case you came here already. She had given me the directions earlier. Um just so you know; I did kind of leave a little something inside for you.” He grinned embarrassed at me but I didn’t care. I was so happy. Adrian was honestly the sweetest nicest guy I have ever met. No one except my closet friends, Lily and Reg, has ever gone so far out of there way for me. I truly felt lucky to be with Adrian.
I grabbed Adrian’s face and pulled it down to mine. We stood there kissing passionately for what seemed like seconds but in reality was probably five to ten minutes. Once we pulled apart a smile fell on my face again. I couldn’t help it. He was perfect.
“Oh I have a Christmas gift for you.” Adrian said as he reached into the pocket of his jacket. He pulled out a little red box with a black bow. I took it into my hands and opened it. Inside was a simple silver clasp bracelet. Attached to it were little snowflakes. I took it out and looked at it amazed. It was so beautiful and delicate looking. I would surely break it in a day.
“It’s so beautiful.” I gasped. He took it out of my hand and put it on my wrist for me.
“You’re so beautiful.” He smirked and I laughed.
“That’s so cheesy!” I laughed.
“Just take the complement.” He grinned.
“Oh I have something for you too!” I yelped as I dug through my bag. I pulled out a green wrapped present with an obnoxious red bow. He opened it and pulled out a pair of chaser gloves.
“You were telling me how yours were getting ratty.” I explained embarrassed by my gift for him. It seemed so miniscule compared to his but how do you shop for guys. They always make it so difficult with ‘oh I don’t want anything’. Yes you do just say it.
Without a word he pulled me back into a hug and nuzzled his face into my hair. He whispered, “Thanks you so much. I know you probably think that your gift was stupid and means nothing compared to mine because I really do know you well enough now and can tell you that it’s not. I love them.” He told me.
After one more parting kiss I finally walked back to the house. He Disapparated as I climbed the porch to the house. The lights were already off so I walked around the house to the tree on the side. I started to climb up the ice covered branches until I was on the branch that was leveled with Lily’s room window. The lights were already on so I knocked on her window. She opened it and I jumped inside.
“Hey you have some stuff over there from a certain someone.” She cooed. I looked over to my cot where I had been sleeping on since my stay. On there was a bunch of winter orchids and a platter of cookies with a note on top. I walked across the room and read the note.
Hey, in case I don’t get a chance to see you, Merry Christmas. The cookies are from my mom’s insistence so please enjoy them. I thought roses would be too much of a cliché and cheesy so I got orchids for you instead.
-Merry Christmas, Adrian.
I turned to face Lily and she was sitting in her green pajamas watching me closely.
“Adrian and I met up at the park.” I told her and then she started bouncing up and down so I then proceeded to tell her about the night from when I met Adrian. By the end she was practically squealing.
“Aw! He is so sweet! How did such a cynical person like you get with Mr. Hot Romance?” Lily laughed. I rolled my eyes but that was a good question.
“Opposites attract? I don’t know, but I really like him. By the way, never call him Mr. Hot Romance again please.” I confessed.
Her face softens as she got up from her bed and walked up next to me. “Wow you actually have the capacity to love.”
“I wouldn’t exactly call it love Lils.” I said, cracking a smile which she returned. “Not yet at least.”
“That was really sweet of him to get you that.” Lily laughed pointing to my bracelet. “Even if you hate jewelry.”
“Well I like this quite a lot.” I persuaded. “Anyways time for presents!” I yelp and Lily told me to hush up. Her parents are asleep by now. I reach into my bag and pull out an emerald green wrapped present with a black bow. “Be prepared to love me.” I winked as I tossed the gift to her.
She caught it swiftly and started to peel the wrapping off without tearing a single piece. Inside was a white box. She lifted the lid gingerly and took out the tissue paper covering the gift. “Oh Nikki, it’s gorgeous!” Lily marveled as she lifted out the silky green scarf. “I love it” She gasped.
“I thought Sev would like the green on you! Plus it matches your eyes.” I commented, happy that she enjoyed my gift.
“Nikki, you shouldn’t have.” She told me but I cut her off.
“Well I did so you’re going to have to deal with it.” I laughed and she joined me. “Besides if you don’t want it I can take it back.” I threatened.
“Don’t worry I love it.” She winked. “Now you have to open your presents.” She exclaimed as she pointed to the small modest stack of presents that were positioned by my cot.
I kneeled down beside my cot and picked up the first of the four presents. This one was from Lily. I ripped and tore off the silver wrapping paper and stuck the gray bow on my head. I opened the box and inside was a small black book. I flipped through the pages to find it was blank. I looked up at Lily confused.
“Thanks for the empty book.” I told her sarcastically.
“Okay you’re going to think I’m a genius. Write in it.” Lily exclaimed.
I founded a quill and a bottle of ink and wrote inside it. The ink vanished and I looked up at Lily who had a green book with black script on the front that was the same size as mine. She opened it and showed me the inside. It was my handwriting.
“Lily you’re a fucking genius! This is way better than sending notes off across the castle! Plus we could write from anywhere in the world!” I squealed. “Does Saph have one?”
“Yeah hers is blue, mine is green and yours will change color to whatever one you want.”
I looked at the once black book to see that it was Gryffindor red with a gold script that said my name.
“These are amazing.” I commented awe stuck.
“Well open your other presents.” she insisted “We don’t have all night.” We really do but I’m not going to argue with a red head. They are known to have screaming tempers, trust me I know from experience.
I picked up the purple and blue wrapped presented and shredded the wrapping paper until I was down to the white box. I opened it and half groaned and half laughed. Of course this is what Saph would get me. I pulled out a silvery gray mid-thigh dress. It was strapless with a sweetheart neck and tulle tiered. This was pretty much the polar opposite of anything I would wear because I don’t ever wear dresses. I looked at Lily and she just laughed. I shuffled through the papers until I found a piece of parchment with Saph's curvy cursive.
Hey, now you are going to be thanking me later for the gift, trust me. Remember those Slughorn invites you have been ignoring since our third year? Well he has set up a date and has checked with everyone to make sure you can go. He even made no homework that week, practices are cancelled and the teachers are supposed to give you detention on any other night. There is no way out of this one and besides ask Lily, they can be pretty fun. Anyways I got you a dress to wear for it. It is going to be January 27 on a Friday night, your birthday. He wants it to be like a little birthday bash for you, in hopes to win you over so you kind of have to go.
Love You, Saph
I looked up at Lily. “I don’t want to go.” I whined and she gave me a fake apologetic smile before urging me to go for the next present. It was wrapped in a blue wrapping paper with a white bow and scribbled on the side; it said R.A.B, meaning it was from Reg.
After tearing away at the paper I opened the small black box. Inside were a bar of fudge and a slip of paper that says ‘IOU one Milkshake’. I grinned and Lily mumbled something along the lines of ‘Fat ass’. Underneath the slip of paper was a sheet of tissue paper. I removed it and saw that there was a knife. It had a black hilt with a long thin blade with some groove marks. I recognized it to be Black’s. It can open any door even if it is locked. I picked it up and marveled at it.
“What’s that?” Lily asked confused.
“It’s Black’s.” I responded idly and practically incoherently. I picked up a piece of paper next to it. It was scribbled in Reg’s messy scrawl.
My brother left this behind. My parents don’t know that he left it or that I am giving it to him. I don’t expect anything back from him, nor do I want anything. Tell him to think of it as closure and a good bye. I don’t want him in my life anymore.
Merry Christmas to you and by the way on the first Hogsmeade visit when we get back to school I will personally buy you a milkshake.
- Love you (Don’t be a bitch about Christmas). R.A.B.
P.S. I know you are being a bitch about Christmas so don’t fool yourself that you’re not.
I stared at the note and sighed. I handed it to Lily, who read the note then gasped. Reg and Black are finally going to give up on each other. Black doesn’t want to associate himself with a Death Eater and Reg doesn’t want to be related to a blood traitor.
Of course Reg still cares about him but how could he ever show it when they are meant to hate each other. Black cares. I know he does deep down. He would never just give up on Reg. It’s not in his nature to. He may not think it can go back or anything but he still cares even if he pretends not to.
“Wow that was kind of intense feeling.” Lily mumbled. I nodded my head in agreement. “Are you okay?” She asked me.
“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just kind of sad. Plus I rather not be the barer of news on this one or any actually. Not after the fight.” I responded. I looked over at the remaining present. “Let’s finish this up, you look tired.” I grinned.
I reached for the brown paper wrapped present. It looked like it was done hastily and was poorly wrapped. I tore the paper apart and a book fell out. I dusted the mangy book cover and read, Hogwarts, A History. I groaned and showed Lily the book.
“Moody got me a book that I already have!” I exclaimed exasperated.
“Maybe he forgot?” Lily offered.
“Moody? Forget something? If one thing is for sure is Moods never forgets anything. Even if it is the simplest detail and the most obscure thing, he remembers it.” I explained to Lily. She started to flip through the pages.
“Nikki! Nikki! Look at this!” She yelped in shock as she dropped onto the floor next to me. She thrust the book under my face.
I looked at the pages and sure enough someone had written all along in the inside. I gazed amazed by all the notes and diagrams displayed in the margins. Someone even crossed out a few things. But the strange part was, this wasn’t Moody’s handwriting, it was my dad’s.
I flipped to the front cover and sure enough it said, Property of Ares Redwood.
“You got to say, when Moody delivers, he sure as hell makes it worth it.” I laughed with Lily. We laughed together for a while when we were interrupted by an owl pecking at the window. Lily got up and opened it. A brown barn owl flew in and landed on her bed.
Quickly Lily untied the letter from its leg and it flew off. I stared at Lily and she glanced at the letter. “It’s from Remus to us.” Lily announced as she sat down beside me. She opened the letter and we both read.
Nikki and Lily,
This first part is for Lily: Hello, I was wondering if you could help me out with my charms and you’re the best in our class. My parents have been getting on my case to get those better. James says hi and that he wants to go out with you and to know if you have a boyfriend. Sorry I had to write it, he is standing over my shoulder watching me. Anyways, I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and I can’t wait to see you, Nikki and Saph after break.
For Nikki: Hello, I wanted to know how you are doing. Whatever argument you had with Sirius is none of my concern. I am going to stay out of it but I wanted you to know that I hope you still think of me as your friend, despite you altercations with Sirius. He is a pain in the ass a lot and I’m not going to defend him because your arguments go further than that one but maybe if you talk it could heal some open wounds.
Anyways, I am not writing this to force you to tell me but if you need to talk about it, I’m here for you. As you can guess, Sirius has been silent about whatever it is. James is persistent but it’s no use. Whenever James brings it up, it usually ends with Sirius refusing to talk or them stalking off. Whatever happened he is really agitated about it and refuses to enlighten us. It’s scary actually. He tells James everything but not this. It must have been something he is really ashamed of. I hope that is a consolation to whatever happened.
So I also wanted to say Merry Christmas to both and I hope all is well.
Sincerely yours, Remus J. Lupin
P.S. James says Hello and loves you both…
P.S.S. Another thing I forgot to add was Sirius is talking in his sleep and he mentions you, Nikki not Lily.
Lily finished before me and waited for me the finish before looking at me. I just sighed and folded the letter up.
“We can respond to this tomorrow. Come on, let’s sleep. It has been a long day.” I announce as I change and turn off the lights. I instantly laid in my cot and fell asleep. I refused to let Black ruin my almost normal Christmas.
Another chapter done with. Please comment and review. Question: Who likes Nikki and Adrian together? If you don't, who would you pair Nikki with?
Anyways thank you for reading and next chapter will be up hopefully soon.