Okay so i'm not really happy with this chapter at all, please let me know if it feels a bit rushed?
THREE – Turning Into An Emotional Wreck
Over the next few days Effie would catch herself thinking about her parents. She’d force herself to push them out of her mind. There was no point dwelling on it. At night while she was asleep, however, it was much more difficult to keep them away. She let her guards down when she was asleep and her mind wandered.
It was sunny. One of the last few weeks of summer and even in the evening the air was still warm. Effie had been out walking in the fields near their house. Everything was in full bloom and she could lie on the grass for hours watching the clouds go by.
She’d walked back to the house for dinner. She pushed open the gate and made her way up the path, but reaching the front step, she frowned. Usually she could hear pots and pans being stirred and the wireless playing in the background, but when she stepped through the front door everything was silent. Something was wrong.
Even then, she knew. In the sinking of her stomach and the clenching of her heart, she knew.
She took slow steps through the hall to the kitchen.
She could hear her heart pounding in her ears.
The door was open and she only had to peer in to see it: Her father was lying still on the floor.
Not moving. Not breathing.
Her breath caught in her throat as her eyes fell on his lifeless face, eyes staring wide open-
Effie woke panting, her breathing panicked, the memory still burning in her mind. She had involuntarily sat up as soon as the cry escaped her lips and as she looked around she saw Rose, Frankie and Daryl staring at her.
Forcing herself to take deep breaths to slow her frantic heart rate, she glared at them defensively “What?” She snapped and they immediately turned away, looking alarmed.
She got out of bed on shaky legs and marched off into the bathroom to shower. She didn’t really care what the other girls thought, they could think what they liked about her. Everyone else did. Besides, it wasn’t the first nightmare she’d woken from shouting. It had happened several times since they started sixth year so they should be used to it by now.
None of them were stupid enough to mention it.
She got dressed quickly and left the dorm in a foul mood, hexing a Ravenclaw from her year when he bumped into her in the corridor. She sat away from James at Breakfast and when he slid down to talk to her she told him she was in a bad mood and to “Piss off if you know what’s good for you, Potter”.
He surveyed her glaring eyes, lips formed in a tight line and her wand held in a clenched fist before deciding that doing as she asked was definitely the best route to take. She was in a fierce mood and she would not hold back from hexing him just because he was her only friend.
To make matters worse she overheard some girls in her year muttering that they had clearly had a lover’s tiff, after watching James sidle back to his friends. Effie only restrained herself from sending a hex their way too because Professor Murdock had been passing by and she couldn’t take another evening in detention with her.
The nightmare had brought back fresh feelings of pain, Effie never let herself get sad or upset though and instead she just got angry. She was in a bad mood all day, glowering at anyone who so much as looked at her. James knew her well enough to just leave her to get it out of her system, so he left her to it and in the evening he had Quiditch practice so she sat in an armchair in the Common Room on her own.
She could feel eyes watching her. One of James’s seventh year friends, Blake, actually approached her and asked if she was okay. She swore at him and he returned to his friends. Effie saw Fred Weasley shake his head at Blake and say “I told you.”
Not long after, while she was busy scowling at her own fingernails, a fourth year accidentally walked into the chair she was sitting on.
“Watch where you’re bloody going!” She barked loudly, causing everyone within a five metre radius to turn and stare at her while the fourth year whimpered and ran away.
Eventually she got bored of the wary looks everyone was casting her way so she got up and marched out of the Common Room and up to the Astronomy Tower. She went and sat out on the balcony, her chin resting on her knees as she stared out at the night, ignoring the slight chill that bit through her insubstantial t-shirt and jeans combo. At least she was wearing shoes this time.
From here she could just about make out the grounds below, illuminated by the fading orange glow of the sun. It was peaceful and quiet and she felt calmer already now that there were no nosy buggars watching her.
Gradually the sun got lower and the sky faded from pink to dark blue. Effie vaguely noted that this was a very cliché thing to do – watching the sun set. But she decided it was not romantic like all books would suggest, in fact she found it rather lonely. As if the world was empty and she was watching the life of it fade away into darkness. She stared out at the vast darkness and felt hollow inside.
It took her a while to notice that someone had entered behind her. She was not overly surprised to see Scorpius come and sit beside her.
He looked at her intently, frowning slightly as if he was trying to work her out. He studied her face, and she stared right back into his eyes. After a moment he spoke, quietly.
“I know about your parents” he said.
Effie couldn’t hide her alarm. Her heart pounded and she froze. Nobody was supposed to know. She had made sure that no one at the school knew about that, with the exception of the Headmaster, who had been informed by the ministry and Effie had asked him to keep it a secret.
So how the bloody hell did this Slytherin find out?!
“It’s okay” he said quickly “I’m not going to tell anyone”
She narrowed her eyes “How did you find out?”
Scorpius pulled out that day’s edition of the Daily Prophet and Effie’s heart sank. He flicked through a couple of pages until he came to an article where a moving picture of Effie’s mother being escorted out of the court room to Azkaban was centre of the page.
The heading read: Life Sentence For the Woman Who Murdered Her Husband.
Effie’s chest welled up with panic as she stared at the article.
“Don’t worry, I doubt anyone else will have made the connection. Initially the only reason I spotted it was because you look very like your mother” Scorpius said.
Effie looked at him “You’ve just told me I look like a murderer, way to flatter a girl.”
He gave a weak smile “It names her as Isis Kendrall and although it does say that your father’s name was Cassian Addler, it doesn’t name you. It just says his body was found by their daughter” His face became one of concern “Effie why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“How do you know I didn’t?” Effie replied.
He raised his eye brows “You didn’t. I can tell”
Effie sighed “Why would I tell anyone, what good would that do?”
“You lost both your parents in one day. The fact that it was your mother who killed him must have made your father’s death even worse to deal with” Scorpius said softly “you shouldn’t have had to go through that alone.”
“But I did and I have” her eyes were hard as she looked at him.
He watched her for a moment before speaking again “It says here that the trial was a few days ago but that the actual crime was committed on August the 20th of last year. You went back to school just under two weeks later.”
Effie nodded. She had no words. Her throat was tight and if she hadn’t been stuck, unable to move from the pain, she would have got up and walked out.
Scorpius shifted closer to her and wrapped his arm around her, pulling her in against him and saying softly “Effie, I’m sorry. I can’t imagine going through that.”
For the first time in six months Effie cried, just like that.
She let the tears she’d been holding back since she started her sixth year at Hogwarts roll down her cheeks as Scorpius held her.
Even though her brain was telling her it wasn’t a good idea to get so close to him and allow herself to be so vulnerable, the human contact felt good. She’d realised months ago that random hook-ups, snogging guys in broom cupboards, did not make her feel better.
But his arm around her, his hand stroking her hair- it was the comfort she’d needed for the months she’d spent alone. It made her feel safe.
They sat like that for a very long time, not speaking. He just held her until her tears ran out.
The night had gotten colder and Effie gave an involuntary shiver. Scorpius frowned, looking down to see her arms were covered in goose bumps, her skin cold.
“Here, take this” He slipped off his jacket and placed it round her shoulders, guiding her hands through the sleeves. Effie couldn’t remember the last time she felt so fragile.
“What about you?” She managed to argue, looking up at him.
He smiled and indicated that he had a thin knit jumper on over his t-shirt anyway “Some of us come a bit more prepared” he smiled.
She sighed. Her usually tough, strong and cold exterior had melted away leaving a frightened and lonely young girl in its place. She needed someone to look after her.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Scorpius offered “It might help for you to let it out since you’ve been keeping it all bottled up for so long”
Effie swallowed “I don’t know what to say.”
“What happened?” He asked.
Effie thought about this. Somewhere in the back of her mind a voice was telling her that there was a reason she’d never told anyone about this before. But Scorpius made her feel safe and strangely, she trusted him.
“My Mum and Dad had been arguing for a while. I came home for the summer holidays and things were different. They were more tense” Effie said, her voice wavering slightly “my Mum was an author. She wrote about Defence Against the Dark Arts – she’s helped write some of our text books”
Scorpius nodded “The article mentioned it”
“But Dad was starting to get worried about her. He said she was getting too absorbed in her work, that she was getting carried away with the experiments she was doing, studying new spells... I didn’t really know what was going on. They argued about it. Dad kept saying she needed to distance herself, that it wasn’t healthy. She said he was just jealous, because he wasn’t a recognised expert.
“I thought they’d work through it. They’ve gotten through things in the past, but one day, a few weeks before school started, I came home and he-” The words choked in her throat “he-he was d-dead” Effie let out a sob and Scorpius’ arm wound round her again.
“My Mum, sh-she was just sitting there. She h-had her w-wand in her hand” Effie told him “they took her away and I haven’t – haven’t seen her since.”
“Where did you go? Do you have family?” He asked softly.
“My Dad’s sister came round to see me a few times but I stayed on my own, she doesn’t like to look at me because I remind her of my Mum” Effie replied.
Scorpius frowned “You stayed on your own?”
She nodded “My aunt offered for me to stay with her but she was grieving too so I just stayed in the house. It’s been sold now though so I suppose I’ll have to find somewhere else to stay in the holidays – I can’t stay with my aunt and have her averting her eyes from me all the time”
Scorpius looked like he was struggling to comprehend what she’d just told him “You mean to say – these past holidays and Christmas, you were on your own? You spent Christmas on your own?” He looked mortified.
“Really, it’s no big deal. You know me, I’m not a people person. I preferred to be on my own” Effie said, forcing an unconvincing smile.
Scorpius didn’t buy it. He shook his head “That’s why you don’t talk to anyone, why you have that cold exterior, you don’t want to get hurt” he stated, daring her to disagree.
Effie looked at the ground “Well, can you blame me?”
Scorpius looked sad “I don’t think I could ever blame you for anything ever again. But Effie, you’ve always been like that – with that fierce exterior that scares everyone from coming near you. Ever since first year you’ve pushed people away.”
Effie looked at him for a long moment, taking a deep breath “Would you believe me if I told you that my parents weren’t the first people who I cared about that I lost?”
Scorpius’ jaw dropped “Oh Merlin...”
Effie’s expression became hard “Things were always a little tenuous in my house, the reason both my parents threw themselves into their work – Mum in particular – was that they’d already lost a child” She took another deep breath, bracing herself for the words she’d never uttered to anyone before:
“I had a twin sister.”
Thank-you for reading, please review and let me know what you think because i'm really not sure about this chapter, it feels really rushed so let me know if you think i should change the way Effie's big secret is revealed. ALSO this chapter is short because initially this one and the next one were both together but it was too much to just cram in so... you'll have to wait to read the next depressing revelation about Effie.