Everything was suddenly revolving around me. I still don’t understand how my legs managed to make it to the door. As I made it outside, the fresh air made me feel as if all my pain had been lifted, but unfortunately that blissful feeling did not last very long and, in a matter of minutes, I was yet again reminded of the pain that engulfed by body.
It was excruciating, and there was only so much I could do to remain standing. My legs wobbled a few steps further off the porch until they gave way, and I fell.
For a while I just lay there, almost lifeless. Then sitting up, I brought my knees up to chest, cupped my face in my hands, and began to breathe heavily, trying to stop the tears that threatened to escape any second.
‘Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry... ‘I kept telling myself, ‘Don’t make her feel like she won. Be strong.’
She let me off easy this time. How generous of you, Mother dearest. You always take care of me so well. Wow, the sarcasm in that statement is so heavy, it’s almost falling out.
“Hey, you okay?” A husky voice made my head shoot up. I snapped my head up so quickly that it made him seem like he had three heads. There were three hands reaching out to help me. Which one do I pick?
‘Okay, Anabelle, focus. Don’t make a fool out of yourself in front of a stranger.’ But, unfortunately, life doesn’t always seem to go my way and I almost fall over as I tried to reach out for one of the blurry, wobbling hands; and of course this made him laugh, actually it seemed that he almost barked, but I let that one slip thinking that I was too dizzy to think straight.
Then there were two warm hands grabbing my arms and pulling me up. I almost fell over again at the sight of everything orbiting around me, but he kept me standing straight.
“Thanks,” I whispered so softly, that for a second I didn’t think he heard me.
“No problem,” he replied before continuing, “Hey, I know you. You go Hogwarts too, don’t you?”
“Yeah, but, I don’t think I recognize you,” I muttered stupidly because my vision was still hazy due to the tears that formed in my eyes.
“That’s okay, I know you, though,” came the reply leaving me completely bemused.
“Right, cause that’s not creepy at all,” was all I was able to manage before he began to laugh again. Slowly, my vision became clearer, and it was only mere seconds before I recognized him. “You’re- “
“Sirius, Sirius Black,” he said as he cut me off, “And you’re Anabelle right? Anabelle Stone?” He questioned, to which all I could give as a reply was a simple nod. “So, you feeling better, or do I keep holding you up?”
“Right, sorry,” I mumbled awkwardly as I escaped his grasp. “Sorry you had to see that, it was just-“
“The cruciatus curse,” He finished for me, almost daring me to agree.
‘Wait, what?! How does he know? I was not going to say that? Was I? Okay, just contradict him, and tell him that he is out of his mind.’
Unfortunately my scrunched up expression gave away my thoughts and before I could retaliate, he cut me off again.
“My mom told me about you guys. Told you I know you. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone your secret if you don’t tell mine; we’re both kind of going through the same thing. I live across the street. I was running out to escape her too, when I saw you looking like you were going to break down any second. It’s nice to meet another Gryffindor ‘blood traitor’,” he said as he spat out the last two words.
I just stood there, speechless, as I absorbed everything he just said. ‘Okay, now I’m confused. I knew the Blacks were deatheaters too, but I didn’t know they were against their children too. Wait, “going through the same thing?"what does he mean?'
“You’re in sixth year too,” to which he simply nodded, waiting for me to continue, “We’ve never spoken before, so why talk to me now? And why tell me your dark secret, when you barely know me?” I questioned whilst raising my eyebrow.
“Well I guess sometimes unexplainable things just happen. Look, I’m trying to help and I’m guessing, you don’t want to go back inside just yet, so do you want to go walk to the lake. I’ll explain everything, I swear.”
For some reason, I didn’t want to refuse this offer, and so nodded in acceptance, receiving a wide grin in return.
We had walked in silence for ten minutes till we reached the lake. Surprisingly, it wasn’t awkward; we simply strolled in comfortable silence. So many questions occupied my mind, threatening to explode out at any minute.
Relief spread through my entire body as I splashed the water with my feet, waiting for his reply.
“Well, I’m guessing you have a lot questions you want to ask me, so, how about a game of twenty questions?”
“Sounds good; okay, why help me out?” I asked the first coherent statement that I could fully register.
“Oh, you know. I was just going for a peaceful stroll when I saw you, and playing fairy-god mother is sort of my thing,” he replied with a smirk playing at his lips.
“No, I am. Thought I mentioned that a little while ago. You can’t be me. I’m too awesome.” he retorted his smirk widened, and I wanted nothing more than to wipe it right off.
“Nope, I don’t see it,” Blatantly eyeing him up and down, and then bursting out laughing at his offended expression.
“Alright, smart-ass, my turn. Why does you mom torture you?” And just like that the atmosphere got denser. Such a simple question, yet it made my nerves jump and my body to stiffen.
“I think you already know the answer to that,” I attempted weakly.
“I know, but I need you to say it.”
“Voldemort; they want me to join him. I know your parents want you to as well, that’s why she does it isn’t it? Torture you I mean?” To which he simply nodded. “Alright my turn, why were you running?”
“My answer is the same as yours,” a reply I understood all too well, and accepted.
Life in the Stone house-hold is not exactly the most desired of life styles. My parents are deatheaters, if you haven’t figured that much out already. They want me to join, but I refuse to fight along-side a murderer. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only reason my parents do not approve of who I am. I am a Gryffindor, and a bloody proud one at that.
I was apparently a “blood-traitor”, and now I finally found someone who understood me. There is one good thing that came out of encounters with my mother, I train harder. In private, I practice dueling, practice standing up to her; to them. No one knows it, but if you duel with me you would realize I am a lot stronger than I show myself to be.
“Ever thought about leaving?” This question caught me off-guard, and I questioned spilling everything out to a boy I had– technically- just met. Before I came up with a decision he continued, “I have, I just can’t, not for long anyway. I don’t exactly have anywhere else to go.”
“Well, can’t intrude their privacy for too long can I?” He replied with a chuckle. “Now answer my question.”
“I have, countless times. I’m just not sure if I can, or should. I could go to my Uncle’s, he married a muggle and I have only seen him once in my life. He didn’t want anything to do with us after my parents became deatheaters,” I answered Sirius’ questioning look, and then continued, “I can go looking for him, but I can’t leave my sister alone with them, she’s too young.”
“Your sister is a squib, isn’t she?”
“No.” And just like that I revealed another one of my darkest secrets. “That’s just what I made everyone believe. Please, don’t tell anyone! Only one other person knows so far. She can do magic, it’s just when she first started, my parents weren’t there to witness it, and I was scared that if they thought she was magical then they would try to recruit her too, as she grew up, or maybe even before that. So, I told her to hide it, and made them believe that she was a squib. Which of course, put more pressure on me to not let them down.”
“Shit. I mean… shit.”
“You certainly have a way with words, don’t you?” I mocked, resulting in having water being splashed at my face. When I turned around to hit him, I was stopped again with more water being thrown at me, followed by a long, barking laugh.
Then, I did what any other mature, level-headed person would do. I pushed the boy laughing like a seal on crack further into the lake, so that now he was sitting in the freezing cold water. I couldn’t help but stick my tongue at his shocked expression, and then continued the roar of laughter that escaped my lips. “Don’t mess with me, Black.”
“You’re going to pay for that, Stone,” came the retaliation as he picked himself up, water dripping from his pants and the hem of his t-shirt.
“Ooh, I’m terrified,” I mocked whilst slowly moving backwards.
“You should be,” he said before he began to chase me.
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