Chapter 1 : stick-on shadows
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CI BY SJOEKS@TDA
He used to sit outside my window. In the balcony. Just watching. He used to sit outside my window. In the balcony. Just watching.
He would sit and he would stare and no one but I could see him. He used to sit and listen and watch. He watched with his dull eyes and grey skin. He watched with his pointy nose and red hair. He watched with his strange clothes and his strange hat. Every part of him sat and watched. He didn't say a word and I didn't speak to him after the first time.
He seemingly came from out of thin air. One minute he wasn't there and the next he was and I screamed. He moved around me and wrapped an arm around my waist and a hand slapped on my mouth. He shushed me until I was quiet. Tears ran down my face and he turned me around and wiped them away. We moved backwards onto the bed and I sat in his lap and cried.
I was scared.
I tried to speak, but I no words came out. I tried to get up and run away. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. He tightened his grip and when I stopped struggling he mopped up my tears with a handkerchief from his pocket, and then tucked me into bed. I gripped the necklace my parents gave me. I held it so tightly in my fist willing it to lul me to sleep. I didn't want to see him anymore.
He went into the balcony and sat down to face me. He sat and he watched until I fell asleep. When I woke up the next day he was gone. I thought I was seeing things.
He came back in the afternoon. He walked from the far end of the balcony, as if he has been there the whole time, and sat down to face me. He sat and he watched as I tried to go to him. He shook his head once and pointed to my dolls. I went to my doll house and carried on playing, every so now and then looking back up to see him sitting and watching. He sat and watched with his expressionless face.
I was scared. I pulled at my necklace.
I tried to tell Mother once. I dragged her into my room and pointed at the balcony where he sat and watched me. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. Mother didn't see him and scolded me for telling lies and told me not to fuss with my necklance. I would break it, otherwise, she said and then she went away.
I tried to tell Bella once. I dragged her into my room and pointed at the balcony where he sat and watched me. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. Bella didn't seem him and scolded me for telling lies and left.
I tried to tell Dom once. I dragged her into my room and pointed at the balcony where he sat and watched me. He had left. Dommie, not seeing anything, smiled and kissed my forehead and told me to tell her when he came back. Then she left.
I was scared. I pulled at my necklace.
He came back in the morning and I went to get Dommie again. I dragged her into my room and pointed at the balcony. Then I pulled her towards the French doors and opened them and stood opposite him. I told her he was sitting right there and he had weird clothes and red hair and brown eyes. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. She gave me a weird look and told me to wait. I thought she had finally seen him.
I sat down in the other chair and watched him watching me, holding my necklace and pulling the pendant back and forth on its chain.
"My sister can see you now." I told him.
"No, she canít. I have special magic so she canít see me. Watch when she comes back."
That was the first thing he said to me in a month since he had first arrived.
"Why don't you want anyone to see you?"
"Because I donít want them to. They're not special."
He had a very strange voice. It was quite deep but he only looked a few years older than her. Maybe that was enough of an age gap. She felt very little in his presence.
"Why do you watch me all the time?"
"Because youíre special."
I thought that was a good thing. Maybe he wanted to be friends. I let my necklace drop and placed my hands on my lap instead.
"What's your name?"
"Peter. What's yours?"
"I like you, Narcissa."
I paused for a minute and smiled at him. "I like you, too."
I looked to the door and saw Dommie and Mother watching Peter and I. I waved at them and beckoned them. They both looked very confused. Mother didn't look very happy with me. That was okay. Peter liked me now.
"Narcissa, who were you talking to?"
I looked across from me where Peter was sitting and he smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. He had been right. They couldnít see him.
"I was talking to Peter. We made friends," I said, with a smile. I don't lie. There's no reason to lie.
"Okay...where's Peter now, Narcissa?" My mother asked me with a very confused look.
"Sitting in the chair opposite me," I said, looking back at the chair. "Itís okay, he says he wants to be friends."
Mother didn't look very happy and took out her wand and said some words and I turned to look back at Peter. He gave me a wave and got up from the chair and disappeared before my eyes. I looked back at Mother and she was confused. Dom asked her why it hadnít worked and that was proof that Peter was magical in a very strange way.
I wasn't so scared after that.
Peter kept coming and watching and sitting in the balcony. He came at different times and I didn't know when. Sometimes he was already there if I had gone out with Mother. Sometimes he'd just walk in as I was going to bed. I didn't mention him to Mother anymore. Or Bella. Or Dom.
Peter didn't like talking very much so I didn't want to bother him. I let him watch me. I like him, so itís okay.
One day Mother did see him. She screamed and pulled out her wand at his motionless face. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. My Mother was very angry. I got up from my bed and tried to tell her it was okay, but she didn't listen. She flicked her wand and I screamed. When I looked back into the balcony Peter had gone. Shattered glass was on the carpet, and Mother was upset. I was upset. I broke my necklace.
"Has that boy been here before?"
"Why didn't you tell me about it!" she said, shaking me. I was scared.
"I did. That time when Dom came to get you and brought you into the balcony."
She was shocked. I wasn't surprised. That had been two years ago. Mother went to find Father.
Father came back and told me a bedtime story. Then he went and sat near the window and watched outside. This time Peter was sitting at the opposite end of my room. He was on top of the drawers. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. I fell asleep.
Father came back the next night and and put my necklace back around my neck, no longer broken. Try not to break it next time, he said sternly and then he smiled and told me a bedtime story. Then he went and sat near the window and watched outside. This time Peter was sitting right next to him. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. I fell asleep.
Father came back the next night and he told me a bedtime story. Then he came and lay down in bed with me, but was still watching the window. This time Peter was sitting by the door. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. I fell asleep.
Father didn't come back the next night and Peter stayed in my room. He watched me play with my dolls. He watched me work on my lessons from my tutor. He watched me disappear from my room and into the bathroom with my pyjamas with me.
Sometimes he would want to talk to me and asked me a little about my lessons and my family and my friends. I told him about magic and the guests that came to the dinner parties that were held frequently. I told him about Bella and Dommie and Sirius and Regulus. He seemed pleased.
"Why did you come to me?" I ask him one day while I'm brushing my hair.
"Because you're special,"
"Yes, I know that," I replied with some impatience. That was his usual reply. "But why am I special? What does it mean to you that I'm special?"
"You'll see soon,"
He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. "Promise."
That was the end of that.
One day, my mother saw Peter again. She screamed and tried to chase him. I screamed and tried to chase her. She pulled out her wand and jabbed it into the air, but she missed. Peter was gone. Mother ran to get Father and Dommie and Bella came to sit with me.
"Who is this boy you keep seeing?" They asked me.
"Itís Peter. He's my friend. Stop trying to hurt him! Why do you keep doing it?" I started to cry.
"Peter isn't supposed to be here, darling. Peter's not your friend." They kept saying it and I kept refusing them. I tried to get away from them all, but they held me back and I wouldnít stop struggling.
Father went and gave me a calming draught. Then they moved me out of my room and I cried until the early hours. Then Peter came back. He shushed me until I was quiet. Tears ran down my face and he pulled me up from the floor of the guest room and wiped them away. We moved backwards onto the bed and I sat in his lap and cried.
I was scared.
I tried to speak, but no words came out. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting. He mopped up my tears with a handkerchief from his pocket and then tucked me into bed. Then he lay on top of the duvet and I fell asleep with my necklace in my fist.
When I woke up he was still there.
"Why do they see you more now?" I whispered to him. He was lying on his back and staring at the ceiling. He didn't look at me.
"My magic is wearing off," he replied after a while.
"Why did they say you're not supposed to be here?"
"Because they don't understand how special you are."
Then he did something weird. He took my hand and threaded his fingers through my own. We lay there for a long time not saying anything, but then Peter suddenly got up. He smiled, but it was subtle and fleeting and then he disappeared.
Mother came in just then and asked me how my night was. She asked if Peter came back. I looked at the window, where he had disappeared and then shook my head.
"He didn't come back." I whispered, and then I turned away from her.
When I came back from my morning lessons with my tutor, he was sitting on the guest room bed. He looked at me with his expressionless face and then patted the bed. I sat on top and he held my hand like he did in the morning. He didn't say anything else.
Peter didn't want to talk much anymore. He did say that he was going to tell me really soon why I was special. So that was okay. I don't mind him not talking to me, because I like Peter. I don't want to lose him. He's my best friend.
After a month Mother and Father said I could move back in my room. They had done something strange to it. It felt weird. Like the air was to warm to breathe in and things had been moved. I didn't like it very much. They ruined it. But it was okay. That day Peter smiled at me properly and it was the best thing in the world.
He said he would get to tell me any day now. Then he kissed me. I smiled back at him.
Peter didn't come back for a month. At first I wasn't worried - sometimes he wouldn't come for a week and that was okay, because he said he had to do some things after he came back. But then I got worried. Too much time had passed that he wasnít there. I almost didn't know how to function without being there. He was like my conscience, my shadow. I couldn't eat. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't concentrate. I sat in my room and waited. I sat by the door where he had. I sat on my drawers as he had. I sat on his side of the bed. I sat at the window. I sat in the balcony and I watched and I waited.
I was sad. I was worried. I was scared. I broke my necklace.
Maybe Peter didn't like me anymore. Maybe I wasn't special. Maybe I stopped being special. I wasn't sure which one it was. I just knew that Peter that he hadnít come back. I lost my best friend.
Mother and Father didn't know what was wrong and I wasn't going to tell them. Peter, according to them, shouldn't have come back after I had moved into the guest room. But they didn't understand. He was my best friend and he wouldn't hurt me. Not intentionally. At least, at the time, I didn't think he would.
They got fed up with me at first, and then everyone got worried. All of them would pile into my bedroom at least one night a week and they'd read to me and they would talk and they would try to make me happier. I liked having them all together and getting along, but it wasn't enough. I missed Peter. I needed Peter back, but he wasn't coming back and I didn't know what to do without him there. He had been part of my life for four years and now he had gone without a trace.
After a while, when I wasn't getting any better Mother and Father took me to St. Mungos'. That was when they stuck a needle in me after I refused to take any food or potions. They put something weird and cool and I felt it seeping through my veins and then... and then after a while it didn't feel so bad anymore.
I saw Peter just then. Just before I closed my eyes. He smiled like he usually does and it was subtle and fleeting and I fell asleep.
AN: So, what did you think? Are you confused? Intrigued? Anything that needed clearing up? Let me know in a review. :-)