Chapter 1 : Let's Start With A Heartbreak
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Sirius Black put a sympathetic look on his face and reached over to put his muscular arms around me. I kept my own arms pinned to me sides. I felt like I’d had all the life sucked out of me. My world was coming crashing down around me.
“…I just don’t like you in that way.”
I thought that I might have had a chance, a chance with a boy like Sirius Black. Obviously not.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran. Away from Sirius Black; the boy I’d liked since second year, too sexy for his own good. I had been living in a fantasy for years, time to face reality. He didn’t fancy me. I ran far from the maple tree next to the lake where I’d asked him to meet me. It had been the perfect place. I’d planned it all, it would be a picturesque moment. We’d end up kissing in the late summer sun. It’d be a fairy tale. But of course, in the real world, nothing goes to plan.
Tears streaming down my face, I ran to the one place I could always count on for alone time, the first floor girls’ bathroom, the one Myrtle haunted. No one ever came there. They despised Myrtle, I didn’t mind her. I’d been coming there since first year when I was picked on for being Muggle born. Now, in sixth year, I felt like I needed the comfort of this place more than ever. I know, dirty bathroom = comforting? Not exactly what you’d think, but it was a special place for me.
I’d confessed my love for Sirius Black. The boy I’d thought had fancied me back. He’d always seemed like more than just a good friend, the way he flirted shamelessly with me.
“Ooh, someone break your heart? How terrible,” said Myrtle sarcastically. Sometimes I didn’t know why I put up with her, she wasn’t exactly supportive.
“Myrtle. You’re. Not. Helping,” I said, trying to control my sobs.
Suddenly Myrtle softened, “Well, at least you’re not dead. I’d love to be in your place right now.” This was Myrtle trying to be comforting. She didn’t hate me too much, as I came to visit her every so often and we shared something in common, Ravenclaw house.
Myrtle tried to pat me on the back, but her hand just went right through me, sending shivers up my spine. I stopped myself from complaining, ghosts couldn’t help having well below zero temperatures.
“Was it a boy?” asked Myrtle curiously, hovering beside the closed toilet I was sitting on.
“Uh huh, Siri- Sirius Black,” I choked out. I was getting better at controlling my tears now. I blew my nose noisily on some toilet paper.
“Oh, he’s a tosser,” exclaimed Myrtle, trying to cheer me up by bitching about him.
I laughed despite my tears, “That’s the thing. He really isn’t.”
I vacated my seat on the toilet and walked over to the dusty bathroom mirror and took in my reflection. My thick, dark chestnut coloured hair fell down my chest and over my Prefect badge and Ravenclaw crest in loose, pretty curls. My green-blue eyes were watering and pink from crying as were my cheeks. My black eyelashes stuck together with salty tears. I wiped my eyes with another wad of toilet paper and fixed my hair. Then, just to be sanitary I washed my hands in the abandoned sink. I said a quick thank you and goodbye to Myrtle and headed out of the bathroom door just as the bell went for dinner. ‘Pull yourself together now, Stella. Be strong,’ I told myself over and over in my head. For some reason this made me want to cry more. I was so emotional today. I wasn’t normally like this.
I kept my head low as I walked into the Great Hall, I didn’t want Sirius, or anyone else for that matter, to see my tears. I didn’t get into the hall unnoticed, as I saw James Potter and Remus Lupin staring at me from the Gryffindor table. I also saw Sirius smack them both. They’d obviously been told to have a look to see how I was doing, but not to stare. I smiled despite myself; the smack was such a Sirius thing to do. Peter Pettigrew was gorging himself on chicken and potatoes. He was part for their little group too, but he mostly just followed them around and laughed at James’s jokes. He probably hadn’t even noticed anything was wrong; he was a bit slow.
I took my place at the Ravenclaw table between Xenophilius Lovegood and Abigail Samson. Abi was my best friend and I’d told her in good spirits that I was going to tell Sirius today. She’d obviously be awaiting my news.
As I’d suspected Abigail saw my crestfallen face and weeping eyes and knew that it had not gone well, “Spill, honey.”
“Later,” I whispered as half of Ravenclaw house was inconspicuously listening in to hear the reason for my sadness.
From beside me Xeno Lovegood said quietly, “You’re too good for him anyway.”
Everyone seemed to know that I had a massive crush on Sirius, but Xeno was one of the few (not including Abi) I’d told the details of it to. Xeno was an odd boy. He had light blonde waist length hair that I often did elaborate hairstyles with, especially plaits, and gave off a slightly loony vibe. He had very dark eyes which stood out very much from the best of him, which was very much pale. His eyebrows were so pale blonde that they were hardly visible. He seemed to be in his own world most of the time. It was not unusual to be unusual in Ravenclaw house. He was a friend and I gave him a one-armed hug, “Thank you. But I’m not sure that’s the case.” Sirius Black was the second most popular boy in the school, James Potter being the first.
I had a fair few people approach me, asking me if I was okay on my way back to Ravenclaw Tower after dinner. My pink eyes and cheeks had cleared up by this time so I was able to give a rather convincing “I’m fine” and a smile. Gossip travelled much too fast in this school. Sirius rejecting me wasn’t that much of a big deal, at least for everyone but me and my close friends.
I heard fast-paced footsteps slapping on the wooden corridor floor coming up behind me. “Stella! Stella Anderson!” I swirled around and came face to chest with the very person I’d been dreading talking to, Sirius Black himself. Strange, because a few hours ago I would have given anything to have him approach me like this, but now, I just wanted to run from him.
“Can- can I talk to you?” he stuttered. This was the first time I’d seen Sirius Black, master of cool and calm, so flustered.
“Sure. I’m listening,” I said, trying to keep my heart at a steady pace and stop my face from going red. Too late, my heart was already racing and my cheeks were burning. Ugh.
“Your, uh, friends,” Sirius looked from me to Xeno and Abi.
I turned to my loyal friends, “I’ll meet you back in the common room, soon.”
They both gave me a smile and Sirius a glare; though they knew he couldn’t really help not fancying me, and began walking down the corridor together.
“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Look, you’re beautiful and we’re great friends –well, I think we still are- but, I just don’t like you that way.” Sirius looked genuinely sorry.
“It’s okay, really. Yes, I’d still like to be friends. And thank you, you’re not too shabby yourself,” I winked him because everyone knows that Sirius Black is so far from “not too shabby”. He was gorgeous. In my heart I wanted to be so much more than good friends, but I guess that would have to do. I just had to accept that.
“Well, thank you for being so understanding.”
I suddenly grinned, “You’re much too formal, you tosser. Give me a hug.”
Sirius hugged me close to his chest and my heart and mind longed for the hug to last for eternity. It didn’t.
“Well, I’d better go. See you tomorrow,” Sirius gave me a dazzling smile and went to join his friends, who were waiting.
The light and happiness that Sirius had brought with him left as he did. I began walking away down the corridor away from the chatter of my fellow students. I turned around to look for Sirius; he’d gone. There was only one person standing where Sirius previously was; Remus Lupin.
I didn’t know Remus awfully well but I did know he was the sensible one of James’s little gang. He was smart, kind, quite quiet (well, compared to James and Sirius) and he was a Prefect. I’d talked to him quite a bit come to think of it, but I was always too engrossed in Sirius to think much about him. He was quite good looking in a messy, quiet sort of way. He had light brown hair and golden brown eyes. He had long, deep scars along his face, I didn’t know how he had got them, but they’d been there almost as long as I could remember. He was slender and a bit taller than me, and he had a slightly worn out look to him, like he couldn’t be bothered fighting anymore.
Remus simply smiled at me, then came over.
“Hi,” he said.
Then he *hugged me, tight and out of the blue. It was just what I needed and nothing like I was expecting. For a guy that fist came across as undoubtedly slim; he was surprisingly muscular. I held on tight to him and cried. I just started bawling right then and there. I buried my head in his chest and he stroked my hair. He stayed like that for what could have been minutes, could have been hours.
“This seems like such a stupid thing to cry over. A boy,” I said, still in Remus’s arms.
I heard Remus laugh a little into my hair, “You calling boys stupid?”
I giggled. “Not all boys.”
“No. Not even him. It’s not his fault,” I sighed.
“Maybe he’s just not the boy for you,” said Remus quietly, I thought I could hear a subtle hint in his calm voice.
“Maybe,” I said wistfully.
As I walked back into the Ravenclaw common room that night I was immediately pounced on by Abi and Xeno. “What happened? Tell us everything!” said Abi, practically jumping up and down.
Many Ravenclaws were looking up curiously as we entered. The very gorgeous but arrogant Gilderoy Lockhart (a 6th year) was slowly edging his armchair closer to the three of us. He was a real gossip. Kingsley Shacklebolt; a very smart boy with dark skin and beautiful eyes, was hovering nearby, taking a very unconvincing interest in his book on muggle technology.
“Can we go somewhere else?” I asked, Xeno and Abi looked around to see all the watching eyes.
“Sure, Xeno’s dorm,” said Abi heading in the direction of the staircase leading to the boys’ dorms. Xeno and I followed. Abi sometimes just invited herself in to places.
Once we were all seated comfortably on Xeno’s bed in the empty dorm, Abi interrogated me again, “What happened?”
“Sirius talked to me.”
Abi’s dark eyes glared at me furiously out from under her curtain of black hair, “What’d he say, you numpty?”
I rolled my eyes, “He still doesn’t like me if that’s what you’re thinking. We just talked and then hugged. That’s all.”¬
“Anything else happen?” asked Abi, suspicious of me.
I thought of Remus and decided not to mention it. “No.”
“Liar!” Abigail jumped up for effect, “Gilderoy saw you with Remus Lupin!”
“Oh, that,” I pretended I had forgotten, “That was nothing.”
“You like Sirius!” Abi accused, “Not Remus! What’s gotten into you? You can’t just go around snogging random guys!”
Xeno had kept quiet this whole time and was silently plaiting his long hair.
I almost snorted with laughter. Abigail look appalled, “What?”
“Snog him? Remus? Is that what Lockhart told you he’d seen? We just hugged, that was all! He was being comforting.”
Abigail burst into peals of laughter, “Sorry! I should have known what Lockhart’s like.”
Abi hugged me and we both giggled. Xeno looked at us like we were psycho, “Girls are strange…”
That just made us giggle all the more.