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Chapter 2 : Truth Doesn't Make A Noise
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You try to tell her what to do
But all she does is stare at you
Her stare is louder than your voice
Because truth doesn’t make a noise
~ Truth Doesn’t Make A Noise ~ The White Stripes ~
“But… Alice!” Perry was the first one to whom the power of speech returned. “You’re only sixteen!”
“I know,” Alice blushed, “But I’ve been in love with Frank since, like, forever. And this summer we spent so much time together and it just felt right.”
“But… you’re not even of age! You can’t get married yet!” Perry protested. I was still too stunned to speak.
“Well, we won’t be getting married just yet… I mean, for that reason. But we spoke to our families and they approve.” This was even more shocking to me than the idea of my best friend getting engaged at the age of sixteen.
“They approved?” I gasped. “I thought your mother didn’t like Frank!”
“Well, she doesn’t. But she said she can’t see the point of trying to talk me out of it, so gave us her blessing.” Perry and I just stared at her wordlessly. I’d almost forgotten Sirius was even there until he spoke:
“Congratulations, Alice. “ He said quietly, and Alice beamed over at him. I simply raised an eyebrow. “What? My parents got married as soon as my mother was seventeen. Merlin knows their marriage has lasted.”
I knew Sirius didn’t have much to do with his family. He was the first Black to ever have been Sorted into Gryffindor (though his cousin, Andromeda, had been put into Hufflepuff a couple of years above us), and he’d always been rebellious against their Pure Blood-mania. I wanted to ask him about this, but had a feeling he wouldn’t want to talk about it.
“Well, thank you, Sirius.” Alice smiled. There was a long silence during which I stared out the window, contemplating this new development. Alice and Frank had been dating since third year- they were real sweethearts. Frank was the only male friend I really had, and I liked him. It wasn’t that I didn’t think he was good enough for Alice because they were perfect together. It just confused me that they were rushing into things. They were both still so young, after all. I couldn’t imagine getting engaged right now- I’d never even had a boyfriend.
The same couldn’t be said for Perry- she’d had tonnes of boyfriends. I knew she’d always fancied Sirius from afar, but being a Ravenclaw, had decided she was above chasing him around the school trying to be noticed. However, I could see that Sirius was definitely going to be flavour of the month. I used to wonder if there was something wrong with me, and that was why boys didn’t notice me at all. But really, I was sure it was just that I never noticed boys. I’d always had my nose in a book, or was thinking about something academic. Life had been sailing over my head the entire time. I knew I wasn’t ugly, even if I wasn’t the most beautiful girl in the world. Nothing distinguished me from the crowd, with my brown hair and brown eyes, but I wasn’t grossly disfigured. Maybe I was just unapproachable; well, that had to change. I looked over at Sirius, and wondered what boys like him noticed about girls that made them interested.
That kind of question was probably best reserved for Frank, however. Sirius might think that I liked him if I asked him something like that. I didn’t want to inflate his already overly large ego.
I looked back over at Alice. She appeared to be deep in thought.
“Are you sure this is what you want?” I asked her. She just looked back at me contentedly, and I let it go. Alice was just too happy to persuade her to think things through.
Frank eventually returned with Remus Lupin in tow. Though I didn’t know him very well, I’d always been fondest of Remus out of the Marauders. He could often be found in the library, and he usually gave me a smile. He was slighter than Sirius or James, with golden hair and gold eyes. He also had light scars covering his skin.
“D’you know where James is?” Sirius called to his friend. I noted that he was the physical opposite of Remus, with dark hair and grey eyes the colour of concrete, with broad shoulders from his years of serving as a Beater for Gryffindor.
“No, I haven’t seen him, but Lily said something about him bugging her as soon as she got onto the Platform. I thought you were living at his anyway?” Remus added, sitting down.
“Yeah. I left home.” Sirius grinned. “But I lost him on the platform. I guess I know why now, if Evans was there.” Lily Evans was a very pretty Gryffindor that everyone knew James Potter was obsessed with. Remus sighed.
“I don’t know where Peter is, either.”
“Probably sniffing around some poor suspecting girl. Bless him, he’s clueless.” Sirius chuckled. Remus frowned and was about to say something in response, but Perry suddenly spoke up excitedly.
“Did Potter get Quidditch Captain for Gryffindor?” Everyone looked at her blankly. Eventually Sirius answered.
“Uh, yeah, he did.”
“Awesome. Frank, you better let me back on the team this year. I owe Potter one for that nasty trick he played in the final last term.” I had almost forgotten Perry was a Quidditch fanatic. She played Seeker for Ravenclaw, and I remembered how James, a Chaser, had swooped out of nowhere and blocked her from getting the Snitch, leaving the path open for Gryffindor’s Seeker, Spinnet, to get it and Gryffindor winning the Cup. Perry had been furious.
“I’ll hold try-outs next week.” Frank, Captain of Ravenclaw, smiled. I saw Sirius turn towards Perry with a whole new gleam in his eyes, and found myself disliking that look.
“NEWT years!” Alice trilled. “Merlin, I am so relieved I passed Transfiguration. I was convinced I wouldn’t.”
“What did you get?” I asked. We were trudging up through muddy grounds towards Hogwarts. It wasn’t raining now, but it obviously had been. Being amongst the whole school was weird, and people kept glancing back at me and whispering.
“Exceeds Expectations, though that isn’t saying much, considering I exceeded expectations by not accidentally killing anyone.” Alice pointed out. I laughed. Transfiguration was the only subject Alice was bad at, but she needed it for her future career as an Auror.
“Oh well, it’s a new year, Miss Prewett.” I smiled.
“I guess so. Oh Merlin, I hope the Sorting is quick, I’m starving.”
Sirius and Remus had eventually found James and Peter, and the four of them were just ahead of us in the Entrance Hall. I scowled at the fact Perry was walking beside them, flirting like mad with Sirius.
“She should be careful,” I muttered to Alice, “She knows about his reputation.”
“This is Perry.” Alice rolled her eyes, “As if that matters to her.”
We sat impatiently through the Sorting, during which Perry’s little brother, Ozzy, was Sorted into Ravenclaw too. I knew that everyone was thinking ‘thank Merlin it wasn’t Slytherin’. Most of the Death Eaters were former Slytherin’s, a commonly known fact which made every new addition to the house the recipient of tense mutters. They were just kids- they couldn’t be evil yet, could they? Finally, the golden dishes filled with food and I found myself eating more food in one sitting than I had since before the kidnapping. Maybe Hogwarts just felt safer, so my appetite had returned. It was hard not to feel safe under the twinkling gaze of Albus Dumbledore.
After dinner, and Dumbledore’s speech, which included an explanation of the extension of the list of banned items, as well as the fact that new protective enchantments had been placed upon the school in light of You-Know-Who’s rise to power. Frank and his fellow sixth year Ravenclaw prefect, a girl I didn’t particularly like by the name of Winnie Corner, rounded up the first years to lead them up to Ravenclaw Tower. Alice, Perry and I followed behind the group. However we were barely at the top of the marble staircase when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and was surprised to find Sirius Black there.
He dragged me back, away from Perry, before she could see he was there. I crossed my arms impatiently as he forced me under the marble staircase, all the way back in the Entrance Hall.
“What?” I demanded.
“Look, I just wanted to say, the way you were talking about what happened over the summer earlier, about looking for the good in it or whatever… I think it’s really cool.” He told me. I stared. “I didn’t want to say it in front of everyone else, because I could tell you didn’t want to talk about it, and I get that. I just thought you should know that I respect you for your attitude.”
“Well, um, thanks.” I said confusedly. We looked at each other for a minute. “It’s kind of late, so…”
“Yeah.” He agreed, and I began making my way back upstairs. The Entrance Hall had emptied out at this point, so other than a couple of lost-looking first years, there was nobody around. “Um, Erin?” I turned back. “I’d like to be friends, you know, with you. You seem cool. And if there’s anything I can ever do to help you with anything… well, let’s just say I’m sorry I never found out your name in Ancient Runes. You’re cool.” He repeated, somewhat nervously.
“Well, thanks. And I’d like to be friends too, I suppose.” Did I? I wasn’t even sure, but it seemed polite.
“Okay. Well. Goodnight then, Erin.”
“Goodnight.” I awkwardly departed, and was relieved when I finally made it to my dormitory.
“Where did you go?” Perry asked me sleepily from her four-poster bed, behind her closed blue hangings.
“Oh, I dropped something.” As I faceplanted my bed, I wasn’t even sure why I was lying.
A/N: Chapter two here! I hope you're liking it so far :)
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