AN - Hi guys, I hope you enjoy chapter two of this story! Please be warned there are some pretty gruesome ideas in this - you've been warned! If you do get through this story it would mean the world to me if you could leave a review, I love reading each and every one of them.
Snow White belongs to The Brothers Grimm and Romeo & Juliet belongs to William Shakespeare. Anything else you recognise will belong to the amazing JK.
It had been a few days since Lydia had spent the night talking to Sirius about being him being a wizard. She felt like she had been walking around in a dream since, trying to come to terms with everything he had told her. She’d found herself carefully scrutinising everyone who came into the shop, trying to decide if they were really who they appeared to be, or if they’d spent their life performing magic spells and brewing potions at school. It was so much to wrap her mind around.
Beth had asked a few times if she was alright, concerned that she’d spent so much time staring off to space, lost in her own thoughts. She’d tentatively mentioned Sirius but Lydia had told her he was away with work again and so she’d left the matter alone.
The truth was Lydia didn’t know if she was alright. She didn’t know what to believe or what to think anymore. Half of her still wanted to believe that this was some cruel joke that was being played and someone would jump out and yell, ‘Surprise!’ at any second. The other half just wanted to believe he was some loony who had somehow escaped from a mental home and she’d had the misfortune to fall for him.
Fall for him. The words echoed around her mind. She knew she liked him but had her feelings really taken her so far? She took a deep breath, relaxed and closed her eyes. It took only a few seconds to picture his easy smile and those grey eyes so full of mischief gazing at her. The long wavy locks of black hair falling to his shoulders that she just wanted to run her fingers through. She felt her lips upturn in a smile despite herself and her heart had definitely increased in pace. The realisation of what that meant kicked in and she slumped forward onto her dressing table, resting her face on her arms groaning to herself.
Lifting her head so she could rest her chin on her arms, she gazed at herself in the mirror, trying to work out the mix of emotions she felt. Deep down, she knew that he was neither joking nor crazy. The truth in his eyes was sincere and he had told and shown her so many things that made her head spin, she had a hard time believing he could have just made it all up. Then he’d gone and turned himself into a dog for Christ’s sake. There were some things you just couldn’t fake and she was sure that was one of them.
She snatched the comb from the pot in front of her and started brushing her hair much more harshly than she needed, tugging the ridiculous knots out of her hair. It was a pointless task, she knew. Her hair would go crazy from the static, making it impossible to do anything with before springing back into the jumble of knots as soon as she walked out of the front, making it seem like she hadn’t made the effort in the first place. She sighed and put down the comb carefully, and then looked up at the confused reflection of herself in the mirror.
She had been considering her options for the last three days and had come to the conclusion that she really only had three to decide between. She could pretend that magic wasn’t real, forget everything Sirius had told her and go on living blissfully ignorant to a world which had been revealed to her. In reality she knew this wasn’t actually an option. How could she ignore something that had been right there in front of her eyes? This brought her down to her last two options: accept magic but have no part of it in her life, or accept magic into her life and be with Sirius.
‘Could you accept it?’ she asked the reflection, ‘Could you accept him and still want to be with him?’ Her reflection just gazed back with the familiar gaze of deep brown eyes.
‘Jeez, now I’m even talking to myself. I must be going mad!’ she said with a small laugh.
The loud bang of her gating slamming shut made her jump. She stood from the dresser and looked out the window onto the warm autumn morning but could see no one on the path.
‘Damn wind.’ She muttered as she turned to go downstairs when a photo on her bedside table caught her eye.
Half hidden under some papers she pulled out the strip of four photos she’d had done with Sirius in a photo booth on their third date. She picked it up slowly, remembering how he’d been so reluctant but after fluttering her eyelashes a few times she’d succeeded in dragging him inside. They’d sat and pulled stupid faces for the first few, but the last one at the bottom had them simply looking at each other. She remembered how Sirius had studied those photos for ages as though waiting for them to spring to life or something. Now she looked at the boy fondly, her fingers stroking his face lightly. She then turned her focus for the first time onto the girl in the photo instead. The look on her face as she gazed at him was one she hardly recognised and she realised there were very few photos where she had a smile like that on her face.
Making up her mind she put the photo in her pocket and crossed the room. Opening the top draw of her dresser she rummaged around until she found the mirror she’d hidden after Sirius had left.
Feeling strangely like the Evil Queen from Snow White, she softly called his name. The mirror began to glow a bright blue.
Sirius strolled through busy London feeling happier than he had in days. He had been so nervous this morning when his two-way mirror had glowed; knowing the next few minutes and what she said could have the power to make or break him either way. He gave a soft laugh as he considered how much he had fallen for her. He had always teased James for acting like a love sick puppy and here he was doing exactly the same. He made a mental note to act cooler in front of James when the subject got brought up, although he was pretty sure it would be the least of his worries at the moment. He still didn't fancy having the 'I told you so' lecture.
'Hi,' he'd said as he looked into the mirror. He saw her eyes widen slightly with amazement but she quickly covered it.
'Hi, she replied, sounding unsure. She tucked her hair nervously behind her ears then disappeared out of sight as she moved the mirror around before muttering. 'God, this thing is so bizarre.'
Sirius chuckled despite himself. 'Sorry,' he said genuinely. 'I know this isn't the norm for Muggles but I don't have one of them telly-foney things'
'Telephone,' she corrected. 'It’s okay, this certainly is... interesting.' She gave a small smile. Sirius didn't answer his nerves and patience now getting the better of him. He didn't want to waste time with small talk.
'So...' she started before trailing off, the tension mounting.
‘So...' he agreed.
'Look, this whole thing, it's... crazy! This kind of thing it just doesn't happen in real life. It's like I had everything figured out and then you come and blow everything I knew out of the water and start doing the impossible in front of me. It's just so much to deal with,' she rushed out in one breath and with it Sirius felt his heart sink. She didn't want anything to do with him.
'I understand,' he said, trying to keep his voice level but knowing the disappointment in it could be heard from a mile away.
'I actually hadn't finished,' she said with a smile starting to play on her lips. 'It is a lot to deal with... But I want to try. There's something about you Sirius Black. I still want there to be an ‘us’, if you do too?'
'Really? You do?' Sirius asked struggling to contain his disbelief.
'Yes, I really do.’ She smiled, and then added, ‘Although, I'm looking for a boyfriend, not a pet. That part still creeps me out a bit.'
'Noted,' Sirius said, his face lighting up with a huge smile.
'Okay, so now we've sorted that out, would you like to come over tonight? I thought I could cook dinner for us?'
'Sounds amazing, but I'm free now, maybe we could skip dinner?' he said with a roguish wink.
'Nice try Romeo, but I'm at work all day. You'll just have to wait.'
'Oh, that's boring,’ he grumbled, 'and what's a Romeo?'
'He's a who not a what. You've seriously never heard of Romeo and Juliet?' she asked looking surprised.
'Nope. Never,' he admitted.
'I'll have to explain later, I'm going to be late for work,' she said checking her watch. She then looked past the mirror to something out of Sirius range of vision. 'Oh, and now I think I can hear someone outside again. Probably some idiots messing around. I have to go, come by about 6? Talk to you later! Bye!'
'Be careful, see you later,' he called back, but she had already gone.
It had taken Sirius a little over an hour to get bored of waiting for her. He knew his attention span wasn’t great but he had hoped to last a bit longer than that. He considered going to see James and Lily but thought better of it. He needed to give the two of them some space at the moment. He couldn’t imagine what it was like to find out the most evil git of a wizard in history was after your only son but they pretty much looked like they’d been to Hell and back. They’d spent the last few days planning and deciding what to do and had finally decided to go with Dumbledore’s suggestion of a Fidelius charm. Sirius was still wrapping his head around all the rules of it but it had taken him less than a second to agree to be their secret keeper. He wouldn’t let anyone harm his Godson.
He thought about going to see Moony and Wormtail but had quickly dismissed those ideas too. Wormy was on a mission for Dumbledore and there was something off about Moony. He’d spent so much time with those bloody wolves lately and too many accidents had been happening when information had been given to him and Sirius didn’t like it one bit. He hated thinking ill of his old friend but desperate times called for desperate measures. He made a mental note to speak to James about it when the time was right.
That left one final choice for him which is where he was heading too now; Lydia. So she was at work, that didn’t mean he couldn’t go and see her right? He knew women liked to be surprised so that’s what he was doing. He had managed to occupy himself for another hour though, considering what he was going to say to her.
He turned the last corner and saw her shop across the road, painted a pretty lilac colour with the sign ‘La Femme Boutique’ painted in a pastel pink above the large window. He had to admit, she really had done a good job with it and he knew she loved it by the way she spoke about it with such enthusiasm. His eyes glanced over to the old flower shop next door that had recently been put up for sale. She’d told him about her dream to buy that place so she could expand her own shop but she hadn’t got the finance to allow her too. He wondered casually if he could confund whoever was selling it to give it her at a lower price and they could use a bit of magic to get the place up and running. Somehow though he didn’t think she’d like that. It was also pushing her acceptance levels a bit thin yet. He’d have to think if there was anything else he could do.
As he strolled toward the door he saw her chatting away to Beth by the till with a cup of tea. At the sound of the bell above the door she looked up towards him and almost dropped the tea as her face fell with surprise of him standing there then turned into a huge smile. He smiled back at her with satisfaction, he was good at surprises.
‘Sirius, you really have to go now,’ Lydia said without any real conviction, half-heartedly pushing him toward the door. ‘I need to work!’ He looked at her with sad eyes.
‘Do you really want me to go?’ he asked in a hurt voice and she felt herself giving in to him even though she knew he was just winding her up as usual. She held her ground well, giving him her best disbelieving stare with raised eyebrows.
‘Ooh, we are being a tough cookie today aren’t we?’ he finally caved. Lydia couldn’t disagree more; he’d been there talking and distracting her for the last three and a half hours and had even taken her out for lunch although she’d protested. She’d kind of loved having him around though; she’d missed him the last few days. He’d had her and Beth in fits of giggles and had been entertaining the customers that came and went through the shop.
‘Yes we are! Come on, I’m going to see you in a few hours,’ she pleaded. ‘We can continue this later yeah?’ She smiled at him.
‘Okay, okay,’ he agreed, holding his hands up and backing out of the door. As he turned to leave Lydia grabbed his hand a pulled him back for a quick kiss that turned into a much deeper one, leaving her breathless and blushing.
‘See you later,’ he grinned, clearly pleased with the effect he’d had on her. He turned and strolled out of the door and into the bustling crowd of London.
Lydia watched him from the doorway until she lost him in the crowd. Then turned with a sigh back into the shop where she almost crashed into a lady stood right behind her. Startled, she jumped back, clutching her chest.
‘I’m so sorry!’ Lydia gasped breathlessly taking in the woman’s appearance. She was dressed in a long black dress with a black cloak on her shoulders. She had wild black hair and something about the way she was smiling at her was making Lydia feel uneasy. ‘I didn’t see you there.’ In actual fact Lydia couldn’t remember her coming into the shop but before she had time to dwell on that fact the woman was nodding past her to the door Sirius had just exited through.
‘Hmm, I take it that was your boyfriend?’ She demanded, emphasising the word boyfriend as though she was teasing her like a child.
‘Sirius?’ Lydia asked. ‘Um, yeah. I guess you could say that. We’re dating anyway.’ Lydia confirmed as she tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear awkwardly. ‘Can I help you with anything?’ she asked, trying to change the subject.
Lydia watched as the woman’s eyes lit up hungrily. ‘Oh yes, I think you can help me plenty.’ She whispered.
Before Lydia had the chance to be frightened by the demented look in the woman’s eyes a wonderful feeling washed over her. She felt completely relaxed and happy and her mind was completely blank.
‘Close the shop and take me to where you and Black are meeting tonight,’ a voice ordered.
‘Beth!’ Lydia called out. ‘We’re closing the shop early.’
Sirius Apparated with a small pop and found himself in a small thick of trees. He untangled himself from the branches and stepped out into the warm evening air. It had been a scorching hot day, and the sun was now setting, leaving a spectacular array of reds and oranges tainting the sky. As he walked down the small street he seemed so much more in tune with the beautiful sights that often went unnoticed around him. It was perhaps just the uplifting mood he was in, he wasn't sure but he couldn't help but to have a slight bounce in his step as he made his way to the quaint little house at the bottom of the road.
As he walked up the path to her front door holding onto the flowers he had picked up on the way he couldn't keep the smile off his face. The flowers he had brought on an impulse, and had not even been bothered that he was turning soft.
He knocked on the front door and waited patiently. After a few minutes of silence, he tried again with no luck.
Growing concerned, he gently tried opening the door, thinking she must have been held up at work. Finding it unlocked however, he pushed it open and saw her work shoes and jacket in the small porch. He was going to have to have a serious talk with her. With the war raging strong she needed to be as careful as she could possibly be. Seeing Regulus had frightened him more than he wanted to let on and if she wanted to try and be a part of his world with him she needed to at least start appreciating the dangers.
He walked into the house and found it to be strangely quiet. Too quiet. There was no sound of her presence in the house.
'Lydia?' he called out, however the eerie silence was his only response and this only added to unease. He longed to turn into Padfoot and use his canine senses but she had already told him she was still unsure of that and he didn't want to startle her. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wand as he crept through the house.
Something was wrong. The living room was empty and as he walked into the kitchen there was no sign of a meal starting to be prepared, let alone cooked.
‘Lydia!’ he shouted again as he walked back towards the stairs.
‘Sirius!’ she called back in a voice that had him alarmed; she sounded frightened.
‘Lydia, are you alright?’ he asked, running up the stairs two at a time.
He pushed open her bedroom door and walked into the small cream room. His heart stopped.
She was sitting cross-legged on her bed with a terrified look on her face, tear marks streaked down her cheeks. Her eyes were wide and her hair was dishevelled mess but it wasn’t these things that had frozen him to the spot.
There was an ugly red stain coating the length of Lydia's slender forearms which lay exposed on her thighs. The red had formed a strange pattern of crossing lines that shone brightly against her too pale skin.
As he concentrated on her arms, the odd pattern started to make sense. He realised it wasn't just a scribble of lines but a word scrawled down each arm.
Sirius stumbled back and wretched, his mind unable to take in what it was seeing. The letters were carved deep into her arms and it was her blood that stained her clothes and bed.
‘Sirius – no! She wants you!’ she sobbed.
Too focused on her arms, Sirius crossed the room and knelt beside her, causing her to cry out more protests. He wasn’t listening though, he didn’t understand; he couldn’t comprehend what he was seeing. He felt sick to his stomach at the sight of her sitting there so broken. He needed to fix her, he need to help her.
The bedroom door suddenly slammed shut and a demented laugh rang loudly in his ears that he knew only too well, making the hair on the back of his neck stand on edge and sending a chill to his very core. He jumped up, standing in front of Lydia who was now crying. He’d been so stupid; distracted by Lydia he hadn’t even considered checking if her attacker was still here. He tightened the grip on his wand.
‘Bellatrix,’ he growled through gritted teeth.
‘Why hello there, my ickle baby cousin,’ came the sing-song voice of a gleeful Bellatrix Lestrange. Sirius shot a spell in the direction of her voice but it hit the wardrobe, causing the mirror to smash, the pieces of glass flying everywhere. She laughed again.
‘What’s wrong Bellatrix?’ Sirius yelled to the empty space. ‘Too afraid to come out and fight?’
The disillusionment charm faded as Bellatrix came into view. Dressed in black with her hair wild, she had a smug look plastered on her face.
‘Poor Sirius, here to help your scummy mudblood friend?’ she taunted.
‘What did you do to her?’ Sirius replied angrily as he fired another curse her way, wanting nothing more than to hurt her like she had hurt him but she deflected it easily. He knew it was him she wanted. It was because of him being so reckless she’d found Lydia’s house. He hadn’t been here to protect her.
‘Ah, ah, ah cousin,’ she chided. ‘That’s not how this is going to go. Me and your little girlfriend here just had a bit of fun today, don’t worry.’ Sirius felt his hands shaking as he glared at her with a fierce rage. He tried to curse her again but she just seemed to enjoy herself more and more with each one she blocked.
‘You call ripping her wrists to shreds fun?’ he yelled, now duelling so intensely that the movements between them were becoming blurred.
‘Really cousin, it’s like you’re not even trying,’ she said delightedly, a crazed look now on her face. ‘If you want to really hurt someone, this is how you do it. Crucio!’
Before he could even think about blocking it the curse hit Sirius square in the chest and he immediately felt pain like he’d never felt before. His whole body felt like it was on fire, every muscle in his body was being ripped in two as the curse took hold of him. He could hear a distant screaming but was too paralyzed by his own pain to barely think, never mind help.
Just as soon as it came, it left. Sirius opened his eyes and found himself face down, laid in a damp, red pool on a once fluffy carpet; he couldn’t remember falling. Lydia was screaming on the bed, but a dull ache in his throat told him the screaming he’d heard before was probably his own. He also realised his wand was no longer in his hand. He felt a kick in his side that rolled him onto his back where Bellatrix’s ugly face leered over him. She quickly shot ropes out of her wand that bound his wrists tightly and hauled him into the air, leaving him to hang, before he could even catch his breath.
‘Poor baby,’ she mocked. ‘Did that hurt?’
‘Go to Hell,’ Sirius spat back. She simply smiled at him with a cruel glint in her eyes.
‘I didn’t do anything to your girlfriend’s wrists; she did that to herself.’
Sirius felt his stomach clench as the sick feeling threatened to overcome he again. He looked over at Lydia, who still sat awkwardly on the bed.
‘I didn’t mean too,’ she whispered. ‘I… I couldn’t stop it.’ Fresh tears started to leak silently down her face. Sirius closed his eyes in pain; he should have guessed Bellatrix would get just as much twisted joy out of watching Lydia harm herself as she would by doing it herself. He looked around desperately for his wand.
‘Silence!’ Bellatrix shouted, pointing her wand at Lydia.
‘So many different curses to use, so many ways to torture a traitor,’ she whispered. ‘How I’ve wanted to do this for so long Black. How I’ve waited for my chance to prove myself to the Dark Lord by killing Sirius Black.’
‘Killing me will do that? Jeez Bella, I didn’t know I meant so much. I thought you’d have gotten on with it by now though.’ Sirius laughed, he was desperately trying to distract her while looking for a way out to get himself and Lydia out of this current predicament. She needed to be taken care of and quickly. It was a wonder Bellatrix had not killed her already. He needed his wand back first though, and then he could get them the hell out of here.
‘How dare you!’ Bellatrix screamed, brandishing her wand like a whip and slicing Sirius’s cheek open who laughed despite the pain. He was used to it; his mother had performed the same curse on him more times than he could count. Bellatrix closed the small gap between them snarling like a vicious animal, aiming her wand directly at his heart.
‘Don’t tempt me Black, I swear I will,’ she said dangerously, while Sirius just gave her a cocky smirk in return. ‘Pity you’re still useful to him.’ This got Sirius’s attention; what did Voldemort want with him?
‘Where are the Potter’s, Black?’ she demanded. He gave a humourless laugh, realising now the true purpose of Bellatrix’s little outing, everything slotted in place. She wanted information out of him; she hadn’t just been tormenting him for the fun of it as he’d first thought.
‘Beats me, Bella,’ he said forcing himself to smile again, knowing it would infuriate her.
‘LIAR!’ she screamed again. ‘CRUCIO!’
Sirius writhed in pain once more, struggling furiously against the binds that held him. After what felt like forever she finally lifted the spell, leaving Sirius panting hard, his whole body aching. He forced his head up to look her directly in the eyes.
‘You can do that all you want Bella. I can’t tell you where they are. I’d rather die,’ he spat.
‘That can be arranged,’ she whispered venomously, her eyes narrowing into a scowl. ‘You know, you’re not being nearly as cooperative as I hoped you’d be. Pity. Never mind, I have ways of changing that.’
Sirius closed his eyes and braced himself, ready for the pain to hit once again, but it never came. He opened his eyes and saw Bellatrix instead pointing her wand at Lydia.
‘Crucio,’ she cried, staring at Sirius triumphantly.
The ear-splitting screams that followed tore through Sirius, chilling him to the core. He watched in horror as Lydia shook violently on the bed, still unable to move fully.
Fury built up in Sirius like he’d never felt before, white hot anger licking through his veins. He started to shake himself, his whole body shifting as he did so. Within seconds he was a large black dog, the binds holding his wrists no longer. He attacked Bellatrix, taking her by surprise and knocking her flying across the room. He landed squarely on her shoulders, taking pleasure at the surprised look he found on her face as he swiping his paw across, leaving deep scratches across her face.
He saw his wand on the floor nearby and pounced on it, changing back to a human as he did so. He scrambled back to Lydia as Bellatrix reached across the floor for her own wand. He grabbed Lydia roughly and spun round on the spot just as Bellatrix shot a spell right at them.
The familiar feeling of being sucked through a tunnel was a welcome relief. Sirius gripped Lydia tightly as he focused as hard as he could on getting them both to the spot in Frith Wood that he and James used as meeting point if they ever got split up during a mission, knowing it would be deserted. He’d been too afraid to Apparate straight to the headquarters anyway in case Bellatrix somehow followed him.
Sirius landed on the forest floor with a thud. His knees gave way immediately as he collapsed on the soft ground with Lydia on top of him. His heart was pounding and his breathing was yet to return to normal but he’d got them out. He still didn’t know how he’d managed it but they were safe. Now he just needed to get them both to the headquarters;
‘Lydia, are you okay?’ Sirius asked breathlessly, giving her shoulder a slight squeeze.
She didn’t reply.