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Chapter 4 : teen idle
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I wanna stay inside all day
I want the world to go away
I want blood, guts, and chocolate cake
I wanna be a real fake
Teen Idle -- Marina & the Diamonds
beautiful chapter image by tda's aconite!
Rainne and Ben study in the library during their free period. She has become comfortable enough in the past month that she is able to speak to him without stuttering. She is still very shy, but speaks more often, although she still speaks softly.
They sit side by side in silence, staring at their textbooks. Rainne occasionally takes notes while Ben just stares at the words. He is already bored. He looks over at her. Her brow is furrowed in concentration. He nudges her and she looks up at him smiling. She nudges him back.
“I’m bored,” he complains, “Let’s go do something fun.”
Rainne laughs softly.
“I have to study, Ben. You can go hang out with the guys, if you want.”
“I wanna hang out with you,” he whines, “I thought we were going to do something fun!”
Rainne smiles, shaking her head in defeat. She shuts her book. He grins.
They leave the library and walk the corridors.
Rainne has been happier than usual lately. Her newfound friendship is helping her overcome her social anxiety. She now stutters much less, and the anxiety takes longer to silence her.
She is still apprehensive around the girls. They hardly speak to each other, even in their dorm, but Rainne likes it this way.
She plays exploding snap with Ben in the common room, sharing his laughter.
Lily Evans sits in class next to Carmen Pierson, her new best friend. She doodles on some parchment as Professor Binns drones to the students. She is three chapters ahead of the syllabus, not that it really matters. Anyone could ace this class just by skimming through the chapters.
She puts her quill down and looks around the room, leaning back in her chair. Carmen sleeps beside her, her arms sprawled out on her desk. James and Sirius play gobstones in the back row. Lily rolls her eyes at them, a habit of hers.
As she browses the room, her eyes lock with Severus Snape’s. He immediately looks away and she slumps in her seat, going back to her doodling.
She would never admit this out loud, but she misses Severus dearly. Sure, he had been cruel to her that sunny day in fifth year, but when they had been alone he was truly kind. He could make her laugh so effortlessly, and she misses that feeling.
But she can’t let herself go back to him. He had crossed a line.
Suddenly, Lily feels something hit the back of her head. She turns around to find James looking at her expectantly, wearing his trademark smirk. Her eyes roll yet again and she looks down to see what he threw. She picks up the crumpled up parchment and smooths it out on her desk.
Go out with me, Evans?
Once she has read them, the words disappear.
Fuck off, Potter.
She writes in response. These words fade away as well. James’s response appears as he writes it on his parchment.
Wow, usually it takes you a while to get that angry.
What’s wrong, my flower?
Lily scoffs and pushes the note off her desk, slumping onto it like Carmen. She hears James sigh, and then the sounds of gobstones resume.
Across the room, Severus smiles.
After about an hour of exploding snap, Ben says he has to meet up with the Marauders. He gives Rainne a ‘See you later.’ and leaves her in the common room.
Now that she is alone with her thoughts, she sees everything in a whole new light.
He probably left because he is getting tired of her, she thinks.
He probably thinks she is annoying and needy.
She scowls, feeling stupid. How did she not realize this before?
Ben blinds her from reality.
As she walks upstairs to the girls’ dorm, her usual negative thoughts pour into her mind. By the time she is on her bed she is already in a foul mood.
Marlene McKinnon, a fellow sixth year, sits on her own bed. Marlene had also been shy when they both started at Hogwarts, but she has grown out of it. Rainne envies her greatly.
She stands by the window, opening it, and lights a cigarette, inhaling the smoke and blowing it out into the open air. Now that she’s at Hogwarts, her nicotine breaks are rare. Marlene coughs rather pointedly, and Rainne puts the cigarette out, shutting the window. She sits on her bed, glancing at Marlene.
Her wrist itches, longing for a blade. It has been a few days since she has felt this way. Her wounds have had time to scab over.
Rainne picks at her bracelets, looking at Marlene. What is she even doing here? Shouldn’t she be studying or with friends or in class or doing something anywhere but here?
Rainne looks at the alarm clock on her bedside table. It’s nearly dinner time. Shouldn’t Marlene be leaving by now? Rainne was already planning on skipping dinner, but Marlene really needs to leave.
Her wrist becomes more uncomfortable, like a crescendo in a symphony that becomes louder and louder.
Looking for a distraction, Rainne reaches for some parchment and a quill. Soon, she is writing a letter to her grandparents.
Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
How are things at home? Anything exciting happen? Here, things are pretty dull.
I’m looking forward to Halloween, though. It’s on a Saturday so I get to go to Hogsmeade, the wizard town nearby. I need new books to read seeing as I’ve already exhausted the library of anything interesting.
How is bingo? Any big wins?
Rainne takes a deep breath.
Anyways, I’ve kind of been wanting to say something.
I really appreciate you taking me in after what happened. I know you struggle as it is and that it can’t be easy to support me on your pensions. Next summer I’m going to work and help you out while I’m on holiday.
I also wanted to thank you for dealing with me. I haven’t been very easy to live with and I’m sorry for that. I think I’m getting better.
All my love,
Rainne realizes she is crying. She looks around to see if Marlene has noticed, but Marlene is gone.
Rainne’s wrist still itches with anticipation.
“No,” she says unconvincingly, “I just told them I’m better.”
As if on cue, the demons in her head remind her of every negative thought she has ever had. She clenches her arm and forms a fist with her hand, trying to stop her wrist from itching. She feels as if it is screaming at her, numbing her ears.
She runs into the bathroom, Tiffany box in hand.
author's note: i'd like to thank anyone that's been reading my story so far. i'm really excited about it and i hope you're enjoying it. please review with any suggestions or comments you may have. :)
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