Chapter 5 : tears and rain
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 7|
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How I wish I could walk through the doors of my mind;
Hold memory close at hand,
Help me understand the years.
How I wish I could choose between Heaven and Hell.
Tears and Rain -- James Blunt
Rainne sits on the common room floor later that night. Her stupid outburst had gotten way out of hand, and she had dragged the blade against her wrist more than she ever had before. Bandaids cover her arm. Luckily, her bracelets conceal them, but she still wears long sleeves as an extra precaution.
After cleaning up after herself, Rainne had sent the letter to her grandparents. She hopes they respond soon. Now she writes a Potions essay, books and notes scattered on the floor around her.
Her left arm twitches with pain.
Suddenly, the portrait hole opens and Ben walks in. He looks around until he spots Rainne sitting in front of the fireplace.
“There you are!” he says, walking over to her, “Why weren’t you at dinner?”
She looks up at him, smiling instantly.
“I fell asleep,” she says sheepishly. He laughs, believing her lie.
“Do you want to go to the kitchens?”
She shakes her head.
“No thanks, I’m not hungry.”
Rainne looks down at her essay and adds another line to it.
“Aah, is that the essay for Slughorn?” Ben asks. She nods and he groans, “I haven’t even started it. When is it due?”
“Day after tomorrow.”
“Shit, I better get to work.”
Ben summons his supplies with a flick of his wand and starts working on the essay. Every so often, he peeks at her parchment. She catches him every time and laughs, making a big deal of covering it. After a while, more students start to gather in the common room.
The younger girls glare at Rainne as they walk by. They think she is sleeping with Ben. Their jealousy is misunderstood by Rainne as pure hatred.
Anxiety whispers in her ear.
Nobody likes you. Not even Ben. He just wants to cheat off your essay.
She flinches and tries to ignore it. Right now, she is with Ben. He does like her, she tries to convince herself. Nothing bad can happen when she is with Ben. Ben takes care of her.
Lily walks into the common room alone, rubbing her stomach. She is full, leaving Carmen behind because she is snogging some Ravenclaw in a broom closet. She looks around and spots Ben and Rainne. She walks over to them, sitting on the couch behind them.
“Is that the Potions essay?” she asks. Rainne nods without looking up, tracing the lines of a book, “Oh, I’ve already finished it. Do you guys want any help?” she asks, smiling at them.
Rainne’s head snaps up. She looks at Ben, pleading with her eyes. Ben looks at her, then at Lily.
“Uhh, I think we’re good,” he says, “Thanks, though!” he adds quickly.
Lily’s smile fades.
“Oh, Lily flower!” she hears from the portrait hole. She scowls.
“Oh, sod off, will you, Potter!” she jumps up angrily and goes up the stairs.
She just wants this stupid night to end.
James wishes he knew how to make her smile.
Rainne sits alone at the Gryffindor table. She has been having trouble sleeping lately, her mind plagued by nightmares.
She picks at a bowl of fruit, chewing slowly. The Great Hall is empty except for a handful of Ravenclaws. Even the staff table is empty. Rainne enjoys the silence, but not the thought that accompany it. She pushes down all the memories of the crash and forces herself to read her textbook.
Lily applies mascara to her eyelashes next to Carmen, who is putting on red lipstick.
“Did you hear anything strange last night?” Lily asks her.
Carmen shakes her head, “I slept like a freaking baby last night.”
Lily puts down the mascara and bites her lip, looking at Carmen’s reflection.
“I think Rainne was crying.”
Carmen looks at her.
“Yeah, I woke up and heard sobbing coming from her bed. It was pretty quiet, but I know I heard it.”
“Not much you can do about it, really,” Carmen says.
Lily nods sadly and starts to brush her hair. She stares at Rainne’s empty bed in the mirror.
Students begin to sleepily pile into the Great Hall. Rainne is still slowly picking at her breakfast when the Marauders arrive.
“Morning, Rainne,” they chirp.
She smiles at them and puts her book away. Ben sits next to her as usual.
“Are you going to the quidditch match this Friday?” he asks her.
She looks at him.
“I don’t have anyone I could go with,” she says quietly.
“Remus isn’t on the team, you could go with him,” Ben says, “Right, Moony?”
Remus nods, looking at Rainne. She smiles back at him.
“Okay,” she says, looking back at Ben. He grins.
“Awesome!” this makes Rainne grin as well.
James and Sirius join the conversation.
“Have you been to a quidditch match before?” Sirius asks her. She shakes her head, “Really? Well, you’re in for a treat!”
“We are going to annihilate Slytherin!” James roars. Many students turn to look at him, some Gryffindors cheer in agreement. James grins and goes back to scarfing down his breakfast.
Rainne laughs. She is happy.
The feeling is foreign to her, but she embraces it.
Just then, the morning post arrives. The school owl she sent her letter with drops a package in front of her, snatches a piece of her fruit, then flies off.
Rainne opens the letter attached to the package. She is surprised by the fast response.
Our dearest Rainne,
All is well here. We have started putting up Halloween decorations. Bingo is uneventful as usual. We hope you don’t mind that we sent you some of your books. We know these are your favorites. Let’s hope you don’t mind re-reading them!
On a more serious note, however.
We want to make this clear, Rainne. You will never be a burden to us. We are your grandparents and we love you. We will do everything we can to help you. This past summer has not been easy on anyone, but we were together, and that truly is all that matters. Never forget that, Rainne.
Grandma and Grandpa
Rainne smiles, wiping a small tear off her cheek. Her heart warms as she reads and re-reads the letter.
“Are you okay?” Lily asks. Rainne snaps up. She hadn’t noticed Lily and Carmen arrive. She smiles at Lily and nods, daring herself to speak.
“G-grandparents,” she says, holding up the letter. Lily smiles.
“What did they send you?” she asks, “If you don’t mind me asking.”
Rainne opens the package to reveal her favorite books.
“I love Phantom Tollbooth!” Lily gasps.
“M-me too,” Rainne says, picking it out of the bunch. She runs her finger down the worn paperback spine, smiling softly.
Lily smiles. She is happy with herself.
The group finishes breakfast and heads to their first class.
Rainne daydreams through all of her classes. Today all she can think of is the day her letter arrived. Her parents were terrified. An owl was pecking its beak at the kitchen window, threatening to crack it. As Rainne’s mother and father ran around the room frantically, trying to figure out what to do, she walked up to the bird in awe. Upon seeing her, it became very still, resting quietly on the window sill. She opened the window and it flew in, causing her mother to scream. It stared at Rainne from the kitchen table and stuck its leg out. Rainne notice a letter was attached to it. She took it gently and the owl flew off after grabbing a piece of toast.
“Rainne,” says Remus.
Rainne looks up. The classroom is empty. Had she fallen asleep?
“Are you coming to dinner?” he asks. She frowns. Dinner? She looks out the window. It’s dark. She really hasn’t been aware of her surroundings at all today. She looks at Remus.
“No,” she says, shaking her head, “I have a lot o-of homework. I’ll go t-to the k-kitchens later.”
He nods in agreement.
She smiles at him as he leaves the classroom. Her smile fades when she is out of sight and she picks up her things and goes to the girls’ dorm.
She pauses after dumping her things on her bed, looking around at the room. It is a mess, she notices. She has the sudden urge to clean everything.
She reaches for her wand, then decides against it.
She wants to do this by hand.
Rainne gathers everyone’s clothes and begins to fold them neatly. She is proud of herself today, all she has eaten it three small cubes of fruit at breakfast. Her stomach growls, but she ignores it.
She hangs the remaining clothes and then proceeds to make the beds.
“Just like that, Ray,” she hears her mother say, “Tug at the sheets and smooth out the wrinkles... Perfect. Now tuck them in. Now do the same with the blanket. Great job.”
Rainne remembers sitting on her mother’s lap all those years ago. She had tucked a strand behind Rainne’s ear before saying, “Do you know why I call you Ray, baby girl?” Rainne shook her head. Her mother smiled, “Because you are my beautiful Ray of sunlight.”
“Why did you call me Rainne, then?” she asked.
“Because the rain is beautiful. Rain cleans your soul.”
Rainne shakes her head. She is done cleaning the dorm. She puts her hand on her stomach. She suddenly feels bloated. She decides to go on a jog to burn the calories from breakfast.
She leaves the castle, her wand still on her bedside table.
Lily and Carmen enter their dorm. Their eyes widen.
“Did you do this?” Lily asks Marlene. She is already sitting on her bed, book in hand. She shakes her head.
“I think Rainne did. It was like this when I got here.”
“Isn’t that her wand over there?” Carmen says. She walks over to it and picks it up, muttering something under her breath. Sparks fly out of the wand.
“That’s the spell we learned in charms today,” Lily points out.
“Do you think she did it all by hand?” Marlene says. The girls look at each other in shock.
Rainne jogs up and down the same flight of stairs over and over again, breathing heavily through her mouth.
She vows to quit her nasty nicotine habit, panting as she goes up and down and up and down the steps.
She has to lose ten pounds. Ten pounds. One, zero.
It’s all she can think about. The number runs through her head, repeating itself.
She checks the time, does one more round, then jogs back to the dorm.
When she reaches the Fat Lady, she slows down and takes a deep breath. She can’t let them see. She must look effortlessly thin.
Although she obviously isn’t thin yet, she thinks.
When she enters, the common room is empty. How long has she been gone.
Everyone in her dorm is asleep.
A note lays on her pillow
Thanks for cleaning the room, Rainne.
We owe you one!
Rainne smiles and falls on her bed, exhausted.
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