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Chapter 1 : Breathe.
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It’s the first day after Christmas break. My uniform is newly pressed, my hair perfectly straightened and my make up flawless. None of it matters though. I’m a pariah…a parasite.
“Watch where you’re going, freak!” yells a Gryffindor. His friends laugh and high five him as his well aimed dungbomb hits me in the chest. Great.
I make my way into potions only to remember I don’t have a partner anymore. I don’t have a best mate either but she’s still sitting at our old table. My throat burns. If there’s anyone I could talk to it would be Dom, we’d been through everything together.
"I hate you." mouths Dom. She turns around and flips her perfect white Veala hair in my direction.
I thought I’d used up all the tears I could cry but even more threatened to spill. Not today though. Never again.
I took a seat by myself in the back of the room. I was with the other loners. The pimply boy from Slytherin with greasy hair and beady eyes. The pigtailed Gryffindor girl with a gap tooth smile and a tendency to ramble. They wouldn’t even look at me.
Oh, I guess we’re supposed to move? Everyone around me is switching tables. The Slytherin boy swoops up like a bat, his cloak flapping dramatically behind him. I don’t know where to go. A pair of scuffed black dragon hide shoes stop in front of me. His lips are moving.
“You’re Samantha?” he asks impatiently. I nod, I thought everyone knew who I was.
He mumbles again and gets up to gather ingredients. I pick at the skin around my nails. He doesn’t expect me to help and I don’t bother. What’s the point. I’m good at potions but he probably needs the practice. I pick at my nails some more.
Whoops, guess Professor Rowings was paying attention. She’s gesturing me to the front of the class. Everyone else is gone already.
“Are you alright? You were awfully quite today Miss Pierce and your potion…I really expect better of you.” She looks at me with a stern expression.
“Sorry.” I say. She just frowns even more.
“Is there something you’d like to tell me?” she asks, her expression softening.
“No.” I mumble.
She looks disappointed but quickly masks it. I don’t know why she’s even trying, everyone knows what happened that night. She offers me a biscuit. I grudgingly take it and throw it away once I get in the hallway. My stomach is in knots, I couldn’t eat if I tried.
I see a mop of dark curly hair in the crowded hallway and my heart stops. The tingling moves throughout my body. Merlin, not again. It’s like a leg locking curse is upon me and I can’t move. I’m frozen with fear even though I realize he’s still with his grandmother on vacation and not here.
It’s not him. Breathe.
Someone pushes into me from behind and my books go flying everywhere. It’s James’ friend Mason. James looks at me. He looks sorry for a moment but then his eyes harden.
“Get out of the way, Pierce. Haven’t you done enough damage already?”
The entire corridor is silent, everyone is waiting for ‘The Chosen One’s Son’ to hex me. Maybe he should. I’m the reason his brother is at St. Mungo’s Hospital and currently in a vegetable state.
"James!” Rose Weasley hurries down the corridor taking in the sight of James with his wand raised against me. I haven’t bothered to lift mine. “James stop it…She’s not worth it.”
Rose, another one of my former best friends, shakes her head at me. She may have stopped her cousin from hexing me but she’ll never forgive me. That’s okay, I can’t forgive me either.
I don’t want to go to History of Magic, it’s with the Slytherins…all of them except Al that is. What if he never wakes up? What if he never forgives me either? The questions hurt too much to think about so I push the thoughts out of my head.
I suddenly can’t breathe again. I look around and the hallway turns into a stone cellar. Too much. With a gasp, I run into the courtyard.
Breathe. Just Breathe.
My eyes feel like pins are poking into them but I swore I wouldn’t cry again. Guess that’s too late. Tears are silently pouring down my face. Telling myself to breath isn’t working . My chest is literally heaving and I can’t catch my breath. I feel like I’m going insane, like my heart’s going to explode.
Breathe. Just Breathe.
I imagine I’m sucking in air through a straw. That’s what they tell you to do when you’re panicking, right?
Breathe. Just Breathe.
Nothing’s working. I thought getting outside would help but nothing will. I sit down on the cold stone bench in the courtyard. So cold. I run my fingers along the smooth edges, feeling every line, every crack.
His brown eyes stared mockingly at me. “You wanna go again?”
I looked around and realized I had no idea where I was. The last thing I remembered I was with Dom, drinking the spiked punch and dancing on tables. She left me to go flirt with Ravenclaw’s new seeker and I ended up dancing with…him. But how did I end up down here?
I became painfully aware that my dress was torn and that I was lying on the cold stone floor of the cellar. He was on top of me. He tried to kiss me, touch me…but I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t say no, to stop it. I was immobilized by fear and I hated myself. I was the worst sort of Gryffindor.
All of a sudden, a red spark shot through the air and he went flying off of me. I looked over to see Al in the doorway and he looked more terrifying than I ever could have imagined. My heart leaped inside of my chest, I was so overjoyed at seeing Al that tears started pouring down my face.
He and Al shot and dodged each others spells. They both moved so eloquently it was as if they were dancing. Then the monster’s eyes changed as if the game were over. His body tensed and I saw his lips start to form a most unforgivable word.
“NO!” I shouted. I used all of my remaining strength to launch myself at him. He stumbled and then grabbed and flung me across the room like I was a rag doll. Al looked away for just a moment to check if I were okay but that was all it took…a moment.
“Obliviate!” He cried. “Crucio!”
Al flew back, his eyes rolling backwards inside his heard. I screamed when I saw his lifeless looking form crumpled against the stone wall. Merlin, no, not Al. I sobbed as he yelled ‘Crucio’ again. I did everything in my power to stop him, but it was too late.
All the monster did was laugh. He would have continued had we not heard the music stop above us. I’d almost forgotten about the party.
He walked over to me and grabbed me by my throat. “You tell anyone and you’re next. Everyone you love will suffer. Understand?” I nodded, my tears dried on my cheeks.
“Good.” he said with an evil smile on his face. “Because no one would believe you anyways.”
And they didn’t. I was the daughter of a muggle banker and a witch who had ran away and deserted the magical world. He was the son of one of the founding families of the Order of the Phoenix. His grandparents had fought in the first war, his parents in the second. His dad had defeated the giant Basilisk with the sword of Gryffindor. His name was Frank. Frank Longbottom the second.
“I’m so sorry,” Frank cried into Ginny’s shoulders. “I walked in to the room and they were fighting. I should have stopped it right away but I didn’t want to accidentally misfire and injury one of them…”
“Shh…it’s all right Frank. It’s not your fault dear.” Ginny Potter tried and failed to look unaccusingly towards me. Frank saw this and immediately spoke up.
“It’s not her fault. You know how much she cared for Al, she was just devastated he’d never feel for her the way she felt about him. She said if she erased his memories then they could just start over…then…then maybe he would love her back.”
I remember how the Weasley and Potter families looked at me with a mixture of disgust and pity. Mostly disgust though. It was Frank’s insistence that I not be punished and they patted him on the back, telling him what a brave and caring young man he had become. He would look over at me when no one was looking and undress me with his eyes. I felt disgusting, my stomach was literally fighting to hold down the bile that threatened to spill.
Then Dominique and Rose walked in the hospital room. We’d been best friends since first year. Me and Dom in Gryffindor, and Rose in Ravenclaw. We’d told each other our secrets, our hopes, our dreams…they were like the sisters I’d never had. I thought for sure they’d know something was wrong. That they’d know I could never hurt Al. But they looked at me with cool indifference… they never even asked for my side of the story.
I’m waiting in Headmistress McGonagall’s office now. Professor Rowing’s excuse was that she needed me to deliver a note to the headmistress, an urgent message. Pretty sure it’s a lie though and that it’s about me.
It’s been two weeks since I’ve been back and nothing’s really changed. Dom and Rose still won’t speak to me and the entire school hates me. I want to see Al so badly but they won’t let me. Guess they’re afraid I’ll ‘go crazy’ again or something. I miss Al constantly. The guilt inside of me is eating me away and I feel like I’ve let him down. Like every day that I’m silent I’m condemning both of us to be victims forever.
“Miss Pierce? What can I help you with?” asks the Headmistress peering down from her spectacles.
“Um, a note. Here.” I stand up and reach over the desk to hand it to her. Am I supposed to just stand here? Do I leave? The portraits around the room are all staring at us intently and it’s starting to freak me out.
“Not so fast Miss Pierce, please take a seat,” she said, placing the letter on the table and looking at me with a serious expression.
Wonderful. I sit down, sighing deeply. McGonagall and I just sit and have a staring contest. She blinks. Looks like I win I think to myself sarcastically.
“Here, have a biscuit.” she interrupts, shoving a blue container towards me.
Really, what was it with every Professor trying to feed me lately?
“Ugh, no thank you,” I mutter.
“Don’t be ridiculous, take one!”
I grudgingly take a biscuit and she smiled as though she’s accomplished something great.
Ugh, she’s still looking at me. I guess I have to eat it now. I try and take a bite but I can’t force myself to eat. It sits like sandpaper on my tongue and I struggle to swallow. What a way to die, I can just see the obituary…’The girl who almost killed The Chosen One’s son dies tragically in Professor McGonagall’s office. She choked on a biscuit. Her mother and father mourn her death.’ Sounds about right, I highly doubt anyone else would bother attending my funeral.
“Is there something you’d like to tell me, Miss Pierce?”
Professor McGonagall is looking at me like she’s concerned with my sanity. I hear the distinct nasally voice of a portrait saying something along the lines of ‘Children these day, no respect for their elders!’
I shake my head.
She sighs, making the wrinkles on her face more pronounced than ever.
“Miss Pierce, Professor Rowels is extremely concerned about you. She says you’re not participating in class, you’re not eating properly and you don’t talk to anyone. I know Professor Longbottom is head of your house but due to the circumstances… Well perhaps you’d like to talk to me instead?” She placed both hands in front of her in what I assumed was supposed to be an open and inviting posture.
I bite my lip and shake my head again but McGonagall is insistent. “Miss Pierce, I’d like you to tell me what happened that night.”
I look at her with surprise, everyone knows what happened that night.
“Yes, yes, I know what Mr. Longbottom said but I want to hear your side of the story.” She continues to stare at me across the table, waiting patiently for my reply.
My tongue feels heavy in my mouth. I want to tell her, I do. Whats the worst that could happen I ask myself.
He’ll hurt you. He’ll hurt you and everyone you love. Your Mum, your Dad, Rose, Dom…Besides, no one will believe you. Not even McGonagall.
“I’m sorry.” I finally mumble. McGonagall leaves over the desk struggling to hear me.
“I can’t.” I say a little louder. I grab my bag off the floor and stand up, not bothering to ask permission to leave.
“Miss Pierce.” says McGonagall.
“Miss Pierce!!” I stop and turn around. I know it was rude to just leave but I’m nearing my breaking point. My eyes are burning again and my chest feels like a dead weight.
I hear someone clear their throat but when I glance at McGonagall, her lips are tightly pressed together. I finally glance to my left and notice a portrait I’d missed seeing when I first walked in, Albus Dumbledore. I remember Al telling me about how he was named for two of the greatest headmasters of all time. I had laughed at him and told him I was glad he at least had an excuse for having two atrocious names.
The portrait has blue eyes and spectacles and the look in his eyes is so reminiscent of Al’s that I feel tears welling up in my eyes. Dumbledore is staring at me with the saddest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. It’s like he knows what I’m going through. But he can’t, can he?
“Miss Pierce, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what happened. I know it’s obviously painful for you to think about but I won’t judge you I-”
“I didn’t do it.” I whisper, interrupting the Professor.
I look once more at Dumbledore. He winks at me and gestures for me to sit down once more in front of McGonagall. I glance around the room until my eyes land on another portrait, Severus Snape. This portrait doesn’t say anything either but he looks at me with a most curious expression.
I remember what Al told me about Snape. How he was hated and how everyone thought he had betrayed the Order and double crossed them all. How he followed Dumbledores orders, putting himself at risk, knowing that it was for the greater good. Al said his father called Snape, ‘The bravest man he’s ever known.’
I take a deep breath and start to talk. My throat is raspy from hardly speaking for so long. But as I continue, it becomes easier and easier. One breath and one word at a time, I tell Mcgonagall what really happened that night.
Al may never wake up, I may never forgive myself but one thing is for certain. He and I, we won’t be victims any longer. It’s time to speak up. If Mcgonagall won’t believe me, someone else will. Like the muggles say, ‘Truth will out.'
Truth will out.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! Please leave a review, any feedback is appreciated and taken into consideration.
I've already heard that many of you want to hear the rest of Samantha's story. I can't promise that this will be extended into a short story but I am working on Frank's POV. Nothing can ever justify what he did to Al and Samantha but his POV will shed light on why he acted out like he did and why.
'Like the muggles say, 'Truth will out', is quoted from the fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of The Phoenix. All Characters you recognize belong to J.K. Rowling.
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