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Chapter 8 : Last Day of Peace
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Chapter eight, everyone! Enjoy!
It’s been a week. A week since I dueled with my siblings in the corridors before lunch, and won. A week since Lupin fixed my ankle on the floor of the sixth year boys’ dormitory bathroom. A week since Regulus disappeared to “visit family.”
Yeah, like anyone’s going to believe that load of absolute rubbish.
I, for one, can take a guess at what that really means.
It’s been a week since Regulus went off to run errands for the Dark Lord.
I walked into the great hall Saturday for lunch, and was shocked to see Regulus sitting at the Slytherin table, looking thinner and slightly beat up, but, more or less, in good health. I was not, however, surprised to see Boras, Blythe, and Bellatrix grinning at each other secretively. They hadn’t told anyone yet.
But they will. They most definitely will.
Boras waved me over. I looked over at the Gryffindor table just in time to see Lupin shaking his head sadly at James, and Sirius stabbing his food viciously. As if they could ever fully understand my motives. As if they would ever even try.
I walked over to join them, treading cautiously. I had no idea what they were going to throw my way, but I was prepared for anything. I had to be.
“Good morning,” I greeted everyone, taking my seat next to Regulus and across from Bellatrix. Boras was to my right, sitting back with his hands folded on the table. I swallowed hard, trying to remain collected. I could immediately see that the positioning was deliberate. I would be trapped across from Bellatrix, and between Boras. I would have to get through one of them to get to the door.
The people around me were chatting excitedly, well, as excited as they could possibly get, and they seemed to be discussing something in relation to the Dark Lord. Regulus excluded himself from the conversation, as did I. It was the female’s place, after all, to be seen not heard, and to sit patiently while the men spoke.
“They’ll see soon enough. Those blood traitors and Muggle-lovers are in for a surprise,” Boras said, sending me a not so subtle glance as he continued, “You just wait and see.”
His words made my skin crawl. The way he put it convinced me that something was about to go down. Soon. Very soon. And I can guarantee that it won’t be pleasant.
“I just can’t wait!” Bellatrix giggled. The ‘sit back and look pretty’ rule doesn’t apply to Bellatrix. It’s likely that she would kill you with her bare hands if you ever suggested something like that to her face.
I couldn’t block the shiver that ran down my back as she laughed again.
Breakfast continued on, and I found it harder and harder not to question their motives for keeping quiet. The suspense was killing me. When were they going to expose me?
The volume increased as their excitement, and my distaste grew. I didn’t want to be a part of this anymore. I didn’t want to deal with wrestling between what I was supposed to do, and what I knew I wanted to do deep down inside me.
It was a horrible feeling.
“You have one more day with him. I suggest you spend it in an enjoyable manner,” Boras leaned over and whispered into my ear when no one was looking. I wasn’t sure whether or not to be thankful of the warning, or frightened by the underlying threat. I nodded discreetly in response anyway, deciding to be happy that I at least had one more day with him.
I couldn’t help but wonder if that might be more of a bad thing than good.
“Just finish your homework, then we can go somewhere else and do something fun,” I pushed the stack of books back towards Regulus. We had been sitting here for over an hour, and so far, nothing had been accomplished.
“There’s no way I’m finishing any of this today. It’s too complicated,” he replied, placing his quill back down on the table.
“That’s what you get for disappearing for an entire week,” I paused, considering whether or not to continue, “Where’d you go anyway?”
His expression morphed from carefree to cold and emotionless in a matter of seconds.
“It’s really none of your business,” he snapped turning back to his essay. I really hadn’t been expecting an answer anyway, but it was worth a try. I sat back, giving him space to calm himself. It only took a few minutes.
“I’m sorry, Clio,” he looked up from his work, dropping his quill again, “I’m just really stressed about all this.” He didn’t specify what he was stressed about.
I shrugged, “No problem. You’re right, it wasn’t for me to ask.”
Wasn’t for me to ask, my ass. I had a right to know, he’s my boyfriend, and I really need to find out what type of casket he prefers for when Voldemort lights his sorry ass up for doing something wrong.
It’s bound to happen eventually.
I leaned over, underlining the information he needed to include in his charms essay for him. I did not want to sit in this dusty library all day. I love it when I’m here alone, because it’s peaceful and quiet, but not with someone else. Well, I don’t really mind if it’s just me and Lily.
I really miss her.
He kissed my cheek, standing up to return a reference book. I stretched, popping my back and staring out the window. I tied my shoe. Took a minute to braid my hair. Undid the braid. Stood up. Sat back down. Read a couple pages in Regulus’ potions book. Sketched a quality picture of me pushing Sirius Black into a pit full of hungry lions with bows tied in their manes. Regulus still hadn’t come back, and I was beginning to seriously question my sanity.
“For the love of Merlin, how long does it take to return a stupid book?” I grumbled, pushing the chair back from the table. I stood up and began to search for Regulus, turning a few cartwheels in the process to burn some of my pent up restless energy.
It wasn’t long before I heard them. The library was relatively empty, and it wasn’t like Sirius was being exactly quiet, anyway. I crept forward, stepping lightly as I was almost positive that Sirius had hearing better than that of a normal human.
I took cover behind a bookshelf that was close to where Sirius and Regulus were speaking, pretending to search for a book while I listened.
“She’s no good for you, Reg, and you know it.” Well, then. I’m really feeling the love, Black.
“I don’t see how it’s any of your concern,” Regulus answered.
“No, Sirius, I get that you’re worried and all, but there’s no need to be. Really.”
“Look,” Sirius tried again, “there’s something off about her.”
I peeked through the holes in the books, surprised to find that the brothers weren’t at each other’s throats, and were, instead, positioned calmly. I had never actually thought that Sirius could have a civil conversation that involved me without flipping out and cursing everything in sight.
There he goes again, ruining any pre-conceptions I might have had about him.
“Why are you trying so hard to convince me? I like her, ok? There’s nothing off, you just can’t stand her because she hangs around us. It’s not fair,” Regulus protested.
“I don’t like it.”
“You don’t have to.”
I cocked my head to the side. Their conversation didn’t particularly bother me. I already knew Sirius didn’t hold a very high opinion of me. By now, I actually expected it. If he were to suddenly become nice, I would be worried.
The brothers were silent for a while after that, and I began to grow bored. I stepped out from around the cover of the bookcase, revealing myself carefully so that they wouldn’t suspect that I had been listening in the entire time.
“Hey, Reg, you ready to go?” I asked, keeping my expression neutral. They both jumped. I suppose Sirius hadn’t been listening very carefully, or else he would have split before I approached them.
Sirius shoved past me roughly without a word, very nearly knocking me into the bookshelf. Regulus gave me an apologetic smile, grabbing my hand and subtly steering me away from the direction Sirius had taken.
He packed up his things, apparently forgetting that he had more work to do. I didn’t bring it to his attention, sensing that he wanted to get out of the library quickly.
We ended up by the lake. I was enjoying the weather. It wasn’t cold, but it wasn’t hot, either. Regulus was splayed out, his head in my lap, somewhere between sleep and consciousness. I assumed he wasn’t fully recovered from his little business trip. I wondered where he had gone, and how it would be if Voldemort wasn’t around to influence them.
I guess we would never know. It seemed like he was around to stay. I forced those thoughts out of my mind, deciding to focus on things I had control over.
Regulus and I.
Normally things were more formal between us, somewhat forced, and had the air that it was all for show. Deep down we both knew that if we weren’t betrothed, if it weren’t for our status crazed, controlling parents, that we would have never agreed to be together. Neither of us were willing to acknowledge it, but it was there.
I frowned, realizing that it was almost time for dinner. I would have to face my siblings, and whatever they had in store for me. It most likely wasn’t going to be pretty, or pleasurable, and I was frightened.
I was too different from them to ever be completely happy with their planned life styled. I knew that now, and they knew it, too. Things could never go back to the way they were before, I had Snape to thank for that, but maybe, just maybe it would be for the best. I had to hold on to that hope.
“You ready to go to dinner?” Regulus asked, breaking the sweet silence. I nodded, accepting his hand as he pulled me up from the ground.
As ready as I’ll ever be.
There you have it, chapter eight. I apologize for the delay, school has been a real time consumer lately. Chapter nine should be up fairly soon, though.
How did you like it? Any thoughts, suggestions, critiques are welcome and appreciated. If you have the time, leave me a review telling me what you think. I would love to hear it! :)
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Thanks again for reading and (hopefully) reviewing,
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