Chapter 14 : prettynerdyunigirl
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My becoming the supergirl was actually Elizabeth’s fault, really.
I had been living with her since the November, when she had unexpectedly become single and without a roommate in one fell swoop, to pay the half of the bills she couldn’t afford. His leaving coincided with my needing a flat as soon as possible- my trust fund that I’d received on my eighteenth couldn’t stretch to many nights in hotels.
It was February, when she and I were comfortable but not close, when her drunk and disorderly ex-boyfriend turned up on our doorstep and expected her to take him back with desperately open arms. She didn’t even go to the door. Instead, I tried to convince him she’d left and only I lived there. His inebriation refused to allow him to believe she could ever move on without him. The girl he’d left her for was out of the picture, and he tried to insist that it was ‘all done with now, she could get over it’.
I kept my story up even when he tried to push into the flat, shoving me back in but I pushed back far more fiercely. Warning him I’d call the police was the breaking point for him, clumsily taking a poorly aimed and slow punch at me. My untrained body and unrefined reflexes responded well enough to avoid it, so in kind I slammed a fist into the side of his head and shoved him out of the doorway to slap the door shut in his face.
Tight lipped, white faced and shaking, Elizabeth had seen the exchange of blows and was on the phone to police before I’d even begun to speak. It had taken a lot of hot, strong tea and a call to her parents to calm her down, where I laughed a lot. She gave me strange looks, as though I was crazy, but I was just overwhelmed by adrenaline and fear.
In a brief craze after the Ex-Boyfriend Incident, we both went to self defence classes with our spare change and learnt a few blocks and pressure points- enough to make us think we knew everything, anyway. Late one night, not long after we’d decided to call it quits, I was walking to a pub to meet Elizabeth and her friends when I came across a mugging in progress. Without thinking, I snuck up behind the mugger and grabbed him in a chokehold that blocked off oxygen to the brain enough to render him unconscious in less than 30 seconds.
Of course, I got the rush again. The fear and adrenaline and power coursed through my veins again and I couldn’t leave it alone. The rush of saving people was too great, but it was an addiction I had to feed. I had to quit my dead end job as a waitress and get a dead end job as an office worker in the Improper Use of Magic department of the ministry. Using my newfound money, I took a series of intense self defence and martial arts classes. I honed and perfected wordless magic, and began to train myself in wandless magic. My quick rush became a thrill seeking hobby.
You see, had Elizabeth not dated that idiot in the first place, she would have found a more reliable roommate and never would have met me. I’d have never discovered my rush and maybe she wouldn’t have died in my arms, on the cold pavement in the street, skin ripped apart by magic I couldn’t reverse.
There wouldn’t have been any headlines written, or blogs hastily updated in the aftermath. None of it would have happened if she hadn’t met me.
After, I Apparated into the flat, still covered in blood and in my superhero costume.
Someone just tried to kill supergirl... and some girl jumped in the way. And the news is pretty sure the girl is dead.
god this is a mess
This is such a fucking mess- did the bad guys get away?
most of them, yeah
I want them dead. The people who did this; I WANT THEM DEAD.
The police are making a statement, channel 3 guys
And channel 1
It’s on here in New York...
I can vouch for Louisiana
I can’t even handle the amount of videos there are...
The websites are blocking any with her dying in
I don’t understand... how that girl died. And I can’t believe she just jumped straight in front of supergirl.
I can’t believe those two teenage girls weren’t killed too
they were all so brave
She was pronounced dead at the scene. They murdered a girl just to try and get to the superhero- and for what? I can’t believe it. I just can’t.
The police are telling everyone to stay calm- how the hell do we stay calm? One of the police was one of THEM! And we haven’t even HEARD from supergirl and jesus those guys were fucking psychopaths
We haven’t heard from the bad guys, though, either.
I think she gave herself up to protect all of us
don’t say that. she needs to be okay
Did you see the pictures? Our superhero... she was devastated.
I don’t think anyone wants someone to die for them.
I didn’t look for the first responses on the internet.
‘Muggle Killed In Failed Attempt to Apprehend the Superhero: Ministry in Shambles’
‘Where Is Our Hero?’
‘Ministry’s Methods Questioned: Muggle Girl’s Death Was ‘Unnecessary’’
I didn’t see the headlines that were written.
I launched all the mugs in the sink at the wall and slammed my still-whirring laptop onto the floor and stomped on it, foot straight through screen and keys littering the floor with tiny pieces of plastic and metal.
Grief is a strange thing. It twists you and consumes you and breaks all the bones holding your mind together and pulses through you like a violent disease, but it never kills you. It yanks your hair from your head and gouges out chunks of skin and scratches away your soul until there’s nothing left, but it doesn’t leave scars.
I screamed and threw chairs and broke everything I could reach in our little shared home that wasn’t ours anymore until the neighbours called the police.
I’m sorry, officer. I’m fine, sir. No- no, I did that. Yes. It’s private property, sir, I can do what I like. No, I don’t- for fuck’s sake, my roommate died and I’m about to fucking lose it- have you got that, sir? I really am sorry these people’s cosy little existences were disturbed, but really, I don’t need any fucking help, I’m just pissed off- it’s better the furniture than people. Yes, I understand. No, it won’t happen again. Bye.
Her parents had been notified. They were her emergency contact, right before me.
I couldn’t believe it.
She had a boyfriend and parents and a future that could be respected. She was loved and loved so wholly in return and why, why did it have to be her? Why couldn’t I have spared the right five seconds to stand in the way of that curse? Why did the girl who had everything have to lose it?
How had the empty, broken child who abused her powers been spared?
I sank onto the sofa and stayed there for a long time, staring blankly at the wall. Eventually- after much too long of silence- I pulled out my wand, and began to wave it. I mended the mugs and the chairs, the table and the chipped countertop in the kitchen, the lamp that had been caught in the crossfire of a flying vase. Clearing up my mess had been tedious and efficient and simple.
I had to see her parents, two days after, to realise that I could never really clean up my mess.
Their eyes were wide, as though still stunned, as though they still didn’t know what they had been told- the cover story about a pair of machete-wielding, delusional psychopaths- I don’t think even they believed it. They had come to see me, they had said, but I knew it wasn’t that. I had slept in her bed the last two days, after all. I pointed to her room, told them to take whatever they wanted.
It still had that jumble of clothes and notebooks and other random crap in the corner.
I watched them go in, then went back into my room. Their sobbing bled through the wall, covering me in the undeniable agony of their loss.
Eventually, they came back out, so I did too.
Her mum was clutching Francis into her chest, as though hugging the teddy was hugging her daughter. Her dad was clutching her hand.
“We’re going to put this in with her, if that’s okay,” her mum said, gesturing to Francis through the tears.
I nodded, crying too. “Yeah. She should have him.”
I made them a cup of tea each, but they left after that.
There are no words to relieve pain.
There was no spell I could utter, or formula I could create, or simple logic I could give them. I couldn’t change that their daughter had died, in their eyes, for a stranger. I couldn’t say something to stop them crying because words can’t protect anyone.
In the end, the only thing we had was time.
Everything was her. I couldn’t escape the simple things, like when I made two cups of tea instead of one or made a comment about the news to an empty room. I smelt her perfume and felt her presence in the air but I knew she wouldn’t be back.
The girl was too damn Gryffindor to be a ghost.
Four days after, I finally went on her laptop.
Her password wasn’t hard to guess- Tootsie the labradoodle had been her first pet, I just had the find the right year- and I began to look.
She saved most of her passwords, so I could get into her accounts. I went on her blog.
None of them knew.
I typed a small post.
Hi, I’m prettynerdyunigirl‘s roommate. I’m sorry to all her followers, but this blog won’t be updating anymore. She died four days ago. She’s the best person I know, and I’m not sure what to do without her, but she always said how nice you guys are. She really loved this website.
I changed it several times over before I got the final post.
I didn’t want to see the responses; I didn’t want to know what they wanted. I logged out again.
Her other networking sites were already filled with messages from people who knew her.
Only one really caught my eye:
I’ll see you again, sweetheart.
It was Cute Boy. His profile picture was of two goofy grins- him and her, in a park, huddled under an umbrella. I wondered when they’d taken it, then I looked and realised she’d uploaded it eight days before and he’d stolen it six days before, and added a caption.
dunno what foul creature she’s with but that girl is beautiful <3 xxx
He was pretty near perfect.
After a while of studying her photos, I looked in her ‘Dissertation’ folder; she had five drafts, and the fifth one was finished. I didn’t know if she would have submitted it but I could pretend.
On the sixth day, her parents called me and told me if I wanted to write a letter to give her, so to speak, I could. I only wrote one. She’d have laughed if I had cared about presentation or spelling or grammar.
Once I started writing, though, I couldn’t stop. I recounted every story and moment I remembered, everything I thought was profound about her and her life, what I loved about her and already missed. I told her everything about the wizarding world and what I’d done and who I knew. I told her about Harry and how I wondered if heaven was the same for wizards and muggles, but that I was pretty sure it was because death doesn’t really differentiate between the two.
So I’ll see you there, angel.
On the eighth day, I gave them the letter and helped them pick out an outfit for her. In the end, we chose a pretty summer dress and flat shoes and flowers woven in her hair. I wanted to tell them they’d see her again, but it wouldn’t have helped.
On the eleventh day, I bought a new dress to wear on the twelfth- grey, and not completely hopeless. She wouldn’t have liked all that black anyway.
A/N this is for Sophie: your parents shouldn’t have buried you.
One more chapter.
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