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Chapter 4 : Feelings, Past, Memories And Me
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Authors Note I’d say this was a pretty fast chapter? Assignments can wait a while.
This chapter is a lot different from the others, especially near the end, but don’t worry it’s going back to its comedy roots next chapter so please don’t lose interest. I loved writing this chapter, it came quite easy once I sat down and began to write. It’s the longest yet! I was in two halves to split it up, but decided against it in the end. Oh the preview has been a little edited from last chapter. You learn a few things about Nellie, generally, I like it. I don’t know when the next chapter is going to come out with college and all, but I don’t think it will be ages as the ideas are forming for that chapter.
I must thank you for your support. You’re all amazing. You’re the reason I write. I’m so glad I might have made you laugh once or twice hopefully. You don’t know how much this support means to me. So from the bottom of my heart; thank you.
I hope you enjoy the chapters. Comments and opinions are always welcomed.
Spot any typos? Tell me please.
Amazing Chapter Image by amoretti@tda
Feelings, Past, Memories And Me
It started off as an ordinary day.
It began when I fell out of bed into last night's popcorn bowl which resulted in popcorn everywhere. The curl at the back of my head just wouldn’t uncurl and I put on mismatched socks (yellow daisies and blue stars)…
“Nellie you are such a tramp.” Izzie commented as she wrinkled her nose at my ‘dumping ground’. “I’m so going to clean it one night when you’re at detention.” A mischievous grin formed on her face.
“Don’t you dare!” I shot back. I knew she wasn't playing around. I once went for a bath and came back to find that she had made my bed. Hospital corners and everything!
“What you going to do about it?” Izzie raised an eyebrow.
I thought for a moment before the perfect idea came into my mind. “Kick you in the shins.” I threatened.
“Last time you did that it felt like a tickle.” Izzie laughed before sticking her tongue out at me and packing her bag oh-so-neatly.
“A hurtful tickle.” I replied, trying to justify my kick. I've always thought I had a rather good kick and her insult made me want to kick stuff.
Izzie giggled, “Yeah. Whatever, Nellie.”
I dumped my stuff into my bag and swung it over my shoulders.
“Nellie?” Izzie looked me.
“You have toothpaste on your cheek.”
“Oh no!” I quickly dropped my bag and ran into the bathroom.
Only to find I didn’t have any toothpaste on my face.
“Silly muffin.” I muttered as I could hear Izzie’s laughter ringing from the bedroom. No doubt she would probably laugh so hard she’d have tears in her eyes. She is such a geek.
...I’m such a fool.
I scowled at Izzie before I picked up my bag and walked out of the dormitories. I walked towards the Great Hall with Izzie, who I was currently ignoring because of the toothpaste prank. I was doing an excellent job because it has been two minutes and I have yet to utter a word to her.
My last record was only thirty seconds, but in my defence, she took Mr Snuggles Le Fuggles La Muggle as hostage. It was a dreadful time. He’s never been the same since. Oh, Mr Snuggles Le Fuggles La Muggle is part of my very large teddy bear collection. He has to be my favourite though. It’s his chewed up ear, small tear in the foot, and a missing button from his chest, along with his pink tutu and rainbow cowboy boots. Mum bought me some accessories when I first got him. Lemme tell you now, cowboy boots and tutus don’t mix at all. Still though, he holds so many memories that I only have to look at him and I smile.
“…and then I was like yeah, get lost.” Izzie carried on rambling. She’d been telling me one of her many stories. This one I was positive she had made up, because even in the magical world, toasters don’t talk and you can’t make kangaroos actually understand English can you? And tell them to get lost? Well I might not be sure about that fact…but I definitely know that she didn’t battle a troll at age five. This was Izzie’s way of getting me to talk to her without violence. She would just talk, about nothing important really, usually one of her many stories. I’d listen a little bit here and there…and eventually I’d reply without remembering I was mad at her or something along the lines of that.
It didn’t help I couldn’t stay a minute mad at the girl either.
“Nellie. Talk to me?” Izzie sighed.
I glared at her. “No.”
Okay, I’m so not talking to her from this moment on.
Okay, so from this moment, I’m not talking to her.
“Nellie, either you talk to me now or…” I looked at her, she was grinning like a mad man, well woman. In her hand was my heaven. Yes that’s right, she had stolen my biscuits from my bag and now she was holding them hostage.
First Mr. Snuggles Le Fuggles La Muggle and now my biscuits. This girl has no shame! No shame I tell you!
“When did you manage to take them?” I eyed her suspiciously. I remembered seeing them when I picked up my bag.
“When you were lost in your thoughts, I managed to swipe them out of your bag.” She chuckled at the very thought of it. “I know, I’m a genius!” She stuck out her tongue cheekily.
Damn! That girl was good!
“Isabel! What do you want from me?” I cried hysterically, so much it made people turn and stare. If she’s going to be dramatic, I might as well join in. Right?
“I want you to talk to me…or I…” She paused for a moment for dramatic effect. “…eat the biscuits!” Izzie broke out in an evil laughter.
Her evil laughter went on for a few minutes.
She’s gotten quite good at it, I must say.
I gasped. “No!”
“Okay! I’ll agree to your threats Isabel Clemence Jonah Harriet Devereux!” Izzie glared at the use of her full name. She thinks hers is bad? Pwft. You should hear mine. Its right tongue twister. My parents got a little happy with adding lots of middle names. It’s a curse. It was a right cow to learn how to write it when you’re six and everyone else could spell their own name because they got just one middle name. Lucky buttons!
“As long,” I began again, “As you hand over the biscuits!”
“Okay.” Izzie smiled as she handed over the pack of biscuits which I put safety back into my bag.
Phew. I’m glad that horror is over now and we all got out safely. I managed to save the biscuits by saying a few words.
Forget Izzie being a genius, that’s me!
Just then, because I wasn’t paying attention, I fell down the stairs, grabbing Izzie along with me. We fell to the bottom of the floor in a heap.
Perhaps I’m not a genius then?
Izzie glared as she tugged on my ear. “Next time, pay attention. Oh, if you’re going to fall down the stairs, at least warn me? I mean, I have to at least get pulled down the stairs by my best friend in style!” She gave a little tut. “But that was just a mess!” She wasn’t mad at me because I had just pulled her down thirty steps or so. That's strange I tell you.
She grinned before getting up and offering her hand to me. I took it only so I could pull her down again to engulf her in a squashy hug.
At that moment, nothing else mattered, we were just two girls sitting on the floor hugging, I wasn’t even aware that people had seen my smiley cloud underwear as I fell down.
“Izzie?” I said as we walked through the doors of the Great Hall and sat at the Gryffindor table for breakfast.
“You didn’t really meet a kangaroo that understood English... right?” I asked.
“Of course I did. I mean I remember that battle with the troll. It was terrible. I almost lost a hair on my head.” Izzie face remained the same. I couldn’t pick up whether she was joking or not.
“Really?” I exclaimed. My friend battled a troll!
“No.” Izzie snorted, “It’s called sarcasm, Nellie. You should wine and dine it sometime.”
“Wine and dine it?” I asked confused.
“It’s an expression, you Muppet!” She giggled as she helped herself to some breakfast.
I shrugged, not understanding how I could wine and dine sarcasm. I helped myself to a mountain piled breakfast. Izzie looked at the size of my food portion to hers and rolled her eyes.
“Pig.” She took a sip of her pumpkin juice.
“Oink Oink.” I grinned and ate my food.
“Woah.” Sirius said as he sat next to me, along with James. Remus and Peter sat opposite. “You have a bigger breakfast that all four of us put together.”
“I like my food.”
“We can tell.” He eyed my food.
I glared. “What that’s supposed to mean?”
“It isn’t an insult.” Sirius grinned before turning back to James who began a conversation about today’s classes.
What an interesting fellow.
Then the mail came. Hundreds of owls flew into the Great Hall. One owl dropped a letter in front of me, just narrowly missing my breakfast. I looked at it strangely. Mum and Dad send letters on weekends because they think that if they send me letters in the week, I’ll be wasting time writing back instead of doing homework, plus I get my huge parcel of biscuits. Lots of packets of biscuits. Yummy. I call it ‘Biscuit Day’. Also known as Sunday to normal people.
I opened the letter ever so carefully, not wanting to tear it. Instantly, I noticed his handwriting and my heart skipped a beat. My parents mail didn't make me feel like this but his did. The neat scribble required no effort to read. I could make out his words perfectly. I quickly glanced at him, and then tore my eyes away. Wouldn’t want anyone to catch my silly glances. I sighed heavily.
He still made me smile. He had gotten more handsome over the holidays, but he hated me. He said so himself. I thought this game was over. Ended. Why was I becoming tainted by it again?
Why was he opening the wounds that had been so recently sealed? I just didn’t understand. Not that I understood much anyway.
I still cared for him: I was trying to push the feelings into platonic, but they still borderlined romantic. He only called when he needed me. I tried never to let anyone down.
That didn‘t mean I wanted to go.
Not at all. In fact I was rather dreading it.
What would it be like?
I read it carefully, absorbing every single word.
Meet me after supper in the Astronomy tower tonight. Don’t reply, just come.
A couple of words. That’s all he could spare. Two short sentences. I looked at him; I caught his eye and nodded, before finishing my breakfast.
“You okay Nellie? You look a little worried,” Sirius commented, before taking a sip of his orange juice.
“I’m fine.” I mumbled.
“You don’t seem it.” Sirius pointed out.
“It’s nothing,” I gave a small smile. Sirius shrugged and turned away.
I sighed with relief. “Izzie,” I whispered, “I need to talk to you straight away.” I said, giving a small nod to the letter. She looked at me and nodded. Then I screwed up the letter into a small ball and stuffed it into my bag before getting up and walking out of the Great Hall, Izzie following shortly behind me.
“It’s him again Nellie? Isn’t it?” She hissed in my ear.
“Not here,” I mumbled. I looked around before stuffing Izzie into an empty classroom.
Izzie tapped her foot impatiently as I pulled out letter and chucked it at Izzie. It took her a few seconds to read it. With each word, her face crunched up in anger.
“Is this all you're worth?” Izzie seethed, “A few lousy words?”
“You aren’t going are you?”
I didn’t reply.
“You are! Aren’t you! You’re planning to go!” She sighed, clearly frustrated. “What’s this going to be then? He says jump and you say how high?”
“No.” I sighed. “Izzie, he needs me.”
“He doesn’t deserve to need you.” She replied coldly, staring intently at me. She refused to blink or even break eye contact. It made me squirm.
“I thought you said you didn’t like him anymore?” Izzie was now pacing, a bad sign for Izzie.
“I don’t.” I sighed. I tried to reason with the girl. “Listen Izzie, It’s just one meeting. I’ll do what I did last time. I…” I didn’t have time to finish because Izzie had me in a bear hug.
To many people she was cold. To me, she was one of the most loving and caring people I’d ever known.
“Just promise me, you won’t let yourself go through everything you did again?”
I smiled. “I promise, Isabel.” She said no more, before dragging me out of the classroom as the bell had signaled the first class a few moments ago.
I walked into Potions late; it was lucky that Slughorn was being a little lazy that day too, as he wasn’t in yet.
Me and Izzie sat in our normal table, somewhere in the middle of the room. I felt more at ease. Izzie’s support always made me feel better. I know she’s always got my foot. Or was it back?
I never got that. So does that mean she’s actually stolen my foot?
‘Cause that would be odd.
Or is she holding my foot?
‘Cause then I’d have trouble walking.
I honestly don’t get these sayings.
Then, talk of the Professor, he comes though the door, wobbling slightly. Reminds me a bit of Jelly, but of course, he’s not food. Perhaps I should have eaten my breakfast. I’m a little hungry.
“Today class, we will be learning a simple allergy potion.”
I groaned; this class was going to be fun.
It really wasn’t. The potion was supposed to be blue. Mine turned a yucky brown. Then I managed to walk into Lily Evans’ cauldron. I bet hers worked because she’s so good at potions. Hey, at least I could be allergy free for the day.
The rest of classes went like a blur. It was soon time to go and meet him.
I heaved up the many stairs. Thousands at least! Out of all of the towers, he had to pick the tallest one. The spiral staircase makes me dizzy.
It’s quite a trek to meet people here, but it’s never in use except Wednesdays at midnight.
I hated that class at midnight!
Some of us like to be in bed at nine you know!
What can I say? Hogwarts used to tire me out. So many stairs, rooms and floors that are ever changing. It was hard for a first year like I was.
I practically chucked myself through the door, not bothering to close it, before finding a wall and I practically collapsed in a little heap.
"You need more exercise, Nellie. You can get used to the stairs." His voice was icy but it instantly drew me in. He was sitting next to the parapet and didn't even look at me. He was too busy looking out, staring at the lake. The moonlight defined his perfect bone structure. I instantly noticed how straight he was sitting; it defined him so clearly... tense and stressed about something.
He looked so neat, so tidy and it made me feel inadequate. How did he manage to make everything look so perfect when I was sprawled here in a mess?
Regulus Black… the perfect Slytherin to those who turned blindly to his faults. Regulus had a few faults, a few secrets, hidden desires and his mistake: me.
“Whatever.” I mumbled before getting up and walking over to sit next to him.
I stole a quick glance at him… too beautiful.
We sat there in silence for a few moments. Outside, the half moon was spectacular. The stars sparkled in the midnight blue sky.
“So Regulus,” I sighed, breaking the silence because it was choking me. “What do you want? Your letter was very brief.”
Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw him smirk. I tapped my fingers on the parapet, distracting myself; I looked everywhere except at Regulus. So my eyes mainly focused on the ground.
I’m a little scared of heights. That’s why my hands are gripping the floor.
Better to be safe than sorry.
“I haven’t seen you since July and those are your first words to me? Right down to the point.”
“You know why you haven’t seen me.”
“We broke up Regulus remember? All those words? I’m disgusting, remember that?” I looked at him for a moment, he didn’t move not even one inch. He didn’t care.
“Yep.” He repeated
I sighed, frustrated.
Yeah, I know. Me and Regulus Black, eh? I had a toy boy for just under a year. Probably the most idiotic thing I’ve ever done but I still don’t regret any of it. It was something that couldn’t be helped and eventually it collapsed just like Izzie said it would. He told me he hated me many times, but also that he couldn’t help but love me.
The love was a little stronger than the hate. But love can’t save us all.
How did it begin?
In the forbidden forest of course in my sixth year.
I was feeding the Thestrals, I think they’re unique. Beautiful but tragically misunderstood. They needed love too. I loved their eyes; so blank but mesmerizing.
The sun was shining, pelting its waves on everything in sight. Even though I was in shade, under many trees, I could still feel the sun burning on my back.
I sat near to the Thestrals on a log, just watching them, studying them. I was doing a project for Care of Magical Creatures.
“What are those things?” A boy asked confidently instantly whipping me out of my concentration.
“Thestrals.” I answered.
“They pull the carriages don’t they?” The boy shot me a dirty look probably because I was covered in dirt before brushing some dirt off the log and sitting down next to me.
“Why can’t everyone see them?”
I turned and looked at the boy, “They can only be seen by those who have witnessed death and accepted it.”
“Oh” The boy nodded, before looking at me.
“Nellie O’Neill.” I grinned as I introduced myself before holding out my dirty hand.
He didn’t take it. “Regulus Black.” He then noticed my colour tie and rolled his eyes at disgust. “Gryffindor.” He muttered shaking his head.
The boy nodded proudly, “The best house to be in really.”
“Aren’t you that Blacks brother?” I asked.
“He is no brother of mine.” Regulus bitterly snapped at me.
“Oh I just thought…” My cheeks flushed in embarrassment.
“Well, you thought wrong.”
“Don’t be, you stupid idiot. It‘s got nothing to do with you.”
I smiled, “Want to help me feed them?” I nodded my head towards the Thestrals.
Regulus thought about it for a moment before glancing around. Checking that nobody was there, he nodded. “Sure. Why not?” He face cracked into a small smile, but if one would have blinked, they would have missed this rare occurrence.
That was how our unlikely friendship began. We met every so often, talked a little here and thereand learned everything the other was willing to reveal about each other. Of course it was a secret. Regulus told me he’d be embarrassed and punished if anyone ever found out. Regulus wanted both: his status and our friendship. Unwillingly and somehow bizarrely it eventually bloomed into a romance. Hatred leads to obsession, obsession leads to love. It was a circle we were doomed to follow.
“You’re the daughter of two Mudbloods.” Regulus spat, disgusted at the information I’d just revealed. Of course, I’d called my parents Muggle-Borns and not the dreaded word Mudblood.
“Don’t call my parents that!” I furiously replied.
“Your grandparents are Muggles!” He snarled hitting his fist upon a wall.
“Oh stop it! I know you think that being a Black makes you royal or something but it doesn’t!” He turned to look at me, shocked that I’d disgraced his name.
“You’re the daughter of two Mudbloods!” Toxic venom seeped out of every syllable.
Something which had been dormant for a long time woke up inside of me and my hand collided with his face. Regulus clutched his cheek, glaring at me. Anger boiled throughout him, his fist clenched.
“I told you not to talk about them like that.” I shrugged.
Regulus stepped closer to me, for a moment I thought he was going to hit me, but his lips violently crashed onto mine. He bit my lip slightly causing me to whimper but he refused to break the kiss for a couple more moments as if he was testing something.
When he did, he looked at me like he was frightened; his eyes bore into mine for a moment before wiping his mouth.
“Disgusting.” He muttered. I opened my mouth to speak. “Don’t say anything Nellie, because I hate you.” It was then when he closed the gap between us again and I felt his lips on mine; this time I responded. He cupped my face a little too strongly, it was as if he was worried I was going to leave and wanted to make sure I didn‘t escape, but I was already lost in the magic I couldn‘t learn in class; I wasn‘t going anywhere.
“How has your summer been?” Regulus asked pulling me away from my memories, his voice calm and soothing.
“It was okay, spent most of with the ‘rents and Izzie really.” I smiled at some of the memories. “You?”
“I spent it trying to get over you.” Regulus was always quite blunt. I’d spent a lot of time moping about Regulus, but Izzie seemed to get mad that I cared about a person who told me he hated me more times than he said he loved me. She just didn’t understand that I couldn’t help it.
“I also did it. I joined him.”
“What?” My eyes went wide as I looked at him.
"I told you I would. It was one of the factors in our break-up." Regulus spoke in a monotone. His voice didn't hold the same weight as his words.
After our first kiss, he told me many things. About how he hated Sirius for being different, how his parents were shams, his cold and unloving upbringing, his views which I disagreed with, his future plans which I was never involved in. I was used as a confidant and someone to throw insults at, but I'd always be there to listen to him without a moment's notice.
Still this had to be the worst revelation… telling me you’ve joined a psychopath that likes to kill Muggle-Borns, like my parents, probably me too, as my heritage is a little messed up. I still get called Mudblood even though my parents are both wizards.
It’s just the way some people roll.
“How could you?” I snarled angrily.
“Quite easily.” Regulus shrugged, as if it wasn’t much of a big deal.
“Did it hurt?” I sighed, giving up. I couldn’t be bothered to argue with the boy. I'd get nothing out of him.
Regulus looked at me before lifting up his robe to reveal the mark on his arm. The dark mark. I couldn’t help but gasp, it wasn't a pretty thing. I wondered why they couldn't have picked something more socially acceptable?
Regulus rolled his eyes at my gasping. “Not as much as losing you.” Regulus tore his eyes away from me and back to the stars. “Still though, it hurt like hell. Like my arm was being ripped up, I remember thinking, this is it; this is how you’re going to die Regulus. Over and over again. Of course, I survived. My family is so proud. A real Death Eater in the family!” His laugh was somewhat sadistic. Regulus stared at the mark for a moment before covering it up again.
“Oh Regulus,” I clutched his hand but he snatched it away.
“Don’t Nellie.” His voice was almost pleading.
“You called me to tell me that?”
“No. Nellie…I hate…” He dropped his head not finishing. “I’m in a little deep.” He looked at me. He reached over a placed a strand of hair behind my ear. “You’re so unnoticeably beautiful.” He murmured before lightly pressing his lips against mine.
Our lips lingered on each others before I managed to pull myself away.
“Regulus, no.” I said firmly. “We can’t.”
“What?” His eyes pleading at me.
“You’re a Death Eater now.” I couldn’t hide the disappointment in my tone, “If we’re seen together. You’ll be murdered. I couldn’t have that.” This scene seemed too familiar. “We can’t do this anymore! Meetings, talking, or even looking at each other!” I mumbled softly.
“I love you Nellie.” He spoke so quietly, a tone in which an unconfident small child would use to ask a question.
“I know Regulus…but we’ve got different paths to follow.”
Regulus glanced at me as he got up, “There is no chance of us being together?”
“If you are willing to lose everything.”
“I am not willing.”
He leaned down, captured my lips perfectly with his own once more, before pulling away. “One last time eh?” He gave me a smile which would be the last time I ever saw Regulus smile. “You’ll always be my best, worst and favourite mistake.”
“Let’s go back to playing our parts eh?” Regulus gathered his stuff, “I wished we could have worked out. I‘m glad there was an us.” Regulus paused for a moment, “I guess this is goodbye?” I hated the word goodbye, it was just so permanent.
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“Good Bye Nellie.”
“Good bye Regulus.”
Then I watched my past walk right out the door. Once again, I was left alone.
I thought back to our break-up; it was a few days before term ended.
He kissed me lightly on the lips and I giggled slightly. He then rested his head in my lap as I played with his soft hair.
“Nellie I have to tell you something.”
“I’m thinking of becoming a Death Eater”
“You can’t.” I pleaded, my hand gripping his, squeezing it.
“Nellie it’s what's expected of me.” Regulus shrugged as if he didn’t have any say in the matter.
“You have a choice Regulus,”
“What about me?”
“What about you?”
“Death Eaters don’t date people like me!” I stood up, pushing Regulus off me.
“Then we are over I guess.” Regulus said simply standing up.
“You guess?” I screamed at him. These months, did they mean nothing?
“I hate you Nellie O’Neill.” He whispered, as if he was trying to convince not me, but himself. I pressed my lips against his, he responded instantly out of habit.
“Tell me you felt nothing.”
“I felt nothing.” Regulus lied. I could tell… he could tell. It was useless.
“I have to.” Regulus admitted. “I don’t even know why I love you so much. You’re a filthy, disgusting daughter of a Mudblood.” When the words escaped his lips, his face instantly showed regret.
I didn’t even know I was crying until Regulus was wiping my tears away.
“Don’t cry, Nellie.” He whispered. Still, the tears came.
He pressed his lips to mine, “We knew this wouldn’t work out.”
“I know.” I mumbled softly. “That doesn’t mean I like it.”
I closed my eyes, before pushing Regulus away. He looked hurt, but at the moment, I didn’t care. He had hurt me too.
“Get out, Regulus.” I ordered.
“What?” Regulus asked confused.
“Just go. If we’re going to pretend that nothing happened, might as well start now eh? I’m just a disgusting daughter of a Mudblood who’s filthy. Well you’re just a rotten bin liner!” I shouted before grabbing my stuff and leaving the room in tears. Regulus managed to get in another ‘I hate you’ before I left.
I remember that moment clearly. I wanted to hate him so much but I couldn’t, even now. He is a Death Eater and I still can’t. I know I should probably report him or something.
But I won’t.
I hoped he thought his decision was worth it. The thing is, once you make the promise to Voldemort, It’s to the end. No going back.
I gathered up my stuff and dragged my feet down the stairs, making the long journey back to the common room.
…To Be Continued
Next time on The World, Biscuits And According To Nellie O’Neill.
Then I heard the portrait door being swung open and the Marauders entered the common room, talking amongst themselves, laughing carelessly.
“Hello Nellie,” James gave a tiny wave when he saw me.
“Hello,” I responded as I too returned the wave.
As I scanned them all, it was then I noticed something; Sirius Black was glaring at me.
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