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Chapter 30 : So Far From Innocence/Seen Your Path on Home
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 13|
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You've come so far from innocence
Provided all the consequence
Only what does it matter now?
In the trust you've seen your path on home
-Coheed and Cambria
"Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree . . . guys, what’s the next word?"
Sirius was trying to sing us into the Christmas spirit after he had woken (at an outrageously early hour, I might add) and discovered that it was December. However, we didn’t need it; we were already stoked. Infact, Sirius’ pitiful voice put a little damper on our excitement.
I tried to smother his voice by placing a pillow on my head, but to no avail. "Sirius," I heard James groan. "You do realize that it is only the first of December, yeah?"
"Of course! Which means it’s officially the Christmas season!" His chipper voice felt sort of like a stiletto in my ear. A very pointy, tall stiletto. That punctured my brain. And went out the other ear.
For nearly ten minutes, I listened to each of the Marauders try to argue Sirius back into his bed; they all failed. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore; I leapt from my bed and jumped directly onto his back, clinging tightly to him as he struggled to stay standing. Once I knew that we wouldn’t be falling to our death, I began to pummel him. "Go to sleep. Go to sleep! GO TO SLEEP!"
Eventually, I removed myself from his back, and stormed back over to my bed where I once again snuggled under the warm covers and fell asleep in just under a minute.
"You know Dasher, and-"
Sirius’ second bout of yuletide singing (approximately two hours later) was cut short by James tackling his mate. Luckily for us, this had much more of an effect than me tackling him. We weren’t bothered for the rest of the morning.
Around noon, we all finally agreed that it would be good to bundle up and get out in the snow for a while. I layered myself up with scarves and gloves. And, of course, my favorite wool hat with the ear flaps. It was furry. It never failed to make me smile whenever I put it on.
We made our way down to the common room, with intentions of getting some lunch before heading outside, and I spotted Darren.
"Care for a little snow-time fun?" I called to him. "There’s some hot chocolate in it for you."
"Tempting," he said, in an extremely mocking tone that made me frown. "But I think I’ll stay inside."
I sneered at him. "Well if you wanted to chill in here with a stick up your arse, all you had to do was say so."
I ran to catch up with the Marauders, who were just out the portrait hole, and we left for the Great Hall. After a quick lunch, we headed out into the blizzard with warm, yummy food in our stomachs.
We built up snow forts (Muggle style, it didn’t count as a snow ball war if you used magic) and were just about to call ‘Fire’ when we saw someone walking towards us.
"No," I said quietly to myself, when I thought I had identified the intruder. "It can’t be."
But it was. Darren was dressed in a painfully light winter coat, and gloves. (This was in addition to his clothes, of course; he wasn’t running around pantsless.)
The Marauders all watched, wide-eyed, as he walked over to me. Evidently, they were as shocked as I was.
"I’m here for the snow ball fight?"
"Try a full-out war; it’s all or nothing, buddy. You sure you’re ready?" I challenged.
"You gave my kind of fun a try," he said. "I reckon it’s time that I give yours a try."
Darren’s rosy cheeks and red nose - in addition to the hat he had just pulled out of his pocket and placed on his head - gave him the impression of an innocent. "You’re dead," I told him. "You can share my fort, since you won’t have time to make your own."
I stood up with my hands in the air, so the Marauders knew we weren’t playing yet. I quickly explained what we were doing and ducked back down.
"Be careful out there," I warned Darren. "These guys don’t do the mercy rule."
"FIRE!" I heard.
I jumped up, snowballs already in my hand, and darted from the safety of my fort. I ran wildly, dodging the fast, pelting snowballs that whizzed at me. A painfully large one hit me square in the back just as I dove into the cover of a large willow tree. (Not the Whomping Willow; I had had enough experiences with that tree to know to keep my distance whenever my brain was working properly.)
One of the most surprising moments of my life happened that day; I actually witnessed, with my own eyes, Darren having fun with something that did not involve sex or other grown-up things.(This is excluding the rolling-down-the-hill incident; it didn’t quite count.) He wildly threw snowballs, ducking and covering at the appropriate times, and smiled enough that I thought his face would crack. I even thought I had heard some sort of wild Indian call, but it could have been Sirius.
An hour later, covered in a chilly combination of sweat and melted snow, I collapsed beside Darren. "Tell me the truth," I demanded. "Did you have fun?"
He looked at me, in the eyes and said, "Yes."
I nuzzled my face into his neck for a moment, before moving to kiss him and rolling over so that I was on top of him. The Marauders had already gone inside (on Remus’ insistence) and we were in a section of the grounds so secluded, that no one ever went there. (It was a finding of the Marauders, of course.)
I looked at him, seriously. "This is thanks for keeping an open mind." I bent my head down and kissed him for a little while, before lifting my head and smiling coyly at him. "Now, if I’m not mistaken, I’ve got a little bit of a debt to pay off."
It was nearly a week later, around one in the morning, when I was sneaking out of the dormitory to meet Darren in the Astronomy tower.
I saw just stepping through the threshold when Sirius’ sleepy voice said, "Where goin’?"
"To slay a dragon," I said quietly. That answer might satisfy a sleepy Sirius, but if any of the other guys woke up they would question it.
"Oh." I heard his head hit the pillow again. "Don’t get burned."
What a dumbarse, I thought, smiling.
I quietly tiptoed my way down the stairs and through the rest of the common room. A few people remained, but no one thought anything of it as I quickly passed by. As I jumped out of the portrait hole and landed in the corridor, I thought that I might’ve wanted to take James’ cloak.
"Oh, well, too late now," I told myself.
Because I was just an awesome, stealthy sort of person (psh, yeah right) I only ran into one suit of arms on my way. Luckily, the Marauders had found a secret passageway just nearby that Filch did not know about. How convenient.
Luckily, the staircase to the tower was right at the end of the Seventh floor corridor. I quickly climbed up it and went out to sit on the balcony. If Darren was already there, I didn’t know it, so I lay down on the freezing stone (bundled up in a blanket of course) and closed my eyes. It was probably five minutes later when Darren tapped me on the shoulder.
"I’m cold," I informed him, sitting up and wrapping the blanket tightly around me.
Darren took the blanket from my clutches and spread it out under me before placing himself on top of me. He did all of this in a matter of five or ten seconds. "I know something we can do about that."
I pushed him off almost immediately. "Dude. Seriously?"
Darren sat back up and looked confusedly at me. I saw a small shiver run through him. "It’s one o’clock in the fucking morning! It’s less than zero degrees outside! And you brought me out here just so you can have a nice shag!?"
I wasn’t angry. Honest. I was just completely shocked. So I took a deep breath and shared my blanket with him, wrapping it around his shoulders. "Darren, if you wanted to do something like that, couldn’t it have been done in a somewhat warmer place, at a slightly earlier time?
"Now come on, let’s go get some hot chocolate, and maybe we can go ice-skating, or rolling down a frozen hill or-"
"Bloody hell!" Darren’s voice was a deep imitation of what mine had been a minute earlier. However, I doubt his was because of shock; he actually sounded angry. "What is the matter with you?
"You’re most certainly the only girl I know who wouldn’t want to come up to the astronomy tower on a freezing night and make some heat of her own. No! You’d rather sneak down to the kitchens and get some hot chocolate, before taking a nice moonlit stroll while doing some immature, childish version of having fun!"
I sat on the ground staring at him. I decided it would be better to let him release all his pent up energy; it wasn’t healthy.
"You’re six-fucking-teen! Now is the time that you snog and shag and do all that fun shit! But no! You just want to run around like a little six-year-old and play hide-and-seek with your arrogant, six-year-old buddies.
"You just can’t grow up, can you? How is anyone supposed to spend time with you when they have to deal with that?!"
Darren was breathing heavily, and certainly was not finished. I felt rather like I was watching a movie; a really cold movie. I pulled my blanket closer as the wind whipped at me.
"You’re unbearable! The way that you just prance around like a child, having fun with the most simple things!
"Not all of us can fucking do that! Not everyone’s lives are just so careless that they can do whatever it is that they want and just be that happy! . . . You don’t think I wish I could do that? How much would I fucking love to just roll down a hill on a daily basis, smile and think ‘Oh, golly gee that was fun!’ You don’t think I want to be able to!?"
I gave a small smile. Ha, everyone wants to roll down a hill . . . And I do not say ‘golly gee.’
"You’re such an incredible person - you completely amaze me. Despite everything that goes on around you, you’re completely uncorrupted; just this little child amidst a dark world. Holy crap, I’ve never met someone who frustrates me so much, and turns me on at the same time."
Hehe, I turn him on.
I waited I few seconds to make sure that Darren had completed his rant. "Do me a favor, could you sum that up in a couple words?"
"I love you."
I nodded, trying to keep everything at bay of the analytical part of my brain. I got up from where I was sitting and stood in front of Darren. I wasn’t nearly as tall as him, but he seemed to be quite shrunken without his ego.
"Well, you obviously seem to realize that I’m not normal; that’s something I could have told you quite a while ago. You should also probably know that I’m not the kind of person that’s going to sit there and try to figure out how much you like me, or what I’m doing wrong."
I shrugged almost guiltily. "I’m just too busy having fun. You need someone who thinks like you, who is going to be able to pay attention to you; and quite honestly, I can’t. Darren; almost every girl in school wants to jump your bones, it’s not going to be hard for you."
I stood on my tiptoes to give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek - always have to keep things good-natured - then turned away and left the tower.
And it’s done, I thought with a sigh. It was almost as if this invisible weight was lifted off my shoulders (how original) and I felt content to wash my mind of all the things I had done with Darren. Many things I wasn’t proud of - many things that went against my way of life.
As I walked back to the common room, my head seemed oddly quiet; perhaps it was the absence of the ever present voice. However, even as I got back to the common room and settled into my bed, I couldn’t help but think that it wasn’t quite the last of my so called conscience.
A/N: In honor of the hell I am officially going through in my AP classes, you guys get a new chapter. I decided that to un-stress myself, putting up a new chapter would be nice, however I found that the entire thing was screwed up because of the lovely italics. In all, it took me 20 minutes to get the whole thing up. But I know that once I hit the save chapter button, I'm going to feel very good about myself.
A/N2: Thank you, wheresmyedward, for being incredibly, freakin awesome! Hells yeah!
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