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Chapter 28 : Home Truths, Zombies, Falling Apart And Me
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I didn’t make up any spells. They’re all JK’s.
Authors Note: Hiya! I hope you’re having a good day! I know, I’m updating, rather quickly for me. See? Miracles do happen!
So, it’s been 3 years since I posted this story. That’s a long time and I’ve only written 28 chapters. I don’t know if that’s bad or respectable. Haha! I couldn’t have gotten this far without you. Every single reader, every single reviewer. Just everything. Truly, there wouldn’t be a story here. Knowing me, I’d probably have given up. So thank you.
In 3 years, I have managed to hit over 1000 reviews. When I hit that number, I was amazed. So thank you to everyone who’s ever left a review. You’ve made this worth it. And 100, 000 views is beyond amazing. I just am overwhelmed with all the support. Thank you.
I have no idea how you will take this chapter, it’s different from what I’ve ever wrote before. You may think that Nellie isn’t very …’Nellish’ but I don’t think you can survive battle like that and come out perfect again.
Also you may notice that the part I featured in the preview section does not appear in that chapter. It messed up the flow of it and thus has been saved for another chapter.
Also more chapter images have been added! Check out those beauties! Much thanks to myriad for all her help on this chapter :)
Predictions are awesome! Comments and opinions are welcomed :)
A special mention to my Gryffies, whether we lose or win, it’s all been worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing.
“I need him to wake up Nellie.” - James Potter
Home Truths, Zombies, Falling Apart And Me
Regulus smiled at me. It was that aloof smile I didn’t see that much anymore. “I knew you‘d come.”
“You’re too late Regulus.” I whispered. “I’ve got no faith left in you.” He didn’t say anything so I continued. “I’ve given you enough chances.”
“I know, but the greatest love stories are never the easiest.” Regulus murmured.
“Nothing about this has been easy.”
“I know, but let’s just dance for a couple of minutes.” He spoke softly and I was mesmerized.
I stood there, swaying in the grass underneath the moonlight, knowing that by the end of the night, we would be together. At least for a little while.
My eyes shot open with such force I feared I may have the wide eyed looked forever but I had bigger things to worry about. I cursed myself for closing my eyes for those seconds because now, I didn’t even know how long I had been trapped in here. I could have been passed out for hours or just minutes. I didn’t know.
I could hear nothing apart from Sirius uneasy breathing. His eyes were closed and my bloodied fingers were still entangled with his. I squeezed them with as much strength as I could as I tried to find a sound. I needed something to tell me that outside this little cave thing, my friends were still alive. I just needed anything to be alive but there was nothing. No screaming, no crashes…just nothing.
The image of Izzie’s crumpled body flashed in my brain. The fact was she went down terrified me enough, but the scenario was she would have been lying there, completely defenseless sent a shiver down my spine and I cursed with pain. I hoped she was okay. I didn’t want to think about a world that she wasn’t in.
“Nell.” Sirius croaked, before cursing a little under his breath. “Are you alright?” I stared into those magical eyes of his, becoming enchanted. His long lashes blinked, slowly and patiently as he waited for an answer.
“I should be asking you the same question, Siri.” I smiled, hopefully warmly at him. “I’m fine.” I lied. My vision was a little bit blurry and I had a killer headache. “How are you?”
“Perfect.” He grinned at me with swollen lips. “I have never been better.” He might have convinced me if he didn’t wince afterwards. “Your neck is purple.” He commented. I didn’t know where he was finding the energy to speak but I didn’t want him to go back into unconsciousness. “I’m sorry I didn’t get there fast enough.”
I shook my head. It was stupid to blame himself. “The Death Eater took me off guard, cause someone hit Izzie…I shouldn’t have let myself be vulnerable, but I did.”
That’s why we weren’t warriors. We were people. I had got distracted by Izzie going down. In turn, I let my guard down and I got attacked. Thus Sirius felt the need to come and rescue me. In which, he let his guard down and that is why were in this sorry situation. So if it’s anyone’s fault. It’s Izzie’s! Not that I’d tell her that or anything cause she’d hit me or I’d upset her. And if I had the choice, I take the hit. And it’s not like I really believe it’s her fault anyway. Sirius should never have come to save me. I was being stupid. I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation.
“You’re pretty Nellie.” Sirius stated randomly. “I really do think that…even with all the blood. It just makes you striking.” I reckoned Sirius was getting a little delusional now, because I had one word for my appearance and I didn’t even need a mirror to confirm it. I simply looked like a mess, like a tramp that’s been in a brawl over a sleeping bag. That’s me. “My Nellie.” He closed his eyes.
“Nellie?!?” I could hear Lily’s voice yell. “Sirius?” She repeated our names over and over again. I let her, just so I didn’t think I was dreaming.
“Sirius.” I croaked out. “Helps on the way, we’re saved. It‘s all going to be okay.”
He didn’t open his eyes but he did smile.
“We’re in here!” I yelled as much as I could. Every letter was painful. My throat was becoming coated with dust, but I kept yelling, for Sirius’ sake as well as mine.
I heard the yell of “defodio.” along with “deprimo.” They were going to dig us out. It was actually going to be okay. I kept myself inside that happy bubble until I saw the familiar faces of Lily, James, Remus. They were joined by Dumbledore and McGonagall who were peering at us. Everyone had their wands out and the cave was slowly being removed from all around us, exposing us to the chilling air. It felt like cold ice on blisters.
“Miss O’Neill, can you move?” Professor Dumbledore asked.
“My leg is trapped.” I would have made a notion to point it out, but I think I’ve broken one arm and I refused to let go of Sirius’ hand. “But I’m fine! It’s Sirius, I’m worried about!”
Enough of the rubble was removed so people could get to us easily. Lily was removing the biggest parts of the rubble from my leg with her wand. “Not fast enough.” She muttered as she started to pull the rest of the smaller rubble with her hands. I screamed when the pressure was released. “Sorry Nellie.” She cried, her flaming red hair flying violently in the wind. She didn’t like the fact that she was hurting me more than I did. Her face was covered in crusty blood; some was matted in her hair.
“Sirius.” I muttered.
“We got him Nellie.” James and Remus smiled at me. I dropped Sirius hand so they could levitate him onto a stretcher.
Lily looked at me, her eyes full of concern. “ I’m no healer but I think you’ve broken your leg and arm. We’ll get you fixed up in no time though, I‘m sure.”
I tried to smile but it was impossible through the agonizing pain I was feeling. “Is…everyone…okay?” I choked, trying to breath in the air, but fresh air and debris air didn’t mix well.
“Everyone’s alive.” Lily smiled. “Now that we’ve found you two, we’re all accounted for.” She pulled out something. “Drink this Nellie. It’ll make the transition easier…I don’t want you to feel any more pain. It’s a sleeping potion.”
The pain was driving me delirious.
Lily placed the potion against my lips, before slowly and carefully releasing a few drops each time to go down my throat.
Her acid green eyes gazing at me were the last things looked at before slipping off into a dreamless sleep.
I woke up startled. I felt numb but that was a relief. I opened my eyes. On the one side, I could see Lily knitting, Izzie going cross eyed, James blowing bubbles, Peter was humming and Remus picking dirt out of his nails, but no Sirius.
I turned my face to the other side and I found him. He was lying there on a hospital bed, he looked he was sleeping. The bed was a lot closer that it was normally was so I knew someone had pushed the beds closer.
“Nellie.” Izzie cried out! “You’re awake.” But her voice didn’t really register for a moment. I just stared at him. “Sirius is in a coma.” She said gently. “He’ll wake up though, we’re hoping soon.”
I nodded, turning my attention back to my friends who were obviously happy at my wakening. “Lily? I didn’t think you knitted?”
“I do now.” Lily replied. “It’s a stress reliever. It’s all your stuff though; I stole it along with the book to teach me how to do the damn knitting part.” She was just knitting a bright blue square. “I hope you don’t mind.”
“No. That’s fine.”
“How you feeling?” James asked.
“A little high to be honest.” I grinned as I lay back down in my bed.
Madam Pomfrey came to my bedside. “Welcome back to the world Miss O’Neill.”
I shrugged. “It’s good to be back.” I tried to make it sound as cool as it does in the movies but I sort of croaked it out so I failed.
“You’ve been out for three days as I wanted your body to recover. You had a broken arm, leg, several ribs, a lot of bruises, cuts, but you’ll be fine. You’ll have to keep applying bruise healing paste as the one on your neck hasn’t healed as well as I hoped.”
I glanced at her and Izzie passed me a mirror. I held it up to see my neck was purple with some slight tinge of yellow. But what made it more alarming was the finger prints inside the bruise. I shuddered when I remembered gasping for breath, thinking I was going to die…I shook my head. I would not think about it. No, only positive thoughts from now one. I would try not to think back to that incident because it gave me emotions against my nature.
Think of bunnies Nellie, bunnies are happy.
“It’s time for your medicines. I’m going to get them.” Madam Pomfrey told me before walking away.
I grinned at my friends. It hurt my face to do so, but I was alive. “So we all okay? What happened to you guys?”
“Well, after Izzie went down.” Remus began explaining as Izzie cursed and swore about Death Eaters. “I tried to protect her.” Remus fumbled with his words then. “I tried to hold the fort until Peter could undo the spell, which he did. But this took some time. All we heard was some screaming and you two just disappeared from the battle.”
“When I turned to look at Izzie, a Death Eater yanked my wand out of my hands…by the way, you guys happened to pick it up?” Lily passed it to me and I hugged my wand. Don’t judge me, I love my wand. We’ve had good times. “And he began strangling me.” My friends eyed my neck but I chose to not to notice. “I was pretty defenseless and I was running out of oxygen. But Sirius managed to save me in time.” I glanced at Sirius body. “That left us both open to attack. We got blasted through a building. Sirius took a lot of impact. It was the second blast that really done me in, that’s when I got my leg trapped and I couldn’t move.” I wiggled my toes in defiance. “And I had lost my wand and Sirius’ got mixed up in the blast so I had no way of getting us out either.”
Remus nodded. “We held them off for as long as we could, with the help of other people. We’re lucky to be here…some people were not so lucky.” The Death Eaters had done their job; they had killed someone. I bet Voldemort gives them a shiny gold star sticker when they come back from their sick missions. “Dumbledore arrived soon though and the Death Eaters just disappeared. He turned up and they left.”
“It was weird.” Lily agreed as she knitted with such speed, that if I didn’t know better, I’d think she was a robot. “We found you two soon after.”
I smiled weakly before closing my eyes. I had grown tired again and I soon drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
I was kept in for the next two days but I found nothing really returned to normal even after that.
Sirius just lay there. That’s all he did. His fingers never twitched, his eyelids never fluttered. He just did nothing. But I basically lived at the hospital wing anyway. I couldn’t return to classes yet because of the injuries I sustained but even if I did, I probably wouldn’t have gone. His chest rose up and down slowly. Breathe in. Breathe out.
It’s been like this for ten days now.
Sirius’ expression was blank, but I hoped his dreams were pleasant. That is, if he ever dreamed at all. I liked to think he did. I hoped he dreamed of unicorns, rainbows and anything else that might make him smile.
Madam Pomfrey told me that he could hear me if I talked to him. So that’s what I did. Every day. If I wasn’t lost in the somber thoughts I was trying to hard to keep away with positive vibes, I was talking to him.
“So. Sirius.” I began. “Would you like to hear about my day?” No answer. “I’ll take that as a yes then.” I missed his voice. “Well, I woke up after a dream. I’ll say a dream but it was actually a nightmare. I was being chased by sausages.” I wanted him to open his eyes. “They had tridents and everything! I woke up before I had a chance to defeat them.” I only slept for an hour.
“I couldn’t get to sleep after that, so I had a shower. I told Izzie about my dream and she laughed, a little. She asked me if I was coming to class today and I replied no.” I wanted to hear his laugh. “Izzie has been throwing herself into school work. The others have too really, except James…I don’t know where he is.” He’s falling apart.
“Officially we don’t have to go to classes quite yet if we’re not up for it, Dumbledore said we must have sustained trauma. He has a counselor coming especially to see us. To help us deal with what happened.” Of almost dying. “I’m not sure what to expect. You’d know the right thing to say wouldn’t you? You’ve got to be awake for when he comes!” He was too pale. “Anyway! About my day again. After Izzie went to class, I got ready.” I haven’t brushed my hair today. “And came here. Ta da! My day.”
I wish you’d wake up Sirius.
“It’s been quite uneventful so far.” I mused. “I can’t wait until you wake up. I’m going to give you a hug. I tried to give you one the other day, but it’s not a proper hug without you hugging me back. Plus Pomfrey shouted at me.”
“You should get some sleep Nellie.” I turned to find Regulus standing there. I hadn’t even heard him come in and Regulus is quite heavy footed. “You look awful.”
I made noise that resembled an animal at him to show that I was not pleased. Maybe I do need some sleep. Sure, it was the truth. I was getting some serious dark circles, my lips were cracked and sore and I had bitten off all my nails until they bled. This is me being positive.
“I’m okay Regulus.” I lied, even though I felt the opposite of okay. I wouldn’t be okay until Sirius woke up. “What do you want?”
“I came to see him.” He said softly, before pulling up a chair next to mine and sitting in it. “I wanted to know if he’d be alright…if you were alright.” I didn’t reply, I kept my eyes firmly on Sirius. “What do they say? Will he wake up?”
“Yes.” I automatically answered. “He’s going to be fine. He’s going to wake up and it’ll all go back to being okay.” I smiled at Regulus.
Regulus frowned at me, unable to return my smile as he ran his fingers through his hair. “I hope so.” He said honestly as he stared at Sirius. “We may have our differences, but at the end of the day, he’ll always be my brother.”
“I wish it didn’t take for him to be in a coma for you to admit that.”
Regulus laughed. “Touché.”
He looked at me and I stared into his eyes. I figured this was the perfect time to ask the question that had been burning at me. “Did you know about the attack?” I held onto his gaze that way, I had a better chance of knowing if he was lying or not. Regulus didn’t lie much, not to me anyway, but this was make or break. If he knew…then he was never the person I believed he was. And at the moment, he needed to be the person I thought he was.
“No.” The eyes didn’t flicker. “I truly didn’t.”
“Why? You’re are one of them.”
Regulus looked like I just said I was going to marry a giant squid and I instantly knew my last comment was too harsh. He said nothing to me, just sat there, in pain.
“I didn’t mean it literally.” I whispered apologetically. “I’m sorry.” I placed my head on his shoulder. It fitted comfortably as I breathed in the musky scent that was Regulus.
“It’s okay.” He said stiffly. “I forgive you. You could kill me and I’d still forgive you.” I didn’t’ know what I was supposed to do with this information so I locked it away. In a bright fluffy box that’s tucked inside my head. I mentally turned the lock inside the box. “I’m at school. I haven’t had much contact since I returned to school. Christmas I did, but never school time.” I kept silent. “And they consider me to be somewhat of a child. I’m there to make up numbers. I think. I’m not in the loop or anything. The Dark Lord tells no one his plans.” My skin prickled at the words ‘Dark Lord’. “Even if I was there, I could never kill you.” He stared at Sirius. “Or him.”
In all truth, I know Regulus is a Deatheater but I still firmly believe that he could never kill anyone. Regulus still has feelings and to kill someone, I don’t think you can have any. That’s just my waffling. I’m not a psycho so I don’t understand. At least I wouldn’t call myself a psycho. Okay, maybe talking to Mr. Snuggles Le Fuggles La Muggle the other day was a little psychotic , but that’s normal right? I mean who hasn’t had a conversation with their teddy bear at least once?
Don’t answer that.
Just then James walked in. He stared at me and Regulus. He was alone and he looked disheveled. He looked like he hadn’t changed his robes in days; his hair was sticking up, but not in a good way and there was a fierce anger behind those hazel eyes.
“What the hell are you doing here? You dirty little Death Eater.” James roared and I flinched. When Regulus made no reply, James repeated himself in a louder tone. “I said, what are you doing here?”
Regulus held up his hands in surrender. “I just came here to see if Sirius was okay…”
“…Okay?” James seethed as he cut into Regulus. “He’s in a coma! And people like you put him there.”
“It was Bellatrix really.” I added, unhelpfully. “She created that blast.”
“I’m sorry. But I don’t curse you every time a Muggle gets shot.” Regulus snapped back as he stood up. “I just wanted to see if he was going to live alright? Bella is crazy and she’d like to see Sirius dead.” He added. “I can’t help the actions of them! I didn’t know! You should never have been there anyway!”
“Oh, so now it’s our fault? Are you saying we deserved this? That Sirius,” He pointed to Sirius. “Deserves to be lying in a coma?”
“No. But you knew the risk when you went out there for battle. You could have just stayed there and hid. But no, you’re all pesky Gryffindors who have to go and be brave!” Regulus paused. “Newsflash, brave gets you killed.” With that Regulus stormed out the room without another word or even a glance back.
“I hate that twat.” James cursed. I didn’t even bother with a language remark. It wasn’t that sort of moment. He flopped down in the chair that Regulus had been occupying. James sighed. He looked exhausted. “I totally flipped out on him didn’t I?” I nodded not wanting to be a liar. “I thought so.”
“I’m sure Regulus won’t take it to heart, I mean he knows you’re…” I couldn’t finish my sentence. I wanted to say something like he knows you’re upset but I didn’t want James going crazy on me as well. James is pretty scary when he goes crazy.
“I keep on flipping out on people, most of the time I don’t know why. I hexed ten people on the way here.”
“It’s okay James.” I told him. “It’s understandable.” I tried to soothe him but I thought I was lousy at soothing people. Maybe I should get him a doughnut or something.
“I need him to wake up Nellie.”
“I know, I do too.”
James nodded. “So you didn’t fancy going to class either?”
“Nope. I’d rather sit here and wait for him to wake up. And tell him stories.” I told him. “I think he likes my stories.”
“I think he does too.”
“It’s my fault he’s there James.” I stated. I was ready to accept my punishment. If I was shouted at, I’d accept it like it was sweets. “So if you want to flip out on anybody, it should be me.”
James closed his eyes. “I don’t blame you Nellie.” He told me as he dug his nails into his leg.
“But you should.” I argued back without much effort. Every piece of me ached with a dull numbness.
“No Nellie.” James spoke sternly before biting his lip so hard that he drew blood, but James didn‘t seem to notice. “This isn’t you. Well, it is in some retrospect, but Nellie, you are not this.” He was using hand gestures to get his point across. “I understand you’re sad Nellie, I am too but he will wake up. But people don’t need this, they need you. The real you…Izzie needs you, Lily needs you. Oh heck, we all need you. I think you’re the only person who can make any of us laugh right now… so come back when you’re ready to be yourself again.” With that, he brushed the blood off his lip, forgot I existed and stared at Sirius intently.
The tears brimmed, but I blinked them away. I needed to be stronger. He would want me to be strong. So I nodded even though James wasn’t looking. I slowly walked out of the room, promising myself that I wouldn’t come back until I had got my act together. I was no use to anybody right now.
As I walked back to the common room, I pondered my new life plan. It went something like this:
1: Stop moping.
2: Be positive.
3: Start being there for people.
4: Accept the things that have happened and try to move on.
It was all about the future, I closed my eyes to imagine it, but the war battle that had burned itself into my retinas appeared instead. I could hear the screams again, I could feel the pain, I could see Sirius’ life slipping away…
I opened my eyes. No. I wouldn’t do that. That’s breaking rule four all over.
I muttered the password to the Fat Lady before walking into the common room. I looked around, but I couldn’t find the girl I was searching for. I headed up to the dormitories, hoping she was there.
I walked in and there she was. In the middle of her bed she sat, her legs crossed and her arms hung there. Her normal reserved posture was gone; this was Izzie all out in the open, no walls to hide behind, no gimmicks and no witty comments. Just Izzie in her purest form. Her black hair was limp and lifeless. In hung around her face in a frame, but the frame was all wrong. It did nothing for her, except make her look like a gothic zombie. Her doe-eyed expression stared at me, sky blue verses ocean blue. Her face showed the misery I felt inside. Our roles had been reversed, suddenly I was the person who pushed their feelings away and she was the one who felt her emotions every waking moment of the day.
I was exploding and she was drowning.
She needed me to be her champion and I hadn’t. I understood that now.
She stood up and slid off the bed. I watched her with a curious expression as she walked closer to me until she stood there, right in front of me. No place to hide and no excuses. Her eyes bore into mine, making me accept everything. I wanted to say something, break the loud silence but no words seemed to fit. As soon as I would come up with them, they would die before they reached my lips.
My body won over my mind and my arms opened. She came crashing into them with such force I thought I would topple but I stayed perfectly still. I held her tightly, wanting to destroy the demons that did this to her.
And for the first time, in what seemed like decades, I felt a piece of my puzzle sliding back into place.
I let her soak my shoulder with her tears before I spoke. “I’m sorry.” It was all I could offer.
Izzie breathed in slowly. She didn‘t remove her head from my shoulder. “I was hit with Cruciatus Curse.” She whispered and the world stood still for a minute. I didn’t look at her, because I knew that they way she would prefer it. I kept my eyes fixed perfectly in front of me and not on the sobbing girl on my shoulder. “Only once…but it was enough. None of you could save me in time. I couldn’t save me.”
“That will never happen again.” I swore. “Never.”
And that was a promise.
“We’re going to be fine.” I told Izzie. “It’s going to be all dandy soon enough! Just you wait.”
Izzie lifted her head off my shoulder and smiled at me. “I believe you.” We both cried then and for the first time in my life, it felt really good.
...to be continued
Next time on The World, Biscuits And Sirius Black According To Nellie O’Neill.
“So,” He grinned. “Tell me about yourself.”
I just sat there, thinking for a moment as the hyper man grinned manically at me. For someone who has to listen to someone’s woes, he’s a little too happy. I mean, who decorates a room with party stuff? I’m going to therapy, not a disco. Then again, it’s probably something I’d do. Gumble sat on his lap, glaring at me through his yellow evil eyes. I glared back fiercely at Gumble and I got no weird look from Wally. He was just staring at me with an eager expression on his face. Oh, he wanted me to start talking then.
How should I start? How do you sum up yourself?
Hmm. I best start with my name.
“They call me Nellie. It‘s my birth name. I think, I‘ve never checked my birth certificate. So I could really be called Lulu and I wouldn‘t know.” He nodded. “And I have hair that has volume. Too much one would say.”
“Interesting.” Wally said before rubbing his check. “Is the volume all natural? I mean, I've been trying to get mine to have more va va voom but it's just not working out.”
I thought I'd never see the day where someone is asking me for hair tips. Maybe I'm dreaming? Maybe I'm in a parallel world but whatever is happening, it's weird.
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