Hey guys! I know it's been a long, long time since I have written any story. So many things have happened, and so many things have changed. I completed my Masters, got a job, left the job, fell into depression, and so many more things. The last few years have been such a busy and strange time that I had all but lost the will to write. I have so many stories that I have planned out and so many that I have written unfinished.
Finally, I decided a couple of days ago that I cannot just put my life on hold. I need to take back control of my life, and this might be the first step to start. This story is written five chapters deep, and I am posting the first one here. Updated may be frequent, and I might start a new story without finishing the ongoing ones. I am still unpredictable, and that is something I don't see changing. However, your reviews and feedback might change that.
Read and review.
"…the total mass of the object before so." The Professor's voice droned on and on when it was suddenly interrupted by hesitant knocks on the classroom's door.
Everybody turned towards the entrance, where a latecomer girl stood, her hand raised in the knocking position and her head lowered slightly, a sheepish smile on her face.
The Professor paused her lesson and turned towards the newcomer. She appraised the student for a long moment and then asked, "May I know the reason for your tardiness, Miss Clearwater?"
"I am sorry, Professor, something urgent came up." The student replied.
The Professor looked at her student again for a few seconds and then asked, "Something more important than the class, perhaps?"
Leah Clearwater did not say anything else; she just lowered her head, her mouth set in a thin line.
"Speak up," the Professor said politely but firmly.
"I am sorry, Professor. It won't be repeated again." Leah apologized.
The Professor looked at her sternly for a few moments when the expression on her face changed and then sighed softly. "Get inside. This should not be repeated again", she said, shaking her head at the student.
Leah silently walked towards the back of the class and sat in an empty seat, taking out her parchment and quill to take notes.
"So, Goshawk's Law of Elementary Mass Transformation. Write it down. The sum total of the masses of the objects created after transfiguration is equal to or slightly greater than the object's total mass before so." The Professor continued her lesson.
Sitting just a few seats away from the Professor, Isabella Swan was zoning out the words, her entire focus on the girl who had just now arrived in the class, the center of her affection- Leah Clearwater.
Isabella Swan, or Bella, as she wanted people to call her, was not shy to admit that she was falling for the other girl. She was quite unequivocally in love with her. Even though she had not talked to the girl a single time, nor had she been in her company or seen her other than in the three classes she shared with the girl, she was falling for her and falling hard.
While it might have been strange for other people, it was nothing new to her. That was how Veelas fell in love. That was the way her mother fell in love with her dad, her grandmother fell in love with her grandfather, and she, too, was going through the same. Granted, Bella was just a half-Veela; that part of her life sometimes overpowered her human nature, dominating her human tendencies.
Not paying any attention to what the Professor was saying altogether, Bella was in a deep daydream of her life- the future life she would share with Leah. Loving her, being with her, a small family in the lush-green hilly region of Switzerland where they would care for their children and play with their grandchildren.
It was pitiable that she was fantasizing about her future with a girl she had not even talked to and who might not return her feelings. However, Bella did not care about all those things. She was deep into her fantasy, where they both had professed their eternal love for the other and lived happily ever after. She did not care that she was too shy to talk to the other girl, much less profess her love.
Even though Bella was a half-Veela, she had a thrall strong enough to make anybody swoon over her. But she could not even make Leah look at her, not that she wanted to use her thrall at the said girl. Her mother had told her early on the only person who would remain unaffected by her thrall would be her true love. That cemented the fact that Leah Clearwater was her true love.
Bella was broken out of her daydream when a sharp voice rang into her ears, "Miss Swan."
Bella flinched hard and slowly looked up to see Professor Silverton standing beside her desk, an angry scowl on her face. "May I ask you where you were?" there was an undertone of irritation in her voice- not a good sign.
"Nowhere, Professor," Bella said meekly.
"Then would you be so kind as to tell me the answer to my question?" Professor Silverton's voice was too calm.
"I am sorry, Professor. Would you please repeat the question?" Bella asked, already aware of what the next moment entailed.
The Professor did not say anything; she just repeated the question. "What is the only known exception to the Goshawk's Law?"
Bella was instantly floored- that was a question she had no idea of. But she knew trying to be innovative and answering incorrectly would result in much harsher punishment. So, she just lowered her head and said, "I don't know, Professor."
Professor Silverton's eyes hardened. "Five points from Ravenclaw. And a day's detention with me tonight." She said in a stern voice, and Bella groaned. That was Professor Silverton- Head of Ravenclaw house, extra strict with the students of her own house.
However, Bella was relieved that the Professor had not paid attention to where her focus was or that her head was tilted dangerously. Just a few more centimeters to the left, and Bella would have been looking at Leah, who was sitting at the backmost desk.
Professor Silverton returned to the front of her class, "As I was saying, transfiguring into your animagus form is the only known exception to Goshawk's Law. I cannot comprehend why people do not pay attention during a lesson."
The Professor's gaze once again went to Bella, "MISS SWAN. Do not force me to make that a week's worth of detention." She yelled, irritated, and Bella sat up in her seat straight. Just a few minutes later, Bella was once again in her fantasy, not paying any attention to the class. Thankfully, she was not called attention during the hour.
The loud ring of the bell, signaling the end of the period, woke Bella up, making her flinch once again. Bella got up in a stupor, put her parchments and quills in her notebook, and blushed that one of her parchments had the name Leah doodled in different calligraphy. She was grateful that nobody had seen her doing so.
As she was leaving the class, her attention on the obvious, Bella suddenly collided with someone, and her legs gave way from under her. A tan hand appeared in her vision before she could fall, holding her gently yet securely.
Bella raised her eyes and instantly came face to face with the most profound pair of brown eyes she had ever seen in her eyes. Her cheeks reddened, and suddenly, all the clichés happened- she was falling into the immeasurable depth of the brown orbs, floating and sinking simultaneously. She could say that she looked deep into the girl's soul; it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
Bella suddenly began to feel warm, and whatever little semblance of speech she had decided to desolate her at the exact moment. She was gawking at the most beautiful face she had ever seen, unable to utter a single word.
The most beautiful pair of lips she had ever seen spoke the following words, "Your bag."
Bella would swear those were the most enticing words someone had ever told her. She was so gobsmacked that she could not say anything else. Leah put the bag into her outstretched hands, which Bella did not even know, were working on their own accord. Leah looked at me for a few moments and then left the classroom.
"Thank you," Bella uttered a little too late. However, Leah seemed to have heard it from that far as she turned back and gave Bella a soft smile. Bella died a little on the inside.
The next time Bella conversed with Leah, it was a few weeks into their sixth year. Had it not been for Professor Abernathy, who decided that two of the best students in his class sit together, they would not have even talked. As her shy nature dictated, Bella had no courage to talk to Leah about anything other than asking and answering course-related questions.
It was Leah who made the first move, "Your eye color is really nice."
Bella, at first, could not even comprehend what Leah talking about. It suddenly clicked into her mind, "Oh yeah, Veelas have natural golden-colored eyes that change color as per our emotions." She did not know how she was able to construct the sentence without stammering or blushing red, but she felt proud of herself.
"You are a Veela?" Leah was astonished.
"A half-Veela, but yes, I am." Bella, too, needed clarification. Did Leah not know she was a Veela?
"I am sorry, but I did not know you were a Veela. I had an inkling that such a beautiful girl like you was not completely human. But I would say that Veela or not, you do have an ungodly beauty that transcends the angels themselves." Leah had a shy, slight smile on her face.
What was happening? Bella needed clarification. Was Leah flirting with her? The words that just came out of Leah's beautiful lips- she did hear them, right?
"Sorry to ask this question, but don't you have the thrall that affects everybody, or is it just boys?" Leah asked, a little apologetic.
Bella needed help with how to answer that question. Nobody else had asked her straightforwardly why she could not allure them, not that they would; nobody else was her true love. "I do have a thrall. And it attracts not just boys." She said, intentionally, not focusing on Leah's last question.
"Then why am I not affected by it?" Leah pondered loudly. Well, it was clear that she had not meant to ask that loud, but now she was looking at Bella expectantly.
How was Bella to answer that question? She could not say that it was because they were true loves. It would most definitely scare Leah off. She could not speak the truth and did not want to lie outright, so she decided to play dumb.
"I don't know. My mother is a full Veela. I will have to ask her." Bella said, smiling coyly.
Leah nodded simply and said nothing. They went silent for a long minute after that, but Bella was itching for something to say. She usually was not a person to fill every silence with a voice, but this time, the silence was grating on her nerve.
"So, what about you? You got any nice superpowers?" Bella asked, a grin plastered on her face.
Suddenly, Leah's demeanor took a complete roundabout turn. Her eyes were no longer playful and had a certain hardness to them. She suddenly sat back straight and gripped the desk with a strong fist.
"No," Leah replied in a single word, her voice hard and cold. However, that coldness was not directed at Bella.
Bella suddenly felt stupid for asking that question. She was mentally chastising herself for her inability to blurt random questions. There was something personal in the question that made Leah react like that. She, without thinking, moved her hand and softly gripped Leah's hand in her own, which made the other girl flinch and rip her hand out of Bella's grip.
Leah looked at her with a sharp glaze, which softened after a moment of Bella panicking internally. "I am sorry; I do not like to be touched," Leah said, her voice quivering. Bella could not put a finger to the tone of her voice, whether it was fear, anger, or anything else.
"I apologize," Bella said sincerely. "I did not mean to cause you any trouble. Please forgive me."
Leah just nodded her head a few moments later after her breathing had returned to normal. She scooted further away from Bella and did not say anything else for the rest of the period. Whatever had happened to Leah made her shrink into herself. She was acting distant, unlike the playful girl she was just a few minutes ago. Bella did not want to admit that, but it hurt. Leah, shifting away from her and not talking to her, made her feel like her heart was being torn into two. But that was not Leah's fault. Something was there about that question that made Leah so.
Bella wondered what had happened to Leah that made her jumpy and afraid of being touched. She, however, could not come to any conclusion.
Leah was the first to rush out of the class when the bell rang.
After that fateful day, Bella began to keep tabs on Leah a lot more than before. She began to keep track of where Leah went, what she did, and whom she met. Still, all she came up with during her investigation were shady points that did not shed much light on what was happening in the dark-haired girl's life.
There were a few red flags, like Leah was often absent from classes for three to four days in a row, and when she came back, she almost always looked tired. She had dark circles under her eyes and strolled like her whole body ached after exertion. Her mood would also take a weird turn- she was grumpy and easily irritable.
Bella was not getting closer to any answer, and her progress that day was inevitably lost as Leah did not talk to her anymore. She wanted to reach out to her badly but did not know how. Bella tried talking to her once or twice but did not get any amicable answer to continue the conversation.
Bella reasoned that maybe it was family trouble, but then nobody knew anything about Leah's family. She had tried asking Leah's dorm mates, but their knowledge in this area was also limited. It was clear that something was bothering Leah a lot; she was imploding in herself. She wanted to help Leah at any cost, but the said girl's walls were stronger than a fortress, and Bella was no close to penetrating it.
Bella was sitting beside Leah in the potions class, brewing a complicated potion- the antidote for Amortentia. They were required to firmly chop the roots of the tupesum plant until it got rid of all the little nodules. However, Bella's main focus was on the girl beside her, who was drooping with her head down, and it was clearly taking a lot of effort to keep her eyelids open.
They were supposed to work together in groups and help each other out. But Leah started nodding off the moment they started making the potion. Bella was concerned for Leah, whose head was dangerously close to the boiling liquid in the cauldron, and if she lowered her head a little more, she would be in the cauldron. It did not take a genius to figure out what would happen if she dropped into a half-complete cauldron of the potion.
Bella slowly turned the flame off and put the cauldron away from Leah's face. Aware of their previous encounter that she should not touch Leah without any warning, Bella softly called the girl's name. It took a couple of seconds for Leah to raise her head.
"Huh?" Leah said groggily. Undoubtedly, it was taking Leah all she had just to raise her head.
"You, okay?" Bella asked hesitantly, and Leah nodded automatically.
"You don't look like it. May I touch your arm?" Bella said, her arms stretched towards Leah.
Leah just nodded. It was clear that Leah did not know what Bella was saying.
Bella touched Leah's arm and almost instantly jumped up. Leah was burning. She must have been suffering from a high fever. Bella had not seen Leah in the last three days. Maybe she was still sick from the fever she had. Bella knew it was not wise to attend class during such a high fever.
Bella put their books away and raised her hand, "Professor, Leah is not feeling well. May I take her to the infirmary?"
Professor Abernathy turned towards them. He took a look at Leah and, without any further ado, said, "Yes, take her."
Bella helped Leah stand up and took her out of the class. Leah was a dead weight as she was extremely well-built, and Bella was having trouble lugging her to the infirmary.
"You alright there?" Bella asked, wiping the beads of sweat that were dripping down her eyebrows.
"Where are you taking me?" Leah asked in a small voice.
"To see Madam Mabelle," Bella said, stopping briefly to catch her breath.
"I am fine," Leah said, squirming from Bella's grip.
"You are not fine," Bella said sharply, "You are burning up with a fever and dead-exhausted. You do not know what you are saying." She held Leah's hand so she would not move too much.
"I don't want to go to the infirmary," Leah said, trying to move away from Bella.
"I don't care whether or not you want to go," Bella said, irritated, "I am taking you there."
"Please, let me go to my dorm. It's nearer. I will rest and get okay." Leah was trying a little hard to squirm away from Bella.
"Stop it, Leah," Bella snapped. "You are not okay. I don't want to take a risk with your life. You are going with me."
Leah was not more awake than before, and she ripped herself off Bella's grip with a little bit of strength. She backup in a corner and shook her head rapidly. "No, I will not go. You cannot take me there."
The Veela saw the panic in the other girl's eyes and decided to stay put for a moment.
"Okay, where do you want me to take you?" Bella asked softly.
"Nowhere. I will go to my dorm," Leah said and got up on her shaking legs. She had walked only a few feet and careened and stumbled. Had it not been for Bella, the girl would have banged her head hard on the wall.
"That's enough. I am taking you to the infirmary," Bella said and tried to drag Leah forcefully.
The panic in Leah's eyes returned, and she once again tried to get away from Bella.
"Will you stop it?" Bella cried, exasperated. "I am concerned for your life. You are seriously ill. You cannot go on like this."
Leah mumbled in a small voice, "I cannot go there. They cannot find out about me."
"What cannot they find out?" Bella asked, and Leah flinched as if she had said too much.
"Leah, what's happening? Please tell me." Bella pleaded.
"I cannot. You will hate me and then leave me. Everybody leaves me." Leah murmured in a teary voice.
"I will not leave you. Please tell me." Bella almost had tears in her eyes.
"I am not like everybody else. Please, they can't find out about me. Let me go." Leah begged, trying to go away in the opposite direction of the Hufflepuff house.
"What?" Bella was stunned. What was Leah hiding that would make her risk her life just to protect the secret?
"Please, let me go." Leah's voice was broken, and tears were streaming down her face.
"No, I won't. I will take you to your dorm room, and you will rest. Then, when you are fine, we will have a talk." Bella said finally, hoisted Leah up by her waist, and helped her walk towards her dorm room.
"No, please I don't want to hurt you. Let me go." Leah said, trying to stay away from Bella, but suddenly all her strength had deserted her, and she could not do anything else.
"You will not hurt me, Leah. You cannot hurt me." Bella said, gripping the other girl's waist tighter. "Let me take care of you."
Resigned and unable to say anything, Leah just nodded and let Bella drag her away from the wall and towards the Hufflepuff house.
It took a lot of effort on Bella's part to take Leah to the Hufflepuff House. By the time they reached the small door that led into the dormitory, Bella was sweating profusely. A portrait of a knight was guarding the entrance. Bella did not want to awaken Leah, who was almost slumped on her, but she needed to if they wanted to get into the house.
Bella touched Leah's cheeks and instantly regretted her decision not to take Leah to the infirmary. Her cheek was hot, very hot. If Bella did not know any better, she would say that Leah was an automaton forged by Hephaestus and was just out of the fire. However, she did not want to put Leah in any more trouble with her already being so terrified of the prospect of going to the infirmary. She just had to trust Leah on that and keep her safe.
"Leah, hey Leah! What's the password?" Bella asked softly.
"Huh?" Leah looked at Bella with blearing eyes that were almost shut.
"What's the password, honey?" Bella repeated once again.
It took Leah a long minute to reply, and she said in a tired voice, "Unity pride forever."
Bella knew it was not the whole password, but still, the knight smiled and opened the door to the Hufflepuff standard room. Maybe he was familiar with Leah.
Bella had to pull Leah closer to her to squeeze themselves through the door, and Leah almost fell because of it, but Bella kept her told on the taller girl, once again saving her from banging her knees on the floor.
"Where is your room?" she asked, and Leah pointed to a small door beside the staircase.
"That is your room? But aren't the rooms on the above floors?" Bella was surprised. There was only one door in the Common Room, which Leah said to be hers.
"I was given a private suit after I became the prefect," Leah muttered after coughing violently. Bella felt envious of the fact that Hufflepuff prefects were given their private suits; however, that was not the moment for such feelings. She had to take care of Leah.
Bella opened the door and helped Leah inside. She put Leah on the bed, and the moment she did so, Leah passed out, asleep. Bella slowly took off the girl's shoes and socks and loosened her tie. She conjured a bowl of ice-cold water and a piece of cloth.
She wet the cloth in the water and put it on Leah's forehead. Bella was concerned about how fast the fabric dried. She repeated the motion again and again until the water had come down to average temperature. Once again, Bella conjured a new bowl of water and dabbed the cloth on Leah's forehead. She found herself praying that she had done the right thing by not taking Leah to Madam Mabelle.
However, that was not the most crucial thought in her mind. Leah's broken face swam in Bella's mind, and her heart constricted every time she saw the haunted look on Leah's face. Something had happened to Leah that made her distrustful of everybody. What was Leah suffering from that made her believe that she should hide from everybody, and why did she say she did not want to hurt her?
Was it dangerous? To Bella or to Leah? Was Leah cursed? What was she harboring that made her reclusive and isolated herself from everybody? Most of all, why was Leah so ill? Was something hurting her from the inside? Was she suffering from some disease?
Bella itched to know the answers to these questions. She hated the fact right now that she was not a full Veela; however, even if she were one, it would take being mated to Leah to feel everything that the girl was feeling right now. She wanted to take away all of Leah's pain, but she could not do so unless she knew what was hurting her, and for that, she needed to wait until Leah's fever was over.
Bella could not do much right now; she just had to hope that Leah would recover soon. She decided to give the dark-haired girl a few hours- a few hours for her fever to break. If it did not, she would have no choice but to call Madam Mabelle. Bella, however, promised herself that she would not let anybody hurt her love, and she would go to any length possible to make sure it happened.