A/N: Hey, everyone, this is Carli, aka Shatter Brained. This is my first story on this website, so I really hope that you guys enjoy it. All I ask is that, if you read this, for you to please leave a review. I don't care how long it is, or if it's nice; I just really want to know what you think about my story. I know that this is a short chapter, but don't worry. The ones to come will be much longer; since this one is just sort of a prologue sort of thing. Enjoy!
When beginning each and every journey, one must hope for the best; yet, at the same time, prepare for the worst. – Anonymous
"Hope dangles on a string
like slow spinning redemption
winding in; winding out
the shine of which has caught my eye
and roped me in so mesmerising
I am captivated
I am vindicated."
The slowly dying embers of the formerly roaring fire emitted so low of a light that I had to squint my eyes closed just to reread the chickenscratch I had just scrawled upon my length of tattered parchment. My brow furrowed in concentration as I went back, scribbling over the various unsightly errors I had made before leaning back into the large, crimson armchair and sighing deeply.
The common room was completely silent. The scratch of my quill and the occasional cracking of the now depleted fire had filled the air moments before, but now, the eerie stillness of the Gryffindor tower was becoming quite nerve-wracking.
I cleared my throat and looked around, casting a glance at my wristwatch, barely seeing the second hand tick past the roman numeral four before hearing the resounding gong of the ageing grandfather clock in the corner. It chimed four times quite loudly—better known as "Get in bed! Why aren't you in bed? You're still not in bed! Get your ass in bed!" I sighed, not wanting to make the clock angrier than it already was. Gathering my quill, two ink bottles, and the three-and-a-quarter foot long sheaf of parchment on which I had finally finished my Potions essay; I shoved them all into my messenger bag and trumped up the spiralling staircase.
When I reached the top of the narrow tower, I crept as quietly as I could into the fifth year boys' dormitory; closing the door noiselessly and making my way to my four poster in the near darkness. Propping my laden bag up against the edge of my nightstand, I plopped down onto my mattress and pulled the hangings around my bed; staring at the ceiling and wondering if I could muster up enough pseudo-tiredness to trick myself into falling asleep.
The soft golden light of the birth of dawn seeped through a high stained glass window near the end of the dormitory; soaking the room with the aura of morning. I yawned as my eyes cracked open unwillingly, succumbing to the light, and I stretched my arms up above my head tiredly.
It was a funny thing—if, that is, you had a terribly sardonic sense of humour, of course. I could never manage to get myself into a deep slumber at night, but when the next day came, it was as if I were pinned to my bed by hippogriffs. I couldn't get to sleep when I had the time, but when I was supposed to be up and doing other things, I felt the need for rest tug at my eyelids mercilessly. I had to assemble all of the energy I could just to pull myself out of bed and stumble over to my trunk.
"Morning, Moony," Sirius yawned from the bed next to mine. I smiled vaguely in response, and heard him bark with laughter. "Well, don't you seem alert today," he said.
When I didn't respond for a second time, Sirius went back to sifting through his messily packed trunk, muttering to himself and searching, it seemed, for an article of, at best, semi-clean clothing.
James took over the interrogative role no more than a second later. "Yeah, I heard you hobble in here really early this morning," he observed, yanking his wrinkled Gryffindor tie over his head and smoothing it out with his hands absently. "What were you up to, reading again?"
"Nah," I laughed, rubbing the sleep from my eyes and zipping up the crotch of my black school pants. "I was out partying all night." James let out a guffaw, and I heard the rest of my roommates suppressing snickers. "Met up with quite a feisty broad, and… you know," I shot them a smug grin. "Let's just say I couldn't, err, pull myself away from her that easily."
Suppressed giggles weren't an option in this case. "Ha!" Peter shouted, and I shot him a mockingly offended look. "What, you don't believe me? Pah, you're just jealous."
"No," he responded, slinging his bag over his shoulder and grinning playfully, heading for the door with James and Frank. "Just surprised that a pouf like you could score a bird." I chucked my shoe at him just as he slammed the door behind him, and it thudded against the wood uselessly; though making quite a large imprint. It would have looked lovely on Peter's sodding little face.
"Damnit," I muttered angrily, striding over to the door and thudding to the floor; pulling my shoe on roughly and beginning to do the laces.
"He was just kidding, you know," Sirius noted mildly, pulling his school robes on over his uniform and tying his long, scraggly black hair back with an elastic band. I shot him a look, though, and he instantly corrected himself. "Although I must admit, he was a complete tosser for thinking that that's something to joke about. I mean, not that… it's just… not something that's taken as… funny?" He cocked his head to the side, thinking, and I melted at the complexly serene look upon his face.
"Very articulate, Sirius," I said, standing up and hoping that he hadn't seen me staring at him. Walking back to my bedside, I grabbed my school bag and waited for him to finish stuffing his books into the zippered pouch of his own.
We scaled the staircase together, crossed the noisy common room, and exited through the portrait hole in mindless chatter. I hardly noticed when we had reached the Great Hall, and I wasn't really aware of my surroundings until Peter snapped a finger rudely in my face.
"Hey, Remus, are you going to answer me or not?" He asked, and I blinked, looking at him curiously.
"What was the question again?" I asked, not really paying attention as I grabbed a bright red apple from the platter of fruit in front of me.
"Lily Evans. How many more months until you think she'll cave?" I looked in the direction he was gazing, and spotted Lily, with her long, strikingly red hair, sitting next to someone with a sloppy, black mess. James.
James was hopeless. He'd been asking Lily to date him every day since our third year. He said he was in love with her, and at first I believed it to merely be a phase. But now, I wasn't so sure. Lately, he seemed to be bordering the line between infatuation and obsession. I had to agree—it wouldn't be long before she said yes to him, even if only to get James to shut the hell up.
"Err… not long, I suppose. Three months, maybe? Girls get all mushy around St. Valentine's Day, so maybe she'll take pity on him and agree to a date." Peter laughed, and Frank shook his head, exasperated.
"I just wish I had the gall to ask her, like James does," Frank said, sighing. "Then again, he'd most likely scalp me alive if I went anywhere near here. He acts like he owns her, for Merlin's sake." He chewed on his doughnut thoughtfully. "What about you three, what do you think of her?"
Peter snorted. "Trust me, I think very highly of her." In a whisper, he added, "I must admit, I've wanked off to her quite a few times."
"Oi! Peter!" Sirius shouted, a disgusted look on his face. "Keep that information to yourself, please. I do not want to spend the rest of the day with that… lovely mental image, thank you very much."
"You, Wormtail, are the least tactful person I have ever met," I mumbled, and he seemed to absorb this as some sort of compliment; for I could see his ego inflating ever so slightly as I spoke.
"Hey, excuse me if I'm not one for attachments. Love is like a hit and run for me. And if that's all I'm going to get from Evans, god forbid I milk it to it's fullest."
At the word "milk", all three of us gagged on whatever we were eating, no doubt picturing things better left unsaid; unnoticed to Peter.
"Well, anyway," Sirius said, resting his chin in his hands and watching as a Lily shouted a few unheard, yet most undoubtedly choice words at James. "Evans isn't my type. I'm all for James and her, I think they'd make quite a contradictory couple. They're like pancakes and mustard, those two."
I shot him a sideways glance. "Pancakes and mustard?" I asked, bewildered.
"Yeah," he replied dreamily, as if imagining having a plate of the unsightly duo at that very moment. "They shouldn't mix, it seems, but somehow they do…" he trailed off, shrugging and shoving yet another strip of bacon into his mouth.
"They shouldn't mix, it seems, but somehow they do…" Sirius' voice resounded through my head as I tried to listen to the droning of dear old Professor Binns. It didn't help matters, either, that the stupid little prick was seated right next to me, jabbering on uselessly, mouthing obscenities just to get me to blush. It was a wretched game of his, and I really wanted to tell him to shut his mouth; but I was much too polite for that.
And by that, of course, I mean I was pretty incapable of telling him off; as I was preoccupied scratching down notes on Binns' lecture while trying to ignore Sirius' unruly comments. It would be quite easy to succumb to his will and let them get the better of me, but I wasn't going to let that happen. I felt my face burn furiously as he quoted a particularly nasty thing to me in a rough whisper.
But I couldn't get it off my mind. Pancakes and mustard. He was right, they shouldn't mix. And although I didn't particularly agree with him on the front that they actually did, it was remarkably representational, to me. Two totally opposite things falling in sync. Into rhythm with one another.
Like he and I. The Prefect and the rebel. The possibilities practically made me hard, and I immediately ducked over my notes upon noticing this, writing down something irrelevant about the goblin rebellions of 1738.
It was all I could do to keep my mind off of Sirius.