- Stepping Out of the Shadows -

- aimz666 -

Competition: The Taragh Word Limit Competition

Prompt: That One Thing
Word Limit: 500 (+/- 100)

Word Count: 509

Beta: Budapest all over again

I admired my cousin. He's got the thing I always wished I had - the ability to step out of the shadow of the Black family name. I guessed the Sorting Hat helped him a little by placing him in Gryffindor, but everyone knows the hat gives most people a choice. I know for a fact that Sirius would have demanded to be anywhere but Slytherin.

When I was sorted, I was too scared to make a choice over the house my family had always been in that after much deliberation between Ravenclaw and Slytherin I was placed in the latter.

I caught Sirius' eye giving him a brief, yet inconspicuous, smile and nod before he sat down grinning at the Gryffindor table.

I want to know how he does it, how he just saunters over and sat down with all the people our family hate? I mean, I know I do the same thing, but never would I ever be so obvious - especially not with Ted.

Callum Greengrass nudged me. "Proud?" I shushed him, even though he spoke so quietly that no one on the table would have heard him. Callum was the only person who I could tell the truth. He smiled and made sure I was watching his little sister get sorted. She went into Ravenclaw.

I turned back to Sirius who was talking quite happily to Conner Jepson, the fifth year Gryffindor prefect, and he was soon joined by two other boys. One of them I knew to be James Potter, from various ministry parties, but the other I didn't recognise - he looked sick.

My mind drifted somewhat when the meal appeared, despite the fact I was trying to force myself not to think about how my favourite cousin has more bravery in his little finger than I have in my whole body. If only Ted and I could be together without the secrets, if only I could stop and talk to him in the corridor or kiss him goodbye when I went to Charms and he was off to Herbology. I'd be able stop shushing Callum, the only person who knew about me and Ted, when he asked how things were going or something like that.

I caught Ted's eye but stop myself from smiling because seventh year Lucius Malfoy was following my eyeline. I sneer the signature Black sneer at Ted, who realised quickly that it was all a ploy. For a split second my brain fills with him, seeing him sitting there, mischievous eyes darting between his friends and me, looking very hot in his blue and black robes. It makes my decision for me. I decided if I could do that one thing Sirius does do well, that one tiny yet significant thing, then I'll feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm going to do it, I'm going to. That thing that my cousin does so well.

I'm going to step out from under the shadow of the Black Family name.