A//N: Trigger warning! Depression plays a big role in this chapter as well. I promise the next ones wont be as depressing.
School is actually not that bad. Despite the other students staring all of the time, I ignore them very well. Most of the time that is. I still notice all eyes on my arm, and all eyes on my other hand in Tom's. Although Tom and Abraxas never speak, it's obvious that they completely hate each other, and word gets around the school that Tom beat Abraxas up because he had hurt me. Of course, Tom didn't actually beat Abraxas up, just knocked him out with one punch. One day, walking down the corridor I run into Abraxas, and his eyes get wide. I just stand there, watching him watch me. At first neither of us say anything. I mean, what could we say, I hate you and I wish you would drop dead. No.
"Abraxas." I whisper.
"Lucinda." He whispers back.
There is an awkward silence, one that brings tears to my eyes. I never thought I could be so heartbroken over losing a close friend.
"I should be going." I murmur. It hurts too much to just stand here, watching each other. So much left unsaid.
"Lucinda, believe me, I'm so sorry." Abraxas tells me, and I can hear the lump in his throat, like he's also moments from crying as well. "I know we're not right for each other, but I still want you in my life."
"Abraxas, I'll always want you in my life, but you're right about one thing. We're not right for each other. I'll never be the girl you really want. I can't be. I'm sorry, but I will never be that girl." I say honestly, my voice rising slightly in volume.
"But, you're the right girl for Tom?" Abraxas asks, but I know it's not a question. It's more of a statement. Or perhaps it is a question, only, a rhetorical one.
"Abraxas, I've got nothing more to say to you. Tom is none of your concern. Do me a favor, and don't talk to me again if you can't leave Tom out of it." I say, ready to leave right then.
"I'm sorry. You're right. Tom isn't any of my concern. But you are. I broke your arm, yelled at you, and hurt you more than I ever thought possible. More than you ever hurt me. I'm really sorry, and I want to be friends. Please Lucinda." Abraxas tells me.
"Abraxas, it hurts to even look at you. It hurts to talk to you. How am I supposed to be friends with you if I can't look at you, talk to you, or stand being around you? Wait, don't answer that." I say. "Just go. Leave me alone."
That's when Tom shows up, and his hand finds the small of my back, his arm wrapped around me, while looking at Abraxas with a look of complete and utter hate. "You heard her." Tom says, unblinking.
"I sure did." Abraxas says, bumping into Tom as he walks away in haste, jarring Tom's body against mine, and I swear if Tom hadn't been holding onto me, I would have fallen right on my face. The clenching in my stomach, the lump in my throat, and the erratic beating of my heart are enough to know that things will never be the same, that Abraxas and I will never again be friends, and all of the memories are now poisoned, and nothing can change that.
I try not to cry. I must seem like a stupid, over-emotional child, crying so much. Tom takes one look at my face, and I know I must look awful, and he pulls me in for a hug, gently rubbing my back soothingly. I still don't cry. That would make all of this seem that much more real.
"I'm sorry." Tom says. "I'll talk to the professors and try to make sure they know he's not allowed around your or even to talk to you."
"No." I say, pulling back.
"Lucinda, he needs to leave you alone. This is the last straw." Tom tells me.
"Don't." I say. "I will handle it." Something in my gaze makes Tom pull away, nodding. I give him a look. "Promise you you'll let me take care of this." Tom nods again, and kisses me.
"I promise." He says when he pulls away.
That night, I work up my courage during patrols, and tell Tom "I'm going to go check the west wing. You check the east?"
"Of course. I'll meet you back here." I smile, and give him a kiss. Alright, so I wasn't really checking the west wing. I had seen Abraxas near the tower, and I needed to talk to him. But when I walk around the corner, Abraxas is out of sight. Slowly, I open the tower door, making my breathing and steps as quiet as a cats. When I reach the stop, I hear quiet sobbing. I step forward, and see Abraxas hunched over.
I don't say anything at first. It's obvious he doesn't know I'm here. Then "Abraxas..." I trail off unsure of what to say. I'd never seen him crying like this before. I step closer, my hand resting on his back, and he turns to face me. His eyes are bloodshot, tears cling to his face which is slightly red, and then I see it. He's sitting in a pool of blood. His blood. His sleeves are pulled up, and I see deep, deep cuts. They look similar to Tom's, but much worse. It's obvious Abraxas had hit veins. Tom hadn't. If Abraxas had been trying to kill himself, it's very obvious. I reach forward, my fingers touching his arms, my magic flaring up inside of me, and then, nothing. My magic is unable to fix this. I crouch down, looking Abraxas in the eyes. "Abraxas. Don't move. I'm going to go get help. Promise me you wont move?"
"I promise." He mumbles nearly silently. He doesn't apologize. He looks out of it, his skin is ashen white, his lips are blue, and I know if I don't hurry, he wont make it. I run down the steps and scream Tom's name. I know he'll hear me, I just keep screaming for him. Tom comes running, and he sees blood on me.
"What happened, how did you get hurt? Where are you hurt?" He asks, and he starts searching for cuts or anything.
"I'm not hurt. It's Abraxas. Get help. Quick." I say, and barrel back up the steps. "Abraxas, helps coming." I sit down beside, him, and he looks at me mournfully.
"Sorry I wasn't good enough." He murmurs.
"No, no." I say, gently touching his cheek. "You are good enough. Don't talk like that. As if you're going to die. You're going to be okay. I swear you are." I gently touch his cheek, and am shocked at the icy coldness of his skin. "Abraxas, don't you dare." I say, suddenly realizing I should put pressure on the cuts. I grab both of his arms, pressing my fingers as tightly to the cuts as possibl, even though I have a cast on one arm still. "I'm not going to say I love you, because that would be a lie. But I care about you so much Abraxas. Don't give up on life just because of some stupid girl."
"Not stupid." He murmurs. "Amazing. Strong. Beautiful. Smart." He coughs and I stiffle the sob ready to leap from my throat. What are the chances that two guys would want to kill themselves over little oh me? Me being in this time line has changed things so much.
Then loud banging of feet is on the stairs, and Tom, along with Dumbledore, the nurse, the headmaster, and a few other professors rush into the room. The nurse immediately begins to use a healing spell that takes a lot of magic to work, and hooks up some bags of bloods to his arm. Tom pulls me away from Abraxas, and hides my face in his chest, his hands cradling my head gently. Soon, Dumbledore leads Tom and me away, and he says "I was wondering which one of you found him?"
"I did." I whisper, unsure of what it matters who found him, except that now he's going to be okay.
"He'll get better, but the boy tried to kill himself. He'll get the help he so desperately needs. I assure you both of that, but Lucinda, word has it that you dumped him." Dumbledore says.
"Professor." Tom says. "That was weeks ago. He's been harrassing Lucinda, and she told him to just leave her alone. He hurt her, which is the reason that she doesn't want to be around him. It's not her fault."
"I never said it was. I was just trying to get the facts, Mr. Riddle. Word has it that you two have also begun to court?" Dumbledore asks.
"Yes sir." I mumble, tears falling down my cheeks. My hands have dry blood on them, and I know I look awful. "May I go shower, and go to bed now?" I ask, worried I'm about to break down.
"Of course, M'dear. It's going to all be alright. Please just get some rest. You can see Abraxas in the morning. He'll be a lot better by then." Dumbledore tells me. I nod. He glances at Tom. "Take care of her, please."
"I will, sir." Tom tells Dumbledore. "Come on, Lucinda."
Everyone else is already in bed, and as a Prefect, I was supposed to make sure of it. Instead, I went looking for Abraxas. If I hadn't...he would have died. Tom waits outside the bathroom for me to shower, then come out. He takes my hand, and leads me back to the girls dorm. "Even though you went looking for him, which meant shirking your Prefect duties, I'm proud of you Lucinda. You said you were going to handle it, and you were going to talk to him, weren't you?"
"Yeah." I mumble. "Didn't go as I thought it would. Didn't expect to find him in the middle of killing himself over me."
"Lucinda, it's not your fault." Tom pulls me in close. "He hurt you, and it's obvious that he couldn't live with that. The fact that you ended up saving his life... he's going to feel even worse about hurting you."
"Stop it, Tom. You're just making me feel worse! I don't want him trying to kill himself!" I raise my voice.
"Shhh." Tom says. "You'll wake everyone else up. I know you don't want him to kill himself, I don't want him to either. I just want you to be happy. I don't want you hurting."
"I want to be happy. Happy with you." I tell him. "But how can we be happy together if Abraxas is going to keep trying to kill himself just because I can't and wont be with him?"
"Lucinda, listen to me. You are to keep yourself happy, no one else. Everyone else has to make themselves happy. You cannot rely on someone else to be happy. Lucinda, you can't blame this on yourself. Abraxas has to deal with his consequences on his own." Tom says, and I frown. "Tell me you understand."
"I understand, but I don't like it." I mutter.
"Yes, well, you don't have to like it. It's just the way it is." Tom tells me. He gives me a gentle kiss and says "Time for you to go to bed. I'll see you in the morning. Tomorrow is going to be hell."
"Tom, I wish I could stay with you. I'm scared." I tell him, tears trailing down my face.
"I'll be right down the corridor. I promise. If you need me, you can come get me." Tom says. "I promise."
I nod and Tom wipes at the tears on my cheeks. "Tom?" I whisper.
"Yes, Luce?" Tom asks me. I don't say anything, I just kiss him. He kisses me back, and hugs me tightly. "Time to sleep now." He whispers to me, and opens the door slowly.
"Goodnight, Tom." I whisper.
"Goodnight, my love." Tom says, then walks down the corridor, heading for the boys dormitory. I close the door, walk over to the room I share with Esmeralda and my other room mates, and get into bed.
I had jus started down the stairs to go to breakfast when Professor Dumbledore came over to me. "Hello, Esmeralda. I wanted to let you know that there was an incident last night, and your brother is in the hospital wing." His voice is sorrowful and his eyes seem tired.
"What happened? Is Abraxas alright? I ask, in a rush.
"He, um, tried to commit suicide last night. Your friend found him wile patrolling last night and sent Mr. Riddle to get me and some of the other professors as well as the nurse. He is in stable condition, but it's clear that the boy is in need of some help."
"Oh my god." I gasp, my breath getting harder and harder to catch. Dumbledore's hand rests on my shoulder and he says "Take it easy. Everything is going to be just fine. Just be thankful that Lucinda found him in time"
"When can I see him?" I ask.
"Not until all classes are out for the day."
"Alright, Thank you, Professor." He inclines his head, and I rush back up the stairs, needing to talk to Lucinda, Breakfast forgotten. I wake her up, but then notice she hasn't gotten much sleep.
"My brother...tired to kill himself last night."I say, and Lucinda nods, tears falling down her face. I hug her and when she hugs me back, my tears begin to fall as well._______________________________
Lucinda doesn't come down for breakfast, and the whispers about what really happened last night makes me mad, and I snap at the other students. "Shut up and stop telling rumors or I'll take 50 points from each house." I hiss at them. They immediate shut their mouths, and I get up, stride through the corridor to the dorm. I hear crying in the bedroom that Esmeralda and Lucinda share with two other girls. I knock, hesitant, since I know it's a bad time to want to talk to Lucinda. Esmeralda pulls the door open, and for the first time in the 5 school years that I had known her, she doesn't look completely put together and stunningly beautiful. Her hair had come loose from the ponytail she had gathered her hair into, her makeup has run down her cheeks, streaking them and making her look like a raccoon, and her skin is mostly ashen pale, except for the bright red spots of color on her cheekbones.
"Tom." Esmeralda says, opening the door the rest of the way, letting me come inside. The room is completely clean, and the beds are made up, well, all of them except Lucinda's. Lucinda is still in her night clothes, a pair of shorts and a loose tank top. Her hair falls around her like black out curtains, and her eyes are red and her cheeks streaked with tears. Her skin is more pale than usual, no color whatsoever.
"Tom." She says, tears choking her voice, getting up quickly and hugging me around the waist. I gently stroke her hair and back, and kiss the top of her head.
"Luce." I whisper to her. "It's going to be alright. I promise." I glance over at Esmeralda, and hold out an arm in her direction. She walks over and slowly gives me a hug. "I promise both of you, everything is going to be alright."
"How can you be so sure, Tom?" Esmeralda asks. "My brother tried to kill himself, that's not alright."
"No, it's not. He'll get the help he needs though." I tell her. "I promise, everything will be alright in time. Everything takes time, you can't rush it."
She nods, then pulls away. "Thanks, Tom." I incline my head, and look down at Lucinda, who is hiding her face in my chest, and I feel the small, racking sobs that course through my body when Lucinda cries. I glance at Esmeralda, and she nods, "See you both later." She says, and exits the room. I gently lift Lucinda and lay her on the bed, laying down beside her, and she looks up at me.
"Tom?" Lucinda whispers.
"Yes, Lucinda?" I murmur.
"Do you think Abraxas will be alright?"
"Yes, he probably just needs some medicine and counseling. Everything will be alright." I tell her.
She nods. I gently kiss her forehead, and she closes her eyes. I brush my lips over hers, and I feel her fingers tighten on my robes. My tongue traces the small gap between her lips, seeking enterance. When her lips part more, I close my eyes, and slip my tongue into her mouth, lightly tracing her tongue with mine. I feel her hands slide up my chest, her arms wrapping around my neck, and I feel her belly pressed to mine. I want her so badly, but I know I can't do anything with her. Not yet. Not for a long time. Instead, I caress her tongue once more before pulling my mouth away from hers. Lucinda blushes, pulling quickly away from me, and I realize that she's embarrassed by how much she wants me as well, embarrassed that she wants me physcially and the fact that I wont agree to it. I gently stroke her cheek, then get up from the bed.
"You should get dressed, we need to be in DADA in 20 minutes," I say glancing at the clock. "Think you can be ready by then?"
"Yes." She is still blushing. "Wait outside, and I'll be ready in a few minutes." She says. I nod, and walk out the door, closing it behind me. I lean against the wall. It doesn't take her more than 5 minutes to change, then she walks out the door, her hair is braided, her face isn't streaked with tears though her eyes are still a bit red, and she's dressed in her robes, her wand in hand. She gives me a smile, putting her wand in her pocket, and taking my hand. Our fingers intertwinne and my heart leaps. Everytime our fingers or hands touch, I always feel a small shock run through my body, making my heart leap and lurch. I never thought it would be possible for me to be with Lucinda, no matter how much I've always loved her. Just having her hold my hand, it's more than I ever could hope for. We walk to Defense Against the Dark Arts, and take our seats.
"Can anyone tell me what a Boggert is?" The Professor asks.
"It's a creature that represents your worst fear." Lucinda answers.
"Right you are. 10 points to Slytherin." The Professor says. "Intriguing, is it not? Can anyone describe what a Boggert looks like?"
"No one really knows the true form of a Boggert." I say. "They are shapeshifters, as you said earlier, and change into your worst fear, which is what makes them more so terrifying."
"Quite right, Mr. Riddle. Take another 10 points for Slytherin." He says. "Can anyone tell me the charm that exists to repel a Boggart?"
"You just say Ridiculous." I answer.
"Yes, and another 10 points to Slytherin. Come on, Gryffindor, you're severly lagging behind!" The Professor says. "Now, can a Boggart hurt you?"
A Gryffindor girl murmurs "Yes."
"Wrong." The Professor says. "Boggarts are not able to hurt anyone. Now a simple incantation alone is not enough to finish off a Boggart. To really finish it off, you need to laugh, it needs to think that you believe the shape it has taken is truly amusing." The Professor steps away from the wardrobe after opening it. "Who will be first?" He asks. No one stands up. "Come on, where is the bravery?"
I stand up and walk over to the wardrobe. The Boggart takes a while to decide what my worst fear is. I see a man, a man who looks like me, but looks like the man who is actually my father. The human that deserted my pregnant mother, and me. He looks at me, and I try to remind myself, it's not real. The fear isn't there. I'm not afraid of my father, I'm afraid of becoming like my father. Everyone is watching, and they see the man who looks so similar to me. How ridiculous. I may look similar to him, but I'm NOTHING like him.
I yell "Ridiculous, Ridiculous, Ridiculous!" And laugh. The Boggert sags, and screeches, a sound that is nearly deafening, and the Professor pulls me away.
"Wow, that's, I've never heard a Boggert scream before. Well done, Mr. Riddle. Take 50 points for Slytherin, M'boy." I take my seat and Lucinda gives me a strange look. I shake my head, giving her a meaningful look that means we'll talk later. "Whose next? Oh, my, Lucinda. Well, good luck." The professor laughs.
I watch as Lucinda, who had stood up, walks over to the wardrobe. The Boggart doesn't take long to decide. The Boggart takes the form of a clock, which I have no idea what it truly represents to Lucinda, other than perhaps the passage of time. Lucinda yells "Ridiculous," But it doesn't leave. It just laughs at her. I can't see her face, but her shoulders are shaking. I stand up, wondering what the heck is happening. "Ridiculous!" Lucinda shouts, and the clock disappears, but then the Boggart takes form of a spell, hitting a woman in the chest, sending the woman landing on the floor, air knocked out of her, and then, her chest stops moving, no heart beat. The woman has dark hair, though it's straight, and her skin is fair, but not too light, her eyelashes are black, and her lips a dark red. A man bends over her, trying to wake her up, and then the man yells at Lucinda. Lucinda's hands shake as she bends down, as if to touch the woman, unconciously moving, until the man screams at her and hits her across the face. Lucinda falls backwards, and I rush over to her, holding onto her as she begins to cry. The Professor bends down next to Lucinda, as shocked as I am to see a red mark on her cheek. I look right at the Boggart/man and shout "Ridiculous!" But nothing happens. Lucinda looks terrified, but then whispers "Ridiculous." The Boggart doesn't change forms, or sag. It just looks at her, and screams at her.
"You're weak, you're a freak, an abomination. You killed your mother, Lucinda. You killed her. Nothing you do can change that." It yells at her.
Lucinda looks like she's about to faint, but then, with one last burst of energy, she screams "Ridiculous, Ridiculous, Ridiculous!" It disappears, I'm not sure where.
The Professor looks truly shocked and scared, and confused, just like I am.
"I thought you said it can't harm anyone!?" I yell. "What the hell happened, Professor?"
"I don't know." He says, "I have no idea." He touches the red welt on Lucinda's cheek, making her gasp in pain. All of the students get up and surround us, and look around inside the wardrobe. But the Boggart is gone. Had Lucinda killed it? Like actually killed a creature that never dies?
Lucinda looks at me, and I see the fear in her eyes. "I'll take her to the nurse." I volunteer.
"Good, yes, please take her. I'm so sorry, Lucinda." The Professor says.
"It's not your fault." Lucinda mutters, and I lift her into my arms, gently. She rests her head against my chest, and I walk quickly to the hospital wing where the nurse can check Lucinda over.
"What happened?" She asks, surprised to see my carrying Lucinda.
"A Boggart." I say. "But something weird happened. One of the things it turned into was a man. It hit her."
"Boggarts can't do that." The nurse says.
"It did." Lucinda mutters to her, sounding just as bitter as she had in class.
The nurse makes a tsk noise, and I give her a dirty look. "We just came from Defense Against the Dark Arts. If you have a problem, please take it up with the professor." I tell her.
"No need to be rude, Mr. Riddle." She says.
"No need to be rude, Ms. Black." I say. "Don't tell us that a Boggart can't hit someone when the whole freaking class saw it!"
"Very well." She says, shaking her head. "The mark will fade on its own, though there may be a small bruise."
"Thank you." I say, "Anything she should do?"
"She should take it easy. Lucinda, don't use any spells today, I'll give you a note to give to your Professors." She tells us.
"Alright." Lucinda says, getting up off of the table, and takes the note that the nurse gives her. She walks out of the room, and I follow her, and we make our way to Potions. Lucinda shows the note to the Professor, and we take our seats.
"Are you okay?" I ask her gently, pushing a strand of hair that had come out of her braid out of her face. She looks over at me, shaking her head.
"No." She whispers. "I just saw myself kill my mom again."
"That was your parents?" I ask her. She nods. "I'm sorry." I pull her close, wishing I could really comfort her and not just offer her the words of 'I'm sorry.' Words don't count as much. So I just gently stroke her hair. "It's not real. That Boggart was just using your fear of that against you."
"It's just like before." She whispers, closing her eyes tightly as tears stream out of her tear ducts.
"No, no. It's just a fear. It's not happening again." I tell her. "Shhh." I wipe her tears away, and notice that the other students are piling in. Some of them are the Gryffindor's that were in the DADA class. Some are Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Lucinda seems to feel the eyes on her, and dries her tears, and sits up straight in her chair. Esmeralda walks in, and she pats Lucinda's back gently, having heard rumors of what happened. She sits down beside us, and we both exchange looks when we realize Lucinda isn't paying any attention to the Professor.
The rest of the classes, Lucinda is silent in. She sits through lunch, not touching her food. Halfway through the last class of the day, she takes out her braid and lets her hair fall forward to hide her face. When class ends, she goes up to her room, and goes to bed, without dinner, and after Esmeralda goes to see her brother, she comes back to the room and tells me I can get dinner or whatever I need to do, that she'll keep an eye on Lucinda. I nod, and say "I'll be back in the morning to check on her." I leave the room, and make my way down to the Slytherin Common Room. Abraxas, who had just gotten out of the Hospital Wing, looks up. His skin is pale as snow, and his arms are bandaged. He doesn't look mad at me for a change. But he doesn't seem happy.
"Tom." He whispers.
"Abraxas. How are you feeling?" I ask him, knowing that I need to be kind to him.
"A bit better. Somewhat sore and tired. They wouldn't tell me, did you find me?" He asks.
I shake my head. "No, that was Lucinda. She came downstairs, yelling for me, and told me to get help." I tell him.
"Oh god." He says, covering his face with his hands. "How is she?" He asks me.
"Scared, worried, tired. Something else happened today, and she's upstairs sleeping now."
"I'm such an idiot." He mumbles.
"No, you're depressed. There is a big difference Abraxas." I tell him. "Lucinda was very upset when she found you."
"I can only imagine. I don't remember anything." Abraxas admits. He looks over at me, and says "Did you at least calm her down?"
"Yeah. She got a shower and went to bed after she found you last night. She'll be okay, but she had tried to stop the bleeding, and she was covered in your blood, so I'm gonna guess she'll be traumatized for a while." I explain.
"I wish she wouldn't have found me." He mutters. "If she hadn't, things would be better for her, for you, for everyone."
"Stop talking like that, Abraxas. Things wouldn't be better for anyone if you were to die. Especially not for Lucinda or Esmeralda. " I tell Abraxas. "It just hurts them to know that your depressed enough to commit suicide."
"I guess." Abraxas says.
"Abraxas, I want to be friends, and if you're going to sulk, then I'll go get your sister and Lucinda and they'll yell at you."
"You still want to be friends with me, after everything that has happened?" Abraxas asks me, in shock.
"Yes. Of course. I also need your help with something." I say, leaning against the wall.
"And what is that something?" Abraxas asks, watching me with a strange look on his face.
"Do you hate the muggle borns?"
"Don't particularly like them. Why?"
"I think we're going to have a lot to talk about then." I say, smiling.
A lot to talk about indeed.