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Hello Darkness...
#1
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April 28th, 1890 — The Black Lake, Hogwarts
Hesper had just finished her last class of the day and was eager to go outside where the sun was still shining and unseasonably warm. She'd been staring out the window intermittently all day and now she could go out and actually enjoy it! She had a lot of homework to do and she knew she ought to get started on that but she'd heard all kinds of things about the giant squid and thought maybe it would come out of the water for such nice weather. She just wanted a quick look at it.

As the Black Lake swam into view she was dismayed to see that there was no sign of the squid at all. There was a small, dark haired figure whom she immediately thought was Sirius but quickly decided it probably wasn't. From this distance it could be any dark haired boy, it might even be a girl with her hair tucked back funny. She couldn't quite shake the suspicion that it was Sirius and so she continued on despite no longer having a reason to.

It was Sirius! She faltered. She'd barely exchanged three words with him since September. Things were different now, he was in the year above and seemed to have plenty of second year friends. Friends that he always seemed to be around when she saw him. Flora was a second year but Flora was different, Flora was a girl and Sirius was not. Even with Flora Hesper felt like she was always a step-behind, like she lacked the worldliness Miss Mulciber had acquired in her extra year of life. A little more tentatively now, Hesper continued approaching Sirius.

She bit her lip and took the opportunity to walk up behind him and thus avoid whatever look he might have on his face at seeing her. Her hand formed a tight fist around the strap of her bag. "Hello, are we still friends?" She'd only meant to say the hello part but she'd been staring so intently at his back and thinking about whether he would be dismissive and aloof that she'd accidentally said what was on her mind and very bluntly too. Hesper flushed with embarrassment and turned her back to him, taking a hasty step back the way she'd come. No, that was silly he'd probably already turned around, she couldn't save face by running away now!

@Sirius Black


#2
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Sirius was sitting in the grass in the sun in front of the lake. It was so rare to get a genuine sunny day in Scotland, so of course he was out here - ostensibly he had come out to study, but really he was tinkering with a puzzle box because if he was going to be out here then he ought to be doing something fun while he was. He was rather absorbed with it when he heard someone speak to him, and turned around, eyebrows shooting up in surprise at the sight of Miss Gamp.

"Yes?" Sirius said, "Why wouldn't we be?"


#3
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She whirled back around again at the sound of his voice. "Well..." Awkwardly, she took a few steps closer to him and then stopped. She started to fiddle with the strap of her bag. "I've been at Hogwarts for months now and we're even in the same house..." Now that she was saying it out loud it sounded silly and childish but why should it? They had been friends, friends for as long as she could remember; he was the first friend who wasn't a doll that she could remember making and that was special but maybe he just didn't value their friendship as much because he had so many.

Hesper stopped playing with her bag strap, folded her arms across her chest, and frowned at him crossly. "You know, you've not been much of a friend at all, Sirius Black!" No, she wasn't going to be apologetic after all, she'd accidentally started being assertive and she'd stick with it now because he had treated her unkindly and if he was going to say they were friends then he'd have to act it!



#4
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Sirius' forehead furrowed in confusion. Sure, he hadn't talked to her much, but - why would that matter? She was younger, and she didn't know any of his friends. Why would he have talked to her?

"I don't get it," he said, although clearly she was upset and directing it at him and there was a twinge in his chest when he thought about his having upset her. But he didn't get it.

#5
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His response stunned her for a moment. What didn't he get? Was she overreacting? "You never talk to me!" came her exasperated reply. Maybe she was overreacting but she could be overreacting and right about Sirius being unkind at the same time. "Is it because you're embarrassed? I thought maybe you were but you don't even talk to me when there's no one to be embarrassed around." This was not a proper ladylike sort of conversation, Aunt Jessamine wouldn't approve at all, but for once she didn't care because Sirius had hurt her feelings and Sirius was her very first friend and everything was just a lot at the moment. "We finally get to see each other properly and you ignore me instead."



#6
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Hesper Gamp was yelling at him.

Hesper Gamp was yelling at him, and Sirius wasn't used to being yelled at, so perhaps he was stretching the definition of yelling, but she was unhappy. Had he really managed to upset her this much? He hadn't thought that he had done anything wrong; of course, he also hadn't ever explained anything to her.

"I thought -" Sirius started, but sighed. "I'm - I'm a second year. And you hadn't ever met any of my friends."

#7
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Hesper didn't really understand what he was suggesting, she hadn't really expected him to initiate her into his new Hogwarts friend group of second years but there was a middle ground between that and completely ignoring her. "I don't have to be friends with your friends for you to be able to talk to me sometimes." Surely that was obvious, he was a second year, he should know that. "Unless it's really because you're embarrassed to be seen with me." She scowled at a patch of grass to the side of him looking just as hurt as she did angry.



#8
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"I'm not embarrassed," Sirius blustered, although he had absolutely been embarrassed, and was caught. His cheeks had flushed a faint pink.

#9
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She stole a glance up at him and ended up staring instead. He was embarrassed! Hesper's scowl wavered briefly as hurt flooded her features. She'd wondered but she'd still hoped that wasn't the reason he never acknowledged her. Before he'd gone off to school he'd seemed excited to go to school with her, even if she was a year behind. Now that wasn't the case and it was probably because he as ashamed and he now had more than enough new friends. "You clearly are!" Almost yelling at him wasn't ladylike behavior at all but she felt so deeply betrayed that she lacked the capacity to care about that too. She could feel tears starting to well up in her eyes. She really didn't want to cry in front of him. "You can't be my friend if you're ashamed of me so I guess I have my answer." Hesper turned her back on him and stormed off back towards the castle. She was still fighting off her tears even though he wouldn't see.



#10
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Well, he hadn't wanted that, either. Sirius jumped to his feet. "Wait!" he yelled - there was a sudden sense that if he let her walk away now, it was really over, and it was probably-definitely-for sure all his fault.

#11
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Hesper instinctively stopped as he called after her. She wanted to look back towards him but then he'd see that she had started to cry. It would only make him think she was childish and that he'd been right to be embarrassed. She wiped at her eyes with the sleeves of her robe which she'd rather not have but she had no easy alternative. She blinked hard and inhaled sharply to try and stop the tears. As long as he didn't say anything upsetting she thought she'd be okay. "Why?" She tried to squash the tremor out of her voice. Hesper took a couple more steps away from him and then turned. Hopefully she was far enough away it wouldn't be noticeable that she'd cried a bit.





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