Chapter Two: I Saw Sunset, I Saw Sunrise
We decided to have secret meetings, to
make it a little more exciting. I also believe he didn’t really want to tell
his other friends he was hanging out with me, but I didn’t really mind. I never
told a soul either.
Keeping our friendship a secret was
harder than I thought it would be. All those excuses one needs to make up and
one has to make sure that one doesn’t use the same excuse twice a day, or that
one doesn’t sneak out of a class when the other couldn’t. It took a lot of
planning and we soon had a strategy to meet four times a month, once a week.
class, once, we would sneak out of our Common Rooms and we would skip
breakfast, lunch or dinner twice.
particularly hard for me, Persephone, Aglaia and Uma liked to check up on me in
the evening, or they would come and sit with me in the Great Hall. Plus Minerva
kept staggering after Tom. But we managed to fool them every time, although I
still don’t know how we pulled it off.
But it was good
that we did.
I had such good
a time… Tom and I, we could truly talk about everything. We liked to discuss
our future. Tom was a serious boy.
appreciate a good joke every now and then, but he took almost everything in
earnest. I could see why. If he had good notes he could stay in the Wizarding
World, something I think he desired more than anything. He hated Muggles.
We had some wild
discussions about that, we had. He was a true Slytherin that way. He didn’t
want Muggle-borns or Half-bloods at Hogwarts. I didn’t have to fear, because
like I said, I come from a long line of pure bloods, but a lot of Ravenclaws
didn’t and a lot of them were friends. The things he wanted done to them to
“clean out the Wizard Race” were awful, and it made me sick to think that some
of those could be done to any of my friends. And when I told him that he was a
Half-blood too, he got so mad he scared the living daylights out of me.
‘I am not a
Mudblood!’ He would yell. ‘Tom Riddle is a Mudblood, and Tom Riddle doesn’t exist
anymore… There is only Voldemort!’
But I knew Tom
still was there, because every time I said something, Tom would say something
back. When we were together, he was no Slytherin and I was no Ravenclaw. We
just were Tom and Shiphrah. A boy and a girl, being very good friends.
Well, you can
pretty much guess what happened, can’t you?
became more than friends. We fell in love. But it wasn’t until our fourth year
that we gave in to our feelings. Before I gave into my feelings, at least. I
never really knew how long Tom had wanted to be more than friends. He wouldn’t
during one of our secret meetings. Oh, yes, I remember everything so well. We
had sneaked into the Divination class. I had heard from Persephone that
Professor Ekstispeks had told her last class she was going to be sick that day,
so that room was empty.
The attic was so
hot it made you drowsy almost instantly as you entered and it smelled of
‘Oh look,’ he
said, obviously faking his own surprise ‘isn’t this a pretty couch…’ And it
was… It was a soft couch of pink velvet; the arm rests were matte gold and it
was covered in white rose petals. ‘Ekstispeks must’ve seen what was coming.’
We sat down and
had a beautiful view over the lake and the grounds and the sun shone so
beautifully bright, as if she knew as well that we would be looking up at her.
We soon agreed
to skip some lessons, and I know, that sounds silly, but if you would’ve been
there, you would’ve done the same.
And we just sat
there and did nothing but look. I can still see that view if I close my eyes,
and it’s still one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever seen, one of the most
wonderful moments I’ve ever known. And the funny thing is, I know Tom knows it
too… He still feels it, I know he does.
But back to the
attic- Suddenly, he put on a very fake yawn and he stealthily laid his arm
around me. I let him. I liked it and I got closer to him and softly leaned
against him, resting my head on his chest.
I could hear his
heart beat, louder and faster than a normal heartbeat. He breathed short,
irregular breaths. I noticed I did too.
And we looked at
the sapphire sky contrasting with the lake as the sun made it shine silver. We-
well, at least I- felt special and alone, alone in the entire world. I enjoyed
it with every short, irregular breath.
After an hour or
so, Tom nodded off and suddenly the lake and the sun didn’t seem so pretty
anymore. But he did… Oh he got more handsome everyday and it never hit me like
it hit me then, not even when I first saw him on King’s Cross.
I couldn’t keep
my eyes of him, and I loved…wait- I don’t think love is strong enough a word.
Let’s say I adored watching him.
I could’ve sat
in that classroom for hours, just looking. I knew for sure, that moment, that
there was nothing about him I didn’t love. Not a bloody thing- pardon my
language. Even despite some of his frightening features.
I was aware of
my feelings, maybe even of his too- that they were strong, but somehow I had
always considered them rather… I wouldn’t say mundane, or wrong, but I can’t
seem to think of other words.
I mean, I think
practically every single girl at Hogwarts was interested in him. Yes yes, I
know this sounds very cliché: he was the playboy and we were the airheads
running after him, but we were. It was just that he didn’t devour every girl he
And that’s what
made me realise… Out of all the girls, all the fashion-queens, the rich heirs
and Pure Greens, he chose me: a simple Blue, not that rich, not that pretty,
with a huge family. It’s probably because of my siblings he chose me, though.
But he did, and that was enough.
him, seeing him so peaceful.
And I thought-
This, I thought… This is how I want to spend the rest of my life. Warm and safe
in his arms. The things I felt are too intense and too complicated to explain,
you’d have to actually feel them. It’s-it’s a special feeling. I’ve never felt
that serene in my whole life. Quite the shock if you’d been spending the
previous hours trying to get your heart back in its place. It’s weird, isn’t
it, that as a fifteen year old -even an eleven year old- I already knew love.
Most people have to search half their life and some don’t even have the luck of
finding it at all, but I, Shiphrah Johnstone, had found love the first day of
school. Sounds rather comical, don’t you think?
But, as you
know, all good things end way too soon. And so did our afternoon-which had
turned into evening without us noticing. I think it was about nine thirty when
I had finally spotted it had got dark.
But I had to
stop that moment and I’d have to live on the memories of one heavenly
afternoon. Of an afternoon as I would never see again for the rest of my life.
So I woke Tom in what I hoped was a gentle and kind way. It wasn’t. Tom woke
with a start.
something different about him now; something different about the atmosphere as
well. It wasn’t ruined, it was still romantic but it was… different, I don’t
know how to explain it- less tangible. In my heart I had been convinced that
the end of the evening would be the perfect moment. The perfect moment for us
to be honest about our feelings and I had been so sure that it was going to
happen. Until then. I wasn’t all that eager anymore, I sensed there was
something wrong with Tom, and although he had intended this afternoon to be a
reason for us to get together, I think he knew it wasn’t the right time to do
anything more intimate than we had done. I believe he was just about to kiss
‘I think we’d
better get back to our Common Rooms…’ I stuttered.
slightly put out, but he agreed. I know we didn’t kiss right there, or we
didn’t confront our feelings, but from that moment, I felt like he was mine…
And I knew that I was his forever…
told a soul that we were together. Only my family knew. They were, of course,
not truly happy with it, but I was and as far as I could tell, Tom was too.
That was enough. My sisters didn’t know whether they should be glad I found the
man of my dreams –and he just happened to be the most handsome boy at Hogwarts-
or to be scared and shocked that he was a Slytherin. I think they never fully
found out. But at least they accepted that I was happy, and I’ll always be
grateful for that.
The year that
came was amazing. I had never had so much fun in my entire life, and I never
had so much fun again.
Tom and I were
made prefects in our fifth year, which gave us a lot of responsibilities, but a
lot of possibilities as well. The times we sneaked into an empty classroom
after dark are innumerable, and if anyone asked we just said we were patrolling
the corridors, or that we were just returning from the prefect bathroom. And
no one ever found out.
But then things
began to change: attacks happened at school, rumours about the Chamber of
Secrets started flying around, Grindelwald had free reign...
When we were
around others, Tom changed as well. He had that smug, arrogant attitude again,
a look that implied you were useless and a voice so cold and disinterested it
could make your blood freeze. When we were alone, he was completely different.
He was Tom. But I knew something was going on, and I think I’ve –very, very
deep down- always known that he had something to do with the attacks, I just
didn’t want to see it.
I thought, and
I hoped, that Tom was going through some changes, that this was his way of
dealing with things. A lot had happened in his life, his father had died, his
mother had left him, he was sent to an orphanage he loathed where he was
loathed in return. People had gone insane for less. And when he “caught” Hagrid
for unleashing the evil creature and was awarded with Special Services to the
School, I thought everything was going to go back to normal, he’d had more
attention and fans than he had in our first four years combined, he had me, and
I thought that could be enough to satisfy him.
It was not
however. He became even more haughty and stuck-up, and-
Love truly is
blind, I often think.
sometimes, if it wasn’t just a teenage crush, but when I truly reflect upon it,
I know it wasn’t. That special feeling, that warm, caring, peaceful love I felt
for Tom, I will never feel for anyone else. That fifth year made me realise
that he had… changed and that if- if he kept this up, I would lose Tom to
Voldemort –oh, just shut up! A thought that still breaks my heart. I-I feel
partly responsible, you know. I loved him so dearly and I would have done
everything to keep him happy, to keep him by my side.. And when he- after all
the times I tried- still wouldn’t-couldn’t change, or at least become a bit
more friendly…I felt- still feel guilty, somewhere I feel I failed to love him.
If I had just… loved him a bit more he might not have done those things. He
might have stayed with us-me and… and…
Do you want some
more tea? Or cookies? Or candy? If you want some candy, I could quickly fetch
some for you- or I could call the house-elf. Gabby! What? Oh I’m so sorry! It’s
just… When I think about all those things he has done, it’s- I can’t believe
it, I can’t believe that Tom has done those things. But then again, the Tom I
knew… or thought I knew, is gone.