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A broken boy

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I seek the sea of glass and fire
To wash the spot, to burn the snare;
The Convent Threshold, Christina Rossetti

Have you ever burnt all the hairs from your forearms with a muggle lighter? Or shaved in the morning but forgetting to stop when you start shaving the skin off? I have, I don't really remember doing it. But I remember being told afterwards why I was bandaged up.

I don't know why I was sat in the bathroom at 3am whilst my roommates and friends slept. All that I know is I was being shaken awake later when the sun was up by James. There was blood on the floor, deep, dark crimson. It matched the house colours.

"Why were you bleeding James? Why is your blood on the floor?"

"It's not mine Sirius. It's yours. Can I check your knuckles for glass?" He slowly took my hand when I nodded and, summoning a pair of tweezers, began pulling shards out carefully. I watched in amazement as bits of bloodied mirror landed in a pile by his feet.

"I think I got most of them. But we'll go Pom-Poms after breakfast."

I nod slowly, already wondering when he'll ask about the glass that still surrounds me. Part of me is wondering when he'll ask why my arms are so smooth. But then I remember, he's asked me before. I remember I've already told James I burn the hair from my arms. It's really nice to do, but I messed up once, and now there's so much scar, my hair barely grows. He was the one who told me why I was bandaged up.

"Sirius." He's shaking me again, I must have zoned out. "Sirius, answer my question. Why did you attack the mirror?"

"I don't know James. Why did I attack the mirror?"

"Please Sirius. Please no joking, just a straight answer." Hazel eyes are staring into mine again.

"But I don't know James. I can't remember. I... I was just sat here... watching Padfoot... he wouldn't stop laughing at me. He...He wouldn't stop James. And I was scared... So so scared. He said he was going to hurt you and Remus and Peter and Lily and. And he wouldn't stop! I punched him to make him shut up... I wanted him to stop lying...then you were here, shaking me." He nods, but his eyes are clouded. He doesn't believe me. Or he does, but doesn't want to. I think I'm crying, my face feels wet.

"Get dressed; we'll meet you downstairs in the common room. Okay Sirius?" I stand and he leads me out of the room still cluttered with mirror shards. It's making the golden light into rainbows on the ceiling, I want to stay and watch but James keeps hold of my elbow. The doorway closes, hiding the house colours away.

"Don't go back in, I've grabbed the toothbrushes, we're all going to brush our teeth in one of the bathrooms on the way down to breakfast. Get dress for lessons. Don't be long."

The Common Room.

"How is he?" Remus's brow furrows ask he asked the usual question.

"Padfoot was in the mirror again last night. Sirius attacked him Remus."

"He's getting worse then. You're doing the best we can James."

"I know. I'm... I'm just scared Moony. Padfoot said he's going to hurt us, that's why Sirius attacks him. What happens when he does...? That's scaring me."

"We'll cope. Lily won't abandon you for putting Sirius first when he needs it."

"I know. But I'm still really scared."