A NEW PROMPTS POST WILL BE GOING UP ONCE WE’VE RECEIVED ENOUGH NEW PROMPTS. HOWEVER THE OLD POST IS HERE AND ALL THESE PROMPTS CAN STILL BE FILLED!
“Are you sure that you’re not going to come with?” Bri asked, looking at Riley through the mirror as she put in her earrings. There was a Halloween party happening that Bri was preparing for. “I’m sure. I have to do some studying. It’s really important to keep good grades this year, you know.” It was a bad lie. A horrible lie. A lie that Bri would normally have seen through in a heartbeat, but tonight, distracted by the idea of partying with her friends, she overlooked it. They’d had this argument eight times this week alone, but Riley’s stubbornness won in the end.
“Al’s supposed to be there.” Bri said, turning around in time to catch the blush rise of Riley’s cheeks before she hid her face behind her hair. “That’s not going to get me to go. I’m with Scott and you know it.” The blonde didn’t even bother to hide the eye roll she gave at the mention of Riley’s boyfriend. “Okay, okay. Fine. If you change your mind, which I expect you will, your outfit is on that chair. Don’t give me that look, you’re wearing it.” Riley stood up to engulf Bri in a hug, hiding her tears in the sleeve of her jumper. “Thanks, Bri. You’re my best friend, you know that?” Bri squeezed her back, not letting it on if she was in any way confused. “You’ll always be my best friend even if you refuse to party with me. I’ll talk to you later, okay?” Winking, she picked up her bag and left for the big Halloween party.
The minute that Bri left, Riley let the tears flow freely as she knelt by her bed, feeling around for the box she had placed there earlier. She had written three letters; one for Bri, one for her family and one for Albus. The last letter was the thickest and had taken her the longest time to write. She had spent sleepless nights planning out everything she wanted to say to these people, but when it came down to putting the words on parchment, nothing seemed to fit anymore. How do you permanently say goodbye to people who thought they knew you? Who thought that you meant it when you said that you were happy? She eventually managed to get everything out of her. Every goodbye, every happy memory, every secret was contained in these three envelopes. In a few hours, she imagined that a distraught Bri would go looking for blood from Scott, and he would be punished, and Bri would make sure that he would never forget what he had caused.
She supposed that it seemed stupid to many people to kill yourself because someone abused you. But to her, it was what her life had turned into. Scars, bruises, sleepless nights all caused by one person’s inability to treat others like human beings. She spent every waking moment scared and, even when surrounded by others, alone. She couldn’t tell anyone this because they would never treat her the same way. They’d think her tainted, damaged, changed forever and Riley Read would never be seen in the same light again, which she couldn’t face any more than she could face the people she had written to and say goodbye.
Reaching into the bottom of the box she pulled out a tiny vial of a potion she’d painstakingly researched and brewed. It would act much like a Draught of Living Death, killing her quietly in her sleep. Unstopping the bottle with shaking hands, she downed the vial before she could change her mind. She crawled into bed, snuggling deep down into the covers before taking a deep breath, before shutting her eyes and letting her last living thought be an apology to everyone she had hurt.
Warmth. That was the first thing she felt, the second being a light breeze. Opening her eyes, she looked high into a canopy of trees, spotting a glowing orange sky through the highest branches. Sitting up she looked around, her face falling in confusion when she realized she’d been here before. In fact, she wasn’t far from Hogwarts. She was in the Forbidden Forest, not long into a path that she had once taken with Al.
She stood up and brushed herself off, looking down to see that she was not at all in what she had been wearing earlier. Now she was further confused. She’d taken that potion, she should be dead. Not in the Forbidden Forest in a dress. There was only one way to solve this: she would go to the castle and see if she was a ghost. That was the only logical explanation after all. But she didn’t want to be a ghost. She wanted to leave this earth completely. Move on to bigger and better things, because as Albus’ namesake had once said, “Death is but the next great adventure.”
The path back to the castle seemed longer than she remembered. She could’ve sworn it was shorter. But just when she finally made it out of the forest, she stopped in her tracks. She was near the Quidditch pitch, and she wasn’t alone. Perched by herself in the stands was none other than Brianna, who was crying harder than she had ever seen. Riley took an involuntary step forward, immediately wanting to wrap the blonde in her arms and figure out why she was crying. Bri didn’t cry. Riley had seen her cry less than a handful of times in the entire five years that they had been friends. Deciding against her better judgment, she quietly climbed up the stairs to stand in front of Bri who hadn’t heard a single thing. Clutched in her first was a letter, creased well, no doubt from having been read over and over again. Riley knew immediately where that letter was from and what it said. She knew exactly what it said, as it had taken her hours and hours to make it perfect.
Riley Read really was dead.
Bri lifted her head, furiously trying to mop up her tears with the sleeve of her sweater. She stared straight through Riley, leaving her with no explanation of what she was doing here. Bri carefully folded up the letter again, treating it with care but with a contempt that anyone could see. Riley’s heart broke to see how upset her best friend was at the news of her death. She wanted to leave. She didn’t want to see this. She had never wanted to see this. But something kept her drawn there, and moments later she knew what. She wanted to hear what Bri had to say. It took a while, but eventually crying wasn’t enough. “Why didn’t you tell me?! I thought we told each other everything, why wouldn’t you tell me that you were hurting? I would have helped you! You were supposed to trust me and instead you’ve left me here without you! I wouldn’t have looked at you any different than I do now! Why?! WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST STAY AND TELL ME?!” Bri succumbed to a fresh round of tears, her sobs echoing off of the stands, leaving Riley with tears streaming down her face as she saw what she had caused. Turning and fleeing down the stairs she ran back to the Forbidden Forest, crashing down the same path she had come. Twigs pulled at her hair and dress but she couldn’t be bothered, only wanting to distance herself from what she had done to Bri. Only fate wouldn’t let her stop seeing what she had done.
She skidded to a halt when she entered the clearing that marked the middle of the path, seeing that there were not one but two people here. Chris Willingham and none other than the last person she could handle seeing, Albus Potter. “Here. Um, I figured you might want this. I kind of heard what happened. I suppose everyone has. You two were good friends, weren’t you? Anyway, this is on the house. It’s the least that I could do for you. I’ll just, um, go.” Chris handed Al a large bottle of Firewhiskey, clapping him on the shoulder before passing Riley to head back to the castle. She had never seen Al look like this. He was haggard and unkempt, with red rimmed eyes. He was crying even now, which broke Riley into pieces. She collapsed against the tree next to her, clutching to it for support. She didn’t want to see this any more than she had wanted to see Bri this upset. He opened the bottle of Firewhiskey, taking a gulp that made Riley’s throat burn just thinking about it. When he reached into his robe, Riley suddenly knew what he was going to pull out. The letter. The one that she had written to him, revealing every secret she had kept. She had been apprehensive when writing the letter at first. Did she really want to admit her deepest feelings to him? Her deepest feelings shouldn’t have involved Albus to begin with. Riley should have been so happy with Scott that she would never have a need to like anyone else that she met. But things didn’t work that way and she liked Albus. Of course, he hadn’t known about the things that were happening to her. No one but she and Scott did. But who would want someone so broken, so scarred? No. She had done this for a reason and it was too late to change things now.
He gulped another mouthful of Firewhiskey, wiping his mouth. She could tell that he’d read his letter multiple times as well with caused her throat to constrict with a fresh round of tears. He had it open to a specific a part which he was now tracing with his finger. As scared as she was of what would happen to her fragile state, she moved forward looking to see which part he was reading.
This is going to sound stupid and petty and selfish and I probably shouldn’t even tell you, but what do I care, all of this won’t matter in a few days. I like you Al. I like like you. It’s stupid considering you’d never look at me like that to begin with. I mean, there’s so many girls at this school that really like you. So why would you notice the random fifth year who barely talks to people? Regardless, I’ve had some of my favorite times with you. Wherever I end up, be sure that I’ll remember those. I hope you remember me, Al.
She had continued to explain various things to him, most being about her and her little siblings and stories about Bri. Al put the letter away, grabbing the bottle again and taking a drink that drained at least a quarter of the bottle. When he started crying harder, Riley gave up on everything. She fell to the ground, watching as Al picked rocks off the ground and threw them, shattering branches and scaring animals. When his rage ebbed and he had no adrenaline left, he fell to his knees, burying his head in his hands and sobbing quietly alone in the clearing with a half empty bottle of Firewhiskey. “I DON’T WANT TO SEE THIS ANYMORE! LET ME LEAVE!” She didn’t even realize that the voice was hers until her throat protested at the volume. Closing her eyes and covering her ears she shut out the world, sobbing until she was no longer aware of her surroundings.
After what seemed like an eternity to her, she opened her eyes to see she was in a completely different place. It was a small home, cozy and decorated like she had always told herself that she would make her house. It contained a variety of both magic and Muggle contraptions, the most interesting to her being a large television that showed her the goings on of the people she loved. She figured out eventually that she could watch their lives and be aware of what they were doing, making her feel not so alone. She watched as Bri and Al comforted each other, eventually making themselves back into the people they were before she killed herself. Even though she could no longer speak or be seen, she was in the places she used to roam, she was with the people she used to be around, and most importantly, she was watching over them.