The first time Lena could remember understanding the words on her arm were worrisome, she was five. Man, I can’t believe Dumbledore died. She had seen words in black ink on everyone’s arms – some of them mundane greetings, some cheesy pickup lines, and others wildly hilarious words – yet hers were ones that made people give her a wary look, and withdraw slightly at the sight of it. She had been five the first time she realised that to have the name of a dead person on your arm was not a good sign.
She didn’t even know who Dumbledore was, but she remembered Lillian making her wear button up shirts or dresses with long sleeves that hid the words ever since she could remember. It wasn’t until she was six that she knew not to eagerly pull her sleeve up to show other people though, and after she did realise, the cuffs of her shirts never lifted above her wrist, and when people asked what the first words she would hear her soulmate speak were going to be, Lena would abruptly change the conversation. At boarding school, the other girls thought her snobby and aloof – the strange Luthor girl who never wore anything but long sleeves, even in summer – and they would taunt her, making mean guesses at what the words said, and some of the meaner ones even spreading a rumour that she didn’t have a soulmate and her arm was blank.
It wasn’t until Lena was fourteen that she read the first Harry Potter book, mostly as a way to avoid spending time with her classmates, but also to satisfy her own curiosity at the book series that was all the craze right now as the sixth book was about to be published. She had always been a reader, but not of children’s books, but she was running out of things to keep her mind occupied at boarding school, and a worn copy of the first book was on the bookshelf in the common room. In her dorm room, stretched out on her bed, her eyes eagerly drank in the words on the first few pages, until she reached page six.
Lena threw the thin book across the room, her mouth falling open in shock. Her soulmate’s first words that Lena would hear them speak were about a book character? She had spent nine years thinking that she had the name of a dead person written on her arm, and the entire time, it had been the name of a man who had just appeared on the pages of her book. She had been spoiled for a book series that hadn’t even finished being written yet, and Lena felt an irrational surge of anger as she climbed off her bed and picked up the book, fixing the slightly crumpled pages. Perched precariously on the edge of her bed, Lena unbuttoned her shirt and rolled the sleeve up, trailing her fingertip over the black words printed on her pasty skin as she reread the name in the book.
Man, I can’t believe Dumbledore died.
The door to her dorm room burst open, and Lena dropped the book as she jumped slightly, looking up as her roommate walked in, dropping her hockey stick and gym bag to the floor with a loud clatter. Veronica raised her eyebrows as she watched Lena quickly tug the sleeve of her uniform down over the black writing on her arm.
“So you do have a soulmate then,” Veronica commented.
Lena felt her temper flair up and she quickly buttoned her cuff, the muscles in her jaw working as she clenched her teeth, balling herself up in the corner of her bed, right up against the wall. “Mind your own business, Sinclair,” Lena snapped, aggressively opening up the book to page six again.
Veronica snorted, giving Lena a slight smirk as she pulled out a clean uniform, “relax, Luthor, I don’t give a shit what it says on your arm. I could’ve peeked at any point over the past few years – just remember that.”
Flipping her off, Lena turned back to the book, frowning as she read intently. She read quickly, and by the time she went to bed that night, she was finished with the first book. The next few weeks were spent waiting for her mother to send her the rest, and then spending every spare moment devouring the words as she learnt more about this Dumbledore character. The more that she read, the more that she cursed her soulmate for ruining the plot for her, because she found herself loving the books more than she could’ve imagined. She even took it upon herself to watch the movies too, finding it even more infuriating that she knew that Dumbledore was going to die. He wasn’t even her favourite character – not by a long shot – but he was important, and Lena hated the fact that she had been spoiled. It was clearly going to be a shocking death, and her soulmate had completely ruined it for her! As well as making her childhood a nightmare of stifling long sleeved shirts and dresses in the middle of summer to hide the fact that a bloody fictional character was going to die. Not even a real person! Lena had spent years panicking over someone who wasn’t real, and she was going to kick her soulmate’s ass when she found them.
It was a few months later when the sixth book was released, and Lena shut herself in her dorm room all night after her Saturday detention for getting into a fist fight with one of the preppier girls. Ignoring Veronica’s comings and goings as she immersed herself in the book, Lena didn’t even stir to go down to the dinner hall to eat. She didn’t move for hours, sat huddled up in her uniform, her glasses perched on the end of her nose as she read and read and read. By the time she was nearing the end of the book, it was late, and Veronica was in bed on the other side of the room, a pillow shoved over her head to block out the lamplight after an argument with Lena, which Lena was proud to say she won.
Severus … please …
And then Lena let out a yell of anger, slamming the book shut and tilting her head back as she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. A pillow hit her in the face and Lena sat up straight, shooting Veronica a glare.
“Shut up, Luthor,” the other girl grumbled.
“He’s dead! They spoilt it for me! I’m going to kill them when I find them!” Lena ranted, throwing the pillow back at her roommate.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“My soulmate!” Lena exclaimed, dragging the sleeve of her school shirt up to her elbow, exposing the black words written on her skin. “They told me that Dumbledore was going to die before he was even a thing! Before the first book had even been published! I spent years worrying over some old wizard man because my soulmate apparently has the worst timing when coming into earshot!”
Biting back a smile, Veronica looked at her with raised eyebrows, and Lena scowled at her. “Well at least it wasn’t a real person.”
Lena choked on a hysterical laugh, picking up her book and flipping back to the right page as she bitterly kept on reading, biding her time as she waited for the day that she meets her soulmate so she can kick their ass for spoiling the series for her.
She’d waited months for the sixth film to come out, buying a ticket to the midnight screening so that she could be one of the first people to watch it. Lena thought about how she’d already had what was arguably the biggest death in the series spoiled for her, and she was determined to always have the jump on everyone else when it came to everything now. The entire franchise had been ruined for her, and even the last book being published a few years ago hadn’t been enough to make up for the spoiler in the book before.
As the credits rolled and the lights turned on, Lena grabbed her half-eaten bucket of popcorn and slipped out of her row, making her way towards the exit. Joining in with the flow of people leaving the movie theatre, Lena tuned out the droning of the other movie goers discussing the film, until she heard the words that had haunted her for eighteen years.
“Man, I can’t believe Dumbledore died.”
Whirling around so fast that she threw the rest of her popcorn everywhere, Lena scanned the faces, looking for the person who had spoken the words. It had been a girl. The only girls nearby were a trio, and two of them had their fingers laced together, and Lena safely assumed it wasn’t those two.
“You!” Lena angrily shouted, her furious eyes landing on the startled blonde girl walking past with two dark haired girls in tow, “you’re the one!”
The blonde pulled up the sleeve of her shirt, staring down at the words on her arms and looking back up at Lena with wide eyes. She gave her a hesitant smile, as she warily took in the anger that was written all over Lena’s face, pushing her glasses up her nose in an endearing way that made Lena pause for a second as she stormed over to her. The girl let our a nervous laugh as Lena approached, “well, that wasn’t how I imagined those words sounding. I thought they'd be said more ... romantically.”
“You-“ Lena choked out, letting out a frustrated groan as she resisted the urge to stamp her foot as she found herself speechless. Gesturing wildly, Lena tipped more popcorn everywhere, unable to find it within herself to care right now as she looked at her soulmate with wonder and extreme anger. “You spoiled the fucking book for me, you asshole!”
“What?!” the girl exclaimed, her forehead wrinkling in surprise and her eyes widened at Lena’s accusations. Lena couldn’t help but notice how blue they were behind her lenses – a beautiful blue, and filled with innocence and concern right now, as well as a spark of excitement. Quickly pushing up the sleeve of her coat and jumper, Lena exposed the writing, and the girl stepped forward to read it, gently cradling Lena’s forearm in her warm hands as she leant over and read the words aloud. “Man, I can’t believe Dumbledore died. Oh. Oh, oh no. I’m so sorry.”
The girl with the short brown hair burst out laughing, clapping a hand over her mouth as she watched the scene unfold before her, and Lena shot her a look of irritation as she pulled her arm back and crossed them over her chest. “Kara! You didn’t,” the girl groaned, while the short girl beside her pressed her lips together, even though the deep dimples in her cheeks betrayed her amusement.
Lena realised that that was her soulmate’s name. Despite her anger towards her, she couldn’t help but realise that she liked the sound of it.
“Well how was I supposed to know that she’d be here and hear me say it, Alex?” Kara exasperatedly reasoned with the girl, before turning back to Lena. “I really am sorry. Oh God, that’s like the worst possible spoiler to know as well. And to think that you wouldn’t have even known who he was until she wrote the books! Oh man, this is a disaster. And here I was thinking that our first words were going to be romantic because, well, mine sounded like they were. Instead … um, I’m just … going to stop talking. I really am sorry though ...“ and then she paused, and Lena realised that she was waiting for her name.
“Lena,” she stiffly replied, and Kara gave her a wide smile, her eyes crinkling at the corners.
“Lena,” she repeated, testing the way the name sounded rolling off her tongue. At the sound of her name being softly spoke, Lena felt some of her anger dissipate, and she was filled with a vague sense of unease at the tenderness of Kara’s voice. Smiling again, Kara held her hand out for Lena to shake, and she warily slipped her hand into Kara’s, staring into her eyes with interest as they just stood there, hand in hand, observing one another. “Oh, well, um, sorry about the, uh, well the spoiler. I didn’t read the books so I’m kind of reeling from the shock of it myself right now.”
Spluttering slightly, Lena’s mouth fell open, “you spoilt the books for me when you’ve never even read the books?”
Giving her a sheepish smile, Kara shrugged, giving her a helpless gesture with her free hand. “How about, to make it fair, you spoil what's going to happen in the next two films for me?”
Lena blinked in surprise, her eyebrows rising at the forwardness of Kara, and she smirked slightly, giving her hand a quick shake. “Deal.”
Smiling, Kara took a deep breath, before giving Lena a determined nod, “I’m ready to be spoilt.”
Biting back a smile, Lena tilted her head to the side, taking in the stubborn set of Kara’s jaw and the slightly furrowed brow over those innocent blue eyes, and Lena knew she couldn’t spoil it completely. “Harry dies.”
Kara’s mouth fell open in shock, speechless as she took in the words that Lena had spoken, looking slightly devastated at the prospect. Lena was almost tempted to tell her that he didn’t stay dead, but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up, and besides, it was payback for fourteen years of worrying over a dead fictional character. The corners of Kara’s lips lifted up into a hopeful smile as she looked at Lena, “maybe we can go and see the movie together when it comes out?”
“Maybe we can,” Lena agreed, giving her a small smile in return.