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Chapter 11: Secret
Done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others
"I was stuck in detention all weekend because of you” Sirius Black whispered harshly - his sharp stare piercing me.
We were in Potions, and I of course was stuck sitting beside my idiotic Potions partner, reluctantly listening to him blame me for his “weekend from hell”.
“It was hardly my fault” I scoffed in return. And that was the truth, it wasn't my fault.
I had had a pretty dull weekend myself, seeing as how most of my friends had been stuck in detention themselves, thanks to the little dispute in the Entrance Hall last week. So Severus and I had used the time instead to test out a few of the, rather non-curricular, new spells he had come up with. I must say, he's quite inventive. A good number of trees around Hogwarts grounds looked a little worse for wear after we had finished with them. Not that Sirius would ever care about my weekend. No, he was much more content to drone on about his own.
“And anyway, did it ever occur to you that maybe I don't actually care that you had to scrub floors all weekend” I added, having learned from Bella exactly what their punishment had been. I was perfectly aware how infuriating my disinterest was to Sirius, and it forced my lips to curl into a satisfied smile.
“You had better watch your back, snake. I've got a score to settle with you” He spat as he pushed his dark hair out of his eyes, and continued to glare at me distastefully.
I rolled my eyes and replied sarcastically “Oh, I'm so scared” before turning my attention back to Professor Slughorn.
In today’s class we were to attempt the Scintillation Solution. I leaned my head against my hand lazily as we waited for Slughorn to finish writing the recipe up on the blackboard. For some strange reason, he preferred to do this the muggle way, using a piece of chalk, rather than simply using his wand. He once gave the rubbish explanation that it helps one’s brain to absorb the information quicker by writing it out. Yeah, good one Professor.
I looked over at Bella who was sitting forwards in her chair, chewing away on the ends of her hair carelessly and looking as though she was having just as much fun as I was. James was seated next to her, with his arms crossed in front of his chest. His face was twisted into an angry scowl and I could only guess why. I had heard that Dumbledore had come down awfully hard on him for the fight, since he of course was Head Boy. Nice to see he's finally discovered that being Head Boy isn't all fun and games, I thought to myself and chuckled lowly.
As soon as Slughorn gave us the go, I literally jumped off my stool and rushed towards the store cupboard, grateful to get away from the tiresome whinging of Sirius Black.
I hunted down the ingredients I needed and went back to my table. However, as I was passing Sirius to get back to my seat, he shot his foot out and before I knew it I had tripped clean over it. Luckily for me, at that same moment Evan was passing by and had caught my arm just in time to keep me from falling flat on my face. The ingredients for my potion, however, were not so fortunate. They were either splattered or smashed all over the ground in front of me.
Sirius let out a bark of laughter and I was preparing myself to launch my fist into his face and wipe that infuriating smirk clean off it before Evan beat me to the punch, literally.
He took a full swing at Sirius, hitting him in the left side of his face. Sirius howled in pain before hurling himself at Evan, knocking him off his feet and to the ground where he proceeded to take a swing at his face, hitting him in the jaw. By this time the entire class had jumped up from their seats to get a glimpse of the fight. The two boys were struggling against each other, throwing blind punches in their attempt to get to their feet.
Slughorn, upon hearing all the commotion, raced out from his office at once, and with a wave of his wand, Evan and Sirius had been propelled in opposite directions.
“That's enough!” Slughorn, who was evidently furious, boomed. His face had turned an alarming shade of beetroot red and his large, walrus-like moustache was twitching slightly.
He was eyeing the boys furiously “Fighting in my classroom is strictly forbidden. Mr Black, your Head of House will be informed of your behaviour and I trust that she will find a fitting punishment. Mr Rosier, see me in my office after class. But for now. . .” Slughorn took a quick glance around the room “Ah, Miss Evans. I expect that you will embrace your responsibilities as Head Girl and escort Mr Black and Mr Rosier to Madame Mellick. I want them out of my sight immediately”.
A fitting proposition as Sirius was sporting what looked to be the beginnings of a nasty bruise on his right eye and Evan had a large, red mark on the side of his jaw, as well as a trickle of blood emitting from his nose.
“The rest of you get back to work” Slughorn ordered before waddling back to his office.
Sirius shot me a nasty look before following behind Lily.
Evan then came over and laid a hand on my arm “Are you okay?” he asked, his forehead burrowed in concern.
“Yeah, I'm fine” I replied reassuringly “I'm sorry you got into trouble, Evan. You should've just let me handle it”
“And miss out on knocking Sirius Black in the face? No way” Evan replied with a grin. “But seriously, Alex, you know I'd do anything to protect you. Even if it meant beating the crap out’ve all those Gryffindor punks” he added, and I nodded my head in understanding before he headed off to the Hospital Wing.
I took my seat once again and smirked to myself. Sirius sure did get what he deserved for that little stunt. I looked over at Bella who poked her tongue out at me and laughed, and then my attention turned to Severus who was sitting at his table beside the empty chair that belonged to Lily Evans. She had evidently begun her potion, which was bubbling away happily in her cauldron. As I watched, I was suddenly struck with a brilliant idea.
I headed back over to the store cupboards to pick out some more supplies for my potion, since Sirius had so kindly destroyed mine, and picked out a little something extra while I was there. I then sauntered over to Severus' table.
“How's your potion going, Sev?” I asked innocently while tossing a piece of hornswood into Lily’s cauldron. Her potion instantly morphed from glistening silver to a murky, dark shade of grey. Sev barely looked up before he answered.
“It's fine so far” he said quickly, before scribbling a few notes into his potions book, which looked as though it would fall apart any second, it was so crammed with writing.
“Great!” I smiled and went back to my seat happily. Lily sure was in for a nasty surprise.
As it so happened, said red-head entered a few minutes later, returning to her potion immediately. I watched and waited in anticipation.
Lily picked up a small vial of red liquid, which happened to be Doxy blood, and added a few drops to her cauldron. No sooner had the blood touched that surface of the potion that it started frothing and overflowing at an alarming rate, covering all of her belongings in a sticky, goopy mess.
I had to stifle my laughter so as not to get caught out. I found it even more amusing when Slughorn saw the mess and simply said “Oh, that's bad luck, Miss Evans”.
I did feel a bit bad however when I overheard Lily accusing a bewildered Severus of sabotaging her work, and became especially furious when Sev went on to win the best potion, with Remus Lupin coming in a close second.
During Transfiguration that day, which I was grateful that we had with the Ravenclaws, as they were the only House that we Slytherins could actually tolerate, was the birth of mine and Bella’s latest scheme. This involved becoming “friends” with Xavier Stone in order to manipulate him against Lily.
Bella had thought of this clever plan after I had accidentally knocked my Transfiguration book of my desk during class and Xavier, who was sitting in front of me, had picked it up and returned it to me with a handsome smile, and then continued to catch my eye all during the rest of class as we were transfiguring each other into various animal species.
After class I decided to skip lunch, as I wasn't feeling particularly hungry, and headed down to the lake for a bit of fresh air. I walked along the lakeshore, picking up various stones and skimming them across the calm, reflective surface of the water, until I happened upon a cluster of large rocks. I noticed a familiar blonde perched upon one of them.
Narcissa had her knees brought up to her chest with her chin resting atop of one, and her arms cradled around them. I studied her awhile before speaking. Her eyes were closed, and she seemed to be frowning, but she was completely oblivious to my presence.
The small girl was startled for a moment. Her eyes shot open and she replied in a small voice.
“Oh... Hi, Alex”.
I walked over and sat myself on one of the rocks nearest hers. A gust of wind shot wildly across the surface of the lake towards us, blowing my dark hair into my face.
“What are you doing out here?” I asked Cissy, while pushing the long strands from my eyes.
She sighed softly and closed her eyes once more.
“Just... thinking” she replied.
“Thinking?” I asked, intrigued “Is... everything okay? You've been acting kinda different since we got back to Hogwarts”.
Cissy turned, with her head still resting against her knee, to look at me.
“It's nothing really, just...”
“C'mon, just tell me” I pressed on “You know I'll get it out've you sooner or later “I added with a dark grin.
Cissy sighed defeatedly and said “If I tell you, will you promise not to tell Bella?”
I raised an eyebrow “Why don't you want her to know?”
Her gaze fell to the ground “Because I know she'll just tease me” she replied, with a hint of sadness “You know what she's like”.
I nodded, as I knew all too well what Bellatrix Black was like. She loved teasing people to get her kicks, and family was no exception. I guess there was no need to fuel her battle against the poor girl.
“Okay, Ciss...” I thought for a second “I promise I won't say anything...” Keeping secrets to yourself was no fun at all “ ... to Bella”.
“Not just Bella, you can't tell anyone else either!” Cissy added hastily, obviously sensing the deviousness in my tone.
“Fine, I won't tell anyone” I gave in, grudgingly.
“Okay well... there's this boy”.
“Ohhhhh Cissy has a boyfriend!” I teased with a short bark of laughter.
Cissy was not amused. She fixed me with an icy stare “You're just as bad as her! I knew I shouldn't have said anything” she snapped and buried her face into her folded arms.
“Aww I’m just kidding, Ciss” I climbed up onto the rock and sat myself beside the girl “I'll be serious now. Tell me” I promised before giving her a soft jab in the arm.
“Well, he's not my boyfriend” Came her muffled reply, as she kept her face hidden “He barely even knows I exist”
I thought to myself for a second “Hmm... any clue on who said boy is?”.
“I don't wanna tell you” she mumbled quickly.
Fair enough I guess. It seems Narcissa knows me well enough to have learned that keeping promises was never something I found particularly important. I could promise away everything I had without a second thought.
“Did you ever think that maybe if you cheered up a bit he'd wanna get to know you” I teased again, but Cissy didn't look convinced.
She lifted her head and snorted “Fat chance. He's already got a girlfriend. And on top of that he's, like, older than me. He probably thinks I'm a little kid”.
“Older then you, huh? So what's the name of this hunk who's caught the eye of our pretty, little blossom” I waggled my eyebrows, attempting to pry the information out of her once again.
She shook her head fervently.
“Not telling. Never will” she replied simply, and I believed it too. Cissy could be as stubborn as a Hippogriff when she wanted to be. Sometimes I thought that even torture could never loosen this girls tongue.
“Well, it's his loss anyway” I replied sincerely as I hopped down off the rock “Don't give up hope, Ciss. I'm sure he'll notice you sooner or later” I added before pulling my robe tightly around me to ward off the chill of the incoming wind.
I had meant what I said too. Unlike Bella’s dark and rough demeanour, as well as looks, Narcissa was more refined and elegant. Not to mention she was growing more beautiful with every year. A perfect trophy wife for any Pureblooded aristocrat.
Too bad I didn't know then exactly who had caught Narcissas eye. Perhaps I could've warned her against the dark and sadistic man he was soon sure to become.
I started making my way back up towards the castle which was looming up ahead, fighting against the savage wind that was whipping around me viciously. A lone figure was marching down the path towards me, moving quickly. The closer it got the more I realised it was hardly a lone figure but more of a Sirius Black. And a rather angry looking Sirius Black at that. Not that he ever did look happy to see me.
When he was within earshot I sighed dramatically and said “You know, Black, I’ve had the misfortune of running into you far too often lately. I’m starting to think that perhaps you’re stalking me”.
Sirius merely ignored my comment and stormed up until he was standing only a few inches away from me. I was rather taken aback at this sudden close proximity. It seemed as though Mr Black wasn’t aware that we were no longer trapped in that stuffy cupboard. I noticed however that there was no sign of a bruise anywhere on his face from his earlier brawl with Evan. The work of Madame Mellick, no doubt.
“You sabotaged Lily’s’ potion didn’t you” His voice, hissing down at me, was deadly serious.
I took a hasty step backwards and arched my eyebrow “What makes you think that?” I answered, before letting my lips form into a twisted grin.
“Lily seems to think it was Snape, but I know he’s too much of a coward to pull off something that would land him in detention. You on the other hand-“
“Guess I should’ve been sorted into Gryffindor, eh?” I smirked, my voice dripping with sarcasm.
It was true that Severus avoided situations that he knew were likely to get him into any sort of trouble. But I tell you now, he was anything but a coward.
“So it wasn’t Snivellus-“
I cut Sirius off right there, and took a step forward, until my face was just inches below his and said as fiercely as I could “Don’t call him that”.
“Oh, we don’t like that do we?” Sirius grinned darkly.
He brought himself up to full height so that he towered above me once again. I didn’t move an inch. If this was his idea of intimidating me, then it certainly wasn’t working. He lowered his head slowly, until his lips were positioned directly beside my ear. The fierce wind was causing his hair to flicker against my face.
His hot breath tickled my ear as he whispered “Snivellus”.
Without a moment’s hesitation I had whipped my wand from my pocket and shoved it right against his throat. Sirius looked slightly amused. He held up both hands to indicate he was backing off and took a few steps backwards.
“Severus doesn’t deserve your taunting” I spat angrily “He’s a better person then you’ll ever be”.
Sirius smirked “Severus Snape is a slimy git and I’ll do to him whatever I please”.
I would’ve hexed Sirius Black right then and there if I hadn’t heard the voice of Remus Lupin being carried down by the wind. He was standing roughly ten meters away, wand drawn and pointed in my direction. His sandy blonde hair was whipping around his face wildly.
Sirius grinned at his luck and turned to go. He slung his arm around his friend’s shoulders as he reached him, obviously in gratitude. I scowled as they walked off towards the castle together, contemplating hexing the both of them, but remembering Remus’ skill with a wand, decided against it.
I grumbled as I returned my wand to my back pocket and made my own way along the path. I’d get Sirius Black back for his little remark about Severus sooner or later. After all, he was stalking me, remember.
A/N: Hey guys, yay new chapter! Once again, I apologise for the wait but as always review and let me know what you think!
Think you can guess who Cissy's crush is? It shouldn't be too hard to figure out. . .