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Chapter 6: Insane Before Christmas
It had been two days since that fateful conversation in the kitchens. Thankfully, Black hadn’t said a word about any of it to me, and even better, Marissa seemed to have dropped her devious scheme as well. And I really hoped it would stay that way because this was really all her fault, or if one was to believe Black, it was really all her friend’s fault for spreading such rumours around. Quidditch practise had started up again, so mercifully for my brain, I didn’t actually have that much time to waste on thinking about Black and his schemes and those apparently false rumours flying around about him. If only it had remained that way.
Day 3 after the Kitchens Conversation, Black was proven right in assuming that Marissa would carry out her dastardly plan. I was walking to the library at recess to return one of my books when I heard a group of fourth-year girls whispering about Sirius Black and his broken heart. By the sounds of it, about half of them thought that what Marissa had done was right and about the other half thought that hurting Sirius Black in any way was the equivalent of burning the Bible or something – you’d definitely go to hell for it. I walked past unnoticed (as usual) but couldn’t help thinking how this wouldn’t bode well for me. If I had heard the rumours, how long would it take for Black to hear them? And more importantly, how long would it take for him to try and press-gang me into helping him?
As it turned out, not that long. I had a free period after lunch, so I took this is an excellent opportunity to do some homework as I wouldn’t get that much time because of Quidditch practise. James could act like one of those hideous slave drivers when he wanted to. It was a nice day, or as nice as they can get at the end of September at Hogwarts, so I had decided to situate myself in a nice, sunny patch of grass, with my books around me and my parchment in front of me. I was trying to figure out what the hell I was supposed to be writing on when a clammy pair of hands wrapped around my eyes. “Guess who?” leered a voice in my ear. Ugh, I’d recognise that touch almost anywhere. “Get off me Rex before I make you,” I growled. I was quite impressed with myself; when I really wanted to, I could produce some real nasty growls.
“Come on, baby! Still mad at me from the other night?”
“How many times do I have to tell you? I am not your baby!” For a Ravenclaw, Rex could be pretty thick in the head.
“I want you, Millie, and I know you want me!” That had to be the most preposterous thing I had ever heard, besides Black’s far-fetched plan from the other night, that is.
“Whatever gave you the idea that I wanted you?” I asked incredulously. Boys could be so single-minded sometimes.
Rex frowned. “Why wouldn’t you want me?” he asked. Clearly a girl not wanting to get into his pants had never crossed his mind, but that’s not much of surprise considering the exceptionally small size of his brain.
“Because she’s going out with me,” I heard another voice from above my head say.
Since when did I have two guy problems in my life? I made very certain that I only ever had one problem at a time, because as this scenario proves, having more than one guy in your life was almost impossible to deal with. “You’re going out with Black?” Now it was Rex’s turn to sound incredulous.
“Um…” I couldn’t think of anything to say. If I told the truth, Rex wouldn’t leave me alone, but if I lied and agreed with Black, he wouldn’t leave me alone. Oh, what a dilemma!
“Yes, she is,” Black replied for me, before he sat down next to me in the grass as if to ascertain his statement. Clearly, he thought I was taking too long to say something to a question with such and obvious answer. “So it would be really nice if you left her alone, now,” he added.
“But –” began Rex, except that he didn’t get a chance to finish, because Black decided to assert his territory.
“Right now, Redford,” his face was completely calm, but the threat was as clear as day.
“I’ll… see you later then,” mumbled Rex, then stalked off looking extremely confused by these strange turn of events. He wasn’t the only one.
When I was sure Rex was out of hearing, I turned towards Black and asked, “Are you stalking me?”
“No,” he said as he lay down in the grass, placing his hands behind his heads and looking up at me with those strangely pale eyes of his. I hadn’t noticed just how pale they were until then. “This is my school just as much as it is yours.”
“Then how come you conveniently showed up just then?” I asked suspiciously.
“It must be fate,” he sighed.
“Fate? That’s the biggest load of bull I’ve ever heard!”
“Welcome to the real world darling.”
“More like your insane world. And don’t call me darling!”
“If we’re going to do this properly, we have to actually act like we’re going out, Millie,” he said, like he was explaining it to someone who was very, very slow – someone like Rex actually.
“How many times do I have to tell you?” Do all guys require several repetitions of the same concept for them to get it? “I’m not pretending to go out with you, Black!”
“What?” Why did he just say his first name?
“You’ll have to call me Sirius. People who like each other do not refer to them by their last names.”
“What gave you the idea that I liked you?” Hadn’t I made it blatantly obvious that I didn’t like him that first Potions lesson?
“You have to pretend to like me then,” he shrugged. “And since we’re going out and everything, who knows… maybe we’ll have to pretend to more than just like each other.”
“But, but… Ugh!” I flopped down into the grass next to Black. This whole thing was beyond words. I just couldn’t believe my luck. My parents and siblings had recently been murdered, my next of kin suffered from dementia, I had to somehow do well in my NEWTS, win Quidditch matches for my team and House, make sure my friends retained some semblance of sanity, figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life after I left school and now… this. I wasn’t sure I could take it anymore!
Sirius leant on his side, propping his fist under his cheek, presumably so he could keep his abnormally large head up and talk to me at the same time. And by talk, I mean torture. “Come on Millie. And there’s something for you in it, too.”
“Oh yeah, and what’s that?” I asked. I couldn’t see what good this could bring me, only further insanity – and mental problems ran in the family.
“You get me.”
I snorted. “Gee Black, I knew you were arrogant, but isn’t that just a little presumptuous?”
“I didn’t mean it that way. What I meant was that if you’re linked with me, guys won’t bother you anymore.”
“Maybe I want guys bothering me!”
“Yes, I could see that you were enjoying yourself immensely whilst Redford was harassing you.” He had a point, and now that I thought about it, guys would stop asking me out, which was always annoying. I guess I should be flattered at the attention, but it was downright mortifying sometimes to know that so many people paid attention to you.
“I can look after myself.” And I could – most of the time.
“And I’m sure you can, but you can’t deny that with my reputation…” he left the sentence hanging. We both knew what damage his reputation could inflict – me being the first case in point.
“But what if I like someone? I can’t well date them as well as pretend to date you. And the same could happen to you.”
“Yes…” Black frowned in thought. “That could be a potential problem… But hey,” he brightened up suddenly, “We’ll deal with that when it happens.”
I sighed. “I don’t really have much of a choice do I?” I asked miserably.
“Nope,” Black – I mean Sirius – beamed. I was going to go insane before Christmas. Yay, me!
AN: Hi guys! How goes it? Things are beginning to happen, yeah? And also, do you guys love the new banner as much as I do? I'm going on holidays for a few weeks, so this is probably the last chapter I'll post for a while because I'm not taking my laptop with me. So I wanna see lots of reviews when I come back!
Happy holidays ladies and gentlemen!