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Chapter 14: Assassins Tango
A/N: You all know how much I appreciate and love your support, especially your reviews! Thank you so much for it all. Enjoy and review. :)
That had been a heavy conversation, Lea mused as she sipped her tea. She pretended not to see Lily’s display of affection towards James as she kissed his cheek in greeting. That was new. Perhaps Lily was getting over her shyness of PDA.
Remus was sitting next to her and leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Did you see that?”
“Who couldn’t?” she mumbled back. Remus’ shoulders shook silently.
“Hey Remus,” she asked after a moment.
“Yeah?” He replied without lifting his eyes off the Daily Prophet.
“Are you going with anyone to the dance?”
Remus thought carefully of what he should say in case she asked him to go with her. He knew Sirius had declared her as his date.
“No. But I had someone in mind,” he answered half truthfully. And he did. But he couldn’t do anything about it.
“Oh. Well I guess I’ll just go by myself then,” she replied hardly bothered.
“Marlene’s going with Benjy right?” he asked in a would be casual voice.
“Nope, they broke up a couple of weeks ago.” Lea answered with her nose buried in Jack Kerouc’s On The Road.
“’What?” Remus asked surprised. Sighing Lea reluctantly looked at him. “Yeah. So maybe you could ask her as a mate or something. I hardly think she’s ready to start dating right now.”
“Yeah…maybe…” he replied a little unsure of what to do now. The girl he liked was free, but she had just broken up. What was he supposed to do?
“Yes?” she asked facing him again.
“Are you going to the dance with anyone?” Sirius asked trying to remain composed.
“No. I was thinking of going alone after we performed all that dancing stuff,” she frowned.
“Well, would you like to go with me?” he asked feeling his face warm up.
She just looked at him, her eyes unfathomable as always, and didn’t say anything.
“Why are you asking me?” she finally asked him. Sirius did not expect his. Was she really going to make him wait in angst for her answer?
He gestured with his hands. “I don’t know…we’re dancing partners, and we’re mates now…and I don’t know. I thought it’d be nice if we went together.” He said a little helplessly. He felt like a fish out of water.
Lea sighed and tugged at her bun. “As friends right?” she said after a moment.
Sirius felt a funny feeling go through him. Yeap. He was definitely “Mayor of the Friend Zone”. And he hated it.
“If that’s what you want,” he heard himself say. He could have thrown himself off a cliff right now. Merlin’s silky boxers, what the heck was he saying?
Lea blinked. “Well, what do you want?” she boldly asked.
Caught off guard, Sirius was taken aback. This girl was full of surprises.
“I want whatever you’re comfortable with,” he replied after a pause.
Lea bit her lip in contemplation. Sirius scanned her face for any hint of emotion or an answer. He couldn’t find any.
“Yeah, we can go to the dance together.” She finally said. Sirius let out a breath he was unaware that he was holding. “Thanks for asking, I’ll see you at dinner or something,” and with that she quickly exited the dorm.
Sirius flopped back on his bed. The bright side was that she said ‘yes’. The downside was that she had left it up to the air as to what they were going as. He wasn’t sure if they were going as mates or as dates.
Just how the hell was he supposed to proceed now?
Dinner was a subdued affair for Sirius; his mind was too busy thinking of what had just happened in the past few hours. Never did he ever imagine he would be feeling like this, over a girl.
Stupid dancing lessons. If they had never been forced to partake in them, he wouldn’t be partnered with Lea, he would have never developed these stupid feelings for her and he would have never been in this stupid situation that he was in now.
He was Sirius fucking Black. The ball was always in his court when it came to girls. Always. And now? The ball was not only way out of bounds, it was clearly nowhere to be seen!
He could have slapped himself for the predicament he was in.
It was as if he was on his way to his death sentence, by the way he dragged his feet to Friday night’s dance lessons. He had actually been looking forward to their practices since Lea and him had become mates (not that he would ever admit this to anyone), but after what happened in the afternoon he felt suddenly quite uncomfortable around her.
He simply did not how to act around her.
Pull yourself together Black. It’s just dance practice and she’s just a girl. A girl who is your friend.
A girl, who is your friend. A girl friend. A girl friend.
A girl. Friend.
Lea came up next to him and said, “Evening Sirius,”
Hey it’s your girlfriend!
Sirius mentally face palmed himself.
Professor Longstreet and their dance instructors quickly ushered them through their usual stretching and warm up. Sirius’ mind was a million kilometers away while he and Lea practiced their Quickstep and revisited the Jive. He spun her slowly, his hand lightly resting on the small of her back and his eyes roved over her features.
It still amazed him that he had never really paid attention to what she looked like properly before. Now he couldn’t take his eyes off her. Every chance he got he found himself studying her, committing her to memory. He wanted to capture her in a photograph, carve her in stone, preserve her in a painting. If he had any artistic talent, by god he would have.
Instead he contented himself to memorizing her, immortalizing her in his head. Sometime when they danced they were so close he could see the faint scar that snaked down from her left eyebrow and disappeared past her temple. He often wondered how she got it.
"Okay! Now that we’re all warmed up, here’s what going to happen tonight. Tonight, the four couples will be selected to represent the Houses in the competition at the Winter Formal. All of you will be dancing and Josie, Tomas and I will go around observing each of the couples and we will select the couple who we think dances the strongest. “
A murmur went through the students. Lily raised an eyebrow. There seemed to be something off with this whole judging thing. If they were going to pick the couples to represent the Houses, who was going to actually judge them?
Josie seemed to have read her mind. Smiling, she added, “We won’t be judging you during the actual competition. Instead you will have three other judges, they serve on the Royal Wizarding Ballet Company. We are going to be your trainers and help you develop your choreography.”
“Choreography?” Marlene mouthed to Remus. He shrugged with a bewildered look on his face.
“Now I know this may sound a little confusing but we will explain things as we go along. For now, each of you will have twenty minutes to practice a Latin dance of your choice. Pick a dance you feel are the strongest and don’t even think about trying to slack off in hopes of not getting picked. Each of you has the chance to win two hundred points for your house.” Professor Longstreet said sternly.
Peter rolled his eyes. Great now he was going to actually have to try.
“So put on your dancing shoes and start practicing, dance to impress!” Josie laughed.
Resignedly Lea turned and put her hands on her hips. For a moment she just studied her partner. He looked at her.
“Do you ever get the feeling that our Professors are just sitting in the Staff Room with their feet up on the desk and laughing their heads off at us and our predicament?” He asked her.
“Oh yeah. Someone is definitely laughing their asses off at our expense,” she replied. Sirius gave her a wan smile.
“So what dance do you want to practice? Please don’t say the salsa because I still cannot get my upper half to stop moving,” she continued.
He chuckled and placed a hand lightly on her waist and took her other hand in his. “How about,” he took a step and she mirrored him. “We practice the tango,” he dipped her low, “We seemed to be okay with that,” he finished as he lifted her up and then spun her out.
She went into a split, (he had been surprised that she was that flexible) and let go of his hand. Then she stretched both of her arms up and Sirius went behind her and grabbed her hands again, and slowly lifted them up. It was a move that they had learned during the Paso Doble.
“Smooth move Lea,” he said appreciatively as he spun her around to face him. She smiled. “Thanks. Let’s practice our steps, we need to make sure our kicks are sharp when we step around each other.”
For the remaining fifteen minutes, they danced around the floor, concentrating on their techniques. Lea had her back arched back so that her lower half was more angled towards Sirius, and Sirius tried really hard to keep a respectable distance between their lower half’s. He did not his body to embarrass him right now. To top it off, her head was tilted back so that her neck was exposed in all its smooth and creamy glory. Sirius swore to himself.
“What?” her voice floated up from her position. Whoops, did he say that out loud?
“Nothing, you’re doing really well.” He smoothly said. He pulled her up right and spun her out quickly.
“Did the Potion fumes get to you too today Sirius? You’re being awfully nice,” she said biting back a smile.
“I can be a nice guy,” he shrugged. Lea felt a faint tug of uneasiness at that. He was way too serious to be joking around.
She brushed it off and put it that both their nerves were a little on edge because of the dance off that was to come in a few minutes.
“All right, will everyone please listen to me!” Tomas clapped his hands. The students stopped dancing and looked at him. Suddenly a palpable excitement could be felt in the air.
“First of all, I want to say, that again, we’re extremely pleased with the progress that you lot have made. Second of all, remember, those who aren’t selected to represent their House, you will have an ensemble dance to perform for the school. That too will be judged, for an additional one hundred points.”
Somebody whistled in the crowd.
“So to sum it all up, there is a potential for a House to win three hundred points if the ensemble dances and the solo dance is judged to be best. And even if it’s not, there is still a chance to win one hundred or two hundred points respectively.” He finished.
The degree of excitement increased. Three hundred points!
“Okay, if now all of you could be so kind to take your places. Spread out on the dance floor and be careful not to knock into each other. We will play a Latin song that is relatively neutral, don’t worry about dancing in time to the music, it’s just there as background noise. You will be dancing for about five minutes which may seem short to you, but believe me, it can seem like an eternity.” Josie grinned.
Sirius took Lea by the hand and took them a little farther away from the other couples. He didn’t let go of her hand and Lea looked down at their linked hands. Something was definitely off with Sirius, she was sure of it.
She was going to comment on this but then the first strain of music floated around them and he turned to face her. Instead she said, “Sirius,”
“Don’t do anything stupid,” she told him a serious voice. He nodded.
Both of them had their game face on when they stepped closer together. They began to move and Sirius lifted her up slightly and she kicked up her heels. Just as quickly he brought her down and she came closer to him than she had ever came before.
They moved sideways across the dance floor, their lower half’s swiveling dangerously close as their legs alternatively kicked the empty spaces between them. Then Sirius and Lea both went into a lunge and Lea nearly reeled back at the intensity that radiated off of Sirius’s face. Then they slowly rose and faced forward as they again began to move forward in a series of kick. Every alternate step they looked at each other as they made their way across the dance floor.
Then Lea stood still and sunk on one hip as Sirius danced around her in a circle. He executed three spins in quick succession and then grabbed her hand again and they again moved rapidly in a sideways line.
Lea stretched out into a lunge and Sirius stepped between her outstretched leg and she slowly swung her leg out in front of her and Sirius lifted her up again to a standing position. Then she stood in front of them and swung her leg in between his legs as they had been taught.
Sirius hand had moved further up her backside and he linked his entire arm around her in a tight grip as he lifted her up and she stretched out her leg as he spun her around.
He was so close to her and she could smell the sweat mixed in with the now familiar scent of aftershave and that damn incense. Normally it didn’t bother her but tonight it did something to her.
It was, without a doubt, one of their best dances they had practiced or done really. Throughout their practices, yeah they had tried to pay attention to their technique and posture, but their dances had always been punctured by their initial annoyance to each other, and then they often got off track by getting into in depth discussions about the most random things.
But tonight they danced differently. There stakes were high and they weren’t going to throw a chance to win them should they be picked.
Now, Sirius finally understood why people called dancing an art. Never had he seen a girl look like this. He always used the words “fit” or “pretty” or “hot” when described a girl.
But she wasn’t any of those words.
She was beautiful and while that thought may make him blush, his conscious whole-heartedly agree.
How he had overlooked her for so many years still astounded him. He was such an idiot.
The five minutes seemed like a lifetime and then the music faded. Sirius slid his hands down to her waist and then just held her there for a moment.
She didn’t say anything nor did she look at him. Instead she focused on his neck. That was a bad choice too. Olive skinned and glistening with sweat, he seemed so alive. He positively oozed sensuality.
They were jerked out of their respective (and inappropriate) thoughts when Professor Longstreet clapped his hands.
“Well done all of you. Tonight we saw some really impressive moves and got a great attitude from everyone. I appreciate most of you taking this seriously.”
“With that being said, if all of you will look up, you will notice a coloured orb hovering above you. If it’s a green orb, please step off to the side.”
Lea and Sirius looked up and saw a red orb instead. Sirius began to experience a sinking feeling in his stomach. Of course…this didn’t mean…
“Those of you who remain centered on the dance floor, take a look around.”
Resignedly Sirius cast a glance around him and met Lea’s eyes. She seemed to share her sentiments. Besides them, Narcissa Black, Rabastan Lestrange, Emmeline Vance, Caradoc Dearborn, Timothy Ferguson and Lilah Greene stood with equally dismayed expressions.
“Congratulation! The four of you who remain will represent your House in the solo dance competition!” Josie announced cheerfully.
Wearily Sirius raked a hand through his sweat-matted locks. Lea looked at him with almost a tender expression.
“Well…I guess having our game face on worked the,…” she finally said. Sirius let out a hollow laugh and shook his head.
“Yeah it did. So much for me not doing anything stupid.”
“You guys are dancing for us!” Marlene squealed as she came up to them with Remus in tow. Lily and James joined them. Three other Sixth Year Gryffindor couples also came up to them.
“Hoorah,” Sirius said sarcastically. Up until now he was more or less enjoying the dance practice. But since he realized that he in fact liked his partner as more than as a friend and now apparently going with her to this stupid Formal, he felt like the more time he spent with her, the chances of him saying something incredibly stupid and ruining their newly established friendship would increase by ten fold.
“Yeah well you guys better bust your ass for the Group Dance part of the contest,” Lea grumbled. She took a seat on the ground and Sirius followed in suit but instead he just stretched his entire body on the ground. He crossed an arm over his eyes.
“You okay there Sirius?” Lily asked. He mumbled something that no one could hear. Lea patted him on his stomach lightly and felt an interesting definition of muscle. “Yeah he’s fine. Don’t worry about him, that’s the job of his fan club.”
“Shut up Lea,” he grumbled with arm still over his eyes. James toed him with his foot.
“Get up soldier.”
Remus’ brows drew in confusion. Sirius seemed a little irritated right now.
Lea sensed this too and lightly said “So what now?” to the Gryffindors.
“We bust our ass’s trying to win this bloody competition!” James declared.
A/N: Hoorah! We finally find out whose going to be representing each house in the solo dance competition part. I would love if you reviewed please! :)