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Chapter 4: Chapter Four
Gilderoy had asked me to spend the night with him, regardless to the fact he’d put me down the day before and made me feel awful. I told him I couldn’t as I was spending the night with my friends. When he asked if one of my friends included Sirius, and I said yes, he’d once again, decided that silent treatment was the best idea, claiming that Sirius would probably try to sneak in my bed in the middle of the night. This ended in Gilderoy going to Hogsmeade with a Ravenclaw girl who I believed to be called Emmaline Vance, and get very drunk. But strangely, I still trusted him. I wondered why he didn’t trust me around Sirius.
When I informed Lily of the argument with Gilderoy, she sparked up, as usual, about how Gilderoy was nothing but a failure and how she didn’t quite understand why someone like me was going out with someone as brain dead as him. Mary agreed. Our conversation eventually turned too the fact that Marlene had been missing all night, and we wondered where she had vanished too. Then we heard Lily’s usual rant about how immature James was and how she wished she didn’t have to go in the cold tonight just to make sure she stayed safe, but we really knew that she didn’t mind spending time with James that much.
I didn’t bother dressing up, although when I looked behind me, Lily and Mary both had. They frowned at me when they saw my in plain baggy jeans and an average top, with my hair tied up in a ponytail. They got to work, putting me in a black slim dress which came just above the knee and an average pair of black dolly shoes. Anyone would have thought we were going too a party. Luckily, it was still hot during the night here, so I wouldn’t freeze. Then, Mary proceeded to do my hair, curling it around her wand which acted as heat.
I wasn’t used to myself being dressed up, and when Lily had finished with my makeup, I felt like I was a completely different person. Like I wasn’t average. I felt quite intimidated that Lily and Mary still looked more dressed up than me, but I said nothing. I wondered if the boys would make any effort or if they would all be dressed in normal jeans.
“Severus would kill me if he knew I was spending the night with James.” Lily said worriedly looking down at herself. “I hope he doesn’t patrol the grounds tonight.”
“He’s a good for nothing Slytherin, Lily.” Mary said honestly. “Please have one night to forget about him. You spend so much time with him normally anyway!”
“To protect him from James and Sirius.” Lily snapped back. “Lets just get this over with.”
As suspected, when we walked down the stairs, Sirius, James, Peter and Remus were wearing completely casual clothes. However, Alice was waiting outside the portrait hole and she seemed to be dressed up too. James began complimenting Lily and she ignored it, and all of us hurried onto the ground where our night would begin. As we were walking, all of us in pars, (James and Lily, Peter and Mary, Alice and Remus, and Sirius and I), Sirius held out his arm for me graciously. I took it with a smile and he leant down to whisper in my ear.
“You really do look beautiful tonight.”
I could feel my cheeks burning red. The way he said it, with true meaning, how silky his voice was, how his breath made Goosebumps cover my bare arms. I bit my lip nervously. Sirius Black had gotten to me. And I was attracted to him?
No, I had a boyfriend, I loved Gilderoy. Why was I continuously convincing myself that of late. Sirius Black was nothing more than my best friend, and we never would be anything more than friends, right?
“Thank you,” I managed to stammer back eventually. Sirius simply smirked, but he didn’t bother saying anything else, as the four of us managed to sneak onto the grounds without being caught. We made our way towards the black lake, the tree I usually sat under was the destination I knew we were heading as it was cast into shadow so no one could see us.
I was actually quite nervous as we neared our destination. Truth was, I’d never been drunk before. And I knew that everyone, except from maybe Lily, unless she loosened up, was planning on drinking. And I had no experience what so ever. I bit my lip nervously as we all sat down in a circle. I paid special attention to the fact that Sirius moved his arm around my waist, dragging my closer and drawing patterns onto the side of my dress.
I felt so comfortable under his grasp that it wasn’t until Mary coughed that I noticed Sirius had been staring at me the entire time. When he realised I noticed, he looked away and at James who was handing out bottles of Firewhiskey to everyone. I watched as he passed one to Mary, but Mary was looking at me. Looking at me in confusion. Her eyes looked at my face, which felt like it was burning, then Sirius’ who wasn’t looking at anyone anymore, and then where his hand was around me. Then she looked me in the eyes again and her eyes narrowed. Not in an angry way, or in an annoyed way, just trying to figure something out. There was nothing to figure out. Me and Sirius were just friends, and nothing more. Eventually, Mary looked away as James had turned to me and Sirius to give us our bottles.
Sirius managed to open his bottle with his teeth whereas everyone else used their wands. I just stared at my un open bottle in wonder of what it would taste like. Sirius leant over me, putting the bottle between his lips and biting off the top. He had a strong jaw. I nodded thanks and held the bottle to my mouth nervously. I was 16 and I was nervous about drinking whereas everyone else, including Lily, was knocking it back without any harm. Sirius seemed to notice my discomfort.
“Are you okay? Don’t you like Firewhiskey?” He questioned, rubbing my side cautiously.
“I don’t know.” I answered honestly. I was thankful everyone else was loud so no one could really hear our conversation. I noticed Sirius eyebrows wiggle.
“Have you…never had alcohol before?” He questioned. I shook my head. “You’ve never been drunk before? Wow, Dory. You better take that slow then.”
“Why?” I asked, looking down at the bottle. I held it too my mouth and took a swig, swallowing it quickly. And then I began to cough violently. Oh my god, my throat was on fire. It felt like my whole chest was swelling up. And then I felt it hit my stomach and a sudden coolness spread through me. What an interesting sensation.
“Yeah, it does that for first timers. You’ll get used to it.”
And so I drunk. I kept taking swigs, and it didn’t go un-noticed that Sirius kept his wary eyes on me. But I was enjoying it. With every gulp I took, the world became brighter, everything became happier, I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing. The whole world was so beautiful. And then I felt my feet go numb. And everything around me was so loud.
It got too about an hour and a half in, and everything was so lively. I was onto my third Firewhiskey, and I had managed to move from my place next to Sirius and was now gripping onto Mary as we danced on each other. I wondered how inappropriate we may had looked, but Peter and Sirius were staring at us as if they were mesmerized by our actions. I didn’t care if we looked bad, I was having fun. And by the way Mary was laughing manically, I could tell she was too. I was in such a state of bliss. Dizzy, light headed, bliss.
“I think I’m drunk,” Mary confessed, whispering in my ear.
“Me too!” I said with a giggle and we both put our hands to our mouths as if we were naughty school children. And then Mary looked at me seriously, patting me on the shoulder.
“D-D-Dory-ory-ory-Dory!” She managed to splutter out. “I think you should know something!”
“Yes?” I managed to giggle through.
And then Mary leaned forward again to whisper in my ear, “I think Sirius Black fancies-” She moved away and prodded her finger into my chest. “You!”
At this, I burst out laughing, almost falling too the floor. For some reason, Mary found my action hilarious and walked over to Alice, who was rocking backwards and forwards, to share whatever she found funny.
It was only when she was gone that I suddenly felt insanely alone. My emotions were so up and down, and over the top and I sat up, and began to cry. And at the time, I had no idea why I was crying.
I felt arms put themselves around me and pick me off the ground and I snuggled into the chest of my loneliness saviour. And then we were sitting on the ground again, only this time I was on their lap. I looked up through my tears to see Sirius, who was staring at me in worry and wonder. I grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him into a hug. Suddenly, I’d never adored him more.
“Sirius! You’re such a good friend to me! You’ve helped me so much, and you’re so handsome and I love you!” I said through my now happy tears while hugging him. I felt Sirius kiss my neck which was against his cheek before pushing me away slightly. He lifted his finger to wipe away my tears. The thought hadn’t even occurred to me that I was wearing mascara and probably looked awful. All I cared about at the moment was Sirius Black was touching my face.
Sirius fucking Black had been paying an interest in me this entire school year, and the summer holidays, and the end of the fifth year. The only girl he paid attention too was me. Dorcas Meadowes, his best friend. Sirius Black, the most popular guy in school, was content on being with me.
“Why were you on the floor?” Sirius questioned putting both of his arms around me and cradling me as if I was a child. This was comfortable. I looked up into his grey orbs and smiled. I was happy.
“She told me you fancied me!” I giggled. Sirius didn’t laugh, he just frowned.
“You’re drunk.” Sirius stated calmly. “I think we should get you to bed.”
“No, Sirius!” I snapped loudly, sitting upright to look at him. “I want to stay outside! With you!”
Sirius stared at me for a couple more seconds before reaching his hand up to my cheek and stoking it gently with his thumb. “You’re gonna regret drinking so much and not going to sleep.” He told me.
“Look! For the first time in a long time, I feel happy okay! I don’t have to worry about a stupid boyfriend, or what he’s going to think, or what my parents are going to think of their innocent girl drinking, and I don’t have to think what might happen to me any day because my family are aurors and effectively putting me in danger. No! I’m happy, right here, right now, being with you, in your arms, now, here, Sirius.” I managed to get out my speech, only failing on the last bit before biting my lip and crying again. Sirius put his free hand on my other cheek in shock of my speech and tried to wipe the tears from both of my eyes before they got too far down my face.
“Why do you have to be drunk to open up to me like that?” Sirius said with a sigh. “How can you hide your Gryffindor Bravery through a smile, you beautiful woman.” And then he leant up, and his face was inches from mine. Oh my god, he was going to kiss me. Sirius Black couldn’t kiss me. Oh no!
But I was wrong, after pausing inches away from my face for a few seconds, he moved his lips up and kissed my forehead. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or irritated, as before I got to hear a chance, I heard shouts behind me. Angry shouts. Me and Sirius both looked, as did the rest of the group and we all became silent as we watched fight between Lily and James.
James and Lily were standing inches apart, in each others face, yelling. The fiery red hair belonging to Lily was a mess, as if she’d been grabbing onto it with her hand. But that wasn’t it was it? James glasses were askew, his hair identical to Lily’s. They’d been kissing, and Lily, suddenly, must have decided, she didn’t like it.
“How dare you take advantage of me like that, Potter!” She was screaming at him. “I hate you, James! Why would you do that?”
“Take advantage?” James yelled back, lifting his, 15th?, Firewhiskey to his lips, swigging the last bit and chucking the glass at a tree where it smashed. Me and Sirius both jumped at that, and I felt Sirius hugging me tighter. “How dare you say I was taking advantage! Have you already forgotten that you were the one that dragged me off, and you were the one that pulled me into our little make out session!”
“You should have pushed me away, James!”
“Well sorry for thinking that when you didn’t stop me for a good 10 minutes, I thought you were into me.” James snapped back. Lily took a step closer to him in anger pushing him backwards.
But James was drunk. And just that little push was enough to make him lose balance. And everything started to move in slow motion at that point.
James was falling backwards, into the Black Lake as Lily made several grabs at his arm to try and get him up again, but it was too late. Sirius lifted me off him and began to ran over to where James was falling. Remus and Peter had also got too their feet and were heading in the same direction. And I saw the look of terror as James hit the darkness of the water and vanished underneath the depths of the lake.
And that’s when everything started working at normal speed again. Sirius and Remus were yelling as Mary, Alice and I all crawled over to the waters edge, attempting too see any trace of James. But it was too dark, there was no trace, and James should have come too the surface now.
I don’t know what rush came over me. But no one else was doing anything, Remus casting several spells to try and retrieve him which weren’t working due to his intoxication. I thought the answer was obvious. Grabbing a near by wand, any wand, I muttered the spell ‘Lumos’. My wand lit up immediately, and then I was ready.
Maybe if I was sober, I wouldn’t have done this. Maybe if everyone wasn’t drunk, I would have just told them the idea instead of doing it myself. But my mind wasn’t working properly. Taking a few steps back, I began to run at the lake and then I jumped into the dark depths, my wand still lit.
I heard several people shout my name as I jumped in, but it didn’t really phase me. As I hit the cold water, I felt slightly refreshed. I couldn’t believe how deep the lake was, right by the side of edge. But I could see with my spell and I looked around quickly. It wasn’t too deep that I’d run out of oxygen. I pushed myself against the edge of the lake and began to swim down, not taking my free hand off the wall. And then I noticed I was following a blood trail. James must have hit his head on the way down. For some, they would have panicked. Maybe I was too intoxicated to realise James must have been hurt. But I reached the bottom in a few seconds and found James lying on the bottom, tangled in weeds. Easy enough.
I swam over to him, he seemed to be unconscious, and began to untangle the weed from around his leg. I looked up as I did so, and I saw a Grindylow near by. It wasn’t doing anything, just watching us. And then I noticed that it had other small Grindylow’s below it, and I knew it was no danger to James or I. It was just making sure we would not hurt it.
When I untangled James, I put his arm around my shoulder and began to swim upwards, making my way up the wall again, not being able to hold it due to both my arms being taken. James really was heavy, I don’t know how I was managing to swim with him.
Although it seemed longer to me, when we reached the surface, I realised it only took me about a minute to go down, get him and come back up. And when I made my break for air, the first thing I did was push James higher up with all my strength. I knew someone had grabbed him, and I was pleased. But then, everything went black.
Typical, after all that, I would pass out.
Why was it, for the second time in the first week, I was in the hospital wing, when before, I hadn’t even stepped foot in there in my entire life. Well, not for myself anyway. And why was the night before all fuzzy? I couldn’t remember much at all. I was drinking. I was sitting on Sirius. He… we almost kissed? Did we? Lily and James.. He fell in? Did he? I was with Mary wasn’t I?
I rubbed my head angrily at the turn of events, sitting up in my bed and opening my eyes. There were several people around me, all staring me, waiting. I noticed it wasn’t night anymore as I looked into the relieved faces of James, Lily, Sirius, Remus, Peter, Alice and Mary. As I smiled, James had launched himself at me and was almost crushing my shoulders in a hug. What the-?
“Dorcas Meadowes, I love you.” And then he kissed my forehead, both of my cheeks, my chin, my nose. Everywhere he could on my face apart from my lips. I pulled away, cringing but laughing.
“Why?” I asked, smirking slightly in confusion. The group looked at each other.
“You don’t remember?” Mary questioned.
“You saved my life, Dory!” James shouted out happily.
I did what? Then it came back. James, he fell into the water, and there was blood in the water, and he wasn’t conscious, and I jumped in? I swam to him, I carried him up, I - JAMES!
“Oh my god, are you okay?!” I said quickly. “Oh there was blood, your head, you were-”
“I just said, Dorcas,” James said calmly with a smile, “You saved my life.”
I did. I saved his life… I jumped into the water, under the intoxication of alcohol, and I saved James Potter’s life. I did something I never thought I could do. And my life was worth something now. Without me, James would have died. Suddenly, I felt important.
The only one who wasn’t beaming at me, was Sirius. But I would ask him about that later.
“When can I leave? Quidditch tryouts are today!” I said, suddenly nervous. Oh no, what if I wasn’t well enough for Quidditch, how could I try-out if I was stuck here?!
“You can leave now.” Lily said smartly. “Polly says when you wake up, you’re better. With the potion she got you anyway. And she said you can leave when you feel ready too.”
“Plus, it wouldn’t matter if you tried or not, after last night, do you really think I wouldn’t give you a place on the team?” James said laughing. “Get dressed and meet us down there at 2 okay? It’s only 12, you have time.” James chucked down Quidditch Robes on the end of my bed, then added, “Oh, and have a shower, you stink of lake.” Before leaving with Peter and Remus, who said they were glad I was okay, before waving goodbye. Shortly after, Lily followed them, and then, after a brief discussion on me and Mary’s awful dancing, Mary and Alice left too.
Leaving me and Sirius.
And I was worried.
“What did I do?” I asked slowly. Whilst I was talking to Mary, Sirius had made himself comfortable in the chair next to my bed and was staring absent-mindedly out the window. When I spoke, he turned to look at me.
“Apart from almost committing suicide?” He asked coldly. “You did a lot. Whether you’d think it was worth you knowing or not is a different story.”
“Did I say anything that I shouldn’t of?” I said nervously.
“You said things you probably didn’t want anyone to know. You didn’t say anything inappropriate in my eyes.” Sirius replied calmly. “You gave me a speech.”
I stayed quiet, staring at him for a while. He stared back, biting his lip nervously, running his slender fingers through his hair. He was considering whether or not to tell me. I was considering whether or not I wanted to know.
“You never told me your parents were aurors.” Sirius said flatly, emotionlessly. And there it was. He knew about my family. But if that’s all I said, then I’d be forever grateful to my drunk self. “Dangerous job nowadays. Especially with a daughter.”
“I’m not scared.”
“Don’t lie to me, Dorcas.” Sirius said irritably. That was the first time he’d ever called me my first name. He really wasn’t happy at me. “Your parents are out fighting nearly every day to keep you safe, and you decide to do something stupid and jump in a lake! You could of got yourself killed, Dorcas! Then what would your parents fight be for. Losing their only child!”
Why he was mad, suddenly made a lot of sense. He thought I was selfish, selfish for jumping in the lake to save James. Selfish for trying to save a life because I could have died. He was mad at me for saving his best friend. He had no right to be mad at me at all. But I said nothing. I sat quietly. Apparently, his speech was not done.
“And you’re unhappy. You know you’re unhappy. And if you actually had a boyfriend who took care in your problems, then it’d be better. I could actually help you get through the fright you’re feeling because I’ve been through it. But you’re still with Lockhart, a boy who makes you absolutely miserable! And why? Why are you with him?”
“Once again, this is about Gilderoy. Everything I fucking do, turns into Gilderoy. I don’t see you all day cos I’m studying, Gilderoy. I cut my knee, Gilderoy. Hey, me jumping in a lake to save your best friends ass must, of course, be all Gilderoy’s fault!” I yelled at him. I was surprised at myself. My temper never usually rose. “I’m with him because I love him! Not that you’d ever understand the meaning of love, Sirius.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?” He spat back.
“You fuck them and leave them, Sirius.” I snapped back. “You have sex with any girl you please, not regarding how much you’d hurt them and then the next day you act like they don’t fucking exist. I don’t have enough fingers to count how many girls you’ve slept with.”
“And how does that mean I don’t love? When Gilderoy is clearly just using you as a play thing?”
When I just looked at him shocked, he continued.
“You don’t think he actually cares, do you? He just knows he can get a quick and easy shag whenever he wants.” Sirius voice wasn’t as angry anymore. It was almost a whisper, slightly sympathetic.
“I’m a virgin.” I replied quietly, looking at my lap.
I didn’t look back up to see his reaction. But we were quiet for a while before he put his hand on mine. I don’t know why he did that, thinking his hand holding was a gesture of sympathy, but when I looked up he was smiling.
“I’m glad you haven’t lost it to him.” He said simply. “I’m sorry I snapped.”
“Where is Gilderoy anyway?” I presumed he would have been there. Sirius’ face dropped and he scrunched his face up in a strange way. It was actually pretty cute.
“I don’t know.” I could tell he was lying. But I didn’t bother pressing it.
“I need to get changed into my robes and have a shower.”
“I’ll wait here for you.”
So that’s what I did. I took off with my robes to the Hospital Shower, only had a quick one before jumping out and picking up the new clothes. I see Lily, at least I hope Lily, had taken the liberty of bringing me new underwear also, along with clothes too put on after the tryouts. I was thankful about that. Getting quickly changed into my Qudditch gear, I stepped out and looked at Sirius. It only just occurred to me that he was in his Quidditch robes too.
“Ready to go?” He asked politely and I nodded. I was surprised that he was holding out his hand for me. I looked up at him quite cautiously. “Oh come on, it’s nothing, really.” He reassured me. I couldn’t resist his smirk. I took his hand and we began to walk down the clock tower and towards the Quidditch Pitch. And I couldn’t believe how scared I truly was. And Sirius seemed to notice this. “It’ll be fine!”
“What if I’m awful, Sirius?” I retaliated. “Seriously, what if I just can’t do it.”
“You’ll be flying next to me the whole time.” Sirius squeezed my hind. “Seriously, you’ll be -”
Oh no, I knew that voice. I tried to drop Sirius’ hand but he wasn’t having any of it. He turned with me, just squeezing my hand tighter in reassurance. And then we saw him. His blonde hair was messy, his tie askew and his belt undone. He looked a mess, he looked dirty. This wasn’t right. Sirius moved slightly in front of me as if to protect me and Gilderoy paused.
“You.” He said coldly, looking at Sirius. “Get off my girlfriend.”
“You look a bit worn out, Lockhart. Where were you this morning when I came to get you from the common room?” Sirius almost said it suggestively and I looked at Sirius confused, but he wasn’t look at me. I looked back at Gilderoy and he looked worried, scared. His cheeks went more red than usual and he stepped forward slightly.
“You could never hurt her, Black. You know that.”
Sirius glared. “No. So let me take her to Quidditch practice and be happy, just a little while longer before you go and make her miserable again, like you always do.”
Gilderoy nodded, looking past Sirius and at me, “I hope your try-outs go well, I’ll come meet you from the common room at four.” And then he approached me, taking me out of Sirius’ hand and kissing me. A passionate kiss. Which lasted too long for my comfort as Sirius was standing right there. I suspected it to end but he was content on eating his face, putting his arms around me and on my bum. I felt quite awkward with my best friend next to me, but didn’t push him away. I rarely got attention like this. Then Gilderoy let go, putting his hand on my cheek and rubbing his thumb on it.
All I could think about as he did that, was how different it was compared to Sirius’ touch. Sirius was definitely better. But I shouldn’t think that.
“Goodbye, I love you.”
“I love you, too.” I replied, and Gilderoy smiled, dropping his hand, turning and walking off. I felt hot and bothered, but I didn’t enjoy that as much I thought I would. I stared after him in confusion. Then I looked at Sirius. He wasn’t looking at me, he was staring away in the direction we were walking. He was…tearing up? He looked.. In pain? I approached him, putting my hand on his shoulder, he looked at me and frowned.
“Are you okay?”
He tried to muster a smile, I knew it wasn’t real. And I didn’t understand the words that were conversed between Gilderoy and Sirius, but I didn’t question it. “I’m fine, Dory. Lets go try out.”
He didn’t bother holding my hand this time. We walked side by side in silence, him occasionally sneaking glances at me until we made it to the Quidditch Pitch. I was actually relieved to be there, the silence between us was killing me. When we reached the pitch, James and a group of other Gryffindors were lining up patiently. When James saw me, he let out a noise of excitement and ran to me, picking me up and spinning me in a circle.
“Hello my life saver.” He said, putting me down and kissing my forehead. I smiled. “Beater is it, that you’re applying for I mean?”
“Thank god!” I heard a boy sigh, I looked up to see the boy I recognised as Kingsley Shacklebolt. Right now, he looked at me like he couldn’t love me more. I laughed.
The try-outs were simple. Some of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team had offered to play a fake match against people who were trying out, some being paired with the Ravenclaw team, others with the Gryffindor team. Sirius and I were together as beater, and Sirius seemed a little put off by this. I was starting to worry. But I had to concentrate if I wanted to secure my part in the team.
There were only two other people trying for beaters and Kingsley had been paired with them in turns as they took to the sky and attempted to hit a bludger in the Ravenclaw team’s direction. Neither of them were very good and I noticed Kingsley give me a slight look of hope as he finished playing with the second of the two try-outs. I was his last chance to be moved to a Keeper.
“Alright, Meadowes, you’re up.” I heard James shout from behind e. Suddenly, I was petrified, No-one at Hogwarts had ever seen me on a broom before, let along try-out for a Beater. I could feel my heart beating fast in my chest, then two hands rested themselves on my shoulders. I looked up and James was smiling down at me. “You’ve already got the place, just prove I made the right choice.”
I grinned back, a little reassured by his comment. And then I mounted my broom, jumping into the air and hovering above it. And then I felt the rush. The rush I got when I played at home. All doubt was thrown from my mind and I soared through the air, joyous thoughts taking over. Merlin, I missed this.
I spotted Sirius across the field and he was staring at me in surprise. I flew over to him, and he definitely looked impressed.
“You were right,” He commented, chucking a beater bat in my direction. I caught it with ease, “You are a fair flyer.”
“Alright, Ready, Dorcas?” I heard James shout from the ground. I turned to look at him.
“Ready!” I confirmed.