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Chapter 1: Operation: Broom Cupboard
A/N: Hello everyone! As promised, here is the one-shot of Scarlet and Sirius in the broom cupboard from chapter 34 of my novel, If Wishes were Fishes! If you haven't read it, this probably won't make any sense (so go read it). Just kidding... kind of. Anyways, enjoy!
Operation: Broom Cupboard
Scarlet Cordelia St. Clair was an extraordinarily stubborn girl.
Sirius Orion Black was as oblivious as they come.
That alone should have been enough to keep them apart but the universe seems to have a sense of humor when it comes to love. And because she always said she’d never fall in love and he knew he never would, the universe decided they would be a good match.
And so it was that fate knocked on Scarlet St. Clair’s door one summer afternoon in the form of a sullen-looking eight-year-old boy with dark hair and chilly gray eyes. His mother had sent him over because his family was pureblood and her family was pureblood and apparently that meant they should be friends. Sirius had thought that it was a stupid reason to be friends with someone and had said so to Scarlet.
But instead of being insulted as she ought to have been, she had just laughed at him and told him his hair looked like a dirty mop and she could never be friends with someone who looked so frumpy anyways. He had gotten mad (for he was very vain for an eight-year-old) and accidentally set one of rose bushes in her front garden on fire. She had thought this was entirely amusing because she had always hated those rosebushes and so she grabbed him by the arm and pulled him inside and that, as they say, was that.
And for the next nine years Scarlet and Sirius remained friends, both blissfully ignorant to the plans the universe had for them. She was there for him when he got his Hogwarts acceptance letter on his eleventh birthday and he was there for her when her older sisters joked that she would never get hers (for she had confided in Sirius that she secretly feared she was a squib…she wasn’t).
Scarlet listened dutifully as a thirteen-year-old Sirius told her all about the wonderful Margaux Littleton and her many attributes of which Scarlet was already familiar with, having shared a dormitory with the girl for three years. She had tried not to feel jealous when Sirius confided that he had kissed Margaux during the last Hogsmeade weekend of the year, but her resolution to never fall in love was wavering and the universe had other plans, anyways. But fate or no fate, Scarlet had thrown Margaux’s toothbrush in the toilet because she did not like feeling jealous. Not one bit.
And while Scarlet was beginning to feel a little bit jealous, Sirius was becoming a little less oblivious. Not half a year later when Scarlet confessed to him that she had let Jacob Warren kiss her behind a tapestry on the second floor, Sirius acted appropriately excited, but his insides clenched with jealousy and he, unlike Scarlet, knew exactly why. For he had started noticing that she wasn’t the scrawny tomboy-ish girl he’d met all those years ago who had laughed at him. She had subtle curves now and she had started wearing her dark hair down and she smiled an awful lot at the other boys in their class. He noticed that he did not like it when she laughed at the other boys’ jokes and he also noticed that when she laughed at his jokes, it felt a lot better than when Margaux laughed. After all, Scarlet had laughed at him first.
During the summers, when Sirius was off with his new friends, Scarlet wondered why exactly she missed him so much. It wasn’t that she was lonely, her older sisters were usually around, but Scarlet refused to think that it was because she actually liked Sirius (for remember, she was quite stubborn).
And for that matter, why was it that after nine years of uncomplicated friendship she got all flustered whenever Sirius smiled at her like that? And why did she want to ring that fifth year tart’s neck when she found out Sirius had asked her to Hogsmeade the other week? And why did Scarlet’s friends keep whispering behind their hands whenever she spoke to him?
It couldn’t have been love, because Scarlet St. Clair did not fall in love.
And while Scarlet St. Clair was not falling in love, Sirius Black was. For he had finally grown out of his oblivious ways and realized just why it was that he missed her when he spent his summers at James Potters. He realized why when he was out with another girl, all he could think of was how different she was from her. He realized why he hated it when she laughed at other boys’ jokes… because, after all, she had laughed at him first.
But Scarlet was stubborn and it was because of this tiny fact that she found herself in a fight with Sirius after James Potter’s seventeenth birthday party. Because she refused to admit why it angered her so much when that stupid fifth year tart had the gall to flirt with Sirius in front of her. And she refused to listen when he said she was of no consequence. And she refused to accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, she had been wrong about love after all.
But alas, Scarlet Cordelia St. Clair was nothing if not stubborn, so Sirius went to her friends for help.
Lily Evans, though painfully oblivious to the Gryffindor Quidditch captain eying her from across the room, was exceptionally tactful when it came to dealing with Scarlet St. Clair. Despite her rule-abiding ways, Lily was quite good at concocting schemes (which Sirius humbly attributed to his own influence). And so while she and Anna Doucette devised a plan with a little help from a certain wishing well, the universe finally saw its chance.
Scarlet St. Clair always said she would never fall in love, but the universe (and everyone else) knew better. Which is why on a Sunday morning in late March a seventeen year old Scarlet found herself dangling upside down in the most ungraceful way by her own traitorous best friend, one Lily Evans.
“What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?! Lily Evans, you let me down RIGHT NOW!” A very irate Scarlet shouted as she tried in vain to grab any part of Lily she could reach. But her redheaded friend could only given her an infuriating smile.
“I’m sorry, Scar,” Lily said, wincing slightly as Scarlet let out a low growl. Lily and Anna backed slowly down the corridor with Scarlet it tow. “This is for your own good, you know.”
“What are you talking about?” Scarlet shouted, flailing her arms and legs madly. “What’s for my own good? Lily, I will kill you. LET ME DOWN!”
“I’m so sorry, Scar,” Lily only repeated, edging steadily down the corridor. “Merlin, I’m so, so, so sorry about this.”
Anna Doucette kept looking around down the hall, though Scarlet did not know what she was looking for.
And then she did. That shaggy mop of hair appeared through a crack in the door to a broom cupboard and Scarlet nearly burst with rage. As Sirius’s eyes found Scarlet’s upside down in midair, Sirius threw the door all the way open and strode out, giving Lily a displeased look.
“What the bloody hell are you doing?” he scoffed, his eyes flitting to Scarlet again.
“YOU!” Scarlet roared as she spun around, her arms and legs flailing like a windmill. She wondered vaguely if this was what an aneurysm felt like.
“Oh, Merlin,” Sirius just shook his head at Lily like a father scolding a child. “Have I taught you nothing about scheming this year?”
“Oh, like all of your plans are perfect Mr. I-Wish-Everyone-Would-Say-What-They’re-Thinking. I got her here, didn’t I?” Lily rolled her eyes, carefully ignoring the fact that her best friend was turning purple.
“YOU?!” Scarlet screeched again, obviously registering the fact that the entire school had been bewitched to say whatever they were thinking aloud because Sirius had finally made a wish that the Well accepted.
“Oh, well done,” Sirius rolled his eyes at Lily as he held the door open for her to levitate Scarlet inside.
“Shut up and get in there so this can all be over,” Lily growled back at him as she flicked her wand, releasing her hold on Scarlet who dropped to the ground in an unceremonious heap as Sirius slipped in behind her and shut the door.
Scarlet scrambled to her feet, a sense of panic enveloping her. The darkness pressed in on her but she could sense Sirius’s proximity and it only made her panic more.
“LET ME OUT!” Scarlet hammered her fists hard against the door but it did not budge. Damn Lily Evans and her stupid talent for Charms.
“Scarlet, stop,” Sirius voice found her in the darkness and a pair of hands gripped her shoulders. “Just talk to me, will you?”
“NO!” Scarlet yelled, throwing her whole weight against the door only to ricochet off sending her reeling into the shelves at the back of the cupboard. Cleaning supplies rained down from the shelves and Scarlet seized the opportunity to hide behind a mop.
Sirius was not fooled in the least, as he had lit his wand and illuminated the small closet.
“Scarlet, stop hiding behind that mop!”
And she threw the mop at Sirius, distracting him only momentarily while she shoved her head in a bucket in a lame attempt to hide one last time.
You see, Scarlet did not want to be anywhere near Sirius Black at the moment, as she was quite sure she was in the middle of an important realization. The same realization that Sirius had had quite a while before.
“Seriously? A bucket? Get that off your head! Why won’t you look at me?” Sirius chuckled, only infuriating Scarlet further.
“Because I hate you!”
“Come on, you can’t hate me,” Sirius raised one devilish eyebrow at her and she knew defeat was imminent.
“Yes, I can!”
But that did not mean she would go down without a fight.
“Ok, really?” Sirius rolled his eyes as Scarlet brandished an old broom at him. “What on earth are you going to do with that broom? Fly out of here?—OW! What the—Scarlet, stop hitting me!”
“Never!” Scarlet cried as she swung the broom again.
“Will you just stop already? I just want to talk to you,” Sirius sighed exasperatedly, wrenching the broom from Scarlet’s grip.
“No, because if I let you talk to me I’m going to succumb to your stupid Black charm!” Scarlet shook her head, frantically searching the broom cupboard for something else to hide behind or attack Sirius with. Had Scarlet’s mind not been frazzled with ideas of love, she would have remembered she had her wand stowed in her back pocket. But alas, love had finally gripped Scarlet St. Clair.
A knock sounded on the door and Lily Evans’ amused voice floated through. “Bye, you two. Have fun!”
“Thank, Evans! I owe you one!” Sirius laughed, not taking his eyes off the dark-haired girl not contemplating how much damage she could do with a moldy sponge.
“You owe me about twenty, Black,” Lily laughed in response.
Bloody good-for-nothing friends.
“I hate you all,” Scarlet shouted, feebly throwing the moldy sponge at the door.
“Scarlet,” Sirius said in an assuring voice, his steely gray eyes locking with her vivid blue ones.
“No,” Scarlet said stubbornly, looking at him for the first time since they’d been locked in that blasted closet.
“Scarlet,” Sirius said again, gentler this time as he took a step towards her. The soft light emanating from his wand illuminated her timid face and he thought briefly that no one ever looked as beautiful as she did when she was in denial.
“I can’t talk to you, Sirius,” Scarlet said, her voice losing a bit of the panic it previously held.
“Why?” Sirius questioned her simply.
“Because I can’t stop thinking about you!” Scarlet burst angrily, her blue eyes flashing at him.
“And that’s a bad thing?” Sirius grinned cheekily at her and her stomach did a somersault.
“Yes,” Scarlet insisted, finally giving up her search for other objects to assault Sirius with and wedging herself between a tower of buckets and a case of Mrs. Skower’s All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover. “Because I already know what you’re going to say and if you do say it, you’re going to make me admit to something I’ve been against since before I can even remember.”
“You know what I’m going to say, do you?” Sirius raised his eyebrows her from under his long, dark hair and this only doubled the somersaults happening in her stomach.
Scarlet St. Clair did not like being in love.
“Yes, I do.” Scarlet said through her teeth. “You’re going to say that the other night that bird really did mean nothing and all you want is to be with me and you’ve been oblivious all this time of how you really felt about me and we should live happily ever after and the reason I overreacted is because I have deep, suppressed feelings for you and want nothing more than to just snog your brains out.”
“I was going to say all that, was I?” Sirius chuckled, Scarlet’s red lips turning down into a frown as it became apparent she had just spoken her own thoughts (thanks to that bloody Well) rather than what she actually thought Sirius would say.
“Er… yes,” Scarlet nodded resolutely, going with her previous statement rather than admit that’s what she wanted him to say.
“Alright,” Sirius nodded, considering this.
It infuriated Scarlet that he could be so calm in this situation. Why was her heart racing like mad while he just nodded like he was perfectly at ease? Did she have no effect on him?
“And… what would you have answered if I had said all of those things?” Sirius asked, a smile still lifting the corners of his mouth.
“I would have told you to go f—“
“Scarlet,” Sirius cut her off, pressing a hand against her mouth to muffle the very rude string of profanity she had just used.
“Fine,” Scarlet huffed, shoving his hand away from her mouth. “I… I would have said that all of those things were true, the bits about me at least, and I do really just want to snog your brains out.”
Scarlet clapped a hand over her mouth immediately, silently cursing the day Lily Evans had found that bloody Well and told Sirius bloody Black how to use it.
“Is that so…” Sirius’s eyebrows shot upwards in shock as he nodded slowly.
“Stop being so bloody nonchalant about this all!” Scarlet growled angrily, punching him hard in the arm, as was her custom. “You’re so sodding infuriating, standing there nodding like you didn’t just make me admit that I have feelings for you.”
“Oooh, is that what you were getting at?” Sirius grinned innocently and Scarlet’s eyes were in danger of bulging out of her head.
“SIRIUS BLACK, YOU ARE WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MOST HORRIBLE—“
“I think you mean wonderful, love—“
“I prefer misunderstood.”
“DEMON I’VE EVER MET IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!”
Scarlet finished, her face flushed pink with anger and her breath coming in sharp gasps.
Sirius just continued to smile at her, apparently unphased by her very loud outburst.
“What on earth are you smiling about?” Scarlet screeched, resisting the temptation to smack him upside the head.
“You love me,” Sirius smirked and Scarlet’s eyes widened.
“I do not,” Scarlet argued at once but Sirius just shook his head, still smiling.
“You totally love me,” he said, a quiet chuckle breaking through his smirk.
“Stop that,” Scarlet said, pointing a threatening finger in his face.
“I remember when we were nine years old,” Sirius shook his head, chuckling outright now. “And your sister Estella came home from Hogwarts complaining about that one bloke she fancied and how desperately in love with him she was, and you told me you thought she was a complete idiot and that when you grew up you would never fall in love.”
“Look, if you just brought me here to mock me,” Scarlet started vehemently, what little patience she had for this situation evaporating completely. “I don’t want to hear it. I’m already embarrassed enough, thank you.”
“Do you remember what I said to you?” Sirius asked, ignoring her. “After you told me you would never fall in love? I told you I wouldn’t either so that when we grew up, we could keep being friends without love getting in the way.”
“Oh…” Scarlet breathed, her eyes widening slightly as she remembered.
“I guess I was wrong, eh?” Sirius said quietly, taking another step closer to her. “Because I think even as a nine-year-old I knew that if I were to fall in love it would be with you. And with you, not falling in love was never really an option.”
And before Scarlet could respond, Sirius closed the distant between them, catching her chin in his hand and kissing her gently on the lips.
She melted into him, nine years of not falling in love with him surging through her body as his hand gently cradled her face. She sighed into the kiss and felt Sirius smile though he didn’t draw away. His other hand made its way to her waist and pulled her in closer to him and she used the opportunity to wind her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss.
“Well, I suppose if this is love,” Scarlet said quietly, more to herself than to him as his lips moved to her ear, whispering words in them that sent shivers down her spine. “Maybe it’s not so bad after all…”
And Sirius could not agree more.
A/N: Hey everyone! I hope you enjoyed this! The writing style is a bit different than I'm used to doing but I wanted to try something new with this. Let me know what you thought!
I've had this whole Scarlet/Sirius backstory rolling around my head for a really long time (since I began IWWF) and I really wanted to include it in the story, but never really found a chance. So since I promised a one-shot of them in the cupboard, I figured this would be perfect :)
Feedback would be lovely!