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A/N – Hello, hello! A quick note before we start things off, when you see the three asterisks, (***), it means the point of views has changed, switching from Emmeline to Sirius and so on.
Without further ado…
Chapter One – The Event to Start It All
I stretched my arms over my head, ran a hand through my dark hair and yawned. I felt as if a large bolder had graciously been lifted off my chest. Exams were finally over, kids milled about around me, throwing stones into the lake, and kicking their shoes off. Freedom had come at last. I sighed happily as I leaned back on the grass, to gaze sleepily at the tree above me. My best friend, Alice, wiggled her bare toes and folded up her pant legs, then copied me and lay down beneath the massive tree as well.
“So, think you’ll be able to handle living in close proximity to Penelope without having me around to restrain you from any illegal assaults?” asked Alice.
“No. Thanks for abandoning me for London, by the way.” I replied bitterly as I thought of my younger sister, Penelope, who I would have to maybe spend some time with this summer instead of going over to Alices’. I did not know how I would bear listening Penelope’s antics about some boy or other, who “is in my astronomy class, and he is absolutely gorgeous.” I honestly don’t care who is in her bleeding astronomy class.
Leila, or Lei, as we call her, my youngest sister, is a mere age of one, and I think she is my favorite person in the family. I can tell she is brilliant, just from the way she looks at things with her big grey eyes. One just knows something is going on in that innocent mind of hers.
“C’mon, you don’t think I would willingly surrender time spent with you so I can go hang out with my dear old aunt?” said Alice.
“Well, you’ll be in London, either way,” I said. Just then a shrieking to the right of us came, and we both sat up to see who was yelling so loud, disrupting our peace.
“Potter, youare absolutely insufferable! For the last bloody time, I will not go out with you!” cried Lily Evans from almost halfway across the lake. I groaned inwardly. I had spent most of the past six years living with Lily in close quarters, and we both knew she didn’t despise Potter as badly as he thought she did. Oddly enough, however, Lily was determined to never let her true emotions show, so she resorted to yelling at him at impressive decibels to conceal her true feelings.
I stopped listening to the screeching emanating from Lily, and flopped back on the grass. Unfortunately, my head landed on a pair of loafer-clad feet. I looked up and met the gaze of Remus Lupin, one of the infamous Marauders.
“Sorry. Wanted to get away from that,” he smiled jerking his head toward Lily and Potter. Remus was my favorite one out of the Marauders. He was quiet, smart, witty, and I found him to be quite handsome, but Alice reckoned he was too much of the rule following sort to be ‘handsome’.
“Understandable,” I smiled, “How’d your exams go?”
“Quite well, I’m happy to say,” He said as he sat down next to me, “but I think I did horribly in Divination.” I scoffed at this.
“Didn’t we all?”
Remus and I continued our conversation, bantering pleasantly until Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew came up to Remus, intruding in on it. I wasn’t too fond of Black, we had talked on occasion and he wasn’t too terrible to talk to on his own, but once he and Potter got together, he became a right prat that enjoyed jinxing innocent students in the corridors for leisure.
Pettigrew didn’t bother me as much as Black did, but he always sat back and laughed at Black and Potters jokes, no matter how cruel they became.
“Alright Moony?” started Black, nodding at me in acknowledgment. I nodded back, though somewhat stiffly, recalling more of his antics.
“Yeah. You lot trying to get away from that as well?” asked Remus, grinning and jerking his head toward Lily and Potter again. She had now drawn her wand, and was pointing it at him dangerously, impressively combining screaming insults, warnings and threats which had Black nodding in surprised approval.
“Don’t know why he bothers with her,” started Pettigrew, “It’s obvious she’d be more willing to undergo medieval style torture than go on a date with him.”
“Oh I wouldn’t say that,” interjected Alice.
“Yeah, give it a couple months, Lily’ll get tired of yelling and agree to a date or too eventually,” I said, “Besides, Potter’s been acting oddly well behaved these past few months –”.
“And Lily has definitely noticed,” finished Alice.
“Yeah, but don’t go and reveal all this information to Potter or anything, or his head will inflate again and Lily will go back to spending her evenings castrating him mentally.”
“Right, point taken,” nodded Remus, grinning.
“I’m hungry,” said Pettigrew rather abruptly.
“Me as well, actually,” agreed Alice.
“Early supper, you reckon?” Sirius asked the group. After mumbled responses of “Yeah,” and “Exams make me hungry”, we began walking back towards the castle, deciding it best to leave Lily and Potter bickering by the lake until they decided to come up on their own.
After taking a seat across from Alice in the Great Hall, I noticed that she had gone off in her own little world as soon as we sat down. She kept glancing down the table towards someone whom I couldn’t identify, no matter how intently I followed her gaze. After managing to make several thuggish looking third years think I was glaring at them, I decided it was probably better for my personal safety if I returned to my steak and kidney pie. No matter, I’d probably find out what it was regarding sooner or later. Alice wasn’t too good – or fond of – keeping secrets.
I decided that after supper, I would take a nice long bath in the prefects’ bathroom. Yes, I had been dubbed prefect in my fifth year, and I hadn’t been too keen on becoming one, but the access to the Prefect bathrooms was a definite perk. I had gotten really sick and tired of stepping into the showers that I had to share with three other girls and realizing that some inconsiderate cow had used up all the hot water.
“…then, she sticks that wand of hers practically up my nose, yeah? and says if I don’t get away from her in the next five seconds she’ll personally ensure that I’ll never be able to have children so long as I live,” recounted James. He had come back from the lake looking rather disheveled and dispirited before taking a seat next to Black. Obviously the exchange between Lily and himself had had no effect on his appetite, as he was now in the process of shoving copious amounts of food into his mouth.
“I mean, honestly,” he cried, gnawing on a chicken leg now, “What is her bloody problem? All I do is ask for an innocent stroll with her past the Quidditch pitch and before I even know what’s happened she’s brandishing that wand like it’s a bloody sword. I swear, if I didn’t love her, I reckon she could be the victim of our start of school prank next term.”
“Prongs, seriously, enough talk about Lily, can’t we have one dinner without some mention of her and her vicious threats?” pleaded Black.
“Oi, Em, why are those third years glaring at you?” asked Remus, somewhat amused.
“Well you can’t blame me Prongs –”
“Third years. Glaring. At you. Dangerously so.”
“– all fucking day, ‘Lily said she’d do this’, ‘Lily reckons I should deflate my head.’ I’m sodding sick and tired, mate.”
“Fine, I’ll pack it in, then, don’t work yourself into a strop.”
I snuck a glance past Black and Potter, who had stopped bickering and were busy shoveling more food into their mouths, seemingly deciding it would be more time efficient to skip the ‘chew’ step, and saw that I was indeed being glared at by the thuggish third years.
“Oh. Erm, dunno, probably because they mistook my poor eyesight for a poor attempt at intimidation.”
“Anyway, I think I’ll head back to the common room now…Coming, Alice?”
“Hmm?” she inquired, quickly snapping her head back from her long glance down the table.
“Common room, you coming?”
“Oh, yeah, I suppose we should go. Later Remus.”
“Do me a favor and try to stop them following me, if they try, yeah?” I grinned, nodding discreetly towards the third years.
“Will do. Best whip out your wand, though.”
Entering the common room, Alice and I saw Lily sitting by one of the windows, staring out into the afternoon sky with her arms and legs severely crossed.
“Er…you should probably eat something, you know how bellowing at Potter takes the energy out of you,” I said tentatively.
“Carbs, my dear Lily, you need carbs if you want to continue to scream at that boy every chance you get,” laughed Alice. Lily groaned and put her face in her hands, shaking it slowly.
“That’s just it, I don’t want to. It’s become a habit, like. Now every time he asks me out I scream at him even when I feel like agreeing.”
“Yes, doing things more than twenty one times makes them habits, usually,” said Alice, being her usual, unhelpful self. Lily groaned again and got up to go to the girls’ dorms.
“Oi! Go eat something!” I called after her. She waved her hand and replied, “I’m feeling a bit too much like crap to feel hungry at the mo.”
Alice and I sat in the common room, playing Exploding Snap and Wizards Chess and putting off repacking our trunks until the next day so that we could sit and waste our time instead. The common room slowly filled with happy looking students coming back from dinner and lazing about, contently reveling in the fact that they were free from schoolwork or constructive thought for a good two months.
Smiling to myself, I made a move while thinking about how I now had weeks before me in which I could determinedly forget all the tripe I had learned in Ancient Runes, only to realize the move had made my Queen a widow.
“Alright, I’m off for a bath,” I said, hoisting myself up from the armchair in front of the fire.
“Later,” replied Alice offhandedly, already badgering Potter for a quick game.
Humming tunelessly to myself and vaguely trying to remember why I had bothered to take Ancient Runes, I slowly made my way to the prefect’s bathroom. As soon as I was in, I turned on all the taps, stripped out of my school uniform, and jumped in to the pool-sized bath tub.
I gasped a bit as my skin met with the scalding liquid, but as I became accustomed to the heat, I drifted about happily, occasionally swimming and treading water. I stayed in there until the water had gone quite cold, and then I refilled the tub and floated about once more.
Finally, as I looked at my wrinkled fingers and red skin, I decided I should get back to Gryffindor tower. Pulling myself out of the tub, I reached for a towel before I noticed the door to the bathroom was creaking open.
At this point, a level headed and logical person would snatch up their towel and cover themselves up before any unwelcome eyes happened to land on them, but despite the fact that I was a prefect and was supposedly level headed and logical, I simply stood there, staring curiously at the entrance.
The figure of Sirius Black loomed in view, and I vaguely remember his jaw dropping and his eyes rounding, but mainly I remember gasping and fumbling to cover myself up, all the while demanding to know why he was in there.
“I-I … well Remus gave me the password and I figured…I didn’t know that you-you…” he trailed off.
“Turn around!” I demanded as I noticed him eyeing me, mouth still slightly open. He quickly obliged, and I dried myself as best I could, and stuffed my uniform on clumsily. My hair was still dripping wet, but I had no choice but to leave it until I could dry myself magically. I pushed past him as I left the bathroom, catching a whiff of his musky scent. Despite the circumstances, I found that scent mildly attractive.
Barreling through the corridors past curious glances at my sopping state, I muttered the password to the Fat Lady and made a bee line directly toward the girl’s dorms, waving off Alice’s inquiries. Once back in my dorm, I whipped out my wand and dried myself, and my clothes. However, I still felt the cold wrapping it self around me. I knew I would probably not sleep very much that night. I blamed myself for my stupidity. Why had I not covered myself when I heard the entrance opening? It was all too late now, but the thought of Black seeing me in the nude sent shivers up and down my spine.
I stood there; numb, processing slowly what had gone on. I gulped, and took deep breathes, trying to rid myself of the mental images. I couldn’t get the image of her fuming, fumbling, trying to cover herself up and maintain her dignity at the same time. Emmeline and I, though not exactly being best mates, did have the occasional fleeting conversation, that weren’t, in all honestly, too disagreeable. But after this, I was fairly sure those conversations would happen about as often as Lily and James’s dates.
Deciding I wasn’t in the mood for a bath anymore, I turned around and made my way back to the common room. I made my way up to the dorms, trying to get some sleep, but every time I closed my eyes that night, the same image of her emerged. I wanted to scream in frustration, because I just knew that my dreams would probably be filled with images of her. I was right, too.
It was going to be a long night.
Author’s Note – Alright, so, what d’you think? Good? Bad? Relatively readable but not all that exciting? Yeah, I agree about that last part, but bear with me, things will get more interesting.
I actually wrote this story a long time ago, and posted the first chapter, but then I sort of decided it was terrible and took it down again, abandoning it. Obviously I went back and did some editing, and this time I actually finished! So I have all the chapters done, but I’m going to do more editing and fit in some more exciting bits, just to make it more fun to read. Please, please leave a review and tell me what you liked, disliked, etc.
Oh and one last thing. I don’t live in the UK, nor have I ever been to the UK, so I apologize for any misuse of Britishisms.
With a loud crack, Penelope, my dad and I emerged in the small wizarding settlement where my house was located.
“Right then, Em, Penelope, I’m afraid I have to be off to work now, but I’ll be back before supper,” said my dad. He worked in the Department of Magical Transportation in the Ministry of Magic. Penelope and I bid him farewell as we lugged our trunks up the walkway to our house.
As soon as we entered, we were met with a flurry of activity. My mom shrieked, and so did Lei, who was in her arms, and my dog, V, barked at me as he wagged his tail. We were hugged, examined, and then sent off to our bedrooms to unpack.
My room had not changed at all since I had left it morning of the first of September. I wasn’t very fond of my room, which was why I usually spent most of my summer outside. The walls were painted a light chocolate brown colour, which was slightly lighter than the lacquered, hard wood floor. The bed was completely white, save for the headboards, which were wooden.
I didn’t have any posters of good-looking boys on my walls or anything of the sort, instead, I had framed paintings Lei and Penelope had painted when they were younger. The entire room was relatively messy, with odd sort of trinkets I had collected over the years littering my bookshelf, desk and beside table.
“Emm!” my mum called, “Take Lei and V out for a walk, yeah?”
It hadn’t been an hour since I’d been back, and she was already assigning me jobs to do. I didn’t mind though, because I was already getting tired of my bedroom and wanted to get out.
“Hold up, Em, I’m coming with you,” said Penelope, emerging out of her bedroom wearing very short shorts and a yellow peasant top. I rose and eyebrow at her, wondering why she wanted to come on a walk with me and why she was wearing a – a … well, that.
Penelope, although she didn’t mind showing a bit, or a load, of skin, didn’t really like going on walks in the summer. She usually just shut herself up in her room and owled her friends every chance she got. That was the complete and utter opposite of what I would do. I usually didn’t owl people over the summer, and spent nearly every minute that I wasn’t sleeping outside.
I shrugged at Penelope, put a leash around V and took Lei’s small hand in mine as I left the house. Outside was mild, not too hot and not too cold, the perfect weather for walking. I smiled contently as I observed the neighborhood.
Not a lot had changed, usually things didn’t change where I lived. The small lake was still there, looking exactly how it had since I had lived there, shining and dark. There were a few people swimming, others walking or running along its edge. Some were even skimming past the top of it on their broomsticks, as there were no muggles around.
The lake then reminded me of the Prefect’s bathroom, which immediately reminded me of the incident on the night of the last exam. I groaned inwardly. After he had walked in on me, Black and I had pointedly avoided each other, not wanting to talk about what had happened.
Suddenly, a loud crack broke me out of my reverie and I turned my head sharply towards the source of the sound, which I assumed was someone apparating. I saw two dark haired boys, one slightly taller than the other, and a taller man. As I looked closer, I realized to my horror who they were.
James Potter and Sirius Black. The former I could handle. The latter I had vowed to avoid so long as I lived. And now they were in the same bloody neighborhood as me.
The other man, I assumed, was James’ dad, because they looked alarmingly alike. I turned to look at Penelope who had gone a fair shade of pink which looked odd against her dark brown hair.
“Why are they here?” I hissed at Penelope, trying to keep my voice calm.
“James’ family moved here in mid October,” she said excitedly.
“How did you know that?”
“Everyone knows it, Emmeline,” she replied in her annoyingly condescending voice.
“Well, what’s Black doing with them, then?”
“James and Sirius are best mates, so obviously Sirius is going to be over.” She replied, exasperated at my “ignorance”. I tried not to look angered, worried, or anything of the sort, but I was. I had been looking forward to two months completely free of Black so that I could have time to not think about what had happened and recuperate, but now he would be here every bloody day to haunt me.
Penelope started to walk at a slower pace, probably waiting to see if Black and Potter would come out of the house again. It suddenly dawned on me why Penelope was so keen to come out for a walk while wearing an … interesting outfit. She was hoping to run into them, and show off, probably.
I scoffed. Annoying, really, that one of my own family members was one of many girls at Hogwarts who fancied at least one of the Marauders.
Unfortunately for me, Black and Potter actually did come out.
First I heard their laughter, then a door slam behind them, and then sound of chatter. I tried to speed up, but Penelope held me back, walking slowly, trying to catch their eyes.
“Move it, Penelope,” I hissed at her, but to no avail, “Penelope if you don’t hurry the bloody hell up right now I swear I will shave your head while you sleep.” I kept on the steady stream of threats and pleads, but she just continued to walk in her infuriating slow pace. Just when I was about to ditch her and speed walk home, V decided to stop for a nice long, poorly timed piss.
Life had a really disgusting sense of humor.
I could hear them approaching us from behind, and already my mind was filling with images of him gawking at me in the Prefects bathroom. I shuddered. I glanced behind us quickly, and I saw them walking only little distance behind us.
Too late. Too fucking late.
So, what happens next is obvious. They came level with us.
“Oi! Em! Alright?” started Potter.
“Yeah…yeah, you?” I grumbled, keeping my gaze far from Black’s.
“Well enough. I didn’t know you lived here!”
“Well this is brilliant, this is! We can hang out every day now!” he said, a little too enthusiastically. “I’ve always wanted to get to know you a bit better.”
“Err…you’ve had six years, and you haven’t really bothered,” I replied.
“Well…that’s because of – of classes and whatnot, had keep on top of homework and – and things,” he said, shifting his eyes.
“Riiight, that’s not dodgy at all,” I replied sarcastically. I often resorted to sarcasm to hide my annoyance. Or to express it.
“No, not dodgy. Friendly,” he said rapidly.
“So, it has nothing to do with the fact that you’ve recently noticed I’m on speaking terms with Lily and want to use me to get to her?”
“Yeah, yeah okay. I’m off. Let’s go Penelope,” I said, now in a complete strop.
“No! I want to stay and, er, chat.”
“Fine, I’m going,” I couldn’t stand to be close to Black. I felt squirmish around him now, and it was getting harder to avoid his gaze, which I could practically feel on me. Penelope could stay and drool all over those sodding idiots however long she wanted to, but I was leaving.
I didn’t stop walking until I was in the safety of my house, where I collapsed on the sofa, and felt a sudden wave of exhaustion. Minutes passed as I watched Lei playing with V. Then, Penelope came back into the house, looking angry.
“What’s wrong with you?” she asked heatedly, “All I wanted to do was to have a chance to talk to them, and you can’t even let me have that! You already have everything else, you don’t always have to be so bloody self-”
“Oh shut up, Penelope!” I roared back at her. I surprised everyone by yelling, even myself, I usually never did that. I had had enough of Penelope and her attitude, so I didn’t care if I yelled. She deserved it, she didn’t have a clue what had happened. If I didn’t want to talk to him, I shouldn’t have to.
Silence followed after I yelled. Lei looked up at me, her big grey orbs reading my face like a book. V simply stared. Penelope looked a bit frightened. I pushed past her, and climbed the stairs to my room. I rolled on the snow white blanket, and contemplated what would help me calm down from my stroppy mood. I couldn’t think of anything, so I decided to attempt to clean the mess that had accumulated in my room for the last year or so.
And as I roughly dusted and sorted through my odd trinkets, I silently vowed to never leave my bedroom again.
I sat on James’s porch, watching the deserted neighborhood. I felt so much happier here than I ever had at my parent’s house, and I vaguely felt jealous of James and his perfect family.
But one thing, or one person rather, was bothering me. Emmeline Vance. When James and I ran into her and her sisters, she looked so uncomfortable and angry, and she wouldn’t make eye contact with me, or give any sort of sign to say that she even saw me.
But, being the girl that she was, she still managed to wittily respond to James’s disgustingly transparent attempts to ‘befriend a friend of Lily’s’, a shoddy plan he had been working on for the last month or two.
I felt a bit guilty after I had walked in on her naked, but in all honesty, it wasn’t my fault. How the hell was I supposed to know she was in there? And more importantly, why the bloody hell had she not covered herself up when she heard someone coming?
But despite my annoyance at her incredibly loud and explosive brain fart, I had started to feel a bit differently about Emmeline since the incident. I didn’t know what to call the shift, exactly, but I felt myself drawn to her the last couple of days left in sixth year, obsessively staring at her when she was deep in conversation with someone. Watching the way she paid close attention to whatever someone was saying, and always having something appropriate or witty to respond with. I had started to notice how different she was from most other girls I knew, who preferred to group together and walk through the corridors in ridiculous, giggling numbers. She preferred to walk with usually one other person, or walk alone. I felt drawn to her and her little habits of biting her lip while thinking, stuffing her hands into her wavy hair and trying to work out the knots…
It bothered me when I noticed how Remus could approach her so easily, talk to her and get her to smile and laugh at whatever clever thing he said. I noticed they talked often, and I felt slightly jealous of how much attention she gave him when they were together.
I shook my head, trying to shake out all the thoughts of her, realizing how much of a creeper I was.
“Oi, Padfoot, fancy a swim?” said James, walking out on the porch wearing swim trunks and holding a towel.
“Hmm…dunno, I’m a bit knackered.”
“There’s some pretty fit girls by the beach…”
“…yeah, alright then,” I said, grinning and going back inside to get my trunks and a towel.
As James and I walked towards the lake, I listened to an idea of a start-of-term prank he had devised while unpacking, but I was only vaguely listening. I was devising a plan of my own.
I had a goal. By the end of the summer, I would get Emmeline Vance to speak to me the way she spoke to Remus.
A/N – So again, not much happens, but please don’t ditch the story, more is coming! I wasn’t too sure about this chapter, particularly the ending and Sirius’s stalk-ish descriptions of Emmeline, I felt it sounded a bit too…girl-like? Pleaseeee leave a review, tell me what you liked, didn’t like, wanted to throttle me for… anything, really!
Chapter 3: Logical Advice and Well-Timed Invites
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Chapter Three – Logical Advice and Well-Timed Invites
The next morning, I forced myself out of bed at the crack of dawn. I stretched my arms high over my head, and got dressed as quietly as possible, as to not wake anyone in the house. Pulling on a pair of very old and tattered jeans, and a long grey sweater, I tiptoed to the bathroom down the hall, scrubbed my face, brushed my teeth and hair, and then stepped quietly down the stairs and out of the house. I breathed a sigh of relief once I was out into the chilly summer morning, and I began to walk towards the outskirts of town.
A short distance away from our small wizarding community was a larger muggle town. When I was seven, I ventured out of our little settlement and curiously went towards the muggle community. There, I met my best muggle friend, Dimitri. He was playing football with some other boys, and I sat and watched them until their game was over. Then, walking towards them, I asked what they were playing. They all gawked at me, taken aback by my question. Being pure-blood, I didn’t know about any other sport other than Quidditch. They told me about football, and I grew to like it, but I never attempted to play.
After that, Dimitri and I became great friends, hardly leaving each others side in the summer. I told him about Hogwarts and magic when I was eleven, and he didn’t believe me at first, but now he knows almost as much about the wizarding world as I do. Because of all that went on yesterday, I forgot about meeting him in town, which was what we usually did, but I would make it up to him now. I brought him some Honeydukes chocolate.
Despite the early hours of the morning, Dimitri and the rest of the footballers were shouting and running on the football pitch, passing and dribbling the ball. I sat down on the emerald green grass, and pulled my knees to my chest, watching him play. I had always admired what footballers could do with the ball, how they moved their feet, almost dance like. I knew that I was far too uncoordinated to be able to do that, which was why I liked to watch them so much.
I noticed that Dimitri had grown much over the year, and I smiled to my self at the jealous looks Penelope would give me every time he came over. Dimitri had dark brown, curly hair and light green eyes. And since he played football any chance he got, he was in good shape. Contrary to the belief of many of Dimitri’s football mates, Dimitri and I had only ever been good friends, and I was determined to keep things that way. I didn’t want to ruin a good thing.
Soon they stopped playing, and I ran across the pitch towards Dimitri, drawing stares from the other players. When he noticed me running towards him, he stopped, and grinned. I was planning on giving him a big hug, but when I noticed him looking a bit frightened, probably of me mauling him, I stopped, laughing just before I reached him.
I hadn’t seen him for ten months, so a hug was necessary, I decided. His shirt was soaking with sweat, but I didn’t mind much.
“Bit early to be practicing, isn’t it?” I asked him, grinning.
“Neil reckons we practice better when it’s a bit cooler,” he said, jerking his head to a short, built boy whom I knew to be the captain. “Where were you yesterday, you didn’t come meet me!” he whinged as we walked towards the center of the town.
“Sorry, but something came up and completely forgot. I have loads to tell you though…”
I told him about everything, about exams, about the ‘incident’ and about Potter and Black moving in across the street. He was a perfect listener, which was what I liked so much about Dimitri.
“…and then, Penelope starts telling me off for not staying to have a nice long chat with those idiots!” I finished dramatically. We had entered a favorite little sweet shop/café that we usually went to, to sit and talk. He finished his glass of water, and replied, “Well, what are you going to do all summer with them across the street?”
“Hide away at your house,” I said shrugging. He laughed.
“As much fun as that would be, I don’t think your parents would let you, neither would mine, for that matter.” I groaned after this and laid my head down on my arms, which I had rested on the table between us.
Then the door of the shop opened and in came Dimitri’s other best mates, Carlos and Deon, who also happened to play football with Dimitri. Carlos was a short round faced boy with amazing talent on the pitch, and Deon usually played keeper, and he was nearly impossible to get a ball past. Dimitri waved them over to the table we were sitting at, in the far end of the café.
“Hello there, Em,” greeted Carlos as he and Deon pulled up a chair.
“’Lo.” I greeted half heartedly. I should have been nicer but I was in a bit of a strop, again. Reliving the past three days to Dimitri didn’t make me feel as good as it should have. The three starting talking about football, and I sat there silently, listening to their conversation.
“Bollocks! Listen, I don’t care how much you fancy Theo, all right? Fact of the matter is, Neil knows what it takes to make a team, he might be a bit strict but it works,” said Carlos, waving his hands to try to get the waiters attention.
“No, no, you’ve got me all wrong, mate. I didn’t say Theo would be a better coach, I’m just saying I prefer Theo’s tactics to Neil’s, is all…” replied Dimitri.
Deon just laughed and shook his head at their argument, catching my eye and smiling.
Deon was just as, if not better looking than Black, and the fact that he was a footballer made him much more attractive in my books.
“So Em,” began Deon, “Have you thought about what you’re going to get Dimitri for his birthday?”
“Yeah, ‘course, but I still don’t really know,” I replied, thinking about the party that was within the next month.
“Ahh well, it’s going to be a wicked party, Dimitri’s having the entire football side over, and about twenty other people as well.”
“Sounds brilliant, d’you know what to get him?”
“Well I’ll be paying for all the lager…”
“Lager? Can’t be legal, that.”
“Nah, but my old man reckons we’re old enough, he’s going to let us have the party round our house.”
“Ahh, right,” I replied, laughing.
“Oh shit,” said Carlos checking his watch, “got to go, mum’ll go bleeding mad if I don’t get home in time.” He got up, and Deon followed suit.
“Yeah, I’ve got to go too, I’ve got to watch my little brother, cheers.”
“All right, see you later then, yeah?” said Dimitri. Carlos and Deon nodded, smiled, and left. Dimitri turned to look at me, biting off a piece of the chocolate I gave him.
“Em, tell me what I can do to help you, I don’t like to see you so flustered,” he said. I groaned for the second or third time that day and said, “I dunno, let’s just go back to your house, I don’t want to go home just yet.”
“All right,” he agreed. We left the shop and went to his house. His family, his entire life, was very different from mine. He lived in a tiny little house, and had no siblings. But his house was one of my favorite places in the world. I didn’t know why, but I felt very content there, very happy.
His mum was a short, slightly pudgy, kind woman. As soon as I entered, she greeted me the same way my own mum had the day before. I hugged her and smiled as I answered all her questions.
“Right, mum, I’m going for a shower,” said Dimitri, bounding up the stairs. Soon, Dimitri’s mum left to go sort something out, so I made my way into Dimitri’s bedroom. I looked around, trying to find something to distract me until Dimitri got out of the shower. I found one of his football magazines lying by his bed, and I flipped through that contently, trying and failing to keep my thoughts far from the topic of Black.
But then, I felt someone prodding me in the ribs, and whipping my head with a towel.
“Bleeding hell…” I muttered, as I sat up. Dimitri stood in front of me, drying his hair with a towel.
“I think I know what you ought to do,” he said.
“Do? About what?” I asked, still confused. He rolled his eyes.
“About Black, obviously.”
“Oh, right, him,” I grumbled, turning back to the magazine.
“You’ve got to talk to him. Not yell at him, mind. Talk. Civilly,” I raised an eyebrow at this.
“Why in hell would I want to talk to him?”
“Because if you do, it’ll alleviate some of the awkwardness between you two and you won’t be tempted to lock yourself up for the entire summer,” he said. I paused. He had a point.
“I suppose…” I muttered.
“There’s a good girl,” he said patting my head. I grinned, at least now I knew what to do, even if it was going to be very hard.
“Oh, and by the way, I’m having my birthday party soon, just to warn you,” he said, sitting next to me on the bed and grabbing a deck of cards.
“Yeah, Deon told me you were having it round his place.”
“Yep, and I reckon if your conversation with Black goes well, he could be your plus one!”
I scoffed. “Unlikely.”
“We’ll see,” he smiled sweetly, dealing the cards.
I stayed at Dimitri’s house until noon, talking to him about nearly everything and listening as he filled me in on the past ten months until I finally decided it would be best to go home.
Walking past Potter’s house, I hoped just a tiny, tiny bit that Black would come out, so I could talk to him and get it over with. The sooner, the better. Inside my own house, everyone had gotten up, and was busy preparing lunch. My stomach grumbled. I hadn’t had any breakfast in my hurry to go and see Dimitri. The only person stupid enough to ask me where I had gone (which was blindingly obvious, as I spent almost half my summer vacation at the muggle town) was Penelope.
“Visiting Dimitri,” I replied to her, bouncing Lei up and down in my arms, making her giggle.
“Why don’t you two just snog and get it over with?” she asked venomously. I threw a half eaten apple at her head. She dodged it and stuck her tongue out at me. My mum told us to stop, and shoved a sandwich in Penelope’s face.
“No thanks,” she said, pushing the sandwich away. What a snob. I grabbed the sandwich and took a ravenous bite. She was probably on another diet, or something. Penelope was always doing that sort of thing, which was why she never had any energy and weighed the same as Lei.
“Oh, I forgot to mention to you girls, the Potters are throwing a garden party next week. We’re invited, and yes Emmeline, you do have to go,” said my mum, tucking a strand of her dark brown hair behind her ear as she started to clear the table. She had already noticed I was avoiding Black. She was as intuitive as Lei, that one.
Penelope was absolutely ecstatic. She was jumping up and down in her seat, annoyingly twittering away about what she would wear…and it took a lot of energy not to prod her and watch her fall down. I sighed inwardly, realizing that this was my chance to talk to Black, and I just hoped it would run smoothly so I could spend the rest of my summer in peace.
“A garden party? What for?” asked James.
“To get to know the neighbors a bit better,” replied James’s mum sternly.
“You’ve lived here since October! You’ve had plenty of time to get to know them!”
“Bit rich coming from you,” I muttered under my breath so only James could hear.
“Yes, but we wanted to wait until the weather was nice and you’d gotten back from Hogwarts so that we could have one together,” shot back Mrs. Potter, “And that’s enough whingeing, we’re doing this, the invites have been handed out and everything.”
“Who’s coming?” I suddenly asked.
“Oh, the Davidson’s, the Kaufman’s, Vance’s…” she continued to list more families, but I had stopped listening at ‘Vance’. Emmeline was coming, and I didn’t know whether to do a jig or vomit in my mouth. This was the best opportunity to execute my plan, but I wasn’t sure I was ready for it yet.
I mentally berated myself after that last thought. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it yet? I had chatted up loads of girls before! And this was Emmeline of all people. She wasn’t like other girls, talking to her was like talking to Remus. Simple. Easy.
With that in mind, I took a deep breath and grabbed an orange from the fruit bowl in front of me, turning it in my hands and preparing myself.
It was go time.
A/N – I know, I know, another boring chapter. But the next chapter has some exciting Sirius/Emmeline interaction! Woo! R&R please. :)
Chapter Four – Wet Discussions
I sighed as I rummaged through my wardrobe, looking for something to wear to the Potters’ party. I grabbed something bright green from the very back and pulled it out to examine it. I cringed, it looked horrid.
With a frustrated groan, I threw the disgusting piece of fabric across the room and continuously dug with more fervour.
“You’ve got to be joking…” I muttered to myself as I dug through layers of greys and blacks. I didn’t have one decent bit of clothing in my entire wardrobe, not one bloody shirt. Everything I owned that was worth wearing even just a bit was grey, white, or denim. My jeans were all too small, my shirts too tight, and my jumpers oversized.
I desperately needed to go shopping.
But, I’d have to make do. I pulled on the best pairs of trousers that I had, and a dark grey t-shirt. I pulled my dark locks up into a bun on the back of my head, and decided it was good enough for Black. Then I sat waiting in the living room for everyone else to show up, fidgeting and adjusting my shirt, trying to make it look slightly less lumpy.
Slowly, they emerged, all of them looking nicely put together and ‘chic’, I believed was the word. When Penelope came down, wearing a white cotton skirt, and a pretty purple top, I felt a small pang of envy.
She may have been a whingeing fool, but with her high cheekbones and small button nose, she was one of those people who could get anything they wanted in life by simply shutting their mouths.
“Emmeline, don’t you have anything nicer to wear?” asked my dad.
“Errr…no, no I don’t.” I picked up Lei, and headed out the door, slightly stung at my dads’ question. I trailed alongside my mother, wondering why suddenly there were butterfly’s gnawing at my innards. Not literally, of course…ha ha.
We didn’t go up to their front door, as was expected, but rather entered through the garden gate, the sound of nearly all the neighbors chatting pleasantly with one another meeting our ears.
“Ahh, here they are,” greeted Mr. Potter as we entered the garden.
“Hello Simon,” responded my father, as he curiously proceeded to ask about the muggle barbeque cooking several steaks, “…How exactly did you get this to work...?”
After I had greeted James’ parents and my own parents had gone off into the crowd, socializing with the rest of the neighbors, I took Lei’s hand and looked around. Penelope was off with some girls she knew from Hogwarts, and they were already madly giggling and throwing glances towards the porch where I spotted James and Sirius lounging. James sipped a Butterbeer while Sirius leaned his head against a pillar. His eyes were resting on a spot on the wall of the house, but they had a glazed over look and he didn’t seem to really be looking at it. He seemed to be thinking intently about something.
I took a breath and wiped the sweat from my palms on my thighs. It was now or never.
“So you’re sure you’ve got the plan worked out?”
“For the last bleeding time, yes, Padfoot.”
“All right, thanks mate. Review it one more time?” I asked James for the tenth time that day.
“Too late for that,” he replied jerking his head towards someone behind me. I turned and spotted Emmeline walking towards us, looking determined.
“Shit, she wasn’t supposed to take the initiative!” I hissed.
“Abort the plan,” he hissed back, getting up quickly and ushering me up as well.
“All right?” said Emmeline as she approached us, still looking scarily determined.
“Yeah, what’s up?” I replied. She looked at me for the first time since the bathroom incident.
“I was wondering if I could speak with you for a mo?”
“Err…you want…to speak?” I replied stupidly, my brain having entered a vegetative state at the unexpected request.
“…yes. With you.” It looked like she was trying to force back a laugh.
“Er – actually,” interjected James, “Sirius and I were thinking of getting some of the other kids together and going for a swim in the lake. You two can talk then. Won’t be interrupted and that.”
“Oh? I suppose…” she responded. Desperate to not come off a complete idiot, I added, “Yeah, you could go change at home and meet us there.”
“Don’t see why that’s necessary, you’ve already seen me naked.”
“Sorry, what?” asked James incredulously.
“Is that what you wanted to talk about?” I asked her.
“Hold up. When, exact–”
“Yeah, actually, it was.”
“Oh. Then we should probably…be alone…”
“My thoughts exactly.”
“All right, somebody’s going to have to tell me what’s going on,” demanded James.
“Night of the last exam, took a bath, was getting out, he walked in,” responded Emmeline airily.
“Oh. Oh, damn…”
“Yeah, so – err – let me know when you lot want to go, then, yeah?” She said, walking away.
“Right, later,” I responded. We watched her walking away for awhile until James turned to me and exclaimed, “No wonder you’ve been so hell bent on Emmeline lately.”
“No, it’s not like that mate.”
“Whatever you say, Padfoot. Good thing the plan is still a go, then.”
“Yeah, thanks for that quick thinking, by the way,” I grinned at him. He clapped me on the shoulder.
“When you’ve been dealing with Evans for as long as I have, you’re practically a pro.”
About half an hour after our exchange, I saw James approaching me from the corner of my eye. Turning, I saw Black wasn’t with him.
“Emmeline, we’d best be off now,” he said when he had reached me, “Your sister and her mates have gone to get their things, we’ll meet you there, yeah?”
“Brilliant,” I grinned back at him. I found my mum after he had gone and left Lei with her.
“Just going for a swim,” I explained.
“Oh, all right. Be back in time for dinner, then,” she responded happily. My mum was brilliant that way, very minimal questions.
Walking back out of the garden, I quickly entered my house and went to my room. I could hear Penelope rummaging through her clothes and getting dressed. I stripped out of my clothes and slipped on my bathing suit, a simple black one-piece. Penelope said I was ‘so boring’ when I bought it. I said she was a filthy cow when she bought hers. Mum wasn’t too pleased.
I slipped on a loose beach dress and put on a pair of sandals before stuffing a towel into a beach bag and leaving my room. Penelope left her room almost at the same time, and we both left the house toward the lake together.
When we arrived Potter was already in the lake treading water, talking to one of Penelope’s friends and another boy whom I recognized as John Gedge, a Ravenclaw fifth year. Turning my gaze toward the beach, I saw Sirius sprawled on the sand, slightly wet, eyes closed with his hands behind his head.
I flushed slightly as I watched him, finding it hard to not notice his broad shoulders and muscular chest glistening with traces of the water he had just been in…and the way thick veins trailed his forearms, leading to his calloused looking hands…
I tore my gaze away before someone could notice me ogling him. Hearing someone approach us from behind, I turned and saw two girls clad in ultra-thin bikinis and a bloke who looked as though he had no idea how he had gotten so lucky.
“Oh, sweet Merlin…” began one of the girls who had cropped black hair, “He is so fit.”
I didn’t have to look to know who she was violating with her eyes.
“We saw you talking to him earlier,” said the other girl, narrowing her blue eyes at me.
“Errr…yeah,” I stuttered lamely, feeling a bit odd about the fact that they had been watching, “I have to…go now. Later.” I turned away from them and walked toward Sirius, who was, thankfully, sitting up with his eyes open. Hating myself for being such a creep, I noticed the thick muscles lacing his back, tantalizingly rippling as he raised his arm to scratch his nose.
“Hello,” I said, sitting down next to him on the sand, throwing down my bag.
“Oh, hey.” We sat in silence for a little while, watching as John and James splashed at the girl who began shrieking and splashing them back.
“Right…so, about that incident,” I began, turning my gaze to look at him. I stopped abruptly as I noticed his gaze trailing the length of my legs as he leaned back on his hands, his jaw tightly clenched. Feeling self conscious, I pulled my dress down further, bending my knees toward my chest.
“Yeah, the incident,” he said, acting like nothing just happened. He stopped talking abruptly as James called Penelope and her friends over to the lake. They silently meandered past moments later, trying to catch a bit of the conversation. We remained silent until they were well out of ear shot and I said, “I just want to know…what did you see, exactly?”
He considered the question, then shrugged and said, “Nothing good.”
“Sorry?” I felt just the tiniest bit stung.
“No, no, I meant you had covered yourself up before I could get a good look so I didn’t see much.”
“…Before you could get a good look?” I repeated, raising a brow.
“No! Damn, that came out wrong...”
“Pervert,” I smiled, despite myself, “Why were you in there anyway, it was the prefects bathroom.”
“Like I said when you demanded the same question after it happened, Remus gave me the password and I wanted a bath.”
“Ahh, I see.” There was a pause as we watched the group in the lake shrieking with laughter and swimming around.
“Just for the record…what I did see was pretty damn good.”
“Thanks. I suppose…” I said, laughing nervously and turning my gaze back towards him. He was giving me one of those looks that I heard people talking about occasionally. The look where you could feel heat radiating from his eyes, making your heart go into cardiac arrest and your skin nearly melt off. I realized what he was doing, and I wasn’t about to let him do it.
“Don’t look at me like that, Black,” I snapped. He immediately stopped, looking somewhat confused.
“Call me Sirius.”
“All right then, Sirius. Don’t give me those looks, I’m not that easily wooed.”
“How are you wooed, then?”
“…You’ll never know, love.” Then, with a cheeky wink, I slipped off my dress and discarded it into my bag, turning to join James and Penelope in the lake.
I watched as Emmeline’s temptingly woman-shaped figure walked away from me. I was in disbelief, the first step of my plan had failed. And I was the one who had gone and screwed it up. James had set it up perfectly, and I screwed it up.
I, Sirius Black, was utterly and incredibly confused.
Later, as James and I walked back toward his house, sopping wet and carrying unholy amounts of sand in dark areas of the body, I recounted the story to him.
“…then she says, ‘You’ll never know,’ and walks away! Unbelievable…”
“Not really…” he muttered.
“Well, you said it yourself, mate. Emmeline isn’t like other girls, you have to come up with new tactics, keep her guessing, make her see you in a different light and all that.”
“What do you reckon I should try?”
“I dunno, try talking to her. Normal, like. Remus suggested I try it with Lily and it works brilliantly,” he grinned happily.
“Prongs, she still hates your living guts,” I decided I should remind him, feeling slightly annoyed about how he decided to mention this after I had carried out the plan.
“Yeah but she doesn’t really.”
We arrived back at the house as James’s dad began to serve out the hamburgers and chips. Ravenously taking platefuls of each, James and I went back to our spot on the porch, bottles of butterbeer and plates of food in hand.
“James, Sirius,” called Mrs. Potter as she made her way towards us, “Remus owled while you were gone, he and Peter are coming over tomorrow, they’re staying for a week,” she finished happily.
“Oh, brilliant! Thanks mum!”
“Yeah, thanks for letting us stay here Mrs. Potter.”
“Oh, my pleasure. You’re welcome here anytime…” she replied, smiling sadly as she smoothed my hair. I knew she felt sorry for me, but I was honestly much happier with James’s parents than I ever was with my own.
As she made her way back to the guests, I spotted Emmeline entering the garden again, dressed in the same unflattering shirt as before, combing her fingers through her damp hair.
Then, it struck me. The perfect plan. Even better – and definitely more fool proof – than my previous plan. Remus’s timing was perfect.
“Ha! I am brilliant!” I exclaimed, smiling happily at my deviousness and turning to inform James of my plan. He had cocked an eyebrow and was staring at me, blinking slowly.
“And I’m the one who gets called ‘arrogant’ on a daily basis…”
A/N – So…any idea of what Sirius’ new plan might be? Eh?
Well, either way, please please please leave a review and tell me what you thought! I haven’t been getting too many and I would really love to hear some feedback. : )
A/N – This chapter is dedicated to the lovely Lottieloo. Many thanks. : )
Chapter Five – Better Plans and a Realization
“So…when exactly did Remus say they’d be here?” James asked his mum. We had been waiting by the fireplace for nearly an hour, and now we were both sprawled on the couches, growing more impatient by the minute.
“He said half twelve. You don’t need to wait round here, though. Why don’t you go visit Emmeline! I’ll send them over when they arrive.”
“Err…mum, we’re not exactly best mates with Emmeline.”
“Well, you got to know each other better yesterday.”
“Actually it’s not a bad idea, mate,” I interjected. It actually was sort of a bad idea, but I just wanted to go see Emmeline. James opened his mouth to respond when Remus suddenly appeared in the fireplace, followed shortly by Peter.
“Moony! Wormtail!” Exclaimed James. He sat up and walked towards them, and proceeded to punch Remus and Peter both on the arms. “You’re late.”
“Yeah, sorry about that, Pete came round to my house so we could leave together, and then he’d remembered he’d forgotten his broom, so we had to wait until he’d gone back and found it,” replied Remus, brushing the soot off his robes and lugging his trunk towards the stairs.
“You got a broom, Pete?”
“Yeah, Cleansweep, look,” he grinned happily, thrusting his brand new broom towards us.
“Oh brilliant!” I exclaimed.
“We can play Quidditch here too, without worrying about muggles and that!” said Peter.
“Err…Problem,” began Remus, “I haven’t a broom.”
“It’s all right mate, you can borrow one of ours,” smiled James. Mrs. Potter entered the room then, carrying a plate of biscuits that she set down on the table.
“Peter! Remus! Oh, you have grown…”
“Thanks for letting us stay here Mrs. Potter,” smiled Peter.
“Yes, sorry for all the trouble,” grinned Remus as he accepted a hug from her.
“Oh, it’s no trouble at all!”
“…yet,” muttered James, “All right, let’s take your things upstairs, then.”
We took Remus and Peter’s trunks up stairs into the guest room, and as James and I sat on the bed, watching Peter and Remus unpack their things, James peered out the window and suddenly exclaimed out of it, “Oi! Emmeline!”
“Emmeline? She lives here?” asked Remus. I nodded as Emmeline shouted something back, and I quickly moved to peer out the window as well. She was sitting on her front steps, clutching a letter and absentmindedly stroking an owl with her other hand.
“All right?” bellowed James again.
“Yeah, you?” she responded a bit uneasily.
“Excellent, Moony and Wormtail are here!” James then grabbed hold of Remus and pulled him towards the window.
“Hi Em!” he said.
“Oh, hello Remus!”
“Why don’t you come over, Emmeline?” asked James.
“Yeah, why not?”
“Oh go on!”
“…Yeah all right, I’ll be there in a few? I have to sort something out first,” she said, waving the letter at us.
“Great, see you!” James moved away from the window again and turned to me, grinning broadly as he clapped me on the back. “You’re welcome.”
“What? What’s going on?” asked Peter.
“Sirius fancies Emmeline,” James said simply.
“Oi! I don’t…fancy her. I just think she’s…cool.”
“Lies!” laughed James. I grinned despite myself.
“Anyway, Remus I’m going to need your help,” I said.
“Yeah, I want to…err…have some time alone with Emmeline –”
“– to woo her –”
“– but she’s not easily wooed. So I need you to plan something with all of us together, and then cancel it, saying you’re ill or something, and then that’s where I come in,” I grinned.
“Right. Yeah, I can do that. But why the sudden interest in Emmeline?”
“He saw her naked,” said James simply.
“That isn’t why!”
“You saw her naked?” asked Remus.
“No! Well – yes, but that isn’t why.”
“How did you see her naked?” asked Peter.
“He walked in on her in the Prefects bathroom.”
“Nice!” said Peter.
“Oh, shit. I knew I shouldn’t have given you the password…Was she really upset?”
“Probably, at first. But we talked about it yesterday, and she seemed all right.”
“Yeah, that’s sounds like Emmeline…You’re lucky it was her you walked in on, most other girls would’ve gone and told Dumbledore, made it out to sound like sexual harassment or something,” said Remus, turning back to his trunk and putting some clothes in the drawer.
“You didn’t answer the question though,” began Peter, “Why exactly are you so keen on Emmeline? She’s not really your type.”
“Didn’t really know I had a type…” I muttered.
“Course you have a type!” said James.
“Yeah, the fit, wild, type,” nodded Remus seriously.
“Well, I dunno. Emmeline’s…different from other girls. She’s…quite funny, smart... You can talk to her, you know? Proper, like. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s good looking too…”
“All right, all right, I’m gagging,” said Peter, waving his hands for me to stop.
“Yeah, you might want to wipe that sappy look off your face, she’s coming over,” said Remus, looking out the window.
“And you also might want to direct some blood to the upper half of your body,” added James as he followed Remus out of the room.
“Yeah, good one,” I grinned.
I slipped on my trainers and made my way over to James’s house, excited about seeing Remus again. I hadn’t told Penelope where I was going, or she would probably die of the sheer jealousy.
Arriving, I knocked on the door and waited, somewhat anxiously. Remus threw the door open and grinned broadly.
“Em! How are you?”
“Brilliant, you?” I smiled, stepping into the house.
“Good, now I’m here.”
“All right Em?” Asked Sirius.
“Hey Sirius, Peter. Hello James,” I smiled to each of them as they arrived in the corridor. We stood there awkwardly for a few moments. Peter picking at his hangnails, Sirius leaning haughtily against the wall and stuffing his hands into his pockets, until I finally asked, “So, how long you lot staying at James’s?”
“Oh, well, Peter and I are probably staying for a week or so. But Sirius is staying for a bit longer, I suspect.” They all laughed lightly at this, but I didn’t really see the humour, so I just nodded.
“Right…erm, anyone fancy a butterbeer?” asked James.
“Didn’t your mum and dad say to save those?” Sirius asked.
“Yeah, but…they’re not here,” shrugged James. We all followed James into the kitchen, taking seats on various countertops, tables and the floor. For some reason nobody sat on a chair.
“Were did your mum go, by the way? She was here when we came,” asked Peter.
“Oh, she’s closing tonight, went to work a bit later,” said James, handing out the bottles.
“Were does she work, James?” I asked.
“That reminds me, is Penelope watching Lei?” Asked Remus.
“No, mum is, she’s working a night shift at St. Mungo’s tonight,” I replied.
“Oh good. Penelope might accidentally feed her Ex Lax for vitamins or something.”
“I wouldn’t put it past her.”
We sat comfortably in the kitchen, drinking Butterbeer, playing exploding snap and chess, while I listened to non-stop banter and tried to keep from laughing and snorting Butterbeer up my nose. Finally, after about an hour, Peter began whinging about how bored he was.
“I’m bored too, actually,” said James.
“Quick game of Quidditch?” proposed Sirius.
“Yeah, all right. You want to play, Em?” Asked Remus.
“Nah, you lot go on, I actually have to respond to a letter from Alice,” I said, jumping down from my spot on the kitchen counter.
“All right, well, come down to the lake when you’re finished?” asked James.
“You’re playing Quidditch above the lake?”
“Yeah, it’s cooler,” said Peter.
“Right,” I said, laughing, “See you later then.”
Back in my room, I quickly read over Alice’s letter again that had arrived that morning. Rummaging through my desk for a bit of parchment and a quill, I pushed aside some sweet wrappers and various miscellaneous objects and began to write my response. In her letter she had mainly ranted about how much of a terrible time she was having, but she did slip in something that made it clear who she had been staring at in the Great Hall that night:
I’ve arrived here in London, and I already want to go home. My aunt is more atrocious than I remembered, and she keeps trying to set me up with some boy or other. Quite frankly, I’ve had enough. My mother wasn’t too keen on staying either, so she ran off as soon as she dropped me off here saying that I needed some ‘time to catch up’ with my dear old aunty. Dear my arse, she’s a right frightful old cow. Imagine if you will what It’s like to live under the same roof as a woman who probably believes she’s royalty and makes everyone who’s in her vicinity act like they’re royalty too. For the love of God, I can’t watch the telly, I can’t wear trousers, and she’s even gone as far as choosing my pants! My pants for crying out loud! I really rather not wear lacy knickers, thank you very much. And I wouldn’t mind wearing a skirt if the ones she made me wear weren’t from the Victorian age.
Right, well now that that’s said and done, there is one good thing about being in London. Remember Frank Longbottom from Hogwarts? The one that was in seventh year? Well, he’s gotten a job at the Ministry of Magic here in London, and my aunt’s house is quite close to the Ministry. I’ve ran into him a few times while he was on his way to work, and I think I’ve grown quite fond of him. We’ve made plans to meet this weekend at a cozy little café, and I’m very excited. It’s just about the only reason I don’t annihilate my aunt and run away from London.
Enough about me now, how’s your summer been? Is Penelope still bothering you? (Now that I think it, Penelope and my aunt would get along quite nicely!) How’re your parents and Lei? And Dimitri? Write back soon, coz I really can’t stay sane if I don’t have something to distract me from that cow.
Say hello to everyone for me,
Smiling at Alice’s antics, I picked up my quill and responded:
Your aunt sounds truly delightful. I’m really jealous…
But in all seriousness, maybe I could swap Penelope for you and you can spend the summer here? Oh, that’s right, Longbottom. You’re not likely to leave him any time soon.
Anyway, my summer has been going slightly better than yours. As it turns out, James and his family have moved in across the street, and Sirius spends all his time there with James for some reason. And despite what happened that night at Hogwarts, they’re not too terrible to hang around with. Especially since Remus arrived today to stay for a week!
Anyway, Dimitri is pretty good, he sends his hello, and he’s having a party pretty soon, I’ll let you know when it is, exactly. Maybe you can come? There’s going to be lager, evidently…
So, let me know if you’re interested. And honestly, no matter how ‘delightful’ your aunt is, try not to annihilate her. People would talk.
I sealed the letter with a bit of wax and tied it around Alice’s barn owl, Oryx, before letting it leave through my window. Looking towards the lake, I saw the four of them playing Quidditch, weaving through one another and whooping loudly. They had attracted a few onlookers; some of them were walking towards the lake carrying brooms, wanting to join in. I smiled and turned to go join them when I heard Penelope yank her door open and run rapidly down the stairs.
“Penelope!” I yelled after her. “Where are you going?”
“The Marauders! They’re playing Quidditch above the lake!” she then slipped on a pair of sandals and ran out the door. I rolled my eyes and followed her.
When I arrived at the lake, there were at least ten people playing, throwing old Quaffles around and dodging Bludgers. I sat on the edge of the lake and watched them for awhile, until Sirius spotted me and made his way towards the lake shore. James, Peter and Remus followed, sitting down next to me on the grass, wiping sweat from their brows and breathing heavily.
“So, err, Em…do you fancy doing something with us tomorrow?” Asked Remus, throwing a Quaffle up into the air casually. The rest became oddly attentive after he had said this, even Peter, who was wrestling with a Bludger.
“Yeah, I suppose. Do what?”
“Well, James’s dad told him about a village nearby, about a twenty minute walk, he reckons.”
“The muggle village, I’ve been there.”
“That’s the one. We were thinking of going down there. There’s a pub, apparently. Maybe we might muck around a bit?”
“Yeah, sounds all right. You reckon you’ll get served?”
“Oh, yeah. Shouldn’t be a problem,” said Sirius happily.
“When are we going, then?” I asked.
“About one or two, we’ll come round yours and get you when we’re leaving,” said James, playing with the snitch casually.
“One or two? Bit early for drinking…”
“Nah, it’s never too early for a piss up.”
The rest of the day was spent doing absolutely nothing, but I had loads of fun regardless. Listening to their banter and occasionally cracking a joke or two made the time pass extraordinarily quickly, and I soon found myself sprawled on the grass by the lake, trying to stifle my laughter in the darkening evening. When the lamp posts finally flickered on, I bid goodbye to all of them and made my way back to my house.
Then I suddenly remembered I was supposed to come back before mum left for her night shift so I could watch Lei.
Stepping into the lounge, I spotted my dad sitting on the couch, listening to the wireless and reading the Prophet.
“Any news, dad?” I asked tentatively, worried he might be in a strop.
“Same thing, really. More attacks, more deaths,” he replied airily, “Hang on a minute, where’ve you been?”
“Oh I was just…by the lake, with James and them.”
He frowned at me and said, “Odd, you’ve never been too close with James.”
“Err, yeah, well I’ve gotten to know them a bit better. And Remus came over to James’ today, so…”
He continued to frown at me, looking skeptical, “I dunno, Emmeline. One girl spending time with four boys?”
“Oh c’mon dad! I’m not Penelope!” I cried, angry at what he was suggesting. He sighed then shrugged his shoulders, straightening the paper.
“Yes, I suppose you’re right. But you were supposed to be home four hours ago, luckily I managed to get home before your mother left.”
“Yeah, sorry about that, lost track of time and everything. How was work?” I asked. He sighed and rubbed his temples, and it struck me how tired he looked.
“The Ministry is in huge disarray. People disappearing left, right and centre. We’ve no idea whose word to trust, no idea where Voldemort is, the public are losing faith in the Ministry, and frankly at this point I can’t blame them,” he said, tossing the paper on the table in front of him. I sat down.
“Don’t worry dad, it’s probably been like this sometime in the past, things’ll sort out eventually.”
“Yes, they will. But it’s never been this bad before. Nobody has ever gained so much power so quickly, or managed to wreak so much havoc without being stopped. We might as well not even have an Auror department, with the help it’s been.”
We sat in silence for awhile, and I grew steadily more frightened of the war that was going on. The war that seemed so far from me while I had been at Hogwarts was starting to make itself known again.
“So, look out for anyone acting oddly, and tell me if you see anything dodgy, Emmeline.”
“All right dad. I should be going to bed now. ‘Night,” I said kissing him on the cheek and leaving the lounge. I slowly walked up the stairs, thinking about what my dad had just told me, and for the first time truly realizing what it meant.
A/N - So, how was it? Tell me what you guys thought, any review makes my day a little bit brighter : )
A/N –Behold! The longest chapter yet! Just a quick warning, this chapter contains some underage drinking!
Dedicated to Victoire Weasley, for leaving so many kind reviews.
Chapter Six – The Village
Staring at the mirror on the back of my bedroom door, I took in my usual horrendous outfit and sighed. It was quarter to one, and my long tee shirt and black jeans was the best I could do. I slipped my watch around my wrist and threw on a cardigan, in case it got cold, and sat on my chair facing the window, waiting to see when they would come get me.
At around one fifteen, I spotted Sirius leaving the house, alone. I left my room and bounded down the stairs, wondering where the rest were.
“Mum, I’m off!” I cried over my shoulder as I slipped on a pair of trainers, stepping outside. “All right?” I greeted Sirius when he reached the house, “Where are the others?”
“Bad news, Remus and Peter are feeling a bit ill, they can’t make it, so James has to stay back with them, cleaning up the sick and that,” he said. He looked oddly cheerful for his story to be believable, though.
“Did they eat something bad?”
“Yeah, I reckon they must’ve. Should we go, then?”
We walked in silence for awhile, and I felt a bit awkward. This was the longest amount of time I had been around Sirius alone. I didn’t mind being around him when there were others around, but when it was just him and myself, I suddenly became much more self conscious and insecure about my ill fitting clothes and dreadful hair.
“So, err, how come you’re staying at James’s for longer than Remus and Peter?” I asked.
“Well, I suppose I can tell you,” he muttered, “I had a falling out with my parents, I asked the Potters if they’d mind it if I stayed with them this summer.”
“You’re not joking…” I breathed. I had no idea of what sort of family Sirius lived with.
“Nope, load of Dark wizards, my family, all Slytherin’s and whatnot. They’re the sort of people who believe in ‘magical superiority, purity of blood’ that sort of thing. I finally decided I’d had enough,” he said bitterly.
I was silent for awhile, and then asked, “Are your parents Death Eaters?”
“No, but they support everything they’re doing. It’s disgusting, they laugh when they hear about the attacks on muggles and muggle-borns.”
“Nothing, it’s just I never imagined you to come from one of those families.”
We fell into another silence then, as I thought about the possibility of there being much more to Sirius Black than meets the eye.
When we finally entered the village, I felt relieved. After he had told me about his family, I felt him getting tense and I reckoned he desperately needed a pint. We made our way towards the pub, and as we rounded the corner towards it, we could hear the roaring sound of people cheering.
“There’s a match on!” I exclaimed.
“Match? What match?”
“C’mon, you’ll see,” I said. I grabbed his forearm and pulled him inside the dark pub, and my ears were met with a deafening roar of fans as they swung scarves and punched the air.
“Oi! Em!” Someone yelled. I turned in the direction of the sound and saw Deon, Carlos and Dimitri sitting at the bar, clutching pints of lager and swaying slightly in their seats. I grinned and made my way towards them, pulling Sirius after me.
“Ooohh, you lot are well pissed!” I laughed, catching a wiff of their intoxicated scents.
“Half time. Liverpool one, Man United nil!” Exclaimed Deon, as though that explained it all.
“Right. For now. Oh, this is my friend, Sirius Black. Sirius…Deon, Carlos and Dimitri.”
“All right, mate?” greeted Dimitri.
“I’m not bent or anything, but you are fit!” nodded Carlos, slurring his words. Deon nodded seriously, looking Sirius up and down.
“Err…thanks…” said Sirius, smiling despite himself.
“C’mon, let’s have another round then!” Bellowed Dimitri, silencing the entire pub. He raised his glass to the telly and brought it back down to drain it as the entire place erupted into cheers again.
“Two pints of lager, please,” I asked the barmaid as Sirius and I took two seats at the bar. She threw Sirius a sultry look through her incredibly full eyelashes, and smiled, and I had a sudden urge to chuck my bar stool at her. I drowned half my glass and set it down, eyeing the telly. Turning to look at Sirius, I saw he was sipping his pint like it was champagne and giving it skeptical looks.
“Not quite as strong as Firewhisky, but still good,” I said.
“Yeah, yeah it’s not bad at all!”
“Right, so, have you ever watched a football match?”
“O-kay. Well there’s eleven on each side…” I began. I explained to him the rules, and by the time I had finished, the second half had almost begun. The noise that had died down a bit during half time had started up again, and people were filling the empty seats around us, bustling and jittering excitedly.
At first, Sirius was probably the only person in the entire pub who wasn’t singing and cheering and bellowing at the telly, but a couple pints later and he had loosened up considerably. He was even so engrossed in the game that he yelled “WANKERS!” at the top of his lungs when Manchester United scored their first goal with ten minutes left in the match. I snorted lager up my nose after he’d said it, laughing hysterically.
The match was close, and tensions were high after several shots nearly became goals. When there was four minutes left in the game and most were expecting a draw, Liverpool scored, winning the game 2-1. The entire place was in an uproar. Even the barmaid was jumping up and down, clapping her hands. Sirius and several other people jumped from their seats, punching the air and throwing their arms around anyone close to them. Sirius hugged me from behind, nearly pulling me off my seat.
After about a quarter of an hour, people slowly began to leave the pub, swaying as they walked and occasionally bursting into a fit of cheers again. Sirius drained his fourth pint and I my second and the two of us, alongside Dimitri, Deon and Carlos left the pub as well.
“So, Emmeline,” began Dimitri, hiccoughing as he threw his arm round my shoulders, “Where are you and Sirius off to now?”
“Dunno, it’s past three o’clock. What d’you reckon we do, Sirius?” I asked, turning towards him. He was walking a bit unsteadily, with his eyes narrowed at Dimitri’s arm round my shoulders.
“We could go round my house!” exclaimed Deon, “My parents are out!”
“There’s nothing to do at your house, mate,” said Dimitri.
“I’ll go,” shrugged Carlos, “…if your sister’s there.”
“She is, but I’ve told you, she only fancies posh twats.”
“His sister’s good looking,” Carlos told Sirius, winking conspiratorially.
“Let’s go round mine, I’ve food,” said Dimitri.
“FOOD!” yelled Deon. And so it was decided.
We sat around at Dimitri’s house, eating sandwiches and watching the telly (Sirius watched with awe), until we had sobered up and had massive headaches. Deon and Carlos were lying sprawled on the ground, Dimitri was flipping through the channels, and Sirius and I were sitting on the couch, all staring at the telly silently, occasionally piercing the silence with a painful moan.
“Urgh…I think we ought to be going home now, Em. It’s half past five,” said Sirius, cradling his head in his hands.
“Yeah, all right,” I agreed, getting up from my seat. “See you later!” Dimitri, Carlos and Deon grunted in response and Sirius and I began leaving the house.
“Oh, by the way Em!” Yelled Dimitri after me, “My party is on the twenty eighth. And you’re welcome to come too, mate.” He said to Sirius.
“Brilliant, round Deon’s, then?”
“Yeah, come by at around six?”
“Sounds good, see you,” I smiled as Sirius and I left and began making our way out of the village.
“So Em,” started Sirius after we left the house, “How long have you known them?”
“Well, I was friends with Dimitri first. I’ve known him since I was about seven, and the others I got to know through Dimitri, but I’m not too close with Carlos or Deon.”
“Right,” he responded, with a bit of an edge in his voice. We left through the village’s main street, passing quaint shops and restaurants as we did so. As we neared a sweet shop that I was particularly fond of, I asked Sirius if he wanted to pop in for a look.
“Sure, why not.”
Inside were rows upon rows of sweets, ranging from chocolates to sour fuzzy things that I wasn’t too keen on. I went into the chocolate aisle, and started to pick up some of my favorites while Sirius gazed curiously around.
“Have you ever tried muggle sweets, Sirius?” I asked.
“Ah well…you’ll have to try some of these,” I said, picking some more sweets off the shelves and handing them to Sirius. When we had filled our hands with as much sweets as we could carry, we went up to the till, drawing surprised stares from some of the customers we passed.
“That’ll be eight fifty,” said the man at the till. I handed him nine quid and took the bag of sweets from him, as Sirius examined the fifty pence change I’d gotten.
“Sorry for not paying,” he muttered, “I don’t have any muggle money. I’ll pay next time though!”
“No problem, here, try some of this,” I said, handing him a bit of a Toblerone bar, “Don’t eat too much though, you’ll be sick.”
“All right, mum.”
“Don’t insult me,” I joked, “…And speaking of sick, what really happened to Remus and Peter?”
“I’m not an idiot, I know they’re not really sick. I was with you lot all day yesterday, and they were fine, we ate the same things they ate, and we’re all right. And when you told me this morning about how they were feeling ill you sounded all happy-like.” I said, biting off a bit of chocolate and looking at him curiously as I scratched my nose. He averted his eyes and didn’t say anything for awhile.
“Err…yeah you’re right…I made that up,” he said, not looking me in the eyes as he scratched the back of his head.
“So? What happened?”
“…err…this is quite awkward.”
“If you lot changed your minds and didn’t really feel like going you could’ve just said so, I wouldn’t have minded.”
“No, no! It’s not that…” he trailed off, still not meeting my gaze and taking another bite of chocolate instead of speaking. I waited for him to continue, but he was deliberately chewing slowly, putting off an explanation.
“Right, hmm. How to put this? It was … sort of a plan we concocted, you see.”
“What sort of plan?”
“You know, for a person who’s not an idiot you do a wicked job at acting like one.”
“Oi! If you’re going to be rude about it then forget I asked,” I said, slightly stung. He didn’t say anything for awhile, and we walked along in silence.
“Sorry Em,” he said finally, “But do you really not know?”
“No! Bloody hell, Sirius. If I knew why the hell would I be asking?”
“Right, fair enough,” he said, trying to calm me down, “The plan was to get you to agree to go to the village with all of us, including Remus, and then…and then have Remus, Peter and James cancel so that…so that you and I could be alone.”
“Oh,” I said stupidly. I felt myself flushing at what he had just said, trying to process what it might mean, “Err…that’s – erm…”
“Yeah, mind you, it didn’t work out well…spent the entire time with other people anyway…” he said.
“Ha ha…yeah…” I muttered, rubbing my clammy palms on my thighs and now trying to avoid his gaze, “Erm…if you don’t mind my asking…why did you want to be alone with me?”
I looked up and saw him staring at me, with the same intense gaze he had given me that day on the beach. This time my breath caught in my throat, and all thought was wiped from my mind. The only thing I could think about was the colour of his eyes, and his soft but sculpted cheek, and how nice it would feel to lean up and brush my lips against his…
We had stopped walking now, standing to the side of the main road. He began to lean towards my face, his eyes boring into my own, and I felt anticipation surging through me like a drug, muffling the sounds surrounding me as his face inched towards mine.
Then suddenly, with six simple words, he broke me out of my reverie, “You have chocolate on your nose,” he whispered, his face mere inches from mine.
“Huh?” I breathed, feeling as though a cold bucket of water had been dumped over my head.
“Chocolate, just…there,” he said, tapping the side of his own nose.
“What? Oh…right,” I muttered, flushing more than ever. I rubbed the chocolate away with my sleeve, and we began to walk again.
What the fuck just happened! I thought as we walked together in silence. Did I just willingly allow myself become another one of Sirius Black’s mindless little admirers? No, no, no…I am not mindless…nor am I an admirer. Got caught up in the moment…yes. Nobody, nobody, could’ve kept a cool head just then. No. Absolutely not.
Damn him and his hypnotizing charm!
I continued on with the internal monologue of self assurance, trying to work out exactly why that little moment had happened.
He’s playing a sick little game! Yes, that’s it…I’m an experiment, of sorts. Probably, he noticed that I’d never fancied him or stalked him in the corridors, or tried to steal his clothes and roll around in them, so he reckons he can change that, just to prove he is completely and utterly irresistible to all people of the female kind...
The fool. I’m on to him and his little plan…and I will not be conquered!
But as I snuck a glance at him, expecting a satisfied smirk to be gracing his face, I found that he looked nearly as dumbstruck as I felt.
Finally, we reached our houses, and bid a quick goodbye to one another, going back to our respective homes. Shakily, I opened the door, trying to rid myself of thoughts of Sirius as I entered the house.
Walking down the corridor towards the stairs, I spotted Penelope sitting on a chair in the lounge, staring hard at an edition of Witch Weekly, but not really looking as though she was seeing it. Her head snapped up as she realized I was passing the room.
“Where were you?” she asked harshly, getting to her feet and walking over to me.
“Hello to you too,” I said, turning towards the stairs. She grabbed my forearm and held me back.
“You were with Sirius Black, weren’t you?” she spat.
“Is that a problem?” I glared.
“Yes, I’m afraid it is. You never even liked Black or Potter, or any of the Marauders, and-”
“Not true, I’ve always been fond of Remus,” I said, freeing myself from her clasp and sprinting up the steps, not wanting to hear her envious rants.
“You don’t deserve him!” she screamed up at me. I paused at a landing on the stairs and turned to glare at her.
“What?” I spat, “I don’t deserve him?”
“NO! You don’t even like Black!”
“DON’T tell me what I do and don’t like, Penelope. How the hell would you know! I suppose you think just because he’s good looking and I’m not, it means that I don’t ‘deserve’ him, do you?” I yelled.
She smirked and shrugged, the frightful old cow.
I reached into my bag and grabbed the first object I touched, and flung it hard in her direction, aiming for her nose. Thankfully, I had chosen an object that hurt plenty when it hit someone; the half eaten Toblerone bar. As soon as it made contact with her face, Penelope starting bawling in agony, so I rushed down the stairs. I wasn’t interested in helping her out, I only wanted to grab the chocolate and run up to my room.
I dumped the contents of the bag onto my bed and tried to control my breathing, feeling heated and angry at Penelope.
I didn’t feel one bit of remorse for what I had done. In my opinion, she deserved exactly what she got, going on about not deserving Sirius. Even if I didn’t, who’s she to go and say it? She definitely doesn’t deserve him, if that’s what she thinks.
Then I stopped. Why was I thinking about not ‘deserving’ Sirius? I wasn’t even with Sirius.
Foolish of me to overlook that, really.
“Well, how’d it go?” asked Remus as I entered the lounge. The three of them were sitting round the coffee table, James and Peter playing Exploding Snap as Remus watched.
I sighed deeply and ran my fingers through my hair, flinging myself down on the couch.
“I told her about the plan.”
“You what?” exclaimed Peter.
“Why the bloody hell did you do that?”
“She figured we were lying. So she asked me what had really gone on, and I told her.”
“Are you dim, mate? You’ll never be able to hang around her now you’ve gone and told her!” cried James, throwing his hands up in the air.
“Actually, I reckon it’s not too bad…” I said.
“Yeah, I think with a girl like Emmeline, being honest was the best thing to do,” said Remus.
“Anyway,” I sighed, “I think that’s the end of concocting plans.”
“No!” Yelled Peter.
“…when concerning Emmeline,” added Remus.
Then, Mrs. Potter arrived in the grate, took one look at us slumped against the furniture, looking limp and tired, and said, “Supper, I think.”
After supper, we decided to go out for a game of Quidditch, and although I was eager to play and needed something to take my mind off of Emmeline, I couldn’t help but daydream about her when I was supposed to be watching the Bludger. After John Gedge had nearly died because I accidentally aimed the Bludger at him, we stopped playing and packed the balls back into the case.
“You were really off form today, mate,” said Gedge, shaking his head and rubbing his stomach where the Bludger had hit him.
“Sorry about him, he’s a bit …” began James.
“…in love,” tittered Peter.
“Oooo, in love?” said John in a high pitched, mocking voice.
“Bugger off,” I growled.
“Who is she, then?”
“Emmeline Vance,” said Peter.
“Oi! Stuff it, Pete!” I yelled at him.
“Ohh, yeah, she’s quite good looking. Tom Logan in my year said he shagged her in the Astro –”
“I said bugger OFF!” I bellowed, rounding on him and pushing him backwards. “Tom Logan is a lying fuck, and Emmeline isn’t that sort of girl,” I growled, stepping towards him. Towering above him, I glared at him dangerously until he cowered and took a step back.
“All right, all right!” he said as he turned back and walked away, “Jesus…”
“What a tosser,” muttered James as we walked back towards the house. I was fuming, and I had no idea why I had gotten so angry at what filthy little twat had said.
Yeah, that was lie. I knew damn well why I had gotten angry…I just had no idea when in this short time I had fallen for Emmeline so badly.
A/N – And that concludes another chapter! That last little bit with John Gedge wasn’t really planned, it was just something I ended up putting in, so I’m not too sure about it. And I need to know if you guys think that Emmeline and Sirius’ relationship is moving too quickly? Please leave a review and tell me what you think!
Chapter 7: Lessons as Taught by Sirius Black
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Chapter Seven – Lessons as Taught by Sirius Black
A few mornings after my trip with Sirius to the village, I woke up at barely half seven to the sound of Alice’s owl pecking at my window. Grumbling, I rolled out of bed and put on my dressing gown, then opened the window and let the owl and a draft of cold air into the room. Yawning, I untied Alice’s letter and began to read:
Let me know when Dimitri’s party is, and I’ll be there a few days earlier and leave a couple days after. My aunt is driving me insane, and not even Frank can keep me from burning this house down.
Tell me when it is, please!
Grinning, I took out a quill and some ink and wrote on the reverse side:
Brilliant! His party is on the twenty eighth, so come by on maybe the twentieth?
See you soon!
I tied the parchment to Oryx’s leg again, and pulled open the window to the damp morning air to let him out. As I stood, watching it fly away, something across the road caught my eye.
Sirius was leaving the house, wearing what looked like a swimming costume and a grey tee shirt. Swinging a towel across his shoulder, he ran his fingers through his hair and made his way towards the lake.
I gulped in deep breaths of air and tried to clear my head. For days after the incident on the way back from the village, I had promised myself that I would have to make up for the slip up, making sure that Sirius wouldn’t start to think that I was like any other girl he had tried to chat up. I was not easy, and I wasn’t about to fall for his seductive gazes or his charming smile. If Sirius Black was trying to woo me, he’d have to try a little bit harder than that.
But then, the question that had been bothering me for the past few days…why exactly was he trying to woo me?
Sirius hadn’t shown much interest in me before. Though we did speak from time to time, as we were in the same year and shared a number of classes together, the quick joke or a bit of light banter occasionally were fairly inevitable, but as for showing any romantic interest…well, Sirius Black wasn’t much interested in the likes of me. I wasn’t really his type.
I pushed these thoughts out of my mind and pulled myself together. This was an opportunity, and I wasn’t going to let my tendency to be skeptical of everything ruin it. I stripped out of my clothes, and put on my swimming costume in a rush, pulling on a pair of jeans and a jumper before running a brush quickly through my hair. I tucked my wand into my belt and left the room.
After stealthily creeping to the toilet and brushing my teeth, I slipped on some sandals and left the house quietly, before breaking into a fast walk towards the lake.
When I arrived, Sirius was the only one in the lake. He was wading, waist deep in water, with his back towards me. I stripped off my jeans as I watched him, and I dumped them on the sand. He turned round, and I stopped, standing without trousers on, wearing a very thick jumper that once belonged to my father. I waved at him, and he hesitantly waved back.
I pulled off my jumper then, and began walking towards him. The lake was frigid, it felt like ice water. My feet, then legs, began getting so cold that they felt like they were on fire, but I walked on until I was standing in front of Sirius, chest-deep in the freezing water.
“All right?” I began.
“A bit cold…” he grinned back.
“So, Em, what’re you doing out here so early?”
“I saw you leaving, and thought I might join you.”
“Oh,” he replied, the faintest flush gathering on his usually pale cheeks, “Do you usually get up so early?”
“Nah, Alice sent me an owl, and it woke me up. She’s coming to Dimitri’s party, by the way,” I added.
“Oh, right. Cool.”
“D’you…d’you fancy going?” I asked.
“Oh, erm…I dunno, I don’t know him and his mates too well,” he replied, scratching the back of his head. I tried to keep my eyes from wandering down his torso again.
“Oh go on! It’ll be a laugh, I promise. Alice and I’ll be there, so you won’t be alone. And Dimitri and his mates are all right, you’ll meet some new people.”
“Yeah, I suppose…Should I get him something, you reckon?”
“No need, I’ll pop your name on whatever I get him.”
“Brilliant, thanks,” he grinned. We stood in awkward silence again, both of us shivering and looking out towards the expanse of the lake. Then, Sirius cleared his throat and said, “I was really surprised yesterday, you know.”
“You, going to a pub, getting pissed.”
“Why was that surprising?”
“Well, you’re a prefect aren’t you? I’d never seen you break any major rules, or the law for that matter. In school you’re very…rule following. Studying instead of participating in parties and that.”
“Well,” I began, feeling just a tiny bit stung, “I’m not always rule following, in the summer especially…”
He scoffed, “Oh c’mon Emmeline…During school you don’t break any rules. And I’ve seen you getting angry when we pull the occasional prank, you start glaring at us and come over and threaten to tell McGonagall what we’ve done.”
“All right, first off,” I began heatedly, raising an accusing finger at him, “First off, yeah? We barely speak or have any interaction while in school so don’t presume to know what I do and do not do. And secondly, your ‘occasional pranks’ are often directed at some unsuspecting, innocent student who’s done nothing to deserve what you do to them. That’s why I get angry, Sirius. That’s why Lily won’t go out with James. It has nothing to do with being an uptight, rule following twat, if that’s what you think.”
I stood, chest heaving, angrily glaring up at him, waiting for him to cower and apologize. But he returned my angry glare, eyes narrowed and arms stiffening at his sides. He stood towering over me for awhile, not saying a word, light from the sun reflecting into his eyes and making him look manic.
“When was the last time you broke a school rule, Emmeline?” he asked quietly.
“What?” I said, nonplussed.
“The last time you broke a rule. Snuck out of the dormitories after hours, drank Firewhisky, bunked off…when was the last time?”
“I – I don’t…why are you asking this?”
“Because you can’t remember, can you? You can’t remember the last time you disobeyed, the last time you took a risk, the last time you did something dangerous –”
“And why should I do something dangerous?” I demanded, “Rules, they’re…they’re there for a reason…” I trailed off, already realizing I was losing.
“Urgh, God Emmeline!” He said exasperatedly, throwing his hands into the air and placing them on his head, “You haven’t lived!”
“What! I – I’ll have you know I –”
“No, no just listen to me,” he said, sounding desperate now, “You can’t go through your entire life doing exactly what people tell you to do, acting only to please other people. There are times when taking a risk and doing something dangerous can be a good thing, even if you feel afraid or as though you could die at any given moment. It’s about experience, Emmeline! What would be the point of life if you always felt safe, if you never felt afraid? Do you really want to live through life and realize one day that you never once felt alive? You’re only young once, Em,” He stopped and took a deep breath, then looked at me almost pleadingly before he said, “There’s a war on, Emmeline. We could all die next week. We have to live while we can.”
Despite the fact that he had made a valid point, I wasn’t going to let him win so easily. If he thought I was going to back down and retract my previous statements, he was dead wrong.
“So you’re defending yourself, are you?”
“Sorry?” he asked, confused now.
“Those cruel jokes you play on people, jinxing them as they walk down the corridor, humiliating them, just for fun, just so you can show off and feel big. Don’t you dare defend yourself,” I stopped and took a step towards him, narrowing my eyes, “I don’t give a damn if you think you’re just ‘living’, or being ‘young’. You might be living, but you make other people’s lives a living hell, Black.” I tried to control my breathing, and then added, “I may not break as many rules as you do, and I may not have as many experiences as you might, but at least I’m decent enough to not hurt others for my own amusement.”
His eyes softened a bit as I spoke, and his arms relaxed at his sides. We were standing only inches apart now, and I sighed, shaking my head as I took a step back.
And then, an excruciating pain began in my foot and traveled up my left leg. I gasped and my knees buckled as I struggled to pull a sharp shard of something out of my foot and stay afloat at the same time.
I sputtered as my mouth filled with water, some traveling up my nostrils. I accidentally set my left foot down as I tried to balance myself, pushing the shard further into my foot. As I yelled out in pain, Sirius stepped forward and wrapped one of his steely arms around me before I could collapse into the water again. His other arm went under my knees, and before I could fully comprehend what was happening, Sirius was carrying me back towards the beach.
“Wh – what are y – you…” I stuttered, shivering and trying to form a proper sentence. My close proximity to Sirius and the fact that I was unbelievably cold and in a great deal of pain prevented me from speaking.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” He replied. We were on the beach now, and we passed my jeans and jumper piled on the sand as Sirius carried me over to the grass, setting me down in the sun.
“All right,” he began, looking unsure of what he should do next. I bent my left leg across my right and looked at the object lodged in my heel.
“Oh, it’s actually not too bad,” I muttered. There was a shard of clear glass in my heel, but it had felt a lot deeper and bigger than it really was. I gently pulled it out, and my heel began bleeding profusely.
“Oh, sweet Merlin,” breathed Sirius as he grimaced at my heel.
“Sirius, can you get my wand? It’s tucked in the belt of my jeans,” I said, pushing my thumb on the wound, trying to get it to stop bleeding.
“Right, yes. Wand,” he said, getting up quickly and walking back to my clothes. He took my wand out of my belt and brought both the jeans and jumper back to me. I took the wand from him and pointed it at my heel, silently stopping the bleeding and cleaning the wound before I closed it. Touching it, I grimaced a bit. It felt tender still, but it would heal quickly.
“Wow, nice work,” said Sirius.
“Thanks,” I smiled, “And thanks for…carrying me and everything.”
“The pleasure is all mine,” he smiled back, all former coldness gone from his voice. I dried myself off with my wand, and pulled on my jumper before picking up the shard of glass and examining it. Wiping some of the blood away, I squinted and tried to make out some of the lettering etched on the front.
“Ogden’s old,” I muttered.
“Ogden’s Old Firewhiskey…somebody must’ve been drinking,” said Sirius. I placed the glass on the grass and reduced it to sand with my wand before crossing my legs. I looked over at Sirius, who was looking at the place where the shard of glass had been with a frown on his face.
“You cold?” I asked.
“Yeah, a bit.”
I summoned his towel and tee shirt for him, before pointing my wand at him and drying him off.
“Thanks,” he began, “Listen, Emmeline. You made some…some fair points earlier, I’ll give you that, but…you know I wasn’t completely wrong with what I said, either.”
“No, I suppose you weren’t,” I agreed.
“So, we’re…we’re all right then?”
“Yeah, course,” I smiled.
“Good, good. Then, let’s make a deal, yeah?”
“What sort of deal?”
“I stop jinxing random people in the corridor, if you promise to let loose once in awhile.”
“Hmm…what do you mean by let loose?”
“Well, I dunno, join in on the parties in the common room if Gryffindor has won a match or something, sneak out once in awhile, that sort of thing.”
“All right, that’s a deal,” I grinned, offering him my hand. He took it, smiling.
“Good, because you’re really a laugh when you cut loose.”
“And you’re a decent bloke when you aren’t humiliating people.”
We both laughed then, the edge in our voices completely melted away, happy to be in each other’s company again.
“So, you’ll have to start showing me how to let loose,” I said, “I haven’t much practice.”
“Very true…and I’ll start by teaching you how to fly!”
My eyes rounded, and I began shaking my head, “What? Ohhh, no. No no no no, that’s really not a good idea, Sirius.”
“Oh, c’mon Emmeline!” He said, laughing at my frightened look.
“Honestly, I’m incredibly uncoordinated, I would most assuredly kill us both, no joke.”
“C’mon, I reckon James and them are up now, we’ll go get some brooms,” he took my hand and hauled me up. I tried to pull away, pleading and begging, but he gripped my hand harder and laughed, throwing an arm around my shoulders. “Put your trousers, on, Em, and prepare for the most amazing feeling in the world.”
“Funny,” I snickered, “Most would think you’d tell me to take them off and prepare for the most amazing feeling in the world.”
“Another time, love. Trousers on, now.”
“…You’ll regret making me do this,” I mumbled, pulling on my jeans and tucking my wand back into my belt. He snaked his arm around my shoulders again, and I tried to keep myself composed as we walked towards Sirius’ house together, his arm clutching my shoulders as he hummed happily to himself.
Inside, the house was quiet, everyone was still asleep. Sirius mouthed ‘wait here,’ and went upstairs to fetch a broom. I stood in the hall, trying desperately to control my breathing and fast heart rate as the thought of flying made that steadily impossible. As pathetic as it was, I had never once flown on a broom before. I was, if only a small bit, afraid of heights.
He came down the stairs holding a broom and grinning happily as he ushered me out the door.
“Where are we flying?” I asked when we had left the house. He was sauntering in the direction of the lake again, and I already knew the answer.
“Over the lake, of course.”
Lying in my bed that night, I kept feeling a swooping sensation in my stomach, as though I were still flying. The thought of it made me smile, and as I rolled over, eyes closed and grinning as I recalled the exciting afternoon spent will Emmeline, James’s pillow came flying through the air and smacked me on the head, making me jump out of my reverie.
“Oi! What the hell was that for?”
He grinned at me, leaning against the doorframe in his pajamas, “You were thinking about Emmeline weren’t you?”
“Perhaps,” I adjusted my position on the bed as he walked over and sat down.
“Who was thinking about Emmeline?” said Peter as he walked into my room as well.
“Sirius, obviously,” Remus said, sauntering in after Peter, “And put on some clothes, will you, Padfoot?”
“I believe this is meant to be my room, thanks.”
“Still, no need to display your bits, mate,” agreed James.
“They’re not displayed! I got ‘em in my pants and everything…”
“All right, stop flirting,” interrupted Remus, “What are we doing tomorrow?”
We paused, thinking before Peter said, “Pub?”
“We do that every day anyway…”
“OH! I almost forgot…Emmeline’s friend is having a party in a few weeks I think,” I said.
“Oh well, we’ll go anyway.”
“Is it a bloke?” asked James
“No, I don’t think they’re involved,” I said unsurely.
“Anyway, how was your little date with Em this morning?”
“A date with Em?” asked Peter, tuning back into the conversation.
“It was awesome,” I grinned, leaning my head back on the pillow, “I taught her how to fly.”
I went back into my reverie again, thinking about how much fun it had been to swoop and glide through the air with Emmeline, how awesome it was to have an excuse to touch her and keep her steady on the broom, how nice her hair smelt as it whipped my face, and how difficult it was to keep from wrapping my arms around her waist and kissing her smooth cheek, and the soft curve of her neck…
“Urgh! Fucking hell Padfoot!”
“Jesus! I told you to put on some trousers.”
“Wha –” I said, looking down towards my legs as James jumped up from the bed and threw the duvet over them, “Oh. Oh, fuck.”
“O-kay, I reckon it’s time for us to leave,” said Remus before he trooped out the door with a laughing Peter in tow.
“And I reckon you are in desperate need of a wank, mate,” James added, leaving the room as well, closing the door behind him.
As they walked down the corridor, I heard Peter say “That thing was massive.”
“Not appropriate, Pete,” Remus responded. I rolled over in bed, grinning as I flicked my wand (no, not a euphemism) and turned off the lights before rolling over and happily thinking about Emmeline in peace.
A/N - So? How was it? Please leave a review and tell me what you think, and also, tell me what your favorite quote was, I like hearing what line you guys thought was the funniest :D. Please review!
Oh, and I’m afraid I have some bad news. The next chapter might not be posted for awhile. I wrote all these chapters in the summer, and that’s why I’ve been posting them really quickly, but the next one hasn’t been written yet, and since I’ve been getting a lot of homework lately, it might take me awhile to post the next chapters. Just thought I’d give you a heads up. : (
A/N – It's been awhile, so just to re freshen our memories: Emmeline is struggling to figure out why exactly she's been the object of Sirius advances, while also trying to be less of an uptight rule follower (which she promised Sirius to do if HE stopped being a complete sodding asshole). Alice had promised she would come over for Dimitri's birthday party...and er...that's about it, I think. Let the fun BEGIN!
Oh, and, again, the three asterisks mean the point of view's changed from Sirius to Emmeline, or vise versa.
Chapter Eight – The Party
“What exactly are you planning on wearing, Em?” asked Alice as she searched through my rather boring wardrobe. She had arrived late on the previous day, and we'd only had enough time to do a bit of catching up before my father forced us to go to bed
“I dunno...does it matter? It's Dimitri's birthday party. I'm not going to a wedding,” I said, uninterested. I was flipping through one of the many copies of Witch Weekly that Alice had brought with her, examining an article about how to save money by shaping your own eyebrows with “one simple step.”
“Yeah, well, won't Sirius be there?” she asked cheekily.
“Yeah, so?” I stopped flipping through the magazine to stare at her.
“Nothing, it's just, this'll be a good chance for you to ... err –”
“There's nothing going on Alice!” I lied.
“Course there isn't, love, now put this on,” she grinned, thrusting towards me a satin blouse and a dark skirt she had rummaged from her trunk, “If it doesn't fit, we'll go shopping at one of those muggle shops they have in the village.”
“Alice, I can't wear this!” I exclaimed, examining the intricate buttons on the shirt.
“Well why the bloody hell not?”
“Because it's a regular party, so I'll be wearing my regular jeans and my regular t-shirt, thanks.”
Alice rolled her eyes at me, and took the clothes back, “Fine, but you're wearing heels, and don't argue with me.”
I laughed, “You've gotten much more feminine since you've been hanging around that Longbottom.”
“Not true, I've just ... discovered a different side of me.”
I snorted, opening my mouth to reply when someone rang the doorbell. Nobody but Alice, Penelope and I were home, so I rolled off of the bed and walked towards the stairs, Alice in tow. Opening the door, I was greeted to a sight of Sirius and James whispering a heated discussion between them.
“Oh, hello Em,” said Sirius happily.
“Hello!” exclaimed Alice, appearing out of nowhere from behind me and making both Sirius and James jump.
“Jesus Alice...” sighed James, “When'd you get here?”
“Last night, we were going to come visit you but Em said it would be inappropriate to visit a houseful of boys in the dead of night.”
“I really wouldn't have minded,” grinned Sirius.
“Cheeky.” I laughed, “So what are you lot up to?”
“Nothing at all, we wanted to see if you wanted to go for a swim?”
“Yeah, alright, meet you there in a few?”
“Actually,” began Alice, “I was hoping I could take Emmeline shoe shopping.”
There was a long pause before Sirius said, frowning, “Shoes...shopping...Emmeline.”
“I don't understand what you mean,” added James, looking genuinely confused, “she already has shoes.” He pointed at my ancient pair of trainers.
“Yeah...she doesn't need another pair of shoes. Stop talking nonsense, Alice,” agreed Sirius.
“She can't wear those to Dimitri's party!”
“Why not?” Asked Sirius.
“Well for one thing, they're incredibly ugly...” said Alice.
“Oi! My dad bought me these.”
“Shh, love. Let me handle this.”
“Oh! I know!” began James excitedly. “You can borrow one of Pete's shoes! His feet are surprisingly small. Also feminine.” Sirius nodded at this.
“Yeah, great idea! Emmeline will wear one of Pete's shoes, and so she won't have to go shopping, and so we can go swimming! Perfect solution! Let's go Em,” he reached out for my arm, but Alice struck his hand away.
“Emmeline needs to buy heels,” said Alice, crossing her arms, “You're welcome to come along if you like.”
There was another long silence.
“Pete has some Cuban heels you can borrow...” Sirius said quietly.
“No men's shoes!” Alice quickly responded.
“Alright, alright. We'll go ... shopping,” said James, “We'll go tell Remus and Peter.”
“Okay, meet us back here in twenty minutes, then!” Alice called after them cheerily.
Half an hour later, James, Sirius, Peter, Remus, Alice and I were examining the many aisles of glittery shoes in a store named Soles for the Soul.
“Oi, Moony, look at this one!” exclaimed Peter from down the aisle. He brandished a metallic stiletto in the air, eyeing its seven inch long heel with genuine fear.
“Blimey, I reckon you could kill someone with that,” responded Remus, taking the shoe from him.
“How about this one, Em?” said Sirius, pointing to a pair of strappy gold heels. They were sickeningly glittery and shiny. I rose my eyebrows at him and he laughed, “Only joking.”
I grinned and shook my head at him, wandering, uninterested, down the aisle. Nothing was catching my eye. They were all overtly feminine and frankly, dangerous looking. Soon, Peter and Remus began to debate the many ways in which one could die by wearing stilettos. Sirius and James eventually joined in, donning various pairs to demonstrate lethal scenarios.
“No, no, no, you would have to really badly trip in order to hit your temple and –”
“Alright,” Alice interjected, “If you lot want to leave, that's fine, meet us in the pub in two hours, yeah?”
“Oh thank merlin,” sighed James, “The sun reflected off a pair of pumps and nearly blinded me. I desperately need to get out of here...for the sake of my health.”
“...not to mention masculinity,” added Peter.
“What masculinity?” scoffed Remus, turning to wave at us as the four of them left.
“Bye Em, Alice!” bid Sirius happily.
Two hours and numerous dressing rooms later, Alice and I made our way towards the centre street, carrying shopping bags and groaning about how much our feet hurt.
Alright, so I was complaining about how much my feet hurt, Alice was interjecting my whinging with comments about how great I looked in some piece of clothing or other. She had made me by a pair of jeans and several new tops. I insisted that I didn't really need them, and I would most likely ruin the nice pair of jeans five minutes after putting them on. But Alice had just shoved the black number into my arms and told me that if I “made one more bloody comment [she] would shove a pump up my arse”.
So, I tried on the jeans and she ooed and ahhed about how amazing my legs looked in them and I hurriedly paid for them before she had time to find something tighter for me to try on.
When we entered the dim pub, I breathed a sigh of relief and looked around for Sirius. They were sitting in at the bar, already laughing and, eventually, all of us were relatively tipsy, slurring shouted instructions at the rugby players on the telly. Really, the only one of us in the group who had any idea what was going on was the bartender. The rest of us just enjoyed the raucous yelling. After we had shared several plates of fish and chips, Alice dragged me off my bar stool and announced that we needed to go get ready for the party.
“What?” I exclaimed as I stretched my arm towards a pint that was annoyingly out of reach, “The party doesn't start for another two hours.”
“Ugh, Em, you're such a man sometimes,” she sighed, as she waved off the protests of Remus and Sirius and dragged me into the painfully sun-lit outdoors.
One hour later, I was sitting on the edge of my bed with my toes spread precariously apart as though my dignity depended on the perfection of the nail polish slicked on them.
“How much longer?” I demanded of Alice.
“A few minutes, keep them spread.” I sighed and glared at her through the mirror she was looking into, smudging bright red lip-stick on her already perfect lips.
“You know I'm wearing closed-toed pumps, right? No one will even see my toes.”
“What if you happen to be talking to a perfect stranger and feel, in the heat of the moment, say, like ravishing him. Are you going to do that with heels on?”
“Depends on the bloke...some like it, I've heard,” I muttered. I reached over and held up the top Alice had put out for me to wear. It was a black long-sleeved shirt, the arms and the part above the chest made of a fine lace.
“You know, this shirt isn't half bad...” I commented.
“Yeah, I know, I got it from Penelope,” she responded casually, applying a pink blush to her cheeks.
“WHAT?” I yelled, dropping it out of surprise, “She doesn't know I'll be the one wearing it, does she?”
“Irrelevant, you're wearing it anyway.”
“Oh good, one more thing she can hate me for...”
About an hour later, I was primped, polished and pained to perfection. Slipping on the sequent gold pumps (that I had no part in picking out) and brushing a bit of lint off the new black jeans purchased that afternoon, I stood and hesitantly shrugged in front of Alice. She grinned and said “Excellent, he won't be able to keep his hands off you.”
“Who?” I demanded of her, knowing perfectly well who she was talking about. “Alice, honestly. Stop implying things, you know how much I hate that.”
“Yeah, I also know how much you love spewing creative insults at people who do, that's why I don't stop.” And with that, she dragged me out the door in her stylish and dangerously high stiletto's while I trotted along behind her, struggling to look half as graceful.
As we approached James' house, I started to feel a queasy warmth run through me. Despite several reassurances from Alice, I still felt mildly – alright, unbelievably – self conscious. And it didn't help that I may or may not have been spending the entire night with Sirius, who happened to be one of those people who looked effortlessly sexy while taking out the trash.
While we were waiting for them to answer the door, my mind wandered to the conversation I had had with Sirius at the lake. I had taken his words to heart – the outfit I had agreed to wear bearing proof – and I had vowed tonight would be one night in my numbered youthful nights where I would shrug off any inhibition. I wanted to try being someone who didn't always have to be thinking about how she looked or came off. I wanted to experiment with carelessness and maybe, hopefully prove to myself that there was more to me than “Prefect”.
“Wow...” Peter's wide eyed comment snapped me out of my internal oath-taking. I turned to look at James and Peter standing on the threshold, eyes jumping between Alice and I.
“You work miracles, Alice!” Said James. We both laughed and my gaze jumped to the two figures walking down the corridor.
My breath hitched as I took him in. He was wearing a deep, blood red shirt, sleeves rolled up, hair slightly dishevelled and hands in the pockets of his jeans. Again, I marvelled at his ability to make a simple outfit look amazing.
“Err, are you guys going to stand there gaping at one another all night, because I really have things I need to be doing...” said Peter, grinning. I looked around and saw everyone smirking at Sirius and I standing opposite each other, and I flushed, realizing what an idiot I looked like, standing mutely in front of Sirius and taking him in.
“Right, we should get going,” muttered Sirius. I looked up at him and saw a faint flush on his cheeks as well, and I took a comfort in knowing I wasn't the only one embarrassed.
Half a block before reaching Deon's house, we could hear the deep rumbling of the music disturbing all his neighbours. People were milling around in the front garden or the street, laughing, joking, drinking and generally fulfilling stereotypes as the daylight dimmed. We walked through the open door, being greeted by several strangers and even louder music as we tried to find Dimitri. We found him lounging on the stairs, surrounded by laughing people and his own charming arrogance.
“Oi! Birthday boy!” I called to him, grinning. He spotted us and threw us a smile before getting up and walking towards us.
“Hello, hello!” He began, giving me a quick hug before turning to the rest of the group, “Thanks for coming, now go on and have a couple drinks!”
I started to make my way towards a table covered with various drinks and food when Dimitri grabbed my arm and held me back.
“Em, I think I should tell you something,” he said in a low voice, “I think you should keep an eye out for Penelope.”
“What? Penelope's here?” I asked, completely nonplussed.
“Yeah, one of my mates invited her, and ... well he's not the most trustworthy bloke, when it comes to girls.”
“Shit...where is she?”
“She's upstairs with him -”
“Right. Later.” I turned around and broke into a fast pace towards the stairs.
“Hold up! I'll go with you.” We both ran up the stairs and briskly stood listening at the first door in the hall. All I could hear was badly stifled giggling and an occasional throaty chuckle.
“Oh, God Penelope...” I muttered. I knocked, despite the fact that I wanted nothing more than to barge in and break apart whatever the hell was happening in there.
The laughter immediately stopped. A few seconds passed where neither of them said a word, then, eventually, a girl dressed in nothing but a flowery miniskirt opened the door, hugging an obnoxiously pink pillow to her chest.
“Where's Penelope?” I demanded rather stupidly.
“Who the fuck are you?” The girl said, narrowing her eyes and glaring at me.
“Err...what she means is, we're looking for someone...” Said Dimitri, then he pointed at me, “About her height, only less attractive and more annoying...have you seen her?”
“Nope...right, now that's cleared up, I have to get back to doing something,” she responded, winking suggestively at Dimitri. His upper lip curled slightly as the bloke behind her yelled, “You mean someone.” The girl giggled again and slammed the door in our faces.
I turned towards Dimitri with a questioning look, and he muttered, “I honestly have no clue...I was so sure she was in here.”
“Are you sure she's even at this party?”
“Yeah, 'course, I saw her come in...wearing what may as well have been nothing. It was hard to miss her.”
“Urgh...Merlin, I have to find her, she's probably off somewhere, begging some bloke to lay his hands on her.”
“Yeah that sounds about right,” he snorted. Then he saw my worried expression and delved into that whole big brother, everything-will-be-okay-now-have-a-couple-drinks persona. He threw his arm around me and guided me down the stairs, “Don't worry about her, she'll show up, and despite the way she acts...and sounds...and occasionally is, she's not stupid enough to let anything bad happen.”
“Right,” I whispered, trying to believe him but not entirely comforted. He squeezed my shoulder and planted a kiss on my forehead, before motioning me towards the drinks again.
I grinned, despite myself, “Getting pissed won't help find her, you realize.”
“Ehh...I suppose, but it'll make you forget she exists...and that's probably even better.” He pushed a red cup filled with some sort of dangerous drink into my hands.
“Oi! EM!” I turned to see Deon and Carlos waving madly in my direction, holding cups identical to mine and grinning stupidly.
“Jesus...pissed already?” I grinned at them.
“Life's short, love,” winked Carlos.
“To Dimitri! The best striker a football side could ever have!” Toasted Deon as he lifted his cup and sloshed some dangerously hard liquor on the ground. “Speaking of Dimitri...have you seen his little girl friend yet, Em?”
“Girlfriend?” I asked, intrigued, “Since when?”
“For the last sodding time, she's not my bloody girlfriend, alright?”
“You luuurrrve her!” slurred Carlos, laughing and hiccoughing.
“Honestly, how old are you?” I laughed, “So, Dim, who is she, then?”
“No one, seriously – I just met her awhile ago at the park...we were playing a pick up game and she asked if she could join in...that's all. Her name's Jesse...” I snorted, his eyes got a glazed over look on them as he said her name, “Oi, not funny...Besides, look who's laughing, Miss 'Here's-a-fit-bloke-Sirius-who's-just-a-friend.”
“Imply more things and I'll fucking throttle you...”
“Who are we throttling?” Sirius appeared next to my shoulder, already swaying a bit, with James, Remus, and Peter in tow.
“Dimitri, since he keeps implying yo-”
“OH! I forgot to introduce these guys to you lot...” I practically yelled, interrupting Carlos, “This is James, Rem-”
“We've met them already Em,” said Remus.
“Yeah, this guy's brilliant,” Said Deon, throwing an arm around Remus, “Five girls nearly forced themselves on him already.”
“Ever the ladies man,” I smiled at him.
“Oi! So am I! Remember that fit bird at the pub, James? The one who kept buying me drinks?” Said Peter enthusiastically.
“For the last effing time, mate, that was not a girl.”
“She looked like one...”
“Yeah, 'she' had 'breasts'. Well done.”
The party was a riot. Between the inexplicable laughter and the slurred celebrating, I found myself with a new found love for muggles and muggle-drink.
And never in my life had I been more certain that my parents were wrong, and that I had done the right thing by cutting ties.
“Penelope! Where the hell have you been!” Yelled Emmeline, jumping up from her seat next to me. I looked round and tried to focus my vision on the dark-haired figures yelling at one another in front of me.
“That's none of your sodding business, Em, lay off, yeah?”
“None of my sodding business? You're my fucking sister, Penelope! You could have been – been ...”
“Been what? How stupid do you think I am, Emmeline?”
“Very. You're going home, now. You shouldn't even be here.”
“Oh, that's rich coming from you, you selfish cow. How about all the times you've been here, around more blokes than you could count in your probably drunken state, snogging Dimitri and Merlin knows who else before coming home and acting all innocent in front of Mum and Dad?”
There was a long silence after Penelope blurted this out, where the entire party came to the proverbial “screeching halt” to turn and gape shamelessly at the fight going on before them. As for me, I started to feel the sickening feeling of jealousy as I envisioned Emmeline snogging – or, fuck, even holding hands with – a smarmy bloke who had no idea how sodding lucky he was. The only words going through my head after Penelope's rather uncreative blow-out were “deny it, Em. Deny it, Em.”
“Penelope, I'm going to say this in the kindest way possible...You honestly need to take whatever twisted, disgusting thoughts that go on in your equally twisted mind, and shove them up your ar-”
“O-kay!” Interrupted Dimitri as he put down his drink and draped his arm over Emmeline's shoulders, “No need to get all catty now, we're all having a good time here, no?”
“No, she's done having a good time, I'm taking her home,” spat Emmeline in a dangerous tone of voice.
“Taking me?! You're not taking me anywhere.”
“You'll come with me and you'll fucking love it, let's go,” Em said, grabbing Penelope's arm and pulling her towards the door. Penelope screeched in protest and burst into dramatic tears. I tried to think as quickly as I possibly could under the influence of whatever poison it was I had ingested, and sprung to my feet as best as they would let me.
“Em! How bout I walk Penelope home?”
Immediately, Penelope stopped struggling and turned to stare at me through the locks of hair now covering her face. She was still breathing heavily and frighteningly resembling a banshee, but she was clearly intrigued.
“What?” said Emmeline.
“Err...yeah, I fancy a walk anyway, clear my head, you know...But, that's only if Penelope doesn't mind,” I said, throwing my best 'charming' smile at Penelope before holding out my hand.
“No, Sirius, I should be the one to –”
“I'll go with him,” blurted Penelope.
Damn. Hanging around Em had made me forget how easy wooing could be.
“Excellent, shall we?” I grinned, holding out my arm for her to take in my best attempt at gentlemanly behaviour. Emmeline threw me a incredulous look, while smirking, despite herself. Penelope shook off Emmeline's death grip on her arm and took mine eagerly, walking briskly toward the door.
I laughed lightly to myself, “So fucking easy...” I muttered.
“What?” Asked Penelope.
“Err...You're really pretty!”
“Oh, yeah, thanks, I know...Like I was telling Deon...”
It was going to be a long walk.
Almost an hour later, Sirius stumbled back through the door and landed in an exhausted heap on the armchair next to me.
“You should have warned me,” he whispered as though he'd been through incredible trauma.
“I was going to, but then I'd thought I'd let you know what my life was like when Penelope was born.”
“Oh, really? Did she grip your face like it was a Prada handbag and demand a snog goodnight, too?”
“Prada handbag? How did you even kn –”
“Damn, sorry. Must have been dreadful for you,” I said with all sincerity.
“No...no...” he shuddered, covering his face with his hands and shaking his head, “It was so much worse than dreadful...”
“Did you snog her?” I asked, repulsed by the words.
“Jesus! No! Don't ever say those words,” he cried, covering his ears now, “No, your dad opened the door before she could force...force...”
“Alright, alright,” I said, laughing a little at the pained look on Sirius's face. I threw my arm around his shoulders and pulled him into a hug, “She's far away now...everything's okay.”
Sirius nodded into my shoulder. It was awhile before I realized where exactly I was, and where exactly I was sitting...
“I fucking knew it!”
“Alright! Now it's a party!”
I jumped up from my rather intimate spot on Sirius's lap and looked around. The party had thinned a little, but Dimitri's closest friends – that being the people who liked to irritate me the most – had all gathered round to laugh stupidly as I sat...enveloped in Sirius's arms...on Sirius's lap...
Yeah, I could see how they could get the wrong idea.
“Oi! Shut up, all of you, I mean it,” I growled, throwing them a glare that – I hoped – screamed “die now, bastards”, but which probably said something like “I'm severely constipated and don't want anyone to know.”
“Good one, Em. You're getting your insults from Penelope now, eh?” slurred Carlos, drink in hand, as usual.
“Yeah, keep taking leaves out of her book and you might actually start doing the things she says you do...” snorted Alice. I grinned despite myself.
“Yeah Em, you might start jumping my bones randomly in your 'drunken state',” laughed Deon. I couldn't help but snicker along with everyone else at this bit of mockery.
“So...it's not true, then, what Penelope said?” asked Sirius from behind me. My eyes widened and I turned slowly around to face him.
“What?” I spat, glaring. The small crowd quietened behind me.
“Alright everyone! Shows over! Turn around and find something to hide under...” Said Dimitri, breaking the silence.
“I-I just mean – all that stuff she said, about you and – and –”
“No, it's not fucking true, you arse!” I yelled, “What do you take me for, eh?”
“Sorry. Sorry, Em calm down,” said Sirius, putting his hands up and getting to his feet, “I was just...I dunno...worried...or, something, honestly, I don't know.” He stuttered before throwing a grin at me. He grinned the same way he grinned at Penelope earlier in the night; that same aloof, seemingly effortless smile that won the hearts of mindless birds everywhere.
“Don't try that on me, Black. You'll have to come up with something new.”
“Oh?” He said, his demeanour changing entirely as he fixed his eyes on me with a blazing look flashing in his eyes.
“Yeah, originality, son. It works wonders on girls with a three digit IQ.” I tried to calm the heat rising in – what felt like – my very blood. His smouldering gaze didn't waver as he took a step closer to me.
“Alright, then,” he said, and suddenly, remarkably, wonderfully, he placed his hands on my waist and pinned me against himself, “You asked for it, Vance.”
Before I could gather what exactly was happening, Sirius had placed his lips on mine and driven all thoughts of Penelope, spectators and, hell, the whole fucking world out of my mind. All I could think of now (if it was actually thinking that was going on inside me) were his incredible hands on my back and in my hair, his ravishing chest rising and falling with the fiery embrace that numbed my mind and the seemingly magic lips that kept my mind from straying too close to that dangerous vice of mine; logic.
And for one shining moment before Sirius and I tore apart, I finally understood what it meant to not give a damn about anything other than the ecstasy I felt just then.
A/N – Sorry sorry sorry! I know, this it's been almost a year since I last updated, and I won't be surprised if I already lost some readers, but hopefully this chapter made up for it, it's the longest one YET! I'm not entirely sure about it, as it is purely mindless fluff...and I'm especially unsure about the ending...too much? Not enough? Resembling Twilight or other such rubbish? Please let me know! Although...if you actually think it was written like Twilight...please, please don't tell me. I'd have nightmares. Otherwise, please leave a review and tell me what you liked, didn't like, or what you've been up to this past year, anything, really!