As the sun set, the light faded over seven Slytherins finishing up their Quidditch practice. Sita was growing worried; she still hadn't found the Snitch. If it got much darker, she wouldn't be able to see it. Cursing, she flew around the pitch again, searching in vain.
She could hear the laughter of James Potter from the stands. Apparently he'd been serious about coming to watch. Oddly enough, he had brought Sirius and Pettigrew. Lupin was nowhere to be seen, probably off doing homework. She felt something smack into her arm hard and she cried out, realising it was a Bludger. In the same instant, she spotted a flash of gold at the other end of the pitch.
Sita leaned forward, pushing the Nimbus to its full abilities as she ignored the pain in her shoulder. Triumphantly, she wrapped her fingers around the small fluttering ball, and her team let out a small cheer in relief. Down in the stands she heard jeers from Potter and his friends. She turned and saw them laughing as they left. But they didn't head for the castle; they wandered around the corner toward the Whomping Willow.
Slowly, she descended and locked away the Snitch, making room for the Beaters and their Bludgers. She was tempted to follow Sirius, but decided against it when Rabastan approached her, smiling. His left side was covered in mud from earlier when he missed the Quaffle and went into a dive, only to be hit by a Bludger. He had hung on to his broom and managed to catch the Quaffle as his left side skidded in the grass and mud.
'Not bad, Massaro,' Bletchly said enthusiastically as they entered the changing rooms. 'You've improved over the summer.' Sita grinned widely at the compliment; she had been practicing on her Cleansweep over the holidays. She was also pleased because this was the first time since her first year on the team that she'd been complimented by anyone other than Rabastan. The team generally ignored her, but today they were friendly and cracking jokes with her.
Maybe they had simply changed over the summer.
'That was a good practice,' Rabastan declared, putting an arm around Sita again. His arm fell on Sita's hurt shoulder making her visibly wince. He pulled back his arm quickly and stared at Sita concerned. 'Are you ok? The Bludger really got you, did it?'
'I'm fine, just stiff,' Sita denied, staring at the floor. Rabastan didn't believe her and poked her shoulder hard making her grimace.
'You're annoying me.'
'Do you have a heat pack?' Sita stared at him and nodded sullenly. 'Put it on your shoulder, it'll help. Get it now, I want to see you holding it to your shoulder,' Rabastan ordered as he headed for the stairs to the boys’ dorms. A few minutes later both of them reappeared in their pyjamas, all cleaned up.
Rabastan had managed to wash the muck off his face and arms without too much hassle. Sita carried the heat pack down in her hand. Rabastan watched as she propped it on her bare shoulder, a towel beneath it to prevent a burn. Sierra smiled when Sita fixed her string top and balanced her books on her knees as she began to write.
'What're you at?' Rabastan asked loudly, to be heard over the first years loudly comparing notes on some potion they'd done that day. Sierra glanced up.
'Oh, I'm doing an essay on Nundus for Care for Magical Creatures,' she replied, rolling her eyes. Sita grinned; Sierra never did like cats.
'History,' Sita answered, motioning to her book and returning to her essay. Her small writing made it hard for her to finish the length that was requested.
'Herbology. We're studying a plant named Alihotsy. If you eat the leaves you become hysterical,' Tobias said knowingly, blushing slightly. Sita noticed this and gave him a curious look, but Tobias grinned and waved her away.
'Well, I'm studying Charms, if you'd all like to know,' Rabastan drawled finally. He scribbled something on the parchment and stared around the room again. 'I'm bored,' he decided, shutting his Charms book and rolling up the parchment.
Sita watched him stare around the common room and let out a sigh. The others had gone to the dorms to do their homework and most of the younger years had already retreated to bed. It was quite late. Letting out a sigh of her own, she set down her half finished essay and placed it and her quill in her bag, not caring as the feather crumpled under the parchment. 'So what do you want to do?' she asked, grinning.
Rabastan's eyes lit up with a devilish look to them. 'Wander the corridors, hex some Hufflepuffs. Be creative.'
Sita raised an eyebrow. She shook her head and began to pull out her essay once again. 'Think of something good and I'll join you,' she said seriously, wincing as she moved her arm awkwardly to reach her quill. 'I'm fine,' Sita snarled, not looking up as she felt Rabastan’s eyes on her.
'Come on. Hospital wing, now,' Rabastan insisted, pulling her to her feet by her sore arm. Sita shrieked as a sharp pain shot from her elbow to her shoulder and up her neck.
'Don't do that!' she yelled, nursing her arm. Rabastan gazed at her sternly and opened the stone door, motioning for her to go first. 'Bastard,' Sita muttered, reluctantly obeying. Sierra winked at Rabastan with an amused look on her face. Sita glared at her and paid no attention to the smirk on Rabastan's face.
'This isn't the way to the hospital wing,' Sita said faintly when Rabastan steered her in the opposite direction.
Their slippered feet made no noise on the stone floor. Sita could hear Peeves cackling somewhere far off in the castle; she wondered what he was up to. Rabastan had a warm hand on her shoulder, steering her up the stairs. His grip was firm and he definitely knew where he was going.
Sita felt a cool breeze from an open window when they reached the fifth floor and shivered slightly. Her pale skin broke out into goosebumps.
'Should've worn a jumper,' Rabastan commented idly, staring at the back of her head. Sita laughed sarcastically as he steered her up more stairs.
'Where are we going?' she asked, deciding she didn't want to walk for much longer. Her History essay was beginning to look appealing, and they were already at the seventh floor. 'Tell me, Lestrange.'
'We're going here,' he answered shortly, stopping in front of a blank wall.
'Is this a joke?' Sita snarled, turning to face him. She frowned upon seeing him pacing up and down the corridor, appearing concentrated. She stood still, the breeze making her shiver in her white string top and black pyjama bottoms. Rabastan stopped and looked at the wall expectantly, and Sita let out a small gasp when a door appeared.
Rabastan urged her to open it and followed her in. Sita held back her gasp of surprise. The room appeared to be a smaller version of the Slytherin common room. A lit fire roared in the grate giving one the pleasant feeling of sliding into a warm bath upon entering. A comfortable looking couch sat opposite the fire covered in silk cushions. The Slytherin emblem sat above the fire. The flickering light gave the impression of black flames licking the bottom of the serpent.
Sita stared around in shock while Rabastan headed over to the large bookshelf that was carrying what looked like books on Quidditch and healing. She slowly made her way over to the couch and sat down. She watched the flames while Rabastan hunted for the book her needed. He suddenly let out a small cry of triumph and Sita smirked seeing a large pile of the book he'd wanted had appeared next to him.
'Now, I'm going to heal your shoulder,' He stated seriously. 'It will hurt.'
'Joy,' Sita sighed and decided just to let him. If it went wrong she could go to Madame Pomfrey anyway. Rabastan held up his wand and poked her shoulder making her wince.
'Curatio!' said Rabastan. Sita cried out as the spell hit and began to work. Rabastan watched her hopefully as she cursed madly in Irish from the pain. 'Did it work?' he asked expectantly as she quieted.
Gingerly, she moved her arm, and a small smile crossed her face. 'Yeah,' She said, glancing up at him. Rabastan grinned and did a mock bow. 'Thanks.'
'You're very welcome.' Sita watched him grin and lean back in the couch. His long dark hair hung elegantly over his thin pale face. The shadow on his face made his eyes much darker. His pale blue eyes sparkled with a sinister feel. He shut his eyes for a moment as if contemplating something.
Sita grew tense when he put his arm around her; this time, it didn't appear to be a casual or reassuring gesture. She looked away when he turned his head to face her. She stared at the dark flames, trying to ignore Rabastan, who had moved closer. Her heart hit against her chest so hard that she was surprised he couldn't hear it.
Sita felt herself growing hot when he raised his hand and pushed her hair from her eyes. Reluctantly, Sita turned her head and found herself staring into his cold eyes. He moved his hand tenderly against her jaw. Rabastan moved his head closer to Sita's and his soft lips pressed hard on hers. Sita felt his tongue push through her lips to meet her own, and she allowed it. She shut her eyes, but she couldn’t ignore what was happening: Rabastan Lestrange, one of her best friends, was clearly just as attracted to her as Sierra had thought.
Sita woke to the sight of Sierra standing over her, grinning widely with an “I told you so” look on her face. Sierra always seemed to be 'telling her so’. Behind Sierra stood another one of the girls. The memory of last night with Rabastan came running back and Sita groaned out loud.
'Is it true you snogged Rabastan?' the girl behind Sierra asked inquisitively. Sita didn't reply. She sat slowly and cast a desperate glance at Sierra, who picked up on it.
'Who's spreading that? Liars,' Sierra remarked sitting back on her bed. 'Rabastan was studying in the common room all night.' The girl's excited face fell and she left the room quickly.
'Thanks,' Sita said gratefully.
'So, what happened?' Sierra asked, bouncing a little on her bed.
'We snogged. And that's about it,' Sita admitted as she stood from her bed. Sierra let out a loud giggle and fell back on her bed. 'You’re acting mature about it,' Sita commented sarcastically as Sierra laughed hysterically.
'No, I'm not laughing at that! Look at your neck!' She exclaimed falling back in another fit of giggles. Sita's eyes widened and she skidded over to the mirror, and let out a howl of disbelief.
‘I can't go to class with this!' she screamed, pointing at the dark red mark on the side of her neck. Sierra leaned forward and stared at it before laughing out loud.
'Go Lestrange!' she laughed.
Sita glared at her. 'Sierra!' she whined. 'Help me!' Sierra reluctantly pulled out a bag and rummaged for her make up. Still giggling, she found some concealer and covered the mark with it hastily.
'There, no one will notice,' she announced, putting the make up away. Sita looked in the mirror again and smiled gratefully.
Rabastan grinned at Sita when she and Sierra appeared for breakfast. His grin widened when he looked at her neck, a patch of which was a tinge darker than usual. Sita gave him a dirty look before sitting next to him. He immediately placed an arm around her waist, causing some of the Slytherin lads to smirk.
'I need to talk to you later,' he whispered. Sita nodded, shutting her eyes. Did she like Rabastan? Could she like Rabastan? Her father would be pleased; he wanted her to marry appropriately. Had he put Rabastan up to this? She stared at Rabastan as he finished his bowl of cereal. He was kind of handsome. This thought led Sita's eyes over to the Gryffindor table where Sirius Black sat with his back to her, as usual.
Sita sighed lightly. His ebony coloured hair was long and fell below his shoulders. She watched as the three of them – Sirius, Potter and Pettigrew – stood and left the table. She wondered once again where Lupin was; she hadn't seen him last night, either. Sita jumped as she felt Tobias kick her from under the table. She glared across at him but her gaze faltered when she noticed the Slytherins were all watching her. Rabastan was staring down at her, and his lip was curled slightly with disgust.
'What were you watching him for?' he hissed, removing his arm from around her. Sita stared up at him defiantly.
'I was trying to think of some way to get Potter off their team,' she replied coldly, making sure to act offended. 'A blood traitor like him? Honestly, Lestrange.'
Rabastan flinched a little when she called him by his last name. Sierra chuckled at Sita's comment and most of the Slytherins followed her lead. What kind of Slytherin would like a blood traitor like Sirius Black, after all?
'Eluo,' Sita said as she prodded the air in frustration. They were supposed to be conjuring a glass of cold water. Rabastan had conjured a glass, but it had been empty, and Flitwick had vanished it, insisting he try again. No one else had come close. Rabastan was now sitting waving his wand lightly. From what Sita could see, he wasn't trying anymore. He looked bored. Sita sighed and repeated the incantation while angrily waving her wand. A glass appeared on the table and quickly filled with water.
Flitwick came over, praising Sita happily. He placed his hand on the glass and let out a cry of pain. His hand was red and steam was coming from the glass. Sadly, he vanished it.
'Try again Ms. Massaro. You were close ... pity it was boiled water,' Flitwick squeaked walking away, pointing his wand at his hand. Rabastan snickered from behind her and Sita gave him another dirty look.
They didn't get a chance to speak in the rest of their classes. Rabastan sat next to Sita at break, grinning again at the patch of make up.
'Will you talk to me later?' he asked.
'Yeah, but what about?' Sita replied calmly. Maybe if she ignored what had happened last night he'd forget about it. She didn't know if she'd be able to say no, even though she wasn't interested.
Rabastan stared at her blankly. 'You know what. Never mind, I've got to get to class.' Sita watched him stand and leave, stalking out of the hall. Sierra raised an eyebrow at Sita, who looked away and finished her sandwich.
Sita groaned as she made her way into Potions class. Sirius was already there and had pulled out his book, flicking through it. They had another double today, and Sita wondered what they'd be making now. She frowned when Rabastan ignored her when he came in. Black seemed to pick up on this and stared at Sita gleefully.
'Trouble in paradise?'
'Trouble with Remus?' she retorted. Sirius stared at her, looking affronted. Sita didn't look at him again until Slughorn had finished giving instructions.
'Page eighty-eight. Bottle it and have it on my desk at the end of class.' He had forgotten to collect the homework, Sita noticed – which was good, since she hadn't finished it.
A half hour into the potion, Sita found herself cursing in Irish again. Sirius gave her a bemused look.
'What language is that?' he asked as he placed his roots into his cauldron.
'Irish,' Sita replied shortly, trying to chop her own roots evenly. She had her back to Sirius, but she knew well he was ahead of her.
'You're from there?' His surprise was evident.
'Yeah, I was born in Galway, but I've lived in England since I was quite young,' Sita said slowly, turning to look at him. His bright eyes were staring at her with faint interest. Sita smiled softly.
'Sita's not exactly an Irish name.'
'No, it's not. My mum just liked the name,' she replied, smiling at the thought of her mother. Sita cursed loudly again as she cut into her finger. She finished the chopping and happily threw the roots into the bubbling mixture. So far she was doing all right; she was slower than everyone else, but it was going well.
Sita turned down the heat and watched as the glowing, opalescent liquid in her cauldron simmered. Carefully, she followed Sirius and added her Augurey egg.
'That's an Irish bird,' Sirius commented, grinning a little as he stirred. A smell of celery began to fill the room. Sita looked at him for a moment before nodding lightly, grinning back.
Sita and Sirius finished the potion in silence. Sita managed to remove it from the heat on time and bottle some for Slughorn.
'Well done, Massaro, a successful potion,' Sirius joked while he packed his things. Sita laughed dryly.
'It was a fluke last week, Black, and you know it,' she replied, feigning arrogance. Sita could feel someone watching her. She had a feeling it was Rabastan. Sirius laughed out loud.
'Sure it was, Massaro.'
Rabastan grabbed Sita's shoulder as she left the dungeon and eyed her uncertainly. 'What were you doing?' he asked coldly.
Rabastan laughed derisively as they reached the stairs. 'Sure you were, Massaro,' he mimicked with a hint of a snarl. Rabastan shoved his way past Sita and through the crowd. Sita could see Sirius glance back in her direction when Rabastan pushed him out of his way. She thought she saw a small frown cross his face before he turned and continued on his way.
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