Chapter 15 : The Fallout
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I’ll admit- Regulus and I had a rocky start. It was awkward between us in the beginning… Okay, so, maybe it was just awkward to me. I didn’t know how to act around him. One moment I would be kind of shy and then the next I would blurt out the weirdest thing. I’d be so mortified afterwards I would clam up and feel the heat rising in my cheeks. He thought it was cute. I thought it was extremely irritating. It wasn’t like it was my first time being in a relationship with a guy before; the only difference was that he was a Slytherin. But over time I grew accustom to him, his smooth talking and behavior. Now, I wouldn’t say I was in love with him, but I am very fond of him. Love’s just too strong of a word, and too soon, to use.
It wasn’t common for a Gryffindor and a Slytherin to be seen together, unless they were at each others throat, it was normal, but to see them acting civil in each others company is, well, bizarre. Regulus and I managed to keep our relationship to ourselves. It was for the best. Not because we were ashamed of each other. He made me happy, made me laugh, took my mind off of things when I stressed over them too much and didn’t make me feel small when I was around him. Too bad he couldn’t make me feel any less paranoid. As hard as I tried to push the thought from my head, I knew Lily and the Marauders would find out, it was only a question of when and how.
“See you tomorrow?” Regulus asked coolly, half smiling. His grip on my hand began to loosen as we reached the staircase that led to the Gryffindor tower. We’d just returned from our nightly walk. Sadly, we didn’t get to spend as much time together, what with classes, assignments and other things, but often times, when given the chance, we would meet in the evening and depart sometime before curfew. “Same time, same place?
Leaning forward, I kissed his cheek and said, “Do you even have to ask me that?” Smiling, I winked at him and began to walk towards the stairs, but stopped when I felt his hand grab my wrist. I looked over my shoulder, questioningly.
Shrugging, he pulled me to him and furrowed his dark eyebrows, “I thought I should ask. I mean, you haven’t exactly been spending a lot of time with your-” he paused, his eyes shifting to the side for a moment, then finding their way back to mine, he wrinkled his nose a bit, “-Friends. I thought that maybe… you would want to spend some time with them for a change.”
How considerate. I thought sarcastically, tilting my head to the side. “Why, Mr. Black, are you becoming bored with me already?” I asked, half joking. Less then a month was how long we’d been together. It seemed too soon to have become bored with one another, but some people were known to be fickle. Had I been wrong to assume Regulus wasn’t like that?
He raised an eyebrow at my question, I assumed, and, to my surprise, began to laugh. I beamed. I liked his laugh. It was both comforting to hear and contagious. “Of course not,” he replied at last, wrapping his arms around my waist to pull me closer. “What ever gave you the idea that I would become bored of you?” His tone was playful, but his eyes showed that he was being sincere. For me, it was always hard to tell when he was being serious or not, but I liked this side of him- playful. It made me more easy-going around him. I shrugged at his question with a smile. “Now, about you and your friends…?”
“I don’t think they notice me anymore,” I responded quietly, my smile slowly turned into a sad one. “I don’t even think they’re aware of my nightly walks. They’re all too busy with their own lives to worry about me,” I bit the inside of my lip.
Sighing heavily, he nodded as if he understood and furrowed his brows, “Well then, no worries, love.” He winked and gave me his most charming smile. “You’ve still got me, don’t forget, and I’m in no hurry to leave you.”
You’re too much. I couldn’t tell if he was being sincere or not, but that didn’t stop my heart from fluttering either way. I definitely wasn’t use to hearing things like that- it was nice. Regaining myself, I raised an eyebrow and asked in mock serious, “Are you trying to scare me, Regulus, or are you trying to reassure me?”
He smirked a little, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” He asked, leaning forward slowly, giving me a brief kiss. He smiled as he pulled away. “You should get to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, Mother,” I gave a short laugh as he glared at me playfully. He let go of my waist and I began to walk up the stairs backwards. “Night, Reg.” I called out to him just before he disappeared from my site completely.
He sent me a half smile and a wink, “Night, love.” I kept my hand on the rail as I watched him leave my site. I turned and began making my way towards the Gryffindor tower, taking my time. I wasn’t exactly in a hurry.
My thoughts suddenly drifted to Regulus, I pursed my lips, trying to stop myself from smiling. No, I definitely wasn’t in love with him, but I was in serious like. For a Slytherin he was a really decent guy. I was lucky. I just wish Lily and the others would understand, but I knew they wouldn’t. Why bother telling them I was dating one, let alone him being Sirius’ younger brother? I could just imagine their reaction.
Stepping inside the Gryffindor common room, my mind went blank. I was surprised to find Lily and the guys scattered around the room, their eyes all on me. I smiled hesitantly, “Hey, guys,” I tilted my head to the side, furrowing my brows when I didn’t get a response from them. “What’re you all doing up so late?” I took a few steps towards them.
“What are we doing up so late?” The question came from my right side. My eyes met with Sirius’, who was now making his way towards me. He was scowling, brows drawn down. “No, the real question here is- what are you doing up so late?” He stopped a few feet way, staring down at me. I hated being short.
“Sirius,” Lily began warningly. She was sitting beside James on the couch, “You promised you wouldn’t.” Her green eyes shifted towards me for a moment then back to him, but he was still looking at me. What the hell was all this about?
Sirius finally tore his eyes from me to look over his shoulder at her. I could only imagine the murderous look he was giving her by the expression on her face. “I never promised anything.” Lily narrowed her eyes at him, then looked to James for, what I assumed, back-up, but he merely shook his head and ran a hand through his dark hair.
Confused by what was going on, I bravely asked. “What’s all this about, what’s going on, what’s the problem?” Were they angry because they’d found out that I was sneaking out at night? That I was ignoring them as much as they were ignoring me? Or… had they found out that Regulus and me…? No, I was careful. He and I were careful not to draw any attention to ourselves.
Immediately Sirius’ head snapped towards my direction. “The problem?” he asked, looking almost taken aback. “You of all people should know. I know you know. Don’t act stupid with me- us, Castillo!” My head jerked back involuntarily. He said my last name. It was nothing new. Sirius had a habit of saying my last name when he was annoyed or feeling playful, but he had never used it when he was angry. The harshness in his voice startled me a bit. I looked to James, but he wouldn’t look at me. My heart sunk.
“Sirius,” Remus spoke up this time, getting up from his seat to stand in front of Sirius and I. “That’s enough.” Okay, now I was really worried. Remus was standing up to Sirius for me, but not James. My heart sped up, my stomach began to churn.
“We’ve been hearing things, Murphy,” James said quietly. The expression on his face matched the one Sirius wore, but he seemed to be keeping himself in check.
“What things?” I asked feeling frustrated. I was growing annoyed and angry by the second. Why was everyone so mad?
“You guys might want to lower your voices,” Peter said looking towards the staircase that led to the dorm rooms. “It’s passed curfew and some people are trying to sleep.”
I nodded, agreeing with him. I placed a hand on Remus’ shoulder, he turned his head to look at me and I quietly told him to move aside. When he did, I took a step towards Sirius. “What-kind-of-things have you been hearing about and what-do-they have to do with me?” I asked trying to remain calm. I could only hold my anger and annoyance back for so long.
“We’ve been hearing things about you and Regulus, Murphy,” Lily answered my question. My heart stopped for a split second. They knew. Should I deny it? No, that would probably make things worse for me.
I swallowed the nonexistent spit in my mouth. My eyes locked with Sirius’. “Who told you?” My question was directed at Lily, but I never took my eyes off of Sirius. His eyes darkened.
“So it’s true then?” James asked.
“Who told you?”
“What does it matter?” Sirius asked still scowling at me. “It’s not like the person was lying.” He narrowed his eyes, shaking his head, “I should have known something like this would happen. I was stupid to ignore the signs. The secret smiles. The looks from across the room. The ‘running into each other by accident’. The dance. How long have the two of you been together behind my back?”
His back? It seemed like I wasn’t the only person thinking the same thing. James and Lily were giving him curious looks, Peter had tilted his head to the side, but I couldn’t see Remus, he was still standing behind me. “Not that long,” I replied.
If possible Sirius’ face darkened. “A little more specific, please,” he asked through gritted teeth.
“How specific?” I asked matching his stare and tone, feeling more confident. I wouldn’t let Sirius get the best of me this time. I wasn’t one to be pushed around especially not by him. The stupid, bloody idiot. But just to see his reaction, I told him, “Less then a month, three weeks, give or take a day or two. Is that specific enough for you?”
His face softened a bit, he looked hurt. “You’ve been going out with my brother for less then a month? How could you keep this from us? How could you go around with him behind our backs?” His voice was rising again.
“‘Our backs’ now, is it? I thought it was just yours…” I snarled. This was getting ugly, I could feel it. The room seemed to have disappeared. It was just me and him now, everyone else was gone. Or at least that’s how it felt. “You’re jealous,” I stated boldly. “I’ve finally found someone that makes me happy, someone whose company I enjoy besides yours and you’re upset about it!”
“Jealous?! Makes you happy?!” He asked outraged. He forced a laugh. “I am not jealous. He’s a bloody Slytherin, and my brother for Merlin and Godric’s sake! You could have chosen anyone and I would have been happy for you. Anyone, but my brother. I’m starting to wonder if you chose him to spite me for some reason!”
“Ugh, you’re bloody infuriating! What makes you think I chose Regulus to spite you?” I wanted to badly to tell him then how I felt, but my pride was getting the best of me. “This may come as a shock to you, Sirius Black, but my life doesn’t revolve around you!”
His eyes flared as he opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by someone.
“Don’t mean to interrupt you two love birds.” The room reappeared as everyone looked towards the staircase, where a boy from our year stood in his night clothes, looking rather annoyed and tired. “But some of us are trying to sleep! So if you could keep it down just a wee bit we’d all be bloody grateful!”
“Sorry, Izzy,” James stood up, “We’re just having a discussion, we’ll keep it down.”
Nodding and muttering curses underneath his breath, Izzy turned around and stomped back upstairs. Everyone turned to look at Sirius and I. “This discussion is over. Regulus and I are together, get use to it. Get over it.” I started for the girl’s dorm, the heat in my cheeks rising. I was trying to calm myself.
“You don’t know him, like I do.” I froze and slowly turned to face Sirius. “He’s not what you think he is. He’s a Slytherin, Murphy and a Black…”
“You’re a Black too.”
“Not by choice,” he retorted. “My Parents, my family… they support He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. What makes you so sure Regulus doesn’t? Do you really know him that well?”
I looked away from Sirius to Lily then James, Peter and finally Remus. I noticed that they hadn’t really spoken all that much. They were probably present for moral support or to keep Sirius in check. Why were they all against me? Why were they backing me up against a corner? It wasn’t fair.
“We ask you, Murphy, as your best friends: stay away from Regulus. He’s no good for you,” he said, the other nodding along with his request.
“If you really were my best friends,” I began, my voice shaking. “You wouldn’t ask me that.” With that I turned away from them and headed to bed.
I didn’t sleep at all that night.
A/n: Okay, I am so nervous to hear what you all thought of this chapter. My writers block was bad so I'm afraid it didn't come out right. I did, however, manage to update Mind of a Stranger (freakin' miracle! lol) and Baby, if you're interested. Please review. Thank you!
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