A/N: Thank you sooo soo much to all my readers & reviewers for being so patient and thank yooou sooo much to my reviewers for leaving me such wonderful and sweet reviews! *throws cookies to all of you* teehee I love ya all!
Chapter 27: Stargazer
“Jen! JEN!” Lily shouted in my ear.
“Oi! That’s how people lose their hearing,” A pained look appeared on my face, “What do you want?”
“Are you all right? You’ve been staring at…well…nothing…for the past five minutes,” Lily asked worriedly. My eyes roamed up towards hers as I gaped at her blankly.
“I’m just thinking,” I replied dryly. Lily nodded slowly and retreated.
I’ve been wondering about what Sirius and James have been talking about that night since last week. It’s quite rare to see Sirius and James tripping over their words, without their usual pompous composure. I fiddled with the hem of my skirt and sighed inwardly. I couldn’t ask him about it. I couldn’t do anything. Sirius and James do not have a reputation of playing safe; I’m frightened that they are planning something big. Something that might get them hurt or worst, killed. I motioned Lily over.
“Lily, are you worried about James at all?”
Lily squinted her eyes suspiciously, “Not particularly, why? Have they been doing something abnormal lately?”
“Well, not exactly…they’ve just been acting weird?” I supplied lamely.
“You mean they’ve stopped being gits? Yes that is quite odd.” Carisma jumped in to the conversation, nodding seriously.
I guffawed, “No seriously, haven’t you seen them? They are always huddled in the corner in secrecy, whispering about something. I’m just afraid that this isn’t any normal prank. It could be a serious one that might put them in great danger.”
“Aww…Jen, being the protective girlfriend there?” Carisma teased, which earned her a whack on the arm from me. Lily scanned the room and immediately spotted James and Sirius in the corner, Remus and Peter standing close by as though keeping watch of any potential eavesdroppers or intruders.
“I see what you mean…” Lily trailed off, cocking her head to one side as she pondered what they could possibly be talking about.
Letting out a frustrated sigh, I threw my arms in the air, “Let’s forget about that. They’ve managed to keep their limbs in tact for 17 years, they don’t need us to fuss over them. Now…let’s talk about you.” I pursed my lips as Lily and I both directed our gaze at Carisma.
Carisma’s eyes shot wide open, “What? What’d I do?”
“That Hufflepuff git still has to be dealt with,” I reminded her.
“Either you deal it with us or we’ll get the Marauders involved,” Lily threatened as I glanced at her in surprise. James has definitely rubbed off on Lily.
“Knew I shouldn’t have interfered in the first place…” Carisma muttered as she covered her face with a pillow. Lily and I exchanged victorious grins. I pulled the pillow away and waited for Carisma hesitantly.
“So what do you reckon we do?” I tapped my fingers on the table, occasionally glancing at the four boys who were still whispering suspiciously at the corner of the room.
Carisma’s eyes wandered around the room, silently pleading to escape from this uncomfortable situation. Lily read her mind, “Carisma, you aren’t getting out of this that easily,” Carisma scowled and stuck out her tongue.
“Oh, how mature we’ve grown up to be,” I grinned pleasantly as my sarcastic remark earned a particularly dirty look from Carisma.
The minutes ticked by as the three of us pondered endlessly. I was slumped over the table as Lily picked at the fraying ends of a pillow. Carisma, however, seemed slightly delighted of having a few minutes of silence from the both of us. We were so immersed in our thoughts that we hadn’t even notice the Marauders gathered behind us.
“Erm…am I interrupting something?” Sirius spoke lightly as Lily let out a shriek in shock and I jumped.
“Yes! You ruined my moment of silence!” Carisma thwacked him on the arm.
“Oy! That’s no way to say hi! Don’t you have any manners?” Carisma stuck out her tongue in response.
“Mature, this one…” Sirius jeered, pointing to Carisma, bagging him another punch in the arm.
“Oi! You’ll ruin my look if my arm becomes black and blue tomorrow!” Sirius examined his arm carefully.
“Don’t be such a girl, guys are supposed to have a higher pain threshold,” Carisma retorted with a sneer. James and Remus snorted.
Sirius’s eyes widened as he glanced at me. Clearing his throat, his voice became deeper, “Um…I mean, that didn’t hurt at all, what are you talking about?”
Carisma rolled her eyes, “You’re pathetic,”
“You’re a lovely ray of sunshine today, aren’tcha?” Sirius remarked sarcastically. Sirius sprung away just in time as Carisma lunged for him.
“Enough fooling around, we still have to figure out what we’re going to do about this Hufflepuff,” Lily bit her lower lip.
“Oh is that what the three of you have been racking your brains over for the past--,” James glanced at the clock, “Half an hour? Ah…amateurs, leave it to us,” James winked at Lily who shook her head in disparagement.
“No? Aww, why not? You’re no fun!” Sirius pouted.
“Now, I’ll have none of that here, you march your hiney up to bed,” I replied equally as Sirius hung his head in shame, “Honestly, we can’t have the four of you blowing his head to the size of a house or something; we have to be more subtle…” I scratched my chin.
“Well, we were actually thinking more of the size of a cathedral---but whatever makes you happy,” James shrugged.
“James…” Lily chastised warningly.
James lowered his eyes and murmured, “Sorry.” Carisma and I were muffling giggles at the sight of James’ guilty and fearful expression. James raised his eyes and shot us a look.
The minutes began to tick by again. The seven of us were silent and lounged randomly around the dark mahogany table. The only sounds were the soft scratching of quills on parchments as several students were still scattered around the common room, finishing their homework. I leaned across the floor and grabbed a velvet pillow. I threw it around several times before snatching it in mid-air, capturing the attention of the rest of the crowd.
“You know…” I started slowly, pulling my fingers through my hair, “Maybe getting those lot involved wouldn’t be such a terrible idea,” I glanced at the Marauders.
“Are you serious?” James pretended to have tears in his eyes, “I…I would…wait no…WE…we would be SO SO SO incredibly honored…” James was fanning himself repeatedly, “Oh my lord…I would like to thank Padfoot…because come on---“ He was cut off as my pillow smashed in to his face.
“James, shut up!” I chuckled as the rest of the group broke out in to a fit of laughter.
“Are you sure?” Lily leaned over and whispered in my ear.
“Absolutely…they are the only ones in the entire school to be able to pull off anything and still get away with it,” I nodded confidently.
“Bollocks, do count the number of detentions,” Lily countered with a small chuckle.
“Well…alright, sometimes they do get caught but hey, there is no way on earth that we could manage this without getting caught,” I buried my face in my hands.
“How do you know? We’re one of the top students in Hogwarts. We’re better candidates for this job because no one in Hogwarts, alive or dead, would suspect us of doing anything remotely close to even breaking the most useless school rule,” whispered Lily as she bounced around with an air of excitement.
I nodded, still slightly uncomfortable about the situation, “But…do we even have the willpower to do this?”
“We weren’t placed in Gryffindor for nothing,” Lily winked.
“I don’t know…” I moaned as Lily grinned at me, silently hoping.
“How about this? We recruit the help of the Marauders as well,” Lily compromised with a sigh.
“Deal!” I cheered.
“So what’s the final plan?” Sirius stuck his head in between us. Yanking the Marauders over to the side, the six of us began preparations for payback. Carisma, on the other hand, was grunting in frustration.
As Jen, Lily and the rest of the Marauders whispered intensely in a small circle. I leaned back on the sofa and stretched, while gazing silently at Jen. I craned my neck to the left and right, slowly observing her. I had to be absolutely sure. I shook my head vigorously. Of course I was sure! It’s her, I’m talking about…there’s no one else. Taking a deep breath, I buried my face in my hands and cleared my mind of absolutely everything. That was when I realized what I should do. What I had to do. What I will do.
I will put the plan in to action…soon…incredibly soon.
The chilly glass window shook slightly as winds blew by the silver moon outside. Lily, Carisma and I wrapped ourselves in warm blankets and quietly snuck downstairs in to the cozy warm common room. The three of us were insomniac that night for some strange reason, we didn’t really mind. This was probably the only opportunity that three of us were able to talk to each other in private without students ‘accidentally’ eavesdropping, students yelling at each other from across each ends of the room and/or one of the Marauders rudely butting in…or rather, crashing in to our conversation.
“To tell you the truth, it’s still quite shocking to see you with James even after all this while,” Carisma noted with a quirky smile.
“I understand what you mean…we’ve been complete enemies all this time…I get pretty shocked myself,” Lily chuckled softly.
“We?” I urged with a raised eyebrow.
Lily threw up her hands, “Fine…maybe I was being a tad mean to him,” Lily muttered, covering her face with a nearby pillow.
“A tad?” Carisma teased.
“What is this? Attack-Lily day? Sod off!” Lily chucked her pillow at us, “Jen, I’ve been meaning to ask…” She trailed off slowly, a serious look on her face.
I pursed my lips and furrowed my eyebrows waiting for Lily to continue. Carisma and I exchanged glances as Carisma shrugged.
“Well…I know that Sirius and you have gotten pretty close lately and the end of the school year is drawing close. What’s going to happen?” asked Lily gently.
My eyes widened slightly, startled that Lily had questioned me about my relationship with Sirius. Honestly, I have been thinking about this too. Where would our relationship go? Was this just a school fling that I will vaguely remember in the future? Was this relationship even serious? Love is such a powerful word…does he even love me? Do I even love him? In the movies, their catch phrase: follow your heart. Sometimes, it isn’t that easy; especially when your heart is a jumbled ball of confusion. I lowered my eyes and swallowed roughly, “I…” I was afraid to tell them what I thought. I didn’t want them to judge me.
Finally, I took a deep breath and finished, “Seriously don’t know…” Carisma and Lily nodded sympathetically.
“But you do know that you will have to make a decision and fast…” Carisma added softly as she twisted her head towards the crumpled pages of the calendar hanging up on the wall. I laid my head on the side of the sofa and sighed. What am I supposed to do? I truly like him…possibly love him?
* * *
My eyes flew open in fear as someone clutched my shoulder. Alarmed, I let out a terrified scream and leapt away from the stranger.
“Jen! SHH!” Someone whispered as I whipped around to see Sirius staring back at me.
“Oh God…you gave me a fright!” I breathed heavily, slowly calming down.
“What on earth have you three been doing?” whispered Sirius glancing somewhere behind my shoulder. I craned my neck around awkwardly and saw Carisma and Lily, fast asleep on the sofa.
“Nothing…” I yawned as I leaned back down on the sofa.
“No no…up you go,” Effortlessly, he lifted me off the sofa and stood me up, “Now you march your self up there and clean up, I’ll be waiting,” Grinning, he pushed me up the stairs.
I threw him a dirty look before crawling up the dormitory stairs. “Lily! Carisma! Come on!” I mustered up all the strength I had at 6 in the morning and yelled.
* * *
I raised my eyes once again to see that Sirius and James were once again giving strange looks to each other.
I furrowed my eyebrows and nudged Sirius on the side, “Is there something going on with you and James that I should know about?” I winked suggestively.
Sirius’ jaw dropped about three feet as he gasped, “No! No Bloody hell no!”
Lily and I guffawed at both Sirius’ and James’ expressions.
“Care to explain what’s going on though?” I smiled as Sirius linked his fingers through mine.
“Nothing, nothing at all,” He grinned as he leaned down and gave me an intense kiss.
“Oy mate, I’m trying to eat here!” James crinkled his face in disgust.
I laughed and pulled away as Sirius shook his head at James. I turned around to see that Lily and Carisma were whispering in serious tones.
I stared at them until Lily looked up and immediately blushed, “Hey…hey Jen,” She stammered nervously.
I blinked blankly, “Hi…” I trailed off as everyone around the table began getting up for class. Hmm…I’ll have to ask Lily or Carisma about that later. Everybody’s been acting so queer lately. What on earth is going on?
* * *
“Good evening dear,” The Fat Lady nodded with a grin.
I smiled, “Good evening,” I stepped through the portrait door only to see Carisma rushing towards me.
“Jen! Jen! I desperately need your help!” She panted urgently.
“What’s wrong?” I demanded critically as I dropped my bag on the side.
“You know the Astronomy Tower?” I nodded as Carisma fought to go on, “I left my notebook there with extremely important notes but I have a load of homework upstairs that I have to finish! Would you mind—“
I interjected, “Say no more, I’ll be back soon,”
“Oh thank you so much!” Carisma cried ecstatically as she enveloped me in a hug.
I jogged out of the portrait door and towards the Astronomy Tower. The halls were empty and as night drew closer, the temperature gradually dropped. I slowed down to a stroll and took note of every single sound and object around me. After this year, Hogwarts will be a distant memory to me. I’ll miss it so much.
I slowly climbed the winding staircase up to the Astronomy Tower, occasionally glancing out the window as the moon settled comfortably in the dark velvety indigo clouds. As I reached the top, I raised my eyes, expecting to see Carisma’s notebook but what I saw, was something I never would have expected.
I blinked several times, making sure that I wasn’t dreaming. There were calla lilies and stargazers everywhere, two of my favorite flowers of all time. I looked around blankly, ‘What on earth was going on?’ ‘Who in the world was doing this?’ ‘And where the heck is that stupid notebook?’
Then out of nowhere, out stepped Sirius with a grin on his face. I had been so shocked by what I saw that I had lost the ability to speak. He closed in on the space between us as his tantalizing gray eyes bore in to mine.
Swallowing, I finally found my voice, “Sirius…what’s um…what’s going on? I’m supposed to collect a notebook,” I murmured as Sirius smiled before leaning down and kissing me passionately.
“Hold on,” He whispered as his arms circled around my waist and before I knew it, I was dangling 100 feet in the air on Sirius’ broom as we flew in to the chilly night sky.
“Um…I don’t think I’ve told you this before,” I closed my eyes, afraid to look down, “But…err…I’m slightly afraid of heights,” I held on to the broom tightly as I yelped in fear.
“Just let yourself go, trust me…you won’t fall,” Sirius chuckled.
Finally, after several rounds around the magnificent castle, he came to a stop near the Great Lake. “Look down below,” Sirius gripped my hands carefully. I shook my head, keeping my eyes tightly closed.
“Come on, we’re not flying anymore. It’s safe, open your eyes…” Sirius urged soothingly.
Finally, I peered to the side to see the big oak tree where…Sirius (the dog) and I first began talking. I chuckled, “Memories huh?”
Sirius nodded seriously, “Look at me,”
I looked up, “I think it might be better for my heart if we went back to the tower first…” I swallowed anxiously.
Sirius let out a bark of laughter, “Jen, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I have something incredibly serious that I have to say…”
Oh God. He’s going to end it right here. 100 feet in the air. Frozen and numb. Deathly scared. Way to pick the perfect moment, Sirius. I inhaled deeply and prepared myself mentally. Inside, I hurriedly thought of a calm and rational response to say.
“Jen…I truly love you…” Sirius said softly. I took a deep breath and slowly raised my eyes, trying my best to be strong. ‘Don’t say that! That makes it worst!’ I yelled internally. He’s broken up with a million girls and this is how he does it? No wonder all of them come running back sobbing their little hearts out. Oh this is just magnificent; I’m going to become one of them.
I swallowed. Come on. You can do this. JUST SPIT IT OUT! Do it!
Before I could open my mouth to say anything, Jen softly murmured, “I love you too, Sirius.”
At that moment, emotions erupted in my heart and I knew that this was truly meant to be.
All of a sudden, the words that had been stuck in my throat just several seconds before flowed out of my mouth, smooth as silk, “Jennivra Chavez, will you do me the honor of being my wife?”
I took another deep breath, preparing myself for the absolute worst that could happen.
“Jennivra Chavez, will you do me the honor of being my wife?” Sirius asked with bated breath.
I raised my eyes to meet Sirius’ emotion filled heavenly grey eyes. I shook my head roughly to make sure that this wasn’t a dream. I was so sure that he was going to end it right then and there. I had prepared myself for it. This was incredibly unexpected; beyond unexpected.
“Jen?” Sirius asked, a hint of anxiousness in his voice. I searched his grey eyes and there and then, I knew that my answer had to be…
“YES! Oh gosh, of course yes!” I flung my arms around him, completely forgetting that we were still a hundred feet in the air or so.
Sirius cheered and leaned down to give me an intense, passion-filled kiss, “Come on, let’s go back! It’s getting chilly up here,” Sirius grinned, “But before I go…” He reached in to his pocket and pulled out a magnificent and gorgeous engagement ring.
“Oh…” I gasped. He carefully slid the ring on to my finger, and we both leaned up at the same time for a kiss.
“What do you think?” He grinned as we strolled hand in hand back to the common room.
“I think it’s gorgeous,” I chuckled holding my hand up, “Where’d you get it?”
“It was my mother’s…” Sirius smiled, “An heirloom of the Blacks, I may not like my family but for some reason, I’ve always liked that ring…it really takes your breath away,”
“But…your mother reluctantly gave it to you?” I asked softly, knowing how sensitive the topic of families can get.
Sirius nodded, “I had to be bloody polite and sweet even while she was chucking insult after insult at me,” My expression must’ve saddened a lot because he tilted my chin up, “No! No! It was definitely worth it…” He grinned.
“You’re too sweet to be true…” I wrapped my arms around him.
That night in bed, I replayed the entire scene in my head again and remembered what I saw in his eyes.
Nothing but pure love.
A/N: Thanks again for being sooo patient! i really hope that you guys liked this chapter and sorry again for the super long wait! Please leave a review because you know how much I love hearing from you guys!