Chapter 3 : Unlocking Maps and Hearts
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It wasn’t as if Filch’s ideas for detention were difficult, because they weren’t, no matter how much Filch believed they were. It was more that James was bored of the same old punishments: polishing the trophies, scrubbing the Grand Staircase, or alphabetizing files of contra banned items. He got bored easily and that was mostly the reason he was always landed in detention, for trying to liven things up in the castle. Or perhaps it was because of his temper.
He heard the loud thunk of boots enter the room and though he did not take his eyes off the ceiling he knew who it was. He clenched his teeth.
“You’re late,” Filch growled. He was standing behind Sirius who was sitting cross-legged on the stone floor.
“Did you get your Kitty?” Missy asked. James frowned; she wasn’t the monotonous girl she had appeared to be. She had taken on an almost playful quality which disgusted him.
Filch crossed his arms over his chest. “I have – ,” he paused, “no idea what you are talking about.”
“You want a cat?” Sirius asked looking up at the gruff man. “I didn’t know you had a soft spot for animals.”
“Get to work.” Filch moved quickly to the door, as if trying to escape. After it slammed loudly, the noise reverberating throughout the large room, James picked up two rags from the floor and tossed on to Sirius. A large bucket of slippery polish sat in the middle of the space.
Missy had already tied back her choppy black hair, strands of it disobeying, and dipped half her rag in the bucket.
James dipped his rag into the murky liquid. They had been working for about an hour. Missy’s boots lay forgotten on the floor and he saw her wiping a layer of dust clean.
“Put your shoes on,” James hissed at her. But she simply walked back over to the bucket after finishing as if she couldn’t hear him. Whatever playful quality she had when she entered was gone and she was back to the venomous girl they had trapped in the dungeons.
One thing James hated more than Slytherin’s was being ignored. He could not stand being ignored. Lily Evans did it all the time, pretending not to notice him. He would take it from her, but he would not take it from Poison Lips. He walked toward her, pushing her against the case of trophies with a bang. Several trophies fell over and James felt Sirius’s gaze on him from behind.
“Listen to me when I’m talking to you,” James snarled. “You should be thrilled I even uttered a word in your direction.” He had her pinned by her shoulders. “Look at me god damn it!”
“Let me go.” She looked up; her large green iris’s staring straight into his brown ones. And he kissed her, his lips crashing onto hers. He felt her mouth open slightly and quickly slid his tongue in and pressed his body closer. Someone grabbed his upper arm and yanked him off. It was Sirius.
“James,” he said slowly, “what are you doing?”
James glanced at Missy, his hands still pinning her to the glass. His eyes widened and he stumbled backward. He tripped over the bucket, soaking his jeans, and fell onto the floor.
“I – I – I thought she was –,”James was panicking. “Her eyes. They look like – like Lily’s. I thought…”
Sirius watched his friend clutched his skull and yanked at his hair. “Shit.”
“Are these lips really so poisonous?” Missy asked, whispering in James’s ear. Sirius saw James wince as she spoke so close to him. She was making fun of him, her voice mocking. “They must be. You seem to have gone pale.” She picked up her boots. “Sirius, I hope you can find the antidote for him.” And she walked out of the room, a smirk placed on her face.
“Shit,” Sirius said again. He knelt next to James; he didn’t know what to say. The more he thought over the events that had occurred, the more his eyes twinkled and the more his smile grew. There was something about the way Misericordia handled things that made him want to see more of her.
“Sirius,” James lifted up his head and Sirius immediately dropped his grin. “Let’s get out of here.”
Misericordia had just gotten back from detention. She was kneeling beside Severus’s bed staring out the enchanted window in the Slytherin Boy’s dormitory. The dorms were the only places in the dungeons that held host to windows, real or unreal. Outside the sky had already turned inky purple, but that was to be expected. Fall was ending and Winter beginning.
“Why don’t you take a break from working? You’ve been at it all day,” she said, her gaze shifting to look at Severus.
He sighed. “I have to get three essays done by tomorrow.”
“I don’t remember that much homework assigned.”
“Don’t ask,” he said rubbing his temples frustrated. Severus never told her much, no matter how close they were. He had his share of problems but never let her get involved. But the fact of the matter was that she never shared her thoughts with him either.
Missy kicked off one of her large platformed boots.
“I’m trying to give you a break.” She stuck her hand inside her boot and pulled out her stash. “And after this I have something to show you.”
She crawled onto Severus’s bed to sit beside him. She opened the small plastic bag and poured some of the sparkling blue powder into his hand. Her dad had sent it to her, he was a Pixie breeder. His job was to breed Pixie’s and sell them to crop farmers, who let them lose across their fields. The Pixie was the natural enemy of all magical insects. And her father, a dust junkie himself, only gave her the best. He always hid the small packets inside an article of clothing that he would owl her.
Severus snorted it up, a small smile on his face.
“And after detention tonight,” she said smirking and shook some dust into her own hand, “there is no reason I can’t have a little pick-me-up.” She breathed in quickly but heavily through her nose and felt the familiar stinging sensation. Her brain felt a jolt and she wiped her nose before twisting the bag shut.
She pushed herself off his bed and threw the bag into her boot which she slipped on.
“I’m sleeping with you tonight.”
Severus looked up at her from his work, his eyes wide. She realized her wording.
“Well, in here,” she said correcting herself. Her eyes moved at the speed of light, dancing around the room. She smiled slowly. Everything looked like it did in old pictures and movies.
Far off she heard Severus talking, his tone humorous. “What’d you have to show me?”
Her attention snapped to Severus and she stood up. His skin seemed so soft and the candlelight made it look so delicate. She felt herself glide over to his side, place a hand on his cheek and lightly kiss his thin lips.
Pure adrenaline racing through his body, his high was beginning. Severus’s eyes shut instinctively. He had been waiting for this ecstasy for what seemed like years.
The softest lips that had ever touched his pulled away and he looked into the eyes of Misericordia. His heart plummeted. Her pupils were the size of the tip of his quill. They reminded him that she was in her movie, her judgment masked.
She always told him about how enchanted everything looked to her in her high. He knew her eyes were tricking her, making him look enchanted too.
Missy was blinking, her expression blank. She leaned in again, shutting her hypnotizing eyes. She looked even more beautiful than she normally was and she was actually going to kiss him again. He swelled with guilt, he couldn’t do this.
Her eyes slowly opened, her face mere centimeters away from his.
“You needed to show me something?”
She slumped backward. “Oh yeah.” She reached into her back pocket dazed and pulled out a piece of wrinkly old parchment.
Severus laughed, his laugh seeming foreign to his own ears. It was a stupid blank piece of paper. But then he noticed that black ink was moving across the pages.
“I found it,” she said and she unfolded it more. Immediately Severus recognized the drawings on it to be that of a map. He furrowed his eyebrows and looked closer.
“It’s a map of -”
“Hogwarts.” Missy’s grin seemed to cover her whole face. “Secret passageways included.”
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