Chapter 5 : Damaged Reputations
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“Beware of those angels with their wings glued on.”
At eight on Monday night, I find myself walking to the History of Magic classroom as specified two days ago. As I put my hand on the door handle, I shake my head in disgust. Although yesterday I found Sirius and complained about meeting him so late, he brushed me off by ignoring me.
Anyways, so I’m going into the classroom. Once I take my first step past the threshold, the door shuts behind me. I swear and grab the handle but it won’t open. Then I turn around and shout, “OPEN THE BLOODY DOOR!” To which Sirius responds by laughing.
“Come in, Aria,” he says with an exaggerated Irish accent, waving his hand forward as if beckoning me. “I’ll unlock the door later. Wouldn’t want a teacher coming in, right? Or wait,” he frowns, “did the spell only prevent the people on the inside from opening the door?”
I glare at him to hide my unease. Being locked in an empty classroom with Sirius Black isn’t exactly my idea of comforting.
“Did you bring it ?” he asks anxiously.
It doesn’t take a genius (although yes, I do count myself in that category) to know w hat he means by “it.”
“Well, go get it!” he demands brashly.
“No, thank you,” I say in a sickly-sweet voice. I can’t stand people ordering me around, even if it’s for my own good – and nothing Sirius says is for my own good. Nothing my mom says is for my own good either, just to boost her place by having such a ‘nice, well mannered daughter.’ “I think it’s fine where it is… safe and unhexed.”
He grins at that. “Like the surprise?”
“It wasn’t funny,” I tell him firmly, though actually, now that I think of it, it was rather amusing – but I’m not going to laugh about it until I get over wanting to drive a stake through Sirius’s heart.
“I think it was very funny.” He has a self-satisfied smirk on his face.
“You think?” I lifted an eyebrow. “No wonder it’s a rubbish thought.”
“Not niiicee,” he whines. “You want me to help with this or not?”
I let out a defeated sigh. “Yes.”
The cocky grin is back. “Then go get it,” he commands.
“No. Not part of the deal.” I cross my arms firmly and try to stare him down. Rarely would I do anything Sirius wanted even if he asked. The chances of me obeying a demand are even less likely.
“Then I’m not helping you,” he says just as firmly.
“What?” I exclaim angrily. “But you said!”
He laughs. “Aww, you’re so cute.”
I glare at him, reaching for my wand. “Black,” I warn in a low voice.
He grins. “I could care,” he says. “Less you’d rather I thought of something for you to do – like stand on the table tomorrow at breakfast and profess your undying love for me.”
“But I hate you!” I protest feebly.
Again he just grins. “Could care!” he repeats in a sing-song voice.
Argh. Smug berk.
So really, faces with those two options, I’m back in the classroom five minutes later, iPod clutched in my hand.
It’s sad how far I would go for his help. Am I really that bad at pranking?
But do I care? Let’s just say that if I did, I wouldn’t be here.
“Play it,” he tells me.
“Why, yes, your majesty!” I say in a mocking voice. Giving him a death glare of doom, I hand him one of the speakers and we both sit, our backs against the wall.
“Plays!” he commands again.
B. E. R. K.
I love him,
But when the night is over
He is gone, a river’s just a river.
Without him, the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere the streets are full of strangers…
“What’s it called?” Sirius asks in a soft, gentle voice that is so different than his usual one.
“On My Own,” I whisper back, not knowing why I’m whispering.
He gives a small, sad smile. “I can relate to this one,” he tells me as the music plays on.
I love him,
But everyday I’m learning
That all my life, I’ve only been pretending.
Without me, his world will go on turning.
A world so full of happiness that I have never known…
“How so?” I ask. Feeling the need to lighten the mood, I tease, “The girls you meet with at night pretend not to notice you the next day?”
“Ha, ha,” he says dryly. “How droll, Miss Arianna Falba.”
“What’s with the surname?”
He shrugs, grey eyes flickering downwards. “Sorry.”
I blink. Sorry? That’s the last thing I expected to hear him say.
“I just haven’t been myself lately,” he says quietly. “It’s like my whole world has been changing but I’ve only began to notice.”
Impulsively, I put my arms around his waist and lean against his chest. He tucks his chin over my head, encompassing me in his arms. I close my eyes and just focus on breathing. He really doesn’t smell bad…
“Aria,” he whispers. His fingers are cold against the bottom of my chin – when did he put them there?
I feel his breath warm my face and shift closer to him in his arms. Did I say I hated him only minutes ago? Can your opinion of someone change that fast?
My mind speeds into overdrive as he leans closer. My eyes are locked onto his, solemner than usual but with the same humorous glint hidden away.
“Aria,” he murmurs again, voice gentle velvet, bringing his face so close. Closer and closer and closer and closer and
he pulls back, jumps to his feet, and laughs. “Thanks for bringing the iPod, mate! Let’s get to work now, shall we?”
I can actually feel heat rising to my cheeks. “Then hurry and tell me the plan, Black.” My voice is cold, impersonal. I put my hands on my hips. “I’ve been waiting for you to get to it. We don’t have all night, you know.”
He blinks at me. “You okay?”
“I’m fine,” I seethe. “Just get to it, okay?”
“Sure, Aria.” He takes some folded – well, waded up – parchment from his trouser pockets and tries to smooth it out on a desk.
I take this as an opportunity to calm myself down. What did I think he would do? Kiss me? Why does it matter that he didn’t? Hell, I should be glad that he didn’t!
And I am glad, right?
But it really wasn’t nice of him to lead me on like that.
Sirius Black is going down.
“Hey, you alive in there?” He nudges me.
I take a step away from him, which he acknowledges with a flick of his eyes. “Fine, touchy,” he mutters. “Anyway, I was thinking we could –”
The door opens and a seventh year Gryffindor, Ellador, and her Ravenclaw boyfriend Van enter, hand in hand.
When she sees us, me scooting away from Sirius, a big grin lights up her face. “Ohmigawd, are you two going out?” she demands.
“No!” I exclaim, thinking, Just my luck she missed Sirius stuffing the papers into his pocket.
At the same time, Sirius goes, “Yes. Yes, we are.”
My mouth drops open and I turn to ogle him, horrified.
Ellador squeals. “You two make such a cute couple!”
MERCY! MERLIN, GOD, LORD BUDDAH, WHATEVER DIETY THERE MAY HAPPEN TO BE, SPARE ME AND JUST KILL ME NOW.
She drags her poor boyfriend back out the door, leaving it open.
“Muhh-whahha?” is all I can manage to choke out.
Sirius shrugged. “What, you’d rather explain that we were plotting Meggie’s demise? Why does it matter?”
I glance behind me at the wall and feel strongly tempted to bash my head against it. Instead, I groan. “Do you have any idea how dead I am?” I moan. “If people think I’m going out with you, my life will be over!”
He looks offended at this. “Gee, thanks!” he exclaims. “Thanks very much! Come on, Aria, there are worse people to go out with.”
“Can’t think of any at the moment!” I snap back.
He snorts and gives me a sly smile. “We could play this one up,” he says.
“What?” I ask, baffled.
“Pretend we are going out, let everyone think it but never say it in so few words… then pull it out from under them!” He laughs like a maniac.
“No,” I say firmly. “No. Sorry, no.”
He grins. “If you say so,” he says cattily. Handing me my iPod – when did it even fall? – he starts out the open door, checking back to make sure that I’m following.
We creep to the portrait of the Fat Lady, mumble the password (GoobleSmzakins) and dart into the Common Room.
I’m proud that I wasn’t caught – this would have to be the first time I didn’t trip down all of the stairs screeching.
There are still people up, talking, sitting, reading, playing chess, and strangely enough someone is even playing the card game War with themselves – oh wait, that’s Peter Pettigrew.
“Well, night, Aria,” Sirius announces loudly, causing a few heads to turn.
Inwardly, I groan.
But I’m groaning even more as, with a wicked look in his eyes, he brushes his lips across mine for more than a brief second.
When I finally come to my senses and pull back, he laughs and heads up the stairs. “Niiightt,” he sings.
People start whispering around me and I cringe.
As I crawl into bed sullenly, fuming, I realise that Sirius never even explained his plan to prank Meggie.
He did give me one thing, however unwanted:
A damanged reputation.
Disclaimer: Lyrics belong to Les Miserables, song 'On My Own' by Eponine. Ellador and Van (the names) are from Herland (which is actually a pretty okay book. Tally was forced to do a huge analysis of it xD)
Tally's A/N: Yes, it took forever. In my defense, I /did/ write the first two pages on binder paper, but I kept leaving it in my locker - I had written it durning history and stuffed it into my history book. Hope you like ittt!!!
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by Cadyn Black