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Chapter 8 : Art Genius
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Sirius hesitantly knocked on Kate’s bedroom door, it was still quite early in the morning, but he knew she was an early riser – always on the go – and he couldn’t think of any thing better to do then visit her (he was an even earlier riser).
“Yeah? Come in…” Sirius swung the door open slowly and looked around her room. He was surprised when he found her sitting on a stool at her window, with a small canvas propped up on an easel. Kate didn’t look up and Sirius gingerly made his way over. She was dressed in her orange floral pajamas still, an old dress shirt (Sirius guessed it had been her fathers) pulled on top, already covered in paint. Her eyes were alight with concentration and her hair out and messy, slightly curling at the ends, a streak of blue paint smeared across her forehead and even streaking through her hair. She was painting the scene outside her window, basically, including the window itself. The huge dark fig tree that was growing out the back, a line of pansies and a beautiful water feature in the middle, delicate yellow roses trimming her window.
“You paint?” said Sirius incredulously, shock written all over his handsome face.
Kate shifted in her chair, “Yeah, so, why?”
“You just don’t seem the arty type.”
“Hm, I’m wondering whether I should be feeling insulted…” Kate raised her eyebrows but continued on with her canvas.
“No – no. It’s just…” Kate’s eyes flicked up to his for a moment before settling back down on her brush as she dabbed on some more red paint. Sirius took a couple of cautious steps towards her until he was standing right behind her, looking over her head at her painting. He couldn’t say he was extremely experienced in the art department but he could tell his Katie had talent.
“Wow, you’re really good too,” he breathed.
Kate tilted her head to the side, sitting back and observing her work, “and that really surprises you, doesn’t it?”
Sirius raked a hand through his thick, crisp black hair, he was looking nervous again, “n-no. Dammit Katie you always twist my words…”
Kate turned her head around to look at him and just smiled sweetly, “do you like it?” she asked.
Sirius grinned, “it’s brilliant Kate, you’re an art genius.”
Kate stood up and packed up her brushes. Once she was done, she took a step back and stood beside Sirius, squinting her eyes to look at her work once more.
“Well, I dunno about that,” she said modestly.
“Do you have any more works?” Sirius asked.
“Oh yeah, tons actually, care to see them?”
“I’d love to,” Sirius said eagerly, a smile spreading across his face. Kate laughed and headed over to her bed where she pulled out a long box that contained a stack of canvas, paper and alike. Sirius practically bounded over and sat down on the carpet to look at her work.
“I’m just gonna go take a shower, get this paint off me, you’ll be fine here wont you?”
“Oh ha ha,” said Kate sarcastically and headed into the bathroom that lead off of her room.
Sirius faintly heard the sound of running water as he shifted through the pile of Kate’s drawings and paintings. There were dozens and dozens of quick sketches and thought filled paintings, even some chalk or charcoal drawings, a couple were unfinished and a few looking rather childish and amateur, which Sirius guess meant she did them when she was younger.
There were a few of her mother; sitting on a lounge chaise or sipping tea and some even of her bent over, gardening with a look of pure enjoyment spread across her face. Sirius marvelled at how much Kate was able to capture the distinct elegance and pose of Cassandra. Putting them aside, he stumbled across a quick sketch of Kate and her friends at Hogwarts. Sirius could only vaguely recognise the people; a slim, striking raven-haired girl, a tall rough looking boy and a longhaired, skinny boy – all Ravenclaws. Sirius smiled as he looked at the sketch of Kate herself, her chestnut brown hair tumbling down her shoulders, her eyes wide open with delight as a smile of laughter stretched across her pretty face.
Sirius shuffled through some more drawings of roses, her house, one of her father sitting at a large dark wooded desk, thousands of paper spread out before him yet he was gazing out the window. Sirius had only vaguely seen the man before and he studied him closely in the painting. He looked similar to Kate, the same caramel chestnut brown hair, and same blue eyes with the far off distant look in his eyes. But that was just about where the similarities stopped; his skin was course and rough looking, darkened by the sun. His nose was long and crookered whilst Kate had inherited the petite nose from her mother.
There were a couple of quick smudged sketches of a house elf Sirius recognised as Lulu, even some of Hogwarts. Sirius moved these aside and discovered a small stack that had been half hidden. He pulled them out into view very carefully, gazing at the bathroom door almost nervously as he did so.
Pushing it aside he found a painting and two sketches of a particular young, youthful looking boy. Although the age of the boy varied in each of the paintings or drawings, it was obvious it was the same person. Sirius stared in particular at the sketch of him looking older, mid teens perhaps; he had shaggy dark brown hair and bright aqua eyes. He was smiling, familiar freckles scattered across his nose.
“Well, what do you think?” came Kate’s humour filled voice as she entered the room. Her hair slightly damp and wearing a fresh blue singlet and pair of old pants. She wrung her hair a couple of times as she came ventured closer to where Sirius sat. Sirius looked up at her, dropping the sketch. Kate stood beside him as her eyes wandered over the drawings he had found hidden away.
“Oh,” she said, her voice small and suddenly lacking the humour it held moments before, “I’d forgotten about those.” She sank slowly to the ground and sat crossed legged beside Sirius.
She reached forward and picked up one of the ones Sirius had looked at. She gazed at the portrait, a dark cloud passing over her pretty face. The same young boy featured in the majority of her drawings, this time his eyes were closed and he looked sickly pale, with a blue hue, the background was pure jet black. The boy looked haunted and spooked, yet also emotionless.
“Oh,” Kate mumbled again. She dropped the drawing. Sirius stared at it as it fluttered back on top of the pile. Kate however stared off into space frowning. Sirius sat there, not knowing what to do or say.
So quickly it startled Sirius, Kate jumped up and shoved the series of the boy underneath all the other art once again and pushed the box back under her bed. She turned away from Sirius and his questioning grey eyes and headed towards her mirror in which she picked up her brush and started to brush her hair vigorously. Sirius stared at her in the mirror reflection; he couldn’t tell what was going through her head. He stood up uneasily.
She didn’t look upset or angry. Her face was set straight and composed – which reminded him awfully of her mother. Her eyebrows were pressed in together, her lips slightly pursed; but that was all.
“Katie – ”
Kate put her brush down and scooped her hair up into a bun, all the time looking at her reflection directly in the eyes. “Sirius, it’s a long story,” she said, a note of finality in her voice.
Sirius snapped his mouth shut and sank down into the mattress on to her bed. He nodded, although he knew she couldn’t see. “Well, uh, they are all really good paintings,” Sirius cringed at himself.
Kate nodded and Sirius let out a sigh of relief. She turned around slowly and smiled slightly at Sirius; as if sensing his relief.
“So what do you want to do today?” she asked. Sirius’ eyes widened in incredibility.
“Uh, um, I- I dunno, uh – ” Kate looked thoughtful as she grabbed her jacket off the back of her door and made her way out of the room.
“Oh yeah, I totally agree, Sirius.”
Sirius followed Kate out of her room and down the stairs, rolling his eyes at her sarcasm, he thought of some thing better to say, “Let’s go into the Muggle village again – ” Sirius stopped short of his words, his eyes landing on the photo on the wall along side the staircase. The photo of Kate with her tongue poking out when she was a child, with a young boy. A boy that looked remarkably like the one featured in Kate’s small secret stash of artwork.
“What?” said Kate, hands folded across her chest, she’d reached the landing and stared back up at Sirius to see what was keeping him. Her blue eyes flickered from Sirius to the photo on the wall. Sirius turned away quickly and lightly scratching the back of his neck he bounded down the rest of the stairs.
“Nothing,” he said, very innocently.
Kate was in the library again - surprise, surprise - and was working on her Transfiguration assignment, determined to get it finished at least three days in advance. She wandered through the aisles peering intently at the books as she passed the shelves. Walking into the next aisle she felt eyes on her and she quickly looked up from fingering a thick, dusty old volume. Her breath caught in her throat.
Sirius walked over to her, his dark handsome face expressionless. He stopped beside her, leaning against the shelves and looking down at her with his intense eyes. Kate looked at him but did not smile and went back to skimming the books.
“Kate, please let me explain what I meant the other day and the reasons…” he trailed off, looking expectantly at Kate.
Kate didn’t look at him and he took the cue to keep on talking.
“I sort of liked Isabella a lot last year… and well, obviously things changed over the summer… but now, suddenly she thinks she’ll go out with me…”
Kate stopped. Isabella? The blonde curly haired girl who friends with Evans? She ripped her eyes involuntarily away from the books to look at Sirius who was still staring down at her. “And?” questioned Kate, raising her eyebrows.
“And I haven’t exactly said no.”
Kate looked away from his dark, stormy grey eyes; willing her own not to fill up with tears. She stomped her foot, trying to keep the tears at bay, she wasn’t the kind of girl to cry over a guy, especially Sirius Black. She mentally shook herself and forced herself to look back at Sirius.
“So what are you going to do?”
“I just don’t know. I mean, I have had five entire years of living and breathing like this, it can’t all change because of one summer.”
“Um, I think you’ll find that it can,” hissed Kate, plucking a random book off the shelf, not really caring what one it was and swirled on her heels away from him. She stalked back to her seat and attempting to blink her tears away, willing them desperately not to fall as soon as she heard footsteps approaching. A second before she reached her table, she felt a hand on her shoulder and suddenly she was pulled around. Sirius stood in front of her once again; his face set and determined, he let go of her shoulder.
Glancing down at his shoes and sighing he said, “Look, I like you. A lot. There I said it. I just have some things to figure out.” The rage inside Kate’s heart suddenly softened, she smiled sadly and nodded.
“Your right. You’ve probably got tons to work out. But I’m here if you ever need me, alright?”
Sirius leant in towards Kate, his face coming closer by the second. Kate gazed, mesmerized into his unreadable grey orbs. Her breath stuck in her throat. Sirius’ expression didn’t change, “alright,” he said.
He brushed Kate’s bangs aside, his hand lingering slightly.
“I- I suppose I kinda like you a little too,” Kate admitted breathlessly, a large smile spreading across her features.
The corner of Sirius’ lips twitched and he straightened up
“I thought you wanted this?”
Kate sat up as straight as she could, her face a shade paler then usual, her hand tightly gripping Sirius’ as he slumped casually in the armchair next to her.
“I do,” said Kate through gritted teeth. The tall, skinny blonde haired Muggle twittered slightly as she prepared the needle, she threw a flirtatious simpering smile in Sirius’ direction but he didn’t even notice. Kate rolled her eyes and clutched tighter on his hand.
“Katie, do you want me to think you’re a weakling?” Kate glanced down at their entwined hands and she hastily pulled hers away. She sent him a glare as the girl stepped closer.
“Okay,” the blonde muggle giggled, catching Sirius’ eye and smiling again, “here goes, stay steady you don’t want me to mess it up do you?”
Sirius laughed, the girl beamed and Kate frowned. As she brought the needle closer to her face, Kate cringed but didn’t pull away. “It will hurt – ” Kate blocked out the girl’s words. As the needle hit the flesh of Kate’s nostril, there was intense pain in which she struggled to block out, but a second later it was gone, and there was only a slight twinge from where the needle had been.
The girl turned back around, finally finishing the procedure. Sirius touched Kate’s chin lightly, turning her head towards him. Kate froze, her heart speeding up at his touch, and realised how close they were. But he was just staring intently at her new stud piercing in her left nostril. The blonde girl turned back around, holding a mirror up to Kate’s face.
Kate observed herself, and a large, beautiful winning smile spread across her face. The stud was only small and silver but she knew her father would absolutely hate it, and that made her love it even more.
Sirius grabbed her hand and Kate felt an odd tingling from where their skin had met. He smiled and lifted her off the seat, “see? You didn’t need to hold my hand.”
Kate looked dazed but thanked the Muggle girl, not that she was paying any attention as she was staring pointedly at Sirius. She waggled her fingers and sang sweetly a “good bye.” Which Kate was sure was not directed at her.
Once they were out of the shop, they continued down the village shop road, staring and laughing at the strange Muggle contraptions in the shop windows.
Kate kept fiddling gingerly with the nose piercing until eventually Sirius grabbed her hand to make her stop. Kate laughed, “sorry, it’s just so addictive.”
Sirius grinned slyly, “I have some thing for you that might be less painful to fiddle with…”
Kate looked at him confused whilst fighting the desire to touch her piercing one more time. Sirius brought a long narrow box out of his jacket pocket.
“I bought this for you, when you went to the toilets, remember?” He handed it over to her and Kate stared at it transfixed. She took it off him and slowly took the lid off it, peering at what was inside for a minute before letting out a squeal of surprise, making Muggle on passers turn and stare. Sirius let out his typical bark-like laugh.
“Sirius! But whatever for?” She gazed down at the necklace admiringly; it was a simple chain with a medium sized beautifully engraved heart locket dangling off it. It was similar to the one she remembered admiring in the shop window last time she and Sirius had visited the Muggle village. But this one was much nicer, and Kate could only suspect, much more expensive.
“Does there have to be a reason?” Sirius grinned. Kate continued to stare up at him stunned, her mouth open and eyes wide; Sirius chuckled to himself, lifting the dainty necklace out of its box.
“Here turn around, I’ll put it on for you. That’s if, you like it…?”
“It’s impossible not to like it! It’s gorgeous! Thank you so much!” She twirled around while saying this and Sirius grin grew broader. He slipped the necklace around her neck and did up the clasp, letting his fingers linger slightly at the nape of her neck.
“Oh Sirius, it’s beautiful,” she breathed, turning around to him slowly, fingering the locket already.
“There is a reason why I bought it for you,” Sirius said and motioned for them to keep walking. Kate did so with pleasure, leaning against his arm, feeling very high with happiness. She looked up at him, waiting for him to continue.
“Because I’m thankful for every thing you’ve done for me,” he said simply, though somewhat embarrassed.
Kate tugged on the arm she was clasping slightly and grinned up at him, “well, if it means I get this necklace…”
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