Chapter 5 : Valentine's Day
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Kelsey woke up the next morning with a horrible headache. Maybe it had all been a horrible, horrible nightmare. Then she looked at her face in the mirror, covered in scratches from when she had fallen on her face and her stomach, and remembered the sick feeling in her stomach when she thought about how Sirius had kept secrets from her and told James how she had liked him, and she knew it had all been real. Too real for her to go on with this whole charade about dating Sirius.
Kelsey slipped into her robes after a long, hot shower and hurried downstairs. Lily and James were there, on the couch, as usual. James looked up at Kelsey, as though trying to read her mind, and Lily ignored her completely. “Lily, can I talk to you for a minute, please?” Kelsey asked. “Privately?”
Lily looked over at James, who shrugged, as if saying he didn’t know what she wanted, and then she stood. “All right.” They moved over to a corner of the common room where no one could hear them. “What is it you need to talk to me about?”
“Look, first off, Lils, I’m really sorry for everything that went on yesterday. It was just a really bad day, you know?”
“Friday the thirteenth,” Lily said, cracking a small smile.
“So, I wanted to apologize, and also ask you if James told you anything about…me and Sirius.”
Lily looked at her carefully. “Well…all right, yes, he did. He said you only pretended to be dating him so James would be jealous, break up with me, and get with you.”
“And while that might have been true—”
“You were trying to get James to break up with me?” Lily cried in disbelief.
“Shut up, Sirius might hear you,” said Kelsey, eying the boys’ dormitory staircase.
“Oh, don’t worry, James said he’s still in bed, tossing and turning and calling out your name.”
To Lily’s surprise (she expected a countenance of disgust to cross Kelsey’s face), Kelsey’s look softened. “Well, all right, the whole getting James to break up with you thing might have been true in the beginning, but it’s not ending up like that. Did James say anything about Sirius liking me?”
Lily was astonished. “Have you been brushing up on Legilimency? James said you didn’t know anything about that.”
“James was wrong. I told Sirius I didn’t hear him when I actually did. The truth is, Lily, that…I…” And she muttered a few words so low that Lily had to get her to repeat them. After she did, Lily squealed. “Are you serious, Kelsey?”
“Yes! Be quiet about it, though. Do you have any ideas?”
“Not me. Oh, James wants me back, we’re discussing our plans for today.”
“Earth to Kelsey! It’s Valentine’s Day today.”
A smile slowly spread across Kelsey’s face. “Valentine’s Day. You know, Lily, I think I have a plan. But we’re going to have to tell James…”
“You’re finally down. Where have you been?” Kelsey hissed when Sirius finally descended the staircase. “I’ve been waiting for you to show up all morning.”
“It’s Saturday,” Sirius moaned. “And why do you care? I thought you hated me.”
“Well, today is also Valentine’s Day, in case you’d forgotten. So today is the day when we have to fake breakup so we can stop this stupid plan. And I think, maybe, we should wait.”
Sirius blinked. “Wait? Why?”
“We should do it on our fake date. You know, so Lily and James see it, and so then they’ll think it’s real, and then we’re both off the hook.”
“Fine with me,” said Sirius, yawning and looking at her sideways. “Off the hook.” He snorted.
“Let’s just pretend to be sort of fighting until then, and then we’ll pull out all the stops. You can yell at me, and I can yell at you, and then I’ll storm out, all right? And then we can go back to pretending the other doesn’t exist.”
Sirius gave a faint chuckle. “What is it?” Kelsey demanded irritably.
“Nothing, nothing at all. I wonder how Remus is doing?”
“Well, he’s sitting there on the couch. He’s been—” (here she remembered what she was saying and dropped her voice down low) “—hairless for a few hours now, and he just came back from the hospital wing.”
Sirius approached the couch with Kelsey hanging back slightly behind him. “Hey, Remus. How’re you feeling?” Sirius asked.
Remus looked up at Kelsey, who gave a faint little smile, and then he turned back to Sirius. “As fine as I can hope. Sunrise came early this morning, so that was a nice little reprieve. And are you sworn to secrecy yet?” he asked Kelsey.
“Oh, right, the whole deal…” said Sirius. He motioned for Kelsey to come closer so he and Remus could talk to her in private. “When Lily found out, we swore her to secrecy and made her an unofficial Marauder. So now that you’ve gone and found out—”
“Gone and found out? You make it sound like it was all my fault!”
“It was all your fault,” Sirius said, bristling. “I certainly didn’t tell you to follow us down to the Whomping Willow and get captured by Snape and Regulus and then make me save you.”
“Make you save me? I didn’t make you save me. Was it my fault that you kept secrets from me when we’re supposed to be dating and telling each other everything? Was it? Or is the great Sirius Black too good to tell us normal people anything? Ever?”
Remus just sat back, looking mildly puzzled.
“It’s definitely not my fault that you just like to poke your nose into everybody else’s business! You should’ve stayed in the common room! You were breaking curfew!”
“And you weren’t?”
“Well, for one thing,” Sirius snapped in a low voice, “I’m an Animagus. I’m a big dog, and I can handle a werewolf, as you saw last night when I was forced to nearly kill Remus here to save you! For another thing, we’ve been doing this since fifth-year. Don’t you think that if there was any danger we would have stopped?”
Kelsey looked at him. “No.”
“That’s not the point!” Sirius nearly bellowed. Everyone in the common room looked at him. He lowered his voice again. “The point is, you were there, you shouldn’t have been there. Got it?”
“Shouldn’t? Like you should have? Sirius, you were breaking school rules, I don’t think that means that Dumbledore would be excited if he learned that you four were running around every full moon when you’re putting yourselves and anybody who might find you in danger! You were breaking the rules, and I was following you to make sure you were all right!”
“You were?” Remus butted in.
Kelsey and Sirius both looked at him, and then at each other, and then away in disgust. Finally, Kelsey said, “I’m leaving. You can swear me in later, or something.” She got up at stalked off, leaving a red-faced Sirius and a very confused Remus.
“What was that all about?” Remus asked finally.
Sirius looked at him. “This whole relationship isn’t going like I planned, Moony. Not at all.”
Breakfast was a quiet affair. Lily and James had already finished, and Kelsey had to go down and eat at the same time as Sirius because she had been waiting for him all morning. They sat on opposite ends of the table, occasionally glaring at each other. Finally Kelsey, after one bite of toast, got up and left. Sirius watched her go, his brow furrowed and his mouth twisted.
“This isn’t funny anymore,” he said to himself, wolfing down his last piece of bagel and getting up to go after her.
“I really don’t want to talk to you right now,” Kelsey said when he caught up with her halfway up the corridor.
“But I want to talk to you,” he begged.
“See? You only care about what you want! I have homework to be getting a head start on. Meet me in the line to Hogsmeade in half an hour.”
Sirius looked puzzled. “Why?”
“Because! We promised Lily and James we were going to go on a double date with them, remember? At eleven? It’s ten fifteen, so at ten forty-five, meet me on the way, we’ll meet up with them, we go to Madame Puttyroot’s, or whatever it’s called, and then we ‘break up’ and never have to speak to each other again.”
“Kelsey, can you please just listen—”
But Kelsey was already to the portrait of the Fat Lady. With a bang, the portrait shut behind her. Sirius was left looking up at the Fat Lady. “Girl troubles, Mr. Black?” she asked inquisitively, peering down at him.
Sirius just groaned and walked away.
“You’re late,” Kelsey snapped under her breath.
“No, I’m not!”
“It’s ten forty-six.”
He groaned and rolled his eyes. “So I’m one minute late.”
“Yeah, I know, I—hi, James! Hi, Lily! Over here!”
Lily and James had appeared on their side of the queue waiting to go to Hogwarts, and they came over at Kelsey’s invitation. “Hi, Kelsey, hi, Sirius,” said Lily. Then she noticed the tense expression on Sirius’s face. “Are you all right, Sirius?”
“What? Oh, fine, just fine,” he muttered, casting one insubordinate eye at Kelsey.
“I love Valentine’s Day, don’t you?” Lily asked them, while James squeezed her hand. Kelsey gritted her teeth and remembered her notes in Charms class just three days ago. It seemed like longer. V-DaY = OvErRaTeD. She would hold to that if this plan didn’t work…
“I guess we better get going,” said James.
The four of them set off down the road that led to Hogsmeade, Sirius occasionally tripping over Kelsey’s shoelace because he was a pace behind her. She had to keep turning around and glaring at him to get him to stop. He finally fell into step behind James, who didn’t seem to mind.
At last they came to a quaint little shop with a sign painted onto the window in large red letters: MADAME PUDDIFOOT’S. It was completely covered with hearts and cherubs and arrows, like Cupid would carry. As they entered, a little bell tinkled over their head to signal their arrival.
“Would you like anything to eat, m’dears?” asked a woman who could only be Madame Puddifoot herself.
“I’ll have a bit of that angel food cake right there,” said Kelsey, pointing to something a girl at the table next to her was having. “And a small cup of coffee.”
“I will too,” Sirius said quickly. Kelsey scowled at him.
Lily and James ordered something called the Lover’s Winter Delight, which turned out to be a large mug of steaming hot chocolate with two straws. As they smiled at each other and began to drink it, a cherub floated by over their heads and dumped a basketful of confetti on them. Kelsey blew away a few pieces off her nose and shook the rest out of her hair. Sirius was looking at her with a pained expression, like he was regretting what they were about to do.
James kept looking at Kelsey and then at Sirius, as did Lily, and Sirius could tell they were silently asking him whether he had told her that he really did like her. He shook his head slightly, so that it was obvious to Lily and James what he meant, but to Kelsey it looked like he was shaking out the remnants of the confetti, much of which had gotten lodged in his long tangled mane.
During a few minutes of silence, where James and Lily leaned on each other’s shoulders and stared at Sirius, and Kelsey stirred her coffee pensively, Sirius busied himself with shoveling the angel food cake into his mouth. Pretty soon he was done.
Gesturing to Kelsey’s plate, Sirius said, “Are you going to finish that?”
Kelsey stared at him. “I don’t believe—you’re so—Sirius Black—”
Out of the corner of his eye, Sirius saw a small smile escape Lily’s lips, though he didn’t know why.
“Sirius, I need to talk to you. Over here. NOW.” Kelsey stood, and Sirius meekly obeyed. Kelsey took him by the shoulders and moved him to a corner devoid of any cute tables. It looks like Madame Puddifoot has forgotten about this spot, Sirius thought, scraping a sticky cobweb off of his shoe.
“You—are so—insensitive!” Kelsey hissed at him.
“Make it louder. James and Lily can’t hear you,” Sirius said, trying to casually lean against the wall. Lily and James were unsuccessfully trying to watch them inconspicuously, and Lily still had that half-smile on her face. But why?
Kelsey looked over at them, and then up at him. Her look softened. “I know what you’re thinking.”
“No, you don’t,” said Sirius, running a hand through his hair. If she knew what he was thinking. James had told her—
“Yes, I do. And I have to apologize.”
Kelsey bit her lip, hesitating. Finally she said, “For lying.”
“Lying? About what?”
She looked anywhere but at him. He waited patiently for a few moments, and then he made an urging sound deep inside his throat. She looked at her feet. “Last night…I did hear you.”
His eyes widened in astonishment. “You—what?”
“I saw the whole thing with Regulus, and then I followed…and I heard you.”
“The whole thing?”
Kelsey nodded, slightly ashamed. “The whole thing.”
Sirius scuffed his cobweb-covered shoe on the floor. “Even the part about—”
Kelsey nodded. “Yeah.”
Sirius exhaled slowly, trying to breath out all the anxiety he was harboring right now. She had heard. He glanced up slightly. Kelsey was looking at him, half-expectantly, half-nervously. What was she thinking? Did she think he was crazy? Was she happy? Was she angry? Why didn’t she say anything
“Sirius,” Kelsey said softly, “why didn’t you tell me?”
He looked up at her quickly, as if trying to make sure his ears were working correctly. His mouth hung slightly open. She gave him a half-smile, unsure of what this meant. He wasn’t speaking. Was that bad? “Tell you?” he finally squeaked.
“Tell me,” Kelsey repeated.
“B—because you like James!”
Kelsey smiled. “Liked. Past tense. Look at them, Sirius,” she said, looking at Lily and James, who instantly buried their heads in their menus. “They’re in love. It’s Valentine’s Day. I can’t take that away from them, and neither can you. And…I sort of…like you too.”
Sirius was struck speechless, so Kelsey continued. “Besides, why would I want to break them up? They helped me set this whole thing up.”
Sirius’s face went blank. “Huh?”
“They knew the whole time!”
“You set up this date knowing—”
“No, we got it together this morning. I acted like we were going to break up, and Lily and James were acting like they didn’t know any of this, like they hadn’t talked to me all day. James was going to kind of prod you to talk to me. He did, didn’t he?”
“He…he did. So…you…like me…and I like you…so…”
Kelsey smiled and stretched up to plant a small kiss on his lips. He looked like Christmas had come early. James and Lily were now watching them intently. “You aren’t…mad… are you?” she asked.
“Mad?” he repeated disbelievingly. “How could I be mad?” Then he leaned down a bit and kissed her. She did the same, craning to reach him. He let himself lean against the dirt-stained wall while she leaned forward, and they kissed longer. James squeezed Lily’s hand. Now some of the other couples that had entered were staring, but Kelsey and Sirius didn’t care. Finally, they stopped, and he took her hand. She grinned shyly and kissed him again.
“Done yet?” asked James with a grin. Sirius cocked an eyebrow with a smile at him.
“Not exactly,” said Lily. She kissed James lightly on his lips, and he kissed her back. All over the small café, couples were following suit.
“So,” Sirius said, entwining his fingers in Kelsey’s, “do you still think Valentine’s Day is overrated?”
Kelsey leaned down to unzip her bag and pulled out her notepad. She flipped to the page where she had written that only four days before, tore it out, and ripped it in half. She stuck one half in his moist palm. “No,” she said. “Not at all.”
They walked out hand in hand, Lily and James behind them, and the entire day before them.
A/N: It's the end!! Bet you didn't see that one coming....lol!!!! I'm thinking of a sequel, like how they got split up because obviously Sirius would have told Harry about her if she was alive or if they were still together...but only if you want me to! It'll be really, really short though...so sequel or no sequel? You decide! REVIEW!!!!!!
EDIT: The sequel is currently up and being written. It's called The In-Between Years. Please check it out!
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by Aurora Bell