Sirius felt another rush of foreign feelings, vaguely familiar but awkward in his state of semi-consciousness beyond the veil. It was warmth that seemed to stuff him from head to toe; it felt heavy and full, like he would never be hungry again no matter how long he went without eating. It was content like he could not remember until this very moment, as he was filled with a shadow of it from his past. He could only barely recognize how it felt to be happy, and it was a strange sensation.
It swept up his throat and filled his head, spreading through his brain like fire. Sirius closed his eyes and welcomed the tide that overwhelmed and engulfed him. It felt wonderful.
“Come on, Sirius, in here!” the girl names Adelaide whispered, giggling as she pulled him by the hand down the familiar dark corridor and stopped in front of a very familiar door that lead to a storage closet. Little Sirius had never been inside this room before this night and looked around curiously, but Grown Sirius knew it all too well.
“Get in, quick, before Filch hears us!” she said unnecessarily as she herself took the initiative to shove him unceremoniously inside. Adelaide was excited, strung up, and nervous all rolled into one: she felt that if she delayed doing what she wanted to do any longer, she would explode in anxiety and desire. Her wand slipped inside her sweaty grip as she lit the tip so she could see Sirius’s face.
“Addie…what’s going on? Why are we here, of all places?” Sirius asked, a tad of disgust working into his tone as he looked at the janitorial supplies that surrounded him.
“My sister told me it was a good place for, ah, private conversations,” Addie replied breathlessly. “I needed to tell you something that nobody else should know. I don’t want anyone else to know.”
Sirius frowned. Damn it, he thought. When had he become Sirius the therapist? He had heard about these closets, scattered randomly throughout Hogwarts. Anything which happened to be stored in these rooms would bear witness to the hundreds of late-night escapades of those who could not control their hormones. Many a lucky bloke had enjoyed himself here, Sirius was sure. He, however, was going to have to sit here on an upturned bucket while a pretty girl stood in front of him, chattering away. It was just his luck.
Addie stepped closer to Sirius. This was not going to be easy. He had always been the darker, more mysterious (and in her opinion, more handsome) of the infamous Potter/Black pair and tonight was no exception. Shadows played across his face, but he looked as amazing as ever. There was no way to tell what he was thinking behind the deep eyes whose lids were slightly drooping with drowsiness. She put her hands on his shoulders and moved closer still.
Now that Grown Sirius was living this through for the second time, he had become strangely in tune with the scene and more aware of everything Addie was doing; he could practically read what Addie was thinking. Looking back, it should have been so obvious, but now, still, Little Sirius was bumbling about foolishly in confusion. It was a strange sensation, to be so conscious of everything, to know what was going to happen, and at the same time feel incredibly detached from his body, which knew nothing.
“It’s okay, relax,” Addie said, laughing softly as Little Sirius squirmed, uncomfortable. His self-assured front, which James had taught him to put up for everyone to see, was melting away in the face of this unknown. Meanwhile, Grown Sirius struggled to gain control of the body that was his, yet didn’t seem to belong to him at the moment. Stop moving, you idiot. You’re going to ruin everything.
“I wanted to tell you that I really like you,” she whispered. He could feel her warm breath tickling this nose. When had she gotten so close?
“Why?” The question had escaped him without thinking. Both Little and Grown Sirius grimaced together.
“I don’t know, you’re gorgeous,” Addie mumbled, a bit embarrassed. Grown Sirius remembered with a pang at how vain he would become after this experience, spending more time in the morning on his hair than James and Remus did combined, only to act as though he woke up looking that good in front of the girls. Even as he thought about this, Addie was running a hand through his hair, and it felt wonderful. He closed his eyes and tried to keep himself from thinking any more as their noses touched. He only wanted to enjoy this feeling again.
Addie pulled herself together, took a deep breath, and pushed her mouth onto Sirius’s.
Sirius was startled even though he knew this was coming. It sent an electric jolt down his spine, and his body shivered, and Grown Sirius gasped because he could feel her lips again as though he were kissing her once more in the familiar dark broom closet for the first time. Little and Grown Sirius relished the kiss together, the warmth, and the smell of Addie’s hair, in a body that was taken over by such heated desire, bliss, and even love…?
And then with an experience much like falling, Grown Sirius suddenly slipped away out of awareness to become one with himself again. He was thirteen and for the first time in a long time he felt like he was loved. It was such an overwhelming sensation that Sirius could not think, he could not react except to continue. It felt so great that he didn’t want Addie to ever stop. Someone loved him: Sirius, the child who was different, neglected, and ignored, who was always so lonely while he had watched longingly at the things he could not possess, felt as loved as he had never felt until that night. It was a strange sensation.
“Gorgeous, and a good kisser,” Addie gasped as she paused to catch her breath. Don’t stop, Addie, don’t stop! I never knew how good a feeling this could be before…
Sirius was like an addict. Even long after he and Addie had snuck back up to their dorms, all he craved day and night was another dose of attention and affection. Far from brooding and mysterious now, Sirius caught up with Addie at every possible chance, looking at her imploringly until she gave in to another snog in the broom closet. She, of course, had a childish crush on him and was more than happy to oblige. His need was different, however, and ran deeper than just mere physical attraction. He became a fiend for her affection.
Soon, Addie alone could not satisfy him any longer. He did not completely understand and made no effort to conceal the fact that he was now moving on, finding other pretty girls who could give him what he wanted. The look on Addie’s face the first time she had found him entangled with some other girl had hurt deeply, of course, but his happiness had banished it from his thoughts. Every time his annoying conscience kicked in, he would only drown it out, easily. The benefits outweighed the moral consequence so much that there was absolutely no comparison.
Quickly, he had earned himself a solid reputation of being the Hogwarts stud. And that was the ugly truth about Sirius Black.
Sirius opened his eyes to see only darkness, but this did not staunch the flow of guilt running through his body. Indeed, nothing at the moment could make him get rid of the countless, nameless faces which even now swirled in front of his eyes in their pain. It tore his heart apart that he had done this to them all, and there was no getting around the fact. And in his shameless youth and innocent greed, he hadn’t cared.
Addie was the worst. She had been his first kiss and she had helped him to discover love, happiness, and worth in himself. How had he repaid her? Looking back, Sirius wasn’t sure exactly what he had gained, and whether he even deserved it. Addie had never once spoken to him, or spared a glance in his direction, afterwards. He had never seen her eyes again.
Bitterly, desperately, Sirius needed to see them again. After all these years, he needed to apologize. He scrambled to his feet, mind so preoccupied that he did not stop to remember why he was in darkness. It was only when Merlin spoke to him that Sirius stopped trying to find his way out.
“It is evident you have had a difficult childhood,” Merlin said gravely. “Such solitude...you were confused, understandably, and you felt you had to make up for lost time.”
“I was wrong,” Sirius spoke, his voice hoarse. He could find no other words to express the remorse he was feeling. Being back inside his own body was unbearable now that he had to face his mistakes. He wanted to rush back so that he could fix things, and not be such an asshole.
“You cannot change the past. Sometimes, you cannot even act in the present to try and reverse the effects of the past. For example, I doubt any of them will remember you or understand if you tried, dear boy. After all, did you until this very moment? And by recalling the memory to their minds, it would not be doing either of you a favor. You would do better to leave it alone.” Merlin sighed sadly. “I am so sorry you have to go through this.”
Sirius did not know what he meant. He had no idea why he was reliving the worst parts of his life, why he had to see himself in all his naďve glory, why he had to feel all this emotion compacted into a crushing instant. It was so intense he couldn’t even begin to describe it to the old wizard.
“It is necessary,” Merlin said abruptly. He sounded almost mournful. “All these years…I have spent so much time trying to perfect my wand-weighing system, and still have failed. In the beginning, you would’ve had to relieve everything over. Now, I have isolated the points of importance to examine, but still you feel so much discomfort. I have not yet found a way separate the soul in your physical body, and the soul that lives in your past. So I am afraid that everything your younger self felt, you must feel again.”
Sirius thought that the hitch in the system sounded quite like Tom Riddle’s Horcruxes. “Don’t separate people’s souls!” he said forcefully. “Keep it like this…it is fine, I’ll survive.”
Then he was reminded that his freedom depended on this judging of his soul, so to speak. He thought about what his wand had showed Merlin so far, which was very different than how he saw himself. He thought about the Marauders, closer friends than he had ever dreamed of having. He thought about the sacrifice that all those dangerous, but direly important nights on the grounds of Hogwarts had required of him. They had all done it for Moony. He thought of the crazy pranks and jokes he and James had pulled. He thought, with more than a small pang of grief, of the Evans/Potter wedding, and how happy he had been for them both. He thought of Harry, riding to his rescue on a hippogriff, and how he had been unable to repay the favor until tonight, and how it had landed him here, and how he didn’t really mind, since Harry was safe because of it.
With all this to consider, he felt as though Merlin did not know the real Sirius Black at all. He could not be defined by the worst of himself, but by the best. “These, um, occurrences, do not show me at my greatest times,” Sirius said carefully.
“Oh, yes, dear boy, I understand. In fact, I know quite a lot about you, if only judging by your reactions to what your wand has shown us tonight. But I am curious…How have you become what you are now from what you were bound to be?”
Sirius puzzled this one out quite easily. From the moment he had stepped into Hogwarts, befriended James, and had become infamous with him, people had expected a certain kind of behavior from him. He was bound to be irresponsible, wild, and have his fun at any cost. However, somewhere along the way, between that time and his time in Azkaban, he had changed. Why?
A lead weight of realization in Sirius’s stomach dropped. He felt like he had been punched hard, because once again, he knew what was coming next. It could only have been one thing. This memory was so painful that time could not erase it, try as it might have. A last obstacle in his adolescence, it would be a turning point in how he acted for the rest of his life. No longer would he be as pointlessly reckless, because now he would know the price he would have to pay to earn back trust.
Author's Note: Edited December 2nd, 2008. Well, what do you think? Did you like it? Please review! Thanks!
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Siriusly: It Was a Strange Sensation
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