Chapter 3 : Skipping
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Hold tight, hold tight, hold tight
Goes to show
You never really know
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright
-Aqualung: Good Times Gonna Come
Summer, summer, summer. Most years, Sirius would have been glad for that time of year, particularly this summer. Living with James and his parents had been a blessing. He got a sense of family and love that he never got in his own home. But the thought of Alina snogging Peter all summer nagged at him once anything good happened. He hadn’t even slept with one girl that summer; he was waiting. She would come around. She had to. Who could resist his charm?
“Pass me some Bertie's Botts, Moony?” Sirius asked Remus, who appeared to be half asleep as the Hogwarts Express passed over an expanse of beautiful, clear blue water.
“Got 'em,” James offered, tossing the box of oddly flavored sweets to his friend. Sirius caught them with ease and popped one into his mouth. He cringed as they taste of vomit seeped onto his tongue. That was a habit of his: getting the vomit flavored jelly beans. It was as though he was always too late to get the nicer tasting ones. Sighing, he spit the candy into the box and drifted off to sleep.
As he headed through Hogwarts' dark corridors alone, he was drawn by quiet whispers. He stopped in his tracks and hid himself stealthily behind a tall, stone pillar and listened carefully. He kept his breathing quiet and measured so that he wouldn't interrupt whatever was happening on the other side of the wall. At first he could not hear what the voices were saying, but as tensions and emotion rose, the words were clearer.
“I can't do this anymore,” Peter harshly whispered.
“What?” Alina sounded hurt.
Go Padfoot! You tore them apart!
Shut up. Someone got hurt in the process.
But now you have your shot at her!
“We're through, Alina. I need you to talk to Sirius.”
“Just go talk to him.”
With that, Sirius watched as Peter's short, stocky shadow played across the wall. Sirius stood like an invalid, his expression blank. He was confused. Why would Peter dump his girlfriend, who he loved, so that Sirius could be happy? Hell, he didn't even know if Alina would make him happy. He just knew that he got tongue tied around her and that he dreamed about her.
Again, another petite figure's shadow moved across the dimly lit corridor. His eyes followed the shadow as it went to the doors that led outside to the grounds of Hogwarts. He walked slowly from his hiding spot after she had surely made it to wherever she had been planning on going.
“I was looking for you,” Alina said softly as the two nearly bumped into each other. Sirius nodded and turned his attention to the flawlessly smooth surface of the Black Lake. The silence was uneasy to Sirius. Uncomfortable, even. He didn't like it when people were silent unless they had a reason. Even then, he didn't like it on the occasion.
“Peter asked me to talk to you.”
Alina nodded and sat down on the cool grass beneath one of the overgrown trees surrounding the beautiful lake. Taking a seat next to her, Sirius slipped his hand on top of a rock and examined it carefully. It was smooth and most certainly flat enough to skip. Having come to this decision, he tossed it gently and watched as it hopped across the lake.
“How do you do that?” she asked softly. He looked at her, confused. How could someone not know how to skip a rock?
“Could you teach me?”
She stood up and searched the banks of the lake for a rock while Sirius searched around in the dirty surrounding the tree they had been sitting under. He looked over to Alina after a few moments, and she was holding a smaller rock and shrugging. He nodded and walked over to her.
“Is this one okay?”
He nodded and held her hand into a good position to skip it. Standing behind her – and towering over her – he gently moved her arm to show her how she should move it whilst tossing the stone.
“Don't jerk your arm too hard, that's the trick,” he whispered. Her curls brushed against his chest as she nodded her head to tell him that she understood. Though she appeared to know what she was doing, he still didn't let go of her arm. She didn't tell him to let go, so he didn't see this as a problem.
“Carefully, flick your wrist and let go of the rock.” He moved his hand to her wrist, moving the joint gently demonstration how she should go about tossing the rock into the water. He placed his hands on her shoulders so that she could try to skip the rock. She extended her arm, flicked her wrist, and the stone fell to her feet.
“I'll try again,” she said sheepishly as he stooped down to hand her the rock. She imitated what he had taught her for a second time, ultimately failing. He could see her cheeks turning bright red in the glow of the moon reflected from the lake's surface. A grin broke across his lips as she tried her third time, the rock skipping effortlessly across the lake.
“I did it! I've never been able to do that before!”
“This calls for celebration. How about I accompany you to Hogsmeade this Saturday?”
“I'd love to.”
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