Chapter 4 : Sirius Black’s New Plaything
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“In her smile, and in her soul, in the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it's gonna be okay.” ~ Taking Back Sunday - Beautiful Girl.
Sirius Black’s New Plaything
I was always Claire Blake; the girl that no one knows. I was that - ugly - girl - always - in - the - library. I was the - quiet - boring - one. I was that - sarcastic - Ravenclaw. I was who - the - hell - is - that? I liked it that way.
Now, I was Sirius - Black’s - new - plaything. I was the-whore. I was that - girl - who’s - sleeping - with - that - Matthew - guy - and - the - captain - of - the - Ravenclaw - Quidditch - team - and - that - gorgeous - Ravenclaw - Alexander - and - Sirius - Black - the - lengend - and - quarter - of - the - Maruaders. Quite a mouthful, yes, but nonetheless, that was what I was now being known as.
Wow, I wish I was invisible.
It all started the week after the Sirius - ditched - mini - slags - to - sit - with - me thing. Jennie, and the other girl, didn’t exactly seem chuffed with Sirius’ response to their inevitably leading up to ‘Sirius, lets have a threesome!’ attitude. It seemed the girls were very jealous as well as pathetically slutty.
It all started with something that had never, in my whole life at Hogwarts, happened before.
“That’s her,” A girl whispered excitedly, nudging her friend and nodding towards me, as I was on my way to Double-Potions, first and second period, on Monday. Hesitating, bemused, I looked at her. She caught eyes with me, and suddenly found the ceiling very interesting. I stopped walking but, deciding she wasn’t gesturing me personally anyway, I ignored her and carried on.
Potions is usually a cauldron filled with joy (sarcasm intended); Slughorn lumbering and waddling around the room, occasionally knocking over ingredients, chairs, tables and people with his enormous belly isn’t exactly my idea of a good lesson. To add to the usual incredible, fascinating, immensity of the lesson, I now had another problem. This problem came in the form of Lynne Page – the girl who considered snogging a drunken Sirius a relationship.
The shrew sat in front of me, to my surprise. I looked at her questioningly, eyebrows raised, as the turned around, glaring at me, “You,” She spat, malice evident in her voice, “Whore.” And then she turned back around and began reading through her Potions’ manual. Xan and I exchanged confused glances but continued with the lesson.
Following Potions, during break, I quickly hurried up to the Library to pick up a couple of Charms books for the following lesson. As I weaved through the shelves, I heard some girls from Gryffindor talking from around the corner. I peeked around it and listened.
“Did you see her come in?” One of them said. Another, Roxanne Chastity, shrugged.
“Claire Blake?” Lily Evans asked, filtering through a book.
“Yeah,” I heard the girl, who spoke first, say. Her back was to me, and I couldn’t work out who she was. All I could see what that she had long, badly frizzing, mousy-brown hair, “Sirius Black’s new plaything.”
Lily Evans pursed her lips, “I don’t think so. Claire Blake’s a nice girl.”
“No one ever talks to her!”
Roxanne shrugged, “She seems cool, doesn’t exactly matter if she’s quiet. So what if she’s dating him?”
The girl-who-spoke-first sneered, “Oh whatever. She’s just developed an ‘I’m so hot’ attitude since she got pretty over the summer.”
Roxanne laughed, “Why are you so jealous? She’s a nice girl, leave her alone.” Roxanne paused, then added, “And you can hardly call her full-of it, Dorcas.”
The-girl-who-I-now-knew-was-Dorcas sounded irritated, “I’m not jealous.”
I collected the books, and emerged from the Library, with my head swarming with millions of thoughts. Sirius Black’s new plaything? Excuse me? What, in the name of Merlin’s hairy left armpit, is going on?
Charms dragged by. I was in a foul mood anyway after that morning, but on top of that, we had a theory lesson, and I almost died of boredom. Sirius, who was next to me, kept bursting into silent fits of laughter at every slightly-dodgy sounding phrase.
“What are you laughing at now?” I asked him in a low growl. He grinned at me, and pointed to directions for charming a teapot to dance.
‘Keep your wand arm erect, and thrust your wand in a stabbing motion’ I read silently. I groaned, and gave Sirius a reproachful look; he giggled.
“Isn’t that you?”
Sirius grinned, “Well, yeah, but you look like you are trying to stare someone into the depths on hell and smite them?”
I said nothing, pointedly telling him silently to shut up, and turned back to my notes.
“Ooh, very bad mood,” Sirius chuckled, and poked me. I death-stared him, and he said in an amused tone, “If looks could kill…”
“…I’d be a lot happier.”
Sirius looked mock-upset and sniffed, “Oh fine,” He folded his arms and sniffed again. He made his lip quiver, “Fine! Goodbye Clairy Fairy! Goodbye Prongs, goodbye Moony, goodbye Wormtail… Goodbye to all the D-cups I have never met!”
It was going to be a long day.
After lunch, which I did not spend in the Great Hall in fear of being ambushed by angry Sirius Black Admirers (no seriously, they had a club), there was double Transfiguration. I sat by Matthew in that lesson and I hoped for peace (by peace, I meant no general Matthew-associated cynicality and general pointless complaining). By the way Matthew was acting, like he was treading on brittle shards of glass when speaking to me, I could tell Xan had warned him about my foul mood. This did not help my mood, ironically.
“Hello Claire,” Matthew said slowly, as I took my seat next to him. I didn’t acknowledge him, because, in front of me, sat Roxanne Chastity and Lily Evans. I opened my mouth to question them on who had told them Sirius and I were dating, when Sirius stopped in front of my desk. He beamed at me, and I raised my eyebrows.
“Can you tutor me tonight?” He asked, fluttering his eyelashes.
“Because you…” He paused, “Are a Ravenclaw!”
I pursed my lips, “And?”
“Ravenclaws are smart!”
“Don’t stereotype!” I snapped, rolling my eyes. Why I was snapping, I did not know, “Are all Gryffindores noble and brave?”
Sirius thought for a moment, “Nope.”
“So Ravenclaws aren’t all intelligent.”
“Name one who isn’t!” Sirius challenged. He should have known better by now.
I gestured towards Matthew, who glared at Sirius. Sirius nodded thoughtfully, “Fair enough…” Sirius then grinned and added in a business-like-manner, “So you are smart, and tutoring me tonight at six, yes?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“Probably not, no.”
“Oh fine,” I sighed, defeated, “So that conversation was utterly useless?”
“Yep,” Sirius beamed, skipping to his own seat. I glared into my lap, as I saw most of the class had been watching us.
Roxanne turned around, and smiled at me. She was a pretty girl; she looked slightly pixie-like. She had very short, blonde hair, rosy cheeks and big, deep blue eyes.
“So, how long have you and Black been going out?” She asked, kindly.
“WHAT?!” Shrieked Matthew, “Since when!?”
I turned to look at him, “We aren’t. Shut up.” I turned back to Roxanne, crinkling my nose, “We aren’t. Some bitchy girls are spreading rumours.” No dig at Dorcas or Lynne Page or the Jennie girl, of course...
“Ah,” Roxanne rolled her eyes, “Aren’t they pathetic? I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions.”
Lily Evans turned around too, “I did hope you had more taste,” She laughed slightly, glancing over to the Sirius. He was doing a duck impression, “Enough said.”
I was mildly surprised that I could hold a conversation with the two girls; I wasn’t really used to having a lot of Girl Company – most girls found me irritating, and the feelings were usually mutual.
Immensely cheered up, I left the classroom with a slight smile brushing my lips.
“You look happy,” Matthew noted, outside the classroom door.
“You look angry,” I replied smoothly.
Matthew shrugged, “I just don’t like Black.”
“I noticed. He’s a nice guy, in a perverted sort of way.”
Matthew gave me a funny look, and said nothing. I rolled my eyes, and opened my mouth to speak when I was interrupted by the man himself.
“’Ree!” Sirius swung his arm over my shoulder, knocking Matthew out of his way. Matthew looked like his blood was boiling… or he was suffering from severe constipation. OH Merlin, BAD mental image. Ew.
“Black, y’know what?” Matthew glared, taking a step towards him. I felt like banging my head against the wall.
“What, Zeller?” Sirius smirked and laughed his bark-of-a-laugh, “You've finally started puberty? CONGRATULATIONS!” Matthew made an odd sound, in-between a choke and a growl. Sirius turned to look at me, grinning. Potter, Pettigrew and Remus were standing a few metres behind him, smirk-giggle-mildly interested.
“Can we have the little tutoring session from now until dinner, ‘Ree?” Sirius asked, “I have a Detention later.”
I glanced at Matthew, and shrugged before looking back at Sirius. He understood my look as an agreement. He raised his hand to wave when Matthew finally thought of a reply to the balls-dropped comment.
“Black, he who laughs last, laughs loudest!” Matthew announced, looking smug.
“No…” Sirius raised an eyebrow, “He who laughs last didn’t get it.”
I couldn’t help but laugh, followed by Remus and Potter. About 3 seconds later, Pettigrew’s giggle followed. Sirius smirked, “See?”
Matthew had gone, by this time, a funny red colour. It didn’t look great with his blonde hair. Matthew took a step towards Sirius. He looked furious, while Sirius looked amused and as perfect as usual – I did not just call Sirius’ looks perfect.
I sighed pointedly, but no one seemed to have heard me. Oh, great. Now was NOT the time for me to become invisible. Matthew looked like he was going to punch Sirius, and Sirius looked un-ruffled. In all honesty, if they did fight, Sirius would win, hands down.
Rolling my eyes, I said loudly and clearly, “Hey Matthew, Sirius wants to do special things to you... I think you’d be cute together, and I know you feel the same way, Matthew. I think a date is in order?”
There was a silence. Finally. Then they all, save beetroot-red faced Sirius and Matthew, erupted into hysterical guffaws. Matthew glared at me, and stormed off. Sirius looked stunned, but impressed. James strutted over to me. Yes, strutted. James Potter is a strutter.
James Potter, his hair looking as dishevelled as usual, raised his hand to high-five me. I accepted, smiling slightly. “That,” James said, grinning, “Was bloody brilliant. I am James Potter, your latest member of the fan club. Padfoot, she’s cool as hell.” And then, with a last chortle, James swaggered off down the corridor, followed by a waving in Sirius’ and my general direction, Remus and Pettigrew.
Sirius shook my hand, and did a funny curtsey thing, “Good game,” He laughed disbelievingly, “That was suave, and you got James’ stamp of approval.”
“Is that good?” I asked, walking to the Library with Sirius. Sirius shrugged, “Merlin knows. I guess so.”
“Matthew’s going to kill me later,” I said, as we entered the Library. I took my normal seat, by the window, and Sirius sat opposite me.
“By the looks of it, you’d win.” Sirius leant back in his chair lazily while I filtered through my bag.
“So, what subject do you need me to--”
“Do you have homework you need help on?”
“If you were my homework, I’d do you on the desk right here.”
Sirius’ eyes locked with mine. I raised my eyebrows, “What?”
“Don’t need tutoring,” Sirius rested his arms behind his head, looking as if he was resting in a hammock or something, “You seemed upset, ‘Ree. I was curious.”
I was confused. What in Merlin’s name was he on? I paused, and said slowly, “I was fine, just irritated… Why do you keep calling me ‘Ree?”
“That is a lie, and because I think it’s cute.”
“Isn’t a lie! And, you think it’s cute?”
“What was irritating? And it’s from Clairy… see? Claire-ree… Ree? Get it?”
I nodded, to show I understood, and considered a way to answer his question. I said quietly, “I’m fine.”
Sirius looked sceptical, but nodded, even though he obviously didn’t believe me, “Okay…” He paused, shrugged, “I guess I’ll see you later?”
I nodded, smiling awkwardly. We both stood up at the same time and, to my surprise, he hugged me.
Sweet Merlin's backside...
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