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The Burn-Out Heart by Rose Wilts
Chapter 3 : Chapter 3- An Inexplicable Danger
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 21

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It hadn’t expected the work at Hogwarts to be a walk in the park, which was good, I guess, because it wasn’t. It was hard, but I managed. Romanian students started school a year earlier and worked at a higher and faster pace… but Jasper and I had dropped out of school for a year, so that left us behind. 

Yet despite this, every day seemed to be basically the same story for me. I woke up, said hello to the other Ravenclaws, talked a little to them at breakfast, avoided them for the rest of the day, and went to classes and so on. There was no element of surprise about schooling, but I was glad of that. I’d had enough ‘excitement’ to last me a long time. I liked the quiet flow. 

Of all the subjects History of Magic was by far the most boring. If it weren’t for the fact that ‘The Jerks’ or ‘The Marauders’ as it turned out they were more commonly known, were in my class I don’t know what I would have done. 

They at least could find a way to amuse not only themselves, but the rest of the class as well; all the while Professor Binns remained completely oblivious. Even Peter, by far the least ‘cool’ of the four had his moments. 

I’d been here a week now; however the hierarchy at Hogwarts had already become very clear to me. The Marauders were like gods to the most of the social body- loud, proud, attractive and smart for the most part. They went about their business in the most obvious way possible. I liked that about them, it made it easier for me to hide. It was a change from the previous social order we had known, but not a bad one. 

At Olydias Academy of the Magical Arts the popular kids had been the ones that no one could approach because no one dared to. They were the ones with the money and the looks. People like Jasper and I, though I hated to admit it.

At Hogwarts, things were different. 

Pretty much regardless of race, beauty, wealth and whatever else that may have otherwise been a hindrance, you were accepted… as long as you could do something funny. And the marauders were the kings of funny. 

It was fabulous, and like nothing I had ever seen before. 

This was alien. 

James Potter was so obviously the leader. Irresponsible and lighthearted, it seemed hard for most people to not feel at ease in his presence. Head boy, Quidditch god, quick-witted and handsome. I was yet to hear of one female in the entire Hogwarts population who hadn’t once sought after him. It was pretty impressive. 

Then there was Remus Lupin. He was different from the others, but I liked him. He was quiet and polite but just as bright and willing to joke as all the others. He was tall and lean, with tousled sandy hair and weary blue eyes that were always shadowed by faint grey circles. I think he was oblivious about how much excitement and pleasure he caused the female body of Hogwarts School, but from what I’d heard, it was a lot. 

Peter Pettigrew was a mystery to me. I didn’t think I would ever truly understand why he was part of their group. I supposed when you thought about it, he wasn’t so unappealing, but he had none of the charisma the others boys had.He was short, and stocky, and only a little bit plump. He had thin, messy, mousy brown hair and watery, but bright, blue eyes.
He was funny and kind, and probably even smart if he wanted to be, but he would spend rest of his life being outshined by his incredible friends. I could tell that much. 

And then there was Sirius. Sirius Black, for that, as I had discovered was his name.
Strangely there wasn’t as much information on Sirius as I had hoped. Nobody seemed to know quite so much about him as they did the others.
If James was the big brother, Sirius was the exotic older cousin who sat in the corner at family gatherings. He didn’t say much to other people, but I often caught him talking and laughing with the other three. He seemed sort of sad, I guessed, in a strange sort of way. 

On my first day in Binns's class I sat behind him. That lesson I noticed that his hair curled at the back of his neck and there was the tiniest patch of stubble on his jaw that he had missed when shaving. 

That was sad… and dangerous. It was even worse that I had only ever had one conversation with him. 

The lesson had finished and I was not hurrying to pack my bag. Jasper was already at his feet, strumming his fingers impatiently against the desk waiting for me to be ready. 

“Look, just go.” I urged him, annoyed that he should have to wait for me.
His expression grew confused. 

“But aren’t you hungry?” He asked, as it was now lunch. I sighed, I wasn’t.
Shaking my head I replied. 

“No, and besides, I need to research something for charms.” 

I thought he would have no way of seeing through my lie; even though we were always in the same charms class. But to my surprise he snorted and rolled his eyes, gathering his bag from the desk as he did. 

“Whatever, Lulah.” 

I thought I had irritated him, but he did not push the point. Instead he turned away and swept out the door throwing me a goodbye as he went. 

I hurriedly packed my bag. I didn’t actually know what I was doing. More out of boredom than to keep up with the lie I walked to the library. 

I arrived outside the library with windblown hair. I had run the last part of the way, the corridors had been deserted and I could run a lot faster than most people. After straightening my hair and uniform with my hands I pushed into the room. 

This place also was deserted. I found it faintly odd and unrealistic that I could be the only person who skipped lunch, but continued into the cool depths of the library anyway. 

I scanned the shelves not really interested. The thick musty volumes were all factual, and I had quite enough hard fact in my mind already. I passed them without a second thought. 

The tall cluttered bookshelves continued on high over my head, stretching up toward the ceiling. The mahogany wood was coated in a thick layer of dust; I drew my name in it. 

I was putting the finishing touches on my embellished dust name when there was a soft cough from behind me. 

I turned around slowly, dearly hoping it wasn’t the dreaded Madame Pince. 

But it wasn’t. It was Sirius Black. He was looking deeply amused. I panicked a little. What was he doing here? Had he followed me? I knew that was absurd, he wouldn’t have done that. Should I talk to him, I thought. But I knew I shouldn’t risk it. I raised one of my eyebrows, smiled sweetly at him and turned back around. 

My eyes narrowed at the shelf as I felt him behind me once more. I spun sharply around this time, placing a hopefully convincing expression of annoyance on my face. 

“Are you after something?” I asked impatiently, my eyebrows drawing together in apparent irritation. A slight smirk played across his full mouth. I huffed and turned away, but after only a few seconds whipped back around. 

He now looked a little bothered. Bothered, perhaps that his incredible good looks weren’t having an effect on me. Well, not an effect that he could see. Inside my body my heart was racing. 

“Well?” I demanded placing a hand on my hip, my eyes burned at him. He grinned briefly and leant casually against the opposite shelf. 

“No, no, by all means, carry on.” 

I glowered vehemently at him and stalked off down the aisle before rounding the corner and seating myself in one of the study couches provided. I had to try to scare him off. If that meant being mean, then that was what I’d do. 

As it turned out I wasn’t the only one skipping lunch. A little way off there was another cluster of seats where a small group of Hufflepuffs were crowded. I dragged one of the chairs closer and placed my feet up on it, knowing that if it was now Madame Pince chose to come across me I would be skinned alive. I decided however, it was a risk I was willing to take. 

I now flipped open the crumpled pages of the book I had gotten and tried to read.
But I couldn’t. There words were but a blur in my mind. I was far too preoccupied.
Sirius Black obstructed my train of thought. 

I sighed deeply to myself. I couldn’t get involved in this again. I knew all too well how badly this could end up. I was me, after all who’d destroyed everything the last time. 

We had come to Hogwarts on a second chance. Our secret had already been exposed once, if I got close to this boy, lives could be in jeopardy again.
I wasn’t about to ruin the new life Albus Dumbledore had given me. I had already ended the one my parents had provided, and then I had ended them. 

I shivered, brushing away the thought. My eyes traveled from the book to the bookshelf where I assumed Sirius Black was standing. I hadn’t heard him move away yet, though I hadn’t been listening. 

I couldn’t do this, not again. Not to Jasper, or Leon or Audrey. Not to myself, not to anyone… not ever. 

“You’re not even reading that are you?” 

The book snapped closed and I jerked my head up, my eyes were wild fire and he seemed slightly taken aback for a moment.
Good, I thought to myself, I’m dangerous, leave me alone, please, just leave me alone… 

He was lounged in the chair opposite me, one elegant hand draped over the arm rest, the other reaching over the back of the chair. His expression was amused, but curious. It was very different to the detachedness I had experienced from him before. 

“No.” I said stiffly placing it on the arm of the chair beside myself. “I was about to put it back.” I started to pick up the book and rise to my feet. I determinedly avoided eye-contact with him. His intense gaze made my stomach flutter. 

“I’ll put it back for you later.” He said calmly. “Sit down?” 

I spun around. This was bad. 

“I’m busy.” I muttered. I had meant to say it with more conviction, but the look on his face was too inviting. He frowned a little at my response. 

“Is that the best you could think of?” He asked icily. He leaned forward in his seat and took my book from me. I sat back down while he flipped through the pages. 

“’Dragon Breeding for Beginners’, hey?” He asked coolly gesturing to the book in his hands. My body froze. Of all the bloody books I could have picked up. 

“I was bored…” I said tersely, ignoring the warmth in my palms. He raised an eyebrow and stared back at him. If it came to a stare-off, a stare-off it would be. 

I sat frozen for the next five minutes. He did not relaxed his stiff position either. He simply glared at me, his eyes like cutting ice. How rude, how arrogant, how insufferable, how devastatingly good-looking, it was torture to stay in the same room as him so torn. He was so good-looking… but I couldn't let myself think that! I ground my teeth just thinking about it. 

And a flame licked from the tip of my finger.

This caught his eye.

He narrowed his eyes and I panicked slightly. 

I was coming undone at the seams. He couldn’t be doing this too me, was he insane? Was I? Jesus, I thought I had this all figured out. It should have been so easy for me to say ‘no’ and walk away from him, but it wasn’t it was hard. Freaking hard. 

Apparently all I had to do was think about him and I started to catch fire. If that didn’t catch his interest I didn’t know what would. Bloody hell, this wasn’t a good start. 

I clenched my jaw and turned my face away from him, judging how far I’d have to run if things took a turn for the worst. 

No, I said to myself. No, you can fight this Lulah, just like before. Think of mum and dad, think of Jasper. I focused very hard on Jasper’s ice-blue eyes in my mind. They always soothed me. The illusion didn’t do their pacifying powers justice, but it helped a little nonetheless. 

I swiveled in my seat to face Sirius again, though my body remained coiled, ready to flee should the moment demand it. 

He was frozen, half raised out of his seat. One arm was reached out towards me as if he was unsure whether to approach me or not. As my eyes locked with his, his arm snapped back to his side and his glorious face became cold once more. My temperature rose... 

Why, oh why did I ever have to meet this one inexplicable danger? Why did he ever have to enter my world? I couldn’t afford to do this again! 

I needed to get out of here, and fast. 

“Are you going to say anything?” I asked icily. 

“No, I don’t think I will.” His tone was as frosty as mine. I threw him a withering glance and rose fluidly to my feet. I did not bother returning my book. Let him get the blame. 

I was half running by the time I reached the library door, and in full speed by the time I had rounded to corner, by the time I was at my dormitory I had completely given in the monster within. 

A/N: Dun, dun, dun! And here is a spiffy new third chapter for you. There were quite a few small changes and rearrangements in here. TA DAH! Please review m’diddlies.

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