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Chapter 1 : The Really Gross Lake
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Judith Burns was sick of drama. It seemed that her entire life was centered on the gossip and intrigue of her little circle of friends and she was absolutely done with that crap. When her older sister Stacey had warned her about the cattiness and life-or-death moments of Hogwarts, she hadn’t been kidding. It seemed that Judith could not turn anywhere without encountering a whispering student full of venom towards another. This was why evil wizards were able to take over the world—because everybody hated each other!
For example, Lily Evans, who was dating Jack McGowan, was currently in their dormitory complaining about his whininess and clinginess. She had been avoiding him since they had all gotten back from Easter break, but the poor boy continued to follow her around like a beaten puppy. Lily had told Judith in all confidentiality that they had, in fact, not had a proper snog since the beginning of the school year.
Judith had no idea how the hell the two of them had nearly made it to their one-year anniversary because Lily was obviously the domineering force in the relationship and her annoyance with Jack could sometimes borderline on relationship abuse. It would have been over that fence, except that it was Lily, perfect, kind, adoring Lily, who could get away with murder because she would probably have killed the person in such a gentle and humane way that nobody could possibly be angry with her.
The whole issue was further complicated by the fact that the entire school, meaning Judith and her circle of friends, were convinced that Lily harbored feelings for her fellow Head, James Potter. See James had totally had crush on Lily a few years ago, and she had secretly loved it because any girl would love it if a guy like James Potter had a crush on her and took the time to ask her out during his favorite past time of bullying Severus Snape.
However, Lily had been forced to act all disdainful since she, for some reason unknown to the sane world, again meaning Judith and her group of friends, was kind of, sort of best friends with Snape. Snape, by the way, totally had a crush on Lily, but was too scared and cowardly to tell her. He just dealt with his unrequited, ever-lasting lust for her by hating James Potter with an even deeper passion than he normally would have, given James’ bullying tendencies.
Unfortunately, James was currently dating Mary Macdonald and the two were the most sickening couple ever imaginable. Of course, every girl in the school, except, of course, for Judith and her circle of friends, was in love with James, whether secretly or openly, because he was kind of, sort of the perfect guy. He was smart without being cocky about it, but confident enough to attract attention. He was funny and charismatic—not to mention, he was filthy rich.
Anyways, Mary and Lily had been best friends back in the day, but once Mary starting dating James hell erupted. See, at first they were really cute and they were everybody’s favorite couple. Judith, even though she would never tell anyone, had actually encouraged the relationship and had been one of the first ones to find out about it since Mary had bolted straight into the girls dormitory where Judith and her best friend Melanie had been sitting, right after James asked her. They had screamed and cooed and all that jazz.
But it didn’t last.
See over the summer, Mary had gone to this weird sleep-away camp thing that she always went to, being Muggle born and all, and had met up with this guy who she had totally been in love with the summer before. Now, all the girls knew about Johnny, the guy, and there was a strong possibility that James knew about Johnny, since he was all Mary had been able to talk about the year before…before they started going out.
So of course, James had been a little jealous and given his boyishly insecure tendencies, he apparently owled Mary only…constantly, which Judith believed was completely justified given Mary’s flirtatious ways. Mary, being the free spirit, fickle thing she is, broke up with James via owl, which is one of the worst things you can possibly do to a person, according to Judith and her circle of friends.
After they had broken up, Lily, even though she was dating Jack at the time, had spent a lot of time with James. She says it was because she was cheering her up, but Melanie, who had spent time with Lily and James that summer, had reported back to Judith that they had, in fact, been very flirtatious. Naturally, Judith thought Lily quite the little slag, but as one couldn’t really say that to Lily Evans or about Lily Evans, she kept that bit to herself. Although, Mary said that and worse about Lily after she found out when they all returned to Hogwarts 6th year.
Mary, being the possessive bitch she is, decided that she needed to get back together with James so that Lily didn’t get together with him. So she was all over him and he, thinking that he was in love with her, which Judith and her circle of friends totally disagree with, took her back.
But something had changed in their relationship. Instead of being all cute and picturesque, they were just grotesque. They were always hugging and kissing and just feeling each other up in public. They could never go anywhere without each other, and they actually signed up for the exact same N.E.W.T. classes (Mary switched into N.E.W.T. Transfiguration instead of N.E.W.T. Divination after they got back together).
Unfortunately, Lily got the sticky end of that situation. Since Mary couldn’t risk having Lily steal James away from her (imagine the gossip!), she basically phased her out of the group. Lily being Lily Evans and all, had no trouble finding other friends, but it basically sucked that she couldn’t hang out with all her old friends, but it was probably a good idea since Mary and her friends got a really trashy reputation after the whole…conundrum.
Not that Judith and her circle of friends had anything to do with that. Except that Judith did mention to Rita Skeeter, this super annoying and sneaky fourth year, but that was only because Rita needed to know. After all, secrets, secrets, are no fun, unless you share them with everyone.
So all in all, Judith’s life was pretty overrun with drama, none of it of her own doing. It wasn’t her fault that Gryffindor happened to be the most dramatic house. Honestly, the stupid Sorting Hat obviously picked her for the wrong house if it thought that she belonged in a house where everything was so freakin’ dramatic.
Of course, she had requested Gryffindor, but how was she, an innocent girl of eleven, supposed to have known that Gryffindors were avid gossipers? Wasn’t that the Sorting Hat’s job? All he did was sit around all year, learning about the houses and writing one song, was it really that hard to actually know what went on inside of the houses? Was it?
Deciding that she was done with all this silliness and that it must obviously be connected to the Tower itself, Judith got up and made up her mind to go down by the lake. Under normal circumstances, she wasn’t a huge fan of nature. Little grass pieces tended to get up her skirt and into her hair while all the stupid little bugs were attracted to her like Muggles to sweets…or whatever the saying was. But she needed to get away from the accursed castle—Dumbledore must have set a spell on the castle, how else could she explain all the drama?—so she would brave the grass and the bugs.
When she got down there, Judith was shocked, and more than a little peeved, to see another figure silhouetted against the evening sky. She really hoped that it wasn’t a nerdy, pimply little Ravenclaw, because she would be so severely tempted to hex him, which would earn her a detention from the uptight Professor McGonagall, which would totally look bad on her permanent record, and she would never get a job.
Not that she was going to get one now at the rate she was going, but it’s not like it was her fault. The classes were too damn hard—how did the professors expect the students to do well in so many stupid N.E.W.T. classes? And if they didn’t take so many N.E.W.T. classes, they wouldn’t get into the Healer and/or Auror programs, which were the only programs that led you to worthwhile careers. Life just sucked.
Luckily, as she approached the spot near the lake where the person sat, Judith saw that it was not, in fact, a nerdy, pimply little Ravenclaw. It was a rather good-looking seventh year Gryffindor: Sirius Black.
Hoping that her hair looked all right and that her face wasn’t too shiny from the late May heat, she approached him with a forcedly friendly smile on her face.
“Hi,” she said, flipping her hair as she sat down.
He merely gave her a salutary nod before returning to gazing out forlornly at the lake.
“Everything ok?” she continued, determined to make conversation with the sexy God sitting next to her.
“Fine,” he said. Judith’s inside squirmed with glee when she heard his low voice, oddly raspy, but still containing an absurd amount of melt potential.
“So you just enjoy sitting by yourself next to the gross lake?” she said, trying to be funny and witty and all those things that boys like girls to be.
He raised an eyebrow saying, “I like the lake.”
“You’re a guy,” Judith insisted, “You’re supposed to like dirt and nature and stuff.”
“And because you’re a girl, you’ve decided to like makeup and gossip and Witch Weekly?” he asked.
Feeling like he was trying to insult her, Judith paused for a moment, her brain working frantically to come up with an interesting defense.
He grinned—Judith could see the moonlight reflect off of his shiny, pearly-white teeth. “Well that shut you up, didn’t it?”
“Congratulations,” she said, “You’ve accomplished what many have dreamed of accomplishing, but very few have actually succeeded.”
“Bloody good for me, then,” Sirius muttered.
“Ok, what’s with all the bitterness?” she asked, “Because you sound like a Krup that someone just kicked.”
“Hey,” he snapped, “I was perfectly fine until you came down here with your bloody ditziness and pea-sized brain and began yapping about the damn lake!”
“I’m sorry,” said Judith, shocked at the real feeling of remorse that swept over her.
He turned to look at her, and Judith found that did not, in fact, have to actually fake an apologetic look. She truly felt bad at ruining Sirius’ moping. She had just been trying to flirt and now she had really pissed off one of the best-looking boys in the school. Go figure—it was the story of her life.
He sighed, “It’s ok. It’s not your fault you can’t stop talking…that’s ‘cause you’re a bloody girl.”
“I am not a ‘bloody’ girl!” Judith insisted, trying to repress a giggle at the slight grin on Sirius’ face.
“How about a bloody nuisance?”
“I am not a ‘bloody’ anything, for your information, mister.”
“How about bloody adorable?” he asked. Their eyes connected and Judith felt a strange chill run up her body and her skin erupted into goose bumps.
“I can be that,” she whispered. She really wanted to kiss him, but she had this slight feeling that it would be rather inappropriate. She hadn’t really ever kissed anyone before, but she had always pretended that she had. Sirius probably thought that she had. Should she tell him that she hadn’t? Would he want to know that? What if she turned out to be a really good kisser, but he didn’t enjoy it because he had been cursed with the foreknowledge that it was her first kiss and therefore spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether or not she was good instead of actually enjoying the kiss?
It was a really big problem.
But wait, she wasn’t going to kiss him, because that would be weird…and wrong. It would be especially wrong since she had seen him flirting with Amanda Buonagorio just the other day. If the two of them were a thing, not that she had heard they were, but there was a good possibility they were, although Sirius wasn’t really the dating type, so there was a good chance that they weren’t, then she really shouldn’t be kissing him and getting in the way of things.
However, none of that really mattered since he was really close and smelled really good and had really moisturized lips. And he was getting closer. And closer.
They were a hairbreadth away from each other, when suddenly Sirius was jerked away, in the direction of the lake. Judith shrieked as she saw his head disappear under the water. She squinted her eyes, trying to make out what the hell was happening through the ever-disappearing light, but all she could make out were splashes and a bit of his body and…was that a tentacle?
On her feet, Judith was practically in a state of panic. There was a reason why she didn’t like lakes and that reason was that creatures, little slimy things, lived in lakes. Unfortunately, some big and slimy lived in the Hogwarts lake and it was known, succinctly, as the Giant Squid.
She was trying her best not to hyperventilate, but as a loud yell or gasp was let out from the struggling mass of limbs in the lake, she became very, very frantic. “Help!” Sirius screamed. “Ahhh!”
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god,” Judith chanted, not sure of her volume since she seemed to be starring in some sort of horror story.
Sirius screams were muted by a roar, which no doubt came from the disgusting creature that had the boy who had nearly been Judith’s first kiss, in its grasp.
At his desperate cries, Judith knew she had to do something. She tried to search her robes for her wand, but she had brilliantly left it upstairs.
“I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do!” she yelled, wringing her hands and trying to magically will Sirius back to safety.”
“I can’t swim!”
At those words, Judith broke into a sweat. There was no way she was going to let Sirius drown, taken by the Giant Squid. He deserved a more noble death, or more preferably, no death at all.
Bracing herself for the sure to be very, very cold water, Judith waded in, took a deep breath, and dove under the water. Opening her stinging eyes, she quickly looked around for any sign of movement or life. She saw the Giant Squid—she had been right in deeming it gross—as well as a body that had to be Sirius.
She darted over there, flapping her arms aimlessly. She had learned how to swim when she was much younger, but in her panic and with the excess of clothing on her petite body, Judith had no time for the front crawl or the breaststroke.
When she reached the struggling mess, she began to hit the Giant Squid very hard. After all, there was nothing else she could do. She hit and hit and hit, screaming, “Let him go,” only it came out more like “Oruguhighig” with an accompaniment of bubbles.
Judith felt the tightening in her chest, which suggested that she was running out of oxygen, which was kind of vital for living, but she didn’t care. She was going to save Sirius. She continued to hack at the slimy creature until she felt something grab her around the waist.
She unwisely screamed again, losing some more oxygen, and twisted in its grasp. Whatever held her, though, didn’t let go, and Judith was forced to resort to her nails. She dug her fingers into the perpetrator’s arms and thrashed her legs around. However, the thing was stronger than she was, and, against her will, she was being dragged to the surface. She continued to reach for the great black mass, which was surely Sirius captured by the Giant Squid, but her efforts were futile.
That did not stop her from trying to inflict all possible bodily harm on whoever was trying to take her away from her heroic deed. Flailing around, she tried to break free, but the thing had her in an iron grip. Well, she was going to make it pay…
“Stop you bloody slag!”
Judith gasped. The moment she heard that low, raspy voice, she knew exactly who had pulled her out. Swirling around in the water, she came face-to-face (very closely face-to-face) with none other than Sirius Black.
“Oh my god, Sirius!”
Without thinking, she threw her arms around him, her legs wrapping around his waist without her direct orders.
He chuckled, “That’s a bit of a turnaround, love.”
“I thought the Giant Squid had you and you couldn’t swim and…and…” She trailed off looking at him suspiciously. “I though you couldn’t swim?”
He let out a sharp breath of air, “Well…”
Although she was very aware of his arms, which were still wrapped around her securely, and her legs, which still held her intimately close to his warm, lovely body, Judith felt a wave of hot, red rage wash over her.
“You lied to me!”
“Listen, it was just a joke—”
“That was the least sensitive, most immature, most horrible thing—”
“I was only trying to—”
“—I have ever had anyone ever do to me! I jumped in the bloody disgustingly polluted lake to save you and you can swim?!”
She, rather sadly it’s true, ripped herself away from him and swam to the surface. Once she reached land, she stomped her way up to the castle, wrapping her arms around herself to keep the cold night air out.
“Wait! Judith!” She could hear Sirius behind her, but she was just so angry, so embarrassed, to stop. Of all the things she had to do, she jumped into the lake to save Sirius Black, actually believing that he couldn’t swim. He’s Sirius Black, of course he can swim! How could she be so stupid as to believe it? Perhaps she really was as ditzy as everybody thought she was. She had never made such a fool out of herself as she just did. Imagine what he must think of her now; and he thought her stupid before!
She had just reached the portrait of the Fat Lady when Sirius caught up to her. He took hold of one of her wrists and swung her around. The fury had somewhat subsided by now, but deep shame had taken its place. Judith could tell that tears were not far behind and she really wanted to be away from curious eyes, especially Sirius’, when the damn burst.
“Hey,” he said, “I’m really sorry about what happened. It was just a joke, I promise. The Giant Squid and I go way back.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Judith muttered, trying to sound nonchalant. “I’m sure you put on the act for all your girls, and I guess I was just the only one who was stupid enough to believe you.”
He frowned. “You’re not stupid.”
Judith didn’t have time to process the comment because the tears chose that exact moment to arrive. Through the blurry lenses of her eyes, she made out a figure in front of her, approaching at a rapid pace. Then she suddenly felt a pair of lips on hers and she knew that nothing mattered.
In that moment, time and space stopped because a lovely warmth spread through her body. As his mouth moved against hers and his hands circled her body, drawing her closer to him, everything felt all right with the world. The fireworks and dancing stars were a natural part of the scenery behind her eyes, and the sweetly spicy smell and gentle music seemed completely normal.
But the kiss was far too short, and before she knew it, Sirius pulled away.
“Good night,” he said, placing a light, feathery kiss to her forehead before saying the password and entering the Gryffindor Common Room.
Judith leaned back against the cold stonewall for support and gently placed her fingers to her mouth. It was impossible to think that Sirius’ lips had just been there, but unless she was experiencing a very involved daydream, they had been. She was surprised when her butt hit the corridor floor; apparently, her knees had given way and she had sunken down to the floor, engulfed in a haze of wonder.
However, her world of princesses and unicorns was brought to an abrupt halt when she heard the laughter of Mary Macdonald reverberate through the hall. The entire world and its problems came rushing back into her previously vacant head, and an unexpected horror filled her mind.
She had promised Jasper O’Reilly that she would go to Hogsmeade with him the weekend after next. This slightly conflicted with her recent kiss with Sirius, since she didn’t think Jasper would be too thrilled about her kissing other guys.
It seemed Judith could not escape the drama.
But maybe it was worth it.
A/N: So I'd really like to know what you thought of it. I haven't written/posted in a while, and I thought that by just writing what I feel, I would get into the habit of writing. My goal is to get a chapter/one-shot up once a week to get me more disciplined, but we'll see how it goes.
So please leave a review. It can be one word or just rambling about what you thought. Please be honest, I really want to know whether or not Judith was too whiny, or if the romance was too fast, or if you wanted the kiss to happen, or whether it was at all interesting.
Don't leave me in the dark, questioning myself! :(
P.S. If you find any spelling/grammar errors, let me know! :)
Edited: On June 23rd for grammar/typos.
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