Chapter 9 : Of Social Interactions On Many Levels
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Day of Two of Torture under the Dictator and current ‘boyfriend’, Sirius Black.
1 Break up later.
“Some girl tried to stick gum in my hair.” I say as I sit next to Sirius, finding him outside waiting for me after the last class of the day.
I was walking completely, minding my own business when this tall…thing… grapples my head and starts yelling an African Tribal Ritual or something like it. So, naturally when I’m assaulted, I respond equally as violently. My weapon of choice? My bag. I whacked her with my backpack after she started clawing at my head like a rapid squirrel. It was truly a terrifying experience.
“Marietta Dulley?” He asks as he looks at my hair.
“How’d you know?” I respond. His bored tone of voice indicates that this has happened before. Scary thought.
“She has a bit of thing for me.” He sighs. “So she didn’t get any gum in your hair?” He glances at my hair, inspecting it. If I wasn’t completely resentful of this assault I would have found this incredibly endearing. Alas I am resentful and my head hurts.
“No. I hit her with my backpack after she started grabbing my head.” I say proudly. “Clearly your other girlfriends didn’t put much of fight with this girl. She was really surprised.”
If by surprised you mean, incredibly, incredibly angry and on the verge of committing murder, then yes, she was surprised.
Sirius throws back his head and laughs and pats me on the back affectionately.
“I did not know you came with a package.” I grumble. “ I would have reconsidered this stupid lie.”
“Ah, come on and risk tempting fate? You would never.” He grins charmingly.
“This is not fate. This is a lie. And if it was I would.” I say.
“How about this face?” He asks and quickly makes the most adorable puppy eyed expression I’ve ever seen on a human being before.
I try to remain indifferent to it. Try to close my eyes and think of dead bunnies. Try not to smile or giggle or succumb to his charms.
But I’m only human.
“Gods, have you been practicing that?” I let up finally. I smile.
“It comes with the package.” He says mysteriously.
“That’s cryptic.” I say.
He shrugs good-humouredly.
“I have a whole month of figuring you out, Sirius Black.” I warn him.
“I really don’t think you’d want to.” He mutters darkly, holding my gaze to the point where it becomes awkward. I refuse to be the one who relinquishes his/her gaze. Some emotion surfaces in his eyes; it takes a few seconds to realize that he’s surprised. Of what, I wouldn’t know.
He looks away but I continue to stare at him.
Of course, I’ve always known that Sirius Black was more than he seemed. Years of having nothing better to do in the Great Hall but observe others, has left me with a perceptive knowledge of others around me. I could stare at the incredibly gorgeous imbecile without suspicion since he was an incredibly gorgeous imbecile. I, however, did not stare avidly at him in my own pool of drool but more or less observed him in a completely platonic way.
He was reckless and carefree, arrogant in his assumptions of the world. Black and White. He brooded often but was quick with a fast and easy smile. His posture exuded elegance and a self- assuredness that only came with a wealthy upbringing. He was almost always as open and laughing in the presence of his friends but with others, girls and acquaintances, he was distant. He flirted shamelessly but it was almost to the point of redundancy. Of course everybody knew about him being the ‘black sheep of the family’, the Black Blood Traitor but I’d never really thought about it. About him. To be honest, all I saw was an incredibly gorgeous face and that was it. Nothing more.
Now, however, there was something. A definite something.
“Okay, Sirius,” I say rolling my eyes. “Way to make things awkward.”
“Sorry.” He sighs laughingly. He runs his fingers through his black hair. “Anyway, about this Marietta Dulley situation, sorry.”
“She’s clearly insane. You dated her didn’t you, you devil?” I say.
“Fourth year.” He says embarrassed.
“Hell hath no fury like a lover scorned.” I recite.
“I’ve heard that already, thanks.” He mutters.
“But don’t worry, I won’t be like that.” I smile sweetly. “Actually, I’ll probably send you a thank you card or somewhat. Remind me again why we’re pretending to be lovers?”
“I snogged you in Charms and expressed my undying devotion to you.” He grins wryly, probably replaying the moment in his head.
“Right.” I say. “Thanks for that by the way. I would have looked like a right idiot for confessing my love of Eli when he would have just rejected me.”
“Without a doubt.” He nods and I punch him in his shoulder.
“Hey!” I exclaim.
“What!?” He cries, “You said you’d never talked to him and you spent like an hour going on about his bloody ankles. Of course the poor bloke is going to say no!”
“You could have lied to me, you know. My self-esteem is in the negatives now.” I cross my arms and look sullenly ahead. “What kind of boyfriend are you?”
“The Sirius Kind.” He says and he laughs so hard I think he might pee in his trousers.
“Good one!” I exclaim and raise my hand for a high five, which he promptly gives, jubilated that someone is finally rejoicing with him for his cheesy joke.
“Janelle, you’re the only person whose ever laughed at a “Serious Joke”.” He says mystified.
“Call me crazy but I found it funny.”
“You are crazy.” He nods and makes sure some people are looking and gives me a quick peck on the cheek. “And I adore you for it.” He blinks at me cheekily.
I wipe my cheek and glower at him.
“You really need to stop with this kissing business, Sirius Black.” I say dangerously.
“It proves a point and legitimizes our relationship.” He says wriggling his eyebrows. “Although I can think of other ways to consummate our relationship.”
“How very medieval of you.” I say and promptly cross my legs.
He lets out a bark like laugh at this.
“I’m a man. I have my needs.” He smirks, as he inches closer to me.
I slap him away.
“Get away from me, you cad!” I roll my eyes. “Boys, honestly.”
“Actually, I am a man.” He says affronted and to prove it, he points at his faint stubble. “See that? That’s the beginnings of a beard. How manly can you get?”
I peer closely at his chin and see a couple of faint, barely visible hairs.
“I bet you pasted those on, macho man.” I laugh. “Jack used to do that.”
“I’ll have you know that these are genuine facial hairs.”
“Barely.” I snort.
“You, lady, are a wench.” He says and tugs at a lock of my hair affectionately. This triggers a huge yawn from me, to which he looks at me, alarmed.
“You’re knackered.” He states stunned.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious.” I say and rub my eyes.
“Here,” he says patting his shoulder, “lay on my shoulder.”
I look at him dubiously. He raises an eyebrow and shrugs. Argh. God damn him.
“Oh come here, already.” I say grumpily as I pull him closer so I can rest my head on his broad, nicely sculpted shoulders.
Merlin, he smells of lemon and pepper and boy. His body against mine feels hard and strong. Suddenly I feel something begin to tickle the top of my head. I look up questioningly and find Sirius blowing on my head delicately. It feels strangely relaxing.
“Hmm…” I say. “That feels good.”
And without even really thinking about it, I snuggle closer to him and close my eyes. His arms automatically hug me protectively.
“You know,” I mumble sleepily, “that’s kind of weird.”
“What?” He asks softly.
“You blowing on my hair.” I reply burying my nose in his sleeve.
“I used to do it to my brother when he was little.” I felt him shrug. “He liked it.”
“Regulus?” I say surprised, thinking about the broody fifth year Slytherin.
Sirius laughs bitterly at my surprise.
“Yeah. Regulus.” He says. You’d have to be deaf, blind and stupid not to note the edge and finality in his tone. I am one of those, unfortunately, I'm just stupid.
“I’d totally say I understand but it would be obvious and rather pathetic to say that because I don’t. I mean, John can be a right pain in the arse sometimes but I love him and despite everything, we’re really close even though he has Jaclyn. I’m quite sure for Regulus, however that love is still in there somewhere.” I say stupidly, lamely.
He looks down at me and my face reddens immediately. He looks the most miserable I've ever seen him.
“Sorry.” I mutter and look away.
He touches me lightly on the shoulder, gentle even. I look at him shyly. His eyes are smiling at me and that smile says it all.
“Hey.” He says softly. “You needn’t worry about it, love.”
I’m not sure if he’s saying I shouldn’t worry about my stupid rant on sibling love or if he’s saying that I shouldn’t worry about his problems. Whatever is, I let it go with a mind set in mind, I’m going to make him open up. After all isn’t that what ‘couples do’? I look up at him in wonder, realizing that this surprisingly doesn’t feel forced at all. It’s almost real. Real. It’s an odd sound in my mouth.
“You can’t count on it.” I say defiantly.
He looks at me for a second, shakes his head and hides a smirk. I throw my head back in what I think is a stubborn gesture of my fierce resolve but only end up hitting the boy in the chin, making him bite his own tongue.
It is a relief to be free from Sirius. The constant stares and badgering I receive because I am associated with the boy is tiresome and truth be told, really, really annoying. I swear, the next girl who asks me if it’s true about Sirius’s tattoo of a dog on his shoulder, I will personally murder. And I don’t even like blood! Besides I haven’t seen it. The dog on his shoulder, I mean, but I gather he would. He’s a rebel like that.
I exit out of my dormitory in search for a good spot to read. There are hidden corners in the Ravenclaw Tower for that purpose alone. We are nerds like that, I suppose. My breath stops short, however when I suddenly spot Eli Yanover hunched over playing Gobstones with his friends. He glances up as I descend the staircase. Like a true movie star, I descend, pretending not to notice his stares. I peer curiously at an imaginary object, attempt to sway my hips in a suggestive manner, flip my hair out of my face…. And fall flat on my face.
Well, hello to you too. I pick up myself quickly, dust off the dirt caked around my robes while struggling to hide my blush. I really should be used to this by now. This humiliation.
“You alright?” He calls out, ignoring his friends’ laughter.
I turn a darker red.
“Peachy.” I squeak attractively. Not. Who says peachy anymore anyway?
My, is he walking over here? Oh God, he’s definitely walking toward me with his short robes and I can definitely see his ankles. Damn. I hastily back away, to which he looks at me confused and stops.
“You alright?” He asks again. He really does have nice eyes.
“Listen, I’m really sorry about that scene in Flitwick’s class.” I blurt. “And if you are here to laugh at me, go right ahead. I deserve it.”
What possessed me to say that, I don’t know. On the bright side, I didn’t comment on his ankles.
He shifts uncomfortably. I wring my hands.
“Well!” I force myself to squeak again. “Bye!”
I turn swiftly on my heel, mentally hitting myself.
“Wait!” He calls after me. I am torn between running away like a lunatic or waiting for him and sounding like a lunatic. Decisions, Decisions.
“So you’re with Black now, eh?” He asks, questioningly. I think he’s valiantly trying to start a conversation. Well kudos to you kid, I wish you well.
But of course, this is about Sirius again. I am seriously contemplating murder, not that I’m jealous in anyway, because I’m not, I’m definitely not. I hate the spotlight. I hate it, absolutely loathe it because whenever the ‘spotlight’ happens to chance upon me, I’m either making a fool of myself or will inevitably make a fool of myself. The spotlight, however, comes hand in hand with Sirius’s ‘package.’ Who refers to their own life as a ‘package’ anyway? What a plonker.
“That is a rhetorical question, meaning that you already know the answer.” I sigh, crossing my arms. “But I’ll humor you, yes. Yes. Sirius and I are now an item and no, I do not know if he has a dog tattoo on his shoulder and no, I have not engaged in sexual intercourse with the boy. And also, he cuts his toenails so don’t worry about it. ”
“Well.” Eli says awkwardly. “That’s interesting?”
“I got attacked by a crazed stalker who tried to put remnants of her gum in my hair.” I say. “Interesting doesn’t even cover it.”
He cracks a shy smile at this.
“I just wanted to say I was er… flattered by your note.” He says.
“Okay,” I say because what are you suppose to say to that? I was in love with your ankles for a day but then a certain black haired, grayed eyed idiot declared his devotion to me and I, like every female in bloody Hogwarts succumbed to his charms with one look?
And oh, Sirius Black was faking it the whole time but really, we’re an item!
“That was it.” He says flatly after I look at him expectantly.
“Good-bye then.” I say finally and without really looking back, dart back up the girls’ dormitory, stumbling up and trying desperately to avoid the completely awkward conversation below.
Once in my dormitory, I jump into my bed, close the curtains and hold up my pillow to my face.
“Hi.” I say to the pillow. “I’m Janelle Marriot. And you are?”
The pillow answers back in a ridiculous low voice.
“Hi, Eli! Finally nice to meet you. I am actually really sorry about the business in Flitwick’s class. I was just staring adoringly at your ankles. No hard feelings right?”
I groan and plop face down on my pillow.
“Why can’t I hold a normal conversation?” I ask to no one in particular. I can’t even practice having a normal conversation without it going awry.
This is all Sirius’s fault! Because of him I am forced to interact with the human race and subject myself to humiliating and excruciating awkward situations. I flip unto my back and stare up at the silky blue of my canopy, glowering. Something crinkles under me as I readjust, however. I look under me and find a messily scrawled note. No scratch that, a ridiculously wet note that looks like it has been slobbered upon. I sniff it. Ew. It smells too!
I pry it open, holding in away from my body.
I forgot to mention that my party is tomorrow. Remus said that I should tell you its semi-formal. He’s really keen on woman’s minds. So…do whatever girls do that makes them smell and look nice. James says to wear some lingerie. Some muggle contraception I’m sure but I suppose you know what that means?
Anyway I just wanted to remind you because you ARE coming because either way I’m forcing you. It’s for the betterment of your welfare and socializing skills. Er.. sort of. Really I just want to get in your pants.
I’m only kidding. Truly.
Yours entirely, body mind and soul, your handsome romantically involved lover
p.s. Hey, Janelle, this is Remus. Do not wear lingerie. James is sexually deprived and Sirius has no idea what it is. Pity.
In all the excitement (stress inducing episodes of my rather messed up life) I have totally forgotten about the party. The ‘legendary bash’ is being held tomorrow and you know what my initial reaction is, truly?
People. Talking. Drunk. People. Talking. Humiliation.
I abhor you Sirius Black. I really, really do.
hey guys! Summer is finally here and I am suppa dupa stoked! Anyway once again, review please and I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry I couldn't respond to all of your lovely reviews last time (finals and all) but I really appreciate them. You guys are bomb!
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