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Chapter 6 : The Unforgettable Lake Visit
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The Unforgettable Lake Visit
“Dorcas looks pretty hott today.” Sirius said observantly as he gazed at Dorcas from across the room.
I turn to give him an appalling look. “Sirius.”
“What?” he said trying to look as innocent as possible. Which was impossible. “She does.”
“That’s my best friend you’re talking about.” I argued, scrunching my nose at the thought of what must be going through his mind right now. I really didn’t want to think about that…
Sirius clears his throat. “We’ve been on two dates. I am free to say whatever I like.”
“Who made up that rule?” I asked scoffing.
“Like I will tell you the rules of men.”
I give him an exasperated look. “There are no rules for men.”
Sirius pulled himself up in a very arrogant way. “Of course you would say that. You’re a woman.”
I give him a sigh and try to get James’ attention from across the aisle. I wave my arms but he still sits there, humming some tune while stirring his potion. Getting impatient, I start snapping my fingers which earns me a snort from Sirius and glare from Snape in front of me. James finally stops humming and looks up to see what Sirius laughed about.
“James, what are these rules?”
James gives me a confused look through his glasses. “Rules of what?”
“Like I would tell you!” He says giving me a horrified look.
“Men.” I say again mumbling to myself before going back to my potion.
“She’s just jealous.” I hear Sirius whisper to James.
I give him the most annoyed glare I could muster before pouring my ink bottle on his robes.
Potions had been turning into one of my favorite classes. James and Sirius always made me laugh and I would get warning of when their next prank was coming so I could steer clear of it. It was nice talking with James again and nice getting to know all the Marauders as I had never tried to before. Emmeline and Lily couldn’t understand what I saw but Dorcas was ecstatic to learn I was becoming friends with her boyfriend. She was now looking for someone for me so I that I double date with her and Sirius sometime. She once suggested Remus but for some reason I really didn’t have a desire too… it just didn’t feel right.
I hated to admit it, but the best part of Potions was getting to talk to Sirius. He was always so full of life and energy, it became very contagious and sometimes invigorating. Luckily, he didn’t bring up anything of the past or anything about my mother. I wished our friendship could always stay like it was now. Laughing and joking around with James. Light, without having to bring up those nasty skeletons and having to share the impossible. I wasn’t even sure I could do that with Lily or Dorcas. But of course, nothing would ever stay the same way you wanted it to.
When I saw the lake come into view, I headed down a little more eager than before. It was about twilight so I could make out some of the stars and see the moon shining on the lake. Being down here alone always made me feel peaceful, like nothing could hurt me. The lights on the Quidditch field were now off and I figured that most Gryffindors were in the dorm celebrating the victory. I assumed we won after Dorcas’ comment.
I had just started to hear crickets when I heard a snapping noise behind. My stomach fell to the floor as I jumped up and turned around, taking out my wand.
“Madysen!” Emmeline said a little too happily. She started laughing. “Why are you pointing that thing at me?”
I took a deep breath, trying to restart my heart. “You scared me.” I looked behind her and saw two more figures approaching. One was very tall and the other was fairly short. It looked like the shorter one was hanging on the tall figure for support.
“Madysen.” I heard Lily giggle as she ran towards me and swooped me up in a hug. I could smell the firewhiskey on her.
As the other taller figure approached, to my surprise, I realized it was Sirius. His shiny brown hair fell into his face.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, curiosity lining my voice.
He shrugged. “It’s getting late and we noticed you weren’t back. I volunteered to come get you, but they” Sirius nodded his head toward Em and Lily who were now pointing very kid-like at the rocks lining the shore of the lake, “insisted.”
I furrowed my eyebrows. “Really? How long has the game been over?”
“About two hours.” Sirius said slowly looking at me like I was crazy.
“Oh, well I guess time passes when you’re having fun.” I replied, motioning towards the rocks I was sitting on. Feeling nervous, though I have no idea why, I clumsily sat back down and started to watch Lily splash her feet in the water.
Sirius’s mouth formed into a smirk as he sat gracefully down beside me. We sat there in silence for a while. I could feel tension and awkwardness fill the air. I felt ridiculous.
“Good job at the game.” I finally said.
“Really?” Sirius said, skepticism filling his voice.
“Yeah, I really liked that dive thing or shooting thing, whatever that was.” I said rambling trying to convince him I did watch it, “I mean, the way you blocked…”
He barked a laugh. “You didn’t watch a single minute of it.”
“I tried.” Shrugging, I felt myself blushing.
Sirius paused. “Why do you hate Quidditch so much?”
My heart started to stammer. I stuttered. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, you always seem so against and whenever I bring it up, you freeze.” I started to open my mouth but he kept going, holding up a finger to silence me, “And no, don’t say you don’t. You do. I see it in your eyes.”
My heart started to hammer faster as he said. Either because I was finally caught and our friendly, happy friendship was over or because he was talking about my eyes…but of course it wasn’t that. Sirius liked Dorcas and there was no possible way that I would think otherwise. I knew it was true. I just tend to ramble and let my imagination get carried away. I mean, Sirius Black was beautiful. What girl wouldn’t get a little nervous?
I was a little lost for words. “You--I…you know the answer.”
Sirius looked across the lake with a concentrated look on his face. Did he seriously not remember? Maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal. Am I really blowing this way out of proportion? No, I thought firmly. He crushed my dreams when I needed them the most.
“Oh.” Sirius said lowly. I could see it dawning on his face. “But why would that bother you? I was, what, 12? I didn’t mean any of those things. Really. I was stupid.”
I looked across the lake opening and closing my mouth. How could I get this out in the right words without looking like an idiot and a baby?
“Did you really take seriously what I said?” Sirius asked again after a moment.
“Yes,” I struggled some more, “and no. Well, it was pretty obvious that I had a crush on you back then.” I felt myself blush when I said this. I turned to see what his reaction was but Sirius was still looking at me firmly, “The way you said it… You have to understand that was a really hard time for me. I mean, my mom had just gotten another boyfriend and had left. She didn’t take her with me that time, she hasn’t since then, but that was very shocking for me back then. I felt…lost, I guess, and flying and Quidditch was the only thing I could do on my own. And after what you said, I just kinda….”
I really had no idea how to explain this. Back then, I valued his opinion over anything else. And here I was again, waiting on the edge of my seat to see what Sirius would say. I felt like I was 12 all over again. I knew that necessarily wasn’t a good thing, but I couldn’t stop myself. Curiosity killed the cat. I should’ve learned that lesson then.
Sirius had an unfathomable look in his eyes that I couldn’t read.
“Look, you don’t have say anything. Don’t apologize.” I added.
“Don’t. Don’t worry about it.” I saw hastily. I turned my face away. I didn’t want him to see my eyes. The last time I had seen my mother, she called me an open book. And that hadn’t gone very well…
I pushed back the memory and looked up at Sirius, who was smiling faintly.
“Well, who would’ve guessed that after all that, we would end up here.” He told me, throwing his hands in there, pointing to all around us.
I nodded. “Yeah, I know what you mean. I hated you.”
“I guess I deserved it.” Sirius chuckled a bit and then grinned, “And now we’re friends.”
I rolled my eyes. “If you say so.”
“And now you’re going out with Dorcas.” I replied, smiling over at Lily and Emmeline who had stopped what they were doing, staring at us curiously.
“Yeah… I’m going out with Dorcas.”
The tone is Sirius’ voice made me look over at him, but he still staring at the lake with that unfathomable look.
“She really likes you, you know.” I told him, not knowing what else to say.
I bit my lip, frustrated, wondering what I had said.
“I would’ve never met Dorcas if it wasn’t for you.” Sirius said suddenly, turning back to look at me.
I looked at him confused. “What do you mean?” That first day, it wasn’t me that had told her to go over there, it was Lily. But I guess they would’ve met before, we had been going to Hogwarts forever…
Sirius paused. “Nevermind.” He said quickly, looking back at the lake.
I dropped the subject. We sat there in silence for a minute before I had an impulse. I have no idea why I did. It was just like I had to know, like I was supposed to know. Curiosity, I suppose. My one downfall.
“Do you believe in fate?” I blurted out without thinking. I paused, reframing the question. “You know, destiny?”
He stared out across the lake with the same unfathomable stare that he had given me so many times tonight. “Depends.” he finally shrugged and kicked a loose rock down the banks with his toe.
“On what?” I asked uncertainly with my heart pounding.
Sirius turned his head to give me a crooked smile. “Ask me in about ten years and you’ll get your answer.”
I turned to look him in the eyes. The color startled me for a moment, I could now see flecks of gold and green, but I kept gazing back. I kept expecting him to look away, to say some sarcastic comment or make a joke at my expense, but he didn’t. He stared right back. I didn’t know what emotions were playing across my face, but for once in my life, I didn’t care. My mask was gone and I wanted it to stay that way. I opened my mouth to say something. Say that answer didn’t count, that it didn’t work that way…anything.
Someone else said made up for my loss of words.
“Sirius!” Dorcas’ light voice called from up the grassy hill, “Are you all still down here?”
I flipped my head around back towards the lake as fast I could. My heart beat unevenly and I felt clammy. I needed to get a hold of myself…
“We better get going.” Sirius said as he stood up gracefully. His prankster, easygoing mask was back.
“Yeah,” I agreed. I saw him go towards where Emmeline and Lily were sitting still giggling on the bank. “I’ll walk them, you go up to Dorcas.”
He turned to give me a questioning look. “You sure?”
“Yeah, go.” I said. I tried not to look at him as I walked by.
“Okay,” Sirius said slowly, “See you later.” When I saw him reach Dorcas and grab her hand, I turned back to the others.
“Let’s get back to the common room, kay?” I suggested while helping them up.
Emmeline giggled. “You should have seen your face…sa-woon.”
I scoffed. “What are you talking about?”
“You know, the way you were looking at Sirius.” Em came low to whisper in my ear. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”
“You don’t have to tell anyone because there is nothing to tell.” I might have said that a little too harshly.
I heard a loud splash behind me. Oh no. “Lily!” I yelled. She had jumped in the lake and was now flapping her arms. She splashed the water at me.
“Look, I’m a duck!”
I sighed. “Stay here.” I commanded Em. She put a hand up the her forehead like a soldier and nodded solemnly. It took all of me to suppress a laugh and turn towards the Black Lake.
I went to the very edge of the rocky shore. “Lily, come on.”
“Why should I?” She said indignantly.
Why does she have to let her stubborn side show now? “Please!”
She pursed her lips, looked at me for a moment, and then rolled her green eyes. “Oh, fine.”
Lily waded out of the water towards me and Emmeline, who was now giggling uncontrollably. “You two are such party poopers.” She said as she crossed her arms.
“Thanks.” I replied as I pulled my two best friends back up towards the school.
I knew there were three things I absolutely had to do.
-Take a shower. Lily was dripping tons of water and other unmentionables from the lake on me.
-Find out who my father was. Maybe then I could learn who I really am.
Forget that look I saw in Sirius Black’s eyes tonight.
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