Despite the dramatic events of yesterday and the morning realization of what truly occurred yesterday, I can say that I’m totally okay with it. Fine with it in fact. So fine that I actually ripped my calendar to shreds and incendio-ed its little mocking ass. Not that it had one or anything.
Plus, my sister and her fiancé were coming to the first Quidditch match so I had bigger things to worry about because by fiancé I mean, the muggle one, the one who knows absolutely nothing about magic…. or its existence in general and likes to use strange American lingo such as ‘yo’ and ‘bra’.
So anyone one could have said Sirius’s name and I would have been like, “Sirius who?” I’m just that smooth.
Until I see him enter the Great Hall with his cult and splatter ketchup all over the front of my robes. Yep, smooth as a baby’s bottom. I duck my head as he turns toward me. Why? One, I’m clearly occupied with the tomato ketchup and two, because well… he has that intense look again. I shrug it off; he’s obviously really intense about his Quidditch match.
I can hear titters around me from my fellow house mates, who are all looking a bit surprised that I’m not over there ‘wishing my boyfriend’ good luck before his big Gryffindor vs. Hufflepuff game. Obviously the news hasn’t hit yet, but judging from their knowing glances, I’m thinking they’re getting a good idea. Clever Ravenclaws.
I suppose it doesn’t help, that he looks really, really good in his Quidditch uniform. Ugh, when had I become so preoccupied with his bloody looks? Suddenly breakfast doesn’t look so good. Oh, sod it; I’ll make my sister buy me some really expensive breakfast. I get up hurriedly, not bothering to clean up the mess on my robes. In my haste to leave the bloody Great Hall, I run into the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, like I literally run into them. I don’t know how I could have possibly missed them; they look like large blobs of earwax, bright yellow earwax.
“Marriot!” Cries an affronted high-pitched voice. The other Hufflepuffs, beside Mark Burnett, all mutter and walk by. Confrontation is not a Hufflepuff thing.
Sigh. As if my sodding life couldn’t get any peachier, add evil Kensington and my life is one big, fruit bowl fest mania. And before I have a chance to wheeze out an apology she starts screaming.
“Oh my God!” She cries as she looks down her bright Quidditch Robes. My eyes follow her gaze and I have to hold back a snicker at what I see. Her yellow robes have a large red smear at the center of her stomach trailing down to her legs. My God, it looks like she’s got her menstrual cycle a tad early. There are shouts of laughter that ring around the Great Hall. Kensington’s scream has attracted their attention.
“What is that?” she asks appalled.
“It’s er… ketchup.” I say sheepishly and I gesture to my own robes, which are not as noticeable because mine are black.
Mark, who is standing a couple paces behind her, laughs good-naturedly.
“God, Janelle,” He chuckles “You’re mad.”
Kensington whirls on Mark with daggers in her eyes.
“This is not funny.” Kensington growls at him. He only shakes his head.
“Look, we can clean it up later and besides she didn’t mean to.” He says patting her shoulder warmly. He looks at me and smiles.
Kensington only stares at me with cold hate in her icy eyes. She shrugs Mark off and struts down to her designated seat at the Hufflepuff table. Mark, looks slightly exasperated and after another apologetic smile, walks after her but not before putting a warm hand on my upper arm.
“Good luck.” I croak as I watch him plop down to Kensington. It is then, however, that I meet Sirius’s calculated stare. I feel my cheeks burn slightly. I look away and finally, finally, exit the mad house. I so needed to go change; I was starting to smell like ketchup.
But even though Mark called me mad and I currently smell like tomatoes and Sirius is still giving me weird looks, I cannot bring myself to frown or complain because I totally just owned Kensington! Marriot one, Kensington zip.
Too bad it was completely unintentional.
“Why do you smell like ketchup?” My darling, sister asks me as she gives me a big hug.
“I squirted it on myself.” I sigh as she lets me go. I had changed but that stupid smell still managed to follow me everywhere. She hugs me again.
“I love you, Janelle.” She sighs fondly. After the second hug, I kind of stiffen up because right behind my sister is a very good-looking bloke with glasses who is looking quite shocked and very confused. “I think you need to introduce me to your fiancé. We’ve never met.”
“Oh that’s right!” She cries, letting me go. She reaches behind her as the man eagerly takes her hand, like a drowned man reaching for a float. He looks relieved. I can’t blame him; Hogwarts is a pretty crazy place. He, however, gives me a nervous smile. His eyes are a lovely shade of hazel.
“Hi,” He says with his American drawl. “I’m Stephen. You must be Janelle.”
“Pleasure.” I say warmly as I take his outstretched hand. “I see Jackie has informed you of…”
“Magic?” He says, darting his eyes toward the teacher’s section where Dumbledore is sitting looking like a reincarnation of Merlin himself. “So you’re a witch too, huh?”
“Yeah,” I smile, “But don’t worry I haven’t blown anything up in years.”
My sister shoves her elbow into my side as Stephen’s smile falters a bit. She smiles sweetly at Stephen.
“Will you excuse us for a second?” She asks and without waiting for a response pulls me aside. She looks over her shoulder to make sure Stephen’s well out of hearing range. He’s looking a bit lost.
“For God’s sakes, Nell, let’s try to be a little more subtle, yeah?” She whispers threateningly.
“So I guess you told him, eh?” I respond. “Did he like run away or threaten to put you in a loony bin?”
She shakes her head.
“No. He was convinced I was an alien. I had to spend the whole day explaining that the broom I had in my closet was not a Unidentified Flying Object.” She sighs, running her fingers through her hair. I look at Stephen who looks rather lost. “He’s really, really into science fiction.”
“So he thinks we’re all aliens?” I crack up and at her somber look I immediately shut up. I clear my throat. “So er… is he fine with you being a witch?”
She finally gives me a big smile and waves her hands around for emphasis.
“He’s so understanding! I let him ride my broom and it was spectacular. He kept naming the laws of physics we were breaking but in the end, I think he’s actually quite keen on it.” She bounces up and down. “I love him, Nell, I really, really do.”
There is this fiery look in her eye that makes me feel like I’m intruding on something really private. She’s beautiful, with her cheeks aglow and her glassy green eyes. My sister stands at 5’7, four inches taller than me with hair so brown it makes mine look mousy. I try not to think about it too much.
“So where’s Sirius?” She finally snaps out of her reverie. She winks. “ I remember him, he was right adorable, and he had major potential to be incredibly fit. Well, where is this ‘boyfriend’ of yours?”
“Later.” I whisper and tugging at her old Gryffindor sweater, I bring her back to Stephen. He gives us a wide smile while I can still feel my sister’s curious stare.
“You guys really do look alike.” He says, scratching his head.
I sort of ignore this comment because not only is it entirely false, it’s also sort of gives me the impression (a terribly wrong impression) that I am beautiful. I give a grunt while Jackie wraps her arm around my shoulders. What is wrong with her? She’s so touchy feely. God, or maybe I’m just on my period. I lead them to the Ravenclaw section and I manage to somehow sit myself in the middle of Stephen and Jackie. He kind of looks longingly over at her. I try to move but Stephen, uncommonly polite, says, “You should catch up.”
At this, Jackie smiles winningly at him. He returns her soft smile and begins a conversation with a bloke sitting on the other side of him, something about Newton’s third law of Gravity or such…
“So, tell me about—“
But before she can finish a loud roar fills the stadium. Lucas Johnson is introducing the Gryffindor team. I follow the red and gold clad figures as they soar higher in the air. I’ve always been morbidly fascinated by Quidditch, like how can anybody, especially a boy sit on a broom for hours on end without ever damaging their… you know… bits? Before I can ponder upon anything, Jackie eagerly shakes my shoulder.
“Oh, look, it’s Potter!” She exclaims and then continues to list off names of Gryffindors she has played with in the past. And she nudges me when Sirius soars past us, or not at us, rather the Ravenclaw section but whatever….
“Holy Merlin’s underpants, is that… is that Sirius Black?” She asks appalled. She points to Sirius, quite noticeably, as if I can’t see him. I hit her hand away but it’s too late. He’s looking down at her and I pretend I’ve dropped something on the ground. Quick thinking and everything. I’m a coward, what can I say?
“Nell, he’s absolutely gorgeous!” She gasps in my ear. I swat her with my loosened tie after conveniently ‘dropping’ something.
“What are you, a love sick teenager?” I say to her. “You’re twenty for God’s sakes, pull yourself together!”
She sticks her tongue out at me and hits me in the arm playfully.
“God you’re right lucky! He has amazing hair! And that face…” She swoons on jokingly except I don’t think she’s joking.
“I’m not lucky. I never was because we never dated.” I mumble crossly.
My sister really looks at me this time.
“But you pretended to. So what happened?” She asks. “There was another girl wasn’t there? Boys like that always have other girls because they’re so fit…”
I just stare at her and she quickly apologizes.
“I don’t know, it’s complicated.” I sigh and then I launch into the full story of Kensington and Burnett but right as I finish the game has begun and it becomes too loud to chat about anything. Plus, we were both a bit worried how Stephen might take the whole flying business and bludgers and witches and wizards thing…
“It’s sort of like basketball!” Stephen yells to me as Potter, the chaser, weaves himself around Kensington and scores. The Gryffindors roar with approval and a chant of ‘Potter! Potter’ fills the stadium. My sister being a very avid and proud Gryffindor yells along with them. I can only manage a meager, ‘go… yeah…. go… ‘
“And it’s Burnett with the Quaffle. It’s Diggory with the Quaffle passes back to Burnett and Burnett--- Oooo.” Lucas Johnson exclaims as a well-aimed bludger hits Burnett squarely in the chest. Mark drops the Quaffle. “A nice hard blow with the bludger by Sirius Black!”
Andrew Jordon quickly sweeps up the fallen Quaffle and flies toward the Hufflepuff goal posts and scores a nice point passed Kensington. She slaps her broom in a tantrum and starts screaming at her teammates. Kensington passes to Mark, who flies with it and dodges Potter and keeps going and going and going until another bludger hits Mark in the arm with ferocity. He cries out.
“Black again with the ferocious blow to Burnett. It looks like it’s getting personal.” Johnson announces as wild boos and cheers shake the stadium. I stare dumbfounded as Black flies insanely across the pitch to knock another bludger at Burnett who doesn’t even have the ball.
“What is that guy doing?” Stephen yells. “There should definitely be penalty for that!”
I just gape like a lunatic. What if Sirius killed Burnett and what if Sirius had to go to Azkaban and live there in sentence and lose his sanity all because he’s so angry at Burnett and what if…. What if it was my entire fault?? My sister is looking at me in terrified understanding.
The bludger barely misses Mark. Mark looks up, getting furious and in an uncharacteristic move, snatches his own teammates bludger and swots an incoming bludger back at Sirius with fierce intensity.
“Now it’s like baseball.” Remarks Stephen lamely.
I don’t even know what baseball is and I don’t care because Sirius and Mark are starting to yell at each other. Madame Hooch, the incredibly young cat like woman, blows a whistle but the boys don’t pay her any mind. The crowd has become stunningly silent as we can hear snippets of their conversation.
“You’re a tosser, Burnett, just because Maria liked me and left your sodding pathetic arse doesn’t give you the right to turn Janelle on me!” He yells furiously and holds up his bat to protect himself from a bludger coming his way.
He said my name, didn’t he? Should I go up there then?
“YOU STOLE HER AWAY FROM ME, BLACK!” He yells furiously.
Kensington who is at the other side of the pitch just stares on, I take the time to snicker at her fish like gape until I realize I’m doing the exact same thing. Damn.
“I BROKE UP WITH HER CENTURIES AGO, SO PISS THE FUCK OFF! I DON’T GIVE A DAMN, JUST STAY THE BLOODY HELL AWAY FROM JANELLE!” He roars back.
I’m trying not to hyperventilate as Jackie and Stephen are both rubbing my back soothingly. I can feel about a billion eyes on me.
“MR. BLACK! MR. BURNETT. STOP THIS AT ON—“ McGonagall’s scream emanates from the microphone she stole away from Johnson. She is cut short however when Suzie Rennison , Gryffindor’s seeker comes barreling out of nowhere and right under Kensington’s nose, snatches the snitch.
In the already stunned silence the silence becomes worse. If that is humanly possible because I think literally it’s not.
Silence among silence remains until one very random person in the audience goes, “Bollocks!”
Suddenly the stands are shaking with a deafening roar of approval and disappointment that instantly blows my mind away. Literally. My sister is cheering wildly and Stephen is staring open-mouthed at the whole display and I should be laughing at Stephen’s ridiculous expression but I can’t because the angry face of Sirius Black is still imprinted on my mind.
“I need air.” I gasp and push past my sister, who is hugging Stephen with passion.
I don’t have the time or the desire to find out what happened with Sirius and Mark. I push past throngs of people until I finally reach the end of the stairs. I take a deep breath and find myself under the bleachers. I hop onto one of those cross bar things that hold the bleacher things and position myself into a comfortable position. I bring my legs to my face and I rub my temples.
“You’re not in hiding are you?” Comes a voice. I look up to find the familiar face of Regulus Black, curly haired and adorable, aside from the whole evil Black thing of course.
“Not you.” I groan and shut my eyes. Maybe if I blink hard enough he’ll go away.
Nope, still there.
“You look like an idiot.” He states.
“And you look like a deformed monkey.” I reply, blinking in rapid succession.
God, he’s still there! Why are my powers not working? Oh that’s right, I don’t have any because Sirius Black and Mark Burnett both are complete gits!
“Good show wasn’t it?” Regulus continues as if I hadn’t remarked on his unfortunate physical appearance. (There wasn’t any, obviously, he’s a Black. Their genetics make them naturally beautiful. Arse holes.)
“By good show you must mean Sirius and Mark yelling and hitting each other with bludgers over a matter that happened a year ago?” I ask fuming. I’ve stopped blinking because obviously if I am having this conversation right now, it’s definitely not working.
“I was talking about Quidditch.” He smirks.
I laugh at this. A hysterical crazy person laugh that sounds a bit like a monkey crossed with a dying zombie.
“Merlin, you’re mad.” He states again and jumps to sit next to me. The beams creak.
“Er… I don’t think it can handle anymore of your weight.” I state scooting away from him. He only looks pointedly at me. I sigh.
“What do you want? Are you here to mock me? Humiliate me further? Gloat?” I say while ticking them off of my fingers.
He opens his mouth with an angry frown but I interrupt him.
“No, no wait! You’re here to confess your undying love for me!” I say in mock ecstasy. I continue on in a furious rage. “Oh, wait, your brother already pretended to do that and you’ve done already all of the above! What the hell do you want from me? Money? Love advice? What?!”
I have officially just had a major spaz attack.
But you know what freaking Regulus Black does? He actually smiles! A smile, I tell you. I think I might have a major heart attack! A smile! WTF, man!
“What is wrong with you?” I ask rudely.
“You’re sitting on my hat.” He indicates. I look down and find that I really am sitting on something black and fairly squishy.
“Oh.” I state lamely and pull it out from under me. I feel like an idiot. No, I am an idiot. I hand it to him wordlessly.
“I was listening to the match.” He says coolly “I went up to check what all the screaming was about and when I came back you were here.”
“Er… why don’t you like… go up and actually watch the match? That’s what we’ve got eyes for.” I say confused.
He looks away and stays silent. Okay then….
“I don’t want Sirius to see me.” He says darkly. I peer closely at him, a faint embarrassed blush grace his cheeks, giving his icy demeanor a pleasant glow. The hands holding his hat tighten considerably.
Any decent person would know that he basically just closed the subject. I’m not decent. And I think I’m an alien so I don’t fall under the category of ‘decent person’.
“Trust me, I’d think he’d appreciate it if he knew you were here.” I say softly.
“I know that.” He snaps angrily. “It’s my friends I’m worried about.”
He twists his hat with ferocity but then suddenly gives a deep and steady breath. He looks at me again. His mouth is a thin line and his eyes hold secrets and burdens no fifteen year olds eyes should. I wonder foolishly how naïve and clueless I must look. He moves closer and tilts his head toward mine.
“Don’t tell Sirius about this.” He snarls quietly. His breath is tickling my nose and I’m thankful that he ate some sort of mints because it smells quite nice.
“Righto, matie.” I mutter a little bit distracted and a teensy bit alarmed.
He snaps his head back and hops down to the ground. He surprisingly gives me his hand. What is with this new Regulus? First the smiling and now the unexpected gallantry? Has the world gone completely topsy turvy?
“I can handle myself thanks.” I say suspiciously.
“Fine.” He snaps and brings his hand tightly to his side.
I take a huge leap off of the beam and through some cruel twist of fate and someone’s rather sick humor; I fall off the beam in a heap at his feet.
He lets out a dry laugh as if his vocal chords in tune for laughing have not been used.
“Right.” I state to the ground. “Right.”
“You getting up then?” He snickers and when I don’t answer for shame he reaches for my floppy hand and pulls me up with surprising strength. “Do you have two left feet or what?” He drawls.
Well by Golly Gee Whiz and cheese, he touched me willingly.
“Are you feeling alright?” I ask pointedly, ignoring his question.
He only sends me a glare.
“I don’t want to be accused of your murder.” He shrugs. “Because by the way it looks, it seems like your well on your way to accidentally killing yourself.”
“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” I say, brushing off the dirt off my robes.
“See? You’re a sadistic… wait what?!” I ask appalled.
“No.” He says again.
“But this is the part where you’re suppose to be “I’d get rid of one idiot in the world” bit.” I say confused.
He steps closer and I’m too confused to do any proper thinking or moving or anything that is remotely sane. He’s stepping closer and closer and closer and what the heck is he doing??? But before he can lean in and… ugh…. Do whatever… I hear my sister’s voice from above us, calling my name.
“Got to jet!” I cry happily and without a moment’s hesitation I run out from under the bleachers and sprint my way up towards the bleachers. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God….
I meet my sister and with much gusto I give her a big hug.
“You’re a life saver!” I cry and then I gibber on about snogging and boys and funny little boys and snogging and almost snogs and …. And….
She slaps me.
“Whoa there!” Stephen says in a very distinct American accent that makes me grin despite everything.
“Thanks.” I say, my confuzzled brain coming into clearer focus. I touch my stinging cheek. “I needed that didn’t I?”
“Nell, let’s get you some lunch, yeah?” She says looking extremely concerned. “We’ll talk over lunch. I promise.”
Jackie and Stephen take each of my hands and link it to their own. I lean into my sister’s taller frame. She leans her head atop of mine and sighs.
“Come on you big muppet.” She says and I close my eyes and think what a complete and utter mess my life has become.
Unfortunately for me it was only about to get worse.
Sirius was positive he was dreaming because only in his dreams was the image before really possible. He pinched himself foolishly. He winced slightly. No, he was not dreaming he deduced. He was very much awake and despite the exhaustion from the match, the bruises where the bludger had hit him and his sore batting arm, he found in himself a terrible coldness that seeped through his bones. He couldn’t explain it. It was like he had plummeted suddenly; like he had fallen off a cliff without realizing he was on one.
His brother, his little brother was leaning in to give Janelle, what obviously looked like a kiss. In his brain he was screaming at her to move, to move because this wasn’t right, to move because…because….
He couldn’t finish it. He dare not finish it.
But she didn’t move and Sirius couldn’t look. He turned away from the sight. He couldn’t look and ever so silently sprinted out from under the bleachers where he had been hoping he’d find Janelle and apologize and make her laugh because she made him laugh so easily and he thought it was about time to return the favor.
But the sight of Regulus and Janelle about to kiss had wiped out any remaining hope of reconciliation. His brain screamed at her to move, to show some sign of protest at this obvious violation. All he had ever wanted so fiercely in that moment was for her to move away because…. because…
Sirius hung his head.
A/N: SOOOO what do you think? haha. Review please! As a random side note, I want to know who you imagine as Sirius in your head? I was thinking Aaron Johnson and for Regulus I was thinking Nick Jonas. Anyway, more importantly I was a bit iffy about the way Janelle and Regulus parted and I hope it wasn't too Out of Character of Regulus to start liking her. Please let me know your opinions! Thanks luvvies! I read and appreciate and love each one of your reviews! :) Hope you enjoyed.
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