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Chapter 16 : Chapter 16- A Festive Time of Year I
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“Nope, dead Serious. Sirius has had a fascination with them for ages.”
I grinned in disbelief and speared another marshmallow on the end of the stick. Feeling content I poked it into the fire. Across the room, Lily looked up from her book to see what all the noise was about. When Peter and I merely threw her innocent glances she returned once more to reading.
We were in the room of requirement. The Marauders (well mainly Sirius I guessed,) had decided to share the room’s many delights and secrets with me as well.
I smiled lopsidedly, remembering the first night Sirius and I had come in here, alone…
Right now its occupants were Peter, Lily and I.
Remus, James and Sirius had been here earlier but were now gone, apparently leaving to discuss secret boys’ business.
Jasper was off hanging around with his Ravenclaw Quidditch mates who sort of traveled in a pack and I was scheduled to meet Elise, Anna, Lucy and Greta at any minute. T
hose four had been spending the afternoon in Hogsmede. They had extended an invitation to me, but I told them I’d already had plans, which of course, was true.
I thought about the way things had changed since Sirius and I had gotten back together. It had taken Jasper a while to forgive him, but on my insistence the two could have passed for brothers once again.
Anna, Lucy, Elise and Greta had never really been angry at Sirius, mainly just worried for me, but now everything was fine again.
The balance at Hogwarts was set out just right.
The fight had been hard to battle through, but now we were so much stronger for it. It smiled smugly to myself. Much stronger.
“But a motorbike though?” I persisted. “Why a motorbike when he could have a shiny new broom or, I don’t know, a spell book?”
Peter paused for a moment considering my question. His faced twitched when he thought. I stifled a giggle; he really did look quite…rat-like.
“How much do you know about Sirius’s family?” He asked. I grimaced. That was one subject that I was interested in and Sirius seemed determined to avoid. Then again, it wasn’t often we talked about mine.
“Not much.” I admitted.
Peter grinned. It seemed he had plenty to tell me. For someone who wasn’t so academically inclined Peter sure retained an awful lot of gossip.
“Sirius,” He started grandly, twisting in his seat to face me and looking important. “Sirius comes from a very wealthy pure-blood family. His parents and brother Regulus, you know the one in the grade below us?”
I nodded, Sirius had at least pointed out Regulus to me one day. We had talked about him a little.
“His family is all obsessed with this pure-blood mania stuff, and Slytherin pride. They practically deserted him when he became a Gryffindor.”
I felt a sharp pang of sympathy towards my boyfriend. It was one thing to have the inter-house rivalry at school, and another thing entirely to have it at home.
“Anyway,” Peter continued. “Sirius, being who he is does his best to show how different he is from his family, all those people that he hates and who have treated him like rubbish.”
I nodded. I could see him doing that; I could see him doing that easily.
“I think he wants a motorbike because it’s a muggle thing. I mean, he doesn’t even live with his parents any more, but even just to spite their memory would be good enough for him…I think…”
Peter trailed off, his exciting story was over and he was shy, nervous Peter again. I smiled. I could see the logic in Sirius’s plan. I also felt sad that he felt he had to do these sorts of things.
“A motorbike it is then!” I announced impressively rising to my feet and looking at my watch. It was time I left.
“Are you going?” Lily asked, peering once more from over the top of her book. I told her I was, already moving towards the door.
“Alright then,” she dismissed. “Have fun!” She was still smiling as I exited the room and watched the door meld into the wall behind me.
I ran to the entrance hall, as I got closer I could hear loud laughter. I grinned to myself recognizing the sound.
“Lulah!” Anna cried out as a greeting as I burst around the corner. All four of them were standing in the hall shivering.
Their skin was pale and their faces painted with bright wind-burnt spots. The hems of their cloaks were soaked through with snow-water. I chuckled at the sight of them.
“You must all be freezing!” I cried, linking arms with Elise. She smiled gratefully and clutched me to her side.
“You have no idea.” Lucy said, and she was right. I didn’t.
All five of us made our way up to the Ravenclaw common room where a fire was blazing in the grate. They sat down in front of it sighing and letting the heat unthaw their bodies.
“Honeydukes have gotten a new order of sugar quills in since we last visited.” Greta informed me. The last time we’d visited the store had been clean out, much to my disappointment. I rather enjoyed sucking on them during class.
“So… I got you some!” She produced a bulging packet from the inside of her robes.
“Oh thanks!” I cried, grinning profusely. “I’ll pay you back right away.”
Elise rolled her eyes. “Oh please Lulah; let’s not have this conversation again?”
I smiled and gave in, remembering the last time I’d tried to pay Greta back for something. She came from an absurdly wealthy Norwegian wizarding family. To her, a galleon was a Knut. Even though the situation wasn’t all that different for myself, I still felt guilty.
“You’ll never believe who we saw in Madame Pudifoot’s!” Lucy giggled, bursting to spill forth her knowledge. I smiled, it seemed Lucy always had news we ‘wouldn’t believe’. I leaned forward and grinned, knowing this game well enough by now.
“Andrew Robson and Tabitha Cleary!”
I pretended to reel back in shock. “C’mon Luce, don’t tell me you didn’t see that one coming?” I asked incredulously. I thought Lucy of all people would have known of the romance before it even began.
“Well, okay I did.” She clarified. “But it’s nice to have concrete evidence all the same.”
I made an amused sort of sound and lounged back in the seat. Even though I couldn’t really feel the cold it felt nice to be sitting in front of the fire all the same.
Fire to me was like the sun to Superman, it seemed to charge me and give me energy. It’s always wondered why we didn’t live somewhere absurdly sunny like Australia, or Rio, but apparently Romania and England had better dragons. I started into the fire pondering. It wouldn’t have harmed me in the slightest to have walked straight into that fireplace then and there.
“We also saw Sirius.” Anna added slyly. “He was with Remus and James and for once they were being unnaturally quiet.”
I laughed. It was unnatural to find even one of them quiet, let alone three! It probably just more of their secret boys’ business I decided.
“They were quiet,” she continued, “by their standards, but still loud enough for two words to stand out.” She smirked as my interest now became apparent.
“Oh,” I said casually. “And what might those two words be?”
She scratched her chin in mock concentration. “I can’t remember, what were they again Elle?”
Elise looked thoughtful. “I can’t be sure,” she said slowly, “but from what I recall they were present and Lulah. Fancy that!”
All four of the started snickering again. Their liking towards Sirius was no secret, apparently since the day he got me excused from History of Magic ‘just because’ he had been labeled ‘dream boyfriend’. Of course, I wasn’t about to argue there.
I decided it was time to distract them.
“Speaking of presents,” I said loudly over the laughter. “What do you all want? Because you know I’m going to get you something whether you ask for it or not.”
They became excited and alert at once and suggestion by suggestion the ideas began to spill out.
At last my decision was made; I was pleased to have that part out of the way.
Buying gifts was always the hardest part of Christmas for me. Giving and receiving them was fine though.
“I’m going home for the holidays.” Elise announced, biting her lip. “I’ll give you the address though!” She promised after seeing our murderous faces. We hadn’t just spent thirty minutes giving suggestions for nothing. “The owls will find it, promise.”
As it turned out Jasper and I were leaving to spend Christmas with Leon and Audrey. Anna, Lucy and Greta were all staying at school and Peter, Remus, Lily, James and
Sirius were all planning on boarding at the Potter household. It was too late for any previous arrangements to be changed to better suit the er…situation.
It was a sad situation for me. I was definitely looking forward to spending quality time with Jasper, Leon and Audrey. Particularly Jasper, I didn’t see as much of him anymore what with he and his Quidditch friends, and me with mine.
I was actually really enjoying Anna’s, Lucy’s, Elise’s and Greta’s company. They were wonderful friends and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to parting with them.
And then of course there was Lily and the marauders, but especially Sirius. I didn’t spend as much time with Lily, James, Peter and Remus as I did my Ravenclaw friends, but no one, not even Jasper could begin to rival the amount of time I spent with Sirius.
Still, maybe a break would be healthy? Who was I kidding, we needed a plan.
“You know what we need?” I said thinking about how all five of us would be separated for the holidays. The others looked at me. “We need a party, just the five of us before we go away.”
This certainly perked them up.
“Oh, like a sleep-over in the dormitory!” Lucy giggled her eyes bright with enthusiasm.
“We could decorate it and stuff too!” Anna added eagerly. “I mean it’s not exactly going to be hard.” She motioned to her wand, with which she had been absently twirling a strand of her hair.
“And food!” I agreed. “I know how to get food.” Well, I would. Apparently James knew how to get into the kitchens.
“It’s settled then.” Greta beamed. “How about the night before the holidays officially begin?”
Elise smiled widely. “Bring it on.”
“Ow!” Another snowball smashed into my head. Quickly I ran back to reform ranks with Lily and Jasper.
“We need more snowballs!” I cried desperately, grinning despite the fact that our army of valiant snowballers was being, well, snowballed.
I picked up another handful of snow and hastily compacted it into a ball. I had to be fast otherwise it would melt from the sheer heat of my skin.
I spun around and took dead aim at the back of Sirius’s head.
The snowball sailed through the air until wham! It made contact with its target.
Sirius staggered dramatically and clutched at his skull.
“Prongs! Wormtail!” He yelled, lurching spectacularly. “I’m injured.”
He let out a faint ‘Oh!’ and collapsed to the ground.
James and Peter ran to his side. Remus wasn’t playing. He was inside up in the dormitory. He wasn’t feeling too well apparently. I hoped for his sake that he got better before the holidays.
“No! Sirius! My boy, don’t you dare give up on me. You’re going to pull through!” James bellowed, kneeling by Sirius side, grapping a fistful of his shirt and shaking him.
Jasper, Lily, Peter and I all stopped our game to watch the melodrama unfolding before us.
Sirius drew a long ragged breath.
“I can’t fight much longer brother!” He confessed. “Tell mama I love her; tell her I’m sorry for what I said. And tell…” He paused for a moment, searching for someone to pick on next. “And tell Jasper that I was fighting for him until the end; make sure he knows I never gave up.”
Out of the corner of his mouth Peter whispered to James, rolling his eyes- “Jasper isn’t even on the right team, and he’s forgotten Lulah.”
The crooked grin on Sirius’s face told me he hadn’t forgotten me at all.
“And James?” He started back up again, “James, where are you? I can’t see you, everything’s getting so dark. James, tell Lulah, it’s important that she knows, tell her I love her and make sure she knows that if she gets it on with anyone else after I die, then I’ll come back and haunt her from the after-life.”
All of the onlookers laughed rowdily and James fought to keep a straight face.
“I love you.” Sirius whispered dramatically before letting all his breath leave his body in a gush and leaving James to howl with grief over his ‘dead’ body.
“Bravo! Bravo!” Jasper called as Sirius, James and for some reason Peter all took large stage bows and liked arms for a song and dance routine encore.
Lily merely stood there smiling and shaking her head, like this was something she’d seen too many times to be surprised or embarrassed by. And me, I clapped, cheered and linked arms with Jasper as we danced around to Peter, James and Sirius who were all bellowing out some sort of show tune complete with sleazy and rather feminine dance moves.
At some point during their song I ended up with my arms entwined with Sirius’s as we swirled through the snow and mush.
Still laughing and singing we collapsed in a heap in the snow. Sirius’s eyes were shining brightly, their odd purpley-grey glittering against his white skin and flushed cheeks. He quickly bent his head and kissed me on the jaw.
I’m sure if it weren’t for James emitting a loud wolf whistle we might have carried on, but we topped, both righting ourselves and standing up.
James strolled over to us smirking and eyeing us smugly.
“Save it for later you two.” He grinned.
Something in James’s words jogged my memory.
“Ah. Speaking of later,” I said, “I have to go and get ready. We’re having a party.”
“We are?” Sirius asked, helping me to my feet and brushing the snow off my body, his hands lingering subtly on certain areas.
I skipped forward and kissed his jaw. “Not you silly, the other Ravenclaw girls and myself. As a sort of going away present.”
He snaked his arms and pulled me tight against himself. I wasn’t sure if he was actually hugging me or just trying to stay warm. He bent his head and whispered seductively in my ear.
“And what if I don’t let you go…”
I growled playfully and broke away.
“You’re forgetting, Mister Black, that I am so many times stronger than you are, and I have secret weapons.”
After making sure no one else was watching (conveniently they were all helping up Peter who had slipped on some ice) clicked my fingers and lit a flame before his face. His eyes sparkled with wonder. He chucked and released me with a grin.
“You’re right, I better let you go. You’re much too dangerous.”
I flashed my teeth in response.
“Will I see you at dinner?”
“No, sorry. We’re having a sort of dinner of our own.” I felt a little smug at the look that filled his face when I said that, but then remembered something else.
“Oh, which reminds me, I meant to ask James-“
“Where to find the kitchens?”
Now he was smirking, he entwined his hand with mind and started to lead me back up to the castle.
“I can help with that.”
I had a feeling there would be a lot more than looking for a kitchen going on.
We were all sitting on Greta’s bed. The room was dimly lit with fairy lights and streamers (Lucy’s idea) and what spare room there was, was taken up by a table of food and the Christmas tree with our presents piled underneath.
I laughed at a joke Anna had just told and took another swig of my butterbeer.
The sleepover was in full swing by now. We were already past the karaoke and dancing on the beds part (we’d done that earlier on when everyone else was otherwise occupied). We’d eaten our share for now and even had a minor food fight.
Now we were up to the part where everyone sat on the bed and told secrets and gossiped and giggled in relatively subdued tones. I laughed again and listened as Elise launched into the story of her first date.
I smiled, thinking about how Sirius and I still hadn’t had our first date. We’d sort of skipped that step entirely and now we were too far gone. There was no going back.
We talked for hours longer, immersing ourselves in detailed descriptions on Robert Hume’s extreme good looks and how about how Tiffany McCoy might as well go and sign up at the brothel right now.
They started to chat about how Ravenclaw boys were by far the best looking, with their cute nerdy charm and quirky fashion sense, but I had to bring up my own argument there. Gryffindors weren’t too bad either.
They chortled about this for a minute before launching into a dissection of the ‘dateable material’ in all the other houses.
I held back somewhat in this discussion, sinking into a memory of earlier today, in a spare classroom just to the left of the kitchens…
A girly giggle bubbled from my mouth. Everyone started at me with amused eyes.
I passed it off as a hiccup and suggested it was time for present unwrapping. I really was getting quite impatient.
A/N: Yay, that was a quick update, hey? Ha ha. I know, I know, my chapter seem quick fluffy and more often than not too. BUT to me, a lot of the 'fluff' is heavy detail. Most of those little fluffy details and stuff come back later or are part of a recurring joke. And besides, I'd sort of hate writing it if I didn't get to write a sleepover or a few mushy love scenes :P
I'd really love to thank a few people who've review every chapter so far. I'm really sorry if I miss you. Every review is appreciated, but now I'm ONE review off 100 :D
So, without further ado- thunderstorm, ginny RED potter, shauna zombie, fanofcards24, rachm24 ... er, I know someone else...PLEASE, let me know and I'll edit you in. I LOVE you all.
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