Chapter 2 : The Beginning
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Chapter Image by Ariana_tithe @ TDA
They say first impressions are important. My first impression of Sirius Black?
OK, that may be a slight exaggeration. That was my first impression of him when I actually was introduced to him.
My actual first impression… well we were eleven, I was possibly the most timid girl in the year and he was a rowdy adolescent. My only thoughts at the time were something along the lines of ‘don’t let him see me, don’t let him pick on me to be his latest victim, and if he does yell for Freddie’.
Freddie McKinnon a.k.a big bro. My hero in many ways. My protector from when we were kids and then when we got to school it was only through my security in knowing that Freddie would look out for me that I managed to blossom into a reasonably non socially retarded young woman. I developed a quick, sarcastic tongue and a childish sense of humour that won me the acceptance and affection of most of my peers, and made the close friends that I hadn’t had the confidence to make in my childhood.
Of course there were people who didn’t particularly like me. The majority of Slytherins, yes, but to be fair they’re not fond of many who aren’t from their own house, and are particularly scathing of Ravenclaws like me who don’t know when to shut up. But again, that’s where Freddie came in useful.
And it’s not entirely correct to assume I was popular. Those outside my own house probably only knew me as McKinnon, or ‘Freddie McKinnon’s sister’, but that was true for most students.
Apart from, oddly enough, my best friend. Lily Evans, possibly the most perfect student to grace Hogwarts, ever.
Before I talk about Lily, I have to explain the unwritten rules of being a Ravenclaw. We were put in Ravenclaw for one of two reasons, as we were told on our first night by the prefects. There were those that had a natural talent for learning, and there were those that we had the will and motivation to make themselves succeed. This kind of divided us into two groups as soon as lessons began. You could tell immediately who was in which group.
There were the ones who took notes steadily throughout the whole class until you were sure the must have severe cramp in their hands, but chilling for a minute was so not an option. These guys could be found out of class either in the library or grouped together in the common room working on essays that didn’t even have to be in for another week. Then there were the rest of us, who were as bored as anyone from any other house in lessons, wrote the shortest and most doodled upon notes, but still passed at the same level as our nerdy counterparts. Its understandable that there has always been a rift in Ravenclaw house, but it’s accepted, and we just get on with it.
Then there was Lily Evans. Hated by literally every Ravenclaw in the year. Why? She should so have been a Ravenclaw! In every lesson that Ravenclaw and Gryffindor shared she would be up there, grade-wise, with the rest of us, and in some cases, potions and even charms – our own subject for crying out loud – even came top. It wasn’t even like she fitted into one of the Ravenclaw groups either. Her notes were fine, a bit neat and precise for my liking, but not the strict, anal notes taken by the Other Ravenclaws. And yes, she did spend some time in the dreaded library, but she could equally be found out in the grounds relaxing and having a laugh with her friends.
This wasn’t right! It contradicted everything we knew, everything we stood for! So, naturally I hated her along with my peers for the first month or so of school.
Then there were the flying lessons. Both muggle born, Lily and I were in the same situation having never flown before, and terrified of making fools of ourselves in front of all the flashy purebloods. But for me, as soon as I picked up the bent, splintery old broom, I felt a warmth in my hands that spread through my whole body, and I was instantly at ease. It felt right. With each lesson I got more and more confident until I was borderline arrogant, laughing with the other able fliers at Lily and the others found it so difficult to do what we found so natural.
Until, that is, I walked in on her crying in the bathroom after our final flying lesson. At first she was angry, shouting at me to leave her alone and stop making her life miserable. Always was the drama queen, Lils. Then I got angry back at her, letting out all my frustrations at her beating me in potions and charms. Then something ridiculous happened.
Both at the same time realising our stupid, petty feud for how juvenile it really was. From then on, its was Lily Evans and Deborah McKinnon. But call me Deborah and you have to deal with Freddie (or Frederick… but seriously call him that and you die).
It was always us. I sat with the Gryffindors at meals or she sat with us. She told me the password for their common room and I helped her out with the riddles for ours. If she needed it. Which she rarely did. It was fine, perfect even. Until… oh until those boys became victims of their raging hormones.
We were fourteen, starting our forth year. Suddenly the boys were fascinated by Lily’s gorgeous hair and doll-like face, and some even showing an interest in me, thought I was convinced that it was only those with some kind of brain trauma.
I mean, who would look at the chaos of my dark mane when they could drool over Lily’s shiny, vibrant tresses?
Who would be interested in my unexciting hazel eyes compared to Lily’s big, emerald orbs?
But, for whatever reason, it happened. First for Lily. Meet James Potter, her biggest fan. This gave us hours of entertainment at this usually cocky and immature boy attempting to be charming and suave. It didn’t work. Usually Lily would tolerate it for approximately five minutes before yelling/hitting/making fun of him. But this didn’t deter him. That boy was in deep.
This lead to my introduction to one Sirius Black.
The real first impression of the egotistical git. This may have been a slightly unreasonable reaction, I mean to start with he was fine; friendly and polite. I just saw his stunning good looks and immediately made the association between good looking boys and complete bastards. Unfair? A little.
But it was his fault for backing up my view the very same day he introduced himself. I witnessed him chatting up a girl in the Great Hall, being told to back off by her livid boyfriend, then getting with the same girl later that night the Astronomy tower. When for the first time in my life I was actually going to innocently complete a star chart. This reinforced my view that you should never do homework; your eyes may never be the same again.
So I was considerably irritated that I had to spend time with this prick whilst Lily was fawned over by a lovely (if goofy) guy. I only stuck around because of the puppy-dog eyes Lily gave me every time I stood up to leave. I’ll say it again – drama queen.
So I stayed, ignoring his flirting which I am convinced is some kind of habit that he can’t get rid of. That boy would flirt with Professor McGonagall if he thought it would get him out of detention (it doesn’t, tried and tested). I couldn’t just not talk to him though. James demanded all of Lily’s attention and I wasn’t just going to sit there in silence was I? He eventually got the hint that I wasn’t responding to his flirting (though he can never really drop it entirely, I think it’s encoded in his genes) and actually began to speak to me like a human being. I found out that he was actually very witty, not just a total lad, had intelligent opinions on most things if you could get him to be serious for a moment, and was genuinely interested in what I had to say.
After that, even when Lily was made prefect and was often off doing other things, I would sit with the two of them, at ease chatting with them and listening to or partaking in their childish banter.
Don’t get me wrong, I still knew that he was a git. Being friends with a girl hadn’t changed his view that he could get with anyone he wanted, and he still knew that he was gorgeous and played on it. But as I was never the object (victim?) of his desires, we got on just fine.
I was happy to rescue him from any dodgy situations he got himself into, of which there were many, most involving boyfriends of his ‘innocent’ trysts with almost every girl in the school, and he was happy to stand in for Freddie when he wasn’t around and stick up for me when I had any unwanted attention or when my smart mouth got me into sticky situations.
Ah, the Freddie factor.
Freddie didn’t approve of Sirius, and made this obvious during the first year or so of our friendship. When it became apparent that, for once, Freddie’s opinion of him didn’t affect my own, after he got over the initial shock of it he tried, at least, to get along with him.
It didn’t come easily; Freddie was my older brother and Sirius was a threat. Freddie was well aware of Sirius’ reputation and was afraid for me, Sirius… well Sirius was just afraid of the big bro. It didn’t help matters when Sirius got onto his house Quidditch team, rivals to our own team. Freddie didn’t like it that my so-called friend was whacking hefty balls at me with all his strength.
I suppose I can’t blame him for tackling Sirius that one time in midair.
Even if they did both end up in the hospital wing.
But the important thing is, even though I know Freddie’s still wary of Sirius, he kept it to himself and acted civilly around him. So that was fine.
Everything was fine. I was happy.
Until I was so stupid, stupid, stupid.
I don’t even know how it happened…
Christmas holidays. Freddie and I always stayed at school. Every year we had a letter from ‘Auntie Rosemary’ and ‘Uncle Derek’ at the Home inviting us back, but every year we politely declined. They never wrote twice. Summer was probably enough hassle for the whole year.
It wasn’t a bad thing; Christmas is a time for family, and he was my family. I wouldn’t have traded our Christmases for anything.
Until this year. This year, Freddie got a girlfriend.
Marlene wasn’t just a girlfriend, no, in the three months that they had been dating she had become the love of his life. To begin with he was worried that I’d turn against her and hate her, but she made him happy which made me happy, and by spending time with her, he was giving me space and not ‘accidently’ sending Sirius filthy looks when I spoke to him.
This Christmas, Freddie was spending the holidays with Marlene. He wasn’t going to, but I found out that she’d asked him and convinced him to do it. It was fine, I was OK with it, I’d spend the time catching up on schoolwork. I could tell that he was getting in a tizz over it but the something unexpected happened.
Sirius announced he was staying too. I knew what had happened over the summer, of course, but I’d assumed he would be spending Christmas with James considering he’d spent the whole summer there. But no, he was adamant that he was staying too. Didn’t want to intrude on the Potter family Christmas.
As soon as I heard this I was certain that Freddie wasn’t going to go. He had always had his suspicions about Sirius, so how was he going to leave me on my own with him for two weeks? Nope, Freddie was definitely staying. I was so sure that I had his presents out to put under the tree in the common room.
Before I could actually do it, though, there was a hammering at the door. Sirius, obviously. The poor boy had never managed to even hazard a guess at one of the riddles so often resorted to thrashing at the door until someone let him in. One time he got so frustrated he tried hexing the eagles head and had to be treated by Dumbledore himself. This time he waited patiently and when I let him in strutted around looking incredibly pleased with himself.
“Freddie’s going.” He informed me, importantly, “And guess why?”
As if his enormous grin and numerous eyebrow wriggles didn’t tip me off.
“Why?” I humoured him.
“Because we had a man to man talk.”
“And you still have all your limbs! Amazing!” I gasped in mock surprise.
“Hey!” He pouted, “This is a major improvement! He trusts me! I have gained your brothers trust. It only took five years!”
Two actually, I thought to myself, Freddie didn’t have any reason not to trust him before he knew me, but I’ll let the boy enjoy his victory.
So that’s how we ended up staying. And that’s how we ended up…
Well it was Christmas Eve. He’d been out somewhere all day and I was bored and feeling pretty sorry for myself in my empty dormitory.
Freddie and I would make a stupidly big deal out of Christmas Eve and play rubbish board games until midnight, when we’d have a midnight feast in the kitchens.
Sirius hadn’t even acknowledged that it was Christmas Eve and I didn’t want to bring it up in case it reminded him of home. So here I was, lying on my bed doing nothing but watching the evening sky deepen in colour.
It was late, and I was just about to put myself to bed in a huff when I heard a clatter at the window and the tapping of a beak. I barely had enough energy to let the school barn owl in, but it swooped in gracefully, neatly dropping a note on my bed.
Oi I’m bored.
Come to my room, loser.
Password is bowtruckle.
Quite pathetically there was only one person it could be. I was still quite annoyed that he had been ignoring me all day and was now summoning me to rid his own boredom, but then I realised that it was Christmas Eve and I was lolling around in my sweatpants and a vest. Alone. That made up my mind for me.
Without pausing to get changed (I was only going to see my friend, right? Whom I viewed in absolute indifference? That turned out well) or even put on a jumper I padded down and up the eight flights of stairs to the Gryffindor common room. There were two tiny girls who must have been first years playing Wizards chess in front of the fire. They looked at me in astonishment as I went up the stairs to the boys dormitories but I just smiled and waved.
I knocked on the door and was about to walk in without being invited, as was my custom (no shout, Debbie walks in on whoever’s changing. They learn to respond), but before the door was even open a crack there was a shout and it slammed shut in my face.
What a pleasant greeting.
“You just told me to come to your room!” I yelled back, feeling more exasperated than before.
“I didn’t tell you to walk right in! One second…”
I pressed my ear against the door to try and hear what he was doing. Should I be worried? Was this some stupid prank? I couldn’t tell.
Eventually he opened the door and grinned, gesturing me in with a flourish.
A tartan blanket was spread out on the floor between the four beds, and on it, two enormous steaming mugs of hot chocolate, two fat chocolate muffins, and best of all, a plate piled high with bacon sandwiches. Perfection.
He grinned and accepted my bear hug as I launched myself at him.
“Anytime, love.” He dropped me on the blanket. “Now eat, I’ve been bloody waiting for you for ages.”
It was as comfortable as it always was. An easy silence littered with absent chatter lasted for a good hour or so as we ploughed our way through the bacon sandwiches and stuffed ourselves with the chocolate muffins. Eventually I threw myself up on the bed, groaning loudly about how full I was.
“You did have five bacon sarnies,” Sirius commented, smirking as he vanished the leftovers and the blanket with a languid flick of his wand and sprawled out next to me, massaging his own stomach.
“You counted? You toad!”
“Err…You smacked my hands away when I went to take the last one!”
“You had about three more than me, you fat prat!”
“Clearly I didn’t, fatty,”
“Shut it, tubs,” I poked him in the side, making him moan and roll over, clutching his abdomen.
He recovered quickly and lolled onto his side, resting his head on his hand, just looking at me.
“What?” I asked, curiously, “Oh shit, have I got chocolate round my mouth?”
He shook his head, a half smile on his lips, his eyes not leaving mine.
“Then what?” I asked, slightly paranoid.
Why did his eyes look so different? The usual mocking sparkle wasn’t there, its absence leaving them so clear, so grey and fathomless…
Oh god. A stupid laugh bubbled out of my lips at these absurd thoughts (fathomless! ha) and I flopped onto my back.
“Good food makes me sleepy,” I commented, lazily, glancing back at him, his face slightly above mine now.
God dammit, he was doing it again! That looking at me thing with his eyes. Ok, I suppose it wasn’t that strange, he must have looked at me before obviously. So why did it feel different this time? Why was it making me nervous, so that I wanted to look away but I… couldn’t?
Sirius laughed suddenly, a rumbling chuckle that I could feel vibrating in his chest where it was resting against my shoulder.
“What? What is so funny today?” I was feeling suitably suspicious now.
Well if it was nothing then why the bloody hell did you laugh at me?
"Sirius..." I used my most persuasive voice.
Evidently it's a shitty persuasive voice.
"You laughed. You're not telling me why. That gives me full rights to be pissed off with you until further notice." I made to roll over and begin ignoring him but his hand caught my chin mid-roll.
"I was just thinking." There was that little half smile again. And he hadn't let go of my face. And made no movement to suggest that he was going to. It didn't hurt or anything, I was just starting to feel a bit odd as the backs of his fingers skimmed my neck.
“Thinking, what would happen if I kissed Dee.”
I barely had time to feel bewildered that this had come out of nowhere, or slightly offended that it was a laughing matter before he had closed the space between us, so that if either of us moved so much as a millimetre, our lips would be touching.
He paused, his lips just barely brushing against mine, our noses nudging, still looking into my eyes as if for permission, or for some sign that I was about to jump up and kick him in the balls for offending my honour.
My mind was pretty blank, not aware of anything but the anxious tension ringing in my ears and warmth his proximity was bringing. The heat of his torso, now held so close to mine, the heat of his breath on my lips. The anxiousness seemed to melt away and without another though I responded to the softest brushing of his lips on mine by closing those last millimetres between us.
A.N. Chapter 2! I hope you liked it. I know it was all a bit descriptive and trying to explain the situation but I tried to make up for it (blatently ignoring the whole cliffie factor!) What did you think? Going anywhere? Any pointers? Thanks!
Preview of Chapter 3 - Sticky Toffee Pudding
“How did you know I was here?” I asked, a little more curtly than I intended.
All I could concentrate on was not letting the words ‘don’t tell anyone I was so stupid and never talk about this again’ leave my mouth. Even without looking at him he had some kind of effect on me. Even though I was doing my absolute best to ignore how close he was – not even looking at him – I just wanted to bury my head in the warm arch of his neck and…
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