It’s official. I am the stupidest most unfortunate person to be bestowed with the ability of freedom of choice. I am an idiot. A moron of great magnitudes and the destroyer of all that was good in my life.
Did I kiss Regulus? Yes. Was I incredibly fickle and utterly selfish? Yes a.k.a what in the name of Dumbledore’s Raybans was I thinking? And now, now like the torturer that life is, I have detention with Sirius. Alone. With him. The one who I kind of figured that I liked. A lot. So much in fact that I was so hurt when I found out he liked somebody else that I kissed his brother. I bang my head against the table in frustration until I realize that I am in class and that everyone is looking at me.
“Smashed a bug,” I reply stupidly. “Er.. with my head.”
I see Sirius give me a wide grin. It’s the kind of grin that breaks my heart because in the silent amusement, the corners of his mouth lift into an easy smile and the familiarity with which he gazes at me is steady. It holds me there. There between my reality and his.
I look away before he has time to see whatever it is that I am or specifically my red rimmed eyes. Ten guesses what I was doing yesterday night.
When class ends I make sure that I am the first to leave. I storm up the stairs to the Ravenclaw tower with my head spinning.
My mind drifts to yesterday after the kiss. I like to think that I was the one that broke away. That I, in a miraculous instant had become the bigger person. I like to delusion myself into thinking that I was the first to pull away after the notion of what I was doing actually hit. I like to think that I pushed him off me, cried ‘this is wrong’ and left dramatically. I like to think these lies because it makes me feel better about what really happened. The real story is the epitome of pathetic.
I kissed Regulus Black. I snogged him. Full frontal even though I had no clue as to where I was sticking my tongue. I just snogged him until he broke away from me because apparently he ‘needed to breathe’. I must have looked a right mess because he gave me one long look and finally shook his head. The shake of his head made me feel small and suddenly it was getting so hard to keep the tears from falling. I felt that if I had cried my tears would have been bigger than my whole body.
“You were right. You’re in love with him,” he said stoically and wiping his mouth he had walked away. So calm and without emotion that it contrasted so sharply with the scorching heat that threatened to spill out of my body.
I had crumbled to the ground and brought my knees to my chest, trying to hold that heat inside.
I sigh, remembering the memory. Thankfully this preoccupation with my thoughts has led me into the Ravenclaw common room completely unscathed. Did I even answer the door’s question? I sigh again at my inability to focus on anything important. Why I was put in Ravenclaw I will never know. But then again Hufflpuffs smile too much, Gryffindors tend to be really stupid and Slytherin folk are plain mean.
I trudge up another set of stairs and when I finally reach my dormitory I find it completely empty of my dorm mates whose lives I hardly impact at all, which is also quite depressing and pathetic. I sling my bag unto the sole bed that is unmade. Oh great, even the house elves forgot about my existence. I loosen my tie and rummage through my trunk for new underwear. After finally finding my unattractive granny panties I make my way to the bathroom and run the faucet. I look at myself in the mirror and cringe. What an ordinary girl, I think at the same time my reflection begins to fog up from the steam. I look away and shed off my clothes. I step into the scalding hot water and lean against the wall while the water pours down my back.
I look at the wall of vast shampoo bottles to my right. Each bottle has some extravagant name like ‘Garden Fusion’ or ‘Passion Hair’ and each has a name scribbled on it for each one of my dorm mates. I note that Morgan Thompson has five bottles all of different shapes and colors. I look for mine, which isn’t hard to find due the plainness of it since my harebrained mother forgot to pack me one which forced her to buy a generic kind from the creepy old man across the train station. My hand hovers over the bottle and then I grab one of Morgan Thompson’s figuring she could live without a little bit of her... I squint through the fog, ‘Blue Mist’. I shrug and put it on my head without a care. Mmm, it smelled like blueberries and rain. I look at the various body soaps neatly arranged in a row and grab Connie Chang’s flower shaped one, whatever.
Once I’ve finished I step out of the shower and wrap myself in my Italian flag towel (given to me as a gift from John even though none of us are Italian) and look at myself in the mirror. If I must say so myself I smell heavenly and when I do a quick drying charm on my hair, my hair looks silkier and longer. Inspired by the glossiness that is my hair I look at the row of cosmetics lined neatly on the counter and take my pick. In the back of my mind I know this is going to come back and bite me in the butt, I mean who knows maybe that spot Morgan was complaining about could be malaria or a skin eating disease and by using her shampoo and quite possibly her make up I’d be dooming myself to the same fate. I grab her foundation anyway and Connie’s eyelash curlers, and Veronica’s mascara and Jennifer’s blush. I try to remember all those times I’ve watched them apply their make up. After poking myself with the stupid mascara thing for ages and pinching my eyelids with the eyelash curler I give up on the whole affair and satisfy myself with powdering my cheeks with blush.
I part my bangs to the side and marvel at the change a shampoo can make to it. It looks actually… good. I go back to my bed wrapped in my towel and find my favorite pair of jeans and a plain green t-shirt and put it on. I feel refreshed if not slightly depressed and when Sirius sees me I’ll look a little bit better than I did this morning so he’ll never know my sad, true feelings.
But by the time I reach McGonagall’s office where we are supposed to file essays, my heart is already beating so hard that I’m surprised it doesn’t pop out of my chest and run away. How symbolic would that be?
Just as I am about to knock on her door, however, a familiar shout echoes from behind me. I turn around to find Sirius sprinting down the hallway.
“Are we late?” He says frantically. He grabs my wrist as if looking for a watch. I struggle to keep down the blush from forming on my cheeks. This is absolutely pathetic. I have turned into every mindless witch in Hogwarts when blessed by the presence of his majesty, Sirius Black. With this resolve in mind I get angry at myself and the anger helps me lower the heat in my cheeks. I snatch my wrist away from him.
“Probably,” I mutter and without a second glance at him I knock forcefully on the wood. I try to repress a whimper as my knuckles begin to throb painfully. Note to self; don’t take anger on solid objects that have the potential to hurt you more than you hurt it.
“Careful,” Sirius says concerned as I begin to knock again, “you’ll hurt your hand.”
“I’m fine,” I grit out angrily because my hand really hurt and because he was being so nice it was so hard not to swoon. He was making this difficult, getting over him that is.
“It looks like McGonagall isn’t here,” he says after a few unanswered poundings of my fist. I knock on the door anyway because it gave me something to do and provided me with a release of all my anger.
“Nell,” he says as he grabs my hand from pounding on the door again, “she’s not there. You can stop.”
My heart flutters widely at his touch and the look of slight annoyance in his grey eyes. Well, the touching part made my heart flutter the annoyance part didn’t. In fact the annoyance part kind of pissed me off. I used that anger to still the stupid fluttering.
“Yes, well, she could have been in there you know,” I say crossing my arms which thankfully helped with the throbbing sensation. I add awkwardly, “I’m going now then.”
Sirius shrugs and accompanies me. No, no, no. I should have made myself clearer; I am going now to be alone. Not with you, the boy who apparently I am in love with but not.
“You’re quiet today,” he remarks as I am thinking feverishly of excuses to get away from him. Broken knee? No, I’d have to have broken it and I can’t mysteriously start a limp half-way down the corridor. Knowing him he’d carry me and then where would I be? Homework? No, he’d offer to help me or find some excuse for us not to do our homework together, which was beside the point.
“I think Burnett is out for my blood,” Sirius says with a sidelong glance my way.
Oh God, he’s going to start talking about Maria Kensington isn’t he? Quick, quick brain find excuses. I can’t fake having any friends; he obviously knows I don’t have any. Argh, this is a pickle.
“Maria thinks…” he says.
“I have a boyfriend,” I blurt out desperately.
That is not what I had in mind. Fuck my life.
Sirius stops talking. His mouth opens and closes. I can see him struggling between laughter and shock. He has no idea what to believe and if he laughs I swear I will punch him in the face, which would actually be a great way to get over him actually.
“Are you sure?” He asks and then shakes his head, “I mean, that’s great.”
I choose to ignore his first reaction because that is just insulting. I grimace instead.
“So I have to leave you.” I say, “I mean I have to leave you now because I promised him I would er… do whatever couples do.”
“Obviously,” he says dumbfounded. “Who is it?” he blurts out.
“Eli Yanover,” I say quickly. Hmm… not bad. Fairly believable actually. Good job Marriot!
“Ankle boy?” He states and regaining his composure he says. “Well I guess that explains it…”
There was an explanation for this outrageous lie?
“Explains what?” I ask alarmed. There were probably a million loop holes with this lie and I hoped he hadn’t figured it out already. I mean he could find out how hopelessly and possibly in love with him I was and how Eli Yanover hasn’t said a word to me after he commented on my clumsiness or the fact that Eli Yanover’s ankles have nothing on his or the fact that I am completely a wreck because he has no idea of my feelings.
Sirius looks at me with his gorgeous gray eyes and I urge my knees not to melt. He quirks his head and smiles slightly, that familiar something in his eyes.
“It explains how pretty you look today,” he says simply.
Unfortunately for me I cannot stop the immediate reddening of my face.
“Really?” I can’t help but squeak pathetically.
“Of course,” he responds and he steps closer and presses his forehead against mine, “you also smell really nice.”
Whoa there, this is not common conduct between ‘friends’. Pressing of the foreheads is actually, for me anyway, quite intimate. I almost feel angry for Eli Yanover but I guess that is really, really, really stretching it because a, he has no idea he is my boyfriend and b, it is quite simply the biggest lie I’ve ever told.
Wow. I’ve really outdone myself this time. Cue the applause.
I pull away from him even though every part of my body is screaming at me to stop. Isn’t this what I want, to be with him? Except it would have been way better if the feelings that I was harboring right now were reciprocated.
“ I have to go,” I say to him as he gives me a rather melancholy look, which makes me think if anybody needed to be melancholy it was me because not only did I not have boyfriend, the boy that I did want was standing in front of me making it very difficult to hate him.
“I think me, you and Yanover and Maria should go to Hogsmeade together,” he says and finally a mischievous smirk flits across his face.
“That’s impossible!” I blurt out to which he quirks his eyebrows.
“Oh really?” he says skeptically.
Yes, really. First of all I don’t think it would be kind of me to force Eli into pretending to my boyfriend, I mean hello déjà vu much? Also knowing the extent of his personality he would never go for it and I’m going on a bit of limb here by implying that I know his personality! See the potential problematic situation? Secondly, Maria Kensington and I do not get along. I mean, the last time I talked to her was when I spilled ketchup over her robes and I don’t think that really falls under the category of ‘getting along’.
Oh Lordie… when had I become such a tart? I mean first it was Sirius who I was forced into pretending I had a relationship with and then that drama with Mark Burnett and then that other drama with Regulus and now a potential drama with Eli? I mean couldn’t all these boys spanned themselves out over my five years here? I mean, why the sudden interest? I am exactly the same person I was five years ago. I mean, I don’t even think I grew. Anywhere! I’ll let that sink into your minds.
“…so I was thinking this Saturday,” says Sirius, running his fingers through his hair.
“Right,” I mutter distractedly, “whatever, Saturday.” I look up at him, “Wait! What?”
“This Saturday, two days from now, you and your ‘boyfriend’,” here he smirks, “will go on a date with me and Maria.” He bends down so his face is level with mine. I try my best to scowl but I am finding it quite hard due to the fire alarms going inside my head.
“Objections? No. Good,” he states and with one final look of triumphant he saunters away, hands in his robes, looking like he just won the lottery.
“Yeah, well…” I try to think of something insulting to say… “You suck!”
Good one, Janelle, good one.
Sirius smiled to himself and as he entered the Gryffindor common room he couldn’t keep the arrogant smirk off his face. He scanned the room for his best mates and found Remus and James by the fire playing an intense match of Gobstones. He flopped unto the seat next to Remus and gazed around.
“Where’s Pete?” He asked.
“Toilet,” Remus grimaced.
Sirius squirmed and James mocked gagged. Sirius thought it was an understatement.
“Bloody hell, Potter,” Remus swore as James’s castle took his Queen, “Why are you so good at this?”
James, not answering was looking at Sirius with a curious expression instead.
“Oi, Padfoot, you alright?” James questioned, adjusting his glasses. Remus’s head shot up. Sirius shook his head mysteriously. “Because I mean you’re dating Kensington again aren’t you?” James added to clarify.
At the mention of Kensington’s name, the smirk vanished from his face. Maria Kensington was beautiful and willing, which was one of the main reasons why he had gotten back together with her but beyond that he couldn’t list any qualities of hers that he admired. He couldn’t list any of her funny quirks or even remember her favorite color. So what if he had lied to Janelle and said that he ‘really really fancied’ Kensington? They were just friends weren’t they? He had felt that he could exaggerate a little. Plus, he figured it was better than saying, ‘Oh, I needed a good shag.’
“Padfoot!” James said, waving a hand over his mates face. “Mate!”
Sirius shook his head and looked at the quizzical looks of his friend. What were they talking about again?
“Er… eh?” He said.
James and Remus exchanged knowing glances.
“Sirius,” James said seriously, folding his hands across his lap, “Generally when you fancy a bird you tell them.”
Sirius snorted. “You would know.”
James only grinned. “Yes, I would so that is why I’m telling you.”
“What are you on about, Prongs?” Sirius sighed. “I already told Maria I fancied her, that’s why we’re dating.”
“We don’t mean Maria.” Remus said pointedly.
Janelle’s face popped immediately into his mind, with her chocolate eyes darting to the side whenever she would get particularly nervous or the unconscious way she would lick her lips when she was about to say something ridiculous. God, she was ridiculous in every possible perfect way. But no, he told himself, they were friends. Just friends besides it looked like she found a boyfriend anyway. He let out a small chuckle, which startled his friends. ‘A boyfriend.’ Sirius wondered vaguely how she was going to convince Eli Yanover to pretend to be her boyfriend.
“He’s gone mental,” James stated looking at his once again spaced out friend.
“Completely,” Remus agreed.
They looked at each other and grinned.
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