As Sirius carried a sopping wet and knocked out Janelle he was forced to admit that this was his entire fault. He avoided looking down at the girl in his arms as the gash in her head was a painful reminder of how he had lured her to a remote spot by the lake. She also looked incredibly white and the wound that he had attempted to heal on her head was blazing red. Of course he could tend to Remus’s cuts but Janelle’s? The sight made him sick partly because it was all his fault and partly because he was such a wanker that got her in this mess in the first place. Another reason continued to nag at him until he promptly dismissed it.
It had come as much as a shock to Janelle that her supposed ‘boyfriend’ was gay. How was he to know? He didn’t have a radar. He knew that Eli wasn’t her boyfriend, he just knew her well enough to know when she was lying, and so he had pushed it a little far. The set up was funny but the fact that Eli turned out to be gay made it worse. Way worse than he anticipated. So he had wanted to get her alone to apologize and explain but even that had turned awry.
He had rushed to her side after he had seen her hit her head on a rock but by the time he gotten to her, she was knocked out with blood running down her forehead and in danger of drowning. He had heaved her up and attempted to sort out the wound while shrugging his jacket off and placing it around her. Sirius was good at charming girls, making them laugh and seducing them but when it came to saving them he was completely helpless. Actually most of the girls Sirius dated never really had any problems. Janelle was the sole exception.
He sighed as he picked up his pace. He looked down at Janelle to make sure she was still alive. She was so small it unnerved him. It made him grit his teeth as an overflowing amount of guilt engulfed him as he carried her unconscious form to the castle.
He burst into the hospital wing to find the young Medi-Witch hunched over a familiar second year. Madame Pomfrey glanced up and took one look at Janelle and went completely berserk. She dragged him to a white bed where she demanded he set Janelle. He did this with extreme care under the suspicious gaze of the Medi-Witch.
“She’s wet!” She said appalled, “Did you throw into the lake?”
When Sirius didn’t answer Madame Pomfrey threw him an accusing glare.
“Stay here then and help me,” she replied curtly and she thrust a cold washcloth into Sirius’s hands. “Clean her head of the blood but be gentle about it.”
“I didn’t throw her in the lake,” Sirius mumbled.
“Yes, but you didn’t stop her from doing it herself did you?” Madame Pomfrey snapped before she disappeared in the back room where all the potions were stored. Sirius distinctly remembered sneaking in and taking some after a rather rowdy full moon.
Sirius guiltily looked down at the cold wash cloth in his hands. He forced his eyes to look at Janelle. She looked absolutely horrible, he thought dejectedly. The afternoon’s victory was well wearing off as he looked at her usually pink cheeks. She had become so pale that he could see the purple veins beneath her eyelids. He conjured up a chair and scooted it close to Janelle. He gingerly held the washcloth above her forehead. He slowly lowered his hand so it grazed her wound and with this left hand he softly swept her hair away. The movement caused something to stir in him. He dabbed lightly at the red streaks smeared across her forehead doing as the Medi-Witch instructed. He didn’t know why his hand was shaking.
Madame Pomfrey was furious. She hadn’t slept all night because Alan Fenyck had a fever. She hadn’t eaten. She hadn’t received an owl from Roger who was training to become an auror even after he promised he would. She was tired, hungry, and worried. Sirius Black bringing in a soaking wet Marriot with a guilty look on his face had made her angrier. She grabbed a warming potion and a few bandages and made her way back to her charges. She had a whole speech ready for him and she would not be charmed by his easy smile. But as she entered the main wing she couldn’t force the words out of her.
Black was wiping tenderly at her forehead with the washcloth as if she were some priceless and fragile object. Not object, thought Madame Pomfrey suddenly, like somebody cherished. He was bent so close to her it looked like he was about to kiss her. She saw him mumble something before he sat back in the chair with the washcloth in his hands.
Madame Pomfrey couldn’t stop the sigh that came out of her lips. She turned it into a cough as she purposefully strode toward Marriot.
“Oh, do get up Sirius,” Madame Pomfrey ordered as the boy jumped from his seat. She walked around him to inspect Janelle’s head.
Sirius opened his mouth.
“You’re going to have to move your chair on the other side if you want to stay,” she said sternly as she dressed Janelle’s head.
Sirius sighed in relief while Madame Pomfrey tried her best not to smile.
The smell wakes me up. The bandages on my head are making me sweat and I can practically smell the odor of sweat and dried blood matted against my unclean hair. I turn my head on habit to a decidedly empty visiting chair. The act causes an immediate pounding in my head and I have to close my eyes again. That was not worth it. Who on earth would visit me anyway? Suddenly Sirius’s face pops in my head. I groan as his face opens a vault of memories I would rather forget. This makes the pounding in my head harder and I try to think of something soothing. Like chocolate. Unfortunately my thoughts drift to Eli’s chocolate brown hair and inevitably to the disaster of a date. I groan in frustration and immediately the young Medi-witch comes bustling in out of nowhere.
“Is it your head?” She demands as she feels my temperature.
“A little,” I mumble, one percent of it anyway and the ninety nine percent from the humiliation from the stupid date.
“Don’t worry, dear,” she says kindly to me as she takes a peek at my forehead, “you’ll be fine in a day or two.”
Fine physically. Scarred emotionally.
“Can I—“I say when the door to the hospital wing opens. I turn my head painfully slowly. I see the handsome face of Sirius Black and words stop, which is becoming an unfortunate reoccurrence when I’m in his stupid presence.
“Janelle,” he sighs relived as he gracefully hops onto the visiting chair, “you’re awake”
I find this statement strangely lacking. I’d expected something other than the indifferent tone of relief he was using on me.
“Yeah,” I reply, adopting the same tone of indifference, “I am.”
“So how are you feeling?” he persists. He shuffles his feet and brushes out the hair from his eyes.
“Fantastic,” I mutter.
Sirius looks down at me. I refuse to meet his gaze so I become focused on the arches on the ceiling.
“She had a fever last night,” Madame Pomfrey interrupts, “And since she fell into lake, which has magical properties, the cut on her forehead will take longer to heal. She’ll be better in a day or two.”
“Thank you, Poppy,” Sirius smiles at her charmingly. ‘Poppy’ hurriedly looks away and tends to the second year boy with strange spots on his face.
Once Madame Pomfrey, leaves an awkward silence descends. I’ve noticed that it takes a lot to make Sirius Black awkward and I’ve successfully managed to do that on several occasions without meaning to. I continue to glare at the ceiling.
“So what has the ceiling done to earn your scornful wrath?” Sirius asks unperturbed by my indifference.
“Tricked me into agreeing to go on a date with a boy all the while knowing I was lying and that said boy, unbeknownst to me was gay. Also the fact that a certain black dog that I presume belongs to you stole my bags and brought me into a secluded place by the lake where I hit my head on a rock and suffered a head injury and fever.”
I finally tear my gaze away from the offending ceiling and look out the window at the blue skies.
“So obviously the ceiling is going to burn in hell along with all its genitals,” I add menacingly.
“What if the ceiling said it was sorry and that all the ceiling wanted to do was apologize but you fell into the lake so it buggered up his plans and also the ceiling had no idea of the sexual orientation of the said boy,” Sirius says. I can hear the grin in his voice and my fist clenches.
“I’d say that ceilings can’t talk so it wouldn’t mean much anyway,” I respond feeling incredibly foolish at the turn of conversation.
“This is mental,” Sirius sighs frustratingly.
“You’re the one that personified the ceiling,” I snap at him.
“You’re the one that went along with it!”
“Only to get my point across,” I respond fuming.
“Which was?” Sirius demands.
“That you are an arrogant wanker and I was insane for thinking that you wer--” I stop suddenly.
“You were insane for thinking what?” he demands, “for thinking what?”
Insane for thinking that you were what I wanted.
“Insane for thinking that you were an actually kind person beneath all the layers of arrogance, conceit and indifference!” I spit back in his face.
“Wow, Marriot,” Sirius says after a few moments of silence, “You really know me don’t you?”
“There is nothing to know, Black,” I say twisting his words.
“There is never anything for you to know, Marriot!” Black says heatedly, “You live in your own world of awkwardness, create delusions that you’re somehow less than everybody else and refuse to interact with others solely because you think you’re going to mess it up. It’s pathetic.”
He abruptly stands up from his chair, grabs his robes and struts out of the hospital wing without a backward glance. I close my eyes but it does nothing to stop the flow of tears. He was right. I am pathetic. His words cut through me and even as I tried in vain to sleep the words kept echoing in my head.
“Insane for thinking that you were an actually kind person beneath all the layers of arrogance, conceit and indifference!”
The words pierced him more than he would let on. What did he care about what some crazy Ravenclaw thought of him? He strode out of the hospital wing angrily and almost hit a stuttering second year. He didn’t bother apologizing as he was fairly certain he sucked at it. He had slept at the hospital wing for Merlin’s sake! He had thought that he could apologize and then get on with it. Be friends with her.
She was unlike anybody he had ever met and though he felt guilty at the things he spewed at her, it was true. He had said it with an honesty that was harsh and he regretted it. He failed to mention that when she lived in her own world of awkwardness it was endearing and fresh. She only thought of herself as some crazy Ravenclaw but didn’t she realize she was something more? And didn’t she know that if she talked to others and gave them a chance before fleeing embarrassed, she’d see that people thought that she was cute albeit a little strange?
He growled at his thoughts. Well obviously she thought less of him. She thought he was empty. Nothing. There was nothing more in the world that frightened him then being nothing. Could she see that his façade of arrogance and confidence was just a ruse to hide the truth? The truth that he was a scared little boy who wanted to belong? Or his fear of being nothing but a face with nothing underneath? Or did she that he was afraid that despite his pretenses he was just as cruel and prejudice as his family?
She knew nothing about him. Nothing. And he didn’t understand why it hurt that much more. It was almost pathetic how much he had grown fond of this strange and quirky Ravenclaw.
Because obviously it wasn’t reciprocated.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ hey guys! Here is the chapter, a little later than I had planned but I hope you liked it. Also I hope that you guys had a fantastic Christmas or holiday! You guys are amazing and I responded to your last reviews. Also I was wondering if anyone was willing to beta for me with actual knowledge on grammar? I suck at it. But anyway thank you guys!
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