Chapter 3 : Meetings;
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I hear the squabble of teenage girls and before I know it I basically roll out of bed. But I woke up in such a daze as I rushed to get my school shirt on, that I didn’t realize I had put it on backwards.
“That’s attractive,” Klara tells me, exiting the bathroom with a hairbrush in her hand.
“Why didn’t you wake me!?”
I swiftly put on my uniform the right way, rushing to get my shoes on. How could I have overslept?! Today is a big day! Remus is supposed to let us know what’s going on with our Anti-Amos plan at breakfast. Of course, I’d wake up late and look like a bird used my hair as a nest last night. Now I won’t have time to look mildly decent. I didn’t get much sleep last night. I was probably too worried about what today would bring.
“Nervous about today?”
“I’ll take that as a yes.”
I finally get my head through my sweater and explain. “Well, I’m excited to see what’s going on, but at the same time I’m nervous for what’s to come. I have to put my mind in this situation and live it now. I have to live, breathe, and BE our destructive plan against my ex-boyfriend. I have to think about it all the-”
She cuts me off. “You need to calm down. You don’t have to live it, breathe it, or BE anything. You’re just acting, Natalie. No biggie. All you have to do is pretend to date a marauder. Only when people are watching, don’t forget that. Sure, you need to get in that mindset, but it’s just a show for everyone.”
My mind starts to go on a rampage, and while I wash my face in the bathroom and brush my teeth, I elaborate and make sure everything’s in order with Remus for today.
“So he said he’d meet us with his gang today right? Twenty minutes before breakfast ends? I’m so late! Did he give us back the list? OH. CRAP. Where’d we put the list!?” I spray toothpaste all over Klara, not realizing it until after she pushes my head down the sink.
“Thanks for that. Really,” she says sarcastically, grimacing all the while. “Sorry,” I rinse out my mouth. Klara takes a towel and wipes off the toothpaste from her face.
“Remus gave us back the list the other day in the library; we’ve had it all this time. No one’s seen it and it’s not lost. Don’t fret. And don’t do that worrying thing you do before encountering other people.”
“What? What worrying thing?” I ask quickly.
“You psyche yourself out, sweetheart. Then your palms start sweating.”
“They do not!”
“And then you get all nervous and think of all the worst possible scenarios.”
“Hey, I’m just thinking ahead,” I defend.
“The plan is set, Nat. They’re going to tell us whether they're in or out. And the only bad thing that could possibly happen is them saying no and us doing it on our own. Even then, we’d be okay. I mean we’d have to cut out half of our Anti-Amos set list, but still. We’d figure something out. Now stop wasting time so we can walk to breakfast, already!” She throws me my deodorant.
“Just incase you start to sweat.” Klara smiles wickedly in my direction. I scoff.
“Thanks, you’re a doll.”
The Great Hall is filled with students eating breakfast, chatting, and finishing last minute assignments. Today’s weather kind of sucks, what with its dim light, or lack thereof, covering the castle, it sets everyone in a kind of gloomy mood. It only takes me two steps before I see the marauders sitting right in front of me.
There’s Remus Lupin, sipping his pumpkin juice, listening to James Potter rant about something. Obviously Remus is getting annoyed with James; he’s rolling his eyes repeatedly. James is quite good looking, but everyone knows he has his eyes set on Lily Evans. I can only imagine how annoying it must be to listen to you’re friend speak about the girl of his dreams every single day. And I can only guess that’s what he’s talking about now.
Then, across from James and Remus, there’s Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew. Peter looks the same as he did in the library; small and awkward. But Sirius, he seems a bit different today. I mean, I don’t stare at any of them everyday or anything, but Sirius just looks… different. Dunno why. I’d say their all equally handsome and have their good qualities, though I’m not that close with them. Sirius seems like a nice person, he just tends to be the topic of conversation amongst the teenage girl population. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing; he looks like a male model. Honestly, there are some boys in this school that should just be models for Quidditch magazines or something…
It looks like Peter and Sirius are making small talk for the sake of my lateness. Well, Klara’s AND mine. Not my fault she didn’t wake me up…
“See? You made them wait so much they probably forgot why they’re here!” Klara says suddenly. I narrow my eyes.
She beams at me and almost laughs. “Just kidding. Everything’s gonna be fine. And you’re only sweating just a little bit!”
My face becomes flat as a pancake. At least she didn’t mention my –
“Oh, and if you tilt your head to the right, you can’t even notice the one side of your hair you forgot to brush.”
I’m about to retaliate with an insult involving chickens and Klara’s mother, but I’m interrupted by Remus calling out our names. I know I’ve said this a thousand times, but I cannot believe I’m actually doing this. And that Amos Diggory is really going to get what he deserves. Payback’s a bitch, ay?
Klara runs over to Remus and they nod a hello to each other. She takes a seat between James and Remus, squeezing her way through.
“Must you, Isaacs?” James asks Klara, rolling his eyes. Remus is quiet, glad for the separation. James was apparently driving him mad from the looks of it.
She gives James Potter the Isaacs stare. The Isaacs stare consists of her tilting up non-existent glasses and twitching her upper lip, clearly trying to show through her eyes that she’s a lady and that there’s a reason for the things she does.
James let’s go and Klara talks. “I want you all to be able to see this list just in case any questions came up. I need to be in the middle when it comes to things like this…”
She rants on as they all pay attention to her. Except I, the swaddling idiot known as myself, am still standing in front of everyone and I haven’t taken a seat yet. I’m about to take a seat near Sirius or Peter when something catches my eye. Sirius Black’s neck. The back of his neck, to be exact.
I stare at his necklace sticking out of his shirt collar.
It is so… elegant. The silver chain’s thin links are glistening even though it’s a gloomy morning. His necklace shines even without the light. I can’t help but be taken aback by how delicate it looks, and how expensive it must have cost. And I wonder what pendant or small medallion is dangling off the other end, if there is one.
“…So now that we’ve discussed the rules, did you guys decide who would – Natalie? Um, what are you doing?”
The marauders all turn around to look at me and Sirius catches my face before I look away… from gazing at his neck… ugh. I am so weird sometimes. And now I’m embarrassed. Sirius looks at me and smirks in an amused way, while heat bursts through my cheeks.
“Nothing,” I mumble, replying to Klara. I rush and take a seat without thinking. I wanted everyone’s eyes off of me so I took the closest space near me. Which just so happened to be next to Sirius Black. Oh, my horrible fate. Now I’m really going to embarrass myself.
And I’m still blushing because…!?
“Here, have a muffin. And pay attention,” Klara tells me quickly, throwing a lemon muffin my way. I want to growl, but I don’t. Obviously the marauders are going to do this with us; they’ve agreed to our terms of service, no? There isn’t a need for hasty-ness. But of course, I know better than that. Once Klara goes all ‘lawyer mode’ she doesn’t stop until the job is done.
“The only thing that’s left is the schedule we need to make up to execute our plan. One week is going to focus on one part, and then the second week will focus on the next part, until it’s all done, got it?” Remus announces.
“No, that isn’t the only thing that’s left,” Klara noticeably intercedes. “The guy?”
All eyes turn on me. “What?” I ask innocently. What am I supposed to do, choose the guy who’s supposed to pretend to be my boyfriend?
“Well, after extensive research on Moony’s part, we all decided that I’d be the preferred candidate,” Sirius says calmly, peeling an orange.
I try to clear my throat. “Ah, I see.” It comes out more like a squeak, but I ignore it.
Sirius Black, the prestigious bachelor of Hogwarts?
“What? I wasn’t your first choice?” He laughs and turns to me. I start to sweat.
“No! No, it’s not like that it’s just I wasn’t expecting – er, I –”
“Don’t listen to her, she does that a lot,” Klara waves off. I pout and try to find the words to what I want to say exactly.
I was thinking of someone less… famous. I mean James probably wouldn’t because he’s obsessed out the wazoo with Lily, but I thought maybe Remus or Peter; they’re a bit plainer than Sirius Black. Meh, it’s supposed to be dramatized and fake right? Attention grabbing? So the relationship has to be known by everyone and Amos – so yeah, Nevermind. It’s now starting to make sense to me.
“Sorry, it’s not that,” I inform Sirius. “I just wasn’t expecting you because out of everyone here, I know you the least,” I finish.
“Oh. Well, no need to worry about that. We’ll get to know each other just fine,” he winks.
Did you see that!?
“We wanted to make it seem as if it was the most random, yet most targeted relationship for everyone to see. You both are going to pretend to be dating – the pick had to have been someone who’s more known than any of us. Well, besides James. He said no right on the spot,” Remus explains.
“Sorry,” James shrugs. “I don’t wanna take any chances with my girl.”
“She isn’t your girl,” Remus points out.
“Not yet.” James narrows his eyes.
“And since Peter’s too uncomfortable to do anything this attention grabbing, Sirius said he’d do it. I would, but, well…”
“It’s okay, really. You don’t have to explain anything to me, it’s fine.” I smile, looking at something to set my eyes on. My eyes fall on the fruit Sirius is peeling.
And he notices. So I shift my eyes as fast as I can on the window behind Remus. I hear Sirius chuckle and I ignore it.
Don’t go red, don’t go red…
I think my cheeks are getting warm again!
Why is he making me so nervous?
… Stupid boy.
My mind corrects itself.
Stupid boy that is going to help me get back at Amos.
So in reality… Smart boy.
“Hello? Have you been listening?” Peter pipes up at me.
“Honestly, Nat…” Klara sighs exasperately.
“Sorry, sheesh. I was just thinking.”
“Don’t worry – you don’t need to do that yet. I’m going to get a round of girls for some Amos-bad-talking today. When he’s gonna start is morning flirting ritual, he’ll target the Gryffindor girls in the library. I’m gonna try the first 2 steps on the list today and executed those parts all this week. When Amos starts to flirt, they have to insult him. And then by the end of today, everyone will also be hearing rumors about Amos. So he’ll get a let down in the morning, and get hit with another bomb after the rumors are spread. Any spare change?” She turns to look around the boys and I. “I need to pay them extra to keep our names out of their mouths.” She wiggles her fingers.
“Are they going to be expensive?” Peter asks.
“Peter. They’re Gryffindor girls. Of course they’re going to be expensive.”
I’m in the middle of Astronomy. The only class I have with my supposed ‘new boyfriend’. Our plan wasn’t set yet, for us to be exclusive, but Sirius and I had to make it seem real somehow in the beginning even though we didn’t reach that step on ‘the Amos destruction’ list. If we start out small, then people will notice we’re talking, or are somewhat interested in each other. So when he entered the door he sat next to me. And every set of eyes in the room ogled at us. We pretended to ignore them – but Sirius was obviously doing a better job then I was. I started sweating when ever Sirius turned around to talk to me, and while he nonchalantly talked, I couldn’t do a thing but mumble one word answers. How pathetic.
I tried thinking about why I was so nervous, but even when Astronomy ended and Sirius was walking me to my next class… I still couldn’t find a reason why it all of a sudden frightened me. And then I was thinking so hard that I rammed into the door to Transfiguration. Right when Sirius was behind me.
Of course, the reason I was nervous hit me right then and there while he chuckled.
He’s Sirius Freaking Black! Girls at Hogwarts line up for this guy. I have every right to be nervous! Things could go to crap so quickly if people caught on what was gonna happen… He’s fairly popular, you know. And I barely know anything about him. What if his stalker girlfriend-wannabes figure out what we are up to? And if they call us out on it being fake… what then? It’s like I’m dating a stranger.
But before I can give it a second thought, he beats me to it.
“Hey, Natalie. I was thinking, since we don’t know much about each other…we should hang out, you know? Talk about stuff and have a good time. How about it?” Sirius says to me, shoving his hands in his back pockets. “Tonight, in front of the Great Hall after dinner?”
I blink. “Sure,” I stutter out. I guess we’re both on the same track then…
“Here, let me get that.” Sirius opens the door for me and I don’t know what to say. I mean, WHAT do I say? Even when I was with Amos, he never opened a door for me. “Thanks,” I mumble. He’s such a… gentleman. I am so not used to this kind of chivalry. Or any at all, to be honest.
As soon as I get through the door, though, I trip over my two feet. Joyous.
Sirius holds me steady and laughs again. As if it wasn’t enough that he witnessed me running into a door. His hands burn the spot he’s holding on my arm, but I can’t figure out if it’s because it’s just really cold and his hands are warm, or if it’s because I’m blushing for the hundredth time again in front of him and my blood pressure is making me crazy. I look up and find him staring straight into me. He gives me a little smile, and all the while I’m trying not to get hypnotized by his eyes. It would be a lot easier if he wasn’t so good looking. Bah. I need to practice acting normal in front of this boy. If we’re gonna look like a couple in front of everybody, I need to at least look like I wanna be with him, right?
Sirius says goodbye and leaves me be. I take my seat and try to get my skin to stop reddening. But something cuts off my concentration as two Ravenclaws walk through the door.
“…I know! Can you believe it?”
“No! I mean, out of all the things… syphilis? Ugh, how disgusting…”
My ears perk up.
“Who knew he got around like that?”
“Yeah. I thought he was dating that Natalie girl in his house.”
“I heard they split up…”
“Probably had something to do with his gross hygiene!”
“And did you see that girl call him greasy in the library today, out of nowhere?” The Ravenclaw snaps her fingers.
“Yeah, that was so intense. I don’t think he’s ever been made fun of like that before. And all those girls… they insulted him too! Calling him smelly and telling him his muscles aren’t toned enough…”
They must be talking about Amos! The girls that Klara paid to reject Amos and spread rumors around about him were in Gryffindor; that was this morning. If Ravenclaws are already talking about it… then it’s spreading all over school by now. Man, Klara Isaacs is good. Remind me to hug her with a tackling pounce.
The swirling rumors I hear about Amos Diggory through out Transfiguration keep my head afloat. I can’t help but feel smug every time I hear someone talk badly about him. It puts me in a good mood. This feels great. Though, I must admit, I’m worried about this. I understand the full extent of my actions and what happens if we get caught. Not to mention how awkward it’s going to make the relationship between Sirius and I become. Dating by day, secretly single by night. I really haven’t done anything like this before, and I’m so worried things are going to go wrong. But the fact that girls are already calling him greasy and basically insulting his masculinity… it gives me a weird sense of satisfaction. They’re all going to reject Amos when he’s gonna go around asking for dates. We just started our plan today, and look at the success we’ve already accomplished! Just think, if I do this through and through, in perfect sync, one hundred percent flawlessly, I could change Amos into a gentleman.
Oh, who cares about changing Amos into a gentleman; I could change Amos into nothing.
Hours later I find myself walking through the portral hole and my best friend is the first person I see.“So, how’s the first day at destroying your sack of shit ex-boyfriend going?” Klara, cheerfully greets me as I walk through our dormitory.
“Brilliant. Everyone’s talking about him.” I grin. “I wonder what other fun stuff will go down in the Great Hall. Speaking of tonight, Sirius asked me to meet up with him after dinner…so we could get to know each other. What should I wear? You don’t think he’ll take me outside, do you?”
“Bring a cardigan, just in case,” she tells me. I search through my closet and take out my outfit for tonight, including my gray cardigan.
“Have you seen him today?” Klara asks, plopping on my bed as I snuggle into some jeans.
“No, I haven’t. I saw him walking in my opposite direction when he went to lunch, but I took a short cut so he couldn’t see me.”
“Oh. Well guess what I heard?” I take a seat next to Klara on my four-poster.
“I walked by his mates at lunch before I met up with you, and I over heard him asking his friends if he thought he was lacking in the abdominals. And then one of his good friends asked him if he really had syphilis!”
“Yes! Don’t you see what’s happening, Natalie? Our plan is working, and it’s only day one. It's moving so fast...it's bigger than the both of us now. You should have seen Amos Diggory at the news of his apparent STD positive reputation… I tried so hard not to laugh out loud. He went ballistic, throwing his pumpkin juice around. At one point he burst off ten minutes before lunch ended and stormed out the hall. You were in the girls’ lavatory though, so you didn’t see it. But it was frickin’ awesome.”
I jump up and down a little bit. Hoorah for victory!
“What was that?” Klara questions my dance moves.
“It’s my victory dance,” I say plainly.
“Oh. Well, in that case… don’t ever do that again.”
I throw a pillow at her. She throws a shoe back at me.
Such great sisterly bonding love, don't you think?
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