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Chapter 8 : Rumours and Realizations
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During the summer break, Sirius had made a life-changing decision – he had run away from home and moved in with the Potters, ending up being disowned. He just couldn’t bear looking at his parents again since they pushed Regulus in to taking the Dark Mark and joining the Voldemort lunatic in his so called ‘war’ at just fifteen years old.
The whole frustration of Regulus being beyond saving had almost pushed him beyond the edge and the only things that kept him from falling were his friends, dating like a maniac and… kissing Mia over and over again – that last solution actually seemed to be the most effective of all, despite being extremely confusing on Mia’s side. Her head told her that snogging with no strings attached was the perfect solution to deal with her love for Sirius without ruining their friendship but her heart wanted a lot more. Which one to pick? Well, she would just keep up with their arrangement until the decision came.
The school before Christmas break was just minutes away from ending with a Potions class. The dungeons were, as usual, freezing and most of the students were shaking while they worked in their Draughts of the Living Death, Mia included.
“… Black and Marlene McKinnon? I swear I’ve barely even seen them together,” a Slytherin girl, Roberta Flint, was whispering to her friend just a few feet away from Mia, Lily and Elizabeth’s working table.
“I guess that’s no surprise,” Barbara Lasher, the friend, replied. Mia had always found Lasher extremely annoying. She looked sort of cat-like with long, swirling black hair and had a high-pitched, annoying girly voice. “Black is such a player. He came begging me to go on a date with him once.” Mia chuckled at that – she knew Sirius liked ‘Babbs’, as he called her, just as much as Snape. There was no way in this world he would ever consider going on a date with her. “I refused, of course. Blood traitors are not my type. So it doesn’t surprise me he just went and shagged a random girl. But he could have found much better than McKinnon.”
Mia’s blood froze and, distracted, she accidentally dropped the flask of Hellebore Syrup she had been holding into her potion. She looked across the room searching for Sirius before she remembered he didn’t have Potions anymore. He had shagged Marlene?! A roommate of hers, of all people. Worse than that only if it had been one of her friends. Oh, that was just…
“Mia, what the hell did you do to your potion?!” Lily whispered furiously to her, making Mia snap out of her shock-induced trance.
She looked down at her potion to see it was emitting dark grey steam instead of the silvery vapour it was supposed to have. “Oh dang!”
“Vanish it before it explodes or Slughorn sees it!” Lily warned her.
With a wave of her wand, Mia made the potion disappear of the cauldron and sighed – she had to start all over again all because of that idiot boy she had fallen in love with. Stupid, stupid arse!
“Your draught looked fine just a few minutes ago,” Elizabeth said. “How did you manage to destroy it so fast?”
“I dropped something,” Mia simply said, now busy getting more fluxweed and chopping quickly.
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. “Dropped something? Mia, you could have blow up the--” she didn’t finish the sentence as she noticed Slughorn approaching their working table.
“Miss Davis, so far behind?” he asked in surprise – Mia was not a spectacular potion-maker but she usually made it though the classes.
Mia was about to reply but Lily interrupted. “It is my fault, Professor,” Lily said. She rubbed her right arm and bent it, faking a pained expression. “I think I slept on my arm last night. Mia offered to help me with my potion. You know how precise stirring has to be, Professor. She was just starting hers now.”
Slughorn’s expression softened. “You could have just said something, Miss Evans. I surely wouldn’t make you breed the potion with an injured arm. But well, at least you didn’t try to use it as an excuse. I guess it wouldn’t be fair to make Miss Davis work on two potions in the same class. How about I just mark the potion for the two of you? Unless you have a problem with it…”
“We don’t!” Lily interrupted before Mia could open her mouth to protest. The professor nodded and proceeded to check the other students’ potions.
“You didn’t need to do that,” Mia told Lily. “What if he caught you lying?”
Elizabeth chuckled. “Please, Slughorn loves Lily. If she told him the sky was green, he would believe it for sure.”
“Still…” Mia protested
“Still nothing. That’s what friends are for,” Lily said. “I’m sure you would have done the same for me.”
Mia shrugged. “Well, yeah. But my potion wouldn’t be as good as yours, for sure.”
Lily made a movement with her hand that clearly said ‘let it go’. About a yard away, Snape, who had seen the whole thing, was shaking his head in disapproval. Lily glared and turned her face away from him. She hadn’t uttered a word to him ever since the end of the previous year when he had called her a Mudblood and, despite his continuous apologies, Lily had ended their friendship. Mia and Elizabeth knew it hadn’t been an easy thing for Lily to do – she always found a way to change the subject whenever the ‘Severus issue’ reached her thoughts. “Now, tell me what possessed you to drop something into the potion because I know that you are not clumsy.”
She sighed. “I heard Barbara Lasher saying something about Marlene and…”
“Oh,” her friends chorused before she could finish.
Mia looked at the two of them suspiciously. “Oh what?” she asked and, seconds later, realized the truth. “You knew, didn’t you? You knew and you didn’t tell me!”
“Shhhhh, not so loud!” Elizabeth whispered furiously. “Okay, it’s true. We knew. But we didn’t know how to tell you.”
“Because you clearly have thing for Sirius,” Lily added.
“I don’t have a thing for him!” she replied in frustration. It was partially the truth – she didn’t just have a thing for him.
“Never mind,” Elizabeth said. “What I meant was that we really didn’t know how to tell you, so Lily came up with this idea of taking you to the Room of Requirement after the class to tell you and maybe the room would conjure some stuff for you to break.”
“That would have been better than ‘killing’ my potion,” she recognized with a sigh.
“Don’t take it so hard, Mia,” Lily said. “It’s just the way he is…”
Mia nodded faintly. That was the problem. Her heart’s hopes that someday, by some sort of miracle, she could have him had never been high. James had told her Sirius didn’t see her ‘just like any other girl’. But if this was ‘just the way Sirius was’, shagging random girls, they were even lower now and she didn’t even know if she wanted someone like that.
Later that day, Mia was sitting in the Common Room doing her now not-so-large pile of homework. She had skipped dinner – the kitchens were open all night and, after all, she could just go in there.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Sirius asked, coming behind her suddenly and startling her.
“Merlin, are you trying to give me a heart attack?” she snapped. She had thought she was alone in the Common Room. “Shouldn’t you be in the Great Hall?”
He raised an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you?” he inquired, pulling a chair and taking a seat by her side. “I don’t really feel like bumping into Reg. Caught him this afternoon trying to do dark magic on third year muggle-born. The little bastard told me it was not business because I’m not his brother anymore.”
“I’m sorry,” she said. And then, it came to her. What if that whole shagging thing had been related to this thing with Regulus? Just trying to forget? She needed to talk to him about it, even though she didn’t like it. “Look, I never butt in your dates or snogs or whatever you do with that mob of girls you date but you need to get a hold of yourself, Sirius,” she started carefully.
“What do you mean?” he asked in confusion.
“I mean Marlene,” she clarified. “I know this thing with Regulus upsets you but that doesn’t mean you can just start shagging girls…”
“Wow, wait a minute,” he told her, now getting the whole thing. “Is this about that rumour about me and Marlene? Because that is just a rumour. I talked to Marlene when I first heard it and she reckons it was Barbara Lasher who started the whole thing because she wanted to make her sound like a tart and you know there is just no use denying stupid rumours in this school. I’m not shagging girls just to get over my brother being an idiot or whatever it is that you think, Mia. Actually, I’m not doing it at all.”
“Oh,” she mumbled, ridiculously relieved.
“It’s nice of you to worry about my mental health, though,” he stated naturally.
Mia wanted to dig a hole on the floor and hide in there. Idiot, idiot, idiot! She called herself. How stupid could she make herself look? She coughed. “Well, I’m glad we cleared that up.”
“So am I,” he stated. “Really, you didn’t just think I’d go around shagging the first girl I found, did you?”
She looked away. “I found it hard to believe.”
She resumed doing her homework as he observed her. There had been something weird about that conversation, not only because it had been about… well, sex. But he couldn’t help feeling that she was feeling somewhat hurt when she mentioned his supposed adventure with Marlene. Actually, now that he thought of it, that look had been on her face every time she ran into him snogging a girl or something of that sort. He let himself wonder for a second if she felt for him the same as he felt for her. He wasn’t really sure what he felt himself – he just knew he always came back to her, he always compared every single kissed with hers and they were never as good.
To be honest with himself, he had imagined several times how things would be if Mia shared his feelings. But she was Mia, not just any other girl. He would beat himself up before he dared to ruin things with her.
“Are you listening?” she asked, waving her hand in front of him.
“Hum?” he said. “I was thinking.”
“I said I’m hungry. Let’s sneak to the kitchens, shall we?”
“Maybe that’s not such a bad idea,” he agreed.
Weeks passed and Sirius thought he was officially going nuts. He couldn’t stop thinking of Mia now. That little hope she might feel the same as he did was overwhelming. He didn’t even look at other girls now. She was always inside his head.
Sick of feeling all that, Sirius blurted the whole thing to James in the night before his and Mia’s birthday and his best friend seemed to have an interesting theory about it.
“Maybe Mia is the girl you want,” he suggested. “Padfoot, have you ever thought that maybe you…love her?”
And that had been the moment when it had all made sense; when he realized the truth. Mia had never been just any other girl. He had always put her beyond reach in his head because he felt somehow unworthy… because she was the one. That was the overwhelming reality: Sirius Black was in love with Mia Davis.
The next move wasn’t simple. He could just keep it inside and make an effort to ignore it. But what good would it do? He would take his chances now and prove himself worthy of her. Why would he need anyone else if he managed to have her? Sirius would tell Mia how he felt tomorrow and leave it up to her. He just prayed inside that wouldn’t push her away.
A/N: Another chapter, sooner than I planned - I guess this is a celebration of a new banner. I hope you liked this chapter - though it would be good to give you a little insight on these two's very confused teenage brains. Who wants to guess what will happen next chapter - I'll give imaginary candy to those who are right.
Enjoy and Review!
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