Chapter 17 : Completely Unnecessary
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We walked swiftly down the mostly empty street. It was almost one in the morning but inside the various bars, the lights were on and we could hear the steady chatter of people enjoying drinks. We made it down to the end of the street with ease and found ourselves standing outside a run down building with dirty windows and a shabby sign reading “The Hog’s Head”.
Sirius guided us around to the back where we found a wooden door.
“Some Marauder you are,” I grumbled as I ran my fingers down the door, bumping into something bolted to the wood. I looked closer, not able to see much in the dark. We’d had to put out our wands when we walked down the street so as not to attract attention.
“What do we do?” Sirius asked helplessly.
I had to laugh at him a little. I took out my wand and pointed it at the thick metal lock. “Confringo,” I hissed and we watched as the curved metal bar at the top of the lock broke apart with a soft crunching sound.
“You really are the smartest witch I’ve ever met,” Sirius breathed, shaking his head.
I blushed slightly at the compliment. “Remind me to fix that when we leave, though” I whispered to Sirius as I pulled the door open slowly.
We drifted through the door into the back room. There was some light filtering from a crack at the bottom of the door at the far end of the room leading to the bar. It was just enough for us to see where we were going.
A sudden noise from just outside the door startled me, making me jump. Sirius quickly grabbed my arm and jerked me back toward the closest wall. A shadow appeared on the floor by the door and I quickly reached my hand out to close the back door so as not to raise suspicion. Sirius pulled me back quickly as a figure appeared through the smoky light. I held my breath and stayed as still as I could as we watched the dark figure move towards us. My heart was beating wildly in my chest and I was afraid it would give us away. The figure veered to the right suddenly and picked up a box from the floor. I let out a long sigh as the dark shape disappeared into the front room again.
Sirius peeled himself from the wall with me close behind and we moved by a stack of boxes in the corner of the room. He slipped the bag from his shoulder and silently handed it to me. I quickly opened it and held it out for Sirius. He quietly picked up one of the smaller crates and gently wiggled it into the bag.
“Will it fit?” I asked incredulously, forgetting for a moment that I was living in a world of magic.
Sirius chuckled as he closed the bag quickly and we moved silently to the door. I breathed more easily once we were outside and I turned back to the door as I closed it. I held the heavy lock in my hand, looping it through the metal piece on the door. I pulled out my wand again and muttered “reparo”. I watched as the metal pieces welded themselves together again in a quick flash of light.
I hugged the cloak closer to me as we hurried quickly down the empty street under the dim light of the lamps hanging outside of the shops. We made our way quietly around to the back of Honeydukes, magically locking the door behind us.
“How do you know so many spells?” Sirius asked once we were on our way through the dark tunnel leading back to school. He pulled the cloak off of us and stuffed it into the back with the Butterbeer. “I mean, we haven’t even learned half the spells you seem to know.”
“I read a lot,” I said blushing slightly.
“But why? I mean, don’t you get enough from our school books?”
“Let me put it like this,” I said, pausing to think. “I grew up as a muggle, never thinking that magic actually existed. I still sometimes don’t believe half the things I see here. It’s completely surreal all the time and it’s fascinating to me. I can’t get enough. And the more I learn, the more I want to learn.”
“You’re insane, you know that?” Sirius let out a bark of a laugh as he clapped me on my shoulder.
“Don’t make fun,” I chided playfully.
We reached the end of the tunnel after some more mindless conversation and I climbed out from behind the statue of the witch with Sirius on my heels.
“Do you want me to carry that?” I asked, pointing to the bag handing from Sirius’s shoulder.
“It’s heavy,” he said eying me skeptically.
“I can handle it,” I said shrugging. “Plus if someone catches us they’d never suspect me since I’m Head Girl.”
“Good point,” Sirius said, his eyebrows knitting together. He handed me his bag, which was admittedly heavier than I thought it would be.
We walked quickly towards the Gryffindor tower. I was planning on stashing the butterbeer in the Clique’s dorm until we went down to the kitchens.
“Sirius, get the cloak,” I hissed, panicked. “It’s almost two in the morning. Even if I had patrol tonight I shouldn’t be out this late.”
“I think it’s stuck. I can’t get it out,” Sirius hissed, and I felt the backpack jerk wildly as he tried to pull it out.
"Shit,” I whispered frantically. “We shouldn’t have done this. This was such a bad idea. I’m going to be demoted!”
“Shut up, Lily. Follow my lead,” he whispered in my ear quickly scanned the hall, looking for a place to hide I assumed. I could hear the sound of footsteps coming swiftly closer and he turned toward quickly me and pressed me up against the closest wall, snaking his arms around my waist in a tight embrace. “Set the bag down…and for Merlin’s sake stay calm.”
“Lily,” Sirius whispered sharply, reaching up with one hand to jerk my face away from the corner where the sound was coming from and turning it so that I was merely inches from his own face. My eyes focused sharply on Sirius and he leaned into me, pressing his lips against mine.
“What are you doing?” I hissed, pulling my face away from his angrily.
“Trust me,” he breathed before crushing his lips against mine again. His grip was tight around me and I gave in, helplessly winding my arms around his neck as I let him continue kissing me. I was surprised at how, even through the panic I was feeling for getting caught, I noticed that Sirius was a very good kisser. I began to understand a little of why Pippa was so attracted to him. He did have a certain charm about him.
“Oh, my!” a voice gasped, the footsteps coming to a halt.
Sirius pulled his lips away from mine, keeping his arms around my waist, and turned a sheepish face toward our professor.
“Miss Evans?” Professor McGonagall gasped as she recognized my face that had just moments ago, been participating in a rather passionate embrace.
“What on earth are you two doing out so late?” She reprimanded us in a harsh voice. “This is completely unacceptable behavior.”
Sirius loosened his grip around me and turned full face to the professor.
“I’m so sorry, Professor,” he apologized, his face the epitome of remorse. “We were just looking for some privacy. We didn’t realize how late it was.”
I stared at him while he gave his perfectly cool excuse, unable to speak at all for myself.
“Mr. Black, I expect this kind of behavior from you but I’m surprised to see you here, Miss Evans,” McGonagall turned a sharp eye to me and I felt a warm blush spread over my cheeks. I was still slightly breathless, but I tried to put on a calm face.
Professor McGonagall looked completely taken aback by my confession that Sirius and I were together.
“I didn’t realize—“ She whispered, her eyes sweeping between the two of us. She quickly recovered herself. “It is still unacceptable. I expected better from you Miss Evans. Ten points each from Gryffindor. Don’t let me catch you out again this late. Back to your dorms. Immediately!”
She watched sternly as Sirius gently swept his bag onto his shoulder, being very careful to avoid jostling the contents inside. He grabbed my hand in his, entwining our fingers, and pulled me away down the hall with McGonagall watching us until we turned the corner at the end of the hall.
As soon as we were out of sight I wrenched my hand from his.
“That was completely unnecessary,” I huffed angrily. “I could have just told her I had been tipped off about a student out of bed or something. Now she thinks we’re together.”
“And what would my excuse have been? And how would you have explained the bag? This way she was too busy getting the image of us snogging out of her head to even notice anything else,” Sirius explained, a goofy grin plastered across his face.
“You sound like you’ve done this before,” I accused, trying to ignore that he made several good points.
“I’ve learned it’s the best method for getting out of trouble. Nothing’s more awkward than interrupting an intimate moment. They’re usually too embarrassed to give out any real punishments. And besides, I believe it was your idea to tell her we were together,” Sirius pointed out smugly.
“Everyone knows I don’t go off and snog random people, Sirius. It would have been suspicious,” I said, mentally kicking myself for not coming up with a better excuse as to why Sirius and I had been kissing.
“Still, who doesn’t have a soft spot for young love?” Sirius chuckled, throwing his free arm casually around my shoulder. “You’re a very nice kisser, did you know that?”
“No, I’ve never kissed myself, Sirius. How on earth would I have known that?” I growled, but pleased all the same. “You’re not that bad, either, I suppose,” I added lightly.
“Is that right?” He flashed me a cocky smile.
“Oh, shut up,” I laughed, playfully elbowing him in the ribs. I suddenly thought of something that made me stop laughing immediately.
“What’s wrong?” Sirius asked, noting my sudden change in mood.
I turned a serious face to him. “We can’t tell anyone what happened here, even if it didn’t mean anything and was only a ploy to get us out of trouble.”
“I hadn’t really planned on telling anyone,” Sirius said, confused. “But why should it matter? It was completely innocent.”
“Just—if it got out that we’d been snogging… well I don’t think Pip—Potter would be too happy,” I quickly corrected myself, hoping he didn’t catch it.
“So are you ever going to tell me exactly what you guys are doing?” Sirius asked as he set his bag on the table in the corner of the common room.
I smirked at him. “You’ll find out in a few days, I promise.”
He rolled his eyes and pulled the crate out of his bag, sliding it across the table towards me.
“Thanks for helping me, Sirius,” I said levitating the crate with my wand so that I could get it up the stairs more easily.
“Anytime,” he shrugged, trying to stifle a yawn with his fist. “I’m going to bed. I’ll see you tomorrow, Lily.”
I said goodnight and carefully guided the wooden crate up the stairs to the Clique’s room. I nudged the door open quietly. It looked like they were all sleeping so I lowered the crate onto the floor at the end of Pippa’s bed. I closed the door gently and hurried back to my dorm, exhausted once again from the night’s events.
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