Chapter 22 : Of Forgotten Wedding Dates and Distractions
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The date. The time. I can’t exactly recall every detail of that short conversation. I just remember his clipped voice telling me where to meet him. Why can’t I remember? Shouldn’t I have memorized every single moment of this miraculous event? Maybe it was because I was so embarrassed about my declaration of my menstrual cycle or maybe it was because he was shirtless and ACTUALLY talking to me! I’m sorry but in between his flushed face and toned abs all I heard was gibberish. At least I’m woman enough to admit it. He had said to meet him Tomorrow. After Quidditch Practice. At 9 oclock. I remembered trying to hassle for the time, not wanting to seem eager to see him. Basically, like I had a life. I can’t remember what he said. All I deduced was that I was to meet him at 9’ oclock at the pitch. So I can presume I failed.
So now surrounded by my sleeping dorm mates, I try to envision myself with him. I curl on my side, hands tucked beneath my head and look out at the full moon. I hoped it wasn’t another apology. We were never very good at those. Somehow it always went awry. Me being angry and talking incessantly. Me annoying him. Him wanting to strangle me. Him giving up and coming to a resolution. He used to be my friend. Hell, we used to laugh and joke around together. I poked him in the eye with a utensil and he still talked to me! Surely, everything would be alright? Surely it wasn’t too much to ask that we could at least be on speaking terms again? Today was May 3, tomorrow it would be May 4. May fourth I would be talking to him again. Wait…why does May fourth sound eerily familiar?
Holy jumping tribal pants! Shit! My sister’s wedding is tomorrow! I jump into a sitting position. I had the whole day excused so I could be the maid of honor! I would be leaving early in the morning. How tragically typical, really. I should have expected this. My God, I was too caught up in Sirius’s pretty face telling me to meet him at night that I completely forgot about my sister’s WEDDING?! What would happen if I didn’t show up to meet him? Would it matter really, would it make a difference? Why did he want to talk to me now? Did I get him pregnant?
It is at times like these that I wonder why I’m in Ravenclaw.
I shake my head and flop back unto my bed. I groan. I need to think. Think clearly. Think like a Ravenclaw. I contemplate this carefully.
I’ll go find him now, that’s what I’ll do. It was only… I look at the clock… 4am. Okay, he would be asleep and if I got caught sneaking out after hours I probably would be in trouble. Think clearly. Think like a Ravenclaw. A true Ravenclaw would quietly go back to bed and decide to wake up early in the morning to talk to him. Actually, a true Ravenclaw would have remembered her sister’s wedding and asked to meet a particular son of a bitch on ANOTHER day!
It’s too bad that I’m the only Ravenclaw without a single drop of common sense. I jump out of my bed, grab my wand and head to the Gryffindor Common Room with a blind certainty.
Seriously, it is at times like this that I wonder why I’m in Ravenclaw.
Two boys and one rat trekked quietly under an invisibility cloak. The light clicks of their shoes seemed to echo across the deserted corridor. The boys quick and measured steps hinted at a mission accomplished, of a boisterous mischievousness that can only be gained after doing something incredibly difficult and illegal. The taller of the two boys tried to suppress his yawn as his best mate’s eyes dropped tiredly beneath his glasses. It wasn’t until they began to near the portrait hole that they realized they weren’t alone.
Sirius stared perplexed at a girl arguing with the Fat Lady. It was, after all, four in the morning and after a rather rowdy night of running through the forest with a hungry werewolf, Sirius was drained. As anyone would be if they were animagi playing around with their best friend who happened to be a werewolf. Sirius wondered if what he was seeing was real. Surely, no normal person would be trying to get into the Gryffindor tower at four in the morning without a password. The girl was either an idiot or….
“Bloody hell is that Marriot?” James whispered stopping in his tracks.
Sirius stared harder. Short. Slim. Brown hair. Jumping up and down like a maniac. Yes. Yes that was Janelle.
Peter, still in the form of a rat, squeaked. The squeak drew the attention of Janelle who stopped in mid ramble. For a moment she looked frightened and Sirius had to stifle a snort. James shot Sirius a this-is-completely-your-own-fault-and-now-we-can’t-go-in-without-being-caught look. Sirius in return shot James a I’m-sorry-but-I’m-a-sex-god-so-it-can’t-be-helped look. James rolled his eyes. Sirius looked toward Janelle who had resumed her heated argument with the Fat Lady.
“—honestly, it’s true! I wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t! Should I guess then? Alright. Bravery? Loyalty? Godric? Stupid pompous prats? No? I was so sure it was that one.”
Sirius marveled at her guile. He also noticed quite happily that she was simply wearing an overly large t-shirt and as she lifted her arms in frustration, it rose a little bit higher …
“Padfoot,” James whispered. “Distract her as Pete and I sneak in, alright? Good plan?”
Sirius nodded while sliding out of the invisibility cloak. James shook his head in amusement. Bespectacled boy and rat waited for an opportunity to enter while the taller boy wondered about the crazy girl he was about to distract.
Or rather the scantily clad crazy girl distracting him with her long but not long enough t-shirt that showed off her thin legs and … were those blue whales dotted on her underwear?
“It’s dungbombs,” a voice whispers from behind me. The scream I am about to emit is suddenly stifled by a cold hand. Merlin, I am going to die aren’t I? I am going to die in front of the Gryffindor portrait hole in my pajamas trying to see the boy I hated to like so so much. Here lies the stupid Ravenclaw. This thought makes me fight and with sudden ferocity I bite at my captor’s hand. I hear a loud curse as the hand drops just as fast as it came. It’s the curse that stops me from kneeing my murderer. Oh God please don’t let it be who I think it is… please…please..
Guess who’s holding his hand in agony with a face that I attribute to being very P.O. ed.
“I don’t know what to say,” I say, half horrified, half resigned.
“Oh that’s a new one,” Sirius says sarcastically. He massages his hand.
“Dungbombs,” he hisses. The stupid Fat Lady gives me a rather nasty look and swings open.
I just stare at the portrait hole and back at Sirius.
“Well, aren’t you going to go in?” Sirius snaps.
“Well, I was just looking for you and you’re here. So really there is no point in me going in there,” I say suddenly nervous.
“Get. In.” Sirius growls.
Somebody is mad. So rude. So cranky. I hurriedly climb into the portrait hole. I stop as something brushes my leg. I look back and see Sirius looking hurriedly away. A faint blush graces his impossibly high cheekbones. It quickly turns into a scowl when he sees me staring at him.
As I enter I cannot help but stare in awe of the Gryffindor Common Room, remembering vividly the last time I was here. After the stupid drunken party, waking up to Sirius, sneaking out of the common room, punching Sirius’s brother in the face, and finally breaking my leg. All in all that is the day in the life of Janelle Ruth Marriot, idiot Savant.
Again, I feel something brush against my body. I whirl around but again nothing is there. Behind me I see Sirius muttering as he is coming out of the portrait hole. Why did I come here again? Oh right, to tell Sirius that I wouldn’t be able to meet him at nine o’clock.
Oh God, I’m an idiot. I could have simply owled him. Damn my incapable mind. Damn. This realization comes too late as Sirius is staring at me impatiently.
“I did say nine o’clock didn’t I?” he says in that clipped, aristocratic voice he uses when he wants something to go his way. “Not four in the morning?”
“What are you doing up, anyway?” I blurt extremely curious. My body is shaking from suppressed rage and impatience at my own idiocy.
“I couldn’t sleep,” he mutters cryptically but then he pierces me with a strange gaze. “Why were you trying to break into the Gryffindor Common Room?”
I open my mouth to tell him exactly why I was there but what comes out of my mouth is something entirely and utterly different.
“Why have you been avoiding me?” I say. I try to make my voice strong but it falters. In short, I sound uncomfortably weak and needy. I clear my throat angrily, not waiting for a response.
“Nevermind,” I state harshly. “I just wanted to tell you that I can’t meet you tonight.”
“That’s what you came here at four in the morning to tell me? That you can’t meet me?” he asks incredulously. He looks at me again, groans and looks away. He clutches his hair in frustration and starts pacing. I cannot understand him. I simply can’t. I feel an angry flush coming to my face. He looks at me again and in his eyes I see fire, not anger exactly more…
“Can you please leave?” He says through gritted teeth.
“If this is about the hand, I’m sorry,” I begin to say heatedly. My voice is strangled. My mind is confused. My heart is hammering. “I didn’t mean to, alright? I’m going to my sister’s wedding tomorrow so I won’t be able to meet you and if it was something important I didn’t want you to think I just stood you up. I couldn’t do that because that would be cruel even though you deserve it.”
He looks angry.
“I would deserve being stood up?” he repeats threateningly.
I do not know where this hostility is coming from. I mean sure I bit the poor guy’s hand and so what if I am preventing him from getting that sleep he so obviously needs…ok fine. I deserve it.
But he could at least be polite about it. Jeez.
“Merlin, Sirius,” I sigh.
He tenses at the sound of his name. He looks positively crazed.
I step toward him. He jumps back as if I’m some monster about to gobble him up.
“Are you alright?” I ask cautiously. “You’re looking a bit peaky.”
I gasp and put my hands over my mouth.
“You’re not pregnant, are you?” I state.
Seriously. My mind is not working properly.
“What?!” Sirius splutters.
I immediately blush at the foolishness at my question.
“Oh god, I didn’t mean that! You’re a boy for Merlin’s sake and well it’s not like we’ve done the ‘deed’,” I laugh nervously. “Not that we were ever close because I’m pretty sure you hate me and well that would be impossible because I haven’t ever done---”
“You. Need. To. Leave,” he repeats dangerously.
I put up my hands in front of me in a gesture of surrender. This only makes him wince.
“Okay, I will,” I take a cautious step away from him. And another. And another until my foot catches the end of the rug and I fall. Sirius, in one stride is at my side ready to help me up. His eyes travel toward my legs and I follow his gaze. It’s with horror that I realize that I’m still in my pajamas in my t-shirt dress that is quite short on me and I’m sprawled on the floor like some tart! ( A tart with blue whales on her underwear). I look up at him and I see the fire I saw earlier.
“Oh!” I say stunned. “OH!” I repeat as I stare at his…um…
“Sorry. Sorry. Sorry,” I mumble horrified. I gather my composure and cross my legs. I look at the crack on the ceiling. “I forgot I was in my pjs. Honestly. I’m not a tart. It was really a whim, you know, me coming here. It was pretty stupid of me, really. Since well, we haven’t spoken in a while and I don’t know what I expected. I didn’t! I swear and um… I wasn’t aware of how big—I mean how long—I mean how bad this situation would be because you’re obviously mad at me--- ”
“Nell,” he whispers cutting me off.
“Yes?” I stop in mid ramble. I finally look at him. The fire is still there. Uh oh.
“Please just shut up,” he begs.
“Oh okay,” I respond slightly hurt. I hurriedly stand up, trying to avoid touching him in anyway. “I can do that.”
He jumps up. I hastily walk toward the portrait hole. I’m so confused I can hardly speak, which means he’s won. And I’ve lost. I try walking away with dignity. As I begin to enter the portrait hole a sudden jerk of my arm brings me crashing into the arms of Sirius Black. He takes the back of my neck and brings it forcefully towards him. His lips crash onto mine before I can even blink.
Without thinking I jump and wrap my legs around his waist. He pushes me hard against the portrait wall still kissing me ferociously. His lips are so demanding, so soft, so insanely hot that I can’t think straight. I pull him closer with my legs.
“Just say it, Nell,” he whispers intensely against my lips.
I reluctantly pull my lips away from his. I hold his face in my hands and look at him.
“Say what?” I question, confused and dizzy.
He brings his lips to my throat.
“You know what,” he whispers against my skin. I shiver.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I manage to sigh. His lips stop their tantalizing trail. I reluctantly open my eyes.
He puts his right arm on the wall behind me. His gorgeous locks fall into his eyes as he gives me a wanting stare that makes me uncomfortably hot. He gently unwinds my legs from his waist. I slide back unto my feet. He takes a restrained step back. I feel suddenly cold.
“Please go, Nell. Before I do anything I’ll regret.”
His lips are red. His grey eyes are clouded. His fists are in balls.
“You mean, go because you already regret it, don’t you?” I say. I try to stop the stem of tears that are threatening to fall. “No! I won’t cry because of you again. When you first kissed me that was an accident! We’re an accident! It’s been three months of silence, Sirius! Three months. I deserve to hear things too! Even through all my shortcomings I know that I deserve that. I know it. I don’t deserve accidents. I deserve the real thing.”
I storm out and despite my promise, I feel my face getting wetter and wetter. I wipe at them angrily. I look out at the windows and see the violent rays of sunlight forcing their way into the sky. Sunrise.
It’s time to go home. I have a wedding to attend.
Why couldn’t she say it? Damn it! Why couldn’t she say that she loved him? And why did he have to kiss her? It just confused him more because it proved a point he was trying desperately to ignore. He pulled his hair in frustration. If only she hadn’t been dressed like that! It was undeniable, he thought, that Janelle showing up like that in the middle of the night, her hair mussed, her shirt too short, adorable underwear peeping out innocently while looking so haughty yet vulnerable, would mess with his mind. A new fact plastered itself in every single thought in Sirius’s mind. It glowed and repeated itself over and over again like a broken record. She was sexy. Something about her, maybe it was the cute innocent babbling eccentric aura that confused him initially, whatever it was the sight of her had turned him on. A lot. And coupled with her complete aloofness to exactly what she was doing to his mind and body, her mad antics, her jabbering ways, he thought in that moment when she flew into another rant that she was an absolute perfect sexy mess.
So it made perfect sense that he had missed the last thing that had come out of her mouth. He needed to clear his head. No. He needed a shower. A very very cold shower.
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