A few mornings after my trip with Sirius to the village, I woke up at barely half seven to the sound of Alice’s owl pecking at my window. Grumbling, I rolled out of bed and put on my dressing gown, then opened the window and let the owl and a draft of cold air into the room. Yawning, I untied Alice’s letter and began to read:
Let me know when Dimitri’s party is, and I’ll be there a few days earlier and leave a couple days after. My aunt is driving me insane, and not even Frank can keep me from burning this house down.
Tell me when it is, please!
Grinning, I took out a quill and some ink and wrote on the reverse side:
Brilliant! His party is on the twenty eighth, so come by on maybe the twentieth?
See you soon!
I tied the parchment to Oryx’s leg again, and pulled open the window to the damp morning air to let him out. As I stood, watching it fly away, something across the road caught my eye.
Sirius was leaving the house, wearing what looked like a swimming costume and a grey tee shirt. Swinging a towel across his shoulder, he ran his fingers through his hair and made his way towards the lake.
I gulped in deep breaths of air and tried to clear my head. For days after the incident on the way back from the village, I had promised myself that I would have to make up for the slip up, making sure that Sirius wouldn’t start to think that I was like any other girl he had tried to chat up. I was not easy, and I wasn’t about to fall for his seductive gazes or his charming smile. If Sirius Black was trying to woo me, he’d have to try a little bit harder than that.
But then, the question that had been bothering me for the past few days…why exactly was he trying to woo me?
Sirius hadn’t shown much interest in me before. Though we did speak from time to time, as we were in the same year and shared a number of classes together, the quick joke or a bit of light banter occasionally were fairly inevitable, but as for showing any romantic interest…well, Sirius Black wasn’t much interested in the likes of me. I wasn’t really his type.
I pushed these thoughts out of my mind and pulled myself together. This was an opportunity, and I wasn’t going to let my tendency to be skeptical of everything ruin it. I stripped out of my clothes, and put on my swimming costume in a rush, pulling on a pair of jeans and a jumper before running a brush quickly through my hair. I tucked my wand into my belt and left the room.
After stealthily creeping to the toilet and brushing my teeth, I slipped on some sandals and left the house quietly, before breaking into a fast walk towards the lake.
When I arrived, Sirius was the only one in the lake. He was wading, waist deep in water, with his back towards me. I stripped off my jeans as I watched him, and I dumped them on the sand. He turned round, and I stopped, standing without trousers on, wearing a very thick jumper that once belonged to my father. I waved at him, and he hesitantly waved back.
I pulled off my jumper then, and began walking towards him. The lake was frigid, it felt like ice water. My feet, then legs, began getting so cold that they felt like they were on fire, but I walked on until I was standing in front of Sirius, chest-deep in the freezing water.
“All right?” I began.
“A bit cold…” he grinned back.
“So, Em, what’re you doing out here so early?”
“I saw you leaving, and thought I might join you.”
“Oh,” he replied, the faintest flush gathering on his usually pale cheeks, “Do you usually get up so early?”
“Nah, Alice sent me an owl, and it woke me up. She’s coming to Dimitri’s party, by the way,” I added.
“Oh, right. Cool.”
“D’you…d’you fancy going?” I asked.
“Oh, erm…I dunno, I don’t know him and his mates too well,” he replied, scratching the back of his head. I tried to keep my eyes from wandering down his torso again.
“Oh go on! It’ll be a laugh, I promise. Alice and I’ll be there, so you won’t be alone. And Dimitri and his mates are all right, you’ll meet some new people.”
“Yeah, I suppose…Should I get him something, you reckon?”
“No need, I’ll pop your name on whatever I get him.”
“Brilliant, thanks,” he grinned. We stood in awkward silence again, both of us shivering and looking out towards the expanse of the lake. Then, Sirius cleared his throat and said, “I was really surprised yesterday, you know.”
“You, going to a pub, getting pissed.”
“Why was that surprising?”
“Well, you’re a prefect aren’t you? I’d never seen you break any major rules, or the law for that matter. In school you’re very…rule following. Studying instead of participating in parties and that.”
“Well,” I began, feeling just a tiny bit stung, “I’m not always rule following, in the summer especially…”
He scoffed, “Oh c’mon Emmeline…During school you don’t break any rules. And I’ve seen you getting angry when we pull the occasional prank, you start glaring at us and come over and threaten to tell McGonagall what we’ve done.”
“All right, first off,” I began heatedly, raising an accusing finger at him, “First off, yeah? We barely speak or have any interaction while in school so don’t presume to know what I do and do not do. And secondly, your ‘occasional pranks’ are often directed at some unsuspecting, innocent student who’s done nothing to deserve what you do to them. That’s why I get angry, Sirius. That’s why Lily won’t go out with James. It has nothing to do with being an uptight, rule following twat, if that’s what you think.”
I stood, chest heaving, angrily glaring up at him, waiting for him to cower and apologize. But he returned my angry glare, eyes narrowed and arms stiffening at his sides. He stood towering over me for awhile, not saying a word, light from the sun reflecting into his eyes and making him look manic.
“When was the last time you broke a school rule, Emmeline?” he asked quietly.
“What?” I said, nonplussed.
“The last time you broke a rule. Snuck out of the dormitories after hours, drank Firewhisky, bunked off…when was the last time?”
“I – I don’t…why are you asking this?”
“Because you can’t remember, can you? You can’t remember the last time you disobeyed, the last time you took a risk, the last time you did something dangerous –”
“And why should I do something dangerous?” I demanded, “Rules, they’re…they’re there for a reason…” I trailed off, already realizing I was losing.
“Urgh, God Emmeline!” He said exasperatedly, throwing his hands into the air and placing them on his head, “You haven’t lived!”
“What! I – I’ll have you know I –”
“No, no just listen to me,” he said, sounding desperate now, “You can’t go through your entire life doing exactly what people tell you to do, acting only to please other people. There are times when taking a risk and doing something dangerous can be a good thing, even if you feel afraid or as though you could die at any given moment. It’s about experience, Emmeline! What would be the point of life if you always felt safe, if you never felt afraid? Do you really want to live through life and realize one day that you never once felt alive? You’re only young once, Em,” He stopped and took a deep breath, then looked at me almost pleadingly before he said, “There’s a war on, Emmeline. We could all die next week. We have to live while we can.”
Despite the fact that he had made a valid point, I wasn’t going to let him win so easily. If he thought I was going to back down and retract my previous statements, he was dead wrong.
“So you’re defending yourself, are you?”
“Sorry?” he asked, confused now.
“Those cruel jokes you play on people, jinxing them as they walk down the corridor, humiliating them, just for fun, just so you can show off and feel big. Don’t you dare defend yourself,” I stopped and took a step towards him, narrowing my eyes, “I don’t give a damn if you think you’re just ‘living’, or being ‘young’. You might be living, but you make other people’s lives a living hell, Black.” I tried to control my breathing, and then added, “I may not break as many rules as you do, and I may not have as many experiences as you might, but at least I’m decent enough to not hurt others for my own amusement.”
His eyes softened a bit as I spoke, and his arms relaxed at his sides. We were standing only inches apart now, and I sighed, shaking my head as I took a step back.
And then, an excruciating pain began in my foot and traveled up my left leg. I gasped and my knees buckled as I struggled to pull a sharp shard of something out of my foot and stay afloat at the same time.
I sputtered as my mouth filled with water, some traveling up my nostrils. I accidentally set my left foot down as I tried to balance myself, pushing the shard further into my foot. As I yelled out in pain, Sirius stepped forward and wrapped one of his steely arms around me before I could collapse into the water again. His other arm went under my knees, and before I could fully comprehend what was happening, Sirius was carrying me back towards the beach.
“Wh – what are y – you…” I stuttered, shivering and trying to form a proper sentence. My close proximity to Sirius and the fact that I was unbelievably cold and in a great deal of pain prevented me from speaking.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” He replied. We were on the beach now, and we passed my jeans and jumper piled on the sand as Sirius carried me over to the grass, setting me down in the sun.
“All right,” he began, looking unsure of what he should do next. I bent my left leg across my right and looked at the object lodged in my heel.
“Oh, it’s actually not too bad,” I muttered. There was a shard of clear glass in my heel, but it had felt a lot deeper and bigger than it really was. I gently pulled it out, and my heel began bleeding profusely.
“Oh, sweet Merlin,” breathed Sirius as he grimaced at my heel.
“Sirius, can you get my wand? It’s tucked in the belt of my jeans,” I said, pushing my thumb on the wound, trying to get it to stop bleeding.
“Right, yes. Wand,” he said, getting up quickly and walking back to my clothes. He took my wand out of my belt and brought both the jeans and jumper back to me. I took the wand from him and pointed it at my heel, silently stopping the bleeding and cleaning the wound before I closed it. Touching it, I grimaced a bit. It felt tender still, but it would heal quickly.
“Wow, nice work,” said Sirius.
“Thanks,” I smiled, “And thanks for…carrying me and everything.”
“The pleasure is all mine,” he smiled back, all former coldness gone from his voice. I dried myself off with my wand, and pulled on my jumper before picking up the shard of glass and examining it. Wiping some of the blood away, I squinted and tried to make out some of the lettering etched on the front.
“Ogden’s old,” I muttered.
“Ogden’s Old Firewhiskey…somebody must’ve been drinking,” said Sirius. I placed the glass on the grass and reduced it to sand with my wand before crossing my legs. I looked over at Sirius, who was looking at the place where the shard of glass had been with a frown on his face.
“You cold?” I asked.
“Yeah, a bit.”
I summoned his towel and tee shirt for him, before pointing my wand at him and drying him off.
“Thanks,” he began, “Listen, Emmeline. You made some…some fair points earlier, I’ll give you that, but…you know I wasn’t completely wrong with what I said, either.”
“No, I suppose you weren’t,” I agreed.
“So, we’re…we’re all right then?”
“Yeah, course,” I smiled.
“Good, good. Then, let’s make a deal, yeah?”
“What sort of deal?”
“I stop jinxing random people in the corridor, if you promise to let loose once in awhile.”
“Hmm…what do you mean by let loose?”
“Well, I dunno, join in on the parties in the common room if Gryffindor has won a match or something, sneak out once in awhile, that sort of thing.”
“All right, that’s a deal,” I grinned, offering him my hand. He took it, smiling.
“Good, because you’re really a laugh when you cut loose.”
“And you’re a decent bloke when you aren’t humiliating people.”
We both laughed then, the edge in our voices completely melted away, happy to be in each other’s company again.
“So, you’ll have to start showing me how to let loose,” I said, “I haven’t much practice.”
“Very true…and I’ll start by teaching you how to fly!”
My eyes rounded, and I began shaking my head, “What? Ohhh, no. No no no no, that’s really not a good idea, Sirius.”
“Oh, c’mon Emmeline!” He said, laughing at my frightened look.
“Honestly, I’m incredibly uncoordinated, I would most assuredly kill us both, no joke.”
“C’mon, I reckon James and them are up now, we’ll go get some brooms,” he took my hand and hauled me up. I tried to pull away, pleading and begging, but he gripped my hand harder and laughed, throwing an arm around my shoulders. “Put your trousers, on, Em, and prepare for the most amazing feeling in the world.”
“Funny,” I snickered, “Most would think you’d tell me to take them off and prepare for the most amazing feeling in the world.”
“Another time, love. Trousers on, now.”
“…You’ll regret making me do this,” I mumbled, pulling on my jeans and tucking my wand back into my belt. He snaked his arm around my shoulders again, and I tried to keep myself composed as we walked towards Sirius’ house together, his arm clutching my shoulders as he hummed happily to himself.
Inside, the house was quiet, everyone was still asleep. Sirius mouthed ‘wait here,’ and went upstairs to fetch a broom. I stood in the hall, trying desperately to control my breathing and fast heart rate as the thought of flying made that steadily impossible. As pathetic as it was, I had never once flown on a broom before. I was, if only a small bit, afraid of heights.
He came down the stairs holding a broom and grinning happily as he ushered me out the door.
“Where are we flying?” I asked when we had left the house. He was sauntering in the direction of the lake again, and I already knew the answer.
“Over the lake, of course.”
Lying in my bed that night, I kept feeling a swooping sensation in my stomach, as though I were still flying. The thought of it made me smile, and as I rolled over, eyes closed and grinning as I recalled the exciting afternoon spent will Emmeline, James’s pillow came flying through the air and smacked me on the head, making me jump out of my reverie.
“Oi! What the hell was that for?”
He grinned at me, leaning against the doorframe in his pajamas, “You were thinking about Emmeline weren’t you?”
“Perhaps,” I adjusted my position on the bed as he walked over and sat down.
“Who was thinking about Emmeline?” said Peter as he walked into my room as well.
“Sirius, obviously,” Remus said, sauntering in after Peter, “And put on some clothes, will you, Padfoot?”
“I believe this is meant to be my room, thanks.”
“Still, no need to display your bits, mate,” agreed James.
“They’re not displayed! I got ‘em in my pants and everything…”
“All right, stop flirting,” interrupted Remus, “What are we doing tomorrow?”
We paused, thinking before Peter said, “Pub?”
“We do that every day anyway…”
“OH! I almost forgot…Emmeline’s friend is having a party in a few weeks I think,” I said.
“Oh well, we’ll go anyway.”
“Is it a bloke?” asked James
“No, I don’t think they’re involved,” I said unsurely.
“Anyway, how was your little date with Em this morning?”
“A date with Em?” asked Peter, tuning back into the conversation.
“It was awesome,” I grinned, leaning my head back on the pillow, “I taught her how to fly.”
I went back into my reverie again, thinking about how much fun it had been to swoop and glide through the air with Emmeline, how awesome it was to have an excuse to touch her and keep her steady on the broom, how nice her hair smelt as it whipped my face, and how difficult it was to keep from wrapping my arms around her waist and kissing her smooth cheek, and the soft curve of her neck…
“Urgh! Fucking hell Padfoot!”
“Jesus! I told you to put on some trousers.”
“Wha –” I said, looking down towards my legs as James jumped up from the bed and threw the duvet over them, “Oh. Oh, fuck.”
“O-kay, I reckon it’s time for us to leave,” said Remus before he trooped out the door with a laughing Peter in tow.
“And I reckon you are in desperate need of a wank, mate,” James added, leaving the room as well, closing the door behind him.
As they walked down the corridor, I heard Peter say “That thing was massive.”
“Not appropriate, Pete,” Remus responded. I rolled over in bed, grinning as I flicked my wand (no, not a euphemism) and turned off the lights before rolling over and happily thinking about Emmeline in peace.
A/N - So? How was it? Please leave a review and tell me what you think, and also, tell me what your favorite quote was, I like hearing what line you guys thought was the funniest :D. Please review!
Oh, and I’m afraid I have some bad news. The next chapter might not be posted for awhile. I wrote all these chapters in the summer, and that’s why I’ve been posting them really quickly, but the next one hasn’t been written yet, and since I’ve been getting a lot of homework lately, it might take me awhile to post the next chapters. Just thought I’d give you a heads up. : (
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