Chapter 20 : Wolf Packs and the Quidditch Captain
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Prongslittleflower’s Note: So, here you all are! I’m so happy that I got this chapter out, finished my AP lab report, and my other papers, and still have time to relax for a little bit before it starts again tomorrow. Anyways, thanks to all the lovely people that read this story and to all of you who stick with us through our sporadic updates. They should be coming more regularly as soon as we figure out how to juggle our massive amounts of school work too!
Enjoy the chapter and if you have any questions just let us know. Oh, and to all of you who didn’t know this, James Potter is a CHASER! Not a seeker. Okay, the movies lied. So, just getting that out of the way. If you need proof we’d be glad to extend it. Thanks for reading!
Wolf Pack and Quidditch Captains
Alexa's Point of View
“Alexa, could I talk to you for a moment?” The question was barely heard over the din in the Great Hall, but the voice was one that I knew well. I looked up to see Sirius looming over the other side of the table. The anger and hurt that was resonating from before at the train station came rushing back up through the pit that had been gnawing at my stomach. Sirius looked less than happy to be talking to me, but Remus was standing behind him menacingly so he stayed put.
I pretended to think about it for a minute before I looked back down at my empty plate. Then, I took a deep breath and pushed all the anger down again while I looked up towards my sister. Lyla, knowing that a rage fest was getting ready to break forth, nodded to me sympathetically. “No, I don’t think so, Sirius.” I said while looking anywhere but his face.
With an annoyed sigh he sat down and commenced staring at everyone in the hall with a pissed off expression. Well, that was all fine and dandy that he could be mad at whomever he wanted to but were the rest of us supposed to fall at his will? Whatever. All I had been trying to do was stand up for myself. On the other side of me, Blair perked up as James took the seat next to her.
“Have a good train ride, Bear?” He asked her and she smiled dreamily, while the cynic in me gritted her teeth. Lyla put a soothing hand on my shoulder as Remus took the seat next to Sirius with Peter on his other side. Where had he come from? Sensing the tenseness of the subject, James took it upon himself to lighten the mood again. “Anyone interested in what happened to Bree during holidays? I sent out some scouts earlier to look for our dear friend.”
At this my ears perked up and I couldn’t help but look at James. “You have my attention, James,” He smiled and I forgot to be mad for a minute as I turned towards him and leaned in next to Blair. “If this has anything to do with her having to be bald for Christmas I’m going to praise the ground you walk on. Heck, I’ll even try out for the Quidditch team next year.”
Remus laughed at me when I said this and I stuck my tongue out at him childishly. Then I ignored Sirius before turning back to James, whose hazel eyes had taken on that special twinkle. “I wish I could say that it was Bree that had to go bald, but it seems that she wasn’t the one who actually ingested our little morsel of destruction.”
“Who exactly was it then?” Lyla asked, showing an interest in the subject instead of her recent game of footsies with Remus under the desk. Yes, my dear sister, I know all of your secrets. When she saw my knowing look and then as I sealed the deal with a wink towards Remus, she blushed and then focused once more on James. “It wasn’t anyone who could potentially trace this back to us, right? I can’t lose my prefect badge because of some silly prank gone wrong.”
“You couldn’t lose it by just one misstep, Lyla,” All heads swiveled to Peter as he spoke his opinion. Under the sudden scrutiny, he turned mousy and then looked at his plate for a long pause before following up. “I mean, it’s just that Moony over there has had so many detentions over the course of the years and he hasn’t been demoted yet.”
“True to the point, Wormtail,” James praised and Peter’s face lifted from his plate. His watery blue eyes were shining and that sense of protectiveness I felt towards him was doubled. If ever there was a lost cause in our group, it was definitely Peter. Not to be mean or anything, but it just seemed like he would never be as great at the rest of the Marauders. “And, no, Lyla; the recipient of our diabolical decoy was no one who would get you in trouble. However, they will most definitely pay us back ten-fold.”
He let the suspense build until Blair gasped, hit the table, and stole his thunder. “Andy Ablo!” She whisper shouted and James looked disappointed as he gazed at Blair with an exasperated expression.
“Really, bear; you just had to tell everyone before I could let the buildup reach it’s peak. That is just like a girl, you know, and if it hadn’t have been for,” Then he stopped mid-sentence and looked to somewhere over our shoulders. “Oh, Andy Ablo.” He said before his smile turned megawatt and he bit his fist to keep from bursting his face open.
Following his gaze, I looked back over my shoulder and felt my eyes widen to extreme proportions. “What the hell,” Sirius wondered aloud; and although I was mad at him, I couldn’t help but agree. Stalking towards us from the entrance hall was a balding female in a Gryffindor trimmed robe wearing an expression on her face like she had just swallowed ten kilos of bustobber pus. Blair let out a laugh as Andy found us and then slowed her walk and ignored the open mocking happening around her.
“Alexa, I’d like a word please.” I sighed as I tried to contain my laughter. What was it with people wanting a word with me? First the guy at the train station, then my prideful boyfriend, and now my ex-best friend’s new best friend. It was getting a little tiring. However, at least this new nuisance looked funny and provided me with some comedic relief.
“Go on, then Diablo. I’m listening,” I told her while looking up at her bald head. Noticing where my gaze had gone, she rubbed her hand over her smooth head and then narrowed her eyes at me.
“I know you had something to do with this half-assed prank, Parker,” She spat and I closed my eyes before opening them again to see Bree come up behind Sirius and lay a hand on his shoulder. Luckily for him, he flinched away when he saw who it was. “Bree and I just want to let you know that now we’re gunning for your eternal destruction even more.”
“Right, because making Lyla bald and Alexa break into hives wasn’t enough for you guys,” Blair said with a roll of her eyes. At least she knew how to stand up for someone. It was Andy’s turn to roll her eyes as she looked at Blair who was now leaning in towards James who had his hand on her shoulder.
Like something out of a horror movie, Bree’s laugh resounded around the table grating my already tense nerves and then curling around in my brain. “Well it seems that we’ve forgotten to bring someone up to speed on what is happening around her little world.” She said while looking from Blair to me and then to Lyla. I narrowed my eyes while Remus stood up from the table and took the arm of his ex-girlfriend forcefully.
“Andy, Bree, I think the feast is about to begin and if you’d like to stay and talk about the finer points of Professor Dumbledore’s speech after the feast, I’m sure we could set something up for a detention.” Both girls looked from the prefect badge on the marauder’s chest and the wrenched out of his hold.
“Fine, we’re out of here. But just know that just because I’m bald and Madame Pomfrey won’t heal me doesn’t mean that we won’t get you back equally until the only friend you’ll have over there is Pettigrew,” Bree said while staring at Peter menacingly. Which totally reminded me that she and Peter had a history together. A history that we had exposed to the entire school.
Huh. Anyways, as she said this, James jumped from his seat on the bench raising his voice as he spoke to the retreating backs of our foes. “Peter is a better friend than you’ve ever been, Williams, and bring it on!” He shouted drawing attention to us as the hall settled down for Dumbledore who was now standing at his podium.
“Well, thank you Mr. Potter, for that grand show of friendship. Welcome back to Hogwarts for the remainder of the year, students. As always we would like to remind you that your bags have been checked at the door and all confiscated items can be returned by Mr. Filch at the end of the remaining school days.” Here, Dumbledore paused and looked over to James whose face had fallen at the mention of confiscated items.
He looked over to Sirius as Dumbledore continued his speech, “Pads, the map wasn’t in your trunk was it? Tell me you at least put it in the hidden compartment.” Sirius looked up from his apparently offending goblet. James’s eyes were expectant as Sirius just shrugged his shoulders. Then because he is such a baby and can’t own up to when he’s wrong, he went back to staring at the goblet.
Feeling sorry for James and my own anger bubbling over, I said sarcastically, “Oh yes, please show that goblet who’s boss Sirius. Because your friends really need to be protected from that.” As the steel eyes looked up at my own, Lyla put a calming hand on my shoulder before I could make a fool out of myself while Dumbledore was still making his speech.
“Sometimes I wonder why you even bother, Alexa. If all you want to do is complain about the things I do then why should I stick up for you?” My mouth dropped as Blair kicked Sirius sharply under the table and the rest of my friends sat watching us in awkward silence. As Sirius continued to glare at me, I felt tears prick behind the back of my eyes and I turned away to look back up to where Dumbledore was talking.
“Furthermore, friendship will be what holds us all together in the end. So develop the relationships that will strengthen your life and tuck in.” With a broad smile and twinkling eyes, Dumbly waved his arm widely and food began to fill our plates. While everyone was distracted enough for the moment, I swiped my hand under my eyes quickly to catch any stray wetness.
I didn’t think anyone had noticed until I saw James grab my goblet and fill it with tea. The smile he gave me was empathetic instead of one of sympathy. Which gave me the feeling like James knew what it was like to be yelled at by his friend. The same friend that was right now eating without really caring that he had just made his girlfriend cry.
I sighed as I cut into the noodles that Lyla had heaped on my plate. So everyone must have felt sorry for me and like I need them to talk for me. Wrong. Actually, when you thought about it that’s kind of what I was mad at Sirius for so it didn’t make much sense. Wow, my brain was starting to hurt. After a few minutes of the awkward silence between us, Remus began to make conversation with the table. Luckily for all of us, the random bursts of smart facts were only available in adult conversation.
Blair, being the social person that she was, latched onto the subject like a life buoy in choppy water. Peter eventually joined in as James addressed him directly and then Lyla joined in on the talking. I took the moment of dialogue and decided to bring Sirius down to earth. “Sirius, we need to talk about this.” I said quietly while my friends ignored us for the sake of being private.
“I really don’t want to talk about this right now, Alex. So can we please just drop the subject?” He went back to pick his fork up and brushed me off. That’s when I got angry and decided that being rational could leap out a window for all I cared.
“We’re not just going to drop it, Sirius. And I don’t really care if you want to talk about it or not because I do.” With a clang of silverware, Sirius dropped his fork and looked up at me with a stony face. I should really learn to keep our fights to private places. The loud bang of silverware brought the attention of some of the occupants of the hall to our table.
Unfortunately, Sirius decided to ignore this and raise his voice, whether intentional or not. “Why do you need to talk this out? I’m not going to say I was wrong because I don’t care, okay. I don’t care if you were offended but it was none of your’s or anyone else’s business.” I gritted my teeth as he pulled a hand through his black locks and then lowered his voice to speak directly at me. “You of all people should know that with your family.”
I was about to respond when James cut me off, being the only one in our group to actually know how to handle his bipolar attitude. “Sirius, that’s not how you’re supposed to talk to your girlfriend. Especially one that is trying to be a functional couple with you.” Sirius rolled his eyes and then rose from the table to walk away.
“You would know, James. If I recall you were the one to mess things over with her, weren’t you?” He asked nodding towards Blair who looked even more pissed off now. “And I’d thank you for staying out of my romantic business.” And then he stalked from the table leaving all of us staring in his wake. I felt bad, but then even worse for the stray third year that chose that moment to get up from his bench to walk in front of Sirius to his friend’s table.
The hall broke into whispers as Sirius left and I could feel many scathing eyes on my back and face from all sides. Remus was the first one to speak after the outburst. “Alexa, he’s just going through a lot right now. He doesn’t mean anything by it. We all know he really cares for you.” I looked up sharply at my sister’s boyfriend and then at the rest of the table.
Lyla was biting her lip and looking over at Remus, the empty space between Remus and Peter was giving me a clear view of the Ravenclaw table where Emmeline Vance was glaring at me with her narrowed blue eyes, and Blair was pulling her roll apart with her fork. Then as I looked at James, I saw that I wasn’t the only one feeling terrible. James was clenching his fists and his jaw was set in a straight, stiff line.
“He never yells at me like that,” James mused as he looked up at me from over Blair’s shoulder. “Sure he may raise his voice but he never yells. Ever. It’s like this unspoken bond between us that hasn’t been crossed but for a few times.”
I shrugged my shoulders and stood from the bench. “If it’s any consolation we fight all the time and he yells at me instead.” I told James and he nodded his head while continuing to feel sorry for himself. Blair grabbed for my arm as I crossed over to the outside of the bench and I stopped for her.
“Alex, it’s probably better if you just let him alone. He’s in a mood and if you try to talk this out he’s going to be,” I shrugged her off while getting ready to leave the hall.
“I’m not going after him, trust me. Right now I’m pissed off and if anything happened it would most likely end with one of us in the hospital wing.” I smiled to let them know I was kidding and then I scooped up my bag from the floor. “I’m just going to the dorms to get out of all the whispering. It’s giving me the hives.” for good measure, I shook out my arms like I really was broken out and then waved to them as I left. After all, if you’re going to blatantly lie to your friends, you have to back it up.
Taking the stairs two at a time, I reached the landing to the Gryffindor portrait out of breath and pissed off. I tried my hardest to remember the password to the portrait and could only pray that they hadn’t changed it since before break. “Mistletoe?” I questioned the fat lady who continued to look at herself in her hand-held mirror. “Mistletoe!” I yelled breathily and she finally looked me in the eye.
“Please, dear, you don’t have to yell. My ears certainly haven’t gotten any smaller since I last saw you.” I rolled my eyes at her, trying to signal with a look that I really didn’t have time for her. Apparently, it must have worked. “Oh, well, alright then girl. Go on in.” She swung outwards to reveal the portrait hole and I clambered through, while tripping a bit on my robe.
As I made it into the common room, I stewed my bag onto the nearest couch to the girls stairs and then took the stairs to the boy’s dorm while pulling out my wand. When I reached the door marked for the sixth year boys, I knocked hard on the door. “Sirius! You open this door right now.”
There was no answer and I rolled my eyes before pounding on the door again. “If you don’t unlock this door I’m going to blow it open!” A faint ‘try it’ came from inside the room and my frustration got the better of me. As I let out a annoyed sigh, I pointed my wand at the lock and muttered, “Alohamora.” The lock, however, did not budge. “Alohamora.” I tried again but it was no use.
“You really leave me no choice, Sirius,” I said as I stood back and thought to Defense class from fourth year. Pointing my wand in the direction of the door, I kept my voice down so not to blow the whole dorm to pieces. “Expulso!” I said while thrusting my wand towards the door knob.
“Shit!” I heard from the other side as the doorknob exploded and the door flew open. “Merlin, Alexa! Was it really necessary to blow the whole damn door down.” I looked inside the room at Sirius who was standing opposite the door, a large bump beginning to expand on his left temple. Immediately I felt bad and rushed over to make sure he was okay.
“Lord, I never meant for you to get hurt. If you had just opened the door instead of being such a baby this wouldn’t have happened.” I told him while reaching up to remove his hand from covering the bump that was starting to bruise already. He flinched back when I touched the goose egg lightly and I led him over towards his bed so he could sit down. “Why are you being such a girl about this, Sirius? I just want to talk instead of fight.” I said as he sat down and looked at me as I leaned over him.
“You don’t get it, Alexa. I can’t talk to you about this because I don’t want you to get involved.” I opened my mouth to tell him to go to hell and stop being baby, but he continued on over top of my voice, “My family is twisted and the less you know the better. By telling you about them, by causing a scene at the train station, it would have brought attention to you. Attention you wouldn’t want.”
I straightened to where I was standing in front of him and put my hands on my hips. “So are you trying to tell me that I can’t take care of myself? That I need you to protect me, because I don’t okay?” He looked up at me like I just wasn’t understanding what he needed to say.
“That may be what you think, but you just don’t know. And I thought we were fighting about the fact that I didn‘t stand up for you?” He watched me with a bewildered expression and I rolled my eyes.
“Don’t mix my words, Sirius!”
He ran another hand through his hair, wincing as his fingers brushed over his bump. “Listen, it’s just better if we don’t talk about this. Can’t we just pretend that this never happened?” He took my hands from my hips and held them in his own but I was still trying to make sense of all of this.
“No, we can’t just forget about this. I’m not one of your other girlfriends that just accept what’s coming from your mouth as the holy word. I need to know what’s going on because if we can’t trust each other then why are we bothering?” I questioned him and he stood up from where he was sitting, towering over me and making it harder to feel like I had the upper hand in the fight.
“This is why I can’t tell you! Because you aren’t like my other girlfriends. You’ll take this upon yourself as your problem and I don’t want you to protect me. I don’t need you trying to protect me,” He said while getting angry and taking me by the shoulders. I had the strangest thought that he was going to shake me and then I brushed it off. That’s one thing I knew was that he wouldn’t hurt me.
“I can protect myself just fine thank you. And are you trying to tell me that you would just explain this to someone like Bree, who only wants you for your body? So because I have a brain I’m the one exception and I can’t know what’s going on around me?” I put both my hands on his chest and shoved. He stumbled slightly then righted himself looking at me bewilderedly. “I should kick your ass just because you suggested that.”
Sirius blanked on me for a minute and the rolled his eyes. “I didn’t suggest anything! It’s just your psychotic brain running away with you again. Wasn’t it you that said you always thought you were crazy?” I narrowed my eyes and went to shove him again but he caught my arm by the wrist and held tighter as I tried to pull away. “Taking care of yourself doesn’t just mean that you’re mentally capable, Alexa. I need to be the one protecting you.”
Taking my other hand, I formed a fist meaning to only hit him lightly but he caught that with his other hand and pulled me closer while my anger swarmed at being over powered. “Let go and I’ll show you that I can kick your ass.” I told him and he laughed at me while tugging my wrist some to show that he was still stronger. Not really thinking of the consequences, I pushed us both down and he hit the mattress so we were wrestling to pin the other down and show the other who was stronger.
It took me a second to wrestle out of his hold and pin his shoulders down to the mattress. He was looking up at me, his hair draping over his forehead and into his eyes and I stuck my tongue out. “See, I am stronger.” I said childishly but in the next instant I shrieked as he flipped me onto my back, his knees at either side of my hips, and my wrists pinned next to my head.
“Think again,” He said while his grey eyes twinkled in the light.
Now, don’t hold anything against me because what would you have done in this instant. The adrenaline and anger from our little tussle had my head spinning and the close proximity with Sirius only added to mix. We were silent for a potent moment before Sirius leaned down and captured my lips with his own.
Using the kiss as an output for my anger, I pushed myself into the kiss as Sirius let go of my wrists to grab my waist. I let my hands do their own thing as I gripped Sirius’s strong shoulders and we moved up the bed to where I was lying against the pillow instead of in the middle of the bed. His lips moved against my own with a well practiced motion and I felt my anger begin to ebb away as he bit my lower lip.
Jumping slightly as I felt his bare hands touch the skin where my shirt had ridden up and my jeans didn’t cover, I realized how hot I was in my robe. When we broke apart for much needed air, I tried to speak as Sirius kissed my throat. “I need to get this robe off,” I said breathily, not really meaning for it to sound as provocative as it really did.
I met Sirius’s eyes and saw them darken in color as he moved the robe down my arms and then lifted me off the thing as it dropped from the bed. We stared at each other for a minute before kissing again, this time with less anger and more passion. Putting my arms around his neck, I let my fingers play with the hair at the nape of his neck and giggled as his long fingers brushed over my ticklish stomach muscles.
Sirius growled playfully as he did it again and then one hand reached up to gently pull the hair tie out of my curly locks. His hands sifted through the tangles while we continued to kiss and I sighed when he tilted my head back to deepen the kiss. This is where the moment ended however as there was a feminine gasp that wasn’t from me and then Sirius was rolling on the bed next to me in convulsions of laughter.
As the barking laughter filled the room, I looked at the doorway to see Blair, James, and Remus standing in shock. Blair had her wand out, having had just cast the rictusempra that had sent Sirius into the fit of laughter he was trying to over come. We all continued to look at one another with wide eyes, before Sirius laughed out a ‘help’ and we sprung into action.
“Finite,” James said with conviction and the spell lifted. As the laughter died off, Lyla came running up the stairs to most likely see what was taking the rest of the group so long. “She wasn’t in the dorms, Blair. And she said she was going to be there. I swear to Merlin that if she’s with Sirius and the two of them have,” She stopped as she came upon the scene. “Well, never mind.”
Rolling off the bed, I picked my robe up from the floor, slipping it back on, and then looked around for my hair tie. “We are dating and if this is how we choose to fight I don’t want to hear a word from any of you.” I said menacingly as I looked at our friends who were all staring like they wanted to laugh. I turned my back on them, facing Sirius who was clutching his stomach with one had and holding my twist tie in the other.
“We’ll just see you lot downstairs then?” Sirius said while straightening his pillow and pretending like we had just been keeping it cute up here instead of fighting like maniacs and then scarring Captain Awesome for life. Blair was the first person to crack as she started laughing and then she led the rest of the group away. When it was silent again, I dropped to the bed and picked Captain Awesome up from the floor.
“That didn’t really solve anything, Sirius.” I said while smoothing the bear’s fur down. Sirius leaned back against the pillow next to me. As I lifted my head up, Sirius slid his arm behind me and I curled into his side. “I’m still mad about all of this you know. You shouldn’t have been such an ass to everyone back there.”
Sirius let me berate him as he rubbed the Captain’s ear. “I know, and have I told you that I’m sorry?” He leaned down and let his head rest on my own. “I meant what I said before though. Your loyalty is one of the reasons I care for you so much. And it’s also the reason I can’t let you know about my family. I won’t let you get hurt trying to protect me, Alexa. So for once, just be the girl okay? And let me take care of you.”
I knew it was a losing battle, so I nodded my head and snuggled closer to my boyfriend. “I’ll try, but I’m not going to sit back and let stuff just happen. You’re going to have to tell me eventually.” I felt Sirius shrug and I elbowed him in the stomach. “Just agree with me or I’ll have to teach you who’s boss.”
He laughed and I jumped from the bed, holding Captain Awesome for ransom. “You wouldn’t dare,” He said as he sat up with one leg on the ground. “Think again,” I mocked as he had earlier and then I sprang for the door, wrenching it open and running down the stairs with Sirius on my tail.
“Lyla, Blair, there’s someone that the Common Room needs to meet!” I sing-songed as I came into view. Blair looked up from her game of cards with Remus and Lyla turned from the book in her lap to see what I was talking about. When they saw the Captain, both of their faces lit up and turned deviant. Luckily for Sirius, there weren’t many people in the room at this point so he wouldn’t be too embarrassed if he didn’t follow my orders.
Plopping down in the space next to James, I put him in front of me as protection. Sirius and James stopped and looked at each other while I peeked from behind my be-speckled friend. “Sirius, if you want to be saved your pride, you will apologize to James.” Sirius, for once, knew he had actually done wrong to his friend. James, on the other hand, looked hopeful and a little like a lost puppy without his friend.
“Prongs, while my actions are far greater than the snow extravaganza of 1975, I would be humbled if you would give me an honorary Marauder pardon and we could put all of this behind us.” Sirius said in what I’m sure is a ceremony that they go through in all their ‘rules.’ James acted like he was thinking about it for a minute before he looked over at Remus.
“Messer Prongs, Messer Padfoot would like to be pardoned for his actions on this night, January fourth, and be reinstated into the pack. Should you choose that a pardon is in order then our wolf pack grows by one. However, should you decline we will permanently remove him and our pack decreases.” I bit my lip to contain my laughter and I saw Blair was, once again, the only one that couldn’t control herself. Lyla, it seemed, was muffling herself behind a pillow.
James looked over at Sirius who was giving his best impersonation of a shunned puppy and then nodded his head once. “Yes, our pack has just grown by one. Give us a shake, Padfoot.” They did their brotherly hand shake, grasping each others forearm and shaking firmly once before they let go and smiled at each other. Then Sirius turned towards Blair and addressed her next.
“Blair, it is with a sincere and humble heart that I apologize to you for dredging up the past in my time of extreme anger. One could say that I had blacked out in rage as to what my disgraceful swine of a family had said to you all. Could you ever forgive me, fair maiden?” Blair smiled and stood up to curtsey in her woolen, plaid skirt.
“Why of course, young Sirius. As long as it never happens again,” She said with a stern eye and he rolled the sleeve of her turtleneck up to kiss her hand. We all laughed as he knelt to the ground and bowed low. “It shall never return.” After his epic performance, Sirius stood up and walked towards me with his arms out. Begrudgingly, I kissed Captain Awesome’s forehead and then handed him over.
Sirius looked over his bear with love and then whispered in the things ear. “Now, Captain, if she touched you in any inappropriate places like the ones we talked about you just tell me, okay?” He put the bear’s muzzle to his ear and then nodded a few times in understanding. “I’ll keep that between us.”
“I’ll slap you in the face,” I told Sirius in a calm voice and he covered Captain’s ears.
“It looks like someone already did,” Remus said as we all crowded around the couches so Sirius could regale the tale of me blasting the door open on his face. Ah yes, those were good times. I smiled as I made room for Sirius to sit next to me and then I watched as Blair took the spot next to James’ feet, leaning back on him as he squeezed her shoulders.
As Sirius embellished the story to the point where it was barely recognizable to me, I watched the interaction between James and Blair who were now acting more like a couple than Lyla and Remus at the moment. Which was hard to do seeing as they were like the perfect freaking couple. Ignoring that, I kept a closer eyes on Blair’s hands, which were now wrapped around James’ ankles while his hands were holding onto her shoulders as he leaned forward to listen to Sirius.
“And then she jumped me.” Sirius ended and I had to practically sit on my hands so I wouldn’t reach over and pull his hair out. My best friends laughed and I tried not to give myself away as I bit my lip. For once, I wasn’t thinking about how to get everyone back but instead about how to get James and Blair to come clean about their resounding feelings towards each other.
“I didn’t jump you, Black. Please, I have more taste than that.” I said while pushing my hair back behind my ears and trying to focus on my sister enough so that she would feel the telepathy between us. Or maybe that only worked between twins. Finally, I caught Lyla’s eye after many disgruntled seventh years caught me staring and glared before getting back to whatever they could possibly be doing. I mean, come on, people! School hasn’t even started back yet.
Lyla looked at me strangely while I tried to signal between James, Blair, and the both of us. She seemed to finally understand that I wasn’t just being a spaz and she nodded almost unnoticeably. Of course that meant that Remus, who was freaking perceptive, noticed and he looked at us strangely before Lyla whispered in his ear.
“I think I’m going to head up to the dorms,” I said while I stood from the couch and stretched my arms over my head. Blair nodded her head and stood up from the floor, dusting her skirt off and then bid us all goodnight. “See you in the morning,” I told Sirius who stood and walked with me over to the stairs where we hugged briefly.
“Sweet dreams,” He said with a grin and I rolled my eyes as I made my way up the stairs to the sixth year dorms and our current home. When I walked in, Blair was unmaking her bed and humming quietly to herself. She smiled at me as I walked around her to get to my own four-poster and I tried to be sneaky as I opened my dresser and pulled out some pajamas.
As I was pulling my pajama shirt over my head, I made some passing comments. “It’s good to be back at school,” I said just loud enough for her to hear me and she made a noncommittal noise so I continued. “I mean, it’s not like we weren’t with everyone back at the house but being here just seems safe, you know? And I definitely think that the classes are going to be fun.”
Peering over my shoulder, I saw that Blair was staring at a picture she had on her dresser of all of us before summer last year. More in particular she was staring at the portion containing she and James. Lyla came in finally and as she climbed over her bed to get to the other side of her night table, I nodded to where Blair was laying. Lyla nodded and took over where I had left off.
“So it’s so good that we’re all going to be able to get along in the dorms this time around. Things are still a little tense with Bree but I have a feeling that we’ll be able to get around that. Just look at Alexa;” Lyla said and I rolled my eyes at her before plopping down into my bed. “She’s even been able to make up with Sirius when he’s a douche bag.”
“Mm hmm,” Blair muttered before sitting the picture back and picking up a brush to run through her hair. Lyla and I exchanged a look and I shrugged my shoulders. Why the heck wasn’t Blair taking the bait like she usually does? Since when did our blabber mouth friend keep things on the down low. Whatever, it was time for me to take action.
“So how long have you continued to be in love with James?” I just asked bluntly and finally Blair’s head snapped up. Actually, I’m surprised she didn’t get whiplash. Out of nowhere, a pillow drilled me in the side of the face and I looked up to see Lyla with her mouth open. “What? The subtle approach was getting us nowhere and I need this information.”
Blair laughed and then sat cross-legged on her bed, stilling her brushing. “How did you guys know? I thought for me I was doing a good job of hiding it from you both.” I blinked a few times at her casual acceptance of the fact that we knew she was still in love with him. “Alexa, you didn’t really think that I had ever stopped loving him right?”
“She has a point, Blair,” Lyla argued while I continued to be an idiot and wonder how I hadn’t made that connection. “He did kind of break-up with you for Lily, or at least that’s what we thought. I mean, we were ready to launch a full on attack to get you guys back together, but it just seemed like you were okay with it.” I looked at my sister, hoping she wasn’t going to go into greater detail about the ‘plan.’
“What Lyla means to say, and I think I agree, is that you did kind of move on. It’s not like you really let any grass grow beneath your feet before you met Adrian and just seemed to forget about James. You just kind of moved on and let it roll off of you, like it didn‘t hurt you.” I tried to explain and Blair took it all in stride as the dreamy look on her face came back.
“Maybe it seemed like that, but it never really was for me. I mean, it did hurt and I think I was just trying to compensate for being dumped by choosing James‘ opposite. Adrian was a great guy and he was just what I needed to show me that I really do love James. He’s the one that I still think about even when I’m with other guys. He’s the one that I want there to comfort me when I’m hurt. He’s just,’ she looked up at us and I contained myself from saying, ‘aw!’ really loudly. “He’s just the one.”
She shrugged as if that explained it all and somehow I knew that to her it did. “So if James is what you really want, then what are you going to do to let him know? It has to suck not being with him when you love him that much.” I said, realizing that once again, my curiosity had made the question sound harsher. “I don’t mean to sound uncaring,” I threw out before Lyla could hit me with projectile objects again.
Pulling her knees up to her chest, she laid her chin on the platform they made and looked at us for guidance. “I love James, but I’m not sure if I want him again. It was just so hard to have him the first time and then lose him. I don’t know if I want to fall harder than this and then realize that it’s over again.” Her eyes glistened and the emotions on her face flickered from happiness to confusion.
“Whatever happens will be what’s for the best, Blair. And at least this way you know your options and you know that you gave it a shot, either scenario.” Lyla said as she got up from her bed to sit next to Blair who swiped under her eyes and then smiled at us. I joined them soon after and put my arm over Blair’s shoulder.
“If it will help out at all, besides Lyla and Remus, you and James are probably the couple that could make it through anything.” We shared a best friend hug, then, and as we all leaned against Blair’s pillows I could tell Blair was thinking it over.
“So since the whole jealously thing didn’t work, mind telling me what you had in mind for this plan to get James and I back together?” She asked curiously. I knew more than saw Lyla tense up, becoming afraid that we had been caught. I tried to save our asses by playing it off as a joke.
I laughed and then laughed again because the first laugh sounded like a toothless hyena. Blair laughed too and Lyla’s nervous laugh joined in. Then because I couldn’t stop the giggling, I thought abut when Blair had to interrogate us about what we had been doing with us and I was so hungry. “Do you remember when you interrogated us on the same subject? Room of Requirements, jar of cookies, me spilling my guts on something I didn’t even know was going on.” I said and the laughs this time were real on all accounts.
“I was scared shitless until you started to say we were replacing you with Lily. It could have only been one person that put that thought in your head.” Lyla laughed and then she flicked her hair over her shoulder in a great impersonation of ‘El Diablo’ when she had hair. “’Lyla and Alexa are such whores,’” she mimicked and a fresh round of giggles came from my throat.
“Can you believe how long ago that was?” Blair said as she straightened back up. “It almost seems like a lifetime ago. Just think of how much stuff has changed. Alexa and Caradoc were dating, then she dates Sirius in a surprise twist.”
“Hey, you can not even bring that up!” I mocked in an outraged voice.
“I can and I will,” Blair said before rattling on, “I was on the path to destroy James, which ultimately failed, and Bree was still being a manipulative bitch.” Lyla nodded while no doubt thinking of my run in with Bree and Diablo in that deserted corridor. “Funny how the only thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that Bree still wants to destroy us.”
“Is it possible that you both realize the only stable people in our group of friends are Remus and I,” Lyla questioned us and Blair and I both stopped to think for a moment. True it was always either Remus or my sister that stopped me from doing something stupid. True they had never broken up and/or fought on a daily basis. True they had been destined for each other from the beginning. True they had never done any public battles or paybacks.
“I see no evidence of that.” I said and Blair nodded her head.
“True to point, Alexa. If anyone is dysfunctional it would be the couple of Lyla and Remus.” Lyla pouted while Blair and I looked around like we were looking for back up. I leaned back against the pillows on Blair’s bed and then closed my eyes. Seconds later I felt the fluffy pillows sink indicating that my friends had joined me. “Really though, you guys, thanks for supporting me in this.”
“You would do the same for us, Blair, so it’s not like we’re going out of our way.” Lyla said and Blair nodded. “Just let us know what you want to do and we’re there. And as hard as it will be for Alexa to not interfere, we will stay out of your business unless you want us to help.”
Blair smiled and then sat up before patting our legs and getting up from her bed. “Well, I would gladly appreciate the chance to figure this out before we launch our battle plan. Thanks guys,” She hugged us quickly before walking towards the bathrooms. “I’m going to get ready for bed. I’ll see you all in the morning?”
“Yeah, see you bright and early for breakfast.” I told her as I walked back to my own bed. Lyla did the same and as I slipped under my covers I caught her eye. “So the plan is definitely off.” I whispered, just in case Blair could somehow hear me from through the door and over the running water. Lyla looked around like someone was going to jump out from the shadows and then answered me.
“I’m pretty sure that goes without saying.” She said before fluffing her pillow and laying down. “Sweet dreams, Alex.” She mocked as Sirius did earlier and I rolled my eyes before smiling and pulling my curtains closed.
“What do you mean that we play tomorrow, professor?” Remus was questioning as we emerged from our dormitory around nine o’clock in the morning the next day. I rounded the corner in front of Blair and Lyla to see Remus standing and talking to Professor McGonagall who was sporting a rather sour expression to go with her tartan outfit.
She sighed as if talking to Remus was taking a great deal of her waning strength. “I mean precisely what I just said, Mr. Lupin. The Gryffindor Quidditch team will be playing against Ravenclaw tomorrow around noon. As the announcer to most games, you are required to know twenty-four hours before hand to prepare yourself and get the word out.”
“That’s not what I meant, professor. What I mean is that why did we have such little notice about all of this? Wasn’t the match supposed to be scheduled for two weeks from now?” Remus asked as we came up behind him and McGonagall gave us all a short nod of acknowledgement. Then she turned back to the discussion of the only other thing besides Transfiguration she cared about. And that would be the Gryffindor team.
“Originally, yes; but that was before the Headmaster gave Black permission to start in the matches for the rest of the year. Professor Flitwick felt that the match should be moved up to before classes began and so it has been.” She pursed her lips as she said this and then looked around the common room for a speckled git with messy black hair. “I see Mr. Potter has already heard the news?” She said with a small smile.
I looked around and realized that both James and Sirius were not in the common room. And neither were any of the other Gryffindor team players. “Found out early this morning. I guess he’s already on the pitch with the rest of the team.” With a terse nod, she began to make her way out of the room, but a question from Lyla stopped her.
“Professor, hasn’t Sirius been practicing with the team all year anyways?” Lyla asked while looking slightly confused. McGonagall looked back with a slight smirk on her face that reminded me of something that James would have given us. Wow. I did just compare my teacher to one of my best friends.
“Exactly.” Was all the explanation she gave before disappearing through the portrait hole. We all just kind of looked around at each other before just shrugging it off. Sometimes it was better just accept what was going through people’s minds than to actually try and analyze it.
“So I’m guessing that James has had them out at the pitch since the crack of dawn?” I asked as we left the common room and made our way down towards the Great Hall. I checked the durability of the sweatshirt I had on and then actually summoned my coat successfully from the dorms before we were completely out of the Common Room. At the questioning looks, I shrugged my shoulders. “It would probably be nice of me to smooth things over with Sirius by bringing him breakfast.”
Blair looked at me with a sympathetic expression. “I doubt that James is even going to let them off the pitch until it gets to dark to see,” She said with a shrug but summoned her own coat anyways. Lyla and Remus followed in our steps as Blair and I led the way to the Great Hall where breakfast was underway. After grabbing some muffins and a couple napkins full of bacon, we made our way back to the doors where the frigid air was waiting.
It was funny that, as we neared the pitch, even over the harsh wind you could hear the loud yells coming from James as he tried to get his team ready for the game. “He’s going to kill them all,” Remus muttered as we made our way up the bleachers to a good spot where we could see most everything that was going on. Half of the team were in red robes while the other half sported gold and both ‘teams’ were playing against each other and while James played chaser, he also coached.
“Caradoc, for Merlin’s sake, the game is tomorrow! Show some interest or get off the damn field.” James hollered from his position at the other end of the pitch and my ex-boyfriend looked back at him before turning his back and flying off around the pitch. “Can everyone please tell me what the hell is going on so we can practice?! I will not lose to Ravenclaw and ruin our chances for the cup.”
“Maybe if we could just take a short break,” Marlene suggested as she wiped sweat from her brow and held the quaffle under her right arm. How she could be sweating when it was minus ten degrees out here I had no idea. I pulled at the sleeves of my coat, bringing them down to almost cover my gloved hands, and then thanked the gods that the bleachers blocked the strong winds.
A streak of black went by and I looked up in time to see Sirius wink at me from where he was on his broom. I waved at him emphatically and then looked back to James who was running his gloved hand through his hair. “Five minute break then. If you can make it up to the castle for breakfast then so be it, but if you aren’t back I’m going to make you wish you’d never had a break.”
The team broke apart, some flying off towards the castle the others just going to the ground and lying in the snow to cool down. A whooshing noise was heard next to me and James and Sirius landed on the risers. I grinned at Sirius, who was holding his bat and rubbing his red nose with his ungloved hand. After flopping on the bench next to me, he closed his eyes and I gathered his cold hands in my own.
“We brought you something to eat,” I told him while I created friction between our hands to warm his up. He smiled with his eyes still closed and then opened one to look at James who was sitting next to Remus ad shoving his face with food. “That is if James doesn’t shove it all down his throat first.” I directed my words to my friend and he looked up at us all before throwing in a shrug and a small smile.
“You have no idea how hard it is to get the team ready. I still need to give them new strategies for the specific players on our opponents and McGonagall is going to go crazy if we don’t win. Why Flitwick feels the need for us to bump the match up I’ll never know,” James continued to rant as Blair came over and put her arm around his shoulder so he could have someone to talk to. Remus cautiously escaped the crazy Quidditch Nazi and sat on Sirius’ other side.
“I’m assuming that I’m one of the reasons that we’re playing early?” Sirius asked without sounding like he really cared. He squeezed my hands and then sent a roguish smile my way. “You know my hands would warm a lot faster if you’d let me put them under your coat.” I felt my face heat up despite the cold while I removed my hands from his and folded them across my chest.
“And to think that I was going to feed you so you would get a break from your grueling practice.” Sirius put his best puppy dog face on and then sat with one leg on either side of the bench so he would be facing me. He pulled me towards him and into a hug and against my better judgment, I leaned into him anyways. “We’re getting to be about as sickening as Lyla and Remus.”
Lyla huffed from where she was sitting, chewing on a bit of muffin before sending us an indignant expression. “I would never let Remus put his hands up my shirt in public.” She said and then motioned to where Sirius hands were encircling my waist. Under my coat. I glared up at him but decided that since he wasn’t technically under my shirt I’d let him keep his hands there.
“I’m just warming my hands here. Surely you wouldn’t deny me that?” He asked and I rolled my eyes.
“Next time just use gloves,” I told him while picking up my own muffin and biting into it. We sat in a sleepy silence for a while, Sirius resting against my back while Remus and Lyla sat together against the bleachers. I looked over to where James was looking at Blair in bewilderment as she talked sports.
“It’s just if you really want to go for the gold so to speak you need to get Caradoc playing keeper and move Thomas up to chaser. Caradoc’s reflexes are just faster and I know that Ferry is an amazing chaser for Ravenclaw. She would show Thomas up out there and then even if we caught the snitch, the goals she would get would probably even it all out.” Blair paused to look at the pitch thoughtfully while James continued to stare.
“You can’t be serious?” James asked and Blair’s eyes widened, thinking she had overstepped into dangerous territory. Everyone, and I mean everyone, knew that you didn’t mess with James’ Quidditch strategy. “That sounds like the,” We all waited with baited breath as he waved a piece of bacon around for emphasis, “the most gutsy and deviant thing we could do. It would definitely send that team a curveball.”
He stood from his seat quickly and we all looked at each other with confusion. “You’re going to go with what Blair suggested?” Remus asked quickly, going into reporter mode as he stocked up on things he could use when announcing tomorrow. James nodded his head quickly and then retrieved the whistle from around his neck.
He blew into it quickly and loudly, the sound ringing out all over the pitch and deafening my ears. “Of course I am, Moony. This is a brilliant strategy and Thomas is just a fourth year so he’ll learn quickly as chaser. Plus, with Caradoc as keeper there’s less chance of him ruining the passing strategy by being a stuck up prick.” He looked around at all of us and then narrowed in on Sirius. “Get off your ass and stop fondling your girlfriend, Padfoot. And thanks Bear,” He added on as both boys retrieved their brooms.
Sirius placed a quick kiss on my cheek before he mounted his broom and rose in the air. “Thanks for sharing your body heat, Alex.” He said cheekily before flying back over to where the team was assembled in the air listening to James explain the new game arrangement. Making sure no one was watching, I touched the place on my cheek and blushed before joining Blair on the stands to watch the rest of practice.
“And Gryffindor takes the lead with a goal by Thomas Jones putting them up 30 to 10.” Remus shouted into the microphone the next day as we stood in the announcer’s booth during the Ravenclaw-Gryffindor match. It was sunny, but still undeniably cold outside but with the combined body heat of the students, the layers, and the blanket we had draped over us it was pretty comfortable.
The crowd roared as the fourth year boy soared back into a defensive position, dodging a bludger that was sent his way by the Ravenclaw beater. As we cheered along with the crowd, Blair pointed out James through the thicket of players that were now bashing each other for the quaffle. So far it had been a fair match, both teams scoring in the first five minutes and then dragging it on for the next thirty as the quaffle had been deflected by both keepers.
“You have to admit that Gryffindor did pull a fast one on the Ravenclaw team with the switch of Jones and Dearborn. However, both teams seem evenly matched as Potter and Simmons go head to head for the quaffle.” There was an angry roar from the Slytherin and Ravenclaw stands as a bludger knocked the Ravenclaw captain away from James and the quaffle soared into the air, being caught before it began its descent by Marlene.
“And that bludger, sent by Black, was just what Gryffindor needed for possession. The quaffle goes to McKinnon, to Potter, stolen by Connell who drops it while dodging a steal by Jones,” Remus kept up his commentary as we stood from our seats to see the action that was going on in front of us.
As the possession turned back to Gryffindor, the crowds went silent as we all waited with baited breath as James pulled his arm back for a shot. “Come on, Potter!” I yelled while next to me Blair jumped up and down wildly as he let the quaffle go. Just as we thought the ball would be deflected it soared past the keepers fingers and through the bottom hoop.
“Make that 40 to 10, Gryffindor!” Remus announced through the crowds. McGonagall said something that could just be heard in her ‘be fair’ tone but the smugness that her team was winning was shining through a bit. “Right, sorry Professor.” He said and then went back to the game.
“I’m going to go sit with Remus,” Lyla said as she snuck out of our blanket covering and then pushed through the crowd. I looked over to Blair who shrugged and then grabbed my arm as Sirius dodged a bludger from the other team. As he flew closer to the stands we were in, I leaned over the side some and yelled towards him. “Don’t you dare get yourself hurt, Black! I will not be your nurse.”
I could see his smile as he pulled back and hit the offending black ball towards the Ravenclaw keeper. “Anything for you, love.” He said and then flew back into the action. There were a few sighs from around me as the wind whipped his hair off his gorgeous face and I had to stifle my smile. Yes, I knew I was lucky. Blair giggled from next to me and then pushed ear muffs down over her ears more.
“The glares you’re getting from those third years should be enough to set you on fire, Alex. Mind if I use your hat?” She asked while shoving her mitten hands at me. Pushing my red toboggan further over my curls I rolled my eyes at her.
“For goodness sakes, Blair, you’re a witch. Just transfigure the thing into a hat.” I said with a nudge towards her so she knew I was kidding. I turned back to where the Ravenclaw team where flying towards Caradoc who was watching the quaffle as if it held all of life’s answers. “These match too well,” I heard Blair say as she rubbed at her ear muffs. Not paying much attention, I gripped the edge of the stand sharply as Caradoc looked away for a second too long and the ball soared right past him into the hoop.
“As Dearborn lets something catch his eye, the quaffle lands through the middle hoop and brings Ravenclaw closer to Gryffindor who leads 40 to 20.” Remus’ dejected voice rang out as James flew with lightning speed to where Caradoc was situated.
“Come on, Caradoc!“ I heard my sister’s voice travel through the back current that the microphone caught. “That’s rubbish!” Blair and I fought to contain our laughter but eventually gave up. We laughed for a few minutes with the rest of the stands, just imagining Lyla’s look of horror before we caught sight of James. He was now berating Caradoc and taking his Quidditch Nazi title to a new level. I couldn’t hear what he was saying but the look on his face pretty much summed up what the whole Gryffindor crowd was thinking. What. The. Hell?
However, as Sirius and one of the Prewitt brothers deflected crazed bludgers from their teammates and the chasers continued to pass and steal, the one thing that caught everyone’s attention was two very blurred streaks marring the blue sky. Apparently, whilst Caradoc had been pulling a ‘who gives a shit’ the seekers had been doing their jobs and had caught sight of the snitch.
“Jackson pulls forward over Clark who bumps herself forward by pulling onto the back of Jackson’s broom!” Remus said with a confused tone, not entirely sure if that move was legal. “And Clark, who has apparently committed no foul, pulls forward for Gryffindor. She’s nearly there now,” He said with an anxiousness in his voice and as the crowd roared, a group of girls from the stand screamed.
Blair and I looked over just in time to see a figure be knocked from their broom by a bludger and begin to plummet towards the ground. Just as quickly, another figure trailed behind the fallen person, and they were quickly followed by the rest of the Gryffindor team sans Seeker.
“James!” Blair cried out and we leaned as far as we could over the stands just in time to see the figure, who we could clearly see was James, hit the ground with a thud. I forgot all about the game, watching with baited breath for James to move as some of the team members landed next to him and began to hurry along. It was as if no one seemed to notice and more screams rang out as people began to look for the rest of the Gryffindor team.
“Professor!” Someone yelled from the announcing station as at the same time Remus yelled out, “And Gryffindor Carry Clark has caught the snitch!”
Amulet’s Note: Well, well, well. That was just splendid! Granted it took her long enough, but finally it is complete. All thanks to me really. If I hadn’t been on her case constantly, this may never have been finished. So, you’re welcome. So just to let you know the next chapter may be a little bit different; just to change it up a bit. It’s a surprise but we hope you will like it! Now take your mouse and hit that lovely review button and, well, REVIEW!!!
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