Chapter 10 : The Potters
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“What the hell was he doing walking you back to the common room?” Sirius interrupted Jennifer’s thoughts as she glided in the room in a daze.
“What’s got your wand in a knot?” Jen didn’t bother to hide her aggravation. She had just come back from one of the best nights of her life and her best friend was spoiling it.
“I have a right to know, Jen! What were you doing with him?” By this point Sirius had gotten in Jen’s face hoping to get more details from her. Though he was sure to keep his voice soft; he wanted information but he didn’t want to make her angry enough to hate him forever.
“If you should know, he asked me to the Ball, unlike a certain person I know,” Jen imputed causing Sirius’ head to shoot up at her statement, a look of confusion on his face. “Why didn’t you ask me, Sirius? If you were so bothered about who I went with then why didn’t you ask me before anyone else could? Instead you asked that bimbo. What was her name again?”
“I don’t know.” It was only a whisper but the room had quickly gotten silent so the argument could be heard easier. Jennifer went to reply by was quickly cut off as Sirius saw her open her mouth to speak. “Jen, if I had had any idea that you would have said yes, I wouldn’t have hesitated to ask you. You’re my best friend, why would I want you to miss out on the Ball?” Sirius added the last bit so as not to embarrass himself further by declaring his feelings for her after she returned with Warren after probably a romantic night together.
He realised then that she’d distracted him. She’d always been good at that. “Jen, I never saw you at the Ball and your still in your sweats. Where were you with him?”
“A room above the Great Hall. We danced and he walked me back here.”
“You’re a terrible liar. I wish you would answer me truthfully.”
The clocks stroke twelve. Feeling that something bad would happen if she didn’t escape now, Jennifer made her way to climb up the girls’ dormitory stairs. “What else happened tonight, Jen?”
“We kissed and he asked me to be his girlfriend.” The words escaped Jen’s mouth before she had time to stop. Every pair of eyes in the room seemed to be on her only. “There, happy?”
No. No, Jen I’m not happy. I want you for myself, to be able to take you to the Ball’s and escort you back at the end. But . . . Sirius couldn’t allow himself to finish that train of thought. Seeing how Warren made her feel, he doubted he would ever get what he wanted.
Now that she felt the confrontation had come to an end she thought it was safe to go up to bed before any more could be said. Sirius had already forced her to tell more than she’d wanted and she wasn’t about to allow him to get more out of her.
“Pads, when are you going to tell her you like her?” The Marauders had hidden in the crowd. They weren’t prepared to take sides in an argument like this. Now, though, they felt it was safe to come out.
“Prongsie, what are you on about? You really can chat bull sometimes.”
“I don’t know, Sirius. I think James could be on to something here.” Peter very rarely spoke out in front of James or Sirius. They preferred it when he kept quiet. Sirius reached over the back of the sofa he’d settled on and slapped Peter across the back of the head.
“You sure that’s how you truly feel, Pete?”
“Errr . . . n-no Sirius. Not really . . . sorry.”
“That’s what I thought.” James sent evils at Peter. He was counting on him – no matter how pathetic he could be – to agree with him on this. Not back out at any sign of violence.
Remus noticed James’ expressive. “No, James, I think you’re wrong too-”
“Thank you!” Remus’ statement made a smug smile appear of Sirius’ face, one he was famous for around the corridors of Hogwarts.
“He’s in love with her!”
“Jenny, why haven’t you packed? We’re leaving tomorrow.” James gestured to the busy Gryffindor students shuffling around in preparation for the ride home the day after. “I don’t want to be late, waiting for you to get all your stuff ready.”
“We?” Jen had gotten quite comfortable on the safe in front of the fire, however, all her friends were off packing and she had nothing to do.
“Yes. My parents invited you to stay, remember?”
If Jennifer was being honest with herself, she’d forgotten all about the invite after her parents’ death. Kai was going to stay with Tess and meet her parents, and, even though Jen had been asked by her friend to stay also, she wanted to give them time together. This would be an important step in their relationship. So she’d planned to stay at Hogwarts on her own.
“Sorry, James. I forgot after everything that’s happened the last couple of months. Are you sure your parents want me there?”
“Of course. They can’t wait to meet the mysterious Jennifer Cole.” James smile spread to his eyes at the thought of his sister in so many ways other than blood meeting his mother and father. Spreading his arms out wide, it looked as though her name was written in the air in front.
“Well, only if you’re sure?”
“Seriously?! Just get your butt up there and start packing.”
“Oh James, you’re the best person I’ve ever known. Off I go up the stairs to pack.” Jennifer raced up the stairs on the right, sending Sirius a glare on the way after overhearing Sirius input: “Did someone say my name?” after James’ sentence. He’d been using that joke for as long as she’d known him and he knew as well as she that it was old.
Over twelve hours passed and Jennifer was still packing her belongings. Lily appeared in the doorway seconds after a groan could be heard downstairs. “If I were you, I’d get down to the common room with a packed trunk before Potter wears a line in the carpet. I’ve never seen him this tense before.”
“He can’t be that nervous.”
“Jenny, are you ready up there yet?” James seemed to have got as close to the girls dormitory stairs as possible without them turning into a slide so that he could shout with the knowledge that she could hear him.
“Okay, I’m ready to go.”
“What, don’t you have to say goodbye to your boyfriend first?” A sour tone caught the attention of Jennifer in time for her to spot Sirius sulking out of the portrait hole. She sighed. They were supposed to be best friends; how could Sirius allow a tiny change in her life to effect their relationship.
There wasn’t time to hide her hurt expression before James turned to face her. “He’ll come round soon. He’s just not used to being second best when it comes to you.”
“I’m not sure this will be like the other times, James. I kind of messed this up with him, huh?”
“No, not you. This is his fault.”
Once Remus was ready, two of the Marauders and Jen descended the Grand Staircase to head to Hogsmeade station with the other students returning home for the Christmas holidays. “Looks like Sirius has already left. Come on,” Remus added after searching the bobbing heads of the nearby students for his friend.
“Okay,” agreed Jen nodding her head.
It was a race to the finish as students eager to return home fought for a carriage, though no one was that brave that they would attempt to grab one that The Marauders had their eye on. Even if there was only two of them present. Jennifer didn’t really count as a Marauder. Everyone knew her as the sister of the group who kept them in line and was protected by when things got out of hand, not always from what Jen thought to be a threat – boys were always a sore spot for The Marauders when one got too near their sister. Though Jen noticed that, somehow, Warren seemed to have slipped past them – well, three of them at least.
As everyone boarded the train, Jen subconsciously followed James and Remus on their search for a compartment. They had always sat together on the train – another tradition. But as Sirius came into view in a compartment they were heading towards, it seemed one of their traditions were to be broken.
“Jenny, where are you going? There’s a compartment for us here.”
She had tried to slip away unnoticed so that she didn’t have to voice her excuse to James and Remus and hurt their feelings. Her excuse was only reference to Sirius but it would be impossible not to have an impact on them too. “I only sit with my friends. I’ll see you guys when we get to London, okay?” And without another word, Jennifer turned her back and went to find Warren.
“Hey . . . Jennifer?”
She hadn’t realised she’d been crying until seeing the clear drops sparkling on her hands where they must have fallen from her face. “Just fighting with one of the guys. I don’t really want to talk about it. Can I sit with you please?”
“Of course, come here.” Warren held out his arms for her to settle on his lap as Jen made her way over to him.
“Jen, it’s a pleasure to finally meet you.” Mrs Potter had positioned herself near a corner not too far from the platform entrance, which seemed a perfect place for privacy. Jen noticed straight away the opposing features she owned compared to how her mother looked. With hair tied loosely in a bun, stray hairs fell beside her face, framing the distinctive motherly features. Her eyes were hazel; the exact same colour of James’. However, it seemed that that was the only thing mother and son shared. Jen’s wanders of how much James resembled his dad were revealed as a tall man, with a wide crooked smile and raven black hair sticking up in all directions moved from behind his wife. A strong resemblance then.
“Mom, only Sirius can call her that! We tend to stick to Jenny or Jennifer.” James greeted his dad with a hand shake as he spoke. Jen imagined James looking in a mirror, his father being the reflection, a little bit older and with different colour eyes.
“Oh, sorry dear.”
“It’s okay, Mrs Potter.”
“Please, call me Amanda. And my husband is Harold.” Clear drops alerted Jennifer that she was crying, though the reason why seemed to be unknown to the five surrounding faces. “Awww, hun, what’s the matter?” Harold was first to speak up; everyone else seemed to shocked at the quick change of the atmosphere of the group.
“Both of you are being so kind to me and I only just met you. I just wish I’d had you two as parents growing up. Sorry to ruin the happy mood.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
The group of six left the platform shortly after and left the platform inconspicuously so as not to attract any attention from the muggles and headed to a small Audi in the car park. “The six of us can’t possibly get in that!”
“Please? Call yourself a witch, woman.”
James can be such a girl sometimes, Jennifer thought to herself as she climbed in first resulting in her squashed against the door of the car and Sirius.
It took little over an hour to reach the Potter Mansion. Each person was shown to their individual rooms, which were all positioned next to one another on the third floor. There was one strict rule with this responsibility of being near each other: everyone was to sleep in their own beds; Mrs Potter didn’t want to go wake Jennifer up to find that one of the boys had decided to join her during the night. “That includes you and Pads, Prongs.” Remus thought it necessary to also remind James of the rule resulting in two pillows being thrown at his head.
“Hmph, so much for werewolf reflexes.”
By the time each person had unpacked their belongings, stomachs were rumbling and the boys were thankful that Mrs Potter had just served dinner. The sun set soon after, leaving the mansion in darkness with the exception of the four acre garden, which was lit by lanterns every 100 metres or so.
Sirius had been searching for Jen all over the house for half an hour before spotting her settled by the fountain in the garden through one of the thickset windows which looked out onto the garden. “Hey . . . I’ve been looking for you.”
“Well, you found me. You should be awarded a Blue Peter Badge for your efforts.”
“I don’t know what one of those is but sarcasm doesn’t suit you. I’m sorry about how I’ve acted the past few days. I was pissed off and didn’t want to admit you were right – which you were, all along. I should’ve asked you to the Ball as soon as I knew there was going to be one.”
“So, all this time I’ve wasted hoping you would come around was all a waste. I thought maybe you were brave, smart, and confident enough to act on your feelings. I’ve been giving out chances, little clues to make you see but all you’ve done so far is let me down.
“And you know what? It’s taken me this long but I finally think I’ve gotten you figured out. And you think we’ll be fine again just like after every other one of our fights but your wrong. It won’t be the same this time around. This was your last chance. I’ve hurt too much to go back to how it was before.”
“I’m sorry.” For a moment all that could be heard was the gushing water from the fountain nearby.
“You’re not sorry.” Jen started her long list of sentences at a whisper. But soon her angered boiled and her voice picked up to a louder volume. “Look at you – acting all innocent. I would have forgiven you easily if you hadn’t used that facade on me before.
“I would have loved you easily, Sirius. All my life if you hadn’t left me waiting.”
“Please just listen to me?”
“No. You’re just saying that because it’s worked all the other times. Your eyes, your face, your voice, your smell. It all makes it the harder to say no to you.” The words were flowing easily from her mouth that words slipped out which wouldn’t have if she’d have been taking notice.
“I wish you hadn’t realised how you felt about me. It would be a lot easier – we could at least still be friends. I wish-”
“Sirius, wait!” The words spoken by Sirius were just that to him – words. But they had another meaning to Jen and she didn’t want to forget her feelings for Sirius. But that was something to late to stop now. However, she could and needed to stop before he said anything more and she was forced to make herself forget more memories she wanted to keep no matter how much they make her hurt.
“No, it’s your turn to listen. I wish we hadn’t had this argument over the last two days. That I just got a little jealous but stayed quiet anyway. It makes it all the much harder for me to know that how you feel but I still can’t have you.” His wishes would be granted. Jen knew that the moment the clock strikes midnight she would remember nothing of the things said between them over the past 24 hours. No recognition of her feelings for Sirius. So what would it matter what she did now?
Jen’s lips were on Sirius’ then. He knew he would have to deal with the consequences later but until then he was free to kiss her back. Her fingers moved greedily to his face as Sirius pressed his body against every line of hers. But still it wasn’t enough. Both wanted – needed – to be closer. Sirius’ hand memorised every curve in her body, and, in the brief moments when their lips were free, the chiming of the clocks alerted Jen of one thing: When she woke at morning, none of the events would even be given a first thought never mind a second, for there would be no thoughts there to think of.
“And I wish you wouldn’t remember that either.” His gasping was slowing but, still, it made it harder to get his sentence out. No matter how it was said, it was enough to give Jen another wish to grant. If only Sirius knew the consequences his actions would bring.
[A/N] So I know there hasn’t been an update for three weeks because of being on holiday so here is my longest update yet to make up for it. I wrote this on holiday so that as soon as I was back I could post this for everyone who was been waiting a long time. Hopefully you like it. I added wishes at the end because I know how much some of you like that part of this story.
Still looking for a beta if anyone’s interested. I normally don’t like asking people to review because it’s your choice, but if you do have time to spare please review and tell me your opinions.
Amazing chapter image by SiriuslyInspired @ TDA! :)
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