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Chapter 29 : The Passageway
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But really, how was learning about Goblins and Giants learning about the history of magic? Yes the creatures are a part of the magical world, but shouldn’t they also be learning about the founders and the history of witches and wizards?
Hogwarts was overflowing with interesting history; just ask any of the ghosts. Well, except the Bloody Baron. He was a rather gloomy ghost and didn’t really like interacting with the students. Why he was chosen for the House ghost was obvious, or Emily thought so, the Bloody Baron oozed cunning and slyness, and also a pinch of darkness, but why couldn’t the Slytherin ghost be a little more talkative? Emily was sure that if asked politely, the other House ghosts would be more than happy to share a bit of their history.
For Merlin’s sake, even miserable Moaning Myrtle would be happy to share the story of her life with anyone that was remotely interested in hearing about it; not that anyone really was. Myrtle mostly spent most of the time complaining about something or other, trying to get pity from others.
On more than one occasion, Emily had caught the ghost hovering around the Prefect’s bathroom during the boys’ timeslot. Emily hadn’t minded at all telling Myrtle how pathetic and creepy she was being by trying to seek a peek at the boys.
Emily smirked and rested her head on her arm as she stared out the window, suddenly amused. If she recalled correctly she had said something along the lines of: ‘It’s unbecoming of any girl, alive or dead, to act in such vulgar ways, or are you so desperate for the male attention you lacked while alive that you hope they catch you?’.
To say Myrtle was upset and offended was an understatement. Emily knew the ghost now hated her, but she had successfully kept Myrtle away from the private bathroom. Unfortunately for Myrtle, Peeves the Poltergeist had overheard Emily and had followed Myrtle all the way back to the second floor girls’ bathroom, her haunting spot, yelling:
“ ‘Vulgar, desperate Myrtle has no pride and spies on boys while she hides.’ ”
He had then continued to call her vulgar and desperate all the way back. It’s most likely what scared her off from going back to the prefect bathrooms, so it all turned out for the better. Emily didn’t really like Myrtle to begin with, so she felt no guilt that Peeves taunted her over what Emily said. She didn’t really like Peeves either, not after he had dropped a water balloon full of some sticky green goop on her head during her third year.
Why the school even had a poltergeist Emily didn’t know. What benefit was there to having Peeves around? All he did was mess things up and play stupid pranks on everyone. He only added to the mayhem that the Marauders cause, or rather, used to cause.
The four 7th year Gryffindor boys had become relatively calmer for their final year. Not a prank had been given so far in the year, and it was already the end of November. Usually five pranks would be delivered by then. Maybe they had finally matured…
Emily rolled her eyes. Or maybe it’s because James wants to impress Evans by being the ideal Head Boy. The rest of his friends are just following his lead.
Lupin and Pettigrew also didn’t seem to have that big a problem with the lack of pranks. Of course Pettigrew was probably relieved that he didn’t have to be a distraction anymore, and Lupin, always the rule abiding prefect, was just glad overall. However, there was one last member of their little group that was probably a little upset with how things turned out.
But, he seems to have found ways to distract himself quite easily. Emily thought bitterly.
It had been more than three weeks since Sirius had proclaimed that he loved her, and how does he follow it up? By getting as many girlfriends as humanly possible. Not at the same time, mind you, but over this short people of time Sirius had gone through about nine girls.
Well if this is how he proves his love then no wonder so many girls are smitten with him. Emily thought sarcastically.
She didn’t know why it bothered her so much. Maybe it was because he had told her he loved her – even though she didn’t return the feelings – and then immediately started relationships with other girls. Maybe it was the way he flaunted each girl, all of which were very beautiful, and made a show of them to everyone. Coincidentally, Emily always seemed to be in the same vicinity as Sirius and his girlfriends when they were going at it in a major snogfest. Maybe what also annoyed her was that every girl he was with had black hair and blue eyes; the same as Emily.
If she didn’t know better she would think that Sirius was trying to replace Emily with a copy.
Emily frowned and an uncomfortable feeling twisted in her chest.
Why was thinking that Sirius was replacing her with a copy such a disturbing thought?
Was it because a part of her actually believed Sirius when he said he loved her?
Was it because a part of her actually liked-
“What?!” She snapped.
Regulus raised and eyebrow at her and motioned around him. “Class is over.”
Emily blinked and looked around. The classroom was empty except for Regulus and Emily; even Binns was gone. Emily flushed and stood, hastily collecting her things and exiting the classroom with Regulus.
Emily looked up at him sheepishly. “Sorry for snapping at you.”
“It’s alright. Anything interesting you were thinking about?” he asked with a smirk.
“Nope.” Emily lied, ignoring the guilty feeling in the pit of her stomach. “I guess today was just extra boring.”
Regulus laughed. “When is that class ever not boring? It’s about time Dumbledore hired a new history of magic teacher, one who actually teaches something interesting.”
“Hey,” she protested. “The Goblin rebellions are interesting.”
He rolled his eyes. “Right, then I wish he’d get someone who teaches better.”
Emily nodded and they both paused to wait for the stairs to shift back to them. “Well I wish that he’d make it so the stairs don’t shift like this. It’s a hazard to students.”
Regulus smirked and began to climb when they stopped in front of them. “You’re the only one who thinks that because you’re afraid of heights.”
“Not anymore.” Emily said triumphantly as she followed. “I fixed that problem over summer break.”
Regulus looked at her over his shoulder. “And how’d you do that?”
“I jumped off the roof of my house.” She said smugly.
Regulus missed a step and almost tripped if he hadn’t held onto the railing. He gaped at Emily, but she continued past him up the stairs, reaching the landing and continuing to the third floor.
“You what!?” Regulus yelled, rushing after her before the stairs changed without him.
“I jumped off the roof.” Emily repeated simply, not looking back.
“Are you insane!?”
“I don’t know.” She said thoughtfully. “What classifies someone as insane?”
“Well jumping off the roof for one!”
Emily grinned at him. “Then yes, I guess I am insane.”
“Oh sweet Merlin.” Regulus muttered. “My girlfriend is a crazy person.”
Emily laughed and turned to face him when she reached the landing. “I’m just teasing you Regulus, please learn to take a joke.”
Regulus sighed in relief. “So you didn’t jump off the roof.”
“No, I’m not crazy!” She said brightly.
Regulus stared down at her with a deadpanned expression marring his face. Emily smirked and patted his head. “Don’t look at me like that. I’m not a total idiot. I had someone to catch me.”
“Who?” He asked, following her as she walked down the Charms corridor.
“My brother, he was flying on his broom and I told him to catch me.” She lied slightly.
“And you trusted him?” He asked scathingly, falling in step beside her.
Emily shrugged. “I didn’t really have a choice now did I? He either caught me or he didn’t.” She laughed. “Good thing he did!”
“Yeah.” Regulus said dazedly. Suddenly he brightened. “Does this mean you’ll get on a broom?”
He deflated. “What? Why? I thought you weren’t afraid of heights anymore.”
“I am no longer afraid of heights, but that doesn’t mean I will start to tolerate brooms.”
“But he caught you while flying on one!” Regulus protested.
“Yes, he was riding a broom, but that changes nothing. There is a difference between being on a broom driven by someone else and a broom being driven by me. I simply don’t trust myself on one of those flying deathtraps.”
“I will get you on a broom one way or another, mark my words.”
“Consider them marked, but not taken seriously.”
Regulus rolled his eyes. “What if we shared a broom? I’ll be the one driving, and you trust me right?”
Emily smiled and grabbed his hand. “Yes I do, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, okay Regulus?”
Regulus nodded reluctantly. “Fine.” Suddenly a disgusted look over came his features as he looked forward. He stopped, Emily stopping with him and following his gaze. What she saw made her heart sink.
Regulus cleared his throat loudly. “Some of us have to get into that classroom.”
Sirius broke apart from the girl he’d been snogging, who giggled as he pulled away and leaned against the door of the Charms classroom, where Emily and Regulus needed to get into. Sirius smirked at the disgusted look on Regulus’s face and the disgruntled one on Emily’s. He wrapped an arm around his partner’s waist and pulled her against him.
“So sorry.” He didn’t sound sorry at all. Turning to the still giggling girl he grinned. “Come on Melanie, let’s go find somewhere more private.”
Melanie latched onto Sirius’s arm – much like a leech in Emily’s opinion – and smiled. “Sounds good to me.”
The other girl’s voice annoyed Emily almost as much as her looks. Like the girls’ before her that were in her position, Melanie had long black hair and blue eyes. He figure was tall and lean, and she was pretty. But her voice was so high that it hurt to hear. However, Sirius didn’t seem fazed by it at all. He just smiled at Melanie and led her down the hall, past the two Slytherin sixth years.
Sirius didn’t even glance at Emily as he passed, but Emily caught the undertone of a whisper.
Emily’s eyes widened and she sucked in a breath. She was quick to narrow her eyes and threw a glare over her shoulder at the back of Sirius’s head.
That’s why?! That’s the reason for his actions!? He’s using girls’ that have similar features so that he can make me jealous?! Bastard!
“Emily?” Regulus asked quietly, watching Emily closely. “Something wrong?”
Emily shook her head. “No, I’m just utterly disgusted…right in the hallway! Doesn’t anyone have any self-respect anymore?”
“When it comes to him?” Regulus said bitterly. “No.”
Emily’s anger faded at his tone and grabbed his hand, leading him into the Charms classroom. “Forget him. He’s not important.”
Regulus brightened somewhat and he smiled. “Right.”
They took their seats in the back together. The rest of the class had already arrived before Emily and Regulus because of Emily’s slowness during History of Magic, and unpacked their things.
“So, there’s a Hogmeade weekend tomorrow, I thought maybe we could-”
“You know I can’t.” Regulus cut her off in a whisper. “I told you that I’m busy.”
Emily blinked, but then realization slowly dawned on her. Saturday Regulus had his first Death Eater meeting with the Dark Lord. Bellatrix had owled him beforehand a few days ago to tell him. Emily had forgotten.
“Oh, right.” She said softly. “I’ll just go with Narcissa then.”
She caught Regulus’s worried face and patted his arm. “Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
Regulus nodded. “I know, and I’m excited to be going. It’s such an honor that I could even join so early, but…”
“But how am I supposed to get to the meetings that aren’t on Hogemeade weekends? I’m sure Dumbledore would notice me trying to leave the front gate or try and fly out of school, and I can’t floo out, only the professors’ fireplaces are connected to the Floo Network, but I have to go or there will be…consequences.” He turned slightly pale at the thought of the Dark Lord finding out that Regulus skipped a meeting.
“He even told me that he wouldn’t be lenient because I was still in school.” He turned to Emily. “What am I supposed to do?” He asked desperately.
Emily bit her lip and grabbed his hand, giving it a comforting squeeze. “I’ll help you find a way, but for now just worry about tomorrow, okay? Can’t have you anxious when you go tomorrow, right?”
Regulus squeezed her hand back and smiled. “Right, and I hope while I’m gone you have a good time at Hogsmeade.
Emily nodded. “I’m sure I will.”
Emily ran as fast as she possibly could, her robes billowing out behind her, and her heartbeat thumping so loudly it was all she could hear. She stumbled, but caught herself quickly, knowing that she had no time to be able to fall and pick herself up. She made it to the entrance hall, her hands grasping the handles of the entrance doors desperately as she pulled them open. She ran outside into the cool winter air at a rapid pace, heading down the lane.
When she reached her destination she cursed loudly, finding it completely deserted. The carriages to Hogsmeade had already left.
Emily sighed and sorrowfully made her way back to the castle, pulling her cloak tighter around her as a harsh wind surrounded her. There was no way she going to walk to Hogsmeade, so that meant she was stuck in the castle. She was probably the only student above third year that was still in the castle. Deciding that there was nothing better to do, Emily made her way to the library.
She was just exiting the third floor corridor when someone else was about to enter. Both stopped as the other stood in front of them. Emily scowled while Sirius smirked.
“Fancy meeting you here.” Sirius said in delighted surprise.
“Fancy seeing you without one of your whores.” She answered with a sneer.
Sirius smirked. “Jealousy is an awful trait for a girl to have.”
Emily laughed harshly. “Jealous? Of one of those little tarts? Never, especially when they have to spend so much time with you.”
Sirius ignored the spite in her tone and changed the subject. “So, not going to the village?”
Emily crossed her arms. “No, I actually decided to stay in so I could study a bit.”
Sirius eyed the cloak and scarf she still had on and raised a skeptical brow. “Really? Then why do you look like you’re ready for a nice stroll around Hogsmeade?”
“I was cold.” She said defensively. “And the library gets chilly in winter.”
Sirius shrugged and continued down the third floor corridor. “Suit yourself, I guess I’ll just have to have enough fun in the village for both of us.”
“The carriages are already gone, and it’s too cold to walk!” She called after him.
“Not the way I’m going.” He called back mischievously.
Against her better judgment Emily let her curiosity get the best of her and she followed Sirius, running slightly to catch up. “How are you getting there?”
“Interested in accompanying me?”
“With you? No, but getting there, yes.”
“I thought you didn’t want to go.” He teased.
“That was when I thought there wasn’t a way to get there, but if you have one…” She trailed off.
Sirius stopped in front of a statue of a humpbacked, one-eyed witch and crossed his arms. “What makes you think that I’ll let you come with me for free?”
Emily narrowed her eyes. “What do you want?”
“Oh nothing much,” he said with a grin. “Just a simple kiss.”
Emily rolled her eyes and leaned up to place a quick kiss on his cheek. She stepped back and smirked. “There, a simple kiss, now…” She motioned to continue walking.
Sirius sighed in disappointment. “Fine, I guess I should have elaborated more.” He drew his wand and Emily tensed, but he ignored her and tapped the one-eyed witch’s hump.
Much to Emily’s surprise the hump slid open. Sirius motioned to it with a frivolous wave of his hand. “Ladies first.”
Emily peered into the hole skeptically. “You can’t seriously think I’m going to go in there.”
“My dear, everything I do, I do Siriusly.”
Emily rolled her eyes. “So this goes straight to Hogsmeade?”
Sirius nodded. “Leads straight to the cellar underneath Honeydukes. We just slip out and we’re in Hogsmeade.”
Emily hesitated. “And you’re sure it’s safe?”
“Been in it a million times, I’m sure. Now up you go.” He caught her by surprise when he lifted her up and dropped her in headfirst. Emily screamed as she slid down a long stone slide and landed roughly at the end. She turned over onto her back and took a deep breath, trying to still her racing heart. She began to get up as it slowed down, but fell again as Sirius came sliding down the slide.
They became tangled in an uncomfortable position and Emily pushed him away, dusting herself off. “Couldn’t you have waited a moment?” She scolded in his general direction. It was so dark she could hardly see him.
“Well, if you were a little quicker getting up and out of the way then maybe I wouldn’t have hit you.”
“Oh, so it’s my fault?!” She asked, standing up angrily. “OUCH!”
“Oh, yeah, the ceiling’s low.” Sirius said. She could almost picture the amused smirk that she was sure he was now wearing.
“Couldn’t you have said something earlier?” She hissed, tears of pain lining her eyes, now hunched over.
“Well if you weren’t too busy yelling at me for something else…”
“You…ugh!” She drew her wand, sick of the darkness. “Lumos!” The light blinded her for a moment, but she soon adjusted and looked around curiously. The earthly passageway was very narrow, she could hold out her arms and touch both walls, and also low, as she had the misfortune to find out for herself.
“Alright, let’s go.” Sirius announced, lighting up his own wand.
As Sirius lead the way down the passageway time passed slowly and Emily’s mind began to wonder. She wondered how long the passageway had been there and how many people knew about it. Not many, it would seem, or Dumbledore would have done something about it. Realization hit her. Maybe Dumbledore didn’t know about it.
“Sirius?” Emily said after a long while of silence. “Do you use this passageway all the time; even if there isn’t a Hogsmeade weekend. Is it open like this everyday?”
“Yeah, why?” He looked over his shoulder with a smirk. “Thinking of sneaking out?”
“No.” She scoffed. “As a prefect I would never break rules as such. You’re lucky I’m not going to turn you in for this. I just wanted to know.”
Sirius turned away. “Right.”
Silence overtook them again and they began to climb stairs. Emily had lost count of all the stairs and went back to wondering. Regulus said that he needed a way to get out of the school without Dumbledore finding out and if this passageway was always open…
“Umph!” Emily hadn’t realized Sirius had stopped until too late. She tried to back away, but her foot slipped on a step. She grabbed Sirius’s arm quickly, steadying herself. “Why’d you stop?”
“We’re here.” He raised the light higher and Emily saw a trap door. “It leads to the cellar of Honeydukes, which we just have to sneak out of into Honeydukes, and then into Hogsmeade.”
Emily smiled, reaching for the trapdoor. “Great, let’s go.”
Sirius wrapped an arm around her waist and held her in place. “Whoa, not so fast. You still have to pay me back for this.”
“But I already gave you a kiss.” She protested, trying to pull away.
“That was the entrance fee, but now there’s an exit fee.” He said slyly, leaning closer.
“Another kiss?” Emily shrugged and grabbed his chin, trying to turn his head to kiss his cheek again.
Sirius grabbed her wrist and turned his head back to face her. “No, this time you’re not kissing me. I get to kiss you.”
Emily pursed her lips. “Fine, seeing as you won’t let me out otherwise. Nox!” The light of her wand went out and she pocketed it. “But if it has to happen I want it to be dark so that I don’t have to look at you.”
“What if I want to look at you?”
“My lips, my rules.”
“But it’s my passageway.”
She gave him a look. Sirius sighed and put out his light. They were suddenly surrounded by darkness and silence. Emily’s other senses suddenly enhanced slightly and she could suddenly feel Sirius’s every movement. Like the arm around her waist that was tracing the curve of her hip, or when his other hand gently slid over her shoulder and up her collarbone and neck until it rain through her hair, cupping the back of her neck. Emily’s heart raced suddenly when she felt his breath on her lips and his scent entered her airway when she took a sudden calming breath.
Maybe I should have kept the light on. She thought before his lips found hers in the dark.
She didn’t want to react, but as he gently traced her mouth with his own, taking the time to kiss her fully, her knees became weak and she grabbed the front of his coat for support. Sirius smirked against her lips and pulled her closer, tilting her head up to get better access.
Emily’s senses came alive and she gave in to what a part of her was screaming for her to do. The gentleness of the kiss was what got Emily so wrapped up in it. She expected Sirius’s kiss to be rough and demanding, but it was gentle and slow and made Emily’s toes curl and her heart to skip. It was so different than how Regulus would kiss her.
Emily’s eyes shot open and she broke away, stumbling slightly and catching the wall to regain her balance. She panted and placed a hand over her heart, its beat too quick and uneven it made her disoriented, as well as the close proximity she had with the cause of her discomfort.
“Emily?” Sirius asked, sounding confused. “Something wrong?”
“Yes something’s wrong!” She yelled, wiping her mouth. “I have a boyfriend!”
“S’okay.” He said. “I have a girlfriend.”
Emily grew angry. “You did this when you're still with someone else?”
“Yes, but she’s not important. I only want you!” He protested.
“Well you sure have a funny way of showing it!”
“And you’re so innocent here aren’t you?” He asked sarcastically. “You knew you had a boyfriend when you kissed me back, but you still did it. Why?”
“I didn't! You tricked me and I just got…a little caught up. Besides, you shouldn’t have done this knowing you have a girlfriend and that I have a boyfriend. And after the weeks of showing off all your girlfriends.”
“They meant nothing to me.” Sirius said quickly. “I only went out with them because-”
“Because they looked like me?” She interrupted. “And because you wanted to make me jealous? Well you should stop hurting those girls just to get to me, ’cause it won’t work, I don’t care what you do.”
“You kissed me back Emily.” Sirius reminded. “You feel something for me.”
“I’m with Regulus. Nothing is going to change that.”
“Why? Why are you with him? You know how I feel and I know you believe it, so why not be with me?”
“Because…he needs me.”
“But I need you too.”
“You don’t need me Sirius.” She said bitterly. “When you can replace me so easily with girls who share my traits then you neither need me nor love me.” She pushed the trapdoor open and climbed out. “Goodbye Sirius.”
She left him behind then, heading into Hogsmeade and trying to forget about what just happened, only the information of the passageway to remain.
Regulus entered Hogsmeade, tired and relieved. The meeting had gone smoothly, as well as the transportation there and back. He had left the school that morning and went to Hogsmeade, but had met his cousin Bellatrix outside of the village and they apparated, Bellatrix using Side-Along Apparition to the headquarters, and then back after it was finished.
His first meeting was a lot to take in and it stressed him to the point of exhaustion. Now he was safely back in Hogsmeade. He nodded to Bellatrix as a goodbye.
She nodded back. “I’ll meet you here for the next meeting.”
“I know.” Regulus said hoarsely, worry over how he would do that bubbling up.
Bellatrix smirked and apparated out.
Regulus sighed and made his trek through the village, his hands in his pockets and his shoulders tense.
Regulus looked up and smiled as Emily made her way over to him. She also seemed tense for some reason, but he waved it off and drew her into his arms when she was close enough.
“How did it go?” She asked in a whisper.
“Not here.” He said just as quietly. “I’ll tell you about it when we get back to the common room.”
Emily brightened mischievously and grabbed his hand. “No, wait, first I have to show you something.”
“What is it?”
“A way to get out of the castle without anyone knowing.”
Regulus’s eyes widened. “Really, how?”
Emily just smiled and lead him into Honeydukes.
“Candy. How will candy help?”
“It’s not the candy, or the store, it’s what’s under it.”
His confusion made her laugh and she motioned for him to be quiet as she lead him into the cellar. It took her a moment to find the trapdoor, as it blended to well with the floor, but when she found it she led him in and lit her wand as she closed the door after them.
“What is this?” He asked, looking around curiously.
“A passageway from Hogwarts to here.” Emily said, hoping that the guilt that was overtaking her heart would go away, but when she saw Regulus’s happy face it just made her heart twist more painfully.
“How’d you find it?” He asked curiously as she led him through.
“I…I overheard someone talking about it.” She lied.
“Are you sure Dumbledore doesn’t know?” He asked worriedly.
She nodded. “Yeah, only a few people know.”
They reached the end and climbed out. Regulus stared in wonder as the hump closed and looked around the corridor. “I’ve passed this statue almost every day, but never knew… I would never have guessed.” He turned to Emily and pulled her to him, hugging her tightly. “Thank you Emily, this helps me more than you could ever know.”
Emily wanted to cry. “I’m glad I could help you Regulus.”
Regulus grabbed her chin and kissed her possessively, knowing that everything that she was doing she was doing for him.
Emily kissed him back, the guilt still seeping through her. She knew that she cared for Regulus, and that he would do anything for her, but another part of her... was comparing his kiss to that of his brother.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him desperately.
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