Chapter 9 : Crossing Borders
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I returned to the dorm late after the party wondering where Sirius had disappeared off to. I was slightly hung over from all the Firewhiskey and cherry I had had. Jason walked me all the way to Gryffindor tower.
He was sweet and very thoughtful and it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
In my partial alcohol induced state I hugged him tightly before disappearing into the portrait hole grinning from ear to ear.
The fire was dim and the common room was deserted. Sirius had probably found a new snogging partner and had taken her to a more private parlour in the hopes of getting to third base.
I felt the familiar irrational anger boil within me again at the thought, but I pushed it out of my mind.
What the hell do I care what girl Sirius was sending to heaven at this moment. My thoughts were instantly calm and a smile resumed its place on my face the moment I thought of Jason.
I pulled off my shoes and climbed the stairs to my dorm, showered fast and dressed for bed. Everyone was asleep and so I climbed into my warm bed and pulled the hangings hoping the dreams that came my way will bring me more happy thoughts.
The next morning I had woke up with bad headache and immediately made a mental note to not drink so much at parties. My eyes were puffy and I squinted against the light. I wanted nothing more than to slump back into my pillows for another few hours, and would have probably done so in a world where Lily did not exist!
“Wake up Cappie! You’re going to be late!” she yelled.
“Lily it’s Care of Magical Creatures! Who cares if she misses it? It’s not like Kettleburn remembers to take attendance”
I should tell Nora I loved being her best friend more, another mental node.
My eyes were already closed. I could hear Lily huff and her footsteps walk down the steps.
“Capp? I got ice!” Kate had walked into the room.
“Thank you! But please honey can you whisper?” I said reaching blindly for the ice.
The dorm was much quieter after the girls left for breakfast. I slept for what felt like a very long time. When I finally woke up again I kept my eyes closed and stretched onto my back and my elbow rubbed against something... another elbow!?
My eyes snapped open looking up at the person sitting beside me on my bed. He sat with his back against the headboard, one leg stretched out on my bed reading a book propped up on his other knee and an apple in hand.
“Morning” he whispered.
“Hey” I smiled at him. I couldn’t even remember why I was irritated last night, the feeling had vanished. Sirius reached across and brushed my hair off my forehead with the edge of his hand holding the apple. My eyes closed at his touch. As hard as I tried to get over him, he was always there pulling me back into the vortex.
“Want a bite?” he continued to whisper.
From the forbidden fruit? I wish.
I shook my head. I needed to use the bathroom for an extensive time before I could be presentable enough for breakfast.
“How much did you drink last night?” his brow was furrowed. It was more of an accusation than a question. I remember vaguely feeling pleased and strangely annoyed at his concern.
“Some... can’t really recall much after the fourth bottle” I grimaced as I slid out of the bed. My head was still spinning a little. I picked up my bag of toiletries and headed to the bathroom ignoring his grunt.
When I got back after the shower Sirius was gone. My bed was made and I smiled to myself at the sight of it. I didn’t know that Sirius even knew how to make a bed. I frowned, why was he nice when I wasn't around!?
Despite the fact, he had done a good job. It was even more presentable than Emma’s!
On top of the covers was a small glass vial with a cork stopper next to a note that read:
Drink this in one go. It’ll help with the hangover.
I picked up the small vial and shook it a little. The thick purple liquid inside flowed gently, forming large bubbles. I opened the stopper and smelled it, it smelled of cranberries and bubble bath. After swallowing it in one go I admittedly felt much better.
I hoped to thank Sirius for his genius invention later during our next class so I dressed quickly and gathered my books and headed off to class.
Through the rest of the week I observed that Sirius was very quiet. He usually sat with me during Charms but lately Sirius wedged James or Remus between us or sat with Peter behind me. Whenever we did sit together he smiled and said a few words but then pretended to listen attentively so I had no chance of questioning him about his odd behaviour.
When I confessed to Nora about Sirius' odd behaviour she agreed pointing out that in Herbology he had moved to join Mary-Ann at her Puffapod plant once Nora and I had joined him and James.
I had just met Jason on my way to Herbology so it had slipped past unnoticed!
"So he's avoiding me?"
"Don't be so dramatic Capp!" Nora said pushing her dark brown hair back and looking up from her novel, "Maybe he just needs time to figure some things out"
I huffed wondering what was going on. I was usually the person Sirius confided in when something was confusing in his life, what could possibly be so messed up that he wanted to avoid talking to me?
I tried to sit beside him at lunch and talk to him but as I entered the hall Sirius got up to leave. I was considering abandoning lunch and going after my best friend when Nora pulled me back.
“If he doesn’t want to talk about whatever is going on with him I don’t think you should press it. He always comes to you when he needs to, he’ll tell you when he’s ready”
I sighed. She was right, as always.
Meanwhile I was making slow but sure progress with Jason. I kind of liked the fact that it was going slow. We certainly were flirting back and forth, but I wasn’t quite sure if we were at the same point with our feelings.
Jason put any dream prince to shame with his gorgeous green eyes and characteristic debonair smile. It was a miracle he wasn't already taken. Then again with my not-so-subtle so called best friend prancing about the castle, maybe it wasn't such a mystery after all.
I often ran into Jason in the hallways or at lunch in the Great Hall. I was especially happy when his friends had accepted me warmly to their group. They were all smart and yet humble people.
The more time I spent with Jason the less time my heart was pinning over my best friend. It was less painful to think of Sirius as all he’ll ever be, my best friend.
Jason began to fill the void in my heart that Sirius had left hollow.
He and I saw each other here and there around the castle and we did we spent time together so I was getting to know him more personally.
We had crossed the lines from strangers to friends in less than a few days’ company with each other. Now we teetered on the border of friendship daring to push it further.
The girls definitely thought I’d pegged a worthy candidate this time.
Lily and Kate were swayed by his academic achievements while Emma and Nora agreed with me that Jason was a perfect all-rounder. He had it all. He was undeniably attractive and one of the scholars of the school. He had gotten ten Outstandings in his OWLs, he wrote articles to the Daily Prophet and Transfiguration Today. He was also a Prefect. Unofficially he was next in line to be Head Boy.
The best part was that he wouldn’t let on about any of the above. He was quite modest and as cliché as that may sound for a “prince charming”, since I had failed to see that attribute in any of my previous boyfriends it played a vital role in attracting me more.
The truth was that the more time I spent with Jason the more I liked him. Maybe life makes unpredictable choices for us.
Maybe just because the Prince of my dreams did not see me in the same light didn’t mean life didn’t have a better offer for me...
All I knew was with Jason, I had a friend and I had a guy who I didn’t have to shut my heart away from.
One Friday evening I was sitting by the edge of the lake. The wind was chilly but silent and calming. I wrapped my arms around my knees looking at the golden colours of the sky. I heard footsteps behind me rustling the dead leaves.
“Skipping again, Waltham?” Jason had a playful smile as he walked over and sat next to me.
I laughed at being caught.
“Please don’t report me! I just can’t stand History with Binns, needed a break”
Jason laughed his eyes alight as usual. “I won’t rat you out” He winked.
“Thanks” I smiled softly at him. We gazed off into the distant still water in silence unsure of what to say.
I wanted him to say something. It seemed I was always the one to break the silence so I waited stubbornly fighting my instincts to divulge something trivial.
“So Capri” Jason started. I smiled to myself and turned to face him with an innocent questioning glance.
“I know we’ve only been hanging out for short while... but”
Oh God! My breath hitched and I stared at him waiting.
“I was wondering...”
“I’m sorry if this is all too sudden so feel free to say no but just, on the off chance you’d say yes...” his nervous smile froze in place. Too adorable it took my breath away, literally “would you maybe like to go out with me?”
What the hell took you so long!?
“Jason, I’d love to go out with you!” I was breathless.
I smiled warmly at him and his nervousness melted away.
“Great!” He sounded relieved, “How about this weekend at Hogsmeade?”
Oh Shoot! “Damn! I wish I could, but I already promised my friend I’d help her out to pick a dress for her cousin’s wedding next week! I don’t think you’d particularly enjoy that or else I would have invited you!”
Jason laughed again his soft chuckle.
“No that’s absolutely fine. It won’t take all day will it? Maybe we can meet up later on the same day...”
I bit my lip not wanting to voice my fears. I hated myself for crushing him as he finally opened up to me.
“What? What is it?” he probed. He could already read my eyes?
“Jason” I sighed and pulled my Gryffindor courage from the corners of my soul. I slipped my hand gently into his and he held it tightly. I smiled as they fit perfectly and then sighed.
“I hate doing this! I really wish I could go. I’m so sorry and believe me you have no idea how much, but I have some essays for Charms and History I need to work on due Monday. I told you I’m terrible at History so I’ll probably take a whole day for that and I have Quidditch practice on Sunday-”
“Capri” he pressed a finger to my lips to silence me.
It had the desired effect and also slightly stopped my heart when I looked up into his green eyes. He held my chin between his thumb and finger.
“It really doesn’t matter to me when we can go out. It only matters that we will”
My bones were turning to mush and my heart had sprouted wings. I blushed deeply.
Jason cleared his throat after staring into my eyes for a long moment.
“If you want some help on your History essay I may be able to help you finish it. I have an Outstanding in OWL History of Magic...”
I smiled and raised my eyebrows impressed.
I know that, but you don’t know I know that.
He closed his eyes evidently regretting the words he spoke. He seemed a little embarrassed.
“Err... Haha that’s really not something I should be telling a girl that I really-”
He caught himself. Everything else left my mind.
I bit back my smile, the familiar blush returning to my cheeks “Please finish that sentence...?”
“-really like” he finished, his crooked smile back in place.
I did the only thing that made sense. I leaned forward gently and reading my eyes he followed my lead. Our lips met for a few infinite seconds, my eyes closed as he responded to the kiss. Our lips pressed gently against each others, my heart raced in euphoria.
When I returned to the common room I was still giddy and breathless. But I was no longer smiling. No longer joyful.
I ran up to the dormitory taking two steps at a time. It was empty the class was not over yet.
I was frustrated, annoyed even mad. Mostly at myself!
I pulled off my school robes, pulled out my shirt and kicked off my shoes. As I proceeded toward my bed I stubbed my toe on Nora’s trunk. The pain fuelled my anger and I kicked it even harder in my temper. The trunk slid across the floor and hit the opposite wall.
I was boiling in anger as I walked toward my bed and slumped onto it.
Why was I so mad at myself? Because I was ungrateful.
Because the moment I kissed Jason, I pictured Sirius’ face.
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