“I can’t believe your friend did that,” Sirius hissed to Faye a bit later, after he had cornered her just outside the Charms classroom.
Faye tried her hardest not to smirk, but did not succeed. At Sirius’s scowl, she finally admitted, “Well, Siri, can’t you get past your ego? Meg’s not like everyone else. If she doesn’t fancy you…” Of course, Megara did fancy him, but Sirius didn’t know that.
“She’d be the first not to,” said Sirius thoughtfully.
Faye groaned. “You are not going to pursue her.”
“Who, me?” Sirius gave her a devilish grin that had her lips twitching in a smile. He put his arm round her shoulders and kissed the top of her head.
“I mean it,” she warned, wriggling out of his grasp. “If you mess with her, Sirius Black, you’ll die.”
“Oh, how frightening,” he said.
“Will you be so unconcerned when you’ve got five angry witches against you?”
He made theatrical choking movements, grinning as he did so. “I’ll see you around, Fabala.”
* * *
Whistling airily, Sirius swaggered through the corridors, his hands in his pockets, his eyes rapidly scanning the crowds of students for a familiar mass of blue-black hair. He finally spotted the person he was looking for, and immediately reached up to smooth down his hair.
Megara was leaning against the wall, her nose buried in a book as usual. She was a rather bookish type, he thought, something that would have normally bothered him, but the librarian look suited her. Her school clothes were not like Edie Crouch’s (he had gone with Edie last year for a month or so before breaking up): they seemed to conceal her undeniably shapely figure, hiding what Edie preferred to flaunt. The skirt was longer than average, and looser; and he would have thought the button-down was a boy’s shirt, had he not known that Megara did not date. But from what he could see, she had very nice legs, slender and delicate hands, and as she tucked her hair behind her ears, he noticed that her neck was long and perfectly swanlike.
As though she sensed that he was watching her, Megara glanced up quickly, and they locked eyes. He could have sworn that she blushed. That was all the encouragement he needed; he walked towards her.
“Reading anything good?” he said affably. “You’re always reading. What’s so great about books?”
She smiled a little, that same hesitant smile she’d given him the night before. “I like to learn,” she said.
God, she was so to-the-point.
It intrigued him.
“What do you like to learn about?” he said, realising at the last minute, as the words escaped his mouth, that the question could have been considered sexual. Oops.
“History,” she replied. “Why this and this happened, and other things did not. ’Tis…fascinating to me,” she said, almost apologetically.
He tilted her book toward her face so he could read the title. “Muggle history?” he said, looking at her with raised eyebrows.
“I have Muggle relatives who survived that period, and some who did not,” said Megara defiantly.
“I thought you were a Scot,” said Sirius.
“My family is from everywhere; my mother’s branch happened to settle in Scotland.”
“And your dad’s family?”
“They are Polish,” she answered, “and Muggle.” Her tone was a bit contrite, with an undercurrent of sharpness.
“It—doesn’t bother me, you know. That you’re half-blood. I don’t agree with my family.”
“So Faye says,” said Megara. “Even to the point of being disowned…so much you did not agree with?”
“Faye’s got it rougher than I do. Boys can do whatever they damn well please, but girls…they can’t.”
“Like the Middle Ages,” said Megara.
“Yeah. Like that. We were founded then, and a lot hasn’t changed over the years. I got away when I could, I’d had enough of their bull.”
“My mother died when I was eleven; I’ve lived with my aunt for four years so far. It’s a home, at least,” said Megara wistfully.
“You miss her, don’t you?”
She nodded. “Still quite dreadfully.”
The bell rang, and she jolted. “Oh! I’m—late—” Her sudden movement jostled her armful of parchment and books, and they tumbled to the stone floor. She swore, turned bright red.
He grinned. “You’ve not heard my mouth, have you, Miss Megara? It’s far worse than yours.” He knelt and helped her pick her things up. “Why do you have to carry so many damn books?”
Megara blushed even more. “I…it strengthens my arms.”
Sirius stared for a second, and then burst into laughter. As she turned to enter her classroom, he said, “Hey—” realizing that he didn’t want her to leave just yet.
“I deserved to have that water poured on me,” he said, serious now.
She gave him a third gentle, but this time a tad arrogant, smile.
“You did," she said, and laughed softly.
* * *
Her head was spinning. Not only had Sirius sought her out, he had talked to her, and joked around with her, and understood her.