Chapter 10 : Closure
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This one is pretty long since we've got BOTH Capri's and Sirius' POVs here, so please bear with me!
As always please read, rate, review! xx
For the next two weeks I debated with myself if I should tell Sirius about my feelings for him. Even with a wonderful person like Jason interested in me I was clearly not over my secret love for my best friend.
So I was now on the verge where I had to make a choice but I knew I could not bring myself to tell Sirius simply because I didn’t want to face the choice he’d make.
Either of the paths however would mean a drastic change for both of us. If he returned my feelings, (as hard as it would have been to breathe after that hope was shattered I allowed myself to dream) then we could no longer pretend and we’d both have to change if we were to ever work as a couple.
My heart throbbed with guilt every time I thought of that, knowing how terribly and cruelly it would hurt Jason. He would be so crushed he’d never wish to see my face again.
But that was also the only silver lining to knowing that what I dreamed with Sirius was one that could never come true.
Soon Nora and Lily began to notice my preoccupied stare during classes and at long last during an Arithmancy class while they sat on either side of me I confided in them about the ongoing battle with myself and sought their advice on whether I should confess.
Nora immediately urged me on saying that I’ve never had inkling as to what Sirius was really thinking and this was my chance to find out. Lily on my other side vehemently disagreed and said I should never consider such a thing that would surely hurt Jason if he found out. The rest of the class had then turned into a whispered argument between the two of them while I sat caught in the middle. The experience was much like having the angel and devil versions of my conscience sitting on my shoulders.
“She can’t just forget about this! What if she goes out with Jason and still can’t get over Sirius and finally break things off!? Wouldn't that be worse?” Nora argued.
“She wouldn’t!” Lily turned her fiery head and probing eyes to me. I widened mine innocently shrinking under her shrewd gaze.
“Lily," Nora said quietly but firmly, "What she needs right now is a direct answer, not guess games. If Sirius does like her back then Jason was never meant to be. If he doesn’t she’ll finally have closure and she won’t have to look back... ever again”
Nora said the last words to me.
Lily’s agreement was by falling silent.
I stared unseeing into the distance. So this is it...
I paced rapidly in front of my bed in our dormitory wondering how best to word my humiliating question. My voice would definitely flee therefore I had to keep it short. Lily and Nora advised me to be straightforward and honest.
I still couldn’t picture myself saying the words to him.
“Keep it to the point” Lily said not looking up from her book.
"Big help! thanks!" I replied with a tinge of sarcasm still pacing. She ignored me.
Nora nodded sitting cross legged on her bed as usual.
“It's true, the more you stall the harder it will be, so just say it and get it over with Cappie”
“Yesh ish like rippin off a bandjage” Lily said as she chewed on a chunk of chocolate.
The boys had skived off evening class and had not been seen since. I finally sat on my bed while Nora headed to the library for tutoring and Lily went to meet Professor Slughorn on his request leaving me alone with my thoughts.
Before I could resume my nervous routine Emma came up the stairs. She was in a good mood and hummed as she headed off to her bed by the window.
“Wotcher Capp!" she said in her light hearted voice.
She kicked off her shoes and rolled onto the bed. She was still humming, her eyes closed and her wavy golden hair spread out around her on the bedspread like a halo. It was effortless for Emma to be pretty.
Although she had many boyfriends and escorts of all sorts I highly doubted she’d have had to deal with a scenario like mine.
In my desperation for a strategy that did not include social suicide I approached her.
“I was wondering...” I sighed “Have you ever had to tell a good friend of yours that you’re in love with him?” I let it out in one breath.
Her eyes snapped open and she sat up swinging her legs off the bed.
“You’re going to tell Sirius?” she looked ecstatic.
I blushed at the very thought and she took that for confirmation.
“Oh wow! Cappie this is wonderful!” Emma leaped off the bed and hugged me. I smiled with half the enthusiasm she had.
“Any advice?” I looked at her beaming face.
“On how to say this without embarrassing both ourselves?”
When Emma looked confused I explained that I wasn’t sure he felt the same way and if he didn’t that I feared this would be a friendship we’d both feel too forced to continue.
“That’s easy! I.P.O.P!"
"In Pretence of Prank! Comeon Cappie, it's been used for generations! Say it in the most serious voice you can muster and wait for his reaction. If he goes over the moon with joy then you’re safe!” she smiled more hopefully than I did.
“-if not, then pretend it was all a prank and walk away fast laughing. You must get away before he can read you closely though, cos you guys have that 'finishing each others sentence' kind of closeness”
I nodded. It was definitely not the best plan but it was better than my stammer. Either way it was the best plan I had so far.
Every minute I waited my determination dropped.
So with my heart pummelling against my chest, blood pounding in my ears and stomach full of butterflies, I balled my fists, took one look at the mirror and headed fast out of the common room in search of Sirius Black.
The classes were over and the sun was beginning to set casting its golden glow through the high windows onto the corridors I walked. Searching for Sirius Black in a castle as big as Hogwarts may sound like a tiresome feat but Sirius Black hardly went unnoticed. There was bound to be someone who saw him at some corner with his three best friends.
Yet even though I asked anyone I knew that I met in the hallways no one ( not human nor ghost) had seen Sirius since lunch. I went over everything I was to say to him in my head.
Starting with “Sirius, there’s something I need to tell you...”
The butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I thought of his name. After reciting the words I was planning to tell him a hundred times to myself the butterflies had become familiar and trivial but they never disappeared.
I had meant to take the flight of stairs to the left of the 6th floor corridor going back down to 5th floor but halfway through, my plans were changed for me. The staircase wobbled and I gripped the stone banisters for support and with a crunching sound the marble staircase disconnected itself from the 5th floor and slowly rose to reach the entrance to a passageway that I rarely used.
I followed through the passageway and ended up on the 7th floor corridor in front of Flitwick’s office. The door was ajar and saw a glimpse of his white hair busy at work behind a sizable pile of parchment documents on his desk. I smiled as I passed his office. Flitwick was probably the most loved teacher of Hogwarts!
I heard a door open slowly around the corner and I walked toward the sound. Turning the corner I smiled to myself.
Clearly he was up to no good. Sirius sneaked out through the door checking the coast is clear. I slunk into the shadows of the pillar in front of me as he turned.
Once he was fully out of the door I suppressed a laugh and yelled.
“THERE YOU ARE!”
He jumped a foot into the air making me laugh. In his shock he closed the door quickly behind him flattening himself against it while looking up and down the corridor for the source of the words he'd heard. The nervousness and the humiliation of my impending doom vanished altogether and I stepped out of the shadows still laughing.
He clutched his chest and sighed in relief as he saw me.
“CAPPIE! HEY! HI CAPPIE!” All train of thought gone I wondered why he was screaming at the top of his lungs.
“Why are you yelling?” I asked bewildered walking toward him.
“Nothing, I had a bit of a sticky throat” he coughed and cleared his throat. “Crazy girl! What are you trying to do to my heart?” He said massaging his chest.
I grinned devilishly.
“ Seriously Capp what are you doing here?” his tone was light and joking but behind that his question was serious.
“Err....” No stalling, just say it.
“Well... I have something important I have to tell you” now my voice was serious and his eyebrows pulled together in confusion. I swallowed to clear my throat.
“Sirius... I have a pretty good idea what your answer to this question is going to be but just please listen and let me finish, ok?” The words tumbled out of my mouth as if in a hurry to get out.
Sirius looked more and more confused with every passing second but finally he spoke,
“Ok... Alright. Why don’t we go to the common room and talk about it”
I shook my head.
“No! I have to get this over and done with now before I lose my nerve! I swear it's eating me up alive!”
He seemed shocked at my reaction and even more concerned now. “Ok! What is it? Are you alright? Did something happen?”
His hand rested on my shoulder while the other rubbed the beading sweat off his forehead. I hadn’t noticed it till then...
His hand on my shoulder was very warm, as if he had just run a marathon. I also noticed that he was breathing fast too.
“Why are you all sweaty?” I asked him.
“What?... I’m not!” His hand left my shoulder and his fingertips traced across his forehead and removed the evidence to the contrary.
My heart was beating fast again. I was aware of its familiar throbbing beat against my chest. My eyes travelled over his shoulder to look at the door he stood in front of.
It was an old door. The grey paint was peeling off, much like the doors of the broom closets in the second floor.
I tried to smile softly and lighten my tone.
“What were you doing in there?”
Sirius smiled back, it was casual and evasive, “Nothing, what were you saying?”
His smile froze in place as he looked at me but one look into his eyes and I knew he was lying.
Something loud crashed behind the door and the sound echoed in the silence between us confirming my fears.
The fluttering wings in my stomach died instantly.
“Is ‘nothing’... still in there?” I clenched my jaw to stop it from quivering.
Sirius’s eyes stayed on mine. Soft, refusing to lie to me while they searched my own. He smiled again hoping to deceive me somehow but when it was obvious it wasn’t working he shrugged and grinned.
“It’s a broom closet Capp, what did you think I was doing?” Sirius sighed.
My heart throbbed a beat, faltered and stopped.
Again my joy of being his friend, my hope of being more came crashing to the ground.
Again someone who was willing to be his friend or anything else he asked for, for an hour or two at the most had ruined a day that was not supposed to end this way.
I didn’t need to ask him what I wanted to anymore. Everything was painfully transparently clear in the silence between us. The last forced smile broke through my face.
Sirius brushed his hair back with his hand, “Anyway forget about it, what were you going to ask me?” he prompted again.
My smile was still in place as I shook my head slowly.
As I predicted my voice fled and the following words were a mere broken whisper, “Never mind... it was a mistake”.
“Are you sure?” It wasn't really a question, moreover a plea for reconsideration.
I had... considered, reconsidered and concluded.
Sirius was a friend, just a friend... and now only ever a friend.
Nora was right. She had said either way I would find a way to move forward.
I found closure.
I watched as Cappie walked away from me slowly. I wanted so badly to reach out and grab her hand, to pull her back, to ask her not to leave. Not like this.
But I couldn’t let her know about this room. I couldn’t let it stay in her mind. I couldn’t risk her questioning about a room that disappeared into nothingness.
I couldn’t risk her knowing the secrets held within that room.
Her footsteps echoed strangely loud in my ears. I willed her to stop but couldn’t voice it.
I could sense this was one of the many times that I was pushing her away.
Ever since the stupid Ravenclaw birthday bash I’d tried to get over the inappropriate feelings I had for my best friend. The best way I figured was to avoid her as much as possible but then I’d heard about some kiss she’d had with that good-for-nothing-Jason.
Since she’d had her fair share of boyfriend experiences I wasn’t too worried about that being a serious issue. They usually didn’t last long and she’d never introduced them as a boyfriend or claimed to be in a relationship.
Yet I made an effort to be close to her during the days that followed the rumour. I didn’t want her to walk into his waiting arms just because I couldn’t be bothered to hold her back. She had never even mentioned his name or told me anything related to the rumour. Far from relaxing, it worried me even more.
To complicate things further she was one of my best friends, one who’s company I valued a lot, and to not ruin that special friendship I had to tread carefully.
All that effort was gone now though. Her face had clearly shown nothing but disappointment. I’ll have to talk to her and set things right, soon.
I sighed deeply and wiped the warm sweat off my forehead onto my sleeve again. The last ‘experiment’ had been tiresome and draining and took a lot out of me.
Once Capri had turned the corner and disappeared I leaned my back against the wall and knocked softly twice on the battered door I had tried to conceal.
“All clear” I whispered.
The door creaked and then burst open. James and Peter tumbled in a heap onto the floor.
“Nice going Peter!” James said sarcastically pushing Peter off him so he could breathe.
“Who dropped whatever it was that they dropped?” I questioned the duo still on the floor. James and Peter both pointed at each other.
“Well done boys!” it was my turn to be sarcastic. Had it not been for them I wouldn’t have had the need to lie to Cappie.
I helped Peter to his feet while James pulled himself up. Once vertical, he dusted off his uniform and pushed his glasses back into place. Looking around, all three of us were still breathing somewhat heavily, still warm and sweaty but still undeniably euphoric.
“That was BLOODY BRILLIANT!” James exclaimed.
“I know! I still can’t believe we actually did it!”
I smiled, “Yeah! It was pretty wild!”
James grinned satisfied, “Remus will never believe when we tell him!”
“It’ll be perfect! James, did you see how fast I was?”
“You bet Peter! You bet. You ran faster than I’ve ever seen you run before!” James clapped Peter on the back.
It was definitely a breakthrough. I recalled everything we’d achieved in the past few hours which seemed like minutes passed too quickly now.
“Did you see the size of my teeth?!” I exclaimed as I relived it, “I mean wow! I could down a turkey in one bite with those things!”
James nodded. “You picked a good one Sirius! Oh and the senses! Merlin! I could almost hear your heart thumping!” James held out his hand, contracting his fingers as if he held some invisible beating heart in it.
“And Peter, I could hear your footsteps! Every single one of them!”
I slung my arm around James who was obviously not regretting missing his daily Quidditch training.
“Boys, I believe we wrote history today! So I think I can safely say this will be one of the greatest days of our lives!”
“Hear hear!” said Peter.
“Cheers to that!” James grinned.
Peter conjured a bottle of champagne.
“I’ve been keeping a few bottles in my trunk in anticipation to this day” he said in response to our surprised and impressed looks.
We stood there, standing in the middle of the 7th floor corridor with glasses of champagne celebrating our success... finally.
“To the four-leggeds!” said James raising his glass.
“To the four-leggeds!” we toasted.
We laughed and joked and contemplated what surprises our new found bodies housed. Becoming Animagi was just step one. Learning to control the new skins we owned would be a whole different ball game.
Even with such an exciting and mind blowing experience in the recent past every now and then my mind drifted far away, to Cappie.
I wondered what she had wanted to say. I wondered if I’d ever hear what it was or would it be lost like the many moments I let slip by us.
Hours later, still all we could talk about was what each of our bodies had gone through during our transformations. James was right, the most exciting part about becoming Animagi had been acquiring those highly developed senses. For Peter it was hearing, and for James it was sight. But for me what intrigued me most was the smell.
In my new body I could know the whole room without seeing it. I smelled the old parchment smell of the large volumes that lay open in the corner, I smelled the stale coffee in an abandoned cup, I smelled so many things that my mind could put them together to create patches of the room in my head.
Still the biggest thrill of all had been coming in contact with the new mind.
Once we had fully transformed physically we waited for the mind of the new body to connect with our own as the extensive books we’d read about the matter had prepared us.
James said his new mind felt intimidated by his own, it was cautious and doubtful. Peter’s new mind had only felt an overwhelming sense of fear and panic, which explained the scurrying effectively before he gained control over the animal mind.
For me however, as soon as I came in contact with my animal mind I felt a sudden fondness towards it. It wasn’t intimidated or scared. It was simply... curious.
It was instinctively strong but also recognised my own mind to be similarly powerful. Mostly it was playful and energetic and I loved that about the new mind. Synchronising the minds was easy and once ‘bonded’ everything I saw, smelt and felt made sense and I knew exactly what reaction to give. I followed the animal mind instincts while holding control over it.
It knew how to sit, to roll over, to bark and to jump over coffee tables landing perfectly on the couch!
The experience was exhilarating but once we turned back to human form we could barely stand straight. All energy had been drained from our body and we collapsed onto the floor of the room of requirement, breathing heavily and drenched in sweat from head to foot.
Remus joined us for dinner which put an end to the continued quiet animagi discussion temporarily. Too late for dinner he sat next to me and served himself some raspberry pie.
James and Peter waited for us to finish once their plates were empty and their stomachs full, although in Peter’s case he may well have been taking a breather.
Remus looked up from his plate.
“Guys, do you mind if I have a word with Sirius? We’ll catch up with you in the common room”
“Sure” James gave me a slight questioning glance before he got to his feet, “come Pettigrew let’s get started on your Transfiguration essay”
Peter got up reluctantly leaving behind two dessert plates he hadn’t had second helpings from yet and followed James out of the Great Hall.
Once they were gone I abandoned my plate and turned to Remus.
“What’s going on?”
“I had a small chat with Cappie just a while ago”
No way! How the hell could she know!? Damn! I’ll have to come up with something clever to cover this up. It all depends on what she’d told him.
Remus was bound to notice we were disappearing every now and then without telling him and now that Cappie had told him where we were he’s going to put two and two together!
I waited for him to continue dreading what I’d hear next.
“Sirius, are you sure you’re doing the right thing?”
“What?” I said completely thrown, “wait, what are you talking about?”
“Capri, What else?” Remus said as if it was the most obvious thing on earth.
“What about her?”
“Seriously Sirius, if you haven’t realised it already, you are the most oblivious person to walk the earth!” he said giving me a disapproving look.
Why did I even bother with Remus? He could always read us as if we were transparently obvious.
“What happened between you two?”
I sighed heavily. “I don’t know. I thought telling her how I feel would ruin everything we have and I so avoided having to deal with it. Now I hear that there’s someone else”
It was Remus’ turn to sigh. “Do I really have to spell it out for you and James every time? Sirius, Cappie didn’t write back to you all summer... What did you do?”
I smiled sheepishly, “Tried to make her jealous”
Remus raised her eyebrows waiting for me to put it all together.
I smiled to myself, so that’s what Cappie was doing now.
“Thanks Remus” I said after a long silent moment. I knew what I had to do so I got up and then turned to Remus again as I realised something.
“Quidditch Pitch” said Remus. Again he read my mind too well.
I thanked Remus again and headed out to find her. The night was cold and chilly but the wind always welcomed me. Ever since I had ridden a broom as a young boy the wind was always a welcome. I stuffed my hands into my pockets. My white shirt was un-tucked and barely passed for neat but I didn’t bother with it. I knew she didn’t care.
We were meant to be more than friends. Sometimes it takes the sudden realisation of how incredibly ignorant and stupid one can be before you realise how much you want to hold on to the one person you’re letting go of.
The damp grass wet the hem of my trousers. The pitch was dark, no one was practicing tonight. The stands however were lit up with lamps like a dim halo.
I walked across the green to the figure lying on the grass with her arms relaxed beside her. She didn’t look up as the young blades crushed under my feet.
I lay down silently next to her. The night was, for once, brilliantly clear and glittering shards of light scattered the velvet sky.
“Hey” I said quietly.
She turned and gave me a slow smile, one of my favourites.
“Hey” she replied softy.
Her answer, her voice and her eyes told me everything I needed to hear at that moment. No matter what happened, no matter what she would say to me tonight I will love her.
It didn’t hurt to see him. His eternal happy spirit shone through his eyes and for the first time it didn’t hurt to see it and know it didn’t belong to me.
I could breathe easily without it hurting me. I inhaled deeply and the cold night air cascaded into my lungs. Our breath came out in a warm mist as we blew out together.
The mist cleared and the pattern of Cassiopeia was visible again.
“Pretty” I said quietly looking at the flickering constellations.
“Yes, you are” Sirius smiled.
I laughed. “I was talking about Cassiopeia!”
“Hey, you remember! I taught you how to find Cassiopeia in third year remember?”
“Yes you did” I smiled turning back him. He turned his eyes to see me too. I remembered everything.
And now I was so scared I’d forget as I moved on.
“Remember when we used to just lie here after Quidditch practice and draw patterns out of the stars?” Sirius asked in a soft voice.
“Come on Cappie, it hasn’t been that long has it?” his voice was again rough and I could tell instantly that at least he didn’t believe it.
I was distracted. I noticed that the familiar fluttering in my stomach as he voiced my name didn’t happen. I wondered how many things had changed when I let go... truly let go.
“Yes, but so much has changed since then...”
“But not this...” his voice was soft again and as I looked at him he stared again at the stars above us.
“I have to tell you something...”
His breath came out in a warm gush once more, “Me too...”
Sirius turned slowly and his silver eyes sparkled reflecting the star speckled night.
I gathered my courage and breathed slowly to trap my voice, “I’m going out with Jason Rhodes. It’s been... two weeks.”
The silence between us was long and I felt as if with each passing second the stretch of grass between us widened pulling us physically apart but when he spoke again his voice was inches away... just as soft and tender as it had been a while ago.
“Are you happy?”
My voice cracked as always but I answered truthfully, “Yes”
“Then, that’s all that matters Cappie”
I turned to my side and moved closer to him, reached out and slid my hand into his. He laced his fingers through mine but continued to stare silently at the night sky.
“What did you want to tell me?” I questioned at long last.
“Nothing, it’s not really important”
He turned finally to look at me and I realised just then how much I missed my friend.
“Capp, I just... I want you to know that... well, I’m your best friend and no matter what I’ll always be here for you.” Sirius put his arm around me.
I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. Sirius was saying he’d always be there for me, but I felt as if he was saying goodbye. The very thought of loosing Sirius because of something I didn’t understand or couldn’t control brought on such a strong overwhelming wave of emotion that my eyes teared up, blinding me.
With or without Jason, I needed my best friend. I needed Sirius.
“You are my best friend. This place here where the world stands still and we don’t have to worry about anything else... this will be forever ours”
“Poetic” Sirius smiled.
"I mean it!"
He leaned over and kissed my temple, “I missed you”
I hugged him tightly, “I missed you too Sirius, you have no idea how much I need you”
Those three words, are said too much
They're not enough...
If I lay here ... If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?
~Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
* Ducks and hides* Ok! Ok! I know you hate me right now :S but before you curse me remember there are many more twists and chapters to come! This is a Sirius/Oc after all so keep reading :) :)
It's a bit of a filler chapter, but I hope you liked it.
All HP related things and beings belong to JKR and lyrics to Snow Patrol
As usual Please Review! Thanks
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