Author's Note: See...relatively fast update right? Hope you like it. After some thought, I decided to take a bit of a swerve in a different direction than originally planned, to make things a bit more interesting. Please let me know if you think it works alright (so far).
I wasn't quite sure what I was doing. But apparently I was just lying on the bed, staring up at the canopy above me. This was not a normal thing for me to do. No, not at all, let me assure you. But for some reason, it seemed like the best thing to do right now. I mean, my head was just so full of everything it honestly felt like trying to do anything else at the moment would end up very, very badly.
Well, normally I'd be alright with just lying around doing nothing. I just had one problem—the subject matter of my thoughts revolved around one person: Andrea Thorse.
And I was mad at her for occupying my thoughts like that.
Heck, I was even mad at myself for letting her occupy my thoughts like that.
Though I probably shouldn't be blaming her. I was the one that had tried everything possible to get to her little secret. I had found myself hoping that once I had figured it out, she would become less interesting. And let me get back to being myself again. Instead of this strange Sirius I am now.
That hadn't quite been the case. It seems that finding out her secret only increased her magnetic pull that much. Now that I knew her secret, or perhaps considering what her secret was, it really felt like there was no going back. That had been the point of no return. So, in short:
"Sirius?" Remus called from the doorway.
"What are you doing lying around like this? Aren't you supposed to be doing something? Like…eating, or picking up girls, or I dunno, going to class…?" Remus said, starting to grin.
I grinned back. "Nah. Class doesn't start for another half hour or so anyways."
"Amazing, you actually kept track of the time," he said jokingly, feigning shock. Remus sat on the bed next to mine (which happened to be his own), and I felt him staring at me. "What's up?"
"Nothing. Why?" I hoped I sounded non-chalant. But I didn't need to be looking at Remus to know and picture him raising his eyebrows skeptically.
"Oh, no reason, just because you're lying on the bed…thinking."
"Ah, should've known that would have gave it away," I answered with another grin. There was really no point in denying anything once Remus had caught on to it. And usually he was able to make things better. Usually.
"Let me guess, Andy's got you intrigued," Remus said, completely matter-of-factly. I sat up and looked at him.
I sat up and stared at him. "Ok Remus, that is really creepy. Are you absolutely positive you can't read minds?"
He laughed. "Yeah I'm sure. But I have dated Andy, right? If only for a short while, but still. And, no offence, I noticed her long before you did too."
That struck me in a strange way. It was completely true. And some part of me was sad that I had probably missed out on six years of knowing Andy better, instead of just as the-Ravenclaw-girl-who-was-way-too-cheeky-for-her-own-good-and-dared-to-try-and-beat-our-detention-count. A larger part of me though, was mad that Remus had noticed her earlier. It almost made me feel like I wasn't worthy of knowing her since I had sort of ignored her for the most part. Almost. Though, why didn't I ever bother getting to know the girl Remus dated? He didn't usually date, so I should have realized this girl was special.
I realized that Remus was waiting for some sort of response, so I verbalized the only thing I was capable of. "You have dated her, haven't you?"
"Yeah, and let me tell you, I know how her behaviour can stick on your mind for hours. Actually, I think her almost mysterious nature and rather abrupt behaviour is what a large portion of her charm is attributed to."
I was stunned. Had Remus gone through the same thing I was going through right now? "Did you break up with her because you couldn't take it anymore?"
"No," he replied, smiling at the memory. I waited for a bit, and then when he looked at me again he continued. "I'm sure you've noticed her…preoccupation…with lies and truth and all that…"
My heart seemed to beat a million times faster. Did he know about her secret too?
"Well, lying to her made me feel a heck of a lot worse than normally, and she couldn't really take it anymore, and just overall it seems like we're better off as friends than as a couple."
Alright…that answer told me absolutely nothing. "Did you ever try to figure her out? I mean, with like the truth and lies and all that…"
He looked at me strangely, but answered anyways, "Yeah, but I didn't come to any conclusion other than, sort of like me, she's really perceptive about stuff and it annoys her more than she thinks she lets on."
I nodded, feeling strangely…almost giddy, that I was the only one who knew about her. That made me special. Though I did feel slightly bad for ol' Moony.
Then it hit me.
"Why didn't you tell her?" I asked, breaking the silence that had enveloped the room. Remus looked up at me, startled. "Why didn't you tell her you're a werewolf? That would have gotten past the truth thing…you guys might have still been together."
Why did saying that make me feel weird? Almost envious. And at the same time, sort of glad that he didn't, otherwise things would be much different and more complicated now. I didn't like all these strange feelings and thoughts churning inside of me. What had she done to me?!
"No, I don't think we'd have lasted anyways. She can't seem to stay with any one guy for long, apparently...But mostly because I am a werewolf. I couldn't do that to her."
Everything I was previously thinking of evaporated. I groaned. "Remus you need to get over yourself, man! I can swear to you she wouldn't have cared. And Marcie, as much as I don't like her, she wouldn't have cared either. I think you really hurt her by breaking up with her. And I know you're hurting yourself."
It was silent again. We've had this Remus-stop-being-self-sacrificial-talk before, several times. There wasn't much more I could say. And then another thing hit me.
"Did you kiss her?"
Poor Remus looked startled by the change in topic again. "Marcie, or Andy?"
He grinned at me, and he didn't have to say anymore. But he did say more, and it felt like I had just swallowed my frantically beating heart. Seriously, why was this happening to me?! No, what was happening to me?! "Well, I was her boyfriend, after all, and far be it from me to deny her charms. She is pretty, you know…"
"I know," I replied. Remus smirked, which annoyed me. "What's with that stupid smirk?"
"Oh, nothing," Remus replied airily, right as James walked in.
"What're you guys talking about?"
"About a girl who's captured Padfoot's special attention," Remus said, smirking again.
"Hey, what?! Don't say it like that, you make it sound—" I started.
James grinned. "Oh, you mean Thorse?"
Ok, was I really that into her? James doesn't usually pick up on stuff like that. Granted, I had been with Melanie for quite some time so there really hadn't been occasions like this recently for James to actually pick up, but still. I know James. And observefullness is not one of his many unique qualities. Unless it had to do with Lily Evans.
"Yes, her, but not like that," I defended. "I was merely telling Remus how intriguing and annoying she is."
"Sure…" James said, taking on a similar smirk to Remus'.
"Which is why you never once said the word 'annoying' but you did ask for some details about my relationship with her," Remus continued.
"Well that was just curiosity—" I started, but seeing their goofy faces, immediately gave up, throwing my hands dramatically into the air in exasperation and falling back onto the bed. "She's interesting, alright? I'm not saying I like her, she's just…different. And for the record, she does drive me absolutely crazy—in the bad way, I mean. Everything about her is so bloody annoying—"
"But for some reason you still can't stay away from her?" James finished. I ignored him though.
"She's my partner for the DADA project. And that's all it is."
It was silent. I didn't dare look up to see their faces.
Then Remus broke the silence, "For now."
"Let's get to class then, shall we?" I said standing up, eager to get out of the dorm and stop their questioning.
"Why the rush? So unlike you," Remus said, visibly nudging James with his elbow.
"Not at all coincidental that DADA is the class we're going to, eh?" James teased, passing the nudge along to me. I brushed him off.
"Completely didn't even realize it was that class," was my oh-so-untruthful reply. Andy would have known I was lying. 'Course, they probably knew I was too, but that's different. Andy would probably be pissed at me for lying to her, and her face would scrunch up. But then she'd smirk as she realized what exactly that comment had meant.
Because really, I had been looking forward to this class since the morning.
What Remus had said about her not being able to stick with any one guy echoed in my head as we walked down to class, James and Remus conversing behind me. I thought about it, and realized that he was right. She had been out with a few guys, and Remus had apparently been the last one. Knowing her secret though made me empathise a bit, though, because teenage guys aren't usually that honest with their feelings. Probably each time she couldn't stand it anymore—their lies in general—or maybe there had been a specific incident, and she broke it off each time. Unless she had just really lost interest in the bloke.
This really did complicate things, though. I'd have to watch the things I said now, or else I could unknowingly give something away in my reply. And obviously, knowing I made her hurt, however trivially, made me feel horrible. And feeling horrible is not something I look forward to. Though it seemed inevitable, because apparently so much of my conversation habits were revolved around untruthful jokes and statements.
Damn you Andrea Thorse!
Well, at least we still had this project to finish. Perhaps by that time I would learn to behave myself properly in her presence, without lying, and without dragging the truth out of her, and without being so curious about her all the time…
Yeah, right. That was so impossible. Me, behave? Andrea willingly speak the truth? Me, not lie? And what with that magnetic pull she seems to make stronger everyday, could I really just detach myself from her once this project was over? Inconceivable, unless I start to correct this problem right now. Yeah, that’s it. Start solving the problem right now.
And that’s when I stopped in my tracks. Remus and James passed me on the way into the classroom, giving me strange looks, albeit smarmy ones. Andy was sitting at a table…well, sleeping at a table. And she looked so…adorable and innocent…
I'm doomed. I'm so doomed.
...Well, as long as I was, might as well do it with style.
Beside her was an empty seat, which normally was reserved for her friend Marcie-whats-her-face-exgirlfriend. Glancing around the room, I noticed Marcie sitting with some guy, close to where Remus and James were sitting. Cheap shot.
Within a second I was standing behind Andy, unable to resist. Leaning slightly over, and changing my voice to what I thought was a very good imitation of Hackett, I said, "Miss Thorse, sleeping before class even starts is not acceptable."
Apparently it must have been a very good imitation, because not only did Andy fall off her stool, but several heads had turned to looking in our direction as well, before bursting out into laughter. Andy was scrambling up from the ground, looking disoriented, and then she zeroed in her vision and focused on me.
"What's the matter, Andy? Didn't get much sleep?" I asked, very innocently.
I waited for her to say something, but she only stared at me before fixing her stool and sitting back at the table.
I sat down beside her. It was then, completely unexpectingly, that she decided to speak (by which I mean screech) at me.
"What are you doing?!"
"Sitting next to you…Is that not allowed?" I was surprised, and slightly put off for some unknown reason by her outburst. I hadn't even realized I had asked a question until she had narrowed her eyes at me.
"Yes, it is allowed," she replied, glaring at me. "But Marcie usually sits next to me."
"Marcie is indisposed at the moment," I answered. I felt that smile start to creep up on my face again as I waited for her rebuttal. How would she try to get herself out of this one? Because I wasn't going to move.
Andy looked around the room, trying to figure out what I had meant, and it didn't take her long to find Marcie near the front of the classroom snuggling up with some bloke. She sighed, and turned back to me. "And what, since Marcie is trying to get revenge on Remus you've decided to fight back by annoying me?"
I blinked, confused. How had she even come to that conclusion? Is that all she saw me as, an annoying Gryffindor who happened to be her partner for a project in which we seemed to be spending a lot of time together and seemed to be semi-getting along?
"Why can't I just sit beside you?" I asked. "You don't have to be so suspicious of me all the time."
She laughed at this, a very mocking laugh. "Oh no, not at all. I just have to make sure you won't steal some of my hair and chuck it into polyjuice potion."
Well, she had me there. I didn't reply, but instead just smirked at her. Or at least, I thought it was a smirk. I couldn't be sure, because Andy made a strange face and started blinking her eyes and then shook her head. Maybe she was about to say something more, I couldn't be sure, because Hackett strolled into class at that moment, and started ordering us to turn to page 769 in the textbook.
"If you are determined to sit here," she started to whisper as she took out her book, "I may as well tell you that its usually Marcie's job to keep my awake and functioning during this class…well, any class for that matter…So I'm passing that responsibility down to you."
I grinned back at her. I'd keep her awake. But…
"How, exactly?" I whispered back. After all, this was class. And not only class, but Hackett's class, who had already started to talk about whatever was on page 769 as if we were actually listening to him.
She shrugged. "Just poke me or something."
Well, that was boring, but it would do, I suppose. Besides, would she really doze off this early in the morning, in the first class of the day? I doubted it.
I looked over at her. Her right hand was holding a quill, poised over some parchment. Her left arm was propped up on her elbow, and she had her head resting in her palm, looking down towards the textbook. I looked a bit closer.
She wasn't looking down at the book at all. Her eyes were closed completely.
Ha. Amazing. She really did doze off, barely two minutes into class. What a Ravenclaw. I looked at her for a bit longer, as if that would solve the mystery of my unusual and quite frankly, dangerous attachment to her. But if anything, it probably made things worse, because I noticed those lips again, slightly parted…
I don't know how long I sat there staring at her lips instead of at the textbook, but when I finally seemed to get a hold of myself, and lifted my gaze off her lips, I nearly fell off the chair when my eyes met hers. She was staring at me, and I couldn't tell what she was feeling, because her face seemed to express a whirlpool of emotions, from confused to amused to angry. But that wasn't the problem. It was her eyes. Her eyes were just so…so…intense and…
Oh. Bugger. I turned to look at him, slowly.
"May I know why you are staring at Miss Thorse instead of reading the textbook, or at least writing down what I'm saying?"
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Andy pale, as all faces turned towards us.
"Well, sir, she had asked me to keep an eye on her just in case she fell asleep," I replied, before even fully comprehending what I was saying. Did I just get us into trouble, or out of it?
Poor Hackett. He looked so awkward and confused standing there gawking at us. Really, I hadn't said anything that bad. I turned to look at Andy, who had regained all the colour in her face plus some. This time I had no trouble telling she was angry.
"I don't know why you two decided to sit together all of the sudden – it's certainly not a seating arrangement that I recall, but I want no nonsense from either of you, understood? Mr. Black, eyes to the text, if you would. And Miss Thorse, stay awake or get out. Now, if everyone could turn their attention back to…"
Well, that was a more interesting way to keep her awake.
And I'm also sure it would give her reason to talk - by which I mean yell – to/at me after class. Not that I was sure that was a good thing, or that if it was what I wanted or why I wanted it in the first place.
It was then that I noticed three things, seemingly all at once. First, Andy seemed to be falling sleep again, somehow, even though she had just been awake and practically commanded to stay awake. Second, Joey and whatever the other guy's name was...Kyle? Kevin? were both glaring at me from across the classroom (admittedly Joey more ferociously). And third, though this one seemed to be the least of my worries, somehow, was that Melanie was sneaking glances at me.
Now to deal with each of them.
First, I'd let Andy sleep a bit, and poke her awake in just a minute or so. Second, its possible that Joey, still jealous, had alerted Kevin about the situation and now were out to kill me and protect their darling Andy, or they were mad at me for messing up and getting Andy into more trouble with Hackett than was necessary (in which case they'd be out to kill me anyways).
And third, I didn't even spare Melanie another thought or glance.
Now to awaken the sleeping dragon.
I waited to make sure Hackett was facing a different direction and quite caught up in the sound of his own voice before I made my move. Taking the quill I was holding, I slowly ran the feathered part across Andy's arm upon which her head was perched. In trying to get her arm away from it, her head slipped from her hand and was falling forward unconsciously before she snapped awake and straightened herself. Without even glancing around or trying to understand what had happened, she merely looked at the textbook as if to remember what Hackett was talking about, and started to write down whatever he was saying.
Simply amazing. And oh so amusing. I couldn't help the smile that started to stretch across my face, as I shook my head lightly, and started to write words onto the parchment as well.
When I looked over at Andy again a few minutes later, her quill had stopped mid-word and was now at the centre of a giant pool of ink that was spreading, slowly but steadily, spidering out onto the page. Inconceivable. She dozed off again? This time her head was falling forward, and I didn't have time to plan out something more daring as Hackett was starting to turn around. I simply poked her in the side, beneath her ribs. I had no way of knowing she'd squeak and jump out of her seat, slightly leaning to one side.
All heads turned to look at her again. Or rather at us.
But Andy turned towards me.
"What is going on?" Hackett thundered, most likely annoyed at having his monologue interrupted so rudely.
I didn't know what to say. All I could think about was that Andy couldn't answer the question. And how we would get out of this one alive.
"Nothing, sir," I said, trying my best to stall, and forcing my brain into overload. This was an unknown situation to me, and I hadn't the slightest idea how to get out of it.
Apparently that was all that I needed to say. And apparently Andy's brain worked faster than mine.
"I'm sorry sir. I spilled ink."
I blinked at her. That couldn't have been a lie, but there definitely hadn't been any ink spilled...I looked around.
Well, now there was, apparently. Somehow, half her desk was dripping with ink and there was even a spot on her quilt.
I looked at her in wonder, as she looked at Hackett (well practically stared him down, as if daring him to challenge her) and started to apologize for disrupting class.
Hackett had strolled over to our desk, probably to see if she had told the truth or not, and saw the mess on our desk and the ink that had covered her parchment. Somehow, she had managed to keep the part with her lecture notes clean, so that when he glanced at it, he seemed fairly pleased that she had been taking notes. With a dramatic wave of his wand, the mess around the table was cleaned up.
"Thank you, sir," Andy had said.
"Unfortunately I can't fix your notes," he said as he started to walk away.
I saw her bite her lip, and realized she must have wanted to retort something. But Hackett wouldn't let his comment go unanswered.
"That's alright sir, she can borrow mine," I said quickly.
He gave a nod, "Well, class is just about over now. Please finish reading the remainder of the chapter by next class and write up and short summary. As a reminder, the first part of your project – that is, the presentation of the duel – will be taking place next week."
There was a collective groan from the class, but he didn't seem to notice it. He just went to sit down at his table in the front of the room and started reviewing papers. That was our cue to leave. I turned to Andy.
"So when are we going to work on our project?"
"As far as I'm concerned, you and that blasted project can both go to hell," she hissed at me, before gathering up her books and leaving.
Tried to leave, that is. She didn't get very far. She never got very far. This time she got away maybe two steps when I had caught up.
"What's the matter with you?"
She just looked at me, and rolled her eyes. Right, as if she would answer that question.
"Ok, no question. If you're mad at what happened in class, I swear it wasn't my fault."
She sighed, which I took to mean that I must have been telling the truth. Or possibly that I wasn't. But it felt like I was. It had to have been the truth, because I sure as hell didn't mean for us to get caught up in that.
"By the way, I don't know what you did or how you did it, but that was impressive."
She stopped and looked at me, confused. "What was?"
"The whole ink thing! It was brilliant! I didn't even see you move your wand or anything! And how did you manage to make the ink spill so perfectly anyways? Bloody brilliant, and quick thinking too." I kept talking, though I noticed her face starting to glow a brighter red with each word. What was that about? I wouldn't ask though. I'd prove to her I could control my question asking around her. "And you got around the whole truth thing pretty good t—"
"Ugh will you shut up!" she suddenly yelled at me. I looked down at her. She lowered her voice, but it had retained its viciousness, "Stop yelling things out like that in the middle of the hall!"
Ooops. Hadn't even realized I had said…I ran a hand through my hair, this would be harder than I thought.
"Sorry," I said. "So will you tell me how you did it?"
"Hey, that's not fair!" I yelled at her retreating back.
"As if I care," she yelled back, walking towards Kevin and Joey, who were still giving me death glares. I didn't know Ravenclaws were so…ferocious, or protective. Honestly, did I do something wrong? Andy was mad at me – well, slightly understandably – and her friends looked like they were about to claw my eyes out.
"Sirius, what do you think you're doing?"
I whipped around at the sound of that voice.
"Why, hello, Melanie. Speaking to me again? What happened to dear old Ian?" I replied, mimicking the sweetness of her voice. What did she want, anyways?
"Look, if you're trying to get back at me for ditching you by hanging around with that Thorse-girl," she started, looking up at me. "Well, it's working."
I couldn't help it, I had to laugh, even though I knew it was probably dangerous to laugh at her, especially considering she'd been chasing down Andy ever since that day at the Three Broomsticks. "Actually, revenge had crossed my mind…maybe about a week ago. This isn't about you, Melanie."
"Yes it is," she insisted, still staring up at me with that look in her eyes. "I want you back Sirius."
"Er…what?" was the only thing I was able to say back.
"I miss you, I miss us together…Ian's nothing. I didn't realize how much you meant to me until I saw you with her, ever since Hogsmeade it's been nagging at me," Melanie whispered, her voice low but intense and passionate.
I had known she was good at this. But it wasn't until now that I realized how good she was. My heart was beating frantically again. I didn't know what to think or say, or even what I should be feeling. The only thing that seemed to matter was that Melanie, the girl I had loved, the girl I had spent days practically crying about, wanted me. Not Ian, or anybody else; me. Andy's said Melanie had used me…well maybe that was true, but she made a mistake. She wanted to fix it now.
"Mel, I…" I started to say, but before I could properly form any sentences, she had tiptoed up to kiss me, mid-sentence. My surprise melted away into familiarity, and I returned the kiss.
When she finally broke apart, we were both wearing identical smiles, our faces still close.
"I'll see you at lunch," she whispered, and walked away, leaving me standing there, staring after her.
What had just happened? I was so confused. When I looked up, I noticed Remus and James standing a few metres away from me, looking at me with worried expressions. For a second, I thought Remus was going to say something, but then I realized he didn't seem to be looking at me, but past me.
I whipped around again, and froze just as fast. Andy was standing there, looking just as confused as I was feeling, though slightly more angry.
As if the day wasn't weird enough, she just laughed, and said, "You don't need to explain anything, because contrary to what everyone around here thinks, we are not dating. And things seem to be looking up for you, Black. You got the girl of your dreams back, and so fast too. Anyways, let's meet tonight to work on that damned project before we fail it completely."
She didn't give me a chance to say anything. Instead, she walked – no, skipped – away. Bizarre. And so confusing.
Remus and James walked up to me, slowly. Neither said anything, but I felt them eyeing me. They probably felt my inner turmoil. Especially since it had to do with Melanie.
"Dude, I think you just screwed up your chance with the one girl who was perfect for you," James finally said. "And I don't mean Melanie."
There was a pause, in which I'm sure they waited for me to react in some way. But I couldn't do anything. I was too frozen too react. My mind was exploding with everything that had just happened within the last fifteen minutes. First Andy was mad at me, and I didn't know why. Then Melanie showed up, and then Andy wasn't mad at me anymore…or was she? And I might not have had Andy's unique truth-telling-lie-sensing gift, but James' statement rang painfully and truthfully in my ears.
"We're late for class," was all I said eventually, and started moving in a general forward direction.
When had my life become so complicated? I honestly felt like somebody somewhere was watching my life on a screen, and complaining at the horrible twists and turns and un-sense making plot.
Yeah, that's right. Un-sense.
Just this morning I was stuck on Andy. Even now, with Melanie apparently back, some part of me still was stuck on Andy. Especially with what James had just said.
But I didn't know what to make of any of this!
My life, from the moment Melanie first dumped me, seemed like a really bad drama. I had a feeling the rest of my classes would be useless today, because my mind was so full of stupid things to sort out there was no way I could concentrate on charms or transfiguration. I had to decode Andy's behaviour. I had to figure out how I felt about Melanie's return. And, on top of everything else, I had to figure out if Melanie was telling the truth…well that one would technically be easy if I could talk to Andrea about it…
And in case I haven't mentioned this before, I'm doomed.
Author's Note II: So...is it too...fast, too abrupt? Hopefully it was ok, because I have a lot of good ideas now for here-on-in. Please review!
Thanks to everybody reading and reviewing! You guys are amazing.
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