I wasn’t supposed to feel guilty. Not because of James especially. I was supposed to be angry and bitter, but not guilty. But no, he had to be all red eyed, pale and practically a living zombie. I man I was just trying to put in perspective, had I really done that much damage? Remus seemed to think so. He kept giving me accusatory looks throughout lessons on Friday and breakfast Saturday. Honestly I don’t think James needed anymore help making me feel contrite.
I was almost looking forward to my detention that afternoon just so I could get away from James and Remus. In fact after McGonagall told me my detention would be served in the greenhouses and to bring my dragon hide gloves I was just excited to be getting some fresh air.
Yeah, that’s what I thought at first. Until I saw Sirius gathered with all the other detainees outside the greenhouses and then wanted to go back to Remus nearly glaring my face off.
“We’ll be fertilizing and replanting this afternoon. I want all the Slytherins to take the first greenhouse, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws in the second and Gryffindors in the third. I won’t have any of that inter-house rivalry going on under my watch,” Professor Sprout, the rather inexperienced new herbology professor who had recently replaced Professor Beery, informed us.
I inwardly groaned, furious with her for making me work with Sirius. And to think we were the only Gryffindors there so naturally we’d be all alone in Greenhouse Three.
I was the first one in the greenhouse, eager to finish as fast as I could. I didn’t want to spend any more time with him then I had to. It hurt too much to even be within a few feet of him.
I heard him come in behind me, shutting the door rather loudly behind him as I pulled my gloves on.
“So are you just going to ignore me for the rest of the day then?” he questioned.
“No,” I replied curtly, beginning to assess the garden’s needs.
“”Are you going to talk to me then?”
“What do you want to talk about?” I tried not to sound as anxious as I really was.
“I want you to talk to me, really talk to me. Help me work this out.”
“What if I don’t want to work this out?” As soon as the words left my mouth I regretted it.
“So that’s just it then? You’re just done, not even going to try to salvage anything?”
“I don’t know.”
“How could you not know?”
I groaned, feeling moody. “There’s so much going on in my life I just- It’s against my nature,.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Forgiveness, second chances, “I explained, trying to stay distracted by smearing the less than flattering mooncalf dung around the fanged geraniums. “If I were even to consider giving you a second chance I’d be going against everything my parents taught me. My mother was a borderline paranoid Auror and my father was a business man. The family motto is ‘Wear thick armor, don’t let them catch you with your guard down and always strike back’. If you haven’t guessed by the sound of it my parents were against forgiveness. They thought being forgiving was a risky weakness. Asking me to go against that is like asking me to completely rewire my brain.”
“What if I help?”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or consider the offer. After all he seemed to be sincerely persistent. “You do realize that I may never forgive James, right?”
“I know and as much as that pains me to hear, yes, I know. And as much as James is my best mate you’re still my girl and I’m going to do whatever I can to keep it that way.”
I groaned, “Why do you have to be so persuasive?”
He smirked slightly, sending shivers up my spine. “I could be a lot more persuasive you know.”
I looked at him seriously, “Don’t even think about-“ I was silenced and caught off guard by Sirius’ lips. I momentarily pulled away, “Stop-“ He didn’t, of course, pulling me into yet another kiss and with that my self control disappeared. I happily dove my hands into his famous shiny locks and let him have his way with my lips.
He pulled away with a smirk, “Still want me to stop.”
“Stop and I’ll kill you,” I warned him simply.
“A bit aggressive, are we?”
I didn’t respond, feverishly seeking out his lips again. I had forgotten how addictive they were and suddenly I was acting like a relapsing drug addict who had been going cold turkey.
Suddenly memories started flooding back, Ana with Sirius, the fan girls, James’ announcement at the funeral, begging Sirius with my eyes to stop him. I pulled away abruptly, my breath sharp. “This is a mistake.” With that I left a very putout Sirius to find Professor Sprout for a greenhouse transfer.
Professor Sprout, taking one look at my ragged breath and pale expression, decided that I was having some sort of allergic reaction to something in the greenhouse and that I should go see Madam Pomfrey from some Pepper Up potion before going to my dorm for a rest. She wished me a quick recovery and told me that I shouldn’t worry about making up my detentions that day or the next as she would get another student to help Sirius.
I thanked her tiredly and with as much happiness as I could muster made my way back to the castle. I didn’t bother going to Madam Pomfrey for that Pepper Up potion. After all it wasn’t like I didn’t deserve to be miserable. In fact I took the misery as a penance for my lack of self control. People like Sirius and I were just better off suffering in loneliness than destroying each other’s company.
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