Chapter 13 : Duplicity on the Tracks
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Chapter 13: Duplicity on the Tracks
DISCLAIMER: My birthday wish was to own the entire Harry Potter series and Sirius Black. Respectively.
Guess what? It didn’t come true.
Thus everything you recognise is still... not mine.
Gules slowly stepped from Veronica Fletcher’s office, shutting the door behind her. Noiselessly, carefully as if she didn’t want to disturb a thing. As if the slightest disturbance would change everything. Take something away from her. Drawing in a deep, stabilising breath she began to move away. Her brows were pulled together in thought; she hugged her notebook tighter.
She was dazed as she finally stepped into the Daily Prophet elevator.
And she was completely unaware that someone had been watching her the entire time.
Someone who was very, very curious.
It was a fickle thing.
It attacked at the strangest of moments. Example; one moment, one could be running onto platform nine and three quarters panicking that they’d miss the train and then all of a sudden bam. One was completely unable to move.
Gules sighed as she eyed the steaming red Hogwarts express. It was September first.
She was standing on the platform.
And she didn’t want to move any time soon.
See? Spontaneous Temporary Paralysis (STP) was a bitch.
Remus gave her a side-long glance, before exchanging a look with Sirius. Lily and James had scuttled of a while ago to complete their head duties.
“Gules... is something the matter?”
She turned her gaze to his amber eyes; he was concerned. She noted a little gleam of eagerness. She thought she knew why it was there. “No.... it’s just.... it’s our last year. I want to drink in the moment you know?”
Yeah sure; someone was definitely in denial about suffering from STP.
Sirius fought not to roll his eyes. Typical female; sentimental and bloody emotional.
This was why he didn’t associate with girls; he could’ve been on the train and settled into a compartment by now, but thanks to the shrimp who was currently staring off into space again they were still standing on the platform as everyone else made their way onto the train. Evans and Gen were about the only ones he could handle; Bedoni was just plain annoying.
He watched as students farewelled their families with emotional hugs and kisses before traipsing off, all the while waving wildly back at their parents.
Then he spotted one tall, aristocratic couple that made his stomach turn.
They kissed their grey-eyed son goodbye, their faces stoic as he loped away, his expression stone cold.
Their eyes turned in unison to Sirius.
He stared right back. Looking into the eyes and faces that were so much like his.
And as if he were nothing, they turned and walked back through the barrier.
His lips made a thin line. Families; who fucking needed them?
“Don’t worry, Gules,” Remus smiled as he slung an arm around her shoulders in a slightly awkward way. “We’ll be back here soon enough for Christmas. There’s no reason to be sad,”
Gules smiled up at him, the reluctance sitting in her stomach. “Sorry for being a pain, Remus,” She looked once more to the train. “Come on, let’s go start Seventh Year,”
Just saying the words made her feel sick.
They quickly strode through the crowd of parents to the train’s entrance, Gules pushing her trolley with all her might as the boys carried their trunks effortlessly.
Herrington hooted pleasantly, realising that they were finally getting a move on.
On reaching the train’s entrance, Remus turned and grabbed her trunk and pulled it inside with him.
“Wait! No I can-“ Gules protested.
Remus grinned. “Too late,” And with that, he disappeared up the corridor.
Sighing, Gules went to pick up Herrington’s cage instead only to find it had disappeared from her trolley.
“Oh no! Someone’s stolen Herr-“ Her words halted. Gules stared disbelievingly at Sirius whom had just stepped onto the train.
In his hand was Herrington’s cage.
He caught her staring at him. His grey eyes sardonic, he shrugged. “What? Are you above chivalry?”
Gules frowned, as she had done numerous times that past week since the ‘truce’.
They may have decided to be civil but she hadn’t thought he’d suddenly turn into a less polite version of Remus. He had opened doors for her, had stopped making fun of her when she tripped over air, had ceased being rude to her and to top it all off, now he was carrying Herrington’s cage onto the train for her.
She could have just put it all down to guilt but she knew it was fake.
It was fake because his eyes gave him away.
They weren’t friendly; they were sarcastic, sardonic and they were distrusting.
And she knew that if he felt like he had to be friends with her then she wasn’t going to get anywhere.
She wasn’t going to get any information out of him either.
The politeness needed to stop.
“Well if you’re being so chivalrous, why didn’t you let me get on the train first?” She asked with a sniff, hoping to get a snarky remark in return.
He gave her a quiet look, eyebrows high. “Sorry?”
It was almost inaudible but she could’ve sworn she’d detected a hint of sarcasm.
Gules rolled her eyes, stepping onto the train.” Whatever, Black. Forget I even said anything,” She began to walk away, a strange sway in her hips that had Sirius’ gaze inadvertently lowering. “Be chivalrous, I’m not going to stop you,”
His gaze snapped back up to the back of her head with a frown. Why the hell wasn’t she smiling dazedly and swooning like every other girl?
He just didn’t understand it.
He followed her reluctantly, inwardly disgusted with himself; he was carrying her owl’s cage like every other castrated and sickeningly doting boyfriend.
He paused in horror; had he just insinuated....
No. He’d never be anything like that to her. Never. And he would never let anyone castrate him – figuratively or literally – and he knew, he just knew that she was the type to steal the bollocks off of her boyfriends.
She was the type that needed a bloke she could control.
And that definitely wasn’t going to be him.
He was going to complete this dare without losing himself in the process; that was for damn sure. He was just going to have to figure out a way to make her fall for him because obviously this Remus-routine he was trying wasn’t working in the slightest.
But maybe if he turned it up a notch...
Deciding that he was thinking too much –he’d listen to his instincts like he always did, none of this rubbish planning - he continued following through the corridor, realising with a start that he had managed to lose her in the process.
Where the bloody hell had that annoying midget gone to now?
Gules stepped into the compartment with a grin.
A girl of seventeen was sat, slender legs stretched out along the seat, her back against the train’s window. She lazily turned the page of a book she was clearly not interested in. Her full, giving lips were in a subconscious pout; her eyes scanned the page with a restlessness that permeated her very being.
She was completely still but she radiated excitement.
Her name was Genevieve Laurent.
“Gen,” Gules’ smile widened when the girl’s eyes jolted up to hers. A wide, encompassing smile caught her stunningly beautiful face, her dark eyes twinkling.
“Gules,” Genevieve murmured, her voice smooth like melted chocolate; her slight accent noticeable.
She rose from the seat with innate grace and when they embraced her touch was light yet warm.
“I’ve missed you so much!” Gules squealed, jumping a little on the spot and hugging her a little tighter.
Genevieve didn’t jump, just smiled amusedly at her friend.
She was the first to move away. Unexpectedly, a pulling sensation caught her chest as she got a better look at Gules.
Her hair was a little longer, her cheeks faintly pink and her smile was as radiant as ever.
There was nothing startlingly different and yet... she had missed her more than she knew she should have. Just as she had missed Lily.
She shouldn’t have been missing anyone.
“You definitely haven’t changed,” She sat back down across from Gules, lifting her legs back onto the seat.
Gules shook a finger at her. “Neither have you. You still didn’t write this summer. Despite the fact that you had said you would,”
“I know, I am sorry. I do not have the patience for letters. Even if they are for you and Lily, Gules,”
Genevieve took a moment to marvel at how efficient a liar she had become. Her parents would have been proud.
Gules sighed, unable to push down the indefinable pang in her chest. “I know, I know; you feel like you’re wasting your time. Why write a letter when you could be out living life?”
The girls paused in silence; lost in thought. This was how it had always been with them; they didn’t always talk, despite the fact that they were both immensely talkative. Sometimes they just enjoyed being in each other’s silence. Even after three months of being separated.
“So how was France? Did you enjoy being back home?”
The smallest of pauses then, “It was beautiful. I had missed it more than I realised,”
“And the boys?”
“They were lovely; I had missed the French men too...” Genevieve’s lips quirked into a smug smirk.
Gules’ eyes widened on noticing something extraordinary.
“Hey wait! You’re early! Why in Merlin’s name aren’t you bursting in here at the last minute like usual?”
Genevieve laughed. “I decided it was time for a change,”
She’d left her parents in a rage the night before and had been forced to stay at the Leaky Cauldron for the night.
“Merlin, you were here before Remus and Lily! That’s more surprising than if ABBA was called Baab,”
Genevieve let out a startling laugh; it was smooth, rich and full bodied. Just like her voice.
Her eyes twinkled affectionately. “Gules, you are one and only, just like your similes,”
Another pang. Genevieve’s smile slowly died. She had missed them too much.
“I know, there’s no one else out there like moy; I’m incredibly special,”
One eyebrow quirked sensually. “ I think you mean moi,”
“No, I mean moy,” Gules grinned. “I’m special remember?”
“Special people are usually found in mental wards,”
Gules guffawed playfully. “Shush you!”
She was enjoying herself immensely. Genevieve, despite her slightly upsetting silence over the summer, was still her one of Gules’ best friends.
Gules’ eyes wandered, finding her trunk with interest; it had been safely stored above Genevieve’s head.
An ABBA sticker was winking at her.
“Remus already came and went,” Gules stated with mild confusion.
“Mr Perfect had a prefect meeting,” Genevieve returned with a shrug that always reminded Gules of her friend’s French Heritage.
He hadn’t so much as looked at her, Genevieve thought to herself. He hadn’t looked at her.
Or her skirt.
Others had though.
She had worn it for him. And now she felt pathetic for stooping to such lows. Ah well, she couldn’t help it if he was an idiote.
Gules nodded, scrutinising Genevieve. She stared back, her brown eyes not giving a thing away.
Then the compartment door slid open catching the girls’ attention.
An annoyed Sirius came into view.
Genevieve was relieved.
With a detached French eye she surveyed him from his lean denim clad thighs up to his stubbled jaw line and sleek jet black hair. The faint scar that traced the left side of his jaw made sympathy move within her.
He was looking at Gules who was regarding him with an air of defiance.
“Here’s your owl,” He muttered, placing the cage gently up on the shelf despite the niggling desire to drop it on her head.
Why the hell was she looking at him as if she was annoyed? Like she was annoyed with him.
As if she had a right to be, he thought to himself sarcastically. She hadn’t been the one carting around someone else’ owl like a complete dope searching every compartment for an inconsiderate twit that she was supposed to be ‘wooing’.
God he hated that word; it was made for wankers. And the fact that he’d even said it in his head was shameful.
“Took you long enough,” Gules commented casually, snidely. She pulled a novel out from her satchel and began reading.
It wasn’t lost on Genevieve and she suddenly found herself intrigued.
Now here was something that she hadn’t expected.
“Hello, Sirius,” She smiled; eyes sparkling with amusement.
His annoyed gaze found her.
“Morning,” He roughly threw his trunk onto the shelf above her; quite odd considering he was usually so in control of his manner. “Bit early aren’t you?”
She noted with affection that familiar twitch of his lips that told her he wanted to smile. He rarely did.
Sirius had become a good friend of hers in the year that she’d been at Hogwarts. They weren’t best friends and she didn’t know that much about him; but they had an understanding.
They were similar creatures. Maybe that was why she’d never see him in a romantic light. Being so alike, he’d drive her insane.
“Why is that so surprising? It is not that out of the ordinary, Sirius,” She gave him another once over. “You look... well,” She gave him a pointed look; his summer must have been good. She couldn’t see any fresh injuries and he didn’t have that dead look in his eyes unlike last year when they’d met.
Sirius’ eyes flickered in the direction of an oblivious Gules.
He had a sneaking suspicion she was listening to every word they were saying.
And he was one hundred per cent correct.
“Don’t I always,” He replied sardonically. Genevieve knew he’d talk to her later.
He sat down beside her and before he could protest she had lifted her legs, placed them squarely in his lap and grabbed her completely uninteresting book once more.
Nonplussed, Sirius stared out the window; eyes bored.
Silence fell in the compartment.
A peaceful silence? Not quite.
Gules’ eyes caught on Genevieve’s perfect legs for the hundredth time in the past minute; another ping of unpleasant emotion pinched her gut. For some strange reason she had forgotten that Genevieve and Sirius were good friends. Genevieve had always been friends with all of the Marauders, save for Remus. But considering the fact that Sirius and Gules had always run in different circles it had never concerned her.
Now though... the friendship was looking a lot more threatening than it had before.
And she really wanted to grab her gorgeous long legs and yank them off his lap.
Sirius met her gaze.
Her eyes shot back down to her book.
She didn’t see his eye brows rise.
Fuck. He probably shouldn’t have another girl’s legs in his lap, he thought to himself. It was only Gen though... then again, she was her best friend. Wasn’t there some kind of a stupid girl code against that?
God, why were girls so complicated?
They were more trouble than they were worth.
Sirius was about to inconspicuously lift Genevieve’s legs off when another thought occurred to him.
Maybe a little competition was a good thing...
He could use this to his advantage.
With another quirk of his lips, he placed a hand on Genevieve’s slim ankle, settled back in his seat and fell fast asleep just as the train rocked into life and the journey began.
None of them realised that more and one journey was about to begin.
When Remus finally arrived back at the compartment it was only to stop dead in the doorway; his insides freezing.
STP was really becoming a problem.
Sirius slept serenely, head tilted back at what seemed to be an uncomfortable angle; eyes shut.
But it was the pair of slender, olive legs resting obnoxiously in his friend’s lap that were making him feel like wringing someone’s neck.
Quite uncharacteristic for Remus.
His eyes slowly trailed up every inch – heart beat speeding up exponentially – until those legs disappeared under that all too short skirt.
The dress makers must have run out of material, Remus thought to himself sarcastically.
His eyes found hers; they were smug. He realised his mistake. He had given her exactly what she had wanted.
Sometimes, he dearly wished hormones never existed.
Angry with himself for inadvertently indulging her, he turned to Gules whose eyes were trained on Sirius, narrowed to thin slits.
“How can he sleep?” She asked suspiciously.
“When Sirius is bored, he sleeps,” Genevieve said, taking her eyes away from his.
“It’s quite a talent of his,” Remus added, seating himself down next to Gules.
“Prefect meeting went well?” Genevieve asked, that small cocky smile on her lips. He tried to ignore it.
“Fairly uneventful. James and Lily make a good team though,”
Gules snapped her book shut in restlessness, the noise catching the attention of both Remus and Genevieve.
“I’m going to go find Edwina,” Watching Sirius for the briefest of moments as she passed, she left, shutting the compartment door quite a lot harder than was necessary.
Sirius jolted awake.
“What the fuck was that?” He grumbled, sitting up and looking around blearily. He immediately noticed Gules’ absence. “Should’ve known,” He muttered.
“Well,” Genevieve rose from her seat and slid past the two boys. “I am going to go find some fun,”
Remus forced himself not to watch her walk out; he knew that was what she’d have wanted.
“These train trips are torturous,” Sirius sighed cracking his knuckles and rubbing a hand over his face tiredly.
Remus couldn’t help but agree with him.
Sirius shrugged his broad shoulders.
“You’re on, Moony,”
“I wasn’t expecting the rest of that briefing to take so long,” Lily stretched her arms out to her sides as she and James strolled up the corridor together.
“Who would’ve thought that the Heads had so much to organise before school started...” James stopped his eyes from fixing on the glimpse of creamy skin that had peeked out. Her t-shirt had risen.
He silently pleaded with Merlin to give him strength.
“It’s so exciting isn’t it? Starting our last year of school,” Lily looked to James in barely contained excitement.
James grinned at her enthusiasm and couldn’t help but feel it as well.
“Yeah, I have a feeling about this year. I have a good feeling,”
She smiled at him as they continued to walk in synchronisation.
“I never thought I’d be Head Girl,” She said after a moment.
James was astonished. “What?! Are you kidding? No one else in this entire school could be better than you. You’re perfect... for Head girl I mean – not that you’re not perfect- well of course you are! I just... not that I’m saying that I’ve noticed your perfection more than any other person because I haven’t! I swear, but... umm... you’re definitely going to be the best head girl. It’s going to be hard working alongside you – not that I’m saying you’re hard to work with! You’re not, it’s just that...I guess I have a lot to live up to and...” James blushed madly and wanted desperately to throw himself from the train.
Shut UP, James! You complete and utter wanker!
From the corner of his eye he could see her staring at him.
Merlin, she probably thought he was out of his mind.
Well... she wouldn’t have been wrong.
“Don’t say that, James. I think you’re going to be a great Head Boy,” Lily said kindly, rendering James speechless.
He did however manage to shoot a goofy grin her way.
Those few words had made him unreasonably happy.
Lily’s cheeks reddened when she realised she had said too much.
They didn’t say anything more until they reached the compartment, opening the door to find Remus and Peter playing Wizards Chess.
Peter was losing miserably.
“Where’d everyone go?” James asked, plonking himself down next to Peter and moving a chess piece for him.
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t encourage cheating, Prongs,” Remus commented mildly. “And in answer to your question, they all went to find some fun. Which is dangerous where Padfoot is concerned,”
“That sounds ominous...” Lily said.
“Let’s just say that if the train suddenly crashes, a few Slytherins go missing or we find ourselves in perilous danger- we can blame it on Sirius,”
Lily looked vaguely afraid. “I hope you’re being facetious,”
“Unfortunately, he isn’t,” Remus put in, moving another chess piece. “Check mate, Peter,”
Peter’s shoulders slumped. “Not again,”
Remus was about to shrug but caught himself at the last moment. “Better luck next time,”
Just then, the compartment door slid open.
“Demetri,” Lily jumped up and hugged the grinning boy.
James and Remus looked up. Remus’ eyebrows rose at the same time that James’ hackles did.
“Lily flower,” Demetrius laughed. “How art thou?”
She smiled, telling him she was well.
James burned; why was Barclay allowed to call her Lily Flower? Every time he had tried it, he’d been verbally abused into oblivion.
Demetrius turned to the boys, smiling congenially.
Remus and Peter greeted him as they normally would but James was finding it hard to smile at his good friend of six years whilst his arm was around Lily’s waist.
Demetrius, noticing this, subtly let go of her.
He clearly valued his life.
“Where’s my favourite tulip?” He looked to Lily in question.
“Gules has disappeared, but why don’t you stay a bit, she might be coming back soon,”
Half an hour later and Gules still hadn’t returned.
A man’s patience only lasted so long.
“Blimey, what is this? The tenth game of exploding snap already?” Demetrius groaned as Remus dealt more cards, Lily watching on intermittently as she continued to scribble in her journal.
“Gules and Edwina must have... quite a lot of catch up on. Girls generally do,”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing, Remus,” Lily commented with a sly smile.
Remus smiled knowingly; she was trying to twist his words. “I was just stating a fact, Lily. Whether or not I like talkative girls has nothing to do with it,”
“I like talkative girls,” James added, eyes flickering temporarily to Lily who continued writing in her journal, not seeming to have heard him.
“What girls do you like, Lupin my friend?” Demetrius asked with sudden interest, placing a card down slowly.
Remus was about to shrug for the second time that day and once again, decided against it. “I’m not really interested to be completely honest,”
Demetrius’ eyes widened. “Gee... I never picked you to be... a seeker for the... other team,”
Remus was confused for a short moment.
He turned the colour of a tomato.
Lily and James seemed to be choking on air as they fought back laughter.
“I’m not... I’m- I’m not... that’s not what I meant,”
Demetrius looked on – all too amused for Remus’ liking – shifting restlessly in his seat. He was itching to go find some company of the opposite sex.
“Oh? And what exactly did you mean then?”
“I meant that relationships with... the opposite sex... aren’t really... on my list of priorities at the moment-“ Remus broke off abruptly, colouring a little more. “That didn’t sound right,”
Demetrius and Lily burst out laughing. “Relax, Lupin. I’m just toying with you, mate. I know you’re not in any way inclined to hit on me,”
Remus suddenly sent him quiet smirk. “Who said I would even if did... – what was it you said? Play for the other team?”
Demetrius chuckled. “I’m deciding whether to be offended or thankful,”
Remus smirked a little more but didn’t reply. They continued to play until the cards finally exploded in Demetrius’ face.
He sighed smilingly as James and Remus laughed.
Cleaning himself quickly with his wand he rose from his seat and opened the compartment door.
“What are you doing?” Lily asked glancing up from her journal.
“Checking to see if my tulip is returning some time in this millennium; I’m bloody dying of boredom here,”
But instead of spotting Gules he spotted someone else.
“Right, see you later mates,” He said quickly before scarpering off, shutting the compartment door with a resounding bang in his haste.
Lily, James, Remus and Peter exchanged a glance.
“Wonder where he’s off to,” Peter stated with mild interest.
The others shook their heads, smiling.
“He’s gone hunting for another victim,” Lily chuckled.
Genevieve ripped her mouth from his; her breathing laboured.
Lips curving, she surveyed him a moment in the darkness of the supply closet they were in.
“What are you doing? This is not like you,”
He looked down at her, slightly disgruntled.
“I’m bored,” He said simply.
She put one finger under his chin and smiled. His eyebrows rose. She knew he hated it when she did that with her finger; it made him feel like a child.
“But I thought we had agreed we would not do this again,”
“I changed my mind,”
Sensing she would be making a mistake she drew her face away when his neared.
“What?” He muttered. “Are you going to give me some high and mighty speech about how I’m using you?”
Amused, she paused. “And if I am?”
He narrowed his eyes. “Are you trying to tell me that you’re not using me as well?”
But still, she didn’t resume their previous... activities.
He waited, but grew impatient rather quickly.
“What’s the problem? Did someone else finally hook you in?”
A familiar face flashed in her mind.
“Of course not,”
He tilted his head ever so slightly and she knew she hadn’t fooled him.
He moved his head away in realisation, stepping back. “I see,”
Panic setting in, she placed a hand on his arm to stop him.
“Stay with me,”
He turned back to her slowly.
He knew she was using him; he knew she was getting her own back against the bloke that had gotten to her. Probably some French bloke. Men were her style, never boys.
They knew it was wrong. But neither of them wanted to think about it at that moment. The whole point of this was to forget for a while; to pass the time, escape boredom. To act without the burden of thought; to feel. Just to feel.
He was silent, his eyes measuring.
She tugged lightly on his arm, only once.
He took a step towards her.
He was going to stay.
Sirius was the next to return to the compartment only to find that Gules still hadn’t returned.
Thank the Lord, he didn’t feel like being polite quite yet.
“Did I miss the lady with the goods?” He asked.
“Depends on what ‘goods’ you’re speaking of, Black,” Demetrius smirked as he entered the compartment directly after Sirius, scratching the back of his neck in a distinctively satisfied way.
Sirius nodded to him in greeting, seating himself down. “Barclay, I meant the one with the sweets,”
Demetrius grinned as he sat down next to him. “Course you did, mate, but the other goods are bloody sweet too, let me tell you,”
“She came past ages ago,” said James, shoving a chocolate from into his mouth. “What? No explosions, Pads? I’m disappointed we didn’t suddenly derail,”
“Got sidetracked by my one of my dear Slytherin buddies,”
Sirius pulled out his wand and levitated some of Remus’ chocolates his way.
Remus sighed, smiling, but didn’t say anything.
“For an hour and a half?”
“What can I say, Prongs? Goyle’s a little worse off than I am,” He pointed to the single gash in his arm that had obviously been hastily healed. “And it entertained me,”
“And no explosions...” James repeated, “amazing,”
Sirius allowed for that customary twitching of lips.
A glint of satisfaction was in his eyes.
Silence reigned as the two boys continued their game; Sirius, Demetrius and Peter looked on.
Abruptly, James stopped playing and sniffed the air. Much like a dog.
Oh the irony.
“Something smells strange in here,”
The other boys stopped and began sniffing the air as well.
Sirius watched on in a mix of amusement and bewilderment not knowing whether or not he should be disturbed.
“I don’t smell anything,” Demetrius said after a moment. “Then again, I never do,”
“Hey... I think it’s you, Barclay,” James pointed at him in interest.
“I must smell pretty damn good then,”
“Indeed,” Remus said, watching as Demetrius’ eyebrows rose. “Not that it appeals to me in the least,” He added with a quiet smirk.
“Mmmm... you smell good,” James put in. “But it’s kind of... a feminine scent,”
“Oy, that’s not bloody true!” Demetrius looked offended for a moment then something occurred to him. He blushed.
“Knew it,” James declared triumphantly.
Sirius popped another chocolate in his mouth – James’ this time – and put his crossed ankles on the seat across from him. “Barclay’s been doing what he does best,”
“Why am I not surprised that there’s not even a hint of envy when you say that?”
“I’ve no reason to be insecure, Barclay,”
Silence befell the compartment as Demetrius contemplated Sirius’ words with shock.
“I can’t quite pick what it is at the minute,” James said suddenly, scrunching his face up in concentration. “Jasmine?
“Shall we put it down to pheromones perhaps?” Remus chortled.
“Could explain the hordes of swooning girls,” Demetrius shifted in his seat smugly.
“Maybe you could lend me a couple of bottles of it then,”
“Couldn’t do that, Potter my man, it’s exclusive stuff. Besides you only want one girl, not a herd of them. It’d do more damage than good,” he paused. “Hey I smell it... damn, I smell sexy!”
James and Remus chuckled and got back to their game.
Demetrius grew bored quickly and turned to Sirius.
“Black, awfully quiet aren’t you? Something on your mind? Someone?”
Sirius shrugged but didn’t answer.
“Come on, work with me here, mate. I’m a step away from eating my hand off,”
“And wouldn’t that be fun to watch,” Sirius remarked.
“It’s okay to admit it, Pads, we all know you’re dying for a bottle of Barclay’s pheromones. No need to be coy,” James sniggered with Remus.
“Black’s doing just fine on his own,” said Demetrius, “Smushing hearts without even batting an eye,”
“What are you on about, Barclay?”
“Come on, Pads. Are you honestly saying you don’t notice the trail of wistful sighs that follow wherever you go?” Remus said.
“They can sigh all they want, I’m not interested,”
“Hence the sighing in the first place,” Remus returned with a shake of his head; a reluctant smile on his face.
“You don’t know what you’re missing out on, mate. Girls are marvellous,” Demetrius smiled dazedly.
“I know exactly what I’m missing out on. And it isn’t much,”
Demetrius shook his head in mock-pity. “So naive,”
“Hey where’d Evans go?” Sirius asked suddenly.
“Went off to find Gules and see if she got swallowed up by Skeeter’s huge mouth,”
Sirius smirked appreciatively at James’ comment.
“I have returned,” Genevieve smiled as she sauntered into the compartment making eye contact with Demetrius as she sat down across from him and Sirius.
No one saw Remus stiffen.
Demetrius winked in greeting.
A faint frown found his face as he noticed something.
His eyes widened as he realised what it was that he had noticed.
Remus agitatedly grabbed a nearby book of his and pulled it open. She was smiling cockily; in satisfaction. As if she wanted everyone to know what she had been doing.
But in reality she wanted him to know, more than anyone else.
And the way she was looking at Demetrius said it all. With disgust he realised why Demetrius had smelled so... feminine.
It made him feel ill.
Not for the first time where it concerned her, Remus felt the irrational urge to strangle someone. To grab her and...
He wiped the thought from his mind.
“Did you enjoy your little... escapade?” James asked innocently, a twinkle in his eyes.
Her lips curved in that subtly sexual way of hers, her eyes unconsciously finding Remus. He was engrossed in yet another book.
She stretched her arms sensually above her head as if her muscles were pleasantly tired as a result of... physical exertion.
His eyes flickered against his will in her direction.
She smirked. “Definitely,”
The train rocked sporadically; Gules hugged her knees tighter to her chest as she watched the country side wiz past like a blur, a never ending blur of green.
She had found this quaint little compartment all to herself at the other end of the train an hour ago. After having visited Edwina she had realised that she wasn’t quite ready to go back to her friends.
And it didn’t help that she wasn’t too eager to see Sirius.
So off she had gone in search of another diversion and when she had found this empty compartment she knew it had been fate.
Her book forgotten next to her, she was sat, knees pulled up, leaning against the cool pane of glass.
Was she ready to go back? She wondered. Was she ready to confront everything that awaited her at Hogwarts?
She knew this year was going to be different. It was going to be quick like the snapping of a quill and it was going to be tough.
But it also meant that with every month that passed she would be running out of time.
Time to complete the task.
“So this is where you got to. Merlin, I’ve been looking for you everywhere,” A familiar voice broke into her thoughts.
She turned to Lily who was watching her concernedly; hands on hips as she stood in the middle of the doorway.
“Oh hey, Lils,” Gules smiled softly.
“What are you doing in here?”
“Playing a quick game of quidditch, in my head of course,”
Lily’s brows drew together a little more. “Is everything alright?”
Gules nodded emphatically. “Everything’s fine! It’s all good! Don’t worry,”
Lily didn’t seem convinced.
“Lils, listen to me; if things weren’t fine, don’t you think I would tell you?”
Lily hesitated. “Yeah, but-“
“-but what? I’m the biggest bloody blabber mouth on the planet; you have nothing to worry about. I just wanted to read a bit and you guys are so blooming noisy...”
Lily finally smiled fully. “You’re right, I know,” She paused. “So are you going to come back now?”
Gules grinned, ignoring the wave of negative thoughts from before. “Sure, I was about to anyway,”
The girls left together; Lily none the wiser that her best friend had just lied to her.
The rest of the train ride passed rather quickly with more than a few games of exploding snap and wizards chess, a couple of naps here and there and various friends going in and out of the compartment.
It was that evening when the train was welcomed into Hogsmeade by a chilly wind.
“Blimey, winter’s starting already,” James shivered as he hauled his trunk off the train, Lily following closely behind with a friendly smile.
She hadn’t allowed him to carry her trunk as well. She was an independent woman after all; she didn’t need chivalry.
It was the mere fact that he had wanted to carry it that had her smiling widely.
They dropped their trunks onto the platform and disappeared into the crowd to perform their head duties.
“Those two are off to a flying start; never thought I’d see the day,” Gules shook her head in wonderment as she stepped out of the train with Genevieve.
She was trunk-less and cage-less.
Sirius and Demetrius followed silently, one holding Gules’ owl cage and the other holding her trunk.
Genevieve watched them place the trunk and cage down without a word or a look to the other. Gules caught her looking and began tugging her away into the crowd in annoyance.
She hated when people carried things for her; as if she couldn’t carry them herself.
They were swallowed up easily into the swarm of chatting students; the train’s steam wafting over their heads like a protective film. The strangely comforting smells of wood burning tinged the night and had Gules and Genevieve taking a deep, smiling breath. The air was icy and biting but it didn’t bother them in the least as Hagrid’s familiar booming voice penetrated the noise, calling for first years.
They were finally back. For the last time.
As they approached the carriages with the crowd of students pushing and moving them along, Genevieve just held back a grimace.
She’d been in shock last year when she’d seen them. Never before had she laid eyes on such strange creatures.
And she was the only one in her group of friends that could.
She had turned to Gules to get her mind off them when she realised that Gules was gone. She must’ve lost her somehow.
Sighing she went to get onto a nearby empty carriage.
A hand grabbed hers.
Heart in throat, her head whipped around.
“Need help?” Remus asked politely.
She hid her surprise with a smug smile and climbed into the carriage with his aid.
Moments later he entered the candle lit interior with her and shockingly, Demetrius entered directly after.
“Where’s Sirius?” Remus asked with a frown.
Demetrius shrugged with another grin sent Genevieve’s way. A muscle jumped in Remus’ jaw but neither of them noticed. “Lost him,”
“Bloody hell; if they had invisibility cloaks they’d be easier to find,” Gules muttered searching the quickly diminishing crowd of students for her friends. One minute she had been next to Genevieve then suddenly the next time she turned around she was gone.
Giving up, she settled for the nearest carriage and hoisted herself inside with some difficulty.
The carriages obviously weren’t made for the vertically challenged.
Once inside, the door mysteriously shut behind her and the carriage grumbled into movement.
She didn’t realise right away that she wasn’t alone. Of course, out of all the people she had to be stuck alone in a carriage with, it had to be Sirius Black.
The flickering candle light cast strange shadows over the rugged angles of his face. His cheek bones seemed to be more pronounced than usual.
His eyes were silver.
She fought not to groan.
“Get lost too, did you?’
He shrugged noncommittally. “Big crowds,”
She pressed her lips together; why wasn’t he being snarky? Why wasn’t he being sarcastic?
And why in the name of Merlin was he being bloody indifferent all of a sudden?
Be nice. Be polite. Maybe you’ll get something out of him that way.
“Didn’t see you much on the train today,” She remarked after a moment. “Did you do anything interesting?”
He averted his eyes and looked out the window; he wanted to jump out of the carriage and walk.
“Nothing out of the ordinary,”
“Why so cryptic?”
“Why so curious?” He’d said it casually but his eyes were dead serious.
Gules inwardly swore. He was too good at evading. “I was just asking,”
Silence; the crunching of wheels upon gravel the only noise to be heard.
“Are you happy to be back?” She asked tentatively, trying a different tack.
He narrowed his eyes fractionally; it was almost unnoticeable. “It’s Hogwarts,”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Here he smirked; a smirk of amusement. “Whatever you want it to mean,”
The sarcasm wasn’t missed. She’d called him cryptic and now he was throwing it back in her face.
God, she really wasn’t good at this.
“Oh look, we’re here!” She exclaimed on seeing the majestic silhouette that she so loved.
She had never been happier to see Hogwarts in her life.
Sirius gripped that last elusive branch above his head and lifted himself onto a perch at the top of the tree. Effortlessly; without so much as breaking a sweat. It was late that evening, past curfew, when he and the rest of Hogwarts were supposed to be sleeping restfully, ready for the next day of classes.
But he hadn’t felt tired and he had known it would be hours before he’d be lucky enough to fall asleep. So he’d left, taken the cloak without a word – his friends knowing him well enough not to ask – and found this tree. This tree on the very edge of the forbidden forest that he’d been climbing since first year when he’d come across it.
He gazed out at the dark grounds, the lights of the castle casting a dim glow. A calm spread within him. No restlessness, no frustration. Hogwarts was the only place that could make him feel like this. Looking out at that castle had the same effect every time. It hadn’t changed in six years and neither had its effect on him.
He’d definitely miss it. Even having to endure the Sorting every year.
The Great Feast had been uneventful enough; he’d completely ignored Bedoni and for the first time since he’d turned up at the Potters’, things had felt almost normal.
And yet... he couldn’t escape the fact that things weren’t normal. This dare wasn’t normal.
He wanted for nothing more than for things to go back to how they were before. He had been living his life the way he’d wanted. Apart from the whole family... fuck up.
But that was over now.
He blamed her.
She was the reason things weren’t normal. It had started on the platform three months ago; he should’ve known back then she was trouble.
Shifting to make himself more comfortable he dimly noticed a figure approaching the base of the tree.
He made sure he could no longer be seen and stayed quiet. He didn’t want anyone realising he was up there; he’d managed to hide it for six years.
Then his thoughts predictably turned to her.
God, she fucking pissed him off. He didn’t know what it was about her really, but there was just something... something that didn’t sit right with him. That made him feel strange in his gut, like there was something off, that didn’t quite fit. He didn’t know how to explain it, and it bugged the shit out of him.
She was too cute, he decided. He didn’t like cute. On anyone. Cute had always annoyed him; people were only cute when they wanted something, when they weren’t being honest.
He wasn’t the fountain of truth but at least he didn’t make people think he was.
Yeah... she was just too cute. It made his skin crawl; he knew she was putting it all on, that she wasn’t as innocent as she made out she was. And it was that fucking cuteness that made him feel guilty. He couldn’t for the life of him think why he’d feel guilty but there was no use denying it anymore, he wasn’t the type to lie to himself – pointless really.
But what interested him was why she wanted to make everyone think she was innocent; why would she make out that she was cute and non-threatening...
Did she want people not to take her seriously?
Hmmm... he wanted to get to the bottom of that one. She definitely hadn’t been that way with him.
It satisfied him immensely to see that she trusted him about as much as he trusted her which was of course; fuck all. It seemed they had something in common after all.
He saw it every time she looked at him, it was there, in those narrowed lids and tight lips that held back the words she so desperately wanted to let out.
A small, imperceptible smile plucked at his lips for an instant. It had been so amusing to watch her flounder when he hadn’t risen to her bait in the past week.
Bedoni, it seemed, didn’t enjoy it when he was polite. She expected him to be mean and sarcastic all the time, it was like she couldn’t deal with him any way other than the way she had always thought of him.
Twang went his gut, unexpectedly. Admittedly it did kind of annoy him that she expected him to be mean.
He wasn’t an arsehole all the time.
Just most of it.
Still, even though she didn’t want to, it always seemed like she was forcing herself to talk to him.
Why she suddenly wanted to be civil, he didn’t fucking know but he was of the mind that it would be in his favour if he didn’t question it. She was weird, no point in trying to understand her.
But he knew the only way to make her soft for him was to throw her for a loop. To completely turn every fucking thing she knew about him upside down and rip it to shreds.
That imperceptible smile became fractionally bigger and suddenly it felt like things were turning back to normal in an instant. No more guilt, no more confusing shit, just a dare. A challenge to occupy his time, escape a bit of boredom.
He was going to have a good time with this dare, he realised. He was going to show her and Phillips once and for all, that no one screwed with him and got away with it.
He knew shit all about girls and romance but he could wing it. It was what he did best.
Oh who was he kidding?
He was fucked.
A/N: Alright so I am completely aware that this is a filler chapter and that absolutely nothing happens but my hope was that it would be at least a little bit interesting. If it was so boring you were falling asleep at your computer feel free to let me know : ) But hey, on the upside, there was slightly smaller wait on this chapter! Woo! Go me! Any thoughts about Genevieve, my newest character? And yes, basically the entire purpose of this chapter was to introduce her. I kind of like her, she’s a pretty cool person.
Now, as always, I’d love to hear what you guys think; especially about this chapter, because a few interesting things occurred (well at least I hope they were interesting).
Well enough from me, chapter 14 is being started today and will probably already be half way done by the time this is published!
Thank you to everyone that has stuck with this story thus far : )
Until next chapter,
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