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Chapter 9 : These Things Move in Threes
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Tuesday October 12th, 1:03 pm
The meeting with Dumbledore went quickly. I told him exactly what happened and even though he was trying to remain calm while I told him the story I could see furry coursing through his eyes. I received one night of detention for being out past curfew. Once Dumbledore assigned me my punishment he told me to leave and send James and Sirius to his office next. While James and Sirius were in the meeting Remus and I waited for them outside of Dumbledore's office.
“I'm sorry about last night, losing the invisibility cloak and the Marauder's map.”
Remus shrugged and looked unbothered. “That's alright, it will probably keep Sirius and James from getting themselves into more trouble.”
I laughed and shook my head knowing that that wouldn't prevent them from getting into trouble still. I then remembered last night how Sirius had mentioned Remus's special circumstances and curiosity got the best of me. “Remus I was wondering about when Dumbledore mentioned your special circumstances what he meant by it.”
Remus looked nervous and opened his mouth to reply but was then interrupted by James and Sirius exiting Dumbledore's room.
“Only a months worth of detention, not too bad.” Sirius declared proudly.
“And we even got him to postpone the detentions until after Saturdays game so we can properly train,” James said puffing out his chest. “Good old Dumbledore,” he said before saluting Dumbledore's office and walking to the Gryffindor common rooms. “I believe that from all that has gone on we have earned the right to skive class for the rest of the day.”
“Count me out,” Remus said. “I actually care about my grades.”
“Fine, Moony's out, how about you Avery?”
“No can do, I am going to the library and catching up on missed work from today.” Despite the fact that I had swore to myself if I lived past last night I would change things about myself I couldn't neglect homework.
“Fine but we're catching up later and discussing some new quidditch strategies.”
I laughed and reassured James I would be available to help him later before making my way to the library. Most people were at classes so the library was virtually empty. I set down my things on an empty table and retrieved my Transfiguration book before reading the chapter lesson I had missed from today. I was so engrossed in my book, trying to commit it to memory, that I didn't hear someone walk up to my table.
I heard someone clear their throat and looked up to see Amos Diggory looking at me. I couldn't figure out why he was at my table looking like he wanted to talk to me. I didn't even know he knew I existed as we'd never talked before. The only reason I knew who he was was because of quidditch. He was the captain for Hufflepuff and the star chaser who gave James a run for his money.
“If you're curious about last night I'm not going to tell you anything.” I said before returning to my book thinking that that would be the end of it.
Amos mildly laughed before pulling out a chair and sitting next to me. I looked up from my book and quirked an inquisitive eyebrow. “I think I've heard enough about last night to figure out what happened. I was just making sure you're alright.”
Amos let out another laugh and leaned forward in his seat. “I'm surprised James is letting you sit here alone.”
“Why would James-” I stopped myself from asking the question. Amos thought James and I were dating and it would be only natural for my boyfriend to be by my side. “Well luckily for me my boyfriend knows that I can handle myself and doesn't need to suffocate me at all times.”
“If you were my girlfriend I wouldn't let you out of my site.”
“Well thank Merlin for the fact that James is my boyfriend and not you.”
I expected my comment to detour Amos from whatever he was doing and leave but it only seemed to provoke him more. “Pity that Potter got to you before the rest of us could.”
I looked at Amos and closed my book. The old Avery would've just ignored his comment and gone back to work. The old Avery never would've continued this conversation in the first place. Good thing I'm not old Avery anymore. “Funny, I'm pretty sure I've had six years free of James and no one bothered to 'get me' then.” I paused and leaned towards Amos. “What is it you want Diggory? Up until five minutes ago we'd never even talked and now you're asking how I'm doing and accusing my boyfriend of not fulfilling his duties.”
“Wow, you sure are a hard woman to compliment. I was merely trying to talk to you because I find you interesting.”
I leaned back in my seat and stared at Amos. I wasn't quite sure what he wanted and I wasn't sure that I fully believed his excuse that he wanted to get to 'know me'. “Well I'm afraid I'm a bit of a disappointment as the only interesting thing I'm doing is reading my Transfiguration book.”
“A girl who keeps up on her studies, I like that.” He gave me a flirtatious smile and before I could respond James and Sirius came up behind him.
“What are you doing here Diggory? Are you bothering Avery?” Sirius asked heatedly. I saw that his fists were clenched and his jaw was flexing as if he was restraining himself from beating Amos to a bloody pulp.
“No, just talking to her. Unless there's a problem with that, is there James?” He asked as he turned to James who looked indifferent compared to Sirius's tense demeanor.
“Go bother someone else's girlfriend,” James said breezily as if he didn't really care. Which, I realized, he probably didn't.
“Alright,” Amos said standing up from the table. “I can see when I'm not wanted.” He sent me a wink which earned him an eye roll before leaving the library.
“Git,” Sirius mumbled as he left.
“Alright Avery,” James said removing papers from his bag and setting them out in front of her, unfazed by the previous situation. “Let's go over these plays, I want your input.”
I focused on James and the plays but couldn't help but notice that Sirius was unnaturally quiet and he just sat still in his chair hardly saying anything as James and I went over the plays.
After two hours James and I had come up with three new strategies to use during the Hufflepuff game. Since their chasers were the strongest part of their team James and I created plays where the beaters would be able to follow the chasers easily and keep them in eye site so they could easily detour them with a bludger. James then gathered the papers and put them back into his backpack. We all stood up and went to dinner. After a fast dinner I made my way to detention with Slughorn while James and Sirius went to quidditch practice.
As I neared the potions room I started getting nervous as last nights events came flooding back. I reminded myself that I was alive and there was nothing to get worked up about anymore.
I entered Slughorn's classroom and was shocked to see Nial sitting at a table scrubbing at a cauldron.
“Ah Miss Muze,” Slughorn said once I'd walked in. “Mr. Melbe just got here moments ago. Before you start getting to work at cleaning out the cauldrons I was hoping I could talk to you inside of my office.” Slughorn stood up from behind his desk and gestured for me to follow him into his office which was up a staircase right behind his desk. Once inside the office I sat down awkwardly in a chair.
With Slughorn being the Slytherin head I was worried that he was going to be mad at me and punish me more severely for what had happened.
“I just want to apologize for what happened last night. I am ashamed for my house and of myself for letting this happen and I just want you to know that I am not taking what happened lightly and there will be severe consequences for those involved.” Slughorn looked truly apologetic and his chins giggled as he looked at me.
“Thank you professor,” was the only thing I could think of saying.
“I was hoping that as part of my apology you would accept an invitation to a Slug Club get together before Christmas Break.”
“Um, sure professor.”
“Good, feel free to invite a friend.” Slughorn said slapping his hands idly against his table. “Well, now that that's out of the way I'll have you get to your detention. As you can see you'll be joining Mr. Melbe and be cleaning out the cauldrons by hand. If you're too tired from last night to finish this task let me know and we can reschedule a different time.”
I smiled at Slughorn as I rose in my seat, “that wont be necessary professor. I'm fully capable of completing my detention tonight.”
“Very well, if you need me I'll be here in my office.”
I gave him a nod before leaving his office and joining Nial at the table.
“Hi,” I said greeting Nial while I grabbed a cauldron and a rag and joined him in cleaning.
“Hey,” he responded, not looking up from his cauldron.
“So what did you do to land yourself in detention tonight?”
“Oh,” Nial mumbled, I could see his cheeks turn a light shade of red. “I was late for potions. I was er-waiting for you to make sure you were alright before class and ten minutes after class had started I figured you weren't coming so I was late.”
I was shocked at Nial's reason for being late to class. I was oddly touched at his small gesture and found myself smiling wildly. “Thanks for waiting and sorry I didn't show up I was in Dumbledore's office.”
“I figured as much. I'm just wondering, are you alright? You don't have to tell me what happened I just want to make sure you're ok,” Nial finished quickly.
“I'm fine, a little shaken up but alright.”
“Good, and make sure something like that doesn’t happen again. I don't want to get a bad attendance record because you can't keep yourself out of trouble.”
I laughed lightly and assured him that I would keep out of trouble so he could keep a good record. Nial and I fell into an easy conversation after that. He clued me into what I had missed during class and told me he would give me notes. Once we'd finished our detention we walked slowly back to the common room, content with our easy conversation.
“Are you going to the game Saturday?” Nial asked.
“Course,” I responded.
“Ah right, you've got to cheer on James.”
“Its the easiest task I've been assigned since becoming his girlfriend.”
“Right,” Nial said in a slightly offhanded way. His demeanor seemed to have shifted as he gazed at his feet intently, as if he was plagued by some horrible thought. Before I could question him on it he returned his gaze to me and spoke. “Avery, I know about everything.”
I tried to not let my shock show, how on earth could he know anything? “What do you mean?”
He gave me a look that implied 'don't be so daft.' But quickly dropped his gaze once again before speaking. “The party a few nights ago, I don't know if you remember, you had had quite a bit to drink,” he said with a small smirk as if recalling a hilarious memory. “We were talking, well, more like you were talking and I just listened in amusement. In the duration of our conversation you sort of let it slip to me that you were only pretending to be James' girlfriend.”
“I-I, I was joking,” I stuttered horribly. My attempts at covering my lie were futile.
Nial just shook his head and smirked. “No, you weren't. But don't worry, I won't tell anyone.” He gave me a reassuring smile as he said the password to the fat lady and stepped through the portrait. “Well I'm going to bed,” he said while turning towards the boys staircase. “I'll see you Saturday then for the game?” when I nodded in assurance he smiled at me and started up towards the staircase, calling, “save me a seat,” before he disappeared.
“Well wasn't that a cozy moment.” I heard a voice call to me from the other side of the common room. I turned and found James staring at me from the couch with an amused expression on his face. I hadn't even noticed him when I had walked in.
“Shove it Potter,” I said jokingly as I sat down next to him on the couch, throwing my feet up on the table in front of me.
“Does ickle Avery have a cutsie date with Melbe?” James said in an annoying baby voice.
I rolled my eyes and threw a pillow at him. Unfortunately I missed his head and it landed behind the couch instead. “He's going with me to help me support my boyfriend. I don't know if you know who he is. Unruly hair, spectacles, feminine hands.”
“I do not have feminine hands.”
“You sort of do Prongs, thin eyebrows as well.” I turned to my left and saw Sirius coming down from the boys stairs. He gave me a light smile before joining us on the couch. I noticed that as he sat down it looked forced as he slowly lowered himself on the couch, a slight wince on his face.
“You alright there Sirius?”
“Yeah, James just was running us to death at practice today, I think I've dislocated my shoulder.”
“Don't be such a baby Padfoot.”
“I'm not a baby, you're just a tyrant!”
“Alright you two don't get your knickers in such a twist,” I chided trying to calm the boys mock-anger attitude. Sirius and James chuckled and Sirius nudged me with his elbow causing me to giggle. Our laughter was interrupted by the portrait door swinging open, revealing an always stern looking McGonagall.
This never ends well.
“Ah good for you three to be there, this applies to all of you.” McGonagall said swiftly, avoiding any small talk and making a beeline right for us. “Miss Muze, we have discussed what would be proper punishment and have made our decision. I'll let you know none of us took this lightly and there have been severe consequences for those involved. As for Mr. Malfoy and the other Mr. Black they are hereby banded from quidditch indefinitely.”
“What!” James roared, interrupting McGonagall.
“Mr. Potter, please, keep your voice down. I thought that you would find this bit of knowledge particularity pleasing.”
“It's not good because winning doesn't mean anything if we're not playing the best.”
“I'm sorry Mr. Potter that these punishments aren't in accordance with your quidditch standards but after the incident we feel that this is the most suitable punishment. And as for Miss Black and Mr Snape they will be serving detention until Christmas break and are banded from Hogsmeade trips. If your safety comes into question again do not hesitate to notify me or Dumbledore.” She looked between the three of us, her lips pursed and her hands clasped in front of her. “I bid you all goodnight.” With a swish of her robes she turned her back to us and left the common room.
I looked over at James who was sitting in silence, his face in a unreadable expression, as if he were trying to contain his emotions. I reached out to touch his arm and said, “James.” But he only got up from the couch and went to his dorm room wordlessly.
His action stung. I felt like it was my fault, I knew that he was blaming me for no longer playing the star players on the Slytherin team.
As if reading my mind Sirius put his arm around me and pulled me close, “hey, don't worry about it. Prongs will be over it soon and realize it's not your fault. Which it's not.”
I smiled and looked up at Sirius. He seemed to know how to comfort me every time I was distressed. Without knowing it Sirius had crept into my life and changed me. He had become a friend slowly, without trying to force the relationship upon me. He seemed to know my boundaries as if he had experienced similar experiences himself. I couldn't help but be grateful to have him as my friend.
Sirius rested his cheek on the top of my head as I settled myself against him. For once I wasn't awkward by a boy's touch. This seemed natural to me as I burrowed under his heavy arm.
“Sirius,” I said quietly, as if I was afraid if I spoke too loudly I would ruin the comfort of our situation.
“Hmmm,” He mumbled. I could feel his cheek shake against the top of my head.
“What were they saying, Lucius and them, before you walked in?”
I could feel Sirius stiffen and his breath hitch in his throat. I thought he was going to leave and braced myself for his descent. But then I felt him slightly relax back into me. “They were trying to get Regulus to join him.”
“Join who?” I asked in a voice barely above a whisper. Before Sirius answered I knew what his response was going to be and even though I knew this a shiver still went down my spine once he uttered the name, “Voldemort.”
Little did I know from that moment on the name Voldemort would be spoken more commonly and become a bigger part of my life than I could have ever imagined.
Outside it was cold but not bitter. The sun was shining through clouds offering a little bit of warmth in the cold October weather. I was wearing Sirius's sweatshirt and hugged it close to my body. As the bleachers filled up I could feel my body temperature rising with the heat surrounding me. I saw Remus and Peter at the bottom of the stands looking for a place to sit. I started waving at them and Remus quickly found me, smiling before he and Peter came next to me. As Remus started nearing me I saw he was looking worn down. There were bags under his eyes and his face was unusually pale.
The time of the month.
I couldn't help but let that float flow through my head. I decided that I was going to start keeping track, writing down the days Remus starts acting weird and start putting the pieces together. If no one was going to tell me what was wrong with Remus I would have to find out on my own.
“Hello,” I said once Remus and Peter reached me. I received a warm hello in response as they sat next to me.
“I think that bloke is trying to get your attention,” Peter said directing me towards the middle of the bleachers. I looked around and saw Nial looking intently at me. I waved him over and he smiled and made his way towards us.
“Hello,” he responded cheerfully to the three of us. “I got some hot chocolate,” he said gesturing with the two cups in his hands. “I didn't realize there would be more than just the two of us otherwise I would've brought more.”
“Thanks,” I said taking a cup from his hand as he settled beside me. “Want a sip?” I offered to Remus and Peter. Peter said no but Remus happily took a long sip, a slightly blush reaching his cheeks.
“Looks like the game is about to start,” Nial commented as the players came onto the field. I immediately spotted James and Sirius. James looked intent as he shook Amos's hand. Sirius glared at Amos before his eyes started scanning the bleachers as if he was looking for someone.
I heard Madame Hooch blow her whistle and everyone rose into the air. Once in the air James saw us and nudged Sirius. They both waved at us and I sighed in relief. James seemed to be in better spirits and seems to have gotten over Lucius and Regulus's disbandment.
Madame Hooch released the bludgers and snitch and threw the quaffle into the air and the game started. Vic Jordan's booming voice was heard as he followed the quidditch match.
“And Hufflepuff is in possession with Amos at the front. Oh, and he has been thrown off course and fumbled the ball with a particularly good bludger placement by Sirius Black. And now Gryffindor is in possession. James Potter is nearing the goals and he shoots. Bollocks! The ball is blocked by Hufflepuff keeper Tina Pinchy. Diggory is again in possession of the quaffle but is once again derailed by another shot from Black. The bludger just nicked the back of his broom and almost threw him off of his broom. It seems as if Black has a particular vendetta against Diggory today. Diggory, mate, you better watch your back.”
I looked at Sirius and noticed a new intensity in his eyes that I'd never seen before. Any shot he made would be directed towards Diggory, whether he was in possession or not. Sirius seemed intent on only throwing Diggory off of his game and Diggory seemed to get more and more pissed as the game continued.
“And Diggory scores! Hufflepuff-70, Gryffindor-60.”
Sirius looked even more angry as he looked heatedly at Diggory. The game continued on and possession went back and forth, it seemed Sirius was even more intent on getting Diggory than before. The game continued for another hour. My face had begun to froze as it remained immobile. Then after there was a long lull in the game when no one had scored Gryffindor's seeker Trent Hayes went into a spectacular dive.
“And it looks as if Hayes has spotted the snitch. Hufflepuff's own seeker Brianna Benson hot on his tail.”
Everyone in the stands stood up to get a better look at what was going on as Trent and Brianna neared the ground. I held my breath in anticipation before Trent leveled out and Jordan announced, “and Hayes has caught the snitch. Gryffindor wins!”
All of Gryffindor cheered and we started making our way down to the fields to congratulate the players. I had reached the fields and was making my way over to James and Sirius when I felt someone catch my arm and yank me back against the crowd. I turned around to see Amos staring down at me with almost an amused expression on his face.
“What is it that you want Diggory,” I said, yanking my arm out of his grasp.
“It's a little odd,” he said with a smirk as he looked down at me.
“When I was making a play for you the other day your boyfriend Potter barely flinched and yet,” Amos paused as his eyes glanced over to James and Sirius. “And yet,” he repeated, “Black was the one that was trying to murder me today.”
I stared intently at Amos as something boiled up inside of me. I did find it odd that Sirius had been so aggressive towards Diggory today but surely that wasn't because of me. Amos was the best chaser on the team, strategically it would make sense for him to target Amos. “So what you're saying Diggory is that you were only hitting on me to rile up my boyfriend, is that it?” I said detouring him from his previous comment.
“Course love, what other reason would there be?” He gave me one last condescending smirk before hurrying off the field.
I tried to not let Amos's words get to me. I know he was only trying to piss me off after my house had just beaten his. I forced a smile on my face as I ran towards James and Sirius. Once I reached them James threw his arms around me and held me close.
“You're bloody brilliant Avery, your plays worked again.” James pushed back and held me at arms length as he smiled broadly at me. “You're the best girlfriend a quidditch starved boy could ask for.” He quickly swooped down and gave me a peck on the cheek. “Hey Sirius,” James called, draping an arm over my shoulder. Sirius padded over to us a large smile on his face as well. “I think todays win calls for a celebration of sorts!”
“Ugh, no more fire whiskey,” I said in protest.
“Maybe tonight we'll keep it simple, how about just the five of us, yeah? Let the other's run themselves ragged with contraband items.” Sirius said obliging my statement. “Besides, I'm sure Avery wants to keep her other birth marks a secret.”
I smacked Sirius in the chest with the back of my hand and Sirius laughed, slinging his arm around my shoulder along with James.
“Can I get a picture?” Wayne Creevy asked hesitantly.
“Of course, but only if Avery is in it too.”
“Oh sure alright,” Creevy muttered as he brought up his camera. “All right, everyone say quaffle.”
The three of us yelled quaffle before being blinded by Creevy's camera.
A/N: Alright tell me what you guys think. How do you like Avery/Sirius. Anything I can change??? Tell me all :) And I realize this was a bit of a filler but the next few chapters are more action packed :)
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