Chapter 5 : Chapter V.
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Regulus gazed at Feliciti’s soft, white face as she laid on her side, facing him. Her blue eyes were deep and intense as she stared right into his grey ones. “Was that when you first realised?” Her voice asked him gently. She smiled a small smile and played with the hem of his shirt.
Regulus nodded once and held onto her hand. She slowly guided his hand towards her face and smiled bashfully once it came contact to her supple cheeks. He smiled in return and lowered his head, moving the hair out of her face with his other hand. His gaze lingered on her eyes as they were mere inches away from each other. She closed his eyes and he kissed her soft, delicate lips.
“I’m sorry,” he breathed, his hot breath on her face.
“For what?” she sighed back, opening her eyes slowly.
“For only realising then.”
Feliciti smiled broadly and put her small hand against his face, caressing his chiseled jaw. “Well, I’m thanking you... For realising.”
Hogwarts had changed considerably for Feliciti. She found herself more alone than ever and avoiding Sirius had become her mission. She couldn’t bring herself to give him sympathy for leaving, despite what Regulus had explained to her.
The said mission had not lasted very long as they bumped into each other in the common room. One was coming in while the other was clambering out.
“Feliciti,” Sirius stopped dead in his tracks and pushed Feliciti back into the common room. “Please, stop avoiding me.”
She could see James, Peter and Remus watching curiously behind him.
Feliciti pushed his hands off of her, forcing him to relinquish her. “I’m not the one who left, Sirius.” she said softly, avoiding his intense stare. The boys behind Sirius all glanced at each other awkwardly.
“Can we please talk about it, Feli? Please?” Sirius was eager. Desperate to explain everything to her.
“Regulus explained everything to me.” Feliciti braved looking at him. She glared straight into his surprised eyes.
“Re- Regulus? My brother?” he stammered.
“How many Regulus’ do we actually know, mate?” James piped up, moving towards his favourite arm chair.
“He’s got a point there.” Remus said calmly, following him.
Peter merely looked at the two in confusion before scampering after Remus.
“What did he tell you?”
“Why have you never told me?” Feliciti yelped, recoiling herself from him.
“I almost died, Sirius, or worse! I understand that you might think you’re protecting me but how could you be so ignorant? How could you think that keeping me in the dark would protect me? How could you think that if you just left me, everything would be okay?! Sirius, I’m not just a little girl that’s best kept hidden in the shadows. I’m a witch. And I am able to look out for myself, contrary to what you may think.”
Sirius opened and closed his mouth, speechless.
“You- you almost died?” He looked at her, incredulous.
“By some pathetic muggles. But fortunately, Regulus was there. He saved me.” Feliciti upturned her nose and looked away from him like a little child.
Sirius shook his head disbelievingly. “Can we please just talk about it? I’ll take you to my dorm, so we’re not disturbed or overheard.” He looked to his mates and gave them a look to ensure he was understood. They all nodded at him and remained cautious, that no one would come up whilst they were speaking.
He nodded at her in question. She nodded once in response and followed him up the stairs and into his dorm.
She had never been in his dorm before. There were four single beds with polished wood posters, canopy tied in a knot. Sirius motioned for her to sit besides him on his bed. It was the one closest to the window, onlooking the lake. She gasped at the view as the sun began setting over the lake.
“It’s beautiful, hey?” Sirius beamed at her, producing dimples on either side of his face.
Feliciti nodded, face illuminated by the radiant orange that shone.
“Feli,” Sirius moved closer towards her so that their bodies were touching, “I honestly regret leaving you. There wasn’t a moment where you weren’t on my mind. I wondered what you were doing every minute of every day and I could honestly say that I missed you more than anything in the world.” His grey eyes were soft, reflecting the way in which he spoke. “Feli, I’ve never told you, but I’m in love with you.”
The next second felt like an eternity as both their hearts stopped beating. Sirius had planted a deep kiss on Feliciti’s soft lips, finally as they breathed simultaneously, as one.
Sirius paused momentarily, parting his lips from hers by mere centimeters. He looked at her, ensuring that this was what she had wanted. The look in her eyes told him it was. He moved forwards once again and pulled her hair back with his thumb, caressing her face. Their bodies were pressed together tightly as Sirius kissed her again with all the passion he could muster.
~ ~ ~
It wasn’t very long until the whole school knew of this new, yet anticipated, relationship between Sirius and Feliciti. It also wasn’t very long until the incident in the holidays between Regulus and Feliciti had been forgotten.
Everywhere she went, Feliciti could hear murmurs and mumbles as well as see the grudging stares of some girls. But none was worse than the torture that the Slytherins had her endure.
It was potions with the Slytherins that might have escalated the whole situation. Whilst waiting for Professor Slughorn to emerge from his dungeon, talk of Feliciti and Sirius was declared.
“So, the mudblood and the blood traitor are finally together.” Feliciti kept quite as Victor Faughn approached her, smirking. She looked up slowly and glanced at Regulus, who returned her look with a cold stare. Feliciti grimaced.
“I can’t bear to imagine your children, Gravois. Revolting blood, that mix.” He continued on as the Slytherins around him jeered and voiced their agreement.
It was at that moment Professor Slughorn opened the door and invited them all to come in. Feliciti waited till all the Slytherins had passed her before advancing to go in, only to find herself stopped by Regulus, who had lingered behind the rest.
She couldn’t help but smile jubilantly at him. Regulus did not return the smile but rather, frowned ferociously at her.
“He left you.” Regulus’ voice quivered slightly and Feliciti found herself backing away against the stone wall. “He left you and you still-” Anger took over him and he found himself unable to speak. He merely shook his head, his eyes angry and cold.
This time, it was Feliciti who stopped him from entering the classroom.
“Regulus? Why are you being like this?” She placed a hand on his arm and he shuddered.
Regulus approached her until she was flat against the wall. He placed his arms on either side of her face and looked at her, not failing to see the fear in her. Without any notice, he kissed her deeply.
Feliciti was taken by complete surprise and could not find it in herself to stop him. It was only when he released her that she had realised what happened.
“Regulus,” she said softly, shaking her own head, “I- I-”
“You can’t do it,” he finished off her sentence, barely concealing the bitter disappointment that pierced his stomach. “I know.” He left her with a small, bitter smile and entered the classroom.
Feliciti, on the other hand, couldn’t follow him. She crouched down against the cold wall, weak as her body began to quiver. She couldn’t help but sob into her hands with something beyond confusion. She bit onto her knuckles, tears cascading down her white face. She knew she couldn’t do it. She couldn’t hurt either of them. One who had been her friend since the beginning of time, and the other, the other who abandoned everything that had once made him who he was, in order to save her life. She knew what she had to do.
~ ~ ~
Her face bore misery as she entered the common room that following night. She walked briskly passed everyone else and slowly approached Sirius who had claimed the sofa by lying himself on it.
Sirius patted the bit of the sofa that was free in front of him and Feliciti walked towards him and slowly sat herself down. It only took one look for Sirius to realise that something was the matter.
He sat up immediately and cuddled her from the side, pecking her on the cheek. The rest of the marauders all grinned at each other, James even rolling his eyes so obviously that Sirius did not miss it.
Sirius chuckled and tossed a cushion at him forcefully. “It’s not like you and Lily don’t do anything like this.” He turned back to Feliciti, anxiety written all over his face. “What’s wrong?”
Her brows furrowed as she frowned. She retold the story of what had just happened hours ago.
By the time she had finished, Sirius rose to his feet, livid at what he had just heard.
“Sirius, please don’t do anything.” Feliciti was fearful, never seeing Sirius the way he was at that moment. He was shaking from head to toe. He shook his head and strode out of the common room. Feliciti looked to James for direction and with no hesitation, he followed after Sirius.
They were led towards the dungeons, more specifically, the Slytherin common room. They all watched as Sirius wrestled with the door knob.
“James, open the door.” James didn’t move. “James, you’re headboy! Open the door!” Sirius bellowed and James gawked at him, never seeing his best friend that enraged.
Feliciti quivered behind the rest of the boys, unbelievably frightened by what she was seeing. She held onto Remus’ sleeve for guidance and protection as James slowly, reluctantly recited the password.
The door swung open and Sirius stormed into the Slytherin common room, shocking all the Slytherins present. It wasn’t difficult locating the whereabouts of Regulus. His group had easily occupied the prestigious, well polished oak table in the middle of the room. Sirius even marched past Severus Snape, evidence that there was only one thing on his mind.
They all - apart from Regulus - raised their wands. Regulus waved his hand, motioning for them to lower their weapons. He stared at Sirius indifferently before glancing to the small, quivering figure behind the bunch. He simpered slightly before glaring back at Sirius.
“Get up.” Sirius commanded, no sympathy, no mercy, but hatred.
Regulus did so, though slowly. He was aware of how strong headed and determined Sirius could be. He knew that Sirius could lash out at any time. It was hard to tell what Regulus was thinking. His passive face displayed nothing but attention and vigilance to Sirius’ every move.
“Did you snog her?” Sirius’ voice trembled with the barely contained fury.
Judging by the gasps of the people around them, it was evident that that incident had remained a secret. That is, until now.
Feliciti didn’t miss the groan of shame that Regulus let escape his mouth. Her breath got caught up in her throat and she was hurt.
There were a few more seconds of silence before Sirius punched Regulus’ nose with all the wrath he could muster. The people around them withdrew and the marauders struggled with prying Sirius’ hands away from his little brother’s throat.
“If you ever, ever touch her again-” Feliciti heard Sirius snarl.
“It was you that left her, Sirius. I was only there to pick that filthy mudblood back up!” Regulus growled back as Sirius’ hands tightened their grip.
Sirius let out a roar and released him, throwing a wooden chair across the room instead as Professor Slughorn came running into the room, panting immensely hard.
“Don’t let me see you near her again.” Sirius thundered before pushing forwards past the professor and curious onlookers.
Feliciti stood where she was as the Marauders, one by one, left the Slytherin common room. Her eyes were blood shot and rheumy. A single tear dripped onto her cheek and her anguished face brought Regulus’ heart to his throat.
She shook her head once before spinning away and following after the marauders.
“How did you feel?” Feliciti questioned Regulus. That memory was as vivid as it was the day it happened. It never failed to dampen her spirit.
Regulus licked his lip, biting on his bottom one as he averted his gaze. “I’d never seen him like that.” He knew that Sirius was on both their minds. “Ever, in my life.” He noticed Feliciti’s look of torment and angst as salty, glistening tears formed in her eyes.
He moved closer towards the slowly hiccoughing body and held her tightly against his warm, firm chest. He whispered into her small ears as tears of his own formed and slid down his cheek, “I’m so sorry.”
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