Chapter 9 : The Riddle
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“So do you want to find out what the baby’s going to be before it’s born?”
“I’m going to go with human.” Melora grinned.
“Ha ha, I meant whether it’s a boy or a girl.” Sirius rolled his eyes.
Melora took a bite of her pie and shook her head, “No, I think that would make it harder.”
Sirius frowned, “What do you mean?”
They were in the kitchens. Melora had to skip breakfast in order to finish her Charms essay. When she’d mentioned it to Sirius, he suggested they skive off History of Magic to go get pie. Melora had never been down to the kitchens before, but she assumed Sirius had, as the house elves all knew him by name.
“Well,” Melora swallowed, “Right now it’s just a baby. No different from some passing baby on the street. But if I know the gender, I’m going to start thinking of names, and then it won’t just be some baby, it’ll be George or Annie and it’ll be personal….” She trailed off, “And then I won’t be able to give it away.”
Sirius thought about this for a moment, “I like Annie, but George sounds like an old person’s name.”
The blonde glared at him and Sirius smirked, “If it’s any consolation, your boobs have definitely gotten bigger.”
Melora flicked some pie at him and Sirius ducked it with a laugh, “Sorry, sorry.”
They sat in silence for a moment while Melora finished her food. She was surprised at how easy she and Black had been getting along since the Healer’s appointment. Although they rarely spent time together in public, between classes or at night they often met up and Melora was beginning to enjoy their little chats.
“You all done?” Melora snapped out of her reverie and looked across the table at Sirius, who grinned at her.
“Yeah,” Melora pushed her empty pie tin away and hopped off her stool, “I’m off to meet Bea at the library.”
Sirius stood up and followed her as they headed out of the kitchens, “I’ll come with. I’m supposed to meet Moon-ah, Remus there.”
Melora paused and gave him a bewildered look. It wasn’t as if she didn’t want to spend time with him in public. But the rumors about her being pregnant had died down quickly, and the last thing Melora wanted was for them to spring back up again. Since nobody had ever confirmed the rumor, most students lost interest. And the few that knew the truth, thank Merlin, were keeping their mouths shut. So the less time Melora and Sirius spent together, the less it was suspected she actually was having his child.
Sirius seemed to be reading her mind, because he winced and rubbed the back of his neck, “I’ll walk behind you?” He suggested, taking a few steps back.
Melora bit her lip anxiously, she had been the one to impose the no being seen together rule, but it seemed cruel to do this to Sirius when all he had done was be nice to her.
“No,” she said, “It’s fine.”
Sirius looked surprised, but happy, and caught up to her. Their walk to the library was met with little disruption, besides a few Gryffindor girls that sent them suspicious looks.
However, when they got there, Melora and Sirius found they weren’t the only ones mixing it up today. Remus and Bea were sitting together, going over a book with their heads close.
“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” Sirius said when they reached the table.
Remus and Bea’s heads both shot up in surprise, just barely missing one another.
“Nothing!” they both exclaimed.
Melora hid her giggle behind her hand. Sirius plopped down in the seat next to Remus and Melora slid into the chair by Bea.
“So what are we studying?” She asked in a teasing voice.
Bea shot her an irritated look, but Melora had never gotten revenge on her Hufflepuff friend for abandoning her, so she ignored it.
“Nothing.” The brunette replied the same time Remus answered, “Herbology.”
Melora’s grin widened. “Didn’t you drop Herbology last year Bea?”
Bea attempted to stutter out an excuse, but Sirius snatched the book from under Remus and read the title aloud, “Hairy Snout, Human Heart.”
An odd look came over Sirius’s face, and he handed Remus back his book without another word. Melora frowned.
“I’ve never heard of it,” she said.
“It came out over the summer. It was written anonymously by a werewolf all about the prejudice he’s faced in the Wizarding World,” Bea explained, looking quite uncomfortable, “I’ve been wanting to read it, but Hogwarts doesn’t have a copy. When I was waiting for you, I spotted Remus with it and he was showing me some of his favorite parts.”
Melora brightened, “That’s nice,” she said slyly, looking over at Sirius, “What do you say you and I study over at that table and leave these two alone to look at their book?”
“Hm? Oh sure Melly,” Sirius replied, eyes not leaving Remus who was staring determinedly down at the table.
Melora rolled her eyes at the nickname, but said nothing and dragged Sirius away to the aforementioned table.
“Well that was horribly embarrassing,” Bea murmured.
Remus nodded. “Like being caught snogging by your parents.”
Both teens went bright red at the comparison.
After laughing over Bea and Remus for a while, and getting very little homework done, Melora and Sirius left the library and headed off to their respective common rooms.
It wasn’t particularly late, but Melora was exhausted and eager to take a nap before meeting Beatrice for dinner. Despite being tired nearly 24/7, Melora wasn’t getting much sleep. She was desperate to avoid her dorm mates and fellow Ravenclaws, who seemed to be looking down on her constantly these days, so she stayed out as late as possible before sneaking back into her dorm.
She also woke up earlier. To make up for it, she snuck back when she knew most people were at classes and napped. She was doing fairly well at avoiding, but today, Melora wasn’t so lucky.
Stacy Scott stood at the top of the stairs in front of the door to the common room, her arms crossed, and her foot tapping impatiently against the stone steps.
“I’m telling you I don’t know the answer!” She yelled, auburn curls bouncing in annoyance at the eagle knocker that remained indifferent to her plight, “I just need to get my textbook; I’m going to be late to Herbology!”
Melora considered heading back to the library and napping there, but Stacy looked almost ready to cry and her bed really was much more comfortable than the tables in the library. With a heavy sigh, she continued up the staircase towards her ex-best friend.
Stacy looked up in relief when she heard the footsteps, but an uncomfortable expression took its place when she realized who was coming. Melora ignored this and focused on the eagle knocker that repeated the riddle: “If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you haven't got me. What am I?”
Although the knocker often came up with new riddles, by 7th year, most Ravenclaws knew the answers to the majority of its questions. Stacy seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick today, as this was a newer riddle, but Melora had heard it already and quickly answered.
“Very good,” the knocker replied and the door swung open. Stacy climbed through first shooting Melora an awkward, but thankful glance over her shoulder. Melora nodded in return and as Stacy ran up to the girl’s dormitory, presumably to get her textbook. Melora collapsed in an armchair. When Stacy came back down, she’d go up; the last thing she wanted to deal with was confrontation.
A/N- And finally we meet the infamous Stacy Scott. Who, unlike Stephen, isn't really all that bad. But more about that later (muhaha)
I forget if I mentioned this already, but there might be a lack of updates this month as I work on my nanowrimo story. I have a few chapters already written out, it's just a matter of finding time to edit them and upload them.
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