Chapter 17 : Thieves of Hearts
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and please, say to me, you´ll let me hold your hand
I wanna hold your hand
The Beatles: I want to hold you hand. 1963.
“What the hell is wrong with me?” I said out loud, to no one in particular.
I wasn’t expecting to hear a reply. And if I was, it definitely wasn’t the voice I wanted to hear.
“Several things, but there’ll be a lot more once we’re through.”
I whipped around to come face to face with the Slytherins that had been hunting us before, Melanie’s Ian Stulit at the front of the – admittedly much smaller than before – yet still fierce looking mob.
“You haven’t given up yet?” I asked before I could stop myself. “That prank Sirius pulled happened weeks ago …”
“We’ve been waiting to exact our revenge,” one of them said. “And you’ve just given us the perfect opportunity.”
“Oh riiiight, because Sirius is all alone now somewhere in the castle. Go on and get him, then,” I said, gesturing towards the castle, but surprised at the dark tone in my voice.
They too seemed a little surprised at my answer, though more so confused. Ian’s right hand man blinked himself out of confusion and said, “You’re not a very bright Ravenclaw.”
I rolled my eyes, and crossed my arms across my chest. “That’s the best you can come up with? Seriously, it lost its effect two hundred times ago.”
Ian seemed to want to get things back under control, back into his own hands. “The point is, Thorse, why bother going after Sirius, when we can do him so much more damage by getting back at you.”
Bloody hell…why did everybody seem to know about our feelings except us ourselves?
I mean, excluding that little exchange in the hall just right now.
“And it took you a few weeks to come up with that brilliant plan? Genius, really,” I scoffed, not entirely sure what I was doing. Stalling? Didn’t apply, I think, considering there was no way out of this and no one was going to come help me.
I did have my wand in my pocket, of course, but I doubt that would do any good considering it was in my back pocket, and not in my hand out in front of me and pointing in their direction, like the theirs were.
“So what shall we do, boys?” Ian asked. “Lock her in another broom closet? Throw her into the forbidden forest? Tie her upside down to a tree…or perhaps ask for a kiss or two?”
“I’ll take the tree,” I replied first. Broom closet…been there, done that. Not to mention completely overused, cliché and boring. Forbidden Forest was just…no. It was forbidden for an actual reason (and this is based on first hand experience). And obviously there was only one person I wanted to kiss (now if only he wanted to kiss me too…)
“Wrong answer,” Ian answered, and with a cocky grin waved one of his subordinates forward, who was holding his arms behind his back very suspiciously. Automatically I started to wander what horrible, torturous contraption he was holding. I held my breath as he moved his arms forward to reveal the object.
And then I stared. And blinked. And stared some more.
“A camera.” I deadpanned. “You’re going to take your revenge with a camera.”
“Creative, isn’t it? See, we’ve just come to claim those kisses you promised us, and we just want some proof of it,” Ian said sounding way too smug to be healthy.
“Technically it was Sirius who promised those kisses, so why don’t you go kiss him? I’ll take the photos for you.”
If I wasn’t determined to keep a straight face, my jaw would have dropped in response to my own words. I really had no idea where all this…boldness was coming from. I’d say Doritos, but the truth was those delicious pieces of crispy and spicy heaven where only available in the muggle world.
And I had gone through my stash within a week of getting here.
“We like this idea better,” a Slytherin in the back of the group answered, only to receive glares of doom from their precious leader for having the audacity to reply something so stupid. It would have made me laugh, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was digging myself into a deeper hole with every passing minute.
I tried un-digging myself. “Isn’t there a serious flaw in your plan? Obviously I’m not going to willing kiss any of you tards, and you touch me otherwise, I’m filing sexual abuse charges.”
My threat didn’t have much of an effect, and I realized that at least Ian was smart enough to have thought that one through. Brilliant. Now I was getting buried in that hole I just dug up. And ugh, by stupid Slytherins, no less. How…predictably uninteresting.
Because honestly, if I had to die (physically or socially), I’d prefer it was with a bang. This was just with a flash. Not nearly epic enough.
“Imperius curse, or oblivation, darling Andy,” Ian said, sickeningly sweetly, having apparently reclaimed his role as spokesperson for impending demise. “Take your pick.”
I scoffed, “You need both, you idiot.”
Really? I mean, really? Well screw digging a hole and getting buried in it. At this rate I might as well just go drown myself in yonder lake for all the good I was doing to get out of this more and more hopeless situation.
Ian blinked, clearly as astonished as I was at my answer, though after a moment he just grinned. “Right, well then lets get started than, shall we? Imperio!”
Before I could make another comment, and completely not expecting to be hit with an unforgivable curse in a matter as stupid as this, I felt myself going blank, light. I felt like I was floating, like I didn’t have to worry about anything…It was nice…
Until I heard a voice (and not one of the 101 in my mind) say something about kissing.
For a second I was taken aback at the foreign voice echoing in my quite empty head, but then, it seemed like a perfectly normal idea. There was a guy in front of me, a fairly handsome one, and he wanted me to kiss him. I started to walk towards him, stretching out my arms in front of me, ready to clasp them around his neck.
And then I stopped, because out of the completely fuzziness that my mind had become, I heard a familiar voice, somewhere in the far distance, ask Why? Why would I kiss him?
Kiss me. The doubt disappeared as soon as it had appeared, as the stronger voice uttered its nonverbal command, and I was taking steps towards him once more. Closer and closer, now my hands, not feeling like my own, were around his neck, and my lips were so close to his…
There was a flash of light, followed by several screams.
And then I blinked, and was suddenly very aware that I was staring up into Ian Stulit’s face.
Before I promptly kneed him in the groin.
It wasn’t until after I had completed said action and had jumped as far back from him as I could, that I noticed the source of the commotion from before:
A giant black dog. Staring straight at me. And growling ferociously in Ian’s direction. The other Slytherins were already running away, with slightly injured – well, scratched, really – limbs and torn clothes.
Screams explained. And Slytherins dispersed (minus one who was still slightly incapacitated, compliments of my awesome martial art skills (read: upward knee motion)).
(Oh dear lord. I was using double brackets. Like…like…in math. Holy mother of Merlin and Morgana…that had to be the last bits of my normal-ness going out the window. I mean, it wasn’t even excessive use of stylistic and literary devices anymore. I had moved on to math, for crying out loud. This could not be good.)
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the camera lying haphazardly on the ground, smashed into pieces. Flash of light explained…and evidence taken care of.
New dilemma: giant black ferocious dog, looking strangely like the Grim.
Wonderful, so I was going to die soon after all.
“Uh…nice doggy of death...or whatever you are…” I said slowly, starting to back away. The dog advanced, still barring his teeth. But as he neared, he veered toward Ian, coming to a sort of protective stance in front of me.
“Yeah that’s it…good Grim…” I said, liking this positive turn. Trying my luck, commanded, “Sick’em boy.”
As if in response to my encouragement, the dog lunged at Ian, who started to run away as fast as he could (but not fast enough), as it grabbed a piece of his pants and tore them right off.
Laughing, I yelled after him, “And you’ll get more if you ever come near me again.”
The dog returned to my side, with a piece of Ian’s pants caught in his monstrously (oh so sharp) teeth. Yet for as frightening as he had seemed only seconds ago, now, wagging his tail and sitting down in front of me, I couldn’t help but feel like the eyes that were staring up at me were familiar.
Hesitantly, I crouched down a little, and stretched out my hand, patting him on the head. “Good doggie. You are a dog, right? And you’re not here to foretell my imminent demise, right?”
Surprisingly, the dog actually gave a sort of nod. Starting to scratch him behind the ears, I continued talking, “You’re sort of cute, you know? Strange how you can be so ferocious and completely fearsome one second, and the next be an adorable animal.”
He just kept wagging his tail as I scratched behind his ears, but got up on all fours and started to beckon towards the castle, nudging me with his snout. “Alright, alright I get it. Time to go back before McGonagall gives me another detention, yeah?”
I received a few barks in response. For some reason, it strangely reminded me of Sirius’ laughter (unless I was so beyond hope by this point that everything nowadays would remind me of Sirius). We started towards the castle, the giant dog trotting along beside me. “I don’t know if you can understand me, but thank you. It’s nice to know I do have someone to count on…”
The dog cocked his head slightly to the side, staring up at me. Maybe I actually was beyond hope, because for a second I could have sworn those eyes were exactly like Sirius’. He glanced around before backing away a little. I watched the dog’s strange behaviour, and then gasped. The giant black dog was suddenly morphing, transforming into the familiar figure of none other than Sirius himself.
My state of shock could only be described by the obnoxiously simple equation the Voices came up with:
Dog → Sirius.
Logic was nearly spontaneously combusting trying to reason that one out.
“I told you, Andy, if you’re in a tight spot, I’ll be there – you can always count on me,” he said. I was in too much shock to even reply. “I don’t break my promises.”
My mind was working in double time trying to compute this new development, and yet the best result was transforming the above... er...reaction, into an equation:
Dog = Sirius.
(More math too. Wonderful.)
I closed my eyes, trying to focus myself enough to be able to say something. Anything, instead of staring at him silently with my jaw dropped.
Opening my eyes, I tried again. “You…”
Nope, not happening. The idea of Sirius being an animagus, it just…
“I mean…you…” Oh come on brain. I know I’m more articulate than this. “Since when are you an animagus?”
But he just shrugged, and I felt my eyes narrow. Wonderful, so even after this, even though he knew my secrets, he still didn’t trust me enough to divulge his.
I continued to walk away. If he didn’t want to talk to me, fine.
“Oi, where are you going?” he yelled, right in step next to me once again.
“Away from you,” I retorted, trying to walk faster and staring straight ahead of me, not looking in his direction (most probably because we were starting to walk up the stairs, and stairs had not been my friend recently).
(Too many brackets! This is getting out of hand. Control yourself, dammit!)
“Away? Jesus Christ, Andy, I thought you wanted me with you. I really can’t figure you out—”
Hand on the railing, I turned around to face him, surprised he had stopped a step below me. “You can’t figure me out? The hell, Sirius?! You’re the only person who’s ever come this far.”
“That’s not what I was talking about,” he answered quite seriously, stepping up to be on the same level.
“Well then the rest isn’t hard to figure out. I’m a simple person, I don’t like complicated things. Its either yes or no, black or white. Stay out of my way, and I’ll stay out of yours. I say what I mean and – ”
“Yes, Dr. Seuss already informed me, you mean what you say,” Sirius finished. I stared at him, surprised. “Believe it or not, I remember. Every minute I’ve ever spent with you is engraved in my memory.”
I shook my head. “You’re not making sense.”
“Oh and you are?” he scoffed, ascending the stairs once more and this time leaving me behind. “Ask me out, Sirius…never mind. Make a move on me, Sirius…back away. Are you ever going to give me a chance to kiss you or not?!”
“You’ve had plenty of chances,” I replied, barely aware of what I was saying, running up the few stairs to catch up. So he did want to kiss me? That was useful information… Well then why the freaking hell hasn’t he yet?!
And why, why did all this talk about our feelings involve so much mention of hell?!
“Yeah, sure, Andy. Just bite your lip, why don’t you. That’ll make everything better,” Sirius remarked. I was amazed he noticed the action before I even registered I had done so. Biting my lip was practically second nature; half the time I didn’t notice when I did it. “Are you trying to kill me?”
“No, actually, I am not,” I answered. “Why, does biting my lip do the trick?”
“Don’t…” he said, his voice a dangerous growl, just as I was about to bite my lip again, this time very purposefully if not a little spitefully as well. But his tone had stopped me and made me look at him curiously. Really, was biting my lip all that powerful?
Mental note made and saved for exploitation.
“That’s interesting,” I said, a little off-handedly. “Remus had a thing with my eyes, and Michael thought my legs were spiffingly hot…Jacob adored my hands…and you…are in love with my lips? I wonder what Rob – ”
“Remus is excused, but I’ll kill Michael and Jacob tomorrow, and –”
“Why? You don’t agree with them?” I asked, tilting my head to the side a little and putting my arms across my chest.
“Oh I agree with them, but I can’t have them lusting after my girl, now, can I? They deserve to die for not noticing anything else about you anyways. And if you ever mention Rob again…”
I smiled at him sweetly, mockingly, though my heart was thumping way too loudly as I noted his emphasis on ‘my girl’. “What are you going to do?”
“I’ll make him wish he never saw you,” he threatened.
I bit my lip. “Now that wouldn’t be nice.”
Sirius groaned, and within a split second he was up beside me and I was pressed to a wall. Why was there a wall behind me? Weren’t we just on a staircase?
“Tempt not a desperate man,” he said, his voice low and quite unlike anything I’ve ever heard, not the least because it was Shakespeare he was reciting. “Its not fair, Andy. Every little thing you do is like magic…makes me want to grab you and never let you go. You’ve got me under some sort of spell. And here I am, trying my best and I can’t even get a reaction from you…”
I was confused, and this lack of escape route (and Sirius so freaking close to me) was leaving me anxious and out of breath. “A reaction? Sirius…you’re killing me here…”
“Am I?” he whispered, his warm breath on my neck. “In a good or bad way?”
“I hardly know,” I whispered back. “But if I die I will haunt you.”
“Let’s find out, shall we?” Sirius asked, though it wasn’t much of a question seeing as he didn’t wait for an answer. He just planted his lips onto mine, and was suddenly kissing me, softly at first, and then more passionately. My arms had somehow found their way up to his neck, and I was kissing back for all it was worth. All the little Voices had started cheering and sobbing and oohing and awing, but it didn’t matter. An explosion of confetti and streamers and fireworks in my head erupted simultaneously with this amazing ecstasy and adrenaline and just sheer, utter joy running through my entire body. I couldn’t believe that, after all of this, I was finally kissing Sirius Black. And he was kissing me.
And yet, here we were.
Sirius pulled away slowly, though his arms were around my waist and holding me tightly. “Hogsmeade is this weekend. Ideally I’d like for us to go together.”
I grinned at him. “We don’t live in an ideal world.”
“Pity. We’ll just have to go together anyways,” Sirius replied.
“Thank god Rob wasn’t smart enough to say that.”
“I told you…” he started, before kissing me again, this time quickly but fiercely. “Don’t mention him again.”
“I’ll try my best,” I answered smoothly, though my tone implied the complete opposite.
“Liar,” he said, very aware of the fact that my arms were still around his neck and probably feeling those paper cuts I had gotten so used to, but grinning at me anyways. “One day we’ll have to see if this lying things works for everyone, or if I’m really the exception to the rule.”
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” I asked with a smirk.
“Well, can’t you have going around touching people that aren’t myself, can I?” he replied just as smoothly and with a very similar smirk, letting go of me. “Now, lets get back. We have a lot of work to do.”
I really hoped he didn’t see how disappointed I was that he had let go of me. “I suppose we should go finish our project…our defensive spell is nowhere near done.”
Sirius looked at me, mockingly condescendingly. “Please, we’ve still got a week for that. Right now, we have two much more important assignments.”
I frowned, trying to think. Was I really forgetting Transfiguration or Potions or Arithmancy or Charms homework…?
Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was, but this time I really didn’t think I was.
“Due on Saturday,” he hinted.
Due on Saturday? On Hogsmeade? What the hell…?
He chuckled. “Ready to play matchmaker?”
And then it clicked. “Remus and Marcie? And James and Lily? You have plan?”
“No…” he looked at me and smirked. “I have several.”
Had his smirk always been so damn wickedly and infuriatingly sexy? Or was it just his glimmering mischievous eyes that made him smoulder so?
“Don’t be a girl and faint on me now,” Sirius commented amusedly, though I heard in his voice how much he enjoyed the effect he was having on me. But honestly, was I that close to fainting?
My pulse would suggest otherwise.
“Well you shouldn’t dazzle me like that,” I answered, trying to sound angry while I struggled to keep myself from melting into a puddle of mush.
He seemed taken aback by my statement. Had he really not noticed all this time how badly I tried to hide how flustered I got around him? But when he grinned a cheeky, lopsided grin, I just knew the question that was coming. “I dazzle you?”
I nodded once, not actually trusting myself to give a verbal response, and feeling myself go red as his grin grew wider.
“I don’t suppose I dazzle you, do I?” I asked, crossing my arms against my chest and looking up at him.
“Ha, not unless its with your stupidity.”
My head dropped in defeat and I groaned. Of course he would say something like that, and of course it would be true. I didn’t have any dazzle factor. I had known that from the start.
Yet somehow he claimed to be…be…bewitched by me. And not even in the romantic Pride and Prejudice style; I was sure he meant it quite literally.
Well how utterly perfect. Here I was completely in love with the fool, and all he could say was that I dazzled him with my stupidity and that biting my lip was enough to send him to hell and back, possibly several times.
(Honestly, was this preoccupation with hell (and brackets) today some sort of sign or premonition? Was this supposed to be a hint at impending torture and pain? Was recently awakened Subconscious trying to tell me something…? It’s a good thing I had lots of practice ignoring him.)
I sighed. “You’re right, it really is unfair; you’ve stolen my heart, but I want to steal yours too.”
“Pfft, mine isn’t so easy to steal,” he replied offhandedly, putting his hands in his pockets and starting to walk away.
A smile started to stretch across my face as I watched his retreating back. I had always known Sirius and I were different; I figured we were like two jokers in a deck.
But I saw now, we weren’t jokers.
Oh no. We were better than that. Better and more creative and completely exceptional enough to have made up a new, fifteenth card, just for ourselves.
We were thieves. Thieves of Hearts. From two different decks, albeit, but were there not games you could play with two decks…or at least really fancy card tricks? And together, we were stronger. We could beat everything, including Melanie and the Slytherins. They might have aces up their sleeves, but it didn’t matter. Let them come. Because together, we trumped everything.
It really was a strange kind of magic.
After a few steps, he stopped and turned to face me. “You coming or what?”
A pair of Thieves of Hearts out to play cupid and wreak romantic havoc and mischief?
Ignoring the Voices that were threatening to viciously tear what (very little) was left of my sanity into shreds if I mentioned hell yet again, I started to walk towards him and replied:
He grinned back, sending my heart soaring again. Really, at this rate, Sirius didn’t need to worry that I’d faint – heart failure was more like it. He started walking again, hands still in his pockets, as I trailed behind him a few steps. And then, out of nowhere he came to an abrupt halt, and I mirrored his actions.
But before I could ask what was the matter, I watched as he took his right hand out of his pocket and stuck it out towards me. And though he was still facing forwards, there was no mistaking the gesture.
“You want to hold my hand?” I asked, my voice automatically following the melody of the hit Beatles song, but even so my surprise was still evident.
Sirius heard it too, and I saw a faint blush creep up his neck as he started to retract his hand. Except I didn’t let him. I grabbed it, and started swinging it back and forth merrily, singing amusedly. “I’ll let you hold my ha-a-and. You wanna be my ma-a-an! You wanna hold my hand!”
“Oh god, not if you’re going to keep singing!” Sirius yelled, his eyes wide, panicking and trying to tear his hand out of my grasp.
But it was too late. I wasn’t ever going to let go.
Or stop singing.
And not just because it was completely annoying and embarrassing him. Nor was it solely because I was so happy, I couldn’t help but join the rejoicing singing Little Voices in my head in actual, audible song…
I mean, really, it was The Beatles.
“STOP CHANGING THE WORDS AROUND!”
Oh yes. This would be fun.
Author's Note: Well my dear friends, this is it. I sincerely hope you liked it! Its been an absolute blast writing this and sharing it with you. It took a while, but its finally finished! Thank you for sticking through to see how it ends!
Please be kind and leave one last review and tell me how you liked it! I'm a little nervous about this chapter (since it's the last one), and I really hope I didn't disappoint with it. So let me know! I'll love you forever and ever, and who knows, maybe one day there'll appear a sequel...?
Thank you so so much to everybody! I appreciate all your comments and feedback, and even just seeing how many reads this story has makes me grin widely enough to know I'll have laugh lines when I'm old and grey. My only hope, and solace, is that during the course of the story I made you laugh and smile enough to share my fate ;)
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