I snapped my head up and cleared my eyes, a hand waved in front of my face to get my attention. “Sorry, what were you saying?”
Lydia Rue, a sixth year Ravenclaw, angrily crossed her arms over her chest and blew out a breath, causing a stray hair to move out of her eyes for a moment before irritably falling back into place. “I was talking about how I think Heather has used an enlargement charm on her breasts, they're awfully big lately.”
“Oh right,” I said distractedly, looking around the Three Broomsticks for a way out. Before Lydia had joined me I had been sitting alone at the bar at the Three Broomsticks, enjoying my time alone. I had been with James for a few minutes before he had to leave me for Lily. I had intended on drinking a few more butterbeers before heading back towards Hogwarts, but Lydia had spotted me sitting alone and I've been listening to her drone on about school gossip for the past hour.
“You don't even seem like you care about what I'm saying Sirius.” Lydia said haughtily, leaning back into her seat with a pout on her lips.
“Sorry,” I said taking a pull from my butterbeer and glancing around the room. The bell chimed signaling someones arrival and I glanced towards the door. The room seemed to quiet as Avery entered the room, her arm linked with Cassi's, laughing wildly at something Cassi had said.
Her nose and cheeks were a soft pink from the cool March winds. She was covering her mouth with her hand, hiding her smile while she and Cassi sat down at an empty booth. Avery shrugged off her jacket and pulled her hair to the side, revealing an off the shoulder sweater that revealed her naked shoulder. One of her hands was idly running along the side of her neck as she talked to Cassi. The small gesture of hers was incredibly sexy, and she didn't even know she was doing it.
“Don't tell me you're still hung up on her,” Lydia spat, breaking my view of Avery as I turned my attention back to Lydia, slightly reluctant. I didn't respond and took a long pull from my butterbeer. Lydia rolled her eyes and clucked her tongue. “I don't really get what you see in her, it's not like she's anything special.”
My whole body stiffened as I looked at Lydia. I think she sensed my anger and she retreated slightly. I quickly stood up from my chair and threw down some money, leaving the Three Broomsticks without another word. As I made my way towards the door I walked by Avery's table. I looked over at her and her eyes locked with mine. The sensation was so powerful that I nearly stopped walking and joined her at the table. I came to my senses however, and continued walking outside, stopping on a nearby bench and sitting down.
I placed my elbows on my legs and put my face in my hands taking deep breaths as I tried to calm myself. I had thought that as time went on it would get easier to see Avery, but my feelings for her never wavered. It was like she had this permeant hold on me, and no matter how hard I tried to shake her she was always there. After the incident with Lucius and Bellatrix I found myself watching her even more, making sure she was safe, and never walking alone. I think I was secretly hoping she would land herself in trouble so that I could rescue her, even though when the situation was reversed a couple weeks ago she didn't come to save me.
My anger from the time I was harassed by Snape and she didn't come help me still lingered but the longing I had to hold her again, to kiss her, to make her smile took precedence over my resentment. At first I thought I would never forgive her, and that I would find a way to live without her, but after I saw her in the bed, bleeding and unconscious I realized how difficult my life was without her in it.
Despite the fact James and I are now friends again this hasn't healed the wounds from Avery. On top of that, Remus and Peter still aren't on friendly terms with me and it makes the situation even more difficult. It's hard to believe that a little over a month ago the four of us stood united and basically owned the school and Avery and I were together. Life was perfect. Too bad I had to go and shit on it.
Suddenly the atmosphere outside shifted. It felt as if all the heat had been sucked out and there was a cold stillness. It felt like I was sinking and that the emotions and weight of the situation I was in hit me like I'd run into a brick wall. I looked around me and people were glancing around curiously as well. Their faces were drained of color and their face showed signs of struggle. The once bright day turned dark and the happiness in the world was gone.
It was like a lightbulb was flashing over my head, I quickly stood up from the bench and withdrew my wand. “Everyone get inside a building,” I yelled. The crowd of people stared at me oddly as they stood in their places wondering what was happening.
Behind me I could hear a soft rippling of clothing and the dark feeling that was swarming me became stronger. I turned around and my suspicion became true. I was staring at at least ten dementors all circling the shops in Hogsmeade. “Everyone, leave now!” I shouted louder.
People looked at me and then seemed to realize the severity of the situation and ran towards the shops. This seemed to set off the death eaters and they started circling Hogsmeade with greater fervor.
I held my wand in my hands but my head was becoming clouded and I knew I had to react fast. I searched my brain for the happiest thought I could manage. I started thinking of Avery and the time we were together. My brain was less clouded and I cried out, “expecto patronum!”
A white mist shot out of my wand, my patronus wasn't fully developed and only managed to push back the dementors, but not scare them away entirely. I could feel my energy being drained and knew I wouldn't be able to hold out for much longer by myself.
“Sirius,” I heard someone call my name. I turned around and panic flooded me when I saw Avery standing only a few feet away.
“Avery, get out now!” I shouted at her. “Go into a shop, it isn't safe.”
“No,” she said defiantly, walking towards me with her wand held in front of her. “You can't do this alone.” I was about to respond when she pointed her wand at me and started mumbling under her breath. A gold shine shot from her wand and floated from above my head. “Shielding charm,” she said with a small smile. “I can help.”
I sighed and ran a hand through my hair, the dementors creeping closer to us as time went on. “Fine, if you want to help go get James.”
Avery nodded and without another word set down running around Hogsmeade. I started to panic realizing I was alone. I started thinking of Avery again, of us together, when I first told her I loved her. With a clearer head I yelled, “expecto patronum.” My patronus was almost in full dog form and a few dementors scattered away.
My energy was slipping and my body was shaking from exhaustion. I raised my wand once again as the Dementors circled closer. I felt hopeless and I wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I strained to search for a happy memory, to find the energy to produce a patronus. I was about to give up when James, Remus and Peter came up behind me.
I looked at my friends who had a serious look on their face as they pointed their wands at the Dementors. “Lily, Avery, go find teachers.” James commanded.
“If you think we're leaving you you're out of your mind,” Lily said stubbornly.
“Lily, now is not the time to be stubborn.” James said looking at Lily with a pleading look in his eyes. “Please go find a teacher.”
Lily shook her head, “Potter, don't think for a second I'm leaving you. Expecto Patronum.” A doe came shooting out of Lily's wand and went charging at the Dementors. The rest of us followed after her and with our patronus's combined we managed to scare away the dementor's. Unfortunately that wasn't the only batch of dementor's, and while some of them left more came in larger numbers.
“Expecto patronum,” Avery yelled before the rest of us. Out of her wand shot an exotic bird that I hadn't seen before, the bird resembled a phoenix but there were different characteristics about it. The spell was powerful and scared off a handful of dementors. Once Avery's patronus dissipated Avery looked drained of energy. Her face was pale and she was swaying in her spot. Suddenly she fell to her knees, her wand falling from her hand as she slowly slid to the ground.
“Avery!” I shouted as I turned away from the dementors and ran towards her. She looked up at me meekly.
“My head hurts,” she said in a soft voice. “My injury isn't fully healed,” she said referring to the head wound she had acquired a few days ago.
“We've got to get you to safety,” I said, putting my arm behind her and helping her to her feet. “James, I need to take Avery to safety, I'll be back as soon as I can.”
“We can hold them off Pads, concentrate on finding a teacher,” James shouted over his shoulder as he spared me a small glance before attacking the dementors.
I turned and made my way towards the nearest shop. Avery's body was limp as she struggled to stay awake next to me. Avery's condition was causing me to panic, I had no idea what was wrong with her. The first shop I was near was Madame Puddifoots. I quickly made my way inside where a dozen of people were huddled in.
“Do you need help?” A kid who couldn't have been older than fourteen asked me.
“Yeah, I need a place ot set her down.” I said struggling under Avery's weight.
The kid pushed two tables together and cleared them off. I set Avery down on the table and took off my jacket, baling it up and setting it under her head. Her eyes were struggling to stay open as she looked at me. A faint smile was on her lips and I pushed away her hair from her face.
“Avery, are you alright? What's wrong?” I asked in a quiet voice.
“Ever since I've injured my head I've gotten dizzy here and there, nothing bad. I think the use of magic combined with my head injury just drained me of energy, don't worry about me.” Avery's voice was hoarse as if she had been screaming for hours straight. She tried to put on a brave smile but I could see how weak she was feeling. She reached out and placed a hand on my arm. I almost jerked my arm away from the sudden touch.
“You're all I ever worry about, love.” I said slowly, keeping my hand on her face. I then used my free hand to take hers in mine. I moved slowly, in case she would reject it but she laced her fingers in mine and gave me a reassuring squeeze. “I've missed you.”
Avery smiled at me and even though the dementors were sucking all the happiness, the smile Avery was giving me made me feel like my body was about to burst from joy. “I've missed you too,” she said.
I pulld her hand up and kissed her wrist. Goose bumps trailed up her arm after my lips left her skin. I was about ot lean down to kiss her when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Angry, I turned around ready to punch someone. The fourth year that had helped shove the tables together was looking at me with a apprehensive look on his face.
“I don't mean to interrupt but there's someone in trouble over there.” The kid pointed and I followed the path where he was pointing. Just a few feet from the shop a stray dementor had someone cornered. I couldn't make out who the kid was but without thinking I said goodbye to Avery and ran out of the shop and towards the dementor. The dementor was holding the kid by the neck and it's face was nearing the kids. With a lurching realization I saw that the kid was Severus Snape.
“Expecto patronum,” I cried. The dementor was shoved away and Snape fell to the ground. His face was paler than usual and shaking from fear. He looked up at me and for a moment he looked like he was about to thank me. However, he quickly regained his composure and stood up. He was swaying slightly and used the wall as a way to stand straight.
“Just because you helped me out doesn't mean I don't think you're not an arrogant prick.” Snape said.
“And just because I helped you doesn't mean I think you aren't a greasy git,” I quickly retaliated. “Have you seen any teachers?” I asked.
Snape shook his head, “not since early this morning.”
“Bugger,” I cursed under my breath. “I need to go back and fight off the dementors, get to safety.” I demanded from Snape.
Snape surprisingly didn't protest and nodded his head before finding the nearest shop and seeking safety. I ran back towards James and the others, thoughts of Avery taking control of my mind, not letting the dementors take control. Once I'd reached everyone they all looked exhausted and there were still a handful of dementors left. “Expecto patronum.” I cried. A big blast of white light came from my wand and hit all the dementors. They scattered away and instantly I could feel my mood lifting and the dark clouds started to clear.
“Took you long enough mate,” James said panting, a thin line of sweat decorated on his brow.
“Is everyone okay?”
“Yeah, I think so.” James said looking around. The place was deserted and looked like an abandoned town. Some window hangings lay on the sidewalk, pieces of garbage floating about. It seemed that aside form us there were no other signs of life. “How's Avery?”
“She's fine,” I said with a smile on my face.
“Where the bloody hell were the teachers during this?” Remus said loudly as he looked around, people's faces still pressed firmly against the glass windows in the shops.
“Something's not quite right,” Lily said as she looked around the deserted space. “If there were any signs of trouble a teacher would be the first to know.”
“I should go check on Avery and see if anyone knows where the teachers are.” I offered, the others nodded their heads in agreement to my suggestion. “We should send everyone else back to the castle. Lily, you're the head people will follow you, James you should go with her in case there is another attack. Tell Dumbledore to come down immediately.”
James nodded and walked with Lily to the shops, escorting out the kids and telling them to wait outside the shops until they've gathered everyone. Remus and Peter started searching the area for any other signs of distress as I walked back to Madame Puddifoots.
Avery was sitting in a chair when I walked inside, surrounded by a few people asking if she needed anything. She looked up at me and smiled. I immediately rushed over to her and kneeled down by her side, placing a hand on her knee.
“How are you feeling?”
“Much better,” she said. I knew she wasn't lying, there was color back in her face and her eyes shown signs of life rather then the dull sparkle that was once hiding behind them.
“Why is it that I always have to be worried with you falling down?” I joked. Avery giggled and the simple gesture caused her entire face to light up. Then it was if in slow motion she leaned towards me. Within seconds her lips touched mine and every problem that had been plaguing me seemed to vanish. Her lips were how I remembered them, if not better. She tasted like mint and tea, her breath was warm as it mingled with my own. I wrapped my hand around the back of her neck and pulled her closer towards me. She quickly responded by scooting towards the end of her chair and pressing her hips into me. Our reunion was interrupted by someone clearing their throat. I pulled away from Avery reluctantly, remembering now that we were surrounded by people. I looked around and saw Remus standing by the entrance, a look of anxiousness and amusement mingled on his face.
“Sorry to interrupt, but we've found the teachers.” He said, a sense of urgency in his voice.
Avery sprang up from her seat and nearly knocked me over in the process. She walked towards Remus and I quickly followed next to her.
“They're in the Shrieking Shack, they were stupefied.”
“Do we know who did it?” I asked Remus.
Remus shook his head. “Dumbledore just arrived, he's reviving them as we speak. He told me to escort the remaining students back to the castle.”
I nodded and the three of us quickly set to action, gathering up the rest of the students, trying to keep them calm and escorting them back to the castle. On the way back towards the castle I felt Avery reach over and grab my hand, she gave me a side smile before consoling some nervous third years.
People really need to get their priorities straight.
It's been two days since the attack at Hogsmeade. It was soon released that the teachers had been cursed by Madame Rosmerta who was imperiused. Rosmerta felt incredibly guilty for what she did but no one blamed her. She said the last thing she could remember was walking into the kitchen to retrieve a plate of food and then it was blank until Dumbledore brought her back to consciousness. The attack has been linked to Voldemort and his death eaters, some fear there are death eaters inside the walls of Hogwarts. But despite all of this, despite the fact that many students could've been injured or killed, the main topic of discussion and debate was Sirius and I.
It was no secret at Hogwarts that Sirius and I were back together. The day at Hogsmeade made us realize that we had both made mistakes and that it was doing neither of us good being apart. Later that night after we got back from Hogsmeade we talked about how it would be different, how Sirius would act less on impulse and be more rational, and I would stop running away from situations. We also agreed to take it slower this time, we both thought that we got so swept up in each other that we got swept up in other situations as well -example being Sirius tricking Snape to going to the Shrieking Shack-.
Our taking it slow approach didn't exactly pan out as we expected. Within seconds after talking everything over I had literally jumped on Sirius. He had me shoved against a wall as we kissed and tore at each other's clothing. I don't know how far we would've gotten if James hadn't walked in on us.
Every spare moment we had was used as snogging time. Earlier today I was walking down the hallways, coming back from the library, when Sirius abruptly took me by the arm and dragged me towards the one eyed witch. At first I thought he was taking me back to Hogsmeade, which I thought odd. Instead we used this secret passage for an opportunity of us to snog. After a good thirty minutes we both exited the one eyed witch with crumpled clothes and wind swept hair.
Currently I was sitting in the common rooms, the clocks hands almost reaching two in the morning. My eyelids were fighting to stay open as I waited for Sirius to return from another full moon. I was worried about his state of mind, last night he had snuck into my room again and we stayed up into the early hours of the morning, leaving him tired and essentially useless today. I only hoped that this wouldn't affect him during his animagus form on such an important night.
In order to keep myself preoccupied I turned to my quidditch playmaking book. I know quidditch is over and that it's pointless for me to continue making plays, but concentrating on quidditch always takes my mind off of other things and makes me less anxious.
What felt like hours stretched by. The fireplace was no longer lit and there was little light in the room. I could see the sun peaking out over the horizon and new Sirius would be returning soon. I leaned by head back on the couch, letting my playbook fall onto my lap. My eyes were slowly closing, and after what only felt like minutes I felt myself being shaken awake.
“Avery, love,” I heard someone whisper. My eyes peaked open and I saw Sirius standing above me. He was smiling at me and I breathed a sigh of relief to see he was uninjured.
“I must've dosed off,” I said, straightening myself on the couch and moving over so that Sirius could join me. “How's Remus?”
“He's fine,” Sirius said brushing my hair back and running his hand along the side of my face. “Pomphrey is just patching up a few scratches but nothing horrible.”
My fear vanished when I heard that everyone was alright and I snuggled into Sirius's arm. He wrapped his hand around my shoulder and kept me close to him. “What's this?” He asked picking up my playbook.
“Oh just a few more quidditch plays. Pointless, I know, considering that quidditch season is over but it keeps my mind preoccupied.”
Sirius leafed through the book for a few moments in silence. “These are really good Avery, you have excellent defensive techniques. You should show these to James, maybe he can pass them down to the team.”
Just as luck would have it a second later James and Peter came waltzing through the door. They both looked exhausted as they sat down on large arm chairs across from Sirius and I in the common room.
“Hey Prongs, you should take a look at this,” Sirius said throwing my playbook at James.
“What is it?” James asked aggravated, clearly not in the mood to read anything.
“Quidditch plays, excellent defensive ones.”
James immediately perked up at the mention of quidditch and opened the book, scanning my new plays with fast eyes. Silence passed over the room as James read my plays, he leaned back comfortably in his chair as his eyes took in my drawings and suggestions. Halfway through the book he closed it on his finger and looked up at me. “Bloody hell Avery, these are wicked. You have excellent ideas for protection of the seeker and the goals. It's like you've taken some defensive techniques for dueling and incorporated them into quidditch. In fact,” James drifted off, opening the book again and looking over the plays.
“In fact what?” I asked nervously, caught off by James' abruptness.
“I think,” James said, not shifting his eyes from the book. “I think that Dumbledore could use this, that the Order could use this.”
I felt Sirius stiffen beside me and his posture became hostile as he narrowed his eyes at James. “Prongs, you couldn't possibly be suggesting that Avery get involved with the Order.”
“Brilliant,” I said immediately springing up. The idea that I could be involved thrilled me. This whole time I've felt useless as all my friends make strides to fight in the on-going war. Now I felt like I could finally take part in it and help, rather then just sit at the sidelines and fall downstairs. “We should show these to Dumbledore as soon as possible.”
“Like hell you are,” Sirius snapped.
“Sirius, there's a war going on, and I want to fight.”
“I am not knowingly putting you in danger Avery.”
“You're not, I'm volunteering myself. If I can help I want to be apart of it.”
“She does know some excellent shielding spells,” Peter chimed in.
“Shut up Wormtail,” Sirius practically yelled. Peter looked like a kicked puppy as he shrank back in his seat.
“Sirius, calm down mate.” James said reasonably. “This war is happening whether we want it to or not, it's going to affect us all. And if we can do something to help fight against it we shouldn't let the opportunity pass us.”
“So easy for you to say, you're not the one negotiating your girlfriend.”
“In case you've forgotten Lily is in the Order as well.”
“Yeah, but she's at the top of our class, Avery isn't.”
“What's that supposed to mean?” I asked harshly.
Sirius looked at me almost apologetically, “it's nothing against you babes, it's just Lily has top marks, she's prepared for this.”
“And I'm not?” I asked, my voice rising with each word. I turned towards James and gave him a stern look, “James, would you mind accompanying me to Dumbledore's office? I think that he will appreciate this.”
I shot Sirius a narrowed look as I whipped around and grabbed my book from James' lap, making a dramatic exit as I stormed out of the common room.
A/N: Alright so I'm not really sure about this chapter, the flow seemed off to me and I couldn't make it work, ah well :/ Avery and Sirius are together! I couldn't keep them apart for too long, I thought 5 chapters and a couple months was long enough to have them suffer! What do you think now that they're together?
On another note I am back! Graduated from the airforce and am now an aiforce airman (girl). I couldn't believe all the reviews I had waiting for me when I got back, it's insane and this weekend I'm going to respond to every single one of them. I don't have time during the week, so really only expect updates during the weekend from now on (I'm lucky I've written this entire story and a few chapters of the sequel). Thank you to everyone for sticking around, it's so good to be back :)