Chapter 2 : Chapter 2
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favour she asked for.
"Thanks a lot," she told Sebastian, when he handed over his schedule at breakfast next morning.
He looked at her with those puppy eyes of his. "Anything for you," he breathed. What do you need it for?"
"Ask me no questions and I shall tell you no lies." She had no qualms using him, but telling him that it was for another boy was a bit cruel - even for her.
Sebastian grinned. He probably thought that it was necessary for a prank and because Zoe was in a good mood, she gave him a kiss on the cheek before she went to join her friends at the Gryffindor table.
"What was that about?" Sirius asked, frowning, when she sat down next to him. "You know that your target is Alexander, not Sebastian, don't you? He would be way too easy!"
"Nobody ever said that I wasn't allowed to have anyone else while waiting for Alexander to come around." Zoe hadn't actually thought about it before, but now, that she had pronounced the words, she realised just how important they were. Alexander wouldn't be easy, but there was no reason not to satisfy her needs in the mean time.
Peter laughed. "You've been trying on Alexander for how long already? Half a day?"
"Such a long time to go without a boy," James joined in, his expression completely serious as he nodded to each of his words.
"Oh, shut up, the two of you," Zoe said, throwing a piece of bread at Peter, but even she couldn't help but grin at their words.
Zoe had a free period just before lunch - her first chance to have a go at Alexander.
"Excuse me," she said to James and Sirius, who she had been studying with during that time (although, it was more her studying and James and Sirius discussing some prank ideas). "As much as I'd love to continue listening to your plots, I've got a boy to seduce. See you at lunch!"
She stood up, gathered her things and dropped them in her dorm. On her way back, she stopped once again at the sofa where James and Sirius were seated. "We never discussed what you'll have to do when you lose the bet."
Sirius put a finger to his lips, considering the question. "How about we decide that later? The loser, meaning you, will have to perform one task that the winner, meaning me, chooses. Any task, anything's allowed."
Zoe bit her lip. Anything most likely included horrendous tasks such as kissing Snape - something she was not very keen on.
"Anything," Sirius confirmed.
Zoe nodded. "Fine. Anything it is then. And now excuse me, so I can get that bet over with before lunchtime." There was no way she was going to kiss bloody Snape.
Olga proved to be more of a problem than Zoe would have thought. She was, of course, aware that the girl followed Alexander everywhere, she just had no idea of how present she was.
Zoe waited in front of the charms classroom, the Ravenclaw timetable stuffed into her pocket. The bell rang and one by one, the students came out. Alexander and Olga were one of the last, only coming when Zoe had already started to doubt the correctness of Sebastian's timetable.
"Hello Alexander," she said, pushing off the wall she had been leaning against.
The two friends stopped.
"I know you," Olga said, scrutinizing her so profoundly that Zoe felt like hiding from her gaze. "You're that Gryffindor girl. What do you want?"
Alexander stood next to Olga, his arms hanging idly by his sides and watching Zoe without a trace of surprise on his face, as though he had expected her to come.
"Alexander, I've heard that you're good at Ancient Runes. I found some runes that I'd like to translate but I never took that subject, so I was wondering if you could help," Zoe said, trying to ignore Olga.
"And there are no friends of you who take Ancient Runes?" There was a certain sharpness in Olga's voice, accentuated by the way she rolled her r when she spoke.
"Remus is taking the subject," Zoe said with a shrug, fully prepared for that question. "But he told me it's too advanced for him, that it was stuff from the end of sixth year that he would need to know to help me."
"We've got no time for that kind of stuff," Olga replied.
"Excuse me." This time, Zoe's voice was as sharp as Olga's. "I was talking to Alexander. I'm sure he can speak for himself."
He could, could he? While she waited for him to answer and he didn't make the slightest sound, she wondered if he was actually mute. Maybe that was why she had never heard him speak. But no, a mute boy would be known, she would have heard of him before.
"Come on, let's go," Olga finally said and pulled Alexander away from Zoe, who could do nothing but stare after them. Well, that hadn't gone as planned. What she needed was a moment alone with him, where nobody could get in her way.
Maybe Sirius would come in useful when he started making a move on Olga.
That night, Zoe woke up covered in sweat. She had tossed her sheets off her bed and her hair stuck to her forehead. With a groan, she rolled over to her side. The images of the dream were still vivid in her mind.
Sirius, his face so close to her that she could feel his breath on her lips. The way his voice sounded husky as he breathed her name. The softness of his lips, when they finally touched hers.
Ten past midnight, her watch read. Zoe groaned again. How could it still be so early?
There was no way she'd be able to go back to sleep immediately, so she got up and went into the bathroom. A splash of water in her face, a robe to cover her up and she was ready to go downstairs. Maybe starring at the still glowing fire in the comming room would calm her still racing heart down.
Those dreams had started in fourth year, when she had had her crush on Sirius. No girl was immune to his charms and she still hated herself for having fallen for him so easily. He had never known, of course, and Zoe had worked hard on getting over him. His name was Brad, her first boyfriend and it had lasted a week. Then Michael and by the time she went out with Georgius, her crush on Sirius had completely disappeared.
Bits and pieces remained, though, like those dreams of Sirius kissing her and sometimes even going beyond that. Thank Merlin he didn't know about it, or she would have died of embarrassment. It wasn't even always Sirius who came to see her in those dreams, most of the time, it was a stranger, tall and handsome, but sometimes, every couple of months, he came to haunt her down.
Her legs still a bit too wobbly for Zoe's liking (clearly a sign of needing a good snog), she went down the stairs to the common room.
She wasn't the only person still up. In the sofa by the corner of the common room, she found Peter with a roll of parchment on his lap. He looked up from the book he was holding when she came closer.
"Still up?" she replied. "What are you working on?"
"Charms," Peter groaned. "Got two foot of the essay done, so still
another one to go. You want to join me?"
“I haven’t started on that one yet,” Zoe admitted. Sometimes it was scary how quickly the homework piled up. “I’m going to join you.”
She summoned her parchment and book from her dorm, hoping it hadn’t hit any of the girls on its way down. Charms was not a bad subject, she was good at spellwork, but those essays took many hours for her to write.
“So what woke you up?” Peter asked once they had both settled on the sofa and Zoe was opening her book.
Zoe looked up at him. She hoped that no blood rushed to her face as she pondered the question. If it had been anybody else in her dream, she would have told Peter. She wasn’t ashamed of having that kind of dream and often had heard the boys discussing similar stuff. But this was Sirius she had shagged in her head. Her friend, Peter’s friend.
“Bad dream,” she said with a slight shake of her head, her face now completely composed. “Actually, more weird than bad. I just didn’t want to go back to sleep straight away.”
She looked down at her book and continued browsing through the pages. Quickly, before Peter could ask her what the dream had been about, she added, “So three feet for that essay, right? Well, let’s see how far we’re going to get tonight.”
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