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Chapter 7 : The Proposal
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“Where’s Devon?” The blond asked after a moment of silence. The brunette shrugged.
“Dunno, he should be here by now. He’s anxious to see you, since you haven’t been home since last Christmas.” She glared pointedly at her friend. “Oh, he said he was bringing a surprise for you though.”
“Ah hell. Devon’s surprises usually end with something exploding.” The brunette laughed at that.
“Oh Bee, I’m sure it’s going to be harmless.”
“You say that Anna, but you don’t know him like I do.” Anna laughed again, sitting up and pulling Bee with her.
“Have a little faith darling.” Came a voice from a little to their left. Both girls looked over and smiled. But instead of just the one boy they had been expecting, there were two. Devon reached them and sat between the two girls, throwing an arm around both of them. The other boy had shaggy blond hair and dark brown eyes.
“Hey Colton.” Bee said nervously as he sat down next to her, the memory of her first kiss flashing into her mind. He smiled at her, but that was when Devon decided to kick the conversation into full gear. The small group lazed about for a few hours chatting animatedly. It took the sunset to jolt them back into reality. They all had to go back to their respective homes soon.
They stayed to watch the sunset however. It was beautiful. Vibrant yellows and oranges, and finally a light pink. Bee was lost in the wonder of it all. It took the touch of a hesitant hand to bring her back. She looked down to find her right hand entwined in Colton’s. She looked up at him, he had been watching her, to gage her reaction. But she just smiled, and placed her head on his shoulders. And sitting like that, they watched the sun disappear behind the horizon.
I had always loved to fly. It was my favorite thing ever. I loved to twist and dive and go as fast as I could. It was freeing. I felt like a bird. Like my soul had been released. I used to be seeker on the team. Even as a second year I was really good, and I don’t usually own up to being good at things. But then I got hit with a particularly nasty bludger in 5th year and was out for the last half of the season.
But then in 6th year James scored captain and I didn’t even bother joining again. I knew he would lead a winning team, and I loved the kid, but he tended to go a little overboard when it came to quidditch. I loved to fly, and the game was exhilarating, but not quite worth the torture I knew James would inflict on his team.
So I wasn’t part of the team anymore. I was a spectator, and that was fine by me. The only frustrating thing was that the seeker I was replaced with wasn’t half as good as I had been. I mean, he was good and won matches for us, but he was no Braxtany Everard.
So since I had taken myself off the team, I tended to head to the pitch a week and zoom around on my own. Sometimes I even managed convinced James to let me take the snitch out to play with. He would always glare at me as he grudgingly unlocked the ball crate and warm me not to lose it. As if that bloody ball could get away from me.
I was swooping around lazily over the lake one Sunday afternoon, a bit put off because the Ravenclaw team had snagged the pitch, and I couldn’t use it, when I heard my name being called.
“You can use the pitch now Bee!” I looked over and found Declan sanding on the ground, grinning up at me. I smiled at him and zoomed over to where he stood, jumping off my broom.
“Can I borrow the snitch this afternoon?” I asked, giving him my best pleading look. His smile widened, his beautiful face lighting up with it.
“Only if I can join you.” He gave me a wink, and I merely laughed.
We had spent the next hour and a half flying around the pitch. I had always known Declan was a good flyer, he was after all, Ravenclaw captain, but I didn’t realize how much he could teach me as well. He was keeper, and so I never really thought that he would be much help to a retired seeker, but he knew all sorts of dives and feints that I had never even heard of.
He joined me a few times after that, and before I knew it, my weekly rituals now included Declan. We became fast friends, something I wasn’t expecting. I had always known him from a distance. He was best friends with Cole and Gabe, but he had always been so quiet and reserved. But I guess he was like Remus in that way. He just needed the chance to show that he wasn’t any of those things.
Declan has this pull about him. It tells you he’s trustworthy, that he doesn’t judge you, and he’ll always understand. He’s sweet, charming, and charismatic, but just enigmatic enough so that you have to get to know him before you realize there are more than just those first few layers. As it turns out, Lily didn’t actually like him. She just thought he was beyond gorgeous. Which, in all fairness, he was. So that left me guilt free as we began to become closer and closer.
“Bloody hell!” I cried as I ripped up yet another piece of parchment. Lily let out an annoyed sigh.
“What now Braxtany?” She had been reading from her Transfiguration textbook lazily. A chapter ahead of where we were supposed to be by next class mind you.
“I don’t understand this stupid subject!” I wailed. Lily rolled her eyes at me.
“You sound like a first year Bee. It’s not that difficult, and you’re the one who chose to to take it.” I glared at the side of her face.
“Oh don’t act all high and mighty. The moment you don’t understand what’s going on in a class it’s like the bloody world has ended.” Lily looked up at me again, challenge in her eyes.
“But then I make the effort to understand it and voila! Get your head out of your ass and just try for once. Not everything is easy all the time.” I threw my quill at her.
“That is IT!” She yelled standing up. Oops, I had made Lily Evans snap, something only James Potter seemed to be able to do. “Braxtany Everard you are a child! One I don’t have the will power to deal with. I’m going to bed. Good luck on your god-forsaken essay.” She snapped her book shut and turned on her heal. Then she muttered something that sounded like “To think I was going to let you copy.”
“Wait Lily I’m sorry! Come back! Let me copy! LILY!” But she was gone, leaving me alone with a few gawking third years in the corner.
“Bugger off!” I snapped at the lot of them. They scattered. It was late anyway. They should be in bed.
“What’s all the yelling down here?” A groggy Sirius Black wandered down the staircase. He was in his boxers and a shirt. I blushed when I realized it was the one I had worn the night I spent in his bed.
He stopped dead in his tracks when he realized it was me. See, we still hadn’t quite gotten by the fact that I yelled at him in the bathroom of the Three Broomsticks. He eyed me warily.
“I’m not going to bite, Black.” I sighed. All the fight washing out of me.
“It’s nearly one in the morning. What the hell are you doing up?” I picked up my Astronomy book, showing it to him. His eyes lit up as he walked closer to me.
“Need help?” He asked. I snorted.
“More than you know.”
“Here.” Sitting down in Lily’s vacated chair and pulling it toward me. He began to point out all the now obvious things I had missed. Time passed quickly as he taught me. It must have been nearing 3 in the morning and I still wasn’t quite done. I felt badly that Sirius was staying up late with me, being patient and putting up with my stubborn attitude. He even brought my book back to me after I chucked it across the room in frustration.
“You don’t have to do this you know. I’ve been a right bitch to you lately and it’s really late. Go back to bed.” We had moved to the large plush couch. It was more comfortable than the chairs and the table had been, but we were both getting really sleepy as we relaxed into the cushions.
“Nah, it’s fine. You just owe me now.” I rolled my eyes at this, but couldn’t help the small smile that tugged at my lips.
“I’m bloody tired.” I pouted. He merely smiled and opened his arms to me. I happily leaned in and he wrapped himself around me.
“You have to finish your assignment.” He whispered after a minute.
“Fuck it.” I yawned, turning in his arms so that I was looking at him. He was watching me, like he was afraid I was going to change my mind about the positions we were in. But he was warm and comfortable and his embrace felt safe. So I smiled at him.
“Lay down, so I can go to sleep please.” His face broke into a grin as he leaned back against the cushions. I propped my head up on his chest so I could look into his eyes. They were looking back at me intently.
“You know, you’re not so bad Black.” He chuckled and I could feel the vibrations underneath me.
“You’re not to bad either, Everard.” I smiled at him and laid my head against his chest. His arms secured themselves around me and I could feel his breath on the top of my head. And just like that, I feel into a peaceful sleep.
“Uh, Bee. You might want to wake up.” Someone poked my side and I lashed out with my arm, trying to hit whoever it was. I didn’t do mornings.
“Fuck off.” I gave another swing, and finally made contact.
“Damn it! That fucking hurt. I swear to God I’m never doing you another favor in your life.” I opened one eye at that to see Lily peering angrily at me. I made to move, realizing I was trapped by a pair of arms.
“Hit me again and I’ll kill you. Now you might want to de-tangle yourself before the rest of the House wakes up to see you like this.”
“Lily? What?” She rolled her eyes.
“You’re bloody useless in the mornings, you know that?
“So I’ve been told.” I began to register my surrounds. The common room. And the arms? Sirius Black’s. My eyes opened wider and I turned to Lily.
“Help me!” I mouthed at her. She glared at me and and crossed her arms over her chest, settling into the armchair next to the couch.
“Figure it out yourself. That’s what you get for hitting me!”
“Bint.” I muttered as I tried to disentangle myself from Sirius. She merely stuck her tongue out in response. Mature. I lifted one of his arms from around me, but he then proceeded to move in his sleep and I dropped his arm onto his face, which jerked him awake.
“Ah shit. Morning!” I smiled down at him, he was obviously just as confused as I had been. At least he wasn’t as violent.
“Oh, morning.” His eyes crinkled in a half smile half yawn.
“Sorry to wake you Sirius, but I need to borrow my best friend here for a moment.” Lily said, grabbing my hands and pulling me up. “Urgent business.”
“Er, right.” He mumbled. I just let her lead me up the girls staircase by the hand and turned to wave at him before I disappeared around the corner.
“Sleeping with Black are we?” She asked as we wound our way up to our room. I rolled my eyes as she came to a halt before our door.
“Shove off Evans. We fell asleep. He was kind enough to help with my homework after you heartlessly abandoned me.” She gave a snort and dropped my hand.
“Heartlessly? You’d been tearing my throat out since we started. You’re a right pain in the ass when you don’t understand something.”
“Whatever. I promise not to ask you for help unless I really need it if you’re so put out by me.”
“Deal.” She smiled. “But I need to confide something in you. You have to swear not to tell a soul. And you can’t well... mock me alright?”
“You do realize you’re just setting yourself up for shit, right?” She just rolled her eyes
“Well,” She hesitated before casting a quick charm on our door so no one inside could hear us, and shot a quick look down the hall. Then she took a deep breath and turned to me.
“Could you be anymore fucking cryptic?” I was still irritated by the fact that it was morning.
“Shut it. It. Meaning, I er, I realized something.” She took a long pause and ran her hand sheepishly through her hair.
“Spit it out then!”
“Oh, fine then! I think I may, er, fancy James.” I just stood there for a moment, looking at my best friend. The boy had been asking her out and professing his love since first year. Since the first bloody train ride. And now, seven years later, she was finally staring to return the sentiment.
Then the comedy of it all hit me, and I fell to the floor laughing.
“Oh sod off you miserable slag.” Lily said lightly kicking my ribs with her foot before stepping over me into our dorm.
“Bee!” Remus moaned as I danced out of his reach, clutching a piece of paper. I stuck my tongue out at him childishly.
“But Remus! It’s so romantic!” I teased, pretending to swoon and brandishing the letter I had stolen from him. He rolled his eyes and lunged for it again, but I was much too quick and managed to escape him yet again.
“You wouldn’t know romance if it slapped you in the face!”
“Hey now Remus. I take offense to that!”
“You should! You’re the most cynical person I’ve ever had this misfortune to meet.” He was still trying to tackle me to get to his letter but I just scowled and continued to step out of his reach.
“That’s no way to talk to the girl who’s holding your love letter, now is it Lupin?”
“Give it here!”
“Not a chance!” I laughed as I ran to the opposite side of a tree. Having successfully stalled him, I began to read aloud in the sweetest voice I could conjure up.
“Dear Hannah, I’m really sorry I left for school without a proper goodbye... Oh! Hey James!” James was making his way towards us, raising an eyebrow at our antics.
“What are you two up to then?” He asked when he reached us. I hurried over to him, using him as my next shield as Remus made to go after me again.
“Nothing.” Remus growled. James looked a bit confused, but smiled and shrugged it off.
“Well Moony would you please stop harassing the young lady? I have to speak with her.”
“Yeah Remus, stop harassing me!”
“Oi, James! You’re supposed to be on my side.”
“I’m on the side of chivalry, mate. Sorry.”
“Don’t do anything you’ll regret Bee. Remember, you have some skeletons too.” Remus warned me as he turned to leave. I flipped him off as he began to walk back to the castle, leaving James and I alone by the lake. I shoved Remus’s letter into my pocket as I turned to James, giving him my best smile. He looked down at his feet shuffling then around a bit.
“Is this about Lily?” I asked when Remus was out of ear shot. James blushed, but shook his head.
“Nah, but speaking of, have you been talking me up?” I rolled my eyes at him.
“Get to what you’re here for then Potter.”
“Er, right. Well, do you read the papers?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Good, well. You know that Death Eater attack a few days ago?” I shuddered, remembering the horrific article.
“Right. Well, our seeker, Freddie Jones? Both his parents were killed in the attack.”
“I know.” I murmured, looking down at my feet and feeling a wave of sadness wash over me. Poor Fred.
“Yeah.” He was silent for a moment before continuing. “Well, his aunt withdrew him from school for the rest of the year. And, I mean. I know this seems insensitive, but our next match is coming up, and we don’t have a seeker.” I looked up at him, sensing where this was going.
“Are you about to ask me to re-join the team?” I glared.
“Look, I would hold tryouts, but the next match is in less than a week. I would have to give kids a day or two at least to sign up, then I’d have to hold the bloody things, then train the new git! If you joined you wouldn’t have to try out, and I know you’re good and you’ve been training on your own time so I know you’re fit to play! Please Bee!” He had dropped to his knees. He had actually resorted to begging.
Poor bloke. He lived for two things: quidditch and Lily. Since Lily was still set on being stubborn and refusing to tell James she liked him, that left the kid with only quidditch. And if he didn’t have a team, then he wouldn’t have quidditch either. Damn it all to hell! Why did he have to be such a pitiable sod. I let out a deep sigh and glared down to where James was still sitting in the dirt.
“Get up you stupid tactless arse. I’ll do it.” James’s face lit up as he jumped to his feet. He engulfed me in a large hug. I rolled my eyes, but allowed him to drape an arm around me and steer me into the great hall, jabbering away the whole time about practice schedules and training regiments.
Merlin, what had I gotten myself into?
I was laughing when it happened. Sitting there, with only Declan for company, joking. He came spiraling down the stairs, James I mean, with a piece of parchment gripped in his hands. He was almost at the base of the girls staircase when a jet of light hit him in the back and he collapsed in a fit of laughter. A tickling jinx had hit him, and when I looked up I found Sirius bounding over to him. Neither boy even noticed Declan and I sitting on the couch.
“I just... thought I’d... show it to her” James coughed out between bouts of laughter.
“I swear I’d kill you. With my bare hands, but first I’d find all those love letters you’ve written for Lily and broadcast them across the entire school.” He lifted the jinx off James and bent down to grab the parchment from the recovering boy.
“Come on, you’ve already snogged the girl, what’s wrong with letting her know you want a little more?” James still managed to sound smug.
“Because those aren’t my words!”
“On the contrary, I merely copied down your love speech on to parchment. They are 100% your own words.” James said in a voice that sounded as if he was trying to mimic Sirius, who in turn swiftly turned around from his friend, still on the ground. Then he saw us. Declan and I. With my legs draped over him, and his left hand intertwined with my own.
“Oh.” Sirius said after a moment. “Hi.” Then James was up, looking to see who it was. He smiled at me, then catching Sirius’ eye he turned to Declan.
“Uh, sorry, but as Head Boy it’s my obligation to inform you that you need to head back to your own dorm, Wood. Also in the future, members of other Houses are not allowed in our tower.” I rolled my eyes, but Declan just nodded and stood, pulling me up as well.
“She’s not allowed to leave either.” Sirius said quickly as I began to walk Declan to the portrait.
“I’m not going anywhere, you hypocrite. I’m waking him out.” But both James and Sirius watched the pair of us as we said goodnight.
“I’ll see you in the morning.” I grumble. He just smiled. I waited patiently. This was usually where he hugged me. But he just gave me that knowing smirk, and his eyes twinkled in that annoying but lovable way that tells you he knows more than you do, knowledge you’ll never be privy to.
“Night Bee.” Then he swooped in to give me a kiss on the cheek. I didn’t even think about it, he’d done it several times before, but when I turned around, Sirius was already halfway up the stair case, and James was just standing there, looking like a dumbstruck idiot. Then I realized, what they just witnessed looked like something completely opposite of the platonic act that it was.
I shrugged it off and breezed by James to the girls staircase. Let them think what they want I guess.
I was getting sleepy, I had been in the library for hours, trying to study for an upcoming test in Ancient Runes. It was my favorite class, but one of my hardest and NEWT year was a killer. Declan and Remus had taken turns trying to help me, but both had given up after only a short time. Lily downright refused to try. I was hopeless.
It’s not that I wasn’t smart, or didn’t get it. I just get really worked up over tests and tend to lose all memory of taking in the information. Then I get even more angry when I can’t seem to brand the knowledge into my brain. I get angry at myself first, then at those who try to help me. Then at myself again. Declan and Remus had both figured out that it was better to let me freak out on my own than to be bombarded with the evil comments I threw their way.
Frustrated, I put my head down on the table and let out a groan.
“Better keep that down, or you’ll be kicked out.” At the sound of that teasing voice I kept my head down. I was not in the mood for Sirius Black. But he didn’t seem to understand that, because instead of leaving he sat down next to me and tried to pry my Runes book from under my head.
“Fuck off Black.” I muttered as I tried to get a tighter grip on my book. I could practically hear the smirk as he managed to pull it out from under my head.
“Now, now Braxtany. Only kind words are welcomed here.” I looked up and glared at him, those grey eyes ever mocking.
“Seriously. Go away. I’m not in the mood.”
“Then we can just sit here, it’s fine with me.” I thought he was kidding but he stayed put, and began to read my text book. His face went from amused to intent in a second as he became absorbed in the words. I watched him as his eyes flickered back and forth across the page. His hair fell gently across his face, and I felt the urge to sweep it back for him. His breathing evened out and he was so quiet. I’d never seen anyone that focused on a Runes book beside myself.
His gaze found mine after a while, he must have felt me staring at him, and he smiled. Then he handed me another one of my text books, and without a word I took the book. We read side by side in silence for a while.
That had been the first time his smile had made me feel warm. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was seeing him in a new way, or if it was something else entirely, but it made me uncomfortable. Took me out of my usual element of hostility.
We must have been sitting there for a couple of hours because the next time I became aware of my surroundings Declan was tapping my shoulder and Sirius was asleep next to me.
“Hey.” Declan said, a puzzled look in his eye.
“Hey!” I said brightly back, noticing his hand was clamped around a sandwich. He smiled at me and handed it over.
“You missed dinner so I thought I’d bring something up to you. Remus said this was your favorite.”
“It is!” I said through a mouthful. He laughed, but the sound woke Sirius.
“What time is it?” He mumbled. He looked disoriented and I smirked a bit.
“Past dinner.” I told him, still eating.
“Didn’t think to wake me up?” He moaned. “Now I have to walk all the way to the kitchens!”
“Grow up. The only reason I know myself if cause Declan brought me this.” Sirius seemed to take note of Declan’s presence for the first time because the moment he looked at him, his jaw set.
“Right. Well. I’ll be off then.” He stormed off without another word. I looked after him, slightly annoyed because he had been so pleasant earlier, and now he was being his old, weird self. But then Declan took his spot and I brightened.
“Thanks for this.” I smiled, holding the sandwich up. He nodded, still looking after Sirius.
“What was that about?” He asked. I just raised my eyebrow, questioning what he meant.
“Sirius and you, being so chummy.” I shrugged and swallowed the food in my mouth.
“He came by and was actually quiet for a change, so I let him sit.” Declan looked back the way Sirius left, a bit of concern in his eye, but quickly shook it off and gave me his wonderful smile.
I was laying on the couch by the fire, reading for my own enjoyment. The hearth was warm, letting off a dim glow that I could read by. I was in complete bliss, and completely absorbed in my novel. I didn’t notice that anyone had joined me in the room until they came and stood right in front of me. I finally looked up and smiled as I realized it was Sirius.
“Hullo!” I said brightly. Reading always put me in a good mood. But he didn’t smile back. In fact, he just stared at me for a little while. I finally got annoyed with this silent staring thing so I threw my book at him. He jumped and glared at me.
“I said hi.” I shot at him. He just glared more. “What the hell is wrong with you?! Did you lose you’re already limited ability to form coherent thoughts and convey them into words?”
“No.” He snapped. Not exactly pleasant, but we were getting somewhere.
“Well then what the fuck do you want since you’re obviously not here to be good company.” I let my eyes bore into him until he finally looked down.
“I just.. what is wrong with you?” He spat.
“I didn’t.. I just mean.” He paused, took a deep breath and looked at me intently. I just glared back.
“I tell you how much you mean to me, and the next day you’re off with someone knew.”
“I don’t seem to recall myself reciprocating those feelings.” I said cooly. “Plus, I’m not ‘off with someone knew.’”
“Don’t give me that shit.” He sneered. “You and Declan would have a hard time getting any closer.”
“First off, I’m not with Declan. Nor have I ever been anything more than a friend to him. And it would be none of your business even if I was.”
“He doesn’t seem to think that. You’re leading him on and fucking with his head!”
“How the fuck did you get to that conclusion? He can make his own bloody choices! He knows he hasn’t got a shot with me! I don’t date! Not that I should have to explain it to you. It’s MY FUCKING LIFE! SO GET YOUR OVERLY LARGE NOSE OUT OF IT!”
“WELL YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SUCH A BITCH ABOUT IT.” He yelled.
I couldn’t believe it.
Then he had the audacity to continue.
“It’s not only Declan’s head you’re messing with! It’s mine too! If someone tells you how they feel, you don’t just dismiss it! Do you even realize what it takes to tell someone like YOU how I feel?” He was shouting now.
“Someone like ME?” I roared back at him, fuming.
“Yeah YOU! You’re a cold bitch Braxtany. If someone doesn’t measure up, they’re not worth it. Not your time, not your sympathy. But you know what? I’m done. YOU’RE not worth MY time!”
Again there was silence.
“Was that all?” I said after a few seconds. My tone and my gaze were deadly. Cold as ice. When he didn’t reply I simply said: “Good.” I then stood up and walked straight past him to the girls staircase. He looked shocked as I pushed by. It wasn’t like me to not fight back when insulted.
But I was in no mood to fight him. Because his words had hit home. Because he was right. He was right about everything he had said about me.
Hey all! Sorry bout the wait, but at least this one is a little longer than the previous chapters right?
Anyway, I started another story a while back, but I didn't bother to post chapter two because it only got one review :( so i was hoping that the lovely readers of this story could go ahead and read my other story (again, it's only one chapter, it wont take long I swear!) and let me know what you think! Should I just quit hoping it'll catch on or write another few chapters? Lemme know! I'm also contemplating starting another story because I struggle with motivation and sometimes its good to switch plots for a bit.
Anyway, review here, then head on over and read my other stories and lemme know what you think of those too!
Love you all!
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