Sirius could be horribly thick when he wanted to. “What’s wrong?” he asked when they got in his dorm and plopped down on his bed.
Zoe growled. She knew that he knew what was wrong. She also knew that he knew how much his feigned ignorance annoyed her.
“We need to set up some rules,” she grinded out through clenched teeth. “Now.”
Somewhere in the back of her mind, she realised that she was overreacting. She shouldn’t be that angry with Sirius, even if he had interfered with Alexander. It was his right to say whatever he wanted to, technically, they hadn’t made up any rules that he was to leave her alone while she tried to win the bet. Besides, she would have done the same if it was him and Olga. Not that she was ready to admit this to herself.
But this would have been the perfect opportunity and Zoe hated to see it go to waste. For once, she had a chance to beat Sirius.
And then there was Remus who, if possible, had looked more pale than ever before when he had stepped through the door which had reminded Zoe that the boys had a secret she didn’t know about.
“Where’s your parchment?” she asked and flipped Sirius’ chest open to look for it.
“Hey!” In a second he was on his feet and blocked her access to his things. “That’s private.”
Zoe rolled her eyes. “Just get that parchment so we can make up the rules.”
“Someone’s a bit touchy today,” Sirius noticed.
“That’s the right one talking. Who looked like he’d been kissed by the squid this morning at breakfast?”
Sirius let out a low growl and grabbed Zoe’s arms. “Bad night. Too much sexual frustration.” He pushed her backwards until she hit a wall.
The stone was cold in her back but Zoe barely noticed. She was too distracted by how close Sirius had come. “Talk about sexual needs…” she whispered.
“How about this?” Sirius’ head was now so close that she could feel his breath on her cheek. “What if we forget the rules this time? Everything’s allowed, whoever gets the kiss first has won. Simple and sweet.”
With the last word, Sirius’ lips came crashing down on Zoe’s.
It was as if she had been stunned. Electricity ran through her body, sending her lips tingling and her heart racing. A warm sensation spread through her lower body, as it always did when she kissed a boy. It was stronger than usual but that was to be expected with her being frustrated about Alexander.
Sirius put his arms around her lower back and pulled her closer to him. His tongue brushed against her lips and before Zoe realised what was happening, they deepened the kiss. Sirius trailed a finger along Zoe's spine and she moaned against him when he reached the soft spot
in between her shoulder blade. She could feel him smile at her reaction.
It felt like hours passed this way. They broke away to breath only to connect again. At one point, Zoe was lying on Sirius' bed and couldn't even remember how she had gotten there.
Zoe let her hands roam over Sirius' body. He was strong, muscular from Quidditch and the sweat that still covered him after the training made him even more attractive.
Her fingers brushed against the buckle of his belt and it was only when she felt the cold metal that Zoe realised what she was doing.
She had almost loosened his belt!
Zoe pulled away and gasped for air. Sirius was lying under her, panting, his eyes still closed and Zoe felt a strong pull in her lower body. Stupid hormons!
"This doesn't change anything," she croaked.
Sirius cracked an eye open. "Of course not. But it did feel pretty good. At least it confirms why you're so insanely popular with boys."
Zoe raised her eyebrows and smirked. "But you already knew that last year."
"True, but it's always good to reconfirm. Besides, you want to know why I was in a bad mood this morning? Cecilia asked me out."
Zoe's eyes widened. "Cecilia Hawthorne?"
Zoe couldn't help but laugh out loud. She rolled off Sirius and kneeled down next to him. "And you had to turn her down because of Olga. The hottest girl in the school. No wonder you were frustrated."
"You seemed pretty frustrated yourself. Judging from your reaction to my kiss."
Zoe was glad that she rarely blushed. In years of practise with boys she had learned to mostly control it.
Sirius stood up. "I'm going to take a shower. Our rule still stands - no rules, whoever gets the kiss first." He walked into the bathroom and just before he closed the door, he turned around again to wink at Zoe. "Good luck, flirting queen."
"What were you doing in there?" James whined when Zoe finally made it down the stairs. Her legs were still shaking a bit but altogether she felt better than before. Amazing what a bit of snogging could do.
"Oh James," Zoe whispered into her friend's ear. "We were making hot, sweet love, of course. On your bed. What else?"
James jumped at least two feet backwards. "That's a disturbing thought! Now I'll have to go and change my sheets. Thank you so much!"
Everybody started laughing and not even Remus' suspicious look could change Zoe's good mood.
The rest of the weekend passed in a blur. Zoe finished her homework, all of it and while her essays were not particularly good, she found them at least acceptable and that was better than not having done them at all. As predicted, on Sunday morning, Remus didn’t come to breakfast and when she asked, she was told that he was in the hospital wing. For once, Zoe didn’t care, she was in too much of a good mood.
On Monday, classes started and with all the studying and homework and the memory of Sirius’ lips on hers, Zoe was much too busy to think about anything else for the day. It wasn’t until Tuesday that she began pondering her bet with Sirius again.
Just before lunch, she came upon Sirius and Olga in an empty passage. Zoe had forgotten her potions book in the classroom and went to retrieve it before the lunch break. A year ago, the Marauders had told her about the secret passage that led from the dungeons to a corridor close to the Great Hall and Zoe loved the shortcut.
Apparently, Sirius and Olga knew about it as well because when Zoe entered, she could her them talking, Sirius’ loud and full voice and Olga’s hard accent.
“You never talked to me before. Why the sudden interest?” Olga asked.
Zoe crept closer until she could see the two. Olga was blocking the corridor, her hands on her hips, while Sirius was casually leaning against the wall.
Before he could reply, Olga continued, “Listen, I have no interest in you so sod off before I get angry.”
“You seem pretty angry already.”
Even though Zoe couldn’t see Sirius’ face, she could hear in his voice that he was smiling. Or rather grinning. She could see him in her mind, the smug grin on his face because he knew that sooner or later, he was going to win.
But not this time.
Remembering what she and Sirius had agreed on, Zoe stepped forward.
“Sirius, leave the poor girl alone. Maybe she just isn’t interested in you. Not every girl in Hogwarts wants to shag you, you know?”
Ugh, she sounded like one of those sluts from Slytherin. Or, worse, like a jealous girl left behind by him. But at least her words seemed to work on Olga because she turned around and stomped off.
Sirius stared at Zoe. “What did you do that for?” he cried out as soon as the Ravenclaw girl had left.
Zoe grinned. “Your rules. No rules, it was you who wanted it so live with the consequences.” She blew him a kiss and set off after Olga in the direction of the Great Hall.
It was time to get a move on Alexander. The little scene in the corridor had shown Zoe that she couldn’t wait around forever and needed to win that bet before Sirius had made any progress on Olga.
At lunch, she tried to make eye contact with Alexander but not once was his gaze moving to the Gryffindor table.
“Merlin, Remus, how did you get that scratch on your cheek?” Zoe asked, taking her eyes off the Ravenclaw table for a short moment. Her friend was back from the hospital wing but he looked like he had been chewed on by a dragon and spit out again.
“I don’t know. I think I fell over, but it’s just a haze in my head. Too sick.” He shrugged casually and Zoe knew that she was lying. Lies, lies, lies. Their dirty little secret that they wouldn’t share with her. Clenching her jaw, she set her eyes on the Ravenclaw table again.
Just in time, she saw Alexander’s eyes flickering to her. Zoe raised her eyebrows and inclined her head ever so slightly towards the exit of the Great Hall.
Alexander understood. He leaned in to Olga, said a few words and stood up. Zoe waited two minutes before she stood up and followed him.
Write a Review It all started with a bet: Chapter 4