It was raining out. This summer had been particularly wet with thunder storms almost every day. It had only been a few days since their meeting on the hilltop, but Colton and Bee were moving fast. Braxtany’s parents were out for the day and she had invited Colton over and they were currently kissing on the couch.
“Bee?” Colton asked hesitantly.
“What?” She asked. She was in bliss, sitting here, kissing him. She couldn’t imagine anything more perfect.
“I was just wondering. I really like you, and this has been great. But, I was wondering, would you be my girlfriend? Officially?”
She had been wrong before, when she though that it was perfect. Now it was perfect.
“Bloody hell Black! GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME! We only have TWO DAYS until Hufflepuff! Do I need to get Rogers in here to take your place?” James was screaming at his best mate from across the pitch. Black had missed his tenth save.
“THEY’RE GOING TO SLAUGHTER US IF YOU DON’T PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND SAVE A DAMN GOAL ONCE IN A WHILE!” James had flown right over to Sirius and was now yelling at a rather close proximity. I was trying not to laugh, but it was proving difficult.
I was leaning on my broom, just watching, when Shane Hall, a 6th year and one of the teams beaters, flew over to me. He was laughing under his breath, his shaggy blonde hair falling in his eyes and his bat swinging by his side.
“Wonder what’s got Black’s nickers in a twist today.” He grinned at me.
“More like who.” I replied. His grin widened at this. I smiled back but my heart wasn’t in it. I may have made the comment jokingly, but I had the sneaking suspicion that having me up in the air was what was throwing Black off.
Tommy Gold, the other team beater flew over to us then. It was his first year on the team, and he was only a third year, and he looked really nervous as he approached us.
“Shane, I, er, think we should get to hitting or something. James looks pretty angry.” Shane rolled his eyes at me.
“James will get over it. Calm down Gold. And learn to say pissed, you’re on the quidditch team kid.”
“Oh, er, sorry Shane.”
“Get out of here Hall. The kids right. James will have your head when he’s done barbecuing Sirius’s.” Shane just shrugged while Tommy looked like he might pass out.
“Whatever, catch ya in a bit Everard. You might wanna get that snitch soon though, or it’ll be your head on a pike.” I smirked.
“Not a chance, I’m his last hope, he can’t risk pissing me off.” Tommy gave a little laugh at this, and Shane looked sour. But then he waved and the pair flew off to go hit some bludgers at each other.
Sebastian Green and Isaiah Crawford, James’s fellow chasers, were lounging lazily on their brooms and tossing the quaffle back and forth. James was still shouting at Sirius who looked like he might throttle his best mate in another minute.
“Oi! Potter!” I hollered as I speed down to their level. James turned his glare on me, but I just returned the look until he softened. Black looked away.
“What are you doing here, Everard. You should be snitch hunting.” He snapped.
“Shove off Potter. Stop shouting at Black, it’s not helping his game and you’re losing the concentration of your fellow chasers. Not to mention the fact that you’ve managed to thoroughly terrify Gold. Now get back to captaining, and leave Black alone.” He stared blankly at me for a while, but then James finally just nodded and flew off to his other chasers.
“A thank you would be nice.” I said, looking at Black.
“Thanks.” He grunted. I wish I had something to throw at him.
“Seriously. What the hell is your issue here?” He avoided my eyes.
“Answer me right now, I swear to God.”
“You.” He had finally met my gaze. But it was a cold glare. Me? I was his issue? Was he four?
“Honestly Black. Get over yourself. Just because we’re not on great terms doesn’t mean it should affect your game. I want to win this match, probably just as much as James does. And if you fuck it up for me because you’re to busy mopping over the fact that I’m here, I will kill you. And that is not a threat, it’s a promise.” He gave me the middle finger. I resisted the urge to punch him in the face: I didn’t want poor Tommy Gold to be more petrified of the team than he already was.
“And thus the Goblin War ensued...” Binns was droning on and on and I was getting sick of the sound of his voice. I wish I had taken my usual seat next to Remus today. But Sirius, being the git that he is stole my spot knowing it would piss me off. I would have sat net to James, but I figured I’d rather not get ten detentions. So I sat with Lily. My psychotic best mate who was vigorously taking notes.
I stared out the window for a while. But no one was down by the pitch playing Quidditch, so there wasn’t much to look at. I glanced around at my fellow classmates. No one was paying attention to the lesson except Lily and some Ravenclaw boy whose name I had forgotten. Everyone else was passing notes or whispering back and forth to each other. James was asleep, with a little line of drool falling onto the parchment he had been pretending to take notes on. Remus and Sirius were trying not to make much noise despite the fact that they were playing paper football across the length of their table.
I sighed and rested my chin in my hands. Boring. This class was boring. Binns was dull. The topics were dry. And Lily wasn’t helping the situation. Why couldn’t she be more normal? Was it too much to ask that she entertain me for just one class? It wasn’t even an important one! Who cared about the Goblin wars? No one!
I chanced a look back at Sirius and Remus. Being the mature blokes they were, they had moved from paper football to spitballing wads of paper through Binns’s torso. The ghost took no notice. I had to stifle a laugh. It was a bit ridiculous.
Remus glanced at me and saw me laughing. He smiled at me and turned his attentions to me. He aimed, but I dodged the spit laden paper which, unfortunately, hit Lily instead. The red head whipped around, searching for the culprit. Remus conspicuously looked the other way and even started to whistle. Lily sent him the deadliest glare I’ve ever seen. I’m surprised Remus didn’t collapse right there on the floor.
When Lily looked away and back to her notes, I peeked back at Sirius and Remus who were both scribbling on a piece of paper. Huh, I thought only the girls in this class passed notes. Deciding they weren’t that interesting anymore, I looked out the window again.
Then I was pegged in the back of the head with a folded piece of parchment. I glanced around and noted a scowling Sirius and a smirking Remus who sent me a jovial wave. I frowned, but checked to see if Binns was looking at me before I bent down to retrieve the note.
We’re sneaking into town tonight. Join? It was written in Remus’s handwriting.
I don’t think Black wants me there.
That sod? He doesn’t count. Peter’s a coward and won’t be joining us. I want you there and does James and we’re the only ones that matter.
Right. Well, what would this evening entail. I’m not ditching a perfectly good night of homework for nothing Lupin. You better have a right good plan.
So hung up on the details my dear Braxtany. Just agree to it.
The details are what make the whole damn thing. Of course I’m hung up on them you wanker.
Just come Everard. Or he won’t leave you alone.
Black? Who asked you.
Shove off. Just jump off your high horse and come with us.
He says with a please attached. Come on Bee, it’ll be fun. Bring Lily!
Miss Head Girl? Because she’ll be rearing to sneak out of school at night.
So what do you say?
Good! Now, prod James so he doesn’t get too embarrassed about how much he’s drooling,
“Come on Lilers! It’ll be fun!”
“Braxtany Everard! Are you honestly asking me to sneak out?”
“Yes! Lil, come on, the boys and I have done it a million times. It’s fun!”
“You’ve done this before?”
“Braxtany! How stupid can you be? Sneaking out of school?”
“Lighten up Lily. It’s our last year! Do something crazy for once in your life. Be spontaneous! Besides, James will be there.” She flushed at this.
“How do you know we won’t get caught?”
“I don’t know that. That’s half the fun!” Lily glared at me. I just grinned encouragingly back.
“Live a little Lily, it’s our last year! You can put that stick right back up your ass when when we get back.” She punched me in the leg.
“Slag.” She muttered. “I don’t put sticks anywhere they are not supposed to be.”
“Sure, sure. So you’ll come?” She just continued to glare. “Oh come on. I need you as a buffer! You can’t leave me to fend for myself against Black.”
“Remus and Potter will be there. You don’t need me.”
“Maybe not, but James sure does.” I gave her a suggestive wink and she gave me yet another dead leg. “Damn it Lil! That hurts!”
“Good you bloody twit.” She sighed. “Fine. I’ll tag along. But if we get caught I’ll kill you Everard.” I smirked.
“Don’t sweat it Evans” I leaned back and placed my feet up on the table in the library. Lily sent me a stern look and pushed my feet away from her precious books.
“Lil, that’s for next week. Let’s go get something to eat!”
“No. Now get out of here. I’m mad at you and your manipulating skills. You should have been a Slytherin.”
“Ouch, low blow Lilers.” I chuckled. “Ah well. I’ll be in the common room when you decide to stop resenting me. Oh, and be back before eleven. That’s when we’re departing.”
“Don’t be stupid. Curfew is at ten. Of course I’ll be back.” She frowned, most likely realizing that following curfew was silly because she’d be leaving the grounds all together the same night. I smiled and waved as I walked away from my best friend. She glowered some more, then turned back to her book.
The way back to the tower was uneventful. I saw a few people I knew, and waved half heartedly as I passed them. I also found a few first and second years who seems to be terrified of me. Go figure. I grinned maliciously at them and they scattered. I was still laughing to myself as I entered the common room. I spotted the back of Remus’s head, he was sitting on the couch. I smiled and flung my body over the back of it so that I was sitting next to him.
“Oi, Lupin! Fancy a walk down to the kitchens or something?” I said as I scrunched my body into the lying position, resting my head in his lap. “I’m fucking starving.” I finished, looking up at him. He looked uncomfortable.
“Uh. Hey Braxtany.” I frowned at the greeting.
“What’s got your knickers in a twist Lupin?” His gaze shifted to the person sitting on the floor in front of him. Black.
“Hello.” He said coldly. I rolled my eyes and didn’t respond.
“So what d’ya say? Kitchens?”
“He’s kind of busy, Everard.” Black spat at me.
“Yes, but given the option, who in their right minds would want to spend time with you?” Black looked as if he was going to start yelling at me again, but Remus put his hand up to stop him.
“I’ll be back Sirius.” He stood up pulling me with him. I smirked at Black,
“Bloody traitor.” He muttered. Remus chose to ignore him, but I flipped him off on my best friend’s behalf. Remus towed my by the hand out of the common room. Once we had traveled a safe distance from the prying ears of the fat lady, Remus turned on me.
“You two need to get over yourselves. We’re all going out together tonight and I’d really like it if the evening didn’t result in the death of one of my friends.”
“If it came down to it, do you think I could take the wanker?”
“Not the point Braxtany.”
“Very much the point Remus! I won’t pick a fight I know I won’t win.”
“In that case, Sirius would mop the floor with you.” I punched him in the arm.
“Whatever. He deserves whatever I dish out.” Remus looked down at his feet.
“I know he does. He told me what he said to you.” He looked up, eyes pleading. I kept my gaze cold. “Bee he didn’t mean it. He feels just awful. He came back to the dorm a right mess. He tried to follow you up, but that trick with the stairs.” I looked away and picked up my pace as we traveled along the corridor.
“Got to love those old spells.” I muttered. Remus grabbed my hand, pulling me to a halt.
“You drive him crazy Bee.” He ruffled his sandy brown hair with his the hand that wasn’t attached to my own, looking sheepish. “In fact, you drive a lot of people crazy.” I glared.
“Thanks. Good to know.” I ripped my hand from his and stalked off, muttering swears to myself.
“Braxtany!” He was keeping up with my pace. Damn. He matched my strides, but we continued in silence until we reached the kitchens.
“I’m sorry.” He said as we stopped in front of the fruit bowl. My anger had worn out by that time. I could never stay angry with Remus for long. He was the only person who could melt my temper with just a smile. Remus was my achilles heal.
“It’s fine.” I muttered. He pulled me into a hug, which I gratefully returned.
“I punched Sirius when he told me what he said to you.” I laughed against his chest, breathing him in.
“I don’t like that he hurt you Bee. But you bounce back. He doesn’t. He’s the one hurting now, only I can’t punch you for it.” I squeezed my eyes shut and gritted my teeth.
“Sorry.” I finally breathed. “I’ll be civil to him. Tonight will be great. I promise.” I could practically feel his smile.
“That’s all I ask.” He kissed the top of my head and gave me one last squeeze before pulling away and tickling the pear. “Now, lets get some food in you.” I grinned and followed him into the kitchens, where we were promptly swarmed with house elves.
“I can’t believe I’m doing this!” Lily whimpered as they made their way down the secret passage to Honeydukes.
“Shut up Lily. You can’t turn back now.” I hissed at her in the dark. The boys had taken the lead and Lily and I were trailing behind as I tried to convince her not to turn around and make a run for it.
“What if the barman calls the school? What if one of the professors are out tonight!”
“Stop freaking out Evans!” Sirius called to her from a little ahead of us.
“Yeah Lily, don’t worry.” James said reassuringly, coming to stand beside her and placing a hand on her shoulder. “Abeforth loves us. He won’t tell.” I could see Lily visibly relax at his touch, and I rolled my eyes. I left James to console her and went to walk with Remus and Black.
“Hey!” Remus said brightly when he noticed me next to him.
“Hi!” I smiled up at him as he draped an arm around my shoulders. “Hello Sirius.” I nodded towards him. He looked a little shocked, and I pretended not to notice when Remus nodded encouragingly at him.
“Hey Bee. Looking forward to tonight?” I shrugged, being civil with Black wasn’t as hard as I had thought. Sure, I still wanted to punch him in that beautiful face, but I was able to resist the urge.
“Suppose. More excited to see how Lily’s gonna handle it.” He laughed.
“I know what you mean. But I think Prongs will take good care of her.” I smiled up at him.
“Let’s hope so.” We stayed like that for a second, just smiling at each other. Remus watched the whole exchange with a small smirk on his face. He gave me a reassuring squeeze.
“GET AWAY FROM ME POTTER!” Remus, Sirius and I turned around at the sound of Lily’s screech. It was coming from a ways behind us. Huh, I hadn’t realized they had fallen so far behind. I spotted Lily’s fire red hair before anything else. She was practically sprinting away from what I only assumed would be a bemused James.
“Take me back Everard. Now. This was stupid.” Her face was flushed. I figured it must be from anger. But then again, her hair was a little mussed too. She grabbed my arm and tried to pull me back towards the castle. James emerged from the shadows of the passageway to where we were all standing. He was flushed as well and the moment he came into view, Lily froze. I put two and two together, but I seemed to be the only one who did so. Remus and Sirius were glaring at their best mate.
“What did you do now you dolt?” Remus asked, crossing his arms. He gave out an almost McGonagall vibe. James shrunk at the glares of his two friends.
“Uh. Nothing. Same as always.” He ruffled his hair and shot a glance at Lily, who was purposefully avoiding any eye contact with the poor bloke.
“Take care of her will you Everard. We can’t stay in this damn tunnel all night.” Sirius whispered in my ear. I nodded, ignoring the goose bumps that had erupted along the entirety of my body. I pulled Lily out of earshot of the guys.
“Care to explain this new, er, look?” I asked in a hushed voice, motioning to her disheveled hair and flushed face. Her face seemed to grown even redder in the light of my wand.
“I kissed him.” She whispered. I just stood there. Shocked. I mean. I had gathered that there had been a heated moment based on their looks. But Lily kissing him first? Had the world gone mad?
“Oh. And er. Uhm. How did that end with you yelling at him?” She squeezed her eyes shut, as if she were trying to banish a bad memory.
“I realized that what I was doing was completely insane.” She opened her eyes and gazed at me pleadingly. “I told him to leave me alone because I don’t trust myself with him! Please don’t make me go back there Bee. Please.” I took a deep breath.
“Hun, you know I love you to death. But seriously. You need to face this! This could be something! Finally! Tonight could be good! And even if it’s not? How could it possibly ruin your relationship? Seriously?”
“But Bee! I’m mortified!”
“Time to face the music Evans. Let’s go!” I grabbed her by the shoulders and began to push her back to the boys.
“Fine.” She snapped. “I’ll go. But I won’t be happy!”
“Never expected any differently.”
“Let me go Braxtany. I’m a big girl I can walk.”
“Maybe, but I’m not so sure you won’t make a run for it.” She shook me off, but continued on her way back to the boys, her arms crossed firmly across her chest.
James and Sirius were singing loudly, arms slung around each other. It was an amusing sight to watch, they were completely out of tune. Lily was giggling slightly. After some coercion I had managed to convince her to drink some fire whiskey. What a light weight, after only a little bit she was falling all over herself! I needed to whip her into shape. I would have to take her down here more. As always, Abeforth hadn’t had a problem with us being there. In fact, he was standing behind the bar and laughing at our antics.
“Bee,” Remus whispered in my ear as he sat down next to me, handing me a glass of water he had just gotten from the bar. I frowned.
“I recall asking for something stronger Lupin! Poor form! Bringing a lady water. Shame on you!” He laughed.
“Bee, you’re the farthest thing from a lady there is. Abeforth needs us to leave in a few. It’s almost 2am and he needs to close up.”
“Bugger. So the Party’s over?” He nodded.
“Hey, you lot. We’ve gotta head out, bar’s closing.” Remus announced to the others.
“Boo!” Sirius shouted loudly.
“Come on Lily.” I said, hoisting her out of her seat. She was very limp and very giggly, and it was difficult to get her to stand. Once Remus was able to round James and Sirius up we all headed for the door. Remus never really drank, ever the responsible one, always in charge of taking care of all of us who were inebriated. But tonight I was with him. I drank a bit, but under no circumstances did I want a repeat of the last time I was under the influence.
We were staggering along the dirt path leading away from the Hog’s Head when Lily turned to me, wide eyed.
“Bee! Where are we going to sleep! I can’t get back to the dorm like this!” That was the edited version of her sentence. Because trust me, unless you’ve known the girl for as long as I have, there is no way you could have understood the sting of slurred words coming from her mouth.
“Where we always sleep Lily.” I laughed at her confused expression. “The shrieking shack!” She looked petrified. But I ignored it as our small group made our way up the hill to the long ago abandoned house. We circled it until we were by the back porch, the one facing the forest so that no one would see us even if they were peering out at the creepy house at 2am.
Remus kicked the base of the door and it gave a creek that made the already shaking Lily jump and cling to James. I laughed as the boy gave her a surprised look, but took it in stride, beaming. We made our way upstairs, to the big bedroom where we always slept.
“Here Lily, you take the bed.” James said as he sat her down on the moth eaten mattress. It wasn’t much of a bed, by any means. The posts were all snapped, and a few looked like Remus had gnawed on them during one of his transformations. The mattress was in no better shape, and there was only a small, thin, ripped blanket on it. On the floor there were a few more blankets placed together in an attempt to make a bed.
“James,” Lily slurred. “This place freaks me out. I know it’s not haunted, but still.” He smiled and slung an arm around her shoulder, pulling her into him as he sat next to her.
“It’s safe Lil.” He reassured her. Just then, without warning, Lily leaned over and kissed him. When she pulled away, James looked a little shell shocked. Then he looked at her with a big goofy grin on his face. I tuned my back to them and settled myself on the mess of blankets on the floor.
“Get a bleeding room you two.” Sirius shouted as he sat down next to me. I tensed up: drunk Sirius and I do not mix well. But he simply laid down with his back to me and Remus sat down on my other side. James stayed with Lily on the bed.
I looked up at Remus who was just looking around the room before he put his wand out. He laid down as my eyes adjusted to the new light thrown through the windows by the moon and the stars. Remus and I laid facing each other and I smiled at him, and he smiled at me. He never liked staying here, it reminded him of the bad times. When he had to come here to change alone, without the help of his friends. I reached out and grabbed his hand, lacing our fingers together. He closed his eyes, but squeezed my hand in response.
“Remus?” I asked after what felt like twenty minutes.
“Mm?” He responded sleepily. I heard James snoring, and the familiar breathing of a sleeping Lily, and the steady breath from Sirius beside me.
“Nothing really. I just can’t sleep.” He opened one eye and peered at me. Then he untangled our hands and pulled me closer to him, wrapping his arm around my waist. I snuggled into his chest and took a deep breath of his familiar scent.
“Just try to get some shut eye. It’ll be morning before you know it.” He kissed the top of my head and we stayed like that for a while. He fell asleep almost instantly, but I still couldn’t find rest. I must have laid comfortably in Remus’s arms for about an hour before I heard a noise coming from my other side. Someone had stood up and walked towards the window.
“Sirius?” I whispered, afraid to wake Remus.
“Bee?” He asked, just as quietly. I turned myself around in Remus’s arms so that I could see him. His body was just visible by the light from the window, but I could tell her was looking at me.
“Yeah, it’s me. What are you doing?”
“Couldn’t sleep.” He paused for a moment. “Cozy?” Suddenly I felt uncomfortable in the position I was in. I detangled myself and slowly stood up to join Sirius by the window.
“How are you feeling?” I asked. He shrugged.
“I’ve been more sober.” I smiled at him. His black hair was falling around his face, and his stormy eyes were looking right into my own. I felt my temperature rise and I quickly looked away, out the window.
“Hogsmeade looks beautiful at night, doesn’t it?” He followed my gaze out to the village.
“Yeah. I like it at winter best though. First snow is my favorite.”
“Mine too. Everything just gets quiet.” I felt his gaze back on me, so I turned to meet it. The moonlight was hitting his face perfectly, casting it half in shadow, but illuminating part of it, giving him an otherworldly glow. He took one step closer to me. Then another, until I could feel his breath on my face. I closed my eyes as he reached up and placed his hand to my cheek.
I didn’t trust myself with him. Ever since that first kiss in the kitchens I’d been acting irrationally around him. Like some stupid lovesick teenager. If he leaned in now, I don’t know if I could stop him, or if if I would want him to stop.
“Bee?” He whispered, sending shivers down my body. Against my better judgement I opened my eyes and looked at him. Poor choice. His gaze hit me like a ton of bricks, taking the breath straight out of my lungs. He was so close and those stunning eyes were boring into me.
He moved his hand from my cheek to the back of my neck, as his other hand found my waist. Then, finally, Sirius leaned in, and I panicked, my heart going into overdrive. I can’t kiss him! I can’t want to kiss him! This wasn’t me!
At the last second I leaned away. He looked at me as if I had just slapped him. I glanced away.
“I can’t.” I sighed. He dropped his hands and took a few steps back.
“It’s fine.” He said after a moment of awkward silence.
“It’s fine.” He repeated, turning away. I reached out and grabbed his hand.
“It’s not. You were right the other night. I’m a bitch.” I choked up on the last word. What was I doing? What was I saying? What was happening? But the words kept tumbling out. “I’ve been awful to you. Kissing you, running away, being a bitch. It’s not fair of me. I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you, or if you feel like I’ve been toying with you.” I looked down at my feet.
“I’m sorry.” I whispered again. Before I knew it, he had me gathered in a tight embrace. I wrapped my arms around him in return and buried my face in his chest.
“I’m just...” Afraid. That was the word. I was afraid that I was the one being played, like all those other girls. I was afraid that I was giving up on everything I had ever learned about not letting love in. I was afraid of how he made me feel. I was afraid of getting hurt, again. But instead I settled for: “confused. Really confused.” I was close enough to the truth.
“Bee,” He said again. I forced myself to pull away and meet his eyes. “It’s fine. Really. I mean, look how long it took for James and Lily.”
“I wouldn’t hold your breath.” I mumbled. I was too smart now to let myself get hurt. I’ll never put myself in any sort of position to get my heart ripped open. Attachment and relationships were not an option.
“What?” He asked.
“The answer is always going to be that I can’t Sirius.” He looked hurt.
“Why?” That question was to personal. I ignored it.
“I’m just tired. I think I’m going to head back to bed. It’s nearly morning.” He just nodded, we both laid back down on the floor. I turned my back to him, I felt uncomfortable after what had just happened. I grabbed Remus’s hand again for comfort. Finally I could hear Sirius’s breathing grow even as he fell asleep.
After another fifteen minutes I felt an arm drape over me. I stiffened. But the sleeping Sirius pulled me against his chest. He was solid. Toned. Comfortable. I felt safe, like I was at home. So I let myself relax against his body. This wasn’t so bad and it was harmless too. No strings attached. The warmth from his body seemed to calm me down as I felt myself slipping towards sleep.
Hey all!!! Sorry for the wait (again)! Let me know what you think!