“Great! Do you know that my parents and yours are going on holiday together this Christmas and we have to stay here,” James said grimly a week before the end of term.
“What?! I didn’t even know they got along that well.”
“Yes, apparently they started hanging out while we were here and now they’re going to abandon us!”
Alex and James were sitting next to the fire in the common room, warming themselves.
“Why can’t we go with them?”
“I don’t know! It’s outrageous! Leaving their children here.”
“Where are they going and please don’t say Italy, because I will die.”
“No, they’re going to Nebraska.”
“Where’s that?” Alex scrunched up her nose.
“Don’t know, but if it’s anything like Alaska, I don’t even want to go.”
Alex groaned. Now her entire pre-Christmas mood was ruined. She was stuck here and as much as she loved Hogwarts, she really was looking forward to going home and seeing her family.
“Hey James! Guess what?” Sirius walked in excitedly, “Taylor,” he nodded to her, them still being in a war-relationship.
“My parents are letting me stay here for the holidays, I don’t have to go home,” he sad happily.
“Yes, it’s a shame you’re going home, though.”
“That’s the thing, we’re not,” James said. He was happy about his best-friend staying with him.
“Oh no!” Alex screamed.
“What’s up, sunshine?” Sirius asked.
“Don’t call me that. It’s bad enough I have to stay here, but that you’re going to be here as well?! Kill me now.”
“Well, you’re not my favorite person to be spending the holidays with either,” Sirius said.
“Why do you always have to turn up, where you’re not wanted, Black?”
“James wants me!”
“Well I don’t!” Alex said.
“Stop it, you two. You guys have to learn how to get along,” James interfered.
“But he’s always getting on my nerves. And now I have to spend my holidays with him as well. James, how do you expect me to do that?” Alex whined.
“You just have to, for everyone’s sake. I know Remus and Lily are getting annoyed with you two always fighting.”
“She should just stay out of my way!” Sirius suggested.
“I try! But you’re always here!”
“Well you’re always with James and I want to be with him too.”
“So it’s actually James’s fault.”
“Why, it’s my fault now?” James looked offended.
“Yes,” Alex and Sirius said in union, pleased at the agreement they have made.
“Well, at least I’ll have Lily,” Alex sighed.
“What, she’s staying over the holidays too?” James’s face lit up.
“Yes, she says she has to work on the Charms project. I tell, you that girl is crazy.”
“She’s going to be doing school work, during the holidays?” Sirius couldn’t believe his own words.
“If it makes here stay here, than I’m happy,” James said.
“Are you guys talking about me again?” Lily suddenly appeared before them.
“No,” they answered.
She eyed them suspiciously.
“But, Remus and Peter are going home, aren’t they?” Sirius tried to smoothly continue the conversation.
“Yes, I just met Remus in the library and he said he’s going home,” Lily nodded sitting herself down next to Sirius, much to James’s annoyance.
“Do you guys realize, Lupin wasn’t in our bedroom again last night?” James noted.
“What? How many times has it been, now?” Alex asked.
“It’s once a month and he never tells us, that he’s going to see his mum,” Sirius said.
“Oh please Black, how stupid are you?” Lily said.
“What, flower?” he seemed hurt.
“He’s not going to see his mother!”
“Well, then where is he going?”
“I don’t know.”
“So you’re not that smart either.”
“Shut up, Black,” Lily groaned.
“Same goes for you too, flower.”
“Well, where could he be?” Alex stopped their argument.
James shrugged and Sirius just looked confused.
“Maybe we should just ask him,” Lily suggested.
“Are you crazy?” Sirius said.
“Why? We’re his friends. We have a right to know!”
“I still like to keep it on the down low, that I socialize with such a nerd,” Sirius said quietly.
“Black shut up! You’re his friend and you know it!” Alex got mad at him.
“Well I like him, but do you know what it’s like for a guy like me? I have a standard to maintain, Taylor. You wouldn’t understand.”
“Are you trying to say something, Black?”
“That I have no standard?”
“Well…” he trailed off suggestively.
“Black, I swear, one of these days I will-“
“Chill out, he was only joking!” James said.
“How do you know that?”
“I’m his best friend! I know him!”
“Guys, can we please talk about Remus,” Lily said always being the mature one.
“Oh, flower, then just go and talk to your precious little Lupin,” Sirius snapped.
Lily stood up, offended.
“Now look what you did!” James groaned.
“What? I don’t care about hurting little flower’s feelings. You go and talk to her and be her savior.”
“Oh, Black! Must you be so insensitive?” Alex yelled.
“I can be really sensitive if I want, you know?”
“Really? I’m sorry if I don’t believe that,” Alex started walking away.
“You’ll see one day!” Sirius yelled after her.
“Oh, Alex, come back! Don’t you leave as well!” James tried to bring her back.
“Good night, James,” she said and walked up to her bedroom.
“Sirius, you know you could be a bit more sensitive,” James suggested timidly.
Sirius groaned and flung himself into an armchair.
“Mate, sometimes I just don’t know how to react,” he ran his fingers through his hair.
They somehow got through their last week of school and then breathed in relief, when the holidays finally started.
“Isn’t it great, to not have to do anything?” Alex said lazily to Remus.
“Alex, don’t think this holidays are just for slacking off. You’ll have to study as well. Thank god Lily’s staying, she’ll push you to it, at least a bit.”
“Oh Remus, chill out! Relax. It must feel good to just sit here, by the fire.”
“I have to admit it does. But I still have to pack tonight, we’re leaving in the morning.”
“Argh, don’t remind me! I’ll be stuck here with Black. There will be less people at Hogwarts, so the percentage of him annoying me, will be even higher!”
“He’s not that bad, you know.”
Alex gave him the are-you-kidding-me look.
“Are you kidding me Potter?!”
James marched in with a furious Lily on his heels. Several heads turned.
“Well, for once it’s not you and Sirius fighting,” Remus laughed.
“He’s bad company!” James was defensive.
“Who are you to tell me that? It’s not your business to tell me who I can and cannot hang out with!”
“Well, he’s a Slytherin!”
“They aren’t bad people! Just get of your high Gryffindor horse and for once acknowledge that the house you’re sorted in doesn’t defy who you are!”
James was kind of taken aback by this.
“But, does it have to be him?”
“I’m guessing James is having problems again, about Lily hanging out with Severus.” Remus whispered to Alex.
“Snevillius isn’t good for you!”
“I don’t care! I don’t care what you think! How many times do I have to tell you that.”
“I’m just trying to look out for you,” James said.
“I didn’t ask you to protect me. I don’t want you to protect me, Potter,” Lily said firmly.
James looked hurt, but Alex felt it was right for Lily to tell him this so forwardly. He didn’t seem to get the hints.
“Now, I’m going to bed, are you coming, Alex?” Lily waved to her.
Alex quickly got up and followed her, shooting a warm smile at James, so he wouldn’t think she was picking sides. They got ready for bed in silence, Lily being very grumpy. Alex got under the covers and thought about all the lovely Christmas presents she was sure to get in a few days.
“Stand up!” I said, my voice cold and slick. Before me lay a trembling man, his head bowed down to me.
“Please, have merci!”
“I know no merci!” I laughed.
That pitiful old man. He knew nothing of power. He was too weak to kill. It was funny to me. I held everything in my hands. I had my wand and I could kill him at any moment. I controlled the game.
“Please, just leave my family,” he sobbed.
I laughed again. How people had no idea, that they shouldn’t reveal their weakness. Telling the thing they didn’t want was the most ridiculous thing to do. I was going to take great pleasure in doing just that. How mortals amused me. They seemed to be against themselves in every step.
I threw my head back and laughed again. The man looked up at me. I waved my wand carelessly and a blaze of green light appeared. The man lay dead before me. I snickered.
Alex was woken up, by what she thought was the piercing green light, but was actually the sun that came through her window.
She was gasping for air as she looked around the room. It was empty, because everyone was at breakfast. Alex saw the time was already eleven.
Why was she having these dreams? This one had the same feeling as the one months ago. And now she was killing people? What was happening to her? She was really scared. It wasn’t normal for an eleven year old, to have dreams about murdering people.
She got dressed slowly and then headed down to the Gryffindor common room. It was totally empty, so apparently all the kids have left already.
“Alex?” she jumped, she hadn’t noticed Sirius sitting in the corner.
“What’s wrong?” he asked her kindly.
“You look very pale and your eyes are all red, have you been crying?”
“No, I never cry.”
“And then you accuse me, of not being sensitive.”
“Being sensitive isn’t only about crying.”
“Tell, me what’s wrong,” he asked her again and it seemed like he really wanted to know.
She sat down next to him.
“I had a horrible dream, again,” she sighed.
“Really? You couldn’t find your Beatles CD?”
“You see! You can’t be sensitive!” she started getting up.
“Wait, wait, I’ll try my best, I swear,” he laughed.
She sat down again.
“So, what happened,” he tried his best to keep a serious face.
“I was killing people. It was terrible and I’m really scared. What if I really killed someone?” she said timidly.
“Oh, Alex you would never kill anyone!”
“I know that. But what if something possesses me at night and I go on a murder hunt. Innocent people might die.”
“Trust me Alex, you can’t just go somewhere in the middle of the night and kill people.”
“Why not? It’s the wizard world?”
“You can’t, really. Trust me,” he reassured her and for once she did.
They went down to breakfast together, Alex happy that Sirius was being nice. She was wondering why he sometimes had breakthroughs, when he seemed like such a wonderful person. But then he made some stupid and shallow comment, which proved just how much of an ass he really was.
“Oh-oh, let’s hope James doesn’t see that,” Sirius pointed at the Slytherin table. Lily was sitting there, next to Severus.
“Where is James, anyway?” Alex asked.
“I think he’s still sleeping.”
“My kind of guy,” Alex laughed.
“I love sleeping. If I don’t get enough sleep I’ll probably kill someone,” she joked but then remembered her dream and it suddenly wasn’t funny anymore.
“Hey Alex, please believe in yourself. You know you didn’t kill anyone.”
“But I was there! I felt like I wanted to kill the man. It was funny for me to see him suffer.”
“It was just a dream,” Sirius said.
At that moment Lily noticed that Alex and Sirius had come down to breakfast, so she decided to join them.
“Why were you sitting at the Slytherin table?” Alex asked her.
“Well, I accompanied Remus to the train station and then got back so early that nobody I knew was up yet. Then Severus invited me to sit with him.”
“How did you guys even become friends? He really isn’t similar to you.”
“He’s the one that told me everything about magic and Hogwarts.”
“Why is Snevillius not going home?” Sirius asked.”
”Don’t call him that and it’s none of your business,” she glared at him.
“Just trying to have a conversation,” he said defensively.
“You’re worse than Potter,” Lily claimed.
“I take that as a compliment,” he said proudly.
“Speaking of the devil,” Alex waved to James that was standing at the entrance.
“I am really not in the mood for this,” Lily said and got up to leave.
“I’ll come with you,” Alex said.
“See you, Sirius,” Alex said, surprising him with her kind tone.
“What do you want to do?” Alex asked Lily when they sat down in the common room.
“I think we should get started with our homework and then we should study…”
“Oh, Lils! It’s the first day! Let’s just enjoy it.”
“But you’re already behind.”
“Please, just this once, lets do something else.”
“Thank you! So what do you want to do?”
“I’ve been meaning to see Hagrid, he’s invited me for tea. Do you want to come with me?”
“Yes, I’d love to.”
They got their coats and scarves from their dormitory.
“Do you know there’s snow everywhere?” Lily said, excited.
“What? Don’t you like snow?”
“I hate snow. It’s cold and wet. I love the heat.”
“I’ve never seen this much snow,” Lily said as they got outside, “I’m not sure if it’s real or a magic spell.”
“It’s cold and that’s enough for me to hate it.”
“I love snow!” Lily sang and threw herself to the ground to make a snow angle.
“So how do you even know Hagrid?” Alex asked her.
“I was really interested in magical creatures and he knows a lot about them, so I asked him. He took me to see some in the forbidden forest.”
“You went to the forbidden forest?” Alex was shocked that Lily would do something like that. The forest was, as you might have guessed, forbidden.
“Yes,” Lily said clearly ashamed, “I just really wanted to see a centaur.”
“You saw a centaur?” Alex was totally taken aback by this new side of Lily.
“Yes, they’re so nice. I talked to them.”
“You are crazy. Lily Evans breaking the rules, the world is mad.”
”Please don’t tell anyone! Remus will think badly of me and Potter won’t stop teasing me.”
“Ok, I won’t tell anyone,” she found it so funny that Lily was worried about this.
“Thank you. So after that me and Hagrid just started talking about things.”
“He did seem really nice when I saw him the first day. But he is really tall.”
“I know and the bushy beard is scary as well.”
They both laughed. Finally they got to Hagrid’s hut and Lily knocked.
“Who is it?” a voice boomed.
Hagrid opened the door.
“Oh hello Lily, I haven’t seen you in a while!”
“Hi, Hagrid. I’m sorry I’ve been busy with school and everything.”
“You are always so hard working,” he smiled fondly at her.
“This is my friend, Alex,” Lily finally introduced them.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Hagrid said, stretching his big palm towards Alex.
They went inside, where Hagrid put the kettle on.
“I remember you,” he suddenly said to Alex.
“Really? From where?”
“You’re the one that fell in the lake,” he laughed.
“Was pushed inside, is more like it. You can blame Sirius Black for that.”
Hagrid laughed even harder.
“That Sirius Black is a character, he is. Him and his friend James try and sneak to the forbidden forest every once in a while.” Hagrid said, his eyes twinkling.
“Yes, that does sound like them,” Lily said.
“But they’re good chaps,” Hagrid said fondly again. It seemed like he loved all of them.
Hagrid served them tea.
“I think I have some fudge cakes somewhere here,” he said looking around his little hut.
“That’s really ok Hagrid, we don’t need them,” Lily said looking kind of scared.
“Why don’t we need them?” Alex whispered.
“Aha! There they are,” Hagrid opened a tin and put it on the table.
“You’ll see,” Lily said and took one to be polite.
Alex followed her example. She bit into it and then almost let out a scream of pain. Her teeth were aching. The fudge on the cakes was so thick and so hard, that you couldn’t eat them properly.
Hagrid didn’t seem to notice and happily bit into one. He probably had stronger teeth, because he was so big.
Alex glanced at Lily because she didn’t know what to do with the fudge cake. Lily was carefully sucking on one, not being able to bite.
“So ar’ you guys happy the holidays are here? I can see the jolly smiles on the kids faces,” Hagrid said.
“Yeah, it’s been a rough term,” Alex sighed.
They had a nice hour or two talking to Hagrid, while feeding the cakes to Hagrid’s dog, Fang, who would eat just about anything you would give him.
“I think we should head back for lunch,” Alex said, her tummy already rumbling.
“You could eat with me! I have a lovely ferret stew prepared,” Hagrid’s face shinned with happiness.
“Ah… Thanks Hagrid, maybe another time!” Lily said quickly getting up.
“Ok, but you’ll have to try my stew once. It’s delicious!”
“Yeah, can’t wait. Thanks for the tea, Hagrid,” Alex said and then they quickly escaped, before Hagrid could offer them any more food.
“That was nice, but the fudge cakes, on the other hand were nasty. That’s coming from me and you know I’ll eat almost anything,” Alex laughed.
“Yeah, Hagrid’s cooking is-“
“Ahh!” Alex and Lily screamed as two enormous snowballs hit them in the face.
When they cleared the snow of themselves, they saw James and Sirius laughing hysterically.
“That means war!” Alex said pilling some snow together.
“Alex, are you sure that’s wise? Don’t you think-“ But Lily was to late, because Alex already flung the snow at the two laughing boys. It fell over their heads and they ended up looking like two sad puppies. But they quickly recovered and declared a snow fight.
“Take that, James!” Alex threw a big snowball in his face.
She laughed when it hit him, but then someone grabbed her from behind.
“Taylor, I heard you want some snow,” Sirius practically fed snow down her throat and smudged it all over her face.
She kicked him and he yelled in pain and let her go. She took the opportunity and ran away. Lily had finally joined the fight and was throwing snow at James, laughing.
After an hour they declared peace and went to lunch, all of them rosy-cheeked and bright-eyed from the exercise.
“Alex, you can’t do that in the heat,” Lily said, catching her breath.
“That’s true. I guess snow is good for something,” Alex laughed and sat down at the Gryffindor table.
They hungrily dug into the food that was on the table.
“I have to run,” Sirius said after he finished his lunch.
“Where are you going?” James asked him.
“I’m meeting Tiffany,” Sirius said suggestively, “You should come with me, that Sheila is interested in you.”
“Nah, my heart goes to the lady sitting across me,” he said and Lily rolled her eyes.
“Your loss, bye!” he quickly walked out of the great hall.
“Evans, would you go out-“
“Worth a shot,” James shrugged.
Alex sighed, it seemed like they were getting along great, out in the snow, but inside they were fighting like always.
I threw my head back, laughing cruelly. Tonight I have an interesting meeting. All my little followers were coming to report how their assignments were going. It was going to be fun, killing the ones that failed and rewarding the ones that didn’t. Next to me my snake hissed.
“Come, my love,” I stroked her soft head.
“Master, I believe they are waiting for you,” she hissed.
“Yes, let us not keep them waiting to long.”
I stood up and straightened my dark cloak. I looked at myself in the mirror. I was pale and my short brown hair covered my face. I smirked. I knew I was handsome; there was no point in denying it.
“Master, let’s go,” my snake reminded me.
I walked out of the room, carrying my wand in my left hand. I felt powerful.
As soon as I walked into the meeting room, everyone fell silent. They all bowed to me.
“Rise, my followers! There is no need to be afraid.”
I laughed at my lie. I took in their faces. Some were respectful, some scared. I fed from their fear.
“Let us start. What news do you bring,” I waved at a particularly scared young boy.
“My lord, There’s nothing new, I-“ his voice trembled.
“I have nothing to report,” he said quietly.
“So you are saying you are useless?”
His chin trembled and he looked down.
“Look at me!” I yelled.
He looked up even more scared now.
“I want to see your face when I finish you,” I murmured.
He crumbled to the floor like an old cloak.
“That is what will happen to each and every one of you, if you don’t obey me.”
My voice cut the silence, like a knife.
“Do you understand?”
Nobody answered. I turned to the man on my right.
“Lestrange, do you understand?”
Lestrange looked at me. I flicked my wand:
His scream pierced the room. I laughed at his twisting body on the floor. I stopped and he quickly got up, panting.
“That was just to give you a taste. I ask you again, do you understand, Lestrange?”
“Good,” my face turned into a smile.
“Merry Christmas!” Lily tossed a pillow at Alex.
Alex woke up from her dream, still shivering and looked at Lily.
“What? It’s Christmas!” Lily said defensively.
“Look at the presents!” Lily jumped with joy.
Alex looked to her bedside. There was a pile of neatly wrapped parcels there.
“I just have to go to the toilet,” Alex excused herself and ran to the bathroom.
She got to the toilet just in time and puked her guts out. The images of Lestrange’s body were still flashing threw her mind. Why would anyone do that? Why would she do that?
Alex rested her head on the cold marble wall. She could feel the thumping in her head. Why was she turning into this monster at night?
She rinsed her mouth and went down to the common room to look at the time. Again, only Sirius was sitting there. She tried to back away, before he would notice here.
“Taylor, stop right there.”
“Damn,” she whispered under her breath.
“Did you have another dream?”
“No,” she put on her innocent face.
“I can see it. You did.”
She sighed, there was no point in hiding it. Her emotions were written all over her face, plus she was still sick.
“Come here,” he waved her over kindly.
She gradually sat down next to him.
“Nothing,” she said.
“Please tell me, I’m worried,” he whispered.
Why was he being so nice? Alex decided to go with it.
“I was a horrible man, I torture and kill people.”
“What? You were a man?”
“I could see myself in the mirror. I don’t know what’s happening,” she sobbed.
Sirius put an arm around her.
“It’s all going to be ok.”
“Why is this happening to me?”
“They’re just dreams, they can’t hurt you,” he comforted her.
“But, you don’t understand. They’re so vivid. I can feel them, it’s like they’re really happening,” she said, pictures of the two dead men flashing before her eyes again.
“Tell me exactly what happened,” he said, pulling her closer to him.
She somehow felt so comfortable and safe in his hug. So, he could be sensitive, if he wanted to. She told him everything.
“And I can speak to snakes,” she finished. Reliving the dream had exhausted her.
“Shh, Alex. It’s not you. You’re not the same person in your dreams. You cant’s speak to snakes, can you?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“You see? There’s nothing to be worried about.
“But still, what if it is actually me killing these people?”
“It can’t be you. You’re here, in your bed sleeping. This is probably happening, because you have a lot on your mind.”
“Are you sure?”
“I have to go and open my presents now, Lily’s probably waiting for me.”
“You go do that and I’ll se you later, ok?” he smiled encouragingly.
She stood up to leave.
“Oh, and Sirius?” she looked back and he raised his head in question.
A/N: I hope you liked it. I tried to develop the Alex-Sirius relationship a bit more. And I know I skipped to Christmas quite fast, but I’m really trying to get through the first few years quickly, because I have more planned for later, so this is going to be happening quite a lot. Tell me what you think, below. Thanks for reading!