Chapter 7 : Goodnight, Darling
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It was official. Sirius Black and I, Millie White, were now an item. And we seemed to be the hottest topic since Black – sorry, Sirius and Marissa’s very public break-up – even though the break-up itself was not public, everyone supposedly knew what had happened between them, and because of this, I was now unfortunately dating Sirius Black – well, pretending to anyway. I was probably the envy of a lot of girls right now. If I could, I would have gladly swapped places with them a thousand times, because as I was finding out, being the notorious Sirius Black’s girlfriend was a lot harder than everyone thought.
It started out easily enough. Public displays of affection were basically nil, so far. I managed to get through the rest of that fateful day without having to do anything, and for Sirius’ part, he didn’t bother me. Not until that night. anyway.
After a rather unforgiving Quidditch training session, I dragged myself up to Gryffindor Tower and crawled into the shower without too much difficulty. I don’t quite remember how, but the next thing I knew I was suffocating. It took me a few precious seconds to realise that I was face-down on my bed and my pillow was trying to kill me. I groaned and turned over onto one side, mostly so I could breathe easily again. Inadvertently, I caught a glimpse of my watch, which was glinting in the moonlight streaming through the window. I squinted through the sparkle of the glass to read the time: a quarter to midnight. Shit. I had a half-finished Transfiguration essay that was due in tomorrow. So I decided it was best to haul myself out of bed and finish it off in the Common Room.
I was still half asleep and caught up in my own muscular pain to notice that I wasn’t the only one madly trying to finish off homework at such an ungodly hour. I wouldn’t have noticed either unless the aforementioned person hadn’t approached me. Which would have been a good thing.
“What has caused the fair lady to abandon her beauty sleep?” asked a deep voice from some dark recess of the Common Room. Okay, it wasn’t dark, and the voice wasn’t that far away either, but it really seemed like that to my befuddled brain. I looked up from my parchment (which I had probably been staring at incomprehensibly for the past five minutes) to look for the source of that strange question. After locating said source and identifying it as a certain Sirius Black, all I managed to get out was, “Huh?”
Sirius sighed, like he was repeating the same question for the umpteenth time to someone who still didn’t get it. For all I knew, he could’ve been – I was that tired. “What are you doing up so late?”
“What do you usually do up so late?” I asked defensively. It was probably unnecessary, but I was tapping into my basic nature – I get like that when I’m tired and sore.
He sighed again. Looks like I wasn’t the only one who noticed the defensive tone, but he didn’t comment. Instead, he said, “Finishing homework if you must know.” That was confusing, to say the least. Since when did Sirius Black do homework? And why do I keep thinking his whole name? My confusion must have showed on my face, because Sirius let out a short laugh. “Since when did I do homework?” he asked. And since when can he read minds? “The teachers don’t love me just for my good looks and charm, you know.” But I bet that had a lot to do with it.
“Oh,” I said. I really needed to progress from single syllable sounds, but it seemed like sleep, or lack thereof, was still interfering with semi-normal brain activity.
“So, what are you doing?” but clearly, Sirius didn’t expect a coherent answer because he leant over my parchment to read what I had written. He frowned in concentration for a moment, trying to decipher my almost illegible scrawl. “Weren’t you working on that essay this afternoon?” he asked. I hadn’t realised that he was paying attention to what I was doing when he had pressganged me into his hare-brained scheme.
“Didn’t finish it,” I mumbled, then went back to work. I could feel Sirius’ eyes boring into my skull from across the table. After a while, I began to wonder what the hell he was still doing there. It was extremely uncomfortable, being stared at by Sirius Black whilst trying to finish a Transfiguration essay. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I glanced up and asked, slightly annoyed, “Didn’t you say you had homework to finish?”
“I just finished,” he replied coolly, not offering a reason why he was still here. I wouldn’t have minded, but why did he have to sit right in front of me?
“Then why are you still here?”
“It’ll start tomorrow, you know.”
“Rumours about what?” All I really wanted to do was finish my essay and go back to sleep. I couldn’t care less what tomorrow brought.
“Rumours about us.”
Oh. “Right. Those rumours.”
“Will you be okay?” Why do you care?
“I’ll manage,” I said and turned back to my essay. It’s not like I had much of a choice. I heard Sirius laugh again. Had I said that last bit out loud?
“Well, I suppose I’ll leave you to it.”
“Hmm.” I was once again back to single syllable sounds.
“Goodnight, darling,” he said and headed up towards his dormitory.
It wasn’t until Sirius was long gone, that I registered his last sentence. “Don’t call me darling,” I said. There wasn’t much point, but I could almost hear him laughing again.
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