Hope you like this chapter, it's quite exciting! I'm a bit disappointed this fic of mine as had so little reads, but I'm hoping it'll gather a bit more interest when somebody finally answers my banner request on tda! haha, anyway, thanks to all of those who HAVE read, and please do take a second to review, I want to know whether it's worth carrying this on or not! :)
It was the morning of Hogsmeade, and I was already sick to the death of Lucy asking me if she looked pretty enough for a date. I didn’t tell her though, it was sort of endearing to see her fuss over a boy that actually returned her feelings for once, as the whole Remus situation had always ended in me wiping away Lucy’s tears and angrily demanding to know why he wouldn’t just go out with her already.
“Before you say it, your hair looks fine, Luce” I groaned underneath my breath, not lifting my gaze from the Prophet as I munched on some buttered toast.
Her hands fell from where she had previously been fiddling with her hair and she gaped at me for a moment, before clearing her throat nervously. “Sorry if I’ve been annoying you.”
She’d been careful not to upset me since the article in the Prophet, but I hadn’t brought it up and she knew if I wanted to talk about it, I would. Lucy had come to terms with the fact that I didn’t confide in her about my parents years ago, that job was left to Lily Evans or even, upon occasion, my sister’s best friend, Dorcas Meadows.
“You’re forgiven” I glanced up to smile at her and her shoulders dropped slightly as her stance relaxed. “You look really pretty, Luce, Peter will love you.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to come for a drink with us?” Lucy implored. “I asked Peter and he was fine with it.”
“Yes, because he’s a polite Hufflepuff” I grinned, taking a careful sip of tea. “I don’t want to be in Hogsmeade too long today anyway, it’s suddenly gotten freezing.”
“Yeah, I’ve cast a heating charm on my coat so I don’t shiver, I always look so unattractive when I shiver” Lucy admitted and I snorted loudly.
“How can you look unattractive when you shiver?!”
“I don’t know!” she replied with a frown. “But I do! My lips go all blue and un-kissable and I shake like mad, it’s really embarrassing.”
“Oh, don’t tell me…”
“…And I’m fairly certain that’s why Remus never went for me.”
I groaned and shook my head at my best friend disbelievingly. “What? He never went for you because you got cold in front of him a few times over the years?” I asked sarcastically.
“Don’t laugh Addie, it’s a perfectly reasonable explanation…Oh, hi Peter” Lucy broke off breathlessly, and I watched her with amusement as she nervously stood up to let him kiss her cheek.
“Hi Lucy” Peter’s grin was so wide I was tempted to smack it off his face. Typical Hufflepuff, through and through, but at least I could trust that he’d be too nice to treat Lucy badly. “Hi Adrienne” he turned to smile at me. “You alright?”
“Great thanks Peter” I stood up, finishing me toast and smiling at him. “And you?”
“Oh, I’m brilliant thanks” he looked to Lucy meaningfully, who blushed and I almost urged at their adorable demeanour. “Are you joining us for a drink this afternoon?”
“No, actually, I’ve got work to do” I smiled gently. “But it was nice of you to offer” I stepped away from the Gryffindor table and laid my hand on Lucy’s arm. “I’ve got to go get my money, but I’ll see you later. Have fun!”
Lucy and Peter both smiled as I wandered back to the Grand Staircase and began chattering away to one another as they headed out to Hogwarts, clutching their permission slips. I waited for them to pass Filch and set off down to Hogsmeade together before I checked my money was in my pocket as I’d thought it was and handed Filch my permission form. I didn’t want to get in the way of their first conversation of the date, it was important after all and as much as I knew Lucy wouldn’t mind, I wanted to give Peter all day to impress her.
Filch grunted and grudgingly allowed me to pass, and I glanced to my permission form, the only piece of parchment I still had that contained my father’s signature, before pocketing it and clutching my scarf to my neck in an effort to contain some body heat against the harsh wind.
As soon as I entered the village I headed straight to Honeydukes, purchasing some of their finest chocolate before it got too busy filled with excitable third years, and tried to forget how I’d been on that first Hogsmeade trip, back before my father’s death and the loss of my mother to her mind.
After that, I popped into Scrivenshafts for some quills, resisting the beautiful peacock-feathered ones that cost more Galleons than I could afford, and had an idle chat with the shop assistant about the new security charms that have been placed on the village to avoid Death Eater attacks.
I was about to bypass the Three Broomsticks, but the bar looked fairly empty and I was too cold to stay outside for much longer. So I headed inside, going straight for a secluded seat at the bar where Madame Rosmerta was serving.
“Addie, sweetheart!” she grinned, leaning over the bar to kiss my cheek warmly. “It’s been a while! What can I get you?”
“A Butterbeer please, Rosmerta” I smiled, digging my hand into my pockets for some money before Rosmerta tutted and shook her head immediately.
“Oh, no, it’s on the house, sweetheart!” she slid a warm Butterbeer across the bar to me and I instantly closed my eyes as the hot liquid warmed my body up instantly, causing me to shrug my coat off a moment later.
“So, how have you been?” she asked as she served a group of old wizards beside me.
“Fine, thanks, missing everyone though” I smiled ruefully. “It’s not really the same now it’s just me and Lucy.”
“I can imagine” Rosmerta nodded her head understandingly. “I’ll admit, it’s been so quiet without James and Sirius and the rest of the boys today, I almost miss them!”
“I’ll make sure to tell them to drop in sometime, then” I laughed, and Rosmerta rolled her eyes at my teasing.
“Have you seen much of them all then?”
“Oh, yeah, I spent most of the summer with them actually, when I wasn’t helping Marlene with Grace.”
“Really, I never seem to see anybody anymore, I haven’t seen little Grace since she was a baby!”
“She’s three now” I grinned. “And she’s a little terror, she’s put Sirius right off having children, apparently.”
“What about James and Lily? Are they still happy enough?”
“More than just happy, honestly” I smiled. “Sickeningly in love would be a more apt description.”
“Merlin” Rosmerta gushed. “I remember when they came in holding hands on that first date of theirs, I couldn’t believe my eyes! Of course, James and Sirius had told me she’d said yes, but I thought it was one of their jokes. And with Sirius following them around all day, too…”
“Yeah, he hasn’t changed much, Rosmerta” I laughed, taking a few more sips of Butterbeer as I watched her clean some glasses.
“So, where is Lucy today? You’re looking very lonely, sweetheart.”
“Oh, she’s on a date” I grinned. “She’ll probably come in later, actually.”
“Really?” Rosmerta gasped. “But I thought she was completely smitten with Remus!”
“Oh, she was” I rolled my eyes. “But this boy, Peter Maynard, he’s been in love with her for years, it’s a bit like James and Lily really, and she’s finally taken some interest in him” I finished off my Butterbeer. “She seems to like him a lot actually.”
“So are there any men taking your fancy then, Addie?” Rosmerta smirked. “I know of a few with interest.”
“You shouldn’t say things like that Rosmerta” I smiled, shaking my head at her. “That’s lies and we both know it.”
“I’m certain a young Mr Black has some interest” Rosmerta smirked knowingly and panic filled my chest.
How did Rosmerta know that Regulus and I had talked upon more than one occasion? And why did she think he had interest in me? How would she even know?
Rosmerta seemed oblivious to my panic as I stared at her wide-eyed, my chest heaving as I inhaled quick breaths.
“James is always teasing Sirius about looking at you, Addie, surely you’ve noticed?” Rosmerta shot me a smug look at the blush that painted my cheeks. “I’m not saying he’s got anything on James’ obsession with Lily, sweetheart, but he definitely has interest…”
“Rosmerta…” I moaned, dropping my face into my palms in embarrassment. “Sirius Black has no interest in me!”
“Sure he doesn’t” she rolled her eyes. “Sweetheart, I know what I heard… you’ll believe me when you next see him!”
“Rosmerta, stop meddling!”
“What else can I do with you kids?” she giggled. “It’s fun!”
I pushed my empty Butterbeer towards her with an unimpressed frown and dropped two Sickles on the counter, which she pretended to ignore.
“I’ve got to go, Rosmerta, but next time I’m here I’ll have seen him, and I’ll prove to you you’re making things up” I leant over the bar to kiss her cheek quickly, shoving the Sickles in her apron pocket before she noticed and heading towards the door before she could come up with a reply.
I trudged up the High Street, turning my coat against the harsh wind as I pushed my chin into my scarf, sighing as I caught sight of some fleeting snowflakes.
I found myself heading towards the Shrieking Shack, just out of curiosity. Last year Lucy, Lily, Mary, the Marauders and I had spent most of our Hogsmeade trips here, the boys going as far as touching the house because they were so sure there weren’t any actual ghosts there, whilst we all squealed and Lily shouted at them for being idiots.
I missed it so much, how they made me laugh and how funny it was to sit with Sirius and wind Lily up as she got more and more annoyed with James. James would always assume this pleading, slightly terrified expression when she told him off, before grabbing her and kissing the anger out of her until we were all making false urging and kissing noises to make them stop.
I couldn’t wait until Christmas, when I could see them all again and make sure they were alright, I hated to think of them out doing dangerous things for the Order just as much as I hated Marlene doing it. I would even go so far to say I missed Peter Pettigrew and how much he sucked up to Sirius, just because I’d always found it so entertaining how Sirius would enjoy it until James told Peter to shut up and made Sirius stop acting like a git.
I heard light footsteps behind me and I groaned under my breath. What had I been thinking coming all the way out here, alone? This area by the Shrieking Shack was fairly secluded; unless you were coming here personally nobody would see you. Of course he would come, after trying so hard not to be alone with him, I’d made myself an easy target.
“Black” I announced as he settled himself down onto the rock beside me. “Stop following me everywhere.”
“I couldn’t help but notice you were alone in Hogsmeade” he spoke softly. “You’ve been avoiding me too.”
“Why’ve you been seeking me out?” I mumbled, shifting uncomfortably as I refused to meet his gaze.
“I told you, you interest me” the smirk was evident in his voice again, he just loved seeing me uncomfortable.
“Why?” I hissed, turning to face him with a heavy frown. “You know that it’s dangerous for the both of us that we talk… so why do you do it?! What’s so interesting, Black? You can’t just… mpphhfff-“
My words were cut off as he grabbed my face in his hands and kissed me. It wasn’t romantic in any way, I was too shocked to respond, instead balling my eyes shut tightly as his lips pressed against mine, hard at first, before he softly kissed my lips into submission and I kissed him back for a moment. Then I came to my senses, wrenching my lips away from his and standing up from the rock, spluttering and breathing heavily, looking anywhere but at Regulus.
“What did you… I…” I couldn’t form a coherent sentence, I was too shocked. I could still feel him, his hands cupped around my jaw and his lips, his warm lips that I’d always thought would be unpleasant…
“I don’t know” he murmured. “I don’t know why I did that…”
“You can’t just… you can’t just go around kissing Gryffindors!”
“I know that” he glared at me, standing up and angrily pacing up and down, a mere metre from me.
“Why did you do it? You must know! Why do you even talk to me?!”
“I did it to shut you up!” he cried, then clamped his lips together and breathed heavily for a second, a lock of black hair falling into his face. I was tempted to push it back, but then I remembered he was Regulus Black, and he’d just kissed me.
“To shut me up?” I repeated slowly in a disbelieving voice.
“Yes!” He replied defensively. “Why would I want to kiss you? You’re a Gryffindor, and a half-blood… you’re friends with Mudbloods and… and blood traitors!”
“Fine” I stepped away from him coldly, my fist clenched around my wand as I surveyed his angry expression. “You know what to do then, don’t you?”
He shot me an annoyed, confused look and I glared at him unresponsively.
“If you want to shut me up, then don’t talk to me Black” I spat. “Don’t you dare talk to me ever again, you disgust me with your ridiculous pureblood ideals!”
“I disgust you?” he laughed bitterly as I stalked away from him. “You disgust me, look at who you spend time with! It won’t end well for you, McKinnon.”
I yanked my wand out at that, aiming it at his chest as I breathed unsteadily, my hand shaking uncontrollably. “And would you know about that, Black? You think you’re so safe, do you, because you’re a Death Eater? You make me sick.”
He flinched at my words, and a flicker of something flashed across his face before he resumed that expressionless façade I knew well by now. There wasn’t even a hint of a smirk on his lips.
He didn’t move to retrieve his wand though, and I knew he wouldn’t curse me, not now. Slowly, I lowered my wand, but I didn’t pocket it. I wasn’t about to trust Regulus Black.
“Stay away from me, Black” I murmured, and were it not for the slight frown that appeared on his face I would have thought the fierce wind had carried my words away. I shook my hair from my face, the snowflakes had settled in it, dropping into the neck of my scarf as well and I shivered as I turned away from a motionless Regulus and back to the path back to Hogwarts.
I almost felt guilty, but then I remembered what he’d said and my hands began to tremble, but it wasn’t due to the cold.
It won’t end well for you, McKinnon.