I studied my chipped black nail polish as Chloe droned on and on to Anastasia about her first month’s classes. From time to time I would add in a sarcastic comment to piss her off, but other than that I was overwhelmingly bored. It was hard to pay attention when a twelve year old was discussing all different aspects of her life. Today she was wearing her hair in two buns on either side of her head. It looked so ridiculous that I was severely tempted to reach over the hospital bed Anastasia was currently situated on and rip them out. However, I think that Madam Pomfrey would make sure I was never allowed to come with Anastasia again if I did this, so I kept my urges to myself.
“Hello Daniels girls!” I looked up to see Anastasia’s personal doctor, Alexis, entering the Hospital Wing. She had been her doctor ever since we had found out about her disease three years ago. Back then Alexis had just finished school, and she had an unnatural commitment to figuring out how to fix my sister. This was the main reason I put up with her annoying cheerfulness.
“Hey Lex,” Anastasia smiled as Alexis began to unpack her equipment. “Mum said she sent you a card for last time.”
We all giggled, myself included, at that one. My mother loved Alexis.
“That she did.” Alexis beamed. I stopped giggling. “So, anything new?”
“My twelve year old molars are growing in.” Chloe said.
“No one cares about your teeth.” I snapped. Chloe glared.
“Just because you don’t have anything interesting going on in your life doesn’t mean that everyone else can’t either.” She said in her know-it-all voice.
“Don’t pretend like you know what happens in my life, okay?”
“Well then stop interrupting me!”
“I have a date for Hogsmeade.” Anastasia said loudly over me.
“Really!” Alexis smiled as she cleaned the IV needle with her wand so that she could extract blood. “What’s his name?”
“Benjy Fenwick.” Anastasia replied. My mouth dropped.
“Benjy?” I asked incredulously. Benjy Fenwick was in Anas’s year. He was a Gryffindor and extremely good looking. He wasn’t even a prat like ninety nine percent of all the other men living in Hogwarts. It made sense that he’d like Anastasia, she’s actually nice. I had only spoken to him once in my entire life, and that was when he was trying to protect James from me as James guarded the person I was truly intending on hurting, Black. James was his teammate for Quidditch, and you know how blokes get about their sports. It’s unnatural.
“The really tall one?” Chloe squealed. “Elise keeps talking about him; I’ll have to tell her.”
I rolled my eyes for the hundredth time today since I’d seen Chloe. Of course she’d run off and tell her loser friends. That was so Chloe.
“Hold still…” Alexis trailed off as Anastasia made a fist and the IV needle went into her arm by the direction of Alexis’s wand. She didn’t even flinch, but after you had done this hundreds of times I guess it didn’t hurt anymore. Still, I adverted my eyes. I didn’t get queasy by much, but I didn’t like blood.
“Are you going to Madame Puddifuts?” Chloe asked. I was beginning to feel like I was sitting next to Rachel while she interviewed someone for her stupid gossip column.
“I don’t know yet.” Anas said thoughtfully. “He just asked me yesterday. I think we’ll just decide when we get there.”
And then Chloe went off again. I completely zoned out this time, looking at Alexis’s peach lip stick and her ultra-blonde hair. All I could think about was how terrible the trip to Hogsmeade was going to be tomorrow. At least I wasn’t alone though. Lily had our entire day planned out already. She needed new supplies, and therefore we would be getting new supplies. Marlene was going with Remus, but it wasn’t a date—or so she said. I had my own suspicions about the two of them. Before she had liked Black last year she had liked Remus, but he had never seemed interested. I had decided not to get involved until Marlene drug me into it to psychoanalyze his every move, which she would most certainly do.
I wasn’t exactly fond of the idea of just going with Lily. It wasn’t because of her, not really at least. It was just that James would most likely be popping up in random places with Pettigrew. This would put Lily in a bad mood fast. Normally he would be with Black buying all sorts of stupid prank supplies at Zonkos so that they could terrorize the student population, but this morning Black had asked some blonde girl in Potions to go with him. She, of course, had practically feinted before saying yes. It had been hard to hide my amusement.
“Alright!” Alexis said, snapping me out of my daydreams. “Let’s see what we have here.” She put down a chart on the table next to Anastasia. Chloe and I leaned over so that we could see it too. It didn’t make any sense to me, but due to the lack of confusion on Anastasia’s face I could tell she was interpreting it. “So see, you’re barely any different than last time!” Alexis clapped her hands together and smiled.
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” I asked. Due to Alexis’s nonstop smiling I could never be sure of her emotions. Examples like her were the reasons why I saved my own smiles for when I was actually happy, not to please others.
“It’s good.” Anastasia said with a small smile. “I’ve only regressed about a month. Does that mean it’s slowing down?”
“No, not definitely.” Alexis said. “We know enough about Lutador Do Sangue to understand that certain events or emotions may trigger a rapid aggressiveness, but why it slows down we aren’t sure.”
“Wait, regressed one month from what?” I asked, still confused.
“Dying.” Anas said as if she were talking about the weather before turning back to Alexis. “Is there any new information?”
“There was a little boy in France that has reported symptoms to indicate that it’s LDS, but we can’t be sure yet. If it is and his parents give consent we’ll conduct research.” She smiled for the billionth time and patted Anastasia’s head. “Don’t worry squirt, we’ll sort you all out. In the meantime, find some money so we can get you better faster!” She joked.
“We’ll see,” Anastasia turned to me. “Do you want to go to the kitchens and see if the house elves will give us ice cream?”
“I’ve got to go,” I looked at Anastasia regretfully. “I have detention at eight.”
“What did you do Bridget?” Alexis asked with a laugh.
“What didn’t she do?” Chloe said darkly. I made moves to shove her but she screeched in hid behind Anastasia’s bed, so instead I just said my goodbyes and left the Hospital Wing. I was ready to get out of there anyways.
I knew what the doctors said. They said that if we didn’t get money for the research, or if for some reason the research lead to nothing, Anastasia only had two to three years left. This didn’t account for any rapid increases or decreases in the disease. Then of course there would be a certain point that a cure wouldn’t matter anymore, the disease would be too far along to change anything. That was why my father needed to get his act together. He was a healer; he should be one of the people researching with Alexis. But instead he was working in the Children’s Ward at St. Mungos. Talk about messed up priorities.
I understood my mother’s position better. She had gotten pregnant with Anastasia right after she graduated Hogwarts, and hadn’t had any time to pursue a legitimate career. Pretty much right after Anastasia she got pregnant with me. She was too busy being mommy back then while my dad pushed himself through healing school. Brian gave as much money as he could, but he didn’t make enough to make an ample difference. If I were smart enough, I’d be healer and figure it out myself. Too bad I was failing practically every class that is necessary for Healing School. Besides, I wouldn’t want my father to think I was trying to follow in his footsteps.
“You’re late.” Weber said when I entered his room at five minutes past eight. I stifled an eye roll and went to sit where Black was near his desk.
“Sorry professor, I was coming from the hospital wing.”
“Why were you in the hospital wing?” Black asked.
“Oh, you know, I just like hanging around sick people all day long.”
“Alright!” Weber interrupted before Sirius could respond. “There’s a special job for you two tonight. I asked Filch if he needed any—” He stopped short at the sound of our groans. Behavioral detentions, I can take it. Tardy detentions, bring it on. But Filch detentions? Now those were intense. “—If he needed any job done. He said that the dungeon floors near the potions classroom need a good mopping. You’re to head down there, no magic.”
“No magic?!” Sirius asked, affronted.
“That’s going to take ages!” I complained. Black nodded quickly in agreement.
“Well, think about that next time you walk out on a lesson Miss. Daniels. And Mr. Black, learn to keep your mouth shut.” With that Weber went behind his desk and we slouched out of the room.
“This is all your fault.” Black said to me bitterly as the door shut behind him.
“My fault? No, you’re the arse who pushed me to leaving.”
“How was I supposed to know you were that pissed off!” He threw a hand to his disheveled dark brown hair. “We fight all the time, why was this time any different.”
“I was in a bad mood!”
“You’re always in a bad mood!”
“I am not!”
“I see, and have you recovered from it then, my little ray of sunshine?”
“Yes.” I clenched my jaw and began to walk three steps ahead of him. All he did was chuckle and attempt to keep up.
“Bridget, you’re shit at lying.”
I was just going to ignore him. I could feel his grey eyes boring into the side of my face, but I refused to turn and glare. Instead I smoothed down my hair and sighed.
“You’re pretty much shit at everything really. Aren’t you failing most classes?”
I should really count to ten or something. That was what Lily told me to do whenever I felt the urge to strangle someone, because, you know, that really was more socially acceptable when it came down to it.
“What is it that you plan on doing after you graduate? Go muggle?”
My knuckles were slowly turning white. I wanted more than nothing but to impound one in his face. It would shut him up, and I would feel much better. Maybe that’s the way to go.
“C’mon Bridgey,” He cooed. “I’m just trying to help. I love it when you’re in a good mood.”
“Then leave me ALONE!”
Well, that was it. He had managed to snap me, what he had wanted to do since we walked out of Weber’s classroom. I shoved him, but all he did was smirk and laugh a little. “You, Sirius Black, are the reason I am perpetually angry. YOU!”
“Well god, don’t make me feel bad now. I wouldn’t want you upset with me.”
“SHUT UP!” I was screeching now. I attempted to punch him in the face, but he caught my arm before I made contact. So I attempted to knee him, but he caught that with his other hand. I glowered up at his smirking face with as much hatred as I could muster. We caught eyes, and for a moment I realized just how pretty his were. They weren’t just gray, they were almost blue as well. He started to snigger and I looked away and blushed. “Let me go!”
“Do you promise you aren’t going to attack me?”
“Bridget, I’m going to need an actual response.”
“I’m not going to fucking attack you, alright?!”
He smirked as he let me go. We continued down the hallway, me on the right side and him on the left. I kept my arms crossed and glared straight ahead. I needed to work on the whole reflexes thing. I might have been mentally superior to Black, but by no means was I physically stronger. Sadly, I thought that was an advantage he’d always have over me. No matter how hard I tried, being five four and a half wasn’t going to be stronger than that ungodly tallness that he possessed. Next to him I was borderline midget.
We found the mops right where Weber had said they would be. I picked up one and started to lug the bucket to the left side of the corridor, ignoring the prat’s statement “Aww, Bridgey doesn’t want to work with me?” as I rounded the corner. Did he honestly have the nerve to ask me that? No shit I didn’t want to work with him. Hell, I didn’t even want to see him. If he fell of a mountain or a broom or one of Hogwarts many towers I would be the happiest sixteen year old on the face of the planet. In fact, if given the opportunity, I might even be the person to push him off said tower. It would depend on my mood and how much he had succeeded to piss me off really. I can be quite forgiving if you catch me on a good day. Unfortunately for Black, he was right. I was very rarely in a good mood, and if I was it wouldn’t last for very long. So chances are I’d shove him right off that tower or cliff or broom without so much as a backwards glance.
I could hear his annoying whistle from the other end. “Do you have to inflict the entire hall with your endless whistling?” I snapped, wiping my forehead from the sweat. I still had a good hours’ worth of work left to do, and sadly for me my comment only made him whistle louder. This goes to show that he was out to make my life as miserable as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Because Brian was muggle my mother had been trying to do some muggle housekeeping recently. Over the summer she made me mop our own floor via muggle. Hogwarts was a lot more work than my mediocre kitchen. Back home I could drown out my families voices with the radio or my own terrible voice, but here all I had was Black’s eternal whistling to listen to. I lugged the bucket along with me as the water inside of it slowly got dirtier and dirtier due to the disgustingness of the floor. Muggle cleaning took ages longer than magic.
“What are you doing?” A voice spat in my direction. I looked up to see Severus Snape giving me an arrogant stare. I had been too wrapped up in my thoughts to notice him coming towards me.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” I said, mirroring his tone.
“It looks like you’re out of bounds.” Another Slytherin stepped up next to him. Avery. He was bigger than Snape. Avery was bigger than almost anyone, he was flexing his muscles right then to make it clear.
“I don’t recall anyone saying that this was your hallway.” I snapped, holding my head high even though I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. “And believe me, it’s not like I’m here by choice.”
“But you’re still here, aren’t you?” Avery responded.
“I think that much is obvious.”
“You should watch your step.” Another one said. I didn’t know him. I had seen him hanging around Snape and the others, but he was younger than them. For some reason he looked familiar.
“And who the hell are you?” I put down my mop, my patience running out more and more as they interrogated me. “The fucking dungeon master?”
“Bridget, are you talking to yourself again? It’s not an attractive quali—” Sirius stopped short as he rounded the corner to where I stood facing the Slytherins. The smile disappeared from his face almost immediately. He stiffened up and stepped in front of me. Normally I would never allow this, but given the circumstances I figured that he wasn’t the one I should be fighting with.
“Black.” Avery spat with much more malevolence than he had towards me.
“Avery.” Sirius said. The two stared at each other with looks of pure hatred for a good few seconds before Black’s eyes wavered for a moment towards the younger boy. They seemed to think the same thing before automatically looking away from each other. Instead he turned to Snape and sneered.
“What’s wrong Snivellus? Too busy reading up on how to ace your Defense exam to realize I’m here? Wipe the sweat off your nose, would you?”
“Shut up.” I said in a low voice behind him. They all looked at me in disbelief, but I just looked down. I knew that Lily had been friends with Snape when she first came to Hogwarts. Lately they hadn’t really been on speaking terms, but part of me knew that if she were here she’d stick up for him.
“I don’t need your help, you disgusting little blood traitor!” He yelled to me. “I don’t want someone who hangs around with dirt like mudbloods talking to me!”
I felt the color rise in my cheeks as I clenched my fists and stepped up in front of Black. He grabbed my arm to pull me back but I shook him off. I stared right in Snape’s eyes and shook my head.
“Bridget, I think you should go.” Black said as he nudged me out of the way.
“Yes, listen to your boyfriend.” Avery sneered.
“He is not my boyfriend!” I screeched.
“But he’s keen on writing to you all summer, isn’t he?” The younger boy said. I turned to him, my mouth open in shock. How could he have known that?
“Shut up.” Sirius growled in his direction. I subconsciously took a few steps back. The way they were glaring at each other…
“She burned your name off the tapestry.” The boy smiled wickedly. “As soon as you left you were dead to her. You’re dead to all of us.”
“Good, because I never really fit the mold, did I?”
I was confused. Sirius turned away from them and grabbed my arm. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me for the first time in ever; he seemed to be somewhere else entirely. His cheeks were flushed and his grip was harder than I’m sure he meant it to be. Our mops lay forgotten on the floor as he drug me down the hall in the opposite direction. I turned around to look at them again, but by the time I had they were gone.
“Let go!” I snapped once I had realized this. He didn’t pay me much attention as I snatched my arm back. Instead he just kept walking at an unbelievably fast pace. There was no way I’d be able to keep up for long. “What the hell was that?” If he had heard me, he ignored. “Black!”
“What?” He asked me shortly.
“What was that back there? What was the kid with the dark hair talking about? How did he know that you wrote me?”
I felt kind of stupid as I rattled off all of my questions. It was normally the other way around with the two of us. He was the one asking the questions while I was the one who answered them. However, right now I was the one who seemed to be out of the loop, because the four of them seemed to understand each other perfectly.
“Well considering that by July my parents started to filter my mail, yes he knew about it.” Sirius rounded a corner sharply. I began to get out of breath as I kept up.
“Wait—that’s your brother?” I couldn’t hide the revulsion in my voice. I’ve never been good at hiding my immediate reactions. James hadn’t been kidding when he talked about Sirius’s family then.
We had, at long last, stopped. We were miles away from the Gryffindor common room. To be honest, I didn’t know where we were. I guess far away from the dungeons for his liking. I caught my breath as he stared at me, waiting for my judgment. I had heard people judge Black because of his family before. Some thought that they shouldn’t associate with him because of how they were, even though he swore he was different. Of course I agreed that associating with him was not a good idea, but it wasn’t for that reason.
“Alright.” I finally said, beginning to walk in what I thought was the direction of the common room.
“That’s it?” He asked in disbelief.
“No, ‘don’t ever talk to me again Black!’ or ‘Stay away from me!’” He mimicked in a voice that was supposed to mirror my own. I narrowed my eyes to him. “Nothing?”
“Well would you like me to say that?” I honestly didn’t even know what he wanted anymore. He made me more confused than anyone else I’d ever met, and I’d met a lot of confusing people before.
“I dunno, it’s just not like you I guess.”
“We all have messed up families. You can’t help that.” I shrugged my shoulders. And continued walking.
“Not like mine.” He muttered darkly. We were walking next to each other like normal people this time.
“Believe me, my family’s not exactly a bundle of joy.” I said sarcastically. “I’m lucky if I can go a day without expressing my hatred for the lot of them.”
Black just smiled a bit and shook his head as if I didn’t understand. I guess in a way I didn’t. He hated his family because they hated him. I hated mine because I was angry at them. I was angry at my father for not caring about us. I was angry at my mother for moving on. I was angry at Chloe for pretending that we have the perfect life. Only Anastasia seemed to understand that it wasn’t perfect and that you can’t forget the past. I guess dad’s kid Trinity was alright too, but she was too young still. I was sure she’d turn out just like Kelly.
Once I got back to the common room and said goodbye to Black I sat next to Marlene who started to drone on and on about something I wasn’t paying attention to. It was then that it occurred to me. Sirius Black knew how to set me off, who I was friends with and who my family was, but I didn’t know a single thing about him. I looked over as Marlene continued talking. He was sitting with his head in close to Potter. They were looking at some sort of map. I just rolled my eyes, it was probably another prank. Suddenly, he looked up and caught my eye. We stared at each other for a minute before he winked. I quickly turned back to Marlene, completely ignoring that feeling in my stomach.
So, somewhat of a plot developing eh??? Tell me what you think of this:) Thanks for reading and please review!