Chapter 11 : The Halloween Dance
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The big party was only days away and so the school had allowed us out mid week to do some last minute shopping. And so of course Lily had dragged me down to Hogsmeade to pick out a costume with her. I was looking lazily through all the costumes for sale on a rack by the changing room Lily was currently occupying.
“Why couldn’t you have gone shopping with Eliza, Kelly and Alice!” I moaned to her through the curtain. I could practically hear the eye roll.
“Because! You’re my best friend. And as such it is your duty, and yours alone, to give me fashion advice.” Lily pushed out of the dressing room wearing a very short, very tight, flowered dress with large white platform boots. She beamed and spun around.
“What do you think! I’m a GoGo dancer!”
“Well, you look like a slut. Is that what you were aiming for?”
“Well you nailed it. Buy it so we can get out of here please.”
“What about yours?”
“I told you, I’ve already got mine, I’ll meet you outside Lil, kay?” She just waved me off with one hand and made her way back into the changing room. I sighed, and turned to leave the store. It was a chilly day, and it looked like it would begin to rain at any minute. I sat miserably on a bench outside the shop and stared up at the sky, thinking.
It had been about a week since that fateful evening in the abandoned classroom, and Sirius and I had spent about every night together. Actually quite a bit of my free time as well. The only thing that was bad about this arrangement is that sometimes we would go for “walks” and actually... walk. We would walk and talk, but nothing else. It was weird, and very boyfriendy. But I almost liked it.
“Oi! Bee!” I looked up to see Declan making his way over to me from where Cole and Gabe sat. I smiled up at him as he reached me.
“Hey Declan.” It had been a little weird since the Hufflepuff game where he had kissed me. We had seen each other around, but we never seemed to get any time to talk about it. I was however, still wearing his bracelet. Something Sirius wasn’t too pleased with.
“So, Bee, long time no chat, eh?” He said as he sat down on the bench next to me. I smiled weakly and nodded. “Had any time to think about what happened?” He continued.
“Yeah, I have.” I murmured.
“And?” He prompted. I took a deep breath. This issue had in fact been on my mind every time I wasn’t consumed with thoughts of Black.
“Well, to start, I really enjoyed that kiss.” He smiled at me before I continued. “But, Declan. You know me. I can’t do anything serious. I’m not a girlfriend and I most certainly don’t deserve you.” His smile stayed, but his eyes looked sad.
“Bee, I knew what I was doing when I kissed you. I knew there wasn’t really a chance that anything would come of it, but I do want you to know how I feel about you. You’re so wonderful and I don’t know how you don’t see it.”
“Declan, please don’t.” I whispered. He just wrapped one arm around my shoulders in response.
“Look Bee, I get it. I understand why you don’t want a relationship or anything, I just want you to know that I’ll be here whenever you decide you do.” And with that he leaned down and kissed me gently on the lips. Again, I didn’t protest. Declan’s kisses were soft and sweet and filled with kindness. I felt the same stirring in the pit of my stomach that I had the first time and leaned into him before he gently pulled away.
“Bye Bee.” He whispered against my lips. The he stood up and turned to walk away. I just sat there, watching him leave, my mouth slightly open.
“Very nice.” Lily’s voice jarred me from my trance as she stepped out from the store front. She had obviously been standing there watching the whole thing unfold.
“Oh don’t be an idiot Bee! He’s so perfect!”
“Whatever. Let’s just go meet the guys.”
“Bee I will not drop this! You’re being stupid! It’s so obvious you like him, and he’s pretty damn perfect for you!” We were almost to the boys table. All four of the boys were looking over at us and James was waving like an idiot.
“Lily, I’m serious. Leave it alone.” I hissed at her as she sat down beside James who wrapped his arm around her waist and kissed her cheek.
“Who’s perfect for Bee?” Remus asked as I slid next to him on the bench. I avoided Sirius’s gaze from where he sat across from me.
“No one. Lily is being an idiot.”
“Shut up Braxtany. James, tell me that Declan Wood is not the perfect bloke for her.”
“Lily! He’s the enemy! He’s Ravenclaw captain! You can’t be encouraging such fraternization!” James cried indignantly.
“Shut up James. Sirius, Remus, Peter back me up please.”
“Well even though he’s a Ravenclaw I like him.” Shrugged Peter.
“I think he’s a shit.” Sirius muttered angrily. Remus didn’t comment.
“Well you all are no help at all. Bee, just go out on a date with him! Seriously! Go to the Halloween dance with him!”
“No. I’m not going with anyone.” Lily rolled her eyes and gave a loud sigh but let it drop.
Sirius and I were wandering around the lake the afternoon after Hogsmeade. All our friends were at lunch and he had asked me to come with him. I wasn’t really that hungry and so I had agreed.
“Well I was going to go home for the holidays, but mum is in full nesting mode with the new baby coming so who knows if I’ll bother entering the chaos. Although Anna said in her last letter that I could stay with her. But Gabe will be home and third wheeling would get annoying. And did I tell you? Devon has a new girlfriend. Her name is Belle and she’s got a twin, Lizzy who I guess is really cool.” I looked up to Sirius but he wasn’t really looking at anything in particular. He had this frustrated look on his face and he was starring out into the distance.
“Oi. Black!” I said, snapping my fingers in front of his face.
“Wh-what? Oh, yeah I agree.” I rolled my eyes.
“Did you hear anything I just said?”
“No, sorry. I’m a little distracted.” He said sheepishly, running his hands through his hair.
“Thats fine.” I said coming to a stop and looking up at him. “Maybe I can help.” I whispered, and stood up on my toes so that I could kiss him fully on the mouth. He responded to that with some enthusiasm, but not much. So I pulled away, now a little put out.
“What is wrong with you?” I demanded.
“I told you, I’ve got stuff on my mind.”
“Like what!” I almost shouted. But I took a deep breath and placed a hand on his arm. “You can tell me, you know.” He gazed down at me and seemed to soften under my gaze.
“I was just debating on if I should ask you to the dance or not.” He said it fast, and I almost didn’t catch it. But I did.
“Well the answer to that is no.”
“Why though! Bee, just let me take you to the dance! Let’s just go on one real date! Come on!” I backed away from him and started walking again, but he caught up to me before I got very far.
“Honestly Bee, what’s so bad about one date!” He asked as he grabbed my shoulder.
“I said no Black!” I yelled at him, ripping my body out of his grasp. “And it’s not an answer that is going to change anytime soon! Get that fact through that thick useless skull of yours!”
“Fuck you Braxtany. Really. It’s one fucking date for Merlin’s sake. You can be so damn cruel.” He was yelling right in my face, and all I could do was stand there, silent. Then I slapped him. Hard and right across the face before I turned around and walked away.
It was the evening after the fight. Sirius sat a few seats down from me and on the other side of the table. I could feel his gaze boring a hole into the side of my face, but I resisted the urge to look. Remus sat beside me and across from us were James, Lily and Sirius. Of course, Lily was going on and on about the dance, as if she intentionally wanted to make the situation even more tense.
Remus seemed to notice that I was being a bit defensive and took my hand under the table, giving it a light squeeze. I looked up at him, and he gave me a gentle smile. It warmed the cool demeanor I had been adopting all afternoon. I smiled back weakly and returned the squeeze. How was it that Remus could always pull a smile out of me, no matter how awful I was feeling?
“Anyway, Bee. Seeing as we are on this topic still. Have you finally decided if you’re going with anyone to the dance? Why not go with Wood? I mean, really you’re being a bit insane by saying no to him.”
“Not again Lily. You’ve been harping on about this for ages. Just leave it be. I’m not going with anyone.” I trained my eyes on my plate, and avoided looking at Sirius who I knew was now watching me.
“But I hear Wood still hasn’t asked anyone! I bet he’s holding out for you Everard! Come on, why not just give the bloke a chance? Just one!” I snapped my head up to glare at her.
“Really, Evans, You know I’m not going to go to the bloody dance with him! I don’t date. Merlin, you know this!” She sighed exasperatedly and was about to respond when there was a slight clearing of the throat behind me. We all looked over to find Gabe standing there awkwardly.
“Hey guys.” He said, smiling slightly. “Mind if I borrow Bee for a minute.”
“Not at all. Take her away from me. She’s being completely ridiculous.” Lily waved her hand towards me, as if I were an annoying pet. I glared at her as I stood up to follow Gabe out of hearing range of the table.
“What’s up Gabe?” I asked when we were finally out of ear shot of my friends.
“I heard you don’t have a date to the dance.” I looked at him, slightly puzzled.
“No, I don’t.” I said slowly.
“Ok, great! So here’s the deal. People keep asking me who I’m taking, and they don’t seem to get it when I tell them I have a girlfriend. So, basically, I was wondering if I could take you so that everyone shuts up about it.” I snorted.
“Well thanks for the sincere invite Gabe.” He rolled his eyes at me.
“Come on Bee. For Anna?”
“Fine.” I sighed. “I’ll be your fake date.” He grinned and swung his arm around my shoulder as we began to walk back to the table.
“You, Bee, are the very best. I guess I’ll go break the news to Wood.” He winked at me before leaving for his own table. I settled back down into my seat next to Remus. Lily was eyeing me from across the table.
“What did he want?”
“A fake date to the dance.”
“A fake date? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“It means I’m going to the dance with Gabe. But not as a real date. he just needs to get people off his back.” Lily rolled her eyes at me.
“So you’ll go on a fake date with a friend, but you won’t go on a real date with a dreamy guy who really likes you?”
“You’re hopeless Bee.” She sighed.
“EVERARD!” James shouted at me, looking crazed.
“Merlin! What the fuck James?”
“YOU CAN’T GO TO THE DANCE WITH A RAVENCLAW QUIDDITCH PLAYER! That’s traitorous!”
“Shut up James.” I muttered. People were eyeing us now. But I was only concerned with one pair. Steely gray met icy blue as Sirius glared daggers at me. I looked down, blushing. He was pissed. I understood that. But still, he was going to give away our secret by the way he was reacting. He stood up abruptly, pushing away from the table.
“Padfoot? Where are you going?” Asked James.
“Paper. Forgot. Bye.” He answered stiffly before turning to stomp out of the Great Hall. I wanted to go after him, and even made to do so, but then I felt Remus’s hand grip mine tighter and when I looked up at him he shook his head slightly. Then he got up, grabbing James by the collar and dragged him out of the hall after their best friend.
I felt like crying and looked down at my plate to hide the emotions welling up. Lily looked after them, puzzled. Then she looked to me and her frown grew. Peter just sat there. Eating.
It was the evening of the dance. I had let Lily do my hair seeing as I was shit with that kind of thing. She has feathered it out so that it was a near perfect replica of Farrah Fawcett’s. I wore a skin tight, sweetheart strapless, white dress. The dress choice (surprise, surprise) had not been mine. I had a nice, loose, blue dress that I was planning to wear, but when I had walked out in it, all the other girls had shrieked at me about it being “halloween for Merlin’s sake” so Eliza and Kelly had torn through their closets until Kelly had found “the perfect fit”. I felt like a slut. They had however, approved of my white heels.
I was sitting uncomfortably on my bed, trying to adjust to the tight dress, when Kelly announced that she was ready to go, and so we were all allowed to follow her down the stairs. Lily and I rolled our eyes, Alice just sighed, and Eliza looked put out (she wasn’t quite done with her hair). But alas, Kelly lead the way down the staircase to the common room where a few of the groups dates would be waiting.
I peaked around the corner before I walked into the room. All eyes were on Kelly and Eliza, so I might be able to sneak out without notice. They both looked like complete sluts, and it was the first time I was ever thankful for that.
“Bee?” I heard Remus’s voice from behind me as I tried to sneak behind a kissing James and Lily.
“Bullocks.” I muttered. “Hey Remus.”
“You look stunning!” He said warmly, giving me his heart melting smile.
“Thanks, you look quite debonair yourself.” I replied, looking him up and down. He was clad in old-timey clothing. “Very Jane Austen.”
“Well good. That’s what I was going for.”
“Are you a specific character?” He laughed.
“No, I’m whoever people choose to see me as. That way everyone’s happy.”
“Not to mention you know all of two Austen characters.” I quipped. He grinned slyly.
“No one has to know that.” I rolled my eyes at him.
“Typical. But, alas, I must be off. Got to meet Gabe! Bye, Lupin.”
“See you at the dance Bee!” I was turning to go when I caught sight of Sirius. He looked surprisingly dashing, dressed similarly to Remus. I think he felt my stare, because just before I moved out of sight, me caught my eye and glared.
“Don’t make me go in!” I begged pulling on Gabe’s sleeve as we neared the Great Hall.
“Come on Bee! It’s halloween! The best of all holidays! Get your ass in there.” Gabe was dressed neatly as Don Vito Corleone, and so I listened to what he had to say and allowed him to pull me through the double doors.
The music was blaring, a slow waltz, but I was pretty sure people were already smashed. Before I even had time to properly look around however, Gabe had dragged me to the dance floor and before I knew it, I was actually dancing. Which is something I normally do not do.
Gabe spun me round and round as I laughed, actually enjoying myself. But when I stopped, I spotted Sirius and James out of the corner of my eye. Both glaring daggers at me. I knew why James was angry, he thought I was giving away our top secret quidditch moves. Sirius on the other hand, was jealous. And he shouldn’t be. That was dangerous.
“What has you so distracted Bee?”
“James.” I lied. “He’s pissed because I came here with you and you’re on another team.”
“Oh. Well let him be upset.” Gabe laughed, pulling me close to him as we danced. Then he leant down, whispering in my ear. “I promise I won’t make you spill any deep, dark Gryffindor secrets.” The humor in his voice made me throw my head back and laugh as he spun me again.
Before I had straightened up, I heard a throat being cleared.
“May I cut in?” Sirius.
“Sure, if that’s alright with Bee.” Gabe said, eyeing me, trying to gauge my response.
“It’s fine Gabe. I’ll catch up with you later.” He released me, and I felt Sirius’s familiar body press up against me.
“What do you want Black?” I asked, gruffly.
“You.” He whispered into my ear.
“Ha, ha. Really Black, why have you been glaring at me all night? Why did you blow up at me yesterday? You make no sense.”
“I make no sense? Bee, you refuse to go to the dance with me, then you turn around and the the next second you’re going with some bloke none of us even knew you were friends with until you showed up with him at the platform. I mean, how did you expect me to react.”
“First off,” I said, slowing our movements down so I could glare at him properly. “You know why I said no to you. I don’t date. I won’t date. And if I was ever to change my tune you think the first person I’d try it out on would be someone who sleeps with ten girls in a week? No. I’d try it with some one like Declan. Or Gabe for that matter. And the only reason I’m here with him is because he’s dating one of my best friends and he asked me as a favor! Not that it’s even any of your business, Black.” I spat his name out at him like it had left a bad taste in my mouth.
I continued to glare up at him, all while trying to gauge how he was reacting. Oddly enough, he just sighed and nodded. He didn’t say a thing for a whole minute. Just sighed, nodded, then pulled me closer to him and rested his chin on my head.
“I’m sorry.” He finally whispered. “I know I shouldn't have been so hard on you. I’m just really liking where we are with this thing, whatever it is, and I felt a little threatened by Hutchinson and the fact that you didn’t want to spend time with me.” I just kind of stood there, mouth slightly ajar. He was apologizing to me? Pigs were flying somewhere in the world, that was for sure.
“S’ok.” I muttered bleakly, still a little astonished by him.
“What do you say we ditch this party early? Go for a walk? Maybe make our way up to the room of requirement?” He raised an eyebrow suggestively and I couldn’t help but laugh.
“You look beautiful tonight by the way.” Sirius murmured when I looked back at him. I could feel the unwanted blush creeping up into my cheeks. All I wanted to do was to break away from his eyes. But I couldn’t. I was trapped by them.
“Thanks.” Was all I managed to whisper back. Then the song ended, and he stepped away. I was still a little flushed when he dropped my hand.
“Gabe is waiting for you. But I’ll meet you in the garden in one hour.” All I could do was nod, before Gabe was at my side again, asking if it was really alright that he had left me to deal with Sirius on my own. I just smiled and said it was fine. But inside I was freaking out.
I would be breathing into a paper bag if I could. I had felt warmth. I had felt butterflies. I had felt good. This was not okay. This was something that needed to be snuffed out before it even really had the chance to begin.
I was going to end this thing. Tonight.
The next hour went by in a blur.
“Gabe.” I muttered as he twirled me once again. “Gabe, I think I need to go to bed. I’m not feeling very well.”
“No! Bee, the party is just getting started!”
“What are you talking about? We’re more than halfway through the dance already!”
“I mean the after party Bee!”
“Oh yeah, the one in Gryffindor common room?” He nodded. “Well, maybe I’ll come down to visit you then? If I’m feeling better.”
“Fine. I suppose if you’re really not feeling well.” He pressed a gentle hand to my forehead. “You do feel a tad warm. Yeah, you should go to bed. Do you need help getting to your room? Want me to walk you?”
“No, really. I’m fine. Just a bit queazy. You stay here and dance.”
“If you insist. I’ll catch you at the party maybe.” Then, ever the gentleman, Gabe took my hand and gave it a light kiss.
“Night Hutchinson.” I said, rolling my eyes.
I hurried out of the entrance hall, and to the double doors leading outside. I saw the figure of a teenage boy standing just where the light from the castle door ended, and hurried over to him. Conviction surging through me.
‘Hey Black.” I said, sidling up to him. A warm smile met me, and he took my hand gently. Then all my resolve melted and I smiled back.
I woke up wrapped in someone’s arms. It was nice, warm against the cool morning air. I nestled further into whoever it was, and they responded, wrapping me tighter against them. It smelt nice too. Like boy, but in the best way possible. Then my eyes shot open.
Sirius lay with his arms wrapped tightly around me, he was still half asleep, and we were still in the same cloths as last night. I swore under my breath. I was going to break it off with him. Tell him we had to stop. My feelings got all mottled up last night, and I couldn’t let this get any further. I had to stop it.
I nudged him to try and wake him up. No such luck.
“Black.” No movement. “Sirius?” Again nothing. So I leaned closer to his ear, and whispered. “Sirius, it’s time to wake up.” At this, the gentlest of all my attempts, he stirred.
“What’s going on?” He muttered, releasing me so he could rub his eyes. When he realized it was me, he smiled and pulled me to him again.
“Morning sunshine.” I laughed, my heart doing a little swoop at the sight of his gleaming eyes and messy hair.
“We slept outside.” He observed, looking around. I nodded.
“Yeah. There’s something I wanted to talk to you about.” I detangled myself and pushed myself into a sitting position. He followed my lead.
“I think this.” I said, gesturing between us. “Should end.” There was silence for a moment.
“Er, because I don’t want to anymore.”
“That’s not true. I know you want to. Is it me? Do you think I’ve got feelings for you? Because I can shove those way down deep. You’re not hurting me by doing this. I swear.” No, but I’m hurting myself. I thought.
“Sirius, I mean it.”
“Bee, just give it another week, please.” He leaned over and kissed me just then. It was sweet, and soft, and full of desire at the same time. I moved into him, and let him pull me to his chest before he backed away slightly.
“See? I know you want it.” I did. I really did. “Just one more week.” He whispered against my lips. I shuttered. Everything about him was like a drug, a highly addictive one that I shouldn’t be taking. But I wanted it so badly.
And I was weak.
So I said yes.
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