Sirius was leaning against the wall of books, pretending to listen to my friends rant. His eyes held a kind of dazed look like he was staring off into space. Occasionally he would glance at me, but I didn’t know what to make of that. I was feeling out of it and like a little fool who couldn’t take care of herself. I suppose I couldn’t blame him for not listening to Carrie and Lily because I wasn’t paying any attention either.
“Come on Nen, you need to get away from this…” Lily looked at him with so much contempt I didn’t know she could give to anyone but James Potter. She couldn’t even finish her sentence. She grabbed hold of my arm and Carrie took the other one, trying to lead me away.
I was shocked at first. I didn’t realize what was going on. I looked at both of my very angry friends and then at Sirius. He was starting to walk away too. I knew I should go with them, but something in me said to stay.
Carrie gripped my arm tighter and dragged me along. Then, a little too loudly, she said, “Black is the biggest, best looking arse in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s not your fault that you were easy enough to be seduced by him.”
I ripped my arm from her grasp and stared at her. Even Lily was shocked. I couldn’t believe she had said that. It occurred to me that she didn’t mean it like that, but the thought was so fleeting it hardly left an impression.
“What did you just say to me?”
“Nienna, she didn’t mean it like that. Let’s go,” Lily pleaded.
“Oh Nen, you know what I said.”
“No, I don’t think I do!” My voice was getting louder and it was drawing the attention of the whole library.
Lily looked frantically between the two of us, knowing very well that she wouldn’t be able to cool things off. Neither Carrie nor I were going to calm down anytime soon.
“You’re just overreacting like always.”
“You heard me! You are the biggest fucking drama queen I’ve ever met!”
Lily tried again. “Where is this coming from? You two are best mates! What’s going on?”
Carrie scoffed. “As if you don’t know, Lils. You said it yourself just the other day. Told me how you were just as sick as I was about Nienna’s moping and tragic sob stories! You said that you couldn’t wait until Christmas so you could get away from her!”
I gaped at Lily. I couldn’t believe my ears. I didn’t want to believe it, but the guilty look on Lily’s face proved it. “Lily?” I struggled to get her name out.
“It wasn’t like that Nen, I swear!” I could tell that she just wanted this to be over and forgotten, but that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon.
“Oh yes it was and you know it,” Carrie yelled at the redhead. Then she turned back to me. “No one cares about your psycho family or how bad you are in Charms.” I stood there, just staring because I couldn’t find any words. I was being abandoned by my best friend, both of them actually; Lily was just too sweet to admit that I bugged her. The whole library was listening, waiting for whatever was to come next. Unfortunately, the new librarian wasn’t anywhere to be found to kick us out. “And you know what else?” Care taunted. “No one cares that you’re easy enough to be shagged by Sirius Black!” She screamed it as loud as she could and the gasps and loud whispers of all the spectators filled my brain. Lily looked ready to hit Carrie, but she was frozen too.
Carrie spun around and with an apologetic grimace, Lily tailed after her. I looked at my feet, because I honestly couldn’t look anywhere else. I had no idea what had gotten into Carrie, but her last remarks might as well have killed me. I told that to them in the strictest of confidence and they swore they’d never tell. That was a mistake. A mistake that was now a dagger in my heart.
I could feel the hot tears roll down my cheeks and the lump in my throat nearly strangled me. I wanted to run away from there. I wanted to wipe my tears and forget anything had happened. To walk out the library, strong and confident, and tell Carrie what I thought about her, but I couldn’t. I just stood there. The sounds of the whispers grew louder until not even my thoughts could pierce my mind. It shouldn’t have mattered if I slept with Sirius, a lot of girls had. The thing was, I wasn’t like those other girls. I was Nienna Ladden, Lily Evans’ best friend and the friends of Lily did not sleep with Sirius Black.
A hand found my own and without looking to see who it was, I let it lead me from the stares of the vultures. I’m not sure how far I let it take me, but when I finally looked up, I was in a deserted corridor. As for the hand, it was attached to Sirius.
He pointed to a bench and I sat, staring ahead, not looking at him as he sat beside me. “Nienna,” he started, but he never finished. He just sat there, like me, looking at nothing but the stray student or ghost passing by.
Minutes went on or possibly hours, before we even looked at each other. Then, once the eye contact was made, neither of us could break it.
“Siri…” I tried to say, but I failed.
“Shh, Princess,” he soothed, gently running his hand through my hair.
More time passed, but funny as it seems, the longer we stayed in silence, the better I felt. The calmer I became and not just with the episode in the library, but with being in his presence. Soon after my mini revelation, we found ourselves getting closer and touching more. I had my legs over his and he softly rubbed them with his one hand, while the other lied on the bench next to my own.
“I’m officially like all the other girls you’ve been with. We’ve finally come out,” I teased, but only a small, insufficient smile flicked across his face.
“No, you aren’t like them.”
“How do you figure?”
He looked over at me. “I’d never be here with any of those other girls.”
I smiled a little, knowing it was the absolute truth. Once he’d had them, he didn’t have much to do with the other girls. Yet he could never manage to leave me alone.
“What’s going on between you and your friends? I don’t think that’s ever happened before has it?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know. Everything seemed fine, just like always, but what do I know? All I care about are my own problems,” I added bitterly.
“That isn’t true. Sarah only cares about herself, not you. You aren’t like that.”
“What am I like?” I asked curiously.
He cocked his head to the side, thinking for a moment. “You are preoccupied sometimes, but you’re there for your friends no matter what. You love them and care about them and you expect the same from them. You’re,” he looked at me with such intensity that my body was chilled by it. He said the next part under his breath as he looked away from me and I didn’t catch it.
“C’mon.” He pushed my legs off and pulled me up as he stood. He practically dragged me all the way to a hall that I was unfortunately quite familiar with. We waited only a moment before a door appeared on the wall and he led me through it.
Inside the room was decorated just like the Common Room, fireplace included. He sat me down at one of the comfy couches and he was in front of me on the coffee table.
“Sirius, what are we doing in here?”
He shrugged before his smile took over. “Just thought you’d like the comforts of home without the problem of visitors.”
I grinned back. “It’s nice, but I’ll still have to go back and face them. Besides, I need my bed.”
He smirked and the room changed into my dorm. Instead of sitting on the couch, I was now on my own bed and Sirius was beside me. “I like this better.”
I rolled my eyes. I knew this was going to come. “Don’t get any ideas, Black,” I warned, but it was hardly intimidating.
“Don’t worry about that, love.” He pushed me onto my back and laid beside me. “What did she mean about your psycho family, Princess? Do they all have a habit of talking to themselves or is it just you?”
I rolled onto my side and stuck my tongue out at him, making him smile. “No, they don’t talk to themselves. They’re just not right.”
He rolled over to face me. “And how is that?” he asked as he pushed a stray hair from my eyes.
“Well, my siblings are fine, it’s just my parents. My step-dad, he likes to drink and my mum…well, she rarely speaks anymore.”
“I had another brother, between me and Sean. His name was C.J.” Sirius nodded. “Before he was supposed to come to Hogwarts, the three of us were out playing in a lake. He was trying to do this trick thing, and well, it didn’t go as planned,” I paused, remembering that horrible day. “Nothing was the same after that. My mother decided the way to cope was to barely exist and have more kids and my step-dad took it out on glass bottles.”
“Oh.” It was my turn to nod. “How many kids did they end up having?”
“They’ve got two kids together. Ellie was born several months after C.J. died and Adam was born in 1975. I can’t stand Ellie, I never have been able to. My problem with Adam is that mum named him Adam Crispin-Julian after C.J. I just never thought that was right. They’re like pitiful attempts for her to replace him.”
“Do you really hate them?”
I thought for a second before shaking my head. “No, of course not. Honestly, I know that if something happened to either of them I’d go after whoever was to blame.”
We were silent again. We just laid there, not touching, for a couple of hours. I don’t think either of us knew what else to do. After a while Siri began to doze off and so did I.
When I awoke, the room was different once more. Instead of my dorm, it was a cozy room with a king sized bed and another fireplace. The bedding was made of the softest cotton I’d ever felt and the pillows were light and perfect for my head. I looked around to see Sirius bringing over two large mugs. I lifted myself up when he approached and smiled.
“Careful, it’s hot.”
I nodded and cautiously sipped the dark liquid. “This has to be the best hot chocolate in the world.” I exclaimed. He chuckled.
“Thanks.” Sirius sat back on the bed, leaning against the head piece. I couldn’t help but look him over. His hair was mussed and his clothes were too. I fought the urge to crawl into his lap and snog his brains out, but it was hard. He just looked so good.
“You can stop staring, Nienna.”
I blushed what had to be the color of Lily’s hair and turned away. I knew he enjoyed it though. Like so many times before then, we quietly drank our hot chocolate until it was gone and nothing else could take up our time.
“Do you like the room?” he asked, out of the blue.
I nodded. “It’s nice and this bed is amazing!” I gushed. I realized then just who I was in the bed with. Oh Merlin.
He grinned and moved closer to me. The cup disappeared from my hand and he pulled me to him. “We could test just how amazing this bed is.” His voice was deep and husky, making me nervous and excited at the same time. I half-way hoped he hadn’t said those words. His arm snaked around my waist and his lips grazed my own. Being so close brought back so many memories, unfortunately for him they were ones I wanted to forget.
I pulled away from him. “No, Sirius, I won’t do this again. Not with you.”
“I’m sorry about before, but it was two years ago. We’ve both changed since then.” He reached out for my hand, but I pulled it back. “I would never hurt you like that, not again. Please.” The puppy dog eyes did me in. Almost.
I hesitated. “No, I can’t.”
He sighed softly and lay back down. “Okay.” He looked up at me then. “Will you at least lay here with me?”
“No messing around?”
He shook his head. “I’ll be a good boy.”
I smiled. “You better.” He grinned and pulled me down next to him. He rolled onto his side and stared at me.
“This is nice, Princess.”
“Just being here with you and no one else around to interrupt.”
Wow, where was all of this sweetness coming from? First he’s willing to pass up sex, and now that. Hmm, maybe he had changed. I looked at him, wondering what was going on. “You’re just messing with my head, aren’t you?” I accused.
“Where’d you get that idea from?” He honestly sounded offended and I was slightly embarrassed for saying it.
“Well, I just…”
“I like being with you. Can’t you understand that?” I blushed a little and had to look away from him. His hand touched my cheek, softly caressing it. He turned my head back to him and before I could stop it, he leaned in to steal a kiss. His lips were soft and, dare I say it, loving. It wasn’t like his other kisses.
He pulled away, too soon for me, and pulled me back into a lying position. “Sirius?”
“What are we doing?”
He smiled and kissed me once more. “We’re going to sleep my love.” With that, he threw the blanket back over us and wrapped an arm around me, pulling me close. “So no one can take you,” he offered as an excuse. I didn’t say anything, just smiled and slowly closed my eyes. I hadn’t realized how tired I was. Before I drifted off to sleep, I felt Siri kiss my forehead and tell me good night. Never had I imagined him to be like that. It was sweet and I adored him for it. Perhaps things had really changed.
I fell asleep before him, but somehow I could sense him next to me and it made sleeping much more peaceful.
When we awoke it was almost three, but it didn’t matter. It was just Saturday. We stayed in bed for awhile, not really saying much, just too lazy to get up.
“You know, Princess, we’ll have to get up sometime.”
“Mhmm, and your point is?”
“I have no idea.”
“Good.” I snuggled in closer to him, enjoying the warmth of his body with the blanket. He gently rubbed my back and we laid there a little longer. Sirius let out a long sigh and smiled.
“I really could just lay here with you forever.” He glanced over at me and kissed my forehead. “It’s the only life I want; sleeping next to you.”
I stared then, letting his words seep into my mind. Surely the necklace wasn’t from him. It was too obvious, but I had to ask. “Siri, the locket.”
“What about it?”
“Is it from you?”
He was quiet for a moment. “Do you want to go out sometime? Like on a date.”
I thought for a second. Why was he changing the subject? “Umm, sure, when?”
He shrugged and then kissed me. “Right now if you want.”
“Now? What would we do?”
He gave me a mischievous grin and winked. I smacked him playfully on the arm as he rolled on top of me, pinning me to the bed. He made to kiss me again, but I pushed him away.
“You never answered my question. Is the locket from you?”
He shrugged his shoulders. “We should probably get going. Our friends are probably wondering what happened.”
He got off the bed and began putting his shoes back on. “Sirius,” I started. “The necklace?”
He walked over to where I was and helped me off the bed, still avoiding my question. “Here are your shoes.” He handed them to me and waited for me to put them on. When I was finished he grabbed my hand.
“C’mon, Nen, let’s get out of here.”
I nodded and let him lead me once more. I gave up on questioning him about the necklace and instead decided to just enjoy this side of him.
Perhaps we should have taken more notice to how we looked, or at least left the room at different times, but we didn’t think about it. Maybe it was because the corridor was usually fairly empty. Whatever the reason, I regretted not thinking as soon as I stepped into that corridor.
It was uncharacteristically busy, filled with students from every house walking through, including a few professors. When we appeared in the hallway, almost everyone began to stare. The girls instantly began to whisper and the guys made several crude comments. Even a couple professors began to whisper and scoff.
I could feel my face burn, realizing then just how we must have looked. Sirius Black and Nienna Ladden leave the Room of Requirement hand-in-hand with their hair and clothes all messed up. Yes, it was quite obvious what they thought had happened in that room. Beside me Siri squeezed my hand tighter and tried to lead me through the maze of people. Just as we were walking by Professor McGonagall, someone started to yell.
“Sirius!” Everyone turned to see who was yelling. I looked to see Sarah with Carrie by her side. Oh no, not again.
They rushed over to us, Sarah had tears in her eyes and Care looked smug.
“What are you doing here?” Sirius asked, letting his grip on my hand loosen.
“Oh Siri, why are you with Nienna? Did you sleep with her? Please tell me you didn’t. I love you so much, I just couldn’t take it.” By now Sarah was sobbing and to my dismay Sirius let go of my hand completely.
“No,baby, I didn’t do anything with her. I swear I didn’t.” He actually sounded distraught over the fact that his ex thought he had slept with me. Why did it matter? They broke up.
“Promise you didn’t do anything with her?”
“I promise. I’d never do that to you, love.” He wrapped his arms around her quivering body, leaving me completely stunned.
“I knew you wouldn’t, but Carrie kept saying…”
“Shh, love, just calm down,” he soothed, kissing her. She nodded her head and without another word, they left the swarm of people. I couldn’t believe what had happened. How did it even happen? Had I understood what was going on, I probably would have been crying too.
“I hope for Sarah’s sake that you didn’t sleep with him again.”
I stared at Carrie. What was her problem anyways? “I didn’t sleep with him.”
“Humph, that’s good. No sense in having two girls pregnant.”
My eyes widened. “Are you?”
She looked at me in disgust. “No you git. I’m not easy like you and Sarah.”
I glared at her. Could she be any more of a bitch? “Then who is?” I snapped.
She pointed at Sarah’s disappearing form. The same smug look on her face as before. “Can you guess who the daddy is?” she taunted, a wicked glint in her eyes. My own fell upon Sirius’s back. “Don’t worry, she told him two weeks ago.”
He knew. He knew and he didn’t tell me. He says all of that crap to me all the while knowing he has a baby coming? How could he do that?
Angry, I began to take off in the other direction, but a hand grabbed my shoulder.
I whipped around, ready to hit whoever it was. Luckily, I stopped myself. Professor McGonagall stood before me. Her steady gaze on my raised hand.
“I think a little chat is in order, Miss Ladden. My office, please.”
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