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Chapter 8. All these bloody secrets
"Three, two, one -- HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The thirty-five odd people still at Hogwarts are gathered around one big, round table in the middle of the Great Hall; teachers and students sitting side by side.
To my right I have Professor Flitwick being hoisted into the air by a spell I suspect a slightly tipsy McGonagall cast his way, and on my left sits a Hufflepuff girl I don't really know - yet.
I've been trying to chat her up for the past hour, but she's annoyingly immune to my charms. Or just stupid - either one of the two. Actually, I reckon it's the latter, cause she's spent most of dinner with her elbow in the butter.
But yeah, anyway, the clock has just struck midnight, and the table erupts into a huddle of singing, jumping and hugging. I, for one, decide to take advantage of the situation, and swoop down to kiss the Hufflepuff girl.
Since I started Hogwarts I haven't been un-kissed on one single New Years Eve, and I wasn't about to start now.
It takes the girl a couple of seconds to realize what's happened, and by the time she's kissing me back I break away.
Now that I know I can have her, it's not as interesting.
"Happy New Year, Sirius." Professor Dumbledore has made his way over to me, and puts a hand on my shoulder. The girl has disappeared.
"You, too, sir," I say before he makes his way to the still floating Flitwick.
"Don't I get a kiss, Black?"
I turn around, and spring to my feet in a feeble attempt of getting away.
"I don't really fancy starting the new year by contaminating myself, Evans," I tell the readhead who's making her way closer to me. She laughs, and some of the meade in her goblet spills.
Oh, no. She's drunk.
I've been successfully avoiding Evans throughout the evening, and instead put a lot of energy into chatting with the stupid Hufflepuff and Professor Flitwick. And scowled at Tabitha - just a bit.
I throw a glance her way again, and find her talking, no, flirting
Yes, I still call him that. Sooner or later everyone
will - I really am that popular.
My eyes snap back to look at Evans, and I notice her smirking.
"Please. I'm not the jealous kind. That would imply I care, you see, and I don't," I respond, and cross my arms over my chest.
I glare at her.
"Don't you have someone else's year to ruin, Evans?"
"Not until your little pals return, I don't," she retorts, mirroring my stance.
"Hang on," I say, chuckling a bit, "you miss
him, don't you?"
"Pardon?" she hisses, shoulders tensing.
"That's absurd," she scoffs, but doesn't meet my gaze. "How could one miss a pebble in their shoe?"
"I dunno, but you do."
"Yes, you loooove
him!" I tease in a sing-song voice, pointing at her horrified face.
"I think some of Valerie's stupidity rubbed off on you when you kissed her, Black," she retorts dryly.
I'm guessing 'Valerie' is the Hufflepuff girl. Huh, I thought her name was Sarah. I was way off.
"Crappy- Sorry, Happy
New Year, Black," she tells me before walking off to devour her next victim.
A shudder runs through me, and I turn away from Evans just to come face to face with my scowlee.
"Tab," I say. And that's all
I say. As if she doesn't know her own name...
"Sirius!" Tab doesn't seem to have noticed neither my cold, awkward greeting, nor my scowling, and instead jumps on top of me. Her legs wrap themselves around my waist and she kisses me square on the mouth. She tastes like...firewhiskey
"Happy New Year, gorgeous," she mutters against my lips, and proceeds to untangle her limbs from me.
"Happ-" is all I'm able to say before Tab kisses me a second time, grabbing fistfuls of my hair in the process. The smell of firewhiskey is overwhelming, and I find myself pulling away.
"Dear Merlin, that's off-putting," I hear someone remark behind me, and I am(I am shocked to say) very relieved to have a reason to detach myself from the alcohol-infested candy.
I now wish I hadn't bothered checking whose voice it was.
"What do you want, Snivellus?" I glare at the sneering lad in front of me, contemplating whether I should flog him right away and spare myself the time of arguing, or behave for the Professors.
"For you to stop breathing, mostly," he says in that slippery, low voice. His hair falls into those I-haven't-got-a-soul-so-don't-even-try-to-look-for-one-in-here eyes. He notices how my jaw clenches, and smirks triumphantly. "Oh, no. Have I upset the wittle boy?"
I need to draw a long breath to calm down the urge to whip him into a salad dressing.
"Aw, poor thing," he continues, loving how he - for once - had the upper hand. "Why don't you go home and cry to your mama? Oh, no, silly me! She threw you out, didn't she?"
"Didn't want a blood traitor like you under her roof, is how I believe she put it. According to Regulus, of course."
I am literally shivering with contained fury, but Tab is too drunk to notice the tension. If she had noticed, I doubt she would've chosen this moment to reach out her index finger to me and say in a voice brimmed with laughter, "Pull my finger!"
"Your bodily functions may be amusing to the half-wit you're grasping onto, you disgrace of the female population, but I regret to inform you that I am not as easily entertained," Severus 'Snivellus' Snape tells Tab with a grimace before slithering off.
Hopefully into a hole to die a painful death. Which I have wished for these past five Christmases, birthdays and Valentine's Days. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm keeping the hope alive by preparing for the riverdance I'll perform on top of his grave.
"What a sourpuss!" Tab spits out at Snivellus's back, and I have to agree with her splutterings. "Well," she turns to me, her eyes glazed, "wanna do it in a broom cupboard?"
I just look at her.
Why am I not answering? Why don't I just scoop her up, put her over my shoulder and carry her into the nearest empty locker?
"Ssh-irius?" she slurs. Then(and this is the second time tonight that I'm shocked to admit I feel relieved) she takes a step toward me only to collapse onto me and fall into a blissful unawareness. Otherwise known as drunk-fainting.
All the time while I help Madam Pomfrey carry Tab into a bed in the infirmary, I can't rid myself of the dark cloud hanging over my head.
"She threw you out, didn't she?"
"Didn't want a blood traitor like you under her roof, is how I believe she put it.
That bastard's voice drifts in and out of my mind, driving me insane, following me all the way up to the tower, into my dormitory, onto the bed.
When it feels like my brain's gonna explode at any time, I let out a short scream. The sound bounces back to me from the empty room.
Fuck Snivellus. Fuck my family. Fuck these fucking feelings.
Fuck it all.
It's early; too early.
But I hear voices. And footsteps. And I automatically know which spawn from Hell I am to blame for the racket in these wee hours of the morning.
Damn you, Evans.
Someone pulls open the drapes around my bed, and I let out a long, annoyed groan.
"I swear to every flogging holy prat in the book of holiness that if you do not leave this room in five seconds, Lily Evans, I will put Grindewald's fury itself to shame and curse your bloody head off," I warn with my face buried in my pillow, and hold up my hand to put up one finger per second. "One -- two -- thr-
"Is Lily here?"
Play cool, mate. Play completely cool.
Or freak out, either way is fine.
"Prongs?" I spin my body right-side-up, and squint against the light from the window.
But Prongs isn't the one to answer my croaks.
"Morning, Padfoot," Moony greets, and I direct my scrunched up expression to him, thoroughly bewildered.
"Where's Lily? Did you say she was here?" Prongs asks me.
I've almost reached ultimate freak-out mode now.
My eyes have adjusted to the light, and I can now fully see the three lads surrounding my bed, grinning.
"What are you doing here?" I ask, sitting upright. "The holidays aren't over for another four days."
"Right you are," Moony says, and puts his hands in his jeans pockets, "but we couldn't let you celebrate New Years day all on your lonesomes, so-"
"So we came back!" Wormtail finishes, he practically beams.
"A Marauder can't celebrate his birthday without his mates, now can he?" Wormtail nods agreeingly at Moony's words. Prongs is still scanning the room for any signs of red hair.
"She's not here, mate," I inform him, and he abruptly stops the incessant snooping with a guilty grin on his face.
"Happy birthday, mate," he then proceeds to tell me, and jumps on top of my bed. Actually, all three of them do.
And I am not afraid to admit that what follows is a bad case of 'the giggles'.
"Eighteen," Wormtail states, more to himself than anyone else, as they all stop jumping about on my bed and are sitting down. "You're like, I dunno, a grown-up, or something."
"I'll never be a grown-up," I tell him, and laugh. "Not if I have a say in the matter."
"And I'll never let you," Prongs says and punches my upper arm. I punch him back, even harder. We both grin.
It's a guy thing.
(Meaning: There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.)
"So, how boring has Hogwarts been without Los Awesomos?" Prongs asks, leaning his back on one of the bedposts.
I sigh and slump against my pillow. "'Boring' is a fucking musical compared to the hell this Christmas has been..."
"Still can't believe you didn't want to come home with me," Prongs says with a frown.
I shrug. There's really no other way to respond to that comment. Luckily, I don't have friends who dwell too long on "emotions" - or other kinds of crap like that - and we jump effortlessly over to another subject.
"...- but no matter how many times I've told her I'm not gay, she still
insists on giving me pink shirts and sequined tap-shoes for every Christmas and birthday," Moony finishes with an exasperated huff. We're all laughing, and Moony glowers sourly at us all. "It's not funny! My grandmother thinking I'm gay is not funny!"
"Well, you could see why she'd be a bit confused, you know, by how you drink tea," Prongs jokes, and earns himself a punch in the arm. "Ouch! I'm just stating facts here! Your pinkie does
point up in a rather feminine fashion, we all know that. No need to get testy."
"And you use conditioner," I add, choking on a laugh. "Scented
"Oh, look who's sniffed my hair!" Moony points accusingly at me. "And I'm
the gay one..."
"You'd have to be dead not to smell that vanilla-ish stench oozing from your abnormally shiny hair, Moony," Prongs informs him, and I reward my best mate with a high-five.
"I don't need this shit," Moony mutters to himself and gets out of the bed and over to his own. He opens his trunk, fishes up a box and throws it toward my head, but Prongs(having some awesome Chaser-skills) catches it before it hits its target.
"Happy birthday, you ungrateful sod," Moony grunts before going into the bathroom, and we all burst out laughing when the door crashes behind him.
Seconds later, Wormtail, who'd been quiet as usual through this whole show, gives a great yawn and stumbles over to his own bed only to crash on top of it.
Prongs grins at the comical way his arse is poking up in the air like a toddler, and how he's already drooling.
"Very attractive," he observes mockingly, and turns his grin at me.
Now that he and I are basically alone, I get a very serious case of dehydration. My throat is dry and it's pouring sweat out of every pore on my body. I bet I looked like a drug addict who'd been too long without a fix.
Not suspicious at all.
"What's up?" Prongs inquires, and I direct my shifty eyes at my hands that are already craving to flail about like a drunk ballerina. "You're green."
"Hung over," I manage to say. "I'll be fine once I get some grub."
I doubt he bought my lame-ass lie, but he didn't do anything to call me on it.
"Alright," he says and get off the bed. "Then let's go feed you."
I have to tell him, I have to tell him, I have to tell him, I have to tell him.
I order the panicked, Lily Evans-resembling side of my brain. He never has to know.
Guilt! Too much to bear! Pressure is choking me! *Gasp for air*
Chill your tits, man!
"Huh?" I snap out of my monologue of self-disgust, and realise I've dressed and made my way halfway down to the Great Hall already. "Oh, yeah. McGonagall wingardium leviosa'd Flitwick."
"Brilliant," he grins. "Who was your midnight smooch partner this time?"
"Some Hufflepuff, I think."
We walk in silence.
I've just figured out I hate silences. Not just awkward ones.
Lily Evans has messed up my whole perspective on life. She needs to pay.
"So, why did you think we were Lily?"
"What?" Yes. Innocence is key.
"You said something about cursing Lily Evans' head off if she didn't leave the room, or something. What was that about?"
Words. He expects words. Explanation. A sentence. Maybe even two! Greedy sod...
Here we go. Lie numero uno.
"She's just, erh, gotten into the habit of waking me up lately. Fucking pain in my arse."
"She can cause pain to my arse any day," Prongs ponders aloud.
"Bad choice of words, mate," I point out, grinning.
He thinks about that for a second.
"...you're right." He grimaces. "Let's not mention it to Moony."
"Already in the secret vault of denial."
"Safely locked up?"
Secrets are already about thirty percent of my body weight, so what's a couple more ounces?
So now the rest of the Marauders are back! What's your impression of them? :D And what about Severus??
Did you like this chapter? Anything I can do to improve it? :)
Thanks for reading and reviewing, my beauties!