Chapter 1 : Prologue
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Beautiful CI by AstoriaViana @ TDA!
So, last night Sirius Black snogged me for the first time in a year.
Also, I almost died in the claws of a huge, hairy monster.
But let’s get back to Sirius.
Ever since we broke up last Christmas, I’ve been trying so hard to pretend he doesn’t exist. That’s not easy when he’s incredibly fit and popular, and half the girls at Hogwarts are mad for him – but I’ve been doing my best. Every time he walked by, laughing with James or flirting with a girl, I would just run off to some secluded place, close my eyes, and remember the dark, furious looks that had crossed his face during that last row we had. I actually think I had almost convinced myself that I didn’t care anymore.
But all those protective walls around my heart have been shattered by what happened last night. It all happened so quickly that I can only clearly remember flashes of shallow breathing and moonlit grass.
It was after hours, and I was wandering about the castle as usual. I’m a Ravenclaw Prefect, so I have the advantage of being able to go on late-night walks without having to worry about detentions. This is awesome because it gives me some time to ponder and stuff, but it also has the drawback of sleep deprivation and lone-wolf-syndrome. Anyway, on this particular night, I was feeling a bit invincible, and, because I’m a bloody idiot, I decided it would be a fantastic idea to go for a stroll outside. First I skirted the edges of the Lake. Then I found myself walking along the border of the Forbidden Forest, peering through the trees. It was so dark and still, and yet so alive. The whole forest seemed like one living, breathing object. I took a step in between the dark trees.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself: “Why the hell would you do that, Aislin?” The answer is that I’m stupid. Sometimes I think the Sorting Hat put me into Ravenclaw out of sheer irony. I guess even hats need some comedic relief every now and then.
Anyway, I was walking along, gazing into the forest, imagining all the evil things that might be inside – when all of a sudden, very ironically, one of those evil things came leaping out of the forest, and knocked me flat onto my arse. Luckily, I have a nice, ample arse.
Sorry. Though I’m no Gryffindor, I can’t help getting cocky every once in a while.
The thing (not my arse – the monster) was huge, furry, and fanged. It was dark and I wasn’t thinking too straight, but through a fog of panic came a blast of recognition: this was a werewolf.
I would have screamed, but all the air had been knocked out of my lungs. I threw my hands around the werewolf’s massive throat and tried to push it away, but my strength was no match for it. Duh. Tears streamed out of my eyes as the werewolf bore down over me, snarling.
People say that when you're on the brink of death, your whole life flashes before your eyes. But all I could really think about was how absolutely disgusting the werewolf's teeth looked, and how much I didn't want to end up in between them.
Seriously. Get braces, man.
Then, suddenly, it was gone. I scrambled to my feet in time to see it wrestling another large, furry creature. My heart was racing. I realized that the second creature was probably another werewolf, fighting the first one over its dinner. Me. Feeling more terrified than ever, I turned on my heels and sprinted back to the castle, entering through a secret passageway and coming out at the statue of Gregory the Smarmy, a fat, untrustworthy looking bloke. I leaned against the statue, wiping the tears off of my face and trying to catch my breath.
Okay, I decided, so maybe the Forbidden Forest is forbidden for a reason. Maybe Dumbledore doesn’t just say that to discourage students from going in and finding his secret candy temple.
“O’Keefe?” said a voice, echoing down the lonely corridor.
I spun around, and cursed internally. Just when my heartbeat had regained stability, it had to go and get agitated again by the half-shadowed face of Sirius Black.
Merlin, what a face.
Looking into those sterling grey eyes made memories come welling up in my mind. His hands stroking my hair. Our faces close together as we spoke in low voices. Talking about the future - our future together. I blinked, trying to staunch the flow of unwanted nostalgia.
“What do you want, Black?” I said as coolly as I could, drawing my shoulders back into some semblance of proper posture.
Sirius shrugged, loping carelessly yet gracefully toward me, his hands stuck in his pockets. “I just heard…er…labored breathing. Everything all right?”
I narrowed my eyes, but blushed. “I’m fine. Go on back to whichever poor soul you were shagging.”
Sirius rolled his eyes at my attempt at hostility, and stepped closer to me, examining my face. “You look terrible. What happened?”
“Thanks a lot.” I crossed my arms. “None of your business.”
Sirius threw back his head and laughed out loud. “Look, love, you’re trying far too hard to be hostile. Why don’t you let me walk you back to the Ravenclaw tower?”
“I remember the way, thanks,” I said, trying to edge around him – but the bastard moved from side to side, blocking my way down the corridor. “Move.”
Sirius did move – his large, masculine hands shot out and grabbed me by my arms, holding me firmly in place. “Look, Aislin, I’m getting pretty damn sick of you trying to act like some sort of ice queen all the time. In fact, I’ve had it. If we can’t be best friends, that’s fine. But you’re going to have to stop ignoring me – because I’m not going away anytime soon.”
The words stung in my ears. I barely had time to process them before Sirius pulled me closer, wrapped his arms around my body, and kissed me.
The feeling was so familiar that for a moment, I responded to his touch: my mouth opened, my hands moved toward his glossy black hair. And then my senses returned, and I pushed his chest, hard, forcing him to take a step away from me. Sirius’ arms uncoiled from around me and fell limply to his sides. For a split second, he looked genuinely hurt. Then a handsome, slightly mocking smile set over his features.
“Sorry, O’Keefe,” he said with a twinge of sarcasm, “I guess old habits die hard.”
“Fuck off, Black,” I said, close to tears for the second time that night. I stepped quickly around him and started down the corridor.
“Cheers,” said Sirius’ voice, clearly amused.
Just before I turned the corner, I threw a quick look over my shoulder. Down at the very end of the corridor stood Sirius. In the faint light of the torches, I could see that he was smirking.
And now I’m lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling. Only after I reached the safety of the Ravenclaw common room did I begin to reflect on what Sirius had actually said. First of all, he called me by my first name, which he hasn’t done since the breakup. And then… ”I’m not going away anytime soon.” What was that supposed to mean? Was he just referring to the fact that we still have a year and a half left at Hogwarts together? Or was he trying to tell me that he’s not giving up on me?
It's all so frustrating. Here I thought we had an unspoken agreement that we'd keep our distance, but he ambushed me during a moment of weakness. I thought my heart was safe in him, but all my defenses are shattered.
Well, I know one thing for sure. I'm sure as hell not getting any sleep tonight.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the prologue! :D I know it wasn't very long, but I'd still love some feedback!