amazing chapter image by aconite. @TDA!
This was a mistake. I was making a fool of myself. He’d realize it was me and he’d run for the hills. Even worse, someone else will realize it’s me and out me. This wasn’t good. More than that, I felt like I was going to throw up any moment. This wasn’t good. My dress was going to get ruined. The hard work that all of the girls did was going to get ruined. I just needed to turn around and go back to the dorm. Would the girls even notice if I was missing? Surely they wouldn’t. They’d all be too wrapped up in their dates.
But the moment they saw Sirius sitting by himself they’d hunt me down like I was a gazelle and they were cheetahs. Bollucks.
I followed a little bit behind the four girls walking in front of me. They were all talking to cheerfully and giggling with one another that I felt bad for intruding on their fun. They weren’t nervous like I was. They were so excited that they didn’t even take notice to me falling back into my own steps. I listened to my heels echo on the stone ground. The corridor was lined with torches lighting our way to the Entrance hall. We were almost there and yet I felt like everything was moving too fast. I felt like I was walking too fast and that this whole ball was flying by already. I felt my stomach flop and that was when I ripped open Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom door and rushed for the nearest stall.
There goes supper.
“Lenny? You all right?” I heard Lily ask. I answered her by emptying my stomach into the toilet again. She pushed open the stall, rubbing small circles on my back.
“I can’t do this, Lily,” I mumbled, resting my forehead against the side of the stall. I didn’t think about the germs. The coldness felt great on my burning up skin.
“Yes, you can. You’re gorgeous, Lenny. You have absolutely nothing to worry about,” Lily tried. That was the problem. I was gorgeous, something I wasn’t used to. This wasn’t me. Hell, I wasn’t even sure if this was L.C.
“I have everything to worry about, Lily,” I mumbled, but I wasn’t quite sure if she heard me. With a sigh, she took out her wand and waved it over me. I felt the feeling of vomiting disappear but it didn’t mean I wasn’t going to do it again.
“Come on, love. You’ve got a special someone waiting for you,” Lily said, hauling me to my feet. I felt sick again, but Lily was fast and pulled me out of the bathroom without another word. Good thing because I was afraid Moaning Myrtle would induct me into her bathroom club. She’s tried before.
“You ready, Lenny?” Alice asked. I sighed, nodding my head nervously. .I had a feeling if I wasn’t these girls would drag me down there anyways. Lily linked her arm into mine (probably to make sure I didn’t run) and continued on our way.
The grand staircase was decorated in blue and white tinsel. Snow was falling from the sky, but never landed on our shoulders. The flames from the candles were charmed to be blue and white. There were cheesy sparkles everywhere and icicle this and that, but it was so stunning that you would never be able to call it lame. I glanced at the other girls and their faces lit up upon seeing the Entrance Hall. It was packed with people trying to find their dates and ghosts floating around in glee. It was absolutely perfect.
“Okay, mask time Ms. L.C,” Lily whispered to me. Alice smiled at me as I slipped the elegant mask over my eyes.
“Lily!” Someone called from the crowd of people. I could see the wild mess that was James Potter’s hair as he pushed his way past people and stood at the bottom of the seven steps we had yet to descend. I looked at Lily’s face and she was paler than you expect from a red head.
“Wow you look….and your dress…wow,” James stuttered. His face was red as he nervously chuckled and ran a hand through his hair.
“T-thanks,” Lily stuttered back. I snorted from next to her, getting an elbow from Mary. They did the whole “gaze into each other’s eyes” thing for a good thirty seconds before Marlene coughed not-so-subtly.
“Err-right! Shall we?” James asked. Lily nodded, making her way slowly down the staircases. She hooked her arm into James’s and they disappeared into the crowd.
“There they are!” Another voice shouted. Frank and Remus appeared from the crowd next. Alice’s face immediately lit up like a Christmas tree as she flew down the staircase and straight into Frank’s arms. I raised my eyebrows at Marlene from this action. It was very un-Alice like.
“You look gorgeous, Mary,” Remus said, staring up at Mary with admiration. Mary put a polite smile on her face as she floated down the stairs.
“Just because you can’t compliment me doesn’t mean you get a shag tonight,” Mary said, grabbing Remus’s arm and dragging him away before I could register the shocked expression on his face. I laughed along with Marlene.
“Then there were two,” She mumbled. She finished walking the rest of the way down the staircase. She turned, smirking up at me.
“Where’s Teddy?” I asked her. She shrugged.
“Oh L.C!” She bellowed, holding her chest dramatically with one hand and holding the other one out to me. I felt my face grow red with embarrassment. “I have waited day and night for this moment! We shall be wed right now; I do not think I can wait any longer!”
“I don’t think it’ll go that way,” I told her, taking a few steps. These heels were not my friend.
“It can go that way if you wish,” a voice said from behind me. I froze on the last step. Marlene’s smile grew as she gazed over my shoulder. “I’m not quite sure about the marriage thing though. You’ll probably have to shag me first.”
I turned around to see Sirius Black a mere two steps above me. His dress robes fit him perfectly. The white undershirt fit his chiseled chest so well that it begged for me to touch it. His jet black hair was swept perfectly off of his forehead. It even looked like he had worked an extra hour on it to make it sit perfectly on his head (not that it already didn’t). His eyes were glowing and his skin was clear of any blemishes (though I doubt he ever had one there in the first place). He looked perfect. Absolutely perfect. My breath was caught in my throat. I didn’t know what to say.
“You look….wow,” He chuckled nervously, taking a few steps down. He was now on the same step as me. I smiled, allowing a small giggle to escape my lips. A giggle? Pull yourself together, Lenny! You don’t giggle!
“This better not be a waste of my time, Black,” I found myself hissing at him. He looked slightly taken back, but recomposed himself and grinned widely at me. He held out a corsage with a red and black rose on it. I let him place it on my wrist.
“Beautiful,” He said once he had fastened the corsage. He then looked up at me, studying my face. I hoped he didn’t recognize me. “Absolutely beautiful.”
I felt my face flush with embarrassment, but yet it was the good embarrassment. I felt on cloud nine. His eyes glowed as he stared at every inch of my face. At least he had the decency not to stare at my chest. That was a step up from the Sirius I knew. He was still holding my hand when he kissed it lightly. I felt my blush creep up my neck. It didn’t matter that Marlene was a few steps below me. It didn’t matter that I was standing on the middle of the stairs.
“Hot date, Black!” Someone shouted. Sirius broke out of his trance to glare at the bottom of the staircase.
“Shove off, Bagman!” Sirius hissed. I turned to see Ludo stumbling drunkenly at the bottom of the staircase. Really? Drunk already and it was just the beginning of the ball.
“I’ll see you later, doll face.” Ludo mumbled at me, sending a wink my way before stumbling off.
“Well I’m off,” Marlene said, awkwardly, turning and walking away as slowly as she could. Maybe my brother would find her that way in her mind. Unlikely. Teddy couldn’t find a needle in a haystack even if all the hay was actually needles.
“Come on. Let’s dance,” Sirius said, taking the last final steps with my hand in his. I faltered slightly.
“I can’t dance,” I mumbled. It was true. If I had two left feet while just normally walking, I’d be royally screwed while trying to make myself look elegant. Sirius turned towards me, frowning.
“I’ll teach you, love. We have all night,” He said, smiling before taking me through the Entrance Hall doors and into the Great Hall.
If I described the Entrance Hall as beautiful, it didn’t even begin to explain how the Great Hall looked. There were crystal icicles, fake snow, blue twinkling lights, and even floating drink trays. Couples were dancing wildly and the music was resounding off the walls. There were round tables off to the side where a few people were sitting, talking about Merlin knows what. I saw house elves weaving in and out of the dancers and picking up multiple things that not even I could see. There were sporadic teachers everywhere, but I don’t think they particularly cared what people were doing. I saw Mary grinding on Remus who stood there awkwardly, unsure of what to do. I saw Lily and James talking next to the punch bowl. I saw Alice and Frank laughing to one another, dancing around wildly.
“May I have this dance, love?” Sirius asked, bowing down. I laughed, nodding as he took my hand and led me to the dance floor. Expecting him to start dancing around me and do the wild things I saw everyone else do, I was caught off guard when he pulled me into him.
“What’re you doing? This isn’t a slow song,” I told him. He put his hand on the small of my back, cupping my hand in his other hand.
“I’m aware,” He told me. I rolled my eyes, but let it be. I’d let Sirius take the wheel tonight.
He spun me around, holding me close to him the whole time. It was as though he’d never let go. I wasn’t complaining. I didn’t want him to let me go. We stayed in comfortable silence, grinning to one another whenever we had the chance. I didn’t know what other couples were doing and I didn’t particularly care. It didn’t matter. It was as though Sirius and I were the only ones on the dance floor right now. We were the only ones dancing to our own music.
“So tell me,” Sirius said, breaking the silence after the second song ended. I wasn’t even paying attention to the music, honestly, “Favorite Quidditch team?”
“Falmouth Falcons,” I told him. “You?”
“I have the favor the Harpies. Mom and all. Secretly my favorite is the Cannons,” Sirius said with a grin.
“Rebel you,” I commented with a chuckle.
“If you could have one thing, what would it be?” Sirius asked again. I frowned at this one.
“Why would you ask me that?”
“I want to know as much as possible about you, L.C. Even if I only have a few hours with you, I will know more about you than you know yourself. I promise you that,” Sirius said. I smiled to myself. Did he mean to be so corny and sweet or was it just habit at this point?
“I have everything I want. I wouldn’t ask for much more.” I told him. His grin widened at me. He stopped dancing, pulling me to a hault with him.
“That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard,” Sirius said, pulling me off the dance floor. We went over to the punch bowl, each taking a cup and beginning to sip at it. It was spiked, but I didn’t care. I ran my finger along the rim on the cup, staring down into it.
“So why’d you invite me tonight? I heard you had plenty of options,” I asked him out of curiosity. He chuckled, looking down into his own cup.
“I have this odd attraction to you. It’s strange. I have never met you and yet I’ve never been so attracted to someone. I think it’s your charm that does me in,” Sirius winked at me. I laughed, taking another sip of my punch.
“Do you really believe in that whole destiny with the stars thing?” I asked him.
“I don’t know,” He answered honestly. He then looked right into my eyes and I felt my body freeze. Looking into his eyes gave me a sense of sanity that I never have felt before. “Do you?”
So maybe I didn’t know which was true, but I was supposed to live in the moment. I was supposed to enjoy the night. If I didn’t, I knew the wandering eyes of Lily, Mary, Alice, and Marlene would find me and would beat me later for it. Plus, Sirius wasn’t a bad date. I knew I had jealous eyes looking at me, but it didn’t matter. I was with Sirius Black and he was with me. That bleach blond slag who looked ready to come over and snog the living lights out of Sirius could go crawl into a hippogriff’s arse for all I cared at this point.
“Well it looks like Lily and James are having a good time,” Sirius said, gesturing towards the spot on the dance floor where James had just twirled Lily who was laughing in spite of herself. I grinned to myself.
“About time, huh?” I said. Sirius let his head roll back as he laughed.
“You’re telling me. I’ve heard Prongs talk nonstop about Evans for the past six years,” Sirius said. I smiled to myself. James brushed a strand away from Lily’s face, who was visably blushing. He leaned in and kissed her lightly on the lips.
“I feel like I’m ruining their moment,” I told him, turning away. Sirius smirked at me, cupping my hand and pulling me back towards the Entrance Hall.
“Well come on then. Let’s not ruin it for them,” He said. Once we made it to the Entrance Hall, Sirius draped his arm over my shoulders. He then led me towards the front doors which were already propped open with twinkling fairy lights leading out the doors.
“Where are we going?” I asked him.
“They have gazebos outside. Thought we could have our own moment,” He said, sending a wink my way. I felt a blush creep up my neck.
“Sirius, I-I don’t think…err, I mean…I have to pee!” I shrieked the last few words. Sirius blinked a few times at me before a smile broke onto his face.
“I didn’t mean it like that, love. I just meant we could talk. If it leads to snogging, I won’t protest,” Sirius joked. I felt my heartbeat slow back down to a steady pace. No pressure, right?
“O-okay,” I mumbled. Sirius laughed to himself, pulling me out the front doors.
“Do you always do that?” Sirius asked me, passing couples who were snogging on benches and whispering things in each other’s ears.
“Do what?” I asked, trying hard not to look at a couple who looked ready to shag right there in the empty gazebo they were in.
“Try to run when you feel uncomfortable,” Sirius asked. I faltered at his question. I didn’t do that. I can’t run to save my life anyways.
“I don’t do that,” I said.
“You try to.”
I blinked up at Sirius, and then frowned at the ground. I thought of all the times I’ve felt uncomfortable and what I’ve said to get away from it. Some awkward things, but I always managed to get away. How would Sirius know that though? Did he know I was really L.C? He must. How else would he know that I do that? Had he known all along? Was he just waiting for the right time to bring it up? I honestly thought he’d be a little smoother about it, but each to their own, I suppose.
“I have a friend that does that,” Sirius said, breaking the silence. “She’s pretty funny when she finds the need to run. Lenny Crowley, you know her?”
“Uhm… y-yeah. We’ve…crossed paths a few times,” I mumbled. I mentally sighed in relief. I was in the clear for now.
Sirius guided me towards an empty white gazebo. Twinkling lights hung from it and a small bench was resting inside of it. We could hear the music from the school faintly. I could hear the giggle of the girl from a few gazebos over as her date nibbled at her collar bone. Choke me now. Sirius sat down on the bench, patting the spot next to him. I walked over to him, sitting next to him. We sat in a silence for a while, letting the warmth of the heating charm seep into our bones.
“I didn’t think you’d come,” Sirius admitted. I turned towards him.
“Why?” I asked. He turned towards me in turn, lifting one leg onto the bench so he could turn his whole body towards me.
“You’re hard to figure out. One minute you’re nice and sweet in your letters, and then you’re cold and distant,” Sirius said. “I’m not sure if we cross paths and I do something wrong or if you just PMS a lot.”
It was my turn to laugh at his comment now. Sirius was better now than he has ever been before. He was nicer, sweeter, and even went out of his way to be nice to me. “No its not that… you’ve been nice to me, Sirius. Oddly nice, actually.”
“It’d be nice if I knew who I was being nice to, but I’m not pushing you. I know you want to keep your identity a secret,” Sirius said. I looked down at my hands. I wanted to tell him, I did. I was just afraid of his reaction when he saw I was Lenny Crowley.
“I don’t think you want to know, honestly,” I told him.
“No, I really do. It wouldn’t change a thing, love,” Sirius said, He was holding my hands, tracing circles on them just as he had done while I was in the hospital. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out. I didn’t know what to say. It would change everything. Nothing would be the same anymore.
“Let’s just enjoy this night, yeah?” I said. Sirius frowned, but nodded nonetheless. I tucked myself under his arm and he sighed in content. At least what I thought was content. Could be irritation. Who knows.
“Aye!” Someone shouted from the walkway.
“Not him again,” Sirius mumbled under his breath. I sat up straighter to see Ludo Bagman stumbling up our gazebo. I felt panic rush over me.
“Why helloooo lovey!” Ludo slurred, looking straight at me. It was as though Sirius wasn’t even there to him.
“What do you want, Bagman?” Sirius asked in irritation.
“I want her,” He said, pointing at me. “Come with me, darling. I”ll show you a good time, yeah?”
“Shove off,” I hissed.
“Oooo feisty!” Ludo laughed. “I like that!”
“Don’t make me hit you again, Bagman,” Sirius warned, stepping in between me and Ludo. Ludo smirked at Sirius. He didn’t seem threatened at all. In fact, he seemed to think it was a joke.
“Why because I’m going to steal your other girl away from you too?” He asked in a mocking tone. Sirius’s jaw tightened.
“Get away, Bagman. Now. Final warnng,” He growled through clenched teeth.
“You know how to pick them, though. First Crowley and now this smoking-“ Ludo started, but was cut off by Sirius’s right hook to his jaw. I gasped in shock as Ludo hit the gazebo floor with a loud crash.
“Let’s get out of here,” Sirius said to me. I didn’t protest as he pulled me to my feet and we both rushed back into the school. I stopped him once we reached the Entrance Hall and turned him towards me. His face was red and his jaw was still clenched. He was holding on extremely tight to my own hand. I thought he would break it at the rate he was going.
“Thank you.” I told him. His jaw unclenched slightly as he seemed to calm down slightly. I wrapped my arms around his middle and laid my head on his chest in a tight hug. He chuckled against the top of my head and wrapped his arms around my shoulders.
“No one deserves to be treated like that by a man. I’ve learned that,” Sirius mumbled into my hair. He had learned. He had learned so much in the last few months that I was amazed. He had changed. It gave me hope. I pulled him back into the Great Hall where a slow song was resounding off the walls. I pulled him into me this time, now dancing in each other’s embrace.
We danced like this for a few songs, not saying a single word. After some fast songs came on, we retired to a table and talked. I’m sure we could’ve talked for hours at the rate we were going at. He got us drinks, even stole the pumpkin pasties bowl for the two of us to share. For a first date, I’d say Sirius Black went beyond anything I could ever imagine I grinned to myself as Sirius told me more about his friends. I already knew enough about them, but he got so much joy talking about them that I wasn’t going to ruin that.
“Oh hey, there they are!” Sirius said, gesturing over my shoulder. He waved at them, gesturing for them to join us. Remus, Mary, James, and Lily made their way towards us. I saw Lily and Mary share a smirk with one another as they sat down opposite me, still grinning like mad.
“So this the girl, eh?” Remus said, giving me the same knowing smirk hat Mary and Lily just had. I felt a blush creep up my neck again. I glanced at James who had his eyes narrowed on me. I hoped he wasn’t going to figure out who I was.
“Who are you?” James asked harshly. Sirius turned to glare at him.
“L.C.” I told him.
“And who’s that?”
“What does L.C. stand for?”
“That’s for you to decide, I suppose.”
James blinked at me a few times, then glared again. He glanced around the table, obviously trying to find someone else who would interrogate me. Once he realized no one else would, he turned back to Sirius. Sirius’s face was red with embarrassment over his best mate. His eyes widened and he sent James a warning tone. James sighed, turning back to me.
“I don’t care if you’re a girl or not. You hurt my mate, I’ll hurt you. Understood?” James threatened. I had gotten plenty of threats from James in the past on the Quidditch pitch
Another one didn’t scare me.
“Of course, Potter,” I said, smiling at him. He looked taken back by my smile, but tried not to falter. He was putting on a tough front. I was used to this all too much.
“Err…right. Come on Lily, let’s go.” James said, grabbing Lily’s hand and pulling her to her feet.
“But we just got here!” Lily protested but was already being pulled away by James. All of us left laughed at Lily’s expense.
“I’m Mary McDonald,” Mary said with a smirk. I glared at her, but nodded my head all the same.
“Pleasure,” I told her. She snorted slightly into her hand. Remus smiled at me, then looked at Sirius.
“Picked a good one, Padfoot,” He told him. Sirius grinned, grabbing my hand and squeezing it under the table.
“I know,” He told Remus.
“Have you seen Crowley yet?” Mary asked not-so-subtly. I swiftly kicked her under the table. She grunted, but tried to make it look innocent.
“You’re right! I promised her a dance!” Sirius said, looking apologetic at me as he went to get to his feet to start looking for me.
“Er Sirius?” Remus said, interrupting Sirius’s eye sweep of the room. “She didn’t come, mate.”
Sirius’s face immediately fell. He stopped looking around and sat down next to me, a frown creasing into his face. I frowned at Remus who winced slightly at his own words. He was like Sirius: hated to see his friends hurt. Sirius opened his mouth to say something, and then closed it quickly. He didn’t have anything to say. No one really did. We all knew that the girl he was looking for was right next to him. Everyone but him.
“Oh.” Was all he could say. I wrapped my hand into his and pulled him to his feet.
“Let’s dance,” I told him. He nodded stiffly, letting me guide his arms around me. We swayed slowly with one another. We stayed in silence as Sirius slowly let his limbs calm down and let himself get back into the present moment.
“Can I do something?” He asked after the third song ended. I looked up at him to see his eyebrows creased together in concentration. I blinked a few times, but nodded all the same.
“Sure, what is it?” I asked him. He grinned at me, brushing any hair that was in my face away from it. My pulse immediately picked up. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from Sirius’s. When he made the glance to my lips, I immediately knew of his intentions. I was going to pull away, I was going to run, but I didn’t. I wanted this. I wanted this for a while and I couldn’t believe that I was mentally admitting that. Sirius leaned in towards me. I closed my eyes. I could feel his warm breath against my face and smell the mint he had eaten not too long ago. Smooth, Black.
And then I felt his soft lips against my own. Gentle, yet I could feel the full force of them. It was a simple, yet elegant kiss. It wasn’t a huge snog or a tongue-filled make out session. It was a simple kiss that lasted a few seconds. Yet that was good enough for us. It was good enough for me. It was good enough to make my heart nearly leap out of my chest. It was good enough to make me smile as he pulled away. He looked down at me for my reaction and broke into a huge grin as he saw my own grin. The clock chimed midnight, but it didn’t matter. It was just us two here.
“Can I do one more thing?” Sirius asked me.
“Anything.” I whispered. He smiled, reaching his hands up and touching the mask that covered my eyes. He wanted to know who I was and I didn’t seem to care. I closed my eyes, waiting for him to pull the mask away. I was Lenny Crowley, not L.C and he would find that out. I’d let him.
Then suddenly, everything happened at once. I opened my eyes in time to see Teddy come stomping over and slam Sirius with a fist to his jaw. Sirius stumbled backwards, holding his jaw in shock. But Teddy wasn’t done. He slammed another fist straight into Sirius’s nose, sending him backwards into a chair, breaking it straight through as the chair collapsed and so did he. Teddy jumped on top of Sirius, throwing fists. There was shouting and screaming from people around. James ran over and tried to yank Teddy off. Yet the whole time, Sirius didn’t throw a single punch.
“What the bloody hell, Teddy?!” I shrieked.
“Stay-away-from-her!” Teddy screamed between punches. Sirius blocked a few, but was so overwhelmed that I don’t think he had a chance to think.
“Lenny, I’m so sorry!” Marlene said, coming to my side. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t sure if I should rush in or let them go at it.
“Why are you sorry?” I asked her, watching as professors got involved now, trying to calm Teddy down.
“I told Teddy that you were Sirius’s date.” I gasped at her and covered my mouth. This wasn’t how I wanted Sirius to find things out. This definitely wasn’t how I wanted the night to go. Everything was being ruined. Everything was coming crashing down.
The professors blasted Teddy and Sirius apart. Teddy flew across the room, but Sirius managed to land right at my feet. He looked up at me, blood covering his face and frowned, unsure why Teddy would have done that. Teddy was screaming curses on the opposite side of the hall, but it didn’t matter. Sirius managed to make his way to his feet and was staring straight at me, no one else. I opened my mouth, afraid of what he would ask me. Afraid of what I’d have to say.
“What the bloody hell was that for?” He asked me when he should’ve been asking Teddy. I knew he wanted the answer from me, though. He knew I knew.
“I-I…” I stuttered. I felt panic flash over me. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t be with Sirius. It wasn’t right. It would never be right.
And then I was running. I ran from the Great Hall, kicking off my shoes and going as fast as my legs would take me. I may not be a runner but when I want to, I can go with the best of them. I threw the mask off my face in frustration and took two stairs at a time. I wasn’t just running from that dance, I was running from everything. I was running from the troubles of Teddy. I was running from my family. I was running from Sirius Black. Because I was Lenny Crowley. I wasn’t L.C. I’d never be the L.C. he wanted me to be.
I couldn’t be her.
Author's Note: WORTH THE WAIT?! There's the dance, ladies and gents! Lenny and Sirius kissed! Lenny's falling in love! But then she runs from her problems. Sirius knocks Ludo out. Teddy beats up Sirius. Sirius wants answer. Lenny cant' give them. what are we going to do?! Let me know what you think, loves! Sorry for such the long wait!