"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." - JOHN LENNON
James Potter was feeling more trapped as each day passed. He would've rather been anywhere but where he was. At Hogwarts. With his best friend and the new foreign student. All alone. And they were avoiding each other.
He hadn't noticed anything at first. It wasn't like the two of them had spent much time together on their own as far as he knew. He thought for a while he had been imagining it. The first time the situation had struck him as odd was on the second day of break.
Everybody had left and there were fewer than 10 students left in the whole House. He had come down from his room, followed by Sirius and approached Sophie - Elise who was reading on the sofa in front of the fire.
"Hello," he greeted as he plopped down next to her. "What are you doing?"
"Oh noting much, just reading." she replied looking up from her book. Her eyes searched for Sirius, who was still standing and then quickly went back to the book.
"What are you reading?" he said, trying to keep the conversation going. He thought it was strange that Sirius was not sitting down.
"A Muggle classic. Wuthering Heights." she said as she showed him the cover.
"Never heard of it. Is it any good?"
"Actually, yes it is. It's sort of a love story you see, but not a traditional one."
James nodded in an understanding way. "We thought we'd go down to the kitchens, grab a snack, you want to join?"
"Oh, no thank you, no really..." She said as the color was rising to her cheeks.
"Then... I guess I'll see you around..." James said and got up. Sirius followed him out of the common room. James noticed that his mate kept glancing behind at the girl but he decided it wasn't the time to say anything.
Two days later, he had once again approached Sophie- Elise and asked to play chess with her. In a series of very odd things happening at once she started choking on her Chocolate Frog, then she said she would love to, then Sirius excused himself to do homework. HOMEWORK. On the first week of break. James Potter's alarms were going off and he tried to piece together the puzzle in front of him.
With their pieces in front of them, they started playing.
"Elise, have you noticed something strange about Sirius lately?" he asked in a casual tone of voice. The girl in front of him tensed up at the mention of the name but tried as best as she could to hide it.
"Who? Oh, him... No, actually I haven't... Pawn to E5."
"Well, it's almost as if he's hiding something from me, you know.. Like maybe something's happened. Knight to E5." The little Knight on the board decapitated the pawn.
"No, I don't know. Why would I know?" she asked uncomfortably.
"It was worth a shot." he replied deciding not to pursue the subject.
They played in silence for a while, looking at the pieces doing battle in the board and concentrating on the task before them. James' little wheels were spinning. Sirius wasn't saying anything and neither was she. If the problem was something else, why were they avoiding each other. And if he was right and they were avoiding each other, what happened between them and more importantly, when did it happen. He was starting to lose focus on the game and within minutes he heard Sophie - Elise's triumphant cry.
"Checkmate! Yes, I win!" she said and punched the air.
"Dammit," he muttered under his breath. "I'm losing my touch." he then smiled. "It's been a pleasure Miss, I hope we can do it again some time."
"Well of course dear Sir," she said in an equally pompous way. "The pleasure would be all mine."
James got up and decided to go find Sirius and confront him on his new realization. He bid her goodbye and left.
Sirius Black was at a loss. He had never felt so uncomfortable around a girl after a kiss before. Sure, she was pretty and cool and in a way she was his friends, but that didn't explain his feelings. So he took to avoiding her as best as he could, keeping himself busy with school work while James hung out with her, or just exploring the castle all by himself once his homework was finished. He didn't really want to think too much into the uncomfortable situation, especially since there were almost two weeks before everybody would return to the castle and he could really put it past him. He didn't even know if they were indeed going out to Hogsmeade.
Running a hand through his thick hair he sighed and leaned even more over the edge of the Astronomy Tower. The December wind started to blow over him and he shuddered slightly, wrapping his cloak tighter around his body. His thoughts drifted to more pleasant things, such as the warm common room fire and the feast that awaited them in the Great Hall. By this time, he was starting to wish he had brought his watch, so that he could at least tell the time.
"Trying to take over the world, are we mate?" the voice made him jump slightly, as he was not expecting it. He didn't need to turn around to know who it was.
"What's up, Prongs?" he asked not even bothering to turn around.
"I've just had the most enlightening conversation with Elise back in the common room..." He started. He saw Sirius' back straighten just a little as he heard the name.
"Really now? What was it about?"
"She didn't seem to realize that you were avoiding her and had no idea what's up with you." he said and leaned against once of the Tower walls.
"And? What's so enlightening about that?"
"Well, it seems to me that the two of you have taken to avoiding each other. Which means something must've happened to make you uncomfortable in her presence. Interrupt me at any time if I'm mistaken." the other boy just shrugged in response. "Oh for the love of Gryffindor, just spit it out." James exclaimed and threw his arms up.
"I kissed her okay!" Sirius half shouted as he turned around."I kissed her and she bloody ran away."
James looked at his for a second in disbelief, startled by this sudden change of mood in his friend. "Gone rusty in your old age, have you Padfoot?"
Sirius mumbled something about his ancestors under his breath.
"We were under the mistletoe you know, and I kissed her and she kissed back and when we were done she just... Ran off. So I figure it's best if I don't go around her anymore, if I make her want to run for the hills."
"At least she wasn't screaming bloody murder..."
"Not helping, Potter..."
"The way I see it, Padfoot old buddy, old pal, if you were new somewhere and some bloody git kissed you out of no where with his doggy breath..."
"Still not helping Potter..."
"... You would be confused as well. She's trying to adjust and the welcome committee is drooling all over her. So if you want my advice..."
"Not necessarily, no..."
"... You should talk to her about it before. Maybe if you have her permission to kiss her she won't run off a second time..."
"You really think I should talk to her about it?"
"No, you should talk to the Bloody Baron about it and while you're down there ask old Snape's permission as well." James finished rolling his eyes.
"When did you grow up so smart James?" Sirius said with a smile.
"Don't go soft on me Padfoot. Now get back to that bloody common room before I drag you there..." James said and with a motion of his wand pushed open the door. Sirius rolled his eyes (once again) at his showing off and with a nod in his direction he was off.
Sophie - Elise Bouvier was getting a backache from the couch in front of the fire in the common room. She was starting to get cabin fever from being all cooped up in the castle and the fact that Sirius Black was giving her looks that she couldn't quite understand wasn't helping. She turned the page of her novel and noted that she had been trying to finish it for four days now but her mind kept wondering to silly adolescent issues, such as kissing under the mistletoe. She shook her head and returned to reading but she was suddenly interrupted when a figure sat next to her. Looking up, she expected to see James Potter, since he had been trying to spend time with her lately, but to her surprise, Sirius Black dumped his body next to her and looked straight into the fire.
"Good afternoon to you too Mr.. Black." she said dryly, trying to see if he would acknowledge her.
"Good afternoon to you too Miss Bouvier. And what are you doing on this gloriously freezing day?" he asked in a very ceremonial manner.
"I've been trying to catch up on my reading if you must know. I find that reading only school books may do wonders for the brain but helps the soul very little." she said as she held up her book for him to see.
"Wuthering Heights... Emily Bronte... Muggle lady right? Why do girls enjoy reading about Muggles so much?" he asked as he flipped through the book. He could see that it was very worn out, as if she had read it over and over again, and certain pages had their corners so worn out that you could barely see the numbers anymore.
"It's a classic.... Well, more like a classic tale of a very not really romantic story."
"And people want to read about not romantic things because there is so much good in the world we would overload?"
"It's not like that. See, the story itself is so not romantic mainly because the characters are so flawed. Their only good trait is being able to love each other so much and that's what saves them."
Sirius was looking at a particular passage in the book that had caught his eye. He read it aloud "It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same;... So that's it right? The kind of person that you let in so much they become part of you..."
"I guess that's what it's supposed to be about..." She half shrugged while replying.
"Why did you run away, Elise?" he asked abruptly, making her grimace a little.
She paused for a little, as fi trying to gather her words for this conversation.
"It's not so simple Sirius... I don't want things get weird and then we couldn't hang out and, James and Lily have just started getting along after all these years... And I like the new dynamic of the group so to say... So why should I bring it upon myself to ruin it?" she said and leaned back a little.
"Maybe I was out of line in kissing you... Next time I'll be sure to ask permission." he said with a smile tugging at his lips. This made the girl's pale skin glow red.
"What do you mean next time?" she said while looking down at her hands.
"You do owe me a Hogsmeade date, remember? And I'm pretty sure I want to go." he said as he extended his hand to her.
"What? Now? But it's not allowed to go to Hogsmeade today, Sirius!" she said, her eyes growing wider. Sirius could see that behind her large brown orbs she was just a tiny bit excited about this.
"I'm not sure what you mean? I'll be taking you for a walk along the castle, my dear,that is all." he said innocently and looked at her. She seemed to have caught his drift, because she took his hand and in a few moments they were exiting the common room and heading down a very long corridor. Sirius had a piece of worn out parchment he was studying in one hand, but she was pleased to notice he hadn't let go of her hand yet.
"We're all clear!" he said as he stopped in front a statue.
"You wanted to show me this piece of artwork?" Sophie - Elise asked him jokingly. But seconds later she had to hold back a scream as the statue jumped aside and revealed a long, narrow, dark corridor. Sirius started pulling her towards the passage. "Where are we going?" she asked as she followed his lead and the statue returned to it's position, leaving them with only a wand as their source of light.
"Elise, just take a chance on me..." He said softly as he started his way along the corridor.
Oh Merlin, I have a feeling I'm going to regret this, she thought as she tightened her grip on his hand and followed him towards the adventure that was in front of them. And maybe had she known how it would turn out, she would've turned back to her book and her sofa in Gryffindor Tower. But for now, it was winter and she could not remember ever being this warm.
A/N: First of, anything you may have heard of belongs to either JKR or Emily Bronte. The quote is from, you guessed it, Wuthering Heights!
Thanks again to all those who are following this story (over 300 reads, woohoo!) and to those who have added it to their favs and especially to Randomgirl who gives me feedback every chapter. I'm always so grateful for it.
Next chapter: The big date. So keep an eye out for it!