A week later I found myself sitting in the library after dinner. I was supposed to be doing my Potions homework but I was too busy drawing pictures of Crazyclaw being eaten by dragons to do it. Who needs Potions anyway?
“There you are Delaney!” Henry said as he plopped down into the seat across from me. I didn’t even look up, I just grunted. Henry, unfazed, went on to ramble about his first week as a seventh year.
A couple of minutes later, I noticed that Henry was silent. I looked up to find him looking at me with a frown on his face. “What?” I asked, feeling uncomfortable.
“Why are you over here on your own?” Henry asked, just now realising that Kayla wasn’t there.
Rolling my eyes, I went back to my drawing. “Kayla is over in the ‘dangerous plants’ section snogging some bloke,” I said blankly. I couldn’t help the little hint of jealousy at the thought. I may or may not have ever kissed anyone before…
“Oh, right,” Henry said, not sounding surprised. We chatted on for a little while longer before Henry got up to leave. He ruffled my hair and said, “We can hang out on the weekend if you want?”
I smiled appreciatively at my brother. I knew sooner or later him or Aaron would find me to see how I was going. The joys of having over-protective big brothers I suppose.
“Sure,” I said and then grinned. “We can paint each other’s nails and I can braid Aaron’s hair!” I said in an overly girl voice and smirked at Henry’s disgusted look.
Henry left and I was just finishing off my drawing of Crazyclaw when someone sat in the seat across from me. Without even looking up I joked, “Couldn’t wait until the weekend Henry?”
“Sorry to disappoint you Bonnet,” a voice very different from my brothers said. My head snapped up and I nearly fell off my chair.
“What are you doing in the library?” I blurted out harshly before I could stop myself.
Sirius looked slightly insulted and said, “Why are you so shocked that I am in the library?”
“You don’t seem like the library type,” I said awkwardly. And the fact that I spend quite a bit of time in here and have never actually seen Sirius before. What is going on?
“Hmm, yes well I guess you are right. I usually study in the common room but James and Lily are having it out again and this Potions essay is due tomorrow,” Sirius said casually, pulling his half started essay.
I just sat there staring at him. I ask again, what is going on?!
“You’re staring Bonnet, it is rather disconcerting,” Sirius said without looking up from his essay. My face flushed bright red and I quickly looked away.
“I wasn’t staring,” I muttered awkwardly. “Why are you sitting with me anyway?!” I asked, a little too aggressively.
Again, without looking up, Sirius said distractedly, “You’re the only person sitting on their own.”
My stomach dropped and I felt my face burn red again. He is only sitting here because everywhere else is full. Why am I disappointed? I should have known better than to think that Sirius Black would want to sit with someone like me.
I quickly gathered up my things and cleared my throat. “If you would excuse me…” I said quietly and stood up to leave. Sirius finally looked up at my movement.
“Where are you going?” he asked frowning up at me.
“To leave you in peace to do your essay,” I snapped and picked up my bag.
“But you haven’t finished your essay,” Sirius pointed out, looking at me confusedly.
“Look, you don’t have to keep pretending to feel sorry for me! I get it, you sat here because everywhere else was full and I am just trying to be courteous and leave so you don’t have to be seen with me!” I finally snapped and glared at him. Huh, I guess someone let angry Laney out again.
Sirius leaned back in his chair and smirked at me. I wanted to push him off his chair so he would stop smirking. It was infuriatingly sexy.
“Are you always this angry?” he asked, still smirking. I narrowed my eyes further.
“No!” I bit back. Why am I even still here?
“Really? I find that hard to believe,” Sirius muttered under his breath, though making sure it was loud enough for me to hear.
“You are infuriating!” I said exasperatedly. I hitched my bag up over my shoulder, getting ready to storm off.
That caused him to smile. “I have to admit, that is not the first time I have been told that.”
“I am not surprised,” I sneered and even did a smirk of my own. Sure, it wasn’t sexy and probably looked like I needed to go to the loo, but it was still a smirk.
Sirius rolled his eyes but continued to smile. Then I saw his eyes shift from my face to the desk in front of me. I looked down just in time to see him reach out and grab a piece of parchment.
Oh dear Merlin.
My drawing of Crazyclaw!
Losing my head completely, I lunged across the desk to try and rip it from his hands. Unfortunately for me, Sirius had quidditch reflexes and pushed back from the table. Unfortunately for Sirius, his chair snagged on the rug behind him and he fell off his chair backwards. Unfortunately for both of us, the new young librarian chose that moment to round the bookcases.
She looked surprised as she saw Sirius sprawled on the ground, trying to disentangle himself from his chair and me lying across the table with my hand out stretched in a desperate attempt to stop Sirius from seeing the drawing I did of his girlfriend being eaten by a dragon.
“Out!” Madam Pince said, pointing her finger, rather dramatically if you ask me, at the door. “Out both of you!”
I quickly got off the desk and Sirius dragged himself up from the floor. We grumbled as we gathered our things and shuffled out of the library doors under the watchful eye of Pince.
She slammed the doors shut behind us. Sirius and I stood in the silent corridor, looking at each other.
Then we both burst into laughter.
Sirius leaned against the wall as he laughed. “Did you see her face?!”
“I… I know!” I managed through my giggles. “She looked so shocked!”
“Well can you blame her?” Sirius said shaking his head, “What made you do that anyway?”
I suddenly stopped laughing. The picture!
“I was testing your reflexes,” I said distractedly as I looked around desperately for the picture.
That is when I noticed it was still clutched in Sirius’ hand.
Sirius slowly stopped laughing and smiled at me. “Are you sure it wasn’t because of this?” he asked and waved the picture.
“Look I can explain-” I started, my face feeling red.
“This is an amazing drawing!” he said and looked at the drawing again and laughed.
I just stared at him. “What?”
“I mean, if you look past the fact that it is a dragon eating my girlfriend,” he said and quirked his eyebrow at me. “You are a great drawer.”
“Erm, thank you?” I asked more than stated. Is he really not mad? Wait! What am I saying? Deny! Deny! Deny! “Uh, I mean, that is most definitely not your girlfriend! Just someone who looks remarkably like her…”
I am a crap liar.
“You are a crap liar,” Sirius said laughing and folding up the parchment. “Do you mind if I keep this?”
I shook my head, at a loss for anything else to say.
“Thanks,” he said and then picked up our bags and started walking off down the corridor. I stood there for a second, staring after him. Then my brain kicked into action.
“Hey!” I shouted at his back. He turned at looked at me expectantly. “Where are you going with my bag?”
“If you didn’t notice, we got kicked out of the library. We still need to finish our essays and the only place left to go is the common room,” he said to me like I very slow.
Stupid Sirius Black just expects me to follow him. Well I will show him!
I followed him.
* * *
“Slowdown will you?” I panted as I tried to keep up with Sirius’ long strides. “Oh. We’re here,” I said surprised, nearly running into the back of Sirius.
How did we get here so quickly? We had taken so many passages that I didn’t even know existed. Drats! I will never be able to remember them! I wonder if it would be really lame to ask Sirius to draw me a map?
“Sorry Bonnet,” Sirius said and grinned at me. “Flobberworms,” Sirius said to the Fat Lady and the portrait swung forward giving us access to the Gryffindor common room.
“My name is not Bonnet!” I snapped, grabbing Sirius’ arm before he could go into the common room. It suddenly really bugged me that he didn’t know my name. I mean, come on!
“I know that,” he said and gave me a confused look as to why I was angry. I looked at him for a moment, surprised. I hadn’t expected him to say that.
“What is it then?” I asked in a sceptical tone.
Sirius sighed and rolled his eyes. “Your name is Delaney Bennett, you prefer to be called Laney, you are a pureblood, Gryffindor sixth year, one of the top three students in Defence, Charms and Transfiguration, best friend is Kayla Wexler from Hufflepuff, you hate History of Magic and most people find you too intimidating to approach,” he smirked at me, satisfied by my completely dumb founded expression.
“Told you I knew your name,” Sirius said and left me standing in the corridor with my mouth hanging open.
Sirius Black is definitely a stalker.
Coming out of my surprised state, I clambered through the portrait hole after Sirius and called out, “Hey! Wait! How did you know all that?!”
A couple of students looked at me weirdly as I looked around for Sirius who seemed to have vanished. They looked away quickly when I glared at them and then they whispered something that I’m sure was about how crazy I am.
“Bonnet! Over here!” Sirius called from the chairs by the fire. He and the rest of the Marauders were sprawled out in the chairs, their homework all over the place. I considered ignoring him and shuffling off to my dormitory so I could crawl under my bed and try and figure what the hell was going on. But then I saw that Sirius still had my bag. Sighing, I quickly made my way over to them, trying to ignore the looks that I was getting from the other students.
“Guy’s this is Delaney Bennett, Bonnet this is James, Peter and Remus,” Sirius said, introducing me to his friends who all smiled at me.
“Of course I know who you lot are,” I said distractedly and then felt rude. “Oh, hello by the way,” I then rounded on Sirius and hissed, “How did you know all that?!” He just looked back at me with his infuriating smirk on his stupid face. James, Remus and Peter all looked on in amusement.
“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Sirius teased, enjoying making me angry.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “You are so annoying!” I said in an almost whiney voice. I had to resist the urge to stomp my foot.
“You can say that again!” Remus said and got a glare from Sirius. I grinned at Remus and he winked back at me.
Sirius looked from Remus and I before he quickly said, “Fine! I will tell you!”
I folded my arms expectantly. God, if he says that he has been following me around I may just curse him.
“I asked around,” he said and shrugged. I just looked at him.
“Why?!” I asked incredulously. Even the other Marauders were looking at him, waiting for his answer.
Showing no signs that he was feeling awkward, “You were wearing a cool shirt,” he said simply.
“… That’s weird,” I said and picked up my bag and turned to leave. The other Marauders burst into laughter. My stomach dropped and I felt my face going red. He is obviously teasing me. This has all been a cruel joke. I wanted to cry, smash something and kick him all at once. Not being able to pick one of those options, I chose to run away instead.
“Hey! Where are you going?” Sirius asked, sounding surprised.
Before I could stop myself, I whipped around and blurted out, “I’m not going to stand here and let you make fun of me! I get it, it was all a joke. Ha ha you sure got me!” My words came out so sarcastically that no one could confuse them.
The boys stopped laughing at my words and the look on my face. Why do they look confused?
“I wasn’t making fun of you Laney,” Sirius said, looking the most confused. Well, other than Peter but he always looked that way. Then I realised that he had said my name properly for the first time.
“Oh yeah?” I folded my arms, feeling sceptical but also confused. They seem so… sincere.
“We may like to play pranks but we aren’t cruel,” Remus said, looking at me with understanding registering in his eyes.
“Wait, did you think I was only being nice to you as part of some sort of horrible joke?” Sirius asked, looking appalled.
“Er… yes?” I said, feeling my face reddening again. I don’t know what to believe anymore! Are they or aren’t they?!
You’re no help.
“We would never do that to someone,” Sirius said, looking me straight in the eyes. I stared back at him and almost forgot where I was. Snap out of it Laney!
“Well, I feel like an idiot,” I said and looked at my shoes. The boy’s chuckled and Remus offered me the chair next to him. I awkwardly sat down and looked at my hands.
“Wait until I tell you guys how Miss Bennett here got us kicked out of the library!” Sirius said, breaking the awkward silence. I smiled thankfully at him.
“Hey! It was not my fault! You were the one who made all the noise crashing to the ground!” I protested loudly and laughed.