Chapter 16 : Fish Out of Water
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Chapter 16: Fish Out of Water
Before the sun even peaked over the mountains I was awake. I only got about an hour or two of sleep and my internal clock was telling me to give it another five hours at least – but a more instinctive part told me that I had to leave now.
My head shifted to the right as I slowly pushed myself up and sniffed the air. I could smell them. All twelve of them were still here. None had left.
I now scanned the forest and counted them – checking to see if any of them were hurt. No fights had broken out last night, but that didn’t mean I missed something. All of them looked fine – just tired and completely sound asleep.
With one last satisfied look through the forest, I bolted.
The earth moved easily under my paws and I darted far North into the forest. I made sure I was a mile or two out of range before I transformed back into myself. I dusted my robes and felt like something was odd. I turned around to examine myself – making sure I wasn’t hurt either, but then it dawned on me why something felt weird.
Last time I transformed into a dog I was older, taller – I had never transformed when I was so short before. I shook my head vanishing the thought and with a deep breath I spun on the spot and apparated onto Neville’s front porch.
Neville was already waiting for me and had my trunk sat down in-between us.
“So how did it go?” He asked taking in my appearance with a worried expression.
“Fine, like I told you and McGonagall it would be.” I shrugged. “Nothing out of the norm happened.”
“We weren’t expecting it too. It’s just better to be safe than sorry – the later one for not checking.” Neville said with a kind expression. “I understand that this could be hard on you, which is why I offered you other options, as well.”
“Glad to see that werewolves still get a negative wrap…” I glared at the idea.
“They don’t, but we have to consider all the sources for possible people holding a grudge.” Neville told me with a sad look on his face. “I’m just as mad about the prejudice as you are.”
I glared at him. “I doubt that.”
Neville took a deep breath before speaking again. “Look, I completely understand. Remus was a hell of a guy however, not every werewolf is like him, because for every Remus there is typically a Greyback to the equation.” Neville looked up at me. “Remus was my favorite teacher at school. He’s who I’ve always strived to be like. He gave me confidence when I didn’t have any and I held it all these years.” Neville smiled at me now. “He’s the reason I decided to trust you with this task – I knew you would be fine and not hold any bias opinions against werewolves. I trust you like Remus trusted you and I hope that you will learn to trust me as well.”
I softened and my expression fell.
“I didn’t realize how much I missed him…until last night…” I confessed.
Neville gave me a sad look. “Do you want to talk about it?”
I shook my head quickly. “Not right now…I’ll be in a bad mood the rest of the day. I can’t risk James knowing. He is already asking too many questions about me visiting you.”
“You told him it was for family, right?”
I nodded. “I don’t think he believes me.”
Neville raised an eyebrow catching my tone that there was something else.
“Sirius?” He asked drawing my attention back to me.
I took a deep breath. “Do you think there is any chance…any chance he might know?”
Neville’s eyes widened and he looked down in deep thought. “You told me that he lost this…Map – that would have given you away.”
“He thinks he lost it on the train.” I told him. “I figured James was behind it.”
Neville looked at me with a confused look on his face.
“The first one.” I explained.
“Why would he be behind it? He’s dead…” Neville said carefully like I was going to have a meltdown about James now instead of Remus – if not both. I didn’t blame him, after last night I was completely emotionally unstable. Not that I was ever sound before…
“Yes, well so am I.” I told him. He frowned. “Look, when I fell through the Veil something happened. I was neither dead nor alive at the time and I kind of met James on a crossroad I think…Between the dead and the alive.”
“The Veil is said to be a gateway to the dead…maybe it also has to do with life?” Neville said.
I shrugged. “I’m not too sure, but I met James there. My belongings were already there and my wand was in my pocket – same wand I might add.” I twiddled between my figures. “Plus who else would call me ‘Sirius Lee.’”
Neville laughed and I frowned at him. “That is all something to consider…I have heard something similar from Harry, so I can believe that…”
“What?” I asked. This was the first I’ve heard about it. Although a lot of Harry’s journey was kept a secret toward the end. James once said it was to prevent another Dark Lord from rising to be as powerful as Voldemort, but I wondered how much was hidden.
Neville nodded and turned back to me. “When Voldemort tried to kill him in the Forbidden Forest – he met Dumbledore at King’s Cross station – only he wasn’t transported anywhere else…”
“Yeah, well his body didn’t disappear, now did it?” I thought about this for a moment, maybe in the future I could try to talk to Harry about this…of course, I was strictly banned from telling Harry who I was by McGonagall – “Do you know how many problems that could cause?” – but I still wondered if I could ask him indirectly.
Neville’s sigh broke me out of my concentration and I looked back at him.
“As for your original question about the current James…No, I don’t think he knows.” Neville frowned the whole time. “He would have no way of even remotely guessing – unless he saw the sorting list or this Map, you speak of...So it’s very unlikely he knows.”
This relieved me. I had wondered about it more and more deep down since Christmas, but Neville was absolutely right.
I nodded and then put a hard look on my face and looked at Neville once more. “So, am I supposed to give you a full report on last night or what?”
Neville smiled and nodded. “Please.”
“And you are sure the Trace doesn’t affect me.” I looked at Neville when he was dropping me off on the Platform.
He nodded. “That’s why we had a test last night before I sent you to the werewolf camp.”
I stretched my arms and nodded. “I told them I might go back next summer, if that’s alright.”
Neville raised an eyebrow. “Did they really buy that you’re a werewolf too?”
I shrugged. “None of them can really remember anything different – when they transform they can’t remember that I’m a dog, but they were all very nice people.”
“There was an increase during the second war…” Neville trained off.
I growled. “Stupid Greyback…”
Neville nodded. “Will you be okay from here?”
“Yes, I’ve done this a few times Professor.” I forced myself to say smiling at him.
Neville’s lip twitched in amusement. “Just checking.”
“It’s Platform Nine and One Quarter, right?” I joked.
Neville laughed as he patted me on the shoulder. “See you at school.”
He disappeared in the next moment and I headed on forward to Platform Nine and saw that there was already a pair standing in front of the gateway. It was an older boy – who might not have even been as old as Teddy – with light brown hair and a younger girl – possible a first year from the confused look – with darker brown, almost black, hair.
“Amy, mathematically this is the spot where the entrance should be.” The boy told the little girl with a frighten look on her face. “I’d expect you should just be able to run at it.”
The girl frowned at the boy. “I’m not running at the solid brick wall Andrew!”
“But it’s magic!” He insisted. “That’s what the chap who came and spoke with us said.”
I laughed a little bit. She must be a Muggle-Born first year. I stepped forward.
“Excuse me?” I said and both of them turned to me. “Are you by chance going to Hogwarts?”
The girl, Amy, nodded vigorously. The boy looked at me with an excited expression.
“You must be a warlock!”
“Wizard, actually.” I laughed. “But you’re right.”
“I am?” He asked.
“You run at that wall to get through to the Platform.” I told him.
Amy’s expression filled with dread again.
“I’m not stupid. I’m not running at that brick wall.” Amy told me strongly.
I laughed. “Here, watch me.”
Amy moved her trolley aside and I ran at the brick wall. As I made it through I turned and went to the side waiting for the difficult girl to make her way through. Sure enough, seconds after I came through, her and her brother made it across the barrier.
“Bloody brilliant that was!” Andrew exclaimed. “Mum and Dad won’t believe what they have missed because of work.”
He turned to me and nodded with a smile. “Thank you, for that!”
I nodded and left the odd Muggle and his sister, I’m guessing, alone.
I weaved in and out between parents and their excited or worried children. I unloaded my trunk from the trolley quickly and started to heave it onto the train. I was here early enough to calm my own seat and lugged my trunk into the overhead storage, in an empty compartment. I looked around and laughed as I realized that this was the same compartment I was in last year. I sat down in the seat I had been when I had awakened to see the old James. I closed my eyes and imagined him there.
Cocky grin, messy hair and glasses slightly askew, from each time his hand would fly to his hair – trying to look good for Lily. Wherever he learned his sense of fashion was beyond me. But when I closed my eyes he was still there. Same as he was the first day we met. That was James for me.
My eyes shut tighter. I could hear his voice now. It was a little different from when I remembered last talking to him.
In fact, it sounded a lot like the current James if I really thought about it…
“Oh for Pete’s sake! Sirius, check the mirror you dolt!” My eyes flew open and I was slightly disappointed when the image of James disappeared. I sighed and frowned as I pulled my mirror out of my back pocket. I looked down and my frown turned into a smile at the sight of James’ face grinning back up at me.
“Who’s the dolt?” I asked.
“You are. Are you at the Platform, yet?” James asked. I saw he was walking and watched as people passed him. He appeared to be on the Platform already.
“Well, I’m already on the train.” I told him. “I’ve also gotten new friends that don’t call me a ‘dolt.’” I smirked. “Maybe if you’re nice to me I’ll let you join us.”
“Hmm…Tell me, do these new friends put up with your snoring when you sleep too.” James said thoughtfully.
“I do not snore!” I said in a higher voice than I care to admit.
James laughed. “Meet me on the Platform. You get the honor of helping me with my trunk.”
“Oh boy!” I said sarcastically rolling my eyes.
I put the mirror away and got up. Before I reached the door it opened. I looked down at the small girl – Amy – from the gateway earlier.
“Umm…” She started looking unsure of what to say. I grinned and took her trunk – it seem significantly lighter than mine. As I put it overhead I turned to her.
“I have to go get my special friend.” I told her with a friendly smile. “Save our spots, will you?”
She looked up to me with her big eyes and nodded quickly – sitting down directly under her bag.
I laughed and closed the compartment door behind me.
I turned around – remembering that was my name. What now? James was going to get impatient.
Coming up the compartments was Dany and Madison – two girls on the Quidditch team from last year. I saw that Madison had the Caption’s badge pinned to her robes already and Dany winked at me.
“Where’s James?” Madison asked all business-like.
“I’m going to get him now. You can wait for us if you’d like.” I gestured to the compartment with the little girl. “I think her name is Amy.” I added when Dany and Madison looked like they needed further explanation.
Madison made an ‘oh’ face and Dany opened the compartment right up and began talking to the girl.
I left them quickly to find James now.
It took all, but two seconds once I got off the train. James – who was tired of waiting for me was now screaming my name into the mirror. Considering, he was exactly a meter from the train in front of me and I had the mirror in my back pocket, I had James screaming at me from two directions…
I quickly whacked him on the head to make him stop – not even bothering with the mirror.
“SIRIUS!” James hugged me, forgetting the fact that I just hit him on the head. “I missed you.”
“You saw me yesterday.” I chocked as James squeezed me.
“And it’s been the longest fourteen hours and forty-five minutes of my life!” James said gravely. “I thought I might die.”
I laughed at him and hoisted his trunk onto the train while he grabbed the family owl, Patches.
“So how was your summer?” I joked considering I had been there for most of it.
“Dreadful, there was this kid in my room the whole time.” James said exasperated. “He just wouldn’t leave and he snores something awful.”
“Hmm…was his name James Potter because I had a similar summer with that kid.” I finally managed to get his impossibly heavy trunk up onto the train. “What did you pack in here James? Bricks?”
James looked thoughtful. “Maybe…”
I rolled my eyes, because I knew he wasn’t joking this time.
With both Madison and Dany’s help, James and I managed to get his trunk up next to mine, above our seats. The girl Amy just sat there quietly and watched us.
“James, I have something to talk to you about.” Madison began in a serious fashion.
“Is that Teddy?” I followed his gaze out the window, to the corner of the Platform in a secluded area. I also saw wavy blond hair.
“James, I’m talking to you!” Madison yelled.
James held up a hand to hush her. “One moment Claire, I want to say bye to my family.”
Madison looked ready to struggle her star Chaser as I followed him back off the train with an apologetic look toward her.
As we got off the train I noticed that Teddy wasn’t just here to visit and I quickly grabbed James. “I think we should wait for him to come over…”
“Nonsense!” James shrugged my hand off and continued on his warpath toward his beloved godbrother.
“James!” I hurried after him.
“Teddy!” James shouted and I saw both Victoire and Teddy jump apart. Victoire was turning many different shades of red. I stayed back as I watched James pester them and I was wondering if he was really that thick. Could he really not see that they were just snogging when he arrived?
Teddy slowly turned around to see James and I shot Teddy a look – trying to express how sorry I am. He seemed to understand and glared at James.
“Teddy! What are you doing here?” James asked smiling innocently up at his brother – who looked murderously back.
“Umm…You see…Teddy was just seeing everyone off.” Victoire said quickly. Teddy’s glare was now directed at her. I held back a laugh. She shrugged and Teddy turned back to James.
“Go away James.”
Before James could say anything else Teddy was kissing his cousin passionately in front of him.
James’ mouth dropped and I whispered. “I told you so.”
His mouth snapped back up and he ran toward his family yelling, “DAD, DAD!”
I laughed and quickly walked away leaving those two alone. I grinned to myself. Just like his Dad, or Mum…maybe both. I thought of Remus’ son as I headed for the train. I got back on it and joined Dany, Amy and a livid Madison in our compartment. I watched as Harry, Ginny and Lily came closer to the train with James and Albus. I already loaded James’ things but Albus was lifting his trunk on the Hogwarts Express. I got out of my seat and opened the compartment and waited a few doors down from where James and Albus were receiving their final goodbyes.
I thought briefly about going to say my goodbyes as well, but I wasn’t family and I said my thanks to Harry and Ginny yesterday. When the doors on the Hogwarts Express finally closed I walked closer to James and Albus.
Albus had a look of dread on his face and I realized that James had not stopped teasing him since I left yesterday. In fact, if anything it might appear to be worst than before considering that James’ attention was now fully devoted to his younger brother with my presents gone. I gave Albus a look of pity, then I was suddenly reminded of someone. Regulus.
I too, had once teased my brother to a point of him being almost as hysterical as Albus currently was.
“I’m not going to be in Gryffindor!”He would shout at me, in front of our disapproving Mother and Father.
On the train ride before I left him to join James, Remus and Peter I had said, “It might do you some good…but I see you’re going to be just as bias as the rest of our damn family…”
I thought of my brother in horror. I had put him through so much torment. Only difference between James and I is I meant every word I said to my brother. It was now; all these years later, I realized I had been wrong. I shook these depressing thoughts out of my head and continued closer to James and Albus.
James saw me and gave me a look – showing that he thinks I should have joined him and his family in their goodbyes. I yawned and shrugged as he joined me.
James turned to Al and gave his cocky grin that told me teasing had not gotten old, yet…
I frowned and the thoughts of Regulus came back.
“Al, you better find a seat.” He called to him as he head slowly walked to our compartment.
Albus’ head snapped up – he seemed to be having an inner debate with himself and the negative thoughts James has placed inside his head. It appeared that James was winning.
“Where are you going?” Albus asked yelling after his brother.
James turned to Albus and grinned. “I’m going to sit with some of my Gryffindor friends. You better be all nice and chummy with the Slytherin blokes down there.” James said pointing to the other end of the Express. I didn’t miss that he was stressing Gryffindor like the house belonged to him.
Albus glared at him – something that he had been doing a lot with his brother around – and James laughed while stepping into our compartment. I saw Madison get up and look at James with an ‘I’m going to kill you’ look.
I looked back to Albus and even though I was completely out of it due to a lack of serious sleep – I felt compelled to go and talk to Albus. I wanted to at least make Albus’ and James’ relationship right. Even if I ruined the one with my brother, I wasn’t about to let James do the same.
“You know James is joking, right?” I said when I joined him – leaning up against the wall of a compartment.
Albus stared at me a bit before answering. “Yeah, I know…”
I grinned at him. “Then why the long face?”
A weird expression crossed Albus’ face before he answered me. “I just…I just thought that James would be nicer about this. I always pictured him introducing me to all his Gryffindor friends – besides you, of course. I just…He’s just…”
“Being James?” I yawned.
Albus nodded sadly and I gave him a sad look.
“You know, you can still join us, right?” I told him, unsure if James actually extended this offer to Albus.
Albus nodded again.
“And James is just doing this to get under your skin.” I frowned at the thought that I too once found this much entertainment in teasing my little brother. I wonder what changed between here and now as I looked down at Albus.
“Well, it’s working. I’m completely freaked out now.”
I laughed and Albus’ head snapped up, his eyes narrowed – dead set on me.
“What’s so funny?”
I tried to contain myself and shook it off. It wasn’t funny – but I was sleep deprived and Albus hardly ever admitted to how much James bothered him. It was a nice change in pace.
“Next year,” I told him. “You’re going to look back on this day and laugh, just like I am. You are going to be sitting in your compartment with friends and family and laugh about how worried you were.” I turned to leave but thought of one more thing to add to make Albus feel better. “It really doesn’t matter what house you are put in Al.” I told him. “You will always be you, some dumb hat or James isn’t going to change that.”
I opened the compartment James was in and sent Al a quick wink, before closing the door behind me.
When I did – I quickly realized that I should have waited outside a bit longer because Madison and James appeared to be in the middle of something. The first year, Amy was looking terrified in the corner while Dany continued to chat her ears off. Madison was currently standing in the middle of the compartment with James – who was holding a bloody nose.
“IT’S STILL BLEEDING CLAIRE!” James screamed at Madison and suddenly realized I came in. “SIRIUS! SHE HIT ME!”
I looked at Madison – who seemed to be challenging me to confront her.
“Did he at least deserve it?” I asked her.
She nodded frowning at James. He finally sat down mumbling. I sat next to him and pushed his head back. “Do you have a Nosebleed Nougat?”
He mumbled a ‘yes’ so I stood up and reached into one pocket of his trunk. Suddenly James tackled me and blood was running off his face.
He looked at me with a shocked expression and shook his head.
“What the hell James?” I asked glaring at him. I landed on top of Amy when James tackled me. She was trying to push me off.
When I finally untangled myself from James he got back up.
“Not that pocket…” He said quickly before zipping the pocket I just opened and unzipping the one right next to it. He tore the Nougat in half and popped one in his mouth and pocketed the other. The blood quickly stopped and he wiped his nose with the sleeve of his shirt.
My eyes darted to the bag and I racked my brain. James was hiding something from me…
James turned to Madison and glared.
“You didn’t have to hit me.”
Madison shrugged. “I’m not going to kick Copper off the team. I was asking if you will be willing to help with tryouts. I need two new Beaters. I don’t need to add Seeker to that list.”
James glared. “Al is an excellent Seeker!”
“Then he can join next year.” Madison said firmly. “He’s a first year James, you and your father were an exception, but there were different circumstances. We currently have a Seeker.”
“Al’s better!” James shouted.
I rolled my eyes. Typical James, torment his brother one minute and talk him up the next. I stared at his bag again – wondering what in the world he had in there. My eyes felt heavy and I shut them for a moment, but opened them once I hear Madison’s stern voice.
“James, I won’t hear anymore about this.” Madison turned to the door and Dany followed her lead. As Madison opened the door she turned to James one final time. “I’ll expect you at tryouts to help. That’s not a request anymore, either. I’ll let you know when we get a timeslot.”
“Bye, bye Amy!” Dany said leaving after Madison. She nodded to me and James as the door shut. “Jamie, Sirius.”
James kicked the door and then cussed when he felt a sharp pain in his foot.
“That’s why we don’t kick inanimate objects, James…” I said dully as I watched him hop around to the seat across from me.
He glared at me and then his expression changed suddenly to worry. “You look like hell Sirius…”
“I didn’t get a lot of sleep.” I admitted since there was no chance of hiding it now. It finally caught up to me and I wanted nothing more than to fall asleep now.
“You should sleep for a little bit before we get to Hogwarts.” James said concerned.
“Not with Fred on the train.” I said darkly. “I don’t want to be his next victim.”
James rolled his eyes and he looked at Amy finally for the first time. “Who are you?” He addressed her.
She jumped and the small box that she was holding and looking at landed in the seat next to her. She picked it up quickly and placed it back in her lap.
“Umm…I’m Amelia Hopkins…” She said slowly. “Amy for short…”
“This is my new best friend I told you about.” I gestured toward her.
James laughed. “I didn’t think you were being serious.”
“I’m always Sirius.” I turned to Amy. “That’s my name.” I said pointing to myself. “And the boy across from you that got hit by a girl, is none other than James Potter.”
James frowned at me, but didn’t retort.
I laid my head back and closed my eyes.
“Sirius why are you so tired?” James suddenly asked me.
My head slowly came back up. He was still frowning at me. “Why did you tackle me when I opened the wrong pocket?”
His frown deepened. “Maybe I didn’t what you going through my stuff.”
“James…we live together. I’ve seen almost everything you own.”
“Why are you tired?” James pressed.
“You first Jamie.” I now glared at him. I knew he was just concerned about me, but I was annoyed with him currently.
James didn’t answer, but instead turned his head toward the window. I guess we were ignoring this now. Oh well, I’ll find out when this backfires, just like the Polyjuice Potion…
I looked back over to Amelia and noticed that she was currently tapping on a small box – the box responded by flashing a light at her and having things move on the smooth surface.
“What’s that?” I asked the Amelia. James looked too.
She held up a small box that seemed to glow. “This?”
I nodded at her and James looked closer at it, then seemed to figure out what the strange device was. “That’s a phone!” He exclaimed, pointing at the box.
She looked back and forth at us. “Yes…Cell Phone to be exact.”
“I’ve never seen one without a cord!” I said, then gave her a stern look. “Those don’t work at Hogwarts you know.”
She jumped. “But I promised I would call my Mum and Dad when I got there…” She looked like she was about to cry. “They bought it for me yesterday.”
James leaned over to her and looked closer at the phone. “You know I think there is a magical adaptor that my Uncle is developing for these devices. I might be able to get you a prototype in a few weeks.”
Amy turned to him with a grateful look on her face.. “Really?”
James grinned at her. “Yeah, you’re a Muggle-Born, aren’t you?”
“I think that’s what Professor Longbottom told me…” She said uncertain.
“Non-magic parents?” I simplified for her.
“Knew it.” James snapped his figures. “There’s always at least one like you.”
“What do you mean like me?” Amy frowned.
“Someone who’s like a fish out of water.” James informed her. Her frown intensified.
“I think you’re insulting her James.” I told him, watching her now get up.
“You’re making fun of me!” Amy yelled at him.
“No!” James said repulsed. “I love Muggle-Borns. I have an Aunt-”
“I’m not a fish out of water!” She told him sharply. “I happen to get excellent grades in school.”
“Look, I’m just saying that there is a lot you don’t know about magic!” James tried yelling back. It didn’t seem to be working. “I just think that it’s a whole new world for you and once you get use to it – you’ll think this is completely funny.”
“So you know everything then do you, James Potter?” She asked him glaring. I felt like laughing – that could just be the lack of sleep.
“Ye–No! I don’t but I know more than you do!” James was now standing as well.
I actually did laugh this time. “You’re so tactful, James.” I said to him.
“Who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year?” Amy asked glaring.
“Who wrote the play Romeo and Juliet?” she asked another.
“Who and who? Are these Muggle questions?” James asked slightly bewildered.
“What? I thought you knew everything?” Amy raised an eyebrow. “Fine, how many Poppy Pixies does is take to produce dust?”
James’ eyes widen realizing he was clearly out of his league. It appears Miss Amelia Hopkins likes to read her books before class.
“What are five magical animals you can crossbreed with non-magical animals?”
“What type of boomslang skin is recommended for brewing a Forget-Me Potion?”
“Type? Well I guess – Sirius get up!”
I fell off my seat now laughing at the two of them. Amy and James were both glaring at me from above.
“S-sorry…” I chuckled as the compartment door opened.
“Hey Jamie, have you seen – why is Sirius on the floor?”
I looked over and saw Fred standing in the doorway. I waved my hand at him still laughing – only slightly quieter.
“Not now Fred…” James said evenly still looking at Amy – not sure what to think. I had taken her for a very quiet girl, but she completely swept me away.
“Sirius, you look awful!” Fred observed. “What’s wrong mate?”
I shook my head still laughing.
“He’s delirious from lack of a good night’s rest.” James didn’t take his eyes off Amelia as she sat back down in the corner and pulled out her ‘cell phone’ once more.
“Why didn’t you say so? I have just the thing to fix you up!” Fred said with much excitement while he pulled me up.
I had a bad feeling about this.
“I’m fine, Fred.” I said moving away from him. He rustled around in his pockets. “No, really – I’m excellent – peachy – in peak condition!”
I shot James a pleading look, but from what I could see, he was still annoyed with me and his little spat with Amelia didn’t help anything.
“Here we are!” Fred pulled out a black square. I eyed it and decided that I wasn’t going anywhere near that thing.
“I don’t want whatever that is!”
Fred grinned. “It’s Coffee Toffee!”
James’ head inclined a little like he’s heard it before. “So you Dad fixed them and they are selling?”
“Well, yes and no. He fixed them, but there are still some trial and errors. This is hopefully the final model before testing!” Fred said proudly. “I nicked a few – it’s supposed to fill you with energy! Like the Muggle drink Coffee!”
Amy heard of this coffee before – I’m guessing because she looked up again. “How much coffee is in that?” She asked Fred.
Fred grinned at her and sent her a wink. Amelia blushed. “About twenty-five cup – according to my Dad.”
“Twenty-five cups?” Amelia said in disbelief. “That would kill you.”
“Hmm…Sounds promising and not at all life threatening...” James was now trying not to laugh. He looked at me with an evil grin. “What do you think Sirius?”
I glared at them both now. “I am not putting that anywhere near my mouth – let alone eating it.”
“We are still working out the taste…but I promise it’ll perk you right up!” He told me approaching me slowly now.
Thirty minutes later and after my grand attempt to jump out the window and a few hexes going amiss, I finally ‘agreed’ to take it – as Fred held me down and James forced me to eat it. I gagged a little bit when I finally did swallow.
Amelia watched the whole time and giggled every now and then – but also glaring at James when she got the chance.
“I hate you…” I breathed when Fred and James got off of me. “Both of you…”
James Potter senior, I’m going to kill your Grandson…I’ll be best friends with Albus instead…Albus was a lot nicer than this Potter.
James grinned at me. “Awake now?”
I moved my hand to reach for my wand and it did something funny. My arm jerked back and forth and then started shaking uncontrollably. When my head started twitching too, I realized there was something wrong.
I turned to Fred in horror. “What did you do?”
“Hmm…we had this problem last time too…nine out of ten people developed a ‘twitch.’” Fred explained giving me a thoughtful look. “If anything – I’d say it’s worst now…”
James was grinning ear to ear. Fred turned to him.
“Can I borrow Patches? I need to inform my dad.” Fred asked.
I looked at my twitching hand. “How long will this last?”
“Eh…depends. At most a month.”
“A MONTH!” I yelled at Fred as he left the room.
I glared at James. He smiled back.
“Are you happy, now? Your cousin probably is on track to kill me.” I said narrowing my eyes at him.
“A little.” He admitted.
“I’m going to get both of you back for this.” I informed him as I reverted back to my twelve year old ways. Plotting revenge was something that I would never give up.
“I look forward to it.” He told me still grinning.
“That wasn’t very nice.” Amelia told James.
James’ head snapped to her. “What? Are you talking to me now?”
Amelia frowned at him. “No, but I thought you should know.”
“Sorry to offend you Amy, but I guess I’m not a nice person.” James said rather harshly. Amelia seemed to get under his skin for some reason. Was it because she showed him up?
Amelia looked down at her cell phone. “Maybe you should change that then?”
“Hate to disappoint you, but that’s not going to happen.” James said with a smug smile.
Who did this remind me of? I looked at James and then Amelia and it hit me. James a Lily…I had forgotten how much Lily disliked James at first and how James tried to get her attention. Is that what James was doing? This clearly wasn’t the same James – but his actions seemed vaguely familiar to that of his grandfather.
Amelia’s eyes snapped up. “Then I suppose that you should keep your comments to yourself and enjoy your friends while you can, because if you continue acting like a prat – no one is going to want to be around you.”
I stiffened a laugh and before James could retort the door slammed out once again. Standing in front of us was a disgruntled looking Dominique, but her eyes were on Amelia now.
“You have guts to be talking to James Potter like that.” Dominique smirked. “Most don’t dare to talk back to the son of Harry Potter, and those who do are family.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with Harry Potter. I’ve only read my required text. I’m not caught up on everything in the Wizarding World…apparently...” She shot James another glare.
Dominique nodded, looking pleased with something.
“My name is Dominique Weasley, and this dunderhead is my cousin.” She sat across from Amelia. “What’s your name?”
“Why are you sitting with these two?” Dominique asked.
“I didn’t know anyone and Sirius helped me onto the Platform.” Amelia said smiling at her.
Dominique thought for a moment and then got up. “Come on.”
“What?” Amelia looked scared now.
“We are going to chat – if I don’t scream at you within ten minutes, we’ll talk some more.” Dominique pulled on her arm. “So, let’s go away from my stupid cousin.”
As Dominique pulled Amelia out of the compartment, she sent James and I a very confused look.
James shrugged and I laughed. I guess Dominique has a new friend.
I turned back to James and saw that he was looking at me.
His face fell. “Are you going to tell me about yesterday?”
This took me back a little. I shook my head. “I rather not right now.”
“Come on Sirius!” James whined. “I tell you about my problems.”
I laughed at this. “You don’t have any problems.”
James laughed with me. “I guess that’s mostly true.”
I rolled my eyes. “Do you want to talk about Al?” I asked raising a twitching eyebrow.
“What about him?” James asked with a frown.
“Why are you teasing him?” I asked.
James shrugged. “Because I’m his older brother.”
“Well, you are being a bit insensitive.” I said bluntly.
James looked at me and sighed. “I don’t want to talk about this, Sirius.”
“Well…what do you want to talk about?”
James smiled. “Well, guess who’s spending the holidays with me again.”
And like that, things felt normal again. James was probably still wondering about last night and I was still wondering about what was in his bag – but we let both of them go…for now.
Hours passed and once again we arrived at Hogwarts – Dominique and Amelia came back only to get Amelia’s trunk. She didn’t so much as look at James and James ignored her all the same. Dominique looked happy and relaxed. Something that I’ve never really seen for her.
When James and I finally got off the train I saw him freeze and I followed his gazed to the small boy with black hair and green eyes. He was walking with a pale blond haired boy and they were about to load into the boats. I smiled.
“Go talk to him…”
I expected him to ignore me, but instead he nodded and left.
Fred called for me in one of the carriages and I hopped into one – pretending I couldn’t see what was pulling them – after all, that would draw too much attention to me.
When I was seated with Fred I watched as James took Albus into a one armed hug. James typically only did that with Albus. James left him abruptly and Albus nodded to me. I gave him a twitchy nod back.
All the way to the castle I listened to Fred and James talk about Quidditch. Fred was apparently going to try out this year. He kept wondering who the second Beater was going to be.
The hall filled quickly with student and this night seemed to go quicker than the one last year. Maybe it was because I didn’t have to talk to McGonagall.
Before I knew it the Sorting was on its way – I hardly paid attention until-
“POTTER, ALBUS!” Neville’s voice rang across the hall; all eyes fell on Albus who was standing there with the remaining first years. I saw him freeze and panic swept across his face. James – I noticed – also froze the moment his brother’s name was called. I looked between James and Albus, James’ eyes watched Albus like a cat watches a mouse.
When it became apparent that Albus wasn’t going to move on his own I saw a flash of blond hair move closer to Albus and shove him forward. I smiled as Dominique rolled her blue eyes at her cousin and returned to frowning and glaring at the remaining first years.
Albus slowly approached the stool and sat down.
I heard James take in a deep breath as he carefully watched his brother. When Neville placed the Sorting Hat on Albus’ head I expected the Sorting Hat to yell out its choice, but it just sat there. Once again silence fell across the Hall and James started to shake.
I looked back to him and realized he was still holding his breath.
“James,” I tapped him on the shoulder.
“Yeah?” His voice sounded dry.
“You need to breath.”
He was silent for a moment and then I heard him let out his breath. I chuckled. James turned to me – taking his eyes off his brother for the first time since Albus walked up to the Sorting Hat – glaring.
I gave him an apologetic look. “Why are you so freaked out about this? You were teasing him all day and yesterday.”
“The Sorting Hat tried to put me in Slytherin.” James said it like it meant something.
I shrugged. “So? Times have changed. We don’t have Voldemort collecting every Slytherin that walks out of Hogwarts into his Death Eater Army. Does it really matter that much to you that Albus has to be in this House?”
“Yes.” James said stubbornly.
I rolled my eyes. “So if Albus was put in Hufflepuff?”
“Al won’t be in Hufflepuff.”
“He’s not that smart.” James said finally.
“All those books he reads beg to differ.” I countered James’ flawed logic.
“Look! I know my brother. He’s brave and nice but also cunning. He’s very analytical and looks before he leaps. He makes sure his actions have merit and I’m afraid that-THAT,” James stressed pointing up to Albus, “Stupid Hat will just see those as a bad trait and put him in Slytherin.”
I shook my head. “James…” I said slowly. “None of those are bad traits. If fact if I learned anything, those are the best traits that make up Slytherin – they are not all crazy, power-hungry, ambitious bastards.” This was probably the first time I actually believed that too.
James stared at me for a moment. “Albus can’t be in Slytherin. I’ll never forgive that stupid Sorting Hat if it does that to me.”
James turned up front and stared at Albus once again.
I sighed. “It’s not about you James…” I said quietly.
James looked intensely at his brother and I smiled. It was silly that he was this worried over Albus.
“James, don’t worry so much. It’ll be over soon and Albus will be sitting next to us in no time. After all, he’s a Potter. There has never been a Potter that wasn’t in Gryffindor. Courage runs through the Potter veins.” I tried to reassure him. James merely nodded and continued looking forward.
His little outburst took me back to when Regulus was being sorted. I had the same outburst to James’ Grandfather all those years ago. I sighed again as I looked at Albus. He had been up there a little longer than James had been last year.
Suddenly I saw Albus look up to make eye contact with James. I saw James smile at his brother reassuringly and nod to him. Albus’ expression was hard as he nodded back.
What came next I wasn’t ready for and neither was James. The whole Hall was silent as the Sorting Hat yelled out, “SLYTHERIN!”
(A/N) So that’s a bit more on Sirius. It was rather vague at the beginning for a reason, but I hope it wasn’t too vague…Also I finally gave you an answer to what house Albus was sorted into. Is it what you expected? I thought about putting him in Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, but that’s not where I see him. And personally for me I could never see Albus in Gryffindor (That’s just me though). Tell me what you think of everything in a REVIEW! :D
Thank you guys for everything,
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