Chapter 11 : We're All Conflicted
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This week was brutal. I swear it was constantly, and effortlessly, using me as a punching bag. I had to come up with about fifty excuses as to why I had to go to the hospital wing like every other hour. (I'm an exaggerator.) Then I had to wear long sleeves on what must have been the hottest day of October ever because of all the needle marks in my arm. On Tuesday I couldn't get away from Marlene who swore that I stole Sirius from her and that I was a bad friend. I really don't understand where she got the 'friends' thing from but whatever. On the third day, (Wednesday for imbiciles who think the week starts on Sunday,) I not only went to every single class for the first time in a while, I also couldn't eat a thing that morning because of all the nausea, which I've really been meaning to talk to Dumbledore about. I feel gross. This is getting ridiculous. I thought the death would be nice and painless and really quick. I mean, at least give me that.
Now we've come to today. Saturday. My absolute favorite day of the week. I don't even really like Sundays that much, because that's when Harley made me do all the chores. I wondered when Harley was going to write. I would write her myself, but I'd have no idea what to say. I had tried writing something, but all my little sarcastic jokes hinted at the fact that I had little time left. Or even that she had little time left.
I was so nervous for tonight, and there was no plausible reason why. Maybe it was because I was going with Sirius. Maybe it was the James and Lily thing. Maybe it was because, for the first time in many years, Remus was happier than me, and now had Mary. Peter was even going along with Hestia, I think.
"Dorcas get up! Come on! We have to go eat breakfast," Alice moaned. Mind you, it was only 7:30. Somebody was anxious about today.
"I'm coming Alice. Where's Lils anyway?" Alice shook her head furiously, trying to clear the water from her pixie cut.
"I think she went down to breakfast already." She leaned on the doorway and began picking at her nails. "She's been really sweet to James lately, have you noticed?" I walked past her and down the stairs, Alice following.
"You don't have to make it a question, Ali. It's true, and it's just because of that stupid dress."
"I know. It's a bit mind boggling. She's being so sweet. Everytime I'm around the two of them, it's like a time bomb is getting ready to go off," she whispered.
"I know Alice. But hey! We're the normal ones for once!" She laughed and we high-fived childishly.
"Oh my god, Dorcas, my dress is so stunnning!" Her and Frank would look so cute together.
"What does it look like?"
"Okay it's a deep blue, and has this deep sweetheart neckline." She motioned with her hands as she spoke. "The bodice is tight and the layers are all bunched together, just gorgeously. Then the bottom is just all flowly to the ground and there's a big slit up the side and I just love it!" She was so excited, as she well should be.
"You know, this is the first year that you actually want to have hot sex with the guy you're going to the dance with."
"Dorcas!" she exclaimed, smacking my arm.
"Well it's true," I retaliated. "Lily and I are going with our dates more out of convenience than anything."
"Oh please," she said, rolling her eyes.
"You mean, you don't like Sirius in the slightest bit? And we all know about Lily and James." I crossed my arms and let out a small whine.
"Why does everyone think Sirius and I belong together or something! I swear! If I'm not getting yelled at by Marlene about stealing her man, then I'm getting confronted about how much we're in love!"
"I'm just saying what it looks like, Doe." I sighed with resentment at the truth.
"I know, Alice."
"Hey, whats that noise," she asked, looking over towards the great hall in confusion.
"It sounds like..." We looked inside and saw exactly what we had predicted about five minutes ago.
"-and shove it up your bloody arse! Do you really think the Heads and myself have time to clean up your messes!"
"Don't even get me started on all the covering I do for you! All four of you think I don't know anything, well let me tell you, I know just about everything." I saw the three boys catch eyes with Remus for a second.
"It's not even pranks anymore! Fighting with Slytherin's in the Great Hall? You're a disgrace to the prefect title," she screamed, looking towards Remus.
"I really should tell Dumbl-"
"Oh just shut up Evans." Her head flipped from Remus' to James'. They stared at each other for a second, Lily's eyes probably in confusion. I saw James' face red with anger, a face I had never seen on him before. I don't think James had ever spoken to her like that before, and no one was ready for that. Lily looked around, and I could imagine how her eyes started to tear up. James fussed with his hair, and looked around in annoyance at all the spectators. He walked forward, grabbed her arm, and I saw the words, let's talk about this outside, mouthed into her ear. Lily dropped her bag and walked away shutter-shocked with her wrist still in James' grasp. Alice and I ran inside the doors before they got to the door and sat down next to our little group.
"What the hell was the about," I asked Sirius, after getting a couple pieces of bacon. Remus and Peter sat along with Sirius.
"Alright, well we came down this morning with no intention of getting into a fight, got it?" He shoved a piece of toast in his mouth and I wrinkled my nose in disgust.
"Yeah, sure. So who got hit?" He swallowed deeply and took a gulp of pumpkin juice.
"So we're walking in, and Evans is over by the Slytherin table." I put my head in my hands, knowing what was to follow.
"So obviously James thought something was up and we walked over there," (he swallowed here),"and Snivellus is yelling at Evans about something to do with the stupid fucking Halloween dance and how James is scum, all that nonsense. So Evans just shakes her head, smacks the asshole, and walks away. James was fucking poised to beat the shit out of Snape, and we were trying to hold him back. Then we heard it, and there was no stopping Prongs. Snape goes, damn mudblood, his friends laugh, and it was all history from there." He sat forward in his chair and piled more food on to his plate hungrily. I rolled my eyes and moved on to Remus.
"Is that really what happened?" He put down his untensils and looked up at me uneasily.
"Dorcas, did you tell her about anything?" My mouth opened in disbelief.
"Never! I would never tell, Moony." He sat back in his chair and let out a huge breath.
"Thank god." I looked at him expectantly. "Oh, right. Well that's pretty much what happened, I guess. It was mostly Snape's fault though. It was just so weird, you know. Lily's been so good with him this week." He continued with his sausage as I answered.
"Alice and I were just talking about that! Lily had to explode sometime. This was way too big of a change for her." I poured milk into my bowl of Cheerio's. I was getting pretty tired of eating all this meat.
"Doe!" My eyes spaced back into reality and I saw Sirius waving his hand in front of my face. I swatted his hand away.
"What do you want?" He smiled childishly and grabbed my wrist.
"Let's go outside. It's pretty hot out." I glared up at him for a few minutes, I swear, and his puppy dog face would just not give in.
"Sirius. I am tired. I am ugly. I have bags under my eyes. My hair is never going to flatten at this rate. If I don't get to eat and nap, I will be nowhere near presentable for later." He tsked at my description and shrugged non-commitally.
"I've never really waited for consent before. Why start now?" I looked up at him, getting annoyed, and all of a sudden I was upside down and looking at Sirius' back. I kicked at his stomach and yelled to be let down.
"Let me down Sirius Black! I am calling harrassment on this! Someone help me!" I looked around at the chuckling faces of my friends and the glaring of my enemies, and I couldn't help but laugh along. The last thing I wanted was to be left behind, but that would really really be best in the long run.
I was placed on the ground as safely as Sirius could manage without damaging either of us. I turned around and looked out over the lake. Then I turned back around to the awestruck boy and punched him in the jaw.
"Ow! Sirius!" I looked up from where I fell to the ground out of pain. "Your jaw is hard." He looked down at me pitifully and I could just feel it radiating off of him.
"Stop pitying me," I said, looking into his stormy, beautiful eyes. He sat down next to me on the dewy grass and played with my hair some more. I swatted his hand away, before realizing that my hand actually really hurt.
"What was that for?"
"My hand, it really hurts. Are you sure your jaw's okay?" He laughed loudly, showing how amazingly his jaw still worked.
"Dude, you're weak." I punched him again in the arm with my good hand.
"Dude, I fucking know. Just fix it?" He held my hand delicately, and ran his wand over it slowly, and released my newly healed hand. That felt really amazing, like I was refreshed. That was another thing I'd have to ask Dumbledore about.
"Lay down here with me Doe." I looked back and saw that he had chosen to recline with his hands behind his head. Damn, those arms could make a woman swoon. I joined him and lay my head on his chest. He snickered quietly at that.
"What? If I put my head on the ground, you'll be ashamed to be seen with me tonight."
"Haven't I already told you your hair looks better natural?" It was my turn to chuckle.
"Yeah, I know you do. I think I just like to hear commpliments. Compliment me more Sirius. My self esteem is low." It was time for more laughing apparently.
"Dorcas, I know when your self esteem is low. And this is not that time."
"Okay then, Mr. Know-it-all. What am I like when I'm depressed?"
"First of all, you won't fucking talk about it. Ever. Then there comes the stage when you put everyone else down so you'll feel better. If it's really bad, then you will keep talking about the same thing over and over again so you don't stumble upon why you're so upset." I breathed steadily and contemplated what he said. Was all that really true? It probably was, considering he knows me better than any one else.
"Oh, and if it's about a guy, you'll jump anything in sight and start making out with it."
"What the fuck, Pads! I'm not some horny thirteen year old boy like you most of the time." He smiled snarkily at me and looked me up and down.
"Don't get defensive! I never said I didn't enjoy the show." He winked at me in what I'm sure he thought was a seductive manner and I just rolled my eyes. If he wanted seductive, I'll show him seductive.
I got up slowly, his eyes now closed. I walked as sneakily as I could to his other side and lowered myself as slowly as possible on top of him. The closer down I got, the more I saw him struggle to keep his eyes shut. When my legs and stomach were properly aligned with his, after much squirming from my counter part, I put my weight in my arms and hovered over his aristocratic face. His arm twitched to scratch his face, and that's when I knew I had him. He always scratches his face when he's conflicted. As soon as I was about to lower my mouth to his, he broke the silence.
"What are you doing Dorcas?" I rolled my eyes. Guys really know how to ruin a fake moment.
"I'm trying to seduce you," I said unabashedly. He grabbed my upper arm, pushed it down, and I fell down to lay on his chest.
"It's not working," he said. I smacked him this time, lightly.
"Never tell a lady she's not seducing you properly," I nagged, waving my finnger in his face.
"Am I allowed to tell them when they are seducing me properly?"
"Why yes, of course you idiot." I rolled my eyes and propped myself back up to my arms. He lifted one arm up and stroked my right arm, leaving a little trail of goosebumps behind.
"Dorcas, you are majorly turning me on right now. Keep nagging me." He smirked at me and I couldn't help but laugh. I pushed off the ground and offered a hand to help him up.
"You can have whomever you want tonight at the dance." I let him walk forward a bit and then I jumped on his back.
"But Dorcas," he whined, " I want you." I rolled my eyes and snickered to myself. He has no idea how much I wish he meant that.
"I know, I know. I'm a prize among many suitors. It's the price you pay when you sell your soul to the devil for beauty, wits, and brains at the age of ten."
"You too? What a coincidence! I bet we were at the same soul-sell shop and everything!" I smacked his head for the sarcasm used on me, and then I kicked at his sides.
"Ride, donkey, ride! Take me into the sunset!" He laughed loudly, gaining us a few stares, and sped up on the way to the Gryffindor tower.
Around the third floor, he began to slow down.
"Dorcas. I can't carry you anymore." I got down from his back and he leaned over, heaving.
"You're getting out of shape, mister." He stood up quickly and straightened his shirt.
"I'll have you know that I am never out of shape."
"Oh yeah? Then why did it take you about twenty minutes to run after Remus and I during the full moon?" He stood there clenching his jaw, trying to find the reason why.
"There were other elements at play!" I smirked and started laughing at his defensivness.
"You know I'm just teasing Sirius. No need to get so upset." I smiled again at his frustrated look.
"You're a little twat, you know that?"
"I know, but someone has to be." We walked in silence for a couple of minutes, and that's when I realized we were holding hands. I whipped my hand away quickly and pretended to stretch upward so I would have something to do with my arms.
"So when does Quidditch start anyway? You clearly need it." He pinched my arm playfully, and I feigned some pain to make him feel bad about himself. I don't think it worked.
"It wasn't your weight anyway Doe. It was those damn hip bones of yours! I swear I'm bruised." I laughed half-heartedly and shifted my weight nervously. I hated when someone brought up anything remotely close to do with the disease. I was very uncomfortable.
"Well good. You could use a little pain every once in a while. Ought to remind you you're not invincible." He grabbed my waist from behind and we kept walking. Him hunched over me, my back crumbling easily. My cheeks began to grow hot at the close proximity we were to each other. His entire body was pressed up against mine, and I was not enjoying it all that much. My heart sped up when he laughed at the judgmental stares. His breath pushed my hair forward and it teased my neck annoyingly.
"Can you get off, then?" He released his grip and I turned around to glare. He stepped forward and to the side, deliberately being annoying. I pushed him gently.
"Stop being ridiculous. If you keep acting like this I'm not going tonight."
"I'm just being me!"
"Exactly," I said, smirking because sometimes I am just so mean.
"You'd never not go with me," he said, cockily, but there was a hint of insecurity.
"I never said that," I answered non chalantly. Death has made me cynical.
"Well, whatever then. You've got nothing over me. I didn't want to go with you anyway." I smiled brightly at his attemept to be as rude as me. I pinched his cheeks, treating him like a child. We kept walking in the great silence. The light shone through the huge windows as we rounded each corner to move up yet another flight of stairs. I loved the way the light reflected off of his face when we passed the windows. Light always showed everything while darkness and shadows could hide what you really were. He probably scratched his face about ten more times until we reached the sixth floor. Decisions, decisions, Sirius.
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