Chapter 9 : The Noose Around Your Neck
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Authors Note: Right guys, I did try to get this out for Halloween but I've been working non-stop recently, so it's been hard trying to get this chapter out, but low and behold I've gone and done it! Please don't forget to brighten my workaholic day and review!
But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck
Mumford and Sons - The Cave
“James,” growled a deep voice. “Mind telling me why she’s in here?”
It had taken Sydney more than a few minutes, in her dazed state, to realise where she was. At first she thought that she had woken in her own dorm, in her own bed, but no. No, this was in no way Sydney’s bed, first of all her mattress was less lumpy and squashier, secondly her pillow was far more plush and fluffy and thirdly her bed did not smell of boys and sweat. Well, sometimes it did, but it was only ever in a good way. This was definitely not in a good way.
“I am saving your arse Padfoot!” hissed James “This is your fault and I’m just trying to make the situation a bit better!”
“There was nothing wrong with little miss drama queen over there,” Sirius spat, angrily. Slightly agitated, a scowl appeared on Sydney’s face. “She’s just purposely exacerbating the situation.”
“No Sirius, that’s you.” Bit back James defensively.
Sydney heard a door slam and easily assumed that Sirius had stormed off in one of his rages. It then hit her like one of Farrah’s slaps to the face.
It was weird that she had a sex dream about Sirius, obviously sex dreams were not a rare occurrence for Sydney, however she had never had one about a marauder and if she had, she was certain she wouldn’t like it. Not that she had, she just couldn’t really get it out of her head. It was a strange and foreign thought that her mind just kept waltzing on back to. Sirius Black was obnoxious, conceited, ostentatious, rude, abhorrent, immature and downright repulsive. Sure, girls fell at his feet but only because for a split second he would turn on a little switch in his brain that hid a few of these ugly traits, but add in a dazzling smile and a smouldering look, these young women would suddenly have a brain fart and become giggling, dribbling little idiots. No way could she possibly find this boy sexual at all. Of course she never thought these girls were to blame. Obviously after dealing with Sirius Black they turned into bitter, jealous, spiteful little girls, which Sydney absolutely abhorred, however she knew that the pig-headed dunce, Sirius Black, was still always to blame, he continuously lead the innocent, gullible girls on and even if the female counterpart in his tangos instigated it, he was never one to turn them away, unless they looked like Miss Piggy’s daughter. Sirius was a shallow prat in case you were unaware. But he would still use them and abuse his power over them then once he was gone, that was it – BAM – Relationship over. One thing that Sydney was unable to fathom was why these girls, these beautiful, (sometimes) intelligent girls never saw what was coming; they never expected him to end it. Yet, he always did, and Sydney knew he always would. He was a ladies-man, a player and a womanizer. Sydney was certain that the female population of Hogwarts must be missing a chromosome in order to not see what Sirius Black was really like. Okay, so he was kind of attractive, but so were a lot of other boys in the school, ones that actually had human personalities and a mental capacity to hold an actual conversation, rather than the topic of discussion being about what size bra Amelia Aarons had, or whether anyone thought he could get Marlene Mckinnon into bed. Turns out the answer was yes -- and 34 E to the bra thing. Nevertheless, to Sydney Maura, Sirius Black was utterly predictable, he liked girls, which of course there was nothing wrong with that, but he was a boring specimen of man, one who treated these young women of Hogwarts with the utmost disrespect and had a completely cavalier approach towards them. He was just a little boy with a bad attitude who needed a hard slap, to which Sydney was always willing and happy to give. It was all extremely anticipated of the boy and had become tiresome.
“Well that could have gone a whole lot better.” Commented the ever so insightful Remus.
“He needs to learn to not be so selfish.” James muttered darkly.
“Well she’s being rather selfish isn’t she?” asked the squeaky voice of Peter. His voice quietened drastically. “You know, after what he did for her?”
Sydney sat on the bed not really listening to the boys’ conversation. It was slightly nerve-racking to think what she was going to say when she finally emerged from the curtains. She hadn’t spoken to the three boys since Monday night when they’d found her the way they did. She then felt another tug in her stomach; she remembered what Sirius had said to her earlier.
“Go and tell a professor, before it happens to someone who doesn’t deserve it.”
She scowled to herself at the thought of something that had upset her so much, now it just annoyed her. She didn’t deserve it at all. She would have to update Ashley about all of this; she was her best friend after all and had been kept in the dark about it all. Even Lily Evans knew the whole scoop, the know-it-all braniac whom Ashley and Sydney had rolled their eyes at all these years. She needed to find Ashley straight away; Ashley would know exactly what to do and how to make Sydney feel better.
Without thinking Sydney ripped the curtains open and stepped out to face three very startled looking boys. She suddenly felt rather exposed as she found herself in front of the three boys she really didn’t want to be alone with. But she was.
Okay, she panicked, she also said it rude enough for James to scowl and walk over to the bed she was previously sat on and throw himself on it in a huff. That explained whose bed it was, it rather suited James’ style, hard mattress, lumpy pillows, sweaty bed.
“How are you feeling?” Sydney whipped her head from the grumbling James to see Remus with a gentle smile on his soft face.
“Fine.” Sydney said abruptly, her features hard and defensive. She crossed her arms across her chest and her eyes snapped to Peter, who was searching her curiously with his eyes. “Can I help you?” she spat at the small boy.
Peter merely looked at her, not with the normal fear he had when people were angry with him, but instead he looked rather angrily back at her.
“You’re so ungrateful, aren’t you?” he muttered darkly, his eyes narrowed at her.
Sydney was rather taken aback at his bold words, but she was undeterred by this and managed to bite back.
She saw out of the corner of her eye James sit bolt upright in his bed as Remus looked worriedly at Peter.
“You heard me!” Peter yapped angrily. “After what Sirius did for yo—ooff!”
He never got to finish the sentence as Remus elbowed him in the stomach hard. Sydney then felt a pair of hands on her shoulders and she was unexpectedly walking towards their dorm door.
“Lovely to see you as always Sydney, but we’re very busy, planning pranks and – stuff.” James said behind her, guiding her towards the door. He opened the door for her, nudging her out and then closing it quickly behind her.
Sydney was rather dazed from everything happening so fast. She didn’t know what to register first, what Peter had said, or the fact that James had spoken to her properly for the first time since their argument. She realised she had no idea what Peter was getting at. Ungrateful? What did she have from them to be grateful for? Nothing. Diddly fucking squat. So she had decided to ignore it completely. As she walked down the stairs from the boys’ dormitories she mauled over how James had called her Sydney, like he used to when they were friends and she felt stupid for feeling it but it hurt like hell. She had actually created a rather wonderful relationship with James and it felt like in seconds it was just ripped away from her. She missed him. She missed James Potter. Who would’ve thought!
She skipped a few steps on the staircase down into the common room and ignored the confused look Lily had given her as she stormed out of the portrait hole and headed toward the Ravenclaw common room. As she arrived at the Ravenclaw door, the bronze knocker shaped as an eagle suddenly came to life.
“What is the opposite of opposite?” it asked.
Sydney let out a frustrated sigh. “I don’t know,” she grumbled “Being beside something?”
The door knob immediately turned back into metal and froze as if it were just an ordinary knocker. Sydney angrily then began banging her fists onto the door and yelling.
“Oi, you smart arses!” Sydney angrily vented. “Open this bloody door!”
After two whole minutes of thumping the door swung open and there stood a livid Ravenclaw girl, her prefect badge pinned on her chest proudly.
“What in the name of Rowena are you doing?!” the angry brunette asked.
“May I speak with Ashley Phillips?” Sydney said sweetly, ignoring the words of the fuming, pretty prefect.
“No!” she growled haughtily. “You may not!” she pointed her finger at Sydney “And another thing –”
“Georgia, just go to bed, remember we have an exam in the morning in Arithmacy.” Said Ashley appearing behind the proud girl.
The prefect, Georgia, gave Sydney one last dismissive look before pushing past Ashley and heading up towards the girls’ dormitories. Sydney looked at the retreating girl while whispering to Ashley.
“that’s Georgia Stevens?!” she asked her friend incrediously.
“Yeah,” Ashley said, leaning against the door. “Why?”
“She’s just not what I expected.” Sydney said, folding her arms and shrugging. “I never expected Black to go for a prefect. Or a prefect to go for Black for that matter.”
“Are you sure you’ve got the right girl?” Ashley asked her brow furrowed. Sydney nodded. “Georgia has been with Ryan Dawson for four years.”
Sydney bit her lip and then shook it off. “It was only gossip I overheard, probably not even true.”
Ashley also decided to shrug it off. “So, did you just come here to relay that little tid bit of information to me or was there something else?”
Sydney chuckled darkly and looked at Ashley with guilty eyes. “You have no idea.”
“Wormtail, have you gone completely mad?!” raved James as he slammed the door behind the small, blonde girl.
Peter scowled and folded his arms. “After what Padfoot done for her, you’d think she’d be a little more appreciative.”
“She doesn’t know, Peter.” Sighed Remus, walking across the floor over to the pile of books next to his bed.
“Oh please,” Peter huffed. “She saw him in his state, she must know.”
“She doesn’t.” growled James “Now drop it.”
Peter sighed heavily and exited the room, grumbling angrily to himself. James fell back onto his bed, lifting his hand up and running it back and forth through his hair, causing it to stick up in different directions.
“Have you spoken to her recently?”
James’ head suddenly snapped up and saw Remus leaning on his bedpost, a knowing look of his gentle face.
“You just saw me talk to her.” James rolled his eyes and refused to then look at Remus.
“Fine.” Said Remus shrugging and walking away. “I know you miss her.”
James scoffed angrily and snapped his curtain shut behind Remus’ smug look. Besides being an absolute know-it-all, what the hell did Remus Lupin know about his situation? Nothing. It was absolutely fine for Remus to talk to anyone he wanted. James had a reputation to uphold and as unfair as it was, if he wanted to be with someone like Lily Evans, he couldn’t spend his time talking to people like Sydney Maura. Of course he felt terrible for hurting Sydney’s feelings. Even if she’d never show it, he knew he did. Even if he wanted to be friends again with Sydney, he felt it was a lost cause as she’d never forgive him. That girl could hold one hell of a grudge.
“I’m gonna kill him!”
“Who?” asked Sydney, as she fell back into the royal blue chair in the Ravenclaw common room.
“Davies, Potter, Black!” vented Ashley, getting up from the sofa and stomping towards the door.
“Which Black?” Sydney questioned, half amused, crossing her leg over the other.
Ashley froze and thought for a split second. “Sirius?” She said unsure. “Regulus?” she turned to Sydney and threw her arms in the air agitatedly “Both of them? I don’t know!” She walked back towards Sydney in anger. “But someone is getting punched in the face!”
Sydney sighed. “Don’t bother,” she said shaking her head “If I thought it would have made a difference I would have done it a long time ago.” Sydney stood up “Look I need to get some sleep, this whole thing has exhausted me.”
Ashley nodded and walked with her friend towards the door. “Sit with me at breakfast?” she asked hopefully.
Sydney smiled and nodded gratefully. “Of course.”
Sydney left the Ravenclaw tower and headed back to the Gryffindor common room. She turned the corner of the long, wide hallway and found herself literally bumping into a very solid, hard person. She stumbled backwards a few steps and glared up at the boy who she had run into, but the look on her face quickly fell of and she acquired a new look of absolute shock.
Miles Davies stood in front of her with a murderous glare on his face. Sydney had noticed however that Miles’ face was not as gorgeous as ever. A horrid black and blue bruise had inhabited Miles’ left eye and occupied his jawline and a large, scabbed graze had formed on his high cheekbone.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” Miles snapped, furiously
Sydney opened and closed her mouth a few times, unable to find anything to come out.
Miles narrowed his eyes at the blonde, flushed girl.
“I don’t get you Maura.” He spat her name as if it was a mouthful of gone off pumpkin juice. “First you lead me on--”
Sydney scoffed. “Lead you on?!” she exclaimed, finally finding her voice. “When exactly do you think I ‘led you on’?”
Miles grabbed her arm, hard, and dragged her down the hallway a bit further, turning the corner and shoving her into the wall. Sydney quickly wrapped her hand around her arm where his vice-like grip previously was. He pointed his finger at her.
“Do not make me out to be the bad guy here by playing the victim.” He snapped. “You wore all those skimpy little outfits around me and wanted me help you with Quidditch, don’t act all innocent.”
Sydney scoffed and turned away from Miles. “I don’t have to explain any of my business to you.”
Miles grabbed Sydney by the shoulder and spun her around. “Like hell you don’t.” he growled.
“Davies, you would’ve thought that you would know better than to mess with Maura by now.” Came a low voice from the dark end of the corridor. “She’s never been one for talking out her problems.”
Sirius stepped out from the darkness, he was smirking but the look in his eyes told Sydney that he found the situation far from humorous.
“Yeah, that’s what stopped me.” Miles muttered.
“I suggest you get back to your common room.” Sirius snarled. “Now.”
To Sydney’s absolute surprise, Miles obeyed, however muttering darkly under his breath. The blonde haired boy stomped around the corner and away from the Gryffindor pair.
Sydney suddenly found herself alone in the rather icy company of Sirius Black who was glaring coldly at her.
“What?” She blurted out.
Sirius raised his eyebrow at her, never allowing the disdainful look to fall from his face. He walked down the corridor away from Sydney and then paused, as if he was contemplating something. He turned his body to her and continued to glare angrily at her.
“Are you coming, or what?” he snapped, his arms folded tight across his chest.
Sydney bit her lip and furrowed her brow. “Um,” she began intelligently. “Where?”
Sirius sighed loudly and rolled his eyes. “The common room, where else?”
“Oh.” Said Sydney and slowly allowed her feet to move in the direction of the boy in front of her.
It seemed that her life was currently being filled with awkward moments. This one was the most awkward that she could recall to date. Obviously she would feel awkward, as on top of all the loathing for one another, all the evil comments and mutual disdain. She’d gone and had a bloody sex dream about him. Him of all people. What was worse was that he was being awkward as well. It was as if he knew.
Was she flushing? Really? Now? He didn’t know. He couldn’t have known. She hadn’t even told Ashley yet. Goodness knows she wasn’t admitting to that.
Sydney noticed Sirius cock his eyebrow at her redness, which caused her to blush a deeper shade of crimson.
“I am used to girls blushing in my presence, you know?” commented Sirius suddenly.
Sydney snapped her eyes up to look at Sirius’ smug expression.
“Get a life, shit dick.” Sydney spat.
Sirius never responded and once again they travelled in silence.
It was a long, lengthy and awkward silence.
Every step the both of them made seemed to echo throughout the hallways of Hogwarts. Sydney was sure this was the longest trip to the Gryffindor Tower in the universe. She was almost certain she could have ran up to the Astronomy Tower, jumped off and come out of a three month coma in the time that she and Sirius spent walking to their house dorms. They eventually arrived at the portrait and with the correct password, were finally unchained from the awkwardness and were allowed to step into the bustling crimson and gold common room.
However the common room seemed a little more busy than usual, quite alarmingly so. As a matter of fact, the people occupying the room were rather frantic. Emotions were high and Sirius and Sydney were not quite sure as to what they had just walked in on. Their brows were furrowed as they could see a flurry of sixth and seventh years stressing, panicking and some joyfully squealing and jumping (mainly girls, with the exception of Norman Peters, a rather eccentric sixth year, however Sydney guessed that Norman was probably doing that before anyone was even in the room).
Sydney’s eyes darted from girl to girl and boy to boy.
The genders had formed small packs, huddling to protect one another from the cruel bite of the opposing pack.
A feeling of dread swept into Sydney’s stomach and she knew the worst. Surely the teachers wouldn’t allow it. It would be absolute anarchy. Or at least the Marauders would make sure of that.
“Did you hear?!” a screech entered Sydney’s ear causing her to cringe away. Also Farrah’s hips swung into Sydney and pushed her out of the way as Farrah flung herself over Sirius. “Evans just announced it!”
“What?” asked Sydney warily, ignoring Farrah’s turned up nose at Sydney’s question.
“The Halloween Ball, of course!” Farrah said narrowing her eyes, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
And it was. Because it was the end of the world as they knew it.
Well for Sydney it might as well have been.
A/N: I hope this one wasn't too much of a disappointment for the wait, this chapter needed to be done, it explains some stuff and adds to some puzzles that will be fitted together later. Please let me know what you think!
Cue the humiliation and the taunting two headed Farrah/Sirius monster.
How dare he make her brain his holiday home. After that stupid, stupid dream, he was a permanent resident in her mind. She was so frustrated by it and she hated him for it.
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