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Chapter 28 : Between the Lines of Love
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A/N2: Also, please remember that this chapter streches the length of about a month or two. It was originally two chapters, so take into consideration that this isn't over the course of just a week. Alright, enjoy! :D
Stay for a moment and
I promise that I will be different
. . .
Between the lines of love
-We The Kings
"Yes. Yes! YES!" Darren cried. "You did it!"
I brushed the hair back from my face, and sat back with a huff, frustrated.
"You did it!" he yelled again, somehow with even more sarcasm than last time. "That’s three sentences in a row!"
"And my brain is fried," I informed him. Darren had perfected all of the lessons that he hadn’t learned at his other school; however, I was still have trouble grasping the concept of an attention span.
He shook his head. I couldn’t tell whether he was laughing at me in amusement or pity. I never could tell with him. It was one of the things that irked me about spending quite so much time with him.
"Alright," I said. "After that incredible progress, I say it’s time to head to practice."
Darren looked at his watch and nodded. "Sounds about right."
I breathed a sigh of relief and ran upstairs, quickly changing into my practice robes. I was back downstairs and waiting at the portrait hole before Darren returned.
He finally came down several minutes after I had arrived. "Man, what is it with you and Sirius? You’re both such girls," I complained.
"But I’m the hotter girl," said someone from behind. We turned, and saw Sirius looming behind us.
"Hey, Sirius," I replied, slowing my stride a bit so I was walking in line with him. Darren did the same. "You on your way to practice, too?"
"We have practice?" Sirius stopped walking and paused. "Shit." He then proceeded to spin around and run extremely fast back to the common room. I began to laugh.
"Should we wait for him?" Darren asked.
"And risk getting our heads cut off by James? Not on Sirius’ life."
When we finally got our brooms from the shed and arrived on the pitch, everyone was there. (Save for Sirius, whose shouts could be faintly heard as they echoed through the castle, getting louder and louder with each passing second.) James looked slightly annoyed. "Well, we’re just going to have to wait for that git to get his arse down here, then we can start."
About a minute later Sirius burst onto the pitch, his Quidditch robes only half done up. "I’m here!" he cried.
"I noticed, Black!" James sounded angry, and the entire team gave him a funny look because of it. He was never angry.
Sirius looked down right petrified.
"Hehe," James tittered. "Just kidding. Alright, let’s get this going quick! To start, I want everyone to do a nice, easy six laps around the pitch."
We all went to mount our brooms, eager to get into the air. It was an easy request, something to get us all warmed up for the first practice of the season.
Then the bomb was dropped. "No, you lot; get off your brooms. I meant running."
Although the following minutes were very blurred, I vaguely remember tackling James, rolling around in tears, and being slapped across the face by Sirius, before begrudgingly running that six laps. I was not a bad runner and I finished somewhere in the middle, but just the fact that we had to run was enough to upset my mental health.
Everyone collapsed onto the ground of the pitch- when we finally finished - back at the base of the goals, panting and sweating. We gasped to each other, none too used to running, how we couldn’t wait to get into the air and start the real practice. James looked almost timid and afraid as he approached us.
"Ahem, er, now it’s time for push-ups?"
This time, everyone attacked James. Except Darren, who was, apparently, too mature. Psh, maturity - how overrated.
"And my beaters . . . Do double!" James managed to say through the tangle of arms and legs. The Beaters of course meant me and Sirius; and as we finally stomped away to do fifty push-ups, we decided that James had done this personally to spite us.
"Or maybe he just figured you guys should do more since you’re Beaters, and need more upper-body strength," Darren, who was nearby (doing his stupid twenty-five) suggested.
Sirius and I gave him simultaneous looks, that clearly said what-the-fuck-are-you-talking-about? It was one we wore often when people pointed out annoyingly logical things.
Despite the already difficult start, as we all met again in the center of the field, James was not done. We had to warm up for the next half-hour before the bastard even let us near our brooms. The practice, which totalled three hours, was long and gruelling, and ended in the near death of James.
We tried to drown him in the shower.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
Ah well, there’s always next practice.
"Okay." He sounded exasperated now. "Five sentences; McGonagall would be proud."
"You know what, Mr. I’m-So-Freakin-Cool? I don’t want your help anymore; go find something else to do." I slammed the Transfiguration book shut and crossed my arms, looking determinately away from Darren. I couldn’t tell whether I was angry because of his superior attitude, or I was laughing internally because of it.
Darren and mine’s relationship was quite confusing. I looked at it as a sort of love and hate thing; I could barely stand the kid, but after I got to know him, it was all I could do to not want to spend every waking moment in his presence. He was like a fucking drug.
"Fine! Maybe I will!" He said, rolling his eyes sarcastically. "Besides, I could think of a thousand things I’d rather be doing right now; I could be planning a costume party, or buying a pony or combing my hair-"
Just like Sirius, I thought with a smirk.
"What’s so funny?" he asked.
I smirked even wider. "Nothing."
He looked straight at me, staring me down, and I returned his inquisitive gaze. It had been nearly a minute (which was a record for me) until I become so bored and frustrated that I was going to have to jump up and run around for a bit or something to amuse myself.
Just as I made to move, however, Darren stopped me. He got up from his spot on the couch, and my hair fell back from my face as Darren leaned on top of me. I gasped, and tried to keep up with him as he moved his lips against mine; it was quite obvious that he knew what he was doing, and I did not.
However, he didn’t seem to mind that I lacked all the experience that he had, and I certainly didn’t mind that the boy that I had grown rather fond of (who just happened to be incredibly good-looking) was snogging me.
"Holy shit! How many times are we going to walk in on you, Anna?"
James and Sirius had arrived.
I’d never seen Darren move that fast in the entire time that I had known him, even during Quidditch try-outs. Of course, no matter how hard we tried to hide it, our hair was messed up, and I’m quite sure that my face had turned bright red. Darren’s remained indifferent, except for a slightly smug look.
"Er? Well, this would be the second time, if I’m correct?" I decided to play it cool.
"Yeah, it would be," James conceded.
"Wow, Anastasia, you’re just a regular whore, aren’t you?" Sirius teased.
I snarled at him. "Not really." I glared at the boys until they left (in a fit of laughter, of course.) Only myself and Darren remained in the common room.
So I sat there for a few minutes, waiting for Darren to make some kind of serious comment that would make me never want to kiss him again. It always worked that way. But, to my astonishment (and intense relief) he just stared placidly back at me. Excellent. This time, I initiated the kiss. I draped my body along the length of his and pushed his head lightly back into the pillows.
Hey, this is pretty cool.
And then, the penny dropped. Wait. Remember who this is? Darren. Yes, that’s right; Darren, the kid who got kicked out of his old school for shagging some girl in a classroom. Does that sound like fun to you?
Then, another voice in the back of my head kicked in. The devil, if you will. So, what do you care? You just said it yourself, this is pretty cool. Besides, he’s good-looking, you’re good-looking, he’s smart, you’re smart(ish); you two deserve each other.
Arrogant whore, the sensible side of my brain argued back.
I, the conscious Anastasia, chose to ignore both of these voices. Too much thinking, I decided. It’s always better to have fun while you can.
So about five minutes after we had begun to snog for the second time, I pulled away. The initial 'sparkle' (for lack of better word to describe the excited sensation) had faded. "Well, that was a nice little break, why don’t we see what my attention span has learned?"
Darren and I had become something very different from any relationship I’d had before; similar to what Stephen and I had been before he’d gone and dropped the ‘L- bomb (also known as ‘I like you’) . . . Except with more snogging and being felt up.
But, Darren didn’t do anything of the 'L-bomb' sort. I could just go on liking him (and snogging him) in peace.
I had never said anything to the Marauders about it (because that would have been acknowledging it,) but they figured out what was going on rather quickly.
"I think you should watch out for yourself," James told me, one day as we were all getting ready to go to sleep.
"Me too," Peter added.
"I think you should stop doing whatever it is you’re doing with this guy," Sirius advised.
"I think you have Philophobia," Remus said thoughtfully.
Everyone’s response had made sense (even if Sirius’ was a bit snarky) except Remus’. That was a change.
"Huh?" I asked. "What does Philophobia mean?"
"It’s the fear of love, or, being in love," Remus explained.
It had caught me completely off guard; whatever I had been expecting Remus to say, that hadn’t been it. I didn’t know what to say to it, so I sidetracked. "I love you guys."
Remus smirked, and chuckled lightly. "Not what I meant, and you know it."
"You know what, guys? I’m kind of tired; I think I’m going to go to sleep." With that, I lay down with my head on my pillow, pulled the blankets over my head, and shut my eyes tight.
Maybe you’re doing this because you know he’s right, a voice in the back of my head told me.
Damn, you seem to be showing up quite a lot lately, hmm?
Well, you’ll be needing some extra guidance in the coming months. I can tell, the annoying voice responded.
Who or what the hell are you anyways? I asked myself. Or, rather, the voice inside of myself.
Well, for a normal person, I’m kind of like a conscience. But for you, since you lack one, I’m more like your ego - I’m the one whose been making you so cocky these years. But, occasionally, like now, I give you advice and shit.
"Get out of my head, dammit," I whispered.
Ha, not a chance, the voice replied. However, it had quieted for the night, and I was able to fall asleep quickly enough.
"Well hello there, fancy meeting you here," I said coyly to Darren, as I pushed aside a tapestry on the fourth floor and found myself in a narrow passageway with Darren.
"Hello to you too, miss." He stepped closer to me. "How are you this fine day?"
"Not bad, and yourself?" I stepped closer to him again and grinned.
"Pretty bored, but hopefully not for long."
"I know just what we can do to remedy that." Darren, who had been leaning into me, ended up face-first with the wall; I had already taken off and was through the tapestry.
"Come on!" I called impatiently to him. It of course, never registered with me that Darren’s idea of fun was a little different from mine.
"Where are we going?" he asked, as he appeared out from behind the tapestry. If he was frustrated, he didn’t show it.
"You’ll see!" I yelled loudly as I sped down the stairs, then waited impatiently for the next staircase to arrive.
We arrived outside after getting yelled at by McGonagall only once. "Are we there yet?" A little irritation had creeped into his voice by that point. Not that I had noticed.
"Almost. Come on, move that lazy arse of yours!"
I ran around the corner of the school and through a dense area of trees. But after a hundred meters of trees, there was the most beautiful meadow, with a giant hill rising out of it, just begging for me to roll down it.
"We’re going to roll down the hill!" I announced proudly.
"You’re absolutely mad, you are," Darren claimed, sprinting to finally catch up with me at the top.
"But that’s what makes me so wonderful," I explained.
Darren said something that I couldn’t make out; I had already lain straight out on the grassy hill and had begun rolling down. I laughed happily and shrilly as I gained speed and lost control of where I was going. At that point, I just depended on fate to make sure I didn’t fall in any gaping giant holes.
I was nearing the bottom when I heard Darren’s deep laughter behind me. I smiled to myself; rarely did he laugh, and never as veracious-sounding as that. I came to a stop and lay on the ground, still shaking with laughter. Darren was still laughing as he rolled to the bottom, over me, and came to a stop on my other side. He flipped his light brown hair out of his face and his cheeks were tinged with a light pink.
"So it is possible for you to have fun," I teased him.
"I have fun all the time," he claimed, "just not in the same way as you do." He winked suggestively.
I shook my head at his forwardness. "Well, personally, I like my way better." Then again, the boy had rolled down the hill with me. And he looked cute with tousled hair. "But since you were kind enough to entertain me, I’ll entertain you."
I rolled over on top of Darren and straddled my legs around his waist. I lowered my face to his neck and trailed kisses from his exposed collarbone all the way to his chin. All the while, his hands trailed lightly up and down my back.
Aaron and I had never kissed more than a peck. Stephen was the first guy I really snogged, but we only did that once or twice. I wasn’t even a moderate kisser when Darren and I began our ‘thing’ but within a few weeks, Darren’s experience, and constant need for physical attention, had made me quite a good one. Practice makes perfect, I suppose.
Darren and I rolled around in the grass for a bit, our lips never disconnecting. I finally broke off the kiss only to throw back my head in laughter. It was definitely de-ja-vu.
Darren made a face; I couldn’t tell what emotion was running through his mind.
"I’m sorry," I said, fighting through the laughter. "I just - it just - this is so funny."
I calmed down a bit. "You can probably tell that I’m not too good at this."
Darren smirked. "Well I’ve made quite a bit of progress with you already, I’m sure I can make a bit more."
He rolled over once more so that I was under him, and began to kiss me again, unbuttoning a few of the buttons on the bottom of my white shirt (which now had a few grass stains on it,) and then sliding his hands under.
I didn’t want to crush Darren’s hopes; but at the same time, I doubted he’d be able to change my ways. However, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the tingly feeling my skin got as his hand touched my bare skin.
But after nearly another five minutes of snogging (during which the rest of the buttons on my shirt had someone come undone) I grew bored. I quickly withdrew my lips from his, but didn’t remove his hand from my breast. "I’m bored," I told him.
He shook his head at me. "You’re one in a million."
"Are you kidding me? I find that insulting; I’m one in, like, seventy billion." I smiled at him, and shifted slightly under him so that his weight was not crushing my leg.
"There’s not even seventy billion people in the entire world," he informed me. Darren, always the logical one.
"That just proves how freakin’ awesome I am."
"Of course," he said, finally getting up. I couldn’t tell whether he was agreeing with me, or just humouring me.
I stood up as well, and began to button my shirt. I decided that my tie, which had been lost somewhere between the rolling down the hill and the snogging, was not worth going to look for.
"Want to go for a swim?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said. "Actually I would."
Without warning him, I took off, running as fast as I could. Ever since James had started every practice with his warm-ups from hell, my running abilities had improved. Besides, I found running much more enjoyable when I was using it to get somewhere fun.
Within a few minutes, I had reached the lake, with Darren right behind me. I saw the Marauders splashing around in the lake. "Oi!" I yelled.
They all waved wildly and beckoned for me and Darren to come in. I stood for a moment, thoughtfully, before deciding that swimming in my underwear would be alright. I quickly shed my robes, the pants, and my shirt. Then, standing in a black bra and rainbow polka-dotted underwear, I jumped into the lake, making a huge splash.
"Come on! Mr. I-have-a-painfully-large-stick-in-my-ass!" I yelled to Darren, who looked at the water with some apprehension.
"I’m coming, I’m coming," he soothed. I was already making my way towards the Marauders, and only partially registered his response.
I swam out a little further until I was surrounded by James, Peter, Sirius and Remus. "Hey, you lot, enjoying a nice swim?"
Sirius nodded very rigidly and quietly (a rare occurrence) and the other three boys did not answer, but burst out in laughter.
"Something funny?" I asked.
Remus nodded but did not elaborate. (He did, however, continue laughing.)
Deciding that the Marauders were not in a mood to entertain, I looked back to the shore. "Get in! Or I’ll come pull you in!"
"I’ll need something in return!" he shouted back, laughing as he began to pull his robes off.
"Whatever!" I yelled back indifferently, but my mind was questioning what it was exactly that he meant.
You know what he wants.
And just like that, the voice that had haunted my brain a few nights previous was back.
Go away. I tried to chase the nagging pest away.
No! Not until you acknowledge that this guy wants something.
I know what he wants, I finally admitted to the stupid, bloody conscience-like being.
I could practically hear the voice smirk. If you could hear such things, that is. Or if the voice even existed. Well, as long as you know.
Then I was left alone, only with the Marauders, Darren (who had stripped to his boxers and jumped into the lake) and my imagination. Quite possibly, I was better off without the imagination at the moment, too.
"Darren, ouch. That hurts; if it’s supposed to feel good, it doesn’t."
Darren and I were laying on his bed, him on top of me, and his hands were mashing into my chest in quite an uncomfortable way.
Long ago, my original fascination with Darren had diminished. Now, all that was left was his undeterminable emotion and my unstable brain. I wasn’t quite as into all of the physical stuff that he was, but it was still nice to be able to bond with someone who felt the same way I did about serious relationships.
Both of us would just prefer not to have one.
"Alright, then," Darren said. He had pulled back from the kiss that we’d been sharing, and had a devious look on his face. "I’ll give you something that does feel good.
"Oh, Godric," I groaned.
He gave me the look that he seemed to reserve for whenever I expressed disinterest and indifference in all of his sexual ploys. I smirked at him, and he rolled his eyes. (This smirking and eye-rolling was a very common occurrence between the both of us.)
His hands travelled to the button of my jeans, and my eyes followed his hands. Whatever he was about to do, I didn’t know how I felt about it.
He unbuttoned the button and reached for the zipper of my jeans. He looked up. "Do you trust me?"
I shook my head. "Not at all."
He nodded. It took him five slow minutes to get my pants off, leaving me laying on the bed in my shirt and underwear. Five long, boring minutes. This is what the normal people would call seducing, usually it’s pretty well-liked. You know, most of the girls in this school want to be in his pants so badly.
Well, I’m not most girls.
I had long since gotten used to the voice in the back of my head that saw fit to pop in whenever.
Duh, the voice said. I figured that if it had belonged to a person, said person would be rolling their eyes. So, how do you feel about Darren taking your pants off?
I shook my head, not realizing that I actually did it.
"Something wrong," Darren asked, leaning back over me.
"Nope." Only that I’m beginning to not be able to differentiate between the voice in my head and real life.
Darren began to snog me again, moving his lips against mine in quite the predictable way. It finally registered in my mind that Darren had not bothered to remove his own pants, although I did register Darren's hand sliding down my body. All the while, he kept on snogging me.
And then it clicked in my head what Darren was going to do. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I heard that little voice laughing.
Shut up, I told it.
He’ll be expecting reciprocation, the back of my voice prodded me later that day.
I knocked the heel of my hand into my temple to try and shut it up. I know - It doesn’t matter too much right now, as long as I find the Marauders and get some stupid, non-sexual fun into my system. Godric, how do some girls live for that stuff?!
I spotted James and Remus come in through the portrait whole. "Guys," I whined. "I’m bored. The whole thing with Darren has lost its fun."
"We’re sorry," Remus said. "Wh-"
"Speak for yourself," James muttered.
Remus continued. "Why don’t you hang with Sirius more often, instead?"
I failed to pick up on what Remus was implying. "I do."
"You do what?" Speak of the devil; Sirius had appeared behind me.
"I’m with you a lot of the time."
Sirius nodded. "Aye, she is."
"Aye? Like a pirate?" I asked. I may or may not have convinced myself that I was a pirate.
Before he could answer, I burst. "Pirate! Oh! I have an idea! A fun idea! Fun!"
I jumped up and ran out of the common room. The footsteps behind me told me that either the Marauders were following, or possibly an angry mob. More likely the Marauders.
When I reached the top of the staircase, I stood excitedly, looking around. Slowly, my excitement quieted; I had forgotten all about my idea, all I remembered was that it had something to do with pirates. Aye.
"Oh, bugger this," I grumbled, and stalked back off to the common room. Thoughts raced through my head at lightning speed; everything was being analyzed. I stopped for a moment to think.
No, I told myself. Over analyzation is a job for all the others girls, not you.
I hadn’t realized that I’d stopped walked until someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to see a smiling Sirius behind me.
"Penny for your thoughts?" he asked.
I shook my head.
He frowned. "Well, that’s not fair. I seem to remember a certain night about a month or two ago where you practically threatened me to tell you about my personal issues."
It took me a while to figure out he was referring to the time at James’ house, when I had asked him quite nicely (possibly accompanied by a few threats) to explain what exactly it was that gave him so much family angst.
Once I did, I tried to stutter my way out of it. "T-totally different . . . N-not the s-same at all."
Sirius just continued to stare at me in that way he always did - like he had a secret that I was dying to know. The trouble was, I couldn’t fathom what it could be.
"Alright," I finally consented. "I suppose it’s just Darren. At first, he was fun, and now he’s just downright annoying."
"So why don’t you break up with him?" Sirius suggested, as if it should have been obvious.
I shrugged, and marveled at the conversation I was having with Sirius. Usually, this type of thing was reserved for Remus. "Well, because, frankly, we’re not even together."
Sirius looked contemplative. "And you can’t just stop spending time with him?"
I shook my head. "It’s not that I don’t like him, it’s just that I’m bored with him. And I can’t quite go from spending a bunch of time with someone to no time, without some obvious reason."
I looked to Sirius for some sort of good advice; I knew he was chock full of it . . . Somewhere.
"Well," he said, sounding unsure whether he should continue or not. "I may have an idea . . ."
"I’m still not sure how this is going to help Darren become either a) more fun, b) less annoying, or c) just ignore me completely." I was addressing Sirius, but standing very, very close to Remus in the middle of the common room. There were lots of people about.
I don't even think I want him to ignore me completely.
"Because," Sirius began in a tone that made it apparent he thought I should have known. "He’ll see that you’ve got other things to entertain you besides him, and shape himself up a bit."
Remus, who may or may not have been trying to get himself heard for quite a while, finally resorted to physical blows to grab mine and Sirius’ attention. "I think," he said, after we’d looked at him. "That Sirius should kiss you instead of me; the two of you make a much more believable couple than me and Anna."
I shrugged. It was neither here nor there; both were my best mates. But, Remus did have a point. I spent a fairly larger amount of time with Sirius than Remus.
Sirius hit Remus in the back of the head rather sharply (though I couldn’t imagine why,) before agreeing to do the switch.
"Alright, so now, all we do is wait; he’ll come back to the common room eventually."
We stood idly chatting, for nearly fifteen minutes. "Sod this!" I finally yelled. Then, at a much lower volume, "I’m not waiting an hour for him to come." Then, I stomped away to a secluded corner of the common room to sit and brood. Sirius or Remus could have easily followed me, but probably thought it was safer not to. They were right.
I was quite angry. No boy (save any of the Marauders) was worth this much time and effort, whether it was negative or positive.
Why do I even deal with him anymore? I wondered.
Because you know just about every girl in the school wants him, and, whether the two of you admit it or not, you have him.
Well, it does make me feel a bit superior, I admitted to myself.
Well if it’s the feeling of having what everyone wants you’re going for, why not going for Sirius?
A third, suspiciously Remus-sounding voice had popped into my head.
First of all, I thought, addressing the rebelling parts of my brain, it is not a superiority complex. And, even if it was - Sirius? I couldn’t possibly . . .
Ah, yes. But even you have admitted that Sirius was rather good-looking.
Go away, Remus. Go back to your own head.
I growled. I hoped that it was only in my head, and not out loud.
What does it matter? You’d have to be blind not to notice that Sirius it good-looking; it doesn’t mean I have to up and snog him just for the fun of it.
"Conversation over," I muttered darkly to myself. The only way to keep the bloody voices out was to talk out loud. And, even then, there was no guarantee.
"Safe to approach?" I looked over to see Sirius coming towards me tentatively. Clutched in his hand was a small shaving razor and he seemed to be ready to ward me off with it, if need be.
I snorted at the sight. "Yeah, yeah." I obliged him to come within my little sanctuary. I already conveniently forgotten about the little Remus voice inside my head, as well as what it had said. "Hey, do you know when that party thing is?"
Sirius nodded. "Yeah, I think Lily and James planned it November . . . Seventeenth, was it? Yeah, that’s it."
I nodded. "Alright, so three weeks. I hope they’re making this entertaining."
At this point, Sirius had come to sit next to me on the floor where I had settled myself. "I heard they’re having some band come, and, there’s going to be food."
I smiled. "Well, that settles it - I’m excited for Halloween."
"What the hell does one have to do with the other?"
We sat in silence for a bit, before Sirius pointed to the opposite corner of the common room. "Look, Remus is chatting up some chick."
"Really?" I said lazily. "What else is new?"
"Well," Sirius reasoned, "this is fairly big news. It’s the first girl he’s chatted up all year; so it’ll be his first conquest of his seventh, and final year at Hogwarts."
I shook my head as I leaned over to get a bit of a look at the girl Remus was talking to. Surprisingly, I recognized her.
So did Sirius. "Hey, I know her. She’s in the year below you," he said.
"Yeah." I nodded in recognition. I was almost positive that her name was Nymphadora. She was tall, blond and leggy - basically, the envy of all the girls who bleached their hair and dieted and strived towards that impossible level of perfection. Other than that, I knew nothing about her.
"I think we should go introduce ourselves," Sirius said, waggling his eyebrows in a suggestive way.
I laughed; I already knew that Sirius’ idea of introducing himself meant doing something utterly ridiculous and cutting Remus’ chances of ‘getting some.’ Of course, I agreed.
Sirius stood up and then helped me up. I quickly followed Sirius across the common room; I saw Remus’ eyes widen as we neared.
"Hello!" Sirius voice boomed. "Peachy to see you, Remus." Then, he turned to Remus’ friend. "Hello, I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, I’m Sirius Black."
"Nymphadora Amherst," she said politely. Ooo, she had manners.
"I’m Anna," I said, cutting in before Sirius could continue. "Xanthis," I added as an afterthought.
"Nice to meet you," she said. "Xanthis. That’s Greek, am I right?"
I smiled warmly. Something about the younger girl was really entertaining me. "Yeah, how’d you know?"
"Oh, well, my mother’s family is Greek, so I’ve got an ear for Greek names."
I nodded, still smiling, and chanced a look at Remus. His expression was no longer scandalized, but unreadable.
"Well, I’m sorry to bother you," I said, taking Sirius by the wrist and beginning to walk away. "Very nice to meet you."
I dragged Sirius all the way up to the our dormitory, and as soon as I let go of his wrist, he began to whine. "How come you didn’t let me talk with her some more?"
"Because, she was actually a nice, sweet person. Not like the ones that Remus normally talks to."
Siris scoffed, laying down on his bed. "Whatever, you’re boring."
"I beg to differ," I said, before pouncing on him and beginning the tickle-attack.
Sirius was as ticklish as a little girl. He let out a high-pitched scream before he began to laugh non-stop. Sirius was just beginning to turn it around on me when James burst into the room. All action stopped.
James stood stock still, right where he had been when he opened the door; Sirius quickly took his hands from my sides, and I just looked in on the scene, obviously missing something.
Then, James smirked in a very Sirius-like manner. "So you finally-"
"Tickle-attack," Sirius butted in, before James could finish his sentence.
No one said anything for a while, and I began to feel like I’d been missing something.
"Anyway," James continued, before I could ask. "The reason I’ve come bursting up here is good news. I’ve just got an owl from mum, and she said we can finally come to the Christmas ball!"
I let loose a cry of joy and rolled out from under Sirius. I landed on the floor and began the victory dance. The Christmas ball was always held by the Potters - it was attended by the majority of the English Ministry and their children. Occasionally, there would be someone foreign.
Up until that year we were never allowed to attend. ‘You’re not of age,’ Mrs. Potter had always said. It didn’t matter that the stiff-wads from the Ministry always brought children younger than us, it was her strict rule.
Then, a thought struck me. "James, I’m not of age; am I still allowed to go?"
"Of course," James said, as if it had been stupid of me to doubt it at all. (Which, I suppose, it had.) "But she did say that you’ve got to be on your best behaviour; then she drew a little winking face next to that sentence."
"Brilliant!" I said, jumping up. "I don’t suppose I can go in jeans?"
James snorted. "Hardly. But she said that none of us need to worry about getting dress robes. She’s going to take care of it all when we arrive."
"This is going to be so bloody brilliant!" I jumped up and ran out of the room to tell Remus the most exciting news we’d gotten since . . . well . . . a really long time.
A/N3: Thanks to the lovely wheresmyedward that helped me a bunch on this chapter - was sort of unsure, and still am, but I'm hoping it's up to all of your standards. The next chapter should come fairly quicker than this one did. Much love to you all!
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