[ Printer Friendly Version ] [ Report Abuse ]
Chapter 46 : Valentines Day
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 54|
Background: Font color:
This all probably wasn’t helped by the fact that Sirius stopped going to Professor Slughorn’s parties, arguing that even aside from the fact that Slughorn still didn’t know my name, with the amount of homework we had he couldn’t justify spending his very limited free time with a teacher instead of with me. While I agreed with the sentiment, it did mean that the free night I might have had every fortnight or so, in which I could have tried to get on top of everything, was taken away. Most agreeably so, admittedly, but still I could probably have used that time in a more productive way, at least in the way that my dad would have defined the word ‘productive’. Even when we made a point of studying as part of a group so that we might actually get something done, things had a habit of turning against us. An example of this happened one evening in the second week of February.
After supper on the night in question Sirius and I went up to the common room along with James, Lily, Remus and Peter to get some homework done, turfing out some second-years from our favourite spot by the fire so we could take up residence. I wanted to finish my Potions essay and so headed to the dorm to get the textbooks and notes I would need, taking longer than usual because my copy of Advanced Potion-Making had managed to drop right down to the bottom of my trunk. When I came back down the stairs, Sirius was on the couch with a mouthful of pink bubbles and the others were trying unsuccessfully not to laugh.
I sat down next to him, my arms full of books and parchment. “What happened?”
“Wendy Savage,” Peter chortled. “That sixth-year giggler. Just sat down right on Padfoot’s lap and tried to snog him.”
Sirius was shaking his head. “Got the tongue in and everything,” he said ruefully, bubbles floating away from him as he spoke. “She caught me off guard.”
“Ugh,” I said, my head spinning around to look for the girl in question, who was sitting in a corner looking distinctly disgruntled. “But why the pink bubbles?”
Remus smiled broadly. “We had to Scourgify him,” he said. “He wanted to get rid of the taste.”
“I think the idea was that you would come down the stairs and catch them at it, so you’d think he was cheating on you and break it off,” James explained, chuckling. “Aside from the bonus of her getting a snog, of course. But you took too long and he got rid of her before you came down.”
I shook my head in frustration – sometimes it felt like they’d try anything to break us up, and it could be a bit wearing – as James conjured a goblet and filled it using Aguamenti so Sirius could rinse his mouth out.
“Thanks, Prongs,” he muttered as the last of the soap bubbles floated away. “Who knew she’d try something like that?”
“Don’t tell me you’re surprised,” Peter said reasonably. “It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. You just weren’t expecting it.”
“He’s right,” Remus agreed, still smiling. “They just needed someone else with enough guts to carry it off. Which apparently Wendy Savage has.”
Lily was shaking her head. “I can’t believe I went out with her brother,” she muttered.
“Nah, Lance was all right,” I said. “He can’t help what his sister’s like.” After all, I was the last person who should be judging someone based on their sister’s character.
Sirius was making a face. “It’s still there,” he said, looking at me. “Right, Laura, you have to fix this. Get the taste of her out of my mouth, the last thing I want is to be tasting Wendy Savage all night.”
I knew what that meant. Smiling (I admit a little triumphantly), I looked over at where Wendy was watching what was going on by the fire with disappointment and frustration etched on her face. Putting my books down on the couch next to me, I moved onto his lap and kissed him deeply.
After a minute or two I pulled away and grinned at him, before turning to Peter who was making gagging noises. “You shut up, I was doing a public service,” I scolded, though I was still smiling.
“Yeah, but did it have to take so long?” he complained.
“Of course it did,” I said. “I had to make sure I got in everywhere. You never know just where she might have contaminated.” James, Lily and Remus laughed as I turned back to Sirius, who was suppressing a smile. “Did it work?”
He considered, his tongue moving around inside his mouth. “You know, I think it did. Thanks.” He smiled at me.
“Good,” I said, successfully (though with difficulty) resisting the temptation to stay just where I was and repeat the treatment, and getting off him. “Maybe now I can finish that Potions essay?”
And then, just in case we didn’t have enough distractions to take us away from our studies, before we knew it Valentines Day was upon us. Unfortunately, though, February fourteenth was on a Tuesday that year, so any activity was tempered by the fact we had to attend classes.
As I got dressed that morning I looked at the racy underwear the girls had bought me for my birthday the previous year, wondering if I should put it on. After all, it was Valentines Day, and I suspected Sirius would appreciate the extra effort. In the end, however, after thinking about it a little longer, I opted not to – for the top half, at least. Much as he would appreciate the nice bra, I reasoned, he would appreciate no bra that much more. And, as had been pointed out before, they were small enough that I could easily get away with going without it for one day.
As I expected, he greeted me in the common room before breakfast with a soft kiss and a promise that there would be more to come. “I know we’re going out tonight,” he whispered, “but we can probably make the most of today as well, don’t you think?”
I grinned, thinking, you don’t know the half of it. And on the way downstairs to breakfast I pulled him into an empty classroom and put his hand underneath my shirt. “A little surprise for you,” I whispered as his eyes opened wide with surprise and a broad smile appeared on his face.
“This is for me?”
“Well, it’s not like I did it for James,” I pointed out. “And I thought you’d like to know.”
He dropped his head down towards mine so our foreheads were resting on each other, his hands busy underneath my shirt. “Oh, Laura,” he whispered. “That’s just … that’s just …” His voice trailed off, but I knew I’d had the desired effect.
Suddenly he stopped, straightened up and spoke again, his voice stern this time. “But you shouldn’t have told me now,” he said. “I’m not going to be able to concentrate on anything today. Not now I know.”
I just reached up and kissed him, a smile on my face as well. “I thought that was a risk worth taking.”
Sirius did indeed look like he was having trouble concentrating in Transfiguration, which we had first thing after breakfast. Even Professor McGonagall noticed how distracted he was and singled him out on more than one occasion to make sure he was actually paying attention. It got so bad that on the way to Herbology James started quizzing him about it.
“What’s with you today, Padfoot?” he asked as we all made our way towards the greenhouses.
Sirius just shook his head. “Maybe later,” he said. “Let’s just say I’ve got something else on my mind.”
James looked at me questioningly, his eyebrows raised, but I put on my most innocent expression and pretended not to know what he was talking about. After all, like I’d told Sirius, it wasn’t like I’d done it for him.
Finally Herbology finished and Sirius and I had nothing until after lunch, so we headed as quickly as we could to somewhere a little more private so we could have some time alone. I followed him to the third floor where he led me to a statue of a humpbacked witch, tapping it with his wand and saying, “Dissendium.”
I looked at him as the witch came away from the wall to reveal another secret passageway. “Is this an internal passage or one that goes to Hogsmeade?” I asked.
“Hogsmeade,” he responded as we went inside and lit our wands. “Um, Honeydukes, this one leads to. But I don’t think we’ll be disturbed here with any luck. Now,” he went on, turning to me as the door closed behind us, “where were we?”
I pulled him towards me and kissed him as deeply as I could, wanting to make the most of our first Valentines Day together. He responded in kind but his hands were busy as we kissed, unfastening my black school robes and easing them off my shoulders to reveal the white shirt underneath.
There he stopped, and I looked at him, somewhat surprised that my shirt hadn’t received the same treatment. After all, it wasn’t like it was the first time he’d seen my breasts, though other occasions had been a little rushed as we battled against school timetables and the risk of being caught in whatever liaison spot we had found. I had no intention of being sprung half naked in an abandoned classroom by Professor McGonagall.
Sirius looked at my undoubtedly confused expression and smiled mischievously. “We’ve got over an hour,” he pointed out, “and I want to savour this.” And he pulled out his wand, pointed it at my shirt and said, “Aguamenti.”
I grinned. Of course. He was going for the wet t-shirt effect, and the thin white shirt responded admirably. I was drenched to the skin but it was incredibly erotic, and I just stood there as he slowly unbuttoned my shirt, opening it to reveal only an inch or so of skin across my chest as the wet fabric clung to the rest of me like it was painted on, and then dropping to his knees and resting his face against it.
If I was honest, whenever I’d read about a scene like this in a romance novel I’d always wondered what the girl did on these occasions. But at that point, as I stood there and ran my fingers through his hair, I knew. You just enjoyed it. After all, it’s not every day that you can reduce someone to their most animal instincts and it gave me a feeling of power and accomplishment, as well as goosebumps all over. If we’d been sleeping together by this point I knew that would have been how it would have ended up.
Eventually he pulled away for just long enough to conjure up some cushions for the floor that we could lie on, and peeled my wet shirt off me as he propelled me backwards. His wand soon ended up on the floor, though, as he turned his attention back to me. If only this could last forever, I thought, this was what it was all about. I didn’t even mind when his hands started to move further down, as it felt like something I actually wanted to do just then.
But then, all of a sudden, he stopped and pulled away from me. I looked at him – what had happened? Had I done something wrong?
“What?” I asked, not sure if I wanted to hear the answer. “It’s not lunch time already, is it?”
He was sitting up by now, separated from me by at least a couple of feet. “I’m sorry, Laura, but we have to stop this. Now.”
“Why?” I asked, confused.
He just shook his head. “Believe me, we have to stop this. Otherwise …” His voice trailed off again, but I had a good idea of what he meant. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to stop if we kept going, and even though it was something I had been actively considering I knew that right then, in that tunnel, wasn’t when I wanted that to happen.
“Okay. Sure, that’s fine.” I pulled my shirt back on and reached for my wand to do a hot air charm to dry it off.
He was still sitting apart from me, not looking at me as he shook his head. “I’m sorry,” he said with obvious regret. “You’re just too …”
“Too what?” I didn’t mean to ask the question but it was out of my mouth before I could stop it.
He just shook his head. "Too .... you."
That night, James and Sirius had arranged to take Lily and me into Hogsmeade for a drink after supper in further recognition of the day. We sat in the common room with Remus and Peter, the Marauder’s Map spread open on the table in front of us, waiting for patrols to end in the appropriate corridors so we could make our way to the mirror on the fourth floor, behind which was the roomiest of the many secret passageways into the village. We wouldn’t all fit underneath the Invisibility Cloak so this was seen as the best way of managing it.
I had discovered that day, as Clio probably had the previous year, that as Sirius’ girlfriend I received a number of cards purporting to be from various boys in my year. However, the fact that I knew the handwriting of many of the boys in question and these didn’t match, and that several were written in the same hand and with the same scented purple ink, told me that Elvira and the fan club were responsible. I supposed they thought that if I had another offer I might dump Sirius and take it up. Yeah, right, like that was going to happen. I’d left him once, and it had almost killed me. I had no intention of doing it again.
Peter had received a card that day from a girl called Doris, apparently a sixth-year Hufflepuff, and was fussing about whether she was up to his lofty standards, and if he should invite her to Hogsmeade as well. We couldn’t properly offer advice – whether to let a girl in on some of their lesser secrets (like where the tunnels were) was by agreement the decision of the boy concerned – but James and Sirius let slip that it was probably a bit early on in the relationship, if you could even call it that, to be doing that sort of thing.
Remus had received half a dozen or so cards and was looking rather pleased with himself. He knew that some of them were from the fan club, looking for a way in to get close to Sirius, but Charlotte had given him one and so had a couple of other girls in our year, and he had a bit of a grin on his face as he put them in his bag, one by one. For some reason he seemed determined not to act on any of them, but like anyone else he appreciated the ego trip.
“How many cards did you get, Padfoot?” asked James, watching Remus with his collection.
“Didn’t count,” Sirius said unconcernedly. There was a wastepaper basket next to his seat and every time another owl arrived with a card he just threw it away without opening it. Part of me was secretly amazed and rather impressed by how blasé he was about the whole thing. “There was only one that I was interested in.” He grinned at me.
“At least there were no chocolates this year,” smiled Remus.
Sirius groaned. “Tell me about it. But Peter had an interesting time, didn’t he?” The groan disappeared and the boys shared a laugh, Peter appearing so embarrassed it looked like he was searching for a cushion to hide beneath. Lily and I just looked at each other, confused.
“Padfoot got some chocolates last year with a love potion in them,” James explained, smiling broadly. “From Greta Catchlove, you know, the blonde Ravenclaw who keeps trying to hex Laura in Potions.”
“Otherwise known as Deputy Chief Giggler,” Sirius elaborated, grimacing a little.
“Thing was,” Remus continued, a smirk crossing his otherwise pleasant face, “he didn’t eat them, knowing what might be in store. Chucked them out without opening them. He was still with Clio, after all. But Wormtail saw them in the bin and, not realising why they were there, took them out again and had some!”
“He ran off towards the Ravenclaw common room,” said Sirius, now laughing, “going on and on about how wonderful Greta was and how much he loved her. It was hilarious.”
“Yeah, he ended up scratching at the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower, trying desperately to get in,” James went on, ignoring Peter who was very obviously getting more embarrassed by the second. “But he couldn’t work out the answer to the question. So Moony found Hector Bole nearby and talked him into going inside and telling Greta that there was a Gryffindor bloke out in the hall trying to get in to her.”
“Apparently she couldn’t get out fast enough,” laughed Remus. “Tripped over Elvira Vablatsky, of all people, in her rush to the door. And Prongs and I were waiting outside, under the Invisibility Cloak, watching for her reaction when she opened the door and saw Pete instead of Sirius!”
“You can imagine the look on her face,” said James. “Absolutely priceless. Looked everywhere for Padfoot and then it finally dawned why Wormtail was fawning all over her. Got what she deserved, though – you can’t go around slipping people love potions.”
“Too right,” agreed Peter, clearly thankful that the conversation had turned from laughing at him to having a go at Greta for her methods of finding a boyfriend.
“Did you say anything to her?” Lily asked Sirius, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes.
“Nup, I wasn’t even there,” he replied, putting his arm around me. “I’d gone to find Clio. It was Valentines, after all. Not that she was that keen on seeing me, from memory,” he went on. “I was in a bit of a bad mood that day.”
“That’s right,” I said, remembering. “You were in a foul mood for ages. Clio thought it was her fault.”
“Yes, I know,” he said with a grin. “It wasn’t, of course, but we ended up breaking up over it anyway. Though that turned out to be a good thing.” He leaned in and kissed my cheek.
“Right,” said James suddenly and with authority, his eyes on the map. “Filch has left the fourth floor and is now patrolling the third, so it should be safe for us to make it to the passage without being caught. Dumbledore’s in his office so I dare say he’s out for the night. Slughorn’s on duty tonight and he’s still on the ground floor, and Mrs Clay is on the sixth floor, but she’s on the northern side so we’ll probably be all right. Shall we?” He stood up and offered Lily his arm. Sirius did the same with me, and, waving, we headed out the portrait hole for a night out.
We learned soon enough the next morning that Peter had been right not to invite Doris into Hogsmeade that night. He sought her out at breakfast time, only to discover that she had sent him the card after losing a bet and was mortified that he had taken it at all seriously.
“Typical,” said Sirius when Peter returned to the Gryffindor table looking disappointed. His voice was steady but I could tell he was trying his hardest to stifle a grin, let alone a laugh. He was right, though, that sort of thing was typical of Peter’s love life. I knew how he felt, though – only two years earlier I’d been asked to dance at the Yule Ball for much the same reason, so I was a little more feeling to his plight than Sirius and James perhaps were.
“Don’t worry about it,” Sirius told me, leading me away just after I had offered Peter some words of encouragement. “He’ll get over it soon enough. It’s not like this sort of thing hasn’t happened before.”
“Yeah, but the more it happens the harder it is to get over,” I pointed out. “He was so hopeful!”
Sirius laughed. “That he was,” he agreed. “Quite funny to watch, actually. Now,” he went on, “I was thinking after we got back last night …”
Oh yes? This could lead anywhere. “What about?”
“I think it’s time you were invited into the inner sanctum,” he said as we wandered down the stairs towards the Potions classroom. “Saturday okay with you?”
The inner sanctum? That had to mean the dorm, the infamous Marauders’ Den. “Are you sure?”
He nodded. “Absolutely. In fact, it probably shouldn’t have taken this long.”
This was interesting. I knew that none of his previous girlfriends had received this invitation, and I also knew that I hadn’t even outlasted Dione Turpin at this point, let alone Martha or Clio. I hadn’t really expected an invitation this side of graduation, let alone this side of Easter, they were that strict about their privacy. (Even though Lily had been inside, James was that keen on her we all saw it as a special case. Girlfriends just didn’t go there.) Maybe Lily and Martha were actually right. Or maybe he had ulterior motives …
I punched his arm. “Sirius Black, are you just trying to get me into bed?”
He grinned. “Of course I am. Why else would I ask you upstairs like that?” He put his arm around me and gave me a squeeze, his voice suddenly more serious. “I hope you don’t really think that’s all I’m after, though, Laura.”
I hugged him back. “Not really. And it’d probably be a bit unfair if I did. Let’s face it, going slowly – not that we still are, but we started off that way – that was your idea.”
Sirius arranged for the dorm to be empty for the whole period between lunch and supper, though he acknowledged an arrangement like that could never be absolutely foolproof so there was always the vague possibility of an interruption. On the day in question he led me up the stairs, tapping the handle with his wand to unlock the door.
It was just as Mary had described though rather neater, and I suspected there had been a bit of a clean-up before my arrival. The bikini babe pictures had gone from the wall (I was unsure whether that was permanent or temporary, but I wasn’t about to ask), but the motorbikes and Quidditch posters were still there, and there was definitely a shrine to Lily next to what had to be James’ bed. I wondered idly if he took it down when she came in or if she was just used to it by now. On the back of the door was pinned a well-thumbed piece of parchment, yellowed and fading, on which their strongly-held code of honour was written. Curious, I paused and read it. It was surprisingly short, for something that held so much sway, but it did seem to cover everything:
THE MARAUDER’S CODE
1. Secrets may (and should) be shared within the group, but not outside. You may only tell someone another Marauder’s secrets with their express permission.
2. Loyalty to the other Marauders must outrank loyalty to any other person.
3. Any girlfriends – past, present or hoped-for – are automatically off limits to the other three. Past girlfriends may occasionally be approached ONLY with the original boy’s approval.
4. All attempts to get a girl must be supported (though jokes are permissible).
5. Jinxing anyone needs a good reason. Unless they’re a Slytherin.
Under this last point something had been scrawled, probably much later than the original text was put down, and in what looked like James’ handwriting. And jinxing Snivellus doesn’t need a reason at all. I stifled a giggle.
Sirius saw me looking at it. “That’s years old now,” he said with a shrug. “We should probably take it down before it falls down, we all know it by heart anyway.”
“You really take all this seriously, don’t you,” I commented.
He shrugged again. “It’s what you do for your friends,” he said simply. “I wouldn’t have thought it was that unusual.” He changed the subject by steering me to one of the beds, the one with pictures of motorbikes on the wall next to it. I’d already picked that one as his, even without the decorations – there was something about the way it was all set up that just said, ‘Sirius’.
“Anyway,” he went on, sneaking a kiss on my forehead, then pushing me backwards onto his bed and leaning over me seductively, “I don’t think you came up here to talk about them, did you?”
I laughed. “No, probably not.”
He grinned mischievously, pulling the curtains closed around us, bathing everything in a scarlet glow. “Just what I wanted to hear.”
I sought out Mary in the common room a week or two later – it had been ages since we’d had a proper chat. “I’ve barely seen you lately, young lady,” I chastised her, sitting down at the rickety table where she was struggling with Herbology homework. “Where have you been hiding?”
She grinned. “Aye, ’cause ye’ve bin sittin’ twiddlin’ yer thumbs lookin’ fer me, richt? Or hae ye bin busy too?”
I blushed. “Maybe. Just a little. But?”
“Okay, I’ve bin spendin’ a lo’ o’ time in Ravenclaw Too’er,” she admitted. “They can be verra good t’ dae homework wi’, they know a lo’ an’ they’re happy t’ share.”
“That sounds familiar,” I admitted. “So why aren’t you there tonight?”
She grimaced. “Seb doesna dae Herbology,” she explained. “An’ if I’m in here then, who knows, ye micht tak’ pity on me an’ help oot.” The grimace disappearing, she looked up and winked at me.
I took the hint. “I’m sorry, Mary, I’ve been ignoring you, haven’t I?”
“Nae more than I’ve bin ignorin’ ye,” she said with a grin. “Bu’ a’ leas’ we can gossip after we go t’ bed.”
“Only if you’re in bed before I go to sleep,” I pointed out.
“Or if ye’re back afore I go t’ sleep,” she threw back. I grinned guiltily – she did have a point. “Anyway,” she went on, “wha’s th’ deal t’nicht? Why are ye nae wi’ Sirius?”
I smiled again. “He’s out with the boys. Took off with James and Peter an hour or so ago.”
She nodded. “Tha’s one o’ those nichts ye were tellin’ me aboot, richt?” she asked. “When ye said ye had t’ tak’ a leap o’ faith bu’ ye didna think he was doin’ anythin’ too bad.”
I nodded too, thankful that I didn’t need to say anything else. Mary had heard all about the mini-fight the previous month, but agreed with Lily that I needed to take Sirius at his word. Then again, I suspected none of them wanted us to break up again – that might be too much for anyone to deal with, us included.
“It is good, in a way,” I admitted. “I can catch up on some homework, which you may have noticed is falling by the wayside a bit.” I smiled wickedly. “And, if you’re around, I can bug you.”
“Or help wi’ Herbology,” she said pointedly.
I conceded defeat. “Okay, you’ve talked me into it,” I said, pulling my own Herbology books out of my bag. “What are you having trouble with?”
Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Other Similar Stories
It all start...
The Cruel Life
Love is a drug.