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The Marauders Kiss by sweetprofanities
Chapter 41 : Transfiguration practice.
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 10

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If there was one thing that Sirius Black had learnt over the past two weeks it was that Aaliyah Adams, Gryffindor prefect and all around perfect student was not, by any means, naturally smart. The fact that she seemed to have made it to the top of nearly every one of her classes was an attribute to just how determine she was to succeed. Because teaching her the ways of perfecting transfiguration was like pulling a dragon’s teeth.

‘For fuck sake Adams!’ Sirius was clawing at his eyes, ‘how did you learn how to talk when you were younger when you couldn’t read a book about it!?’ He threw his head back, flicking his hair out of his face in frustration. They had been sitting in the common room together for over an hour now and Adams just couldn’t get it.

‘How did you manage to get by when you were younger and no one had a physical attraction to you yet!? You suck at teaching! All you’re good for is looking pretty!’  She threw back in a fury.

‘I happen to have been a very charming ki- wait. You think I’m pretty?’ His anger snapped away in an instant and he grinned across the table at Ali. Her glare faded into a look of mild annoyance.

‘Of course that’s the only part you heard.’ She shook her head and pulled her transfiguration text back towards herself in a surreptitious manner. Sirius groaned and reached out and pulled it away as he had done some two minutes prior.

‘I said no more referring to the text!’ This time he shut the book and threw it down beside him. Ali squealed in horror and held a hand up to her mouth in shock. ‘It’s okay Adams, the book is fine. Just attempt the spell again.’ Sirius rolled his eyes at her quivering lip.

‘But I told you! I haven’t memorised the text on it yet!’ Her fear for the book vanished and her glare returned.

‘You’re not supposed to memorize the freaking text. You’re supposed to attempt the spell and refer to the text if it goes wrong.’

‘What would be the point of attempting the spell if you haven’t memorized the text? How am I supposed to know what I’m doing? Am I supposed to just wave my wand around like a bloody stick fight?’

‘Honestly, are you sure you aren’t muggle born?’  Sirius looked her dead in the eye now.

‘What!? What is that supposed to mean?’ She bit out seeming ready to attack.

‘It’s like you haven’t come from a background of magic at all.’ Sirius shook his head at his words. The way Ali attempted spells was as if she had literally no prior knowledge of magical ability. Sirius was certain she wasn’t muggleborn. He had seen her parents collecting her from the platform before the summer break and they certainly didn’t look like muggles.

‘How the hell are you so good at everything? How? Explain yourself! Why don’t you need to study or read, ever?’ She seethed out in short, sharp sentences, crossing her arms over her chest and slumping back in her chair.

‘I don’t know. I just pay attention. Once I read something, I just don’t seem to forget it.’ Sirius shrugged. He had always found learning very simple. Even as a child he learnt things quickly and never needed to read a book over twice to recall parts of it.

Aaliyah’s features suddenly lost their sharp edge as she adopted an expression of wonder, ‘do you have any idea how much I want to smack you right now?’ As she spoke her eyes fixated on him in a very icy manner. Sirius couldn’t help but smile at her. No matter how hard she tried, her most menacing faces only seemed to make him laugh.

‘Just try the spell again.’ He decided not to aggravate her, just yet anyway. Ali sighed and gripped her wand tight staring at the empty jar he had transfigured for her at the start of the hour. Conjuration wasn’t a laughing matter. It was the hardest possible part of transfiguration, and Ali still seemed to be having trouble seamlessly vanishing things. But Sirius was getting bored of going over the same stuff with her, and so advanced her to conjuration for his own benefit.

When she waved her wand and tapped it on the jar, a small spark emitted from the end, but the magic stopped there. Ali groaned loudly and threw her upper body onto the table in disgrace.

Sirius tried not to laugh. The smile twitching on his face began to hurt. He had to distract himself. If he laughed at her, she would surely hit him.

‘What’s your wand type?’ He asked, looking at the light coloured wand still held tight in her hand. Ali stirred and lifted herself off the table to look at him.

‘Cherry. Nine and a half inches. Dragon heartstring. Apparently stiff.’ She recited and rolled her eyes. Sirius wondered if there was a story behind the last two words.

‘Blackthorn. Twelve and a quarter inches. Phoenix feather. Pliable.’ He had to grin at the last word. He, James and Remus all shared that trait in their wands.

‘Did I ask?’ Ali turned her head away with a very light smile adorning her lips. Sirius had noted her level of cheek rising this year.

‘I heard cherry wands are rare?’ He ignored her stab and crossed his arms over each other on the table, resting his chin over his forearms to watch her.

‘I heard blackthorns are unruly?’ She turned back to him with a bored air, but the look in her eyes told Sirius she was paying attention. He stared at her for a moment. Her curls were swept over her left shoulder and looked lighter than they had last year. Her skin still held its usually darkened colour since the holidays. She was fitted perfectly in her uniform, devoid of her robes. Her prefect badge was attached to her Gryffindor cardigan instead. Sirius allowed his eyes to scan down to her collar and tie before lingering on her chest.

Black.’ Her word was a warning. He quickly averted his gaze upwards and saw her glare.

‘Sorry. Just admiring your- badge.’ He shrugged trying to cover his smirk, ‘and you’ve got it wrong. Blackthorns aren’t unruly. They’re just known to bond more profoundly to their castor if they share a hardship together. My wand has never given me grief. But it has felt, I don’t know, more loyal since the summer before last.’ For a split second his mother flashed before him flinging dinner plates in his direction, screeching profanities, but he blinked it away before he got trapped in the past.

‘What-‘ Ali seemed to freeze for a second in thought, but then continued when Sirius rested his gaze on her again, ‘what happened that summer?’

Sirius frowned. It wasn’t usually something he brought up, nor something he willingly wanted to discuss as it was still a fresh wound. As brave as it was deciding to leave his family behind, he didn’t feel brave in the slightest when it came to his feelings towards the event. When he recalled the memory, which was more often than he cared to admit, he could almost feel his core drop out of his chest into his abdomen. It made his throat clench and he suddenly was reminded of his little brother’s face when he left him to fend for himself.

He hadn’t really spoken too much about it to James. James had explained the details to Peter and Remus to save him from repeating it. And other than his three best friends, he never really allowed a conversation to progress far enough for someone to pry.

But for some reason he couldn’t completely explain, he felt like he could indulge the prefect, even if it was only a little.

‘I ran away from home.’ He shrugged it off and settled his left cheek on his forearm, looking away from the girl before him.

‘Why?’ She asked. Without moving his head from his relaxed and lazy position he shrugged his shoulders and shut his eyes.

‘’Cause. Wasn’t quite up to the family standards.’ He couldn’t keep the contempt from his voice even though he tried. The way he was facing, he could see the group of third years sitting around the fire all chatting among themselves. He noticed two of the girls whispering and pointing over to him. He just rolled his eyes and propped his head up on his hand to turn his attention back to Ali. She was watching him with a mildly confused look.

‘Your brother seems okay.’

Sirius raised a brow, ‘my brother? He talks to you?’ This was news to Sirius. He was quite certain that his dimwit brother wouldn’t associate with anyone his parents wouldn’t approve of.

‘No, not really. But he has started sitting by me in class. It’s a little odd. He never says a word, but all the classes we have together, he’s there.’ Her dark brows were furrowed in confusion. This unnerved Sirius. What on earth would his brother want with her? ‘Can’t say I mind. He’s better company than the rest of the morons in my year.’ Suddenly her face became quite dark at the mention of her peers.

‘Adams, tell me about yourself.’ Sirius interjected, completely discarding their transfiguration lesson now, ‘I honestly know nothing about you besides you enjoy giving out detentions.’

She frowned at him for a moment, then her expression slowly shifted to confusion. ‘Like, what? What would you want to know?’

‘Like, your family? Where do they come from?’

‘Uh, my dad was brought up in Devon. And my mum’s family are all from around Egypt and Iran.’ She explained but she looked quite confused by the idea of explaining such a trivial fact. ‘Is there a meaning to this?’

Sirius had to smile. Adams was by far the most withdrawn girl he had ever come across. He didn’t want to admit that there was a reason to his questions, and that he wondered if possibly the girl’s bloodline would be pure enough to be acceptable by his family’s standards, ‘no, no meaning. I just realised we’ve spent a lot of time together since you became a prefect and I really don’t know much about you.’

‘Well, detentions aren’t really the place for idle chitchat.’ She gave him an accusatory face and picked up her wand from where she had placed it down after giving up on the conjuration. She waved it again, but there was only a few more sparks this time compared to her prior attempt.

‘Are your family all witches and wizards?’ Sirius asked curiously as he watched her attempt the spell again.

‘Yeah. As far as I know. I’m pretty sure the ones on my mum’s side were all a big part of the wizarding war through Egypt back in the twelve hundreds.’ Her eyes went wide as she spoke about it, ‘my Teta used to tell me all these really weird stories about it before she died. How they used to bewitch locust to attack muggles and transfigure their water supplies. Really foul stuff. Teta was an absolute nutter though, no idea why Mum named me after her.’ She made a face that spoke a thousand times louder than any amount of words could.

‘You got named after your dead, creepy, old family members too? I was named after my great grandfather.’ Sirius relaxed his head against his hand with a placid smile.

‘Yeah, fantastic isn’t it? Thanks a bunch for the originality, Mum. Glad Teta was totally sane and everything. Otherwise I might have gotten offended that I was now carrying on the legacy of lunatic that worshiped cats as a supreme being.’ Ali had a crazed glint in her eye as the sarcasm literally dripped from her voice. Sirius laughed loudly at her outburst burying his face in his arms on the table. When he looked up Ali was biting her lip and looked slightly pink.

‘What about your mum and dad? Are they nice people?’ Ali’s face suddenly turned very serene at his words. It was almost as if she were recalling a most precious memory.

‘My mum and dad are wonderful. My dad’s a bit of a pest, but he really funny. And my mum’s crazy scary when she’s mad, and we butt heads when we’re together for too long. But she’s probably the most loving lady I know.’ As she told her short, yet engrossing descriptions of her parents her face seemed to light up. Sirius was almost entranced by her smile. She was truly a pretty girl, but in that moment Sirius never thought he’d seen anyone so beautiful. He realised his mouth was agape and shut it quickly, regaining himself.

‘They sound really cool. James’s parents are kind of like that. His dad’s sick at the moment, so we’re all kind of worried about that. But his mum is really strong. Never met a more perfect little old lady in my life.’ Sirius smiled back at Ali and for a moment they just kind of stared at each other.

‘W-what about, you know, your parents?’ Ali turned suddenly awkward and seemed to pause after her sentence in wonder. Sirius found her to be so curious sometimes. Her flittering transitions from one emotion to the next was entertaining to watch.

‘My dear old mum’s not the coddling sort. She’s the type of lady that would order the house elf to fix you up if you scraped your knee. Later on she became the type to hurl inanimate objects at you if you spoke out of line. My dad was really anti muggles. Hated them. Put every enchantment known to man on our house to make sure they couldn’t get near us. Of course we had to live in London still, regardless of it being primarily muggles, because heaven forbid someone might think the noble house of black weren’t wealthy enough to afford the best.’ For a moment he kind of lost himself in the disdain he held for his family. He caught himself quickly and looked up to Ali. 

She was giving him a very strange look. He wasn’t quite sure how to judge it.

‘Your parents sound dreadful.’ She turned her nose up and continued on her thought process. Dreadful? Dreadful. Yes, Sirius thought, yes they were. For a moment, he enjoyed her frankness. ‘Do you miss them?’ That caught him off-guard.


‘Do you miss them? I mean, I don’t know what it’s like having parents you aren’t very fond of. But, they’re still your parents. Right? I expect no matter what parents did, their children would still love them.’ She seemed to be contemplating her own words. Sirius didn’t know how to reply. No, he didn’t miss his parents. He didn’t. He couldn’t. The two of them became rather quiet where they sat alone in the common room. Sirius heard rustling from across the table and when he looked back up again, Ali had adopted his position. They sat across from each other, both resting their chins on their forearms, seemingly oblivious to all the chatting students around them.

‘I don’t think I should miss them.’ Sirius answered honestly. There was a lingering silence between them.

‘But, you do?’ Suddenly Sirius felt very eerie, like the prefect across from him was reading his mind. Which he knew was wildly impossible because unless she had been reading books on legilimency since age four, such complicated magic would be lost on her. He didn’t answer. He didn’t think missing his parents was the right way of putting it. He couldn’t have possibly have missed Orion and Walburga. They were literally the personification of what not to do in regards to parenting.

But there was something he felt. He thought running away would have solved all his problems, and mostly it had. But there was an emptiness he felt knowing he no longer belonged to a family, even one that despised him. The Potter’s accepted him in, and he would be been eternally grateful for that, but there was something different about knowing he didn’t belong fully at the Potter’s. Funny thing was, he never felt like he really belonged to his own family either. He despised them. Suddenly his head began to hurt from the place his thoughts were travelling to, and then he felt warmth come over his right hand, where it was resting over his left elbow.

He jerked his head up to see Adams looking rather peculiar. Her entire face reeked of confusion and maladroit as she slowly tapped her palm over the back of his hand in what he supposed was an attempt to comfort him. She was casting weary looks around the room at students watching them. Sirius felt a smile tug his lips before he started laughing.

‘Hey! I’m trying to comfort you! You’re not supposed to laugh at me.’

‘You’re absolutely rubbish at that Adams.’ He shook his head but before she could retract her hand, he grabbed it with his own and gripped it tight. ‘But, thanks.’ She became quite ridged at his words and touch. He decided to ignore her awkwardness though, and continued to hold her surprisingly long, delicate fingers in his own. He recalled the memory from months ago when he had awoken to her by his bedside in the hospital wing. She had been assaulting his person and before he knew who it was, he’d grabbed her. That day she seemed to retract her hand the second she could. Between them now, as Sirius gripped onto her, he expected her to yank backwards and possibly yell at him. Funnily enough, the shouting didn’t come.

It took a few moments of a very perplexed look on her face, but eventually she started to relax and to Sirius’s surprise, weakly gripped his hand back. The room around them went completely ignored as the two allowed their eyes to connect and for the first time in Sirius’s life, he felt his heart rate quicken in his chest over a girl.

‘Adams, I-‘ But before Sirius could allow himself to speak the words he suddenly wanted to say, the portrait hole opened and someone came screaming inside.

‘PADFOOT! PADFOOT! HAS ANYONE SEEN-‘ James Potter almost fell over, he was climbing through the portrait hole so fast, ‘-AH!’ he registered his best friend over on the far side of the circular room and ran towards him, almost tripping over on the way, thrice. All attention in the common room turned to James, and as he approached, Sirius quickly let go of Ali and straightened himself up.

‘Padfoot! Padfoot I’m so sorry mate I completely forgot it’s your- ah, am I interrupting something?’ James asked, registering who Sirius was now sitting with as he fixed his glasses on his face. Both students looked thoroughly flustered as they distanced themselves from each other on either side of the table.

‘No!’ They both shouted in return.

‘Uh, well, Padfoot. I’m so sorry. I’ve been the worst friend lately. And then I was just writing down the date on some of the forms I was filling out with Lily for Head duties and- I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I have to make it up to you. I can’t let this slide I’m actually the scum on the bottom of the black lake. But I have a plan! There’s something you have to see! Like right now! So, GET UP!’ James made very excited movements with his hands, bouncing on the spot.

Sirius assumed he must have realised what today was. Usually James always made a bit of a fuss over his birthday. But when he had awoken this morning, James had already gone down to quidditch practice. They had lost their match against Slytherin last week and James had been livid about it. Not to mention he now had Lily and Head Boy duties to attend to. It did seem he was losing his best friend altogether. Peter had been there in the morning to give him a present of course, but Remus had been dead to the world asleep still.

He’d opened his packages from Mr and Mrs Potter and another that had been placed by his bedside the night before from Remus while Peter sat with him. He stowed them away and expected he would have heard from James later. But throughout the day, when many girls around the school had approached him with ‘happy birthday’s and small tokens of their affections, which Sirius had politely accepted, James had sat with Lily in classes and barely spoken a word to Sirius. This was the same behaviour he had been exhibiting since he and Lily began dating. Sirius was getting used to it and chose not to dwell on the fact that his birthday seemed to have been forgotten by his best friend.

But for the life of him he couldn’t hold a grudge against James. It had been weeks since James had even remembered Sirius existed in his Evans induced coma. So whatever it was he had planned, even if it was a piece of rotten pumpkin pie with a match in it, whatever it was James wanted to show him, Sirius wanted to go. He quickly turned to Adams.

‘Uh, will you be alright?’ He asked her. She was watching James bounce around with unease. She quickly snapped her attention back to him and a blush rose to her cheeks.

‘What? Yes. Honestly, it’s not like you were even teaching me anything. You’re a terrible teacher. I’ll learn better on my own. So- piss off, the both of you. So loud. Merlin.’ She mumbled, grabbing the transfigured jar and drawing it into her chest. She seemed to refuse to look Sirius in the eye. But for the time being, Sirius couldn’t linger to decipher why.

‘Alright, alright.’ Sirius frowned at her but quickly jumped up from his seat. Without so much as a fleeting goodbye James grabbed him and dragged him from the common room while every set of eyes watched them retreat. 

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