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The Marauders Kiss by sweetprofanities
Chapter 47 : Definitions and tactics.
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 14

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The last week of Ali’s life had been one of the strangest of her existence. She wasn’t quite sure how it happened, but her most prized hobby, studying, had taken a back seat to something. That something being Sirius Black. It had happened a few times in her life, certainly. She had been known to drop her need for books to satisfy her need for school rules being obeyed. She had run around the castle for over a week in search of Sirius and his friends in the past, and even her need for personal hygiene had taken a back seat to that.

But this time it was different. She wasn’t pushing aside her precious time for learning, she was downright giving it the boot. She wasn’t really sure what had come over her. Sirius Black was a terrible role model. And every chance he seemed to get at securing her on her own, which considering her track record of having exactly no close friends it wasn’t hard, he seemed to be taking it. Which as it so happened, had been not five minutes beforehand. She was supposed to be on rounds, upholding her duty as a prefect. And what had happened? Oh she had caught someone out of bed alright. But he’d certainly meant for her to.

When 1am had rolled around she realised rounds had been over for nearly an hour and decided to get to bed. She had told Sirius to stick back so they wouldn’t be caught together coming into the common room at this unwarlockly hour. He had agreed to her terms and so here she was, stepping through the portrait hole at a quarter past one in the morning on a school night. She looked around and luckily there was next to no one in the common room. She did notice one mop of untidy black hair on the couch before the fire though and wondered what James was doing up on his own.

Was he waiting for Sirius?

‘No,’ she heard a light, droning voice say, ‘stop it, James.’ Ali tilted her head to the side as James’ shoulders began shaking slightly with laughter. She made her way over to where he sat and peered around the couch to see who had spoken. Because the pitch of that voice certainly didn’t belong to a boy under the age of thirteen.

James noticed her shadow and turned his head to meet her. He held a finger up to his lips and looked down at the girl fast asleep in his lap. Ali couldn’t help but smile as she came around and took a seat on the armchair across from the couple. Lily had clearly dozed off with her head on James' lap, where she looked to have been reading one of their textbooks.

‘James.’ She mumbled again shaking her head slightly in her sleep. She was clearly cross with whatever the subconscious James was doing at present. ‘James, that’s not a suitable present for a girl.’

Both Ali and James raised a hand to their mouths to muffle their laughter.

‘Just finished rounds, Adams?’ James whispered as he continued to drag his fingers through Lily’s long, deep red hair. Ali presumed this was probably what put her to sleep in the first place.

‘Uh, yep. Just being a model student, as always.’ She humoured herself with a light, dead laugh. She was a disgrace to the word authority. If anyone had been out of bed tonight, they would have gotten away with it. As the last two hours had been spent in a very unladylike fashion, in an empty classroom on the first floor.

‘What time is it? We’ve been studying and going over Head duties for hours.’

‘Uh, midnight. Yeah, yeah definitely midnight.’ She prayed the boys didn’t have any clocks handy in their dorm, because that was a dirty great lie. Midnight would be the time she should have been back from rounds. James didn’t seem to notice her inner turmoil however as he brushed a few hairs off Lily’s forehead. Ali watched him silently for a moment.

He had the hint of a smile touching just one side of his mouth. The way he was looking down at Lily, someone could have painted them in that moment and the picture would have touched hearts. As Ali watched James continue to drag his fingers through his lady’s hair, seeming so very content with just being near her, she felt herself sigh. James looked up at her, breaking out of his Lily induced trance.

‘You two-' Ali started trying to think of the correct wording for what she wanted to convey, ‘-you really work. The two of you. I honestly used to feel sorry for you, Potter. I thought she hated you. But here you are, playing with her hair by fire light. It’s disgusting you know. How cute the two of you are.’ She was as honest as they came, and to Ali, her words were a compliment.

James tried to stop himself moving too much from his laughter for fear of waking Lily.

‘Thanks?’ He replied, ‘If we’re being truthful, I thought she hated me, too. But there were tiny giveaways here and there. Smiles she used to give me after lecturing me. Catching her looking at me in classes. I guess I’m just lucky that such an amazing witch would think I, of all people, was worth her time.’

‘Merlin, Potter. Don’t start sobbing of happiness or anything. You’ll wake her up.’  Ali rolled her eyes, but couldn’t stop the devious smirk from adorning her lips.

‘Sod off, Adams. How’s your week been? I haven’t seen Sirius around much.’ Ali’s face snapped back in his direction instantly after the call and James’s expression spoke legions. It was at that very inopportune moment that Sirius clambered through the portrait hole. Both their heads transitioned to his direction at the same time to watch him elegantly straighten back up and register them.

Neither of the three conscious occupants of the common room spoke. Each set of eyes kept flicking back and forth between each other. Sirius made his way over to them slowly. Ali swallowed as he drew up to his full height next to the couch by the two of them.

‘Evening.’ James spoke softly, still dragging fingers through Lily’s hair.

‘I was just-' Sirius raised a hand up to his lips to bite down on his thumb nail, ‘-taking a stroll?’

Ali felt her eyes rolling back in her head and her bottom jaw jutting out from the sheer pain that sentence caused her. Did he just end his excuse as a question? Could he have come up with a worse excuse for being out at one am? What was he? A freaking wistful pre-teen in a romance novel?

‘Get your thumb out of your mouth, Black.’ She shook her head, glaring at him. Sirius quickly pulled his thumb away from his face and James started snickering under his breath.

‘Wow, well I’ll just leave you to… “tell him off” for being out past curfew then, shall I, Adams?’ James wasn’t even looking in either of their directions as he spoke. He was watching Lily. He crouch over and placed a kiss on her lips and she stirred.

‘Ja-Po… Potter?’ Lily said sleepily, opening her eyes. She let out a massive yawn and stretched out her arms above her head like a well-rested cat. Once she was in a sitting position she looked around at the weird situation, still groggy from sleep.

‘Come on babe, let’s go to bed.’ James stood while Lily surveyed the situation.

‘Are you two dating yet or what?’ Lily eyed them off and Ali felt herself choke on literally nothing. It was as if air had suddenly accumulated in her throat, causing her to cough up, well, air.

‘Go to bed you corny tossers.’ Sirius shook his head at the two of them while James continued to laugh at their expense.

‘See you upstairs Love-Pup!’ James sang, pulling Lily up and leading her over to the stairs where they parted ways. James was still chuckling, but he paused to kiss his redhead goodnight.

‘Did you tell them?’ Ali flicked her accusatory sentence at Sirius before he even had a chance to turn back to look at her.

‘What? No.’ He looked down to her in the armchair angrily like he didn’t much appreciate being told off when he wasn’t in the wrong. But his face suddenly softened. ‘They don’t know anything. I’m great at keeping secrets.’

‘Shut up, I’m the mastermind secret keeper. If anyone found out, it’d all be your fault.’ Ali put her nose in the air and shut her eyes knowing full well the two of them had probably been much less secretive than was desirable. It was hard to be secretive when you got carried away with each other’s lips the instant no one else was in view.

‘Ah yes, I’m to fault. Again. Forgive me.’ Sirius spoke and Ali felt his hand settle over the top of hers.

‘You are not forgiven.’ She replied stubbornly, eyes still closed.

‘Oh please, Miss Prefect, I promise I’ll be a good boy from now on?’ Sirius could barely keep the laughter from his voice. His hand pulled on hers and lifted her out of the armchair and into his arms.

‘Ew, never call me that again. It’s disturbing.’ Her mouth betrayed her words though. Her eyebrows were furrowed but she was smiling in her new position against his chest.

‘Sure thing, kid.’ He looked perfectly happy as he looked down at her, his arms wrapped tightly around her waist. He leant down and placed a kiss on her forehead and Ali hated to admit how much she enjoyed those over the past few days. If there was one thing about Sirius Black she would never change, it would be how gently he kissed her forehead when he seemed to be happy.

Suddenly, she couldn’t stop a yawn from escaping her mouth and she rested her cheek against his collarbone. Since Aaliyah was young there was one thing she always found strange about people, and it was their constant need to touch one another. It wasn’t something she had ever enjoyed. People hugging one another, kissing each other on the cheek goodbye, it was just simply unnecessary to her. She had even been a little strange with her own family at times. She just didn’t value skin to skin contact. At all.

But for some reason she just could not describe with words, it felt right being so close to Sirius. The skin of her cheek against his chest wasn’t uncomfortable to her. His arms securing her body against his wasn’t unwanted. He placed his chin down on the top of her head and that didn’t disturb her. It made her feel… safe.

‘I’m-' she debated inwardly whether this was okay to say aloud. She decided, well if she was exchanging saliva with this boy, she could be a little vulnerable with him. ‘I’m not ready to go up to bed yet.’ She admitted.

‘Me either.’ She could have sworn she could hear the smile on his face as he spoke those words even though she had her eyes shut against his chest. Sirius shifted and took a seat on the couch where Lily and James had vacated. Ali watched him, missing the contact. He looked up at her and held an arm up for her to settle under. She just smiled and sat down beside him, resting up against him like an elated puppy dog. Who was she?

She felt his finger rest under her chin and pull up to shift her face. Then he lent down and kissed her on the lips. She was sure she would never find this tedious in her life. Kissing could be two very different experiences with different people. But there was more to this, and she knew it. They had been, for lack of a better term, swapping spit for three days now. Anywhere they could. In empty classrooms and deserted hallways. But for all the time they had been spending in each other’s presence, they hadn’t really talked too much about it.

‘Uhm, Black?’ Sirius hummed a reply as they watched the dying fire before them, Ali rested comfortably against him, ‘what exactly are we doing?’

‘I reckon we’re sitting on a couch, Adams. Are you okay?’ He seemed to find himself amusing and so Ali pushed herself off of him and smacked him square in the solar plexus and Sirius heaved a cough.

‘Don’t be a dick, Black. I mean, this. Me sitting up against you. You-' she struggled with this. It was not her style, ‘-you, finding me whenever I’m alone and… stuff. What is this? I’ve never done whatever this is with anyone.’

‘Neither have I.’ Sirius admitted as they sat across from each other at opposite ends of the couch now. That made Ali’s heart race a little. He hadn’t ever done this with another girl before? This wasn’t just a Sirius Black thing to do?

‘So, are we-' she knew what she wanted to ask. She wanted to ask if they were together, essentially. Like Lily and James. Would they continue to hide in classrooms or would they start exhibiting disgusting displays in front of others? She honestly didn’t want to make out with him in front of people, the thought of it was nerve wracking. But she did, for some reason, want Sirius to display in some way that they were- what? Together?

Did she? Were they? She was very confused. But the thing confusing her the most was that she seemed to want to be ‘together’ with him.

‘What?’ Sirius was watching her and when she looked back at him, his brows were creased and his hair was falling into his face. She had always known he was attractive, she wasn’t blind. But recently she was becoming aware just how attractive he was.

‘Are we… together?’ As the words left her mouth they felt strange and other worldly. Did she just ask that? She watched Sirius’s face soften in thought. She watched him play with his lip and reach up to brush his dark hair out of his face. He was taking an awfully long time to answer this. She felt her face turning to a grimace as each second fell by.

‘Uhm,’ Sirius looked over at her, ‘how about, for now, we don’t put a label on it?’

Suddenly Aaliyah’s world stopped dead. Her scowl died and it was replaced with a relaxed look as she heard the words smacking around in her head. Did he just shut her proposal of actually being together down? Did he just tell her not to put a label on what they were doing? Like some cheap floozy? She blinked and he swam back into her vision. Then she realized she wasn’t breathing.

‘Is… is that okay?’ Sirius asked cautiously.

Ali smiled, ‘oh, that’s… fine.’ It most certainly was not fine. ‘No labels?’

‘For now.’ Sirius nodded. Ali’s jaw squared as she gritted her teeth. She nodded back.

‘I have to go to bed now.’ As she stood, he stood with her. He pulled her into his body and kissed her cheek. Five minutes ago she might have enjoyed that. But at the present moment, she wanted to scream.

‘Goodnight.’ Sirius smiled at her and she hoped the smile she was giving him in return was believable. She turned and made her way over to the girl’s stairs and took each step up slowly and as she made it into her dorm, she silently changed and slipped into her pyjamas. She was still devoid one dressing gown. Snowball was fast asleep on her bed and so she had to get under the covers far on the left side so not to wake him.

Once in bed and the darkness and silence was enveloping her she felt how hard her heart was thumping. She was still smiling rather crazily and so she touched her hands to her cheeks to stop herself. She just got completely shut down by Sirius Black. Not rejected in so many words, he certainly wanted to continue snogging her, but she certainly lost any kind of upper hand just then.

When she fell asleep she dreamt of Anna and her gang laughing at her. They were making fun of her for thinking she might have had a chance with the school heart throb. Suddenly she realised everyone in the school was laughing at her, including one Sirius Black. She awoke with a start and realised it was almost time for breakfast. Did she even want to eat? She got up and went about her morning routine normally and before she knew it she was standing outside her door, dressed and ready for classes.

‘Hey, coming down to breakfast?’ A friendly voiced asked. It was Lily. She was alone. Ali blinked at her and wondered, would she know what to do in this situation?

‘Um, Lily. Could I- could I borrow you for a moment?’

‘Yeah, of course.’ Ali secured her hand around Lily’s wrist and pulled her into her dorm which was thankfully empty of all occupants besides Snowball. She sat Lily down and stared at her.

‘What’s up, Ali?’ Lily asked. Ali was happy that Lily seemed to be the second person in her life to adopt her preferred name willingly.

Ali swallowed, ‘remember how I- made out with Black?’ Lily nodded with a grin. ‘Remember how I seemed to figure out I had some kind of- feelings… for him?’ Lily kept nodding like she was overjoyed by this, ‘Well we’ve kind of been-'

‘Making out a lot?’ Lily was still nodding and smiling.

‘Uh, ineloquently put, yes.’ Lily squealed and Aaliyah had to cover her ears for a moment.

‘So are you dating yet, or what?’ Lily seemed to be much happier about this than Ali anticipated.

‘Well, I was wondering the same thing. So last night I kind of fumbled over the same question with him.’ Lily grabbed Ali’s knees in wait, ‘and he said,’ she took in a deep breath, ‘he didn’t want to put a label on it.’

Lily fumbled and almost fell off the bed, ‘he what?’ she straightened herself up and stared across at Ali like she had never been so disrespected.

‘Is that, well, normal? Is that how these things work? I’m a little confused.’ By Lily’s reaction, Ali was starting to believe she might be right in thinking Sirius had just displayed a very Sirius Black, school dickhead, move.

‘That little twerp.’ Lily balled her hand into a fist, ‘Doesn’t want to put a label on it. Did he actually say that? So what, he’s been making out with you for the better half of a week, and when you tried to define it, he gave you that line?’

‘I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say it’s not normal then?’ Ali could feel something inside her swirling around. Had she been a complete fool? Was she just going weak kneed and googly eyed over a boy and missing all the blatantly obvious signals? Was she turning into one of her clueless roommates? She couldn’t be one of those girls! She made fun of those girls on a daily basis.

‘What did you say in return, Adams? This is of upmost importance, word for word!’ Lily demanded.

‘Uh, I said it was fine.’ As Ali replied she felt herself moving away from Lily a little, she was becoming increasingly better at this social back and forth but Lily currently resembled someone that might have spent too long in Azkaban. ‘I don’t even know why I said it was fine. I just smiled and said it was fine. It wasn’t fine Lily. It wasn’t.’

‘Of course it wasn’t fine.’

‘Crap, Lily what have I done? I messed up, didn’t I? What do I do now? Should I just never speak to him again?’

Lily chuckled, ‘You know for anyone else I might say try it, but I feel like you might succeed with that endeavour. And even if he’s being a prat about it, I know you’ll both hate that road.’ Lily thought for a moment with a finger on her chin while a war raged on inside Ali’s chest. She wasn’t sure what she wanted right now. She wanted to hit Sirius Black. If it wasn’t for him, she would be perfectly normal right now and probably pushing in some early morning study, not debating tactics over a boy. ‘Ali if he doesn’t want to put a label on it, make him work for it.’

‘I’m sorry?’

‘I mean, make him want to put a label on it.’ Lily explained.

Ali was confused. How on earth did you make a boy do anything? ‘And, how do I do that?’

‘Make him jealous.’ The smile on Lily’s face as she stood before her made Ali ever so slightly worried. It was that smile that put fear into James Potter, she was sure of it.

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