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Different You by Yasmin93
Chapter 5 : Our Little Secret
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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"IT IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!" Lily's voice echoed throughout the entire common room let the following evening. Her face was almost as red as her hair, her fists clenched together so tight that they were white as she squared up to James. "YOU ARE A SELF-ABSORBED, ARROGANT TOAD! I NEVER HAVE BEEN, NOR WILL I EVER BE, INTERESTED! IN! YOU!" As she shouted the her last word she prodded James in his chest.

It turned out James really was very persistent in his chase of Lily, and she didn't appreciate anything that he did. I don't know what it was that she didn't like about him. From what I had seen he was kind, funny and loyal. I'd never even caught him looking in another girls direction. Yet for some reason they had arguments like this every other day.

I say they have arguments, but it's more Lily's arguments with James. He could say hi to her in the corridor and she'd find a reason to kick off at him. She did not like any of his attempts to woo her, even if every other girl in the world would love to have that sort of attention.

"Calm down, Lily." James put his hands up in surrender. The usual cheeky grin that was on his face was missing leaving his lips pressed together tightly.

"NO I WILL NOT CALM DOWN!" Her eyes narrowed as she took a step towards him. "NOT UNTIL YOU LEAVE ME ALONE!"

By this point the entire common room had gone silent and every set of eyes was set on them. It was like our very own version of Days Of Our Lives.

I didn't think it was possible, but James' shoulders seemed to droop even more than they already were. It was like his whole body just deflated with every word Lily said.

"I think I've got the message." He grumbled, his voice barely audible.

Behind him, Sirius sat at a table, sniggering at the altercation. It was as though he couldn't see the distress on his friends face. He couldn't see just how much any of it was getting to him. Not that it surprised me.

Lily spun around on her heel and stormed up to the dormitory leaving James staring at the spot she had just left.

"There are plenty more fish in the sea, Prongs." Sirius draped his arm over James' shoulders and steered him towards the sofas we were all sat on. "You're not missing out on much there anyway."

"You'd think that after six years you would have actually got to know her a bit." Alice spoke, not removing her eyes from the game of chess she was playing with Peter.

"Why would I want to?" Sirius scoffed. "Not whilst she has that stick shoved so far up her-"

"Can you stop!" James snapped.

"Don't let some silly girl get to you like this." Sirius wasn't even bothering to hide his exasperation at the situation. "This has been going on for far too long. Just forget about her. I can introduce you to a few girls." He said as he waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

I couldn't help but groan inwardly as I looked between the two of them. "Just give her some space, James. I'm sure she'll come around." I cut in, relieved when James perked up the tiniest amount.

"And what would you know?" Sirius snapped at me. "You've known her for what, two weeks?"

I had never heard Sirius sound so cold and harsh and I found myself recoiling at the sound of him. The way he was glaring at me made me what to cower away from him. With knots tying in my stomach I fought against what I wanted to do and continued looking him in the eye.

"And you've known James for six years but you can't see that he doesn't want to hear you slag Lily off!" I bit back.

It was the first time we'd spoken since Sirius had dragged us into when of his pranks. He had done a very good job at making sure we were never around each other for long enough to actually have a conversation.

That, or he'd have someone attached to him so I'd disappear into the library.

"I'm just telling him what he needs to hear." Sirius' face was filled with a rage I never thought was capable of him. Every time he spoke to me as though I was the dirt in his foot I felt myself getting more and more angry.

"And trying to turn him into you is what he needs?" I spat with more venom in my voice than I had thought possible. "James is a better man than you will ever be!" I turned from Sirius, who was staring at me with wide eyes, to James. "She will get over whatever her problem is. Just give everything a break and do what she asks. She'll soon miss your presence. Sleeping around is not the answer, despite what your dog seems to think."

My eyes darted back to Sirius who was glowering at me but it did nothing to make me back down. I didn't give two flying fucks any more. As far as I was concerned he needed to know what he was doing. No one had ever treated me the way he had, and there was no way in hell I was going to let him keep it up without having my say.

A bark of laughter came from Sirius and it was his turn to be the object of everyone's attention.

"Sweetheart, you weren't calling me a dog when you were spending everyday with me over the holidays." There was a malicious gleam in his eye that I hadn't expected to see there. He wanted to get to me the only way he knew how.

There was a sharp pain in my heart as he reminded me, once again, that he really is a completely different person. Rather than letting the hurt get the better of me I shook my head as I smiled at him.

"It turns out you're a pretty good actor. You definitely aren't the man I thought you were. You're just a silly little boy who plays silly little games."

Sirius stood up, sending his chair toppling over behind him.

"Guys! Stop it!" Alice snapped. The sound of her voice shocked me. It was the first time I hadn't heard the usual lilt to it. She was suddenly stood up in front of Sirius with her hand on his chest to push him back to his chair.

"You're not a part of this group, Juliet." He snarled as he emphasized every syllabus of my name. His eyes were completely emotionless now. He just looked bored as he watched me over Alice's shoulder. "What makes you think James even wants your advice. You can't just come waltzing in and ruin the balance of everything!"

I couldn't stop the disbelief from showing on my face. That was obvious from the smirk on his face. I slowly looked around at the rest of the group, hoping that someone would come to my defence but it didn't happen.

James was still looking forlorn at the door Lily had left. He can't have been paying any attention to us, despite the volume of our disagreement. Peter was staring at his hands, awkwardly avoiding my gaze. Marlene had an awful smirk on her face telling me this was exactly what she wanted.

And Alice. Well, I'm not sure what Alice was saying but by this point she'd shove Sirius backwards and was having a stern word with him.

I got up from my seat and left the common room without even a glance back. The whole way out I could feel the intense burn of Sirius' eyes on my back so I kept my head up.

Alice called out for me to wait but I kept walking. After I ignored her she called out for James a few times but I was out of earshot by the time I would have heard what she wanted him for.

It wasn't until I got out of the common room and into the library that I dropped my facade. I slumped into a chair at the very back of the library and buried my head in my hands.

No matter how much I thought about it all, I couldn't figure out what I had done to ruffle Sirius' feathers so much. Could I really have done anything that was so bad that I deserved what he was doing?

I scrunched my eyes shut and pressed the palm of my hands to them. All I wanted to do was cry and let it all out, but all I could think about was how it would mean he had won.

"It can't be that bad." A voice that was all to familiar with Sirius' spoke softly from beside me. I listened as he pulled up a chair and took a seat but refused to move my hands.

"Regulus." I sniffled before taking a few deep breaths. One, two, three. Finally, I removed my hands and glanced at the younger boy to find him searching my face for something.

His eyes were exactly like Sirius' this time. Cold and completely devoid of all emotion. The sight of them caused a pit to grow at the pit of my stomach. The more I looked at them, the more I craved the warm, open eyes I had grown so used to.

"What did he do this time?" He moved his hair out of his face, an action that reminded me completely of Sirius.

"How about we talk about something else." I suggested as I looked him up and down. I had no idea what exactly I was looking for, but there was something different about him. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on.

"Like what?" He was almost mocking me as I spoke, like he knew I wouldn't come up with anything.

When I shrugged at him he let out a small chuckle. The sound shocked me. It was the first time I'd heard any sort of laugh come from his mouth and it was the last thing I expected. It was as though he was so controlling of himself that he even controlled how he laughed. I felt my eyebrow raise at him slightly.

"What?"

"Nothing." I turned to attention to the very interesting bookshelf behind him.

The silence between us grew for a moment whilst Regulus racked his brain for something to say. For a moment it was as though he was debating something with himself.

"How about we head somewhere else?" He raised his eyes back to meet mine and he stood up. He stood in silence as he waited for me to answer.

"Sure." I murmured as I stood up to follow him. "Where?"

"Somewhere I think you need more than I do." His voice was warmer than I'd ever heard it.

I followed him out of the library and couldn't stop myself from mentally taking note of everything about him. I found myself comparing him to Sirius. I finally noticed all the differences between them.

Even though Sirius definitely presented himself as though he had been brought up in a noble, wealthy family there was something relaxed about him that Regulus just didn't have. He walked with a stiffness that made him look uncomfortable.

It wasn't until we got to the grounds that either of us said anything to one another. Surprisingly the silence wasn't awkward or overbearing this time.

"So, are you going to tell me where we're going yet?" I asked as I almost ran to keep up with his pace. He headed towards the forest and I couldn't help but wonder why we were going there. What was in there that I needed? Was he going to leave me there to get eaten by one of the many creatures I'd heard about living in there?

"You'll see in a minute." Regulus' voice snapped me out of my thoughts. "It's not that much further."

Not letting any of my previous thoughts re-enter my mind, I followed Regulus the rest of the way in silence. I wasn't going to get very far here if I didn't give people the benefit of the doubt. Besides, Sirius had made it quite clear I wasn't a part of 'his group'. Maybe Regulus would be the friend I needed.

He was right, it wasn't long before we got to where he was taking me. As I looked around I couldn't believe my eyes. It was amazing.

"Wow." I gasped as I turned around, trying to take everything in.

It was beautiful. The trees around the clearing acted as a sort of barrier from the outside world, blocking everything and everyone out. The grass was brightest green I had ever seen, the light from above only making it seem brighter. Bright, wild flowers were scattered throughout the grass giving even more colour to the area.

The place was magical. You could hear the creatures of the forest scattering around in the darkness but couldn't see a thing. It was like I had been transported to somewhere far away from Hogwarts.

My eyes drifted to Regulus who was watching my reaction. His eyes were intense, his lips pressed together in a tight line. It was as though he was always on edge.

"Can you do me a favour and keep this place to yourself?" Regulus was polite, his voice was regulated as he spoke. "I don't want the whole school finding out about it."

"It'll be our little secret. How did you find this place anyway?" I whispered as I slowly walked around the clearing. The more he stared at me, the more uncomfortable I felt.

"I stumbled across it a few years ago." He finally moved his scrutinizing gaze from me and it was like I could suddenly breath again. "It's where I come to think. With the amount of time you seem to spend in the library I thought you could probably use it."

"You'd only know that if you spent just as much time there." I raised my eyebrow as I took a seat against a tree.

Some of the tension finally left Regulus' shoulders as he took one last look around us before he finally came and sat beside me.

"I'll give you that." The corner of his lips twitched the smallest amount. "So, are you going to tell me why you were moping in the library on your own?"

"I wasn't moping." I quickly retorted. Even in my own mind it was a bit too quickly.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks." Regulus finally smiled. It was only a small smile, but it was a smile nonetheless. He started scratching the inside of his left forearm as he looked up at the sky. "What did he do this time?"

"Nothing." I lied, not wanting to go into my private life with someone I barely knew. "I just needed a change of environment."

"Well, I'm glad I could be of assistance then." Regulus joked. It felt like it was the first time he'd even cracked any sort of joke. Like he was starting to let himself relax a little bit. "Seriously though, what happened?"

His eyes were warm and full of concern and suddenly I felt like I could tell him all of my problems. Maybe if I spoke to him I could actually get some answers as to why Sirius was being the way he was. Surely no one would know him better than his own brother.

"I'll tell you on one condition."

Regulus' eyes narrowed in suspicion.

"You have to tell me the deal between you and Sirius." I let my curiosity get the better of me.

With a small smile Regulus nodded. "Fine."

Regulus sat in complete silence as I explained what had happened earlier on in the common room. It was nice to finally be able to talk and not have to think about what I was saying first. I finally finished my story and he still didn't say anything. Instead he just looked up at the sky as he thought it over.

"I just don't get what I've done to make him go so cold." I sighed as I let myself fall backwards onto the grass. "It's like he's a completely different person to the one I knew."

"Sirius is," Regulus went silent, once again searching his brain for the right words. "He's complicated. I can't even begin to tell you what goes on in that thick skull of his because I don't even understand what goes on there myself."

"Tell me about it." I shut my eyes to stop the sun from blinding me, spots of light spilling through my eyelids. "He's just so extreme about it all."

"Have you told him about the conversation we had before?" I could feel Regulus' gaze on me so I just shook my head. "That can't be the reason then."

"Enough about my problems." I changed the topic, not wanting to go into the depths of Sirius' mind. "Your turn."

This time it was Regulus who sighed. It was obvious that he didn't actually want to talk about his relationship with his brother. That just made me even more curious.

"Growing up wasn't exactly easy for Sirius." His voice was soft as he thought back on his childhood. "We used to be really close. Best friends even."

I tried to picture it. Young Sirius being the good, doting big brother. It didn't come easy, but when I finally managed to I couldn't help but smile.

"He was the black sheep of the family. He didn't have the same beliefs as our parents and that meant he got the brunt of their moods at every possible chance. He was mentally and physically abused by both our mother and our father." Regulus' voice was distant. "When he left he could finally be himself without having to face any of the consequences; for most of the year anyway. He got sorted into Gryffindor which only made them worse so he basically lived at Potters from his second year."

"That doesn't explain what happened between the two of you." I spoke without thinking.

"I'll get to that if you be quiet for a moment." There was a small smile on his face as he spoke to me. It was gone almost as quickly as it appeared though. "I went along with everything my parents said. Followed their beliefs, rules and regulations. I became one of the people that Sirius had been so open about hating. The older I got, the more we didn't get along. We just drifted apart in the end I guess."

"Do you miss him?" I watched his face as he thought back on memories they shared.

"All the time." He mumbled. "But that doesn't matter any more. We both chose our paths. There's no going back now." He started rubbing his forearm nervously.

"It doesn't have to be that way. It's never too late to build that bridge." I whispered.

"Yes, it is." With that I knew it was the end of our conversation.


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