Chapter 8 : Just Don't Get Your Face-Gunk On Me...
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Chapter Image by Krazeea @ TDA
The first snow fell at the end of January.
I… er… wasn’t excited or anything.
“Lily! Hurry the fuck up or we’ll miss it!” I shrieked through the bathroom door.
“There’s a foot of snow, Deb,” She replied through the door, serenely. “It’s not going to melt.”
“But it will all be used up! Everyone else has been out there for ages!” I whinged, bouncing on the balls of my feet.
After about five years of preening Lily finally emerged from the bathroom.
“You’ve done your hair.” I accused.
“We’re having a snowball fight! You don’t need to have good hair!” My own hair was thrown up in a messy bun. Not the kind of carefully constructed, artistic messy bun that take at least ten minutes to perfect. Literally a muddled ball of tangled hair at the back of my neck.
I was too excited.
“Come on!” I whined. I’d been dressed in my thirty-five layers for the best part of twenty minutes waiting for her and I was starting to get hot and flustered in her warm dormitory.
“I’m bloody coming, you child! The things I do for you… you know I hate snowball fights. I always come off worst…” She grumbled as we left the Gryffindor common room, her trudging along reluctantly with me skipping along beside her. She was referring to the way that, for the last three years, she’d been victimised by James who though that raining an attack of snowballs on a girl was the way to win her heart. Last year she got a black eye. It was hilarious.
“I’ll protect you,” I informed her happily, “I am after all the Queen of The Snowball Fights.”
“Bloody Quidditch players.” Lily griped, lingering at the door in the Entrance Hall warily, “I should have brought my wand…”
“That’s cheating.” I scolded. “Muggle snowball fights are on a whole different level.”
The open door let in a stream of stabbingly bright sunlight, reflected off the impossibly white layer of snow on the grounds. There was barely a breeze, but the air was icy on our faces, the only part of us exposed. I’d thought I’d gone overboard with my attire of three jumpers, a coat, mittens and a scarf, but Lily upstaged me. I think she actually had three scarves on. And a hat. And earmuffs.
I bounded out towards the lake, skidding and sliding through the snow oh so elegantly. Lily plodded more carefully along behind me.
I spotted the figure I was looking for. Or, more accurately, I spotted the lean backside as he twisted around a tree to sling a particularly vicious snowball at Peter. I smiled to myself at his boyish bark of a laugh as he hid back behind the tree again and Peter looked around, dazed.
I scooped up some snow of my own, and compacted it into a hard little ball. I loved the sugary, crunchy feel of new snow as you stepped in it, picked it up, threw it.
I really was too excited.
I launched the perfect ball at him.
“Argh!” His oversized hat was knocked sideways. It was so drenched from the snow that it dangled partly over the back of his head. He looked up, furious to see who’d got him.
I grinned and showered him in powdery snow.
“You.” He bared his teeth in a snarl that wasn’t the least bit vicious and darted towards me. His cheeks were flushed pink from the cold and his breath came out in a visible fog. Idiot must have been our here hours already.
“Me.” I replied brightly, smiling. He pounced and knocked me backwards into a particularly deep pile of snow. I was pressed into the powder, the cold seeping through my layers in a way that wasn’t uncomfortable, I was just aware of it moulded around the back of my body. I didn’t mind when I had this boy on top of me. He was basically sitting on me, threatening me with an enormous snowball above my face.
“You’re supposed to fight back,” He hissed, sarcastically, “That’s the point of a snowball fight.”
“Just practicing not running away,” I told him, primly. He responded by rubbing the snow in my face.
It had been that same night, the night I’d told him in the Quidditch stands, when he’d talked about my tendency to run away.
We were walking back to the castle. I was secretly thrilled that he’d slung his bag across his shoulders and taken my hand in his as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Then I felt rather stupid that I was so excited by him holding my hand… as if we hadn’t already… well. What was I, eight? It was stupid.
But holding hands was such a proper coupley thing to do. Not the sort of thing Sirius did with his flings, and not the sort of thing he’d usually do with me. Holding hands was completely different to having his arm chucked around my shoulders.
Apparently he noticed too.
“So let me get this straight -” He began.
If I had a knut each time he’s said that in the past month…
Well I’d have about three knuts. But that’s a damn sight more than I have right now.
“- This is real?” He shook the hand that was wrapped around mine. I realised all of a sudden how boyish his hands were. Next to his, my hands looked slim and a smooth caramel colour. I noticed his rough knuckles, the tendons and veins in the back of his hands and the mud from training caked on his pale skin. A little gross, yes. But so Sirius.
“Erm, yes?” I didn’t really know what he was asking.
He laughed. “I mean me and you. We’re still going to be together tomorrow?”
“Uh, yes?” I repeated, still confused. Had I not made it clear with my pathetic display of bawling and stuttering? It seemed like he got it at the time…
“You’re not going to run off on me again tomorrow?”
“I do not run off!”
Sirius laughed. I smiled sheepishly. I don’t know why I denied it. Reflex.
“Oh, sorry my mistake. I must have just missed your note when you disappeared from my room at Christmas.” Sirius said, sounding amused but a little bitter. “Oh, and again in the kitchen. And I knew we must have been just out of synch for the whole week after that. Then at new years… and -”
Alright, you’ve made your sodding point.
“I… don’t mean to…” I pouted.
“How about we have a deal that you don’t do it anymore?” Sirius squeezed my hand.
“I’ll try my best.” I said, doubtfully. He was overestimating my ability to override the flight response.
“Good enough for me.” He stopped suddenly, spinning me around and planting a kiss on my lips. Just a little kiss. Again, nothing compared to what we’d already done. But this whole ‘being together’ thing just seemed to intensify every gesture. Though I’d never admit it if anyone asked, my knees did actually go weak for a millisecond. How embarrassing.
He had that weird expression again. The one that looked apprehensive, as if he expected me to up and leg it. It relaxed when I scowled playfully at him.
“Sorry,” He said, teasingly, “Just checking.”
“You know, you should probably hold me down if you’re that scared I’m going to run off.” I said, sarcastically.
“Sorry,” He totally wasn’t. A grin spread across his face. “So I’m allowed to do it again?”
“I wouldn’t push your luck -” I answered flippantly, an automatic response.
“It’s worth the risk.” He leaned in again, and this time I stretched up on my tip toes to meet him halfway. I felt his lips twisting into a smile beneath mine and his free arm sliding around my neck; his hand cold underneath my hair.
The most astonishing part was that as of yet, between us, we’d made no fuck ups. It had been two weeks, and in my opinion it had gone pretty smoothly.
I was happy.
Although, covered in snow.
“You know, you should get up or people are going to start to talk,” I joked as Sirius grinned triumphantly from his position sitting on top of me.
Sirius instantly rolled sideways off me and we both instinctively twisted our heads to scan the grounds for James and Lily. I had no idea where James would be but I hazarded a guess that Lily would still be carefully picking her way across the grounds towards me like an old arthritic hen.
It should’ve have been easy to spot the rounded figure in seventy-five layers of clothing. But I couldn’t spot the pink beach ball anywhere. Not even a hint of her sparkly earmuffs.
“Well, well, well,” Sirius chuckled suddenly.
I followed his gaze and raised my eyebrows. Well, well, well, indeed.
The couple in question were a few yards away, in the same precarious position that Sirius and I had been in just a few moments earlier. That wasn’t right. James wasn’t doubled over clutching his manly parts and Lily wasn’t glaring down at him with her wand raised, threateningly.
They seemed to be innocently talking. With James straddling her, that is. No hostility anyway. Well, alright, I couldn’t see Lily’s face… her earmuffs were in the way.
Without exchanging a word, Sirius and I marched over the snow and stood over them.
“Ahem.” I cleared my throat.
Lily’s head snapped in our direction and in one swift movement she’d performed some sort of martial arts manoeuvre on James and he ended up face down in the snow while she stood over him. Ah, that was more like it.
“Cosy,” Sirius commented with a grin that I knew would make Lily furious.
I was right. Her face clashed with her hair and coat. The outermost layer, that is.
“What were you two up to then?” I was aware that I had a hideously patronizing smirk plastered on my face, if it was anything like Sirius’ expression.
“Nothing,” Lily scowled down at James who was getting to his feet.
“Didn’t look like nothing…” Sirius carried on, either bravely or stupidly. I would put money on stupid. Only an outrageously thick twit would mess with Lily with that look on her face.
I elbowed him sharply, and he took the opportunity to kick a pile of snow onto James and dart off, his boyish laugh sounding behind him.
James took to his feet and bounded off after him, shouting ‘macho’ threats and shaking the snow out of his raven hair.
I tried to keep a straight face while Lily calmed down. Not easy. She caught my eye, her pale eyebrows knitted together and her lips pursed.
I was stupid.
“Debbie! You are just as bad as them!” She said, reproachfully. “I though we were over this whole absolutely hilarious joke about me and Potter. I don’t get it!”
You’re hopelessly in love, what’s to get?
Unlike Sirius, I was not stupid enough to entirely enrage her. On hearing those words she was pretty likely to spontaneously combust.
“It’s funny?” I offered, instead.
“It’s not! Well, alright, the idea of us getting together is absurd… I mean it’s like you and Sirius! It would just never happen -” I almost choked on my own spit trying to force an appropriate laugh, “- but it’s gotten beyond a joke! It’s downright annoying!”
So here’s the thing…
We didn’t exactly tell Lily and James.
Don’t judge me. It was a mutual decision. For the most part.
It was that same evening, on the way back from the Quidditch pitch. Sirius, being the gentleman – ha – that he is, walked me back to my common room.
“So, it’s gonna be pretty weird, huh?” He said, as we reluctantly drew to a halt in front on the golden eagle.
“Weird?” I immediately panicked. Was he regretting his decision already? He’d had enough? I knew he had a short attention span, but fifteen minutes was a record even for him! What did I do?
“Yeah. People have always thought we were together anyway, but it’s going to be pretty different when they find out we are for real -”
“No!” I blurted out without thinking. Then I saw the brief flash of hurt cross his face and bit my lip to stop myself saying anything that would make that look come back. Ever.
“No? No, what? No, it’s not going to be weird? Or…” He trailed off, looking rather resigned now. “You don’t want to tell anyone, do you.” It wasn’t a question.
I took a step back into the corner between the door and the wall, trying to blend in as if suddenly becoming invisible was both possible and likely to make everything ok.
“It can’t ever just be simple with you, can it?” He was trying terribly hard to keep his voice light and even but he was forgetting he wasn’t dealing with some random girl, he was dealing with the girl who could see through that.
“Don’t be mad at me,” I said, quietly.
“I’m not mad.” He said, immediately, his slight pout giving him away.
I poked at his protruding bottom lip and he laughed, unable to keep a straight face. He slid his arms around my waist, joining me in my corner of the corridor.
“I’m not!” He planted light kisses from my forehead down my cheek to my lips, smiling all the time. “This is weird.” He murmured, not moving his lips from mine.
I ought to have felt annoyed that he was referring to our newly formed relationship as weird for the second time, but hey, when he was doing that I wasn’t quite thinking straight.
“Mmm-hmm,” I mumbled in reply, enjoying the feel of him smiling against my lips.
Suddenly, without warning, he abruptly robbed me of his lips.
“Are you embarrassed?” He asked, “To be with me, I mean. Like it’s something to be ashamed of?”
I hadn’t moved since he’d broken off the kiss so I was just standing there with my mouth half open like a gaping fool.
“What? No!” I squinted up at his face in the darkness. That hurt look was back again. Entwined with a little confusion and frustration. I hated how it made me feel. Hated causing it. “No, of course not. It’s just… other people just… complicate things.”
“Like having to work up the guts to tell Lily and James?” He said, shrewdly.
“Yup. That and Freddie...”
“Ah, yeah. Kind of defeats the point of having a boyfriend if his body parts are strewn around the castle.”
“So you just want to keep it a secret? Like forever?” He asked, sceptically.
Forever. That’s a long time you’re expecting this to last.
“For a while…” I answered. Not in the least bit vague. Ha.
“They’re our best mates, Dee. And your brother. And they’re not stupid. You don’t think they’ll guess it?”
“They haven’t so far.”
Sirius rubbed the side of his nose, something he did when he was stressed and I could see the worry on his face.
“I’m not trying to be awkward.” I took his hand, “I just don’t want the stress from telling them…”
Especially if it’s only going to last a few weeks.
“We have to sooner or later,” Sirius reasoned.
“Later.” I stretched up to kiss him, slipping my hands up the back of his t-shirt over his warm skin.
He narrowed his eyes as we kissed, at my obvious distraction methods, but let out half a kind of moan as I ran a hand up his spine.
“You’re evil.” He murmured. “You know you won’t get away with this forever. There will come a time when I won’t give in so easily.”
“Later,” I repeated, grinning.
“Alright.” He straightened up, back to his usual straight-shouldered stance towering over me. “Later. But we do have to tell them. How much later?”
I sighed. Why the bloody hell did he choose now to start being a man-or-order-and-planning?
“I don’t know…” How long did I expect him to stay with me? I was carefully keeping that thought out of my mind, focusing on the good things about being with him.
Focusing on the present.
“A month.” Sirius put forward.
“I was thinking more like when we leave school next year…”
I wasn’t joking.
“Summer.” He offered.
That was, what, six months? Sirius had never lasted six months in his life. I think six weeks was about his record. By summer it would all be long over, so there would be no having to tell anyone.
Why are you bothering if you don’t expect it to last?
Shut up, brain.
You think it will last. You think he’s changed. You think you can change him.
“Summer.” I agreed, to drown out the voices in my head. “If we’re still together by summer -”
“When we’re still together by summer.” Sirius corrected, his eyes seemed to sparkle challengingly.
“Right. Then we’ll tell them. Lily, James, Freddie, everyone.”
“Summer it is.” Sirius pulled me towards him for one last goodnight kiss.
I couldn’t ignore the prickles of dread creeping through my mind.
I give it six weeks.
The snow lasted about a week. By which time James was fretting like a middle-aged woman.
“It’s still snowing! What are we going to do? I don’t have time to work out any new tactics; the match is on Saturday!”
He was pacing up and down in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room. The Gryffindor team sat in the surrounding chairs just watching him pacing, offering no assistance. I didn’t blame them. I asked if he wanted me to get him a cup of tea to calm him down and he almost bit my head off.
Lily sat at a table a little further away ‘working on the transfiguration essay’. Alright. I wasn’t aware that staring at James Potters bum as he strode away from you was all that helpful in essay planning.
I was wedged on a sofa between Sirius and the other beater, McCann. McCann was hunched away from me, obviously not happy about the Ravenclaw intrusion on their team talk. Sirius didn’t seem to mind so much; his arm was slung over the back of the sofa so that I fit snugly underneath his shoulder, and the same hand was fiddling with the straggly curls of my hair, still damp from the snow.
I glared at him to start with, trying to convey using my eyes alone that hair fiddling may arouse suspicion. He just grinned carelessly.
I knew that he didn’t care all that much for my six-month plan. If it were up to him we would have told James, Lily and Freddie already, then run off to Mongolia or somewhere until they calmed down.
I was the one that panicked every time he touched me, even in the least sexual way possible, in public.
“It would be weirder if I didn’t!” He’d protested, the last time I’d flinched when he put an arm around me on the way to dinner.
Still, I didn’t appreciate it that I was the one putting all the effort into appearing normal if he was just going to muck it up. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it when his hand felt for mine under the table in Potions. It was just that potion-making was a two-handed job, and it would draw attention if I fucked up due to my one-handedness. Which was all too likely to happen.
“I’m open to suggestions, guys,” James practically snarled at his team mates.
A couple of them shifted uncomfortably and shrugged.
“It’s Hufflepuff, James,” A seventh year guy said, “A bit of snow isn’t going to stop us thrashing them for the seventh time running.
“A bit of snow?” James glared. “It’s almost a fucking blizzard, Longbottom. Visibility is going to be at an all-time low, we’ve never played in anything like it.”
“Neither have Hufflepuff.” I said, without thinking. I shrugged Sirius’ hand off from where it was now playing with the baby hair at the back of my neck. He chuckled into my hair. “You’ll still be better.”
The Great Captain paused in his pacing. I shrank back underneath Sirius’ arm in case James spat at me again. He reckons it was an accident. I wouldn’t put it past him though.
His face looked a little calmer, but then McCann piped up.
“Like you even care, McKinnon.” McCann said, witheringly. “You want us to lose, gives you a better points margin -” I’m sorry, what? “- Don’t listen to her James, she wants us to have a false sense of security.”
“She’s my mate, McCann.” James said, shortly. I could feel Sirius shifting next to me as well.
“So she says. The rest of us reckon she’s got an ulterior motive for spending so much time in here. Yeah, yeah, she’s mates with Evans, but why else would she spend so much time with you two?” McCann ranted.
My mouth was open in disbelief. Was that really what they thought? I looked round at the rest of the team, who were looking anywhere but at me.
“McCann, shut your mouth. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Sirius said, quietly, but I could feel his arms rigid against me. His low tone of voice was dangerous. It signified him trying to maintain control. Usually it didn’t take a lot to tip him over the edge, but recently, especially with me, he’d shown more patience than I’d credited him with, so I wasn’t that worried.
“I bet Dunhill put her up to it. Or her brother. Get the pretty little player to cosy up with the rivals, it’s not a bad plan I guess, if you’re ok with cheating…” McCann seemed to have some kind of a death wish. All anguished thoughts about the weather miraculously disappeared and James and Sirius rounded on him.
“Either stop talking about her like that or piss off, McCann.” Sirius’ voice was still calm. That was a good sign.
“I’m entitled to an opinion -”
“Look, we were all thinking it, I just put it out there. I don’t like it that she spends so much time around you.”
“You must be really bored,” I said, regaining control of my voice box. “To think up some lame conspiracy theory. Don’t you have anything better to do?”
It was interesting to watch McCann’s face gradually changing in colour from its light pink tone to a purple-raspberry colour.
“Breathe.” I told him, slightly alarmed at the inhuman colour on his face.
That may have been too much for him.
In a second his face contorted in anger, but in that same second Sirius yanked me back and was up in McCann’s face. All calmness gone.
Damn my mouth.
I jerked my head to look for Freddie, a reflex in that sort of situation, then realised that me wasn’t here.
“James!” I looked to him in apprehension. James’ temper was more in control that Sirius’, I guess that’s why he made a good captain. His only other outstanding quality was the one for attracting trouble, and somehow I don’t think that was what appealed to McGonagall when she appointed him.
“Pads. Go for a walk.” James instructed, composedly.
Sirius didn’t move.
“Sirius…” I put a hand on his arm. Still rigid as before.
Slowly he looked up at James, who jerked his head towards the portrait hole.
“Go. I got it.”
I still had to physically pull him out of the common room.
We walked in silence, not even touching. All I could hear was Sirius’ heavy breaths.
“Are you alright?” I asked, beginning to wonder if he was having some sort of silent aneurism. And I didn’t even know what that was.
“Yes.” The calm voice was back. Joy.
“You shouldn’t let him wind you up.” I said, tentatively.
“I’m not wound up.”
“McCann’s a prick.”
“He’s just jealous.”
“I know… wait, what?”
“It’s alright, I’m not bothered by it -”
Your white knuckles would beg to differ.
“- I think he likes you.”
Definitely having an aneurism. I must find out what one is…
“Are you insane?” I asked. “McCann hates me.”
“Nah. Just bitter that you haven’t shown an interest.”
“How would you know anyway? It took two years and a horrendously embarrassing pick-up line by me for you to realise I even liked you.”
“That’s… that’s completely irrelevant!”
“No it isn’t.”
“Are you having an aneurism?”
“A… what? That thing with the distorted blood vessel in your brain -”
Damn. When did he get smart?
“It’s not important.” I dismissed it with a wave. Sirius looked amused again, all traces of anger gone. “Better now?”
“I’ll be better when I kick the shit out of McCann…” Sirius grinned, though I suspected he was only half-joking.
“Is it the time of the month or something? I mean, thanks for defending me and everything but usually you manage it with a bit less spit and threats -”
“The spit and threats are always there,” His eyes were crinkled up in a smile as he threw an arm over my shoulders, “I was just better at keeping it contained before, thought people might think it’s weird. But it’s alright now, I’m allowed a bit of spit and threats when I’m defending my girlfriend.”
“Whatever.” He dismissed it with a wave of his hand, identical to my gesture less than a minute ago. I elbowed him in the side.
“Glad you care so much, sweetheart.”
“Only for you, love.”
They won the Hufflepuff match. I would have liked to say ‘I told you so’ but I was forbidden to. James was enjoying bragging about it too much.
I would also have liked to say that I was watching every move carefully, but that would be a lie. It’s hard to focus on individual players when they’re being blown around in a snowstorm. Ro and I built a snowman at the top of the Ravenclaw stand. His name was Maurice and he lived a long and happy hour and a half before his head was knocked off by a bludger.
May he rest in peace.
“… and then for, I think it was the eighth goal, when I knocked Parker out of the way with a bludger to the arse…”
As Sirius regaled me with each of his amazing hits I dragged my thoughts away from Maurice and tried to focus on nodding where appropriate, to give the impression that I had the faintest idea what he was talking about.
“I would have made that goal anyway!” James interrupted, outraged.
“You so wouldn’t. He was coming at you from the side you couldn’t even see him -”
“I did too see it!”
“What, you have eyes on the side of your head now?”
“It’s called peripheral vision,” James said, importantly.
“It’s called bullshit. I had your back.”
“I had it covered.”
“I think you both were awesome,” I settled, to stop them scrapping about it like five-year-olds, “But I would have been better. Now grab me a drink, minion.”
James opened his mouth to object, failing to recognise a joke when it was about his precious Quidditch talent, but Sirius fortunately laughed and towed me over to get a butterbeer.
“Alright, you don’t have to make James feel better now. I saved his arse, right?”
Oh, sodding hell just let it go!
“Um...” Is there an easy way to say to your boyfriend that you weren’t actually watching him? No? A lie it is then. “Yeah. Totally.”
“And then at the end where I cleared the way for Summerby, he would never have reached the snitch in time…”
“Uh-huh…” I looked down at the floor to avoid his bright, animated eyes. I couldn’t lie directly to them. “It was an amazing hit, got the… uh, power just right and all that -”
My words were smothered as Sirius yanked me into a giant bear hug. There was a rumbling sound in his chest. Was he laughing?
I leant my chin on his chest and frowned up at him.
“Liar.” He answered.
He knew. And he wasn’t angry. Unless people generally grin and kiss their lying girlfriends on the nose when they’re angry.
“Dee! Don’t strain yourself, I know you weren’t watching. I was about as unhelpful as possible when it came to Summerby catching the snitch…”
“… I was too busy whacking a bludger at my heartless girlfriend’s snowman in a bitter rage.”
I slapped him.
Turns out you don’t need big muscles to deliver a hefty slap…. All you need is a butterbeer bottle in your hands.
It was an accident. I swear. I didn’t realise it would cause so much blood and… unconsciousness. As I tried to explain two hours later on, when he finally came round.
“I’m really, really sorry,” I pleaded from my perch on the edge of his bed in the hospital wing. He was still a little pissed. Enough to stare in the opposite direction with a hint of a pout on his lips. Well, from what I could tell underneath the swelling.
After laughing and ridiculing Sirius for a good half an hour or so, the rest of his team and Lily had returned to the common room. I stayed out of guilt.
“I didn’t remember I had the bottle in my hand…”
“And I think I just caught you at a funny angle…”
“Maybe you were standing weird. Do you think? Why else would you trip up on the coffee table and whack your head on the fireplace?”
“Are you going to ignore me forever?”
I think he was attempting a haughty look. The orange goo covering the cut on his head kind of spoilt it. I tried again.
“I was just angry about Maurice…”
“You named the snowman Maurice?”
Finally, it speaks!
“Yup. It was Ro’s idea. Personally I preferred Hamlet but I don’t think he’s read any Shakespe -”
“Not even named after me? That’s it. I was going easy on the ignoring before, now it’s on.” Was he serious? I couldn’t tell through the goo and swelling.
“I mean it, hardcore. Starting now.”
“I should be ignoring you! You… you killed Maurice!” I was confused. I was tired. I was perhaps a little irrational.
“Oh, ok. You lump me with a bottle, slash my head open and knock me out, but hey, you should be mad at me because I knocked your stupid snowman’s head off?!”
I really wish I could tell if he was joking or not. Damn Madam Pomfrey and her copious amounts of healing lotion.
“If it’s a stupid snowman, why are you even bothered?” We were having this heated little discussion in whispers. If anyone was passing by the hospital wing they probably would have thought an army of snakes had been let loose from all the angry hissing.
“It’s not about the snowman. It’s about you not caring enough to even watch me play -”
What was he, a woman?
"I couldn’t see you! I don’t know if you noticed but there was a blizzard going on -”
“I watched you in the creepy fog last year against Slytherin! Shitting myself worried that you’d say something stupid to Avery or one of his dumb mates as usual and I wouldn’t be there to bale you out -”
“I don’t need you to bale me out -”
Again, I wish I could lie better.
“Maybe I won’t in future, then.” He said, coldly. He hadn’t looked directly at me since I’d gotten to the hospital wing. It was hugely frustrating.
“Good! Maybe I won’t bale you out next time you fuck up with whichever slag is next in line.”
Oh wait, I was said slag.
“I knew it.” Sirius said, quietly. He wasn’t even hissing anymore. “You still think that’s going to happen, don’t you?” For the first time he looked up at me.
I opened my mouth before I could think of anything to say. Then I couldn’t think of anything, resulting in me looking like a prat. Now it was me that couldn’t meet his eyes.
“I thought you got it, Dee.”
“I do.” I said, “I just… forgot…”
He laughed, humourlessly. “You forgot. Well that’s a good sign.”
I wanted to point out that sarcasm was the lowest form of wit. But then I’d be insulting myself too. And also he might implode with annoyance.
“It’s weird, alright! After two years of a really strange kind of friendship, it’s weird getting used to being together.” I tried to explain, calmly.
“It’s been three weeks.” He pointed out, equally calmly. “And it seems fine to me. It seems right.”
“I know. It is. But then we were arguing and it was like when we used to have stupid arguments and I wasn’t thinking…”
Another pause. It seemed to echo loudly, somehow.
“You know I promised I wouldn’t mess up my chance with you?” Sirius asked.
“You have to promise not to mess anything up either.”
“I didn’t do anything -” I retorted, annoyed.
“Whatever. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. Just promise.”
“Whatever.” I mimicked, sulkily.
“As long as we’re being mature.” Sirius rolled his eyes, but I think he guessed that this was as close as it was going to get to a promise. “Come here.”
He shifted over in the bed and patted the space beside him. I moved from my perch and laid down, resting my head on his shoulder.
“Are we ok?” He asked, jokily.
It was just another stupid argument. The sort we’d had almost every other week when we were friends. And it never stopped us getting on for long then. Why should it be different now?
I couldn’t ignore the weird feeling in my gut though. Just like how every little gesture and touch felt more intense now that we were together, every harsh word seemed to hurt more too. Maybe that’s just what happens.
Why did I get the feeling that this little row wasn’t resolved?
He moved his arm so that it was above my head. I instinctively lifted my head so he could put it under my neck, then rested back on it.
He was right. It did feel right to be together. I couldn’t doubt it just because of a childish argument or a nagging little feeling. It felt right for my body to be against his, right when our hands were entwined, everything.
“Course, you old slapper,” I squeezed the hand that was stroking my arm. “Just don’t get your face-gunk on me.”
A.N. Oh my goshhh it's been ages. I'm sorry. I was having trouble writing this chapter, as may be obvious, so I thought I'd post a chapter of my other story, and then the queue was enormous so that took ages and then and then and then... It's no excuse. Apologies!
Anyway, I'd love to hear what you think about this chapter... Favourite parts, parts you want to know more about, parts you didn't really like? Whose going to mess up next, Dee or Sirius? I wonder...
Thanks for reading!
To make up for the wait...
Preview of Chapter 9 - I Heart Warts
"Little Deb's got a card!"
"Oi!" I reached for it but she held it out of my reach.
"What does it say then?" Blakely asked, looking thoroughly entertained.
Londy jumped up onto the bench as preparing to read it aloud. Have I mentioned how kind and sensitive my team mates are?...
That's right, it's Valentine's Day next chapter! Any unexprected revelations? We'll see....
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