“Jane, dear. How do you like your stay so far?” Mrs. Potter asked, leading her up the main staircase.
“It’s brilliant.” Jane smiled. “This place is so much larger than our house. I’m surprised my parents actually let me come. They’re very protective.” Mrs. Potter smiled kindly at her as they reached the second landing of the house.
“And do you like living with your parents?” she asked. Jane thought this to be a strange question, but she answered regardless.
“Yeah, we get along really well.” Mrs. Potter just smiled and nodded, as she opened the door to Sirius’ room, where Jane was to sleep. The guest room was filled with all of Mrs. Potter’s knitting equipment, and there was a lot of it. Walking in, Jane looked around the walls and saw poster upon poster of The Puddlemere United, moving photographs of the Marauders together, books on Quidditch, a beautifully detailed hand mirror, a wizards chess set, a box bearing the words “Grow-Your-Own-Warts” and what looked like a broomstick servicing kit.
“I hope this is okay,” Mrs. Potter said. “I had Sirius tidy up a little before you arrived.”
“It’s twice as big as my bedroom at home,” Jane beamed. “It’ll have to do,” she added in a snobbish voice. Much to Jane’s surprise, Mrs. Potter wrapped her arms around her and pulled her into a tight hug. It didn’t feel like an ordinary hug. There was something motherly about it. Letting her go, Mrs. Potter walked across the room, turning when she reached the doorway.
“Sweet dreams, Jane.” She smiled, as she closed the door behind her.
Jane changed and went to sit on the large bed by the window. It framed the night sky and as she touched the cold glass, she felt a shiver go up her spine before climbing under the covers. The pillow smelled like Sirius; his distinct masculine scent, his shampoo with an aroma of oriental wood, citrus and spice.
She turned her back to the room and faced the dull white wall; it only took her a few seconds to notice the engravings “J.P. 4 L.E.” on the headboard. She then began noticing more and more of these engravings. “Long live Marauders”, “Lily Evans”, and “James for Lily”. It was at this moment that she noticed an engraving that was very different to all of the others. It was written much smaller than the rest, in tiny cramped writing containing no mention of Lily Evans. Jane wondered if James really loved himself that much, as she looked down at the tiny engraving of the letter J written in the centre of a heart. Jane closed her eyes and before long she drifted off into sleep.
“Mate she didn’t even look at me the entire meal,” Sirius said, burying his face in his hands, the following morning at breakfast, as he and James sat outside. “Do you think she hates me?”
“Of course she doesn’t hate you. If she was acting like Lily, always calling you a prat, then I’d be concerned. But if Glossin hated you, you’d know. She pretty transparent like that,” James reassured him, just as Jane came outside, wrapped in several layers of clothing. “How’d you sleep?” he asked.
“Good,” she smiled kindly, rubbing her eyes.
James rushed through his breakfast and was getting up. As he stood, he gave Sirius a little wink that went unnoticed by Jane. After he was inside and the door had clicked behind him, Sirius looked over at Jane. She was so beautiful, even in the mornings. He took a deep breath and began to speak.
“Jane?” She realized that she was alone with Sirius and didn’t look up, partly because of the huge bags hanging underneath her eyes.
“Jane, you have to tell me what I’ve done. I just wish I knew.” After a few moments she looked up at him, there was sadness in her ocean blue eyes. Sirius instinctively got up and rounded the table. He was about to put his arms around her when he thought better of it and withdrew them.
“Sirius, you haven’t done anything.” Jane smiled sadly. “I’m so sorry; I’ve been such a bad friend to you,” she said, as she rose to her feet. Sirius was caught quite off guard. “Can you ever forgive me?” Sirius looked into her eyes, confused.
“Um, sure,” he said, moments before Jane wrapped her arm around his neck. As he felt her body rest against him, he was filled with complete happiness. He could have stayed like this forever. When Jane finally let go, she looked up at him and gave a genuine smile for the first time since she’d arrived.
Afterwards, the two spoke like nothing had happened.
“So what really did go on with Willow Harington, Sirius?” she said, biting into a slice of orange. He swallowed nervously.
“Oh, a Marauder never reveals his secrets.” He smirked.
“Fine, don’t tell me.” Jane mock frowned, going back to her breakfast. After several moments, Sirius spoke.
“Madam Pince caught us snogging in the back of the library one night. She went crazy and charmed some books to chase us out. Then she told McGonagall, who gave us this big lecture about what is and what is not appropriate behaviour.” He rolled his eyes as Jane tried to control her laughter.
At this moment, James came out and saw the scene in front of him. His two friends were back to their normal happy selves.
“When Peter mentioned you and Willow getting together last year, well I...sort of thought…”
“Oh Merlin! No Jane.” James finally made his presence known. “Our little Sirius here is a…”
“James!” Sirius yelled.
That night Remus arrived. He still looked a little under the weather but in good spirits. Jane gave him a hug as he walked in the door, and Sirius tensed as he suddenly got a jealous feeling inside him. Noticing this, James whispered into his friend’s ear.
“They’re just friends.” At this moment, Mrs. Potter scurried into the room.
“Remus, how have you been my dear?” And she engulfed him in her arms.
“Can’t say the same for them. I reckon that’s a bit suss,” James said in disgust. Sirius saw James’ face and burst into laughter.
That night, Sirius helped Mrs. Potter with dinner. He’d been desperate to escape James and his constant bids to leave him alone with Jane. Twice already, James had dragged Remus from the room, insisting that they would return, and twice Sirius had been left with Jane for up to twenty minutes, only to find that James and Remus were playing Exploding Snap in the next room.
“Jane’s very nice, isn’t she?” said Mrs. Potter, as she chopped up a carrot. Sirius gave the woman a funny look.
“Yeah, I suppose she is,” he replied, stirring the gravy.
“And the two of you get along very well.”
“Well we are friends.”
“Sirius,” Mrs. Potter said, putting down the knife she’d been using. “I see the way you look at her. I just want you to be happy,” she said, wrapping her arm around him. “And it looks to me like she does that. If she makes you happy, and if you feel like you know her, don’t let her go.” Sirius looked over at the woman. She’d always been able to tell just how he was feeling. “I know that you try not to care too much. That way you can’t get disappointed. But no one ever got anywhere by being too cautious. I know your family made you that way, but you do care, even when you don’t want to. Sweetheart, you see things in black and white. Jane doesn't. You need a spoonful of that.” The woman smiled sweetly. “Stay close to her. I think she'll be good for you."
The next morning the four were eating breakfast outside when Mr. Potter came out the back door.
“James, I know you’ve got friends over but your mother would really like someone to de-gnome the garden and I’m not as young as I used to be.”
“Sure thing Dad. I'll do it after breakfast.”
“Good Man,” Mr. Potter said, smiling kindly at Jane before disappeared back into the house.
After he had finished, James stood up and walked towards the garden, the rest not far behind.
“You guys don’t have to do any work, you’re the guests.”
“Well I live here too, remember?” said Sirius.
“And we’re not going to just sit around watching you two do all the work, are we?” Jane said. “Besides, I’ve never de-gnomed a garden before. It sounds like fun.”
“Well if you’re sure. You blokes can get started; I’ll show Glossin how it’s done.” James led Jane over to a hole in the ground where he dug his hand in and pulled out a funny little potato looking creature. He took it by the ankles and spun it around a few times before throwing it out of the garden. “Aren’t your family full-blood?” he asked, brushing his hands off. “How can you never have de-gnomed a garden?”
“They are,” nodded Jane. “But I don’t really spend much time outside my house,” she added, digging her hand into the ground and extracting a second little creature, throwing out of the garden. James looked at her curiously, before patting her on the shoulder and walking away to the nearest gnome burrow. Jane soon picked it up and fast became skilled at the art of de-gnoming.
“James, if you ever need your garden de-gnomed, call on me.” Jane smiled. “I reckon I could make a business out of this.” And she threw the last of the gnomes out of the garden.
It was Jane’s last night at the Potter’s, and she decided to take a walk around the huge back garden. She stood in front of a large statue of a man. He had a long mane of hair and he clutched a long beautiful sword. It had the initials G.G. on it. Jane wondered why James would have a statue of Godric Gryffindor in his backyard. Perhaps he had all the Hogwarts Founders in his garden. Jane went deeper into the garden, in search of other statues. She was sitting by a fountain when she heard a noise behind her. She turned to see Sirius emerge from the shadows.
“Oh Sirius, you scared me half to death!” she said, clutching her chest.
“What happens if you get scared half to death twice?” Sirius inquired. Jane just rolled her eyes.
“These are the questions that haunt me. Yeah, sorry Jane. It’s just such a beautiful night; I thought I’d go for a walk. Why are you out here?”
“Same reason. This place is so beautiful,” Jane said as he sat down next to her by the fountain. “I don’t want the break to end. I’ve loved staying here with you guys. It’s been so much fun.”
“Yeah it’s been great.” Sirius grinned. “But we can always continue on with all this at Hogwarts. Every day’s a holiday with the Marauders!”
“Ha, I bet.” Jane looked down into her reflection in the fountain. She saw Sirius’ reflection turn around and look at her. She felt goose bumps erupt up her arm.
“Jane can you tell me why you were so distant from me when you arrived. Please, even though we’re good now, I can’t help but feel like I did something wrong.” Jane looked into his eyes; she needed to tell the truth, well at least some of it.
“Sirius, to be honest, it’s because you’re…well, you. You’re Sirius Black, the school player and…”
“What? No I’m not!” He swallowed. “I mean, I kind of am, but it’s not how you think.” Jane gave him a questioning look. “This is embarrassing but you’re my friend, so-” She heard the word friend and her heart dropped. “I think I can trust you to not go blabbing. The truth is, well…I’m…a virgin.” He chuckled nervously. Jane burst into laughter until she saw the sincere look in Sirius’ eyes and shock fell upon her. She tried to utter words but she was speechless. “I just haven’t found the right girl, you know?” Sirius’ face was turning red. At this moment, Jane felt a huge affection towards the boy sitting beside her. Sirius took a look into Jane’s beautiful eyes and built up all his courage.
“Jane, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.” She looked at him with her kind ocean blue eyes.
“Well it’s probably really obvious. James says it is anyway.” He looked down at his hands. Jane took his hand in hers.
“What is it, Sirius? What’s the matter?”
“Oh no, nothing’s the matter. It’s just that well…Jane. These last few months have been so great and I’m so glad that we’ve got to know each other.” He seemed to be having trouble. At this Jane answered.
“Well yes, I’m so glad that we’re friends.” Sirius froze at word friends. He sat for a moment in silence.
“Merlin Sirius, something’s really bothering you. You can tell me.” She put a hand on his shoulder, sending a chill down his spine.
“It’s nothing, I’m just…tired. I think I’ll go to bed. Goodnight Jane.”
“Oh okay then,” she replied, confused. “Well, goodnight Sirius.” And he was gone. Jane sat by herself once again. She listened to the fountain, as the water hit the surface, echoing all through the garden. She watched the reflection of the water on the ground, the sweet glow that was emitted so freely. After a minute, she lifted her head to stand up and she saw him. Sirius Black stood in front of her, his long shaggy hair pushed back behind his ears.
“Jane, do you remember that night in the dungeons when we were hiding from Filch?” Jane nodded, walking up towards him. “I've been kicking myself ever since that night."
"Why?" she asked.
"Because I didn't kiss you." She smiled, as he took his hands to either of her face. Her stomach did somersaults as she watched him lean into her, his soft lips finally meeting hers. Suddenly, every hesitation she had disappeared and she found herself kissing him back, as he ran his fingers along her jaw.
She drew away and looked deep into his eyes, smiling.
As the night grew darker, the pair walked back to the house hand in hand. They reluctantly parted ways as Jane entered her room and Sirius entered his. Both with wide grins across their faces.
AN/ Hey! Thanks for reading. Pretty please let me know what you think. I really enjoyed writing this chapter, and it only gets more exciting from here, so stay tuned!