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Poison Ivy by KateRhodes
Chapter 20 : The oportune moment
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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JAMES’ POV

 

Sirius was drunk. Sirius was really drunk. More than that, he was intoxicated to the point of losing consciousness every other minute. I was sober, which meant that it was my brotherly duty to carry him all the way to the common room. It was way past curfew so this was no easy endeavor; but I could not and would not leave him alone no matter what. I had stayed at the bar after everyone else went back to the castle with him because he refused to go until Naomi left. Once the evil beauty was on her way back to the school, he had finally agreed to let me take him to our room. So it was very late and dark at night, it was cold as balls and I was precariously making my way across the last corridor to Gryffindor Tower. I had the map on one hand and Padfoot tangled all over me babbling on about various ways to murder any male that dared to look at Naomi. Merlin, he was heavy. The Fat Lady was not very happy to see us, but she let us in. As we stumbled in the Common Room very clumsily, someone squeaked.

-“Oh my God!! What happened?”- I would have recognized that voice anywhere, among a million other voices.

-“Lily, what are you doing here?”- I asked her, turning to look at her after putting Sirius on the nearest couch. She was on her pjs and looked absolutely adorable.

-“I… well, I… ehm… what happened to Sirius?”- she said.

-“He saw Naomi with Chris and decided to get drunk over it”- I explained. She sighed.

-“Are these two ever going to talk to each other about their feelings?”- she asked rhetorically.

-“Are you implying that Naomi does have feelings for him?”- I got closer to her without realizing. I was just so eager to find out, to finally give Sirius some good news that I failed to notice that, for once, she did not cringe when I moved towards her.

-“No. This is Naomi we’re talking about; she would never talk about it. I’m just saying I believe she does, but don’t tell Sirius cause he might not take it well if I’m mistaken”- she warned me.

-“Makes sense. I just… I’m worried for him”- I told her. She looked at him, then at me again. Merlin, those eyes should be forbidden.

-“I thought he said he’d given up on her”- she murmured.

-“Sometimes we get tired of being rejected all the time; we say things we don’t mean. Of course he was mad at her for what she said but… he’s all in”- I sighed. She looked at me. Her gaze burnt.

-“Do you ever really give up?”- she asked. I felt weird. Was she still talking about… guys in general? Sirius?

-“Not if we really think it’s worth it”- I replied, carefully. She smiled sweetly. I was sure that I would melt if she ever did that again. Literally, melt as in a puddle of James Potter in the middle of the common room.

-“Does Sirius think Naomi’s worth it?”

-“He does”

-“And you? Do you think it’s worth it?”- the question took me by surprise. I could have just pretended that it was Sirius she was talking about but the way she looked at me made it obvious. She was asking me if I was still waiting for her. How on Earth did I do this? I had planned this in my mind a thousand times but it never involved a drunken Sirius making strangled noises in the couch behind me. I wanted it to be perfect, romantic! What was I supposed to do now? But then again, this was my chance, if I tried to postpone it, waiting for the opportune moment, it could never come.

-“It has always been”- I said, taking another step towards her. She stayed where she was, which was a really good sign, so I kept going -“I fell in love with you at the beginning of our second year here. It was infatuation at first, I was fourteen, but I have never been able to stop thinking about you ever since”

-“How?”- she asked. This time, it was her who took a step closer. I knew she was testing me, she was trying to find out if what I was saying was true or if I was just in for the thrill of finally getting what I had been chasing all along.

-“You were coming back from a really bad Potions lesson with the Slytherins. They had made fun of you because of your family so you were upset but you were trying really hard to pull yourself together. You came into the common room and it was empty but still, you wouldn’t cry until you were in your room so you hurried to the staircase. You tripped and fell on your knees. And you cried, asking out loud why the world was so unfair”- her eyes filled with tears. I worried. Was that good or bad?

-“How do you know?”- she whispered.

-“I was in the room, only you couldn’t see me because I was in a corner. I was mad at Sirius for stealing my last chocolate frog or something so I was hiding in there… I tried to get to where you were, help you up but you were too quick and disappeared up the stairs”- I finished.

-“Why would you fall for a stupid little pathetic crying girl like me?”- she asked. Despite her words, she was smiling. I was melting, of course.

-“I had never felt like that before. When you asked why the world was so unfair all I wanted to do was hold you, protect you from all those people who hurt you. I felt like I did not want to see you cry ever again because… well, you were too good. You did not deserve to be unhappy and I…”- she never let me finished. Her lips crashed against mine and the world shifted. Lily Evans was kissing me. So I did the only thing I could: I kissed her back. The thirtieth of November, three months into Seventh year which meant five years and three months of dreaming of it, it was finally happening. She had given in and I was not letting her go ever again. No matter what, I was going to love her, make her happy and grow old with her until death tore us apart. Because there was nothing else in this world that could possibly take her away from me.

-“Lily…”- I whispered when we broke the kiss.

-“Shh… don’t say anything”- she whispered back. So I didn’t. I just kissed her again. And again. And again.

 

NAOMI’S POV

 

I walked back to the common room after I was done with Chris. He wasn’t half bad but not good enough for me to stay. It didn’t take me long to get back, but I did have to hide from patrols a couple times. That cloak of James’ would have been useful. Maybe I could persuade him to let me use it in exchange for something? Anyway, the Fat Lady loathed me by now, for that I was always waking her up at random hours of the night but I really, really did not care what the portrait thought of me.

The common room was empty, as expected. I was just about to climb the first step of the staircase when I heard a strangled noise. I stopped. What the hell was that? I looked around the common room, trying to find the source of such nuisance. Oh, that explains it. Sirius Black was lying on a couch, fast asleep. I did not mean to walk towards him; but my feet acted to their own accord so, two seconds later, I was standing next to him, unsure of what to do next. He looked so… peaceful. It bugged me. How could he be okay with just giving up on me? How could he? How DARED he? I thought there was something special between us, even when I did not know what it was! Could Lily be right? What if he loved me and I had broken his heart without knowing it? What if he was right and I was just too cold for him? What if… what if I kept hurting him? As I stared at him I began to realize that, maybe, I wasn’t supposed to love, after all. Not because of the many reasons I thought were valid, but because the ice in my soul would make him cold. And I couldn’t let that happen, could I? I was a selfish person but… was I willing to hurt Sirius only to have him? Could I knowingly make him suffer by standing by me only to make myself happy? I caressed his cheekbone and a sad smile made its way to my lips. I couldn’t do that to him. He was different, he was special. Yes, he was arrogant and slightly annoying and he drove me nuts… but I couldn’t let my own coldness contaminate him. I sighed and left his side, leaving the tiny pieces of heart I had recently found with him. It was better this way.

 

I woke up earlier than I wanted to so I tried to go back to sleep, but I just couldn’t. I sat on my bed and opened the curtains. Meg was sleeping, so was Jo. Lily’s bed was empty, which I found very odd but who knows, she was probably stressed about some Head Girl thing and had woken up at ridiculously early hours in the morning to go do some work. Rhea was sitting on her bed, looking rather lost in thought.

-“Rhea, what’s wrong?”- I whispered, trying not to wake up the other two girls. She looked my way.

-“Oh, morning Naomi. Why are you up so early?”- she asked me.

-“Couldn’t help it”- I replied, simply.

-“Can I go to your bed?”- she asked me. That was new. None of them had ever asked if they could sit on my bed. I really didn’t mind and had never told them otherwise but I guess they just saw it as private Naomi territory.

-“Sure”- I nodded. She hurried to where I was. I closed the curtains after her and placed a muffliato charm around us, so that we could talk comfortably without waking Meg and Jo.

-“I… I need your advice”- she muttered.

-“I know”- I replied. She smiled.

-“It’s about Mark”- she continued. I rolled my eyes.

-“I know”- I replied, again. She chuckled nervously.

-“He… well, you know we’ve dating for a while now… two months. He… he’s really nice and I really like him and I’m very happy…”- she trailed off, blushing. I saw where this was going, so I just spare her the trouble of saying it out loud.

-“He wants to sleep with you, doesn’t he?”- I asked her. She became a perfect tomato replica.

-“Yeah… I mean he’s not pushing me or anything he just said that he would wait until I was ready but that he really wanted me”- she said very quickly.

-“That’s a nice thing for him to say”- I conceded. The truth was that the few times Mark had come to Hogsmeadge with us he had passed my test with good grades. I liked him with Rhea because I could see he liked her just the way she was, he was genuinely interested in her.

-“Yeah, right? The thing is… I don’t know if I’m ready”- she whispered.

-“Well, if you don’t know then you aren’t”- I told her. She frowned.

-“What do you mean?”

-“I am not the best person to give you advice on this, because when I did it I didn’t really care who it was. I didn’t have a beautiful first time with someone I cared about. I don’t even remember his name”- I explained. She looked positively terrified.

-“Naomi! Why would you do that?”

-“Well, I didn’t think I could care for anyone so why wait longer?”- it was the truth. And, sad as it sounded, I did not regret it.

-“Then why did you say that if I don’t know it means I’m not ready?”- she asked, confused.

-“I like reading; I read a lot during summer. And reading you learn”- I chuckled before continuing –“It the same as being in love, you just know you are. I read once that if you doubt your feelings it means you are not in love so I guess it’s the same. If you are hesitant then you should wait a little longer”

-“Do you think he’ll dump me?”- she asked, fearfully.

-“If he dumps you because you are not ready yet he didn’t deserve you anyway so you’re better off without him”- I sentenced. She thought about.

-“I guess you’re right. I just hope he doesn’t… I really like him, you know?”- she explained, shyly.

-“I know, Rhea. I know”- I half smiled at her and opened the curtains again. I sat on the window pane and lit a cigarette.

-“Where’s Lily?”- she asked me. I frowned.

-“I have no idea…”- the opened that very second. We both looked that way. Oh My God.

-“Lily! Why did you leave in your pjs?”- Rhea asked, glancing nervously at me. It was a very, very strict rule. No one was allowed to be seen in pjs in public.

-“I want to hear all about it”- I said, smiling. She looked at me and smiled widely. I knew it. There was only one reason why she wouldn’t be back all night… and wearing her pjs. She had, finally, gotten with James.

-“I… we kissed”- she replied, shyly.

-“WHAT? YOU KISSED JAMES?”- Rhea forgot that our two roommates were sleeping. Her scream woke them up immediately.

-“What’s happening?”- Jo asked, confused and half asleep.

-“Am I late for school?”- Meg said, groggily.

-“You better pay attention to this, I don’t think you’d want to miss the breaking news”- I informed them. Jo frowned.

-“I thought it was my job to deliver the news here”- she said, slightly offended.

-“Shut up Jo! This is a very important moment!”- Rhea exclaimed.

-“Well, Lily, tell us”- I commanded. She blushed.

-“I… well, I was worried because you had not come back from Hogsmeadge and it was quite late”- she explained, looking at me.

-“What were you doing?”- Jo asked, curious.

-“I hooked up with this Chris guy, but that’s not important”- I replied, dismissively.

-“So? What does Naomi not coming back have to do with anything?”- Rhea said anxiously. Lily blushed even more.

-“I know we’re not supposed to go out on our pjs but I was really worried so I decided I would wait for you in the common room. I couldn’t sleep… and I knew it would be empty… like I said, it was quite late…”- she explained.

-“Yes, it was late, we know that! Keep going for Merlin’s sake!”- Jo exclaimed, clearly intrigued now.

-“James came in carrying a quite sick looking Sirius…”- she said.

-“Sirius was sick?”- I had not noticed he was ill when I found him. I just thought he’d fallen asleep down there…

-“He was drunk”- Rhea informed me.

-“Why was he drunk?”- I asked.

-“THAT’S NOT THE POINT!”- Lily said. I chuckled.

-“Okay, okay, we’ll go back to that later. So they came in”- I said. Meg and Jo had sat on the edge of their beds, absolutely awake by now. I bet they could see where this was going, too.

-“So… James put Sirius on the couch and I said hi to him… actually, I kind of went all like ‘ohmygod what happened’”- she informed us. We nodded.

-“And he explained that Sirius was just drunk so I asked why and he said it was… ehrm… well, something to do with him being upset or something”- she lied. I knew she was lying. She would have to explain that later.

-“I don’t care why Sirius was drunk! Go on!”- Rhea encouraged her.

-“Well, I knew that it was like… you know… the opportune moment. I mean, I wanted it to be a bit more romantic than us just standing awkwardly in the common room with a drunk Sirius on the couch but I didn’t know if I would ever have such a perfect chance… so I asked him if he was still waiting for me”- she said, blushing again.

-“How did you ask him? What exactly did you say?”- Jo asked.

-“I asked him if he thought it was worth it… it sounds weird, but it made perfect sense in the conversation we were having”- she explained.

-“Oh my God, what did he say?”- Rhea was about to fall off my bed from excitement.

-“He said that it had always been. Then I asked him how, because, you know, I needed to know why he liked me so much! It doesn’t make sense, I mean, he’s James Potter, he could have any girl in the world and he’s been chasing after me for so long… I was afraid it would be just… you know, the fact that I was the only one who never gave in”- she said, smiling.

-“He likes you, Lily”- I told her.

-“I know. I KNOW! He told me when it was that he was first fallen for me… he remembered every DETAIL. I had no idea that he was there that day… it was in second year when some stupid Slytherins insulted me, you know, the usual and I ended up crying but I thought I was alone and he was watching me… it was so beautiful what he said”- I had never, ever seen such a happy face in my life. Lily looked like she could die of delight any moment now.

-“Then what happened?”- Jo asked.

-“I kissed him”- she replied, smiling. There was a round of ooohhhss and aaaahhss from all of us. Then Meg started crying.

-“Meg! What’s wrong?”- Jo asked, worried. I rolled my eyes.

-“It’s just… I’m so happy…”- she said, sobbing.

-“Then why are you crying?”- Rhea asked, confused.

-“I’m a very sensitive pregnant person!”- Meg exclaimed in aggravation, tears cascading down her face. That was hilarious. We laughed, all of us.

-“What are you going to do now?”- Rhea said, looking towards Lily again.

-“We spent the night talking, and kissing. I think we’re together. I mean… yeah… OH MY GOD JAMES POTTER IS MY BOYFRIEND”- she said, looking somewhere between terribly scared and impossibly happy. I chuckled.

-“We have to celebrate!”- Jo exclaimed.

-“What are you thinking?”- I asked her. She did have some good ideas once in a while.

-“It’s been a while since we threw a party, because of your accident and all… I think I can put together something nice for tonight if I start planning right now”- she said.

-“You need a theme for the party. I refuse to have a Lily Evans gave in to James Potter party”- Lily replied in aggravation. I rolled my eyes.

-“Do something small, Gryffindor common room. Only Gryffindors and guests allowed; each person can bring two people from a different house. Slytherins are not allowed in; unless their name is Dom and they are partners to pregnant Meg here”- I instructed. Jo took parchment and quill and began jotting it all down immediately.

-“Cool. What about casual? I mean jeans and heels with a nice top instead of going all dressy?”- Jo suggested.

-“Sounds good”- I replied. Rhea nodded enthusiastically.

-“We need food, so I’ll go to the kitchens”- she added.

-“Good, so you’re in charge of the food Rhea”- Jo jotted. Meg looked confused.

-“What am I in charge of?”- she asked.

-“You will help Jo decorate the room”- I told her. She smiled.

-“I like that”- she said. Oh, Merlin, I really did not like pregnant people. They’re so emotional.

-“Whatever, Lily you and I are going to go find the Marauders”- I informed her. She blushed.

-“Why?”- she asked.

-“Someone needs to bring the drinks”- I smirked. She looked surprised.

-“Oh… right. How?”- she frowned.

-“Lily, let me tell you something; if you’re going to date James Potter you better get used to him breaking the rules”- Rhea warned her.

-“I… I guess… as long as he doesn’t get caught”- she replied, smiling.

-“As long as we don’t get caught. We’re coming with them, I want to know how they do it”- I informed her. She paled considerably.

-“How they do what?”

-“Lily, you don’t honestly think it’s Hogwarts House elves who give them the beer and firewhisky, right?”- I asked her, rolling my eyes.

-“Well… how did you do it for Halloween then?”- she asked me.

-“Dad sent me the alcohol for that one. The others… well, Sirius gave me a hand there”- I admitted. She smiled.

-“By the way, why was Sirius drunk?”- Meg asked. Lily paled. I looked at her and she shot me a look that said ‘you don’t want them to hear’ so I saved her ass.

-“Meg, the amount of stupid things that boy does is way too great for us to dwell on every single one of them”- I retorted. She chuckled.

-“You’re right”- she said. I stood up and went in the bathroom.

-“Get ready, we’ve got work to do”- I said, before jumping in the shower.

 

I put on my Dolcce and Gabanna jeans and a loose cashmere sweater with a nice long necklace to complement the outfit. Lily borrowed my Miss Sixty jeans and put on a white turtle neck. We left the room around ten in the morning and went looking for the boys. We found The Marauders playing explosive snap in the common room. Well, three of them. Sirius was nowhere to be found.

-“Morning”- I greeted. They looked up. James and Lily locked eyes. It was so sweet it made me want to pour my breakfast on the floor.

-“Morning”- Peter replied, cheerfully. Lily bent over and gave James a quick kiss on the lips. We all smiled. I figured he had wasted no time and told them about it.

-“How are you, beautiful?”- he asked her. She blushed.

-“Good, you?”

-“Amazing”- he replied, smiling.

-“Okay, you guys are making me sick”- I complained. Remus laughed.

-“What do you need?”- he asked, looking my way. I smirked.

-“We’re throwing a party tonight”- I informed them.

-“You are?”- James asked.

-“Yes, small thing, here in the common room”- Lily explained.

-“Oh, that’s cool! Can I bring Hannah?”- Peter asked.

-“Yeah, everyone can bring two people from a different house as long as they are not Slytherins”- I said. They nodded.

-“Sounds cool”- Remus agreed.

-“We need your help, though”- Lily told them. James looked at her, then at me.

-“Drinks, no?”- he asked, smirking.

-“Yup”- I said.

-“Leave it to us”- he said, confidently.

-“No. We’re coming with you”- I replied. He glared at me.

-“What makes you think we will agree to that?”- he asked, arrogantly.

-“Please, James”- Lily said. I had to refrain from laughing. The girl was amazing. She said with such sweetness there was no way on Earth James could say no to her. Of course, he didn’t.

-“Well, but you can’t tell anybody”- he replied. I smirked.

-“Sorted, then”- I said, flatly. Remus chuckled.

-“Okay, what do you want to bring?”- Peter asked me. I frowned.

-“Does it matter?”

-“Yeah, depending on what you want we go to one place or another. Different needs, different strategy”- Remus explained. I nodded, understanding.

-“I was thinking on beers and firewhisky, simple basic stuff”- I informed them.

-“We need… ehrm… you know…”- he lowered his voice until it was only possible for us to hear it, and that with us leaning closer and making an effort –“The cloak and the map”

-“What’s the map?”- I asked.

-“What’s the cloak?”- Lily added.

-“The cloak is the best thing that ever happen to The Marauders”- I informed her. She looked at me, funny.

-“Why do you know what that is and I don’t?”- she asked, pretending to be offended.

-“Well, Naomi here has a gift. She can get Sirius to tell her almost anything”- Peter explained, shrugging.

-“How do you think I managed to go all the way to York? I had to use some of their tricks”- I said, chuckling.

-“By the way, next time you want it, you ask for it”- James told me quite seriously.

-“Yeah, but you were up in the air playing Quidditch so I couldn’t just ask, could I?”- I retorted.

-“Fair enough”- he replied, smiling again.

-“So, the map”- I said. Remus smirked. Oh, that was new. He was so not the smirking type.

-“You can go get it”- he told me.

-“Where is it?”- I could see that this was some kind of set up, or trap but I was so not afraid of them. And yes, I was curious. And curiosity killed the cat, didn’t it? Only that I was technically a panther but they didn’t know that.

-“In James’ trunk. It looks like a normal piece of parchment. The only piece of parchment in his trunk”- Peter told me.

-“Can’t I just summon it?”- I asked.

-“No, it’s charmed so that you can’t. You know, security measures”- James informed me. I rolled my eyes.

-“Okay, what about the cloak?”

-“In the trunk, too. But you know that one, don’t you?”- Remus said, chuckling. I rolled my eyes, again. Merlin, these people gave me a headache.

-“Okay, I’ll be back”- I said, leaving them.

 

I pushed open the door to their room and looked around, waiting for something to happen. Everything looked pretty normal, though. The room was empty and quiet. Messy and really untidy but that was the way it always looked. After a full safety minute, I walked in. I waited again, just there, standing in the middle of the room waiting. Nothing happened. I groaned, annoyed. Then I proceeded to open James’ trunk and I began searching for both, the cloak and the piece of parchment they called ‘the map’. The amount of useless things this boy kept in his trunk was amusing. There were random articles of clothing, quidditch books, chocolate frogs a year old at least, other sweets, broken chess pieces, some…

-“What are you doing?”- of course, I should have guessed. Remus’ smirk was because Sirius was here. How had I missed him when I came?

-“I’m getting the cloak and the map”- I replied as I turned around. Oh My God. That’s why I didn’t see him when I came in. He had just come out of the shower. He was wearing a towel and a towel only around his waist. His wet hair fell perfectly framing his face. Tiny shinny water drops were falling from it and running… running down his perfect torso.

-“The map? Since when do you know about the map?”- he enquired. I forced my eyes to leave his chest and look at him in the face.

-“James just told me about it”- I replied, vaguely. The situation was beyond awkward. He was standing there, half naked and wet in the middle of his room and I was kneeling beside the trunk, its contents spread around me.

-“What do you need it for? Can’t find your friend Chris?”- he mocked. I raised an eyebrow. How did he know about Chris?

-“Actually no, we’re going to get drinks”- I replied matter of factly.

-“Drinks?”- he looked puzzled. And cute. CUTE?  I had never, ever used that word to describe anyone before. Ugh.

-“We’re having a party tonight”- I informed him. Some part of my brain started screaming at me that this was ridiculous. Why was I talking to him when all I wanted to do was jump him?

-“Oh… a party. What’s the occasion?”

-“Do we really need an occasion to have fun?”- I asked back. I did not like his smirk the slightest bit. It made me nervous. NERVOUS. That made all my alarms start to ring like crazy. I was in trouble. Shit I had to get out of this room like NOW.

-“You’re right”- he said. I stood up and waited for him to do something but he was still standing there so I turned my attention back to the trunk and resumed searching for said cloak and map. I found the cloak; not the map. When I was positive that I had searched all contents of the trunk I groaned.

-“Looking for this?”- I froze when I felt his breath tickle my neck as he whispered in my ear. Somehow, he had managed to come that close without me realizing it. He was right behind me. He was a few inches away, even though I could not see I knew that he was smirking.

-“If that’s the map, then yes”- I replied icily. I made a point of not moving, I had no idea what he was doing or why he was doing it but I was not going to give in. I had made a choice last night and I was sticking to it. My breathing pattern, however, had decided it was a good moment to alter itself.

-“It is”- he said. His voice was like poison and it send shivers down my spine. He was so close I could feel his body heat on my back and that was distracting.

-“Give it to me”- was the best I could get out. In a voice a lot softer than I intended. He chuckled.

-“Come get it”- I felt him move away so I decided it was safe for me to turn around. He was on the opposite side of the room, smiling mischievously.

-“Oh, don’t. Sirius you’re supposed to be too old for this!”- I complained.

-“I’m just having fun”- he retorted. I rolled my eyes and walked towards him.

-“Give me the bloody map!”- I exclaimed. He laughed.

-“I said come and get it”- and with that we began running around the room.

 

I had not had that much fun a very, very long time. I was terribly irritated at first but after a few minutes, I let go and just gave in to his game. We went from running around to a pillow war that developed into a tickling war. I hated tickles. I really did. Of course, I was winning at first but then Sirius decided it was time for him to stop pretending. He was way too strong for me so I found myself pinned against the bed in no time. He sat on top of me and tortured me mercilessly.

-“Please, please Stop IT! Sirius, STOP IT!”- I yelled between hysteric fits of laughter.

-“Are you begging?”- he teased.

-“NO!”- I exclaimed before laughing uncontrollably again.

-“I won’t stop, then”- he threatened me. I tried to think, which was extremely hard given the fact that he would NOT stop tickling me one second. And, if I may add, he was still half naked. On top of me. On his bed. DANGER.

-“Sirius, stop it!”- I cried again. He just laughed and kept going.

-“Beg for mercy”- he said. Of course, I would never beg anyone for anything, let alone Sirius Black. I tried a different approach.

-“I can’t breathe!”- I lied. He stopped for one second to check if it was true or not. A second was all I needed. Gathering all my strength I pushed him as hard as I could. Of course, he fell backwards but did not let go off me. Result: we fell together all over his and James’ trunk and all their contents. I accidentally hit the night table, which fell, crashing against the bed opposite to it. The noise was so loud I was sure they heard it in Vietnam.

-“Ouch!”- Sirius complained. I looked at him. He had, somehow, managed to end up on top of me again. This time, though he was lying on top of me and not just sitting.

-“Ouch? This is all your fault!”- I teased him. He smiled.

-“It’s always my fault, isn’t it?”- he asked. I knew that he was referring to the past week and all the fights we’ve gotten into.

-“I’m sorry I said that about your cousin”- I blurted. He looked absolutely shocked. It took him a few seconds to find his voice again.

-“It’s okay, I know you didn’t mean it”- he told me. I half smiled.

-“So… we’re good?”- I ventured. He smirked.

-“We’re good”- he replied, lowering his head until his lips were almost on mine. I was about to say something, or maybe just close the distance and kiss him like my whole body was telling me to do… but the door opened and four really worried looking people stormed in.

-“Is everyone still alive?”- I heard Peter ask. There was frantic movement around the room. Then, they found us. Four raised eyebrows. I thought that was my thing to do.

-“What the hell happened?”- Remus asked. I looked at them, then at Sirius. Then I realized just how weird it must have looked to everyone. I was on the floor, Sirius was on top of me and we were surrounded by a crazy mess. Wait, Sirius was on top of me. Crap.

-“Padfoot?”- James said, smiling mischievously.

-“Oh, no. NO, no, no, no”- I groaned from where I was. Sirius just laughed.

-“Pillow war, mate”- he replied, trying to get up. Thank you.

-“Pillow war? Naomi, pillow WAR?”- Lily repeated. I finally managed to stand up and I looked at her, rolling my eyes.

-“The idiot wouldn’t give me the map!”- I said, pretending to be indignant.

-“Why on Earth did you tell her about the map?”- Sirius asked James. I looked at him, frowning. What?

-“You guys…”- Peter said. Then we all started laughing. It was just too surrealistic. And funny.

 

We got the room back to its normal state before leaving. The Marauders insisted that we walked in smaller groups, to not draw any attention towards us so I was stuck with Peter and, of course, Sirius. We were walking down some corridor somewhere in Hogwarts. I had still not got the hang of it completely. The castle was just too damn big. The moving stairs did not help, either. They stopped when we arrived at a very ugly looking statue. I watched as they opened some sort of passage and raised an eyebrow when Sirius silently motioned for me to jump in a very dark hole. He rolled his eyes, grabbed my hand and pushed me in. Just like that.

-“Ouch!”- I complained when I landed on the floor. It didn’t really hurt, but I just really wanted to yell at Sirius.

-“It didn’t hurt”- he said. It was a little too dark for my taste. Meaning that I didn’t really see where he was, which made me nervous. Again. Fuck my life.

-“Yes, it did!”- I looked around, trying to figure out where he was.

-“No, it didn’t”- BLOODY HELL. If he kept coming that close to whisper in my ear I was going to die of spontaneous combustion soon. He had to stop.

-“Merlin! You scared me”- I said, too distracted to come up with a better answer.

-“Only scared you?”

-“Here you are!”- Remus exclaimed. I have to thank him. That is twice he saves me from Sirius ridiculously charming sex appeal today. All hail Remus.

-“Lumos”- Lily’s voice brought light back into my life. How poetic.

-“Thanks Lily”- Peter said somewhere behind me.

-“What are we doing here?”- I asked, feeling a little bit more than slightly worried.

-“We’re going to Hogsmeadge, of course”- James informed me.

-“How?”- Lily asked.

-“This passage goes all the way to Honeydunkes”- he informed us. Wow.

-“Going is not the hard part. The difficult bit is coming back”- Remus explained.

-“’Cause no one can see us getting out of the passage or carrying drinks around”- Peter finished.

-“Okay, so that’s what the map and cloak are for, no?”- I asked.

-“Yeah”- James said, absentmindedly. Then he spoke again –“I think Naomi should go to the Dog’s Head with Sirius; we’ll get the beers”

-“And why am I being punished?”- I retorted. They chuckled.

-“Don’t pretend you’re not happy you’re stuck with me”- Sirius teased. I rolled my eyes.

-“I’m so thrilled”- I said sardonically.

-“The Dog’s Head is not very happy with me at the moment, that’s why. And you look older and… well…”- James trailed off. Remus sighed.

-“Sirius usually goes there when he’s in need of some… ehm…”- why couldn’t they say it? What the hell were they talking about anyway?

-“It doesn’t matter, let’s just get going”- Sirius said awkwardly. We all began walking.

 

I had never been to the Dog’s Head before and now I knew why. It was the dodgiest place ever. Men were sitting in dark corners, smoking and drinking. And it was only around noon. They all glared at us as we walked in. Some made nasty comments about me. I groaned, feeling uncomfortable. Sirius put his arm around my waist without warning and whispered that I should agree to anything he said. I decided I was in no position to argue with him. I could do that later. We got to the bar and the owner approached Sirius. He checked me out before speaking. Then I understood what the awkwardness back in the tunnel had been about.

-“You don’t bring the chicks down here with you very often”- he told him, smirking. I wanted to slap him but I refrained.

-“She’s some serious trouble”- I looked at Sirius, trying to hide the shock that was probably crossing my face. His voice had sounded totally different from its own. He sounded like some kind of evil pervert.

-“Are you?”- the owner asked me. Okay, time to pull out your best acting skills.

-“He’s got no idea what he’s in for”- I said arrogantly. I topped the performance with my best and naughtiest smirk.

-“Well, you can always ditch him for a real man”- he said, seductively. I felt Sirius’ grip tighten around my waist.

-“I did not come here to have you flirt with my girl”- he snapped. The owner laughed.

-“Right, what do you want this time?”- he asked Sirius.

-“Firewhisky and some cigarettes. I’m running out”- he told him. The man nodded and went behind the bar.

-“What the hell? Don’t tell me you come here often”- I whispered to him.

-“Shut up, will you?”- he hissed back. I looked around. Half the people were staring at us.

-“So, how many bottles?”- the owner of the bar asked. Sirius approached the bar, pulling me towards him.

-“Six will suffice”- he replied nonchalantly.

-“Oi, hottie, have I not seen you before?”- someone said. I looked over my shoulder and panicked. Two men had left their table and were coming to where we were. My body reacted on its own and I found myself squeezed against Sirius as if my life depended on it.

-“I don’t think so”- I snarled from my very safe spot, that is, barricaded in Sirius’ arms. I could tell he was enjoying it but, oh well, I’d rather get out of here alive and scowl him later.

-“Come on, weren’t you that chick from York?”- he asked. My heart skipped a beat.

-“Leave her alone”- Sirius snarled. I was about to start hyperventilating. How did this man know that I’d been in York? The only one who’d escaped was Bellatrix and he sure as hell did not look anything like her.

-“She’s too much for you, kid. She deserves a real man”- the other guy said, smirking. Sirius growled.

-“He is”- I spat. It was ridiculous how safe I felt only cause it was Sirius shielding me. Had it been anyone else I would have just escaped. I knew Sirius ego was growing exponentially by now, but I did not really care.

-“And what would you know of real men?”- the owner asked me, placing the bottles on the bar.

-“I would know one if he were before me”- I replied, arrogantly.

-“And don’t you see some here?”- the other man said, smirking. I looked at him in the eye and smiled mischievously. Sirius paled. Oh, come on, he couldn’t be thinking that I was really considering this, could he? Did he think so little of me? Well, time to prove him wrong.

-“Hmm…”- I looked around, pretending to be searching. Then, I looked at Sirius –“Oh, found one”- and I kissed him. Thank Merlin he reacted almost instantaneously and kissed me back or else I would have killed him.

-“Oh, come on!”- the men growled. I ignored them.

-“Ten galleons”- the owner told Sirius. I broke the kiss. He paid and took the bags. We walked out together and made all the way back to Honeydunkes in silence. Lily and the boys had not come back yet. I lit a cigarette and looked at him, smirking.

-“Okay, that was a good one”- he finally admitted. I raised my eyebrow.

-“It was genius!”- I exclaimed. He rolled his eyes.

-“Fine, well played”- he conceded. I laughed.

-“Why do you go to that place anyway? Can’t you get firewhisky somewhere else?”- I asked him.

-“No. They know I’m a Hogwarts student so they won’t sell it to me. Not six bottles, at least”- he reasoned. Yeah, that made sense, actually.

-“How do the others get the beers?”- I asked.

-“Rosmerta has a soft spot for Remus”- he said, chuckling.

-“You’re kidding me”

-“Nope”- I laughed.

-“That’s weird”- I said, still laughing. He joined in. I felt good. Having him back felt good, even if it was only as a friend. A friend who was a very good kisser, by the way. If I was completely honest with myself, there was no real need for me to kiss him back there… but I wanted to and the situation gave me a perfect excuse. Right?

-“How did that man back there know you went to York?”- he asked me all of a sudden. Oh, shit. With all the kissing part of it I had totally forgotten he had mentioned it.

-“I don’t know but I’ll have to tell Walter”- I replied.

-“You can’t tell Walter”- he said.

-“I will tell him it happened last night, when we were all here”- I said, dismissively.

-“Do you always plan these things? Or is it just improvisation?”- he asked, amused. I frowned.

-“What are you talking about?”

-“The plotting, scheming… you come up with the best excuses I’ve ever heard and I’m a Marauder so that’s saying a lot, believe me”- he informed me. I rolled my eyes.

-“I was born this way”- I replied, arrogantly.

-“I bet hell saved you a spot the moment you arrived in this world”- he joked. I glared at him.

-“I’m going in through the front door and with a welcoming committee”- I informed him. He chuckled.

-“Well, I’ll see you down there so wear something nice for me”- he said, winking an eye at me.

-“You wish”- I snapped. He sighed but we could not continue our conversation because everyone else came back that moment. They had successfully persuaded Rosmerta to give them the beer so we were all good. It took us long enough to get back in the tunnel, but finally, there we were. James had had to come in and out with the cloak several times because we did not fit all under it at once. We walked all the way back to the entrance. Then it was finally time for me to find out what the map was. I was beyond intrigued by now.

 

James took out the piece of parchment and looked at Lily, then at me.

-“You can’t tell anybody about this”- he said.

-“Of course we won’t”- Lily replied, slightly offended. He smiled sweetly at her.

-“Rhea knows, by the way”- Peter informed us.

-“Okay”- I muttered. For some odd reason, I felt uncomfortable standing in the dark next to Sirius. Damn kiss. I knew I shouldn’t have done it.

-“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good”- James said, pointing his wand towards the blank parchment. I watched in disbelief as fine lines of ink began appearing on it. All of Hogwarts in a piece of parchment. It was amazing.

-“What? How? Oh my God”- Lily said, voicing my own thoughts.

-“It’s genius”- I murmured.

-“It’s beyond that! It’s wonderful”- Sirius said, proudly. I noticed that there were moving things on it, so I took a closer look. Merlin’s pants.

-“Are those dots Hogwart’s people?”- Lily asked, visibly shocked.

-“They are”- Remus replied. I saw the tiny dot named Meg moving around Gryffindor’s common room followed closely by another dot labeled Jo. Walter was in his office, Rhea was in the kitchens.

-“So that’s how you do it”- I said, turning towards Sirius. He smiled.

-“You didn’t really believe that I spent my time following you around like a creepy stalker, did you?”- funnily enough, his voice sounded fairly worried.

-“’Course not. That’s too lame, even for you”- I replied flatly. He smirked.

-“So, Lily, you come with me first. We’ll leave the cloak behind since there’s no one around this area at the moment”- James instructed. She nodded. He handed the map over to Peter and helped Lily out. She had done some fantastic transfiguration work so that the beers they were carrying looked like normal text books. We watched as the two dots labeled Prongs and…

-“Lily flower? Really?”- I asked. They chuckled.

-“Well, we came up with this in third year”- Sirius said, trying to defend James’ pride. I snorted.

-“Don’t let her see it”- I joked.

-“I don’t think she cares”- Peter replied, happily. Yeah, everyone was beyond cheerful that they had finally gotten together.

-“Okay, they’re in the common room. Who’s next?”- Remus asked. 


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