Sirius groaned and rolled over. When had he fallen asleep? He reached up a hand to rub his face, listening to the sounds of the room around him. James was just waking up, as well, though he was much noisier about it, throwing things about and kicking at his blankets. Peter was snoring. Remus was quietly flicking through a book, more than likely waiting for them to wake so they could go to breakfast, or lunch, whatever time it was.
He rolled again to find his clock: nine oh six. Far too early. He blinked, eyes opening to the morning sun, and Remus waved from his bed across from him. He waved back before pushing himself up.
“I didn’t know Iris stayed over last night,” Remus said, and Sirius blinked. He didn’t remember Iris being here. At his confused expression, Remus pointed to the pants on the floor. They were grey and sagging. They were Sirius’, but they were his warmest, and he’d given them to Iris a few weeks ago. He hadn’t worn them in a year, and seeing them out was a clear sign that Iris had been here. But where was she?
Sirius sat up further, fear making his heart beat a little faster. At the other corner of his bed, on the floor, was a large shirt, one clearly worn to bed. A few steps from that was a piece of paper, a bracelet a step later, and a small tear in the rug right near the door. Iris was a wolf.
“Fuck,” he gasped, nearly falling out of bed.
He scrambled to dress, throwing on a pair of jeans and a random t-shirt that lay crumpled on top of his dresser. It smelled fine, and it was only badly wrinkled in the corner, so he shoved it over his head, threw on a sweatshirt, jumped into his boots, and he was collecting Iris’ things from the floor on his way out.
He stared at her handwriting for a moment before sprinting out of the dormitory. He wasn’t sure when she’d gained such a hold on him.
Sirius looked down at the trembling, pale girl on the grassy ground before sighing and heading over to her. “Did you know I have a tattoo?” Iris whispered, her body shaking as Sirius handed her panties and a bra. “It’s of a feather. Okay.” He turned, and he pulled her sweatpants on before lifting her into a sitting position and pulling her white t-shirt on over her head. “On my foot.” He looked down as he lifted Iris in his arms, and there it was, a black cord wrapping around her ankle and drooping like a little bracelet before it tied together in two beads that held a black feather that traced down almost onto her toes.
“I’ve thought about tattoos before. Do they hurt?” Sirius asked as he headed out of the forest.
“They tickle. I have more. Someday, I’ll show you.”
“I’ve never noticed.”
“Because, usually when I’m naked, you’re panicking. Sirius Black, you’ve lost your touch.”
“Lost my touch, huh? And how do you mean?”
“I heard you bedded girls quite often.”
“Not anymore. I’ve got a beautiful distraction.”
But Iris was already drifting off, exhaustion claiming her. Sirius sighed and held her close as he traipsed through the woods. He didn’t know how to do this, how to treat Iris. He felt so attached to her safety, and, yet, he pined for her, wanted her in ways he wasn’t sure he should. It scared him and thrilled him. He needed to separate the two, and, ultimately, her safety was far more important than his lust.
Lust. He convinced himself that was it.
Iris woke in an unfamiliar place, though she felt incredibly warm. She blinked, squirming in the large comforter above her. “PILLOW ATTACK!” a voice suddenly screamed, and Iris was surrounded by three different pillows. Knees and elbows jabbed in strange places, and she laughed as she realized it was the Marauders.
“Guys, I just woke up!” she whined, swatting them away until they clambered onto the end of Sirius’ bed and watched as she sat up. “What am I doing in here?”
“Sirius brought you back, mumbled something about lust, and left,” Remus said with a shrug, “We’re glad he found you, though. We were worried.”
“Yea,” she sighed, rubbing her face, “Guys, I really think I’ve screwed this up.”
Iris pushed herself back against the headboard, leaving them room to spread out. It was weird talking to them; only recently had she become more than just acquaintances with them, but she liked having them as friends, even if they didn’t talk much.
“What, with Sirius?” James asked, coming to sit next to her and draping an arm around her shoulders, “I think he’s a little confused himself.” Iris frowned. “Look at it this way,” he began again, his forehead wrinkling, “The first time he met you and you met him and there was something, you were a wolf and he was a dog. Except he likes you, and you like him, but you two aren’t really sure where you stand because that’s a helluva a way to meet.” Iris nodded. She knew this, but she hated to admit it.
“What time is it? Maybe I’ll go see if I can find him.”
“Nearly lunchtime. Let’s grab something to eat first, okay? Go get the girls, and then we can head downstairs.”
“Thank you, James,” Iris said, kissing him on the cheek, “Thank you all of you, really. I’m glad I know you three.”
“Gosh, don’t make me blush,” Remus joked, pinching her toe before hopping off the bed and heading over to the bathroom. Peter made his way back to his bed before James rumpled Iris’ hair and then went to pick up his book and continue his reading. Iris looked at them a moment, happy, before collecting her things and heading out.
He shifted a little, and the girl on her knees in front of him looked up, pouting. He grunted, guiding her back, and she happily continued. He didn’t want this, but he wanted to forget. He had to make his spell into a potion. He didn’t want to remember her. She didn’t know who he was, but she remembered his name. A moan reverberated in the girl’s throat, and he grunted again. She had accepted his date. Why couldn’t she have just said no?
“Do you not want this?” the girl suddenly snapped, and Sirius looked down. He didn’t, but she had practically ripped his pants off.
He sighed again, turning his head away. Everything about Iris screamed at him to keep away, but he couldn’t because he wanted her so bad, in every lustful and loving way. He wanted her like this girl wanted him, and he wanted to hold her hand and kiss her on the cheek. He wanted to touch her and make her gasp, and he wanted to grow old with her and hold her through the night. He wanted so much, and he knew he couldn’t have anything.
His hips jerked, and he groaned. He was known for this sometimes, for letting random girls get to him. “So, wanna repay the favor?” the girl whispered, standing and kissing him sloppily.
“I’d rather not,” he muttered before pulling his jeans up and stepping out of the classroom. He was also known for that, completely ignoring whoever he let control him for a few minutes.
Iris, Iris, Iris.
Her name was like an echo in his head, and he hated it.
The week came and went with no sign of Sirius. Iris searched high and low for him, but, finally, Friday night came, and she still hadn’t heard word from him. Currently, she was seated in the common room with Emily, who had just finished a conversation with one of the Order members through the fire.
“It’s getting worse, Iris,” Emily sighed, “This Voldemort guy is just… he’s so awful. You should hear the things he does.”
“I’m not deaf, Em, I heard,” Iris chided, “Not only just your conversation, either. People are starting to talk about him. People are starting to notice outside of the Order.”
“Of course people are noticing outside of the Order. And you, Iris, we have to figure out a cure.”
“I can take care of myself,” Iris muttered, crossing her arms and leaning back into the couch.
“You still on about this Sirius thing? Look, he’ll be here tomorrow, don’t you worry.”
“I doubt it. I haven’t seen him all week, and I feel like something is wrong. I knew I was going to screw this up.”
“Since when did you start fancying him anyway?”
“I don’t even know. The night he saved my life?”
“He’s done that a few times, actually,” Emily reminded, tapping her friend on the nose, “I think I may find Remus in Hogsmeade tomorrow.”
“You two have been spending a rather large amount of time together recently. What’s going on there?” she pushed playfully.
“Oh, nothing much,” she sighed, “Just a little teenage fun before my life gets sucked up by this war again. Honestly, Iris, he’s a maniac.” Iris frowned, but let her friend rant. Emily had been like this more and more. She started to forget her homework as she disappeared for raids. Iris felt more alone than she had in the two years that Emily had vanished.
She just wanted to be free of all this madness.
Sirius swore loudly as he nearly dropped a beaker of icky green slurp. He couldn’t believe he was down here, in the dungeons, brewing this. He had promised himself he wouldn’t, that he didn’t care, but, after waiting until the eleventh hour, he couldn’t allow himself not to.
“Bloody serious, mate?” a voice broke the bubbling silence around him, and Sirius did drop the beaker this time, just so James could catch it. “Really, Padfoot, I’ve never seen you act like this. Where the hell have you been?”
“Drinking my life away,” he snapped, nodding toward the polished off bottles of Firewhisky, “And you?”
“Bringing you smokes to puff your life away, apparently,” James said, retrieving a pack of cigarettes from his pocket before dumping the invisibility cloak on one of the tables. He hopped onto it after casting a few charms to make sure they’d be safe in here from eavesdroppers and teachers.
“Acting like what?” he growled, though he knew James’ answer.
“Like you’re in love,” James returned, looking smug as Sirius knocked a cigarette out.
“Incendio,” he muttered angrily, and the smoky death came alive.
“Are you sure it’s really a good idea to drink and smoke while you brew a potion? Can I at least help?”
“Why? It’s not like you care.”
“I happen to like Iris very much, matter of fact.”
“Ugh. Iris,” Sirius bit out, and James rolled his eyes.
“Shut up, you like her.”
“I love her, idiot,” Sirius confirmed before pushing his notes at James and rubbing his face. “I’m tired, mate.”
“I assumed. Sit down; I’ll take over for a while. How long have you been at this?”
“Four hours. It takes a long freaking time. I’m not going tomorrow. I’m just going to leave this somewhere that she’ll see it.”
“That’s rude of you. Didn’t you ask her on a date?”
“I can’t do it.”
“And why’s that?”
“Because her safety comes first.”
“And what, you’re too dangerous for her?”
“Shove it, Prongs.”
“Sirius, look,” James sighed, palming his face and turning to his friend, “I care about you, and you’re killing yourself over this. What is this really about? Why won’t you let her in?”
“That’s the problem, I have let her in.”
“So, what’s the big deal?”
“The big deal is I’m going to hurt her just like I do to every other girl!” Sirius shouted.
“Oh, please!” James rolled his eyes. “You can’t be serious.”
“Fuck you!” Sirius growled, shoving James.
“POTION!” James exclaimed, reaching for the cauldron and steadying it. “Honestly, you’re going to fight me? You’re drunk. Get a grip.” Sirius glared at him a moment, but he didn’t try anything again. “If you love her,” James suddenly said, breaking their silence, “You should tell her.”
Sirius opened his mouth to retort, but then thought better of it and just sat there. He did love Iris. Even after such a short time knowing her, he was sure of that.
Iris frowned as she finished another crane, blew it from her hands, and watched it sail away on top of one of her four posters. She sighed and leaned back against her pillows, a piece of blue paper sitting in her hand. She hated that he hadn’t come, that she wouldn’t be going to Hogsmeade. She’d never been before, even though she’d always wanted to, especially after hearing the magical stories about it while in school in Ireland.
“I’m ready. What d’you think?” Emily appeared from the bathroom, following her voice, and Iris smiled. She was decked out in bright red tights underneath a white, flowery dress.
“You’re very pretty, and Remus is going to think the world of you,” Iris replied happily, “Honestly.”
“You sure you don’t want to come down to the common room and just see if he’s there? He might be,” Emily offered, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“No,” Iris said firmly, “If we were still on, he would have come up with the potion, but he’s not here, so we’re not going.”
Emily frowned, putting a hand on Iris’ cheek. “You should tell him.”
“Tell him what?” Iris spat, looking away.
“How much he means to you. It might open him up.”
“I’ve tried that.”
“No, you’ve tried showing him. Tell him.”
“I don’t see the difference.”
“Stop being stubborn. I have to leave. I hate being fashionably late. It’s so rude. Be good, and I’ll see you later, okay? Kisses,” Emily said as she hugged her friend and stood to leave. Iris watched her, a certain sadness tugging at her heart. She hated that she had to stay behind. She needed to figure out what was wrong with her.
Sitting up suddenly, Iris smiled. She hurried over to her desk where she scribbled out a quick note, slipped into her shoes, and then turned to leave. Standing in her way was a great black dog.
Disclaimer: Everything recognizable belongs to J.K. Rowling. Everything otherwise recognizable belongs to Maggie Stiefvater.
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