Chapter 12 - A Time of Firsts
Hagrid looked down at Talia and Sirius; luckily he had been there, otherwise who knows what would have happened. "Yers need ta be more careful. I don' want ter see either of yers in there no more. Ya here me."
Talia and Sirius bowed their heads, nodding solemnly. They both knew in their hearts that it wasn't the truth; most likely they would be wandering back into that forest. Bowing their heads was more a sign of guilt than a sign of repentance. After Hagrid was satisfied that they were okay, he walked into the Great Hall to join the feast.
Talia paused outside the doors, "If you want to go in, I understand."
His face flushed, Sirius knew that he and Talia needed to talk and that was more important the feast or even his prank. "No Tal, we need to talk. You deserve an explanation."
She nodded and took his hand, leading him back to where it first started. The Astronomy tower was cold; November was mere hours away and the threatening weather had finally arrived. The cold bit through them, Talia especially. Sirius was a bit hesitant at first but with an enormous amount of effort he drew his arms around her. For a moment she flinched but she did not move away from him.
Talia turned towards him, taking in an deep breath. She could feel her hands shaking and a group of enormous butterflies in her stomach. She couldn't remember a time when she felt more anxious.
"Sirius, there are things you don't know about me. First I'd like to start with what you overheard between George and I." Sirius shook his head and opened his mouth to stop her but she stopped him. "You may not want an explanation but you're going to get one. I did say that we weren't really friends but it was only because we barely know each other. Granted, I know there is an attraction between us but Sirius, do we really know each other?"
Sirius smiled and shook his head, they really didn't know much about each other.
"Well, maybe it's time I told you about myself. I promise Professor Dumbledore I wouldn't reveal what I'm about to tell you but I really have no other choice."
Sirius couldn't help but interrupt, "Talia, you don't have to tell me."
But Talia shook her head, "Sirius, I want you in my life and in order to do that you need to know the truth about me; so just listen. I recently found out who my mother was; her name was Hesper Starkey and she was a witch. She had me on June 24th, 1960 and she died in 1973."
Talia paused, noticing Sirius' confused look. He asked tentatively, "But you would have only been 13 when she died, I don't understand how you never knew her."
Talia nodded, knowing that she would have to explain everything. "True, but she left me at Cromwell when I was a baby...for a reason. I have only recently learned that my father was a dark wizard. I have no idea who he is, as Dumbledore has refused to talk about it."
Talia noticed that Sirius didn't gasp, recoil or tear his arms away from her. If anything he hugged her even more tightly, and for this she was grateful. "I have been taking trips into the forest to see a friend who has been trying to help me piece together the clues to my past. His name is Firenze and he gave me this."
Talia reached underneath her shirt to reveal the pouch around her neck. She held it out to Sirius, who ran his fingers along it gently, as if making sure not to harm it. She watched his face, knowing that, although he wanted to know what it was he wouldn't ask.
"It's mallowsweet." Talia said in answer to the question he never asked. "The Centaurs burn them, along with other herbs and leaves, to look for clues as to what the future will hold for the world."
Sirius slumped down against the balustrade and put his head in his hands. "I don't get it, so you've been going to the forest to try and tell the future? And the Centaurs have been helping you?"
Talia smiled and sat next to him, knowing that it would take a lot of explaining. "Yes and no, Sirius. I have been going to the forest to try and figure out my past. The only way that I can find out about my past is figuring out the future."
Sirius looked confused and Talia understood why, she wasn't being very clear. "It might be best if I start at the beginning. My mother fell in love with the wrong kind of man. If my father knew I were alive he would come after me, just like he went after my mother. For some reason Dumbledore believes that my father will heavily influence what happens with you-know-who." Sirius listened patiently as Talia revealed to him all that she promised Dumbledore she wouldn't tell to another soul. "Sirius, you cannot tell anyone this."
He nodded and took her hand, "I know, we wouldn't want anyone coming after you..." He paused as he stared down at their interlaced fingers.
"I feel a 'but' coming on." Talia chuckled as she bent her head so that she was staring into his eyes.
Sirius laughed, Talia knew him so well, yet she knew so little about him. "But what if this someone already knows about you, what if that's what all these attacks are about? What if this mystery wizard who killed his father...is your father?"
Sirius raised a good question, one that Talia had been wondering about for quite a while. It would explain why you had been attacked...twice. "I don't know Sirius, I just don't know."
He stood up and looked down onto the grounds; Talia sighed knowing that she probably put too much of a burden on him by telling him all these things. "Sirius, I didn't tell you to worry you. I told you because I want us to know each other...yesterday by the lake--"
Sirius cut her off as he turned around to face her. "I don't need any explanations Tal. I just want you to understand that I'm your friend."
Talia felt her heart sink into her stomach, friends, that's all? She nodded and turned away from him so that he could not see the pain on her face, but he knew it was there.
"Well, not just friends," he murmured as he walked closer to her. She could feel his breath on the back of her neck but she didn't turn to face him. She stood there bathed in the light from the shrinking moon, waiting and hoping for something to happen. She felt him reach down and put his hand on her hip, pulling her gently towards him. They stood there silently as he wrapped his arms around her waist from behind. Talia could feel her heart quicken as he rested his head on her shoulder, the slight stubble from his unshaven face tingling her cheek. Had his heartbeat quickened just as hers had?
Their perfect silence was broken by something even more perfect; with no words he released her and turned her around to face him. Talia watched him lower his head towards her, she kept her eyes open as he brought his lips to her own. Almost as if involuntarily her eyes closed softly as his kiss deepened.
Sirius Bloody Black was kissing her once again, but this time they would not be interrupted. She felt him pull away and yearned to grab him back and refuse to let him end the kiss, but that was not who she was. He spoke, stuttering a little, which was what most boys, all except Sirius Black, tended to do when they kissed a beautiful woman.
"You have told me about your past, and now I want to tell you about mine." Talia happily obliged as she sat next to him and curled herself under his arm. The stone floor in the Astronomy tower had never been so comfortable. She listened as he spoke about his dark family; although she had a slight idea about the "Black Family", having known Regulus, she was astonished at the stories he told her.
"So you just left? Just like that?" She asked, astonished at his bravery. "I could never do that."
He smiled down at her, playing with the loose ends of her hair, "Do what?" he murmured.
"Just leave, go out on my own like that." Talia answered as she closed her eyes, enjoying the sensation of his fingers in her hair.
"Well, I'm not really alone, the Potters took me in."
"What are you going to do after graduation? Are you going to stay with them?" Talia asked.
"I'm not really sure what I am going to do but I can't live off them forever." He answered as his eyelids grew heavier. "What about you, now that you're not going back to Cromwell."
Talia yawned as she answered him, "Dumbledore told me that my mother left me a bit of money, not much mind you but enough to get me started."
Sirius sighed and nodded. Talia's eyes were in danger of staying closed until morning but she didn't care. She was with Sirius and that was all that mattered. "Talia?" Sirius asked, making sure she was awake.
"Hmmm?" she mumbled incoherently.
"Will you be my girlfirend?"
"Yes," she answered as she nuzzled even closer to him.
Neither of them could remember when they fell asleep, it was all a haze to them. But they woke up the next morning with the sun blazing in their eyes.
The stone floor that felt so comfortable the night before caused Talia's back to ache with pain. She moved carefully, shifting her weight away from Sirius and shook him gently awake.
"Mmm five more minutes," he sighed as he moved to roll over, his head coming into contact with the stone wall. "OW!" he cried as he shot up rubbing his forehead. Despite her aching back and shivering from the cold, Talia began to laugh heartily.
Sirius just sat there with a grumpy expression, "It's not funny."
This caused her to laugh even more, doubling over and grabbing her stomach. Sirius looked at her and began to chuckle as well. "I guess it's a little funny." He stood and grabbed her by the arm, helping her up, "It's still early, we might be able to sneak in to our dorms."
Sneaking, sauntering more like it, unusually there was no Filch or Mrs. Norris patrolling the corridors and this gave Talia and Sirius a clear path all the way to the Gryffindor common room. They gave the Fat Lady the password and walked into the empty common room. It was still early and everyone was probably tired from the feast. Talia tiptoed across the wood floor and began to creep up the stairs when she felt a tug on her arm. She turned to Sirius as a small smile played across her lips.
He craned his neck and pecked her on the lips lightly. She felt her stomach flutter lightly and touched his cheek; as she did this she noticed a glint in his eye. He winked at her and grabbed her outstretched hand, kissing it and turning towards the boys dorms. Talia went up to her room that morning as light as a feather.
Talia was roughly shaken awake; not understanding what was going on she bolted herself upright, coming face to face with Lily and Alice.
"Where in the RUDDY HELL have you been?!" Alice asked, visibly shaken.
Lily had a look of real worry on her face as she leaned towards Talia, "Tal, we thought something happened to you."
Talia just moaned and flopped back down on her bed, "I'm fine."
"Oh no you don't," Alice yelled as she ripped off Talia's bed covers, "...you better start talking." Talia grabbed at her pillow and shoved her head underneath it, but Alice grabbed that as well and tore it from Talia's hands. "Get up!" she yelled.
Talia grudgingly sat up in her bed. "What is it that you want to know?" she asked, covering a yawn with the back of her hand as she adjusted her position.
Alice and Lily just stared at Talia incredulously with their mouths agape. Finally Lily managed to speak, "Where were you? What happened?"
Talia sighed as if she were bored, she thought it might be better to keep her romp into the Forbidden Forest a secret. "I was in the Astronomy tower. Sirius came to find me and we ended up falling asleep."
"Sirius....Black?" Alice asked.
"Do you know of any other Sirius?" Talia asked jokingly as she pulled back her covers and touched her feet onto the cold wooden floor.
"But..." Lily asked as she fidgeted with Talia's blanket, "...we thought you two were...you know."
Talia just shrugged and pulled her trainers onto her feet, "He apologized and everything's okay."
Alice just stood up to grab and jumper, "I wouldn't forgive him," she said in a huff.
Lily turned towards Alice, leaving Talia's blanket and grabbing a jacket, "Don't be so hard on him." Alice's jaw dropped at this and turned towards Lily.
"Since when have you been a Sirius fan?"
Lily just shrugged and grabbed Talia to walk towards the door, "Dunno, he just set things right with James and I. He told me what actually happened the night James was hurt."
Both Talia and Alice were shocked at this; although Sirius didn't hate Lily but he was never a big fan of James and Lily's relationship. It was shocking that he would try to patch things up between them. Talia grinned at her friend and pulled her into a tight hug. "You know Lily, James was a right mess when he thought he'd lost you."
Lily smiled at her comforting words and nudged Talia. "So what's going on between you and Sirius?"
Talia shrugged, but underneath her mind and heart were reeling, she was his girlfriend and she couldn't believe it. Lily knew that look because she, herself, had it when she thought of James. Alice just rolled her eyes at her love struck friends and started walking down the stairs.
Talia laughed at Alice and slapped her on the back, "Come on Alice, don't you swoon over your boyfriend too?"
Alice just snorted, "I don't swoon! I mean yeah, I love Frank but I'm not the type of person to swoon...wait a minute...is Sirius your boyfriend?"
Talia was a bit taken aback, of course Sirius was her boyfriend. She thought that it was obvious. She gave Lily and Alice a confused look, "Yeah, of course." Lily almost tripped down the stairs and Alice just stood there immobile.
Their shock was what took her by surprise, rather than their question. "So what?"
Alice didn't speak up, which was unusual for her; it was Lily who explained the situation to Talia. "Tal, he's never had a girlfriend before."
But Talia just laughed at her, "Oh posh, he's always dating girls."
Both Lily and Alice nodded emphatically and Alice finally chimed in, "Yeah, he's dated girls but he's never had a girlfriend before."
Talia was completely shocked, she was his first girlfriend and he was her first boyfriend. This was unbelievable, the experienced ladies man, Sirius Black had never had a girlfriend before. This was definitely going to be an adventure.
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