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A/N: Okay I'm trying to get some issues out in the open soon….read and review!

Disclaimer: Don’t even need to say it…J.K Rowling owns it all…well except Sydney.



Chapter Seventeen: Breathing Underwater



"Oh don’t even worry about it Syd, James and Sirius are probably out and about causing trouble."

Sydney looked around the common room of the head's and breathed out a relieved mouthful of air. She had been avoiding Sirius all week. The masquerade was tomorrow night and she didn’t want to see Fancy all over Sirius because she might want to back out of attending. Remus had said hi a couple times and before they could talk, Sydney would always spot Sirius and run before he could see her. Pathetic, huh?

The girls lay on the couches and stared around them.

"When are you going to talk to him?"

Sydney widened her eyes and looked at Lily with an expression that clearly said, " how about never." Lily shrugged and rolled her eyes.

"You do realize that you're going to have to sometime or another, right?"

"I like later than sooner."

Lily smiled as if she knew something and turned her back as she reached for a book. But of course, just like any other regular day yet unfortunate for Sydney, the portrait opened and James and Sirius came barging in laughing. Sydney suddenly wanted to believe she was small enough to hide behind the cover of her book but of course her imagination failed her. Cursing silently, she nodded at them and pretended as if that was enough. James frowned a little and cleared his throat.

"Lily…I need to converse with you."

Raising her eyebrows, Sydney glared a bit at James and sat up.

"Hmm, it must be important since James used the word "converse" instead of "talk". Oh la la."

Sirius chuckled slightly and suddenly they all realized that the atmosphere was the most awkward it could ever be now that Sydney and Sirius were having a "little" dispute. Lily finally got up and took James' hand and they headed out the portrait leaving Sydney and Sirius alone. It at last clicked in Sydney's mind that this was a set-up…and evil well planned out set-up.

"Sydney…I think…"

"Save it. I'm leaving."

She got up and started for the portrait but Sirius grabbed her arm and spun her around. She honestly wanted to talk to him but how could she when all that played in her mind was Fancy and him flirting shamelessly? Instead of looking in his eyes she looked down at her jeans and sandals and ignored everything he said.

"I've never felt like this…it's new to me and frankly it scared me…"

At long last, Sydney gazed up at Sirius and noticed how sincere he seemed. Everything he was saying was just a blur as she watched his lips move. She couldn’t take all those words. It hurt too much to hear him try to apologize because somehow she felt he could win her back and then just break her down again. All she felt was herself slowly collapsing as he stood before her. Instead of listening her mind wandered to their younger years…

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


"Lily would you wait up!"

Gasping for air, Sydney stopped to catch her breath and looked up as Lily rushed off, hardly paying attention as to where her friend was.

"Sydney I have to check up on that test! I'll catch up with you later!"

Everyone rushed past Sydney, doing the very same thing Lily was; checking with McGonagall about their finals. It was the toughest final before winter break and no one wanted to worry about it over their vacation. Someone roughly hit Sydney's elbow and her books went flying. The person merely said an apology and ran off with everyone else.

Letting her shoulders sag a little, she got down onto her knees and went to pick up the books that were scattered everywhere. Just as she went to grab the last book, a hand got it before her. She slowly looked up and felt her mouth drop. It was Thomas Cornit, one of the cutest Hufflepuffs on the Quidditch team. His blonde hair was a tad spiky and his blue eyes gazed at her in wonder. She stood up as he had and he handed her the book.

"You okay? I saw that guy practically clobber you." He grinned showing his pearly whites.

Sydney nodded but didn’t know what to say so she just stuck out her hand.

"Sydney Lane."

"Oh I know who you are…but anyways I'm Thomas Cornit."

She felt her insides squirm. He knew who SHE was? He was one of the most gossiped guys in the girl's dormitories. Generally he was seen with Sandy but they didn't hit it off that well. Some rumor about him forcing himself onto her. But who could trust anything the Bratty Blondes said?

"Well Sydney I was wondering maybe you and I could…"

"Lookie here Prongs…it's Sydney Marie and Mr. Cornit. Having a little rendezvous I see.."

Rolling her eyes by habit, she didn’t want to turn around but seeing Thomas look over her shoulder she knew she'd have to at some point face him. He stood behind her as if pretending he owned her and James just looked amused at the little meeting of theirs.

"What do you want?"

"Just saying hi, Lane. Am I not allowed to speak in your presence."

"As a matter of fact—"

"Uh we're sort of talking here Sirius, do you mind?" Thomas said with such appealing charm, Sydney couldn’t help but smile.

"Actually I do mind…because Sydney and I happen to be…" He wrapped his arm around her shoulder. Sydney widened her eyes in horror. What was he doing?!

Thomas backed off a little and frowned. He nodded and before Sydney could say anything he just stepped back.

"Oh sorry man…well umm bye guys. Bye Sydney."

"NO NO NO…"

But Thomas had already left and Sirius stood there smiling like a fool. Gritting her teeth angrily, Sydney wondered why she couldn’t have just attended a private all girl's school…it would be a lot less frustrating.

"You…you…"

Her anger succeeded her and not a word could be spoken that would fully describe how she was feeling at that very moment. She pulled his arm off her shoulders and stood away from him. Sirius looked sad for a second but then grinned. Sydney cursed herself as she admired his dimples. She smacked him as hard as she could and turned away from him, but before she left she turned back to face him.

"Don’t ever….ever mess with my love life again. Better yet, just stay out of my life, you insensitive jerk!"

"Sydney, he's not the guy you think he is…I'm just trying to—"

"Well don’t. I can take care of myself. Just leave me alone."

That was one of the many moments that created her mood towards Sirius; it was like he was always trying to make her mad. She didn’t care about how he was trying to watch out for her, he had no right to do so.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Finally snapping back to the present, Sydney looked around herself and felt like slapping herself. She was standing in front of Sirius who was trying harder to persuade her that he did nothing wrong. Everything he said was just sounded so idiotic.

"Sydney…Fancy and I were just hanging out and—"

"Just stop."

Sirius held his tongue and watched in wonder if Sydney was warming up to him, but by the way she cut him short and the way she had looked while he was trying to explain himself, he wasn’t so sure she was quite happy with him.

"Sirius. I want…I…"

She wanted to tell him off. She wanted more than anything in the world to just push him away and tell him that she hated him, but she knew she didn’t. She knew how she truly felt. Sydney shook her head trying to keep the tears held inside. He tried to pull her closer to him for comfort but it all became a blur. Her breaths were coming in short and ragged. It was like breathing underwater.

"No…I cant…I just cant…"

Getting out of his grasp, she rushed out of the portrait ignoring his calls and disregarded Lily and James' shocked looks as she ran past them. She just kept running. When she looked up, she could make out Remus' figure ahead of her.

"Sydney! What's wrong?"

He had his arms out open trying to assuage her but trying to steer clear of him she ran into a girl who had fallen into his arms instead. She didn’t pause to realize that it was Sandy that she had hit. She muttered a couple apologies but kept going.

Everything was all wrong.

Then something hit her as she ran down the corridors. The masquerade was tomorrow night. The night she would have to face everyone. Stopping dead in her tracks, everyone walked past her not even noticing her tears or her distressed face.

Tomorrow night…everything would have to be out in the open and she would have to deal with them.

A/N: I swear it'll get better! This chapter was a bit rushed…but anyways review and tell me what you think!

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