“Are you sure you are up to this?” asked Sirius.
“For the thousandth time YES! Stop bothering me about it!” I snapped. It was 2 days after the INCIDENT and I was going to Quidditch practice. That is if Sirius and James were going to let me. Sirius and James did not want me to come but I convinced them I was well enough. Really I was! We were going to the hospital room to visit Remus who was doing much worse than me.
“Hey Remus!” I said chirpily as I sat down on his bed. He gave a tired smile.
“Juliet!” he croaked.
“You sound bad!” said James.
“I feel even worse.”
“I am sorry!” I said. It was my fault because I had been there and then Remus had become hungry for blood and then had hurt himself because that’s what werewolves do. That must hurt!
“No Juliet, I am sorry! You could have died!” he said. He had been apologizing like crazy for 2 days.
“Just be glad she is here!” said James. His tone was light but his hand on my shoulder tightened a little and I realized he still was scared for me. Next to me Sirius stiffened too.
“I think we will go ahead. Join us soon Juliet!” said Sirius looking at James.
“Yea… after you take your medicine and DO NOT come if you are not feeling up to it!”
“Count on me!” I said and James walked out. I was surprised to see Remus grinning widely.
“What?” I asked hesitantly because he looked like he was mocking me.
“You LOOOOVE him!” he teased.
“You are so blushing…” said Remus.
“I have no idea what you are talking about!” I muttered and got up hurriedly. I blush easily even wneh i dont mean it.
“You LOOOVE Sirius.” I swear I knew I was so red that there was no different between my face and the robes I was wearing. I blush too easily and I hate it!
“Don’t be stupid!”
“I am not being stupid. You love him but if James comes to know about this Sirius will be the first person to go!” said Remus shaking his head. James would definitely do that.
“There is no need for that to happen because I do NOT love Sirius.”
“You so do!”
“All right Do not!” he said in a tone one might speak to a little girl. But I did not fall for that oldest trick in the book.
“Shut up!” I said with as much dignity as I could muster and walked to Promfrey to get my medicines and leave.
“Pass it on Ju!” called Sirius. Sirius, Frank and I were chasers and James was seeker. A 7th year called Joe was the captain and Keeper. The beaters were Henry and Joe whose last names were so complicated I couldn’t even remember. I think it is something to do with ending in –opolis. I threw the quaffle across to Sirius who caught it deftly and passed it back to me to dodge a bludger. I scored a goal. Sirius and I exchanged a mid-air hi-five as we whizzed pass each other. There were a few hoots when we did that and I looked down to see that we weren’t alone. Some other house people had come to watch. This always happens during Quidditch practice. Girls would come to watch Sirius and he would over act for their benefit and to me he would always look like a fool. The person who had hooted, however, was part of a gang of Slytherins and I had no trouble spotting Regulus. Sirius had spotted him too I guess because his hands tightened around his broom. James flew over to us with a frown.
“What did you both do? Can you guys take the trouble to notice that Lily is NOT here and you needn’t act!” James looked between the 2 of us crossly.
“Stop being stupid James! It was a mere hi-5! Don’t you trust us?” I covered, “if you have a problem I can tell everyone it is fake and you can date Lily in your next birth.”
“It is because of this that you are actually getting to see her today evening without us you know!” added Sirius after I had covered up.
James scowled but flew away without another word. Sirius winked at me.
We were walking back from practice and James had gone forward since Sirius and I had a ‘date’. We were walking back slowly, lagging behind when Regulus and Bellatrix Black caught up with us. It was my knowledge that Regulus did not like Bella all that much but they were together in the face to a common enemy – Sirius.
“Yo Bro!” drawled Regulus. Sirius stiffened beside me.
“What do you want?”
“Can't I come and see what my brother is up to?”
“I distinctly recall you ‘disowning’ me in my 5th year!” said Sirius sarcastically.
“At least your mother will be happy now…” said Bellatrix. I looked at her in confusion.
“I mean your choice for a girlfriend. Juliet is a pure blood!”
“Even if she weren’t I would date her!” snarled Sirius.
“Thank god she is. If she wasn’t…” she trailed off dangerously.
“I would like to see you try!” said Sirius in a low voice.
“No you wouldn’t dear cousin… you really wouldn’t!” she said laughing evilly. Sirius made a move towards her but I pulled him back.
“She isn’t worth it!” I told him. I glared back at Regulus and Bellatrix.
“Hey pretty face, don’t glare too much or I might just do a little thing and make it freeze that way!” said Bellatrix. I gave her a disgusted look.
“At least mine doesn’t look like that all the time unlike yours!”
“You really think too much of yourself don’t you? If you were half as good looking as you are now, you wouldn’t have anything to brag about.”
“Juliet is not just a pretty face!” said Sirius hotly.
“I doubt it. You date her!”
“Did you come here to just pick a fight?”
“We are not fighting! And I came here to say, good luck for the match… if you can make it!” and with an evil smile she turned and Regulus followed her. I guess it had been Bellatrix’s idea because Regulus did not look like he could even understand what we were saying. Sirius and I were glaring after them when after a few steps Bellatrix turned back with a smile and said, “When was the last time you heard from your mom Sirius?”
“Did you hear what she said at the end of it all? About the match?”
“So she was threatening us! It is no big deal. We will get through. They can only be sly but we can be brave!”
“It is not just that…” Sirius’ voice trailed off. I looked at him. We had flown to the top of the castle and were sitting on the sloping roof. I was leaning against another roof which started slightly above the one we were sitting on and Sirius was lying flat beside me. He was talking about her comment on his mom. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t even understand.
“The last time I heard from mom was before I left for your house before the holidays… and she threw me out of the house… asking me never to return again!”
“What?” I asked. This was news. Why didn’t he say that before?
“I didn’t tell you guys before I guess…”
“You guess?” I shrieked, “You are practically homeless!”
“Nice to rub it in!” he said sarcastically and I realized that I had been insensitive.
“I am sorry Sirius. What happened?” I asked in a lower tone placing my hand on his. He turned to look at me.
“It started very small and then blew up. Andromeda had brought Nymphadora home to talk to her mother but they threw her out of the house without even listening to what she had to say. I stuck up for her and told my mother that if she wanted to see her mother it is her business.” He paused to take a deep breath. Sirius lived in a joint family household where the traitors were thrown right out and since they all lived under one roof, the traitors had no place to go to. That was their intention. And Sirius and Andromeda had become victims.
“Well… the fight got dirty and we both said lot of things and finally I walked out before she could tell me to. Andromeda took me home with her until I came to your place.”
“Sirius… you can come to my place in the holidays!”
“This is our last holidays Ju!” he said quietly.
“Then you can move in with us!” I said, “Mom and dad won't mind. They know very well what you go through.”
“Juliet… it is different honey. How long can I stay with you? I have a future too.”
“This can be temporary. Just till you find another place.”
“I guess… I will think about it.”
“You don’t have to worry so much Sirius. we are all there for you.”
Sirius sat up and looked at me and smiled gratefully. “When do you reckon we should return?” asked Sirius.
“Dunno… as long as we don’t disturb James and Lily.” He got up.
“We had better be going.” He said, “They have had enough time to themselves… now we have our work to do too!”
We flew back to the tower and walked towards the common room talking.
I turned to look at Kirk Linclon, the head boy. We had gone out on a couple of dates before.
“Hey Kirk! How are you?” I asked him. He was in Gryffindor too and really sweet. We were great friends.
“Hey, what is this I hear about you and Sirius?” he said giving Sirius an acknowledging nod.
“Well…” I started.
“I am not that dumb. You guys are totally faking right?”
“What makes you say that?” I asked him surprised.
“Actually I overheard you guys behind the counter in Three Broomsticks during your detention.”
I nodded, “Yea this is for Lily and James.”
“They are so cute together… I always tell Lily but she asks me to shut my trap.” He started walking with us. We talked all the way there and I realized what a great pair we made. I don’t exactly remember why we broke up but it looks like we could have really hit off. We really clicked and he was easy going. I found that I could talk to him about anything. At the portrait of the Fat Lady he turned to me and said,
“Juliet… after all the match making is over… would you like to go to Hogsmeade for a butterbeer or two… sometime?”
He was asking me out. My first instinct was to say no but then I realized that it was stupid. I did need a back up after LAJO was over… and Kirk was really easy to talk to… why not?
“Sure… I’ll let you know!” I said. He smiled at me and went inside. He really was cute, I thought as I followed him with Sirius. Sirius held my hand and we walked towards James and Lily sitting in front of the fire, our usual place. Remus and Kia hadn’t yet returned. Now they, unlike us, were on a real date.
“How was your date?” asked Lily as we sat down.
“Awesome. How was yours?” asked Sirius. Lily glared at him while James grinned at Lily.
“Don’t look at me like that James! I am not going to date you!”
“Lils dear give me a chance!”
“James it has been long enough… loosen up and get other dates!” said Sirius. I looked at him confused. What was wrong with him? This wasn’t the point of the whole deal…
“I guess…” I snapped my attention back to James.
“Don’t guess… just do it. Date other girls. Lily is not going to happen James. Get used to it.” James looked as taken aback as I. he looked at me in confusion.
“Don’t look at me, I didn’t say anything!” I said holding my hands up and leaning on Sirius.
“No buts. I am setting you up with someone tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” I said raising my eyebrows. So soon?
“Thank you Sirius! I love you!” said Lily hugging him.
“Hey, as hot as you are babe, I know I am irresistible but I remain loyal to my best friend. And you should remain to yours.” Said Sirius. Lily punched him.
“Aww!” said Sirius and I mock patted him. James frowned.
“Lily… I didn’t know you fancied Sirius…” he started seriously. Lily hit him on the head with a book and James ducked. The book fell on to the side and Lily reached over to get it. James fell over and as she was balancing on him she fell on him. They looked at each other for a moment and their eyes locked. Slowly, without breaking their gaze, James picked up the book and handed it to Lily. Lily was speechless as she took it. They both just gazed at each other.
“Should we…” whispered Sirius in my ear.
“Shhh…” I whispered back, “this is so romantic…”
James and Lily were still staring into each others eyes.
“Hey guys!” called Remus. Lily looked away immediately and James looked at her intently.
“Umm…” said Lily blushing. James was still staring wistfully at her.
“Lily…” he said hoarsely.
“I think I will go to bed. See you guys!” she said. She was flustered and was suddenly very clumsy.
“Where is my Transfiguration text book?” she asked in an unnatural high voice.
“Here.” said James in the same hoarse voice handing it out to her. She did not look at him directly and blushed as he was staring down at her. She just took the book and hurried upstairs. Remus whistled after her and James looked up.
“What is going on?” he asked.
“Nothing… looks like Lily will be ready for her first date with James soon.” I said.
“Speaking of dates… why did you agree to go with that Kirk fellow?” asked Sirius sharply.
“She is going on another date?” asked James in the same tone Sirius had used.
“After Sirius and I ‘break up’” I said.
“Why do you have to date him after that?” asked Sirius frowning, “I don’t want you dating.”
“I am not dating now. Only after James and Lily get together.”
“Shocking!” said Remus in a mock tone smirking at me. I glared at him.
“Who I date after I break up with you is not your business!” I said hotly looking at Sirius, “and neither yours!” I added when James was about to speak up. Sirius looked like he wanted to say more but contented himself with sulking and glaring in Kirk’s direction a lot. Remus just stared hard at me and Kia looked puzzled at me.
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