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Chapter Three

Ah, to be Graceful

(by Tally)

 “Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.”

William Hazlitt

A week has passed now and we’ve all fallen back into the usual Hogwarts routine. As glad as I am to be back and away from home, I have to admit that I was hoping for a bit more this year. I don’t know what I was expecting – maybe I thought that I wouldn’t trip down the stairs at least three times every day because I’m a Sixth Year. Pah, like that’s ever gonna happen.

Meggie, Lily and I had agreed at the end of last year to make goals for  this year and stick to them. Lily’s was to eat healthier (yeah right) and not to hex James every time he asks her out. That was to be expected; she’s tried that for the past two years. And it hasn’t worked.

Meggie’s goal surprised me though. I was expecting something, I don’t know, like a joke. But instead she said she’s going to try and work on not being as sarcastic. And I’m like, Um, sorry Meggie, no way. Sarcastic is who she is. 

So when it was my turn and I said wasn’t going to procrastinate and actually do some of my homework the night it’s assigned, Lily laughed. Meggie gave me a blank stare and went, “Aria, you’re kidding, aren’t you?”

I have the sweetest, supporting friends ever.

Um, note the sarcasm.

Now, Meggie pokes me repeatedly until I open my eyes. 

“Wake up!” she says. “C’mon Aria, we’re burning daylight here!”

“Mmm-nuhhh,” I grumble as I roll over in bed, pulling my pillow over my head. Maybe I should mention that I am not a morning person. Stay up all night, sleep all day. That’s my motto along with a line to one of Jill’s favourite songs. 

She pokes me again. “Wake uppp, Arriaaa!” she sings. Now, Meggie isn’t the polar opposite of me in this. She likes her sleep to, well, she did. She’s just adjusted her schedule so that she can stay up late with me, then wake me up early, just to torture me. 

Lily calls it my conspiracy theory, but it’s not. I don’t think everyone is plotting against me, just Meggie. 

She keeps poking me until I grudgingly pull back the covers and get out of bed. If I know her, there’s no way she’ll give up. And I’m not exactly the most patient person. And tell me this, who really likes to be poked? 

“What is it?” I say snappishly even though I know there is no ‘what’, she just wanted to wake me up. 

Merely smiling, she makes her voice all innocent. “Lily wanted us to come down to breakfast with her.”

I groan. “Where is she, Meggie?”

“Why, eating breakfast of course.” She grins and flops on my bed. “I was bored,” she complains. “Lily left for some prefects meeting and you know how much I love the other girls in our year.”

"Oh yeah,” I agree in a friendly tone while I glare at her, trying to figure out some way to get revenge. 

She eyes me nervously. “You’re being nice. Why are you being nice?”

I just smile. “Oh, no reason.”

“Your niceness scares me, Aria.”

“As it should.”

She stands and lifts her hands up like a ward against evil. “I’m going downstairs, okay?”

Grinning my head off, I say, “Sure, Megan Laureen, you just go down now.”

Her deep brown eyes narrow and she calls, “Shut up!” as she backs out of the room.
Once she’s gone I sigh and fall back into bed. There’s no chance for sleep now. Meggie can go die in a cave for waking me up. 

Stupid stupid stupid. Now my whole day is ruined! I’ll be in a grumpy mood until I fall asleep, and my Saturday will be ruined.

Stupid Meggie.

Climbing slowly out of bed for a second time, I quickly throw on some clothes and drag a hairbrush through my perpetually straight hair. I could care less. Fashion is not really my big thing. I don’t even know what I’m wearing.

Um, woah. 

That’s just a little disturbing.

I glance down to check myself over, then sigh with relief that I actually put clothes and not a different pair of PJs or on or something. Then I grab my book (well okay, it’s Lily’s), and my iPod (which isn’t mine either; it’s Jill’s old one) and start downstairs. Just as I’m on the last, oh, seven or so stairs, the staircase starts to change. Not this time! 

I run forwards to make it and inevitably trip over the last stair, ending up in a pile on the floor. 

Stupid karma. It always comes back to haunt me.

I pick myself up from the floor and find Sirius staring at me, my book and iPod in his hands.

“What?” I ask in exasperation. “Why are you everywhere!” 

“What?” he asks with a frown.

“NEVER MIND!” I explode and grab the book from him, but he holds onto the iPod tightly, lifting it above his head. I jump for it and still can’t get it.

Glaring at him darkly, I cross my arms. “Give me the iPod.”

“iPod?” he repeats curiously, bringing the foreign object to eye level. “What is it?”

“Muggle thing. You wouldn’t be interested.” I make another snatch for it but he grabs my wrist instead, shoving it away. 

“Oh, but I’m very interested. Now, Aria be a good girl and make a deal with me,” he demands and sits down on the now-unmoving stairs (curse my luck), fiddling with it. 

“No,” I say immediately. “Deals with you are never good ideas.”

“You haven’t even heard the deal yet!” he protests.

I huff. “I don’t have to. I already know the answer is NO, Sirius!”

“Just tell me about this iPod and I’ll help you get revenge on Meggie,” he says slyly.

I freeze in mid-process of attempting to grab it. “What makes you think I want revenge on Meggie?” 

“Only that she came down to breakfast looking over her shoulder every five seconds. And Jamesie insisted on sitting across from Lily, so I heard them talking.”

“Oh,” I say brilliantly. 

“So, do we have a deal?” 

I think about it for a second. When it comes to revenge, I have to admit that Sirius wouldn’t be the worst person to have helping me. “Fine,” I sigh as I sit next to him, holding out my hand expectantly.

He puts the iPod in while giving me a suspicious glare, ready to grab my wrist again if I try to bolt. 

Instead of bolting, I put one of the headphones in my ear and hand him the other. He eyes it for a minute as if figuring out how to work it, then finally uses his brain. I skim through the songs and then select one called ‘Somedays’ randomly.

Instantly music blasts from it. I turn it down and glance at Sirius, whose face is frozen in shock. I stifle a laugh. He looks like a little kid who just saw a plane fly for the first time.

“Music?” he asks and I nod slowly, arching an eyebrow. “Ohhh… Muggle music.”

“Well, obviously. Muggles aren’t going to be listening to wizard music, are they?”

“Guess not.” He pauses and we listen to the song. “What’s she singing?” he asks after a moment. “I can’t tell.”

Softly, I sing along with the music. “Somedays aren’t yours at all. They come and go just like someone else’s days. They come and leave you behind someone else’s face… and it’s harder than yours, colder than yours…” Two years ago, Jill and I sang this for the camp talent show. 

“It’s too sad and slowish,” he announces, then orders me: “Change it.”

“Yes, Your Highness,” I say sarcastically and press the side of the circle-y thing without looking to see what’s on.

Time to go, this is goodbye she said does it ever get easier to live like this, and kiss the cheek or I can’t kiss you anymore… and I, I would honestly love you now, but I will lovingly let you down…

“Fast now,” he notes with a smile. “I like this muggle music. Hey, can I have this thing?”

“Not a chance!” I exclaim, pausing the song and tearing the earphone (yes, single earphone) from him. “Now help me get revenge on Meggie like you said.”

He wears a mischievous grin that some girls might think is cute. I don’t. I’m just peeved. 

“Sirius…” I warn.

“I’ll help you,” he reassures me. “Wait a few hours, okay? Then we’ll come up with a foolproof plan.”

It better be foolproof if you’re gonna use it, is on the tip of my tongue but I bite it back. Instead, I say, “Why not now?”

“Because I need time to brainstorm. No offence Aria, but when was the last time a plan you came up with worked?” 

“That hardly matters,” I mutter.

He grins wider.

I kick him hard in the shins and jump to my feet. “See you in a few hours!” I call behind me as I run through the Great Hall to get outside. Throwing myself into the grass in front of the beach three, I fix the iPod and turn the music back on, finishing the previous song while I read. 

After a while, I sigh and give up on the book momentarily. It’s really confusing. Lily is way too smart for me. 

I people-watch over the top of the book and see my two friends walk past me without noticing – they’re wrapped up in a conversation. Meggie looks worried.

I grin. She should be worried. I never knew it was so easy to scare her. Just act nice? That’s it? 

Oh, she is so dead.

I stand and all the sudden tip over so that I stumble backwards a step, fall back, and land on my butt.

Ah, to be graceful.

Disclaimer: 'Somedays' is property of Regina Spektor... and the other lyrics ('If I Fail') are from Cartel. AND AND AND the 'stay up all night, sleep all day' is from another Cartel song ('Burn This City'). Heh. Couldn't resist using it.
And just because neither Tally nor Eileen remembered to say this in the first chapter:
AHEM. Sirius and CO belong entirely to JK Rowling, and not us. The end.

Tally's A/N: I always post this at bad times, when Eileen is gone... then I forget to tell her... 
Anywho, here it is :D
Aria, poor girl, is almost as skiled as me and Eileen xD
And now I have Somedays stuck in my head. Ah, at least no-one's home to tell me to stop shrieking. ;D

Eileen's A/N: Lovely Readers,
I did not write this chapter, yet nattie has told me to write an A/N. So here I am. ENJOY. and review. DONT forget to review. Thankies!

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