The Girl Who walked Like John Wayne
Delilah could not believe she was spending her first Saturday night of term in the trophy room shining up old awards with none other than Sirius Black. Two years ago this situation would have been a dream come true but now, with the way things had panned out, she couldn’t imagine anything worse.
She could hear Lily and Remus polishing suits or armour outside in the corridor, she couldn’t make out what they were saying but there was a lot of laughter. Well good for them, she thought venomously, let them laugh while I suffer! She scrubbed doubly hard on a special award for services to the school. What was making the detention even more excruciating was Sirius’ overbearing need to talk. He had never struck her as the talking type, in fact she’d been very attracted to his mischievous yet strong and silent exterior. Well hadn’t that been a front? Sirius was gabbing like there was no tomorrow.
“So life with my parents was completely unbearable as you can imagine,” Sirius was saying, he paused briefly to spit on a trophy then continued scrubbing… and talking, “So I left. Now I live with James’ family. It’s only temporary you see, just for this year, then I’ll get my own place and a job- that sort of thing,” Delilah considered dropping ‘Gwendolyn Gibney’s’ chess trophy on Sirius’ head and making it seem like an accident. At which point had she given any impression of caring about his personal life? Had she, at any point, said anything that could have been interpreted as a request for his life story? First he steals her song book, stamps all over her love struck heart and calls her fat…then he wants to be all chatty over trophy polish?
“And how are you going to get a place with no money? Your parents cut off your inheritance. You just told me that.” She snapped trying to put him off but Sirius’ smile brightened.
“Ah! Good question dear Delilah,” Oh here it goes, “Well my Uncle Alphard- my mothers brother- has always had a liking for me and, bless his soul, has sorted me out with an inheritance that is more than capable of keeping me very comfortable,” Oh. She was sorry she’d asked.
“The first thing I’m going to do this summer, after school, is buy a bike. A big scrap heap of a thing, fix it up then travel or something. I think I’d enjoy travelling. Get out of this country, see the world-,”
“Oh a bike?”
“Yeah, a bike… What’s wrong with that?” Sirius stopped scrubbing to look at her. Delilah shrugged.
“I don’t know, the world is pretty big, won’t your legs get tired from peddling?”
Sirius let out a bark like laugh, “Not a pedal bike you idiot, a motorbike.”
“Oh,” Delilah frowned, “How was I supposed to know that?”
“Well I was telling you about the motorcycle I used to see the muggle drive by on from my bedroom window and-,”
That was more than enough. “Sirius.” Delilah stopped polishing and raised her rag to shush the boy. He stopped talking and watched her expectantly. When she didn’t talk right away he nodded his head encouragingly. “Stop. Just stop. I don’t care.”
Sirius waited for her to elaborate and when she didn’t asked, “You don’t care about what?”
“Whatever it is you have to say. I don’t care about your inheritance, I don’t care about your stupid bike, I don’t care about the muggle you used to watch! All I care about is getting this all cleaned up so I start enjoying my Saturday night!”
Sirius expression darkened, “Since when have you been such a bitch?” He asked, she glared at him but his eyes were all for the plaque he was polishing.
“Well when you’re ‘pretty in a fat way’ sometimes you have to find ways to look after yourself,” Delilah smiled at him but Sirius didn’t seem to pick up on the jibe. Obviously he wouldn’t, Delilah thought bitterly, his comment hadn’t meant anything to him, he would hardly remember saying it after all this time. The words that had hurt her so much weren’t even worth remembering for Sirius.
“What are you talking about?” Sirius frowned, “You girls are all crazy. Every last one of you thinks your fat,” His expression was brightening up again, he grinned wickedly at Delilah and she remembered describing that smile as ‘knicker loosening’ to Lily once as they gossiped by the lake. It was still an apt description. “Anyway the men love a little something to grab onto Delilah,” He winked at her but she just continued polishing.
“I think that’s just what you say so you don’t sound shallow,”
“No one wants to go to bed with a bag of bones,” Sirius continued. It was as though he had swallowed a teen magazines ‘anti-eating disorder’ special. “In fact I know that I definitely prefer a girl who has a bit of an ass-,”
“Sirius… What did I say about not caring?”
“Fine.” Sirius rolled his eyes, “I’ll stop talking but I bet you ten galleons you’re going to get so bored that you’re begging for conversation by the end of the night,”
“I doubt that,” Delilah replied quietly. They worked on in silence for a good half an hour before they were interrupted by a raised male voice in the corridor beyond.
“If I catch you following me one more time-,”
The voice was cut off by a rather hysterical female one, “If you tell me where you’re going then I won’t have to follow you, will I?”
“Why would I tell you were I am going?” The voice was both angry and sneering, “I do everything in my power to make sure you don’t know where I am,”
“I don’t understand why you have to be so mean-,”
“Because you’re stalking me! That’s illegal Black!”
Delilah and Sirius exchanged glances and reaching a silent understanding both crept towards the door of the trophy room to get a better view of the arguing pair.
“I’m not stalking you!” Narcissa looked indignant. She held her beautiful head high and shook her glossy mane in a most attractive manor, “I’m just making sure you’re safe-,” A quick scan of the hallway deduced that Lily and Remus must have moved their polishing to a different section of the castle.
“Look.” Lucius Malfoy’s usually pale skin was flushed with rage, the angry rouge was creeping up his neck and spreading along his sharp cheeks like rosy fire, “There is no reason for you to make sure I’m safe. I barely know you. I have no idea why you have developed this strange desire to be part of my life-,”
“We are meant to be!” Narcissa hollered at him and Sirius and Delilah shared an awkward glance. Narcissa sounded utterly serious. Didn’t she realise how crazy she sounded?
“Leave me alone! Leave me alone right now or I’m going straight to Slughorn! You’ll be sent to St. Mungo’s quicker than you can say psycho maniac-,”
“Fine!” Narcissa looked in a mind to slap her prey, “But you’ll realise soon enough-,”
“Realise what exactly?” Lucius sneered.
“That you can’t live without me-,”
“Go! Right now!”
Narcissa stormed off like an angry gazelle, all legs and grace and Lucius watched her go with a sour expression before sweeping off in the other direction.
Delilah and Sirius slowly returned to their polishing occasionally shooting the corridor hopeful glances; both wishing for another big scene to watch.
“So…” Delilah said after a moment of peaceful reflection, “Is Narcissa Black a relation of yours?”
“Yeah she’s my cousin.”
“So Andromeda-?” Delilah asked thinking of Andromeda, also, Black from her Charms class.
“Also my cousin being that they're sisters. Before you ask Bellatrix is, sadly, also my cousin.” Sirius looked deeply apologetic, “Thank Merlin she left last year, eh!”
“I never really spoke to her,”
“Oh of course you didn’t, you’re muggleborn, right?”
“Well then Bellatrix would only ever have spoken to you to curse you,” Sirius was frowning, “She’s a nasty piece of work,”
“I heard about some things that she did but I was never actually at the brunt of it,” Delilah said vaguely, “So do you have many relations running about Hogwarts?”
“Well Andromeda, Narcissa and my brother Regulus, he’s in fifth year,” Sirius rolled his eyes, “He’s a bloody idiot,”
“Siblings usually are,” Delilah agreed thinking of Jessica.
“Oh yes and James,” Sirius said as if he had just remembered, “Although that’s all very distant, I can’t actually remember how we’re related… Something to do with his Great Grandmother or mine… It doesn’t really count when it’s that far removed though does it?”
“So it’s just you and your sister here?”
“Yes,” Delilah grinned mockingly, “Only witches in the whole family, mother was very proud,”
“I heard something about your family,” Sirius said thoughtfully, his nose scrunched as he tried to remember. Delilah fought to not find the expression adorable. “That you're quite important to muggles or something,”
“I wouldn’t say important,” Delilah snorted, “My mother is thirteenth in line to the throne. Jessica is fourteenth and I’m fifteenth as it happens.” Delilah laughed, “Important. Codswallop. We’d only be important if twelve people kicked the bucket in quick succession.”
“So what does that make you? A princess or something?”
“Unfortunately not,” Delilah stuck her tongue out at him, “If I was a princess do you really think I’d let old Argus Filch boss me around? I barely get a title at all. A lady they say. I’ve never even had a proper conversation with the Queen.”
“But you’ve met her?”
“Well we do get party invites,” Delilah’s voice was suddenly much more refined, “Fifteenth in line does earn one a seat at the annual garden party,”
“Ah to have an invitation to the Queens annual garden party,” Sirius looked wistful, “It sounds like a dream…”
“You’d get arrested if you pulled any of your usual stunts Sirius,”
“It would be worth it,”
Delilah smiled, “I suppose you would think that,”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I don’t know you well Sirius Black but I know you well enough to know you are of a reckless nature,” She was still speaking in her posh voice. Sirius gave her a dark smile.
“I’m not so reckless,” He murmured quietly and something in his eyes made things deep inside of Delilah stir.
“I think you are,”
“There are plenty of things I want to do but am not reckless enough to do… at least not right now,”
“Oh?” Delilah’s voice came out in a squeak and she quickly busied herself in scrubbing. After all, she was completely over her fascination with Sirius Black, she’d gotten over that in fifth year! The rest of the night finished in silence. But this was not a silence that either would punctuate, it was a thick, heavy silence that was both enjoyable for Delilah and terrifying. The moment the last plaque was gleaming Delilah rushed from the trophy room. The corridor was vacant of the other Gryffindors who had long ago moved on to other suits of armour. That didn’t matter to Delilah anyway, she wasn’t headed for Gryffindor Tower.
Delilah didn’t like the castle in the early hours, it seemed huge, baron and very lonely with everyone else in bed. There was something desperately eerie about the huge, echoing space that was the castle. She crept along the charms corridor on tiptoes, having removed her shoes for silences sake and listened hard for any sounds of an approaching teacher or Filch on patrol. With a sigh of relief she made it back to Gryffindor Tower undetected.
The Fat Lady surveyed her through sleepy, disapproving eyes, “Your third late night in so many days? Well I don’t plan on waking up every night to let you in!”
“Flitterbloom,” Delilah snapped ignoring the portrait as she tutted, sounding very disgruntled, before swinging forward to admit her. Delilah automatically headed towards the plush sofa in front of the fire it was more appealing to kip there than to go to the dormitory and risk waking Lily, or worse Angelica, and being interrogated but then she stopped; her eyebrows were only just beginning to grow back after their execution the week before... It was the age old conundrum, eyebrows or bed. Eyebrows or bed?
After a brief pause vanity won and, shoes still in hand, Delilah crept up the spiral staircase to the dormitory. The door creaked open with an achingly loud screech but, thankfully, her roommates didn’t stir. Delilah released a breath she hadn’t realised she was holding. She tiptoed to her bed and crawled onto it without changing. Her shoes were placed carefully beneath the bedside table and she breathed a sigh of relief. She was home free.
Feeling quite jubilatory Delilah clambered under her duvet and allowed sleep to wash over her in a heavy, calming wave.
She woke up feeling sleepy yet satisfied. Her belated Saturday night had been well worth a little lost sleep. Lily was still snoring gently in the next bed as Delilah got up, she stretched her arms above her head as she padded groggily towards the dormitories adjoined bathroom. Having not bothered to brush her teeth the night before she now felt as though she had been chewing cotton wool; it was time for operation tooth scrub. She was so tired and preoccupied in her tooth related thoughts that she failed to notice the noises coming from the bathroom to indicate someone else was already in there. Feeling that she was quite alone, bar sleeping beauty whose snoring seemed to be getting steadily louder, Delilah simply pushed the bathroom door open and entered.
She was greeted with a scene that she would later describe as ‘horrific, eye torture.’
“OH MY GOD!” She stumbled out of the bathroom as if she’d been hit in the face with a sledge hammer. “OH MY GOD!”
“OH MY GOD!” Angelica was shrieking, “GET OUT YOU PERVERT! GET OUT!”
“I’M OUT- FOR FUCKS SAKE- I‘M OUT! I’M THE PERVERT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT IN GODS NAME ARE YOU DOING?”
Lily grunted and sat up looking confused and sleepy, “Whas-goin on?” She mumbled but Delilah was in no state to reply. She looked positively green.
“WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE I’M DOING- I’M TIDYING UP!” Angelica shrieked sounding hysterical.
“TIDYING UP WHAT? YOU FUCKING FREAK OF NATURE!”
“OH LIKE YOU DON’T DO IT!” Angelica came storming out of the bathroom in nothing but her bra and a towel wrapped toga style around her lower half. She looked thunderous. The was a wax strip in her right hand, she was waving it threateningly at Delilah who looked nauseous and ducked away from it.
“I’ll have you know I don’t! GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME!”
“What’s going on?” Lily repeated looking less tired and more curious, “What were you doing Angelica?”
Angelica’s face burned red and it seemed Delilah was beginning to recover from her shock.
“Well now we know what Angelica shows all the boys behind the greenhouses,” She hooted and Angelica glared at her before storming back into the bathroom and slamming the door.
Lily’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. Delilah watched her try and work it out for a moment then made a jerking motion around her lower regions. Lily continued to look confused then her mouth formed a small ’o’ of surprise.
“Angelica?” Lily whispered.
“Yes.” Delilah nodded solemnly.
“That kinky so and so.” Lily snorted then the girls laughed. They were still laughing ten minutes later when Angelica left the bathroom, fully dressed and with her head held high.
“Hey Angelica,” Delilah called as she was leaving the dormitory. Angelica stilled, her hand on the door handle. She waited for the blow to fall, “I’d rather be fat than bald,”
Lily dissolved into peals of laughter as Angelica left the dormitory. It was only Delilah and Lily’s now attuned eyes that honed in on the slightly John Wayne gait of Angelica’s walk. They laughed until they cried and then they laughed some more.
A/N hey! thanks to everybody for reading and reviewing the last chapter! I love a review I do! So keep it up! PS It was my birthday yesturday. You have to give the birthday girl a review! Much love x x
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