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A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling. – Arthur Brisbane

“Come on, Lily!” said Alice, heaving her friend by the arm, trying to pry her from her groove in the comfortable armchair by the fire. “You don’t need to drink – just watch us and make sure we don’t so anything so stupid!”


“B-but I want to go see where Amy is!”


After the serious conversation about Amelie, the sixth year Gryffindors decided that they needed something to lighten the mood. The three Marauders (excluding Sirius, who had mysteriously not yet returned from training – a topic that James would not comment on) had ingeniously decided upon getting out the alcohol. Lily, who desperately wanted to go on a hunt across Hogwarts for her friend to check on her, felt torn between wanting to see how she was and joining the rest of the Gryffindors in annihilating common room in a drunken furore. She bit her lip. It was a really tough decision.


“Look Lily, Amy’s more than capable of fending for herself. I doubt there’d even be much for you to do for here even if you do manage to find her. Just come here and chill with us, okay? You’ve worked through shit loads today – you need a break.” Callum’s slow persuasion, together with Lily’s logic did the trick. She was forced to give in, nodding. James’ face broke into a huge grin.


“Excellent! Now let me go get the goodies!”


Quick as a flash, James bounded up the stairs to the boys’ dormitories. Dorcas clapped her hands in excitement, feeling the sudden change of atmosphere. Peter plonked himself down on a one-seater sofa, just as Remus and Callum set down on a particularly comfy three-seater. The excited girl could only respond by throwing herself across the last two, sprawled across their laps.


“Hello, there!” said Remus, grinning down at the energetic girl whose torso rested across his legs.


Callum, who, in his opinion, had no need to be polite with Dorcas, poked her in the side. “Get up, you lump! You’re arse is too heavy for my skinny legs!”


“Oi!” squealed Dorcas, not appreciating the comment or the nudge. “My arse is not fat!”


“I beg to differ!”


With a ‘humph’, Dorcas turned round, now tactically ignoring the boy who insulted her. Looking around to find someone more sympathetic, she saw that everyone was fighting to hold back their laughter – even Remus.


“Oi, Remy boy! I’m on your lap. You best stop laughing if you don’t want any serious damage done to you.”


Remus’ fought to keep his poker face, hiding the new-found terror that had suddenly surfaced inside him as he looked down at the usually-restless girl. He hadn’t thought her capable of delivering such a threat.


“You wouldn’t.”


Dorcas snickered. “Oh my darling, Remus! I’ve lived with Amy and Lily for five years. You really want to try me?”


Kyle, Alice and Peter were all enjoying the entertainment provided by their suddenly daring friend, and their other discomfited one.


“Looks a bit peaky, don’t he?” Peter asked, nudging Kyle.


“I’ll say,” snorted Alice.


Just as Remus was about to open his mouth with a witty retort to defend his manly honour, he was cut short by the sudden arrival of a certain messy-haired, bespectacled boy levitating what looked like a years supply of beverages.


 “Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!”





Upon the threshold Sirius stood, looking into the Room of Requirement. A shocked whisper carried across towards him, as if by some cool, midnight breeze. Considering what he was staring at, though, the breeze was not so incongruous.


Rigid with disbelief, the boy looked up, surprised to see a certain girl with slightly messed-up pitch black hair and puffy red eyes staring up at him in shock, leaning her back against an ancient-looking tree.


Amelie was stiff with incredulity. She felt as if the breath had been knocked out of her lungs, flabbergasted to see the boy that was standing upon the threshold of her hideout. There she had been, one second alone, pouring her heart out into the nothingness of the only place that ever brought her comfort when the world brought her down, only to be interrupted by the very person who she could not bare to look at.


But then had were their eyes locked?


Why couldn’t she break the gaze?




His tongue was stuck in his mouth, he couldn’t speak. The situation was unprecedented; bizarre. All thoughts of frustration and anger momentarily evaporated as he saw the – there was not other word for it – vulnerable girl in front of him.


‘How on Earth?’


Amelie had transformed from the feisty lioness into something as meek as a mouse. Her wavy locks were tangled in odd angles around her sculpted face, as if she had ran her hands through them too much; whether it was from frustration or grief, he did not know. Her eyes stared up at him in a silent plea, half begging him to up and leave, the other hoping beyond hope that he would stay by her. The latter awoke a sudden protective feeling, which surged through him. At that moment, he wanted to do nothing but to stay by her, tell her that he was truly sorry for being such a div, and that she shouldn’t waste her tears on whatever it was that was upsetting her, for really, it wasn’t worth it - whatever it was.


Acting upon these sudden impulses, Sirius somehow found himself next to the frazzled girl. A wave of guilt submerged him, making him hate himself. How could he have let her become like this? Why hadn’t he been there to keep her sane, like had become habit for them? Why had he left her alone?


“What’s wrong?” he whispered, gently pushing Amelie’s hair behind her ear, still not breaking the eye-contact. The connection between them was so intense, Amelie found it hard to breathe. Her breath hitched in her throat as she fought to say something – anything. But what was she to say? She was embarrassed for her behaviour, for letting him down. She was embarrassed of her escapades in the Hogwart’s broom cupboards: they were nothing but cowardice, nothing but her trying to run away from something that would one day inevitably catch up to her.


She turned away from him, looking down. The constricted feeling in her throat indicated that a rush of tears was heading her way, but she wouldn’t let them out. Not in front of Sirius.


Inhaling deeply a few times, she turned back around, averting his eyes and trying to keep her voice steady.

“I- I’m fine, Sirius.”


“Oh, pull the other leg, Amy,” he said, voice disbelieving and yet soothing at the same time. He slung an arm over her shoulders, providing her some bodily support. She snuggled into his shoulder, and Sirius couldn’t help but realise just how perfect she felt next to him.


‘How the bugger manages to do it, I’ll never know,’ they both thought, albeit each for different reasons.


“Why are you here?” she asked. Her voice would have been barely audible if it wasn’t for the fact that she was but centimetres away from him. It carried no hint of a threat, annoyance, nor, in fact, any other emotion. The simple question was merely intended to quench her curiosity.


“Just wanted to get rid of some stuff in my head,” the boy stated simply.


Amelie’s fingers played with the hem of Sirius’ shirt in an innocent manner as she mumbled an “Mm?” to prod him along with explaining himself.


“Yeah. Lotsa stuff been going on lately, you know?”


“Care to share?”


Sirius smirked, putting on his best pure-blood snob voice – a game of theirs that they took the liberty of participating during the summers. “I guess I’ll have to now that you’ve reduced yourself to employing the use of such utterly mundane and derivative expressions.”


Amelie snorted, shaking her head.


“That’s not at all lady-like you know,” said Sirius, indicating the snort.


“Oh, and, of course I’m a right madam, aren’t I?” snickered Amelie. “Besides, it was bloody fitting and you know it.”


The light banter came to them both naturally as each tried to skirt around the topic that so desperately needed to be discussed. Each danced circles around the other, slowly creeping closer and closer, both knowing that they’d inevitably meet up in the middle before long. What was waiting for them there, they both wanted to know and didn’t. Neither wanted to be the first to take the step and that could possibly shatter their delicate – for want of a better word - friendship, even if it could be the step that would make it into something so much more… useful. Yet, at the same time, both of them were burning inside.


“Look at you, Amy,” Sirius went on, in mock-patronizing tones. “Awful waste of a face… what are those bags doing underneath your eyes? You really need to get rid of the baggage in your life. Doesn’t do a thing for your complexion.”


Amelie grinned cheekily. “I’m sorry, Sirius, but you’re just too hard to get rid of.”


Sirius’ snort of protest was drowned by Amelie’s ongoing sermon.


“…clingy, almost like the giant squid… you should be happy it’s me, you know. Anyone else and theyd’ve already been asking for a restraining order. Besides, large quantities of Amelie isn’t good for anyone, you should know that by now.”


“Really? And why is that?”


“Too much of a good thing, you know… leads to giddiness, recklessness, and dangerous overconfidence.”


“Isn’t that the same for felix felicis?”


“Exactly - you must have had good luck to be with me for long without being blown apart or shouted at.”


Sirius sighed and began in a condescending manner, “I’m sorry, darling, but I’m already reckless and dangerously over-confident, so I’m immune.”


Amelie smirked. “What about the giddiness?”


“Well, that comes when I sit next to you.”


Amelie snorted again. “You really have to stop it with these unbearably cheesy lines. Does nothing for you, Sirius.”


“No, I mean it,” said Sirius. His face was stern, but his eyes were twinkling with mischief. “I feel a fever coming on.”


Amelie bit hard on her lip, trying desperately not to laugh. She couldn’t believe it. This boy was just too good.


“Oh, really?” she asked, voice laced with amusement.


“Yes, it’s terribly awful. You see, I have this funny feeling in my stomach that just won’t go away.” Sirius moved closer to Amelie, their faces millimetres apart. “And I have an awful hunch that I’m going to do something downright reckless.”


“Funny,” whispered the girl. “I feel the same.”


Their lips met in a rough, demanding kiss, each of them brutally threatening the other to stop. Sirius knew that this was doing nothing in helping him find out what was wrong with Amelie, but he let temptation take over him. Pinning Amelie down on the damp grass beneath her, his touches intensified, grinding her down into the ground beneath her. Their breath ragged, they continued, Amelie desperately clinging on to Sirius for her own sanity. At that moment, she knew he had her completely, and there was nothing she could do about it.


His coarse hands found their way to her inner thigh, holding it down violently in a way that sent her whole body shivering. Her shaking ones found their way to his belt, yanking it off violently as her cravings trebled. Hastily she stripped down his trousers just as he ripped off her shirt, yanking her body towards him.

 Skin clashed on skin, mouth locked on mouth, tongue and hands exploring places neither knew existed. Sirius had hungrily torn off Amelie’s skirt, and had by now a firm grip on her small waist. Her arms enveloped him, smooth hands on his strong back, her back arched and she pushed herself into him, unable to control herself.


Emboldened by each other’s actions, Sirius began to snatch at her undergarments just as she had pulled his off. Not in the least embarrassed by their nakedness in the rush of emotions and desires they were feeling, Amelie ran her hand through Sirius’ hair, only to yank it down, bringing his face closer to hers. He started from the edge of her lips, kissing downwards, her neck, chest, midriff, and all Amelie could feel was need. This was doing nothing for her.


“Sirius,” she cried, unable to control herself anymore.


He needed no more invitation. Tearing her legs open, Sirius lowered herself into her, and then felt nothing but pure bliss.


A few hours later found the two exhausted, lying next to each other; neither feeling bothered enough to cover up their nakedness. Amelie turned around, her body half on his as she looked up into his intense grey eyes.


“You better now?”


“Are you?”


Amelie sighed and turned around, staring up at the dark sky above her. So typical of Sirius… answering a question with a question.


“If you’re better, then so am I.”


To this, Sirius raised an eyebrow. “Wait, I don’t get that.”


Amelie brought her hand up above her, looking at it carelessly at her fingernails. “I wouldn’t expect you to.”


An absolute silence followed, filled with uncertainty, yet comfort; hope, yet despair; hate, yet… desire? Trust?


“Sorry about hurting you earlier,” Sirius said, looking away from her. Amelie allowed a faint smile to play across her lips. “You know, back in the common room that day.” Though he had slung out the comment like it was of no importance, Amelie felt that, if she wasn’t terribly mistaken, it was heartfelt.


“I’m sorry too,” she whispered. Seeing his confused expression, she continued. “For ignoring you all the time, acting like you’re scum. You deserve more than that.”


Sirius wanted to say that he didn’t care, that it was his problem. “Let’s just call it quits.”


He was never one for much talk.




Slowly pulling herself up, Amelie sat, looking around her patch in her garden for her clothes. It was strange how this place, even though it was in such proximity with the place she hated, would bring her so much comfort.


Once she had put on her bra and pants, she searched for her shirt. Upon finding it, she held it up incredulously, looking at Sirius.


“What the fuck did you do to my shirt?”


Sirius smiled guiltily. “Sorry, got a little carried away…”


Amelie looked down and the tattered rag, trying to find some words that would come together and form a decent sentence.


“Such an animal…”


 Sirius let out a bark-like laugh. “I’m sorry, dear lady, but I find that no way to talk to someone who has just satisfied your carnal desires.”


This time, Amelie smirked. “Carnal, now, were they?”


“I refuse to comment,”


“Oh, it’s okay, darling. I guess I’ll just have to walk to the common room with just a bra on…”


“What?” asked Sirius, laughing again. “You want to flash all the Slytherins? Does Snivellus push your buttons for you?”


Amelie looked repulsed by the mere possibility. “On second thought...” With a flick of her wand, the shirt was made perfectly serviceable once again and she buttoned it up.


“Aw, I was enjoying that,”


Amelie snickered, fastening an ornate white gold necklace onto her neck. “Tough luck, matey; can’t always get your way, you know?”


“Yes, yes… life’s tough and then you die. Tell me again, why don’t you?”


“Glad you’re catching on,” said Amelie, helplessly eyeing the perfectly sculpted body of the naked boy in front of her. She stared for a while, thinking why neither of them was running to the hills, hiding with embarrassment. For some reason, she had always thought that people were insecure and, well, a tad bit cautious first time round.


Why were things always so odd with them two?


Sirius coughed, and Amelie looked up to see him smirking.


“Pray tell, Miss Avery: Doest thou like what you doth see?”


Amelie laughed. “Get your arse up and get some clothes on. I think even Peter’ll have clogged on that neither of us are back yet.”


Resignedly pulling up his pants and trousers, Sirius chuckled. “Peter? Clog on? Never.”


“Oi! He’s your mate, you know! I shouldn’t be the one defending him here,” said Amelie, playfully nudging Sirius in his blissfully unclothed torso.


“Well then don’t.”


“Someone should.”


“You planning on founding the SPPL?”




“Yeah,” Sirius’ smile widened. “Society for the Protection of Pathetic Losers.”


“You’re terrible,”


“Ain’t I just…” he said, pulling his jumper on top of his shirt. Picking up his robes, he held out a hand for Amelie, leading her out into the realms of post-curfew Hogwarts.        

“We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!”


When Sirius and Amelie entered the Gryffindor common room, they had expected to be plagued by hoards of questions and accusations by their anxiously-worried friends. Not in the least bit jovial to be subjected to such an inquisition, Amelie had even taken a moment to compose herself before she had entered.


Nothing Amelie could have done would have prepared her for this.


Callum, Kyle, James, Peter, Remus, Dorcas and Lily had somehow charmed the common room into a Caribbean beach, complete with sand, sea and palm trees. In the very centre, they had created a mini-bonfire, around which they were dancing giddily and tittering like drunken loons.


But wait, they were drunken loons.


Each were holding bottles that looked remarkably like firewhiskey and rum…


“The bugger brought out our stash without me.”


Amelie whisked her head around to see Sirius, staring intently at a decidedly scatter-brained James Potter, who was taking a swig from his open bottle, arm linked in Lily’s.

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.”


Amelie stared at her red-head friend in nothing short but utter shock. She was pissed out of her mind, tottering around, her own bottle in her hand, singing the pirate song with what looked like immense concentration. The girls seemed to have gone and put on wench-like clothes, Dorcas going as far as conjuring a plastic sword for herself. The boys were not much better, though. James had a peg-leg and bandana, whilst Callum and given himself an eye-patch, hooked hand and even hastily stuffed bandana on his head. Remus had somehow gotten hold of a colourful parrot and managed to charm it onto his shoulder in such a way that it wouldn’t move no matter how drunkenly he ambled about.

We extort, we pilfer, we filch and sack.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!
Maraud and embezzle and even hijack.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!”


Dorcas and Remus were in a corner. Amelie assumed that they were both incredibly busy, considering the amount of arms and legs that seemed to be thrashing everywhere. Callum, Peter and Kyle were pointing at each other and laughing, for no apparent reason, joining at random intervals with the song, though mumbling half the words because they didn’t know the words. Suddenly, she noticed that they were one man – or woman – short.


“Where’s Alice?”



“Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.
Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.”


Lily dragged James around the fire, both of them singing like dying cats and tottering around like cold fools, arms linked. Amelie would have stepped in, but frankly, she found that none of her body parts capable of functioning; her brain seemed to have gone blissfully blank as she merely stared at the scene unfold in front of her.

We kindle and char, inflame and ignite.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!
We burn up the city, we're really a fright.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.

We're rascals, scoundrels, villans and knaves.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!
We're devils and black sheep, really bad eggs!
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.

We're beggars and blighters and ne'er-do-well cads.
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!
Aye! But we're loved by our mummies and dads!
Drink up me 'earties, Yo Ho!

Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.
Yo Ho, Yo Ho! A pirate's life for me.”

Lily’s enthusiastic ending caused her to trip up over her feet. Her hand was still firmly grasped around James’ wrist, who, in turn fell down with her.


No, on top of her.


“Why, hello there,” she slurred, looking up at the hazel hared boy, apparently all thoughts of Robert long forgotten. “You’re awfully pretty.”


“So are you, missy,” he piped back, arms flailing as he continued. “I tell you this again and again but you don’t listen. All you do is tell me ‘Stuff it Potter’ and walk off. Not that I mind you walking off. Good view, see.”


Lily grinned, not at all offended in her drunken state. Amelie snorted. Sirius snickered. The situation was hilarious. It was all good and well for Lily to be herself behind closed doors, but now here she was, collapsed underneath James Potter due to excess consumption of alcohol, allowing him to mumble about her untouchables in a none-too-covert way.


After a moments pause, James continued. “Can I have a better look?”

For the tone that he was using, James could have been a five year old asking to borrow a felt-tip. His innocent reply made Sirius choke, and Amelie guffaw heartily. It was only then that their presence was noticed.

“Padfoot, mate!” slurred Remus, waving up a bottle in a welcome with one of his hands, expertly juggling it with something that looked remarkably like one of Kyle’s cigarettes. The other hand was restraining an oncoming Dorcas. “You brought a girl!”


“A girl! A girl!” squawked the parrot.


“Shut up, Tutu,” reprimanded Remus.


“She’s not a girl, Remus,” garbled Callum in a tone that normal humans would use when they wanted to relay information as important as the whereabouts of the Holy Grail, though using his hands a tad bit too much to be counted as one. “She’s secretly a man, you know. Half man, half horse. Never know which side you’re getting. ‘Course, only until she kicks you in the balls.”


Kyle and Peter nodded to this knowingly, and Remus gasped, protecting his untouchables with a shaking hand. “Don’t bring her here, Pad old boy! Stay away!”


“My pleasure,” muttered Sirius, shaking with silent mirth. Amelie was looking incredulously at the lot of them, wondering why she hadn’t picked friends who she could leave for a couple of hours without fearing for their lives. “Come on horsy, let’s go.”


Amelie looked around, at first not noticing who it was who had called her by such a ludicrous and foolish name. Noticing it was Sirius, she raised an eyebrow.


“Whatever for? You’re willing to miss this ultimate chance to get material for blackmail to go upstairs to sleep? What kind of Marauder are you?”


Sirius put a hand to his heart, acting seriously hurt by this comment. “Why, Miss Avery! How could you question my marauding capabilities! I’m more of a scallywag than any of these- these amateurs.”


“Well then,” said Amelie, walking over to the remaining drinks and opening herself a bottle of rum with a wry smile on her face, throwing another bottle to Sirius, who deftly caught it with one hand.


“To late nights!” he said, raising his bottle.


“To terrible singing!”


Kyle, hearing their toasts, joined in, “To rum!”


“Yes, yes! Don’t forget the rum!” piped up Peter.


“I prefer vodka,” Remus said, pulling away from Dorcas and poking Kyle in the ribs, who squealed in close resemblance to a girl. Dorcas, not liking the change in positioning, dragged Remus back around towards her, and they were once again occupied.


Sirius and Amelie downed their drinks, laughing heartily with the rest. The night was still young, they were carefree, they’d just shared an intimate moment, and neither wanted to think about it. Sure, they’d have to soon – it might change something, but then again, did it have to, really?


Not wanting to put more thought into the situation than they absolutely had to at the present moment, Sirius and Amelie made to join Lily and James, both of whom were in quite a compromising situation. Sirius, having already downed his third bottle, kicked James roughly in the side to get him up off the girl underneath.


Amelie tottered over, pulling Sirius away. “Let’s play Viking!”


Upon hearing this, Lily sat up and gasped. “Viking?!”


Amelie nodded solemnly “Viking.”


Immediately, Lily splashed out into the water, put both hands to her face, fixing her thumbs to her temple and then waving her remaining fingers frantically, this representing the Vikings horns.


Kyle gasped, realising that he was being left out of the momentous game. Jumping up, he joined Amelie, and the two took their positions on Lily’s left and right, rowing the invisible ship. Seeing the thrills that they were missing out on, the remaining seven took their places behind Amelie and Sirius, filling up the Viking’s ship.

Suddenly, Lily clapped her hands and pointed at Dorcas, who squealed as she realised that it was her turn to be “The Viking”. Not wanting to lose any points for hesitation, she jumped up and took her turn to waggle her fingers frantically.


“That’s my captain!” yelled Remus, tripping over his feet and falling headfirst into Callum with an ‘oomph’.  


Dorcas moved in front of James, who blinked in fright as the waggling fingers with too-long-to-be-legit nails breached the personal-space barrier and threatened to claw his eyes out.


“Hah! James - you blinked! Take a firewhiskey!”

Surprisingly, in his drunkenness, James still managed to catch the firewhiskey that was thrown at him. He downed the drink in large gulps, all the while giving Peter a murderous look for highlighting his downfall.


‘The nerve of the rat,’ he thought, tossing the empty bottle into the hearth. The blazing fire leapt up and devoured the shards of glass with a roar. Dorcas jumped as it raged merely inches away from her, forgetting in her drunkenness the anti-flammable charms that had been placed upon all the Hogwarts fires. She jumped into Remus’ arms, and they fell over in a tangle of limbs knocking over the players behind them like dominoes, thus officially ending the barely-begun game.


“I’m pissed,” muttered Peter.


Remus nodded sombrely and raised his bottle to the comment. The rest followed suit. Somewhere in between the tangle of arms and legs, a loud snore could be heard.


“Oi!” snickered Kyle, poking the heavily breathing body, “James nodded off!”


“The plonker,” said Lily, shaking her head. “We were just about to sta-art the fun.” Despite berating James, the girl was having a time trying to stifle a yawn behind her hand. Within minutes, she had nodded off too, torso lying across some poor person’s back, one leg tucked under James while the other was bent at the knee (to make space for Amelie).


As if by some charm (or perhaps it was more due to the fact that it was way past four a.m. by this point), the group slowly began to drift off to deep sleeps, completely unaware that a certain blonde-haired friend of theirs was still nowhere to be seen.       


The next day found Gryffindor sixth sprawled in the common room much the same way that they had been the night before, if not more tangled. Empty bottles of beverages were strewn at random intervals, half-imbedded in the fine sand, the odd one reluctantly being dragged away with a stray wave into the newly-materialised ‘Gryffindor Sea’.


Heavy-eyed students ambled down the winding staircase, stopping short at the sight of the mountain of intertwined human bodies and their new common room. Bruised arms in the Great Hall that morning were but one of the features that bore witness to the several pinches that they had given themselves, just to make sure that they were not in fact still sleeping.


Amelie woke up suddenly to a loud grunt, followed by a shot of steaming hot (and not entirely pleasant breath) that was far too close to her for her liking.


“What the-”


In her haste to sit up, she had caused several bodies to topple from their secure location, rolling onto the sandy dunes below with a soft thud. Several squeaks and curses later, all of the teenagers found themselves wide-awake, experiencing the pangs of a first-rate hangover.


“Argggh,” moaned Callum, clutching his hands to his head.


Lily tottered up; eyes squinted to stop the light from shining though. Slowly and without a word, she headed up to the girls dormitory, ignoring the crab that was snipping eagerly at her feet.


Dorcas, knowing full well why her friend had gone off, ran after her, desperate to follow. “Lily!”




“Fucking shut up, will you?”


Oh, my gosh…”

“Couldn’t that bitch shut her trap for one bloody minute?!”


“You are talking about Dorcas here, right?”


“Good point.”


Reminiscent of the walking dead, the figures rose, eyes squinted, each desperately trying to remember what exactly had happened the night before through the killer headache they each sported. Vague memories of drunken dancing and a roaring fires flittered in and out of focus, together with images of a very pissed Lily.


James gasped as the memory hit him. “Fuck.”


He wheeled around, poking Sirius straight in the chest. “Last night-”


Sirius nodded sombrely, thus acknowledging his friends mindless actions with a certain red-head the previous night. Dutifully, he winced as said friend bashed his head against one of the half-submerged-by-sand tables that was once part of the Gryffindor common room décor. Inside, he pitied his friend: how dunce can you be for doing that when you have a hangover already?


A cursed blessing floated down the stairs in the form of a perfectly chirpy Lily Evans, carrying a hefty bottle full of some vile purple liquid.


“Come on everyone, line up,” she called, looking imperiously over the still-lethargic crowd of newly awoken teens, felonious bottle in her hand


“Sounds like a ruddy primary school teacher,” muttered Callum.


“I think nurse-from-hell would be more appropriate,” replied Peter.


Remus nodded. “Just look at the way she’s tapping that spoon against her hand. You’d think she was running a detention centre.”

“For juvenile delinquents,” added Kyle, also nodding in sombre resignation of their fate. Such a shame, that it had to be that vile bottle in the hands of that embodiment of iniquity that would alleviate them from their current state of mental incapability. One thing for sure, he was glad he wasn’t James right now: the poor bloke was shaking like a leaf, face whiter than a sheet. From his face, it was obvious that he was contemplating the judiciousness of stepping forward against hiding in the shadows. Neither side was pretty.


“Oh, just shut up and take it like a man, would you?” snapped Amelie. The boys watched the girl stride forwards, snatch the spoon from Lily’s outstretched hand and gulp down the whole spoonful of the bitter syrup without even wincing. Lily patted the valiant girl on the head, and turned to face the remaining six, each of whom were sporting a rather awed look on their faces. They stared at Amelie’s back as she skipped all the way through the sand and up the staircase to the girls’ dormitories.


“Next?” she asked, eyebrow raised inquisitively, magically-cleaned spoon shining demonically at them once again.


Sirius gulped, taking a bold step forwards. He desperately wanted his headache to be gone. If only he could wake up to something not so bitter.


“Any chance you could make it sweeter, dearest?” he asked, voice laced in false hope as he looked up at the red head (she was standing on top one of the half-lost tables)


Lily glanced down at the boy in contempt, chirpy demeanour gone. If only he knew half the emotions she was feeling at the moment.


“You best be happy I’m not making it extra bitter. I haven’t had the best of things to wake up to, you know. Now here’s the potion to get rid of your hangover. Take it or leave it.”


Sirius reached out for the spoon; warily at first, but then in a sudden movement he snatched it up and downed it. Promptly, he fell onto his knees in the sand, gagging, sounding oddly like a cat that was going to meet his marker.


Sparing him but one look of disdain, Lily moved on to the next person, conveniently feigning deafness to the occasional croaks of “water!” and the flying bits of sand that were directed her way.


Kyle, Remus, Callum and Peter took their potion, each with more trepidation than the last. Remus’ eyes were practically bulging out of their sockets, and Callum looked fully prepared to run away to Australia. Lily was left befuddled, wondering how in the world these boys earned such a dare-devil reputation when they could barely stomach a hang-over potion.


Finally, it was James’ turn, where she became even more perplexed. The boy was… scared. It was indisputable. All the signs were there: pale face, wide eyes, even the trembling hands. Of course, it wasn’t just that that confused Lily. Fact was, James wasn’t looking at the bottle or the spoon with that look on his face.


He was looking at Lily.


Lily raised an eyebrow at him, who in turn looked like he was about to wet himself in terror. She couldn’t comprehend how James, the boy who was secretly itching (well, perhaps not so secretly) to snog her senseless, would look so apprehensive now that he had done just that. She would have been expecting a smirk, or even a sly wink. Looking at this feeble, pitiful creature, she wondered where that suave, debonair James that she was so accustomed to had disappeared to.


She was, of course, angry with herself for letting alcohol get the better of her. She had made a complete prat of herself, kissing James like that. Sure, she had liked him once (and still sort of liked him), but he didn’t need to know any of that. Desperately, once she had come to her senses that morning, she had hoped that James wouldn’t think of their antics last night as anything but complete and utter intoxicated behaviour.


Because that’s what it was, wasn’t it?


“Just down it, Potter,” said Lily exasperatedly.


Slowly, James took the potion from her, waiting for a slight moment to see if the girl would shout at, show any signs of revulsion, or even acknowledge him for being James Potter: the annoying prat of the century. Seeing nothing, he took his dose, winced once and followed it up with a quick ‘Aguamenti’ charm to rid his mouth of the foul aftertaste.


Lily smiled bitterly. “You should teach your friend that one. You’d think he was a squib, the way he acts.”


James nodded slowly, not quite understanding where he stood. She didn’t seem angry. Did that mean that she wasn’t, or that she just wanted to forget it, or that she couldn’t remember, or –

Girls were so confusing sometimes.


Up in the girls’ dormitory, Dorcas was lying flat on her back on her bed, arms and legs sprawled, eyes glazed over as she blessed them all with a full-blown sermon about how much fun she had last night, how bloody amazing a kisser Remus was, and how ruddy fantastic Lily was for having a ready-made supply of hangover potion ready all the time.


“It’s like she knows everything.”


Amelie, however, was for the most part oblivious to this monologue. Her mind was desperately trying to sort out her own, rather more important, issues that had surfaced the previous night.


The girl knew well what society dictated she should be thinking and feeling right now, but she couldn’t bring herself to think that way. She knew that the average girl would be feeling easy - perhaps, a bit of a slut, or something of the sort, especially considering the way that they’d both acted afterwards – like nothing happened, but Amelie was far from average.


In whichever light she looked at the situation, she couldn’t help but think that last night, so many problems that she’d had with Sirius had somehow ironed themselves out without them even having to mention it, and she appreciated that fact. She found that she didn’t particularly care that it had been Sirius who she had slept with. In fact, now that she thought about it, there would have been no other person that she would have preferred. She just hoped that Sirius saw the situation in the same way that she did, and wasn’t suddenly hoping for them to be holding hands in corridors and kissing over breakfast. Not that she had any type of problem with public displays of affection…


Of course, she would probably be politer to him; friendlier and such, but her life was far too hectic to be thinking about serious relationships. She couldn’t be worrying about the welfare of another person so much when she yet had to fight for her own safety and wellbeing - not that she didn’t think of Sirius regularly anyway, but being his girlfriend would be like signing on the dotted line, and Amelie didn’t want to be tied down. Would a no-strings-attached relationship be too much to ask?


Amelie berated herself, knowing full well that if anyone was to accept those terms, it would be Sirius. Hell, he was probably thinking those exact things himself. She had never seen a boy so – so – rebellious and yet charming. He wasn’t the typical gruff teenager, and yet he was exactly what a free spirit should be. He dictated his own rules, and lived by them, occasionally bending the odd letter or two to suit his own purposes. Maybe that was why she was so attracted to the boy… she couldn’t really tell. His nonchalant, yet strong demeanour was so addictive, as was both of their need to be free. There was so many things going for him, it was hard to whittle it all down to one thing. 


But the girl was denied the pleasure in delving into her thoughts and memories of the beguiling young man, as at that precise moment a distinctly frazzled Lily Evans burst her way into their dormitory.


“Where’s Alice?” she demanded, lethal spoon brandished like a rapier, obviously still in tact.


Dorcas suddenly stopped half-way through her elicit explanation of the euphoric sensations she had experienced some time in her past life to look around herself, still hazy-eyed, looking for the blonde beneath her bed covers.


“Not here,”


Amelie sat up, worried, remembering Alice’s absence last night. She had, at that time, automatically assumed that she’d gone up to sleep in the dorms early, not having been in the drinking mood. Now, as she looked at the girls’ bed, the smooth, dintless quilt and pillows on her four-poster bed, however, stated otherwise. Mentally, she cursed herself for not having noticed the absence of her friend sooner. 


“I’m sure she was with us last night,” muttered Lily, almost to herself, running her fingers through her mane of red hair, frustrated.


Deciding it was high-time she imparted her wisdom upon the incompetent mortals, Amelie spoke up. “She wasn’t with you lot when we came back.”


“We?” Lily raised her eyebrows, and Dorcas shot up, eyes scrunched up as she looked at the intimidating girl in front of her. Amelie was lying on her back, arms behind her neck for support, eyes coolly staring back at Lily, determined not to let on any information that she didn’t deem necessary. It was Alice that they had to talk about now, not about her nightly misdemeanours.


“Yes, we. But you and Dorcas here were otherwise engaged in – ah, industrious activities, so I don’t think you would have noticed Alice slipping off anywhere.”


At this, Lily’s pale skin blushed furiously, clashing horribly with her hair, but she still stared determinedly back, acting as if heat was not in fact protruding from every pore on her face. Amelie smirked, knowing that her friend was aware of exactly what she had been doing the night before. Dorcas snickered, once again flopping back on her bed, reliving her time with Remus, all thoughts of Alice long gone. 


“Never mind what we were doing last night! Where do you think she could be?”


But Amelie was saved from answering that question, as the blonde decided to choose that precise moment to waltz into the dormitory in nought but her rather diaphanous nightdress and pink fluffy slippers. She froze on the threshold, staring hesitantly from one girl to the other. She had obviously not been expecting them to still be in the dormitories at quarter to twelve on a Saturday morning.


Amelie, Lily and Dorcas were all at a loss for words. Their minds were all hazy, not able to comprehend that this in fact was their Alice, standing at their doorway in nothing but a flimsy sheet of practically non-existent material. The event was practically on a par with McGonagall starting up lessons to teach people how to dance the can-can – something that none of the girls were willing to believe could ever happen.


“I can explain,” Alice’s voice trembled with trepidation as she looked at her friends, wide-eyed.


Amelie gathered herself together and scowled at Alice. Alice was meant to be the ultimate role-model to her; the sweet, innocent, fun-loving girl with an “I-love-everyone” complex. To think that she had been spending nights sleeping in other dorms like that disappointed Amelie to no end, and left her feeling more than a little hurt. Obviously, there had to have been a reason behind the madness – for madness it was. How could their friend have been so untrusting of them, and so reluctant to share her worries? Did she think she was above their opinion - or perhaps that they wouldn’t be able to help her? Either way, she felt that she had been cut deep.


“You best start now, else I might do something really stupid,” she positively growled. Alice gulped, eyes wide.


Though she hated sneaking around and not telling her friends, she couldn’t help but feeling a rush of guilty pleasure. It had felt good, meeting up with Benjy in secret corridors and empty classrooms in the middle of night. The thrill of possibly getting caught, and never knowing what he was going to make her do made the whole experience so much more intense that she almost felt addicted to the sensation. Sure, she had been wary at first, but Benjy was her boyfriend after all, and she felt as if she was betraying him by being guarded. So throwing cautions to the wind, she had let go, and enjoyed the feeling of being irresponsible for once.


Or twice. Or a few times. So perhaps she had been out with him for quite a while now, getting up to stuff she knew she probably shouldn’t be doing and that her parents wouldn’t approve of, but this was Benjy – the boy who she had liked since god knows when. Why couldn’t people just understand that?


“I’ve only been with Benjy,” she said, trying to reign in her fear. Thinking about it, it was quite illogical. She was talking to Amelie here. Surely she, of all people, would understand?


“For the whole night?”


“Yes. And?” Amelie’s questioning was starting to get on her nerves. So what if she wanted to spend the night with Benjy? They’d been together for over two months, and she had been sixteen for coming on to six months now. That was more than Amelie could say, at any rate – she’d only been sixteen for less than two.


Lily’s eyes almost popped out of her head. “What do you mean ‘And’? How long has this been going on? And why haven’t we heard about any of this? For fuck’s sake Alice, we’ve been worried sick.”


Alice started feeling guilty. Perhaps she should have gone to her friends a bit more, but Benjy had told her that she didn’t need to.


“Why go to your friends when you’ve got me?”


It had seemed perfectly logical at the time, but now…


“I didn’t think-“


“You don’t say,” said Amelie scathingly, giving Alice a disgusted look. “You know, Alice, I thought you were above all this, throwing yourself at his feet like that. I thought you had some more self-respect.”


At this, Alice grew angry at her blatant double standards. How dare she? The slag! She threw herself at his feet, did she? Of course, random ‘spur-of-the-moments’ where she’d pin boys to the wall and ravage them did nothing to her dignity whatsoever.


“Oh, I’m sorry, Amy,” sneered Alice, her arms shaking with barely suppressed rage. “Shag anyone in the broom cupboard lately?” 


Amelie’s stance hardened, murderous look flitting across her eyes. Lily winced, keeping her eyes shut, and Dorcas squealed and dove under her duvet. Alice, though still angry, mentally berated herself for her comment, knowing that it was below the belt. In befriending Amelie, she had accepted her disposition, but she had just thrown that back in her face. Her mind was jumbled, both wanting to strangle Amelie for her unfair reaction and lack of willingness to understand her, and wanting to run off to the moon to get away from her.


The raven haired girl stiffened, fury flooding through her every fibre. The roar of her blood rushing in her ears deafened the feeble squeaks of her conscience trying to feed logic into her thoughts. Her heart felt like it was being shredded, and not for the first time felt the pain of a trust misplaced.

‘So that’s what she really thinks of me, is it?’ was the last bitter thought Amelie remembered flitting through her head. Before she knew it, her legs carried themselves towards the barely dressed girl, tugged her excuse of a nightdress, which separated with her body with a loud ripping sound. Still not satisfied, she slapped the terrified girl around the face – hard.


Breathing heavily, she spat, “I’d tell you to go off and fuck Benjy, but I think you’d get cold waiting for him like that in the queue.” Shoving past the wide-eyed girl, Amelie stomped out of the dormitories and ran full-pelt downstairs towards the common room.


The boys, each now blissfully headache-free and far from the wrath of ‘Lily Evans and the Bottle of Doom’, were enjoying their Saturday morning playing a relaxing game of exploding snap (…well, as relaxed as you can get when you’re a bunch of self-conscious sixteen-year old lads knowing that your immaculately designed facial hair could get singed at any moment). James was dealing the cards, with Sirius on his right, an attentive look plastered across his features. In fact, all of them were wearing similar looks of deliberation, each painfully aware that the game could be the cause of a gain or a loss in their reputation.


And when you’re with the lads, reputation means everything.


“Argh!” Peter Pettigrew had just put his card on the pile, and withdrew far too late, hence the smoke rising from his charred eyebrows and the strangled yell.


A moments silence at after this event was quickly followed up by whooping laughs from the five other boys, as they revelled in their mate’s misfortune.


“It’s not funny,” whined the podgy boy, blue eyes sparkling as he tried to fight down his own laugh.


“Oh, but it is, Petey boy,”


Peter made pulled a face at this comment (“Petey boy!?” ), which only caused the lads to laugh harder. Minutes later, after a quick hair-replenishing charm was cast on the unfortunate boys’ eyebrows courtesy of Remus Lupin, and tears of mirth were wiped from their still-bright eyes, James was once again dealing the cards, trying desperately to keep his face as far away from the pack whilst still being able to see them.


But alas, the boys didn’t get very far with their second round, as no sooner had it begun that a figure stomped down the girls’ staircase, blasted the door open and practically knocked James head-first into the coffee table, which in turn, jogged violently and winded several of the boys who were sitting on the other side.


Upon the threshold, Amelie stood, scanning the common room area with an unmistakable look of anger on her face. Mentally, Callum thanked the lord that she hadn’t spotted them behind the door; else they would have been on the receiving end of an Amelie-special, namely, a right good hexing and a wallop on the – er, head at the very least.


Sirius, however, stared; wondering what was up with her. Part of him felt a squirm of guilt, realising that it could possibly be because of him. After all, he wasn’t exactly treating her like the Queen of Sheba this morning, and she had probably expected that after last night, like most girls would. Perhaps she hadn’t taken it all in the same way as he had; just another way to sort out their problems. She was certainly peeved off about something, whatever it was.


Suddenly, Amelie’s eyes locked onto something. She looked oddly like something that had just sniffed its prey, and was ready to start the attack… almost like a shark that had just caught a whiff of fresh blood. Following her gaze, he caught sight of Benjy Fenwick, the rather handsome seventh year. His lazy brown hair flopped into his blue eyes that were twinkling with perverted amusement as he made some extremely crude gestures, thus earning some laughs from his mates.


The five boys watched as, for some reason enraged by this even further, Amelie strode forwards, plonked herself next to the boy and – Sirius’ jaw dropped.


He had wanted to wince, thinking that Benjy was going to be hexed, probably battered into pieces like he so lovingly had been on his first day back. Perhaps even punched, kicked or slapped like had, also, been on the receiving end of countless times over the previous five and a bit years, but she didn’t. No, she couldn’t have done any of the things that would have actually made the most sense with the look on her face. No, that would have been entirely predictable – and that was something Amelie most certainly was not. Something she was, though, was an irresponsible, uncontrollable, inattentive, rash, and frankly wild teenager. So she did the one thing that made most sense to her.


She snogged the living daylights out of him.


It wasn’t a peck on the cheek, not even a chaste kiss on the lips. Oh no, this was the whole lip-tongue-tonsil action all rolled into one, and Sirius couldn’t help but wonder what in the world Amelie was getting into - the whole world knew that Alice and Benjy were going out. Well, she could obviously see what she was getting in to (it was a miracle the girl could breathe, to be honest), but honestly, what on earth was the girl playing at? She could have at least come to him if she’d fancied a bit of a snog… or even more than that, really…


Then, just as abruptly as it started, it ended. The girl pushed away, and just as Benjy was stepping forwards for more, she punched the boy square on the nose, where it cracked sickeningly underneath her now-swollen knuckles. Promptly, she whipped out her wand; pointing it straight at his jugular with such a steady hand and murderous gaze that she looked remarkably like a trained female assassin who had been sent forth from the depths of hell for the sole purpose to get her revenge.


Though that, of course, was not far from the mark.


“You fucking keep your hands off her, you hear me?” she said in a mutinous, but carrying whisper.

Sirius felt everyone single one of the boys around him tense up as the words came out of Amelie’s mouth. Even he felt a slight stir in the pit of his stomach. Considering that she had just been up in the dormitory, and that she had been fine prior to going up there, this had to do with one of the girls. Though he didn’t particularly feel anything for them, they were his classmates – his Gryffindor buddies, and he knew only too well how slimy Fenwick could be when he wanted to. He could only imagine how James must be feeling at the moment. ‘Poor bastard, probably trying to fight off terrifying mental images…’


Eyes wide with terror and nose bleeding profusely, the six-foot something hulk of a boy merely whimpered, nodding as he saw Amelie in what seemed to be the first time. He looked fit to piss himself, and Sirius just had to stare in awe at the power that Amelie seemed to extrude. At first sight, no one would ever have guessed that the girl could be so intimidating, but then, that was one thing about her that attracted him so much – she was completely unpredictable.


Satisfied with the response she had evoked, Amelie nodded regally. Still staring down at him, she growled, “If you so much as lay a finger on her again, I’ll make you rue the day genetics decided to give you XY chromosomes.” And with that ominous threat still hanging in the air, she pushed the boy down, stood up, brushed herself down, and marched out of the common room, head held high.

[A/N] Oh, I bet you can imagine how I loved writing this chapter. Long, wasn’t it? I hope you lot enjoyed reading it too. ^_^ If yes, please review and give quotes on your favourite bits. If no, still review and tell me why not. The more you help me, the more I can help you by making this story as fantabulous as possible. 
The sailor's shanty is not mine (obviously), but I don't know who created it... Thanks to all you lovely people who have been helping so far – I really can’t believe how far this story has come! XD Thankee! 

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