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Chapter 13: Veiled;


Veiled-not openly or directly expressed.



“You can stay after class, Miss St. Clair,” Professor McGonagall said.

“Go on to lunch, guys,” I said, grinning as my friends headed out of the door.

“I am switching your tutoring schedule, Miss St. Clair. You will no longer be tutoring Mr. Black, there is a clear distraction and he still needs to bring up his grades. You will be tutoring Tyler Williams in place of him.”

I nodded. “Yes, Professor, I completely understand. You’re right.”

I mean, I have to agree no matter what, I'm talking to McGonagall here. McGonagall. I'd obey her over Dumbledore any day.

She smiled at me. “You may go, Miss St. Clair. Keep him out of trouble.”

I giggled as I hurried out into the hallway.

“You actually thought I’d leave you?” Regulus said cheerfully, wrapping his arm around me.

“I am not your tutor anymore,” I said.

“Aw, I always had a fantasy about my teacher, you know, teaching me a lesson if you catch my drift-,”

“Reg, this is so very depressing. How can you kid around at a time like this?” I said dramatically as he laughed. We passed Sirius and he smirked in my direction. I ignored it best I could.

“I saved you some,” Narcissa said, pointing to a heaping plate of casserole.

“Ooh, the middle! I knew I was friends with you for a reason,” I said playfully as I sat down.

I smiled to myself as I dug into my dinner. Everything had been okay for a few days, that day when I lost it actually seemed to get everything out of my system, and just being with Regulus and Narcissa and Evan and Severus and ignoring people who bother me just seemed to be making everything a little better.

I still had a piece of lead weighing on my chest every time I think about stuff but I can’t waste time thinking about this stuff. I have to be enjoying what’s going on around me.

“Six points if you can hit his head,” Regulus said, grinning, as Evan levitated a roll.

“Put it down,” I said, snatching it out of midair.

They stared at me.

“Stooping down to their level makes us as bad as them. Lay down with dogs and you’ll get up with fleas.”

“Okay mum,” Regulus said, chuckling as I scowled and turned back to my food. Severus’s foot nudged mine under the table covertly and our eyes met briefly.

Give them no reason to hate.

“Are you going to finish that?” Narcissa asked as she took a huge chunk of ham off of Evan’s plate anyway.

“How much are you going to eat, woman?!” he exclaimed, “You’ve finished all three plates I’ve made for myself! Mind you, I’ve only gotten to eat about a bit of each. You think I’m not noticing that my food is disappearing.”

She laughed and he smiled at her. It was a cute moment. Absolutely sickening. She’s still obsessed with Nathan; she’s only leading Evan on.

He put another helping of food on his plate and looked at Narcissa expectantly. She shook her head and laughed.

I made eye contact with Regulus and he shook his head, imperceptibly so. He knows. I tell him everything. I sighed softly and shoved food in my mouth. Narcissa and Evan were still carrying on, and Severus had a book propped up against his glass of pumpkin juice. From two tables down, I could see that Lily did too.

Teenagers are so stupid. We all just want each other. I mean, who decided that they were going to have our hormones go crazy at this age? We’re too stupid to be able to deal with it.

Dinner finished lazily and we all decided we’d go for a walk outside.

“Get bundled up, beautiful,” Regulus said as we parted ways in the Common Room, “we wouldn’t want you catching a chill.”

“Okay mum,” I said, mocking him. He laughed and kissed my cheek.

“You two are disgustingly cute together,” Narcissa said, shaking her head.

I smiled as we pulled on layers of sweaters and gloves. ‘Walks’ meant ‘pummeling-the-girls-with-charmed-snowballs-when-they-aren’t-looking.’

In silence, we fished through our trunks for proper attire.

“How can you still look adorable?” I said, crossing my arms over my chest. She had six layers of clothing on, and was still skinny looking, her hair seemed to fall perfectly from underneath her hat and her eyes dazzled anyway. I looked like a little round cream puff. I was too short for my clothes to add this much puffiness.

Sighing, I followed her out, where the boys were waiting. They stopped whispering when we reached them.

The first gust of cold air slapped my face like water. It rippled through my body, and my three layers felt like nothing at all.

“Race you to that tree,” Narcissa said, pointing.

“Which tree?” I asked.

“That one!”

“You are pointing towards a forest, my dear,” I said, sighing, “Do you know how many trees that encompasses?”

“Just GO!” Regulus yelled, knocking into me from behind. Laughing, we ran through the freezing cold air. The clouds of our breath swirled like smoke. His cheeks were rosy with coldness. I’m sure my face was as red as my hair, my nose running, and my huffing and puffing unattractive, but Regulus, on the other hand, managed to look damn sexy.

Eventually, him running behind me with his hands still around my waist caused me to lose my balance and trip, and we all ended up in a big pile in the snow.

I tugged his hat off of his head, his hair was damp with snow and stuck to his forehead in some places, and it stuck up in the back as well. I kissed his nose. Because it was red.

“Your nose is red,” I said, touching it with my index finger.

“Your hair is red,” he said, touching it with his index finger.

“Your nose looks cute red,” I said.

“So does your hair.”

I smiled at him. His eyes were bright against his still-tanned skin. My skin was the same milky white it was year-round.

Our lips were drawing close to each other, when a huge snowball smacked the side of my face, and caused my whole head to move, smushing our noses painfully.

“EVAN ROSIER!” I screeched, laughing as I scooped up snowballs of my own.

“Come and catch me, Ashie!” he sang, as I slid across the slippery snow, flinging snowballs at his head, missing every time.

“You’d be a horrible Chaser,” Regulus said, looking at me just as a snowball came in his direction, making contact with his face.

“You’d be a horrible Keeper,” I said, laughing.

Another snowball came my way. I took out my wand and waited for it, pointed. I swung and a jet of light hit the snowball perfectly, sending back towards Evan.

“CHEATER! THIS IS NONMAGICAL!”

“Not anymore!” I called, as I began to levitate the snow to form a little fortress around me.

“You are a big fat cheater!” he said again.

“You are big and fat in general,” I called back, as Regulus snorted with laughter.

“Touché. But I’d rather be big and fat then short and fat!”

“You did not just go there,” I said, cradling a perfect snowball in my hand.

“Oh but I did, Ashie.”

I sent the snowball whizzing towards his head and hit his nose dead on.

He spluttered through the frozen snow, grinning at me. I stuck out my tongue.

And for another hour and a half it went on like this until us soldiers were too wet and cold to carry on, and darkness had fallen so hard we couldn’t see our feet.

We tramped through the freshly washed hallways, leaving puddles and chunks of snow everywhere we went.

A pair of hands grabbed me and smoothly tugged me into an abandoned classroom.

I swatted his hands off of me. “Sirius Black. Haven’t you done enough to me?”

“I just wanted to say I’m sorry.”

“What? Is that word new to your vocabulary? I‘ve never head it said from you before.”

“I’m trying to be serious, St. Clair. I know I actually really hurt your feelings the other day and I didn’t mean to.” His face was completely serious, but something told me to be wary. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, so to speak.

An apology is never just an apology when it’s coming from someone who hates you. Yet, I wanted to fling my arms around him and hug him for being so sensitive and actually taking the time to kidnap me and tell me that.

Against my will, my lips turned upward in a smile.

And he smiled back at me.

My mind was racing, and my heart was beating wildly and irregularly. We were being civil, nice, and normal, not acting like we hated each other, but like friends who had had an argument. Apology, smile, alone time. My skin was crawling with droplets of water, and numbed with cold, but I didn’t feel any of it when he smiled. It simply melted away.

That scared me. It scared the shit out of me.

“I should go.” “You should go.”

We said it in unison, and it surprised me, and I giggled. I clamped my hand over my mouth after it came out. Laughter in the presence of him? With him and not at him? I shudder at the thought. What the hell is wrong with me?

I took out my wand and dried myself on the way out, and then I flicked my wand and cleaned the hallway, and turned towards the kitchens. They would forget I had disappeared if I reappeared with cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate.

Which is exactly what I did, though I know Severus didn’t exactly forget. He’d ask me again soon.

Beside a crackling fire, into the wee hours of Saturday morning, we laid there eating iced, warm cinnamon rolls and indulging ourselves in each others company.

“So I said, ‘Love, that’s my belt buckle!’” Hysterical laughter ensued. And so the night continued, until I fell asleep on the couch with Regulus and woke up in my bed, so I must have walked up there without realizing it.

Morning roared in quickly, but I was up four hours after I had fallen asleep. Bubble baths are good things. So I sunk into one, enjoying the thick warmness, seemingly feathery light on my skin. The bubbles floating nonchalantly, foamy and scented, the dreary and dark winter morning was perfect weather for this.

I closed my eyes and sunk into thought.

Sirius just wants me to think he’s my friend so he can trick me. There’s a prank, a twisted sense of enjoyment, a catch. This can’t just be him enjoying our stimulating conversation. He wants something. I just know it.

Shaking my head, I pushed his amazing smile out of my mind. For some reason, just picturing it made the water seem a little warmer.

I wrapped a fluffy green towel around me and sat down on a little cute black lounge that sits in the corner of the bathroom.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Curiously, I approached the little vent in the side of the wall, and saw that there was a letter trying to escape. I pulled open the vent and let the letter fly out. I caught it.

Ashlynn,

Meet me in the Come and Go Room. We need to talk.

-Sev


I folded the letter and dove into a pair of clean pajamas, wringing out my wet hair and slipping on slippers, I snuck out into the hallway and set out towards the room, the halls bathed in a very dim sunlight. It wasn’t quite 7 yet.

Sev was waiting outside, pacing. He took my hand and led me into the room. Two chairs, one bookcase, a little lamp and a rug. That’s it.

“The Dark Lord has personally requested a meeting with you,” Severus said.

Ah, this is why that bookcase is there. So I can throw things on it at the wall.

Play it cool, Ashlynn.

“Why me?”

“Word of your intelligence, quickness under pressure and sheer nerve has spread rapidly. He needs people like you. You could be one of his favorites. He personally requests you meet with him.”

“Just me?”

“Anyone else may attend, but he wants to make sure your there.”

Truthfully, the prospect of seeing him scared the pants off of me.

“Go. Even if you don’t want to join, just show your respect to him and listen to what he has to say. Then he knows you actually want to hear him out, you may just want to not fight. It will mean more to him then you may realize.”

I hugged Severus. “You thought this entire thing out for me?”

“Someone had to.” I smiled.

“I don’t want to go,” I whined.

“But if you don’t he will be pissed, and we don’t want the man angry, do we?”

“Definitely not,” I said, squeezing him before letting go.

“Just go. For your own benefit.”

I sighed deeply.

“Fine, I’ll go.”

What am I getting myself into?

A/N- Now this is more like me. Quixk updates! Wooo! You have no idea how bad I think this chapter is. Maybe not bad, but substandard, my heart wasn't in it. I'm so excited for the NEXT chapter that this one sorta breezed on by. I hope I can write more, but if I can't again until next weekend, (which is my BIRTHDAY =D) please forgive me.

Review, lovelies.

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