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It was Friday, after his last class- somewhere around five.  Sirius had just finished pummeling his pillow in frustration.  He noted without humor that he was just as bent out of shape as the wrinkled, compressed mound of feathers and linen.  Then he allowed himself to fall into it, face-first, with a thump and a moan.

He wasn’t even entirely sure why he was mad.  Okay, so he was: Cor.  So he hadn’t officially asked her anything, and she hadn’t officially said no, but she had still managed to refuse him.  This was most definitely new.  In fact, he had been pushed away, twice.  Because she hadn’t wanted to get hurt.  What the hell was that about?  Sure he had been dumped, but that was rare, he always rebounded, and the girl always came crying back.  But flat-out refused?  His ego was irreparably bruised, and he kept hearing Cor telling Madame Delia that ‘it wasn’t what it looked like.’  Why did she have to sound so insulted at the thought?

To make matters worse, he was facing what was sure to be an incredibly awkward detention.  He didn’t even know where Professor Delia’s office was.  At that moment James, Remus, and Peter all walked into the room.

“Sirius, mate, are you okay?” James asked, looking concerned.

Sirius just grunted into his pillow.

Remus sat down on the edge of his own bed and looked expectant.

“What’s up, Pads?”

“Any idea where Professor Delia’s office is?”  He asked, his voice glum, as he rolled onto his back.

Remus blinked in confusion- that clearly not being what he had expected.

“Yeah, it’s on the third floor,” he replied confidently.

“I have a detention,” he mumbled.

“With Professor Delia?!” Peter cried, shocked.

“Man, what did you do?  She’s like, the easiest teacher to get off with!”

Sirius glowered at James.

“She just told me to come to her office tonight.  Never told me where it was or when to come.”

The boys traded looks of amazement.

“Does she know how easy it would be for you to skip that?” Peter asked incredulously.

“Yeah, probably, but I think I’ll go now.  Third floor, Moony?”

“Third floor, it’ll be on your right,” his friend confirmed.

Sirius got up and shrugged his shoulders at his friends, before stuffing his hands in the pockets of his robes and ambling down the stairs at a reluctant pace, his eyes woeful.

All too soon, he found himself outside her office.  He knocked rather hesitantly.  It took a minute, but then the door was opened.

“Mr. Black!  You got here before Alie did…”  She looked surprised, but impressed too.

“You didn’t specify when,” Sirius said, a tad defensively.

Madame Delia smiled, revealing perfectly white teeth, and nodded a little, then opened the door more fully, allowing him to come in.

The room had light blue walls and a dark wooden floor.  A vase of flowers sat on an end table near the window, their long stalks celery green with waxy pink petals pealing out with a burst of color at the ends.  Several pictures hung on the walls, but Sirius didn’t have time to study them past the thick jade frames.

“You’re just going to be doing lines, so you can start now,” she said briskly.

She gestured him into a seat before handing him a long sheet of parchment, a quill, and an inkwell.

“That’s it?” Sirius asked in surprise- he was used to cleaning trophies or armor.

The teacher raised her eyebrows and smiled.

I will never find myself in a broom-cupboard after hours again, begin.”

Sirius looked at her, now in total shock.  Madam Delia looked amused.

“I would tell you to write I will never go out after hours again, but I don’t think we’re going to get that lucky, do you?  I wouldn’t want you going back on your word.”

Sirius had to grin, before beginning to write.  He was well into his fourth line when there was a pronounced knock.  He glanced up briefly as Professor Delia went to admit Cor, before bending over his work, pretending to focus on it while in actuality listening to what was being said.

“Sirius is already here,” Madame Delia was saying.

“Oh, okay…  I thought I would hand this in as long as I was coming, since I finished.”

There was a rustling of parchment.

“Very good…  And how was your test?”

Sirius looked up to see Cor flush a little, but then reply confidently in a slightly off-tone, “It was hard, but I think I did well.”

Coralie came to sit in the chair next to his.  He gave her a broad grin, though it didn’t quite reach his eyes, just to show he was fine.  The return smile was somewhat weaker.

They worked in silence for what Sirius deemed to be ages.  The scratching sound of quills became incredibly monotonous and boring, and Sirius could swear he was beginning to nod off as his writing became messier and messier, only the thought that he was sitting next to Cor kept his nerves wired and strained to a breaking point.  He could hear a hum in his ears, and every now and then he would dart his glance towards her nervously.   Finally Professor Delia stood; he looked up at her expectantly.

“I’m afraid I have to leave, but please leave your completed lines on my desk.”

She turned to leave, facing away from both Cor, who was staring at her parchment without seeing it and biting her lip nervously, and Sirius, who had glanced up in shock.

“And when, exactly, are we finished?” He asked.

Professor Delia turned, and scrutinized him, pursing her lips.  Coralie looked up quickly, her curls falling back, and darted her glance at Sirius before fixing it on her teacher.

“Until you run out of parchment, ink, or both,” she finally decided, looking satisfied.

Both Sirius and Cor nodded, and Professor Delia left.

“Weird,” Sirius muttered, before turning back to his work.

Cor laughed softly, before dipping her quill into an inkwell and starting up again.

Sirius suppressed a smile as he continued his messy scrawl over the parchment.

A good fifteen minutes passed as they worked alone and in silence, but to equal surprise on both parts, the silence was comfortable.

“She’s not real big on specifics, is she?” Sirius finally said, after completing yet another line, and leaning back lazily to examine his work so far.

“She leaves a lot open to interpretation,” Cor responded breezily.

Sirius glanced up at her, but her head was still bent carefully over her work.

“Lines are boring,” Sirius muttered.

Cor looked up and gave a delighted laugh.

“Quite dull,” she agreed, her voice light.  “But it could be worse.”

Sirius smiled.

“You have no idea.”

She let a small laugh escape her lips again, and her eyes lit up a little.

“You would know all about that wouldn’t you?”

It was rhetorical, so he only chuckled a little.  Sirius puffed out his breath impatiently when he fixed his gaze onto his paper though, and continued on to his next line.

“How long do you think this is going to take?” he asked after another lengthy silence.

“That would probably depend on your handwriting,” she replied.

Cor leaned over to glance at his paper, the tips of her dark hair falling onto his desk.

“You’ll probably fit eighty more lines in.”

Sirius groaned as she settled back into her own seat, then glanced over at her parchment.

“And you have about a thousand more,” he said decisively.

“My writing isn’t that small!  Besides, you got a head start,” she said indignantly.

Sirius laughed, glancing over at her profile to see that she was smiling too.

They were quiet for a while again.

“This is unbelievably tiresome.  I can feel my mind numbing,” Coralie muttered to her paper.

“You were expecting otherwise?” Sirius asked, amused.

“I guess not, but typically things are interesting when- uh… never mind.  You said they were boring, too.”

Sirius glanced up, his interest perked.

“When what?” He pressed.

He was worried that she would huff at him and return to her work, but instead she put her quill down momentarily and smiled infectiously at him.  Her blue eyes danced merrily for a second before she turned away and started yet another line.

Sirius paused in his work, confused, then he shrugged to himself.  He could see out of the corner of his eye that her cheeks were flushed a guilty pink.

Almost an hour passed before either one spoke again.

“Done,” Sirius finally announced triumphantly, leaning back in his chair and stretching luxuriously.

Cor scowled playfully at him, then hurriedly filled in the remaining space on her paper, rushing to finish as well.

“Done,” she said happily, just a minute or so after.

She rubbed her neck, which was protesting to all the time spent bent forward.  Sirius laughed as she covered a yawn with the palm of her hand and slowly stood.

They both brought their papers up to Professor Delia’s desk and placed them somewhat precariously on the edge, placing their inkwells and quills on top.

Cor smiled at him again, but rubbed her elbow a little uncomfortably.

“I guess we should go,” she said rather awkwardly.

He forced a grin, “Yeah…”

They both headed for the door, Sirius pulling it open and both of them slipping out.

“Wow,” Coralie muttered, her eyes having trouble adjusting.  “It’s dark.”

Sirius laughed.

“That came out sounding just a tad idiotic,” Coralie admitted.

“Just a tad,” Sirius agreed conversationally, smirking at her.

Corale made a face at him and then said exasperatedly, “You weren’t supposed to agree.”

“In that case, you informing me that the corridor was dark was quite possibly the most enthralling and intelligent thing you’ve ever said to me.”

“Sarcasm doesn’t count!” Coralie protested indignantly.

“Did that sound like sarcasm, darling Cor?”

Coralie blanched for a second, then stubbornly muttered, “Yes.”

Sirius raised his eyebrows at her, pausing mid-step.  Coralie just stepped up onto the first step of the staircase, and placed her hands on her hips defiantly, smiling a little from her newfound height.

The staircase however, didn’t seem to want to act as leverage in the squabble, and promptly started to move.  With a little shriek Coralie toppled back onto the stone railing, all composure lost.

“Ouch,” she hissed quietly, rubbing her back, and straightening her robes.

Sirius only laughed lightly as the staircase began to rotate slowly, then, waiting until the last possible second, jumped swiftly onto the stairs as well.

“Any idea where it’s going?” asked Coralie wearily, dragging herself up.

“Absolutely none,” Sirius replied cheerfully.

The two clung to the side rails until the staircase thumped into another landing with a particularly spiteful jerk.

Coralie was sent plummeting forward again, this time her fall broken by Sirius, who looked thoroughly amused by the whole situation, his grey eyes showing mirth and little else.  Cor was pretty sure that some biting comment would be sent her way in the rapidly approaching future.  She also believed her feelings that the stone rails had been a bit more sympathetic were well-founded.  Instead, however, Sirius stooped down to pull her up, placing her gently on her feet again.

Coralie smiled in appreciation.

“Just because you have the Hogwarts stairs on your side…” she began, not really intending on finishing the sentence.

“Oh yeah, we go way back,” he joked in return, making it increasingly clear that neither of them was paying much too much attention to what they were saying.

They both smiled as they continued up the stairs, though.

“I think I go this way,” Sirius said, jerking his thumb to the left, after a moment of craning his neck down each corridor.  “Which means you go that way.”

Coralie peered down the long hallways, sure she would have never been able to come to that conclusion on her own.

“I’ll take your word for it,” she said humorously.

Then, without really thinking, she flew her arms around him in a hug.  After a moment of shock, Sirius hugged her back, his arms tightening around her for a moment before she brushed her kips lightly over his cheek.  She lingered for a second then dashed off to the right and disappeared into the inky dark, positively fleeing.

Sirius chuckled uncertainly, now thoroughly bewildered by this girl.  For a while he just stood in the dark, letting it absorb him as he absorbed his thoughts.  He was confused as to why she had hugged him, but he was also sure she was too.

He returned to his dorm considerably happier than he had left it.


Coralie entered the dorm quietly, unsure of the time and rubbing her eyes blearily.  Her mind was zooming into overdrive, but every aching bone in her body was telling her mind, quite firmly, to shut up.  Tip-toeing so as not to wake anyone, she clambered onto her bed, falling onto several almost bony things.  Her mind was busy elsewhere and processed the shrieks later.  Her body however, immediately leapt away and she lost no time in letting a shriek of her own tear from her lips.

A light flickered on and Alie saw Pip, Max, and Adin all lying on her bed.  Pip had on periwinkle blue pajamas dotted with bright yellow ducks and a simple white camisole edged with lace, her wild blonde hair mussed and sticking up at odd angles.  Adin was also decked in pajamas, with tiny silk boxer shorts and a t-shirt, her hair in a loose bun.  Max was the only one in Hogwarts robes, and was readjusting them; brushing off her prefect badge while trying to look composed.

And she was failing quite miserably.

They all lay there in a tangled mass of limbs and arms, struggling to get free.

“Ouch, Max, get off!” Adin yelped, pulling on one of Alie’s bedposts to pull herself away.

Finally they reached near enough to order, with Adin curling herself protectively around the wooden post, Max perched on the edge, and Pip lounging on the pillows, making her taller than everyone.

Alie let out a strangled sort of laugh, rolling her eyes on her friends and plopping down in the middle of them and resting her head on Pip’s shoulder, which happened to now be at an agreeable height.

“Any particular reason as to why we’re all on my bed?” Alie asked innocently.

That seemed to jerk her friends awake.

“Well-” Max began formally.

“We have candy!” Adin suddenly interrupted excitedly, clearly just remembering as she jangled a plastic bag around her head.  “So you have to tell us everything!”

Max scowled at her.

Well,” she began again, this time more forcefully.  “I went to go turn in my Arithmancey essay to Professor Delia, but when I went to her office she wasn’t there.  But you were.  With Sirius Black!  You guys were laughing, which means, you have to tell us everything.  And besides, like Adin said, we have candy.”

Coralie laughed.

“We just had a detention, Max.”

“You know what I think,” Max began knowingly in an almost haughty, arrogant tone, while Coralie started to dread whatever was going to come out of her mouth.  “I think he likes you.”

Alie actually snorted.

“Oh, really?  I think it’s a miracle you made it into Ravenclaw with those sorts of ideas bouncing around in your head.” she countered sarcastically, becoming desperate to hear her friends reasoning but trying to cover her interest with disdain.

“Well, either that or he is an absolute moron, because he was looking over at your paper when I looked in.  So he was either looking at you ‘cause he likes you, or ‘cause he’s a total idiot and has to copy you for lines.  And we all know that the Marauders aren’t idiots, some of the stuff they do is really, really advanced magic.”

Something inside Alie felt disappointed that this was the big reason Max had to support her theory, but she shunted that aside quickly.  So yeah, she liked Sirius (erm… a lot), but she had figured that out already.  She was also sure that it didn’t mean she should or would do anything about it.

“Max,” she began complacently, sighing into Pip’s shoulder.  “We were comparing how much we had left to do.  Besides he’s… a-a… for lack of a better word, a womanizer.”

It was Adin’s turn to snort.

“A Casanova!” She laughed.  “A Don Juan!  A Giovanni Jacopo!  A Lothario!”

Pip giggled.

“You have absolutely no right to know all those off the top of your head,” she said.

Max just raised her eyebrows as Adin was left to search for more names, leaving Alie feeling vexed and annoyed.  Why was it such a big deal, anyhow?

“What were the lines you had to do anyway?” Pip suddenly asked.

Alie could have smacked her friend for asking that question.  She jerked up and found herself being fixed on all sides with eager stares, and felt as though she was being closed in on.

“Uh… well, um, Pro-Professor Delia just told us to-”

“Spit it out!” Adin squeaked excitedly.

I will never find myself in a broom-cupboard after hours again,” Alie said quietly, humiliated.

“Did you both have to do the same set of lines?” Max asked suspiciously.

“Yes,” Alie muttered her eyes fixed on the edge of her sheets as her hands toyed with the bedspread.

“So was it the same closet you were caught in?” Adin said, her eyes positively radiating glee.

Alie felt her skin go all hot and prickly, and knew her face was flushed crimson.  Her ears were burning up and the hair on the nape of her neck was standing up.

It was just as much of an answer as a simple ‘yes’ was.

“Cheers Alie!” Adin shrieked happily, pelting a couple of chocolates at her.

“Alie!” Max gasped, gaping openly.

Alie turned to Pip, looking for sympathy.  All she got from the diminutive blonde however, was a pair of enormous eyes, raised eyebrows, and a very devilish sort of smile.

“It wasn’t as romantic as you might think,” Alie finally managed.  “There were spiders, and he just pulled me in to save me from getting caught by prefects, anyway.”

She fixed Max with a glare, as though it was her fault.

Max however, still seemed stupefied.  Adin rolled her eyes and snapped her fingers in front of her unfocused brown eyes.

Max’s eyes snapped back into focus.

“Seriously, Alie?” She demanded, flabbergasted.

“Yeah, but please don’t read into it.  It doesn’t mean anything.”

“It means tonight is an all-nighter!” Adin persisted, with an infectious grin.

“Adinnn,” Alie whined.  “I’m tired.”

“Well, if that’s all I have an easy fix,” Adin said slyly.

Grabbing her wand from the bedside table, she pointed it at Coralie before she had time to react.  The next thing they all knew, Alie and Pip were both soaking wet, coughing and spluttering as the last of the fountain from Adin’s wand rained down on them.

“Adin!  You are so dead!”

Pip however, was faster than Alie, and sprung from the bed towards Adin, her pajamas clinging to her tiny, muscled figure.

Alie just sat there, drenched but amused, as Pip proceeded to chase Adin about the room, finally stopped only by Adin’s cat, Nox.  The thing was small with a wiry body and hair that stuck out black and orange all over the place.  He only seemed fond of Adin, who had rescued him before second year.  And he was quite frightening when he was spitting at you at such a close proximity.

Pip shrank back and cowered behind Max until Adin picked Nox up and he began to purr.  With a very pronounced shudder, Pip settled herself back down onto the pillows, glaring at the cat but keeping her distance.  Adin aimed her wand again and suddenly the two best friends were dry, all though a scowl was still deeply etched into every line of Pip’s body.

Adin blew a kiss Pip’s way and tossed her a chocolate.

“So, Alie, truth or dare?” Adin began conversationally.

Alie groaned and dropped her head back.

“Tomorrow?” She pleaded, knowing even as she asked there was no chance.

Yep, she was getting a look from Adin.  And Max.  She decided not to look at Pip.  She could only hope the girl was on her side.

“Truth,” she said, sounding as though she was in agony fit for a Hospital Wing trip.

She really, really didn’t want to hear the question, but she had never been a dare person.

“Who was the last person you kissed?” She asked boldly.

Well, tonight is going to be fun, Alie thought dryly.

A/N:  Okay, so for those of you who didn't know- Casanova, Don Juan, Giovanni Jacopo, and Lothario are all men (fictional and otherwise) noted for being erm....  seducers, womanizers, playboys, philanderers, lovers, ladies' men... take your pick.  Anyway, I hope you liked this and please (*puppy eyes*) leave a review to tell me what you thought.

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