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Sirius and Alex watched as Dumbledore whispered something to the man before shaking hands and turning around to leave. The other man continued to walk towards the two, while Alex stood as still as stone, and Sirius kept trying to figure out what the hell was going on. He ran out of time.

“Alex…” the man said. “Alex, it’s alright.”

“D…Da…” she stuttered. She closed her eyes, and let out a deep breath. Opening them, she tried again. “Darcy.”

Sirius’ eyes widened. This is Darcy? The Darcy? Alex’s brother, the one who all the muggle girls are in love with… (well, yeah I can see why, he manfully admitted)…What in Merlin’s name is he doing here? 

Apparently Alex was thinking along the same lines. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to visit, obviously,” he said with a crooked smile.

Her eyes narrowed at his smile. “You’re smiling? What’s the matter, Darcy? I would have thought you’d be disappointed to see me not blown to bits yet. Although, I have came pretty close to falling off my broom so that’s a step in the right direction, isn’t it?”

Darcy cringed. He had known she wasn’t going to take his sudden appearance well, but he hadn’t been expecting the spite in her voice. “The truth is…Buckingham is not the same without you.”

“Of course it’s not. It’s completely problem, embarrassment, headline-free…Peaceful,” she stated with a bit of an edge to her voice.

“Peaceful isn’t quite the word I would use…”

“You mean it’s boring, then?” she restated.

“No. Well, sort of,” Darcy said smiling again. “I mean I missed you. I feel awful about what I said, and I really didn’t mean it, Alex. Really, I’m sorry.”

Sirius gaped at the two of them, trying to put together the small pieces of conversation between the siblings. They argued? About what? He raked his memory trying to remember the rare snippets of his and Alex’s conversations including her brother or family. She had said she was waiting for him to rat her out… He blinked. What the hell does that mean?! He had never spared a second thought to it, and now he realized there was more to that sentence than he thought. It wasn’t a joke. She had actually meant it... Well, whatever they argued about, it must have been pretty bad. I haven’t ever seen her in such a state before…It’s not even like how she is when she argues with me. The two boys waited, yet Alex still made no sign of response. So Darcy spoke again, “Lexy…?”

Oh. That’s why she didn’t want me calling her that…he thought, remembering back to their first conversation on the train. He had dibs on that name. 

A million memories came flooding back upon hearing him call her that. And she knew by it that he was truly sorry and that he accepted her for who she really was. She leapt into his arms, and he embraced her warmly.

“I’m sorry, Darcy,” she whispered.

“I am too…”

The bond tugged on Sirius as he watched, and after a minute or so his stomach growled loudly. Alex whipped around to face the source of the noise, and Darcy looked on. The smile on her face vanished as soon as she saw him.

“Oh. It’s you.”

“Yeah. Me,” Sirius replied.

“Sirius Black…Darcy Edwards, my brother,” she introduced the two of them as they shook hands.

“Nice to meet you,” Sirius said, but all he got in return was a nod. “Alright, hate to break up this little reunion, but I am really, really hungry. And if I don’t get food in me by quidditch practice there’s gonna be hell to pay.”

“As if we’re not paying hell already,” Alex retorted.

“Dinner…Great hall. Now,” he commanded.

“Can’t you go by yourself?” Darcy asked. “It’s not as if you two are stuck together.”

He laughed, but quickly stopped as he was met with two very unamused faces.

“Not funny, Darce,” Alex said.

“What, you two are actually stuck together? You can’t be serious.”

“No, I am,” Sirius joked.

“Not funny either, Black.”

“I don’t care—I just want food!” he whined as his stomach rumbled some more.

“Just shut it. We can skip quidditch tonight…” Alex started, but Darcy interrupted at the look of horror on Sirius’ face.

“Come to think of it, I am pretty hungry too.”

“Haha!” Sirius exclaimed. “To dinner. Besides, I still have your wand, and I think you’ll be wanting that back eventually.”

“To kill you with, yes,” Alex said. “Fine. Come on Darcy, the great hall is this way. And while we’re walking, please enlighten me as to how you found this place.”

“Well, it was pretty difficult. And it took some time… I sort of had to go through your stuff…” he paused, as if expecting her to say something about that. “And I found an envelope with the Hogwarts crest. So I figured that was the name of the school and wrote a letter with that address.”

“And what, you just sent it in the post?” Alex asked incredulously. “We use owls, you know.”

“I know. But I didn’t exactly have any options. It worked, though, didn’t it?”

Alex nodded, “Clearly, since here you are. I guess they must have a witch or wizard working at the post office who sorts that out.”

“Probably. So about a week ago I got a response from your headmaster and we set this up.”

“I see. And you got here how? The train?”

“No, the fireplace,” Darcy answered scratching his head. “Can’t remember what it’s called…”

“Floo?” Sirius offered.

“That’s the one,” Darcy confirmed, nodding his head. “Dumbledore had said your fireplace was connected and that there was bound to be some floo powder lying around somewhere.”

“I’m guessing you found it?” Alex said with a smile.

“Yes, mixed in with that dried flower stuff on your mantle. Very ingenious, I always thought it was potpourri.”

“That was the plan. Hey, you didn’t tell—OW!” Alex exclaimed as she tripped and fell to the ground yet again. “Watch it Black! You don’t have to walk so damn bloody fast you know.”

“Well you don’t have to walk so damn bloody slow!” Sirius retorted.

Darcy laughed as he helped his sister from the floor. “And how exactly did this happen?”

“It happened because that idiot over there decided to actually try to blow me to bits.”

“Me? It’s all your fault. Or do you not remember...?” he changed his voice to make it a bit higher. “‘I won’t try to kill you…for now.’ Well congrats, princess. 10 bludgers, 2 quaffles, 1 jackass and a whole bunch of other things later, I still wasn’t dead. But this…this will just about do it.”

“Oh please, as if you aren’t to blame at all,” Alex said, grabbing at a fistful of her hair.

“I like that colour,” Darcy interjected, fearing the rapidly growing heated debate, and knowing his sister well enough to stop her before she gained any momentum. “Looks like the time you and your two friends went to that football game and dyed your hair red. Which reminds me…” He took out a letter from his pocket. “Dev and Adrian came over last month, father nearly had a heart attack when he saw them in the hall. So they came back about a week ago and gave me this to give to you.”

Alex took it, and looked at it fondly, “Thank you.”

“Who are Dev and Adrian?” Sirius asked before he could contain his curiousity. Or is it something else? a voice in his head asked. No, it’s obviously curiousity, the other voice denied. “Do they know you’re a witch?”

“No, they don’t. And they’re my best friends.”

“Guy best friends?” he asked.

“Yes, do you have a problem with that?” Alex replied.

“Yeah. No guy in their right mind would settle for being friends with you,” he said. For a second he panicked as he realized how that had came out, how it sounded like he actually…liked her, so he quickly continued, “It’s too much of a pain, not to mention dangerous. And if they don’t know that, then perhaps I should warn them about the impending danger.”

“Perhaps you should shut it. Save your energy or you won’t be able to make it to the great hall.” She smirked, “And they deal with it quite fine.”

“Alright, that’s enough. I don’t want to be hearing any details of all those secret, and not so secret, come to think of it, escapades the three of you had,” Darcy joked, sensing something resembling jealousy on Sirius’ behalf and not wanting to pass up the opportunity. “Just write back to them, and then send it to me and I’ll pass it along.”

They finally reached the great hall, Darcy and Alex chatting away and Sirius, strangely enough, solemnly quiet. Heading over to the Gryffindor table, they sat down in their usual spots. Alex smiled as she remembered her promise to Lily.

“Hey guys. I want you all to meet my brother, Darcy Edwards.”

Lily’s head popped up from behind the book she was reading. They all took turns shaking hands and introducing themselves. Lily blushed a colour strong enough to rival her hair when Darcy kissed her hand. Alex fought back a laugh—she had known he would do that.

“So what’s going on in London? Newspapers going bankrupt?” Alex asked as she started to help herself to dinner.

“Not yet. They milked your disappearance for all it was worth, and then decided to bring back some of your previous…er, incidents.”

She nodded, “Sounds about right.”

“Previous incidents?” Remus inquired with a smile, “Like what?”

“Oh you know, the usual. Princess caught at nightclub, rebel at court not at court anymore, princess or devil incarnate…” Darcy started to list.

“They resurfaced that?!” Alex exclaimed. “That is just cruel.”

“Devil Incarnate? But that’s my name!” James joked. “You could not have possibly done anything to deserve that name.”

“Ha, says you.”

“Alright then, go on. Prove it. Tell us,” James challenged.

“Er…I really rather not,” Alex said hesitantly, stuffing some bread into her mouth.

“I will,” Darcy volunteered.

“I don’t think you should,” Lily commented, remembering reading that article at breakfast one morning the past summer. “After all, nobody really knows what happened that night except for her.”

“Thank you,” Alex said. “See, the voice of reason has spoken. The mystery of that night will always remain just that.”

“Awww, come on Alex!” Remus pleaded. “At least the short version?”

Alex grinned. “The short version? Alright. There was a party at Buckingham in my honour for my birthday, I crashed it, broke someone’s nose, and went out with my friends instead. Got a bit tipsy and made a commotion.”

“And the ‘Devil Incarnate’ part?” James asked curiously.

“Ah, well that’s the commotion part.”

James frowned, “You’re not going to tell us?”

“Do I look like I’m about to give away prime blackmail information?”

“Don’t worry guys. I’ll owl you all a copy of the story in the paper,” Darcy said.

“Like hell you will,” Alex threatened. “Or you’ll be experiencing some very painful magic.”

They all laughed, and reverted to eating their dinner again. Alex looked around the great hall, and her smile grew wider as she noticed all the girls eying Darcy.

“You know Darcy, I think you made an even more dramatic entrance than I have. You certainly did catch all the girls’ eyes. You should be careful, or one of them might slip you some amortentia, or hex you, then sweep you off your feet and away through yonder window.”

Darcy smirked, “It’s a curse.”

“Hey, that’s my line,” Alex complained, but he only shrugged and continued to eat his dinner. “You know, maybe I should tell them you’re taken?”

“Maybe I should tell them you are,” Darcy quipped.

Alex whipped up to face him, “I so am not!”

Darcy sighed, and whispered, “Look, Alex, part of the reason I came here was to tell you father is up to something.”

“That’s no news to me,” she scoffed.

“Alex, I think he’s serious this time.” He paused, as he watched her expression change, and then continued. “I don’t know anything for sure yet, but I’ll be writing you to keep you up to date.”

“Great, news from home. I’ll be looking forward to that everyday…” she drawled sarcastically. Then feeling a small tug on her side, she turned to face it. She had completely forgotten about Sirius, and about being stuck to him. Probably because he was quiet all dinner, she thought. Which is…unusual. 

“So you guys coming to quidditch practice?” James asked hopefully.

“Yeah I think so,” Alex replied. “I have no idea how this is going to work, though.”

“Quidditch?” Darcy asked, and James eagerly offered a quick explanation. “That should be interesting. Can I come?” Darcy asked.

“I don’t think you want to see this,” Sirius finally said, expressing Alex’s thoughts. “It won’t be pretty.”

“Strangely enough, I agree,” Alex said. “I think it’ll take most of practice for us just to figure out how to fly together without killing ourselves. But if you really wanted to come, maybe you can drop by towards the end.”

“And what should I do till then?” Darcy asked.

“Lily you’re patrolling tonight, right? Well, maybe you could give Darcy a tour of the castle,” she suggested, a small grin tugging at her lips.

“Yeah I would like that,” Darcy answered. “That is of course, if you don’t mind.”

Lily opened and closed her mouth like a fish, and hiding behind her book, she barely managed to say that it wouldn’t be a problem at all.

“Good. Everything is settled then. Off to practice!” James exclaimed after getting over his little jealousy attack. “You have 5 minutes to change and get your stuff. I will see you two on the pitch.”

“5 minutes…?” Sirius asked in surprise looking at Alex, who only shrugged. He stood up and Alex was pulled to her feet also. She swayed for a moment as if about to fall, but this time Sirius caught her. Then, as if in shock at what he had just done, he let go, and Alex fell to the floor.

“Thanks for that,” Alex said angrily, getting up and rubbing the side she fell on. “You know the point of catching some one is so they don’t fall…?”

She gave him a slap on the upside of the head, “Let’s go before James has a heart attack on account of our lateness.”

Sirius followed her without a word. He stared at his hands. Something is going on here… he wondered. Why would I catch her? An hour ago I would have let her fall to the floor and laughed…though of course, I did still let her fall to the floor. But I didn’t laugh! And her reaction…it was barely a reaction at all! No yelling, or hexing…It’s creepy! Not right! He was starting to get agitated by his own thoughts. Are we actually starting to get along…? NO! That is just not possible. He was pulled forward strongly at that point, and barely caught his balance. That’s it! It’s this…this…bond between us. It’s affecting our thoughts. We must be going insane...

He was so caught up in his own little world of thoughts he didn’t even notice them entering their room.

“Oi! Sirius!” Alex yelled, and then stopped. Did I just call him…Sirius

Did she just call me Sirius?

“What is it, princess?”

She shook her head, trying to forget that she just called him by his first name—something she hadn’t done since more than two weeks ago. “I need to change, so turn around and don’t you dare look.”

He obliged without a word. Wait, what? I’m obliging without a word? She just said she’s changing. If I was really me I would look….

…This is getting weird and way too confusing. Of course I am me, and me is I... and since I am me I
am going to look… 

Sirius slowly turned his head, just enough to see her in his periphery. Her back was turned to him. He smirked as he saw her in her bra and sweat pants, pulling on her jumper. He took a moment to admire her curves before her loose jumper covered them up, but it was her voice that brought him back to reality.

“You should have taken a picture, it would’ve lasted longer.”

Her back was still turned to him, so though he could not see her face, he knew she was smirking. With an angry huff, he took a step towards his wardrobe, vaguely wandering why he didn’t change at the same time she did. But this works too… Two can play at that game.

Opening his side of the wardrobe, he took out his usual quidditch attire. Taking a quick peak at Alex, he saw her trying to tie back her short hair. In a flash, his shirt was off, so he was bare chested. But Alex didn’t even spare him a glance. She just kept on looking in the mirror, trying to do something with her in-cooperating hair. Eager for a stab at revenge, he dropped his pants so that he was now only in his boxers. This will make her look for sure.

But it didn’t. After giving up on her hair, she merely told him to hurry up while grabbing her broom from her wardrobe. Angry that his plan didn’t have the least bit of effect on her, he quickly and quite aggressively put on his clothes. But while pulling the shirt through his arms, his hand brushed against something. Someone. Sirius gulped, A very specific part of someone.

“Nice try at being inconspicuous,” Alex said, and he couldn’t tell if she was mad or amused.

“Hey, I didn’t do that on purpose…” Sirius started.

She laughed, “Whatever you say, Black. Can we please go now?”

Anxious not to prolong the awkward scene any further, and taking advantage of her rather easy-going reaction (which he again assumed was because of the bond), he quickly grabbed his broom, and they headed out the door.

They were silent all the way there. How could they not be? When all Sirius could think about was how weird things were getting. Not to mention her astounding figure. And Alex, well she wasn’t too keen on discussion either, seeing as she had just spent the last 5 minutes doing everything in her power to keep her eyes off him, and angrily trying to ban the image of him in his boxers from her mind. Not to mention the slightly disturbing fact that she had called him Sirius and didn’t yell at him…well, not really yell…not once, within the last 2 hours, though she had more than enough reasons and opportunities to bite his head off.

“Well it’s about bloody time!” was the greeting they received when they got to the pitch. “What were you two doing up there?”

Sirius smirked, “One day, when you’re old enough to understand, I’ll tell you all about it.” 

They stood in front of it, staring at it, contemplating all possible ways of getting through the night without any awkward situations. They were tired, bruised, angry, frustrated, and had been through enough awkward situations within the last couple of hours to last them a lifetime. They didn’t need any more to deal with at the moment.

Quidditch practice had been an absolute disaster. And even that was an understatement. James had taken the rest of the team to one side of the pitch, allowing Sirius and Alex enough space and time to try to figure things out. And that was exactly what they did. They tried. They failed. After spending 2 hours in the cold October air attempting to fly together, they decided to move on to throwing the quaffle, maneuvering, and trying to score, which turned out to be a mistake considering they could barely fly together. Fifteen minutes later, they were slowly making their way up to the infirmary, Alex with a sprained ankle and Sirius with a broken wrist and something that felt to him like a dislocated hip. Though it took them forever to get to the infirmary (even with Darcy’s help), Mdm Pomfrey had their injuries dealt with in ten minutes, though sore bruises still remained. After that ordeal it was time for Darcy to go, and Alex insisted on going to Dumbledore’s office to see him off. After much arguing and yelling, Sirius obliged, but he drew the line when Alex suggested they go to the library.

So after getting changed and washed up, they were ready to go to bed. And that was where they stopped, at being ready—neither of them wanted to make the first move. Neither, in fact, could even think of anything to say that would somehow break the mounting tension and awkwardness, which was in itself quite strange as they both seemed to have a particular talent for clever remarks. Alex pursed her lips, wondering how neither could think of some witty comment. Sirius shifted from foot to foot, making strange faces, looking like he was actually trying to think, and Alex couldn’t help it. She just had to laugh.

“Well,” she said amidst her laughter, “I have decided I want the right side.”

“What?” Sirius said in confusion, but didn’t have time to think as Alex jumped onto the bed and pulled him along.

“OK, two rules,” Alex started once she claimed her side of the bed. She took out her wand and drew a line lengthwise across the bed. “Number one, stay on that side.”

“And number two?”

“STAY ON THAT SIDE! That includes all parts of your body. Oh,” she added as an afterthought, “no snoring.”

“No snoring? How am I supposed to manage that? I can’t control myself in my sleep!”

“Well I’ll just have to kill you then.”

“Won’t silencing me work just as well?” Sirius asked sarcastically, yet at the same time hoping she was joking.

She didn’t answer for she seemed to have just thought of something as Sirius made his way under the covers. She conjured up her own set of blankets and comforters. Sharing a bed was one thing, but sleeping under the same covers was another. Nestling up under them, she turned on her side to face the wall instead of Sirius, and he did the same. Two minutes had not passed when Sirius started to snore loudly.

“Black, you’re snoring.”

He seemed to have not heard her. She elbowed him, and that seemed to work a lot better, for he quieted down. Alex closed her eyes, ready for the wave of exhaustion to wash over her and take her to her dreams. Her eyes were slowly closing and her mind shutting down as sleep came, the end of a day in which too many things had happened.

A loud snore woke her up from her half sleep.

“For crying out loud!” Alex shouted as she gave him a kick. Unfortunately, she had put more force into that kick than she had thought, and Sirius, being already asleep, was practically a limp body. So upon receiving her kick, he tumbled over the side of the bed and fell to the floor with a thud. But the floor was past the limits of the bond, and Alex felt herself being rolled over and pulled down onto the floor. No, not the floor, she thought miserably, as she felt the warm body beneath her.

“Come on, Edwards. I know I’m irresistible but there’s no need for you to just jump on me like that. I would have come back to bed sooner or later,” Sirius said, and though he was half asleep, his smirk did not fail to appear.

Alex got up quickly and thanked Merlin that she was smart enough not to wear her usual nightgown to bed, but regular pajamas instead. “I know you would have come back. Or did you forget who it was beside you?”

“No, princess. How could I have forgotten someone as completely wonderful as you?” Sirius said sarcastically, crawling back onto the bed.

“Yes I am wonderful, aren’t I?” Alex replied, getting rather tired of all the same arguments over and over again. “Please, just go to bed and don’t snore. I’m tired, and I need my beauty sleep, after all. Come to think of it, you do too, right? What, no face cream or night mask? I’m disappointed.”

“Just shut it, Edwards,” he mumbled as his eyes closed and he drifted to sleep, without snoring. Somehow that kick had made him stop. Strange, he wondered amusedly in his sub-consciousness, and all these years Moony and Prongs tried everything to get my snoring to stop, and all I needed was a kick. 

The room became completely silent as the two troubled teens succumbed to their dreams…

Alex’s eyes opened drearily as bright rays of sunlight poured in from the window she was facing. She smiled to herself as she recalled her dream, and yet she couldn’t remember what she had dreamt about, though it was only moments ago. It was fading from her memory, and all she knew was that is had been a good dream, one that involved a mysterious, charming stranger; a stranger that seemed vaguely familiar, however.

She stretched and wondered why her back was so sore. Her first thought was because of quidditch, but as her eyes began to focus on her surroundings, she realized it was because she was on the floor. She yawned and closed her eyes again, before snapping them open again in confusion. I’m on the floor? Slowly she sat up, and even more slowly still, she turned her head, as if scared of what she might see. And sure enough, there was Sirius sleeping on the ground, less than a couple centimeters away from her. Why does he look so adorable and peaceful when he’s sleeping? Wait…WHAT?! Him? Adorable and peaceful? Never! She mentally yelled at herself, and lay back down, trying to pull the covers over her. As her tugging at the covers came of no use, she realized it was because Sirius was sleeping under the same ones, holding onto them tight. She groaned, but had no energy to yell at him this early in the morning. I’m in hell, she thought, as the events of the day before began to replay in her mind, and new images of what this day may be like flooded her mind. A smile flitted across her face as she remembered something Dev had once told her. Well, he was right. People like us do get their come-uppance, and then have hell to pay. 

Author’s Note: So no cliffie this time. Better?
Thanks to everybody! Please review!
ps—this chapter has not been beta-d so if you see any mistakes please let me know. 

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