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“And then, guess what he did? He kissed me! Hamish O’Shannessy kissed me!” shrieked a fourteen year old Marlene McKinnon to her friends who had proceeded to fall about her in shrieks of hysteria in their Gryffindor dormitory. As their squeals and giggles began to fade, Mrs Weasley, Tonks, Ginny and Hermione dabbed their shining eyes and began to talk amongst themselves using words such as utterly gorgeous and could just die of adorable.


An hour had passed by the large group gathered in front of a momentarily blank wall in the upstairs drawing room of Grimmauld Place and despite the clucking and fussing by Mrs Weasley and the girls, the rest of the room looked slightly bored.


“D’you think this thing is only filled with that lot giggling and gushing like a house of hens?” asked Ron irritably as he stared accusingly at the velvet box in front of him.


“Yeah, when do we see some of the action you lot have been telling us?” asked Harry moodily, kicking his leg angrily towards the coffee table. 

The appeal of discovering his mother’s memories was drawing alarmingly thin; he had had expectations of re-living some of the exciting tales Sirius and Lupin had been regaling during the past few weeks. He wanted to see the daring escapes from cleverly thought out pranks, the thrill of nail biting Quidditch matches or at the very least, a glimpse of his father or his friends. They had instead been presented with what Ron had bluntly called, ‘sooky la la rubbish’.


They had just bore witness to a stream of memories that included the first time one of the girls wore a bra, them all twittering about as they practiced in high heels, writing their signatures with the surname of someone they’d fancied and declaring themselves best friends forever by swapping twee little feathery friendship bands. The twins had been forced to start a very loud conversation about Quidditch and blowing things up when the subject of periods and cramping came up.


Their only solace for the past hour had been the opportunity to pick on Sirius who, through the current collection of memories concerning the girls’ first kisses and their subsequent discussions with others around them, was revealed to have been the first for most of the Hogwarts female population. Much to their amusement, he appeared to have systematically snogged his way through a fair portion of fourth year girls and above by the tender age of fourteen.


Lupin let out a sigh and muttered “There’s got to be something we can all enjoy. Even I can’t take much more of this and I’m not a teenage boy.”


“I think it’s lovely!” cooed Mrs Weasley as she settled herself in her armchair. “I remember my first kiss; I was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell my girlfriends!”


Fred rolled his eyes and George looked about to retort before Ginny cut across him and snapped “I’m sure you lot can make your requests once we’ve seen this last memory.”


Can’t wait,” mumbled Ron sardonically as Harry grumbled and folded his arms.


The frame had begun to blur and settled onto a dark corridor of Hogwarts; it appeared to be near the dungeons as there was no natural light and the air looked to be quite heavy.


They heard a scurrying and a flurry of voices before an eleven year old Lily and Alice appeared in the frame.


“I think we’re lost!” cried Alice, wringing her hands.


“We couldn’t be!” said Lily looking anxiously around, “This is exactly where the Transfiguration lesson was on Tuesday, I’m sure of it!”


“We should have stayed together,” said Alice, pulling a crumpled timetable out of her pocket, “Marls and Izzy have probably already arrived by now!”


“Doubt it,” came a third voice as Marlene came running into view, “We decided to split up at the bottom of the stairs to cover more ground; I can’t find Iz anywhere, now.”


The three tiny girls examined Alice’s timetable before they were interrupted by a voice calling their names.


To the delight of Harry and the others, an eleven year old James Potter came panting into view along with Peter Pettigrew and a young Lupin, all looking equally as small as the others.


“You lost too?” asked the young Lupin to which the girls nodded.


“Brilliant,” sighed Peter, “Old McGonagall can’t chuck us all in detention for getting lost.”


“Don’t say that!” squealed Lily, “We’ve only been here for three weeks and it would be dreadful if we got detention already!”


James grinned and said “Me and Sirius have already had four,” and proceeded to puff himself up as if this was something to be extremely proud of.


The Lupin in the drawing room snorted and performed an exaggerated eye roll at this remark.


Four?” gasped Marlene from the memory as Alice looked horrified.


“We got bored and decided to dung bomb some Slytherins with great success,” said James in a superior voice “And we learnt this excellent hex called furunculous that made-”


“We don’t want to know, Potter” said Lily pointedly.


“Especially since you lot decided to try out some of your new found skills on us,” said Marlene, glaring.


“We’re supposed to be Gryffindors, all of us,” sniffed Alice“If we can’t show any unity now, then how are we going to get through the next seven years?”


“We were only joking,” said James rolling his eyes, “Just messing about!”


The girls all huffed at him in annoyance before reluctantly agreeing to a temporary truce and acquiesced to look for their lesson together. They began to trot along the Hogwarts corridors peeking in and out of classrooms without any luck. The young Lupin attempted to seek assistance from a pompous little Sir Cadogen, who was in the middle of duelling a decidedly bored looking dragon in a tapestry somewhere near the Great Hall, only to be called a ‘scurvy blaggard!’ when he refused to fight him for eternal glory and the directions to his lesson.


As they began wandering aimlessly past a succession of grim looking chambers and bickering amongst themselves over who’s fault it was that they were still lost, they overheard voices a little further ahead and stumbled to a stop. As Marlene opened her mouth to snap at Peter who had grabbed her hair to block his fall, the young Lupin held up his hand and told her to shoosh.


Marlene glared and poked him with her wand before they heard a yelp of pain from somewhere outside the frame. The group looked at each other apprehensively before James bravely signalled that they investigate.


As they crept up the corridor they heard snatches of conversation and looked terrified at what was being said.


“Did you really think we’d let you get away with it? Let you believe you could shame one of the purest of bloodlines?” whispered a dangerous voice before laughing bitterly as another hissed “CRUCIO!”


There were more yelps and muffled screams of agony as the tortured student was attacked; the bullies sounded to be adding kicks and punches as they cackled at their victim.


“Maybe you should lay off him, Lucious. He’s only eleven after all,” said an unknown female; the voice sounded infinitely cold despite their pity.


“Lay off him? Are you mad Cissy?” shrieked another female, “It’s our good name that’s been sullied! We must do what must be done for the house of Black!” and they heard a wand whip as their victim seemed to be thrown and crushed against a wall.


James’ face visibly paled as he mouthed ‘SIRIUS’ to the group; they looked at each other as Marlene gave a dry sob. 


“We’ll go get a teacher!” cried Lily almost silently as she grabbed the two other girls to leave.


Before they could run away they heard another voice yell out “Oh my God, Sirius what's happened to you? Are you alright?” There was a patter of little feet running quickly before stopping abruptly with a gasp; clearly the new arrival hadn’t initially seen the group of tormentors.


They heard a cackle as a female whispered quietly, “Ooh, looky here! Ickle Sirius has a girlfriend.”


They heard Lucious follow this with a sneer “Well if it isn’t the little Easterner coming to meddle in things that are of no concern to herYou’re worse than a mudblood, you are; perhaps we should give you a taste of what people like you deserve, like our young traitor here?” and they heard a small yelp of pain.


“My, my, not so brave now, are you?” hissed Lucious; “It seems you need to learn what honour and respect are, like your little friend here.”


“Honour? Is that what you call this?” said the tiny voice of Isabella defiantly, “Six of you against two first years?”


As Isabella yelped again, James looked to the others and whispered “Pete, you go get a teacher and you girls stay here,” he looked to the young Lupin as Peter ran off and signalled for him to join him in going to rescue their friends.


“If you’re going, then we are too,” said Lily as she, Alice and Marlene determindly dropped their bags and gripped their wands, “They’ve got one our friends too!”


James and the young Lupin looked concerned for a moment before they shrugged, pulled themselves up and all went bursting into the corridor around the corner on the count of three.


The frame was vibrant with six older students; Harry and the others recognised the sneering Lucious Malfoy but not entirely his cronies. They all had Slytherin scarves proudly swept around their necks and matching evil scorns on their faces. They looked amused at the tiny first years as an oddly familiar female cackled “Oooh! All the Gryffindor firsties! Come to have a bit of a lesson like your friends?” and she reverently waved her hand, gesturing towards two figures slumped next to the wall as if she were presenting the grand prize to some sick contest.


The small figure of the young Sirius was drifting into consciousness; he had a blossoming black eye and a cut lip. He looked to have just been beaten repeatedly and Isabella was whispering to him and trying to rouse him to stand up as she swept her hand over a nasty cut on her cheek.


“Leave them alone!” yelled James bravely as his friends all nodded and pointed their wands at Lucious and his pals.


“And what are you going to do about it if we don’t?” said Lucious in a dangerously low voice.


“I don’t think anyone will miss the entire first year group of Gryffindors, do you Bellatrix?” mocked another female.


“I quite agree,” cackled the familiar girl, “Perhaps we should demonstrate the power of the noble house of Slytherin?”


“We’re not scared of you!” shouted the young Lupin as Marlene and Lily agreed fiercely.


“We’ve already gone to get a teacher!” said Alice, her voice breaking.


Lucious narrowed his eyes and said delicately “Well in that case, we’ll be rescheduling for another time then. Make sure you don’t lock your doors at night, children.” 


And he motioned his friends to follow him in his quick pace to leave the scene.


Lily muffled a cry and ran to Isabella and helped her stand up the groggy young Sirius.


“You alright mate?” gasped James as he ran over with the others and stared petrified at their friend’s injuries.


“I’m fine,” said the young Sirius through gritted teeth; he shrugged the two girls off him and proceeded to collect his bag.


“You’re not fine!” cried Marlene as she caught a glimpse of more gashes on his back as he leant to retrieve his bag.


“I am fine,” he snapped “Just forget it, will you?”


“Forget it?” squeaked Isabella “How many times have they done that to you?”


“It’s none of your business!” he said, glaring at her “What were you thinking off, rushing in like that?”


“I was trying to find Transfiguration when I saw you lying against the wall covered in blood and barely breathing!” she cried, looking close to tears.


“Well you should have let me be, I don’t need your help!” he said loudly, his eyes flashing dangerously. 


Fine. Next time I see you lying somewhere, almost dead, I’ll give you a friendly wave and nip off in the other direction then, shall I?” she said, glaring back.


“Just stay out of my life, got it?”


“Sirius,” said Lily quietly “We all clearly don’t get along with each other but none of us would have just stood by if we saw what Izzy did. We all heard them use an unforgiveable curse on you from around the corner there; you must tell someone!”


The young Lupin nodded and said “Mate, she’s right. You’ve got to -” but was cut off as Peter and Professor McGonagall came tearing round the corner.


“What’s going on?” demanded the professor, her voice cracking like a whip through the silent corridor, making the little group jump.


Lily opened her mouth to tell her before the young Sirius glared her down and said “Nothing. I fell down, is all.”


Professor McGonagall pursed her lips and said sharply “I have been a teacher at this school for many years now and I can tell when a student is lying. Mr Pettigrew told me they heard you being tortured, is that true, Mr Black?”


The young Sirius looked up at her defiantly and said “No. I simply fell down.”


She ran her eyes over his injuries and cast a fleeting look at Isabella before saying “Then five points shall be taken from Gryffindor for being late to my class. Each. You will go now to the hospital wing and take Ms Masahra with you. The rest of you will accompany me to your lesson.”


As she grimly shooed the others away, she turned back to the young Sirius and her face softened as she spoke quietly “When you are ready Mr Black, my door is always open. Certain behaviour is not tolerated at this school, despite the beliefs of those outside it. ”


As she marched away, the young Sirius swore violently under his breath and collected his things and glared at Isabella who proceeded to pick up her own bag up and glare back at him.


They walked together in silence before she said quietly “You can do something about it, you know.”


He grunted at her as he adjusted his bag on his shoulder.


She sighed and continued walking before saying softly “Families can be really awful sometimes, I'm sure everything will be okay when they come round.”


The young Sirius snorted before saying “Like you’d know the half of it.”


Isabella frowned before she said “What makes you think you’re the only one who has nutters for family?”


Jesus, Masahra. Just shut up, will you?”


Isabella narrowed her eyes and snapped “Fine. Have it your way then; go sulk in the corner about how much harder your life is!  How nobody could possibly understand!”


“Listen,” he spat as he turned to her furiously “There are two things I know about you from only three weeks here; first, is how loud you scream when you’ve been pranked. Second, is that you don’t look like someone who has mental pureblood lunatics for a family who are willing to kill you for something as small as being sorted into Gryffindor. So why don’t you save the lecture and go giggle about something with your friends and shut it about things you don’t UNDERSTAND!”


Isabella took a step back from him and looked as if he’d just slapped her. She hung her head as he turned to keep walking and whispered softly “They may not be pureblood maniacs but they’d probably want to do me in if I disagreed with what they wanted.”


The young Sirius stopped walking and turned back to look at her for a moment; he seemed to ponder what she’d said before drawing himself up to appear utterly unconvinced.


She looked annoyed at his face before folding her arms and saying tartly “Try me. You might just find that I understand.


He looked furious for a moment as he made an incredibly childish face at her. They both stood there glaring before he let out a sigh and looked around for other students in the vicinity that may be eavesdropping on their conversation. When he was convinced they were alone, he shook his bag off his shoulder and slumped onto the window sill, looking defeated. “This doesn’t mean we’re friends or anything, Masahra. And it certainly doesn’t mean me and the boys aren’t going to keep pranking you.”


Isabella snorted and muttered “Of course,” before dropping her bag and settling down next to him. They sat for a moment, their legs dangling a few feet from the ground and chewing on their thoughts. Harry could see his young Godfather’s eyes darken and for a brief moment, he seemed to channel the aggression and resentment he had gained from Azkaban in his eleven year old eyes.


He looked shut off for a moment before blurting “I was supposed to be in Slytherin. They’ve spent my entire life lecturing me on how to hate anyone who’s not like them. ‘Mudbloods should be hunted down and slaughtered!’ or ‘We must destroy anyone who threatens the purity of the wizarding race!’ it’s all I ever heard,” and he laughed dryly. “So you can imagine their reaction when I’d managed to avoid Slytherin and be sorted into the enemy house, to befriend a blood traitor, a half blood and a muggle born. My cousin Bellatrix wrote my mother and told her everything. I never believed what they told me since I was little and for a while, I tried to argue. But it wasn’t worth the trouble,” and he kicked his leg out childishly. “So I used to just nod and smile; but I knew I would be different. Always did.”


He glanced sideways at Isabella as if daring her to contradict him before saying softly “I always knew they’d lose their marbles when I didn’t follow in their footsteps; but it never occurred to me they’d stop loving me and wish I was dead. They’re my parents.


His eyes welled up with tears and his little handsome face screwed up as he tried to blink them away and look as if he didn’t care a jolt.


Isabella was tactful enough to stare down at her shoes for a moment before saying thoughtfully, “I'm sure they still love you, deep down. Maybe they’re just being like this because they're scared of you being different to them.”


The young Sirius scoffed and spat “They’re not scared. They’re ashamed of me; my dad already sent me a howler saying in no uncertain terms that he never wanted to see me again. How I disgusted him and that I was no son of his.”


Isabella looked stricken and whispered "That's really awful, is there anything someone can do to help you?" and she tried to comfort him by gently patting his shoulder, to which he shrugged her off jerkily.

He moodily kicked his foot against the wall again and stared determinedly at the ground. “Still think you’re worse off than me?”


Isabella bit her lip before whispering “When I was born, my parents didn’t come to see me for three months. They were devastated that they’d produced a girl. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen them since,” she shifted her hand distractedly before continuing “They used to talk about me as if I’d done something wrong and the problems the family now had in terms of marrying me off. I wasn’t allowed to play with any other children or forget that I was a disappointment to them.”


The young Sirius looked at her confused; she smiled sadly before continuing “My Grandfather’s the emperor of The East. Before my parents died three years ago, my father was his royal heir. Now they’re all facing the problem of preserving their precious dynasty since I’m the only one they’ve got leftNo one has ever been allowed to leave The East for centuries; not that I wasn’t glad to come here, but imagine how I felt when they willingly sent me away? They used to talk about how it would be a blessing if I died. Since they weren’t so lucky up until now, they made it clear how they intend to ‘deal with me’ when I graduate and it doesn’t involve any choice on my part. At least you’ve got a choice, Sirius. You can choose to not be like your family and choose what kind of life you want to lead.”


The young Sirius pondered this for a moment before saying petulantly “I bet your parents never beat you.”


Isabella gave a small chuckle and said “They never cared enough about me to even look at me.”


He grinned at her and said “So my family’s still worse than yours!”


Isabella rolled her eyes and said “They did suggest to me once that they should have thrown me out a window when I was born so they could try again. Perhaps that makes us even?”


He gave a small laugh as she elbowed him playfully and jumped down from the ledge.


“Come on, we need to go to the hospital wing,” and she held out her hand.


He looked appalled for a moment before she rolled her eyes and said “I’m sure Madame Pomfrey can wash the girl germs off.  Come on, you need help.”


He grinned at her and took her hand, jumping off. He winced slightly but shrugged it off and attempted to puff himself up as if he’d never felt a thing.


She looked at him unconvinced as they picked up their bags and began to make their way up the corridor towards the stairs. On their way, he subtly reached out and gently took her hand in his as they walked.  She turned to him immediately but he proceeded to stare furiously straight ahead, refusing to meet her eye.  She smiled and gave his hand a squeeze and continued walking as if they did this all the time.


Mrs Weasley gave a little cry and murmured some kind of cooing noise at the Sirius who was sitting in the drawing room.


He rolled his eyes as Lupin muttered “Even at eleven.


“Oh shut up,” he snapped as Harry and the others sniggered.


The two little figures in the frame continued holding hands as they made their way to the door of the hospital wing; the young Sirius paused and smiled at her sheepishly before abruptly dropping her hand shoving his deep in his pockets.


A very young and spritely Madame Pomfrey greeted them with tutting and cries of ‘What they will teach them in this school!’ and bustled them onto two separate beds as she mended their injuries with a wave of her wand. The two of them grumbled as she poked and prodded them and visibly gagged when she forced a smoking purple potion down their throats.


As an older student came bursting in with an elephant’s trunk sprouting out of his head, she shooed the two of them out with notes excusing them from their Transfiguration lesson and warnings to be more careful in the future before fussing over her new patient.


Isabella and the young Sirius walked in silence back through the doors of the hospital wing and trotted down the stairs.


“So where do you want to go to start extracting our revenge?” the young Sirius enquired, bouncing about and looking infinitely more cheerful at the prospects of a free hour.


Isabella looked sideways at him and said “Since when would you think I’d want to be part of any of your stupid pranks?”


“Oh come on Bella,” he said, pouting at her “We can’t let them get away with it!”


She stopped walking and turned to him, saying pointedly “It’s Isabella or Izzy. And if you told Professor McGonagall about this, they’d be dealt with.  You wouldn't need to go putting yourself in danger!”


He grinned and said “I like calling you Bella better,” before continuing “I’m not going to go hide behind the skirts of some teacher, so don’t think you can make me. But I am willing to execute a cleverly thought out revenge plan on them, and I think it’s your duty to help me.”


Isabella folded her arms and looked at him seriously “In case you hadn’t noticed, we have exactly three weeks of magical education on our side, which has been proved once today as no match for those hateful Slytherins. You can’t even make a feather fly; you set yours on fire in Charms yesterday!”


He rolled his eyes at her and said in a tone that suggested Isabella was a slow five year old neglecting to grasp a basic point “Yes but you made yours float two feet from the ground and I would think that together, we have a chance.”


She pondered this for a moment before saying hesitantly “If I help you, it doesn’t make us friends you know, Black.”


He stared at her, as if that was completely obvious, “Evidently. Seeing as you’re a girl.”


She huffed at him for a moment before looking around them and whispering conspiratorially “So what do you think we should do?”


His face broke into a broad grin as he whispered in her ear “I knew you'd say yes, leave your bag here with mine and follow me.”


He threw their bags behind a tapestry and broke into a run down the corridor as she stared at him stunned, “Come on Bella! We only have one hour!”


She furrowed her eyebrows for a moment before tearing off after him. They ran through winding corridors and past blurring tapestries; their speed was making Harry and the others feel quite queazy.


The young Sirius came to an abrupt halt in front of a tapestry of a fruit bowl as Isabella went slamming into the back of him. As he pulled himself off the ground glaring up at her, she snapped “You could have told me we were stopping. Where are we, anyway?”


The young Sirius grinned mischievously “James and I found this by accident when we skived off History of Magic the other day; tickle the pear.”


She gave him a look that indicated he needed serious help before he huffed at her and snapped “Just do it Bella.”


She looked at him strangely as she stood on her tippy toes and apprehensively stroked the tapestry; she jumped backwards when it giggled loudly and turned into a doorknob.


They both opened it carefully (as it was clearly three times the size of them) and were immediately swamped by a swarm of house elves. Their squeals of joy and furious offers of assistance drowned out the shriek of fright from Isabella. Once the young Sirius had grabbed her arm and dragged her to her feet, he shouted “We just want a fancy jug filled with pumpkin juice and six goblets!”


As Isabella elbowed him and said sharply “Please” they were instantly presented with three jugs to choose from and a selection of silverware.


The young Sirius grabbed the collection close to him and pushed her out the door amidst her cries of “Thank you ever so much, it was very kind of you to-”


As they half ran back down the corridor she glared at him and said “You have no manners, d’you know that?”


He laughed at her as they continued down a stone staircase towards the dungeons; he gently rested the jug and goblets behind a formidable statue of a snake eating a small wizard before turning to her and saying quietly “Now. You need to go into Professor Slughorn and distract him whilst I sneak into his store cupboard.”


“Are you mad?” she hissed. “We can't go running about the castle stealing from a teacher!”


He adopted a look of mock hurt as he pouted “Do you want them to try to kill me again, Ella Bella?”


She muttered something about his being ridiculously melodramatic before pulling herself together and flouncing into the dungeon before them.


Professor Slughorn greeted her warmly as she darted her eyes around nervously and squeaking “I’m so sorry to be bothering you, Sir; I just wanted to ask you a few questions about the essay you set us!”


The professor looked mildly curious as he said “But you and Miss Evans answered every one of my questions correctly! Surely you wouldn’t need extra assistance?”


Isabella blushed before stammering “Well, I-um-I just wanted to clarify the use of a bezoar as one of several ingredients for the antidote to Pernicular poisoning; the readings suggest that a bezoar is more then enough to do the job!”


Professor Slughorn smiled broadly as he waggled his finger at her “You are a clever girl, Ms Masahra!” and he proceeded into a strange and long winded explanation of the chemical reactions of the bezoar to certain farmyard ailments.


Isabella nodded her head vigorously; a little bead of sweat ran down her head as she saw the young Sirius pop up from behind a desk and scurry into the storeroom.


The professor chuckled and waggled his finger some more as he went off on a tangent about his close friend Joclyn Jogger, president of the International Association of Parachuting Piglets and only when Isabella noticed the young Sirius run out the door, interrupted him by yelping that she now understood clearly and simply had to get to her next lesson.


The Professor looked slightly disappointed but shooed her off with calls of her coming to his next gathering as she tore out of the room. She caught up with the young Sirius several yards away as he was on his knees behind a large ornamental table and pouring something into the jug.


She clutched her side as she knelt down beside him and breathed “What are you putting in?”


He grinned at her as his eyes twinkled “Well partner, I was hoping for something that would make their food run out of them for a week -”


“That’s disgusting!” grimaced Isabella; her pretty face twisted into pure revulsion as shuffled away from the goblets as if she'd be infected.


“Do you have to be such a girl Bella? Besides, I got us something better; look,” and he handed her an empty vile.


Veritaserum?” she asked “Your big revenge is getting them to tell the truth?


He shook his head as he once again adopted the tone that indicated she was extremely slow on the uptake “Bella. Imagine what kind of secrets they have that they don’t want anyone else to know about.”


She pondered this for a moment before muttering “Well, let's hope it’s some good ones.”


She proceeded to conjure a note that detailed these drinks as a gift for the noble Master Malfoy and his charming friends before levitating them as the young Sirius ran down the corridor and banged loudly against a huge oak door.


He came tearing back and dived behind the table as Isabella was pushed briefly out of site.  The scuffled around for a moment before poking their heads out from underneath.  He began elbowing her in his zeal to get a better look and his shoulder made loud contact with her head; she began grumbling about him hurting her before he shooshed her loudly.


As she opened her mouth to angrily retort he covered her mouth and hissed “Shut it. They’re coming!


She batted his hand a way as they peered out; their little faces were well hidden behind an obnoxious lace table cloth from the snooty looking blonde Slytherin who had opened the door. 


“That’s my cousin Narcissa,” the young Sirius whispered as Isabella looked horrified and hissed “She was one of the ones torturing you, wasn’t she? What an evil cow.  I hope she shoots her mouth off and crucifies herself!”


He turned to her and smiled in such a way that made Harry and the others immediately recognise just how much her comments had meant to him.  

Isabella grinned back as Narcissa called for the others to come and join her for a drink; she took the tray and carried it reverently into the dungeon and slammed the door behind her.


“Well that was disappointing,” said the young Sirius gloomily.


“Oh well spotted genius,” said Isabella acidly, “What was the point of all this if we don’t even know if it worked?


“You’re really beginning to annoy me, Bella,” he snapped preparing to climb out from beneath the table. He stopped dead as Isabella dragged him unceremoniously back as the door to the Slytherin Common Room burst open.

The two of them heard almighty screaming and shouting; Isabella shrank backwards and her face went pale.  The young Sirius whispered something inaudible to her and grabbed her hand again, smiling quietly to himself.


“How dare you!” screamed Narcissa, running out looking terrified.


Bellatrix came tearing after her screaming “How could you say such things, Cissy! You deserve what he said!”


Lucious Malfoy followed them as well as the three other students that had joined them earlier.


One of the boys who looked especially mean suddenly blabbed “I really enjoy Muggle Studies,” and instantly flew his hands to cover his mouth.


Lucious looked horrified and opened his mouth to sneer at him; instead he blurted “I’m in love with a mudblood from Ravenclaw.”


Narcissa looked mutinous as she hissed “Everything you stand for revolts me and I think your hair is disgusting!” and looked stunned at what she said.


They all started screaming things that made Isabella and the young Sirius fall about each other in silent laughter, clutching each other to stop them yelling out and had tears running down their faces.


Suddenly Professor Slughorn came panting down the corridor calling “What’s going on here?”



The six Slytherins instantly froze and looked too terrified to speak; the professor looked at them strangely before reprimanding them for making a nuisance of themselves in a communal area.


As Bellatrix suddenly shrieked “I hope to marry my uncle!” and the mean looking boy cried “I’m in love with Augustus Percival!” Isabella and the young Sirius silently agreed to make a run for it before they were caught and skinned alive.



As they reached a corner and turned back for one last look, Lucious spotted them and gaped his mouth like a goldfish. Bellatrix noticed and pointed her finger and shrieked “I hope to lead the revolution of killing every last disgusting mudblood!”


Isabella and the young Sirius froze as the professor shouted “Miss Black! How dare you say such things! Straight to the headmaster now, all of you!”


As the Professor went to turn, the young Sirius grabbed Isabella by the hand and they made a mad dash for the stairs and didn’t stop running until they reached where they had left their bags.  They continued laughing and talking animatedly all the way back to the portrait of the Fat Lady, mimicking the looks on the Slytherins faces and praising themselves for their clever revenge.


As they leant against the banisters catching their breath through their laughter, Isabella announced the password and sighed “I’ve never had so much fun in all my life! Malfoy’s face when he realised it was us who drugged them! I’m pretty sure they won’t be coming near us again!”


The young Sirius wiped tears from his face and agreed “That was the best fun ever. It’s a pity we’re not friends as I’m sure we could do a lot more damage to that lot!”


Isabella smiled at him as she made to return to the Common Room and said quietly, “Make sure you don’t let them hurt you again. They’re really cruel and no one should be allowed to be so unkind. Even to little toe-rags like you.”


They grinned at each other before Isabella said “Well, I guess I’ll see you later then, Black.”


He looked pensive for a moment before he said “Bella, hang on a second.”


She turned and stared at him curiously before he continued with an anxious look, “I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t say anything to anyone about what we talked about earlier. Or that we talked really.”


She rolled her eyes before grinning and saying “Likewise. We will just walk back in and continue with you being awful to me and me hating the ground you walk on.”


He chuckled before fidgeting with his tie and saying “It’s not like I didn’t appreciate it though. It was nice to talk about it....thanks, and all that...”


She looked at him shyly before saying “Yeah, anytime...”


The young Sirius looked awkward for a moment before he leant in and gave her a soft, lingering kiss on the lips.


They both blushed violently when he stepped back and stared at each other before he stammered “Er-sorry, I d-didn’t mean to do that. Um –it’s definitely best we don’t mention that either. I’d die if anyone knew. Ever.


She looked incredibly hurt for a moment before saying coldly “You’re a real git, Sirius Black. And I hate you!” and after pulling her wand out and sending a hex at him that made him yelp, she went tearing through the portrait hole in muffled tears.


The eleven year old Sirius frowned and and seemed to ponder his actions. He ran his fingers over his lips and smiled secretly to himself for a few moments, as his eyes glazed over.  He then shrugged, burst into a grin and swaggered through the portrait hole calling “Hey lads! You’ll never guess what I just did to those Slytherins!”


As the frame faded Lupin burst out laughting and cried “Is that why she hated you for so long? We all thought it was just a personality thing!”


Sirius grinned next to him, chuckling “I had such a crush on her from the moment I saw her on the Hogwarts Express and I would have died if James or the others found out. They would have teased me no end,” and he shook his head at the thought. 


"The poor little thing!" said Mrs Weasley, "You must of broken her heart!"

Sirius gave a wry smile and said “Bella and I never actually spoke about it till years later; she told me she cried for hours about how I didn't want anyone to know that I kissed her.  She said she was too embarrassed to tell the other girls but I think they knew.  We simply carried on as enemies from thereon out. But she was especially brutal towards me whenever I came within a few feet of her, for the next few years,” and he sighed before adding "She was such a sweetheart to everyone else and I was always a bit jealous of that.  It's probably why I insisted we tease them so much, to get her attention."


Lupin sighed, flushed from laughter “I’m not surprised she never told anyone about it. One of her favourite past times was berating you for your womanising; it would have killed Izzy for anyone to know she was the first girl you had ever kissed.” 


“Yes well,” said Sirius settling his arm on the back of the couch “I did happen to bring up the fact that I was the first boy to ever kiss her, sometime during second year. She didn’t react well at all.”


He answered the curious looks with “Smacked me with her heaviest textbook and told me to eat dirt and die.


They all laughed as Hermione asked suddenly “I don’t understand; you were all so against the Slytherins and everything you’ve told us points to you constantly pranking them.” She looked thoughtful for a moment before saying “I don’t grasp why you’d pick on people from your own house.”


Sirius let out a bark of laughter as he said “Easy targets!”


Lupin grinned and said “As much as I hate to admit it, they were. We were quite advanced and extremely clever in our attacks on the Slytherins. However we never failed to enjoy the complete immaturity of picking on those four girls by charming their skirts over their heads or ruining their dates by chucking stink bombs at them. But we stopped though, around fifth year.”


At this, Sirius shuddered at the thought.


“Why?” asked Fred, looking interested as George gauged Sirius’ reaction and asked “What did they do to you?”


Lupin chuckled and said “They got even. Got back at us.”


“They got back at you?” questioned Harry, “How did they do it?”


“Well how about we show you? That’ll wipe the smiles off their faces!” said a would-be venomous voice from the blank frame; their cover was blown by the trademark giggling at which Ron sighed, and performed an exaggerated eye roll.


“Well right you are then ladies!” said Sirius gathering himself up, “Show us your defeat!”


“Oh! So rude!” sniffed the voice, before the frame became a blur of colour and settled on an empty Gryffindor dormitory. 

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