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We broke apart as quickly as we had come together. I stared at James in shock and he gazed back at me. With so much going on around me, my mind remained completely blank.

“You frustrate me.” James spoke up after a moment then, with a firm hand on the back of my neck, kissed me again. His kisses tasted like cinnamon, and they were urgent – as were mine. This confusing thing that was happening was something that, at this moment, we both needed.

“I’m not exactly fond of you either.” I said breathlessly, breaking away from him to catch my breath for a moment. We clashed together again, and before I realized what was happening, I was squeezed between the wall and James. My hands raked their way through his hair as I kissed him with an angry intensity. He responded by lifting me up, and I wrapped my legs around him.

We were both panting heavily when I threw off my sweater and James loosened his tie. My hands moved on their own and began unbuttoning his shirt. Fistfuls of my hair were clasped tightly in his left hand, and his right supported my lower back.  In between deep, gasps of breath, his shirt fell to the floor and I kicked off my shoes. It was unlike anything that I had done before. My head felt light as I continued to mold myself into James’ strong body. This was obviously an escape, for both of us. There was no rational reason for us to be this close, this intimate, this passionate.

I think it was the passion behind James’ kisses that really threw me off. And it was the passion behind my kisses that completely shocked me. Who would have thought that behind all our awkwardness and anger towards each other was this?

Well… perhaps some people would have been able to spot it, but I sure as hell hadn’t.

The fact that a party full of our peers only a floor beneath us made this secret meeting much more exciting, more exciting than any meeting that Sirius and I ever had. Shit, Sirius. He was the last thing that I wanted to think about right now. He was probably in a coat closet somewhere penetrating my cousin.

James pulled back, his eyes still serious.

“You’re thinking about Sirius, aren’t you?” I gasped.

“No.” I said, and pushed him forcefully onto the bed. He fell on his back with a light thump. “Well. Maybe he crossed my mind.”  James laughed, a deep laugh that gave me goose bumps. I rubbed my arms as he reached out for me.

“Are you thinking about Lily?” I asked him as I sat down next to him. Me, Hope Khol, sitting on James Potter’s bed. His bed at home. Absentmindedly, I patted it. Nice, and soft.

“She may have crossed my mind, too.” He said with a sigh. “But I don’t think she would throw the fit that Sirius would if he saw you here, as much as I wish she would.” I rolled my eyes at his sad face.

“Sirius doesn’t have any right to throw a fit.” I paused, biting my bottom lip. “Not that he would.  I don’t think he really cares.” As the words were coming out of my mouth, James leaned in and kissed me again. We fell back onto the bed, and James wrapped a blanket around the two of us, bringing us closer together. I watched his chest rise and fall above me, and slowly began to peel my tights off. Our lips were locked once again, the unexplainable passion overpowering both of us.

Before I realized what was happening, the door burst open. James and I looked up in surprise.

Sirius Black stood in the door with a positively murderous look on his face. His wand was pointed in his hand, directly at the two of us. Remus and Peter stood on either side of him, flanking him like guards, their nervousness etched into their expressions.

“What in the BLOODY HELL is going on up here?” Sirius yelled, his throaty voice making me blush.  With five of us in the room, the silence seemed unnatural. The vein in Sirius’ neck was throbbing, as it always did when he was angry. “Hope, James?” He prodded.

“We were just getting some firewhiskey.” I sighed, scooting away from James. My movement was pointless, as James was without a shirt; I was without tights and both of our hair looked absolutely windblown. More windblown than usual, since neither of us would ever win a neat hairstyle contest.

“You’re supposed to be my best mate!” Sirius yelled at James. “And you go and sleep with her?” I blushed and blew my bangs out of my face.

“Honestly, Sirius,” I interrupted. “We didn’t sleep together.” I paused, carefully. “I’m not like you, you know.” Sirius turned to me, ignoring James for a moment.

“Do you like him?” He asked, jerking a thumb at James. I shrugged.

“I think you know the answer to that question.” I said, and Sirius’ eyes widened. Obviously not. “No, Sirius, no.” I sighed. This was uncomfortable to say the least. Of all the people to get caught with, and of all the people to catch me! I kept the thought in my head that I hadn’t actually done anything wrong. “I was just lonely.” I whispered, staring at the floor.

Quicker than normal, Sirius was at my side. Kneeling, he took my hand in his. I attempted to ignore his presence, as well as that of James, Remus and Peter.

“I’m really, really, really sorry Hope.”

 “Why are you here with Tabitha then?” I interrupted before he could continue with his excuses. “I mean, you keep saying that. ‘I’m sorry, Hope’ and ‘Forgive me, Hope.’ ‘I didn’t mean it, Hope.’ But you’re still with her. And she’s my cousin, as much as I despise her. I’m not going to go behind my cousin’s back with someone that she seems to really care about. So, go ahead and enjoy her because you’ve just exhausted me.”

There was silence. Remus took this as a moment to usher Peter of the room, leaving Sirius, James and myself alone. I wrapped my arms in front of me and gazed at Sirius. Before I realized, my feelings were falling out of my mouth and directly at him.

“I’m not just some girl that you can have on the side, you know. I think that after all we’ve been through I deserve a little better than that. I mean, I know I didn’t want to date you, to put a label on us but that didn’t mean that I didn’t care. You seemed to think it was easier to believe that I didn’t care at all, like that made it easier for you to go running back to Tabitha every time something went wrong. Why’d you even go to her in the first place, when nothing was wrong? Did you want someone more public, was that it? I just don’t understand why you would treat me like this when we’re supposed to be friends.”

Sirius looked like I had been feeling all of Christmas Break, and I knew that my words were finally, finally, hitting him. He was finally getting it – that he had crushed me and that a part of me was now guarded, more guarded than usual, because of him.

“So I come to this party because, I don’t know, I thought after all that happened maybe something would be different. Maybe you actually did care. But we can’t even make it to the New Year without my fantasies being crushed. So yeah, I got together with your best friend because we were both so depressed, so shattered, that we needed some sort of physical comfort. Don’t you understand, Sirius?”

Both boys stared at me, the looks on their faces filled with pity. For once, I wasn’t ashamed of it. It was nice, to have the people who treated me badly realize that they had done wrong. The pity on their faces read to me as guilty. Sirius, and James, were finally feeling guilty for the hurt that they had caused.

“I think I’d like to go home now.”  I mumbled. James stepped forward from his bed.

“I can take you.” He mumbled back, looking down at the ground. I shook my head.

“I’m fine, really.” Sirius interjected.

“It’s late, and it’s my fault that you’re going. I’ll take you.”  I looked up at him, looked into his eyes and smiled softly. Nodding, I followed the two boys as they lead me to the door.

“Aww, is little Hopeless tired? Wants to go home to Gran and Pop?” I heard Tabitha’s cruel voice in the background, a singsong quality to it. I ignored her, but in front of me Sirius turned around.

“Tabitha.” He said sternly, and she froze. “We’re over.”

“What?” She screeched. I rubbed my temples and shot James a look. Was this really happening now? All I wanted was to get home, go upstairs to my room, lock my door and go to bed until I had to be back at school. But no, Sirius bloody Black had to make a dramatic scene in order to prove himself to me. “SIRI? Whyyy?” Her nagging voice made my head hurt.

“Because.” His voice was still stern. He grabbed my hand in his and dragged me out the door, leaving Tabitha at the house with a murderous look on her face. I wrestled my hand out of his grasp.

“Sirius, no.” I grumbled, cranky. “Just because you end it with her, doesn’t mean it can start with me.” I paused and he looked at me with concern. “Don’t you get it? I don’t trust you.”

He mulled this new thought over in his head for a moment, before an angry look crossed his face.

“I shouldn’t trust you either, Hope. You’ve made out with my best friend twice, and it looks like you were on your way to bigger and better things tonight.” His face twisted in frustration. James watched the scene unfold from the sidelines, his hands forced awkwardly in his pockets. “Why don’t you take her home, since you two were getting along so fabulously earlier?” Sirius spat the words at his best friend then stormed off – not back into the house but down the street and into the night.

I felt the tears welling in my eyes and didn’t even realize that they were falling until James used the sleeve of his sweatshirt to wipe them off. With it, I’m sure, he took most of the eye-makeup that wasn’t already smeared across my face.

“I’m sorry.” I gasped through sobs. “Can I go home, I really just want to go home.” I began mumbling incoherently, my tears falling heavily. James nodded.

“Here, you’re not afraid of flying, are you?” He asked, carefully. I shrugged; I had never flown before on a broom so I didn’t really know.

“I don’t think so.” I mumbled, tears falling steadily. James nodded.

“I’ll stay low.” He paused, getting his broom out from underneath his porch. “And I won’t go fast. Just hold on tight, and close your eyes.”  He hopped on the broom and held out his hand to me. “Come on, Hope, I’ll take you home.” He ushered to me and I stepped towards him carefully.

I closed my eyes tightly as he kick-started us up into the air. The breeze of the night dried my tears against my face as they fell. James’ breathing was steady and comforting, and my arms were gripped around his hips tightly. After what seemed like mere minutes, he stopped in mid air. I cracked open an eye to realize that we were floating in front of my attic bedroom window. James turned around to face me when he didn’t hear me move.

“I thought…” He stumbled over what to say. “You probably wouldn’t want to see your grandparents tonight.” I nodded and reached out an arm to open a window. I crawled in and was relieved to find my feet stablely on the ground.

“Can you…” It was my turn to stumble. “come in, maybe?” I didn’t really understand what I was doing; the words seemed to be speaking without my brain thinking them first. “I don’t really…” This was uncomfortable. “want to be alone tonight.”

James nodded, and I knew he understood. Honestly, I don’t think he wanted to be alone either. Stepping off his broom, he climbed through my window. Exhausted, I shed my dress and scooped up my sweatpants and tee shirt from earlier. Jack meowed happily from my pillows when he saw me, and quickly stumbled to the foot of my bed to allow me room.

I curled up into my blankets, and breathed in the familiar scent. I heard James rustling, and felt him slide into bed next to me. He lay down on his back, his arms folded outside the blankets. We were both silent, and I let out a heavy, shuddering sigh.

“I wish you were Sirius.” I said into the darkness of my room. I make out his shadowed outline nodding in the dark.

“I wish you were Lily.” He said into the dark, and we both slowly drifted into sleep.

“Hopeless? How was the… oh my!” My body jolted awake when I heard my grandmother’s voice enter my room. I blinked my eyes open to find myself wrapped up in the arms of James Potter, who was also beginning to stir.

We both shot away from each other when we were awake enough.

“Gran! Uh… This isn’t… I’m, he’s… This is James Potter.” I sighed, finally giving up. My grandmother smiled at the two of us.

“Lovely, I just wanted to let you know that it’s time for breakfast, Peter’s downstairs already eating. James, did you want to stay and eat?” I slapped myself in the forehead and James looked awkwardly under pressure. When she didn’t receive a response right away, Gran smiled. “I’ll make an extra plate!”

She pattered down the stairs, leaving James and me alone in this awkward situation.

“My head hurts.” I grumbled. James nodded in agreement. “Last night…” I began. “At the party, it didn’t… mean anything, right?” James looked surprised, but nodded again.

“We were just…” He paused, searching for the right words. “Upset.” It was my turn to nod.

“So after breakfast, things will go back to the way they were before? With the… grunting,” Oh Jesus, that sounded wrong. “And the… glares?”  James smirked.

“Things will go back to the way they were between you and me, Hope.” His smirk turned into a frown. “You and other people, I can’t say.”

Oh, right. The memories of last night flooded back to me, causing my head to pound even more than it was already. Jack jumped out from under the bed, meowing loudly and snapping me back to the present situation – in which James Potter was sitting expectantly on my bed.

“Let’s get breakfast.” I said wishing to change the situation and quickly changing the subject at the same time.

When we got downstairs, Peter was sitting at the kitchen table with a delighted smirk on his face and a plate of pancakes in front of him. James and I slid into our seats with guilty expressions on our faces, which did little to quell the thoughts running through Peter’s pea-brained head.

“Morning, friends.” Peter said, smiling. “Have a good night?” My cheeks immediately felt heated as I began piling pancakes onto my plate. Before I could speak up however, James’ voice broke the tension.

“Wormtail, if you don’t wipe that smirk off of your face and bury this subject then I swear to Merlin it will be the end of you.” James’ face was serious as he cut into his pancakes, pointing his knife intimidating at one of his best friends.

I’m pretty sure Peter just wet his pants.

hi! i hope you are all enjoying the story, i love hearing what you think!

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