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A/N: WARNING: Lots of lovie-doviness ensues. Max and James spend some quality time together (hehe..keep in mind the Mature rating here), and Max has an awkward run in with Sirius :) Hope you like it!

The club is bright with colored, pulsing lights and full of dancing animals. I say animals because, well, some of their dance moves are way too strange to possibly be human. “You want a drink?” James asks, breaking me from my reverie. “A non-alcoholic one, of course.”

“Sure, why not.” I follow him to the bar, where he gets himself a shot of something nasty looking, and me a club soda. It’s a bit flat, and not very cold either, but I sip at it anyways, while taking in my surroundings. It’s really crowded in here—people are really getting into the music, grinding and dipping and swaying, sweaty and drunk and alive. The band is a good one, with a loud guitar and a lead singer who looks like he belongs in a fashion mag.

“Dance with me?” James asks adorably, taking my hand in his and flashing me a dimpled smile. I smile back, and let him lead me on to the crowded dance floor. We’re right up at the front by the speakers, where the crowd is the thickest. I’m a good dancer, and now that I don’t have to worry quite so much about my lungs hurting, I can really let loose. I drop low, swing my hips, raise my arms, wriggle high, James’s body working against mine, desperately trying to keep up. My hair is wild and free, and I’m so happy, and I’m not even thinking about the future right now. Just about dancing with James.

Halfway through the next song, I suddenly realize that people have backed up from me, forming a dance ring, and are cheering me on. I beam, embarrassed but glad to be the center of attention. Hey, it’s in my nature. I take my dancing up a notch, and the song is so good that eventually everyone joins in again and we’re all dancing, pressed up against each other.

“Max, I’ve got to take a break. Get some fresh air.” He kisses me, and then pushes away through the knot of people. I keep dancing, enjoying myself too much to stop now. Soon I feel someone’s hands on my hips, and I turn, just in time to come face to face with none other than…


Well. Who knew he could dance.

“Mind if I join you?” he asks, and there’s something so innocent and childlike in his voice that I can’t help but say yes. “I never knew you liked to dance,” he comments offhandedly, his eyes twinkling.

“There are a lot of things you never knew about me,” I respond. He just shrugs. “Listen, Sirius, I know you want something…just spit it out.” He opens his mouth, closes it, then opens it again, and takes my hands in his. We’re the only two standing still now, with everyone else moving all around us.

“You mean a lot to all of us. I just wanted to officially tell you that you’ll always have a friend in me, in all of the marauders, and that all of us will help you solve this…mystery of yours. And I also wanted to apologize. I know I can be a bit of a git sometimes, but I never mean anything by it, you know that right?”

I’m speechless; I never expected this. Not in a million years. I’m so touched, I lean forward and kiss him lightly on the cheek, smiling softly. “Thank you, Sirius. That really means a lot to me. Honestly.” He’s just looking at me, an odd expression on his face. Then he shakes his head, smiles, and is back to his old mischievous self again.

“What do you say we give these people a show?” he asks, and we begin to dance again.

Eventually even I need a break, and it appears that things are beginning to wrap up anyway, bandwise. I’m getting a nice, cool drink of water when I sense someone behind me. When I turn, I’m surprised to see that it’s the lead singer in the band that’s just played. He just stands there, looking appraisingly at me for awhile, before taking a step closer.

“Er…do you need something?” I ask uneasily.

“Max! It’s me!” he says. His voice is raw from performing, and I can see why girls think he’s sexy. Wait a second, did he just say…

Holy hell.

“Mr. FRANKLIN?” I ask, my eyes practically beginning to bug out of my head.

Trust me, you do not know awkward until you run into your teacher who is wearing eyeliner and supertight pants. My face is bright red by now, probably because suddenly I am having some very impure thoughts.

“Side job,” he explains, shrugging. “I’m sorry, is this awkward?”

“Uuuhhhhhhh…” Thanks brain, for being here when I SORTA KINDA NEED YOU.

“You were dancing pretty well out there,” he continues, slinging an arm around my shoulder.
Personal. Boundaries. Crossed.


“But should you really be out here? Shouldn’t you be resting?”


“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Live each moment like it’s your last! Ooooh…bad choice of words there. My b.”

Did he just say…yeah. Not even going to go there.

“Well, seeya around, Max. Take care!” He gives me a quick hug that leaves me about to faint from heat overexposure, and then leaves without a backwards glance.

Well. I’ll be damned.

“Do I want to know?” James, who’s just come up, asks.

“Uhhhgghmmm…no, probably not,” I manage to say. “Hey…where’ve you been? You ran off!”

“Oh, I was just…I had to do something.” He’s blushing, a faint smile on his boyish face. “Actually, I was wondering if you wanted to come to my house with me. My mum is working all night, and my dad’s away, so we’d…have the place to ourselves.”

“Oh, I s-see,” I say, my heartrate speeding up. “Won’t your mom worry about us?”

“Nah, she’s not expecting us back. I told her I’d get you back to the hospital first thing in the morning, though.”

“O-okay. Okay. Umm…now, then?” I ask shyly. He takes my hand, and leads me outside to his broom.

The flight through the air is nerve-wracking. Not because I’m scared of flying—you guys all know how untrue that is—but because, well, I am going to James’s house. To his room. To his…bed? Oh, god. Breathe, Max, breathe!

“You alright? You’re hyperventilating!” James says once we land in front of his manor, looking concerned. I nod shakily.

“Fine…let’s just…go in, then.”

When we enter his room, I finally see what he was doing tonight. Candles everywhere, and clean navy sheets. I go to his bed and sit down, swallowing.

“Do you want anything to drink?” he asks

“Some water, maybe,” I squeak.

Yeah, this is gonna be good.

I’m a nervous giggler—that is to say, when things get awkward or too serious, I crack up. Like now, for instance.

“You know, I’m not sure this is helping my confidence,” James says, his mouth by my ear and one of his hands stroking up and down my bare side.

“S-sorry! Sorry! Okay, I’ll stop,” I promise, trying to make my expression a serious one. His mouth finds mine again, our tongues slow and rhythmic in each others’ mouths. His hand moves further down, and I give a little gasp of pleasure at his touch. His mouth moves to my neck, soft and hot against my skin.

“James…” I breathe, as he nips the skin there, just below the collar bone. His mouth continues to move lower, until his lips and tongue are teasing the skin just below my belly button.

I can’t help it. I start to laugh.

He growls in frustration, pulling away from me.

“I’m so, so sorry!” I gasp, laughing. “I really can’t help it!” He takes my hands then and looks me in the eyes.

“Max, if you don’t want to do this, we can wait. I don’t want to…pressure you into anything. Just know that I love you, and whatever you want, that’s what we’ll do. Do you want to wait?”

Maybe. “No. No.”

“Me either,” he says, grinning. “Just…let me know. I’ll stop any time if you feel uncomfortable.”

“Just go, you’re making me nervous!”

“Max,” he says softly, his lips so close to mine. “close your eyes. Feel this; just feel it,” his voice is rougher. He pushes me so that I fall backwards and am now lying on the bed.

Everything about his way of lovemaking is sharp and skilled—he touches all the right spots, finds all the right crevices—soon I’m gasping his name again and writhing in pleasure under his touch.

Then he’s over me, and we’re both naked, and our eyes meet because we both know what’s about to happen next.

And happen it does.

Three times, actually.

And fuck it if laughing isn’t the furthest thing from my mind right now.

“Wow,” he groans once we’re both finished. I myself am still trying to catch my breath. “Are you okay? Did I hurt you?” he asks, concerned. Now I laugh.

“Hurt me?” I ask, rolling on top of him. “I was actually gonna say, ‘Let’s do it again.’”

“Can’t,” he groans, looking exhausted. “Too weak…need food…”

“Wimp,” I grumble, then get off the bed completely. “Fine. I’ll be right back.” I head to the kitchen, a huge grin on my face, my heart so happy it hurts. I make him a sandwich then head back to the room to find him asleep. I smile, and set the sandwich down on his bedside table, then crawl in beside him and pull the sheet up over us and curl up against him.

“I love you, James,” I breathe, kissing the back of his neck. He sighs in his sleep.

If I were to die right now, I would die completely and blissfully happy.

I wake up to the sound of voices, and a slamming door. James is still wrapped around me, only now his arm is laid protectively over my stomach.

My senses are on high alert—it sounds like two or three people at least. I carefully slide out of James’s embrace, and when I’m unable to find my old clothes right away, wrap a sheet around me. The voices are much closer now—possibly right outside the door. I hear someone snicker, and then a loud, “Shhh!”

I throw the door open, and sure enough, there are Remus and Sirius and…BEN???

My face turns bright red. I step out of the room and close it behind me, trying not to wake up James.

“Go away!” I hiss. “What are you doing here? And STOP STARING AT MY TITS, YOU PERV,” I direct at Sirius, who just shrugs, grinning slightly. Remus is blushing bright red, and my brother looks furious.

“YOU SLEPT WITH HIM?” he yells, only in whisper format.

“What else would we be doing at his house, in his room, ALL ALONE?” I ask.

“Wizard chess,” Remus suggests.

“Exploding snap,” Sirius adds.

“Leap frog?” Remus asks, definitely laughing now. I glare at them both.

“Haha, very funny. Now could you all please just—“

“Oh. GOD, what have I done? I leave you alone for one second…”

“More like three hours, actually,” I say smugly.

“So…how was he? Compared to your others, I mean.” Sirius asks, his wicked eyes blunt and slightly challenging. When I blush and don’t respond, Sirius’s expression faulters. “You have had sex before…haven’t you?”

“No, actually, not that it’s any of your business,” I say icily, my face burning. “Thanks for thinking I’m the world’s biggest slag, Sirius Black.”

“Does he know? James?” Remus asks softly. I shrug.

“Does it matter?”

“He took your virginity, max. I think it matters.

“Okay, this is just getting wrong. I’m sooo out of here.” Ben heads away, looking like he’s about to be sick.

“Yeah…ummm…right. Laters, Max.” Remus hurries after Ben, leaving me alone with Sirius. And he’s looking at me in a very strange way right now. I clear my throat uncomfortably.

“What you said before…about you helping me…thanks again. It really…really means a lot.”

“You’re my friend, Max. I sorta love you.” He says, blushing slightly and shrugging.

“I sorta love you, too,” I respond, grinning. “I mean, you can be a bit of a man whore, but I do love you. And Remus, too.” I lean forward and give him a hug. At first he’s unresponsive, but then his arms wrap around me, heating my skin through the thin sheet. The really thin sheet…

Oh, fuck.

“It fell down, didn’t it,” I say, still hugging him.

“On the contrary, I believe it’s feeling quite perky at the mo—oh. You meant your sheet. Yeah, it’s down. Waaay down.”

“Well, this is awkward. I’ll just…” I try and pull away, but he’s pulling me more tightly against him, sighing in longing into my hair. “Sirius!” I hiss, swatting him away and yanking my body out of his grasp. “Why are you acting like this?” I quickly pull up the sheet, but not before Sirius gets an eyeful.

“A month in a half,” he responds. “I haven’t had sex for a month in a FUCKING HALF. I’m dying here Max!”

“Bad word choice, buddy.” Sheesh, this just keeps getting worse and worse. I let out a nervous giggle.

“Well…why?” I ask, rather lamely.

“That’s none of your—okay, I’ll tell you,” he says, changing direction mid sentence. “I have a crush on this one girl at school, but she hardly knows I exist.” He looks at me, almost shyly.

“I’m sure that’s not true,” I snort. “Everyone knows about you, Sirius. You’re kind of hard to miss.”

“She’s…I mean, it’ll sound really bad…but Jimmy did…and then…”

“Spit it out already! Is she in Slytherin? Oh, hell…it’s Eira, isn’t it! Oh, Sirius,” I say, feeling terrible for him. “Eira is really funny, and sexy as hell, and I totally get why you have a crush on her, but you know you can’t act on it, right? I mean, Jimmy…”

“Did you just say she’s sexy as hell?” he asks.

“That would be the only thing you took out of that,” I say, rolling my eyes. “You know, just because I ackowledge the fact that another woman in sexually attractive doesn’t mean I want to fuck her.”

“Shush, you’re ruining my fantasy.”

“Perv! Now shove off! I was feeling sorry for you, but now I’m just sort of pissed.” I’m about to turn and head back into the room when Sirius stops me.

“What if it isn’t Eira I have a crush on? What if I like someone else, who’s not even in Slytherin?”

I blink. “Err…I’m really not sure what you’re trying to say…”

“Oh, never mind then. Laters, babe.” He grins cheekily and saunters off. I frown, shrug, then reenter James’s room.

Well, that was certainly strange. Very strange.

Imagine my surprise when I walk in to find James already sitting up in bed, wide awake, his dark hair adorably mussed and his naked, toned chest completely exposed.

I crawl back into bed beside him, letting the sheet covering me slip away.

“Hello, my lover,” I say in a deep, vampire-esque drawl. He smiles briefly. “What’s wrong?” I kiss him gently on the shoulder.

“Oh, nothing. I’ve just been thinking…I sort of heard your conversation before. Do you think…do you think Sirius fancies you?”

I’m completely dumbfounded by this.

“Sirius? A crush? ON ME?” I ask. “Hell, no.”

“Yeah. Maybe you’re right.” He turns fully towards me, and pulls my body against his in a strong hug. “I love you,” he whispers, kissing me lightly on the lips.

“I can feel that,” I laugh. He groans, embarrassed.

“I’m sooorrry! I have an extremely sexy girl pressed up against me naked in bed. Plus, it’s the morning.” He adds. “What do you expect to happen?”

“So I turn you on?” I ask slyly, stroking one of my hands up and down hi side. He shivers under my touch. I place my mouth on his, and we kiss hungrily for what feels like forever. He pulls away much later, a content look on his face, his lips swollen and cheeks flushed.

“I love kissing you,” he says, stroking my hair.

“Right back at you. So, hey…what about this Christmas ball thing that’s coming up? Describe them to me.”

“There’s really no much to say. It’s pretty much as bunch of rich, old Wizarding families whose political views side with my parents’. A lot of them are friends from their jobs. Sirius and Remus are coming for sure; I’m not sure about Peter. He’s been growing distant lately.” He looks troubled by this. I reach up and smooth out the crease between his eyebrows.

“Who else?” I ask. “Anyone from school?”

“Not quite sure…usually the Jordans and the McKinnons make an appearance, though. I was thinking maybe we could branch out a bit this year and invite…well, the Evans, and maybe Jimmy and his family as well.” He sounds uncomfortable.

“Jimmy? I didn’t know you guys were really friends.”

“Well, since he’s been hanging around at the hospital quite a bit lately. I thought maybe it would be good to get to know him a bit better. I mean, we used to be mates. What about Lily? Do you have a problem with her coming?”

“No…it’ll be awkward, but then again these things usually are, right?" I laugh nervously. Jimmy there, without Eira.

I’m not going to lie and say that my feelings for Jimmy have gone away completely. I mean, I know I love James, but with Jimmy there’s just this damn attraction that won’t go away.

And Lily…and dressed up like a goddess. James’s first love. Here. Dateless.

Oh, this is gonna be fun.

“We still have another week or so till the party, though. Hmmm…I guess I should probably call mum now so she doesn’t worry. Now that I can walk,” he says dryly. “I mean, this whole conversation just completely killed it.” he looks slightly disappointed.

“Sorry,” I say. “Love you. Say hi to your mom for me.”

“Okay. I think I’ll just apparate there—do you think you’ll be okay here for a few minutes? I can go pick up something for breakfast.”

“Sounds good.” I watch as he stands, and stretches, his lean muscular form near perfection in the glow of the morning sun. He pulls on some pants and a polo top, slips on some shoes, and runs a quick hand through his hair in that obnoxious way that I love.”

He bends down to give me a quick kiss on the forehead.

“Love you, Max. Be right back.”

“You’d better be.” With a crack! he’s gone, and I’m left alone in the bed. I decide to find something to wear—I settle on an oversized button down top of James’s. I brush my teeth with my finger and some toothpaste (oh, come on, we’ve all done it), wash my face off with cool water, and brush my hair until it gleams again.

“Max?” Oh, I guess he must be back already. I open the bathroom door and there he is, carrying two steaming mugs of cocoa and some yummy looking pastries.

“That didn’t take long,” I say, taking one of the mugs from him and sitting down in a brown leather armchair. “Was she worried?”

“Nah. Like I said before, she knew we’d be out all night. She didn’t know why,” he clarifies when I start to look panicked. “Hey, I was thinking…you only have to be back at the hospital by two now, according to mum…what do you say we go on a date and then…make our own fun?”

“A date, huh? And where exactly would this date take us?”

“I was thinking…well, Washington, if you wanted to.”




A/N: PHEW! That chapter took AGES to write. I don't really know what I think of it, because I'm having trouble concentrating right now (OOO, A BUTTERFLY!), so when I tried to read over it I think I sort of zoned out--not a very good sign. Boring? Too sappy? Let me know in a review!!

Next chapter you can look forward to the trip to Washington!! Are you excited? :)

Oh, one more thing...was that not the most awkward sex scene EVER? Yeah, I'm not the best at writing love scenes, as you can probably tell :P

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