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WARNING: This chapter is a little filler-ish as well. My apologies to all! Please REVIEW!!!
He did return, although he brought no bouquet. When I opened my eyes, they focused on his pale features. Tension fled from him as I sat up.

“G’morning, Kat.”

I raised my eyebrows. “What happened to ‘Parker’?”

He ignored this. “How’s your elbow?”


“You, err…you were bleeding pretty badly.”

I nodded. “I suppose I should thank you for trying to help me. I was, err…a little distraught.”

At that point, Madame Pomfrey bustled over. “Miss Parker, you have another visitor.”

She pulled back the curtain, revealing–


“Hello, Kat,” he replied, his voice oddly steady.

The awkwardness was thick enough to slice with a scalpel.

“It’s…lovely to see you this morning,” I offered.

The roots of his hair turned pink. “You as well. I just… thought I’d drop by and see how you were doing.”

Black cleared his throat loudly. Tristan started at the noise, noticing him for the first time.

“Oh. Good morning, Sirius.”

Black merely stared at him.

“I-I’ll be going, then.” He was gone.

I turned an exasperated look to Black.

“What?” he defended.

“Do you have to terrorize everyone?”

He cracked a grin. “Come off it. The ruddy git was practically begging for it.”

“Oh? How is Tristan a git, exactly?”

“Well…err…you know…pffft…he…” Black blustered.

I laughed. “Come to think of it, why are you even here?”

The silence spiraled around my eardrums, intensified by his piercing gray gaze.

My frustration was mounting. “Are you trying to pull a Heathcliff or something?”

Confusion twisted his mask out of its infuriatingly impassive expression. “What?”

“Never mind.”

What little color his face possessed drained from it. “Who the ruddy hell is Heathcliff?”

I forced laughter down into the pit of my stomach. “Oh, you know: tall, dark, handsome, every woman’s dream.”

His jaw was getting tighter by the second.

“He’s abroad, you know,” I continued, “But he’ll be back soon enough.”

“Did he go to Hogwarts?” Black asked, casually.




He stood up. “You know I’ll find out eventually, Parker.”

I glared up at him, registering the renewed use of my surname. “I’m
sure that you’ll torment me as much as possible when you do. IF you do, anyhow, which I doubt you will.”

He smirked. “I have my ways.”

“Of course you do,” I scoffed.

He was at the door. “How will I know when I’ve found your precious Heathcliff?”

We locked eyes; his determined stare equal to mine.

“You’ll know.”

James gawked at me incredulously. “Heathcliff?”

“Shut up, James.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

I turned, puzzled. “How–”

“I read.”

We were in the library, skulking around the Restricted Section. (James had forged Slughorn’s signature.)

“Yes, but…aren’t you pureblood?”

“Does that matter?”

“No, but–”

“There you go.” He grinned. “Why Heathcliff, of all people?”

I thought about it. “I don’t know. I guess because…he’s infuriating.”

“Like Sirius.”

I scowled at him. “You’re repulsive.”

His smile widened. “I’m only playing, love.”

“Did you know about the Muggle section here?” James asked after a moment.


“Here. Let me show you.”

He pulled me out of the Restricted Section and into the labyrinth of Pince’s domain.

“James, where–”

In the very back corner of the library was a shelf stuffed with old Muggle classics.

“Here you are.” He pulled down a book. “Wuthering Heights. I’m sure that Sirius would find this very interesting if I–”

“Don’t you dare, James Potter.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Why not?”

“I want to watch him suffer.”

James laughed. “I’m sure you do.”

I skimmed the selection before me. Pride and Prejudice…David Copperfield…Romeo and Juliet…

“What the hell?” James held up a copy of The Hobbit.

I rolled my eyes. “Dear Merlin…”

Lily hardly ate at dinner. She just poked at her baked potato and barely touched her rhubarb crumble.

“What’s up, Lily?” Mary glanced up from her practically clean plate.


“You’re not eating,” I pointed out.

Lily half glanced down the table at James before she answered, “I…I
have to talk to you.”

“About what?” Mary asked.

“Oh…err…just to Kat, Mary.”

Mary looked affronted. “Oh. I…well, in that case–” She picked up her plate and stormed down the table to sit with Flannery Goldstein and her entourage of giggling friends.

Once she was gone, Lily leaned forward. “Do you like Sirius, Kat?”

I gaped. “Bloody hell, Lily! Of course not!”

“James told me about…you know… ‘Heathcliff’.” She drew quotation
marks around the name. “We both know that it’s complete rubbish, Kat. What the hell went through your head?”

I shrugged. “I’m sick of him one-upping me. I wanted him to shut up and go away.”

Lily laughed rather harshly. “That worked perfectly because he’s definitely going to do that now.”

“Shut up.”

“He’s really not that bad, Kat. I swear.”

“Really?” I snapped, shoving my palm into her face. “Would my hand look like a Panini grill if he ‘wasn’t that bad’?”

Lily flinched as if my scarred skin was offensive. “That happened a long time ago,” she whispered.

I didn’t respond but stared moodily at my no longer appealing cheesecake.

“I still can’t believe you haven’t forgiven him yet. Are you honestly saying that you’ve held that petty grudge for six years?” Her scornful tone was almost unbearable.

“He practically burned off my bloody hand, Lily!”

“It was in first year Charms!”

I stood up and grabbed my bag.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she demanded rather loudly.

I smirked and replied with equal volume, “To see Heathcliff.”

All week long I received nothing but penetrating stares from Black. Every now and then I’d see him rifling through the Ancestry section in the library, searching fruitlessly for his prize.

“It’s taking a real toll on him,” James confided in me in the common room after Quidditch practice one night. “He hardly blocked anything today.”

(I looked over in time to see Black hurl a copy of Nature’s Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy across the room and storm upstairs to the boys’ dormitories. )

“If you don’t tell him soon, he’ll start developing ulcers or something.”

I merely grunted.

James rolled his eyes. “You know, I’m not sure if I’m getting through to you, Kat. You are messing with his mind, and it’s screwing him up. Stop it.”

He was using that same voice I’d heard him use in the Owlrey.

I gave a heavy sigh, knowing that my game was up. “Fine.”

“Praise Merlin.”

“How, pray tell, do you expect me to drop the bombshell on him?”

He hesitated. “Very carefully.”

I shook my head. “I don’t even understand why he cares so much.”
James turned to face me, his eyes brimming with pity and affection. “He really likes you, you know.”

My eyebrows disappeared into my dark bangs as I scoffed. “Please, James. I just ate.”

He seized my wrist. “I’m serious, Kat. Sirius…he…I think he may actually be in love with you.”

I laughed. “Oh, come off it! You’re talking about your best mate, James; the one who hates me, remember? The one who bewitched me so that I spoke only in questions. The one who torments Snape with you until the ruddy cow jumps over the moon. The one who supposedly knocked up Olivia Bryant. How the hell is he capable of even thinking about love?”

James didn’t answer for a moment, but then he said, “Deny it all you like, Miss Katharina, but Sirius Black is in love with you, whether you like it or not.”

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