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 Chapter 19: Blame It On the Changes

 

Saturday January 15th, 9:57 am

 

Remus, Peter and I sat in the stands all of us anxious for the result of the game. Nial was sitting next to me and he kept looking at me oddly as I kept flinching from the uncertainty of the game. Today it was finally the last game of the year, Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw. All of Gryffindor was in the stands waving flags and cheering happily, but the three of us sat rooted in our seats wondering what was going to happen if James threw the game. Would everyone be able to tell?

 

James had been practicing like normal, training them for this game, not letting up. Sirius had come back from Quidditch practice every night complaining, bruised and sore. I could tell he was slightly relieved that the Quidditch year was ending. James was a tyrant as a coach and as much as Sirius loved James he despised him as captain and his need for perfection on the field.

 

The players came onto the field and the look on James' face showed that he was more nervous than confident today. Sirius however looked his usual casual self as he strode onto the field, his walk demanding attention. The game quickly started and I watched in silence, my eyes darting around the field, moving so fast I felt like I hardly blinked at all.

 

With a loud roar Gryffindor scored it's first goal of the game. I pulled myself up and cheered. I saw Sirius look over at me and he gave me a proud smile and winked before returning his attention back to the game.

 

Thirty minutes later Gryffindor was still in the lead with us having 60 points and Ravenclaw having 20. I grew more anxious as the time passed and the snitch hadn't been seen. Ravenclaw was in possession when I heard a voice from behind me.

 

“Your house is really dragging on this match,” came Snape's lengthy drawl.

 

I turned my head around and met the gaze of Lucius, Regulus and Snape. They hadn't been there at the start of the game and I only wondered when they had gotten there. “It's a good match and Ravenclaw is playing better than I've ever seen them.” I replied cooly as Nial looked at me oddly and back at Snape, curious of the odd exchange.

 

“If this game doesn't end soon I'm going to be forced to create a distraction,” Snape snarled. He then leaned down and hissed in my ear, “your boyfriend Black seems like the perfect distraction. I could just flip him off his broom with a simple curse. Distractions seem to work against your team.”

 

I turned around os fast that I felt a sharp pain in my neck. “You wouldn't dare, Snivellus.” I said vehemently.

 

Snape gave me a cruel smirk as he looked down at me. “Don't think I wouldn't.”

 

I felt my blood boil as a pressure built up inside of me. Before I realized what I was doing I turned around and threw my body on Snape, pining him between the bleachers as I punched him in the face as hard as I could.

 

“If you lay one hand on Sirius I'll make sure you never walk again,” I said as laid one punch to his face after the other.

 

Snape then reached up his hands and threw me off of him. I stumbled over the bleachers and fell, hitting my head on the end of it. I could feel blood running down my face but I didn't care. I just knew I had to get Snape out of the pitch before he hurt Sirius. I stood up and marched towards Snape with my wand drawn, I could see Remus running towards me but ignored him as he yelled at me and Snape to stop. I raised my wand and started yelling 'confundo' right as Snape sent a spell of his own. Our two spells collided and during their impact they burst sending me flying backwards. My back was thrown against a wall and I heard something crack right before I blacked out.

 

I felt like I was waking up from a nightmare. My chest felt heavy and my eyelids struggled to open. I heard distant voices around me as I struggled to awaken from my stupor. I battled against my heavy eyelids and slowly they opened. The voices became more clear and I heard someone yell, “she's waking up.”

 

I then felt a pressure on my hand and realized someone was holding it. Slowly I opened my eyes and images swirled in front of me like I was looking through a heavy fog. I blinked a few times and the images became more clear. I looked to my right and saw Sirius hovering over me, holding my hand, with a relieved but still fearful expression on his face.

 

“Avery,” Sirius whispered as he brushed back my hair and rested his hand on my cheek. I leaned into his hand like I always did and he smiled. “James can you get Pomphrey,” Sirius said as he looked up. I heard James' feet walk in the distance but didn’t turn my head from Sirius.

 

“What happened?” I asked in a hoarse voice.

 

Sirius's eyes clouded over before he spoke, “you and Snape got into a fight. There was an explosion and you were lifted from the ground. You looked like a rag doll as you soared in the air.” Sirius grimaced and shook his head from the memory. “There was so much blood, Merlin Avery, I've never been so scared in all my life.”

 

“Blood?” I asked confused.

 

“You cracked the back of your head open really bad. I've always heard head wounds bleed a lot but once you actually see it,” Sirius drifted off as his face paled. “Why the hell did you start with Snape, Avery?” Sirius's voice raised and he looked angry now.

 

“He said he was going to hurt you,” I explained. “He said he was going to throw you off your broom as a distraction. I couldn't let him hurt you, Sirius.”

 

Sirius looked like he wanted to smile but his face remained stony. Pomphrey came bustling into the room then and shoo'd Sirius away. I didn’t' realize until now that there was gauze wrapped around my head and as she unraveled it my stomach lurched at the site of my own blood.

 

“It looks like your head is almost healed,” Pomphrey said as she examined my cut. “I think you'll be fine. Try and get some food in you, you’ll be a little faint from losing blood. If a headache is persistent please don't be afraid to come back.” I nodded my head as I sat up in bed and swung my feet off the edge. “Oh, and Miss Muze, please try to stay out of trouble.”

 

I laughed and nodded again, feeling slightly dizzy from all the movements but pushed through it and stood up. Sirius was immediately at my side as he grabbed onto my hip and helped me move. Peter moved to help me but Sirius pushed him away saying that he could do it by himself.

 

We slowly made our way to the common room, Sirius keeping me up and balanced and the rest of the Marauders were trailing behind us. Once we reached the common rooms Sirius set me down on the couch and sent James and Peter down to the kitchens to get me food.

 

“Sirius, you don't have to baby me, I'm fine.” I said tired of how he was treating me.

 

Sirius gave me a stoney expression as he looked at me. “Avery you don't realize how it was seeing you like that. You weren't moving, surrounded by a puddle of blood, your blood. Your face was so pale and you wouldn't respond, how do you think it was for me, seeing you like that.” Sirius ran a hand through his hair and stormed around the common room, people started casting him curious glances. His face grew frustrated and I thought he was going to yell at me. “I thought you were going,” he swallowed loudly. “I started imagining what my life would be like without you, and I hated that the fact that thought crossed my mind. I never want to think about what my life would be like without you.”

 

I stood up and walked over to Sirius, wrapping my arms around his neck. I felt him melt into me and breath as if he had been holding it in since the accident. “I'm sorry,” I whispered.

 

“Don't start fights anymore, okay?”

 

I nodded into his shoulder, “promise.” Sirius drew back from me smiling finally and kissed my forehead. I then remembered where I had been when the fight had happened. I looked around the room and no one was celebrating. “Did we lose?”

 

Sirius shook his head and smiled, “nope, we won.”

 

“Then why isn't anyone celebrating?”

 

“The captain and second in command were in the hospital, wouldn't be much of a party without us, would it?”

 

“I'm sorry to have ruined the celebration,” I said feeling like I'd ruined a lot in terms of Quidditch lately.

 

Sirius smiled and kissed me, “don't worry about it love.”

 

I jerked slightly at the fact he said love. I know he wasn't saying I love you, but it seemed like anytime someone said the word 'love' I would react. I didn't bring up the fact that Sirius had inadvertently said he loved me and he didn't even seem to realize that he had said it himself.

 

There has been no other slip ups since then and the event was never mentioned so I left it go just thinking he accidentally said it. Although every time I thought about the fact he had told me he loved me, accident or not, I felt my heart lurch and was waiting for him to say it again. There was a chance that Sirius Black loved me, that he could love me, it was a hard concept for me to grasp.

 

“So what's going to happen now that you won the match?” I asked remembering the deal James had made with Snape.

 

Sirius shrugged, “don't know yet. Haven't run into Snape or any of them, but James and I are going to be on the prowl. Make sure you're with someone all the time, okay? I'm afraid they're going to do what they did last time,” Sirius paled at the memory of the incident at the forbidden forest.

 

“Maybe I should hire a body guard.” I responded cheekily.

 

“Or maybe you should stop being so accident prone.”

 

“Well if that's the case I better stop hanging around you guys, you seem to cause trouble wherever you go.”

 

Sirius laughed and kissed me again. We were interrupted however by James storming into the common room a look of pure fury on his face.

 

“Prongs, what's wrong?” Sirius asked immediately going over to his friend and pulling him towards the couch to sit down. James shrugged Sirius off and remained pacing in front of the fireplace.

 

“I'm going to kill Snape, I swear to Merlin, I'm going to take that greasy gits scrawny neck and wring it with my bare hands.”

 

“James it's not a big deal, I'm fine.” I said thinking the problem was my fight with him earlier.

 

“It's not about that,” James spat at me. “He went and told McGonagall about our midnight rematch.”

 

“What!” Sirius exclaimed.

 

“Yes, he told McGonagall and now we've been forced to forfeit the game and Quidditch Cup.”

 

“Snape is going to bloody pay,” Sirius said curling his hand into a fist, a murderous look on his face.

 

I reached out and grabbed Sirius arm hoping to lesson the rage coursing through him. It seemed like he didn't even notice my touch. I felt his entire body stiffen as he breathing became shallow. “I have to go do something,” he said before storming out of the common room.

 

“Should I go after him?” I asked James, fearful for what Sirius was going to do to Snape.

 

“No, Snape deserves whatever he's going to get.” James said before going up to his bedroom. I looked nervously to the portrait door, waiting for it to open and reveal Sirius but nothing happened. Feeling useless I walked up to the dorm room. Inside Lily and Heather were sitting on the floor painting their toe nails and reading Witch Weekly. Heather gave me an icy glare once she saw me but said nothing. I couldn't believe she still wasn't over the fact that Sirius and I were dating. She had gone to Slughorn's party with Sirius, it's not like they dated or anything.

 

Lily looked up at me and jumped to her feet. “Avery are you okay? I saw what happened, your head, is it okay?” Lily asked in a rushed voice.

 

“Yeah, I'm fine.” I said in a tight voice.

 

“What's the matter?” Lily asked in a confused voice.

 

I explained to her about how we had a midnight match against Slytherin, to which she muttered that James should know better than to play quidditch after hours and unsupervised. Then I told her how Snape had ratted them out and her face became hard.

 

“Where's James?” Lily asked me.

 

“He's in his room, although I probably wouldn't go see him right now, he's in a foul mood.”

 

“I don't care, I have to make sure that he doesn't do anything irrational and hurt Severus.”

 

“What!” I exclaimed. “You're concerned for Snape, why?”

 

Lily hesitated as her hand reached the doorknob, and when she spoke her voice was barely above a whisper. “Severus was a childhood friend of mine, I can't just forget him and let bad things happen to him.” Without a second glance back she threw open the door and walked downstairs.

 

I stared after her and debated on stopping her, no doubt her going to go defend Snape was not going to make James' mood any better. Realizing this wasn't a matter for me to get involved in I threw off my uniform and changed into my pajamas, exhausted from all the events of today. I crawled into bed and opened up my book of poetry.

 

“So why aren't you with Sirius?” Heather asked breaking the silence. I looked up from my book at her and but she wasn't staring at me, she was flipping through her copy of Witch Weekly. Talk about passive aggressive.

 

“He needed his space,” I responded dismissively, hoping she would drop the subject. Of course she wouldn't.

 

“You'd think he would want his girlfriend there.”

 

“Yes, well as his girlfriend I know when he needs his space, so I'm respecting it. Maybe if you had learned to do that you would be his girlfriend instead of me.”

 

“You're so cocky now,” Heather sneered. “Think your special because you're dating Sirius Black?”

 

“No,” I said casually as I tried not to let her spiteful words hurt me. “But I must be better than you if he couldn't even stand to be around you for more than twenty minutes at the party.”

 

Heather scoffed and looked like she was going to say something in return but decided against it. She then got up from the ground and walked into the bathroom, immediately hearing the shower turn on. I sighed closed the drapes around my bed. I laid back and thought of how much longer I would have to deal with Heather for. This was the first time she'd talked to me, and I had thought the glares she was sending me were bad, apparently I was wrong and it could get worse.

 

I had closed my eyes with intentions of going to sleep when I heard a scratching at the door. I got up slowly out of bed as the scratching persisted. I opened the door and didn't see anyone, I looked curiously down the stairs and was confused until I felt a nudge at my legs. I looked down and saw a dog with grey eyes looking up at me.

 

“Sirius!” I whispered as I looked to the bathroom and made sure that the shower was still running. “Get out,” Sirius titled his head and looked at me with his tongue hanging out. He then walked past me and hopped into my bed. He settled in it and curled up into a ball, his tail wagging happily.

 

I walked to my bed quickly and drew the curtains around us. I grabbed my wand and performed a silencio charm. Sirius started to slowly transform from a dog into his human form. “What are you doing here?” I demanded.

 

“I missed you,” Sirius said giving me puppy dog eyes, making it hard to differentiate between his human form and animal form.

 

“You stormed out of the room only an hour ago. Speaking of which, what did you do to Snape?” I asked inspecting him for any visible signs of a fight.

 

“Nothing,” Sirius said lounging back in my bed. “I just walked around, I needed to blow off some steam.”

 

“Nothing,” I said in a disbelieving voice. The way Sirius had acted right before he left the common room was just barely short of murder. “You said you had to do something and then you stormed out of the common room looking like you wanted blood.”

 

Sirius shrugged casually, “I decided against it.” I raised an eye brow unsure if I believed him or not. “Stop looking at me like that. Just come here,” Sirius said tugging on my arm. I sighed and gave up questioning him, if he had done anything it would come out tomorrow.

 

I crawled towards Sirius and rested my head on his chest.

 

“So Valentines Day is coming up,” Sirius said after a moment of silence.

 

I laughed against his chest, “it's three weeks away Sirius, a little early to be talking about it.”

 

“I just need to figure out what to get you for Valentines Day. If you give me a suggestion now you may forget your suggestion and think the present I give you I thought of myself.”

 

“How about you just get me a pearl necklace to match the earrings.”

 

“I liked you better when you were quiet.” Sirius said jokingly. I pushed him away from me giggling and he grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him and kissed me. “I'm just kidding,” Sirius said as he picked up my hand and kissed me finger tips one by one. “You know how much I care about you, right?”

 

I looked up at Sirius and I stopped breathing. I felt the weight of his words fall on me as they left his lips. I found myself wondering if he was going to say the word love again. The thought of it alone sent my head spinning and my heart beating so fast I thought it was going to come out of my chest. If he said it does that mean I had to say it in return? Did I feel the same way? How do I know if I'm in love?

 

Sirius smiled and pushed my hair behind my ear. “I remember the first time I really saw you, not just as a girl passing me in the hallways or someone who was in a few of my classes. It was when James first deemed you his girlfriend. He had kissed you and you immediately fell from your chair. I remember laughing in spite of myself and then I looked at your face. It was a mixture of confusion, humiliation, ignorance, and loneliness. I don't know why but at that moment I felt an immediate sensation flood me like I needed to help you, not just help you but become a part of your life.

 

“Then I realized as I grew to know you that I also needed you. Your quietness, the way you observed people, it was a trait I'd never acquired personally. My life has always been loud, with one thing after the other, never slowing down. You taught me to slow down, appreciate things, appreciate people. I watched you with the rest of the Marauders, how you reacted to them. You cherished your friendship with them, not because of who we were and how people would talk about you if you hung out with my group, but because you cared for them, for me. With you I see a future, I see something to look forward to. No matter what happens, or what changes I know I need you in my life.”

 

I waited as the last words left his mouth. I was expecting three small words to follow after them but none came. I found myself disappointed, like it was a broken promise. I pushed past my disappointment and looked up at Sirius. His grey eyes met mine and I couldn't believe for a second that I was complaining about the fact he hadn't said I love you. Here I was laying in the arms of Sirius Black and I was complaining about him not saying words he might not even mean yet, words I've deluded myself into thinking he felt.

 

I'm really concerned that I may have hit my head too hard growing up as a child.

 

A/N: Ooooh my gggooooddd sooooo much fluff! I can't even handle it myself, I'm sorry if some of you vomit. But I felt like I wanted to explain how much Avery means to Sirius. I tried to end it with a bit of humor to diffuse all the fluffiness suffocating my story, but I think it may be more awkward than funny. Ah well. I can only try. Hope you guys liked it, although I'd understand if you puked :P So I know these chapters have been super mushy and blah blah blah and the next one will be as well but after that it will be less mushy so please bear with me :)

 

And a big thanks to solitaireclay07 who listened to me gripe about writing fluff and giving her input, she was a huge help. Thanks :) And if you haven't already checked out her story Nobody Sees Me Wishing you should right NOW because it's amazing! But first review my story and then check out hers :)  Now, I'm going to basic January 18th for 2 1/2 months for the air force so I'll be gone but Im having someone else post my chapters for me :)  Your reviews won't be answered until March but they WILL be once I'm back!

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