James burst through the portrait hole into the Gryffindor common room where the others were waiting expectantly.
“So? How did it go? Did you get it?” Alex looked up hopefully.
James shook is head to be met with three pairs of disappointed eyes and one pleased.
“I told you, you wouldn’t,” Remus said.
“What happened?” Sirius asked in a beaten down voice.
“I’m sorry, he didn’t want to give it to me,” James huffed, “he said the restricted section was just for the N.E.W.T. students.”
“What are we going to do now? We need the permission slip for the books,” Peter said.
“Could we make a fake?” Sirius suggested.
“I doubt it. We can’t do anything magic can’t detect.”
“Then, we’re out of ideas,” James said, throwing himself in an armchair next to the fire.
“Damn! I was sure Slughorn would do anything for a member of the Slug club,” Sirius said, punching through thin air.
“That’s where you’re wrong…” Alex said suddenly, a new hope gleaming in her eyes.
“What do you mean, Alex?” Sirius said, catching on that they had a new lead.
“It’s not going to work, just drop it,” said Remus desperately.
Everyone ignored him, their eyes focusing on what Alex was saying.
“James you said we needed to know everything about Slughorn, well what does he love most, besides caramelized apples?”
“His little stars in the making or the Slug club as he likes to call them,” James answered immediately.
“But we already tried that. He refused to give me the permission slip, I don’t think there’s anything more I can do,” James shrugged.
“That’s not what I was saying. He’s already got you, you are in the Slug club.”
“What are you saying?” Peter asked.
“I’m saying he wants someone new. Someone who escaped his sugar-covered fingers, someone with a rich family background and a lot of influence, but who didn’t want to join his club…” Alex said and graciously turned her head to look suggestively at Sirius who was following the entire conversation.
“What? Me?” he yelled.
“You are brilliant!” James yelled giving her a rub on the head.
“No way,” Sirius shook his head.
“But Alex is completely right! If you offer Slughorn your presence at the parties, he’s sure to give you the permission slip,” James encouraged him.
“But that means I have to suffer from stuffy dinner parties for another four years,” Sirius contradicted in despair.
“Come on Black, be a man. We’re doing this for Remus over here!” Alex told him.”
“I don’t need you to do anything,” Remus commented.
“Argh! Fine, I’ll do it,” Sirius groaned, giving in.
“But make sure to phrase it in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re giving him an ultimatum. Slip it in gently. He is a smart guy, so I’m sure he’ll figure it out, but still, put it on the table gently.”
Sirius nodded along, grunted here and there and then murkily stared at the fire.
“Well? What are you waiting for? Go!” Alex ordered, giving him a small push.
“You want me to go now?” he asked bewildered.
“What do you think? The sooner we get the books, sooner we can start trying to become you-know-whats,” she said, looking around to make sure nobody was listening.
Sirius got up grudgingly and climbed through the portrait hole without another word.
“He sure seems happy about this,” Remus noted dryly.
“Oh, shut up Moony! Soon you’ll have four friends running about with you at night,” Alex told him.
“What did you just call me?” Remus laughed.
“Moony,” Alex shrugged, “It’s my new nickname for you. You know-the moon and your thing,” she laughed.
“I like it,” James agreed, “from now on you shall be referred to as Moony.”
“You guys come up with the strangest things,” Remus looked bewildered, but didn’t say anything to stop them, knowing it wouldn’t help anyway.
Sirius made his away along the Hogwarts corridors still annoyed that the others made him do this, but he wanted to help Remus, so he gritted his teeth and went along.
Slughorn study was in the dungeons and Sirius plastered a wide fake grin on his face as he knocked on the door.
“Yes? Who is it?” Slughorn opened his door.
“Good day, professor, mind if I come in? I wanted to talk to you about something.”
Slughorn nodded and stepped away from the threshold so Sirius could enter.
“You know master Black, your fellow prankster, that James Potter was just here, not an hour ago,” Slughorn commented and Sirius could see very well that he found this very suspicious and was on high guard for anything weird that could be going on.
“Oh really?” he faked his surprise, “I only wanted to come along and pass some good news to you in person, sir.”
Sirius knew very well how to butter-up the middle-aged professor without it seeming too obvious.
“And what is that, my boy?” Slughorn now sat down in an armchair and was visibly more at ease, now that Sirius made it clear there was not a prank somewhere behind his façade.
“I wanted to tell you how very sorry I am not to have attended your last dinner party,” Sirius fought his urge to grimace, “I have thought it over and I will definitely be present at any further pleasant little gatherings you will choose to host,” he gave him a gracious smile.
Slughorn didn’t find it at all suspicious at Sirius’s sudden manner and he immediately jumped up with joy.
“That is indeed wonderful news! Oh yes, now I shall have both of the Black boys. I must tell you how pleased I was when your younger brother Regulus was sorted into my house this year. Such a wonderful addition to Slytherin.”
Sirius’s face darkened noticeable, but Slughorn didn’t seem to notice.
“Would you like something to drink? A piece of caramelized pineapple perhaps?” the professor asked, his eyes twinkling with joy.
“I am most sorry, but I am in a hurry.”
“In a hurry? On a Sunday? You kids really are a hard working bunch,” he chuckled to himself.
“But before I go, could I ask you a small favor?”
Slughorn stopped what he was doing and eyed the boy closely, realizing that this all along was probably the cause for the unannounced visit.
“Yes? What would you like?”
“Professor I am extremely interested in the art of becoming an animagus. It is my wish when I grow older that I could work at the ministry in the area specified exactly for this. Would you be so kind to sign this note, saying I could borrow some books in the library? It would mean so much to me, if I could start educating myself now,” Sirius said his already planned words.
He could see the calculations going on in Slughorn’s head. The professor, although not seeming so at time, was indeed quite smart and right now he knew that signing the form was the only way to get Sirius into his Slug club. Of course there was the dilemma between doing the right thing and getting what you wanted. Slughorn knew that in times of need Sirius was a trustworthy and smart boy, but nevertheless, he did have the tendency to do something stupid and mischievous.
Sirius held his breath as he awaited for the older man’s answer.
“And you’re sure you need this for purely academic purposes?”
“Well, yes professor and you see I came to you, because you’re the only one who would understand such a thing.”
These words triggered something in Slughorn’s mind. Just a few years ago a similar boy came to him asking for information, he was just as smart and charming, but Slughorn knew what he was slowly becoming now. He shuddered and pushed the thought away. Sirius was nothing like that.
“Ok, my boy. I will sign it, where is the permission slip?”
Sirius sighed in relief and handed the small piece to the professor.
“Thanks a lot, sir,” he said and then disappeared out of the study in a flash.
Slughorn sighed and fell back into the large armchair. Did he just repeat the same mistake?
“Who’s the man?” Sirius said proudly as he walked into the common room and waved the small piece of paper in front of everyone’s eyes.
“You got it!” Alex shrieked excitedly and threw herself into his arms, giving him a quick hug.
“Indeed I did,” he nodded.
“Well done, mate,” James congratulated him with a big pat on the back.
“How did you do it?” Peter asked.
“I just told him that I will join his club and then asked him for the signature. I’m sure he knew it was a kind of bribery, but I got it and that’s the important part, right?” he asked, grinning wildly.
“So phase one is finished,” James agreed happily.
“When shall we go and get the book?” Alex asked.
“I’ll go a bit later,” Sirius said lounging comfortably into the big armchair.
“Is anybody in the mood for a game of chess?” James asked, bringing out the pieces from his bag.
They all nodded along.
“Let’s make a small tournament, shall we?” he suggested.
They quickly set up the chess-pieces and assembled the players. It was Alex vs. Peter first and she won without a problem, Remus also beat Peter so he was out of the game and now Remus was playing James.
“James is sure to win,” Sirius whispered to Alex as they were sitting next to each other.
“James is the king at chess,” Alex nodded.
“Except for me, of course,” Sirius disagreed giving her a lopsided grin.
“Modest much?” Alex commented.
“It’s not bragging, if it’s the truth,” he answered solemnly.
“Black, you really think of yourself as the best thing that’s happened to this world, am I right?”
“More like the god’s gift to the people, a salvation in a time without awesomeness, I had to come along to show the world what brilliance truly is, but yes, you’ve basically got it right,” Sirius laughed.
“You are just so full of yourself,” Alex snickered.
“You know Alex, someday you’ll understand how lucky you were to be sitting here with me. Do you know how many girls would kill to be in your place?” he asked her with his deep gray eyes.
Alex knew that Sirius was attractive and lots of girls were waiting in line just to get a smile. He was just so damn arrogant and she knew he had a good heart, but at moments like these he annoyed the hell out of her.
Sirius continued his speech: “Look at yourself, you really should count yourself lucky, here I am talking to you,” he put his hand on her thigh, “Sliding my hand up your leg,” he did as he said, “Your in a special position, use it.”
“Ew, Black get your playboy hands off me, ok?” she slapped his hand away and he cringed.
“Oh come on Alex, all you have to do is let yourself fall,” he gave her a seductive smile.
“Are you kidding me Black? I spend every day with you; don’t you think I’ve seen you use these lines on at least a billion girls? You really think I believe you?”
“Sorry, just checking, if they still work,” he gave her a goofy grin now.
“Oh, please. The only people that fall for this are girls like Tiffany and Sheila.”
“Don’t lie to me Taylor, I’ve still got it. I practically saw you swooning, you were begging for a kiss.”
“Argh! Never!” Alex said, moving just a bit further away from him.
“Hey you two! Would you please move your heated discussion somewhere else? I’m trying to focus,” Remus told them.
“Sorry Remus,” Alex said, getting up, “I think I’ll go and borrow the book from the library,” she snatched the permission slip off the table.
“Ok, I’ll come with you,” Sirius said, also standing up, “you guys look like you’ll be playing for a while,” he nodded towards James and Remus.
Alex shrugged and walked out, followed closely by Sirius.
“So are you happy we got some alone time?” Sirius whispered as soon as they were out of earshot.
“What the hell are you taking about, Black?” Alex looked at him.
“Now we can go somewhere private and you know “talk”,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively and putting his arm around her waist, pulling her in.
“I am definitely not going to be doing any “talking” with you, except for the one involving my tongue,” Alex realized what she said, just as the words escaped her mouth.
“Well then it looks like you’re up for it, let me just see if I can find an empty broom cupboard,” Sirius said, looking around.
“Damn it! I didn’t mean it like that and you know it,” she said, pushing his arm away from her waist.
“Then what do you propose we do?” he asked.
“I’m thinking we do what we actually came to do-we’re going to get the book from the library,” Alex said dryly.
They walked in silence for a couple of minutes and then Sirius turned around swiftly as a fit blond walked by.
“Did you see the girl on that ass?” he whistled and then made a suggestive move with his body.
“Ok, Black, you seem to have mistaken me for one of your guy friends, so let me make it very clear to you: I am not James. You do not talk to me about asses and what you’d like to do with them,” Alex told him sternly, “Geeez, seriously, what is up with you today? Your hormones are over the roof,” she ran her hand through her hair.
“Oh, I’m sorry Alex, I didn’t mean to offend you,” Sirius said, sliding closer to her, “And trust me I would never mistake you for James, his rack isn’t half as nice and yours,” he grinned wildly, knowing just how to push her buttons.
“Could you stop it?” she said, rolling her eyes.
“I was just trying to pay you a compliment. I saw that you got a bit jealous as I checked out that hot blond.”
“Jealous? Who do you take me for? Please, go ahead, run after her. That’s one less problem I have to deal with.”
“Taylor stop being to defensive,” he said as they turned a corner, “I know you want me.”
“Oh really Black, how do you know that?” Alex asked sarcastically.
“Well first of all that hug before…it was clearly more than friendly.”
“I think it must be wishful thinking, because I would never hug you in any other than friendly way, believe me. It’s just like when I give Remus a hug.”
“Well except that I’m much more of a man, than Moony,” Sirius chuckled.
“If by man, you mean a man-whore than you’re right, you’re like the Tiffany of the guys.”
“Hey, Tiffany’s not that bad,” Sirius defended her.
“You’re just saying that because she snogged you.”
“Multiple times,” Sirius added proudly.
They got to the library and after the librarian -Mrs. Monocle- stared at the permission slip for about ten minutes, they finally got the book.
“Now we can finally start preparing for becoming an animagus,” Alex whispered excitedly as they got out of the library.
“Yes and how about I find us a nice comfy broom cupboard to celebrate in?” Sirius casually slipped into the conversation.
“Black, for the hundredth time, I do not and will never want to make out with you in a broom closet.”
“Ok, I understand Alex. Is the room of requirement more to your taste?”
Alex groaned in desperation: “That is enough Black.”
“Oh come on! Don’t be such a prude!”
“I’m sorry, if I don’t feel the need to snog every guy I see!”
“I don’t snog every girl I see!”
“Oh really?” Alex gave him a questioning look.
“No, just the hot ones!” he raised his hands defensively.
“You are unbelievable.”
“Unbelievable sexy, maybe?”
“Unbelievably annoying,” she concluded and stomped away leaving him in the middle of the corridor.
“You know you love me, Taylor!” he shouted behind her and started catching up.
“Right now I hate you,” Alex told him, still not turning around but continuing her power walk back to the common room.
“Well in that case, I hate you too, but you know what they say: hate turns to passion.”
She turned around now and hissed, seriously angry by now: “Now listen Black, if you make one more, and I mean ONE more suggestive comment, movement, joke, sarcastic observation or anything similar, I swear, I will turn you into a tiny little fly and then I will…”
“Am…Alex…” he said, shying away at her rant.
“No, listen to me! And then I will make a frog eat you and then I will stomp on that frog with my foot and enjoy every second of it, understood? And if that won’t be enough, I will…”
“Shut up, woman!” he shouted.
“No I will not shut up! I have enough of this!” she shouted back at him, still they were both starting to laugh slightly, but were determined not to show it, “So anyways, or I will make sure that you can never have babies and that your sperm are harmed to an unrecognizable extent and do you know how I will do that? I will…”
At that moment his lips slammed into hers as she tried finishing her sentence and she struggled to mumble something against his mouth.
“Shut up Taylor,” he said.
Then he pushed her behind a tapestry, away from the corridor, pinning her beneath him and grabbed her wrists also holding them up against the wall. Alex told herself to do something, to stop this outrageous behavior, because she was not just another girl in his line that he could snog when he felt like it.
“Black…let…go…” her cries weren’t heard between his ravenous kisses and she soon gave in, not trying to fight him anymore.
Alex didn’t know how long they stayed like this, his body pressed against hers, totally absorbed in each other. Her mouth openly explored his and she heard him moan slightly in pleasure, but when he did, she finally realized just what she was doing.
She opened her eyes, not even remembering when she closed them and then pushed him off suddenly.
“Taylor, I though you said you’ll never make-out with me,” have gave her a wicked smile, “well, your actions beg to differ.”
Alex looked around, panting slightly, trying to get her thought organized. What had just happened? And why in the world did she kiss back? Then she turned to face Sirius:
“Why did you just do that? Why did you kiss me?”
“Well you wouldn’t shut up,” he laughed.
“That was stupid…I mean what we just did.”
“If you say so,” he said, still smiling, telling her he didn’t mean it.
“I am serious Black!”
“No, I’m Sirius,” he repeated his joke.
“Stop it! Let’s agree that this was just something that happened in the heat of the moment and we’ll never talk about it again, ok?”
“As you wish,” Sirius nodded.
“Let’s go back now,” Alex said, but neither of them moved, still tracing each other’s figures in the dark hiding behind the tapestry.
“What are you waiting for?” she pressed on again.
“I could ask you the same question.”
“Let’s go,” she hurriedly pushed him out into the corridor and they walked as nonchalantly as possible back to the tower, although Alex though it seemed more than obvious that they’d just shared a heavy make-out session.
“So? Is it out turn to play yet?” Sirius said cheerfully as the entered the common room.
“We finished twenty minutes ago, where were you two?” James asked suspiciously.
“Oh, nowhere,” Alex waved it off, sitting next to Remus who was now reading a book.
“Did you at least get the book?” James asked.
“That we did,” Sirius said, putting it on the table.
“What are we waiting for then? Let’s start reading,” James said, opening the old book on page 1.
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