made by the fantastic bittersweetflames@tda
A/N: So…this is it. My first response to a challenge. Hope you guys like it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. Most of this belongs to J.K. Rowling, and the rest to John Green.
She was his secret, his solace. The half-blooded girl across the street, who lived in indiscretion and oblivion. Whom his parents knew nothing about, and how he intended to keep it that way.
They would spend hours together, hours forever, under the nearby old gnarled tree in the soft green grass, staring up at the sky, divining sense from the clouds. That one was the wand he would possess one day. That one was the spell she would produce one day.
That was their infinity they spent together those years. But alas, some infinities are bigger than other infinities*, and their happy, oblivious one was about to draw to a close.
And, funnily enough, it would all come down to one word of a
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"Not a single Slytherin won’t be scared of me," Sirius boasted. "I’ll be the bravest Gryffindor in the world— along with you, Remus and James— oh, and I suppose Peter too. All those cold-blooded snakes will cower in sight of Sirius Black, Lion Avenger". Aria would scuff him on the head and tell him he was being ridiculous. The boys just nodded excitedly.
Sirius and Aria both agreed that no one could know that their friendship had began its efflorescence before Hogwarts, as it would make Sirius’s family suspicious. "You’re so lucky," Sirius had once confided in Aria. "Your family doesn’t care what you’re up to." Aria had shrugged.
"I guess. But it would be nice for them to care every once and a while." Sirius had raised his chin arrogantly.
"You don’t need them to care for you. I care enough for everyone." She had smiled.
"I’ll care for you too."
But suddenly, Sirius realized that he couldn’t keep his promise, because on the ground was a stool and on the stool was a pale Aria and on a pale Aria was a hat that had just bellowed out to the whole wide hall and the whole wide world: “SLYTHERIN!”
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But the Hat hadn’t, hadn’t it? It had yelled out “RAVENCLAW!” like they had both expected it to, and the smell of candle wax was making Sirius hallucinate because this was clever, intelligent, eye-of-an-eagle Aria in question, the one who made his lungs laden with laughter, not sly, malignant Aria. And so Sirius closed his eyes, wishing and wishing and wishing that his ears were wrong and his heart was right.
But the world rarely cares for our wishes, as Sirius found out when he opened his eyes and saw his amazing Aria walking in shaky steps towards the cheering table adorned with the dreaded green and silver.
And his heart sank far too deep.
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Later in his life, Sirius would ponder why exactly he treated Aria so horribly after the first meal and the first plunge. Was he mad at Aria, angry at the Sorting Hat? Was he petulant in the face of the cruel Universe, which had taken away his dearest friend? Or was he simply disgusted in himself for not noticing the cunningness and ambition in Aria before anyone else.
Perhaps it was none. Perhaps it was all. And perhaps he would never know the answer— but that didn’t matter, because at that time there was no think, just do.
And so, for the next few weeks, Aria found herself in the constant wrath of the Marauders, as Sirius and his fellow housemates Peter Pettigrew, Remus Lupin, and James Potter titled themselves, along with all other first-year Slytherins. James had seemed to have taken a special affinity to tormenting a rather sallow-looking boy named Severus Snape— and unfortunately, Aria.
The chess game commenced, the green starting with a disadvantage, a morose number of pawns against the red army’s resplendency, being attacked and forced to regroup, just to be attacked again.
James would tear down at Aria, who would just look at Sirius with those big brown— and for the first time in his life, blank— eyes, and Sirius would look anywhere but at her.
And after a couple of weeks, those big brown eyes stopped too.
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It was late. Odd hours for anyone to be up, especially in the Astronomy Tower. Sirius, as always, was an anomaly— and tonight, he would realize, someone would join him.
So Sirius burst into the highest point of the tower, where rain hung suspended in the air and clouds were nearly indistinguishable from the ground, and he saw her, sitting with her legs pulled up to her chest at the edge, and she turned around and saw him.
And time stopped. Completely, totally stopped. Sirius was choking on silence, and Aria’s face was pale as the moon lending its light to her. Neither could move, and neither wanted to because for once, in the land where the sky mixed with ground and rain nestled inside you, there was no reason to pretend. No use to pretend that he didn’t think about her every waking day, that he didn’t notice her almost painful presence, didn’t notice all those times when the space she used to take up now conspicuously ached.
And with her deep brown eyes full of pain and question, she whispered her first word to her first friend in four years: “Why?”
And Sirius’s breath caught because why? Truth resists simplicity*, even to those it pertains to, and he just couldn’t help but think about how when two shared an infinity, if one was scarred so was the other, for he had scarred Aria and in turn scarred himself, and he wished for nothing but the wind to blow the jagged lines away. But now, he knew better.
The world does not care for our wishes.
And so he conveyed with his eyes, begging her to understand what he had understood in his passivity so long ago, and he knew she would because she was clever Aria and of course she would understand.
The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive, and Aria’s familiar soft lips, the bottom lip edged with a silver scar near the right she had earned from playing Tag with Sirius and tripping on a rock, parted to say, “I forgive you.” And Sirius suddenly found his face only a few inches away from Aria’s and closed his eyes and listened to them breathe in sync once more, a new infinity blossoming. He wanted to draw out the moment before the moment—because as good as kissing feels, nothing feels as good as the anticipation of it*.
And then their lips bumped softly, burning the tender flesh, and next were the tongues, melding together as one, and then his hand tangled in her untamable black hair and her hand in his, and their infinity rejoiced.
As he caressed her cheek, Sirius realized that it is never good to believe a person may just stand for more, because Aria was never a snake and he was never a lion, they were just both Sirius and Aria, forever and ever, and that is the way it was meant to be.
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There’s a war on. The message would pulsate through the castle, thrumming against the walls.
There’s a war on there’s a war on there’s a war on there’s a war on.
Yet it never seemed to touch the place where Sirius and Aria lay, under the gnarled old tree in the soft green grass, there heart growing and growing past bursting point. Aria’s friend, a Ravenclaw named Emmeline, never seemed to catch on, and the other Marauders just contributed his absences to the playboy title he had accumulated over the years without Aria. “The Dark Ages,” he told Aria.
She just laughed, and Sirius felt like he had accomplished the extraordinary, as he did every time he brought a smile to her luminous face.
Why are you alive if you don’t try to achieve something amazing? The point was Aria, because though outside their little infinity, nothing they shared mattered, inside, every little thing brightened her world, and in turn reflected into his. His dear walking paradox.
And Sirius grinned. Out of hope, a nebulous cloud he found himself surrounded in during his time with Aria.
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But that was Hogwarts. After, the armies were raised. Sirius was quickly recruited into the Order of the Phoenix and tried to persuade Aria to join. She refused, though, and spent her days staying under both sides’ radar, because her brilliance had not gone unnoticed. Another all-too-short infinity had withered, wasted away, and the two were separated by universes of defective stars. Letters, sometimes, just cannot be enough.
After a few weeks of their new lives, Sirius received a shock in the Daily Prophet. Among the list of casualties of the obscure war was a tiny name nestled in— “Aria Meminger”.
And there it was. The end, lost in a swirling cloud of ice and fire, and pain, and surprise, and all
Lily, James’s fiancé, and the Marauders didn’t know. No one knew. Even Aria.
Especially shining, resplendent Aria, who could make Sirius’s lungs ladened with laughter, who never cried, not once, who deserved her green and silver, but also the scarlet and gold, yellow and black, blue and bronze. She was too amazing for this world, and therefore taken out of rotation.
Eventually, he did recover. The scars, though never vanishing, did heal. The difficult questions received even more difficult answers, and their infinities were no longer secret.
Everyday now, he thinks of Aria, with the spark in her large brown eyes and the tangle in her black hair, the silver coating her tongue and a heart bigger than it’s infinity of love.
So ask Sirius, whose laugh lines contradict the sadness that still lingers in his eyes, “Do you believe in star-crossed lovers?”
He will look you straight in the eye and simply reply, “There is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars*.”, gaze off in the distance, and add, almost a whisper of an afterthought, “but there is no shortage of brilliance, either.”
*Quote by John Green
A/N: Yes, I know, I may have gone overboard with the quotes, but I couldn’t help myself! I tried to give it a bit of a poetic sense, but knowing my skill in that area, I could really use a bit of critique. Please tell me what you think in a review!
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