The evening was damp and gusty along the Thames. A boat floated alongside the shore, crashing up and down with the waves, just strong enough to keep the boat from sticking to the sandy bottom below. It had a name written along the side, it’s lettering faded red. “Clark.”
A simple name for a simple boat.
A rolling fog began settling in the air as darkness descended. A deep, brooding fog, the kind that made your hair stand on end.
Off in the distance, from the direction of a simple boat floating along the Thames, a girl cried softly in the night.
Fifteen minutes past nine.
Heart hammering behind her flowery white nightgown, Arya Geller huffed in annoyance as she grabbed an armful of items and hugged them tightly into her chest. The pile was so high she couldn’t see where she was walking so she reached one foot out and let it glide across the carpet until it collided with something hollow and sturdy; her school trunk. She let out an angry sigh as she dropped her items into the trunk.
Books, quills, parchment, socks, robes… A lot of clothes, most of them unfolded and possibly even dirty. She didn’t care, time was running out and she had so much to find still.
“Why would he steal my alarm clock?” Arya bit her cheek in anger, continuing to toss clothing and books into the trunk. Of all the antics Sirius Black had played on her over the years, this was by far the worst. “He knew I wasn’t packed yet,” she continued on, her voice growling louder with each word. She pouted as both anger and sadness filled her.
Sirius knew she wasn’t packed yet for school. He knew because he had been with her the night before. He showed up after sunset, throwing tiny pebbles at her window to catch her attention. “Psst, Arya.” She let him in. She always let him in.
“Sirius,” she had sighed, glaring down at her clock. “It’s late and I still need to pack!”
“Arya, this is our last night,” he insisted. Their voices were barely above a whisper. He flopped himself down on her bed and began tossing a small heart-shaped pillow up in the air and catching it. “Then we’re at Hogwarts again.” He pouted.
“And I can’t go to Hogwarts without clothes, or books, or anything.” Arya tapped her foot impatiently.
“Fine,” he groaned. “It’s fine. I mean, you could alway wake up super early and pack. Why does it have to be now?”
He looked innocent there. Staring her down with his puppy-dog eyes and blinking slowly, a pout still playing on his lips, with a heart-shaped pillow grasped tightly in his hands.
Arya sighed dramatically. “Scoot over, you little manipulator.”
He was quite the manipulator. And, apparently, still a hellraiser since he had snuck out before morning broke, but not before stealing the alarm clock meant to wake Arya up no later than seven so she could pack.
Arya grabbed one more pile of socks before nodding with satisfaction. Whatever she was missing, she decided, she could get her mother to send later in the week.
She pushed down the trunk lid with all her might but it still wasn’t enough to get the clasps to latch. Growling impatiently, she crawled on top of the trunk, forcing as much of her weight down as she could. Barely, just barely, the latched finally grabbed. Arya wiped away her sweat and grabbed ahold of the handle before pulling it out of the room behind her. She let it drop behind her with each step as she descended the staircase. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.
“Arya, could you please lift that thing?” Mrs. Geller scolded from the bottom of the staircase, wincing with each thud.
Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. “We’re running late if you hadn’t noticed!”
“Well if you hadn’t slept in so late,” Mrs. Geller chided, pulling on her jacket.
Arya almost retorted, but stopped herself. She couldn’t let her mother know she had let a boy sleep over. Without permission. In the same room. “I- well I forgot to set my alarm clock.” She swallowed hard, for a brief moment she had completely forgotten about the alarm clock incident.
We might have to speed just a bit to get there on time.” Mrs. Geller grabbed the trunk out of Arya’s hand and wheeled it outside to load it into the car. Arya followed behind and helped her mother heave the trunk into the back seat.
“Alright, let’s get you back to that Hoggy school again,” Mrs. Geller joked, smiling. Her smile wavered, however, as she looked upon her daughter.
Arya swallowed hard before grabbing a hold of her mother’s hand. “I don’t have to go back, you know.” Nearly two weeks ago there had been an awful incident involving a family of Muggles. Arya couldn't bare to think about it but it kept resurfacing at the most inappropriate times.
“Oh don’t be ridiculous!” Mrs. Geller shook her head in protest. “Of course you do.”
“Mom I’m of age now. I turned seventeen this summer, I can do magic outside of school I can protect you!” Mrs. Geller smiled stiffly, letting go of her daughter’s hand to brush Arya’s hair behind her ears.
“We’ll be fine here,” she said, nodding solemnly.
“I know you can’t see it, but there’s a war, mom. And it’s getting worse, every day you’re in danger.” Arya stood her ground as Mrs. Geller tried leading her toward the car. “I don’t have to go!”
“This war isn’t happening in our front yard, Arya,” Mrs. Geller soothed. “Nothing will happen to us. Your education is important. I won’t let you stay here, neither will your father.”
“You’re Muggles. You won’t stand a chance,” she whispered, tears filling her eyes as she spoke.
“And last week a Muggle family was tortured,” Mrs. Geller spoke softly. Tears spilled over Arya’s eyes. “I know, I found your newspaper in the trash. But that won’t happen to us.”
“You don’t know that.”
“No, but I know you’re meant for far greater things than sitting at home and babysitting your parents.” Mrs. Geller pulled Arya toward the car again. This time Arya allowed it.
“Just promise you’ll write to me,” Arya sniffed. “Every day. Twice a day even.”
“Yes of course.” Mrs. Geller pulled Arya in close and hugged her tightly. She gingerly kissed the top of her head before pulling away and smiling widely. “Okay, Hoggy place it is then!”
“Hogwarts, mom,” Arya said with a roll of her eyes, forcing a grin onto her lips. “Hog. Warts.”
“Arya, your face is all red,” a sandy-haired boy by the name of Remus Lupin commented as he looked over Arya, who had collapsed into the seat next to his.
“Thank you for your statement, Remus,” Arya scowled. She took in a deep, rattling breath before continuing. “For some reason, my alarm clock didn’t go off this morning. Which resulted in me rushing to get here. I literally sprinted onto a moving train, Remus. Sprinted. I don’t do sprints.”
The train was picking up speed. Outside the window houses began zooming by, they were already out of the station.
“I’ve never seen you move faster than a slow walk, if we’re being honest here,” a chubby boy named Peter Pettigrew piped in.
“Exactly!” Ayra said with an exasperated sigh. “And would you all like to know why my alarm clock didn’t go off?” She sat up in her seat to glare at the boy across from her. “Sirius, any idea why my alarm didn’t go off this morning? Any? Idea?”
“Why I never!” Sirius pretended to be offended but his smile kept breaking through his act.
“Well here’s another question.” Arya sat herself up in her seat, still glaring at the boy in front of her. “Any idea where my alarm clock is? It appears to be missing.”
Sirius continued to fake innocence. “I’m most certainly not a thief, Arya!”
“You two are dating again?” The voice of a small red-headed girl filled the compartment. Lily Evans was standing in the doorway, already dressed in her Hogwarts robes. “You two always bicker when you’re dating.”
“We don’t date,” Sirius sighed dramatically.
“We hang out,” Arya continued. “You know, as friends.”
James Potter, best friend to Sirius, came over with a sudden coughing fit that sounded mysteriously like the words “with benefits.” Sirius shrugged his shoulder as Arya rolled her eyes, falling back into her seat. “Can we help you with anything,” James said, leaning forward in his seat to give Lily one of his award winning smiles.
“Certainly not from you,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “However, Remus,” she turned to look at the sandy-haired boy. “The Prefects are in the first two compartments, will you be joining us?”
“Oh well then perhaps you can help me after all,” James interjected, jumping up from his seat. He dug in his pocket before pulling out a pin that read “Head Boy” across it. “Seeing as I’m head boy this year.”
Lily’s mouth dropped open and her cheeks began to burn red with fury. “But- What? I mean, how-” She shook her head quickly. “No, that’s impossible.”
“Nothing is impossible, Lils.” James puffed out his chest proudly. “Ol’ Dumbledore must see the good in me. And seeing as you are head girl, we will be spending a lot of time together this year.” James grabbed Lily by the arm and pulled her away from the compartment, mumbling about how absolutely shiny his badge was.
“That poor girl,” Arya sighed. Remus laughed quietly, following the pair down the train to their. “Anyway, back to serious business-”
“You mean, Sirius business,” Sirius said with a smirk, pointing to himself.
Arya glared before continuing. “No one thinks that joke is funny anymore, you know.”
“What? It’s hilarious!”
“Sirius, you need some ground rules.” Arya ignored his last statement. “You knew I wasn’t packed and you decided to steal my alarm clock? I didn’t think it was very funny. Can you agree to never steal my stuff? Ever again?”
“Sirius,” Arya warned.
“Arya,” Sirius taunted back.
“I’m not playing this game with you, Sirius!” Arya growled. “I was almost late for the train today. Because of you! What would I have done if I completely missed the express?”
“Fine, fine,” Sirius yawned. He kicked his legs out in front him and and relaxed back into his seat. “I won’t touch your clocks anymore.”
Arya sighed heavily, defeated. “It’s a start, I guess.” She kicked back as well, pulling an old edition of “Witch Weekly” open. “But one of these days you’re going to have to grow up a little bit.”
“Of course, but that won’t be for a long, long time.” Sirius let a smile play on his lips as he rested his head behind him.
“I can’t believe it’s our last year here,” Arya whispered during the sorting ceremony. “I mean, this is it. After this we have to actually do things with our lives.”
“Stop being sentimental Arya,” James hissed. “Or you can’t sit with us anymore.”
“Only one more year to grab the attention of a certain little red head,” Arya pouted. “After this she is gone. She’ll be fighting for world peace and you’ll be playing keep away with the Muggle police, probably.”
“Oh,” James said with a sad look of realization on his face. He rounded on Sirius. “She’s right, mate. It’s almost over, I can feel the seconds ticking by.”
“Oi, what do you want me to do about it?” Sirius asked, slowly inching away from his friend.
“You’re my wingman,” James said, nodding solemnly. “You’ll help me right?”
Sirius sighed heavily and turned to glare at Arya. “Look at what you started!”
Arya shrugged her shoulders and turned around to watch the rest of the sorting ceremony while the two bickered. She was overcome with sudden sadness. This was her last year to get it right, her last chance to win over Sirius Black. She was over being his friend, and over being a friend with benefits. This year would be the year that Sirius would her boyfriend.
The word sounded foreign to her, but she couldn’t deny her heart any longer. She had strong feelings for her on again off again friend. Strong feelings.
Author's Note: Thank you for reading! This is my introductory chapter so things will start heating up soon! My intentions with this story is to make teenage pregnancy as realistic and believable as possible, but adding a bit of the Marauder troubling within because who doesn't love those boys? I hope you continue reading!
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