Ali was certainly hiding from Sirius Black. Thankfully the older boy had a little more in the way of tact however, and had not gone around the school informing people of what had happened between them. So she wasn’t dodging accusations from fellow students or receiving the back end of every Sirius Black fan girl’s wrath. She knew there would have been more than a few toes trodden on over that kiss, and at least thirty of those toes belonged within the confines of her own bedroom here at Hogwarts. 

She wasn’t sure what she was feeling, or how to deal with those feelings, and so she was taking her time to figure it out. It shocked her when Sirius had gone out of his way to find her and bypass the founder’s restrictions of boys in the girl’s dormitories. She had successfully negated him since, which really wasn’t hard when they shared no classes together. It was now Saturday morning the following week. They only had one more week of classes before the Christmas holidays began and she would be going home to see her family in their much closer, new home.

‘Morning,’ Emily smiled at her as she came back from the prefects bathroom. She seemed to be the only one in the dorm. Emily was always quite pleasant when it was just the two of them.

‘Hey. Where’s the trio?’ Ali asked, stashing away her toiletries and moving to look at herself in her mirror. She glanced over her reflection and her wet curls. Today she was in casual dress as there were no detentions on her agenda. She registered Emily’s face in the background looking a little confused at her question and had to smile.

‘You know, I can’t remember.’ Emily replied, shrugging. She grabbed the brush on her side table and dragged it through her straight, dark locks. She had a bright smile on her face as she touched her fringe absently and sighed.

‘Are you okay?’ Ali asked, genuinely concerned for the girl. She was a space cadet, certainly, but she seemed unnaturally out of it this morning.

‘Oh, fine. Just thinking about someone.’ She blinked her bright blue eyes a few times, still dragging her brush through her long, thick hair. ‘Oh, you haven’t seen my book have you? I lost it ages ago, but I can’t seem to remember where.’ Emily shook her head as her placid smile was replaced with a look of concern.

‘What book was it?’ Ali asked laying back on her bed and wondering what she could fill her day with today.

‘I can’t remember the title. But it was a little paperback novel about a witch and a muggle boy.’

‘That’s your book!?’ Ali flung up, ‘how did it end up with my books in the library that night?’

Emily slapped her forehead, ‘oh that’s where I left it! I always get so lost in the library. No wonder.’

How on earth do you get lost in the library? They’re just adjacent rows of bookshelves? Ali shook her head ridding herself of her own thoughts and sat up to access her side table. She pulled the draw open and fished out the now quite battered book. 

‘Sorry, I got caught up reading it. A few times actually,’ she admitted knowing it was unavoidable with the state it was now in.

‘Oh thank you! I wouldn’t have been able to bear admitting I lost it.’ Emily took the book back graciously and hugged it to her chest as she sat down on her bed beside Ali’s. ‘I was asked to read it because it was supposed to show me that any love is worth fighting for. But I’m terrible at focusing on just one thing. I always get so distracted.’ Emily smiled touching her fringe again, then placed the book down under her pillow.

‘I better get going. Something tells me the girls are waiting for me somewhere. If I want to find them before lunch, I should probably start now.’ She provided Ali with a bright, warming smile as she left her bed and wandered off to the door, closing it behind her. 

Ali just shook her head in her daydreamer dorm mate’s absence. At least the mystery surrounding her book was solved. Somewhat. Who on earth would have been trying to convince Emily that any love was worth fighting for? She prayed it wasn’t her cousin. Nay did seem to like her. That would have just been awkward. 

Thinking about love suddenly brought a face to her mind and she bit her lip when she registered Sirius’s eyes. What was wrong with her? She hated this boy. He was insufferable. It was a testament to the saying you do not choose who you fall for. She sighed and wondered if Remus would be in the library today. He seemed to be joining her a lot since he and Marlene had split. They never spoke much, but she always enjoyed his company. Something about Remus calmed her. A nice, calm Saturday was definitely on the cards after the week she’d had hiding out in her dorm and dodging anyone taller than her in the corridors.

She left Gryffindor tower and slowly made her way down to the third floor. When she reached the landing of the fourth however, she saw a first year dropping all the books from his bag as there was now a large rip in the bottom. It wasn’t much out of the ordinary, but when a second student ran from the corridor to the staircase, trying to hold up her dress as the straps had broken, she got suspicious. 

She narrowed her eyes and made her way down the fourth floor corridor warily. She heard a girl squeak and come running towards her with a large rip up her skirt and then she heard loud, rambunctious laughter coming down the hall. This could only have meant one thing. She rolled her eyes and kept walking. She registered Remus first, standing a little out of the way, biting his lip to stop himself laughing although he was looking at the floor and not at the commotion being made in front of him. 

Ali walked straight up to him and shook her head silently. He merely shrugged his shoulders when he saw her and continued to bite his lip. Avoiding him or not, she could not ignore such a foul act of rebellion. Aaliyah set her eyes on Sirius Black’s back from where he was crouched on the ground in the perfect position for tormenting unknowing students with Peter beside him. The two were snickering as they set their sights on a new target for their diffindo charm practice. 

She advanced with a twitching eye as Sirius flicked his wand with the perfected wrist movement and sliced another student’s bag strap, causing her to drop everything in her arms as she made a grab for her bag. Peter and Sirius cracked into a fit of laughter as Ali stopped behind them. She raised her hands to either sides of their heads and smacked the two of their skulls into each other.

‘You absolute prats,’ She grabbed them both by their ears after they yelped in pain from the head blows, and then began emitting similar yelps of pain from the pinch of her thumb and forefinger on their tender cartilage. 

‘Adams! Adams it wasn’t me!’ Peter surrendered as the two trouble makers were forced to their feet.

‘Don’t even try me, Pettigrew. I know your innocence call by now.’ She set the two of them free and they turned to meet her stance. Peter was rubbing his ear and head looking very sorry for himself. She tried her best not to look at Sirius. She really did. But as soon as her eyes wandered over to him, she swore inwardly. He looked perfect, of course. He stood tall before her, looking down at her with a devious smirk. 

‘Good morning, Adams. Fancy seeing you here.’ He spoke, dragging his fingers through his hair and causing it to fall in the most perfect way around his face. Ali felt her heart rate pick up in both nervousness and agitation. 

‘Oh such a surprise. Me turning up where terrorized students are running from.’ She rolled her eyes and felt herself almost grinding her teeth.

‘Going to give me a detention, Adams? I mean, you heard Wormtail. He wasn’t at fault. It was all me.’ The way he smiled after giving himself up made her want to punch him. She screwed up her features in excruciating anger and drew in a deep breath. Was this it? Was this what Lily was talking about? She did say she wanted to punch James as much as she wanted to snog him. Did Ali want to snog Sirius?

‘You wish, Black. Ten points from Gryffindor. Now, go annoy someone else for the day, please.’ She refused to open her eyes to look at him. The blood was pumping around her body so loudly from her elevated emotions she could hear her heart beat in her ears.

‘Nah, I like annoying you.’ Sirius replied.

‘Oh really? I couldn’t tell.’ She rolled her eyes and turned to give Remus a lecture about letting these idiots do as they pleased before asking him to accompany her to the library, where she would undoubtedly have lectured him further. But as she turned to meet the much taller, jumper clad, beanie donned boy, he was gone. When she whipped back to Sirius she realised Peter, too, had snuck off without her noticing.

‘Where- where did they go?’ She suddenly felt very vulnerable as Sirius came to stand beside her, looking down the hall in the same direction she was.

‘Oh my. I’m not sure. Those rascals. Leaving me to get in trouble on my own, again.’ He snapped his fingers in mock defeat. He then turned his head to look at Ali, who was already looking up at him. She felt a blush rise to her cheeks but for some reason she refused to look away. It was some kind of stand of wills. ‘Sure you don’t want to give me detention? I’ve been quite bad this week. You’ve missed loads while you’ve been hiding away.’

‘You- what have you done?’ She narrowed her eyes in a menacing glare.

‘Oh, many things. I sent every school owl out with messages to ministry officials reading ‘ministry never, Hogwarts forever.’ That was fun because no one could send letters all day. James and I gathered a whole bunch of live lacewing flies and set them free in the prefect’s bathroom yesterday. Evans caught us though. Wormtail and I successfully managed to enchant eight Slytherin’s quill’s to randomly spray ink in their faces. That one was my favourite, because they still haven’t figured out the counter-jinx. It’s still happening. Bartemius is one angry boy this week. Not to mention-’

‘Oh my gosh, stop.’ Ali’s fists were in very tight little balls by her sides. She was practically shaking. There was no way she could have feelings for such a boy. Such a man. He was eighteen and still acting like a five year old. 

‘Would you like to punish me accordingly, Adams?’ Sirius’s face suddenly turned very sly indeed, ‘Or would you rather… experiment?’ Oh, he was having fun. Ali quickly slapped her hands over her mouth as visions of their kiss came back to her. Her heart started beating faster. Suddenly a shiver erupted from the bottom of her spine and she turned away from him.

‘Leave me alone.’ She began walking back out to the grand staircase.

‘Hey, come back here!’ Sirius called out before she heard his shoes making hasty steps in her direction. ‘Don’t go. I’m sorry, I’ll stop tormenting you. Just stay.’ He was laughing as she turned back to him. 

‘You know, at least Cresswell made himself scarce after we kissed. Even if he was a stupid git about it.’ She stared at the chuckling boy before her, looking less than impressed. Sirius suddenly snapped out of his laughter and looked down at her, very seriously.

‘Wait. You and Cresswell? You actually kissed him?’ Sirius was frowning now.

Ali’s face suddenly felt like it was on fire. Had she just told a boy she’d recently kissed about another boy she’d recently kissed? Who was this harlot woman and what had she done with the up and coming Head Girl of the class of ‘79?

‘I- well- it wasn’t quite the same as-' did she dare say it out loud? Did she dare admit what had happened between them?

‘I didn’t think any of that was true. I roughed him up because of those accusations, Adams!’ Sirius seemed to contemplate something. But then came to an inward conclusion and merely shrugged it off. 

‘What did you do to him?’ Ali asked mildly curious and much less ready to lecture him about it than usual. Cresswell had caused her a fair amount of grief after all. He’d gone around telling people they were dating the little snot nose.

Sirius winked at her, ‘it’s a secret.’

Ali felt a bemused smile dance onto her face, ‘why would you rough him up anyway? What, were you jealous, Black?’ She humoured herself and gave off a quaint laugh at her joke. When she looked back to Sirius though, he didn’t seem to find it nearly as funny. ‘Were you?’ Ali asked again, much more seriously.

‘Of course I was.’ Sirius blinked. For a moment Ali felt like the floor had suddenly dropped five feet and her stomach was up in her throat. What had Sirius Black just said? He was jealous? He was jealous over her? She couldn’t comprehend it. She could merely blink as at least a minute passed them by in silence. 

‘I’ve wanted to kiss you for… months.’ As Sirius spoke, he stepped closer to the prefect and closed the small distance between them. This time, Ali did not step away. She just looked up into his eyes as he continued. ‘But I didn’t let onto it, because I thought you despised me. I mean, more often than not you would be cursing my existence and hollering at me like a howler. And then, out of the blue on some random day, you pull me out of the common room and kiss me. I don’t understand at all, but I’m not objecting to it. For some reason, you don’t hate me as much anymore. And- And if it’s okay with you, I’d like to try my luck at erasing that hate completely.’ 

He reached a hand up and brushed a few of the drying curls behind her ear as he stared down at her.

‘I- I don’t think that’s possible. I think I’ll always hate you.’ Ali suddenly felt all goofy and limp. She couldn’t take her eyes off the boy before her.

‘Then why aren’t you walking away?’ Sirius asked as his hand, which had been frozen where he had tucked her hair away, moved down to brush over her neck.

‘I am.’ She lied as she began breathing through her mouth in an attempt to slow down her very quickly increasing heart rate. It was surely going to stop working soon.

‘Forgive me, I misunderstood then.’ Sirius allowed himself a genuine smile. He didn’t display them often as Ali had noticed. ‘Would it be okay, if I kissed you?’ He asked, just above a whisper as their faces were only inches apart. Ali felt lost for words as she quickly pulled her bottom lip into her mouth and wet it with her tongue. She nodded, never breaking eye contact and Sirius’s lips descended on her own without further ado. 

Once again she was locking lips with him. She couldn’t even fathom how different this was to when Cresswell had kissed her. She felt literally nothing that day. But with Sirius, it was like she was melting from the inside out. Her insides felt like they’d been hit with the tarantallegra jinx. As he kissed her over and over again she felt herself dissolving into ecstasy. 

She felt her shoulder blades settle on a wall but she wasn’t aware of how they got there. All she could think about was the kiss completely encompassing her entire being. She felt her arms moving against her will and wrapping up around Sirius’s neck. She wasn’t even slightly aware of what she was doing, it just seemed to happen. Sirius still had one hand secured on her jawline and the other was resting on the small of her back, holding her against him. 

She’d never done anything like this before in her life but somehow she knew what to do. She felt her chest press against his and suddenly Sirius broke their lips apart, panting. When she looked up at him, she’d never seen him look more attractive. He was biting his lip looking down at her with his dark eyebrows furrowed in thought. Suddenly his face lowered and his lips lay a gentle kiss on her tingling ones. 

She felt her heart jump. He then kissed her cheek gently, then once more on the other side. She had never felt more desirable in her life. 

‘You’re so beautiful.’ As the words left his mouth Ali felt as though she was going to melt into the ground right then and there. It wasn't the first time anyone had called her beautiful, but it was the first time she truly felt it. He lay one more gentle kiss on her forehead then drew back to look down at her. There was a lingering silence. Suddenly she couldn’t take the distance and pushed herself up onto her tip toes and claimed his lips for her own. It didn’t take Sirius long to take the control back however and she felt like putty in his arms. 

When his lips left her own and started tracing down to her neck, as they had once before, she felt her chest rising and falling heavily with her breathing. 

‘Don’t leave more marks there you weirdo. Do you know how much make up I’ve had to use to cover them up this week?’ His lips suddenly hit a spot towards the back of her neck, on the curve where her shoulder began, that made her yelp with pleasure. Sirius laughed against her skin, his breath so warm and soft, and Ali suddenly felt incredibly stupid.

‘It’s not funny!’ She opened her eyes and looked around. They were no longer in the hall. They were in a classroom. When had they moved here? How was she so entranced by Black’s lips that she hadn’t realised they had completely changed locations?

‘I don’t think it’s funny at all.’ Sirius spoke, descending on the same spot and forcing her teeth to firmly assault her bottom lip. When he pulled away and she felt her thoughts returning to her, she pushed him.

‘Black!’ She warned, needing to have some kind of control once more.

‘Yes?’ He replied, smiling at her sweetly. She was secured between him and a wall, so she didn’t feel very tough at the present moment.

‘What is this?’ She asked, feeling very confused.

‘What do you mean?’ He didn’t seem to be paying very much attention to the conversation as he pushed the cardigan she was wearing off her shoulder and began placing light kisses there. Her eyes rolled back in her head momentarily from the pleasure elicited by his lips on her skin. 

‘Do-' she felt utterly ridiculous right now, but she was coming to terms with the fact that she certainly had feelings for Sirius Black. She had to be sure it was mutual. ‘Do you like me?’

‘I think that’s pretty obvious.’ He replied pulling away from her shoulder to look at her directly. ‘Do you like me?’ He asked the question, but by the look on his face it was apparent he was already well aware of the answer. That aggravated her.

‘No.’ She gave him a somewhat disgusted yet blasé look.

‘Really?’ He asked, then placed a kiss on her lips. ‘Not at all?’ He placed another and Ali could hear her own heart thumping in her chest.

She took a deep breath in, pretending to contemplate it. ‘Nope. You’re nothing special.’ As she replied Sirius pulled back to look down at her with a quirked brow. She just smiled up at him sweetly, completely contrasting her sour words. 

‘Do you want to come hang out with Moony, Wormtail and I or not?’ He almost sounded like he was dangling the idea of spending time with him before her as an incentive. Who did he think he was? She was Aaliyah Adams, Queen of enjoying time spent alone. He was clearly unaware of who he was dealing with.

‘Well, if Remus is going to be there. I suppose I could endure your company.’ She laughed malevolently up at him over the face he made.

‘You’re a little shit.’ 

‘You’re only just noticing?’ Ali slipped out of his grasp and laughed all the way to the door of the classroom. She completely missed the blissful smile adorning Sirius’s lips as he followed suit soon after.

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