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 “What in Merlin’s beard…” I trailed off as we entered the circus named the Gryffindor Common room. How all of the Prefects got on board with this was beyond me. I found the answer to my question as my eyes fell upon the Head Boy and Girl (James and Lily Evans) snogging in a cushioned armchair. “How is it even possible that no one finds out about this?” I asked Mary as she greeted Peter at the portrait entrance.

“Hi, Peter,” she said, batting her lashes obnoxiously. “I brought Charlotte, I hope that’s okay,” she emphasized, leaning on the table to her right.

“That’s fine with us as long as she doesn’t rat us out, right Pete?” Sirius interjected brashly, swinging an arm around Peter’s neck and smirking at me wildly.

“Shut up,” he whispered over his shoulder, shoving a visibly tipsy Sirius off of him. “You’re fine, Mary. And Charlotte,” he added speedily, stepping aside and letting us through into the carnival.

Students, mostly Fourth Year and up, were stuffed into the red and gold Common Room. The fire blazed as high as it could, and Mary had already removed her sweater. Many couples (mostly just pairs of people who may or may not be in a relationship) were making their personal displays of affection very public and very sloppy. Drinks were in hands, but I could not find a source for their drinks. There was so much noise, but I couldn’t really tell from where or from whom.

“See, isn’t this fun?” Mary asked, yelling into my ear. I stepped away from her a bit, bumping into a familiar Gryffindor; a face to which I could not place a name.

“Oi! What are you doing ‘ere?” the boy asked me, shoving my shoulder slightly. “No Ravenclaws invited!” he shouted, raising his drink to the sky. A few cups raised in the air, following his chant.

“Everyone’s invited, Wickers,” Remus Lupin said calmly, taking Wickers’ drink out of his hand and replacing it with another one. “Just have fun, right?” Wickers stood there blankly for a moment, and I wasn’t quite sure whether he would punch Remus or not.

“Whatever, Lupin,” he said, letting out a huff and turning back to his group of dancing bodies.

“Sorry,” Remus said, turning around to face the two of us. “All the Quidditch players, they get kind of…”

“Rude?” Mary offered, smiling at Remus who was clearly embarrassed.

“Yeah,” he said shyly, scratching the back of his head. We stood in our small circle for a bit until it got very awkward. Remus just kept his hand on the back of his head in thought, and Mary was bouncing along to the music. “Do you want a drink?” Remus asked, leaning in towards me.

“What?” Mary yelled, turning back to the two of us after losing her way in the dancing. Remus turned slightly red, and turned to Mary.

“I said, do you want a drink?”

“Sure!” Mary responded emphatically. Remus turned to me, and I shook my head.

“Cheers,” he said, turning his back on us and going to find Mary a drink.

Mary continued thrashing her body around with her fellow Gryffindors. I didn’t understand how she would hold a drink like that. I looked around and saw that James and Lily had begun making rounds about the room, leaning over people and telling them how happy they were that they could make it.

“I’m going to go sit down!” I yelled to Mary, who nodded back at me in time with the music. I did not want to take part in the James and Lily fest that was making its way through the sea of people.

I took a seat at the table next to the window, and the Wizard’s Chess pieces started moving around, waiting to be played. I sat back in my chair, and the pieces settled again. The window was all fogged up, and I took my finger to it, dragging a line through the condensation.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Sirius Black asked, sitting in the chair across from me. He reached over and grabbed my arm, pushing it away from the mirror. I tugged my arm out of his grip, and he released me.

“I didn’t know you took such an issue with condensation,” I apologized lamely.

“Very funny,” he deadpanned. “It’s magical, you see?” He took out his wand, whispered an incantation, and the fog came back up to fully cover the window.

“Why?” I asked, after a beat. I could not come up with a strong enough reason.

Sirius clicked his tongue, but leaned over the table to explain. “You see that window over there?” he asked, pointing to a window in a distant tower.

“You mean that tiny one?” I asked skeptically, pointing to the very same window.

“Yes. That tiny one belongs to Professor Flitwick, your Head of House!” he added, as if I didn’t know. “And he does not like it when we party,” Sirius said, chortling gently as if recalling a memory.

“You don’t mean to tell me that Professor Flitwick has actually stopped a party because he saw it from his quarter-meter wide window.” Again, skeptical.

“I can neither confirm nor deny anything,” he said succinctly. Sirius took his hand off the window, and reached out towards my face. He went to tuck a piece of hair behind my ear, but I grabbed his wrist.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Sirius didn’t try and wiggle free of my grasp. He just sat there. Staring at my face like he was trying to figure something out. With the moonlight shining in between the two of us, his forearm was illuminated; and I couldn’t help but to stop and look at his soft skin marred with cigar burns. My eyes travelled back up to Sirius’ face, and I found myself looking curiously at the scar carved into his left eyebrow again. He finally broke out of his trance, and took his arm out of my hand.

“Do you want to help me with something?”



“Calm down, no one will see us,” Sirius whispered, holding open the portrait for me to head out first.

“Sirius unless someone is blind, they will most definitely see us,” I hissed, peeking around the corner before stepping out into the long corridor. Sirius followed me out, and I made sure I stuck to the wall even if Sirius was fine with lollygagging around after curfew.

“Why are you so uptight, Char?” he asked, too casually for my liking.

“Please do not refer to me as Char,” I said, spitting out the hated nickname. “And I am uptight because I have six full years without so much as a point off of Ravenclaw house and I am not going to start now.”

“Well you are not going to get a point taken away from your precious house that never wins the House Cup anyway, Charlotte Marie Malkin.” I walked next to him silently, considering my next words very carefully.

“I am not going to ask how you know my full name, because you do not deserve the satisfaction of my awe. I will, however, ask you once again how you know we will not be seen?”

Sirius didn’t answer, but as I looked up at his face it looked like he was trying very hard to conceal a laugh.

“In fact, there are students patrolling right now who are very likely to see us!” I exclaimed, attempting to keep my voice in a lower register but failing miserably. “And unless you know how to do a Disillusionment Charm, which I highly doubt considering you are not even in NEWT Charms, I don’t see what you mean when you say…” A large hand clamped down over my mouth and pulled me under a blanket of sorts.

“Shush,” Sirius whispered into my ear. For once in my seventeen year existence, I could feel my heart pounding through my chest.

“What is...”

“Don’t speak,” Sirius whispered more insistently. There are times that one just listens to a voice, regardless of who it is and what they are saying. There is a certain tone that is difficult to recreate in a situation that was not as dire as this one. And when Sirius’ voice changed so drastically in that same way, I just listened.     

I heard the murmurs of two voices walking down the corridor next to us, as we crouched down together under this cloak that must have somehow made us blend in with the surroundings. I took a beat, and then repeated that sentence again in my mind. A cloak that must have somehow made us blend in with the surroundings. If Sirius Black was in the possession of an Invisibility Cloak, I might just lose my marbles.

We waited at least a minute longer, Sirius’ hand still clasped over my mouth, as if I wasn’t able to keep my mouth shut myself. The heat of his body against my back was warming me up: warming me up a lot. I felt my cheeks grow warm at the thought of Sirius Black pressed against my body, and I realized that this strange reaction was probably something chemical and physical. I suddenly felt very embarrassed, as if Sirius Black could somehow know what I was thinking and feeling. If he was a Legilimens I would also absolutely lose my marbles. I shuffled to the side a bit, but that only made it worse as Sirius tightened his grip around my waist.

“It sounds clear now,” he whispered into my ear, making my spine shiver. “Let’s go.” He stood up, and the cloak that was covering us suddenly disappeared all over again. He kept walking as if nothing had just happened.

“Excuse me,” I whispered after him. It echoed down the long hallway anyway. “What was that display there? Do you mean to imply that you own an Invisibility Cloak?”

“I don’t mean to imply anything. And I don’t own an Invisibility Cloak, if that’s your question,” he dismissed easily, still taking me on an unknown journey. “James does.”

“Of course he does,” I muttered, somewhat bitterly. “I really must catch up on my Pureblood history,” I reprimanded myself.

“If I were you I would stay as far away from Pureblood history as possible,” Sirius said warningly. “They don’t take too kindly to, you know, non-Purebloods.” Sirius was awkwardly honest when he was tipsy.

“What do you mean?” I asked cautiously, afraid that Sirius knew too much. The logical part of me knew that he could not know. But the nagging part of me knew it could potentially happen, and that of course it would be Sirius Black to find out.

“Just, half-bloods and muggle-born wizards and witches. They don’t take too kindly to them,” he repeated. My intention was not to make Sirius uncomfortable, but I seemed to manage it all the time anyway.

“Where are we going?” I changed the subject abruptly and because I wanted to. Sirius took a pause before answering me.

“We are going to get more butterbeer for the party,” he said as we turned the corner. He motioned to a portrait with a still life painted on it.

“Where on earth are we going to get more butterbeer?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. Sirius smirked at me, and looked back to the portrait again.

“Come on,” he said, walking towards the portrait. I kept my place against the wall of the hallway, and Sirius reached up towards the painting.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” I whispered, almost forgetting we were out after curfew.

“Tickling the pear,” he said sensibly, as if I was the one tickling the image of a fruit.

“You can’t possibly…” I said, my sentence cut off as the portrait opened for Sirius and an expansive kitchen was revealed.

“This is the Hogwarts kitchen.” Sirius stood back, and I walked forward in awe. The kitchen was empty excepting a few House Elves, washing dishes in a back room. I looked up to the ceiling, and there was no ceiling. The pristine white of the walls faded into nothingness.

“How do you know about this?” I asked, turning back to Sirius accusingly. He was sitting at a table, waving a House Elf over to him. “Black!” I exclaimed. He spoke to the House Elf, about the butterbeer most likely, and the House Elf went back on his way.

“What is it, Malkin?” he asked, tired of my questions.

“How?” I asked again. “Do you ever go to classes?” Sirius smiled his crooked smile, and got up from the table.

“You should know that, Malkin. We’ve got Potions together, haven’t we?” he said cockily, leaning against the counter I stood next to. “We just like exploring.”

“Exploring,” I murmured, pondering his meaning, if he had one. “I don’t know how you find time for all of this.”

“Me either,” he said truthfully, turning away from me as the House Elf came back, a train of butterbeer floating behind him.

“Thank you, Trickway,” Sirius said, giving him the same crooked smile. “I really owe you.”

“No need, Master Black,” Trickway squeaked back. I watched Sirius’ throat constrict ass Trickway said this. “I will see you next weekend? For Master Lupin?”

“Yes,” Sirius said quickly, cutting Trickway off. “Thanks, Trickway.” The little House Elf nodded his large head forward, and dropped the crates of butterbeer behind him.

“Alright, c’mon Malkin,” he said to me, nodding his head towards the crates as he began stacking them.

“What do you mean?” I asked taking out my wand to levitate the drinks.

“It won’t work,” he interjected. I lowered my wand and looked back at him for further explanation. “The food is charmed so only House Elves can move them magically.”

I scoffed. “Well, why?” Sirius put on his fullest smirk.

“So kids don’t steal food from the kitchens for parties.”  I rolled my eyes, but walked over to help Sirius make another stack of crates. “Why did you agree to help me, Charlotte?”

“I don’t know. I did not want to be in that party any longer. That’s one thing I know.” Sirius looked overly-offended.

“Didn’t want to be at the party?” he asked, placing his hand on his chest.

“I am not a person for parties, Sirius,” I said, almost sounding rehearsed. The amount of times I’d given that answer to Mary I did not care to count. I squatted down and hiked up three crates of the butterbeer on my hip. “Not a reflection on your party throwing abilities, I assure your fragile masculinity,” I said as he opened the portrait before picking up his crates.

“Mr. Black,” an icy, frigid voice interrupted. “Miss Malkin,” McGonagall added upon peering around the threshold and finding me, standing with the incriminating alcohol. I dropped my crates in surprise, and amber liquid flowed everywhere. 



A/N: Thank you for the wonderful comments everyone! I can't wait to continue this now. If you have any more ideas or criticism, please let me know down below.


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