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Lily’s POV

 

Prefect patrols were terribly annoying. That evening, I had been stuck on a strange corridor in a hidden corner of the castle for well over three hours because someone was worried a student would accidentally wander into a room which temporarily housed a dangerous maturing potion. I wondered, not for the first time, why they didn't simply put a spell on the door. No, instead, we had to allocate specific prefect patrols to cover the area until the potion was ready. What an absurd waste of people's time.

 

Still irritated, I made my way back to the common room as fast as I could when my shift was over. It was a Sunday, and I wanted time to chill with my friends before starting a new week. I went in through the portrait of the Fat Lady after angrily muttering the password. I was going to go straight to our room, but then I saw a relatively large group of people gathered around the notice board, visibly excited about something. Curious, I approached them and found James Potter right in the middle of it. How could he not be.

 

“Right, stand back everyone, please,” he waved a hand vaguely as if dismissing a particularly annoying fly. “Thank you all for trying out for the team today. As you know, we only had two open positions. These have now been filled. Congratulations to the new team members, first practice is Tuesday at seven pm.”

 

Ah, so it was Quidditch. Even I couldn’t find a reason to dislike Potter when it came to Quidditch. He loved it fiercely and believed it his sacred duty to do everything he could so that Gryffindor won every match. He had earned the Captain spot with hard work and ridiculous skills. Not that I would ever tell him that, either. I'd rather cuddle a manticore.

 

“Oh my God. Oh my Godric!" I heard someone shriek. I moved closer to the source. "There you are! Lily! Lily! Come here, right now. Now!” Alice’s excited voice yelled a second before she emerged from the crowd gathered around the notice board looking bewildered.

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

“What’s wrong? What’s wrong? See for yourself,” she pointed at the parchment Potter had stuck there and gave me a curious look.

 

“Right, okay, let’s see,” I pushed my way through the crowd until I was right in front of the announcement. It was just the Quidditch team list.

 

Gryffindor Quidditch Team

 

Chaser – James Potter (C)

Chaser – Annie Vargas

Chaser – Louise Stilton

Keeper – Matt Wood

Seeker – Callum Griffiths

Beater – Sirius Black

Beater – Jocelyn Silverway

 

“Wait, what?” I read her name again. And again. Alice had made her way back in through the group of people and was standing next to me, her eyebrows raised as her eyes darted from the paper to my face and back to the paper.

 

"Well?" she said expectantly.

 

“What the… How did this happen? What? Where’s Jo?” I stuttered. looked at Alice and took off running towards our room. I didn’t even have to check to know she was right behind me.

 

Jo was sitting on her bed reading a book, oblivious to the world. She looked up when we came in and waved a vague hello.

 

“Jo… care to explain how and why your name is on the list James Potter just put up on the board? The Quidditch team list?” I said without delay.

 

Her mouth fell open and she scrambled to get up quickly. “Are you sure? You’re not kidding me, are you? Are you sure, Lily? I thought he was teasing me! I actually made the team?” she was practically vibrating with excitement.  

 

“Wait, what?” Alice looked as confused as I felt.

 

“Long story, but I tried out this morning. Black said I was going to make it for sure, which I thought meant I had no chance, so I didn’t bother to go check the list,” she explained, pushing past us and heading down towards the common room.

 

She made her way towards the notice board, pushing a couple of scared looking second-years out of the way and scanned the list carefully. Alice and I waited patiently whilst she re-read the tiny list a million times.

 

“You know, no matter how many times you read it, your name is still going to be there, and it’s still going to say beater,” I pointed out. Jocelyn nodded, still completely silent. Her eyes were wide. Her previous excitement seemed to have given way to panic. We sat down on a sofa together.

 

“I didn’t even know you wanted to try out,” Alice said.

 

“Yeah, where did this come from?” I asked.

 

“Come on, you know I love Quidditch, and flying. I even have my own broom!” she recovered from her shock and fear just enough to protest.

 

“True, but you never even mentioned you were interested in joining the team,” I pointed out.

 

“Well… I wasn’t. I mean, I didn’t even think it was an option for me. Who was going to take me seriously? Nobody wants a short, skinny girl on their Quidditch team,” she shrugged.

 

“What made you change your mind?” I asked her.

 

“Potter. I ran into him on the way back from my jog this morning. They were about to start tryouts and he asked me. I do not know what possessed me to say yes. I was probably high on endorphins now that I think about it,” she gave a little shudder.

 

“James Potter? That arrogant bastard asked you to try out for his team?” I asked.

 

“Not only that, he gave her a spot in it,” Alice added. Jo looked like this was only just sinking in.

 

“Holy shit,” she whispered.

 

“Yeah, holy shit alright,” I shook my head.

 

“What’s wrong? I know I didn’t tell you guys but it was a spur of the moment kind of thing,” she said. She was nervously playing with her hands.

 

“It’s not that, silly. I’m happy for you,” I said. “Though you do look mildly panicked.”

 

“It’s nerve wracking,” she whispered. Alice nodded in sympathy.

 

“But you want to be in the team, don’t you?” I asked her.

 

“I… I think I do…” she said, smiling a little for the first time.

 

“Oh, come on Jo. You said yourself. You love Quidditch! And, you’re the only female beater in the entire school, do you even know how cool that is? I’m friends with the coolest chick in Hogwarts,” Alice said enthusiastically.  

 

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Jo blushed lightly.

 

“It’s true!” Alice insisted.

 

“Jo…” I said. She looked at me, noticing the concern on my face.

 

“What?” she asked me. I had a feeling she knew what I was about to say.

 

“How do you feel about… you know… not only are you on the team but, like Alice said, you’re a beater. One half of a very important team…”

 

“Oh,” Jo’s face dropped. “Yeah… I... I really didn't... I... well, I didn’t think I’d make beater. I thought if anything, I'd make the seeker spot.”

 

“I’m sure it’ll be fine, though. Black takes Quidditch seriously, he won’t mess you around,” Alice sounded very confident.

 

“I…” she started.

 

“I agree with Alice,” I said firmly. It would do Jo no good to be scared of a fellow teammate. “Are you gonna be okay spending that much time with him?” I asked her instead.

 

She thought about this for a moment.

 

“Yeah, I am fine,” I must have made a face because she quickly added “wait, you think I’m still crushing on him? Please, no way. I grew out of that,” she shook her head. I shook my head too.

 

“I meant, well, just in general. You hate him, or so you tell us on a daily basis.”

 

She sighed dramatically. “I think I’m going to have to be civil towards him now. For the sake of the team.”

 

“Who knows, you might even become friends,” Alice said, smiling cheekily. Jo blanched.

 

“I’d rather wrestle a hippogriff,” she said. I nodded sympathetically; I knew the feeling.

 

“I’m going to speak to Potter and thank him. I’ll see you guys in a bit,” Jo said standing up.

 

As soon as she was out of earshot, Alice turned to look at me. “Do you believe her?”

 

“I am not sure what to believe,” I said truthfully.

 

Jo had never lied to us, ever. But the subject of Sirius Black wasn’t one where she was very forthcoming.

 

“Are we ever going to tell her about Jax?” Alice asked.

 

“Absolutely not. There’s no reason for us to rub it in, it would be cruel,” I said. Alice nodded, and that was that.

 

Jocelyn’s POV

 

The first Quidditch match of the year was fast approaching. We were halfway through October, only three weekends away from the Gryffindor vs Slytherin game. I was so busy with classes, homework, Quidditch practice and my Transfigurations project that I had barely any time left to breathe. I was doing a decent job as beater so far, and Potter made sure to tell me he was pleased with my performance during our regular practice. Luckily for me, McGonagall was a major Quidditch fan and she’d agreed to extending our deadlines for my side project so I could train with the team and get some sleep, too.

 

I was on the way back to the common room after a Wednesday session in her office when I heard a familiar voice behind me.  

 

“Silverway, you got a minute?”

 

“Sure,” since becoming beater, Black had been civil, polite and even friendly towards me on the odd occasion, which was a big improvement on the previous five years.

 

I had also done my absolute best to not be rude towards him, managing to only insult him one out of three times we spoke to each other. I considered this a huge accomplishment and believed I ought to be congratulated, which Lily and Alice made sure to do regularly.

 

“I was wondering if you’d be up for an extra Quidditch practice session on Friday, after school,” he said.

 

“Annie has agreed to a Friday session?” I was surprised, it was her date night with her boyfriend, and it was sacred to her.

 

“No, I meant just you and me. I’ve got a new idea I want to try, to catch the snakes off guard,” he explained.

 

“Ah, right. I would rather poke my eyes out with a quill than spend time alone with you, actually,” I said. He ran a hand through his hair, visibly exasperated.

 

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’ll have you know any girl in the school would kill for a chance to spend an entire evening alone with me,” he said. Arrogant bastard. Not that he wasn’t right, but you know.

 

“Too bad I’m not just any girl,” I said coolly.

 

“This is for the team!” he insisted, ignoring my comment.

 

“Look, Black, I get that we have to work together and all, and I want us to win, but Potter already trains us real hard. I’m tired, and it’s Friday evening you’re asking me to give up.”

 

“I know that with your skills and smaller than average beater frame, we have a unique opportunity to crush the Slytherin team. I have come up with a risky move, but it only works if you trust me. We need to practice it and we have to keep it a secret. We can’t risk anyone seeing it," he said eagerly. Then, he added, "come on, Silverway, I’m talking about absolutely destroying Slytherin, not just winning the game. Aren’t you a little bit curious at least?” he gave me his best puppy eyes and I was furious with myself to find out I couldn’t resist them.

 

I sighed and said “when you put it that way… okay, fine, I’ll do it. But only because I want to see Slytherin bite the dust,” he made a tiny fist pump gesture and smiled.

 

“Meet me by the gymnasium, we’ll go to the edge of the forest. Six o’clock Friday.”

 

“Sure,” I nodded and started walking towards the common room.

 

I realised as he awkwardly walked next to me that he must be going the same way. Wonderful. I did my best not to glance his way and was doing a semi-decent job when he looked at me as spoke again.

 

“So, erhm… you coming to the Halloween party?”

 

“Yeah, I am. Everyone is going,” I replied. He was taller than me, so I didn’t have a great view of his face unless I looked openly at him (which I refused to do on principle).

 

“Are you going with your boyfriend?” I almost tripped and face planted. He caught me with ease, helping me up. I fleetingly marvelled at both his strength and his reflexes, but I was quickly distracted by the small panic growing in my chest. How did Sirius know about Jax?

 

“Jax?” I blurted.

 

“Who the hell is Jax?” he asked curiously.

 

Crap. I saw the moment he realised what he’d discovered something. He was much too clever.

 

“So, you’re not with Wood?”

 

“Matt? You thought my boyfriend was Matt? We’re just friends,” I was bewildered.

 

Yes, Matt and I had a chat here and there and paired up for Charms often, but it’s not like I was even flirting with the guy. I was still torn about what to do about my real boyfriend. No matter how badly I wanted to go all hormonal and just hook up with random boys like everyone else was doing, I wasn’t a cheater.

 

“But, you do have a boyfriend. Jax?” he stopped walking and turned to look at me, blocking my way. It irritated me how effective this was. He was so much bigger than me it was impossible for me to get past him.

 

“None of your business,” I said, defiant.

 

He was making me nervous. He looked at me for what felt like an eternity, although it was probably just a few seconds. His eyes were mesmerising, so much so that I could not bring myself to look away, no matter how hard I tried. They were grey, but not boring or plain. No, his eyes were silver, like swirling pools of moonlight, and I could see they hid a depth that I had never thought someone like Black would have. I momentarily forgot what we were talking about. He moved an inch closer to me and I snapped out of it. What was I doing? This was Sirius Black for crying out loud!

 

“Why are you even asking, Black? What's it to you?” I asked, trying to sound nonchalant.

 

He moved a bit closer still and all my alarm bells began ringing at once. I had never been this close to anyone other than Jax before. He was so close I could smell him, and oh my days, did he smell good. There was a mix of outdoors scents, like grass and early morning dew on him, mixed with something minty. It was extremely alluring. 'I hate Sirius Black. I hate Sirius Black. I hate him' I chanted to myself, trying (and failing) to stop the weakening of my knees.

 

“I just wondered…” he started. I took a small step backwards. For some reason, it felt extremely important that I put some distance between us. He didn’t agree, and again closed the space between us.

 

“Yes?” my voice was a whisper.

 

A part of my brain started shouting at me, demanding to know what the hell I was doing. I was frozen and terrified. Merlin’s pants, somebody please interrupt, throw something at me, do something! Help!

 

“Maybe you’d…” he said softly. He was interrupted before he could finish.

 

I had never been happier to see McGonagall in my entire life. We heard her and Dumbledore chatting as they turned the corner and entered the corridor where we were.

 

“Never mind. It’s good, good for you. I hope he comes cheer for us at the game,” he said, moving away hastily. I stood there, alone and confused, for a long time after he walked away.

 

#

 

Friday came around and I met with Black as agreed. Carrying our brooms, bats and the box that held the bludgers, we made our way furtively to the edge of the grounds. Once he was satisfied no one could see us, he turned to me and dropped the box on the floor.

 

“Alright, so, I know we aren’t exactly friends, but I really think we can make this work. You are small, and agile, and have some serious diving skills. Most beaters can’t really fly that well, they are usually chosen for upper body strength and eye-hand coordination,” he said matter of factly.

 

“Did you ask Potter to make me a beater?” the question had been bothering me since I saw the team list. I was sure if I was going to make a position, if would have been seeker and I hadn’t stopped wondering if Black had had anything to do with it.

 

“I did.”

 

“Why? So you could boss me around or try to embarrass me?” I said bitterly. He looked appalled.

 

“You really think I’m an asshole.”

 

“I just don’t get it. I have been invisible to you forever. And then, all of a sudden, you want me to be your what? You buddy? Your partner? Doesn’t make sense. You said it yourself, I'm too small for a beater.”

 

“Look, it’s not personal, okay? And yeah, I didn’t really pay attention to you before but so what, I didn’t think you paid attention to me either and I’m not whining about it. You have been a total bitch to me every single transfiguration lesson we’ve ever had. Why would I even bother with you?”

 

“I wouldn’t have been if you had ever acknowledged me as a fellow student. I wasn’t going to just let you get away with treating me like shit,” I snapped.

 

“You are so goddam difficult,” he scoffed. I raised an eyebrow at him. He looked positively murderous as he said “what more do you want? I already said I was sorry, that’s all you’re ever going to get. Give it fucking rest already!”

 

“You are un-fucking-believable. I don’t even know why I bothered,” I took off, hoping he’d give up. Apparently, whatever idea he had for this beater thing was too good to let go though, because he chased me.

 

 “Wait. Fine, fine. You win. Let’s start again, shall we? I know your name, Jocelyn Silverway. I won’t forget it anymore, okay?” he said when he caught up with me, which given how tall and fit he was took a whole three seconds at most.

 

“We need to resolve this, Silverway, or else the team will fall apart. They need us, and we need to work as a unit. You know it,” he had a point. As much as he annoyed me, I wasn’t about to cause the demise of the mighty Gryffindor Quidditch team. I could get over this. Over him.

 

“Fine, whatever,” I rolled my eyes. “But I want to know, why did you pick me as beater?” He smiled a little bit.

 

“I was impressed with your skills, and I knew we needed something different to win the tournament this year. You would have made a great seeker, but so would Cal. I didn’t see anyone else that could work as a beater.”

 

"But I'm tiny."

 

"Tiny but mighty. You're stronger than you look - that's our advantage," he said, smirking.

 

“What do you have in mind?” I asked him.

 

“Let me show you.”

 

#

 

The day before Halloween was an eventful one. Both Lily and Alice secured dates for the party happening the next day, and they could not stop talking about how excited they were. Alice hadn’t dated anyone this year, which was a new record for the longest single stretch she’d had. Lily had been on and off with a seventh year Hufflepuff until he had asked her to commit and she’d freaked out and bolted. Now, she had her eye on new Gryffindor seeker Cal, her date to the Halloween party.

 

I had Transfigurations practice with McGonagall, during which I made a major breakthrough on my journey towards becoming an animagus. I had chosen the month I was going to start my first attempt and had made great progress on the preparation for the spell. McGonagall was convinced I’d be able to transform before Easter if I kept going at this rate. Feeling very accomplished and proud of myself, I left her office and headed to the common room. It was well past curfew, and the castle was pretty much deserted.

 

In the eerie silence, it was easy to distinguish the sound of someone hurrying down the corridor towards me. But, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t see them. Thinking I was starting to imagine things out of pure exhaustion, I kept close to the wall and made my way back to the Gryffindor tower. It was a full moon, and the common room looked ghostly in the silver light. Quietly, I got to my room and went to bed.

 

Sirius POV

 

What the hell was I thinking? That he deserved it. But, did he? He was despicable, I had no doubt about that, but who was I if I was willing to put someone else in mortal danger? I should have thought about it before giving Snivellus the stupid instructions. I wasn’t a little kid anymore; I had to get my shit together. I couldn’t keep acting like this. Having fun with a few pranks here and there, yes, doing stupid shit like this? Never again. If I was grown up enough to run away from home, I had to act like it. Prongs had been right to yell at me. I only hoped he wouldn't be too angry for too long.

 

The door to the common room opened and I looked up, anxious to see if it was Prongs coming back. He hadn’t let me come with him, arguing that Snivellus would never agree to leave if I was there. He was probably right. As long as Snape wasn’t killed, we’d be all right. And I would never do anything this stupid again.

 

It wasn’t Prongs that came in, though. It was Jocelyn. What was she doing out and about at this hour? I observed from my shadowed spot as she looked around briefly, completely missing me, and sighed. As she disappeared up the stairs, I wondered what other secrets she was hiding. I had been shocked to find out she had a boyfriend. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I'd only been teasing her. Thank Merlin I had asked before inviting her to come to the Halloween party with me, I would have not dealt well with her turning me down. Nobody turns me down.


Thinking about it, I wondered why I had been so shocked to find out she was seeing someone. Why wouldn't she be? Without any effort I could think of at least five guys who were very obviously currently interested in her, and the real count was probably a lot higher. Even Moony and Prongs had commented on how hot she was. I thought she was hands down the best-looking girl in the entire school, if you asked me. Not that anybody did. Apparently, everyone shared her assumption that I had spent the past five years oblivious to her existence. Little did they know I had always thought she was gorgeous. I had first noticed her around the same time Prongs started bothering Red, but I just didn't act on it like James did. It just wasn’t my style. Girls came to me, and I had my fun with them, and then that was it. I didn't pursue, I didn't chase anyone. I never had to, anyway. But not with Jocelyn. Never Jocelyn. It did hurt my ego slightly that she had never even looked my way twice, but then again, she had been a quiet, guarded girl so I didn’t take it personally. She probably didn't look at anybody - I had told myself.

 

This year, however, it was different. It wasn’t so much that she’d suddenly come back with killer curves which had revolutionised the male population in the school, it was that she was finally coming out of her shell. And, even though she now spoke to loads of people, made new friends, and even – I had heard – had been flirting a bit with some blokes, she still didn’t spare me a second thought. It was outrageous and it was driving me mad. I could no longer pretend that it was just who she was, quiet and emotionally unavailable. She was really not interested in me.

 

Until this year, I had never really thought about the fact that I probably had nobody to blame but myself. Truth be told, I had always known her name. You didn't simply forget the name of the prettiest girl in your year. I just thought it was hilarious to pretend and tease her about it every time McGonagall made me work with her. Not that I would ever admit this to anyone, but I was jealous of her. Her transfigurations skills were out of this world, and it pissed me off. I had been the first of The Marauders to achieve the animagus transformation; I was supposed to be the best at Transfiguration, not little Jocelyn.

 

Little Jocelyn, who was now my partner in the Quidditch team and, to my astonishment, had shown me she could smash a bludger almost as far as I could. Little Jocelyn, who was smarter than almost anyone I knew, and always had a good comeback at the ready. Little Jocelyn, who had absolutely no idea the effect she had on people, the effect she had on me. Little Jocelyn, who, as it turns out, was not so little anymore. 

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