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Jocelyn’s POV

 

‘Do not cause a scene, do not cause a scene, do not cause a scene’ I chanted to myself as Fettuccini (I never knew I could be this petty, but I refused to even think her name), the Ravenclaw whore that was currently sleeping with Sirius, walked over to our table after breakfast. We had a week left of term and were debating whether to go home or stay at Hogwarts for Christmas. She flicked her hair and put a hand on Sirius’ shoulder. I fantasized about chopping it off. It scared me a little. It was getting wildly out of hand.

 

“Hey, handsome” her voice was even more irritating than her general attitude.

 

“What’s up?” to my delight, Sirius moved ever so slightly so her hand fell off his shoulder. I knew he was my best friend for a reason.

 

“I was wondering if you’d like to have a drink in Hogsmeade this afternoon”

 

“I’m busy. It’s the last visit before the holiday, we’ve got plans” ‘take that, bitch’ I thought. Lily elbowed me a little and I looked at her, confused.

 

“You look like you’re trying to make her head explode” she whispered.

 

“Who says I am not?” I joked. She chuckled.

 

“Oh, well, let me know if you want to meet up when you’re back instead” she smiled suggestively at him and turned around. She walked away swinging her hips so much I thought she might break her back. If only.

 

We walked back to the common room and the boys went up to their room to change. We were about to do the same when a fourth year girl asked Lily for some help with a particularly difficult potion.

 

“Come up to our room, I have some notes that will help” she offered. She was such a good Head Girl.

 

The girl came with us. I started sorting through my trunk trying to decide what to wear when I knocked over some books. The fourth year girl hurried over to help me. She busied herself picking up pieces of parchment that had flown all over the place whilst chattering incessantly about how cool she thought I was. Then, she stopped talking mid-sentence and I heard a sharp intake of breath.

 

“Oh my Godric. So, Evelin was right all along” she whispered in awe.

 

“What?” I was confused. Who was Evelin?

 

“Evelin is my friend. She’s a year above me, in Hufflepuff. She told me she thought you and Sirius Black were together”

 

“What on earth made you think she was right?” I asked, curious.

 

“This” she showed me an old photo that had been forgotten inside one of my books. It was a photo of when Jax and I were dating, two summers ago. One of his mates had taken it whilst we were kissing.

 

I stared at it, wondering what it was that had her in such a state. And then, it hit me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was as if someone removed a veil from my eyes, and then I was looking at the photograph again, and I was seeing it through the eyes of this little fourth year girl. I had a very similar feeling as I did the day I figured out Remus’ secret. That epiphany feeling when all the pieces of the puzzle finally fit together, and they do so perfectly. Every little comment, every strange look that my friends had made and given Jax. Every joke I’d made about ‘tall, dark and handsome’ being my type and Lily slightly freaking out but trying to hide it. I fell on my arse.

 

“Lily” I said, panic clear in my voice. She had been distracted and had totally missed this little episode.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“We have a problem” I said.

 

The fourth year was dismissed with a quick explanation about the photograph not being of Sirius and Lily’s potion notes. As soon as the door was shut, she turned to look at me.

 

“It took you long enough” was all she said.

 

“This can’t be happening” I was starting to hyperventilate.

 

“Why are you so worked up about it? What’s the problem?”

 

“What is the problem?” I looked at her like she had grown a second head. “Lily, this is Sirius fucking man-whore Black we’re talking about. The other half of our very effective, very impressive beater team. My best friend”

 

“I really think you’re overreacting”

 

“I really think you aren’t hearing me”

 

“You haven’t really said anything, though” she said with a half-smile. Oh Godric, I hated Lily very much in that moment.

 

“Fine. What do you want me to say?”

 

“How do you feel about him, Jo?”

 

“I…” how did I feel? “I fancy the crap out of him” it was the truth.

 

“And why is that a bad thing?”

 

“Because! He’s my friend. He’s… he’s Sirius! He’s a womanizer and I am never ever going there”

 

“Jo, you’re overreacting. He’s not that bad”

 

“Oh Godric, the next few hours in Hogsmeade are going to be awkward as fuck” I groaned.

 

“Maybe he likes you, too” she offered.

 

“I have absolutely zero doubt that I could take Sirius to bed right this second if I wanted to” I informed her. “I did a little experiment on his birthday”

 

“Jocelyn Silverway, what did you do?” finally I was getting a proper reaction out of her.

 

“I had to keep him busy, didn’t I? I may or may not have put on a little show for him in the changing room. It worked” I felt rather smug about that still.

 

“Okay, then what’s the problem? If you already know he likes you, why are you freaking out?”

 

“He is Sirius Black. He likes everyone that’s good looking. That’s hardly an accomplishment”

 

“Well, I insist you could just try to see where things go. You should tell him” she said again.

 

“How do you suggest I do that?”

 

“You could try kissing him”

 

I thought about it. Lily saw I needed some time to process and went back to getting ready. I think she had a second date with James, but I couldn’t really care about that right now. I was busy remembering. I had been hopelessly ‘in crush’ with Sirius for the first four years of school. That had evolved into a solid ‘I hate Sirius Black’ campaign during all of fifth year. And then, sixth year had happened and we’d somehow become best friends.

 

I thought of all the times I had noticed how handsome he was and dismissed it as ‘everyone thinks Sirius is handsome’. I thought about all the times I was caught up in his eyes, at how I thought he was Moony because the silver in them reminded of me of the moonlight reflected on the ocean. I remembered the time I’d fleetingly considered kissing him because we’d stumbled on the floor together in his room. I remembered the excruciating terror I had felt when I realized he had almost died saving me, and the relief so intense I felt at seeing him I hadn’t been able to refrain from punching him repeatedly. I remembered how the only place I felt safe after the attack that took Alice was his arms. I relived the run-in with the Slytherins, when he was almost touching me but not really as we pretended to be a random hookup. Our hands together at the party after the Slytherin game.

 

As all these thoughts raced through my mind, I looked again at the photo the younger girl had found. If I didn’t know, I would have also believed it was Sirius. They looked so much alike it was uncanny. Was that what had drawn me to Jax? Was my mind somehow trying to trick itself by going for a look-alike of what I really wanted?

 

And then, I knew why I hated Farfalle so much. I was jealous. ‘I am so screwed’ I thought to myself.

 

**

 

“We still haven’t decided what we’re doing for Christmas” Moony informed us as we sat down at one of the larger tables in the Three Broomsticks.

 

“We should vote on it” Lily said. I nodded. “I’ll go first: I think we should stay in school. It is our last year and we’ll have many more Christmases outside but no more at Hogwarts”

 

“I think we should go to someone’s place. Prongs, probably” Remus said.

 

“I agree with Moony” Wormtail voted.

 

“I agree with Lily” nobody doubted that would be James’ vote. I rolled my eyes but smiled at him. It made me happy they were starting to date.

 

“I think we should stay in school” I said. And I meant it. I felt I had fully healed and regained control of my life, but I hadn’t gone to talk to Dumbledore about the Order yet. I was worried he’d talk me out of it, so I had been procrastinating. I felt Christmas period would be a good opportunity to get over it and just do it. 

 

“I agree. It’s the last time, like Red said” Sirius closed the vote and it was decided. We were not going home for Christmas.

 

With that settled, the conversation turned to more trivial things until Hardin showed up. He’d been hanging out with Matt and Cal. All three of them came to our table to say hi.

 

“Jo, can I borrow you for a moment?” Hardin asked me after exchanging a few pleasantries with everyone else.

 

“Ehm...” I glanced at Lily who was pretending to watch the scene with disinterest. She offered no help at all. “Sure, I need to get a round of drinks anyway”

 

I stood up and followed him to the bar. I ordered our drinks and turned to face him while I waited for Rosmerta to serve us.

 

“So, Jo, I wanted to ask what your plans are for the holiday” he said.

 

“I’m staying in school”

 

“You are? Amazing. So are we” he gestured vaguely in the general direction of his friends. “A lot of people are staying, parents feel it’s safer”

 

“People are starting to get really scared, aren’t they?”

 

“I hear this Lord Voldemort is forcing people to act against their will and betray those close to him. I think he’s creating chaos and uncertainty on purpose, the more fear he inspires the easier it is for him” he said. I looked at him. Hardin was a good guy. He was cheeky and flirty, but he was smart and treated me nicely. Why couldn’t I just like him for real?

 

“I don’t fear him” I said.

 

“Not everyone is as brave as you” he replied, shrugging. Rosmerta put all drinks on the table that moment. I was getting ready to balance half on them and ask Hardin for help with the rest when Sirius appeared.

 

“I’ll give you a hand” he offered. “I figured you wouldn’t be able to get all of these to us in one go”

 

Hardin glared at him, Sirius glared back at Hardin.

 

“I was already helping her” Hardin said. Sirius grabbed a few of the drinks and smiled at me, completely ignoring him.

 

“We’re about to start a round of never have I ever” I laughed. This was our favorite game, and the only way to get Lily drunk.

 

“How old are you? Thirteen?” Hardin scoffed.

 

“Nobody was inviting you” Sirius replied to him. “Let’s go”

 

I was going to follow him when Hardin stopped me. I looked at him a bit confused and realized a second too late what he was going to do. Hardin’s lips were on mine and, for the first time since we’d been casually dating, I didn’t know how I felt about it. He pulled away and smiled not noticing my inner turmoil.

 

“Have fun. Maybe I’ll see you later?” he could have left it there and it would have been fine. But no, testosterone had to play a part and make him look at Sirius, who was standing right there and with a smug look add, “my bed and I miss you”

 

Sirius looked like he was about to punch him, so I shook my head lightly and refused quickly. “I don’t think so Hardin, not today” I grabbed Sirius’ arm and led him back to our table.

 

I was confused. It had really annoyed me that Hardin had kissed me like that and made comments about our sexual life in front of Sirius because, well, I was still trying to figure out how I felt about him and rubbing my pseudo relationship in his face wasn’t going to help me in any way. Besides, it was just bad manners from Hardin. But, why was Sirius so angry? Could it be that he was a bit bothered by it?

 

He was in a foul mood for the rest of the afternoon. Not even Lily’s tipsy giggles made him smile. When we got back to the castle, Lily and James disappeared off somewhere. I made my way to the common room with the rest of the boys. Hardin was already there, playing explosive snap with his mates. He waved when we walked in and Sirius took off towards his room without a word.

 

Lily’s POV

 

I wanted to smack Sirius and Jocelyn over their heads with their bats so badly. It was obvious to me that they were really into each other. Fair enough, Sirius had actually told me, so that wasn’t too hard. Jocelyn, on the other hand, was still trying to figure it out. She thought she ‘fancied him’. What a load. It was actually painful to watch her watch him when he wasn’t paying attention, and then watch him watch her too. I wanted to do something about it, but telling them wasn’t going to work. They had complex feelings for each other and they were also best friends, and a team. If this was going to work, it had to happen on its own.

 

“You are awfully quiet today” James said. We were in a place he called the ‘Room of Requirements’. It was a room that gave you what you needed. I was so intrigued by it I had made him come in and out at least six times to test how it worked before finally agreeing to just sit down and talk like normal people do.

 

“Sorry, I was just thinking about Jo, and Hardin, and that little scene at the Three Broomsticks” I told him.

 

James had informed me that Sirius had confessed to being in love with Jo, and that he knew I knew. I really liked that James trusted me and wanted to share these things with me. We had discussed if we could help Sirius out at all, and we both agreed there wasn’t much we could do. James was worried that this situation would mess with their quidditch team, but I had assured him Jocelyn and Sirius would rather die than not win the cup again.

 

“Padfoot’s got to get a grip. Jo is smart, she’s going to catch on to his jealous stunts soon” he told me, stroking my hair as my head rested on his chest.

 

“She is smart but also a bit oblivious. She probably thinks Sirius just hates Hardin in general” I told him. “And I think she’s a bit jealous of that Ravenclaw girl. Perhaps Sirius will realise it and say something to her?”

 

“I don’t think so. He’s convinced himself Jo isn’t into him like that”

 

“What a pair of idiots” I sighed.

 

“They would make such a power couple” James said. I smiled.

 

“They would. I hope they get together. It’d be nice, we could go on double dates… I can totally even imagine a holiday in Jo’s villa, just the four of us” I smiled, a bit lost in my daydream. I sat up to look at him and see his face.

 

“I like the way you think, Lily Evans” he said, looking at me intently.

 

“What else do you like about me, James?” I had been meaning to ask but I didn’t know how.

 

I knew that he’d sworn he had no feelings for Jo anymore, but I couldn’t help it. I kept comparing myself to her and I always came up behind. She was just so fiery, and funny, and brave, and she was an amazing quidditch player and so fit and sporty. And I was… well, very good academically, and quite smart, but that was about it.

 

“I like that you’re so perceptive, and that you understand people’s feelings. Your empathy is incredible. I like that you’re so smart, and hardworking, and driven. I like that you’re independent: you don’t need anyone but you also value and cherish your friendships. I like that you are strong” at that, I raised my eyebrow in disbelief so he hurried to explain. “I mean emotionally strong. When Alice died, you could have gone over to the dark side, like Jo did. I’m not judging her, it hit her hard and we all grief in our different ways, but you didn’t let your pain consume you. You were there for Moony, because he needed you to be, and eased his pain and grief even though you were hurting, too”

 

I was at a loss for words. This didn’t happen often. I was half expecting James to say something along the lines of ‘I like your eyes and your hair, and your pretty face’. I was expecting some superfluous comment about my good grades, maybe or, if he was really trying to impress me, something about dealing well with some of the name calling I had to endure from Slytherins due to my parents being muggles. I was not expecting him to know me, to have seen me the way he had.

 

“Say something, please” he looked nervous, and vulnerable. I didn’t even know James Potter could be vulnerable. The look on his face, so open and honest and filled with hope for what the future could hold for us unleashed something in my heart and I knew, without a doubt, that I had found my epic.

 

I didn’t have anything to say, so instead, I kissed him. It was our first real kiss, because I refused to count the bottle thing. In the back of my mind, I heard a little voice tell me, with no small amount of joy, that this was my last first kiss.

 

Jocelyn’s POV

 

Last day of term had arrived and about half the students were getting ready to leave. This year there was a record number of people staying. I watched from the couch on the common room as people moved trunks around and said goodbyes, but I got bored quickly and went back inside my own head.

 

The past week had been strange. Now that I had been enlightened about the existence of my feelings for Sirius, even if they were still unidentified at this point, I noticed things a lot more than I did before. These things I was noticing were distracting. This past week in particular had been a nightmare.

 

On Tuesday, we had our last quidditch practice of the term and after another grueling session in the cold mud (albeit not horrible enough for me to throw a tantrum), we took our kit off in the changing rooms as it was custom. There were only two girls on the team now (myself included) so we got a little area to one side with some more privacy. I had almost fallen flat on my bum when I had seen Sirius coming out of the shower with a towel hanging loosely around his hips. He was even hotter and fitter than last year (and I hadn’t known that was possible until now).

 

On Wednesday, we had agreed to cancelling our usual beater practice in favour of finishing a couple of essays so we didn’t have to work during the holidays. We had sat in the library together and I had struggled to stay focused on my Charms assignment. I couldn’t stop stealing glances at him. I loved the way his long-ish hair fell forward when he was bent over his parchment, and the way his lips pursed ever so slightly when he was concentrating hard.

 

By Thursday evening, I was pretty much in physical pain and Lily had a fit of laughter when I told her I was in need of a cold shower even though it was the middle of December.

 

I decided I had to distract myself from the wild fantasies I has having, all of which involved Sirius in a towel. And I had to do it fast. So, before I could chicken out, I ran up the boys’ staircase and knocked on the door. There was no answer. I ventured into the lions’ den and found the map without much difficulty. Hoping Prongs wouldn’t die of a heart attack if he found it missing, I took it with me. It was slightly disturbing that I was using the marauders map to avoid running into the marauders but I really didn’t want them to know about this.

 

I succeeded in making my way to Dumbledore’s office without being spotted. I stood awkwardly outside of it, waiting. I had seen McGonagall was there with him so I figured I would wait for them to finish and go in when she came out. Turned out this wasn’t necessary. After about a minute of waiting, the statue thingy moved and let me in.

 

“Miss Silverway, I was expecting you a lot sooner” he said calmly.

 

“I... may have been avoiding it” I said truthfully.

 

“I thought you wanted to join us. You spent months tracking us, and we know you’ve been practicing defense” it was McGonagall that spoke. I stared at her incredulously but then realized it wasn’t really that strange that she would be in the Order too.

 

“I do. I was just worried you’d turn me away. You know, because I’m seventeen” I shrugged. “But I want to join you. I have been practicing, I am strong, I am agile and I am an illegal animagus”

 

“And the Order could really use your help”

 

Even though I had just been accepted into an extremely dangerous secret organization whose members risked their lives every day fighting terrorists fear was the last thing in my mind. I felt proud of myself, I felt ready, I felt so very alive.

 

“What’s first?”

 

“You need further training. You are very advanced but we can’t let you join missions until we are confident you have a high chance of survival. We do not risk our lives recklessly” McGonagall said. I nodded.

 

“I want to know more about Lord Voldemort, too. And his Death Eaters” I said.

 

“Your first task - not mission - while you’re in training is to help us find out if any students openly support him. We know some Slytherins repeat what they hear at home but there’s a difference between snickering at a muggle borns and supporting their murder” Dumbledore’s face was very grave as he spoke. “Do you think you can do this?”

 

“I know I can” and I already had a plan in my head. The only problem was that the marauders were not going to be happy with it. At all. Oh, and that it probably meant I was blowing my chances with Sirius forever. But, if that’s what it took to help take down Lord Voldemort, so be it.

 

My plan was called Christian Rosier. He was one of the most popular Slytherin boys in our year. He was very handsome according to the general female population of the school but I had never looked his way twice. He was a Slytherin and, most importantly, he was blond. So not my type.

 

**

 

I was introduced to the fellow members of The Order of Phoenix the following day in a small house in Hogsmeade. After catching me up on recent events, news and other top level strategy items they wanted me to keep in mind, we started my assessment. They wanted to test where I was at to design a training program that would get me to the required level as quickly as possible. People were dying and they needed more soldiers to join their ranks.

 

I stood in the middle of the room with my wand, ready.

 

“Jocelyn, what would you say is your strongest magical skill?” I was asked by a funny looking guy called Alastor Moody.

 

“It’s a tie between transfiguration and defense”

 

“How good are you at transfiguration?” he asked. Instead of answering, I shape shifted. There was a murmur and I changed back, feeling a little bit smug. He was nodding. “That will be very useful indeed. Very smart to stay unregistered”

 

“I’ve been practicing defense, too. My shield charms are strong, and my patronus is fully corporeal. But my real strength is offense. I apply the same principle as I do to quidditch: fast and furious”

 

At this, Moody started laughing loudly. “Where did you find this gem?” he joked with McGonagall. She gave him a nod with a small smile playing on her lips. Then, back to business, he said to me “let’s see what you can do.”

 

A few hours later I was back in school. I was more tired than I had ever been after a magic lesson before. As much as I had impressed them, I still had a lot to learn and they had been ruthless. I was grateful, even if I felt like I needed to sleep for an entire day to recover. The marauders were in the common room when I walked in.

 

“Where have you been?” James asked.

 

“With McGonagall, doing some extra transfiguration work” I felt like the best lies have a bit of truth in them, so this would have to do.

 

“It’s the first day of holiday and you’re doing extra work? Are you alright?”

 

“No, I’m not. I feel like the weight of my responsibility and maturity is crushing me” I made a dramatic gesture and they all laughed. “Move” I told Sirius, ready to plop myself on the couch next to him.

 

He grabbed my hand and pulled me down on top of him instead. This had never been a problem before. Because I am small in stature, and Sirius is, well, tall, dark and handsome, we often shared armchairs or a single spot on a sofa to help make room for the rest of our group. I used to feel very comfortable on his lap in general but that was before I had started to fancy him. Or should I say, before I realized it.


“What are you guys doing?” I asked, trying to play cool.

 

“We want to ask Dumbledore to let us throw a New Year’s Eve party in the school” Peter informed me. I got excited at that.

 

“Oh, that sounds great. What does Lily think? Wait, where is Lily?”

 

“Head Girl duty, there was some sort of fight in Ravenclaw and she’s gone to sort it out”

 

“Fight? Ravenclaw girls know how to fight?” I said in a mocking tone. I could feel Sirius laughing.

 

“There was probably some hair-pulling and a lot of yelling” Remus joined in with Sirius’ laughter.

 

“Well, I think you and Lily should ask Dumbledore, you know, because you are Head Boy and Head Girl” I told James.

 

“That’s the plan” he grinned. James and Lily were officially an item and I was over the moon for them. Turns out, last week after Hogsmeade they kissed in the Room of Requirement and it had all just gone upwards and onwards from then.

 

“It would actually be quite cool to have a party here. We had a good time last year” I said.

 

“We’ll have to prepare a good surprise for when the clock strikes midnight” Remus seemed super excited.

 

They kept discussing possible plans for the party but I had become distracted by the fact that Sirius had carelessly placed his hand on my leg. My train of thought took off from there and I somehow ended up wondering who I’d kiss this year when the clock stroke midnight. I would like it if it was Sirius, I thought. But then, I remembered that I hadn’t put my Christian plan into motion yet, partly because I was terrified of how the marauders and Lily would react to it, partly because I hadn’t really had time to do it anyway. That was probably a guarantee that Sirius wasn’t going to go anywhere near me any time soon, if ever.

 

**

 

I woke up early and went for a run despite the fact that it was snowing. Lily was fast asleep. We had gone to bed late the previous night, too busy enjoying the fact that we had no class the next day and talking excitedly about how much she liked James. It was cute.

 

I used my time running to hype myself up for what I had to do. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it shouldn’t be impossible either. After all, Death Eater wannabe or not, Christian was a seventeen-year-old boy ruled by hormones, or so I hoped. I knew, just like everyone else, that Christian and a couple of his mates liked to work out in the morning. So, I made sure to end my run outside the gymnasium. I took a good look at him. He had blond hair and quite beautiful green eyes. He was tall and, I observed with interest, quite strong. I watched him work out for a bit whilst I pretended to stretch and, eventually, he realized I was staring. I quickly looked away and willed myself to blush a little. Without stopping to check if it had worked, I rushed out of there. The plan was in motion.

 

“Jo!” Hardin greeted me when I walked into the common room.

 

“Hey, Hardin”

 

“Have you got plans for today?”

 

“I’ve got quite a bit of work I’d like to get through, actually” I said. “After I shower”

 

“What about this evening?” he tried again.

 

“I can’t promise anything”

 

“Yeah, so you’ve said” he was disappointed, and I hated it, but I just couldn’t handle the complication right now.

 

“Look, Hardin, I like you, I do, but I told you I didn’t know where this was going to go when we started it. I don’t think we’re on the same page anymore” I told him.

 

“I’m sorry, it’s my fault. I keep asking too much of you” he sighed.

 

“I don’t think you ask too much, it’s just I can’t give you what you want. I want to stay friends, and I am not against a casual hookup, but I can’t date you, not the way you want me to anyway” I said.

 

“I’ll get over it, don’t worry about me” he gave me a quick kiss on the cheek, and I smiled at him.

 

“I’ll see you later”

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