I needed to say something quick. If I let Sirius start talking, I had no doubt he’d convince me to never speak to Christian again. I had to make this quick and painful, push him away so he’d never want to come back.
“This was a huge mistake” I was surprised that my voice held and I sounded calm and sure.
“Jo, I don’t think...”
“I am with Christian. This shouldn’t have happened, I was upset and angry we lost the game. It was a stupid thing to do” I picked up my T-shirt and put it back over my head to disguise the trembling of my hands.
“I don’t believe you”
“Why? Why is it so hard to believe I’d like the kid? He’s hot and popular, he just happens to be in a different house”
“He is a horrible person who calls your best friend names because of who her parents are!”
“He hasn’t called Lily anything since we started dating. He won’t do it again” I sneered in his direction. This wasn’t going my way at all. I needed him to believe me, to let me go.
“Are you really going to throw away your friendship with us over this one guy?”
“What friendship? James is my ex and he’s now shagging my friend. Traitors both of them. It’s disgusting. Remus is still in pieces over Alice and sucks the life out of everything with his sadness. Peter is off with a different girl every week or kissing James’ ass in adoration. And you, well… you are you” I scoffed. “It’s not like I’m missing out on much, am I? Though I’ll give it to you, all that whoring around you do pays off” I would have very much liked him to actually punch me that moment. I felt like I needed to be punished somehow for what I had just said about my best friends in the world. It was awful and I hated myself for it, but it worked.
I was expecting him to say something, maybe shout at me some more but he didn’t. He turned around and grabbing his clothes off the floor and wand from the bench walked to other end of the room. I had never seen anyone get dressed so quickly. When he was done, he walked out.
“And the Oscar goes to... Jocelyn Silverway” I muttered to myself before crumbling on the floor and giving in to the tears.
Something was up with Padfoot. He’d come back five hours late after telling me he was going to get his wand and I could tell he was angry. Well, angrier. Sirius had been angry since New Year’s Eve, not that I could blame him. I knew he was hurting, and I didn’t know what to do make it better for him.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I asked him when he walked into the room.
“I didn’t think you’d be awake” he replied.
“Couldn’t sleep. I never can when we lose”
“What a shit game” he agreed with me.
“I thought you’d be with Red” he told me.
“I was, but then she fell asleep and I came back. I didn’t want to be tossing and turning, it might wake her up”
“Must be nice” he muttered.
“You’ll get over her” I said.
“I don’t think so. I’m starting to hate her, but that’s not really getting over it, is it?” he sighed.
“Did anything happen?”
“It did, but don’t ask me about it. I don’t want to talk” he said.
“I’m here, whenever you’re ready”
“Thanks, Prongs” and with that we went to bed.
The next morning, I met Lily in the common room and we walked to breakfast together. The guys were still sleeping. She looked so beautiful every single day. I felt like the luckiest guy alive.
“Is something wrong?” she asked running a hand through her hair.
“Only because you are stunning and I was thinking how lucky I am” I told her. She blushed. It was very cute.
“Thanks, James” she kissed me quickly. “Did you manage to get any sleep?”
“Not really, but it’s okay. I’ll be back to normal tonight”
“I’m sorry you guys lost. But you still have a shot at the cup”
“No. If this mess with Jocelyn doesn’t get resolved, we don’t” I told her. We reached the table and sat down together.
“It’s taking way too long. I didn’t think I’d ever go over a month without talking to her, it’s been almost two” she sighed.
“I know you miss her. I miss her too, a lot more than I ever thought I would” I said. I felt awful about the whole thing, because a part of me kept telling me this was Jo, and she was loyal to us, and there must be a reason; but another part of me told me to just look at the evidence and accept she’d changed.
“It just doesn’t make sense” she pouted. “I feel like I say that sentence at least once a day, but it is true. It just doesn’t”
“Something happened with Sirius last night, he came back late and he was a mess. An even bigger mess than usual, I mean”
“You think something happened with Jo?”
“I am pretty sure something did happen. I only wish he’d talk to me”
“Maybe he’ll talk to me?”
“You can try” I told her. She smiled weakly at me, then her eyes darted to the door and I turned just in time to see Jocelyn walking in with Christian.
“She looks awful” Lily whispered.
It was true. She looked like she hadn’t slept at all. Worse, she looked like she was sick. But she was trying very hard not to show it.
“Now I know for sure something happened” I said.
“And I know she still cares about him. Look at her. She looks like she did when Alice died”
“Why is she still with Rosier, then?”
“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out” she said with a determined look on her face.
I borrowed James’ map and waited patiently all day for Jocelyn to leave Christian’s side. I was about to intercept her but she disappeared into the Room of Requirement and I couldn’t go in after her. Annoyed, I asked James if I could keep the map until I found the right time to talk to her.
It took me three days because Jo was actively avoiding me. I tried to talk to her after class, but she’d just run away or hide. I tried to wait by the Room of Requirement, but she spotted me and turned around so quick I didn’t catch up to her before she went into the Slytherin common room. She slept in Christian’s room for two nights in a row. I was getting desperate.
“Jocelyn” I said. She stopped walking and turned around, a pained expression on her face.
“What do you want, mudblood?” Alecto Carrow said before she could speak.
“Don’t call her that” Jo spat.
“I’ll call her whatever I want. What makes her think she can talk to us?”
“Watch it, Alecto” Rosier said. Jo shot the Carrow girl a smug look when she shrugged and turned around to walk away.
“No need to get worked up about it” said Regulus Black, who’d been walking with them. “Wait up Al” he yelled, running after her. Jocelyn rolled her eyes. It was the most Jocelyn-like thing I’d seen her do in ages.
“Jo, can I talk to you?” I asked.
“I’m kind of in a hurry, what’s up? Can it not wait?” she said. She was perfectly polite, but distant.
“It’ll take a minute, I promise. It’s important”
“Fine” she said. “I’ll catch up. You going to the common room?”
“Come to my room” Rosier gave her a quick peck on the lips and left.
She walked with me in silence for a little until we reached a windowsill where we could sit. I looked at her and felt bad at how tired she looked.
“You okay?” I asked her.
“Don’t you try that with me, Jocelyn Silverway. I know you” I said earnestly. “What’s up?”
“Nothing much. Classes, homework, terrible quidditch, the usual” she shrugged.
“It’s the first game we lose since you joined the team” I pointed out.
“Thanks for the reminder” she snorted.
“Did you ask to talk to me to discuss Sirius?” she stood up. “I’m not doing that. Forget it”
“I’m worried about you Jo, and I’m worried about him”
“You don’t need to worry, he’s totally fine. He’s fan-fucking-tastic” she raised her voice. “Besides, it’s probably that Farfalle girl you should ask, not me”
“Never mind, by Lily. Christian is waiting for me” she said.
“Don’t you walk away from me, Jocelyn!” I yelled at her as she turned around.
“I don’t really have much to say, Lily” she sighed. “Your boyfriend and mine don’t mingle. You don’t like my boyfriend, and yours wants to gut me so, I think this is pretty much it for us. It’s been a good ride, though”
“I don’t believe you”
“You lot need to stop saying that, it’s getting old” she smirked.
“Well maybe it’s because it’s true”
“True or not, doesn’t matter. I’m done with you. You need to stay away from me, it’s for the best. I can’t promise Alecto won’t do something horrible next time so just stay away, Lily” and she walked away.
I wanted to run after her, point out that her worrying about my safety and standing up for me with the Carrow girl didn’t really support her ‘I’m done and I don’t care’ speech, but I simply didn’t have the energy anymore. That evening, I gave the map back to James and told him that I thought this was it for good. He held me all night whilst I cried over my broken friendship with Jo.
Sunday was the worst day of all. Everyone was generally hangover, as Slytherins had a party every Saturday for one reason or another, and that meant a lot of time wasting on sofas. It always made me depressed. I hadn’t drank much during the previous night because I didn’t trust myself around these people when inebriated.
“I’m going to do some homework, my brain actually works today, not like yours” I told Christian.
“Will you come back to stay with me?”
“I think I might be up late, so I’ll see you tomorrow”
“Alright, see you tomorrow then” I gave him a quick kiss and left.
I went to the library and managed to do some work. My essay on human transfiguration was coming along nicely (and easily, seeing as I was an animagus) and I had almost finished my Charms assignment when the librarian kicked everyone out for the evening. I walked back to the Room of Requirements and put my stuff away before realizing I was starving. Dinner had finished an hour ago so my only option was the kitchens. With a groan, I made my way there.
Luckily, there were no marauders in sight. I asked the house elves for a bit of food and sat in a corner eating quietly. Everywhere I looked in the kitchens I saw memories playing. The chairs where I’d shared a chocolate cake with Sirius and James after a particularly grueling quidditch practice. The table where all four marauders and I had enjoyed some apple crumble after a successful prank. Even the corner where James and I sometimes had little dates towards the end of sixth year. It was making me upset, so I stood up brusquely.
“Is everything alright, miss?”
“No, not really. I’m sad” I told the house elf.
“Can I help make it better?”
“Can you get me some muggle whiskey?” I asked her. I was joking, obviously but to my surprise she nodded and disappeared, reappearing a few seconds later with a bottle of my whiskey.
“Where did you get this?”
“There’s a shop in Hogsmeade that stocks it” she replied.
“How did you know?”
“Sometimes Master Black comes here and asks me to get him some. He likes this brand, it’s the only one I know”
I walked out and sat myself on the floor of a small side passage. I opened the bottle and lifted it up.
“I’m pretty sure drinking alone and talking to myself qualify me as pathetic” I muttered. “But, here’s to us, Sirius. Here’s to having found my epic and successfully screwing up all chances of actually being happy”
I stumbled into the common room and cursed as I hit the corner of a table with my hip.
“Jocelyn?” I froze. Too late, I remembered I wasn’t supposed to be here. I wasn’t staying in my room; I shouldn’t have come.
“Sirius” I said, trying to hide the fact that I was wasted. “I was leaving”
“You just walked in” he pointed out.
“By mistake” I shrugged.
“You’re wasted” he stood up and took a few hesitant steps towards me.
“Why are you drunk? It’s Sunday”
“I drank whiskey. Whiskey makes you drunk; doesn’t matter what day of the week it is” I said.
“Were you drinking with Rosier?” he asked me.
I looked at him. It was dark in the common room, but I could still see his face clearly. He was angry and worried, the emotions chasing each other all over his features.
‘I should lie to him’ I thought. But I couldn’t. Not in my estate, so late at night and completely alone with him. If I had had any sense left, I should have run away as fast as I could, but as it was, I struggled to keep my wits about me when I was around Sirius.
“No. I was drinking alone” I replied.
“Raging alcoholic much?” he closed the distance between us. I saw his hand twitch as if he was debating whether to touch me or not.
All my alarm bells rang loud and true. This was not going to end well, and I couldn’t afford another changing room episode.
“Don’t trouble yourself. It’s not like we’re friends anymore. You don’t approve of my choice of boyfriend” I said, my feeble attempt at getting him to back off.
“I don’t think you actually like him” he said, lowering his face towards mine.
“Of course I do” I said rather weakly.
“You are lying to yourself”
“What are you on about? You have hexed us three times in the past week for snogging in the corridors. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t like him” I retorted.
“I think you’re doing it for show” he replied. “What I can’t figure out is why”
“You’re being ridiculous” I scoffed and tried to move away from him only to realize the wall was right behind me. He really had to stop cornering me, it was unfair and ridiculous.
Sirius put his hands on the wall over my face, boxing me in, again. My heart race soared.
“Am I now?” he kissed me on the cheek. “I think you are lying to me and to yourself”
“I don’t lie Sirius” my voice was a barely-there whisper. He started planting kisses down the line of my jaw. My body reacted to him so intensely I felt dizzy.
“Stop pretending you don’t want me” he said, stopping his torture and looking into my eyes.
“I’m with Christian” I insisted.
“Why!?” he demanded.
“Because I want to be. Because I like him”
“If you like him so much, why haven’t you ran away yet?” he asked me, smirking.
“Because you won’t let me!” I cried.
“You could have told me to stop, and you know I would have” he said. He leaned in closer and whispered in my ear “but you don’t want me to, do you?”
He didn’t wait for me to reply. His lips captured mine and then we were kissing desperately, urgently, frantically. My hands found their way to his hair and I pressed my body against his, abandoning all pretense. There was no point in denying just how much I wanted him.
Then, to my shock and horror, Sirius broke the kiss.
“What...” I said. He shook his head.
“I wanted to prove a point and I have. I have nothing more to say to you”
“What do you want from me Jocelyn? What kind of sick game are you playing?”
“You are the one playing games with me!” I yelled.
“You know what, I was! I wanted you to push me away, to prove to me you actually see something in that asshole that we are all missing. It would explain why you have turned bitch all of a sudden. But you don’t even fucking like him, do you?”
“It is none of your goddamn business Sirius!! You had no right to do this to me” I couldn’t think straight. I felt humiliated and heart broken, and dangerously close to breaking and telling him the truth about the Order. I couldn’t do that.
So, instead, I finally ran. I ran away from the common room and didn’t stop running until I was in the Room of Requirements. I cried for a very, very long time.
I was a dickhead. I was a gigantic moron and I had made things so much worse than they were before. I couldn’t help myself, when she’d stumbled into the common room so completely wasted. I had wanted to hurt her. I wanted to hurt her because I was hurting, and it was her fault.
I shouldn’t have kissed her. Not only had I made her feel awful about it, which I deeply regretted, but I had made the situation so much harder for myself. I ran a hand through my hair and exited the secret passage back from Hogsmeade. I walked down the corridor and went into another passage. This was small and led to nowhere so I shouldn’t be disturbed. It was highly inconvenient that Jocelyn had claimed the Room of Requirements.
I sat on the floor and opened the bottle of whiskey I’d gone to get. It had been a week since that horrible incident, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the way she’d tasted.
I took a swig of the bottle. Muggle whiskey burnt my throat, leaving the same after taste in my mouth that kissing Jo that night had.
It was as close as kissing her again as I could get. Pathetic, I know, but what was I to do? It was hard enough loving her when I didn’t know what she felt like. Now that I knew, it was eating me alive.
I took another shot, pretending it was her lips. This was what I did now. Chased Jo down round after round, until I was so drunk it numbed the pain. Every shot I took brought me closer to that cruel kiss and I relished it. I was borderline masochistic but it was all I had.
I looked up to find Prongs standing over me.
“Hey” I said, taking another swig of the bottle.
“What’s the occasion?” he asked sitting next to me.
“I hurt Jocelyn on purpose to get back at her” I replied.
“Doesn’t matter. I fucked up and can’t even make it up to her because she’s with fucking Rosier and doesn’t talk to us anymore”
“We don’t talk to her either”
“Pads” he said, “I’m worried about you”
“Are you going to make me talk about my feelings now?”
“I’m not gonna make you talk about anything. I’m gonna sit here and keep you company because I know how much it fucking hurts”
“Loving someone” he said simply.
So we stayed there in silence until I finished the entire bottle. James had to help me up and I leaned on him to walk back to the Gryffindor Tower. Luckily, he’d brought the cloak and we avoided being seen.
“Whoah, what’s with him?” I heard Remus ask.
“Jocelyn’s turned him into a raging alcoholic”
“She’s on a roll” Peter muttered.
“What do you mean?” I slurred.
“She made some third year cry earlier today because she ran into her and made her drop her books” he explained.
“That... never mind” James said.
“I know, it doesn’t sound like Jocelyn. I thought so too but I’m not sure we know her very well anymore” Moony added. I groaned.
“I need to get her out of my fucking head” I said to no one in particular.
“Time heals all wounds” James told me.
“Not this one” I said dramatically.
“Get some sleep, you’re too drunk to think clearly anyway”
“That is true, Peter” I threw myself on the bed, clothes and all. “Good night”
“I can’t fucking wait to be out of here” Christian said.
“Do you already know what you want to do after graduation?” I asked casually.
We were sat on a bench by the greenhouses, waiting for his friends to finish Herbology. It was freezing outside but I welcomed the numbness the cold caused. It had been two weeks since the episode with Sirius in the changing rooms, and one since the horrible, humiliating kiss in the common room and I had spent every waking second since ablaze. I had no idea how it had happened, but being with Christian had only made my feelings for Sirius stronger. He had got under my skin and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was terrifying.
“I do. I’m curious about what you want to do, though” he said, eyeing me with interest.
“I am thinking trying out for a pro spot on a Quidditch team” I shrugged casually.
“Ah, that’s quite cool. No auroring for you, then?”
“What? Hell no. I couldn’t bear to be bossed around by the Ministry” the lie fell easily from my lips.
“You never cease to surprise me, gorgeous” he kissed me. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
“You guys are always at it” said the voice I recognized as Narcissa’s. Christian broke the kiss and looked at his friends smugly.
“I thought that Herbology lesson was never going to end” muttered another one of his friends whose name I couldn’t remember. Alecto nodded enthusiastically.
“It’s over now, so let’s go. I want to hear what the letter you got this morning said” Christian stood up and we all followed him. This was what I had been waiting for. That letter had caused quite a ruckus this morning and I wanted to know what it was. I had a feeling it was important.
“Over here” Narcissa led us into an empty room and put up some silencing charms. I leaned against the wall and looked at my nails, pretending to be bored.
“Jo, baby come here” Christian motioned for me to join him and I walked over lazily.
I sat on his lap and busied myself with nuzzling my nose on his neck. It was a good thing nobody could see my face, because I was pretty sure I couldn’t have hidden my expression at what Narcissa said next.
“Everything is set and ready. The letter said to keep an eye on the Prophet this Saturday. It should be front page. The biggest hit yet, Lucius says even bigger than the Saint Paul’s one this summer” I felt a horrible pang as I realized these people were talking about the attack that had taken Alice’s life but I didn’t have time to dwell, Narcissa was still talking. “There’s some sort of concert or festival on Friday night in London’s Hyde Park. Hundreds of muggles and mudbloods attend. It’s going to be huge”
It was all I could do not to start screaming. I focused on my breathing, forcing myself to calm down and making it through this conversation. It had been one of the first lessons from the Order, if you can control your breathing, you can get through anything.
“Ace, I can’t wait to see the headlines” said someone to my left.
“Is Lucius going himself?” asked Christian.
“He is, it’s been planned by the St. Paul’s crew but they’re taking a few of the newbies for training. I just hope when it’s our turn we get something just as good” she said, obviously very proud that her betrothed was already getting his hands dirty. How Narcissa and Sirius shared any blood was beyond me. They couldn’t be any more different and boy, was I glad.
“Keep us posted if you hear anything else from him” Christian said. Everyone murmured and congratulated her on her fiancé’s achievement and, after what felt like forever, they started leaving the classroom.
“I need to go to my Charms lesson” I said, kissing Christian quickly on the lips. “See you tonight?”
“I have to finish that stupid transfiguration essay that’s due tomorrow” he frowned. “Tomorrow night?”
“Sure, can’t wait” I smiled at him and swaggered out of the room.
As soon as I was out of sight I broke into a sprint. I got funny looks from a couple of students as I ran past them like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were on my heels but I couldn’t care less.
“ALBUS!” I shouted as soon as I arrived in his office. I now had the password and I had felt quite smug about it when he’d given it to me. I had wished I could tell the Marauders, just to see their faces, but if wishes were horses beggars would ride.
“Jocelyn, what’s the matter?” he stood up behind his desk.
“Attack. London. Friday night. Stop them” I panted, trying to get my breathing under control.
Luckily, Dumbledore wasn’t one of the smartest people I knew for nothing. He gleaned my meaning and needed no further explanation. He summoned a patronus and sent it to headquarters with an urgent message to meet in Hogsmeade in half an hour.
“Go get Minerva, I’ll alert Alastor, he’s going to want to be here” I nodded and ran out of his office again.
McGonagall was teaching a fourth year Transfiguration class. I pushed the door open and walked straight up to her under the shocked faces of the younger students. They were Hufflepuff, I think.
“Emergency. We have to go now” I whispered in her ear.
“Class dismissed. Read the chapter, write your essays. You have the rest of the period free” she said. We walked out before the students had even had time to close their books.
We hurried back to Dumbledore’s office. He was waiting for us and we took off towards Hogsmeade without delay. Seventeen members of the Order of Phoenix were waiting in the Hogsmeade safehouse when we arrived. Moody amongst them.
“Jocelyn has some important information for us” Dumbledore said by way of greeting. I nodded and stepped forward.
“As you know, I’ve been keeping close tabs on the Seventh year Slytherins, particularly those who are children of known Death Eaters. Today, Narcissa Black received a letter from Lucius Malfoy in which he said to watch out for the headlines in the Prophet this Saturday. They plan to attack a muggle concert or festival or gathering of some sort that is happening in Hyde Park in London on Friday evening. They are talking hundreds of people”
“Hundreds?” McGonagall’s voice shook a little.
“They said it was going to be bigger than Saint Paul’s. It is planned by the same crew” I said.
“You were there, weren’t you?” Arthur Weasley asked me.
“I was. My friend Alice died”
“I want to go to Hyde Park with you,” I said. There was a moment of silence when everyone turned to look at Dumbledore. He hesitated but Moody didn’t.
“It’s a huge park, we’re going to struggle to cover it. And they know who some of us are. A dog roaming around is possibly the best disguise ever. She has earnt her place amongst us. I think she’s ready. I say she comes”
“Aye” one by one all order members gave their consent and their agreement, until it was Dumbledore’s turn.
“This will blow your cover with the Slytherins, but I think that mission can be considered complete. We know to keep an eye on those kids now, and to monitor any mail they receive” I nodded.
“I would very much like this mission to be over. I don’t think I can stomach the sight of Christian Rosier another minute” I said. I saw a few faces nodd sympathetically.
“It is settled then. Let’s get down to prep” Alastor Moody conjured up a table and we all gathered around it.
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