Her hands grasped onto something rough and sharp, and a moment later her knee hit the ground. She gasped as she felt pain sear across her right palm and she opened her eyes, looking quickly in each direction but she was alone in the dim alleyway. Carefully she turned and sat on the ground, pulling her hand close up to her face to inspect the cuts. Behind her was a brick wall, the thin streaks of blood barely visible against the red.
She held her wrist and closed her eyes, leaning her head back against the rough stone, waiting for the dizziness to pass. It had been a long time since she had jumped but the nauseating feeling was still ever familiar. For just a moment she forgot and she almost pulled out her wand to mend her skin but then she shook her head and blew out a huff before carefully standing again.
Wiping her hand gently against her pants she started toward the end of the alley, where she heard faint voices echoing off the walls. She took two more turns in the maze of walls and groaned inwardly; Knockturn Alley, again. She would have to make her way back to Diagon without looking conspicuous, and bleeding from the hand didn't help. Reaching inside her shirt she grabbed ahold of her camisole and tore a strip from it, wrapping it around her hand. Even though she couldn't use it she still checked her pocket to make sure her wand was still secure.
Again the main alley was bustling with people, which made it easy to slip in amongst them, but it was still disorienting. This was the third time she had arrived here this year and every time it appeared to be just before the start of school because a vast majority of the patrons were children of all ages leading their parents around. Looking up and down the street she decided to find an empty bench and wait; no one here would mind her suddenly popping into nothingness.
'Jaina!' She heard the young voice cry out but she was so accustomed to not being recognized that it wasn't until he said her name a second time that she actually turned to look. There was a dark haired, dark eyed boy pushing through the crowd toward her and when he was but feet away he threw himself forward, wrapping his thin arms around her waist.
She stared down at the top of his head as he squeezed her tightly and when he finally looked up his eyes went immediately to her wrapped hand.
'Are you hurt? Let me see,' he said, grasping her wrist. Still she watched in silence as he quickly unwrapped the makeshift bandage and he inspected the cuts. 'I have something,' he said as he rummaged in a small bag at his hip. 'My mother always makes us carry this because if we get into a fight we have to fix ourselves.'
'Who are you fighting?' she couldn't help but ask as she watched him pull out a bottle of Dittany.
'Regulus, of course,' he replied as he dabbed the substance onto her skin, watching as puffs of green smoke issued from the scratches, and when he looked up again she seemed to be frowning. 'My brother?'
Still she seemed confused but it was only after he had wrapped her palm in a clean cloth and was putting the bottle back in his bag that he seemed to realize.
'Oh...!' he suddenly cried out, looking up at her with large, round eyes. 'I forgot… you told me it was today!' He half smiled at her, as if amused. 'My name is Sirius. Sirius Black. And you're Georjaina, I know. Obviously.'
Georjaina closed her eyes for a moment, searching for that name but it wasn't there. And when she felt him touch her other hand she opened them again.
'You told me to tell you that this is your first time but not mine, that I'm eleven years old, and that…oh, I forgot,' he said, frowning a little himself.
'Sirius!' a woman's voice snapped over the crowd and they both looked.
'That's mother, I have to go!' he said quickly, squeezing her hand. 'But I'll see you soon, right?'
'I…I don't know,' Georjaina replied quietly.
Sirius nodded and started toward his mother, but after a moment he stopped and turned.
'Oh yes, I remember,' he said, his face bright. 'You said to tell you that it's about me, that it's always been about me.'
Georjaina felt her stomach clench and she stared helplessly after him as he disappeared into the crowd.
Georjaina was carefully washing her right hand in the bathroom sink. She was so exhausted the night before that, as soon as she returned home, she curled up in her bed and slept through the night. She could now use her wand to heal what was left of the scratches but the boy's potion had helped immensely. Even still, she wanted to properly wash it before closing it up.
She sighed heavily as she looked up at the mirror. His last words had rung through her head since he said them, even as she slept, but she didn't understand. Who was he and where had he come from? And what did he have to do with her?
She had never spoken to someone like that before when she had jumped. She always traveled backwards and they were all just strangers passing by. Once in a while she would catch a glimpse of someone from her own childhood but they wouldn't have recognized her anyway.
The faucet squeaked a little as she turned it off and she patted her palm dry carefully with a towel.
Black. She knew of the family, of course, but she didn't know any of them personally. But that boy…he wouldn't have said what he did if she hadn't told him to, she was sure of that. Did that mean she would jump again soon?
Georjaina gasped and pulled her hand back from the towel sharply. For one moment she thought perhaps it had just been static that had shocked her but then she dropped the towel from her other hand when she noticed that it too was beginning to spark. She stood up as straight as she could, took in a deep breath, closed her eyes, and concentrated on staying upright….
She felt the floor tilt and then suddenly she slammed into the ground. She could tell she was outside because of the intense smell of grass in her face. She groaned again and held her head for a moment, not able to care too much if she had been spotted this time or not. She had never jumped twice this close to each other and the nausea was worse than ever before.
It was several minutes before she was able to stand. Luckily she had appeared in a heavily shaded area, surrounded by large bushes and a few towering trees. After extracting herself from the plant life it didn't take her long to ascertain that she hadn't landed in Diagon again. Around her was a large park, definitely in London, and the sun was warm and high above her. People of all sorts were milling about, walking and talking and enjoying the summer weather.
She wandered a little, slowly at first, but then she remembered the boy…something told her to turn suddenly and there he was, sitting alone on a bench. She approached carefully, watching his solemn face, not knowing what to expect. Sirius looked up when she was only a few feet away.
'Do you mind?' she asked, motioning to the seat beside him and he nodded. She noticed he looked down to the ground again as soon as she was sitting. 'Er…do you know me?'
'Yes, Jaina,' he replied in a monotone voice, still not looking at her.
She sighed in half relief, half anxiety, leaning back and closing her eyes for a moment as she ran her fingers through her hair. And when she opened them again she found that he was watching her.
'What's the matter?' she asked quietly.
Sirius shook his head. 'My brother. He told my parents about you and they scolded me for having an imaginary friend at my age.'
'But…I'm not imaginary.'
'I know that. But you're never around long enough for them to meet you.' He gave her a hard look, as if this were her fault.
Georjaina fidgeted uncomfortably. 'I'm sorry, I don't…I don't even know what I'm doing here.'
He shook his head and looked away from her again. She thought for a moment, replaying everything he had said the last time they met.
'Sirius, how old-'
'I'm nine. Can't you tell the difference?' he snapped and she stared at him.
'Listen, I know this may sound strange, but this is only my second time meeting you,' she said after a moment and she noticed his face softened slightly. 'I have a feeling we're not meeting in the same order. How many times have you met me?'
He hesitated, thinking. 'This is the…sixth time.'
Georjaina's eyebrows went up in surprise. 'How old were you the first time?'
For some reason there was a sinking feeling in her chest and she was startled when she felt his hand in hers quite suddenly. They sat in silence like that for a while, side by side, holding hands.
'Will you ever come to my house someday?' he asked after a while.
'I don't know, perhaps?' she replied, looking over at him again. 'I don't really have control over it.'
He nodded. 'Do you visit others?'
'No. I've…I've never seen the same person more than once before.' She was thinking again about what he had said yesterday. Well, her yesterday. For him that moment was two years in the future.
'And are you going to stay long?' he asked and she noticed he was leaning toward her slightly. She hesitated, uneasy for some reason, and the she wrapped her arm around him and pulled him to her side. He hugged her back fiercely, his little hands grasping her shoulders. 'You're the only one that hugs me.' His voice was muffled against her shirt and again she felt her stomach clench. She closed her eyes and pressed her cheek to the top of his head.
'I have to go home,' he said as he finally pulled away. She noticed he was discretely wiping at his glistening eyes. 'Or I'll be in more trouble.'
'Can I walk with you?' she asked and he nodded, taking her hand again as she stood. They walked quietly through the park, comfortable in their silence, but as they neared the street she felt her hands begin to prick.
'I have to go,' she said quietly, giving him a tight smile. 'But I'll see you again, I promise.'
He nodded as he released her hand. 'You are my friend, right?'
Suddenly her smile was genuine. 'Of course I am.'
That night she dreamt of the boy, of his kind but troubled face. She hardly knew a thing about him and yet he was there on her heart, she could feel it. He was a wizard, obviously, and he lived in London. He hadn't yet mentioned a father but his mother didn't sound like fun, and she was guessing that his brother Regulus was younger than him.
Georjaina sat cross legged on her bed, holding a pillow to her chest, and she glanced out the window into the dark night, wondering if he were out there somewhere. Both times they had met had seemed fairly modern but if he was alive now why did she keep visiting the past to see him? The thought of seeking him out made her anxious and so she lay back instead and drifted into a shallow sleep where she felt as though his dark eyes were watching her.
I dreamt of Georjaina, before I knew anything else about this story. The Time Traveler's Wife has always been one of my favorite books and that idea of uncontrollable time travel must have been waiting in my mind to attach itself to a character.
It has been such a pleasure to write this story. It's been one that I haven't had to think about much, it's just come pouring out of me and onto the page. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this beginning and everything that is to come.
Obviously I claim no rights on Sirius or the world he lives in. That honor goes to the queen, J.K. Rowling. And it's been brought to my attention that I should clarify the pronunciation of my character's name, before it's asked: Johr-Jane-Ah. It's a variation of Georgina or Georgiana. Sirius usually calls her Jaina, which is pronounced Jane-Ah.
Comments are always welcome.