By the time they had reached Gryffindor tower, Noelle was still quivering. The sheer force of Sirius' anger was still apparent, and it was starting to scare her. At the portrait of the Fat Lady, he could barely speak he was so furious.
"Flibbertigibbet." He spat.
Noelle couldn't help but giggle a little. To hear that word spoken in such a livid voice was amusing. The look he shot her was less so. She quickly smothered her laughter and followed him into the common room. She sat on the couch shakily and chose her words carefully.
"So that was your brother." She said, trying to keep her tone light, in spite of the appalling way she had just been spoken to.
"He is no brother of mine. Not anymore." Sirius seethed, his fists still clenched.
She reached for his hand, desperately needing his reassuring touch. He swung his grey eyes towards her and she could see the tears of fury building under his lids.
"Noelle, I'm so sorry for the way he just treated you. I should have decked him."
Clutching his fingers tightly, she shook her head.
"That would have just shown that you are no better than him. And you are chérie. You are ten times the man he is." She said, her voice heavy with emotion.
Sirius hunched down in front of her and took both of her hands in his.
"You mean that?" he asked huskily.
She was slightly taken aback by the seriousness in his eyes and voice.
"Oui, of course I mean it." She said softly.
He slid his hand behind her head and carefully placed his lips on hers. When their lips made contact, she shuddered with pleasure. Her arms wound around his neck and she pulled him closer. Their kisses grew more intense and she moaned deep in her throat. Her fingers entwined into his dark silky hair and tugged at the strands gently. His tongue easily slipped into her mouth and she nipped it softly with her teeth. He groaned and pulled away from her. She looked at him through her eyelashes and bit her bottom lip.
"I am sorry, I was a little forward." She muttered.
"You were? Not at all. I thought I was being too pushy."
She smiled seductively at him and grabbed the front of his shirt. Pulling him so he was about an inch away from her face, she teased his face with kisses. He was panting by the time she pushed him away.
"You were saying?" she said playfully, reaching up to her hair to unfasten her braids. Her waist length blonde hair tumbled down around her face and shoulders, waving invitingly around her face. Sirius' mouth dropped open sharply. When he had recovered, he managed to speak.
"I have entirely forgotten everything that I was saying."
Noelle tossed her long hair over her shoulder and stood up, stretching like a cat.
"Where are you going?" Sirius asked.
"No, it should be, 'Where are we going?'" she said, gazing down at him.
He swallowed nervously.
"We? You and me?" he bumbled.
"No, you and Peeves." She said in exasperation. "Of course you and me."
"What are you saying Noelle?" he asked softly.
She reached out a hand and he took it.
"I am saying that I want to be alone with you. Is that alright?" she said, tilting her head.
Sirius jumped to his feet.
"What do you think?" he replied, a wicked gleam in his eyes.
He tugged at her hand and pulled her out of the room.
He hurried up a few staircases, and then pulled her down a corridor. Pushing her up against the wall, he crushed his lips down on hers. Eagerly she responded, holding her body to his firmly. After a minute or two of this, he stepped away and resumed down the hall, still grasping her hand tightly. He climbed another steep staircase and Noelle knew exactly where he was taking her. He pushed the door open and smiled at her so sweetly that she felt as if she were falling. She stepped through the doorway and onto the observation balcony of the Astronomy tower.
The early summer sky was exploding with stars. She felt herself shiver slightly and then felt strong arms wrap around her. She kissed his hand and snuggled back against his chest. He kissed her ear and her head fell back.
"Noelle, do you have any idea how much I love you?" he whispered.
Slowly, she turned in his arms until she was facing him. Tilting her head to meet his lips, she kissed him enticingly.
"I have a small idea. You might want to show me though. I have always liked show better than tell." She said mischievously.
Lifting her easily in his arms, he laid her down on the cushions of the benches that surrounded the wall of the balcony. She reached her arms up and he came into them. Gathering her long hair, he held it away from her face while he ran his lips down her neck. It was intoxicating and practically unbearable. She was completely immobile as he carefully unbuttoned the collar of her blouse so he could reach her collarbone. Her breath quickened as he kissed along the sensitive skin and she clutched his hands even tighter. His head came up slightly with a question in his eyes. She nodded and his hands went back to the buttons of her shirt. As he unfastened them, the warm summer air slid over her skin like silk. She lifted herself a little just so he could remove her shirt entirely. The desire in his face was even more apparent when she lay back down.
"Noelle, you are the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on. I've never felt this way about anyone, and no one has ever made me feel the way you do." He said, barely above a whisper. "I love you so much."
"I love you too, Sirius. More than I have ever told you or showed you. I am so sorry for the pain that I have caused you." She said, her voice becoming strained as she tried not to cry.
"Shh, no tears tonight." He said, placing his finger over her lips.
She couldn't resist. With her tongue, she pulled his finger into her mouth and sucked on it gently. His eyes rolled back in his head, overwhelmed by the effect it had on him. She reached down and grabbed the hem of his shirt. One swift move was all it took, and his bare chest was exposed. Releasing his finger from her mouth, she smoothed her hands over his skin, feeling the sprinkle of dark hair between her fingers. He unlatched the clasp on her bra and pulled it away from her chest. Instantly, his lips were on her breast and she felt her nipples harden. As he licked her soft skin, she was fumbling at his waist for his belt. Ripping it away from his body, she tore at the buttons holding his pants up. Surprised, Sirius looked up into her navy eyes.
"What? I cannot wait much longer. We've waited long enough." She said, her cheeks flushed and her eyes glowing.
"Oh, I'm not complaining. I was wondering what took you so long."
With that he grabbed the waistband of her skirt and yanked it off her body, amazed to see that she wore no underwear. She wiggled her eyebrows at him and reached into his boxers. Taking him into her hands, she stroked his erection firmly. He moaned and braced himself on the railing.
"Oh my Lord, you have no idea what you're doing to me." He muttered.
She laughed softly. "No, I know exactly what I am doing to you."
"Let me return the favor then." He said, running his tongue over her lips.
He began to stroke her gently, then increasingly harder as she couldn't keep herself still. Her chest was heaving and sweat was trickling down between her breasts.
"Please, don't stop." She begged.
"I wasn't planning on it." He whispered in her ear.
Carefully, he positioned himself between her legs. He entered her slowly at first, almost losing control at the sensation. She elevated her hips and grabbed his rear firmly, pulling him deep into her. She let out an almost animal groan when he was completely inside of her. They lay still for a moment, neither one moving, just getting used to the way their bodies fit together.
"It is as if you were made for me." She whispered sentimentally.
He gazed deep into her blue eyes and tilted her chin up.
"Noelle, I was made for you."
With that he began to slowly move himself back and forth. From far away, she felt rhythmic waves washing over her entire body. Concentrating completely on making him feel as amazing as he was making her feel, she contracted her muscles softly. If he had been any less aroused, he wouldn't have felt her subtlety pulsating against him. His breath caught in his throat as she couldn't keep the small sounds of pleasure from escaping her mouth. They became louder and more frequent as he continued, which made him unable to focus on anything but the woman in his arms. Far too soon, he couldn't even control himself. With a final thrust, he succumbed to the most intense feeling he had ever experienced.
Noelle lay sleepily in Sirius' arms, gazing up at the night sky. It was exploding with stars, and she felt as if they were falling all around her. He reached for his robes and draped them over their bodies, pausing to kiss her gently. She purred and smiled up at him. She didn't even want to speak, somehow knowing that words were too clumsy for this moment. Instead, she rested her head on his chest and listened to his slow, even breathing. Never in her life had she felt so perfect, so complete. She knew then that she could trust Sirius, and that he would never hurt her, at least not intentionally. She had been born to love him, and he to love her. Content with that notion, she buried her face in his shoulder and dozed off.
Lily was curled up on the sofa, reading a textbook that was so ancient, it coughed dust in her face every few pages. After the third time this had happened, she slammed the book shut with annoyance.
"Easy, Lil, it's just a book. It can't even fight back." James said wryly.
She wrinkled her nose at him and placed the book on the end table. He plopped down at the other end of the couch and reached for one of her feet. She sighed with pleasure as he rubbed it gently.
"James, I swear, you're a life saver. How did you know my feet were killing me?" she asked.
"Intuition. Besides, you were complaining about it all the way back from dinner."
Lily laughed and ran a hand through her red hair.
"Speaking of dinner, have you seen Noelle and Sirius? They disappeared pretty fast." She questioned.
"Haven't seen hide or hair of them. Probably wanted to be alone for awhile. They've been acting a little strange lately, haven't they?"
"Strange? When has Noelle or Sirius ever acted in a way which would be considered normal? Ever?"
An awkward silence fell between the two. It was odd, really. Lily couldn't even pinpoint when she had stopped seeing James as an arrogant prat, but somewhere along the way, she had truly begun to enjoy his company. She liked the way that he had a good head on his shoulders, and the way that he would do anything for either of his best friends. Even though some of the stuff that Sirius pulled made her want to shove him through a wall, James always knew how to handle his best friend. She found that she couldn't get enough of the times when she caught James staring at her, and the embarrassed look he had when she caught him.
Ooh, damn! This time he had caught her! She ducked her head and pretended to be very interested in the hem of her blouse. Maybe he wouldn't say anything.
"Are you alright? You had a really weird look on your face just then."
"Yeah, I'm okay. Just thinking."
"How this year turned out. It started pretty badly, you know, Noelle getting kicked out of her family, and all those rumors being spread about her, and she just pushed through it. That girl is made of cast iron, I swear. I don't know how she handles it all, especially when she's so..." Lily cut off abruptly.
"So far from home." Lily finished, relieved that she had managed to cover her slip so quickly. "Even after all that, we've managed to have a good year."
James reached for her other foot.
"It hasn't been boring, that's for sure. I'm just glad it's almost over. Can you believe we're going into our last year here?"
Lily shook her head.
"Absolutely not. Do you remember our first day here?"
James laughed softly.
"Sure do. I was so eager to be Sorted, I knocked the stool over."
"I remember that!"
"And you were so nervous; your bottom lip was shaking like a leaf."
"James! I had no idea what to expect! At least all your life, you knew you were a wizard, and no one in your family treats you like a circus freak." Her voice had a slight catch to it.
James let go of her foot, and took her hand.
"Lily, if that's what you are, then I want to join your circus. You are the sweetest, most beautiful and talented person I know. Who cares what Petunia thinks, she's a mutant."
Lily's emerald eyes misted over and she smiled at the messy haired boy in front of her. James seemed to realize what he had just said, and felt his cheeks growing crimson.
"Did you really mean that?" Lily managed to ask.
The hopeful look in her eyes completely shattered any notion that he had of covering what he had said. Instead of answering her, he leaned towards her and kissed her gently.
Sirius cracked open an eyelid. Noelle was tucked comfortably by his side, snoring softly. On the horizon, the sun was just beginning to break through the trees. Trying to dislodge his arm without disturbing Noelle proved fruitless. She scowled in her sleep, and then squinted at him. She yawned hugely and tugged his robes over her bare chest.
"Quelle heure est-il?" she asked sleepily.
"It's about 6. I just wanted to watch the sunrise."
She raised an eyebrow and yawned again.
"That is very poetic of you. And quite romantic, n'est-ce pas?" she said teasingly, leaning over to kiss him.
"I can be romantic." He protested.
"Oui, I know that. You just showed me romantic last night, chérie."
"You ain't seen nothing yet." He said with a wink.
She gave him a playful shove.
"Should we be heading back to the tower? I really cannot afford to get in any more trouble."
Sirius bristled at being reminded of her punishment, and what it had been for.
"Yeah, I guess we should." He said shortly.
"Are you alright?" she asked worriedly, touching his bare shoulder.
He relaxed when their skin met.
"Yeah, I'm okay. You're right, we should go."
Slowly, they began to pull their clothing back on. He picked up her blouse and held the arms for her. She slipped it over her shoulders and buttoned it securely. Draping her robes over her arm, she slid her feet into her shoes. When she turned to face him, he saw shadows in her already dark eyes.
"Noelle? You look so sad. What's wrong?" he asked
She shook her head slowly.
"I'm not sure. I just feel very strange all of a sudden."
Before she could stop them, tears began to pool under her eyelids.
"This is not going to change anything between us, is it?" she asked, praying her fears were unfounded.
He quickly came to her and pulled her into her arms.
"I just do not want to lose you." She managed to say before the tears broke loose.
"Oh, baby, that will never happen. Never. I will never leave you. I already told you, there is nothing you could ever do to make me love you less."
She buried her face in the front of his robes while he stroked her back.
Oh, Sirius, what have I done? How could I have betrayed you like that? She thought to herself. He must never know, he would hate me forever.
He tilted her face up to his and kissed her tears off of her cheeks.
"I love you, Noelle."
Before anyone even realized it, the year had ended and the carriages were pulling up in front of the castle. Sirius was lugging both his trunk and Noelle's and despite a Weightless charm, her trunk still weighed a ton.
"What do you expect? It holds everything I own!" she said defensively when he complained about the weight.
The five Gryffindors crammed into one carriage for the ride into Hogsmeade. The Hogwarts Express was waiting at the platform, belching black smoke into the air. Climbing aboard, Lily checked all the compartments until she found an empty one. Calling to her friends, they quickly claimed it for their own.
"So Lily, when do you think you can make it to Manchester?" James asked.
Lily rolled her eyes.
"I'm hoping within a week or two. If I have to stay at my house with my sister, I'll go mad."
"Well, we'll be there all summer. You can come whenever you'd like. Padfoot, what is it?" James said, noticing the dark look in his friend's eyes.
"I have to return to my house for the third week in July. I don't know how long I have to stay, but if it's a long time, I'll just leave."
Noelle placed a hand over his.
"Sirius, are you sure that you should go there? Look what happened at Christmas."
"Noelle, if I don't go home, my father will send someone to James' to physically bring me to my house. It's better that I just go."
"Would you like me to come with you?"
"Are you crazy? My parents are bloody mental. No, I think that you should just stay at James'."
Noelle sat back, slightly put out.
There was a knock at the compartment door and Remus slid it open.
"Oh, hi Peter." He said.
Peter sidled his way into the compartment and sat down next to Lily, who inadvertently pulled away slightly. Noelle noticed this and stood, stretching her arms over her head.
"Care for a walk, Lily?" she asked, eager to be anywhere but in the vicinity of Peter. Lily nodded quickly and jumped to her feet.
"How are you guys?" Peter asked after the girls had left.
"Peachy. What are you plans for the summer?" Sirius asked, forcing his own plans out of his mind.
"Probably the same thing I do every summer. Help out in my dad's store. He has an apothecary in Gloucestershire."
"If you can get away, you should come to James' for a spell. We're all going." Sirius said.
When James didn't second the invitation, Sirius kicked him sharply in the shin.
"Ow! Oh, yeah. Peter, you're welcome to come." James said grudgingly.
"Well, if I can get away, maybe I will. It sounds like fun."
After that, there was uncomfortable silence. Peter cleared his throat.
"Well, I should be getting back to my compartment." He said, shifting his eyes back and forth between James and Sirius.
None of the Gryffindors said anything to stop him.
"Have a good summer." He muttered as he slipped out of the compartment.
"Bye Peter!" Sirius called. After he was sure the Hufflepuff was out of hearing range, he glared at James and Remus.
"Come on guys. He's not that bad. And we have to keep him on our side, at least until we've managed to teach him the charms."
James let out a decisive laugh.
"This might very well be well after we graduate, at the rate he's learning things. I honestly thought he was going to blow up the dungeon the other night."
"It wasn't that bad, James." Sirius said.
"No, you're right. It was worse. Padfoot, he's a mess. And he's going to get us in trouble, even more trouble than we usually get into."
"Does he know the real reason that the two of you became Animagi?" Remus interrupted.
James shook his head, but Sirius quickly turned towards the window.
"You told him, didn't you? Didn't you?" James demanded.
Sirius swung his eyes guiltily towards his friends.
"I didn't mean to. It just came out."
"Bloody hell Sirius! What were you thinking?" Remus exploded.
"Obviously, he wasn't, Moony. But what else is new?" James said.
Sirius' eyes narrowed dangerously.
"That's enough James. You're not always perfect you know." He hissed.
"Stop it, all of you!" Noelle cried from the doorway, with Lily right at her heels.
"Stay out of this, Noelle. It's none of your business." James seethed.
"Non, I will not. I know exactly what you're talking about. Remus is a werewolf, James and Sirius, you are Animagus, and you have to teach that little worm how to become one as well." She took a breath; her lungs were starting to seize up. "Just stop fighting and handle it together." She managed to say.
Instantly, Sirius was at her side, leaving James speechless behind him.
"What's wrong? Are you not well?" he asked.
"I am fine. I just hate it when you all fight." She lied.
"We're not fighting. We're just…" he looked towards Remus.
"We're discussing. It's not a big deal."
James still had a rather baffled expression on his face.
"But, how did she know? Did you tell her too?" he asked Sirius with a dumbfounded expression.
"No, she figured it out. And the rest, I told her." Remus said quietly.
James closed his mouth and sat down.
"So, let's get this straight. Noelle, you know everything, and obviously, so does Lily."
Both girls nodded.
"You can't tell anyone. You know that, right?" he asked.
"Of course we do James. We're not stupid." Lily replied with a smirk.
James ran his hands through his hair and sighed.
"Alright. Nothing that can be done now."
The girls took the same seats they had been occupying, and Remus and Sirius followed suit. The train rolled on towards London, with James still making little noises of disbelief every so often.
Noelle awoke to the sounds of screeching brakes. Her friends were already on their feet, gathering their belongings together. She smiled sleepily at Sirius as he handed her their knapsacks while he dragged the trunks.
On the platform, Noelle embraced Lily tightly.
"I am going to miss you so much!" she said, trying desperately not to cry.
"I'll be there as soon as I can get away. I'll be damned if I spend my whole summer at home!" Lily said with a smile.
The girls hugged once more, and then Lily hurried off to her mother's side.
"Is that Petunia?" James said incredulously, coming up behind Noelle.
"Oui, that is she." She arched her eyebrow. "Aren't you going to say goodbye to Lily?"
James turned beet red, then rapidly caught up with Lily.
"Gonna miss you, Evans." He said, hoping his voice didn't crack.
She smiled crookedly.
"Oh, are we back to calling me Evans now?" she said teasingly.
James smiled and swiped at his hair, grinning at her boyishly. Instead of answering her, he placed one hand at her waist, and one on her shoulder. He kissed her sweetly on the lips, then once on each cheek.
"Come to Manchester soon." He whispered into her ear, and then backed away towards the others.
"Did James really just kiss Lily? In public? In Muggle public?" Sirius asked with an astonished look on his face.
"Sure did. Why don't you follow his example?" Noelle said flirtatiously.
Bending her back, he swept her up in a deep kiss. She was laughing so hard, she nearly bit his lip. He pulled her back into a standing position and smiled at her charmingly.
"Love you." He said softly.
"Oui, I love you too."
"This is our summer, Noelle. It'll be much better than last year, I promise."
Noelle gazed into his beautiful grey eyes and prayed that he was right.
"It better be."