This one-shot is a companion piece to ch. 16 of the RLNT fic A Wolf in the Moonlight and the third Sirius outtake in the series, although unlike A Dog's Life and Sirius in the Moonlight , this story is told from Cami's pov. While in no way a song fic, I did find inspiration in two songs while writing. Kelly Clarkson's A Moment Like This and Frankie Jordan's Once Again. Yeah, yeah, I'm a hopeless romantic. I hope you'll read the story and tell me that's a good thing!
A Moment Like This
It felt like everyone in the apothecary shop was staring at her. Trying not to act conspicuous, Camillia Llewellyn placed a jar of hand cream into her basket and then ambled toward the back. She scanned the shelves leisurely, trying to give the impression that she didn't have a specific purchase in mind. Occasionally, she would lift a flagon of this or a jar of that and pretend to read the labels. Each item briefly held and replaced were like stepping-stones on the way to…
"May I help you?"
Whirling around to face the goblin clerk, she tried not to blush. "No! No, I'm just…looking."
He nodded toward the display behind her and said in a voice that seemed loud in the quiet space, "We have the most extensive selection of contraceptive potions of any shop in Diagon Alley."
"Really?" she asked faintly, covertly glancing round to see if anyone had overheard. The situation reminded Cami of that long-ago summer night when Dad had tossed a sack onto her bed and declared, "That's the first and last time I buy feminine hygiene products! The bloody clerk tried to be helpful by shouting across the shop for an assistant to check if they were on sale. Cheeky misses stared…and giggled!"
No giggling teenagers were hanging round the apothecary's, but there was a hag perusing the hair removal unguents nearby. She was smirking. Feeling a reluctant sympathy for her late father and wholehearted pity for herself, the witch tried to sidle away. The goblin followed.
"Yes! We take pride in providing stock that will suit each customer's circumstances."
Since the hag was already shaking her frizzy head, Cami figured she couldn't embarrass herself any worse. Besides, it wasn't the first time she'd made this purchase, just the first time in a very long time. She didn't remember there being such a wide selection. Curious, she asked, "What do you mean?" Reading his nametag, she added, "Mr. Wilytongue?"
Beady dark eyes lit up. "I would be honoured to show you…if Miss would not mind answering a few discreet questions…"
Cami darted a look at the hag. The witch wasn't even pretending to shop anymore. Glancing back, she found the goblin watching her with an understanding smile. She wondered if his people skills had earned him the position in a wizard shop. Mr. Wilytongue told the other customer, "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow is our best seller, madam, and guaranteed to remove that moustache overnight."
"I only need to shape my eyebrows," the woman growled, leaving the store in a huff.
"I find unibrows quite striking, myself," the goblin mused, before turning his salesperson's grin on Cami.
She said warily, "What questions…"
"Asked only to assist selection and over in a trice," he promised, before enquiring, "Are you a current user of contraceptive solutions?"
"Is there any history of allergy to," he rattled off a long list of ingredients.
"Intended for short or long term usage?"
Her face felt hot. "Long."
"Will the properties of the solution be engaged sporadically or frequently?"
Her cheeks were probably as red as the flagon at which she was staring. "Frequently."
"One last question. Which flavour do you prefer?"
"Mint," she answered, thinking of Sirius' extreme fondness for brushing/flossing mints. Cami didn't blame him for being a tad obsessive. He'd gone a long, long time without them in Azkaban. If his teeth hadn't been protected by sealant spells… She didn't want to think about it.
"Ah, I know just the one."
She followed the goblin down the aisle and watched as he selected a potion. Taking the flagon, she smiled. Gray- the colour was the exact shade of Sirius' fathomless eyes. The directions etched on the glass were black. It was perfect. "Thank you, Mr. Wilytongue."
Lunch break over, she returned to the Blue Moon. Her job as an enquiry agent might never have earned the approval of her father, a Muggle police detective, but she enjoyed it.
"How was shopping?" asked Bubbles.
Smiling at the receptionist, Cami said as she walked past, "I found what I was looking for."
"That's nice." Blowing softly on her freshly painted nails, the sunny blonde-haired woman called, "Your doggie came by to see you. I told him he could wait in your office."
Before Cami could do more than say thanks, her boss stepped into the corridor. "Got a moment Llewellyn?"
Orion Mortimer Black tended to use his agents' last names when he was about to ask them to take an unpleasant assignment. She followed him into his office and sat in a chair, waiting for him to explain. After a few moments of shuffling papers, he said, "I've got a marital enquiry…"
His eyebrows rose. She didn't usually interrupt. That was her friend Tonks' style. Cami was more patient. When she smiled apologetically, he nodded. "Yes, I need you to take pictures and act decoy…"
"I can't." Oops, there she went again. It felt rather good. Before Morty could talk her into it, Cami stood and explained, "I already have plans."
Had she inadvertently raised the paper sack? Her employer's black gaze was studying it intently. "What kind of plans?"
Backing toward the doorway, she said, "Personal plans."
He grinned. "Yeah? Well, then, I'll hit Tonks up instead."
Upstairs, she placed the flagon in a pocket before entering her office. Hanging up the cloak, Cami turned to kneel beside the dog that had risen to greet her. Running her hands through his shiny black fur, she kissed his muzzle and said, "I narrowly avoided slag duty, so tonight it's just you and me."
She laughed as 'Snuffles' began enthusiastically licking her face. Hugging him, she sighed. "Duty first." Blowing the Animagus a kiss, she crossed to her desk and picked up a file. Cami smiled to feel the warmth of a furry head resting on her foot.
Later that evening, she frowned as it took three tries to light a candle. "I got Burt's Enchanted Beeswax…posh and guaranteed not to drip…the least they could do is light properly!" she muttered, before breathing a sigh of relief to see the wick finally catch flame. Her breath extinguished it. Grumbling, she lowered her wand and reached into a cupboard for a box of Muggle matches.
After lighting the candles and sending them floating, she fluffed a sofa pillow and adjusted a vase of flowers on the dining table. She didn't want her partner to think she'd expected any. It wasn't like he could stop by a florist's and buy some. Two words made her smile. Her partner... Sirius Black was her partner. It was almost too bizarre to believe. More like something out of a heated dream. Cami had dreamt plenty, inspired by daily proximity to his wanted poster. She looked into the mantel over the mirror, smoothing down straight brown hair. Had it only been a matter of days since she discovered the dog she loved was a fugitive Animagus? Hazel eyes sparkled back at her. She felt like she had known him forever.
Or maybe I've been waiting a lifetime for someone to love with my whole heart.
Cami smiled at the reflection of a twenty-seven year old woman who felt like a girl gushing about her 'one true love'. Turning away, she headed toward her bedroom and inspected it with a critical eye. The sheets were the highest thread count she'd been able to afford, the room tidy, and a window open. Due to his long imprisonment, Sirius couldn't stand being cooped up in a room without fresh air.
Her gaze fell on a crystal dish filled with red rose petals. It had seemed so romantic at the time, but now... She picked it up. Her fingertips brushed silken petals. Deciding to keep them, Cami replaced the dish and headed to the lavatory.
Using a spell to dry her hair, she returned to the bedroom and broke out the Siren's Secret lingerie and Siren Cosmetics. The first guaranteed she'd look like a sexy angel, and the second promised her makeup wouldn't rub off or have any scent or taste. Just the thought of Sirius trailing his lips across her cheek and then choking out, "Love, would you mind washing that gunk off your face? It tastes terrible," made her cringe.
She kept the makeup to a minimum and quickly picked out a strapless silk dress. The full skirt ended above her knees and had the demure-yet-sexy look she was after. Trying to decide what jewellery to wear was her biggest challenge. Most of her nicer pieces had been gifts from her ex. Stuart became happy and generous when he drank. It was when she asked for him to go into treatment with her that he turned nasty.
A bark sounded. Hurrying to the small entry, Cami opened the front door and saw 'Snuffles' waiting on the mat, holding a red rose in his mouth. Her heart turned over. "Oh...OH!" she gasped, seeing her neighbour Mr. Valentine approaching.
He gave her a wary look and mumbled, "Good evening," as he released the wards on his flat across the corridor. Before the door shut, she heard him call out, "The dog brought her flowers, Marianne. I suppose that's natural too?"
Inside her flat, Sirius resumed his human shape and smiled boyishly as he wiped the stem on his robes and offered it, saying, "I wish I could buy you dozens, but I could only nick the one from a neighbour's conservatory."
"It's lovely." Cami meant to kiss him lightly in thanks, but she was so touched, and the gesture was so sweet, and she loved him so much her kiss became deep and passionate.
"Did you forget to make dinner and decide to eat me up instead?"
She stared at him blankly. "Dinner?" Eyes widening, she said, "Oh dear, the baked dinner!"
Thankfully, the meat and veg wasn't too overcooked. Sirius ate with gusto, but she wondered. Did he really like it or was it a case of anything being better than rat? Remembering the tinned dog food she'd tried to feed 'Snuffles', Cami smiled. No, he wouldn't eat just anything.
"Aren't you hungry?"
Nodding, she took a bite, although it tasted like sawdust. Her stomach felt filled with butterflies bent on performing some sort of aerial competition. She could barely converse normally, much less eat. He looked so handsome in the candlelight. Not Greek-statue gorgeous the way he'd been in the photographs she'd seen of him as a younger man- Azkaban had left its mark. His features showed age, pain, and a determination of spirit that tugged at her heart. She sighed. He was still too gorgeous for his own good.
"Did I tell you about Harry's latest letter?"
Sirius' face lit up, talking about his godson. She knew he couldn't really relate to a socially insecure boy's anxiety about a Yule Ball. He'd never worried about impressing women or learning to dance. Cami did admire Sirius' devotion to Harry and understood that when the boy needed him, he'd go. She smiled, thinking of future 'camping trips' to Scotland.
"Anything for afters?" he asked while they cleared the dishes later. Cami nodded and brought out the mousse she'd ordered from Chocolat. He chuckled. "Don't we need a couple of spoons?"
All of a sudden, her idea seemed pathetically cheesy, not erotic. Trying to pretend she'd merely forgotten cutlery, Cami reached for the drawer.
He took her hand in his. "I've never used fingers for this kind of dessert before, but if you'd kindly demonstrate, I think I'd get the hang of it."
Why did she blush so easily? With a tiny smile, Cami admitted, "I haven't either, but I wanted to...with you."
Sirius pulled her into his arms. His kiss was better than chocolate. One kiss led to another and another until they had backed out of the kitchen and onto the sofa in the lounge. Whispered vows of love and desire were exchanged along with increasingly passionate kisses and caresses. After his robes and shirt were on the floor and his hand was gliding up her thigh, Cami broke off the kiss to ask, "Wouldn't we be more comfortable on my bed?"
His body stiffened. "What about..."
"I went to an apothecary's today," she cut in, hoping he would smile and carry her into the other room.
Instead, his eyes shifted away. Raking a hand through his disordered hair, Sirius reached for his shirt and dragged an arm through the sleeve. "I should check on Buckbeak." When she stared incredulously, he pulled on his robes and said, "He...he...hasn't been flying in awhile. Gets a bit tense...and tetchy...when he doesn't get out, does our Bucky."
She couldn't believe he was leaving. In disbelief, Cami watched his hand reach out to smooth down her skirt before caressing her cheek. "I have to go, love. You, the dinner, everything was amazing. Thank you."
Thank you? She offered her trust, her love, her body, and he left after a bloody 'Thank you'?
Cami wanted to chase after him and ask what he thought he was playing at. She wanted to grab that bottle of plonk she'd bought after giving the other to Mrs. Valentine and dive into oblivion. Most insanely, she wanted to scrub every inch of the flat until everything sparkled and shone. Denying every rash impulse, she put the mousse back into the coolant cabinet and decided to take a bath.
There was something soothing about warm water. It relaxed body and mind, helping her put things into perspective. If she'd been nervous at the thought of being intimate with someone again, how much more nervous would Sirius feel? He was a man. They felt the pressure to perform. That first night, when he'd slept in her bed so they could hold each other, Sirius had said he was content to wait because after so many years without love, he finally knew happiness.
"And I don't know how much happiness I'd give in return, anyway, seeing how long it's been."
She'd been almost asleep, and his words had been said laughingly, but now she remembered them and sat up in the bath. Men! Hadn't he ever heard of the expression 'If at first you don't succeed'?
A bark sounded. Heart racing, Camillia climbed out of the bath and threw on a robe. She ran, skidding on the entry tile, to fling open the front door. The moment the dog transformed into a man, she hugged him as tightly as she could. "You came back!"
"I love you too much to stay away." Sirius' gaze travelled from her upswept hair to the thin fabric clinging to her wet body. " Have I interrupted your bath?"
She took a deep breath and another chance. "Want to join me?"
His smile was full of love...and thrillingly roguish. "I'd love to."
Cami gave a startled shriek when he slipped his arm beneath her knees and lifted her into his arms. Giggling, she asked, "What happened to the man who bolted out of here?"
"He talked to a wise old friend."
When Sirius lowered her to her feet, Cami smiled. "You seem very confident. Did he give you good advice?"
He winked. "The best."
His fingers taking out her hairpins made it hard for Cami to focus on coherent speech. "Was it 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try again?'"
Sirius loosened her tie and pushed Cami's robe off her shoulders. "No, although I'll certainly keep that in mind." Cupping her face in his hands, he parted her lips in a kiss that made her knees weak.
Sagging against him, she unfastened his robe and began working on his shirt. He'd only done up half the buttons, so it didn't take long. "What did he say, my love?" she asked again.
Sirius' smile reflected the man he was and the boy he'd been. It was caring, wickedly confident and so beautiful it made her ache. Against her lips, he whispered, "Ladies First."
A/N: Special thanks to potteronpotluvhim for saying in a review that I should write a one shot from Cami's pov. At the time, I only needed someone to ask to be inspired. :D Never underestimate the power of reviews! (hint, hint, heh)