Author's note: Hay everybody! I should have published this story like two months ago and I did just not here. I actually published it in my mother tongue for a competition and I WON! Isn't that interesting? Give it a chance! Maybe you will like it too! And tell me what you think! (Sorry for mistakes, I'm doing my best.)
Oh, I almost forgot! This story is happening in Harry's third year. I know Sirius was at Hogwarts that night but this is fan fiction so I can do whatever I want! Muahaha!
It's Halloween. Ten minutes till the end of this night. Ten minutes till midnight. And I just did the worst mistake in my life. You must be wandering what does a thief pretending to be a whore, counts as the worst mistake in her life. Was she raped, beaten, caught on job, arrested, captured, kidnapped? No. Nothing of that sorts. My mistake was I looked in those big, sad, grey eyes. It was the first time I looked in somebody's eyes on the street but it was fateful.
I'm standing there on the street in London, close enough for people to see me from the road and far enough to find myself a shelter. I pat my thigh on the backside to make sure cylindrical wooden object is still tied on my thigh with cotton handkerchief. The handkerchief reminds me of that thing brides wear. Just the thought of me in a white dress is hilarious.
That piece of wood is a wand because I'm a witch, by the way. I just wanted that to be clear. I always have my wand tied under my skirt. For defense and attack. Now of course you all think I'm some kind of Death Eater. That's not exactly true. Actually, it's not true at all. As I mentioned before I'm a thief pretending to be a whore. I go into a hotel or an apartment with a man and afterwards when they are not in sight, take them everything valuable I can find. Sometimes a bit of force is needed. Nothing fateful. I know this is not much more moral than being a whore but the girl's got to eat something.
Don't tell me it would be easier and safer to simply be a whore. I know. But I still can't. Not now when I know I can get through the other way. At the beginning when I first came to the streets I tried once but I hit the guy with an alarm clock before he even had time to lay one of his dirty fingers on my body. After this refreshing experience it became a routine.
So, as I said I check that my wand is still on its place and I feel calm right away. With my wand in my hand I would feel calm even in a group of Death eaters.
With my eyes I follow some older whore entering a big, black, shiny Mercedes. I sniff at her. That would have been a great catch. Rich, fat, stupid. I would have no mercy.
I realize I will just have to wait for another victim when I feel a light touch on my shoulder. The touch is electrifying. I whirl around and there he is. A man with sad grey eyes. I'm looking him straight in his eyes. Without a move. I completely forget now is the time for my seducing whorish grin. I just stare at him. He stares at me. I'm surprised he didn't yet throw some remark at me.
I finally pull myself together and I try to be as whorish as possible. It doesn't work through. I can't stop thinking about his eyes when I try to smile sweetly. But my smile is sincere. I know is noticeable.
"Hi," I say. Real smooth, I'm scolding myself. What kind of whore says 'hi' to her client?
"Eeeerrr…. Hi," he greets me back. I'm taken aback. I'm not used of that kind of politeness. I conclude he isn't practicing this very often or at least didn't quite awhile.
Finally I measure him from top to toe. He's thin. Very thin. His hair is long, straight and black. In dire need for water. As well are his clothes that are hanging from his body. A beard doesn't suit him. That guy went through some tough times. Not just because his clothes. His eyes are the one telling a story about sadness, anger, fear, despair, loneliness… betrayal.
He smiles at me somewhat hesitantly before his smile disappears again.
I know I'm the one expected to say something like: 'Hey baby! Want some fun?'
I usually say this. I can't now.
"So, are you a…?" He can't even say a 'whore' in my face.
"I am, yes. Why else do you think I would stand here for?" Funny. I can't say that word either. Not in front of him. My smile becomes bitter. I'm usually avoiding bitterness. It drives clients away. Everybody wants young, pretty girls. With a spirit. As innocent as they can find. Beginners. I still have a spirit in contrast to the most of the whores. But I have it because I don't sell my body. Men mistake that for inexperience. In one way it truly is.
He bites his lower lip. He seems somewhat familiar to me but I chase that thought away quickly.
"How much…? You know…? I'm not exactly a minister." I have a feeling he ate the rest of the sentence.
He's asking me for a price. I smile and tell him a number. (Author's note: I have no idea how much does somebody pay to a prostitute, so you just imagine this in your own way.) Not too high. I'm going to take him everything he has, anyway. I feel like dirt when I think of that. I feel guilty. For the first time in my 'career'. Lucky, I'm master in chasing a bad conscience away.
A price seems acceptable to him. He nods. I wonder if he's now going to start with dirty remarks. Nothing. He smiles at me. He looks much younger now. Attractive even. But his eyes are still the same. Big, sad, betrayed, haunted. Yes, that was the word I was looking for.
"Where do you want to go?" I ask when I remember what am I to do. He shrugs.
"Do you have some kind of… room?" I nod without thinking. What am I doing? Where am I going to escape from my own flat? I'm asking myself.
I check again that my wand is at its place and gesture him to follow me.
He follows me down a narrow dark street. His hands are deep in pockets of his coat. My high heals are clicking on the asphalt. I hate them but they are necessary for the business. Who ever saw a whore in trainers?
A silence is painful. I hate silence. I decide to end it.
"Do you know today is Halloween? Do you like Halloween?" I ask sincerely interested. It always interests me what muggles think of this night. It's funny.
"No!" he cuts me off. Maybe not. Funny I mean.
Obviously he just wants to get over it. I'm quiet from then on.
"I'm sorry. I forgot to ask what your name is. My manners are a bit rusty." I stop in my shoes. That man really isn't from this time. From this planet.
"My name?" I ask startled. He nods. "You want to know my name?" He nods again. I can't believe my ears. It's been years since somebody asked for my name. "Nessa," I say. My own name sounds weird when I pronounce it after all these years. I realize I could have told him my pseudonym. Skylar is my pseudonym. Owner of a tavern and some of the other prostitutes I occasionally exchange a word calls me Skylar.
"It's a nice name," he says. At that moment I'm glad I told him my real name. So I could hear these words. I know he probably didn't mean them but it doesn't matter. It was a comment on mine name. Mine.
I bite my lip and look in these big sad eyes. I can't move my eyes away from his. When he looks at me like that, I lose al my senses.
"What's your name?" I ask finally. I'm sorry right away. He seems uncomfortable.
"Don't ask. I don't want to lie to you." I nod. I'm not exactly sure I know why he doesn't want to lie to me. I'm just some whore he picked up from the street.
We arrive at my flat. I unlock the door, step inside, turn on the lights and invite him inside. We are standing there awkwardly.
"You want to drink something?" I ask. I have no fucking idea of what am I doing. I should just pull my wand from under my skirt and stun him with it. Instead of it I invite him in the kitchen when he nods at me.
I look through my cupboards. The only thing I have there is Firewhiskey. Reminder of old days. He probably won't even notice the difference. I decide I'm going to say it's a really strong muggle whiskey if he notices anything. Of course I won't actually say muggle.
I give him the glass. He tastes it, scowls and looks strangely at me from under his hair that is hanging in his eyes. He doesn't say anything. I recover a breath and gulp a bit of Firewhiskey.
He is standing by the wall. I come closer. I lift my left hand and softly touch his cheek. His expression doesn't change but in his eyes flashes an emotion I don't have time to identify. My heart is beating on record speed. I move even closer. I'm standing right in front of him. His breath grazes my cheek. My cheek slightly touches his chin. I notice how tall he is. Even in high heals I'm much shorter than him.
I feel his bony hand on my hip. I don't shiver with disgust like usually. I put one hand on his chest. We are really close. I can feel his heartbeat.
My lips slide from his cheek to a corner of his lips. I'm giving him a chance to kiss me or not. Not all the men want to kiss a dirty mouth of a whore. They just want to fuck her.
I want him to kiss me. And he does. He kisses me. Slowly at first and then more and more passionately. I like it. I don't want to stop. I can't remember when was the last time I got a kiss I really wanted. I was on this level of business many times in last few years but it was just that. Business.
His hands slide lower from my hips. I remember my wand. I have to decide in an instant. Do I stun him or hide the wand? I know I'm being stupid when I push myself away from him.
"Could you wait a minute? I need to go to a toilet." If he says he won't wait, he's not worth it, I'm convinced, but he is making everything so much harder for me and just nods. He probably thinks I'm going to use some kind contraception.
I lock the door behind myself. I'm looking in the mirror but I don't see myself. I push the skirt higher and slowly untie a handkerchief. I'm holding my wand. I'm staring at it. Will I truly separate myself from my only weapon? I ask myself. I lay the wand on a shelf.
I'm watching the mirror again. My raven hair reaches my shoulder, purple-blue eyes are gleaming in the light of a lamp, my complexion is dark. My make-up is almost invisible so I look more innocent.
I try to smile and to my astonishment I manage. A true sincere smile. I obtain dimples in my cheeks. When I was younger, not so thin, they were more vivid. More attractive. I was a beauty while at school. Very popular. A promising student. Now, at the age of twenty-five I'm a thief who didn't have sex in last six years.
Maybe is time for some practice, I say to myself.
I step out of the bathroom. My wand lies on the shelf, forgotten.
He's standing at the window and looking the street below. He turns around when he hears me. My eyes meet those haunted grey eyes and I know that the night is sealed. Destiny of this night is sealed for me.
An hour later I lie in my bed. The man with haunted eyes is still here. I lie on my stomach. I'm turned away from him. I need some time, to come to my senses.
It was good. It was good to be close to a human being, to feel heat, a touch, a heartbeat, a warm breath on my skin. To see desire in someone's eyes. In these eyes that fascinate me so much.
I think he feel like that too. I'm convinced he was looking sexual intercourse but got consolation. Well, plus consolation.
He's lying next to me. I can hear his breathing. I know he isn't asleep.
"I love Halloween," I say suddenly. I don't know why. I just feel I have to get this off my chest. "It reminds me of everything I once had. Of nine happiest years in my life." Of nine years I lived as a witch, I add in my head.
I don't expect him to answer. I understand this is a touchy theme for him. It has something to do with his past. With something tragic. But he answers anyway.
"It reminds me of everything I lost." I nod into my pillow.
"I could look at it that way," I admit. It's true. Halloween could be a reminder of all the pain and injustice I felt when I was forced to leave wizarding community. Does it? Never. It's a weird thing I always remember all the good things magic brought me. Hogwarts, friends, auror training, Quidditch. Yes, these things always came to my mind on Halloween. Never the night my parents were murdered or the guilt they put at me although there were no evidences.
My parents were muggles, murdered with Killing Curse. I was their only connection with wizarding world whence it follows I'm the murderer.
I was in all the papers. People were pointing their fingers at me. Everybody suspected me. I couldn't stay there.
But on this special night I always remember faces of my friends (I conveniently forget they weren't there for me when I needed them), a feeling when I was swishing through the air an my broom, a feeling when I was doing magic… It was all so magical.
My only bond with magical world now is my wand and Daily Prophet to which I'm subscribed. I look over the edge of the bed. One copy of the Prophet lies on the floor. I stretch my arm and with tips of my fingers turn the Prophet around so I'm looking at the front page. I look in familiar sad eyes. I lie motionless. I'm not scared. I don't say anything.
"I have to go, Nessa," he says suddenly. He says my name. It's been so long since somebody called me by my name. My name. It feels so good. I feel like a human being once more. In that moment I make a decision.
"I know," I say. I hear him dressing. I turn my head. I know it's him. The man from the picture. I sit up and wrap myself in a blanket.
He offers me money. He doesn't look me in the eyes. I shake my head no. I don't want his money. Then I would really be a whore.
I'm trying to convince myself I already slept with him and no damage will be done if I take that money. He looks me in the eyes now.
"Are you positive?" he asks me shocked. Will I sleep on my principles? Will I eat my pride? I yell at myself but I'm nodding continually and smiling at him. I can feel tears in my eyes. I didn't cry since the time I sold my flat at Daigon Alley.
He's still holding money within my reach.
"But…" he starts but I cut him through.
"No! This is my choice." For a moment he's watching me carefully before he realizes nothing is going to change my mind. He puts the money in his pocket. He kisses my cheek and looks at me with those big sad for the last time. From very close. It seems to me a piece of warmth found its home in them.
"Bye, Nessa." When he calls my name again I know my decision was correct. Maybe I won't cover myself with principles but my heart is going to be all warm.
He opens the front door. I think he would maybe like to hear someone calling his name too.
"Bye, Sirius," I said calmly. He freezes for a moment. He doesn't spin around. He closes the door behind him. I smile to myself.
Perhaps this wasn't the worst mistake of my life after all. When I looked in those big, sad, haunted, grey eyes, my life began for a second time. The magic in me woke up. This time I won't back away.
I heard the bells at the nearest church strike midnight but the magic only begins.
It's that night. Halloween night. I was dreading that night. I didn't even want to think about it because exactly twelve years ago my life turned to dust.
This is my first Halloween after that fateful. There is no Halloween in Azkaban. There is nothing in Azkaban. It's a good thing from one point of view. I wouldn't want to know. I don't want to know now either. But I do. and it hurts so much I can barely stand it. An invisible hand is griping my throat, my mouth is dry, my heart is beating hundred per hour.
I need some human company. Better; woman company. I know, only woman I have I chance with is a whore. I don't like this idea. I never had a need after a whore. Women would have paid me to be with them. At present everything is different. I'm not even a shadow of a men I was twelve years ago.
I walk down the street in the middle of London. Past dangerous guys and half naked prostitutes who are observing me as a possible client. I get many invitations. I refuse all of them with a smile and shook of my head. Some of them are too young to be here. Others don't have a soul. The young ones I can't even look. They are children. Just children who had to grow up to fast. The older ones disgust me. Their walk, speech, chewing a gum. Too much make-up on too quickly aged skin. Empty eyes.
I look at her. Her back is turned towards me. Her spine is straight. Black hair. I can't say how old she is. She shifts her legs. I like her movement. It doesn't look like she is comfortable in those killer heals.
By motion of her head I know she isn't chewing. She attracts me. I notice she pats her thigh from time to time. Maybe a weapon. Smart girl.
Her head is turned towards big black car which some whore is entering. I look away. It's a torture to watch this.
I stretch my arm and gently touch her shoulder. She freezes for a moment then twirls around. She stares in my eyes. Her face is emotionless. She doesn't smile. She doesn't throw a vulgar sentence in my face like I expected. She doesn't look away. Her eyes are unmoving.
I already think she recognized me and am ready for a run when she finally smiles at me. A sincere smile. I wasn't expecting that. She catches me off guard.
"Hi," she says to me. I try not to show my shock. I think she is unhappy with herself.
"Eeeerrr…. Hi," I greet her back.
I notice she is inspecting me. I just can't pull my eyes away from her dimples. They are real cute. Her make-up is light. Purple or maybe blue, I don't know, eyes are glinting. I say she's in the middle twenties. Attractive.
There is a curiosity in her eyes. She is probably not very long in this business. I feel a bit of guilt.
I expect her to say something. I smile at her encouragely. When there is still no reaction, I start to doubt she actually is a prostitute.
"So, are you a…?" I don't want to say a whore. What if she isn't…
"I am, yes. Why else do you think I would stand here for?" Her smile becomes sarcastic and bitter. Maybe she is not a beginner after all.
I'm trying to decide if I should ask her for price or not. On the one hand I'm sorry for her but on the other I know some other guy will come and do what I couldn't.
"How much…? You know…? I'm not exactly a minister." I bite my tongue when I almost say Minister of magic. I hope she hadn't notice.
She smiles at me and tells me the price. (Author's note: I still don't know the price.) It seems to me guilt washes over her face. I make a mental note to be careful.
The price is acceptable. I nod. She expects something from me but I have no idea what is it. I smile at her. If I'm not mistaken she is perfectly happy she didn't get whatever it was.
"Where do you want to go?" she asks me. I shrug. I have nowhere to go.
"Do you have some kind of…" I don't know what exactly. "…room?" She isn't offended because off my hesitation. She nods. She pats her thigh again. She is pleased. She gestures me to follow her.
We are walking down a creepy, narrow street. Scum of society, guys with weapons and whores are lurking at us from all the dark corners. I look at her and realize we're both ones of these scum. A whore and a convicted murderer.
I'm looking around us paranoiac. I'm clasping a knife in my coat. I don't have a wand. All my senses are tense. I have a feeling somebody is going to jump on my back just now.
She walks like she doesn't even notice danger. Is she in fact so used of this environment or is she convinced she's safe because of that thing under her skirt?
"Do you know today is Halloween? Do you like Halloween?" interests her all of a sudden. Does she have to drag this up?
"No!" I said sharper then I intended to. I'm sorry right away. This is not her fault. Her shoulders sink. She looks like she felt from the clouds to hard floor.
I remember I didn't even ask after her name. I assume this is neither necessary nor customary but I'm interested anyway.
"I'm sorry. I forgot to ask what your name is. My manners are a bit rusty." She stops in her shoes and looks at me like I have recently grew three heads.
"My name?" she chokes out. I nod. It's sad she is so startled when somebody asks after her name. I know now she is on the street for a long time. "You want to know my name?" I nod again. She is going to take it in eventually, I said to myself. She blinks a few times. "Nessa," she says simply.
Her expression is really strange. She probably hasn't heard her name for a long time. I'm certain this is her real name although I don't understand why she didn't just make one up.
"It's a nice name," I say in I'm telling a truth. It was worth off say it just so I saw these sparkles of life in her eyes.
She is looking me in the eyes. She is biting her lower lip and weighing something in her head.
"What's your name?" she blurts out. Now I understand her surprise when I asked what her name is. I also understand why she told me her real name. I don't want to lie to her. I can't.
"Don't ask. I don't want to lie to you," I say to her. She nods. I can see she's surprised. She is curious.
We arrive at her flat. Because that isn't a room. It's a flat. Small but it is.
She's watching me awkwardly. Like she doesn't know what to do. I wonder again if she really is a prostitute. But why would she invite me over here if she isn't?
"You want to drink something?" she asks me. I didn't expect this. I except. She pours a brownish liquid in a glass and passes it too me. I taste the drink. She watches me carefully. This is just like Firewhiskey, I establish. Is it possible she is a witch? Naaah. It's probably just some muggle whiskey.
This drink brings up some old memories on my Marauder's days. It hurts too much. I chase them away.
She pours herself a drink too. She gulps down a bit before she puts the glass on the table and comes closer. With one hand she touches my cheek. I feel her touch in every cell of my body. Just this touch of hers melts down a level of ice around my heart. It's painful but at the same time benevolent. She moves even closer. Her cheek touches my chin.
Slowly I touch her hip. I feel her hand on my chest. Her closeness is comfort for me. I feel her lips at the corner of mine. She is looking for a kiss. I hesitate for a moment. I kiss her. Her mouth is soft, sensual, hungry.
I know is stupid but I'm having a feeling I'm something special among her clients. I don't want to think she gives the same kisses to the others.
My hands slide lower too her arse. She pushes herself away. At this point I'm positive she changed her mind. That she in truth isn't a whore.
"Could you wait a minute? I need to go to a toilet," she says too me. I'm in fact disappointed she didn't said too me she doesn't sell her body. I nod. She probably goes to use some birth control. She disappears into the bathroom.
I step towards the window. I'm watching a dark street below. What a dangerous neighbourhood. I'm slightly paranoid. I'm thinking about leaving before she comes back. The thinking lasts too long. Intentionally.
She comes out of the bathroom and looks at me. There is a strange twinkle in her eyes. I know she did what she had to and I'm not sure it was contraception. There is this almost childish determination and stubbornness on her face. I stand there and I know she is going to be mine this night.
And she was. She was sweet and warm. She didn't scream and moan without a felling. She was breathing in my ear and digging her nails in my shoulder. She was close, she was my comfort. I didn't even realize how much I needed that comfort.
The girl knew what she is doing in the bed but some ordinary whore she is not. I already knew that when I first saw those dimples in her cheeks.
I'm lying in a bed near her. She is lying on her stomach turned away from me. I don't blame her. I know she needs her time.
"I love Halloween," she says out of the blue. She doesn't want to let that topic go. I don't interrupt her this time. I let her to say what she musts. There is obviously nobody else who would listen to her. "It reminds me of everything I once had. Of nine happiest years in my life." I want to ask her but I have a feeling she is going to say what she intends to and nothing else.
"It reminds me of everything I lost," I say to her. In my mind I see James's frozen eyes. Lily's motionless body. I hear little Harry's weeping when he's sitting next to his mother's body. I hear traitorous words of that rat. I hear an echo of my own laughter when I couldn't feel anything any longer. I feel a Dementor's cold in my heart.
"I could look at it that way," she says sadly. Then we are both quiet. We're digging each in our own pasts. I almost hear her thoughts. I just don't understand the words. But the meaning yes. The meaning hurts. I try to focus on all the pleasant memories. On our school years. On James's laughter. On Lily's piercing eyes. On our pranks. I remember their wedding. Harry's christening. Maybe she's right. On that night I should remember all the good things I have been through with them
"I have to go, Nessa." I call her Nessa purposely. I know she likes it. I saw this in her eyes.
"I know," she says. I'm dressing. She looks at me. There is curiosity in her eyes.
It hurts when I offer her the money. I can't look her in the eyes. She shakes her head. I'm surprised but not really.
"Are you positive?" I can see an internal battle she is fighting but she continues to shake her head. She is smiling at me. I see tears in her eyes. I know she won't let them go. At least not until I'm there. "But…" I try to object.
"No! This is my choice," she cuts me through sharply. I see her now in a new light. She has fire in herself. I know she won't change her mind. I put the money back in my pocket. I'm thinking about leaving it somewhere anyway but I know that would humiliate her.
She is not a whore, I conclude. At least this night she isn't.
I give her a peck on her cheek and look at the dimples in her cheeks for the last time.
"Bye, Nessa." Her eyes shine again when I call her by her name. I open the front door.
"Bye, Sirius," I hear. I freeze in fear. I know then she's a witch. I smile at myself. By a tone of her voice I know she won't hand me over to the ministry. She just wanted to return a favour by saying my name. I admit; it felt good.
I don't look at her. I disappear in the night.
When I run across Scottish countryside in my animagus form, I can't help but wonder. How long did she knew? Was she afraid of me? No, she wasn't afraid of me. She isn't afraid of anything. I remember her constant patting of the backside of her thigh. I know what she has there. A wand.
She really is a strange girl. Maybe she is a prostitute, maybe she was there just so she reminded me what a life is. She melted the first level of ice around my heart. It's just shame there is so many more of them.
But this night, Halloween night is a renewed beginning of my life. The life that froze on Halloween exactly twelve years ago.