"I keep thinking about a girl."
was one in particular. Sirius reread
the letter many times trying to read between the lines and find who this girl
was and exactly what Harry's 'relationship' was with her. Sirius could assume that Harry probably
hadn't done much physically with her, as he'd never spoken of 'a girl' before
this. Except for Hermione…
he discarded the thought immediately.
If anyone fancied Hermione, it was Ron. So, who precisely did Harry fancy?
sound of footsteps nearing the cave snapped Sirius out of his thoughts and he could
just see Harry approaching. "Alright,
James. This is it, " he thought. "I bet you and Lily are having a really good
laugh right now." A teasing smile
danced across his face as he transformed from the great black dog to his rather
thin human self.
Sirius." Harry came bounding up,
slightly out of breath.
his arms around him, Sirius said, "Good to see you, Harry."
so important? Why did you want to see
me so quickly? Is there information
about the Order? Are we getting any
closer to Voldemort? Where is Professor
Lupin? And why couldn't Ron and
Hermione come up here with me? Is this
something really bad?"
could barely get a word in edgewise when Harry was in a state like this. For a boy that the press described repeatedly
as "shy", Harry sure was talkative.
"No, no, nothing like that! I just… I got your last letter, and I
thought you and I should talk, um, alone."
face went a bit pale. "Oh."
do want to talk about this?" Sirius furrowed his eyebrows.
I just," Harry stammered. "I didn't
know you would do this face to face. I
thought you'd send a letter."
smiled. "Harry, some things are too
difficult to put onto parchment."
Seeing Harry flush slightly, Sirius continued. "Now, without trying to sound too forward…" Sirius paused as he
felt a wave of nervousness hit him in the stomach. "How much do you already know?"
"Nothing. They are a complete mystery to me." Harry looked down at his feet. "You'd think I'd know some things with
Hermione as a best friend, but she's not like other girls. Besides, I
don't…er…like her in that way. Ron does though."
his suspicions about Ron and Hermione confirmed, Sirius nodded. "Now, Harry, when you say you know
nothing…er…" Sirius thought for a
moment, ran his fingers through his thick hair and continued in a more nervous
and rather shaky tone, "Surely you know some
things. You do know all about
babies…and where they come from and all that, right?" Sirius could hear the
pleading in his own voice at that.
eyes grew wide and he flopped down on a large boulder. "Oh, Sirius! Come on! How old am
I? Four?" He shook his head in disbelief.
"What I don't know is how to
actually talk to a girl without losing the feeling in my limbs and sounding
like a total prat!"
heaved a sigh of relief and took a seat next to Harry on the ground. "Well then…how to talk to girls, hum?" He remembered that rather embarrassing
incident in his fifth year and wondered if it would be worth the humiliation to
tell Harry the whole story. THE
incident suddenly replayed itself, in its horrifying entirety, in his mind's
eye. Oh Gods; not this…but…well, someone should benefit from the lesson
learned, I guess. Is it worth the
humiliation to tell him this?
He looked over at Harry to find him looking back with a
fixed and curious stare. With a heavy
sigh, Sirius said, "All I can tell you, Harry, is don't do what I did. Your friends will never let you live it
a pause, Harry asked, "What did you do?"
was your father's fault. I should have
never listened to him."
mischievous grin filled Harry face.
"What? What did you do, Sirius?"
upon the proper course of action to tell the story, Sirius asked, "May I borrow
your glasses for a moment?"
Harry removed his glasses and handed them over to him.
the start of our fifth year," Sirius began, "Remus and I started noticing a
change in James, especially when a rather pretty red-headed girl was
around. He was distracted and would
lose his concentration. Now understand
that this is a Prefect we're talking about…top of his class. I noticed it more and more as we would
study. He'd get this dreamy sort of
look on his face and he'd stare off into nothing. So one night, I asked him about it, and this is what he said to
began ruffling up his black hair, causing it to stand out at odd angles. He put
Harry's glasses on the end of his nose, rested his chin heavily on his hand,
and smirked in such a way that the glasses went askew.
know what I've been thinking, Sirius?"
Sirius forced his usual bass voice up into a tenor range, and shot a
glance out of the corner of his eye at Harry, who was listening intently. "Girls are like Quidditch Balls."
act was dropped. "James was obsessed
with Quidditch, so this comparison was no surprise to me. But he didn't stop there."
resumed his imitation of James Potter bringing a wide grin to Harry's
face. "Girls are like Quidditch Balls. We all try to beat off the unwanted ones or
score with the easy ones. But the one
we'd all like to catch is the Golden Snitch!"
He said the last part in a hushed whisper of reverence.
dad thought my mum was a Golden Snitch?"
"Shhhh!" Sirius shot out. "Just listen."
about it, Sirius. Girls like Portia
Pratling and Irmine Lance are Bludgers.
They're big and boisterous, and they'd knock the wind out of a bloke if
he got too close." By now, Sirius had
stood up and his posture had changed completely as his imitation became more
defined. "And Susie Templeton, Candy
Coaco, and their crowd are all like red Quaffles. They prance around in bright colors, showing off all the time.
They want to be noticed. They like to
be caught." Sirius pointed a finger at Harry.
"But remember, Sirius, you only get ten points if you score with a
Quaffle." He locked eyes with Harry
before continuing in a dreamy voice.
"But the Snitch…ah, the Snitch." Sirius was now staring longingly up at the
roof of the cave. "The Snitch is gold,
and shiny, and very difficult to find."
His focus came back down on Harry.
"Just like the right girl."
off the glasses and looking down at Harry, Sirius returned to his normal
voice. "So I asked him, 'James, are you
talking about Lily?' He seemed
surprised that I'd guessed his little secret, but he didn't really mind. I then asked him if he had spoken to her
about all this? UGH! That was a
mistake. He then started rambling on
about how Seekers weren't really allowed to even practice with the Snitch, and
how things might be easier for him if he could practice with the actual Snitch
rather than a Muggle golf ball."
I thought my Dad was a Chaser?"
was! And I made the same point to
him. I said, 'James, you're a
Chaser. Why do you need to practice catching the Snitch?'" He paused.
"Then it hit me. I understood
what he had been mumbling about. He was
nervous and he needed to practice."
Sirius handed Harry back his glasses.
face was screwed up in puzzlement. "I
don't understand what you're getting at."
didn't know how to approach her. He was
trying to figure out a way to become comfortable around her…just as you are
trying to do with…er…what did you say her name was?"
didn't," Harry said shortly. "So you're
saying I need to practice?"
" said Harry, rather desperately, shaking his hands in a gesture of
helplessness, before he looked back at Sirius with a puzzled expression. "And what does all this have to do with
whatever it was you did?"
cleared his throat. He didn't really
want to tell the rest of the story, but he thought Harry would appreciate
it. "Well, I too, had a crush." Sirius couldn't believe it, but he felt his
neck get suddenly hot. "Joy
rubbed his neck. "Well, I wasn't as
smooth with the ladies as I…er…made myself out to be." That was it. He was red in the face.
Harry just stared at him.
"Everyone assumed I was cut out to be some great ladies man, and I was…in
public…with a large group of girls to show off for. But one girl…alone…that was a different story."
nodded, "Yeah, I know what you mean."
I decided that James was right.
Practicing what I wanted to say would be good idea." Sirius began rubbing his hands together
nervously. It wasn't every day that one
willingly embarrassed oneself so thoroughly in front of one's godson.
"One night, very late, and after everyone had
fallen asleep, I snuck out of the tower and headed for the History of Magic
classroom. Binns kept suits of armor
from every war around his room and I thought they would work nicely."
gave him a rather blank look. "Work nicely for what?"
felt himself, if possible, get redder, as he mumbled, "To …practice on. You know, um, speaking to and all that."
a minute!" Harry held up his hands,
disbelief showing on his face. "Don't
tell me you snuck around Hogwarts in the middle of the night to mumble sweet
nothings at a suit of armor?"
Harry a sideways glance, his face almost frowning, Sirius nodded silently. Harry burst out in laughter. Sirius really couldn't blame him, but he
still couldn't bring himself to laugh with Harry, even 20 years after the
shouldn't have done it, but hindsight is always 20/20," he grumbled.
continued to laugh. "I can just picture
you, on bended knee, pledging your love to a suit of armor!"
have no idea." Sirius sat down next to
a still giggling Harry. "It was just
awful. I asked it out on a date….and
even gave it a single red rose, which I thought terribly charming, which I
tucked delicately into the mail of the armor's glove so it could 'hold it'."
was now doubled over.
the worst is yet to come. I leaned over
to give it a kiss on the cheek and it started to talk." Harry stopped and looked up at Sirius, still
smiling, but with curiosity. "I nearly
wet myself. It said, 'Oh, Sirius Black,
I've been dreaming of this moment! I'd
be honored to be your date!' I must
have jumped ten feet into the air!"
renewed howls of laughter, Harry gasped, "How could it talk?"
Here was the kicker. Sirius kept a perfectly straight face as he
looked Harry right in the eye and said, in a rather poisonous tone, "Because
your charming, understanding father and the equally charming and forgiving Mr.
Lupin were under the Invisibility Cloak enchanting the wretched thing."
was too much for Harry, and he fell over onto the ground. Sirius continued, "I didn't realize they had
followed me, or that they were even
there until the armor asked, 'Am I your Golden Snitch?' I turned around to hear chortles of laughter
coming from the corner, and with horror, watched my two friends remove the
cloak." Sirius was seriously red in the
face. "I was teased mercilessly about
it from that day forward. On my next
date, James gave me an oil can in case the armor got squeaky. Even at your parents wedding, James
suggested that I escort a suit of armor."
wiped at the tears in his eyes.
Sirius added pointedly, "there is a happy ending. Joy Pebblebrook did
eventually go out with me and I had a lovely time with her."
she wear a suit of armor?" Harry mocked.
shook his head but finally gave a ghost of a smile, "Not funny," he said in a
couldn't help but think how much Harry was like his father, not just in looks,
but in humor, too.
I couldn't resist." It took Harry a few
moments to calm down and stop laughing.
When he did, he asked, "Well, not that I didn't appreciate hearing that
story, as I've not had such a good laugh in a long time, but what exactly was I
supposed to learn from all that?
now that I will never be able to look at a Golden Snitch or a suit of armor in
the same way ever again."
think the point James was trying to make was that there are all types of girls
out there, Harry. We just have to keep
our eyes wide open so we can be sure to find that one special girl. And when you do find her…" Sirius didn't
know how to word it any other way, "…don't let her go."
"Sirius?" Harry scrunched his face up in thought. "What if some of the other… players on your
team are…er…related to your Golden Snitch?"
confused Sirius a bit. "I think you're
mixing your metaphors, Harry."
then let's say…the Bludgers are the Snitch's brothers…and you think they'd like
to keep you away from her?" Harry
sudden realization, Sirius asked, "Does this Snitch have freckles and red
his breath Sirius mumbled to himself, "What is it with the Potter men and women
with red hair?"
"Nothing. Harry, " Sirius turned to face him, "I don't
think that any of the Weasleys would mind if you fancied Ginny."
"Sirius!" Harry rolled his eyes, startled by the use
of Ginny's name.
her to study with you sometime. Or
perhaps play a game of chess. Be
yourself and I'm sure it will all work out."
spent a while talking of other things, catching up on all the happenings going
on around the magical world. Soon the
time came for Harry to be going back to the castle. Before he left, he turned back to Sirius with a questioning look.
can I ask one more thing?"
Harry." Sirius was sure Harry was going
to ask another question about Ginny and prepared himself for it.
I tell Ron about all this? I think he
needs to hear it, too."
smiled and said, "Sure. Just…try not to
laugh too hard at my expense."
"What? Laugh at you? Why would I do that?"
Harry smiled and ran off down the mountain.
looked up at the sky. "James, I think
he's going to be just fine." Sirius sighed and closed his eyes, then gave a wry
smile as he pictured James' laughing face. "But you're still a prat for doing
that to me," he mumbled in an amused tone.