The cell door groaned and screeched as an Auror opened it, throwing the convict into the dirty square room. Charles jumped to his feet and tossed himself at the bars just as the Auror slammed the door shut, a look of disgust on his face. "I don't belong here! I'm innocent I tell you!" He shouted down the hallway, his voice echoing off the black stone walls. He groaned and leaned his head against the bars.
"Save your breath." a voice rasped. Charles turned to search his confines for the voice. In the darkness of the cell, he nearly missing the gaunt figure huddled in the corner. His gray and black clothes were tattered, and he shivered with cold. His black hair hung in dank curls around his face, and his body raked with coughs. Slowly, Charles lowered himself to the ground, watching the figure warily.
"Who are you?" Charles asked suspiciously. The figure looked up, the face barely that of a man.
"Sirius. Sirius Black." he grunted, and shifted himself on the stones. "Or that's who I was before I came here." Sirius looked at the new inmate with sunken gray eyes. "And who are you?"
"Charles. Charles Hazely. They say I aided You-Know-Who." Charles scoffed, and shifted uncomfortably on the cold floor. Sirius chuckled darkly.
"They said the same thing about me. It seems they are running low on inmates again," Sirius raised his voice. "tossing innocents into this black hole 'cose they aint got no one else to torture."
"Shut up you bloomin' coward." a sharp voice echoed off the stones. Sirius let out a short laugh.
"What are you even here for?" Charles asked. Sirius looked at the new man incredulously.
"I'd have to start from the beginning, for you to really understand it all." Sirius murmured, rubbing his palms against the grimy cloth of his shorts.
"I think we've got the time." Charles murmured, opening his hands palms up and looking pointedly around.
"Alright then. I suppose it was the last day of my seventh year at Hogwarts."
James, Remus, Peter and I sat in our Dormitory, cheering to each other for making it through our seventh year alive, and with minimal detention's. We made a toast to one another and attempted to chug down our third glass of butterbeer which we had commandeered from the kitchens via James' invisibility cloak.
"Well men!" James called, stepping up onto a chair. I laughed with the other boy's as he swayed drunkenly on his temporary pedestal. "We did it. We made it through seven years of essay's, potion class, and detentions." he thrust his mug into the air, and I dove for the other side of my bed to avoid a butterbeer shower. "If we can live through that, we can live through anything. To us!"
"To us!" I echoed, holding my glass up in the air.
"Jolly good!" Peter squeaked. Our glasses chinked as we cracked them together. I chugged down the last of my butterbeer before sighing and setting the empty mug on the bedside table. The other boys chatted animatedly with one another as I sat down quietly, picking at the frayed end of my sleeve. Remus made his way over to me and sat down, throwing his arm rather haphazardly around my shoulder.
"What's on your mind old boy?" he asked. I blinked and looked at each of my three friends.
"We'll be graduating tomorrow, and not a one of us knows what we want to be when we're old enough." I let my gaze fall to the floor, and I studied a rather intricate knot next to the toe of my shoe. The room was silent as the other three sobered up. James let out a long sigh and set his mug down next to mine.
"Look at you." he began in a joking tone. "Are you going serious on us Sirius?" James chuckled lightly at his little joke. I laughed, shaking my head at him.
"Trying to be." It's rather hard when I've got the Three Stooges drunk off butterbeer hanging around."
"I want to be a teacher! There. I'm taken care of." Remus called out. He hiccupped once and fell back across the mattress. I rolled my eyes and scooted to the foot of the bed, grimacing when I realized it was still sopping wet with butterbeer.
"I've always wanted to be an Auror." James nodded once.
"You would." I snorted, then noticed Peter wringing his hands together nervously. "If you don't know Peter, it's just fine. I was only curious."
"You'd make a great reporter!" Remus shouted, sitting up swiftly, his fawn colored hair falling into his scarred face. Peter jumped, startled by the sudden movement from his seemingly unconscious friend.
"Yeah." Peter chuckled nervously. "I suppose I would huh." he grinned cheekily down at the floor, content with the suggestion.
"That leaves you out Sirius." James chuckled, causing me to look up. "You asked the question, and I think it's only fitting that you answer it." He scolded. I thought it over for a moment.
"I suppose I'd like to be an Auror as well." I shrugged, and grabbed my mug from the table. "I think it's all these teacher's drilling into us the importance of our futures ." James copied me and we looked at each other for one long moment before both diving for the half empty pitcher at the same time. A knock on the door caused us to look up from our bantering.
"May I come in?" came a soft voice I knew only too well. Melody Potter stuck her head through the doorway and smiled. I could only wonder how she made my heart stop every time she did that. I saw James shrug out of the corner of my eye.
"Your already halfway in, so... why not." He bent over in a mock bow and Melody pushed the door open with her foot. She balanced a cake in one hand and four plates with forks laying precariously on the top balanced in the other. Melody swept past me, her arm brushing mine. I reached up and tried to rub away the painless stinging the brief contact had caused. She set the cake down next to the butterbeer pitcher and placed the plates next to the cake.
"I could hear you all down in the common room, and I thought it best to shut you up. This was supposed to be for tomorrow, but I figured. Anything to give the other students some peace and quiet before they have to go home." She grinned. I smiled and nodded my thanks.
"Looks great Melody." Remus said soberly, all goofiness gone.
"Eh." she shrugged, and put her hands on her hips. I took that moment to study her. Not that I didn't know what she looked like. But at fifteen, she already stood nearly as tall as me. Her black hair curled around her shoulders, carelessly tossed back from her face. Thick lashes framed her twinkling blue eyes that seemed to captivate me every time I gazed into their watery depths. She had gone from a clingy eleven year old, to a beautiful young woman that captivated me.
James stepped in front of her, cutting off my view, and wrapped her in a hug.
I blinked and let my gaze fall to the floor. James let her go and she punched his arm lightly. "And don't involve me in your silly little graduating prank."
"But Melody." Remus said with false innocence. "What makes you think that we would pull such a prank?" Melody threw him a scathing look and rolled her eyes.
"Don't stay up too late boys." she said, heading for the door.
"Okay mom." James threw after her. Melody scoffed and shut the door with a soft click.
"Melody make's the best cakes." Peter said, crumbs falling away from his mouth. Remus tried to relay his agreement through a mouthful, but it only came through as mumbles.
"Where are you going?" James asked as I grabbed a plate and dished a piece of cake onto it.
"I'm going to take this piece down to Melody." he raised an eyebrow. "She made it, she may as well taste it." I shrugged, and walked out the door. Down in the common room I found Melody leaning against the couch in front of the fireplace. Though it was summer, and the sun was just now setting behind the mountains, she had a nice little blaze crackling in the hearth. I padded across the soft carpet and flopped down on the couch cushions.
She pretended not to see me until she finished reading the paragraph in her book. When she was done, she placed her finger between the pages and looked up at me.
"I thought you may want a taste." I smiled, holding out the plate. She smiled in a way that made my heart stop, then beat faster when it started again. She took the plate softly, poking at it with her fork. "Thank you by the way. For the cake I mean." she glanced up at me. "You didn't have to do that."
"I thought I might do something nice for you guy's." she placed the bookmark in her book and set it on the floor. "Seeing as it is your last night here." she pulled herself up onto the couch next to me. "Will I see you this summer?" she asked conversationally.
"I have to come see James don't I?" I asked coolly, though my insides churned with anticipation. Melody simply shrugged.
"I suppose." she sighed. I tried to read her face, trying to figure out what she meant. "What do you plan on doing when you graduate?" she asked, taking a bite from the cake.
"Auror." I answered shortly. My head was spinning so fast I was surprised the word came out as clear as it did. Melody had chosen that moment to swallow, and she choked. I began to panic when she started coughing and wheezing. I patted her back and she swallowed slowly, her breathing returning to normal. I sighed, relieved.
"An auror?" She asked, moderately horrified. "But you..." She caught herself before she went on. I willed her to continue, but she didn't. I chuckled, trying to lighten the mood, and mussed her hair.
"Yes. James too." Melody looked up at me quickly. Obviously this was her first time hearing about this. She looked into the fire, her eyes reflecting the dancing flames. A lock of hair fell into her face and I reached out to tuck it behind her ear. My hand lingered by her face for a moment before I pulled it back. I stood and cleared my throat. "I'd better go before those butter beer drunk, sugar happy marauders notice I've been gone too long." I stood there awkwardly for a moment before turning towards the stairs.
"Sirius!" Melody called after me. Shivers flashed up my spine before I turned around, when I did Melody padded over to me and threw her arms around my shoulders, squeezing them tightly. "Don't get yourself killed." she whispered earnestly in my ear. Then she stepped back, her face flushed a beautiful shade of red. "And tell James the same thing. We don't need his ghost hanging around for all eternity. It would be marginally worse than Peeves." She giggled. I smiled softly.
"There could be some debate on that subject." I grinned mischievously. Melody rolled her eyes and patted my cheek, leaving a tingling feeling in my cheek.
"Go on Padfoot. Wouldn't want to miss the sugar high, before the crash." She turned towards the couch and resumed her spot in front of the fireplace. I felt a 'v' form between my eyebrows and I mulled over what had just passed. Suddenly, I found myself at the door, re-hearing. Over and over again only four words.
"Don't get yourself killed."
I tried to write the words off simply as worry for her older brother's best friend, but the way she had said it, the tone of her voice. The words seemed something more than that. I rolled my eyes and chuckled to myself. I opened the door and ducked out of the way just in time before a fork lodged itself into the door where my head had just been. "Okay!" I gasped. "Butter beer, cake, and three tired seventeen year old boy's. Not a good mixture." I growled, ripping the fork out of the door.