The castle was practically shaking with the storm that was soaking the grounds
Sirius Black was currently walking back from the kitchens after grabbing two pocketfuls of bon bons and cauldron cakes. Staring down that the Marauders Map, he took a sharp right to escape an oncoming Prefect and wandered further into the castle. He was sure if he was caught out right now it'd be another detention and he didn't want to miss the upcoming Hogsmeade trip.
Spinning his wand bored-like with his fingers, he took another quick look at the map as he reached the second floor and saw something out of place. Apparently in a classroom that should be empty was a student he knew very well would not be caught dead out after hours. Making a beeline towards the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, he carefully opened the door and looked around.
The place appeared to be vacant, not a single person in sight. Even when a flash of lightning filled the room with a bright light, there was no one there. Grabbing the map out of his pocket again, he lit up his wand and took another look. Right there, where he stood, was another name closely beside it and yet, no one.
"O'Malley?" Moving through the desks, he looked all around and almost gave up until he heard it.
After another loud rumble of thunder shook the room and he heard something that sounded like a whimper. Turning around to face to face Professor Lightfoot's desk, he made his way slowly up there with his wand out in front of him until he finally found her.
Curled into a tight ball under the desk sat Gemma O'Malley, her head in her lap and her arms hugging her legs tightly to her. Even without the map he would have been able to tell who it was. The bright gold headband in her hair and the red nail varnish on her fingers…he'd always know it was her.
Even if he wouldn't admit it aloud, he fancied Gemma more than any other girl before her. He liked her sense of humor and her wit. He liked the way she'd fight with him over things no one else would. And it didn't hurt that she was a gorgeous girl. And yet…he wouldn't give in to asking her out.
Reaching out his hand, he rested it on her shoulder before she let out a scream.
"Holy shit! Oh my God….Sirius…you scared me! What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing. Is this how you get O's on everything? You stow away in classrooms at night and steal test answers?"
"No! I was just…I was just –"
"It's just –"
He didn't have to ask her again. After another thunderclap she went back into her tight little ball and rocked gently under the desk. He smirked, happy she couldn't see that he found his humorous because he didn't want to be mean. He couldn't believe a girl as strong as her was scared of something like this.
"You're afraid of thunderstorms." She looked up at him, small tears in her sea blue eyes and his heart instantly clenched at the sight. He didn't like seeing her so scared.
"Dumb, right? I'm seventeen years old and afraid of a few booms."
Shaking his head, he sat down on the ground in front of her and ran a hand through his hair. "I'll tell you one of my fears if you don't laugh."
"I'm huddled in a dark classroom practically crying…you have nothing to fear."
"I can't sleep without some sort of light."
She looked at him a little oddly. "Really?"
"Yeah. My dad locked me in a cupboard when I was three…haven't gotten over it. I never thought I was going to get out of there."
"I'll live. My mates are all used to it by now anyway."
She looked like she wanted to say something else but instead she just sighed. "So, how did you find me?"
"Oh…I heard you."
"You heard me?"
He nodded, her hand reaching out and grabbing his out of fear as the storm continued. "I heard something that sounded like a girl crying."
"But you called out my name before you saw me."
"Why aren't you in Ravenclaw?"
"Stop changing the subject you arse."
"I just knew, okay?"
"I don't believe you." She looked at him skeptically, her hand still holding his in a death grip. "But I'll let it go for now."
"Hallelujah. Why haven't you cast Lumos or something? It's pitch black in here practically even with my wand."
"I left my wand in my room. I ran to give Lily something on her duties and left it there by accident."
"Someone could have been in the halls that would've hurt you!"
"No…you can't leave your wand wherever and just wander around. You know what those Slytherin's have been doing."
"I know…but I'm okay. Why does it even matter to you? Why are you still here?"
With his wand illuminating both their faces he could see she was actually curious. Though, in her eyes, it almost looked like she was hoping for a certain answer. Not one that he could figure out, but he could still see it there.
"I'm not going to leave you at midnight in an empty classroom with no wand and afraid of a storm. I'm not that cruel."
"I know you're not."
"Well…there you go. I'm fucking chivalrous and amazing."
She laughed. "Is that it?"
"Yes…now move over."
Gemma looked at him oddly for a second before sliding over in her hiding place. Crawling in next to her, he wrapped an arm warmly around her when she went to hide her face again. Pulling her flush with him, he let her rest her head on his shoulder.
"You'll be okay, it'll be over soon."
"I usually play records really loud when there are storms. At home that is, I listen to music and hide under my blankets."
"Yeah, I have no idea why I'm telling you, but I do."
Sirius grinned, he knew she couldn't see it but he couldn't help it. Since last year he had been trying not to think about or talk to her and now here he was stuck under a desk with her. It wasn't that he didn't like her, he liked her too much, he just wasn't any good for her. And with having Death Eaters in the family and all, he figured safe was nowhere near him.
"What do you usually listen to?"
"The Beatles a lot, they're my favorite band."
"Good ol' John, Paul, George, and Ringo."
"You know the Beatles?"
"Course I do! Best band in all of England! How would I not know them?"
"Because they're a muggle band?"
"I know more about muggle things than you think."
"I can only imagine."
When she shook again as the storm raged on, he held her tighter and had to stop himself from kissing the top of her head. It wasn't as if they'd ever been this close before, in fact they usually had rows, but he couldn't help cherishing the moment somewhat. Taking a deep breath, he thought of a great idea and idly played with the ends of her hair.
"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, I'll pretend that I'm kissing
Tomorrow I'll miss you;
Remember I'll always be true.
And then while I'm away,
I'll write home every day,
And I'll send all my loving to you.
the lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true.
And then while I'm away,
I'll write home every day,
And I'll send all my loving to you."
I'll pretend that I'm kissing
Her shivering had stopped practically after he sung the first word but he didn't stop because he could feel her relaxing. She had turned her head into his shoulder and he figured she was blocking out the lightning flashes so she could just try and completely forget there was a storm going on.
After a while of singing songs and the storm slowing down, she finally lifted her head and looked at him. He wanted nothing more than to kiss her in that moment, to press his lips against hers and forget where they even were but that wasn't an option. He was strong enough to keep her away…at least that's what he kept telling himself.
"For what? I just used you to test out my singing voice. Should I go on tour?"
"It wasn't bad…I'm sure you'd sell a song or two."
"That vote of confidence is amazing."
"I think I'm ready to go now. Should we head back?"
"Yes, of course!" Standing, he helped her out from her hiding spot and watched her fix her uniform before he bent back down.
"What are you doing Black?"
"This way, if you get scared by more thunder, you can't run and hide. I'll have you strapped to my back."
"We're not leaving until you do."
"And we're off!"
He zig-zagged, jumped, and ran up the next few floors, Gemma laughing and shrieking on his back. When they got up to the sixth floor Sirius was acting as if he was a broom and Gemma was a chaser until they ran in the Head Boy and Head Girl walking down the hallway.
"We're in trouble now."
"Those two are evil."
"They'll make us live with Filch for punishment."
"We can hear you!" Lily glared at them, James smiling and trying not to laugh next to her.
"We know," Gemma got off his back and smiled at them. "That was the point Lily."
"What are you guys doing?"
"Just playing piggyback quidditch Prongs. Obviously."
"It's almost one o'clock in the morning, couldn't you have done that at a better time?"
"Nope, it was an opportune moment."
"Well…ten points from Gryffindor. Let's go to bed."
"Lily! How can you take points from our house?"
"Gems, you're out after hours."
"Because of you!"
"Uh-oh," Sirius said, coming to stand next to James. "Catfight."
"You brought me that cardigan an hour ago."
"Did you not notice that it started storming minutes after I left you?"
Lily seemed to catch on pretty quickly. "Oh, yeah. Did you –"
"Get stuck under a desk until Sirius came along? Yeah, I did."
"It's fine Lily. Just give me ten points for bringing you your cardigan."
"No…Sirius wasn't out for any reason!"
"I needed cake." He smiled, Gemma rolling her eyes as they all began to walk towards the dorm.
"We're trying to win the house cup this year, Black, you don't need cake that bad."
"If I hadn't needed cake you'd still be in Professor's Lightfoot's classroom."
"What were you even doing there?" James asked, the only one without any knowledge of her fear of storms. Sirius looked at her carefully and watched as a red blush filled her face.
"A Slytherin chased her in there. I hexed him."
"Don't tell me that Padfoot, I'm Head Boy."
"Then don't ask."
Once they got back to the common room, James and Lily went straight to bed but Gemma held him back for a second. As soon as their friends were gone, she stood up on her tip toes and pulled him into a tight hug.
"Thank you Sirius."
"You know what. You could have been a jerk tonight and you were the complete opposite."
"I'm a knight in shinging armor is what you're saying."
She rolled her eyes when she pulled back and saw him smirking. "You lose your appeal quickly there Black."
"Aww, remember how nice I was?"
She left him there with a goofy grin on his face and he quickly headed up to bed. Pulling off his shirt and pants and climbing into bed in his boxers, he lit up a small ball of flames and stuck them in the jar next to his bed.
He couldn't believe he told her he needed a light to sleep by, not even James knew why he needed it. It had just been so natural to tell her things. She wasn't making it easy for him to stay away and soon enough the walls he had slowly built would finally come crashing down.