Chapter 44

The Fall

"Yeah and weren't you at work for like a day?" I wrinkled my nose at him;

"Two days and it's more than you ever did!" I hissed and Sirius brought his face closer to mine;

"How would you know?" he lauded out in his stupid rich distracting voice. I flicked his neck so he would flinch back. Times like this I almost miss the amassing crowds of love starved new children who would arrive in Pembride under the impression that I was to be talked too.

"Well I haven't exactly been hiding it, or did you think I became proficient at magic in under a week by taking a fresher's course, perhaps night classes while you were asleep, hm?" I asked because I still couldn't help feeling slightly barbed at his incredulous expression of how-could-you accusation; his features seemed ready to compromise however. I had never tried reading someone that way before. It was quite useful, as long as I didn't actually note the not-so-abstract beauty of the books cover.

"Jodie how long have you been in the wizarding world? To have not heard or me? To have not heard of Lucius Malfoy, to have not heard of Dumbledore?!" he said as if it was a crime and I snorted;

"oh come on Sirius, Albus is the Headmaster of a school that I didn't even go too, why is it such a shock if I hadn't heard of him? I mean really? Did you ever hear of…" I faltered for lack of even moderately legitimate examples; "me, before all this?" I finished assuredly and then continued to talk before Sirius could finish the curve of his phrase just to be safe from logical scrutiny. "No, of course not, but then I talked to you in your cell that day and you found out about me shortly after I found out about magic! It was my birthday." Sirius pressed his lips together before replying in his perfectly assembled accent; he really was a product of good breeding, fight it as he may. I knew it when I saw it. Apparently, even if I did grow up around crack babies a child that was raised with purpose always stuck out among us. A child that was brought up to be preserved, whether for love or for whatever sick twisted psychopathic bloodthirsty political agenda Sirius and I were bred for, it didn't matter. We had our roots, want them or not, they stood out plain as day.

"you know in Azkaban it could have been a week or a day between that first visit and the next Jodie. Keeping an eye on the time is a bit of a disrupted target due to the soul sucking monsters everywhere skewing your perception of time as an innocent bystander;" I nodded dumbly and look at the greying little pebbles just below the level of my eye. Little pieces of debris settled between the rocks. A crumbling coat of browned leaks and the fine dust that was all that remained of many of them. I sniffed and turned to face Sirius again.

"Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me you know." I murmured on an unassuming whim.

"what kind of tricks?" he asked and I wondered what sort of person he was.

"It changes things, hides them, enhances them. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and the world is so harsh and unforgiving and I know that that's how it really is. I know that I see things different to how they are most days and I wonder why." I knew Sirius was looking at me but I focussed on how the air from my mouth as I spoke shifted the small wispy flecks between the rocks and my mouth closed for a moment as if it was done but then opened again because it wasn't. I didn't think I would ever feel a need to bring it up but I guess it could of happened at any stage. I continued;

"But other times I see the world in a very different way all together and its entirely through my eyes and I know that there are no tricks about that at all. That It's more true than anything else you know? I don't think anyone else is looking at it the same, magic isn't like you see it." I looked down at his slightly parted mouth and sniffed as he snickered;

"What? It's not!" I prodded his chest with my index finger and then looked into his eyes before turning my finger to point at myself;

"It's like I see it;" I put my hand on his cheek and ran it along the edge of his jaw. "I see you Sirius," I was sure it was the quietest he had been, the most still he had been. Like all his energy was focussed on me, as if he really needed something and I wished I knew what it was but I just floundered for away to stop talking instead before I said to much. Things could not be unsaid, that was one of my new fears. You cant take something's back once you give them away. End of. Words, kisses, moments, actions and even thoughts. What is done is done, that's scary. But your whole life being over because you spent your whole time second guessing, I didn't want to be like Hamlet either; I wasn't about to start treating Sirius like we were on separate teams either. Even if I did have more practice at being alone it was just harder. With Sirius I felt like no matter how many bad things happened I was still ok. I was still happy, like I couldn't help it, like happiness was an unavoidable side effect of company, no matter how bad things got I still started smiling. There was just something about him.

"I know what I'm talking about." I told him and I focussed back on the pebbles below us;

"That makes one of us." came his reply and I smiled a little; what's the point in sending messages no one receives, right? I suppose so I don't explode with everything I didn't say.

"You didn't answer my question Sirius." I sat up and began to braid my hair with rhythmic practiced movements. Sirius shifted to lie on his back and I tried to ignore the sliver of jail-pale skin revealed along the line of his hip. He sighed and I focussed on my grey streaked light blonde hair.

"Which one?" he murmured in a pathetic attempt at nonchalance.

"Won't you confide in me, Black?" I pressed as I huffed and reached the end of his shirt to tug it down as the revealed skin continued to tug at my vision. A sardonic smirk from Sirius that he would surely explicate in the knowledge that he had bothered me in some way shape or form was something I would much prefer to that troublesome sliver of skin being on show.

"You don't want me to leave?" he asked and I narrowed my eyes at him before releasing the end of his shirt;

"Sometimes I think you want me to want you to leave Sirius," I hissed and he smiled. My traitorous mouth smiled too. "You are incorrigible but you throw all the other horrible events of the last few days into a slightly more flattering light with your abominable presence so." I rose my shoulders in a shrug and sighed.

"Hey!" Sirius said in a jesting tone of warning; his arms was on my waist and then a predictable role later and I was under him. I looked up at him with through my once again narrowed eyes as he pinned my arms on either side of my head; he allowed his smile to fall into a pout until he got to close and spoke into my ear;

"If you decide you want me to leave then I am going to want something to remember you by Juniper." My cheeks flushed. Why did I suddenly feel like I was being scolded? He kissed my cheek and my eyes shut of there own accord;

"I won't send you away even if your methods of throwing me off are old hat." I told him and he pulled his face away from mine. I could practically count his eyelashes but I could also see the light laughter lines around his eyes and the well worn in worry line over his brow and aside his mouth, I was going to deepen those laughter lines. It would have to be done, it would be good for the balance of things.

"I didn't think people like you existed." he told me and I looked away from his eyes and laughed unnaturally;

"We don't." I said insuperably and pressed my mouth into a line;

"if you must know, I think you that if I didn't have you with me I would end up chasing that rat Pettigrew, the length and breath of whatever country he is in until I slipped up and got myself caught." Sirius mumbled in a matter of fact markedly woeful tone. I nodded;

"I really am a sorceress you know, Mr. Ollivander told me I had an affinity for magic shortly before I abused my abilities to betray his trust in every way imaginable by pulling a certain miserable lout out of some demon fortress of doom when I could have just popped around to the pet shop for a parrot. Tragic really." I sighed woefully and ran my hand through my hair. Sirius gave me an disillusioned look and I smiled wryly;

"Is this you sneaky way of pointing out all you've risked on my behalf on the off chance it makes me feel like I am so far in your debt I couldn't possibly consider leaving you?" he asked and I huffed. Why didn't I think of that?

"I wish I was that smart." I blurted and Sirius laughed and met my eye.

"You are the smartest girl I ever met." he said and I felt my cheeks colour as I turned away. I laughed nervously;

"Are you going to leave?" I asked and I allowed my eyes to flash past his before staring down at my nails like looking away would pull my eyes right out of my skull.

"I have no place else to go Jodie." he told me and my brow creased.

"Wow, that is just about the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me." I murmured somewhat scathingly.

"It's the truth." he said and I sat up again and began to gesticulate energetically as I spoke; I was really becoming frustrated. I may not have been the most upfront about something's but at least I hadn't actually outright lied to Sirius, not that I could recollect at that moment anyway.

"You see? That's just it! It's not the truth at all, firstly, I amn't a place, we haven't spent more then two nights in a place since we met. I guarantee you, we wont spend a second night here either so saying you have no place else to go is a moot point!" I cried and Sirius sat up next to me, atleast I wouldn't have to worry about his tactile compelling midriff at that moment;

"You know you are right, we probably won't sleep another night on this pebble beach in the middle of winter for want of avoiding hypothermia but my wish to not see a lady sleeping rough this many nights in a row is not exactly-" I cut across his attempt to disagree with me;

"Exactly, moot point, meanwhile the only agenda I have is to not get killed or caught and hopefully to clear you name at come stage." I explained and then turned to Sirius. He looked pretty miffed. Note to not interrupt him in future, I suppose it's a side effect of self importance that causes him to be so sensitive over things like that.

"And why have I been made into your responsibility?" he asked and my mouth hung useless for a moment as I realised I had upset his understanding of the balance of our relationship. It was slightly offensive on some level.

"Look," I touched my forehead with my hand in exasperation. "This hasn't been about you, it's about what's right." I explained carefully in a slow altercations as if explaining to an especially ridiculous child.

"Are you sure? Are you sure its not about me?" he asked and I picked up a stone by my side and hurled it out over the water distempered. It splashed inelegantly.

A/N: Thanks for reading, please let me know what you think!