Disclaimer: *sobs* not mine
So, super long chapter and things kind of go crazy and we FINALLY get some resolution (Nat and Sirius wouldn't let me keep them mad any longer)!
We also get a taste of our second favorite Black and Avery and Mulciber make a reappearance :O.
Read, Review, and Enjoy,
PS if you want to, check out my personal blog, thestarsaresobrighthere . tumblr . com (just take out the spaces) and the blog for this story, you-have-been-blacklisted . tumblr . com (minus the spaces, again) i post things that i write of my own and things that relate to the fic on each, respectively.
"You Gryffindor's are good for a pity party these days, you know that?" I'm sitting on the grounds on a Saturday, completely alone, when Regulus Black sits down next to me, completely uninvited.
"Well you're not exactly a ray of sunshine yourself, Black."
"Ohhh, it's 'Black' now. You know I did help you save the soul of my brother. A little courtesy would be nice." I snort.
"Whole lot of good that did, huh?"
"You'd rather him be him than brainwashed, Holmes, even if it means that you lose him. I can tell you that and I barely know you." He says quietly.
"Yeah, kind of pathetic, right?"
"I don't think so. I think it's a form of courage. Now, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but you look horrible." I glance at him and roll my eyes,
"Thanks. You really know how to charm a girl."
"I told you not to take it the wrong way."
"There's a right way to take that?" he ignores me.
"My point is that it's probably time to pull yourself together. All of you. You're graduating soon and you don't want anyone to think you're weak, not with this war going on. Just some friendly advice. Besides, I think my job is done here." He nods slightly to about 200 feet away where I could make out an outline of a person. Regulus rises and winks at me,
"My brother's a pain in the ass, but apparently you like that. And I'll tell you what? He likes you too, despite your overall stubbornness and irritability. Beats me as to why though." I flip him off and he laughs as he walks away. I sigh as I look out over the lake and realize soon after that my peace of mind wasn't going to be restored after my little chat with Regulus. I get up and follow the path he had taken up to the castle, turning right to the staircase once inside instead of the left to the Dungeons.
"Why were you talking to my brother?" I raise an eyebrow at the boy that had mysteriously appeared from nowhere.
"That has nothing to do with you. And honestly, it's none of your business. Last time I checked you didn't have any lasting feelings of love towards your brother and God knows you can barely stand to look at me, so what is it? Just being nosy? Or are you upset that, contrary to what you may think, you're not the center of everyone's universe? Which is it, Black?"
"Did you really love me?" I roll my eyes. Typical. It's all about him. The Sirius Black Show.
"Yeah. My mistake. Apparently I was just like all of your other sluts. We all thought we could change you, that we would be the on to get you settle down, but that came to nothing for what? 60 girls? Let me know when you find one that will get you to participate in monogamy, if you ever find one, which at this point, I'm skeptical of."
"But you know what? I wasn't like them. I didn't want to change you. I really didn't. I thought I saw someone in there worth loving, someone with a good and caring heart. Was that all an act? Do I really mean so little to you? I deserve someone that can forgive me for something I'm sorry for. I loved you. I really did." I shake my head softly, pushing tears back, and walk away, to my dorm for the first time in almost a month, to pull my appearance, and my life, together. Too bad I don't make it there.
I'm standing in the corridor that Nat left me in when no other than Jessica Allison, who is actually a pretty decent person, walks by. She smiles at me and pauses,
"You look lonely." I nod slowly,
"Why are you women so complicated? Like seriously, what the fuck?"
"Natalia Holmes?" I look at her shocked that she had actually made a valid guess.
"How did you know?"
"I saw how you looked at her. Even when I was at the Potter's over the summer. I ignored it because I didn't want to see it, but I did. I saw it. She really is sorry, you know. I find her crying in the Kitchen's sometimes. It's been less lately, but she really does care about you. She wouldn't have told you the truth if she didn't. just something to think over." She smiles at me again and as she is walking away, Lily Evans comes sprinting up to me.
"Black! I know we're really not friendly right now but you need to come with me. Now. It's an emergency. Like big time." she starts to drag me by the hand.
"What? Evans, what the hell?"
"What's wrong with her?"
"Nothing…well, nothing physically. It's Mulciber and Avery. They came onto her again and she—she lost control. They're being sent to St. Mungo's right now. She's in Dumbledore's office and she's pretty torn up emotionally. Mulciber and Avery's parents are really pissed. They want her arrested and sent to Azkaban. You're Pureblooded. Talk some sense into them. Please. You understand their logic." She looks at me with tears streaming down her face, "She's my sister." I sigh and follow her to Dumbledore's office.
We walk in and Evans runs over to Nat, who is sitting in a chair, with tear streaks on her cheeks and shaking hands. Noelle Avery and Serafina Mulciber are standing in front of the Headmaster's desk, which automatically reeks of trouble. The women in the old families are the less stable of the two sexes, no men means trouble. But it makes sense, in a way. A girl tried to kill children. This is a woman's fight in that world, which is unfortunate.
"Sirius Black?" Mrs. Avery says with disbelief,
"Why is he here? What are you getting at Dumbledore?" Mrs. Mulciber demands. The headmaster says nothing and I say,
"What is going on? The Head Girl brought me here. She said it was an emergency."
"I'll tell you what happened! That half-breed over there tried to kill our sons! They ran into her in a corridor and she attacked them, unprovoked!" Avery's mother expounds shrilly
"Nat did no such thing!" Lily retorted to the older woman, he face quickly turning the color of her hair. "She told you. They tried to attack her and she defended herself against them, like she has a right to! She's not going anywhere, Dumbledore, I won't stand for it!" Mrs. Mulciber gasped,
"How dare you, you insolent girl? Dumbledore, I demand that you punish both of these girls!" Lily promptly ignores her.
"Sirius, you saw them try to attack Nat before, right?" For a minute I consider saying 'no'. For a brief second the thought crosses my mind. I glance at the girl who has been completely silent, allowing her sister to speak for her, and my vindictive thoughts vanish.
"Yeah. Earlier this year I walked into a corridor and all three of them were there, alone and Mulciber had her wand and Avery was, erm, touching her in a way he shouldn't have been. I heard her tell them to let her go and they didn't so I went over to help her. I told them to let her go and they said she was so pretty that they were going to keep her so I stunned both of them and gave Nat her wand back and we went on our merry way. You can examine my memories if it comes down to it." I direct the last part to Dumbledore and he nods silently to the permission I had given him.
"Noelle, Serafina…this is a school and the children here are just that, they're children. Now Natalia does not have parents to discipline her so as such she will receive a week of detention with me and both of your children will receive two, one for this incident, and one for the event that went unreported until just now. Understood? Mr. Black, please take Miss. Holmes somewhere where she can recover her mental stability, Miss. Evans, stay behind if you don't mind." I walk back out of Dumbledore's office and Nat is close behind me. We both walk in silence in a while and are almost to the Common Room when she says,
"How close were you to saying no?"
"How did you know the thought crossed my mind?"
"I could see it on your face. I'm glad you didn't say no, though. Lying doesn't suit you, Sirius. Goodnight…and thank you. For everything." She smiles a small, sad smile at me and vanishes into the Common Room. By the time I follow her, she has already vanished into her dorm.
I knew where I would find him. I quietly walked out onto the grounds and to the Quidditch Pitch. I hopped the fence onto the field, and sure enough, there was Sirius Black, lying on the grass, eyes closed. I sat down next to him and didn't bother with small talk.
"We need to talk." He looks up, surprised to see me, I suppose, and pulls himself into a sitting position next to me.
"Yeah, this whole not friends thing isn't really working for either of us, is it? You look better by the way." I glance down at my clothes. I had finally gotten the chance to clean myself up, after being almost dragged to Azkaban by Mulciber and Avery's mothers.
"It doesn't really benefit either of us. Now, I'd like to tell you everything, the whole story, if you'd like to hear it. If not, I get it, and I'll walk away and never talk to you again, it's your choice." I watch his face silently, waiting for an answer.
"Tell me." I nod.
"Well…I suppose I should start with how I ended up in the employment of the Daily Prophet. When I was fifteen maybe a little younger, I was in Diagon Alley alone and there was a help wanted sign in their window, so I went in because I desperately needed a job, and the newspaper was well known for paying teenagers well for their work. I went in and interviewed with the Editor, Jerry, who is awesome beyond words, and he had me do a writing sample for him. He liked what he saw and gave me a column in the Newspaper, for Hogwarts students by a Hogwarts student."
"How did I come into this?"
"That's what came next. I was talking to Lils the summer before our Sixth year and we were jokingly counting up how many girls you had dated and we made it to like 27 or something and that's how the idea came into my head. And so the Black List was born."
"Evans, McGonagall, and Yin knew, didn't they?" I nod.
"They knew. Sometimes they'd help me write when I struggled or had writer's block. This summer though, is when things started to spiral out of control. That day you and 43 ran into us at the ice cream parlor, we had been debating on whether or not to release that tape of you two, uhm, doing it. After that lovely encounter, we decided to and the challenge of all 60 girls was created that same day. This is all in because we had just come from the Daily Prophet office. We were staying together and I had needed my paycheck in advance and Jerry had decided to employ the other three as well, so now we all were invested."
"All of you?"
"All of us. Now as the year progressed, I felt increasingly horrible and guilty about the monster that I had created, but I was too scared to tell you, but I figured that we could be friends, at least, without you ever knowing the truth, until I came home from Potter Manor."
"What happened?" I take a deep breath.
"…I started to love you. It was dangerous but it happened, quite without my permission by the way. I knew with increasing certainty that I couldn't continue to lie about it. So after we sent James away to Lily Paradise, I ran out of the Common Room and came here, actually, and made up my mind. And so I told you, knowing that you'd hate me for it, but that you deserved to know. And yeah, that's pretty much it…any questions?"
"Just one…do you still?"
"Still what? Write? No, I'm done. I talked to Jerry about it and he let me out of my contract early with the rest of my salary for this year." He looks at me like he's going to say something but then closes his mouth. We sit in silence for a while and he says,
"I was really hurt. Devastated actually, which then quickly turned into anger."
"I deserved exactly what I got. I really did."
"Anger, maybe, but not cruelty. We were both wrong."
"So can we get pass this? And maybe come out of it as friends?" He nods.
"I'm still angry but I understand. Good to have you back, Nattie." I grin and shove him,
"Shut up. That's a James thing only."
"Awh, come on Lela, don't be like that."
"You have no idea where that came from, do you?"
"Not a clue."
"When I was a kid, Hayden, remember her? Yeah, she couldn't say Natalia so I was Lela. She was Hay."
"That girl was psycho…" I nod silently and realize that night was falling over the grounds.
"We should probably go back up to the castle." Just as the words leave my mouth, snow starts to fall, "Huh, I thought we were done with snow this year." Sirius laughs,
"Apparently not. We should probably get inside before you start to lose toes." He nods down to my bare feet.
"Probably." We both stand up and are walking towards the warm castle when he bumps my shoulder next to the lake, and despite myself, I wince.
"Nat? Are you okay?" I nod and force myself to smile.
"Yeah, just a little sore."
"From what?" I hesitate, but tell him in the best way I can,
"When Mulciber and Avery caught me on my way up to Gryffindor Tower, you didn't exactly come around at the ideal time like last time. they got a little…handsy before I fucked them up."
"Oh God. Did they, you know…"
"Oh no, no, they just grabbed at me a few times. My shoulder is a little sensitive and I've got a couple bruises on my left arm and my side. That's all, really." He frowns.
"I'm actually not bad at healing spells. I might be able to fix your bruises, if you want." I hesitate again but give in. I pull my sleeve up on my shirt and the purple and yellow fingerprints look worse against the falling white snow. He raises his eyebrows but says nothing. He gently taps my arm with his wand and it slowly lightens and vanishes, "Do you want me to do the other one, or is it in a…personal spot?" I feel my face turn red and mutter something about dirty minds. I pull my shirt up to reveal the purple, baseball-sized, splotch that covered my right hip. This one gets a verbal response. "They had no right touching you there, or anywhere." I shrug,
"It's nothing more than what I expected really. Those two aren't really known for their respect towards women. 'No' means 'yes' to them." He taps the bruise and it too vanishes after a moment, "Thank you."
"Does James know about this?" I shake my head,
"No. And he's not going to. Ever." We enter the castle and almost immediately run into Lily, who apparently is on rounds. With James. Well this just became all different kinds of awkward.
"Lils." Lily looked at me like 'what the Hell, Natalia Isabelle Holmes?' and I looked at her with a shrug. She rolled her eyes and Sirius pulled James to the side, speaking quickly and in low tones too him, too low to hear.
"What the fuck, Nat?"
"I went to talk to him, and I told him everything."
"Everything. And we talked it out and we're fine again. I explained how I ended up writing the column and how you got involved inadvertently, it's all okay. Really, Lils, we're all going to be okay."
"Nat, I know you've got it bad for the boy, but are you sure that it was wise telling him everything? Speaking of which did you tell him how you feel?"
"Felt. I told him but…changed the tense. And it's a little late now." We both slide our gazes over to the boys, and Jamie seems to be listening with an incensed look on his face, Sirius desperately muttering to him.
Just then, no other than Regulus walks by and he smiles subtly and winks at me, and before either of the boys notice him, he's gone. Lily rolls her eyes,
"One of the Black brothers isn't enough?" I chuckle.
"I don't even know how I ended up knowing Regulus, to be honest." She laughs,
"Nat, I don't know how we got here: waiting to hear if those two over there will forgive us." I laugh too.
"Crazy shit, huh?"