My sister. Has invaded. My life.
So, here I am in Thursday Charms with the rest of the gang at our usual table at the very back of the room. Only, here, I thought the N.E.W.T.-level class would give me at least a bit of time away from my jolly ol’ twin. I mean, over the half the sixth year Gryffindor class didn’t make it, including Peter! And Sonata doesn’t even like Charms!
But alas… there she is. Sitting at the opposite end of the long table from me and casting poofs of flowers out from the end of her wand. And for some godforsaken reason, the entire gang is completely enraptured by her.
Okay, no, I know why.
Sonata is exactly the more sociable, outgoing, happy-go-lucky version of me. She spends 70% of her time laughing and smiling and the other 30% doing adorable things to make everyone else laugh and smile. Put her and me side by side and it’s obvious who people are going to gravitate towards.
I just sit there silently for a moment, my head propped on my arm, watching as Sonata twirls her wand in between her fingers before dropping it clumsily. Lily and James burst into laughter as the wand flies off, still sprouting flower petals from its tip. Sonata giggles as Remus reaches under the table to pick up her wand and return it to her. She leans in to whisper something in his ear and he laughs.
Blimey, you too, Remus? This is betrayal. BETRAYAL, I TELL YOU.
I blow air into my cheeks, puffing them out in an obvious pout.
And before I can even wonder who said that, a finger reaches out and pokes my cheek, the air rushing out of my lips in an embarrassingly loud raspberry. I turn around just in time to see the owner of that finger snort in laughter.
“Sirius!” I blurt out in genuine surprise. “What are you—”
“Doing here?” He raises his eyebrows. “I’ve been sitting next to you all class period. Now who’s completely oblivious?”
Wait. Did I seriously not even notice him for the past thirty minutes...
“Then again, if I was staring that intently down the table for half the period, I wouldn’t have noticed me either,” he remarks, clearly amused.
I wince despite myself and then look at him skeptically. “Oh yeah? Then why aren’t you experiencing the fascinating entertainment that is Cecilia 2.0 with the rest of them?”
Sirius’ grin fades at my words. “I’d really rather be with you.”
I stare at him blankly.
“Sonata’s not interested in entertaining me anyway,” he adds rather belatedly.
Oh, that’s what he meant. His words make me scoff and shake my head. “Not interested huh… Just you wait,” I mutter under my breath as I return to making my miniature scarecrow tap-dance across the desk, which was the actual spellwork we were supposed to be working on all period.
Do you like Sirius Black?
In the end, I never got to give Sonata the answer to that question from a few nights back. James had burst into the girls’ dormitory and dragged the both of us out into the Common Room to apparently play “spot the difference” and we didn’t get a moment alone together the rest of the night. Er, actually, we haven’t had a moment alone together since then, like, at all.
This may be an epicly lame way of avoiding the problem at hand, but I’ve kind of been pretending I don’t speak English and running away every time she’s brought the subject up.
…Well, I never said it was a good way of avoiding the problem!
But really it’s mainly because I’m still not exactly sure how I want to handle this situation. I mean, how the hell was I supposed to know my twin sister has the most massive crush on the guy I’m engaged to!
“Just you wait?” Sirius brows furrow at my words. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
I blink and quickly catch my scarecrow before it tap-dances off the desk. “Er, nothing. Plus, shouldn’t you be practicing your spellwork too?” I point out, hastily trying to change the subject. “N.E.W.T.-level spells aren’t exactly supposed to be easy.”
“Already did.” He makes his scarecrow do an admittedly very impressive pirouette as if to emphasize his point before continuing, “And seriously though. Has Sonata been talking to you about me?”
My eyes snap to him probably a little faster than they should have. “Uhhhh… no?”
Sirius raises an eyebrow.
“Okay, fine,” I admit. “She may have mentioned you once or twice.”
“About what?” he asks slowly, still looking skeptical. “You know you shouldn’t believe everything she says right? Half of the stuff she says is for fun and the other half is a joke.”
Actually that’s totally true. But still… this whole feelings thing is between me and Sonata, not him.
“And all of it is none of your business,” I decidedly retaliate. “Why are you so interested?”
“Because we already know where misunderstandings get us, Cecilia!” Sirius says, throwing his hands in the air in frustration. “Wouldn’t you rather hear everything from me instead of your sister, who clearly doesn’t take any of this seriously enough to tell the truth?”
“Well…” I bite my lip, turning away from him momentarily.
As I try to buy myself time to think of some cogent reply, my focus falls onto the opposite end of the table again. Sonata and Lily appear to be having some animated discussion about various spells and products for hair styling, but the two who actually catch my eye are James and Remus. My eyes narrow as I watch them curiously.
“Sirius and Cecilia, mate. Seriously, do it. It’d be hilarious.”
“Yeah, hilariously not funny. They’d kill us. If you want it to happen, you do it. Let’s see you try.”
“Fine, I will!”
“Moony, I will… Really.”
“Yeah, sure you will.”
“I’ll really do it!”
A hand grabs my shoulder. “Cecilia, honestly—”
I finally turn away from Remus’ and James’ usual strange antics to face Sirius again. “It’s about the engagement, alright? That’s what we’re talking about! Happy now?” I blurt out in exasperation.
Sirius eyes widen and his hand drops from my shoulder. “What about the engagement?”
“None of your business!” I repeat, now getting annoyed. “It’s between Sonata and me and I don’t want to talk about it, okay? It’s my problem!”
“Then it’s my problem too!” Sirius says, sounding irritated himself. “If you haven’t noticed, the engagement is between you and me, not you and your sister!”
For some reason, his words make my cheeks flush, but I try to ignore it. “Okay, well, not this time,” I answer firmly. “I just have to talk to her about it, alright? It’s kind of complicated and I just have to figure out what I want to say to her. I mean, I’m sure you know she really likes you. But everything is just extra complicated now because I don’t know tell her about how I—” My mouth snaps shut.
“About how you what?”
My face immediately turns a bright red. Me and my fat mouth. Did I seriously just almost tell him that I need to convince Sonata that I like him more than she does? As much as Sirius has joked around about our feelings for each other, I’ve yet to actually say it aloud to him. And right now would make one hell of a lame confession.
Sirius frowns. “Wait, about how you what?”
“About how I nothing, nevermind!” I reply hastily, pushing myself up from the table.
But he grabs my wrist before I can move an inch. “Hold on,” he starts slowly, “if you were about to say what I think you were…”
HOLY HELL, HE CAN READ MINDS.
“Agh, no, I wasn’t!” I spill out in a panic.
And just as he’s about to finish his sentence, I rip my arm out of his grasp and run briskly down the steps of the pitched floor of the Charms classroom towards Professor Flitwick’s podium. “Sorry, Professor. Bathroom!” I call out to him before making a sharp left towards the classroom door.
“Wait, Cecilia! Are you kidding me…” I hear Sirius get up from his seat to sprint after me.
Ugh, why couldn’t I have just kept my mouth shut? Yeah, just confess all of your feelings to him in the middle of class, Cecilia, that’s real smart. Super romantic. Next time I should seriously just focus on practice my spellwo—I look down at my hand. “Wait a minute, why am I still holding my scarecrow?”
Halfway to the door, I stop in my tracks and spin on my heel to return to my desk.
I crash headlong into a speeding Sirius and with an incredible bang and flash of multi-colored lights, we tumble to the floor.
After a few moments, I sit up and rub my forehead, groaning – coincidentally, at the exact same time as Sirius. Well, blimey, he deserved it, running after me like that. But seriously though, all those purple, blue, and green flashing lights? I guess this is what it must be like to wake up right after an epic concussion. It was like bloody fireworks!
A sharp pain shoots across my eyes and I keel over, now with both hands over my forehead and my eyes tightly shut in pain. Bloody hell, all we did was bump into each other. My head’s not supposed to hurt nearly this bad is it?
“Merlin’s beard, what a magnificent crash!” the professor exclaims. “Mr. Black and Miss Vance, are you two alright?”
“I think… I’m okay, Professor,” Sirius’ voice echoes from somewhere around me.
Wow, Sirius, that’s exactly what I was going to say. Stop copyi—wait a minute. My mouth just moved, didn’t it? Why didn’t any sound come out? All I heard was Sirius.
I slowly drop my hands from my face, just as my ears catch the sound of a girl’s voice groaning softly and then gasping in surprise. That voice… sounds awfully familiar.
I open my eyes slowly expected to see Sirius sitting before me, but instead all I see is some girl with long brown hair and lavender eyes.
It… that’s my face.
Only the expression on that face doesn’t seem quite to match mine. Wha… I must’ve hit my head harder than I thought. Am I hallucinating a mirror or something? How am I looking at myself right now…?
The girl in front of me rubs her eyes once and then gapes at me in horror.
Wait, that isn’t a mirror.
That is literally my body sitting in front of me!
This has to be a bloody dream. I raise my hands to rub at my own eyes and—hold on, I don’t remember my hands being this big! And these clothes…
My eyes dart over my own body. Wait, I’ve seen these clothes on someone before.
No bloody way.
My eyes travel from the shocked expression on the girl’s face before me… up to the very back seat of the classroom at James Potter, who’s sitting there with both of his hands clamped over his mouth as if he’s about to explode in hysterics.
The bizarre reflection sitting in front of me reaches over to touch my face and then narrows her eyes. “Er, Ceci—I mean, Sirius… stay calm, alright?” she says in a low voice.
Professor Flitwick turns to me as well, an equally questioning look on his face. “Is something wrong, Mr. Black? Do you need to go to the Hospital Wing?”
I shake my head fiercely and open my mouth. “No, Professor, I’m fine, really—” I hear Sirius’ voice come to an abrupt stop.
And then it dawns on me. It was a concept so incredibly simple, yet so absurd that my mind didn’t even consider the possibility. I stare at the body before me, my body, in complete horror.
“Sirius Black… are you bloody kidding me right now.”