“H-hey! Hold on, where do you think you’re going?”
“Er, duh. To the girls’ bathroom, of co—blegh!” Sirius gags from my suddenly grabbing the back of his collar. He nearly trips and falls backwards, but catches himself in time to turn and glare at me. “Hey, you know this is your neck that you’re abusing right?”
“Small sacrifice in the fight against your pervertedness!” I retaliate.
Sirius rolls his eyes. “I’m not being perverted. I just need to use the loo. I mean, we just ate dinner and from the feel of it,” he pauses in thought, “you haven’t gone to the bathroom since, say, before Charms? Not my fault you have a small—”
“Ah, shut up, shut up!” I grab his arm and pull him to a more isolated side of the spiral staircase to the dormitories. “Can you at least try to develop a sense of verbal decency?” I hiss at him.
Sirius snorts and raises an eyebrow at me. “Oi, decency or not, you realize we are going to have to talk about this.”
I look sideways awkwardly.
“I mean, for girls, the whole deal must be pretty simple,” he continues, brazen as ever. “I probably don’t even have to look. But… you on the other hand…”
I blink. “Me what?”
Sirius folds his arms and tilts his head at me, amused. “Cecilia, you’re going to have to go to the bathroom at some point.”
If this was some dramatic soap opera cliché, I would have fallen to my knees, clutching my head and cursing at the sky. But this is real life, so I just clutched my head and cursed at Sirius instead.
“Bollocks, you’re right! What am I going to do?”
Sirius rolls his eyes and grabs my shoulders, walking me towards the boys’ dormitories. He pats me on the back reassuringly. “Eh, you’ll figure it out.”
My face flushes at the prospect. Figure it out?
“Hold on, why are you so eager to get rid of me?” I blurt out, trying to drown out my suddenly mortifying thoughts. “You’re not planning on doing anything perverted up there are you…” I narrow my eyes at him suspiciously.
But instead of even attempting to explain himself, he just flashes me a wink and his signature crooked smirk.
“Guess you’ll never know, will you?”
And before I can say anything else, he runs up the rest of the stairs towards the girls’ dormitories. “Meet you back in the Common Room at ten to check back in with you!” he calls over his shoulder. “Catch you later!”
“Hey, wait! WAIT, YOU GIT!”
But the door had already slammed shut, leaving me standing there in the stairwell with my mouth hanging open.
Why… do I get the feeling that this is going to end so disastrously?
I close the dormitory door behind me and lean against the wood. A grin spreads across my face before I can even help myself.
Could this girl be anymore gullible? Who said I was going to actively do perverted things in her body? I mean, c’mon, my moral standards are so underappreciated. Then again… that doesn’t make going about this whole situation any less unbeara—
Someone pounces on me from the side before I can even finish my thought. See, my point exactly. Girls are way more touchy feely than any of the blokes in my dorm!
“So, what’s up with you and Sirius running off right after dinner, huh?” Lily asks me with a sly grin on her face. “Something going on between you two now that you’re not telling me? Eh? Eh?”
Yeah, I wish.
“Er, what makes you say that?” I reply distractedly.
The feel of her chest pressed against my arm makes me squirm uncomfortably. This is way more distracting than I thought it was going to be. Don’t girls have any sense of personal space around each other? Bloody hell, I’m going to have to find some way to apologize to Prongs for this or something…
“Really, Cecilia?” Lily raises an eyebrow at my vague answer. “You’re kidding me asking me that right? You and Sirius have been acting weird all day! Well, mostly just Sirius actually,” she adds after a pause.
I roll my eyes. Cecilia is making me look like a right idiot.
“Is it from Charms? Are you sure you’re okay?” Lily continues, perusing my face in concern. “I’ve never seen fireworks from people just bumping into each other! Maybe someone accidentally shot a variation of one of the spells we were practicing in class and botched it. I think we should go to the Hospital Wi—”
“No, seriously, I’m fine, Lily!” I cut in hastily. One examination and Madam Pomfrey would be able to see through a simple mind transfer spell so fast I wouldn’t even have time to say, deep shit. “I’m just feeling out of it because I’m in my, er… it’s my...” I gesture my hands erratically. “Blimey, what do girls call it, menstrual cycle week?”
“Euphemism… euphemism… oh, time of the month!” I finish triumphantly. Cecilia should be proud I even know anything about this. “Yeah, time of the month, period, whatever, sorry. I didn’t get much sleep last night,” I lie, completely unabashed.
Lily pats me on the shoulder sympathetically before finally letting go of my arm. “I feel you, girl,” she calls as she begins moving towards her trunk. “You were fidgeting in your bed until, like, three in the morning, muttering about something to do with Sonata. What’s going on with you two anyway?”
And before she even finishes her sentence, she rips her shirt clean off over her head.
“Lily! Bloody hell!” I instinctively slap my hand over my eyes just as Lily turns around to look at me questionably.
“Blimey, calm down, Cecilia.” Lily laughs in surprise.
I hear her walk towards me and before I know it, she rips my hand away from my eyes and spins around in front of me.
“What, did I gain weight or something?” she asks, poking her belly. “Pretty passive aggressive way of saying so, don’t you think?”
Is someone trying to torture me? Should it be this hard to not be a pervert?!
“I’m kidding, Lily,” I insist, looking anywhere but at her lace-trimmed bra. “You, er, look great. You should probably eat more actually. Yeah, definitely. Eat as much as you want.”
“Aww, really?” Lily beams at me, completely oblivious to my awkwardness. “You’re the sweetest, Cecilia!”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Just go put some clothes on, mate.” Still looking off to the side, I spin her around with one hand and push her back towards her trunk.
Lily heaves a loud sigh as she searches through her clothes. “Ah, Cecilia, have you seen my blue sweater? Rubbish time to lose it really…”
“Hell if I know,” I reply absently. “It must be in there somewhere.”
After confirming that she’s completely turned away from me, I finally let out the breath I didn’t even know I was holding and sink down onto Cecilia’s bed. I run a hand through my hair and take a deep breath. Blimey, Prongs should be so glad I’m a decent bloke. I mean, seriously, I could care less about seeing Lily with her clothes off.
Cecilia, on the other hand…
I wince guiltily just thinking about it. She’d kill me. She’d definitely kill me. I wonder how hard it would be to shower with my eyes closed…
“Ugh, I can’t find it!” Lily protests, her voice echoing out of the trunk. “And, blimey, I’m freezing.”
Well, maybe you should have kept your shirt on, Lily. Do all girls just strip on cue in front of each other or something?
“Oh!” she suddenly exclaims, straightening up from her trunk. “Maybe our laundry got mixed together again.” She begins to turn around to move towards Cecilia’s trunk.
“Bloody hell, not again…” I breathe out and leap off the bed to go seek refuge in the Common Room instead. But the moment I wrench open the dormitory door… “Agh! What the—” I’m met with a face full of hot coffee.
“Ouch, Cecilia, are you okay?”
But I don’t respond. I can’t respond. It doesn’t matter that my clothes are soaked and my eyes are stinging and the entire front of my body is burning, all I can think of is one horrifying prospect. And it had rendered me temporarily speechless.
Well, only temporarily.
“Sonata! What the hell!”
“Sorry, sorry, sorry!” she apologizes quickly, trying to wipe the coffee off my face with her sleeve. “I was going to surprise you! How was I supposed to know you were going to burst through the door at the last minute!”
“You were trying to surprise me…” I repeat in a low voice, trying to conceal how completely appalled I am, “while holding a mug of hot coffee?”
“I have an essay due tomorrow!” Sonata protests. “And what’s the big deal anyway? Just go shower and you’ll be fine!”
“W-well, that’s—you know…” I stammer out. “I don’t really need—”
“Yeah, you’re definitely going to want to wash up, Cecilia,” Lily, who is finally wearing a shirt, points out as she walks over to finger my soiled clothes. “If you leave your robes like that, they’re definitely going to stain. And for goodness sake, run some cold water over your body!”
And the worst part is, these two are right. Is this karma for seeing Lily shirtless or something? Pretty undeserved, whatever higher power is doing this!
Because when Cecilia finds out, I’ve got a whole lot worse coming for me than burning skin…
What’s taking him so long? I hope he didn’t end up taking a shower or something, or else I’m going to seriously murder the guy.
I glance at the clock on the wall for the fifth time within the last minute and slouch deeper into my usual sofa by the fireplace.
We haven’t even discussed what we’re going to do about the whole changing clothes or showering situation! Just the thought of him even seeing my naked body makes my face heat up. Or even the thought of seeing his…
“Stop it, stop it, stop it, brain!” I yell aloud before grabbing the cushion next to me and pressing it against my face. “Stop thinking about it!”
“Stop thinking about what?” a voice asks behind me.
I drop the cushion on to my lap and let my head fall back against the couch. “Ugh, stop thinking about—Remus!” The sight of his grinning face makes me jolt in surprise. “What are you—!” I start loudly and then lower my voice to hiss, “What are you doing here?”
Remus’ grin broadens as he plops down next to me. “What am I doing in the Common Room? It’s a public area, Cecilia, I can do whatever I want.”
“Remus!” I shush him hastily. “You’re supposed to call me Sirius, remember?”
He just shrugs. “Why? It’s not like anyone’s here.”
“No one here?” My brows furrow and I turn on the sofa to glance around the Common Room, which… is strangely empty for a school night. Wait a minute, where’d everyone go?
“Wondering where everyone went?” Remus says right after the thought even occurs to me. “Well, being a prefect has its share of privileges in, well, you know,” he leans back leisurely against the sofa cushions, “exercising authority and stuff.”
I gape at him. “Like how?”
“I kind of lied and told everyone that there was a new curfew being enforced and that they all needed to be in their dormitories before eleven or I’d start giving detention to clean toilets,” he explains, grinning innocently.
I let out a short breath of amused disbelief before collapsing back on the couch, shaking my head. “You know, this is exactly why I got the shivers when I found out you were still prefect. You have the entire school fooled, Remus. You are way more evil than people think.”
“I’ll gladly take the compliment. I don’t hang out with Sirius and James just for show, you know.”
“Clearly you have Dumbledore under the impression that you do.”
“Because he knows that deep down, I am such a good guy.” He grins and nudges me in the shoulder. “Anyway, I just thought you might need some time alone with this whole mind-switch thing that’s happened. You just waiting for Sirius?”
I glance up at the clock again and sigh. “Yeah, he was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago. And thanks,” I add with a grateful smile, “Merlin knows I need a break from people for an hour or two.”
“Or maybe just Sonata, I imagine,” Remus says wisely.
I blink and look up at him. “Oh, you noticed huh…” I mumble, feeling kind of sheepish.
Remus chuckles. “Yeah, well, she’s a handful alright, I’ll tell you that.”
His words make me frown in bewilderment. “But I thought you guys all fancied being around her! You sure seemed pretty engrossed back in Charms class.”
“Cecilia, she’s your twin sister! Of course, we’re all going to be nice to her!” Remus exclaims with a laugh. “It’s not like we replaced you with your twin, mate. It’s just that she’s new here and is still getting to know the place. Plus, I think she’d probably get along a lot better with Rize and his lot than us delinquents.” He smiles at the look of surprise on my face. “As if anyone could actually replace Cecilia Vance.”
I blush as he elbows me playfully in the arm.
“Wowww, look at that,” he says in amazement, pointing at my pink face. “I bet girls all over the school would kill to see Sirius Black blush like that.”
Of course, my face turns even redder. “Oh, quiet you,” I mutter, pushing him away in embarrassment. “As if I need anymore attention while I’m in this state.”
“You know what,” he says suddenly.
I glance over at him to see his face dangerously close to mine. The proximity makes me jump in surprise. “W-w-what? Know what?”
“You know…” he repeats, scrutinizing my, or rather, Sirius’ face closely, “I don’t know how you’re possibly going to pull off being Sirius for more than a day. I think you still inherently just look like Cecilia Vance.”
“Huh?” I blink several times and then swallow. “T-that’s only because you know me so well,” I stammer out, turning away from him.
“No, really, there’s something about your facial expressions.”
He leans over for a look again but I quickly push him away.
“Aww, c’mon, lemme look,” he protests and I can just hear the impish smile in his voice. “It’s not everyday I get to see how you look like as a bloke!”
“Stop,” I whine when he leans over again. “You’re only doing this so you can find new ways to make fun of me when I’m back to normal!”
“Alright, you caught me. But seriously though.”
I move to get up from the couch, but before I can push myself up, Remus swings his leg over me to straddle me around the waist on his knees. WHAT THE—THIS IS SERIOUSLY BORDERLINE.
“Remus!” I sputter out, my face now a brilliant shade of glowing red. “What are you—get off before someone sees!”
He bursts into laughter when he sees my flushed face. “Blimey, this is comedy gold. I wish I had a camera so I could capture this face on film forever.”
“Someone could walk in at any second, Remus!” I shriek. “Stop playing around!”
I try to push him off, but he grabs my wrists before I can raise them, still laughing. “Everyone’s in their dorms,” he points out. “Plus, if they saw, it’d just look like me and Sirius fooling around anyway.”
“That’s exactly why it’d look so weird!”
“Okay, okay,” he acquiesces. “Can’t you wait until I grab a camera though?”
But suddenly, the chattering of voices echoes down the staircase of the dormitories behind us.
“Cecilia! Sis, where are you going?”
“Just getting from fresh air, don’t bother me!”
My heart jumps into my throat. “Re-Remus, that’s Sirius!” I hiss at him in alarm. “Quick, get off!”
“I know, hold on. Ow—whoa!”
In a frantic scramble and flurry of limbs, somehow I had tried to stand up the same moment Remus moved to swing his leg off from the side. Or something… or another. I don’t know what happened! All I know is that at some point there was a collision that made him lose his balance and topple over me right back onto the couch.
He throws his arms out to prevent himself from falling on top of me completely and I don’t know if it was just the combination of the weird placement of our faces at the time and his momentum from falling, but before I knew it… we were kissing.
We both just freeze in shock.
I don’t know why Remus didn’t move. Maybe it was the horror of accidentally kissing one of his best mates on the mouth or the surprise that he was kissing me. I’m… I’m just dumbfounded. Thunderstruck. I’m kissing Remus… Remus Lupin. What is this, what’s happening? Move. Move. Just move, Cecilia!
The footsteps coming down the stairs should have registered somewhere in my mind, but it’s not until a voice comments from behind the couch that I actually jolt back to my senses.
“So, what are you two doing?”