As Life Begins
Chapter 1: The
Sirius Black laughed his
hardy bark-like laugh as he recollected his date with Ellen Shimpling
to James and Remus. She was quite the girl, he
had to admit, but he was sure that he wouldn’t ask her out again anytime
soon. The whole time she was whining about never being noticed by any
“So I told her maybe it
wasn’t that they didn’t notice her; it was because they were trying not to
notice her. And you know what she said… But you’ve noticed me,
haven’t you?’ and she winked and tried to cuddle up to me.” Sirius shook his
head in disbelief, “I’m telling you, I turned my tail and ran. Unbearable, that woman.”
“At least you’ve had
someone ask you…” James shook his head; “Lily hasn’t even talked to me since
this whole Girls Preference Week started! Honestly, you think you know a
“Maybe she’s trying to
teach you some humility,” said Remus, as usual the
voice of reason.
“Hey, I don’t see any
girls lining up to ask you,” James retorted.
To this Remus only smiled furtively.
“Who ever made up this
Girls Preference thing has got to have been crazy!” Sirius gave a sigh.
“It was that Emmaline Vance from Ravenclaw and
her boyfriend Anthony Clearwater,” Remus informed
them, “they thought it would be fun.”
Vance has a boyfriend?” Sirius burst out.
ever since school started this year, why?”
“Uh, no reason, I
definitely haven’t dated her since uh...s-s-summer…” feeling his face going
red, Sirius turned away. He would have to talk to that girl about keeping
secrets from him.
“Sure, just like you
haven’t dated Ellen Shimpling.” James burst into
laughter. “Honestly, Padfoot, you need a girlfriend
so you’ll stop stealing the poor Ravenclaw boys’
“I honestly had no
Rolling on the floor in
fits of laughter, Remus finally regained his
composure enough to continue talking. “What do you both think about Catherine Whisp?”
But he never heard what
they thought of her. At that moment the dormitory door swung open and Peter
Pettigrew walked in.
“That Rosier is unbearable!”
He flopped onto his bed. “I’m telling you, his detentions are the worst in the
world! 80 empty jars crusted with bits of spider skins. Sick! Sick!
Sick! I’ll never get the smell of that awful Muggle cleaner off my
Sirius laughed again. “Try
to get Mara Malkin to notice you smelling like that!”
“Well I don’t see any
Sally Basil fighting her way to date you!” Peter retorted.
“Peter….” James warned.
Sirius sighed. Peter was
right, and a girl not noticing him was something that didn’t happen very
often. After sitting beside her in potions for almost seven years, Sirius
had still not managed to ever get more than a hello out of her. She was
one of the few girls in the school who hadn’t given him a second look.
“Sirius, you’ve got to get
over her,” Remus condoled. “She’s just never going to
“If James can get Lily
Evans to give him a chance, I can get Sally to give me one!” Sirius frowned.
“If you call that giving
me a chance,” James rolled his eyes. “She’s so confusing all the time.
Sometimes she’ll be funny and witty and hang out with me all I want, and then
she’ll pull something like this and not ask me out during this stupidly
unofficial Girls Preference Week.”
“No one ever claimed
girls make sense,” Remus pointed out.
Sirius shook his head.
“So, what were you saying about that Whisp girl?”
“Well, what do you all
think of her?”
“Better than Lydia
Viridian,” Peter added.
The room roared with
three boys’ laughter. Remus hated talking
poorly about people behind their backs.
“The ice queen herself!” James clutched his stomach.
“What goes on in that
girl’s head?” Sirius frowned. “Lydia gets top marks in the
looks category without question, but she always makes me feel like I’d never
even be good enough to tie her shoes.”
“I’ll agree with you
there, no one could say she’s ugly… but she’s kind of intimidating.” Peter
“Catherine Whisp is nice, but why do you ask?” James calmed down a
Remus just blushed
a little and sat back in his bed, letting the hangings hide him from view.
has a daaaate!” Sirius sung and jumped onto his
friend’s bed, catching him in a headlock. “Admit it,
you’ve a date with her!”
“Okay, okay, okay!” Remus laughed as he struggled our of Sirius’s grip, “it’s
true! She asked me this morning.”
“When are you going?”
“What are you guys
“I don’t know, she said
she would have everything perfectly planned.”
Sirius did his best girl
squeal, “What are you going to weaaaar? How
will you do you’re haaair? Ohh
this is soo exciting!” He fanned his face with
his hand and breathed deeply.
“I wish I had never
brought it up!” Remus moaned and retreated once again
to his bed.
“Oh, don’t sulk, Remus, I’m sorry…” Sirius grinned as he watched his friend
hide. “Come on, who’s my favourite puppy? Come back boy. Here,
A pillow flew out from
behind the bed hangings and hit Sirius squarely in the face.
“You asked for that one,
mate!” James grinned and poked his head through the curtains surrounding Remus’ bed in time to get a pillow in his own face.
The subsequent laughing that emitted from the four-poster reassured the two
that Remus hadn’t taken their comments too seriously.
“Maybe we could double,
Grace asked me for tomorrow,” Sirius grew more serious.
“How is it you’re
getting so many darn dates and I haven’t even been asked once yet?” James
sighed in exasperation.
you’re Lily’s. And the girls like Lily so they’re not going to steal her boy no
matter how handsome he is!” A voice came from the doorway. It was
Andromeda in her nightdress, hair flying everywhere, a cheerful grin on her
face. She was utterly amused with the boy-talk she had just overheard.
“Andromeda, you’re not
supposed to just come in like that!” Sirius yelled indignantly.
“Well I knocked several
times but you all were laughing so hard…”
“What do you want?”
Peter and Andromeda had never gotten along.
“Sirius, you haven’t
happened to have gotten any letters from your parents, have you?” Andromeda
they haven’t written me since fifth year, why’d do you ask?” Sirius’s curiosity
was sparked; he stood and walked to his cousin’s side.
Andromeda blinked at him
for a moment, “It’s just… I’ve just gotten one from mine, and they seem to have
this crazy notion that we--yes, both of us--will join them at the Black family
reunion this Christmas. They wrote about having a special guest…. I
don’t think I’ll go but I think it’s odd that they suddenly want to make
contact with us again…”
This time it was Sirius
who blinked. “You’re kidding me…”
“Maybe they just hope
we’ll come back to them. You know, stop being the Black black
sheep,” Sirius grinned. “Besides, the special guest couldn’t be anyone
very interesting. I mean, who would want to waste a day at a stupid
“Yeah, I was just
wondering if you got any letters like it…”
“Don’t worry Andy, we’ll not let them thieve you away from us!” James
“Oh, I’m not worried,
believe me,” Andromeda smiled at James. “I learned long ago to make up my own
“That you have… by the
way, has Lily told you anything about asking people out this week?” inquired
Andromeda shrugged and
turned with a grin. “She’s talked to me about a guy or two she seems to fancy
at the moment.” With a toss of her hair, Andromeda left the room as
quickly as she had entered.