The Sugar Quill
Author: May  Story: As Life Begins  Chapter: Chapter Two: The Unattainable
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Chapter 2: The Unattainable

Chapter 2: The Unattainable

 

Sirius’s date with Grace Dresselle had gone well.  It wasn’t really a date, though; they were too comfortable as friends to really be romantic.  They ended up just walking around the castle grounds talking about whom they liked and whom they wanted to date, and what they were going to do come July.  Sirius didn’t even run ‘your eyes sparkle like the light of a million stars’ by her.

 

When it was over Sirius battled with his conscience over whether to hug her goodnight or kiss her cheek; he ended up just shaking her hand.

 

He walked back to his dormitory feeling content; Grace was a nice girl.  He felt like he hadn’t wasted the evening at all, which was a first with this Preference Week.  Still, he felt sad:  there was only one day left and Sally Basil still had yet to say hello to him, let alone as him out.  Yes, she was a Slytherin and he a Gryffindor, but he could easily overlook that.  It had been a long time since being in Gryffindor had bothered him at all.  Yet he couldn’t help but wonder: if he had been in Slytherin, would he have stood a chance with her?

 

Surprisingly at such a late hour, his dormitory was empty except for a snoring James.  Peter probably had detention, but Remus couldn’t still be on his date.  Slowly creeping into bed, Sirius didn’t even bother to change his clothes. He just pulled the bedclothes close around him and fell into a sleep full of dreams of a tall Slytherin girl with sleek black hair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“Mate, you’re going to be late for breakfast if you don’t wake up now…” A voice interrupted his dreams. “Get your sorry self out of bed; today’s the last day and then we’re free to ask girls out again!”

 

Since the ‘brilliant’ idea of having a Girl’s Preference Week had been spread all over the school, it had been major taboo for a guy to ask a girl out.  This gutted Sirius badly because he had just barely worked up enough courage to ask Basil out when the week started.  Now that Preference Week was over, he felt some of his courage slipping.  She still hadn’t so much as glanced at him.

 

“Go, away!” Sirius groaned and stuck his head under his pillow to drown out the sound of James’s voice.

 

“No, it’s time for breakfast.  You know, food?  Your favourite thing in the world?”

 

“Second favourite,” Sirius corrected him from under the pillow.

 

“Okay, food, your favourite thing in the world right after girls.”

 

Sirius had to grin at this.  Just the word girl was enough to lift his spirits.  He made a resolution that he would ask out the first girl he saw the next day, just because he could.

 

“So, are you coming?” James pleaded.

 

“Okay, okay,” Sirius grumbled as he got out of bed. 

 

When they got to breakfast, Sirius kept an eye on the owls delivering mail, half dreading one from his parents any day now.  Still there was nothing.   Upon going back up to the dormitory to get their books, neither James nor Sirius could have anticipated what awaited them.

 

James’s bed was covered with small little dark things that upon closer examination were little dried fruits.  A note sat on his pillow; it read “Do you like raisins?  How about a date?”  On the back was scrawled in almost indiscernible writing, “Meet me at the kitchen, tonight, 7 o’clock.”

 

“Maybe Lily hasn’t forgotten about you after all…” Sirius grinned.

 

“This isn’t her writing, I know her writing!”

 

“Maybe she got a friend to write it?”

 

“Well I’ll ask her about it, then I’ll know for sure,” James stared in determination at the dates and raisins covering his bed.

 

“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea, it seems like she wants it to be a bit of a surprise.”

 

James shook his head, “I need to know.”

 

“We’re going to be late.” Sirius flopped onto his bed and pulled out his favourite Quidditch magazine, ‘Falmouth Philosophy.’  Lazily he flipped through the pages to an article titled ‘Benefits of Bumphing: Making Quidditch More Exciting for Everyone.’

 

“You look worried.” James’s sarcasm was evident as he swept some of the fruit off his bed.

 

“I’m not in the mood to hurry to Potions Class just to be ignored.”

 

“I’m sure Basil will come around eventually, mate.  Don’t mope about it, it’s not attractive. You’re Sirius Black, the second best-looking guy in the school, master of almost as many dates as me. Don’t let one stupid girl screw you up.”

 

“Nice pep talk, James. Now tell me how there are so many girls exactly like Basil who are dying for to ask me out… and how Basil isn’t the kind of girl who’s right for anyone with any sense…” Sneering, Sirius turned his back to his friend.

 

“I’m trying to cheer you up, not lie to you.” A chuckle played on James’s voice. “You know, she’s not the only girl who’s ever ignored you.”

 

Sirius turned quickly back to his friend and laughed mirthlessly. “You’ve got a point… but do you think someone like Lydia Viridian is enough to depress me?”

 

“Why not?  They seem so much the same to me.  Both a little prideful, neither talk to you if they can avoid it… both are on your ‘good-looks honour roll.’  And yet you’ve never so much as thought about Lydia…”

 

“James. You’re starting to sound like Remus,” Sirius groaned.

 

“Someone ought to.  All along he’s suspected that the only reason you like her so much--besides the whole pretty and graceful thing--is because she’s in Slytherin.” James had taken a matter-of-fact tone. “You think that if you were in Slytherin, you would’ve had a chance with her, and that gets to you more than anything.”

 

Its not because she’s in Slytherin, James; I got over that years ago.  It’s been a long time since I’ve wondered if things would’ve been better had I been in Slytherin.”

 

“Sirius.” James grew sombre. “No one, excepting you and your cousin, knows what you’ve lost in these last few years as well as I do. Don’t make it worse by torturing yourself over a girl.”

 

“Our houses have nothing to do with anything!  I’ll prove it to you.” Anger coursed through his veins. “I’ll ask her out today--and when she says yes, you’ll see what was meant to be.”

 

“Why Sirius, you’re a poet and don’t even know it!” James smiled as he grabbed his books.

 

Sirius did the same, “I don’t know who to be more afraid of for being late, Rosier or Remus…”

 

Finally the two boys exited the room.  On the outside Sirius laughed and sounded cheerful, but inwardly he felt sick.  Now he would have to make his move on Sally Basil whether or not the time was right.

 

 

Author’s Note: Bumphing is the practise of Beaters hitting the bludger towards the crowd forcing the officials to halt the game to protect the spectators.  In Kennilworthy Whisp’s book ‘Quidditch through the Ages’ he says Bumphing is “sometimes used by unscrupulous players to prevent an opposing Chaser scoring.”

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