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Chapter 6 : Woe is Me
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Things seemingly continued on as usual, but Hogwarts was painfully aware of the strained friendship between the Marauders and the girls. People seemed quite content to establish bets and wagers on the cause of this baffling twist of events, though no one seemed to get it quite right. It was Sirius and Melody’s relationship though, which suffered the most. They hardly ever spoke, only greeting each other when necessary; although this wasn’t often. The marauders rarely saw Melody, and it was only in classes and at dinner that they did. James and Melody stayed well away from one another, which wasn’t difficult as the two groups hardly ever conversed.
James had gone back to his ‘kiss a girl a day’ attitude and according to the rumour mill, had impregnated three girls, married five and had an illicit affair with two professors. The marauders found these rumours quite entertaining, disbelieving that anyone would actually believe such scandalous accusations.
So it was, with these rumours, many pranks and immense loads of school work that the rest of term passed and winter break began.
“Have any of you seen the map?” James asked; his voice muffled as he stuffed his head inside his wardrobe in search of the aforementioned. Sirius, who was packing his own items, looked around his cluttered area. “Nope, I don’t have it. Pete?”
Peter was red in the face as he attempted to heave his overflowing trunk closed. “Oh please don’t make me open this again.” He squeaked, his voice higher than usual.
James stood and dusted his clothes off. “I don’t understand, I just saw it two hours ago, how could it have disappeared?!”
Remus snickered. “Maybe your buttocks stole it.”
James turned to the sandy haired boy in confusion then reached for his back pocket. He smiled sheepishly. “Oh, right. I forgot I put it there.”
Sirius snorted and resumed packing, glancing sideways at Remus. “You know Moony, you could help, seeing as you’re all done. It would be the mate-ly thing to do.”
Remus smirked. “First of all, Padfoot, there is no such word as ‘mate-ly’ second of all, I told you to start packing sooner, did I not? Hang on, what did you say again? Oh right-
He smacked his head mockingly.
“-you told me to piss off and let you whip Wormtail’s arse at exploding snap.”
James chuckled. “He’s got you there Pads.” Sirius scowled.
“So what’s the plan for the break?” Peter squeaked breathlessly, having finally managed to close his trunk. Sirius sighed exasperatedly. “We’ve been through this fifty times Wormy! We’re all going home, spending the holidays with the family-
“-as horrible as they may be. Then we’re all going over to Prongs’ place for a week and from there we’re coming back for second term. Got it? Maybe you ought to write it down.”
James and Remus snickered as Peter flushed.
“So Prongs, you going to give Rosmerta a goodbye kiss?” Sirius wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. James grinned. “Already ahead of you mate, I snuck out last night and let’s just say, it was a very... pleasurable night.”
Remus shook his head and Sirius barked with laughter. “What did Santa get her?”
James smiled. “The best damn thing ever. I bought the Three Broomsticks for her.”
His mates’ jaws fell open. “You did not! You bought her a pub?” Sirius spluttered. James nodded in smug victory. “How the hell am I supposed to top that?! You’d better not tell Angela. She’ll want me to buy her a dress robe shop or something.” Sirius exclaimed, scowling at James.
James laughed. “My lips are sealed.”
Remus raised his brow. “So does this mean you two are committed now? I thought you wanted a ‘no strings attached relationship’. “
James grinned. “I bought her the pub because she loves that place, not because I’m proclaiming my undying love for her. The Three Broomsticks is her home and she’s so goddamned good at what she does. She deserves to own it; not that horse faced whatever her name is. She’s absolutely vile.”
Remus clapped James on the back. “That was nice of you. I bet she was ecstatic.”
Sirius snickered. “Yeah I bet she was very, very thankful, if you know what I mean.” He winked.
James snorted. “My sex life aside, yes she loved it and she said I get butterbeer and pumpkin juice on the house.
“Brilliant!” Sirius hooted.
James closed his trunk and leaned back against his bed. “Done!”
Sirius moaned and glanced at his own empty trunk. “Oh come on!”
“Oh look, they’re all here!” Sirius said with mock enthusiasm. They were on the platform at nine and three quarters and he sighed miserably as his eyes landed on an impeccably dressed couple who looked thoroughly uncomfortable, glaring and sneering at anyone who dared look in their direction. He clasped the handle on his trunk. “It’ll be alright mate, a few weeks and you’ll be back with us.” James clapped him on the back and pulled him in for a one armed hug. Sirius nodded, attempting to turn a grimace into a smile.
They turned to Remus. “You sure you’re going to be alright?” Sirius insisted.
Remus smiled reassuringly. “Hey, I got through before you lot, I can manage one transformation.”
James looked doubtful but smiled nonetheless. “Okay, but call us if you need anything. Even if it’s only one of us, we’ll be there.”
Remus looked at his friends fondly. “Thank you.”
He received smiles in return.
“My house in minus eight days.” James reminded, and with one last nod and a parting wink to his best friends, wheeled his trunk towards his own parents who were waiting patiently across the platform.
“James!” Madeleine exclaimed joyfully as her son approached. He beamed and wrapped his mother in a tight embrace.
“How are you darling? Good grief, you’ve grown at least another two feet, Harry, what on earth are we going to do with him?”
Harold Perseus Potter laughed and stepped forward to embrace his son. “How’ve you been lad?”
James grinned. “Been good, causing loads of mayhem at school.”
His mother scowled but he could see her heart wasn’t in it. His father on the other hand threw his head back in laughter and James smiled. He’d missed his parents, sure they were boisterous, embarrassingly intimate and at times sillier than the marauders themselves, but he only loved them more for it. His mother was outwardly the epitome of a pureblood lady. Her hair was pulled back in an immaculate bun, her clothes tailored to the tee and her stature ever confident. However, Madeleine Potter was the last person to be seen at one of the weekly ‘lady of the manor’ luncheons. In fact, she thought it was demeaning and downright stupid.
“’Lady of manor’ luncheons.” She’d huffed. “What a load of codswallop, those women just want one more way to gossip and one more way to prove to everyone else how superior they think they are! ‘Lady of the manor’ please!” His father had pleaded with her to stay away from their wedding gifts- given to them by James’ late grandfather and grandmother. Thankfully the casualties were few.
James’ father was the polar opposite of his mother. Where she was small and stubborn as a mule; he was tall- looming over even James- lean and very easy going. He took everything in stride and over analyzed nothing. He lived with a ‘when life gives you lemons, make firewhiskey’ sort of attitude.
“So do you have everything? Where is Sirius? Is he coming this year?” Madeleine fussed over him and James sighed. “Yes mum, I’ve got everything. Sirius is staying at his place for a week and then coming over, along with the others.”
Madeleine’s eyes flashed hopefully.
“The Marauders.” James clarified. She attempted to hide her disappointment, but it was to no avail. She was no Gryffindor, but she was also no Slytherin. James read her like a book.
“Oh, well won’t that be exciting! I’ll have to get Callie to prepare for extra guests then.” Her eyes gleamed with the excitement of a full house and James and Harry exchanged amused glances as she rambled on. James smiled. It was good to be home.
The trip home was quiet. Sirius had expected nothing less and didn’t bother to dwell on it. His parents as always, had fawned over Regulus, ignoring Sirius altogether, only bothering to acknowledge his existence, to glare. After that they continued to give him the cold shoulder.
Sirius’ stomach dropped as Number Twelve Grimmauld Place appeared before him. There was nothing- except for the people who lived inside- that he despised more. He couldn’t wait until he was legally allowed to get his own home.
“Fix yourself up; dinner is in half an hour.” His mother snapped, bringing him out of his reverie. He nodded stiffly.
“Kreacher!” A small house elf appeared before them, his hooked nose practically touching the ground. “Yes Lady Black, how may Kreacher be of assistance to you?”
“Take their trunks up to their rooms!” Walburga commanded in her sharp biting voice. Kreacher bowed once more and with a snap of his fingers the trunks disappeared.
“Make sure dinner is ready on time Kreacher, we have guests arriving shortly.” His father ordered before Kreacher could move away, his voice booming throughout the corridor. The elf nodded and left with a crack.
Sirius turned an enquiring gaze towards his parents. “Guests?” He echoed questioningly. Orion Black looked down at Sirius. “Yes, we have a few guests tonight; you won’t recognize them, however-
Sirius sighed and leaned against the banister expectantly.
“-your mother and I expect you to be on your best behaviour Sirius Orion. We will not tolerate any misbehaviour, do you understand me? Your...recent behaviour has been very troubling, but I have managed to convince the other families that you’ve simply been brainwashed and corrupted by those mudbloods-
He spat and Sirius flinched.
“-and blood traitors in that sordid house they call Gryffindor. I had hoped that having the Potter boy alongside you would help, but it seems the Potter’s are just another family of blood traitors.”
Sirius clenched his fist. “Don’t you dare speak about them like that.”
Walburga sneered. “Shut your mouth Sirius Orion Black. You will not speak out of turn and you will listen to your father.”
Sirius growled and for the first time, noticed Regulus behind them, looking weary and small. Sirius held his breath. If there was one thing that he could do in his time here, it would be to protect his brother. And so, he held his tongue and swallowed down a retort.
“Now, you will make this family proud Sirius. You are the eldest and you must set a good example for your brother. You will pay amends to your cousin-
Sirius’ jaw twitched.
“-she is your family and family is, above all else. Do you understand Sirius Black?” Sirius glanced at his brother and closed his eyes. “Yes.”
Two days. It had been two miserable days since Sirius’ arrival back to number twelve Grimmauld Place. Two days since he’d been berated by his vile parents and two days since he’d agreed to make amends with his hated cousin, Bellatrix Black. In all honesty, Sirius would rather perform an unforgivable on himself than to apologize to her; simply the thought of it was enough to make him nauseous
Sirius sat on the edge of the bed and placed his head in his hands, ignoring the mirror scalding his legs. The enchanted mirror had been calling non-stop.
James was worried.
He knew he would have hell to pay for not responding, but he couldn’t face his best mate, not when he had to go and apologise to the very girl they both despised.
He knew James would be understanding- angry- but understanding and it was for this reason Sirius couldn’t do it. James was his brother, not by blood but by something stronger and he couldn’t bear to disappoint him.
Sirius sighed and looked around his room. It was the only thing at Grimmauld Place worth looking at- for him anyways. It was his own personal escape from the insanity of the rest of his house. With James’ help, he’d managed to litter his walls with muggle pictures that his mother would never be able to remove- to her absolute repulsion. He smiled slightly.
With a crack, Kreacher apparated into his room; looking around distastefully before bowing. “Master Black, the Lady and Lord wish to see you; they are waiting in the drawing room.” He croaked and with another crack, he was gone.
Sirius cursed. “What the bloody hell do they want now?!” He sighed as he felt the mirror warm again and placed it under his pillow. “Sorry Prongs.” He whispered, and left his room.
He descended the stairs and entered the drawing room where his parents were seated regally, awaiting him. Walburga eyed him unpleasantly and screeched for him to take a seat.
“What is this about?” Sirius said impatiently
“We need to speak to you about your future.” Orion drawled.
“My future? Since when do you care about my future?” Sirius retorted.
“Sirius, you are my eldest heir, a pureblood. You must fill your role accordingly. Now, I have been patient with your gallivanting around Hogwarts with the Potter boy, the half blood and that other snivelling excuse for a pure blood, your distasteful endeavours and your miscreant ways, but that all ends here. You are nearing an age signalling your transition into adulthood. Your role as a pureblood is to marry within a respectable family, bear an heir and maintain the family fortune and pride.”
Sirius paled. He didn’t like where this was going.
“We have decided that you will be betrothed.”
There was a pregnant pause before Sirius exploded.
“LIKE HELL YOU HAVE! WHAT THE BLOODY HELL?! HAVE YOU GONE SENILE IN YOUR OLD AGE! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND!?” He was panting and Walburga twitched.
“I agreed to make amends with Bella, I didn’t agree to anything else. Once I turn seventeen I’m gone and I live my life the way I want.” He said breathlessly, his voice cold and detached.
Walburga Black was mortified and her husband looked like he wanted nothing better than to strangle his son with his bare hands.
“You have embarrassed this family enough Sirius, you will do so no further. Up until now you have been a stain on the pure, Black family tree, a mole. No further. Your mother and I have decided that this term, when the train leaves for Hogwarts, you will not be on it. We will find you a suitable wife; you will marry and take your rightful place as the head of the Black family. Am I understood Sirius.”
Sirius was still and remained silent for what seemed like hours.
“I understand.” He said finally, in barely more than a hoarse whisper.
Walburga visibly lightened and Orion laced his fingers together, but Sirius was not done, he looked at his parents with unadulterated loathing.
“I understand that from here on out, you will never need to worry about a stain on your precious family tree again.” His voice was laced with repulsion and contained rage.
“You will never have to worry, because from this day forward-
Sirius’ eyes were glossed over and he let out a breath, as if he was releasing the weight of the world from his shoulders.
“-I am no longer your son. You are dead to me. Both of you. You can tell everyone whatever you want; that I died or that I fell off the face of the planet. I don’t care. All I know is that I won’t have to deal with your crap anymore, I’ve dealt with it my entire life and I’m through. It’s clear I’ll never be enough for you anyways.”
Sirius laughed mirthlessly. “I guess this is goodbye.” His parents were too stunned to move. Taking advantage of this, he turned on his heel and walked out. Sirius quickly made his way to his room and grabbed his trunk; thankful that he’d not bothered to unpack. With a wave of his wand he levitated his trunk behind him. Sirius hoped with all his heart that Reg would be alright. He was thankful, in a way that Regulus was at the Lestrange’s tonight; his brother didn’t need to see this.
Reaching the landing he pulled open the front door taking in a breath of the freedom he’d lusted after for so long. The last thing he heard, leaving Grimmauld Place forever, was his mother’s shriek of untamed fury.
A/N Please refrain from throwing tomatoes at me, I realize that this is probably the worst cliff hanger EVER but it needed to be done. I simply wouldn't have been happy with it otherwise. Sorry!
One thing I hope makes up for it is the fact that I did- if you'll notice- update quickly, well, I mean as quickly as one can update- having three incompleted stories. I try to be fair in giving each of my stories equal time, so you can't blame me...right? *hides from pitchforks*
So, Sirius has finally left home, we all knew this was going to happen, Sirius leaves home in his sixth year. Do you think he was justified in leaving? Would YOU have apologized to Bellatrix to keep your brother safe? And most importantly, I wonder where he will go now *insert sarcasm* :). Review!
Disclaimer: I don't make pounds, dollars, euro's or galleons off any of this. Though I wouldn't mind some nuts...get it?... -_- hehe.
Again I shall spoil you all, just to show how much I love you :):
Harry and Madeleine exchanged glances. As aurors they were trained to be alert, especially with the unmistakable dark times ahead. Harry fingered his wand without drawing any suspicion from his son. He did not want to worry him. He saw Madeleine do the same.
Callie the house elf popped in at that moment and looked at James with unbridled fear and concern. “Master Potter, quickly, you must come.”
Harry and Madeleine looked at Callie and then James. The latter appeared perplexed, however not for long. His face smoothed over in comprehension and only one word escaped him. "Sirius!"
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