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Playing the Field by siriusloveforwriting

Format: Novel
Chapters: 21
Word Count: 48,447
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Lupin, Sirius, A. Longbottom, F. Longbottom, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: Sirius/OC, James/Lily

First Published: 08/13/2011
Last Chapter: 06/23/2012
Last Updated: 06/23/2012

Summary:





Banner by rosai_gryffindor!


Sirius Black and Madison Lane are two of Hogwarts’ biggest players - on and off the field - and that's how they like it. But something completely unexpected forces both to reconsider. Throw in a James who is still completely in love with Lily, a Lily who of late isn't being so horrible to James, plus a Gryffindor team in the running for the Quidditch Cup, and seventh year is sure to be an adventure!


Chapter 1: Chapter 1
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

~Maddie~         

          “Maddie!”

          I hear my name being called over the hustle and bustle of students, all hurrying to board the train. I recognize the voice as my best friend, Lily’s. I turn around and there she is, long, dark, red hair falling over her shoulders, green eyes sparkling in excitement for the new year—our last year at Hogwarts. She’s already dressed in her school robes, but there is one new addition to her appearance this year: A shiny Head Girl badge is gleaming from the front of her robes.

          “Lily!” I give her a hug. Even though I saw her on Friday at the Potters’ end of summer party, I was still excited to see her. “Congratulations again,” I say and she beams at me. “Still no idea who the Head Boy is?”

          She shakes her head. “I really hope it’s Remus,” she says. “Let’s go get a compartment,” she suggests, and I nod. I follow her through the sea of students and parents and we make our way toward the train. We pass through the crowd, saying hello. Suddenly, Lily stops dead in her tracks.

          “What is it?” I ask.

          “Potter,” she replies tersely. “Let’s turn around.”

          “Lily, this is the way to the train.”

          “So? We’ll go a different way. It’s only the first day, and I don’t want to have to deal with his constant pestering already.”

          “It’s not pestering, he fancies you!” I’m Lily’s best friend, but I have to stick up for James. We’ve been friends since we started walking, since he lives right next door. He really is a good guy, just a little full of himself sometimes.

          “It’s still pestering!” she protests. “And how he can never call me by my first name-”

          “You don’t call him by his, either,” I point out.

          “Well he started it,” she says stubbornly. “I mean-”

          “Evans!”

          She is cut off by a greeting from none other than James Potter. She groans. James makes his way over to us, smiling broadly, followed by his friends, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. Remus looks content,  although a little tired, while Sirius looks casual, walking with his hands in his pockets, his long black hair sweeping across his forehead. Peter hurries along to keep up with them.

          “Hey, Maddie!” James says brightly, giving me a big bear hug. “Evans,” he says again, with another boyish grin, not even attempting to hug her. “Fancy finding a compartment?”

          “Not with you,” says Lily pointedly, looking away. For a second, James’s face falls, but he recovers quickly.

          “Glad to see you haven’t changed,” he says with a false cheeriness that implies he’d like nothing better than for her to change. He looks at me for help. “C’mon, Maddie wants to sit with us, don’t you Maddie?”

          I look from James to Lily. I hate it when this happens. Luckily, Remus saves the day.

          “At this rate, there aren’t going to be many compartments to choose from, so let’s just all sit together, okay?” He looks at James. “And behave.”

          “Oh, Moony, lighten up,” says Sirius.

          “I expect Remus is just beginning to influence his power as Head Boy,” Lily says hopefully, glancing at Remus.

          “Hate to disappoint, Lily,” Remus says, and he sounds half-disappointed, half-amused. “But I didn’t get the badge.”

          Lily looks crestfallen. “Oh,” she says. “Well, who did? Davies, from Ravenclaw? Or maybe it’s Stebbins…oh Merlin, please don’t let it be a Slytherin.”

          “Oh, it’s a Gryffindor,” says Remus.

          Lily looks puzzled. “But, if you didn’t get it…”

          James pulls something out of his pocket. It’s the Head Boy badge.

          “James Potter, Head Boy, at your service,” he says with a grin, holding out his hand to Lily.

          Well I certainly wasn’t expecting that.

          Lily’s mouth falls open. Her eyes widen. “No,” she says, becoming highly flustered. “There is no way that you, James Potter, have been made Head Boy.”

          “Then why am I holding the badge?” asks James, continuing to grin devilishly.

          Lily is silent for a moment, then a smile creeps across her face. “Very funny,” she says. “Really witty. Good prank, boys, but can we please be serious now?” She turns to Remus. “I’m surprised you went along with this one.”

          James looks slightly hurt. “It’s not a prank,” he protests. “I really did get it! Help me!” he says to Remus.

          “It’s true, Lily,” says Remus gently. “James is Head Boy.”

          Lily looks from Remus, to James, to the badge in James’s hand, and back to James. Her mouth opens and closes silently, mouthing the words “Head Boy.” I pat her on the back. “C’mon, Lils, I’m sure the shock will wear off eventually.”

          We begin walking towards the train, James somewhat grumpily.

          “I expect Dumbledore has his reasons,” says Remus in a low voice. “It’s probably not the best idea to have a werewolf appointed Head Boy; what if he needs someone to patrol and it’s full moon?”

          Lily looks at him sympathetically.

          We board the train and find that most compartments are full. We come across one that has only two occupants: my other best friend, Alice, and her longtime boyfriend, Frank Longbottom.

          “Al!” I say happily, giving her a hug. I haven’t seen her as recently as I’ve seen Lily. Alice isn’t much of a partier, and therefore she chose to forgo James’s party in favor of spending time with Frank. They’ve been dating for six months, and they spent a majority of their summer together.

          “How was the rest of your summer?” she asks, as everyone else enters and sits down.

          “Pretty good,” I say, smiling. “Yours?”

          “Great,” she replies. “How was your party, James?”

          “Wicked,” says James.

          Remus adds, “Although, I think some of us had a little too much fun.” He looks first at Sirius, who lets out a short, bark-like laugh, and then at me.

          Alice turns to stare at me too. “Oh, Maddie, what are we going to do with you?”

          I shrug. These comments don’t faze me anymore. I live my life the way I want to, and sure, it’s different from how Lily and Alice live theirs, but it’s my decision.

          “So, how many?” James asks me.

          “Five,” I answer.

          James shrugs. “It’s been worse.” (He’s right, one time it was eight.)
         

          “Who?” Alice asks.

          “Adrian, Joshua, Jason, Michael, and Greg,” I say.

          Sirius lets out a low whistle. “Damn.”

          I raise my eyebrows. “What’s that supposed to mean?” He isn’t one to be talking. During the party, I walked in on him and Katie Carmichael really going at it.

          “You just surprise me, Lane,” he says. “That’s all.”

          I don’t really see why this would surprise him; this is how I am and have always been. I think what he actually means is that it’s not okay for a girl to snog a variety of different blokes in one night, but perfectly fine for a bloke to snog as many girls as he likes.

          “You surprise me too,” says Alice. “You’re so pretty, Maddie, you could get a great boyfriend.”

          “I don’t want one.” I sound like a broken record.

          “Why not?” asks Lily.

          “Can we please not have this conversation again?” I ask. “I like things the way they are, okay?”

          “We’re just looking out for you,” Alice says gently. “One of these times you might actually fancy one of these boys, but he won’t be taking it seriously because he’ll think that you won’t be either, and then you could get hurt.”

          “I appreciate the concern, but I’m fine,” I say. “How come you guys never get on Sirius’s case for this stuff?” Sirius snogs just as many girls as I do boys, and somehow for him, it’s acceptable. What a ridiculous double standard.

         

~Sirius~

          “Because I’m a bloke,” I say simply. “We don’t get as easily attached.”

          Maddie shakes her head, her long, dark brown curls shaking with her. “That’s such a stereotype,” she protests. “Guys get attached too; it just has to be the right girl.”

            I realize now that what I said was slightly insensitive, considering my best mate has been stuck on the same girl for years now.

          “Okay, fine,” I concede, “but will you agree that more often than not, it is the girl who wants a relationship?”

          “Sometimes,” says Maddie. “But not always.”

           I nod. “You prove that point.”

          As if on cue, there is a knock on the compartment door. “Come in,” Lily calls. The door slides open and there’s Adrian.

           “Hey,” he says to everyone in general. And then to Maddie, “Can I talk to you?”

          “Sure,” she says nonchalantly, getting up from her seat. We watch them go.

          “So how long do you think this one will last?” says James.

          “I give it a week, tops,” I reply.

~Maddie~
           Adrian and I walk into the hallway of the train, and when we’re far enough away from our compartment, he kisses me.

          While we kiss, I run my fingers through his hair. Damn, he’s got nice hair.

          We stop for a second. “Okay, I’m liking this conversation,” I say, and he laughs, kisses me again.

~Sirius~

          “I’m going to see where the trolley is,” I announce. I slide open the compartment door and step out into the hallway. I’m just walking down the hall when I turn a corner and run right into Maddie and Adrian snogging.

          “Get a room,” I say with a laugh. It’s what I would do.

          They break apart and Maddie rolls her eyes at me.

          “We’re going to be at school soon,” says Adrian hastily, checking the clock. “I’ll see you at the feast?” Maddie nods and he leaves.

          “Thanks for that, Black, really,” she says.

          “Hey, it’s your fault for snogging in the hallway,” I say. “You should have at least gone for something classy, like the bathroom.”

          She laughs.

~Maddie~

          Walking through the front doors of the Great Hall after being away for so long just feels right. I enter next to James, who is talking about Quidditch. This year he’s been made the Captain of the Gryffindor team. He plays Chaser, just like me. Sirius is on the team too, as a Beater. I can’t wait for the season to start, and judging by his tone of voice, neither can James.

          “So we’re going to have a stronger defense this year,” James is saying. “That’s what cost us the cup last time.”

          I nod in agreement. “When are you going to hold trials?”  

          “We need a strong new Keeper,” Sirius joins in. “Thank Merlin Miles Fletcher is gone. Bloody idiot cost us the cup.”

          “Don’t even bring that up,” says James, shaking his head. We all remember all too well Miles’ performance in the final last year. He was a good Keeper, but he stayed out all night before partying and getting psyched up, showed up with a hangover and only saved two goals. It wasn’t the sort of behavior a Captain should have been demonstrating.

          We go and find seats at the Gryffindor table. I sit between Lily and Alice.

          “Welcome to another year at Hogwarts,” our headmaster, Albus Dumbledore is saying. “I trust you have all had a pleasant vacation and are ready for another year of magical learning.”

          “Absolutely!” yell James and Sirius in unison. Dumbledore chuckles.

          “Before we eat, I have a couple of announcements…” He launches into the annual speech, going over all of the rules, telling the first years not to go into the Forbidden Forest, and so on.

          “And now, we eat!” says Dumbledore finally, and suddenly the table before us is filled with food. James and Sirius attack it like they haven’t eaten for days. Lily rolls her eyes.

          “Hey, Mads, pass the potatoes,” says Sirius.

          “For the last time, Black, stop calling me that,” I say firmly, passing him the bowl.

          “It’s going to grow on you,” he says confidently.

          “I wouldn’t count on that, seeing as six years hasn’t changed my mind.” He just grins cockily back at me. Typical Sirius.

          After the feast, we head up to the common room. Everyone is chatting about their summers, and unfortunately all the good armchairs by the fire are taken. Sirius and James start up a game of Wizard’s Chess. Lily and Alice are comparing their summer reading essays for Binns’ class. Someone comes up behind me and puts their hands over my eyes.

          “Guess who.”

          “I don’t have to guess, I know,” I say with a smile. I turn around and Adrian catches me in another surprise kiss.

          “Come on,” he says, and I follow him out of the Portrait Hole.

          He leads me into an empty classroom and once we’re inside, he leans in and presses his lips firmly to mine. He’s a good kisser; our kisses start off soft and gentle but grow more intense. His hands start on my waist and travel up my body, finding their way to my hair.

          I lose track of time, but after a while I force myself to pull away, breathing deeply.

          “We should probably get to bed,” he says, with an apologetic note in his voice.

~Sirius~

          First day of classes. After breakfast, we have Transfiguration, always a good time.

          “Minnie!” I say in a winning voice, coming up to Professor McGonagall, “Did you miss us?”

          “There’s no use pretending you didn’t,” James adds.

          “Because we know you did,” I finish.

          Professor McGonagall looks at us, trying to mask her amusement. “Potter, Black. Please take your seats.”

          We do as we’re told, taking our usual seats in the back of the class.

          Professor McGonagall starts teaching, but I’m not really listening. I watch Lily and Maddie, who you’d think would be paying attention, pass notes to each other. I wonder what they’re talking about. Probably Adrian. Girls are so predictable.

~Maddie~

          I pass Lily a note. I think I’m going to end things with Adrian.

          Lily’s response is short; I know it's because she's trying to pay attention. Why?

          I don’t know…he’s cute and everything but it’s just kind of…boring.

          Everyone is too boring for you. (Now stop passing me notes, I wouldn't put it past McGonagall to give us homework even if it is the first day back.)

          I consider this. It’s true, the main reason I end things with anyone is because things get boring, but is that my fault? I mean every boy feels exactly the same. Until I find someone that makes me feel different, or rather…something, then I’m sticking with this pattern. Besides, you’re only young once.

~Sirius~

          “Okay, class, this year I decided it might be a good idea for me to choose your partners,” announces Professor Slughorn, “due to some-shall we say, mishaps, last year.”

          James and I exchange a glance. It was safe to say that when we had been partners, we’d been more focused on messing with Snape than making our potions.

          “So the pairs will be…” Professor Slughorn begins, and I zone out until I hear, “Black and Lane.”

          “Hey, Mads,” I greet her, as she puts her cauldron down next to mine. She gives me a look, and I know it’s because I called her Mads. However, she doesn’t protest, which I take as progress.

          She begins to chop up the asphodel roots we need, and as she brings the knife down each time, one of her long curls sways back and forth. This is very distracting.

          “Is your hair naturally that curly?” I ask without thinking.

          Maddie looks at me strangely. “Can we please be serious?” she asks.

          “Well, unfortunately, I think only one of us can be, and that would be me. Sorry to disappoint you,” I say. That joke never gets old.

          She rolls her eyes, but I can tell she wants to laugh.

          “So, you going to Hogsmeade this weekend?” I ask as I heat the potion as instructed.

          “I’m planning on it,” she answers. “You?”

          “I’m planning on it,” I answer, grinning at her. Sometimes I think I end up flirting with Mads without even meaning to.

          Quidditch tryouts are the evening of our second day back. James has all of the hopefuls line up on the sidelines and fly one at a time. Some of the second years are just bloody awful.

          Mads and I have to re try-out, which is just a waste of time. We both make it back on, as do the other returning players from last year, Kimberly (Chaser), and Ryan (Seeker). Our new Beater is some sixth year bloke named Trevor, and our Keeper is Lucas, another sixth year that I’ve never gotten to know very well. Frank Longbottom tried out for Keeper too. I could tell James wanted to let him on; Frank’s a good bloke, but Grey just saved one more goal than he did, and James had to be fair.

          “First practice is tomorrow,” James announces. “We’re not wasting any time.”

          As we head off the pitch, Kimberly walks by me, tossing her hair as she goes. “Hi, Sirius,” she calls flirtatiously. Kimmy and I have snogged a few times. I nod back at her.

          I’m walking next to Maddie, and she looks kind of worried.

          “What’s up?” asks James, who’s noticed too. “You okay?”

          “Oh, nothing,” she says. “I’m fine.”

          When we return to the castle, I see her go find Adrian and bring him outside. She still looks kind of troubled.

          She’s ending it already! Damn, she moves fast.

          Speaking of which, I haven’t snogged anyone since the year started, and it’s already the second day! Shame on you, Sirius Black!

          I call across the room. “Hey, Kimmy!”

~Maddie~

          “I’m sorry,” I say to Adrian, hoping he’s not taking this too hard.

          He just looks at me. “I guess I knew this was coming,” he says finally. “I mean, you’re Madison Lane, right?”

          I consider this for a minute. “Right,” I agree. It’s really the only thing that needs to be said.

~Sirius~

          “Padfoot?” James says into the dark. “Are you awake?”

          “No.”  

          “C’mon, mate.”

          “Fine, what is it?”

          Pause. “Never mind.”

          “Okay. Good night.”

          Silence, and then-

          “Padfoot?”

          “Yes, Prongs?”

          “Never mind.”

          “Okay.”

          “Padfoot?”

          “What the bloody hell is it?” I say, annoyed, sitting up in bed.

          “It’s Evans!”

          “It’s always Evans,” I say exasperatedly.

          “I know! I can’t get her out of my head,” he says, shaking his head, as if physically attempting to shake off all thoughts of Lily Evans. “I don’t understand. I haven’t said one rude thing about Snivellus since we got here. I haven’t pulled any pranks. I’ve been made Head Boy! I haven’t even asked her out! What does she want from me?!”

          “Maybe she wants you to call her by her name,” I say, yawning.

          James’s eyes widen. “That’s so…simple,” he said. “That’s brilliant!”

          “Great, now can I go to sleep?”

          “Yeah.”

          I lay back down and close my eyes.

          “Padfoot?”

          “What?”

          “Thanks.”

          The next morning, Prongs and I head downstairs for breakfast.

          “Morning Maddie,” says James, sitting down. “Good morning, Lily.”

          “Good morning, Pott-” Lily stops, looking up from the copy of the Daily Prophet she’s reading. “Did you just call me Lily?”

          James looks nervous. “Er-yes? That’s your name, isn’t it?”

          “Well, yes, of course,” Lily responds, still looking puzzled. She looks away and continues reading her paper.

          James looks at me, looking pleased with himself. I roll my eyes. Lovesick prat.

          On our way to Transfiguration, I notice James has a sort of a bounce in his step.

          “Prongs, cut that out, you look like an idiot.”

          James stops the weird walk, but he doesn’t stop smiling.

          This is just proof that snogging is better than love. Look how weird it makes you.

A/N: Hey, everyone! Thank you for deciding to read this story. I know this  chapter might seem like it's starting out slow, but it gets exciting soon, I promise! I've got a lot of the story written, it's just a matter of getting the chapters validated. I hope you enjoyed; leave a review and let me know what you thought!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 2: Chapter 2
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

~Maddie~

          That evening we have Quidditch practice. James has the Chasers practice just throwing the Quaffle back and forth, trying to score on Lucas. But it is a little hard to focus when the defender is so damn attractive.

          James passes to me, I pass to Kimmy, she passes back to me, and I take a shot. Lucas dives, and misses.

          “Nice shot,” he calls. He offers a cute boyish smile as he says this. I shrug and toss my hair like it’s no big deal.

          We continue practicing until nightfall. “Alright, team,” calls James. “You’re free to go.”

          I dismount from my broom and Lucas does the same right next to me. “Hey,” he said. “You’re pretty good.”

          “Thanks,” I say. “So are you.” He really is; he saved a lot of my shots.

          “Well, I’ll see you around, Maddie,” he says, flipping his long golden hair. What is it with me and hair?

          Back in our dormitory, I brush out my long brown curls and then pull them back into a ponytail. “Hey, Lils, do you know the new Keeper?”

          “Lucas Grey? Isn’t he a sixth year?”

          “Yes, but who cares? He’s gorgeous,” I say, thinking back to our hardly-a-conversation from earlier. “Besides, I’m not seventeen yet.”

          Lily nods. “Maddie, maybe this time you could try to actually get to know him before you go snogging him.”

          I pause and think about this. “But he’s so cute,” I whine. “Can’t I just snog him, and then do that ‘getting-to-know-him’ thing with some other bloke?”

          Lily laughs. “Suit yourself. I just think that this might be a good idea with him. You see him a lot, since you play together. It would be easy to get to know him.”

          “I’ll think about it,” I tell her.

          The next evening’s practice goes even better than the first.

          “Okay team, tonight was a good practice,” says James, in a satisfied tone. “So you can have the weekend off.”

          I laugh to myself. There was no way James would’ve made us practice when there was a Hogsmeade trip scheduled; of course he’ll want to ask Lily.

          As we begin flying back towards the castle, Lucas flies up beside me. “Hey, Maddie,” he calls, “race ya!”

          “Catch me if you can,” I call back, and begin to fly as fast as I can.

          We race back to the castle. We’re pretty evenly matched and we get there at the same time.

          “Nice job,” I say, panting, climbing off of my broom.

          He smiles at me. “Same to you. So, since we have the weekend off, do you want to go to Hogsmeade?” He just looks at me. “With me,” he clarifies, and there’s that adorable smile again.

          I think for a second. I don’t usually like dates. But maybe Lily’s right, maybe he’s different.

          “Sure, Lucas,” I say. “I would like that.”

          “Great,” he says with a grin. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then.”

          I nod and smile back.

          “Oh, and one more thing,” he says. “Call me Luke.”

          I return happily to my dorm. “Lily, guess what!” I exclaim.

          “What?” she asks, looking up from the essay she’s writing.

          “Luke asked me to go to Hogsmeade with him,” I say with a smile.

          “That’s great! And you said yes?” she asks, surprised.

          I nod. “I know, it’s weird, I actually want to go on a date.”

          Lily looks at me knowingly. “Maybe it’s because you actually fancy him.”

          “Maybe,” I say. “Maybe.”

          The next day is Saturday, the day of the Hogsmeade trip. I wake up excited and spend the next hour and a half getting ready. I shower and do my hair (long and curly as usual), put on my make-up, and then inspect myself in the mirror.

          “Relax, sweetie, you look great,” says Alice, who is excited to be spending the entire day with Frank. “No need to be nervous.”

          “Nervous? I’m not nervous,” I say. Madison Lane doesn’t get nervous around guys. That’s not how it works.

          “Oh, okay,” says Alice, smiling at Lily when she thinks I’m not looking.

          We head downstairs to the Entrance Hall. “Hey, Lils,” I say. “What did you say when James asked you to go to Hogsmeade with him this time?”

          “Nothing,” she says.

          “What? You ignored him? Lily, that’s worse than saying no.”

          “No, I mean I didn’t say anything because…. he didn’t ask,” she replies.

          I stop in my tracks. “James didn’t ask you,” I repeat. “For the first time since third year.”

          “He’s never passed up a chance to ask you to Hogsmeade,” Alice says.

          “I know,” Lily replies. “Strange, isn’t it?”

          “Speaking of James,” I say. “How have rounds been going?” If Lily had been upset when she found out James had been made Head Boy, it was nothing compared to how she’d reacted when she’d realized they were going to have to do nightly rounds together. We’d managed to calm her down, and she hasn’t mentioned them since.

          Lily shrugs. “Fine, actually,” she says. “He hasn’t been such a prat lately.”

          We reach the front doors where Luke is waiting.

          “Hey,” he says to me with a smile. “You look great.”

          “Thanks,” I say, “you don’t look so bad yourself.” Okay, he looks gorgeous. He always looks gorgeous.

          “Shall we go?” he asks. I nod and wave good-bye to Lily and Alice.

~Sirius~

           Moony, Prongs, and I walked down the stairs to the Entrance Hall, without Peter because he’d fallen behind in his classes (again), and needed to stay behind to do some work.

          “Hey,” James says to me, “is Maddie going to Hogsmeade with Lucas?”

          “How would I know?” I ask. “But out of curiosity, why do you ask?”

          “Well, just because I see them together over there, and it kind of looks like they’re going together,” he replies.

          I look. He’s right.

          “Maybe Maddie’s finally trying something new,” says Moony. “Speaking of which, Prongs, have you had a change of heart? Not asking Lily to Hogsmeade, I mean.”

          James shrugs. “Maybe it will help,” he says. “I mean, she took pretty well to the name thing. So maybe acting more…non-interested, it will make her interested.” He pauses, trying to figure out if that’s come out the way he intended. “Anyway, at this point, I’ve got nothing to lose.”

          We meet up with Lily, who’s standing by herself since Alice has gone off with Frank.

          “Hey,” she says. “I just kind of realized…I’m on my own today. Can I tag along with you guys?” she asks uncertainly, and although she’s mostly directing the question to Moony, whom she actually gets along very well with, it’s James who answers.

          “Of course you can!” he says enthusiastically, looking as though he’s just won a thousand Galleons. Lily gives him a small smile.

          “Everything’s changing,” I mutter to Moony as we walk out. “Mads is going on a date, and Lily just smiled at Prongs.”

          Moony just laughs.

~Maddie~

          Luke and I are walking along the street, just talking. At one point he reaches for my hand, and I let him take it. This is nice. Just talking to a guy is nice.

          That doesn’t mean I don’t want to snog him, because I definitely do.

          It’s pretty cold out, so when we pass by the Three Broomsticks, Luke asks, “Do you want to get a Butterbeer?”

          “Sure,” I say.

          We walk inside and find a table. “You sit, I’ll go get them,” he says with a smile.

          I go find a table. I haven’t been sitting for more than thirty seconds, when two people are suddenly sitting on either side of me.

          “You’re on a date,” says James accusingly.

          “Now who’s getting easily attached?” says Sirius tauntingly.

          “Why didn’t you tell me?” James demands.

          “He really is dreamy, Mads,” Sirius says in a girly voice.

          “Both of you, shut up and go away,” I say irritably. “He’s going to be back soon.”

          They leave, thank goodness. Luke returns with two Butterbeers.

          “So, Maddie,” says Luke. “I know this is a little weird to ask but…is there anything going on with you and Black?”

          “What?” I ask, taken totally off guard. “Me and Black? Whatever would give you that idea?”

          “Well I’d ask if there’s anything going on between you and Potter, but everyone knows that he fancies Lily Evans,” Luke explains. “But you hang around with Potter and his friends an awful lot, so I don’t know…” he says, somewhat uncomfortably, sounding as though he wished he hadn’t brought this up at all. “When it’s a girl as pretty as you,” he tries again, “hanging out with guys like them all the time, I just wondered-”

          I cut him off by giving him a long kiss on the lips.

          “Does that answer your question?” I ask.

          He doesn’t answer, just brings his lips to mine again.

~Sirius~

          “Whoa,” says James. “I do not need to see that.”

          I follow his gaze, and for the second time this year see Maddie snogging. With some added touching.

          “Someone should remind them that this is a public place,” James continues.

          “What’s with you?” asks Lily. “Aren’t you happy for her?”

          “Sure, but I mean, it’s okay to know Maddie does that stuff,” James says, “but it’s another thing to see it. Maddie is like my sister.”

          “I don’t think anyone wants to see that,” I add.

          Moony shakes his head. “You’re one to talk, Padfoot.”

          “Hey,” I say defensively. “I always do my snogging in private places no one could ever come across!”

          “Oh no, not unless the person is borrowing a school broom, looking for an empty classroom, or turning a corner,” Remus says, shaking his head.

          “Look, Moony, it’s not my fault you’ve done all those things and just happened to find me in compromising positions!”

          We laugh and change the subject.

~Maddie~

          Luke and I leave the Three Broomsticks. I feel a little light-headed, which is strange. I’ve never felt that way after snogging before.

          We spend the rest of the day together, exploring the shops. He buys me a heart-shaped lollipop from Honeyduke’s. We stop and kiss a couple of times.

          When we return to the castle, he pulls me aside and kisses me again.

          “I had a great time today,” I tell him.

          “Me too,” he says.

          I smile and say good-bye. I head up to my dormitory. When I enter, Lily and Alice practically pounce on me.

          “Tell us everything!” (Alice.)

          “Did you have a good time?” (Lily.)

          “What did you do?” (Alice.)

          “We saw you snogging in The Three Broomsticks!” (Lily.)

          “One question at a time!” (Me.)

          I fill them in on the date. “It was great,” I say happily. “I actually didn’t mind the romantic stuff for once. We held hands, we kissed…” I trail off.

          “Oh my Merlin, you fancy him!” Lily squeals.

          I lie back on my bed. I actually do. I can’t believe it.
 

A/N: Hey, guys! Thank you for everyone who returned to read this chapter, and thank you to new readers for deciding to give this story a chance! (I know some of you might be a little confused after this part, but don't worry, it is a Sirius/OC fic. ;) )Thanks again for reading, I'll try to keep the updates coming as soon as I can. Leave a review and let me know what you thought!

Sabrina :)

 
 


Chapter 3: Chapter 3
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 3

~Sirius~

          “So are you and Grey like…dating?” I ask Mads in Potions on Monday.

          “What’s it to you?” she asks, not looking up at me from her Potions book.

          “No need for the defensive, Mads, I’m just wondering.”

          “Well…I think we are,” she says, pausing to think. “But it’s not like anyone’s asked anyone to be anyone’s girlfriend…and by the first anyone I mean Luke, and he second anyone I mean me, and the third one is Luke again, and… the rest is pretty self-explanatory.”

          I laugh. “Got it. Well, do you want to be his girlfriend?”

          “Yes…I think so…I don’t know, I’ve never been anyone’s girlfriend before.”

          “Well, me neither, so I can’t really help you there,” I say jokingly.

          Maddie looks at me, somewhat annoyed. “Sirius, why do you bring this stuff up if you don’t want to be helpful?”       

          “Sorry,” I say, and I actually am. “It’s just I’m not so good with the advice… can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”

          That actually gets a laugh out of her.

          “But seriously,” I say, indicating myself and giving her a cheeky grin, “if you fancy Grey then you should date him. Simple as that.”

          She considers this, and then nods. “You’re right. Wow, that’s something I never thought I’d say to you.”

          “Oh, ha ha,” I reply. “So, what’s next?” I say, flipping the page in my textbook.

          “I don’t know, I mean I suppose I’ll see him at practice and stuff--”

          “For the potion, Mads.”

          “Oh, right, right,” she says hastily. Wow. She must really fancy Grey. I’ve never seen her so flustered.

          Just more proof that random snogging is the way to go.

~Maddie~

          Luke walks me from Potions to Charms, which was nice. But after talking to Sirius I’m kind of confused. Are we together? Is he going to ask me to be his girlfriend, or is it just kind of assumed?

          “Maddie, are you okay?” Luke asks me.

          “Oh, yeah, I’m fine,” I say. Then I remember how Alice is always saying that honesty is the most important thing in a relationship, and since this is my first relationship—if it is a relationship—I should probably be honest, so I don’t screw things up.

          “Well, I’m just wondering…are we dating? Because you never really asked, and I really don’t know and--”

          He cuts me off with a kiss on the lips. “Does that answer your question?”

          “You stole my line!” I pretend to pout.

          He laughs. “Well, it was a good line. But yes, Maddie, will you be my girlfriend?”

          “I’d be honored,” I reply with a smile.

~Sirius~

          Mads sits down next to me during lunch. “We are dating,” is what she greets me with.

          “Good for you,” I say. “Having fun getting easily attached?”

          She rolls her eyes. “Yes, actually. But note that he too is getting attached to me.”

          “But who got attached first?” I ask teasingly.

          “Well there’s really no way to find that out is there?” she says irritably.

          “Well, we could ask,” I suggest. I turn over my shoulder. “Oi, Grey!”

          “Sirius!” she hisses, clamping her hand over my mouth. “What are you doing?”

          “Oh, relax, Mads, he’s not even over there.”

          “Oh.” She visibly relaxes. “That wasn’t funny.”

          “Wow. You really fancy him.”  I shake my head. “This is so weird.”

          She shrugs. “You never know, Black. It could happen for you sooner than you think.”

          “Yeah, right,” I say.

          “Well, I’m going to get some homework done,” she says. “See you later.”

          “Hey, Sirius,” says a voice to my left. I turn and see Evelyn Chambers, a Ravenclaw I’ve talked to a couple of times. “How was your summer?”

          “Oh, you know, it was okay,” I reply. “How was yours?”

          “Great,” she answers. “We should really catch up sometime,” she adds, tossing her hair over her shoulder.

          What she means is, ‘we should really have a snogging session sometime.’

          “I’m not doing anything right now,” I say with a grin.

          She smiles back. “Me neither.”

          I get up from the table and follow Evelyn out of the Great Hall, upstairs into some empty classroom.

          I don’t wait for an invitation, just push her up against the wall (not hard of course, Sirius Black is a gentleman), and crash my lips into hers. She responds immediately, pressing herself into me.

          Gotta love snogging.

~Maddie~

          Luke and I have been together two weeks and so far things are going great. He walks me to most of my classes, we spend all of our breaks together, and the best part is, when I’m around him, he makes me feel something. This is what I’ve been waiting for. This is why I ended things with every other boy.

          Lily and Al have been really supportive. They haven’t even complained about my absence during breaks. I think they’re both just really happy that I’ve finally deciding to give being in a relationship a chance.

          Luke and I were on our way to Quidditch practice, but we got a little distracted.

          “Luke, we really should go to practice, you know how James gets…” I start, but he cuts me off by kissing me again. We seem to have a habit of doing that.

          I allow myself to get distracted again, to get lost in him. In the way his lips feel against mine, and the way I feel when he has hands on me, and how soft his hair is…

          I don’t know how much time passes, but something tells me it’s too much. I force myself to pull away.

          “Luke, we really better get to practice,” I say. He looks disappointed, but neither of us really want to face the wrath of James.

          He checks his watch. “It’s 7:15,” he says, a look of dawning horror on his face.

          “Damn,” I swear under my breath. Practice started at 7:00. “Come on.”

          We run down to the grounds and out onto the pitch. James catches sight of us coming. He motions to the team to keep practicing and dismounts to meet us.

          He does not look happy.

          “How nice of you to join us,” he says coolly. He addresses Luke: “Grey, I know you weren’t on the team last year, so let me clue you in as to how this works: if practice starts at 7, you’re here at 7. Got it?”

          “Chill, mate,” says Luke. “It was 15 minutes.”

          James glares daggers at him. “I don’t care that you’re a 6th year. I don’t care that you’re dating one of my best friends. Okay? I don’t care. All I care about is the fact that you’re the Keeper of this team, which means you should be here on time. But if this late-coming and disregard for the rules continues, you won’t be that anymore.”

          Luke looks at James as if he’s mental.

          “Get in the air,” James orders. Luke obeys. Now James rounds on me.

          “Maddie, you’ve been a member of this team for years now, you know how it works,” he says angrily. “Would you have done this while Fletcher was captain? You can’t expect me to make exceptions for you because we’re friends.”

          “I’m not expecting anything!” I shoot back. “We just lost track of time, okay? I’m sorry.”

          “Lost track of time while you were…snogging?” James suggests.

          “Quidditch isn’t the most important thing in the world to everyone,” I snap.

          “Obviously not to you,” he replies. “There’s more to life than getting around, Maddie.”

          “Are you calling me a slut?” I demand.

          “You said it, I didn’t,” he answers coldly.

          I feel my eyes fill with tears. “You’re supposed to be one of my best friends, you prick!”

          “And you’re supposed to show up to practice on time!” he yells back.

          “That is so not what this is about and you know it!” I shout. “What are you, jealous of him? Jealous that I’m spending time with him and not you?”

          “Maybe I am!” he cries, throwing his hands up in surrender. “When’s the last time we talked, Maddie? Do you know how worried I am about the season with the new additions to the team? Or the pressure I’m feeling from being Captain and Head Boy? Do you even know why I didn’t ask Lily to Hogsmeade?  Or are you too wrapped up in your own little world?” James is breathing hard and his eyes are blazing. He’s never been this angry with me. Well, I’ve never been this angry with him either.

          “Get in the air,” he orders, breaking the silence.

          “Fuck you,” I reply quietly.

          James’s face turns white. I can hear the shock in his voice when he replies. “What?”

          I look up at him, straight into his eyes. “I said, fuck you!”

~Sirius~

          I saw Mads and Grey arrive late to practice and knew there was going to be trouble. But James and Mads are really duking it out down there.

          Maybe I should intervene.

          I fly down, giving Grey a dirty look as I pass.

          James and Mads are still shouting at each other.

          “You only care about yourself!”

          “You only care about Quidditch! What about friends, James? Friends don’t call friends sluts!”

          “Guys!” I yell.

          “I didn’t call you a slut!”

          “Well you might as well have!”

          “Guys!” I yell again, louder this time.

          “Well maybe I should; you’d deserve it the way you’re acting!”

          “Do it then!”

          “Guys!” I roar, launching myself between them. “Listen to yourselves! You guys have been friends forever. What are you doing?”

          I look at them. Mads is standing with her hands on her hips, tears streaming down her face. James is standing with clenched fists, glaring at her.

          “I think you both just need to…calm down,” I say.

          “I’m calm,” says Mads, her voice shaking.

          “We’d better get back to practice,” says James, his voice brittle. “Come on.”

          “I’m not coming,” says Maddie.

          Uh oh.

          “What?” says James.

          “I’m. Not. Coming,” she repeats, punctuating each word.

          “Fine,” says James harshly. “Fine. Do whatever the hell you want. I don’t give a shit. Come on, Padfoot.” He swings his leg over his broom and pushes off.

          I don’t look at Mads because I know I’ll feel bad if I do. I just follow James into the air.        
 

A/N: Hello again! I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. If you did, leave a review. If you didn't, leave and review and let me know what you didn't like; I'm always looking to improve! Thanks again for reading!
Sabrina :)

 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 4: Chapter 4
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

Chapter 4

~Maddie~

          I storm back from the grounds, still furious at my so-called friend. Isn’t he supposed to be happy for me?

          I head straight to my dormitory, bypassing Alice and Lily in the common room. Lily looks up from her book in alarm and says, “Maddie?” but I ignore her and keep walking. I enter our dormitory and slam the door behind me.

          I flop onto my bed in frustration, pulling the hangings around me. I hear Lily and Alice come in behind me.

          “Maddie?” Alice asks concernedly. “Honey, what’s wrong?”

          I don’t answer. I hear Lily say, “I think she wants to be alone.” She’s right.

          “We’re here if you want to talk,” Lily says, before she and Alice leave the room.

          Stupid James, I think to myself as I lay on my bed. In the sixteen years that we’d been friends, we’d never had a row like this. Sure, when we were younger we’d get into disagreements and one of us would say:

          “I’m not talking to you.”

          And the other would respond: “I’m not talking to you either.”

          And then the first person would say: “Good.”

          And then the other would say: “Fine.”

          And that would last from anywhere from half an hour to a day, depending on how old we were and what we were disagreeing on, until one of us (usually the one who said “I’m not talking to you”) would seek the other out and apologize.

          Will it be this simple this time?

~Sirius~

          “Prongs, are you okay?” I ask after practice, as we walk up the castle steps.

          “Fine,” he says sharply. He sighs. “No.”

          “Do you want to…er….talk about it?” I ask awkwardly. He laughs.

          “Nothing to talk about, Padfoot,” he says simply. “Just going to have to try and sort it out.”

          We arrive back in the common room and sit down near Lily and Moony, who are poring over their Potions notes from earlier.

          “Hey, do you either of you have any idea why Maddie is so upset?” asks Lily.

          “Oh, I’ve got an idea,” I say. James shoots me a dirty look. “But it’s probably wrong,” I finish. Yikes.

          Lily looks puzzled. “I’m going to bed,” James announces, and disappears up the boys’ stairs. Moony watches him go with a concerned expression on his face.

          “James and Mads had a row,” I explain. “But you’re going to have to ask her for more details. I didn’t hear most of it. They were both pretty mad.”

          “Oh no,” says Lily softly. “Thanks, Sirius. C’mon, Al, we better go see if she wants to talk.” I leave them to it and head up to bed.

~Maddie~

          Lily and Alice come into our dormitory. “Maddie?” says Lily. “Sirius told us that you and James have had a row. Do you want to talk about it?”

          I reluctantly open the hangings, and tell my best friends what happened.

          “I just don’t understand,” I finish. “I thought James was supposed to be happy for me.”

          “I’m sure he is, he’s just having a little trouble adjusting,” says Lily comfortingly. She gives me a hug. “You guys will work it out.”

          “I hope so,” I say. “Right now I think I just need some sleep.” Lily and Alice nod in agreement, and we all get ready for bed.

          I try to focus on Luke instead of James before I fall asleep.

          I wake up and get ready, trying to figure out what I’m going to say to James. I’m still thinking when Lily, Alice, and I head down to the Great Hall for breakfast.

          James is waiting at the end of the stairs.

          “Hey,” he says, not looking angry at all. “Can I talk to you?”

          “Sure,” I say. Lily squeezes my hand and then she and Alice leave.

          “So…about yesterday,” he says. “I may have…overreacted.”

          “I may have too,” I concede.

          “It’s just…I’m happy for you, Maddie, I really am, I just feel protective over you,” he explains. “You’re like my sister. And I swear, I don’t think you’re a slut. I’ve just missed you this past week, and I guess it made me kind of angry.”

          “I’ve missed you too,” I say. “I’m sorry that we haven’t talked more in the past couple weeks. Luke is my first boyfriend, and I’m still trying to figure out how to balance him with everything else. And I’m sorry for yesterday, for saying…you know. I didn’t mean it.”

          “I know,” he says reassuringly.     

          “So, we’re okay?” I ask, very relieved.

          He nods. “We’re okay.” He pulls me into a big hug. There’s the James I know and love.

~Sirius~

          James and Mads enter the Great Hall together, and I take it that everything is as good as new. They come and sit down and join the conversation. Everything’s fine, until Grey comes over and sits down next to Mads.

          “Hey,” he says, giving her a kiss on the cheek and glaring at James. “How are you?”

          “Great,” she says, glancing nervously from him to James.

          “Potter,” says Grey coldly.

          “Grey,” replies James, just as stony.

          “Guys,” says Mads, “can everyone just try and forget what happened yesterday? We’re all friends here, right?”

          “Of course,” says James, attempting a smile. He sticks out his hand to Grey, who hesitates slightly before shaking it. Maddie smiles, satisfied.

~Maddie~

After breakfast, as we’re heading to Transfiguration, Luke says, “Maddie, I need to talk to you.”

          “Okay, but only if it’s actually talking,” I say with a laugh. “I really can’t afford to be late for anything else.”

          Luke doesn’t laugh. “That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about,” he said. “Potter totally overreacted yesterday. And he was really rude to you.”

         “How do you know?” I ask. “You couldn’t hear him.”

          "I could tell,” Luke insists. “And I don’t think you should hang out with him anymore.”

           “What?!” I say, shocked. “You’re kidding right?”

          Luke shakes his head. “No. He’s obviously very temperamental. It’s not good to be friends with someone like that.”

          “James has been one of my best friends since we were kids,” I say. “I’m not going to just stop talking to him.”

          Luke sighs. “I was afraid you’d say that. Maddie, listen to me--”

          “No, you listen to me,” I say, cutting him off. “I know James, okay? I appreciate you looking out for me, but James is a good guy.”

          Luke shrugs. “Alright, I guess it’s your decision.”

          “Yeah, it is,” I say firmly. I pause. “I’ve got to get to class,” I say finally. “See you later?”

          He nods, and gives me a kiss on the cheek before heading off to his Charms class.

~Sirius~

          “Hey, Mads are you okay?” I ask during Potions class.

          “I’m fine, why wouldn’t I be?” she says, rather quickly.

          “Well, I’m just asking because I’m pretty sure your quill isn’t the next ingredient in the potion, and you’re about to put it in the cauldron.”

          “Oh!” she exclaims, pulling her hand away and dropping her quill on the desk. “Well, I’m just a little worried about something Luke said. That’s all.”

          “Care to elaborate on that?” I ask, leaning back in my chair.

          “He doesn’t want me to be friends with James anymore,” she says, looking at me.

          “What?” I say, sitting up. “Why not?”

          “Because of yesterday. He thinks James has a bad temper.”

          “Oh, come off it,” I say. “Prongs hardly ever gets like that.”

          “I know that, and you know that, but Luke doesn’t know that,” she explains.

          “Well I hope you told him to piss off!” I say, disliking this guy more every second.

          “Sirius!”

          “Okay, okay, but did you at least stand up for Prongs?”

          “Of course I did!” she says, sounding slightly offended. “I told him that James is a good guy, and that there was no way I was going to stop being friends with him.”

          “Good,” I say. “And how did he take that?”

          “Fine, I think,” she says, looking a little troubled now. “I mean…I don’t know.” She pauses. “He’s a nice guy. I’m sure he understands.”

          Professor Slughorn is wandering our way, so we actually get to work on the Everlasting Elixir we’re supposed to be making.

          “Good work,” he says approvingly as he passes. I smile at Mads, but she still looks a little preoccupied.

~Maddie~

          My head is spinning when I leave class.

          I’m sure Luke isn’t insistent that I stop talking to James.

          Right?

          I mean, he knows James is one of my best friends. He can’t expect to just drop one of my best friends.

          Right?

          He knows how important James is to me.

          Right?

          Ugh, I hate this. Why does all this relationship stuff have to be so damn confusing?

          As if he could read my mind, Luke comes up next to me.

          “Hey,” he says with a smile.

          “Hey,” I reply, slightly surprised he’s in such a good mood. “You seem really happy.”

          “Why wouldn’t I be? I’m with you now,” he says.

          A smile spreads across my face. “So you’re not mad about earlier?”

          He shakes his head. “I have my opinion, you have yours.”

          I give him a kiss.

          “What was that for?” he asks.

          “For being so great,” I reply.

~Sirius~

          “That prat wants Maddie to stop being my friend?” James says again, pacing back and forth in front of the chair I’m sitting on. I’m watching Lauren Ellison and her friends laugh in the corner. “You know, I’m really starting to hate him,” James continues.

          “Me too.”

          “I know Maddie way better than he does, anyway,” adds James.

          “Me too.”      

          “And if anyone should be telling anyone not to be seeing someone, it should be me telling Maddie not to see him, that arse.”

          “Me too.”

          “And, if he thinks I’m going to stop talking to Maddie, he is sadly mistaken. I am not going to stop talking to Maddie. And he can’t make me.”

          “Me too.”

          “Padfoot, are you listening?” James asks, turning towards me.

          “Wha-? Oh, sorry, Prongs,” I apologize. James follows my gaze over to the corner and nods understandingly.

          “Go for it, mate,” he says, although he still looks troubled.

          As I get up to go, Remus says, “James, just talk to Maddie about it if it’s bothering you so much.”

          “See you later,” I say. I walk nonchalantly over to the group of girls, all of whom start giggling more and more as I approach. I make eye contact with Lauren and nod toward the portrait hole. She smiles back at me.

          I take her by the hand and we leave the common room together, in search of an empty classroom. We open the door to the first classroom we see (an old Transfiguration room no one teaches in anymore) and I stop dead in my tracks at what I see.

          Charlotte Page, a Ravenclaw, in a very heated snogging session with a bloke who has his hands all over her.

          And the bloke is Lucas Grey.

          Mads’s boyfriend.

          Shit.

A/N: Hey, everyone! Things are starting to get intense...let me know what you thought! Thanks for reading!
Sabrina :)

 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 5: Chapter 5
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 5

~Sirius~       

I try to back out of the room inconspicuously, but unfortunately, I’ve been spotted.

          Charlotte doesn’t even look embarrassed. She winks at me. Grey, on the other hand, looks panicked.

          I don’t give him a chance to say anything before I get the hell out of there.

~Maddie~

          “Can I talk to you?” James asks, coming to sit next to me.

          Déjà vu. “Sure,” I say cheerfully. “What’s on your mind?”

          “Well, Padfoot kind of mentioned something to me,” he started, but I held up my hand to stop him.

          “You don’t need to worry about it,” I say reassuringly. “I told Luke there’s no way that I’m going to stop being your friend.”

          James smiles at me. “Well I appreciate that, Maddie, but I don’t like the fact that he even asked that of you at all. Making you choose between him and me? That’s not something a good boyfriend does.”

          “Oh, but he didn’t ask me to choose,” I say quickly. “I told him I was going to stay friends with you and he was totally fine with it.”

          “He was?” asks James, somewhat suspiciously.

          “Yeah, he was really understanding.”

          “Well, that’s good,” says James, looking a little confused. “I’m glad we talked about this.”

          “Me too.”

          James gives me a hug. “I love you, Maddie. You know that right?”

          I smile. “I love you too, Jamesie.”

          He lets go of me and gives me a dirty look. “I thought we agreed to never mention that nickname in public.”

          “We did?” I say innocently.

          He smirks. “Fine…Madders.”

          “Okay, okay, no more Jamesie.”

          He laughs and so do I.

          This is James. The guy who comforted me when my dad yelled at me after I accidentally knocked over the potion he was making for work when we were five. The guy who never left my side on the first day of classes at Hogwarts, because he knew how nervous I really was, even though I would never show it. The guy who has been one of my best friends for sixteen years. How Luke could think James is a bad guy is beyond me.

~Sirius~

          “Sirius, are you okay?” asks Lauren.

          “No, actually,” I tell her. “I’m sorry, but can I take a rain check on this?” I ask, gesturing to us.

          She looks a bit put out, but nods. “I’m holding you to that,” she says with a smile.

          I force a smile back, and escort her back to the common room. Then I sit down on the floor in the hallway outside the Portrait Hole.

          How the bloody hell do I break this to Mads? She’s so happy.

          What a prick. How could he do this to her?

          “Black.”

          I turn around to see none other than the cheating arse himself.

          “What do you want?” I snap.

          “Look, Black,” Grey starts. “Relationships are great, but you gotta play the field. You get around, you know how it is.” He attempts to give me a smile.

          “No, I don’t know how it is,” I answer angrily. “Maybe you can get away with this with other girls, but not Mads. You’re her first boyfriend! You can’t just screw with her head like that!”

          “Black, be reasonable,” he says calmly. “Maddie doesn’t have to find out.”

          “Doesn’t have to find out?” I repeat, the volume of my voice rising. “Are you mental?”

          “Do you really think she’ll believe you?” he says, smirking at me. “Believe you, a friend who doesn’t like me very much, over me, her boyfriend?”

          “She’ll believe me,” I say confidently. Won’t she?

          “Are you sure about that?” he asks with a sneer.

          No. “Yes.”

          He shrugs. “It’s up to you. But I’m willing to bet good money that all you’re going to do is make her upset. Is that what you want?”

          Forget my wand; I’m going to punch this bastard right in the nose.

          “This conversation is over,” I say sharply. “And I’m telling Mads.”

~Maddie~

          “Checkmate,” I say triumphantly. James swears under his breath.

          “Re-match?” he asks. I nod.

          As we’re setting up the board again, Sirius comes storming through the portrait hole.

          “What’s up, mate?” asks James, looking alarmed.

          “I need to talk to you,” says Sirius tersely. He glances at me. “Alone.”

          James turns to me. “Sorry,” he says. “Can we do this another time?”

          “Sure,” I say, looking at Sirius and wondering what could possibly be going on.

~Sirius~

          Once James and I are in the dormitory, I check and make sure no one else is in there before telling him what happened.

          “Grey is cheating on Mads.”

          “WHAT?!” James yelps, springing up from his bed. “That stupid, lying prick! How could he do that? Wait, how do you know?”  

          “I saw him,” I explain, grimacing at the memory, “when I was looking for a classroom with Lauren.” I spare him the details.

          “We have to tell her,” says James grimly.

          “Well, get this—Grey found me after and tried to convince me not to!”

          “He what?! Is he mental?”

          “That’s what I said.”

          “We have to tell her,” James repeats. “Well, you have to tell her.”

          “What? Why me? Why can’t you do it?”

          “You’re the one that saw it.”

          “But you’re closer to her.”

          “Yeah, so I’ve got more to lose.”

          “Thanks, mate.”

          “Sorry,” he apologizes, “but she and I just had a row.”

          “You think we’ll row about it?” I say.

          James shrugs uncomfortably. “I don’t know.”

          Great.

~Maddie~

          The next morning, I come down from my dormitory with Lily and Alice, both of whom had no idea what could have been bothering Sirius last night. Whatever it was, I hope everything is okay today.

          We enter the Great Hall and sit down at the Gryffindor table.

          “Good morning,” I say cheerfully to everyone in general.

          James and Remus reply with a “morning,” but Sirius doesn’t even look up from his breakfast. Maybe he’s just tired.

          “So, James, do we have practice tonight?” I ask in an attempt to ease the tension.

          He looks uncomfortable for a minute, then darts a quick glance at Sirius, who is still not looking at me, and says, “No, I think I’ll give you guys the night off.”

            “Really?” I ask incredulously. “But we have a match next week. Against Ravenclaw.”

          James looks pained. “You’re right,” he says, looking at Sirius again. “We really should practice tonight.” He pauses. “Okay, there’s practice tonight.”

          “Okay,” I say suspiciously. Something is definitely up.

~Sirius~

          Prongs is such an idiot. He keeps looking over at me.

          I can’t talk to Mads. I can’t even look at her.

          I know I have to tell her what happened. There’s no way I’m going to be able to keep this bottled up.

          The question is when.

          I keep myself from punching Grey when comes over to the table, sits next to her and gives her a kiss on the cheek, as if nothing has happened. As if everything is fine.

          Which as far as Mads knows, it is. 

          Grey gives me a smirk, and I can tell he thinks I’ve decided to take his advice and not tell her.

          I successfully avoid her all the way until Potions class, when unfortunately, there’s really no escape.

          “Okay, Black,” she says resignedly. “What’s the deal? What did I do to piss you off?”

          “Nothing,” I say honestly.

          “Then why have you been ignoring me all morning?” she demands.

          “It’s not really something we can talk about here,” I say.

          “Can’t or won’t?”

          “Shouldn’t,” I tell her.

          She sighs. “After class then,” she says, and I know it’s not a request, it’s an order.

~Maddie~

          I don’t know what could be bothering Sirius so much, but it’s driving me crazy. I am grateful when Potions ends. We go out into the hallway. We have a free period now, so we head to a deserted corridor to talk.

          “Okay,” I say. “Shoot.”

~Sirius~

 I take a deep breath, looking at her, her face set in determination to figure out what’s going on. There’s no nice way to phrase this. No matter how I say it, she’s not going to like it.

            “Mads,” I begin carefully, “before I tell you, I just want you to remember that you are awesome. Okay?” I say, watching her confused expression. “I’m serious.” I even avoid the pun this time, that’s how serious I actually am. “You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re fun to be around, and you’re beautiful,” I tell her, and it’s easy to compliment Mads, because she really is that great. Her expression softens.

          “So when I tell you this,” I continue, “you have to understand that this didn’t happen because of you, because you’re amazing. It’s nothing you did wrong, or should’ve done differently; it’s not your fault.” She needs to understand this.

          “Sirius, just tell me,” she says, looking kind of worried.

          I take another deep breath. “Lucas cheated on you.”

          She freezes, staring at me, shocked, speechless. It’s clear that whatever she’d been expecting, it hadn’t been that.

          “What?” she whispers. Does she really want me to say it again?

          “Lucas cheated-”

          “Don’t say it again.” Okay, guess not.

          “But Mads, remember what I just said,” I say desperately, watching her face fall. “He’s a prick. It-”

          “The only prick I see right now is you,” she says, her expression quickly turning from hurt to stony.

          “What?!” I exclaim. This is what I had been afraid of, but I thought for sure when I told her, she’d believed me.

          “Grey-Lucas-snogged another girl,” I say. “Do you understand that?”

          “What I understand,” she says coldly, crossing her arms over her chest, “is that you’re trying to sabotage my relationship with Lucas. What I don’t understand is why.”

          “I’m not trying to sabotage anything!” Doesn’t she get it? “Lucas cheated on you! He sabotaged it all by himself!”

          Seemingly ignoring this statement, she continues. “Is it for James? Is he still not adjusting well and you’re trying to help him out?”

          “No!” I shout, “It’s for you! You know, you may be beautiful and funny and all that other stuff I said, but you’re also psychotic!”

          “Why would you do this to me?” she asks, the volume of her voice rising. “Are you trying to hurt me?”

          “No, I’m trying to protect you!” I yell.

          “Well, stop!” she yells back. “I don’t need your protection!”

          “Fine!” I turn and go, furious.

          I don’t know what hurts more, the fact that she didn’t believe me, or the fact that she thinks I would make up something like this to hurt her.

          How can she not believe me?        

 

A/N: Hey again :) So, I do not want to be one of those people who begs for reviews, but I am going to say that if you're reading this story and care about it getting updated, please just let me know, I would really appreciate it. That being said, to those who are reading this, I hope you enjoyed!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 


Chapter 6: Chapter 6
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 6

~Maddie~

          How can Sirius do this to me? Why would Sirius do this to me?

          There’s no way Lucas cheated on me.

          Is there?

          No, there can’t be.

          But then why would Sirius say that?

          Lucas would never…

          As if on cue, I run into Lucas as I’m walking up the stairs towards the common room. I’m glad I’m not crying, like after my row with James, but I’m sure I still look pretty upset, because I am.

          “Hey,” says Luke, taking in my expression, “what’s wrong?”

“Oh, just something Sirius said,” I say, attempting to brush it off. I definitely don’t want him to know what Sirius said, I certainly didn’t need any more tension between Luke and my friends. “Let’s not talk about it, okay?”

          “Okay,” he agrees. “How about we do something to get your mind off of it?” he says with a smile, pulling me in for kiss.

          Luke and I just snog for about twenty minutes, which usually cheers me up, but not this time.

          “Look, Maddie,” says Luke, noticing that I’m still not feeling better. “You can’t let what Sirius said make you upset. He’s being irrational. It’s obviously some lame attempt to get you to break up with me because Potter isn’t okay with our relationship. You know I would never cheat on you, don’t you?’

          “Yeah, I-” I stop mid-sentence, awful realization dawning on me.

          Hang on,” I say slowly. “I never told you what Sirius told me.” So the only way he could’ve known that is if-

          “It’s true,” I say softly.

          Luke looks horrified. “Maddie-”

          Whatever he’s going to say is lost when I slap him across the face with all the strength I can muster. He stares at me, shocked, silent.

          “I don’t want to hear what you have to say,” I tell him coldly. “Sirius was right. You are a prick. You’re a lying, cheating, arrogant, selfish, prick, Lucas Grey. I can’t believe I actually fancied you,” I say in disgust. “We’re done.”

          “Maddie, I-”

          “Save it,” I interrupt him angrily. “And do me a favor. Next time you see me, don’t talk to me.”

          And that’s how I leave him, as I stalk up the stairs towards the common room, holding back the tears that threaten to spill at any second.

~Sirius~

I return to my dormitory, still steaming from my row with Mads. James sees me as I pass by him in the common room, and realizes what happened. He follows me upstairs.

“She didn’t take it well?” he guesses.

          “She didn’t believe me,” I say angrily.

          “Why would you make something like that up?”

          “She thinks I did it for you.” I explain what Mads said.

          “That’s ridiculous!” says James. I nod fervently in agreement.

          “Tell me about it,” I say bitterly. “Now what are we supposed to do?”

          James           too is at a loss. “I really don’t know,” he says. “Let’s ask Lily,” he suggests finally. “Lily is smart, and she always knows what to do.”

          I’m too angry to even get annoyed at James’ Lily obsession. “Sure,” I say. “Why not?”

We head down to the common room and find Lily, Alice, Remus, and Peter sitting together by the fireplace. Good, we can get Remus’s opinion too.

“We need your advice,” James tells Lily. He launches into the whole story, since I really don’t feel like telling it again. Lily and Alice listen carefully.

“First of all, what a prick!” Lily exclaims. “I mean, Luke, not you, Sirius. And second of all, I’m really sorry about your row, Sirius, but I could’ve told you she would react that way.”

          “But why?” I say, still not understanding this fundamental point. “I’m her friend!”

          “Yes, which is why she got so upset,” Lily explains. “Part of her probably does believe you. But of course she doesn’t want to believe you, so that made her mad, so she took it out on you.”

          “That makes no sense at all!” I explode. “Why can’t she just realize that I’m telling the truth, because I would never do something like this to hurt her, dump the prat, and call it a day?”

          “Because girls’ minds don’t work like that,” Lily says.

          “Well they should!” I say furiously. James nods in agreement.

          “I know it’s confusing,” says Remus. “But in the end she’ll see you were looking out for her.”

          “But what if she ever believe me?” I ask. “What if she never finds proof that he’s actually cheating on her, stays with that lying git, and just goes on hating me forever?”

          Before anyone can answer me, Maddie comes through the portrait hole, tears streaming down her face. She runs straight by us and up the stairs to the girls’ dormitories.

          I get to my feet, and am making my way over to the girls’ staircases, when Lily stops me.

          “If you think I’m not going to go up there-” I start, but she cuts me off.

          “The slide, remember?” she says impatiently. “I have to go up with you.” In my hurry I’d forgotten that if a bloke tries to get into the girls dormitories by himself, the stairs turn into a slide and you can’t get up.

          “Thanks,” I say to Lily as we climb the stairs together.

          “Mads?” I say hesitantly, as we enter the dormitory, which is empty except for her. She hasn’t even pulled the hangings around her bed. She is sobbing into her pillow. She sits up and looks at me.

          “You were right,” she chokes out. “Okay? Is that what you wanted to hear? Are you happy now?”

          “I’ll leave you to it,” says Lily quietly before departing down the stairs.

          I come over and sit on her bed. I don’t say anything, just take her into my arms, and let her head rest against my chest, tears falling all over my uniform. She doesn’t protest, just continues sobbing into my chest. This is normally something James would do, but somehow it feels right that I’m doing it this time. I put my head down near hers and whisper in her ear:

          “I am most definitely not happy.”

~Maddie~

I wake up the next morning with a headache that often results from crying so much. Sirius is gone, but he must’ve stayed until I cried myself to sleep, because I don’t remember him leaving. I am touched by this act of compassion. Maybe I haven’t been taking our friendship seriously (or “Siriusly”—great, now I’m doing it) enough.

As I get out of bed I wonder if I look as bad as I feel. One look in the mirror confirms my suspicion. There are bags under my eyes, my hair is sticking out all over, and I look exhausted. I wash my face, hoping this will make an improvement. It does.

          By the time I’ve finished showering, Lily and Alice are awake. They both give me hugs but understand that I don’t want to talk about it. They get ready as I finish getting ready, and we all head down to breakfast together.

          When we arrive in the Great Hall, I sit down next to Sirius. He immediately stops eating and looks over at me.

          “Hey,” he says somewhat nervously. “Are you okay?”

          “I will be,” I say truthfully. “I just have two things to say to you.”

          He looks nervous.

          “The first is that I’m sorry,” I say, looking him straight in the eyes. “I should have believed you. It’s just-I didn’t want to believe you, you know? But I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did.”

          He opens his mouth to say something, but before he can, I continue.

          “The second thing is thank you,” I say. “Thank you for looking out for me, and thank you for everything last night, I really appreciate it.”

          “You don’t have to thank me,” he says.

          “Yes, I do.”

          “No, you don’t.”

          “Yes, I do,” I say firmly. “How about you let me win this one?”

          He laughs softly. “Okay.”

          I know that this has brought us closer together. Or maybe we were already this close and this made me realize it. Either way, I know that I can count on Sirius Black.

~Sirius~

           Mads seems to be holding up okay. We are walking to Transfiguration together when we pass Grey. He’s definitely looking at us.

I hear a sharp intake of breath and know that this making her nervous. I put my arm around her in my lazy sort of fashion, not in a way that implies we’re together or anything, just in a way that says, you mess with her, you mess with me.

          Grey gets the message.

~Maddie~

          Sirius doesn’t remove his arm, even after Lucas is gone. I wonder if he’s going to be constantly protective over me now. What he doesn’t know is he doesn’t need to be.

          That’s what I’m explaining to Lily and Alice later when we’re sitting by the fire.

          “I’m swearing off guys,” I announce.

          “What?!” they say in shocked unison.

          “You saw what happened with my first relationship,” I say. “I obviously didn’t have any beginner’s luck. So I think the best thing to do right now is to swear off guys completely.”

          “But Maddie, that wasn’t your fault,” says Alice, and I’m reminded of Sirius’ words. “Lucas was just a prat.”

          “They’re not all like that,” Lily protests.

          “Then why won’t you give James a chance?” I ask stubbornly.

          “That’s totally different,” she says, biting her lip.

          “No, it’s not,” I insist. “You think he’s a prat, so you don’t want to get romantically involved. I’m just applying that to the male species as a whole.”

          Alice shakes her head. “I’ll be right back.” She disappears up the girls’ staircase and returns two minutes later.

          “Read this,” she orders, shoving a card under my nose and pointing at the last paragraph.

Alice,

          These past six months have been some of the best of my life. I wouldn’t change anything about them. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and thank you for being you. I love you more than I can say.

All my love,

Frank

          “Are those the words of a prat?” Alice asks quietly.

          I shake my head.

          “Your Frank is out there,” Alice says determinedly. “You can’t give up on him.”

          I give her a really big hug. “Thank you.”

~Sirius~

          “Okay my turn,” I say, “Mary Macdonald or Marlene McKinnon?”

          “Evans.”

          “Prongs, Evans wasn’t a choice!” He is really awful at this game.

          “I don’t care; I still choose Evans,” he says stubbornly.

          I sigh. It’s bad enough I’m stuck in double lessons of History of Magic, but now Prongs won’t even entertain me.

          I turn to my other side, where Mads is sitting. Maybe she’ll get me through this torture that is Binns’ class.

          “Hi,” I say, in a half-whisper.

          “Hi,” she replies, not looking at me.

          “Oh c’mon, Mads, I know you’re not paying attention.”

          She laughs and turns to me. “And how do you know that?”

          “Because no one is!” I say. “Look around you. Fawcett and Davies are eating Bertie’s Botts with their eyes closed and trying to guess the flavor, those Ravenclaw girls over there are reading Witch Weekly beneath the desk, Wormtail is asleep, Moony is writing his Potions essay, and Prongs is staring at Lily, who,” I admit, “is actually paying attention. But she’s the only one.”

          Maddie laughs again. “Okay, you win.”

          “I always do,” I tell her. “It’s pointless trying to beat me.”

          “You know what your problem is?” she says, turning to me. “Lack of confidence.”

          “I’m working on it, I assure you,” I say, grinning at her. Maddie is probably the only one who can banter back and forth with me like this.

          “So, are you going to be okay at practice tonight?” I ask her in a lower voice. “You know, with Grey there?”

~Maddie~

          I’m surprised to hear the genuine concern in his voice. “Yeah,” I say, “I’ll be fine.” I wish I was as sure as I sounded.

          “Because you know, I can always give him a good punch in the face if you want,” Sirius offers casually. “I never did get to do that.”

          I laugh again. “I’ll keep it in mind.”

~Maddie~     

          After dinner, James, Sirius and I head down to the Quidditch pitch for practice. I’m not looking forward to seeing Lucas.

          “Okay, team,” says James. “Let’s do this. Sirius and Trevor, practice hitting these Bludgers. I’ve enchanted them to fly back towards you, so you’ll have to keep fighting them off. Kimmy, Maddie, and I will practice scoring on Grey.” I noticed that James used everyone’s first name, except for Lucas’s... this was going to be a fun practice.

          “And Ryan,” James finishes, “I’ve let the Snitch loose. Catch it, then let it go, and catch it again, and just keep doing that. Everyone know what they’re doing?” We nod. “Good, then let’s get going.”

          Everyone heads off in their separate directions. James throws the Quaffle into the air, and Kimmy catches it. She tosses it to me, I toss it to James, and he throws it, sending it sailing through the left goal.

          “Get your head in the game, Grey!” he shouts. He winks at me.

          We continue practicing. We hear Ryan’s triumphant call of, “Got it!” before he releases the Snitch and sets off in pursuit of it again. Lucas lets in two of Kimmy’s goals, and saves one of mine. He smirks at me, which makes me want to smack him again.

 For the most part though, practice is going fine, until one of Sirius’s well-aimed Bludgers shoots over in our direction…and hits Lucas squarely in the nose.

          He cries out in agony. “What the bloody hell was that?” he roars furiously. “I don’t need this! You can find yourself another Keeper!” Blood is gushing out of his nose. “Good luck finding someone to take my place by Friday, because you can’t beat Ravenclaw without me!” And with that, he dismounts, and stalks off angrily toward the castle.

          Uh oh.

A/N: Hey, guys! Hope you enjoyed this chapter. Leave a review letting me know what you thought!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 


Chapter 7: Chapter 7
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 7

~Sirius~       

          Uh oh.

          So maybe that wasn’t very well thought out.

          I couldn’t help it! I saw that arrogant prick smirking at Maddie when he saved one of her goals, remembered the smug way he said, “Do you really think she’ll believe you?” 

 Plus, it was even better than punching him in the face.

          James aims his wand at the Bludger. “Immobulus!” It freezes in mid-air. “Keep practicing,” he orders, then motions for me to come talk to him. Maddie follows, uninvited.

          “I’m sorry,” I begin hastily, “it was an accident…?”

          James shakes his head. “Sirius, what were you thinking?”

          “Oh come off it,” I tell him. “You wanted to do it too!”

          “Yeah, but I didn’t!”

          “But the bloody idiot deserved it!” I protest.

          “I know,” James says, “but now we’ve lost ourselves our Keeper-”

          “Good, nobody wanted him here anyway.”

          “That doesn’t make it okay to wallop the bloke with a Bludger!”

          “Did you see the look he gave Mads after he blocked her goal? Stupid, sodding git-”

          “I appreciate it,” Maddie cuts in, “really, I do. But it’s three days before the match, and we don’t have a Keeper.” She looks from me to James. “Seeing as this is my fault-”

          “It’s not your fault!” James interjects.

          “I’ll go talk to him,” she finishes.

          “What? No!” I say. “It’s my fault. If anyone goes, it should be me. But honestly,” I say, looking straight at Prongs, “I don’t think anyone should go. No one on the team wants him here after what he did to Mads, and I’m betting he’s not going to be too keen on coming back after what I just did to him. I doubt we’re going to be able to work together well enough to win on Saturday.”

          James doesn’t say anything, and I can tell he’s thinking it over.

          “But who are we going to find on such short notice?” he asks worriedly.

~Maddie~

          “Frank!” I exclaim. “Frank will do it! He was second best after Lucas at trials.”

          Sirius’s face breaks into a grin. “See, Prongs?” he says triumphantly. “The perfect solution.”

          James smiles too. “Alright, we’ll call the end of practice and go ask Frank.”

          We find Frank sitting with Alice in the common room.

          “Hey, Al,” I say cheerfully. “Hi, Frank.”

          “Hi,” says Alice. “How was practice?”

          “Not so good,” James tells her. “Sirius lost his temper and hit Grey in the face with a Bludger.”

           “Sirius, you didn’t!” Lily has overheard.

          He shrugs. “The prat deserved it.”

          “I’m guessing he didn’t take kindly to that?” says Frank with a chuckle.

          “Right you are,” says James. “He resigned.”

          “Oh no!” says Alice. “Isn’t the match on Saturday?” Alice is somewhat clumsy and doesn’t possess the greatest amount of coordination, which keeps her from playing Quidditch, but she is an avid fan.

          “Right again,” says Sirius. “Which brings us to…” he looks at James.

          “Frank, would you like to be the Keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team?”

          Frank’s face breaks into a grin. “Would I!”

          “Great!” says James. “Okay, we’re going to have to practice every night this week if we’re going to be ready to flatten Ravenclaw on Saturday…”

~Sirius~

          Saturday morning arrives sooner than we would like. We’re sitting in the Great Hall eating breakfast—well, some of us are eating—and everyone is a little nervous. Some of us are a little more nervous than others.

          “Frank?” Alice says, looking at her boyfriend concernedly. “How about you eat something?”

          “Not hungry,” he says, not looking back at her.

          “Just a little bit of toast,” Alice wheedles.

          Frank shakes his head. Alice ignores him, buttering up a piece of bread and putting it into his hand.

          I look at James. He’s eating, but very slowly, which is unlike him. He’s not responding to Trevor’s questions about game play, or my third request for him to pass the marmalade. It’s like he’s in a trance.

          “Prongs?” I say. “We’ve practiced every night this week. Everyone has worked really hard. C’mon, mate, we’re going to be fine.”

          “Remember how well last night’s practice went?” Maddie chimes in. “You were so happy at the end.”

          He ignores us.

          Finally Lily says, “James?”

          James’s head snaps towards her, the trance immediately broken. “Yes?”

          “You’re going to be fine today,” she says with a gentle smile. “All of you. You’ve worked really hard. You just need to go out there and do your best.”

          James’s worried expression changes into a relaxed smile.  “Yeah,” he says. “You’re right.”

          Wow, it’s not like I just said that, or anything.

          “Now, eat something,” Lily orders. “You’re going to need your strength today.”

          James nods and hastily begins shoveling in scrambled eggs.

          Mads and I exchange a glance and roll our eyes.

          After breakfast, we head out to the pitch. On the way out the doors, Grey rams into my shoulder.

          “Oh, sorry Black,” he sneers. “Didn’t see you there.”

          Really?

          I roll my eyes. “Next time I feel like acting like a second year, I’ll let you know,” I say, moving past.

          “Good luck in the match today,” he calls mockingly. “Oh, wait, I forgot—you don’t have a Keeper.”

          “You just keep telling yourself that,” I call back casually. I don’t turn around to see his face, but I’m guessing it must be pretty funny.

~Maddie~

          We change quickly and in silence. Everyone is getting focused. When it’s time for James’s pep talk, we gather in a circle.

          “Okay, team,” James says, “we’ve all worked extremely hard for this. We’ve got a strong team of Chasers,” he says, looking at Kimmy and me, “two fierce Beaters,” he continues, looking at Trevor and Sirius, “although, sometimes perhaps too fierce,” he adds, looking at Sirius again, “a superb Seeker,” he nods toward Ryan, “and a Keeper who has stepped up in a big way, and is way better than the git who came before him!” he finishes, and everyone looks encouragingly at Frank, who looks a little uncomfortable. Frank would never be the one to take any credit.

          “Now let’s go out there and win ourselves a match!” cries James. “Gryffindor on three! One, two three-”

          “Gryffindor!”

          “Alright, Quidditch fans,” calls Remus from the commentary stand. Remus would never be one to play Quidditch, but he’s the perfect mediator. “Here we are, Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw, first match of the season! Here comes the Ravenclaw team….”

          He rattles off the names of the Ravenclaw players, but I’m not listening. I look at James, who looks back, and I know we’re both ready to do this.

          “And here come the Gryffindors! King, Potter, Lane, Clark, Thompson, Black, and Longbottom!” The group clad in gold and scarlet cheered. I spotted Lily and Alice clapping their hands.

          “Gryffindor had to make a last minute replacement for the position of Keeper,” Remus is saying, “but they look confident!”

          The crowd cheers again. I spot Lucas, who looks furious. I smile to myself.

          “Alright, Potter, Davies, shake hands,” says Madam Hooch. James approaches Ralph Davies and they firmly shake hands.

          “On my whistle,” says Madam Hooch. “Three, two-”

          Tweet!

          Everyone soars into the air. The Quaffle is released, and James grabs ahold of it.

          “James Potter in possession-passes to Madison Lane-passes to Kimberly Clark-back to Lane-to Potter-to Clark-Clark SCORES!”

          Kimmy’s goal put everyone in an optimistic mood. Ravenclaw Chaser Edgecombe is in possession of the Quaffle. He fumbles and drops it. I shoot past the Gryffindor stands toward the other end of the pitch and catch the Quaffle. I speed back in the opposite direction, toward the Ravenclaw goal posts.

          “Lane in possession-she’s almost the goal-ooh, there’s a Bludger out of nowhere!-hit away by Sirius Black-Lane SCORES!”

          I grin at Sirius who winks back and shoots off. I look to see where the Quaffle has gone; Kimmy has it and is flying away from Ravenclaw Chaser Fawcett. He catches up to her and whacks the ball out of her hands, catching it as if falls.

          “Ooh, and Ravenclaw takes possession of the Quaffle,” Remus announces. “Fawcett is flying toward the goal-will Frank Longbottom be able to save it? Fawcett shoots and-”

          I hold my breath.

          “SAVED! By Frank Longbottom, Gryffindor Keeper!”

          The Gryffindor fans cheer. Frank looks pleased.

          The game continues. James, Kimmy and I score a goal apiece, and Ravenclaw scores twice, making the score 40-20.

          Fawcett is heading toward the Gryffindor end of the pitch, where Frank is hovering in front of the right goal post. He takes a fierce shot toward the left goal post. Frank dives over and saves it. More cheers erupt from our supporters.

          “Saved by Longbottom! The Ravenclaws don’t like this! Potter in possession-heading toward the goal-ouch! That looks like it hurt.” Remus isn’t just commentating; he sounds genuinely concerned. A well-aimed Bludger hit by Ravenclaw Beater Boot hits James right in the arm, knocking the Quaffle out of his hand. I see James wince in pain, but he doesn’t stop flying.

          We continue. I attempt to score, but it’s saved.

“Fawcett heading toward the goal-come on, Frank-!” There is a disappointed groan from the Gryffindor stands. “Ravenclaw scores,” Remus informs the crowd.

The Ravenclaws score three times more. James is struggling to play with his arm, and everyone is getting tired.

          The score is 90-40 to Ravenclaw, when it starts to rain. It comes out of nowhere, and suddenly we’re soaked. I blink over and over, trying to see, but it’s nearly impossible. I know James can’t see a thing out of his glasses.

          I hear cheers from the Gryffindor section. “Longbottom blocks Davies’ attempt at a goal!” Remus calls. “Frank Longbottom really stepped it up to play today; he had less than a week to train and he is putting on a great performance!”

          I smile. Now, where is the Quaffle?

          There it is, underneath Kimmy’s arm. A streak of scarlet shoots past me as she headed for the goal posts.

          “Gryffindor scores!” calls Remus happily. “90-50.”

          The Quaffle has gotten itself back into Ravenclaw possession. I shoot off after Fawcett, determined to steal it from him.

          “Is that the Snitch?” Remus calls. “It is! King and Gregory are both on the tail of the Snitch! They’re neck and neck-and it’s-Ryan King of Gryffindor has the Snitch! Gryffindor wins!”

          The Gryffindor fans go wild. The team collides in the air in a massive group hug. I feel Sirius and James on either side of me, squishing me between them. Everyone is soaking wet, but no one cares. As we dismount to the ground, Lily runs up to us. I expect her to run to me, but she bypasses me completely, heads straight for James, and throws her arms around his neck.

          “You were fabulous!” she cries, as she pulls away. “Playing with your arm injured like that, scoring so many goals, you-”

          She stops short, looking highly flustered and embarrassed.

          “Er, good game, Potter,” she says, flushing scarlet to match her Gryffindor scarf. James looks as though the Bludger hit him over the head instead of in the arm. He is smiling like an idiot.

          “Maddie!” Lily exclaims, hugging me too. “You were marvelous!”

          “Thanks, Lils!” I say, smiling at her. “How about James? He was great!”

          “Yes, I’ve already said-” she begins, then gives me a look of annoyance. She goes off to find Frank, who’s just been given enthusiastic congratulations by Alice.

          “Mads!” says a voice from behind me. I turn to see Sirius, long black hair soaked and clinging to his face, but beaming all the same. I’m too happy to even correct him for calling me Mads.

          He gives me a big hug, and spins me around in the air.

          I know it seems a little silly that everyone was getting this excited over only the first match of the season. But after everything that had happened, for me at least, this was just a way of showing that things were going to be okay.

~Sirius~

          “Party in the common room!” I announce at the top of my lungs. Everyone cheers.

          After we’ve changed, James and I head down to the portrait of the pear that leads into the kitchens. The house-elves are more than happy to fix us some food for the party, congratulating us on our win in their squeaky voices. They shove multiple treats into our arms, and James and I head up to the common room together.

          “Padfoot, did you see what happened?” James asks. “She hugged me! Actually hugged me! And said I was-and I quote-fabulous!”

          “Yes, Prongs, I saw it all,” I assure him. He beams like the lovesick prat he is.

          When we enter through the Portrait Hole, it is clear the party is already in full swing.

          Once inside, we come face-to-face with Lucas Grey, who looks positively furious.

          “Hey, mate!” I say cheerfully. “Quite the rough time we had of it out there, wouldn’t you agree?”

          “Wasn’t sure if Frank was going to be able to pull through for a while there,” James adds in mock seriousness.

          “Yeah, I mean I was just nervous because—what were your words?—we ‘couldn’t beat Ravenclaw without you?’”

          “You two just think you’re so great, don’t you?” Grey sneers at us.

          I look at Prongs. “Well,” I say, “we are.”

          We push past him. Lily, Maddie, Alice, and Frank are all standing together. James goes to join them.  Maddie looks over and smiles at me. I see Lauren standing in the corner of the room with her friends. I still owe her that rain check.

          But she’s going to have to wait, I decide, and I follow James over to our friends.

 A/N: Hello again, everyone! I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I know it might have seemed a little slow, but trust me, it was necessary. Things are about to get really exciting, so stay posted! Leave a review and let me know what you liked/didn't like. Thanks for reading!

Sabrina :)
 


Chapter 8: Chapter 8
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

Chapter 8

~Maddie~

          For the next few months, things are fine. Classes are classes, normal and for the most part, boring, although Sirius keeps Potions interesting. Quidditch is better than ever. The win against Ravenclaw has gotten everyone’s spirits up. Frank is improving every day. We win all of the matches in October and November. James is thrilled.

          I haven’t spoken a word to Lucas, and that’s how I prefer it. I didn’t keep to my plan of swearing off boys, though…I kind of reverted back to my old ways.

          But only kind of! I’m still snogging quite a few blokes, but not as much as I used to. Either way, I’m nowhere near as bad as Sirius.

          Time passes quickly, and before I know it, there’s snow covering the ground and Christmas holidays are only a week away.

          I’m going home, as is James. Sirius ran away from home last summer, and the Potters have taken him in, so he’s coming with James to celebrate with what he refers to as his true family. Lily is going home to see her family as well, and I know she’s nervous to see her sister, Petunia, who isn’t quite so friendly to magic. Since I know she’s uncomfortable around her, Lily is going to celebrate Christmas with her family, and then come to my house. Besides, she wouldn’t miss the Potters’ big New Year’s Eve Party. She’s been going to them forever, even when she couldn’t stand James. It’s just a party you don’t want to miss.

          It’s Saturday morning, and Alice wakes me up way too early.

          “Al, what time is it?” I complain.

          “It’s already nine fifteen, you sleepy head!” she informs me cheerfully. “Come on, let’s go wake up the boys and have a snowball fight!”

          “Can’t we do it later?” I ask, rolling over in bed.

          “No,” she says, shaking her head impatiently, “the grounds will be so crowded later. This is the perfect time to go!”

          “Okay, fine, I’m up.”

          “No, you’re not, your eyes are closed,” Alice says. “Now get up!”

          “I’m up, I’m up,” I say. I climb out of bed, and see that Lily is still sleeping soundly.

          “How come you didn’t wake her up?” I complain.

          “Because she’s much easier to get up than you are,” she says, and then proves her point. “Lils, wake up, we have class! You overslept!”

          “What?” Lily’s voice is panicky as she shoots up in bed, checks her clock, sees the time and gasps. “Sweet Merlin, Transfiguration started fifteen minutes ago! Why didn’t my alarm go off? Why aren’t you two dressed? Why-”

          “Lily, calm down!” interrupts Alice. “It’s Saturday.”

          “What?” Lily asks in a slightly hysterical tone. “Then why did you just say we had class?” she demands.

          “To wake you up,” says Alice simply. “I want to have a snowball fight with the boys.”

          Lily sighs. “Really, Alice, there are more tactful ways of waking someone up.”

          “Yeah, but it worked, didn’t it?” Alice says, a smile creeping across her face, and Lily smiles too. No one can stay mad at Alice.

          “Let’s go wake up the boys!” says Alice cheerfully. We follow her out of our dormitory. Since there’s nothing stopping us from entering the boys’ dormitory, we do so with ease.

          “Okay,” Alice whispers as we climb the stairs, “I’ll wake up Frank. Maddie, you wake up Sirius. Lily, you wake up James.”

          “Why do I get James?” Lily demands. Alice rolls her eyes.

          “Just do it, Lils! He’ll be sure to wake up for you.”

          “Yeah, if he doesn’t have a heart attack at the sight of Lily Evans in his bed,” I laugh. Lily blushes.

          “I’m not going to be in his bed,” she says hastily. “I’ll be next to it.”

          I shrug. “Suit yourself, I’m pouncing on Black.” I can just tell Sirius is one of those people who doesn’t like being woken up early, just like me, so this will be fun.

          We enter the boys’ dormitory to the five four poster beds lined up. The hangings are all drawn, but it’s obvious whose is whose. Surrounding Peter’s bed are a bunch of candy wrappers—Chocolate-covered Frogs, Bertie Bott’s, etc. On Frank’s night table there is a framed picture of him and Alice. On Remus’s trunk at the end of his bed there are lots of books, and some schoolwork. James’s trunk has JAMES POTTER lettered in gold on the bottom, something his mother insisted on, seeing as she suspected he’d lose it back in first year. Which leaves Sirius’s bed as the one next to James’s. There’s a magazine advertising what looks like motorcycles on the night table, and a Gryffindor pennant hanging on the wall next to his bed.

          Alice nods to us. I go over to Sirius’s bed, throw open the hangings, and pounce on him, just like I said I would.

          “Rise and shine, Black!” I say cheerfully.

          Then I realize he’s shirtless.

          “Mads?” Sirius opens his eyes and looks at me confused. “What the hell are you doing?”

          “I-er-Alice’s idea-you don’t sleep with a shirt on in the winter?” I stammer, unable to take my eyes off his chest. Damn, has Sirius Black got muscle.

          “Not always, as you can see,” he says amusedly. “Is there a reason you’re on top of me?”

          “I-er-snowball fight?” I attempt to explain. He still looks confused.

          “You do know we’re inside, right?” he chuckles.

          I blush. “Yes, of course I know that, I was just trying to explain, Alice dragged me out of bed at bloody nine in the morning because she wanted to have a snowball fight with you lot, and then she dragged us in here to wake you up, and, well that’s what I did.”

~Sirius~

          Mads is cute when she’s flustered.

          “Got it,” I say. “Well I can’t very well get up if you’re on top of me, now can I?”

          She blushes again and gets off of me.

          “And surely you’re not going to engage in a snowball fight like that?” I say, taking in her appearance. Long dark brown curls pulled back into a sloppy ponytail, flannel pajamas, and slippers.

          She folds her arms over her chest. “Alice dragged me in here,” she repeats. “And at least I’m not risking getting frostbite while I sleep.”

          I shrug. “I can’t help it if I’m hot,” I say, winking at her. She rolls her eyes.

          “Oh for goodness sake, James, please snap out of it,” Lily is saying. Maddie and I look over at James, who has sort of a dazed expression on his face.

          “You’re in my dormitory,” says James. “I have to savor this; it may never happen again!”

          “Okay,” Alice says, “get dressed and meet us in the common room. Bring Peter and Remus if you’d like.”

          “See you soon,” Maddie says. The girls leave.

          “Padfoot!” James is saying. “She was here! Evans was here! In our dormitory! Next to my bed!”

          “Yes, Prongs, I saw.”

          “What a great start to the day,” he says happily.

~Maddie~

          “What kind of prat sleeps shirtless in the winter?!”

          “For Merlin’s sake, Maddie,” says Lily. “He’s free to sleep however he likes. Be grateful he wasn’t sleeping naked.”

          I shudder as I brush my hair. We all dress warmly, hats, scarves, and gloves included (all of the Gryffindor variety), and head down to the common room where James, Sirius, and Frank are all waiting.   

          “What took you so long?” James complains. “We’ve been down here for ten minutes, and we got up after you!”

          I shrug. “We’re all here now. Let’s go!”

          “Are Peter and Remus not coming?” asks Lily.

          Sirius shakes his head. “Peter said he needed more sleep. Apparently, sleeping at night and in every class isn’t enough.”

          “And Remus wants to make sure he’s done all his homework,” says James. “Of course he’s done all of it, he’s Remus!”

          We laugh as we head out to the grounds. “Okay,” says Alice. “How do we want to do this?”

          “Boys against girls!” shouts James immediately.

          “Really, James?” asks Lily.

          “Oh, are you scared?” asks James in mock concern.

          Lily grins. “Boys against girls it is.”

          We separate and Lily, Alice, and I head to the other side of the grounds. I gather a snowball in my hand.

          “Commence!” roars Sirius, and we run into the middle of the snowy field. I hurl my snowball at Sirius with all the strength I can muster. It hits him in the chest.

          “Oh, it is on, Lane,” he says devilishly, and before I can blink an eye he’s gotten me back, right on my neck.

          “You’re going to pay for that one, Black!” I shout. I gather a snowball bigger than the last and chuck it right back at him. This time it catches him in the face, snow going everywhere.

          “I’m going to get you for that!” Sirius yells.

          “You’ve got to catch me first!” I call back teasingly, and set off at a run. I know he’s right behind me. I run as fast as I can, but he’s faster. He tackles me to the ground, both of us getting covered in snow. He’s holding himself up over me, his arms on either side of my head.

          “Gotcha,” he says, panting. “And now you know how I felt this morning.”

          “I’m not shirtless,” I point out.

          He grins. “Too bad for that.”

          I feel myself blushing.

          “Surrender,” Sirius commands.

          “Never!”

          “You can’t escape me,” he says. “Be reasonable. I know for a fact that another member of your camp has already been captured.”

          I look over. Frank has Alice around the waist, and she’s attempting to fight him off to no avail.

          “And,” he adds, “Evans isn’t a very offensive player.”

          I glance over at Lily, who is crouching behind a snow-covered rock, hiding from an oncoming James, armed with snowballs.

          “So surrender, Lane,” he says, “and I just may spare you.”

          “Well, if it’s a life or death matter…” I say, gathering some snow in my hand.

          “Oh, it is.”

          “Then I suppose I have no other choice but to…”

          I take the snow in my hand, pull the top of his coat away from his neck, and let go of the snow, right down his shirt.

          He yells out from the cold, and I take the opportunity to escape.

          “Well done, Lane,” he calls. “But this isn’t over yet!”

~Sirius~

          The next day is our last Quidditch practice before Christmas holidays. Some people hate Quidditch in the snow, but I love it. There’s something about the cold wind on my face and the way the snow is a whirlwind in the air that makes Quidditch that much more challenging, and I love a good challenge.         

          “All right, team!” James yells over the howl of the wind. “Great practice! Have a good holiday!”

          We all head to the ground. I fall into step beside Mads on our way to the changing rooms.

          “So will I be seeing you this fine holiday break?” I ask her.

          “I daresay you will,” she says, reaching behind her and releasing her hair from its ponytail. She looks so pretty as her long curls spill over her shoulders. Whoa, snap out of it, Black.

          We reach the changing rooms and separate. “See you in a bit,” Maddie says as she walks into the girls’ changing room.

~Maddie~

          Kimmy changes quickly, having left her packing until the last minute, and leaves me in the changing room by myself.

          I change into warmer clothes, and pack up my practice robes. Then I hear a knock on the door.

          “Er-come in?” I say, wondering who it is.

          Sirius walks in, surveying the room. “Nice place you’ve got here.”

          I laugh. “I don’t think you’re supposed to be in here.”

          He shrugs. “I know.” He starts walking toward me. “You know, Mads,” he says. “With all the people the two of us have snogged, we’ve never snogged each other.”

          I don’t know what to say. I don’t know why my heart’s just started beating faster, or why my throat’s suddenly gone dry. “That would be correct.”

          He’s still walking toward me, wearing an expression I can’t read. “Why do you think that is?”

          “Well, because… it would be….” I trail off, not being able to find the words, because I don’t know the words I’m looking for.

          He’s standing right in front of me. “It would be,” he agrees softly.

          I’m suddenly aware of how close he is. We are only inches apart; I can hear him breathing. I look up at him. His long black hair falls across his forehead. He’s looking straight at me with those penetrating grey eyes.

          “Mads…” It comes out in a whisper. And then his lips are on mine, softer than I ever would have expected.

          At first the kiss is gentle, his lips grazing mine softly. I feel a shiver go down my spine at his touch. In very little time, it grows deeper; his hands reach behind me and trail all the way down my body, resting themselves around my waist. Mine find their way in his long, shaggy, black hair, still wet from the snow. His tongue is at the entrance of my mouth, begging for permission to enter and I grant it with no hesitation. I press my body into his, desperate for more contact. He kisses me like he’s drowning and I’m air. I’m lost in him, savoring every second, wanting more, needing more, needing him.

          I don’t know how long we stay like this, kissing like there’s no tomorrow. It could’ve been days, could’ve been weeks, it doesn’t matter, because this is the only thing that matters right now. Sirius, kissing him, and never stopping.

          Unfortunately, we do stop. I don’t know what brings it about, but suddenly we’re there, foreheads touching, breathing hard.

          “Mads,” he says again in a barely audible voice. “I…”

          I stand there and wait for him to finish the sentence, but he doesn’t. I can’t take the silence, the not knowing what the hell just happened between us, why my friend Sirius has just kissed me, why I liked it so much, and why now my heart is beating at the speed of light, and most of all, why I want to kiss him again.

          I can’t take the silence and the not knowing.

          And he’s not speaking. Or giving me any answers.

          So I grab my bag, and I run.

A/N: So here it is! The big moment. What did you think? (I know it may have seemed slightly sudden, but don't you agree that Maddie's had enough guy experience that if it wasn't she would've seen it coming? ;) ) PLEASE let me know what you thought about this chapter, seeing as it's a pretty important one in the story. Thanks for reading!

Sabrina :)
 


Chapter 9: Chapter 9
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 9

~Sirius~

          I walk up to the castle alone.

          I’d had the perfect plan, and it was almost perfectly executed.

          Almost.

          The plan? Kiss Mads. Well, I’d done that. The what came after is where it got a little messy. 

          I’d been walking into the boys changing rooms, and suddenly I knew that I had to kiss Maddie. It wasn’t a question of if it was the right thing to do, or what might happen if I  did, I just knew I had to.

          So I did.

          Only, since I didn’t know why I’d needed to, I couldn’t very well explain to her why I’d needed to. And that’s when she ran away.

          Basically, we need to talk.

          If I ever figure out what the hell I’m going to say.

 

~Maddie~

          The next day, I wake up feeling like I hadn’t slept at all. Which, basically, I hadn’t.

          I’d been up all night, thinking about Sirius. Not just about the kiss, but about everything leading up to it. Waking him up before the snowball fight, how he’d looked with his shirt off, the way he’d tackled me to the ground, how it felt to have him on top of me, the casual way he sauntered into the changing room, the even more casual way he’d tossed out comments like “We’ve never snogged each other.”

          And then I thought about the kiss. The kiss that makes my head spin, my heart beat louder, my stomach go into knots just thinking about it.

          And then I thought about how I’d run away, like a stupid little girl.

          But what was I supposed to do? He’d caught me totally off guard, and then left me with no explanation.

          Was I just another snog to him? I mean, the way he’d put it, it almost sounded like I was just one to check off the list. This was Sirius Black we were talking about. There was no way of knowing if he’d even mention it again. Just another snog for Sirius Black. Just another snog for Madison Lane. And, as he’d implied when he initiated that conversation, with all the people we’ve snogged, why not each other, right? It didn’t have to mean anything, right?

          Right?

          “Maddie, you should get up, we’re leaving in an hour,” Alice calls. I open my hangings and start getting ready.

          “Maddie, are you alright?” asks Lily concernedly. “You look quite tired.”

          Okay, so I didn’t exactly tell Lily and Alice about the kiss.

          It’s strange. Normally I tell them everything. It’s not as if I don’t want them to know, it’s just…I need to figure out what happened before I can share it with them. Knowing them, they’ll want to analyze everything, what it meant to him, what it meant to me, what’s going to happen next. And I’m just not ready for that.

          “I’m fine,” I tell her. “Just ready to go home.”

          Home.

          Where James lives next door.

          Where Sirius is staying.

          Brilliant.

~Sirius~

          “Padfoot, get out of bed. If you miss the train, my mum isn’t going to be happy. For some reason, she actually wants to see you.”

          I climb out of bed as James has ordered. At least I’m all packed, which is unlike me. I couldn’t sleep very well last night so I stayed up packing.

          “Relax, Prongs, I’m packed,” I say.

          “What?” asks James. Then he spots my trunk, everything inside and ready to go. “Blimey,” he says. “What’s with you?”

          “Couldn’t sleep.”

          I didn’t tell Prongs what happened with Mads. I definitely need some time to clear my head.

          And I’m going to have to do it fast, considering I have to spend the whole train with her. But then I’m free, at Prongs’s house.

          Prongs’s house.

          Where I’m staying.

          Where Mads lives next door.

          Brilliant.

~Maddie~

          Lily, Alice, and I board the train and find an empty compartment. I notice Lily looks a little troubled. I expect it’s her dread of having to see her sister.

          “So, Lils, can we expect you on the 26th?” I say cheerfully.

          Lily smiles. “I’d expect so. Petunia’s going to want me gone as soon as possible.”

           “Well, we’re going to want to there as soon as possible,” I assure her. “And you won’t have to deal with Petunia and her awful boyfriend. What’s his name again?”

          “Vernon,” Lily says with a shudder.

          “Right, him. You can just come have a spectacular time at my house.”

          “And the Potters’ New Year’s Eve party,” Alice adds. “Don’t forget about that.”

          “Who could forget about that?” says a good-natured voice loudly, and the compartment door slides open. James enters, followed by Sirius, Remus, and Peter.

          Sirius glances at me and then looks away, so quickly I could’ve imagined it.

          But I know I didn’t.

          “All of you had better be there,” says James. “And Frank,” he adds to Alice.

          Alice smiles. “Don’t worry, we’ll be there. I’m going to go find him now, actually.” She gets up and leaves, leaving the seat next to me empty.

          “Sit down,” Lily says to the boys. James takes the opportunity and sits right next to her. Peter has already sat down without being told, and he’s curled up against the window, sleeping. Remus sits down next to James.

          Which leaves the spot next to me for Sirius.

          He sits down, not as lazily as he would have under normal circumstances, not stretched out, no arm draped over my shoulders.

          “So, what are everyone’s plans for the holidays?” asks Lily, in an effort to avoid talking about her own.

          “A little bird told me that you will be staying at a certain Lane residence,” says James to Lily.

          “Would that little bird happen to be Maddie?” asks Lily amusedly.

          “Yes,” says James happily. “But you know what this means, don’t you? You and I will be spending a lot of time together.”

          “Will we now?”

          “Oh, yes,” says James seriously. “You and me, Maddie and Sirius-”

          “There’s no ‘Maddie and Sirius’,” I say quickly before I can stop myself.

          James gives me a strange look. I try not to blush. I can’t even look at Sirius.

          “All I meant was the four of us should get together,” he says, looking at me oddly. “You alright, Maddie?”

          “She’s exhausted; she didn’t get any sleep last night,” says Lily, rescuing me.

          “Yeah, neither did Padfoot,” says James. “You two had better catch up on your sleep before the party; it’s going to be a fun time!”

~Sirius~

          “I’ll put it at the top of my priority list,” I say sarcastically. Really right now, I couldn’t care less about the party. What I care about is what Maddie just said.

          There is no Maddie and Sirius.

          Does that mean she doesn’t want there to be a her and Sirius?

          She hasn’t looked at me since I sat down here.

          And she didn’t get any sleep last night either.

          Does that mean she wants there to be a her and Sirius? 

          Wait, do I even want there to be a her and Sirius?

          This is so damn confusing.

~Maddie~

          I must have fallen asleep, because I feel the train jolt to a stop and it wakes me up. Then I realize I’m not lying on a pillow, unless my pillow is wearing a t-shirt and has muscles. I open my eyes and my fear is confirmed.

          I fell asleep on Sirius.

          “Sorry!” I say, springing up as quickly as I can.

          “It’s okay,” he says, looking amused.

          “What is with you today, Maddie?” asks Lily. “You’re so jumpy.”

          “It’s just Sirius,” adds James. “He’s not going to hurt you for falling asleep on him.”

          It’s just Sirius.

          Yeah, it was just Sirius, until last night when the idiot went and kissed me for no good reason and made everything all awkward and confusing!

          “I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t-er- hurting him,” I say. Wow. Really, Lane? That was the best you could come up with?

          Lily and James look at me strangely while Sirius chuckles. “No need to worry about me,” he says, and he looks me in the eye for the first time that day. “I’m just fine.”

          Well isn’t that just bloody dandy for you! Some of us, however, are not fine! Some of us were fine until you had to go and kiss them and confuse them, thus making them not fine!

          We file out of the compartment, and I make sure I’m well ahead of Sirius. We get off the train and I immediately spot my parents, chatting amiably with Mr. and Mrs. Potter.

          “Mum! Dad!” I call, making my way over to them. My mother catches sight of me and her face breaks into a huge smile.

          As soon as I reach her, I hug her tightly.

          “I’ve missed you!” she says.

          “I’ve missed you too,” I tell her truthfully, and I didn’t realize how much I missed her until just now, when we’re finally together again.

          I hug my father, and then James’s parents.

          “Maddie, my goodness, you look so grown up!” exclaims James’s mother.

          “You always say that, Aunt Laura,” I say.

          “Well, stop growing and I’ll stop saying it,” she says with a smile. “I’ve just got to say something about my boys though, don’t I?” She beams at James and Sirius. “They’re quite the lookers, aren’t they Maddie?”

          “Er, sure,” I say. Sirius winks at me. I feel myself blushing and inwardly curse him and his stupid good looks. 

          “Well, let’s head home,” says my father jovially.

          “We have so much baking to do, Maddie!” says my mother. “I couldn’t bring myself to start without you. We just have two days until Christmas so we’ve got to work fast. And of course we’ll bring some to the Potters’ on Christmas Day.”

          “Sounds great, Mum,” I say. And really it does.

          But I can’t stop thinking about Sirius.

 

A/N: Sorry this is kind of a short one, guys. It was just the logical place to end the chapter. However, more is on the way! In the meantime, let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading!

Sabrina :)
 


Chapter 10: Chapter 10
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

Chapter 10

~Sirius~

          “Checkmate,” I say triumphantly. “Fancy another go?”

          “You’re on,” James says with a grin, setting up the pieces for another game.

          “Boys, dinner!” calls Mrs. Potter.

          “After supper,” James says determinedly, as we leave the chess board behind in favor of Mrs. Potter’s cooking.

          “So, have you boys got all of your presents?” says Mrs. Potter over dinner.

          “Er…” James says, and he and I exchange a glance.

          Mr. Potter laughs. “Best get a move on, boys. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, after all.”

          I’ve got presents for all the Marauders. Had them for ages. For James, I’ve got a knife that can open any lock. It’ll be highly useful, I reckon, for when we’re trying to get into places we’re not supposed to be. Cost me a bit, but he’s my best mate.

          For Remus, I’ve got a book. He likes books. But this one is even better. “Hairy Snout, Human Heart.” Written by a bloke who also struggles with lycanthropy. It dispels some the nasty rumors that go around about them. I figured Moony would appreciate that.

          Peter was easiest. I just got him some of Honeyduke’s best chocolate.

          I bought things for Mr. and Mrs. Potter too. I got Mr. Potter a paperweight for his desk, in the shape of a broomstick. Mrs. Potter, a Christmas apron for her to wear while she cooks on Christmas day.

          I hadn’t bothered buying anything for anyone in my family. As far as I was concerned, my Christmas would be a merrier one with them not around.

          The only person I hadn’t gotten anything for was Mads.

          See, I normally don’t do Christmas presents with Maddie. Remus, Peter, James and I all buy for each other, and Lily, Alice, and Maddie all buy for each other. With the exceptions that Maddie and James buy for each other, and of course James gets Lily something every year, even though she never gets him anything in return.

          Last Christmas was the first Christmas Maddie and I ever spent together, since it was my first Christmas at the Potters’. We didn’t get each other anything, since we never had before, not realizing we’d be seeing each other on Christmas Day for the first time. We laughed and teased each other about it.

          But we’re closer this year. Considering the events of evenings past, we’re way closer.

          So I feel like I should get her something…but what?

          Mrs. Potter pulls me out my reverie. “Why don’t you boys go finish up your shopping tomorrow?”

          “Sounds good,” says James. “Padfoot?”

          “Sounds good,” I echo, still wondering what you’re supposed to get a girl you’ve just snogged and not had a proper conversation with since.

~Maddie~

Dear Lily,

          I’m not quite sure how to explain this, but something happened after Quidditch practice before the holidays.

          Whoa, cut the drama. You don’t want to scare her.

Dear Lily,

          Sirius kissed me.

          Nothing like jumping in all the way.

Dear Lily,     

          I miss you already. Hope your holiday is going well so far and that Petunia isn’t being too horrible to you.

          Things are pretty good here. I’ve been baking with Mum, which is always nice. And we made snicker doodles, your favorite!

          I can’t wait to see you on the 26th. Write me back and let me know what time you’ll be Flooing in.

Love from,

Maddie

P.S. I have something to talk to you about when you get here. It’s not a big deal, so please don’t worry about me. Have a happy Christmas!

          There. That was a letter I could send. Now when I finally do tell Lily, she can’t say I was hiding it from her.

          I attach the letter to the leg of my owl, Callista, and send her off. I head downstairs to see if Mum needs any more help.

          “Oh, Maddie, are you busy?” asks Mum as I enter the kitchen. “I’ve just had owl post from Aunt Gwen; she sent the recipe for the mince pies I was telling you about!”

          “Sounds great,” I say with a smile, sitting down at the kitchen table. “Mum, how did you and Dad get together?”

          She looks slightly surprised. “Well, we were in Gryffindor together,” she says, which I know already. “We hung out in the same group of friends, but we were never the closest of the bunch…and then one day, he just asked me to Hogsmeade.” She smiles. “Kind of out of the blue, actually. I asked him what made him do it, some three months after we’d been dating, and he said he really didn’t know. He just thought it was the right thing to do.” She looks at me. “Any reason you’re asking?”

          “Just wondering,” I reply, and although she gives me a look that suggests she knows that there’s more going on here, she drops it.

          My mum and dad had gotten together because of something Dad had done out of the blue. Well, what Sirius did would certainly qualify as out of the blue.

Wait, does this mean I’m thinking Sirius and I could end up together?

          I don’t know what to think. I don’t even know how I feel about Sirius. I mean, he’s…Sirius.

          Doing my best to stop thinking about him, I throw myself into making the mince pies with my mum, pushing all thoughts of Sirius Orion Black to the back of my mind. I won’t think about him again until I absolutely have to, which will be when I see him tomorrow.

I’m sure it’ll be a jolly good time.

~Sirius~

          “Okay, Prongs, who do you still have to buy for?” I ask as we stroll down the cobbled streets of Hogsmeade Village. We’ve Side-Along Apparated here with Mr. and Mrs. Potter, who are having a drink in the Three Broomsticks while we finish up.

          “Lily,” says James. “How about you? You haven’t even bought anything yet today. Didn’t you say you weren’t done with your shopping? Who do you have to buy for?”

          “Mads,” I say, because at this point it’s unavoidable. Before James can ask, I say, “We’ve become quite a bit closer this year, and er-she’s had a bit of a rough time of it, and I just thought it would be… nice,” I finish, somewhat lamely.

          James looks impressed. “What a mate,” he says. “Alright, where shall we go to shop for our girls?”

          I know James doesn’t mean it in a couple sort of way, but before I can stop it, the idea has popped into my head. James and Lily, Maddie and me. It doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

          “Gladrags?” I suggest. “Girls like clothes.”

          “Right you are, Padfoot,” says James. “To Gladrags we go.”

          Once we’re inside, we separate. James heads over toward the jewelry, while I stay near the scarves, hats, and gloves. I haven’t got quite as much to spend as him. My parents cut me off when I ran away. My uncle Alphard, real decent bloke, just passed, and he left me some money. But I’m saving up to buy a place of my own, so I can’t spend too much.

          I find a scarf. It’s chocolate brown, the exact color of Maddie’s eyes. I know this is a good choice, I can feel it, so I buy it.

          James has found an emerald necklace for Lily. I guess he’s going for the eyes thing too.

          We head back to the Potters’, eat dinner and wrap all of our presents, Mr. Potter whistling “God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs,” and Mrs. Potter insisting we have seconds and thirds of pudding. We turn in early, knowing tomorrow is going to be a long day.

          As I lie down on my bed, listening to James’s snoring across the room, I wonder what seeing Mads tomorrow will be like. Will she be all jumpy like she was on the train? Or will she be calmed down by now?  

          Maybe she’ll even be glad to see me.

~Maddie~                                                                          

          “Maddie, darling, are you ready to go?” calls Mum from downstairs. “The Potters are expecting us.”

          “Just a minute!” I survey myself in the mirror. Hair, loose and curly, lovely green sweater from Mum, new earrings from Lily. Perfect.

          I head downstairs, grabbing my present for James from my bureau. I’ve gotten him a book (wait for it) called “Questions, Queries, and Quaffles: A Chaser’s Guide to Quidditch.”

          We crunch across the snow to the Potters’. We ring the bell and James throws open the door, shouting, “Happy Christmas!” He shakes my father’s hand, takes the Christmas cookies from my mum, gives me a hug, and ushers us in, beaming all the while.

          Inside the Potters’ manor it’s warm and I can smell Aunt Laura’s cooking. James disappears up the stairs. She bustles out of the kitchen wearing a new Christmas apron.

          “Hello, hello,” she says cheerily as we enter the sitting room. “Olivia, would you like to join me in the kitchen? I’m just about done preparing everything for dinner. Andrew, Robert is in the dining room, he’s been waiting for you to play chess.” She shakes her head and laughs. “Oh, and here’s Sirius,” she says with a smile, nodding to someone behind us as he enters the room.

          My mother and father go where Aunt Laura has suggested, leaving me alone in the room with Sirius. I turn around.

          “Hi,” I say, and it comes out more breathlessly than I would have liked.

          “Hi,” he says, looking straight at me.

          “What’s up with you two?” asks James, coming down the stairs.

          “Nothing,” I say quickly.

          “Let’s do presents!” suggests James, the awkward exchange of a mere thirty seconds ago completely forgotten. We sit down on the couch near the tree.

          I hand James my present and he hands me mine. He tears open the paper as I open mine a little more carefully.

          “Whoa, Maddie, cool!” he says enthusiastically. “Thanks!”

          I open his present, a brand new pair of Quidditch gloves that I’ve been needing. “Thanks to you too!”

          “No problem,” he says. “I’ve got to go show this-” he gestures to the book. “To Dad.”

          And with that, he leaves the sitting room, leaving me alone with Sirius. Again.

          I take a deep breath. “Sirius-”

          He cuts me off by thrusting a parcel into my hands. “Open it,” he interrupts.

          “You-you got me a present?” I ask, completely thrown off guard. “I don’t have anything for you,” I say apologetically. “After last year, I just kind of thought-”

          He waves my explanations away with his hand. “Just open it.”

          So I do, not knowing what to expect. Inside is a soft chocolate brown scarf.  Touched by his thoughtfulness, I’m at a loss for words.

          “It matches your eyes,” he says, looking up at me, before I can attempt to come up with anything to say.

          “Thank you, Sirius, I-”

          “Dad said this is better than the book they had for Chasers when he was in Hogwarts!” says James excitedly as he re-enters the room, effectively ending our conversation. I pull my gaze away from Sirius, who is wearing an expression I can’t read. He seems to wear those a lot.

          James looks from Sirius, to me, to the scarf in my hand. “Do you like it?” he asks. “Padfoot picked it out all by himself.”

          “Yes, it’s lovely,” I answer. I can’t look at Sirius. “James, how did Lily like her gift?” I ask, changing the subject.

          His eyes widen. “I can’t believe I haven’t told you yet! Look what she sent me this morning!” He produces a piece of parchment from his pocket and hands it to me excitedly.

Dear James,

          Thank you very much for the necklace. It’s beautiful. My sister is very jealous, even though she’d never admit it.

           I apologize that I don’t have anything to give you. Hopefully a “Happy Christmas” will suffice this time.

          Thank you again for thinking of me, enjoy your holidays, and I expect I’ll be seeing you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Lily

          “She sent me a thank you note!” says James, as if he still can’t bring himself to believe it. “She’s never sent me a thank you note before!”

          “That’s great,” I say to James, smiling to myself. Lily and I were going to have a long talk when she gets here.

          “Dinner’s ready!” calls Aunt Laura, and we all make our way to the dining room. I sit down, and James takes a seat at my right. Sirius sits down next to James.

          Everything looks wonderful. We waste no time in digging into everything. Uncle Robert strikes up a conversation about Quidditch.

          “The Irish are favorites for the World Cup,” he tells us. “I think Argentina’s fallen out of it completely.”

          “Really?” asks Sirius. “But Argentina’s got Acosta.”

          “That’s one decent player, Ireland’s got seven,” I point out.

          “Well that’s what makes the Gryffindor team so good,” says James. “We’ve got seven decent players too.”

          “Yeah, we’re favorites for the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup Final this year,” says Sirius with a grin. Uncle Robert smiles too.

          “Yeah, I forgot to tell you Dad,” says James. “You know Frank Longbottom? He’s on the team now.”

          “Oh, I always liked that boy,” says Aunt Laura.

          “Now?” asks Uncle Robert. “Did he join just recently?”

          “Yeah,” says James. “Our original keeper quit.”

          “Why?” asks Uncle Robert. “Haven’t you been winning your matches?”

          “Oh, all of them,” says James. “He just-” He casts me a glance.

          “He was a prick,” Sirius says flatly. Aunt Laura looks a little startled at the use of language at the dinner table but she says nothing. Uncle Robert chuckles.

          “Well then I’d be glad to be rid of him,” he says. James nods.

          Sirius catches my eye, and I look away.

          After dinner, we all help Aunt Laura clean up, and she and my mum disappear into the kitchen to prepare dessert.

          James turns on the radio, and the Wireless Wizarding Network announces that the singing sorceress Celestina Warbeck is next with her hit song, “You Charmed the Heart Right Out of Me.” James is about to change it when Aunt Laura calls, “Don’t even think about it, James!”

          James groans. Sirius however, makes light of the situation. He grabs his wand from the table and, using it as a pretend microphone, begins to sing in a high and girlish falsetto, directly to me.

          “Oh, my poor heart, where has it gone? It’s left me for a spell…”

          I know he’s just kidding around but I can’t stop myself from blushing. He doesn’t stop, he sings straight through, making motions with his arms, and gazing at me as though completely lovesick.

          “And now you’ve torn it quite apart, I’ll thank you to give me back my heart!” He finishes finally, still looking at me. James is laughing; Sirius looks pleased with himself.

          I manage to laugh as well, but something about Sirius has captured my attention. Maybe it’s the casual air that’s surrounding him as he runs his fingers through his hair, or the lazy manner in which he stretches out on the couch next to James, or maybe it’s the fact that he’s been sneaking glances at me ever since I got here. Whatever it is, it’s keeping me from interacting with him properly.

          Aunt Laura sets out the desserts on the dining room table—treacle tart, pudding, biscuits made by Mum and me. We each take some and return to the sitting room where Uncle Robert has made a fire.

          I sit down on the couch and to my surprise, Sirius sits down next to me. I immediately feel my heart rate increase. Snap out of it, Lane.

          Sirius’s hand is lying inches from mine. What if I move and accidentally touch it? Who knows what will happen then?

          I know I’m being irrational, but I can’t help it. Suddenly Sirius and everything even remotely related to him is making me nervous.

          Why is he sitting next to me, saying nothing? Does he expect me to say something? Is he even worrying about all of this like I am or has he already pushed the kiss to the back of his mind, stored it in the vault with all the other girls he’s snogged?

          I stand up, rather abruptly, judging by the confused look on my mother’s face. “I’m going to-er-wash my hands,” I say hastily, putting my empty dessert plate down on the table and departing for the kitchen.

~Sirius~

          My suspicions are confirmed when Maddie escapes to the kitchen under the excuse of having to wash her hands. She’s still weirded out by what happened before the holidays. I mean, I am too, but at least I’m doing a good job at hiding it! She, on the other hand, is being painfully obvious, and I’m really surprised Prongs hasn’t noticed anything strange yet.

          Or maybe she’s not being obvious, and it’s just obvious to me because I know how she’s feeling, because I’m feeling the same way.

          But like I said, I’m much better at hiding it.      

~Maddie~

          I breathe easier once I’m alone in the kitchen, without Sirius to distract me. Realizing I have no real purpose for being in here other than to escape him, I decide to actually wash my hands, although what I’d really like to wash away is the stupidity I feel for allowing myself to act so immaturely, or even better, the thousand different thoughts that are running through my head. 

          As I’m drying my hands, I’m startled by the sound of the swinging doors that lead into the kitchen opening. I turn around slowly and find myself face-to-face with Sirius.

          “Hey,” he says, softer than I would have expected.

          “Hey,” I say, just as softly.

          Then there’s a pause, so slight I might have imagined it, and then his lips are on mine for the second time.

          I react instinctively. I kiss him back like it’s the simplest thing in the world, like it makes perfect sense. He has one hand in my hair, one on the small of my back, and he’s kissing me with the same sort of desperation that he kissed me with the first time. I can feel myself returning it with the exact same feeling, powerless to stop it.

          How does he have this hold over me? When I’m kissing him, all that matters is Sirius. Everything else is insignificant, unimportant, compared to this.

          We break apart and I look up at him.

          “So…” He says, looking at me with a slightly amused expression on his face.

          “So?” I say, not knowing if he expects me to finish the sentence.

          “What’s going on here, Mads?” he asks, playing with a curl that’s resting on my shoulder.

          “I don’t know,” I tell him honestly.

          “Me neither,” he says. And then he kisses me again.

          Well that was a productive conversation.

          “Sirius,” I say when we pull apart for the second time. “We really should get back. I was supposed to be washing my hands remember?”

          He nods (reluctantly?) and we leave the kitchen.

          We reenter the sitting room, to an awaiting James who immediately engages us in a game of Exploding Snap, until Aunt Laura complains that it’s too loud. We finish up the desserts and help clean up, James and Sirius singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs. By that time it’s late, and time to head home. We say our good-byes. I hug my aunt and uncle, James, and Sirius. And I don’t think it’s my imagination that that hug lasts longer than all of the others.

~Sirius~

          Before James and I decide to turn in, we say good-night to his parents, and thank them for everything.

          “It was nothing, dear,” says Mrs. Potter when I give her a hug.

          “Thanks especially for having me,” I add.

          “You’re a part of our family, Sirius,” she says, and I give her another hug, hoping it’ll make her understand how much that means to me.

          “Happy Christmas, mate,” I say to James as we climb into bed.

          “It really was, wasn’t it?” he says, turning off the light. I know he’s thinking of Lily.

          “Yeah,” I reply, thinking of Maddie, “it really was.”

A/N: Hey, everyone! This was kind of a long chapter, so I hope you liked it! Leave a review and let me know what you think on how the story is going. Thanks for reading!

Sabrina :)
 


Chapter 11: Chapter 11
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 11

~Maddie~

          I wake up early on the morning of the 26th, excited to see Lily. She sent Callista back with her reply, saying she’d be here around ten if that was alright, and that I really shouldn’t put postscripts like that because they make her worry even though I told her not to.

          At ten o’clock precisely, the flames in the fireplace glow emerald green, and Lily steps out gracefully, dusting herself off.

          I get up from my chair to greet her. “Hi!”  I say excitedly, giving her a hug. “How was your Christmas?”

          “Oh, it was alright,” she says. “I love seeing my parents but Petunia was insufferable. She kept calling me a freak every time Mum and Dad weren’t around,” she adds sadly.

          “Well you’re here now,” I say brightly. “Come upstairs.”

          We go upstairs to my room and Lily puts her things down on the extra bed we’ve long since added for her when she comes to stay.

          “So, what did you need to talk to me about?” she asks.  

          Before I can answer, the doorbell rings.

~Sirius~

          James woke me up this morning with cries of, “Lily’s arriving today! Lily’s arriving today!” He then proceeded to shower, spend half an hour attempting to flatten his hair to no avail, and change his t-shirt three times. He was done with all of this by nine o’clock.

          I, on the other hand, took my time getting up, eating breakfast, showering, and getting dressed, like a normal person.

          Then I was forced to go over to Maddie’s, in the cold, to see if Maddie and Lily would care to engage in any sort of activity with James and myself.

           I wish Moony was here. He always knows how to calm Prongs down when he goes into Lily overdrive.

          So that’s where we are now, waiting for Maddie and Lily to come answer the door.

          The door swings open.

          “Lily!” James greets her delightedly. “It’s been too long!”

          “Hi, James,” Lily replies in what could safely be considered a pleasant voice.

          “Come in,” says Maddie, which we do gratefully.

          We end up in the sitting room, James and Lily on the couch, and Maddie and I in armchairs.

          “So,” says James, “what shall four teenagers like ourselves do on this fine winter day?”

          “We could go to Diagon Alley,” suggests Lily.

          “That’s a good idea,” Maddie agrees as James says, “Excellent idea, Lily!” I roll my eyes at him, but nod in agreement.

          We get ready to go. James and I are still in our coats, so we wait for Lily and Maddie to get into their coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. James goes first, takes a pinch of Floo powder, steps into the grate, drops the powder, and shouts, “Diagon Alley!” He disappears in a whirlwind of flames.

          Lily goes next. When she’s gone, Maddie turns to me. “Do you want to go next?” she asks.

          I shake my head and take Maddie’s hand that’s not holding the jar of Floo powder in mine. “Can we stay here for a minute?”

          “I don’t know,” she says hesitantly. “They’ll be wondering where we are…”

          “They’ll be okay without us,” I say insistently, and I don’t give her a chance to protest before placing a lingering kiss on her lips. She returns it, and I wonder why all of the sudden it’s like I’m addicted to her, and want to kiss her every chance I get.

          “We really should go,” she says, blushing slightly, and takes a pinch of Floo powder before handing me the jar.

          “Keep your elbows tucked in,” I advise, and she smiles before dropping the powder and exclaiming, “Diagon Alley!”

          I watch her disappear. As she’s whisked away, I notice something: she’s wearing the scarf I gave her.

~Maddie~

          James, Lily, Sirius, and I are strolling down the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley, which is now covered with snow. We visit Eeylops Owl Emporium, where I buy some treats for Callista. We pass right by Gambol and Japes Joke Shop, which, according to James and Sirius, is nothing compared to Zonko’s.

          We stop in Quality Quidditch Supplies, where James, Sirius, and I gaze longingly at the ad for the Nimbus 1500’s that claim to be “the fastest broom in the world!” and will be arriving next September.

          “Pity we won’t be going back to Hogwarts next year,” says James sadly. “Imagine the Gryffindor team on those.”

          I don’t bother pointing out that not everyone on the team would be able to afford them, I just think wistfully of how we won’t be going back to school next year. It’s strange. Hogwarts has become a home away from home, and it’s hard to imagine life without moving staircases, talking portraits, or the comfortable armchairs of the Gryffindor common room.

          As we leave the shop and continue walking, I look around at my friends.

          James, a constant in my life since age one, loyalty unwavering. I look at him and see one of bravest people I know and one of the best friends I’ve ever had.

          Lily, so strong, so smart, and kinder than anyone. When my conscious speaks to me, it’s Lily’s voice I hear, always there to be my guide and help me through anything.

          Sirius. He’s impulsive, headstrong, stubborn, reckless. Daring, brave, bold, fiercely loyal, protective, reliable, caring. This year especially he’s been whatever I needed him to be—a confidant, a laugh, a comfort--just by being himself.

           I think about my friends who aren’t here-Alice, cheerful, innocent, forever the optimist. She brightens any situation, something I’ve always been grateful for. Remus, calm, caring, sensible. He balances out James and Sirius, and he is always there if I need someone to talk to, even though we aren’t the closest in our group of friends.

          I can’t imagine my life without any of them.

          “Maddie, are you alright?” asks Sirius, forcing me out of my thoughts.

          “I’m fine,” I say with a small smile caused by his genuine concern.

          We return to my house and Mum insists on making us all hot cocoa. We sit around the fireplace, warming up, and sipping hot cocoa from our mugs. Somehow the conversation turns to reminiscing.

          “Do you remember our first Hogsmeade trip?” James asks with a grin.

          “How could I forget?” replies Sirius. “I spent more money that trip than I had in the first 12 years of my life combined.”

          I laugh, remembering how entranced James and Sirius had been by Zonko’s. We’d all been excited for Hogsmeade; it was our first venture out of the castle by ourselves.

          “Do you remember our first detention?” Sirius asks fondly.

          “Of course!” says James. “Lines. ‘I will not run down the corridors like a crazed niffler.’”

          We all begin to laugh, and once we start, we can’t stop. When we finally manage to calm down, I say, “Remember when we all met each other?”

          Everyone is silent for a moment. “Well,” says James, “my memories from my first year of life aren’t that numerous, to be honest.” He smiles at me. “But we’ve got plenty of memories.”

          “If I recall correctly,” says Sirius, “the first thing you ever said to me was ‘If you ever call me Mads again, I will hex you into oblivion.’”

          I cringe. “Okay, so maybe that was bit harsh for an eleven-year-old.”

          “Well you still haven’t done it,” he says, grinning cheekily at me.

          “And we met right away,” James says with a smile to Sirius, who grins back. “Instant best mates.”

          “How about you, Lils?” I ask. “Do you remember?”

          Lily is looking distant, like she’s trying to remember something she’s long since blocked out. “Yes,” she says to me. “My first meeting with you was on the train. Then later when I sat down at the Gryffindor table, you saved me from James, who must’ve asked me fifty questions about myself.”

          “I was trying to make friends!” says James defensively.

          “Oh, is that what you were doing on the train, then?” asks Lily, whose voice now contains a slight edge. James looks confused, then a look of dawning comprehension falls over him and his face falls.

          “I am really sorry about that,” he says, after a moment, in a much more serious tone. “I was a stupid eleven year old kid who got carried away with trying to impress you.”

          Lily’s expression goes from annoyed and disapproving to surprised and touched. Silence fills the room for a moment until she speaks again. “I forgive you,” she says with sincerity. “Besides,” she continues, “if anything, we should be proud of how far we’ve come.” She looks at James and I feel a peace between them that has never been there before.

          James and Sirius leave when it’s time for dinner, and we say our good-byes. Before Sirius leaves, he whispers in my ear, and it sends a chill down my back.

           “I think you secretly love it when I call you Mads.”

~Sirius~                                                                            

          “Lane, Madison!”

          I watch as a girl with long dark brown curls and chocolate brown eyes detaches herself from the throng of waiting students and makes her way up to the stool. Professor McGonagall places the old and frayed hat on her head and the entire hall waits expectantly.

          After a moment, the hat shouts, “Gryffindor!” and the girl jumps off the stool looking excited. She comes over to the Gryffindor Table and sits on the other side of Lily Evans, whom I met on the train but didn’t quite get off on the right foot with.

          “Hi again!” says Madison brightly to Lily.

          “Hi,” replies Lily with a smile she surely wouldn’t have given me.

          “I’m Sirius,” I say, forcing my way into the conversation. “Nice to meet you, Mads.”

          “If you ever call me Mads again, I will hex you into oblivion,” says Madison with an attempt at fierceness that doesn’t quite work. I think I’m going to be good friends with this girl.

          Soon after, James is made a Gryffindor. He has a huge grin on his face as he sits down next to me and gives me high five.

          “Hey, Maddie!” he says excitedly, giving her a hug. “Sorry I lost you on the train,” he adds apologetically.

          “It’s alright,” she says, “I was sitting with Alice, and then Lily came in.” Alice is a cheery-faced girl sitting on Maddie’s other side.  “James, this is Alice Bradley,” she says, introducing them, “and this is Lily Evans,” she adds.

          James eyes light up at being introduced to Lily, but her reaction isn’t like his. Her penetrating green eyes stare at him with the kind of fierceness Maddie attempted earlier, only Lily succeeds. “We’ve met,” she says coldly.

          James looks a little put out, but he doesn’t let it keep him down. “So, Evans,” he says. “What house has your family been in? Mine have all been in Gryffindor. Do you have any older siblings here? I don’t, I’m an only child. What class are you looking forward to the most? Personally, I think Transfiguration sounds the coolest. Did you know that there are people called Animagi, who can turn into an animal at will? Professor McGonagall is one. Are you excited for flying lessons? Do you fly? I do, it’s the best thing in the world!” His eyes shine with excitement, expectantly awaiting her answers.

          Perhaps Lily feels overwhelmed by all these questions, or perhaps she just hasn’t forgiven him for the incident on the train. She gives James a strange, and not very encouraging, look and all she says is, “I’m Muggle-born.”

          “Oh,” says James, looking slightly embarrassed. “Well that doesn’t make any difference," he starts to tell her in a reassuring voice, but Lily has already turned her back on him and is talking to Maddie again, who is introducing her to a bloke named Remus Lupin, who looks entirely too tired for an eleven year old. James looks slightly grumpy and turns to me.

          “Remember Snivellus from the train? He got put into Slytherin,” he points out. I follow his gaze to the Slytherin table, where Snape is sitting a little way along the table from a group of students I know only too well. My cousin Narcissa glares at me. I know I can expect a Howler from my mother tomorrow morning, screeching about how I’ve brought shame on the entire family. From the Slytherin table, Narcissa’s boyfriend, Lucius, is also giving me a dirty look. Only my favorite cousin, Andromeda, gives me a small smile.

          “That’s just proof that we were right about him,” says James in a disgusted tone. “Oh sorry,” he says quickly, “I forgot you said your family-”

          “Don’t worry about it,” I say, watching Narcissa and Lucius talking to two other boys whose names I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but they look like a pretty unpleasant lot.

          “Okay then,” says James, relaxing. “So, have you flown before?”

          We start up a conversation about flying, and I realize that I’ve found myself a best mate already. And hopefully, if I’m right, I’ve found myself a friend in Maddie too.

~Maddie~

          “So,” Lily says, sitting down on her bed. “Now that they’re gone, what did you need to talk to me about?”

          I hesitate. I’d been prepared to tell her about Sirius, I’d intended to when I wrote it in my letter. But somehow, now the moment is here, I can’t bring myself to.

          “You and James,” I say, completely changing tack. “You sent him a thank you note?”

          She blushes. “It was a very nice necklace.”

          “You’ve never sent him a thank you note before,” I say pointedly. “Why now?”

          She shrugs. “I don’t know. It seemed like the right thing to do this year.”

          “Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad you did it,” I tell her. “I was just wondering why.”

          She nods. For a minute, I think I’m in the clear. Then-

          “Maddie,” says Lily suddenly. “I sent that note on Christmas day. You wrote to me on Christmas Eve.”

          Damn. Lily Evans is too smart for her own good. Or rather, my own good.

          “What do you really need to talk to me about?” she says, the concern evident in her voice.

          “Okay,” I give in. “Something sort of happened after the last Quidditch practice before the holidays.”

          She looks at me as though she’d like to say something but she remains silent and waits for me to continue.

          “I was in the changing rooms, and er-well, Sirius came in, and first we were just talking, you know, casually, and then he-er-kissed me- we kissed.” There, it’s out. Maybe not in the most coherent way possible, but there you have it.

          To my shock, Lily doesn’t seem surprised. No raised eyebrows, no dropped jaw, no hand clapped over mouth, nothing.

          “Okay, I’m not an attention hog,” I say, “but a little reaction would have been nice.”

          “Well, Maddie,” Lily replies, “I can’t say I’m all that surprised.”

          “What?” I yelp. “How can you not be surprised? I was very surprised!”

          “Well, I really thought it was only a matter of time,” she says matter-of-factly, as if she’s explaining something out of a chapter of the Standard Book of Spells, Grade 7. “You two have always had unbridled amounts of sexual tension.”

          “What-unbridled-sexual tension?!” I splutter. “You know I’m talking about Sirius, right? Sirius Black? The one who constantly calls me a nickname I don’t even like? The one who snogs about ten different girls a week? That Sirius?”

          “Yes, the Sirius who told you the truth about your arse of an ex-boyfriend, comforted you while you cried, hit the bloke with a Bludger, bought you a scarf for Christmas, and kissed you,” responds Lily. “That Sirius.”

          I sink back into my pillows. Sirius had done all those things. But I mean, except for the latter, they had all been acts of friendship. Hadn’t they?

          “Maddie, think about it,” says Lily, somewhat impatiently. “Why else would he have gotten so mad at Lucas? James is your friend too, and I didn’t hear anything about him chucking a Quaffle at Lucas’s face.”

          “Well, James fancies you!” I protest.

          “Ha! So you admit it; that could mean Sirius fancies you!” she says triumphantly.

          Damn.

          “Lily, it’s Sirius. I’m probably just next on his list,” I tell her. “I mean, you didn’t hear him right before he kissed me.” I make my voice deeper. “‘You know, Mads, with all the people we’ve snogged, we’ve never snogged each other.’ It’s just a normal thing for both of us, snogging. It didn’t mean anything.”

          “First of all, that sounded nothing like him,” says Lily. “Secondly, if it didn’t mean anything, why is it worrying you so much?”

          “Well because-because he’s made things awkward!” I say. “I mean I certainly can’t tell James, who knows how he’d react?”

          “Calm down,” Lily says briskly. “It was only one kiss.”

          I look up at her, and I know the guilt is etched on my face.

          “It wasn’t just one, was it.” It’s a statement not a question. A grin spreads across her face.

          I shake my head. “We kissed again on Christmas.”

          Lily looks at me knowingly.

          “And earlier before we Floo-ed to Diagon Alley,” I say, and she looks at me, satisfied.

          “You fancy him,” she says bluntly.

          “I do not!”

          “Do too!”

          “Do not!”

          “Do too!”

          “Do-”

          “Oh, stop it,” says Lily. “I’m not going to force you to admit anything, but I think we both know the truth. And I think Sirius does too.”

          “Well, we haven’t exactly talked about it,” I say. “Whenever we end up alone, we just end up…”

          “Snogging,” finishes Lily.

          “Exactly,” I say. “Which proves that that’s all he wants to do! Snog! He’s not in it for the emotional commitment, he never is!”

          “Are you?” Lily asks.

          I shake my head. “No,” I say firmly. “I tried that. It doesn’t work.”

          “No, Maddie,” says Lily. “It didn’t work. With one boy. An idiot of a boy, at that. Sirius is not like Lucas.”

          “You’re right, he’s honest about how many girls he’s snogging at once,” I say. “Which, come to think of it, is pretty useful information. At least I know what I’m getting into with him.”

          “Ha! So you admit you’re getting into something!”

          Damn.



A/N: Hey, guys! I hope that this chapter didn't seem too boring to you; I just thought it was important to address how much Maddie, Lily, James, and Sirius care about each other outside of the romantic stuff. I hope you liked it, and don't worry, things get more exciting next chapter, and Chapter 13 is the party! Thanks for reading, let me know what you thought!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 
 


Chapter 12: Chapter 12
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A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 12

~Sirius~

Dear Moony,

          So I know you’re probably sitting there thinking, “Why is Sirius writing to me? Sirius avoids writing at all costs, even recreational forms of writing. This is amazing, what a breakthrough! I have to inform the Daily Prophet!”

          Okay, I’ll stop telling you what you're thinking and start telling you what I’m thinking.

          We miss you over here in Potterworld, buddy. Things aren’t the same with only half the Marauders. I’d write to Pete as well, but to be honest, I’m not entirely sure he knows how to read. (That’d be news to inform the Prophet of.)

          James is still obsessing over Lily. Having her next door isn’t helping. Yesterday we went to Diagon Alley with her and Mads and he was drooling all over her-

          I was not!

          Was to.

          I was simply admiring her beauty, intelligence, and kind heart!

          And drooling.

          Come off it, Padfoot! Stop exaggerating!

          Prongs, write your own letter to Moony, this is mine!      

          Fine. I sense I’m not wanted.

          Gee, what gave you that idea?

          Anyway, things have been pretty good here. We’ve been playing chess, and I’ve beat James more times than you’ve read Hogwarts, A History.

          You have not!

          PRONGS!

          Sorry.

          As I was saying, we’ve been just relaxing over here. We can’t wait to see you for the party. Write us back and tell us how things are in Lupinville.

The best mate you’ll ever have,

Padfoot

And the better mate you’ll ever have,

Prongs

Prongs, that makes absolutely no sense.

I don’t care.

~Maddie~

          Lily and I have been spent a lot of time with James and Sirius since Lily’s arrival on the 26th. We’ve had a snowball fight, visited the local Muggle village, and played so much Exploding Snap that I don’t think I ever want to play again. We ate dinner at the Potters’ last night, which was an interesting experience. For someone who “doesn’t care what James Potter thinks”, Lily sure seemed to care a lot what James Potter’s parents thought. She was polite, even more so than usual, didn’t make one rude comment to James all night (even when Aunt Laura and Uncle Robert weren’t in the room), and even offered to help with the dishes. It’s no wonder James was beaming when he bid us good-bye.

          Sirius and I haven’t gotten any alone time, since Lily knows what’s going on. She doesn’t think we should keep “sneaking around.” The way I see it, we aren’t “sneaking”, we’re just waiting to say anything until there’s something to say. We still haven’t discussed what’s going on.

          When I wake up on the 31st, Lily is already downstairs at the kitchen table eating breakfast, a glass of orange juice in one hand and a copy of the Daily Prophet in the other. She’s wearing an emerald green dressing gown and her dark red hair is pulled back into a ponytail. My mother and father have already left for work.

          “Good morning, sleepyhead,” she says cheerfully when I sit down. “Juice?”

          “Yes, please,” I say, allowing her to pour me some.

          Just then, James’s owl, a handsome tawny named Alastair, flies up to the kitchen window and begins pecking on it. I get up and open it to let the owl in, attempting to close the window before much of the cold can creep its way into the kitchen.

          I take the scroll tied to Alastair’s leg, unfurl it, and read:

Dear Lily and Maddie,

          My mum is making us help out all day to get ready for the party. It’d be ever so lovely if you’d come save us from what will otherwise be a day full of unprofitable boredom. We’re begging you. We can’t spend all day decorating and preparing vol-au-vents by ourselves without becoming mentally unstable. If you care about us--or our sanity--at all, please owl us back and say you’ll come. 

Yours sincerely,

James and Sirius

P.S. Don’t worry; we’ll set you free in plenty of time to get ready for the party.

          I laugh. “What do you think, shall we go?”

          “It sounds like they need us,” says Lily.

          I send an owl back with our consent, we get ready, and then we head over to the Potters’. Aunt Laura opens the door.

          “Oh, Maddie!” she says, ushering us inside and giving me a hug. “How sweet of you to offer to come and help! And Lily!” She hugs Lily too. “You two are too much. Come in, come in!” Aunt Laura gets quite flustered on the day of the party. Her hair is pulled back into a sloppy bun, she’s wearing an apron with a hole in the front, and her wand is sticking in the back of her hair, giving her quite a frazzled look. She’s holding a list that I can see has about fifty things to do on it, and she’s smiling at us but I can tell inwardly she’s going mad.

          As soon as we’re inside, Aunt Laura calls the boys in.

          “The boys are so excited to prepare everything,” she tells us in an attempted cheery voice.  James and Sirius emerge, grinning at us.

          “I’ll be right back, I’m just going to finish up the list of things to do,” Aunt Laura informs us and she disappears into the kitchen.

          I put my hands on my hips. “Offer to help?”

          “The boys are so excited?” Lily adds.

          James and Sirius look at us somewhat guiltily.

          “It won’t be that bad now that we’re all together!” Sirius says cheerily.

          “Okay, here we go,” says Aunt Laura, returning into the room. “James and Lily, why don’t you two start with the decorations? Everything you’ll need is here-” She motions to a pile of streamers, balloons, and signs reading “HAPPY NEW YEAR.” “-and James knows where everything goes,” she finishes. “Maddie and Sirius, I’d be ever so grateful if you would start the baking for me. Maddie, I know you’re a natural at baking, and Sirius you can follow the directions. I’ve got to go and put all the Undetectable Extension Charms and the Muggle-Repelling Charms on but I’ll be finished in about a quarter of an hour and then I’ll take over the baking,” she tells us. “I’ve left instructions for all of you explaining what you need to do. Let me know if you need anything!” And she leaves us there with our assignments, and our partners.

          “To the kitchen we go!” announces Sirius, grabbing my arm and bringing me with him. Lily gives me a look but I just shrug back at her.

          “Ah, here we are!” Sirius exclaims as we enter the kitchen. I can’t help but smile. I start getting out the bowls and wooden spoons, and sometime during that process, Sirius taps me on the shoulder.

          “I’ve located our instructions,” he announces proudly, handing it to me. I look down and read it. There’s a list of various baked goods and platters to be prepared and how exactly to prepare them, and then, beneath “Allow pudding to freeze” is a final point, written in a different handwriting.

          “Sirius,” I say, “I’m not quite sure this right.”

          “What?” he asks, peering over my shoulder. “Make cream puffs? Yeah, I don’t like them either.”

          “No,” I say, “this one right here.”

          He looks and grins. “Ah,” he says. “Well it looks right to me.”

          “Really? I don’t remember ‘Snog Sirius’ being one of the things I have to make.”

          “Make? No. Do? Yes,” he says, looking at me with a genuine smile. And then we’re snogging again, in James’s kitchen, with people in the next room who are oblivious to what is happening. Déjà vu.

          I don’t know how much time goes by, but I don’t care; the instructions and bowls and spoons lay forgotten. I feel Sirius’s hands in my hair, and mine are in his, and it’s perfect, until-

          “OI!”

          Sirius and I spring apart as if someone has cast a Shield Charm between us. Staring at us, openmouthed, clearly flabbergasted, is James.

          “What-you-snog-what the bloody hell is going on?!” he demands, still looking very confused.

          “Hey, mate,” says Sirius in what he clearly thinks is a jaunty, winning voice.

          “Hi,” I say weakly. Lily comes in behind James, looking at me half-worried, half-amused.

          “You didn’t answer my question,” says James. He looks from Sirius, to me, and back again, as if deciding something.

          “Sirius, a word?” he asks, and without waiting for an answer, he takes Sirius by the arm and drags him from the kitchen.

~Sirius~

          We don’t stop until we’ve reached James’s room. Only then does he release me and order, “Explain.”

          “I don’t really know what there is to explain, per say,” I answer. “More like fill you in on events I’m not even sure what to make of myself.”

          “Events? Plural? This has happened before?” James questions. He doesn’t look angry, just confused and slightly frustrated.

          “Er-well, yes,” I say. “After the last Quidditch practice before the holidays, I sort of kissed Mads.”

          “You sort of kissed her?”

          “Okay, okay, I kissed her. And then on Christmas, when we were ‘washing our hands’? More snogging. And then, er-before we Floo-ed to Diagon Alley? We may have snogged then too.” I look at James, who eyes have widened.

          “How long have you fancied her?” He demands. I know he's hurt that both Maddie and I neglected to tell him about this, but in my defense, I didn't tell anyone. It's not like I was trying to hide it from Prongs, it's just that I still don't know what's going on, and I'd been afraid he'd overreact.

         Kind of like this.

          “Well, I mean, I don’t know if I-”

          “You don’t know?!” James shouts. “Padfoot, you can’t do that! You have to know! You can mess around with Maddie’s feelings like that! You can’t just snog her when you feel like it and not expect it to have consequences! You-”

          “PRONGS!” I bellow. “I didn’t say I don’t fancy her! I was starting to say that I don’t know if I can pinpoint when I started having more-than-friendly feelings for her, it just happened! I couldn’t help it!”

          There’s a pause, as if James is thinking things over.

          “You can’t hurt her, Padfoot,” James says after a moment, more calmly now, but still seriously. “Not after everything that’s happened. You can’t hurt her.”

          “What makes you think I’ll hurt her?” I ask, offended. “I would never do anything to hurt Mads-ever.”

          There’s another pause. When James speaks again, it’s in a much more friendly tone.

          “Okay, I’m sorry,” he says. “I shouldn’t have overreacted.”

          “Overreacted?” I repeat. “Gone completely mental is more like it.”

          “But you do fancy her?” he asks.

          Do I fancy Mads? Let’s review:

          I want to snog her.

          Yes, but you want to snog a lot of girls.

          Okay, I enjoy spending time with her.

          Yes, but you enjoy spending time with Alice and Lily, and do you fancy them?

          No.

          Okay, this is getting me nowhere.

           Uh oh, James is staring at me, waiting for a response. Maybe I should say something.

          Yup, I definitely should say something.

          But what?

          Quick, Padfoot, something! Anything!

          This has got to be the longest anyone has ever gone without saying anything.

          Do it! Now!

          “Ithinsobudnnow!”

          “I’m sorry, what?” says James, looking genuinely puzzled.

          I take a deep breath. “I think so, but I don’t know. I don’t usually fancy girls. It’s not my style.”

          James nods. “I wish I could say I understand, but it’s kind of the only style I’ve got.” He frowns. “Well, just do the best you can, mate. Sorry I can’t be more of a help.”

          “It’s alright,” I say. “I really just need to talk to her.”

          He nods. We depart from the bedroom, and go back downstairs to face the girls.

~Maddie~

          After James and Sirius leave, Lily opens her mouth to speak, but I beat her to it.

          “Please don’t say I told you so.”

          “I wasn’t going to,” she says, sounding slightly hurt. “I was only going to ask if you were okay.”

          I sigh. “I’m sorry, Lils, it’s just…Sirius would never do anything if James wasn’t okay with it, and neither would I. Which means that if James isn’t okay with it, nothing else is going to happen.”

          Lily nods. “Well we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?”

          As if on cue, James and Sirius reenter the kitchen, James looking much calmer.

          “Alright, back to work everyone!” he says cheerfully. Lily smiles at me before following James out of the room.

          When they’re gone, Sirius turns to me. “Maddie-”

          “How is the baking coming?” says Aunt Laura as she enters the kitchen. Sirius and I look at one another, and then Sirius takes over.

          “Oh, Mrs. Potter, I’m so sorry,” says Sirius. “We couldn’t find the instructions, and we’ve been looking for them all this time.”

          She frowns. “I thought I left them right on the counter.”

          “It’s quite alright,” says Sirius gently, giving her a kind pat on the back. “You’ve been under a lot of pressure. It’s no wonder you accidentally put them in the pantry.”

          “The pantry?” repeats Aunt Laura, putting her hand to her forehand. “Oh, I’m so sorry! There’s just been so much to do and-”

          “It’s alright,” says Sirius again. “We understand you’ve been under a lot of pressure. Why don’t you go and lie down for a little while?”

          Aunt Laura looks slightly horrified. “Oh, I couldn’t,” she says. “There’s still so much to do and-”

          “It’s alright, Aunt Laura,” I say, following Sirius’s lead. “We can whip this stuff up in no time.”

          Aunt Laura looks from me to Sirius, and then says, “Well, I suppose for a little while…”

          “Don’t you worry, Mrs. Potter, we’ve got things under control in here,” says Sirius.

          “Thank you,” says Aunt Laura. “You two really are wonderful.” Then she leaves the kitchen.

          “Okay, Maddie, we really need to talk,” says Sirius.

          “I know,” I say, “but right now we really need to bake. And looking at this list, I don’t think we’re going to be able to multi-task.”

          “You’re right,” Sirius agrees. “How about we talk later at the party?”

          “Sounds good,” I agree. “Now let’s start in on these cream puffs.”

~Sirius~

          It’s about four o’clock when the girls leave. Since the party starts at six, they wanted time to get read. I don’t know what’s going to take them two hours, but that’s girls for you.

          James and I head upstairs and lie down on our beds.

          “Who knew preparing for party could be so exhausting?” James asks. “If I never have to hang a streamer again, it’ll be too soon.”

          I shrug. “I had a good time.”

          James looks at me suspiciously.

          “Relax, Prongs, we actually baked,” I tell him. “How was spending time with Evans?”

          “Great,” says James. “We actually had some good conversations. She didn’t call me ‘Potter’ once.”

          “Ah, the days of ‘Potter and Evans’ are over,” I say, pretending to wipe a tear from my eye.

          James smiles. “I don’t mind.”

          “Well, shall I remind you whose idea it was that you call her by her first name?” I ask.

          “I haven’t forgotten,” says James, still smiling. “Thanks, Padfoot.”

 

A/N: Hey, everyone! I hope you enjoyed this chapter. So the stage is set: James and Lily both know about Maddie and Sirius, Maddie and Sirius have both admitted there's more to this than just snogging, and they've agreed to talk, and Lily and James are on a first name basis. Coming up next is the party! Thank you to everyone who has been reading and reviewing, your comments and support mean so much to me. More will be up soon!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 13: Chapter 13
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 13

~Maddie~

          Accompanied by my parents, Lily and I walk over to the Potters’. I can tell there are a lot of people here already.

          Aunt Laura opens the door, looking much calmer than earlier. Her hair is done properly and she’s dressed in clothing devoid of holes.

          “Hello!” she greets us warmly. As she ushers us inside, she says to Lily and me, “Thank you girls so much for your help earlier.”

          “Don’t mention it,” I reply with a smile.

          “The kids are all in the basement,” she tells us. The Potters’ basement is big to begin with, and now with the Undetectable Extension Charms, there’s no doubt it will be huge.

          Lily and I head downstairs. When we enter the basement, we see that the party is already in full swing. There’s bottles of Butterbeer and flagons of pumpkin juice on the table, but I have my suspicions that James has sneaked some Firewhisky from upstairs.

          Before I can take another step into the basement, someone swoops down upon me and lifts me up.

          “Maddie!” says Sirius, twirling me in the air. James isn’t far behind him, greeting Lily.

          “Hi,” I say. “How’s the party going so far?”

          “Great!” says James.

          “Our cream puffs are a hit!” adds Sirius.

          I laugh. “I’m sure.”

          “Come dance!” James begs Lily, who obliges. She allows him to take her by the hand and lead her into another part of the basement.                                               

          “Talk now, dance later?” asks Sirius. I nod, wanting to get this over with.

          He leads me into a small room off of the basement and closes the door.

           “I’m just really confused,” I blurt out before he can say a word. “I mean, am I just another one of those random girls you snog or-”

          “Random?” Sirius repeats, looking confused. “You’re not random, you’re Maddie.”

          Slightly encouraged, I continue. “So…you didn’t just do it because I was another person to snog?”

          He shakes his head. “Of course not.”

          “So…what does this mean?” I ask.

          “It means,” says Sirius, taking a step toward me, “that I, Sirius Black, actually fancy a girl. And not just any girl,” he adds. “But the funniest, smartest, most beautiful girl I’ve ever met.”

          I’m pretty sure I feel my heart stop and then start up again.

          “You know, Lily is pretty smart,” I whisper as he comes closer.

          “Shut up,” he whispers back, and then leans in and presses his lips to mine.

          This time the snogging is better than before because I know how he feels. My feelings aren’t hanging in the balance. I’m not worried as I kiss him back, not feeling uncertain as I feel his hands on either side of my face, tilting my head up toward his. All I feel is peace, and a rush of affection for him.

          I allow our kiss to grow deeper, fueled by the reassurance I feel by knowing that he means it, all of it. I run my hands through his hair and he runs his down the sides of my body.

          Just then a shatter of glass startles us. We both look toward the door, and then I realize that I have even said hello to Remus yet, let alone Alice.

          “Maybe we should go,” I say apologetically.

          “Do we have to?” he asks, beginning to trail kisses down the side of my neck.

          “Er-well, we probably should,” I say. “I haven’t even said hello to Alice yet, and er-” It is really hard to talk when I’m being distracted like this.

          “We can come back later,” I get out finally, which seems to get through to him.

          “Alright,” he says. “But just one more thing.”

          “What?”

          “I told you how I feel about you,” he says. “But you never told me how you feel about me.”

           “Well, in that case,” I say, “it just so happens that I, Madison Lane, actually fancy a bloke. And not just any bloke, the bravest, funniest, and most devilishly handsome bloke I’ve ever met.”

          “You're lucky you added the devilishly,” Sirius says, “or else I may have been annoyed with you for copying me.”

          We both laugh. He opens the door to go back into the party, and holds out his hand to me. I take it.

          When we I reenter the party, it’s to find James hastily sweeping up the remains of a vase that some Ravenclaw just broke. He looks happy to see us.

          “So…?” he asks, looking from Maddie to me.

          Sirius hold up our intertwined hands. James grins. “Well congratulations,” he says. “Alice and Lily are over there,” he tells us, nodding his head toward another room. “I’ll be there in a bit.”

          We head off in the direction James indicated. We find Alice, Lily, Remus, and Peter standing together.

          I’m immediately engulfed in a hug from Alice. While hugging me, she whispers in my ear, “What’s been going on with you and Sirius? Lily wouldn’t tell me anything! She said you have to explain. What were you guys talking about?”

          “I’ll tell you later, Al,” I assure her with a smile. She pretends to pout but then smiles too.

          I say hello to Remus and Peter, as does Sirius. James reappears behind me.

          “Hey, guys!” he says excitedly. “Isn’t it great that Maddie and Padfoot are together now?”

          Alice’s jaw drops. Peter’s eyes widen. Remus looks at us with a bemused expression on his face.

          Thank you, James.

          “I am guessing,” says James slowly, “that you didn’t tell them yet?”

          I roll my eyes at him. “Well done.”

          “Maddie,” says Alice, grabbing me by the wrist. “We need to talk!”

          I look at Sirius apologetically. “I’ll be back,” I promise, as Alice drags me away, Lily following us. He smiles and nods.

~Sirius~

          “Thanks, Prongs,” I say to James.

          “Sorry,” he says.

          “So, what’s going on, Padfoot?” asks Moony. “Care to explain?”

          I recount the events leading up to tonight for Moony and Wormtail. When I’m finished, Remus smiles and claps me on the back.

          “Well, congratulations,” he says. “It’s about time you two got together.”

          “What do you mean?” I ask him, confused.

          “Well, it’s been coming on for years,” Moony replies in a logical voice.

          “What do you mean, coming on for years?” I demand, looking at James for support.

          “Don’t look at me, mate, I had no idea,” he says.

          “It’s been obvious for a long time,” says Moony, “that you two were going to end up together.”

          “Obvious to you, maybe,” I say. Moony laughs.

          “I’m happy for you, Padfoot,” he says.

          “Me too,” says Prongs.

          “Me too,” says Wormtail. “Where did that cheese and cracker platter go?”

~Maddie~

          When I’ve finished explaining to Alice everything that’s happened, she looks at me with a big smile on her face.

          “That’s so romantic!” she says. “See, I told you that your Frank was out there!”

          “Whoa,” I say. “No one ever said Sirius was my Frank. I mean, you and Frank are really serious. Sirius and I just got together. Let’s not jump to conclusions.”

          “Okay, okay,” says Alice. “But I’m really happy for you.”

          “Thanks,” I say, giving her a smile. “Now, shall we get back to the boys?”

          We rejoin the Marauders. Frank has just arrived and he and Alice disappear to go and dance. Peter sets off in search of a cheese and crackers platter.

          “Care for a drink?” James asks us. “There’s Butterbeer, pumpkin juice, and,” he adds with a smirk, “I smuggled us some Firewhisky.”

          “Well then you know what I want,” says Sirius with a grin, and James pours him some of the drink, and I hold out my cup for some as well. Lily opts for a Butterbeer.

          I take a sip of Firewhisky and enjoy the familiar sensation.

          “Care to dance?” asks Sirius.

          “I’d love to,” I answer.

~Sirius~

          The hours pass and I’m having a great time with Mads. We’re dancing and drinking and laughing, and it’s just like before except for the fact that we keep snogging.

          “This is going to be kind of hard to get used to,” says James, as we’re sitting around a table.

          “I’m used to it,” I say, leaning over to kiss Maddie again.

          “Hey, it’s almost midnight!” says James suddenly, seizing the excuse to distract his attention from Maddie and me.

          I lean over and whisper to Mads. “You want to go somewhere?” She nods.

          We leave Lily and James at the table and head over to a different part of the room with not as many people. The countdown starts.

          “Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven! Six! Five! Four! Three! Two! One!”

          Everyone shouts “Happy New Year!” and I lean in and kiss my new girlfriend; a perfect way to start the year.

          Maddie smiles at me. “Happy New Year,” she says.

          “Happy New Year,” I reply, smiling back at her.

          “I’m going to get another drink,” she says. “I’ll be right back.” She walks over to the drinks table, not too far from where we’re standing.

          “Hey, Sirius,” says a voice from behind me. I turn around. It’s Charlotte, the girl who Grey cheated on Mads with.

          “Can I help you with something?” I ask her coldly.

          “Why don’t you tell me?” she asks, and suddenly she’s way too close and before I can protest she’s planted her mouth on mine and she’s attempting to snog the living daylights out of me.

          It takes a second to register what the hell is going on, and when I do, I push her off of me. In the next second, I’m soaking wet and reeking of Firewhisky.

          I turn to see who drenched me, and there’s Maddie. If looks could kill, I’d be dead.

          “Mads-” I start but she’s already turned on her heel and run out of sight.

          Charlotte doesn’t look at all sorry. On the contrary, she’s smiling at me.

          “Why don’t you go mess with someone else’s life?” I ask angrily, and run off after Mads.

          She’s in the same room we were in earlier, sitting in a chair with her head in her hands. I enter and close the door behind me.

          “Get out,” she orders forcefully.

          “Mads-”

          “I mean it, Sirius, get out.”

          “Please, Mads-”

          “Stop calling me that!” she yells, standing up. “Stop calling me that and get out! We’re done! It’s over, leave me alone!”

          I don’t know how I’m still living, because the combination of her tear streaked face and caustic words has just about broken my heart into a million little pieces.

          “Mads,” I say for a third time, ignoring her request, “you need to listen to me. What happened back there was a total mistake-”

          “No, the mistake was thinking that you could change!” she shouts at me, her eyes blazing. “We’ve been together for just a couple of hours, and already Hogwarts’ biggest player couldn’t handle it! Couldn’t stand the idea of having only one girl to snog, Sirius? Got bored already?”

          “Don’t do that!” I shout back, suddenly angry. “Don’t make it seem like it’s just me! You’re just like me! You do it too!”

          “Oh yeah, because I was the one snogging someone else two minutes after our New Year’s kiss!” Mads shouts angrily. “Oh, but I forgot, blokes don’t get as easily attached, do they, Sirius? Apparently that translates to snogging other girls when you have a girlfriend!”

          “If you would’ve just listened to me, you would know that she came on to me! And that I pushed her away as soon as I realized what was going on! But you’d rather blame me for everything, wouldn’t you?”

          “How would you have reacted if the roles were reversed?” she demands.

          “I would believe you!” I shout. “And you need to believe me! You need to trust me!”

          “How can I?” she asks hysterically. “How can I trust you now?”

          “Stop making it sound like I cheated on you or something!” I yell furiously. “I would never do that! I’m not Grey!”

          Maddie glares at me and pauses before saying, “I know perfectly well who you are, thanks.”

          “What is this really about?” I press on, not caring how angry it’s going to make her. “Are you scared that I’m going to cheat on you like he did?”

          “You just did!”

          “No, I didn’t!” I bellow in frustration. “That is not what happened, and if you’d just listen to me-”

          “I’m done listening,” says Maddie, cutting me off. “Sirius, look at us. Clearly, this isn’t going to work.”

          “Mads-”

          “Stop calling me that,” she says again with a tone of finality, and then she strides past me and leaves the room.

~Maddie~

          This is worse than when Lucas cheated on me. Even though Lucas and I were together for over a month, and Sirius and I were only together for a couple of hours, it’s worse.

          Making my way back through the crowd in search of Lily, I’m forced to realize that maybe I should’ve listened to Sirius. He’d said earlier that he’d fancied me. He’d said just now that it was a mistake, that Charlotte threw herself at him, that he would never cheat on me, and that I needed to trust him.

          He’s right.

          Why did I have to be so damn difficult?

          By the time I reach Lily and James, standing together, I know that I handled that situation all wrong. I mean, Charlotte was the girl who Lucas cheated on me with. It would be completely in character for her to throw herself at him.

          “Maddie!” says Lily in alarm. “What happened?”

          I can’t bring myself to answer her, because I don’t even know how to explain the stupidity I just displayed that lost me my boyfriend.

          Upon seeing my face, James looks extremely worried. “Where’s Padfoot?” he asks.

          “I don’t know,” I answer miserably.

          “What happened?” Lily asks again. I explain the situation, leaving out the exact words exchanged.

          “Basically, I said a lot of things I shouldn’t have,” I finish, “and I didn’t even give him a chance to explain.”

          “Well then you need to talk to him,” says Lily. I shake my head.

          “I can’t right now. I just need to go home,” I tell her.

          “Okay, well if you’re sure,” she obliges. “Thank you for the lovely party, James.”

          “Thanks, James,” I echo. He gives me a hug, and then he hugs Lily, who doesn’t protest.

          I leave without saying good-bye to Sirius.

~Sirius~

          “Padfoot?”

          I hear Prongs’ voice, sounding from miles away. Or maybe closer, because I can see him. But he sounds really far away.

          “Padfoot?” Prongs repeats. “Mate, are you alright?”

          “Mm fine,” I say clumsily, trying to focus on him to very little success. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

          “You’re drunk,” James informs me.

          “Good to know,” I slur.

          “Mate, Maddie feels really awful about what happened,” he says. “She went home, but I’m sure if you two talk tomorrow, you can work things out.”

          I shake my head. “No,” I say. “She doesn’t trust me.” I put my head in my hands. “She doesn’t trust me,” I repeat, the truth of my words sinking in. I look up at James sadly. “Why doesn’t she trust me? I can’t be with someone who doesn’t trust me.”

          “I’m sure you’ll feel differently tomorrow,” says James, with an edge of desperation in his voice. “Let’s get you to bed.”

          “But the party-”

          “Party’s over, mate,” says James. “It has been for a while.”

          I don’t say anything else, just allow him to sling one of my arms over his shoulder and lead me up the stairs, still picturing Mads’ tear streaked face in my mind.

A/N: For all of you that wanted some drama, hopefully this satisifed you. For all of you who want Maddie and Sirius together right this second, please don't hate me! And don't worry, there's lots more story to go! Please leave a review and let me know what you thought of this chapter, seeing as it's a pretty important one. Thank you for reading, and special thanks to Abbey, quidditchscribbler,  MoonyistheBestMarauder, loony_lovegood101,  and inlovewithscorp_siriusly for their constant reviews and positive feedback!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 


Chapter 14: Chapter 14
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

Chapter 14

~Maddie~

          The next morning I wake up with a headache. It could be from the Firewhisky I drank or it could be from crying, or maybe it’s a combination of both.

          Lily and I have to wake up early to finish our packing; our possessions seem to have spread themselves all over the house since we arrived. We have to catch the Hogwarts Express at 11 o’clock, and then it’s back to school for the welcome back feast.

          “Bye, Mum,” I say, giving her a hug.

          “Good-bye, sweetheart,” she says, returning it. “Take care. Study hard. Write me if you need anything.”

          “I will,” I promise. I say good-bye to my father, and then Lily and I board the train.

          We search through the compartments, and toward the back of the train we find the compartment containing Alice, Frank, Peter, Remus, James, and Sirius.

          After glancing through the compartment window, Lily hesitates.

          “We don’t have to sit here if you don’t want to,” she says cautiously.

          I take a deep breath and shake my head. “Don’t be silly, they’re are our friends. Come on.” Giving me a final look, Lily slides open the compartment door.

          “Hi!” says Alice brightly from where she sits, leaning back on Frank’s knees.

          “Let me help you with that,” James says to Lily, immediately springing up and taking her trunk from her. As he begins to hoist it onto the luggage rack, Sirius stands up too, much more nonchalantly. He walks over to me and takes my trunk without a word.

          “Thanks,” I say. He nods.

          “Thank you, James,” says Lily, taking a seat next to him. I sit down next to her, avoiding looking at Sirius again.

          “So,” says Alice, “did everyone have a good time at James’s last night?” She smiles and looks expectantly at us.

          Poor Alice, completely clueless, just trying to make conversation. I haven’t gotten a chance to tell her what happened yet.

          “Er-” says James, glancing at Sirius, “yeah, it was fun.”

          Silence follows this statement. Alice looks at Lily, then at me, with a puzzled expression on her face, as if looking for answers.

          “Yeah, it was really…” Lily tries, looking nervously at me.

          More silence.

          “Excuse me,” I say, standing up and leaving the compartment.

~Sirius~

          I watch Mads get up, brush past me, and leave the compartment. I get up and follow her.

          As I leave I hear Lily say, “Sirius-”

          “Let him go,” says James, as I slide the compartment door shut.

          I find Maddie at the end of the hallway, facing away from me with her arms crossed across her chest.

          “Hey, Lane,” I say, causing her to turn around. “Can we talk?”

~Maddie~

          I turn around to face Sirius. He looks handsome as ever, long hair sweeping across his forehead, hands in his pockets, serious grey eyes staring right at me.

          “Look, I know a lot’s happened,” he starts. “But I don’t want things to be awkward between us.”

          “Me neither,” I reply honestly, relieved he feels this way too. “So I think we should-”

          “Go back to being friends?” he says before I can finish.

          I stare at him. This isn’t how this conversation is supposed to go.

          “Like you said last night, it’s not going to work,” Sirius continues. “We should go back to being just friends. That’s what you were going to say, right?”

          My heart sinks. I was going to suggest we talk about what happened. I was going to apologize. But apparently that’s not what he wants.

           “Right,” I say finally. “Yeah, that’s what I was going to say.”

          “Okay then,” he says, and he sticks out his hand for me to shake. “Friends.”

          I shake it, trying to ignore the pain that has recently developed in my stomach. “Friends.”

          Sirius and I return to the compartment, problem supposedly solved.

          If he just wants to be friends, then that’s what I’m going to have to do. It’s my own bloody fault; I’m the one who ended things with him. I’m the one who said that it wasn’t going to work.

          Either way, I decide as I sit down, I’m going to make him believe that I’m fine. Just like I know he will be. Within hours of being back at school, he’ll be jumping into a broom closet with some other girl, holiday fling forgotten.

          I’ll be back to my old ways if it kills me. To prove to him that I’m perfectly fine. I can bounce back just as well as he can.

          If Sirius Black wants a friend, it’s a friend he’s got.

~Sirius~

          I know Maddie doesn’t just want to be friends. Hell, I don’t just want to be friends either.

           But trust is one of the most important things in any relationship. And as she proved last night, Maddie doesn’t trust me.

          I know I’m not the guy to be making generalizations about relationships, but I’m not just talking about romantic relationships. I mean all of them. I trust Mr. and Mrs. Potter wholeheartedly. I’d trust Prongs, Moony, and Wormtail with my life.

           I can’t be with Maddie until she learns to trust me. I’m going to make Madison Lane trust me.

          However long that takes.

~Maddie~

          “Off to bed, everyone!” says Dumbledore after we’ve all enjoyed our welcome back feast. “Classes begin again tomorrow, and we all ought to be well rested!”

          I begin the ascent to Gryffindor tower with Lily and Alice (who has now been filled in on the events of James’s party), when I hear a voice from behind me call, “Maddie!” I turn around. It’s Joshua, one of the blokes I snogged at James’s end of summer party.

          “Hey,” he says, once he’s caught up to me. “How was your holiday?”

          “It was great,” I lie. “Yours?”

          “Pretty good,” he says, smiling at me. “Well, I just wanted to-er, say hi. I’ve got to get to my common room, but I’ll see you around.”

          “See you,” I say, forcing myself to return the smile.

          As he disappears up another set of stairs leading to Ravenclaw tower, Lily says, “Maddie, are you thinking what I think you’re thinking?”

          “Probably, since you usually know what I’m thinking before I do,” I answer.

          “Snogging Joshua isn’t going to help you get over Sirius,” says Lily gently.

          “Who says I need to get over him?” I ask. “Maybe I’m already over him.”

          Lily gives me a sympathetic look. “Maybe,” she says. “But maybe you should give it some time.”

          I shake my head. “I appreciate the advice, Lils, but Sirius just wants to be friends. I’m surprised he even lasted a few hours in a relationship. This is for the best anyway.”

          Lily looks at me again, this time somewhat sadly. “Alright,” she says, defeated. “I just hope you know what you’re doing.”

          That makes two of us.

~Sirius~

          I enter Gryffindor tower with the rest of the Marauders. Within seconds, there’s a girl at my side.

          “Hi, Sirius,” says Lauren flirtatiously. “Good holiday?”

          “Great,” I lie. “Yours?”

          “It was good,” she says. “Are you up for that rain check?” She looks up at me hopefully.

          I shake my head. “Not tonight.”

          She pretends to pout. “Alright then,” she says, and then flounces off to find her friends.

          I head up to the boys dormitories, ignoring my friends’ expressions: confused (Peter), understanding (James), and a mixture of sad and pitying (Remus).

          I pass right by Lily, Alice, and Maddie, chatting in chairs by the fire, without saying a word. I look at Mads, and she looks up and sees me. I get the feeling she wants to say something to me, but the moment passes and she looks away, leaving it unsaid.

~Maddie~

          The next morning at breakfast, Sirius sits across from me, and says, “Good morning.” I say good morning back, but apart from that, our conversation with each other is minimal.

          “So, ready for classes, everyone?” asks Lily.

          “I’m always ready for Transfiguration,” James replies, which is true. It’s his best subject.

          “You really do have a knack for it,” Lily compliments him with a smile.

          James beams. “Thanks, Lils.”

          Sirius raises his eyebrows at me and smiles. Seeing him smile is more painful than if he’d been glaring at me. I look away.

          As we’re getting up to go, Josh appears on my right side. Sirius leaves the Hall with James, who has now struck up a conversation with Lily about her eyes. (“Your kid better have your eyes, I mean, they’re such a great color…”)

          “Morning,” he says cheerfully. “What do you have first?”

          “Transfiguration,” I answer, picking up my bag. “Why?”

          “Just wondering if I could walk you,” he replies, still smiling at me.

          “Sure,” I say, slightly surprised at how forward he’s being.

          “Great,” he says, and we leave the Hall together.

~Sirius~

          Time for Potions. I won’t lie and say I’m not dreading it. It certainly isn’t going to be easy to going back to being Maddie’s friend. But it’s necessary.

          I arrive to the dungeons with James and Maddie isn’t here yet. She arrives a minute later, with that git Josh Allen from Ravenclaw. He’s been all over her since we got back last night.

          Friends, I remind myself. Friends.

          Mads says goodbye to Allen with a smile on her face and comes to take her seat. The smile vanishes. She says nothing to me. It’s like I’m not even here.

          “Hey,” I say casually. “How’s your first day back been?”

          “Fine,” she says, not looking at me.

          I’m about to open my mouth to say something else, but Slughorn beats me to it. He sets us off on today’s task, leaving Maddie and me with only each other to talk to.

          “So,” I say, “what do we need to do first?”

          “Cut the valerian roots,” Maddie answers, not taking her eyes off of her textbook.

          I do this for the next ten minutes while Maddie, who is still avoiding eye contact, shreds the shrivelfig. We add these and a number of other things and then we have to let the potion simmer for two minutes.

          We are still sitting in silence (and she still hasn’t looked at me) when I say, “Alright, Mads, come off it.”

          I think she’s so surprised that I said that that she has to look up at me. “What?”

          “You heard me,” I said. “You said we could be friends. You agreed. And if I recall, when we were friends there were no four word sentences, or entire classes where you refused to look at me.”

          She opens her mouth, and then closes it again. She takes a breath. “Sorry.”

          And then she looks away again.

~Maddie~

          I’m failing.

          I promised myself I would go back to being Sirius’s friend, back to normal. But I never thought it would be this hard.

          Every time I look at him I see everything that happened. That night in the changing room after practice, stolen kisses in the Potters’ kitchen, dancing at the New Year’s party…him kissing Charlotte, yelling across the room from me, his dejected expression when I walked out.

          But I’ve got to make him think this isn’t as hard for me as it is. I’ve got to show him that I can care just as little as he does.

          And I think I know just the way.

 

A/N: I know some of you may not be happy with what's happening in the story right now,  but trust the author ;) Lots of exciting things are coming up, so please just stay with the story. Also, sometimes a certain song will really describe what's going on in the story right now, and I think it's pretty cool to listen to it after you read the chapter. In this case, I think that "The Story of Us' by Taylor Swift, pretty accurately describes Sirius and Mads right now. (It's not perfect, of course, but pretty close.) Have a listen :) Thanks so much for reading!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 


Chapter 15: Chapter 15
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 15

~Sirius~

          After I leave Potions, I don’t see Mads again until dinner. She walks in with Allen, the two of them laughing about something. He says good-bye to her and then goes to sit at the Ravenclaw table. Maddie slides in next to Lily.

          “Hey,” she says cheerfully to everyone in general. “How was everyone’s first day back?”

          “Pretty good,” says James. “Oh, Lils, don’t forget we’ve got rounds tonight.”

          “Of course I won’t forget,” says Lily, but she’s smiling.

          “Okay then,” says James, smiling back at her. This is too weird. I look at Mads, hoping to share a raised eyebrow or surprised expression like earlier, but she’s not paying attention. I follow her gaze over to the Ravenclaw table.

          Allen again.

          “Maddie?” Lily says. “Do you want to get a start on that essay for Binns tonight?”

          “I can’t, I’ve said I’ll meet Josh,” Maddie tells her. “How about tomorrow?”

          “Alright,” says Lily, looking at her with an expression that is a cross between confused and sad.

          We’ve barely finished dinner when Allen is back, ready to escort Maddie somewhere else. He’s like an annoying fly I can’t get rid of.

          I watch the two of them leave the Hall together, wishing that looks could kill.

~Maddie~

          Josh and I leave the Hall, and I know we’re both thinking the same thing. He takes my hand and leads me to an old Transfiguration room that no one’s used in years. I follow him inside, kicking the door shut with my foot.

          Josh put his hands on my waist and pulls me into him. Within seconds, we’re snogging, and it’s mindless and careless and free, just like it should be.

~Sirius~

          “Sirius!”

          Can I pretend I didn’t hear her? This has got to be the tenth time Lauren has sought me out.

          “Sirius!” she calls again, and I finally give in and turn around.

          “Hey!” she says. “I thought I would never catch you. So, are you busy right now?”

          “Not particularly,” I say.

          “Me neither,” she says, smiling suggestively at me.

          I take a breath. “Listen, Lauren, it’s nothing personal, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

          She frowns. “You promised.”

          “I know,” I say. “I’m sorry.”

          She waits for a further explanation, but I’m not going to give her one. When she realizes this, she says, “You’re a prick, Sirius Black!” then turns on her heel and is gone.

          I’m reminded suddenly of another girl who left me standing alone.

~Maddie~

          I’m sitting on my bed writing a letter to my mum when Lily comes back from rounds. She comes in and shuts the door very suddenly. Alice looks up from her book. I put down my quill.

          “Lils?” I ask. “Are you alright?”

          “No-I think so-yes-I don’t know,” she manages to get out. This is so unlike Lily, who is always so put together.

~Sirius~

          Moony and I are finishing our Charms essay when James comes back from rounds. Wormtail is sleeping. James enters the dormitory with a dazed expression on his face.

          “What’s up, Prongs?” I ask, taking in his dreamy gaze.

          When he doesn’t answer, Moony asks, “Are you alright?”

          “I’m better than alright,” James says, and his voice sounds far away.

~Maddie~

          “What happened?” I ask her.

          “I don’t even know how it happened!” Lily replies, beginning to pace. “How could I not have seen this coming?”

          “How what happened?” I ask and at the same time Alice says, “Seen what coming?”

~Sirius~

          James walks over to his bed and lies down, staring up at the ceiling.

          “Prongs, what happened?” I ask.

          “It was the most wonderful thing in the entire world,” he answers dreamily. “It was the best moment of my life.”

          “What was?” Moony and I ask in unison.

~Maddie~

          Lily stops pacing and looks at Alice and me.

          “James and I-”

~Sirius~

          James sits up on his bed and looks at Moony and me.

          “Lily and I-”

~Maddie~

          “Kissed.”

~Sirius~

          “Kissed!”

~Maddie~

          I break into a wide grin. “Tell us everything!”

          “Don’t leave anything out!” Alice adds excitedly.              

~Sirius~

          I beam. So does Moony. But our expressions are nothing compared to James’.

          “So, how did you finally manage it?” I ask him.

          “We were just doing rounds like usual,” says James. “Just talking.”

~Maddie~

          “We were just doing our rounds, like usual,” says Lily. “Having a perfectly nice conversation.”

~Sirius~

          “And then she said, ‘James, I’m really glad we’ve been talking more lately.’”

~Maddie~

          “And then he said, “Don’t you ever get tired of talking?”

~Sirius~

          “And then she said, “No, I don’t get tired of it.”

~Maddie~

          “And then he said, “I do.”

~Sirius~
          “And then she said, “What do you mean?”

~Maddie~

          “And then he kissed me!” Lily finishes, sounding as though she still can’t believe it herself. “I mean, just kissed me, right there in the corridor.”

          “Did you kiss him back?” I ask. Lily’s eyes are wide as she nods.

          Alice and I squeal with excitement.

~Sirius~

          “And she kissed you back?” Moony asks. Prongs nods happily.

          “Well done, mate,” I congratulate him. “You finally kissed Lily Evans.”

~Maddie~

          “You kissed James Potter and you liked it!” sings Alice tauntingly. Lily buries her face in her hands as she blushes furiously.

          “You fancy him,” I state.

          “How did this happen?” asks Lily as she lifts her head up. “James Potter, of all people, James Potter! He used to be an arrogant, bullying toerag, someone I could barely stand to be in the same room with, let alone fancy!”

          “Used to be,” I repeat. “He’s changed.”

          Lily nods again. “He really has.”

          “And you kissed him!” sings Alice again. Lily throws a pillow at her.

          “So, what happened next? What did he say?” I ask.

          “He said, ‘I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting to do that,’” says Lily, smiling in spite of herself. “And then he walked me back to the Common Room.”

          Alice and I squeal again and Lily smiles. Tonight, for two people at least, things have fallen into place.

~Maddie~

          The next morning, Josh meets me outside the portrait hole.

          “Hey,” he says. “We need to talk.”

          “Okay,” I say slowly, wondering what this could be about.

          “Maddie, don’t take this the wrong way,” he says, “but you kind of have a reputation.”

          I nod. “I know.”

          He looks relieved that I haven’t exploded at him. “Well, I just need to know…is this going somewhere? Or am I just another hook up to you?”

          I look at him for a minute. I can tell he’s serious. (Not Sirius. No one could be Sirius.)

          “Be honest,” says Josh. “I’m not going to be mad.”

          “Okay,” I say. “You’re a really great guy, Josh. But I really don’t think I can handle a relationship right now.”

          “Is that just a way to get me to go away?” he asks.

          “No,” I say sincerely, “it’s not. It’s the truth.”

          He nods. “I believe you.”

          “I’m sorry,” I say. He nods again, and walks away.         

~Sirius~

          I don’t think James will be able to contain his excitement much longer if we don’t get down to breakfast fast.

          “Padfoot, what is taking you so long?” James exclaims, running to the bathroom.

          “Prongs, you used the bathroom for an hour this morning,” I say, “I’m going as fast as I can!”

          “Go faster!” he urges. “I want to see Lily!”

          When everyone is finally ready, we head downstairs to the Great Hall, James leading the way.        

          We reach where Lily, Alice, and Maddie are sitting at the Gryffindor table. Lily looks up and smiles at James, who smiles back.

          “Can we talk?” he asks her, and takes her hand and leads her away from the table.

          I slide into a seat next to Moony. “Well it’s about time, isn’t it?”

          “I’ll say,” says Maddie, and she actually looks at me when she says it. Progress.

          Lily and James return, hand in hand. They’re both grinning from ear to ear.

          “I take it that Potter and Evans are finally a couple?” I ask.

          Lily blushes and James beams. When Maddie smiles at them, I find myself wishing that it was Maddie and me standing hand in hand, with James and Lily sitting and congratulating us.

~Maddie~

          I’ve just spent half an hour in the library by myself. Lily is doing rounds with James (which probably now consist more of snogging than patrolling), and Alice is off somewhere with Frank. I realize that it’s almost past curfew, and that I need to get back to the common room.

          On my way back up to Gryffindor tower, I see a dark-haired boy and girl walking hand in hand, coming back from what was probably a romantic walk by the lake. I realize it’s Adrian, with another 7th year Ravenclaw, Megan. I heard they’re dating now.

          As I watch them walk past, Adrian leans over and whispers something in Megan’s ear and she laughs. He gives her a kiss on the cheek as they turn a corner.

          My heart pangs at how an action so simple can be so sweet. And how for a few, brief hours, I’d had a chance at that, until I ruined everything.

          As I enter through the Portrait hole, memories of Sirius flash before my eyes.

            “Mads, before I tell you, I just want you to remember that you are awesome. Okay? I’m serious. You’re smart, you’re funny, you’re fun to be around, and you’re beautiful.”

          “No, I’m trying to protect you!”

          “I am most definitely not happy.”

          “You don’t have to thank me.”

           “Because you know, I can always give him a good punch in the face if you want. I never did get to do that.”

          “Did you see the look he gave Mads after he blocked her goal? Stupid, sodding git-”

          “What’s going on here, Mads?”

          “If I recall correctly, the first thing you ever said to me was ‘If you ever call me Mads again, I will hex you into oblivion.’”

          “I think you secretly love it when I call you Mads.”

          “You’re not random, you’re Maddie.”

          “It means that I, Sirius Black, actually fancy a girl. And not just any girl. But the funniest, smartest, most beautiful girl I’ve ever met.”

          “Mads, you need to listen to me. What happened back there was a total mistake-”

          “You need to believe me! You need to trust me!”

          “Like you said last night, it’s not going to work. We should go back to being just friends. That’s what you were going to say, right?”

          The Common Room, for once, is empty. I sink down to my knees, and I cry.

          I cry for Sirius. I cry for me. I cry because of how much it hurts. I cry because there's nothing else left to do but cry.

           I cry until a time I don’t remember, when sleep overtakes me.

~Sirius~

          I arrive back to the common room at about ten, an hour after curfew. I’d borrowed Prongs’ Invisibility Cloak to take a walk and clear my head.

          As I pass by the couch near the fire place to go to the boys’ dormitory, I notice that there’s a person on it. It’s so dark that I’d almost not noticed, which is what Lily and James must have done when they got back from rounds. (Of course, they were probably distracted.)

          As I draw closer, I realize it’s Mads. She’s still in her uniform, and her hair is all over, but she looks beautiful as ever.

          I lean over and brush a piece of hair out of her face. Then, before I can stop myself, I give her a soft kiss on the cheek.

          I taste the salt from what can only be the result of Maddie crying herself to sleep.

          I cover her with a blanket and head up the boys’ dormitory, wishing I could have been there for her to cry into like last time.

A/N: Hello again, everyone :) I really enjoyed writing this chapter (even I almost teared up while writing Maddie's little flashback montage), so I hope you enjoyed reading it. I hope I did Lily & James justice!  And I hope the switching POV's didn't give you a headache; I just felt it was the right way to announce the news. Leave a review and let me know what you thought of this chapter! Thanks for reading!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 16: Chapter 16
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 16

~Maddie~

          The next Sunday at Quidditch practice is Trevor’s birthday. James actually lets us end early to sing for him.

          “Okay, great practice everyone!” says James. “Rest up and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

          We head off toward the castle and I fall into step with Trevor. Everyone is ahead of us, except for Sirius, who stayed behind to wrestle a Bludger back into the crate.

          “So, you’re 16 now?” I ask him. He’s a sixth year so that’s what I figured. He nods, running his fingers through his dark brown hair.

          “Me too,” I tell him. “My birthday’s not until March.”

          “We’ll have to celebrate that too,” he says with a smile.

          “I don’t know, March is only two months from playoffs,” I remind him. “Do you really think it will be worth it to James to take time out of practice?”

          He laughs. “Well, it’s worth it to me.”

          The next thing I know, he’s leaned over and kissed me. He pulls back quickly.

          “I’m sorry,” he says quickly, “I shouldn’t have done that. I just…I’ve always wanted to.”

          “No, it’s-it’s okay,” I tell him. There’s a pause, and then I break the silence by kissing him.   

          There’s a clearing of a throat and we break apart. The person who has separated us is the last person I want to see.

          “Excuse me,” says Sirius gruffly, “but you’re blocking the entranceway.” He brushes past without another word.

          I fight the urge to follow him. There’s no point. Nothing I could say would change anything.

~Sirius~

          I don’t realize how fast I’m walking until I’ve reached the Common Room, and it took me much less time than usual.

          I can’t bring myself to go inside. I stand in the hallway, trying to find a way to dispel all the simultaneous anger, jealousy, and hurt I’m feeling.

          Before I know what I’m doing, my fist is making contact with the stone wall with all the force I can produce.

          The pain is blinding; I grimace and let out a sound of pain. I feel a little bit better, but not much.

          The Fat Lady has been watching me. “Broken heart, dear?” she asks kindly.

          Ignoring her question, I give her the password. “Clavis aurea,” I say, and she is forced to swing open, giving me a sympathetic look as she does so.

          My friends are sitting around the fire. Remus is in an armchair, poring over his latest Ancient Runes assignment. Alice and Frank are playing chess together, and Peter is sleeping on the floor. James is sitting on the couch with his arm around Lily. He smiles when he sees me. “Hey, mate, wondered where you’d gotten to.”

          “Sirius!” says Lily in alarm. “What happened to your hand?”

          I look at it. It’s certainly looked better. You know, on those days when it wasn’t mangled or bent out of shape.

          “Oh, you know how those Bludgers can be,” I lie. “Can you fix it?”

          “Of course,” Lily says, whipping out her wand. She motions for me to come and sit down, which I do.

          Lily points her wand straight at my hand and says firmly, “Episkey.”

          I feel my bones realigning themselves (not a pleasant feeling) and then my hand is as good as new.

          “Thanks,” I say gratefully. “I’m off to bed. Good night.”

          “Hey, where’s Maddie?” asks Remus, somewhat suspiciously.

          “Probably off somewhere snogging Trevor,” I say in what is intended to be a nonchalant voice, and leave James, Lily, and Remus looking at each other with looks of dawning comprehension.

~Maddie~

          “Well, I’m off to bed,” says Trevor. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He gives me a kiss on the cheek.

          “Happy birthday,” I say, and then he disappears up the boys’ staircases.

          I go to join my friends by the fire. “Hey,” I say. “What’s up with you guys?”

          They’re all staring at me kind of strangely.

          “What?” I ask, not liking the silence.

          “Are you and Trevor…” starts Lily.

          I shrug. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

          “And does Sirius…” begins James.

          “Yeah, he saw us,” I tell him. My three friends exchange glances.

          “What?” I say again. “I’m allowed to do whatever I want.”

          None of them have an argument for that.

          “Sirius doesn’t care,” I continue, and before they can protest, I excuse myself and head up to bed.

~Sirius~

          The image of Maddie and Trevor snogging has been burned into my mind. I can’t get rid it of it no matter how hard I try.

          When I didn’t see her actually snogging Allen, I could pretend she wasn’t.

          But I saw her and Trevor. There’s no way around it. Time to face the truth.

          And it hurts like hell.

~Maddie~

          On the way to Transfiguration on Monday, I see Trevor walking toward us.

          “Let’s go this way instead,” I say to Lily and Alice. They look at each other knowingly, but don’t argue.

          “You can’t avoid him forever,” says Lily.

          “Of course not,” I say. “How about just for right now?”

          “Maddie, the poor boy deserves an explanation,” says Alice. “I mean, do you fancy him or don’t you?”

          “No,” I say honestly. “I don’t.”

          “Then tell him that, for Merlin’s sake,” says Lily.

          “It’s not that easy,” I protest. “Telling boys, ‘Oh sorry, I know I made it seem like I fancy you, but I don’t. Sorry!’ It’s not exactly a good time.”

          “Then stop putting yourself in situations where you have to do that!” says Lily exasperatedly. “Maddie, if you fancy a boy, then snog him. If you don’t, then don’t. What is it going to take for you to realize that?”

          I stop and think about her words. She’s right. It kills me that she is, but she’s right.

          “Realizing is one thing,” I tell her. “Changing is another.”

~Sirius~

          I need some time before Potions, before I have to see Mads. I tell Prongs, Moony, and Wormtail that I’m going to take a different way.  

          I’m on my way (devising creative ways to knock Trevor off of his broom and make it look like an accident) when I hear a familiar voice. Familiar, but not pleasant.

          “Hey, Sirius! How’s it going?”

          There’s no mistaking the mocking tone. I turn to face Regulus, sneer on his face. For once, he isn’t surrounded by any of his idiot Slytherin friends.

          “What do you want?” I ask him, so not in the mood for this.

          “Just to give you my opinion,” he tells me snidely.

          “On what, exactly?” I say shortly, debating when I will just turn around and walk away.

          “On the people you’re hanging out with,” he says. “It’s time to start thinking about your plans after Hogwarts, Sirius. I’m sure you could change your current situation in the eyes of a certain group-” He pauses, as if to let his meaning sink in. “If you change some of the people you’re hanging around with.”

          “This has been such a nice chat,” I tell him, “but I’ve got to go throw myself off a cliff now.” I turn to go.

          “I mean really, let’s look at your so-called friends,” Regulus continues. “That Mudblood, Evans.”

          I feel the hate begin to boil up inside of me. Walk away, Sirius.

          “Potter, as much of a blood traitor as you are.”

          Walk away, Sirius, he’s not worth it.

          “And I mean leaving blood out of it entirely, that complete slut, Lane.”

          Before Regulus knows what’s happening, I’ve flung myself at him, punching every bit of him I can reach. My wand is somewhere in my pocket, but there’s no time to grab it. Regulus is both howling in pain and fighting back, and I’m not giving in. Punching and punching and punching, over and over again.

          “Mr. Black! And-Mr. Black!” shouts an angry voice. “Stop that this instant! This instant!”

          And then we’re being thrown apart by a spell from a furious Professor McGonagall, eyes blazing.

          “To my office,” she says, voice threatening on every syllable. “Now.”

          I pick myself up off the ground without looking at my brother and follow her.

          Once we reach her office, she directs us inside. “Sit,” she orders. We do.

          She takes her place at her desk. “What is the meaning of this?”

          “He attacked me, Professor,” says Regulus, before I can say anything.

          Professor McGonagall turns to me. “Well?”

          “I was provoked, Professor,” I say stiffly.

          “Provoked,” she repeats. I nod. “I do not care if you were provoked, Black. That is no excuse for resorting to a crude form of Muggle dueling! Ten points from Gryffindor!” At the look on my face she adds, “Yes, Black, from my own house! But don’t think you’re getting off so easy,” she says, turning to Regulus, “I will be taking ten points from Slytherin as well.”

          She takes a moment and looks from Regulus, who, to my satisfaction, is nursing a bloody nose, to me, sporting a black eye, and then says, “Now get to class, both of you.”

~Maddie~

          It’s ten minutes into Potions and Sirius isn’t here yet. I’ve started our potion without him. Where could he be?

          As if on cue, Sirius comes through the dungeon doors. I gasp. He’s got a black eye.

          “Mr. Black, are you quite alright?” asks Slughorn. Sirius nods. “Well, let’s not take any points from Gryffindor for tardiness; it looks as though you’ve suffered enough.”

          Sirius says nothing as he takes his seat next to me.

          “Sirius, what happened?” I ask him.

          “I don’t want to talk about it,” he says shortly.

          “Sirius, just tell me-”

          “I said, I don’t want to talk about it,” he snaps, and busies himself in the textbook. I turn back to my instructions, stung.

~Sirius~

          I don’t speak to Mads for all of Potions. We make our potion in silence and when class ends, I’m out of there.

          “Sirius,” she says, following me. “Sirius!”

          I ignore her, but she doesn’t give up.

          “Hey!” she shouts. “I’m talking to you! Sirius!”

          And then she’s running, and she’s caught up to me and grabbed my arm.

          “What the bloody hell is going on?” Maddie demands. “Will you just tell me why you showed up to Potions ten minutes late with a black eye?”

          “Why do you care?” I say sharply.

          “Because I’m worried about you,” she says, looking taken aback.

          “Yeah? Well do us both a favor and stop,” I say. I turn and walk away, leaving her standing there looking dejected.

~Maddie~

          I walk up to the Common Room for my free period feeling hurt. Had snogging Trevor really been enough to warrant such coldness? If so, it was completely unfair. We made an agreement. Just friends.

          And friends were allowed to be concerned about friends. So why was Sirius being so resistant?

           This is so unfair.

 

A/N: Hello, everyone! First let me start off by saying I am SO sorry it took me this long to update! I never want to be one of the authors that keeps readers waiting a long time, but I've just been so busy lately. Hopefully you guys can forgive me for the wait! I hope you liked the chapter and I will do my best to get the next one up in a much more timely fashion. Thank you so much for reading!

Sabrina :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Chapter 17: Chapter 17
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 17

~Maddie~

          I see Trevor on the way up to the Common Room. Might as well get this over with.

          “Hey,” he says, looking at me carefully.

          “Hey,” I say. “Look, I’m really sorry, but I think we should go back to being friends.”

          His face falls, but he doesn’t look surprised.  “I kind of thought you were going to say that… I shouldn’t have kissed you the other night, it was stupid.”

          “No, it wasn’t,” I tell him. “I just…I can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to you.”

          He doesn’t ask me for any more details, which is probably just as well. “I’ll see you around, Maddie.” He walks away, and I continue up the stairs.

          I should feel horrible for doing that to another boy. But as I reach the Common Room, Trevor’s not the boy on my mind.

~Sirius~

          I walk out onto the grounds, crunching through the January snow. I’m mad. Mad at Regulus, mad at Maddie, mad at myself.

          The reasons for being mad at Regulus are obvious. I mean, aside from the fact that he’s damaged my flawless face (if only temporarily), he insulted two of the my closest friends, including the girl I love.

          I mean, he insulted almost all of the friends I have, including Maddie.

          Yeah, that’s it.

          I don’t love Maddie.

          I mean, how can you love someone you’re not even dating? Have strong feelings for her, yes, feel an urge to protect her, sure. But I don’t love her. No way.

          And I’d believe that, if it weren’t for one small problem.

          I do love her.

          Shit.

~Maddie~

          “Hey,” says Lily when I enter the Portrait Hole. “Are you alright?” she asks, concern evident in her voice. “Did you and Sirius have another row?”

          “You could say that,” I answer, plopping down in an armchair next to the couch and folding my arms across my chest.

          “What about this time?” she asks.

          “I don’t even know! All I did was ask him why he had a black eye, and he completely snapped at me. I mean, when did it become a criminal offense to ask a friend if he’s okay? When did it become acceptable to be rude to someone who is only concerned for your wellbeing? When did it become okay to say you’ll be someone’s friend and then not treat them the way you used to?” I’m breathing hard at the end of my rant, still so angry at the way I’d been treated.

          “When that person is your ex-boyfriend,” says Lily gently. “Look, Maddie, I’m sure Sirius didn’t mean to be rude to you. I’m sure you two will work it out like you always do.”

          “Maybe,” I say. Then I stop and think about it. No. “No, Lils. I’m done with this cycle. Fight, work it out, fight, work it out, fight, work it out. It’s all the two of us do! I’m done with that. I’m done with Sirius.”

          I get up and disappear into our dorms before she can object.

~Sirius~

          Sweet Merlin, why? Why would you do this to me?

          Hey, Cupid, I think you’ve got the wrong guy! I’m Sirius Black, I don’t fall in love!

          Are you sure you weren’t aiming for Remus? He’s a nice bloke, probably wouldn’t mind being in love. Hell, even Wormtail over me. Anyone but me.

          This is not how it works.

          These are the thoughts that fill my head as I head back up to the castle, trying desperately to sort through the crazy place that is my mind.

          I run into James in the Entrance Hall. “Hey, mate,” he greets me. “I was just about to come and find you. What the hell happened to your eye?”

          I re-count the fight between Regulus and me, conveniently leaving out the part where Regulus insulted Maddie. James shakes his head.

          “What a prick,” he says. “Well, do you want to head up to Madam Pomfrey and get that fixed?”

          So we do, insulting my brother the whole way there.

          “What I’m just not clear on,” says James, as Madam Pomfrey bustles away, having applied thick paste around my eye and instructing me to sit for five minutes, “is what pushed you over the edge. I mean, how many times have people called Lily a-you know, or me a blood traitor? I thought we were past those insults, mate.”

          “Guess it just got to me,” I say, avoiding making eye contact.

          “Are you sure Lily and I were the only ones he insulted?” James asks, looking at me carefully. “He didn’t happen to bring a certain brunette into this argument, did he?”

          “He might’ve,” I say, still not looking at him.

          “What did he call her?”

          “A slut,” I say, finally turning to face him.

          James looks at me knowingly. “So she gets the tamest insult and the biggest reaction.”

          “You could say that.”

          There’s a moment of silence in which James studies me carefully.

          “You love her,” James states, breaking the silence. I don’t have to ask how he knows. He’s my best mate. And he knows what it’s like to be in love.

          I take a deep breath. “You could say that, too.”

~Maddie~

          I’m walking down the dormitory staircases for dinner when I hear two voices in a hushed discussion, coming from the Common Room.

          “Lily, you can’t tell her, alright? Sirius trusted me with this. I wasn’t even supposed to tell you, but it’s not my fault you can tell when I’m hiding something.”

          I stop dead in my tracks to listen.

          “But James, don’t you see what this means? Sirius defended her when he didn’t defend us and her insult wasn’t nearly as bad! He obviously-”

          “I know, I know, but that’s not the point, Lils, it’s not our place to intervene!”

          A pause. “Fine, I won’t tell her.”

          “Thank you.”

          I wait about thirty seconds before emerging. “Hey, ready for dinner?” I ask them nonchalantly.

          They exchange a glance so slight I might’ve missed it.

          “Yeah,” says James with a smile. “Let’s go.”

          As we walk down the stairs, my mind is racing. What were they talking about? I think I can safely assume the “her” is me. He defended me…defended me against who? Whoever gave him the black eye.

          “Sirius defended her when he didn’t defend us and her insult wasn’t nearly as bad!”

          So someone insulted James and Lily—assumedly pretty badly—and Sirius didn’t defend them, then the person insulted me—with an insult that wasn’t as bad, and Sirius defended me.

          I can  think of one person who hates everyone Sirius is friends with and would be looking for a fight, and it’s his own brother.

          But that’s not the point.

          He defended me. He didn’t defend Lily, or James, but he defended me.

          I feel touched that he would do something like that.

          And then I feel angry.

          How is it fair that after he did that, he didn’t even think he owed me, of all people, an explanation? How could he clearly care about me enough to defend me, and then be so rude to me?

          I need to talk to him.

~Sirius~

          I skip dinner and hang out in the Common Room. I don’t know how much time passes, but suddenly people are pouring through the Portrait Hole and Mads is marching over to me, eyes ablaze.

          “We need to talk,” she says sharply. “Now.”

          She grabs me by the arm and hauls me out through the Portrait Hole.

          “Where’s somewhere we can go where we won’t be disturbed?” she asks, dropping my arm.

          I don’t give her a response, just gesture for her to follow me. I lead her to the seventh floor corridor, to a room that has served multiple purposes over the years. When we enter, it looks like the bedroom of a married couple. A bed, two night tables with lamps, oriental rugs. I don’t have time to dwell on the decor right now though, and I close the door behind us.

          I speak for the first time since she pulled me from my seat in the Common Room.

          “Alright, I’m here, what do you want to talk about?” I ask her.

          “What do you want from me?” she asks seriously, her voice dangerously tense. “You say be friends, so okay, we’re supposed to be friends. Guess what, Sirius? We’re not friends!” she yells.  “You don’t treat me like a friend! Friends don’t snap at other friends who ask them what’s wrong! They let their friend try to help them! And then I find out that the reason you got into a fight, the reason you got a black eye, was me!”

          “How did you find that out?” I demand.

          “Didn’t you think I had a right to know that?” she shouts. “You wouldn’t even tell me what happened, let alone let me know that I was the reason it happened!”

          “Oh, don’t flatter yourself!” I hurl back at her. “Everything I do isn’t centered around you!”

          “Obviously!” she yells back. “If it were, you would’ve considered my feelings earlier when you decided to be a complete prick to me!”

          “Right, I’m the prick! I stand up for you against my slimy Slytherin git of a brother, and I’m the prick!”

          “I thought you said that wasn’t about me,” she says sarcastically.

          “Yeah, well I lied!” I bellow at her. “I seem to do be doing a lot of that lately. Like, let me think—telling stupid Lauren Ellison that I had a great holiday! Or telling Lily a Bludger broke my hand, when I really punched a fucking wall after I saw you snogging Trevor! Or telling you that the best thing for us was to go back to being just friends!”

          “Well stop lying!” she screams, verging on hysteria. “Start giving me some real answers!”

          “Where would you like me to start?”

          “How about with why you defended me to your brother when you didn’t defend Lily and James? And don’t tell me it’s because I’m your friend, because Lily and James are your friends too and because you sure as hell haven’t been treating me like one!” Mads is staring straight at me, hair falling all around her face, breathing hard. “I want a real reason, Sirius! Why did you do that?”

“Because I’m in love with you!”

The words are out before I can stop them. Her eyes widen, I see her take a sharp intake of breath. She doesn’t say anything, just stares at me. “You’re what?” she asks in disbelief.

 “I’m in love with you,” I repeat. “Merlin, Mads, isn’t it obvious? I am head over heels, ridiculously and hopelessly in love with you. I have been since Christmas, and maybe even before that. And it has been absolute torture to see you with Allen, and Trevor, and to know that someone else was getting to hold your hand, kiss you, and look into your eyes. Because I want to be doing all that stuff. Because I love you. Because I’m in love with you.”

She stares at me and I stare at her. For a minute, neither of us says anything.

And then suddenly we’re snogging like we’ve never snogged before. My hands are on her shoulders, pulling her into me. Her hands are on the back of my head, both of us desperate to be closer. My lips capture hers and she doesn’t protest, both of us moving together in perfect synchronization.

          As we kiss, we back up until we reach the bed, which, as the Room predicted, serves to be very useful. I lay her down and settle myself above her, arms on either side of her body, our lips still intertwined in a series of continuous kisses.

          Her hands are all over me and mine all over her, kissing for what feels like forever. I don’t know how long we go on for but it doesn’t matter; we are the only two people in the world.

          We stop for a minute, and I look down into her eyes. I know we’re both thinking the same thing.

          “Are you sure?” I ask her.

          “I love you,” she says, and pulls me in to kiss her again.



A/N: I'm so sorry this took so long to upload! I had some time to write recently so I've got two more chapters already written and the next one in the process! I hope you guys liked this chapter, leave a review and let me know what you thought--what you liked, didn't like, favorite lines, anything :) Thanks for reading!

~Sabrina :)
 
 
 


Chapter 18: Chapter 18
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.


Chapter 18

~Maddie~

          When I wake up, I become very aware of the fact that I’m not in my own bed. For starters, these sheets are purple, not scarlet. A second clue is there are no hangings pulled around. However, the confirming factor would have to be that Sirius Black sleeping soundly next to me.

          A very naked Sirius Black.

          Holy shit.

          I sit straight up in bed, holding the covers to my chest.

          I slept with Sirius. Sweet Merlin, Lily’s going to kill me. I can just hear her now. “Maddie, where were you last night? I was worried sick!” And then when I tell her what I’ve done…what we did…she’s going to just about have a heart attack. Great. I’ll be sending my best friend to St. Mungo’s before lunch. Either that, or before she has the heart attack, she’ll manage to hurt me pretty badly, and then we’re both going to the hospital.

          “Mads?” Sirius is awake. I turn my head toward him.

          “How can you have just woken up and still look so beautiful?” he asks with a smile. I could say the same about him. His hair falls carelessly over his face, and his grey eyes are glinting mischievously as he smiles at me. He sits up, leans over and gives me a kiss. Then he pulls me back down to lay next to him.

          He leans his forehead against mine and closes his eyes. I close mine too.

          “Do you regret it?” he whispers. I can tell it’s something he’s actually concerned about, which just about makes me melt. My answer comes easily.

          “No,” I tell him honestly.

          He smiles again. “Good. Neither do I.”

          He kisses me again and I start to think that we should just never leave this room, when it occurs to me that yesterday was Monday.

          Which means today is Tuesday.

          Which means we have class.

          I pull away abruptly. “What time is it?”

          We both turn and face the clock on the night table. It tells us that we were due in Transfiguration fifteen minutes ago.

          “Shit!” We say in unison, jumping out of bed and beginning the mad search for our clothes.

          I find my bra first, right on the floor next to the bed. My skirt and stockings have made their way under an armchair a couple feet away. 

          Sirius finds his pants under the bed and puts them on faster than I would’ve believed possible.

          “Oh this is so unfair!” I say as he snickers at the sight of me wrestling my stockings on. Next I grab my shirt and pull it hastily over my head, not even wanting to know what my hair looks like right now. “How are you so much faster at this?” I demand.

           He smirks as he buttons his shirt. “Practice.”

           This reminds me that while this was my first time, this was nothing new for Mr. Hogwarts Playboy. I’ve snogged a fair amount of boys but I never let it get this far. Unlike Sirius. I glare at him as I pull on my robes.

          “What?” he asks, dropping the conceited façade and adopting an expression appropriate to a puppy that’s just been told it has to sleep outside, but has no idea why. 

         “You know bloody well what,” I grumble, fastening my robes.

           A look of dawning comprehension comes over his face. “Mads, I didn’t mean it like that, c’mon.”

         “How am I supposed to compete with all the girls you’ve been with?” I ask him.

         “You don’t have to compete!” he says, walking over to me, now fully dressed.

         “You say that, but don’t think I don’t know you’re comparing-”
 
         “You don’t have to compete,” he cuts me off, “because you’re already the best.”

          “Okay, I love you for saying that, but we both know that’s not true,” I tell him. “I mean, I’d never had sex, and even I know that that could’ve been better.”

          He dismisses this argument with a wave of his hand. “I don’t mean it literally. You’re the best because you’re the only girl that I’ve ever been with who I’ve loved.”

           I look up into his eyes, which are staring at me intently, and kiss him again.

         “Okay, we really have to go,” I say apologetically. He nods in agreement. 

          We sprint out of the room, hand in hand, toward the Transfiguration corridor. We reach the door and he drops my hand. I know we’re both dreading this.

          We attempt to slip in unnoticed, but no luck. Every person in the class turns to look at us. Including Professor McGonagall.

         “Mr. Black, Miss Lane, how nice of you to join us,” she says coldly. “I’m not interested in excuses,” she adds, before we can speak. “Ten points from Gryffindor. Take your seats.”
 
       We do, and as I slide in next to Lily it dawns on me that I don’t have my bag with me, and therefore I have no textbook, no parchment, and no quills.

     “Maddie, where were you last night? I was worried sick!” Lily hisses.

     “Lils, can I please borrow some parchment?”

      She glares at me at thrusts some in my face. “We are talking about this later.”

       I nod hastily and thank her. I look across the room at Sirius, who is shaking off James, clearly attempting to get some information from him. Oh Merlin. This is a problem I didn’t even consider. I do not need James’ scolding as well as Lily’s.

     Class drags on for what feels like forever, and when it finally ends, I get up from my seat as quickly as possible and head for the door. Lily is right on my heels.

    “Madison Lane, you stop right this instant!” Uh oh, she’s serious.

    “Do you plan on telling me why you were late this morning?” Lily demands, green eyes blazing. “Or where you were last night? Or why you look like a right mess, I mean your clothes are wrinkled, your hair is…” she trails off, staring at me in horror. “Oh, Maddie, you didn’t.

     I don’t answer, knowing nothing can stop this train now that it’s left the station.

    “Oh, Maddie!” Lily says again, taking my silence as confirmation. “How could you?”

    “It was quite simple actually-”

   “Oh, stop it!” Lily exclaims. “Can we please talk about this seriously?”

   “We have class now,” I remind her.

    “Merlin, you’re right,” she says. “Fine. During free period after Potions, you better be ready to do some explaining.”

~Sirius~

          “Padfoot, just please tell me you didn’t. Not Maddie. She’s practically my sister, mate. Just please, please, please tell me you didn’t.”

          “Okay, I didn’t.”

          A look of delight crosses James’ face. “Really?”

          “No! I just said that because you told me to!”

          “Ah!” He buries his face in his hands. “I can’t take this. I was never meant to picture these things!”

          “Stop picturing them then!” I tell him, not enjoying that prospect either.

          “I can’t, it’s too late!” he says as we reach the dungeon door. “The image is forever seared into my brain! I’m scarred for life!”

          “I suppose this means you don’t want to hear all about it then?” I ask him cheekily. He stares at me in horror.

          “So there we were, in the Room of Requirement, the lights were dim--”

          “Stop, stop!” James howls, and he barrels off to find his seat.

          I laugh and make my way to the table I share with Maddie.

          “So, how did Lily take the news?” I ask her. She shakes her head.

          “Can’t say she’s thrilled,” Maddie says. “James?”

          “Scarred for life, apparently,” I tell her.

          “Great,” she says. “Well how are you doing?”

          “Me? I’m great!” I tell her. “You?”

          “Me? Absolutely fantastic!”

          “Well at least we’re happy.”

          “That’s all that really matters, anyway.”

          “Lily and James can just deal with it.”

          “Agreed.”

          “Okay then.”

          “Alright.”

          Maddie looks at me. “You really are happy, right?”

          I nod. “Yeah, I really am.”

          She smiles. “Good. Me too.”

~Maddie~

          At the end of Potions, Sirius and I are accosted by Lily and James, both wanting to know more.

          “Come on, Maddie, let’s go!” says Lily impatiently.

          “See you later,” I say to Sirius, as I’m forced out of the dungeon.

          “Okay, start at the beginning,” Lily orders, as soon as we’re out of earshot of everyone else. She pulls me into an empty classroom and shuts the door.

          I tell her about the fight and when I get to the part where Sirius said he was in love with me, she gasps in excitement.

          “And then, well, one thing led to another and…you know,” I finish lamely.

          “Well, as happy as I am for you, I still think need to ask…are you glad you did it? You don’t think you should have waited?”

          “Lils, I appreciate the concern,” I tell her. “But I don’t regret it. I think it’s what was right.”

          “Okay,” she concedes. “Then I’m happy for you. And you’re telling Alice.”

          I give her a hug and we head out of the room toward Gryffindor Tower.

~Sirius~

          “So if you don’t want to know details-”

          “I definitely don’t want to know details-”

          “-then what do you want to know?” I ask James, sitting across from him in armchairs of the Common Room.

          “Just…your intentions, I guess,” he says, attempting to look at me rather seriously. “I mean, look mate, I try to stay out of your intimate life, but when it comes to Maddie, I have to look out for her.”

          “I assure you, Mr. Potter, my intentions are nothing short of honorable,” I answer.

          “Well, that’s good enough for me!” says James. “So, moving on, do you realize what day this is?”

          “Er…Tuesday?”

          “Wrong!” says James cheerfully.

          “No, Prongs, I’m pretty sure it’s Tuesday.”

          “Oh, fine, but more importantly, it is January twenty sixth!”

          “And…?”

          “And Lily’s birthday is January thirtieth!” says James, clearly stunned that I don’t have this date committed to memory. “And we’re throwing her a surprise party, remember?”

          “We’re what?!” I exclaim.

          “We’re throwing her a surprise party!” James repeats impatiently. “Remember? I said, ‘Let’s throw Lily a surprise party!’ and you said ‘Good idea!’ and I said, ‘This’ll be the greatest party ever, won’t it Moon…” He trails off, and is clearly thinking hard. “Oh, that wasn’t you.”

          “Thanks, Prongs. Good to know you can confuse me with Moony so easily.”

          “I’m sorry! It’s just that normally it would be you but you were… off shagging Maddie.” James cringes at the thought.

          “Well, Prongs, we’ve only got like a week to plan this thing,” I say. “We’re going to need to get everyone to help.”

          “We can do it!” says James confidently. “And we have to make sure no one tells Lily!”

          “Tell me what?” says a voice from behind us. I groan. This party is doomed before it even starts.

          “Oh, nothing, dear,” says James with an attempt at a casual, cheerful voice.

          “Tell me what, James?” says Lily sternly.

          “Oh, fine!” says James. “Padfoot and I didn’t do our Charms essays yet, alright?”      

          “James!” Lily exclaims. “Those were assigned last Friday! They’re due tomorrow!”

          “I know, but we’ve been busy, what with Quidditch practice and…other activities,” James protests, looking at me.

          “Well you’d better get started, right now!” orders Lily. “I’m going up to my dormitory to write a letter and when I come down for dinner I want to see two finished essays.”

          With that, she disappears up the girls’ staircase.

          And that’s how a Marauder does it.

~Maddie~

          “You finished your essay already, right?” James asks Sirius.

          “Finished it on Saturday,” Sirius replies.

          “Great, then we can use this time to our advantage,” James says.

          I squeeze into the armchair with Sirius, who puts his arm around me.

“So, what’s really going on?” I ask.

          “We’re throwing Lily a surprise party!” James says excitedly.

Just then, Moony and Wormtail walk in through the Portrait Hole.

“Where have you been?” James asks them.

“I was helping Peter practice that charm we learned last week,” Moony explains.

Remus is always helping Peter. He struggles a little more than the rest of us in the academic area. 

“Well get in here and take a seat. We need to start planning Lily’s party right now,” James says.

Before he can get another word out, Alice and Frank come in through the Portrait Hole.       

“Come sit down!” James orders. They do.

“First we need a way to get Lily out of the tower so we can get things ready,” James tells everyone, once he’s explained to all the new arrivals what we’re doing.

“How long will we need?” asks Remus.

“Half an hour?” I guess. “Is that enough time for you lot to sneak into Hogsmeade and the kitchens and get the food we need?”

James and Sirius nod. “Can we put you girls in charge of decorations?”

“Sure,” says Alice cheerfully.

“So how are we going to keep Lily out of the tower?” asks Peter.

“How about we do it during dinner?” Sirius suggests. “That’ll give us enough time. And Lily will be eating.”

“But won’t she wonder where we are?” asks Alice.

“She won’t if my plan goes the way I think it will,” Sirius says. “Listen to this.”

~Sirius~

          Friday in Transfiguration is essential. Everything has to go perfectly.

          It’s a normal class; we’re all sitting, listening intently to Minnie’s words of wisdom. Okay, maybe not the listening intently part but whatever.

          I check my watch. Five minutes left in class. Time to go.

          I nudge Prongs, and he nods. He makes eye contact with Moony.

          Moony begins nudging Wormtail, who has fallen asleep next to him and hissing, “Wormtail, wake up!” He’s saying this louder than he would under normal circumstances.

          “Mr. Lupin, what is the reason you are disrupting my class?” asks Professor McGonagall sternly.

          “Oh-I-er-was just trying to help,” Remus stutters. Professor McGonagall sees Peter.

          “Mr. Pettigrew! This is the fifth time this week you have fallen asleep in my class! Detention, Saturday evening, my office!”

          “Professor, please don’t,” Remus protests. “It’s not his fault.”

          “Oh? Then you can join him Mr. Lupin.”

          “Oh, come off it!” exclaims James, jumping out of his seat. “He didn’t even do anything!”

          “Make it three, Mr. Potter.”

          “Well the Marauders have to stick together,” I say firmly. “See you Saturday night, Minnie.” I wink at her.

          “Sirius!” says Maddie. “The first Saturday night we’re a couple and you’re spending it in detention?”

          “Miss Lane, stay out of it,” says Professor McGonagall crisply.

          “But Professor, we are supposed to spend time together and he’s ruining it!” Maddie says angrily, folding her arms over her chest.

          “Oh, I suppose you want to be together on Saturday, do you?” asks Professor McGonagall. Maddie nods. “Then you can join him and your other friends in detention.”

          “Oh, Professor!” says Alice. “That’s just not fair. No one even did anything wrong!”

          “Questioning my judgment, Miss Bradley?” asks Professor McGonagall. “Looks like you just bought yourself a detention as well.”

          “This is ridiculous!” exclaims Frank.  “I can’t take this anymore!”

          “What exactly can’t you take, Mr. Longbottom?”

          “They’re all landing themselves in detention for no reason! If you’re going to get in trouble, at least make it for something reasonable! For example, Alice and I were passing notes and not paying attention for the last fifteen minutes. That’s something worth getting detention for!”

          “Congratulations, Mr. Longbottom,” says Professor McGonagall. “It looks like you’ll be proving your point on Saturday evening.”

          The bell rings. “Pettigrew, Lupin, Potter, Black, Lane, Bradley, and Longbottom, stay back, we need to arrange your detentions,” says Professor McGonagall. “Go on, Ms. Evans, they’ll catch up,” orders Professor McGonagall.

          Lily leaves the room, looking dismayed.

          Once she and everyone else have gone, Professor McGonagall looks at each of us. “Well? Was that sufficient?”

          “It was perfect!” says James enthusiastically. “May I say, Professor, I think you may have a future in the dramatics?”

          “Why thank you, Mr. Potter,” says Professor McGonagall. “So, shall we say your detention will be lines in my office during dinner on Saturday evening?”

          We nod in agreement. “Very well then,” she says. “You may go.”

          We’re almost to the door when Professor McGonagall says, “Do be sure to give Ms. Evans a good birthday, won’t you? I daresay she deserves one.”



A/N: Hey, guys! Hope you liked this chapter. Leave a review letting me know what you thought (likes, dislikes, favorite lines, anything)! Thanks for reading!

Sabrina :)
 
 


Chapter 19: Chapter 19
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

Chapter 19

~Maddie~

          On Saturday morning, I wake up early and sneak down to the bottom of the girls’ staircases with Alice to let James, Sirius, and Remus in. James is holding a bunch of balloons, Sirius is holding confetti, and Remus is holding a noise maker. I put my finger to my lips to motion to them to be quiet and we all ascend the staircases together.

          Lily is sleeping soundly when we enter. I know her alarm will go off in exactly one minute. (Yes, Lily sets an alarm on Saturdays. We’ve learned to accept her.)

          The alarm beeps, and Lily stretches her arm across to turn it off. When she sits up in bed and opens her eyes we yell, “Happy birthday!” Remus blows the noisemakers and Sirius throws the confetti.

          She starts a little at the outburst, but breaks into a huge grin. James goes over and gives her a kiss. “Happy birthday, Lils.”

          The day passes, and Lily is having a fine time. The morning mail brings her birthday cards, and Petunia even signed the one from her family. At Lily’s request, we have another snowball fight.

          “Last time we did this, you couldn’t stand me,” James laughs as we head out to the grounds.

          “Don’t remind me,” says Lily with a laugh.

          “Last time we did this, let me think…” Sirius says t me with a grin. “Ah, it was right after you saw me shirtless and got, dare I say, quite uncomfortable.”

          “Well, I don’t mind so much anymore,” I tell him, smiling back.

          “Well, I should hope not,” he says, and captures my lips with his own.

          “Hey, you two, knock it off,” says James good-naturedly. “Let’s get this snowball fight started.”

          “So, what are the teams?” asks Remus.

          “How about…birthday girl versus everyone else!” shouts James. Lily shrieks in delight as everyone begins to pelt her with snowballs.

          An hour later, we head back into the castle to get warm.

          “I’m just disappointed I can’t eat dinner with any of you on my birthday,” says Lily as she finishes getting ready for dinner.

          “I know, we really are sorry about that,” I say guiltily. “But it was awfully nice of McGonagall to let us do our detentions during dinner so we can spend time with you after.”

          “I suppose,” says Lily wistfully. “Well, we’d better go; you don’t want to be late for McGonagall. Kimmy offered to eat with me.”

          “That’s great!” says Alice. “You’ll be back with us before you know it.”

          We walk Lily down to the Great Hall, and disappear in the direction that would lead us to McGonagall’s office. Once we’re out of sight, James shows us the secret passage that will lead us back up to the Common Room.

          “Just poke the man’s nose and say, ‘Pish posh’, and he’ll open right up,” he tells us, gesturing to the portrait of an old man in maroon robes. Then he and Sirius sneak off to the One-Eyed Witch Passageway to get everything we’ll need from Hogsmeade, while Remus, Peter, and Frank sneak down to the kitchens.

          Alice pokes the man, who scrunches up his nose and says, “And what do you want?”

          “Pish posh,” I say, and he swings open, revealing an opening in the wall. Alice and I climb through it and follow the passageway until it ends, bringing us out right outside the Gryffindor Common Room.

          We begin our decorating right away. A “Happy Birthday, Lily!” banner, balloons, streamers, the works. When we’ve finished, the place looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

          Alice and I go up to our dormitory and change for the party. Alice dresses in a fitted purple dress and I put on a tight strapless black dress. After fixing our hair and makeup, we inspect ourselves in the mirror. We nod in approval and return to the Common Room.

          With about ten minutes left in dinner, the boys reappear, loaded with food from the kitchens, sweets from Honeydukes, Butterbeer from the Three Broomsticks, you name it. We’re all set for what’s sure to be a great party.

          The boys take a moment to change as well, and Sirius emerges from the boys’ staircases dressed in black jeans and a white V-neck t-shirt.

           Damn he looks good.

          “Hello, love,” he says, giving me a peck on the cheek. “This place looks great. As do you.”

          “You don’t clean up so bad yourself,” I answer.

          Gryffindors start pouring in, and we know there’s only a matter of time before Lily shows up. Professor McGonagall is helping us out again; she said she’d pull Lily aside to discuss our latest essay to buy us enough time to get everyone in and hiding.

          “Alright you lot,” says James. “She’s going to be here any minute, so hush up and hide!”

          Everyone does as he says, and Sirius and I huddle together behind an armchair. As we crouch in the darkness, we’re so close I can feel him breathing.  I could get used to this.

          We hear the Fat Lady swing open, and it’s time.

          “SURPRISE!”

          The lights come on to reveal Lily, whose mouth has dropped open. She puts her hand over her mouth in clear shock.

          Success.

          “Happy birthday, Lils,” says James, giving her a peck on the cheek. “Are you surprised?”

          “Yes!” Lily manages to get out. “Wait—none of you really had detention, did you?”

          We all smile at her from our hiding places. She laughs.

          “Let’s party!” yells Sirius. If someone else would’ve yelled that, it would’ve seemed obnoxious and cliché. But he can pull it off.

          Alice and I approach Lily and give her hugs. Then we drag her up to our dormitory with us.

          “We know we’re doing presents later, but here,” I say, holding out a box. “You might find this useful for right now.”

          Lily sits down on her bed and takes the box from me. She opens it, and reveals a short yet elegant black dress.

          “Oh, I love it!” she exclaims. “Thank you!”

          “James is going to die,” Alice puts in. Lily grins.

          After Lily has changed, we head back to the Common Room, where the party has gotten very lively, very fast. It’s only fifth through seventh years, because when the party is for the Head Girl, you can’t be too careful.

          James spots us coming down the stairs and walks over to us. He has eyes only for Lily.

          “Wow,” he says. “You look…wow.”

          He kisses her full on the lips and Alice and I take this as our cue to leave. She seeks out Frank and I go find Sirius.

          “Got you a drink,” he says, handing it to me.

          “Thank you,” I say, taking it from him and taking a sip. “Hey…Lily is of age now.”

          He grins at me mischievously. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

          “I think I am.”

          We pour another glass of Firewhisky and seek out Lily and James.

          “Lily, you’re of age now,” I tell her. “Which means, if you want, you can drink this Firewhisky with absolutely no guilt or fear of breaking the rules or breaking the law.”

          She looks from me, to the glass, to James, and I can tell she’s considering it.

          “What the hell,” she says, taking the glass from me and downing it in one go.

          James’s eyes get wide. “Alright, love, it’s important to remember to go slow the first time you drink, okay?”

          Sirius and I are still laughing. “We’ll leave you to it,” he says.

~Sirius~

          Two hours later, the party is in full swing. James and I made an agreement to not get wasted, so we could watch out for Lily and Mads, both of whom seem to be having a lot of fun.

          “Attention everyone!” I hear Lily’s voice from across the room. She’s standing on a table with a glass in her hand. “I have something to say!”

          She’s certainly gotten people’s attention now. I’m slightly nervous about where this is going.

          “I just wanted to say thank you,” she says slowly, “to my friends, for throwing me this party. And most of all, thank you to my boyfriend, James Potter, who I think is the sexiest man alive, and I don’t care who knows it!”

          A cheer rises from the crowd.  Lily raises her glass. James parts his way through and lifts Lily off the table and sets her on the ground.

          “Alright, babe,” he says. “What did I say about taking it slow?”

          “James, I’m having so much fun!” Lily says excitedly.

          “You can have fun on the ground,” he tells her.

          From next to me, Maddie is laughing.

          “Lily is pretty funny when she’s drunk,” I agree.

          She shakes her head. “I’m not laughing at that! You know what I just realized?”

          “What?”        

          “I’m Maddie,” she says, pointing to herself, “and you’re Padfoot,” she says, pointing to me. “We’re Mads…and Pads!” She bursts into a fit of giggles. “Mads and Pads, babe, do you get it?”

          “I get it,” I tell her. Looks like she’s had enough as well.

          “Sirius, can we dance?” she asks me suddenly.

          “Sure,” I tell her. She takes my hand and leads me into the center of the Common Room, which has become a dance floor.

          We’re dancing and everything is great, until a face I’d rather not see appears beside us.

          “Well, well,” says Lauren, addressing Maddie. “I guess this is why he didn’t want to snog me.”

          “Go away, Lauren,” I tell her, not wanting Maddie to realize what she’s talking about. But Maddie has already stopped dancing and drawn herself up to her full height to face Lauren.

          “I even thought maybe he was gay or something,” Lauren continues. “Because there had to be a pretty good reason he didn’t want to snog me. I mean, he promised, over and over, then after the holidays he just told me no.”

          “Yeah, he has a pretty good reason,” says Mads.

           “And that would be…he knew you’d sleep with him right away?” Lauren says with a smirk.

          “Bitch, you do not want to mess with me,” Maddie says, glaring at her.

          “You know what? I think I do, whore!” Lauren replies angrily.

          Before I can stop her, Mads has tackled Lauren to the ground. The two of them begin what can only be referred to as a catfight. They push and pull hair and claw at each other until James appears and we manage to pull them apart.

          “Enough,” I say. “Lauren, you need to go.”

          She looks at us angrily, then disappears up the girls’ staircases, her flock of friends (who have appeared out of nowhere) frantically rushing after her.

          I release Mads, who is fixing her hair and regaining her composure.

          “I’m fine,” she says impatiently, even though I haven’t asked.

          “Oh, I know you are,” I tell her with a grin. “My girl is a badarse.”

          She laughs and leans in to kiss me. I respond enthusiastically.

          A few hours later, the party has died down. Mads is pretty exhausted. I carry her up to her dormitory.

          After helping her into her pajamas, I lay her down on her bed.  She looks up at me tiredly.

          “Sirius?”

          “What?”

          “I love you.”

          “I love you too,” I answer.

          “Okay,” she says, settling in to her pillows and closing her eyes. “And Sirius?”

          “What, love?”

          “That’s not why you chose me, is it? Because you thought I’d sleep with you?”

          “Mads, how could you even think that?” I ask her. “Of course not. I chose you because I love you.”

          “Well, good, that’s what I thought,” she says, smiling to herself.

          I laugh softly. “Okay, love, good night.”

          “And Sirius?”

          “What?”

          “I have always, always loved it when you called me Mads.”

A/N: Hi, everyone! Let me know what you thought of this chapter; it's your encouragement that keeps me going! Hopefully the next chapter will be up soon! Thanks so much for reading; you guys are the best!

Sabrina :)
 
 


Chapter 20: Chapter 20
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A/N: To my darling readers, if I have any left, words cannot describe how sorry I am to have stopped updating for such a long time! I honestly could not find the time, as much as it killed me. I hope some of you are still out there and can find it in your hearts to forgive me and to continue reading. Your encouragement means the world to me. Thank you and I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.

Chapter 20

~Maddie~

          Lily’s bloody alarm goes off at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. Its sound seems magnified times a thousand.

          Then it stops. Thank Merlin.

          Then five minutes later, it goes off again.

          That can only mean one thing.

          Lily hit the snooze button.

          Now this may not seem like a big deal, but when you’ve known Lily Evans as long as I have, you know that the circumstances must be extreme for her to hit the snooze button. She’s only done it three times in all the years I’ve known her. The first was the day after her birthday first year when Petunia didn’t send her a card. The second was in third year after she’d found out her cat died. The third was in fifth year, when James had hung a banner saying “Lily Evans, will you go out with me?” in the Gryffindor Common Room and people wouldn’t stop calling her “Mrs. Potter.”

          So this is bad.

          As much as I don’t want to, I get out of my bed and walk over to Lily’s. My head throbs with every step I take.

          “Lils?” I ask. “Are you alright?”

          A muffled noise from inside the hangings tells me she’s at least alive.

          I open the hangings to find Lily with her head buried underneath her pillow.

          “Are you alright?” I repeat.

          “It hurts.”

          “What hurts?”

          “Everything.”

          I can’t help but laugh. Mistake. My head pounds.

          “It’s your first hangover, sweetie. Don’t worry, it’ll pass.”

          She rolls over to face me. “I’m never drinking again.”

          “Yeah, that’s what I usually say,” I tell her.

          Just then, Alice comes in. I hadn’t even noticed she was gone.

          “Good morning!” she says cheerfully. “I’ve been up since eight, helping the boys clean up. Last night was so much fun, don’t you think?”

          Lily and I glare at her. Clearly, Alice hadn’t had anything to drink, as per usual. And now she was deciding to rub it in.

          “Not in very good moods this morning, are we?” asks Alice. “Well, birthday girl, there’s a pile of presents waiting for you in the common room, as well as your boyfriend, who, if I recall correctly, is the ‘sexiest man alive’?”

          Lily groans. “I was hoping that was a dream.”

          “It’s okay,” I say sympathetically. “I got into a bitch fight with Lauren Ellison.”

          Her eyes widen. “Maddie!”

          I shrug. “She started it.”

          “Come on,” says Alice. “Everyone’s waiting.”

          I offer Lily my hand and pull her out of bed. Together we descend the stairs to the Common Room.

          As we walk down the stairs we hear James’s voice. “What if she’s not alright? I shouldn’t have let her drink so much, what was I thinking?”

          “Prongs, I’m sure she’s fine,” says Remus reassuringly.

          “If she’s not I’ll never forgive myself, it’s all my faul-Lily!” Upon seeing her, James runs over from in front of the couch where he had presumably been pacing back and forth. He nearly knocks me over as he embraces Lily. I take the opportunity to go sit down on the couch next to Sirius, who kisses me on the forehead and puts his arm around me.

“Are you okay?” James asks, picking Lily up.

          “I’d be better if you put me down,” says Lily weakly.

          “Right-sorry,” says James apologetically, putting her back on the ground. “But seriously, are you alright? Do you need anything? Can I-”

          “James!” says Lily. “I love you for caring so much, but I’m fine, honestly.”

          There’s a moment of silence as a grin wider than the ocean spreads across James’s face.

          “What?” Lily asks him, looking puzzled.

          “You just said you love me,” says James, in a voice that implies he can hardly believe it. “You love me!”

          Lily adopts a look of panic, which alerts the rest of us to the fact that they haven’t exchanged these words before. “No,” she says hastily, “I said I love you for-”

          “You said it again!” says James triumphantly, still beaming.

          “No, I-”

          But James isn’t listening. He’s run over to the window and thrown it open. “She loves me!” he yells out. “Lily Evans loves me!”

          Lily can’t help herself. She starts to smile. “Come over here, you dolt,” she says. James obeys.

          “I love you,” she tells him seriously.

          “I love you too,” he replies, and then they kiss. I think they’ve probably forgotten that the rest of us are sitting here.

~Sirius~

          We head down to breakfast together after Lily’s opened her birthday presents. We’re sitting enjoying our meal as we have the luxury of doing on Sundays, since there are no classes to rush off to, when Lily drops her copy of the Daily Prophet right onto her plate, a horrified expression on her face.

          “What?” asks James, startled. “Lily, what?”

          She shakes her head without speaking. James picks up the paper and looks searchingly at the page Lily was reading.

          “Oh no,” he says, looking from the paper to Lily.

          “Would you mind enlightening the rest of us as to what’s going on?” I ask.

          “It’s awful,” says Lily. “Those poor people.”

          “See for yourself, mate,” says James, passing the paper across the table to me. Maddie scoots closer to see and we read together:

                                                 FAMILY ATTACKED, TWO KILLED

        Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Cresswell, of Aberdeen, were attacked and murdered at their home at eleven o’clock last night. They were discovered by Muggle policemen and then by Ministry wizards after a neighbor phoned in what was believed to be simply a break-in. Mr. and Mrs. Cresswell were Muggles, leading officials to believe that this attack was purposeful and unwarranted. They are, however, survived by one son who is currently attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This attack was believed to be the work of Dark wizards, who left their mark above the Cresswell home. The Ministry does not currently have any information on who is responsible for this crime.

          Maddie and I finish at the same time and look up at each other. I feel like I might be sick. Maddie’s first to speak.

          “Poor Dirk,” she says softly, and we follow her gaze over to the Ravenclaw table, where Dirk Cresswell would normally be sitting. I assume they pulled him out of school last night to tell him.

          “It’s awful,” Lily repeats. “I-I can’t-I’m sorry-” She gets up from the table and leaves the Hall. James is up from his seat faster than I would’ve believed possible and follows her.

          “She’s frightened for her family,” Alice says, stating the obvious. “Imagine getting taken out of school in the middle of the night to be told your family’s been killed.”

          “And these people didn’t even do anything wrong,” Maddie adds. “It was just because they were Muggles with a wizard son. They-the people that killed them-they just don’t want anyone connected to the Wizarding world who’s not a wizard.”

          “So they killed them…for existing?” asks Frank. No one replies, considering his question and not wanting to give the answer.

          I can’t take it anymore. Without making excuses, I follow Lily’s idea and get the hell out of that Hall.

          I hear Maddie as I leave. “Sirius?” I’m sure she’s following me, but I really don’t want to talk right now, so I take a shortcut back to the Common Room James and I found back in second year.

          When I get there, James and Lily are sitting together on the couch, and Lily is crying into his chest. He and I meet eyes for a second before I head up into our dormitory, and I know he understands exactly what’s going through my mind.

~Maddie~

          Sirius leaves the hall without any explanation, so naturally, I follow. By the time I get into the Entrance Hall, he’s already disappeared. Probably one of those bloody shortcuts he and James are so fond of.

          I can’t think of where he may have gone besides back to Gryffindor Tower, so that’s where I go. There are only two people in the Common Room when I arrive, a crying Lily and James, comforting her.

          “He’s up there,” says James, gesturing to the dormitory. “But I’m not sure if he feels up to talking at the moment.”

          “Well that’s too bad for him, isn’t it,” I say flatly. “He can’t just disappear like that and expect me not to worry.”

          Without waiting for permission, I head up the boys’ staircase to the door marked “7th Years.”

          I knock on the door as more of a courtesy; I don’t expect a response and I’m certainly not going to wait for one.

          I enter to find Sirius, standing facing the window.

          “Sirius?” I say tentatively.

          “I don’t want to talk right now, Mads,” he says without looking at me.

          “Well that’s a little unfair, don’t you think?” I say, my temper getting the better of me. “You disappear from breakfast without a word of explanation and expect me to let it go?”

          “You wouldn’t understand,” he says harshly.

          I’m stung. “Why don’t you try me?” I suggest coldly. “Seeing as I’m your girlfriend and all, I’m supposed to be able to help you through things.”

          “You can’t.”

          “Why not?”

          “Because no one can. No one understands,” he says, still not turning around. “So if you don’t mind, I’d like to be left alone.”

          “I do mind,” I say fiercely, “but when you’ve decided to stop being such a bloody loner, why don’t you let me know?”

          I turn and leave the dormitory, furious at this sudden turn of events, and wondering what it possibly is that Sirius thinks I won’t understand.

 A/N: Thank you so much for reading, please leave a review and let me know what you thought! I'm sorr y this chapter wasn't longer, but hopefully the next one will be. I will do my best to keep updates regular from now on!

Sabrina :)

 

 

 
 
 


Chapter 21: Chapter 21
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

Disclaimer: All Harry Potter-related characters, names, places, objects, spells, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling. I only own the original characters and the plot.
 
Chapter 21

~Sirius~

          Prongs comes up to check on me around midday. I’m lying in my bed with the hangings drawn.

          “Hey, mate,” he says. “I’m about to take Lily down to the grounds for some fresh air. Just wanted to see if you were alright.”

          I don’t respond, but I know he’s not taking it personally.

          “I’ll be back in a few hours,” he says, with the unspoken offer to talk when he returns.  

          He leaves, and I’m alone with my thoughts once again.

~Maddie~

          In the absence of Sirius, I find myself sitting in the Common Room with Remus. Alice and Frank have disappeared somewhere, Peter is making up some work for McGonagall, and James has taken Lily for some fresh air. When I pointed out it was January, he insisted that it wasn’t that cold and that it would do Lily some good to get out. I didn’t quite follow his logic, but at least he was being a considerate boyfriend, which was more than I could say for Sirius at the moment.

          Remus and I are sitting around the fire, having managed to snag two of the best armchairs. He’s poring over his Defense Against the Dark Arts notes, and I’m pretending to be writing a Charms essay, but in reality, I’m just thinking about Sirius.

          “Maddie,” says Remus after about ten minutes, causing me to look up. “I’m sure he’ll talk to you when he’s ready.”

          “But why does he have to be so bloody difficult?” I return in frustration. “I mean, he could’ve requested nicely that I leave him alone for the time being, instead of snapping at me and saying no one understands him.”

          Remus chuckles. “Requested nicely?” he repeats. “Does that sound like Sirius?”

          I almost laugh too, in spite of myself. “No, I suppose not. I just want to help him.”

          “And he knows that,” Remus reassures me. “I’m sure he does. Just give him some time.”

          I smile at him. Remus really was a great friend to have. “Thank you.”

          He smiles back. “No problem.”

          We resume working on our homework, finally taking a break when James and Lily return from the grounds about a half an hour later. They take seats next to us, and James puts his arm around Lily, who still looks upset, but better than she did this morning.

          “I’ve just had an owl from my dad,” James informs us. “Apparently, these kinds of attacks have been going on for a while now. The Ministry has been trying to keep it all hushed up, so people wouldn’t panic.” Uncle Robert works in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, so if anyone would know that, it’d be him. “But the press managed to get wind of this one and get it in print before anyone could stop them,” James finishes.

          “How long is a while?” I ask.

          “Months,” says James somberly.

          “And they didn’t think they should let the Wizarding community know?” I say, instantly outraged. “That’s ridiculous!”

          “That’s the Ministry for you,” says Remus. “Always trying to keep everyone calm, even if there’s actually something to panic about.”

          “The good news,” says James, “is that now that it’s out, they’re going to issue all sorts of warnings and protection guidelines to try and keep everyone safer. However, I have serious doubts on how much those will do. Especially for Muggles.”

          “Like my family,” puts in Lily, speaking for the first time since they’d come back.

          “Which is why I owled my dad in the first place,” says James. “Lily’s family is going to stay at my place from now on, to give them protection.”

          “James’s parents went and saw my parents as soon as James owled them,” explains Lily. “Apparently once they grasped the gravity of the situation, they were very willing to accept their offer. Even Petunia, and we all know how stubborn she can be.”

          “Well, that’s great,” I say, reaching out to squeeze Lily’s hand. “They’ll be safe.”

          She nods. “It’s all thanks to James, really,” she says, leaning in closer to him. “Thank you.”

          “Anything for you,” he says, kissing her on top of the head. The display of affection brings my attention back to Sirius, who as far as I know is still up in his dormitory. James seems to read my mind.

          “It’s not something you did, if that’s what you’re wondering,” he says to me.

          “Then what is it?” I ask perplexedly.

          “I think it’s his place to say,” says James apologetically.

          “Would it be terribly persistent of me to go back up there?” I ask my friends.

          “It can’t hurt to try,” says Remus. James and Lily nod in agreement.

          “Wish me luck,” I say, before departing from my seat and going up the boys’ staircase once more.

          I knock on the door once again and this time I get a depressed sounding, “Come in.”

          I enter, finding my boyfriend lying on his bed, staring straight up at the ceiling.

          “Hi,” I say. “How are you?”

          He doesn’t answer right away. He sits up to look at me, and says the last thing I ever would have expected to hear.

          “Why are you with me?”

          “Excuse me?” I say, not really knowing how to respond to such a loaded question.

          “Why are you with me?” he repeats. “You do know my background, right? You know what my family-” He says with word with disgust-“is like, don’t you?”

          “I-” I start to respond, but he doesn’t give me a chance to finish.

          “How can you stand to be with someone who comes from that?” Sirius continues. “All that pure blood mania, all the ethnocentrism that comes with being descended from the ‘Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.’ You do realize that what happened to the Cresswells is exactly the kind of thing they’d be supporting?”

          Before I can start to respond again, he’s on his feet.

          “They support that!” he yells, unable to contain his frustration. “They support the murder of innocent people, just because they’re not like them! My prejudiced mother and father and my brainwashed brother! My cousins, walking around like they’re better than everyone because they’re in Slytherin! The family motto—Toujours Pur.  It means ‘always pure.’ That’s how important blood status is to them!”

          I’ve never seen him like this. He just keeps going, like he can’t help himself, and it’s just all spilling out.

          “And it doesn’t matter that I’m different,” he says, as if he’s already heard what I would’ve said. “Because as soon as people hear my name is Black, they’ve already formed a judgment of me in their heads. Do you know how hard it is to reverse that? Reverse judgments made by people who don’t even know me, and who don’t know how damn hard I’ve fought to prove I’m different?”

          “Sirius-”

          “How do you think it feels,” he continues, grey eyes flashing, “to have your only brother pick fights with you in the corridors between classes and otherwise not associate with you? Or have your so-called father look at you and tell you you’re the greatest disappointment of his life? Or have your bitch of a mother tell you she wishes you’d never been born?”

          “I don’t know-”

          “Nobody knows!” he hurls back at me. “Nobody can possibly know, until you’ve been put through it. Until you’ve had to everything face Howlers from your first day of Hogwarts screaming that you’ve brought shame upon the entire family, to being cursed by your cousins in the corridors, to having the Cruciatus Curse used on you by your own mother-” he breaks off, and I’m not sure if he’s going to continue.

          Sirius sits down on the edge of his bed. He puts his head in his hands for a moment, before looking back up and continuing. “Until you’ve had enough. Until you run away to the only real family you’ve got, and then have to live off of someone else’s charity because you’re not wanted anywhere else.”

          “Sirius…” I’m at a loss for words.

          “And then, when something like this happens,” Sirius says, meaning the news we learned of this morning, “you’re reminded that it all comes back to them. The whole lot of them. And you’re ashamed to have the last name that you do, and the reputation that comes with it. And you wish you could change it, but you-” His voice breaks. “You can’t. You just can’t.”

          He puts his head in his hands again, and this time I know he’s finished. I walk from where I’ve been standing through his entire outburst and sit next to him on the bed. I take his head and lean it against my chest, holding him close.

          I say the only thing that I can think of, the only thing that seems to convey what I think he needs to hear.

          “They’re not you,” I say, my voice shaking slightly. “They are not you.”  

~Sirius~

          To her credit, Mads didn’t run away after I got all out of control like that. She stays with me the rest of the day, just the two of us, lying together in my bed, her head on my chest.

          We’re lying in silence, when she decides to break it for the first time. “I never knew it bothered you so much,” she says, and I can tell she feels guilty.

          “That’s because I didn’t want you to,” I say honestly. “I don’t think about it, if I can help it. It’s just not avoidable sometimes.”

          “I’m so sorry,” she says quietly. “It’s not fair, what you’ve had to deal with.”

          “Life’s not fair, unfortunately,” I reply. “But try telling that to my dear old mum. She always told me I deserved what I got, that I brought it upon myself.”

          “You can’t be serious,” says Maddie, the horror evident in her voice.

          “Oh, but I am,” I say. “In more ways than one.”

          Maddie doesn’t laugh at the pun for once, and I’m betting it’s due to the seriousness of the situation rather than the overuse. “And she really…” Maddie starts but has trouble continuing. “She really used the Cruciatus Curse on you?”

          “Yeah,” I say. “The summer before fifth year. That’s when I knew I had to get out. So I ran away to James’s place.”

          “I can’t believe it,” she said. “What did James’s parents say?”

          “I didn’t tell them. James was the only one that knew.”

          “And didn’t he want to tell them?” she asks.

          “Yeah, he did. But I didn’t fancy filing a law suit. It was easier to just not say anything.”

          We lay in silence for a while longer before Mads speaks again.

          “You said before that you weren’t wanted anywhere else,” Maddie says. “You were wrong.”

          “Was I?” I ask, absentmindedly stroking her hair.

          “Yes,” she says, looking up at me. “I want you with me. Always.”

          “That sounds just fine to me,” I say. It really does. 

 

A/N: Hi, everyone! Sorry this chapter wasn't longer, this just really felt like the logical place to end it. This chapter was kind of intense theme wise, so I'm really curious to know what you guys thought. Thank you so much for reading, and I will do my best to have the next chapter up soon!

Sabrina :)
 


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