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The Queen Is Giving In by blackballet

Format: Novel
Chapters: 24
Word Count: 68,130
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Dumbledore, Sirius, A. Longbottom, F. Longbottom, Lily, James, Regulus, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: Sirius/OC, James/Lily, Remus/OC

First Published: 09/02/2012
Last Chapter: 06/19/2014
Last Updated: 01/17/2017

Summary:






beauty from empyreal. @ TDA


When was it that everything became so completely complicated? Was it something that my great grandparents did? Why wasn't Voldemort the one who got to die of a terminal disease? 

 






 


Chapter 1: Roses and Vanilla
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 

A/N: Hello world! I know school has just started again, bummer. I'll still try and keep as dedicated as possible to this story. I hope you like this chapter!
 

 








 

"Dorcas, get your flabby arse up and out of bed! You've to meet the Fortescue's at ten!"





 

 





 

"My arse isn't flabby, it's quite firm, thank you!"





 

 





 

"Whatever it is it's going to get a spanking if it doesn't get down here right now!" I pushed the covers off quickly and ran for the stairs; but not before tripping over my own feet. Why did Harley and I have to leave at eight? Ten thirty would give us plenty of time to get to the platform and on the train- Oh, right-  the little mocking head in my voice reminded me- Harley doesn't do magic.





 

 





 

"We have to leave at eight to get there by ten. I won't have you miss the train again." I stared up at her from the kitchen table, glaring through my eyelashes.





 

 





 

"You know too well that wasn't my fault," I grumbled. It was cruel she had said that, but that's Harley. I'm just as cruel I suppose. I missed the train my third year back to Hogwarts because mum and dad had died just three weeks before on their flight. I was pretty shaken, and, on top of that, mum was the Care of Magical Creatures professor. They hadn't found a replacement teacher in time, so the course was cancelled. It came back in my fifth year, but I dropped it completely.




 

 





 

"Yes it was your fault. You over-reacted," she said consolingly. I really did love my sister. She just aggravates everyone. I don't know what we would do if we weren't an old pureblood family. Every job she gets, she gets fired from. Apparently, she knows how to do everyone else's job better.





 

 





 

"Let's go, we'll be late if you spend another second on that tea." I threw her the keys and locked up with my own. I sat down in the passenger seat of the pickup truck and levitated my trunk and owl cage to the back. I let Melon on my lap and she purred as I pet her. Harley gave me a warning look about the magic and I stuck my tongue out at her. We pulled down the road, and passed Hestia's house. I sighed loudly, clearly seeing Hestia's lights were still out.





 

 





 

"Roll up the windows, Dor." We were going to pick up Lily. She lived on Elm Street, which was next to Spinner's End. Harley had never felt comfortable driving down here. 





 

 





 

"We'll be fine, I've got my wand, remember?"





 

 





 

"As if you can do any good with that. By the way, you look horrible." I looked down at my attire and slapped my forehead. I'd forgotten to dress. Thank god we'd learned clothing transfiguration. I changed my soft shorts into some jean shorts and a blue blouse, as it was still warm and humid out. Lily's house came into view and Harley stopped in front of the house. Wand in hand, I marched up to the front step and knocked on the door. A door creaked open slightly and a timid voice came out, "Dorcas?"





 

 





 

"Yes it's me fool, who else would go into public looking like this?" She slammed open the door and screeched loud enough to wake the poor birds trying to sleep. 





 

 





 

"Dorcas! You've come for me!"





 

 





 

"Yes, well, the general idea is to make it to school on time, and seeing as Harley won't apparate for her life, we're stuck leaving at ungodly hours," I said pessimistically.





 

 





 

"Oh enjoy life, would you? Let's go." She shut her door, and skipped out to my car. She slid into the back and grabbed Melon from the front seat. I was going to sit in the front, but decided Lily could help me look more presentable. I pushed Lily over a little and she scooted to the other seat.





 

 





 

"Once you're done with my cat, would you help me with my face? I can't come in looking like this!" 

 

 





 

"Sure, I've learnt some glamour charms and I've been wanting to try them out," she said enthusiastically.





 

 





 

"Good to know I'm your number one choice for a lab rat. Hurry, we're almost at Alice's." She looked at me accusingly, "Fine. Hurry, please," I begged.





 

 





 

"That's better. Now hold still." She waved her wand around a couple times and then clapped her hands together in delight. "There, it's perfect."





 

 





 

"Do you have a mirror," I asked, as she handed me one. I appraised myself and looked up. "I do look good. Thanks a bunch Lils." We sat in silence for a few minutes while Lily caught up with my cat. I swear they must have a long distance relationship or something. She looked up as if she suddenly remembered something important.





 

 





 

She leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Hey." I looked at her, confused by this, and responded.





 

 





 

"Yeah?"







 

"Guess what?"






 

"Oh for heaven's sake, what," I practically yelled. 


 

 





 

"Shush! She," nodding her head at my sister, "Can't know."









 

"Okay, well what is it? I'm a terrible guesser," I said truthfully.





 

 

"Alright, but you can't tell anyone, especially Marlene. Huge mouth, that girl." I nodded and looked at her expectantly.





 
 

"Okay, well this summer," she paused.




 

"Yeah?"






"I saw Nick." I stared at her for a couple seconds. Why was he the first thing she brought up? The slimy git had no reason for being in a muggle neighborhood. He should go back to the loving family at home. They would keep him all shiny and clean in the huge mansion of his. Hell, they could probably buy him a girlfriend. I cleared my throat, realizing I still had yet to answer Lily. "And? Pray tell what was he doing?"





 

 





 

"Kissing that girl you used to be friends with! What was her name? Whitney, Wilma?"





 

 





 

"Wendy, her name is Wendy," I said, seething. If there was one thing worse than Weids being in a ten meter radius of me it was him kissing a girl in that same vicinity. I folded my hands over my lap and acted as civilly as possible, trying not to raise my voice.





 

 





 

"Did you speak with Mr. Weids?"






 

"No."





 

"So you bloody tell me you saw Nick Weids, and then, even worse, tell me he was snogging the girl who killed my social life, then have nothing else to say?"




 

"Yes," she said quietly, cowering. I was about to blow up, believe me, I was. But then I realized that would just give Lily more reasons to talk so bloody loudly into my ear. Harley spoke for the first time since Lily got in the car.





 

 

 

"We're here, mongrels." I smiled for the first time that day, excited to see Alice. Lily, Alice and I were really best friends. Wholly and completely. There is nothing I've never told them. The thing about me is I don't lie. I just can't do it. Believe me, I've tried. Alice is our little secretive one of the group. She doesn't like to share details about her and Frank, or divulge into where she brought her underwear. Lily, on the other hand was a loose cannon, in the most realistic sense possible. One minute she was perfectly happy just pissing to herself, and the next she was blowing up in everyone's faces. And when one thing came out, everything did.  That's actually how I found out about a lot of things, now that I think about it. Say what you want, but there is one thing I'll never be, and that's perceptive.





 

 





 

We came up to the gates in front of Alice's house and Harley said something into the speaker. The gates opened and we drove in. I always loved visiting Alice. Her house was so scenic, right out of a princess novel. She was the generic perfect girl. Harley stopped the truck abruptly and we clambered out, ridden with joy. Lily grabbed my hand and dragged me up to the front steps. We were running and I felt happy for the first time that summer. I actually felt really happy.





 

 





 

Alice opened her door and smiled at us, before hugging us tightly.





 

 





 

"So, how was your summer?" I laughed loudly, something I did when I genuinely thought someone was joking.





 

 





 

"A picnic," I said rolling my eyes. "It was just the usual, you know. Harley being a right pringle about everything." When we were in second year, Lily had brought some chips from home, called Pringles. I hated them from the moment I tried it, so Pringle was associated with unpleasantness.





 

 





 

"Tell me about it! My parents have barely let me out of the grounds! They keep going on and on about keeping safe," she said in one breath. Alice's parents came into view and we quickly hushed it up.





 

 





 

"Mrs. and Mr. Fortescue," I exclaimed. I loved these people so much. They were like big cuddly teddy bears you had the urge to hug all the time.





 

 





 

"Hello darling," said Alice's mom. See what I mean? She's the only one that could be cool and call someone darling.





 

 





 

"Are we ready to go mum?"





 

 





 

"Yes, go collect your bags and put them in the foyer. We'll be with you girls in a second. I need to speak with Harley." That's when I noticed Harley had walked in with us. I was standing there, contemplating what they had to talk about, when I heard my name coming from the stairs.





 

 





 

"Dorcas! Come on," whined Lily. I rolled my eyes, she was so whiny sometimes.





 

 





 

"Alright, alright, don't get yourself all worked up." I followed the girls into Alice's room where she was in the middle of telling a story.





 

 





 

"... a tree and I couldn't get him down! So I call mum and dad and tell them to bring me a ladder from the garage. They said, we don't have a ladder sweetie, just levitate him down. I've been spending too much time in our muggle vacation home. I'd completely forgotten I could do magic!" She looked over at me and Lily, "How can you guys go so long without magic?" I had a confused grimace on my face. Not do magic? Lily spoke up first,





 

 





 

"Not do magic?"





 

 





 

"Yeah. You guys use magic in your muggle neighborhood?"





 

 





 

"Well, I keep it inside, but I couldn't live without magic." Alice looked very frustrated with herself for a few seconds before running downstairs screaming, "Mum! Dad! You said I couldn't do magic!" Lily and I caught it and looked at each other before bursting out into laughter. Ah, it felt good to laugh.





 

 





 

"C'mon, she's forgotten her things. Help me carry it down?"





 

 





 

"I think you can manage Lils, I've got to use the utilitarian facilities, I said, jumping off the bed and skipping down the hallway.





 

 





 

"I bet you don't even know what that means," she screamed after me.





 

 





 

"So what? I heard someone else say it once. It sounded cool." My voice trailed off and I locked myself in the bathroom. I didn't actually have to go, I just loved Alice's bathroom. It always smelled like roses and vanilla. I picked up the flower shaped soap and held it close to my nose. Yes, that's the smell. Roses.





 

 





 

"Dorcas! We've to go," called Lily from downstairs. I put down the soap sadly and was about to walk out when I paused. I turned around and slipped a bar of soap into my pocket. I love that smell. I trudged down the stairs, seeing Lily's, Alice's, and my trunks in the foyer. Lily was holding Melon, playing with her paws.





 

 





 

"Bye, pipsqueak. Be good, do your homework," Harley recited to me. I heard that little speech every year.





 

 





 

"Yeah, I'll try. Goodbye. Don't use all our money." She scoffed,





 

 





 

"There's not a way anyone could spend all that in three months. Don't worry." She left and a heavy air hung around us. Everyone knew there wasn't too many fuzzy, cuddly feelings between me and my sister.





 

 





 

"Okay, hold hands everyone." Coming from anyone else, I would've slapped them, but it sounded so right coming from Alice's mum's mouth. God, I love the woman like my mother. We all grabbed hands and bags and were whisked away onto platform ten.





 

 





 

"Ugh, I hate apparition. It makes me want to hurl," I said, actually woozy.





 

 





 

"Just take a minute before you go on the platform. Let Lily and Alice go first." I waited for Lily and Alice to go through, while stabilizing myself, when I was pushed over by a couple of huge kids. That was it. The marauders were here.





 

 





 

"Hey! Watch where you're going freaks!" All four heads turn around simultaneously, and I laugh silently at their freaky synchronization.





 

 





 

"Dorcas," James said, smmiling brightly. He was the first to come over and help me up. We embraced and my smile was back. Oh, these guys. 




 

 





 

"Hello Dorcas," said Remus politely. We embraced quickly. "It's good to see you." I smiled back at him. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"You too, Moony." 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

"Hey Dorcas," Peter said timidly, putting his arms around my shoulders quickly.  





 

 


 

"Peter. Doing well?" I questioned. 

 

 





 

"I had a great summer," he answered, smiling crookedly. 

 





 

 


 

"Doe!" Sirius said, grabbing me from my embrace with Peter. My legs swung around before he let me down. 





 

"Leave me alone!" I exclaimed, pushing him off of me. "I think you're still harboring some of that flu you had last year. You look horrible." He cracked a smile, but I think he knew I wasn't joking. He really did look sick. Nevertheless, he attacked me again in a ferocious hug. I peeled myself off of him and said,





 

 





 

"Let's go, you tossers. I'm not allowed to miss the train this year." I led the way and went on to the platform. Lily and Alice must have assumed I would find my own way to their compartment, so they went on and left without me. They walked ahead and went through the wall to the train, even though I had stopped to tie my shoe. I realized I was taking way too long to tie my shoe when the clock chimed eleven and the train began to take off.





 

 





 

"Fuck! Buggering shit!" I was walking around frantically, wondering what I would do about Harley, when she got a note that I wasn't at Hogwarts. Then, all of a sudden I was surrounded by huge arms and I heard a whisper in my ear.





 

 





 

"Hold on tight." I knew that voice, too well. The one that gave me chills in the night and sometimes actually scared me. I opened my eyes to the inside of a compartment with some 7th year Ravenclaws in it. I turned around and slapped my attacker. How dare he embarrass me in front of 7th years? God I hate him.





 

 





 

"Don't ever touch me again, Nick."





 

 





 

"There used to be a time when you asked me to touch you. Begged, actually. Sometimes screamed." He had whispered that last part into my ear, but I heard it. I also heard his friends snickering. I turned to face him.





 

 





 

"The only reason I'm not hitting you again is because you got me on the train. And let's make it clear that it was you who begged for me." I walked out of the compartment, my head held high, and of course he just had to talk back.





 

 





 

"At least I'm not the virgin, Doe! Little Bambi is so precious." I whipped out my wand and turned around, stalking back towards him, when an arm reached out of a compartment and pulled me inside. The marauders were all sitting in their respective corners, except for Remus, who had saved me. Admittedly, attempting to attack five seventh years might not have been that bright, but hey. The Virgin Doe? As if I hadn't heard that one before.





 

 





 

"Do you really think it was smart  to attack five seventh years? Who are all Ravenclaws!" Remus was too logical. I thought of all sides of the equation.





 

 





 

"At least they weren't Slytherins, am I right?" Peter, Sirius, and James all nodded, Remus just shaking his head.





 

 





 

"So boys what's up," I asked, grabbing a licorice wand. I plopped down between Peter and Sirius, my head hanging off the seat, my legs in the air.





 

 





 

"You're gonna get hurt like that stupid." Sirius was such a pessimist. Although, he had nothing on me.





 

 





 

"Hey, I happen to be very agile."





 

 





 

"Oh really?" I nodded my head up and down, my bangs flying around annoyingly. He pushed my legs down while still reading his stupid little newspaper. I tumbled down and ended up scraping my knees. I also had new splinters to remove. Great. I sat up on the floor, very disgruntled.





 

 





 

"There was no call for violence!"





 

 





 

"You signed the waiver first year Dorcas. Any injuries that happen in our compartment we cannot be held responsible for," Peter so kindly reminded me.





 

 





 

"Thanks," I spat at him. "Now does anyone know where the civil people are? Alice and Lily?" No one answered me, typically. I sighed realizing that only one person would know where they really are.





 

 





 

"James?"





 

 





 

"They're in the compartment two down from this one to the right. They're in the one with the emergency exit, number 102." That boy is seriously creepy.





 

 





 

"Okay, I'll catch up with you later then," I said. I looked up to see that no one had so much as flinched.





 

 





 

"I'm scratching my butt?" Again silence. "My top's off?" All I got from that were a few grumbles and unintelligible grunts.





 

 





 

"Ugh, fine. Be that way." I left and almost walked into the poor trolley lady. Old cranky bitch. I put on my 'Lily smile'.





 

 





 

"I'm so sorry."





 

 





 

"That's quite fine dear. Anything from the trolley?" I grimaced at her, smelling her old lady perfume. I was suffocated.





 

 





 

"No thanks, I'm full right now." As I was about to enter the compartment, I added something.





 

 





 

"And by the way, lay off on the perfume. It could kill someone in close quarters." She opened her mouth to answer, a little offended. I amended my sentence to make it sound like a compliment.





 

 





 

"On the other hand, if you're about to be murdered it's a good weapon!" I slipped inside the cabin before she could answer or get me in trouble.





 

 





 

"There you are Dorcas, we were so worried!" Oh great, here we go.





 

 





 

"Thanks Hestia. How've you been?"





 

 





 

"My grandmother died over the summer, actually." My eyes froze. I had no idea  how to answer that.





 

 





 

"It's okay, though. We knew it was coming."





 

 





 

"How does that make it okay," I screamed, exasperated.





 

 





 

She's just tired, Hestia. It's not your fault," Alice said, saving me.





 

 





 

"Oh sorry, Dorcas. We'll be quiet," she said, nodding at Marlene. Well, that didn't help. I wish she would just tell me I was being insensitive, just once. I stared at her for a few more seconds, making sure she was serious. I shook my head and turned to Lily.





 

 





 

"So guess where I was?" She didn't even look up from her newest book to answer.





 

 





 

"The Marauders?"





 

 





 

"How do you know," I asked. She folded the corner of her page and sighed.





 

 





 

"We all know you end up there eventually. So, actually, I wasn't all that scared." We can always count on Lily to be logical.





 

 





 

"Well there's more to it than that," I said, turning my nose up. Being predictable wasn't one of my proudest traits.





 

 





 

"Yeah?" I had her, she seemed interested now. Once Lily heard about something, she had to know about it.





 

 





 

I looked around. I don't completely trust Hestia and Marlene.





 

 





 

"Why don't we go to the loo?" Lily nodded discreetly and Alice's head popped up. She knew going to the loo on the train was code for gossip. I gave her a look and she understood to stay and watch the others. Lily and I got up and started down the hallway to the compartment that only fit two people comfortably. It was always empty.





 

 





 

"So? What possibly could have happened in those twenty minutes?" Oh great, she was enthused already. Perhaps I had built this up a tad much. I ignored her and opened the door. We shuffled inside and locked it.





 

 





 

"Okay, so you know how I, once again, barely made it on the train?" She nodded encouraging me to go on. "Well I was just standing in front of the barrier when the clock chimed eleven. To be honest, I don't know how the marauders got on either, but that's not important. I was standing on the platform, absolutely freaking out when someone grabbed me from behind." At this she looked shock, but didn't interrupt.





 

 





 

"So they said something to me, I don't really know exactly what, but I knew the voice." She finally understood and took my hand in consolation. I shoved her off. I really do hate human contact. "So after we apparated, I turned around and slapped him right in the face. Then there were, other things said, wands drawn, but the point is,  he touched me! God I hate him so much!"





 

 





 

'Wait a second, wands drawn? No one was dueling, correct?"





 

 





 

"Yes, yes Lily. All magic was stowed safely in our wands."





 

 





 

"Okay then, what else did you say? Or he say?"





 

 





 

"Well, he said, and I quote, 'There used to be a time when you asked me to touch you. Begged, actually. Sometimes screamed.'"





 

 





 

"He didn't!"  I nodded slowly.





 

 





 

"Then I said, ' The only reason I'm not hitting you again is because you got me on the train. And let's make it clear that it was you who begged for me.'"





 

 





 

"Wow," she mumbled, "Good line."





 

 





 

"Yeah, thanks. And that's where it got a bit messy. He said something about a virgin doe, and I got all threaten-y with the wand."





 

 





 

"Are you hurt? He is a seventh year, you know!"





 

 





 

"No, Remus saved me."





 

 





 

"What?" Oh, I hadn't explained that.





 

 





 

"After I was going back at Nick, Remus pulled me and I've already been scolded, so you can save the riot act."





 

 





 

"Oh thank god Remus is sensible." I wish I had brought Alice, too. She would've congratulated me for being so bold. Whatever, Lily. The lights started to flicker and Lily looked up.





 

 





 

"Looks like it's time to go change." When we got back to the compartment we found that everyone had already changed.





 

 





 

We changed quickly and there was a knock on the cabin. Hestia, who was closest to the, creaked it open and said, "Hello," in that quiet voice of hers. The next we heard was, 'Oh, it's you,' and then the door opened fully. Of course, she was the only one that would let Nick in. He turned to me automatically and the others shrank back into their seats.





 

 





 

"Yes? Anything you wish to add," I asked mockingly.  He looked frustrated for a second, but pushed it away and forced a smile.





 

 





 

"Will you come with me? I have to talk to you." I crossed my arms over my stomach.





 

 





 

"No."





 

 





 

"Oh for heaven's sake, move," he said, grabbing my arm in the process. He took me down to the end of the train before I stopped him. Ignoring my aversion to human contact, I put my hands on his chest.





 

 





 

"You need to stop this," I said. Confusing him.





 

 





 

"Stop what? We haven't done anything."





 

 





 

"It might come as a shock to you, but I was actually hoping not to have to speak with you all year."





 

 





 

"That hurts, Doe. It truly does," he said, feigning chest pains. I stood there, clearly doubting him.





 

 





 

"Seriously though, we should talk."





 

 





 

"Alright, we're well confined. What is it you just need to say?"





 

 





 

"I'm sorry," he said. I'm sorry, he said.  





 

 





 

"Okay thanks, then." I shoved him out of the way as the train came to a slow stop.





 

 





 

"Wait, that can't be it," he said, grabbing me back to him. Kids started filing out, and he rolled his eyes and dragged me into an empty compartment.





 

 





 

"Why? I don't care what you're sorry for! This is done please."





 

 





 

"This is done please isn't a sentence," he said and I gave him a look.





 

 





 

"But that's not important! What is, is that I still love you." I laughed automatically as I heard that.





 

 





 

"Done with waiting for the 'Virgin Doe' as you so quaintly put it, is the highlight of our relationship. Bye." I left the compartment, very satisfied and walked out to the platform.





 

 





 

This was going to be a bad year, I knew it.





 

 

I took out the soap and sniffed it daintily. Ahh, that's better.


 

 


Chapter 2: Play With Fire
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: I forgot to mention this in the last chapter, but yes. They are allowed to use magic out of school. In this world, the underage magic act wasn't instilled until after the First Wizarding World. :) Love you guys. 







I walked up to a carriage and opened it up to check who was inside. I assumed everyone had already left without me, so my goal was to find people I knew. The first one I opened was full of Slytherins. We kind of just stood there for a couple seconds, not sure what to make of the situation. Then one flicked out his wand; before I could even react, the door was slammed shut.

"Well! That was rude," I said to myself. Someone came up from behind and tugged on my braid.

"What's rude?" I was happy to turn around and see him.

"Sirius!" I gave him a great hug, before backing up slowly, realizing he was a little....disorganized.

"What happened to you?" His hair was in wild spikes, his tie was already halfway down his chest, his shirt was open, and that's when I realized. He opened his mouth, but I cut him off.

"Already down to business?" I was walking towards the nearest stationary carriage, and he ran to catch up with me.

"It's not what you think! I was just sorting some stuff out with Emmeline," he said, desperately.

"Look, I really don't care. You know that." He looked at me skeptically. I hate that look, especially on Sirius.

"So how was your summer," I asked excitedly, getting away from the Emmeline topic. He sat down in the middle of the seat and I la on his lap, picking at my split ends.

"Same as usual," he muttered in a non-committal tone.

"C'mon! Divulge with me!" I sat up quickly and looked at him wide-eyed.  

"Alright, but you can't tell anyone!" I glanced at him again.

"No, not even Lily," he argued. 

"Okay, fine. But you've been getting too secretive lately. It needs to stop."

"Okay so you know about my family." It wasn't a question, just confirmation. I knew this was serious now.

"Yes," I grumbled. I knew way too much, unfortunately.

"So it got bad this summer."

"Is that why you looked so horrible this morning?" Again, completely serious.

"Yes, partly. Anyway, mother found out about Emmeline," he said solenmly. I clasped my hand over my mouth. Why did he always go for the muggleborns?

"What happened? Is she okay?"

"Yeah, mum doesn't know exactly who, just that she's muggleborn." I studied his face. He did have a few more scratches than normal, but that could be Remus. We did full moons over the summer, too.

"How did she find out," I asked. His eyes darkened slightly and I knew exactly what that meant. 

"No!" Sirius nodded his head. "Regulus?" He nodded again.

"He's terrible! Oh, when I see that kid, I'm going to chop his-"

"No, stop. It was my fault, too." he mumbled, a little shame in his voice. 

"What, you let it slip to your mother!"

"No," he shouted. "Never!"

"Well? What then?"

"I just said some things about, Little Old Voldy." He rubbed the bridge of his nose, and I knew he was tired and stressed out.

I got closer to him and whispered, "You know how long we've worked to keep your views a secret?" He nodded, not wanting to look at me.

"I have never been more disappointed in you," I said, trying to show him the impact of the situation. He clearly didn't get it. 

"I know."

"When did this happen?"

"Three days ago. You know, I'm not even sure," he answered, letting his gaze fall to the seat we were on. 

"You look pathetic." He looked up, actually looking really cute.

"Actually, you're too fit for your own good." He barked a laugh, short and loud.

"C'mere," he said. He hugged me and I instantly became warm. 

"Thank you," he whispered, his breath tickling my ear.

"For what?"

"I haven't laughed all summer." We broke apart.

"What a coincidence! Me either!" He tittered again, what an odd laugh coming from him.

"What do you do to me?"

"I don't know, but I guess it's working," I said, winking seductively.

"You're a freak", he said, breathlessly.

"Yeah, that's me. Now get out, I'd like to get to the food."

"Yeah, sure, let's go."

He got out and we began our way up the steps.







"Where the hell did Doe get off to?" questioned Lily. "She'll miss the sorting!"

"We don't know where Sirius is either, Lily-flower. They're probably together."

"No one asked your opinion, Potter," she spat.

"I'm right here, calm your coolie." I got the strangest looks after that.

"What," I said, looking around. "I heard Harley say it once!"

"Well then, you probably shouldn't repeat it." Stupid Hestia.

"Hey! Only I'm allowed to make fun of Harley." The sorting had started and I tuned out his little song. Everyone else was listening intently. After he was done, and the first little girl was sorted, Emmeline came over from the Ravenclaw table and slid in next to Sirius. She glared at him, waiting for something to happen. He was completely oblivious, paying attention to see where the next victim would be sorted. He liked to predict each one, and whispered them in my ear as they walked up.

"Hufflepuff," he whispered, as a black-haired girl walked up to the stool. I shook my head.

"Ravenclaw, no doubt," IEmmeline looked annoyed and I looked away as quick as possible. Jealous, that one. She cleared her throat and looked pointedly at Sirius. He turned around, pretending he hadn't noticed she was there.

"Oh! Emmeline!"

 "We need to talk."

"Okay then, Gryffindor common room," he said impassively. She rolled her perfectly shaped eyes.

"That's not exactly ideal for me." He pretended to be entranced my Dumbledore.

"Sirius Black! You can't ignore anything forever!" He turned around.

"Actually, you'll find that if you ignore anything long enough, hopefully it will just go away," he said, placing emphasis on the last words. With that, he collected his timetable and left just as the hat shouted, "Hufflepuff!"

He turned around quickly, stuck his tongue out, and headed out the doors. Emmeline looked over at me, huffing and puffing, and went back to the Ravenclaw table. Everyone turned to me slowly.

"I thought you all were watching the ceremony!" They looked back at each other. Peter to James, James to Remus, Remus to Lily, Lily to Alice, Alice to me. My face wasn't budging so they all gave up and turned back around, except for Alice.

"Just because we weren't watching, doesn't mean we don't have ears, sweetie." I was in shock. Somebody must have put her up to that because never comes out right and says anything.

I know it sounds like we're being over dramatic, but really this happens every year. I don't know why all Sirius' girlfriends hated me! Well, that's a lie, I do know. I'm gorgeous, hang out with the marauders, and did once, in a previous lifetime, on another planet date Sirius Black. We weren't an outright couple, no no no. It was more in the format of heated snog in a broom cupboard. But still, we hung out the next day, the two of us by the lake. That automatically constituted itself as a date. I guess it was nice for the two weeks it lasted. He was probably the most interesting date I'd ever had. Most guys just wanted to snog me. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of that, but we actually talked, too. The only thing different from our friendship was he bought me all sorts of unneeded merchandise. He was sweet, too. And I hated it. Sirius Black couldn't be sweet. Urgh, he gets me so mad sometimes.

"You're food's getting cold Dorcas." I looked up at Remus, James, and Peter, who were about to leave. The Great Hall was mostly empty. I assume everyone basically left after the sorting, too tired to eat. I scarfed down two rolls and got up to leave. James looked down at me in disgust.

"That's all you're going to eat?"

"They were big rolls! I've always eaten like that. Nice of you to notice." They left and I sat back down. Clearly Lily and Alice were not ready to leave yet.

"So, what you guys?"

"Oh, nothing," said Lily, whistling all suspicious like.

"What?"

Alice spoke up, "It's just, Sirius ignored Emmeline, and talked to you." She shied away from me, clearly afraid of the response she would get. 

"Oh that! Nope, nothing special. It's just family problems involving her. Of course Emmeline doesn't know, but I don't think Sirius likes her anyway. He just dates muggleborns to get at his mum....." I trailed off. Lily and Alice's mouths were hung open.

"Oh shit. I wasn't supposed to say any of that."

"No you absolutely weren't! I swear, I don't know why Sirius tells you anything," Lily said.

"Well that's a little harsh coming from you!" She turned her scary face on.

"And how is that?"

"It's not like you can keep any secrets. It's not like we all don't know you're positively in love with James!" I swear my mouth needs its own personal lock. She picked up her bags and walked away moodily. Yes, Lily Evans had a walk for every mood. I guess that's why we broke up, Sirius and I, I mean. I literally let all my feelings spill out and bubble over the top.  It's probably the thing I hate most about myself.

I was all alone, and people were starting to stare at me. The girl who talks herself into a mad frenzy of emotion. I took out my timetable from my bag and scanned it for tomorrow's classes. First thing tomorrow morning, Ancient Runes. Also in my class, were Sirius Black, James Potter, Lily Evans, and Severus Snape.











"Ancient Runes is an advanced topic, my new subjects." What the actual fuck. I rolled my eyes. This old bag of a professor, Bathsheda Babbling, was absolutely the most boring person I've ever met.  I was a tad late, and didn't want to make a bad impression the first day. You know, being the star pupil and all.

"Ah, Miss Meadowes," she said. I really hate when people called me that. Oh shit, she caught me. "Nice of you to join us, have a seat, just there." I followed her finger three times before looking back to her.

"You expect me to sit next to that?"

"Tut, tut. I expected more from you. I knew your mother, you know."

"Yeah, that seems like a pretty common misfortune around here," I mumbled before throwing my things on the floor next to Snivellus. I was tapping my quill on the desk, minding my own business when it just flew out of my hand and landed on the other side of the desk.

"Hey, sniffy." He didn't acknowledge me, the nerve. "Pick up my quill will you?" He kept his thin, gaunt face forward, paying attention to the way Babbling was fumbling around with the books. I groaned and laid back in my chair. It's not like I was going to take notes anyway. Besides, my wand  was all the way in my bag, and I was not going all the way down there to get that.


"Miss Meadowes, would you like to demonstrate," Babbling asked, quite politely, which kind of made me mad at myself with the way I answered. 

"No."

"You don't even know what I want you to demonstrate."

"Exactly."

"Very well, five points from Gryffindor. Mr. Snape?" He didn't even walk lazily up to the board as he usually did. He took out his wand, writing the words for all us lower beings to see.

"Correct indeed. Five points to Slytherin," she said, clapping giddily. I leaned back once more, wishing I could curse him right there.

My head was really starting to hurt. It was in this one spot, like a slight burning sensation. I felt the back of my head and my hand started to burn, too! A frown came onto my brow when I realized what it was. I grasped the piece of paper from behind my head and threw a glare at James. That stupid charm was going to be the death of me. I  unwrinkled it and flattened it out on my desk. Snape leaned over and tried to look at it, so I stuffed it in my bag and rose my hand.

"Miss?" She turned around, chalk in hand, and said,

"Yes, Miss Meadowes?"

"I need to move my seat."

"Why? If it's an eyesight problem, we'll move you." I tapped my chin.

"No that's not it." Everyone stared at me, waiting for me to continue.

"Severus is dripping his grease on my quill, and it's making my ink run." Everyone burst out laughing and Snape just sat there sulking. Even the Slytherins were laughing. Granted, I'm a pureblood, but you would think they would stick up for their own species. Sometimes I feel bad for Snape,  but then again, it's Snape. This unadulterated hatred didn't come out of nowhere, mind you. I waited for the laughter to die down, and Babbling to regain control of the class before I took the note out again.

Doe, we on for a prank tonight?

Moony's getting tired. We want to cheer him up.

Full moon in four days.    

I set fire to the note, tossed it into the bin across the room, and began my own note.

Sure, tell me about it at lunch.

And I know I'm ready for it

Is Pete coming this time?

I sent my note over to James, making it poke him in the eye several times before letting it rest on the desk. He looked up and nodded in agreement. The bell rang for class and there was a mad scramble for the door. Lily and I always waited back, because Charms is just next door to Ancient Runes anyway.

"So. What were you and the idiots noting about anyway?" I looked at her, looking for signs of anger.

"What, you're talking to me now?"

"Yes, why," she said, actually looking confused.

"Just because yesterday you didn't say a word to me all night."

"Oh, I'm over that." 

"So you agree with me?" I couldn't stop myself. 

"No! Of course not, but it's up to you to believe petty rumors!"

"Okay, well we better get to class?"

"Yes. Yes that's good." We sat next to each other and took out our wands.

"I can't wait to start! You know Charms is my favorite practical class. Oh, Ancient Runes is alright, but I really love the feel of magic." I smiled at her. She really was my Lily.

"You're being silly. It's just magic." She crossed her arms.

"That's easy for you to say. You grew up with magic." I pondered on that for a second. I really didn't have that much magic in my life. Sure, there was the occasional dishwashing charm, but other than that, not much. My mother discouraged me from using magic around the house, so I could learn to live like a muggle. We used to live in a house like Alice's, until they died. Then Harley and I moved into somewhere that wouldn't waste all the money. A thirteen year old really shouldn't have to deal with all that. But I did, and turned out almost normal.

"Yeah, I guess," I said quietly.

Flitwick stumbled into the room, climbing clumsily up onto his podium. He tapped his wand on his desk.

"Quiet down, now!" There were some spare shuffling of feet, and then it was quiet.

"Today, we are going to be working on the Extinguishing Spell." Everyone looked around, some smiling, some groaning. Lily and I smiled, remembering Remus had taught us both this Charm over the summer last year.

"The extinguishing spell was created by Garrent Falim, in the mid fifteenth century. It is used to put out fires of all kinds. The proper movement for this is a large circular motion, and a sharp jab towards the fire." He demonstrated and some of us waved our wands around foolishly, trying to imitate him.

"Alright then, let's try it out." We had this class with the sixth year Hufflepuffs, who obviously didn't know how to do this. Not being rude, just speaking the truth. Anyway, one of the more inept boys thought it would be fun to set fiendfyre to his desk. Again, not very smart.

"Lily!" I screamed. "Get that fire!" I know I said I was good at magic, but, you know, it's Lily.  However, she was no help in these kinds of situations anyway. She froze and looked at me with nervous eyes. 

"Oh, alright! But don't blame me if someone disappears again!" I brandished my wand, and Lily cowered backwards. "Extinguenso," I shouted, before everything went black. 


Chapter 3: Too Perfect
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A/N: I hope no one gets too bored by this. This is what I saved on my computer as the 'plot chapter'. It took me a while, but I like it a lot for what it is. Enjoy!









 






"Nice to see you Miss Meadowes." I looked up at the old man, squinting from the bright walls of the hospital wing. My own private room. It's usually reserved for Remus, but t. I rubbed the back of my head, feeling the bump that had formed.

"Dorcas?"

"I heard you have an aversion to Miss Meadowes," he said. I eyed him scrupulously. Never one to trust this old man.

"That's true," I said, pulling the tight blankets off of my legs and torso. Pomfrey came over and pushed me back down, before smoothing the blankets back down.

"What am I doing here? I mean, I know I should be here, but why here?" They both looked at me in confusion, a look I'd never seen on Dumbledore.

"You know, in Remus' room?" Dumbledore nodded and folded his hands over his small stomach, as Madame Pomfrey stumbled away. Oh no, that was his important business talk stance. That's what he looked like when he told us about Remus. I guess I should go into the story about how the marauders and I met right about now.

It was first year obviously, and I still wasn't talking to Harley, who had taken away my dolly that morning saying I had to grow up faster. My mother and father walked me over through the gate and onto the platform. We had apparated, but we all had to go one at a time, because mom wasn't feeling well and couldn't apparate on her own. I have a weird, messed up, detailed memory. I went on the train and was off all by myself, in my own little compartment. Well, I thought it was mine, until a Slytherin prefect came in.







"What's a little bitch like you doing in here," the older girl snarled. I know my mommy said that's a bad word.

"That's not nice. Apologize." She sucked air in through her teeth, and took out a small badge.

"Do you know what this is, little one?"

"Yes," I said proudly. Mommy has one like that at home.

"So you know I'm allowed to curse you, and say it was punishment for behavioral problems?"

"Well, no offense, but you're wrong. You can't do anything to a minor, considering you still are anyway. That's not a Head Girl badge, it's Prefect. The most you can do is dock points. Sorry for being in your compartment." I began to collect my things, not really wanting to cause trouble. She stood there in shock, looking absolutely mad.

"Oh, and you should probably take a brush to that hair. It's starting to look a tad bushy," I added.

Stupefy!" I heard, ducking for cover. I didn't feel anything and rose slowly. I turned around to face a boy about my height, with black, wavy hair, light blue eyes, and a scar on his chin.

"What the bloody hell are you doing," the boy shouted. He grabbed my arm and tried to pry me from the compartment, but I wouldn't budge.

"Don't touch me. I won't move until you say you're sorry to her. That was my fight."

"Well, we both won't be saying anything in a second if we don't get out of here." I looked over at the girl, who was getting up, and looked back at the boy.

"Let's go," I said, wide eyed and particularly scared. I followed him down the corridor and into another compartment with three others.

"Hello," they said cheerfully. I caught my breath, not one for distance running. Or any running at all.

"Do any of you know what happened back there?" They looked up, then to the boy with the hair, and then back to me. One of them spoke first.

"Well, no but just to be safe, get the door Remus." The lankiest and friendliest-looking one stood up and swished his wand around on the doorknob. We sat in silence for a few minutes, until the door rattled.

"Sirius, I know you're in there! Just give me the girl and I'll leave," the girl said.

"No such luck, Bella-bitch. Go away or I'll sic Peter on you." There was one final bang on the door, and then more silence.

"So you're Sirius Black?" I questioned. He put on this arrogant face and flicked his hair back. His face was all scrunched up, and he was basically looking at the wall.

"Yes, problem?"

"No, but what's wrong with your face?" He looked down and turned red. The others burst out laughing and rocking back and forth in quakes. I backed away, they were certainly a strange group. They got their wits about them, and the  spectacled one addressed me first.

"So, who are you?"

"I'm Dorcas Meadowes, but the Meadowes part isn't really necessary. Just Dorcas is fine."

"Dorcas," questioned the boy that saved me.

"Yes, that's the name," I said, not certain he was alright in the head. 

"As in Meadowes?"

"Was I not loud enough?"

"You seriously don't remember me?"

"Well, I do from the last couple minutes in which we met. Do you remember that?" He shook his head.

"No, no! From the Pureblood Galas, at my guardians' mansion?"

"No I've never gone to any Pureblood anything. It's not really important to me, you know?" He looked offended.

"Did I say something wrong?" I asked, directing my attention at the others.

"No. You didn't. It's just I was sure I've met you-" He stopped and got a dazed look on his face. I shifted my gaze downwards and there was more silence.

"Harley!" My head snapped up.

"What about her?" He was about to talk, before I cut him off. "And yes, before you ask, she's my sister."

"Yeah, well she used to come with your parents."

"She did."












That was basically the whole train ride. After that I dozed off until we were about to depart for the boats. Before we left, they made me sign a form, promising I wouldn't tell on them or complain about getting hurt as long as they healed me. If I did, they would let me sit on the train with them. I agreed, because I had no other friends.

"Dorcas, please get dressed. Madame Pomfrey will let James escort you to my office." I sat up, propping my elbows on the pillow, and saw James waving at me from behind a desk. I rolled my eyes and got up, picking up my robes from the night stand. I ripped off the stupid little night gown I was probably forced into and put on the warm robes. I stepped out from behind the curtains and walked over to where James was sitting.

"What are you doing with Poppy's stuff?" I peered over the desk and he shuffled the papers around quickly, before tossing them in a drawer.

"Nothing, just checking out files."

"Not again! You got what, five detentions for that last time."

"Whatever, let's just get going." He grabbed my hand and we walked silently down the corridor. I always wondered which day I would find out why my parents took the plane that day. I always wanted to know why Harley didn't use magic anymore. I always knew  something was wrong with me. James was holding my hand now? That's just not likely. Something's wrong.

"Do you know what's up? It's probably nothing serious," I said, laughing quietly. He didn't even flinch. "I most likely just hit my head on the table or something."

"Yeah, I know," he said. Although, not too convincingly.

He leaned down to kiss me on my head and walked away, leaving me standing there and pondering his behavior. I made my way up the spiral stair case, the gargoyles automatically parting for me. They usually teased and made fun of me. Today was different apparently. I opened the big door with one hand, letting the other dangle at my side.

 

"Nice to see you dressed and healthy. Take a seat, Dorcas." I sat slowly and carefully, holding tightly to the edges of my shirt.

"I'm here to be a caretaker, and a news bearer," he said, while walking around his office. He stopped behind his large chair and saw though me with those great sea-like eyes.

"Some would say it's not a good job. I'm not scared of embracing the truth like others, though," he said thoughtfully. He was truly talking to himself now.

"I love to watch others feel. Do you understand what I mean Dorcas?" I nodded in false agreement. Feelings are suffocating. "I can tell you don't know what I mean yet. In fact, you might never understand." He stopped there, staring me down. His own knuckles white from clenching the arms of his chair too hard. He released his grip and folded his hands over his periwinkle robes.

"I've failed again, Miss Meadowes."

"Sir? I spoke timidly at first. It was hard to find my voice. He had been sighing an awful lot during this meeting.

"Keeping these ghastly secrets have certainly burdened my past, and now my present." I tried to question, but Dumbledore's eyes held a conviction which I had never seen before. He deserved to be through with this.

"Your mother was a spectacular, bright young woman. You, who hold many similar qualities, are as well." He sat once more, and I realized I was not ready to face this. I've never known Dumbledore to be without words, and this was the first time.

"I am trying my very best to make this as painless as possible, for a girl who has experienced nothing greater than heartbreak. Alas, I have not learned from my mistakes."

"Please, stop, Professor."

"This needs to be done Dorcas. You must be the only person in the world who has been dreading it more than I." A couple deep breaths from my end, and the torture was continued.

"Disappearing is the worst thing can do at a time like this." I both knew exactly what he meant and knew nothing at all. 

My eyes rose up from my lap. He couldn't possibly be serious. My mouth quivered several times. A tear fell out of my right eye, sparkling under the fake moonlight. It was like there was a hole inside of me now, and the more I tried to fill it with happy memories, the more it grew.

"What do you mean," I said, slowly and deliberately.

"You are going to die, soon. Everyone will die, but your time is just running out faster. With more unfairness in the world than I can imagine, your youth is being snatched away." There was more silence, more wasted time.

"Would you like me to explain now?" I nodded yes.

"It started with your great-grandparents, strangely enough." I said nothing once again, unable to choke on my words, afraid of what would come out.

"Your mother's side of the family has always been particularly gifted with magic. Not always with the most common sense, but still very strong." My eyebrows clenched together, trying to seal in my tears. They fell, cascading in river down my cheeks.

"Then why are we dying out? Why don't we live forever?"

"You're too powerful. Magic isn't meant to be perfected. We've tried Dorcas, those are the extent of my comforting words. And that, is my true regret."  Wow, look at that. Death from being too perfect.

"Your mother's family has always died young. The youngest being nineteen."

"That was my grandmother."

"She was brave as you as well."

"They said she died in a battle with an enemy."

"She didn't. Many mysteries will remain unsolved about you. We are trying our very best."

"Tell me about my uncles."

"Your first uncle was  supposed to be killed by an explosion. It did, for all intents and purposes, kill him. Your family has a planned time in which you are all supposed to die. That's why he didn't die until his brother's time. Twins go together." I bent my head down again, feeling a stinging sensation behind m eyes. This wasn't fair, this wasn't happening to me.

"How come you can't tell me when I'll die? If we all have set dates?" I was pleading, grasping for some sense of reality and control.

"Your uncles, they were rash. Brave, foolish. You can live as long as you want, but without  magic. The day you turn eighteen, is the day I assume you must stop using magic." He pounded his fist on the desk, emphasizing must. I jumped as the table shook. Dumbledore looked pained, his sorrow painted on his face.

"What about my parents? How could my dad possibly have died?" I was excited, maybe they had the wrong girl. Fooling myself was horrible. I should accept this, I need to.

"That was a tragic accident, a muggle death. They could do nothing about it." They died on the plane anyway. I thought about it for a second.

"My mother couldn't apparate."

"Usually, patients will live past their life expectancy. If they don't use any magic." I covered my mouth, the tears coming freely now. I had no power of restraint left.

"Harley," I whispered, mostly to myself. That's all we were to them anyway. Patients. That word rang back and forth in my head. I was trying not to taste the salty runoff that came straight from my heart.

"If your dad apparated with your mother, she would have died. If your mother apparated with your dad, she would have died as well. There is no way I can make this situation okay for you."

"So it doesn't even matter!" I was screaming at Dumbledore, choking back tears as I went. He sat politely, but thinking back on it, I'm sure there was a tear there.

"If she died he would have killed himself anyway! And no one decided it would be a good idea to tell me?" I looked around, forgetting I couldn't talk to them. I couldn't scream at them and tell them how selfish this was. This wasn't fair. I couldn't yell at them, because it wasn't as if I would tell anyone either.

"When is Harley going to die?" Dumbledore shook his head.

"When is Harley going to die?" I repeated.

"Your sister has been very fortunate," he said, trailing off. Leaving the rest to my imagination. I screamed from the top of my lungs. I tugged at my hair and held my own hand, because no one was there to hold it for me. My nose was dripping, and I felt disgusting.

"When will I die?"

"This disease is not the most predictable. We've had to do blood tests on your family for years to find out when their day would be. Your parents thought it best you not know. You mother didn't want you to end up like Harley." He paused and waited for my reaction.

"Approximations will do."

"Approximations will be misleading, Dorcas."

"Better than nothing."

"Everything is better than a lie." I stopped to think about that.

"What do you advise I do about the magic situation?"

"That depends, would you mind if I informed the teacher's about this?"

Yes!" He raised his eyebrows.

"I mean, yes I would mind, not yes, go ahead and tell them. Oh, you know what I meant."

"I don't know what to tell you about classes. You may continue regularly with Ancient Runes, Potions, and Herbology, but I'm afraid you'll have a little trouble keeping up with your other classes."

"I'll stay in my classes. Please, what do you think my age will be when it happens?" Dumbledore was giving into me. He would not deny me anything at this point.

"Probably three years." I breathed a sigh of relief. A lot can happen in three years.

"And if I continue using magic for the next two?"

"It's hard to say." I rolled my eyes, and let out a small whine.

"Dorcas, you will be disappointed if I mislead you. You need the blood work."

"I'll manage," I said.

"You can't do this alone, Dorcas."

"I won't tell anyone, but I do want to know. I want the tests." I stood up as calmly as my shaking shoulders would allow, and let out a long, shaky breath. Dumbledore stood as well, but I simply shook my head and turned away from him. My tears took over again, and I rushed out of his office before he could console me any more. Standing outside the ornate door, I leaned against it and let the cool calmness overtake me. I heard a loud bang from inside and fresh tears came again. If Dumbledore was so shaken, should I be more so? My hand came over my mouth as I replayed the conversation in my mind. I was incoherent, unmanageable, and rude. They were all glad to get rid of me. I would disappear, it was easiest.   

I took my time going down the stairs, drying my tears with magic, because I am a witch. How could this be hidden from me for so long? How could I not have figured it all out? I am good at running away from things. I've avoided it this long. This doesn't need to burden me as long as I don't want it to.

I saw Sirius Black turning the corner, and wiped the tears of my face with the back of my hand one more time. 

"What's with you?" He asked upon approaching me. I was almost skipping in my fake happiness.

"Nothing, just happy to be alive." We slowed down to a fast walk.

"What did Dumbledore have to say? Are you alright?"

"Better than alright! He gave me a Special Services to the School Award for helping out! And I was right, I hit my head on the desk behind me."

"You sure you're okay?" My stride was more powerful coming out of the office than it was going in. I wasn't fine. I wasn't okay.

I cocked my eyebrow, smirked and said, "I'm so perfect, I could die."

 







 

 







 

 







 











 

 A/N: Like it? Please say whether or not in the review box down there! Thank you for reading! Love you all :)







 


Chapter 4: Step Two On My Way To Destruction
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A/N: Shoutout to Pretense of Perfection for giving me really helpful constructive criticism! I've gone over two of my chapters and fixed them up a bit. Hope I'm improving for you, because it's all about you guys anyway. Reading is great, reviewing is great, do what you want though. Love you anyway.

 






 

Creeping out of the castle to avoid Filch was not as easy as you might think. Especially when the cloak barely fit three of us, never mind five.

"Dorcas, will you move over!"

"Shut your pie hole Sirius!"

"Seriously Dorcas, just crouch like the rest of us." Boys could be so stupid

"Ladies don't crouch," I scream-whispered for the last time.

"Yeah, well then they don't hide under invisibility cloaks either!" James shoved me out and I bumped into one very flustered Severus Snape.

"What are you doing here Meadowes?"

"Nice to know you've taken enough care to learn my name, Sevvy." I smiled as creepily as I could, and he backed away from me a little bit, then continuing on his run away from me. I was about to go kick some serious Black ass when I got shouldered by a thinner, daintier shoulder. There was a trail of tears leading from the red-headed Prefect who I would have to speak with later.

"Oi, Dorcas, we've got to go! Remus is getting restless."

"Oh fuck it! I'm going without the cloak, I'll meet you down there." I ran out the door that lead out of the Transfiguration side of the Great Hall. The courtyard was dark and dank at night. The big statue in the middle didn't look like a fountain you could get in trouble with from swimming in it. It looked like something you could get seriously injured from, with all the sharp edges. I ran faster, wanting to get in my stride before changing. My feet crunched the fallen leaves as I went faster and faster. The wind whipped my hair around with a force stronger than real wind ever could. I looked up in shock and saw that the full moon had bared itself to the night. I looked around quickly, hoping Remus hadn't turned yet, but it was only me in the courtyard. I ran down the steps leading to Hagrid's house and transformed while passing through the stones.

My red fur was always so silky. Running through the forest, the moonlight would reflect off of my fur. I gave off an eerie glow as well. Most animagi have a little hint of the person inside. James had spectacle birthmarks around his eyes, Peter was short and stout, also looking very nervous, but that could also just be that rat. Sirius had his blue eyes They were the same eyes I had known for all these years. Mine was silly, and rather strange as well. I had blonde ears, to represent my hair I guess. This wasn't exactly subtle as no red fox had blonde ears. My ear cocked to the side as I heard a scream  coming from the distance behind me. The centaurs still hadn't even seen me! I leaped across rocks and over tree roots as fast as was possible, until landing right outside their territory. I skidded to a halt when one of the larger ones stepped in front of me. I made a small squeak that I hoped was only loud enough for my ears. Another yell came in the distance, and the man-horse looked up, giving me the chance to run straight through the camp. They galloped after me, shooting arrows and shouting for me to slow down lest I be struck down mercilessly. Whatever that means. I made it out of the other side, generally unscathed. Small bruises were forming from rocks that had either been thrown, or branches that I had run into. I transformed back into my human self, and walked quietly around the silent clearing. Every crackle and snap of the woods took my breath away. I walked around where I sensed James to be, until I heard a slight hollow echo, and quiet whimpering. Remus was about to fully transform, and I needed to be there. Kneeling down, I felt around on the ground for a latch or handle to open the door. I grabbed the handle and thrust it open, shoving myself inside.

It was dark down there, and it seemed to be a long hallway before I would find the boys. I took out my wand, and turned on the lights. I came in and Remus was beginning to transform. Sirius, James, and Peter were standing in the corner opposite me, holding hands. I transformed quickly, hoping to distract Remus from the terrifying pain of transformation. I closed my eyes and used my senses to find my way across the room. Trotting with a fast pace, I heard cries of pain, and I winced every time I heard his body thrown at wall, or something to that effect. When I felt the comforting fur of my best friend beside me, I opened my eyes to the horror.

Remus was on the floor, bloody and snarling at the two who advanced closer. Sirius turned around when he felt me next to him, and I winced in pain before Remus even hit Sirius. I took Sirius' place next to James, and bit the air, threatening Remus. He stopped moving when he heard another howl in the distance. Rolling my eyes in anticipation is what I would've done if I could have ever figured out how to do that as a fox. Remus headed slowly for the door, and James, Sirius and I went to head him off. Sirius jumped on him from behind, which angered him even more. Remus wanted to go find his wolf friends now, and it would be hard to stop him. Remus thrashed around under Sirius' grip, and I jumped on his back, hoping to help. We were not coming out of this one unscathed, I already knew it. For the second I took my mind off of protecting Remus, he bolted through the door, and we ran after him. Peter came out of his corner and made his way up to the castle to inform Dumbledore that Remus was loose. Keeping up with Remus was no problem for me as it was for the others. The problem was that when Remus and I ended up being alone, there wasn't much I could do. The other two were much stronger than I. Remus had stopped, and was waiting to hear again from another wolf. I think he had almost forgotten I was there. James came up behind me, followed by Sirius. Remus turned around when he heard James' hooves on the ground. What happened next was almost in slow motion. James charged straight forward at Remus, one of his antlers piercing the side of Remus' leg. Simultaneously, Sirius was thrown to the ground, and I heard a whimper from his mouth, a rare noise. Looking back at Sirius, I saw that he had been forced to change back.

"Dorcas!" Why would Sirius be screaming my name when he could be heading back to the castle, was the last question I could ask myself before the centaur ran into me.

 I sat up slowly, dizzy and in a panic. I couldn't hear the sounds of teeth thrashing or the rip of skin. I saw my milky white skin in the sunlight. Confused once again, as I had never transformed back into a human. There was a buzzing in my ear and I saw Remus limping on James in the light dusk of six A.M. in Scotland. I picked myself up and walked slowly back to the castle, without enough strength to run as the fox I should have been.                   






"Vix!" I was in the hospital bed again, twice in two weeks already.

"Pads!" Sirius was coming towards my bed, his arm and leg bound and casted. I sat up and hobbled my way out of bed. He embraced me tightly, until I receded slightly.

"What's wrong?"

"Two broken ribs," I said, grimacing.

"I don't care right now." He hugged me again, with a little less force. I felt his breath on my head. He was breathing heavily, and now holding my head with one of his hands.

"You can't imagine how nervous you made us all," he whispered into my head. His huge arms had made me feel safe time and time again, and maybe these feelings were just strong mutual platonic feelings. They felt the same as James, or Remus, or even Peter sometimes. He held my upper arms and pulled back.

"Why the hell did you transform?" I gulped, my Adam's apple suddenly feeling as big as Sirius' looked.

"Same as you. I was too injured to handle it, and I defaulted back to human." He embraced me once again, and my head rested on his shoulder, my arms hanging limply at his sides. Remus and James came out from behind a second corridor of beds, walking slowly as they both needed. Remus looked worse than James, one of his legs was completely immobile. He was using muggle crutches, an invention the Wizarding World could not figure out a spell for yet. Operation on werewolves was dangerous, as it could cripple them permanently. Everyone joined our small circle and we embraced like true friends. Another tear slipped out of the side of my eye. The drop on the floor echoed in my mind as I hugged them as tight as I could. It seemed to smack the ground with intensity now. No one else heard it though, just me. Remus withdrew and went to lay down, as Madame Pomfrey hadn't allowed us to get up yet, and she was due back any minute. His words, not mine. James sat on the bed across from me, and Sirius sat next to me, letting me rest on his shoulder. His muggle T-shirt was soft and dark blue. It felt like I was laying on a cloud. Putting his arm around me, we sat through more silence and I let it happen. I wanted to break the silence, and for the first time, I would have something to talk about for every awkward silence for the rest of my life.






One of the things I couldn't wrap my brain around was Sirius' fucking mouth. He had a Victorian-esque beauty mark above it, on the right. His lips were set in a half smile most of the time. When he actually smiled, he used all of the teeth that fit in his mouth. It was the kind of smile that made you want to smile as well. He always shaved, except after he's had sex or a long night. After a full moon, for example. His lips were completely soft and he was always licking them. No one ever saw him put chap stick on, but I did one time. It was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. Except for one spot, his lips were a subdued red. He got a scar on the bottom right of his lip in fourth year, from Bellatrix. That spot has been a light pink ever since. The things I chose to think of while getting dressed in the morning were truly starting to disturb me.

Mornings after the full moon were the worst. We would get to skip breakfast, but that was usually about it. This was something we knew when we agreed to do this. Remus was the only one who ever got to skip a day of school. I heard more banging on the door, and I chose effortlessly to ignore it. I was putting my make up on as slowly as time would allow it. It seems that Marlene had gotten in late as well last night and was not her usual cheery self. Deciding to skip breakfast was not the best idea, seeing as Lily would be worried about my health. I don't think Transfiguration needs me today, so I will take my sweet time at breakfast. Smiling at my placid reflection, I opened the door and Marlene glared at me from her bed, got up hastily, muttered something under her breath, and flicked on the shower with her wand. And she thinks she's got time problems. I tied up my newly clean hair in a bun and walked downstairs with my bag. Going downstairs I got a few more strange stares than normal, but I waved it off to my horrible appearance. I trailed along the corridors, taking any turn I wanted to. The last few kids were trailing into their classrooms and I spotted Lily and Alice, chattering and about to turn the next corner.

"Wait!" I ran after them, tripping myself in the process. They walked over to me rushed purpose, and helped me up.

"Oh my god!" I looked at Alice in annoyance.

"What?"

"What did you do to your eye?" Oh shoot, I didn't cover that up?

"You know, Emmeline is just still not over Sirius I guess."

"Seems she's left a pretty big mark there. What's that about?"

"Like I said. You know how Sirius can be." We continued down the hall, Alice and Lily shut off by my hasty reply.

I assumed there was actually more to that story than Sirius had even let on to me. I mean, shagging straight off the train, then not even talking to her at the feast? What was wrong- oh. I get it. Sirius wasn't, 'sorting things out' with Emmeline. He was most likely sorting things out with any random girl. I despised it when he did that. I know why though. He has been rejected all his life, and I know what it's like to not be able to trust anyone. Most people thought he only started getting abused when he was sorted into Gryffindor, but from what James and Sirius have told me collectively, I can tell it started way before that.

Walburga Black was sometimes worse than her husband I think. His father mostly stayed in the background, the foreground was Walburga's wrath. She was the one who kept up appearances, and believe me, at the parties I had the so called blessing of being invited to, you would think Sirius a prodigy. Either that or he had been beaten so badly that day that he couldn't even show his face. I had been on the wrong side of her once, and I don't regret it one bit.

"How dare you? How dare you come and embarrass me?" Walburga was screaming at the top of her lungs, piercing the ears of the poor house elves who adorned the walls. I was around the corner, waiting for Sirius to come down from his room. He was now bleeding out of his nose, standing up against his mother, not even trying to stifle the blood.

"I did nothing you haven't told me! I stayed in my room until promptly eleven o' clock, when all respectable Pureblood festivities would be expected to end." He would get it for this. He was mocking her. He knew it too, as I saw the smirk slide on his face when she raised her fist. I hid my eyes, not wanting to see, nevermind hear what would happen next.

"Be careful, Madame Black. Wouldn't want another tooth to fall out, or it might not look so good to your master." He bowed low, another mocking attack. I really hoped he knew this would get him nowhere. As of now, I don't think he even remembered I was supposed to be taking him to Remus'.

"Hold your tongue! You won't take the Dark Lord's name in vain! You're insolent! Insufferable! No one will ever love you!" She let her dainty hand rest, and rearranged her rings so they sparkled under the dim kitchen light. She grabbed his collar, and walked him over to the corner.  

"You're just like your uncle." She spat on the floor in disgust. "He left because we hate him! That's what will happen to you too." She let the chair screech against the tile as she brought it over to where Sirius was crumbled on the floor. She crossed her legs, and dusted her perfect, black gown as if there would ever be a speck of dust on it. She leaned close to her trembling son and whispered through perfectly painted lips.

"You're worthless. Your so called best friend has been waiting in the hall for you, watching you get screamed at by a woman. You're so very lucky she's Pureblood. Pretty, that one. Better keep her safe, Sirius dear."

"Shut the fuck up!" Sirius' voice rang out in the large room, and I saw his blood spatter from his lips from across the room. She almost went to smack him, but dropped her hand to rest on his cheek when she saw my face.

"My son, you could have been so wonderful, like your brother." This was enough. Sirius was better than any of them could ever be.

"He's better than you." She turned away to look at me, and let her fingernails scrape against his face.

"Don't you dare tell him that you, or anyone else in your family is better than him, because you're wrong."

"Watch yourself, pretty girl. Did you not hear me talking to my son? I think he'd like to have you, and I won't have him working on damaged property."

"Shut up," Sirius roared from the corner again. I glanced at him and tried to give him my best pleading face, the one that told him to stop.

Walburga turned back to use her menacing voice on him again, but not before I froze her. I froze her with my wand. Like with ice and everything. Sirius let out a sigh of relief that I could tell he'd been holding in. I walked over to him and lifted him up as much as I could.

"We need to get out of here. She might burn the ice with all that rage." He chuckled as fully as was possible, and let out another ragged sigh.

"We need to get you out of here."

"Go to James' place. His parents. Help."

"Are you ready?" He nodded quickly, and I saw more blood leaking from under my hand.

 

That was one of the nights that I will never forget. At James' house, Mrs. Potter worked her magic on Sirius and he was moderately fixed up by two in the morning. The night had been moved from Remus' house to the Potter's. Everyone was there, and I think Sirius did know in his heart he was loved. He wasn't worthless, but I have always had a hard time proving that to him.

Lily and Alice kept trying to drag me into the conversation, but I would have none of it. My mouth would stay shut until we were separated by at least one potions table. God only knows what would come out of this mouth at nine in the morning, considering the circumstances.  

I made my way over to Sirius, and dropped my bag on the floor in between our chairs. I nudged him, while he was flirting shamelessly with Gwenog Jones, Hestia's older sister who was in Hufflepuff. He flipped his hair back with his hand before turning towards me, and I saw Gwenog bat her lashes one last time, all while giggling unattractively.

"What's wro- Whoa!" He caught my image in the middle of speaking, realizing what I needed in the first place. 

"What happened to your face? Or at least your makeup?" I crossed my arms over my weak ribs and coughed, hinting that he needed to amend that statement and fast.

"I mean... Well fuck, you get it." I sighed again. This whole getting treated as one of the boys bit was getting old.

"Can you just fix it? Pomfrey left it for me last night."

"Just do it yourself, I'm not good at that stuff." He turned back to Gwenog, who had just been joined by her pretty friend. I looked down, trying to keep my temper.

"I can't!" he turned around quickly, annoyance flashing on his face

"Well why the hell not?"

"I just can't." I gave up, my arms becoming limp at my sides. I felt like a big deflated balloon. I was hungry, tired, moody, dying, and just wanted my face to become a pasty white again.

"Fine, just turn towards me." He grabbed my chin forcefully, and examined my eye and cheek. I looked away again, not wanting any reason to fall into those beautiful eyes. I felt the pain leave my cheek slowly, and he removed his hand. He fixed my bruise, quickly and easily. There wasn't magic he wasn't good at, the bastard. We both faced the front, and a dead awkward silence settled. That's never actually happened before. Silence has happened, but never uncomfortable silence. I had to do something or I would just burst.

"Sirius what the hell did you do to Emmeline?" He turned to answer, but not before Slughorn started up class. He faced the front again, and chose to ignore me. Something he would never do on a regular basis. I fell against the desk, my head bouncing, definitely leaving another bump. Worst. Day. Number. Two.

 


Chapter 5: Love and Other Injuries
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A/N: I am back, sorry for the late update if anyone is still reading this. I really got into it this weekend. :) I like this chapter a lot. Thanks for reading! 

 








I woke up from what I promised myself would be the last long night in a long time. After Dumbledore spoke to me, I finished my day with a nice dinner, and headed straight to bed. I haven't gotten out of bed in two days. All I do is sleep, cry, and stare. I wake up in the middle of the night and stare at the deep burgundy curtains that surround me. I don't want Harley to know I know about her. After everything she does to protect her secret, Dumbledore goes and spills it in one shot. My entire life has been a sham up until now. I can't really do anything I wanted to. There's no time for me to become an Unspeakable, like my uncle. I won't even have that much time out of Hogwarts. Mostly I'll just sit by myself, I think. I am going to suck every experience I can out of Hogwarts, and then no one will ever hear from me again. Withering away sounds so cowardly, but it's probably the bravest thing I'll ever do. I have to choose to leave my friends, and maybe Harley. Or maybe I'll just stay in Saint Mungo's, where I can die peacefully. I think I'd like to decide when I'm going to die.

"Dorcas, you have to get up now! It's classes and I won't have you skipping already!" Oh, Lily. How I wasn't ready to leave them as much as I thought.  I'm not even prepared to lie to their faces yet. I've been practicing lying to myself in bed. Telling myself that I won't die and seeing if I am believable enough. I might as well get out of bed anyway, as it's the first day of full classes. Boy, am I excited.

"Alright, Lily! I'm getting up, and dressed, and ready to face the day!" Oh God, I really am terrible at lying. She pulled back the curtains and eyed me skeptically.

"You can keep being strange as long as it gets you up, I guess." She slung her bag over her shoulder and walked down the flight of stairs to our common room. I stumbled around and got my uniform out of my trunk. After dressing, I sat down in front of the mirror, appraising my face.

"Is there nothing I can do to my hair?" I asked my reflection helplessly.

"Would you like me to curl it for you?" I focused in on the background of the mirror and saw Hestia twirling the edges of her perfectly set hair. I slumped back in the bathroom chair.

"I guess that would be nice."

"Okay," she said, walking over. Hestia and Marlene weren't really that bad. It's nice to be with people who will just be nice all the time. I still can't understand it, but I appreciate it now. She really was perfect and nice and just really accepting.

"All done, Dorcas." I felt my hair, happy with the results, mad at myself for not being able to do it without help.

"Thank you Hestia, really."

"No problem, let's go though, I don't want to get in trouble with Lily," she said, smiling brightly.  We headed down the stairs and out the door of our common room, chatting idly about the few lessons we had together. Not being rude, but Hestia's not really the brightest light on the Christmas tree. We were almost at the doors to breakfast, the holiest time of day, when Sirius fell into step with us. 

"Hey there, stranger. Where have you been all weekend?" Oh great, he was addressing me.

"Um, sick," I said, coughing unconvincingly. Although, that couldn't really be counted as a lie.

"Sure, sweetie," he said cheerfully, slinging his arm around my shoulder. He picked up one of my curls and twisted it around his finger. I know everyone says that they would love to have a guy for a best friend, but it's not really all it's cracked up to be. First of all, they're much harder to figure out than girls. I always know how I would handle a situation, so I just assume my girlfriend's would do the same thing. However, I can't just assume Sirius or Remus are going to go read a love story or cry the night away. Like right now, for example. What the hell is he doing with my hair? Can't he see it's done to perfection and touching it will ruin the effect? I tugged my shoulder from under him, dusting his man-scent off.

"You smell nice. You know, for you."

"You too. You know. For you." He and Hestia went into another conversation that didn't include me.

I wish I could live at least until I was married. Some people, well most, lived past into a healthy marriage. Some even get multiple marriages! My mother and father loved each other like nothing I'd ever seen before. She held his hand when they crossed the street in a way my hand had never been held. Their hands were never just that in my mind. When my mother grabbed dad's hand, it was as if she was holding it away from the rest of the world. The way that she would fall into his side and sometimes take a short rest on his shoulder. Then dad would look down at her and smile, not letting on how much his previously broken shoulder really hurt. My favorite part was when they let go like there wasn't a care in the world, which there clearly was. They weren't insecure that someone might hurt them, ever. If anything, I would like to learn to be fearless. Maybe that's why the Sorting Hat put me in Gryffindor anyway. Surrounded by James and Lily, and Sirius and Remus, I could learn how to get these last moments right. I felt a nudge from my left.

"Hestia just went in," Sirius whispered. "I didn't want to say anything to embarrass you, but your hair looks better natural." I stood there with my mouth hanging  open. Natural? Does he even know what that means? Clearly not. By the time I went to yell back, tell him that he doesn't look good no matter what he does, he was in and probably seated. Maybe I've put too much stock in the male species.

I went into the Great Hall for breakfast, and the first thing I noticed was that Sirius was sitting with Lily Evans. Alone. And he was still alive! I started running in my attempt to save him before Lily started acting normally again. As I came up closer to the table, I realized they were actually having a serious conversation. I leaned down and grabbed a muffin before sitting down next to Sirius. I punched his arm, and he looked in my direction all of a sudden wary.

"That was for the hair remark. You couldn't possibly like it better natural because believe me, you've never seen it natural." He leaned close and put his lips near my ear.

"I have seen you in all sorts of natural Dorcas." That made me blush. I never blush! I actually don't recall ever having blushed.

"And I think you wouldn't have half as many friends if you left your hair natural every day."

"So true, my love, but all I need is you. Seeing as I'm accepted in your eyes, that's all that matters."

"Oh, shove off, Romeo."

"Who?"

"You're insufferable." I pushed my way back out of the bench and grabbed my things from the floor.

"You're not having anything else, Doe?"

"No Lil, why?"

"You're looking a little bit thinner, lately is all." I swallowed deeply, assuming more side effects were coming into play. I glared at her a little longer than necessary to make my point. Grabbing another muffin, I headed out quickly. Now I know why they were having their little heart-to-heart before I came. I never knew I was such a hot topic of conversation. Slinging my bag diagonally across my shoulder, I tied up my pretty, Hestia-fied hair up into a ponytail. I guess I should eat a bit more, but my stomach was always feeling full. Placing my books down in D.A.D.A, I took out my wand and weighed it gently in my hand. It felt the same, but it really didn't. It was like being detached from a bigger part of myself. The door opened and I threw my wand into my bag quickly.

"Hey, Lily! I thought you'd never show." She looked around slowly.

"We don't have class for another ten minutes, Doe." I tried to talk, but she raised her hand to silence me. "I know why you're so thin now." I wanted to smack myself. How could I already have let the secret slip? Wait a second, I never told anyone. I cleared my face and put on what was hopefully a blank expression.

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"We all know you and Sirius can't possibly be over each other, and Emmeline is very tiny. But you shouldn't want to look like her, the little tramp."

"Lily, I am nowhere close to being with Sirius ever again, and you can hold me to that. If it makes you feel any better, I didn't even realize I was getting thinner. I promise I'll be fatter than you again by next week." I knew guilting her into being sorry was wrong, but hey, what could I do?

"Look, that's not it! I don't care how thin I am and neither should you."

"I'm playing Lily, calm yourself." She looked off to the side, turning her nose up indignantly.

"Don't be like that! You are just too emotional for your own good." She rolled her eyes and sat next to me, licking her lips quickly.

"So what are you and the boys doing tonight," she asked, putting on a serious face. "I don't want the common room destroyed again, you know I report directly to the Head Girl. I don't need any more trouble with her."

"Lily Evans in trouble with her superior? Pray tell." This was actually a fun topic. It made Lily all flustered and annoyed, another of my favorite pastimes.

"Well, there's not much to it. It was rumored that I was involved in the marauders' last prank, which I was not!" I smirked childishly to myself. That was partly my fault.

"What do you know that I don't," she asked warily. Polyjuice Potion is never good to use during the school year. I told them she'd find out.

"Nothing. I know nothing." She knew I was lying but waved it off. I guess she hadn't gotten detention, or I really would have had it.

"Well, I don't actually know what we're doing. Haven't spoken to them all week, really."

"So you admit there's a prank!" She liked to be triumphant.

"No. Like I said, I don't know what we're doing." As people began trailing in, we quieted down.

Peter sat down discreetly next to me and Lily pinched my arm in confusion.

"What's the problem, Pete? You're not in this class."

"I know I'm not in this class. James said give this to you, Remus said give this to you, and Sirius said give this to you." I stared at the objects in my hand.

"What nothing from you?"

"Oh, shit. I forgot. Here you go." He placed a key in my hand.

"What is this for?" I leaned in close. "I thought there were no pranks tonight, cause, hey, it's the full moon."

"Hey, I just deliver, I don't get that much information. Just read the notes." He left, scurrying away. I always laughed silently when he acted like the rat he was. Out of all of us, his was the only one I predicted correctly. I always did notice rat-like inflections coming from Peter.

Being a fox was not my ideal choice. My goal was to be a unicorn, but even if I was still a virgin, I wasn't the purest of creatures. Foxes were sneaky and dishonest, not my favorite title. I never wanted to be labeled as that when Sirius got loyal and James got strong. Although I can't complain next to Remus or Peter. Those just suck. I hope I would still be able to transform. It was closer to me than anything I have ever experienced, even magic. If I lost that then it would be as if I lost myself. I placed the key in my bag after studying it a little bit. It was a skeleton key, old-fashioned, rusted on the tiny handle, and looked far too huge to fit in any door. The next was the note from Remus. I opened it and began to read.

Vixen

It's fine you missed the prank last Friday, the boys aren't mad. James said it was something to do with Dumbledore. I'm hoping you're feeling up to it tonight, as we've changed it up a bit. Meet us in the courtyard behind Transfiguration at 8 o' clock. James' note might explain this a bit more, I don't really know what he wrote. Don't pay attention to whatever Sirius gave you, it's probably nothing.

Moony

I closed the note carefully and put it next to me. Lily reached to grab it before pulling back quickly.

"Ouch! what is this, another note from Potter? It's burns like hell." I smirked once again. Good old protective Remus. I opened up James' note and his was quite a bit longer.

Dorcas

Whatever happened last Friday is our secret. You didn't hit your head on a table, or a chair. I don't know what this is, but I hope you make the right choice in either telling us or not. Madame Pomfrey has picked up our little note-burning charm, seeing as she's protected your file with it, something she hasn't even done with Remus' yet. It's not my secret, it's yours so don't worry about my mouth. I don't know what I, what we would do without you. Sirius is hanging on to you more than ever after this summer. Peter relies on you to talk to him when we're doing something else. Remus is very appreciative of your help with his problem and having an intelligent banter while the rest of us are too stupid or too tired. You're like my sister, Dorcas. We love you, just don't shut us out. 

James

I crumpled this one up, and tossed it in my bag. How dare he bring that up right before a big night?

"Dorcas, try the spell. Or at least look like you're paying attention," Lily said, jabbing me with her elbow. I dug around for my wand and blew some collecting dust off of it.

I cracked my neck and blew out some short breaths, mocking Lily. I put down my wand, not wanting to confuse Lily if I wasn't able to pull it off.

"Look, I've known this counter-curse since we were third years. There is nothing I could do then that I can't do now."

"Whatever. At least wave your wand around a couple times." I gestured around the class at all the kids not practicing their spells, finally landing on the teacher.

"Look over there, Lily. Our teacher is sleeping, again. I think I'll squeak by." 

 "I'll still know the spell better than any of you."

"That doesn't help when you can't ever use it against somebody." Man, have I become bitter.

She picked up her bags and moved over to sit by Severus and I scoffed again, but couldn't help when a little smirk slid onto my mouth. Even though I hated his very soul, my best friend could have been considered in love with this entity. She leaned over him and let giggles slip out of her mouth. Ugh, she was doing it to spite me. I would have to tell her how tacky that was later.

I sat back, taking the last little present out of my bag.

D-

I need you to wear this. Emmeline is still nagging me and you're the only one anyone's afraid of.

-S 

I laughed out loud again. How many times I've worn this necklace I don't care to count. The precious Black necklace all the Sirius-followers were enraptured with. It was perfectly stunning. The string was of onyx pearls and in the center was a small, but not too small amethyst stone. Purple, the color of royalty, had to be represented. The girls all know we're not really together. I don't think he's actually given it to any of his real girlfriends. At the beginning of time when Hestia dated Sirius, he came up with the idea of breaking it off with his girlfriends by giving me the necklace. Whenever they saw me wearing it, it was clear the relationship was over. I think it was supposed to be implied that he would rather be dating me than anyone else, a laugh every time. I'm a threat and everyone knows it. I could have any guy I wanted, but the problem was I didn't want any of them. I wanted Nick Weids; alas, he was a dick. 

I put on the necklace and now I just had to wait for Emmeline to see me.



 






Laying on Remus' bed with an ice pack on the side of my face was not the way I had wanted to spend this Thursday night.

"Really, Sirius. It's okay, I've had worse hits." He was pacing back and forth, muttering about how Emmeline was such a bitch. It was just a slap, but I've always bruised easily.

"What we really need to worry about is Remus right now." He looked up from his spot on the floor, his head in his hands.

"Okay, Dorcas. You know how I asked you to meet us in the courtyard?" I nodded yes and he continued.

"Well Dumbledore seems to think he has found a better way for us to handle the moons." My face brightened a little as I propped up on my elbow.

"What do you mean? And why was I trusted with this key," I inquired, holding up the key Peter bestowed on me.

"We gave it to Peter," James said slowly, turning to Peter.

"Hey! I didn't want to be the one to lose it!" We all burst out laughing, because for the first time Peter had thought ahead and was probably right.

"Okay, well there's this underground cabin-like structure in the Forbidden Forest. It should muffle my howls and make it easier to keep me," he swallowed," trapped up, as it were." I clapped my hands together.

"Perfect! When do we go down?" The boys looked around uneasily.

"What? What's the matter," I asked, looking pointedly a James who cast his glance downwards.

"We're going to need to get past the centaurs," James said, once again all their eyes fell on me.

"No! Absolutely not!" I folded my arms and threw down my ice.

"Please! You're the fastest out of all of us, except Moony, but he can't really..."

"I do not need another day of hoof-mark-on-my-face related questions."

"We really need to try this. It would make it easier for everyone and Dumbledore promised he would talk to the centaurs before next full moon."

"Fine, but only for Remus. You better love me for this." He smiled,

"Never anything less my queen." I nodded in approval.

"See? You could all do with a lesson on how to treat me from Remus. And you," I said, flinging the necklace across the room, "take this back, I feel dirty wearing it." He caught it and threw it in the open drawer next to his bed. We were all silent for a couple minutes, contemplating what we needed to do in a little bit.

"Everyone come sit in a circle," I said. They all groaned.

"This isn't another one of your girly talks, is it? Cause I think Lily and Alice are in your room if you need to talk."

"Well, excuse me Pads! I didn't know it was so bad to talk to me." I got off the bed, sat on the floor next to Remus, and closed my eyes. I heard them all get up slowly and reluctantly, and the corner of my mouth couldn't help but tilt up. When I opened my eyes, they were all where they should be. With me.

"I just want you all to know, I love you so much, and I don't know what I'd do without each of you." My eyes traveled across the room, lingering on James for a second longer than everyone else's.

"Since the war has started to crop up in conversations, it's really made me think about my life. You guys are the ones that I would have by my side on the last day." I held Remus' hand and continued.

"I want you to know that I'm here for you whenever, and especially tonight. It's okay to lean on me, I'm not weak. I'm strong and ready to go." I really just wanted to shout this at James, but I was trying to keep it discreet. Sirius grabbed my hand and looked me straight in the eyes. Oh great, it's back. Those blue eyes that nobody can ever get over. That's it, might as well be dead now.

 









A/N: Did you like it? The full moon scene is coming next chapter. Review and come back for another helping please! 

 


Chapter 6: All Of the Reasons Why
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The back door in potions creaked open, and Madame Pomfrey came in.

"May I speak with Miss Meadowes please?" A confused look washed over my face, as I waited for Slughorn to give me the okay to leave class. He turned around, his chalk still raised in the air and gave Pomfrey a cheery grin, and a nod to let her know I was okay to leave. I collected my things hastily, waving goodbye to Lily and Alice on my way out. Madame Pomfrey walked swiftly, and I was taking lengthy strides to keep up with her. Her lips were sealed tight and it seemed as if she was holding something inside. Coming upon the Hospital Wing, she paused to open the door for me and ushered me inside quickly. Shutting the door behind her, she locked it with her wand and shooed me away from her desk. I sat on one of the beds across from where she was now frantically searching for something.



"Madame Pomfrey?" She slammed her hands on the table in distress.

 


 

"How could you assume you would be okay to go out in the full moon yesterday?" She was yelling as she spoke, trying to control her huge voice. My mouth gaped, and I felt foolish. How could I have been so stupid?

 

 


 

"I can't not go," I said. "They would wonder why, and I just can't tell anyone. Yet." My eyes shifted around the ground as I tripped over another lie. I wouldn't be telling anyone.

 

 


 

"You'll have to figure something out, because that was a very dangerous thing to do. Very dangerous. Your animagus form not only uses extreme strength, but an inordinate amount of power." I stuttered again, not knowing how to respond to that.

 

 


 

"It's up to you, but Dumbledore and myself strongly recommend never transforming again."  She bustled over to me with her needles in hand and laid me down gently.

 

 


 

"What are we doing?"

 

 


 

"Did you want to get your blood taken? These are the tests." I nodded, assuring her that I understood. She must have seen my tears, because she came and  sat next to me, taking my hand.

 

 


 

"You'll be just fine, Dorcas." She cradled my head, and I felt her shaking under me. My mother seemed to have a lot of impact on everyone.

 

 


 

"Madame Pomfrey, were you a nurse when my mother was here?" She looked down at me, her deep brown eyes wet with the beginnings of tears.

 

 


 

"No my dear. I was with Harley. She is so much stronger than your mother was, I have heard. You both are. My worst fear is having a student die under my care." My tears came again. Why would she be scared, if there wasn't chance of it happening? I laid back down and stuck out my right arm. She wiped me clean of bacteria, and stuck the first needle in. My tears were streaking down my chest and soaking my robes. Withdrawing, there was a bubble of blood where the needle once was. She whisked her wand over it and the small incision sealed itself. As I saw the next needle moving closer to my arm, I closed my eyes and pretended this was all a dream. A dream where I could wake up any minute and forget what had happened.

 

 


 





 

Wiping my tears from my salty cheeks, I exited the hospital wing, with only a lowly nod in Madame Pomfrey's direction. I never imagined the impact I, or my family, could have on another person. This was the reason detachment was necessary. Now I just needed to wait for the tests to do their job. As of now, I would carry on as regularly as possible. Speaking of regular, I had no idea what was going on in the world! At all! All I knew for sure was both Lily and Sirus had some explaining to do.

 

 


 

I stalked down the halls towards the Great Hall for dinner, planning everything I would say to Sirius about Emmeline. My fussy musings attracted the attention of some annoyed portraits, and they scoffed haughtily at me. My shoes clacked loudly against the floor in the empty corridor, and the repetitive beats calmed me like rainfall usually would. Getting angrier as I walked, my steps having a greater chance of cracking the marble beneath me. 


 

These things do bother me, and I should probably show my emotions more. It's always bothered me that he throws girls around like dirty towels. We're both impossible, and it's something that is never going to change. I wanted answers, I wanted all the reasons, and I wanted them now. 


 

I came up to the golden doors and using all my might, slammed them open. Everyone looked up to spot whatever was wrong, and I was caught with my face open for everyone to see my anger. I scanned the tables, all of them just to be sure, and noticed that Sirius was not even there. I did, however, spot Lily. I muttered a small "Oh", before going to sit with Lily.

 

 


 

I smiled devilishly at my smart friend, who closed her book when she saw me coming. "Hello Lillian Evans."  

 

 


 

"Have you ever realized that Lillian is not actually my real name?" Whenever I was mad at Lily, I resorted to calling her Lillian, as a more formal and harsh-sounding call. Yes, I know that's not actually her name. There was just nothing else to call her!

 

 


 

I sat down and folded my hands together. "What were you and Severus doing, oh I don't know around 8:00 PM last night?"

 

 


 

She leaned in close and her little frown of worry formed above her red brows. "What do you mean?" She gnawed on her lip and I felt a bit bad, knowing I had come up to her with the intention of being intrusive. I looked at her intently and I could tell that she knew exactly what I meant.

 

 


 

She cleared her throat and started a little story. "Well, there were prefect rounds last night, and Remus was off with his mother again, so it was just me. When I left the dormitory, I had it all set in my mind that I would patrol alone. Everything was alright up until I got to around the stairs heading towards the dungeons." I turned around expecting him to be there again and ruin the end of her story. Not sensing anything hovering around Lily or I, I let her continue. "Severus must have been following me or something because all of a sudden someone's wand lit up non-verbally." I could just imagine how her hair whipped around when she saw the luminescence of a wand. "So it mostly went like this."

 

 


 

"Lily." I turned around to face him, and I knew the voice as soon as I heard it.


 

"Severus." He played with his fingers, and looked hastily around to make sure no on else was there, I assume.


 

"Lily, what's up?" My mouth hung open in shock, at the simple tones of the boys words. 


 

"Severus, what is it exactly that you require?" His fingers ran through his hair, and I couldn't help the small smile that grew as I noticed the small inflections from when he was a kid. From when we were friends. 


 

"I, I need you to help me with my potions assignment." My smile fell. I knew this tactic, and it was growing tiresome. 


 

"No you don't Severus." I clutched my wand a little tighter, as I broke his heart one more time. "Make up a better lie next time Sev."


 

"Lils," he said. He reached out to grab my arm and I flinched away. He withdrew his arm, and the dark brow eyes grew to black, clouding his pupils. 


 

"Fine! Go cavort with Potter!" 


 

"Severus, that's ridiculous." 


 

"No, it isn't that far fetched!" 


 

"At least he's not evil! At least he can be nice sometimes!" He rolled his eyes, drawing boredom over his face.


 

"So that's exactly what you want, Lil? Nice? I'm sure you'll make a lovely couple." I was crying, and it was like he didn't even care. 


 

"Still better than you." His mouth opened wide, and mimicked my own.


 

"I'm so sorry, Sev. You know I didn't mean that."


 

"Do I? Do I know anything about you anymore? I give up Lily Evans. Let him have you." 


 

"That's not fair to me Severus." 


 

"I'm done thinking about what you'll think before I do anything. It's not worth it."


 

"Was it worth it last year? Is it because I'm a mudblood?" 


 

"Stop that Lily," he roared. He grabbed my left arm and pulled me close to his face. I was never that close to him before, and it was simply put, scary.


 

I dragged my arm slowly out of his grip. "It was never about that Lily. You scare the shit out of me every day of my life. You're going to kill me Evans." I clasped my hand over my mouth as he walked away, the man who couldn't be moved. The one who was always there for me. 


 

"Severus! Please!"

 

 



 

I had a hard time keeping a straight face through this story, but I managed it for Lils. 



 

"Is that really how it went down?" 


 

"Yeah, Doe. I don't think he's ever going to forgive me." I rolled my eyes.


 

"Forgive you? In my opinion the whole thing was his fault to begin with. I mean first of all, he came up to you. Second of all, he was the one who started yelling. And this ones just a question but third of all, did he really yell? I mean, I've never even seen Sniffy lift an eyebrow out of intrigue." 


 

Her head fell into her hands and she did that sarcastic air-huff. At least she's laughing. "It may surprise you, but he's not that bad a guy."


 

"You're right that did surprise me. Now lets focus on me. Do you know where Sirius is?" 


 

"What do you want with him now?"


 

'"What the hell does that mean? Do you know why he's been all mean and moody?"


 

"As a matter of fact, I don't. Sirius and I haven't gotten all buddy-buddy since you've gone full on maniac."


 

"Maniac? I am as normal as I ever was." Not that there was much normal to go on, but I haven't gone completely mental yet.


 

"You've lost interest in all of your core classes, when I know you are striving to become an Unspeakable. Well, you'll never get there at this rate. Your hair is a mess, and getting very dull if I do say so myself. You scream at basically anyone who dares to touch your shoulder. As for Sirius, from what I've heard you've been a straight up bitch ditching the marauders left and right. The pranks are easily spotted and foiled without you. You don't even know what's going in his life right now. You better get you act together or no one in their right mind will ask you to the Halloween Ball, which is in no less than eight days!" 


 

Ah, shit, that godforsaken ball is next Saturday, isn't it. 


 

"Well, I think it's a little presumptuous of you to assume no one's asked me yet. Who are you going with Miss Got-it-all-together?"


 

"Potter." Lily's face was completely deadpanned, and in that moment, I raelized just how absent I'd been. 


 

"No fucking way." I cackled and threw my head back, and felt my cheeks grow embarrassingly hot. My stomach was cramping so I held onto my side as Lily looked around to make sure no one saw, which everyone did. "What the hell kind of joke is that? You and Potter?" 


 

"It's not a joke." She stopped to stir her tea, and I waited for her to burst out with whatever she was holding down under her tongue. Her cheeks grew the two red spots that came with secrets. I was ready. "And, well, I've not actually asked him yet." I put the back of my hand to her head.


 

"Are you sick?" 


 

She threw my hand off viciously and dusted her forehead as if I had some foreign germs. "Of course not." She drew the cup up to her mouth and my smirk fell when I realized what was going on.


 

"Don't do that to him Lily." 


 

"What," she questioned innocently, sipping on her tea. 


 

"Asking him to get back at Severus? That's terrible."


 

"I'm not-"


 

"Oh, don't take me for a fool. What don't you get? The boy's in love with you! I won't let you do that to my best friend."


 

"Whatever, I don't need your approval. He'll say yes and that's all I need right now."


 

"Well Snivelly was right about one thing." I stopped to take a sip of her tea. "You should have been in Slytherin." Grabbing it back, she stopped the conversation by burying her face in the teacup. She was sulking in a teacup. That should be a book title. I think I'll write a book, because honestly, I'm very imaginative. I am very scatter-brained, though. I can't tell a story for my life. Not maniacal, scatter-brained.


 

"So, about Sirius, whats going on in his life that I don't know about?" She looked around once more, and took my hand which was out on the table. 


 

"Dorcas, I'm sure he was going to tell you."


 

"What?"


 

"Emmeline cheated on him. That's why he was upset." 


 

"Fuck! You're right I was a complete bitch. So, do you know where he is?" 


 

"That's the other thing."


 

"Lily," I said warningly. Her teasing was getting on my nerves now.


 

"He's at home."


 

"What the fuck! What the hell is going on with the world." I ripped my hand out from under hers. 


 

"How the hell do you know any of this anyway. You've never liked any of them, never mind Sirius. Oh, I get it. You think that now you need to use James you can be friends with them. Well, you're not. They're MY friends. All mine, and no one else's, so get that through your thick head! Shit balls!" I stood up and rubbed my forehead. I really didn't need this right now. "When the fuck did he leave anyway, All-Knowing One? Cause we just had class with him not thirty minutes ago."


 

"Dumbledore came for him about ten minutes after you left. Everyone knows. Not just me. You know, you should think about what you say Dorcas, cause I always hear every bit of it." Lily glared at me through her fiery eyes, and I could tell that I had gone too far. 


 

"Look, I'm sorry, Lils, I'm not having the greatest day. Shit fuck. Kill me already please." I grabbed my bags and headed for Dumbledore's office. The only place I could seek solitude in the castle, really. 


 

"I'll see you later, Lil! I've got stuff to sort out!"


 

Wait," she called after me. "Why were you in the hospital wing!" I turned around abruptly, my eyes widening. Shit, I'd had a nice ten minutes in which I actually forgotten about that. 


 

"It's not important right now! Later," I said, as the Great Hall, shut me out and away from her prying questions.  



 



 

 

 

 


 

I plopped myself down in the guest chair (as I called it) in Dumbledore's office. I was really wiped out. When did those stairs get so hard to manage? My thumbs fiddled together as I sat and thought about what had happened. I was dying, Sirius was probably getting beaten right about now, James was going to be manipulated by his long-time obsession, Remus was still in the hospital, Lily was fighting again with Severus and Peter probably had no idea what was going on either. And look at that, it's only October. Alice and Longbottom were the only ones who had anything together as far as I know, which isn't an awful lot to go on apparently. At least this would all be over soon for me.


 

Speaking of which, I hadn't even given a thought as to what I was going to be doing about the magic thing. I don't want to go like my uncles, but I don't want to have to live like a muggle again. That was a brutal ten years, let me tell you. I think maybe I could just tone it down a bit. Actually, I might as well just throw it out altogether. But I still have a year to go, and I wouldn't want to get put back in sixth year if I don't graduate. This is going to be a careful year, and this has been an especially long day. 


 

"Hello, Dorcas."


 

"Professor McGonagall? What are you doing here? You have a class right now!" That's when it dawned on me that I also had Transfiguration right now. 


 

"I know. As do you, and that hasn't stopped you." 


 

"Yes, but I just had to discuss something with Professor Dumbledore." 


 

"As did I, Miss Meadowes. It seems the Headmaster has been called out." She rested her head in her hands and let out a great sigh, seated in his chair.


 

"Professor." 


 

"Alphard Black has been murdered."


 

"Excuse me?"


 

"Sirius Black's uncle, Alphard Black has been murdered. Well that's up for debate. He died."


 

"Is that where Sirius is?"


 

"Yes, Miss Meadowes!" She looked up sharply.


 

"I assumed you knew. Are you not on speaking terms with Mister Black?"


 

"I-I am. It's complicated." She did not respond.


 

"Well, I'm gonna head out," I said, pointing towards the door. "See you in Transfiguration?" No response.


 

"Alright then." I shut the door silently, and left McGonagall to herself. What is wrong with her? There must be something wrong going on. Even I could see that. Alphard was surely not that important, considering he wasn't even involved with the revolutionary movement. Maybe it was something to do with Voldermort. She certainly wouldn't ditch her own classes for something simple as a death. I understand Sirius now, and all I could think about now was how much I wanted to hug and apologize to him when he got back. I love that boy so much it's painful.   



 

 




 

 


 


Chapter 7: Truth or Death?
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Sirius POV
 
The train was going super fast right now. Or at least it seemed like it was going faster than normal. I don't know how the bloody hell I'm going to face any of them. Old Al was the only one who liked me, I guess. Maybe I could go live in his old house, cause there's no way, swearing on the Black family tree, that he left anything to anyone else, right? Or maybe people don't like me as much as I think. Nah, not possible. I know who hates me and who doesn't. And the majority of the 'doesn't' adores me.

"We're arriving, Mr.Black." I lifted my head from the side of the window, and walked out to join Dumbly in the corridor. Why does he even have to be here?

"Yeah, yeah I know. I can smell them from here." Dumbledore smiled and I knew I was helping the situation.

"Let's keep this joking manner toned down, shall we? I'm always one for a laugh, but, alas, not all can keep a light heart. This is serious business."

"Yeah, I know professor. Very Sirius business. Get it?"

"I do, Sirius. I get it." I let out a heavy breath at the small frown on Dumbledore's face, growing as we stepped up to number 11 and 13 Grimmauld Place. Here we go.

I rapped the gate in front of the non-existent house with my wand, as the house would only open to a Black. I flicked my hair out of my eyes with my other hand. My fucking hair really needed to be chopped off. It's annoying but it does annoy my mother more, so it stays. If only Doe liked it, too. The rumbling of the house pulled me back into my harsh reality. I don't really know anyone who has it worse than me, if you really think about it. I mean, sure Dorcas has no parents, but at least she has Harley. And James is a right saint in his house. I guess Remus could give me a run for my money, which isn't in an endless supply like people think. Pete, well Pete's a mystery, even to us. I mean seriously, we've never even stayed over his house. Which I guess makes sense. His mum's a clean freak.

"Albus." My father's voice crackled like the gravel on which we still stood. Dumbledore pulled a smile over his face as best he could.

"Orion. Pleasure, as always. I'll come in now? Yes, very good. Come then, Sirius." I looked up at my father for the first time since the summer, and I saw exactly what he wanted me to. Punches. Kicks. Curses. I felt him fishing in my head as soon as he first spoke to Dumbledore. Damn Legilimens. We walked through the dark hallway, and I almost gagged from the stench of dead houself. You would think they could fix that with a spell or something.

We met in the living room, my hatred spiking when I saw all my family members dressed in black, somber and silently smirking. This was their fake sad. I knew it inside and out. They hated Al, and I wouldn't be surprised if his death wasn't a heart attack, whatever that is.

"Let's get this over with," grumbled Bellatrix, and I turned a bit in my chair to glare at her.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Read the will, old coot," she practically yelled while looking a crazy as she ever did. I looked at Dumbledore in shock.

"What will? Is that why you're here?"

"Yes, and I think Bellatrix is correct. We should get this done and get yourself and Regulus back to school." Bells tried not to look surprised, but I saw her sneer raise for a minute in shock that someone actually listened to her.

"The Last Will and Testament of Alphard Pollux Black. I, Alphard Pollux Black, am a resident of 83 Feunsi Place, London, England. I am of sound and disposing mind and memory, and over the age of seventeen years old.


Declaration

 

I hereby declare that this is my last will and testament, and that I hereby revoke, cancel, and annul all wills and codicils previously made by me either jointly or severally. I declare that I am of legal age to create this will and that this last will and testament expresses my wishes without undue influence or duress.

 

I have no immediate family to speak of. All of my possessions, fortunes and other values are to go directly to my nephew, Sirius Orion Black, son of Walburga Irma Black, and Orion Pollux Black. My Gringotts vault key has been given to Head Goblin, Griphook Alphentamine III, and will only be released and surrendered to Sirius Orion Black and/or Dorcas Hera Meadowes."

 

I looked up, and heard a screech coming once more from the corner of Bellatrix, her eyes shining in wrath. Narcissa flinched, and that in itself made me flinch as well. Narcissa never flinches.

"What the bloody hell?"

"Language, Bella," my mother said, as calmly as she could as her rings twisted menacingly between her fingers.

She turned to my mother. "Well. I tried to tell you. The only thing that would be in there was a bunch of rubbish. Nothing of importance, only the words of a BLOOD-TRAITOR!"

"Calm, Bellatrix. Aunt Walburga will deal with this." She stood and walked over to the two of us, Dumbledore spoke first.

"I think myself and Sirius would benefit from leaving. Regulus, would you care to travel back with us?" Dumbledore's extended hand was firm, but his eyes were wary of the surroundings. He could pretend all he wanted, but he knew where he was. The place I run away from every break we've ever had.

I watched Regulus' eyes dart back from mother to the extended hand, scared of what either choice would bring. My heart lifted when he stood from his chair, but mother squashed them fast enough.

"No! He'll be traveling back at a later date. Somewhere around November."

"I'm sure he would benefit from coming back earlier, but if you insi-"

"I do. Let's go Regulus. You must prepare yourself for dinner." She clutched his arm, the black nails digging in deeper as the pair got farther up the stairs. My father stepped forward, almost a warm look in his eyes as he passed over a slightly trembling Andromeda.

"You'd better head off now, Sirius. We'll expect you for Christmas. Do not disappoint this time." I straightened my dress robes, the collar beginning to itch.

"Sir," I responded. The only words of understanding I could really muster. Dumbledore grabbed my collar roughly, and lead me out of the house quickly. Leaving, I turned back and spotted all the lingering glares, of Orion, Bellatrix, Narcissa, Cygnus, Dorea, and even weak old Pollux. The whole little cult was there. Too high up in their class even for Voldemort.

 

Dorcas POV

 

Pacing the sixth year boy's dormitory was not how I wanted to spend that Friday evening. I really can't get past Friday's with a peaceful night, can I?

"So, do any of you know what really happened? Huh? Cause, apparently Alphard might have been murdered!"

"Look, Dorcas, we know no more than you," Remus said, trying to calm me down.

"Well I feel like bloody shit, because I haven't exactly been on the best terms with Pads, if you haven't noticed."

"Oh, we've noticed." I swung around to face James.

"What is that supposed to mean, Prongs?" People need to be more direct with me, because honestly I have no perception.

"All I'm saying is you've kind of been giving him the cold shoulder since the full- moon. And I'm not saying that's your fault, but..." So basically he was saying it was my fault.

"He hasn't been exactly keen on me either! So what is that? And why wasn't I informed about Emmeline?"

"Sirius doesn't exactly like to publicize his downfalls, you already know that, Doe," said Remus, who was sounded extremely bored.

"Yeah, well I'm not exactly the public. Or am I now?" James breathed heavily before his response.

"Obviously not, Doe. You've got to get a grip! We are letting you know everything Sirius has told us, which could end in either a broken rib or nose for any one of us. Well, any one of us except for you Dorcas. No matter what has happened, Sirius would never intentionally hurt you, so get a bloody grip! Merlin, I don't get you chicks." I threw a pillow at him, happy we were done with this subject, at least until Sirius got back. 

"Never the matter what you think. There's a study that shows girls are superior to boys, simply because they don't find the need to show off every chance they get." I smirked, because that one was directly aimed at Prongs.

"Where the bloody hell did you read that?" I picked some feathers from the pillow that James had so kindly, and ever so gently, (sarcasm) returned to me.

"I don't know, some muggle magazine."

"You know, every time we ask where you heard something, you say it was muggle. I happen to live in a muggle neighborhood, and have never heard of any of these so called studies," Remus interjected. Damn smart marauder.

"Well, fuck you very much. Nobody needs your opinion."

"But Dorcas, oh Dorcas, wherever would you four be without my guidance?" Remus asked smugly. 

"Hospital wing, probably dead," James and I answered simultaneously. We've answered that question many times before, but for some reason, this time the word dead stuck in my throat a bit longer.

"Alright boys, what are we up to?" They all looked around at each other, and the shrugged, murmured, and various scenarios of that.

"What, we need Sirius to do everything?" The murmurs were back. "Where has your spirit ran off to! Well, maybe Moony's has gone off to get laid, Potter, yours has gone to find some Firewhiskey, cause Merlin knows how long it's been since we've had a good old party, and Peter's, well, his is probably sleeping. Along with him." We looked to the far right corner, and realized that Peter has set a new personal record for fastest amount of time in which he can fall asleep. This one was what, two minutes?

"Well then let's do something! All you've got are jokes, Doe. Let's hear some ideas."

"You know, I do all the work around here. So no. One of you figure it out while I go fetch the Firewhiskey from the kitchens." I sprang up from my seat, dusted the sad remains of the pillows off my lap, and slammed the door cheerfully on my way out. 


 




 

Coming back up from the Hufflepuff corridor, I was getting a tad tired from carying this stupid box. Stupid little shit I am, I forgot to take my wand with me. Which wouldn't have been much help anyway probably. I can't really sustain too much magic. Around the top of the fifth floor, however, my heart sped up a little bit. This is where Nick slept. This is where he was probably sitting on his messy but neat bed, chewing on the end of that ridiculous Everlasting Quill I'd gotten him. His hair was probably all messed up, and I could just imagine running my fingers through it, one more time.

But no. This is probably what was really happening. He was probably making out with Vanessa, or Samantha, or Rachel, or some other girl who was prettier, and way more stable than me. The quill I bought him was probably already another gift, and his bed was messy, because he just took advantage of another girl who thought he was sweet and smart and cute and nice with his thin glasses that he whipped off his face when he wanted to rub his eyes out of exhaustion or boredom.

My vision of Nick changed once again when I reached the sixth floor, and came upon Nick knocking profusely on the poor Fat Lady, when she refused to let him in without a password.

"Ah! There's the young lady who told me never to let you in," exclaimed the Fat Lady, pointing in my general direction. I turned slightly red at the fact that I even put the tiniest amount of effort towards Nick.

"Thank Merlin. Dorcas, will you let me in?" I shifted the crate of bottles to my other arm, and squinted my eyes suspiciously at him.

"Why?"

"Look, I got an owl with a note to come to the Gryffindor tower at ten-thirty PM for a great time. And no, it's not like that. Look at the stamp." He handed me the letter, and I saw the Marauders' insignia at the bottom. A lion, surrounded by five names, Moony, Wormtail, Vixen, Padfoot, and Prongs. I smiled, realizing what was going to happen.

"Facilitasilinct." The Fat Lady looked at me sternly, and opened her portrait, slowly and reluctantly. The smell of Veritaserum hung slyly in the air, only those who were used to it would be able to recognize it. James and Remus, who looked very suspicious, Lily, who was pulling her hair in anticipation, Alice, who looked moderately intrigued, Frank, with the same face as Alice, Marlene and Hestia, who looked excited at the prospect of a game, Emmeline, a look of distaste crossing her face as she saw me, Mary McDonald, who looked like one that would get along just great with Hestia, and, finally, myself and Nick joined the group. So eleven teenagers altogether. Two seventh years, nine sixth years. Eight Gryffindors, three Ravenclaws. This was going to be some great kind of something, safety not guaranteed. That was my favorite kind of fun.

James started off by putting all of the Truth questions on one side of the large circle we formed, and the Dare questions on the other. We all smiled, smirked, frowned, or, in Lily's case, chewed on hair at each other as James started off.

"Lily, truth or dare?" She took the worried look off her face and looked James directly in the eye.

"Truth." James cast Accio non-verbally in the direction of the truth pile, and one paper flew to Lily. Her eyes widened for a second, before she smiled slightly, then giggled a bit.

"Who is the most attractive person in the room to you, physically." she read aloud. Lily slapped down the card on her thigh and rolled her eyes. "Well, these get right down to it, don't they?"

"Who do you think wrote them," I answered, nodding towards the two sixth year Gryffindor boys.

"Okay, well James." Her hand popped over her mouth. Someone just figured out about the Veritaserum. "That's not what I meant! Oh bloody hell! Where did you lot get Veritaserum?"

"Sirius," the three of us answered, James in a bit of a trance, unable to take his eyes off Lily. 

"Next," I said, wanting to get past this before James jumped Lily right there in front of everyone. Lily turned to Mary and said,

"Mary, truth or dare?"

"Dare," she said. That was a little surprising.

"You must kiss whoever is to your right." She turned towards Remus, blushed to her dirty blond roots, and kissed him softly. Then she stayed there. Then her hands came to his face, and his to her waist. They moved closer, inch by inch, and I could see her blush growing. Then she moaned very softly, but we heard it anyway, and she pulled away, now very embarrassed.

"Alright, Remus. Truth or dare?"

"Dare." It was a thing of ours. Marauders always had to choose dare first, no matter what. The paper flew over to him, and he opened it.

"Waltz with whomever is sitting directly opposite you for a full minute. Gender is not a factor." Eyeing me suspiciously, he got up and took Marlene's hand. He knew I wrote that one, and I knew he hated dancing of any kind. He placed his hand on her waist, the other supporting her arm. I waved my now retrieved wand and lilting music played throughout the common room. Remus was getting an awful lot of action so far, and all I got was a small, but shooting pain up my wand arm.

They finished, sitting down in their designated seats, continuing the game.

"Truth or dare, Marlene?"

"Truth, please." Gods, she was polite.

"Who do you hate?"

"Professor McGonagall." Her eyes widened, but everyone laughed. Intentional or not, that was a good one.

"Alright, alright, your turn, Dorcas. Truth or dare?"

"Dare."

"Say five things aloud you love most about the person sitting on your left." I looked over at Weids, who glanced back, and then turned his head towards the middle.

"Fine, I have no choice, do I? One, his intelligence, two, his wit, three, his playfulness, four, his hair, five, the way he held my hand." Everyone sat there silently, as if something was going to blow up.

"Well, what? What the hell did you expect me to say? The way he fills me up with his monster di-"

"Dorcas!" I whipped to my left and glared at him.
 
"Or the way he treats me like a child?" They all looked mildly annoyed, so I gave up.

"I'll get on with it, then. Weids, truth or dare."

"Dare." He smirked at me, and I just sat back into the side of the couch.

"Strip down to your undergarments. Then go ask the Fat Lady if she's seen Peeves carrying a set of pants and a shirt anywhere.

Fine. I have no objections. Close your eyes if this is too risque for some of you," he said, turning to me to see my reaction. Which was just plain angry. Most fiddled with their fingers, but Alice had her face fully covered.

"Go ahead Nick. We haven't got all night," I retaliated. He lifted the sweater vest over his head, then began unbuttoning his shirt. All while I watched him, refusing to take my eyes off of his own.

"Can we hurry this up! It's not a strip show," screamed an exasperated Lily, to whom we all shushed. She hasn't yet understood the dangers of waking up the Heads of Houses after curfew. Nick gave up on his buttons and pulled that shirt over his head as well. That's when I realized his gaze had shifted from mine to Emmeline's, something I had not anticipated. Little slut, from my best friend to my ex in less than a month. He finally moved to his belt, and I just couldn't take watching this little strip tease for Emmeline anymore. So I charmed the damn pants off him.

Looking a little put out, both him and Vance mind you, he walked out to speak to the portrait. We sat there in a small silence before he came running back in, looking a little more freaked than he had walking out, which was a fair bit of freak.

"Fuck!" We all started laughing and cackling, Lily snorting, Alice and Frank holding hands, and I realized that this was exactly what I had needed.

"It's not funny! That Slytherin Head Girl came by, and, I think she was salivating! Damn Bulstrode."

"Just get your clothes back on little stripper."

"Alright, then. Frank, truth or dare." Alice whispered into his ear.

"Dare." My neck protruded forward awkwardly in surprise. Dangerous players we were dealing with.

"Tell James why he is the best person in the world?"

"Damn it," James swore. It was clear that was meant for Lily, but the card was given and had to be fulfilled. Frank scratched the back of his head.

"Well you're a fair Quidditch player, and I think you'll be getting captain right? Then, I guess you're pretty smart, funny, and goodlooking?" He said the last part as fast as humanly possible.

"Thanks Frank! You're not so bad yourself. Let's say you and I give it whirl in the closet, eh?" Of course James Potter would be the one to make a boy blush.

"I'm set for the night, thanks for offering? James truth or dare?" Poor old Frank, tortured by sixth years.

"Dare." He smiled proudly, ready for anything.

"Take a brown haired girl into the closet for seven minutes. No less no more." His face fell as he read.

"I was sure this said red hair!"

"Oh shut up Potter," exclaimed Lily, who was still embarrassed from her confession.

"Alright, I guess that'll have to be Emmeline, Hestia, or Alice?" Frank held Alice closer to him and James was turned back to Hestia.

"Come on then, Hestia," James said, trying and failing to hide his reluctance. Hestia smiled as genuinely as she could, but it was clear James wanted Lily. 

The odd couple, walked to the broom cupboard next to the portrait hole, hand in hand. Hestia giggling and waving to Marlene, James sighing in defeat, another chance with Lily squandered.

"Let's keep it going then. "Emmeline, truth or dare?"

"Truth."

"Who do you have the closest physical relationship as of right now?"

"Nick Weids. Easy." He grabbed her sides, and she laughed heartily. He placed a small kiss on the side of her neck and she laughed quieter, as if it was private. He used to kiss me there. I scratched my neck, cleared my throat, and asked her to continue with the questions.

"Alice, truth or dare?"

"Who was your first love?"

"Frank Longbottom," she said, proudly, but I could see from his face that this wasn't a confession he already knew about. He grabbed her face, and she looked innocently into his eyes.

"I love you Alice. You're my favorite person in the world. Now and forever." Hearing these words, Nick and I both almost snapped our necks turning to look at each other.


We were laying on his bed, and I was as happy as I could ever be. Nick was the most perfect person I've ever met. He was so smart and handsome and funny and just all around extremely perfect. I turned on my side to face him, and saw him chewing happily on his new quill. He loved to work. Pure Ravenclaw. My thoughts were interrupted when I was flipped onto my back.

"Whatcha thinking about Doe?" Nick asked, hovering over me on one hand and brushing my hair out of my eyes with the other. 


"You." 


"I know." He gave me a huge, cocky smile and I pushed back his shoulder, and he pretended fall on me, scaring me for a second.


"Stop! I hate you!"


"You don't."


"I know. I love you, Nick."


"And I love you Dorcas. You're my favorite person, in the entire world!" he declared dramatically. I laughed at his dramatics, and his smile softened.


"Now and forever," he said, lowering his lips to mine.

 
 

When I came out of my small trance, I had apparently missed Hestia's turn, which ended up being a kiss between her and Emmeline, which all the boys hooted and hollered at. Disgusting.

"Okay, I guess Dorcas can go again. Truth or dare?"

"Truth, Hes."

"What's your biggest secret?" I felt like I was going to throw up.








 

 


Chapter 8: Stop Trying, It's Over
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"Is there another choice?" 


 

"Well....there is," James answered. Everyone looked at him in surprise, even Remus and I.


 

"There is one blank card for each player in this game. If you have to absolutely refuse a dare or truth, you can give your card to the person you know the least, and they will write one down for you. If you refuse to do that, you're out of the game."


 

"Fine, I'll do that. Who do I give it to?"


 

"Just put it in the middle. The card picks."


 

I placed the card that appeared in front of me in the center, and it flew to Mary McDonald. She looked at me sympathetically.


 

"Sorry Dorcas." She finished writing in her neat script, and handed it back to me.


 

"Sleep in the bedroom of your least favorite person in the room tonight." My eyes traveled once more to Nick. His to mine. This was happening, wasn't it? It was.




 




 

 


 

The game was over. It was one o' clock on Saturday morning, and Nick and I were walking back to the Ravenclaw tower, Seventh Year Boys dormitory. I wasn't ready for this, not again. Of course, there was no sex involved, but I can't do this again. He smelled too good in the morning. There was too much familiarity. 


 

"Let's go Dorcas. Pick up the pace, I don't want to get caught."


 

"Sorry," I mumbled. He slowed down to my pace and felt my cheek.


 

"Are you feeling okay Dorcas?" I waved his hand off of me and stopped walking. 


 

"Excuse me," I said defensively, looking up to him.


 

"You're so, compliant." I rolled my eyes, and began walking again. Could nothing I do make Nick Weids happy?


 

"Look, Weids, I'm tired. Let's not do this."


 

"Dorcas, I care about you."


 

"Yeah, well I'm betting Emmeline doesn't care about me as much."


 

"Sorry?"


 

"I just don't want to get beat up by your girlfriend okay!"


 

"Emmeline is not my girlfriend, Doe," Nick protested quickly. "Don't worry about her. "


 

"Did you tell your friends we were just fuck buddies to?"


 

"What the hell Dorcas?"


 

"Just call me Meadowes," I said, stopping to throw a mini tantrum in the hallway. 


 

"No. And stop it," he insisted, scoffing at me and continuing towards the dormitory.


 

"What?" I asked, indignant.


 

"Pretending like Emm scares you. You could beat her up, no problem."


 

"I'm not so sure," I said, feeling pathetic and weak in the early morning.


 

"What the hell? Where's my lioness?" I smiled slightly. He always used to call me that. "I taught you how to fight, haven't forgotten have you?"


 

"Of course not, I'm not a dimwit." Somehow he always got me into a conversation. 


 

"Better prove it." 


 

"I will. The best lioness knows when to attack. When her prey is vulnerable." I tip toed up to his ear. "Sleep with one eye open tonight Weids." He shuddered a bit, maybe mockingly. I was too tired to care. We came up to the portrait.


 

"At night they come without being fetched. By day they are lost without being stolen." Nick was about to answer when my hand came out to his chest.


 

"Sh, I want to try this one," I whined, stepping in front of Nick to face the riddling portrait. 


 

"Dorcas, this used to take an hour, minimum."


 

"Yeah, well I'm smarter now." I contemplated this one. It seemed generally easy, I guess even the portrait was tired of riddles this early in the morning. 


 

"So they are shown in the night," I whispered to myself. I knew Nick smiled as I calculated. He always did.


 

"You can't see them during the day?" I looked up to him for approval. He nodded, and I answered proudly.


 

"The stars." As I was climbing in the portrait hole, happy enough with Nick for the night, why was it that the only star I thought of, was Sirius?




 





  

 

I went in the bathroom quietly and put my hair up into a ponytail. I conjured up a toothbrush, and stared at myself for minute while brushing. I did look thinner now. I ate just as much as I always did, maybe more, but still I thinned. My collar bones protruded, my wrists were obscene. I was disgusting. Cleaning the sink, I waved my wand to put everything I had borrowed back in place. I was walking out and the wave of nausea I had felt towards the end of the game came back. I held onto the doorframe, and saw Nick looking at me from his bed. I frowned and walked over to the bed.


 

"You okay?" I flopped down on the other side of the bed and ignored Nick as he held up the blanket for me.   


 

"I think I'll pass," I said turning my back to him. And I said I was fine, didn't I?"


 

"You always say that, Dorcas." He brushed back my falling bangs gently and I pushed away his hand.


 

"And you're still Nick Weids," I grumbled. 


 

"God Dorcas, we were laughing!" he said exasperatedly.


 

"Yeah, and do you remember what the card said? Your least favorite person!"


 

"I'm sure the Veritaserum had worn off by then." He's right, it had.

 

 

 

"If it had, I would have chosen James."


 

"That would have been obvious. You had to pick someone everyone else thought you hated, Doe. Don't take me for stupid." He always made that joke.


 

"Well, if you weren't stupid, you'd realize nothing has changed." He turned over.

 

 

 

"Oi! We're trying to sleep in here!" a Scottish accent yelled shortly from across the room. I didn't say anything after that. 


 

"Whatever you say Doe. Goodnight," Nick whispered. I hmphed in return and he let out a short little laugh. The last noise of the night. 


 





 

 


 

I woke up fast, my cheeks wet with tears. I had a dream that I was dying. Except, I wasn't dying, I was being killed. Bellatrix was trying to kill me. She laughed as she tore away at my skin, ripping it off piece by piece. She was screaming out, letting everyone know I would die anyway, so why wait? And I agreed with her. I had let her do it to me, because I wanted to die. I still wanted to die, and that's why I was crying. I felt an arm on mine, and I flipped around.


 

"I'm fine Nick," I said, removing the offensive limb. He rubbed his forehead, and grabbed his glasses from his bedside.


 

"Fuck, Doe. You're not. I'm not evil, I'm still in love with you. That's all I've ever cared about."


 

"Yeah I heard that one last year when you cheated on me with Emmeline, oh and how about this year on the train when you helped Emmeline cheat on my best friend! Loved that part. What about right now, when I'm forced to sleep with you because I hate you? That one might actually have the cake topper because honestly it's all just another li-


 

And he kissed me. He kissed me softly, and then he just stopped, and I didn't know what to do. I wanted to run, I truly did, but he had those damn glasses on. 


 

"If you didn't have those glasses on, I'd be gone." Nick smiled and tilted his head a bit.  


 

"I know. That's why they're on." And then he kissed me again. I rolled onto my back, taking him with me. And suddenly, I was in love with him too, because I needed someone in that moment. I gripped his hair, and grabbed at the back of his neck. Then he stopped. It was abrupt, too abrupt for my liking. So I sat up with him, and sat on his lap. I stared at him, my teary eyes questioning, but no words traveled back and forth. There we sat, my head resting on his chest; and I cried and cried. I couldn't stop no matter how hard I tried. I cried for my mother and father, and especially for Harley. I cried for Sirius because I missed him. But mostly I cried for myself, because honestly, what else is there? There was nothing else for me to do except cry. This whole week I kept myself busy, just so I wouldn't cry. But Nick had brought back feelings, feelings that I don't think could ever happen for me again. Not with Nick, not with Sirius, not with anyone. They say you have one first love, but at least those who said it would get a second love.  


 

"Dorcas, what's wrong?"


 

"Everything."


 

"Sweet, it can't be everything."


 

"It is. It's killing me softly." 


 

"Stop it, you're not going to die. Not while you have me. And certainly not with your bloody band of marauders." At that, I burst into a fresh round of tears. He held me to his chest, and we rocked back and forth a bit. He held me like a baby, and I cried like one. I wanted to be a baby again. Sixteen sucks.

 

 

 

Then the corners of my mouth twitched up, and I didn't even know why. Then I felt it and let out a small shriek. He covered my mouth, his eyes sparkling with joy and mischief. Then I wanted to cry all over again. That kind of joy was priceless. He continued to tickle me mercilessly, and I laughed, not caring if his dorm mates heard or not. Let them think we had sex. Hell, let them think we were married. I loved the feeling of lightness, and nothing could ruin my mood now. Nothing. He stopped and my laughs turned to big, great sighs as we lay side by side, hand in hand. He turned to me, just like that last day, in that last week of my love life. 


 

"Dorcas, I really do love you." I looked at him in complete disbelief. Well, I guess something could ruin my mood after all. 


 

"Nick, I don't love you. Not anymore," I said precariously. He took off his glasses and set them aside.


 

"Look, we're obviously compatible Doe!"


 

"That's the problem with you Nick! Everything has to be an equation, or some means to an end," I answered flailing my arms above my head. 


 

"It would be different this time, I swear it Doe." I got up out of bed and started collecting my things. 


 

"I know it wouldn't, Nick. Don't do this." 


 

"Dorcas who else has ever loved you as much as I will?" I gulped strongly, loudly. He was right, but I couldn't get attached. Not again.


 

"I don't have time for this Nick!"


 

"You've got all the time in the world," he said, chuckling.


 

"I beg to differ," I huffed out.

 

 

 

"What does that mean Dorcas? You have to time to be serious, let's just have fun." I really didn't have time for fun anymore, and I wish he could understand that.


 

"Let it go Nick." I sighed greatly and finally got the chance to leave.


 

"I had to try didn't I?" He called to me as I rushed out. "Who doesn't want the thing that is unattainable?" 


 


Chapter 9: Subjectively Ugly
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 "Hey ladies, " I announced upon my return to the dormitory. 

"Dorcas," yelled Alice. "We missed you last night. Lily's not as fun without you. Don't ever do that again." I gave her a great smile. She gave great welcomings.


 

"For once in the last ten hours, I agree with this one," Lily said, pointing at Alice. 


 

"Do you know how much gossip I've had to deal with?" I sat on the bed, excited for once. Alice never had gossip.


 

"What gossip?" Lily turned to Alice, gave her a discerning look, and then joined me on my made bed.


 

"Me and Frank, we, well we, I mean I don't know what to say," she said, becoming increasingly red.


 

"Well you certainly had enough to say last night. I'm going to brush my hair." Lily then proceeded to walk haughtily back to the bathroom.


 

"I don't really know if Frank wanted me to tell anyone, so maybe I should just wait until he says it's okay." I looked at her, mouth agape. No fucking way.


 

"Lily!" I called out to my friend, knowing she would tell just to get the conversation over with. She came out into the doorway of the bathroom, a hairbrush hanging from her red knots, and looked at Alice, very annoyed.


 

"They had sex after the game. In this room. On her bed." She walked back in, and I heard the brush struggling to pull free, as Alice smiled again and began blushing.


 

"What! Before me? I mean no offense, but you're all Alice and perfect and oh Merlin! So, how was it?" She looked up from her cuticles giddily.


 

"Perfect," she sighed. Great, her life really was perfect. "But that's not the only hot piece of gossip in town."


 

"Really? Did he propose, too?" I asked happily, secretly hoping that at least someone's life was headed for bliss.


 

"No, don't be silly, Dorcas. Guess where Lily slept," Alice began, bouncing on her bed excitedly.


 

"I guess she couldn't very well get any rest in here." Alice shook her head, almost in a spasm.

 

 

 

"So couch?" She frowned. "Fifth year's?" No again. "Seventh?" No. I saw where this was headed. "Boy's dormitory?" She was still bouncing on her knees in excitment, and I knew I'd guessed correctly. I got up and marched into the bathroom.


 

"LILY LIKES JAMES! LILY LIKES JAMES!" She turned to face me, seething, and I could barely contain my wide smile.


 

"No I bloody well do not! If you haven't forgotten, your best friend went awol on the lot of us, so I used his bed. Then, with his perfect timing, comes in yelling about his stupid familly just as I had begun to fall asleep. Therefore, I was offered another bed, which Remus conjured up for me. As for Hestia and Marlene, I just hope their nights were better." I stared at her for a couple seconds.


 

"So Sirius is back?" I asked plainly, ignoring her defensive rant. She rolled her eyes, and turned back to the mirror. I dashed down the stairs to the common room and across to the Boy's Dormitories. I ran up a couple sets of stairs, and upon reaching the sixth one, barged in, uncaring of any state of disarray. I saw only three boys, James, Remus, and Peter. No Sirius.


 

"Where is he?" 


 

"He's showering," James answered. "Just give him a minute to relax after he gets out."


 

"Fat chance on that one, Prongs." He continued putting on his shirt, and that's when I realized all of them were in the process of getting dressed.


 

"What the hell is everyone getting dressed so damn early for?" I looked to Peter for explanation.


 

"First of all, it's one, and second of all, it's Hogsmeade. Lily told us you're meant to be getting your dresses today," Remus answered as Peter shrugged in indifference. 


 

"Shit, Moony, you're right. I guess she did mention something about that sometime." I heard the shower stop running, and my smirk fell upon my expression.


 

"Dorcas no!" James lunged for me first, as I ran for the door, and Remus followed. Needless to say, Peter did not think it was worth getting involved. They held me on the ground as I struggled to get free. My hair was pulled, and I'm lucky I'm not bald, but then again, I just had to wait five seconds for a stark naked Sirius to come out of hiding. Okay, well, he had pants on but whatever. I looked up from the foot of the door, batting my eyelashes.

 

 

 

"Hi Sirius." He looked down. The three of us were in a very compromising position.


 

"Vix, Moony, Prongs. Having a good time down there?"


 

"Better if you and Pete joined us," I said, tugging down the bottom of his pants slightly.


 

"Well then, all for the better good." He flopped down atop James, and pushed a big exhalation out of my ribcage. I was sure something would crack. 


 

"Hey guys," I wheezed out. "Can't breathe down here." Sirius lifted himself off, then Remus and James, my chest decompressing comfortably, thank Merlin. Sitting up, I breathed in heavily to try and let oxygen access my lungs again. 


 

"You okay there Doe," asked Sirius, pulling on his black sweater.


 

"Me? What about you," I exclaimed, standing up. 


 

"I'm fine," he said ruffling back his hair. 


 

"Sure you are. And I'm in love with Snape. We'll talk about it later, because I have to get ready." I left the room, pausing at the bottom of the stairway. "You're not getting out of this," I called back up, and I heard his loud, garish, and lovely laugh. 


 

Our room was completely disheveled. Like I mean a pig would have some trouble finding his way around in here. My trunk was open, half my clothes if not more were thrown out to the dirty floor. Lily was pacing the room, her hair still in knots. 


 

"What the hell am I going to do Dorcas? Alice is already with Frank, and I don't have anyone to go with, cause you'll just be off with the Marauders, and if you think I'm tagging along you'll be very bloody well disappointed!" Man, she was really shaken up. 


 

"Lil, what's wrong?"


 

"Doe, I think I'm going crazy," she said, almost in an epiphany.


 

"You're not crazy, you're hormonal. Now, come on." I came over to her and held her firmly by the shoulders.

 

 

 

"You fix your hair with your wand and put on that blue sweater Prongs is so fond of. At least one of us can be happy today." I leaned forward, kissed her on the forehead, and turned her back to her pile of clothes.

 

 

 

She picked up the sweater I mentioned and struggled with the neck hole, distinguishing between where her head and arm went. I picked out an old quidditch sweater from Sirius, and a pair of jeans Lily had gotten me. I left my hair as was, because there was really nothing more I could do. Putting on mascara hurriedly, I hooked my arm in Lily's and took her down the stairs with me. I couldn't stand to be in there anymore. 


 

"Stop hyperventilating, Lily. I'm going with you to pick out a dress, alone. The others are not coming, so just calm down." I rolled my eyes at my shaking friend. "Lily!" She stopped quaking suddenly. "I can't be with you all day if you're going to be all freaky like this so calm down, or I'm leaving."


 

"I just, I feel like something's missing. Something I should know about!" I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. That's exactly what I felt like before I found out about mum and dad. 


 

"I know what it is! My wand is upstairs, I'll be right back." I sat down on the couch, and contemplated what that meant. I didn't miss my wand when it was gone. I guess I used to have that connection, but it sure didn't feel like it anymore. I've probably never really felt anything, and now I'm just conscious that there's nothing there. A tear fell from my eye, staining a small spot on my thigh. Tears were so meaningless. It was like my body was trying dispel the feeling I had. I never really condoned crying, but it seemed to be happening a lot lately. 


 

"Let's go Dorcas," said a chipper Lily, someone who's attitude had definitely made a turn for the better. We walked down together, chatting idly about colors and shapes of our dresses. I could really get into this sometimes. What girl wouldn't? Lily was conflicted between light pink, and emerald of course. As for myself, it was either navy or maroon. The cold wind hit us as we stepped out into the courtyard. I cast a warmth charm on myself and Lily, and shuddered a bit from the small sensation I got through my arm. We climbed into a carriage with Rita Skeeter and Xeno Lovegood. This would be an interesting ride.

 

 



 




 

 


 

When we did finally, eventually, thankfully, climb out of that carriage, Lily and I were both more cultured people. I had learned that the news is both for posting real facts, and for gossip. I also learned that money is both very and not at all important. There was one last part that I enjoyed, where it is important to print only the truth, and embellish it a little bit for interest. Overall, a very productive lesson on what and what not to do when writing a piece of journalism or gossip. 


 

"Lil's, you really didn't have to get that into the conversation did you?" She sustained the ride by at least five minutes.


 

"Sure, Rita made some good points, but her explanations were full of holes, concerning both truth and moral. Although Lovegood may be a bit eccentric, at least he's focused on facts and morality." 


 

"Lily I'm sorry, actually I'm not that sorry, but I really don't care." She crossed her arms over her chest.


 

"I know," she grumbled.


 

"This day won't be spoiled," I said with determination. "Let's go in there!" I pointed to a small storefront, squished between two other buildings. While it wasn't huge, the intricate designs and twinkling lights were almost overbearing. 


 

"I don't know, Dorcas. It looks kind of pricey," Lily said worriedly. 


 

"Oh, don't worry about it. James paid for mine last year when you refused to go with him so I had to. Thanks for that, by the way." 


 

"Well, I still haven't really asked him," she admitted shyly, holding open the door for me.

 

 

 

We headed in, and were both immediately attacked with fruity perfumes, tulle, and sparkling jewelry. 

 

 

 

"I know," I said, walking forward and sifting through the racks. I moved the conversation inside.


 

"How do you know?" I split the gowns and stuck my head through to see Lily on the other side.


 

"Intuition. You're not nearly as nervous as you will be when he says yes." She came around to my side, grabbing anything I shoved into her hands, including a bright orange dress.


 

"What do you mean when he says yes? Isn't there a possibility he'll say no?" she asked, attempting a casual tone. 


 

"I'm not stupid Lily, and neither are you. The kid's been in love with you for five years. He'll say yes." I shoved her over to the changing rooms as she rambled.


 

"Maybe I should rethink it, you know? I mean if he wants me that much, then I should only ask him if I really want to go. Don't you think?" I put three down and handed her the light pink one first.


 

"That's what I've been trying to say this whole time, Lil." I could hear the zipper slipping down behind the curtain. "But the way I see it, this isn't about torturing Severus anymore." She stuck her head between the two curtains and narrowed her eyes at me.


 

"Look, all I'm saying is you are still contemplating doing it, which means you actually care about what he feels. I think you like him, no jokes." She came out with a huge sigh, the gorgeous dress a waste on her sad frown.


 

"I think you're right, Doe." I gasped dramatically, placing my hand over my heart. "But, I can't do it. I just can't."


 

"Why the hell not?" I said to her as she took a seat next to me on the couch. 


 

"Do you understand what that would be like for me? I would be constantly tormented, all his litttle fans asking what he does when he sleeps, and how he does his hair or something else ridiculous like that."


 

"Do you honestly think James will ever let anyone bother you?" She shifted in her seat, the tulle rustling. 


 

"No. I know he would do anything for me. There's another problem."


 

"Why is that a problem, ungrateful wench?"


 

"I can't take his money, I can't take his time, his affection, it would just be too much way too fast." 



I suddenly felt for Lily. Not only was James egotistical and rambunctious, he was also a very wealthy Pureblood. Lily grew up on very small means, and never complained about it, but clearly felt inadequate to James. Her insecurity was completely misplaced. If only I could tell Lily that she was one of the best people I've ever met without her looking at me as if I'd gone mad.  

"You don't know anything Lily. You do not know how any of this will turn out, so just do it. Ask him, and go from there. Now I'm bored of this talk, that dress, and sitting on my arse. Let's do something!" We both walked into our seperate dressing rooms and changed into the next one. 


 

I came out in a sparkly, blue dress, which made me look unaturally pale. Lily's orange dress was a laugh. That's all I can say. 


 

The next two were major improvements. I think I most definitely wanted to wear this one. It was absolutely stunning. The strapless dress ran straight from my chest the the floor. The top half, surrounding my bust, was maroon with a black lace overlay. The lace pattern continued down the dress, fading off at various lengths. The bottom was made of a smooth tulle. It was extremely easy to move in, and I absolutely loved it.    


 

"What do you think, Lily," I asked, beaming and twirling around. 


 

"It's amazing on you Dorcas. I'll never find anything as lovely." The stiff fabric of her a-line dress crinkled as she sat, and I cringed for my best friend. 


 

"Look, why don't we just go. You've found a dress, and I can just wear the one from last year, I think." 


 

"No. We will not stop, not even for food, until you find a dress. Now get back in that room and try this one." Lily went in and was silent for a minute or two, and I heard a small sob from inside. I peeked in.


 

"What's wrong?" She turned around and held up a beautiful cream colored dress. Lace was the theme of the day, it seems.

 

 

 

The long sleeves were transparent and had appliques of lace and crystals all over it. The dress was simply amazing. The v-neck stopped at a perfect length for Lily, and two buttons met at the neckline where the sternum is. The top of the dress was simply a transparent cream color, layered many times. The layers thinned, until it stopped at her knees curling slightly at the ends. 


 

"It's great Lily. Where did you find it?" 


 

"It, it just appeared in this box!"


 

"Note," I questioned, holding up the small scrap of paper. She grabbed it and read aloud.

 

 


 

"I'd love to escort you to the dance, Lily Evans, if you would. You don't have to wear it, but I thought you might like it.


 

-James Potter."

 

"Oh my," she gasped, covering her mouth. I exited the room, and looked out the window of the shop. And, of course, saw James and Sirius standing, well more like bouncing, and looking in. I gave them an understanding look when Lily rushed past me, in nothing but her changing robe, and stood outside, facing James.


 

She came to a halt before running him over, and I saw his smile grow. 


 

"James, this dress is stunning," she gushed naturally, forgetting to hide her genuine happiness.


 

"You think?" He asked this quietly, rubbing the back of his head in the process.


 

"It's beautiful." She cleared her throat, tuning her attitude to Potter Mode. "I guess that means I'll have to go with you, doesn't it?"


 

"Well, I mean you don't have to, it's just I thought maybe since Sirius was going to take Dorcas we could go, just as friends," he stuttered out, ending in more of a question.  


 

"I guess it would be wrong if I didn't, so yes, I'll go." 


 

His face of delight turned to shock, and then, enlightenment. Lily turned to leave, but before she left, she stood on her toes, kissed him gently on the cheek, and rushed back inside, clearly freezing. She grabbed my shoulders and jumped up and down.


 

"Oh Dorcas I can't wait! This one is going to be so much fun. I just hope Potter isn't too weird."


 

"You might as well start calling him James now, Lily."


 

"Sorry, habit. And did you let Sirius know what color your dress is?" I thought about that. Sirius and I usually made plans to go to balls together, excepting James and Nick. This year, something felt different. Not different like I'm dying, because I know that feeling. More different like...different. 

 

 

 

"There's no guarantee we're going together, Lily. There never is," I said simply, picking up the bag the cashier placed on her counter.


 

"Please, you know he can't stand anyone but you." She scoffed. "You two are ridiculous. You act like you don't care about how the other feels, when in reality it's all you care about."


 

My mouth opened in protest, but apparently, she was not done.


 

"In short, you're perfect for each other. I don't know why you don't do something."


 

"Okay, first off I do not fancy, Sirius. But, hypothetically, I would have the same problem as you and James will."


 

"I thought you said there wouldn't be problems," she shrieked, and I looked at her judgingly.


 

"I lied. Anyway, everyone would be all over us all the time, and after it's all over, we wouldn't end up being friends. It's just not worth it. Hypothetically." She smiled at me.


 

"It seems you've put a lot of thought into this." I looked at my imaginary watch.


 

"Oh! Look at the time! I'm supposed to be meeting said topics at the Three Broomsticks. Have fun with the girls, say hi for me!" I jogged away from her, my white bag bouncing on my arm. That was an actual close call, because when Lily knows something, everyone does. I mean, unless I told her about my death. She would probably be able to keep that quiet. Key word probably.  

 

 





 






 

When Lily and I parted, she went to meet Hestia and Marlene. I never really stopped to wonder what Lily did when she wasn't with me. Oh well. I pushed open the door to The Three Broomsticks with my free arm, and spotted the marauders seated at the center table, surrounded by the hopefuls. God, I make us sound conceited. I'm really not that sorry, though. 

 

 

 

Pushing my way through the crowd, I waved to Sirius, who held up a butterbeer that better have my name on it. He whispered to the girl sitting on his lap, and she got up slowly, a small frown in her eyebrows. He motioned for me to come sit on his lap, and I had no objections. There was one girl Marauder, that's it. But I'm never jealous, no not at all. I sat on his lap and he slid his arms around me, resting his head on my shoulder.


 

"How was dress shopping," he yelled. I took a rather large sip of my drink and set it on the table before answering.


 

"Amazing! I found the greatest dress! And, you know what happened with Lily!" I yelled, my voice barely carrying over the crowd at our table. 


 

"What," he screamed back. I began to talk and he shook his head no, and pointed to his ear. I got close to his ear, inhaled slightly hoping he wouldn't hear it, and whispered what I had said.


 

"Amazing. I found the greatest dress. And, you know what happened with Lily." I looked at his face, and he was smiling serenely. I loved his happy look. 


 

"What color is you dress," he whispered back. My neck grew goosebumps, and I wanted to stay right there forever. I closed my eyes, and tears formed as I thought of how little time I had left. Two years, minus two months. Twenty two months. I wasn't ready for that, I really wasn't.


 

"Dorcas?" He looked questioningly into my eyes. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and whispered back.


 

"Maroon, black lace. Why, Sirius?" He pulled back and looked at me strangely.


 

"So I know what to wear, stupid!" I smiled widely at him, stupidly almost, and I fell back onto his chest. I gulped my drink, and relished in the sting it left down my throat. Remus looked at us wonderingly, almost mockingly, and I shot him a death glare. Remus always knew everything. 


 

"Let's get out of here guys! Too loud," Sirius said, pointing at his ears once again. I hopped up from his lap and picked up the bag that was on the floor next to me.


 

"So, Dorcas," James began.


 

"So, James."


 

"On a scale of one to ten, how excited is Lily?" he asked, rubbing his hands together.


 

"I think you're getting your hopes up. She really only said yes because of that dress." I wanted to let Lily and James find out how much she liked him together.


 

"Told you Prongs," Sirius butted in. 


 

"It was your idea?" I asked.


 

"Something wrong with that?" Sirius rebuked, bumping my side with his hip.


 

"No it's just, bloody hell you would've kept your girlfriends much longer if you whipped out presents like that time to time," I said, bumping him back.


 

"Oh, Dorcas. Why buy when I can whip out one present that always makes them happy?" he asked grandly, wrapping an arm around my shoulder.


 

"Asshole," I muttered. He put both arms around my shoulders, and hung off my back, dragging my down. 


 

"You couldn't live without me Dorcas Meadowes!" I pushed his arms off roughly and ran about ten feet forward before shouting,


 

"SIRIUS BLACK IS MADLY IN LOVE WITH JAMES POTTER! THEY HAVE A SECRET RELATIONSHIP, AND ARE BOTH MAGNIFICENTLY IN LOVE!" I turned back to see their faces, and saw them charging at me, red from the cold, and from my false (not so false) confession. I turned around and ran back to the carriages, as fast as I could. My bag bounced around in my hand, and my hair hit my cheeks sharply. My eyes watered, and my voice grew hoarse from laughter; but right now I didn't care. I was happy, and I better enjoy it because all good things end.

 

 


 

 




 

 


 

Sirius POV

 

 

 

The boys and I walked aimlessly around Hogsmeade. We had just come from Zonko's, but there wasn't really anything new, or that we couldn't top. 


 

"Zonko's is slipping, eh guys?"


 

"Yeah, sure Pads." I punched James in the arm at his non-emotional reply.


 

"What's up with the frown?" 


 

"I'm just worried. What if she says no? Or hates the dress?" 


 

"Shut the fuck up James. I can't deal with you anymore if you're going to be all weak. Step up. Evans'll love it." He punched me back, more out of principle. "Hey, Rem?" He looked up from the book of joke spells, the only thing we found worthy of purchasing.

 

 

 

"Yeah?" 


 

"How was Mary?" He cleared his throat, and put the book in his bag.

 

 

 

"What do you mean, how was she?" he asked slowly, tilting his head to the side. 


 

"Well James told me you guys fucked," I felt my smile growing wider, but I couldn't stop it when I saw Moony's shocked face. 


 

"What! Prongs?" James backed up and shoved Peter in his spot. Remus always did tend to go a little girly about girls. "We kissed on a dare! That's all."


 

"So've you asked her yet?" He adjusted his satchel, and huffed loudly. He knew the conversation was inevitable. 


 

"No, Sirius, I haven't. We're not all as brave as you."


 

"That's right. If anything, you're braver my little animal." He looked at me scathingly and shook his head.


 

"You're impudent."


 

"And you were just waiting to get to use that." He rolled his eyes tossed the book over to James. 


 

"Whatever Sirius. Look at that spell, Prongs. Could be useful." James put his finger on the line with the spell and read it aloud. 


 

"Ectumsempra- slices through cloth and most materials. (excepting iron, steel, bronze, gold, most hard plastics. Not able to cut through flesh of any kind.)" 


 

"Hey! You guys could probably modify that to actually cut through flesh!"


 

"Hey Pete!" I exclaimed with mock enthusiasm, "That's a little extreme. You're not talking to Malfoy, you know." 


 

"Hey, speaking of pureblood maniacs, how was the family, Padfoot?" My smirk faded a bit as I had to think back to them.


 

"You know, usual. Dumbledore had to read Al's will though. That was interesting," I pondered. 


 

"Yeah? How'd it go," James asked. 


 

"I got everything, not much of a surprise there. I didn't really get to think of it until now, but there was something weird in the will." 


 

"What? Something bad?" Remus inquired.


 

"No, no. It's just, Dorcas was in his will." 


 

"Well, he's known Dorcas as long if not longer than you."


 

"What does that mean Remus? He met her maybe once." We turned the corner down to the dress shop Lily and Dorcas were at.


 

"You don't remember?" Remus asked. He had his judging voice on.


 

"Stop being so cryptic and just fucking tell me already!"


 

"He was there that night. You know, when we supposed to go to my house, and we ended up at James' instead." 


 

"Yeah, and? So was the rest of the clan." 


 

"He was there when Dorcas saved your arse! God, how do I remember this and no one else does?" 


 

"I know! God damn it, I don't want to fucking talk about that. And regardless, that doesn't make it like he really knows her." Remus rolled his eyes again and crossed his arms.


 

"Well he knows you. And I guess he knows about you two."


 

"Well, he could've picked any one of you and he didn't. I don't get that old bat." 


 

"It's not like we can ask him anyway so drop it!" James inserted. James was particularly on edge as we drew closer towards the shop window.


 

"That's my fucking uncle you're talking about. You're lucky Evans is in there cause if she wasn't you'd be dead meat, Prongs." He pressed his nose up on the window and his breath was clear in the cold. 


 

"Pete and I are going to Scrivenshaft's. You two, don't have too much fun." 


 

"Yes, Remus," James and I answered monotonously. We looked at each other and smirked devilishly. Yes, I have been picking up some of my adjectives from Dorcas recently. I started shivering, the cold finally kicking in. James looked over at me and took a step closer non-chalantly.


 

"No! Don't even think about it Prongs!" 


 

"Selfish bastard! Oh shush, Lily's coming." Evans came over to James and they had small little conversation, which ended in a kiss on James' cheek. Lily went back inside and James stayed in his exact spot until she was out of his sight. He turned around and jumped on me, tackling me onto the hard ground.


 

"Mate!"


 

"She said yes, Sirius! She fucking said she'll go!" I pushed him off of me and we started walking back to the Three Broomsticks. 


 

"Yeah, I heard you idiot. Of course she did. You bloody well spent over a hundred galleons on the dress. You've got lipstick on your cheek as well,"  I said, disgusted by his behavior. He wiped his hand dreamily across his cheek and Remus and Peter fell into step with us. 


 

"So I guess she said yes?"


 

"Yes Peter! She did! And it was a glorious moment I will tre-"


 

"SHUT UP!" We all laughed loudly and James pouted behind the three of us as we walked to the center table.

 

 






 








 



 

I saw her from across the bar. Damn that girl sure is gorgeous. Her cerulean eyes were so bright, all the time, even when she was trying to be emotionless, they were still there. The one on my lap wasn't nearly as pretty. She wasn't even remotely attractive to me, in fact. She wasn't smart or funny or embarrassing like Doe. There was deadness in her eyes, under all her mascara and eyeshadow. I didn't even really like when girls wore makeup. I love when girls wear no makeup, because then you can see their beauty. And the thing is, the beauty is always there for someone. When I first met Dorcas, I thought she was one of the ugliest girls I had ever seen, simply because she was fighting with Bellatrix and that was stupid. Now she's beautiful, because  she picked that fight with Bellatrix in first year.


 

She waved at me from across the room and I whispered into the girl on my lap's ear to get off. Dorcas hopped on my lap and the girl, Kelly I think, looked a bit disgruntled, but would end up finding another guy in five minutes anyway. 


 

"How was dress shopping," I yelled. She took a a gulp of her butterbeer and set it on the table before answering.


 

"Amazing! I found the greatest dress! And, you know what happened with Lily!"


 

"What," I screamed back. She began to talk and I shook my head no, and motioned towards my ear. I really just wanted her to have a reason to get closer to me. I felt her inhale slightly before she repeated what she'd said.


 

"Amazing. I found the greatest dress. And, you know what happened with Lily." She looked at my face, and I smiled widely. I watched her trace the lines on my face before responding, fearing getting lost and ending up kissing her. 


 

"What color is you dress," I whispered back. She sat there contemplating, thinking about something. I saw a smile come and fade, and water well up in her eyes. 

 

 

 

"Dorcas?" I looked questioningly into her eyes. She wrapped her dainty arms around my neck, and whispered back.


 

"Maroon, black lace. Why, Sirius?" I pulled back and looked at her surprisedly.


 

"So I know what to wear, stupid!" She gave a great big smile and fell back on my chest. I let out a small grunt of pressure and she relaxed easily. Remus looked at us accusingly and I threw my arm on her waist. If he wanted to think I liked her, let him.


 

"Let's get out of here guys! Too loud,"  I said, pointing at my ears once again. She hopped up from my lap and picked up the bag that was on the floor next to us.


 

"So, Dorcas," James began. Of course he's already going to start talking about her.


 

"So, James."

 

 

 

"On a  scale of one to ten, how excited is Lily?"


 

"I think you're getting your hopes up. She really only said yes because of that dress." I smirked at her clever cover. She knew exactly how Lily was feeling. 


 

"Told you Prongs," I butted in, adding fuel to the fire.


 

"It was your idea?" she asked me.


 

"Something wrong with that?"


 

"No it's just, bloody hell you would've kept your girlfriends much longer if you whipped out presents like that time to time."


 

"Oh, Dorcas. Why buy when I can whip out one present that always makes them happy?"


 

"Asshole," She muttered. I put my arms around her neck and she tried to walk faster, hopelessly. 


 

"You couldn't live without me Dorcas Meadowes!" She pushed my arms off  and ran about ten feet forward before shouting,


 

"SIRIUS BLACK IS MADLY IN LOVE WITH JAMES POTTER! THEY HAVE A SECRET RELATIONSHIP, AND ARE BOTH MAGNIFICENTLY IN LOVE!" James and I looked at each other quickly before running forward to capture her for punishment. No one gets away with that against the marauders. Even if she was a marauder. I wanted to catch her, but not to punish her. I wanted to capture her so no one else could have her. That girl was mine, and anyone who thought anything different was kidding themselves. 


 

 


 


Chapter 10: We're All Conflicted
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Dorcas POV

This week was brutal. I swear it was constantly, and effortlessly, using me as a punching bag. I had to come up with about fifty excuses as to why I had to go to the hospital wing like every other hour. (I'm an exaggerator). Then I had to wear long sleeves on what must have been the hottest day of October ever because of all the needle marks in my arm. On Tuesday I couldn't get away from Marlene who swore that I stole Sirius from her and that I was a bad friend. I really don't understand where she got the 'friends' thing from but whatever. On the third day, (Wednesday for imbiciles who think the week starts on Sunday), I not only went to every single class for the first time in a while, I also couldn't eat a thing that morning because of all the nausea, which I've really been meaning to talk to Dumbledore about. I feel gross. This is getting ridiculous. I thought the death would be nice and painless and really quick. I mean, at least give me that.

Now we've come to today. Saturday. My absolute favorite day of the week. I don't even really like Sundays that much, because that's when Harley made me do all the chores. I wondered when Harley was going to write. I would write her myself, but I'd have no idea what to say. I had tried writing something, but all my little sarcastic jokes hinted at the fact that I had little time left. Or even that she had little time left.

I was so nervous for tonight, and there was no plausible reason why. Maybe it was because I was going with Sirius. Maybe it was the James and Lily thing. Maybe it was because, for the first time in many years, Remus was happier than me, and now had Mary. Peter was even going along with Hestia, I think.

"Dorcas get up! Come on! We have to go eat breakfast," Alice moaned. Mind you, it was only 7:30. Somebody was anxious about today.

"I'm coming Alice. Where's Lils anyway?" Alice shook her head furiously, trying to clear the water from her pixie cut.

"I think she went down to breakfast already." She leaned on the doorway and began picking at her nails. "She's been really sweet to James lately, have you noticed?" I walked past her and down the stairs, Alice following.

"You don't have to make it a question, Ali. It's true, and it's just because of that stupid dress."

"I know. It's a bit mind boggling. She's being so sweet. Everytime I'm around the two of them, it's like a time bomb is getting ready to go off," she whispered.

"I know Alice. But hey! We're the normal ones for once!" She laughed and we high-fived childishly.

"Oh my god, Dorcas, my dress is so stunnning!" Her and Frank would look so cute together.

"What does it look like?"

"Okay it's a deep blue, and has this deep sweetheart neckline." She motioned with her hands as she spoke. "The bodice is tight and the layers are all bunched together, just gorgeously. Then the bottom is just all flowly to the ground and there's a big slit up the side and I just love it!" She was so excited, as she well should be.

"You know, this is the first year that you actually want to have hot sex with the guy you're going to the dance with."

"Dorcas!" she exclaimed, smacking my arm.

"Well it's true," I retaliated. "Lily and I are going with our dates more out of convenience than anything."

"Oh please," she said, rolling her eyes.

"What!"

"You mean, you don't like Sirius in the slightest bit? And we all know about Lily and James." I crossed my arms and let out a small whine.

"Why does everyone think Sirius and I belong together or something! I swear! If I'm not getting yelled at by Marlene about stealing her man, then I'm getting confronted about how much we're in love!"

"I'm just saying what it looks like, Doe." I sighed with resentment at the truth.

"I know, Alice."

"Hey, whats that noise," she asked, looking over towards the great hall in confusion.

"It sounds like..." We looked inside and saw exactly what we had predicted about five minutes ago.

"-and shove it up your bloody arse! Do you really think the Heads and myself have time to clean up your messes!"

"Lil-"

"Don't even get me started on all the covering I do for you! All four of you think I don't know anything, well let me tell you, I know just about everything." I saw the three boys catch eyes with Remus for a second. "It's not even pranks anymore! Fighting with Slytherin's in the Great Hall? You're a disgrace to the prefect title," she screamed, looking towards Remus. "I really should tell Dumbld-"

"Oh just shut up Evans." Her head flipped from Remus' to James'. They stared at each other for a second, Lily's eyes probably in confusion. I saw James' face red with anger, a face I had never seen on him before. I don't think James had ever spoken to her like that before, and no one was ready for that. Lily looked around, and I could imagine how her eyes started to tear up. James fussed with his hair, and looked around in annoyance at all the spectators. He walked forward, grabbed her arm, and I saw the words, let's talk about this outside, mouthed into her ear. Lily dropped her bag and walked away shutter-shocked with her wrist still in James' grasp. Alice and I ran inside the doors before they got to the door and sat down next to our little group.

"What the hell was the about?" I asked Sirius, after getting a couple pieces of bacon. Remus and Peter sat along with Sirius.

"Alright, well we came down this morning with no intention of getting into a fight, got it?" He shoved a piece of toast in his mouth and I wrinkled my nose in disgust.

"Yeah, sure. So who got hit?" He swallowed deeply and took a gulp of pumpkin juice.

"So we're walking in, and Evans is over by the Slytherin table." I put my head in my hands, knowing what was to follow. "So obviously James thought something was up and we walked over there," (he swallowed here),"and Snivellus is yelling at Evans about something to do with the stupid fucking Halloween dance and how James is scum, all that nonsense. So Evans just shakes her head, smacks the asshole, and walks away. James was fucking poised to beat the shit out of Snape, and we were trying to hold him back. Then we heard it, and there was no stopping Prongs. Snape goes, damn mudblood, his friends laugh, and it was all history from there." He sat forward in his chair and piled more food on to his plate hungrily. I rolled my eyes and moved on to Remus.

"Is that really what happened?" He put down his untensils and looked up at me uneasily.

"Dorcas, did you tell her about anything?" My mouth opened in disbelief.

"Never! I would never tell, Moony." He sat back in his chair and let out a huge breath.

"Thank god." I looked at him expectantly. "Oh, right. Well that's pretty much what happened, I guess. It was mostly Snape's fault though. It was just so weird, you know. Lily's been so good with him this week." He continued with his sausage as I answered.

"Alice and I were just talking about that! Lily had to explode sometime. This was way too big of a change for her." I poured milk into my bowl of Cheerio's. I was getting pretty tired of eating all this meat.

"Doe!" My eyes spaced back into reality and I saw Sirius waving his hand in front of my face. I swatted his hand away.

"What do you want?" He smiled childishly and grabbed my wrist.

"Let's go outside. It's pretty hot out." I glared up at him for a few minutes, I swear, and his puppy dog face would just not give in.

"Sirius. I am tired. I am ugly. I have bags under my eyes. My hair is never going to flatten at this rate. If I don't get to eat and nap, I will be nowhere near presentable for later." He tsked at my description and shrugged non-commitally.

"I've never really waited for consent before. Why start now?" I looked up at him, getting annoyed, and all of a sudden I was upside down and looking at Sirius' back. I kicked at his stomach and yelled to be let down.

"Let me down Sirius Black! I am calling harrassment on this! Someone help me!" I looked around at the chuckling faces of my friends and the glaring of my enemies, and I couldn't help but laugh along. The last thing I wanted was to be left behind, but that would really really be best in the long run.






I was placed on the ground as safely as Sirius could manage without damaging either of us. I turned around and looked out over the lake. Then I turned back around to the awestruck boy and punched him in the jaw.

"Ow! Sirius!" I looked up from where I fell to the ground out of pain. "Your jaw is hard." He looked down at me pitifully and I could just feel it radiating off of him.

"Stop pitying me," I said, looking into his stormy, beautiful eyes. He sat down next to me on the dewy grass and played with my hair some more. I swatted his hand away, before realizing that my hand actually really hurt.

"Fuck!"

"What was that for?"

"My hand, it really hurts. Are you sure your jaw's okay?" He laughed loudly, showing how amazingly his jaw still worked.

"Dude, you're weak." I punched him again in the arm with my good hand.

"Dude, I fucking know. Just fix it?" He held my hand delicately, and ran his wand over it slowly, and released my newly healed hand. That felt really amazing, like I was refreshed.

"Lay down here with me Doe." I looked back and saw that he had chosen to recline with his hands behind his head. Damn, those arms could make a woman swoon. I joined him and lay my head on his chest. He snickered quietly at that.

"What? If I put my head on the ground, you'll be ashamed to be seen with me tonight."

"Haven't I already told you your hair looks better natural?" It was my turn to chuckle.

"Yeah, I know you do. I think I just like to hear commpliments. Compliment me more Sirius. My self esteem is low." It was time for more laughing apparently.

"Dorcas, I know when your self esteem is low. And this is not that time."

"Okay then, Mr. Know-it-all. What am I like when I'm depressed?"

"First of all, you won't fucking talk about it. Ever. Then there comes the stage when you put everyone else down so you'll feel better. If it's really bad, then you will keep talking about the same thing over and over again so you don't stumble upon why you're so upset." I breathed steadily and contemplated what he said. Was all that really true? It probably was, considering he knows me better than any one else.

"Oh, and if it's about a guy, you'll jump anything in sight and start making out with it."

"What the fuck, Pads! I'm not some horny thirteen year old boy like you most of the time." He smiled snarkily at me and looked me up and down.

"Don't get defensive! I never said I didn't enjoy the show." He winked at me in what I'm sure he thought was a seductive manner and I just rolled my eyes. If he wanted seductive, I'll show him seductive.

I got up slowly, his eyes now closed. I walked as sneakily as I could to his other side and lowered myself as slowly as possible on top of him. The closer down I got, the more I saw him struggle to keep his eyes shut. When my legs and stomach were properly aligned with his, after much squirming from my counter part, I put my weight in my arms and hovered over his aristocratic face. His arm twitched to scratch his face, and that's when I knew I had him. He always scratches his face when he's conflicted. As soon as I was about to lower my mouth to his, he broke the silence.

"What are you doing Dorcas?" I rolled my eyes. Guys really know how to ruin a fake moment.

"I'm trying to seduce you," I said unabashedly. He grabbed my upper arm, pushed it down, and I fell down to lay on his chest.

"It's not working," he said. I smacked him this time, lightly.

"Never tell a lady she's not seducing you properly," I nagged, waving my finger in his face. "Am I allowed to tell them when they are seducing me properly?"

"Why yes, of course you idiot." I rolled my eyes and propped myself back up to my arms. He lifted one arm up and stroked my right arm, leaving a little trail of goosebumps behind.

"Dorcas, you are majorly turning me on right now. Keep nagging me." He smirked at me and I couldn't help but laugh. I pushed off the ground and offered a hand to help him up.

"You can have whomever you want tonight at the dance." I let him walk forward a bit and then I jumped on his back.

"But Dorcas," he whined, " I want you." I rolled my eyes and snickered to myself. He has no idea how much I wish he meant that.

"I know, I know. I'm a prize among many suitors. It's the price you pay when you sell your soul to the devil for beauty, wits, and brains at the age of ten."

"You too? What a coincidence! I bet we were at the same soul-sell shop and everything!" I smacked his head for the sarcasm used on me, and then I kicked at his sides.

"Ride, donkey, ride! Take me into the sunset!" He laughed loudly, gaining us a few stares, and sped up on the way to the Gryffindor tower.






Around the third floor, he began to slow down.

"Dorcas. I can't carry you anymore." I got down from his back and he leaned over, heaving.

"You're getting out of shape, mister." He stood up quickly and straightened his shirt.
"I'll have you know that I am never out of shape."

"Oh yeah? Then why did it take you about twenty minutes to run after Remus and I during the full moon?" He stood there clenching his jaw, trying to find the reason why.

"There were other elements at play!" I smirked and started laughing at his defensivness.

"You know I'm just teasing Sirius. No need to get so upset." I smiled again at his frustrated look.

"You're a little twat, you know that?"

"I know, but someone has to be." We walked in silence for a couple of minutes, and that's when I realized we were holding hands. I whipped my hand away quickly and pretended to stretch upward so I would have something to do with my arms.

"So when does Quidditch start anyway? You clearly need it." He pinched my arm playfully, and I feigned some pain to make him feel bad about himself. I don't think it worked.

"It wasn't your weight anyway Doe. It was those damn hip bones of yours! I swear I'm bruised." I laughed half-heartedly and shifted my weight nervously. 

"Well good. You could use a little pain every once in a while. Ought to remind you you're not invincible." He grabbed my waist from behind and we kept walking. Him hunched over me, my back crumbling easily. My cheeks began to grow hot at our close proximity. His entire body was pressed up against mine, and I was not enjoying it all that much. My heart sped up when he laughed at the judgmental stares. His breath pushed my hair forward and it teased my neck annoyingly.

"Can you get off, then?" He released his grip and I turned around to glare. He stepped forward and to the side, deliberately being annoying. I pushed him gently.

"Stop being ridiculous. If you keep acting like this I'm not going tonight."

"I'm just being me!"

"Exactly," I said, smirking because sometimes I am just so mean.
"You'd never not go with me," he said, cockily, but there was a hint of insecurity.

"I never said that," I answered non chalantly. Death has made me cynical.

"Well, whatever then. You've got nothing over me. I didn't want to go with you anyway." I smiled brightly at his attemept to be as rude as me. I pinched his cheeks, treating him like a child. We kept walking in the great silence. The light shone through the huge windows as we rounded each corner to move up yet another flight of stairs. I loved the way the light reflected off of his face when we passed the windows. Light always showed everything while darkness and shadows could hide what you really were. He probably scratched his face about ten more times until we reached the sixth floor. Decisions, decisions, Sirius.

 


Chapter 11: Saturdays
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A/N: Thanks for everyone who is still reading this! It is an absolute joy to write. I'll let you get on with it now. 





 



 

I can't believe what was coming out of Lily's mouth right now. Well her mouth and eyes I suppose. 


 

"It's alright, Lily," I said, wrapping my arm around her hunched over shoulders. She sniffled heartily and wiped her nose on her sleeve of her uniform, which she was wearing on a Saturday. 


 

"No it's not," she shouted, punching the bed before bursting into a fresh round of tears. 


 

"Oh, Dorcas! He doesn't love me anymore!" I kept patting her back repetitively, hoping to get rid of the newly found, not-so-attractive hiccups. 


 

"I thought you didn't care." She choked on herself and breathed heavily before slowing down her heart rate considerably. The tears stopped and she looked at my with her glassy, Christmas themed eyes. 


 

"Dorcas no matter how much I hated him, it's still somebody who loved me. And now he doesn't!" Her shout surprised me and I jumped a little bit before she began to sob again. 


 

"Oh Lily snap out of it! Come on!" She looked at me again with her big, pretty crying face. I don't have a pretty crying face.

 

 

 

"Do you ever think he'll stop loving you?" She crossed her arms and shook her head reluctantly.


 

"Exactly. Now stop pitying yourself. It's your fault anyway. They were trying to be nice." She turned around to face me, obviously hoping I wouldn't bring up why he was mad at her. 


 

"I asked Sirius about it, and he said Snapey called you a mudblood." 


 

"He would never!" I looked at her skeptically. "Alright, well he would never again." 

 

 

 

"I trust Sirius over Snape anyday," I offered, not even attempting to hide my opinion.


 

"I know Dorcas." She wiped her hair out of her eyes and went to put her head in her hands as she sat on the edge of the bed opposite mine, hers. 


 

"What is it Lil?" She seemed utterly exhausted more than anything.


 

"I'm just tired Dorcas." She glanced up at me resting her chn in her hands now. "You remember last weekend when I told you about what would happen if James and I were, you know, togetherish?" 


 

"I remember," I said, only really remembering how cute Sirius' face looks all red from the cold. 


 

"Well it's happened. Dorcas, I don't like being the center of attention!" I rolled my eyes at her dramatics. Poor girl would have to deal with a lot more when I died. She didn't know how much I did for her. 


 

"You are always the center of attention, Lils!"


 

"Yeah, sure, academically. I just don't like to be stared at when James and I are kissing or laughing, or when he's holdng my hand!" Had they really already begun with the public displays of affection? Things were escalating quickly. 


 

"Listen, I know it's difficult. Believe me, I do. I've been the center of attention my entire life! You just learn to deal with it. There's no other solution I can come up with."


 

"But Dorcas, I'm not pretty like you! I have to work to be pretty. I have to be proper and composed. You're always so perfectly goofy and silly."


 

"Lily you are the prettiest person I know. Now come on, don't pity yourself." She sniffled and brought her arm up to her nose again. 


 

"I know, I know Dorcas. I'm sorry. I think it's worse now. I'm in love with him Dorcas," she wailed, throwing her face into her hands again. 


 

"Calm down Lily. This has been one week of high emotions and you need to step back and think about this. In one year, will you still want to be with James?" 


 

"No. I'll need to be with him." 


 

"Don't be dramatic Lily. Just yes or no?" She grabbed the pillow and squeezed it between her two hands.


 

"I'm not being dramatic, Doe," she whispered quickly. My mouth opened slightly and I exhaled audibly. Why does everyone else get a happy ending? All I got was shit. 


 

"What happened between you two anyway?" 


 

"Well, he dragged me out into the hall, you saw that part." 


 

"Yeah, and?" 


 

"Oh very well."

 




 

"Lily what the bloody hell was that about?" 


 

"Me! You were the one picking fights with Severus!" He turned away from me and played with his hair in frustration. 


 

"That was for your own bloody good! You're so goddamn thick-headed sometimes, do you know that?" 

 

 

 

"At least I'm not a bloody prick who's head needs a considerable Shrinking charm," I shrieked. He walked back towards me and brushed my hair out of my face.


 

"Don't cry, flower." I swatted his hand away and stepped backwards myself.


 

"I told you not to call me flower." 


 

"I told you not to tell me what to do, but that isn't going to change either, dearie," he said, all with a sneer on his face and a sarcastic tone in his voice. He turned on his heel and walked towards the Hufflepuff wing. I think that's where the kitchen is. They always seem to head there. Plus, they always come back with food.


 

"James," I called after him. 


 

 


 

"Then he was gone, and now we're here," she said, with a tone of finality. 


 

"Oh, Lils. It'll be fine. He won't bail on you, I promise. James doesn't have the balls to do that to you." She smiled, got up, and walked over to the bathroom. She leaned against the edge of the sink, stared at herself in the mirror, and then looked back at me with a smile on her face. 


 

"I'm Lily Evans. If I'm scared of James Potter, who wouldn't be?"

 

 



 




 

 

 

 

 

I walked down the hallway monotonously, swinging my arms with the pace of my feet. I could feel my heart reaching the ground with every step. If there was an award for mood swings it would definitely go to one Lily Evans. She's getting ready right now, with Alice. With Hestia, with Marlene. Without me. I told them I had to go to the bathroom an hour ago, and I still hadn't gotten back. Did anyone even realize that there was a bathroom inside our dormitory? No, of course they didn't, only Lily would but she's too excited right now. 


 

I lifted my sleeve to my bicep, flexing the small veins that now were run with sustaining fluid. A nice present Madam Pomfrey gave me for Halloween. If I got back to the tower now, there would be just enough time for me to get ready, I suppose. I sighed as I finally reached the tower. Hopefully in what would be the last long trek of the day. As I walked into the Common Room, I was attacked with perfumes, lotions, and pointy elbows.  


 

"Dorcas, where have you been?" Alice began to drag me up the stairs, her gown already on. Honestly, it was only 6:15, I had plenty of time.  


 

"Honestly, Dorcas! It's 6:15, how do you expect to be ready in time?" I walked in and Hestia was seated (more comfortably than I would like her to be) on my bed doing her makeup.


 

"I agree, Dorcas," Hestia added. "Apparently Emmeline spent at least three hours preparing for a date with Sirius." I rolled my eyes again. 


 

"The difference is, I'm not Emmeline and Sirius certainly doesn't see me as such." I went over to my closet space and pulled out the dress, finally beginning to put it on. 


 

"He seems to be taking it a lot more seriously than you are, Dorcas," Marlene butted in as she came from the bathroom. Still bitter, was she? 


 

"It's a stupid ball, Marlene. I don't care about Sirius like that, and you're acting absolutely ridiculous right now! It's not as if you don't have a date anyway." The girls all shared glances, excepting Marlene, whose gaze never left mine. 


 

"As a matter of fact, I don't. Not everyone can get a date at the drop of a hat, Dorcas. We all know about you and Nick, as well. Some would consider it common courtesy for a girl to go after one boy at a time. Clearly the thought hadn't crossed your spoilt mind." 


 

"If you consider me spoiled, I will start a petition to get your mental state checked as soon as possible," I scoffed. 


 

"Not everyone gets what they want Dorcas! You're an insufferable, selfish, bitch. You think that just because the Marauders like you that you're some sort of special? Do you think that anyone gives a shit that your parents died anymore? We're all bored with the story." She stepped forward and finished zipping up the side of my dress as I stood there in astonmishment. "And anyone who says they aren't is lying straight to your face." I walked away from her. I didn't want to cry, I most definitely didn't want to think about my family right now. Mary and her friend Ashley came in, all giggly and joyful before noticing the tension in the room. 


 

"You don't have anything to say, Dorcas?" I looked over at Hestia, who clearly needed a good talking to so she can finally learn when to shut up. I turned back to look at Marlene who was clearly waiting for me to answer. 


 

"If you don't want me to go with Sirius I won't. If you don't want me to go out at all tonight, I won't. You're right, I'm spoiled anyway." The room was silent, and we heard the ruckus from the Common Room, but only faintly. 


 

"I don't want you to go to the ball with Sirius." I nodded politely, smirking inside at her frustration that I refused to fight. This was pitiful. I simply didn't have time for these frivolities. I would let her win if she wanted, it would all end soon anyway. 


 

"I won't then." I undid the dress she helped me into and laid it on the dresser next to me. I looked at the clock against the wall and noticed the time.


 

"It's nearing 7:00 girls, you might as well get downstairs." The shocked stares looked at me in disbelief. I had to agree. If I was watching myself, I'd think I was possesed. 


 

"Come on," I said cheerfully, my voice shaking, "Would you rather stand here and watch me be half naked all night?" I shimmied provocatively, but it was only half-hearted, and it wouldn't take Lily's brain to notice it. The tension in the room was immesnly thickening and I glared at Hestia again. It would be so much easier to blame everything on her. The girls mostly tittered quietly, and made their way downstairs to meet with their dates. Lily stayed in her position against the window pane, a look of true malice in her eyes. As soon as all the girls besides Lily and Alice had left, I let out a large breath I hadn't even realized I was holding in. 


 

"Oh dear, it's alright," Alice muttered as she rushed over to me, patting my shoulder comfortingly. I let out a shuddering breath, trying to get over the lump in my throat. 


 

"What the hell was that Dorcas?" Alice glared at Lily and continued patting my shoulder, sitting me down next to her. 


 

"Lily, I'm just not in the mood for a fight tonight." She looked at me inquisitively and furrowed her brow before speaking again.


 

"I don't believe that for a second, Doe. You've been waiting for a reason to yell at Marlene for years. If that wasn't it, then I don't know when you're going to get another chance." I took Alice's hand off of my back and held it gently. 

 

 

 

"I want you to go. I want you two to have fun, and I don't want anyone to mention what happened. If anyone asks, I'm sick. I don't care what vicious rumors they're spreading about me, I just don't need this to turn into a big thing." I laid back on my bed, and splayed my arms above my head, playing with the carvings on the headboard.  


 

"Dorcas, if you just tell us what's wrong, then we can-"


 

"Go," I shouted. "Just go." Alice stood up reluctantly and I closed my eyes even though I knew they were making these huge eyes they made when they tried to communicate without talking. 


 

"We'll be back before midnight, Doe. What should we tell Sirius?" Oh right. I kind of completely forgot I actually had a date. Man, I hate Saturdays. 


 


Chapter 12: A Conflict of Disinterest
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Sirius POV




 

James was with Lily, Frank and Alice, Peter with Hestia, Remus with Mary, and me with, Dorcas? No, I was, as in previously, going with Dorcas, but according to Lily and Alice she was sick. I honestly doubt that, but Dorcas isn't a pushover. If she doesn't want to go that's her prerogative. Would've been nice to inform me, oh I don't know, when we were together not four hours earlier. It's just a dance, I'll get over it, but I seriously don't want to be near Marlene tonight and that's what would happen. I want to dance with and be near to Dorcas. If I said anything to her about getting together, she'd laugh. It's not even her fault. It's because I've been afraid of her all these years. She is intimidating and dangerous to be close to. Nick still wasn't over her, hell, I don't think anyone's ever gotten over Dorcas Meadowes. 


 

"Pads, I don't think it's your fault," James said, clapping my shoulder. I shook him off and stepped to the side.

 

 

 

"Prongs, if you keep touching me I'm going to start believing it's your fault." He grabbed Evans' hand a little tighter at the comment of his questionable sexuality. 


 

"Shut up, Sirius. I know what it's like." He knew about how I really saw Dorcas, and I knew he knew. It was James, he's the male equivalent of Lily no matter how hard he tried to be stupid and foolish. 


 

"You know what it's like for six years?" He gave me a look and nudged Evans gently, who was engrossed in a conversation with Alice.

 

 

 

"Alright, so I guess you do," I whispered back. "It's just, it's Vixy, you know? She's not someone I've gotten to know from afar, like you with Evans. I know everything about her and even more about what she doesn't want to admit to herself." Remus came between us and threw his arms around our shoulders.

 

 

 

"Never assume you know everything, Sirius. That's when you know you're about to lose," he said, whispering the last part into my ear, then laughing hysterically. I shoved him off as well, James and I exchanging confused, uncomfortable looks. This wasn't how Remus usually was, even if he had a drink or two. 


 

"What is up with the affection tonight, guys? And don't be so damn depressing, Moony. I basically am on a first name basis with Dorcas' intestines." 


 

"Yeah, yeah, yeah Sirius. That's what you thought about me too, isn't it?" James and I stopped walking as Remus walked on forward with Mary, Peter, Hestia, Lily, Frank, and Alice.


 

"Drunk?" I looked at James, and back to Remus' walk that looked suspiciously sloppy.


 

"Definitely." 

 

 



 

Dorcas POV




 

This stupid dress really wasn't worth the effort it took to get it on. I mean, sure, I looked fabulous, but that was me not the dress. The heels? They're a whole other story. 


 

"Peeves, if I was a bitch, would you tell me?" He swirled above my head dangerously as I walked towards the Great Hall. 


 

"Of course Doe-doe dear," he exclaimed, his blue fog swirling in front of my face as he flew ahead of me. I coughed and raised my arm in front of my eyes. 


 

"So? Am I?" I walked without an answer for quite some time when he appeared in front of my face rather suddenly, studying my eyes. I never really thought that ghosts or Poltergeists could truly look at things. 


 

"Yes." He flew forward again and woke up a few unsuspecting portraits. 

 

 

 

"Peeves!" He flew back to me again, looking annoyed.


 

"I told you I wouldn't lie, you know I'm not shy. Now that you know, where shall you go? Not to the ball, if you do you'll surely fall. Not only a powerful witch, ladies and gentlemen, but an honest to God bitch!" He whisked away for what I hope would be the last time.


 

"Peeves, we've talked about the rhyming," I yelled pitifully. No reply. What did Peeves know anyway, he wasn't alive. I sat down on the steps outside the hall and looked down, my hands in my head. What was I doing, anyway? I told Marlene I wouldn't go, why should I now? I lifted the soft maroon material, hiking it up to my knees, and took a small walk out in the Transfiguration courtyard. I walked over to the fountain, remembering how it looked that last full moon, so sharp and dangerous. My eyes blurred with tears, and I finally let them fall. This night was truly horrendous. Finding nothing else to do, I walked around, mostly going down around the boathouse. I played with the ropes, trying to pull in the individual boats, waiting to grow blisters until I stopped myself. I walked out from under the protection of the roof, and let the moonlight hit me with its full force. The full moon was a week from tonight, and I still haven't even given a thought as to what I was meant to do. Madam Pomfrey surely wouldn't let me go again, she was so shaken up last time. Beginning my trek back up to the castle, I remembered that I had been meaning to write to Harley. I stuck my hand in the pocket of my dress, feeling my wand. Surely I could conjure up some parchment and a quill when I got up there, right? Taking a left, I went up to the Owlery. 


 

The stairs had me running out of breath, but I would have to do this eventually anyway. I finally reached the large round landing with the bench, and sat to write. 

 

 


 

Dear Harley,


 

How are things going? I'm doing alright, same as usual, nothing interesting. You'll be happy to know that I'm writing this on the night of the Halloween Ball. That's right, I guess not going to balls runs in the family. Anyway, I just wanted to let you now how things are going, I guess. Do you have a job? Are you feeling okay? Is anything wrong? Sorry for all the questions, I just care about you. 


 

Speaking of being sick, Dumbledore let me know about everything. I know about you and me and mom and everyone, so if you want to talk or something you can owl me whenever. 

 

 


 

I scratched that out hastily, and laid the writing implements next to me. How ridiculous did I sound? She's the adult. She's supposed to know what to do, not me. But there I was, putting my nose in places it didn't belong. I suddenly had the urge to lay down, one I couldn't resist. I threw myself down, not caring that my letter and quill were knocked on the ground. I felt my chest becoming tight, and I clutched it as my wand fell out of my hand. My heart slowed down, and I could feel it trying to pump harder. My throat was constricted, and I couldn't yell out no matter how hard I tried. My head lost feeling, and I felt the pressure behind my eyes increase. My stomach churned, and I threw up right there. I crinkled my nose as the acid burned my throat fiercely. Wiping my mouth, I couldn't really think of anything else than how disgusting that was, not before I was unconscious, anyway.

 

 



 

Sirius POV


 

I put my drink down on the table, enjoying the burning sensation it left in my throat. I heard Remus' laugh from across the room and smirked in approval. Finally having some fun I guess. Marlene had come around to sit with me about ten minutes earlier, but left when I quite pointedly ignored her. 


 

"Oi, mate!" James looked back from where he was dancing with Evans, and saw me coming over towards him. He kissed her cheek quickly and walked towards me. 

 

 

 

He clapped me on the shoulder and nodded towards the door. "Evans said she probably went to the boat house. Something about a good thinking place." 


 

"Thanks mate," I said hastily as I went back to the table to grab my jacket. Just as I was about to finally leave, a hand grabbed my upper arm, and I turned around in annoyance.


 

"What now?" 


 

"Dance with me before you go," Marlene more stated than asked, batting her lashes. I tugged my arm rather forcefully out of her grip, and her eyes tented in sadness for a moment before they went back up into defensive mode. 


 

"You know she doesn't want to see you anyway, Sirius. Why the fuck do you think she didn't come?" I opened my mouth to retaliate before actually realizing that what she said kind of made sense. Why the hell didn't Dorcas come anyway? 


 

"Just go away McKinnon." I kept walking, but I heard her heels clacking behind me furiously. 


 

"Sirius just come dance. She's been ruining your life since first year. Can't you go one night without worrying about her?" I turned around, making her stop abruptly because she was so close to me. 


 

"Dorcas hasn't ruined anything," I whispered, looking down at the shivering girl. If there was one thing I learned from my family, it was the ability to instill fear in others. It wasn't exactly something I'm proud of but it came in handy. Unfortunately, Marlene's muggle family seemed to have taught her a few tricks as well. 


 

"You don't even know, do you? She's ruining you right this very moment," she whispered cruelly, in that soft but coarse voice of hers. I didn't really know much about Marlene McKinnon. I dated her for a week or two, she broke it off, no big deal. Regular family, regular life, nothing extraordinary about her. She wasn't even that particularly pretty. She was nice and average and boring. I knew for a fact that she was safe. She wasn't like Dorcas, and she wouldn't toy with me. There was so much safety in average.


 

"Marlene, I don't know what Dorcas has done to you, but that's honestly not my problem. I've got to find her." I put my jacket back on hastily as I exited the main castle and walked out into the courtyard. I had all these thoughts running through my head and I could think clearly in the silence. 


 

Maybe Dorcas really didn't want me coming after her. I mean, this was stupid. When has she ever explained anything she does, right when she does it? Never. She's rash and bold and impulsive and she doesn't think before doing things. When was the last time Dorcas actually told me she wanted me there?   

 

 

 

 


 

Nick POV



 

"This damn tie is going to choke me,"  I mumbled, mostly to myself I guess. "I'm going outside, Emm." She waved her pale arm in the air, dismissing me with ease. If I was going to get any sleep tonight I would have to do something productive. I noticed that I was the third person to leave the Ball one and a half hours early, the other two including Marlene McKinnon, and Sirius Black. Normally, I would dismiss it as Black being a proper asshole, going after Marlene for what he would describe as a "fun" night. As it happened, Marlene ran after him, so something was up. Dorcas also hadn't been here the entire night. It was probably because of me. She probably didn't want to hurt my feelings or something by coming with Black. Honestly, I'm a big boy, I can handle it, and we should set the record straight. That's actually what I was planning on doing right now. I was going to the Owlery to mail Dorcas. We can't have all this tension going on forever if I want to ever be her friend again.   




 

 


Chapter 13: A House of Health
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 Lily POV

When I left my small house in my small town for Hogwarts, I wasn't prepared for the type of people I would meet. I've come to realize that some of the most extraordinary people aren't the smartest, or quietest. People don't only come in extremes, like I do. There are mediums, like Alice and Peter. I've had to accept that there are people who don't have to work as hard to make the grades I have to fight for. This isn't something I took easily. Even when I was a child, I was a big advocate for fairness. Everything that was happening to me lately, it didn't feel like fairness.  It's like ever since this year started, we've all been confused and scared of something, but no one will say it out loud. I'm not used to the feeling of everything being hidden, because with me, everything is fair game. I don't like secrets and lies, and that's exactly what this was beginning to feel like. I feel like Dorcas is lying to me all the time now; and I'm sick of it. 


 

Remus POV


 

Ever since I was accepted into Hogwarts, I'd always gotten the feeling that Dumbledore was waiting. He was waiting on the edge of a hill for me to mess up. We'd been through plenty of mistakes, the five of us. It's strange almost, how the one with the largest problem has yet to cause the least trouble. This feeling, however, has been dissipating rapidly lately. We'll walk into lunch, or dinner, not usually breakfast, all together. Dumbledore, maybe McGonagall will scan the Slytherin table to make sure everyone is still intact, then the eyes fall directly to me. I don't know if it's because she's a girl, or because she's been all but present lately, but the eyes fall to Dorcas now. They follow her wherever we go. I don't even know if she's aware of it. Of course, I'm the hyper-aware one, but that's not the point. It's not that I missed being the focal point of the professors' attention, it's just that I want to know what has made Dorcas so interesting this year. That's the problem with Lily and myself, we're too damn involved with everyone else's lives. 


 

"Remy, come dance with me!" I smiled groggily at Mary. Now maybe I wasn't exactly in my right mind, and maybe Dorcas was hiding in her room from something bigger than a cold and the sniffles. But maybe, almost definitely, the house of Gryffindor was not one of health.  


 

Nick POV

"Help! Someone, get Dumbledore! Please, she needs help," I screamed, running into the courtyard, Dorcas' head bobbling around precariously. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a silhouette, but the darkness shadowed their face. At this point, I didn't care who it was; I stumbled towards them frantically. One of her shoes fell off with a clattering on the cobblestone and I looked back when the sound struck the silent night. The shadow was gone when I turned back, nothing more than a whisper in the night. Turning around hurriedly, I was sure no one else coming to join me in the courtyard tonight. I sighed in resignation, a hiccup of fear in my throat, and started moving as quickly as possible to the Hospital Wing. 

 

 


 

Coming up upon the Hospital Wing, my voice was clearly hoarse from shouting all over the castle. I had screamed for help for about ten consistent minutes. I laid Dorcas down as gently as I could while I was shaking from the shock of finding her passed out on the Owlery landing, her skin paler than ever. 


 

"Pomfrey," I yelled, banging on the Hospital's wooden doors. I banged repeatedly, tried Alohomora, and some other destructive spells (all failing) before I saw a small wand light held by a frail hand coming around the corner. 


 

"Dear, dear, what is it at this time of night?" I had completely forgotten she doesn't actually live in the Hospital Wing. I saw her eyes stray from mine to Dorcas' body, and her eyes widened in horror. She abandoned her wand and ran to the broken form on the floor.


 

"What has happened to the girl! What happened," she asked, her voice shaking. I went blank. I really didn't know what happened, and what had caused the personal connection between Dorcas and Pomfrey. 


 

"Never mind that now," she whispered to herself, checking the pulse in Dorcas' wrist. "Well what are you just standing there for? Open the doors so I can get her in!" 


 

"Madame, I've tried everything, it won't open," I yelled, exasperated. 


 

"Oh bugger," she said, lifting Dorcas surprisingly easily for someone of such short a stature. She stood in front of the doors and mumbled something that sounded like the Latin. The doors clicked open almost silently, a little anti-climactic for the situation. I pushed one open trying to stay out of her way as much as possible.  


 

She lay Dorcas down on the first bed available, and made sure her head was secure before she ran to her desk to grab some file out of her drawer. A sweat broke out on Pomfrey's brow, and she grabbed a small bottle before running back to the bedside. Her wand flew over Dorcas head quickly, and a small red glow emanated from it. 


 

"Bloody hell," she whispered, rubbing her forehead again. 


 

"How did you find her," she said, addressing me directly now. 


 

"Shouldn't you do something! She can't just lay there unconscious! I'll recount my tales later, she clearly needs help," I said in annoyance. I was out of breath and tired but I wouldn't let Dorcas come second anymore. 


 

"There's nothing I can do, Nicholas. The most important thing now is to find out what happened," she answered, rather breathlessly as well.  


 

"Well when is she going to wake up? She'll tell you, then," I responded, wanting some sort of treament to happen. 


 

"There's not a definite answer right now. If you're not going to be answering me, I must ask you to leave." Her voice became tense with the last sentence, and her gaze hardened. 


 

"I was going up to the Owlery, after the ball. It was about 9:00 when I came around the stairs and saw her lying there," I said, giving up my fight. I sat at the edge of the next vacant bed and crossed my arms in defiance. There must be something else she could do.


 

"That's all, you didn't see anything, find anything. I just need to know what she was doing there." Pomfrey looked at me desperately, and I squeezed the crumpled letter in my pocket tightly before answering. 


 

"No. It was just Dorcas. Although, I do assume she was going up there to either send or receive a letter." I'm sure that would've gained me a scathing look on any normal day, but she just stood up abruptly. 

 

 

 

"I think it's best you just go to bed now Nicholas," she said firmly.  

 

 

 

"I can help! I can go get Dumbledore, or-" She put her hand on my shoulder and lead me towards the door. 


 

"I think the best you can do right now is keep quiet. I also think it best that you agree with me." I shrugged her hand off my shoulder, and took one last glance back at the frozen body behind us. 


 

"Dorcas will tell me, you know. She'll tell me everything." She looked over my head and chuckled silently, darkly.


 

"You know what they call this, don't you?" My face turned to annoyed.


 

"What the bloody hell are you talking about?" Her sharp eyes came back to mine. In warning, reminding of who I was speaking with.


 

"Domus valetudo, that's Latin for hospital. Well, it's actually Latin for house of health. A tad ironic, wouldn't you agree?" Her eyes grew misty, and I saw her gaze rise to the door frame where the title was inscribed. She was right. This was most definitely not a house of health. 






 

 


Chapter 14: Confusion Garnished With Lies
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 Sirius POV

"What the bloody hell do you mean you don't know?" I was absolutely furious. I didn't find Dorcas at all last night, and now Lily tells me she has no clue where she is. 


 

"Stop yelling at Lily, Sirus! She would tell you if she knew," Marlene said in defense.  


 

"Shut up, Marlene, no one asked you," I interrupted. God, why was she even there?  


 

"Oh don't you come to my defense now, you bitch," Lily spat. The four of us shared glances in confusion at Lily's behavior. 


 

"Now what is everyone upset about!" The two fiery girls crossed their arms and looked down at the floor. Alice started fiddling with her fingers and glared ferociously at Marlene. 


 

"Someone needs to explain what's going on," James said, clearly not taking the fact that Lily was hiding something from him well. 


 

"Don't look at us, mate," Peter defended quickly. "We don't know anything either."


 

"Yeah, this is some chick thing," I reassured him. The three girls looked up at me, pretty pissed off about something.


 

"Listen, Black, it's not some chick thing or whatever you want to call it. Just don't equate us with her," Lily said, pulling Alice away from Marlene. 


 

"Just shut up! For once Evans! God can Alice even speak anymore?" Marlene tugged Alice closer to her, but not before Alice stepped away from both of them quickly.


 

"She's right, Lily, I'm not a damn puppet," she said to Lily, then turning to Marlene, " And you! No matter how much I'm mad at Lily it's nothing compared to what you've done," she screeched, stepping towards Marlene with her wand drawn. The girls have officially gone mental. I saw a couple students from the other tables look over to us at the sound of raised voices. 


 

"Maybe you guys should calm down," I suggested, even though James was shaking his head vigorously while backing away with Peter and Remus. Lily turned to glare at me, leaving Marlene and Alice to their own devices. 


 

"Oh, so you all can raise hell and satan with it whenever you please but we have to wait for your permission?" She stared at me with those large eyes, and I swear they flickered red for a minute. 


 

"I'm sure Sirius was just looking out for you three," Remus interjected as silently as he could. 


 

"Ouch! Alice!" All of our heads whipped around together to face the two girls we completely forgot about. Marlene was on the floor, Alice pulling her hair with a strength I didn't know she possesed. Lily and Frank (who had just appeared, I don't know) tried to pry her off of Marlene, who was near tears if not in them already. James tried to pull Lily out of the line of fire, which wasn't going to end well for him I'm sure. Hestia showed up and asked what was going on, and I'm sure Peter would've explained very nicely had he not taken a hit from Marlene as he was trying to speak. 


 

"Hey!" I heard someone shouting, but unfortunately I think Remus and I were the only ones. He was in just as much shock as I was. 


 

"Shut up you bloody Gryffindors!" Frank had finally managed to restrain Alice, as well as James with Evans. Marlene was desperately searching her head for bald spots, and Hestia was helping Peter up. 

 

 

 

"What do you want Weids," I said, turning to the intervener.  


 

"I know where Dorcas is." Everyone's breathing slowed down rather quickly, and the Gryffindor table grew quiet. He took a bite out of his stupid little apple and watched our faces turn from shock to excitement to skepticism. 


 

"She's in the hospital wing. Resting." Lily and James looked to each other, as well as Alice and Frank. Marlene and Hestia started whispering violently and looking rather worried. My face as well as Moony's twisted up in confusion. Resting? That's a lie if I've ever heard one. Plus, Weids' face was just a little too smug for my liking. 


 

"Well what is she resting from," I asked, curling up my hands into fists. 


 

"I-I don't know. She wouldn't tell me." He tossed the apple down onto one of our plates and it disappeared with the rest of the garbage. Remus looked up at him sharply when he stuttered. I guess he realized Nick isn't the type to stutter. 


 

"I think we should head outside. It's very nice today," Remus said rather purposefully. He grabbed Hestia and Peter's arms and started walking out of the Great Hall with Marlene trailing behind Hestia. James and I locked gazes for a second and he motioned his head towards the exit. Alice and Frank had taken lead from Remus and left with him. 


 

"Just go man," I whispered to James, "I have to talk to him." There was going to be a lot more than talking going on, but Evans didn't need to know that.  I faced Weids who was motioning and mouthing something to his Ravenclaw friends, completely unaware that I was about to beat his bloody brains out if he didn't tell me what was up with Dorcas. I grabbed his collar and dragged him down the hall as discreetly as I could, and out the door. It's a real good thing that none of the professors were at breakfast on Sunday mornings usually, because we would have been in a whole lot of trouble otherwise.   

 

 



 




 

 

 

 


 

"I'm not kidding! Put your fucking wand away!" I chuckled darkly at his stupid comment.


 

"You're yelling at the one with wand, Weids? I thought you were a Ravenclaw." I had stolen his wand on our way outside inconspicuously. 


 

"I really don't know that much about Dorcas. I swear to Merlin, I just know she's in the hospital wing." 

 

 

 

"Okay," I said, advancing my wand from his neck to his forehead. "How did she get there?" 


 

"I took her." Wrong choice of words. I lunged at him, and punched him square in the jaw, not looking back once. He fell down to the ground, clutching his jaw with one hand, and clenching his other. I walked towards him again. I actually kind of needed him before he was too mangled to talk. I gave him a hand, holding him in between standing and sitting before I heard his answer. 


 

"Why?" He pulled his hand from my grasp and sat back down, his arms on his knees.


 

"I don't know," he said exasperatedly. He seemd pretty shaken up too. "I was going up to the Owlery last night, and she was just lying there, all pale like." 


 

"She didn't wake up?" 


 

"No. She doesn't even know I saw her last night." 


 

"Well, what was she doing up there," I asked. She damn well wasn't sending anyone a letter at that time of night. Maybe she was. Girls are bloody mental. 


 

"What do you mean?" 


 

"I mean, why was she laying on the floor of the owlery at ten at night," I yelled, patience thinning, and my wand out again.


 

"Mate, you need to go to some anger counseling or something."

 

 

 

"Answer the question," I growled. He was just plain hard to deal with. He hesitated slightly before speaking again. 

 

 

 

"Nothing, she wasn't doing anything. It was just her up there." 


 

"So you mean to tell me that Dorcas was just lying there, on the ground, cold as a rock." 


 

"Cold as a rock," he clarified, nodding agreement. I knew there was still something he wasn't telling me, but he was clearly shut up for the moment. I'd have to talk to Moony about it. He got up to leave, but I grabbed his shoulder before he got too far.


 

"Listen, Weids. I don't what makes you think you and Dorcas have got some special connection, but you don't. She hasn't forgotten what you've done and neither have I. Thanks for your information, no matter how limited, but stay out of our bussiness. She doesn't want you anymore." He nodded again, his mouth struggling to open and retort until he saw my livid face. 


 

"Alright Black." I tossed his wand back at him, he caught it, and tapped his eyebrow lightly before turning back to the castle. "See you around." 

 

 


 

Nick POV


 

I clenched the paper in my pocket for the third time that morning. I haven't even read it yet, but I just have a bad feeling about it. When it was on the ground next to Doe, I first noticed that the majority of it was scratched out, which must have meant it said something either incriminating or important. Or both. 


 

I've been itching to read it since last night, but I haven't had a chance. I didn't even really sleep. I felt like everyone was watching me. Everytime I played with the edge of the paper, it was like everyone looked at me suspiciously. I probably should have given this to Pomfrey. What was Dorcas hiding from everyone that was so bad? I was probably exaggerating, just like Dorcas. She probably hadn't eaten or something equally as Gryffindor-like as that.  


 

I mean, I love Dorcas; but she was such a Gryffindor. They're so dramatic, and this is a perfect example of one of those times. I mean everyone was completely frazzled over her and it was ridiculous. I've always wondered why she wasn't in Ravenclaw. The Evans girl, you can see clarly why. She's an emotional wreck. But Dorcas, no. She's always been calm, ever so objective, witty, and quick. She may not be the smartest ever but she had so much potential when she was young. I guess it was the whole parents death thing. How the Sorting Hat knew she would be crazy nutty emotional, I'll never know. It seems to know an awful lot more  than we do. I don't know, and I don't really care. I do know that I don't give a rat's ass what Sirius thinks about me. All I really want is for Dorcas to get better. 

 

 


 

Dorcas POV

 

I was in a dream-like state. It was like my limbs moved slowly, numbly through clouds and cotton candy. My nails were trimmed to perfection, even though I haven't taken the time to look at them in about a month. I haven't taken the time to really look at anything about myself in a month, have I? I've been so preoccupied with this whole death, sick, be a saint, Dorcas thing. Or was I? Maybe I was living in the dream before, and this is what reality really felt like. I always thought that would happen one day. I would fall asleep one day and not wake up. But really, I just woke up from a horridly long dream. 


 

No, that couldn't be right, I thought, as I kicked a cloud to the left so I could walk on solid ground, only finding more clouds. Walking around here, it was like I was colorblind. Everything was super vague about this place, like there were no colors. There wasn't a ceiling, no walls or floors, yet I could somehow see the ending to everything. Maybe this was a metaphor for my life. I couldn't see myself being boxed in, shut down, but I knew. I knew it was coming. I knew that I would have to deal with it. 


 

Maybe I could tell Remus. He'd understand the most out of anyone. He wouldn't though. He would want me to tell everyone, like he did. He would think of me as a coward that I wouldn't tell anyone. I could do it, why can't you, he would ask. 


 

But oh I haven't even thought about when I'm supposed to explain this. Merlin, I don't even know how to explain it myself! Where am I anyway? Am I in a dream? I don't really remember falling asleep. As a matter of fact I don't ever remember even laying down. Maybe if I tried really hard I could get up! Ready Dorcas? On the count of three. One, two, three...






 


Chapter 15: Just Wake Up
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 Lily POV

My foot tapped angrily as I watched the seconds tick by. I've never ever wanted a class to go by fast, but this lesson was agonizing. It had been almost an entire week since the ball. We weren't allowed to see Dorcas Monday or Tuesday, but Pomfrey finally granted us permission on Wednesday. Even Marlene tried to go once or twice that I know of. We have all been getting up at about five every day to see if we could visit her before we had to get ready. 


 

Of course the boys were trying to act as if it didn't affect them, but it did. Black was the worst I think. He missed Quidditch tryouts on Tuesday. Of course, he'd be on the team. James was captain this year, so he didn't even really need to show up. But it was the principle of the thing, and Sirius is all about principles. 


 

"Flower, I'm going out with the boys tonight, is that okay?" He poked me in the side when I didn't respond. He's going into the forest again, I just know it. I feel like I have to let boys be boys, but I don't think they were just being boys. I think they're doing something dangerous.

 

 

 

"So long as you don't end up in the hospital wing along with Dorcas, I'm fine," I answered. He returned my comment with a weak smile and a tousle of his hair. I would let his noncommittal answer slide, so long as he kept his promise. I turned back to face McGonagall and left James to his own devices with Remus and Peter. Sirius has ditched class once again this week. James thinks it's because he was practicing for Quidditch. I think it was busy practicing for when Dorcas wakes up. Madame Pomfrey said she would, but that's all she told us. That's all we know for sure.

 

 


Remus POV

 

It took me about forty-five minutes to come to the conclusion that I was going home this full moon. Everything was extremely difficult without Dorcas this past week. We haven't even had any pranks since the end of September. My mother still had the room that I could keep myself and others safe in. I haven't exactly spoken to the guys about it, but I'm sure they'll respect my opinion, even if they have some of their own. The thing is, I don't really think we could pull it off without her. I'm too afraid James and Sirius will get too badly injured. And with Lily watching closer than ever, I can't have any mishaps. It's imperative that this weekend go off smoothly, or something a lot worse could happen. I don't think we would be able to handle another friend in the hospital wing. 


 

"Let's go man," James said, slapping me on the back on his way out of the classroom. I picked up my books with one arm and slung my bag over my shoulder with the other. My Transfiguration textbook fell and I stopped to get it. 


 

"Wait up guys!" James and Peter walked ahead to find Sirius. Peter said Sirius mentioned something about the Ravenclaw Tower roof before we left for breakfast. I ran forward and the strap to my bag split again. All of my books fell and I bent to pick them up. James and Peter came over, laughing, but bent to help me out. 


 

"If you don't get a new one soon, reparo won't even work on this thing anymore," said James, trying to hide his laughter for my sake. 


 

"You know, the things I let slide with you three, you'd think you would be a little more appreciative," I answered cynically.  


 

"If you didn't let them slide we'd have to find another Remus! Who's the Hufflepuff prefect this year, Peter?" 


 

"Oh shut it," I responded hastily. I always secretly felt that they would have no reserves in getting rid of me. 


 

"Let's just get to lunch," Peter whined. "I'm hungry!" 


 

"You're always hungry, " I said, James and I exchanging glances. 


 

"We've got to find Padfoot first, regardless. McGonagall said if any one of us missed anymore classes we'd all have detention. Yeah, that includes you, mister perfect prefect."


 

"Well, we definitely can't have detention tonight," Peter said defiantly. 


 

"That's true," James responded. "Good thinking Pete!" 


 

"About that.." I said, trailing off. I really should tell them all at once. 


 

"What, Remus? It's tonight right? I can never get that bloody star chart right." 


 

"Let's just find Sirius first," I said with a sigh. They were not going to take lightly to this. 

 

 


 




 

"No," all three of them said simply as soon as the words came out of my mouth.


 

"Are you crazy, Moony?" 


 

"No, James, I'm being the most practical one here right now as a matter of fact."


 

"Really? Explain that one to us Moony," Sirius said, as if he was one to talk. 


 

"First of all, that's almost the first sentence you've said all week, so excuse me if I'm won't listen to your nonsense. Second of all, it's safer!" Sirius looked away and out over the Quidditch field in annoyance. We found him, eventually, on the Ravenclaw roof. 

 

 

 

"All I'm saying is, it's a lot harder without her." James sucked in air through his teeth and started playing with his hair at the mention of her. Sirius and Peter both stayed stoic, refusing to acknowledge me. 


 

"It doesn't matter anyway. I already talked to Dumbledore and he's arranged for me to be taken home this afternoon at about three." At this, Sirius finally looked up.


 

"So this is the solution. Just taking one for the team again, are you Moony? Everything has to come down to you bloody sacrificing yourself, doesn't it?" 


 

"And what about you? Sirius, all you do is take the fall for other people." He snickered quietly, and a cruel smirk rose to his face. 


 

"Don't pretend just because you walk over girls that you don't care about other people. You're a damn martyr for people you don't even know." 


 

"Shut your damn mouth, Remus. We don't need you to talk to us like we're children, alright? Stop overanalyzing us." That hurt, coming from James. He knows I overanalyze when I'm upset. 


 

"I'm doing this for the safety of myself and others. It's not all about you."


 

"Nice to know you really care, buddy," Sirius growled.


 

"It would've been nice to know before tonight, mate," Peter inserted. He wasn't trying to put a crease in the schism. He just knew what side would be seen as the good side. And it wasn't mine.


 

"Why am I the bad guy here, huh?" Sirius looked up at me again solemnly.


 

"Because you're always trying to be the good guy." He got up with that picked up his broom from the right of him, and zoomed down to the pitch without a look back at us. 

 

 

 

"Do you guys think that?" 


 

"Leave me out of it," Peter answered noncommittally. 


 

"You know how he is, Reems. Just let him cool down a bit, it's just Dorcas." 


 

"I know James. But I'm going tonight, I don't care what any of you say." 


 

"We won't stop you." 


 

"I'm doing this for him, you know. If he got hurt, Dorcas would never forgive me." 


 

"I know, Remus, I believe you." 

 

 


 




 

 


 

Sirius POV


 

I stalked down the hallway after coming inside from the pitch. It didn't help with my rage as much as I thought it would. I'll deal with Remus on Saturday or Sunday, I don't care right now. The only thing I could think of was going to see Dorcas. She's the only thing that could really calm me down right now. 


 

I knocked on the door to the hospital wing. It's been closed ever since last weekend, and only three visitors were allowed at a time. Madame Pomfrey's small head peeked out from one of the doors and motioned for me to come in. Dorcas' face was thin and guant, even though the large windows were open and the sun was streaming through.You'd never really see her like that, just still. She never just sat and breathed. She was always jumping at the chance to laugh, prank, learn, love. She was restless and it was beautiful, but this was a beauty like no other. Maybe not beauty, maybe eriee, and mostly just rare. I love it all. I love all of her. 


 

I saw her body through the transparent curtain where Remus usually stays. She was completely still, absolutely astonishing in her quietness. I strode quickly over to her and Pomfrey decided smartly to stay out of my way. Her breath came in and out very slowly, but it was steady, and that was better than Monday. Her skin was so pale, so very pale. I stroked her cheek and the movement in her chest cavity gave me false hope about her getting up and talking back to me. Her eyelashes fluttered a bit, telling me that she was dreaming. I smiled at that. At least she might be happy. I sat down on the far end of the bed and held her hand gently. 


 

"Hi Dorcas." I imagined her saying something, anything sarcastic back, and then punching my shoulder like it would actually hurt. 


 

"You know, we need you back," I whispered, squeezing her hand a little tighter. "Remus is being a little prat," I said, laughing at myself a little bit. I'm such an idiot. 


 

"Come on, Dorcas. Wake up," I whispered again. My smile fell a little bit when I thought of the situation. I twisted my fist in the blanket next to her head, and her curls bounced around as if she was turning to look back at me with her bright eyes. 


 

"Mister Black?" I turned around and saw Pomfrey sticking her head around the corner. 


 

"Class is about to start in five minutes. Professor McGonagall has forbidden that you skip anymore classes here." I nodded, looking back at Dorcas. I squeezed her hand one last time, and stood slowly. Her heels clicked away and beckoned me to follow her to Charms. 


 

"I'll be back Dorcas. Just, just wake up soon, okay?" And for a split second, I swear she nodded in response. 

 

 



 

 


Chapter 16: One Perfect Morning
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 Dorcas POV

The first thing I felt  moving were my toes. I wiggled them slightly, and I began to slowly get the feeling back into my legs. I could feel my face trying to form a smile, or a smirk, or a frown, or anything. Just the thought of movement made me want to shout. It made me feel like I had been in a coma for years. My bones felt like they were made of stone, and my features cracked as if they were ensconsed in clay. I took in a deep breath and my ribs felt like they were breaking, but strangely refreshed. I sat up, and checked out my surroundings. Madame Pomfrey's desk was filled with papers, pretty strewn about and messy. I smiled, as I spotted my beautiful dress hanging on a hook. 


 

I pushed myself up from the bed, and stopped to steady my feet. I was still a little shaky from my, little rest. The last thing I remember before now was the Halloween ball, and Marlene, and trying to write to Harley. Oh my god, Harley's note. Where the hell was it? I moved my feet as quickly as they would go, which was not very fast right now. I almost fell, but not before I grasped the edge of the desk. I grabbed my wand, which was on the desk, and lit up the small area so I could see properly. I winced at the use of magic, but I'd gotten used to the sharp stings when I did even the simplest spells. I sorted through the disarray, only seeing a manila folder with Meadowes, Dorcas Hera printed on it, a few blank sheets of paper, a moon chart, another folder with Meadowes, Harley Ann on it, and a pile of papers that looked like a big headache of clerical work. No note. If Pomfrey didn't have it, who did? And how did I get here? I was going to have a lot of questions when someone finally woke up. I looked outside, and it was almost dawn. The sky was just turning pink, but I had no idea what day was starting. I went back to the table, looking at the papers again. Why was Harley's folder out? I grabbed it and a burning sensation hit my hand. I tried a couple random spells, some of the ones we used to counter the spell, but nothing worked. I looked around quickly to make sure Pomfrey hadn't come in, and I opened her first drawer. There was a piece of paper under a couple more sheets of nonsense with the word sanctimonia scribbled on it. I tried that last, tapping the folder with my wand. I smiled when it glowed a bright yellow, and closed the drawer. I opened the folder and took out the first page. 


 

 


 

STUDENT : MEADOWES , HARLEY ANN


 

HOUSE : RAVENCLAW


 

MEDICAL CONDITION : MEADOWES DISEASE (terminal)


 

AGE OF DIAGNOSIS : 8 YEARS OF AGE


 

DANGER CLASSIFICATION : LEVEL 4


 

DATE OF BIRTH : NOVEMBER 9 , 1953


 

DEATH EXPECTATION : JANUARY 3 , 1972


 

 


 

I gasped at that. Harley was supposed to die over five years ago. I asked Dumbledore to tell me. Why did he lie to me? And what the fuck is a danger classification? I've never even heard of that. My head whipped towards the door when I heard the scraping of Madame Pomfrey's key in her door. I hobbled towards my bed, realizing it only took her about ten seconds to get from her room to the Hospital Wing. I was just placing my legs back under the blankets when I heaerd her speak the incantation to get inside the Hospital Wing, and I shut my eyes just as she walked in. 


 

"Oh Merlin, she's still out," I heard her mutter. I could feel my eyes darting around behind my eyelids, and I hoped it wasn't noticeable. I heard her cast a patronus, and crinkled my eyebrows a bit. I wonder what that was for. Well, I should probably wake up. I really shouldn't be freaking anyone out anymore. I went through the whole process I did before, so it wouldn't seem suspicious. 


 

"What the hell happened here," she questioned aloud. I can't believe I didn't put back the damn papers. She's going to know it was me. I better make this convincing. I finally sat up, and cleared my throat quietly. When I first looked at Pomfrey, I felt so bad. Her hair was a mess, and it looked like she hadn't slept in days. 


 

"Dorcas!" She rushed over to me, and conjured a goblet. 


 

"Aguamenti," she conjured, and she forced the goblet of water on me. 


 

"Drink, dear. You cannot become dehydrated." I was a bit parched, I guess. I took a gulp, and realized how much I had missed water. I downed it in about five seconds. I placed it on my nightstand, and took the blankets off of my lap. 


 

"Madame Pomfrey, what happened?" She scuttled to her desk quickly and brought back my file. She took out a sheet of paper, and placed it on top. 


 

"These numbers," she said, pointing to some in the right column, "tell us what magical capacity you were at the night of the ball, before the sustaining potion." I was at a 73. That seems okay I guess. 


 

"So what is a magical capacity, anyway?"


 

"It's the amount of magic you can use safely, without damaging yourself. Normal witches and witches will flucuate depending on what type of physical condition they are in. The lowest anyone should be is a 64," she finished impatiently. 


 

"These numbers are where you were right after you took the potion." Whoa! I had shot up to a 97.6! 


 

"So that's good, right?" 


 

"I thought so," she said shaking her head. 


 

"These were your numbers when Nicholas brought you here." I looked to the bottom of the last column. 


 

"A 27? What are these numbers relative to? I mean how bad is that," I asked frantically.


 

"And Weids brought me here," I asked again, interruppting her. She gave me a stern look, and I decided to keep my mouth shut until she explained everything. 


 

"The numbers are on a scale out of one hundred, dear. One hundred being healthy, normal." Wow, normal. The word bounced around in my head tauntingly. You're not normal, Dorcas, it said. Normal for Sirius was 100, normal for Lily was 100. My normal was a 73. And I was so close. I was at a 97.6, and I was almost normal.  


 

"We should test you again right now, dear. I have to see how you've reacted to waking up." She went to get a needle, I guess. What happened to magic being so convenient? 


 

"What is my normal, Madame Pomfrey?" She turned to look at me, a questioning look on her face.


 

"I mean, for normal witches and wizards, their normal is 100. What is mine." 


 

"You're a steady 72," she said sighing.


 

"When am I supposed to die Madame Pomfrey?"she sighed again, bigger, longer this time.


 

"I don't know yet dear, we don't know." She came back over with her supplies and turned up the sleeve of my long nightgown.  


 

"How long was I out for," I asked, wincing from the small sting of the needle. She withdrew when enough of my blood was taken, and inserted the syringe into a small tablet, where my blood was stored.


 

"A week, almost precisely. Nicholas brought you here at about 10:00 PM last Saturday." She brought my blood over to her desk and performed an incantation. It dissapeared, and she came back to my bedside. 


 

"Open the folder," she said. A new number had appeared at the bottom of my chart. 74. 


 

"Thank god," she said, breathing a sigh of relief. 


 

"How come I'm here Madame Pomfrey?" 


 

"The sustaining potion Madame Pomfrey supplied you has affected you more than anticipated, Dorcas," said a smooth voice, coming from behind the curtain. Madame Pomfrey pulled back the curtain, and Dumbledore was standing there, wiping his glasses on the edge of one of his scarves. 


 

"I received your patronus, Poppy. Thank you for notifying me. Your certain disregard for timing has always intrigued me, as I was in nothing but my night robes." He smiled at her, and it made me smile, too. We've gotten so used to him speaking like that. It's refreshing compared to everyone else. 


 

"Yes, well," she mumbled, clearly flustered. "Her levels are back to normal."


 

"So all is well," he asked, looking from Pomfrey to me. I nodded yes, as I was feeling relatively well, and I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible. However, Pomfrey was not feeling the same security as me. 


 

"She is most certainly not! I'm sorry, Albus. I have to put my foot down. She has been asleep for an entire week, barely breathing, face of a ghost. She will not be jumping around pranking everything in sight the morning she wakes up!" The poor thirty-something year old was red in the face. Merlin, I guess I didn't even think of that. I have to put things in perspective. I'm not fine, and I'm definitely not ready to go see my friends. Heaven knows how i'm going to deal with this. 


 

"You know, Professor, I'm suddenly aggreeing with Madame Pomfrey. This bed feels safe." 


 

"Well, if you both feel that way, I assume I have no choice." He was smirking almost, and his answer sounded like a question. Everything would be so much less confusing if I was headmistress. 


 

"Tut-tut," he said, "I didn't anticipate how tired I would be at 7:30. I'll be seeing the both of you, here, at about 9:00 AM for breakfast? Thank you for informing me, once again, Poppy." He turned and walked out, his long robes sweeping the ground. I fought to hold in a smile since Pomfrey was still clearly distraught over me. Professor Dumbledore had forgotten to take off his sleeping cap. I chuckled slightly, Pomfrey glaring at me before handing me some robes to change into. She pulled the curtain shut and I let out a small laugh, her footsteps getting faster and louder the more I laughed. This was certainly going to be an interesting day. 


 

 


 




 

 


 

Third POV


 

"What are we going to do about her," Pomfrey asked. Dumbledore raised his hand slightly, his demeanor much more serious after leaving the Hospital Wing. 


 

"You're correct, Poppy. She must not get herself into any trouble after this. And have you discussed what she is going to tell her friends?" Madame Pomfrey looked at the man, clearly very confused.


 

"Whatever do you mean, Headmaster? Surely she'll let them know."


 

"Don't be too sure, Poppy. She isn't like her sister, you know. Harley was not aware of the social parameters like Dorcas." 


 

"But, Albus, the boys are not stupid. They'll know somethings going on." 


 

"You over estimate the ability of the boys, Poppy. They're children like any others, and they've always trusted her. I'm sure Dorcas will sort it out." Madame Pomfrey bit her fingernails and looked back to the hospital.


 

"Don't you think they should know?"


 

"That's up for her to decide," he said mysteriously. "I'm sure you recall it took Remus two years to confess. Time will allow her the opportunity for truth."


 

"Speaking of truth, did you find the date?" Madame Pomfrey looked up at Dumbledore pleadingly. 


 

"Dumbledore?" The man did not answer for a while, his brow furrowed slightly, his lips pursed. 


 

"She'll make it to the end of next year. These are merely presumptions, Poppy, based on our previous experience. I would beg you if it wasn't innapropriate not to tell her that." 


 

"Never against your wishes, Headmaster. I'll update the file." The young woman walked briskly back into the Hospital Wing, and went inside. Dumbledore went to the window adjacent to the entrance. 


 

"Tom, why are you here?" A tall man in dark cloaks rose from the shadows, and made his way about ten feet from Dumbledore. A small hiss emitted from beneath his hood at the use of the name Tom. 


 

"I'm not here to harm. I'm merely here to give an old fool a second chance."


 

"You are free to speak." 


 

"You must hire me for the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts. I can bring so much knowledge, Albus." 


 

"You as well as I know that these children should not have the kind of knowledge you posses, Tom." 


 

"This is your last chance, Dumbledore. And your last warning." There was a pregnant pause, in which the breathing of the figure Tom was audible. 


 

"What is wrong with the girl, Dumbledore? She is a classification five, I've heard." There was another silence. Dumbledore's refusal to speak was angering the mysterious figure.


 

"You and I are the only other five's I have heard of. Are you grooming all your students to be just as lethal now? Or just the girls," he said, with a silky cruelty.


 

"Don't come back again, Tom. Hogwarts does not welcome you home anymore." There was a silent sweep through the air, and a cool rush of wind. The man in the shadows was gone. Dumbledore gripped the window sill, his ring clacking roughly with the opposite metal. 


 

"You could have been so much better, Tom," he whispered, mostly to himself, almost a guilty plea. As if it was his fault. 


 

The full moon finally set, and it was time for everyone to wake up. A fresh Saturday morning, nothing out of the ordinary. The headmaster walked slowly back to his tower, smiling at passing early-bird students. Seemingly seamless, the perfect Headmaster on the perfect morning. 


 

 


Chapter 17: Do You Understand?
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 Dorcas POV

"Shut up Wormtail! She'll hear us!" Madame Pomfrey had just gone downstairs to bring me breakfast, and this is what I hear. How did those idiots already know I was awake?



 

"I'm back here guys!" There was silence. No footsteps or exclamations of joy. 



 

"Is Poppy here," someone asked. I couldn't really tell who. 



 

"No, she left to get us breakfast." More silence. They were probably shocked just as much as I was. 



 

"Dorcas!" James and Peter came running at me, and I saw the Invisibility Cloak lying on the floor when they blew past the curtain and straight into my arms. James held my head to his chest and it was a bit crushing, truth be told.



 

"Let her go, James. She's got to breathe, hasn't she?" I smiled into his chest, and I guess he felt it, because he let go. Peter apparently was too good for the rules, because he pushed past James and crushed me with the same strength. He picked me up and I got my arms around his waist, too. 



 

"Hey, that's not fair!" 



 

"Join in," I said, muffled by the tall boy. He did just that, and tackled me from the other side. Peter let go and conjured up two chairs next to my bed. 



 

"Come on, let her go James. She can tell us everything." At this, I grabbed on tighter. I didn't want to have to talk about it.



 

"He's right, Doe. Let go, we can hug it out later," he said, peeling me off of him and ruffling my already messy hair. We sat down, the boys bringing the two chairs around to face my bed. 



 

"So, where are the other two?" The boys looked shiftily at the ground, waiting for the other to speak. 



 

"Well, Remus went home for the full moon," James said.



 

"And, we don't know where Sirius is," Peter finished. 



 

"Why did he go home," I asked. Sirius went missing all the time. It wasn't really a big deal. 



 

"He, he thought we couldn't handle it without you." I frowned and looked down. That's strange. I never knew I was that important in the full moons. 



 

"So anyway. What happened, Doe," James asked. His eyes begged for the truth, but I knwe I just couldn't say it. I could not say that out loud. 



 

"I just fainted." They both looked at me very skeptically. Peter more so than James.



 

"What the bloody hell you mean, you 'just fainted'?" I smiled at Peter's bluntness. It was nice.



 

"I don't know! Apparently Nick brought me here and he found me just on the ground or something."



 

"Yeah, we know," James grumbled angrily. 



 

"What happened, he told you?" 



 

"Yeah," he answered, scratching his face. "We were having this big old fight in the Great Hall about where you were and why you didn't come to the ball, and then Marlene and Alice started to go at it, and then Lily joined in. Then he just came over chewing his little condescending apple and told us you were in the hospital wing. Except he said you said it was from exhaustion."My eyes widened there, but he was not done, so hopefully I woudn't come out as a liar. "Then Remus, Peter and I took the girls outside and Sirius spoke to Weids alone. Sirius said Nick told him he took you up to the hospital wing when he found you pale as a sheet on the Owlery steps." My mouth was opened as I tried to understand what he had recalled for me. That means Weids had the note and didn't tell Sirius about it. So he knows now? God everything is so confusing.



 

"Okay," I said, trying to come off as confused. I wanted to contribute as little as I could to this conversation. 



 

"So? What happened, Doe," Peter asked, almost pleadingly. 



 

"Well, the funny thing is, I don't know," I tried to say as positively as possible, a small laugh at the end. They were not in the laughing mood, apparently. 



 

"Look, Pomfrey said it was from exhaustion, too. Maybe that's what she told Nick, I don't know. All I know is I'm still tired, and hungry, and I'm not even allowed to leave today," I finished, pouting childishly. 



 

"Well, what did your file say," James asked accusingly.



 

"What do you mean?" 



 

"Come on Dorcas. Don't pretend we don't know you at all. You can look me in the eye and say that you didn't even try and look in your folder?" He caught me. Stop connecting the dots, James. That's for Remus to do. 



 

"Alright," I admitted. "I tried to look, but I didn't know her freaking password so I couldn't get in." That was mostly true, and it seemed it was believable. 



 

"Damn Poppy and her  intuitiveness," he said. I smiled at this. I guess it was nice that he was trying to find out, no matter how much I didn't want anyone to know. 



 

"You guys should go, she'll be back any minute," I said. "I'm not supposed to see anyone until I'm out of the hospital." 



 

"Fine," James said grudgingly, patting me on the shoulder, then reaching down to give me a big hug. He moved to the side and let Peter do the same. 



 

They walked back past the curtain, and gave me one last look. They were about to throw the cloak over  their heads when I stopped them to ask one more question.



 

"Hey!" They looked back, waiting for me to finish my interjection. "How did you guys know I was awake anyway?" They laughed, and finally had a genuine smile on their faces.



 

"We didn't. We've come up here every morning since Sunday." My mouth stood open, although I don't know why I was so surprised. 



 

"See you around, Vix," James called, swishing the cloak over their heads just as the door was opened by Pomfrey. 



 

"Is something wrong dear," she asked, levitating the two plates of breakfast with her wand. 



 

"Of course not," I answered, as she put down the plates on the table next to me. 



 

"Madame Pomfrey," I said, after a long moment of silence while we ate our breakfast. 



 

"Hmmmm?" she said, her mouth still full from the previous bite. 



 

"May I go to the library?" She swallowed quickly and gave me a stern look.



 

"Please, Madame! The boys are at Quidditch practice and Lily and Remus are off doing prefect stuff!"



 

"What about Peter," she asked, squinting at me. 



 

"Oh, he never gets up before eleven on a Saturday. It's his only rule." She looked at me skeptically, again, and put her plate to the side.



 

"You're not lying to me, are you Dorcas?" 



 

"Of course not," I answered, her penetrating stare scaring me a bit. 



 

"Well, why do you need to go, then." 



 

"I'm going to be so bored here, Madame. I just need something to do!" 



 

"Fine, you may go then, but you only have twenty minutes, and you'll come straight back here. Do you understand?" I swear she must practice those faces in a mirror. 



 

"I understand," I said, throwing off the blankets and taking my robes from the chair. 



 

"I'll be right back here, I swear." I threw the robes over my hospital gown, and started my way out of the hospital. Please don't stop me, was the mantra that rang in my head.



 

"Wait!" Oh god, please don't come with me, I prayed. 



 

"You need shoes, Dorcas." She transfigured a vase that was on the window into a pair of shoes, and she threw them towards me.



 

"I'll be counting Dorcas, twenty minutes." I rushed out of there before she stopped me again. I didn't lie to her, not once. I was going to the librarry. I had to find out what danger clasification meant. 



 

 



 





 

 



 

Good old gullible, trusting Pomfrey. Maybe it was because we were her first class that she's had since first year, but she does let us get away with an awful lot. She's definitely got a soft spot for us sixth years. 



 

I peeked around the corner of the library to make sure no one important was in there. No sign of the prefects or Nick. James and Sirius were probably already on the pitch so I didn't have to worry about them. I snuck around the corner, going directly into a row of books, so there would be a minimal chance of anyone seeing me. There were probably five people in the library including myself and Madame Pince. She was scanning the books back in with her wand, barely looking up, unless there was an unusual noise of some sort. There were two Hufflepuffs who were studying, uneccessarily close to one another, so I don't think they'd be bothering me. Then there was Mary. Really, Mary? You just had to be here right now. If she saw me, she'd tell Hestia who'd tell Alice, who'd tell Lily, who'd tell James and I already told James I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital, so that would just escalate. This is why I'm a horrible liar. 



 

I stood at the back of the library, behind a book case, staring a the wall. I tried to convince myself I was thinking of a plan, but really I was just standing there. I forced myself out of the small space and started actually thinking. I did have a delicate time frame. Now, what section would this be under. It wouldn't be under any type of class textbooks or information. Maybe the History of Hogwarts section? I moved down two rows to that section and began looking through the titles. There were about twelve copies of "Hogwarts: a History", and I skipped over that whole part. Lily had made me read that with her in third year, and I don't remember anything about danger classification. Then there were the more obscure books, like Theories of our Founders, biographies of all four founders, Salazar Slytherin and the Revelation of the Snake, The Sorting Hat's Songs, and a couple others that had no meaning whatsoever to me. Then I came upon a few that might be useful to me. I pulled down, History of Students, and Headmaster's List from the shelf. I shrunk the two books down to pocket size and slipped them in my robes. 



 

I was feeling a little mre confident, seeing as nobody noticed me yet. I walked over to the History of the Ministry section, and looked for anything on ranking. Something caught my eye. It said M.O.M Classification on the spine. I've heard of this, but it was only for beasts, not humans. I picked it up, and added it to my collection of shrunk books. I was running short on time, so I cast a disillusionment charm on myself, and disappeared from sight. I walked quickly out of the library, as I could feel the charm wavering even in the minute I put it on myself. I was never particularly good at disillusionment charms. 



 



 

 


 

As I walked back into the hospital wing, Madame Pomfrey was at her desk writing something down, and I saw there was a door ajar that I had never noticed before. 



 

"Madame Pomfrey, what's that for," I said, pointing to the door. She looked at the large clock at the entrance and tightened her lips. I was back on time, but I sure she would've loved to be able to scold me for being late. 



 

"That, Dorcas, is where you'll be staying this weekend." I was absolutley shocked. She was going to keep me locked up in here?



 

"I have to stay here all weekend?" 



 

"It's the safest thing we can do right now," she sighed, continuing her writing. 



 

"Does Dumbledore know about this," I asked incredulously. 



 

"Of course, silly girl. He suggested it." She didn't seem to be as annoyed about it as I was. 



 

"Well, can I speak to him!" Merlin, you faint once, they think they own you!



 

"He's waiting in there for you." My eyes widened in embarrassment. He'd probably heard every word I just said. I turned abruptly and stalked towards the new room. I was still mad at her. 



 

"Sit, Dorcas, have a toffee." I looked around the small room, and the first thing I noticed, was that there were multiple bowls of candy in it. Perfectly stocked for Dumbledore's visit. 



 

"No thanks, Sir. It's too early for me," I said. I really just kind of hate toffee but whatever. 



 

"Oh, if only I excercised the same self control as you when it came to sweets," he said, taking one off the top of the pile. 



 

"So, why do I have to stay here Professor." 



 

"Dorcas," said, tilting his glasses down slightly, "You know why you have to stay here." I frowned a little bit. That was so weird of him to say. It didn't seem like Dumbledore. We sat in silence for a bit, and he got up, checking out the area, I suppose, every so often making a smacking noise with his toffee. 



 

"I want you to think of how important you are, Dorcas. There was a time I overlooked my greatness for the comfort of others, and it did more harm than good. You are extremely important, Dorcas, do you understand?" Everyone was asking if I understood today. Maybe there was a concept I wasn't getting, because I thought I was understanding everything perfectly.



 

"To tell you the truth, no I don't." 



 

"You cannot undersestimate yourself because of your condition." I didn't really know what that meant either, but I didn't want to ask again because one, it sounded creepy and depressing, and two, I didn't want to seem like an idiot. 



 

"I get it, Professor," I said, trying to sound as confident as possible. 



 

"Is there anything else you need to know, Dorcas?" His vision was worse than Pomfrey's. It was like he had x-ray vision, and saw right through all my lies. 



 

"No, professor," I answered, trying to keep my face as still as possible. 



 

"If you have any questions, don't hesitate to come see me," he said, taking one more toffee and leaving the small room in which I was confined. I rolled my eyes at him. Sometimes I felt like Dumbledore spoke as if he was putting on a show for someone. Nevermind that now, I have to get to figuring this out. 



 

I took out all the books I got, and resized them to be large enought to read. 



 

I opened the first book, History of Students, by Newton Scamander. Well, damn. He wasn't a Headmaster for Harley, me, or my mother. Maybe my grandmother had him, though. I flipped open to the index, and searched for Meadowes before I realized, ten minutes later, that Meadowes was not my grandmother's maiden name. Maybe I could come back to this one if the other's didn't work out. I'd have to ask Harley what my grandmother's and great-grandmother's maiden name's were. 



 

I went to the next book, Headmaster's List, by Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Perfect, he'll have notes about my mother and sister definitely, me maybe. I was flipping through, looking intently for any information, when I slammed the book shut, and smacked my forehead.



 

"Stupid, stupid, stupid," I said to myself as I reached for the next book. It was no use seeing what I was classified as if I didn't know what the classifications meant. I picked up the Minitry of Magic's Official Book of Classificiations and leafed through the first couple pages of credit and publication nonsense before hitting the index. The classifications were grouped on whether it was an animal, ghoul, ghost, fiend, or poltergeist. Then there was a section describing which each level meant. They were ranked by X's. For example, one x (X) meant not very dangerous, and five x's (XXXXX) meant the most dangerous, stay away from at all costs. My sister's number didn't have any sign of the Ministry's logo, and she had the actual number four, not four x's, so I had no idea if there was any connection whatsoever. I slammed the book shut in frutration. I just wasted a good forty minutes of my day doing absolutley nothing. Madame Pomfrey came in unannounced, and cleared her throat. My head in my hands, I looked up between my fingers at her. 



 

"Yes," I mumbled.



 

"I'm going out on some business for the school. I expect you'll stay here. As an extra precaution, a caterwauling charm has been placed on the entrance to the hospital. Please, don't make me have to come back here and scold you. This is for your own safety," she finished briskly. 



 

"Yes, ma'am," I grumbled back, throwing my head down on the small desk I had. 



 

"Don't go mad, Dorcas! I won't deal with it when I get back," she called as she was leaving. I think she was kidding, and I wasn't going to go mad in here. I mean, I hope she was kidding, and, would I? 



 

 



 

Nick POV



 

I crumpled the piece of parchment in my hand, and got up abruptly from my seat in the common room. My sharp movement and loud crumpling sound caught the curious eyes of some fellow housemates, but I simply straightened my sweater, and walked out of the common room hastily. What did that letter mean? Was Dorcas seriously ill, and was it a family thing? She had mentioned Harley, her mother, and the mysterious "everyone." Did that mean a group of family members? A group of students? I can't believe she's kept this from me. Even more so, she's kept it from those bloody prats she keeps as friends. They practically shared blood. They probably did share blood, so far as I know. This wasn't fair to me. I knew she had told me to stay out of it, but I was in the thick of it. To my knowledge, the only one's who know about her illness are myself, her, Harley, Pomfrey, and Dumbledore. The last one was an assumption, but Dumbledore bloody knows everything. 



 

I walked up to the infirmary, and there was a sign posted on it. 



 

 



 

Hospital Wing: CLOSED



 

Madame Pomfrey is away on business, and will be returning shortly. 



 

 



 

That seemed like the biggest load of crap I've ever heard, but I could just faintly see the magic barrier surrounding the doors. I wasn't getting in there. She couldn't keep me out forever. If I needed it, I had blackmail. I don't care what Dorcas thought of me at this point. This was about her. She needed to understand. She's never understood. 



 

 


Chapter 18: One More Time With Humor
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 A/N: This is the first chapter in a while with a Dorcas only POV. I'm excited about it!



 

 

 

Dorcas POV


 

I was tired. And I was hungry. The last time I was hungry was probably two months ago. I hadn't heard from anyone since Saturday afternoon, and it was now Sunday, twelve o' clock. I had been playing with the lock on my door all morning, trying to get it open without using magic. Maybe I could turn out like Harley. She's been living well past her due date for a while now, and everything is fine. Sure, she's a bit testier than she was five years ago, but who wouldn't be? 


 

Madame Pomfrey said she would be back at Hogwarts by Sunday afternoon, but this was getting ridiculous. How could they keep me cooped up in here for so long? I may be dying, but I still crave at least minimal human interaction. A couple of house elves had been up to visit me in my tiny room to bring me meals, and one even brought a daily prophet this morning, but they were apparently given strict instructions not to apparate me out of the room. I had looked through the books again, multiple times, as they were my only source of entertainment. My mother was the only one out of us three in Dumbledore's book, and there was no such mention of a danger classification. 


 

This was hopeless. I don't even know why I was trying anymore. I was just going to end up dying anyway, right? A silent, dry, sob wracked my body as I let my mind drift into that territory of thinking. I guess this is what self pity felt like. I've never had it before, and I prided myself on that. I didn't like to self pity, and I didn't think I deserved it. It's funny how much can change in the span of a couple of months, hell, a couple of days. I heard the scraping of something metal coming from outside the room, like a door, or a window, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. It was probably just the house elves cleaning again. It was difficult for my hopes to stay squandered, however, as I heard a loud thud, and the crashing of beds, tables and chairs. 


 

"Bloody hell," someone muttered from outside my room. I sat up a little straighter in my chair, very intrigued by this. Did someone actually get through the barriers? I doubted that. Madame Pomfrey was pretty creative with her charms and hexes. But, all my doubts vanished as I saw the glint of a slice of metal sliding through the seam in the doorway. I got up, ready to embrace the possessor of this enchanted knife. 


 

"Sirius," I said breathlessly. I hadn't seen him since the afternoon of the ball, and even then, the relationship had been strained since long before that. He grasped me tightly, holding my head to his chest.


 

"It's alright, Doe," he whispered into my head. I didn't want to let go, because I knew it would open up a ton of doors I did not want to go into. There were a lot of things he's done in the past months that I haven't understood, and it was time to rectify that; no matter how much we both wanted to avoid it. 


 

"Sit Sirius," I said, motioning to the chair. I took a seat on my bed and looked at his hands. They were tumbling into each other furiously, a sign of nerves that anyone would recognize. 


 

"Are you alright, Dorcas?" He did not seem to know how to handle this situation. And, to be truthful, neither did I. 


 

"I'm feeling fine, Sirius," I said hesitantly.  


 

"I spoke to Nick, I'm sure Prongs told you about that," he said, his hands calming a bit as we got into the conversation. I chuckled, at the memory of James' description. I'm sure Sirius did an awful lot more than speak with Nick.


 

"So, how's his nose doing then?" He smiled, a bit sadly, and chuckled, most likely at the memory. 


 

"Well, he was telling the truth," I confirmed.


 

"Exhaustion? Really, Dorcas?" I shrugged gently, trying to come across as aloof as possible. 


 

"It happens, mate. I'm a girl, what can I say?" He crossed his arms in disbelief, and smirked at my feeble joke. 


 

"So how'd you get in here, anyway, Casanova?" 


 

"Who?" 


 

"Merlin, have you ever heard of a muggle reference?" He smiled again, wider this time. 


 

"Have you ever heard of who I grew up with? And the windows were just locked. Simple Alohomora, I was in," he said simply. 


 

"That's not the only question I've got for you mister." He looked away from me, sucking in air between his teeth at the mention of deep, emotional exploration. 


 

"Let's not do this right now, Dorcas," he said, his hand raising to scratch his face. His avoidance was really annoying me. 


 

"No," I said, picking up my wand and flicking the door shut. "We're doing this right now. Every time I try and do this, something comes up and gets in the way, and we just have to get this over with before I forget what has even happened." 


 

"When did you grow up," he asked, with a mix of mild shock and amusement. 


 

"One of us was bound to eventually," I answered. I was just given the perfect opportunity to this year; but then again, he didn't know that, did he? 


 

"Well, let's get this over with then. What do you want to know." He let his arms relax, his forearms coming to rest on his knees. 


 

"Why did Emmeline cheat on you?" He rolled his eyes, and tilted back on the chair, his hands reaching to rub his face again. 


 

"Fuck, Dorcas, I don't know. Heat of the moment? My avoiding her? Because she's a damn smart, manipulative Ravenclaw? You'd have to ask her, but not important, move on." 


 

"What was in your uncle's will?" This was probably the one I was most curious about.  He got up and began to pace the room, clearly becoming annoyed. He was not happy. 


 

"I got everything. As expected." The shorter his temper grew, the shorter his sentences got. I'd seen this side of Sirius before, and it was about to get ugly. 


 

"And?" He looked out the window that showcased the black lake, and I rose to meet him. 


 

"Same family as I left this year. What do you want me to say Dorcas," he roared. I blinked rapidly for a few seconds, trying to disperse the rage and tension in the room. He was particularly touchy about his family. A lot more than other's realized. 


 

"I want you to tell me what's been going on in your life," I said, exasperated. "I feel like I haven't had a proper conversation with you since the beginning of the year!" He turned around to face me when I said this. 


 

"Have you ever stopped to think that that's entirely your fault?" he asked, pointing an accusatory finger at me. 


 

"Sirius, I don't want to fight. You know I'm just glad to see you," I said, desperately trying to hold onto to some happier topics.


 

"No Dorcas," he said, backing me up to the farthest wall from the door. "You are the one who wants to talk about everything. So let's talk," he yelled dramatically. "Why have you been in and out of the hospital wing for the past three months?" I had no response for him, except quaking limbs. Sirius had never spoken to me like this. 


 

"Please, don't do this Sirius," I said, looking down to avoid his fiery yet heartless gaze. He grasped my arm tightly and that made me look up in shock. I never worried about crossing the boundaries with him before. 


 

"Why the bloody hell are you fucking locked up in here, huh? How come I had to fly into the hospital, and pry the door open with a magic knife? You sure as hell aren't that exhausted," he barked, definitely mocking me at the end. His face grew  closer to mine by the second, becoming more impassioned by the end of his tiny speech than ever before. 


 

"I-I don't know, Sirius," I said, my own voice quivering pathetically. I didn't know how to answer him. My arm growing numb did not seem to help. 


 

"Don't lie to me, Dorcas," He said, his voice growing dangerously soft. He whispered it more to himself, I think. His eyes would not meet mine, but there was an intense heat between us right now. 


 

"I'm not," I said, trying to sound more confident. Although, I'm sure he saw through my facade. 


 

"So, you're telling me that you have no idea what's wrong with you?" I nodded fervently, my head growing weary from crying, sleep deprivation, and yelling.


 

"I don't believe you Dorcas." I took the initiative, and finally locked gazes with him. He had to let it go. I was not ultimately surprised with what I saw. There was anger, fierce anger, but also heavy sadness seeping through the steel and aqua irises of my best friend. 


 

"Then I don't know what to tell you, Sirius." His hand rose again, for what was the fourth time in our meeting, but it did not raise to his own face. He brought it to my own chin, and locked his middle and pointer finger around the back curve of my jaw loosely. His thumb rested on my pale cheek. 


 

"I want you to tell me the truth, Dorcas," he said, this time, growing softer and closer as his words ended. My arm had been let go, in favor of a position around my waist. This was all too familiar, and it was comfortable. 


 

"I've given you all the truth I have," I said, another lie slipping through my teeth, as my head tilted up to his, insinctively. My mouth parted, slightly dry from the large amount of talking I'd been doing without water or fresh air. My eyes closed, only hoping that he would just drop this and kiss me. I felt his mouth hovering over me, his breath dropping warmth onto my lips. His hand that was previously resting on my jaw moved up to my hair, and laid itself gently on the nape of my neck. 


 

"You're a horrible liar, Dorcas." 


 

"I've gotten better," I answered, quite silently, as I didn't have much control over what I said anymore. 


 

"That's true," he said, stroking my neck absently, bringing slight humor back into the conversation. Just as he always would. It's Sirius, after all. I just wish he would stop teasing me. 


 

"I want you to kiss me, Sirius." I guess it's just better to be blunt. Or so I thought, before I actually said that aloud. That was bloody embarrassing. 


 

"You have gotten better at lying," he murmured, his face now leaning down in that special area between my neck and chest. "I almost believed that," he mused, before finally letting his soft lips lay on mine. We stayed there for a second, and didn't move. There was no need to. It just felt nice to be there again. He withdrew first, slowly and unsure of why he had actually done that. My hands automatically shot up straight to his face, and just held him there. In limbo. Almost like purgatory. It was the swing between heaven and hell. Hell, being, the outside world, heaven being my lips. My eyes stayed closed, not wanting to face what we had just done. I didn't know what I was going to do. Damn it, this little talk had not actually cleared anything up. 


 

"You're quite the seductress, you know that Dorcas," he said, chuckling, his heavy breath still lingering with mine. 


 

"I've learned from the best," I answered, my hands finally loosening, and falling down his arms, to my sides. So this is how we would make it out of here. With humor, like always. 


 

I opened my mouth to say something as he backed away from me, in shock. Then, of course, we were distracted. I heard the muttering of incantations, and the stumbling of feet in high heels. I looked desperately towards Sirius, who didn't seem to have any kind of solution either. 


 

"You've got to hide," I whispered to him. 


 

"My broom's out there, Dorcas. She'll see it, trust me," he said, a mischievous glint in his eye. Man, I missed that glint. 


 

"Well then you've got to just leave now before she gets in here!" 


 

"But Dorcas, we are not done talking," he protested as I pushed him out the door along with him magic knife and wand. 


 

"I'm pretty sure that's not the actual problem right now," I muttered, not bothering to acknowledge him. "Just go!" I whispered, as he fixed everything he had inevitably knocked down on his way in here. I smiled slightly as he stumbled onto his broom, and flew out the window. Closing my door once more, hoping everything was in place, I touched my lips, as I always did after a kiss. I thought of the slight burn his small touch gave me, and smiled giddily again. I really needed to nip that in the bud right away, I thought, laying down quickly and trying to calm my nerves. Oh, bloody hell, Sirius kissed me. My nerves dissipated as I thought about what and who actually happened. Sirius Black kissed me. 


 

I heard a knock at the door, and Madame Pomfrey peered in, smiling at my open eyes.


 

"Good weekend, Miss Meadowes?" My eyes only got wider as I dug deeper into everything that happened. 


 

"You wouldn't believe," I answered, my voice just as distant as I was. 


 

 


Chapter 19: Back & Forth
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Docras POV


 

"So, Dorcas, what actually happened?" We were seated, facing each other on my bed. 


 

"Well, like I told everyone else it was exhaustion," I replied laboriously, picking out some feathers from the pillows. 


 

"I know, I know Dorcas. But it couldn't have been that simple! Madame Pomfrey didn't hint at anything else," she asked, her teeth going at her lip furiously. 


 

"Stop biting yourself Lil." Her teeth submerged back into her mouth, and she shrugged in apology. It was a bad habit of hers we were trying to stop. "And, surprisingly no. She didn't even seem all that scared, besides insisting I stay there all weekend. But when isn't she like that?" Lily smiled sincerely, considering that was actually how Madame Pomfrey was. 


 

"You know what was even worse than that," I said, finally bringing up the Sirius thing. 


 

"What could have possibly happened to you within the 48 hours you were confined to the ward?" My head bent again, and I put the pillow down before my bed was too littered with feathers. 


 

"I mean, you know that the boys snuck into see me. It's a given," I said easily. Lily probably would've snuck in with them if she and James weren't having a little fight apparently. She crossed her arms and stuck her nose in the air. Maybe it was more than a little argument. 


 

"Yes, James did mention it once or twice, I think." I shook my head and smiled at her. They were so in love, my Merlin, 


 

"Well Sirius came by himself as well," I said cautiously. Lily liked to jump to conclusions and did so very quickly. 


 

"And?" she inquired, quite confused. Oh man, I really didn't want to say this. But I also didn't want to keep another lie. I took a deep breath and her eyes searched my face in concern.


 

"We bloody-


 

 


 

 


 

Sirius POV 


 

 


 

 


 

"-kissed! We bloody kissed, mate." James' hand pushed back his hair and lifted his glasses to top his head. 


 

"Why?" I scoffed at him in annoyance. I hated retelling stories. 


 

"Well I went to see her, alone. Sunday afternoon. We got into this fight how we never have a proper conversation anymore, and I said some pretty nasty shit, I guess. I scared her, mate," I finished silently. I came to the realization that Dorcas had looked genuinely scared of me. 


 

"I just kissed her. I don't know," I rambled on quickly."I just thought it was the right thing to do. I don't bloody know! I don't really feel when I kiss, I just do." This was an embarrassing arse conversation and it was a good thing we were doing it in the privacy of the Room of Requirement. 


 

"You've got some serious emotional issues, mate," he said, laughing and picking up another firewhiskey. I destroyed the bottle with a reducto, and let him continue smiling giddily to himself.


 

"Moony's right, you're no help drunk."


 

"I'm sorry, mate," he said pleadingly. "My love life is finally all sorted out and yours isn't! What a strange turn of events," he said, stroking his imaginary beard. 


 

"Shut up, Prongs. Evans won't even talk to you, right now," I said pushing him to the side. 


 

"Listen, I'm being serious with you now," he said, sitting up properly on the couch. "Do you want to know how I feel when I kiss Lily?" 


 

"No! Gross, mate. Keep it to yourself."


 

"No, no," he said, his face relaxing back from it's smile. "I just want you to compare it, you know? See if you actually fancy her, or if it was just a snog," he said logically.


 

"You've been spending too much time around Evans," I said contentedly. 


 

"Would I be here on a Monday night if that were true? She hasn't got that strong of a hold on me yet. Anyway, back to the issue at hand," he said seriously.


 

"Why'd you kiss her," he asked, leaning his chin on his hand. 


 

"I don't know, she was being stupid. She kept asking me what happened when I went back home, and nonsense about Emmeline, and all this shit, and I just had the urge to kiss her."


 

"You basically said the same thing three minutes ago," he answered bluntly. I was silent. "Listen mate. Forget about your pride for a second and tell me why you did it." I took a deep breath, and began to indulge him.


 

"It was very tense in the room, I remember that. She looked, sad. We never really see Dorcas when she's sad, I guess." I scratched my face, and tried to avoid James' invested gaze. "It was really, really scary, mate," I said, finally looking up to meet his eyes. "She was so sad, and it was like she was lying through her teeth the entire time. But it was selfish," I exclaimed suddenly. I stood up and walked to the other side of the room. James stayed where he was smartly. "She's messed up, and she doesn't even talk to us anymore. She fucking ditched me for Merlin's sake. I know-"


 

 


 

Dorcas POV


 

 


 

"-he doesn't want me! I'm such an idiot, Lily!" She put her arm around me, and I almost flinched out of habit, but I just let her stay. I needed some comfort right about now.  


 

"Don't analyze it, Dorcas," she said languidly. I looked at her in complete shock. 'Analyze it' was like Lily's catchphrase. 


 

"I guess I shouldn't," I said, sighing in resignation. "It's just, I wanted to kiss him. Except I wanted to when he didn't want to. That makes feelings complicated" Lily looked confused for a second, and then realized what I meant. Sometimes my sentences were kind of confusing. 


 

"It was probably just all the tension," she said easily. 


 

"Yeah, you're probably right Lily," I said distantly. "Look, I'm going to bed now, so I'll talk to you in the morning." 


 

"Don't do that, Dorcas," she said, even though she had already stood up. 


 

"I swear we'll talk about it another time." Poor Lily was so gullible, but I really didn't know what to say, or want to say anything. 


 

"Alright, sweetie. Get a good night's rest. We've still got classes tomorrow," she called sweetly from the bathroom. 


 

"Oh-"


 

 


 

Sirius POV


 

 


 

"-bloody hell, Prongs! I don't know what to do." I rubbed my eyes in sleepiness, as it was already one o' clock in the morning. 


 

"I mean, did she want to kiss you?" I thought about that for a second. I don't really know, do I? She asked me to kiss her, but I think she was just sad, and scared, and tired. She didn't want to fight.


 

"Nah, I don't think so," I said casually. 


 

"Then, it's simple. Leave it up to her, and don't bring it up. This way you don't get in trouble for saying anything." 


 

"You're probably right, mate," I said, appeasing him I think he was just trying to get rid of me, and I was ready to be done with this conversation as well. I did know one thing now, though.


 

 


 

Dorcas/Sirius POV


 

 


 

I wouldn't be talking about this anytime soon.


 

 

 



 


 

 


 

Dorcas POV


 

It was white out. That's the only thing I had been able to think of for the past hour. We were supposed to write in a journal for Diviniation about our thoughts over the winter break. The train would leave tomorrow, and break still hadn't technically started, but I wanted to get a start on it. Knowing me, it wouldn't get done until last minute anyway.  


 

Of course, I could think of other things, it's just snow was the only thing I thought of that would be suitable to write down. Lily probably already had her's filled with happy thoughts about James and Alice. I had been, not altogether present lately, needless to say. Tonight was the last full moon we would have in school, and I still didn't know what I was going to do. On a brighter, but slightly dimmed note, I found out when I was supposed to die. It wasn't exact, yet, but it was something. I had until around February of 1979. It was of course a rough estimate, but it was less daunting than I thought it would be. I had a solid two and a quarter years, and that's if I used minimal if any magic. 


 

I sighed again as my eyes scanned over my first semester report that would usually be sent home. I, however, requested to have it given to me before I left. I wanted to be prepared for Harley's reaction, as I hadn't been doing as well as I would have hoped. I didn't get anything lower than a P, but the Poor was in Defense Against the Dark Arts, and that was formerly my strongest subject. It was only a preliminary assessment, and I would do much better on the end of term exam, but it was disappointing. I folded up my paper and threw it in my trunk along with the rest of my clothes. 


 

I heard bright laughter from outside, and glanced out the window again. The boys, Lily, Alice, Marlene, and a couple other people I didn't know very well were having a snowball fight outside. They had asked me to join, but I said I was coming down with something. Again, technically not a lie. 


 

I wish that were the reason I didn't want to go have fun with them. I felt bad, because they were mostly doing it to lift Moony's spirits. I hadn't been able to speak to Sirius properly since the encounter that afternoon. It was a distant memory now, and the details were a little faded, but I had the memories stored away. And I did. Quite literally. Dumbledore thought it would be nice to gift me a pensieve as an early Christmas gift. I got the hidden meaning. Record all your memories so I can show them to your friends after you're dead. Yeah, I got it Dumbledore. 


 

I looked up again as I heard a really loud laugh. It was Lily, I saw. James had lifted her up over his shoulder and was running towards the lake with her. Sirius was still throwing snow at Peter mercilessly, and Alice hadn't stopped glancing towards the tower no matter how much Frank tried to draw her attention. 


 

I should really stop this pitying. I was ruining everyone else's day, and it made my heart sink terribly. I rummaged quickly through my open trunk, searching for some warmer clothes to throw on over my sweater. The sickness would be making me colder and colder, Dumbledore told me. It wasn't safe for me to be out in the harsh conditions. 


 

I tightened my scarf, topping off my bubble of protection that I had built. There was one other thing on my mind. I began outside, not wanting to stall any longer. Nick. He came to me, about three days after the encounter, and showed me that he had my note. I think I would like to believe that the encounter was the thing that was bugging me the most, but this was it. I told Nick everything. Like, everything. It just spilled out, I guess. He's too smart to not have figured it out without me anyway. I wanted the encounter to be the biggest problem in my life desperately. It wasn't fair. I couldn't even properly enjoy freaking out over kissing my best friend because Nick found the damn note that basically said everything I'd been trying to hide. 


 

He mostly left me alone after that, surprisingly. It took some heavy convincing to get him to let me deal with it myself, but he eventually complied. I told him that he couldn't tell anyone, and he promised that easily. I'm sure he wouldn't. He really did care for me deeply, and I'm now grateful that, if anyone had to find it, it was him. It was nice to have someone to talk to about it, and I did frequent the Room of Requirement with him for a nice chat about how everything was unfair with my life. It was, unfortunately, driving an even bigger wedge between all of us. I didn't even want it. I never wanted anyone to know. 


 

"Dorcas!" A smiled crackled onto my face as the cold air hit me and Alice's body slammed into mine unforgivably.


 

"I'm so glad you came down!"


 

"Yeah," I said, backing away from the hug slowly. "I had wanted to get a start on the Divination, but I simply couldn't think of anything. You know me, nothing ever going on up here," I said, laughing and pointing to my head. She laughed too, and tugged me to the fort behind which she was hiding with Lily, Marlene, and who I could make out to be Mary. Lily was focused intently on a another fort about twelve meters from ours, one I assumed to be the boys'. I saw a snowball arc from behind the wall of snow, and I rose my hands over my face in defense. 


 

"Dorcas," Lily exclaimed, similarly to Alice, and hugged me tightly. We had too many layers on collectively to feel the hug, but the gesture was nice.


 

"I'm so glad you came down! We've been losing horribly, and we needed another man." Classic Lily. I rolled my eyes as she focused back on the battlefield, and looked across the way with her to search out prospective enemies. All of a sudden, Peter came stumbling out of the white, and I knew all at once it was a ploy. We always sacrificed Peter. 


 

"Send out one of yours! We want a peace treaty," Sirius yelled from the other fort. I rolled my eyes again, a genuine smile forming on my face. Alice turned to me and a smile like the Cheshire cat bloomed on her face.


 

"You've got to go, Dorcas! It'll totally surprise them," she said excitedly. 


 

"Alright, alright," I said happily, "Keep your pants on, Ali." I walked out slowly to Peter, knowing fully well we would be pelted with snow the minute I got within one meter of him.   


 

"Hi Pete," I said awkwardly, waiting for the blows to rein upon us.


 

"Dorcas," he said in mild surprise. The first one hit the back of his head, and I frowned. You'd think they'd have better aim. However, my train of thought was cut off as Peter grabbed my arm and dragged me back towards their territory. 


 

"Nice work, Pete," Sirius said, giving him a high five. "We've got a prisoner of war now," he said, his voice dimming as he saw who I was.


 

"Hey Doe," he said shakily. He swallowed deeply, and his bravado was set firmly back into place. 


 

"Great work, Peter! We rescued one of our one!" He smiled widely at me and I returned the favor, going to crouch next to him. Peter, James and Remus had gone quiet during our little moment, and we ignored the snow falling on us from all angles. 


 

I picked up a pile of snow, molded it quickly, and threw it over to the girls side.


 

"My allegiance has changed," I shouted back, and I saw Lily's bright head pop up from behind her wall in confusion. 


 

"Fire," James bellowed upon spotting his girlfriend. I assumed this was an act of vengeance, and took part in the battle. Sirius nudged me as the other three were preoccupied, and I turned to look at him, a smile now permanently stamped on my face.


 

"We've missed you, Doe." He didn't have to elaborate, because we both knew what he meant. I guess I was really back this time. 


 

 


 

 

 



 


 

"Well?" Dumbledore stared me down in his soft manner that was really eerie and fascinating all at once. 


 

"I don't think you should go tonight, Miss Meadowes." Is that all he had for me? I already knew what he thought.


 

"That's not going to happen," I said definitely. I had just gotten back to being comfortable around them. I wasn't going to ruin it like this. "I just want to know what will happen if I change." He shook his head, and folded his hands together on the table.


 

"We don't know, Dorcas." He shifted his glasses slightly as I took in the information. 


 

"You don't know? How can you not?" 


 

"I'm sorry, but no one on our mother's side of the family was ever an animagus. We do not know the exact repercussions of doing this, only that it can't be good for you." 


 

"I understand, Professor," I said, sighing. He wasn't going to give me anymore information, and I guess he deserved to have a nice Christmas without me badgering him. 


 

"Well, Merry Christmas, sir," I said getting up to leave.


 

"Have you been using your pensieve, Dorcas," he asked, his voice seemingly innocent. I stopped in mid stance, my eyes widening in the reminder of the ghastly present I had received, and why I did receive it. 


 

"I have, professor," I said politely, tuning to face him. "Thank you, again," I said finally, and he let me walk out of the room quickly, not stopping me again. I shut the door, and slid down the back of it slowly. I had been in this same position not four months ago, yet so much had changed since then. But now, believe it or not, I had more to deal with. At least maybe I could finish packing before I had to go out and risk my life again. I guess, technically, my life was always at risk.  


 

 


 



 

 

 


 

The next morning hadn't been much better than the one's in the week prior. It wasn't nearly as bad as the first one of the term year, but doing that is never a treat. We managed to keep Remus pretty occupied and in the room, but that meant more pain for us. I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible, trying not to risk anything; but it was hard. I felt like I was betraying my friends this way. The less I risked the more the other's had to. 


 

We were just boarding the train now, after the ride in on the carriages. Melon was sitting atop my trunk as I rolled it onto the train, her ears sharp and perked up. Poor Melon. She didn't know that she wouldn't have an owner in two years. I think if I would want anyone to know, it would be her. I mean, her life depends on mine. I can't really say that for anyone else. 


 

"Dorcas!" I turned around, and saw Nick waving at me from across the platform, now jogging toward me with his heavy trunk. 


 

"Hi, Nick," I said, leaving my trunk and walking forward to meet him behind a pillar. 


 

"Where have you been," he asked worriedly, embracing me loosely, and only for a second. I hadn't seen him in about a week, and had consistently canceled our meetings. 


 

"Sorry, I've been busy." He looked at me seekingly, waiting for more information. "Thinking," I said, ironically thoughtfully. 


 

"Yeah, sure," he said, in which he thought was a light-hearted tone; but he just looked worried. 


 

"Look, make sure you stay in contact with me over break, okay?" I nodded in agreement, smiling sadly. 


 

"You've got to let me know if, if anything, happens," he said testily, rubbing my shoulder and looking over it, probably for Sirius or James or someone. 


 

"I promise I will. Really, you're the only one I can talk to about it, anyway." 


 

"What about Harley," he asked, maybe thinking back to the story to make sure he was right.


 

"I'm not going to talk to her about that," I said scoffing. He looked me in the eye this time, really confused and kind of concerned. 


 

"She wouldn't understand, Nick. Just leave it be," I said, crossing my arms and looking back to make sure my trunk was still there. 


 

"Really, just leave it, Nick," I said, raising my hand as he began to speak again. His jaw flexed a couple times before relaxing, and his eyes softened. 


 

"Tell me if you need anything, Doe." He pulled me in to give me a hug, and I gave him a kiss on the cheek before retreating. 


 

"We should go now, Nick," I said strongly, pulling back and heading back to my trunk. He stood there for a couple more seconds, watching me get my trunk onto the train finally. It was pretty heavy. 


 

"Bye Dorcas," I saw him mouth to me. I waved again before Lily came to get me from the doorway. I swallowed deeply, and she tugged my arm again, yelling down the hall to some first years who were running down the train's length. 


 

"Bye Nick," I mouthed back, the corner of my mouth tilting up slightly. This was going to be one strange Christmas. 


Chapter 20: Changing
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 Dorcas POV

 


 

"Harley," I said, maybe too excitedly considering the person I was talking to. I gave her a big  squeeze, and her hand patted my back a bit stiffly before sneaking out of the hug.


 

"Nice to see you, Dorcas," she said, smiling widely but insincerely. I sighed heavily, giving her my own weak smile back. I guess Harley hadn't changed. I waved back to Sirius and James again, the Potter's waving back happily as well. I caught Peter's eye and nodded, and then Remus'. Harley grinned tightly at James' parents, and began walking out of the station quickly.  


 

"Let's go," she said abruptly, taking my arm loosely and walking us towards her still dented truck. I smiled in the familiarity of it all, lifting my trunk into the back like I had at the beginning of the year. The beginning of the car ride was dead silent. I felt like she knew I knew everything. It was so tense until I finally tried to break the ice. I'm not saying it worked. 


 

"So, Har," I said, her head tilting towards me, "how is the job going?" Very wrong question indeed. 


 

"It's not going, Dorcas," she said, tiredly and in annoyance. Of course she wasn't working. 


 

"Well, were you planning on working?" I asked again. I must've forgotten how to deal with Harley in her absence.


 

"No," she said, clearly not keen on speaking. She zipped up her jacket and tightened her grip on the steering wheel, setting her eyes forward on the motorway. I leaned my head against the window frame, and closed my eyes, trying to waste the long and silent car ride we were about to face. 


 

~


 

When we finally arrived, it was four in the afternoon, and I wanted to begin making dinner. I haven't been able to cook in four months, and I missed it.


 

"I'm making Yorkshire and a roast," I called down to the study where Harley was seated, reading my report. Pudding and roast were her favorite, and I really needed to be in her favor tonight. 


 

"I'll be in in a minute, Dorcas," she responded. I basted faster and faster, trying to figure out from her tone if she were mad or not. Why couldn't I have gotten the lying genes like her? She came in from the doorway behind me, holding up my report with a disapproving look on her face.


 

"Really?" she asked, before coming to sit down at our small wooden table in the center of the kitchen. 


 

"I'm sorry," I said apologetically, placing her food down in front of her, and then taking the seat across from her. 


 

"Well I'll be writing McGonagall every month to make sure your grades are up to par, then," she said with a tone of finality about the subject. I'm sure that would have been a much worse ordeal had the food not caused the small smile that came up on her face. 


 

"You know, just because mum and dad are gone doesn't mean I don't care about you," she said softly. Softer than I'd ever heard her speak before.


 

"I know," I said, angry at the fact that she used that example once again to excuse her coldness. The scrapings of our forks filled the pregnant silence that followed our small conversation, and Melon whined for her dinner a couple more times. 


 

"I'm going to visit the Potter's house on the last few days of break. Is that alright?" I asked, looking down intently at my food again to avoid her scathing gaze. 


 

"That's fine, I guess. I won't take you, but if you can get there, go ahead." I looked at her in complete shock, even though I shouldn't be surprised. We continued our silence, her constant tapping becoming annoying. Melon whined a few more times and was rubbing up against my leg.   


 

"Will you feed that cat, Dorcas!" she yelled, slamming her hand on the table. I jumped at her sudden outburst, and the whining Melon leaped into my lap, her fur standing up on her back. 


 

"Yes, Harley," I answered obediently. "Are you going to be okay?" I asked quietly, placing my hand gingerly on her shoulder. 


 

"I'm fine," she said harshly, her voice cracking a bit. "I'll be fine," she choked out, getting up swiftly and moving back to the study. Her plate was still full but I knew that she was not going to come back and finish. 


 

"Oh great," I said, talking to Melon who just wanted food, and didn't care about my problems either way. 


 

 


 

Harley POV


 

 


 

Expressly and Exclusively Addressed to Miss Harley Ann Meadowes


 

Department of Mysteries 


 

 


 

Dear Miss Meadowes,


 

We regret to inform you that we will not be able to accept you into our Unspeakables training program. You were an applicant among many that we were forced to turn away. You met all of our requirements, but are not qualified enough in the area of field work to be accepted. The department sends it's best, and has recommended you for a position in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. Thank you again for your application!


 

 


 

Head of Department of Mysteries,


 

Helen Forthwit


 

 


 

 


 

Her scrawny signature had been blocked by my thumb, and was now crumpled away with the rest of the letter. Damn Department of Mysteries. Of course I was recommended to the DMAC, everyone was recommended there because no one actually wanted to work there. Smooth move Forthwit. I threw the letter in the trash can and stared at it for a couple of minutes, my mind completely blank. No shit, I didn't have enough field experience. I can't do magic, you dolts. 


 

That's why I applied to the Department of Mysteries in the first place. I had thought, naively, that since my uncles were both accepted that I would be as well. I had done exceptionally well in Hogwarts, but I still couldn't exhale a simple protego to save my life. Literally. If I did utter that protego, I would die. 


 

I let out a shaky sigh and rubbed my face in exhaustion. How did this happen? I had done everything right in school, but I simply wasn't able to keep a job. Dorcas was dumb, thinking it was because I refused to accept my status as a lower class employee. It was because no one wanted someone who couldn't, well, wouldn't do magic. 


 

But this, this was my last resort. I didn't know where else to turn from here. I couldn't tell Dorcas. She would have enough going on in her life soon enough. Mum had wanted me to tell her when she turned seventeen, but I thought that was a horrible birthday present. I would wait until a month before her birthday, this way she would get the bad news, and then have a small celebration of some sort. I knew she wouldn't think of it like me. She's lucky she's always been an optimist. All I ever saw at my birthdays was a year closer to death. Or, I used to think that at least. I was supposed to die so much earlier, and I had been very lucky. Now it scares me to fall asleep. I can't even close my eyes without the fear of never opening them again. 


 

My chest jumped again as a sob wracked my body. I hadn't cried in so many years, I forgot how sick, weak, it made me feel. How could this be happening to me?   


 

 


 

Dorcas POV


 

 


 

I did hear her crying from out here. At first, I didn't know what was happening, because I've never heard Harley cry before. She was acting very strangely tonight at dinner, maybe afraid, or ashamed. 


 

I chuckled a bit while thinking that. It was truly amazing how much had changed since the beginning of this year. I never used to be so observant or empathetic. As a matter of fact, this time last year I probably wouldn't have even come home for break. The dish I was holding slipped from my hand and fell back into the sink, making a loud clattering noise. She must've heard it, because I heard a sharp intake of breath, and then silence. 


 

I wasn't sure how to deal with this. At all. I mean, when I cried, Harley had never comforted me before. Was I supposed to comfort her? I put the final dish in the cabinet and sat down. I knew this would be an odd break. 


 

 


 

~


 

 


 

It was strange to once again be back here, I thought, as I walked through the fruit market on Cobbler Road. My hair was being especially bothersome today, as the wind whipped it back and forth, even in it's bun. I hooked the rampant curls that had flown loose behind my ear, and continued down the open market to see if there was anything else that caught my eye. Something did catch my eye, although it wasn't fruit. It was Wendy Papicorn. My shoulders sank as I let out a sharp breath. I never imagined I would be standing here, not five meters from my old best friend. I kind of forgot they all existed, truth be told. 


 

"Dorcas," she yelled, waving to me from where she was standing with Callie and Allison. They were turned the other way, but were laughing at something that I supposed was me. 


 

"Hello Wendy," I said, making my way over to the other sixteen year old's. She gave me an awkward hug, her arms not completely fitting around myself and my paper grocery bags. 


 

"How have you been Dorcas! We haven't seen you since, well, last summer I think. Isn't that right girls?" she asked, placing a hand on each of their shoulders and forcing them to turn and face me. Well, at least one of them was making an effort. 


 

"I've been well," I said, shifting my weight to my other hip along with my rather heavy bags.


 

"How is Scotland?" she asked, just another question to fill the conversation. 


 

"Great! It's really beautiful there." No one said anything for a couple of seconds, but we stood there awkwardly, letting our minds wander back to our days in school together. 


 

"I should go now," I said hastily, pointing back in the direction of my house. "Harley will be waiting." I turned to walk, the girls neither  stopping me nor going back to their incessant giggling. 


 

"It's nice to see you Dorcas," Wendy said, before I had actually gone too far. "I mean, we don't really get a lot of new faces here, you know?" I smiled at her, finally remembering why I was friends with Lily. She just reminded me so much of Wendy. She tucked her own hair behind her ear too, and smiled again, smaller this time. 


 

"I should really go," I said. "It's getting late." I felt bad about this, and it almost broke my heart to do to Wendy what she had done to me. But I really shouldn't get attached to anymore people at this point. 


 

"Oh, totally," she said, a little too enthusiastically. "We're not going anywhere, if you want to go out sometime on your break," she offered hopefully. 


 

"I'm actually going to be leaving in a couple days, so I'll get back to you with that," I said, being completely truthful. "Still at 35 Pilgrim?" I asked, assuring her that my words had true intentions of following through. 


 

"Nothing's changed around here too much," she said, laughing at the joke we used to make all the time about our small town. 


 

"Yeah, nothing's changed," I said, my mind now removed from the conversation at hand. I stood there with my bags, creating more awkward silence. The wind filled up our empty space, and allowed for a couple seconds of complete silence. No change in the sound waves, no break in the perfect silence. How I wished that nothing had changed. 


 

 


Chapter 21: Breaking and Creating
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 A/N: Hello! I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm so grateful for my readers! For those of you who have been here since the beginning and to those who have just started reading, thanks. I know I've grown a lot during the creation of this novel, so thanks for sticking through it with me. Enjoy! 




 

"Now why are you going to break up with him, again?" Lily, Alice and I were seated on Alice's bed. Lily and I were going to stay at her place until we went off to James' house. Or that was the plan, at least. Now, I'm not so sure. 

"He's just a bloody prat!" she exclaimed in frustration, standing up from the bed and taking Alice's poor, defensless pillow with her. "So you know how he came over mine for the first day of break right?" We both nodded yes hastily, trying to get to the good part. "Well he was being all proper and great in front of my parents," she said, her face softening. She was almost swooning, at this point. "Then Petunia came in." Alice and I shared some scared glances. Whenever Petunia came up in stories, it wasn't good. "And not only did she come in, she brought that Dursley boy with her, and I'm sure you can imagine how that went over," she said, hitting the pillow that was hugged against her chest.  

 

"Oh Lily, did James hit him?" Alice asked worridly, grabbing one of her other pillows and clutching it.

 

"Don't be silly, Ali. He wouldn't be hosting a party if he did that," she said, seething now. "It's just, he should know how embarrassed I get around Petunia and Vernon. He knows they don't like to talk about magic, and he just kept going on and on about it," she said, stressing her last few words. 

 

"Maybe he does know, Lily. Maybe he just thinks that you shouldn't have to be embarrassed for who you are," I said, feeling a bit pissed with Lily at this point. I tend to get extremely annoyed when people don't appreciate magic now. 

 

"That's true," she said thoughtfully, her face turning from angry to curious to sad to horrified. "Oh, I've made a horrible mistake, haven't I?" She put the pillow in front of her face and flopped down on the bed inbetween Alice and I. 

 

"It's alright, Lily," Alice said, patting her head. "You haven't broken up with him yet. He doesn't even know you were thinking about it." She moved her arms up from her side, tilted her head up, and put them under her chin.

 

"About that..." she said, her eyes avoiding ours. 

 

"You've already done it?" I yelled, feeling bad when I saw the two of them jump. 

 

"It was a spur of the moment," she exclaimed, sitting up again to defend herself. 

 

"Don't be mad at her, Dorcas," Alice said pleadingly, holding both of our wrists and trying to calm us down. 

 

"I'm not mad," I said. "I'm just surprised!" Alice looked at me strangely and Lily even stopped moaning for a minute. 

 

"You're really surprised?" Alice asked, keeping with patting Lily's back. 

 

"Yeah," I said earnestly. "I mean, you two are like meant for each other," I said, leaning back and pulling a tissue out of Alice's tissue box to give Lily who had begun sniffling.

 

"Don't make me feel even worse," she said through sobs, blowing her nose and then throwing her dirty tissue back at me. 

 

"Oh, Lily it'll be fine," I said, giving up the cold attitude I had adopted. I sat her up and wiped her eyes of some stray tears, smling at her to try and lift her spirits. "He won't give up on you." 

 

"I think he has!" She choked out the words through more sobs. 

 

"Calm down, sweetie," I said tiredly, sitting her up on the bed properly. "Just tell us what happened." 

 

"It's just," she said, her sentence being disrupted by her hiccups,  "he didn't come back for me. I just, I was just sitting there all alone. I felt like I couldn't do anything," she said, her voice and eyes becoming clearer. 

 

"You'll be fine. Really, Lily. You've been very dramatic about all this. Just clear your mind," I said, my voice leaving it's sweet tone to take Lily back to the ground. "James loves you." 

 

"I guess," she said, laying back on the bed, a small smile gracing her face. I looked at Alice quickly and rolled my eyes in response to Lily's sudden change of emotion. She grimaced, but we too fell back and the bed bounced under our collective weight. 

 

"Thanks, guys," she said, splaying her hands across our stomachs sloppily. We both grunted and she laughed happily. 

 

"You have rampant mood swings, Lily," Alice said, throwing the arm off of her. 

 

"Yeah, and you take us for granted," I said, aiming for her arm to hit her face as I threw it back at her. 

 

"Maybe. But you let me." I stuck my tongue out at her and she grabbed it quickly. 

 

"Ew!" Alice squealed.

 

"Let me go!" I mumbled, finding it hard to speak without my tongue. I bit her and she let go hastily, rubbing her thumb and pointer finger. 

 

"Ow! You're mean, Dorcas." 

 

"Don't grab my tongue again, or you'll get a lot worse," I warned, smiling cruelly at her. It was really nice to laugh again. 

 

 

 

Sirius POV

 

 

 

"Don't you think you should just floo Regulus or something, mate?" I rolled my eyes at James and continued throwing darts at his poster of the Falmouth Falcons. 

 

"No. They don't feel the need to see me, and I definitely am not going to try and see them," I said, my game of darts becoming surprisingly more satisfying than I thought it would be. 

 

"Alright," he said, laying next to me on his bed and conjuring up some darts for himself.

 

"Lily broke up with me," he said in annoyance. I threw a dart, but turned to him in astonishment before I could see it land. He didn't turn to face me, which clearly meant that he did not want to talk about how or why. I'd just figure it out later. 

 

"So is she still coming?" I asked, returning to my game and finally hitting that particularly burly player in the background. 

 

"Yes," he said again, hitting the same guy I just had. Everything's a competition with James. 

 

"Are you joking?" I asked in bewilderment. 

 

"No. I sent her a letter after she did it asking, just to make sure. She said she still wanted to be there." 

 

"Well, if you can't tell her she's not coming, I will," I said in frustration. I threw a dart up and James flicked his wand out quickly to stop it before it came back down and hit me in the eye. 

 

"I don't care if she comes," he said, sitting up and vanishing all our darts. 

 

"Don't lie to yourself, Prongs. You know she'll ruin your whole night." 

 

"It's better than not seeing her the rest of break," he said solemnly. "Let's go. Mum wanted us for breakfast," he said, holding the door open for me. 

 

"You're addicted, Prongs," I answered, clapping him on the back. 

 

"Boys!" Mrs. Potter yelled from the kitchen, it being about ten minutes since James had come up to get me. 

 

"Food!" I screamed, pushing James out of the way selfishly and running down to get our rations. 

 

"Sirius you slow down right now," she said, as she heard me clambering down the stairs. 

 

"Yes, mummy," I answered mockingly. 

 

"You watch that tone with me," she said, as I entered the large kitchen and sat the table in the corner where we always ate. 

 

"Yes, mummy," I muttered again, not able to resist myself. Luckily I was saved  by James, who had sat down and proceeded to take his shirt off. 

 

"James you put your shirt back on right now!" she said, laying a plate in front of me and witholding his. I dug in hungrily. The food was too tempting to ignore even after the fourth day of being home. I guess I never really asked James' mum if it bothered her that I called her mum or that I thought this was home. 

 

"But mum," he whined, "I have to eat without a shirt for breakfast! It's a tradition!" He lunged for his plate, but Mrs. Potter simply held it higher above her head. I think James was too lazy to get up and really reach for the plate. We were both almost four inches taller than her now. 

 

"Morning love," Mr. Potter said, coming up from behind Mrs. Potter and grabbing the plate easily. 

 

"Charles!" she growled at her husband, who had already sat down next to James and begun eating at the same pace as me. "I am trying to teach these boys to be gentlemen!" 

 

"Sorry," he mumbled, swallowing his eggs all at once. James and I were already snickering into our food. Everyone knew who James took after. "Do you want some?" he asked, holding his plate out to James. I snorted loudly, and some sausage came out of my mouth and deposited back on to my plate thankfully. James cackled madly, leaning back in in his chair and clutching his stomach from the pain of laughter. 

 

"You lot can make your own breakfast tomorrow, then," Mrs. Potter said, untying her apron, walking to the other side of the kitchen, and sitting at the island setting with her own plate. James grabbed two pieces of buttered toast from his dad's plate and ran over to his mum quickly. 

 

"No, mum! We appreciate you! Come on, who can make toast like this?" He gave her a kiss on the cheek, grabbed his shirt from the chair, and motioned for me to come outside with him. 

 

"Yeah, thanks mum," I said, putting my dish in the sink and giving her a swift kiss on the cheek before leaving to go meet James out on the back patio. 

 

"Before you come out, bring the map!" James shouted. I had already had it in my pocket, why I don't know, but I did so I walked straight out where James was leaning against the wall of the enclosed patio. It was all slushy out, so I guess no Quidditch right now. 

 

"Why d'you want the map?" I asked, throwing it at him and yawning.

 

"You remember how we made this?" he asked, bouncing his leg up and down. I shook my head no, and picked at the grass that was growing through the stone. 

 

"Neither do I. Remus did all of it, didn't he?" I nodded yes. "We don't really give him enough credit, do we?" 

 

"Nah, I suppose we don't," I said. "And put your shirt back on, you prick," I said, laughing a bit at his shivering, white body. He stuffed it over his head, his long arms getting stuck for a bit before he could properly figure it out. 

 

"You remember why we made it, though?" he asked, after he was done with his shirt. 

 

"Yeah, I do. You wanted to make sure Evans wasn't talking with Snivellus," I said, laughing again. 

 

"Hey! You remember how he used to look at her," James said, his nose crinkling up for a second in disgust. 

 

"Yeah, I guess you're right. I remember we thought you were mental when you brought it up, though." He laughed too, this time. I guess it does sound kind of mental if you don't really know us. 

 

"Listen, I want to make one for the house. You think we could maybe figure it out?" he asked suddenly. I snickered again into my hand and refused to look at him so I wouldn't burst out in laughter. 

 

"You know, I really don't see it happening," I said, patting him on the shoulder. 

 

"The house isn't even that confusing," he said idignantly. 

 

"Well that's all fine and dandy if you want to spend hours and hours figuring out which spells Moony used." 

 

"Well he's coming over tomorrow. We'll do it then," he said, standing up and heading back for the door. 

 

"Well where are you going now?" I asked, turning to face him. 

 

"I'm going to draw up the plans," he said excitedly. He shut the door and I saw him do a little skip-jump through the glass. I got up too, following him to whatI expected would be the drawing room. He'd always insisted that we plan everything there. He said it's not called the drawing room for nothing. He is too bloody excited for his own good sometimes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 22: Shut Up, Moony
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 "I'll be fine, mum," I said, taking the coat she held out for me and embracing her tightly. 

"And you're sure there are no full moons?" she asked wearisomely, chewing on her bottom lip and stepping back to look me over. 


 

"Yes mum, I'm positive," I said, waving my star chart instinctively. 


 

"Do you have your wand?" I hooked the notebook under my arm and pulled my wand out of my satchel that I was carrying atop my trunk. 


 

"Got it. Now I've got to go, mum. The Potters are only keeping their floo open until twelve thirty," I said, hugging her again to appease her. 


 

"Mr. and Mrs. Potter are alright with James having you over?" she questioned as I walked towards the fireplace. 


 

"They're fine with it, mum. In fact, Mrs. Potter told me she feels safer if I'm there." She smiled at me warmly and snuck another small box of bandages into my bag while she gave me her last hug. "I'll write you when I get back to school." She nodded happily and let me go. 


 

"See you soon, Remus." She leaned on the back of the chair and waved to me as I stepped into the fireplace and shouted,


 

"Potter Manor!"


 

 


 

 


 

"Moony!" Sirius exclaimed as I spun into the Potters' home. 


 

"Mate," I responded, dragging my trunk in and coughing a bit as the smoke caught in my throat. 


 

"What took you so long?" James asked, bounding in from what I supposed would be the drawing room. We were always fooling around with something in there. 


 

"My mum. You know how she is." I put my things in the corner of the grandiose living area where I usually left them until I took them up to James' room. 


 

"Yeah, my parents are about to leave. Come say bye before they go," James said, jerking his head towards the front door where I heard some low whispers and cluttered movement. We walked down the hallway, and I could hear James' steps growing increasingly and unnecessarily louder as we grew closer. He knew his parents didn't like him to overhear things about the war. 


 

"Remus," Mrs. Potter gasped in surprise. James and Sirius parted as she came to give me a hug. "How is your mum?" she asked as she pulled back and took hold of her trunk again. 


 

"She's doing okay. She told me to let you know that she's free for tea next week." Mrs. Potter frowned instantaneously. She had forgotten, of course. 


 

"Oh, dear. I've forgotten again, Remus. I'll be sure to write her when we get back," she said cheerfully, Mr. Potter placing a hand on her waist as she stood next to him again. 


 

"Alright, lads. Keep the house clean," James' dad said, relaying his spiel he went through whenever James was left alone. "And remember no parties." The three of us smirked involuntarily, so he sighed and continued. "But if you must, make sure no one gets hurt and the place is clean before we come back." James nodded, smiling at his parents and stepping forward as his mum extended her arms a final time. 


 

"Be safe, mum," he muttered quietly into her ear, before moving onto his dad. They both clapped each other on the back, and Mr. Potter ruffled James' hair a bit before shoving him back to us playfully. 


 

"We'll see you when we get back," Mrs. Potter said, waving to the three of us cheerfully as they exited the front gate. 


 

"We're free!" Sirius yelled, jumping on the spot and racing down the carpeted hallway back to the drawing room. 


 

"I've got my trunks, don't worry about it," I said sarcastically as James and I each took one. "So do you know where they're going this time?" James was pretty silent whenever his parents left. He always asked us over because it scared him to be alone. It always had, even when we were just eleven. I remember the ride to Hogwarts, maybe it was third year, when he told us about what his parents did. I knew what Aurors were, but Sirius had never been exposed to that occupation before, and Peter was simply more ignorant. 


 

"Nah, I don't. They said it was classified this time. They'll be back after I'm gone though," he said forlornly. We dropped them off at the start of the main staircase, and went to meet Sirius. 


 

He didn't tell us directly that it scared him to be alone, but I picked up on it after not too long. He constantly had to be around people and got very moody if we ever left him alone. I realized why that was when he started to tell us all about what the job of an Auror consisted of. 


 

He told us that they were always on the road, never really home for him. He told us that he had fun with his house elf, Hally, but I knew better. I knew the feeling and guilt you felt when you lied to your best mates, and I knew he had it. That's why they let him do whatever he wanted. They felt guilty as well.

 

 

 

"So what's up with the drawing room, anyway?" I asked, not knowing what I had started. His face lit up, his smile blinding me when he grabbed my sweater and dragged me forward. 


 

"We were thinking," he said, and I rolled my eyes knowing nothing good could come from this. "We were thinking that we could try making a map for my house." 


 

"You mean like the Marauder's Map?" I asked skeptically. 


 

"Yeah, just like that! You did it all, right? It'll be easier, too. The house isn't as big as Hogwarts," he said quickly, fumbling over his words in excitement. 


 

"Yeah, I did it, but it took a lot of time," I said in frustration. 


 

"Just try, will you?" I saw the desperate look in his eyes, and I felt bad for him. I don't think he made to do it, but they always made me feel guilty. In fact, I know they didn't mean to do it. It's just, I really did owe them so much. 


 

"I'll take a look, I guess. You know Dorcas helped me a lot, though. We'll need her to look it over. She's the one that did the spells." 


 

"Did you ask him?" Sirius asked, swivelling around in the worn leather chair that sat behind the polished wooden desk. 


 

"Yeah, I'll take a look," I said, kicking the wheel of the chair to move him over and leaning over their plans. 


 

"What's this?" I asked pointing to a small door that lead through a guest room and into the back courtyard. 


 

"Small passage the elves use," James said, waving it off. "I don't even think I could fit in there anymore." 


 

"Well, it seems simple enough. The only hard thing would be the people. I don't know everyone who comes here. I don't know if it works on people you don't know." 


 

"It should, shouldn't it?" Sirius asked. "It's a modified Homenum Revelio charm I think." 


 

"No, it's something different. I think it's called a Homonculous Charm or something. I've never heard of it." 


 

"Well that's just perfect," James said in frustration, waving his hand through his hair. 


 

"It's no big deal, Prongs," Sirius said, leaning back in the chair. "We'll just try it when she and Peter get here." 


 

"She's not going to be here until Saturday," James answered. "Lily let me know in her letter." 


 

"Are you kidding?" Sirius asked, his cool demeanor falling. We both looked at him in confusion. 


 

"What's wrong with you?" I asked. His eyes fell a bit, and his anger subsided. James and I had been trying to get the two to admit their feelings for a while. They're stubborn, though. Not too into the whole relationship thing either. 


 

"Shut up, Moony," he said, pushing me out of the way and leaning over the plans again. "Well when is Wormtail coming?" James shrugged and looked at the map again He was pouting now that he wasn't the center of attention. 


 

"He's supposed to be here tomorrow morning. They just came back from Greece, apparently." I had written the three of them the first day of break, just to ensure our plans. I always liked to have plans set. It made me more comfortable. 


 

"Alright, well we'll figure it out Saturday then I guess," James said, pushing off the table and walked to the other side of the room and slid open the wooden panels, letting in the light from the book room. Their small library had full windows, up to the ceiling and down to the floor. 


 

"I'm going out, boys. Ask Hally to make you something if you need anything." He walked through the library and up to his room, probably to find some shoes. Sirius looked at me, his eyebrows raised in bewilderment. 


 

"What was all that about?" he asked, finally getting up from his comfortable position. 


 

"It's his parents. It scares him, you know." 


 

"He'll be fine," Sirius said, roping his heavy arm around my shoulder. "Let's go play chess."


 

 


 



 

 

 

 


 

"Done," she said, putting the map back down on the bed and dusting off her hands by clapping them together as if they were dirty. 


 

"That's it?" Peter asked, peering over Dorcas' right shoulder at the new map. 


 

"It only took us two days, but yes that's it," she said, looking back at me and smiling.


 

"It's not as fancy or pretty as the other one, but it's functional," I said unfolding it and revealing the house plan. 


 

"Can we come in now?" Lily yelled, banging harshly on the door. "Bloody hell," she muttered, and I heard an Alohomora, then saw a shot of golden light through the lock. 


 

"What have you been doing in here?" Lily asked, lifting her head up from dusting something off of her trousers. Peter grabbed the map from my hand and stuffed it into the large pocket on the front of the sweater he was wearing. 


 

"Alright fine," she said as the three of us sat there on James' bed, our mouths snapped shut. "So this is his room?" she asked, looking around as she forgot about the reason they were trying to ram their way in here. 


 

Lily and Alice had arrived with Dorcas. Maybe it had made for an awkward arrival, but they would be here tomorrow for the party anyway. What's one more night? Anyway, James and Sirius had been off in the basement collecting some things for the party. They probably were just sitting down there drinking and reading some Quidditch magazine, but we knew James couldn't be in the same room as Lily. Not just yet anyway. 


 

She walked over slowly to his desk and looked at the scattered mess. I'm sure she saw her name scribbled down a couple of times, but she would have to be daft to not realize James was obsessed with her. Well he used to be, at least. Not so much anymore, I don't think. 


 

"What are you lot still doing in here? We were going to go to a pub on-" Sirius cut off his sentence as he saw Lily moving some papers aside and running her fingers over the words carved into James' old desk. Her name was probably carved in there as well. The room was suddenly very still and tense, as Lily hadn't come out of her trance yet and we were all just standing there, watching. Her eyes flashed up quickly as if she just remembered we were all in there, and she cleared her throat. 


 

"We're coming," Dorcas said, getting up from the bed and hooking her arms in Alice's and Lily's. "We're just going to get our cloaks." The two were dragged by Dorcas out of the room and she was almost up the stairs to the third floor when Sirius stopped her.


 

"Get muggle coats. We'll be in muggle London, probably." Dorcas nodded, her mouth shut tight like it was before and pushed Lily and Alice in front of her to run up the stairs. Dorcas and Sirius had been strange, too. James told me that they kissed, but it was weird. They'd done it before, they'll do it again. I just didn't see the big deal, I guess. 


 

"Come on Peter," I said, as we were the only two left in the room besides Sirius who was hanging on the door frame, watching Dorcas go up the stairs. "You're staring again, mate," I said, walking out and towards my room to grab a jacket. 


 

"Shut up, Moony," he growled quietly, heading back downstairs to get James. I think it was hate Remus week.


 

 


 



 

 

 

 


 

"Where are we even going?" Alice moaned, clutching her windbreaker closer to her body. We had been walking around, quite aimlessly, for a while now. We had apparated just outside of Diagon Alley so we wouldn't be seen, and now we've been out here for an hour looking for a pub or restaurant of some sort to just sit down at, really. Dorcas had thrown up twice since we apparated, and she was looking pretty sick. 


 

"Maybe we should stop," Sirius whispered into James' ear. He glanced back at Dorcas one more time, who was talking with Peter about something, drinking a bottle of water that Lily had brought with her. 


 

"Well I'm stopping," Alice announced, dragging Lily with her to the right side of the street and heading into a dimly lit restaurant hastily. 


 

"What the bloody hell is wrong with you?" Dorcas asked James incredulously, breaking off of her conversation with Peter. 


 

"Me?" James said back. "What about your little friend in there. Oh, James, my sister will never accept me!" he wailed mockingly. Sirius snickered quietly before Dorcas glared at him harshly. 


 

"You're acting like a proper arsehole; dragging us around town while you and buddy boy over there," she said, motioning to Sirius, "are having a jolly good time whistling at girls who are too bloody old and too bloody out of your league!"she exhaled in one breath, drinking the last of her water. 


 

"Calm down, Dorcas," I said, peeking over my shoulder to make sure that Lily and Alice hadn't heard any of this. I saw them seated at a large table, reading menus and taking sips of water from large glasses. 


 

"I'm fine. Just had to get that off my chest," she said, turning to look both ways before crossing the street to join the other two females. 


 

"Birds are mental," Peter said, rejoining the conversation after his stint of silence. 


 

"Let's just go, then. I'm hungry," James said, heading towards the dingy Italian restaurant as well.


 

 


 

When we sat down, the table was quite silent, and we showered our waiter in thank you's when he came around with four more menu's. 


 

"It's nice and empty," Peter said, noticing the silent and bare setting. 


 

"It's a Monday night, Peter," James said cynically. Lily picked up her glass and began to chug down the water until it was almost completely empty and she had to come up for air. 


 

"Nice one, Evans!" Sirius exclaimed. "Think you could do that with a butterbeer?" he asked, the conversation plodding along between the two that usually never spoke unless it was necessary. 


 

"Probably not," she said, her eyes not leaving the clear glass. A younger boy came by this time and filled Lily's water up accordingly. 


 

"Thank you....Harry," she said after searching his chest for a nametag. 


 

"You're welcome...." he said, taking her hand as she held it out for a handshake. 


 

"Lily," James answered from the other end of the table. "Her name's Lily." I saw her roll her eyes and lean into the boy named Harry. 


 

"He's feeling a bit cranky tonight. I apologize." She smiled sweetly and falsely, releasing Harry's hand from her grip.


 

"So Harry, you going to do your job or not?" James asked, looking over at a table of four, three of whom were with no water. He nodded his head at Lily, smiling, and went over to the table without acknowledging James. 


 

"You're acting like a prat, James," Lily said without looking at him just as Harry did. 


 

"Shut up, Evans. No one asked for your opinion." He began nearly drowning himself in water after saying that, just as Lily did. Alice grabbed Lily's arm from across the table and gave her a quick but meaningful glance. I felt bad for her too, but this was all Lily's fault. 


 

"Ready to order?" our previous waiter asked, flipping open a small notepad and not noticing the atmosphere laden with animosity. 


 

"I think I'll have the small personal pie, extra cheese," Peter said first, having been invested in his menu the entire time. Dorcas and I glanced at each other, smiles forming on our face. It was almost involuntary whenever Peter asked for anything with cheese. 


 

"No," I said, dismissing that order. "We'll just have three large pies." He nodded sharply and smiled while scanning over our moody table. 


 

"Anyone want any drinks?" he asked. 


 

"If Harry could come refill my water, that would be nice," James said bitterly, chewing on Harry's name. He nodded again and left quickly, finally feeling the tense air around us. 


 

"Thank you!" Alice called to him, her sweater still wrapped around her. 


 

The silence even more deafening now that the other family in here were chatting loudly. I was almost sure we were all focused on the sounds of men shouting in the back for more flour and the pounding of dough on a wooden board. 


 

"How was Greece, Peter?" I asked, turning to the boy next to me. 


 

"It was loads of fun!" he said, ignoring how depressed we all seemed. "We went swimming in Crete at the Elafonissi Beach. Mum made me shower before and after swimming, though." He picked at the bread that Harry had laid out when just Lily, Alice and Dorcas were sitting down, taking a piece and biting into it happily. 


 

"What did you do for break, Lily?" Peter asked, not realizing that she was one of the two people that he shouldn't have asked that to. 


 

"Well, I did one thing many times, but I didn't really have an awful lot of fun," she said, tearing apart a piece of bread for herself viciously. "I don't really tend to enjoy something when it's over way too fast." James coughed on his water and banged the table once or twice. I wondered if everyone else caught on to what Lily had been hinting at. James sure did.  


 

"Lily!" Dorcas hissed in surprise, her eyebrows raising to her hairline. 


 

"Three large pizza's!" our waiter said, spreading them evenly throughout the table. "Let me know if you need anything else."


 

"We need more water here, is what we need," he said, downing his third cup that evening. Harry came over again hastily and poured James his fourth cup of water. It was cold in the restaurant. Only Lily and James had to have their glasses refilled. This was absolutely ridiculous. Dorcas finally caught Lily into another conversation, and she served out some slices of pizza to herself and the other two. 


 

"You do realize you're being completely insufferable, don't you?" I asked James as I reached over Peter for a slice. He ignored me and engulfed the pizza easily. "This sort of nonsense is the reason she broke up with you.." He finally looked up with me in loathing and gulped before speaking.


 

"Shut up, Moony." I sat back again, the conversation growing and the tension dimming. Sometimes James and Sirius are right. Just shut up, Moony.


 

 


Chapter 23: Love and Other Injuries II
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

 Dorcas POV

 


 

Sometimes I think back to the times when I reluctantly attended adult parties, my mother stuffing me in a pastel, usually pink, dress. They were everything that I detested, with the pompous atmosphere and haughty guests. I would cling onto my mothers hand or hem, dragging her slightly more down to my level while she carried on fast paced conversations. She would wipe my sticky hands more than once a night, and I ended up pinching more than one person I didn't know. Now, sitting back on a highly polished table that was vibrating due to music, I missed them terribly. 


 

 


 

Alice rocked back and forth with Frank to no timing, as per usual. James, well, he was being James. Dumping water on people left and right. Lily, well, she wasn't being Lily. She was throwing furtive glances at every guy she saw, even Sirius which not only annoyed but creeped me out a bit. 


 

"What have you been up to?" Sirius asked, sliding down the length of the table and bumping into my hand. 


 

"Learning what Moony meant when he said after a while parties become increasingly monotonous." I shot him a bored look, a smile rising on my face a bit. I couldn't help it. 


 

"Well, that's depressing. Come dance." 


 

"No," I said, grabbing the loops of my jeans and pulling them up a bit. They had begun slipping off a few weeks ago and I hadn't taken the time to get new ones or modify these. 


 

"Please," he muttered into my ear. "Mary won't leave me alone, and now Moony's sulking." I rolled my eyes and hopped down from the table. The boys were always getting into stupid fights about girls they couldn't give a damn about. 


 

He put his hand on my waist and an involuntary shiver rose through me. "Mary is dancing with Remus," I said, pointing over to the two giggling teenagers. 


 

"I know," he said, holding my waist tighter and swinging me around so I faced him. 


 

"Prat," I muttered, sliding my arms up over his chest and onto his shoulders. "You know why I don't like dancing with you," I said, trying to pull away even though I knew my efforts would be futile. 


 

"I've gotten better, I swear!" he pleaded, a smirk planting on his face. 


 

"You're a bloody liar, Sirius Black." He ignored me finally, and I rested my head on his collarbone lightly. I swear, I could fall asleep right there and never wake up. 


 

"So how is Lily?" They, Lily and James, hadn't spoken since the night we thought it would be a good idea to go out to eat. 


 

"She's fine. Just acting like a slag, though. Look at her." I couldn't see her from my position so I assumed she was in Sirius' line of sight. 


 

"I know," he agreed. "She's been making these weird googly eyes at me all night. Hey, you don't think her and James really, did the deed, do you?" 


 

"I don't know," I said, not looking up at him. I hadn't really given much thought to Lily's passive joke on Monday night. "Lily's never before, and she hasn't spoken about it. Plus, under her parents roof? I'm leaning on the side of no," I said. 


 

"Her parents were visiting Lily's sister's fiancé's place for two nights," he answered, raising his eyebrow. 


 

"How did I forget that?" I asked aloud. "You think so?" He nodded, twisting his mouth and looking at Lily over my shoulder again. "Let's get out of here," he said suddenly. 


 

"Yeah, sure," I said in a daze, watching James light a smoke bomb at the top of the stairwell. He took my hand and we began to make our way up the other set of stairs to his bedroom. At least, I'm pretty sure it's his bedroom. The halls in this place all kind of look the same. 


 

He reached over my head and pushed the door in to let me through. I ran over with three strides and took a large leap, jumping on the bed. A loud thud followed, and it was perfectly quiet all of a sudden. Our eyes widened. 


 

"I think you broke it," he said quietly as the talking downstairs began again. 


 

"I did not!" I protested, knowing I probably did. "It's not my fault you took your old bed with you when you left." 


 

"That bed's got a lot of memories," he smirking and coming to sit on the now creaking loudly bed next to me.


 

"Ew. With your mother in the house? I'm sure that went over well when Kreacher came in and told you tea was ready." 


 

"Yeah Kreacher didn't mind, surprisingly," he said, leaning back on the wall and putting his arms behind his head. I sat there, my mouth agape. 


 

"You can't possibly be serious," I said, praying to Merlin he didn't make that corny joke. 


 

"Oh but I am, love." I threw a pillow at him which he caught and tossed over the side of the bed and onto the already messy floor. 


 

"Hey, you remember when we were little?" I asked, scooting back on the bed to get next to him and pushing my legs under the askew blankets. 


 

"Yes, I distinctly remember a time when I was shorter than this," he said sarcastically. I guess I was pretty vague in my question.


 

"No, I mean like when we were eight and we had to come to those parties that we hated." 


 

"Yeah, I remember," he said, his eyes clouding. He didn't really have the same coddling that I did. Not even Regulus did. 


 

"Never mind." 


 

"Okay." We sat in silence for a bit, listening to the faint music from downstairs. At least I was. He ended up leaning on my shoulder, which began to ache a little bit, but I didn't move. I didn't want that to change just because I was noticing myself getting weaker. 


 

It's weird that I've never noticed these things before. I never acknowledged the woozy feeling I got after using magic. I never thought that it was weird that my hair stayed very thin and came out in chunks. I thought it was normal to bruise darkly and break bones like they were pieces of parchment. 


 

And something else I hadn't thought about since Dumbledore told me was the fact that they weren't planning on telling me. The plan was to let me die. They were just going to let me die. I don't really know how I felt about that. 


 

"Hey Vix," Sirius said, sitting up finally and giving my shoulder some relief. "You think they'll get back together? I don't know how long I can stand moody James." I smiled and breathed a quiet laugh. 


 

"I don't really think so. Lily's pretty protective of her family."


 

"But they hate her!" he exclaimed, sitting forward and making the bed creak even more. 


 

"They don't hate her Sirius. Her life isn't like yours." He grew quiet again, and that's when I realized what he had been thinking. He must have felt really badly for Lily and thought that they treated her like his family had him. "Her family, even Petunia, love her. If anything, they like her more than Petunia. You don't have to worry," I said, rubbing the back of his hand gently. 


 

"Well I think James has given up," Sirius said, leaning back again. 


 

"Really?" I asked in surprise. "I don't think he'll ever give up. Even when we're old and gray and Lily is married to Remus he'll keep trying." I choked a bit on the part about being old and gray. It had just slipped out. I didn't even remember that I wouldn't be old and gray. 


 

"You think Lily's going to marry Remus?" he asked skeptically. 


 

"Oh definitely. I've always thought that, haven't you?" 


 

"No way." He placed his arms behind his head again. "Lily's way too wild for Remus. Don't you remember that time he said he thought Lily was kind of a flaming madwoman?" 


 

"I thought that was some sort of compliment," I said in surprise.


 

 


 

"Well, whatever. You got the point." He laughed loudly at that, and even I did a bit. Did I even really think that was a compliment? I felt his laughter reverberating in my body as I leant on the side of his chest. 


 

"I never in a million years thought that Lily would say yes."


 

"I know!" I said, falling to let my head rest on his lap. 


 

"What do you think about my future?" he asked, stroking his fingers through my hair. 


 

"You?" I asked, turning my head quickly to stop his hand from going through my hair. I couldn't afford another awkward situation this week and this would certainly lead to it. "You shouldn't marry. I don't think you'd be good at it." 


 

"I think I could learn," he said, moving his hand to my arm and drumming his fingers rhythmically.


 

"I didn't say you wouldn't do it. It's just, you wouldn't enjoy it. And I sure as hell wouldn't let any girl make you unhappy." He looked down at me, his fingers climbing back up my arm slowly. I sat up quickly, my breath quickening as I tried to wipe away the goose bumps on my arm. 


 

"You're probably right," he said softly, his mouth barely moving, his words blurring together. I focused clearly on his nose, willing myself to look anywhere but his mouth or his eyes. His face moved closer to mine, inch-by-inch. Our breathing was the only noise I heard now, and it seemed to take over the room. It filled my ears and it sounded so much louder than it had a moment ago. My head bumped the wall gently and another pillow fell of the bed with a soft thud. 


 

"I-I," I said, stuttering a bit over trying to answer. Then I gave in. I grabbed his head and his arms wrapped around my body tightly. My back was now pressed up between him and the wall, his mouth roaming mine frantically as I let out the breath that had clearly been damaging my judgment. 


 

I responded easily, his skilled and seemingly frenzied movement dragging me into it. It's like he was the cork and I was the bottle of well-shaken champagne. My nose bumped his awkwardly, and we both smiled involuntarily, our eyes, or mine at least, staying closed. He clutched my upper ribs, his fingertips digging into my sides delightfully. 


 

"Sirius," I moaned faintly, his lips moving down my neck quickly. I became dizzy with the feeling of enlightenment. I felt my lips growing dry from my more ragged than steady breathing and lack of moisture. I heard or felt, I'm not really sure right now, his heart beating faster, the usual slow tandem racing out of control. 


 

My teeth chattered a bit, as they did whenever I was nervous. I pushed off the wall gently, Sirius' frame following to hover over me as I laid down. I finally looked at his face fully, not focusing on one certain aspect. His cheeks were a darker red, and his messy, long hair was falling all over the place. 


 

"Yes, dear?" he said quickly, tilting his head slightly while speaking through heaving breaths. My mouth stayed open. I didn't know what to say, and he took full advantage, leaning his weight on his arms and knees and bending down to kiss me. I'm not sure how long we stayed in that singular position, his arms quivering as he was concentrating on kissing, rather than falling on, me. He broke away and dropped on his elbows, the soft bed bouncing slightly. 


 

We finally found a position in which we were both comfortable, and the snogging slowed down considerably. He right hand found my cheek and he gripped it softly. I broke away from him and looked away immediately, still not wanting to face his eyes. I felt his heavy breath on my lower jaw and goosebumps surrounded me again. He placed his lips gently along the area where my neck and my face met, each kiss lingering, arousing me further. He finally reached my lips and he clutched my face with both of his hands now. 


 

I broke away again, but only to flip myself ungracefully on top of him, and not to stop altogether. I straddled his lap and our pace hastened. His body pressed into mine, and his hands continued trailing up and down my body slowly, as if he knew it gave me goosebumps. I felt a small frown grow between my eyebrows as I realized what we were doing, but I kept kissing him roughly anyway. 


 

His arms wrapped around me again, and I fell onto his body heavily. I didn't have too much time to think about that though, as the door slammed open and Peter's eyes grew twice their normal size. Sirius sat up quickly, forgetting my forehead was there and his head rammed into mine. 


 

"Come on, Hestia," he said quickly, turning around, grabbing Hestia's hand, and slamming the door shut again. Then I was left with a splitting headache and the rattling of the doorframe. 


 

"Peter was going to try and have sex with Hestia Jones in your bed," I blurted. He raised his eyebrows in amusement, and I smiled a bit before feeling my head. Sirius' face turned to one of shock and he said something, but I couldn't hear him. I frowned at his awe, not seeing the big deal, when he grabbed the back of my head and shouted what I faintly recognized as a cry for help. My eyes began to close slowly, my body wavering slightly, and I let myself fall forward into his arms. I really could sleep on his collarbone forever.


 

 


 




 

 


 

"Wake up!" a voice shouted, shaking my shoulders gently. I began floating again, and it felt like my spine was coming out through my chest which was left on the bed or couch or soft surface that I was on. Well, as I opened my eyes, I realized that Remus was just trying to wake me up and I was not indeed floating. I indeed wasn't on a soft surface either. I felt the cold floor on my back, my shirt slipping up and my jeans slipping down. 


 

"I swear, we were just talking and we bumped heads and she just kind of fell forward!" Sirius exclaimed. He was seated on the edge of the bathtub, his head in his hands. 


 

"Just talking, yeah?" Remus said, smirking slightly and feeling my head as he noticed I had begun to wake. "How are you feeling?" he asked, calmer now that I was awake. 


 

"Dorcas!" Sirius said, getting up and coming to kneel next to me. I smiled weakly as I saw the reason that Remus was so skeptical about Sirius' not-so-clever ploy to lead him off the scent of our fooling around. Lipstick was pretty much smeared all over his mouth. The one time I decide to try out the whole make-up thing and it completely backfires. 


 

"I'm feeling okay, I guess," I said to their concerned expressions. The looks of shock and worry faded a bit, but were still present. I still heard the pounding music from downstairs, so I knew I couldn't have been out that long, this time. "Listen guys, you can't tell anyone about this," I said pleadingly.


 

"Well why the bloody hell not?" Sirius asked incredulously, grabbing my arm and helping me as I struggled to sit up; I was still sort of disoriented.


 

"The other's would make a big deal out of it, and I know you two probably already have. It's really not such a big deal!" They looked at each other with uncertainty and I glared angrily, my lips tightening. "It's all your fault to begin with!" I said furiously. 


 

"Me?" Sirius pointed to his chest and let go of my arm. "What did I do?" He gulped and became silent after realizing my implications. Remus raised his little condescending eyebrow again, and shot up from his crouched position. 


 

"I think I'll leave you two to finish your talk." My nose twitched involuntarily at his mightier-than-thou attitude, but I was grateful when he did leave. 


 

"You've got lipstick smeared all over your face," I said bluntly, my face void of all emotion. He looked in the mirror, and without looking back responded,


 

"Your shirt is already halfway off." I pulled up the large sleeve and stood up, trying to salvage my dignity. 


 

"So are we going to..."


 

"What, you want to go back to my room?" he asked, turning on the water and splashing some on his face to get the pigment to come off. 


 

"No, you arsehole! Are we going to talk about it?" He screwed up his mouth uncharacteristically and turned the water back off.


 

"Do you really think that's necessary?" he asked, wiping his face on a hand towel. 


 

"Yes," I mumbled, uncertain about my answer. I didn't really want to talk about it, but I decided I should become more like Lily. This is what she would do. 


 

"There's not too much to talk about. So we snogged? Who gives a shit?" I frowned a little again, and I ground my teeth in sadness and frustration. "That's not what I meant Dorcas." Sirius sighed and walked away from the sink and sat down on the bathtub again. He patted the space next to him and I joined reluctantly. 


 

"Then what did you mean?" I asked vulnerably. 


 

"I'm not the one that broke it off, you know," he said, his voice turning more stony. He was referring back to when we were, quote un-quote, dating. 


 

"I know. And I'm not completely suggesting we should go back to that," I explained as delicately as I could. "But I wouldn't.....object," I said finally after finding the proper word. He didn't answer for what felt like quite some time, and it probably was pretty long, seeing as I had let my mind drift back to the music. 


 

"I just don't know-"


 

"Oh no I completely agree," I said quickly but more wounded than anything. 


 

"No, no, you didn't let me speak," he said, chuckling and turning my face back towards his. "I don't know how everyone else would adjust," he said, his lips twitching up. Mine were still turned down forcefully. 


 

"You really are an arsehole, you know that?" I slapped his chest and wobbled a bit on the thin seat before catching my balance. I tightened my lips in anxiety, and all the thoughts of betrayal I felt towards my family when I found out they hadn't told me came rushing back. I couldn't die knowing Sirius hated me. 


 

"This doesn't make any sense, anyway!" I exclaimed radically. "I mean what are we really thinking of anyway? What, are we going to go out on little dates to Hogsmeade? Are you going to warn me to never take you into Madame Puddifoot's, which I actually like, because it's always so pink and frilly?" I stood up and leaned against the sink, my mind going haywire. "Should I spend an hour getting ready for you only to have my perfect look ruined by you a moment later? Why should I do any of that when you've seen me half-conscious and drooling?"


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

He smirked and came up to grab my hips my left belt loop. "You know why we can do all that?" I avoided his gaze childishly and crossed my arms to separate us even more. "I'll tell you not to bring me there, but you can drag me in and I won't care." He kissed my cheek after that, and it left a burning sensation, like his lips had been doused in alcohol. Probably had been, as a matter of fact.


 

 


 

 


 

"You love to spend time getting ready. Don't lie to me. It takes you about an hour minimum simply because you have fun doing it." He leaned over my left side and kissed my other cheek, taking my arms down from their crossed position. 


 

"I told you two months ago that I've seen you in all sorts of natural. You know I don't mind how you look." He kissed my forehead and wrapped his arms around my waist. I let my head rest on his shoulder, feigning reluctance so it would seem like I was still mad. I had to keep up appearances, didn't I?


 

"Why won't you just do this, hmm?" he whispered into my ear, kissing the softest and thinnest part of skin behind my ear. 


 

"I don't want to leave you," I murmured into the cloth of his shirt, making it almost inaudible to him. I wanted to hear how that sounded aloud. I had never said anything remotely close to that to anyone since the beginning of this year. A tear slipped from under my eyelid, and I squeezed my eyes tighter to try and stop the flow, but he had already felt the wet stain. 


 

"Stop crying, you drama queen," he said, patting my head affectionately. I tittered a small laugh, but that only made me tear up even more. I was selfish. How could I do this to someone? I was going to give generously and then rip it all away at the last second. I only wish I could say I cared. 


 

"Let's go," I said, calming myself and blocking everything from my head. Or at least stuffing it in the back for now. I took his hand and slipped out from where I was nestled. "Come on," I said to his frozen body. His face was stuck in a position of confusion and happiness. 


 

"I'm not going to ask?" he questioned, obviously not sure if I wanted to talk about it or not. 


 

"Good choice," I said quietly, and a bit solemnly. I glanced up at him quickly, but it only lasted for a second before I looked down again. 


 

I still didn't want to talk about it.


 

 


Chapter 24: Strawberries and Toothpaste
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 A/N: So happy that summer is starting again! This means that I will be updating/writing more and more. Hope everyone's enjoying. Please le me know in the review box :)

 

(also the lullaby that Dorcas sings is Lula Boat by Lotte Kestner. I don't own!)









I sat on my bed in the early morning, the sun from a window streaming gently over my arm. I turned to face the light and it spilled into my eyes as I squinted. My shadow was long on the window pane. I hung on while I tried desperately not to throw up. My stomach clenched and I felt it churning painfully, but I didn't want to wake anyone up with the sounds of retching. The Potter Manor was so quiet and empty in the morning, and the ceilings were large enough for a quiet cough to echo off of. I took a sip from the goblet of water that I got from the kitchen an hour ago, and it felt cool and refreshing as it slid down my throat.

 
From there I straightened my posture and stretched up, my spine cracking. Peter, Hestia, Alice, Mary, Sirius, Remus, and Lily were splayed around the room, limbs weaving in and out of the spaces. James got up at six, waking me in the process as I had been squished between him and Sirius. Sirius, the damn hibernator, did not awake. My body went through a small wave of shudders again, and I had to grip the wall so tightly my hand turned white. I breathed in deeply as my body relaxed and I closed my eyes as I begun to feel dizzy again.

 

 
When I opened my eyes, they were dotted with small, golden stars. There were each so tiny and disappeared as I shook my head a couple of times. I glanced over at Sirius, who was half on and half hanging off of the large bed, his head flung back and his shirt stained with some type of drink. A great snore rang from Mary's mouth, and I saw Lily's eyes flutter, seeing as she was right next to Mary.

 

 
I stepped over Remus gently and sat on the bed, trying to make my movements as small and smooth as possible so Lily wouldn't notice me. I finally laid down with minimal squeaking on the bed frame's part, and shut my eyes, even though I knew sleep wouldn't come. Her eyes shut again, but I didn't account for the fact that my moving the bed would most likely wake Sirius up, which it did.

 

 
"Morning," he said as I reached out a hand for him to pull himself up with. He took it and sat up, closing his eyes as the blood rushed from his head to the rest of his body.
"How the bloody hell did you sleep like that all night?" I whispered, guiding him behind me as I laid down. He shadowed my body and laid behind me, his left arm sitting lazily over my mid-section.

 

 
"I am a pretty heavy sleeper, you know."

 
"You're going to make a terrible Auror," I said, scooting backwards and smiling slightly as he placed his chin on my shoulder.

 
"You're mean," he said back, a little louder and more childishly than was necessary.
"It's all in good fun, now shh," I whispered hastily.

 
"I'll be quiet," he murmured against my skin, kissing my shoulder which was bare thanks to the loose shirt. None of us had changed out of our clothes from last night.
"Guess what, guys!" James yelled, slamming the door open. Sirius and I split apart immediately, and the others all made various groans and noises of disagreement as more light slipped in from the now open doorway.

 
"Some of us need to sleep, Potter," Lily grumbled, putting her hands over her ears in protest.

 
"Then you can take your arse back to your own house, Evans," he spat back, his mood going from light to dark in a split second. "Anyway, it's not going to snow today, and the sun's come up!"

 
"And?" I asked, seeing as no one else had yet entered a stream of consciousness.

 
"Quidditch!" he said, shaking his head and hands excitedly, as if we (or at least Sirius and I) should've known immediately what he was talking about. The door rang as he shut it, and he went to what I presumed was the shed to retrieve his home uniform, as I heard the front door shut as well.

 
"No one does," I scoffed in annoyance, picking myself up reluctantly and heading towards the bathroom. More light trickled through the window, and the rising sun eventually hit Lily's face directly. As soon as she rose, I scrambled to get out of there. Lily was not as pleasant as most in the afternoon, never mind the mornings. It wasn't that she was grumpy. She's just so damn perky when she wakes up it's headache inducing. Although, maybe hung over Lily is different.

 
I shut the door to the closest bathroom behind me with a slight squeak, and then a click. Everything in the house creaked. It was a pretty old mansion. Opening the cabinet, I found several care packages that Mrs. Potter left in here over the break for us. I pulled one open finding a toothbrush and some neutral-smelling soap.
I twisted off the cap of the new toothpaste and squeezed too much onto the brush. I washed some of it away in the sink before putting the brush in my mouth. I hated that feeling of something too minty in your mouth.

 
"Wow," I murmured, as I spit and realized that my problems ranged from having too much toothpaste on my brush to having too little time to live. I really was broadening my horizons this year as Harley had wanted me to.

 
I took to brushing my hair and began mumbling a tune that my mother or Harley, I can't remember, sang to me when I was younger.


What of the control it takes
To hold it behind my eyes
To stop the rushing water
When the river's too weak to try



I heard a knock at the door and responded by saying, "Just a moment," rather distantly, as I tried to understand what my mother's trembling and low voice was trying to imprint on her small child. Now that I sang it aloud, I knew that Harley's squeaky voice had a rusty quality like my father's had that could not let the notes float out so beautifully as they did. It had to have been my mother singing that to me.

 
"Hurry up, Dorcas!" Hestia said from outside, knocking on the door again. I decided not to answer this time, but had a merry time picking up my things for a couple more minutes before opening the door to a tired girl clutching her bladder and looking very murderous.

 
"For future reference, there's another toilet down the hall!" I yelled back to her, smiling even though I had just managed to make a very pleasant girl upset. Sometimes I think I'm too rude to be in Gryffindor, but then I compare myself and the company I entertain. It makes me feel better.

 
"I'm going to get breakfast," Lily called down the hall as the others rose slowly, grumbling and rubbing their eyes slowly. I guess hung over Lily was just as chipper. Good. That means that she'll be able to answer all of the questions I had about her and James with perfect clarity.

Lily POV

I chopped up some of the ingredients I needed for a headache relieving potion quickly and slid them into my small cauldron that Mrs. Potter stored in one of the dozens of cupboards in her amazing kitchen.

 
"So Lily," Dorcas said, biting a piece out of a strawberry. "What exactly happened with you and Jamsie?" I looked up at her warningly. That was probably the last thing I wanted to talk about.

 
"Here, take this," I said, handing her a small shot glass with the Potter crest engraved on it. "Headache reliever," I said, answering her confused look. She grabbed it hastily and downed it without a second glance.

 
"Come on Lily, Sirius and I want to know," she said, smiling mischievously.

 
"What do you want to know?" I asked, knowing that she wanted to know everything.

 
"Everything! But especially," she said, leaning forward, "I want to know if you two actually did it." My cheeks reddened automatically and I scratched my chin. I knew I shouldn't have made that joke when we went out.

 
"Look Dorcas, I shouldn't have said that," I said vaguely, not really wanting to let her know the truth. She gave me a smile reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat, and I became worried, knowing that she probably saw through my nervous chatter.

 
"How was he?" she asked directly, crinkling her nose as she usually did when she got excited about a secret. I looked around nervously, making sure there was no one else around the corner.

 
"Promise you won't tell?" I asked, holding out my pinky for her to take. She yanked onto my pinky for dear life and nodded yes excitedly. "Alright then," I said, trying to find the right words and the courage to say it. "It was really amazing," I breathed out quietly, both happy to say it aloud and anxious that someone was listening in.

 
"Are you kidding!" she shrieked, slamming her hands on the table in excitement.

 
"Calm down, Dorcas," I whispered back, peeking around the long hallway to make sure no one was coming.

 
"How could you not tell me as soon as it happened?" she asked after she calmed down a bit.

 
"Well, I wasn't supposed to tell because it was his first time, too," I said with a smile small before wiping it off and realizing that I wasn't supposed to be happy about him anymore.

 
"I know, I know, but give me more details," she said, walking around the table to sit next to me.

 
"I don't know what else to say," I explained exasperatedly. All I could remember was the feeling of extreme lucidity and pleasure. I wasn't exactly going to say that out loud.
"I'm sorry Lily, I'm not exactly experienced in this area, either." The silence filled the air for a couple minutes as we both realized that this was probably the first time I had more experience than Dorcas.

 
"I had sex, Dorcas," I said, a sudden realization dawning on me. "James, he and I had sex," I whispered hoarsely, my eyes widening in fear and beginning to tear. Dorcas' expression softened and she put a hand on mine.

 
"It's alright, Lily. I know you. If you did it, it's because you wanted to. You're not always going to want to do what you used to." I calmed down a bit, and smiled as the kind and sympathetic Dorcas I became friends with reappeared. "Do you still want to play with dolls and have extravagant pony-themed birthdays?" she continued, hoping to convince me that I hadn't made a huge mistake.

 

 
"You're right," I said, laughing and wiping the tear from my cheek.

 
"So now that the melodramatics are over, how was-"

 
"Very funny Dorcas!" I burst out as soon as I saw James walking inside with his broom. She gave me a look as if I had gone insane before turning slightly and seeing James as I had. I'm sure he knew that this was pure torture to me; him walking in here with his broom in hand and his cheeks all red from the sharp wind.

 
"What's this?" he asked, directing his attention to Dorcas pointedly. I sighed quietly and merely got up to get some more strawberries.

 
"Take it," she said, shoving it towards him. I saw him tip it back in my peripheral vision and I quickly turned completely around so he wouldn't even be able to believe that I was watching him.

 
"It tastes like piss," he said roughly while slamming glass down next to my hand without a warning. I jumped a bit, but I'm sure that he hadn't even noticed. He walked out of the kitchen and down the corridor, and my head turned so my eyes could trace where he was once standing.

 
"Oh wipe that pathetic look off of your face," Dorcas said, tossing a crumpled up napkin with strawberry stains on it at me. I bent to pick it up, and nodded in agreement with Dorcas.

 
"You're so right, Doe. I just don't understand why he's so upset with me!" I exclaimed, wrapping my hair up into a bun quickly.

 
"I can't help you anymore, Lil." She sighed. "Honestly, I think we're all pretty tired of you two fighting. If you want to find out why he's mad why don't you just ask him?"

 

 

 
I put away the strawberries.


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