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

Chapter 4

~Maddie~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          “I’m not talking to you.”

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

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

          And then the other would say: “Fine.”

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

          Will it be this simple this time?

~Sirius~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Maddie~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          James is waiting at the end of the stairs.

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

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

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

          “I may have too,” I concede.

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

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

          “I know,” he says reassuringly.     

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

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

~Sirius~

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

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

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

          “Potter,” says Grey coldly.

          “Grey,” replies James, just as stony.

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

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

~Maddie~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Sirius~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          “Sirius!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Maddie~

          My head is spinning when I leave class.

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

          Right?

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

          Right?

          He knows how important James is to me.

          Right?

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

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

          “Hey,” he says with a smile.

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

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

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

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

          I give him a kiss.

          “What was that for?” he asks.

          “For being so great,” I reply.

~Sirius~

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

          “Me too.”

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

          “Me too.”      

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

          “Me too.”

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

          “Me too.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          And the bloke is Lucas Grey.

          Mads’s boyfriend.

          Shit.

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

 
 
 
 
 

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