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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 16


          The next Sunday at Quidditch practice is Trevor’s birthday. James actually lets us end early to sing for him.

          “Okay, great practice everyone!” says James. “Rest up and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

          We head off toward the castle and I fall into step with Trevor. Everyone is ahead of us, except for Sirius, who stayed behind to wrestle a Bludger back into the crate.

          “So, you’re 16 now?” I ask him. He’s a sixth year so that’s what I figured. He nods, running his fingers through his dark brown hair.

          “Me too,” I tell him. “My birthday’s not until March.”

          “We’ll have to celebrate that too,” he says with a smile.

          “I don’t know, March is only two months from playoffs,” I remind him. “Do you really think it will be worth it to James to take time out of practice?”

          He laughs. “Well, it’s worth it to me.”

          The next thing I know, he’s leaned over and kissed me. He pulls back quickly.

          “I’m sorry,” he says quickly, “I shouldn’t have done that. I just…I’ve always wanted to.”

          “No, it’s-it’s okay,” I tell him. There’s a pause, and then I break the silence by kissing him.   

          There’s a clearing of a throat and we break apart. The person who has separated us is the last person I want to see.

          “Excuse me,” says Sirius gruffly, “but you’re blocking the entranceway.” He brushes past without another word.

          I fight the urge to follow him. There’s no point. Nothing I could say would change anything.


          I don’t realize how fast I’m walking until I’ve reached the Common Room, and it took me much less time than usual.

          I can’t bring myself to go inside. I stand in the hallway, trying to find a way to dispel all the simultaneous anger, jealousy, and hurt I’m feeling.

          Before I know what I’m doing, my fist is making contact with the stone wall with all the force I can produce.

          The pain is blinding; I grimace and let out a sound of pain. I feel a little bit better, but not much.

          The Fat Lady has been watching me. “Broken heart, dear?” she asks kindly.

          Ignoring her question, I give her the password. “Clavis aurea,” I say, and she is forced to swing open, giving me a sympathetic look as she does so.

          My friends are sitting around the fire. Remus is in an armchair, poring over his latest Ancient Runes assignment. Alice and Frank are playing chess together, and Peter is sleeping on the floor. James is sitting on the couch with his arm around Lily. He smiles when he sees me. “Hey, mate, wondered where you’d gotten to.”

          “Sirius!” says Lily in alarm. “What happened to your hand?”

          I look at it. It’s certainly looked better. You know, on those days when it wasn’t mangled or bent out of shape.

          “Oh, you know how those Bludgers can be,” I lie. “Can you fix it?”

          “Of course,” Lily says, whipping out her wand. She motions for me to come and sit down, which I do.

          Lily points her wand straight at my hand and says firmly, “Episkey.”

          I feel my bones realigning themselves (not a pleasant feeling) and then my hand is as good as new.

          “Thanks,” I say gratefully. “I’m off to bed. Good night.”

          “Hey, where’s Maddie?” asks Remus, somewhat suspiciously.

          “Probably off somewhere snogging Trevor,” I say in what is intended to be a nonchalant voice, and leave James, Lily, and Remus looking at each other with looks of dawning comprehension.


          “Well, I’m off to bed,” says Trevor. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He gives me a kiss on the cheek.

          “Happy birthday,” I say, and then he disappears up the boys’ staircases.

          I go to join my friends by the fire. “Hey,” I say. “What’s up with you guys?”

          They’re all staring at me kind of strangely.

          “What?” I ask, not liking the silence.

          “Are you and Trevor…” starts Lily.

          I shrug. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

          “And does Sirius…” begins James.

          “Yeah, he saw us,” I tell him. My three friends exchange glances.

          “What?” I say again. “I’m allowed to do whatever I want.”

          None of them have an argument for that.

          “Sirius doesn’t care,” I continue, and before they can protest, I excuse myself and head up to bed.


          The image of Maddie and Trevor snogging has been burned into my mind. I can’t get rid it of it no matter how hard I try.

          When I didn’t see her actually snogging Allen, I could pretend she wasn’t.

          But I saw her and Trevor. There’s no way around it. Time to face the truth.

          And it hurts like hell.


          On the way to Transfiguration on Monday, I see Trevor walking toward us.

          “Let’s go this way instead,” I say to Lily and Alice. They look at each other knowingly, but don’t argue.

          “You can’t avoid him forever,” says Lily.

          “Of course not,” I say. “How about just for right now?”

          “Maddie, the poor boy deserves an explanation,” says Alice. “I mean, do you fancy him or don’t you?”

          “No,” I say honestly. “I don’t.”

          “Then tell him that, for Merlin’s sake,” says Lily.

          “It’s not that easy,” I protest. “Telling boys, ‘Oh sorry, I know I made it seem like I fancy you, but I don’t. Sorry!’ It’s not exactly a good time.”

          “Then stop putting yourself in situations where you have to do that!” says Lily exasperatedly. “Maddie, if you fancy a boy, then snog him. If you don’t, then don’t. What is it going to take for you to realize that?”

          I stop and think about her words. She’s right. It kills me that she is, but she’s right.

          “Realizing is one thing,” I tell her. “Changing is another.”


          I need some time before Potions, before I have to see Mads. I tell Prongs, Moony, and Wormtail that I’m going to take a different way.  

          I’m on my way (devising creative ways to knock Trevor off of his broom and make it look like an accident) when I hear a familiar voice. Familiar, but not pleasant.

          “Hey, Sirius! How’s it going?”

          There’s no mistaking the mocking tone. I turn to face Regulus, sneer on his face. For once, he isn’t surrounded by any of his idiot Slytherin friends.

          “What do you want?” I ask him, so not in the mood for this.

          “Just to give you my opinion,” he tells me snidely.

          “On what, exactly?” I say shortly, debating when I will just turn around and walk away.

          “On the people you’re hanging out with,” he says. “It’s time to start thinking about your plans after Hogwarts, Sirius. I’m sure you could change your current situation in the eyes of a certain group-” He pauses, as if to let his meaning sink in. “If you change some of the people you’re hanging around with.”

          “This has been such a nice chat,” I tell him, “but I’ve got to go throw myself off a cliff now.” I turn to go.

          “I mean really, let’s look at your so-called friends,” Regulus continues. “That Mudblood, Evans.”

          I feel the hate begin to boil up inside of me. Walk away, Sirius.

          “Potter, as much of a blood traitor as you are.”

          Walk away, Sirius, he’s not worth it.

          “And I mean leaving blood out of it entirely, that complete slut, Lane.”

          Before Regulus knows what’s happening, I’ve flung myself at him, punching every bit of him I can reach. My wand is somewhere in my pocket, but there’s no time to grab it. Regulus is both howling in pain and fighting back, and I’m not giving in. Punching and punching and punching, over and over again.

          “Mr. Black! And-Mr. Black!” shouts an angry voice. “Stop that this instant! This instant!”

          And then we’re being thrown apart by a spell from a furious Professor McGonagall, eyes blazing.

          “To my office,” she says, voice threatening on every syllable. “Now.”

          I pick myself up off the ground without looking at my brother and follow her.

          Once we reach her office, she directs us inside. “Sit,” she orders. We do.

          She takes her place at her desk. “What is the meaning of this?”

          “He attacked me, Professor,” says Regulus, before I can say anything.

          Professor McGonagall turns to me. “Well?”

          “I was provoked, Professor,” I say stiffly.

          “Provoked,” she repeats. I nod. “I do not care if you were provoked, Black. That is no excuse for resorting to a crude form of Muggle dueling! Ten points from Gryffindor!” At the look on my face she adds, “Yes, Black, from my own house! But don’t think you’re getting off so easy,” she says, turning to Regulus, “I will be taking ten points from Slytherin as well.”

          She takes a moment and looks from Regulus, who, to my satisfaction, is nursing a bloody nose, to me, sporting a black eye, and then says, “Now get to class, both of you.”


          It’s ten minutes into Potions and Sirius isn’t here yet. I’ve started our potion without him. Where could he be?

          As if on cue, Sirius comes through the dungeon doors. I gasp. He’s got a black eye.

          “Mr. Black, are you quite alright?” asks Slughorn. Sirius nods. “Well, let’s not take any points from Gryffindor for tardiness; it looks as though you’ve suffered enough.”

          Sirius says nothing as he takes his seat next to me.

          “Sirius, what happened?” I ask him.

          “I don’t want to talk about it,” he says shortly.

          “Sirius, just tell me-”

          “I said, I don’t want to talk about it,” he snaps, and busies himself in the textbook. I turn back to my instructions, stung.


          I don’t speak to Mads for all of Potions. We make our potion in silence and when class ends, I’m out of there.

          “Sirius,” she says, following me. “Sirius!”

          I ignore her, but she doesn’t give up.

          “Hey!” she shouts. “I’m talking to you! Sirius!”

          And then she’s running, and she’s caught up to me and grabbed my arm.

          “What the bloody hell is going on?” Maddie demands. “Will you just tell me why you showed up to Potions ten minutes late with a black eye?”

          “Why do you care?” I say sharply.

          “Because I’m worried about you,” she says, looking taken aback.

          “Yeah? Well do us both a favor and stop,” I say. I turn and walk away, leaving her standing there looking dejected.


          I walk up to the Common Room for my free period feeling hurt. Had snogging Trevor really been enough to warrant such coldness? If so, it was completely unfair. We made an agreement. Just friends.

          And friends were allowed to be concerned about friends. So why was Sirius being so resistant?

           This is so unfair.


A/N: Hello, everyone! First let me start off by saying I am SO sorry it took me this long to update! I never want to be one of the authors that keeps readers waiting a long time, but I've just been so busy lately. Hopefully you guys can forgive me for the wait! I hope you liked the chapter and I will do my best to get the next one up in a much more timely fashion. Thank you so much for reading!

Sabrina :)

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