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 (April 17th, 1981)



 

“No, I mean what do you mean, I have to leave?” Dorcas asked angrily, following Sirius out of their room and into the kitchen.

“I’m kicking you out,” Sirius said, pushing Dorcas’ hand off his shoulder.

“Sirius Orion Black,” she said lowly, making Sirius turn around and glare right back at her. “Is this your way of breaking up with me?”

“Exactly,” he sneered, leaning in closer to Dorcas and poking her on the nose.

“What the fuck!” she screamed, punching the wall to her right as Sirius walked away from her. Dorcas’ mouth trembled slightly at the sight of Sirius walking away from her. “We’ve been through two years of this,” she whispered. Sirius stopped in the middle of the hallway, and let out a quiet sigh. “I’ve had a miscarriage, I’ve lost my family, and now you want to leave me?”

“It’s time, Dorcas,” he said vaguely without turning around.

“What is this shit?” she asked, walking forward with determination and turning Sirius around with a jerk of his shoulder. Sirius looked at Dorcas’ heaving shoulders, and clenched his teeth with only a moment of hesitation.

“I’m so fucking tired of you, Meadowes. I hate waking up next to you. I hate how condescending you are about everything.” Dorcas frowned deeply and crossed her arms as Sirius continued. “I can’t stand you climbing in bed at two in the morning and waking me up after a shift at work.” Sirius stepped forward, poking Dorcas in the chest. “And I hate that I can’t be myself around you. Because if I’m not the responsible one then we might as well shoot ourselves in heads for the Death Eaters,” he snarled, pushing her backwards. “And I hate being the responsible one.”

Dorcas cleared her throat, swished her hair out of her eyes, and let the tears stream down her face.

“I thought you were going to propose to me.”

“We’re not compatible.”

“And who is? Marlene?” she jeered as Sirius picked a cigarette out of his pocket. Dorcas swatted it away.

“Merlin, you can’t let it go, can you?” he said in disbelief, backing Dorcas against the wall. He put a hand next to her head, and Dorcas rolled her eyes as Sirius took out another cigarette. “Maybe you and Lupin should get together,” he said casually through the cigarette in his mouth. “You both can’t seem to get over it.” He raised an eyebrow, challenging Dorcas.

Dorcas ducked under Sirius’ arm and ran forward to the door where Sirius had done the courtesy of packing her things.

“You’ve got it, Master Sirius,” she said, bowing lowly, mocking Sirius’ upbringing. Sirius shifted his eyes away from Dorcas’ hysterical sight. “Any-fucking-thing for you Master Sirius.”

Dorcas slammed the door behind her.

 




 

(April 30th, 1981)

 

Dorcas tilted back in her chair, sipping on the warm coffee that Remus had just bought her. He sat down across from her and leaned back in his chair. They looked around discreetly at the crowds of Hogwarts students that flowed up and down the streets of Hogsmeade, weaving in and out, unaware that they were being watched.

“So what do you really think about Marlene?” Dorcas asked, tipping her chair back and forth with her foot. Remus put down his tea and licked his lips before letting his gaze linger up to Dorcas’ face.

“I owe Marlene everything.”

Dorcas smirked as Remus brought his drink back up to his lips.

“You should be a politician, cheeky,” Dorcas said, kicking Remus lightly under the table they shared at the edge of Hogsmeade. “Answer the question.”

“Marlene’s got everyone hooked on her finger. I don’t know how she does it,” Remus said, a hint of anger coming through.

“It’s because she’s oblivious,” Dorcas tried explaining. “She’s just herself. She doesn’t need to lie. Everything she says is right on her face anyway.” Remus rolled his eyes at Dorcas’ psychological profile.

“Looks like she’s got you, too.”

“Make no mistake. I’ll always have Marlene’s back,” she said, shrugging and finishing her coffee.

“Doesn’t it bother you?” Remus blurted after a slight pause. Dorcas didn’t react, knowing exactly what Remus meant.

“I know they’re not really doing anything,” she said, holding up a finger as Remus’ mouth dropped open. “And even if they were, it’s not my place to care.”

“How can you not?” he asked quietly, leaning forward on his elbows as another gaggle of teenagers passed them. Dorcas tightened her lips and shrugged.

“They’re cheaters. They cheat. And I had time to get out of my friendship with Marlene during Hogwarts if I really wanted to. I’m not going to lose her during a war over a self-absorbed asshole.”

Remus snickered, and rubbed his temple with his pointer finger and thumb.

“You are quite a bit more compassionate than people give you credit for.”

Dorcas smirked and tossed her empty cup into a bin.

“If you’re me, you know a good thing when you see it. I’m not going to let go of the only family that ever cared about me.” She smiled into her hands, nodding her head to herself.

“Sirius should be more like you,” Remus pouted, stirring his tea reluctantly. Dorcas smiled again, her teeth shining under the bright sun.

“It might not seem like it, but he is. He shows it in a different way.” Remus shook his head, and chuckled again.

“Ah, Sirius and his fear of disappointing others,” he mumbled, only loud enough for Dorcas to hear.

“And he’s got the scars to justify it,” Dorcas said gravely, taking Remus’ cup and finishing his tea.

 




 

“No, I want you to tell me just exactly what you were thinking by breaking up with her,” Marlene hissed, pushing Sirius against the wall in the narrow hallway at the end of her flat.

“Dorcas is not safe when she’s around me, McKinnon,” Sirius appeased, tilting his head down at Marlene. She tilted her head the same way, her brows furrowing as Sirius stroked the side of her face with the back of his hand.

Marlene blinked quickly, and slammed her hand against Sirius’ chest again.

“No! You prick!” she hissed. “Dorcas came sobbing to me that night, you know?” Sirius took his hand away from Marlene’s face and ran it through his unwashed hair. “I don’t care what game you’re playing: if you’re trying to get closer to me, or if you think you’re protecting her with some noble gesture.”

“I make her a target!”

“No!” Marlene said again, yelling with her full voice this time. Sirius’ nose twitched at Marlene’s sudden outburst, but he clamped his mouth shut. “We have all got a target on our backs. I know you like to believe that you’re the most important person to Voldemort, but you’re not.”

“Please, Marlene,” he snorted. “I do not believe-“

“Yes you bloody well do.” Marlene narrowed her eyes. “It’s not your fault. You were raised to believe the sun shined out of your arse.” She went to remove her hand from Sirius’ chest, but he grabbed her wrist tightly.

“Don’t you talk about how I was raised.”

Marlene ripped her hand out of Sirius’ grip and held her hands up in defense.

“See? She asked, letting her hand fly up and fall on her thing. She turned around and headed to her bedroom. “Sun shining straight out of your arse.”

“Marlene,” Sirius implored whiningly. He huffed with frustration and followed Marlene into her room.

“Why can’t you just be straight with me?” Marlene asked, suddenly quiet. She sat down on her bed opposite Sirius who stood in the doorway.

“I don’t know what you want me to say! One minute you’re screaming at me to get out and the next you’re sobbing in my arms! Merlin, Marlene you are so-“

“Tell me,” she whispered urgently, a waver hitting her voice. Sirius stopped yelling, and looked down at Marlene. “Tell me why.” Her voice trembled, and Marlene tapped her heel on the ground nervously.

“’Cos I love her, isn’t it?” he snapped coarsely. Marlene’s face fell, and her already bloodshot eyes darkened with the threat of tears. “Come on, McKinnon,” Sirius said consolingly, shaking his head and walking towards Marlene as she put her head in her hands.

“Of course you love her,” she said, disguising her sniffles behind her hands poorly. Sirius’ hand fell on Marlene’s back, and she shivered instinctively.

“You knew that.” Marlene shivered again as the air blew in from her window.

“You’ve never said it.” Sirius wrapped his arm around her shoulder and tugged Marlene closer to him.

“I’ve been avoiding it, I think,” he pondered, rubbing Marlene’s goosebumps away. Marlene sat up straight under Sirius’ arm and leaned against his chest slightly. “You know I’m a danger to you, too,” Sirius wondered aloud again.

Marlene looked up at Sirius scathingly and wiped the tears from her cheek.

“If I was a better person I’d leave you alone.” He stroked the hair away from her eyes. Grey met green and made a storm.

“And that’s how I know you don’t love me,” Marlene said slowly, breaking herself away from Sirius. His mouth fell open slightly, but he didn’t attempt to bring her back.

They sat next to each other, just an inch that felt like a mile between them. Marlene tightened her thigh, making careful not to touch Sirius’ leg. Sirius put out his hand but pulled it back before resting it on Marlene’s.

“I love you, too. Just differently,” he said weakly after a while. Marlene rubbed her eyes again, and flopped back onto her bed.

“We’ve got to stop this Sirius.”

Marlene felt Sirius crawl back to lay next to her on the bed. She turned on her side to find him gazing at her. She placed her hand over Sirius’ wrist, and circled her fingers over his pulse slowly.

“Let’s just not,” he argued lamely. Sirius took Marlene’s and twined their fingers together. He tilted his head and inched closer to her, their noses touching slightly; Marlene closed her eyes and inhaled deeply.

“What are you doing?” Sirius mused as Marlene breathed deeply. She smiled, her eyes still closed, and brought her hand to the side of his face.

“I’m remembering you like this,” she whispered. The corners of Sirius’ mouth twitched as he studied Marlene.

“Can I kiss you?” he asked, letting go of Marlene’s hand and placing his palm on the side of her face. She opened her eyes and watched Sirius watch her. He examined the planes of her face, letting his fingertips run over the edge of her mouth and the corner of her eye.

“Make it good,” she said in one breath. Sirius snapped out of his trance and his hand stopped moving. “Last one.”

Sirius took no hesitation. He felt very selfish with Marlene. Always had. Every time he saw her walking through the halls of Hogwarts he thought, “If I went and smashed my face against hers, no one would say anything,” because Marlene was his. That was the quintessential difference between Marlene and Dorcas for Sirius. Dorcas was her own. Marlene was his.

Not in a possessive, angry, paranoid way that would scare Marlene. Because just as he thought that about Marlene, she thought that of him. She didn’t think on it as much. She felt it: intrinsically. She felt them being pushed towards each other: forcefully. She did wonder if it had always been that way or if it was a result of the war. Either way, he was hers.

Marlene broke away from Sirius belatedly, taking hesitation, because she meant what she’d said. Sirius kept his fierce hold on the back of her neck, breathing against Marlene and not caring how heavy his pant was. Marlene grazed her thumb across Sirius’ bottom lip to stop herself from kissing him again. Sirius let her do as she did without a reaction to stop himself from kissing her. Again.

Because that was it.

 

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