Next day Avery pulled Addy aside as they were leaving the potions classroom. ‘Adhara. You’ve heard the news I assume?’
‘Yes, and I’m just chuffed to bits,’ she said sarcastically.
He took her hand, linking his fingers through hers. ‘Be my girlfriend then.’
‘Ew,’ Addy said, pulling her hand away quickly and wiping it on her robes. ‘No.’
‘Why not?’ she laughed incredulously. ‘Because I don’t want to.’
‘We’re promised to each other now.’
‘That doesn’t mean I have to be with you now,’ she said decidedly.
‘It does however mean, that you may not be with anyone else.’
Addy scoffed. ‘And how, pray tell, do you come to that conclusion?’
‘You belong to me now.’
‘Belong to you?’ she sneered. ‘I am not your possession. I belong to no one.’
‘I wouldn’t be so sure, Adhara.’
‘Whatever,’ Addy said, turning to walk away, ‘You don’t own me.’
Just a few days later, Effie began acting strangely toward Addy. They really weren't that close, though they sat together in Ancient Runes, would chat if they ran into each other elsewhere, and they had attended a few parties together; but then Effie started acting indifferent, almost cold toward Addy, not talking to her outside of class, not meeting to study in the library, and barely acknowledging her in class. There was definitely a sudden tension between them that hadn't been there before. This went on for a few weeks before Addy couldn't take it anymore and decided to apologize in Runes one day. 'Look, Effie, if I've done something to upset you I really am sorry. I honestly was not trying to hurt you if I have in some way. Did I do or say something to offend you?' Can we be pleasant at least? Addy thought.
Effie's expression softened, and she turned to look at Addy. 'No, it's nothing. You did nothing. I've just been stressed about OWLs.'
Evasive much? 'Oh, I can understand that,' Addy nodded.
Effie smiled. 'Trish and I are studying in the library on Thursday if you'd like to join us.'
Addy smiled back. 'Alright.'
Sam and Addy had been spending all of their free time together, which admittedly wasn't a lot, but their relationship progressed rapidly regardless. They had been close friends for years at that point, so it didn't feel like it was too soon when they decided to take that next step a few weeks in and slept together. Addy didn't feel shy or self-conscious at all around him, nor him her, and they could find time every day, with or without libation, to enjoy each other properly; in broom cupboards, empty classrooms, his dorm room, the quidditch stands and locker rooms, they didn't need much time, which was lucky since they really didn't have a lot.
One Friday night in March after dinner, they went up to the prefects' bathroom, he'd gotten the password from Arnie, and they sipped firewhiskey and enjoyed the warm waters for quite some time, until someone started banging on the door that they wanted the bath. So, they went back to his room and pulled the hangings around them and put up silencing spells and drank and talked and laughed and... some time around five Sam passed out, though Addy still felt wide awake, so she snatched his pack of cigarettes and snuck out of the castle to watch the sunrise at the edge of the forest. She leaned against a tree trunk and lit a fag with her wand, just as the first lights of dawn peeked over the tops of the mountains, casting the sky in a soft orange and the clouds glow a rosy pink. As she blew smoke to the slowly brightening sky, the peace was broken by loud laughing and whooping. Addy started and turned to find four figures, completely starkers, streaking away from the whomping willow, and she sniggered as they did some strange erratic dance moves before bending behind a clump of bushes. Peter straightened, looked over, and swore loudly, causing the other three to stand and look round inquiringly. Addy grinned and gave a short wave, still leaning against the tree. James grinned back. Boy was not short on confidence, that's for sure. Remus waved back awkwardly, and Sirius smacked Peter lightly on the chest saying, 'it's just Dara.' She smirked to herself. They finished pulling on their trousers, white oxfords, and robes, only Peter feeling the need to button up his shirt, before they sauntered over to where she was stood.
'Like what you see, Nott?' James asked, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Addy chuckled. 'Yes, thoroughly entertaining. That why they've been calling you Wormtail Pettigrew?' she said with a smirk while wiggling her pinky finger in the air. James and Sirius sniggered.
'Bleedin no!' Peter spluttered.
'Relax! I didn't actually see anything. I don't have my magnifying glass with me, you see.' She spread her hands out wide.
'What are you smoking?' James asked, taking the fag from her mouth and putting it to his own lips.
She waved lazily and dug in her robes pocket for the pack of cigarettes. 'Just a bit drunk still.'
'A bit,' James laughed.
'Well that explains it,' Sirius chuckled.
'Hm?' He snatched a cigarette, then pointed toward her legs. She looked down to find she was wearing Sam's white oxford shirt that fell to her midthigh, her own cloak thrown over, but not done up, her black combat boots, and no bottoms. 'Hm. Thought it was a bit breezy,' she shrugged, then held the pack out to Remus, who took one, then to Peter, who did not, before she pulled another out for herself.
Remus lit the fag with his wand then smirked at Addy. 'Drinking, smoking, and a dress code violation. Tsk-tsk Miss Nott.'
She scowled at him mockingly. 'You going to report me Mr. Prefect, when you've broke dress code, and are smoking, and obviously broke curfew. Why are you lot out her anyway? It's not even...' She extended her arm, letting her sleeve fall back, and frowned at her bare wrist.
'It's nearly half seven,' Remus said, looking at his own watch.
Sirius grinned, shrugging. 'Sometimes we just run round all night-'
'You're practically starkers.'
'First off, don't exaggerate. Secondly, I have my whiskey coat on.'
Sirius grinned wider. 'Right. Any roads, we weren’t starkers all night. That was just part of a...game.' His voice lifted at the end as if it were a question.
Addy smirked. 'A naked game? Between the four of you?' They all seemed to pale. 'Well I'm not one to judge. If that's how you lot feel...' She pumped her fist in the air. 'That whole Marauder business makes even more sense now,' she muttered. They all made noises of protest and scoffed as she sniggered.
'That's not what I meant!' Sirius said angrily.
'Thou doth protest too much methinks,' she said in mock seriousness.
Sirius huffed. 'That's not even the quote,' Remus said.
Addy raised her eyebrows. 'Well, I wasn't going to call him a lady...' Remus rolled his eyes. 'Merlin, I'm just having a laugh! What's got your wands in a knot?... your naked game not go so well?' She sniggered. Remus shook his head, James sighed, and Sirius smiled and pushed her playfully. 'Alright, you don't have to tell me if you don't want.'
'Why're you out here then?' James asked.
'Apparently I knew I would get some entertainment. You lot are a scream. If you're pranking me right now, I'm thoroughly enjoying it.'
Sirius smirked. 'If you want us to prank you I'm sure we can work something out.'
'It must be subliminal,' Peter interjected.
Addy blinked slowly. 'What?'
'You said you knew you'd get entertainment.'
She frowned. 'I think you mean subconscious.'
'Really though,' James said. 'What're you doing out here at six o'clock on a Saturday morning?'
Addy shrugged and held up the fag in her hand. 'Sam passed out. I couldn't sleep. Came to watch the sunrise.'
James shot a glance at Sirius who frowned. Remus's eyebrows raised. 'Ah, so basically, he fancied the pants right off you.'
She snorted quietly, rolling her eyes. 'Something like that. May as well enjoy myself before I'm sold off into slavery.'
'I thought you weren't actually going through with that?' Sirius said.
'I'll figure something out,' she said, waving him off. She didn't really want to get into it with him, because she was going to figure it out. And she really was having fun.
A few days later, after quidditch practice, Marlene and Addy headed up to their dorm, intent on working on their DADA paper. ‘You said you started already, right Ad? Mind if I take a look at it? Just to get an idea?’
‘Yeah, sure,’ Addy said as she went toward the bathroom. ‘Should be in my book,’ she pointed toward the book on her bedside table before she entered the bathroom. Just as she was about to shut the door, Marlene gave a yelp of surprise. Addy came back into the room and had to slap a hand over her mouth to keep from laughing, as she found Marlene completely covered in what appeared to be flour.
‘What the bleeding hell?!’ Addy’s eyes went wide. ‘Did you do this, Addy?’ She shook her head. ‘Don’t you dare laugh!’ The trouble with someone saying that to you, is that you’re far more likely to then. So, Addy backed away, shoving her fist into her mouth. ‘ADDY!’ Marlene screeched, standing up. Addy bolted for the door as a laugh escaped her lips, tearing down the stair. She found the Marauders sitting on the couch in front of the fire, watching the girls’ stairs rather expectantly, and she leapt over it, still laughing, to hide behind it.
‘I’m assuming I have you lot to thank for this?’
‘What are you on about?’ James said innocently, though she saw the glint in his eyes.
‘Addy!’ Marlene yelled from the bottom of the stairs. The Marauders started laughing immediately.
‘I didn’t do it, I swear!’
‘Then why are you laughing?’
‘Well, it is rather funny,’ Addy sniggered. ‘You should see yourself, you look bloody ridiculous. I believe you’ve been antiqued.’
‘Get. It. Off. Now.’
‘I don’t know how, I didn’t do it!’
Addy stiffened. ‘Ask them!’ she said, pointing at the boys still laughing in front of her. Marlene growled in frustration and Addy started laughing again, which Marlene didn’t appreciate apparently, as she chased her round the couch and out of the common room.
Sirius smiled fondly, shaking his head before a groan of frustration escaped his lips as the portrait swung shut behind them. ‘She even appreciates a good prank.’
‘She’s always done, though,’ Remus chuckled.
‘Why is she with that plonker? He’s no idea…’
‘Exactly, mate. He’s no idea. He’ll fuck it up some way or other,’ James said with a grin, slapping him on the back.
Sirius sighed. ‘Yeah, I suppose. Hopefully sooner than later.’
‘That’s the spirit, Padfoot,’ Remus nodded.
Sirius laughed, letting his head fall to the back of the couch and rubbing a hand over his face roughly.
Things were going smashingly with Sam until some time in late March, when in the throws of passion, he did something that deeply unsettled Addy. He told her he loved her. He assured her she didn't have to say it back but that he just had to tell her. 'I just thought you oughtta know.' He said this all so earnestly that Addy thought he must have meant it, or at least felt he did. She honestly couldn't be sure, as she had previously not even believed in love. She had at the very least become open to the idea of the possibility of its existence, though she still wasn't really sure what it was supposed to mean. Was there something you were supposed to feel? Other than thoroughly enjoying their sexual relations, she really didn't physically feel anything different for him than she had for anyone else; and while he had assured her she didn't need to say it back, which was good as she didn't feel she could, she did feel exceptionally guilty, and then awkward, in the situation. So much so, that she began to pull away, becoming emotionally distant and irritable. After a few weeks he began to respond in kind, then halfway through April, right before Easter Holiday, he approached her looking rather nervous and refusing to meet her eye. 'Addy, can I talk to you?' He glanced at a spot near her hairline and she felt a sinking sense of dread in her stomach. They settled into an alcove not far from the entrance to the Gryffindor common room. He took a deep breath and wrung his hands, still looking anywhere but at her. 'I've...I've made a mistake and I..I have to tell you about it. I don't want to hurt you...that's the last thing I want to do but...but I can't keep this to myself. It's killing me.' Her brow knitted as he swallowed thickly. 'I...last weekend when we won against Ravenclaw I drank entirely too much and I slept with someone else,' he said quickly. Addy's eyes widened and she stared at her hands. 'I didn't even really know what I was doing and when I woke up I felt terrible and I know..I know it's no excuse and I'm so, so, sorry I'm just the worst and..please say something.'
Addy balled her hands into fists to keep them from shaking and tried to keep her expression blank before she looked up at him slowly. 'You said you loved me...what...why would you say that, when you clearly don't?'
He shook his head desperately. 'No! I did love you!'
She sighed. 'Did?'
'I mean do! I do love you! I just...'
'What? I know I'm not an expert, but I don't think you do things like this to people you supposedly love.'
'I love you, I do. I just...I don't think I'm in love with you anymore.'
Her brow knitted. 'What the fuck does that even mean?'
His expression was strained. 'Look, you had to have felt it too. We haven't been getting on for a while now. You've been shutting me out for weeks.'
Addy was struggling to remain impassive. 'What? So, you're saying this is my fault?'
Sam held up his hands, back peddling. 'No! Well...' He frowned. 'No,' he shook his head. 'I'm sorry. I was being stupid. It's just...the way you were treating me, I just started feeling insecure and all around shite.'
She looked at him blankly. 'And how do you feel now?'
He sighed. 'I've already said I feel terrible. But look, I was drinkin and she was bein really nice and complimenting me and it just happened.'
'Who. Was. She? Who did you have sex with?'
He paled. 'Why does it matter?'
She glared at him. 'Are you trying to protect her?'
'Of course not!'
'Then who was it?'
Sam looked down and was silent for long enough that Addy thought he wouldn't answer. When he finally did he said it so quietly she barely heard it, but she did; and when she heard that name, her blood boiled. 'Darcy?' She said sharply. He seemed to recoil. 'Not only. Did you shag someone. Who wasn't me. But you chose to shag her? Darcy! Darcy bloody Williams? And you weren't trying to hurt me?' She stood up suddenly. 'I can't do this right now.' She had to get away. She walked determinedly toward Gryffindor tower, but Sam ran after her, grabbing her arm to stop her, and she swung around to face him, wrenching her arm from his grip, her eyes flashing dangerously. 'Don't touch me! Don't you dare!'
'Please, can't we talk about this? Can't we work this out?'
'Talk? Work it out? NO! We bloody well can't! You should have thought of that before! I can't talk to you right now. I can't even look at you! You make me sick!' She turned and stalked off, but she heard him following her again. As she neared the portrait hole she saw James and his lot rounding the other corner, also heading for the common room.
'Addy, please!' Sam said, sounding desperate. The boys in front of her paused and turned. James quirked a brow, Remus and Sirius frowned when they caught her expression.
'Sod off, Gardener!' She said loudly, as she pushed through the group.
Sirius followed her closely while she heard James say, 'I think you should leave her alone mate,' as she climbed through the portrait hole. She was so full of rage she could only see red until she found herself screaming into a pillow.
'Boyfriend trouble Dara?'
'He's not my boyfriend anymore,' she said through gritted teeth as she chucked the pillow across the room and stifled a screech of anger. 'I need to hit something.' She looked around furtively, realizing she was in the boys' room. She hadn't registered the smell in her state. Remus wordlessly summoned the pillow she had thrown and handed it back to her with a concerned frown. For some reason his concern only served to make her angrier. 'This. Isn't. Good. Enough,' she grunted out, as she pounded the pillow into the floor. 'I need to hit someone. Preferably him,' she said, getting to her feet.
'Dara!' Sirius said, putting a hand to her shoulder to stop her. 'What's happened?' He asked softly.
She grimaced. 'Not really a good idea to touch me right now, Sirius.' He pulled his hand away and held them both up, his eyes wide in a silent surrender.
'Whatever he's done,' Remus said carefully, 'it's not worth you getting detention over hitting him.'
Her head turned slowly toward him, and while she tried to keep her expression blank, he seemed to flinch back. 'With all due respect, Remus, you don't even know what he's done,' she said quietly, suddenly feeling exhausted.
'What did he do?' Sirius asked.
Addy shook her head. 'I need a drink.' A glass of firewhiskey was hastily pushed into her hands as she sat on someone's bed and she downed it in one. She held it out wordlessly, and it was refilled quickly. She took another gulp and stared at the glass in her hands, taking a deep, shaky breath, before she was able to speak. 'That fuckwit bleeding shagged Darcy, the slag.' She looked up at them and found James had joined their little motley crew at some point. 'After claiming he was in love with me,' she said mockingly. James scowled, and Sirius's face went blank. He shoved the bottle of firewhiskey at Remus, who took it without looking, and stalked from the room, James following closely. Addy sighed. She wanted to be the one to hit him. But now she didn't have the energy. She felt numb. 'I mean, honestly,' she said to no one in particular, 'why do blokes keep saying that to me, when they obviously don't mean it? I mean...I don't exactly know what it is, but it seems like it should mean something. Why even say it to me? Do they think I want to hear it? Do I look like that's something I want to hear?' She looked up finally, finding Remus and Peter watching her with uneasy looks on their faces. 'You don't have to answer that.' She waved her hand lazily and finished the drink in her cup. Remus went to rummage in what Addy assumed to be his trunk and emerged a few moments later with an assortment of chocolate sweets.
'Here,' he said, handing her a chunk of a Honeyduke's chocolate bar and a chocolate frog. 'You looked drained,' he said to her quizzical look. 'I think it'll help you feel better.' She looked at him blankly. 'Just try it,' he said with a small smile. Addy sighed and took a bite of the chocolate bar while opening the frog wrapper. She held it firmly in her hand and ripped its head off between her molars. It felt oddly satisfying to destroy the animated chocolate. As she finished off what was in her hands, he handed her the rest of the bar and another frog, and when she was done with that she looked up at him, managing a small smile. 'Better?'
Addy nodded. 'A bit. Thanks Remus.'
He nodded back. 'No problem. Anytime Addy.'
James and Sirius came back looking pleased with themselves. 'What did you do?' Addy asked.
James grinned. 'Squid tentacles.'
'On his head,' Sirius went on.
'Thought we'd make him look more appropriate,' James added.
'Then a little petrificus totalis.'
'And some boils.'
'In a very uncomfortable area.'
'Might make sitting on a broom difficult for some time.'
'Then we stuck him to the wall in the entrance hall.'
'With a few choice words on his great slimy forehead.'
Addy smiled and looked down at her lap. 'You didn't have to do that.'
'Someone had to,' said James.
She looked up at them again. 'You know you'll probably get in trouble for this.'
Sirius shrugged. 'Worth it.' He sat next to her and put his arm around her shoulders. 'He deserves it. You can't treat our mate like that.'
'Exactly,' James said.
'Right,' Remus added. Peter nodded along.
Addy smiled. 'Thanks.'
After a pregnant pause, Sirius cleared his throat. 'Er, you're not going to cry on me, are you? Not that that's not ok. Just. Maybe warn me first?'
She rolled her eyes. 'No, I'm not going to cry on you.'
'Ok...well. Do you need anything?'
She sighed and shook her head. 'I think I'm just going to go to bed.'
He nodded. 'Right. Well, we'll be here then.' She nodded and left with a sad smile.
‘I’ve never her seen her so…red,’ Peter said quietly, once they were sure she had gone. ‘I didn’t know she could be so…cross.’ He looked worriedly toward the door she had left through.
'Told you he'd fuck it up,' James said.
‘Yeah, but...' Sirius shook his head.
'But what?' Remus asked.
'But..' He rubbed a hand over his face roughly. 'I didn't want him to hurt her like that. She looked absolutely gutted.'
Addy returned to her dorm room to get ready quickly and close herself away in her four poster. With the hangings pulled around her and a few silencing spells cast, she collapsed into her pillow. As the anger slowly subsided, she was left with a sick feeling in her stomach and a dull ache in her chest. She may not have know what love was, but what Sam did still hurt terribly. Regardless of what he’d been feeling for those few weeks, he had been a close friend of Addy’s for years at that point. She thought he would have respected her more than that. But she guessed she was wrong. She finally broke, sobbing into her pillow and clutching at the duvet, suddenly feeling as worthless as her family always told her she was.
Next day, Same accosted Addy fairly quickly in the entrance hall when she went down for breakfast. ‘Addy, please, can’t we talk about this? Work it out?’ He had pulled her aside at the foot of the marble staircase, and she pried her arm from his grip, shaking her head.
‘I don’t think so Sam. Not right now any roads. Merlin, I can’t…look, maybe I can forgive you, if you give me time, but I’ll never be able to forget what you did. Maybe we can be friends again after I’m not so bloody cross with you, but I don’t think I could ever fancy you again.’
‘Look, I know I messed up, it was a mistake. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.’
Addy shook her head. ‘You’ve said as much. But sorry doesn’t fix this. Not this time. Just…just leave me alone for a bit. Please? Maybe after holiday we can talk, but really, I can’t do this with you right now.’
Sam nodded sadly. ‘Ok’
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