The next morning when Arianna woke up, she could hear the rest of the girls in her room twittering as they got ready around her. At first she thought about just lying in bed until they all left the room. But that was hiding, that was being a coward. And Arianna refused to give in to being a coward.
Swinging her feet out of bed, she stepped out of bed and promptly started getting ready for the day. She could see the other girls turn and look at her. Feeling the stares, Arianna realized the best way to play their game was to give them the cold shoulder. Keeping silent and pretending that the girls that she used to consider her friends weren’t there was a little hard, but she figured it was better than having them ask her questions so that they could tell everyone later.
She swung her bag over her shoulder and walked out of the room like it didn’t bother her that they were going to start talking about her the second she was out the door. As she walked through the common room, she saw Lily and James standing by the portrait hole talking. Taking a deep breath, she walked right past them as if she couldn’t even see them there.
It wouldn’t be fair for Arianna to ask Sirius’s friends to take sides. That wasn’t right of her. Sirius deserved to keep his friends.
“Ari,” Lily called after her, but taking another breath, Arianna kept walking as if she hadn’t heard her. Lily was a very good friend of hers, but it would hurt too much to talk to her right now.
Sitting by herself at breakfast wasn’t that bad. It was better when she acted like she wanted to sit alone, then yesterday when she had sat just outside the group because she wanted to sit with them. Today, she was going to act as though she couldn’t care less.
As she sat there, slowly eating her grapefruit, she could almost feel the wave of whispers as they spread throughout the hall. She didn’t dare let them see what she was feeling, that would only give them the satisfaction. She heard Sirius’s booming laugh from the table not too far from hers and she flinched. She loved Sirius’s laugh.
Picking up her bag, she walked out of the hall as if she didn’t have a care in the world. As she passed by the teachers table, she swore that Dumbledore winked at her. Smiling slightly, she headed out into the hall.
“Hey Arianna!” One of her fellow fifth year girls, this one a Hufflepuff that she knew vaguely from her Herbology class. “That was some trick you played! You’re awesome!” She held up her hand to give Arianna a high five.
Arianna just stared at her. “What trick? What are you talking about?” she noticed that people were starting to notice her and gather around.
“That trick that you played on Snape!” The girl said laughing and some other onlookers joined in. “To get back at your brother, you know.”
“No need to play dumb Arianna, the joke’s up! Snape spilled everything this morning.” Another person that she didn’t really know called out.
“What?” Arianna repeated, her head starting to swim.
Suddenly everyone was looking at something behind her. Almost afraid, Arianna turned around. Sirius, James, Remus, Peter, and Lily were all walking towards her. Sirius was grinning ear to ear.
“You got me, Ari! You out-pranked me!” He called out, and the crowd around them burst into laughter. “I bow down to the master of foolery.” He gave her a mock bow.
“What in Merlin’s name are you talking about?” She demanded. This was the first time that her brother had talked to her in two days and this was he saying to her? She couldn’t believe this was happening.
“Ari, honestly, the joke is up. You don’t have to pretend to like Snape anymore. He spilled everything this morning. Came right out and told me that you had just been using him in some trick to get back at me.” Sirius grinned. “He hates you now, just so you know. Not that it’s a bad thing or anything. No real loss there.” The crowd twittered with laughter again.
He stepped towards her and she took a step back, horrified. So this was what Severus had been ranting about last night. He had decided that she couldn’t possibly handle being an outcast, so he had handled things for her. He had supposedly ‘set the record straight’ and ‘confessed’ to everyone that she had been playing him. Her head started to swim. There was no way that Sirius actually believed that garbage. She could tell it in the way he was looking at her, his eyes were almost begging her to play along.
He was willing to forgive and forget, to let things go back to the way they once were. All she had to do was play along with the act that Severus had so easily set up for her. It was there, on the tip of her tongue, to laugh along with her brother and turn back to Remus. Things could go back exactly to the way they were. She would be their golden girl again.
But as she looked around the laughing, twittering, foolish crowd around them, she knew she couldn’t. She was different from them.
She shook her head at Sirius. “You’re a real class act prat, Sirius.” She told him, nearly shaking with anger. He looked a little alarmed.
Instead of looking at her, he turned to the crowd. “come on guys, give us a little space.” He called out. The crowd, loving one of their favorite 7th year boys, agreed to his request. Once they had moved back, he turned back to her. “Let it go, Arianna.” He said quietly. “Just let it go, please.”
“Let it go?! What the hell kind of brother are you? I always thought that family was supposed to be there for you, no matter what. That it didn’t matter what kind of decisions or choices you made, that your family would be there to support you. Isn’t that the big problem that you have with our family, Sirius? You hate them because they never supported your decision to be in Gryffindor? Well guess what, you are acting just like them. You were so ready to disown me, to throw me out of your life, because of a decision that I made. You are just like them.” She spat out.
He frowned at her. “There’s a big difference between being a Gryffindor and being with Snape.” He argued. “I cannot let you be with him, I won’t stand for it.”
“Then good thing it’s not your decision to make!” she yelled at him. “I am not a child! You may be my brother and feel obligated to protect me, but I make my own choices. And whether or not you think they are good ones doesn’t matter. You have to let me figure this out for myself.”
“Arianna, I don’t want it to be like this. Why can’t things just go back to the way they were? Snape set it up perfect, all you have to do is go along with it. I’m perfectly willing to forget this Snape thing ever happened.” He said, trying to be reasonable with her. The rest of his friends were forming a sort of protective ring around them so that the nosy students at Hogwarts wouldn’t catch wind that things between the Black brother and sister weren’t as patched up as they would have hoped.
“I don’t want to forget!” she yelled at him. “Let me make my own choices, Sirius. Things can’t go back to the way they were until you decide to let me grow up. You have to let me make my own mistakes. You have to accept the mistakes that I make.” Hot tears sprang up in her eyes.
He took a step towards her, his face softening a bit. “Ari, please. Just let this go, things will be normal. I promise, I’ll back down on the protective stuff, it’ll be just like it used to.”
“Don’t touch me!” She cried, the tears splashing down her cheeks now. “How can you dare to come close to me after the way you’ve treated me?! You made me miserable and you didn’t care. All you cared about was your stupid pride and your stupid hate of Severus Snape.” She backed away from him. “I love you Sirius, but I can’t be around you right now. Not until you realize what you’ve done.”
She turned to go and caught Severus at the edge of the crowd, apparently trying to see how his little plan was being carried out. She pushed through the crowd, aware that her brother was still watching her.
“And you!” She said, shoving him. “When did you think it was okay to take my life into your hands? Don’t you ever pull anything like that again!” she shoved past him, he looked startled at her outburst. “So you may think that you’re acting all heroic and saving me from being an outcast by spreading lies about how I dumped you because it was all just an act. But guess what? I don’t care! People are going to have to learn to live with us, rumors or not. So don’t you ever try anything like that again. I’ll tell you when I’m through with you!”
***i liked this chap much better than the last one, hopefully you did too! please review!!!
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