Disclaimer: I own: Maddie, Tyler, and Mary and The Plot. The Rest Belongs to J.K. Rowling.
If I knew one thing for certain as the next day ended, it was that Sirius Black was not okay. I had talked to Remus, I had talked to James, I had even gotten Peter to stop snogging Mary long enough to ask him what he thought; even if it had involved dragging him by the collar.
They all said he was perfectly fine. Remus had assured me of this more than once. James hugged me tightly and patted me on the back, cautioning me not to worry and that Sirius was acting like normal. Peter didn’t really say anything coherent. Instead he just went back to snogging Mary, right there in front of me. Honestly, I feared a little for his safety as I watched them. It looked like he was going to lose a tooth.
But I was frustrated, so I persisted. I wasn’t going to let this die, not when I could see how much he was hurting right there before my eyes. And I had this terrible feeling within the pit of my stomach that the three boys were all lying to me to cover something up.
I was frustrated because there was no more sparkle in his smoky, grey eyes. That morning at breakfast I had desperately tried to make eye contact with him, and when at last he had looked at me, all I got was a dull glimpse of the playful mischief that had once been there. It was gone! Just like that!
Yes, that morning I had even gone down to breakfast even though I didn’t eat anything, just to see if he was okay. And what was he doing? I’ll tell you what he was doing. He was cracking jokes with James and Remus. Honestly, the nerve that he had, made me disgusted. Then, as soon as he turned and saw my striding down the hall the smile seemed to hitch, and eventually falter away altogether.
There had to be something more to this. He was clearly upset. I had gone directly to Remus and told him to look in his eyes; Remus had looked at me strangely for a moment then shook his head and told me that Sirius was one of his best mates. He said that Sirius was fine.
They just weren't seeing what I had seen. How the hell could Sirius loose his sense of being that quickly? Even I wasn’t that scared of Regulus anymore, I knew that mostly he was all talk and a man of little action.
I was determined to help Sirius; something in my heart was making me want to reach out to him. I had to develop some type of plan.
On Tuesday, two days after Sirius’ run in with Regulus he bounded into the library during one of our free periods looking for me. There, I would make it a wonderful spur of the chance moment and jump on how he really was.
“Hey Sirius,” I grinned at him. I was trying to start off light; I hoped he wouldn’t catch the tension that that seemed to ring out with every word that I had spoken.
“Fancy if I sit with you Madison?” he asked. I looked at him but then became distracted by the sadness in his eyes. It really bothered me a whole lot.
“Of course not,” I patted the seat next to me at the table I was studying at.
“How can you stand it in here?” he wrinkled his nose. “You practically live in here.”
“Sorry about that,” my voice was quiet when I spoke. “It helps me keep busy; we can go somewhere else if you want? I’m done here,” I snapped the book on defence against the dark arts I was reading shut. I was just reading it for fun anyway; I had already finished all my homework for the week. I was becoming a nerd.
“Let’s sit out by the lake,” he suggested and I nodded in agreement. At first I felt pleased, but the silence that followed us out towards the ground was the type that made me stomach queasy.
The sky was slightly overcast as we made our way out onto the grass. When I turned to glance at Sirius a light breeze ruffled his hair. He sat by a tree at the edge of the lake, and I sat down next to him. I desperately wanted to check on him. Once again I snuck a glance in his direction, only to see he was looking out over the lake. I looked out too, but all I could see was the perfectly still water, marred only by a few ripples as the wind blew against it. For the third time I looked his way, and this time he caught me. It was odd to sit in such an awkward silence with him.
Think Madison, think- my brain seemed to scream at me. I wanted so badly to reach out to him
I bit my lip, okay here I go. I could do this. While my heart pounded so loudly I was positive that Sirius would be able to hear it, I opened my mouth and uttered a word.
“Uh,” slid out of my mouth. Sirius glanced at me. I immediately began to blush. Damn.
“Are you okay?” he asked with a slight chuckle. Okay, no big deal I could just try asking him again. I nodded and muttered back.
“Just fine,” I replied blushing even more. I’d never had a problem talking with Sirius in the past. Why was I having such an issue now? I noticed when he laughed he only allowed a slight chuckle to slip from his mouth, not even any of his old bark like laughter. I almost pouted but bit my lip to stop myself. I didn’t want to start acting immature.
“How are you?” I asked him honestly wanting to know with all sincerity, I had hoped that he understood that I was implying the issue with Regulus, but I think he mistook me and thought I asked about how he was doing at the moment. Either way his answer was bogus! I knew right away from the look on his face that he wasn’t going to answer me truthfully.
“I’m fine,” he replied glancing back at me. his hair blew again slightly in the gentle breeze. I had the strangest whim to reach out and rest my head against his shoulder and just tell him everything would be okay. Instead, I didn’t...
I didn’t know him that well enough to be able to cuddle with him in the way Tyler and I had cuddled. Instead of putting my head to his shoulder, I dug my fingers into the ground, wrapping them around pieces of moist grass and pulled at them subtly so Sirius wouldn’t notice. I hated how he had brushed off my question so easily.
“Will you just answer me truthfully,” I snapped out, my anger was getting to me. My breathing nearly stopped when he glanced at me. His expression was so pained I couldn’t even bear it. I felt my heart rip a little bit more. “Please,” I strained out trying to sound softer than I had.
“I better go,” he said. “I forgot to finish my homework for charms.” Nice try stupid, I know for a matter of fact that Remus helped you with it last night. He told me. You aren’t getting away that easily. Then, he stood up. I wanted to punch him. I wanted his honesty so badly
“You don’t need to be embarrassed,” I accused him softly, though my voice sounded pained, even to myself. “I just want to help you.”
“Well you can’t,” he glared at me; his eyes had turned to ice. His expression hardened and I stood up so I looked a little bit less defenceless than I had on the ground. I stood tall, although I was a great deal shorter than Sirius. “And I’m not embarrassed,” he told me scathingly. Lie, my mind hissed. Alright, if this was the game he wanted to play, I could play too.
Without warning he had turned agitatedly and started to march back on up the grassy slope towards the castle. I started to follow him as he made his way back, without another word. He flung around.
“What more do you want?” he snarled. I cringed back as I saw his glare. I was truly frightened now.
“Just to help,” I inched out. “Please, I can see that you obviously aren’t okay. I just want to be here for you,” he looked at me, his chest heaving and his face filling with some sort of emotion that I couldn’t read exactly.
“Do you ever recognize when people don’t want helping?” he spat. I could feel my face paling faster than anything else. My heart was pounding, I almost felt sick.
“I’m one of those people, Sirius,” I tried my best to remain strong, but inside I felt like crumbling. He kicked at the ground uneasily. His body looked like it was quivering, I stepped forward slowly. “I never want help about Tyler,” I whispered out. This was getting personal, way too quickly. “But I know I can’t get through this alone. Sometimes I have Tyler in my dreams, or something, and it helps. But never mind that,” I brushed away the thought of Tyler.
Tears had begun to spring into my eyes, he stepped closer to me.
“I didn’t reach out to you because I thought you wouldn’t have wanted to be bothered about Ty,” he exclaimed. “I miss him too, Madison don’t get me wrong,” he sighed and his gaze was threatening. He ran a hand through his hair looking uncertain as he stared at me, he opened his mouth as if he was going to talk. No sound came out and he just frowned. Suddenly he glared again then spoke, “Just piss off already.” I glared at him.
“I just want to help you Sirius,” I glared at him and that was when the tears began to fall.
“Merlin, O’Rielly,” I wasn’t very appreciative to his tone, but I could hear his voice was hoarse. “You never know when to bugger off,” he was joking lightly, I hoped. Suddenly his arms wrapped around me and I cried.
“I just want to be here for you Sirius,” I whispered, wrapping my arms around his neck. “I obviously can see that you’re not okay. You need some help. I just want to be your mate. We’re in this together, aren’t we?” I hoped we were. He nodded against my head.
“Sure, just don’t start crying on me,” I buried my head into his robes and laughed, they smelled like him. He stroked my hair comfortingly.
“I’ll try not to,” I joked through my tears, my eyes were glassy with them. He smiled at me.
“I’m sorry that I was such a prat.”
“You were one,” I muttered. “Now do you forgive me for being so annoying?” he slung his arm around my shoulder.
“You were just trying to help,” he admitted. Finally, I was getting somewhere this boy. well, it was a start at least.
“Good,” I replied leaning towards him. “So mates?” I offered.
“Mates,” he echoed. “Sounds like a plan,” I looked at him crucially. “I’ll be fine Maddie,” I glanced at him when he used my nickname. I was so used to him calling me Madison or O’Rielly. “Regulus isn’t going to harm anyone, he was just trying to ruffle my feathers,” he muttered this to himself more than anyone else. I nodded then glanced at my watch. It was almost time for defence against the dark arts.
Together, we began to walk back to the castle, his arm slung carelessly around my shoulder.
“You truly are a softie,” I teased glancing up at him. “You’re not some big tough macho guy.”
“You are truly annoying,” he replied evenly a smile tugging at his lips. I knew that he was going to be okay from there.
“So tell me,” I said switching the subject, the ground was hard under my feet as we walked. We were nearing the castle door which he held open for me. “Why were you so upset about all of this?”
“I was protective of you,” he shrugged simply. “I’ll get over it though. I’ll keep an eye on you from now on,” he promised. I let out a groan.
“Don’t baby me Sirius,” I threatened. “I hate it more than anything else in the world.”
“You let Tyler, do it.”
“Well you’re not Tyler.”
“You’re right.” I nudged him with my elbow.
“I’m always right prat,” I exclaimed. He nodded and scoffed in response. I ran a hand through my wavy hair distractedly.
“Not really,” he joked. “I’m hungry, maybe we can get out early for lunch somehow,” he pondered.
“You are such a pig, Sirius,” I exclaimed. I glanced at him and I saw his eyes spark for a moment, happiness was coming back. His eyes gleamed with mischief as he glanced at me.
“Actually, honey,” he leaned over to whisper sweetly in my ear. “I’m a dog,” I snorted and he let out a bark-like laugh. It would be okay.
A major thank you to RoseWilts my beta. Laura is amazing, wonderful, and kind. I always can never wait to get a chapter from her because she's so positive. I love our brainstorming as well even though she's all the way down in AussieLand. So this chapter is dedicated to her for putting up with me. You're amazing
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