Chapter 12 : Civility.
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“You’re here, there’s nothing I fear,”
My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dionne.
“So where are we meeting them?” Sirius asked as he followed in my wake which in itself was quite impressive – I wasn’t exactly going slowly and I’d bet my legs were longer than his (although he was taller overall).
“In the hospital wing,” I snapped back as he hurried to keep up with me. I was more than a little annoyed at him right now, as in completely huffed at him.
“Erm...Why are they there?” Sirius asked confusedly from somewhere behind me. I didn’t look back.
“To catch up with Nate,” I retorted striding across the grounds back towards the castle.
“Nate knows your parents?!?!?” Sirius exclaimed stopping walking in shock. This only increased my annoyance at him by a large amount and it was all I could do to stop myself from turning around and punching his lights out (or attempting to, last time I punched someone I could barely move my fingers for half a week) not that there are many lights up in his head.
“Yes! He’s a family friend!!”
“So you’re not screwing him?”
“NO!” I yelled turning back to glare at him. He truly was thick and I found it so strange that there were people, as in a lot of them, who actually thought I was shagging Nathaniel Peacock. No way!
Although, if he offered...
“I thought you agreed to be Civil?” Sirius smirked.
“No! I didn’t! I had a breakdown due to the overload of information and the stress of a decision, which you should know I can’t deal with, then I tried to run off and you made me shake your hand and agree to temporary civility!” I retorted and his smirk grew wider.
Big mistake there Mary.
See the thing is, I don’t like decisions. I really don’t like decisions. Once I had gotten so stressed over whether or not I wanted a hot chocolate I swore at Karen, started crying, broke a mirror and threw a bottle of perfume out the window (it didn’t help I was especially pissed at a certain someone at this point) then general gist being that I don’t deal with decisions too will. So when Sirius had stood there with an expectant look on his face and his fingers outstretched to mine I had... panicked. I’d stood there getting more and more stressed (everybody watching hadn’t helped) then I’d froze, looked at the floor, tried to run away, yelled at him and almost started crying. Then he had taken matters into his own hands and grabbed my hand. It was a state of civility to last the day and nothing more, but already he was doing my head in.
“So you mean you’re not, like, in a relationship with Nate?”
“No.” I answered more annoyance flaring up inside me at his idiotic questions and inability to accept the truth.
“So you’re just friends?”
“So why did you prank Quiggles?”
“Who?” I asked stopping to look at him curiously.
“Professor Quigley,” He answered rolling his eyes. Again this made me want to punch him, how was I supposed to understand the stupid nick name? Quiggles? What sort of name is that?
Then again, what sort of name is Quigley?
“None of your damn business!” I retorted turning back to walking towards the castle, which is probably what I should be concentrating on right now because we were late, and it was going to be so much worse when we eventually got it.
“I thought we were being Civil?”
“Civil, yes! But we’re not about to start having meeting where we drink tea, have girly sleepovers and debates about whose hot and who’s not or cosy chats about our home life!”
“Awww, why not Mazza!?” Sirius mocked and I ignored him. I was now back in a fowl mood (if you hadn’t previously guessed). I didn’t want to see my family in the slightest and I wanted Sirius to be present even less. My Hogsmeade was supposed to be a relaxing break away from school but it was only becoming more and more stressful as the day went on with stupid amounts of drama.
“We’re late. Shut up and walk faster.” I said and there must have been some degree of authority in my voice because he shut up completely and picked up the pace so much so that I could barely keep up. I was quite proud that he actually had listened and felt a rare smile slide on to my face. Sirius was smirking next to me.
“We’re forty minutes late,” Sirius informed me as we reached the castle and I glanced at my watch which confirmed he was right and we both sped up into a half-run through the castle slowing down only when we reached the entrance to the hospital wing.
You see, after being informed of my impending death Dumbledore had said that any time my family wanted to visit me they would be allowed. Therefore he had set up a floo network from my house to the hospital wing which meant in an emergency they could get there straight away. It was a good easy system and saved me from walking all the distance to Dumbledore’s office.
Walking through the hospital wing toward my parents with Sirius by my side was more than a little uncomfortable. That wasn’t what I was thinking about, however, when I approached the five of them, plus Nate, talking at the far end of the room.
The first person I noticed was Becky.
Becky looked much worse than the last time I’d seen her. Her pale skin, a family trait she had despite not being a blood relative, was stretched over her skeleton tightly and I could tell at a glance she’d lost a lot of weight since I’d last seen her. Her eyes were dull and slightly unfocused as she stood there rigidly. She was dressed in black, a common thing for her, with dark black eyeliner on her top lids which only made her look even paler and thinner. Her black T-shirt hung off her body loosely and her dark jeans were held up with a belt. I found it hard to believe that a just over a week ago, according to Dad, she had been pregnant.
Then I noticed Karen. She looked pretty as always with baby Ria in her arms and I had to admit dad, Ria and her looked like a wonderful little family but there was Becky scaring the edge of the picture. Johnny, his eyes a bright blue which just didn’t match and me... then the family picture was ruined.
“Hi,” I managed to choke out as every particle in my body shook. These were my family, my supposed flesh and blood (some of them at least), but there was a barrier between us that none of us were prepared to break thus creating a space, something blocking us from being truly great. I could see the family of my dreams grimaces melting into smiles, love, laughter and support and it was what I wanted. Still, it was so hard to take the first step.
“Hello Mary,” Karen said, her voice dripping with false nicety. Her voice just made me want to hit her even more than Sirius’s voice made me want to hit him. It was purely annoying and fake in away that sent my thoughts whirring around m head angrily. “You look very nice today,” She said a smile on her stupid bloody face. Man she made my blood boil.
“Thanks.” I spat out harshly and Karen recoiled away from me slightly. Nate shot me a look which told me clearly to be nice. Too bad this Mary doesn’t follow instructions.
“We’re going on a family day out to the theatre.” Dad said talking as if there is no rift between us. “Thank you for agreeing to look after Ria,” He said and although he’s talking almost normally there’s no warmth in his voice and I can tell it’s forced and hard.
“It’s not hard to take care of it,” I said shooting a look at my half sister. The poison was just flowing out of my mouth easily as we stood there awkwardly. Nate, who had been showing them my files, stuffed the papers back and into the file rack and shifted on his feet as he watched us intently. . “How’s secondary school?” I asked Johnny, trying to make this whole meeting less discomfited but not expecting all that much if I was honest with myself.
“Boring.” He said crossing his arms. “We have to do science almost every day! Then we have this reeally boring teacher! I fell asleep the other day!” He proclaimed then began listing off a long monologue involving a brief description of every single class he did. He somehow manage to melt away the awkward tension with his words, it seemed like he’d been dying to talk to someone for ages. “And now I have to go to this stupid theatre!” He exclaimed and Dad shot him a look while Becky stared off blankly. I felt bad, briefly, for not being at home for Johnny to talk to as I knew how lonely it was when Becky went back into a relapse. This one seemed especially bad.
“You like the theatre,” Dad told him and Johnny rolled his eyes.
“Can’t I come with you Mary?” Johnny said and I was so tempted to say YES JOHNNY come save me, but I knew it wasn’t sensible of feasible so instead I would be stuck with Sirius and James. Great.
“No.” I answered but my voice held less hostility than it had before, because just hearing him talk had melted the ice slightly but it was still there and once the water ran out...
“I want to go meet up with my friends!” Johnny complained and Dad shook his head.
“Karen wants to go to the theatre, all of us together as a family! No exceptions!” Dad said and with that comment all the icy hostility returned, from me at least.
“So what the hell am I?” I asked anger filling me up.
“Language.” Dad said automatically. My heart thundered in my chest as it whenever I spoke something truthful about my feelings – positive or otherwise – as I prepared my brain to start hurling insults and offending comments in retaliation to possibly the harshest comment of the entire week.
“So I’m not included in this family anymore?” I asked ignoring him completely. “So I’m just some lodger who happens to live with you for half the year!”
No one said anything.
“Well,” I said angrily but not continuing. We fell back into a silence, me glaring at dad, Becky staring into space, Johnny looking between us nervously, Karen looking worried, Nate biting his lip and I was too scared to turn to see Sirius’s expression. This was why we didn’t work as a family! There were so many things we should have said and done but never did which meant we were awkward and on edge like a ticking time bomb.
The question that burned in my mind was would my death that set the spark off?
“I like your hair.” Came from the most shocking off people – Becky. She seemed to have zoned back in and had succeeded in breaking the tension slightly. “The style suits you.” She said and even though she was talking, she used the shortest of sentences. Usually you couldn’t shut her up so the condensed sentences meant she was in a bad way. A stranger could see that just by looking at her though, so it wasn’t saying much. It briefly crossed my mind that letting Sirius meet them was much like handing him my diary or a document written about my life because it was so plain for everyone to see.
“Thanks,” I said running my fingers through my now red locks. “What’s new with you?” I asked in an attempt to make an effort, which was a big thing for me.
“I got an abortion.” She replied no emotion on her face. Here comes the tension.
“Dad said...” I said, she nodded then looked back down at her feet.
“So is this your boyfriend?” Karen asked, obviously trying to keep the conversation rolling.
“No.” I said looking over at Sirius.
“It was a slip of the tongue.” Dad cut in. “Because even after...” My eyes widened in panic as I glanced over at Sirius and my brain completely froze. “...Well you know, after...”
“Dad!” Johnny interrupted, seeing the look in my eyes. “Shouldn’t we be going?” I sighed with relief, then dad looked at his watch and shook his head.
“You know what, we have to go. We’re dreadfully late.” I said as if having only just realised the time. I needed to get out of there; just standing with them was making my skin crawl.
“What for?” Dad asked confused.
“Our restaurant booking,” I replied quickly with the first thing that came into my head.
“It’s eleven?” He questioned and I cursed myself internally for coming up with the worse excuses ever.
“You know us magical folk, always doing strange things.” I said biting my lip, doubting he would be buying a word I said.
“Your mother never...” He stopped. Glanced at Karen. Looked at the floor. Then back up at me. And finally turning back to the floor, avoiding meeting anybodies eyes.
“Well Sirius and I are going to be late.” I said blinking several times to try and recover what was left that I could still recover.
“That’s a shame, I thought we could spend some time catching up, the show isn’t for another hour!” Karen said. “We thought we could have a nice family -”
“That is a shame.” I commented sarcastically. “But quite frankly I’d rather die. So please, just give me Ria and piss off.” I retorted my eyes flashing angrily as the frustration I was feeling burst it’s banks and escaped through my lips.
“What have I told you about being nice -?!” Dad began angrily, rising up several centimetres.
“I don’t know, but I’d bet my life it bored me half to death!” I exclaimed taking Ria out of Karen’s arms and putting her in the pushchair. It was a cheep shot. Trying to emphasise the fact that I was dying to generate at least some sympathy, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say, and as normal it generated the opposite effect. Now Dad was just pissed.
“So you’re Serious?” Karen said stretching out a hand towards Sirius. “I’m Karen,” she said shaking his hand when Sirius stretched his out to hers bewilderedly.
“CAN’T YOU JUST DO AS YOUR TOLD!?!” Dad yelled taking me by surprise slightly. Normally we last at least half an hour before the yelling breaks out, but I guess the stress of the worsening blood tests makes the strain even more evident.
“How are you then Serious, it’s a lovely day.” Karen said brightly.
“IF YOU DIDN’T TELL ME TO DO SUCH DAFT THINGS!” I yelled back at his angry face which I could date back to almost all my childhood memories. Accompanied with a smile and my mother, looking on disapprovingly.
“Erm... fine?” Sirius told Karen unsurely. Poor sod probably didn’t know what had hit him, well I’ll tell you Sirius, this is my family.
“WELL MAYBE IF-” Dad began, smoke practically coming out of his ears as he resumed his normally rowing stance.
“SHUT UP!” Johnny yelled angrily. “Why do you always make everything rubbish?” He asked me his face hot with fury.
Ouch. Considering Johnny was usually the most favourable out of all of them it cut especially deep and it was all I could do to keep the threat of tears and bay long enough to recover and get out of there.
“It’s a talent.” I told him dryly before revolving the pushchair and stalking out the hospital wing with Ria. My blood was boiling as I thought back over it, blinding me to the pain that encounter had caused for a moment so I was able to keep the tears from spilling down my cheeks.
“Wait, Mary!” A voice called and I stopped to find Sirius running to catch up. “Wow, your family are...” He began once he’d caught up and we began walking out of the castle with Ria. I didn’t want to talk about it. Not with Sirius. Not with Nate. Not with ANYONE.
“Charming?” I suggested my fingers shaking with fury on the handle of the pushchair.
“Not the word I was going for, interesting maybe.” He said and I couldn’t help notice he was trying to distract me while quenching his curiosity at exactly the same time. I purposefully didn’t look at him and instead concentrated on pushing the pram carefully.
“How are they interesting?” I asked angrily pushing the pram across the grass of the grounds as we left the sanctuary of the walls of Hogwarts.
“Well they’ve certainly got a story to tell, all six of them.”
“You’d be hard pressed to get a story out of this one,” I commented picking Ria out of the pram. “And I know brains aren’t your strong point, but there were five of them.”
“I was including you, and I think your story might be the most interesting...”
“Why would that be?” I asked cradling Ria in my arms, she was fast asleep as I smiled down at her. Ria had that amazing ability that babies always have to make everything seem slightly better. I loved the feeling of her new skin resting on mine, her weight in my arms was just perfect and the heat she provided held so much divinity it was like cradling a little angel.
I want a baby so bad.
“You’re complicated.” Was Sirius’s answer and I could hardly disagree with that. I was immensely complicated. My life was immensely complicated. Everything was immensely complicated. “You’re secretive, you’re a bitch, you’re nice and you’re extremely bitter,”
“Wow. You have a way with the Ladies.” I said dryly and he smirked next to me.
“I wouldn’t quite classify you as a lady,” He said and I shot him a dark look.
Wasn’t being civil usually nicer than this?
Don’t ask my how he’d done it, but somehow Sirius had managed to get my back into a nice, normal, friendly mood.
“That is not true!” I exclaimed through my laughter. “That story was a pile of shite!”
“Your face is a pile of shite, and it made you laugh so ha!” He retorted sticking his tongue out.
“Maturity at its best,” I commented still laughing.
“That’s me, maturity and masculinity at its best,” He announced and I just laughed at him.
“Wow, this shop looks cool, let’s go in!” I suggested excitedly.
“It looks like a Gypsy shop to me.” He said surveying the shop I had looked at with so much interest with a mild indifference which made me feel somewhat foolish.
“I’ve never been in before,” I whined stopping walking. “I want to go in!” I protested batting my eyelashes in an entirely over exaggerated fashion.
“But WHHHHHYYYYY?” Sirius asked in an equally childish manner as I had done.
“Because I’m curious!” I said stopping the eyelash batting – it was making me dizzy (how did Rachel manage it?). Instead I began walking purposefully towards the shop in question. It didn’t really look like a gypsy shop, just intriguing. There were red curtains draw across the windows but there was still a big ‘open’ sign hanging on the door in swirly script. It was simply begging to be explored.
“Curiosity killed the cat.”
“Well, I’m not a big Cat fan,” I commented pushing open the door of the shop. “Curiosity can kill them for all I care, very selfish creatures.”
“See, I had you down as a Cat person,” Sirius pointed out, the surprise evident in his voice. “I can’t stand the things, but how are they selfish?”
“They get nine whole lives!” I complained indignantly. “Nine WHOLE lives. Half of us don’t even get one whole life!”
“Half the population dies prematurely? Not likely.”
“It’s true!” I claimed and he shook his head in disbelief.
“Name Five.” He ordered folding his arms as he looked at me expectantly.
“Ermm... My mother, Grindelawald, me, Martin Luther King...” I said then froze realising what I just said. Sirius didn’t appear to notice that I’d only gotten to five but he had, unfortunately, noticed that I had just admitted I was dying prematurely... fuck.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck!
“Y...y...you?” He stuttered looking shell shocked. Quick. Recover. Recover. Recover.
“Well, after spending a whole day with you I’m bound to kill myself,” I said lightly and laughed it off. Sirius laughed at my comment and seemed to be over his temporary shock already. My breathing slowed down again but my knees were still shaking slightly as I took a further step into the stop.
“Your face!” I laughed as if I had meant to panic him. “Almost as if you wanted me to be alive!”
“Very funny. You had me there for a minute,” He said throwing his arm around my shoulders. “And of course I want you to be alive,” He said grinning at me. “They’d be no one to tell me to fuck off otherwise would there? So Maz, if you’re not a Cat person, how do you fancy dogs?” He asked, grinning at some private joke that I had a feeling I’d never get.
“Dogs I like, love actually, favourite animals ever,”
“Duel or argument?” Sirius asked as we waked down the empty street.
“Black or white?” He asked.
“Black,” I answered automatically. “White’s too holy. Black’s more dark and mysterious, more alluring...” I explained then stopped. “No! White!” I protested to the smirk plastered all over his face. “No!” He just grinned.
“So I’m alluring,”
“No Black, your not.” I informed him shaking my head. “You my friend are more... pink.”
“You did not just call me pink!” Sirius exclaimed in mock indignance. He pressed his hand against his heart and did his best to look affronted. “I am sooo black!”
“Nope, you’re pink.” I concluded and he shook his head as if he was genuinely offended. “Anyways, I don’t see how these sorts of questions are going to come up on Quiggle’s test.”
“Could do,” Sirius shrugged and we settled into a silence for a while.
I looked down at Ria in the pram as she began to wail really loudly.
I never want children. Okay, so that’s a lie.
“She’s hungry,” I sighed, “Would you mind stopping in there to get something to eat?” I asked, gesturing towards a cafe, and Sirius shrugged in agreement.
“Meaooowww...” I said imitating a plane with the spoonful of baby food. Ria giggled and opened her mouth and in went the spoon.
“So what’s her name again?” Sirius asked pushing aside the plate of food which had been covered in food ten minutes ago but was not completely clean, as was mine.
“Ria,” I said picking up my hot chocolate and taking a sip.
“Wow, nice name,” He commented and I nodded a smile slipping on to my face.
“It was the name I was going use for my kids, and Karen wanted me to like the kid, so she called her Ria, in the hope that I would like her more, but there was no need for that, I can’t help but like the little rat.” I said the adoration loud in my tones, even to me, as I bounced her on my knee.
“Why did you want to hate her?” He asked curiously, sipping on his own hot chocolate. I had no idea why we had chosen to drink hot chocolate on a day as warm as this one, but after I had ordered Sirius had told the waitress he wanted just the same and thus we were both sitting here with steaming hot chocolate’s trying to fan ourselves so we didn’t die of overheating.
“Because she’s my half-sister, and she’s Karen’s...” I began and I could tell he could tell I didn’t want to talk about it (and that’s a lot of telling).
“You’re really good with kids,” He commented and I smiled at him. “Do you want kids when you’re older then?”
“Yeah, I guess,” I said not wanting to say that I would never have the chance. “I’ve always really wanted to get married, have kids; you know the whole family thing, but...” I finished but he didn’t seam to have heard it.
“Yeah, I’ve always wanted the same, just a simple life, with the kids, the wife and me!” Sirius claimed and I had to admit I was quite shocked. Even after his announcement in the middle of Hogsmeade I’d never expected him to have this much depth. To want a wife and kids? Surely that was the sort of thing the male kind ran away from at all costs?
“Yeah, just like that, but people never get it! It’s all about having a good job! But I’ve never wanted that, I’ve always just wanted to settle down and just to live...”
“I’ve figured out why people come to you for advice. You seem to have a better perspective than most people, like an old person who’s been through a lot and seen a lot, and so can tell what matters and what doesn’t. You’re sort of wise...” He finished and I smiled slightly, knowing I would never be old, and I would never have kids and... arghh.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, he was more perceptive than I gave him credit for. That isn’t saying much considering I try my best to not give him credit for anything. I mean, in his favour, he was actually quite clever, perceptive, almost deep and not as insensitive as I’d once thought. Still. He was a dick.
“I...I can’t have kids,” I finished. “It’s my blood condition,” I finished lamely. Somehow he also had the ability to drag information out of me without me wanting to reveal anything. Twice now I had almost told him I was dying, yet I hadn’t even really considered telling Lily.
“Oh,” He said simply unsure of what to say. “You can always adopt,” He said after a few minutes of stony silence.
“Yeah, I suppose,” I said weakly picking up my mug and taking another a sip of the hot chocolate liquid. “It’s not the same though. That’s why Karen called the kid Ria I think...” I said trailing off. “She’ll be the closest contact I’ll have with a kid that’s blood related to me,” I said. “Anyway, little Ria’s done here, so we should be off back to the village,” I said and Sirius nodded, draining his hot chocolate and standing up behind me.
We walked along in almost a friendly fashion and I was quite surprised how we never seemed to run out of conversation topics as I thought we would. I didn’t dwell on this, however, because I didn’t want to think about it as it was mildly scary.
“Oh wow,” Sirius said and I turned to look and what had gained such a response.
“Wow,” I whispered looking at in awe. “Oh my god,” I said tracing my fingers over the glass. “I LOVE it,”
“Yeah,” Sirius agreed but he didn’t seem to be quite as amazed by the bike as me. That’s what it was; a shiny, brand new, red motorcycle. It was a large beast of a machine which just screamed cool and the aura of being amazing radiating off into the atmosphere, I could feel it even through the glass window. It was simply amazing.
“I want it!” I wined and Sirius laughed pulling me away. I attempted to resist but he was much stronger than me and pulled me away with no effort on his behalf.
“What could you do with a flying motorbike?”
“It flies!” I exclaimed, in awe, trying to move back to see it. A flying motorbike? Wow.
“Oh come on,” He said, dragging me onwards towards the centre of the village. Sirius, like me, seemed completely comfortable in the outskirts of the town were most people have never even tread before and it reminded me briefly of all those Saturday’s I’d spent with Lily just wandering around chatting. This was surprisingly similar to that.
“Meany!” I exclaimed but let him anyway. We carried for a while in idle chatter about stupid things I’d never imagine myself and Sirius talking about, but here we were.
“I need to buy some shampoo,” I commented steering Sirius into the ‘Hair and Body shop.’ Pushing Ria in the pram.
“Why do you buy it from here?” He asked. “The shop down the road is cheaper.”
“Yeah, but... smell this!” I said presenting him with strawberries and cream body butter.
“Merlin! That smells good!” He grabbed the pot out of my hands and practically put his nose in it. I resisted the urge to shove his face into the cream, purely because it was expensive, and instead dragged him further into the shop.
“Precisely,” I said smiling. “I get a different one each time normally, but I’ve been through all of them except the chocolate orange one, and I don’t like that one. Someone might try to eat me,”
“Hell! I’d eat you if you smelled like this!” Sirius claimed picking up the Vanilla and ice cream one.
“That’s the one I had last time,” I said wryly, and he didn’t even look uncomfortable. “Then your ex-girlfriend finished off the bottle off for me.”
“I thought I recognised it!” He said, “But which ex-girlfriend?”
“Anyone ever told you your dickhead? Rachel.” I said feeling a spark of annoyance at the bottom of my spine. He dropped the subject immediately and we ended up in an awkward uncomfortable silence. Ria broke the silence magnificently by reaching out for one of the displays and knocking a row of tubs over. Then she laughed.
I rolled my eyes and attempted to pick them up, Sirius doing likewise.
“Right. Anyway, let’s stick to the matter at hand?” I suggested because in actual fact it had been a good day and these pauses in conversation had been sparse, and the civility thing seemed to have work surprisingly better than I thought it would.
“Okay...” he said picking up the next one in line ‘Red Red Rose’. “No, I don’t like that one,” He placed it back down. “Too flowery.”
“Agreed.” I nodded, knowing already exactly what it smelt like. A mixture of flowers and something else, which always reminded me of overly girly bitches giggling and giggling at some daft gossip. Like those third years for example...
“WOW!” he said picking one up. He opened the pot and smelt the sweet scent that it gave off. “Get this one!” He said and I looked at the label.
“Thought you’d pick that one,” I smiled.
“Mango and Papaya...” He read off the label. “So this is where you got that lip balm from? Here it is...” he said pulling out a little tub of lip-balm. He stuck his fingers in the orange substance and then smothered it all over his lips. “Tastes just like I remember it!” he said wiggling his eyebrows.
“Prat.” I said laughing. “You have to buy that now you’ve stuck your fat fingers in it!”
“What happened to civility?” He joked, pulling out some galleons from his bag. “How’s about I buy you a set of the Mango and Papaya stuff?”
“I can buy it myself!” I said picking up the various bottles and tubes.
“Yeah I know, but I like wasting my parent’s money...” He said pulling them off me. “So really, I might as well buy it, they’re filthy rich.”
“Stop showing off! I’ll pay!” I said pulling them off him again, another spark of annoyance pulsing through my veins at his stupid behaviour.
“I’m not showing off, I’m just saying! I can pay and you can save your money for-”
“No!” I interjected pulling them back off him, vaguely realising how stupid this argument was.
“How’s about I pay for these, you pay for our butter beers?”
“Fine.” I compromised, letting go of the handful of stuff. Sirius, who had been trying to pull them out of my hands, fell backwards on to his arse. I laughed as he tried to pick himself up again.
“I meant to do that,” he said hurriedly picking up all the things he’s dropped.
“Sure,” I mocked.
“Well, I can get away with it, because I’m so cool.” He said striking a pose which I assume was meant to be cool.
“U-huh,” I agreed sarcastically with raised eyebrows. He flashed me a grin and then returned to looking at the pile of stuff he had decided he was buying me.
“What the fuck is body butter?” Sirius asked picking up a tub wearily – as if he’d become more girly by touching it. Yet he’d had no problem smelling the stuff a few minutes before. Boys are weird.
“Watch your language!” I reprimanded, covering Ria’s ears up.
“You don’t get a knife and spread yourself in it, then serve yourself up on bread do you?”
“No!” I exclaimed – trust him to think dirtily.
“Though, actually, that sounds fun... And what’s this, facial scrub? How much crap am I buying you here?”
“I only wanted the shampoo and conditioner; you’re the one who picked up the rest!” I protested, but he ignored me completely and instead carried on examining the individual packets.
“Well come on, you might as well have the full set, look you get 5 galleons off if you buy the whole set! Toner? Face moisturiser? Hand cream? Cuticle softener? Shaving Cream? Perfume? Deodorant? Body butter? Bath gel? Shower gel? Exfoliating body cream? Shampoo? Conditioner?” He said putting each bottle on the counter as he did so. “Lip gloss? Lip balm? Hair spray? Eye cream? A bath bomb? They’ll smell you coming...”
“Are you okay sir, you don’t need a hand do you? I’m Grace by the way,” The assistant said coming over. She was tall with very shiny brown hair that hung down to her shoulders. She fluttered her mascara covered eyelashes at him as she spoke, a flirtatious smile on her glossed lips. Slut.
“Nope, but now much is all this junk?” He asked, and I was pleasantly surprised when he didn’t even look her up and down, his gaze not even travelling down to her chest where one too many buttons were undone...
“Thirty galleons, but as a special offer today each object is on buy one get one free. So you could get a full set of any of the others too...” She continued her voice silky and soft as she looked up at him wide eyed. Her lips took a long time forming the words as she tried to emphasise her perfect coloured lips.
“Excellent!” Sirius announced. “Pick another scent Mary!”
“Erm...” I mumbled unsure. I felt completely and utterly ridiculous standing here and looking at her flirting with him. She was considerably taller than me, especially with her heels on, and she gave me a withering look as I failed to provide an answer. What an idiot she was bound to be thinking, venom behind the irises in her gaze. She was the type of person that could make you feel insignificant and stupid by the vibes of confidence they emitted.
“We have a new one!” The assistant said fetching over a sample, she swayed her hips as she walked and flicked her hair around. She made her way over to the desk and smiled at him through her eyelashes as she bent down. “Just for you,” She said presenting him with a pot. Sirius sniffed it, and nodded.
“Perfect, we’ll have one of those as well.” He said flashing her a grin. She seemed to swoon and pulled out a fancy box set of the new scene and put it in a bag.
“I hope you enjoy it, that’ll be thirty.” She said holding out her hand.
“Come on Mary, let’s go.” Sirius said I gave her a smug smile as I walked out of the shop with him by my side... and Ria of course.
“You really shouldn’t have done that,” I sighed. “Someone else will only use it all up for me, and it was awfully expensive.”
“Pass it here,” Sirius said grabbing the bag back off me again. He cast a charm over the bag then handed it back. “Now it says ‘Basic Shampoo’ and it will smell horrible until you put it on,” He said, and I couldn’t help but smile.
“Thanks,” I said and he simply grinned.
“I’m clever aren’t I Ria?” He asked bending down in front of her. “I’m clever! Say Sirius Black is clever and sexy-”
“Stop trying to sabotage my sister!” I said laughing, picking her out of the pram and cuddling her. He smiled.
“So, I need to learn a little more about you for this test,” Sirius said rolling his eyes at the word test.
“I know, it’s stupid! Why are they trying to make us get along! It’s never going to happen...”I said but stopped myself, we’d seemed to be getting on just fine today which was a little worrying. Instead I looked away, and busied myself by putting Ria back in the pram.
“They shouldn’t force people together,” Sirius agreed, “Maybe if they didn’t try and make us get along, we would,” Sirius said and I smiled slightly. “See, just when you think you’ve got someone worked out...”
“Huh?” I asked confused at his statement.
“I was absolutely sure you were going to snort then,” He said and I laughed.
“I’ve given it up, it’s not very attractive,” I said wrinkling my nose, and looking at him to see his reaction, bad idea; I tripped over a stone and nearly sent myself to the floor but Sirius grabbed my arm and held me steady in a way that forced me to look at him.
“I don’t know, I think it’s quite becoming,” He said and his voice was different than normal, more silky and just for a second I found myself looking into his intense grey eyes. His lips tilted up into a slight smile, not the smirk I was used too, and the light wind blew through his hair as I took in every insignificant detail about his face...
“Hey padfoot!” I heard James yell and I quickly looked away. “I thought you were meant to be meeting up with Mary, not trying out the charm on some...” He said then trailed of realising it was me.
“Wow, Mary, nice hair,” Remus said and I’m pretty sure I blushed. Not because of him complimenting me but more because...
“Were you guys just having a moment?” James asked and I snorted in fake disgust even though I think we sort of did.
Snorting was a bad idea it seemed though because Sirius smirked and James looked confusedly between me and Sirius.
“Bit young to have a baby aren’t we?” Jeremy Wood from the year above asked as he walked past us. I gave him the finger. “Is it Blacks?” He asked grinning his supposedly attractive grin.
“No you thick arse, she’s my sister,” I said picking her up out of the pram, and bouncing her on my hip, “Sorry chick, you have to go back to your horrible mummy and daddy soon,” I said tickling her tummy again as she giggled.
“She’s really cute,” Peter commented and I smiled.
“Yeah, she’s adorable, now what are you guys doing here?” I asked and James grinned.
“We thought one of you would be dead by now, but as your not. I need you to help me change! You said you’d help me remember!” He reminded me and I groaned. If Quiggles, as Sirius calls her, hadn’t asked me to prank her I wouldn’t have to do this! Sucks to be me I guess.
“But me and Black have to learn about each other to pass this test,” I protested and James pretended to faint.
“Marry wanting to spend more time with our dear Sirius, maybe they were having a moment!” Peter said and I glared at them.
“How hard do you reckon it would be to spread round that that baby was yours?” James asked evilly. “MARRY AND SIRIUS SITTING IN A TREE!” James yelled happily. “K.I.S-”
“OKAY!” I yelled over him, “I’ll help you, but I swear if I fail this test, I’ll blame you!” I said poking him in the chest.
“It wasn’t me who made her yell this time!” Sirius exclaimed and I narrowed my eyes at him, “Hey, what happened to being civil?” he asked and I shrugged.
“That was gone the moment I didn’t have to be alone with you anymore,” I said and he folded his arms over his chest. He seemed to be pretty angry and I could see why, it was hardly very nice of me to revert back to being a bitch to him after spending several almost pleasant hours with him.
“So how do I get Lily to like me??!?!?” James asked eagerly jumping up at me excitedly.
“How about I get us a table?” Sirius suggested gesturing towards the Three Broomsticks.
“Yeah, this could take a while.” Pete said and his pointy-face was grinning; like he enjoyed my pain.
“Okay, let’s start with the beginning,” I said tiredly. “When did you first start liking Lily?”
“Pfft! As if he can remember that! Wasn’t it like forth year?” Sirius asked and Remus nodded in agreement.
“Third,” I corrected and I received a strange look.
“Oh Merlin,” James said as he remembered. “It was when I dated you right?”
“Yep.” I replied simply pulling out a piece of parchment from my handbag. Third year I scribbled down on the parchment.
“Hey! I remember now!” Pete said suddenly. “You’d barely noticed Lily before! But then you started hanging around Mary because you were dating then you fell in love with her! Then you dumped Mary and asked Lily out the next day!”
“Wow, we’ve been right prats to you,” James said slowly, as if he’d only just realised. “You actually have a reason to be a bitch to us! I bet we really put a downer on your dating history.”
“Not really, but I suppose it helps that I could fit it twice on the back of a napkin with room to spare,”
“Go on Maz, tell us all about it!” James said and I rolled my eyes. Trust them to be ridiculously curious.
“First kiss?” Sirius asked.
“Onion boy.” I answered robotically as the others listened intently.
“Onion boy’s brother.” I said laughing. “Other wise known as garlic boy,”
“Mary!” James said as if he was shocked. Remus was now shaking his head in disbelief and Pete seemed to have shut off, but Sirius and James were still listening intently.
“I was six!” I exclaimed and Sirius laughed.
“Five weeks,” I answered taking a sip of my butter beer.
“Not bad, when was that?” Sirius asked tapping his fingers on the table.
“The summer just gone,”
“Before or after the purple hair?” James asked curiously.
“Worst breakup?” Sirius asked moving the conversation onwards.
“I think I win that one,” James commented looking slightly ashamed.
“The one this summer actually.”
“Intriguing, what happened?” James asked.
“That, I don’t want to talk about.” I answered flatly. “So, third year. Why do you think she turned you down the first time?”
“Err...” James said shrugging.
“Because, you plank, you’d just dumped her best friend!” Remus groaned. “Of course she wasn’t going to say yes! That’s the girl equivalent of murder!”
“Errr...” I said confused. “Not in my world,”
“Well, you’re hardly a girl are you?” Sirius commented converting back into his prat mode.
“Well, I’m more of a girl than you are a boy,”
“Too right, I’m all man.” He winked and I could help but smirk at that comment.
“Ta-wit ta-woo!” James said loudly looking between the two of us. I punched him. “How come when I public admitted I love Lily all I got was a slap in the face, when you,” He complained to Sirius, “You actually managed to get her to stop yelling!”
“I did not -” Sirius began.
“Actually, he may have a point.” I said putting my pen down and looking around the table at them. “If Lily thought you were over her, then maybe she wouldn’t hate you so much?” I suggestion.
“How would that work?” James asked sounding exhausted.
“Okay so... don’t pay her attention. Don’t try and tell her you’re in love with her. No poems. No songs. Don’t ignore her though, be... pleasant.”
“You do realise you’re talking to Prongs here?” Remus laughed.
“No, well I do now, Prongs?” I asked tilting my head at them in curiosity. Occasionally I’d heard them using their nicknames but I’d never really listened hard enough into their conversations and now seemed a good a time as any to start unravelling the mystery which was the Marauders.
“Silly nick name.” Was the reply I got from Sirius, who was now staring at the window boredly. Again I decided it was best not to bothering trying to comprehend them and instead picked Ria back up and pressed her tiny form against my chest.
She fit there so well.
Her warmth was so nice, and she was hot and sticky and new and lovely. New life. Innocent and beautiful. Wise and naive. So beautiful.
“So I have to be pleasant?” James asked warily. “What does that entail?”
“Just... I dunno, do I look like someone who regularly practices being pleasant? Maybe this is too big for a first step. Right. Here’s what we do: number one, you stop doing stupid things like nicking her stuff to prove a point; number two you stop trying to throw yourself at her and be so desperate and number three stop pulling pranks, hexing people and showing off... so much. Okay?”
I asked and James nodded enthusiastically.
“So you’ve got it?” I asked surprised – I had been expecting to waste several precious hours of my life on this task, it seemed to go to be true really; that he had grabbed the concept so –
“No.” He said cutting through my thoughts. “Haven’t got a clue.”
I knew that was too good to be true...
“You just don’t!” I exclaimed, I was gradually losing my patience with him as they other marauders looked on and laughed at my pitiful attempts at explaining my points.
“But why not?!?” James asked looking up at me with pure confusion fixed onto his face.
“That’s not a reason!” James said slamming his fists on the table.
“Your face isn’t a reason!”
“Now come on Mary, let’s keep this Mature.” Sirius put in helpfully (note the sarcasm).
“I don’t understand how you don’t understand!” I said, ignoring Sirius and instead focusing all my energy on James – goodness knows he was going to need it. “I only said you should just be polite and ask Lily how she was next time you saw her!” I said glancing down at Ria in the pushchair.
“But whhhhhyyyy????” James asked his forehead furrowed in frustration. “What’s wrong with just asking her to go out with me? That way she knows I’m interested!”
“FOR MERLIN’S SAKE!” I yelled slamming my fists down on the wooden table and gaining the attention of half the population of Hogwarts (who were all crammed into the little pub) for the second time today.
“Pete,” Remus said turning towards him. “You owe me three galleons.” I was thoroughly confused as the four of them began swapping coins across the table. Gradually the other occupants of the pub lost interest (apart from several rather giggly Hufflepuffs who had probably been staring the whole time) and I was still utterly confused as to why the table had turned into a bank.
“Erm... This may sound really stupid, but what the hell?” I asked searching their faces for something that would make the bizarre situation make some sort of sense. They all just smirked at me like some sort of freaky family or a trained circus act.
Actually, that would explain so many things...
“You look like you’ve had an epiphany,” Remus told me.
“Sounds about right.” I answered imagining them all dressed up in clown outfits while doing stunning acrobatics in really tight Lycra costumes...
“Sorry what did you say?” I asked when I zoned back into the conversation and found that they were all looking me expectantly.
“I asked you what Lycra had to do with anything.” James asked and I felt a hot blush rising to my cheeks... oops.
“I was err... just thinking about P.E. on Wednesday.” I recovered, taking a large gulp of butter beer so none of them would notice that I blushing and lying.
What? Come on. You can’t honestly say that you have never imagined a Marauder (or two or four...) in Lycra doing acrobatics! It’s a known fact that every girl goes through a stage of fancying a Marauder – it’s all part of growing up – and even once they’ve moved past that stage it is hard to deny that they are, for want of a better phrase, bloody gorgeous. It was more to do with their mannerisms and confidence than they’re actual looks, though those weren’t bad, they’re just hot. Simple as.
Sirius shot me a wink and I struggled not to spit my mouthful of butter beer all over the table. I didn’t need to give anyone another reason to make fun of me.
“So what’s with the money exchange?” I asked once I had gained reasonable composure. It was all that could be expected from me anyway.
“Bet.” Peter answered and I briefly noticed he seemed less awkward today, and then I brushed it aside.
“On how long it would take to make you lose it.” Remus explained further.
“James bet the shortest time, so he was trying to wind you up,” Sirius continued.
“And Remus bet the longest time, and therefore won because you’ve lasted a full twenty minutes without yelling!” James announced and they all broke into an over enthusiastic round of applause. This of course again gained the attention of everyone in the pub and I was so tempted to stand up and bow, but I instead settled for nodding graciously to them.
“To Mary! The first woman to pee standing up!” Sirius bellowed and I swear I could have killed him. Every female in the pub looked positively disgusted where as all the males began clapping along with the Marauders.
“Mary McDonald, would you like to say a few words?” James roared over the noise. No. No I would not.
I stood up deciding whatever happened I would be publically humiliated and began to speak, addressing the whole pub as I spoke into my fork as a substitute microphone. “I’d like to thank my brother and my father for introducing me to the concept of peeing standing up who, unfortunately, cannot be present at today’s ceremony. Then I would like thank my dear friend, Sirius Black and his gay partners James Potter and Remus Lupin! Finally I would like to thank Peter Pettigrew for teaching me how aiming isn’t really important! And the Marauders as a whole for persuading me that washing your hands is not a necessity! A round of applause!” I hollered so everyone would listen.
“Didn’t know you had it in you,” James grinned.
“Mary, could I talk to you for a second?” Lily’s voice asked and I turned around shocked and sat down immediately. I didn’t notice the reaction of the pub customers or the Marauders as I was so intent on finding out why Lily was here. What happened with her meeting with Snape?
“Aren’t you supposed to be -?”
“At the library.” She cut across obviously scared I was going to reveal she had gone to meet Snape. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” she asked again and I could tell she was uncomfortable beyond belief. “In the toilets?” She suggested and I nodded standing up and following her. There was something about her manner that told me something had happened, and I wanted to know what.
“What happened?” I hissed as soon as we were out of earshot. She glanced around furtively before replying to my question in a voice which held much more panic than it had done previously.
“I did something really stupid!” She exclaimed in a whisper, pushing open the door of the girl’s toilets and looking at me in a panic. “I don’t know what came over me! I just! One minute we were talking and the next...” I grabbed her shoulders and shook them.
“What the hell happened??!?!?” I asked and she shook her head in a mixture of shame, shock and disbelief.
“I...I...I kissed him.” She replied eventually.
My mouth dropped off the rest of my skull and hit the bathroom floor with a resounding crack. My eyes were as wide as saucers and I’m sure I may have had a minor heart attack in that moment.
“WHAT?!?” I squealed in a very girl like fashion which is normally completely alien to me.
“Shush!” She whispered putting a finger over her lips. “I don’t want the world to know! Actually no, I don’t want anyone to know!” she said wringing her hands and shuffling around nervously.
“Do you fancy him?” I asked still utterly stunned. I had always assumed that no one could possibly fancy Snape because he was judgemental and well... unattractive. I had found it hard to understand Lily’s reasoning about being friends with him but I had accepted it because it was her choice. This however was amazingly hard to believe.
“Not really...” She said biting her lip. “Well, I’m not physically attracted to him,” She continued. “I mean, I don’t find him attractive.” Good job too, nice to know those green eyes worked. Well, that was a tad harsh... “But I love spending time with him, he’s my best friend!” She explained, almost pleading me to agree with her. “I don’t know why I did it! It was just this sudden rush of thoughts and then my heart starting beating at a million times per minute and I kissed him!”
“What did he do?” I asked utterly enthralled by the story.
“He kissed me back.” She said looking down at the floor. “For, like, a second. Then I pushed him off, stared at him, and ran off.”
“I think your turning into me,” I told her seriously and she half smiled but began shuffling around on her feet again. “What was the kiss like?”
“Just a kiss,” She said, now biting her nails nervously. “It was just... I don’t know. It was over in like half a second!”
I was still completely shocked by this revelation and so could barely think to put my next question into words and before I could Lily began rambling again in the way I’d become so accustomed to last year.
“But you know, it doesn’t mean anything! I mean... I just needed to get it out of my system, yeah? I just needed to know what it felt like and then -”
“And then what?” I asked interrupting her, she’d ramble on for ages otherwise, but the door of the girl’s toilets began to open. Three fifth years walked in and barely notice us as they all entered a cubicle and began gossiping.
“Hey Sarah,” One began from the far end. “You know Lily Evans?” she asked and Lily stiffened beside me.
“The ginger one?”
“Yeah, well, apparently she agreed to date James!”
“That’s rubbish. He’d never ask her out!”
“Whatever,” The third one said who had stayed silence thus far. “You heard about Mary McDonald and Sirius? Well, he announced that he used to love her when she was a nobody, before she went weird, then they agreed to be friends in the middle of hogsmeade!”
Beside me Lily was fuming.
“Come on, what a load of crap! As if that would ever... oh my god! He didn’t!” She exclaimed in hush tones at the look on my face. “Wow.” She said simply. “I think, we need a girly chat later,” She said still whispering.
“Tomorrow.” I told her wearily. “I don’t think I could deal with any more drama today.” She nodded slightly and resumed biting her nails nervously, I hoped for their sake, she’d start to feel a little better soon. Our girly chats had become somewhat of a tradition between in us in previous years but lately I just hadn’t had the appetite for that sort of mundane thing. I needed to get back to it, I decided, because back then I wasn’t moping so much and I wasn’t so moody which was good considering my time was running out and fast.
“Mary, where’s Ria?”
“Shit!” I exclaimed realising I had left her alone with the Marauders. She was sure to be scared for life. I swear I’m the worst person ever – I forgot my own sister. Half sister.
I’d been so intent on discovering what was wrong with Lily that Ria had completely left my thoughts and now I felt more than terrible. People get locked up in Azkaban for that sort of thing!
We both went flying back out of the toilets and across the pub to find we need not have worried. Sirius now had Ria on his lap and he was playing some form of peek a boo game with her, which she appeared to love.
“Hello Lily. How are you?” James asked politely.
I let out a breath of relief and satisfaction as I realised he had actually listened to me.
“Come on you guys, I don’t need all of you to come with me!”I protested as they all followed me back to the hospital wing with grins on their faces.
“We’ve never met your family,” Lily grinned. She seemed to have cheered up and even spent several hours with the Marauder’s and me without killing anyone. James hadn’t asked her out, and she hadn’t yelled at him just yet which was weird. Still, they all insisted on coming with me to give Ria back. Primarily because they’d all fallen in love with her.
She had that effect on people it seemed.
They’d passed her around all afternoon and given her more attention than anybody’s ever received in a life time condensed into three hours of doting.
I didn’t like it. I hated the way Ria made everyone love her and I just knew they’d all be entranced by Karen too and I’d be left standing on the side looking like a complete idiot.
“Please don’t come!” I begged and they all shook their heads as we walked onwards.
Sirius seemed to be the only one remotely on my side, given he was the one who met them earlier and had a better idea of why I didn’t want them to go there.
“Come on guys, listen to the lady!” Sirius said and the others just raised their eyebrows at him.
“Practice what you preach mate,” Remus said clapping him on the back (with surprising force).
“Or you could all just fuck off?” I suggested only to be ignored.
I could hear them long before I could see them. My face twisted into a grimace as I heard Becky’s voice – twisted and shrill – yelling at a ridiculously high decibel. What I couldn’t hear was who she was yelling at which made me even more concerned.
“What the hell is that noise?” Pete asked which was only to be followed by an awkward moment because really, it was obvious.
Now Dad’s voice joined in, only he didn’t sound mad, but more comforting.
Becky yelled back.
Dad sounded angrier.
Becky yelled again.
Now they were both yelling and yelling so much so that everyone waking past stopped to wonder what was going on (not that many people were walking past) and Ria started crying.
“Hush,” I whispered too her softly, extracting her from Lily’s arms as she began to cry. “It’s okay, shush.”
The others, who were still following me towards the noise, said nothing. They knew now it was too late to turn around and say, no thanks, we’ll go to dinner. Instead they all looked uncomfortable and as if they were wishing they’d listened to me in the first place.
Then we were at the hospital wing and I thought my ears were about to explode.
“I thought I was doing what was best!” Karen’s voice claimed as my eyes fixed on Becky, still deathly thin, with tears falling down her white skin in cascades of heartbreaking hysteria. Dad it seemed wasn’t angry at just Becky; no he was angry with Karen too.
“No! No!” Becky was now sobbing and I could see her mobile phone clutched in her hands. I knew it would no longer be working here, but she was desperately trying to make it work as the tears slid down her face.
“Mary!” Johnny cried, and I saw him looking just as scared as he ran up to me. “Make them stop!”
“Maybe you should have asked before doing stupid things!” Dad yelled and Karen cowered backwards.
“Mary!” Johnny pleaded and Ria cried in my arms.
The other’s stood silently behind me taking in the scene in utter shock.
“Mary!” Johnny whimpered, but my eyes were still fixed on the scene.
Becky was clutching her stomach and crying more than I’d ever seen her do. Dad was yelling, really yelling, at Karen who was completely out of her depth.
“How could you be so stupid? You didn’t know what it was like! When she wasn’t eating!” He bellowed.
“SHUT UP!” I screamed finally and dad and Karen finally notice that I was here, with company.
“Mary.” Dad said sounding relieved, I was shocked, I’d never expect to hear that tone in his voice when seeing me.
“What the fuck happened?” I asked angrily, he didn’t even reprimand me for my language and instead looked angrily at Karen.
“She told him!” Becky wailed speaking up. “She told him about the abortion!”
Him meant Becky’s boyfriend. That meant she was now alone just when she was getting bad again. That meant if Becky relapsed it was all Karen’s fault. That meant that Dad would be heartbroken. That meant Dad would be even more alone when it was my turn to go.
I looked in the mirror warily. I hadn’t expected the day to be so good and so bad at the same time. I hadn’t expected the others to not say a thing to make me feel worse about what they’d just witnessed. I hadn’t expected that to happen. I hadn’t expected Sirius to admit he used to love me. I hadn’t expected Lily to snog Snape. I hadn’t expected to enjoy the day in all those between times as much as I had...
I hadn’t expected the day to turn out like this.
Still, I thought as I climbed into the shower, wiping a few stray tears from my cheeks, things were definitely changing. And fast.
And I had no idea what to make of that.
A/N - Soo... Is being civil going to last? Is Becky going to be okay? How's that girly chat going to go? Will they past Quiggle's test? Is Rachel coping with heartbreak? Who is the guy she dated for five weeks? How long has Mary got left to live?
ALL THIS AND MORE COMMING SOON :D
Please review guys, cause otherwise I can't get better! + reviews make me reallly happy and inspired :D
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