Chapter 14 : The Unforgettable Answer
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The Unforgettable Answer
I stumbled into our usual compartment on the Hogwarts Express with a grin on my face. Nothing could be better than leaving Annabella after a long two weeks and getting to see my friends again. I subconsciously had to not think about the real reason I was probably so jittery.
I couldn’t wait to see Sirius again. After reading his letter, it was all I could think about. Finally, the truth. The hidden truth that had kept me miserable for weeks. I could feel my chest swelling. Until I saw the faces of Lily and Dorcas.
Emmeline shook her head as she got up. “Some, I think, are still a little bummed about Slughorn’s get together.” Her voice was bored and she left the compartment. The masked boy’s lips flashed momentarily in my head but I pushed the thoughts out and focused on Emmeline‘s retreating figure. No hello, then?
I sighed and looked back down at Lily and Dorcas. Lily was sitting with her legs propped up, staring blankly up at me. Dorcas, on the other hand, made no effort to show her sullen attitude. Her arms were crossed as she stared out the window.
There was a long, heaving silence as I sat down across from them and made myself comfortable. I bit my lip, not knowing what to say.
Lily spoke up for me. “So,” Her voice became faintly interested, “How was your holiday?”
“Fine.” I nodded absentmindedly, “James actually came and visited me. That made it more enjoyable and Annabella seemed please.”
“Oh.” Lily’s face became unreadable and she let the subject drop.
“Dorcas?” I asked hesitantly.
She sniffed. “Mine was just great. I didn’t get to see Sirius once.”
“Oh,” I told her flatly and for some reason began to feel annoyed, “I’m sorry.”
Lily just shrugged.
Dorcas whipped her head toward us, blonde curls flailing. I could tell now she really did look upset. I couldn’t stop guilt from springing up fluidly. “He’s been acting so weird lately,” Her voice became anxious, “And I had just been ignoring it. Then Slughorn’s happened… and we have been going out for so long - I really hoped he would’ve said -”
Her voice clipped and Dorcas looked back down at her hands.
“Said what?” I asked after a moment. The suspense was killing me.
“Said,” Dorcas repeated. She took a deep, shaky breath. “Said that he loved me.”
“Did he?” Lily asked, suddenly interested.
I couldn’t breathe. That’s exactly what I wanted to know.
Dorcas shook her head. “No.”
Letting out a quiet, relieved breath, I could feel my heart pumping again. Though, why I would feel relieved, I don’t know. It’s not like I liked Sirius like that. No.
“I’m going to take a nap.” Dorcas told us, breaking me out of my thoughts. She leaned her head up against the window, closing her eyes.
I turned to Lily, concerned. “What happened?”
“What?” She turned toward me, her green eyes hesitant.
“Why are you upset?” I asked, frowning.
My face became incredulous. She was not going to pull this on me. “No, you’re not.”
“I am. I’ve just had a bad morning.”
I blinked. I had never seen Lily lose her temper that quickly, especially with me. Somewhat hurt, I sat back in my seat and turned to look out into the hallway.
My chest almost felt like it was going to explode. Sirius was walking down the small hall. He was in front of the compartment next to ours when he noticed me. An electric pulse went through my body when we made eye contact. It only lasted for a second, though, before I saw a hand reach out and pull him inside a compartment. Were the Marauders just in the one next to us? I didn’t have time to check before Lily started talking to me again, this time in a much more polite, and fake I might add, voice.
The four of us had just gotten into our dorm that night before I noticed an owl at my window. I went over and gave him a friendly pet before opening the letter.
I saw you on the train so don't pretend like you didn't get this. Meet me in front of the library. I know it’s almost curfew, but I am a Marauder. I promise you won't get caught.
I felt myself smiling.
“Who’s that from?” Lily asked coming up behind me.
“Just Annabella.” My voice was shaky, trying to cover up my lie. “Reminding me to be proper.”
Dorcas laughed from the bathroom. Emmeline, though, just ignored me all together.
“I have to run to the library for a moment.” I told them hastily as I stuffed the note in my pocket.
Lily looked up at me incredulously. “It’s almost curfew.”
“I know,” My words were coming too quick and I wasn’t looking at them, “But there’s a part on my essay I still don’t have and I really need this book.”
“I can help -”
I cut Lily off before she could continue and sprinted out the door. “Bye.”
I’m almost out of breath by the time I get to the library. The corridors were mostly empty and I had to sprint at one point to avoid Filch.
I jump and spin around horrified at the sound of my name. Sirius is standing right behind me with a somewhat amused look on his face. Relief washes through me since I didn’t scream. I open my mouth to speak but he stops me.
“Shhh,” He hushes me and then holds up a silvery cloak, “Come get under this.”
“What?” I ask a little affronted.
“Quiet.” Sirius whispers harshly and then beckons me closer again. “Come on.”
I look at him uncertainly before hesitantly stepping under the cloak with him. He grabs my arm to pull me forward and it sends chills through my body. I shouldn’t be this nervous. We’re friends. Just friends. It shouldn’t matter to me that we’re are closer than we should be under this cloak.
Sirius pulls it off me and steps away the moment we get to the very back table, however. Which means he is thinking about Dorcas. Which is good. I guess.
“What was that all about?” I ask before I let my thoughts dwell on his actions too much.
“If Pince would’ve seen us, she wouldn’t have let us come in this late.” Sirius tells me as he sits down at the table. He looks up at me, grinning wickedly, “Now, she’ll never know we were even here.”
“Is this?” My eyes go wide with amazement, “Is this an invisibility cloak?”
“Correct.” Sirius smirks. “It’s James’s.”
“He never told me about this.” I tell him honestly as I sit down across from him and set the cloak down on the table. It shouldn’t matter to me whether or not we were in a library alone together.
“No one is supposed to know about it.” Sirius’s voice and face became serious. “But I trust you.”
“Really?” I ask skeptically, trying to keep the conversation light as long as I can.
Sirius lets out a long sigh. “Madysen, like I said in my letter, I am sorry about… everything. It was never supposed to be like that. It was just happening too -”
“Too what?” I asked when he stopped suddenly.
“I don’t know how to explain.” Sirius reflexively runs a hand through his hair in frustration, “I think I’m just going to have to start at the beginning.”
I nod and wait for him. My heart was pumping in my ears.
“My family.” He says, shaking his head unbelievably, “They’re… different. I don’t know how much you know or have heard, but they are extremely into the pureblood thing. You should’ve seen the reactions when I got sorted into Gryffindor.”
I could faintly remember it happening. Watching Sirius wait nervously as the hat contemplated where to put him. The Great Hall had gone completely silent when it had yelled ‘Gryffindor’. I think Bellatrix had even broken her glass.
“It’s gotten worse over the years and last summer, I’d had enough. I ran away.”
“You ran away from home?” I asked shocked. That was not what I was expecting but yet, that sounded exactly like him. I couldn’t imagine Sirius not taking action in any situation.
Sirius nodded slowly. “Yeah. I moved in with James.”
I didn’t ask any questions. He had stopped, but only momentarily. I knew Sirius would eventually continue. He was like that with me, knowing I would eventually get there.
“Even though I was relieved to get out and knew it was what I should’ve down a long time ago, I was still pretty cut up about it.” He started to lean closer toward me, his hand now stroking his chine, “They’re still my family, right? I felt terrible about imposing on the Potters’ too. And then my brother.” Sirius shook his head sadly. “They got to him and there was nothing I could do.”
“Were you two close?” I asked quietly. I could feel my heart dropping, I had no idea…
Sirius shrugged. “Before I got sorted. I tried after but… it’s hard when your whole family hates you. James was there for me though. He helped me realize it wasn’t my fault and he was always there to listen.”
I nodded and my lips rolled together, knowing where this was going now.
“And then that first Potions class happened and I could see it in your eyes. And Madysen, stop. I know you like to think you’re independent and can take care of yourself. You can.” Sirius correct himself when he saw me narrow my eyes. “But I knew that look. I had seen it in the mirror so many times.”
I knew it too. I thought I was the only one that could see it. The trapped one. The desperate one. The one you got when you thought your future was doomed.
“Just having someone listen and knowing someone was there really helped. Just knowing you’re not alone in the world. After what happened to me, I just wanted to help you before it was too late, like it was too late with Regulus. James was a little wary at first, but he - I think he really did miss your friendship. I just never thought -”
I kept looking at him expectantly when he didn‘t continue. “thought what?”
“That we would actually be friends.” Sirius said somewhat amused.
“What?” I asked, confused and shaking my head, “You wanted to help me and be a friend, but not actually be friends?”
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Sirius chuckled, “I guess I never figured we would stay friends… or that I would actually want to get closer to you. Somewhere along the way, things changed.”
I should’ve felt really insulted that Sirius didn’t actually think he would like me that much, but I didn’t. I understood and that scared me.
“I didn’t want to tell you because it wasn’t what was supposed to happen, I guess. I didn’t expect to -”
Sirius stopped again and looked directly into my eyes. I could feel my breath hitch. His eyes were bright, even though the library had started to get dimmer. Sirius gaze stayed steady until I blinked. He looked suddenly down at his hands. A moment later, he looked back up at me with a smile on his face.
“You know, you’ve become one of my closest friends. I hope that makes you want to forgive me.”
I swallowed hard, still thinking about his eyes and the way they had been so focused on mine earlier. “I do.” I don’t even remember being angry at him. “Why don’t we start over.” I grinned, repeating his words from the first day in Potions. I held out my hand. “I’m Madysen Adams.”
Sirius didn’t raise his hand but kept looking at me with a smirk on his face. “We’re starting over again? For the third time?”
“Well, third time’s a charm.” My hand was still stretched out toward his.
His eyes moved from my hand to my face. “I don’t want to start over.”
I pulled my hand back slowly, somewhat shocked. But I felt myself smiling. “You’re right. That conversation would be really boring the second time around.”
Sirius barked a laugh and stood up. “C’mon, I bet Lily is freaking out over you.”
I followed suit, grabbing the cloak and walking over beside him. I hesitated slightly, looking up at him seriously. “Does Dorcas know about your family and running away?”
His face changed, not anticipating me asking that. Sirius glanced at my face before taking the cloak, unraveling it, and motioning for me to get under without making eye contact again. “No.”
My stomach tightened in the silence and I didn’t say another word as I moved under the cloak beside him.
A/N: Ah! Please, please forgive me for the long wait. I have been so focused on 'Annie' that it's been hard for me to get this one in. I really wanted to get the first couple of chapters of 'Annie' in before I did. I hope this chapter is worth it though!! Tell me what you think! :) Anyone think Sirius wasn't being completely honest? Or do you think Madysen should feel more guilty or still be mad? Review and tell me! Love you allll