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How Will I Know? by Irish_Ginny
Chapter 31 : Chapter 31: To Let You Go
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Chapter 31: To Let You Go

Life at Hogwarts had taken a dramatic turn, and not for the best in any shape or form. The peaceful harmony that had developed over the months was now in total disarray and the general public of Hogwarts was at a loss as to why.

Even the people involved would find themselves hard pressed to pinpoint the exact moment when everything fell apart.

That didn’t stop some of them, and the gossip mongers of the castle, trying to figure it out.

It wasn’t just the general standings at Hogwarts that had turned on their heads; the state of the young witches and wizards at the heart of the mess had become so mixed up that, for anyone trying to decipher them, it was like taking a long, fast, never-ending Floo journey.

Lily Evans now found herself pining after the Marauder it appeared she’d never have, instead of stubbornly running in the other direction. It was now Gabriella doing the running, going from the sweet, peace-bringing, sees-the-best-in-everyone girl, to refusing to breathe the same air as any of the Marauders. And Amberle…well Amberle was still burying her head in the sand and point blank refused to confront her real feelings.

Things were just as messed up in the Marauder camp. James had turned cold and distant compared to the self-assured, arrogant attention-seeker of old. Remus remained quiet but was no longer the stable, level-headed member of the group, so caught up was he in his own heartbreak. Even Sirius had lost some of his natural exuberance, feeling for the first time in his life as though something wasn’t right. And Peter…well, Peter was just Peter; struggling meekly to return his friends to their former glory.

It seemed as though many of the tables had turned.

But Sirius wasn’t going down without a fight.

“Come on, guys. Let’s do something fun,” he asked for the tenth time that evening alone.

“Not now, Sirius,” Remus said flatly.

“But we haven’t done anything fun in ages,” he whined childishly. “You lot have turned so boring lately. Where’s your flare? What happened to your Marauder spirit?”

Remus and James, who were both sitting on the sofa in front of the Gryffindor common room fire, just shrugged noncommittally. They’d played this scene with Sirius too many times to count in the past few days. He was as restless as a new puppy.

Sirius sighed loudly and flounced dramatically on to one of the armchairs by the fireside. “You two are a disgrace to the Marauder name.”

James and Remus only shrugged again, indicating they really weren’t as bothered by this accusation as Sirius felt they should be. Both boys turned back to the homework they were working on, knowing the silence was only temporary.

Surely enough, barely thirty seconds had passed before Sirius, now hanging upside down over the edge of the chair after moving around four times, asked; “Where’s Peter?”

Remus looked up from his book and glanced around the common room. “I don’t know. He said he had to go meet someone. I thought he’d be back by now though, to be honest.”

Sirius tried so fast to right himself on the chair he ended up in a heap on the floor. “He what? You mean Wormtail has a more exciting life than me? That’s just pathetic!”

James just rolled his eyes, flicking casually through the Transfiguration book that was meant to be helping him with his essay for Professor McGonagall. “I doubt he’s doing anything worth getting worked up over, Padfoot. He’s probably just gone to see a teacher about some homework he never handed in or something.”

“But how do we know?” Sirius asked suspiciously, looking at James as though he’d just found a rather peculiar piece of evidence in a murder mystery. “He could be up to anything.”

“This is Peter, Padfoot. What sort of interesting thing is he going to get himself into alone?” Remus asked logically.

Sirius scowled at them. “Something more exciting than this anyway,” he muttered darkly, gesturing around the quiet common room. “Secret meetings all over the castle, sneaking out without telling anyone. Lucky git.”

“Look, Padfoot, if it means that much to you, why don’t you go find him?” James suggested tiredly.

Sirius sat up hopefully. “Will you come with me?”

“What, you need me to hold your hand, Pup?” James asked sarcastically. Holding up the book and essay in his lap, he said; “I’ve got work to do, Padfoot. Next time.”

Sirius stood up and shook his head, looking down at his two best friends in disgust. “Head Boy has turned you cold, Prongs. Turning down an adventure to study? It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.”

James flashed him a half smile, an extreme rarity these days. “Cool. So if you don’t know me, does that mean you’re going to shut up talking to me?”

“I was always taught to be nice to everyone. You should learn some manners yourself,” Sirius replied loftily. Both Remus and James scoffed. Looking dramatically affronted, Sirius turned on his heel and walked out the portrait hole.

“’Bout time,” Remus muttered, shaking his head in an amused way.

Seconds later, however, Sirius’ head reappeared out of the hole. “I just thought I’d let you two know I’m going. Without you.”

“Yeah, we kind of grasped that, you know when you…left,” Remus told him, trying to hold back a smile.

“Well, it’s your loss. I’m going to find me an adventure, get my blood pumping, maybe even get into some trouble,” Sirius said, trying once more to appeal to the mischief making side of his friends he knew still had to be there. At least, he really hoped it was, or he might just cry.

“Ok, have fun,” was all James replied, not even lifting his head from the page this time.

“It’ll be great. You’ll see, Prongs. You too, Moony; just you wait,” Sirius went on. “You’ll regret it I tell you.”

“How will we live with ourselves,” Remus stated with bored sarcasm.

Sirius sighed loudly again and withdrew his head from the portrait hole where his persuasion tactics had caused a build-up of traffic waiting to get inside, muttering; “So-called friends. Useless bloody bookworms is what they are.”

Remus shook his head as Sirius disappeared. At least he still seemed to be the same old Padfoot. Nothing ever fazed him; he went on no matter what the world threw at him. Remus envied him that hugely.

Remus glanced over at James beside him and knew he, like Remus himself, was paying no more attention to their homework than they were to anyone in the common room. The sources of their predicaments were nowhere in sight.

Of course, James’ problems were more than just girl related. He’d lost a lot more than a girlfriend since Christmas.

Abandoning the charade of studying, Remus closed his homework and leaned back against the sofa, noticing James had done the same.

“So, Prongs,” he started tentatively, not wanting to bring on the anger that his friend usually lashed out with lately when anyone approached him like this. “How are you holding up?”

James just shrugged his shoulders again, his favourite form of replying these days, and stared into the flickering flames of the fire.

“That isn’t really an answer, you know,” Remus pressed softly, afraid of activating James’ somewhat violent defence mechanism. Not that he really blamed him; he used it too.

“Well what do you want me to say exactly, Moony?” James quipped sharply.

“I don’t know. How you feel? I know-”

“What do you know about how I feel?” James spat, but guilt immediately flashed across his face as he saw the hurt in Remus’ expression. “I’m sorry, Moony. I didn’t mean that. It’s just…It’s…everything seems so…wrong. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know how I’m meant to handle this. One day everything is perfect; I’ve got a great family, and a girl-…and we’re happy. Next day I’ve got nothing; no family, no sister…”

“No Lily,” Remus added gently, noticing his friend’s refusal to acknowledge his former girlfriend as a source of his problem. Since the day James had broken up with her, Lily had never once been mentioned by any of the Marauders. This was new risky territory. Approach with caution.

James sat forward, his elbows resting on his knees and his face in his hands. He closed his eyes as though it was draining his last drop of energy just to keep them open. “No Lily,” he agreed in a whisper.

“Prongs, why-” Remus started, but James interrupted him, raising his head.

“Don’t, Remus. Just leave it.”

Normally Remus conceded when James said stop, not wanting to push him further than he was willing to go himself. But if he did that forever he’d never come to terms with anything.

“You’re going to have to face it sometime, Prongs. You’re going to have to face Lily. You can’t hide forever.”

James sighed, pulling a hand through his hair in the old habit he’d almost kicked in his time with Lily. “I know, Moony. I just…It’s just…Merlin, it hurts Moony, alright? It’s so hard. Everything just came apart…I…” James trailed off, holding his head in his hands again. The cracking in his voice suggested those brown eyes held more tears, not an uncommon occurrence these days.

“I know, James. I know how tough it is,” Remus said soothingly, not wanting to overstep his place and being James’ walls down again. But maybe he could open him up a just little. “But, Prongs, why…I mean, with Lily…why did you…” he said, searching for the right words that were eluding him.

But it was gone. As soon as he mentioned it Remus could almost hear the bang as the door shut in James’ eyes, closing off any emotion he was giving away in them.

“It doesn’t matter, Moony. It’s over, it’s done. Just drop it,” James said coldly, effectively ending the conversation.

But to someone it did matter. For one girl it wasn’t over. And that girl, along with her blonde haired friend, was making her way across the common room as James spoke.

Remus saw the red haired figure stop dead in the middle of the room, level with the sofa. He could see her chest rising sharply as he inhaled quickly.

There was no doubt about it; she’d heard. His heart went out to her as he saw quite clearly in her eyes as hers broke once more.

Remus’ gaze then turned to the figure beside Lily with a sharp stab of pain.


How had things gone so wrong, he wondered.

As he watched the beautiful blonde who occupied his every thought usher Lily out of the common room swiftly, he turned to James after a split second decision.

“I’ll be right back, Prongs,” he said, clapping him on the back, not sure if James heard or even cared what he said. He turned then and made his way out the portrait hole after the two girls.

He had to try again, once more. He’d tried to talk to her a few times around the castle or in the common room, but they’d never exactly gone well, but he couldn’t just let her walk away from him, he was adamant. He loved her. He knew she was upset but maybe, surely, she’d come around?

He had to take the risk.

“Gabriella?” he called as he caught sight of the two girls in the corridor. Merlin, they could move quickly when they wanted to, he thought distractedly. They didn’t stop at his call however, didn’t even slow down.

Remus picked up his pace and sped down the otherwise deserted corridor, shouting; “Gabby? Gabriella, wait!” to no avail. Eventually he broke into a full on run to overtake the girls and came to a halt in front of them, grabbing hold of Gabriella’s arm to stop her walking off.

His heart jumped into his mouth at looking into her face for the first time in so long.

“Gab, wait, please. I need to talk to you.”

Remus’ heart however stopped all together at the look in her eyes when Gabriella’s gaze finally met his own. She didn’t look upset or heartbroken as he did, or as Lily did. Instead she just stared at him with cold, emotionless eyes, except for a small measure of…disgust?

“I don’t want to talk to you, Lupin. In fact, I don’t want to be anywhere near you,” she spat, pulling on Lily’s arm in attempt to get away. But Remus wasn’t letting go, not yet.

“Please don’t do this, Gab – don’t be like this. I know I should have told you what…what I am sooner, but I was afraid. I didn’t want to lose you. I can’t bear not being with you now. Please, I’d never hurt you. You know that. You know me, Gabby, please.”

He reached out with his other arm to touch her but Gabriella jerked away from his touch with a sharp tug as though it burned her to be in contact with him.

“I never knew you, Remus. Everything I ever thought I knew was a lie. I don’t want anything to do with you, understand that. Just leave me alone.”

Remus stepped back as though he’d been physically slapped. He felt as though her cold eyes were driving shards of ice into him, feeling the pain of their thousand pointed tips.

“Don’t…Don’t say that, Gab. You don’t mean it. I…I love you,” he said desperately as she walked away from him. For a minute he thought she wasn’t going to stop at all.

But when she did, he wished she’d kept going. Because if she did, if she never turned to face him again, he never would have had to see the pure hatred in her icy, tear filled eyes, never have to hear the words that rang in his ears long after they’d been said and that cut him deeper than any blade could ever hope to achieve.

“I don’t want to be loved by you. You’re a monster! I’m not some piece of prey for you to stalk, Lupin. I want nothing to do with you. Leave me alone, for good!” she screamed with so much hatred and betrayal laced in her voice that Remus felt it like a physical blow.

He watched, heart shattering, as she turned and walked away from him, Lily at her side. He stood there for an immeasurable amount of time, hearing her words rocket around in his mind on a never-ending loop.

A monster. She’d called him a monster.

Completely numb, Remus turned and walked back the way he’d come, ending up in front of the Fat Lady without knowing or caring how his feet had navigated their way by themselves. He repeated the password automatically, totally unaware of anything around him, only hearing Gabriella’s voice replaying over and over again inside his head.

When he shuffled his way into the common room James looked up with a startled expression. He took in the ghostly pale complexion of his face, the wide blank stare of his eyes and slight shaking of his hands. He reached over and put a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder.

“I think the real question is; how are you holding up?” James asked quietly.

Remus just stared unseeingly at the dying flames in the fire. He shrugged.

There really were no words when it came to that answer.


“No fun anymore. Studying. Psh, what’s gotten in to them,” Sirius muttered to himself as he wandered aimlessly through the halls. The idea of tailing Peter had seemed far more appealing in the bleak atmosphere of the common room when he was trying to persuade his friends to do something, but out here it seemed as pointless as James and Remus had said.

But that didn’t mean he was going back. No chance. That would be admitting he was wrong, and Sirius Black was never wrong.

His feet carried him through the well familiar corridors of the castle that he wasn’t even paying attention to where he was going, nor did he care. He just wanted to burn off some of his restless energy that had been building up over the last few days. Sirius wasn’t used to sitting around doing nothing, which he’d been doing a lot of lately. All James and Remus did was sit there and think the day away, pining over the things they’d lost.

Sirius really didn’t like that whole thinking lark, so he tried to avoid it at all costs. Anytime he did try it out and sat quietly thinking it was usually Amberle’s face that came to his mind, accompanied by a strange feeling that Sirius couldn’t remember ever feeling before.

It was like…guilt. But no, he never felt guilty, especially just for breaking up with a girl. It wasn’t like he expected to keep Amberle around forever, the idea was absurd – what would happen to his freedom?

No, no he didn’t regret his decision to end things with Amberle. Of course he didn’t.

But Amberle’s face was swimming relentlessly before his eyes, the expression she’d shown when he’d called things off engrained forever in his mind. Sirius growled aloud and kicked out at the nearest statue…and then cursed fluently at the shooting pain that went through his foot.

“Damn Amberle. Damn stone statue. Damn boring friends,” Sirius huffed as he walked along.

This was ridiculous! Why was he feeling so confused? This had never happened him before. He’d never been even mildly upset breaking up with a girl in his life, not to mention wondering if he’d made the right choice.

Because that was what he’d been doing for the last few days when he’d told Amberle that he didn’t want to see her again.

Tell anyone that Sirius Black was having second thoughts, and you’ll regret it. Imagine what would happen to his reputation if it looked like he was going soft over some girl? He’d be ruined!

But it wasn’t just some girl. It was Amberle White. She wasn’t just a random apple off the tree he decided to try because it looked delicious…although she definitely was the most attractive the Hogwarts tree had to offer, he felt. But it wasn’t just looks he’d gone for, and that was shocking in itself. She was…she was different. She was interesting, and funny, and smart, and definitely wasn’t afraid to put him in his place or let loose with him.

She’d been perfect.

“So why did you make her go away, genius?”

Sirius sub-conscious voice had become a lot more vocal lately. It rarely ever spoke to him, except on the odd occurrence when it thought he was going a bit too far with a prank, and on those occasions he’d just laughed at how ridiculous it sounded.

But now it…well, it made sense. Sometimes. Damn sub-conscious voice. Why was everything turning upside down all of a sudden?

But Sirius couldn’t deny, even to himself as much as he hated it, that he couldn’t find a good solid reason for breaking up with Amberle. She was fun to be around, they got along well…hell he could even admit that he really liked her. So why had he been so sure that leaving her was the best option? He’d been convinced of it before he’d actually gone and done it. So where was the reason why he felt so empty now, like he’d lost his broomstick?

“Because you were afraid. Commitment spooks you.”

Ok, Sirius was really starting to get pissed off with that voice in his head. Where did it come from anyway? He thought only weirdoes heard little voices in their heads. What the hell was going on.

This time however, he was adamant the voice was wrong in any case. He wasn’t afraid. nothing spooked him, especially not something as wishy-washy as commitment, as the voice put it. He was more than capable of committing to things if he wanted to. He committed to his Quidditch team, didn’t he? And his friends? And…well…there was…eh…

“Nothing. Face it, you can’t commit to anything that isn’t straight forward without any strings attached. You’re terrified of what would happen if you got anywhere close enough to a girl for her to expect some sort of promise out of you.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Sirius grumbled aloud. But the voice was hitting a nerve he didn’t want to admit was there. As much as he hated to admit it, he couldn’t find any way to prove the voice wrong. The only things he never backed out on where his friends and Quidditch. When it came to girls, he couldn’t provide a decent excuse for breaking up with every single girl that would be valid. They were always small, insignificant things if he bothered to look for one; she was too short, she didn’t support the same Quidditch team he did, she didn’t like potatoes. Even to himself it sounded pathetic.

“Bet you can’t find a reason for Amberle.”

Sirius really really hated that smug tone.

“Alright, you’re right. Happy? I was wrong. Are you satisfied now?” he grumbled aloud. There was no answer. Damn voice, he thought. It was trying to drive him crazy.

“Who’s there?” a voice at the opposite end of the corridor demanded. Sirius whirled around to face the unexpected intruder on his quiet reflection time and was nearly blinded by an intensely bright light illuminating the evening darkness.

“Hey, watch the light would you?” he said.

“Oh, it’s you.” The mysterious voice definitely didn’t sound happy to see him in any case but the wand was lowered and as Sirius blinked stars out of his eyes he could see the person standing in front of him coming into focus. It was a girl, kind of tall, long dark hair by the looks of it…add that to the less-than-thrilled voice and even he didn’t find it hard to come up with the match.

It was Amberle.

He blamed the damn voice for this too-much-of-a-coincidence.

“Amberle, hey, nice to see you,” he said, trying to rub the bright spots out of his eyes. Merlin, was it really necessary to shine the wand directly into his eyes? Did she want to do permanent damage to his sight? “How are you doing? You look beautiful this evening.”

He was hoping his casual, charming approach would soften her up a bit, especially considering how things had ended the last time they’d come in contact with one another. But he wasn’t lying; she really did look beautiful, she always did. He loved her eyes the most, how they always seemed to sparkle and light up, even when they looked hard and determined…kind of like now.

“Haha, you said you loved them! Haha, victory! Sirius Black actually cares about something that isn’t him and you, being the idiot you are, threw it away. How does that feel?” Apparently the voice wasn’t as gone as Sirius had believed.

“Don’t bother, Sirius,” Amberle said blandly. “You shouldn’t be out this late. If Lily catches you you’ll be in a lot of trouble.”

Sirius couldn’t hold back the smirk that wanted to spread across his face. He knew she couldn’t be as calm and relaxed around him as she appeared. “Wow, Amby, I knew you still cared.”

“I do, but not about you, Black. Lily’s temper is on the edge these days and I’d really rather she didn’t run into you and blow up again. I don’t want to have to deal with,” she told him blandly.

Sirius wasn’t sure what to do. She didn’t sound like she was pretending and just putting on a brave face for his sake. But there was no way…she couldn’t really be over him already, could she? No, no that couldn’t be. It wasn’t fair for the world to work like that. He’d finally realised what a complete and total idiot he’d been, it had hit him like a few dozen Bludgers as he looked into her hazel eyes. He’d cared about her, really cared, possibly even loved her, and that had scared him to death, so much so that he refused to even acknowledge the fear. It wasn’t Amberle he wanted to be rid of when he broke up with her, but the feelings that she inspired in him. He wasn’t used to them, and he definitely wasn’t liking this painful tug in his heart he experienced as he looked at her now, standing in front of him as strong and beautiful as she’d ever been.

“And you gave that away, you wuss. Come on, you could handle sticking with her for another while. It’s not like you’re asking her to marry you, just to…well, just be with you. Suck it up, tell her you were wrong and you want her back. She’ll understand.” It wasn’t the sub-conscious voice giving Sirius the pep-talk this time, but just Sirius trying to talk himself into doing a complete one-eighty on everything he’d done before. Even the thought of going crawling back to something he’d walked away from by choice was enough to turn the stomach of the old Sirius. And the idea of actually being in a real relationship, something he’d never called his time with a girl before, was plenty to make him want to go running for the hills again.

But the guilt and regret he felt quite strongly as he looked at Amberle quenched either feeling. He didn’t like this sensation of missing something, the feeling that he’d lost something very valuable to him. Sirius Black wasn’t used to being vulnerable and unstable, and he needed to be put back on track. Now.

“Yeah, I don’t want mad Lily on my case. But, before I go, Amb, I wanted to talk to you,” Sirius said, breathing deeply to calm his pounding heart. He’d never been this nervous in his life, and he’d been playing Quidditch and facing the Headmaster for years. How could girls have so much power? Merlin obviously wasn’t playing fairly when he dealt out that one.

“Whatever it is, Sirius, save your breath. I’m pretty sure I don’t care,” Amberle said with assured confidence boarding on annoyance. It was the way she used to talk to him before they’d ever dated.

“Well, I’m pretty sure you do,” he retorted. “Listen, I was…well I was…wrong, I guess. I- ”

Amberle let out a bark of laughter that interrupted him, throwing her head back in glee. “Wait, hold on, did Sirius Black just admit he was wrong? Oh, Merlin, I wish I had Lily’s camera to record this. I hate to break it to you but you usually are wrong, Sirius, it’s just nice to hear you admit it. But what about in particular this time?”

Sirius ground his teeth together. She was laughing at him when he was trying to apologise. She was another one who could do with learning some manners. “About, you know, the other week when I…when we…Well, I’m sorry about that, and I was wrong. It was really stupid, and I want to take it back, so wil-” But before he could finish, Amberle cut across it.

“Save it, Sirius. I don’t need you apologies, and I definitely don’t want your excuses, ok? I don’t know why you’re even doing this, but I can assure you, if it’s because you feel guilty or whatever which I really doubt, don’t waste your breath. I’m sitting pining over you, I’m not heartbroken. I was expecting you to do it, ok? So you don’t need to give me this tragic apology to make me feel better, really.”

“But that’s not why I’m doing this,” Sirius argued. “I mean, yeah I’m apologising and I do feel guilty, but that’s not all. I guess I realised what I did was really stupid and crazy, but I want to make it right now.”

“Meaning what?” Amberle asked suspicious, seeming weary as though he had gone nuts.

“Meaning I still want to be with you for crying out loud!” he burst, losing his patience trying to eloquent about it. “I want to take it back, I don’t want to be broken up, I want to be with you. I realise that now and...well...yeah, that’s it.”

Amberle stood looking at him for a long time (it felt like forever for Sirius who wanted to scream at her to say something) with one eyebrow raised and a calm expression on her face, through her eyes sparked a little more than usual. Sirius waited, wanting to cross his fingers but felt like that might be taking it a bit too far. How could she resist that, he thought he’d done a pretty good job himself for someone who had absolutely no experience in these matters at all. The fact he was doing it at all should earn him a truck load of brownie points.

But Amberle didn’t look ecstatically happy, and she most certainly wasn’t throwing his arms around him and kissing him like he’d imagined. She was just standing there, staring at him like he’d said something interesting but not life-altering (which was how he felt it should be considered).

“Maybe you should have realised that a little sooner, Sirius,” she said at long last, her voice low but not like she was pained or even upset.

“What do you mean?” Sirius asked, passing the hoarse tone of his voice off as a side effect of the confusion he was feeling.

“I mean, you should have thought about those things before you decided to break up with me. You can’t just change your mind and decide you actually want something different all of a sudden. I don’t operate like that, Sirius. You said you wanted us to be over, so we are. And I’ve moved on. Like I said, it’s not like it came as a shocker. It’s what you do, you never hold on to anyone and I hardly expected to be different. And you know as well I do that that’s never going to change no matter what you say. It was fun, but it’s over now, Black. You made sure of that pretty securely. So just let it go there; I don’t have the time or energy to deal with your games and mood swings.”

Sirius watched, gob-smacked, as she turned around and walked away from him. She’d said no. She’d actually turned him down. She’d turned him down before, but he’d never taken that seriously, he knew she’d always come around. But this didn’t feel like those times when she refused to go out with him. This felt like...rejection. Real, cold, hard rejection.

Sirius did not take rejection well, and he definitely wasn’t going to walk away from it without a fight.

“This isn’t a game, Amberle! I’m serious and I’ll prove it to you. This isn’t over!” he called down the hall after her and felt another twinge in his heart when she didn’t even falter to show she cared about what he said.

He could do this, Sirius told himself as he made his way back to the Gryffindor common room. It wasn’t over, despite what she said. He’d show her, he’d let her see he meant it and that he really did care about her. Now that he’d faced it, his feelings were all-consuming. It was all he could focus on as he navigated his way to the Fat Lady’s portrait and climbed through the hole that was revealed behind it.

He wasn’t going to give up that easy. Sirius Black never gave in when he set his mind to something. And right now his mind was set to Amberle.

“So did you find him?”

Sirius turned distractedly to the source of the question and saw Remus and James right where he left them, looking at him with curiosity.

“Find who?” he asked, relaxing back into the seat he’d vacated a while ago.

“Peter. Remember? You were going to look for him?” Remus said, looking a little worried over Sirius’ distracted look.

“What did you get up to?” James asked curiously. “What’s going on, Padfoot?”

But Sirius only shrugged and looked into the depths of the fire like it held all the answers he needed, a pattern that was becoming worryingly popular with the preoccupied Marauder boys.

“Nothing,” he said. “Yet.”


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