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The Art of Breathing. by AC_rules
Chapter 33 : Closure.
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 56


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A/N - Hello hello helloo! Thank you SO much for all your reviews last chapter! I'm reading them all I swear and I'll answer them when exams are over! I'm am so greatful for all of them, honeslty, fifty something, that's loads! I remember when I thought having three reviews on a chapter was loads.... crazy stuff guys. Also, this chapter hasn't been beta'd because my beta's had it for three weeks now, and hasn't looked over it. I'll forgive him because he's brilliant but I wanted to put this chapter up so I am doing. It will be beta'd soon though. This is an exciting chapter so I'll leave you to read now, but please review! 

13/06/10 - Beta'd :)

I closed my eyes and tried to ignore how much the light was making my head ache. Tears were still rolling down my cheeks, stupidly, and my whole face was burning with heat and the pain from my head. I wanted to moan with the pain of it, but I kept my lips tightly shut.

Then I thought about it a little more, massaging my head as I did so. There was no one here so why should I keep it in? It was the middle of the night and there was no one here to listen to my sobbing and pathetic moaning, so why didn’t I let it out? It seemed daft to hold it all in when there was nothing or no one here to stop me from doing so – I’d kept myself together all day, surely  I should be allowed to let it all out now that I was alone?

I let a tiny groan escape from my lips, and pressed my fingers to my head harder in a strange attempt to cool it down. It felt like someone was pounding my head with a baseball bat and that any second it was going to split open, and all the blood and stuff would burst out. I muttered a stream of swear words as I moved myself again so that I was lying completely on the sofa. Then I turned the pillow over and rested my head on the cooler side.

It didn’t make a difference. No matter what I did I still felt awful, and I was probably going to throw up in a minute, so none of it mattered in the end. I kept my eyes shut tightly and wondered how I could still be crying with them welded together like they were. I gave it all up – none of it was going to help – and just lay there mulling things over.

I wasn’t the first person in the world to suffer from a bad break up, but with my imminent death everything felt raw and painful. Plus, Sirius and me had been so tangled up in each other from the beginning, and he was the only one I’d ever actually felt like myself with. 

The other thing was that this time it was my fault. It was my fault that I hadn’t told him that I was dying, and thus panicking when I realised we were a lot serious than I thought – when we’d had sex. God. It sounded pathetic even in my head that I should have panicked so much. Of course he’d been beating himself up about it and wouldn’t have known what the hell he’d done wrong, and I’d gone ahead with my stupid little plan of driving him away.

I hadn’t expected it to hurt so much when it worked.

I doubted he’d actually cheated on me – but I wouldn’t blame him if he and Lily had ganged up on me, to get back at me whatever. I’d been a bitch. A class-A bitch and there wasn’t much I could do about this whole stupid thing now. I’d screwed everything good and proper.

It wasn’t even like I could tell anyone I was dying now – they all hated me.

I let out another incomprehensible noise of discontent, and then I was sobbing again. There were no more tears, but my body was shaking and I didn’t feel right. I just wanted to curl up in a little ball and be allowed to die right this second, because I’d ruined it all again. I should have just bloody told him and Lily instead of acting like such a bitch.

Three cold fingers were suddenly pressed against my head and I stopped moving completely. The fingers were in exactly the right place to stop the worst of my headache and the relief flooded through me. Not only because of the release from the pain, but because I knew exactly who this person was, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Hey Sirius,” I said, with my eyes still shut, but I instantly felt better knowing that he was here, and that it wasn’t some other randomer that’d walked in on me when I was sobbing my heart out.

“Don’t move,” he said softly, as I was about to move my legs off the sofa to make room for him. “It’ll make your head worse,” he added. Then he moved his fingers slightly on my head and eliminated pretty much all the rest of the pain.

“You’re fingers are gloriously cold,” I told him, closing my eyes again for a second.           

“That could be so dirty.”

I smiled slightly at his words and opened my eyes to look at him again. He was looking at me cautiously and I didn’t know how to react. Instead I just kept looking right up into his grey eyes and lying there on the sofa. After a few seconds his hand dropped from where his fingers were resting on my head and instead he just let them fall to his side – as if he’d just remembered our massive argument and the fact that we weren’t dating anymore.

“Sit down,” I said after a few awkward seconds. I sat up before he could protest and he sat down next to me, still watching my face carefully.

“You’re crying,” Sirius said, after another few moments of silence.

“Don’t I always?” I answered in return – there was nothing to be gained in denying it. There was probably mascara all over my face and tears still in the process of falling down. I didn’t particularly care anymore.

“May I ask why?” Sirius added, and I realised how awkward it was for us to be sitting like this. Next to each other, but not touching; for however long, whenever we’d sat there’d been at least some part of our bodies touching.

“Take a guess.”

“I thought you didn’t care, you acted like you didn’t. All I wanted was for you to react, and act like you actually gave a shit.”

“And you thought making up some crappy story about how you cheated on me was the way to do that?” I asked suddenly, my voice coming out heated and angry.

“I knew you wouldn’t believe it,” Sirius sighed.

“James’s idea?” I asked, and Sirius nodded.

“He said that you definitely would because that type of thing happens all the time – the boyfriend and the best friend. Then if you cared you’d go psycho and wouldn’t be thinking straight anyway to work out that it wouldn’t make any sense. It all went a bit tits up really,” Sirius finished sadly, and I nodded in agreement. “Can I kiss you?” Sirius asked after another few moments of silence and I looked up at him in surprise. “Sorry, that was a really lame thing to say.”

“Little bit,” I conceded. “Although I don’t know why you asked, you never normally ask for permission.”

“Normally, I don’t have to. But well, I’ve been more than a little bit of a jerk today, and I’m not even sorry.”

“I don’t expect you to be,” I answered truthfully. I’d ignored him and been a bitch, and he’d reacted accordingly, even if it probably hadn’t been the best idea. Plus, I was sure Sirius was still annoyed at me for not reacting properly earlier – and just accepting it like I didn’t care at all.

“At least we’ve come to an understanding,” Sirius said after another few moments.

“Yeah, let’s not end on bad terms,” I continued, and he nodded as if this conversation really made any sense. A minute a go he’d asked to kiss me, now we were talking about the whole thing being over again.

“We can be friends.”

“Yeah,” I said, although I wasn’t all together convinced.

“We just need some proper closure,” Sirius continued, and I looked at him in confusion for a second. I hadn’t a clue what was going through his head, and I’m not sure I really wanted to know either. “I mean...” Sirius began, looking at me again. “If...” he began, really staring at me this time.

Then he leant forwards and kissed me softly.

“Closure?” I questioned, as Sirius stayed exactly where he was from when he’d broken our lips apart.

“Closure,” Sirius repeated, leaning forward more and kissing me properly this time. I reacted a split second after, as I realised what was happening, and kissed him back with all that I had. If this was the last time I was ever going to kiss him, I was going to make him remember it. I felt the familiar electricity pulsing through me and grabbed hold of the t-shirt he was wearing and pulled him closer to me with the fabric. Sirius had also picked up on the last-kiss-vibe and was kissing me accordingly.

I broke away after a few moments to allow myself to breathe, and found that I really couldn’t for a second or two. Sirius was now completely pinning me down on the sofa and I didn’t much care – what did any of it matter anyway.

“I think,” I said quietly, biting my lip as he looked at me expectantly, “that I like closure.”

Sirius ran his lips down the edge of my neck, like he always did, only this time he continued going further down than he had before. I suddenly realised that I was only wearing my sleeping gear – a stupidly thin nighty.  I pulled his lips back to mine whilst pulling him closer, so that our bodies were completely touching. We were sitting up again – somehow – and I had my legs wrapped around him tightly. Then I realised something mindboggling and stupid. Despite our close proximity, I wanted to be so much closer.

My hands, which had been in his hair, were suddenly underneath his shirt and pulling it off over his head. Sirius stopped and looked at me for a second, before continuing kissing me like his life depended on it.

Suddenly there was a loud crack like something apparating and we both stopped suddenly, and sat up straight.

“House elf probably,” Sirius muttered quietly.

“Eurgh,” I said in response. An elf had probably seen most of that and we’d most probably scarred them for life. “Well we can’t carry on here,” I added as an afterthought.

“We’re carrying on?” Sirius questioned, and I glared at him for a second. “We can’t go to my dorm – the others are awake. I said I was going to the kitchens, I was going to go to the kitchens,” he corrected himself.

“The others will be asleep,” I said thoughtfully.

“But that means I have to transfigure,” Sirius complained, eyeing the girl’s staircase with annoyance.

“Tough. I’m not sleeping with you where anyone could walk in.”

“You’re sleeping with me?” Sirius asked, smirking. I flushed red – wondering why I’d said that of all things.

“Not if you keep acting like such a prat. Good dog,” I smirked as his expression changed slightly. Then he leaned forward and kissed me again in a way that knocked the smirk right off my face. He was planting kisses down my neck again when I realised how awful this whole thing was. We should definitely not being doing this. Especially after I’d been beating myself up about not telling him before.

I had to tell him, and I had to before this whole thing went any further.

“Sirius,” I mumbled, trying to keep my voice steady (for more than one reason...), “I need to tell you something,” I said finally. Tension was building up in all my muscles and I felt the nerves filling me up again. My headache came back instantly and I felt nauseous again. I couldn’t do it – but I had to. He hadn’t really noticed my sudden change in expression or lack of response to him.

“It’s important,” I told him, pushing him away from me slightly. The words were beginning to form on my lips – I’m going to die. I’m dying. Two months to live. I was trying to work out which one was best, and I was definitely shaking now. “I really need to tell you,” I said again, and expected Sirius’s eyes to be full of concern and curiosity when he looked up at me, but they weren’t.

“Later,” Sirius said, shaking all of my tension and worry aside as if it were nothing. “Right now – whatever it is – I don’t care.” 

I realised that I should have pushed him away from me and forced myself to explain before I lost the nerve completely. I knew that I should end this madness and just tell him flat out now, before he could do anything to stop me from telling him. But I’m weak, and was all too happy to let him kiss me again instead. The fact was, if this was the last time, I didn’t want to ruin it with the thing that had ruined my whole life – beginning to end. So I shut up and just let everything happen.

Later. I’d tell him later.

******

“Sirius,” I muttered, nudging him awake with my elbow. This time it didn’t seem half as weird that we were lying here, in the bed I’d had since first year (okay that bit was a little weird), stark naked. “Sirius,” I said again more urgently, elbowing him hard to make him wake up. “I really need to talk to you – right now.”

I’d spent the last hour building up the courage to just open my mouth and say it, and now I had it sorted in my head what I was going to say I wanted to get it over with quickly, before anything else happened.

“Didn’t know you were one for pillow talk,” Sirius muttered sleepily, opening an eye and looking at me.

“Well, this is important. A matter of life and death,” I said, inwardly amused by my pun. I’m sure Sirius wouldn’t find it as funny once I told him what was going on.

Sirius turned over and instead of listening to me talk, took it upon himself to kiss me and wrap his arms around me. The normal wrapping his arms around me move was slightly changed by the fact that I was naked. I was distracted for a minute by looking at quite how much skin was exposed.

“Sirius,” I complained, giving him a stern look. “This is really -”

I was cut off by him kissing me again and pushing me into the pillows in a way that was hard to ignore. It was strange to be lying here wrapped in my blankets with Sirius – surreal and almost unreal. It didn’t feel like me.

“I thought this was supposed to be closure,” I said, as Sirius’ hand moved up my leg. My resolve was slowly slipping and the longer I left this the worst it would be when I told him.

“You really want this to stop? Just relax,” he said, kissing my neck, forehead, lips...

“Sirius,” I snapped. “Do you want to know why I’ve been acting like such a god damn bitch?”

He was interested now and sat up to look at me. I sat up too, pulling the sheets up to cover my naked chest (considering I wanted him to actually listen to me here).

“Well, for some reason you were trying to push me away,” Sirius said, and it sounded very much like something Lily would say and I wondered if they’d been talking about. They probably had. “What I want to know is why you’ve been pushing me away.”

“It’s complicated,” I said, my voice coming out in a sort of strangled whisper. “It’s...” I took a deep breath and tried to remember the conversation I’d had in my head.  “It’s...” I said again, feeling the familiar wave of nausea and knowing there was nothing I could do about it now. If I ran to the toilet to chuck up everyone in the dorm would wake up and know I was naked and they’d probably notice Sirius. So, no throwing up. I swallowed and bit my lip.

“You know I told you about my blood condition?” I asked, and Sirius nodded slowly, obviously realising that whatever it was I was about to divulge was serious and taking a lot of effort for me to say. “Well all of that was a pile of shit. I made it up.”

Sirius took this in for a minute and I was about to open my mouth and say the name of the disease but....

“Mary!” Lily’s voice yelled, and I froze, staring at my bedcovers. “Everyone else has left so it’s only me, you, and anyone else currently in your bed up here,” she said, and Sirius looked at me and raised his eyebrows. “However, that’s about to change for several reasons. One, I am about to go down and have breakfast, which leaves you and anyone else who might currently in your bed. Then, I’m afraid, Professor Quigley is going to come up here because she’s getting married today and you’re her bridesmaid. She will probably be expecting you to be up and slightly more ready because you leave in twenty five minutes. I also doubt she will be expecting anyone else to be in the bed with you. If I were you and I’d snuck someone up here in the middle of the night – which I completely disapprove of – I would try and hide that someone as quickly as possible and put your dress on as soon as my nosy best friend had left the room. Round about... now,” she said, and the door shut.

I swore loudly, and Sirius looked as if he was trying hard not to laugh.

“Get under the bed you idiot!” I exclaimed, and he obliged, still trying hard not to laugh. “I’ll chuck you your clothes if you promise not to make any noise or anything!”

“Such a romantic request,” Sirius said cheerfully, as I threw his clothes at him and searched around frantically for some underwear. Eventually I found some at the bottom of my trunk and I heard Sirius comment ‘nice pants’ from under the bed, which I ignored. I grabbed my dress from where it was hanging in the tiny wardrobe we all shared and stepped into it. It was a dark blue colour and I suppose it was quite pretty, but I just didn’t feel much like me in it. I stopped to look at myself in the mirror for a second before fully registering the state of my face and hair. Oh shit.

I ran into the bathroom and attacked my face with a flannel to get rid of all the mascara I had all over my face from crying yesterday. Then I grabbed a hair brush, ran back out to meet the mirror and tugged it through. My hair was big – for which I completely blame Sirius – and I was finding it impossible to brush properly.

“You are a jerk you know,” I said, hoping Sirius knew that was directed at him rather than my hair. I could practically hear him smirking and tugged harder with the hairbrush.

“Who are you talking to?” Kate Quigley asked from the doorway, looking confused.

“The mirror,” I answered calmly, as I continued pulling the brush through my hair.

“And it answers?” she questioned.

“Sometimes. It is a magical mirror.”

“Oh, of course, right. You look as if you might need a hand with that?” she suggested, looking at the tangle of knots on my head that was slowly getting frizzier.

“Oh yes please. I was tossing and turning all night.”

Sirius was so smirking right now – I could practically smell it on him. “And I’ve spent the last half an hour trying to get it resembling something normal but it’s hard without magic.”

“Sit,” she instructed, waving her wand and conjuring a chair. “It’ll only take a second, but it’s easier if you sit.” 

I sat. She mumbled something and waved her wand over my head and suddenly my hair was falling in perfect ringlets around my face. “See, much better.”

She had a point.

“Thanks.”

“Look Mary, I really wanted to talk to you. Nate’s been worried sick. I’ll do your make-up too,” she suggested, turning the chair around so I was facing her.

Considering we were leaving in twenty five minutes (according to Lily who’s always right) she looked very un-ready. Her hair and make-up were done but she was wearing a silk dressing gown and pyjamas rather than her dress. She didn’t wait for me to answer and instead made her make-up box appear out of thin air and started attacking my face. Somewhere in my gut I realised that I should have said ‘no thank you’ the minute she mentioned talking. I was very aware that Sirius could hear – and maybe see – everything.

I silently prayed that the invisibility cloak had appeared out of nowhere and he’d taken his queue to leave silently...

“Everyone has been. Lily came to ask him what was wrong with you because you’ve been acting so strange. He had McGonagall knocking on the door and asking how long you had left, and then Dumbledore himself came to talk to Nate about the whole thing, and even he’s been getting worried. Are you okay?  He barely sees you anymore?”

“Well maybe I’ve got better things to be doing?” I answered, even though she was currently rubbing foundation into my face. I was tensing up and my heart was beating a million times a minute and my breath caught in my throat.

He couldn’t find out like this. He couldn’t. If he was going to find out I had to tell him in the best way and divulge all the information he wanted to know. He couldn’t find out that everyone in the world was blackmailing me and he certainly couldn’t find out that his girlfriend was dying from overhearing a conversation.

He was going to kill me.

“What, like making your friends hate you? McGonagall told me what she said and what she overheard you talking about with Marlene McKinnon.”

Oh god. Sirius can hear all of this – please don’t say anything important. Please God. Please. Please. Please.

“And I think she’s right.”

“Who’s right?!” I asked, my voice panicking slightly. My head was spinning and I just wanted to scream ‘STOP!’ and tell her that Sirius was hidden under my bed, possibly naked, but I couldn’t bring myself to open my mouth. What would it do? Yes, Nate and Kate would then know about my sex life as well as McGonagall (and probably Dumbledore), but Sirius wouldn’t overhear.

Then McGonagall would say ‘time up Mary’ and shove us into her office and tell everyone whilst I was throwing up into her biscuit tin.

Nate would flip if he found out I’d slept with Sirius, he actually would, and Kate Quigley was the type of person who’d make him come back here and force me to explain myself to him. Thus ruining their whole wedding day.

“I think McGonagall’s theory about what the hell you’re doing is exactly right. You’re pushing them all away so you don’t have to tell them because you’re scared.”

I didn’t say anything in return because my mouth had gone dry and I knew it was too late. There was nothing I could do. I’d spent too long thinking over my options to put any plan into action and my heart stopped with the next line.

“Mary, you have two months to live!” she exclaimed, and I started swearing internally. This is not exactly how I had imagined him finding out. My chest constricted and I gripped the chair to hold myself up and stop me from fainting. Sirius was right there. Less than a few meters away and there was no way he hadn’t heard that.

Even if he had the cloak he would have stayed to listen, of course he would. He was a bloody Marauder!

“Hm!” I squeaked, and she mistook the noise as fear rather than panic. I tried very hard not to hyperventilate and start crying but all that I could think was shit.

A stream of swear words ran through my brain over and over again as I sat there, staring at Kate as she attacked my face. Shitting buggering fucking crapBuggering shitting crapping fuck.

“I think you need to accept it now Mary. You’ve known this was coming since you were nine years old.” 

I prayed that Sirius had fallen asleep under the bed and that he couldn’t hear anything, but I was running out of escape routes.

And, if you don’t mind me saying you’re being awfully hypocritical.”

I do mind. I mind you saying that a lot because SIRIUS CAN BLOODY HEAR IT YOU STUPID WOMAN.

“Remember how mad you were when you found out that your mum was dying and no one had told you? How you refused to talk to her.”

“Please,” I begged her, willing her to stop talking and leave, preferably taking me with her so that I didn’t have to deal with Sirius’ new state of enlightenment. My chest had tightened up and I felt so strange that none of it felt real. It wouldn’t happen like this. It couldn’t. It just couldn’t be happening.

“I’m sorry – but you see what I’m saying – you don’t need to let history repeat itself here and you need to tell them before it’s too late. Marlene’s right. You have to tell them soon.”

Oh god. He was going to be fuming now, knowing that she knew before him. Why am I thinking about that? I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. My head was spinning and I wanted more than anything to have a pause button or a rewind or something.

I should have told him this morning, I should have told him last night, I should have told them when I found out or something.

He just really shouldn’t have found out about this now.

“Even if I don’t agree with her blackmailing you, she was still right to make you tell them. How hard can it be, you told her?”

“She already knew,” I snapped, hoping that the statement would make Sirius a little less mad at me. I was surprised I still had the ability to talk because the panic was filling me up thick and fast and I had no idea what I was going to do.

“You still told her.”

“It was an accident!” I protested, and my chest was moving up and down heavily as I tried to stay in control of myself and stop myself from screaming or crying or doing anything out of the ordinary. She probably had no idea why I was panicking so much and thought I’d finally lost it and gone crazy. “I don’t even like Marlene – she’s a twisted bitch who -”

“Mary. Be reasonable,” Kate said, making me want to hit her. “Her Dad’s dead, her mother’s insane, her brother’s mad, they’re both dying, her boyfriend is a death eater and-”

“She’ll be cured,” I finished, folding my arms to stop my heaving chest being so obvious and to steady myself a little more. I felt like I was going to faint. “And she refused to help the cure.”

She sighed and looked at me with so much pity that I could barely hold my ground and stay standing up. She was giving up on trying talking to me, and any second now she was going to leave me alone with Sirius and I couldn’t deal with it. I couldn’t.

 “Be at the hospital wing in ten minutes with Sirius – that’s when we’re leaving.”

“Sirius is coming?” I asked, startled despite myself. My voice was breathy and she looked at me in surprise at how weak I sounded.

“Yes, he’s your date. Nate invited him for you. You should tell him, before someone else does,” she said simply, before leaving the dormitory looking defeated.

You should tell him, before someone else does.

I wish I could find the irony in her words funny, but it was too hard. My chest was constricting and I couldn’t breathe. I made for the toilet, but one of my legs gave away and my whole body jerked downwards and hit the floor. I was shaking as I pulled myself up – half hyperventilating, half crying as my breath came out and short sharp bursts.

Somehow I made it to the toilet just as I threw up into the basin and felt the remaining energy I had in my body diminish. I forced myself to stand up again and leant against the wall, breathing heavily.

How had this happened? I’d let it happen.

Then Sirius was standing in the doorway and a fresh wave of sobbing took over and I had to grip the bathroom counter to stop myself from collapsing.

“Mary,” Sirius said, but his voice was strained and I couldn’t tell what he was thinking and I didn’t want to know. I was terrified of what he might say and do. The moment I’d been dreading for so many years had jumped up at me and taken me by surprise. I couldn’t face him. I just couldn’t.

“You need to go get changed,” I said, my voice sounding panicked and afraid. Memories of other, better, moments he could have found out were flashing through my mind and I felt like I’d been hit by a thousand memories all at once. My knees sunk downwards again and I just about managed to keep myself up.

“Mary,” Sirius said again, stepping forwards cautiously.

“You need to get changed, right now. I need to finish my make up off and... and... find my shoes.”

I pushed myself off the counter and walked past him, unable to look him in the eye. “Where are my shoes? Where are the god damn shoes?!” I yelled, any trace of calmness completely gone. “I need my shoes, where are they!?”

“Mary,” Sirius said for the third time, and this time I looked at him properly. My breath caught in my throat and I needed to throw up again so badly it was unreal. “I -”

If he was going to say he was sorry then so help him. My body was shaking violently and I didn’t know how I was supposed to hold it together the whole day knowing that Sirius knew.

He knew.

My deepest darkest secret was out.

“You need to go and get changed!” I yelled. “Right now! GO!”

I turned away and pulled on the shoes and when I turned around he’d heeded my advice and he’d gone.

*******************

The next few hours were hell – complete and utter hell.

 Kate looked beautiful. She fixed my makeup and insisted that I took a calming draft because I could barely walk due to excessive panic. She forgot about my so called ‘condition’ and gave me a dose suitable for a normal person. We caught the portkey to her mum’s house where she was finishing getting ready and the calming solution took effect and due to the overdose meant I was ‘overly calm’ and I passed out.

I would have rather have stayed passed out but one of her friends was a healer (which was apparently how Kate and Nate had met as I was told several times) and insisted that I had to be revived or I might go into a coma so I was instead given a hyperactivity solution to counter out the effects, and this heightened my sense of panic and led to me throwing up multiple times and seriously considering pulling all my hair out.

I begged Kate’s-healer-friend to give me a right dosage of calming draft but she refused saying that the fact I’d been given any was already really dangerous and there was no way I was having any more potions. She said all this out of earshot from Kate and then requested that I didn’t divulge that information because it might ‘upset the baby’, and then further requested me not to tell Nate because that might ‘upset the other baby’. I pretended to find her joke funny then ran to the toilet to throw up again. Kate joined me throwing up ten minutes later; apparently morning sickness is a bitch.

Then once we’d all finished throwing up and crying (me and some of Kate’s friends, although for entirely different reasons) the cars arrived and everyone yelled in a very high pitched way. That was the beginning of my headache.

I only tripped up minorly on the walk down the aisle (when I realised that this was the very last time I’d ever walk down an aisle), and I managed as best as I could not to cry or shake for the hour. Kate lost her nickname of Quiggles and became ‘Kate Peacock’, which quite frankly made me feel even sicker. Then we all left the church (me trying not to look at the graveyard that stretched out at the back) and drove off to a village hall for the reception.

It was at the reception where my family seemed to appear from nowhere and hugged me tightly (which made me cry a little bit, which worried them all quite a lot). Then I realised that for the meal I was sat, not at the top table like all the other bridesmaids, but with my family and Sirius. Fantastic.

“Why do they always have melon starters at weddings?” Johnny asked as he stabbed his melon moodily with his fork. “It’s tasteless.”

“Not as tasteless as her dress – bloody hell,” Becky stated, looking at a woman wearing a backless, low, short dress and killer heels. “It’s a wedding, not somewhere to advertise prostitutes.”

At least Becky was in a good mood. I figured that probably had something to do with the other addition to our table – Becky’s brand new boyfriend. He was large, had weird facial hair, was called Steve and wasn’t half as attractive as Sirius, but each to their own.

The only other two occupants of the table were two teenage girls who appeared to be related to Nate (as their surname was Peacock) and seemed to be arguing over which of them Sirius fancied and trying to flirt with him shamelessly, which made the whole situation even more awkward.

One of the girls – Blondie –seemed offended by this comment and glared at my sister.

“That is Nathaniel’s sister,” she said sharply, and now that I looked more carefully I could see the resemblance.

“And my mother,” the brunette added, and Becky raised her eyebrows and turned around.

“I really don’t like this melon,” Johnny complained, and Dad told him off for being so annoying.

I reached out for my glass and my hand knocked against Sirius’s. I had avoided looking at him/touching him/acting like he existed at all. I flushed red as my gaze inadvertently turned to look at him and our eyes met.  I felt myself heat up extraordinarily and the panic I’d pushed back for a while rush to the surface.

“Sexual tension much,” Becky commented, and I could have killed her. I could have actually pulled out my wand and cursed her to death if I had it with me (which I didn’t). 

“I’m Diana,” the brunette (sitting next to Sirius, unfortunately) said to him, smiling.

“Sirius,” Sirius answered flatly – he really was not in a good mood. Or maybe he felt bad for receiving attention from other people around my family. I supposed that would be really uncomfortable.

“I’m Becky,” Becky continued, as if her introduction had been to all of us. “This is my sister Mary who’s Sirius girlfriend, my brother Johnny, my dad Andrew, my step mum Karen and my little half sister Ria,” she said, smiling. “And this is my boyfriend – Steve.”

Brunette Diana seemed ready to give up and shrugged, turning back to her melon and taking a bite. Couldn’t blame her for trying I suppose. It wasn’t obvious that Sirius and I were an item, considering we were both decidedly not looking at each other and glaring at the salt shakers (at least that’s what Sirius appeared to be doing).

The blonde didn’t have quite the same level of morals.  “I’m Tina,” the blonde introduced herself, batting her eye lashes at Sirius who stared at the salt shaker stonily. I couldn’t deal with this.

“I’m going to the bathroom,” I said, standing up quickly and hoping I’d make it there before I burst into panicked tears again. My head was spinning again and I wish I knew what the hell was going on in Sirius’s head. It made me feel so vulnerable that now so much of my happiness was in his hands.
I really wish I’d had a chance to tell him myself.

But I guess I had, I just ignored it and watched it pass me by.

***********

“Congratulations,” I said dryly, as Nate insisted on dancing with me. They’d done the whole ‘first dance’ thing and now he was doing a tour of all his family and friends, as was Kate. He’d ambushed me when I was coming back from one of my many trips to the toilet, and forced me into dancing with him.

The result was some kind of strange waltz type thing (well, it could have been a waltz; it could have been a flaming tango for all I knew). It probably wasn’t even a real dance in but Nate just beamed: he was too happy for his own good. I briefly considered telling him that Kate nearly killed me with a calming draft just to cheer myself up, but I decided that it was too mean and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

“So what’s been going on with you?” Nate asked, looking at me worriedly. Despite my desire to destroy his happiness I felt guilty that I already was a little: he shouldn’t be worried about me right now; it was supposed to be his big day.

“Personal Journey. I just needed some time to think, accept a few home truths,” I said, as if now I was all right with the fact that I was dying and I’d just accepted it as one of those things. Really the presence of my oncoming death felt like a knife in my gut that hurt a little more every time I moved but he didn’t need to know that. “I told Sirius,” I lied, and Nate’s eyes widened with pleasant surprise.

“Congratulations!” he said, as if this was something to be proud about. “How did he take it?”

“Well, we haven’t really talked about it yet. I panicked and ran away a little bit, but I think I’m ready to deal with it now,” I lied again, wondering if Nate could tell that all I’d been doing for the past few hours was try to avoid Sirius (along with spying on his nieces who seemed quite taken with him).

“Well, here he comes now,” Nate said, looking over my shoulder. I turned around a little clumsily and saw Sirius was standing there and my heart sunk dramatically. My breathing stopped and I battled with the urge to run very, very far away.

“Dance with me,” Sirius instructed, as Nate disappeared into the crowd to dance with someone else. I was about to tell him no or come up with some lame excuse when he snapped “Dammit Mary. Dance with me!” and several people turned around to look at him.  I nodded meekly (scared to say no), knowing in my heart that it was his turn to freak out at me. Sirius pulled me into a correct dancing stance and began pulling me along to the sound of the music, stepping this way and that in a way that made my head spin.

“Why didn’t you just tell me?” Sirius asked, and I felt my throat closing in and I didn’t think I could answer.

“It was too hard,” I croaked outwards, unable to move. Sirius practically picked me up and moved me - never stopping the stupid spinning. He was angry and his grip around my waist was rough and too tight. Still, there was a part of me that found this angry, rough side of him immensely attractive. I pushed that side of me down and looked up at him to drink in his reaction.

His face was emotionless in the same way that it was whenever you mentioned his family – never a good sign. He was pulling me around a little more violently than before, which clearly said that my answer hadn’t exactly thrilled him.

“Because...” I began.

“Don’t explain,” he cut across me, and I decided against pointing out how much he was contradicting himself.  “Who else knows?”

“My family, Nate, Marlene and Snape.”

“Snape?” Sirius snapped, and I could feel him getting angrier.

“He wasn’t meant to find out he -”

“Shut up,” Sirius said, and his grip around me was beginning to hurt. “How long have you known?”

“I found out I had the disease when I was nine and I found out how many months I had left in like... October.”

“Which was months ago,” Sirius snapped, with his voice harsh and horrible. He pulled me in the opposite direction suddenly and I felt my patience with him snap.

“Let go,” I said, pushing him off me and glaring at him. He was bullying me. And for a moment he’d made me scared of him. Scared. That was not right and not fair. No matter how angry he was he had no right to take it out on me.  He let go and stepped backwards, realising for the first time how roughly he’d been treating me and looking a little regretful. Too late.

I gave him one last reproachful look before stalking off the dance floor and heading for the door. My panic from before was covered up by my newfound anger. He’d been out of order. Beyond out of order.  I pushed open the door of the hall and found myself standing outside on the road in the rain.

Of course it would be raining on a day like this – it was pouring down from the sky in torrents and was heavier than any rain I’d seen for ages.

It wasn’t icy rain like you’d expect in February. It felt refreshing rather than cold on my skin and I decided to stay out here anyway. As long as I was far away from Sirius as possible then it was fine by me – the bastard. I gritted my teeth and stepped out of the shelter of the roof, letting the rain wash over me. I glanced around and saw that I wasn’t completely alone – Diana and Tina were standing under the shelter and looked to be smoking. They were looking at me and probably talking about what a pathetic excuse of a human being I was. Brilliant.

“Mary!” a voice yelled, and Sirius was standing under the shelter of the roof at the doorway. For a minute I thought he was going to say something stupid like ‘you’ll catch your death out here’ but he didn’t and instead stalked over to me, still looking pretty angry. “I’m sorry okay,” he snapped, although he didn’t seem awfully sorry to me. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I just...”

“Just what?” I snapped. “Thought it was okay to take out your frustrations on me?” I questioned, folding my arms over my chest and feeling angrier than I had in an awfully long time. My head was spinning with thoughts and I really didn’t know what I was supposed to be thinking or feeling anymore.

“No,” Sirius returned, stepping closer to me. I took a step backwards and he sighed in frustration. “I’m just a little bit fucking annoyed that you didn’t think to mention that small detail of your life to me.”

“I tried to tell you last night and you wouldn’t listen!”

“Yeah, last night? You could have told me five fucking months ago!”

“Why? Why would I have?”

“I don’t know, because we’re friends? Because we’re dating? Because I told you everything about me and yet you were too damn selfish to mention the fact that this whole thing could only last another two months anyway!”

“Well I’m sorry, but maybe if you put aside your anger for ten minutes you’d realise that I’ve had to live with the fact that I’m...” I still couldn’t say it. “I didn’t need anything else to deal with!”

“I suppose that’s what I am then? Just ‘something to deal with.’”

“I meant that I don’t want to deal with all of you wrapping me in cotton wool and treating me as if I’m fucking made of glass!”

“Well maybe that’s how you should be treated considering you obviously can’t deal with it.”

“Yeah! You’re right! I can’t fucking deal with it, which is why I didn’t tell you!” I yelled.

“Oh grow a back bone!” Sirius jeered. “You thought it would be easier to just pretend it wasn’t happening? Then suddenly springing it on us when you only have two fucking -”

“Don’t,” I said, shaking my head. I didn’t want him to say it aloud, I couldn’t hear it along with everything else.

 “God Mary!”

“What about you? Why are you being such a fucking jerk? It’s not my fault.”

“And it’s not mine either,” he retorted coolly. “Yet I’m the one who has to deal with.”

“I’ve been dealing with it for longer!” I yelled back, and he laughed bitterly.

“No you haven’t! If you’d been dealing with it then it would have been dealt with by now. You’re just screwing everything up even more by pretending it’s not happening and digging yourself into a fantastically deep hole so you can feel even sorrier for yourself. This didn’t have to happen!” Sirius yelled, gesturing between us. I hoped he meant the argument and not our relationship but I couldn’t be completely sure.

I was crying a lot again now, but he probably couldn’t see my tears due to the rain that was still falling thick and fast around us. “What was I supposed to do?”

“You were supposed to tell me!” he yelled back, and the tone of his voice made my heart stop in my chest.

“I can’t!”

“Say it Mary,” Sirius said, and this time I let him walk closer towards me. “Say it for fucks sake!” Sirius yelled, and I felt my tears mixing with the rain on my face.

The rain fell down even heavier around us and I felt so many emotions I’d pushed back rising to the surface and bubbling over the top.

“Say it!” Sirius yelled.

“Fine!” I yelled back. “I HAVE TWO MONTHS TO LIVE AND I’M FUCKING SCARED! HAPPY NOW?”

“No, I’m fucking devastated,” Sirius countered. For a second I just looked at him.

 Then my legs started moving of their own accord, running over to where he was standing.  Then my legs were wrapped around his waist, he was holding me up, and I was kissing him like my life depended on it.

The rain was pouring down and dripping down our faces as I tried my hardest to put every single bitter, blissful and painfully raw emotion into the kiss so I didn’t have to think about it anymore.

Sirius’s hair was plastered to his face and I’m sure mine had been just the same. His white shirt was stuck to his skin and my dress was sodden and ruined.  The rain made everything even more intense and powerful. He was holding onto my hair roughly with one of his wet hands and pulling me towards him with everything he had – which believe me was a lot. I felt like any minute my mind was about to explode with everything that was going on.

There was even more of the last kiss vibe around than last time, now we both knew our time limit. I found myself thinking that if Sirius was planning on making every minute count from now on like this then I had no problem with the matter. It was rougher, deeper and more urgent than it had been before.

My heart was thumping so hard and I felt like it was going to explode at any moment. My whole body was just going to burst into flames. I gripped hold of his shoulders.

Sirius drew back for a second and both of us were breathing heavily with our bodies pressed up against each other tightly. We looked at each other for another minute before we were kissing again, but if possible even more so than before. Our lips mashed together and he pulled me up into his arms so that the only things separating us at all were a few pieces of insignificant, wet clothing.

“Get a room!” someone yelled, and it was only then that I realised that there was people left in the world other than Sirius, and the owner of the voice was the blonde Tina who was still smoking her cigarette.

The world came crashing down on us and I detached myself from him. Sirius took a step backwards and a strange expression took over his face.

“I’m not sure if I can deal with this,” Sirius said, backing away from me a little more. “I need to think,” he said, before turning around and making for the door.

 The bastard. The complete and utter dickhead. Angry tears fell from my face and I gripped my fists tightly at my sides. I wanted to yell after him that I hated him but I didn’t have the energy. I felt drained of everything I had left – like I’d given it all to Sirius and he’d just turned around and said ‘I’m not sure if I can deal with this – I need to think.” Oh wait... I pretty much had.

I couldn’t go back inside – not yet. For a start I was going to get murdered for ruining my dress, and secondly Sirius was in there and being in the same room now sounded like torture. I couldn’t believe him. As if he’d just kissed me like that then pissed off inside to ‘think’.  What was there to think about? I was his dying girlfriend and by all morals and correct etiquette he had to stand by my side and pretend he was in love with me for two months, before fucking off with some blonde bimbo at my funeral and never thinking about me again. That was the least he could do. I’d hardly given him any choice.

Anyway, Sirius cared about me I was sure of it. Even if it might turn out that I cared about him a hell of a lot more than he cared about me (which let’s be honest is beginning to look highly likely) he still cared about me a relative amount. He’d stay with me and be the doting boyfriend for the next two months, which would piss me off unbelievably, but that was just the way it would be. He’d do everything to make me happy, make a big show of being very upset and bring roses to my grave on my birthday the next year.

He was just panicking about the news. It was going to be fine (or as fine as things can be for a dying girl). So why did I feel so awful?

The panic and nervousness from before had gone and had instead been replaced with a dull pain in my gut telling me that everything was going to go to pot even though I knew it would be okayish for the next two months. No one would ruin the rest of a dying girl’s life – that’s just plain cruel.

I blinked a few times and found myself walking over to Tina, Diana and the shelter. The rain was beginning to become icy again and I was absolutely freezing. I decided not to bother attempting to fix my face because if my tears hadn’t ruined my make up the rain definitely had, it would only smudge it even more in any case.

“Hey,” I said, not caring at all what they thought of me at this current moment in time. I just wanted to be standing under the shelter with someone.

When they looked at me I realised that they no longer thought I was some childish loser running after Sirius and instead their eyes held a kind of reverence and respect that was definitely unfounded. It still felt kind of good though. It made me think of Marlene McKinnon and the way to me she always seemed so glamorous and perfect when really she’s a bitch and her life is a mess. That’s the way they were looking at me – as if I was glamorous and perfect.

Thinking of Marlene made me think of Regulus, which made me think of Sirius, which made me think about him being a complete bastard and ditching me. My heart ached dully in my chest. I hadn’t felt so awful in ages. Now everything was crap: Sirius knew and couldn’t handle it; I’d accidently-on-purpose made Lily hate me; my family, Kate and Nate were going to kill me once they saw my dress and it was bloody cold.

“Pass me one of those,” I said, thinking back to Marlene McKinnon. Dutifully Tina pulled out a cigarette from the packet and gave it to me before handing me a lighter. I lit it, brought it to my lips and breathed in, wondering whether it was actually going to make me feel any better.

 I could feel the thick air filling up my lungs and it made me want to go and throw up. I fought not to choke or cough and instead breathed in the fresh air deeply to get that stuff out my lungs. What the hell was I doing? I was completely and utterly against smoking and I did not need to make my death any closer (although it was sounding more and more tempting).

“You shouldn’t smoke you know,” I told them, and they seemed to take my word as the rule and quickly stubbed their cigarettes out. I held mine in my hand for a few more minutes before deciding it looked liked I’d held it for a decent about of time. Then I followed their lead, dropped it and stamped it out.

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the cleaners but decided not to mention that to them.

I heard footsteps and turned around hoping that it was Sirius (I’m a stupid, stupid girl), but instead it was an attractive guy who I didn’t recognise (not that that’s saying much) and walked with the same ‘I’m hot and I know it’ swagger that Sirius donned when he was in a good mood. Except, I’m not going to lie, his made him look a little less drunk and a little more hot. He looked around eighteen nineteen and was making a beeline for the three of us.

“Hello there. Better not be smoking,” he addressed Tina/Diana in a way that made me think that they were definitely related. “Wouldn’t want your parents to find our now would we?” Diana scowled and Tina sent him a sarcastic look. “I’m a groomsman you know,” he informed me. “And you’re a bridesmaid, which means you have to sleep with me,” he said, and I laughed despite of myself. “Mary McDonald?” he asked, holding out his hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

I extended my own hand and shook his. “You look cold, let’s get you warmed up,” he said, in a way that clearly implied more than just a quick drying spell. He still pulled out his wand and dried my hair and dress wordlessly before draping an arm around my shoulders and leading me inside.

It was only in the light of the room that I saw he looked like a miniature version of Nate and I decided he must be another nephew. “Nate’s told me all about you,” he explained. “He didn’t mention your boyfriend was a jerk though, so let’s get you a drink,” he said, leading me over to the bar and presenting me with some cocktail.

I searched for Sirius in the crowd for a second to see if he was watching me. After a few seconds I saw he was sat down at one of the tables and was looking right at me. I turned around and took a sip of my drink, turning to listen to whoever this guy was and smiling.

If Sirius was allowed to act like an arsehole then I had definitely had the right to act like a complete bitch. If this guy (whoever he was) wanted to flirt with me then I’d let him and I might even flirt a little back. Eff you Sirius Black – I don’t need you and I don’t give a shit what your ‘thinking’ amounts to.

(Except really I do because now I can’t imagine my life without him and I think I may have fallen a lot harder than I realised but we’ll ignore that fact because there’s nothing I can do to stop him from acting like a jerk. Even though it’s almost justified).

AN - Hello again! OKay sooooo..... Big chapter! I decided against making it a cliffie because I've made you wait for 33 chapters for this moment. Posting this terrifies me. Also, I believe it's definately time for the return of question timeee!!!
1.) What did we think? Bad? Good? Realistic? (that was one of my main aims).
2.) Now, about twenty chapters on from the last time I asked, who is your favourite character?
3.) Least favourite character?
4.) Favourite chapter so far?
5.) Which character are you most annoyed at right now?
6.) What do you think is going to happen next?
7.) Favourite quotes?
8.)Do you hate me?

It's midnight and I have an exam tommorow so I'm going to love you and leave you. Thank you for your amazing reviews last chapter and please keeepp reviewing! :D <3


 
 


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