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The Art of Breathing. by AC_rules
Chapter 35 : Chaotic.
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 47


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A/N - I have been such a horrible horrible author. I haven't updated in forever and I haven't answered your reviews for the past two chapters. I deserve you all to stop reading in protest, but I'm hoping that you won't... There was orginally supposed to be another chapter before this one but it was, in all honesty, completely rubbish. So if you think that this chapter has a lot in, skips a couple of weeks, and maybe isn't as detailed about some things as you'd expected it's because there was a chapter with all thoes things in before. Plot moves on faster this was though. Just so you know, drinking smoking and other things mentioned in this chapter are NOT good ways to deal with upsetness and stress - so don't do it. I think I'm done here, my friends. Please review. I will respond some day, and I promise you that I read them all multiple times :)

I sat and stared at the piece of parchment in front of me shivering slightly. Sirius was determinedly not watching me as I dipped my quill in the ink for what felt like the hundredth time. I lifted it up to the parchment and placed it on the creamy surface. I blinked to stop myself from crying and forced myself to form the number one very deliberately. I added a dot afterwards for good measure. Then a bracket even though I never did that when numbering things but I just didn’t have anything else to write. I stopped and read the piece of parchment again – the beginnings of a list.

Things to do before I die:

1.)

That’s all I’d managed to write in half an hour.

I slammed the quill back down on the table and glared at Sirius, who wasn’t even trying to pretend that he wasn’t watching me now.

“I can’t do it.” I spat venomously. Sirius raised an eyebrow before turning back to his book which was entitled Fulfilment: how to be happy with nothing which wasn’t making the situation any easy. Although I had to admit that it had added amused at first, especially at James’s face when he saw the title.

The point was I didn’t have ‘nothing’ and I didn’t need Sirius to give me lessons on how to get the most out of my month-and-a-half.

I brought it on myself by telling him about how useless and pointless it felt considering I couldn’t really do anything in the pitiful amount of time I had left. He thought that by writing this list I could still achieve goals and things... fulfilment: the key to happiness (which was the title of the book preceding this one).

I glared at him as he read is book and hoped that everyone would think he was gay because he was reading freaking self help books. Who’s attracted to a guy like that? Well apart from me, but that’s beside the point. Argh. What a complete idiot. He was ignoring me.

I sighed and picked up the quill again, this time managing to write a full sentence on the piece of parchment.

Get married and have children.

If he was going to make me write this stupid list then I was going to make it as awkward for him as possible. The bloody arsehole. I followed point 1.) with numbers 2.) to 5.) which all involved me sleeping with various people. I’d selected people that would annoy him most, including himself, James, and Jeremy Wood.

 6.) Pass my NEWTS.

7.) Get a job.

8.) Convince Sirius Black that he’s in love with me.

I suddenly realised what I’d written and my eyes widened with panic. He could not see that! I’d barely even been thinking it. I hastily scribbled it out but you could still see it due to the deliberate slow way I’d written it out. Sirius was looking over. My eyes widened.

 Sirius put his book down.

I’d been sat with my legs draped over his lap (in a purely friendly way) in fairly close proximity so as he was about to lean over and read what I’d written that last line needed to disappear completely, right now... I hastily screwed up the piece of parchment which of course meant that he was now very much interested.

“Let’s see that.” Sirius said and I shook my head and crushed it further into my hand. I swung my legs round and edged away from him.

“No. You can’t.” I said but he was leaning over and attempting to grab it from my hands.

“You said I could read it.” He said and I leant back over the edge of the sofa trying to stay away from me.

“It was a stupid one! A joke!” I protested. Sirius half lunged over me and grabbed my hand. Oh god. Oh God. Oh God. “NO!” I yelled as he pried my fingers open and took the piece of parchment out of my hands.

“NO!” I protested as he stood up and held it out of my reach. I lunged for it but he just lifted it above his head. “NO!” I said again almost crying.  He couldn’t read that. He really, really, really could not read that.

“Give it up.” Sirius said sitting down and beginning to unfold it.

“YOU CAN’T!” I yelled throwing myself on top of him (in a very dignified manner) and grabbing his hands. The next few minutes of struggling resulted in him having the parchment crunched into his right hand whilst I straddled him and held his arms down.

“You do realise how weak you are?” Sirius asked lifting his left hand with what appeared to be little effort. “You can’t stop me.”

“You read it and I’ll... I’ll...” I began trailing off before I could think of a suitable threat.

“Stutter at me?”

“I’ll kiss you!” I exclaimed and Sirius’s expression froze for a second.

It suddenly dawned on me that this was the common room and by now we’d probably attracted most people’s attention. Especially as this was Sirius and the fact that everyone in Hogwarts wanted to know exactly why we’d broken up, and how we were still remaining friends.

Sirius put the piece of paper back in my hand and I scrunched it up even more in my fist. I was about to remove myself from him and go back to writing a more sensible list when Sirius leaned forward and kissed me.

It was one of those simple kisses that you might see old couples share briefly – more a peck really – except Sirius let it linger a little longer. It had the same warming effect of downing a pint of butter beer or sitting by a fire on a snowy day.

I thought, all in all, we’d done well at the whole we’re-just-friends scenario and I’d done my very best in playing my part of making it easier for him. Considering how much time we’d been spending together it was an achievement for us to remain mostly platonic.

There had only been one incident prior to this when anything had happened. We were just sitting and talking about things and somehow ended up kissing but then his two way mirror thing went hot which seemed to remind him of the unfortunate circumstance. Then he yelled at me told me to get out and refused to talk to me the next day.

In fact staying friends had been harder than staying just-friend mainly due to the very awkward meeting in Dumbledore’s office. It had been a sort of funeral/death planning session and Sirius had apparently found it too much and had left half way through. This had pissed me off to no end, but it was nothing to how pissed I was when Dad took me aside to tell me another family secret.

As it turns out, my mother is somewhat of a slut. When she was rather young, a teenager in fact, she had got pregnant.  The baby had, of course, contracted Ephaiyadaphia and my mother had basically allowed her to be a guinea pig for various experiments (Dad emphasised how desperate she was with no money, no boyfriend, no job ect ect... in an attempt to make this sound acceptable). Naturally these experiment went slightly wrong and messed with her brain meaning the child contracted some serious mental problems and lost all ability to do magic, but was cured. These experiments actually put the poor baby girl into a coma for a couple of years of her life and after that she has to attend a crash course in life (given she’d missed out on learning to read, write, speak properly ect...) and had eventually been well enough to return home. Who might that girl be? My supposedly adopted sister – Becky. I was livid at the lot of them (bar Becky) for lying to me and had also walked out of Dumbledore’s office.

Then Sirius had walked into me and attempted to apologise, which hadn’t sat right with me at all. In the end thought I forgave them all (somewhat bitterly) because I only had limited time left... and because I was pretty much alone.

Lily still hadn’t forgiven me and would only talk to me on her more good natured days which meant that really the only person I had was Sirius and now he knew everything I needed him even more. Plus there was the fact that... well... 

Actually, let’s not go there.

The point was that I needed Sirius not to be mad at me and he would be most decidedly mad if I let this continued.

“Interesting.” Sirius whispered. Then he leaned in and kissed me again, differently this time. It wasn’t half as simple and I had to stop my mind from analyzing and memorising every single moment. “Very interesting.” He said again before leaning towards me again.

“Stop.” I said, although it broke my heart, as I drew backwards. Sirius leaned forwards more as I moved out of his reach which, quite frankly, made him look like a complete idiot.

I shouldn’t have threatened to kiss him, I shouldn’t have straddled him and I definitely shouldn’t have written number eight on my list.

“Bad idea Sirius.” I said holding out my hands to stop him getting too close.

“Screw it.” Sirius muttered and I would so gladly just agree with him but I’d promised, I had promised him.

“Stop. It.” I said pushing him backwards. My hand connected with his chest as I shoved him and it was hard to stop myself remembering what he’d looked like in the rain.

Still my push hadn’t been particularly placid and it had successfully managed to make him snap out of it.

I stood up and walked over to the fire so I didn’t have to look at his face. I’d made him look like an idiot – a complete idiot – and even though I’ve often claimed that I’d love to ruin his ego now that I had sufficiently dented it I felt terrible. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what was hidden under his thick layer of arrogance and superiority especially now I had to stay away from him and I was scared that it would make me love him more.

My heart stopped in my chest as I realised what I’d just thought and I shook my head and threw the piece of paper into the fire. I watched the fire reduce it to a pile of ash before I could bear to turn back and look at Sirius’s expression.

I didn’t know what to expect and it scared me a little.

Thankfully when I walked back to my seat he was showing nothing of how he was feeling on his face. He was looking thoughtfully at his feet and was still slightly flushed but other than that he was his normal self. People were still staring though; I shot them all dirty looks before sitting back down again and waiting for him to speak. I doubted he wanted to hear my voice right now.

“That hurt.” Sirius said after a few seconds of silence. He wasn’t looking at me.

“Physically, emotionally or just your ego?” I quipped in attempt to keep the conversation light. It didn’t work particularly well.

“I didn’t know you were so strong.” Sirius said, ignoring my previous comment. “Physically and emotionally.” He said looking at me. I bit my lip. “How do you have so much self control?”

“I’m a girl.” I shrugged trying not to catch his eye. 

“No, really?” Sirius asked his eyes big and serious. I really couldn’t deal with him being so amazingly beautiful and wonderful like this. It was too adorable and too hard.

“Self preservation.” I said biting my lip so hard that it drew blood. I could taste its metallic quality and I swallowed nervously. I had to look at him this time otherwise he wouldn’t believe me. “I didn’t have any other choice. So I moved on.”

“You’re over me?” Sirius asked and for once there was no joking and no messing around. This was quite possibly the second serious conversation we’d ever had and I hadn’t enjoyed either of them. It made me want to make some sexual joke or innuendo but I couldn’t.

I had to do this. I’d promised and it would only make everything easier for him in the end. He looked so vulnerable right now that I couldn’t open him up to anymore. ‘No’ would make him carry on having feelings for me. ‘No’ might make him love me, just like he said. ‘No’ would cause him so much more pain in the long run. ‘No’ would make him feel guilty about leaving me when I was gone.

‘Yes’ meant that I could never admit having feelings for him ever again. ‘Yes’ meant no more kissing, hugging, touches and those pitiful looks. ‘Yes’ was the end of my real happiness – as melodramatic as it sounded – and it might be the only way to stop him falling in love with me.

Even if I wanted him too.

I’d been selfish far too long to be able to really consider it an option.

I looked him right in the eye.

“Yes.”

Sirius nodded and picked up his book again.  He was very clearly upset now and I hoped no one else was watching. The moment was too intimate for anyone else to be watching and gossiping about it. It wasn’t fair and I hated it. I hated it all so damn much.

Why hadn’t I just told him? When we could have worked something out? Or come up with a plan?

Except there was only ever going to be one ending to this story.

“I’m sorry.” I said trying to keep my voice devoid of all emotion and empty of anything but pity. I didn’t pity him. I didn’t pity him at all. I just loved him. I pitied myself for having to do this.

“It’s fine.” Sirius said, nose still in book, he didn’t even sound like himself. The sense of self-importance was gone and so was his normal confidence.  It made me want to throw my arms around him and hold him until he felt better again. I resisted. “It’s fine. Good even.” Sirius continued.

Good. Good?

That’s almost as bad as ‘If I fell in love with you.’

“Fantastic.” Sirius said putting down his book and sending me a weak smile. “Are you going to finish your list then?” He asked.

I picked up the quill and wrote down the title again before writing the numbers one to ten down the side of the parchment.

“I’m warning you, this may take awhile.” I told him as I began writing my first and only idea.

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

“Where were you?” I snapped when Sirius walked into transfiguration classroom half an hour late. This normally wouldn’t have bothered me but considering all the Marauders had arrived on time and had looked shifty when I’d asked where he was I had been slightly concerned, especially after our earlier conversation.

“Who are you, my mother?” Sirius returned slumping down in his seat and pulling out his wand. He mastered the spell in about thirty seconds flat and then transfigured my badger too, for good measure.

“No.” I answered (very cleverly) before sighing and looking around the classroom. There was nothing to do in this class and if Sirius was going to act like a PMSing girl then I probably shouldn’t have turned up.

Sirius having realised that I didn’t get told off for skipping had joined me in taking walks around the lake instead of going to the more boring classes. As he was with me he escaped detention and he could do all the work anyway.

He’d lost twenty five points for being late today (one for every minute he was late by).

As I glared at the front the door opened and Nadine Fisher arrived (she was Marlene’s friend and in Ravenclaw, but that’s all I knew). She walked up to Professor McGonagall’s desk and began telling her that she’d been in the hospital wing with a bad nose bleed.

I carried on watching her as McGonagall nodded and she headed to her seat next to Marlene.

“So,” Sirius said hastily. “How’s your list coming along?” He asked him and I eyed him suspiciously. He looked uncomfortable. Probably just the side effects of our early conversation I decided as I pulled out the list from my bag and presented it in front of him.

1.)    Make it up to Lily.

2.)    Make it up to Marlene.

3.)    Make it up to Rachel.

4.)    Tell Karen I’m sorry for being such a bitch to her.

5.)    Punch Snape and break his nose.

6.)    Visit my Mum’s grave and say goodbye to her properly.

7.)    Get completely and utterly drunk.

“Those are all... doable.” Sirius said looking pretty impressed by the fact that I’d actually done it. “You should see if you can get to ten though. That’s a nice round number.”

“Don’t you think this is a little ambitious?” I asked warily.

“No, these are all really achievable.” Sirius said running his finger down the list. “And you can get number seven done tonight. It’s Pete’s birthday party.”

I nodded and found myself warming up to the list idea slightly. To think I could get a tenth of the things I wanted to my life done tonight... that was pretty cool.

“Why wasn’t I informed about this party before?”

“Lily didn’t tell you? Oh. That makes sense I suppose. It’s not a party party, just the sixth year Gryffindors in our dorm.”

“Sounds good.”

“Now, three more things. Anything else you want to try? Smoking? Drugs? Not that I’m advising either of them to you.”

“Tried smoking, no thank you.”                                                                      

“When?”

“At the Wedding. After you man handled me and left me standing outside in the rain.” I clarified.

“Before or after you went after what’s-his-face?” Sirius asked.

“What, Ryan?” I asked deciding to play on this for awhile. We’d never talked about this before and I was intrigued to see what he was going to say. “Nate’s nephew?” I asked and Sirius scowled. “Before that. I was upset but he came and saved the day.” I said putting a hand to my heart and pretending to swoon. “He was nineteen you know.” I said cheerfully. “I like the mature guy.”

“Nineteen?” Sirius asked with his eyebrows raised. “A nineteen year old going after a sixteen year old, I wonder what that could be about.” Sirius said scathingly.

“He was the perfect gentleman actually.” I countered enjoying the fact that Sirius was getting annoyed. “Didn’t push me into anything I didn’t want to do.” I continued. “But did you see him? There wasn’t much that I didn’t want to do.”

“Are you being serious?” Sirius asked sharply.

“Do you honestly think I would have?” I asked laughing.

“I know he brought you lots of cocktails and sat far too close to you for my liking.”

“Oh nothing happened, much.” I said mischievously.

“You cheated on me?” Sirius asked a little too loudly because several people turned around and looked at me as if I’d grown another head. Not that I was complaining, this was good for my rep. I’d much rather be known as a cheater than a soppy sap who’d fallen head over heels after Sirius Black.

“No. Not technically...”

“What do you mean, not technically?”

“Well you’d already broken up with me, the first time.” I said. “Then there was that whole closure thing, and then you broke up with me again.”

“What did you do?” Sirius asked through gritted teeth. He genuinely sounded angry. I hadn’t expected that.

“I kissed him.” I shrugged trying to make it seem like it was nothing (and it was nothing) but now I was beginning to wish I’d never mentioned it. I had been slightly tipsy due to the cocktails and it had seemed like a good idea at the time. It lasted the whole of thirty seconds because Ryan had said that Nate would actually kill him if he saw us. Then I’d started crying on him and blubbing about Sirius.

I love weddings.

“You kissed him?” Sirius asked disbelievingly. “Nate’s nineteen year old cousin whilst we were dating?”

“You were being a twat!” Sirius gave me a cold look before turning around in his seat.

“James mate!” Sirius declared, turned his chair around and refused to talk to me any longer. I rolled my eyes at his frustrating behaviour and stabbed at my list with my quill for a second.

Well I suppose I did deserve that. It would also probably help him get over me faster, so that was nice. It did mean I was ally-less though.

“Sirius. I’m sorryyy!” I whined pathetically turning around after a few minutes of silence. “I really didn’t think it would bother you.” I said.

“What did you do?” Marlene asked turning from her seat on the next row and turning towards us.

“She cheated on him.” James said happily (I had a feeling he didn’t like me much). 

 “Shut up Prongs.” Sirius deadpanned and I suddenly thought of number eight. I turned around and began scribbling it down. Then I had another flash of inspiration and within a couple of minutes I’d finished the whole list.

“Let’s see.” Sirius said when he’d finished talking to James.

8.) Find out the Marauder secret.

9.) Make it up to Sirius.

10.) Pull a prank that beats all the Marauder pranks and that will go down in history as being completely amazing.

“The Marauder secret?” Sirius asked, scooting closer and speaking in a hushed tone. “What secret?”

“I’m not stupid,” I told him. “Despite popular belief. I know there’s something, I just don’t know what. Obviously.”

“And how do you suppose are you going to make it up to me?”

I made a crude gesture which made him laugh.

 “I think you should be a little more creative.” He said ee carried on talking about the finer points of the list and, somehow, we ended up with our knees touching and one of his hands resting on my back.

Oops.

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

“James.” I said spotting him at the dinner table and sitting myself down. “Where’s Sirius?” I asked and James shrugged uncomfortably. I had noticed that since... sometime last week, Sirius had hardly been around. I guess the guys were probably missing him considering he spent so much time with me, and the rest of his time mysteriously absent. Well, they could have him for the rest of forever. “I need to talk to him.” I said and James shrugged again and tried not to look at me.  “James I really need to talk to him.” I repeated.

“About what?” James asked and I looked at him in surprise.

“About something Snape did.” I lied and James raised an eyebrow. He didn’t believe me.

“Why is that so urgent?”  James asked.

“Look James, I really need to talk to him that’s all you need to know. So if you would just tell me where he is then I can be merrily on my way. Yes?”

“But you don’t need to talk to him.” James corrected with his arms folded.

“Okay, well, I want to talk to him.” I said beginning to feel annoyed.

“But that’s different. He’s my mate, right, and he’s trying to get over you so he really doesn’t need you suffocating him until he physically can’t get over you because he doesn’t have any time when he’s not thinking about you. You can’t be friends. It won’t work.”

“And he told you to say that did he?” I asked with a raised eyebrow, knowing full well he hadn’t.

“He’s thinking it.”

“If he thinks it then he can tell me.” I retorted.

“No, he can’t.”

“I’m sorry if I’ve stolen your best friend but this conversation is really not necessary.”

“Don’t you think it’s strange that you’re spending more time together now than when you were dating?” James asked tilting his head to one side to anticipate my reaction.

“Oh stop acting like you understand.” I snapped feeling thoroughly irritated by his blatant attempt to be as useless as possible. The stupid moron.

“Stop acting like you know him.” James counted a perfectly relaxed expression on his face. Apparently he was an expert at keeping his cool (except with Lily around).

“Stop acting like I don’t.”

“Oh you know parts of him, I can’t deny that, but other bits you remain blissfully ignorant.” I sighed and folded my arms over my chest. I could say ‘there are parts of him that you’re blissfully ignorant of too’ but that would just prolong the argument and I really just wanted to see him. “Just tell me where he is James.”

“I don’t know.”

“The map?” I asked patiently (although it was wearing more than a little thin).

“He’s got it.”

“The mirror?”

“Remus has the other one.”

“Did he say where he was going?”

“Yes.” A spark of irritation shot through me.

“Look James, I understand that you’re trying to... protect him, but I really don’t think he’d appreciate your efforts.”

“Really?” James asked as if he knew something I didn’t.

“Really. James, I need to talk to him, and I want to talk to him.”

“Mary, you’ll see him at the party tonight.” James countered and for the first time there was a trace of emotion on his face. He was practically begging me to leave him alone. I considered it for a minute. I didn’t need to talk to him and if James was so adamant that it was making things worse... I had made a pledge to make things easy for him, I suppose...

“Fine.”

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

Lily wasn’t talking to me. I didn’t know where Sirius was. Nate was off somewhere being married. I never talked to Marlene anyway, but I was pretty sure she hated me now. So... I was walking around the grounds on my own and thinking about various things.

Well, I was planning out my will and wondering what I could give to who (not that I had much in the first place) and wondering when I’d get a chance to do all the other things on my list.

I’d been walking around the perimeter of the castle just because I never really did that. People walked out the main gates and went straight ahead towards the lake and the forest. They seemed to forget that there was a great stretch of land out the back too that I’d never even looked at before.

I also never appreciated how big Hogwarts was. It was only when you attempted to walk around the edge of the building itself that you realised how freaking huge it was (although I had a feeling it was bigger on the inside than the out, but most classrooms in Hogwarts weren’t used very often so people rarely went down there).

I was actually enjoying planning out my will and all the amusing possibilities there were. I’d decided that I was going to leave all my knickers to Snape, just because it would be the funniest thing in the world, but I was still debating who would want my bras. I could leave them to Sirius and then he would finally find out what my bra size was (he’d been too distracted when he’d taken it off before to take a look) but at the same time my family would be there when they read out my will and might think it was a bit... weird.

Would he really want his dead ex-girlfriend’s bras anyway? That would be a little strange...

I stopped for a second as I saw something that caught my eye. Two people who could have done with an ‘engaged’ sign hung around their necks.

My eyes were fixed on them for a few non perverted seconds. Curiosity more than anything – I wanted to know who exactly would be trying to keep their snogging-habbits so much of a secret that they’d walk all this way to engage in them... It had to be something really scandalous and shocking otherwise they’d probably have just stayed in the castle.

I’m not the biggest gossiper in the world, but when the opportunity presents itself...

 I took a tentative step forward and tilted my head to try and work out who the two people were... The girl was easiest – Nadine Fisher, Marlene’s friend... but the guy was...

Oh shit.

Sirius.

A wave of a million different emotions hit me all at once. Anger, betrayal and well... hurt. Here I was dying whilst he was there apparently ‘trying to get over me’ and snogging Nadine Fisher. I couldn’t believe him. I honestly could not believe him.

I stayed stock still for a few seconds taking it in. If it was just a simple kiss then it wouldn’t be too bad. I’d kissed Ryan Peacock and it hadn’t been much of a big deal (to me) but this really didn’t seem that way.

His fingers were touching the back of her neck in the same way that he’d done whilst kissing me. He was using the same moves he’d used on me on Nadine sodding fisher...

Who’d also been late for transfiguration this morning...?

Sirius’s hand slid up her leg and under her skirt and an icy numbness drenched over me. I’d seen enough. I turned away and with my fists clenched and walked away from where he was standing.

I was going to murder him.                                                                                                       

**********

I supposed that maybe Sirius had been right when I’d labelled me stupid, because it was obvious that I was, very much so. It took my brain a few seconds to slide out of its icy numb state of shock before I began processing what I’d just seen.

Did I have a right to be upset about it though?  I mean, obviously I was upset about it, but was I allowed to be upset about it? I didn’t have much knowledge of basic relationship etiquette so I wasn’t sure whether running back there and cursing Sirius until the bits left of him fit into a match box was acceptable behaviour? Then again, why would someone have predetermined what is acceptable in this exact situation? Dying girl, ex-player (or not) guy, have a weird argument thing, tell each other personal things, snog a bit, eavesdrop on each other, date other people for jealousy purposes, end up dating, have sex, girl avoids boy, boy tells girl he’s cheated on her when he hasn’t ect, ect... Who the hell would dream up some stupid excuse of a scenario? It was ridiculous!

I found myself getting more upset and veered away from the entrance of the castle and instead headed round the other side of the castle.

Of course the Lake was slightly in my way in that direction but I did, at least, see someone who I could direct my anger at.

“Marlene!” I yelled stamping (how very childish, I know) over in her direction. I was attempting to scowl menacingly, but all that happened was the tears I’d been holding back suddenly started cascading down my face.

“Pull yourself together women.” She said in a flat voice as I approached her. She was standing, just concealed, behind a wall where she was smoking. “Quite frankly, you’re a mess.” I tried to come back with some kind of witty comeback but it came out as a chocked sob instead. “Okay, now I’m worried.” Marlene said her eyes widening slightly as she looked at me. “What’s wrong?”

I shook my head and sank down the side of the wall to the floor. Marlene, who was obviously not very well equipped in dealing with crying girls, sat down beside me gingerly and patted me on my arm. Needless to say, it didn’t help much.

“Look, I can’t help if you don’t tell me.”

“You know.” I managed to say before burying my face in my hands and continuing to sob. I never prided myself on being a particularly strong person, or one who never cried or anything on those lines, but I honestly never expected myself to cry so much over a boy. But there he was, getting it on with Nadine Fisher around the opposite corner of the castle; whilst I was here dying and crying my eyes out.

“I honestly have no idea.” Marlene said, sounding puzzled. She attempted her ‘comforting’ gesture again by placing her hand on my arm but I pushed her off me again. I was fed up of Marlene’s weird games with everyone around her, it was just odd, and given the last thing I said to her she had plenty of incentive to send Nadine to break my heart.

“Nadine!” I yelled trying, and failing, to regain full control of my voice and emotions. Damn Sirius, the stupid idiot, who couldn’t even keep it in his pants long enough to not break my heart. Could he not have waited a couple of months before moving on and destroying me? No, he has to reduce me to nothing but a melodramatic hysterically-crying heartbroken teenage girl!

That was just not me.

“...Nadine?” Marlene asked. I wanted to hit her for the stupid way she was feigning innocence when secretly I knew she was sucking up my pain and loving every single minute of it... unless she didn’t actually know. “Mary, please, you should know I’m not used to being in the dark about things, especially not you – you have a tendency to blurt them out or I have them recited to me in some creepy letter by my brother.”

“Where’s Nadine right now?”

“She has a detention.” Marlene answered, confused. “Since when did you care about Nadine?”

“Why is she in detention?”

“I... I don’t know.” Marlene said, suddenly considering this. “She’s had a lot recently, I... what do you know that I don’t?”

“I thought you were in Ravenclaw,” I taunted, knowing this was the only way I was going to work out if she was telling the truth or not.

“I... Mary, come on, that’s not funny.”

“I think it is.”

“Well you’ve always had an appalling sense of humour.” Marlene said. “Now come on, tell me.” I shook my head and wiped the tears that were still running down my face, off. She seemed genuinely confused though, and at least that was something.

“Work it out.” I hissed because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to tell her. “Did you think it was strange that Nadine was late for Transfiguration today...?” She nodded. “Well who else was late for Transfiguration?”  It was so obvious now. The shifty way Sirius had started up a conversation when I’d been watching Nadine.

“Sirius...” Marlene said slowly. Then it clicked. She sat up suddenly looking absolutely horrified and completely disgusted. “That bastard!” She swore. She fumbled to pull a packet of cigarettes out of her pocket. She saw me watching.

“Do you want one?” She asked and I shook my head before nodding. “Are you sure?” She asked doubtfully. I nodded again (and sniffed, attractively). She pulled a second one out of the packet and passed it over to me. Then she pulled out her lighter and lit them both. “I would ask if you’re okay, but obviously you’re not.” Marlene said, sighing, as she took a deep breath of her cigarette. “The world’s really got it in for you, hasn’t it?” She asked and I had a feeling she wasn’t expecting her answer.

I looked at the cigarette between my fingers and wondered why I’d accepted it when I knew full well that they were fowl. I copied Marlene in the way that she inhaled it, then inhaled again, before breathing out and found that this time I didn’t choke.

I wanted it to be horrible again, I really did, but this time it had the desired effect of calming me down and being a lot better than expected. I passed off all smokers as stupid but even I could tell – after a few breaths – that it was quite addictive. I didn’t want to put it down.

“That’s a one off.” Marlene said after a few minutes of companionable silence. “You’re not going to follow my mistakes.” She added and I nodded again.

I didn’t feel much like talking. I kept playing over seeing Sirius and Nadine together over in my head, and kept breathing in deeply (mostly cigarette smoke) to stop myself from seeing red and exploding again.

Once Marlene’s cigarette had burnt out completely she stubbed it out on the side of the castle and looked at me with a mixture of pity and understanding that resonated with me. It seemed like an eloquent response to everything and I found myself truly glad that I had met Marlene McKinnon.

“I’ll make Nadine back off.”

“I very much doubt that it was her fault.”

“Yeah, well...” She paused for awhile and lit herself another cigarette. “Sirius is a guy – that doesn’t mean its okay, not at all, but...” She offered her cigarette to me, as I had finished mine, and I decided that a little more wasn’t going to kill me (any sooner) so I took it.

“I didn’t think it would you know, hurt.”

“Yeah, that’s a bitch.” Marlene agreed as I passed the cigarette back to her. “I mean, you don’t actually expect it to be a physical pain.”

“Yeah,” I agreed.

“Well,” She said with a grim smile. “At least you only have a month and a half to put up with it.”

**********

When I came into the dorm a while later they all seemed to be a little surprised. James glanced behind me as if he was looking for someone else to come in with me. I suppose he thought that Sirius would be. Ha.

I was well aware that I smelt of cigarette smoke but there wasn’t much I could do about that now. It had been a stupid thing to do and I couldn’t quite believe I’d actually done it. On the other hand I was still in shock about how much seeing that had made me want to pull my eyeballs out and crawl up into a foetal position. No, I knew that smoking had been an awful idea, but it had been there. I was never going to do it again, and I was ashamed of it, but I didn’t care at all about what this bunch of idiots thought about it.

Lily wrinkled up her nose in disgust, prissy bitch.

They all hated me in any case, which I thought was dreadfully unfair all things considered. They’d all judged me without even really knowing me, and had just taken Lily’s/Sirius’s side in disliking me. None of them really cared about my well being and that was the truth.

“Happy Birthday.” I said throwing myself down into the circle that they were sitting in. Peter, who I was sitting next to, looked at me warily and I couldn’t really blame him. I knew I must look a state.

“Are you...?” James began nervously.

“I’m fine.” I said before he could finish the question.

“Where’ve you been?” He asked looking nervous as he glanced at my face. He exchanged a look with Remus before glancing at me again.

“With Marlene.” I answered and he seemed relieved and that sent my mind reeling. Before, when I’d asked him how Sirius was... he hadn’t wanted to tell me. They hadn’t wanted to tell me why he was late for Transfiguration... They knew. I wanted to stay silent and not say anything about it whatsoever, but the second this revelation hit me my mind opened of its own accord.

“You knew?” I asked sharply glaring at Potter. “Of course you did. You probably told him to do it. You probably told him the best way to get over someone was to get with the first person to open their legs.”

“It wasn’t...” Potter began.

“It wasn’t what? I snapped before he could continue. “Meant to hurt me?” I suggested. “Eff you Potter.”

“Mary, you need to...”

“Oh stop pretending you know what I’m feeling Lily, I’m not in the mood.”

“Stop being a bitch!”

“Oh but that’s like asking Sirius to stop being such a whore.” I snapped.

“Look, Mary, what did you see?” Remus asked.

“Enough. Oh don’t worry. He should be finished soon... I’m surprised he’s lasted this long actually. I suppose it took Fisher awhile to find his -”

“Let’s play shall we?” Frank suggested and I stopped talking. There was no point getting angry. I’d save it for later. When Sirius got here. I was going to castrate him.

“What’s the game?” I asked.

“Well, we were playing spin the bottle. But James here seems to have some issues with it so...”

“Now we’re playing a drinking game.”

“Brilliant.” I said as James dived under Sirius’s bed (and I tried to not think about some of the occurrences that happened in that very bed). He pulled out some complicated piece of equipment which I wasn’t going to ask about, and then a box full of bottles. 

“We stocked up before Christmas so we’d have enough for everybody’s seventeenth’s party and for when we win the Quidditch cup.” James explained as Lily shot him a questioning glance about the pure quantity.

“What’s wrong with a refilling charm?” Lily asked. “And what the hell is that for?” She asked gesturing towards the instrument.

“Long story.” James said, glancing at Remus and Pete. “It doesn’t matter – it didn’t work. Anyway – the game.”

I shut off as James explained the rules of the game which seemed far too complicated to be fun. From what I could gather in the few short seconds I was actually concentrating on the crap coming out of his mouth I worked out that the game involved drinking, truths, dares, kissing people you didn’t like, exploding snap and gobstones.

“Everyone understand?” James asked and the others all seemed to nod in agreement. I nodded although I didn’t have a clue what he was going on about.

“Can we open a window?” Lily asked. “It smells of fags.” She said glaring at me.

“And you smell of bitch.” I said under my breath but everyone chose to ignore it. I didn’t blame them. Much.

The game seemed to have started but my thoughts were still on Sirius – I hated him so much right now.

“Mary, you have to tell us your deepest darkest secret.” Lily prompted me.

“No.” I replied and the others looked around at each other awkwardly.

“Okay.” Remus said, obviously sensing that they weren’t going to get it out of me. “My go.” He said and went back to not listening to a word they were saying. Instead I considered how exactly I could murder Sirius without getting arrested and without magic.

I supposed I could poison him and try to pass it off as his parents finally trying to do him in.

Anyway who cares about being arrested – I’m dying so it doesn’t really make a difference.

“You have to kiss me or drink half the bottle.” James told Lily who bent over the circle and kissed him. James didn’t let her go for a minute which she didn’t seem to mind much.  They were so close to going out it was sickening. Especially as I couldn’t let that happen given the Snape thing.

“Mary, pick a card!” James said and I pulled one off the top of the pack, giving him a withering look. “A ten.” James said, glancing down at the piece of paper. That means you have to kiss the person two to your left, or drink the whole bottle. So... you have to kiss Alice.”

“No.” I answered flatly.

“You have to drink the whole bottle then.” Lily supplied.

“No.”

“Then you’re out the game.” James said.

“Does it look as if I care about your stupid game?” I asked harshly.

“Mary.” Lily said as if my words were scandalous. “Stop being such a -” The door burst open at that moment and in walked my worst nightmare – Sirius.

“I change my mind.” I said, grabbing the bottle from the floor and downing it. It was hard to carry on swallowing it but the thought of being so completely out of my mind and drunk seemed so appealing now that I carried on swallowing it. It tasted a lot better than I expected.

“Woah, slow down there Mary.” Sirius said coming down in the circle next to James. “That’s a lot to drink for a first timer.”

 He was acting as if everything was normal.

I shot him a dark look full of burning hatred and slammed the bottle down on the wooden floor of the boy’s dorm. “I am through with taking your advice.” I told him simply. Sirius seemed unsure of exactly what he’d done and didn’t seem overly bothered by my outburst. He was probably so used to me being a bitch that this didn’t seem any different. He was going to find out though. He was going to find out and regret the day he thought that he could mess around with my feelings.

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

I’d drank too much too quickly.

I wasn’t about to admit it out loud but I was definitely feeling more than a little pissed. Everyone else was slightly tipsy and someone had got some music to play from somewhere and they were all dancing along clumsily.

I couldn’t think straight and it was good. My previous anger had evaporated and now everything was funnier than it had been before. I was sat with my back again someone-or-other’s bed and laughing to myself for no particular reason. I also had a feeling that I was swaying slightly but I couldn’t be overly sure as everyone was moving about.

My head was spinning and time seemed to have forgotten its normal linear scale. I couldn’t keep myself standing up properly and my thoughts were disjointed and confusing. “Dance!” Lily declared reaching out a hand to pull me up. We both staggered but I fell. Someone – maybe Frank – caught me with a “Woah.” I was put up straight again and we started to ‘dance’ along to the music sloppily.

Lily was doing something that resembled a dance move I’d seen some where before but she lacked a certain grace and seemed to be jumping a little too often. I was laughing with my hands waving about and stepping from foot to foot to keep myself standing. “I love you Lily.” I said, maybe more than once whilst looking up the ceiling. A warm glow seemed to have settled in my stomach and I felt decidedly happy. “You smell of smoke.” Lily said and I agreed seriously. “I don’t think you should smoke.” Lily continued and I agreed again with a loud ‘YES. YOU’RE RIGHT” which was pretty funny. “I love you Lily – you’re the best.” I said over and over as I watched her jump and shuffle to the song. I tried to join in – jump, jump, shuffle, jump-jump...

Someone pressed a cold bottle into my hands. It was open and I drank. Someone, not Sirius, yelled “neck it” so I tried to down it like I had the first bottle but I ended up slopping it down my front which was surprisingly funny. I sank to my knees as I laughed, the liquid in the bottle – which was almost tasteless – sloshed around and some came over the top. I laughed a little harder and struggled to pull myself up again as everything look strange from down here.

“No more for you.” Someone, Sirius this time, said. He put his hands around my waist and pulled me up, tripping a little himself, then he tried to pull the bottle away from my hands. I gripped hold of it tighter. He wasn’t getting all of it for himself, that wasn’t fair.

“Let her drink if she wants to drink.” James’s voice floated through my brain. “She hasn’t had much really.” The commented didn’t seem to sit well with Sirius and they began talking with raised voices. I agreed with James: I hadn’t had all that much – maybe two or three bottles. Could have been four. It definitely wasn’t five. I wasn’t quite sure.

I heard my name said twice but I ignored it and busied myself with finishing my drink before anyone could take it off me. Finished. Done. I walked (the indirect route because my feet weren’t cooperating) towards the counter where the rest of the bottles were. I placed it down carefully so nothing fell over before I spotted something very interesting.

A big big bottle. “Interesting.” I whispered to myself as I looked at the big bottle very hard as I tried to decipher what it could contain. I vaguely remembered Sirius and James having shots from it earlier and I bent down to try and read it. Fir Whipsy... fire wiskney...  “Fire whiskey.” I said proudly after a few tries.

“She hasn’t had that much!” James said as I walked back into the centre of the room and tried to be inconspicuous (funny word) with the bottle of fur whiskey. “She’s not that drunk!”

“Yeah, she’s not that drunk!” I proclaimed which made Peter start giggling from the floor where he was sat – clutching a nearly empty bottle of red liquid. Mine had been blue. I made a note to try and see if the red one was any nicer.

“I want to dance with James.” I decided walking (stumbling) over to him and subsequently ending the argument thingy Sirius and James had been having – whatever it had been about. “Okay.” James obliged and I threw my arms around his neck (with the Fer Whipksey safely in my right hand and out of view).  We started swaying from side to side off beat – if there was a beat.  I wasn’t sure if the music was even playing anymore. I pressed myself closer to James so I could take a swig of the fibre Whipky. Then I smiled at him and said ‘Do you think I’m pretty?” James seemed amused by my request but nodded and said ‘Very.’ I nodded in return before letting my head slump downwards and rested it on his chest. It was too much effort to hold it upwards.

“Mary.” Sirius’s deep voice said finding its way into my confused consciousness. I looked up at him startled and wondered if he knew how beautiful he was. “Lily wants to dance with James now.” He said and I nodded seriously. That was fair. Understandable really – James was a very good dancer.

“Remmy!” I exclaimed stumbling over to him and taking a big swig of fish whiskee. “Dance.” I ordered him happily. He wasn’t as good as swaying and didn’t seem to be as keen to dance as James had been. I thought that was stupid. “Would you like to kiss me?” I slurred. I wasn’t sure why I’d asked that but I suppose it’s one of things you’ve always wanted to know. Did Remus John want to kiss me, Mary Anna Sue McDonald? That was the question.  “I don’t think Sirius would be very happy with me.” Remus said trying to take a step away from me. I kept one arm wrapped around his neck before taking a long drink from the Fig Whisk-key. “Who caresss about Sssiriusss?” I asked laughing at how my voice sounded.

“Who gave you the Fire Whiskey?”  Remus asked me trying to pull the bottle out of my hands again. Why was the world against me? “I don’t like you.”

“You’re my fav... fave–o-riot.” I told Peter. “Talk to me bir...birthday boy.” I didn’t have the fire whiskey any more. “Are-you-a-rat-Pete?” I asked as all my words connected into one big incomprehensible sentence. I couldn’t stop myself from talking. “Who-do-you-think-is-more attractive- Lily-or-me?” I asked even though I wasn’t exactly sure what I was talking about any more. My body swayed to one side even though I was sat on something solid – the floor – and I wasn’t sure when I’d sat down anymore.

Why was this happening to me? I squeezed my eyes shut but it still felt like I was floating – swimming – in a great blue sea of blackness.

“Come on.” Sirius’s voice came and I found him pulling me over to a bed and sitting me upon it. I slumped backwards and ended up splayed across the pillows. I pulled myself up but staying upright wasn’t working and my sense of balance seemed to have disappeared. I couldn’t even sit up straight. “Fuck off Black, I don’t even like you.” I said as he held me up to stop me from swaying.

“I know.” Sirius said. “But you’ve drank too much.” He sat down on the bed too.

After a couple of minutes (or longer) we managed to work out a way we could sit without me falling over and dying (which was pretty funny). I was sat in between his legs and leaning back against his chest whilst he had his arms wrapped around me. He was leaning against the head board to stop himself from falling over it. It was quite a good arrangement if a little awkward.

“I don’t like it.” I complained as I tried to get my mind to think straight. “I’m never going to get drunk again.” I said and found that things weren’t so funny anymore.

“Me either.” Lily’s voice said floating up from the floor.

“More music!” James said and the music started up again even louder before – or so it seemed. The drums made my head hurt and the bass made me feel sick. “Dance Pads!” James said and Sirius began struggling to stand up (which was hard because I was sitting in between his legs) and I shook my head at him crossly.

“Stay.” I protested and Sirius stopped moving. I turned myself around so I was facing him properly and considered him for a second.  Then I lunged forwards clumsily and kissed him.

It wasn’t very nice –a serious of case of too much tongue – but what could I really have expected? I was drunk (although not as drunk as Sirius seemed to think I was) and so was Sirius which made the whole snogging thing harder than you’d expect. Nothing was working properly.

I pulled away from him and tried to get my head straight. “You’re drunk.”

“Yes.” Sirius agreed.

“I’m drunk.”

“Yes.” Sirius said again looking slightly pleased with himself for being able to answer.

“But that was rubbish.”

“I’m sorry; I’ll try a bit harder this time...” Sirius said planting his lips on mine awkwardly. It was a little bit better than before but he was trying much too hard. I thought that if this was bad for me then he must be finding the whole thing crap because I was much drunker than he was. He didn’t really seem to mind though as he pushed me backwards so I was lying on the bed and he was straddling me.

Interesting...

Then my mind seemed to become a little clearer and I remembered something quite important.

“You’re a prat.” I said pushing him off me in the same way I had this morning. He lost his balanced and fell with a thump off the bed. Good riddance.

I saw the bottle of Fire Whispery on the side and took a large drink (ignoring the burn).

“That hurt!” Sirius complained.

“It was meant to!” I yelled and Sirius seemed to have got the message that I wasn’t messing around anymore. “It was meant to break your fucking chest. Then we’d be even!” I yelled stumbling over to where the others were. Lily stopped dancing and sank to the floor in a fit of giggles and I found myself wishing everything was still so freaky funny. I took another drink from the bottle of Fryer Wiskey and stepped over where Alice and Frank were eating each other’s face and proclaiming their love for each other – it made me feel sick.

I wasn’t sure where I was walking to but I just knew that I had to get away from Sirius before I did actually permanently harm him. The idiot. The complete idiot. I hated him. I hated him so much.

“I hate you!” I yelled in his direction as I found myself stumbling towards the door to get out of here and to go find Nate, Marlene or just an empty bed where I could sleep my drunkenness off. I didn’t like my head being so cloudy and nonsensical that I couldn’t make the right decision.

 “What?” Sirius asked pulling himself off the floor and standing up.

“Because you’re a fucking jerk!” I yelled turning around again. I wanted to yell at him so bad.

“What?” Sirius asked again. Obviously not having a clue what I was talking about – he didn’t know I’d seen him. Seen him fucking freaking Nadine fucking fisher.

“Not only did you... you... DITCHED me when I needed you the most when I trusted you. Cause I expected too much.” I slurred even though the words wouldn’t form into conventional sentences. “I expected too much from such a... such a great big shit as you. I guess I figured that you wouldn’t leave if, because, cause, I told you and I was depending on you and I... I didn’t have nothing else for you. Nothing to give anymore but you, you, you!” I yelled finding myself getting angrier. “YOU!” I yelled finding my thought track again. “I’ve put up with so much shit from you! You sleep and then you dump just because I trusted you.”

“Because you didn’t trust me before!” Sirius protested looking lost, confused and a little upset.

“Don’t you understand what you’re doing to me?!” I yelled. “You’re making me miserable you’re making me, making me, making me... I tried. I tried to and I was doing what you asked me to do like I PROMISED but maybe we should have made you promise to make it easy for me too! Because it’s not fair. It’s not fair!”

“Mary! What are you talking about? I haven’t done anything wrong!”

“I did everything you asked. I stopped you from kissing me and I tried. I tried god damn it and I guess I still expected more of you because I didn’t... I didn’t...” I didn’t even realise I was crying up until that point.

“What the hell did I do?” Sirius asked stepping towards me and grabbing my arm.

“More who.” I managed to say and Sirius’s face froze. “FECKING NADINE FISHER!” I yelled in his face and I tried to push him again. “And it wasn’t just then was it? You – Last week.” I said with my arms crossed over my chest.

“Mary!” Sirius pleaded.

“NO!” I yelled pushing him again. “No God damn you. NO! I’m so fed up of your shit. You... you. You didn’t even know my name! You made a fool of me thinking it was so freaking funny. You messed me around and you messed around with other people just to, just to get at me. You always put me second to your little gang thing You LET me ignore you . You, you...you told me you were cheating on me just because precious James told you to – you didn’t even think about me. You yelled at me and you left me. DAMN YOU!” I yelled screaming my head off in his face. “You have the cheek to ask me to understand and forgive your cowardice– that I’m being selfish if I don’t – and I listened to you and I tried and I only expected that for one minute you’d stop thinking about yourself and think about how any of this would make me FEEL.” I yelled breathing heavily. “Screw you.”

“Don’t argue.” Lily said standing up unsteadily. “You guys love each other so much.” She said and it looked as if she might be crying.

“Love me?” I laughed. “Bullocks. What was the line again Sirius? Your wonderful break-up line? Oh yeah. If I fell in love with you. Damn it I’ve been so stupid! So sodding stupid! You never gave two shits about me!”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Sirius asked speaking for the first time. “You’re the one who never cared! You’re over me, remember?!”

“Over you? Over you?” I laughed violently. “Ha. You’re too over controlling to ever let me get on top.” I spat poking him in the chest. “What a joke! Over you? I’ve never been more fucking under you!”

“You don’t like me.” Sirius said looking me in confusion.

“No, I fucking LOVE YOU.” I yelled even though I knew I shouldn’t. “The only reason I said otherwise was because you made me PROMISE to make this easy for you. Why should I? Why should I when you’re making this so hard for me! Because I love you and I’ve been breaking my own sodding heart just to save you pain – just like you asked me to – and what do I get as repayment? Fuck you.” I yelled over and over.

I wanted to leave. I needed to get out. I couldn’t stand it in here.

I headed for the door, stumbled and fell to the floor. I was a mess. A crying ball of mess. I pulled myself up straight and tried to stop myself from swaying but the second lot of Fire Whiskey was just beginning to hit me.

“Mary? Mary?” Someone asked holding me upwards so I didn’t have to sit up right. “Mary, are you okay, you look like you’re about to...”

Then I threw up. 

A/N - Personally I enjoy this chapter... anyone else agree? Reviews? Please? Again sorry about the long update, I've been away multiple times and given it's the summer everything's been a bit crazy. Then there was the queue closure... The next chapter is written but needs some serious work as it sucks, but the update should be (relatively)soon. I love you all. Ac xxx


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