Chapter 1 : She
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Marlene Ada McKinnon
February 14, 1960 - December 31st 1979
"Wherever you go, take a smile with you."
Sirius Black stared at the words on the gravestone, clutching the flowers tightly in his hand. Hadn't she promised him to be around forever? Hadn't she said the exact words - 'I will be around forever and ever and ever!' - the night she had agreed to marry him?
And yet, there she was, six-feet-under... and before she had officially been declared Mrs Sirius Black.
Sirius closed his eyes, trying to not see the scene in front of him. The way he had found her - no, the way she had been forced to leave this world - was just... cruel. Cruel beyond words.
"Mummy!" a child called, making Sirius look up slowly. "Look! I found it!" the little girl said, pointing eagerly at a grave. "Can I give my Christmas gift to Grandpa now?"
Sirius stared blankly at the little child and mother, deep in thoughts. That's how it was supposed to be; old people having their children and grandchildren visit their graves - not heart-broken boyfriends-slash-fiancés moping around.
He closed his eyes, and exhaled the cold, brisk January air into his lungs. It was something he had noticed Marlene do, every morning. No matter what kind of weather - sunny, rainy, snowy, windy, stormy - she would go outside, first thing in the morning, and just breathe in the air.
He had never really understood the point of it. All Marlene had ever said was, 'I can smell the season!', which made no sense whatsoever.
But that was Marlene. She was different, she was weird, she was... the most beautiful thing Sirius had ever seen.
And she had belonged to him, until she was taken away.
Once again, the images flashed through his mind, even if he didn't want them to. Blood... shattered glass... more blood... a white silk ribbon laying pathetically on the floor, and led to the body... a small, fragile-looking girl, sprawled on the floor in a wedding gown.
And the Dark Mark bright and haunting on the sky above.
Sirius snapped his eyes open, glaring at the grave. What kind of person could do this to someone like Marlene? Even if he knew the answer, he still couldn't wrap his head around it. He had heard of evil people doing evil things, but never had he thought they would actually hurt someone like Marlene. What had she ever done to hurt them?
"You're late," a weak voice said, startling Sirius. He looked around, and saw an old woman, dressed in dark robes, stand a few feet away from him. "Marlene always said you had a bad timing..." the old lady went on, slowly making her way towards the grave.
"Mrs McKinnon," Sirius murmured, bowing his head. "I'm sorry."
Mrs McKinnon smiled slightly at him, before lowering one single rose on the grave. "No reason. I wish I could've missed it, too... it was beautiful, the cermon, but I don't think it was enough for my granddaughter."
Mrs McKinnon - Marlene's Grandmother - was the only one left, no. Marlene's entire family - mother, father, and little brother Marcus - had all been killed the day after Marlene was killed. The only one representing the McKinnon family at the funeral had been Mrs McKinnon herself, and Sirius could only imagine what that could've felt like, having strangers and important looking Ministry workers shake hands and whatnot.
"That girl really loved you, I dare say," Mrs McKinnon said, as she placed roses on the three other graves next to Marlene's.
"We were about to get married, so yeah, I would dare say she loved me," Sirius muttered, still clutching his flowers tightly.
He saw Mrs McKinnon give his pathetic flowers a quick glance, before she turned away and sighed. "She really loved daisies... silly girl. I always told her they were very vulgar flowers - the rose represents the McKinnon family; always has, for decades. But she... she wouldn't listen, she had a mind of her own, she loved... daisies."
"Yeah," Sirius said, looking down at the daisies. "They'll probably freeze to death in this weather, though."
Mrs McKinnon walked back to him, putting a warm hand on his shoulder, and gave it a small, gentle squeeze. "Daisies are strong flowers. They'll survive almost anywhere, boy."
Sirius satyed silent, as he felt tears in his eyes - taking him by surprise. He hadn't cried once after the day he had found Marlene dead. The only time he had cried had been right then and there, over her cold, dead body, covered in blood, as her normally animated, bright eyes stared into space, empty of all life...
"Marlene was like a daisy," Sirius whispered, trying to prevent his voice from shaking.
Even if he had had time to get used to the idea of Marlene being dead, somehow, it hit him like a punch in the stomach. The power of it made him think back at the time he had first met Marlene McKinnon, back in fifth year at Hogwarts, when he had fallen head over heels for her.
Four girls walked down the corridor in front of him and his friends - James, Remus and Peter - their hips swaying in a way that made the inner dog in Sirius drool like a moron. One of the girls was a red-head, who Sirius knew to be Lily Evans, the object of James Potter's affection. The blonde one, who kept giving him winks over her shoulder, was Hestia Bones. The last two were both brunettes; Sirius recognized the one with short, curly hair to be Mary MacDonald, but the other one - the one with long, wavy hair, and apparently no interest in her own appearance from the look of her messily put on school uniform - he did not recognize.
'Probably some basketcase with a brain,' he thought. 'A Hufflepuff', Sirius then decided.
"Oi!" Sirius called, flinging his bag casually over his shoulder. "What's the point in teasing if you're not putting out, huh!?"
"Give me a break, Black!" Mary MacDonald huffed, whispering something to the other girl, who threw a glance over her shoulder, right at Sirius.
And even if Sirius didn't realize it then, he was hooked already.
"Please do share, MacDonald!" Sirius continued teasing, as his friends chuckled at the eye-fluttering Sirius did.
"Leave us alone, okay!?" Lily groaned.
"Why, O Beautiful Flower?" James piped in.
"Because you're all bloody annoying, and not charming at all!"
Everyone turned to stare at the brunette who had stayed silent until now. Sirius stared at her with his bright eyes, questioning her sanity. They had all stopped walking, and Sirius made his way to the girl, throwing his arm casually around her shoulders.
"Feisty one, eh?"
The girl looked at him with her huge, brilliant eyes, and Sirius couldn't help but stare back at her, forgetting his act completely.
He was so lost in her eyes, that he did not see her elbow coming right into his stomach, leaving him breathless for a moment.
Sirius fell on his knees on the floor, as the girl backed away, smirking at him.
"Are you okay, Padfoot?" James asked, his eyes wide.
"Are you alive!?" Peter wnated to know.
"That's a first," Remus murmured.
"Come, girls," Lily said, smirking.
As they continued to walk down the corridor, Sirius couldn't help but look after them, mustering the last bits of air he had left. "OI! YOU!" he called, and the brunette looked around.
"The name's Marlene," she called back, grinning widely. "Marlene McKinnon, Ravenclaw."
Sirius always knew those Ravenclaws were devious...
End of Flashback
"Will you be okay, boy?" Mrs McKinnon asked, watching him with her old, warm eyes.
Sirius looked down at the old lady, seeing a hint of Marlene in her face. He nodded once, and looked down at the grave, slowly putting down the flowers.
"I'll be fine," Sirius said shortly. He turned and walked away, shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Where will you go?" he heard Mrs McKinnon call after him.
He stopped, and looked around at her. He could see the worry on her face, the same eyes as Marlene had, gaze at him across the graveyard. He smiled faintly, and gazed up at the sky, where the clouds were moving away so the sun could shine through.
"I don't know," he answered honestly, adding a shrug. "But wherever I'll go, I'll take a smile with me."
A/N: Ahh, phew! This one was originally meant to be a song-fic to Elvis Costello's "She", but then I got carried away, and made a cheesy, fluffy one-shot instead. But alas, the title remained the same, since, well, obviously Marlene is kinda the main character, ne? And yes, I do realize it's short... gomen, gomen, gomen! -.-
Anyway, as for other news, I have not abandoned any story of mine - I may have said this before, too xD Anyway, I got my compy fixed, but there's still some trouble with getting my files back, so until then, ganbarimasu, ne? ^_^
- Lily xxx